“The mind is EVERYTHING. What you THINK you BECOME.” –Buddha
Summer is around the corner and now is the time most of us are crash-dieting, using our previously neglected gym memberships and trying desperately to get fit for the summer.
We obsess over getting the perfect beach body so we can strut our stuff and be the envy of everyone else. For many of us, this means taking drastic action to reduce our caloric intake and/or becoming obsessed with working out, often in grossly unhealthy ways.
“Quick fixes” such as this are rarely successful long-term because these kinds of blanket solutions aren’t sustainable, nor are they healthy.
If it’s your goal to get fit this year, and STAY fit for life, here are 3 unbelievably easy ways to do just that:
1.) Get to Know Yourself
You need to spend at least 30 minutes every single day getting to know yourself. And I’m not talking about the person you think you are, I’m talking about the person you were born to be — the one you TRULY are beyond the bullshit and labels.
Work to improve yourself everyday. Start by making a list of your goals, and then write down one small daily target you can do to work closer to achieving them. Pro-tip: If it’s easier, focus on one goal at a time, rather than trying to do them all at once.
As you go through this mental exercise, and take action on your goals, you’ll learn about what you like and dislike, what you’re interested in and what you aren’t. Sometimes we think we’re interested in something until we learn what it takes to master/achieve it, and then we realize it’s not really a passion of ours after all.
Once you’re well into the rhythm of understanding yourself, and what makes you happy and passionate, then you’ll also be able to clearly define what your fitness goals are, and create a plan you’ll be able to commit to. Ask yourself some questions about your fitness aspirations and write down your answers.
Here are some examples:
- Do you want a 6-pack, or is that no longer important to you?
- Do you want to be able to run a marathon or would being able to walk a mile without needing to stop be enough?
- Do you want to become a vegan, or find a healthier way to eat the food you currently enjoy?
- Do you want to exercise everyday, or is a few times a week better for your ultimate goal?
Above all remember, physical fitness isn’t a hat. One size doesn’t fit all. You need a customized plan (like this one) that works for YOUR goals, YOUR life and most importantly — you need a plan you LOVE.
2.) Get Rid of Your Scale and Your “Skinny” Jeans
I know you might think I’m crazy for this one — I mean after all, isn’t part of being “fit” fitting into your favorite pair of jeans? And isn’t part of that journey measuring how much you weigh?
For many of us, that IS the goal. We idealize that one piece of “halo” clothing we’d love to be able to fit again — or for the first time — and obsess over the numbers we see on the scale.
The problem with this is rather than appreciating the process, and our journey along the way, we end up becoming consumed with why things aren’t happening fast enough, and in doing so we unhealthily critique our bodies:
“I’m so fat. These jeans will never fit me.”
“Look at all my rolls! I can’t even button these pants!”
“Why can’t I lose weight faster!”
This kind of criticism leads to self-esteem issues and disappointment. We end up HATING what we see, rather than acknowledging any progress we ARE making. This isn’t healthy, and it’s not sustainable. It doesn’t teach us to love ourselves as we are, or love the progress we’re making — it does the opposite.
So throw away your scale. It doesn’t weigh your worth. It also doesn’t tell you how healthy you are because health is encompasses WAY more than pounds alone.
And toss out those skinny jeans. Being fit doesn’t end when you can squeeze into a pair of pants.
Your body is going to change for the rest of your life. That’s the nature of being human and going through many transformations during your lifetime. And by tossing our your scale and those jeans you’ll be able to train your mind to focus on the progress made each day, not just an end goal.
3.) Retrain Your Mind — If Your Thoughts Are Against You, Your Body Will Be Too
“I need to eat pizza tonight.”
“I have to drink when I go out — everyone else will be drinking.”
“I already ate one bag of chips today. So it’s okay if I eat more junk food. I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow.”
“I can’t do this. It’s too hard.”
Has your mind been so consumed with these kinds if negative and self-defeating thoughts? If it has, you know how hard it is to actually stick to an exercise schedule and eat healthy.
You see, our minds are programed (thanks society) to see flaws and feel BAD about them. So when we make a “mistake” like eating a bar of chocolate or missing a gym session, we go off the deep end. And for many of us, this is the point where we give up and go back to our old habits.
That’s why it’s SO important to shift your mindset, and pay attention to your thoughts. It’s okay if you have a slice of pizza. It’s not the end of the world if you eat a bag of chips, or have a few glasses of wine. BUT and this is a BIG BUT, doing so is NOT and excuse to fall of the fitness bicycle and then just lay helplessly on the path.
Get up. Keep moving. Shift your thoughts. Every time you tell yourself you can’t, you need to say, “I can, I can, I can” three times. And then DO it. Take the action. Do what’s needed. Believe in yourself.
There is no one in this world who can change your life but you, so get back on that bike and start peddling. You CAN do it. Say you can. Think you can. Believe you can.
Change takes time, and it’s okay if you mess up on your journey. We all make mistakes, and in many cases those mistakes become our greatest teachers — showing us what we can do better next time.
Here’s the bottom line: If you want to get fit and stay fit, not yo-yoing with your weight and health, then you have to get healthy from the inside out. This means first aligning your mind and ensuring it’s healthy before trying to change your lifestyle overnight. Fitness is a lifelong commitment — it’s not a tinder date or summer fling. Once your mind agrees to the union, you’ll be fit for the rest of your life.
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.