Updated: Aug 15
I started my healthy lifestyle journey with the number one intention of getting off medication.
I am a Type II diabetic; I have been for well over 10 years. I had tried to live a better and healthy lifestyle many times, but I failed on my own. Regardless of how I would implement exercising and eating better, it seemed to fall to the wayside.
I had a reality check when my physician told me in a stern but helpful way, if I did not change what was going on, the next step was insulin. I did not want that.
I am at a point in my life that I want to take control of my health. I started to recognize I could not do it alone. I needed guidance. I needed accountability. I had to accept help.
The cold hard facts had become clear. My eating habits and lack of structured exercise had gotten me into that position. Getting a complete fitness program designed for my needs was a necessity of health at that point.
I started researching personal trainers and nutritionists. Pro Push Fitness stood out to me the most. They carry multiple and relevant certifications and expertise, including a Certified Nutritionist. They have years of experience and professional abilities that I needed. I just felt in-tune with them from the start.
But, even with health issues, a great training gym, and a nutritionist on your team – it can still be hard to stay motivated day in and day out for clean eating and exercise. Here’s some things I have found that work for me.
1) Recognize Results – Big & Small
At my first meeting we went over in detail all my wants and needs. Immediately they started me on a path. It was a clear path to help me know exactly what I needed to do to turn my health around. As I followed that path, I started seeing results. Inches, pounds, body fat, strength, and endurance. All started to improve. And THAT is what got me and keeps me motivated! Seeing the results.
This might seem obvious. But even with a well-planned program, it can be easy to get discouraged if progress does not seem to be happening quick enough. But I have come to realize I will not magically wake up one day in the body I am working for. It is a slow and steady process. Recognizing the victories along the way really helps me stay on that path.
One win is I now understand - I can control this. I can do this for the rest of my life. Also, my self-confidence increased. This helped me become even more self-disciplined and really start feeling better about myself and what I am capable of.
2) Remember the 90 / 10 Rule
Another motivating factor is what I have learned about food choices. While changes had to be made, I did not need to starve myself either. In fact, I was not eating enough when I started at Pro Push. Correcting this and eating enough healthy calories allowed my metabolism to speed up. Specifically, increasing my daily intake of protein. This was paramount for burning body fat and building muscle.
Also, I did not cut out all the foods I enjoyed in my past permanently. That is not realistic. Implementing the 90 / 10 rule into my lifestyle has really helped give me guidance. I have learned I can still indulge from time to time on things like pizza and alcohol. Now it is about moderation for fitness longevity. 90% of the time, my food needs to be dialed in for health and fitness. The other 10% is my play food. I have used this technique daily and weekly, depending on what I have going on.
I do not have to completely cut out the foods I enjoyed in my past - if most of my nutrition and exercise program is on point.
I did have to reprogram my taste buds to do this. More vegetables and lean protein. However, I am happy to say I have kicked sugary foods out of my diet for good. This was a huge win for me.
3) Cross Train
Just like finding balance in my nutrition, I have come to learn that balance must be found in exercise.
Cross training - not to be confused with CrossFit - is when you change your workout objectives periodically. The idea is switching focus while you're in the gym will provide muscle confusion, metabolism boosts, allows for recovery time, and reduces injuries from overworked muscles. Plus, it gives some variety.
It is tempting to only do the exercises you enjoy. Or even what you think is going to give you the “fastest” results. For instance, just sticking to long cardio exercises to lose weight, rather than ever incorporating strength training..
Personally, I have noticed more of a calorie burn with the high intensity interval training (HIIT). This helped me see why cross training is so beneficial. Adding in timed resistance training got my base metabolism higher. I am building lean muscle, burning unhealthy body fat and keeping fitness mentally interesting.
My personal program has cycles of HIIT, then bodybuilding strength training with cardio finishes. Switching this up has helped me avoid plateaus and keep moving toward goals.
4) Find Your People
I stay motivated by working with a community of like-minded and supportive people who know what I need. I highly recommend joining a community style gym or working with a personal trainer you mesh well with. For me, that is Pro Push Fitness.
Really, coming to Pro Push four times a week has given me a community of other fitness people - trainers as well as other clients. It is like a little family. We motivate each other. The coaching is awesome. But the friendships being forged is a factor all its own that cannot be replaced.
After all this, I guess my advice to anyone having challenges with food or exercise or both – seek help and do the work. Not just in the gym, but at home too. Move your body as much as possible and clean up your food. You are going to see the results you want. But it starts with commitment, then self-discipline!