How to start a healthy fitness journey

Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Have you been there? You look in the mirror and those negative thoughts start rolling down like awful mascara? All you hear is a voice that says "unhealthy" and "uncomfortable".


You swear by the moons and the stars, this Monday coming up, you will start your new lifestyle.


Monday comes and you start off so devoted and motivated, the negative thoughts are long gone. A week or two they are back and before you know it you are back to your old habits.


I've been there! It's a roller coaster of emotions, everywhere!I know, I get you!


I completely understand you to the core. I believe we all have good intentions, but sometimes lack the right tools, knowledge, and motivation to achieve our goals. 


Maybe you are currently in this position, where you're either tired of feeling sluggish, unmotivated and having the same unproductive routine with the same unproductive results and would love to turn your life around for the better.


If YES, then here are a few things that have helped me start this amazing lifestyle. I currently still find them useful and have modified them as I keep evolving in this process.



SET GOALS:


One of the most important fundamentals of beginning anything in life is creating goals. By trial and error, I’ve learned that one of the main keys to success is to always, always, always set realistic goals. They help keep us focused, organized and grounded.


If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.

The day I planted the seed in my head and said I wanted to change my lifestyle. I made a promise to myself: I would take on a new approach - one that I had never done before... in order to achieve my goals and make them a long term commitment of health and wellness.


Tip:

  • Get organized I created a routine that suited my schedule and my needs. I bought myself a note book to write down my goals to make them feel tangible and track my progress. This has helped me unclog my mind and gave me space for clarity and has allowed me to create a routine without stressing out. I continue to find this an amazing tool for my journey.


  • Start narrowing down your goals I became selective and took on a realistic approach. If losing fat, gaining muscle or lifting heavier was my goal, then I made sure I FOCUSED on that particular goal and committed to it. 


  • Set 2-3 month goals I progressively moved to 6 month goals followed by one year goals.


  • Work on getting on a grounded level.


  • Practice patience to this date I find this one the hardest, but if I look back I've come a long way. Trust me, practice makes perfect. True Story.

Once I finally got all of this, before I knew it I had created a balance. One that has kept me going now with health and fitness goals.


Here’s how to do it:

ENJOY THE PROCESS:


The best thing you can do for yourself is live a life that's fulfilling in every sense of the word and in every aspect of your life. If it makes you happy do it. If it doesn't then don't. It's quite simple.


Try finding a gym, sport or activity that is filling to YOU. You don't have to stay stuck in one place you are not happy in.


There are  tons of things you can do: Yoga, Dancing, Crossfit, Cycling, Kick-boxing, Swimming, Biking, Weightlifting, Karate, you name it and there is a sport. Find the one that lights that spark on you.


Working out doesn't have to be painful. Remember you are in control, you are the driver and have the power to add or subtract anything in your life. For me Crossfit was my holy grail. I fell in love with the sport because of how it made me feel. I've said this many times, I love it for what it teaches you mentally, emotionally and physically. I love it for what my body can do now and not for what it can look like. I love it because it has broughtamazing things into my life.


CUT THAT SHIT:


This is by far my favorite one.


Cutting the negativity in your head, cutting out those people who are preventing you from achieving your goals, cutting all the bad things that become a barrier  to your improvement or commitments. This is going to be a vital and necessary step in making this journey successful.

  • If drinking  alcohol doesn't allow you to achieve your goals, cut that shit.

  • If eating cake at 2 am is making you feel bloated, cut that shit.

  • If  having less hours of sleep is preventing your muscles from growing, cut that shit.

  • If your partner is acting up because you are spending time working on yourself, cut that shit.

Cut and eliminate anything that is holding you back. Only so can you have the freedom to go in the direction of your dreams.


TREAT YOURSELF: 


If you are working hard at the gym, you are allowed to have a cheat meal or cheat day. Don't restrict yourself. As human beings we don't work well under restrictions. When we restrict ourselves we become stressed. In turn it completely defeats the purpose of our wellness journey.


Note: I am not telling you to  eat everything and anything on your cheat day, but to give yourself a break and enjoy life too.


