I have alluded to the fact that in the past, I’ve tried various diets/ workout routines/ health kicks that just haven’t stuck. Usually about 30 days is my limit, but this time things are different! Lots of people have asked me what has made this time around so different and I have a few ideas.
1. Workout Buddy Accountability
So as I’ve mentioned, I’m really not a fan of solo workout sessions. Even if we just *go* to the gym together and split up once we get there, I’d always rather be with a friend! This summer, for the third year in a row my friend Jordan and I teamed up to get in shape and I must say, it made such a difference! Previous years, we were away every other week and keeping a routine was difficult, but this year seemed to be different. It is endlessly helpful (and WAY more fun) to have someone to talk to and keep you company and struggle right along with you 😉 Also, Jordan and I always have fun trying out new workouts and killing ourselves with new routines in the name of fitness! (Now that she’s away, looks like I’ll have to hold MYSELF accountable. We’ll see how that goes!)
I signed up for this infamous 5k at the beginning of the summer! I knew that having a specific goal for a specific date that *didn’t* involve the scale would be an excellent motivator. Even though the distance is teeny tiny, crossing the finish line will definitely be a major accomplishment for the girl who couldn’t run to gym lengths in high school 😉
3. Helpful Apps & Online Tools
There are two main pieces to this one…
- myfitnesspal.com: I have tried this once before and it just didn’t click with me. (That could be because I was still in school at the time and it was next to impossible to a) take the time to document everything I ate and b) find entries for all of the random stuff that I ate.) ANYWAY, this time, I’ve got it. According to my counter, I’ve logged in for almost 70 days in a row and it’s been wonderfully helpful! I am NOT a fan of counting calories by ANY means at all. In fact, I think it can actually be sort of destructive if you get too caught up in numbers (I have friends who won’t eat fruit because it cuts into their calorie limit!) I do however, think this app is extremely helpful for a few reasons. It keeps you accountable (even if you’re not 100% accurate all day every day, you can still estimate!) Secondly, it’s also really nice to know how many calories you “technically” have in a day depending on what your goals are (you can set the goals to losing a pound, a pound and a half or two pounds per week, maintaining current weight or gaining). It makes it very easy to turn what would otherwise be a “too late to care” day into a recoverable day!
- The famous “Couch-to-5k” program (coolrunning.com): I’ve already talked about this, but it’s very handy. There’s an iPhone app. which is wonderful. It builds your mileage slowly and gives you a concrete goal to work towards.
4. Fun Workout Gear
Alright, this one probably sounds dumb, but I can’t say enough good things about these shoes I finally splurged on! They’re so comfortable, they’re ridiculously colorful (clearly) and make my runs totally pain-free which has never happened before! In previous years, anytime I’ve started running, my legs, back, feet, everything would be killing me and I’m pretty sure it was largely related to my bad shoes. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get sized and have someone help you to pick the perfect pair of shoes for your stride! I got mine at a Fleet Feet store, but I’m sure there are plenty of other chains that do that as well! I love buying new workout clothes, I almost love it as much as I love buying Real Life Clothes and it really does make a difference for me. Having a cute workout outfit ready to hit the gym with is some sort of incentive for me to actually get my gears in motion! Hey, whatever works 😛
5. My Fitness Bucket List
I already posted about this (check it out here!), but earlier this year, I made myself a “Fitness Bucket List.” Even though these things will take years to check off, it seems to be a good way to give myself goals that will keep me working towards something and working on getting fitter and stronger, instead of this yo-yoness (yes, that’s a real term. Except for not really.) that I seem to have been stuck in before!
So it might sound silly, but this time, I’ve told people my plan. I’ve told friends to keep me honest. Even this very blog! It all works to keep me honest and keep my on my a-game. Just knowing that people will be checking in on me, reading up on me and asking me what I’ve been up to in my workouts keeps me headed to the gym (almost) every day!
7. A Good Philosophy Can Make All of the Difference
There was a point at the end of my last semester where I had almost convinced myself that being happy and pleasantly plump might be just as much fun as being fit. That is actually a very scary thought because I think I probably could have convinced myself that it was true. I would never, ever, EVER want to make a conscious decision to NOT be healthy anymore, but after an extremely rough stretch of time in the spring and a crazy hectic schedule, it seemed appealing. Why bother counting calories when I could eat cookies instead? Anyway, NEEDLESS TO SAY, I turned that thought process around real fast and couldn’t possibly be happier. Sometimes, it seems like starting the first day of a workout routine is the hardest, but once you’ve been at it for a week or so, especially when you’re in the right mindset, it’s harder to turn back! Soon, I’ll post about this whole “new mindset” and “fit philosophy” idea, but that’ll be later!
Through future posts I’ll touch on all of this again, but that is all for now! Until tonight…