So it'll be a few weeks until we're all back on "dat grind". For many people the gym goes into a hardcore lax mode most of summer, you might even feel as though you've lost interest, either due to a set back in progress (read: a new buddah belly) or your physical drive resets (your general physical preparedness has lowered due to too much lounging and your old workouts now feel like a complete ass kicking). While I try to make these sound funny, psychologically they can be really tough on us - it's why I try to advise clients to keep going at least 2 days a week over the summer minimum. Otherwise the gym and eating well can quickly feel like a chore - a really hard chore that you literally pay money to kick your own ass. If you're starting to identify with some of this, here is 5 tips to help you get back in the swing of things. 1. Set Goals/Create a new program - This one is super important, its why most people give it the ol' college try and after the what seems like almost standardized 6 month window, people quit. I always compare training with no goals like playing with a basketball on a court with no nets. You'll have some fun for a bit, but then after a while you're like, wtf am I doing out here. You need something to shoot for, to access your improvement, and validate your success. If you're just trying to "feel better", you won't last. So what are some good goals? Lose 10lbs in 10 weeks (realistic goals help - 30lbs in 1 month isn't sustainable or healthy). Identify and study a lagging body part and create your program around that (all y'all ladies wanting a nice booty, study some booty anatomy, best exercises, as well as stretches)
2. As the season changes, create some recipes and make a food list of your favorite fall foods, better yet, google some nutrition labels to see how they fit into your macro's (macronutrients: protein, fats, carbs). A new set of foods or recipes can be just as reinvigorating as a new workout plan. This summer I started making these chunky vegetable salads (cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, pickled beets, some feta, maybe some salad mix) and it really made a difference. They were super enjoyable and tasty, and became a new way in which I could eat a whole bunch of veggies, cuz honestly, I'm still not the best. But that's because I figured out that just a typical spinach salad just really turns me off. Best of all these big chunky salads have so much liquid in them you don't really need a dressing other than some citrus.
3. Plan your workout time - if you have a really hectic life, going before your day starts can be really helpful. If you're not a morning person then I would advise going after work. For many people the moment you get home from work, make a meal, and sit down, you're done for. Your body is gonna be like hawt damn this is nice, work was just so stressful, my kids are driving me nuts, my significant other wants to go out for pizza. Whatever the reason is, it's going to sound valid to your bodies exhausted self. Don't always listen to your body, sometimes that guy just wants you to be fat and alone in the corner of a safe room (literally your body thinks this is the utopia of safety and survival)
4. Don't shit talk about your workouts, your food, and especially not yourself. The amount of times that I hear this (and probably do it myself) is really high and very important. Your subconscious is very much just like your kid self, that's why we feel disappointed when we don't do the things we say we should do. That younger kid self has realistic achievable expectations, and when you go back on that, you dishonor yourself. That's why people beat themselves up, say its impossible, call ourselves fat, minimize the progress we make, and ultimately, talk ourselves into quitting. We try to put the blinders on to what happens to our body, and then whamo, hello midlife crisis because my body and therefore my mind are not in control. Nourish yourself, nourish your inner child, make the gym fun, brainwash yourself that taking care of the one vessel you are trapped in for your entire life is a smart choice. You're worth the hard work. 5. KEEP HAVING FUN! Don't go on some crazy ass crusade to undo everything you put your body through in the past 20 years, and try and resolve it in 6 months. That's like going for an hour long walk and expecting to make it home in 3 minutes. But you'd never think that, because it just doesn't make sense. It is going to take 6-24 months likely to reach your goal, depending on how big it is and where you're at. That means you need to be able to sustain what you're doing, and if that's going to the gym 6 days a week, eating a bunch of food you hate, depriving yourself of social outings, or the occasional treat planned treat - You will quit. There is tons of ways to have your cake and eat it too, it's one of the first things I go through with new private clients, so enjoy your life and your journey along the way. If you need any further help, feel free to reach out any time on facebook. I would love to help you be the best you that you want.