It’s that time again. You look down at your slightly soggy bits and tell yourself that 2019 *is* the year you will achieve your dream body. The ‘offers’ from local gyms look so tempting and you sign up for a year long contract without a second thought. The gym gear and protein shakes are on sales and on your shelves. After all you will go this year, right? Just stop. You know how this ends. If you want to get fit and lose weight this year: Ditch the gym. Why waste money on expensive memberships when there is another way.
Newsflash. Joining the gym is not the key to happiness.
Let us spell this out to you.
Losing weight will not magically transform your life.
Your weight or shape does not define you, or your happiness. So don’t let any gym advert tell you otherwise.
You may feel miserable about the way you look. But that is about a lack of self-love and compassion rather than what your body looks like. You deserve to feel happy and loved right now. Just as you are.
We tell you this because if you tell yourself –I will be happy when … you will put too much pressure on yourself which will ultimately lead to failure.
Likewise if you are putting off other goals such as joining a dating site or meeting new people until you see the magic number on the scales – you are placing too high a burden on yourself. Placing all those expectations on yourself a means that your inner bully has some real ammunition when you skip a session or have pizza.
Ironically, allowing yourself to be happy and accepting yourself – just as you are – will lead to you taking steps to improve your sense of health and well-being.
So exercise or lose weight because it makes you feel good – and in ways that you enjoy- rather than pinning all our hopes on romance showing up when you hit that magic number.
Is it really a priority?
It is worth mentioning that even if you are carrying a spare tyre, be honest about whether you want or need to commit to achieving your best body now.
You may find that your focus is best served by focusing on more pressing matters such as money or relationship issues as these often drain us of energy and resources. Of course, regular exercise can increase your sense of health and wellbeing. But over committing yourself only leads to burn out.
If this is the case be kind to yourself.
Focus on your main goals for now as you can decide to exercise more and be healthy any day of the year.
Even if you do want to focus on your body and wellbeing, you don’t need to go to a gym every day or go on a strict calorie controlled diet. In fact fitness professionals advise against this as you need to rest and recover between exercise sessions.
Sticking to a consistent routine gives better results in the long run.
Be SMART to be successful.
Do you want to know why most people fail their new years resolutions? It is often because their goals are not Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based.
Saying you need to lose 20lbs is missing key motivating factors. Dropping a dress size by the end of January may not be realistic either. Fails also come from joining gyms or trying out a new diet because you have told yourself you *need* to get fit, or lose weight, when you have no endgame in sight.
Therefore, figure out what you really want.
Why do you want to get fit?
What will you be able to do when you achieve your goal?
Drilling down on your dreams will give you a better insight.
If you think ‘getting fit’ looks like being able to run a race then it is better to say ‘I will run my first 10k by June 2019. Likewise, the goal to lose weight a can be replaced by ‘ I will lose 10lbs by my holiday in April or ‘I will be wearing a size 12 dress to my best friends wedding in September.’
Even just general goals can be made SMART. I need to get healthy can be ‘ I will incorporate exercise into my routine at least 3 times a week.’ or ‘ I will go out walking on a weekend’.
Find your sweet spot.
Gyms are not bad places, but be realistic about whether you want to go – rather than thinking you *should* go. For some, the gym is a personal retreat, for others it is clinical and isolating. If you are really undecided you could always get a free pass.
The good news is that there are fun ways to get fit without joining a gym. You can achieve your best body ever – but as a side effect of enjoying an overall healthier lifestyle.
So lets look at how you could do this;
- If you find yourself excited by the prospect of a goal such as climbing Ben Nevis, then the best way to train is to get out and walk as much as possible. In fact walking is said to be as effective for weightloss as running and carries less risk of injury. You definitely don’t need a gym for that.
- If you would rather exercise in a group setting rather on your own – Joining a class will give you both a chance to try something new and an opportunity to meet new people.
- Signing up for a triathlon or a race? you could join local running clubs where you will get excellent advice on training and preparing for an event.
- Maybe you have always wanted to try a new activity and can incorporate that into your fitness goals. Some of our members swear by Man v Fat football, we also have keen riders and dancers too.
Don’t forget to reward yourself.
No we don’t mean that you can inhale a chocolate bar for simply getting a sweat on. But you do need to plan rewards for reaching major milestones.
Aiming for a 10k race? Why not have a nice massage when you are able to complete 5k.
Wanting that beach body? Take yourself on a city break when you have lost 10lbs.
Or you could do all these things, meet new people, and try all those healthy new activities right now.
No gym needed.