Making a change in your life can seem like it’s taking forever to notice progress and stick to the ritual. But if you push through the long hours, annoyances and in some cases, the pain, the changes become routine. After something becomes routine and habitual in your life, you barely even worry about why you wanted to make those changes in the first place! As this Huffington Post article explains, something as simple as making your bed every morning can kick-start positive changes in other aspects of your life: “first the bed, next the world.” In the case of working out and eating clean (unprocessed foods with no chemical additives), I have found several strategies to be especially helpful.
- Join My Fitness Pal online and download the app on your smart phone to keep track of what you ate, when you ate it and the nutritional facts as they pertain to your weight loss goals. The app even has a barcode reader so you can scan items for instantaneous answers. Medical studies show that maintaining a food diary doubles your weight loss and this online tracker is free and easy to use.
- Use a separate calendar for tracking and staying on top of your fitness. It’s nearly impossible to squeeze a description of the day’s workout and meal plans in the same box that you scribbled your [school]work obligations. Referring to separate calendars for different types of schedules and goals will help ease the stress of balancing the already-busy life you have with your new ‘fit and healthy’ life.
- If you get discouraged looking in the mirror day after day, tape newspaper over your full-length mirror so you won’t be tempted to obsess after your shower or workout and complain that you can’t see any differences. Take a ‘before’ picture on the first day of your routine and only take the newspaper off the mirror every 30 days to take monthly progress pictures. Compare the pictures after three months and I guarantee you will be much happier with what you see.
It takes a lot of time to get that beach body but stick to a plan and repeat to yourself, Just Do It!