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On my welcome page I explain I am a Certified Health Coach from the American Council of Exercise. I also have a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Psychology. It’s a tad bit insane, with all this education I have jammed into my brain, I haven’t done a better job honing in my own health. I finally had an ah ha moment and told myself if I can’t do this then how am I supposed to teach others? In December I gave this ah ha moment a voice and wrote my Tackling the Baby Weight post. Then… nothing from me. No posts no follow up, nothing. I didn’t acknowledge my absence regarding this post until now.
I made a rookie mistake, I committed (quite vocally) to a weight loss program that wasn’t a program! It was a bunch of words I put together, attempting to push myself forward. I had no game plan, no end goal, no stepping goals, and no support. Plus, for me to even think I should take all this on right before the holidays!? I was out of my damn mind.
First things first, I apologize. I should have been more vocal about my non-commitment and about why I left that post just hanging in limbo. I apologize for me turning into every. single. New. Year’s. cliché…. Follow me down the rabbit hole of my (for real) getting healthy and fit journey.
Back to basics
There are several ways to achieve your health and fitness goals, but these are the basics. To create a solid foundation, you need the basics. If you have taken a breather from fitness or maybe you want to eat better or possibly run a half marathon. All the steps laid out will help you achieve your goals. These will help ME achieve my goals too! Stick around; I will post my personal goals for the year. These are to keep me accountable and on the right road to health.
Choose a Meal Plan
I hate diets. I actually never dieted until a few months before my wedding. This was before my Health Coach certification. I didn’t’ do as thorough of a research job as I should have. I chose the 17 Day Diet. I ended up losing about 25 lbs. However, by the end of the year I had gained half of that back. Following two pregnancies, it’s all back and then some. The 17 Day Diet is not one I would recommend for long term weight loss. If there happens to be a small amount left to lose, hit a plateu and you have a firm foundation of health and workouts, then the potential for a short term plan will work.
In August of 2016 I took on the Whole30 challenge. I loved the program, it’s tough and it’s not meant to be a long term program either. The purpose is to make you more mindful of what you are putting in your body and how you react to certain food groups. I needed to reset my sugar cravings and get a better handle on my eating habits. It is NOT a weight loss plan, but a bonus “side effect” of the program is weight loss. During my challenge, I lost a total of 8.7 pounds and 10 inches total. I am sad to report that I didn’t follow the exit plan as laid out by the Whole30 book, I didn’t have the full Whole30 experience. Since then, I have gained the weight back; hence the new health goals for 2017. My choice combo for this round is a paleo based eating plan while incorporating certain rules from Whole30, including no dairy, beans, corn, or legumes. These plans require an abundance of vegetables, protein, and fat (good kind!). The premise of both is more real food, less from a box and much less with added sugars along with other additives. Our bodies were designed to process food from its natural sources, not from packages or machine made.
Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. The acronym is used for goal setting in general and is an incredible outline for personal and business goals. In 2015 the top two New Year’s resolutions polled by Nielsen.com was 1) stay fit and healthy and 2) lose weight. Together these two goals totaled up 69% of the resolutions. The problem with these resolutions and why so many people give up? They don’t follow the SMART goals guidelines.
When setting any goal it’s important to be as exact as possible while outlining your objectives, but it’s even more important for health and fitness goals. Turn “I want to be healthier” into “I want to play with my kids and not get winded”, “I want to break my sugar addiction”, and “I want to participate in a Cross Fit competition”. See how they have a focusing point? Right now if you “want to eat better” make it specific, cut sugar out or add extra protein in. Being precise aids you to have more of a real grasp on the goal rather than it being a fleeting thought.
Measurable goals keep you on track for success. The how you will be assessing your aspirations is just as important as the actual measurement. If you are increasing the number of servings of vegetables eat day; will you keep a daily food journal, use a food tracker app, or hope for the best? I don’t recommend just hoping for the best. 🙂 Weight loss goals should require more than just a scale for keeping track of achievements. The scale doesn’t do an accurate job on its own for being a reliable tool. Water weight and hormones can throw off the scale by up to three pounds. I will be using measurements coupled with the scale. Looking to gain muscle? Having body fat percentages would be a great way to assess your progress.
