It’s a new year, and after the uncertainty and lack of control most of us felt throughout 2020, this feels like the natural time to think about resetting ourselves—physically, emotionally, spiritually.
If your health is top-of-mind these days, you’re not alone. But it can be confusing to know which voice to lend your ear to when it comes to the healthiest way to…well, get healthy!
We turned to our friend, frequent contributor and fitness coach, Brandi Ross, for some advice you can trust.
How do you think women sabotage ourselves when we set weight or fitness goals?
I think women tend to set unrealistic goals seeking perfection. We get impatient and want to do it all at once. Instead, we should start with one goal and practice making it a habit and lifestyle change.
For example, we tend to start a health and fitness journey to lose weight or lower cholesterol and think we have to go all-in–workout five days a week, eat clean, give up bad carbs, give up other things, drink more water! It’s best to start with one goal at a time, like exercising two or three times a week, no matter what, for a month and making it a habit. Then maybe incorporate another goal the following month, like drinking more water (aim for your body weight in ounces). Then maybe the next month the new habit is to go to bed earlier!
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-oriented) goals create health HABITS and consistency, which are key.
To be successful, think of making a lifestyle change instead of chasing a quick fix!
How does positivity, or optimism, play a part in our weight/health?
Well, it actually plays a huge role! Because chances are if you’re not positive, you’re experiencing stress and anxiety, which releases harmful, toxic hormones. Levels of cortisol, “the stress hormone,” rise during tension-filled times. This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased cortisol levels also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and then you experience intense cravings.
How can we be more positive about our weight and health goals?
By giving ourselves some grace as women! We work, we are wives and mommies (see photo above!). And we strive to be perfect. But let’s aim for positive action instead of perfection.
If you truly want to make a change, you can! Small habits lead to big goals!
I have a goal of 20 minutes of movement daily. Some weeks I do harder and longer workouts; other weeks it’s less time and less intense! That’s all okay, cause I’m moving, taking positive action.
And I don’t think the number on the scale counts. This is a big issue for women! Let’s focus instead on body composition. It’s about losing inches, toning up and feeling better. Everyone’s happy, healthy weight is different!
How can a woman release negative societal or personal thoughts about her weight?
Read more positive books and quotes. Listen to positive, educational podcasts. Surround yourself with women that support you, not judge you! And most important of all, NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF to others: You are unique and amazing.
Nutrition plays the biggest role in a healthy life and weight. You fuel your body for a reason; everything you eat should have a purpose. One of the biggest mistakes I see women make—consistently—is not eating enough!
A lot of women feel like they need to eat less to lose weight, like sticking to a 1,200 calorie-a-day diet! Everyone is different—a different age, weight, height. We all need to ingest different amounts of calories. My Fitness Pal is a great tool for tracking your macronutrients and calories!
Exercise plays a big role, as well! If you’re not building muscle, you won’t lose fat. You need to combine cardio and weight training. Cardio helps with ensuring a healthy heart!! And the natural endorphins exercise releases are key to lowering stress and leading a happy life.
What is your best tip or recommendation for helping women set achievable weight or health goals and follow through with them?
See question 1! Setting one goal, sticking to it, making it a habit. Drink more water, sleep more, walk more, exercise more, eliminate fried foods … choose one and stick with it! You will see changes. Then choose one more.
Trainers and accountability partners help, as well!
I personally help through my Camp Gladiator business with fitness and my product business and community for nutrition! Feel free to reach out to me here or by email; I love supporting women in their transformative journeys!
If you thought our amazing conversation with Brandi was TL;DR, here’s her expertise in five easy steps:
- Set SMART goals that are realistic.
- Work on one goal (or new behavior: exercise) at a time.
- Be consistent and time-oriented (every day at 5:30 for 20 minutes).
- Find an accountability coach to discuss your progress and frustration.
- Stay optimistic and positive.
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