I have failed at many a fitness challenge in my day, you guys. It’s actually kind of comical
painful to admit the sheer amount of times I said I would do a fitness challenge and completely bombed. Or worse, fell off the wagon a week in. I usually followed the same pattern where I would get myself pumped for a challenge and go out to buy a bunch of food, meal prep, and fall completely off come the weekend or week 2.
It’s an understatement to say that it’s taken me time, some tweaks to my daily habits, and sheer force of will to find what works for me to stay consistent and I’m still not perfect. That said, I recently began the Tone It Up Bikini Series this year and I’m doing a LOT better than I have ever done on a challenge before so I thought I would share a few things that have helped me be more successful this year as opposed to my previous attempts. So, basically what I’m saying is, here’s how to not fail at a fitness challenge 😉
How to Not Fail At A Fitness Challenge
PREP & PLAN EVERYTHING.
I always have the most trouble with staying on track when it comes to eating right. The biggest thing that has helped me stick to my goals is prepping EVERYTHING. I plan out my grocery lists, meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks), I grocery shop for everything 1-3 times a month, depending on what I need, and I prepare as much of it as I can at the beginning of the week. This helps me out a lot because I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat or worry about preparing it. For breakfast, I can batch make protein pancakes or make easy protein smoothies for breakfast. For snacks, I mainly stick to carrots, celery and peanut butter, protein shakes, some fruit, nuts, or veggies with hummus. For lunch, I stick to protein + veggies or salad for the most part. It keeps my life easier to keep things simple. Sometimes, I eat leftovers from dinner for lunch and that’s even easier! For dinner, I do the same thing as lunch unless my boyfriend is feeling chef-like and then he will cook something healthy for us (yay!). Normally, we stick to things like chicken and grilled veggies, fish and veggies, shrimp and veggies, soup and salad, or we mix things up with steak once a week or so, lettuce wrapped burgers and salad, or fish tacos with gluten-free tortillas ( no more than 2 tacos – if I want more fish, I just have it on a bed of lettuce). If I feel like I’m going to die and need to have something sweet (this is big for me), I will have a fruit protein smoothie, some dark chocolate squares, or some fruit. Sweet licorice tea also helps.
WRITE IT ALL DOWN.
Another thing that has really helped me out is tracking everything. I’m tracking my weight, measurements, and food. I’m keeping track of my food in a physical food journal (the one pictured above) as well as in MyFitnessPal (to track nutrients and calories) which definitely helps keep things in perspective for me. Nothing helps me see exactly what (and how much) I’m eating like keeping a physical journal. I’m the kind of person that forgets to open the MyFitnessPal app so this really helps me stay focused. I also track my weight and measurements at the end of each week.
SET NON-SCALE BASED GOALS.
Set goals that are not based around how much weight you want to lose. This has definitely helped to keep me motivated in the fitness area of things. I think this is an area where it’s tough for me to stay motivated, but if I make a goal like ” I want to run a mile in under 10 minutes ( my current goal )” as opposed to ” I want to lose X pounds,” it helps me a lot more. My current goals include running a mile under 10, being able to do 10-20 spider woman push ups, and gaining my flexibility to do the splits back 🙂
PROTEIN, VEGGIES, & WATER.
This is my mantra, people! If you’re a woman, chances are that you are not getting enough protein in your diet which is why you have sugar cravings, carb cravings, etc. Of course, it’s important to see a nutritionist if you’re really struggling with these things, but if not, the basics of a good diet include some form of healthy, complete proteins at every main meal, fiber-rich and nutrient dense snacks like veggies and fruits, and lots of water to keep your body hydrated! If you need a meal plan, this is a pretty good starting point.
This is the area I struggle the most. I’m a big night owl and I feel most awake during the late hours, but I love waking up early to get my workout in or even just do some simply yoga and stretching. It really gives me so much energy! I’m working on getting to bed earlier and I know that when I do make it to bed early and get up early, it makes a HUGE difference in how I feel for the day.
SWEAT IT OUT.
You might think that working out isn’t important, but I know that when I do focus on fitness that the way I am eating becomes a big part of my awareness. I focus on my health a lot more when fitness is on my mind. Also, if you’re like me and struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, exercise is EXTREMELY therapeutic and beneficial!
PLAN YOUR INDULGENCE.
I’m not saying to plan your cheat day because I personally don’t believe in them. If I want to indulge, I do, but I’m working on making it an occasional thing as opposed to an every single weekend thing LOL. I’m a work in progress. That said, I always keep frozen fruit, a dark chocolate bar, and emergency sugar free wafers stocked in my kitchen for when my nightly sweet tooth hits. A small amount of one of these usually helps curb my cravings. Also, stay hydrated so you’re not thinking you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty.
IF YOU THINK IT’S A BAD IDEA, IT IS.
I’m talking about eating out too often, eating too much junk, eating too much sugar or candy. If you think it’s a bad idea or you know it’s going to make you feel horrible, then don’t do it. Tell yourself that you have goals, it’s not worth it, and it won’t feed your body in a positive way. Stick to it. You can do this!
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.
On the other side of the coin, if you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up about it. We all have bad days. We all slip up and eat crap every now and again. It’s okay. Get right back on track again and keep going! One bad day will not kill your goals.
STAY POSITIVE, STAY INSPIRED & HAVE FUN.
My last tip is to stay positive and have fun. Staying positive and keeping an optimistic outlook is paramount to reaching your goals because you want to feel good about what you’re doing. If you think this will be hard, this will be painful, this is awful, well, then it is because you believe it to be. If you think, you can do this, this is awesome, I’m kicking so MAJOR ass right now, then you will! Try to keep yourself inspired by making collages of your goals, trying new recipes, trying new workouts, and traveling if you can. Also, remember to HAVE FUN. Go out and take a fitness class, workout with your friends, go hiking, take a dance class, go rock climbing. Do things that sound fun and exciting as a way to stay active. Hell, take a walk with your dog (or cat or iguana) and breathe the fresh air. Take a brisk walk with friends or family and have a nice chat. Disconnect and unplug in nature. Start a yoga practice. Do what fills your soul and makes you feel happy and at peace. These are the things that will keep you going.
Feel free to follow my fitness insta @tiannagetsfit if you want an accountability buddy!