At this point a lot of people have heard, seen or read my story and asked me how I did it. How I got started? How I stayed motivated to keep going? Turns out, a lot of people ask me that question because they want to know how THEY can do it too.
Well, here we are. The “Get Up And GO” Guide. This will break down everything you need to know, do, and remind yourself in order to…well… Get Up and GO! Let’s dive right in –
First Thing’s First – Get Out Of Your Own Way!
YOU are the only obstacle in your way. Nobody can
tell you that you can’t do it. Your voice is the only voice that matters. You are perfectly capable of achieving your goals. So, stop the excuses, do what you need to do to be in a position to begin your journey…and do it! I could go on for hours, but that’s about all there is to say in this part of the guide. I’ve already talked about the “I Don’t Feel Like It Syndrome”, The Fear Monster, The Napoleon Complex and motivation itself, so we’ve covered a lot of the bases concerning why you might not have been doing anything – it’s time to figure out what’s been keeping you away from a better you and beat it. Those other articles might
So What Are You Gonna Do Now?
No, really…assuming you’re ready to do something, you have to know what it is you’re gonna do! That means you need to have a goal envisioned in your mind. What is your goal – what do you want in the end? It’s going to be a long road, and you need a road map to get there. So, figure it out!
Are you trying to burn fat and get lean (known in fitness world as “cutting”) or get big and build muscle (“bulking”)? What do you want to look like? What size do you want to be? What weight are you shooting for? Where do you want to be in a year? I know it seems far off, but if you set your ultimate goal now you can figure out your plan and set little, more immediately attainable goals to achieve along the way. Trust me – little victories along the path to the Promised Land can do a lot more for you than you can appreciate right now.
OK, So you know where you want to go – How Do You Get There?
This is the part where you have to choose your starting point – what you’re actually going to do to start losing/gaining weight. This can be a big decision, and it IS an important one. Megan (my fiancee) and I were between two programs – P90X and INSANITY. We were familiar with the two from word of mouth, internet ads, and tv infomercials. We had a rough idea of what we were in for and what the two were like. In the end, the differences we were deciding between were:
P90X – requires some equipment, allows lots of modification of moves, well-rounded program
Insanity – requires NO equipment, doesn’t really allow much modification (or any at all), cardio HELL.
We decided, in the end, to do P90X first. Frankly, I’m glad we did. For what we were looking to do it was a good starting point. It allowed us to ease into things modifying moves and achieving little victories, still getting the full workout done instead of failing after one or two full-out intense reps. It allowed us to feel good about our achievements and see our progress as we went along. Yes, we would’ve seen progress in INSANITY too, but the fact we couldn’t go balls-to-the-wall and get more than a couple reps might have discouraged us from finishing the program. Doint P90X also helped us build a base of muscle and shed some initial weight (read: a LOT of weight) that helped make INSANITY suck a whole lot less.
In the end, we made the right choice for us. Maybe the other choice would’ve worked for you. That’s probably the toughest part – in the end, you have to make the call. Look into your available options and choose what you think is going to serve you best. P90X allowed my 300 lb out-of-shape self to struggle for 10 pushups on my knees and still complete the workout. Progress is progress –
Because let’s be honest – you’re already lapping the guy still sitting on the couch.
Once you figure out what you’re doing, you need the tools for success.
What are The Tools For Success?
Generally, whatever the program you’re doing calls for! If you’re going to do a program like P90X that requires equipment, you need that equipment! Things like resistance bands, pull-up bars, push-up stands, yoga mats, etc can be found at stores like Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, Wal-Mart, or your favorite sporting goods store. I got my resistance band set for about $12, same with some nice push-up stands. Yoga mat was about $12 for a nice one and yoga block was $5 (worth it). Trust me, the equipment is worth the investment. Don’t let a few extra bucks scare you away – it’s worth it for your health, fitness and enjoyment. I’d happily invest that $50 again to add enjoyable years onto my life. If you’re going a little more hardcore with something like P90X2 or Body Beast, you’ve probably already done some workout programs and have built up a collection of equipment already. Don’t choose a program simply because of a lack of required equipment. I almost made that mistake, and if I had, I might have gotten discouraged and quit INSANITY, and I never would’ve gotten in shape and started running.
