Monday, January 2, 2012

Big Question: WHY?

Who: You and I

What: Be specific! Don't just say "I want to lose weight." Say, I want to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. This way you are holding yourself accountable and you can periodically check in and see how you're doing by jumping on the scale. And sometimes it's not pounds, it's inches! ...and take before and after pictures. Even if you just keep them for yourself, you will certainly see the difference. Take a front, side and back view.

When: Now!!!!

Where: Where will you work out? You do NOT need a gym to get a good workout. You also do NOT need a treadmill! Have a plan and go for it! Plan your workouts (and your meals) a day ahead of time and if you're really adventurous...a week ahead of time!

Why? Typically in any situation, the why is one of the most important "W" questions. Ask yourself why you want to get healthy and in the process drop some pounds. Write your "why" down and refer to it often. Actually, try putting it on a sticky note and putting it on your fridge.

I said my posts wouldn't be long, but I lied:) I want to explore that question of why really quick if you don't mind.

Perhaps you simply want to fit into some clothes from years past. Most of the time though, the answer to the why question is much deeper than wanting to fit into old clothes or wanting to be "skinny". WHY do you want to be "skinny"? Is it because you'll feel better about yourself and in turn you'll be happier? Do you feel like you're a prisoner of sorts to food and you don't want to feel that way any longer?

Are you on this long-term journey because you've just been diagnosed or you're close to being diagnosed with an ailment? Exercise can help prevent a slew of ailments; some of which you probably wouldn't even suspect. Stress, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, MS, depression and the list goes on and on. Perhaps you would like to have a baby or maybe you have children and you want to set a good example for them to live a healthy life.

As I mentioned in my first post, my answer to the why has multiple answers. It used to be because I wanted to be smaller so that I could run faster and qualify for Boston. Done. Then it was, I want to fit into my mermaid gown for my wedding. Done. Now that I have a family, my why has completely changed.

My why is now for my health. It really always was the underlying reason why I wanted to change my exercise and eating habits, but now it is the primary reason. I currently do not take medication for my Multiple Sclerosis. I never have and (God willing) never will have to. For those of you who don't know, MS drugs are primarily daily injection meds and I'm not a fan of medication to begin with, especially those which involve needles. In addition, it is a fact, yes a fact, that eating clean and exercising can help MS (and other ailments) without the need for medication. (Again, I am not a doctor, but this is what I do for me and it works.) So my why is so that I can continue to live life with my husband and son without the need to take medications. What is your why? If you're comfortable doing so, please leave your "why's" in the comment section below...

So as promised, here is my meal plan for today:
  • Early Morning: 12 ounces brewed coffee, 1 tablespoon coffee mate creamer, 2 sugar packets-60 calories
  • Breakfast: 1 1/2 cup Kashi GoLean cereal with 1/2 banana and 3/4 cup 1% Stonyfield milk-Total for breakfast (382)
  • Morning Snack: Trader Joe's granola bar-150 calories
  • Lunch: Amy's organic bowl of pasta & veggies-210 calories and 1 small apple-77 calories Total for lunch: 287 calories
  • Afternoon Snack: Wallaby organic strawberry yogurt (150 calories) mixed with 1 teaspoon chia seeds (35 calories) Total: 185
  • Dinner: On the go dinner~2 scoops Spiru-tein cookies and cream protein powder-220 calories mixed with 1 tablespoon Teddy's unsalted peanut butter-94 calories and 1 tablespoon flax seed-40 calories Total for dinner: 354 calories

Total calories for today: 1419 :)

Today's workout:
Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit for 40 minutes. Calories burned: 380 approximately and WOW it was INSANE! I (again) didn't feel like doing it because I have today off to be with my little one to be sure he's recovering from his pneumonia, but when he went down for a nap I "just did it" because I can't keep making excuses. I felt so great once it was done!

Now you may be thinking, yeah that's great Melissa, but I don't have Insanity, so how am I supposed to do this on my own?! Well, here is a sample workout plan for an AT HOME workout (again, I am no longer a certified personal trainer, but I'm sharing things that have worked for me and worked for those I have trained when certified):

~1 minute jumping jacks (straight arms)
~15 pushups (it's okay to go to your knees-keep your neck straight and your belly tucked in for a flat back)
~Butt kicks for 1 minute (run in place and kick your butt)
~15 squats (legs shoulder width apart and sit back like you're squatting over a public toilet. Don't let your heels raise off of the floor.)
~Stand on one leg and do 15-20 bicep curls with whatever weight necessary to make those last few repetitions hard to complete. If you don't have hand weights...get some! But in the meantime, you can use a gallon of water in each hand or a bag of flour...get creative. :) Note: By standing on one leg you are working your core!
~REPEAT 5 or 6 times to get you to a 30 minute workout. This is just a sample of a million different things you can do!

Additional note:
YOU CAN NOT SPOT REDUCE TRAIN! In other words, you can not expect to do 100 situps a day and have 6 pack abs. Fact. Sorry, but it is true.

Quote for today: “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer

This is a blunt, but true statement. (Blunt statements do seem to be true most of the time, that's why it's so hard to hear them right?)Only we are responsible for how we feel right? We can blame external interferences if we want, but honestly it will never change how things are if we play the blame game and point the finger at anything other than ourselves. It is only when we accept our own responsibility that we can take responsibility and act on what needs to be done.

So are you ready to start/continue your journey? What is your "why"?

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