Legacy’s own Felicia Sexton was recently named among the Top Fitness Instructors in Houston by the Houston Chronicle. If fitness is on your resolution list, Sexton has some advice.
By Barrett White
It’s that time of year again! New year, new decade – if you entered 2020 with an urge to take on fitness like millions of other Americans, it can be easy to get discouraged and leave the resolutions behind when you don’t immediately see the results you hoped for. “Develop tunnel vision,” says Legacy’s Wellness Manager, Felicia Sexton. “Don’t look left, don’t look right. Don’t start comparing yourself to others.”
Some people choose to begin a health journey because they seek to lose or gain weight. Others are simply looking to feel healthy, alleviate pain, or increase their mobility or stamina. No matter the reason for your journey, having goals and committing to consistency is key.
“It’s a commitment,” Sexton says. “Things will come up, but remember to commit to yourself and to finish what you started.”
Write down your goals and progress. What is it that you are trying to accomplish? Writing down your progress as you work through it can help, too. Seeing your progress in front of you can be some of the best motivation.
“Push yourself, because if it’s that easy, then why are you doing it?” Sexton asks. “Invest in yourself. Don’t eat out for a month and use that money to hire a trainer to get you acclimated to your own body and its needs.”
Ditch the scale. Muscle is heavier than fat. While you’re on your journey, you’re likely to lose some fat, but gain some muscle. As changes slowly happen in your body, you may not notice the change visually right away – but looking for a change on the scale isn’t always best for your mental health. There’s a good chance that you’ll lose fat but gain muscle, meaning the actual weight difference may not be what you wanted to see, despite real progress.
Allow yourself to cheat. Yes, consistency is key. But that doesn’t mean your progress will be ruined just because you had a slice of cake at the birthday party, or a bit of dessert after a rough day at the office. There’s a thin line between keeping up with consistency and developing an unhealthy complex. Remember: A health journey is for your physical and mental health. You’re allowed a treat now and then – there’s no reason to deny yourself of that, or to feel bad afterward.
Have fun. No, really. If jogging on the treadmill or completing endless reps of weightlifting sounds absolutely horrible to you… then don’t do that! There are plenty of other ways to get your body moving that don’t have to be boring. Try out a class where you can join other health-minded friends as you account progress (or commiserate), such as CrossFit, indoor surfing, axe throwing, free public fitness courses, or aerial yoga.
Do it for you. The core reason for a fitness journey should be for yourself. How you feel in your own body should matter more than likes on social media – the other way around can lead to unhealthy obsessions and disappointment. Once you notice that you have better mobility, more stamina, and yes, perhaps some weight loss (or gain!), too, that’s the gratification that matters. This is your body and mind for you to care for, not for Instagram to validate.