This is the first real health/fitness/whatever post I’ve made, so I want to start out with an important detail:
Pizza is my favorite food. I live in a state where people wear foam hats shaped like wedges of cheese to sporting events. Do not mistake me for the kind of blogger who is going to post pictures of their flat abs and give you recipes to try and replace cheese and carbs. No thank you.
However, in the interest of getting back to some healthy habits that I’ve dropped over the years, and just getting my shit together in general, I’m trying to develop a routine for my day, or at least some positive things to include.
This is what I’ve got so far:
1. My morning lineup
I’m usually not hungry right when I wake up, and I almost always wake up at the last possible minute. However, I have about a 30 minute drive to work so I’m usually starving by the time I get there. Therefore each morning while I’m making my coffee, I warm up a breakfast sandwich in the microwave. I have a few in my fridge right now; one is half a small pita pocket with sausage, egg white and cheddar cheese and the other is flatbread with spinach, egg white and mozzarella. Both are whatever brand you can buy in bulk at Sam’s Club and take literally a minute to warm up. If I have extra time or I’m bored with them, I’ll add extras like Frank’s Red Hot or a tiny bit of chipotle mayo. I also try (key word: try) to remember to take a multivitamin. I don’t always eat the healthiest and it has caused vitamin deficiencies in my body before, so I’ve learned to at least try to remember to take a multivitamin each day. I’m honestly not very good at it.
This morning routine takes literally 5 minutes maximum and is a healthy start to the day, which is so important when you’re a “lay in bed until the last minute” type of person like I am.
What got me started on this newfound commitment to health sounds kind of silly, but it was actually just a pair of jeans in my dresser that started it all. I love those jeans and I only bought them last summer, so they’re basically brand new. Plus, they weren’t cheap and anyone that’s gone shopping with me before whether it’s to the mall or the grocery store knows that I am one of those people that will usually buy the most inexpensive version of something because I just don’t feel like I can justify spending extra for a brand name if I know the other option will work just as well. This was probably the first time I had ever spent over $50 on an item of clothing. Anyway, realizing that I couldn’t fit into them at all anymore put things into perspective and gave me something visual to work towards. Putting on pants is an easy way to check up on your progress. However, if you’re going to do this, make is realistic! If you’re a size 12 right now, don’t obsess over the size 4 jeans you wore 5 years ago. Pick something that gives you body confidence, but is also a realistic short term goal. I used to base my self confidence almost solely on which way the number on the scale was going, but then I realized that if I stopped comparing myself as I am now to teenager me, I actually think I look pretty good most of the time. So from now on any weight I lose is because I’m making better choices, not because I’m trying to reach some unrealistic goal of looking like I did when I was 18. I weigh more than I did in high school, but who doesn’t?
3. Shoot for the moon, reach for the stars
It’s amazing and super necessary to have long term, lofty goals for yourself. If you want to lose 30 pounds, be able to run 3 miles without stopping or completely give up soda then you should definitely document those goals and hold yourself accountable for them. But do the pants you already wear button just a little easier today? Did you workout at all today? Did you substitute your lunchtime Dr. Pepper for a glass of water? Then you’re doing awesome. If you only celebrate when you reach a milestone then you’re honestly never going to make it there. Every step towards your goal and every healthy choice you consciously make is a huge flippin’ deal and should be treated as such. As the kind of person who gets discouraged super easily, it’s essential for me to be able to track and celebrate the little victories.
4. Keep yourself on track
I have a love/hate relationship with the MyFitnessPal app. On the one hand, it seems that there is no greater guilt than having the calorie numbers show up red at the end of the day with a weight gain projected if your eating habits continue. But on the other hand, the ability to log what I plan on eating that day in advance is hugely helpful in planning ahead and making sure my eating and exercise balance out. For example, I will log what I eat for breakfast in the morning after I eat it, then as I pack my lunch for work I will log what I am packing ahead of time, and then any leftover calories or extra calories I earn from fitting in a workout is just a bonus.
I have busy days where I’m so far under my calorie goal that it won’t let me complete the log for the day unless I eat more.
I also have days where I do not give a shit and only log what I eat for breakfast, because lunch and dinner could each be a day’s worth of food and I do not care enough to let the stupid app guilt trip me about it.
5. Give yourself a break
I don’t like to make things off-limits. Like most people, I love instant gratification and once I want something it’s all I can think about. Ideally, if I really want pasta for dinner or I know I’m going to be going somewhere with friends later in the evening where it will be hard to keep up with my healthy habits for the day, I’ll eat a small portion of whatever it is that I want and try to eat healthier earlier in the day to attempt to balance it out. I know night time eating is my weakness, so I try to start out my day as healthy as I can so it’s not as damaging if I eat my weight in pasta at 8pm. Whoops. I also like to take a Fat Fighter pill from itWorks sometimes when I’ve had a really heavy meal. These pills are absolutely not a replacement for healthy eating, but if I can take something that’s all natural and will make my indulgence a little less damaging to my progress, (or at least make me feel like it is), then why not?
Let’s be honest though; there are also some days where I eat an entire pizza by myself while watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns on Netflix and feel zero guilt. It’s all about balance, right?
6. Treat yo’self
If I’m feeling discouraged about my body and the progress I’m making, one of my go-to tricks is to do something that makes me feel beautiful the way I already am. I’ll put on a cute outfit, do my hair and makeup and take some selfies even if I’m not leaving the house. Or sometimes I’ll take a bubble bath with one of my favorite bath bombs and have a glass of wine. I also love getting my nails done or getting a pedicure. I love food but I hate the way I feel about myself when I get bloated and gross from eating unhealthy every time I want to, so I try to limit how often I let myself use food as a reward. Even if you feel like you have a long way to go in your health journey, it is so important to stop every so often to appreciate and pamper the body you have for all that it does for you. Anything that makes you feel better about yourself is never a wasted effort.
Honestly, regardless of what your goals are, the most important thing about trying to make changes is making sure to love yourself along the way, not just conditionally. 🙂