You know how it goes. It is new and even though it may be challenging, it seems so doable. But then it hits you like a ton of bricks, the honeymoon is over. I know what you are thinking. Honeymoon? What does that have to do with fitness and a lifestyle change? Actually it has everything to do with it. For many people who decide to live a new fit life, the beginning can be quite rewarding. You see changes quickly, and you get the results needed to motivate you to continue. When the honeymoon is over the results aren't happening as quickly. It becomes difficult to continue. You are working as hard as you were before but with fewer results. The important thing is to keep going. I know it's easier said than done, but it can be done. I have a few tips to help you along your journey.
Have realistic expectations! Do not expect to run an eight minute mile after two weeks of training. Do not expect to lose 10 pounds every week. Do not expect to squat 300 pounds. Do some research and set realistic goals. At the same time, don't get discouraged if you don't achieve those results at first. If you are working hard, you will get there. Just give it time.
Do what you enjoy! I remember when I first started working out I heard that sprint intervals on the treadmill were the best form of cardio. Every workout session I would do my sprint intervals. I hated every minute of it. Then I noticed myself making excuses to get out of my sessions on the dreadmill. I finally decided that I would much rather do a form of cardio that I enjoyed than totally avoid cardio that I hate. In the end, no matter how effective it is, if I don't do it, it doesn't work.
Treat yourself! Don't be afraid to treat yourself every now and then. Keep in mind this is a lifestyle change, and the new habits that you are implementing need to be habits that you will actually be able to continue with. Don't set unrealistic expectations for yourself such as I will never eat chocolate again. If you want chocolate, eat it, and then get right back on track. Occasional treats can help you stay on track in the long run. I have a treat day every two weeks where I allow myself to eat something that I really want (usually pizza). After that meal, I jump right back on my plan. This treat fulfills my cravings, and also gives me something to work toward and look forward to.
Look for the changes! This may sound silly because you are probably thinking OF COURSE I am looking for changes. But what changes are you looking for? I give myself every opportunity to see what progress is being made. I do not limit myself to only looking at the number on the scale. I take measurements, and I take frequent progress pictures. I also keep track of the amount of weight I lift. This allows me to use all of these factors to determine the progress that I am making. While I may not always lose on the scale, I know if I really look, I will be able to find improvements in my body.
In the end the important thing is to keep working toward your goals. No matter how difficult it may be to reach them, it will be so worth it in the end.