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If You’re Already Overweight, Here’s How To Start Exercising

If You’re Already Overweight, Here’s How To Start Exercising

When you are overweight it can be more difficult to get started on an exercise program. Being overweight lends itself to certain issues that need to be addressed prior to starting a new workout regimen.

Here are 9 steps to do in order to correctly begin, healthily sustain, and help your chances at being more successful in your exercise program.

1. Always start with contacting your doctor to see if there are particular exercises that you should avoid.

For example, if someone has diabetes, doing exercises barefoot would not be advised. Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the feet which may prevent a person from knowing if their foot is injured.  Plus, an injury to the foot may develop into an ulcer or a serious infection.

2. Find a certified personal trainer who works with weight loss clients.

It has been my experience as a personal trainer that it is generally in the beginning where most people get hurt.

People who have never worked out or have been sedentary for a while may easily get hurt when trying to do exercises they are not used to or have never done before.

Getting injured in the first few weeks of exercising can be a debilitating blow to morale and will be another obstacle to overcome on the road to better health. Therefore, find a personal trainer who understands your needs and can help you navigate an exercise program that will prevent injury and help you get to your fitness goals.

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There are many options for personal training to meet most budgets, from one-on-one, small group, to online coaching.

3. One way to start exercising is to begin a walking program.

Walking is one of the best exercises for the body. In general, it is a gentle activity that can be done by most people. Walking burns calories, helps prevent osteoporosis, and is free.

A walking program is a concerted effort to walk for a set amount of time each day and throughout the week.

Walking can be done every day; an example program can be Mon–Fri walk 30 minutes a day, and Sat–Sun walk for 1 hour each day.

Make walking fun by inviting a friend or adopting a dog. You can also join walking clubs which you can find on sites like Craigslist.

4. Find an activity you enjoy and do it consistently.

Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean having to go to the gym. Gardening, dancing, or even dart throwing are all physical activities that burn calories. But in order for such activities to help you lose weight, they must be done regularly.

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For example plan to garden for 2 hours each weekend or for however long you are able, and do it consistently. Add this activity to your walking program and be active daily.

5. Effective weight loss programs are where results are measured so that one is aware of their progress.

There are many ways to measure results. The usual measurements are weight, circumference, body composition, and Body Mass Index (BMI).

For a new exerciser, unless you are working with a personal trainer, in which the techniques mentioned above are the best, I advise using a more readily available tool such as your clothes and cell phone camera.

A tight pair of jeans are the perfect piece of clothing to measure yourself with to see if you are making headway in your exercise program. Take note how snug your jeans are, then every two weeks, check to see if those same pair of jeans are getting looser! Take a whole body picture in your undergarments and do so every few weeks to see if you are looking slimmer.

If you are not seeing and feeling the changes you want, go back to your program and see what you can do to create improvement. With my clients, I always advise a holistic approach which translates to: are you moving enough, are you eating correctly, and is your mindset optimal?

Mindset is key to achieving any goal. One’s mental and emotional state can either drive one to success or impede their efforts.

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6. Prepare your mind.

Get it clear in your head why you want and need to implement this exercise program. Dig deep to find the reasons that will motivate you to succeed. The more compelling the reasons, the better your chances.

Write down these reasons so that if a moment of weakness arises, you can remind yourself why you must keep pushing forward.

7. Develop a success-promoting tier of goals.

This means creating short-term goals that are easily attainable that help support your long-term aspirations.

It is crucial to feel good in the beginning stages of an exercise program because this builds momentum. One way to increase your chances of success is to see yourself accomplishing some of your goals early on.

For example, an immediate goal could be to make a doctor or personal training appointment and go to it. Next, you may give yourself a goal of walking 30 minutes, 3 times within your first week. Let these small accomplishments motivate you to pursue your larger fitness goal.

8. Choose a holistic approach.

A holistic approach means to view the problem in its entirety; from its immediate effects, to its underlying cause.

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We know that weight gain is not caused by one thing. It is usually triggered by a combination of factors some of which are: not moving enough, an emotional reason, a health condition, eating too much, and / or eating the wrong things. Therefore, to be successful at solving the situation, a multiple of approaches must be considered.

In previous steps I mentioned, movement and mindset are aids to weight loss, but even more important is eating healthily.

One cannot lose weight by exercise alone because you cannot out-run a bad diet. You simply cannot burn enough calories within a day to combat a destructive eating habit.

Add a nutrition component to your exercise program and find long-lasting weight loss success.

9. Recruit people to help you stay on track.

When a person tells other people about their plans, it creates a “silent” contract of accountability. Most people want others to believe that they keep their promises and are the kind of people who “do what they say.”

There are many ways to have this type of accountability. One is to enlist a good friend or relative. Tell your friend that you plan to start an exercise program. Ask him or her to periodically check in on you to see how you’re doing and to be supportive when you’re together by helping you make healthy choices.

Personally, I have used Instagram for just this type of accountability measure. Instagram has a very supportive and engaging community of exercisers. I use this inspiring community to support my efforts in becoming a better yogi and my aspiration of a free-standing handstand!

Follow these 9 steps and I am certain you will see change and find success in your efforts to be healthier. Good luck!

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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