Starting a fitness journey can be daunting. There are many things to consider: what type of exercise you should be doing, how to eat healthily, and how to stay motivated. It's enough to make your head spin!
But don't worry, I'm here to help.
Before I was a health coach, I served in the United States Marine Corps. Even though by Marine Corps standards, I was “fit,” it was only because I was engaged in extreme dieting. My relationship with fitness had become highly disordered, from restricting my calorie intake to spending one to two hours working out.
It wasn’t until I decided to end my enlistment in the Marine Corps that I was able to start moving toward a healthier relationship with food, exercise, and my body. Whether you’ve served in the armed forces or not, it’s a good chance you’ve had an unhealthy relationship with fitness at one time.
Maybe you’ve found yourself counting every calorie, tracking every macro, and feeling guilty when you never seem to stick to your diet. Or, possibly, you’ve spent countless hours in the gym because you never feel like you are small enough.
There is no judgment here because I have been to rock bottom, as I explain in my upcoming book, The A Fitness Mindset Method: Ditch Dieting for Good and Achieve Your Fitness Goals Faster. The good news is that once you hit bottom, there is no way but up. On the way up, I learned three powerful lessons that have helped me and my clients become intuitive eaters, accept our bodies, and achieve our fitness goals faster.
In this article post, I'll share those three lessons with you so that you can start your fitness journey on the right foot.
Lesson 1. Fitness Starts With the Right Mindset
One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a fitness journey is focusing on weight loss instead of health. This is the wrong approach for two reasons. First, when you focus on weight loss, you're more likely to become discouraged when the scale doesn't budge as quickly as you'd like. Second, weight loss is often not a sustainable goal. Instead, try reframing your mindset around fitness and health. When you focus on being healthy, weight loss often comes as a natural side effect. However, even if it doesn’t, you’re implementing habits that will positively impact your health. That in and of itself is a win that you shouldn't dismiss.
Lesson 2. Eating Healthy Becomes Easier with a Plan
At this point in your life, you likely have realized that winging it simply doesn't work when making healthier eating choices. That’s why one of the most common pieces of advice I give when it comes to eating healthy is to meal plan. However, there is one huge caveat. While this is excellent advice, if I say so myself, it's essential to realize that meal planning isn't one-size-fits-all. What works for one person may not work for another. So take some time to experiment and find what meal planning method works best for you and your lifestyle. Many great resources (including some on my website!) can help you get started.
Lesson 3. Find an Exercise Routine You Enjoy
Many people give up on their fitness journeys because they hate their workout routines. They dread going to the gym or going for a run because it feels like a chore. If this sounds like you, then it's time to find an exercise routine that you enjoy! This could be anything from hiking, yoga, or playing tennis with a friend. Or, if accountability is something you need, I recommend looking for a local gym or studio where you can take regular classes that you pay for in advance. The key is finding something that feels like play instead of work. Once you find an activity you enjoy, sticking with your fitness goals will be a breeze!
Final Word From Tomesha
There's no denying that starting a fitness journey can be daunting. But if you keep these three things in mind—reframing your mindset around fitness and health, making meal planning work for your lifestyle, and finding an exercise routine you enjoy—you'll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals in no time!
Have any additional tips for starting your fitness journey? Share them below!