The Key To A Successful Fitness Mindset: It’s a Never-ending Journey

Truthfully, I wish I could tell you that you only have to workout for a certain amount of your life and everything would be hunky dory, but that’s not the case.

The best part? Your body can go through many ebbs and flows. The key is to always love yourself, no matter what size, and to realize when things are getting out of hand by pulling yourself back into somewhat of a routine.

I realize this is way easier said than done. They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit and in January, many people try to tackle 5 new habits at the same time, (myself included. Right now it’s learning some Spanish for vacation, writing more, eating the Whole30 meal plan, keeping a workout schedule of 2 days on 1 day off and yoga once a week).

The thing is when we take on too much at once, we ultimately beat ourselves up when we mess up or miss a habit, (I missed Spanish yesterday). The best thing we can do is acknowledge it and jump back on the wagon or catch up if you can. Sitting in the mindset of guilt and shame doesn’t do anyone any favors.

Healthy habits include eating nutritious food 80% of the time, getting 150 minutes of exercise per week, (maybe even adding a step goal if you have a FitBit) and finding down time to enjoy hobbies and self care to balance the work week and personal tasks we all have to our families and homes.

When I first started on my fitness journey, my main focus was nutrition. Truth be told, you cannot out exercise a bad diet (and by diet, I mean a solid relationship with food, not a temporary fix). Many people think, “I just hit a spin class, so now I can have all the pizza I want.”

Doesn’t really work that way.

In the days before Pinterest, I was clipping recipes out of magazines to cook. It was scary at first as I thought I had no idea what I was doing, but I got better by practicing! I truly believe everyone can cook to a certain degree.

On the contrary, I am a fan of 1-2 “cheat” meals a week (you actually need them to release leptin, the “anti-starvation” hormone responsible for sending hunger messages to the body). However, I am also a proponent of planning these meals out before they happen so that you don’t get carried away on the weekend or after work at happy hour. I actually plan my meals out to a “T” every week so I account for luncheons, dinner with my husband, etc. as best as I can. The great part is if you are in charge of ordering your own meal, you can make healthier choices by ordering more veggies and protein, making sure things are steamed or grilled and not digging into the bread basket or consuming too many sugary drinks.

If cooking your own meals sounds daunting, there are plenty of healthy meal delivery services out there that can help. If finding an exercise routine sounds scary, grab a friend and check out some classes at nearby studios or have them bring you to a training session. If none of these options sound viable, then you may still be in a pre-contemplation or contemplation stage and not ready for the next step of fine-tuning your exercise/nutrition regime.

Here’s the deal: you can’t continue to get stronger and better by eating junk, not moving and not planning your health into your schedule. The clients that I have seen have the most success really push themselves in our sessions and work outside of our sessions too! Muscle gains don’t happen overnight. My body has changed dramatically in 5 years as you can see from the photos below. One thing to note is that I never had crazy outcome based goals like “lose 20 pounds” or “build more mass.”   Behavior based goals are way less daunting and will typically yield the aesthetic goals you are looking for. Examples of this include getting adequate sleep, taking your vitamins, getting in 2-3 exercise days per week and eating more veggies. It’s much more mind over matter than you think!

2013 Engagement, 31 years old

2013 Engagement, 31 years old

2018, 36 years old. photo credit  Cath Smith Photography

2018, 36 years old. photo credit
Cath Smith Photography

I like the idea of 1% better. Meaning if you do 1% better everyday, that’s a step towards the right direction and isn’t too overwhelming.

Below is a download for 28 Days of 1% better. Print it out, tack it up and see how you feel. There are some repeats to keep those habits in front of mind!   Comment here or on FB and let me know how you do!

28 days of 1% better

Laura Thomas