Starting your fitness journey can be scary.  You know you want to lose weight and get in shape, but you’re not sure where to start.  My advice to you is this: KEEP IT SIMPLE!! 

Yes, it is going to require a lifestyle change if you really want to see results, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming!  Fitness is a journey, and taking small steps is the best way to get started.  Follow these super simple steps to get started on the path to a new you!

#1 ~ Start Moving

You don’t need a hardcore workout program or even a gym membership.  You just need to move!  Throw your kids in their stroller or wagon, and go for a walk.  Put on some music, and dance around your house.  If your kids are older, go for a bike ride or dust off those old roller blades that are hiding in your basement.

Push-ups, crunches, and basic squats are a great way to tone your muscles using your own body weight.  No equipment required!  Do a few when you first wake up in the morning to get your blood pumping, or squeeze some in during the day while your kiddos are napping.

#2 ~ Drink Water

Make water your best friend.  Besides quenching your thirst, water helps flush toxins from the body, aids in digestion, and helps maintain the health of your hair and skin.  Water can also help alleviate hunger by making you feel full.  Often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually dehydrated.  So try to drink water throughout the day.

#3 ~ Get Rid of the Junk

Go through your pantry and fridge and get rid of the junk food.  This means chips, cookies, ice cream – all the things you know are bad for you, but you just can’t seem to resist.  It’s simple – if it’s not there, you can’t eat it!  Soda and fast food fall into this category as well.

#4 ~ You Are Not a Garbage Disposal

…so stop finishing your kids’ food!  You know exactly what I’m talking about.  That handful of Teddy Grahams left in their snack bowl.  The three bites of hot dog left on their dinner plate.  We all do it.  Knock it off!!

#5 ~ Use the Buddy System

You are more likely to stay motivated if you have someone doing this with you.  Find a friend to walk with you, get your spouse on board, or find an online group that you can check in with on a regular basis.

#6 ~ Eat More Colors

This goes along with getting rid of the junk.  You need to replace it with something, right?  Fresh fruits and veggies are the way to go.  Need something crunchy?  Try raw carrots or cut up some bell peppers (my favorites).  Craving something sweet?  Keep fresh fruit on hand for a sweet treat.

#7 ~ Set Goals

Start small.  Maybe your first goal will simply be to complete one of the steps on this list today, or go for a walk this week, or lose five pounds this month.  When you reach one goal, set a new one. Work up to the big goals like fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans or wearing a bikini on vacation.  Reward yourself when you reach each small goal – but not with food!  Treat yourself to some new workout clothes or a sassy new haircut instead.

#8 ~ Enjoy Cheat Days!

Yes, I know I just got done lecturing you on getting rid of the junk and not rewarding yourself with food, but you do need to allow yourself to cheat once in awhile.  That’s where not keeping the junk food in the house helps.  Make your cheat treats or cheat meals something you physically have to leave the house to get.  You won’t indulge as often this way, and you’ll savor it more.  Try to allow yourself only one or two cheat meals or treats each week.

# 9 ~ Smile! 

You’re doing something good for yourself by taking these first steps towards a healthy lifestyle!  Remember to take one step at a time and keep it simple!