Stepping out of your comfort zone

“You should do one thing a day that scares you” – I have this quote in the back of my mind every day and I actually find it really motivating.

If you’re faced with a decision and you have several choices, you should go with the one that scares you the most as this is the one which will likely help you grow the most. If you’re scared of trying something, that usually means it’s going to be challenging, but when you face a challenge and step out of your comfort zone, you allow yourself to grow which will increase your confidence and your self-belief.

Sometimes you may not be successful when you take on a challenge, for example if you try to run at a higher speed than normal on the treadmill but it’s too fast for you, or you try to hit a PB on a deadlift but it’s too heavy for you to lift. This is OK and it’s all part of growing and improving as it shows you what does and doesn’t work for you and opens up new methods to try next time – so don’t give up after a small set back, use it to push yourself again next time.

So where do you start?

Grab a pen and makes some notes:

  1. Decide what it is that scares you
  2. Why does it scare you?
  3. Write down how you think you’d feel if you achieved it
  4. What can you do to make it easier for yourself
  5. Consider next steps and planning

Let’s apply to it to an example of someone who wants to join the gym but is scared.

  1. Decide what it is that scares you Going to the gym
  2. Why does it scare you? Fear of going alone, fear of what others may think, not sure what to do there, etc
  3. Write down how you think you’d feel if you achieved it Proud, happy, confident
  4. What can you do to make it easier for yourself? Write down a workout before you go, take earphones and get yourself in your own zone, go with a friend, etc
  5. Consider next steps and planning make a plan of how often you will go to the gym and what you will do there. Maybe think long term, set a goal of what you would like to have achieved in 6 months time (this can be anything relevant to you) and that will give you something to work towards.

Seeing it written down may actually help you in getting over your fear. Most fears we have are made worse by over thinking and often creating unrealistic scenarios that will likely never happen but too late – you’ve scared yourself and your confidences decreases! By seeing this challenge written down, you may realise how achievable it actually is and believe in yourself that you will achieve it. Also by allowing yourself to face a challenge and overcome a fear, you’re developing your strengths both physically and mentally.

So maybe you made it to the gym after many times of talking yourself out of it, maybe you did a 30 minute workout then left because you felt anxious – it’s a great start so be proud of the improvement you have already made! Next time think about something different to try, whether it be a different routine. new equipment or a longer workout but something that will support your growth.

Take each day at a time, make a note of your progress your feelings and in 6 months time you will look back and realised how much you have grown!

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For more weight loss inspiration & tips take a look at my Instagram page by clicking here

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Instagram @healthyfit_chloe 100lb weight loss
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Cheat meals: Why they’re important.

From time to time we all need a treat and I am a big believer in treating myself – which you have probably seen in Instagram posts and previous blogs. Most of the time, I do follow a healthy diet BUT I’ve never restricted myself and I have frequently treated myself to my favourite foods, particularly on the weekend. BUT, how do I do it without ruining my progress?

CONSISTENCY is how!!!

One bad meal doesn’t ruin progress, the same as one good meal doesn’t make you lose weight. It doesn’t matter about the one bad meal you have in a week, it’s about what you do for the rest of the week that counts.

I’m not sure if I actually like the phrase cheat meal because I don’t like to think I’m ‘cheating’ on my diet for having something which I enjoy, so whether you call it a cheat meal, treat meal, re-feed, maintainance day, etc, I think it’s important to have one for our own sanity!

Why I like cheat meals

  1. It’s something to look forward to during the week – thinking about pizza or burgers is enough to bring anyone’s mood up!
  2. I love food
  3. It’s good for your mind to have a break from ‘clean eating’
  4. Can increase motivation afterwards – I’m usually buzzing for a good workout after a cheat meal
  5. I enjoy it so I wouldn’t want to cut it out of my life

There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, but it is important to monitor how you have your cheat meal as this could be what is holding you back if you’re not seeing progress. Cheat meals can fit into your plan with ease however if you turn your meal into a cheat weekend – this is where you’ll struggle to see progress as you may end up

How I used to have a cheat meal

  • Use it as a reward for weight loss
  • Turn it into a cheat day
  • Binge on waaay too much food
  • Feel guilty
  • Likely to turn into a cheat weekend
  • Spend all week trying to ‘cancel out’ the bad food from the weekend

How I have a cheat meal now

  • Use it as motivation during the week
  • Plan ahead so my other meals that day are healthy
  • Enjoy it
  • No guilty feelings
  • Get straight back in the gym and eat healthy the next day

If you want a treat, then fine, have it and enjoy it. Try not to let it ruin your whole weekend or the following week – learn to be disciplined by having your treat of choice then moving on by getting straight back on plan.

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New Year Resolutions: setting achievable goals

New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when people set New Year Resolutions to work towards the following year. The most common New Year Resolutions are to lose weight, get fit, drink less alcohol and stop smoking.

We’ll often say to ourselves ‘I will get fit this year’ or ‘I will cut out alcohol in January’, however the resolutions do not tend to last very long, in fact, research shows that only 8% of people who made a New Year’s resolution achieve their goal.

So why do New Year Resolutions fail?

For the first two or three weeks in January we are focused, we are determined, we failed with last year’s resolution so this year we must stick to it! Towards the end of the month the focus and determination tends to wear off, perhaps boredom of doing the same gym routine 3 days a week, or eating the same food everyday?

