But Where do I Start?
Motivation seems to be the thing that comes up a lot when talking to people about my lifestyle..”but when and how did you start kath!”
The decision to start your own health and fitness journey is the definition of “easier said than done”. It can be overwhelming and beyond confusing. These days there are sooo many different messages being sprayed out into the world that can lead you having no idea where to look and go in terms of your own. When the left hand is telling you to light heavy weights and bro down on some protein, the right is yelling cardio with as little food as possible and your feet are screaming yoga with a side of plants it is no wonder people fall off the bandwagon. So here I am to try and give you an insight into how to over come the most common ask questions and/or obstacles you might be facing when starting a new positive path in life.
Number one: THE GYM.
This is a big one beacause the first thing most people seem to do when wanting to get ‘fit and healthy’ is join a gym. Yes that does sound like the most sensible thing to do!? but it can also be the most off putting in my opinion. The gym is a very weird, intimidating environment if your not use to it. I mean how the hell is a newbie suppose to know the way in which everything works nor what is appropriate for their specific goals. Most of the time you also get annoying personal training attacking you and conning you into there $80 sessions (nothing against personal trainers, I am one myself lol but some can be a little full on at times).
The way in which I would avoid this situation is by getting comfortable with working out on your own before stepping into such an environment. Once you are confident with what you are doing (getting to understand your bodies capabilities, knowing what certain things are called and ways in which exercises are performed) then it is totally cool to start training at a gym, I actually recommend it later as the equipment (once understood) can be amazing tools in helping you achieve future goals. In the meantime I personally recommend starting slow with at home/ outdoor workouts only consisting of anywhere between 20 to 45 minutes. There are a heaaap of workouts online (instagram is your best friend when it comes to this as well as apps and health/fitness blogs) that will help you get started in the comfort of your own home. Pair this with a few walks/jogs/biking (whatever you like the most) and you are already on your way to long lasting change. This way you can build up your workout confidents in a nice place without the intimidation or self conciseness the gym may bring.
BUT if you are comfortable in the gym but not with the equipment I would recommend finding a facility that has classes. Classes are great as you don’t need to think, just be there! Not only are they well structured programs they will also keep you accountable and motivated to finish every time! Some of my favourite classes are Body attack (Les mills workout), kick boxing and spin.
After you feel fully ready and in the workout grind, the gym is your playground. Go crazy and don’t worry about people “looking at you”. To be honest they are all too worried about themselves, trust me!! If they are starring it is probably because they are checking what you are up too. Number one thing people don’t realise is everyone is just as lost as they are lol.
Number two: Which lifestyle choice..
Now this one I even struggle with still. There are new diets coming out everyday! We have the old school protein is life, the paleo diet, ITFYM, the high carb vegans… the list could go on. Not discouraging any of them at all but too an outside viewer it all can just seems too confusing. This was one I defiantly struggle with at the beginning of my journey and even sometimes now! To be honest I think I have tried them all lol. One day I realised that labeling yourself in any aspect of life is in my opinion the opposite to what health is all about. You are trapping yourself into a box with no room to breath. Everyone is different but for me it turns into a form of obsession. This is especially silly when starting out though, I mean imagine if I told you that you were never allowed chocolate or that pizza again… most of us would be like ‘um screw this journey imma stick to the one that has pizza in it’. I totally get that which is why my rule is adding IN instead of taking AWAY. Choose healthier options when you can and sneak in the treats when you want to. Get rid of the anxiety around food, food is good…really good and it does amazing things for our bodies if treated with respect. Sticking to real whole-foods (food at its naturalist form) is key, get creative with recipes and ingredients in order to keep it interesting and never ever beat yourself up for having a treat. Feeling anxious around food choices is much worse for us, our bodies are smarter than we think so if we are eating food with guilt we will not digest it with ease as the brain is telling the body to fight instead of fly.
Eat mindfully and appreciate whatever is on your plate. It’s all about balance so stick to the 80 20 rule of 80% good and %20 naughty nice.You may also find the longer you do this the more you will actually be craving the good stuff instead of the bad! I know myself now a treat is a slice of “raw’ cake because thats all my pallet wants!
Number three: MOTIVATION.
This is one is huge. Every single time I get a health and fitness related question it always has something to do with motivation. Having a reason to be motivated is important in all aspects of your life. Its what keeps us striving to better ourselves everyday… hey maybe thats just it hah! Starting a health and fitness journey is something that is going to help you grow as a person in a more positive way. I understand in the beginning it can be hard to look at it in that sort of way as working out takes a lot of effort and eating a new way is very overwhelming and possibly quite boring. I know this because I have been there too and not that long ago either. My tactic in finding motivation at the start was writing down small goals, I also recommend these goals to be fitness/heath related and not physical. For example “making three workouts this week”, “Finding a new healthy dinner recipe I love“, “Keeping away from processed foods for the week” “drinking 2L of water a day” … you get the idea. This process starts getting you interactive with smashing goals and we all know how we feel after that!
