How to Finally Kick Your Own Butt into Shape | Advice from Guru Jennifer Hall

Girlfriend Guru, thankful for friendsI think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.  ~Henry Moore

There are so many obstacles on the road to keeping resolutions. Girlfriend Jane is a perfect example. She really, really wants to get in shape. She didn’t even wait for New Year’s but started going to the gym in November. Then there were the days the gym was closed for the holidays. And she got a sinus infection that lingered like nobody’s business (she jokes that the doctor gave her the extra slow-acting meds). Then her kids had a bunch of evening activities that were–in her opinion–much more important than going to the gym. And then…..you get the point. Instead of going to the gym two to three times a week, she’s going every two to three weeks.

Girlfriend Guru JENNIFER HALL has some great advice for getting on and staying on deck (are you paying attention, Jane?). What are your tips and tricks for keeping your resolutions, girlfriend?

How are you doing with your resolution to start exercising?

I am in no way a health and fitness nut so I am not here to pretend that I am or lecture anyone on such things.

I do, however, want to share what has been my process in arriving at a place where I finally WANT to exercise and take better care of my health.

Making healthier choices has to be something YOU decide to do. No amount of anything besides your own motivation will make you do it. Further, I believe there is a moment when it simply clicks and you will finally see it through.

Psychologically

You have to be FED UP. You have to be sick and tired of how you feel or look or both. Just done with not being wherever it is you want to be physically.

You have to really want to make a change. Like, this is for real, different from other times. You feel it in your gut. It’s not going to happen if your heart isn’t in it.

It sucks, but it really helps if there’s some key factors motivating you, such as a recent health screening, wanting to be healthier for your family, maybe even a recent health crisis.

Physically

You have to be honest with yourself about what form of exercise will work best for you.

I’ve met people here online who love to run. Others who enjoy an elliptical, bicycle, or Zumba. My exercises of choice are walking and yoga. We each have to find what we will enjoy doing. If you hate the form of exercise, you’re not going to do it regularly, therefore you’re not going to lose any weight or feel healthier.

It is a pretty well known fact that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. You have to push through the early days in order to make exercise a true ROUTINE.

Don’t you think I’ve tried before now to get back into walking? Of course I have! But the difference I discovered last summer is that I hadn’t pushed on through for a month before I slacked off again.

I am now in a place where I truly want to exercise and know that I feel better when I do. I am pretty blown away by this.

Once you push through the hurdle of it being extra-ordinary, it becomes ordinary and just a part of your life.

Accountability

I have hated that word over the years. I’ve never wanted to feel like I had to justify myself to anyone. But the thing is, it really does help. Not in an “answer to” way, but more of a “report to” way.

Not telling anyone of your intention to do something is another way to let yourself not do it. If you didn’t tell anyone, they’ll never know, hence no disappointment (or judgment). Except in yourself. Letting yourself down is really no better than letting someone else down.

In my experience, accountability can actually translate to encouragement and support. For me, having someone to report to in the beginning is what helped me push past the 21 days I needed to form my new exercise habit. I’m not holding myself accountable to anyone right now, yet I’m still exercising.

Patience

Say you’re a 38 year old woman who has grown, birthed, and nursed two babies. You weren’t exercising at all for YEARS. Women’s fat cells like to stay put. All that, and you still gotta eat. Therefore, weight loss is not proving easy.

But you are doing good things for your body and that is what will keep you trying. It’s true what they say about making lifestyle changes for the long-term.

You need to have patience both with yourself and the process. There is no point in beating yourself up if you decide to eat a cookie, nor to throw in the towel on your exercise routine because you don’t think you’re seeing results fast enough. Just keep swimming. Hey, swimming is great exercise!

Bottom line (Ha ha – bottom):

Feel it

Choose it

Do it

Tell someone

Be patient

Do you have any tips or tricks to motivate yourself or others into healthy habits?

JENNIFER HALL, aka: Just Jennifer, is a SAHM of a daughter and a son, married to a diabetic on dialysis. She enjoys knitting, scrapbooking, reading, and TV. She’s visually impaired and describes herself as anxious, traumatized, dorky, funny, real, and says her “life is a roller coaster and I’m blogging my way through it all!” As an only child, her Girlfriends are like sisters to her. She believes in learning, growing, living, loving, and laughing. She is grateful.

Thanks Girlfriend Guru JENNIFER HALL - we <3 you and your great girlfriend advice/posts! Check out these great posts by Jennifer:

Let’s make 2013 a special year – filled with friends and gratitude. Sounds like the winning combination for a wonderful new year!

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