4 STEPS TO YOUR DREAM BOD
Warning: Adult language
Please do not read any further if you are offended by adult language.
If you do these four things, you WILL succeed at losing weight, getting healthy, and getting fit. You will not fail, you cannot fail, and success is the only possible outcome.
I'm not saying doing all four of these things are going to be easy, but I'm telling you for damn sure if you do them, you will reach your goals.
Are you willing to work for your dream body? If you are, then these four steps will lead you to success.
FOUR THINGS. THAT'S IT.
1. Strive For Five
2. Fresh is Best
3. Dream Big, But Start Small
4. Stop Making It Complicated
Okay, let's break down each one of these steps and find out what they entail so that you can start unleashing your sexy and transforming that bod of yours.
1. Strive For Five
Exercise... everybody usually freaks out about what to do for exercise when they first start out trying to lose weight. Here's the deal.
You need to strive for five. Exercise five days a week.
It doesn't matter which five days just get them in. If you're extra sore from previous workouts, then take your two days of rest in a row to heal up and be ready to kick ass when you start up again.
Never go more than two days without working out.
Rule #1 is just as much for the actual need for exercise as it is to keep up your rhythm and regimen so that exercise becomes a habit.
Aim for 45-60 minutes of exercise a day (preferably 60).
Your body needs to sweat. It doesn't care how the hell you do it. Honestly, don't drive yourself insane with the exercise part. You need to incorporate cardio and some kind of weight training into your regimen. There's a ton of options. Start simple and work your way up to more variety.
This can be ANYTHING that gets your ass moving and sweating. ANYTHING! Walking, jogging, cycling, elliptical, aerobics, hiking, swimming, cleaning your house... Literally ANYTHING that gets you sweating. I used to have a tiny office at work. I only had about the size of a large welcome mat in free space. I would jog in place and do jumping jacks on my lunch hour.
Here's a list of 110 cardio ideas from SparkPeople. And believe me, there's a lot more than 110!
This does not have to be complicated. Weight training can be a ton of things. It doesn't just mean that you have to join a gym and throw yourself into a weight room. You can weight train at home with no equipment. You just need your body. I think you have one of those ;)
You can weight train by using:
1. Your body - Body Weight Exercises (Body weight workout here.)
2. Dumbbells (Dumbbell workout here.)
4. Kettlebells (3 Kettlebell workouts here.)
5. Weight machines (at the gym)
6. Resistant Bands (Resistant band workout here.)
If gyms and weights intimidate you, I encourage you to start by simply using your body in your own home to weight train. There are a ton of body weight workouts out there. A quick google search will result in hundreds of workouts.
But after getting comfortable with using your body to weight train, challenge yourself and start to try out other methods. I promise you they are nowhere near as scary as you think they are. You're a badass. You can do this.
You can find much more information on weight training in my article, "Weight Training 101: For The Ladies". I include three complete workouts, instructional videos included where I show you all the moves.
2. Fresh is Best
Eating healthy, in my opinion, is much harder than working out. At first I hated exercise and it sucked to have to do it, but it was only a small part of my day. I did it, it was done, and then I didn't have to think about it until the next day. It was straight forward.
Eating, ugh, whole different story. First off, you need to eat all through the day. It's a constant issue, not only with feeding yourself but your family as well. It's a pain in the ass at first. It really is. I'm not going to lie. It gets better though, I promise. After a while it's a non-issue. It becomes so second nature, you don't even think about it.
I think for the most part, everyone knows what to eat to become more healthy; lean meats, fish, whole grains, fruits, veggies, etc. And then of course we know what to stay away from; fast food, junk food, fried food, sweet foods, etc.
Number two is going to focus on fruits and vegetables. I can't stress enough that eating fresh fruits and veggies is imperative to your health. They give our bodies the most vitamins and minerals, not to mention disease-fighting antioxidants.
