Thursday, March 3, 2011

fitness and dieting and how I figured out what's right for me

This is usually how I feel about fitness and diets:

Don't get me wrong, I love working out. Well, it's more like I love the way working out makes me feel! And the results (when they start showing) make me feel pretty awesome about myself too. Once I get into the routine of working out and keeping a food journal, it comes easy. I make sure to reward myself once a week and if I don't workout on a certain day I feel bad about it. It's just really hard to get into it again once you have been out of the groove so to speak.

It is a struggle for me to get back into it. I don't know why! Last year, I had some pretty major life stuff happen. My mom lost her battle with brain cancer and it was devastating. I used it as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted and to be lazy. To be honest, I don't regret it either. I think cooking, baking and eating can be healing. For reals! But it's time to change all that. I know my mom would want me to be healthy plus I gained quite a bit of weight. 

This is how I find my motivation:
I start with goals. List making.
What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to weigh? What size do you want to wear? How many calories do you want to eat/burn everyday?

It REALLY HELPS to buy a food journal with an exercise column you can mark off. I highly recommend this one:

This diary has a section in the front where you can measure/weigh yourself/see how fit you are before you start. You can look back on it and see how awesome you're doing!

Next step:
Buy some fitness magazines or check them out form the library. I LOVE Fitness magazine! And Women's Health too! They are both awesome! They also have very good websites!
Now read them! Yes, don't just look at the pretty pictures.

Okay, now my favorite step:
Let that soak in and procrastinate a little bit. Like a week or so. But in that week give yourself little pep talks (not aloud if people are around) and go to the grocery store. The biggest advice I can give about shopping healthy is to not shop the aisles unless you absolutely have to! If you think about it, the healthiest food is on the outer walls of a grocery store. These are your whole foods: produce, protein, dairy. The stuff in the aisles is icky processed stuff that is not good for us.

I really like cooking recipes from the Cook This Not That books too! They make you eat healthy but it feels like you're eating your favorite foods and not depriving yourself (because you aren't!)

It's good to start a plan on a certain set date like, the beginning of a week or the first of the month. You have that goal in sight and you get yourself ready for it. It's too hard to start on the day you decide to do all this. I have done this before and I got really discouraged. Everyone is different but it works for me!

I think fitness dvds are really helpful. This is a huge help for me. A lot of time during the week is commuting and spent at school so it's hard to find time to go to the gym. For me, it is really easy to make up excuses about not going to the gym. It ends up being a waste of money and then you feel bad. For me, I like the fitness dvds. I can do it in my house where I don't have to worry about waiting for a machine or that people are looking at me. It's easier to get motivated to work out when you start doing it in your home. I leave the dvds out too so when I see them it gets me in the mood to feel the burn again! Haha

I really like this dvd by Prevention:

It is SO easy! I don't like anything too hard. I like to rotate cardio, instense cardio, strength, core, yoga.

That's what works for me. It is not cheesy like other workout videos like Jane Fonda or Sit and Be Fit.

It doesn't make me feel silly. I just get a good workout and I feel good after!

A really good intense cardio dvd is Mel B's Totally Fit.

And it is intense! She will KICK YOUR BUTT! It feels really really good though :)

So, I am not trying to be preachy or anything like that. I just thought it would be cool to share how I figured out this fitness stuff. I had to figure it out on my own and I was lost and just put it off for too long because I didn't know what I was doing. I like to share my experiences after I figure things out because I think it helps others. I don't want this to come off as unsolicited advice. I don't think this is for everyone and I honestly would not judge anyone if they told me they didn't work out or diet. This is what's right for me and my body and it's what makes me feel good about myself. 

That being said, I just started my new fitness plan yesterday. I already worked out twice and I already have two days logged in the food journal! I just have to stick with it! I think it really helps to start following people on Twitter that inspire you with their workout success. It also helps to subscribe to an email newsletter about diet/fitness so that's it's fresh in your mind and it will help you from going to the dark side :)

If you are on a fitness plan right now or even if you're not, here's some words of encouragement from my favorite trainer (I have an SD card with her workout for my treadmill! She talks to me and kicks my butt and everything! It's awesome!)

Jillian Michael's! 

If you have any advice or comments for me, leave them! I would love to hear it!


Veronica said...

Sounds like you've got a good plan! I've just started getting back into the habit of going to the gym...after a nice 2-year break. ;) I skipped, like, every day this week because it was mid-term and it was an insane week. But anyway... I've been using an app on my iTouch called My Fitness Pal (I think there's a website too) - its free and sounds pretty much like your food/exercise journal, except digital!

Good luck sticking to your plan! We can cheer each other on!!

Alex H said...

midterm is always hell week. I totally get it. It takes all your energy that's for sure!

yes, cheering each other is a great idea! I need all the motivation I can get somedays. I will look for that app, thanks!

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