By Ashley Williams
2020 is here! YES! We made it to another year. 2019 is a thing of the past and 2020 is here for just 12 months. 366 days. (2020 is a leap year). 52 weeks. 8,874 hours in a year. (Remember, I am calculating by this being a leap year). We are now starting a new year and allowing a fresh start to take place. We may be starting fresh with our finances, new jobs, new careers, new relationships, etc. But the main thing is definitely a new body and better health.
There are so many weight loss diets and diet crazes that are sweeping the country. Whether they are long-term or short term, people overdose on diets for a leaner body. It doesn’t mean they are healthy though. What I have learned about weight loss is that if you restrict yourself, you will pay for it later on with INSANE cravings. I have went through it all with diets and losing weight but there are some key ways to start a proper weight loss journey and stick with it.
1) Don’t Stress About It
No, my first key point is not a magical pill to help you lose fifty pounds in three days. The first thing to start this weight loss journey is to have a stress-free mindset. Relax. Breathe. Just know that it was a process to gain weight so understand it will be a process to lose the weight. Do not look at the days, weeks, or months it will take to get healthier. Live in the moment and seize the 24 hours that you have in that day. Understand that the process of weight loss is not always about looking good but feeling good. If you have to, write a journal every day to keep up with the progress. But whatever you do, do not stress about it and have fun taking better care of your body.
2) Plan, Plan, and Plan
The key thing I noticed about my failed weight loss journeys in the past is failing to plan. For example, I would not plan my meals so I pick up anything to eat on the way home. Or I fail to plan my workouts for the week so I just do anything and become uncoordinated and disinterested. These examples are for me but whatever you need to plan out for your weight loss journey for better success is strictly for you. The saying goes,” When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is the story of my failed weight loss journeys because I did not plan for the things I knew I had control over. Of course, life happens so there are things that do come up out of our control. But I am talking about the small things we know will set us way back in our progress. Take your gym clothes out before you go to sleep at night. Meal prep before the week starts. Fill up your water jug when you finish for the night. Write out your workout routine on Sundays. Plan, Plan, Plan!
3) Do Not Restrict Yourself
Like I mentioned before, restricting yourself in your weightloss journey will ultimately finish you. Not in a Mortal Kombat way but in a way that means your weight loss journey will end just as fast as it started. Believe me. Make sure to have your proportional Oreo cookies when you want a sweet snack. Have your favorite street tacos once a week but DO NOT RESTRICT YOURSELF! Food is not a bad thing but too much of a bad thing can become an issue. If you do not trust yourself to eat portions of the food that you absolutely cannot give up for weight loss, do not eat them now. Wait until you trust yourself and then start slowly by welcoming those tasty cookies back into your life. BUT ONLY BY PORTIONS. The more you restrict yourself, the worse your cravings will become.
4. Start Slow and Soar
I do not think it will be such a great idea to start doing the most extreme workouts when you are not used to being active. You could seriously injure yourself or lose a lung from all the huffing and puffing you’ll be doing. Trust me. I’ve lost a lung or two. Just kidding. (Maybe not.) But you want to start slow for working out. When a baby starts to walk, they start by crawling and holding on to things, right? For example, instead of running like Usain Bolt in your first workout, take a 20 minute walk. Usually, you will see where you are in terms of stamina and endurance when you take a small walk. (Well, it worked for me when I started.) I cannot obviously speak for everyone but I do agree with taking things slow to find your rhythm in the fitness world. Once you find your bearing, soar. See what makes you happy with working out. Make fitness an adventure and a challenge.
5. Have Fun!
Yes, going on a weight loss journey can be super fun and exciting. Do you want to know how? Are you sure you are absolutely ready? I am going to whisper on the internet.
(whispering) Just have fun taking care of your body and feeling the great benefits from it.
If you whispered it, thank you. If you didn’t, you are a party pooper for sure. Yes, have fun losing weight! And to take it further, don’t even check the scale while you are losing weight. Just eat healthy 80% of the time and focus on having fun with your workouts and you will see your energy spike, your clothes fit looser, and your mental health will improve. Focusing on the metrics and statistics of weight loss will only slow your mentality down. You will become obsessed with the thought of meeting a deadline instead of using food as a means of medicine and healing. Have fun eating more wholesome and nutritious foods. Take up a spin class and spin the heck out of your day. Join a Zumba class and find healthy recipes to cook every night or every other night. Challenge yourself to enjoy living and being able to add great nourishment to your limbs, your heart, your blood, and your mentality.
Losing weight does take dedication and hard work; please do not get me wrong. But these key things might be able to help you get farther in a weight loss journey. Have fun and make sure you love your body where you are at every stage of the process.
Happy New Year!
Learn Even More