Welcome to your foolproof guide to getting in shape!
Working out can be hard, true, but waking up every day and being unhappy with how you look and feel is hard too. Getting in shape has a different meaning to everyone; establish personal goals and then you can personalize your program to achieve them.
This step-by-step will take you through the process of getting your goals on track. It will provide you with a basic framework that you can follow to keep things simple and understandable.
Pen and paper
Omron* or body fat calipers *(optional)
You know you want to get in shape, but you’re not sure where to start. Grab your pen and paper because you will be writing down a lot of information. To start, at the bottom of your page write your ultimate goal. You may use your calculator here if you want your end goal to be your ideal body weight.
Now, from top to bottom, write mini goals or achievements you would like to accomplish along the way. It can be fitting into an old pair of jeans that are one size closer to where you want to be, or kicking your habit of drinking soda… whatever fits you.
Now that you know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. On another sheet of paper, write down any successes or failures that you’ve had at previous attempts to get in shape. If this is your first crack at it, write down any potential weaknesses you think you might have: Do you love pasta? Can’t live without coffee mixed with a ton of cream? Anything that you think might get in the way.
Next, grab your measuring tape and scale because now we are going to talk numbers. Weight isn’t the most reliable indicator of progress. As you begin to work out, you may not see the numbers dropping on the scale, but you may notice your clothes might be feeling a little looser. Muscle is denser than fat so there’s a good chance that even though you aren’t dropping pounds you are replacing fat with muscle (yay!). This is why we take measurements. Taking measurements in multiple areas is always a good idea because people lose weight is different places at different rates. For example, I always lose weight from my chest and stomach first. So take your measuring tape and measure your:
Bicep (Right and Left):
Thigh (Right and Left):
Calf (Right and Left):
If you have a way to measure your body fat % (omron, body fat calipers), do that too. This will be your most accurate indicator of progress.
Okay so you know your measurements, you know your goals, and you have made yourself aware of what obstacles may affect you. Now we need to decide what you want to do for your work outs. Write down things that you enjoy doing or think you might want to try. Have you heard a lot about yoga but never gave it a try? Maybe you love to dance or ride a bike, roller blade, swim, walk, run, etc. Once you figure out what you like to do, make a commitment. Get a gym membership or buy a bike, workout program… whatever meets your needs. Make sure it’s something you are going to want to stick with. Don’t just buy something because it worked for someone else and you figure it could work for you too. You want to really enjoy this activity.
Last but not least by any means, we need a grocery list. Write down any foods that you want to buy. Now go through that list and get rid of things you know you shouldn’t be eating. Make sure you have items from each food group to ensure you are eating balanced meals. (Remember: the orange, the redder, the greener, the better). Be sure to incorporate whole foods, fresh fruits and veggies, etc. Click here for my healthy grocery shopping tips.
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