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Reach your Fitness Goals
Erica first entered her first competition in 2010 and did well, so she found a coach and continued down the bodybuilding path. After entering her first WBFF competition, she knew she’d found the federation for her and decided to go after her Pro Card, which she received in August 2012 in both Fitness model and Bikini divisions!
Her goals for the future include training clients to help them reach their full potential, competing in her debut Pro Show in 2013 and a few other fitness related projects. Of course, she would also love to grace the cover of a major fitness magazine one day, as every bodybuilder dreams!
The Pre-Transformation Checklist: “Reach your Fitness Goals”
It’s a New Year with new dreams to chase and fitness goals to reach!
For many the excitement and resolution to follow through on these fitness goals begins to wane by mid-February. You can see that in the gym alone. The first week of January you are lucky to find a parking spot, but by the second week of February, it’s “Hey! Where’d everyone go?” No one aims to fail…but life gets busy, obstacles cross our paths, and soon we lose sight of why we started, become de-motivated and just give up. That’s why I put together a list of questions to help you really think through these goals. This isn’t some revolutionary process…just a simple investment of genuine thought: written down, reviewed often, with follow through.
I believe with some thought and planning you’ll stay motivated and your fitness goals will be attainable. So, go grab a pencil and notepad now because you’ll need to invest a little mind work. This is mainly meant to be a guide – because only you can answer the questions and apply them – but I will offer tips and advice along the way to help you generate your own ideas and create steps to success to reach your fitness goals!
The first question on the Pre-Transformation Checklist is “WHY?”
WHY do you want to transform yourself and have fitness goals? Is there a certain toned look or harder body ideal you are after? Is there an outfit you want to fit into finally? Do you have a special event this year – like a reunion or anniversary that is motivating you to do a body makeover? Or perhaps entering a bodybuilding competition is on your bucket list? Maybe it’s something even bigger like health issues, or desiring to set a good example for family? Think about your reasons then write them down. Identifying “Why” is important because it is the foundation of your change. Think of it as your body’s Mission Statement. The best answers to “Why” are going to be sustainable of course, unlike a one-time event, but don’t worry about that yet. As you progress in your transformation to your fitness goals, you’ll probably find you don’t want to return to a lesser state of health and fitness and your “Why” may change.
The “Why” leads directly into Question number two, which is:
“WHO?” WHO are you doing this for?
In my opinion there should only be ONE answer to this question. Whatever your reasons for embarking on a journey to a greater level of strength and well-being, you must resolve to do this primarily for You. (You are the “Who”, let others be the “What”, if you choose….more on this later) And, hopefully, the outcome will be that family and friends will watch and learn from you and decide to do the same for themselves and reach their own fitness goals. Striving for fitness-related goals is no easy commitment! It’ll take a lot of your time, your energy, and your dedication – do this for You. Your resolve and success in transforming will positively impact everyone in your life as a result. It’s a win-win! This is a good tip for us moms, as well. Sometimes we need to find something that is ours’ alone and work at it. Kids learn Mom is not just a mom, but an individual – a strong, healthy, and confident woman. Kids will learn much from a healthy lifestyle that leads to a healthy self-image.
Once you have your foundation of Why and Who.
Consider Question number three: WHAT motivates you?
What flames the passion inside you? Is it reading quotes or browsing fitness magazines or listening to music? Is it planning a reward? Maybe you are motivated by supportive friends and family – or just the looks on their faces as you slowly and progressively transform your body? Here are a few things that personally keep me going: For starters, I love motivational quotes – especially when a photograph or stimulating image is attached to it, to helpme reach my fitness goals. In fact, my planner and Facebook pages are full of these. Often the quotes I post are words I needed to hear or images I needed to see that day…or because I know someone else who does.
Sometimes I find an uplifting message that helped me through a particularly hard time and I post it hoping to encourage others who may be struggling. It truly inspires and motivates me to inspire and motivate others! People are my main “What”. Another thing that pushes me towards my goals is collecting pictures of fitness models who I admire. It may be that I’m working on obtaining “her” abs or “her” delts this season. Seeing the images of those strong women helps me to focus and visualize what my efforts will achieve! But a word of caution: No Comparing! We may never have those exact glutes, for example, but we can work hard and love our progress from season to season. Comparison is an ugly game to play in your head and I believe what is inside eventually radiates outward. It can also lead to low self-esteem and is a huge DE-motivator! So, be positive and focus on your personal best! One quick thing to add: if rewards are your motivation, try to stay on track by choosing healthy ones. Don’t feed a bad habit by rewarding yourself with a big cake, for example. Instead, buy yourself a new workout outfit or training shoes – it’ll motivate you right back into the gym and that’s a step in the right direction!
