May 3, 2016

Getting Back On The Healthy Train

Being healthy and staying on track doesn't come easy to everyone. If I told you the last time I worked out consistently prior to the past month some people may shudder. 

The truth is once you fall off a path, the journey to get back to walking the right one can be long and hard. Most of us lead busy lives. We have work, meetings, early mornings, blog posts to write, children to take care of, houses to clean, and laundry to do. Where does one find the time to exercise and eat healthy? Here's how I'm making it work for me.

What works for you?
Finding out what works for my life and comfortability was key. At the stage I'm at, I don't like working out in a gym. I don't feel relaxed and I tend to lose focus of my goal when I'm there. I found that I love the T-25 workouts and knowing that I have a set time to do them and can fit them in is great. If I want to add in more exercises like squats, crunches, weights, etc...while I watch TV or before work that's always an option too. 
Now for the food...which is the other half of this equation. Planning meals is key. My husband and I try to food prep on Sunday by cooking chicken and rice for our lunches. Sometimes we plan a few dinners too and I try to make something for breakfast. Breakfast seems to be my hardest meal because to be honest, I'm not always feeling it. I know it's an important one, so I'm trying to find ideas on Pinterest and make those once in a while.

Start slow. 
I've tried to make a smoothie, do a new workout video and count calories all in the same day. It doesn't work for me. For me, what works is starting with small goals. Exercising 3-4 days a week and then working my way up is an attainable goal and something within my range since I'm getting back in the swing of things. Having lunches planned out is great, but staying on top of all meals can be hard so writing lists and pinning recipe ideas helps me work my way up to eating healthier all around. Also, believe it or not I've cut way back on my morning Starbucks trips. Even that takes time, and I've learned to only treat myself with these drive thru visits or when I really need an extra dose of caffeine. There's nothing wrong with working your way up and starting slow to reach a big goal.

I'm not someone who's going to turn down a cupcake. Will I eat a salad at home for lunch before a night out with friends where I'll be indulging? YES, of course! I can't refuse it all though, it's not natural to me and it doesn't make me happy. I will crave a french fry from time to time and I don't believe in refusing that. It's all about balance. If I satisfy a french fry craving I should work out longer and push myself farther that day to make up for it. I don't think it's healthy for me to say no to everything in an effort to be healthier, because in the end it doesn't put my heart or mind at ease. That's not saying that anyone else's lifestyle is wrong, it's just what works for me.

Find someone you look up to, or some tips that make sense to you. I shared Sheryl's post about food journaling because it really spoke to me and I loved following Kerri's  Healthy Eating Train series because she made it so relatable and gave some really good information. Maybe your inspiration comes from a certain Instagram account, or Pinterest board...follow them, set a reminder as your screensaver on your phone, put up a quote that helps you get's all about what helps you.

Reward yourself.
This is the best part of it all...treat yourself. Did you work out 5 days this week and reach a goal? Maybe you packed your lunch and ate right every day you wanted to. Treat yourself to that new water bottle, or get a hot dog after your run at the beach. It's important to remind yourself that what you're doing is attainable with some hard work, but there's still some fun to come from it. We can't spend our whole lives being tough on ourselves. Enjoy it and take care of number one first. Once you take care of yourself, you can help others do the same.

I will admit that for a long time I felt very guilty about taking more time out of my day to take care of me. As a working stepmom and wife who blogs after a long day at my full time job I thought that it was wrong to take any more time for myself. Boy was I wrong. I feel so much better about everything around me when I'm taking care of me first and foremost. My attitude is improved, my well-being is improved, and to feel really good about myself helps me treat others better.

Everyone deserves the right to feel good about themselves and it's up to you to find what works for you. Find the inspiration inside of yourself and move at your own pace. Go get 'em!

What tips do you have for getting back in the groove and on the healthy train?

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