Stay in your happy, healthy place for good.
By Bianca Ballinger
Finally! After much trial and error you have nailed an enjoyable and sustainable workout routine that suits you, your work–life balance and your family. Your clothes look and feel amazing, you are showcasing new gains, lean muscle mass and unwavering energy. You have worked your booty off to be here and you should be high-fiving all the way to that little bit of chocolate you know won’t make a lick of difference to your results! Kudos fit sis! You have arrived at your ultimate ‘happy, healthy place’, you deserve to be here and there’s no way you’re going back, now.
So, let’s make sure you now know how to stop starting over.
Keep a training diary: When, what, how often and how are you training your body? Log your training times and the muscle groups you are training. Keep a healthy balance of weight, cardiovascular and interval training sessions locked into your week. Remember, recovery days are important too and crucial to maintaining optimum energy levels, physical and emotional recovery needs.
Quick reference menu guide: Peg a ‘quick reference menu guide’ on your fridge to take the guesswork out of prep time. Some fantastic meal ideas you can go to for fast reference include: chicken/beef or tuna salads, lean meat and spinach/broccoli/greens, carrot and zucchini pasta, fish and vegetable dishes, lean meat stir fries, protein smoothies, whole grains, brown rice/breads/crackers, eggs, fruit and Greek yoghurt, lettuce wraps and wholemeal mountain bread pizza. List the meals you have been eating mostly over your transformation period because you know first-hand now how your body is responding to those effective fuel sources.
Record your PBs in your diary: Write something down and watch it happen again! Nothing reminds you that you CAN do something quite like writing it down. Be sure to record your meals and training PBs in a diary and keep it in your gym bag. This way, you can recall what you ate on the day you hit your PB, what time you trained and any other significant factors that contributed to your best performance. This allows your memory to positively connect with how you succeeded previously and you are more likely to achieve that result again.
Know what to limit: Having a physique that reflects hard work doesn’t come without sacrifices. Based on how certain foods make you feel, write down what to limit or eliminate from your daily intake and remember that these are the ingredients that keep you from feeling and looking your best. This list generally includes: refined sugar, processed foods, fried food, trans fats, soft drinks, bottled juices etc.
Don’t skip interval training: Interval training is often the missing link between ordinary and extraordinary results, especially where fat burning is concerned. Get at least one interval session into every single week. Aim for a duration of 30-40 minutes and keep your intervals at maximum intensity for around 60 seconds. Aim for 10 interval bursts per session.
Say cheese: Nothing delivers a moment of truth quite like photographs of yourself in your undies! Take three natural looking photos of yourself (front, side and back) no posing, no trying to hold anything in or cover anything up, just be yourself. Look at the photographs and decide what it is you would like to improve on and remember to be kind and realistic. If you’re going to stand there putting yourself down and being negative about your attempt to improve, before you have even started, then you have already failed. A successful transformation comes from the decision to stop starting over. You need to BE POSITIVE, record how you feel about yourself in those photographs and then get to work on becoming who you want to be, one day at a time.
Don’t stop lifting: When it comes to successful body transformations, one of my golden rules is that the results are in the resistance! The more you load up your muscles, the harder the fibres work, the better they respond, the more they change, the more you gain! So LIFT! LIFT! LIFT and lift HEAVY! You are not going to turn into the hulk, ladies! For best results, try to commit to three to four one-hour resistance/weight training sessions a week e.g. upper body, lower body and high intensity interval training and always finish up with some abdominal work and a good roll or stretch.
Know your plateau: Fact: Everybody plateaus! In a positive light, this is simply your body’s way of telling you that it’s bored, no longer challenged and ready for a change! This is when you accelerate your training, switch things up, challenge your body with different exercises, play with exercise duration and intensity and really get stuck in to some new styles of interval training. Remember that variety is the spice of life and if it doesn’t challenge you it can’t change you! Fire up fit sis!
Once you have arrived at your ultimate transformation destination, CONSISTENCY becomes the key to ongoing success. Knowing and recording what you did, when you did it, how long you did it and when you will do it again is such an important and successful accountability factor in sustaining health and fitness longevity. Record your success, celebrate with those who share in your passion and positivity and credit your progress and take photographs along the journey to reflect on and stay committed to your best lifestyle. You only have this body for one lifetime. Don’t take it for granted! Challenge it, nourish it and let it reflect the hardworking, healthy and happy person you are both inside and out.
To achieve the best out of any transformation both physically and mentally – the real results are in the resistance! Resist skipping weights and intervals, resist excuses, resist unhealthy eating and resist the temptation of old habits… This is how you stop starting over!