Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Tips to Stay Motivated, Stay on Track for 2012 and Beyond

I get asked all the time where I find the time to work out and stay on top of my nutrition.  But it’s not about finding the time, it’s about making the time.  You hear that response all the time too.  But it’s true!  I currently have a full time job and one part time job and if I know my evenings will be jam packed then I know I can at least get cardio done on my lunch hour.  When I was home with the kids I knew my only chance to work out was when the baby was napping.

You just plan your day accordingly.

It’s an all-day, every day mindset.  I don’t just think about fitness and nutrition when I’m working out or eating a meal.  It is all inclusive in everything I do.  I may have to wake up earlier on a day when I know 5am will be the only chance I get to work out.  (Believe me that’s not often because I love my sleep!)

Below are tips from myself and from people I work with who are VERY fit and work out at least 6 days a week.  These are not difficult things to incorporate into your day but they are probably things you’re not doing now.

1.  Make sure water is next to you all day and drink from it often.  Water must be your drink of choice.

2.  View exercise as a pleasure and privilege, not a burden or chore.  There are people in wheelchairs who wish they could move and do new things.  Always think of the results you will see with every workout you complete.

3.  Think twice before deciding what to eat and why, making sure that it is healthy and will provide you good nutrition, fill you up, and give you long-term energy.   This is so important.  For example, there is no nutritional value in corn therefore, it provides no nutrients and no satisfaction of feeling full.  Another example is diet soda.  There are no calories and there’s nothing in that can that your body needs NOR wants!

4.  Plan your meals according to your planned exercise activity that day.  Don’t just have a cheeseburger and then tell yourself you can run it off on the treadmill later that evening.  Don’t be tempted by your hunger, your present mood, emotion, or the company you’re keeping.

5.  Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excessive calories, even if they are “fat-free” and high protein will turn to excess weight!  No matter what the latest fad diet, extra calories equals extra weight!   Read more here for more nutritional tips.

6.  Limit caffeine and exposure to even secondhand smoke.  That may sound silly but secondhand smoke will hurt your lungs especially lungs that are not used to smoking at all.  Why challenge those lungs when you’ll need them strong and ready  for your next run, or your next challenging workout.

7.  Focus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.

8.  Keep a journal of what you’re actually eating.  YES this includes the last couple of bites of macaroni and cheese that your child didn’t finish or that little cookie you had at work, AND all your snacking!  Also, read the ingredients on everything you put in your mouth!  If something has 45 ingredients in it then you shouldn’t be eating it.  Keep your meals to 6-7 ingredients total (4 oz chicken, 1 sweet potato and 1 1/2 cups of your fave vegetable = 3 ingredients).  The less your body has to digest, the quicker it will be converted in to energy.

9.  Enjoy an occasional (once a week) “unhealthy” treat, but never take an “unhealthy” week or unhealthy vacation.   Work out on your vacations.  When I went to Hawaii I could not WAIT to run on the beach in the mornings.  If you don’t want to pack weights for obvious reasons then look for a hotel that has a gym.  Run on the treadmill for 20-30 min and then use whatever machines they might have for another 30 min without taking more than a minute of rest inbetween.

10.  Savor the feeling of accomplishment you have after completing an intense workout. Remember that feeling and use it to motivate you when you don’t feel like exercising.

11.  Work out with someone and recruit others who desire to feel better and have more energy. Have a neighbor who walks every morning? Ask if you can join in!  Accountability is motivation!

12.  Switch up your routines and learn new ways and new techniques for exercising.   If you have a favorite sport do it on your rest day or depending the exertion level, trade that for your normal cardio workout every now and then.

13.  Avoid monotony by using things that keep you motivated and inspired, like new shoes or great music.

14.  Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.

15.  Invest in the right tools—good shoes, a health club membership, a portable MP3 player or iPod, fitness equipment, a new series of DVDs, etc.

16.  Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 days a week. If you’re eating right and exercising 6 days a week it will feel strange on day 7 to not get up and move or do something!

17.  Don’t compare your body to others. Instead, work to be your OWN personal best.

18.  If your diet is unbalanced, take daily vitamin and mineral supplements for total health.

19.  Gradually progress to take your exercise to new levels of intensity and make them more and more challenging to avoid your body plateauing.   If you can now do, let’s say, 25 (real and not girly) push ups when before you couldn’t even do 4 or 5 consider getting push up bars that allow you to go deeper and work even more muscles.

20.  Create an exercise schedule the day before, instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to “find” the time.

21.  Move beyond the boundaries of weight loss and into total fitness. Measure success by the way your clothes fit, and not a number on a scale.  I only step on to the scale at my doctor’s office!

22.  Remember that no matter how hard you’re working out, if you’re consuming too many calories, you’ll never see the muscles that lie beneath layers of fatty tissue.

23.  Remove all tempting foods from your house.  If you have kids, show them healthy foods that are just as satisfying.  My kids loved all the junk foods but it’s not good habits for them either having that stuff laying around.

24.  Get adequate amounts of sleep.  Before you roll your eyes, remember that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.  You will definitely be tired by the end of your day!

25.  Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.

Remember 21 days to create a new habit.  Just give your new journey 21 days and by then you will have figured out how to keep these good habits going.  And even after years have gone by of your new lifestyle you will find different ways of doing things that WORK for YOU!

Message me with your questions.  I enjoy helping others achieve their personal best and I can help you too!  On Facebook I offer recipes like these, daily tips like these and accountability posts if you want them!  🙂


December 17, 2011 - Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Exercise, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

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