Cheat days are meant to be a mind- booster. I love and enjoy my cheat day, because for me it's a day where I don't track my macros and I can indulge a little bit more. It serves as a re-feed day.


It is recommended to plan your cheat day or meal on a training day, but if you can't workout on your cheat day, no biggie!


Research has proven that having a cheat day has plenty of physiological  advantages.
One of the primary benefits of cheat days is their effect on leptin levels in the body. Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells that is key to maintaining energy balance in the body. When leptin  levels reach a certain threshold, it signals to the brain that you have sufficient energy stored, allowing you to push away from the table when you’ve had enough. 

                                                           

ACCEPT FAILURE:


Failure will come. It is an unavoidable and inevitable part of life. 


We’ve been trained that “persistence pays off” so it feels wrong to cut our losses and label an idea a failure.


Today, I was listening to this podcast called The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes and I heard Eric Thomas saying that sometimes we think our [failure] is a disservice for us, but in reality it's what we need in order to get that motivation.


When we are new at something, chances are we will fail time after time, but don't forget that this is when we are growing even if we don't see it at that moment.


I am still making "mistakes". To be honest, I don't consider them mistakes anymore, I call them lessons. I've been trying to learn how to do my double-unders and snatches and they are hard as hell! But, everyday I learn something new in the midst of my "failure". It's never a loss, just gains!


 So, embrace it! Accept it!  AND never underestimate a loss!


NEVER COMPARE:

"Comparisons, by definition, require metrics. But only a fool believes every good thing can be counted (or measured)."

Believe it or not there is no one formula for everyone. What works for me will not necessarily work for you. So there is no need to compare ourselves with each other. Our thoughts, our bodies and souls were uniquely designed, even our fingerprints.


We should embrace others success and have good sportsmanship. This will allow us to be genuinely happy.


I've been there...I am guilty of once comparing myself and my progress with Instagram models, those who had tiny waist and a big booty- based on society as the ideal body shape for women.


I would ask myself: How comes my progress is taking so long? How comes my abs are not showing? How comes I don't see much definition in my arms?


As I gained more knowledge on the true concept of nutrition, fitness and wellness. I was changing that unhealthy mentality. AND no longer allow myself to be consumed by my own unfair and toxic thoughts.


I reverted to my true goals, which are first and foremost to be healthy, build endurance, lift heavy and be capable of doing a high intense workout - over all being FIT. 


Trust me! Eventually, once we are at a level where we understand the concept of nutrition in a more moderate or profound level no one or nothing can intimidates us. ( I say this in the most humble way)


My intentions aren't  to bash anyone when I say this, but please don't waste your time in idolizing bodies on social media or falling in the temptation to do those unhealthy 30 day challenges (it is a long process to achieve an athletic body), or wearing waist trainers, or consuming only detox teas.


It is not healthy. If it helps, it helped me. I no longer follow any Instagram models or those advertising businesses that sell you the easy way out, instead I follow athletes. By changing this I believe  my entire concept of nutrition and fitness has become even stronger.


Fitness and nutrition is a long-life process and we need to learn to trust the process. It takes time and effort. So keep moving forward. Don't give up!


YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE:


It all starts within us! We are only responsible for own actions. If you are not seeing results and not achieving your goals don't blame others, take accountability for your choices.


If you ever find yourself in this position, where you are not meeting your nutrition goals, or hitting the gym as often as you should don't point fingers at anyone else, because remember we always have a choice.


I've heard this before, I said it too many times myself. "I work a lot. I have two jobs and go to school. I don't have time" But, then on the weekends you have time to go out and do stuff.


Yes, I get it! I know exactly what you are going say. "Scarleth, I want to enjoy the little bit of free time I have." AND, YES! by all means I am with you!


However, when you want something you stop making excuses and you find a way. So, if getting on that healthy bandwagon is your goal then you will find a way, make better choices and follow it through even on the toughest days.


I hope you find this post useful. If you do and decide to give it a s let me know by tagging me on IG (@spinyourownaxis ) or use hashtag #spinyourownaxis

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Scarleth Castro,BA Nutritionist, Health & Fitness Educator

Spin Your Own Axis, LLC

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