If the program you’re doing has worksheets, trust me…print them and use them. I WISH I had printed and used the P90X worksheets – I’d LOVE to see how far I’ve come since then. Not only that, but the worksheets help you stay on track, remember what weight/how many reps you did last time, and continue to steadily improve. I thought I knew better. Guess what? I didn’t. I’ve come so far that now, in Body Beast, not only did I use worksheets, but I found better worksheets online and modified them to suit my needs. USE THE WORKSHEETS. You’ll thank yourself later.
Before and After Pictures & Measurements are HUGELY Important!
Seriously, if you take one piece of advice, take this – DO THE BEFORE AND AFTERS! You have no idea how sorry I almost was…I waited until Day 6 of P90X to do before pictures. I was so ashamed of my body and disgusted with how I looked I didn’t even want to do before pictures. I wanted to forget all about it. I am SO glad I finally did the before pictures. I can see how far I’ve come! I can appreciate my achievements! It’s such a great feeling and now that I’m so much more fit people look at the before and can’t believe it. (you can see all the before & afters here) I wish I had taken measurements before. The only one I have is my waist size, and that’s not entirely accurate. It was likely bigger than I think.
Take Pictures, take your measurements, document your journey. Fit-&-Healthy You WILL thank yourself.
Once you do that, it’s GO TIME
SO, You’ve got direction, you’ve got a program, you’ve got the tools and you’ve taken the pics/measurements. Presumably, you have a suitable space to do your workout. Anywhere you can do your workout, use your equipment, not disturb others (too much) and not be disturbed by others will do. Don’t worry about people watching you – let the hater’s hate. I would think anyone that could see you in your workout space would be someone close to you, and I would hope someone that close wouldn’t judge you.
NOW that we’ve moved on from the haters – Get your fit test done (if there is one). Some programs, such as P90X, have a fit test you do before and after the program, whereas other programs like INSANITY have a fit test that is part of the regular schedule. Whatever the case, DO IT. Again, you’ll thank yourself later.
This Is The Easy Part
Not to rip a line from Nike or anything…but…well…Just Do It! You’ve got everything you need. Just. Freaking. DO IT! If you need motivation along the way, just think about where you came from, where you want to be, and how much you don’t want to look like that before picture again. Think about how good it feels to finish a workout and have that little success under your belt. Think of how good it feels to see yourself shrinking week to week, see your clothes fitting looser, needing to go shopping to buy new ones. Think of your loved ones and how you’d like to be around a little longer for them, or how you’d like to look better for them. If you’re like I was, think of how much it sucks to get winded going up one flight of stairs. Everyone has that one little nugget of something that will kick their butt into gear no matter how much the workout sucks, how much you’re swearing at Tony Horton or Shaun T through the TV, or how much you REALLY just don’t want to get out of bed and go work out this morning.
If you need a little outside help keeping yourself accountable, be a part of a group designed for just such a purpose. There are many on Facebook, many in real life (with real people!) too. Enough people reached out to me talking about inspiration and asking for advice that I went and made one. If you want, you can become a part of it here. I’ve been a part of one for a while and I can tell you it was definitely a great motivator on the days I needed it. Other days, it’s a great place to learn something or help motivate others. Maybe having a workout partner is what you need. I know having my fiancee there beside me every day doing the workout with me was a big deal. I tried harder. For her and for me. If she could do it, I could do it. If I could do it, she could do it. We were a team. Once we got to the end of Week 1 Day 6 we looked at each other and said “If we can get through the first week, we can get through the whole thing.” – and we did.
Fight off those last little excuses that creep into your mind! Don’t try to fool yourself and say you don’t have time: no matter how long you work, how screwed up your hours, how awful your schedule, remember:
Think you can’t do it? It’s just too hard and you’re too out of shape?
So get to it, Nancy. You got this.