As creators of an online Pilates workout and fitness trainers in our own right, we know how hard it can be to get your head in the exercise game.
One of the hardest commitments to make can be to getting fit. It’s super easy to be derailed by outside forces and to give up the ghost on your fitness dreams. But at Body Beyond Birth, we believe that part of the process is grabbing hold of that motivation and holding it tight.
So consider this your ally in the trenches for your fitness dreams. Here’s our top 4 tips on not giving up the ghost on your online Pilates workout goals or any fitness goals you hold dear!
Breaking a habit takes time
We’d love to think that from day one of strapping on your exercise gear, things are going to be plain sailing. But motivation ebbs and flows. And life often gets in the way of best intentions. No matter how much you love your online Pilates workout it can take a backseat to…well…life!
It helps to understand the science behind forming a habit.
66 days is what it takes to wrap your head around a good habit. So if you were quitting smoking, it’d take you 66 days to unpack the psychological aspects of smoking like the chance to have a break or associating it with coffee or wine.
The same is for any habit you care to name.
It’ll take you 66 days of putting on your exercise clothes and working out regularly before it becomes an ingrained habit in your day. Before that, you might have to push yourself past being tired, unenthusiastic, and sore or whatever the feeling takes you. It’ll take you 66 days to put down that pizza in favour of one of our nutritious and delicious recipes.
Be mindful of this because it means you have to have your guard up during these critical early stages. But the more you practise, the easier it becomes.
By the 70th day, your body and your head as well as your motivation will work with you. That is something to aim for.
Be positive to make lasting change
There’s a common misconception that abstinence will help you get over a habit that is deeply ingrained. Say for example, a nightly chocolate habit after the kids have gone to bed.
Making the decision to cut chocolate out might see you not add it to the grocery shopping. But when your favourite show pops up at night, what’s to stop you raiding the Christmas sweets or jumping in the car to dash to the shops?
If you want to change your eating habits, the better approach is to slowly wean yourself off your naughty foods. Replace them with healthier options slowly.
Conversely, don’t try to punish yourself if you slip. As we mentioned before, it takes 66 days to make a great habit. That’s without thinking about sugar, which can be highly addictive on its own.
So slow and steady wins the race and punishment has no place in making a change. Reward the good behaviours as well. Demonstrate your progress so you can see the change.
It’ll be worth it!
Make it fun
We’ve spent a lot of time and energy with the Body Beyond Birth online Pilates workout trying to make it as fun as possible. It’s because we realise not everyone leaps through the door screaming “yay, exercise!”
If exercise and healthy eating seem to cop the world over, it’s that people often think they are negative. It’s uncool to be good when it comes to your health unless you’re running towards fitspriation Instagram at break neck speed.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Exercise doesn’t have to be the time of day where you have to strap on your gear, march out the door and punish yourself. Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean denying yourself yummy food and living on food you can barely choke down.
The trouble is, because healthy living seems to be a process of either absolutely amazing model like feats or dry as old cardboard, it leaves many of us out.
It’s a mental attitude that we project on fitness and healthy eating. And while we might not be able to unpack all the baggage, we can most definitely start looking for the positives.
That begins with breaking fitness down into smaller portions.
Choose incidental exercises that can fit into your day. Or swap that dessert of cake for a small fruit salad. Get off the bus one stop earlier. Get involved more when the kids kick the footy or play chasing games in the yard.
The key is working out what would make exercise fun and allow yourself to play. Check out our 7 day trial of our online Pilates workout and you’ll see what we mean!
Get the support you need
14% of all admissions to hospitals for behavioural or mental health issues with young women aged 14 to 24 are for eating disorders. Yet women’s magazines that often cover eating disorders, body image issues and the inherent sexism in our society are often the very places that advertise unobtainable body standards. To see what we mean, check out this time lapse video of magazine content.
Women are judged on their appearance. Weight gain is something that is often a source of derision. So too is fitness during pregnancy and straight after. Women simply can’t catch a break when it comes to their health. We’ve been labelled and bullied throughout our teens by everything from unreasonable standards in magazines to our peers and even our own voices.
The struggle often continues behind doors because there is so much information about what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to diet and exercise. At times, it feels like the only person who doesn’t know what to do with your own body are you.
The truth is the majority of women struggle with body issues at some point in their life. And we’re particularly vulnerable post birth because of the amount of change our body undergoes.
For many women, it’s not a simple process to lose weight after birth. There’s the change in chemistry to consider, the increased water and fat ratios. Plus there are also hormones, pelvic floor damage, abdominal separations, and tears to the vagina and to muscle, skin stretches, back issues and all kinds of complications from surgery, delivery and pregnancy wear and tear.
That’s why it’s important to forget quite a lot of what we know about those unobtainable standards- and in some cases, what we know about our own bodies. If you ran marathons before pregnancy, you will probably run them again. But don’t expect to do them on the first Tuesday after you deliver twins.
Cut yourself some slack. And ask for help. Body Beyond Birth is always available via our email if you need extra advice. Becky also welcomes patients to her clinic in Sydney. And you can pose any question you like in our private Mother’s group.
If you need additional help, places like Lifeline or your local GP can refer to all kinds of supports including parenting lines, eating disorder clinics and more.
But don’t suffer in silence.
Your health, your way
The important thing to remember with any exercise regime is that for change to stick and results to start showing, you need to be motivated. And you’ll only ever be motivated if you’re doing the right exercise program for you.