If I learned anything over this past month it’s that going to the grocery store without direction, entering the day without knowing what you’re eating, and heading to the gym without guidance is a recipe for weight gain and frustration. This is where you begin to question why you’re even trying and if these fit folks you see had some sort of work done on their bodies.
Showing up to the gym is only one piece of the puzzle. Although a very important piece, you want to make sure your effort yields results. Running 5 minutes here 10 minutes there, doing a few squats then grabbing a couple dumbells for a rep of curls before heading to your car is the problem. Walking down the many rows of the grocery store trying to decide what you’re in the mood to eat for the week, or even that very night, running through a mental list of necessary items to make these last minute dishes is another part of the problem.
Chances are when you get in your car and head home or to work, school, or wherever you are going, you don’t just start driving. You generally know the distance, the time it should take, and the best way to get there. The same should be true with your fitness plan. Everything should be done with intention and purpose.
What has helped me stay organized is a simple spreadsheet I created. Yes, good ol’ excel still does the trick. I use it to plan the day I will grocery shop, the day I will meal prep, essential items I’ll need, meals I want to whip up, and when and what part of the body I’m working out. By planning ahead you not only maximize your time, but you can ensure you have all the necessary nutrients in your meals and that you are giving adequate attention to your entire body.
It sounds so simple right!? Trust me it is easier said then done. We all have things that get in our way; Competing priorities, work you didn’t finish from the day before, missing the alarm clock, and all the unplanned stuff that comes up all the time. But once you start making it a habit to plan and schedule your health routine you will gain better control over the unpredictable. You will notice that your health becomes a bigger priority and other things move down the list. You will make it a conscious decision to not skip your plan and figure out how to move things around with ease.
I am still learning as I go and am a constant work in progress. I have definitely had some setbacks, but instead of giving up I remind myself this is a lifestyle, not a fad. Your weight will fluctuate, you may have an extra cheat day, there may be a time you have to leave the gym early or can’t even make it. But don’t beat yourself up about it. As long as you are committed you won’t let yourself slip too far off track. If you want something bad enough and believe in yourself, all will be well in the end.
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