You started off strong, but lately you’re finding it hard to stick to that new diet or exercise program – so what gives? After that initial excitement and determination wears off, it’s hard for many women to continue exercising regularly, eating healthy, or both because things start to get in the way and excuses pile up, soon that fatty dessert becomes too enticing to resist.
You know you’ve got to get back on that exercise horse, because that’s what you do when you fall off, and girl—you have fallen way off. Here are a few ideas to get you up and moving and back on the healthy eating trail again.
Find a diet/exercise partner.
It’s always easier to do things with a friend. When it comes to dieting and working out, you won’t feel like you’re in it alone. The two of you can go out to eat healthy foods together and not feel bad about depriving yourself. You’ll be able to give support to one another and you can motivate each other to exercise on a regular schedule. Those days when you are having trouble getting going, your exercise partner will be there to challenge you on. You and your partner might enjoy shopping for smaller clothes together as a nice reward for all of the hard work.
Keep a positive attitude.
Daily affirmations are a positive way to start off your day. Positive words of praise and gratitude play a huge role in keeping you motivated to stay on track. Reward yourself for staying on your diet, especially if you’ve just fought off an overwhelming urge to eat fatty foods and opted for the turkey pita instead. Positive attitudes work for exercise as too. After your workouts concentrate on how good you feel for having completed your goals and how great your body feels afterwards. Savor that wonderful feeling of accomplishment and call it up everyday about an hour before it’s time to hit the gym or walking trail.
Mix it up to keep it interesting.
Vary your workouts between cardio and strength training every other day. This will give you something different to look forward to. On your cardio days, choose activities that are fun and that use different muscle groups and skills. There are so many fun things to choose from like walking, jogging, skating, dancing, swimming, playing golf, tennis, volleyball, soccer or softball.
If there are exercises that you absolutely hate to do, don’t do them. Choose another exercise that works the same muscle group or produces the same cardiovascular output. Make exercise fun so you won’t dread working out and you’ll be more likely to stick with your program. Vary your diet just as you do your fitness routine. If you’re always eating the same things you will no doubt get sick of them. Still eat healthy, but try new and different foods on a regular basis.
Look in the mirror not at the scale.
Don’t always rely on that number on the scale. Buy yourself a full-length mirror and check yourself out a little bit. What do you see? Can you tell a difference in the way that you look since you started your diet and fitness program? Muscle is smaller than fat, you can lose fat and build muscle and not see much difference on the scale, but when you look in the mirror you can see the results of beautiful strong muscles strengthened and toned.
Music tames the savage beast.
Anything that distracts the brain from the pain and discomfort that you feel during exercise can be helpful to get you through a workout. Listening to music can be extremely helpful. Our bodies naturally move to music so listening to upbeat music while you exercise actually helps you perform better. Music makes the time go by much faster because you can focus your mind on listening to particular songs and keep it from concentrating on being hot and tired. Load up your iPod with songs that you like, charge it up and take it with you on your walks, jogs or to the gym. It can be your little companion to keep you motivated.
Your health is important.
Most people want to look good, and there’s nothing wrong with that. One of the greatest benefits of healthy eating and exercise is the wonderful way that you look from the extra effort. But keep in mind that working out and eating right increases your life expectancy and improves your quality of life This alone should give you the motivation to start your diet and get your body moving in an exercise program that works for you.
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~ Karen Ficarelli
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