If you keep this up over time you will be surprised how you slowly fall in love with it all. With consistency also comes RESULTS and once you see these trust me you will be hooked. I started my journey hating exercise and struggling to stay away from all the cheeky foods, now working out is my favourite time of day! I am always researching new workouts/exercises to try and honestly love a hard training challenge! I hardly ever eat bad food now, not because i’m “crazy strict” with my diet but because I genially love the way I eat! I do treat myself but my treats are now healthy alternatives because thats what my body loves. I actually hate the thought of eating chocolate and pizza now haha.
sum it up by starting slow, getting creative, smashing goals and being PATIENT! If you are patient you will reep the rewards = results.. once you see these you will be unstoppable.
Number four: WHAT KIND OF EXERCISE SHOULD I BE DOING?
This is another one that seems to have been lost in the pit of confusion when it comes to the health and fitness industry. Yes we are completely spoilt for choice but to a newbie I understand how this can just be more over whelming than exciting. We have the runners, the crossfitters, body weight pilates, the yogis, the weight trainers… and the list goes on and on and on! These are all great types of exercise and great for the people involved but for someone just wanted to get fit it can be a little crazy to think about.
My advice for you if your starting out completely with no idea what you want to achieve yet or even what kind of training you like is to start by doing functional movements. These things are exercises that are going to aid you in your everyday life, for example a squat is equivalent to the movement of getting up off your chair, med ball slam could be like pick up heavy boxes, resistance band curls like carrying your shopping, sled runs could resemble pushing your heavy trolly… I think you get the idea. I would also perform these in a circuit based formate so you don’t get bored and you also are unlikely to tap out early because you know what needs to be done.
This style of training is something I did and still do religiously. After about 9 months of training this way I felt comfortable enough to venture out into different fields to mix things up. Once you are regular and understand your bodies capabilities, likes and dislikes then you can and most properly will want to spread yourself into different categories within the fitness industry which is exciting. But in till then keep it simple and consistent!
Number five: HOW LONG, HOW MANY TIMES AND WHENS THE BEST TIME?
Funny this still gets me going, I am the biggest colpperute of over training! You see these people saying 20 minutes a day will do it, then you see these other fitness freaks doing triple sessions back to back. Once again it is very confusing. What I have learn’t through my physical changes and fitness journey thus far is it is not about quantity it is all about quality! Legit though thats the secret. I always knew this but only this year did I really see it for myself. About a year ago I was doing 40 minutes sessions of high intensity training and really pushed the limit every session, everything was about time/speed. I then mid 2016 got a injury in my shins. This meant I couldn’t jump around as much, I was so upset and thought the worse of course. I started doing more duration cardio sessions (spin classes, long walks, rowing ect) thinking it would make up for not being able to do drills. I actually lost a lot of my tonage and put on a bit of weight. Now let me stop you there, I am not saying in no way shape or form that I am fat, or that cardio is bad for you but what I am trying to give you the example that it is the max effort you put in when working out that is going to give you the results rather than slogging out as much exercise (and for woman this means cardio) you can fit in but only going through the motions whilst doing it.
Now how many times you train a week is completely up to you, I would recommend a minimun of 3 sessions per week especially when starting out. Sooo many times I see people go to hard to soon and then a few weeks later they are never to be seen in workout clothes again (except when going for a coffee of course). Gradually build yourself up to a solid workout routine. This way my quality over quantity rule will be more achievable as you will have the energy to get in solid sessions. I also recommend on the days you don’t train going on a nice walk just to keep moving, keep your metabolism burning and keep the mindset going (it will also stretch out the muscles).
The best time to workout in my opinion is well…ANYTIME. So many people crap on about optimum times to train blah blah blah but seriously just getting in exercise amongst your busy schedule is perfect enough! Figure out when is the easier, most effective time for you and there you go! If you are a super busy person I would say it is a great idea to plan and write out your week so you can schedule in your workouts, this way you are less likely to miss it.
Be kind and humble to your bodies. They are great little machines that should never be over worked. Try not to stress too much about “trying to be heathy” because you are merely doing the opposite. I know it can be hard these days, the world we live in is a interesting place.
Lets all work to together to try and stop comparing ourselves to others and instead live our own journey that is true to who we are. <3