Well, we are about two months into 2015. How are your goals or resolutions working out for you? I’ve never been a “goal-oriented” person per se. However, I do like to think about what I could do or be better at, and this year I knew that my husband and I needed to make the “goal” of being healthier. In all honesty, we tend to make this decision after a visit from Whitney and Ryan, the Ken and Barbie of nutrition and fitness. They definitely motivate us to do better and are always giving us great advice! What’s great about having two dietitians in the family is that their advice actually works! It’s not some fad diet or extreme workout plan that you will get tired of in a week or two. Don’t do that to yourself! One of the things I’ve learned from them and in my 26 years of life is that being healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. I hate sweating, I’m allergic to most fruits and vegetables and up until a couple of years ago, I hated drinking water. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if I can work towards being healthy, anyone can! And I’m going to give you five suggestions that have proven to be the most effective for me (and Matt) on our fitness/health journey.
1. The 80/20 meal ratio.
Whitney told me about this little gem. It's basically a way to balance what you're eating and a mindset that will help you maker better food choices. 80% of the time, you should choose foods based on how they nourish and sustain your body. 20% of the foods you choose can be for reasons of indulgence; like for a celebration or date night out. To break that down into concrete numbers If you are eating 21 total meals a week (3 meals per day), 17 of them should be healthy and 4 can be unhealthy. You should be walking away from 17 meals knowing they were nutritious, then treat yourself with the other four! Now, have we kept to this rule every week? No. Especially if there is traveling involved. But what this has done for us is opened our eyes to how many unhealthy meals we were actually eating. Awareness is key, people!
2. The Workout Calendar
This one is also from the brilliant minds of Ryan and Whitney. And it works! Get a calendar and put it in a spot where you will see it. A lot. Put a big ole’ initial on the days you exercise. If you’re like me, you might be feeling all proud of yourself for that ONE day you exercised last week. And while that’s great, it’s not enough. Prepare to be humbled (and hopefully motivated) by the workout calendar. If you’re competitive (also like me), then make it a competition with your spouse or a friend. Matt also uses the calendar and if I see his initial written, then gosh darn it mine will be too!
3. If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it.
This one is simple. If you know you shouldn’t be eating it, don’t keep it in your house! You can’t eat what isn’t there. Matt and I try to make a point of only keeping healthier foods in our house since we know we probably won’t be eating too healthy when we eat out at a restaurant. So unless you have a ridiculous amount of self-discipline, (we do not…) try leaving the treats at the grocery store.
4. Workout Buddy
Whitney and Ryan have encouraged me for a while to go to the gym with Matt. But I have no idea what I’m doing at the gym and didn’t want him bossing me around. I’m happy to say that I eventually swallowed my pride and let him patiently and kindly show me the ropes, and now I love going with him! If you have a friend or spouse that already works out (or needs to work out…) then I encourage you to go with them! Whether it’s the gym, a class, going for a run/walk or just using workout videos, it helps keep you motivated when you do it with someone else. Not to mention it can make working out more fun (I know that sounds impossible but it’s true)!
Workout videos. I’ve never really been a fan. Jillian always kills me and I limp away thinking I’ll never do that again. But my friend Brittany Gibbs told me about Blogilates.com and I LOVE these videos. This girl is a bubbly trainer who has made tons of videos and also offers workout series. I love how I can mix and match the videos and I only need a mat! She even has some that are less than five minutes and you will still feel sore the next day. This is my go-to on the days I don’t go to the gym, or like today when it’s about 3 degrees outside. No excuses!
How are you doing with your health and fitness goals? We'd love to hear your stories of success or offer support and motivation to help you keep going. Give us an update in the comments section below!