I hope everyone is having a successful week so far of eating clean and working it out! If you are experiencing a hard time finding motivation to workout or eat clean, DO NOT GIVE UP! It is only the beginning, it will get better!
When it comes to working out I find that setting a specific time really helps. This way you can mentally prepare yourself, either the night before if you choose to workout in the morning or all day, if you work out at night. Have your workout selected the day before, so you are not scrambling at the last-minute trying to decide what workout you want to do, or walking around the gym aimlessly deciding what exercise to do next. There are no excuses when finding time to exercise. If you have time to go on Facebook, you have time to workout. Even if you only have 10 or 20 minutes, and are prepared, that is all the time you need to get your sweat on and your workout in. If you have children, get up before they do, if you work, get up earlier or head to the gym right after work. That way you won’t have time to go home and debate whether you should go or not because you are tired. GET IT DONE.
Make working out part of your daily routine, instead of a burden. If you find it easier to sign up for a class (bootcamp, Zumba etc.) to stay committed, by all means do so! If you think you can’t afford a class, quit one habit you can live without (Tim Horton’s coffee on the way to work) and put that money towards a class. A great way to stay on track, is to enlist a friend(s), to meet you at the gym or even in the park. You can get a great workout at the park and the best part it is free! I find I can stay motivated if I enlist a friend to meet me at a class or the gym, because I have made myself accountable not only myself but someone else. Having my husband on this journey with me has made it much easier to stay on track and keep one another motivated. So find that person to help you stay accountable! No more excuses, only you change yourself!
Now for the eating part. Over the past 6 months I have discovered what works for my body, and of course what doesn’t. Learning to live a healthier lifestyle and eating more nutritious food is a constant learning experience for me. I always see comments on different fitness models photos asking what and when they eat. It is great to know what these people are eating to look a certain way, but what you have to remember is how much they workout, how tall they are, if they are preparing for a competition, they’re body fat composition, because all of these factors play a very important role in how much and what types of food you consume. Some people can’t seem to lose fat without cutting out dairy, while others find it doesn’t hinder their results. Do what works for you!
I found that following Jamie Eason’s meal plan that accompanies her Livefit Trainer was a great place for me to start my journey on learning to eat clean. Determining where to start can seem like the most daunting part of it all. Everyone is also different when it comes to changing eating habits, some can quit cold turkey and some need to slowly transition, either way your end result will be the same, living a healthier lifestyle. Food can become an addiction, and one that is very hard to quit. Some experts have compared sugar to drugs, as it stimulates the same part of the brain. No wonder it is one of the hardest things to give up. But if you never try, you will never succeed. The beginning is always the hardest, so don’t give up. You CAN do anything you set your mind to, and let no one or anything to stand in your way. This is your life, and you want to be the best you possible!
One of the most important words you will learn to say is “No”, either to yourself or to others. This was one of my biggest challenges. I thought to myself “Just one won’t hurt me”, but sometimes one leads to two and sometimes the whole thing. Willpower is a choice, a conscious choice to either do it or not (to eat that chocolate bar or not).
Only you know when you are ready to make a change in your life, no one can decide that for you. You have to start sometime, so make today that day!
Sometimes we need someone to challenge us, so here is my challenge to you.
Cut all added sugar out of your diet for two weeks. This means chocolate bars, salad dressings, ice cream, cookies, etc. Pick a day to start, Monday would be a perfect day to begin! This means you have all weekend to research the foods you eat that contain added sugars and give them a funeral on Sunday. Replace them with foods that contain natural sugars, for example FRUIT! Sometimes eating sweets can become a habit or routine, such as having something sweet after dinner. Change your routine for two weeks as well. Go for a walk after supper, enjoy a cup of coffee, or have your favorite kind of tea.
Ready, set, GO!!
I apologize for the lengthy post, but I had a lot to say (what’s new?) ;).
I have also been vigilant about taking photos of what I eat, so here are a couple of snacks I ate yesterday.
Yogurt & Berries
3/4 cup Plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp Natural honey
3 Chopped Strawberries
1 tbsp Flaxseed
Spicy Hummus Dip
1 Can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Pepper (green, yellow, red)
1 tbsp of Sriracha (I didn’t have a jalapeno in the house)
3 Garlic cloves (more or less depending on how garlicky you like it)
1 tsp Garlic Power
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Add all ingredients to a high powered blender, and blend until well combined and smooth.
*The best part about hummus is you can add any vegetables or ingredient you like. You can make a sweeter version for children (or yourself) by adding peanut/almond butter. It makes a healthy alternative to ranch dip. My husband even enjoys it on his chicken, so be creative!
Another way to stay on track is to pre-wash and cut your vegetables. This way it makes reaching for something healthy much easier, and that is a good habit to get into. Also, this way you can easily make omelets or have raw vegetables for dipping!
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy day!