How-to: Start. A new series

Welcome to a new year!  2013 is going to be all about focus, and achieving.

2012 was an unbelievable year for me, and I know that 2013 will only bring wonderful things!  And that brings me to my newest series!  A monthly “how-to” series where I will share my tips, tricks and research on a variety of health and fitness topics ranging from How to do a pull up, to building a home gym.  But this month because it’s January let’s talk about How to START!

How to start living a health life.  One where you make good food choices, and follow a regular exercise schedule.  But the piece to remember is that you don’t have to go from couch potato to fitness model in a day.  This transition can take a year, 2 years or 5 years.  You will get back what you put into this.  Remember where I started over a year ago?  I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and never exercised.  But one year ago on my 30th birthday I vowed to be a better version of myself.

So here’s how I started:

I took a good long look at myself and saw that I was unhappy.  I mean really, seriously unhappy.  The I-am-so-ashamed-of-my-body-I-cannot-be-seen-in-a-bathing-suit unhappy.  I wanted to be skinny, and light, and slender and sexy and beautiful.  But wish as I might I woke up every day fat, and still unhappy.  So the first thing I had to do was: get real.  I had to tell myself that I had to workout.  I had to tell myself that I did not need to eat that cake, or the cookies or the chips because they were not getting me closer to where I wanted to be and they were not making me happy.

Next I had to join a gym.  After I had started out at home by riding the stationary bike, and gone through my DVDs I need more of a challenge.  More than what I could get at home.  And because money was so tight, I made a promise to myself that I had to go at least 3 days a week.  Otherwise I was wasting money, and I just couldn’t do that.  The membership was cheap, and it had what I needed at the time.  I am no longer a member of that gym  because I couldn’t stand the meat market feeling.  But I have moved on to Anytime Fitness.  And I love them.  The owners are all so involved an there everyday.  They motivate me, they know me and my goals and check in often.

That brings me to my next point:  Get motivated and stay motivated.  You have to set goals for yourself and give yourself rewards for achieving those goals.  I broke my big goal of 50 pounds into smaller more attainable goals early on in my journey.  And none of the rewards involved food.  I got a Mani/pedi day.  I got an iPhone  a bikini, and lots of other things because I said to myself “Just do it, and you’ll get this…”.  It made the big goal seem less intimidating.  Make an inspiration board, type up motivational quotes and put them on your bathroom mirror, desk, steering wheel, forehead…whatever you gotta do to keep at it.  I also started to surround myself with like-minded people.  I wanted to open Facebook everyday and see motivation.  And I do!  Every morning I wake up to my girl Abby Huot, Lori Harder, Ms. Bikini Universe Tracy Gramer, Kelsey Byers, and countless other IFBB pros grace my Facebook news feed first thing.  It shows me that they worked hard and still do, and that I can too!

To keep your motivation up take pictures and measurements often!  Now, you don’t have to post them for all the world to see like I did, but I needed to keep myself accountable and be able to see, see with my own eyes the transformation I was undertaking.  I knew if I kept a photographic record I would stay accountable and if I ever decided to slip up I would just look at the day 1 pictures.  It works every time.

So to recap:

  1. Get real.
  2. Join a gym.
  3. Get motivated, stay motivated.
  4. Track your progress.

It seems simple enough but, trust me…it was a long road to travel and I don’t think I am done yet, but I am well on my way to the body I dream of!

Did you start your journey with me last year?  Do you have tips to share on getting started?  How did you get started?


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