It’s six in the morning – I’m not a morning person. But I’m wide awake. This is unusual for me. I couldn’t sleep last night. I tossed and turned for a few hours before finally giving up. Normally, by now, I’d be so exhausted that I would want to sleep all day.
But not today. Today, I am filled with renewed energy. An energy I have not felt in years. Not since 2013 when I was in the best shape of my life. I have goals. I have plans. And for once – I’m not going to bail on them. This blog will help with that. This blog will force me to be accountable for my actions. I’ve paid for it after all – so you’re stuck with me for at least a year.
At 5:45 am, I decided to hop out of bed – yes, hop – not crawl – and get my day started. I’m now sitting at the computer. There’s a hot cup of coffee waiting for me to drink. And I have a plate full of healthy food to eat.
When I was laying in bed, I thought about all the things I want to achieve this summer. And one thing I learned along my fitness path, is that in order to be successful with weight loss and keeping the weight off long-term, one has to want to get healthy and go about it in a healthy way.
Now let me start off by saying – I am NOT a health professional. While I have worked in the health field, I worked on the program administration side. But I had access to a wealth of information and health professionals to learn from.
I worked with therapists, occupational therapists, mental health therapists, and counselors. Personally, I have worked with fitness trainers, coaches, and dietitians. The advice I give is based on personal experience and information passed on by health professionals. And yes, a whole lot of research into best practices from reputable resources.
So, am I an expert in the fitness field? Absolutely not.
But I speak from the heart and the advice I give is based on my own personal experience. And from other health groups that I am part of. I do my homework before investing my time into anything.
For the last month, since I started this blog I have struggled to focus on something to write about. Something that would inspire others. Or maybe even help readers. Other writers have all suggested that bloggers should focus on something they are experienced with and are passionate about. So, here I am.
I will be using this blog for the next year to plan my fitness goals, share my favorite resources, keep track of my progress and also to share some of my original healthy recipes.
Setting small and realistic goals
One thing that I learned about weight loss is that setting small and realistic goals really helps to succeed and keep you motivated. Rewarding yourself when you meet those goals is important. Many people reward themselves with food. But I disagree with this. I think that just sets a person back.
I’m on board with cheat meals or even cheat days. But I fully believe that if you allow yourself the foods you love in moderation, this helps to prevent binges later on. I realize that this doesn’t work for everyone. But for me – this is key.
When I lost 70 pounds in 2010, I had cut out all my favorite foods like bread and chocolate. Only to regain that weight in 2014 when I injured my knee on a mountain hike. Now I know better. While this method may take a lot longer to lose weight – at least I’m not obsessed with what I put into my body.
I find instead of focusing on how much weight to lose each week – setting workout goals is more realistic and achievable – for me.
I’m giving myself a four month deadline to meet my first goal of forty pounds. It’s doable. There may be setbacks. There may be days where I won’t feel like doing anything. But – I’m determined to make this work.
So, without rambling any further – here are my goals for the next four months.
1. Create a workout schedule and stick to it.
My activity level fluctuates from week to week. Now that I’ve upped my physical activity, I’m ready to stick to a strict schedule – and it goes a little something like this.
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday – cardio for 45 minutes, strength for 15 minutes
Tuesday, Thursday – strength 30 minutes, walking on my lunch break 15 minutes
Friday – 1 hour work out (fitness class)
Sunday – rest day
Not everyone needs a rest day. But I know for me, my knees need a break every now and then especially when the weather changes.
2. Exercise – mix it up, join a fitness class
One thing I have learned is that your body will become accustomed to exercises if you repeat the same routines over and over again. It is important to mix up exercise routines. For me, I get bored easily and like trying new things. These are just some examples of exercises I do. Keep in mind – that my knees keep me from high impact activities. I have found workouts that are suitable for those with chronic pain.
Cardio: speed walking, stationary bike, climbing the stairs, treadmills, chair workouts (these are really great – you do get a good workout for the core section) – and hiking, when I’m in shape for it.
Strength: pilates, exercise ball, lunges, crunches, squats, dumbbells, weight training
Fitness class: zumba, spin class, water fitness, water zumba (tons of fun), dancing, yoga – the list goes on.
Mix it up – find something you enjoy doing
Sometimes I mix it up. I’ll hop on my mini-cycle while watching a movie and use the dumbbells. I know some folks like to speed walk with 2 pound weights. There are cardio workouts you can do with weights as well.
Today for example, I did some resistance training for twenty minutes and then hopped on the mini cycle for thirty minutes. Yesterday, I went for a walk with my sisters and did a few crunches, squats and stretches before bed.
My goal in the next two months after dropping 10 pounds – is to join a fitness class like aqua fit or water zumba. All you need is one class, once a week to notice a difference. If you don’t know where to start – hire a personal trainer. Just shop around first to find the right trainer.
3. Kitchen Experiments
A few years ago, I hopped onto youtube and learned to cook. I mean, I knew how to cook before but only the basics. I challenged myself to learn one new recipe each week and try new and interesting foods. I learned to cook things like eggplant lasagna, baked zucchini, soups, stews and even bean dips.
It’s time to get back into the kitchen. During the winter, I got extremely lazy. I relied heavily on frozen meals or lazy foods. Now that I have more energy, I find my inner chef is dying to get back into the kitchen.
My goal is to batch cook at least once a week and share my recipes and photos with you. Batch cooking is a great way to eat healthy and save some cash.
The main reason I want to drop weight is so I can be in shape for a trip in September. I went to Montreal two years ago. I was at my heaviest weight at 250+ pounds. The humidity alone nearly killed me and I spent three days of my trip locked in a dorm room – wishing that I had booked a spa trip instead. So, before I travel again – I need to get into shape. I need this for me – not anyone else.
My reward: if I meet my weight goal (40 pounds) – I will book a nice spa get away weekend in September. I think I deserve it. Don’t you?
Hope you enjoyed this personal post. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Tell me what works for you when it comes to keeping healthy or losing weight? Do you set small goals? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for a meal plan? Read upon Healthy Eating
Looking for the best fitness resources? Check out my Fitness Resources