Sunday, March 3, 2013

FDW: A Fresh Start

Now we are at phase one of the journey, right after the crash and burn that knocked you off of that pink cloud of doing “just fine” and if you are like most of us you are saying, “Now what?” Of course you could be saying “Duh, I already know what to do,” but bear with us as we are starting from the beginning here. I would suggest you read along because there is a good chance that you may not have had the right start and could afford a do-over.
Here are the exact things that I personally think you need to start out.
  1. A notebook. Don’t argue with me on this one. Sooner or later you will start keeping a training journal if you know what is good for you so start at the beginning, and just get it right from the get-go. More later.
  2. A good idea of what gym you want to join. Again don’t argue with me on this one either. We all have dozens of friends with a treadmill or a bike covered with dust in their house. There is a reason for this. More later.
  3. Comfortable workout clothes. Go to Wal-Mart or Target and get some brand spanking new and comfortable clothes. A couple of pairs of shorts, a couple of pairs of sweats, couple of loose fitting t-shirts, sports bras if you require them, and most importantly a comfortable pair of running shoes or cross trainers. Please, I beg of you, don’t start being a fashion victim from day one. Comfort is the key!
Now starting from number 1, you need to start writing down your own personal journey. Visit the local gyms and see which ones make you feel the most comfortable. Write down the pros and cons in each of them. The most important things to spot are how friendly the people appear to be. How much of the equipment appears to be open, and or does it appear that people share the equipment freely. I’m sure you are thinking that it doesn’t matter because that treadmill over there is open, but that is simply where you start and not where you end. I like to make sure that the staff there seems to know the clients, and they aren’t just playing cronyism. You may be surprised to find out that the gyms with the biggest and most fierce looking people actually are the friendliest and most helpful. Just depends on who remembers where they came from and who doesn’t.
Now take the rest of the first and maybe a good chunk of the second page of your notebook writing about the workout clothes you picked out. Boy doesn’t that sound stupid, but this is part of the mental process that makes you a better fitness trainee. By writing down the type of clothes, brand, material, you have the makings of determining what you like and don’t like about them and give yourself a better chance to customize your wardrobe as time goes on.
Lastly, on day one I want you to start writing down everything you eat. I don’t want you to make any variations to what you eat, because that will be covered once you start actually increasing your metabolic rate. For now you just need to see what you are putting in your system and then rather than jumping on some fad diet train you are going to slowly decrease your intake while increasing your metabolism. You’ll never miss it.
This is merely the first day and day two comes now. You wake up and start your day, start writing your dietary intake, get your gym clothes if you didn’t the day before, get your gym member ship if you haven’t already and head to the gym. Go before work, after work, during lunch it doesn’t matter at this phase but please keep track of how you feel on the way in and the way out of the gym in your notebook so that if you do change the time of day you can find the best times for you. I personally prefer first thing in the morning on days off but after work on days I work. Now head to that empty treadmill, because that is your new best friend for the first couple of weeks.
Treadmill is the starting point because it is not only easy on most people, but it gives you an opportunity to star gaze. Look around the gym, get used to people every day. See the trends of what people do, just be nosey and get comfortable from your daily perch. Yes, you will be doing this for 6 days a week at least, and you will have no real stress on you while you do it. Pick a comfortable walking speed and simply try to increase the speed and the incline every day or so, until you start feeling like a machine. Don’t change your diet at all during this phase, but I assure you by the end of your first couple of weeks your body will tell you to eat differently.
We’ll of course cover that later. For now, just keep up the good work and stick to the plan. Start at 20 minute walks and increase it every few days until you are comfortable with at least a 40 minute with a 5 minute cool down. At that point, as simple as it sounds, you have crossed over into the realm of the healthier with great potential, and you’ll go far.