You have made the decision to start eating healthy and exercising! You are ready for a better life & that’s great! Then the questions come: how do I do this? What do I do first? Can I do it? Which then often leads to: it’s too hard! I can’t do this! And then you give up. I was there so many times; I knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to get but had no idea where to start and would get so discouraged that I wouldn’t give up.
When I finally put my mind to it there were a few things that helped and I want to share them with you. This doesn’t mean it will work for you however. We are all different, going through our own journeys, and dealing with different struggles. You will need to find what works for you which might mean a lot of starting and stopping, thinking this is it and realizing you need a different plan. Hey I still do that! Sometimes what I think will be a great plan doesn’t work and I have to go back and restart. It’s OK. As long as you know that from now on there is no going back to the old life of eating “dirty food” that makes you feel horrible, and sitting around doing nothing when you could be doing something!
So how to start? I call it the Wean Off, Add On approach 🙂 I couldn’t jump in and completely cut everything from my diet right away, just like I couldn’t jump into a 6 day a week P90X program when I started. So this is what I did:
- white breads and pastas
- coffee loaded with milk & sugar
- snacks from vending machines loaded with sugar & sodium and ingredients we cannot pronounce
- bread with meals
- more water
- new healthy food to the menu every week
- switch from white to brown foods (bread, pasta, rice)
- coffee with skim milk and splenda( I now do not drink coffee at all)
- vegetables with every meal
- fruit for a snack
While I was weaning myself off of certain foods and habits I would add on new foods that were healthier. This was also when I started Turbo Jam. At first all I could do was the 20 minute workout 2-3 times a week!! But it was better than what I was doing before which was nothing! By making small changes in my diet along the way and by steadily increasing my workout sessions and frequency I was able to lost 30 pounds in six months. The more I saw the weight and inches coming off the more excited I got, and the more I pushed. I wish I could tell you it was easy,but I can’t 🙁 Even today, after all the weight I have lost, all the different Beachbody program I have completed, nutrition is still somewhat of a struggle for me.
But when I start to see myself sliding back to old habits I remember where I was when I started and how hard it was at the beginning and I get right back on the right track. It will be hard at first. You do not want to give up certain foods ( ice cream), you’ll find a reason why you can’t exercise, you will get stuck. Just remember that you do not have to completely give anything up, you just have to eat it less often or find a healthier version of that food. And as far as exercise goes-keep at it! You will get to a point where it is part of your routine and you will miss it when you don’t exercise! And you don’t have to jump into a P90X or Insanity Program if you haven’t exercised in a while or at all :). Start going for walks, look into the beginner programs like Turbo Jam, Slim in Six, Power 90.
Small changes are what works for me and it might work for you as well. So make it a goal to make a small change every day! Drink more water, park further away from the door, eat a new healthier food. And when you start to get overwhelmed, take time to remember what it is you want, and go back to basics. What you don’t want to do is quit! Then that means having to start all over again and I think we all know how hard it is to do that.