Consistency Is Key
For 21 weeks now I’ve been the most consistent I’ve ever been with a workout program. Since the beginning of this year I’ve been following along with Kayla Itsine’s 12-week plyometric focused workout program, as well as completing additional weight lifting sessions each week for various muscle groups. The past 21 weeks is also the most consistent I’ve ever been with healthy eating. All I can say is WOW what a difference consistency makes!
It’s been a year now since I since I started trying to workout regularly and go to the gym regularly. I began my fitness journey in February of 2014 with the hope of becoming more physically fit (no real plan in place, just wanting to be “more fit” – whatever that means!). Weight loss was never a goal, gaining muscle was never a goal, I really just wanted to boost my cardio endurance (I guess) and make light to moderate exercise a part of my life (1 -3 times a week max) for the sake of living healthier and being more active than I was (which was exercising 0 times a week). I’ve always been naturally thin, so the importance of working out was never something I thought applied to me. Oh how wrong I was though. True I ate whatever I wanted, never worked out, and didn’t see the number on the scale change at all but as I got older I started to realize just how crappy this lifestyle was making me feel. So come 2014 I was ready to make a change. I started trying to eat healthy more consistently and workout regularly. This was also when my boyfriend introduced me to weight lifting.
The First Year
The first year had a lot of ups and downs. I would work out one day a week, the next week maybe 2 days, the week after that maybe 5 days, and the week after that maybe just one day again. My healthy eating pattern was similar as well. I would eat healthy for a few days in a row, have a few days in a row with lots of bad food, then go back to healthy for a day, have another really unhealthy “cheat” meal, etc. My biggest struggle in the first year was consistency. What I am insanely proud of though, is the fact that I never gave up trying, and as each month went on I slowly became more and more consistent as I started to realize how amazing this lifestyle made me feel!
Fast forward to 2015 – since the beginning of this year I have not missed a single workout day that I’ve planned, and my healthy eating has never been more consistent. I workout Monday-Saturday completing various types of workouts such as weight lifting, HIIT cardio, LISS cardio, plyometrics, etc. and I can’t express enough how much I love it. Monday-Friday are my most intense days, and on Saturday usually I’ll do some light cardio, hiking, go for a bike ride, something active but maybe not necessarily in a gym. Sunday is my rest day. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, and I think I’ve finally reached a point where this lifestyle is a habit for me, which feels incredible. When I first started this journey in early 2014 I had no specific goals. I just knew that working out semi-regularly was probably something I should start to do. I NEVER would have predicted that this new hobby would become such a passion of mine, and such an integral part of my life. It has become a true lifestyle change for me.
Now I have so many fitness goals, and most of them revolve around increasing my strength, building muscle, and being able to do things I never thought possible before! I take progress photos about every 4 weeks so I can see how I’m progressing, but I also gauge my results based on how I feel. All of my increased strength, speed, and agility has not only transformed me physically, but I have never been more confident mentally about myself either. I feel confidence and self-esteem now that I’ve never felt before, and it is so empowering. There is so much research out there to support the theory that regular exercise has mental health benefits on top of physical health benefits, and I am now a firm believer that this is true.
I hope to continue to use this blog to post regular updates on my fitness journey. I’d like to continue posting about the workouts I’m trying, the strength progress I’m making, or any other goals I set. For example, I decided to pick three strength goals to focus on for 2015. They are:
- Be able to perform 5 unassisted pull-ups in a row.
- Be able to perform 30 push-ups in a row with perfect form off my toes.
- Be able to squat 100 pounds for 6-8 reps in a row.
My upper body strength has always been particularly weak, so this is something I really want to work on! For example, I can do about 10-15 regular push-ups right now before I have to start doing them off my knees. Who I was at the beginning of 2014 would have thought improving this was impossible. Now I know that mentally I have everything it takes to achieve this one day if I continue working hard – which I will. I also like the idea of being a bada$$ in the gym who can squat really heavy weights, so I picked the squat goal as a fun thing to reach for too! Maybe these goals are attainable by the end of 2015, and maybe they aren’t. I’ll never find out if I don’t start trying. So every month I’d like to make sure I’m checking in with myself about how these goals are coming along, and what I can do to continue making steps towards reaching them in the gym.
The Importance Of Goals
What are your fitness goals? If you’ve never given it too much thought, take the time today to reflect on a fitness goal you’d like to achieve this year. Have it written down somewhere you’ll see often to motivate yourself. Also, tell your friends and family about your goal! Did you know that when we tell other people about our goals it has a big effect on whether or not we achieve them? It’s one thing to secretly tell yourself “I want to run a 10k this year”, but if you tell all your friends and family about it, how you plan to train for it all summer, and sign up for one by July, for example, it becomes an extra boost of motivation and accountability. We naturally don’t want to let people down in our lives, so we are motivated to succeed with these goals not only for ourselves but also for those around us who are rooting for us and cheering us on. So write it down, post it somewhere, tell a friend, whatever fitness goal you want to achieve you should start taking action today!
I’ll end this monologue with a quote that stuck with me early on in my fitness journey, “Progress only begins when you stop looking for secret tips and start doing the work.” There is no shortcut to your goal. There is no magic food you can eat to get results by tomorrow. There is no one type of workout that will get you to where you want to be. There are a million different paths you could take, so you might as well just pick one and try it out! It will be hard, and you’ll want to give up, but when we finally achieve our goals that’s when we realize it was all so worth it.