Getting Ready to Start Working Out!

This is it!  You’re going for it!  Whatever “it” is…

Whether you’re looking to lose fat, gain muscle, get toned, improve your cardiovascular system, prevent or treat diabetes, reduce your risk of many of our #1 killers out there, control your mood swings, feel sexier, be that cute person’s gym buddy, be that cute person! Whatever it is, you’ve decided you want to start working out.  That’s great!  Let’s make sure you keep it up!

First things first, if you aren’t already active, especially if you have health issues, get your doctor’s ok and suggestions on what will be healthy for you to do.  As much as I love me some Shaun T and Focus T25, if you have health issues that might not be where you want to start.  Plus, exercise can become too taxing on a body that’s already dealing with disease or breakdown.  The exercise spectrum is vast, I’m sure there’s something you will be able to do that you enjoy doing without causing issues for your body.

Second: Determine your purpose for working out.  I mean, duh, you want to be healthier, but what does that mean to you?  Most people don’t like cardio but it’s one of the best things to improve your health.  Gaining muscle will help you burn more fat quicker and for longer periods of time.  Strength training will not only make you physically stronger it will also make your bones denser helping to stave off osteoporosis.  Prediabetic?  Concerns about heart disease? Need to be stronger to support your joints better to get you out of pain?  What’s your reasoning?

Third: Talk with a professional fitness trainer.  (I’m not one yet but by the end of 2017 I will be!)  Often times you can have a free meeting with one at your gym but if you don’t belong to a gym or your gym doesn’t have one seek one out.  You know those reasons you listed from above about why you want to workout?  You need a professional’s help in determining your best course of action.  They’ll help you make modifications for any restrictions you may have, give you lists of the perfect exercises for your body type and goals, and help make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly so you don’t get injured.  Trust me, getting hurt because you thought you were doing what was best for you but you were wrong will cost you money, time off work, time not being able to exercise, and a lot more.  This investment is well worth it if you’re serious about your fitness goals.

Fourth:  Get geared up!  No you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on special shoes, clothes, and supplements; but you do need to have a few things on hand.  You do need shoes you can workout in.  Your feet need support.  Buy the best you can afford and save for better ones if finances are an issue.  Comfortable natural fiber clothes are another must.  Seriously, I get mine at Goodwill during 50% Saturdays.  I’m a big girl and my pants always wear down quickly (hello chub rub!) so I won’t spend more than $12 on a pair of pants.  Ladies, if your “ladies” are big opt for at least one high quality sports bra.  Your chest and back will thank you by not causing you intense pain!  Get a water bottle.  No really, you should have one anyway.  Take it with you everywhere.  Most of us don’t drink enough water.  Work up to a gallon of water a day then talk with your doctor or personal trainer on what they recommend past that.

Fifth:  Find a program you LOVE!  The above mentioned Focus T25 is amazing to get results but I seriously have to talk myself into doing it every day because I hate it.  Love it for the results, hate it for the gauntlet it puts me through!  I love hula hooping, belly dancing, striptease dancing, yoga, and jogging.  Those are my go-to’s.  It’s rare that I don’t look forward to doing at least one of those.  I’d say swimming too but I really just like floating in the water and that doesn’t burn many calories so I’ve stopped lying to myself about that one.  Pool time = relaxing time for me.  Well, as relaxed as I can get while watching my five kids monkey around in water.

Sixth:  Make time for your program!  If you think you’re going to “find” time to workout, odds are you’ll be disappointed.  Make the time.  Spend 30 minutes of your lunch break at work, wake up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later, delete the games off your phone, whatever you need to do to set aside the time, do it.  This isn’t about will power.  Schedule this time in during your day like a meeting at work.  You don’t want to go too the meeting at work but you have to, same thing with working out.  Well, hopefully you’ll want to workout after finding a program that you LOVE!

Seventh:  Get support!  A workout buddy, accountability buddy, or join a support group.  I have a Facebook Group exactly for this!  If you have to be accountable to someone you’re more likely to follow through.  If you have other people around you who have similar goals and they are making strides to get to those goals, you’re more likely to follow through.

I bet you’re saying to yourself, “Duh, I know all of this”… I know you do.  Sometimes we need to hear it again (and again) for it to actually impact how we do things.  Make sure you’re actually following through with all of this, it doesn’t take long but can make your workout experience so much more successful and less painful!

Comment with what you’re doing to workout and what your goals are!  I love hearing from you!

