Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Fitness Plan for Anyone - Steps 1 & 2

"We can do anything we want as long as we stick to it long enough."
-- Helen Keller

Sounds easy (because who doesn't have a desire to be more in shape), but this is a critical step. If you don't want this with all of your heart, then guess what? You won't get it. You have to be ready, willing & determined to get your body back into shape. You have to be willing to make time for yourself every single day to work on this goal. Time to focus on your goals, your eating and your exercise. Most days, I spend 30 minutes working out. Seriously guys? Who can't fit 30 minutes into their day. Wake up earlier, wait till the kids go off to school, wait till the baby goes down for a nap, do it before bed . . . whatever it takes! Make that time EVERY DAY! We usually find the time to fit in food in our day right? So it should be just as easy to focus on the other things our bodies need just as bad.

I firmly believe that most things are 90% mental. Getting into shape is definitely in this category! If you are strong mentally, you will succeed. This is seriously one HUGE mental game. YOU get to tell yourself what you can do and how your body can change, not your body! Your body is always going to tell you it's tired and can't go on. You have to tell that weak body, that nobody you know has croaked during a workout video and so the chances are pretty high you won't either! You also have to recondition your mind because it will be quite effective at trying to throw all kinds of excuses to you that are cleverly disguised to seem rational. You all know what I'm talking about because our minds throw them at us constantly --- the "I don't have any time for that", "I can't do those kinds of exercises because {insert excuse here}" or my favorite which I'm still constantly fighting in my own head, "my body can't ever look like those bodies. It's not in my gene pool." All irrational crap people that you MUST conquer and throw out of your mind if you want to have any success.

Before I jumped whole heartedly into my exercise routine, I spent a month or two focusing on drinking more water. I really tried to postpone the inevitable and tell myself I had to take all these baby steps first. I realized I hardly drank at all each day and knew it was a good thing to do. 64 ounces doesn't sound like that much really, but boy did I really have to focus to ever achieve it. Drinking enough water is still something I struggle with all these months later. It's not that I don't love water. It's just that I don't think about it enough. So when I do, I sit there and force way more down than I really want at the time. And don't even get me started on how much I hate running to the bathroom every few minutes! My sister claims your body eventually gets used to all the water and you don't have to go as much. I obviously never get to that point, but again it's because I don't sip it all day long - I do it in big giant gulps at a time. I'm working on it though. I heard it said that you should aim to drink at least half your body weight in water ounces each day. So if you weigh 120 pounds, then you should try and drink at least 60 ounces each day. Just a rule of thumb that might be helpful.

Let me preface this, by pointing out that I DO NOT DIET!!! To me, dieting has a negative connotation to it. It makes people think they are missing out on something or that they "can't" eat certain things and if you think you're missing out on something, then you either cheat or when your time is up, you will go overboard trying to make up lost time with whatever you missed. Also, dieting implies it has a start and an end date. I don't like this idea at all. Eating healthier (or in my case, just eating more consciously) is something you want to do and CAN DO for the rest of your life. Not just for one month or until you reach a certain weight, etc. So with that being said, I am not a fan of diets at all. I've never done one, I will never do one. Thus, why I decided to call this step "accountable eating". That's all we really have to do right? Be aware of what we are eating, how many calories we are bringing in, what nutritional value we are giving ourselves, etc.

My sister Tenille (who was my big motivator & inspiration to start my journey) started hounding us all to eat healthier late last year. She would show us easy lunches to make that were healthy or easy substitutions to make in our every day cooking. Now I have to confess I am not a health nut and I don't know as much about nutrition as I should. This is something I'm really trying to learn more about now, but for someone like me, I just simply started paying attention to what I was eating. It's amazing how much 'ghost eating' you do sometimes that you aren't even aware of. Keeping track of your eating each day and learning how many calories are in things helps you be accountable. And switching out whole wheat pastas or breads, and trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies is something we can all do. I amazingly have to confess that I still have a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies in my cupboard from the beginning of February. I love Girl Scout cookies, but once I had to write down each one I ate, they somehow lost their appeal and I kind of forgot about them. I should probably hurry & open them up before they go bad. See though . . . if I had dieted and couldn't eat them, then I probably would have eaten a whole box at a time once I was done with my diet.

And now to close, I want to share my favorite app that has helped me so much with my 'accountable eating'. I never had a clue as to how many calories were in things. This app has been amazing in setting up how many calories it thinks I should eat each day & helping me see how many calories everything I eat has in it. You can also enter in your exercise and it gives you positive calories for that that work against your negative ones! It's an eye opener to see how many calories your workout burnt and how easily you can totally negate all that work with snacks or treats! Definitely makes you think twice before doing so.

What is this awesome app? It's called My Fitness Pal (click on it and it will take you to their website). I have it downloaded on my iPad, but it's also a website that you can use on your computer or any device.  It is 100% free!   I love it. It charts your goals and progress along the way. You can link up with friends and stay updated on their progress as well. My sister and I have been using it for awhile and it will definitely let us know if one of us has been slacking and not logging in for too long. It will say something like, "Heidi hasn't logged in for 5 days. She might need some encouragement!" I love it. It has TONS of restaurants and fast food and brand names in it. It's so easy to enter ANYTHING you eat. Even better, you can enter in your own recipes when you eat something that's not in there. So bookmark the address on your own computer now or download it on your favorite device. It's seriously a great, FREE tool that will help you on your journey.

*Stay tuned for Step 3 in the next installment!


Kierstin said...

I was working out and eating really well for 9 months. I lost 20 lbs. I looked and felt great. Ever since my husbands surgery in February, I've lost my groove. I've gained some weight back. I've been working out but not like I used to and not eating as well. I have been trying to get motivated again and you are getting me there Tiffany. I just signed up and already have my breakfast calories in. Plus sent a few friends emails to join as well. Thanks for the motivation!

Gail S. said...

Thanks for the advice! Can't wait to start.

Hilary and Chris said...

Ok, toady I will drink only water and LOTS of it.... Wish me luck!

Ten said...

I am motivated to be healthier again. Thank you Tiffany for inspiring me.

Sher said...

Great advice that I shall take! You seem to be doing this very similar to me because I am NOT on a diet. Who could actually live on a diet? I'm going to check out that website you suggest now.

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the great tips! I've got to get back on track - this summer has been a killer as far as keeping on track with anything. I know, more excuses. :)

More Than A Mom said...

This is a fantastic article and very motivating. I am starting today (mid-vacation) as the summer foods have been too tempting and are starting to show on my waist line!

Jones Morris said...

I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this..Fitness

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