You’ve purchased your day planner and carefully crafted your fitness goals. You’ve even created action steps to keep you accountable.
You’ve renewed your gym membership, replaced the calorie-dense snacks in your cupboard with protein shakes and tuna. You’re ready.
But week one into your fitness journey, you haven’t made it to the gym as often as you had hoped, unexpected assignments keep popping up at work and you’re meal prepping, ya...that didn’t quite work out. You’re disappointed and you’re feeling a little discouraged.
Keeping up with your fitness plan shouldn’t feel like a huge challenge sis. Let me share a few simple tips I’ve used to keep my own fitness goals on track.
I understand you’re super busy. Your Outlook calendar is packed with more meetings, activities and social events than you can handle. But if you really want to see changes you MUST also include your workout on your weekly agenda. Research shows that people who wrote down their weekly fitness plans were actually more likely to follow through with their workouts. I’ve had to learn this the hard way. For years my workout plans were just that… plans. I had the unrealistic belief that I would have the Beyonce bounce back and the weight I gained during my pregnancy would just “melt away.” Guess what? I didn’t and it’s taken me damn near 4 years; Yes 4 years to lose my “baby weight.” Granted, I was keeping a tiny human alive, working fulltime and going to school part-time but it wasn’t until I made my workouts a priority and committed them to paper that I began to see results. I reserve one-hour a day for uninterrupted “me” time. I’ve given clear instructions to my loved ones not to call or text me during this hour because you will be ignored. If the baby is on fire; put her out and tend to her wounds when I’m done. Yup. It’s that serious.
2. Pick an Activity You Enjoy
So I’m a runner. I enjoy the challenge of beating my PR (personal record), climbing hills, and road races but if the thought of an early morning run makes you want to puke, don’t do it! Why make yourself miserable? Instead, take part in an activity that you’re more likely to stick with. If you prefer to socialize while getting snatched, check out group fitness offerings at your local gyms or recreation centers. Oftentimes studios will offer complimentary or discounted classes to first-time clients. Ultimately, your fitness program should fit your lifestyle and interests. Keep trying new activities until you find something you luv!
3. Eat Healthy
Let’s face it, once you decide to embark on a fitness journey you’re going to find food temptations everywhere.
Don’t judge me but:
My diet is still my biggest struggle. I’m always down to eat. Most of the time my meals are fairly balanced but the occasional piece of cake can easily turn into my every day “reward.” As I approach the big 4-0, I’ve come to the realization that I had to modify what I ate and how I ate in order to achieve a healthy weight and as a result, I’ve lost 15 stubborn pounds. Healthy eating is achievable. More days than not fill your plate with fruits, vegetables and, lean proteins. Cut back on foods high in fat, salt and, sugar or try eating a lower-calorie version of your favorite comfort meal. Don’t you give up on your goals sis! #werk
Confession time. I. hate. drinking. water. It’s boring and bland but I recognize all of its benefits so I keep chugging. Increasing your water intake can keep your skin healthy, control your calorie intake and, keep you regular. Generally, women require about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids each day. I know, that’s a lot of water and if you’re like me, drinking can feel like a chore, especially in the winter. So here’s what you can do to up your water intake: buy a dope water bottle and throw it into your Prada tote. You’re more likely to sip from it throughout the day if it’s with you at all times. You can also try infusing your water with fruit, cucumbers or mint to change things up. Keep experimenting. Bottoms up!
5. Sleep More
So I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of the “superwoman syndrome.” I take on too many tasks, sign up for too many activities, all while trying to juggle my family, career and, my meager social life. Rarely do I get the recommended 7-8 hour of sleep each night. Can you relate? Not getting enough sleep can affect your judgment, mood and may even increase your risk for other health conditions including obesity. It may be tempting to skimp on them z’s to get ahead but adopting good sleep habits and enforcing a consistent sleep schedule will help you get you closer to your fitness goals.
Striving for Fitness
What are your fitness goals for 2018? What are your plans to ensure you achieve them?
Follow me on own fitness and health journey on Instagram @ janelletking
Janelle King MPH, BSN, RN