You might be thinking, “Again? Another fitness post?” And the answer is a big yes. Getting and staying in shape requires ongoing effort, and there are always new things you can learn to improve what you are currently doing. Here are five practices that have helped me in this past year…
- Make exercise a habit. Whether you prefer exercising early in the morning or after work, it needs to be automatic. You wouldn’t even think of not going to the gym unless it was closed or you are sick with the flu – should be as automatic as brushing your teeth. I myself have become an early morning exerciser, it’s great to get it out of the way. With or without hubby, at home or while traveling, it’s now part of my daily routine, no thinking required.
- Know what motivates you. What is the primary reason that you want to lose weight and/or get in better shape? How you feel? Energy level? Mood? How you look? Understanding this will better help you to make up your mind and be disciplined. For me, the primary motivator is how I look, all else is a bonus. I am happiest when my jeans fit comfortably, and when I look decent in a bikini. Seems superficial, but it’s the truth, it’s 100% what gets my ass to the gym.
- Cut back on the booze. Now I didn’t say ‘give up’ the booze – that ‘dry January’ business where you give up alcohol for the month? Ha! Not gonna work. However, if you are accustomed to drinking every night, you probably want to pick a few dry nights or maybe have half the amount each night. My current routine allows for wine or cocktails Thursday through Saturday, then sparkling water – in a wine glass – on other days. The added plus of less alcohol is that you are less likely to lose your focus and imbibe in a slab of tiramisu. 😉
- Be prepared for moments of weakness. What time of day are you most likely to indulge in bad snacking? Will it be for salty snacks or sweets? First order of business is to remove such bad snacks from your home or office. But even better than that is to give yourself a low calorie – or no calorie – alternative to get you through that difficult moment. One of my weaknesses is sweets, especially right after lunch or dinner. My latest way to satisfy this sweet tooth is to have one (only ONE) Atomic Fireball. For 20 calories, it works! Keeps me away from much worse alternatives. Another great solution is green tea. If you are hungry it curbs your appetite and supposedly increases your metabolism.
- Eating healthy should be a way of life, not a diet. There is no reason not to thoroughly enjoy yummy food yet still eat healthy/low cal. In restaurants, you do need to pay attention and be disciplined to stay away from high fat/high carb foods, huge portions, and ridiculous salads that have more calories than a Big Mac. Doesn’t mean that you can’t ever indulge – I will share a burger with Peter, have a side salad, and a few of his fries. But would I ever order a whole burger and fries for myself? Unlikely.
This pic was taken last March, at age 58…yeah, you can do the math – this year, 59. Age should not be an excuse to give up. I might HATE Spin Class, Body Attack is HARD, lifting weights can be BORING, but I continue to do them all.