Okay so nothing goes according to plan, because this was supposed to be up on Monday, not Friday. However, I got stuck in Texas with a broken down car for half the week with no way to write, so I’ll be posting this today and Goals tomorrow. If you haven’t joined the email list for this blog, you can do so with the button below!Girl’s Guide to Getting Fit Mailing List
Okay, so today’s post is about the do’s and do not’s for us women, particularly in college or recent graduates, and how we put fitness and healthy living in our life. I’ll be honest up front: I don’t do all of the do’s and not do all of the do not’s. I’m still in this with all of you, which makes this a bit of an adventure in sharing advice that I also need to take for myself.
- Make it a conscious habit
I’ve tried the passive attempt to getting in shape, and it just never seems to hold. The way our society works, with media consumption, work, and the ease of fast food pushes us passively towards being unhealthy. So getting fit is a very conscious thing, so make it a daily habit to think about it POSITIVELY: what you’ve accomplished, what you can improve on, what you want to do next.
- Find fun ways to go about it
Fitness doesn’t have to be boring or prison work. You can do it with friends by keeping each other accountable, workout to your favorite playlists or tv shows. If you thrive off being social, make being healthy a social feature of your life that you share with your friends. Look what I did, I made a blog documenting the whole thing.
- Make target areas
This breaks it down a bit. Maybe there’s different areas of your body that you want to lose weight off of or tone. Maybe it’s different goals in cardio and weights. Maybe it’s what you’re eating in the different meals of the day. Changing everything at once can be overwhelming, but breaking it down allows you to see results more visibly, and it keeps your motivation and determination running.
- Think more than scale goals
The scale isn’t everything, and a lot of what we hear about weight is skewed to fit an agenda. People who have a lot of muscle mass weigh more than someone who doesn’t have that muscle. We store weight in different parts of our body. The scale cannot be everything. So make goals that go beyond the scale, from workout goals like mile times to productivity improvement or sleep time.
- Make a schedule
This goes right along with making it a conscious habit. Change up what you’re doing, but plan it out. Think of marathon runners: they have a differentiating schedule for working out for MONTHS in advance to their race. If they didn’t have that schedule, they wouldn’t be able to do the workouts they need and show up unprepared to the race. TRUST ME, I KNOW. I spontaneously ran a half marathon one year and I developed tendinitis from it.
- Hop on the scale daily
Weight fluctuates over the course of the day. It depends on what you eat, how much water you drink, etc. So if you are looking for scale goals (I am too), you want to give yourself time for there to actually be progress. Maybe it’s every two weeks in the morning, maybe it’s once a month. Just not every day, because you won’t see the progress you want and it will hinder your motivation to continue.
- Make it all about calorie input/output
Calorie counting can be a dark path to go down. I personally use MyFitnessPal just to see what I’m eating and what patterns I can change, but you shouldn’t be starving yourself or being strict on a number. Yes, nutrition makes more of an impact than exercise, but this needs to be a positive process.
- Make dietary restrictions you can’t maintain
If you remove something from your diet to lose weight, you have to keep it out of your diet to maintain that weight. That’s why things like the Whole 30, the Keto diet, and any other ‘fad diet’ fail in the long run because they are not sustainable. So don’t cut out things you don’t plan on keeping out of your diet. And nothing is so terrible in moderation that it would ruin your progress, so keep that in mind.
- Go to the extremes
I’ve mentioned this all above, but going to the extremes right off the bat with health and fitness is a big mental health buster. And even a physical one. I did the Whole 30 a few years ago—which is a great mental challenge and makes you reevaluate your attachment to food—and I felt terrible for the first two weeks. Again, there is nothing wrong with moderation. Actually, it’s probably the best way to go.
- Talk to a boy between the ages of 18 to 25 about what you are doing or the female body in general
Now maybe this doesn’t apply to you, maybe it does. But what I’ve seen and heard for boys in this age range is a complete lack of understanding on how the female body works. It’s a lot harder for women to lose weight and get in shape in comparison to guys of the same age. There are evolutionary biological reasons for that, I’m sure, but the fact is we are different in that capacity. What might take a guy two months to lose may be 8 months for a girl. It sucks, but that misunderstanding leads to guys saying really degrading things about the weight of girls, and it’s awful. So avoid the conversation. And in general, avoid boys who make incredibly derogatory comments about women’s bodies 🙂
What’s to Come:
- 5/23 – Setting Goals
- 5/25 – Healthy Holidays
- 5/27 – Fitness and Travel
One thought on “Girl’s Guide to Getting Fit: The Dos and Do Nots”
ANDREA S. GARRITY, ASID, RID GARRITY DESIGN GROUP – Sent from mobile device – tel:281-733-0153 mailto:ASGarrity@me.com