It’s an absolutely stunning afternoon outside. The fog is gone and the sun is out. The leaves are red , yellow and gold. I love autumn. But this morning the picture was altogether different. If it was a picture at all.
There was nothingness. No hope. You couldn’t see further then a few steps ahead. It was like that at 8am. And 9. And 11. And even 12. It only changed at 1pm when I gave up hope. Suddenly I looked through the window and it was picture perfect.
It is a great metaphor for what happens when you take on a fitness challenge. You are all fired up, plans drawn, schedule sorted, good intentions at the ready and then s*** happens. You have to stay longer at work. Again. Kids get sick. Then you do. Then suddenly apparently it’s almost Christmas and everybody starts panicking. And next thing you know your fitness is at number #78 on your TO DO list. You can’t see a way out.
There are things you can’t control but the following 6 you can.
- I have been doing 3-4 classes every week. I can’t do anymore.
If you do that many you definitely deserve praise. Some people struggle with two. And I am sure you have seen results of your fitness regime. But our bodies are extremely clever and within a few months you will hit a plateau. No, you don’t have to send your children into care so you can do 8 classes a week… Just change it up a bit. The key is WHEN and HOW MUCH.
No point of changing class schedule every 2 weeks as you won’t even give your body a chance to tell you if they work. But every 3 months try something different. And even when you do let’s say Bodypump twice a week for 3 months make sure you steadily progress with the mount of weight you lift.
2. Let me try the latest miracle supplement or fad diet.
Don’t. Please. It’s about eating everything but in moderation. Enjoy it. Don’t just eat it because you think you should. If you go for home made green smoothie make sure it tastes good so drinking it is not a chore. If you fancy a Kit Kat don’t go for a diet replacement because you think you should. If you do, probably 30min later you will go for that Kit Kat anyway. Just make sure before you get your treat that you are really hungry and not thirsty and eat slowly enjoying every bite not devouring the bar like it’s going out of fashion.
3. I am going fat free.
Do not obsess over FAT FREE products. Fat is what gives taste to foods. When you take fat away you need to replace it with something to make the food palatable. What is the substitute? You guessed it: SUGAR. That is much worse and much more addictive option. Prepare as much food at home as you can. Know what’s in it.
4. Giving 50% during your gym classes/sessions
Quality over quantity. Commitment, the right mindset and self-discipline get you lean and toned. People make the mistake of going 50% at their spin class because they have Bodycombat straight after where they will give another 50%. Give 100% in the first class. If you can face one more do it. But if it is too much – go to the sauna.
5. Getting obsessed with the scales.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight if you are overweight and it’s obvious you will want to check your results. My advice: instead of starting every day, every gym session and finishing every session and every day on the scales, pay attention to how you feel. Do you huff and puff walking up the stairs? If you run for the bus do you need 2min to catch your breath or just 30sec? Can you get in those pre-baby jeans? Weigh yourself but not more than once every couple of weeks.
Your weight may fluctuate by 1-2kg in one day especially if you are a woman on your period.
How about fitness testing instead of overusing scales? Strong is the new skinny they say.
6. Having energy drinks after 20 min on the elliptical
If you read labels on the bottles they clearly state that these drinks should be used when you are doing high intensity training for OVER 45min. I would say that even a high intensity45min spin class does not call for these. If you go on a 2-3hr run or a bike ride or decide to do 2-3 spin classes back to back then you will find these drinks useful. Otherwise water will do just fine. Sugar free coconut water is very popular. I use water with a bit of squash if I have two classes back to back.
What is your drink of choice during the gym workout? Which of the 6 do you see the most around at your gym? Which one are you guilty of? Or is there a biggie I missed out on? I would love to hear your thoughts.