by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
It’s already day four of the new year — how are your new year’s resolutions coming along? In 2009, I managed to reach some substantial personal fitness goals and I would like to share what I’ve learned so far in case getting in shape is one of your new year’s resolutions for 2010.
While I don’t clearly remember making a specific new year’s resolution last year to lose weight, my personal trainer has been keeping track of my progress and told me I have lost 24.5 inches (that’s 2 feet!), 20% of my body fat, 3 dress sizes and 40 pounds since July 2007.
There I am front and center (what a keener!) at my last chance workout before Christmas. Yes, those are reindeer ears!
I still feel I have a ways to go before I hit the maintenance stage and I plan on sticking with my current exercise schedule as best as possible. I also have to figure out how to get my emotional eating under control.
The best advice I’ve heard lately is: “Move your body more and feed your body less.” Aside from that wisdom, here are some tips as they come to mind that have helped me get this far. I know they’re not rocket science, but they’re helpful none the less.
- Write down your goal. Writing things down makes things happen.
- Find an accountability partner or buddy. This person can be a professional or a friend. Having someone to talk to about your ups and downs really helps. If you’d like, you can contact me.
- Have someone weigh and measure you once a month. If you don’t know where you started, how can you brag later?
- Join a community. I’ve made lots of friends through Jazzercise and their support has been so vital to my success. I’m so thankful for all of their smiles and pats on the back.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day. Drinking water helps flush out toxins and will make you feel more full so you eat less.
- Get enough sleep at night. Studies show that regular sleep patterns have an effect on weight management.
- Memorize a fitting affirmation and repeat it to yourself often. Under the heading of “overweight” Louise L. Hay suggests in her book, You Can Heal Your Life, published by Hay House Publishers in 1999: “I am at peace with my own feelings; I am safe where I am; I create my own security; I love and approve of myself.”
- Cut your carbs in half. When I went from a whole English muffin to a half an English muffin for breakfast and from a whole sandwich to half a sandwich for lunch, it made a huge difference in my weight.
- Take the bus rather than your car whenever you can — it makes you walk more. Even those extra steps to the bus stop add up!
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Drink a cup of green tea or white tea before working out. According to Dr. Oz, this will help you burn an extra 17% to 19% fat while you move your body.
- Eat less sugar.
- Eat less salt.
- Eat less flour.
- Avoid commercially processed foods.
- Avoid carbonated beverages — even diet sodas.
- When you want to eat something and it’s not a mealtime, ask yourself how you’re feeling. Maybe you’re an emotional eater like I am and maybe you’re not really hungry. If whatever you eat doesn’t satisfy you and you’re still hungry afterwards, it may mean you’re trying to deal with an unpleasant emotion.
- In his cd’s, I Can Make You Thin, Paul McKenna advises people to chew their food at least 20 times before swallowing and to put the knife and fork or sandwich down between mouthfuls. I definitely agree that eating conscientiously is the way to go. Deliberately think about your food as you’re eating. Try to describe how it tastes, smells and feels in your mouth.
- Buy a treadmill and use it often. I know they’re expensive but I swear my treadmill is one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
- Put exercise on your daily schedule and do it. Don’t argue with yourself about whether or not to go to your class or the gym. It will only make things harder.
- Celebrate your small victories!
- Watch tv shows like “The Biggest Loser” and “X-Weighted.” They are so inspiring.
- Start today. Most people naturally gain weight in the autumn and winter months and lose weight in the spring and summer. Last year my co-workers started noticing my weight loss in April after very slow progress before then and I’m convinced my persistence really started paying off at that time of year because I was already in the habit of exercising regularly. It’s all in the timing. If you aren’t seeing results, don’t worry. Just keep at it week after week and eventually you’ll notice some improvement.
- Find exercise you enjoy. If you’re not the “Private Benjamin” type, try something other than boot camp.
- Have fun while you’re exercising. Once your endorphins kick in, you’ll feel great!
I think that’s all I have for now. I’m sure I’ll think of more later but I have to go to Jazzercise class now. It’s true!
By all means, leave a comment with your 2 cents on this topic. And happy new rear!