Tuesday, December 6, 2011

7 Steps to a Healthier YOU

FitFluential, Inc.
In October, I was invited to become a FitFluential Ambassador! I am excited to be a part of a group of folks who are as passionate about health and fitness as I am. So a big Thank You to my FitFluential Family for the inspiration for today's post!

2012 is just around the corner - lots and lots of folks make resolutions to bring change into their lives. Losing weight is the #1 resolution made each year.
I, personally, do not believe in New Year Resolutions because I believe that ANYTIME is a good time to make change but if a New Year is what motivates you to change, then go for it!! But you don't have to wait for that "magical" date to start making change to a healthy life!

On my journey from Fat to Fit, there were several things that helped me stay motivated and moving along to reach my goals and I wanted to share some of those with you. These tips are helpful even if you are not looking to lose weight. It is a good idea to follow healthy eating and exercise habits to keep you healthy throughout your lifetime.

1) Make Goals
Making a list of goals-both big and small-keeps you motivated to continue with your healthy changes. Make the experience about more than just a smaller number on the scale.  Be specific with those goals. Saying "I want to lose weight" is too general and it does not give you an exact goal. Don't be afraid to make BIG GOALS. For example: Have you always wanted to run a 5k? Register for one and give yourself a deadline of being able to complete that 5k!

2) Make Appointments
If you are new to fitness or even a seasoned veteran, schedule that time to workout just as you would a doctor or dental appointment and STICK to it! Treat that time just as you would any other important appointment in your life! You are worth that time to be healthy.

3) Make a Plan
You know the saying "fail to plan, plan to fail". Along the lines of scheduling your fitness regime, you need to plan what you eat as well. Taking the time to sit down and plan a week of meals - or even just a few days at a time - will help you to stick with your nutrition plan. I know that the time I would spend on Sunday planning meals for the week set me up to make things so much easier. One trick I love is to have a bunch of healthy snacks at my fingertips to help avoid grabbing stuff that is not so good.

Also, by planning, you can save yourself a ton of money. There are no worries about "what's for dinner" that triggers a call to the pizza man or a stop at a take out place. Money in your pocket and a healthier choice. Plan for leftovers to be morphed into lunches or a new dish the next night. Today's grilled chicken breasts can be topped on tomorrows salad.

4) Be Accountable
You can find a buddy or just be accountable to YOU!! I used to carry around a 5 subject notebook and I would write down everything. My planned workouts, my meals, my thoughts, my goals...EVERYTHING. It helped to keep me on task, it helped me track my progress and it was a way to be accountable to ME. If I wrote it down, it needed to be done. (I actually still have this notebook)

5) Let Go of PERFECT
We are human, we make mistakes and we eat Snickers. IF you fall off the healthy eating wagon all of a sudden, don't let that be an excuse to blow the entire day (or week) by eating more garbage. Just put it behind you and move on.
Or if something caused you to miss your workout, the same thing applies. Just get back on track the next day. I was given a great analogy a couple years ago and it helped me to put things in perspective. Think about this: If you get a flat tire on your car, you don't go out and pop the other 3 good tires right? No, you fix the flat and MOVE ON!!

6) Eat from Nature
As you start to make healthier choices start looking at what you are eating. Is you diet full of chemicals and processed foods? These "frankenfoods" are not doing any good for you. Our bodies just were not created to consume all of these false foods and eventually is will wreak havoc on your hormones (but this is a whole 'nother post all together! Don't get this science geek going on THIS!!)

Start incorporating REAL foods into your life. When you are choosing something to eat, think about how "real" it is. When is the last time you saw a Frito tree??

Choose things like fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables, whole grains like rolled oats, steel cut oats, brown rice. Stick with lean proteins and if you can opt for humanely treated sources of protein such as free range chicken, grass fed beef, etc. It would scare and amaze you to know what goes into a commercial feed lot animals (another box for another day).
7) Eat Breakfast!!!
It is so crucial to get some quality calories into your body within an hour of waking. So many people skip breakfast when trying to lose weight. I cannot stress it enough- Eat Breakfast!!! Ease into it by having a protein shake if you are not ready to start eating real food or if you are "too busy to eat" in the morning, try a pre-made grab and go option. I love HoneyMilk light coffee flavor :)

To reference Tip #3, plan it!! I make a large pot of steel cut oats and eat that several mornings in a row. No worries about cooking, it's done and ready to go!!

Do you make New Year's Resolutions??
What are some of your favorite TIPS to live a healthy life??


fancy nancy said...

These are awesome tips!!! I agree...the hardest for me is to "let go of perfect"!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I stopped making resolutions, I make a mission statement instead

The every first tip I give everyone is "I am not going to say it will be easy, I will say it will be worth it"

Katie said...

I like it, I like all of it!

Caratunk Girl said...

Awesome list - letting go of perfect is such a good one!

Laura said...

Great tips! I no longer make resolutions, but I do try to write down a summary of the year and goal for the next.

TX Runner Mom said...

Great tips! I just found your blog and look forward to reading more!

Colleen said...

Jen, I just want to say that you are the ultimate success story and your tips are awesome! :)

Caroline said...

No resolutions for me
but I do have goals

great tips!
for me the one I give my friends who are no active and are asking how I lost 75 lbs and think it was by magic is to start slow and be realistic, you will not be able to run 6 miles the fist day!