Follow along as this mom of two finds her way back to a healthy and fit lifestyle, one day at a time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's holding you back?

I've been thinking about this question a lot lately... it applies to everything in life, not just health and/or fitness related goals. If you want to do something, have an idea, a goal, etc.... what's holding you back?

With regard to being healthy, we seem to take an all or nothing approach. You're a new mom, and although your baby is turning 1 next week, you still haven't lost any of the post-baby weight. And since you haven't lost anything, you call yourself a failure.

We need to change our thinking here!

Let's say you would like to lose 30 pounds. Well, it isn't all going to fall off overnight. It all starts with losing 1 pound. Then the second, and then the third. Three pounds isn't a lot, but it's moving in the right direction, right? We need to celebrate every achievement, and stop being so hard on ourselves, because every pound, every workout, every healthy choice, is an achievement in itself. And all those tiny achievements help us to reach our bigger goals.

So, I ask again, what's holding you back?

I challenge each of you to take out a pen and paper and write down four things: First, ONE goal you'd like to reach. It doesn't have to be huge. Just one thing. Then, write down ONE thing you can do to get closer to that goal. Finally, write down ONE thing that could (or is) holding you back from reaching the goal, and what you can do to overcome it.

For example:
Goal: I want to get back to a healthy BMI.
To get there: I need to lose 15-20 pounds, 1-2 pounds per week
Holding me back: My diet, I love to snack
To overcome this: better meal planning, have healthy snacks available

See? Easy! Remember, think small. The goal shouldn't be huge to start. Start small, with an achievable goal. Maybe it is to take 3 walks this week. What's holding you back? Laziness? Then just get over it, one walk at a time. Each walk finished is one goal down!

And remember, it doesn't always have to be forward motion. Sometimes we stumble, and don't reach our goals. That's ok too. Don't beat yourself up! Just get back on track to reach that goal again. I know we can all do it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

An inspiring story of a mom getting healthy

Last week, I met a woman who really inspired me, and so I thought I'd share her story here. I'll call her Mary...

I had seen Mary lots of times at the gym over the past month. She was always taking the same classes as me, and we often smiled at each other before or after class or on our way to the treadmill, etc, but we had never spoken until last week, when we ran into each other at a play place for our kids.

As we began talking, Mary told me that she had recently lost 65 pounds. As I asked her how she did it, I was really amazed by the answer. After having her third child, Mary suffered a medical condition that the doctors explained was largely a result of being overweight. She was told if she lost weight, the condition would go away. Mary realized that she was young and that she had no excuses, so she set out to lose weight.

Having been completely sedentary her entire life, Mary didn't exactly know how to start. So, she started off small: instead of taking a lunch break and sitting in the cafeteria with her co-workers, she began walking during her lunch hour instead. At first, being so heavy and unfit, Mary could only make it about 1/4 mile. But slowly but surely, she was able to walk more and more each day, and the weight began to come off. In addition to walking, Mary decided to make a small change to her diet that she knew she could stick to: switching from soda to water.

With these two small changes (a short walk each day and drinking water instead of soda) Mary lost 65 pounds in 6 months!

While the weight loss in itself is a huge accomplishment, Mary's story amazed me for other reasons as well:

First, Mary is a mom. Of 3! We all know how hard it is to be healthy and take care of ourselves when we also have to take care of other people. And yet, she did it!

Second, Mary is a WORKING mom. She works full time. So in addition to taking care of her kids, and herself, she also works, and has to find time to work out while doing everything else.

Third, Mary is encouraging others to be healthy as well. While her walking started out as something she did alone, her coworkers started to notice how healthy Mary was becoming by walking, and she has now attracted a small group of followers who walk with her everyday. She has not only gotten herself moving, but just by being a positive role model, she got others moving as well.

If this isn't encouraging for the rest of us, I don't know what is!

Mary still wants to lose a lot of weight. She said most people, by looking at her, would never guess that she had just lost 65 pounds, as she is still quite heavy. In fact, she told me she refused to even join the gym until she lost at least 50 pounds, because she wanted to show herself she was committed before making an investment like a gym membership.

But to me, it wasn't about the number on the scale or the size pants she wears. Mary inspired me to keep going with my own health goals, because she showed me it is possible to do it all and still take care of myself too.

I hope Mary's story encourages you as it has me!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Want to lose weight? I know a SECRET!

I've discovered the secret to losing weight! Seriously, if you do what I tell you in this post, I guarantee you'll lose weight. And it requires no money, no special clothing, no gym membership, no special pills, no magic weight loss coffee/tea/lemonade, etc. etc. etc.

It's really not a secret... lots of us know it. And we've known it a long time. But for some reason, people have forgotten it and seem to think we need a special "something" for weight loss.

So are you ready?

Here it comes....

Wait for it....

To lose weight, all you have to do is.....  EAT LESS AND MOVE MORE.

Yes, I'm serious. That's all.

Don't roll your eyes and close this page yet. Keep reading!

Weight loss is simply a mathmatical equation. You need to have more calories going out than in. That's it.  You can either achieve this by eating less, moving more, or a combination of the two.

That's it! No magic pill, workout, food, or anything else can do it for you. You have to do it for yourself. 

Don't blame your metabolism. Or your kids for making you fat (I've used this one plenty of times. After all, my daughter was an 11 pound baby, so surely it's HER fault I am overweight now, right??) Eat less and move more.

Also, have patience. It isn't going to happen right away. A healthy weight loss is anywhere from 0.5-2 pounds per week. That means that losing 10 pounds may take you anywhere from 5 weeks to as long as 20 weeks.

And how to do it you ask?

Make smart decisions. Small, smart choices, every day. They will add up, I promise!  Little things, like eating a piece of fruit for a snack instead of a piece of chocolate. Choosing a far away parking spot instead of the one right in front. Playing tag in the backyard with the kids for a few minutes a day. ANYTHING that gets you moving burns calories!

Also, there are a ton of resources online that can help. I'm going to give  a few examples in a future post. But for now, close the laptop and get moving!

Annnnd.... I'm back!

I've been a slacker.

My last blog post was October. It is now March. That is, um, a lot of time.

I really have no excuses. I mean, I have moved from one country to another. I do have two small children. I have been in school full time (3 science classes and 3 labs to go along). I moved into a new house, which required unpacking and painting and cleaning. And the holidays. And on and on and on... not too busy, right?

But I have thought about this blog And I've been itching to get back to it!

So here I am!

Apart from slacking on the blogging, I haven't been a complete slacker with regards to working out, which is good. I've joined a gym, and have been back at the running and lifting. I've also been hired on at one location as a group fitness instructor, and have an audition this week for another position at another club. So all in all, things are moving in the right direction again...

So yes, I'm back. And I am vowing to make at least one new post a week. I have a ton to say, so get ready!