Have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits in your home. I have a rule for myself. I can have as many veggies as I want. Now since fruit does have sugar in it albeit the natural-from the earth kind, I try not to overdose on it but with veggies... I'll eat that stuff until I explode. But I eat fruit every day, usually two servings. It's my candy :)
I know this category is called 'Fresh is Best' but I have to note something here. Frozen fruit (no sugar added) and frozen veggies are an excellent substitution. The nutrients are not very far off from fresh. Most vegetable companies flash freeze the vegetables which means they are frozen as soon as they are picked. This means that the nutrients are locked in. Frozen fruit is a good option when it's the off season and your favorite fruit isn't plentiful in the stores. Frozen veggies are often less expensive as well since there is usually always a sale going on.
I need to add here that a great way to eat a piece of fruit is to add a bit of protein with it. For instance, a spoonful of natural peanut butter with your apple or banana, or a small handful of nuts with your pear or grapes. This is an especially important tip for diabetics.
If you are diabetic, eating fruit by itself can spike your sugar levels; however, if you pair it with a protein, your body processes it differently. It's something to try if you have avoided fruit because of it's fructose. Now of course, I would suggest starting slow to see how your body reacts (maybe half an apple with a spoonful of natural peanut butter - make sure the PB has no added sugar and is organic).
*And as always, consult your doctor before starting any new food or exercise regimen, especially with a pre-existing condition such as diabetes.
My mom is diabetic. She went years without ever eating a piece of fruit. Now she eats fruit all the time, but only one piece at a time and she pairs it with protein. It does not raise her sugar at all. She can have almost any fruit with protein except melons, pineapple, and super ripe bananas. Every diabetic has their own individual problem fruits or sugar spiking foods. Monitor yourself closely when trying fruits and only try one fruit at a time so that you clearly know which ones you can tolerate.
But as for non-diabetics, don't be afraid of fruit. It's the earth's sweet gift to us. Once you cut out all the refined sugar out of your diet, fruits will taste sweeter than they ever have before. They will become a treat for you. Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, and help fight off many diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type-2 diabetes, kidney stones, cancers, and many more.
Try to buy organic when it's available. Most people have no idea how many pesticides and chemicals they are consuming when they eat fruit and vegetables. Here you think you are making smart, healthy choices and you're really putting poison into your body. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. It really is poison... and it doesn't wash off when you rinse your fruits and veggies after you bring them home.
People think eating healthy and buying organic foods is too expensive. It's only too expensive if you're still buying all the other shit that you used to buy.
When we want to go on a 'diet' and start eating healthy, we buy ourselves all the fresh produce, lean meats, organic foods, vitamins and supplements, and whatever else. However, we are STILL buying all that processed junk for the rest of our family. All of those refined sugary foods, processed snack packs, cases of pop, frozen chicken nuggets, and dozens of other products are all super expensive .
If you stop buying all of that packaged and processed junk, you won't be spending any more. It'll even itself out.
Okay so I need to say this since I mentioned the word... you should NOT be going on a 'diet'! You are changing your life. Let me repeat, YOU ARE CHANGING YOUR LIFE.
If you aren't willing to eat healthy and move your ass, you might as well stop what you're doing right now because any and all efforts you put forth to losing weight will be wasted and worthless. Because as soon as you go back to real life and eating the way you did pre-diet, you're just going to gain it all right back... and then some.
So let me ask you... If you are committed to getting healthy and getting fit, why the hell is the rest of your family going to continue to get more unhealthy and more unfit? Are you going to allow your children to continue eating GMO laden foods and processed poison while you eat healthy and healing foods?
This has to be more than just losing weight. It has to be bigger than that. A healthy and fit life should be the main goal. Losing weight is just an awesome byproduct of that main goal. And on a bigger scale, you need to work towards a healthier home, not just a healthier you.
I realize you cannot force your spouse or significant other to eat the way you are but you sure as hell have control as to what your children eat. If your significant other refuses to change his/her eating, then so be it. Don't push them to join your cause, it'll be a waste of time. But sit the kiddies down and explain the importance of why things are going to change in the home. Whether they like it or not, they can only eat what you bring into the house.
And by the way, don't be making two dinners. Find yummy healthy, easy recipes (there are thousands and thousands) to make for dinner and if someone doesn't want to eat it then guess what... they're on their own.
