Hi y'all! I am so glad to be hanging out here on Lani's blog while she's attending her brother's wedding! If you don't know me, my name is Jessica and I blog over at Freckles & Dirt about business, crafting, motherhood and so much more! I own a blog, web and graphic design business called Southtown Creative and I absolutely l.o.v.e. my job!
Lately I've taken a new turn in my life where my fitness and healthy eating are VERY IMPORTANT. There's not much that I like better than sweating it out at the gym for an hour and I honestly wish I could go more (they only have child care 2 days/week)! Back in High School I was a competitive cheerleader and took weight training and gymnastics as classes every year so I stayed in pretty good shape without really having to try. That all changed after high school, I kept eating like I was before but was ZERO percent as active as I had been, so yeah, the pounds just PILED on. I've lost here and there and have generally kept my weight under control but never where I'd like to be or need to be and add marriage, building a house and having a baby to the equation and, yeah...you get the picture. During my latest obsession though, I've come to realize a few things that have helped me in this journey and I thought I'd share with you guys.
- Accountability, accountability, accountability! For me, I knew I was eating healthy before and I just assumed that I was eating a normal amount of calories. Well, don't assume. Be accountable. I signed up for a MyFitnessPal account (I am in no way an affiliate or anything for myfitnesspal.com, just love the tools!) and plugged in my numbers and it gave me the magic number of calories that I should be consuming each day to lose weight (it will also help you gain or maintain). You log your food that you eat and see how the little things (like 7 string cheeses per day...I don't know who would do that though...nope) add up to WAY more calories than you should be eating. This helps me be accountable for my exercise as well, if I exercise, I get more calories, how would that NOT motivate you to work out, right?
- Motivation :: It's very hard for me to find motivation to workout at home. With a toddler and housework and LOTS of work to do, working out at home ranks pretty low on the to-do list, even though, it really should be first. When I do workout at home, it's usually a bike ride with my neighbor, who motivates me but that's about it at home. Now...the gym, the gym is a WHOLE other story! I am paying for a gym membership, that's motivation enough not to waste it. The gym takes me back to a time (High School) when I was a MUCH slimmer and much more in shape and it helps me realize how much I miss those days. Motivation. There are pictures on the walls of awesome weight-loss stories, etc...motivation.
- Goals & Rewards :: Set realistic goals and give yourself rewards for reaching those goals. By rewards, I mean things like, a new dress, a new pair of running shoes, exercise clothes or maybe even a haircut (my personal 20lb reward I'm working towards) NOT food. DO NOT reward yourself with food. You're not a dog.
- Grab a friend :: Please don't actually grab them, I mean, unless you have that type of friendship, then, do whatever you want I guess, lol. Working out with a friend can help you be motivated (back to motivation here) to get up and go instead of make excuses. Having weekly check-ins with friends or groups provides the same motivation.
- Eating is the most important thing, exercise is 2nd. Seriously, if you're eating like crap (not watching your calories) exercising isn't going to do you a bit of good. MyFitnessPal (there's an app too) really helps me with this. If I'm going to grab a snack, I go for fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, cantaloupe, etc) instead of cookies, it's WAY better for you AND you can have probably 1,000 times more fruit for the calories than you can of cookies.
- Do Research :: If I want cookies, I research and dig for a healthy cookie recipe that changes chocolate chip cookies from like 200 calories/cookie to 70 or something like that. If I want to get rid of a trouble area on my body, I research what needs to be going on in my workout routine to accomplish that.
- Have a cheat day :: I generally have a cheat day on Sundays. I don't login to My Fitness Pal and track anything but I still mentally keep up with it. Now, having a cheat day shouldn't mean eating whatever you want, but if you go over your calories by like 200 or something, don't kick yourself. Have that cake. But just have one piece and try and keep your other food in a healthy range.
Thanks for having me Lani! Pin It