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10 Steps to Becoming a Vegan Athlete

10 Steps to Becoming a Vegan Athlete

1. Find your passion

We evolve all the time and so do our passions. Transitioning from dance to bodybuilding may sound strange but both use the same drive and physical stamina. Golfer? Your ability to fine-tune the smallest curve of the wrist translates into being able to make a muscle-mind connection like nobodies business. Gamer? Operating in an ever-changing reality where adaption and recovery is king is a core function of athleticism. If you want it you can build it. Try a quick online quiz like “Olympisize Me” for fun to see what sport your personality suits.

2. Gear

You’re going to need some sturdy and breathable track shoes that absorb shock and are perfectly fit for Vegans at Brooks.com or the Vegan section of Planetshoes.com. Keeping comfortable in sweat-wicking tops and bottoms is essential because cotton kills. Try Veganathleticapparel.com for cycling gear or Veganscene.com for amazing activewear. Try before you buy with rentals. Once you’ve hit some of your benchmarks, reward yourself with the latest weight belt or sweet stack of carabiners.

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3. Make an investment

Athletes spend a considerable amount on nutrition as opposed to beer and ice cream. To start off on the right track, add BCAA’s to fuel muscles on a cellular level; Glutamine, for recovery; key vitamins like B12, Iron and a Multi to your daily ritual. Don’t forget your probiotics and digestive enzymes to keep your system regular. Vitasave.com has a laundry list of veg-friendly supplements that won’t break the bank. The cherry on top of all of this will be your motivational tunes. Subscribe to Spotify.com for access to more music than you can handle.

4. Stay natural with whole food supplements

Fuel and refuel with healthy options to improve your performance and gains. When whole foods aren’t enough, look to supplements. Not all products are created equal, vegan or not. Good for you protein powders only such as Iron Vegan, Aloha, and Kaizen brands. Avoid 500 calorie sugar-laden bars you find on the shelves. Those are training no-no’s unless you’re a long distance runner or Tour de France cyclist.

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5. Fuel up your F1 machine

Athletes are fuelling Ferraris not Pintos and premium fuel is the rule. Deciding which body type you have (Mesomorph/Ectomorph/Endomorph or hybrid) is a great place to start building your nutrition plan from. Fats, proteins, and carbs need to be tailored to your body and timed well for maximum results. Carbs pre and post workout and fats that help you burn fat. You’ll find the best nutrition in the form of coconut oil, tempeh or tofu, rice, quinoa and heaps of veggies. Minimum water requirements to keep a consistent flush should be 4 liters or 1 gallon per day.

    Homemade whole foods for the win!

    6. Pick an idol

    Vegan athletes Dave Zabriskie, Steph Davis are accomplished and humble. When you’re choosing a sport, check out its grandaddy and learn their stories. The ability to overcome adversity hasn’t changed in millennia. How did they achieve greatness? Follow in their footsteps and avoid their missteps. Visit Greatveganathletes.com to see a listing of inspirational warriors.

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    7. Find a coach or mentor

    You need constant check-ins, pats on the back and constructive criticism to grow as an athlete and so enlist someone who has been in your shoes. For vegans, that means finding value for your dollar with a plant-powered coach. If you’re well versed in the gym you should be able to find a great coach online that will supply you with a meal plan and training program for around $150-250 per month. In person, look to spend no more than $80 per hour with a trainer for building your skills.

    8. Support

    Training alone isn’t easy, especially if you’ve chosen a sport that makes you a one man army. Be sure to find a training facility that’s simple to get to (no excuses please). Try out the app MyFitnessPal.com where you can find others like you on a fitness journey. Facebook also has groups for everything from Vegan Bodybuilding to Vegan Square Dancing enthusiasts.

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    9. Celebrate your wins

    Feeling like you’re falling flat can lead up to 70% of would-be athletes to drop off of the bandwagon. Measure small successes or enter a contest. Celebrate new PR’s (personal records) regularly. Added 5 lbs to your deadlift? Win. Sign up for a boxing match or bodybuilding competition. Long range goals with the possibility of failure or embarrassment fuels athlete brains to go hard and win. Use the JEFIT app in the iTunes store to track your workout progress.

    10. Educate yourself

    Never take anyone’s word for it. If it feels bad, research and adapt. An athlete is in a constant state of discovery of their sport and their place in it. You become a greater athlete, a better mentor, and a wise old teacher by forging your own path during your journey. Never stop learning.

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    Last Updated on June 1, 2020

    17 Ideas to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Now

    17 Ideas to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Now

    You made it here – the decision to lose weight! This means that mindfulness is kicking in. This is important for motivation, weight loss, and health. Being healthy and active is necessary!

    Our bodies were meant to move, not be sedentary. For weight loss, the success of your journey is based on your ability to stay motivated throughout.

