Getting rid of excuses and getting active!

My journey started a few years ago now, to be honest I tried a few times in my life to get going and get exercising.  It would work, but I was never good at sticking to it.  So with some encouragement of some friends I started with a real goal of losing weight.  I had a friend, Kelly, who was very encouraging and wanted to lose some weight herself so we decided to go to the gym together.  

1. Workout first then go home and if you go to a gym make it one that is really close.

Being the queen of excuses and rationalizing I started figuring out that I had to really do something different with my thinking if I was going to make a significant change.  I was always going to be tired after work and not really going to feel like working out.  After all when you get off of work the one thing you want to do is go home, right?  So I started taking my workout clothes to work with me and changing there.  If I go home, I won’t leave for much of anything.  So I eliminated an excuse by going straight to the gym after work.

2. Workout with a friend, make a commitment, and add accountability.

To keep the habit of working out going I started going with a friend.  When she couldn’t go I would take a book or watch TV on the treadmill or elliptical.  To be honest for a while there were friends that stopped going, but were supposed to meet me there and out of total commitment and not wanting to disappoint I kept going in case.  Seriously this was a way I could use guilt to my favor.

3. Open your eyes and look at your plate.

Then I started to look at how much I was eating and the quality of what I was eating.  For example, I used to start my morning off with a brown sugar pop tart and a diet cola (yikes right?).  Then I started looking at the label and discovered something interesting.  A serving size is actually one pop tart NOT THE WHOLE PACKAGE!!!  I found this website Calorie King (thanks again Kelly) and was able to see that I could eat that package of pop tarts or get LESS calories for 10 oz of sirloin steak.  Seriously pop tarts vs steak, no contest here it’s the steak.  This was like a huge awakening for me, realizing that I was choosing some high calorie junk foods over some really good foods I enjoyed.

4. Add vegetables, fiber, and water.

I was eating pretty much simple starchy carbohydrates and a lot of them.  They are my biggest downfall still if I let them.  I started figuring out that they were adding calories and very little bang for my buck when it came to nutrition.  So I switched things up and decreased how much and eventually switched to whole grains and whole wheat.  I also ate very little vegetables, well to be honest I liked very few.  I decided to start eating them until I liked them and guess what?  It worked, I have a few texture issues with some foods that have taken longer (mushrooms, onions, olives) but I love them now.  I am still adding some veggies because I am a work in progress.

5. Add variety to the workouts.

I workout outside as much as possible, even if it is just a walk.  I take stuff with me to work and jog at lunch until the 90+ degree weather hits and it’s just not safe.  I hike when I can as well at one of our local mountain ranges.

6. Find encouragement from others to supplement your own.

I admit it felt great to be able to post pictures of the “new” me on Facebook and get feedback about how great I was looking.  Even more fun was hearing the phrase “where’s the other half of you?” more than a few times when I went back home for a visit.  I knew I was changing and was working on really seeing it, but hearing it from others helped me to start to see it even more.

7. Recognize your self defeating behaviors, admit them, and stop them.

More than once I would get done at the gym and then hit the drive thru for a diet soda and an ice cream cone.  When I finally admitted it and said the words out loud to someone I realized how insane it was.  Really, burn off the calories and then eat some more?  Eventually I even came to realize that I have little control with ice cream.  So as of today I haven’t touched it since last October, just my choice.  The more I looked at my choices and whether they got me from where I was to where I want to be, the more I have had to change some things.  

8. I changed my thinking.

I started to think more, react less (emotional eater here), and remind myself that eating ______ won’t change the situation or how I feel.  I started realizing that I regret not being active more than I regret being active.  And I started really enjoying how it feels to be able to jog and do other things I always wanted, but never felt I could.
These are a few things that I feel like really helped me and perhaps they will help you.  Now seriously on to something so super exciting for me!  I was able to do 3 sets of 5 dips on the pull up machine and get this…they were noticeable dips!!!!  Honestly for me this is super exciting because I am seeing how I am getting closer to my goal of a pull up.  I think I need some gloves though because I tried hanging from the machine and nearly gave myself blisters.  I was able to hang for a count of 15 before I fell, which was totally awesome too.  Needless to say my workouts are paying off when it comes to building strength!  Okay well that is all for now.  Tomorrow some Sunday food prep stuff.  I need to go read up on quinoa protein bar recipes, I am going to try them tomorrow.  I also plan on trying to make black bean burgers too (a texture issue I am working past).

I will conquer you yet!!!



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