I’m a 40-year-old working mom who, one day in the middle of December 2016, found herself sitting at work unable to see, with a pounding headache and swollen feet. Medical tests revealed that I was hypertensive – my body was literally falling apart after years of neglect. I knew something needed to change, and after a few days of reflection, it was obvious that losing weight was not negotiable. In order to kick-start my fitness journey, I followed these steps, and made a complete lifestyle change.
The hardest part of any fitness journey is knowing where to start. So, here are 5 steps to kick-start your transformation (and keep it going):
Step 1 | Set realistic goals and expectations
A fitness journey isn’t all sunshine and roses. There will be ups and downs, but your consistency and perseverance will see you through. It’s important to figure out your goals from the very beginning, and then focus on how your diet and exercise should be adapted to achieve them. Rest is an integral part of a fitness journey, so it’s essential to work that into your plan. Remember, it’s not always all about the big wins. Set smaller goals to help you stay motivated and on track during your fitness journey.
Step 2 | Hold yourself accountable
After weighing in at a whopping 108kg in December 2016, I decided to document my journey on Instagram in the hope of holding myself accountable. This may not necessarily work for others, so find your own way to hold yourself accountable during your fitness journey.
Step 3 | Determine what works for you
A New Year’s resolution saw me join the gym, and I haven’t regretted that decision yet. But if lifting weights and running on treadmills just isn’t your thing, then find an exercise regime that you actually enjoy. This could be anything from yoga, to boxing, or even Zumba classes! Never force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy as this approach can easily derail you.
Step 4 | You can’t out-exercise a bad diet
A poor diet will undo any amount of exercise and the best of intentions. Therefore, a balanced and healthy diet is key to achieving your fitness goals. I am a foodie by heart, but I’ve learnt to cook healthy food that tastes unbelievably delicious, and you can too! So, be prepared by stocking up on only healthy goods, remove temptations, and consider meal prepping. Did I mention that I’m the self-proclaimed Queen of Meal Prep? It’s my absolute favourite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon!
Step 5 | Find a support system
Doing it alone can be difficult, so you need to make sure you have a support system who fully understands and supports your journey. I now live a balanced, healthy lifestyle, made easier because I include my family in my fitness journey and fit life. Whether it’s a friend you can call when you’re having an off day, or your significant other who keeps you motivated, a support system is essential.
Now’s the time to turn those thoughts of getting fit into actions. And remember, there are no quick fixes, so be patient with yourself. Although my progress has been slow, I am healthy, determined, and in this for the long haul.