The Mindset

All the diets and workout programs in the world are nothing without a health and fitness oriented mindset. Eating and exercising feel like chores, and soon enough, we get off track and quit. Why would we do something we don’t enjoy, time and time again? It’s not sustainable. Sure, some days are better than others. That healthy meal is just what you’ve been craving and the day’s workout couldn’t have seen a better performance. But those other days… those days when you’d just stuff your face with all the fast food in the world, leaving you too lethargic to even leave the bed, nevermind exercising.

So what would constitute a fitness oriented mindset? What can we teach ourselves to remember and believe in during an off period?

  1. Exercising and eating well is not a imposition, it’s fun, stress-relieving and a self-gift towards your well-being. You’ve started because you’re mindful of its many benefits, you feel better and it only comes at the price of a 2-second decision to gear up and go exercise. That’s all it takes, a few seconds per day to simply decide to start.
  2. The decision you’ve made when you started was to push yourself into a stronger and healthier self. If change is what you desire, you can’t expect it to come without your commitment to new actions, new decisions. So we push ourselves out of bed, we put on our running shoes and we go that extra mile. That extra mile or that extra rep is the daily manifestation of our initial decision.
  3. Rest and regroup, not quit. Ok, we’re feeling down and all the motivation we can mustard only gets us from the bed to the kitchen, and back again. We just can’t do it. That bag of chips is faster than that proper home-cooked meal we were planning to make, so we grab that and return to the coziness of our beds. This goes on for a few days, maybe even a week, enough to take us off track from our healthy living routines. But does that mean we’ve renounced all ties with fitness and proper nutrition? Can’t we pick those routines and good habits back up again? So we felt beat and unmotivated, but we know we can do it. We’ve done it before and we will do it again.

Keeping motivated – tips and tricks

Tip no. 1

Surround yourself with all the motivators you can think of. Some ideas would be:

  1. Subscribe to fitness and nutrition YouTube channels to always have someone to inspire you and get you going. Not everybody has trainers and nutritionists for friends and family. Just make sure they are promoting solid concepts or fact-based solutions, rather than opinions.
  2. Follow blogs… yeah. Let’s put it like this: You’re trying to lose some weight and you’re following some fitness, health and wellness blogs (see what I did there?). Chances are they’ll provide you with all kinds of articles and even cute printables to keep on hand. Now take some time to find and print some appealing healthy recipes, afferent grocery lists, and some fun&effective workouts. At this point, you would’ve constructed your first fitness guidebook – one that you’ve tailored yourself. All you need now is some willpower to start making small (but consistent) changes, and soon enough you’ll have it all down.
  3. Your wallpapers. Find some inspiring pictures or quotes (cliche your ass off) and set them as your phone/laptop/PC/tablet wallpaper. They just might remind you that you didn’t work out today, or that you didn’t eat enough, or simply to take a break from work and take your dog out for a jogg.
  4. Take photos of your progress. Yes, I want you to take half-naked selfies like a needy teenage girl. There’s no greater motivator than looking at the starting picture and knowing where you got to.
Tip no. 2

Meal planning, the best trend of all trends. If you’re bodybuilding or jut trying to eat more, you already know it’s virtually impossible to prepare ~five meals a day. It’s no bother if you’re eating canned tuna and salads all day long, every day, but that’s just crazy. So find/ make a meal plan, prepare your meals in advance and take them with you to work or school so you’re less disposed to eating from the vending machine or ordering in.

Tip no. 3

Food is fuel. No, I’m not saying not to enjoy food. But when you’re just getting started and you’re trying to accustom yourself to a healthier or ampler eating regime, you’re not always going to enjoy it. So food is fuel, if nothing else.

*Going back to YouTube, I find it helpful to watch cooking channels (e.g., Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and affiliate chefs) when I’m not that into eating.

Tip no. 4

Workout area. If you’re working out in your home, make sure you’re doing it in a clean (clutter-free), airy space. It’s important not to feel like you’re hitting the furniture with each leg lift and not stumble into piles of clothes/ toys/ what have you. You need to prepare your workout area so that you’ll be able to focus on your target for the day, and not be put down by the state of your environment.

Tip no. 5

Make everything as enjoyable as possible, always. Make your food look great, buy that cute active-wear, make a workout playlist and blast the speakers, go outside when it’s warm and sunny. Whatever gets you in a good, active mood.

Tip no. 6

This is the most important step to remember! Have fun with it! We can get caught up in the ought’s, shall’s and musts, so it’s important to remember that it’s actually really fun to be active, it truly could not be further apart from a chore. Learn how to do a handstand, try a greater variety of sports, or bring your friends into action! So eat well, rest well, and just have fun with all you do, and you’ll be sure to stick with it.

Begin today

1. Gain the knowledge you need to begin and maintain a fit&healthy lifestyle.
  1. Find a fitness blogger/ vlogger or a fitness-related YouTube channel you like… or many. They should inspire you, provide you with workout and/ or meal ideas, and maybe even teach you proper form.
  2. Read. Research nutritional science, anatomy and biochemistry and know why you are eating and training a certain way. Or better yet, just follow FitHealthyWell ’cause it’s doin’ it for you (*wink*).
2. You don’t need to be crazy strict, but that doesn’t mean you can be overly indulgent.

No, you’re not ruining everything if you eat that doughnut. Otherwise, you shouldn’t be eating all the doughnuts because you’re bulking. Don’t drive yourself insane and don’t torment your psych or your body. Build a meal plan and a training regimen that’s tailored to your goals and preferences (this is where all that knowledge comes in handy). Don’t over-train, don’t under-eat. Balance, balance, balance.

3. Motivation leads to discipline

Know that those hard beginnings will soon become your warm-up… *grunt*. Seriously now, when there’s a will, there’s a way, and sooner than later it will become a lifestyle, something you identify yourself with, rather than a chore.

4. Find the joy in it.

Results will not come right away. You will soon begin to feel differently (and you’ll definitely enjoy all those endorphins), but you won’t look differently right away. But you need something solid to hang on to in order to make it a habit. So just find a joy in it, be it running on a sunny day or patting yourself on the back for each tiny positive change, then moving on to the next, and the next. You have all the reason to be proud and happy with yourself for desiring and moving towards a fitter, healthier self.