Slow and Steady Fitness Progress

In the month of April, with the pressure of dress fittings and a general unhappiness with my body, I decided to kick one of my 2012 goals into gear. That goal was to be mindful of my fitness and my diet.

I virtually ignored it after being sidelined with a nearly fractured foot and asthma in January. I started mindlessly snacking, stopped working out, and became more and more frustrated with myself, with my ill-fitting wardrobe, and myself again. So, with June not so far away, I decided that if it was ever going to happen, it had to happen now. And I’m so glad I gave myself the time. These are non-extreme things that have helped me feel a little better everyday. It’s not an extreme weight loss plan, but it’s more of a regular routine to shed a few pounds, improve tone, and boost energy. And it’s specific to me. I am not a fitness guru like some of my friends.

1. Monitor daily calorie intake- I use the app My Fitness Pal to keep on target. It has a huge listing of nutritional facts for different foods and you can add foods in that you have information for.

2. Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30- almost every morning, I have been waking up to do this workout. For me, it is pretty challenging. I always have to work my way up from the modified easier version to the regular version within the week. The workout is not fast paced and not boring. I turn down the volume once I know the workouts because Jillian’s voice can be a little unnerving. This has definitely helped me wake up better in the mornings and sleep more soundly at night. It also helps me figure out how many calories I need to eat to reach my calorie goal because working out helps bank calories in your day.

3. Less snacking- My relationship to food is really weird. I’m a shopaholic so food that I buy always seems more appealing than food I bring. But if I have something in my lunch bag, I won’t buy anything because that is silly and wasteful. So what does this mean? I stuff my bag full of snacks, two different fruits, one veggie, one 100 cal sweet thing, and a small portion of tortilla chips for salt. When someone offers something like Oreos, I think, “I have something sweet in my bag, so no, thanks!” and then, the craving goes away. Weird, huh? Having something available makes me crave it less and then I don’t end up eating anything unnecessary at at all. I always eat the fruit though.

4. Portion control at dinner- I have no trouble eating the correct portions at lunch. Plus I still have time to burn some calories, in case I do go over. But eating at home has always been a challenge for me. I am usually hungry when I get home and I want to snack while making dinner. I have decided, to avoid a long dinner making process, to have closer to ready made things from Costco and Trader Joe’s around to speed up the dinner prep process. I eat more slowly when I do eat and only serve myself the portion I know is appropriate. If I am still hungry, I’ll wait 10 minutes to let the food settle and see if I still want more. Sometimes I do, but mostly, I don’t.

5. Drink more water- Siting at my desk all day, I forget to do this, especially if I have had my morning tea already. I now drink water when I wake up to start my day’s hydration, after I work out of course, and before I have tea in my office. It gets me mindful of drinking water all day long, and helps me curb cravings for other drinks (like Coke which I have reduced to once a week, if ever).

Taking the train also helps me be more active and mindful of the hours in my day. I am looking forward to a shorter commute in my near future, but all of these little things have helped me feel generally better about myself and my body. I’m seeing little changes and the scale is slowly telling me I’m doing the right things. My plan is to keep this up all year long! Or forever.

Thanks for reading my overwhelmingly long fitness post. Do you have any tricks that help you out in your fitness? Care to share?

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2 responses

  1. Oh gosh, those are all things I need to do too. One thing I’ve started to do is walking more – since SF is fairly small, it’s easy to walk home from work on a nice day.

    I also have a FitBit that tracks how far I walk each day and how many steps I take – the goal each day is 10,000!

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