A lawyer-turned-writer-and-fitness-enthusiast, Carmen Khong shares how she reclaimed her fitness after falling off the fitness bandwagon:
Restructure & Reset
If you have been saying stuff like, “Not everyone is meant to be fit”, STOP! I want you to ELIMINATE all that negative energy from yourself! It’s a waste of time to drown in self-hate. Instead of focusing on your slip-ups, think about the progress you’ve made and why you decided to embark on this journey in the first place. Keep reminding yourself that fitness is a lifelong journey, not a destination.
You may have skipped the gym for more days your fingers and toes could count. You may have also eaten too much chocolate on eat clean days. Reminding yourself why you want to be fit and healthy in the first place can make a difference between throwing the towel and continuing on your fitness journey.
Start small with your workouts
Remember this: Success NEVER occurs overnight. I mean do you think all those fitness models were born with well-defined muscles? So to suddenly hit the gym for 3 hours on your first day after a hiatus, you’re basically setting yourself up for more slip-ups. Why? Because you will fatigue easily, which will cause you to feel demotivated.
What I found helpful was setting small and realistic goals like completing a weekly 5k at the park or attending a couple of my favourite group fitness classes per week (I personally love indoor cycling)
Cultivate realistic eating habits
The same thing applies for nutrition too! This is one topic I am never avoiding because nutrition is 90% of the fit lifestyle! This one’s a lil tricky though because exercise only takes up 1-2 hours of your day which means the remaining 22 hours are left with feeding ourselves with the right food at the right time.
At first, I thought it was as easy as cooking up a batch of chicken and broccoli and sticking to my meal plan. But I have been eating doughnuts during my ‘time-off’. I mean we’re talking about 2-3 months of enjoying the glorious taste of carbs and sugar on my tongue! Do you think I’m going to find the taste of chicken and broccoli just as glorious?
That’s when I realised that drastically restricting my food intake made me more inclined to making poorer food choices.
I started to incorporate mini-treats into my meal plans, either frozen yogurt or half a bar of dark chocolate. As my body started to adapt, I started to gradually reduce the amount of desserts and reserve them for the weekends. Eventually, I didn’t feel the need to have doughnuts everyday.
So remember that your body needs time to adjust. So, be patient =)
If you’re feeling demotivated during your gym session, maybe it’s because no one is there to encourage you. So, find your fitness buddy!
At first, I felt kinda awkward to randomly ask people, “Hey! Do you wanna workout with me?” BUT surprisingly, during the weekend I had a coffee session with an ex-colleague and discovered she goes to the same gym as me and, like myself, has fallen off the bandwagon too. Same story, but in her case, fried chicken got in her way! And that’s when we decided to attend a fitness class we were too afraid to try alone- Sh’bam! We now check-in on each other to see if our workouts and nutrition is on point. We also plan to do a meal-plan swap soon to add more variety to our clean eats 😉