Whether or not you’ve signed on for the Skinny Jeans Challenge, here are 10 tips—some that might surprise you—to help you reach your fitness goals.
- Surf the web. Do before-and-after pictures motivate you? Do you love to watch people sweat during workout videos? Or do segments from sports competitions ignite a fire in you? If any of these ideas get you going, put them to work (or find something that does motivate you and let us know what it is!). For five minutes a day, indulge in it and then go work it, baby.
- Get into the game. The Skinny Jeans Challenge is a competition. Don’t be afraid to compete to win! If you shy away from competition, ask yourself why. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. No one else is going to do it. Dare yourself to win.
- Talk to yourself, especially when you’re eating. Before a bite of food passes your lips, ask yourself, “Self? Is this bite of X getting me closer or farther away from rocking a pair of skinny jeans?”
- Make sure you’re really hungry. How the heck do you figure that out if you’re the type of person who grazes their way through the day? This trick comes from the Whole 30—ask yourself (yes, talking to yourself again) if steamed fish and broccoli would satisfy your hunger. If the answer is yes, then you’re probably truly hungry. If the answer is more like, “Nope, only ice cream will do!” then have a glass of water and distract yourself until you figure out what you’re really “hungry” for (aka – what’s eating at you emotionally).
- Focus on function. Remind yourself that you’re doing more than just slimming down. You’re gaining flexibility, strength, speed and endurance, improving your posture, decreasing low back pain, sleeping better, gaining mental clarity, happiness — the list goes on and on! AND! You’re moving through life with more physical grace than before. When you think of it this way, your physical size and shape is but a mere byproduct of a fitter, healthier you.
- Brace yourself. This one will improve your physique instantly. Your Latissimus Dorsi, or lats, are the big muscles that fan out to the edge of your mid and upper back. You can engage them by simply depressing your shoulders. Go ahead and try it right now. Lift your right arm and hug your right side with your left hand, around the side of your ribcage, a few inches below your armpit. Now press those shoulders down and feel that right lat fire up. The extra width in your back instantly adds sleek proportion to your shape, widening your back and tapering your waist. Add a glute squeeze and brace your belly (do a quick cough to see what bracing feels like) and you’ve got excellent posture, plus a more compact shape.
Throughout your day, do a mini drill of “lats, glutes, gut.”Your body (including your low back!) will thank you for it. And you’ll look incredibly confident too.
- Celebrate your wins right now. You came to class? High five! You declined dessert? You go girl (or guy)! You listened to your body and modified your workout? That counts too. Remembered to do your lats, glutes, gut drill? Hoorah! Every time you do something that moves you a little closer to your goal, give yourself props!
- Have patience. Your current body took time to create. The skinny jeans version will take time too. And it should! Crash diets crash and burn. Starvation sucks. Be kind to yourself and take it slow. Be consistent, forgiving and honest. This is a journey to embrace and savor along the way.
- Make it personal. This could mean many things. Maybe you’ll choose to dedicate your Skinny Jeans challenge to your kids to show them what you’re made of, and be the example of the hard work you want them to do. Do you have a close friend or relative suffering from a preventable disease or dysfunction due to an unhealthy lifestyle? Make a personal pact with yourself not to wind up in the same disabling situation. Love the personalized attention you get at Performance Fitness? Take advantage of it! Come to class, get involved, be present (Performance Fitness Boot Camp House Rule #9), engaged and accountable. Great things happen when you’re part of a community, and unlike the big box gyms ‘round the way, PFit has a familial vibe that helps you stick with your program.
- Make friends with yourself—on the page. Getting slim and fit is a science. A certain balance of diet, exercise and recovery WILL get you to where you want to be. Chart your progress. Write down what you eat, what you do for exercise and how you feel about it. Take pictures of yourself. Write about all the challenges you face and write down all the reasons you can crush it and win, or write yourself down from the ledge if you’re struggling. Watching yourself transform is a truly amazing thing. Documenting elevates your journey to a new level, giving it the importance it deserves.