I know I said that I would take a break from blogging again until post April 15th, but I couldn't help but feel ecstatic hearing and seeing how so many of my family and friends have started their very own fitness journeys (or simply reconnecting with old high school classmates who are into fitness too): Tita Edith, Laquanda, Emily, Judy, Justin, Lindsey, Jasmine, Cyndi, Liz, Michelle, Jennifer etc ... you all know who you are. I follow your gym check-ins, read about your nutrition or what you have changed on your diet ... or simply just reading your status of how awesome you feel after your workout.
We are now past mid-January and I want to tell you all a tip that I used when I first started on my own journey. I started at 170lbs with a 5'1 frame (there's the picture to prove it!) and I remember setting a SHORT-term of goal of losing 5-8lbs for the month, cleaning up my diet and starting a gym routine. Do not look at the entire year of 2012 and say you want to lose 50lbs. Cut it up in chunks and be more realistic: for example, for the rest of January, you can set a goal that you will try eggwhites and/or oatmeal for breakfast daily; or for the month of February, you will make time to attend a turbokick and/or weight class twice a week while bringing your lunches to work. You will be surprise how the little changes here and there can add up to one big and effective change. Then after that change you want more and continue heading down the right direction. I have a confession to make when I was pregnant w/ Alexander. I made up the excuse of not having time to make breakfast in the morning. Well, I know now that is no excuse because if I have time to "check-in," or facebook or watch tv, I have time to cook oatmeal (c'mon it takes less than 5 minutes!)... Instead, I chose to start my day off with a sausage/egg biscuit and a fried hashbrown :-/ .... awful, awful, awful.
The month I started my journey (June of 2010), not only did I change my breakfast and lunch choices, but I also started going to LA Fitness' group exercise classes. And in just two weeks, I noticed a lot of difference in my energy levels, my outlook on life, how I was with people, but most especially how my clothes fit! ... Try it out. Change a few things first in your daily habits for two weeks and see how good it feels to take care of you.
Now this doesn't mean you have to give up on the fun (and yummy) things in life. Clean-eating is not a diet as I have said before; it is just a change in lifestyle. Personally, my husband and I enjoy fine dining and vacations ... we just choose to eat clean most of the time and enjoy a night out a week. I used to call it a "cheat" meal, but think now it is more of a "treat" meal. Unless you are competing and getting ready for a show, that is another level of challenge. But for everyday living, why not try eating clean for the week and reward yourself on the weekends? Try not to have a "treat" meal the entire weekend now. For example, my Saturday meals are still clean, but that evening hubby and I go out and enjoy a date night. Sunday morning, hubby makes Alexander homemade, whole grain waffles with sausage. This is the only morning I do not eat my normal eggwhites and oatmeal and enjoy my husband's breakfast cooking. But for the rest of that day, I make clean and healthy choices and cook batches of sweet potatoes, brown rice, grilled chicken, shrimp and steamed brocolli for our work week. It's now become routine every Sunday and it helps during the week when hubby and I have less time due to work and taking care of Alexander.
Another tip: when I was overweight, it was so important that I find the closest parking space at the mall, grocery store, wherever. Nowadays, I am totally alright with just walking. It drives me nuts to see people at my office take the elevator to go up or down ONE flight of stairs :-/ ... One day that this happened, the person had a salad in her hand. It was so hard to keep my mouth shut! I knew right then and there I had to blog about what I saw. My rule is if less than 4-5 flights of stairs, then suck it up and walk! I don't care if you have Jimmy Choos on either ;) ....
Point being ... do not overwhelm yourself with BIG goals. Yes, set your main goal, but also set a short-term goal. Joining a gym is a goal itself; now set another goal and plan what you want to get out of that membership for the next month ... whether it is exploring the group exercise classes (which I highly recommend as a start) and meeting new friends or accomplishing doing cardio 3-4 times a week. Change is change no matter how big or small.
Being fit I can't stress enough is awesome. Life is so much more fulfilling, exciting, rewarding and just plain fun when you make time for your health. And I understand completely that everyone is busy with their own lives, careers and kiddos ... trust me, I have all 3; I just choose to FIND and MAKE time for me. A fit and re-charged Mommy not only benefits me, but my son as well. I have more energy to play with him, chase him around and do the things he wants to do. The days of sluggishness and negative energy are long gone and I don't ever want to go back there again. I stay accountable and check-in each time because I know it reaches one of you following me and I hope that it somewhat motivates you too. Your check-ins also motivate me too btw :) ....
So are you ready for change?? It has gotta start with you! ... Looking forward to seeing more of your future check-ins and go ahead; post how awesome you feel and let the whole wideworld know :)) - you just never know who you might inspire next.
1st pic: 170lbs in Cincinnati (w/ Alexander)
2nd pic: 155lbs Dallas (with Heineken)
3rd pic: 145lbs (blue jeggings and boots)
4th pic: 125lbs Dallas at Bebe Store (this was a short-term goal that one day I'll be able to shop at Bebe again) ...
5th pic: 114lbs Dallas Europa (first fitness competition) w/ my good friend, Tracy Payne.
6th pic: Current at 126lbs at the Dallas Mavericks Game!