You flicked of THE Switch. Welcome. Burn those bridges and begin the transformation. It doesn’t matter where you are. Whether in a Third World Country or on a hospital bed. Even if you are poor or handicapped, you can change for the better. Countless of heroes have walked this path. Lance Armstrong (fought through metastatic testicular cancer; 12 tumors, some as big as golf balls in his lungs. Won cancer and came back to win the hardest bike race in the world 7 times). Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (went through poverty at age 15, evicted from his home and couldn’t afford to eat on Thanksgiving. Current net worth $320 million). It doesn’t matter if you don’t become World famous but you will become the Talk within your clique of friends. It will radiate. The best recognition is never to fish for one. It will come. It feels good to look good and by looking your best, it makes you feel great.
Physical & Mental Evaluation
The path upwards, may not always be straightforward for some of us. You should always know your current physical and mental state so that you can prepare the canvas properly. Limitations like fits, asthma, depression, etc are issues which can be a hindrance but nevertheless controllable to some extent with therapy and medication. Deal with these immediate issues first. Get professional advice from your doctor or specialist first. Once these are taken care of, you can proceed to the next step.
There can be more than one motivational source that drives you to go for and perform your metamorphosis. It could be music, pics, magazines, equipment, clothing, etc. Always keep them near by.
Pick a Target Form
I’d prefer looking at pics of pro athletes of different sports. From these pics, you can pick and choose the form that you may want to mould yourself into. It could be a runner, triathlete, bodybuilder, gymnast, swimmer, etc. Do note that within these sports, there may be different categories too like runners have sprint, middle, long, marathon and ultramarathon distances. Each distance discipline sports a different body type. Now that you have chosen the mound, proceed to do your research.
By looking into the training requirements of the sport at the elite levels, you will be able know what you will be getting yourself into. Do not be discouraged. Nobody starts off with an elite’s training load. It’s all about progression. Pay close attention to your body’s response to training. It takes a strong mind to control and discern what is going on with your training. It’s a fine line between fatigue and laziness.
Begin drawing a simple training plan. Make sure you start with baby steps. Achievable goals. Split your Training Plan into 3 parts: Physical, Dietary and Documentation.
I would recommend doing a 4week training plan. Remember to start with base training in mind as your first priority. Base Training is like your foundation. Factor in one rest day per week. Factor in about 75% easy training and 25% hard training. Let’s take a runner’s build as an example.
The above could be your first training plan to start with. If you have access to fitness equipment like Heart rate monitor or fitness apps like Strava, use them. They are very handy to track your speed. If you don’t, then you will have to run by feel. Remember, 75% of the days are easy to moderate going so run at an enjoyable pace. Training is long term, so love what you are doing, don’t kill yourself by going too fast, too far and risk an injury that could set you back months or years. It took me almost a decade to come back from knee injury (without surgery).
A healthy eating habit is going to be needed to complement your exercise regime. With a dietary plan, you will achieve your goal at a much faster rate. A dietary plan does not mean you have to starve at all. Self preparation of meals is highly desired. If you can’t do this for all meals, then at least do it for one meal in the day. Only eat fresh foods, which means almost zero processed stuff like sausages, pringles, skittles, biscuits, etc. I’d stay away from even preserved foods. Frozen vegetables and meat are fine. My recommendation would be one meal a day on Keto diet (no carbs). Do not revenge eat just because you skipped carbohydrates for just a single meal in a day. Your Keto meal should see a good portion of vegetables, meat and fruits. To combat any cravings after the Keto meal, down a glass or two of water. What about treats? Life will be pretty boring without them and I agree. Keep a bag of mixed nuts, dates, raisins or exotic fruits(pineapple, mangos, etc) in the fridge for that emergency. Keep proper hydration with mostly plain water unless you are doing a cardio session, then isotonic could be taken. I also like to advocate taking some multivitamin and mineral supplement once to twice a week. The key supplement should include B complex vitamins for energy release and zinc for immunity against the flu, which could set you back from training. I take Berrocca. Any other similar products will do.
Always remember that to look good, you must feel good too. So excessive weight loss and drastic drop in weight in a short period of time must be prevented. Progression is key here too just like your physical training regime. Dietary aid will also help with the all important: power-to- weight ratio.
While training apps like Strava, Garmin, etc do aid in some form of logging, They however do not present it on a spreadsheet interface. Logging in your training is a great way to keep track of not just your progress in terms of timing and training volume, but it could also help you predict injuries as well as your next 2nd wind. So, on your spreadsheet, you should have these information logged, date, distance, pace, average speed or watts, remarks on training like injury or feelings and meals. Once you see a pattern like for example, you tend to get injured if you don’t precede a 10km run with a day of rest or you always perform well and feel great with a meal of pasta and eggs just before a training session.
A Before and After photo on the board could be a stark reminder and or motivational piece too.
Mental strength is the sole pillar of this project. You don’t need a training buddy, you don’t need an expensive gym membership. Every time you feel like quitting, scream in your head or aloud(if it’s possible) : FOCUS! Take deep breaths with controlled exhalation.