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Having trained many clients for the past 6-7 months, I have been asked one question the most. And the same question has multiple iterations.
“Can I lose weight too?”
“Do I have the time to exercise?” and “Do I have to exercise?”
“Is it right to start exercising past 30?”
And every time, to every person I’ve interacted with, my answer has always been the same. Yes. Yes, you can get started on your weight loss journey. It doesn’t matter what your age is. It doesn’t matter how much time you have in a day. You can get started. And you can stick to it as well.
In this article, I am going to teach you how you can get started on your weight loss journey and why age or time don’t matter.
It was the summer of 2018. I looked at myself in the mirror after having a grand breakdown. “This isn’t how I planned myself out to be. This isn’t who I am”, I thought. I had let myself go too much. I had become fat and overweight. I was failing classes, I had no appealing features. And I didn’t want to be a bum. So, I decided to change things. And the first thing that I wanted to change was my weight. The most visible part of my body was my belly. And I didn’t like that. So, I started running.
I ran for an hour a day. After that, I played football for half an hour. Finally, I returned home and then did some home workouts. I was very motivated. But, the path I took was the unhealthy one. I lost a total of 10 kilos that month. I lost fat, sure. But I lost muscle as well. Later on, I would go on to learn from this experience and balance my workouts better. I am here to teach you what I learned from my own experience. And make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes I made.
There are many ways that one can get started. You can have a sudden hike in inspiration by watching a motivational video. You join the nearest Gym. You go to the gym every morning at 5 AM. You feel like you’re changing your life. But then, life gets in the middle. You go out with friends. There’s late-night office work to do. There’s an assignment due. And then, going to the gym and exercising seems more like a hassle than a good thing. So you start loathing it. However, all this can be avoided by following the simple steps listed down below.
This is the easiest of all the steps. The change of going to the gym is a big one. Therefore, you want to make it as small as possible. One cannot stick to the routine that says “Go to the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours a day”. Make a small change. For example, “Go to the gym for 1 hour a week” is much more doable. That change is small enough to not interfere with everyday events but big enough to bring about great changes in your life.
Having a goal is one of the most important things while starting your fitness journey. When I started out, my main goal was to lose all the excess fat I had and get a six-pack. However, that was a really vague goal. Not to mention, it was too grand for someone that didn’t know anything about fitness or dieting. The goals that we want to set for ourselves need to be small. Something like, “I will eat more vegetables instead of rice.”
There’s another side to this coin, however. And that is the fact that for change, you’ll need to focus on the goal but if you don’t focus on the things that supplement the goal, the change will fail to stick again. That takes us to the next idea.
So you set a goal and you started working towards that goal with small steps. And it’s been a month but you’re not seeing results. None at all. Now what? Now is the time to make other small changes as well. Let me give you an example, You wanted to lose weight. And you started walking for 15 minutes every day. But in a month, the scale hasn’t changed all that much and you’re losing motivation. This is the time you look at your diet. Are you eating cheeseburgers and pizzas every day? Are you drinking cold drinks and having alcohol regularly? Have you made any changes to your diet? If the answer to the last question is a “No” then that’s the thing you should start focusing on next. Making a small change in the diet. Eating more greens. Ordering less take-out and eating more home-cooked meals.
Why do this?
One negative thing isn’t going to ruin your life. Similarly, one positive thing isn’t going to change your life for the better. Having multiple things attacking the same problem will help solve the problem more easily. Focusing solely on walking won’t solve your weight problem. Attacking the problem from all fronts, like focusing on the diet and walking daily is going to make it easier to reach your goal with relative ease.
Fitness isn’t a temporary thing that you work on for a few months and think it’ll stick around for a lifetime. As much as it feels nice to boast about taking a shortcut. About making a big change in their life and having a lot of positives from that, it’s not sustainable. Big changes are temporary. Small changes that lead to big results are more permanent. Make sure that you go in with a mindset of “I am going to change my lifestyle”. Not with the mindset of “I’ll work on this for a few months and I’m all set”.
Having one cheat meal in a week won’t ruin your life. Taking one day off won’t take you back to the dad bod and undo all the progress you made. As much as David Goggins will tell you that taking a break is the worst thing that you can do, we all need it. Even he does. A break every once in a while is good. It helps the body recharge. Having the mindset of all or nothing will lead to nothing but failure and disappointment in yourself. So, take it easy. Go slow and pick yourself back up if you fall down here and there. Make a habit of saying “Oh, it’s alright. It won’t happen again”.
Going easy on yourself is a good thing. However, if you keep falling and then making excuses, you will never reach the goal. Excuses like “The pillow feels extra soft, so I will sleep in today” will only make you lose sight of the long-term goal. Hold yourself accountable. Ask the question, “Do I really need this day off or am I making an excuse?”.
Having subtle reminders that make you think of your goals can help you a lot. For example, I like to keep my protein powder on the kitchen counter as a reminder to go to the gym. These reminders can range from keeping an alarm on your phone to sticking notes in different corners of the house. If you want to start eating better, you can change the layout of the fridge. With more healthy food at the forefront and more unhealthy options at the back of the fridge. This subconsciously reminds you to take your eating behavior more seriously.
Article by : Adamya Neupane ,FITNESS TRAINER