Because I’m tall, like to be active, genetically have a decent metabolism and don’t insist on being model thin – I’ve never had to fret much about my weight. For which I’m grateful, because the few times I’ve tried dieting I felt weak and nauseated all day, and failed miserably.
Maybe it’s that I’ve been sick with a respiratory bug since November, which leaves me drained and has reduced my exercise level to near zilch. Or maybe it’s that my age and body changes are finally catching up with me. Probably both. Whatever the case, I’ve definitely gained weight that’s sticking around, this past few months. And now that many of my clothes are becoming uncomfortably snug (sob!), I realized I had to do something.
You do get to that point where you contemplate, “Am I done caring? Should I just start purchasing the next size up, and embrace the new, squishier me?”
Or should I fight?
I’m going to fight.
And I’m thrilled that my place of employment just decided to offer a “6 Week Fitness Challenge” to employees. It’s only Week #1, but I’ve had my initial body fat assessment (this was as unpleasant as it sounds… my least favorite part was when they showed me “this many of your pounds are FAT“. Eew.) and consultation with both a personal trainer and nutritionist and I’m feeling motivated and excited!
Tips From My 6 Week Fitness Challenge
I know a fair amount about fitness and nutrition, but sometimes some reminders and new ideas can be very inspiring. So I wanted to share some of the tips I learned from the trainer and nutritionist with you. Maybe you can join me these upcoming weeks!
Personal Trainer Tips:
- It’s extremely important to vary your exercise routine. If you do the same 30 minutes on the Elliptical machine every time you workout (ahem! That would be me.), your body acclimates to this activity, and it looses its effectiveness.
- Circuit Training isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds. Basically, it’s: “Exercise movement #1, for 30 seconds – Rest, 30 seconds – Exercise #2, 30 seconds – Rest, 30 seconds”. You can build up your time increments (to 1 minute intervals, etc), add different exercises into your sets, or even do 2 burst of exercises for each 1 rest.
- Circuit Training is incredibly effective, as your body doesn’t know what to expect next, and recovery time is much longer. Meaning the benefits of your workout continue to last longer, even after you are done exercising.
- Utilize body-weight exercises, which don’t require any equipment, and can be done easily at home, or added to your routine at the gym. These are perfect for circuit training.
- Schedule out your exercise goals for the week. Make it a priority for yourself… even 10 minutes a day is better than not doing anything.
- For me, I assumed this 6 Week Fitness Challenge was going to have to be about exercise, because again… I’m a big baby about reducing my calories. The nutritionist helped me realize that I primarily need to adjust WHAT I eat, making sure my body has enough fuel. No hunger. I like it!
- One of the best ways to improve your metabolism is to eat 6 times per day (Whaaat? I knew it was frequently, but I didn’t realize 6 times.) 3 meals + 1 mid-morning snack + 1 afternoon snack + 1 evening snack.
- Balance the nutrients in each meal/snack. For a snack, have both a fruit and a protein, or a bread/starch and a protein.
- Don’t entirely avoid proteins and fats – they are important to help keep you feeling full longer. If you are eating balanced meals/snacks throughout the day, you won’t feel weak or hungry.
- I eat 2-3 sweets per day. Lots of room for improvement there! My nutritionist said although sweet cravings will decrease with a healthy diet and exercise, they won’t go away entirely. Allow yourself one treat, and decide what is most satisfying for you and when. Is it the mid-morning donut, the afternoon cookie, or the evening ice cream? Indulge in your one favorite. Quality foods are often more satisfying, and you’ll be content having less (like having 1 square of quality chocolate, vs a half bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups).
- You don’t have to measure everything, and count calories in order to eat well. Balance out your meals. Eat healthy snacks throughout your day. As you learn to eat more mindfully, your body will tell you what it most needs.
If you’re looking for motivation… hopefully something from those lists sparked something in you! I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I also received some great protein smoothie recipes – if anyone’s interested, maybe I’ll post those, too.
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