Hi all and HAPPY FRIDAY!
I've been working my tail off this week and it feels so good. So I decided to take an hour long lunch break and catch up on the ol' blog. Today I'm going to tackle something I talk about often, but never really go into detail about: exercising!
I have bitched and moaned about losing weight, I have attempted to train for a marathon, and now I'm back on the work out wagon, getting ready for my Hawaiian vacation.
So, the thing is here people, I'm not actually fat. I'm really short though, so any extra ANYTHING shows up, and it shows up quickly. Generally around my stomach area, but also on my chin (super depressing) and my boobs. But if I lose three or five pounds, it goes away very quickly. I guess I'm lucky that way.
So how do I do this? My number one tool, hands down, is Livestrong.com. It's free to sign up, so no one has any excuse not to. Obviously, it's not fool proof, but I'm guessing it's pretty accurate. Here's how it works: you enter your height, weight, gender and age as well as your daily activity level (most of us are sedentary because we sit for our jobs, but if you're a waitress or a full-time nanny you might be classified under light activity. You should not take into account how much you work out when you do fill out this portion). Next you decide how much weight you want to lose (if any) and how fast (*note, I am not a doctor, please check with yours to make sure this is right for you). Livestrong then calculates how many net calories you need per day. Mine is an even 1400 to lose a pound a week. After that, it's really easy! They have a very very easy to use calorie tracker, with nearly any food you could imagine in their database. If they don't have it, then add it! You can also add your own recipes and it will calculate the nutritional value per serving. I find the easiest way to remember to track food is to just have the link open all day on my computer.
You can also track your "fitness" or your work out routines. Again, this is not guaranteed accurate. Most people recommend wearing a heart monitor to get better results, but since I don't need to lose a ton of weight, and I'm pretty healthy anyway, I feel like as long as I'm in the ballpark, it's good enough. Just like entering recipes, you can enter in your runs/walks/bikes on google maps, as well as how long it took for you to do said activity, and easily track it the next time. Easy peasy. I especially like this tool.
I've played with calorie counting before, and honestly, it never really lasts that long for me (especially once I get into a good routine), but this is the best site for it, in my opinion. It's very easy to use, and it's easy to look at. I like watching my bar go up and down each day, and you can compare across days to see what your eating habits are like. I also like the website because there are great user forums to help you get inspired to try a long run, or do a weight circuit or something. (*note number two: I am not affiliated with Livestrong, nor did they ask me to write this post. I'm just sharing my own personal experience).
My second favorite tool, is actually more than one thing--it's the blogs I read. Two, specifically. Iowagirleats and the Fitnessista (I can't pronounce it either). Maybe these specific ones are not right for you, but what I like about fitness/eating blogs is that they are good inspiration for healthy foods and lifestyles. Both of them post recipes and workouts on a regular basis, which helps bring change into my routine (the Fitnessista has the best line: "change creates change". So. Effing. True.). Whether or not these are right for you, I suggest subscribing to something similar, if only for the reminder to stay on track.
My third favorite tool might not actually be in your tool box, but it's my addictive personality. Ha. When I'm not in a good workout routine, I never ever ever want to make that first trip to the gym. But as soon as I get one or two workouts in in a week, I can't stop. It takes something huge (for me, it was getting sick at the beginning of this semester). Now that I've been running on a regular basis, I don't want to stop. I luuuuuuurrrrve that feeling. It's super addicting to me. Hopefully it will be for you too (but seriously, give it some time. Because believe me, I know all about that "I'd rather eat my own feces than exert myself" feeling.)
Phew! This is turning into quite the entry. Now that I've given you my tools, I'll let you know what I'm focusing on right now. As I said earlier, I'm getting ready to go to Hawaii. In a bathing suit. Ugh. But looking farther into the future, I have a wedding to star in. So overall, I just want to look goooood, y'know? I'm at a fairly healthy weight (could stand to lose about three pounds. Go ahead and eye roll, but it's true), but I'm flabby as all shit. My stomach especially. And did I mention I'm heading to Hawaii? And that I have a thesis to write (read: I sit on my ass all day long)? So I'm trying to fit in 4 to 5 days of exercise per week, and mix it up each time. Three days a week I get in at least 30 minutes of cardio (either running or spinning), followed by an abs workout and either an arms or legs workout. Once a week I go hiking with the class I TA for, and once a weekend I go hiking/skiing/biking with Tommy. I also try to walk to and from school/grocery store when possible. I'm hoping that this variety will slim me down and tone me up for a smokin' (HA!) beach bod in a few weeks. At least it can't hurt. Also, the routine is key. Keykeykey. Because I WILL have a great body for my wedding. Hands fucking down. And if I can stay in this routine It'll be easy as pie.
I am also working on eating less (Livestrong). Which is hard. I can drink all my day's calories in one night out to the bar. Ooops. That's actually the hardest part. No, I'm not an alcoholic, but one beer or glass of wine is over 100 calories. And who has one drink anyway? Let's get serious. So yeah, I'm not perfect, but I'm trying. I'm also trying to just eat healthier, which again isn't that easy because I love bad food. But I haven't had french fries in a week! Yay!
In an effort to help myself and help you, I'm going to try to blog more about my specific work outs and what I eat. I was going to do it today, but the sun came out and it's Friday afternoon. So I'm out of here. Have a great weekend!