First give yourself a round of applause, high five, and even a pat on the back! You have made the first tough choice of deciding to live a healthier lifestyle. And that my queen is a task in itself (we've all been there). Now you're probably thinking what now? Where do I begin? Well you are in the right place, because I have put together a simple (doing them may not be so easy to do) 5-step guide to get you started.
Step 1: Get A Fitness Journal/Notebook
This may sound oldschool, but believe me when I say it is VERY effective. Sometimes our goals can seem out of reach, but writing them down makes them more tangible than just speaking it or putting it on your phone calendar. Get a notebook, or journal (We have a great one available for purchase on our shopping page just FYI lol). Set aside some time to put down 3 short term goals related to fitness. When I say short term choose things that can be incorporated daily (i.e drink a gallon of water or get 6-8 hours of sleep). Be sure to leave space so that you can make notes. Next, beside each goal implement a plan of how you will work towards reaching them. If you put drink a gallon of water a day your plan can be to drink 2 cups of water every hour for 8 hours ( 1 gallon=16 cups). The key is to have a plan . Now do the same thing except with 3 long term goals and be specific (i.e lose 10 pounds, not just lose weight). Once you have done that write down your current measurements and weight with the date you recorded it. Boom! We're making progress. Not only do you have some goals to work towards, but you have a starting point written down as well. This all ties in together I promise.
Step 2: Photo-Op Time
Time to get out your camera or cell phone (whichever is easiest). Don't worry I'm not going to ask you to post anything. I am however going to ask you to take some photos of yourself in various positions for progress documentation purposes. Pictures and/or videos are a great way to track your progress. I have put some examples of my go to poses when I take my progress photos below. All you have to do is take them and that's it. Not too bad right? The magical part is letting at least 2-3 weeks go by (I prefer a full month) then take another set of photos. Try to take the photos in the same outfit as before. It is easier to compare even the slightest changes when you put them side by side. Just looking at yourself in the mirror will more than likely lead to discouragement. It is hard to tell if you are making progress that way. Try it out! You can even put them in a separate album in your phone to make them more accessible when you need them.
Step 3: Dejunk and Start FRESH (literally)
To save yourself the heartbreak later, Please, Please, Please get rid of most, if not all of the junk food and/or unhealthy food items in your kitchen. Trust us when we say it will make the process a little easier.
Remember: You can't eat it if you don't have it. Make a new grocery list that consists of healthier options and restock your fridge and pantry.
Tip: Focus on getting most of your foods from the perimeter of your grocery store (inner aisles contains mainly processed foods)
Step 4: Create a Workout Regimen
You know your body and the activity level it can handle. Do NOT be overzealous. You want to start small and work your way up. This is a journey, not a race, so set yourself up to succeed. Begin with adding 30-45 min workout sessions 2-3 times per week for a month. Once you have become consistent with that then up the frequency and time of your workouts. Be sure to be specific when creating your workout routine. Say you'll workout every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after work from 6:30-7:15p versus just saying you'll workout 3 times a week. This is more effective because you are conditioning both your mind and body to being accustomed to your workout routine.
Step 5: Accountability Partner/Fitness Buddies
I'm sure there are people who go through their fitness journey alone, but it's probably not as fun as it could be if you had a nice support group cheering you on. That is my main reason for creating Good Girl Gone Fit. This platform's purpose is to do just that: be your support system. I know you've heard the saying you are who you surround yourself with right? So if you're taking the necessary steps to living a healthier lifestyle you should be surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals. You get that extra push and much needed motivation when you need it. Your fitness buddies can help keep you on the right track, offer advice, and cheer you on along the way. I'm not saying ditch your other friends lol, but it is okay to get out there and meet new people. Head over to our fitness community forum and interact with other black women who are all striving to become their best "fit" selves.
Soooooo are you ready to get started? I can't say it will be easy, because by experience I can say it is hard work. But you know what? The feeling of accomplishing your fitness goals and loving your body from the inside out outweighs the tough times. To top it all off, your body will be forever grateful that you are taking care of it. You got this! I know you can do it! Need any help don't hesitate to reach out. This is a no judgement place. We're all here to better ourselves. So get to it Queen!