Tuesday, March 13, 2018

6 Lessons I've Learned While on My Fitness Journey

I started my fitness journey on January 15 and since then I have cut out soda, been working out twice daily, eating healthier, and trying new recipes. I've lost weight, but what I've been loving most is how I feel so much more energetic and confident. I love how much more fit I feel and the progress I've seen in my abilities. It's been nearly 2 months since I started my fitness journey and thought I'd share some of the lessons I've learned to help and maybe even inspire you get started or continue your own fitness journey!

1. It's about a healthy lifestyle, not dieting or weight loss.

If you're focused just on losing 5 pounds or sticking strictly to a diet, you'll quit as soon as you reached that goal and go right back to where you were OR give up as soon as there's a bump in the road and you go up on the scale or give in to a craving. 

If you're focused on living a healthy lifestyle you're less likely to give up after reaching your goal or having a set back. If you're focused on a healthy lifestyle, you're going to give yourself more grace for eating a chocolate or gaining a pound or two. 

Living a healthy lifestyle is so much more freeing than eating whatever tastes good at the moment and not exercising regularly. A healthy lifestyle gives you so much more happiness, confidence, and energy. Diets and shedding a few pounds quickly don't.

2. It takes a lot of discipline.

The first week you might have lots of motivation and inspiration, but eventually it gives out and you have to rely on discipline and dedication to creating the healthy lifestyle you want to have. I still try to surround myself with as much inspiration as possible and remind myself why I'm doing this for motivation. Still, there are days when I just don't feel like doing a workout and I have to rely on  discipline to get that workout in or resist ordering a pizza.

3. You HAVE TO have a plan.

Part of having discipline is creating a plan. Just telling myself I'm going to workout 3 times and eat healthier has never worked for me. I'd workout on Monday and then keep telling myself I'd do the other 2 later (which never happened) and then I'd get home from work, unsure of what to make and not really feeling up to cooking so just pop a frozen dinner in the oven.

Now I always have a plan. I plan out my workouts, meals, and even snacks for the week ahead every weekend. I write out in my planner the workouts I'll be doing, what snack I'll have each day before my workout,  and the meals I'll be eating for dinner (lunch is usually leftovers from the night before). Then I make my grocery list for Sunday so I'm not tempted to buy junk food at the store. 

This planning helps me SO much. If I didn't have these things planned out, I would definitely be failing at my health and fitness goals. To plan my workouts I've been following a challenge or workout calendar (like this one) so I just copy that to my planner. To plan the meals I have been keeping a running list of healthy meals I like and each week I try at least one new healthy recipe from Pinterest or a cook book.

4. Eating healthy and working out is self-love.

Before I hadn't really seen eating healthy as self-love and working out definitely wasn't on the top of my list for self-care. In all honesty, the scale was more like a punishment and in the past I had seen eating healthy and working out as numbers that needed to balance out on whatever app I was using to try and lose weight. 

Now I completely see eating healthy and working out as self-love and consider it to be part of my daily self-care routine. Fueling my body with the right things and giving my body enough exercise is a way of taking care of my body and loving myself. These are completely new concepts for me, but very positive ones (both physically and mentally) to be adding into my life!

5. Find a way to stay accountable.

Finding a way to stay accountable is important whether it's creating an Instagram account to document your fitness journey, joining an accountability group, working out with a friend, or keeping a fitness journal. 

For me, it's a combination of using my fitness journal daily and occasionally posting to my Instagram stories. If you're interested in learning more about how I use my fitness journal to stay accountable, I have a whole post about it here.

6. Do it for YOU.

I think the key to really sticking to your fitness journey is to do it for YOU. Not to lose X pounds. Not because you hate how you look. Do it for YOU. Do it for YOUR happiness, YOUR confidence, YOUR health, whatever it may be, but make sure it is for you and not to please society or to "fix" your body. You're perfect as you are and don't need fixing. Making a commitment to take care of your body by eating healthy and exercising should be a form of self-love (like I mentioned earlier), so make sure you're on your fitness journey for the right reasons.

Are you on or starting your own fitness journey? Was this post helpful? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How To Have A Productive Weekend

Ah, the weekend. A time to relax and have fun. But you know, some days you have to get stuff done and be productive, even on the weekend. This can be a struggle sometimes, but I've found a few tricks that help me to be productive on the weekends, even when all I want to do is lay in my pajamas and watch Netflix all day.

Get up early.

On the weekends it is so tempting to sleep in. Sleeping in is something I'm very good at, but it usually sets the day up to be a very lazy one. I've found that if I want to be productive, I need to get up at a decent time. I don't set an alarm, but I wake up when my body tells me to. Rather than going back to bed, as I might want to, I take a moment to check my phone and then I get up and start my day!

Get dressed up.

If I stay in my pajamas for half the day or just put on sweats, it puts me in the mindset to relax. To have a productive weekend, I need to get dressed up, even if that's leggings, a sweater, and a braid. It doesn't have to be all out, but just getting ready for the day helps to put me in the right mindset to get stuff done!

Make a list.

Make a list of what tasks and projects you need to do this weekend. I add the main tasks to my planner and if I need more space, I'll add it to my bullet journal. It's always best to stick to 3 main tasks, and then add more if you're able to get those done. 3 tasks are fairly easy to accomplish and makes you feel productive as you get to cross each of those off your list.

If I have a ton of stuff on my mind of what I want and need to do, I'll do a brain dump. A brain dump is when you just write down anything and everything that's on your mind. I do this whenever I have a lot of tasks and projects I want to work on, but don't know where to start. Getting all those ideas out helps me to organize and prioritize them and feel a bit calmer since I don't have to try remembering everything.

Have Fun.

It's the weekend! Make time to get lunch with a friend or relax in the evening. Even watching your favorite YouTube channels while you work helps you to enjoy your weekend while you're getting stuff done.

What do you do when you need to have a productive weekend? Any tips? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

March Goals

Hello March! This month has been long awaited as it's when we transition from winter to spring. I have been dying for nice, warm, spring weather so hopefully this month brings some warmer days and more sunshine (fingers crossed). I'm a big believer in setting goals, so here are my goals for the month of March.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February In Review

Month 2 of 2018 is almost in the books! February hasn't been too exciting, but it's still been pretty good. I've continued working on my goals, including my big goal for the year of getting healthier. I got to meet up with my friend who lives a few hours away for brunch when she came up to visit family. 

Like last month, I figured I'd take some time today to chat about how I'm doing on my goals, what's been happening here on the blog, and share a few of my favorites from this month.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Little Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Mental health is so important because it effects how we see things and live our lives everyday. Because of this, taking care of our mental health is something we have to prioritize and make steps to work on each day. I can always tell when I haven't been taking time for it, so there are lots of  things I try to do each day to take care of my mental health. Below are a few little ways to improve your mental health today.