Monday, April 27, 2015

Workout Success

Oh, working out. It's that thing that we get inspired to do and do it for about 4 days and then give up. We wait a little while longer and get re-inspired and start the cycle all over again. It's hard to choose when to work out. It's hard to work out when it's cold and when it's hot. Do I workout indoors or outdoors, join a gym, run, what? Many of us, and I mean me, have great intentions but have an extremely difficult time with the follow-through. Am I speaking to anyone here?

The turn of the new year brought me new motivation to lose some weight and get into shape. January 1st does that to many people. Plus I knew Kyndal's wedding was going to be this summer so that gave me half a year to accomplish my goal. What was my goal? To lose 11 pounds and be in shape.

I started tracking my calories and doing Tae Bo on a dvd several mornings a week. Up until mid-March I had lost about 4 pounds. I thought I was getting into pretty good shape .... until I ordered the 21 Day Fix and realized that I wasn't. I was in a comfortable plateau.

Kyndal and I decided to get serious. Of course it helped that Spring weather arrived and we started becoming more active, in general. And she moved her wedding date up almost two months so I now had only two months to accomplish the rest of my goal.

I have been successful, but it has been a slow learning process. As of last week (Weigh-in Wednesday), I have now lost 8.4 pounds of the 11 pounds I wanted to lose and I can say that I am in much better shape. Actually, I am feeling and looking pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. I won't be terrified to put on a bikini on the beach next month.

How have I been successful? I want to share a few things with you that have worked for me and have turned this working out thing into a lifestyle change instead of a way to lose weight (although losing weight sure is a bonus!):

Get a Partner

It is just too easy to let something else take the place of your workout if you are doing it alone. Kyndal and I workout together which holds us accountable. If she is not here when it's time to work out, I am texting her. If she didn't come I might not do it either.

Get on a Schedule

Working out does not have to happen first thing in the morning, but it does need to happen on a schedule or it becomes too wishy washy and an option instead of a necessity. Kyndal and I work out at 9:00 a.m. every morning. If you work outside the home you could meet your friend right after work or right after the kids go to bed or whatever. Pick a time and stick to it. If you find that you absolutely can't workout at that time, schedule the make-up time!

Workout in a Way You Enjoy!

If you are not enjoying your workout, you won't stick with it. Find what you enjoy! I do not enjoy working out in a gym. I do not enjoy walking on a treadmill. I do not enjoy yoga. I enjoy getting my heart rate up and doing body sculpting with light weights. I get bored easily. I do not want to workout for more than 30 minutes. I cannot stand an annoying instructor. I need something that challenges my body. The 21 Day Fix is the perfect workout program for me because it gives me those things and has a different routine every day. It's a quick 30 minutes, it covers my whole body throughout the week, and it's not annoying.

I also have found that I enjoy running, so I do that a few nights a week by myself. It gives me a different kind of workout, all endurance. I don't like to listen to music when I run. I don't like to run around the same circle over and over. So I have found a route through my town that is 3.1 miles and I listen to classic books on my phone. I enjoy it so I don't dread it and I don't talk myself out of it.

Track Your Calories ... Every Bite

You can exercise all you want but if you are eating whatever you want then you won't see results. For me I have to track every single bite I eat if I want to lose weight (or maintain my weight once I have lost it). It is so easy to do with My Fitness Pal. The app is even easier because you can scan the barcodes of your foods. You can also enter your own recipes. I track every bite I eat every single day. It holds me accountable and keeps me within proper portions. (Have you ever really paid attention to what is a single portion of a bowl of cereal??)

Watch Your Nutritional Values

I am one who does not believe in depriving your body of any nutritional values. You will not find me doing a no carb, no fat, no sugar, no grain, no "anything" diet. No. Our body needs healthy levels of all of those things. Each body is different, I understand, so we might need to adjust the actual amount our body needs. My weight comes up, and my pudginess around the middle, when I eat too many carbs. But I am not cutting carbs out of my diet! (Did you know that we need the glucose from carbs or our body sucks out the healthy protein? If you are working out, you need that protein!!) I have just determined a healthy percentage of carbs I need out of my total calories per day (I try to stay between 35-45%) and try to stick to it. How do I do it? Again, with My Fitness Pal. It does all of that for me when I input the foods that I eat. I can see how much fiber I am eating, carbs, protein, sodium, potassium, etc.

Keep Accurate Track of Calories Burned

With My Fitness Pal you earn calories to eat when you exercise. And I like to eat. But how many calories have I earned? My Fitness Pal estimates those for you based on your weight, height, type of exercise, how long you are working out, etc. But I like a more accurate determination. So I use an app called Cardiio that tracks my heart rate by the camera on my phone. I would really like a Fitbit to get even more accurate, but for now Cardiio fits my needs.

Take Before and After Photos and Measurements

Muscle weighs more than fat so when you work out you may not see real results on the scales. But if your jeans are fitting looser then you are making progress. Taking measurements and before/after photos gives you the incentive to keep going even if you don't see the progress you want on the scale.

I can't wait to see my Round 2 comparison photos. It's this round that I am really seeing and feeling the progress!
Round 1 of 21 Day Fix I lost 2.6 pounds and a total of 3 1/2 inches. It's subtle, but I can see it.

Get Some Cute Workout Clothes

Our philosophy in our home is "if you can't be good, look good". It's silly, but I workout better when I have on cute workout clothes. I just do. And you will too. I get mine at Walmart. I like the Danskin brand. They are cheap and cute. I run better in a Gotta Run shirt.

The last thing I want to say is YOU CAN DO IT! It's not all about losing weight, although I know for many it is. God has given each of us one body, the one that we have. We might have a fast metabolism or a slow one. I am naturally thin, thanks to good genetics. But I still have to work to have the best body I can have. I don't stay thin by eating whatever I want and sitting on my behind all the time. Eating healthy and working out is an absolute necessity, especially the older we get. But it's not something that we should do until we reach our "goal" and then quit. It needs to be a lifestyle change. If it feels good and makes us look good, we'll stick with it. Every once in awhile I have a cheeseburger or a loaded burrito. I indulge by going out to eat occasionally, and might even have a couple glasses of wine or a beer or two. I give myself a day off from exercising on Saturdays usually. But for the most part I have found that I feel better when I eat healthy and workout. I know that you will too. You just have to start and not stop.

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