Happy New Year! I hope you're having a great 2015 so far. I'm personally happy to kick 2014 to the curb and start new beginnings and adventures.
This time of year when New Years Resolutions are in full swing, I get emails and social media messages from new readers (hello there!) looking for help with starting their weight loss journeys or starting up a fitness routine. I'm not a personal trainer or nutritionist, but while I can't give you advice on what to do in those aspects, I can share some personal insights I've learned over the past few years on my journey.
Before I share, some super quick background info: I am not an expert on anything but myself. I started as a 455+ pound gal with binge eating disorder (which I didn't understand at the time) who had trouble standing for more than 5 minutes at a time. 5 years ago I started this blog which was solely focused on weight loss. I lost 113 pounds and completed a half-marathon, and an ankle injury sidelined me mentally and physically. I went through adrenal fatigue and was diagnosed with Hashimoto's, an auto-immune thyroid disease. The past couple of years have been stagnant with weight loss, bouncing up and down, but I am still very much committed to improving my health. This post talks a little more about that. Since people inevitably ask, I have normal blood pressure, a low resting heart rate, normal cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, etc. I exercise regularly (last quick gym video here) and eat gluten free due to my Hashimoto's, and am currently doing Whole30. If you are looking for bloggers who have been more consistent with their weight loss (and who are also awesome human beings), I'll link them at the bottom of this post, along with some other resources.
I made a video talking about what I mean with these. It's 14 minutes long, so if you want the Cliffs Notes, you can find them after the video.
5 Tips for Staying on Track with your Health Goals:
- Do it for you. Find an internal, personal motivation for making the change you seek. Do you want to stop having aches and pains? Do you want more energy? Or are you trying to get your family members off of your back by losing weight? If you're being driven by what others are telling you, reconsider. Make it all about you and it will be much easier to stay motivated for the long haul.
- Do what you enjoy. Have you signed up for Crossfit because it's the latest fitness craze? Do you really enjoy it? If not, don't be afraid to jump ship and try something else. I trained for months to do a half marathon and didn't enjoy it at all. It made it 10 times harder to get out of my warm bed every morning for training. Now I love my strength and conditioning sessions and anything to do with dancing so those barriers of dread have been removed.
- Give yourself grace. We all slip up – it's what makes us human. If you do something you were trying to avoid, acknowledge that you did it, dust yourself off, forgive yourself, and move on. No need to sit in your own mess of hating yourself because of it. Grace can go a long way.
- Look beyond the scale. Looking at numbers are an easy way that we can see progress, but they're not the only way. If the scale dictates your moods (It can turn me from happy-go-lucky to Eeyore in 0.5 seconds flat), look hard for other markers of improved fitness. For (silly, but valid) example noticed I could beat my dog when we raced up the stairs and I wasn't winded doing it. I went up in weights doing squats and felt like Wonder Woman. There are all kinds of success metrics out there that hold way more significance on your daily life than the scale.
- Don't wait for the “When I's.” When I _____, I will ____. When I lose weight, I will take a trip. When I fit into a size 6, I'll wear a bathing suit. Life is way too short to put your life on hold until you reach certain milestones. If you want to do things, do them. Period. More about this here.
Here are some other things I've written over the past few years that are popular this time of year:
- How to start exercising when it seems too hard
- My first 5K
- 100 pounds of lessons
- Fighting body shame
Some of my favorite bloggers for inspiration (by no means an exhaustive list:)
- Brooke: Not on a Diet
- Keep it Up, David
- Can You Stay for Dinner
- Roni's Weigh
- Sweating Until Happy
- Runs for Cookies
- Manifest Yourself
I hope all of this is helpful! Wishing you all the best for 2015.