The number four question is: WHAT hinders you?
Do you have friends or family who make negative comments? Do you tend to cheat on your nutrition? Are you having difficulty finding a place to work out? Do you tend to give up when you don’t see results fast enough? Do the same obstacles always stop you in your tracks from year to year? Identify these now. I think I most often hear from people that their significant other or family just doesn’t “get” why they want to invest the necessary time and energy into reaching a new fitness level. They’re surrounded by constant negativity in their efforts to change and it truly makes progress difficult. Trust me, I understand this. It took a lot of time for those closest to me to make sense of what I was doing.
My advice? You can’t get rid of family and shouldn’t ditch your true friends, but do widen your circle to incorporate like-minded, upbeat people who will inspire, encourage, and support you. You’ll find that you’re able to ignore the negative folks’ commentary if you invite more positive friends into your life. If your main hindrance is nutrition-related, don’t keep junk food in your house…Period. However, do realize that you will mess up on your diet one day, because we are human. Stop and pick right back up where you left off next meal! Don’t wait until “tomorrow” or “Monday” and put yourself back further. Just keep going forward from here on and each time you slip. Social events can be a nutrition nightmare. Learn to choose wisely off of a menu or bring your own food, if acceptable for the occasion.
Try to plan get-togethers that revolve around activity rather than eating whenever possible. If your place to work out is an issue – whether you don’t know where to start, don’t believe you can afford a gym or just need a change of pace – there is something out there for everyone these days! Gyms, with fees as low as $10/month, are popping up all over the place. Or switch to a studio that offers a variety of classes to keep you interested. Or try at-home, minimal equipment or body-weight-only workouts, depending on your final objectives. There are some great free YouTube.com videos that show you how to perform any exercise you can think of – at home or in a gym. I’ve used some of these and they can be very helpful when I’m in a rut. And, of course, you can always find books and magazine articles to get you started as well. Working out at home may also solve a time issue you are having. And let me remind you that one hour spent working out is only 4% of your entire day! With lasting, lifelong benefits! Don’t let time be an excuse.
Lastly, I just have to address the “not-seeing-results-fast-enough” obstacle with a bit of motivation from a quote I love, because we have all been there: “Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress….is progress.” –Rosley. ‘Nuff said!
The last Question to answer as part of your checklist is the “How” and it’s the most important of them.
HOW are you going to make these goals a reality?
This part is also the hardest. We can dream all day long of doing, but the part that connects the vision to the end result is the most important – it’s the PLAN. It comes even before one step of exertion. You’ve labeled your goals and obstacles, now you need a roadmap – the only way goals can be achieved. To get this you need to answer “How”? I’m a big fan of the old-fashioned “write it down” because it organizes your thoughts and it’s a simple visual reminder. Be sure to BE SPECIFIC and make your “How’s” tangible. Plot it out and include the “What’s” – how will you use your motivators and handle your obstacles? It might look something like this:
Plan of Action:
- I will MAKE the necessary time to reach my fitness goals. I will commit to approximately 45minutes to 1 hour, 3 to 4 days/week in the gym which will include weights and cardio. (As my fitness level increases, I will adjust the amount of time)
- I will use a holistic approach to meet my goals, to transform my mind and body together. I will start by signing up for a Saturday morning Yoga class to refresh and increase my flexibility.
- I will expand my circle of friends and mentors to assist in reaching my goals. I commit to meeting at least two new friends this month who share my positivity and love of fitness.
- I will follow my dietary plan that will get me to that greater level of fitness. To aid in my compliance, I will throw out all the foods in my house not serving my nutritional goals.
Next, write down at least one step that you will take TODAY. Just one step in the right direction will lead to more. It can be simple.
- Today, I will make a collection of music on my ipod that motivates me during my workouts.
- or Today, I will start a folder of inspirational quotes, pictures, articles, recipes, and workouts.
Finally, don’t forget your long-term fitness goals and plans. For example, future implementations might include:
- To help me reach my fitness goals efficiently and safely I will hire a personal trainer and/or nutritionist by ______.
- I will register for a Bodybuilding/Fitness competition by _____, to add a level of accountability to my plan. (of course, I highly recommend www.wbffshows.com)
If you’ve considered all of these questions completely and written down your answers, along with a plan and fitness goals, then your checklist is complete!
