My relationship with fitness has grown a TON over the past year. I have done better at pursuing it and it’s finally communicating back!
Before I go any further, let me preface this by saying two things:
- I am not a fitness coach or dietician. I do not take supplements, special drinks, or use any essential oils. I’m pretty simple in my regimen and these are things that have helped me physically and mentally.
- Everyone has a different weight loss goal and story. Some want to lose 100lbs, some 50lb, and some only 10. No matter where you are in the journey to health- grace, motivation, and kindness can help anyone feel encouraged to live a healthier life and that is my goal!
I am currently the happiest I have been about my health, BMI, and commitment to exercise in a long time! Around 9 months ago, I stepped on the scale and saw an extra 15lbs that I wasn’t happy with. I was getting pretty hard on myself mentally as well. Clothes didn’t feel right, I was more lethargic, and overall, my self-esteem and confidence was lowered.
In the past couple of years, I have joined a gym, took part in 5ks, increased my love of biking, and took part in short term fitness regimens (T25, etc). All of these have been positive advances to my enjoyment of physical activity; however, things just weren’t adding up and it was hard to do these things on a daily/weekly basis.
Maybe you can relate? Do you have a hard time fitting in exercise into your daily responsibilities? I work a 10-hour work day and, although I love my job, it can really tire me out. Driving over to a gym at the end of it wasn’t any easier either. Even when my 1-hour commute went to 10 minutes, I still wasn’t making the commitment.
So in January 2016, I changed things up a bit. Over the past 9 months and I have lost 10lbs and lots of inches! I just had my annual check-up at work and my blood glucose, BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol are all fantastic!
Here are a few things that I did to help me lose 10lbs over the past 9 months:
- Exercise at Home: I bought a portable stepping machine that I could use at home and have no excuse about not wanting to drive anywhere. I didn’t have to think about what I wore or “looked like” while exercising or clean off any publicly used machines. I could literally jump into my shower in less than 30 seconds afterward! Here’s a link to what I use. It has worked for me and it may work out for you too! (no pun intended)
- Write It Down: I used a dry erase board to document my workout sessions. I documented every day and the amount of time I spent exercising (in minutes) as a way of motivation and keeping myself accountable. (I love numbers too, can you tell?)
- YouTube: I began watching YouTube videos while I was on my machine and really looked forward to my 30-45 minutes of entertaining video time! It distracted me and I loved it. I now miss exercising if I take a couple of days off cause entertainment is linked to it in my mind now! Haha! Here are a few of my favs:
- Cardio: I walked, and walked, and walked. Forwards and backwards, forwards and backwards. I really love walking backwards btw! No resistance, just plain cardio on my machine. I personally chose to only do arm weights and crunches after about 5 months of straight cardio.
- Measure: At the end of every month, I began keeping measurements of myself in a notebook instead of just focusing on my weight. I know weight can consist of many factors but inches told me so much more. I only did this ONE TIME A MONTH. Very important here so let me say it again. I only did this ONE TIME A MONTH. I wanted to give my body time to adjust, enjoy the process, and not fixate on the numeric results. To be honest, the first 4-5 months showed small improvements but they weren’t drastic. Inch here and there though, so I was proud of myself.
- Have Fun: I enjoyed different forms of exercise in addition to my walking! Zumba, Bellydancing, biking, and walking trails have been some of my favorites!
- Good Food: What I was putting into my body was also just as important. I cut out things that I had been monotonously eating for years and traded them in for better choices. Instead of a sugary yogurt, I now eat an apple and banana. Instead of thick loaf bread, I use spinach wraps. Instead of regular canned soup, I buy reduced sodium / organic alternatives or make my own. I drink water, water, water, water, and more water. I listen to my body (believe me it was speaking pretty loudly for a month or two) and adjust as I feel appropriate. Lowering sodium intake and decreasing overall calories are what I focused mostly on. I take a multivitamin but that is something I’ve done since I was a kid. Also, I enjoy my sweets and coffee (in wise portions) too… so don’t be misled. 😉
- Treat Yourself: Reward yourself for keeping up a healthy routine and not just for weight loss! I bet you will be even more encouraged to continue. I bought myself a Fitbit Blaze for my birthday in August and it motivates me even more now to see how many steps I am actually taking and to take more!
All this to say, I want to encourage you to keep up your healthy habits! It’s not easy. It’s not overnight. It’s often not congratulated or even noticed by others, but it’s worth it.
While I love the feeling after a good workout, what I physically see in the mirror directly afterward is not a direct reflection of the hard work that has just been put in that day. I had to learn and relearn that lesson. When I understood that my physical reflection in the mirror is actually an accumulation of the past couple of months food and exercise choices, it helped me to stay on track and not get discouraged. I think that is one of the hardest parts of starting and keeping a workout regimen.
It won’t be glamorous and you prob won’t feel like taking a selfie afterward but it’s the monotonous day-in and day-out process of being more active and making healthy eating choices that will make a difference, I promise!