I used to believe that going to the gym every day was the answer to all my problems.
When I first signed up, I went six days a week. Then two times. Another week would pass and I wouldn’t make it.
I would suffer from anxiety and guilt if I didn’t go. Also, for having to pay for it. (I seriously HATE wasting money.) It would keep me up at night. Feeling that way was exhausting. More exhausting than I would feel had I gone.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time and energy stressing over what I wasn’t doing instead of being proud of what I was.
Small Steps Yield Big Results
The hardest part about getting fit, lean, stronger, losing weight, or whatever you like to call it is actually doing it. Putting one foot in front of (or behind) the other. To move from being obsessed to actually taking action.
When I decided that I would commit to moving on a regular basis, I started small by doing 30 minutes two days a week. That felt easy.
My competitive nature would try to tell me that I wasn’t doing enough and that I needed to work harder. And my ego was constantly fighting me on what was “enough.”
But I knew that I needed to take small steps instead of going big only to end up going home.
Once exercise started to feel easier, I was ready to take it up a notch.
Here are the steps I took to get fit and drop 40 lbs.
Get A Goal
It better be a real one that means something to you.
Looking back, I feel that the reason I struggled with getting my butt out the door and going to the gym was that I wasn’t really sure what my goal was.
I knew I “had” to lose at least 30 lbs for my mental health and body image. But other than that, I wasn’t really feeling it.
I needed to dig into my bigger why and set a goal that didn’t totally suck. (This was long before Danielle LaPorte’s wonderful Desire Map book.) I was craving goals that would fulfill my want of feeling connected, grounded, and powerful in my body.
When it comes to getting fit, you DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR A DAMN THING if you don’t want to. There are tons of free or low-cost options that I am sharing here.
That way “not having enough money” isn’t a factor holding you back. Use what you have around you.
I also believe that being part of a team fuels my creative needs.
Did I mention that I play soccer?
Find Space You Can Move In
I’m serious. Where around your house or in your yard / neighborhood could you do burpees and not knock a lamp off the wall?
Look for solid floors and move the furniture.
If you are outside, look at playgrounds or school fields. Every space is an opportunity.
My current favorite place to work out is the provincial park 100 meters away from our home. It has paved pathways, hills, and trails that wind through trees and along the riverbed.
Use Your Body Weight
When I first started out at the gym, I did 80% body weight workouts. It’s important to be able to lift your own weight before you start adding to it.
I want you to think outside of the box or typical strength training methods. Find large rocks or sandbags; even a suitcase will do.
My go to are 13 kg bags of dog food and, occasionally, my husband’s tools. You’d be surprised at how heavy the stand for a miter saw is.
Some days, my own body feels heavy enough. Work with what you’ve got.
Try push ups, front lunges, back squats, tricep dips, planks, mountain climbers, and jumping jacks. Also use the monkey bars.
And here are a few more ways to do it.
Use YouTube, Pinterest, And Apps
I love YouTube. You can find free yoga classes, pilates, barre, cardio workouts, anything really! Most videos are short.
Have you checked out Pinterest? There are a ton of free resources there.
There are a ton of free apps that you can download for a huge library of workouts for your different workout goals. Many of these help beginners with video instructions of how to do each set of movements.
What are your best tricks to getting fit?