How to Motivate Yourself to Get Fit for Summer

Madeleine Buchner shares with us how she plans to make a head start to 2017 to get fit.

Maddy is the co-founder and CEO of Little Dreamers Australia. Little Dreamers aims to reduce the prevalence of mental illness among Young Carers by providing support and promoting social connectedness.

Having experienced first hand as a youngster the frustration, anger, fear and the loneliness when her brother was ill, she created Little Dreamers to improve the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of young carers. She also understands the importance of health and wellbeing and certainly knows how to manage her time between studying and running her organisation. 

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When is the best time to start? 

I think that you would need several hands to count the number of times I have tried to start a “lifestyle change” (code word for diet). I always tell myself—the diet starts on Monday! And I prepare, I set myself up and I usually have a couple of days where I’m really strict, or at least on track. And then I see a friend for dinner and I have a giant burger instead of something healthier, I eat some chocolate because I’m stressed about something at work or I just have so much going on that I don’t go to the gym for a couple of days. I then start to feel down about myself and tell myself that I have to wait until the next Monday to try again. And so it becomes a cycle with me usually giving up on my “lifestyle change” around the Thursday mark just before the weekend kicks in. 

WHY DO WE START DIETS ON A MONDAY?

I was talking about this with my friend the other day and she said the same thing always happens to her. So I started thinking—why do we start new regimes on a Monday? Is there something about a new week new me mentality? 

Professor Jason Riis from The University of Pennsylvania called this trend the “fresh start effect”. According to a recent study from the university, people are 33% more likely to go to the gym on a Monday—this is related to a temporal landmark, people have different views of themselves on different days of the week, looking more forward on some days vs. others. There is also a trend for more people to start exercising at the start of a month, the start of a year, the first day of a new semester and the day after a public holiday. People are also more likely to sign up to lifestyle changes on a birthday and an anniversary. To determine what is defined as a temporal landmark, the University of Pennsylvania conducted three experiments: sourcing Google analytics to see when and how often people searched for diet and exercise; tracking the most popular days to attend the University of Pennsylvania gym; and examining a website where people make contracts with themselves to change a behaviour and lose money if they fail. While the University researchers did not study whether the people actually achieved their goals, John Norcross, a psychologist from the University of Scranton says people who make promises during events e.g. aiming to quit smoking during the Great American Smokeout are actually more successful!

Ok—so there is proof as to why a lot of people start their diets and lifestyle changes on a Monday, get over the weekend where you can eat whatever you want and start a fresh the next week. I’m always very motivated when I first start a lifestyle change. I feel good about my decisions and I take more time in picking out what each day is going to be like. 

So here’s a thought—what if I started my lifestyle change on a Friday. Then I would have that motivated feeling for the weekend which is the hardest part to get through, and then I could be pumped for the week ahead because I’ve already gotten through the hardest part. 

WHAT ABOUT OTHER DAYS OF THE WEEKS?

Yes, the research says that everyone is a health nut on a Monday, 46% of people in a recent study by Brian Wansink, Ph.D from Cornell Food and Lab said their latest weight-loss attempt began on a Monday morning. But 31% of people said that they had given up by the Tuesday. But—if you start the diet on a Friday, and you choose not to overindulge on your first weekend, you have already taken some massive steps in making a lifelong change. 

According to Cornell University research, almost everyone drops weight during the week and gains weight on the weekend, with most people weighing the lowest on Friday mornings. Based on this, stepping on those scales and feeling your best might just be the motivation you need to kick the lifestyle change off right.

SO DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?

I’m a pretty skeptical person, and while the research said there was something in this theory I knew I would have to give it a try myself. 

In the last week of August 2016 I got up on Friday morning and said “this is the day”—I felt great. I was committed, excited and I felt the best I had in a long time. I got through the weekend. It was hard, I had to think longer about what I wanted to eat each day. I still went out for dinner with my friends but I just chose healthier options. And once I hit Sunday night and I had got through the first weekend I was more motivated than ever. It is now mid-November, 12 weeks later, and I am fitter, stronger and healthier than I have ever been. I put the success down to not only getting through that first weekend hump but also believing in myself and telling myself that it is possible to make the change I had tried but failed to make so many times before. 

DID YOU KNOW?

According to BAV consulting, only 17% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions stick them out for more than one month! So here is my challenge to you – and my challenge to myself too really. I am going to make my New Year’s Resolutions in December 2016 this year. Then by the time it gets to January, the “official” New Year’s Resolution time, I will have already stuck to my goals for over 1 month, over the 17% hump, encouraging and motivating me in the same way starting on a Friday did!

INTRODUCING THE 21 DAY SUMMER CHALLENGE

  • 5 classes per week (3 Yoga and 2 Fitness)
  • 3 weeks
  • $10 per class (total price $150)

Start anytime from the 28th November – 15th December. 

Kick your summer and your New Year’s Resolutions off right!

Don’t know where to start? Here are some timetables you can try! Decide whether your goal is to gain muscle, lose weight or increase fitness and use the below as guides.

LOSE WEIGHT

  • Mon 6:15pm YPOWER
  • Tue 5:45pm HIITC
  • Wed 7:30am YPOWER
  • Thu 6:30am HIRTC
  • Sat 10:00am YFLOW

GAIN MUSCLE

  • Mon 6:15pm YPOWER
  • Tue 6:15am CORETC
  • Wed 7:30pm YYIN
  • Thu 7:30pm HOT YFLOW
  • Sat 9:00am CROSSTC

INCREASE FITNESS

  • Mon 6:15am HIITC
  • Tue 6:15pm HOT YFLOW
  • Wed 6:30pm CROSSTC
  • Thu 7:30am YPOWER
  • Sat 10:00am YFLOW

I know that you can do this—and to make it even better we are throwing in 3 XTC Fitness packages up for grabs for those who complete the challenge and share their progress photos throughout the challenge on social media tagging @YogaXTC and hashtagging #XTCSummerChallenge.

Winners will be contacted on New Years Day—so start off 2017 right and take the challenge. I’ll be doing it!

More information on the 21 Day Summer Challenge can be found in the link below.

21 Day Summer Challenge >