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Working out is the best, but burning out can turn you off from your regimen and your hard work. We have all the energy when starting a program, keeping it up is the tough part. While some have the natural lifetime desire to remain active, many of us eventually hit a wall.
I, too, have done the same. In my past, I have lost up to 25, 30 and 40 pounds, but each time, I crashed and burned – bad.
What did I do wrong?
I went too hard and was too regimented. Working out was above everything else. I skipped social milestones because it conflicted with my workout. I weighed myself every week and measured myself every day to ensure I wasn’t a pound off.
As soon as I missed a session or had a guilty meal, I felt that it set me back. I started dreading workouts because it was so hard and draining. My own program made me feel bad about myself. I was fed up of with the guilt and restrictive lifestyle. Eventually, I would strike that weight loss with weight gain. I resented the hard work. I was burned out.
For the last five years, I have worked out consistently 4-6 days/wk. This is the longest and most successful streak I’ve had.
What’s different now?
My fitness is ingrained in my mind and in my schedule. Rarely, is there hesitance to work out. Skipping the gym for the wrong reasons – non-existent. My body craves getting sore and feeling stretched. No one is cringing when shopping! I have a clear schedule as to when I eat lean in my LuLu’s and when I explore flavors in little dresses. My weekends are richer and exciting as a result. Trust, getting here took a lot of patience and rhythm which did not come easy.
Based on past mistakes, I readjusted my approach and recreated a program that worked for me long term. I was not looking for fast results, rather, gradual and steady progress. Lose weight slow, gain weight slow.
If I’m doing this for the next 40 years of my life, this needs to be
fun, flexible and forgiving.
Fun in variety and in rewards.
- I throw in Pilates (favorite), volleyball or something fun with friends outside if it’s there
- I mix up lean meals. I’ll cook, get pre-mades from @snapkitchen or @DailyJuice or eat out healthy: The Five S Rule – Steak, Seafood, Soups, Salads, or Smoothies
- I shop for clothes that highlight my progress and I stay social to showcase it
- I go all out with my cheat meals: burger, pizza, pasta, whatever it is. I always know I’m eating clean again by Sunday
- I haven’t known my weight for 5 years. I go by how I fit, feel and look in my clothes.
- I give myself a vacation from working out once a quarter. I miss the gym, but I come back fired up!
Flexible where, what and when I need it to be.
- I’ll skip a session if my schedule is stretched or I’m sleep deprived
- I’ll swap out a full workout for a 20-minute cardio if my motivation is low
- When coming from a break, I start at low intensity, so it’s not an uphill battle. Starting hard every time gets old. Be good to the body. It was just on vacation.
- With that, my strength training workouts are progressive. An intense start = burnout flashbacks
- I adjust when I don’t have all the equipment or space available to me
Forgiving in that a poor decision isn’t destructive to my work, but a message to myself.
- It takes 2-3 days for my body to bounce back. I’ll be fine by the weekend!
- Missing a day doesn’t mean I can’t make it up later or make it a full week next time
- I love my curves. I don’t care to be a petite size. I’m ok if I didn’t drop
- If something fits snug, I reel it back and minimize repeats
- I’m doing this for the rest of my life, there will be hiccups. Its expected
Hopefully, some of these tips can help achieve your workout goals, tailor a long-term program and avoid burn out. This is a lifetime commitment.
Check back in a couple of days or so for the video blog (vlog) about my unique quirky ways to stay motivated because that’s critical to keep up too.