Help me to get started in time!
How many times do we hear that little voice in our heads that says, “You must start exercising”. Its almost similar to the voice telling you to stop smoking. You know you must, but you are so afraid that you start and don’t have the will power to keep on going! And failure is never fun.
So you say to yourself there will arrive a magic day that all the conditions is right to stop smoking. Every year in the winter we feel the need to insulate ourselves against the cold with a thick layer of blubber, and when October /November comes we desperately need to loose that insulation within 8 weeks.
So we join a gym and go on a starvation diet and train every day until we are white in the face. After 8 weeks we almost lost all of our excess weight, but are exhausted and a little disappointed that we did not loose all we wanted to. So we find a way to take a break from training, because we know we will start again… and obviously we don’t and the cycle starts again! Does this sound familiar?
Personally, this has been my biggest challenge in my own training. A few years back when I was still a professional athlete I had a clear cut goal and stopping was never part of it .So the question is, how must I approach training to make it part of my life indefinitely?
Firstly, now is the best time to start, we always postpone it during the winter because we feel nobody will see our bodies during the winter anyway. If you have made the choice that you must start, the next question will be for what reason?
Goal setting is a very important part of the process. There are different types of goals. The first one is a dream goal. You must ask yourself, “If you achieve your perfect body, what do you want to achieve with it?” (for example climb Kilimanjaro, run a marathon ,cycle a race, or to fit into a certain dress).
Remember, a goal that is not written down is nothing more than a dream. Then there is your realistic goals and preferably you must have at least 5 different ones of which only 2 can be about the body and the rest about you (for example to feel better about yourself, to feel more energetic, confident or to have a better quality of life).
Remember it must be achievable in one or two years. The third one is short term goals. If you said you want to loose 50kg for instance, your mind will have a huge shock and you will think you can’t do it. But if you write your goals for each month, for instance over two years that is only about 2kg per month – does that not sound better? Also write down how you are going to loose that 2kg every month, for instance instead of drinking wine 5 times per week you will only have wine two times per week. This way you will have control over you results.
Starting to Gym or Exercise
We are very quick to say gym fees are too expensive, but we will pay the same for one nice dinner at a restaurant, DSTV, 6 bottles of wine or about 45 litres of petrol!
Funny isn’t it? So join a gym, plan your first 6-8 weeks with a trainer and get a individualised program written just for your needs. And then, very, very important, make sure you get a new one every 6-8 weeks, otherwise it might become boring and you will stop. Find a way to make it fun: get your own music and i-pod, train with a friend and socialise while training, just get your mind away from the negative things of training and see it as your time for yourself .
Don’t over-do it, you have enough time before summer. Try to diarise your training in the same hour every day. Don’t expect results early, the body has a way to hide them for up to 12 weeks by keeping water back. Don’t weigh yourself for 3 months, don’t look in the mirror and think negative about yourself, only positive things. Negative reinforcement is never the best way to motivate yourself.
Buy the correct gear to gym. Start slowly, in the first 2 weeks not more than 3 times/week and spread them out over the week. Don’t make the sessions to tough and not more than an hour per session for the first 6 weeks. Don’t worry about the results, worry about showing up and how you can make it enjoyable for yourself. If you show up the results will come anyway.
Remember it takes about 12 weeks to make this a habit, then you will almost automatically go to train. If the negative thoughts come, fight back with the positive ones like how good it feels when those endorphins runs through your body afterwards, and how much better you will sleep and that you can live about 20 years longer. Change your lifestyle, walk up the stairs and do not use the elevator. Read books about healthy lifestyles and fitness.
Preach to others about training, by teaching them you are reminding and teaching yourself again. Don’t remember your past abilities, you are older now and have nothing to proof to anybody, this is only for yourself and we don’t want you to get injured. Keep your intensity low in the beginning, you don’t want to suppress your immune system and get sick. And remember maintaining your goal is much easier than getting there!
If you follow these golden rules you will have a successful beginning, and remember your beginning usually determines your end! Good luck with the winter, see you on the beach in December.