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"How to Start and Maintain a Successful Fitness Journey"

Quite some years ago I started my fitness journey. At first weight loss was something I fully dedicated myself to! But getting fit and strong is something different altogether...

When I lost the weight I needed (it was just not healthy enough anymore, I was seriously feeling uncomfortable and wanted to prevent getting really seriously fat) I first started doing cardio by running. Then I started doing more fitness related workouts, which would also help me while running because I will become overall more fit and strong. Then I also added lifting and everything started to feel even better.

After having a talk about this with my GP, she was very enthusiastic about everything, but especially about the weights training and really supports me in this journey. For some health reasons, mainly for getting quicker blood sugar levels running in the family, I had to start balancing my diet more, improve by eating more veggies and fruit, wholesome full grain products and less processed food as possible. That did work, but not yet towards my best healthy blood levels. Therefore, my GP let me see a dietician who would help me be better both inside and outside!

Gradually, I started really viewing my body and food differently. My life slowly started to change and now turning more and more into a lifestyle– but this doesn’t happen overnight. There were and still are quite some things I had to start doing, and even more I had to STOP doing, to get to the place I am at both mentally and physically today. And I am still growing… it doesn’t stop here!

Things To Stop When Starting Your Fitness Journey

1. Getting advice from wherever

Asking for help is a good thing– but what happens when you ask one person for help, and then ask another, and then a group for their advice on the first person’s advice, or checking too much online? You’ll end up with a lot of conflicting information, which makes you overwhelmed, which makes you question everything– which keeps you from beginning in the first place. If you are going to ask for advice, ask one person that you trust, who you have seen the results you desire from, and ask them where they got the information and if there are resources they suggest–then go do your own research and try getting help from your GP and/or dietician like I did, which really pushed my changes to the next level.

2. Planning too much

Planning isn’t a bad thing at all, but it can also be used to avoid getting started. So yes, take the time to meal prep, find a place that will work best for you, block time in your calendar for workouts. However don’t spend a month planning your start, remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to start somewhere. Check out via the web or ask advise from a gym (personal) trainer. Fear is sometimes disguised as perfectionism. Let's get started NOW!

3. Being scared of food

If you are starting a fitness journey, it means you are increasing your activity level and that means that you need to eat to support that level of activity. 1.200 calories a day is ridiculous and unsustainable, especially if you have a significant amount of fat to lose. Everyone is different and requires a different calorie intake to support their weight and activity but being afraid of about 2.000 calories for example is silly. When you are out there eating like a pig, most people don’t think twice to consume that in a sitting or two, but for some reason spread out over the course of a day while working out and trying to be healthy it’s considered a lot of food? No. Do your research and eat for your goals and health. If you’re not exactly sure on how to go about your diet, and again do consult your GP and/or dietician. It's about quality not quantity...

4. Being embarrassed of your ‘befores’

Many of us don't like their before pictures. It most likely represents you feeling your worst and feeling the need for a change. But, as you make progress you are going to love those things because you will be able to see how far you’ve come in your fitness journey. To be honest, I myself wish I had more before pictures to compare to!

5. Comparing yourself to others

Every single body is different. I repeat– every. single. body. is. different.

What works for one person may not work for another. Someone may work out with more or less intensity than you, someone may eat more or less than you and even if you were to do exactly what another person is doing, you will not get the exact same results. Why? Because every single body is different. If someone’s progress seems better or faster than yours, you have to let it go. Wanting another girl’s abs, ass, arms, quads or whatever is futile, because you can only have your own. So rather than looking at someone else’s progress and feeling bad about yours, know that you will get to where you want to be when you get there and it will be unique to you. It is about you, and you alone!

6. Waiting for motivation

If you are waiting for some majestic, inspirational, motivation unicorn to show up and carry you to the gym, or do any workout you are planning, then you will be super disappointed. There are going to be many days on your fitness journey that you just don’t feel like it. There might be several in a row, or a whole week or a month even. Rather than waiting for that feeling to show up, you need to get your act together, grow up and get disciplined to keep you going. Make it a habit and just go no matter what, even if you feel like you’re just going through the motions– the point is you’re doing it. And you will thank yourself later. What always works for me if I don’t feel like working out, I imagine how I feel afterwards… which is nothing but energetic!

