I'm frustrated. You know why? Because after making my personal health a priority no one around me does. That makes it hard for me to stay true to my goals. Before everyone lectured me, "Oh your health is your most important asset." Yeah? Well what are you doing about it?
Let's rewind. 3 years ago I didn't work out. I was very stressed, an emotional eater and never got off my butt. When I went to college there was a gym in my dorm. Seizing this opportunity as a transition in my life I began to pay more attention to working out and watching what I ate. More than 3 years later I can tell you here's what has worked for me:
1. Work out gradually. I started on the elliptical for 30 minutes 3 times a week and let me tell you it was tough. My thighs burned and I was gasping for air but I did it. If you need some motivation just listen to some fast paced beats or better yet make a collage of what you don't want to end up looking like.
2. Slowly add rigor. So you're pretty good at the elliptical huh? Add 10 minutes of stationary biking. Add some lifting to tone up your arms. Add some yoga on the days you're not running. Once you start to keep active you'll feel guilty not treating yourself right.
3. Change it up. Working out can get boring. Try new things like the Lotte Berk Method, Pilates, P90X, or other workouts.
4. Get to where you need to be and maintain it.
This is where I am now. I have to say this is the hardest part. I still feel like a fat kid inside and sometimes I have a hard time controlling myself when it comes to my favorite foods. MMmmm pizza, chocolate, ice cream, etc
It takes a lot of self control and some days you just don't have it. You know what, that's ok. We're not perfect, just try, that's all we can ask of ourselves.
Here are some other factors that I have found to greatly influence my health:
1. Your Diet. I'm not talking about the Atkins or South Beach or any of those fad diets. I'm talking about the good old fashioned food pyramid. Look it up. Read it. Remember it. Tally up your Basal Metabolic Rate and create an account on Livestrong to track your progress. I understand counting calories is hardly glamorous, in fact it can get down right obsessive but from experience you make a lot more progress when you do it.
2. Sleep: Get to bed before 12. Try and get 7-8 hours of sleep. Not only will you have less hours in the day to munch you will feel less likely to eat because you're tired.
3. Go to the bathroom everyday. You know...the long version. Everyone should be going once a day. If you're not, drink more water or eat a banana. Cleaning out your internals is a vital part of maintaining your health. For everyday you don't go toxins equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes are released into your body. Food for thought.
Keep your chin up. Anyone can make themselves look the way they want. It just depends on how much you want it.