We all fail at something. It’s inevitable. No one’s perfect. That’s what makes us human, we fail and learn from our failures.
One of my favorite quotes by Michael Jordan is “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying”
If you never try anything new- you’ll never know what you’re actually capable of doing. But many people get so discouraged from failing that they stop before they find out their true potential. I know because I’ve done that before.
I wanted to talk about how to deal with your failures in personal fitness in this post- but honestly it applies so much to your whole life.
After high school I dealt with so much stress of trying to decide what I wanted to be in life so I went with the generic major most people pick when they want money after college- nursing. I hated it. I absolutely hated the field and I was so focused on “Oh I’ll make decent money after college and I’ll have job security” that I lost focus of picking something I’d actually enjoy doing for the rest of my life. Because that’s kind of important, right? I was unhappy, stressed & confused so I turned to food for comfort as most people do with stress because stress releases cortisol which makes you gain weight and who doesn’t love food? Let’s be honest. Food makes us happy. No one’s happy when they’re hungry (HANGRY). So long story short- I gained weight from this stress I was putting on myself.
So now I’m gonna talk about yo-yo dieting and why it affects so many people.
When you realize you aren’t healthy and you could lose a few pounds- you want to change that, right? Okay, easy enough- work out and eat healthy. Simple as that! No… It’s not that simple. We’ve all, at one time or another, exercised for a few weeks and ate healthy, but didn’t see the results in that short period of time, so we gave up. A lot of people do this, so if you’re one of them please don’t get discouraged and think you’re just doomed for life to never lose weight. I promise you you’re not. I personally went through this because when I didn’t lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks I was pissed and decided eating 4 slices of pizza was a good way to deal with my anger- LOL. It’s so hard to keep yourself accountable & stay strict to a good healthy diet- but remember, you’re only cheating yourself when you cheat your diet. You’re doing yourself a disservice and negating all that hard work you put in at the gym or all the miles you ran. Don’t get me wrong- cheating every now and then is completely okay and actually a huge part in succeeding with weight loss, but like everything, it’s okay in moderation.
My advice to anyone trying to lose weight and stay healthy:
#1: Don’t give up. I know that’s easier said than done- but losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. You will lose weight and gain some. The human weight fluctuates and you will not see a straight decline in weight.
#2: Surround yourself with people who bring you up & support you. Don’t hang around people who constantly want to eat fast food, or people who make fun of you for how much time you spend in the gym. That’s like people who tell you that you have too many shoes- that’s the negativity you don’t need in your life lol. If you have a great support system and people who celebrate you losing 10 pounds like they celebrate your birthday- I promise, the process will be so much easier.
#3: Get a personal trainer. I know this isn’t possible for everyone but they make SUCH a huge difference if you have problems keeping yourself accountable for your diet. Having weight check-ins with a trainer is such a great accountability method and a great way to make sure you get your workouts in.
#4: Start a blog of your journey. If you keep a blog that you want people to follow of your weight loss journey, this will also keep you accountable because when you know eyes are on you, you’ll perform better & be more motivated to lose weight. Plus, you may just inspire someone else to start their journey! It doesn’t have to be public either, a personal blog to keep yourself accountable works great too!
#5: Have cheat days. You cannot succeed on a diet if you never cheat. It’s just not possible. It’s not good to completely cut out bad food when you’re trying to lose weight because it’ll make you crave it THAT much more that you can’t have it. Set a day every other week & go out to your favorite restaurant, go out with friends or order a pizza. I live for cheat days hahaha.
#6: Willpower. This is a HUGE part in weightless. It’s so hard to eat carrots and celery at a party when people have pizza and beer out. Bringing your own food is a good option, or eating before you go will help as well. If you’re out at a restaurant, many places have lighter menu options- so pick something off that instead of a 1300 calorie cheeseburger. If you do cave in, that’s okay! It happens, but when you go out next time, remember how disappointed you were in yourself for giving into temptation & eventually you’ll feel much better ordering foods that aren’t high in calories, fats & sodium.
#7: Get rid of all the bad foods from your house. If this isn’t possible for you, I find having good healthy food prepped and ready to eat is a great way to avoid eating bad foods in your house because you already have the food your supposed to eat ready to eat. When you stand in front of the fridge for 5 minutes looking for food to eat (we all do this, don’t judge), it’s going to be much harder to find something healthy to make because there’s so many options we WANT to eat readily available.
