View part one of Jennifer Turner’s "KISS Yourself to a New You" here.
1) Assess where you are emotionally. Assess your willingness to change. Ask yourself:
a. Why do I want to change? Is it a short-term or long-term goal? Is the desire to change grounded in something significant (a real health issue or life changing event) or something less significant (I need to look awesome at my high school reunion because that Claire chick cannot look more awesome than me!) No judgments BTW J.
b. What does my new life look like? How do I feel in it?
c. What energy am I realistically able to devote to changing?
If you’re not ready to change, that’s okay, just recognize that you’re not ready AND really assess the consequences of not changing – health consequences, lack of energy, dissatisfaction with how you look etc. Be honest. If you go down the road of trying to be healthy but you’re not really emotionally ready, you will fail. And this “failure” will lead to negative feelings about healthy eating and exercising and will erode your confidence to try again.
If you’ve assessed that you are in fact ready to change, let’s hit it! Let’s get into the “how”.
Hey You! Step AWAY From That Chicken Wing and KISS YOURSELF EVERY SINGLE DAY.
2) KISS (Keep it Simple Sister). What does this mean? (I’m speaking to the menfolk out there too. )
a. Make exercise easily accessible. Workout at home, or find a gym close to your home, or close to your work, or on the route between the two. Get the idea? Don’t go off the beating path. Why? When you’re just getting started with exercise and it’s not yet a part of your daily life, going to that awesome kick-boxing class an hour out of your way to put a beat down on that bag probably won’t work for very long. You may be able to keep it up for a couple of weeks, but if it rains, snows, or somebody steps on your baby-toe, you’ll bag it. It’s too difficult to maintain. And it’s too easy to get off the fitness bandwagon, especially in the beginning.
b. Keep your exercises simple. Don’t blow yourself up with over exercising, or overanalyzing, or overdoing. Don’t go for the craziest kettle bell exercise, standing on one leg touching your nose and then the floor and then your nose again – the kind of exercise you must only do under the watchful eye of a personal trainer or you will kill yourself. Don’t overdo, just DO, and do CONSISTENTLY. All you really need to do is sweat.
c. Commit to a realistic workout period of time. Don’t go for the gold in a marathon three hour workout. We all just came off of an Olympic high. Myself included. Forget 6 pack abs…I’m amazed at the 8 pack abs I saw, and the booties that didn’t move in what were the equivalent of hot pants, even while going 20 miles an hour. Seriously?! You are not an Olympian, at least not yet. You must crawl before you become Sanya Richards-Ross (at least in your own mind J). In the beginning, commit to a certain duration (even if it’s just 20 mins a day) for a certain frequency (3 times a week). Be consistent and commit to something you can realistically do. Get a foundation in place, then build from there.
d. Work out at the same time of day. My sister calls me “Rain Man”, because I do the same things at the same time every day. Highly scheduled, but effective. Don’t play tick tack toe with your workouts. Why? Because you’ll bag it. Keep it simple. Make time in your schedule to work out and then communicate that to people – your friends, your kids, your colleagues – so they know that this particular time of day is your time. Personally, I’m a huge proponent of working out in the morning. It’s when you have the most energy and also, the time of day over which, in general, you have the most control. Too much stuff happens after work – business dinners, that presentation that you’re going to have to jam on to get ready for the morning, you had a crappy day and now don’t feel like going to the gym, your kid is sick and you have to pick them up from school so forget that evening kickboxing class an hour out of your way you wanted to take- you know, life stuff.
3) Get Support. Everybody needs support. Invite a friend, a colleague you actually like, a family member to join you on this health journey. Workout together. Talk to each other. It’s hard to do this healthy thing all by yourself. When the going gets rough, and it will, and you just want to bag this fitness thing, curl up in your PJs, eat a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and watch “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” on DVD, who are you gonna call?
4) Develop Positive Associations with Fitness. This ties into KISS and keeping things simple, and also means, don’t pick fitness activities you “hate”. If you “hate” running, don’t run. Pick things you want to do vs. “should” do. Don’t “should” yourself into failure. It really is a four letter word. And you might be able to get in those skinny jeans but you won’t be able to stay in them.
5) Laugh and Learn to Enjoy the Process. This health living journey is one that doesn’t end until you punch out, and we don’t want that happening anytime soon! There will be ups and downs but you are always moving forward. When you fall off the healthy wagon, assess why it happened, call a girlfriend and laugh about the 12 piece you ate accompanied by cheese doodles and a pack of snow puffs, take a Rolaids and get right back on the wagon. You’re changing. It’s going to be a real trip. Enjoy the ride!
By day, Jennifer Turner is a high-powered media executive. By night, Ms. Turner is a self-proclaimed, “Fitness Activator.” This is to say that her life’s mission is to empower others to “activate” their innate ability to have a healthy lifestyle and achieve happiness.