This is probably the toughest part of goal setting. We want to dream big and I highly recommend reaching for the stars. However, make sure your goals are obtainable. Stepping goals (not an official name 🙂 ) are the small goals leading up to the big end goal. Should someone have 100 pounds to lose and loses 15 pounds a month, those pounds lost will add up to the final 100 pounds lost. We all know 100 pounds can’t be lost all at once. Having these small goals give you the wins. Keeping you from setting yourself up for major disappointments and therefore giving up. You take one small success at a time and continue moving forward.
This is the second toughest step. Relevance, this goal means more to you than what you will be sacrificing. It is the intrinsic motivation which pushes you ahead. I am not a morning person; I finally gave up working out in the early morning because as much as I wanted to lose weight but when that alarm rang at 4 am, I simply couldn’t get up. It didn’t mean enough to me to get up and out of bed. I have accepted the fact I don’t want to sacrifice my mornings. I have made my adjustments and created a workout time after I get home from work before dinner needs to get going. I don’t become resentful to my goals and I can continue sleeping during my early mornings. 🙂
There needs to be an ending to your story. This is the final supporting key to the S.M.A.R.T Goals Guidelines. The ending has to be set for you to begin. If you know you want to be able to run that half marathon in the fall then you have a reason to start training.
*Make sure any exercise is within your physical ability and if needed please see a medical professional for medical clearance.
The risk of chronic diseases is significantly reduced in individuals who get 30-60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity a day. If you are just starting out, begin with small increments of 20 to 30 minute at an intermediate level. If you have been working out regularly, make sure to shake up your routine. Getting moving is more than adding 60 min workouts each day. You have to alternate your entire physical routine; going to the spin class doesn’t warrant eating junk food and still sitting most of the day. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of energy burned just to keep your body functioning. The majority of your calories (think upwards of 70%) are burned just keeping you alive! Working out is definitely a good start; be sure to add other forms of physical activity. Working a job where you are sedentary, adding short walks from 5-10 minutes every hour will add up! Taking the stairs, parking farther from entrances, yard work etc. Even cooking and cleaning burn calories! Meal prepping and extra cooking, since you’re eating out less, creates more dishes; three birds one stone! This is a helpful article for incorporating more exercise into your daily life.
Gym memberships run specials most during the beginning of the year. Daily Burn is online fitness workout streaming, Betty Rocker creates her own amazing workouts and has so many tools for eating better. As always Amazon has a selection of terrific workout at home videos, everything from the expensive Insanity Base Kit, Jillian Michaels’ Body Shred to a more pocket-friendly Total Body Tone and everything in between.
Know your boundaries
Also known as, plan for obstacles. This is not to say planning for failure, Plan for curve balls. Ask yourself (be bluntly honest!) How will you handle National Donut Day at the office? Dinner out with a client? Girls/Guys night out for pizza and beer? First, do not hide from social situation. Hiding can lead to resentment and more likely to drive you off your ledge. Plan! Most dining establishments have online menus to assist with planning. Check out ingredients of items before your dining out event. Ask yourself if one beer or one glass of wine is permitted on your new meal plan. Talk to people who can offer support for your new health goals. They may be very respectful and be inspired by your own journey!
Don’t give up!
You started on this health voyage for a reason, don’t let a slip up prevent you from continuing. Jillian Michaels said it best “Try not to say ‘I’m a failure’, instead ask ‘what can I do better?’ ‘What did I do wrong?’ then re-approach”. One cookie doesn’t derail your entire eating plan. A package of cookies each week? Take a good look at what needs to be adjusted in order to avoid temptation or stress eating triggers.
Most of all, don’t give up if there is a set back. Reset, re-evaluate, and move forward. You got this!
I have an awesome Pinterest board full of health information, everything from exercises for post pregnancy belly, to arms, legs, and of course eating well. Check it out and follow me! Check out these amazing resources from Stupid Easy Paleo and the Whole30 website.
TMI Time. 🙂 Well not really TMI but we are getting personal. Here are my personal health and wellness goals. 1) Lose 40 pounds by October. 2) Lose 25 of those pounds by June (for my birthday!) 3) Walk every hour at my office 4) Four workouts a week 5) Less processed foods-follow meal plans and form new food habits.There they are!
You have a cheerleader, because hey I am on this journey too! I will post every other week regarding meals, what’s working, what been tough, and updates on my goals.
Let’s do this! What are your health, fitness, or wellness goals for this year?