So, you have done the hard yards. You have reached your goal and now look into the mirror (hopefully) with pride. You FEEL awesome, your energy is soaring, and you are fitter than you have been in years.
After all the time and effort, you cannot believe that you are here in this body and you decide to celebrate first with a shopping spree and then with a host of selfies… you deserve the praise, and you will happily accept it.
And then it is a week, a month, maybe 2 months later when suddenly you realise… This new body needs to be maintained. There is no finish line and with your new body comes a new lifestyle.
For many people achieving a “body transformation” is the goal. They work tirelessly to lose weight, get fitter and be stronger. What few consider is what happens after they achieve the goal?
It is easy to be motivated when you have a finish line. If you are sprinting or slowly trekking towards an endpoint, one final place you can push yourself to keep going even when you do not want to. However, sometimes maintaining change can be even more of a challenge, because life happens.
To help you stay on track and maintain what you worked so hard for here are our top 7 tips:
1. Keep up the challenge
Just because you have achieved your goal doesn’t mean the challenge needs to end. Having new challenges to participate in will keep your mind engaged and your body moving. Explore the new goals you can set and work towards. Maybe you want to improve your 3km run time or grab some friends and go in a group challenge like Tough Mudder.
2. Learn something new
If going in heavy military-style challenges is not your thing, why not change up your routine by trying different types of activities. Things such as Pilates, Aerial Yoga, and Cuban Dancing are less intensive and a whole lot of fun.
Doing something different will keep your body adapting and keep your mind and spirit engaged.
3. Understand your emotions
Take time to reflect on your journey and dive into at any potential stressors or emotional triggers that you may be aware of. Think about what you have learned and how your behaviours have changed during your journey.
Understanding how you process emotions and what type of people, places, and events may trigger you emotionally is the first key to managing stress and negativity. Taking the time to identify triggers that may lead to old habits resurfacing will allow you to plan and put in place effective strategies to manage them when you are faced with them.
4. Celebrate where you are & document it
Stopping and taking a moment to celebrate what you have achieved is as important as setting a new goal. When you celebrate yourself along the journey, you are “positively reinforcing” the new behaviour and habits. Positive reinforcement reaffirms to the self (through positive acknowledgment and reward) that the action is positive and makes it easier to repeat it
A great way to celebrate your body transformation could be to go on a shopping spree and buy yourself some new outfits. You could treat yourself to a weekend away at a day spa. Or our favourite (because we are biased) go and have a professional makeover and photo shoot. We love the photo shoot because it will also give you an inspiring keepsake that you can hang in your house as a constant reminder of how great you look and how much you have achieved!
5. Live the 80/20
The general rule we here most often is that body transformation is 80% diet and 20% movement/exercise. With this in mind, why not take a renewed focus on the 80% and get creative. Delicious food does not equate to disaster, and healthy food is not boring.
The key is to take the time to plan your meals and snacks and then make sure you have what you need ready at hand. And then schedule time each week to do a big cook up where you can pre-prepare your meals for the week so that you have what you need to support your body and mind to move, think and rest at its optimum.
6. Enjoy some shut eye.
Quality sleep is one of the most essential ingredients in living a healthy lifestyle. Lack of sleep not only affects your mood, but it also increases craving for foods, increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol and it makes the whole day less productive.
Having a great sleep routine which starts with going to bed at the same time each night and minimising the use of screens in the bedroom is as important as your gym session and getting enough H20.
7. Stay consistent, get support.
Ultimately sustainable transformation is about consistent small actions taken every day.
As humans, we are social creatures and having a support team can be the difference that makes the difference. Whether it is a loving partner, a friend to go to the gym with or a professional team working with you to stay at your optimum. Having someone to share the journey with, talk through challenges and cheer you on when things get tough will not only help you stay on track it will make it all the more enjoyable.
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