Starting Your Fitness Journey

With the new year comes millions of New Years resolutions of those wanting to lose weight. You know the deal. You’ve indulged at holiday meals and used the cold weather as an excuse to spend the entirety of the season in warm sweats wrapped in a blanket in front of your electronics. All that progress you made throughout the year has slowly wormed its way back and now you are carrying an extra 10 lbs or more. And winter is only just beginning. Now, maybe you’re one of those lucky few who have the body type and metabolism where you have never had to carry extra weight. Let me tell you I have. I’ve lost weight and gained it back over and over again. It’s an endless cycle that, quite honestly, sucks.

All this to say that I understand sometimes finding the motivation to lose weight is hard. It’s cold and our natural response to winter is to hybernate and sleep in. It’s hard to shake that deep desire to stay in our fuzzy robes and plop in front of a heater. The world is slowly returning to normal where people have to go back in to the office, however, I understand that there are some that still work from home. So Fuzzy robes are their new uniform basically 24/7.

Well now is the time to cut the cycle. If you want to finally get back on track or if you want to start your journey for the first time, I’m here to share with my top 5 tips for finding motivation/starting out your fitness journey.

Tip #1: Find a Program That Works for You

This seems like a no brainer. When I first started, I joined the gym right away, thinking I was going to go crazy. The gym was short-lived though. I worked way too much to be able to go consistently and then Covid hit and it shut down.

That’s when I found Beachbody. I started off with the free 14-day trial and tested a few of the programs. I loved it. I could work out in my home with weights that were a comfortable starting weight for me. I would literally work out in my office before work and it was so convenient. This is not sponsored by any means. I’m not a coach or anything. Beachbody really was the catalyst (is that the right word?) for starting my journey.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’ve since graduated to a more advanced strength-training program by Kelly Yager. I also run 5k’s about 3-5 times a week on top of the other workouts. So find what works for you at whatever level you are currently at.

Tip #2: Invest In Your Workout Clothes From the Beginning

I know that sounds like something an affiliate would say right before they spam you with links to whichever brand they are working with. Let me tell you, I’m not affiliated with anyone.

When I first started, I had paint-splattered leggings and tanks that I found off of Amazon. And, yes, that is all I had and it worked. But it didn’t make me excited to workout. The first time I “invested” in better gym clothes was Gymshark during their Black Friday sale. It’s a brand that you see all over YouTube and Instagram and I was intrigued. So I bought some of their items. I was especially excited for their leggings. They were really thick and durable and, above all, flattering. It was something so simple that a pair of nice leggings made me want to workout.

I urge you to invest in good workout clothes from the beginning. I know that there are some that say they will invest when they’re a smaller size. Don’t do that. I realize that the cost of leggings is somewhat outrageous at times and it might not be something that one can afford to continue buying. I will actually ask for gym clothes on holidays where gift-giving is a thing such as my birthday and Christmas.

Something that I’ve done as I’ve lost my weight is buy the same style of leggings in different sizes. It’s amazing seeing the size difference when I lay the leggings down on top of each other how much my body composition has changed.

Over the past year, my legging and sports bra collection has actually grown to an alarming size, where I have to rethink how I’m going to organize everything. Every night, as I set out my workout clothes for the next day, it’s just a fun process deciding what I’m going to wear for about 45 minutes the next morning and then going to end up in a sweaty heap on my floor.

Tip #3: Invest In a Good Water Bottle

It’s the same concept as your workout clothes. If you have a nice water bottle, especially at the beginning of your journey, you’re more likely to want to carry it around with you and stay hydrated. Being honest, I’ve heard and read two different things when it comes to staying hydrated. One is to drink half your weight in water. So if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 57 oz. of water. The other is to drink 1 gallon of water no matter your weight. When I first started, I barely drank any water. I would have gatorade or energy drinks and, of course, soda. So drinking a gallon of water a day wasn’t possible for me at first. Especially as I would try to drink the majority of my water first thing and then feel so bloated and practically pee myself on the way to work.

I can’t lie and say that I still don’t have a water bottle obsession, because I do. It’s not really about the brand. It’s more like “can I drop this thing on the concrete due to my lack of coordination and not have the lid burst off” type of deal. If you’re going to invest in a water bottle, I would recommend getting one that’s insulated. Most popular brands are Hydro Flask and Yeti, but Amazon has a lot more options at a much better price. I also recommend getting one that’s larger. I like the 32 oz. bottles, especially as I try to get in a gallon of water a day. It’s just less I have to fill it up.

Tip #4: Document Your Journey

I wanted to build on what I mentioned in tip #2 about how I keep old leggings to compare sizes. That is one way that I can track my size difference. The biggest way for me to document my journey is by taking progress pics. It’s not a big setup. I don’t film myself working out (yet). And I am definitely not coordinated enough to put on the same outfit every day just for a picture. I have a picture that I posted on Instagram, and on here, where I took a progress pic in May of 2021 wearing a pair of leggings, and then another one in October wearing the same leggings. The difference is astounding! It’s only about a 10lb. difference and I didn’t realize that my body had changed that much until I compared the two.

So take a picture every day. It can be of your face, your butt, your waist….whatever. Just take a picture. And you don’t have to post it on social media if you don’t want to. This is for you to see the progress as you go, because those numbers on the scale don’t mean shit.

Tip #5: Set Reasonable Goals

This is something that I struggled with for the longest time, and I feel like most people do when they start off their journey. The new year rolls around and I see people throwing out goals of wanting to lose 50lbs in a year. I was one of those people. In 2020 I thought I was going to just drop all that weight and be a skinny legend come winter time. It didn’t happen like that. I lost 20lbs, then I gained back 10 over winter. In 2021 I set a smaller goal and didn’t quite reach it.

If you need to lose a large amount of weight, be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Weight comes off people differently. Some people are blessed and can lose 50 lbs or more in 4 months. When I first started losing weight, the majority of it came off the upper part of my body. So I was going down in shirt sizes but not in pants and it was frustrating. And then all of a sudden my hips and butt started shrinking.

Don’t set a goal to run a marathon by the end of the month if you’ve never run a mile in your life.

The reasoning behind setting reasonable goals is to not set yourself up for failure. Most people will feel like they aren’t getting anywhere and that they’ve failed if they haven’t hit that benchmark of losing 50 lbs in a year. Mentally, it’s not good for someone, especially if you’re just starting out.

Do This For You!

I hope you found this helpful. I know starting your fitness journey is a scary thing and with so much out there on the internet about what to do and what not to do it can be a little frustrating. The most important thing to remember is to do this for you and at your own pace.

As always, thank you so much for reading and until next time………

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