- Do you have a plan?
Do you have a fitness goal?
What is it? Do you want to lose weight? Get stronger? Stay in shape? What are you doing to get there? While any effort will often get you somewhere, if you are having trouble reaching your goal, you may have to spend more time thinking about what your goal is, and what you need to do to get there.
How specific are you?
So, What is your goal? “I want to lose weight”. How much? Can you break that down into manageable proportions? You want to lose a pound a week? Two? To do that, you need to consume approximately 3,500 fewer calories than you burn a week, per pound. The people who lose “5 lbs in the first week!” are losing mostly water from reducing their carb intake, and will gain it back the minute they start eating normally.
The point being, you have to be specific and have a plan. How will you get to that 3,500 calorie deficit? Eat x amount less and exercise x amount more- but fill in that number. How do you know how much you are eating? You HAVE to measure and log it. Not for the rest of your life, but until you get the feel for it.
How consistent are you?
I would rather see someone doing a little bit every day than a sporadic all out effort. Consistency gets better results than any other method. Make a plan you can stick with. Running for 2 hours on Monday and then doing nothing the rest of the week is not going to get you as far as the guy doing a 1/2 hour a day.
Whatever your goal is, make it a S.M.A.R.T. one. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. Don’t say “I want to get stronger”, say, “I want to bench press my body weight”. That’s specific. Make it measurable. It is very similar to specific, but it applies to how you will get there as well. “I will bench press 3 sets of 10, starting with x number of lbs., 3 times a week”. Attainable, realistic and time bound- set your goals to something you can reach in a step like fashion. Maybe your overall goal is to bench press 200 lbs. Depending on your size, gender, age and frame, that may not be attainable, or take so long as to be discouraging. So figure out what you can bench press today, and set about increasing that by 5 lbs a month. Or set about achieving the goal of losing 1 lb a week, and see where that gets you. Your goals have to be tied to how you are going to get there. Bench pressing 3 times a week is a goal in itself. Sticking to an eating plan is a goal. achieving those goals brings you to the others like losing dress sizes and bench pressing x number of lbs.
You also need to get specific about treats too,of not eating pizza and dessert more than very occasionally. What is occasionally? Once a week? Once a month? I often hear “I haven’t had this in a long time”. Ok, but did you have something similar? If you only have pizza once a week, and a sub once a week, and ice cream once a week,…Keep a treat log and be HONEST. Pick a treat day or time, or log your calories enough to know what treats will fit where. You can eat pizza and lose weight, but only if you keep to a true minimum and track it.
It’s fun to have big goals, bucket list goals. But most of those are made up of the little goals. I want everyone out there to have big dreams and goals. I work out so much because I want my body to be ready when I get the opportunity to climb a tree, go snowshoeing, kayak down a river, or climb a mountain. My next goal is rock climbing, since tree climbing was so fun. I also am dying to go toSkydome, the trampoline place. Next summer I want to be out camping every weekend. I want to hit every trail in Ellicottville, since I’ve never gone on those. The number of trails to hike/ bike on, the number of waterways to kayak on, mean that I could go to a different place every weekend just here in Western New York.