How To Get Back Into Exercise And Healthy Eating

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As a fitness and nutrition professional, there are a few phrases that I’m used to hearing.

And there’s one that always has me struggling to suppress an eye roll.

“I need to get back into it.”

It’s a surprisingly common refrain (I’ve heard it twice in the last week alone!), and one that doesn’t serve any useful purpose.

Usually people are referring to exercise or to eating well, as in:

“I need to get back into exercise.”


“I need to start eating better again.”

It’s not a very productive thing to say.

When most people think of “getting back into it”, it makes the process seem somehow insurmountable.

The other issue is that you’re using the word need.

That makes it sound about as fun as getting a root canal, like “I need to get my teeth drilled so that the abscess in my mouth doesn’t take over my entire head.”

Even if you say, “I want to get into it.” you still make it seem like a vague wish that will never be realized.

Don’t make such a big deal out of working out.

Go to the gym.

Do a 30-minute weight circuit.

You’re back into it!

I recently had the 40-year-old dad of two 4-year-old twin girls tell me he needed to “get back into exercise”.

He hasn’t worked out for over two years and it feels like the day he’s planning to do it again is sometime in the distant future (after his kids are off to University, perhaps!).

Even if he went to the gym for 30 minutes today, he would break through that mental barrier.

Many people are stuck in the “All-or-Nothing” mentality.

“I need to be going to the gym every day…or not bother going at all.”

“I need to be eating perfectly “clean” (I can’t stand that term!) or perfectly “healthy”…or I might as well eat crap all day long.”

Come on!

Aiming for perfection is just an excuse to not do anything at all.

When people come to me for Online Coaching, they’ve often spent months contemplating the decision and deciding that they’re ready to get started again.

It’s a shame that so much time gets wasted.

Many people will spend hours on the Internet looking for the perfect workout program, evaluating the benefits and drawbacks.

They’ll scour the web for the latest diet trend, hoping that this new way of eating will miraculously change their lifelong food issues (SPOILER ALERT: it won’t!).

Maybe you’ve had to take a break from the gym.

You got busy with a big project at work, your kids got sick one after the other (and then you did too!), or you had an injury that limited what you could do.

It happens.

Don’t feel guilty and don’t worry that it’s going to be a huge mission.

Start small and work your way up.

One gym session a week means you can call yourself “a person who goes to the gym”.

Changing your perception of yourself from a person with doesn’t have time or energy for the gym to “someone who works out to stay healthy and strong” is as easy (or as hard, depending on how you look at it!) as a mindset shift.

You are the person who eats well…right after that first bite of broccoli or wild cod.

You are the person who exercises…as soon as you’re in the gym doing that first set.

Change how you think of yourself and you’ll be more likely to do the things that will keep you perceiving yourself that way.

And please…don’t put it off.

Life is too short.

A healthier, stronger version of you is only one small step away.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 7-year-old boy. She is a YouTuber, writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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