Getting Fit: Expectations vs Reality

healthy living
Getting Fit

Getting fit isn’t as easy as it seems and a lot of us have gone through that phase where we just can’t seem to get it right. I know in the last 5 years, I’ve made a ton of mistakes and it led to plateaus in my fitness journey. Keep reading if you want to find out whether or not you are falling trap to one of these common fitness misconceptions.

#1. The Fast Fitness Journey

The first fitness expectation I want to clear up is the idea of becoming ‘fit’ fast; most searches nowadays look for ‘ways to lose weight fast’ or ‘ways to lose 10kg in a month’. However, you should know that shortcuts don’t last very long and they will most likely drain you out. While that 2-week diet may work in the short term, you’ll find that it isn’t sustainable and you’ll lose all of that “progress” you made in the first place.

Your fitness journey is more effective when it turns into a sustainable lifestyle and we should avoid promoting ideas of a quick journey. Most people are discouraged when they don’t see results quickly because they don’t realise how much time it actually takes. It’s been 5yrs since I started my fitness journey and I know it will never end because it has become a lifestyle. So the first step to your fitness journey doesn’t start in setting a number on a scale or pinning a ‘goal’ outfit on your wall. The first step is a shift in mindset. Realise that you want to achieve a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.

#2. Weight Loss vs Fat Loss

The second misconception is that weight loss and fat loss are the same thing. Let’s clear this up; fat loss has less to do with the number on the scale and more to do with changing your body composition. Weight loss can also mean muscle loss as people don’t focus as much muscle retention when trying to lose weight. While weight loss may be a better if you are at a certain point in your fitness journey, fat loss means you want to retain and build muscle and more muscle means a faster metabolism.

#3. The Ideal Body Image

There isn’t one. There is no secret to being fit because not everything works for everyone and because your definition of fit for your body, doesn’t necessarily match someone else’s. If you’re looking at someone and saying ‘I want to be fit exactly like him or her’ then get ready to change your whole lifestyle to match theirs (which is impossible) and even then you won’t be exactly the same because bodies are different. They’re supposed to be. Instead, find out what fit means to you, rather than picking someone else’s body, imagine your desired body and lifestyle onto your future self because that is the only person you should want to be.

#4. Everyone else Has Got it Handled

This is one is a personal favourite. I always thought fitness influencers and celebrities had it all handled. They were happy with their physique and had perfect healthy lifestyles. But we only thing that because that is what the media and social media shove down our throats. They show us the perfect selfies and bikini pics with perfect lighting and not one fault. So we automatically think that is achievable and then we wonder why haven’t we achieved it yet. But it’s not like that at all and I realised that after changing my exposure to media content. I followed people who I felt were truer to themselves and although yes they still posted perfect pics, they also acknowledged that they still struggled with their body image and criticism. So this is to tell you, even if you reach that goal weight or slim down to the ‘perfect size’ or build the perfect butt… you’re still going to struggle with your healthy lifestyle and body image from time to time. That’s simply because no one is as critical of ourselves as much as we are and because once you reach a goal it just isn’t enough. So my advice is to slow down, take a look at where you are and enjoy how far you’ve come for a moment without any judgement.

#5. Getting Motivated

My last fitness myth is a powerful one and it’s – relying on motivation to get things done. Let me tell you that motivation is a fickle thing and she will disappear on you on most days. Relying on motivation to get that workout in or make a healthy lunch will get you nowhere. Most of the time I don’t rely on motivation, I rely on a routine and habits. When your lifestyle is embedded with healthy habits you don’t question them, you just do it. Your morning workout shouldn’t be a question, it should just be a thing you do as part of your daily life. Of course you should plan around it and be flexible, but what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t expect to feel motivated to do it. In fact, you may be motivated once you start, so remember to just get started.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blogpost even though it was a quick one. Let me know what you think about it and if you have your own fitness misconceptions you’d like to share. Please follow and like for more posts and share with anyone you think needs to hear it, xoxo.

Check out this blogpost on 3 More Fitness Myths you need to know!

