I have been traveling the past 25 of the last 30 days.
Which means I haven’t been eating well, my sleep patterns are off, I’ve been indulging in heavy restaurant meals and I have completely forgotten what working out is. In my attempt to get back in the saddle again, I’ve set a few goals to get myself back into shape and feeling healthy by the end of this year.
1) Walk 10,000+ steps a day – One of the biggest changes I will be making will be hitting a daily goal of 10,000 steps a day. It’s the minimum amount experts think we need to stay healthy and can decrease your risk for disease. I work from home and I sit at a desk all day. I thought going to the gym for an hour a day would be enough – it’s not. I logged a sad 3,500 steps on one of my ‘regular days’, which made me realize that I need to take action!
Action Plan – I have invested in this activity monitor (from $100) to track my steps. I’ve started to take walking conference calls, I walk to coffee, I check the mail, I take out the garbage, I go for an after dinner walk to help with digestion. I even park at the end of the parking lot, so I can get in my steps. If I could be walking, I am. My flight home was delayed for 5.5 hours and I walked around the airport, usually I would just sit there on my laptop. It’s these small changes I hope will make a difference.
2) Hit the Gym + Run – I have signed up for a 5K next month and will be running 2-3 times a week to train for it. In addition to my 30 minute run, I am adding 30 minutes of weight training at the gym. Anything I can do to increase my activity level is a bonus. I use the Get Running app ($2.99) on my iPhone. It’s a couch to 5K program that takes your from walking and running to full-on running and it has worked for me every time I have had a race. I was never a runner before this.
Action Plan – Sign-up for a 5K, set a time goal (run in under 30 minutes) and make yourself accountable. I find it useful to have something to work towards.
3) Cut Back on Alcohol + Soda – I’m not a big drinker so eliminating alcohol isn’t too difficult. Realistically though, I will probably have a glass of wine or champagne here or there as a treat. If I do indulge, I’m going to try to keep it to just weekends. Soda is my weakness. I try not to stock it at home, but I do make it a treat when I’m having a burger and fries or Panda Express (my other weakness). I don’t want to make anything completely hands-off that I feel deprived.
Action Plan – Make homemade unsweetened iced tea, sip on green tea and stock up on kombucha and sparkling water with lime to satisfy my fizzy craving. Check out this post on how-to make your own flavoured water and other low-calorie drink options. I’m also starting each day by drinking two (500 ml) glasses of ice water with half of a freshly squeezed lemon to get rid of toxins, hydrate, kick-start my metabolism and for my vitamin C.
4) Stop Eating 2 Hours Before Bedtime – This is one of those amazing things in theory, but doesn’t work when I find myself craving an In-N-Out burger at 10:30 pm after a long day. But the brilliance of this theory is that you give your body lots of time to digest and you actually sleep better!
Action Plan – I try to finish dinner before 8:30 pm, so late dinners can be avoided. I plan ahead to have something prepped and cooked by this time and I make sure my fridge is stocked with healthy food so I don’t reach for the first greasiest thing I see.
5) Meal Planning + Grocery Shopping – Since I’ve been away from home, I’ve been eating out like crazy and not being aware of the calories I am consuming. So I’m taking a break from eating out and trying to cook three meals a day at home as much as possible. I’m realistic to the fact that I will probably end up eating out at least once or twice a week – but the 7 days a week I was doing before was too much.
Action Plan – I’ve printed out a weekly meal planner and picked out a bunch of healthy recipes that I’m excited to try from Pinterest, magazines and cookbooks. I actually do love to cook, I just need to make time and prioritize this now more then ever.
So this is my plan from now to the end of the year. I didn’t want to set too many rules or restrictions because this isn’t really a diet, but more of a lifestyle change. I really do believe that making these small changes will lead to me being healthier overall. Once I plateau and I get used to my habits, I will like set in place five new goals. Bob Green’s Best Life Diet ($9 on Amazon) is a book that really helped me get back on track. I suggest reading it if you’re looking for some extra guidance or motivation.
Completing a 5K!
What I’m Worried About – I am a BIG perfectionist. It’s something I’m working on letting go, but it’s going to take time. Knowing this, I’m trying to avoid an all-or-nothing mentality to my plan. I’m traveling again in a week, but I’m going to stick to my workout routine and be prepared with what I plan on eating (like packing oatmeal, bars and apples). So I hope to be flexible with myself and know that slip-ups are part of the journey.
Do you have any tips on getting back into shape? What do you do to stay healthy?