“Getting to a Healthier Place” can mean different things to different people. Many of us would like to lose a few pounds. Others want to get stronger, tone up, increase flexibility, improve balance, build stamina, and/or decrease medications. The one thing we all share in common is how fabulous it feels when we make progress toward our goals. Celebrating “little victories” is a great way to make the longer journey to our ultimate goals a little less daunting and a lot more fun!
After losing more than 150 pounds in 18 months, with help from a personal trainer at the Anytime Fitness gym in Plymouth, MN, Heidi Johnson has learned to appreciate—and to celebrate—her wins.
“There were a ton of exercises I couldn’t do at first, including jogging, planking, and more than three lunges on each leg,” Heidi says. “Now, I can plank for a minute and a half, I jogged part of my most recent 5K, and I can do as many lunges as my personal trainer asks me to do.”
In order to build up her strength, Heidi’s personal trainer, Clarinda Haglin, modified certain exercises. Instead of forearms on the ground, Heidi placed her hands on a two-foot tall box when she first started planking. Lunges got easier after Heidi strengthened the muscles in her thighs using light-weight kettlebells. And for the first time in years, Heidi was able to jog after she lost a substantial amount of weight.
Celebrations Can Be Sweet And Simple
“One of the little celebrations I had recently was at my weigh-in with Clarinda when I broke 220 pounds,” Heidi says. “I high-fived her so hard that her hand stung. We were laughing when we did my measurements and that alone was a great celebration.”
“I honestly don’t think I have ever seen Heidi so excited and have such a big smile on her face before,” said Clarinda. “She jumped off the scale, spun a full circle, threw her hands in the air and shouted, ‘I’m under 220!’ I was so excited for her. We high-fived and hugged.”
Another fun way to celebrate “gym wins” is by rewarding yourself with a small gift.
“I like buying new workout clothes for myself when my old ones no longer fit,” Heidi says. “And one of my favorite ways to celebrate is by buying myself a new book. Reading is a great form of self-care, and when I see certain books on my shelf, I am reminded of my success in the gym.”
An occasional “cheat meal” is okay. But rewarding yourself with too many unhealthy foods or beverages is self-defeating.
“Instead of consuming extra calories, go do something that makes you feel good,” Clarinda recommends. “Give yourself a special treat like getting your nails or your hair done. Go to an amusement park—whatever floats your boat and makes you feel good and victorious.”
Better Health Has Its Own Rewards
Perhaps the best thing about achieving fitness goals is that the results can be more than physical. Heidi says her entire quality of life has improved since she started exercising regularly and eating a healthier diet.
“I’m sleeping better and I feel really good about myself when I’m done with a workout,” Heidi says. “I can now take showers for as long as I want without my back shooting pain up my spine. I can fit into booths in restaurants, seats in movie theaters, and the driver’s seat of my car without my stomach pressed against the steering wheel. I can walk through the grocery store without breaking out into a sweat or feeling like I’m having a heart attack. Even though I’ve been able to do these things for almost a year now, I will never stop appreciating them. They may seem like small things, but they’re real causes for celebration.”
Please join us as we continue to follow Heidi on her fitness journey this year via the Anytime Fitness blog. In future posts, Heidi will share her new healthy eating secrets, advice on making connections, and update us on her new goals for the summer.