Recently I have really been making a conscious effort to get healthy. I have been on a weight loss journey for a long time, but after failing over and over again I realized that maybe I was going about it the wrong way. I guess you could say it was watching my second son take is first steps that had me reflecting on my own steps to health. I’ve always been a go big or go home kind of person. When I do it, I do it all or nothing. Watching my son learn to walk and take his sweet time to do so had me wondering if it was the all or nothing attitude that had me failing over and over again.
Drink More Water:
Did you know your body is made up of 60% water? I used to think I was doing a good enough job hydrating until I read that according to a the Institute of Medicine the proper water intake for women is actually 2.2 liters or 9 cups of water a day. (For men it’s closer to 13 cups of water daily.) In order to make sure I was meeting that goal other than a smoothie or fresh juice in the morning the only other beverage I drink all day is water. I count tea towards my water goal as it is water based. Most days I now reach closer to 3 liters of water daily. I can see the changes in my skin and my bodily functions. Those were changes I saw immediately so it was a baby step that I knew was working. If I do nothing else all day, I at least know I am drinking enough water.
Having a new baby getting sleep can prove to be difficult. This past year with my son’s health issues I practically was a walking zombie. How can a person be expected to make good and healthy choices when they can barely keep their eyes open? They can’t. I certainly couldn’t. Something had to change. I couldn’t keep staying up at night after my son went to bed to work. So I set a bedtime for myself. While I couldn’t always control how many times my son would wake at night, I could control what time I powered down and went to bed. For me that means no later than midnight. That gives me time to work, but also allows me 6-7 hours of sleep. Much better than the 3-4 (if I was lucky) that I was getting. As my son settles into his bedtime routine and gets older I plan on moving that bedtime up to 11pm. More sleep means a more productive me, and as a result I’m more awake to make better choices for my health.
I used to feel like if I couldn’t commit to 30-60 minutes each day to workout then I couldn’t do it, and I wouldn’t do it. The result was no weight loss. Instead I wake up each day with the intent to just move. Whether it is a 7 minute HIIT workout, 25 minutes for a workout DVD, walking 3 miles to take my son to school, or training for my 5K, my daily goal is just to move. On particularly busy work days I actually set a timer on my phone to do 25 jumping jacks, 25 sit ups, 25 squats, and 1 minute plank each hour. I can get it done in 5-8 minutes, and it gets my blood moving, my heart pumping, and doesn’t leave me depressed that I failed to workout that day.
I don’t know how I functioned before meal planning. Actually, I do… I grabbed fast food, or easy choices at the end of the day because I’d wait until the last minute to decide what to eat, and I’d be too tired to cook. This resulted in a lot of empty calories and a ton of money spent each month on food. By meal planning, you can not only plan ahead for busy days by cooking enough for leftovers, you can set yourself up for successful eating. Each week I plan 4-5 meals. This means I’m not cooking every night, and I have leftovers for easy and healthy lunches. Plus it has the added benefit of bonding time with my husband. We love sitting together and picking out fun and healthy meals to look forward to all week. With meal planning we are not only saving calories, we are saving money!
When it comes to food – I like to eat it. I’ve tried nearly every diet out there, but after the birth of my second son I got tired of dieting. At the same time I still wanted to lose weight. So I turned to clean eating. I cut out the processed foods, and indulged in real food. When I shop at the store, I stick to the perimeter of the store, rarely venturing down the center aisles unless I need a new spice. I could pretty much eat what I wanted, when I wanted, and I started to lose weight. I didn’t feel deprived, and more importantly I wasn’t feeling like I was failing anymore. If you are intimidated by the change or worried about giving up your treat food start by committing to eating clean during the week. Alison Sweeney from The Biggest Loser teamed up with AETNA to make an change in people’s lives by finding their healthy lifestyles. You can find a wide variety of information and tips on living a healthier lifestyle, as well as share some of your own on What’s Your Healthy website. Check out what Alison has to say about Eating Clean: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AETNA®. The opinions and text are all mine.
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