Believe me, when I started my journey, my hubs was NOT on board with the Let's-Eat-Healthy-Now idea. I think he envisioned rice cakes for dinner and brussel sprouts for dessert. For a long while, I continued to buy him his certain foods (all junk) for his lunches. I didn't fight him on that, but I did follow the one dinner rule. Trying to change my habits and eat more healthy was hard enough, I wasn't making two dinners... especially when one of them was going to tempt me. Hell no to that.
I found yummy healthy meals to make, easy crockpot meals, quick stir-fry dinners, among others. The hubs didn't even realize that what he was eating was healthy. Neither did my girls. All I had in the house was healthy foods (save my husband's lunchbox snacks), so guess what... that's what they ate.
And after a while, believe it or not, my hubs came to me and told me he didn't want the junk in his lunch anymore. He got so used to eating healthy and delicious foods for every other meal that the greasy and sugary foods started to taste different to him. He jumped aboard the healthy train all on his own :)
You will fail if you have your home filled with tempting foods. There is no human being that walks the planet that can look at that shit day in and day out and not eventually succumb to it. No one.
I started my weight loss journey eight years ago, have maintained my weight for six years, and have a rock solid regimen in place. But if you place a pan of brownies in front of me and make me stare at it all day, I'm going to eventually dive into that shit like the ocean. No one is immune to temptation. So do yourself a huge favor and rid the house of as many junky, unhealthy foods as you can.
Put fresh fruit and veggies in plain sight. As soon as you get home from the store, wash, dry, and cut fruits and veggies. Have them easily accessible and in plain sight. I can't tell you how many times I'll see my girls walking around the house with a baggie of cucumber slices, carrots, or grapes. If your kids are hungry and all they see is healthy, ready-to-go foods, that is what they will eat. Same goes for you. And maybe, just maybe, that stubborn spouse too ;)
*I have to add here that frozen fruits and vegetables (without any added salt or sugar and in their natural state) are an excellent second choice.
Most fruits and veggies are flash frozen so they are preserved in their freshest and ripest stage. Frozen fruits and veggies can be a life saver, especially in the winter when there is a more limited amount of produce options in season. So even though organic fresh produce is the ideal choice, organic frozen is definitely a great runner up and should be utilized often.
For a more in-depth look at what you should be eating (and why) check out my articles:
- "What You Should Be Eating: How To Lose Weight"
- "The Skinny On Nutrition: Not All Calories Are Created Equal".
3. Dream Big, But Start Small
Here's where so many of us get in trouble. We let our dreams scare us. And when we finally find the courage to tackle them, we bite off more than we can chew. We get frustrated and convince ourselves we can't achieve our goals. I'm here to tell you that you CAN achieve your goals. I'm living proof. If I can do this shit, anybody can. For reals.
Here's the trick. Keep your dream big, but break it down into small pieces. Big dreams are achieved by lots and lots of small successes.
When I started my journey, I needed to lose 120 pounds. The thought scared the hell out of me. When I thought of that insanely huge dream, I wanted to go hide under my covers... with a pan of brownies. I couldn't think that far ahead, it made me whimper.
You have to break down your dream into doable tasks. Take five pounds at a time. Do NOT look any further than five pounds. You have to work and sweat and push like that five pounds is your only goal... like it's your job.
Don't focus on getting to the top of your mountain. Just focus on each step in front of you. Before you know it, you'll be amazed at how high up you are.
Smaller goals to set for yourself:
1. Going to a party or gathering and successfully not overeating and sticking to your plan.
This is inevitable. At some point, you'll need to go somewhere outside of your new healthy comfort zone.
- Eat something high in protein before you go. You won't be hungry and the protein will keep you full. If we are not hungry, we are much less likely to succumb to temptation.
- Bring something healthy to the gathering to ensure you have something to eat. Veggie trays, fruit trays, and shrimp trays are all good choices. It's a twofer. You get to look thoughtful by bringing something AND you provide yourself healthy nibbling while you're there.
2. Put one week together where you don't eat any refined foods.
3. Trade out higher caloric drinks with beverages such as water, low fat milk, almond milk, and homemade ice tea sweetened with stevia.