One final thought: one of the best investments you can make when it comes to your health and fitness goals is to hire a personal trainer and nutritionist. They can offer a higher level of accountability and will truly push you and guide you safely to that next level of your fitness goals. I’ve been working with my trainer/nutritionist out of Oregon for three years and have made great strides in my physique that would have been impossible on my own. A dedicated athlete and an experienced trainer can make a killer team! If you decide a P.T. is right for you, share your checklist with them and collaborate on a plan that makes sense for what you want to accomplish in your fitness goals.
Now, that you’ve gone through the Pre-Transformation Checklist, you’re ready to begin a journey you’ll never regret to your fitness goals. So get out there and DO it! You know your Why, Who, Whats, and How….so go to Work and Win! Being healthy and fit equals strength equals beauty equals empowerment.
Good luck and remember:
“Dream, Believe, Exert, and Achieve!”
Erica Holiday WBFF Pro
Lisa has been competing in the bikini division with the NPC organization since July 2011 and fell in love with it. Competing keeps her body in the best condition it can possibly be in and keeps her laser focused on eating 6 healthy meals a day. She has 2 children that are competitive athletes, so it is important to teach them how to take care of their body for maximum performance. She works a full time job as a pharmaceutical representative. Excuses are not apart of her lifestyle. She is striving to be a professional athlete in the IFBB league and to be an internationally published fitness model.
How do you know where you will end up if you don’t know how to get there?
July 2006 I decided I wanted to compete in my first figure competition. I went to see someone that was recommended to me to coach me and train me through this whole new journey. Much to my surprise this person told me I would never be able to compete in the fitness industry I just didn’t have the shape and muscle. I drove home very disappointed and sat down in my big oversized chair and read my Oxygen magazine. I thought to myself “I know I can do this, I need a plan and someone who believes in me.” Then I began writing down exactly what I wanted to accomplish and I put a time on each goal. Here is what I set July 2006:
- Compete in NPC org Figure division place in top 5 by July 2008 – date accomplished July 2007 4th place
- Secure a position in the pharmaceutical industry by January 2011 – date accomplished January 4th 2010
- Have 1 print ad published in a magazine during my fitness career – date accomplished December 2012 – 4000 GNC stores, Shape December 2012, Oxygen January 2013, Muscle and Fitness Hers January 2013
I know you are thinking, “So what does this have to do with where you will end up?” If you don’t have a plan you will drive yourself mad starting over and over. My point is when you write your goals down and devise a plan you are far more likely to succeed.
Goal setting is not the glamorous side of a healthy fit life. It’s kind of like one of those things that you really just don’t take seriously. When you decide you are ready to make a change for the better you are all ready to hit the pavement and “get ur done”, as we say in the south. So many people have called or messaged me and said “This year I am going to get in shape!!! ” I immediately say “What was your goal or resolution last year?” So many times it is the same resolution year after year. Whether it is get out of debt, get in shape, get a new job, or whatever you are wanting to improve on, you have to have a plan and discipline yourself enough to stick to it!
So we all agree that it is important to write your goals down but …….exactly how are you going to accomplish the goals you have set? That is where SMART goals need to be executed.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time focused.
A lot of you may have heard of SMART goals before especially if you have a corporate career like myself. A SMART goal has a greater chance of being accomplished than a general one. Typically a SMART goal includes who, what, when, where, and how. ie. My general goal – I am going to get in the best shape of my life. My SMART goal – I am getting in the best shape of my life by joining a gym working out 4 days a week and marking off on a calendar every time I workout each week. See the difference? You will feel on top of the world when you look back at all the progress you have made. It’s the beginning of a new year and no better time to decide what great things you want to accomplish in 2013!
As always let me know your thoughts!
Happy New Year!!!!!
Fit After Pregnancy
Allyson started out as a certified boot camp instructor and since then has become a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. She competed in her first WBFF Fitness Atlantic competition taking second place in her category and was awarded her pro card in her second show. She has appeared in World Physique Magazine, has been a model of fitness wear in the Caribbean Islands is a frequent special guest on FTNS radio and has appeared in the movie “The Heat” and a hip hop music video.
Fit After Pregnancy
Having a baby is the most joyous time of any woman’s life, but after 9 months of weight gain and watching your body get larger and larger, a woman may start to wonder if she will be able to lose the weight, as quickly as she gained it. I have always been a thin woman but I would not say I was “fit”. During my pregnancy I was taunted by women who would make comments that I should not expect to ever be thin again; or that pregnancy will ruin my body. I began to believe what these women would say. I was bothered by their comments and feared that I would never lose the weight. I wanted to prove them wrong and prove to myself that losing the weight was achievable. I was motivated but wasn’t sure where to start. I had joined gyms in the past and used personal trainers, but I never saw the results I was looking for.
