How to Start your Fitness Journey + Workouts & My Favorite Athleisure!
This year I have really been focusing on fitness. Last year I started the year off doing great, but I went through some hard things that kind of threw me off my game, so my mental and spiritual health became a priority over my physical health. I’ve always been tall and lean so I never HAD to work out to stay thin, but I want to stress to everyone that being thin does NOT equal being healthy and being thicker does NOT equal being unhealthy. Everyone’s body shape, body type, size, the things they need/don’t need is different. For me, fitness isn’t about being skinny, it’s about being thoughtful about what I put in my body, mental strength, and what my body needs. For example, I typically eat pretty healthy because I get sick really easily and have really bad stomach problems. It’s a blessing and a curse, but not everyone has the same dietary restrictions or needs that I have, so I want to encourage everyone to find what works best for their body. Obviously vegetables are good for everyone, but I know tons of people who have intolerances to certain ones. Again, it’s all dependent on each person individually.
Working out has never been a common theme in my life and I have never really pushed myself before, so for me going to the gym on a regular basis is more about mental strength. I would honestly argue that working out is mostly mental strength for everyone. When I would work out in the past, once I got tired I would quit. My headspace was totally self-sabotaging. I would tell myself I couldn’t go anymore, my body was tired. I would mentally give up long before my body needed to rest. Or on the flip side, I would go in too-hard from the get go, burn myself out or hurt myself. Last year I started way too hard. I ran 3 miles a day after not really running in years and I ended up in urgent care for what I thought was a fractured foot. It actually ended up being a pulled tendon but I could BARELY WALK. Good work Sam. Lol. It’s just been a struggle for me mentally. This year however, I committed myself to a gym (aka financial commitment/ incentive to not waste money by going), found a workout buddy (aka shoutout to Joho. I mean when your boyfriend was a college basketball player it’s motivation to not be such a turd…) and I decided to start small and work my way up! That is the key to changing to a healthier lifestyle. Slow and steady wins the race. We don’t all need to be Victorias Secret models tomorrow.
We have TIME.
This was the biggest mental freak out for me. I rushed into having to be the most athletic, the most in shape, have the highest endurance. I would go to the gym and feel so stupid because I wasn’t anywhere near anyone else’s fitness level. But guess what, I don’t have to be, and neither do you. Over time though, we can be. I started out telling myself I would be active, in whatever way that means: hiking, walking, going to the gym, etc., for at least 30 minutes, 4 times a week. That may seem like a small task, but that was the point. I wanted to start slow. There is no rush into changing your lifestyle and there shouldn’t be. That’s how we get frustrated, discouraged, and burnt out. Think of all of the hard things you’ve gone through in your life. If you look back now, you can see how far you’ve come. That’s what a healthy lifestyle looks like, too. It doesn’t happen over night, but when you look back you will see how far you’ve come!
So how can you apply this to your life?
Sign up at a gym. Getting up and GOING somewhere- showing up is the first mental obstacle to overcome for me. It is a financial commitment, but there are so many gyms that do sliding scale based payment like the YMCA, or even planet fitness is like, $10 a month. IF you can’t find an affordable gym, that’s okay! You can easily do workouts outside or from the comfort of your own home. Youtube is a beautiful thing! I will link some of my FAV workouts at the bottom of this post if you prefer to workout from home!
Commit yourself to 30 minutes of physical activity a few days per week. It can be anything from walking to running to hiking to a youtube workout to a squat challenge. Anything is better than nothing. You don’t have to run a marathon or hike Mount Everest. You can be proud of just pushing yourself as much as you can. Focus on what YOU can do and what makes you proud of yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Romee. Lol see what I did there.
Cut out unhealthy eating whenever possible. Now I’m not telling you to quit cold turkey. You’ll eventually give in and binge eat an entire bag of your favorite chocolate. (Speaking from experience) But say no more than you say yes. For me, I am the queen of the sweet tooth. I. Love. Sugar. I also spent more than two months salary last year at the dentist getting my teeth fixed, sooooo that was a huge wakeup call for me. I am also very intolerant to a lot of foods so that makes it easier for me, but for others who don’t have that problem (you’re so lucky omg) try to cut out a few things. Maybe only eat sweets 4 times a week instead of every day, etc. Whatever you need or what fits into your life. I personally also stopped eating out. I gave myself two days a week where I could eat out once a day. That includes Starbucks, going to dinner with friends, even date night where my boyfriend pays still counts. That also gave me more money to spend on my gym membership! Also, when I started learning about food more and what fuels and helps your body thrive, it helped me to not even want to eat bad food. I loved “The Paleo Way” on Netflix if you’re curious about learning more about food!
Get cute! For me, cute workout clothes always help motivate me to workout! I love the way I feel in a new set of workout clothes or a new pair of sneakers. (Hi my name is Sam and I’m a sneaker addict) Here are some of my current favorites for working out in!
5. Accountability! I shared my goals with my boyfriend and workout with him almost every day. He keeps me accountable when I reach for ice cream or when I want to be lazy and not go to the gym. I have goals that I want to reach, and he helps encourage me. He also pushes me at the gym which is a love hate experience. Haha. Share your goals with people! When you put it out there you give people the opportunity to cheer you on! I also started being accountable with myself. I don’t want to let myself down, and I don’t want to break a promise to myself. I have to live with me. I know me the best. I can either be my own worst enemy or my biggest encourager. I started goal tracking and writing about how much better I felt after a workout in my self journal for more accountability and I LOVE it. It helps so much and it feels so good to check things off a list and actively work towards achieving my goals! I’ll link it here for y’all to check out!
6. Take your time. It’s okay to go slow! Give yourself grace and patience!
Here are some of my favorite workouts that I do a few times a week!
Helpful things to have: a yoga mat, ankle weights, resistance bands, and a couple small hand weights!
If you read this post, comment down below and tell me what your fitness goals are or what your hardest obstacle to overcome is!