One of the best things you can do for your health and fitness is be committed. I’m not even talking about being committed to your workouts (though that is important), but be committed to every aspect of your fitness. Commit to your workout. Commit to your nutrition. Commit to your hydration. Commit to your rest. Commit to your stretching. Commit. If you approach it this way, you won’t have to keep starting over, or keep spinning your wheels being stuck in the same place!
The consistency within your commitment is what will help you reach your goals. The biggest mistake I see people make is that they struggle with rest days. There is this need for “active rest” where they are still doing an hour of low intensity cardio, or something along those lines. That can increase your cortisol levels (your fight or flight hormone) causing you to retain fat and even look inflamed. Instead, try to commit to your rest. I’m not saying to sit on your butt eating Ben & Jerry’s on your rest day. I’m saying, just commit. Sunday is a total rest day for me. I don’t even think about working out. I get my weekly workouts done by Saturday morning and on Sundays I spend the whole day playing with my son, doing errands with the family, and not even thinking about working out. It makes my rest a lot less stressful. I do the same when I am not feeling well. If I need extra rest, I commit 100% to those rest days. I don’t put stipulations like “if I feel OK maybe I’ll go for a short run.” I used to do that, but it added more stress, and that causes imbalance in my hormones. Instead, I decide “tomorrow I will rest” and I get up and shower, and start working, and I don’t touch a weight or put on running shoes.
The misconception with rest and why some people get so stressed out is that there seems to be this belief that you will gain weight if you don’t work out, or if you’re not working out enough. The problem is, nutrition is 100% more important than your workouts. Your nutrition will determine if you gain or lose weight, your exercise will simply help the process along. Missing one or two workouts won’t make you fat. Missing two weeks of workouts because of poor prioritizing will decrease your fitness, but missing a few workouts because you need more rest will not change your body composition. As I mentioned, having this mentality and pushing yourself to workout more and more, will actually cause you to maintain or even GAIN weight. You will find it difficult to reach your fitness goals such as lifting heavier, running faster, or getting stronger, because your body really needs the rest.
This whole post isn’t about rest though. It’s about commitment. When you remain committed to your goals and your program, you will see progress; however, if your foot is half out the door and you’re only kind of following a program, you won’t see progress. Have you ever done a nutrition program like Shakeology or Whole 30 or something, and followed it completely and seen amazing results? That is because you were committed. You stuck to the plan as it was designed, and you saw results. You probably committed because there was an expiration date.
So, how do you commit to making health your lifestyle? Start small. Commit to ONE thing until you have it down, then work on the next habit. For example, say you already work out a few times per week, but you eat out 5 meals per week and you make poor choices over what you eat while you are out. Maybe you can’t change the fact that you eat out that often, but you can commit to making better choices when you eat out. Look for the meals with protein and vitamins. Vegetables/fruit always provide a lot of micronutrients, and protein will help keep you full. You could look for the fats and carbs too, but when you are starting out, keep it simple. Protein + vitamins – it can be that simple. Commit to making that a habit. When it no longer feels like so much work, move on to the next habit.
When you are looking to change your body composition, meet fitness goals, or literally just be a healthier person, you HAVE to commit. Below is a list that I gave my members today of habits to work on. We are going to COMMIT to working on one aspect until it becomes habit and helps us live a healthier lifestyle.
- Water consumption
- Working out HARD for a short amount of time
- Eat more vegetables
- Eat more real food (ditch the “diet” food!)
- Stick to one caffeinated beverage each day
As always, if you are looking for extra support on your journey, join our amazing network of women who are supporting each other and crushing their goals!