#8: It gets easier. It takes time, but it gets so much easier to make going to the gym and eating better a habit. I used to feel like going to the gym was a job I didn’t want to go to and eating healthy was disgusting and a waste of food that I’d never eat. Now I feel bad when I sit and do nothing all day or I have more than 2 slices of pizza. I generally love working out now. Eating healthy will always be hard for some people, but experiment with different foods. Pinterest has a lot of great recipes, there are tons and tons of books available that have great recipes and once you make these and find what you like, it’ll be hard to go back to the unhealthy foods you used to eat. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring & it doesn’t have to be a hassle.
#9: Eating healthy is not expensive. I hear this SO much. Yes, organic, locally grown food is expensive and if you can’t afford that, that’s fine! You don’t need to buy that kind of food to be healthy. Stores have sales, there are coupons and if you learn what fruits and vegetables are in season, they’re MUCH cheaper than they are when they are out of season.
#10: Have fun. If you hate what you do, you won’t enjoy it. Find a workout, sport or fitness class you love doing and do that. It doesn’t have to be lifting weights at the gym if that’s not what you enjoy. Find a fitness class that incorporates weights and light cardio like Pilates or Barre! You don’t have to go out and run 12 miles either. But if you find a sport you love like soccer for example, you’ll get a few miles in and not even realize it because you’re having fun playing. There’s so many options out there!
#11: Set yourself up for success. Pre plan your workouts and meals- it’ll make doing them so much easier when you have meals already cooked and time set aside for a workout! “If you’re not planning, you’re planning to fail.” -Ben Franklin
#12: The scale does not define you. Honestly, I try not to weigh myself that much. I try to stick with weighing myself once or twice a month. Whatever number that scale gives you also doesn’t tell you the kind of person you are. If you’re trying to lose weight to better yourself- you’re already that much better of a person for trying. Weight fluctuates too much as well, and this discourages a lot of people. So if you can, hide the scales! You’ll notice more of a difference in your clothes than anything and that’s what I use to motivate myself!
#13: Take your mistakes and learn from them. Don’t beat yourself up for having a cheat when you weren’t supposed to. Weight loss is trial and error. Trying things and seeing if they work for you, if they do, awesome! If they didn’t take that and see what you could do to tweak it and make it work in a different way! Never fail and give up. You’ll never see what you can accomplish if you give up every time something gets too hard. Eventually, with persistence, I promise you’ll get it.
#14: Remember how you feel when you succeed. You’ve been trying to bench 90 pounds for months and finally hit it? AMAZING! Remember that feeling and keep setting those goals for yourself. You’ve been trying to run a mile without stopping and you finally did it with no breaks? FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! Take that feeling of accomplishment and pride in yourself and when you have days you feel like giving up- remember what it feels like to accomplish things like that. It’ll motivate you more than you’ll realize.
#15: Most important- learn from your failures & set attainable, SHORT TERM goals. Don’t expect to be able to bench your body weight within a week of lifting if you’ve never done it before or run a sub 7 minute mile if you’re just starting to run. Set short-term goals like making it a point to exercise at least 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes, to run at least once a week, or set a reachable weight goal by the end of the month. If you’re expecting to lose 25 pounds in one month and set that as a goal- you’re not doing yourself a favor because 1) that’s not healthy to lose 25 pounds in a month and 2) more than likely, this won’t happen. And when we don’t see massive progress in a short period of time, we give up. Short term goals are much easier to achieve & you’ll feel amazing when you reach them. I set a certain reward for myself every 10 pounds and when I reached it I bought new sunglasses, a new purse, new makeup or shoes!
I hope these tips helped at least one person. I full believe there are a million tips for success, but these are the ones I feel are most important, to me at least. If you also need someone to talk to and feel discouraged, but have no one to go to, talk to me. I’ve been through it with fitness, haha. It’s rough and it’s really hard, I know. Like my dad says, if it was easy, anyone could do it. You should feel great about yourself because you decided to make a change, not everyone can do that on their own- so pat yourself on the back just for that.
As always, let me know if you have any good tips or tricks for keeping yourself motivated and successful.
Thanks for reading (: