Motivational Monday #1

I thought it’d be cool to do a weekly motivational post because I know I need a boost, so maybe I can spread some good vibes.

For those just getting started:

The mere fact that you’re starting is awesome! It’s the first step down a path that may not be easy or fun the whole time, but it’s definitely worth it. With each day that you keep going you prove to yourself how strong you are. You’re doing what you need to in order to make your body strong and healthy. Just remember that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, so pace yourself and keep moving forward.

If you feel like you can’t keep going:

The best advice I’ve ever heard is to assume that everyone is doing the absolute best they can do. Sometimes the best you can do for that day isn’t the same as everyone else’s best or even your best from the day before. It’s okay. Do what you can. The most important thing is that you don’t just stop. When you’re running and you get out of breath, it’s easier to get your pace back if you slow down to a jog instead of stopping outright. Rest days and light days are good for you and help you to keep going! Even if you just go for a walk today, it’ll make it easier for you to get back to your workout tomorrow. You’ve got this.

Original Photo by Nandhu Kumar from Pexels

If you missed a workout or broke your diet goals:

It can be easy to get down on yourself for it, but it won’t help. Instead of focusing on what you did wrong, name one thing you did right and one thing you’ll do moving forward. This way you can be proud of your accomplishments and have goals to focus on. This isn’t to say you should ignore your mistakes. Simply acknowledge what you can do differently next time so you can learn and do even better.

Day 6 Quick Update: I lost weight!

I’m not sure what amount of weightloss is really reasonable to celebrate but I’ve officially lost two pounds as of this morning. I did a pretty light workout today because the last few days have been so hard. Tomorrow is the last day to meet my updated weekly goal of running one full mile in one go. Maybe the rest will help and I can do it all in one go. Either way, progress is progress.

I feel like I’ve kind of been skimping on blog content and I don’t have anything ready for today. Lots of ideas and partially completed projects, but none worthy to put up quite yet. Among my plans include: more healthy recipes, healthy meal plans, workout schedules, and motivational pieces. If you guys want to see anything specific, please let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, I promise to have some new content for you soon.

Day 5 Update: Wins and Losses

It’s post workout and I’m EXHAUSTED. The good news is, I was able to run a whole mile today, even thought it was broken up a bit. I did .75 miles in one push and then the last .25 broken up with walking in between. It doesn’t seem like much but for me, it’s HUGE. Once I get a mile to be my norm, I can start working on improving my mile time and increase the distance a bit more for a higher intensity day. The ideal I’d like to build up to is running a mile 6 days a week, building heavy and light workouts around it.

Once I got home from the gym, I moved onto my HIIT workout that I posted this morning. I’m curious if any of you tried it and if so, how it went? I won’t lie, even though I made that workout to be lower intensity, I still had to modify the burpees. For one, jumping like that is just super hard on my knees. Additionally, I still am a little weak on my pushups so I still do the modified ones. Even so, I did all three reps and I feel super tired but awesome.

I think in the next few days I may make a post on how to modify some exercises for beginners. I see a lot of them for stretches but it’s less so for at-home exercises.

I’m super happy with this blog. It’s motivated me a lot to keep pushing myself and I enjoy being able to talk about what’s working for me. I hope that it’s helping someone else, even just to see that they’re not alone in struggling.

I do think I’m pushing myself a bit hard so tomorrow I’m going to have a really light day. I’m not sure what I’ve decided for that yet.

I also intend to put together a more formal plan so that A. I have a solid outline to follow and B. anyone else can follow along with me.

My legs and arms feel like jell-o and I still have a lot to do today! Wish me luck.

Let’s Try: HIIT Workout!

I’ve heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts before and am definitely interested to try them. It’s supposed to be great cardio because pushing your heart rate up and then taking short rests in between makes your body crave oxygen and boosts what a lot of experts call “The Afterburn Effect.” Most articles I’ve read on HIIT attribute part of the fad to a survey the American College of Sports Medicine on Fitness Trends for 2017. But I’ve seen some date the trend back to 2014.

Here’s why I’m interested in it:

  1. No equipment
  2. Supposedly boosts metabolism
  3. Increases your heart rate without running

I have a gym membership but so far I’ve been focusing more on the cardio machines. For some reason, I’m slightly hesitant to have people watch me grunt out a 50lb bench press. I intend to get up to it soon, I just want to build up my confidence mostly.

I’ve seen a few HIIT workouts online but I’m interested in piecing together my own, in part because some of them seem past my ability right now and in part because since I already am running, I’d like to pick out a few lower-impact exercises. So below is the HIIT workout I’ll try after my cardio today. I’d love for you guys to try it with me and tell me what you think!

Day 4: I Feel Like I’m Doing This Wrong

I have a tendency to go into things really headstrong and end up kind of sizzling out really soon after I start. I actually don’t know that I’m really doing that this time, but I definitely am expecting more than is realistic. For one thing, running. I haven’t run in literal years. I get out of breath going up stairs. I don’t know why I expected to just be able to bust out an easy mile (especially because a mile has never been easy for me).

I’ve been trying to slowly increase my distance up to a mile this week and while it was going well, today I was the captain of the Struggle Bus. I decided today that I’d be increasing my total running distance to a mile and just break it up with walking in between. For some reason, I also decided to increase my speed as well. Honestly, I don’t think that was the nail in the coffin. I feel like I wouldn’t have hit a mile anyway. In fact, I barely did three-quarters.

The lesson to learn from me is to set reasonable goals. My dad has been telling me that this whole time, but I’m so anxious to already be healthy and active and lose weight that it’s hard to be patient. Really, it’s about finding a balance between pushing yourself and knowing your limits. I still think that by the end of the week I can do a whole mile, but I need to approach it a little slower.

I think this goes for dieting too. I’ve been eating whatever I want for the past year and I can’t expect myself to immediately adjust well to only having 1300 calories. It’s a fine line, folks. But we’ll just keep on walking it (and maybe run).

My Bullet Journal Trackers

Good morning friends!

I’m constantly bad about using my bullet journal, but since we’re on a mission for improvement, I made a few layouts to help me keep track of my progress this month.

I use apps to help me count calorie intake and steps, but I don’t love how they compare day to day. This way I can see my progress and find outlier days that I don’t do well on. Here’s my pages:

Day 3 Update: What I’m Struggling With and What I’m Not

In the past I’ve used a calorie tracker to just get a general idea of what I’m eating. When using it casually, a lot of the time I wouldn’t actually go far above their suggested 1300 calories (their recommendation was based on my height, weight, age, and activity level). Now that I’m A. consistently working out and B. trying not to go above it at all, I’m actually struggling to stay within my limits.

April 1st was my boyfriend’s birthday and he requested homemade pizza rolls. By the end of the day, I had over 2000 calories. I think it’s having so many days like that has increased my appetite so much. Even today, it’s only just past breakfast but I’m already almost to 500 calories. I remember sitting with my parents at IHOP the other day looking at meals that would have maxed me out for the whole day.

I think part of this has to do with how we as a country eat as a whole. For one thing, food is a really big part of our culture (as it is with most). In a lot of countries you don’t eat quite the same portion sizes as we do, particularly in European countries. I’ve heard a lot of stories about people coming to visit and being just astounded at our portion sizes. And with so much of our food being heavily processed, it really packs a lot of calories into everything we eat. As well as a bunch of stuff we should probably be limiting. I’m not trying to blame the country for my weight and eating habits, but I do thing it normalizes it, making it easier to fall into bad habits.

On a different note, the things that I’m doing well with are:
1. Remembering to track my food
2. Running!
3. Meeting my step goals

With running, I’ve been starting off very small. I’m not really supposed to run because I have some problems with my knee. But most of the stuff I do anyway is pretty high impact so if I stick to some of my PT exercises, I don’t think running is going to be much of a problem. That said, I haven’t really gone running in years.

When I was younger, every few months I’d get this idea that I was going to join the military (which I really just don’t think is a good fit for me at this point but that’s not to disrespect those who do choose to serve). Every time I would get into this mindset, my dad and I would go running together. I never really could consistently keep up with it but it was always my place to start.

Having not run in a few years, I can’t even run a mile. That’s why one of my goals for this week is to just run half a mile each day and build up to three-quarters. I’m surprising myself though. Day one I ran half a mile and broke it up in half with walking in between. Yesterday I ran half a mile in one go and after cooling off with a walk for a few minutes, tacked on an extra tenth. Today I did three quarters of a mile broken up by .6 and .15. I think I’m going to change this weeks goal to doing a full mile in one spurt. Next week I can focus more on my mile time but for now, baby steps.

Getting Started

Hello Everyone!

I’m starting this blog as I work to get in shape. I want to talk about what I have success with and what I don’t. I expect to maybe share some workout tips, recipes, and anything I find helps with my journey to be a bit more healthy.

Right off the bat, this is Day 2 on my adventure. So far my goals for this week is to run half a mile every day, building up to three-quarters of a mile by Sunday. It doesn’t seem like a lot but it’s been a while since I’ve run. Yesterday I did accomplish the half mile but it was split up by a walk because my knee started hurting pretty badly.

Among my other goals this week I have: 10,000 steps every day and logging my calories. For my steps, I use the iFitness watch and activity tracker app and for my calories I use Noom. Please note this blog is not sponsored by either company (although hmu). Noom actually does have a pedometer as well but it requires your phone stay on your person most of the day for it to be accurate and as someone who just doesn’t have those pockets, it doesn’t happen. I think I’d like to upgrade to a bit more of a multipurpose smartwatch in the future but for right now, my little one does the trick. My favorite feature so far is the sedetary reminder, which goes off far too often for me.

As far as my weight goals, I’m about 30 lbs overweight but I almost want to push an extra few to get to an ideal. Right now I’m at 172 lbs (Yikes!). I’d like to get to 135 lbs within this summer. My immediate goal for the end of April (which my dad is also trying to meet) is to lose 15 lbs this month.

Real talk, while obesity is an ever growing problem in America and world-wide, just because someone is overweight doesn’t mean they’re unhealthy. There are a number of body-types and health aspects that can impact your weight and just because someone is larger doesn’t mean they’re not healthy. In fact, there’s a huge problem with doctors ignoring other health factors and only focusing on weight, particularly in women. We’ll probably talk about that at some point but for now, I want to explain why, then, I am doing this.

For me, it’s that I don’t feel good. My boyfriend and I go on a lot of outdoor adventures and I can’t do much of an incline without getting out of breath. I don’t workout enough, I eat very unhealthy, and overall just don’t have a lot of energy. I’m hoping that by losing some weight I can feel better overall.

So, to summarize, here are my goals (plus a few unmentioned):
1. Lose 37ish lbs
2. Workout 5 times a week
3. Eat healthier
4. Keep track of my calories
5. Move around more
6. Drink more water!
7. Have more energy

I’m super excited to start with you and I hope that you feel free to share any thoughts or tips along the way!