You know what happens when I’m really stressed out? I eat. Usually cheese. And chocolate. Or really anything with sugar in it. Mmmmm sugar.
Anyway, when you combine that with what I do when I’m exhausted – which is absolutely nothing – I start to really “fill out.” Yes, I’ve put on weight and lost muscle. I’d been doing really well with cycling before the whole moving/losing-my-job nightmare happened. But now I’m out of shape and, like a perpetual non-motion machine, that makes it even harder to get off my butt.
I need to get motivated. I need to get going. I need to START! Since we’ve got a big trip planned for September, I thought a 90 fitness challenge would be a perfect mini goal to get me going and assure I look a little less flabby on the beach.
Planning started with Google. I found a bunch of 90 Day Challenge stuff but almost all of it was profit-driven. I don’t trust anyone that says they have a secret plan to get fit but only if you pay. I already know the REAL secret: eat healthy and get exercise.* How do I know? About 4 years ago, I lost 80 lbs. Yes, 80! I slowly put about 15 lbs back on over 3+ years and then added another 5 recently, but I’m still proud of keeping 60 lbs off over such a long period of time. All I did was eat less crap and move my body a lot more. I’m pretty sure the same equation will yield results again.
(*Disclaimer: I know this equation doesn’t result in weight loss for everyone and that fit comes in any size. I’d love to lose the 20 lbs I’ve put back on BUT if all that results is I’m healthier and I feel better, then that’s good enough for me.)
Here’s what I’m going to commit myself to doing from May 31st to August 31st:
- 1 hour cardio and/or strength training workout 4 days a week
- 1 hour yoga class at least once a week
- Take a minimum of 5000 steps per day
- Eat 3 meals a day (this is a hard one for me because I often skip breakfast) and prepare food at home 5 nights a week
- 4 cups of fruits/veggies, 3 servings of whole grains, and lean protein every day
- Add non-fat milk and Greek yogurt into my diet
- Drink at least 48 oz of water 5 days a week
- And because I know from experience that having a ‘cheat’ day helps me stick with it and not beat myself up, I’ll take 1 day a week to rest and not count calories.
The first prep step I took was researching gyms in my area. How does a nerd choose a gym? With a spreadsheet!
The spreadsheet really helped me focus in on what I wanted from a gym. Tim and I were initially considering Anytime Fitness but the one near our house doesn’t offer yoga or any other classes. We got excited about the YMCA but they refused to quote me pricing via email – wtf? If you can’t be upfront about cost, I will not buy anything from you. We decided to get a free pass to 24 Hour Fitness and ended up loving it! The location near us is huge, well maintained, and they have a large variety of classes. We have a gym (or we will tomorrow, when our free pass runs out and we sign up for real)!
For extra motivation, I bought a Fitbit Flex, which will track my physical activity for me, tell me when I reach a goal, and award me badges. It’s also got nifty online tools to help me create a diet plan and track what I eat. Bonus: it can track how much and how well I sleep! I thought it would be a fun way to keep track of my activity and it would keep me focused since I have to wear it all day.
As for the food part, I’ve used Pinterest to pin a bunch of healthy recipes that can also satisfy some of my cravings. Like I said, I have a mega sweet tooth. For example, ice cream is a particular weakness, so I’m going to make frozen pops out of Greek yogurt for a healthier dessert alternative.
So I’ve done the wishing, the thinking, the planning, and the prepping. Now I need to get started and do the doing!!