Welcome to week two of my Fresh Start for the New Year! Last week I talked about my general health & fitness goals for 2011. They were:
1. Lose weight
2. Exercise 3X a week
3. Drink more water
4. Eat even less processed food
The methods I planned to use were:
3. Visual Reminders
4. Smarter Choices
In the past I’ve been burned by my enthusiasm-I go whole hog for a week or two then get completely burned out & frustrated, which leads to tossing my hands up in exasperation. So this time I’m going with the old “slow and steady wins the race” philosophy. I’m choosing and attacking one or two behavioral changes at a time and then adding on.
Last week I decided to go with what to me are the two easiest goals-drinking water & journaling. I also decided, in a general fit of healthiness, to get back on task with taking my vitamins! I’ve been really tired lately and several of you readers who also follow me over on Facebook have been, uh, “gently reminding” me that I need to take better care of myself (and book a doctors appointment).
So how did I do?
Drinking Water: A+
I put a 64oz pitcher of water on the counter with a glass every morning (that’s the visual reminder!) and just kept drinking throughout the day till it was empty. The first day I felt like I was forcing myself to drink. And running to the bathroom every 5 minutes 🙂 The last few days I’ve noticed that I’m through the entire pitcher by mid afternoon and actually have to grab additional glasses of water. Go Jenn!
The rule of thumb is “If you bite it, write it”. I decided to get in the journaling habit before I go on a weight loss meal plan. In the past I’ve seen that just writing makes me more conscious of what I eat-even without following a specific plan-and so I eat less and make better choices. So I’m starting small with just the journal–It’s that whole baby step thing. To make this goal easier I have been keeping a small notebook & pen right next to the water pitcher. When I grab something to eat in the kitchen, I reach over and write it down.
So why just a C+? Well, I start out strong every day, writing my breakfast, coffee, snacks. . .making little boxes to check off on the bottom of the page for my vitamins, water & exercise. I seem to lose it around supper time. And if I go on a snack binge (like I did yesterday with the tortilla chips & salsa) I get discouraged and stop writing. But hey-today is a new day, just like every day is a new day. I get a new start and will keep working on this goal.
I’ve been pretty good about this. I have a one week pill container I purchased years ago for a buck. If I actually fill it up on Sunday with my vitamins and supplements, then put it on the counter near the water-viola! I actually remember to take them in the morning. It’s that whole visual reminder thing again. The reason this is only a B+ is because I didn’t fill the case up until 3 days into the week. But it should be an A+ from now on!
So, on to a new week and new goals! This week I am going to concentrate on getting into an exercise routine.
My goal for the year (not just these four weeks) is to exercise at least 3X a week. There are quite a few barriers to this:
1. Excuses. I defeat myself before I start. “It’s too cold” “I’m tired” “I just have to finish this one thing” “there isn’t time before the kids get home” “I don’t want to get all sweaty when I have to go out later”. . . does any of that sound familiar? Yeah. Me too.
2. Season. It’s winter. In New York. This morning it was 18 degrees outside, and we keep the inside of the house at about 62 during the day. That just makes you want to curl up in a ball on the sofa under a blanket with a cup of coffee-not change into shorts and run around.
3. Cost. There are things you can do at home for free to exercise–but most of us need more variety and incentive to get exercising. Gyms are expensive. So is a lot of the home exercise equipment.
That’s ok, because there are solutions to all of these!
1. Willpower. Ok, easier said than done. . .but we all know that excuses are just that-excuses. When I find myself giving an excuse for not exercising I am going to force myself to stop and really think. Is it a legitimate reason or just an excuse? Then I will have to go out there an overcome it. Some of that is mind set. So what if I’m sweaty? So what if the kids come home and I’m still exercising?
2. Scheduling. It is easy to put something off when you really haven’t made time for it in the first place. I said last week that I was going to make myself come first–which is a really, really hard thing for a mom to do. I need to just plan and schedule my exercise. Choose a time, block it out and commit.
3. Be creative. Yes, it’s winter. There are plenty of ways to exercise that do not require you to be outside. To encourage myself I wrote a post last week: Five Frugal Winter Ways to Get Up and Move.
4. Exercise at Home. This is where being in the Walmart Fresh Start for the New Year program is really helpful. I have been given the opportunity to try and review a bunch of exercise equipment that can help you get fit at home.
I am really, really excited about this.
Like many of you, I hate to spend my money on equipment and not be sure if I will really use it and really stick with it. We’ve all heard the jokes about treadmills that are used as clothing racks 🙂 Buying equipment and then not using it is a total waste of money.
I will get to try a bunch of items this coming week and tell you what I really think of them. Of course I want to cover ease of use, but I also want to make sure that I discuss the value of the items for the frugal home exerciser-as well as if it’s something you are likely to continue to use!
I know for certain I will be reviewing The Urban Rebounder, Your Shape for the Xbox 360 with Kinect, EA Sports Active 2 for the Wii, along with some other items (I’ve been given a gift card and a list to choose from. . .)
5. Go to the Gym. I am lucky that my very, very small town has a 24 hour keycard gym not even a mile from my house. The proximity really cuts down on the excuses. However, it isn’t cheap-$50 a month-so I wouldn’t have joined if it hadn’t been for my dad generously giving me a 6 mo membership for Christmas.
I went in on Tuesday for my orientation with the trainer, and elected to work on their 4 week initial “strengthening & toning” program. It’s intended to be done 3X a week and contains cardio, 8 of the machines (concentrating on the largest muscle groups), abs & back.
I vow, here in front of the whole internet, that I will do the whole 4 weeks, 3X per week.
Although that will meet my yearly goal, I also will add in extra cardio etc at home. Especially since I have to try out & review all that new exercise equipment
There you have it! Be sure to check in next Thursday to see how I’m doing on my goals and to see what I think of the various exercise equipment I’ve been offered!