I've not been much of a motivator this week (no postings...did you notice?) :)
My step-daughter from Maine has been visiting and we've stayed busy busy busy. It's been 10 days of doing touristy things while still trying to fit proper eating in--not always being successful--we have managed to enjoy some tasty food....but thanks to her understanding, I've not missed one of my fitness classes or my going to the gym. And to her great joy (and mine) we've managed to get in some quality 'fun in the sun' pool time! So once again, I am encouraged to be learning how you can fit life and balance into getting and being healthy and fit. It just takes some planning and common sense. You have to know your limits and not completely abandon your program.
For those of you who are joining me at the next Lighten Up For Life Program remember it begins a week from today, May 16th at 9:30. I hope you'll join us in continuing or starting your journey to finally lose and keep off the weight you've wanted to shed and to live a healthy and fit life (for the rest of your life).
So this week lets talk about things you can do to gear up for this session....and the rest of your life; to get yourself in the right mindset to makes this a successful and lasting venture. You truly have to find things that will work for you, things you enjoy doing and things you'll stick with...
These are just some suggestions:
Use a pedometer...If you've abandoned your pedometer since the end of the last session or you're just starting out....get a pedometer (one that will measure steps, calories, miles). The goal is to walk 10,000 steps per day. If you haven't been doing that today is the day to start working toward that goal. Remember that just about every activity counts. Grocery shopping, cleaning house, playing tennis, gardening etc. etc. etc. So it doesn't just have to be walking. Here's a great chart to go by http://www.stepup.excellusbcbs.com/stepChartPop.jsp
Just remember to wear your pedometer when you do walk and don't "double dip" on the count. If you wear it when you are grocery shopping, use the steps counted on your pedometer and don't add in the conversion steps on the chart. And remember too that the conversion steps are PER MINUTE....(I.E. if you are using the chart for grocery shopping it's 67 steps/minute...so if you shop for an hour that 4,020 steps that count toward your 10,000 steps from the day). They all add up!
Clean out your cupboards of unhealthy foods. If items like chips, sweets, and sodas have snuck into (or back into) your cupboards, it's time to say adios to those things.....and you might as well just tie your heart and "if the items are not there to tempt you.....you will be less tempted".
Don't deprive yourself. If you start out your program thinking "Oh woe is me...I can never have ice cream or pecan pie again"....your program will not succeed! Give up what you can give up but find a balance. I choose Sunday night as my treat night. I love ice cream....but I've learned to love Low Fat Frozen Yogurt just as well and on Sunday nights I have a small bowl (1/2 cup is 100 calories) 1/2 cup is about 1 scoop....sometimes I have 2 scoops....sometimes I have a tablespoon of chocolate sauce on it. Just remember to include it in your allotted calorie count.
Count your calories. If you're just starting out, it really helps to keep a journal and count your calories. You'll be amazed at how many calories you are taking in each day. There are lots of on-line websites/programs out there that help you keep track. I like to use "LOSE IT" http://loseit.com/ But please don't be dismayed and think "I can not imagine having to count calories for the rest of my life". Once you've done it faithfully for about 24 weeks, believe me you'll pretty much know how many calories are in the foods you eat and where you need to cut back each day to stay within your calorie range. DON'T STARVE. Your metabolism will slow down and you will not lose weight (at least not that you'll keep off)
Exercise. Here's the simply theory. Getting fit happens in the gym. Losing weight happens in the kitchen. But they go hand in hand. I am living proof that you can lose weight without any exercise....you can.....but 99% of the time it will find it's way back :(
But if you eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis you will keep the weight off and you will get (as the saying goes) "lean and mean".....and your body will thank you for it.
Join a gym, get a trainer, learn how to use the weight bearing machines, learn how to lift free weights, a fitness class, start doing a daily brisk walk--start slow and build up. Challenge yourself. Today walk 10 minutes....tomorrow 15....the next day 20...before you know it you'll be walking an hour. Dance in your living room. An hour of continuous aerobic dancing (fast pace) will get you at least 6,000 steps. Find an exercise program that works for you--one you will look forward to at least 5 days a week.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life.....make it the first day of the rest of your long healthy life. Make your goal to be fit at 99. Do something today that your future self will thank you for. Yesterday you said "I'll start tomorrow"...today is that tomorrow. Don't put it off another day. I look back and think about all the mornings I woke up and thought "OK today I won't eat a half bag of twizzlers at work and today I'm going to get on the treadmill for an hour....no wait, today is Suzy's birthday and I know Rhonda will bring those homemade donuts to work and I promised John we'd have those yummy nachos covered with cheese for dinner and I need to iron the outfit I'm wearing so maybe I'll do the treadmill tonight"......I did that for years....seriously...
Listen to your body and listen to your mind....they are trying to tell you something....they're trying to tell you that TODAY is the day to start changing your life. TODAY is the day to start working toward the person you've always physically wanted to be. TODAY is the day to Lighten Up For Life.
My sweet partner, John, just brought me a half bagel with peanut butter and honey on it...I'm not going to think about the calories. I'm going to eat it and tell him how much I appreciate his thoughtfulness and fit it into my daily intake and associated exercise. Remember being healthy and fit isn't just about food and exercise.....it's also about finding balance in your life.
Sit up straight, deep breath in, deep breath out....
Start today to fall in love with being healthy and fit.