Often, the hardest thing about getting in the habit of setting and working toward fitness goals isn’t the workout burn or the finding the motivation. Instead, once you’ve locked in those habits, it’s easy to fall into the trap of making decisions about your health that are unhealthy and obsessive, like making further weight loss, diet, or “gains” goals. These can start to take a toll on mental health. So here’s how to keep self-acceptance in mind when building your habits.
It’s important to remember that fitness is certainly worthwhile, but only to the point that it makes you happy and feel good in your body. In making workout plans, try to also plan rest and a little indulgence into your week. Everything is best in moderation. Yes, that means rich foods and binge-watching TV–but it also means pushing yourself in the gym and sticking to a specific diet. Finding the balance between health and happiness means giving yourself permission to be lazy sometimes.
It’s okay to set yourself fitness goals, but try to be wary of how you do so. At the beginning of your journey, it’s tempting to go all-in and begin an intense regimen of diet and exercise. Not only can that lead to burnout fairly quickly, it’s also a recipe for shame when you break that regimen or don’t reach your goals as quickly as expected. Rather than starting off too intensely, try instead to find a routine that you can keep up sustainably which includes enjoyment and mental health safeguards.
It’s also important to not set too high of expectations; instead, try to see each day that you stick to your routine as a victory and let each new day be an opportunity to feel your best, regardless of how that may look to others.