I have to state that hubby is my biggest supporter .. second only to our son 🙂 .. by a very small margin. Darren enjoys reading and writing, when I’ve found myself stuck, he has been there to help me cross the bridge. It was because of him, that my passion for running was rekindled, but it was his continued belief in me that got me to my first 10km, my first 21.1km, triathlon and most recently his support helped me to actually complete my first full marathon. I was extremely happy when he agreed to contribute to my blog on the odd occasion(s). He himself has run long distances, and continues to do so, but his focus now is on the shorter distances. Besides running, hubby enjoys cycling the long distances having completed the Argus, 94.7 Cycle Challenge and some MTB events.
“A year from now you will wish you had started today” – Karen Lamb
Every single one of us has within us the ability to effect the most phenomenal changes in our life. Very often the desire for a fitter, leaner, more toned and generally healthier body seems beyond our reach and restricted to the genetically blessed and those with any number of hours available during a day to spend it in the gym. Nothing is further from the truth and with sufficient dedication and commitment anyone can achieve the body they desire.
Very often though, that desire is stifled and suppressed by what has become our daily routine. Let’s face it, it is easier to press the snooze button at 5am and lay-in for another hour than it is to get up, get dressed and make your way to the gym or walk out of the front door and go for a run or a cycle. This ritual is even more difficult to contemplate in winter, when it is dark and cold outside and your bed is just so much warmer and more inviting.
Achieving your desired state of physical bliss and perfection also takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight and it certainly won’t happen if the time put in at the gym or on the road isn’t supported by a drastic change in diet and ultimately lifestyle.
Let’s assume you have reached the point where your protruding beer or fizzy drinks induced belly has long since devoured the six-pack you once had in high school or possibly even in varsity and you now realize that if you want to stop the middle age spread and the inch-by-inch increase in the size of your pants, you need to do something about it. Merely starting a gym programme or any physical training regimen for that matter, is not going to produce the results and you are going to drop it like it’s hot after a week or two.
Your diet and nutrition is going to play an even bigger role in achieving your objectives to slim down, tone up or increase muscle mass. It’s now actually time to cut out the bread, pastries, pasta’s, sugar-filled breakfast cereals, rusks, white or brown sugar in coffee or tea, empty calories in general that just add to your middle and its ever increasing spread!
It doesn’t stop there however, once you have managed to identify the nutritionally vacant foodstuffs, you need to start consuming those foods that energize, build and tone muscles as well as help you reach a state of satiety, where the need to munch a biscuit or a sweet is virtually non-existent.
An additional factor to help you reach your wellness objectives and hit those weight and measurement goals is to eat six small meals throughout the day with the last meal being consumed no later than 7pm and ideally that meal should be a high quality protein meal devoid of carbs and fats and supplemented with a healthy green salad.
The penultimate success factor is to make sure that you get enough rest. A minimum of eight hours a night will ensure that your muscles recover and grow and that you recharge. Additionally you should alternate training days for various muscle groups so that you don’t overload a specific muscle group so that it never gets the chance to recover and grow. The same applies to a running or cycling schedule, rest or taking a day off after a three-week block period of training will do amazing things for your training, your body and simply your enthusiasm and motivation.
Finally to track and measure your efforts consistently over a period of time is the only real way to measure your success and determine whether or not you are putting in enough effort, your body is receiving optimal nutrition and that rest is having the desired effect.
Remember muscle is heavier than fat so if after a few weeks you don’t notice any change in the digits on the scale, it could be because you have toned and built significant muscle mass which has replaced the fat mass you have managed to shed but because the increase in heavier muscle tissue outweighs the decrease in fat tissue, the bathroom scale simply reflects that you have not made any dent in the size of that beer belly. Don’t despair, pull out the measuring tape and measure and log all the body parts you have been training including the belly. You might just be surprised.
By simply including all of the above in a new lifestyle change and by applying yourself consistently and diligently you would have made a massive step towards a fitter and healthier YOU! Change is never easy, always painful but so rewarding if embraced wholeheartedly.
DKL – Independent Herbalife Distributor and Wellness Coach