4. Stop using ALL artificial sweeteners.
Countless studies have shown they actually make you GAIN weight, not to mention the plethora of dangers and side effects from them. Try using stevia. It is an all natural sweetener and comes in packets and liquid form. Baking stevia is also available for all of your cooking and baking needs.
5. Track your progress with clothes and measurements, NOT the scale.
Find a pair of super tight pants and try them on every two weeks. No matter what the scale says, your pants will tell the true story if you are making progress. Avoid the scale as much as you can. It's a huge discourager. Take monthly measurements of your body and log the numbers in a notebook.
These are just a few of endless smaller goals you can set for yourself. Choose goals that will individualize and custom fit your plan.
4. Stop Making It Complicated
Oh how we make things so hard for ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. We are experts at talking ourselves out of something that we want because we convince ourselves it's just too hard or that it's impossible.
Stop selling yourself short.
Losing weight is NOT complicated. Is it easy? No. But is it complicated? Hell no. Listen, in order to lose weight, you need to burn calories by exercising and you need to eat healthy food. Period. So why the hell is it so hard? Why the hell do we fail at trying to lose weight?
The answer is simple. Our brains screw us up.
The physical end of losing weight could not be more straightforward. If you consistently eat healthy meals and snacks and exercise five times a week, you WILL lose weight. There's no other outcome.
It's our mind that effs with us.
Losing weight is a mental battle.
Mentally we need to change how we think so that we can make the necessary changes to our lifestyle. But way more difficult than that is dealing with the unexpected internal battles that show up. All the shit you have stuffed and buried for so long will start to come to the surface. This surprises us. We have no idea in the beginning that losing weight will turn into something more. Something much harder. You will have to accept that this is going to happen. You have personal work to do. If you know this from the get go, it will go much smoother.
Remember this, you are not overweight because you like food. You are overweight because you ate to deal with something painful. Weight loss journeys aren't about losing weight. They're about slaying the demons that make you abuse food.
They're about finding the real you that's hidden under that weight. It doesn't have a damn thing to do with food or how big your ass is. You don't have to lose 50 pounds, 100 pounds, or more because you love food. You need to lose it because you lost you.
Dealing with the demons is the real reason we make losing weight complicated. Because if all it entailed was eating right and exercising, there would be fit and healthy people running amuck.
So how do we un-complicate our journeys?
Here's the deal. You need to prepare yourself that you will continually face personal issues. Know that right off the bat. Because what trips us up is when we don't expect it. We enter our new healthy lifestyle thinking our only goal is to squeeze our asses into a pair of small jeans or to proudly don bathing suits this summer.
Having a nice tight ass is not the true goal (even though you think it is)... it is the by-product of a successful journey.
At the end of your journey (not that it ever really truly ends), you will be an unstoppable, fearless, strong, and most importantly happy warrior. Not because you are healthy and fit, but because of all you battled to get there.
Knowing your journey will involve slaying personal demons and facing all the crap you've been hiding under all that food and weight will free you from the element of surprise. You'll be ready. It's the pop-up emotional challenges that come up that cause us to fail at losing weight.
One minute we're sitting there eating our peanut butter and apple slices feeling confident that we have this losing weight thing in the bag and then all of a sudden some yucky shit we haven't been dealing with is right there on our plate sitting next to our apples. It's important to be ready for unwanted feelings to show up. Don't let them sucker punch you. And for God's sake, don't eat them like you have in the past. Stare them down, deal with them, process them. Once you do, they'll stop showing up.
Be ready and arm yourself with the knowledge that you have lots of internal work to do so that you can eradicate any complications.
On this journey you will find the real you. She's been hiding inside of you this whole time. Fight to free her.
You. Are. A. Warrior.
Life isn't a picnic. In fact for the most part, it's a ruthless bitch. You need to fight for want you want. Always and forever. Life doesn't hand you happy. Life doesn't hand you healthy. Happy and healthy are an inside job. You need to work for them. You need to fight to get them and then fight to keep them.
Stop making things complicated. Know what your up against, suit up, and just do it. Life is too short to live a life you don't love. And you for damn sure can't love a life if the real you isn't living it.
*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.
NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.