    Motivation is easy at first, but holding on to it may breed a little challenge. Please know that this is normal. You will have days where motivation is at its all-time high and other days where motivation is at an all-time low.

    In this article, we’ll look into some of the best ideas on how to get motivated to lose weight and why we lose motivation easily along the weight loss journey.

    Motivation and Inspiration for Losing Weight

    There are varied reasons for wanting to lose weight. The one common factor: everyone needs motivation.

    One piece of advice:

    Motivation comes a little easier when you determine the reason for wanting to lose weight.

    What is/are your motivating factors for losing weight? It is important to understand your “why”, no matter how small.

    Losing weight, even just 5% of your weight can help:

    • Improve blood sugar
    • Reduce the risk of heart disease
    • Lower cholesterol
    • Reduce joint pain
    • Reduce the risk of certain cancers

    As someone who has been through this journey, I can tell you that it will require constant recharges of motivation.

    I did it the old-fashioned way, diet, and exercise. It took me almost 3 years to achieve 85 pounds lost. That may seem like a really long time. However, keep in mind that healthy weight loss averages 1-2 pounds per week.

      Motivation is really strong in the beginning, but it starts to shift when the results aren’t immediate. The results take time, and your motivation is the key to get you there.

      Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

      Common Weight Loss Motivation Struggles

      Lack of motivation is common for many reasons. Motivation can trigger a number of emotions, making it hard to get motivated.

      Some of the common motivation struggles that people face are:

      1. Unsupportive Social Environment

      Your social environment is your physical and social setting (home, family, friends, etc.). Many don’t realize the importance and influence of a social environment.

      If you are trying to get on the right track and hear something like “oh, you don’t need to do that, let’s go out and get ice cream”, your motivation to do the right thing is will likely be impacted.

      2. Lots of Hard Work for Slow Results

      When you work out 5 times a week and carefully count your calories, naturally you want to see more than 2 pounds gone. Please keep in mind that normal and healthy weight loss averages 2 pounds per week – about 3500 calories burned means one pound lost.

      3. Injuries

      Many suffer from injuries that reduce their ability to exercise. However, you should also consider low impact exercises and exercise modifications.

      Additionally, discussing approved workouts with your doctor is helpful. Exercise can still happen with an injury, but don’t lose motivation!

      4. Cravings

      You will have cravings, and that’s ok! Even the healthiest people have cravings. When cravings strike, be mindful of the craving and the portion.

      Craving cookies? Bake them at home so that you can modify and control the recipe for your goal.

      5. Healthy Food Is Expensive

      There is a bit of truth and a bit of a lie here. Healthy food can be a bit expensive. However, if you eat more of a plant-based diet (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.), the costs won’t skyrocket.

      6. Lack of Time for Working Out

      If losing weight is really what you are set out to accomplish, then you have to find some time. You have to schedule and coordinate your day to day to include working out.

      For days that you simply can’t, make choices that force a little more movement. Park at the back of the parking lot and take the longer path to the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do squats while cooking, and/or do sit-ups during commercial breaks.

      The Importance of Mindfulness for Motivation and Weight Loss

      Be honest with yourself, how many times have you eaten something without actually thinking about what you were feeding yourself?

      Mindfulness plays an important role in our everyday decisions, especially the decisions regarding our health. There are many mindfulness considerations that will help motivate you to lose weight.

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      In the past, we were taught what to eat and what not to eat. However, there was no guidance on how to select and consume, which ultimately contributed to weight issues.

      In general, people have a strong misconception about food and its purpose in our lives and health. This creates unhealthy habits that contribute to weight gain.

      The importance of mindfulness in this journey is crucial to your weight loss success. That’s why mindfulness is essential in knowing how to get motivated to lose weight.

      Take a look at this article to learn more about mindful eating: The Best Benefits of Mindful Eating for Weight Loss and How to Start Now.

      17 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight

      1. Love and Appreciation

      Love inspires motivation and motivation feeds appreciation.

      Loving yourself motivates you to appreciate our body and all the things that it can do. Appreciation for the body improves body image and appreciation for body image leads to weight loss motivation.

      2. Mindfulness

      As discussed above, mindfulness is the key to success. Being mindful ensures that you are aware of your “why”, the reason for starting your weight loss journey, and are dedicated to making good choices that support your ultimate goal.

      Mindfulness also keeps you aware throughout the process: food choices, social settings, and process/progress.

      3. Be Committed

      Your motivation for weight loss will suffer if you are not committed. Making a public commitment will help hold you accountable and enhance motivation.

      4. Get a Mentor or Accountability Partner

      Having a mentor and/or an accountability partner will help with maintaining your motivation. Having someone that inspires you and believes in you will also boost your motivation.

      5. Animals Help Motivate

      Getting a dog will increase movement because dogs have to go outside and play. A dog can be an accountability partner too! Not only will they make you move, but they are also awesome support beings.

