As Western Racquet’s Fitness Consultant I am in a position to talk with many of our new members about their goals when it comes to their health and fitness. I typically hear many of the same responses with weight loss being the number one desire for many out there. Weight loss isn’t easy and it tends to become more difficult for most of us as we age. It definitely doesn’t help that we see a plethora of commercials daily advertising silly things like lose 30 pounds in 30 days when most of us in our heart of hearts know that isn’t reasonable. These ads give people unrealistic expectations that can often lead to them giving up way too early when the end goal of losing significant weight feels unattainable. As someone who lost 40 pounds over an 18 month period, I am here to help you find some practical ways to make this dream a reality.
- Meal prepping is a key staple of many who live a healthy lifestyle. I am not here to break down what you should be making as those decisions will be personal and vary depending on what you enjoy. I will however tell you the biggest reason it is so important as a staple of a healthy lifestyle. Many of us enter the day or week with very good intentions of eating healthy. It’s good that the intention is there but what happens when you work a 10 hour day, your kids need help on homework, and the house desperately needs to be cleaned? In these situations many people find themselves grabbing food on the go, like fast food, frozen pizzas, or processed food. If your fridge is loaded with grilled chicken breasts, sliced up veggies, and brown rice it’s just easier to throw something together that will be good for you when it’s not too time-consuming. My go-to meal is a taco bowl consisting of chicken, brown rice, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and guacamole.
- Experiment experiment experiment. So you don’t like running, try a kickboxing class. Hate biking? Get on the rower. Tired of doing yoga classes, venture into the weight room. All gyms are filled with people who do the same 3 or 4 things at low intensity and it just isn’t enough for many to create the calorie deficit they need. Play around with different types of exercise and you may find some new things you really enjoy. The same principle applies to healthy eating, experiment with healthy foods you have never tried and you may find some things you actually really enjoy.
- Hire a personal trainer! Look, I fully recognize that not everyone is in the financial position to pay for help, but if you can afford this it’s the best route. We aren’t here to yell at you about reps or your eating habits; we want to help! People use trainers for a variety of reasons but a big one is weekly/daily accountability. Most adults live very busy lives and working out falls off their schedule much too easily as other things fill it up. Having a trainer holds you to an appointment and it’s very nice having a friendly face put together your plan so you don’t have to think about what you need to do. Reach out to me at Western Racquet if you would like to discuss details. You can also visit westernracquet.com/personal-training and fill out our inquiry form.
- This one is easier said than done but you need to find a way to train your brain to avoid unnecessary calories. I’m going to give you two recent examples from my personal life and while yours will be different you will probably be able to relate. Two weekends ago I stopped by Kwik Trip on a Saturday morning because I wanted a Powerade. As I approached the checkout I was heavily tempted to grab a donut or breakfast sandwich. I wasn’t on the run, I was going back home, there was absolutely no reason I needed these things but the temptation is real. In the back of my mind, I knew I would need to run for 30 minutes to shake those unnecessary calories. Do I really want to run for 30 minutes for 2 minutes of very temporary pleasure?? I was able to say no to this quick fix of happiness and instead, I felt good about myself all day long because my willpower held out over my desire for a quick fix. My habits have not always been like this, for most of my life I would have grabbed that donut. However, the lifestyle change that brought me into this position was all about my own self-control and there is nothing stopping you from doing this. The second recent example I will reference took place here at Western. I walked by the front desk the other day and there were cookies on a platter ready for anyone. While I am strong at the grocery store I am weak when food is right in front of me so the temptation was real. But once again, I allowed my restraint to take control and I walked by those cookies. While that cookie would have made me happy for about 90 seconds the passing of the cookie made me proud of myself and that felt good for the rest of the day. Allow yourself to feel proud when you make these decisions because they aren’t easy!
- In my last article, I talked about setting a combination of long-term and short-term goals. A long-term goal for weight loss can be very intimidating. If you are trying to lose 50 pounds you should plan on that taking a year, and that is if you stay on track the whole time. While this long-term goal is great you should also consistently be setting a series of short-term goals. Try this moving forward, on Sunday nights I want you to write down your goals for the week. Make them something that is both attainable and measurable. Try something like I want to attend 2 group fitness classes, do 500 crunches, 200 push-ups, and run 10 miles. While the goals need to be personal, numbers like this are measurable and also give you the ability to start strong or finish strong if you have a rough start to them.
I hope these ideas helped and reaching your goals is something you can definitely do with the right motivation, work ethic, and some help from the family here at Western Racquet.