Fitness success stories are a great source of inspiration. They provide you a glimpse into the life before and after major health shifts – showing the payoff of hard work. Following these stories can help make your path easier, spurring your own motivation and providing you with the tips and tricks required to achieve your fitness objectives.
After reviewing multiple success stories, we have compiled a list of points that are common across them and can be of use to you as you seek to achieve your fitness goals, whether for weight loss or gain, endurance, stamina – the sky’s the limit!
Patience and determination
The people who eventually achieved their fitness goals were the ones who were determined throughout and never let their sights waiver. At the onset of their journeys, they were clear in setting achievable goals. They were optimistic during hard times, and realistic during periods of vast improvement. Those that succeed realize there are bound to be setbacks (perhaps a result of a heavy night of drinking) and accept them in stride. Those with the best results are dogged and relentless, even in the face of stretches where it seems like there are limited external results.
According to many success stories, people achieved excellent results when self-motivation kicked in. Without self-motivation, every workout, every step, is a chore. Finding that source of motivation - whether a goal, a feeling, or someone else’s approval - makes your work that much easier. Inducing self-motivation requires a personal vested interest – understanding why you are doing what you’re doing and aligning incentives and drivers. If we are interested in something, love doing it, and feel rewarded, the chances are higher that you will stick with it even when it seems like the whole world is conspiring against you.
Healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle
It goes without saying - a healthy diet is the key to a healthy body. Most experts on weight loss say that what you eat is 90% of the battle, with the remainder your activity levels. However, a healthy diet requires a healthy lifestyle, which means developing the routines and proper behaviors to support eating properly. This means buying the right groceries in your super market, avoiding situations in which you might lapse, regularly working out, and so on.
One example of a health habit: according to a study completed at the University of Colorado, 78% of the people who lost weight and kept it off eat healthy breakfast every day (source). A healthy diet and lifestyle allow you to thrive, not just survive, in this world.
Strong mental health
The people who were able to reach their goal of a healthy body also has strong mental health. In order to achieve your fitness objectives, both your mental and physical health need to work in harmony. Things like stress, anxiety, and tension stray you away from the right path and guide you down a dark alley where you just stay in a state of helplessness. These things demotivate you and block you from reaching your end goals.
Those that succeed take time to support their mental health, including: sleeping ample amounts, reflecting on their progress, identifying barriers to their goals and ways to address, and meditating. One common activity was yoga, which helped to alleviate peoples’ stress, keeping them relaxed and fresh.
Physical health and exercise
No story on fitness success would be complete without physical exercise. This may be one of the most difficult prerequisites of a healthy body, as it requires regular and extensive workouts. According to a recent study from Brown Medical School and the University of Colorado, 90% of the people who lost weight and kept it off exercised for at least an hour a day (source). Exercise, however, doesn’t always mean physically exhausting your body. Light to moderate exercise such as walking or yoga counts – especially as you get started on your journey!
Where are you in achieving your fitness goals? Share your successes and setbacks in the comments!