The most common reason for failing a New Year’s Resolution is that people don’t see results straight away, they think they will never achieve their goal or it will take too long so they give up. Even though you don’t see results straight away, consistency is key to achieving a goal – keep going!

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Setting Goals

Goals are a great way of staying on track and helping to get to where you want to be. I have set goals since the beginning of my weight loss journey and it has helped me to lose and maintain 6 and a half stone (40kg). I have found it useful to set a long term goal to work to achieve throughout the year, for example a weight loss target I wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Personally, I like to have 2 or 3 bigger goals and I also set 3 to 5 smaller goals each month – this helps me to stay focused and progress while working to achieve my overall goal.

I recommend using SMART objectives to set your goals. These objectives are frequently used by managers to achieve their business goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time.

Applying SMART to weight loss

  • Specific – ‘I want to lose 2 stone”
  • Measurable – ‘I’ll weigh myself weekly’ or ‘I’ll measure how my clothes feel’
  • Achievable – “I will eat healthy and go to the gym 3 times a week’
  • Realistic – “Am I willing to work towards this goal?”
  • Time – “Is there a time limit for me to achieve this goal?” or “When do I want to have achieved this goal by?”

 

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Tips for sticking to your goals

  • Write down your goals – seeing your goals written down your own handwriting can dramatically increase the likelihood of achieving your goals
  • Set smaller goals too – monthly goals will help to keep you on track while you work towards your overall goal
  • Remind yourself of your progress – working towards a big goal means that it could be a while before you start to see results, remind yourself of how well you have done and stay motivated (see my motivation blog for ideas on staying motivated)
  • Stay focused – remind yourself why you set the goal and why you want to achieve it
  • Enjoy working towards your goal – enjoying your journey and seeing/feeling progress and will make it so much easier to achieve long term!

Follow me on Instagram for more weight loss pictures, workout videos and healthy recipes! @healthyfit_chloe or click here

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12 Week Transformation Programme – My Experience So Far

Why Personal Training?

Throughout my journey of losing weight, I have really enjoyed exercising and getting fitter. I have exercised since the start of my healthy lifestyle (May 2015) and combined with a healthy diet I lost 5 stone between May 2015 and March 2016. By September 2016 I had lost a further 6lb by maintaining my healthy diet and continuing to exercise, I did all of this on my own without following any specific plans or having any guidance.

I reached a point where I had achieved all that I could on my own and I needed a new challenge, something different to push me further than I could push myself and I thought personal training would be that challenge. I had seen an advert on Facebook for Dan Lambert’s Fitness in Nuneaton and after several weeks of thinking about it, I decided to contact him about personal training to find out more. He booked me in for a trial session with Sophie and we had a consultation about my goals and what I wanted from personal training and then she introduced me to one of her leg sessions (which I felt for the next couple of days!).

One of my personal milestones to keep working towards this year was my Graduation Ceremony (November 24th). When I started my training with Sophie, my Graduation was 11 weeks away so I decided that the 12 Week Transformation Programme would be most suited to me and would lead up to my graduation nicely, this programme included 24 personal training sessions as well as additional fitness and nutritional support.

My experience so far…

As a beginner to personal training, the idea scared me initially as it was unlike anything I had done before. After only several weeks I could see a noticeable difference in my body shape and now at the half way stage, the results are even more noticeable. It’s amazing how much can change in 6 weeks, not just physical changes but mental changes as well. Our minds can often hold us back, if we tell ourselves we cannot do something, we’re not likely to try out of fear of failing, however if we tell ourselves that we can do it – we’re much more likely to succeed!

After almost 7 weeks of training I have lost a further 8lb and my fitness and strength has increased significantly. What I enjoy most about personal training is the self confidence it has given me. Many of the workouts I have done with Sophie, I would not have tried on my own because of the assumption that I would not be able to do it. Training with Sophie has helped me to overcome the things I previously thought I couldn’t do which has enabled me to take the next step to reach my long term fitness goals and I look forward to every session (even Sophie’s leg sessions!).

The personal training has also helped with creating my own training plan in the gym, I am so much more confident with what I need to do to get the most out of my workout due to what I have learned from Sophie over the last 6 weeks and I am now able to push myself even when I am training on my own.

 

Food plan…

In the lead up to my graduation I have been following an 8 week food plan set by Sophie. All of the meals I have had are so tasty and filling (and super easy to make which is great for a busy lifestyle), this has shown me that healthy eating is NOT boring!

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The next few weeks…

I am so excited for the next few weeks as I approach the final weeks of the 12 Week Transformation Plan. I’m really looking forward to my graduation in 4 weeks time (and hopefully fitting into my small dress!). I’m also really excited to see the comparison photos and compare the measurements I took at the start of the process.

For anyone who has thought about trying personal training to support reaching your goals, whether they are weight loss, strength or fitness related – I would fully recommend it! I have had such an amazing experience with Sophie from Dan Lambert’s Fitness; all of the trainers are extremely focused to get the most out of their clients, I feel like the whole process has inspired and pushed me to reach my weight loss and fitness goals.

Follow me on Instagram for more food and workout pictures and videos @chloe.longstaff

Find out more about Dan Lambert’s Fitness and the team here