I grew up being very active playing sports. I was a gymnast, cheerleader, played softball, basketball, and even dabbled in bowling. I was always doing something active. When I got to college I now had the freedom to manage and coordinate my schedule - when I would eat, sleep, and play. I stayed relatively active with dance and softball, but I did not maintain my regular workout routines. I also discovered that I was now in control of what I could eat whenever I wanted. Let's just say there were several late night pizza and taco runs, not to mention I turned 21 my sophomore year. So no matter how fit I thought I was, my lifestyle was not conducive to keeping my weight at bay.
After college I went straight into graduate school for two years and then into a full-time professional career. Neither of those experiences left much room for regular exercise. I was also constantly surrounded by more college food, and the kicker this time is that it was mostly free! So add up 50-60 hour work weeks and free pizza and burgers, and you get an extra 30lbs! wow!
I have mentioned, and will continue to mention that turning 30 is a milestone. Whether it's a milestone that we create or society creates for us, it's a marker moment in our timeline. For me, turning 30 pushed me to make some changes, particularly to my lifestyle. One lifestyle change was learning to say no to food I didn't need or want. I also decided that it was time to start investing in my health and fitness. This meant I had to make the decision for me and not to please or impress others. Here are a few of the practical steps I took to lose 40lbs and keep it off:
1. Make the decision FOR YOU that you are ready to engage in a healthy lifestyle. Set a realistic goal for yourself and then start working towards that goal
2. invest in products to help you reach your goal. I bought in a FitBit because I needed to know how many calories I was burning daily with just regular activity. I also started using the MyFitnessPal food tracker app to monitor not just WHAT I was eating but also HOW MUCH of it I was eating. Portion control is a big hurdle that I'll address in a future post
3. Be CONSISTENT. Track Daily. Exercise Daily. Smash Goals. Repeat!
4. Set up a challenge and reward for yourself. I challenged myself to run a half marathon and i needed to work towards that goal. Once I finished that half marathon I rewarded myself with a gift to mark my accomplishment. I bought myself tervis tumbler that says 13.1 so every time I use it remember what I overcame and what I am working towards.
5. Get an accountability partner or coach. I told people my goals and I let them into my fitness journey. My fiends, coworkers, and family could then support me at meals, during workouts, and on vacation to stay true to those health goals. (I'll do regular fitness posts but you can check out my page at www.beachbodycoach.com/meganbottoms or @30flirtythrive for tips and workouts)
6. Remember it's a process and journey, Be realistic!! It took me 10 years to put on that weight, it was not going to take me 10 days to get it off. I had to set realistic goals: first I started by walking, then running, the yoga, then weights. It's a constant journey that I will never be done with but I know it's a road I need to travel.
Pause & Journal: Give yourself an honest health appraisal, how satisfied are you with your overall health including diet and exercise? Are you willing to make lifestyle changes? What are two health goals you have for yourself? What are three lifestyle changes you need to make? Who is someone that you trust to keep you faithful to your health journey?
Pray: Lord, you have given us these lives as a means to glorify and honor you. Please help me to take care of my body, mind, and spirit and to have the discipline to fill it with good and healthy things. I ask that you give me the strength to push through the physical and mental difficulties. Put someone in my life who will help to encourage and support me. Amen