When thinking about starting this blog, I took a lot of time over what to write about first, then I realised that getting started is the hardest part, which happens to be true for almost anything- especially changing your lifestyle for the healthier. How many times have you said “I’ll start on Monday” or “I’ll start at the beginning of next month” or something similar, I know I have said these things on multiple occasions, and as soon as I say that you can pretty much bet it won’t stick, but maybe that’s just me. Most people, when deciding they want to change their life for the healthier think “hmm but I’ve already had a croissant, a bag of crisps, half a packet of M&M’s and a cake so no point in starting today” and then continue to sit on the sofa and finish their biscuits while watching telly. That right there is mistake number one and we are all guilty of it.
Don’t get me wrong, generally I’m fairly healthy and pretty active in my lifestyle. But I love chocolate…I mean LOVE chocolate…and biscuits, and crisps and cheese and most things considered to be the “bad” food. And cutting down on those foods while also taking the time in my day to make sure I’ve sweat for a good half hour straight is something I have ‘started’ many times. It’s sticking to it that most of us need to work on. And of course once you start to slip and miss a workout here or there or eat a packet of hobnobs every day because it was a “tough day and I deserve it” soon slides right back into a lazy and unhealthy lifestyle once more. Then starting again is hard.
But it is right there, when you have made that decision, that you should start. That is your point of change. That’s when the chocolate goes away and you get up and move around, do some jumping jacks, take a walk or pop some music on and dance around your living room! It’s hard. It really is, but I am not, and will not ever say that chocolate is to be thrown away and to never pass your lips again! No. For some people the only way is to get rid of all unhealthy items in the house and to cut them out of your life forever, but for me this simply isn’t sustainable. I say put the chocolate cake or hobnobs in the cupboard out of reach and if you happen to see them and feel tempted, walk away! And feel powerful in your choice to not eat them even though they are right in front of you! It is all about balance.
However, there will be a time, once a week or every couple of weeks or maybe every couple of days that you really want a biscuit. Then you should just have a biscuit. One or two biscuits wont ruin everything…as long as you don’t scoff the whole packet. So don’t feel bad about that. Just cut down, find healthy alternatives and get out of that ‘binge’ habit. It’s not easy but you will feel better for it.
Now for the physical part. When you are in the middle of a Netflix marathon it is pretty hard to get yourself up off the sofa to do some physical activity. And what do you do once you’ve got up? Join a gym? That is one option, but not the only option, so don’t freak out and give up before even beginning.
Joining a gym does offer a lot to you, some have flexible opening times, most have classes or inductions so you will know what you’re doing, it might even have a pool. A lot of people worry that gyms will be full of muscular men pumping iron or girls running like flash on the treadmill, all of whom will stare at you as soon as you walk in and laugh because you don’t look like them. This isn’t true, far from it. Most of the people you will see in the gym are beginners too, and pretty much everyone will be far too concentrated on themselves to look your way. Anyone else isn’t worth thinking about anyway.
But as I said the gym is not the only option. There are hundreds of at-home workout DVD’s, and many of them work you pretty hard. There is the risk of slacking because no one can see you but that is up to you and how much you want that healthier lifestyle. There are also thousands of free workout videos on YouTube and other players that you can search for, and they range from Yoga to Kickboxing to Dance and more. You could literally try something new every day.
If you feel you will need the support of a group then there are fitness classes everywhere you look, all giving you something different to try, and many offer a free trial so why not try them all and see what suits you! There are also so many groups and collectives of people all supporting each other to get fit, all wonderful people who have a passion for helping people get fit and healthy, definitely worth a look!
I know it can all be very daunting especially when you have social media throwing out all sorts of hip new fitness words and selfies of lean fitness pros. All you have to do on Instagram is search #fitness and suddenly you are slapped in the face with ‘FITSPO’, ‘HIIT’ or ‘IIFYM’. But not to worry, you don’t need to be head to toe in Rebok , Nike or Sweaty Betty to be able to work out. Put on some trackies and an old oversized T shirt and just get moving.
Once you’ve started you have gotten over the biggest hurdle, just keep it up!