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Make the choice today to live healthy, happy, and fit
By Yajen Tan
One of the first questions that crossed my mind as I began my journey as a personal trainer was: what does it mean to be fit? I think we’re often misled by mainstream media to think that fitness means to look like a swimsuit model year-round or be able to flaunt a chiseled set of washboard abs. Although it’s true that looking fit is a common goal in the community, fitness is more about crafting a program that will help you achieve your desires.
Step 1 – Find out why.
Why do you want to get in shape? Personally, my goal is to improve my sports performance and my physical health. That allows me to then better focus on other aspects of my life, such as running my business and helping others achieve their fitness goals too.
Having a strong why not only gives you perfect guidelines to craft your fitness and nutrition routine, but also gives you the motivation to stay rooted to your cause when times get tough.
When I know that my goal is to drop body fat and improve muscle definition, it’s much easier to remember why I shouldn’t grab that box of chocolate chip cookies when I’m shopping.
Step 2 – Adjust your environment.
The hardest part of maintaining a diet or an exercise program is changing the environment that you’re used to. If your refrigerator is topped off with dozen bottles of beer, it’s pretty hard to resist cracking a few open after work. It’s been documented repeatedly that your environment plays a significant role in your physical behaviors. Unfortunately, that does mean you’ll have to toss out all that junk food and drinks that aren’t helping you reach your goal.
I see many people struggle with lifestyle changes, because their homes are filled with chips, sweets, and sodas. We all will develop a tendency to snack between meals, but by adjusting what you keep around you, you won’t have to choose between an apple and a candy bar whenever you’re hungry.
Step 3 – Focus on sustainability.
The reason why diets always fail is because the program is not sustainable to the participant.
Whether the diet always makes you feel hungry or restricts you from your favorite foods, truth is, most diets aren’t meant to be long-term solutions. The nice thing about that is it’s possible to see amazing results in a short period of time. Unfortunately, after the results show, most people revert to their old habits and see the results fade away.
In order to find a program that will suit you well, don’t settle on the first thing that catches your eye. I always recommend people to start off by transitioning just one meal first, and if it works for them, then continue to swap out your additional meals for something that your plan recommends.