Getting Healthy in 2019
Hello, 2019! It’s a new year, and I know that this is the time when we plan how we want our lives to look for the next 365 days, and for many that will include losing weight. However, I want to encourage you to look at it from a different perspective—rather than making weight loss your goal, make a healthy lifestyle your goal. Here is why.
I spent a good 17 years of my life chasing skinny, and it wasn’t a happy road. I punished myself, choosing weird, restrictive diets that never made that much of a difference on the scale in the long run. I would spend hours and days in the gym for period of time, and then out of exhaustion would quit and not go back for months (even years). Allowing vanity to be my main motivator and choosing extreme methods to achieve the quickest results was never going to be a long-term, sustainable life change.
As I have mentioned before, the road to a healthy life really started when I met my husband Micah. He is very active and we travel a lot, so I wanted to be able to keep up with him. I will never forget the time he had to literally carry me up a hiking trail because I didn’t have the energy to go any farther. Or the time when we were planning for a trip to San Francisco, and I was afraid I wouldn’t have the endurance to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn't want to live my life that way, unable to have experiences and being left behind. That was my first time wanting to be strong, not skinny, and that was when I finally started choosing a path that was sustainable. This is how I did it.
I needed to learn how to eat again.
I know that sounds strange, but learning how to eat in a way that is sustainable for the rest of my life was huge. You all already know that I’m a huge fan of Fitness Carli’s meal plans—she taught me how I should be eating. It isn’t some big secret either—eat a LOT of vegetables (the more leafy greens, the better), a small amount of whole grain, and have some healthy protein with each meal. That’s it, balanced and easy.
Try to avoid unnecessary sugar, but don’t completely give up dessert. Allow yourself a small, sweet treat each day and savor it.
Drink a LOT of water. I pretty much only drink black coffee in the mornings and then water the rest of the day. I only have a diet soft drink if I’m having lunch out with a friend, which is rare.
On the weekends, feel free to eat out once or twice, and enjoy your meal because you know that every other meal that week will be healthy, homemade, and balanced.
And please, please, please, don’t go hungry. If you’re hungry, have a healthy snack, or drink some water. I have realized that sometimes my “hunger” pains or desire to snack was actually a sign of dehydration.
I needed to find a workout I enjoyed.
I needed to move my body, and I needed to do it in a way that I enjoyed. I have found that I LOVE walks, and I tried incorporating some jogging into those walks little by little. Now I look forward to my runs as much as my walks. I also enjoy resistance training when I have specific goals I want to reach. For example, I wanted to be able to do a pull-up, so I started doing some exercises to reach that goal. When I finally did my first pull-up on my own, I was blown away—did that really just happen? Accomplishing that goal made me want to keep doing more.
So think about what you like to do—maybe it’s yoga, cycle classes, kick boxing, running, or going for a walk—and figure out how you can make your body move every day. It doesn’t have to be a sweaty session every day, just get moving. Having a dog has definitely been a motivator to move each day—he expects his daily (sometimes twice daily) walks.
If you have a treadmill, try watching a show or movie you like as you walk or run. If you’re doing cardio outside, listen to music or a podcast you enjoy. Find little ways to make the workout a moment for you—a way to unwind and escape from the world a little bit.
My 8-Week Challenge
Starting January 7, I am going to participate in Fitness Carli’s 8-Week Challenge. I am going to continue doing her meal plan, which I’ve been following since January of last year, and I am going to follow her new 8-week workout plan. It consists of 3 resistance training days a week at 30-minutes a session. On top of that, I will move my body in some way every day. That may be a run, walk, or skiing, but in some way, I will be moving. Each week I will report back here as to what I did each day and what I ate. My hope is these posts will be a source of inspiration as you begin your health journey, as well as a place where you can communicate. You can always leave a comment in the posts about your progress, ups and downs, and you can also always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So as you move forward with your health goals, be choosey about the program you select. Ask yourself: Is this something I can sustain from now on? If not, then try something else.
This is not about getting skinny, it’s not about feeling like you’re not enough. This is about doing what makes you feel good so you can live a really long time doing the things you love.
No more diets, just a healthy life. We’ve got this, friends. I’m in it with you.