This time of year, the fitness questions start filling my inbox. Everyone wants to drop a few pounds, to get ready for bikini season and just refresh for warmer weather. When you’re first starting out, embarking on a fitness journey is hard, confusing and often a mix of emotions. You’re excited to try something new, but when you’re burnt out or not seeing the results you want; you may want to give up. Don’t! I’m going to tell you just how to find YOUR fitness.
Find Your Why, Set Your Goals
Before you get started, you have to set a why. Do you want to lose 5-10+ pounds? Maybe you just want to feel better or maybe you have a picture in mind of what you want to look like. Set those goals and be realistic. This may sound silly, but I have always struggled with body image issues. No matter how much weight I lose or muscle I gain, there is something about myself that I don’t like. But why? For me, it is often because I compare myself to someone else. The problem is, when you compare yourself to someone with a different body type than you, you’re just aiming for an unrealistic goal. I had to really sit back and evaluate myself. I’m short, bigger in the bottom and thighs and I will always have broad shoulders. I’m more of an inverted triangle shape. I gain muscle easily in my arms and no amount of back exercises can tame the sausage effect of a sports bra on my back. I have always disliked the way my back looks. There I said it. I’m not complaining about myself, I’m being honest, so just in case you’ve ever had those same feelings, know you’re not alone. What helped me finally get over some of my body image issues was to first identify my body type and then find examples of other women, with my body type, who were in great shape. I took to good ol Google, searched for celebrities with inverted triangle body types and found tons and tons of pictures of beautiful women, shaped just like me. I no longer felt like my fitness routine was failing, I felt like I was beautiful, just like them, in my own shape. So whatever your body type, own it first girl, aim to be in your best health!
Find Fitness You LOVE
I often get e-mails from girls telling me what they’ve been doing to lose x amount of weight. Maybe they’re running a little, taking walks, trying a new video etc. That’s great, but, the downside is often how they would describe the workout; torture! Yes, you should be challenging yourself, but not torturing yourself. If you’re going to stick to an active lifestyle, you have to find a form of fitness you love! Keep it fresh, keep it new!
I love to dance, lift weights, hike, walk, bike and circuit train. I don’t like to run, play sports or do a whole lot of yoga. That’s just me! All of those types of workouts are fantastic, but not all of them will be what you love! Once I identified what I loved the most and started to build my own routine around what I enjoyed doing, fitness became easy to me. It’s easy to wake up a little earlier every morning if it’s to do something I like. It’s also easy if your workout is both fun and an adventure, like going on a hike. You also have to keep in mind the results you want. You’re not going to get sculpted shoulders just going for a run every day. But, if you just want a healthy heart and healthy weight, an every day run is fantastic!
Never Let Anything Slow You Down
Once you’re in a good routine with any form of fitness you love, don’t let anything get in your way! We all have excuses and things that come up, but without killing yourself, you have to overcome them.
If you’re feeling fatigued and sore, drink more water and stretch! Staying well hydrated is so important, especially as you become more active. If you’re dehydrated, you’re going to feel tired and just all around blah! So drink up girlfriend.
Stretching and caring for your muscles is so important too. I may not love yoga, but I do love a good stretch and use my foam roller a few times a week. If I start to slack on my stretches, I really feel it and it makes my workouts harder. If you’re feeling like your energy is drained, make sure you’re eating a well balanced diet and that you’re eating enough. Under eating isn’t uncommon when someone seeks to lose weight, but in order for your body to lose weight and function properly, you have to fuel it properly. Lots of fresh veggies, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains!
Kids, Work and Expectations
Everyone is faced with a lot of demands on a daily basis, whether it be with work, school, kids, family, etc. But, your fitness is all about you and the one thing you should do for yourself every day. I personally wake up early, every morning to get my workout in before the kids wake up. Do they sometimes interrupt? Of course. I keep going. Often times, they just join in, sometimes get in the way; but even if I have to take a break to take care of something for one of them, I go back to it. Other days, especially now with this warm weather, I include them. We go for walks, hikes, we have relay races, we just have fun together! On the days I work, I stick to my same routine, up early to get it done! It is so important to just schedule the time for you.
I totally pulled like every muscle in my leg climbing this tree, but the kids loved it!
That Time Of The Month
Before I wrote this, I had to think long and hard about whether I really wanted to go here. But, I decided to go for it. Every woman deals with her monthly cycle; it wears you down, makes you bloat, crave sugar and salt and is just all around not fun. The dreaded period is definitely something that can put a damper of your fitness routine. First off, staying active actually helps with those monthly symptoms. Fatigue, cravings and cramps, are all lessened if you just push through and stay active. If your cravings get out of control, treat yourself a little, or find a healthy alternative for your craving; like popcorn for a salty craving, or Halo Top ice cream for a sweets craving.
Find protection that works with your fitness routine. U by Kotex Fitness is a line of protection designed specifically for the active woman. Their compact active tampons expand all around, so you’re fully protected, no matter how fast you run or how far you stretch. Plus, they come in a compact size, with a discreet protective fit pack. So, they’re easy to carry with you anywhere.
You Got This Girl!
You are powerful, beautiful and a total boss. Don’t let anything stand in the way of you and YOUR fitness! Do what you love and love yourself. #findyourFITNESS