[As contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on Sept. 3, 2014]
We have the tendency to get really excited and start making big and sometimes overly ambitious plans when we finally decide to get fit. We schedule six or seven days of gym or exercise time and buy seven days worth of salad fixins’. We go to the department store and get 25 cute workout outfits and two pairs of gym shoes to match. We are ready!
The first day the excitement is at its highest, by mid-week we’re getting a little tired, but we’re still sticking to the plan. By week’s end, we’re wondering if we can keep this up. So, for the next week we decrease our days at the gym and add in a few meals of “real” food because the salads aren’t cutting it.
By the third week, we barely make it to the gym and all those cute outfits are piling up in the hamper, giving us a great excuse not to go to the gym, right? We’re starving now, so those salads are a thing of the past. They’ve been replaced with big bowls of pasta, donuts, and sweet teas. But it’s ok, because we can start again next week, right?
Let’s not fall into this crazy cycle. Let’s start our fitness journey the right way… slowly. In order to succeed, start gradually. Trade the seven day workout plan to about two or three days. You can’t go from no days at the gym to seven days, two or three will work better. And don’t load up on salads, instead plan to have a variety of healthy meals at least four or five times per day. Be sure to include a cheat meal during the week to give you something to look forward to and to curb any cravings you may have.
Each week or every other week, add another day to your workout schedule (if you want). But just know, on average, three days per week is just fine as long as you are incorporating healthy eating habits.
Remember, don’t be in a hurry to start your fitness journey. You didn’t gain weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it all that quickly either. Be patient. You are worth all of the hard work you will put in. Just trust yourself and take your time.
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