It’s now February and I’ve decided to start tackling the “Get healthy” goal on my 30 for 30 List. I know most people start the New Year with their fitness goals, but personally, I knew that was just not realistic for me.
I think when you decide that you’re going to improve your health by changing your lifestyle, you need to mentally prepare for it. For me, this is especially true when changing my daily eating habits. I. Love. Food. Seriously. I’m addicted to the flavor and comfort of enjoying something that tastes good. Food has been something I turn to when I’m stressed, bored, or feel like I need security. The more I thought about this fitness goal during January, I realized that my biggest hang up with getting fit and staying healthy was my mentality. All my life, I had been naturally slim. I had a high metabolism and could eat whatever I wanted, which was pretty limited since I was a picky eater. I’m still picky to some degree, but over time my palate has become a little more adventurous. It wasn’t until my early to mid 20s when I was on my own and working full time that I started noticing my weight begin to increase. It was minimal at first, the number on the scale would go up a little, but it wasn’t alarming. I got married and the number jumped with happy weight and cooking hearty meals for a man (just to clarify, I’m not blaming my husband for my weight gain, it was just an adjustment cooking for two and sharing a pantry with a guy). Then our life changed when my husband got hired as a police officer. Our sleeping schedules changed, we were eating out more because of our different schedules, and I began worrying more as I adjusted to being a LEOW. Between his new job and my job at the time, I had a lot of stress and anxiety suddenly amplify in my life. I ate more to “feel better.” Over the past 5 years, I’ve gained over 30 pounds and I don’t feel better or fit.
So, with all of that said, I decided to stop sitting around and expecting to magically have the weight disappear without changing anything. I’ve had enough! I want to learn to healthily combat stress and anxiety. I want to comfortably fit into my clothes again. I want to have energy and maybe one day be able to join my cross country running husband and be able to keep up. (By the way, I have never been able to run. When I’ve tried, I look a little like Pheobe from Friends, but hopefully that will change.) I want to be physically healthy for whenever we have kids. Plus, I’d like to not have too much to lose after the baby weight. I want to establish a healthy environment for my family and our future kids to set them up for a healthier lifestyle. None of this is about having a negative body image or trying to fit into an “ideal” size or number on the scale. It’s about improving my health, dealing with stress the right way, not being lazy, and feeling better overall.
My plan to get healthy is going to be a gradual build to reach the level of energy I want to have. This is both because a) I’m not fit and can’t realistically or safely go full out on a huge workout plan and b) to keep it from getting boring. I plan on adding more fresh foods to my diet and keeping a food log. The food log is right now my biggest mental hurdle. I hate feeling like I’m depriving myself and counting calories has always felt that way to me. But I’m going to do it, like it or not. I’m using MyFitnessPal to keep track of all my meals and water. I’m aiming to drink a gallon of water a day and cutting out all soda. I’m making time in my day to do more exercise and tracking that as well. I’m use an app called Seven to start circuit training. It guides you through 12 different exercises in 7 minute circuits. I’m starting with one circuit a day and will add more as I build stamina. After my stamina is stronger, I plan on adding in working out on my elliptical. I’ve also started walking Pepper more regularly. My husband has been the one to walk her more often in the past, but I’m making more time in my schedule to have her drag me through the neighborhood (she’s a strong puppy). 😉 I keep track of my walks with her using the MapMyWalk app that syncs with MyFitnessPal. With the apps I’m using, it allows me to keep track of everything as well as have accountability with family and friends who are also using the apps to achieve their health goals.
So far, I’ve had nearly a full week of exercising, 2 days of staying under my calorie goal, and nearly a gallon of water a day. It’s a start and it’s better than sitting on my butt all day. I’m already feeling better and my skin is improving with more hydration. No weight change yet, but it’s coming…
Since getting fit is more of a mental hurdle for me, I knew I had to make it interesting. I am the type of person that needs incentive and needs a goal to go after. I often can get discouraged or talk myself out of good intentions if there’s not something there to keep me going. So in addition to my plan, I came up with an incentive. I’ve always wanted a designer handbag, but have never been able to afford or justify spending money on one within our budget. So, as a way to motivate myself and save money for one, I plan to put aside $5 for every pound I lose. By the end of the year (or sooner) I should be able to afford the one I have my eye on. I’ve made a chart to track my progress and I’ll include periodic posts showing how close I am to achieving my goal. So here’s to getting fit and fashionable! 😉
What motivates you? What are your tips to staying healthy?