Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I have never been a very athletic person. However, my father is (very much so), and when I was a child he did everything he could to make me and my sister fall in love with exercising. Little luck. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we felt pressured and it was a huge turn-off for us. Maybe it had something to do with my in-born laziness. I don't know what it was, but exercise never became an active part of my life despite of my exercise-loving parents. Last summer, though, I started to take a 30-minute walk every morning and do strength training a couple of times a week. It worked well for about a month or so but for some reason I started coming up with new and new excuses for not taking a walk or working out ('I'm tired' or 'I don't have the time' etc.) until I finally had to face the facts: I had stopped working out - again. Completely. During my time here in Sparks, I've been fully aware of how important working out regularly (both cardio and strength training) when it comes to weight loss and overall health.
And yet, days turned into weeks and weeks into months and I still wasn't working out. Then, on Monday of this week, I decided something. NO MORE OF THIS; no more of these excuses; no more of slacking. This is my health and my future we're talking about. I'm not going to let anything stand in the way of the healthy new lifestyle I want for myself. And I want fitness to be a big part of it. I want a more active lifestyle - and I want to learn to love working out! Finally!
And you know what? I think I'm getting there. I know, I know, it hasn't been that long yet. After all, I've been working out regularly only for a few days but I already feel the difference. I thought I'd list a few of the things that I LOVE about exercising and remind myself why it plays such a huge role in a healthy lifestyle.
- While walking outside, you can really have some time for yourself. You can enjoy the break in your day and let your feet carry you to new places (and a new future!)
- The feeling you get after a good workout is well worth all the trouble (when you're tired and don't want to work out, remember this!)
- It helps your weight loss efforts
- It's good for your heart
- It's good for your health in general
- It builds stronger muscles that burn more calories
- Firms up your body so you'll look sexy in a bikini when the summer gets here!
- Working out regularly builds up momentum which will help you stick to your new healthy lifestyle
- It makes you more self-confident (when you realize that YOU CAN DO IT and start noticing all the great positive changes both in your body and your attitude!)
All I can say is that I definitely plan to stick to this new workout plan! I FEEL GREAT ALREADY!
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Here are some of my goals for March and the future:
- Drink at least 10 cups of water a day
- Consume 1200-1500 calories a day
- Don't skip meals
- Eat at least 4 servings of fruit and vegetables a day
- Log into Sparks daily and update your blog, read motivating articles, write on the message boards, track your food and fitness & get inspired
- Get up and keep on going after setbacks
- Do at least 45 minutes of cardio every day
- Do strength training for 30 minutes three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
- When you treat yourself, do so in moderation - and choose healthier treats like a bit of dark chocolate or a fruit sherbet!
- Drink at least 2 cups of green tea a day
- Don't put your new lifestyle on hold on weekends - that'll only backfire later
- Try be more active: go swimming, hiking, jogging etc. and ask T to come with you
- Weight goal for March: 150 pounds
- Weight goal for April: 140 pounds
- Weight goal for May: 130 pounds
- Weight goal for June: 120 pounds
I realize that I'm going to hit a plateau at some point and I realize that weight loss is tricky and the pounds rarely drop off just as planned. But I need to have goals and 'deadlines' to stay motivated. I don't, however, take it too seriously: if I don't reach a goal, it's okay as long as I know that I've done the best that I can. And as long as I know that I haven't given up and still continue to work on building a healthy lifestyle for myself, I don't really care if I reach a certain number by a certain date. What matters is my health and my happiness. After all, numbers on the scale are just numbers.
I'm so proud of myself. I ate healthy foods and worked out for an hour. I feel happy, excited and energetic. This is such an adventure! I can't wait to see what the future holds for me!
Monday, March 02, 2009
Yesterday I spent 35 minutes planning ahead my meals and workouts this week. I find it A LOT easier to stick to a plan once you've written it down - it feels like there are no excuses and almost no change of failing if it's all in writing. To me, the plan is clear when it's in black and white. I have the whole week planned out! I feel so relaxed now. No need to stress about what I'm going to eat for dinner because I have it all planned out - which means I have a good chance of sticking to the meal plan I made when I'm hungry. Sometimes, especially when you're tired, hungry or stressed, it's too easy to go for the same old (unhealthy) foods. Planning helps to break those unhealthy routines.
I had such an amazing day today. I bought some new workout clothes and a sports bra! And I went for a 40-minute walk and did my strength training exercises. T and I made some healthy Greek salad for dinner, it was delicious! I love this feeling. I'm full of energy and motivation. I want to build momentum so that, when the times get tough, I won't give up.
I'll be back tomorrow with specific goals for March (and for the rest of my life for that matter!). Sweet dreams everyone!
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Seems to me that I can't function properly when I'm not active on SparkPeople. I haven't gained any weight while I've been gone, actually I've managed to shed a few pounds. But I lack motivation. And momentum. I lack the support I get from here. This place is so incredibly motivating and inspiring. But it's also a lot of work to record all meals (because I live in Finland which means we don't have the same kind of meals here and I have to enter all the foods manually). But I don't care. It's worth it! It helped me so much last fall - I lost so much weight! So, this means I'm back. I want to get down to my goal weigh before summer. I've had enough of feeling like I have no one to guide me through this because it's not true; I have you guys. I have this wonderful place filled with wise and kind people, great tips, helpful tools and motivational stories and articles. I don't know why I even left in the first place!
But what matters, I guess, is the fact that I'm back now. And this time I'm here to stay!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
It has been snowing for a few days now and the whole world is covered in white. It's so beautiful! I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping to have a white Christmas this year. It creates such a magical mood somehow, the whiteness and the purity of just fallen snow. We decorated our very own and new Christmas tree yesterday and today we gave the whole apartment the final magic touch. Everything looks so perfectly beautiful now. Now I'm ready for Christmas!
Gosh, I'm so hungry but it's 11.23 pm already here in Finland and I really never eat this late. I have to stay up for some time though and I know I can't fall asleep when I'm starving. I'm thinking of having a tangerine or something else that is filling and healthy (and low in calories!). Food-wise things are still going pretty smoothly. It seems that everyone's having parties and eating tasty (but fattening) Christmas treats and it is not only acceptable but almost obligatory. People give you the look (you know, the what-the-hell-are-you-thinking-not-eating-
my-foods-look) and it's really hard to say no. But I'm doing well despite everything. I'm just trying to keep things in balance. Not too much of the good (=high-calorie) stuff but then again, not too little either as it, at least in my case, only leads to a binge. It's all about balance!
I really want to give my SparkPage a makeover. Those pictures of me aren't that flattering (or recent, for that matter). Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. Hope you're all well! Hasta maņana.
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