The 8 Phases of Resolving to Lose Weight and Get in Shape

It all starts out with tons of Pintrest boards for inspiration, but it soon turns into aching muscles and shin splints

By Jenna Mullins Jul 29, 2014 4:21 PMTags
Getting in ShapeGetty Images

To quote the legendary philosopher Britney Jean Spears: "You wanna hot body? You better work, bitch."

And work you shall.

Congrats on your decision to put down the Doritos Loaded and pick up a Shake Weight. We guess you could technically hold both of those at the same time, but that kind of defeats the purpose of exercising, eh?

Anyway, we wish you luck on your adventures in getting in shape, and you will be just fine as long as you are preparing to go through these eight phases on your journey to getting rid of your arm jiggle:

1. The Kickoff Phase

This is when you realize you need to get your fat ass into shape. Why do you suddenly realize this? For a lot of people, it's because there is an event you have to attend in the near future. Perhaps it's a friend's wedding. Or an ex-boyfriend's wedding. Or your wedding. Whatever it is, it means that you need to not look, for lack of a better word, frumpy. How do you achieve un-frumpiness? By losing [insert appropriate number here] pounds.

This phase can also be called "Rock Bottom," as in something happened to you that made you take a look at yourself and go: "ughhhhh." It could be that photo your friend tagged of you on Facebook (without permission, FFS) that looks like your face with four chins. Or you've become so lazy that instead of walking down the hallway to the bathroom at work you just sit with your legs crossed all day.

Or maybe you just felt like getting healthy. It doesn't matter what caused the kickoff; you have made the decision to start eating better and working out. Let's do this.

2. The Pinterest Phase

Ready to do this? Great! But first, you have to make a few Pinterest boards:

Healthy Recipes
Quick Healthy Recipes
Quick Healthy Recipes That Don't Involve Quinoa
Quick Healthy Recipes That Don't Involve Quinoa or Kale
Workout clothes
Dream Outfits (for after losing weight)

Basically, this is your prep phase. You get super-cute workout clothes that are actually workout clothes and not just black Old Navy leggings. You join a gym if you don't already belong to one. You update your workout playlist. Hell, you might even buy a new iPod. And you definitely need state of the art running shoes that have vents to maximize air flow and laces you can link to your iPhone to track you heart rate or some s--t. You go balls to the walls. And you drop lots of money to do so.

3. The Worst Phase

Spin class? The worst. Running on the treadmill? The worst. Cooking healthy dinners and ignoring the Flamin' Hot Funyuns and Lucky Charms in your cabinet? The. Absolute. Worst.

This is how you feel when you actually start working out and stick to your new eating plan. Everyone keeps telling you that the first week is the hardest. And they are correct. It sucks. You're sore. You're hungry a lot. You had to switch to sugar-free coffee creamers and you hate it. But you know you have to keep going, so you just pull up your big girl/boy panties and keep on truckin'. But you will complain whilst truckin'. 

4. Top of the World Phase

Wow! Your jeans aren't so tight! You have tons more energy! You're sleeping better! You can get through spin class without doubling over the bike and dry heaving! You are doing it! Look at you! YOU'RE REALLY DOING IT!

5. The Reality Check Phase

Also known as the plateau phase. You drop five or so pounds quickly because you changed your eating habits and are working out instead of spending each night watching reruns of Four Weddings. Of course it was easy to lose weight. But now you have leveled out, your body is used to your new routine and diet so you aren't losing any more weight.

And that's when you realize that your new dedication to working out and not eating awful food isn't just a plan to get in shape…it's a lifestyle change. It's something you have to keep doing to make sure the weight stays off. And you have to keep changing your workout to keep your body guessing. Stupid body. Too smart for its own good.

6. The Slacker Phase

You can skip the gym tonight, right? You have plans with friends you haven't seen in a while. And why don't you sleep in tomorrow and miss your yoga class, too? You've earned it. Too tired to cook your black bean and chicken flatbread thing? Take a swing by Taco Bell and indulge a bit!

Be careful with this phase…this is where most people gain the weight back and/or stop working out. And then you have to wait for the Rock Bottom phase to start all over again. Rest and indulging is fine, of course, but just don't make it a habit. Or else the Four Chins fairy will return with a vengeance.

7. The Acceptance Phase

Once you get past the slacker phase and realize you want to stay healthy, you're golden. You know those people who say when they miss their workout they feel weird or less energized? You are one of those people now! Who would've thunk it?!

8. The Triumph Phase

You lost the weight. You fit in that dress. You don't mind taking photos and you no longer demand to see the photos directly after they are taken. Most importantly, you feel amazing about yourself. As long as you feel better than you did during the kickoff phase, you achieved something. And not everyone can make it through all of these phases and not quit so to everyone who makes it this far: