As I mentioned, my new year’s resolution has been dubbed Project: Get Fit. Now, I don’t have specific goals for weight loss, but I am not in shape and not happy with my body right now. I also have a tendency to get sick a lot, and I know that when I eat healthy and exercise, I get sick a lot less, or I’m actually able to overcome a cold before I become full-blown sick. If we’re being honest (which this post is going to be!), I’m really just dumb, because I have a lot more knowledge about health and nutrition than the average person (remember that degree and certification I mentioned?) and believe it or not, I actually like healthy food! The nutty texture of multigrain bread, the smooth coolness of a ripe avocado, the sour snap of granny smith apples.. I love it all! But I suffer from a lack of motivation and don’t shop for fresh foods as much as I should and I allow my boyfriend to bring me gifts of sour gummy candy and then I eat them all until I can’t feel the roof of my mouth anymore. And that’s the truth.
So how am I going to change? Rules. For some reason, I thrive on them. Like my “waking up rules:” alarm set for 6:40, only 2 snoozes are allowed, out of bed at 6:50, watch the morning news til 7:10, get ready and out the door by 7:40. Those are my rules and I follow them every day. Am I the only crazy that needs to do this to keep myself in line? So here are the rules I plan to follow for my project.
Rule #1: Work Out.
Marcus and I are following an interval training program called Couch-to-5K. This is awesome for me and my rules habit because it tells you exactly how far to run every day. The workouts are 20-30 minutes and you complete them 3 times a week. For nine weeks. And then you’re apparently prepared to run 5K straight (we’ll see about that). It starts off so easy that I really feel like anyone could do it (but of course you should consult your doctor before you start exercising). Here’s a snapshot of weeks 1 and 2 so you can see what the program looks like:
Screen cap from Cool Running
We actually started the program about three weeks ago but then two things happened: A. I got sick (told you that happens a lot), and B. It rained in LA for about 10 days straight. And seeing as we run outside on the beach, not on fancy shmancy treadmills in a fancy shmancy gym, we didn’t really have a choice. But we started again last week and ran all three workouts, and even did a “bonus” workout on Saturday because I didn’t feel very good about our run on Friday. Did I really just say “bonus” and “workout” in the same sentence? I sure did. It’s the new me, people. This site has a lot of really great resources for C25Kers including iPhone apps, podcasts, inspiration stories, etc. to keep you motivated and on-track.
For cross-training (basically anything that isn’t running), I’ll be working out in my living room. I invested first in Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred (purchased on Amazon) and tried it out.. It is hard!! It’s a great workout and for only eight dollars, you get three levels of Jillian to kick your butt into shape. Someone who lives in my house might have been a little skeptical about getting a proper workout in our living room, but I believe that someone also had trouble sitting down properly today. If you’ve ever watched the Biggest Loser, you know that Jillian is no joke!
I’ll probably invest in a few more (inexpensive) DVDs and use them in combination with workouts on Netflix and FitTV. For those of you who have OnDemand, you have hundreds of free workouts at your fingertips! Check out the “Fitness” section.
Rule #2: 3 Meals a Day.
This might sound silly, but I rarely eat three meals a day. Dumb, I know. Since this is the post of honesty, I’ll tell you what I have been eating for the last several weeks. Skip breakfast, maybe get a nonfat latte on the way to work. Eat a muffin mid-morning. Snack throughout the day. Eat dinner. Bad bad bad, I know. But I have to give you a picture of the “before” so you’ll appreciate the “after” more. So I will eat three meals per day.
Rule #3: Food Lists and Portions.
So since I don’t shop for fresh food very often, when I do have fresh or healthy foods around, I tend to forget about them, leaving them to go bad and get thrown away. Stupid. So I’ll be keeping a list on the door of the fridge of the foods inside. As I eat them, I will cross them off, kind of like a to-do list, only better because it’s a “to-eat” list! I will also pre-portion any snacks coming into the house in bulk. When I brought groceries home yesterday, I immediately cut up my strawberries and divided up my pistachios into individual plastic containers to eat later, then I put them on the list under the “snacks” column.
Another “mini-rule” in this section is something I started several months ago: always order small! When eating out in any capacity (including coffee), small is the only choice. Really, there is no reason why I need to order a larger size because eating out is already a treat without getting a venti-sized vanilla latte instead of a tall. I really want to get one of those single-cup gourmet coffee makers to cut out the Starbucks habit completely, but they’re kind of expensive, so we’ll see. Maybe I’ll get one for my birthday!! Wink wink..
Rule #4: Junk Food Beware.
No candy in the house at all. This is my ultimate downfall. Some people can eat a whole bag of potato chips, I can eat a whole bag of any kind of candy at any time. I won’t buy it and my boyfriend won’t buy it for me.
No soda. This is hard because if I lived alone, there would honestly never be soda in my house. But someone in my house likes soda a lot. So it’s here. And I drink it. But no more! Any desire for a non-water beverage will be filled with homemade iced tea or water with a splash of cranberry.
No purchased baked goods. Any cookies or sweets (muffins included) must be baked by me.
Rule #5: Record All Food.
I will record everything I eat on MyPlate on Livestrong.com. This is not for me to limit my calories, it is simply so I can be aware of what I am eating. You put in your stats and the program will give you recommendations on what you should be eating. It also has a great library of statistics for specific foods. So, if you ate half of a BBQ chicken pizza from California Pizza Kitchen, it will tell you what you really ate. This site has a lot of other great tools that I have yet to explore but I will let you know when I do.
Screen cap from Livestrong.com
Really, I’m not changing my lifestyle that much. I’m not restricting foods or counting calories. I’ll actually most likely be eating more food since I’ll actually be eating three meals and I’ll need to stay fueled for my workouts. And since I’m kind of an attention-whore, I plan on bragging here when I do a good job and fessing up when I do poorly.
So what do you think? Any suggestions for me? Anyone want to join me in following any of the rules? Feel free to comment at any time with your brags or confessions and I’ll be sure to give you a shout out!