      6. Goal Setting

      You know your “why” and now you’re ready to get started. What are your goals? Are they realistic?

      As discussed above, an average of 2 pounds a week is normal and healthy weight loss. Setting goals like “I plan on losing 15 pounds in a week” will result in a lack of motivation at the end of the week.

      7. Pace Yourself

      The weight loss journey is a lifestyle transformation journey. This doesn’t happen within a few days.

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      Habits take time to break. Don’t lose hope!

      8. Perfection Doesn’t Exist and Setbacks Will Happen

      Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be patient and love yourself through this process. This isn’t an easy journey, so expect a few setbacks as you transition and get into the groove.

      9. Don’t Set Your Eyes on the End, Set Them on Each Day

      What I mean is, focus on the journey, not the end goal.

      If you are trying to lose 50 pounds, focusing on that number will motivate you initially, but it will cause a lack of motivation later due to being overwhelmed about the length of time.

      Instead, focus on your daily goals.

      10. Incorporate a Plan That Fits Your Daily Life

      Everyone has different responsibilities and different reasons for losing weight. One plan doesn’t work for everyone.

      Build your own plan – one that you can fit into your everyday life.

      Mindfulness is key here and helps keep you motivated. Being mindful of your day and incorporating a weight loss plan is important.

      A few suggestions:

      • Reduce the number of calories you eat. Keep a food journal and track everything.
      • Make smaller plates with smaller portions. Portion control is important.
      • Reduce your unhealthy snack and sugar intake. Sugar can breed disaster.
      • Stay away from deep-fried/fried foods.
      • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

      11. Don’t Weigh Yourself Everyday

      This is a huge NO. Weighing in once a week and keeping track of progress is what you need. Weighing yourself once a day is one of the fastest ways to lose motivation.

      Remember, healthy weight loss averages 2 pounds per week.

      12. Don’t Focus 100% on the Scale

      The scale is just one way to track progression and even in that, special considerations must be given. You may have gotten on the scale 2 weeks ago and have lost 15 pounds, but this week you may gain 5 pounds.

      If you turned fat into muscle, this will happen, so don’t lose motivation! This is a good thing. It means that you are burning fat and building muscle, and building muscle means toning up.

      13. Celebrate and Reward Yourself

      When you reach a goal, celebrate! Share your success with your social environment.

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      Being happy and celebrating your achievement enhances motivation.

      14. Hire a Trainer

      It is okay to hire a professional trainer to help motivate and coach you toward your weight loss goal. The trainer doesn’t have to be a workout trainer. You can consider a dietician or therapist.

      15. Use Music

      Music is a motivation booster for sure! Music will help you move and groove, taking the focus off of the act and allowing happy to kick in and motivate you.

      Research conducted by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity found that those who listened to music while exercising were more likely to stick with it than those who didn’t.

      16. Keep Those Jeans

      You may have a pair of jeans that you want to get back into. Keep them! Let them motivate you.

      17. Take Pictures and Document Your Progress

      Your body will change as your eating habits and exercise habits change. Take a picture at the start and consider a photo every 30 to 60 days. Seeing your progress will help keep you motivated.

      How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight When Motivation is Lost

      You may find yourself 100% motivated in the beginning and less motivated after a few weeks of trying.

      Keep in mind that habits generally take 21 days to break. If you find yourself with 0 motivation after having been 100% motivated before, try these:

      • Go back to your why. Why did you start? What was the purpose?
      • Try resetting your goal. Maybe your initial goal was a little too aggressive. It’s okay to adjust and do what works for you.
      • Talk to a coach or trainer. It is a good idea to discuss with struggles with professionals. Many will offer free insight and advice for getting started and staying on track.
      • Reconsider an accountability partner and/or group. Being around like-minded people on your journey can help so much with motivation.
      • Find out if working out is the problem. Working out alone can be a bit boring. Have you considered a group fitness class? This goes back to being around like-minded people who are sharing your journey.
      • Get more motivational messages. Words and phrases of affirmation are so important. Loving yourself and being patient with yourself is at the core of success for this journey. How about waking up each day to a motivational message that you wrote for yourself?
      • Stop comparing yourself to others. Weight loss reasons, weight loss motivation, and weight loss journeys are different for everyone. Focusing on the journey of others takes you away from your goals and accomplishments. Don’t compare your progress with anyone else’s. This is your journey and you’ll do great!

      The Bottom Line

      It took me almost 3 years to lose 85 pounds. I have kept my current weight for over 5 years and counting. This guide on how to get motivated to lose weight is only here to help you. It’s still up to you whether you will follow them or not.

      Mindfulness and lifestyle transformations really are key for keeping it off. Your journey will make you strong, educate you, and transform you.

      Your motivation is within. Find your “why”, hang on to it, be patient, love yourself, and you will find success at the end of the journey.

      More Tips on How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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