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Step 7: Live a Life of Joy

Every choice you make either brings you closer to your joy or further away.  You’re either creating a life you love or creating a life you try to escape from.

You can’t always chose or change your situations; however, you can always control how you respond to them and the choices you make.

When you get crystal clear with what you want out of life, what your purpose is, what you’re being called to do; then joy is a natural by product.

Find it.  Create it.  Cultivate it.  Joy.

Your connection to God/Source/The Universe/ The Divine/*Your Word of Choice* is your direct path to joy.  Regardless of your situation, the challenges, the out right crap pile you’re trying to crawl your way out of; your Higher Self/Divine connection is what will make it all worth while.

Your connection to The Divine (my word of choice) will help you determine your purpose and calling.  It will be a like a lighthouse guiding you through the storm.  It’s only when we struggle that we grow but we don’t have to struggle alone.  Our tribe is apart of our Divine Family.  Our Creativity is our expression of our Divine within.  Our Personal Power is the spark of the Divine that drives us to keep moving forward.  Our Center of Love comes from feeling the Divine Love within us.  Our Inner Knowing comes from listening to our Divine Self.  It all came from God and will all return to God.

This final step is about flowing into your Divine Connection to feel your joy in all your endeavors.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t feel your negative emotions.  Those will always be there.  If you; however, maintain your connection to the Divine you’ll be able to feel those emotions without getting lost in them, understand there is a purpose to it all, and find comfort when all else seems to be falling apart.

Connecting to your Divine can be felt in a church/temple/synagogue, your home, outside, in a body of water, skydiving, in the arms of those you love, anywhere you are as long as you silence your mind and open your heart.

Once you feel it you will never not feel it again.  It is always there.  The more you stay open to it, the more opportunities you’ll have to feel the joy that is life.  Let your Divine connection guide your choices.  Decide to fulfill your purpose.  Follow your calling.  Feel Your joy.

Step 6: Inner Knowledge

Are you ready to move beyond wisdom?

To move your life fully into it’s greatest expression you have to be able to learn to listen to your inner guide.  In step 3 your learned to listen to your gut, the feelings your body gave you to help guide you to where you’re supposed to go.  Now in step 6 you’ll partner those feelings with the inner knowledge that you just know.

We’re talking about knowing that your friend needs you to call her when there’s something wrong that you haven’t learned about, or to turn right instead of going straight and there was an accident on your normal route you didn’t discover until after you got home.  Your inner voice is directing you all the time.  When you learn to tune into it you start to notice synchronicity in your life.  Challenges are averted and solutions to problems become crystal clear.

If you feel like you don’t have even a simple dialog going on with your inner voice there are two simple exercises to get you moving in the right direction.  First, start writing down all the times you made a choice based off of a hunch and that hunch turned out to help you.  Notice I didn’t say the hunch was right.  It won’t always be correct, but it should help you.  Second, keep a dream journal.  Nothing fancy, can be a spiral notebook and a pen by your bedside.  Make sure you write down your dreams before you say anything in the morning.  As soon as you start speaking you start forgetting your dreams.  You want to include as much detail as you can, especially emotions and feelings.  Your subconscious thinks in symbols so don’t take your dreams at face value unless you start to notice that they are coming true as is (some people do have prophetic dreams).  These two exercises will help you tune into your higher guide and learn to listen and look for the help that’s been there all along.

Step 5: Communicate Your Truth

What is your message to the world?  Are you communicating it?

If your answer is no, why not?

Do you speak with integrity?  Do you listen fully with the intent to understand what someone is saying to you, or do you listen for key words so you know roughly how to respond?

Do you sing? Out loud?  With your full heart and soul?

Step 5 is making sure YOU are being expressed.  That your personality, heart, and soul is coming through loud and clear in everything that you do.

If you are filtering yourself (your real self, not your knee jerk emotional self) examine why you feel the need to.  Is there something you need to change within yourself or are you assuming how another person my perceive you?  Take a lesson from  Dr. David Simon, always ask yourself, “Is this true?  Is it necessary?  Is it kind?”  If it passes those three questions and you still feel like you need to filter yourself you may be assuming other people’s positions.  Allow yourself the freedom to express your truth, regardless of what others may think, and you may be surprised how well it is received and needed.

You aren’t doing anyone else a favor by holding back.  You are apart of other people’s paths and play an important role in their spiritual development.  What you may feel like you can’t speak may be the very thing that person needs to hear at that exact moment to propel them into greatness!

Share your truth!  Speak what needs to be said.  Listen closely for others to do the same.

