Getting in shape is stressful. No matter how consistently you eat healthily and exercise, the stress of life can compile, leaving you eager to ditch your workouts and indulge in comfort food. Training your body to respond to your health efforts and your mind to cooperate are both challenging tasks on their own. We are hardwired to seek out comfort and avoid pain. Biologically, many things are rooting against us, despite our desire to get in shape. Welcome to the real world. Here are three tips to get in shape without sugar-coating it. 

1. Be Ready For Setbacks

Any time you create change, you need to look out for your health. Your mind and body need time to adjust. At first, change is uncomfortable. When we make changes, we take away old habits and create new ones that take their place. Sometimes, adding in habits feels easy because nothing is holding you back. For instance, if you have a natural love for reading but haven’t read in a while because you are busy, you can adjust your schedule, so that reading time is available. These changes are highly reward-focused and create instant gratification. All you have to do is schedule your time, and boom- now there’s time to read. 

Be ready for setbacks. If you cave in, pick yourself up and start again. You might even find a way to make the process easier for you by involving your care team. For instance, look into how to ask your doctor for weight loss pills to make the weight loss process easier on you. Getting in shape takes more effort. Swapping out comfort foods, exercising each day, and drinking more water are significant changes. You might feel cranky, have sleep issues for a few weeks, and have periods where you feel ravenous from increased exercise. 

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2. Find Joy In The Process

Since so much of the effort involved in detoxifying the body and getting in shape is stressful and full of sacrifice, you must find some sense of joy in the process. How else will you stick to it? Some days, you might find that you can keep your eyes on the prize and keep going, but other days, you won’t care about the future. You’ll be too focused on feeling hungry, tired, etc. So, to combat these issues, find joy in the process

Maybe you feel accomplished every time you get yourself to the gym. Maybe that rush is enough joy to keep you going. Or maybe you’ll find some accountability buddies who applaud you for your efforts along the way. This support might be enough to keep you going. See how you can create little pockets of joy. 

get in shape

3. Accept The Tough Reality

We live in a society that praises accomplishment, but at the same time, we are cut off from what accomplishment looks like on a day-to-day basis. You can see “before and after “photos for a weight loss product, but you don’t see the journey. No one wants to accept the reality that getting to that endpoint is hard! 

The sooner you accept the reality that this is what it takes, the faster you’ll get in shape. We have a false expectation that somehow, despite knowing what’s involved in weight loss, fitness goals, etc., it will be easy. We hold ourselves to unrealistic expectations. Accept the tough reality that good things take time! 

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The Bottom Line

Getting in shape is about understanding what is really involved. Change is uncomfortable, and the path to success is difficult. Accept these hard truths, and you’ll reach your goals faster. 

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