When starting a fitness routine it can feel like there are no extra minutes to spare in your day in the first place. It can be difficult to see where you will make the time work. As a working, pregnant, mother I definitely feel you there. It comes down to this- if you don’t make the time, you won’t have the time, and you won’t reach your goals. It’s pretty black and white. So if you’re ready, really ready, let’s get started!
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
Start small (you don’t have to jump right into some magical exercise routine, this is about a habit)
Look at your calendar and find the best place to make your minutes work, lets start there.
The basal ganglia is the holding place for our habits.
When you repeat something in your life it creates neuronal connections in the brain.
A lot of the time it turns into a subconscious decision, once the neuro-pathways are in place.
Start by strengthening the brain and then you will be able to strengthen the body.
Again it’s very black and white. Consistency + Repetitive Behaviors + Patience = RESULTS.
Don’t just google how to workout and follow some random program by some fit model who has nothing to do with your life. FIND YOUR PURPOSE. WITHOUT PURPOSE THERE IS NO DRIVE! Why do you want to exercise? There are a plethora of reasons:
- You want to keep up with your children
- You want to get rid of diabetes altogether & get off the stupid pills
- You want your sex life to flourish
- You want energy for your job, increasing your chances of a raise
- You want to look hot, no shame
- You want your mental health to improve
- You want to become a medieval fighter
- You want better hand eye coordination to play better video games
- You ache all the time, hating that your movement is inhibited
Start writing this down, we’re just getting started.
Once you have that in place, let’s start breaking this down. What would you need to change or improve to hit that goal or purpose? Instead of complaining to the people around you about your issues, it’s time to start taking life into your own hands and make some habits.
There are some of you who hate this term, you are go getters who want to dive right in! I love your passion, and well that’s me. I want everything in place, a formula if you will, for the perfect outcome in X amount of months. That is OK, make that plan for yourself and I’ll help you out.
- Creating neuro-pathways in your brain takes time, that’s just a fact. So you are going to have to start with something attainable. Say 10 minutes of a home workout 3x/week. Once this becomes easy or has been in place for a couple weeks, you can add on.
- Quickly on the nutrition side of things, don’t start by cutting a million things out and trying to “EAT CLEAN” all of a sudden. Start by adding in some healthy things to your routine. Proteins & healthy fats are going to keep you fuller longer, that is a good place to start. Add in protein at every meal and notice the difference it makes. You also need protein to build muscle, so if you want to tone up that’s a good place to start.
- Book in time in your calendar for your workouts like a date
- Leave your workout bag in the car so it’s ready to go
- Track your food in a book or on an app (this is all about accountability & understanding the food going into your body)
- Meal prep & make your food ahead of time (this is especially helpful for dinners at home for the family as well)
- Make use of a crock pot overnight or an instant pot for quick dinners
- Have a protein shake ready, for easy protein intake & to keep you from having a binge session when you get home out of hunger.
- Grocery shop online if that’s an option for you. It keeps impulse buying at bay and helps you stay on track.
- Don’t have binge-worthy snacks at work or in the house (get your spouse on board!). I told my husband he could have as much junk in his car or at work that he wanted, I just couldn’t handle it in the house.
Strength VS Cardio
Now there is no one size fits all when it comes to your fitness training.
Strength training will help you shed fat and build lean muscle tone. Getting bulky only happens if you’re set on that specifically. So the outcome is a fit look.
Cardio will help you lose weight, but you won’t have much muscle tone underneath.
So the next step is choosing how you want to look in the end result. There is no right answer, the beauty of fitness is that you get to choose your outcome.
Positive thinking is not some bull crap. Again the science on how the brain works is fascinating:
Slow down brain coordination
Make it difficult to process thoughts or find solutions
Hinders creative ability
Decreases activity in the cerebellum
Impacts the left temporal lobe (fear factor), affecting mood, memory and impulse control
Synapses (areas connecting neurons) increase dynamically
Increases mental productivity by improving cognition
Intensifies ability to pay attention, to focus
Improves ability to think and analyze incoming data
Improves ability to solve problems quicker and enhance creativity
When you talk to yourself going forward it’s time to change the conversation. It’s time to write some sticky notes on your mirror, find a self motivating song to play in the car on the way to work & start reading things that fill your mind with positive things. Mantras are also useful just to keep the dialogue flowing.
“I am strong, I am capable, I am beautiful, I am unique”
You know that song, the one that comes on the radio and you turn it up and it fills you with passion? If you are feeling unmotivated to do the things you have set out for your goals to happen, this is where your pump playlist comes in handy. You already have it made, in your phone and if you need to make it to the gym throw your aux cord in and get things pumped up! Make sure you have headphones for the gym or home workout as well so that you can tune into those vibes and get your body moving. Music was the only thing that got my butt in gear some days.
“Music is primal. It affects all of us, but in very personal, unique ways,” said Burdette, a neuroradiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Your interaction with music is different than mine, but it’s still powerful.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170412181341.htm
It’s really important that your music SPEAKS to you.
There is even science behind how your brain reacts to music, it can be an important tool to use when it comes to creating habits in your life.
Results showed that music increases an antibody that plays an important role in immunity of the mucous system, known as immunoglobulin A, as well as natural killer cell counts, the cells that attack germs and bacteria invading the body.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/258383.php
Listening to and playing music can also lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), according to Levitin and Dr. Mona Lisa Chanda, his postgraduate research fellow.
Time to write out your list!
Reward & Encourage
Don’t start beating yourself with a stick to get things done. Start treating your body and mind like a child. Encouraging it every step of the way. Understanding that you can change your habits should be a freeing realization!
When you complete a task or goal find something to reward yourself with (I advise against it being food, if that is something you struggled with in the first place). There are so many other ways to reward yourself. This puts the brain in a place where it will want to do the task again even if working out didn’t feel awesome the first time, it will remember the reward it was given.
If you remember anything from your high school psych class it should be about IVAN PAVLOV and his classical conditioning experiments.
Classical conditioning can impact our lives positively or negatively.https://www.cleverism.com/classical-conditioning/
But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a choice in improving our lives using classical conditioning.
We in our western culture have the LUXURY of choosing a diet, a grocery store on every corner with every health food available, the option to go to a gym, the work hours that allow play & time management. We are in a bit of a bubble when it comes to our opportunities especially in regards to health & fitness. So take that as a bit of motivation and make use of your privilege.
Step by Step
- GOALS- written out
- FOOD PREP
- MUSIC PREP
- KEEP POSITIVE/ENCOURAGE
- KEEP PERSPECTIVE
- REPEAT even after “bad” days
When I first had my wake up moment and stepped on the scale back in 2014, I was devastated to see that I had almost hit 200lbs. Now I was very ignorant when it came to health. Zero tools were in place for nutrition and exercise. My first steps where calorie counting and dance dance on the PS3. Looking back it was the perfect place to start for me. I loved to dance and tracking gave me the opportunity to see what I was putting in my body. From there I wanted more and more, falling in love with the routine & the way my body felt after exercise. This journey has given me absolute compassion for others who are struggling with their own goals- so if you ever want some more specific help you know where to find me! https://www.instagram.com/raellehousek/