BY RASHIELLE TEAPE
On a scale of one to ten, how guilty are you feeling after pigging out on holiday food? I know your pain. Year after year, I told myself to get up and get fit, but I just couldn’t seem to stick to an exercise routine. This semester, I decided that was going to change. Maybe it was the realization that my upcoming graduation means I’ve gotta get my life together. Or maybe it was those extra pounds that snuck onto the scale over summer break…but I had to find a way to stick to a healthy lifestyle. It’s now almost the end of the semester, and I’m proud to say that I am at my healthiest, fittest and happiest since…ever.
Now, believe me, you don’t get much lazier than me sometimes. So I won’t give you some advice about finding your inner Olympian and simply going to the gym…as if it’s that easy. Here are a few simple things that really helped me out, and got me in a steady and consistent workout plan.
- START SMALL. When it comes to dieting, take baby steps. Don’t throw away all the sweet stuff and stock up on the fiber and veggies just yet. Make a few healthy switches in your diet. For example, I started by ditching my white butter-bread and whole milk and I got used to wheat bread and almond milk. I also cut way back on the chips and substituted yummy fruits instead.
- BORED OF THE GYM? SWITCH IT UP. One of the biggest issues I had was staying consistent, simply because I’d get bored (I have a fitness attention span of about 2 months). Don’t be afraid to find a new activity to stay in shape when your current routine gets old. Look for fun things to do in your area (dancing, kickboxing, running, yoga, etc.)
- FIND FITNESS BUDDIES! I cannot stress this enough! My roommates and I all made the commitment to stay in shape together, and it definitely helped. Find a friend, or make one! It pays to have someone to drag your lazy butt off the couch and get you in the mood to work out. Plus, you’ll always have someone to discuss your progress with
- TRACK YOUR PROGRESS, AND DON’T GO BACK. One of the best things to do is to look at how far you’ve come. Take a “before” picture of yourself or write down your starting weight. Keep at it until you’ve got your “after” picture! Trust me, looking back at the starting line is sure to motivate you to keep pushing.
- ACCEPT YOUR SETBACKS. Just because you had a bad week doesn’t mean you should give up! There are sure to be days, or weeks that are slow – just pick up where you left off. One of my biggest mistakes was giving up after a setback (“Ah, I’ve already missed a week…I knew I couldn’t do it). Use that setback as a reason to jump right back in with even more energy
Keeping these tips in mind, you’ve gotta admit…it can’t be THAT hard! Come on, you know I’m right.