Faith & Wellness

I’ll start my diet on Monday.

How many times have you said it?

It’s Saturday night and you’re staring down at your carb-load meal of french fries and ice cream.

I deserve it.

I can’t start on the weekend.

I need to get back to the gym, Monday’s the day.

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For me, it’s sweets. In fact, it can be so bad, that there are times when I can’t imagine a day without dessert. Dramatic – yes. True? Also yes. Kind of embarrassing – and I’m working on it.

We are running at break-neck speed through the holidays. As I write this, Christmas is right around the corner. The leftovers of the Halloween stash are tucked away in the pantry. We can’t start now!

Can I propose something new to you? 

Forget the new years resolutions.

Forget the lofty goals.

Forget running out to purchase for a gym membership.

But start today.

Start exactly what today?  I just suggested that you should forget all of the steps you’d probably take to reach your health and fitness goals.

Well, I ask you this: Why do you have to wait until “tomorrow” to start making little changes to your life to get healthier?

The “holidays” consist of:

Halloween

Thanksgiving

Chritmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Years Eve

New Years Day

That’s 6 days over the course of 3 months for you to overindulge…What about all of the other days? Falling off the wagon for 6 days isn’t going to to be a blip on the radar if you pay attention to all of the other days.

So how can you realistically get healthier, starting today, without punishing your body (and your belly)?

With baby steps.

FOOD

Stop calling it a diet, okay? I can’t tell you how much that word makes me cringe when it’s used to describe “eating to lose weight.”

Just EAT REAL FOOD! So many of our issues – health & weight – stem from the garbage that we call edible. Honestly – it’s also destroying kids too – but that’s another blog for another day.

  • Find things you enjoy…Look for foods that have less overall ingredients (or just 1 ingredient).
  • Don’t tell yourself you can “never” eat anything. Just add in more of the good stuff.  Plan to have a fruit/vegetable at every meal.
  • Replace 1 sugary drink with water – you can increase that later.
  • Eat on a smaller plate and stop piling on seconds and thirds.
  • Meal plan in order to eat out less.
  • Log what you eat. I despise doing this – but when I do it’s eye opening. Use an app like My Fitness Pal to log your food. It’ll tell you where you’re messing up.

You know where you struggle the most. Look at that area of your life and make one small step to change. Once that’s a habit, you can adjust more. I can’t tell you what that area is for you personally…but you know. Most of the time – we are the ones who get in the way of our own success!

EXERCISE

When you make baby-step changes that are actually DOABLE for you, you’re so much less likely to quit.

Why would you spend money on a gym membership when you can’t even commit to walking around the block three times per week?

If you love the gym and will go – by all means do it – but maybe you just need to commit to 15 minutes 3 days per week at home. Make it a habit before you spend so much money on a membership that will likely go to waste. I just recently got a gym membership after more than 10 years of exercising 4-6 days per week at home. I might go once or twice (on a good week). The other days, I squeak it in at home. In general – I workout much harder at home than I do at the gym.

We slowly purchased free weights workout gear – but I started when my oldest was a baby – lifting water bottles.

My favorite tools?

I don’t recommend going and buying all of these things at once. Start with one item that interests you if you wish, but you don’t need to purchase anything to start.

It’s more important and effective to start making small, doable habit-changes – than to purchase every item marketed to you. No product sold is more effective than behavior change – and that’s free.

That said, here are the things I love and use.

  • Fitness Blender – over 500 free workout videos.
    • Beginner – Advanced.
    • No equipment, free weights, kettle bell, jump rope, sand bag
    • 5-90 minutes.
    • Completely searchable & completely FREE
    • They have programs available for purchase inexpensively ($10-$15) where they schedule what workouts to do when, BUT THEY USE THE FREE VIDEOS ALREADY ON THE SITE. So, you don’t have to purchase anything. After 6 years of working out with these videos, I purchased a couple of programs to take the guess work out of scheduling – but it’s not necessary. (Fitness Blender doesn’t pay me to advertise – I just really like them a lot.)
  • My Fitness Pal – for logging your food
  • A food scale – good to use until you get a good sense of what portion sizes are appropriate

So – you can do this. You can do this nowEven if you’ve already made mistakes today.

Set yourself up to win.

What’s your first baby step? I’d love to know!

 

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