If you are constantly thinking about starting an exercise and weight management program but just can’t seem to get there. Have you asked yourself why that is? Realistically, not just the usual “I just can’t”. Sometimes you are stuck in the pre-contemplation phase far too long that it just becomes far too hard to actually start.
Think about the following statements if you are stuck in pre-contemplation of looking after yourself, and see if any of them fit with what your current barriers are like:
- I feel embarrassed about starting to exercise in front of others and I won’t be able to keep up.
- I’ve put on so much weight, where do I start again?
- I’m just so tired, when can I even fit in time to look after myself.
- I know what I need to do, I just need to start, but I don’t know how to start with all of my commitments.
- I can’t mentally deal with exercise, or anything right now, but I know it would make me feel better if I did do something.
- With my physical condition, I won’t be able to do any exercise anyway, it’ll be too hard.
- I can’t buy healthy foods because they are too expensive.
If you are feeling any of these things, but it’s still consistently on your mind, that you must start something, give these a try:
- Find some exercises on YouTube for free that you can do in your jimmy jams at a time that suits you, no-one needs to see you at all, until you are comfortable to work out around other people.
- If you’ve put on a lot of weight, but you can’t seem to reduce your intake, start your own food diary, write down everything, I’d suggest getting a book with an inspirational quote on the front (try Typo, they have loads of these) and a glitzy pen (yes the old fashioned way) and just write in it at the end of the day. And write everything. This is a great way to actually understand what it is that you’ve taken in for the day, by writing it down and focusing on writing it down means you aren’t distracted by a phone, an app, or text messages, and social media. You’ll be surprised at how by actually looking at that list and thinking, did I really consume all of that food today, focuses you into reducing your food intake. Don’t count the calories just write down the food and drinks in a list, line by line. Also write down how you felt afterwards, try to introduce some mindfulness around your eating and identifying links to any food sensitivities. Once you start to do this consistently, you will be in a better and more focussed mindset to try to look after your diet, then introduce some exercise. Just consistent walking at the very beginning.
- Being tired is something that is a constant issue with day to day pressures. Try to decrease your sugar intake and caffeine slowly, increase your water intake and always have a bottle handy. Eating citrus can perk you up too, taking in some fresh air and regular breaks at work can help, but the main thing is to try to remind yourself that you are tired only until you start to move your body, as soon as you start to do a little bit of exercise, that tired feeling dissipates and you can muster up some energy with the blood flow increasing around your muscles. Even if its a minimal 15 – 30 minute workout, you’ll feel less tired. Do this consistently, and you’ll feel more perky by the day!
- Having commitments every day is everyone’s issue. But you must prioritise what’s important. A 3o minute workout is more beneficial in the long run. You will feel more focussed, more productive, get things done quicker, have a clearer mind, feel stronger and less stressed. Remember that exercise will reduce stress overall, so the benefits outweigh doing your other task for 30 minutes. Even if that 30 minutes is a gentle stretch session late in the evening, it’s still more beneficial than not. Do you sit down and watch TV for 30 mins? Replace that 30 mins with some exercise.
- If it’s mentally challenging then I’d suggest talking to family and friends and asking them if they’d meet you for a beach walk so that you have an actual commitment to someone is a good start. Start slowly, start small, try little 10 minute bursts of exercise just so you can start something, see how it makes you feel and build up from there. You need to have support, so reach out.
- If you have a physical ailment stopping you from exercising, check in with your health professionals and ask them what types of exercise is beneficial for you. Then seek it out, make an appointment to go, and go, even when you want to cancel, still go. See how you like it and how it feels, you’ll probably really like how it makes you feel.
- Buying healthy foods is not as expensive as you might think. Buy produce that is in season as it’s often cheaper, and seek out recipes on the internet, just google the ingredients that you have and I’m sure you will find a recipe. Try to buy healthy foods in bulk, you don’t need fancy ingredients just wholesome real foods that have not been processed and packaged. Do buy the leanest and highest quality meats, fish and poultry that you can find, and buy in bulk, freeze the portions. I have to be honest, I don’t like to prepare too many meals in advance and freeze them, I like to cook fresh and have leftovers for lunch the next day, then cook again. But you can do meal prep if you like.
I’m a personal trainer and nutritional coach so of course I recommend that everyone has a coach, once per week, just to keep you on track. There are many studies where groups have started a weight loss program including fitness that succeeded more long term with the help of seeing coaches regularly. If you are accountable to someone in person, even once a week, you are more likely to keep on track, rather than being accountable to an app or an online program. Whether that is a gym program, personal training program, weight loss program or general coaching, it’s a great way to keep yourself healthy and manage your weight long term.
Call me if you need any help, I do have FaceTime Coaching available which is convenient and cost effective, or good old fashioned personal training!