How To Get Started When You’re Out Of Shape

Getting started when you’re out of shape can seem like the biggest obstacle to your entire weight loss journey.  The truth is, it is – because if you never get started you won’t ever achieve your goal.

Taking that first towards your goals can be intimidating, it can seem impossible and even scary. But, it doesn’t have to be.

In this article, I’m going to give you key strategies so that you can breakthrough the barrier of the unknown and be well on your way to that little black dress.

1. Acceptance

how to start when you're out of shape sign

If you want to be successful on your weight loss journey, there are a few things that will give you as big of a jump-start as acceptance.

Acceptance is not about surrendering your power, or giving up, it’s about clarity. It’s understanding your circumstances and orienting yourself so that you can create a course of action that will get you the results that you want.

Here are a few key things you need to accept about the journey ahead of you:

Results happen over time, not over night.  

You didn’t get into the position you’re in in a week, and you won’t get out of it in a week.  The more weight you have to lose, the longer it’s going to take.  It’s just that simple.

There is no magic pill.

Or weight loss tea, or waist trainer or whatever magic quick-fix product you might come across.  The idea of quick fixes and magic solutions is SO nice, but here’s the truth: if these things worked they wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry.  If one of these products was the magic solution, there wouldn’t be new ones popping up around every corner.

Instead, it would be on every major news station, every scientific publication and every single person in the world would be talking about it.  It would be revolutionary.  Every time you buy a weight-loss pill, a skinny-tea, or something that’s touted as a get-thin-without-effort solution – you are giving your power away to con artists.

You will have setbacks, guaranteed.  

Whether you slip up and eat the world, or you get a cold and have to take a week off, or you go on vacation and let things slide.  You will have setbacks, every person does to some degree – and if you don’t…well congrats you’re not human.  For the rest of us mere mortals, the reality is that life happens.

We get distracted, discouraged, and overwhelmed.  This is normal.  It doesn’t make you any less of a person, or less worthy of your goals.  In fact, the opposite is true. Your journey is only as profound as the things you had to overcome along the way.  It’s the difficult moments that will build your character and make the end goal that much more meaningful. The key is to commit to overcoming these situations, and plan ahead for what you’ll do when these things do come up.

2. Set Goals

woman writing down goals

Imagine this for a second, a soccer game without goals. There’s just a bunch of players on the field kicking a ball back and forth to their team mates. How do you know who wins the game if there’s no goals scored?  How exhausting and pointless would that game be?

This is why you have to have a goal.

A goal is simply another way of saying a desired result. A focus point that gives purpose to the actions you take.

The key is that a goal has to have a benefit that outweighs the perceived effort for it to be attainable.

Saying ‘I want to lose twenty pounds just because’ is nowhere near as effective as ‘I will lose 20 lbs because it will make me feel empowered, strong and successful.’

A goal with a strong supporting WHY statement has weight to it, it has purpose and it will keep you motivated and accountable.


Set a goal, and come up with a strong why.  A strong why is something that is deep and meaningful for you, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. It’s even better when you add a time-frame for achieving your goal.

Write it down.

When writing out your goal, start with “I WILL“, not an “I want…’ or a negative statement like ‘I don’t want…’.

Here’s a good example: ‘I will lose 20 lbs in 3 months because it will make me feel empowered, strong and successful.’

It’s good because it has all of the right elements: a desired outcome, a time frame and a strong why.

Writing goals on paper is one of the most powerful steps you will take.  It’s no longer just a thought, it’s a physical thing – it’s real and you’re much more likely to remember it.  Check out this Forbes article for how neuroscience supports the act of writing down goals by clicking here.

3. Start Small

check yourself before you wreck yourself meme

When you’re first starting out, especially if you’re out of shape, one of the best things you can do is pace yourself.

One of the worst things you can do is start with extremes.

Let’s say, you want to start running. It’s a really bad idea to go out and run 20k your first time. Not only will you fail, but you also run the risk of injury. Lets not even mention the emotional blow you’ll get from not even reaching the end of the street. But it is possible if it’s done in the right way.

By taking your time to train for smaller goals starting off with maybe 500meters, then 1k, then 2k, then 5k and so on, and allowing your body to recover and heal, you will come back stronger each time. You will condition your body to be able to run 20k successfully and without injury. It’s absolutely possible, but you have to work up to it and give it time.

Small changes create big impact.

Same with when you’re starting a weight loss journey completely out of shape.  You have to start small, and build upon each and every day.

Your body and mind need time to process and adjust to changes that are happening.  By going slow, and adjusting your intensity levels appropriately as you go, you will feel like you can accomplish anything.

Eventually you’ll be able to do things you never thought possible.

4. Keep Track

Kristi alley on scale weighing herself

In order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you are. This includes tracking your weight, measurements and your food intake.

It’s important to understand you are keeping track and weighing yourself as a means to measure your progress, not your worth as a human being.

You’re doing this to keep yourself motivated, accountable and grounded in clarity.  When you are aware of where you are, and when it’s different from where you want to be – it gives you a very clear outline of what you need to adjust in order to change. This is why keeping track during your weight loss journey is so important.

There are many ways to do this, and all of these things give you a snap shot of information, but if you want to look at the big picture the best is to combine them all.


  • weigh yourself
  • measure yourself
  • take progress photos
  • track your food intake
  • keep a weight loss journey diary

Remember, if you can measure it you can change it.

5. Have A Plan

If you’re serious about changing your life you need to do it intentionally and the best way to be intentional is to have a plan. Having a plan of action is almost like insurance, when done right.

The time you take to create a plan will pay off ten times as much by keeping you consistent and accountable in the long run.

One of the first things you need to do is educate yourself. About mindset, nutrition, and exercise – the three pillars of weight loss success. It’s what made my 132lbs weight loss possible, and it’s the backbone of my Scaling Victories program.


Educating yourself about mindset should be at the forefront of your journey because it’s the framework that all of your results will be based on. This includes things like empowerment, self-image, confidence, emotional intelligence, how to manage in times of stress, developing a positive relationship with yourself and those around you.


Nutrition is the second most important plan to have, because it’s more important than exercise when it comes to weight loss.  You can lose weight by simply changing your eating habits, but you wont’ get the same results if you only added exercise to your routine.  80% of the results you get during your weight loss journey, will be from addressing your eating habits.


A proper fitness routine is essential, because over time your body adjusts to the exercises you do.  Eventually, your body stops burning as many calories and you stop  losing weight. This isn’t bad, it’s actually a good thing because your body is doing what it’s meant to do – adapting.  But, if you’re not aware and stay ahead of these adaptations, you may end up exercising to maintain your current weight instead of losing it.

As cliche as it is, the old adage is true ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.’


At this point, if you’re ready to action towards transforming your life join my program Scaling Victories.

If you’re not ready yet, that’s okay too.

At the very least, you just learned some valuable information about how you can get started on your own!

This program is for people who take action and are ready to take their life to the next level.

Click the button below to join the program.