7. Being inconsistent

You are not going to see the results you want if you only do half. You can’t eat ‘good’ during the week and eat rubbish on weekends. You can’t start a programme, quit and then try something else. You can’t fall off and think it won’t matter. You have to be consistent and do what you need to do day in and day out– if you want to see results, seriously. At first this will be really tough on you, as you need to grow into new habits, but after some time you cannot imagine wanting anything else anymore!

Bonus! Bad Habits

While you are on this journey it is a perfect time to get rid of the bad habits you’ve gotten yourself into. Try to stop going to bed so late, start eating healthier, stop smoking etc.

8. Discrediting your accomplishments

One thing I can’t stand is when some so-called fit-girl will show off a progress photo and say something like, “LOVING the progress I’m seeing in my booty, ignore the cellulite!” or “Finally starting to see abs but I’m so grossed out by my stretch marks!” No. Stop this. Start looking in the mirror and practice only saying good things to yourself. You can still be humble without taking away from your hard work. Those sentences, “LOVING the progress!” and “Finally starting to feel strong!” are perfect on their own, without your negativity taking away from them. I always try not to focus on visual things, but more on feelings, which will bring you much further. If you let go on how you look, your body will gradually transform.

9. Cheating

I really don't like the phrase “cheat meal”. As it implies that you are doing something wrong. Binge-eating is something else, but eating a single cookie or something isn’t the end of the world and really isn’t going to throw you off. Labeling something a cheat, doesn’t make it any more or less damaging. It’s just food. If you go off plan, don’t beat yourself up or calling it a cheat in order to justify, just get back on track and move on, and hopefully you enjoyed.

10. Burning yourself out

Going from zero to super speedy isn’t what you need. Sure you want to start off right, but you don’t want to be so sore you can barely walk after day one. I believe you need to ease into a healthier eating and a fitness routine. Besides, don't forget to rest and recover, be kind to yourself. Seriously working out 6-7 days a week might actually hinder your progress. Instead, take a day or two off a week and really focus on rest and recovery–because that’s where the magic truly happens. You’ll perform better, feel better and see results faster by allowing your body the time to heal.

11. Obsessing

Really, stop. Constantly weighing yourself, measuring every crumb, checking for progress in the mirror and photos daily is only going to make you crazy. Just put your head down and work it. I can tell you, from the moment I started to let go, everything became better and feeling much easier.

12. Getting upset with the scale

The scale is a tool and the sooner you keep this in mind, the sooner you will release its power over you. Generally, when starting a fitness journey (when you’re doing things the right way) you may actually gain some weight– or not lose a single pound. Yes, I know you are working very hard and want to see some kind of numerical result to reflect that hard work. But you need to understand, when you are doing things you’ve never done, your body needs to take some time to figure things out. For example you may start holding water because your muscles need more to recover, you may be building some muscle and burning some fat at the same time and weirdly– you may not even be eating enough. Let your body do its thing and don’t live or die by the number on the scale. If you have kilos to lose, you will eventually lose them with consistency. Honest..? I don’t even have a scale.

13. Thinking there is a magic pill

Patience is a virtue. There is no magic pill. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stop wanting to get there fast, because, think we actually all know, faster results don’t usually last. The faster it comes off, the easier it is to put back on, but when you are dedicated to putting in the work every day, you will see lasting results and you will no longer feel like you are on a journey, but reaping the benefits of living a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Most important is that you start your fit journey for you, and you alone! Do what feels best for you and eventually it will last a life time!



Delicious and nutritious banana coffee smoothie for a quick breakfast, or pre/post workout drink!

The coffee in this smoothie can be a nice wake up call, so great as a quick and easy breakfast. Can also work well as a pre or post workout drink, or when you just feel like it.

Just get all ingredients together and blend away!

This quick, simple & super tasty banana coffee smoothie is with...

200 ml milk of your choice

1 banana

2 tablespoons oats

1 espresso

Optional: 1 scoop protein powder banana flavour (@orangefit)

Of course, feel free to experiment and use those ingredients you like the most.

Blend and ready to go!


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