As soon as January rolled around, I started really focusing on a consistent fitness routine with P90X3 and began learning how to adjust my eating habits. 2016 will forever be known as the year I realized my body does not allow me to eat whatever garbage I want and count the three block walk to my favorite bar as exercise. Let me say, it has been tricky. I can’t believe how easy it is to type that sentence, when thinking of how hard it has been to adopt these new changes, but I’m choosing to believe it’s going well.
I’m learning a LOT and wanted to share some of the biggest points I’m taking away from this whole thing. I’m a total newbie. Well, I did attempt to do this once before but gave up less than two months in. I am still learning every day, but maybe you are too and can find a little help in these words. Because this stuff is really hard, really. Let’s do this.
1. Really let yourself go.
One of the first lessons I have learned is that this whole process works a lot better if you just throw yourself in completely. I have to admit, it is pretty nice that the P90X DVD I use, P90X3, allows me to workout from home and is only 30 minutes. Not being in a gym is probably a huge part of this, but I really noticed a difference when I stopped being embarrassed and started getting ugly. I’m kicking and punching. I’m yelling and grunting. I slip and wobble and I just brush it off and start again. When the instructor asks a question, I answer back out loud. It’s cathartic. There have been days when I wanted to cry and stop, but instead I carried on. You’re awesome. You have nothing to be embarrassed about and nothing to lose. Get loud and get weird!
2. You. Have. To. Eat.
I was delighted to discover you absolutely will not make it unless you’re eating. Like really eating. I can’t really say any of the changes I’ve made in my eating habits could constitute as a diet, but it’s certainly been a change. I don’t own a scale, I don’t count calories, and I’m mostly going off the cuff when trying to be sensible. I’ve tried to eat ‘clean’ as much as humanly possible and become a bit more mindful of portion control. For example, one bowl of pasta instead of seven. As much as I hate it.
Anytime I tried to skip out entirely, I was wrecked. Shaky, nauseous, uncomfortable and completely unhealthy. Historically, I’ve been the kind of person who will forgot to eat for most of the day then eat everything in sight for the rest. I’ve also never been one for breakfast. Now I eat a breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and usually some fruit or a small treat every single day. And let me tell you, it has made a world of difference. They’re serious in saying breakfast is important. And learning how to eat stuff that actually fuels my body instead of dragging it down has been incredible. I promise you will feel the difference.
3. Realize the difference between your limits and your laziness.
There is a difference between pushing yourself way too hard and making excuses. The tricky thing is, that line looks different for all of us. There have been days when pre-existing conditions (like my horrible back that I guess previously belonged to an elderly being) have caused me to have to bow out from the more intense stretches of a routine. I felt really terrible and guilty until I remember I’m a human and move on. Recognize the difference and stay smart. You want to be healthy not hurt.
4. Remember the bigger picture.
When you are sweating to death lying on the floor wondering why on earth you decided to try this out, take a big breath and a moment to be overwhelmed before you imagine what you’ll feel like six weeks from now. Six months from now. Six years from now! SIX DECADES! You’re transforming into a bionic human. That’s why we’re all doing this, right? There have been countless times in my life when I felt so frustrated and sure that moment was the lowest I could go. It feels really good to look back on those times and know that I’ve survived and thrived. Eventually you’ll start noticing you are capable of one or two more reps or that you’re keeping pace better than you were able to before. You’ll feel yourself sleeping better and feeling more energized. You’ll remember why you wanted to start in the first place. Just don’t give up before you get to that point!
5. Celebrate and be proud! You deserve it!
No matter what you’re doing, you’re doing something. You’re choosing to invest in you and that’s awesome. Be proud! Keep inspiring yourself! You’re all the motivation you need. This process has reminded me the only reason I’m doing this, is for myself. Changing my routine has made me feel and function so much better, but it’s been really hard. Every day that I come home from 8 hours of rambling around at work and still muster up the energy to get in thirty minutes of cardio I’m proud. When I remember the sink full of dishes and person I’m supposed to meet at 8, I schedule my time appropriately and soldier on. (Side note, people who have children and work out, I’m in awe of you. You’re the real champs.) Don’t let the tediousness of everyday life weigh you down. Celebrate each achievement and push on! You’re showing up and you’re awesome. YOU DESERVE IT!