If you’ve been reading my blog these past few months you know that I’m working to transition towards a more healthier lifestyle using the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan as my guide. I decided to write this post to catch you up on how it’s going and to share a little bit of what I’ve realized. Just a quick reminder: I am not the healthiest person in the world and I am not a professional at these kind of things. I like to leave giving out great healthy advice up to my trainers. But I do want to share a little bit of my journey towards being a healthier me and what I’ve learned along the way.
Now here’s the numbers: I’ve been tracking my weight since the beginning of the year and have lost roughly 10 pounds and lost about 8 pounds since starting the Nutrition Plan. While that may not seem like a lot, it feels like a lot to me. I didn’t feel like I needed to lose more than 10-15 pounds; my goal is to feel stronger and be healthier and happier version of myself. I also feel like I’ve lost some inches but stupid me was too lazy to take any measurements so I can’t know for certain. What I do know is that I have gone down one pant size and my shirts are much looser than they were before.
Now for the secret to my success: I finally realized that healthy living is a lifestyle. This isn’t counting points or buying certain meals or fifteen days of healthy eating followed by a gradual release back to life before. This is a change that will last well past this summer or this year and will go on until I need to change it, if that ends up happening. While I am not militant with my nutrition and exercise, I do work hard to make sure I am making the right choices for my body…most of the time. Eating healthy, working out, and overall taking care of my body are now big things in my life and that was the change I was craving. While it hasn’t been easy, I can say that my life has certainly been better. Here are some other things that are helping me along the way…
1. Being healthy is a choice. Obviously, is what you’re probably thinking but sadly enough I wasn’t thinking this with my previous attempts to get fit. If you’re going to be healthy and lose weight and feel great, you have to really commit to it. Running a mile or so once or twice a week isn’t going to do it. Working out two or three times a week for fifteen minutes isn’t going to do it. Having a consistent workout schedule three or more days a week combined with eating lean, clean, and green meals every day of the week will make you healthy and help you lose excess weight. If you’re not ready to commit to eating mostly veggies and lean proteins while cutting out white flour, processed food, and sugar, then don’t do it. You only set yourself up for failure by starting off with only one foot in. You’ll get frustrated with yourself and potentially make some unhealthy choices trying to achieve the results you crave. Believe me, I’ve been there. Until May I made what I thought were healthy choices like eating veggie pizza and running on the treadmill once a week. That wasn’t cutting it. What made the difference for me was going heavy on the veggies and planning out a workout schedule each week. Don’t be afraid, just choose to be healthy.
2. Nutrition is key. I’ve never been a heavy or overweight person but I’ve always had a couple extra pounds that kind of weighed on me, if you will. I decided that the thing I was missing was working out so I started going to the gym and following a workout plan. Despite a renewed commitment to working out, those few pounds just stuck…until I made the right food choices. Eating lots of veggies and anything green while almost entirely eliminating processed and packaged foods has made the difference for me.
3. Make working out work for you. “I don’t like to run but I do it anyway.” I’ve heard this phrase too many times to count and it kind of makes me sad. My feeling is that you’re more likely to quit something if you don’t like doing it. Running is not my thing but the elliptical? I will turn my legs into jello on that all day every day. I also never realized how much I love testing myself with weight lifting and full body toning sessions. Variety is key. Just don’t give up before finding something that you like. Or at least something that you can at least tolerate a few days of the week.
4. It’s okay to slip up once in awhile. Being 100% healthy 100% of the time is the goal but if you make a mistake, it’s okay. It can be daunting if you’re anywhere on social media and read all this “What I Ate” and workout posts and you start to think that you’re just not doing enough. But if you’re working hard, trying your best, and pushing yourself, it’s okay to slip up once in awhile. As long as that “once in awhile” doesn’t become a habit, you’ll do just fine.
5. You can indulge, just not every day. Craft beers and food are a part of my life that I am not ready to give up just yet. Would I have lost more than 10 pounds by now? Yes. Would I be happy? Probably not. It doesn’t work for everyone, especially if you’re trying to drop some serious pounds, but I’ve found a healthy balance with my indulgences. I’ve found that I will only eat or drink something if I really want it which means no more faculty room cookies or Corona Lights.
6. Love yourself. The only way to change is to accept who you are right now. Isn’t that some sort of self-help mantra? But seriously, I used to beat myself up over what I ate and wish for a different body. But this is my body and I have to be proud of it and treat it with love and respect. I’m not confident all the time but I’ll make a muscle and realize how far I’ve come.
This whole “healthy” thing has been hard work. As I said, I’m not the healthiest person but I’ve found a lifestyle change that works for me. I make good choices, I sweat it out most days of the week, and mostly I’m happy. That’s what I really think makes healthy living worthwhile: you feel good.
If you’re trying to live a little healthier too, what are some things you’ve realized or find helpful to remember?