Ahhhhhh, the familiar mantra, TODAY, I SHALL EXERCISE AND EAT HEALTHY. Only to find myself on the couch all day, shoving chocolate covered raisins (fruit is healthy right?) into my mouth while marathoning an entire season of weeds.
Personally I find the search for motivation to be like a prolonged game of hide and go seek. Sometimes you find it, but then it goes back into hiding until you want to play again. And sometimes you just straight up give up looking and somehow eat an entire cake in one sitting.
So, in hoping that catering to my own laziness will be the key to success, I have been trying to “sneak in” my fitness lately.
Here are a few habits I’ve been trying to get into that make toning up easy. (or at least more manageable)
-10 squats every time you use the bathroom
-10 lunges (on each side) while brushing your teeth + 10 squats for being in the bathroom..
– jumping jacks every time you use the microwave, when its done, your done. (maybe don’t defrost anything big for this one…)
During tv shows: 10/side/action- leg circles and lifts (lie on your side). Using a kettle ball or free weights 20 arm curls each side. Do either arms or legs once immediately following every commercial break and alternate.
During commercials: run in place, high knees, jump rope or jumping jacks, basically anything to fit in some quick cardio, keep going for the whole commercial break!
Alternate your cardio with Pilates oblique exercises every other commercial break:
- Draw your head and shoulders off the floor, abs tight! Inhale , and then exhale as you twist at the waist, bringing the right elbow to the left knee as you extend the right leg away from you. Switch elbow to right knee as you extend the left leg.
- Continue switching both legs as you inhale and exhale for 10 reps. One on each side = one rep.
In the shower, do some stretches (be very careful not to slip, fall and hurt yourself.) Focus on going slow and relaxing.
Do a 54321RUN! – To start 5 minute warm up jog, 4 minute walk, 3 minute medium pace, 2 minute sprint, 1 minute walk. It only takes 15 minutes so there is NO excuse for not having time! Get up and do a circle around the block.
Make time at least once a week, for at least one hour, to focus on just your fitness. Whether its joining a club, signing up for a class, going to the gym, for a jog, for a swim find something you like and commit to that hour a week. Everyone is busy, its about making time, not finding it.
NOW, for the eating healthy part.
This is where I really struggle, as a self professed chocoholic I have a really hard time cutting out the sweets… and the salts.. and the bacon. Mmm.. bacon.
- The biggest, most important and bestest thing ever. DRINK LOTS OF WATER! Not only is it good for you in every way, but if you drink a big glass of water before a meal, you will feel more full, faster. If you want to take it to the next step and drink water instead of ordering another drink that’s even better. Things like pop, juice, and cocktails are like drinking liquid calories (sweet, delicious liquid calories) and if you stick with water, you can fill up on your food guilt free. Plus most restaurants totally gouge you price wise on soft drinks and liquor so you might as well save the extra $$ on your food bill, then buy yourself something nice to flaunt your new figure.
- I have found that one thing that will NEVER work for me, is cutting it out, cold turkey. Its just not an option, who wants to live in a world without chocolate? I for one, could not. So instead of focusing on it being bad, allow yourself treats, but limit yourself to one, and don’t go back for more. Whats the point of life if you have to restrict yourself from all things delicious?
- Stock your fridge with healthy and yummy snacks. Like snow peas (my personal favorite) or make easy snacks that satisfy your cravings.. like take a slice of spiced turkey deli meat, wrap it around a celery stick and viola! yummy, meaty, crunchy goodness. Eating protein after working out is crucial for building muscle.
- Portioning is KEY. Lots of people smarter than me have done all sorts of studies proving this to be a fact. And it is.. I hate wasting things, especially food when so many people don’t have it. To me ingesting the extra calories is almost a big a waste as throwing it out would be.. only worse since you have to work them off later. So, when you go to a restaurant, order what you want (and it doesn’t have to be an overpriced salad) but when you get your meal, split it in half, and commit yourself to eating only one half of the portion served to you. Take the other portion home and take it to work the next day for lunch, not only does it spread out those calories, but by not stuffing yourself the night before, you get yummy food twice, but only pay once, and you save on buying (or packing) lunch the next day. WIN, WIN, WIN. Knowing this, I usually try to order things that reheat well, pasta for example, over a steak sandwich. Plus, I just love pasta. Anyways, the point is, I was raised to clean up my plate, but when you go to a restaurant where the portions served are 2-3 times larger than recommended, I still feel obligated to clean up my plate, to not waste food, and to stuff myself to the point of discomfort. Its an easy trap to fall into.. one I’m sure we all have, but now we can outsmart the enemy.. or something.
- Just like with portioning, where the more you have the more you will eat. The more you see, the more likely you are to eat it. So I have a designated “treat drawer” to be opened only in case of PMS or other similar emergencies. When I go rummaging for food, I look in the fridge, or in the cupboard, and by storing tempting junk food in a place I don’t usually look for food (a drawer) I avoid temptation simply by outsmarting myself. (Its a good thing I’m easy to trick.) So store your “bad foods” somewhere off the beaten path, and only stray there in the most dire junk food emergencies. Some people recommend storing things in opaque containers because by the same logic, if you can’t see it, its like its not there. But I myself tend to take that to the next level, and only reopen said container months down the road when I happen to be cleaning the fridge, innocently going about my domestic duties only to open the gates of mordor, staring into the eyes of hell come to me in the form of the moldy lumpy remains of what was once a delicious treat. At times like those, its hard to tell which is more tragic, the loss of your treat, or the massive assault on your sensory system via the nasal passage.