As I write this first post about health and fitness, I am sitting here chuckling because go back three years and I was stuffing my face with Wendy’s for lunch regularly and eating frozen TGI Fridays Potato Skins at dinner. The only exercise I did usually involved a basketball or football. I hadn’t touched a weight since high school and could barely curl an iPod. My endurance was still better than just about anyone, but that’s about it.
Since then, my life has taken some drastic turns. Working out has become one of my favorite parts of the day. As someone who is a personal trainer and works in fitness, I will give you five goals you should set yourself to live a healthy and happy lifestyle.
5. Drink More Water
How much water are you drinking per day? This doesn’t include soft drinks, juices or gatorade. I am talking about high quality H2o. Ideally you should be drinking about half your body weight in ounces. For example, I weigh 172 pounds. I should be drinking a minimum of 86 ounces of water per day, which is roughly 11 cups (8 ounces) of water. If you have a vigorous job where you sweat, you should be drinking more than that.
We all probably know that water helps keep us hydrated, but that is just scratching the surface of water’s health benefits. If you are looking to lose or maintain your weight, water will help boost your metabolism and make you feel more full. Best part, no calories! It helps flush out toxins. It can help with headaches and fatigue. Drink that shit. It’s magical.
4. Well Balanced Diet
With me working in the fitness industry and my wife working as a clinical registered dietitian, we both believe in well balanced diets. I’ve heard stories of doctors or a “nutritionist” telling someone to cut out fruit because of sugar or carbs to people looking to lose weight. (Insert eye roll)
The biggest tip is portion control and a well balanced diet. You don’t have to cut out ANYTHING. Just monitor how much of it you have. Fruits have natural sugar in them so no, it isn’t the same thing as you taking a spoonful and dumping it on your berries.
Fruits, veggies (not starches), dairy and meats all have vitamins, minerals or proteins in them that are beneficial for a healthy diet. The easiest way to maintain a healthier diet is following the my plate method.
For the love of god, if you love hamburgers, don’t deprive yourself. You will fail and set yourself back in a massive way. If you had a good week, go get that damn burger on the weekend. Don’t overdo it though.
Unless you are bodybuilding, then no, you don’t need a strict diet.
3. Commit to Yourself
We are surrounded by fads and quick fixes to help people lose weight. Unfortunately, a lot of people buy in. The problem is quick fix may be easy, but it isn’t fixing anything. The second you stop drinking that magical drink or stop taking that magical pill, it all goes away.
Living a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment. It should never go away. In all honesty, after the first month or two, you will probably begin to enjoy it.
This is why I hate big box gyms that offer month-to-month plans. Month-to-month plans aren’t offering you any value. That is their way of saying “fuck you, give me your money and never come back because we don’t believe in you.”
Don’t be afraid to sign up for that year contract or even hire a personal trainer, commit to yourself. How many times do we put our own needs aside for our spouses or children? Be selfish for once. Go get yours!
I have friends who have lost an insane amount of weight because of hard work and commitment to themselves.
One of my best friends growing up always had a hefty frame and it caused him to get winded a lot. When we got to high school, he was tired of being overweight and he started busting his ass on the weights. Now he is a personal trainer as well and looks phenomenal. Proud of you bud!
Another college buddy of mine was around 370 pounds and started dieting properly and working hard in the gym. He lost 140 pounds. Since then, he began bulking and is a strong 280 and looks infinitely better than he did when we used to play basketball in college. It is truly a testament to commitment.
See the pattern? You owe it to yourself to commit.
These results didn’t happen overnight for them.
When I first began working out a few years ago, I had a shock when I checked my body fat was between 23-24%. That was mind blowing to me because when I was 18, I had it done for a class at Nicholls and it was 15%. Now I typically float between 16-17.5% which is where I like to be.
2. Eliminate “Can’t” From Your Vocabulary
Eliminate the word “can’t” from your vocabulary because yes you absolutely can. If you believe you can do it or you believe you can’t do it, you’re going to be right either way.
The mind is the powerful tool you have. The second you change your mentality and believe you can do something, you can. It may take work to get there whether it is your first push up or sit up, but you will get there.
Unless your trainer or someone tells you to spread your arms, run as fast as you can and fly, you got this.
No matter how hard the workout gets or life gets, you can!
1. Appreciate ALL the Accomplishments
No matter how large or small the goal is, be proud of every accomplishment you make on your fitness journey. The first accomplishment can come before the first weight is ever lifted or the first mile is ever ran.
I know how hard it is for some people to just walk through the doors of a gym and ask to sign up. If you are one of the those people, give yourself a huge pat on the back because that is a HUGE barrier you just broke through. Fucking A, good for you!!
Working in the gym, I have seen it all. People who no longer have to take medication for health issues. I have seen people do their first sit up or push up. I have seen people lose 100 pounds. I have seen people overcome mental barriers like depression.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the goal is, you fucking crushed it and you should be proud of it.
If you haven’t started yet, stop waiting for the new year or the next sale. It starts today! Go get it!