I was asked to write an article about getting ready for bikinis, beach and bronze bodies for eBella magazine. While I could focus on the very sexy prospect of actual exercises only and their sexy benefits. I would be remiss if I weren't to give specific details about the actual process of physical goal attainment and their mind body effects. I was concerned because there are so many metrics to consider for weight loss and fitness success. So many things that the average person doesn’t think about regarding the success of their mind body goals.
The Spring time is a very popular time to start a fitness and weight-loss program. I think the energy of the sun and friends who are eager to wear their shorts again help to fuel the motivational fire so to speak. Everyone has the best intentions when it comes to losing weight and toning up for the summer but what is really needed is a plan.
1. Define your goal: When you want to make healthy changes start with the specifics points about your goals.
For myself personally I would like to lose between 6 and 8 pounds. I would like more defined muscle mass and drop my body fat percentage back down to about 19 or 20% (currently 22%). This is a common goal for a lot of my clients. I take my weight and metrics on a special scale, it shows me BMI, Muscle mass, Bone mass, Fat percentage etc.
This measurement was taken on 3/28
This one was taken on 3/29
I think it's interesting to note here that even though I was accomplishing my goal of losing weight I also lost a combination of water and muscle mass to do it. No kidding muscle weighs more than fat. A gentle reminder that gaining muscle often means gaining weight but in a good way. I'm keeping an eye on my muscle mass at the same time I'm monitoring those foods and drinks that retain water. Be clear on your goals.
We all love working out and enjoy a good sweat but keeping a workout regime and sticking to a clean diet over winter can be difficult to say the least.
2. Research your plan: Your plan should include healthy dietary changes, a progressive fitness plan, tools to get your mind to support you and motivational events that will keep you on target through the next several months of your journey.
2A) Diet: I am not a very detailed person when it comes to diet. I simply do not have the time (or the energy most days) to create an amazing menu of meals for 7 days. I do it for clients and for my 21 day plan but rarely have the time to do it for myself. Very often I find I eat the same breakfast 7 days in a row simply because I would rather keep my mornings uncomplicated and simple to create.
2B) Exercise: If you are sedentary or a new or beginner exerciser you might want to keep your workout schedule simple. Walking 4 or 5 times a week at 70% of your maximum target heart rate should get your metabolism ramped up and starting to burn more calories every day.
If you are an intermediate exerciser I would suggest you take a look at your current schedule and consider changing it up if you’ve been doing the same workouts/cardio the same days and times for over 6 weeks.
More advanced exerciser(s) can start tracking their heart rate. If your heart rate is consistently too high for your weight loss goal you may find it very difficult to lose weight. Working out at a lower more moderate heart rate may be the element that kicks your weight loss into high gear.
3. Get Specific: When you want to make healthy changes start with the basics but be specific. The National Academy of Sports Medicine advises to create a program with specific details. For instance: “I will lose weight by eating healthy” is less compelling and convincing than something more specific like “I plan to eat a vegetable and protein based diet and workout cardiovascularly 4 days a week at a heart rate of 125 to 145 beats per minute for 30 to 45 minutes. On alternate days I will lift weights working on a program that trains biceps, back and quadriceps and calves on one day and triceps, shoulders, chest, glutes and hamstrings on the next alternate day.
4. Keep track: There’s nothing like keeping a food and exercise journal to point out where your successes were generated and where you went wrong. An innocent indulgence like a corn chip or skinny bread stick can send you way off track regarding your weight loss goals. Skipping a weight training day can set you back in ramping up metabolism and gaining more muscle. Documenting your efforts and diet choices can illuminate weaknesses in your plan, which will make you more aware and your overall plan stronger.
5. Find a partner: The statistics for partner training are staggering. Dedicated exercisers working out alone last only about 31 minutes when working out with a partner the workouts lasted approximately 46 minutes. Partners exercising together burned on average 40 more calories and worked about 200% longer than if they were working out alone. Statistics like these are compelling enough to talk anyone into a workout with you LOL.
6. Plan victory treats!!: Once you’ve set your plan and followed through you should plan on recognizing your efforts (whether you have accomplished any progress or not) with a treat. Whether it’s a massage, Reiki session, pedicure or a night out on the town you should make an attempt to celebrate your efforts. This will set a standard in your mind that all of your conscious efforts are more important than your subconscious knee-jerk habits. Ultimately this will help you retrain your brain to the healthier habits and your new habits will become more like your new way of living instead of the hard thing you have to master.
These are the best tools that will make you an incredible fitness and weight loss success. If you follow through and think of the process of a way of honoring your mind and body in the most important of ways you will also be honing your ability to discipline yourself for other important soul developing techniques.
Think about the discipline it takes to meditate or begin a mantra journal or schedule in time for your hobbies like painting, golf or gardening. If you can manage your diet and schedule the exercise you need, soon there will be no limit to your ability to create what you really want. You being brilliant!
PS: I do plan to post my progress so keep watching!