By Shannon Dey, M.S. Health Education & CEO-Founder Bombshell Fitness
Having a goal is a GREAT motivator in the quest for health and fitness. Whether you are preparing for a competition, want to look phenomenal at your wedding, run a marathon or break out that teeny-weenie bikini on your upcoming vacation, having a goal in front of you can keep you on track, motivated and focused. But what happens once your magical goal date has passed? What happens when the show is over, you have opened all the wedding gifts or your tan lines from your vacation have faded? Since your goal has passed do you go back to “normal”? Is the gym, your clean nutrition plan and your fabulous body a thing of the past with the only evidence of its existence in photographs? It doesn’t have to be this way! You CAN live lean and look great year round, even without a goal date in the near future. All it takes is a little determination and a CHANGE of perception to make health and fitness your NEW Normal!
A very common occurrence in health clubs and gyms is women walking through the doors looking to lose weight for their wedding day. They are very focused and determined to look great in that dress. However, it never ceases to amaze that many of them only want to purchase a gym membership that lasts only until their wedding day. The same goes for women preparing to compete. A common statement is “I can’t wait to go back to normal”, meaning going back to a lifestyle of unhealthy eating and skipping the gym. A healthy fitness lifestyle is not an all or nothing endeavor. It is a way of living that does not conflict with your “normal” life; it IS your normal life. Here are some tips for fitness becoming a goal for life, rather than a goal for a specific moment.
Do it RIGHT
Losing weight the wrong way by starving yourself, crash dieting or using tricks and fads really isn’t that tough and can be done fairly quickly, but the consequence is that you will gain the weight back and often times with a vengeance. Basically, you mistreated your body, and now it’s rebelling! Losing the weight for good takes patience, commitment, consistency and a change of outlook toward your body and your relationship with food and exercise. You must realize that a temporary life ALTER to lose weight quickly will do nothing but put you on a lifelong rollercoaster of frustration over your weight. True Fitness is a life STYLE and a long term commitment to yourself to become and live at the best you can be!
Resist the Binge
Gorging yourself on all of the bad foods that you can find as a reward for your sacrifice is the equivalent of an artist throwing a bucket of paint on their masterpiece! Reward yourself for a job well done with something non-food related. Get a massage, buy those hot shoes you have been eyeing or simply curl up on the couch with a good book. Do something for YOU that doesn’t involve food as a reward!
Get Back on the Wagon
Don’t take a break from the gym and from your healthy eating habits after the event has passed. Get back to working out the day you get home from vacation, pack your meals for the Monday after your show. All taking a break will do is slow down the metabolism you worked so hard to create and cause you to fall back into old bad habits. If you are a competitor, you don’t have to train as intensely as you did leading up to a competition. However, weight training and cardio daily is standard to living a fit lifestyle so jump right back on that wagon and resume your training and healthy nutrition habits.
Don’t fall back into old eating habits
Re-stocking your pantry with the foods that you ate before starting your crusade will only cause you to revert back to your old body. Re-introducing foods back into your palate that are not condusive to a healthy lifestyle will make you crave them again and your body that you worked so hard to create will soon be a thing of the past. Permanently change your taste buds by staying away from those food items that are troublesome for you. If they aren’t within reach and you aren’t eating them, the desire for them will eventually fade.
Having a goal is a GREAT motivator on the road to health and fitness, however once that goal has passed, sticking with the lifestyle and making it your new “normal” will allow you to stay healthy and lean for life!