We always hear about “Diet and Exercise” but what does it actually mean? I had to learn about CLEAN eating. I had to take my workouts to a level I never thought possible. I think the biggest misconception about losing weight is, people often confuse eating clean as a diet. A diet to me restricts what you can and cannot eat. I have always been a good eater; I cook fresh home cooked meals and do not rely on the closest fast food restaurant. I didn’t have to change much, but I needed to realize when I had a craving for something sweet I could still have it on my cheat day and not at that point in time of my craving. I had to look temptation right in the eye and beat it!
I fed my body every 2-3 hours, sounds easy right? Not so much when you are taking care of an infant. My worst enemy was that I did not eat breakfast. I would not eat my first meal until lunch. Once I was able to train my body, it became very natural to eat small meals every 2-3 hours. The second misconception I had was eating that many meals would make me gain weight. I learned you need to eat the right foods and have the proper exercise program to give your body the fuel it needs.
I am often asked where I find the time to juggle my family and workouts. It is very simple; you find and make the time for yourself. For me, it is very easy. I want my daughter to grow up proud of her mother. I want to teach her to live a healthy life style. With the epidemic of child obesity and obesity in general, it is up to me to teach my family the importance of living a happy and healthy life.
I have become so motivated and so dedicated to living a healthy style, that I have reached my ultimate goals of inner belief, self-confidence and an amazing body! I am now a Fitness Model, a certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and most importantly a mom! I competed in the WBFF Fitness Atlantic Competition taking second place in the Diva Model Division and Fourth place in the Diva Bikini Division in my first show and ultimately being awarded my Pro Card at my second show. I have been featured in magazines, commercials, a Sandra Bullock movie, a music video and am a frequent special guest on a fitness radio show.
So many women have told me how inspired they are from hearing my story. I hope to continue to inspire other mother’s and women around the world, that they too have it within them to reach their goals, especially after having a baby!!
Emily Reynolds is a World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (WBFF) pro Diva Bikini athlete, an International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) pro bikini athlete, O’Neill 365 Icon, figure champion, competition coach, personal trainer, nutritional and wellness consultant, fitness personality and model.
You Don’t Need a Big Budget to Get into Great Shape
Turn your living room, bedroom or yard into your own private workout studio. Clear some space and take your commercial break fitness!
Go through each one for a full body workout that doesn’t even require any equipment! You can even do this workout in a hotel room when you are on vacation or traveling.
More Fitness Ideas
• Go local: Check out your homeowners association or apartment complex to see if they have a gym. These are free to you so there are no excuses.
• Try the library: Go to your local library and check out some exercise DVDs to change up your routine. Pop one in your DVD player or computer and get to it! Ask friends what workout videos they have at home and see if you can borrow some to get going.
• Get online: YouTube.com has MILLIONS of 100 percent free workout videos. Everything from your average person demonstrating a few of their favorite moves, to professional fitness trainers walking you through a full body burn.
• Play outdoors: Run, walk, hike, bike, climb some stairs. You’d be surprised at how many things you can find outside to work yourself out underneath a sunny sky or starry night.
Last but not least, if you have a gym membership, use it! If you don’t use it because you’re not sure what to do once you get there, don’t feel alone.
I hear all the time how overwhelmed people are at the gym, not knowing if a machine is for arms or legs. It can be intimidating.
Even if you are not new to your gym, I encourage you to go in and ask for a formal tour of the facility. You can use this time to ask the friendly and willing gym staff any questions you have such as:
• Where are the shoulder machines?
• What do you recommend I use to workout my glutes?
Also inquire about the classes they have and ask for the weekly schedule so that you can post it on your fridge. Generally, these classes are free with your membership, so take advantage. See if they have weekend boot camps, too. These can be a great way to kick start a healthy weekend and keep you on track!
Whatever you do, just get moving! The first step is always the hardest. But your body will thank you for it!
Get more healthy lifestyle tips in my “Eat Clean to Stay Lean” ebook!
Remember…Be your best you
Nancy Marmorat’s experience coaching people of all age groups has inspired her to devise a specially-adapted keep-fit programme for people aged over 50. This DVD contains a complete gymnastics session for keeping in good shape.
There are several advantages to following this method – to strengthen the density of your bones, to increase your muscle tone, to protect your heart, to practise keeping your balance and coordination, to keep your body supple and to simply make you feel good.
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