Step 4: Where the Physical and Spiritual Meet

This is where the magic begins!  Here is where you learn to flow with love. ❤

Step four is about learning how to live life from a center of love.  While this is one of the most rewarding steps, it can be difficult.  Especially if there is someone who you feel so negative about you physically get sick thinking about them.  (I have one of those and am still working through it, this may take a while)

The love we are talking about here is about acceptance.  It’s about understanding that there are things that are beyond your control and that because you love yourself so much, you will let go and allow things to be as they are.  It’s about compassion for everyone, even the people you don’t believe deserve it.  It’s about forgiveness, for yourself and everyone else.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t learn from your lessons or that you allow others to treat you poorly.  Take the steps you need to protect yourself, but do so with love and understanding.  Understanding that not everyone is in the same place as you and may be learning different lessons than you.

When you feel yourself getting angry or anxious take a step back and evaluate.  What can I change about this situation.  Often times the only thing you can change is how you look at it.  For the things you can’t change look for the good, look for the lesson, look for the growth.  Practice gratitude, even for your struggles.  We only grow and learn when we struggle.

Lastly, work on being of service to others.  You can start with your tribe if that is easier.  Look for others who need assistance, donate your time and efforts before your money.  Hold someone’s hand through a difficult time, till someone’s garden who is getting too old for it, help a new mom clean up her home and watch the baby so she can take a shower, there are many ways to make yourself of service.  If you have children, this is a great family activity to do together.

Living a life centered in love means living a slow down style of life.  It means thinking before you act or speak.  It means making time for others.  It means letting go of things you can’t change.

It means freedom.  Joy.  Happiness.

Step 3: Light Your Personal Power Fire

To kick start your metabolism you need to turn up the heat physically in your body and mentally.

How well do you follow your gut feelings?  Are you confident with your decision making?  How clearly defined are your goals and your plan to reach them?  It’s time to trust yourself and your Higher Self.  Your body knows, look for the answers there.  If you’re working through a decision making process and you feel sick to your stomach over one of the options, that’s not the option for you!  Listen to your gut.  Once you make a decision, stand by it (unless it’s been proven wrong and a much better option has become clear).  Sometimes the decisions we’ve made may not be completely correct but they will lead us to where we need to go.

Define where you want to go, create clear goals, map out a path of action steps to attain those goals, then lace up your shoes and start walking that path!  Take action every day, even if it’s small action, and you’ll keep making progress towards a life you are excited about!

While walking that path towards your goals make sure you are actually getting your heart rate up.  Get physically active doing something you love (or at least don’t mind doing) every day.  Add eating spicy or strongly flavored healthy foods and your internal heat goes up a couple notches at a time, raising your metabolism with it!

Create goals.  Take steps towards those goals daily.  Trust the vibes your body gives you when making decisions.  Stand by your decisions.  Get active with things you enjoy doing.  Eat spicy healthy foods.  Turn up that personal power!

Step 2: Express Your Creativity

Before you start a diet and exercise plan, create something!  Anything.  Lots of things!

Expressing our creativity is vital to our emotional, mental, and physical health.

There are so many ways to express your creativity!  Even if you don’t feel like a creative person.  The obvious path of arts and crafts is definitely not for everyone (though, this is one of my favorites!).  Some people love body art and expressing themselves through their outward appearance.  Some people are great with words, others music, some with home decor!

When all of those ways seem futile to you can creatively express your emotions.  Are you happy?  Put together an assortment of flowers.  Sad?  Make a pot of warm soup. Angry? Go stomp in puddles.  Excited? Call a friend and share your excitement!

How about creativity in your career?  What can you do to make your day to day grind more “you”?  Decorate your office/cubicle.  Change up your voice mail or email signature to match your style.  Tackle a problem with some coworkers and find a creative solution!

What about your sex life?  Whether it’s a solo performance or there’s many actors, there’s a lot of place to express your creativity here!  Find new ways to include all your senses.  When by yourself treat yourself like a date!  Buy some flowers, make yourself an amazing dinner, run a relaxing bath, and woo yourself in bed!

Look at your life, the entirety of it.  Where do you need creativity? What areas do you feel aren’t authentic to you?  Make a list of where you need creativity and then write out at least five ways to express it for each area.  Fill in your activities in your calendar so that you are able to express yourself frequently and consistently.  Next, make a list of creative ways you can express your emotions.  Sort them by emotion and keep them some place easily accessible to you so when you’re having strong emotions you can refer back to your list and choose the most creative way that feels right to you to express that emotion.