Most of us have been there at some point in life. You open up your wardrobe to put something on which you think will fit and it doesn’t. Perplexed, it crosses your mind that it might have shrunk in the wash or maybe somebody put it in the dryer by accident?
Slowly but surely you come to the realisation that overtime you’ve been adding inches to your waist line (and to the rest of your body) and now you’re left with a wardrobe that doesn’t fit. Frantically you turn to Google to find out what course of action you should take. You type: 'The fastest way to lose a stone' or 'personal trainer near me' or 'best exercises to get rid of belly fat' only to find a wealth of information that's confusing, conflicting and ultimately leaves you feeling depressed and confused as to what you should do.
So what next? Many people embark on short-term quick fixes that are often short lived and in the end leave you feeling even more demotivated then when you first set out. Countless times I have seen people latch onto the false hopes of miracle diet pills, meal replacement shakes and other fad diets but in the end anything that restrict nutrients and makes you feel as if it's a diet is not sustainable in for the long term and is setting you up to fail.
So moving back to the point. You’re demotivated so what are you going to do?
1. Start off with a plan. Grab a pen and paper and draw a timeline.(`see my fitness timeline)
Right today’s date and a date 6 to 8 weeks in the future.
2. Set yourself a small goal. (and the key here is that it really is a small goal and not a gigantic one.) This is the goal that you are going to guarantee to yourself. You need to promise yourself that it will be achieved no matter what. The very moment you write it down you need to have invested in that very promise.
3. Write down what you'll need in order to achieve this goal.
As an example for someone who wants to lose inches see my fitness timeline. Body SMARTer's you can find a blank template of this sheet here.
4. Get rid of all the processed foods in your house. No excuses about children and spouses wanting to eat junk food, this change is for your health and for the health of everyone you love. If you're not quite sure what is and isn't processed have a look at the 'processed foods' picture on this page. A tip to remember is that if it can sit in your cupboard or in the fridge for days on end without going off then it's more than likely to be processed.(Of course there are a few exceptions to this rule).
5. Plan your first week of nutritious food - see the 'Is my food nutritious?' chart. Also have a look at my weekly food diary. A lot of what I eat takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, keeps me feeling satisfied and is also highly nutritious. (Charlie's Food Diary)
6. Sign up to exercise that takes place on specific days and times and book these out in your diary as you time. These could be personal training sessions, group fitness classes or fitness courses such as: Body SMART.
In week one aim to attend a minimum of three sessions a week. (They don’t all need to be really high intensity.) An example you choose from one of the following :Boxing session
In weeks 3 to 5 aim to get to 4 sessions a week and in weeks 6 to 8 aim to attend five sessions maximum per week. If you don’t have that much time available take your family out on a walk or make a space at home and do some bodyweight exercise using YouTube online fitness classes as your guide. If you're opting for YouTube classes and you're new to fitness remember to consult your GP before beginning so that you know what type of exercise is suitable for you).
7. Take part in the types of exercise that will get you to you goal quickly and efficiently. As to what type of exercise is best for you this is where you’ll need to have a chat with a personal trainer or fitness professional as depending on your body type, any biomechanical issues that you may have along with your medical history this will all determine your personal exercise prescription.
What most people miss at the start is that your current body type and you’re goal body type (every body prefers a different look) should determine how you exercise. I’ve seen too often people arrive at the iOme studio complaining that when they used to take part in daily cross fit classes it didn’t give them the body of a slender ballerina. When I begin to tell them why it didn’t I hear lots of ohhh's and ahhh's! Here's a very broad overview of the differences in training type according to your current body type when you have the goal of inch loss. View the training protocol here.
8. Be accountable. Don’t make excuses. - If what you said was going to happen hasn’t happened how are you going to get back on track? Instead of giving up completely look at the reasons why your plan didn’t work out. Write them down and then come up with a few ways to target those problems and get back on track. Maybe you could find another class that week to make up for the one you didn't get to or maybe you could visit an open gym? Those are just a few ideas but there are lots of different ways that you could explore.
9. Portion control. There are lots of weight loss companies claiming that you can eat as much as you want from a list of food that they provide. In reality this is not true. When trying to lose inches your portion sizes do matter. Have a look at the portion control picture to you get an idea of whether your portion sizes are too big or too small.
By using the above steps as a guide it should give you a great start to achieving your fitness goals. Yes there are many more challenges that you might come across but if you find the right Personal Trainer and a great motivational group of friends to support you, achieving and staying motivated should never be a problem.
(If you live in Somerset then get down to Body SMART!)