It wasn’t all that long ago that I started my fitness journey. Now weight loss, that was something I dedicated my whole freaking life to, but fitness is a different animal altogether. When I started lifting, everything changed. I started really viewing my body and food differently. My whole life changed and now it’s simply a lifestyle– but I didn’t get there overnight. There are a lot of things I had to do, and even more I had to STOP doing, to get to the place I’m at both mentally and physically today.
Things You Need To Stop When Starting Your Fitness Journey
1. Soliciting advice from every corner of the earth
Asking for help is a good thing– but what happens when you ask one person for help, and then ask another, and then solicit a group for their advice on the first person’s advice? You end up with a lot of conflicting information, which makes you overwhelmed, which makes you question everything– which keeps you from starting.
If you are going to ask for advice, ask one person that you trust, who you have seen the results you desire from, and ask them where they got the information and if there are resources they suggest–then go do your own research.
2. Over planning
Planning isn’t a bad thing, but it can also be used to avoid getting started. So yes, take the time to meal prep, find a gym that will work, block off time on your calendar for workouts and if you must, start on a Monday. But don’t spend a month planning your start, remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to start somewhere.
Fear is sometimes disguised as perfectionism.
3. Being afraid of food
If you are starting a fitness journey, that means you are upping your activity level and that means that you need to eat to support that level of activity. 1200 calories a day is idiotic and unsustainable (unless you are a 5-year-old child), especially if you have a significant amount of fat to lose. Everyone is different and requires a different caloric intake to support their weight and activity but being afraid of 2,000 calories (just an example) is silly. When you are out there eating like an asshole, most people don’t think twice to consume that in a sitting or two, but for some reason spread out over the course of a day while working out and trying to be healthy it’s considered a lot of food? No. Do your research and eat for your goals.
4. Being embarrassed of your ‘befores’
Everyone hates their before pictures. It most likely represents you feeling your worst and desperate for a change. But, as you make progress you are going to love those things because you will be able to see how far you’ve come in your fitness journey. I myself wish I had more before pictures to compare to!
5. Comparing yourself to others
Every single body is different. I repeat– every. single. body. is. different. What works for one person may not work for another. Someone may work out with more or less intensity than you, someone may eat more or less than you– and even if you were to do exactly what another person is doing, you may not get the exact same results. Why? Because every single body is different. If someone’s progress seems better or faster than yours, you have to let it go. Wanting another girl’s abs, ass, arms, quads or whatever is futile, because you can only have your own. So rather than looking at someone else’s progress and feeling badly about your own, know that you will get to where you want to be when you get there and it will be unique to you.
6. Waiting for motivation
If you are waiting for some majestic, inspirational, motivation unicorn to show up and carry you to the gym on the daily, then you are going to be very disappointed. There are going to be a lot of days on your fitness journey that you just don’t feel like it. There might be several in a row, or a whole week or a month even. Rather than waiting for that feeling to show up, you need to cultivate discipline to keep you going. Make it a habit and just go no matter what, even if you feel like you’re just going through the motions– the point is you’re doing it. And you will thank yourself later.
If you are waiting for some majestic, inspirational, motivation unicorn to show up and carry you to the gym on the daily, then you are going to be very disappointed.
7. Being inconsistent
You are not going to see the kind of results you want if you half ass it. You can’t eat ‘good’ during the week and eat like shit on the weekends. You can’t start a program, quit then try something else, quit and then try something else. You can’t fall off and think it won’t matter. You must be consistent and do what you need to do day in and day out– if you want to see results.
8. Discrediting your accomplishments
One thing I can’t stand is when a chick will show off a progress photo and say something like, “LOVING the progress I’m seeing in my booty, ignore the cellulite!” or “Finally starting to see abs but I’m so grossed out by my stretch marks!”
No. Stop it. Start looking in the mirror and practice only saying good things to yourself. You can still be humble without taking away from your hard work. Those sentences, “LOVING the progress I’m seeing in my booty!” and “Finally starting to see abs!” are perfect on their own, without your negativity taking away from them.
I despise the phrase “cheat meal.” Psychologically, it instills that you are doing something wrong. While I don’t condone binging– going off plan for a meal, or eating a single cookie (doughnut, slice of pizza) isn’t the end of the world and really isn’t going to throw you off. Labeling something a cheat, doesn’t make it any more or less damaging. It’s just food. If you go off plan, rather than beat yourself up or calling it a cheat in order to justify, just get back on track and move on.
10. Burning yourself out
Going from zero to 100mph isn’t really a good thing. Sure you want to start off on the right foot, but you don’t want to be so sore you can barely walk after day one. Some people need to ease into a healthier eating and a fitness routine. And you must take rest and recovery into consideration. Working out 6-7 days a week might actually hinder your progress. Instead, take a day or two off a week and really focus on rest and recovery–because that’s where the magic truly happens. You’ll perform better, feel better and see results faster by allowing your body the time to heal.
Really, stop. Constantly weighing yourself, measuring every crumb, checking for progress in the mirror and photos daily is only going to make you crazy. Just put your head down and work.
12. Getting upset with the scale
The scale is a tool and the sooner you learn that, the sooner you will release it’s power over you. Generally, when starting a fitness journey (when you’re doing things the right way) you may actually gain some weight– or not lose a single pound. Yes, I know you are working very hard and want to see some kind of numerical result to reflect that hard work. But you need to understand, when you are doing things you’ve never done, your body needs to take some time to figure shit out. You may start holding water because your muscles need more to recover, you may be building some muscle and burning some fat at the same time and weirdly– you may not even be eating enough. Let your body do its thing and don’t live or die buy the number on the scale, if you have pounds to lose, you will eventually lose them with consistency.
13. Thinking there is a magic pill
There is no magic pill.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stop wanting to get there faster, because faster results don’t usually last. The faster it comes off, the easier it is to put back on, but when you are dedicated to putting in the work every day, you will see lasting results and you will no longer feel like you are on a journey, but reaping the benefits of living a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Are you on a fitness journey? Which of these things do you need to stop doing?
Photo credit: Shutterstock
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