You don't go through an experience like this one without learning a few things, and my biggest lesson is that the process never ends. Getting and staying healthy means making good choices—over and over again. Here's a wrap-up of the things that have helped me most throughout the past year:
- Stick with the program Create a routine and stay with it, especially when you don’t feel like it. Consistency creates results.
- Eat often Have a small meal or snack every two or three hours. It keeps your metabolism up and prevents the too-hungry feeling that leads to overeating.
- Shake things up Every few weeks, try a new exercise, a new sport, or a new class at the gym. You'll prevent workout boredom and enhance your results because you're challenging new muscle groups.
- Buddy up If you don't already have friends who enjoy working out, make an effort to meet some at the gym or in an organized fitness group, such as a running club or kickboxing class. A group dynamic simply makes working out more fun.
- Go online Checking in and chatting with others via a message board who have similar goals helps keep you accountable, and gives you another avenue of support and encouragement.
- Track your progress Weigh yourself regularly and take your measurements on a monthly basis, along with front, side, and rear photos. Having the hard numbers and photos in front of you will reaffirm your commitment to getting fit and healthy, and remind you of how far you've come.