We have all been there. “I’ll start eating better and working out….uh…next week.” Next week turns into next month. Next month turns into next year. Next year turns into five years. Still, nothing changes. What is it that causes us to desire something, but then to never do what it takes to achieve that thing we desire? What makes it so difficult to stick to those promises that we have repeatedly made to ourselves? I believe there are many factors to this, but there is one in particular that I want to focus on today.
Could it be that we are failing to really ask ourselves WHY we want to make these changes? Could it also be that we are failing to write out and set real goals that we can use as our fuel and motivation for each day?
For me, there were a few things that I feel really motivated me to start changing my lifestyle. I struggled for years with hating how I looked. As a younger teenager, I tried things like the cabbage soup diet (gag), the major food restriction diets, and even went as far as starving myself and causing myself to throw up whatever I ate. When I say I was obsessed with stepping on the scale, I mean it. Most days I was stepping on the scale 4-5 times per day, praying that the number on it would get lower and lower each time. Y’all, this is NOT the way to do it. I was miserable, and my mind was consumed with unhealthy thoughts and with unrealistic ideas daily.
Well, after a couple of years, I started to care about it less. After graduating high school, I went away to ministry school in Alabama, where I immediately got a job at McDonald’s. Needless to say, I ended up heading in the opposite direction, eating whatever I wanted and gaining more weight than I ever had in my life. I then graduated from ministry school and moved to Florida, where I had to stick to a very tight budget. What did that mean for my diet? Well, a lot of $5 Little Caesars Pizzas and a lot of Taco Bell! Naturally, I started feeling very uncomfortable with my weight again, and so badly wanted to change it. This time was different, though. I wanted to change more than just the number I saw on the scale. I wanted to change my entire lifestyle. Basically, I was fed up with the way I had been living and I was ready to turn it around. So I did. I figured out what I wanted and then I just went for it.
This is my WHY.
Now, I didn’t share all of that because I want people to be interested in me and in my story, but because I wanted to give some background to why I love health and fitness. Eating right and exercising every day has literally changed my life. I wanted to show you that it has to be about more than a short-term goal, like just wanting to lose some weight. It has to be about setting long-term goals like having a healthy body, a strong body, feeling better, etc. The number on the scale really isn’t the most important thing, regardless of what society may tell you.
Deciding to change your lifestyle can be daunting. I’m not going to say that it isn’t. It can be scary. I’m not going to say that it isn’t. However, if you have your why determined, you can use that to motivate you like nothing else can. Watching other people workout on Instagram might motivate you, but that motivation won’t last as long as you’re doing nothing about it for yourself. Reading people’s blog posts about how they got started might make you want to start for yourself, but if you don’t have something to hold onto for yourself throughout the entire process, you’re probably going to eventually give up.
So, what is your WHY?
What is it that is going to make you consistently get out of bed early in the morning to get a workout in? What is it that is going to make you decide that you want to take better care of your body? What is it that is going to push you to make better decisions when it comes to what you’re eating? Write that down and go with it. Write down your why. Write down your goals, both short-term and long-term.
Lastly, it is okay to start small. If you’re not ready for the gym, try a home workout. If you’re not ready for a home workout, try going for a daily walk. Take small steps and don’t try to take on too much at once if it overwhelms you. Do what you can, and work your way up.
Hey…You can do this. You will do this! I believe in you, 100 percent.
One thought on “How to get started on your health and fitness journey.”
I remember well the “cabbage soup”. Those were scary days. Good post, good words.
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