What is skinny fat, and how to get rid of it…

Uncategorized

What is skinny fat, and how to get rid of it.

What is skinny fat, and how to get rid of it.
— Read on fitnessmaniac.fitness.blog/2020/04/20/what-is-skinny-fat-and-how-to-get-rid-of-it/

Definitely a post worth reading if losing fat is your goal and a great blog to follow no matter where you are in your fitness journey!

How To Deal With Physical Setbacks

healthy living

Be it an injury or limitation, physical setbacks are sometimes the most trying on not only our fitness and health lifestyle but on your mental health as well. Lately, I had to take some time off due to a physical injury for the first time ever and it was hard to go through, which is why I decided on writing this blogpost…

Tip #1 Try to remain active in any way possible

Unless you are severely injured or on bed rest, it’s beneficial to be active, if not immediately then when you feel slightly better. However, please remember to consult your doctor about your injury and what kind of physical movement you’re allowed to perform. If you have an arm injury for example, you can still go for walks and train legs.

Tip #2 Start small

I had a back injury a few months ago and did not work out at all for 1 month and when I started again, it was only walking and a few arm workouts. When you’re recovering, do not rush into your workout, you will only hurt yourself more, take it easy for at least a week, you will gain your strength again due to your muscle memory.

Tip #3 Nutrition

Do not try to severely cut your calories to make up for not working out, you will only slow down your metabolism. On the same line of thought, do not binge eat your stress away, instead stay constant with your healthy eating habits, your body needs it to recover.

Tip #4 Breathe and Don’t fret

The worst thing for me was the guilt; I wasn’t active for a month and I was afraid that I was losing muscle and progress and that all my hard work would go in vain. But that was clearly not the case, I built my strength back up in 1-2 weeks and got stronger. So don’t let the stress get to you and keep your mind busy with other things such as; reading, music, art or anything that interests you and is stimulating for your brain.

Hopefully, this helps you during your recovery, thank you for reading and please like and follow for more posts.

Getting Back on Track After the Holidays

healthy living

victor-freitas-Pnm-9vBEQhk-unsplash.jpg

Entering into 2020, we all are pumped to achieve our resolutions and strengthen our fitness goals, however 2019 did end with the holidays, which means that we all fell a bit off track in some way or the other. Most likely, we ate a little too much or partied a little too late, but that doesn’t mean we let go and say “Oh well, 2021 is gonna be my year!” NO! This means we brush it off and pick our hangover, sugar-coma selves back up, so here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Get Rid Of The Guilt

One thing to understand is that it’s normal to want to enjoy the holidays and indulge once in a while, but it’s also normal to feel guilty. However, feeling guilty for eating something considered “bad” is toxic for your mind and journey, so stop searching for “how to get rid of a cheat meal?” Instead ask yourself “Does feeling guilty reverse what happened?” No it does not. So allow yourself to enjoy what you ate and the festive season, knowing that fitness is a lifestyle and it isn’t going anywhere.

 

flo-karr-70shtdgazqs-unsplash.jpg

Step 2: Be Active

It’s important to stay active even during the holidays, but if you didn’t, that’s alright, the time is now. However, jumping straight back into the gym might not come naturally so start small such as going for a morning walk/jog and doing some at home workouts. You’ll find that engaging your body will trigger the desire to get back to your full out workouts, because motivation is temporary and unrealistic but habits are not.

 

monika-grabkowska-ymzanza8t10-unsplash.jpg

Step 3 : Clean Eating

The family Christmas dinners are over, now concentrate on eating at home instead of outside. It’s not necessary to weigh everything you eat but tracking may prove useful, try it for one or two weeks until you can eat intuitively, because that is the ultimate goal. Remember that food is meant to fuel your body so implement whole foods and take a break from the processed stuff.

