I've been making getting healthier a priority for almost two months now. It's definitely challenging, but I know it will be worth it! For the longest time, I have had nothing but excuses when it comes this subject. I don't have time to exercise, I'm too picky to eat healthier, etc etc etc. But I'm done with that. So here's a few things I have been doing to get healthy:
Counting calories: Yeah, I swore I'd never do this! But I am. I use My Fitness Pal and keep track of my calories throughout the day. That has meant some serious education about the foods I eat and what is in them! I was amazed at how many calories can be in foods. Even something as simple as salad dressing can be packed with calories. These days, my goal is about 1200 calories. That seems like next to nothing! But most days, I do pretty well. It's meant some pretty serious changes! This includes buying lower cal and fat foods, cutting out most junk food, eating more fruits and veggies, and drinking more water.
Exercising: This is a huge one for me. And really tough. I'm a working mom to two very active boys. I have a house that needs cleaned, family and friends to see, errands to run, and much more in the limited "free time" hours. So for ages, I used that as an excuse. Now, I fit it in. Usually, I don't get the chance until after the boys are sleeping, around 8:30 pm. I know that isn't a great time to work out, but since it's what's available to me right now, I figure it's much much better than nothing! At first, I just walked. I walked around our neighborhood in the evening. After that, I jumped into the 30 Day Shred workout DVD. I really enjoyed it, and completed about 16 days of it before my back issues sidelined me. When my back started improving, I chose to ease back into my workouts by sticking to my elliptical trainer for awhile. That's what I've been doing lately. I plan on starting the Shred over at this point, possibly September 1.
My Elliptical Workout:
0:00-3:00 traditional "ellipticalling" (LOL new word)--I do NOT hold on to the handle bars when going forward. Instead my arms are bent at the elbows, sort of a power walking motion.
3:00-4:00 biceps w/forward motion. For this, I take hold of the handle bars and pull them to initiate the forward motion.
4:00-5:00 backward "ellipticalling" This works a different set of muscles, including the gluts.
5:00-6:00 triceps. Same as biceps, but I push the handle bars instead of pulling them.
After this first set (6 minutes), I ratchet up the resistance. My machine just has a dial, so I go up about half a turn.
6:00-12:00 Repeat cycle
17:00-20:00 forward, lowering the resistance
Deprivation: I avoid this!! I still eat out, it's just part of my lifestyle. However, whenever possible, I look up the nutrition information for where I am going ahead of time so I can make a good choice. I also find that I do better if I know what I am going to be having for dinner, which makes it much easier to budget my calories. I'm still working on balancing things out so I can allow myself to snack when I am hungry. I've been finding some great recipes for low cal snacks, like trail mix. Other favorite meal accompaniments and snacks are watermelon, celery sticks, carrots sticks, raisins, salad with low cal dressing (I'm learning to love vinaigrette) and water with crystal light liquid added to it. I still eat sweets and snack foods, but in strict moderation. Last Saturday we went to Baskin Robbins. Instead of the waffle cone, I opted for a dish and just one small scoop of my favorite flavor. I followed it up later with a light dinner, making up the calories so I stayed on budget. MFP allows you the option to eat your exercise calories, but I try my best to avoid that. I even gave myself a true day off for the state fair, allowing myself to have what i wanted. I didn't gorge myself, but I did indulge a bit!
I still check my weight more than I probably should, but I like to keep an eye on it. My official weight in day in Monday, but sneak peeks tell me I have lost more than 10 lbs! I feel good about that.