One resolution that keeps reappearing on my New Year’s resolution list is to be healthier (eat cleaner & get active). I always start the New Year with a bang and I’m gung ho about making big changes but then I tend to fall off the bandwagon. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since being married and even though I would love to blame my husband’s amazing cooking for it, it simply boils down to the fact that I eat out often and I’m not as active as I should be. I understand it’s not all about your size but I’m finding that even when I’m going up two flights of stairs, sometimes I feel winded. When I lived in Japan in my mid 20’s I climbed 3333 stone steps with the people in my town. I don’t think I could go up even 33 of those steps now without feeling lightheaded and out of breath. Not to mention that some of my favourite jeans no longer fit. This was definitely an indicator that I needed to get more active and change not only my eating habits but my lifestyle as a whole.
I had never been a fitness enthusiast. I would always prefer to read under a tree engrossed in a novel while my dad and sister played sports such as volleyball, soccer or badminton. My mom was the ever supportive cheerleader on the sidelines but I had no interest whatsoever in being a spectator nor a participant . My sister was the more athletic one and played all the sports in the family. My ideal type of workout was riding my bike or rollerblading along the river front. I don’t really enjoy competitive sports and I recall my dad encouraging me to play soccer when I was around 12 or 13 and while I was playing defense, half the time the ball would wiz by me because I was completely bored or lost in thought thinking about what I would do after the game.
After many years, I don’t think much has changed. I love non-competitive activities such as yoga, and you couldn’t pay me to play on my sister’s beach volleyball team or my friends’ Dodgeball team. Just not my cup of tea.
I know many people’s workout regimens spans all sorts of activities from step classes to intense weight training, but even when I had a personal trainer I couldn’t get into those types of activities. My trainer encouraged me to try it all but I would much prefer to take a Zumba class or a dance class instead. Up until December, I wasn’t even doing any of those classes. I kept using the holidays as an excuse for my unhealthy eating and unhealthy habits.
Which brings me to my lifestyle challenge. A few of our best friends invited my husband and I to enter a new lifestyle challenge. It is a competition based on weight and overall look/improvement and the incentive is a large sum of money. It really isn’t about the money, but we felt that there had to be some sort of penalty so that we don’t slack. I have until May to present my results. I’m not sure my Zumba or yoga classes are going to cut it but I’ll throw in some gym workouts and hopefully even if I don’t win I’ll be healthier and more active in the process.
To help kick start my new game plan, I got a few things for preparation.
- A Fitbit: It’s a rubber bracelet with a chip in it that syncs to your phone. I still forget to put it on from time to time. However, when I do wear it, I love it! It tracks how many steps you accumulate each day. You can also invite friends into mini challenges which motivates you to work out!
2. A Vitamix: Love this bad boy! Makes the greatest shakes ever and I love having a meal out of a cup! The big selling point for me was that it can make hot soups and will pulverize chia seeds or flax seeds. My mom uses the NutriBullet, and is very satisfied with her shakes. So if you have a blender you love, you can always go to the Vitamix website for cool recipes too.
3. A gym membership: I have to be honest. I have been paying for this membership for years and most years, I just pay for it and don’t use it as much as I should. I’m going to try to not let that happen this year!
4. Cute gym clothes: I know this sounds crazy but I find that if I feel good and look good in my gym clothes I’ll put more effort into my workout. It makes me motivated to want to eventually get to the point where I can wear crop tops…not quite there yet! My workout attire is from Lululemon. Love the flowy outer shirt top. I like how it goes over the sports bra (comes attached) and it conceals my tummy bulge;) I also love shopping their: “We Made Too Much” section…great deals to be found!
5. A Fitbook: Helps me keep a journal of what I’m eating and record what workout regimens I’ve been doing. I started using the Fitbook at the end of last year. Many love their Fitbook because they find that when you physically write things down you’ll have a better chance of getting it done. Decided that this method was a little too time consuming for me so I’ve replaced it with the Calorie Counting App below.
6. Calorie Counter App: Download the “My Fitness Pal” app…I love it! It’s also able to sync with my Fitbit which is awesome! I always said I wouldn’t be one of those people who would count calories but I realize how important it is now. Plus this app makes it fun and enjoyable. You can even scan the bar code of items you eat and then it will help you gauge how many calories you have consumed as well as how much more you can afford to eat that day. You don’t need a Fitbit to use this app and to have this app work for you!
7. Yoga Studio: I have joined a yoga studio with a couple of girlfriends. One of my friends is a yoga instructor there…so it’s great because she always pushes us to do our best!
I worked out 4 times this week! That’s a record for me….I hope I can keep up with it! To everyone who also has a health and fitness resolution, I wish you the best of luck! New year… new us! 🙂