In the weight loss world (or I guess just the post-Oprah Winfrey world) a lot of people talk about their “aha” moment when they knew they had to make a change in their lives to get healthier.
Mine was in 2010 after I was Facebooking and I saw some pictures of myself that I hated:
How did that happen? How did I allow myself to get to this horrible place where I hated how I looked and I was uncomfortable in my own body? The girl in those photos did not accurately represent who I really was on the inside.
I hated what I saw so much, and because of that I was driven and motivated to make a change. I wanted it so badly and I was willing to make all the sacrifices I knew I needed to make to be successful.
But do you really want to get healthier? For so long I spent a lot of time on the fence. I knew I wanted a healthier lifestyle but I didn’t necessarily want to put the work into it. And I didn’t know where to start. (I should have started by putting down the pizza.) But then I had my “aha moment” and I got it when I looked at those photos.
Here are my 5 steps to finding your aha moment:
1. Make goals for yourself. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but really sit down and write three goals for yourself that relate to your health and fitness. Make them measurable. Make them things you think you would be reasonably capable of, but things you want with a passion. Think about things that you feel would be so incredibly awesome and would make you so happy if they happened. Here are some examples:
*I would be SOOO happy to finish a half marathon.
*I would be ecstatic to fit into my skinny jeans.
*I would be over the moon if I lost 30lbs.
2. Think about the State of your Health. You’ve heard of the State of the Union, so – and I’m completely serious when I say I want you to sit down with a pen and paper and write – and write a few sentences about the State of Your Health.
How do you feel in your body currently? Are you proud of your body, or are you insecure? Are you happy to be in pictures or do you conveniently hide parts of your body? Do you avoid mirrors? Do you feel out of control of your health? Really dig and write about how you are feeling. Here was mine from 2010:
*I feel uncomfortable in my own body
*I hate most of the pictures that are taken of me
*I don’t know how to stop spiraling out of control with the food I’m eating
*I avoid pictures as much as possible because I hate my double chin
*I dress in a way that I feel (hope) makes me look thinner and I constantly worry about how I can make myself look thinner with clothes, in pictures, etc.
*I have anxiety and insecurities when it comes to being around friends of mine who are healthy because I know I am not on their level
3. Write your why. So now that you know where you are in life and where you want to go, what you need next is your why. Why do you want to reach your goals? It will probably tie into the State of Your Health a little bit, but take some time to think about why you want what you want.
My why for being healthy:
I cannot continue on this self-destructive path. I do not want to look at pictures of myself and hate what I see, because I feel the person in those pictures is not truly who I am. I do not want to accept those pictures as who I am. I want to feel confident about my body. I want to be able to shop in stores that carry my size because I’m wearing a normal size and not a plus size. I do not want to worry about being able to find clothes in a certain store. I do not want to worry about whether an article of clothing makes me look fat or about how I can make myself look thinner. I do not want to be constantly insecure around other women because of how I look, and how different I look from them. I want my body to be an example of how strong I am on the inside.
4. Get ready to do work. Here’s the thing: nobody can want this for you. Nobody can do the work for you. As a fitness coach, I know I can’t work with anyone “on the fence.” You have to want it for yourself. And it does require work. You will need to make sacrifices to get what you want. You will need to work hard at the gym and in the kitchen. You will need to make yourself a priority in your own life, because that is what it requires. If you’re not ready to make yourself a priority, make some sacrifices and do some work, you aren’t ready for the journey.
And if you’re ready, and you’ve got nothing left to lose and you’ve got a fire in your belly, let’s do this.
5. Pick three non-negotiables. These are the things you can’t live without and will have a place in your health and fitness journey, no matter what. Mine are peanut butter, bananas, and sushi. These are things I need to remain a happy human being. Of course these things in the wrong portions are not good and that is why I need to work them into my diet with moderation. For peanut butter, I need to watch portions; for bananas, I need to watch frequency; and for sushi I also watch my frequency, eating it once a week or once every two weeks.
You’ll notice alcohol is not on that list for me. I’ve cut alcohol out of my diet because I do not feel like I need alcohol; but a lot of women feel like they need alcohol, and that’s okay! It’s okay if that is one of your non-negotiables; you just need to figure out how to work it into your healthy lifestyle with moderation. You can have a glass of wine or two every week! Notice I said glass and not a bottle, and I said one or two a week, not daily or once every three days.
Decide on your three non-negotiables, list them, and right next to them, list how you will keep those non-negotiables in check, either through portion control, frequency, etc.
I hope these steps help you get more focused in your fitness journey and make you realize that you can go from miserable and uncomfortable – like I was – to confident and strong.