 

the-journal-garden-vera-bitterer-Ae2VSuCqK7Y-unsplash.jpg

Step 4 : Set A specific Goal

It’s a new year, so don’t be vague about what you want. “Get fit” or “Lose some weight” are not definitive goals, they’re shallow, meaningless thoughts. What you should do is decide on a number such as “I will lose 5% of my body fat in 4 months” or a particular skill such as being able to do pull ups and set the deadline. If we don’t visualise the end of the finish line, we’ll never reach it. It’s good to keep a fitness journal, a physical or a digital one; there is something striking about the feel of an actual tracking journal, but digital ones also have benefits such as reminders. Alternatively, you can get an accountability partner, be it family/friends or someone in the same fitness group, for example on social media.

I hope this blog post helps you to get back on track of your fitness goals, these are the steps I am currently taking to do so. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment and follow for more xoxo.

 

The Stages Of Weight Loss

healthy living

There are many stages and approaches when it comes to losing weight and getting fit, some of us are stuck in one stage and give up, but what we must realise is that sometimes the only way out is through. You must have heard this at least once, there are no shortcuts, there are no quick fixes, however there are scams, plateaus and burnout, along with results and the incredible high of progress. So let’s dive in to the stages I have personally noticed in others and gone through myself.

thought-catalog-fnztlIb52gU-unsplash.jpg

Stage 1 : The Diet Obsession 

Let’s admit it, we’ve all been there. You just decided to lose weight and you go online determinedly searching for the best 2 week diet plan… well here’s the punchline – IT DOES NOT WORK – it only gives temporary results and long term stress. Many of us have an on and off  relationship with this stage, but we should all just break up and move on.

 

bruno-nascimento-PHIgYUGQPvU-unsplash

Stage 2: Cardio Junkie

Better but not by much. At this stage, we’re still pretty knew to the whole concept of weight loss but this is where we lose a ton of it. Why? Because we pack on the cardio and monitor our food. I started with the treadmill and bicycle, boring, I know, although it did help shed the weight cause I was spending more than I usually did. I also ate super clean, but only in my opinion at the time since I hadn’t figured out what eating clean really was. I thought I was eating clean but I was still having processed foods that didn’t fuel me.

 

risen-wang-20jX9b35r_M-unsplash

Stage 3: Losing the Gym V-card 

Hello strength training and extreme food monitoring. This is where I tried out the Keto diet (not for me) and calorie tracking. Here is where the stigma around working out is broken and stress about food is built. I realised cardio was not enough and weights were my friend, soon to be bestfriend, so I started strength training but I still wasn’t sure what I was doing. Also tracking and weighing my food led to food being reduced to numbers and it was highly stressful, I was unhappy all the time. I became obsessed and felt guilty if I didn’t track or exceeded my calories. I had lost all the weight I needed to at this point but I now wanted to lose body fat.

 

victor-freitas-WvDYdXDzkhs-unsplash

Stage 4: Prime Time

This is where I fell I am at right now and it is bliss, but I have to say that I didn’t reach here alone, I had help and great advice. This is the most mentally healthy stage, food is now your fuel, no more tracking or weighing food. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat clean, and there are times that indulge, but the most important thing is I am fully aware of it. Working out has never felt better, in other words, I push hard but I don’t beat up myself about how many calories I’ve lost or about taking rest days, I just embrace every workout as a chance to exert my all into it. This is where progress is slow but significant and long term.

 

sebastien-gabriel--IMlv9Jlb24-unsplash

Stage 5 : Finish Line

Funny thing is… we never reach this one, because it moves along with us. This is your goal, the perfect, ultimate result of your fitness journey, but this is the point that you realise there is no finish line, because this is your lifestyle now. The more you go along the more your goals change and you will keep having new ones even as you accomplish them. There is no perfect, you will always find more to want, even when you think you’ll be happy once you reach this weight or that body fat percentage, you will be but it will not stop there. This is the forever stage.

 

These stages took me 3 years… it was not easy. However, not everyone goes through these exact stages, some people have gone straight to strength training or other forms of fitness, but this pattern is highly common in people trying to lose weight. I hope this post was helpful in giving you clarity on your fitness journey or in any way possible, thank you for reading.