We had such an awesome YogiSMU Rooftop Yoga session on Wednesday evening - I've NEVER heard SO MUCH LAUGHTER so seen SO MANY SMILES during a yoga session. The fact that it's study week in SMU made the session an even more meaningful one. I had so much fun and satisfaction from teaching the class :)
Will be going back next Saturday for yet another round of my ACE Personal Trainer Certification practical session. I didn't take pictures in the gym (busy working right! haha) but managed to capture a pre-gym picture during lunch with 4 of my fellow trainers at Salad Stop.
We all know what constitutes a "healthy lifestyle" and I KNOW is it so so so hard to start (and continue) living it! It's hard work & it's not easy! But we can ALWAYS make it a more pleasant journey and have lots of fun and satisfaction along the way :)
Over the last few years, I've been trying to find the "best" way to change my eating habits, lifestyle, workouts. I used to workout because I wanted to control my weight and because I felt that I've eaten too much. I dreaded every single workout but I ploughed through anyway. It was HORRIBLE.
But slowly, I discovered a few "secrets" to keeping myself motivated to stay active and eat as healthily as I can. Let me share them with you! Give them a shot and see if they help you to achieve the BEST version of yourself! Remember health is not just about your body. It's also your mental and emotional well-being :)
So here we go!
It is reverse psychology. The more restrictions you set for yourself, the more suffocated you're going to feel and the more likely you're gonna throw in the towel and do the exact opposite of what you intended to. By simply rephrasing the restrictive thoughts into inclusive ones will instantly expand the options that you have, and turn your focus away from the one thing that you cannot do to the many things that you can do instead.
2. Set yourself up for success, not failure.
Tell yourself that you WILL do it & you CAN do it. Don't just wish or say that you want it or hope to do it, tell yourself that you WILL. Make it a COMMITMENT and take ownership of it.
If we were to combine tips (1) and (2), we would have:
"I should not eat fried food/sweets/junk/whatever"
"Calories make me fat"
"I must not eat after 8pm"
"I must not miss any workouts"
"I hate my huge thighs"
"I hate my flabby arms"
"I hate exercise but if I don't exercise, I'll grow fattttt!!!!"
"I will eat at least 1 steamed/boiled dish every meal"
"I will eat at least 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of veggie at each meal"
(take it meal by meal & keep your goals easy to achieve!)
"Healthy calories will nourish my body"
"I will go to bed by 10.30pm every night."
(late nights are often associated with more food and less healthy choices)
"Working out gives me energy and makes me feel refreshed everyday"
"My legs are strong and they allow me to run, jump, dance and do the many things that I love"
"With my arms, I can drive, carry groceries, and even lift heavy objects"
"I will keep trying different physical activities until I find something(s) that I enjoy."
3. Do what you enjoy.
Don't force yourself to be someone that you're not. Not everyone is a runner, not everyone is a weight lifter, not everyone is a dancer, not everyone is a swimmer, not everyone is a solo-exerciser, not everyone is a yogi, not everyone is an athletic... YOU GET MY DRIFT.
Like I literally HATE long,traditional cardio (running, swimming, biking). I just simply CAN'T have an entire workout session filled with them. I would get so bored that I would either (1) break into a circuit or (2) suffer through the run/swim/etc. (a nice long run once in a while is still nice though)
If you have not found something that you truly enjoy (or if you're just looking to change up your existing workout routine), aim to try a new activity every 2-3 weeks. Why 2-3 weeks? Because your body needs to adapt. Trying out a new exercise is never easy. It is the very first time in your entire life that you're doing it! Cut yourself some slack, and also give the activity a 2nd (or 3rd) chance! Your physical body and even your neuro-muscular system have to recover from the "shock" and get used to it. For all you know, what you hated on the 1st trial might be what you'd fall in love with over time!
Recently I've discovered my love for the great outdoors and nature! There are SO MANY things that we could do using park benches, slopes, stairs, or even just your body weight. No need for fancy equipment - just you, the trees, the grass, the breeze and the gorgeous sun :)
Let people know that you're on a journey to get healthier and fitter. Your friends, family members, and even online networks like Tumblr are amazing places to find huge fitness communities.
Bear in mind though, that there WILL be people who would mock you, say sarcastic things, and discourage you. There WILL also be people who would be envious of you being a step closer to living a fuller and happier life. These are the people that you would want to stay away from. However, be prepared that these people might also be the ones who are the dearest to us - parents, siblings, close friends... They'd be worried that you'll over-exert yourself (my dad's #1 concern), the ones who you used to pig out with would definitely be afraid that you'd stop going for buffets and foodie trips with them, some would worry that you'll neglect them.
I myself have (had) these people in my life and it is indeed very painful listening to their comments about my lifestyle choices so I tend to avoid the topics that I know would cause such negative energy to arise. We can talk about any other thing under the sun! But of course, it'll be ideal if you could convince them to join you on your fitness journey. It's not gonna happen overnight, but it's gonna be worth the effort.
But you have to remember that at the end of the day, YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of literally everything else. So don't you feel guilty for saying "NO" to that fried chicken cutlet, cheesecake, pork belly, sausages or anything that you know is not the best for your body.
5. Be accountable
Find someone who is supportive of your lifestyle changes - a friend, a relative, a trainer. Update them regularly about your progress. Confide in them when you face roadblocks. Have them on speed dial for the times when you walk past a seemingly irresistible bakery. Let them know if you ever happen to miss a workout or make diet choices that you wish you didn't. Let them encourage you and let yourself be encouraged.
Most importantly, acknowledge and celebrate your successes with them - regardless how small. Make every goal you achieve a BIG DEAL because it is.
Accept the praises. Set another goal. Believe in yourself.
You can't live a positive life with a negative mind.
P.s.: I've just added an email subscription signup on the right hand column of this page. I removed the old one (this is much more convenient!) I know that many of you have signed up using the previous link but no worries at all I'll add you to the new one! Thank you so much for your tremendous support! :) For all you people who have not joined the Fitasy subscription, hurry & sign up now or else you're gonna be missing out on the exciting action!!!