Beginning is not the hard part (it’s sticking to it!) however, I know when I started my fitness journey I was intimidated and I wish I knew some of things below. Whether you have never trained and want to begin or have become preoccupied and want to get back into it, the following should be useful to you.
Dress the Part
Don’t go out and spend on an entire wardrobe of active wear but you do want to buy some essentials. You may have some old sweats and t-shirts in your drawers but I can bet you will want to be comfortable while working out. You might be running, squatting, or kicking and it is the worst when your clothes do not fit appropriately while working out. That could be tights that continue to go down and you have to adjust to pull them up in the middle of a set (the worst) or your shirt keeps rising up.
You want to get pieces that fit well, comfortable, and you can move easily in. I dread fitting rooms but set out time to go shopping (preferably in the morning so it’s not as busy and you don’t feel rushed), you will thank yourself later. Do some jumping jacks in the dressing rooms, some squats to see if the clothes fit and move the way you them to.
Aside from its functional purpose, having new active wear motivates me to workout. Perhaps you can relate, but there is no better incentive to have me move than buying and wearing great black tights, a comfortable sports bra oh and don’t get me started on all the wonderful sneakers 😊
Dealing with Intimidation
It can be intimidating stepping to a floor full of gym rats who are extremely fit. Very common piece of advice but I mean it: don’t care what others think. Every person at the gym working out has a goal in mind, they are at the gym to work on that goal, they are not concerned about the individuals surrounding them. Anytime I have gone to a gym everyone is in their own zone/world, they are only focused on the task they are doing. There are a rare few who solely go to the gym to socialize and take pictures of themselves so they may look at you, but don’t concern yourself with them because at least you are there to actually work out!
Regardless of how you look, or how much you can lift, when you are at the gym keep in mind that everyone around you is there to improve themselves too. Everyone is on the same boat.
Let’s Get Real
It’s probably going to suck … A LOT. If training is not something you are used to doing, it will be hard in the beginning. I am not going to sugar coat it. You have to put in the work in order to get results you want; keyword being work. It does get easier with time and by easier, I mean it becomes habit. The working out itself becomes slightly easier since you are improving your numbers, your goals, etc. but there should always be a challenge no matter how “fit” you are when you are training. At least with time you will gain confidence, know how to work your way around the gym, not be intimidated anymore and training becomes part of your life.
At first you might hate it nevertheless, if you keep at it working out may be something you actually look forward to, I know I do.
Don’t Go Too Hard
Working out is not to be taken lightly. Definitely speak to your doctor anytime you are starting something new to hear out what they recommend for your body type and medical history. Injuries can easily occur while working out so begin with light numbers and weight and take your time to move up. It is much better to start light and slow than to injure yourself and you have to halt your training to recover.
Oh, how I love food. I am not one to limit good food (you can read more about that here) but I would suggest getting rid of the bad food in your home. If it stays in your home you will more than likely to be tempted to eat it. Simple enough.
*Side note: I know you have heard of this but seriously DO NOT go grocery shopping hungry. You will be tempted to buy junk. I have gotten into trouble because I did not pay attention to that rule many … too many times.
Time to Adjust
Eating a clean diet goes hand in hand with your fitness journey. You can’t expect to reach your goals efficiently and well for your body if you are training hard at the gym but not eating your best after. Along with getting rid of the bad food as mentioned above, now you have to get used to having a full diet of good foods you are not use to.
These clean foods may not taste great to you at first, that’s real. But keep giving these foods a chance. Your taste buds will adjust. There are foods I use to eat that completely gross me out now and there are foods I eat now I never thought I would enjoy. You are making changes from what you are doing physically and what you are ingesting, give your body time to adjust. I can honestly say I enjoy eating the clean diet I have, it does taste good to me. Took time but I do enjoy my food.
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Mistakes will happen. There will be moments where you “cheat” with a snack or dessert or times where you decide to bail on your gym plans. It happens but the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it. Recognize you made a mistake and move on. Continue your path to greatness, continue whatever your original goals were. Don’t get stuck in a rut and think because you messed up this time and that other time it means you are doomed to fail entirely. No, you can reach your goals so long as you keep working. Changes don’t happen overnight, you have to be consistent and patient. Do not give up.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
Be careful with who you surround yourself with. There will always be people whether those are friends and sadly, sometimes family that do not want you to win at life. If you want to make changes in your life and others around you are not on board or do not support your choices, it is time to consider spending your time with positive influences. The ones who really care for you want to see you win at everything, they will support you with your entire fitness journey. This may be a good time to weed out the fake friends so hey another positive!
Maybe you can inspire others to join you which is great! Just remember, the ones that really have your back will be happy for you and will help you anyway they can.
For My Mommy’s Out There!
If you are not able to go out to the gym whether you are a mom or it simply does not work for your lifestyle please don’t think you cannot attain your fitness goals. There are so many resources out there on the internet where you can find different exercises to do at home without any kind of equipment. I plan to write a post on that soon so keep an eye out for it nonetheless, being fit without a gym is 100% attainable. You are not limited because you are not able to go to a gym. More on that to come.