KILTED! is a philosophy that I developed to help guide my quest for better health. KILTED! Can be summarized by 7 simple principles that are crucial if you want to make a transformational change in your life. Today we recap all 7 of the principles and tie them all together.
Over the past three weeks, I have shared a basic introduction for each of the seven KILTED! Principles and supporting information for some of them as well. It was a lot of information to divulge in a relatively short period. Spreading it over seven posts may make it harder to see how they all interrelate and to know exactly where to get started to Get KILTED! Below I will try to briefly cover the main takeaways from each of the seven principles, followed by the first steps to implement KILTED! into your life.
Recapping the 7 Principles
You need to make the decision to get healthy for yourself. Hopefully you already have and that’s why you are here. KILTED! will supply you with tools to succeed but ultimately it is your follow through that will make the difference.
Excuses are a human defense mechanism used to rationalize potentially damaging behavior. Where fitness is concerned, we use excuses to avoid working out and eating better, often because it is easier not to (I.e., easier to sleep in than to get up and exercise, easier to grab take out at McDonald’s that to plan and prepare a healthy meal, easier to start next week than right now, etc.). Once you have made up your mind to get healthy, to work out, or to eat better, why wait? What are you gaining by waiting? (I’ll tell you the answer, nothing, except maybe more weight).
Excuses are just your brain’s way of helping your body avoid the discomfort of doing something outside of your comfort zone. But if your comfort zone has become your couch with a bowl of unhealthy snacks, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Why? Because the more you do it, you’ll find out that Your Comfort Zone is Flexible. It will adapt. If you’ve made up your mind to get healthy, stop making excuses, kill the excuses, and get started now.
Once you have a basic understanding of nutrition and how food affects your health, you can better regulate your food intake. You will need to begin by adjusting what you consume, to ensure that you are bringing in the proper nutrients. You will also need to regulate how much you consume to ensure that you are bringing in enough food to function properly as well as to ensure that you are burning off fat if that is one of your goals.
While you are improving your diet, you must also avoid many fad diet traps out there which may produce the weight loss results you are hoping for, but which may be unsustainable or even unhealthy for you. Moderation is also important in changing your diet, as anything which is done too quickly (or cold turkey) may prevent you from making a lasting change. The key to improving your diet is finding a healthy balance between improved food intake and making a sustainable change to your habits.
Strength training is essential for a balanced fitness program. When not engaging in strength training, up to a quarter of weight lost during dieting can come from muscle! This means that dieting can make you weaker and slow your metabolism which can in time hinder further weight loss. Furthermore, muscle burns fat just by operating during the normal course of your day, so more muscle burns more calories. Better yet, weight lifting not only burns calories during the workout, but can still be burning calories three to four hours after your workout is over.
The keys to any strength training workout are that you begin by developing good technique. Next you plan your strength training to ensure that you are lifting frequently enough to provide a benefit – recommending 10-12 exercises for one hour, three times a week. Next you must ensure that you gradually and progressively overloading your muscles (lifting more weight than you are used to) so that your muscles will adapt to the increased demand you are placing on them. Finally, you must ensure that you are giving your muscles adequate time to recover between workouts (typically 24-48 hours) so they can rebuild and repair to be ready for your next workout.
Aerobic exercise, or cardio for short, is the cornerstone of most fitness plans. Cardio involves low-level, repetitive motions where your muscles are working below 50% of their maximum capacity for an extended time so that your heart is working above 50% of its maximum capacity. This increases your heart rate and the flow of oxygen to your muscles. Cardio is kind of like strength training for your heart muscle. Cardio leads to weight loss, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of developing heart disease.
The main point of Trek Out is to get active, but I suggest that its better to be active outdoors. Americans on average spend approximately 90% of their time indoors where the air is generally 2 to 5 times more polluted and where we don’t have access to sunlight which helps us produce Vitamin D. Therefore, there are significant health and mental benefits to getting active outdoors. I also recommend “Trekking Out” of your comfort zone to try new ways to get fit and other new experiences as well.
Any time you are exposed to new information you are learning. It doesn’t matter how small or inconsequential that information may be. An important step in getting fit is knowing what it takes to be fit. If you’re not already an expert, you will need to learn more about nutrition, diet, exercise, metabolism, the structures of your body, and many more topics. Once you are well armed with knowledge, you will be able to experiment by applying it to your life (or in our case, to your fitness routine). This will allow you to learn what works for you and what doesn’t work, and you will be able to improve your performance and your fitness.
Remember that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just your physical fitness. Learn a new skill that you can apply to your work. Learn a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. Or, just read that book you bought years ago but never opened. Mental fitness can be just as important as physical fitness, especially as we age. It doesn’t matter what you learn about, just learn and expand your knowledge.
The key to success is perseverance. Once you have started an undertaking, fitness or otherwise, quitting is like throwing away everything you’ve invested into your progress. Obstacles may slow you down, but you have the power to decide how they affect you. Will you quit and let your obstacles stop you? Or will you persevere, conquer them, and grow stronger in the process? Nothing about getting fit is short term – getting fit is about the long haul. You will work hard, and you will train hard. You will become tired, even exhausted. You will struggle. You will persevere. At some point, you will consider quitting.
How do you keep going when you feel like quitting? Find an inspirational story that speaks to you and harness its message to drive you forward. Or, find what is hindering your progress and beat it (if its an excuse, kill it). Don’t let anyone else’s opinion get in the way of your success because your opinion is the only on that matters. If you think you can do it – you can! Keep going!
! (Get Excited)
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the results right away. From the moment you start, you will be getting healthier and fitter whether you notice them yet, or not. Don’t wait for a trophy or a medal, and don’t wait for others to notice either. Soon enough, you will notice them. Once you do, get excited! You’ve earned it! Excitement fuels success, so be sure to set manageable and incremental goals. This way you can keep up your excitement level and help fuel yourself through continued improvement.
Working the 7 Principles
Now that you are armed with all seven KILTED! Principles, you can begin to apply them. Although they are presented in a somewhat logical order, they are not necessarily in the ideal order for implementation (nor is there only one order in which to do so). They key is that once you have begun using any one of the principles, you should never abandon it.
Kill Excuses is a logical first step, because you will need to do it before you can begin any new undertaking. But you will also find times during the process that you will need to Kill Excuses, particularly if you plateau or consider quitting.
You may begin Improving Diet, Lifting Weights, and Trekking Out one at a time, or all at the same time. It depends on your readiness level to do each. But before long, all three will be necessary to have a well-rounded fitness plan as they are co-dependent in the weight loss equation.
If you don’t have a basic enough understanding of Improving Diet, Lifting Weights, or Trekking Out, you may find that you need to Expand Knowledge before you can begin and or all of them. Just make sure that you’re not using research time as an excuse to avoid getting started. Remember that the learning process involves observation and experimentation. You don’t need to be an expert to start.
Don’t Quit is another ongoing principle that applies any time the going gets tough or your progress slows. Keep going and you continue advancing towards your goals. And finally, don’t forget the excitement! Get Excited when you can and stay excited to fuel your progress through your plan.
The First Step
You now have the basics you need to know to Get KILTED! You can take everything you have learned here to begin getting fit and improving your health. But you are still missing one step necessary for success. Improvement doesn’t need them, but success requires Goals! See the next post for an introduction to Goal Setting.
Be sure to read all 7 of the KILTED! Principles and don’t miss Get KILTED! for more related links: