Fitness Blog (Part I) - Getting back to it.
Welcome to my first fitness blog post. No, I didn't get the photos the wrong way around. I am out of shape. The 'before' photo was taken in 2018 and the 'after' was this week (May 2022) at my first day back at the gym. For pretty much my entire time on YouTube, the whole four years, I haven't been to the gym. I felt I had to dedicate all of my time to making videos and getting things started on the channel, because of this my gym attendance went down until it completely stopped, this was maybe two months after starting the channel.
Well now I'm on a journey to get back to my former self and I thought I'd document it here, so maybe some of you find the inspiration you need to get motivated again. After all, that's the hardest part. Once you're in the 'groove' it's pretty easy.
I am by no means a fitness expert, any advice I mention along the way has worked for me in the past, it my not work for you, but don't get discouraged, everyone is different.
Let's talk motivation and habits that can help you get in the right frame of mind before you even think of joining a gym.
Change your eating times. What has worked for me when it comes to getting in the right frame of mind is intermittent fasting. I would only eat during the hours of 12:00 - 18:00. Not only does it help with weight loss, it can also help with focus on day-to-day tasks. When I'm fasting, I don't eat in the morning, black coffee and water, that's it. Because I'm not expecting to eat until 12:00, I'm also not thinking about it. I can definitely feel a difference in my mood after 12:00, in the afternoons, as I'm typing this for instance, I'm thinking of going downstairs and grabbing a quick something. This morning I didn't think about food once.
Diet. I don't mean 'diet' as in the way you see it on TV, I mean generally what you eat, your diet. I have never been someone who likes reduce what I eat too much and starve myself. There is the extremely simple formula of, calories in vs. calories out. That's all there is to it. If your 'calories in' is higher you get fat, if your 'calories out' is higher you lose weight. It's about finding that balance. You don't need to live of lettuce and water to balance it, working out harder and better can tip the scale in your favour just as efficiently, if not more so. In my before picture, I was eating 3000 calories a day, maybe a bit more. In my after picture, I'm still eating 3000 calories a day, but not exercising. It's also about the quality of the calories that matter. Learn about nutrition. That's the important thing here. In the future I'll do a post about what I eat and go into more detail there.
Track what you eat. This ties into the previous point. MyFitnessPal is your... pal when it comes to this. It's a free app that can be downloaded on iOS or Android, or you can use their website (https://www.myfitnesspal.com). The app is better because you can scan the barcodes of the things you eat. Now simply log everything you eat in any give day/week/month and you will be able to track your calories and be able to pinpoint your 'sweet spot'. Everybody is different, so everybody's daily calorie needs will be different. Choose a starting point for a daily calorie limit, they say 2,500 for men, 2,000 for women, but like I said everybody is different. Then from there eat 2,500 calories a day and take note of your weight, if it goes up, reduce your calories (or increase your exercise). If it's going down, you may be able to eat a little more if you are feeling hungry during the day and still lose weight. It's about finding that 'sweet spot' where you aren't starving yourself or over-exercising, but still making progress. This is the key to weight control in life in general, and why I never agree with 'diet culture'. Diets never seem to have an exit strategy, it's starve yourself for weeks, months, and then stop. It's not healthy and that's why people bounce back. I'm fully aware that this all sounds hypocritical given my current situation, but I've always known I was slipping, I like food and wasn't exercising to compensate, it's as simple as that.
Drink more water. This is a simple one. Going back to 'Diet' plans, the first thing they always tell you to do is drink more water and this is absolutely true, it means your body will store less of it. That's why people think diets are 'miracle cures', the simple fact is you can just drink more water, about 2Ls a day, and you'll lose weight. I start everyday by downing two big cups of water to get me going.
Start adding tiny bits of unnoticeable exercise. What I mean by this is add little bits of exercise to your day that aren't really exercise. For example, if the washing is done and needs to be taken upstairs, don't leave it until your next going upstairs, make the extra trip. When looking for a parking space at the supermarket, don't park near the doors, there's never any spaces anyway, park a bit further away where there are loads of spaces. If you need some milk and the shop is half a mile away, don't drive, walk. Just keep adding little bits here and there, they all add up.
Don't overdo it. Now you don't need to do all the things I have listed above all at once. Make gradual changes here and there and you won't notice them. You don't want to put yourself off before you've even started. You'll find you'll naturally move onto the next thing anyway, you'll start noticing a change in your weight, appearance and how you feel and this will make you want to move onto the next thing and before you know it, you'll be at the gym five times a week.
These are all things that I have been changing in my life recently in preparation for getting back into the swing of things and re-joining the gym and making that permanent lifestyle change. I'm back in the gym now with the intention of going five times a week, a day per body part, my next task is finding a routine that works for me, plus getting past those first couple of weeks where everything just hurts, constantly.
My next fitness blog, will be just that, my fitness routine and what I actually do when I go to the gym.
See you then.