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How to be a Weight Loss Success Story

How to be a Weight Loss Success Story

My approach to weight loss is about giving people the tools to create their own success. I want you to design your own model for lasting weight loss and feel comfortable using that model for life. And it’s a pretty foolproof system – so much of losing weight and keeping it off is about finding strategies that fit your individual circumstances and preferences. You’re actually the only person who can devise your own weight loss approach – all anyone else can do is offer advice and support. Just as no one else can lose the weight for you, no one else can tell you how to do it – because they don’t have your body clock, your taste buds, your genetic heritage and any of the other things that make you who you are.

Exterior vs Interior Success

Many popular weight loss programs emphasise interior, rather than exterior, success – the end result you’re encouraged to want is more about looking good (killer abs, a bikini body, toned thighs) than feeling strong and healthy. But one common factor in weight loss approaches that really work is the emphasis on interior, rather than exterior, success. And this is particularly relevant for anyone out there who’s been on their weight loss journey for a while and is starting to feel a little demotivated. Even if things are going really well – you’ve lost weight, you can see and feel how much fitter you’ve become, you’ve got more energy than ever – perhaps you’re not feeling the same sense of joy and satisfaction you once did, or perhaps you don’t feel like you’ve succeeded in the way that you wanted to. How can you get your positivity back?

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What’s Your Idea of Weight Loss Success?

Think about what’s guiding your approach to healthy living – is it more exterior, or more interior? What I mean by that is whether you’re influenced more by someone else’s idea of what weight loss success looks like rather than what it actually means for you as an individual. Maybe you haven’t sat down and really worked that out yet – if you haven’t, that’s OK, but it can be really motivating to find the time to do so.

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All of us, on some level or another, are influenced by other people’s ideas of weight loss success. It’s impossible to avoid, because as our obesity rates continue to climb (our obesity rates in Australia have more than doubled in the last 20 years, and one quarter of Australian teenagers are now overweight or obese), so does our obsession with losing weight. Everywhere we look – in magazines, online, in TV shows and on the big screen – we’re given an unrealistic, airbrushed template of what we’re all ‘supposed’ to look like. Bikini bodies, flat bellies, abs so firm you they’d double as a punching bag – for many of us, this is what we aspire to when we set out to lose weight. Obviously, it’s unrealistic, and probably most of us know this on some level. But it doesn’t stop us from imagining those model-like images and wishing they could be us. So when we do lose weight but we still don’t look in the mirror and see a fitness god or goddess staring back at us, we wonder what we’re doing wrong and start to lose our motivation.

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How to Reset Your Mindset

If you’re doing losing weight at a steady, sustainable rate, making gradual fitness gains and slowly making your lifestyle healthier, you’ve got nothing to feel bad about. You’re succeeding – you’re nailing it. So instead of changing what you do, you maybe need to change how you think. You need to reframe the ‘why’ behind your weight loss journey. You need to forget about those external influences, or at least stop placing so much emphasis on them, and bring it back to you and your life and your body.

Why did you set out to lose weight in the first place? What benefits has it brought you? How does it make you feel, physically and psychologically, to be fitter and leaner? And what are the things that you genuinely enjoy about being healthy and living a healthy life? Asking yourself these questions and reminding yourself of all the positive benefits your healthy living journey has brought you (and continues to bring you) can help you reshape your mindset. Whatever it is that you most enjoy about healthy living, do more of it – get yourself back into that motivated, positive state of mind, and remind yourself of everything you’ve achieved on your journey thus far. Stock up your motivational toolkit with reasons why you want to keep going and keep pursuing your healthy living aims – you haven’t come this far for nothing.

So remember: internal, not external, is what counts when it comes to weight loss. Even though the changes you’re seeing are often physical, don’t underestimate the psychological effects and benefits of weight loss and healthy living. Keep at it – remember why you’re doing this, and why it’s so worthwhile. You can only go from strength to strength.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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