My Fitness Secrets 10/13

I’m back – did you miss me?  And…I think I did a pretty good job of sticking with my nutrition plan while I was away.  I had my Skyline cheat meal (which, of course, put me over my caloric limit), and I also had one slice of LaRosa’s pizza and ice cream from UDF (and on that day I only went over by like 100 calories!).  Planning ahead was the key.  I didn’t lose any weight over the weekend but I didn’t gain a single pound.  Don’t be jealous; you can do it too!

Planning ahead for exercise and nutrition is critical to be successful.  I knew that Thursday of last week would be my last day to work out before taking FIVE days off.  I considered this my “fall break”.  I’ve done 7 consecutive weeks of cardio and strength training and I think it is okay to give yourself a mini-vacation every once in a while, especially if you’ve been hitting it hard.  But…don’t get used to it and fall back into the bad habit of not exercising.  And you definitely cannot neglect your nutrition and take a vacation from that too!  I’m not going to beat myself up over missing that many days or having ONE special day (that happens maybe twice a year) where I had a 3-way (the chili, sickos!), but I am going to focusing on being disciplined and getting back with the program, which is exactly what happened today.

HOW TO GROCERY SHOP:  Start planning your nutrition with a trip to the grocery store on the weekend.  Make a menu of all the meals you’d like to eat, definitely including snacks.  From there, create your grocery list and stick to it.  Not only will you stay within your calorie range, you’ll also stick to your budget and not overspend.  EAT before you go grocery shopping!  I stop at McDonald’s and eat an Oatmeal (no brown sugar) before I go.  If you are hungry in the grocery store, you’ll wind up buying tons of crap and feel guilty about it later when you stuff it in your pie hole while watching TV.

You will find the best, most nutritious food around the perimeter of the grocery store.  The bulk of your purchase should be fresh fruits, vegetables, lean poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy.  The vast majority of the products you find within the aisles of the store are processed foods that tend to be nutritionally void – meaning they are full of refined sugars, artificial ingredients and preservatives, and empty calories.  They tend to lack naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, good fats, and fiber necessary to fuel your body.  In order to make the products taste good, they often contain sugar, fat, or sodium.  They do little for you besides temporarily satiate your appetite for a brief period of time, while depriving your body of essential nutrients that keep it running like a finely tuned machine.  Oh and did I mention that you’ll want to probably stuff your face 30-60 minutes later again because these types of foods don’t keep you feeling full and tell your brain you’re starving?

Once you get your groceries home and have washed and prepped your fresh produce, go ahead and pack all your lunches and snacks for the week.  Do all of the work ahead of time so that in the morning you can just grab and go.  No forgetting.  No dealing with it every night.  In other words, no excuses!

And finally, how to prep your house:  take an inventory of your refrigerator, cabinets, and pantry and THROW OUT all the crap that is keeping you unhealthy and reaching your goals!  If you can’t bring yourself to waste a perfectly good box of Pop Tarts, take them to work.  Someone will eat them.  But get them out of your house.  If you don’t keep the junk in your house, you won’t be tempted to eat it!  For the nutritious stuff that is left behind, go ahead and portion it out into single serve baggies or containers.  I love Blue Diamond Jalapeno Smokehouse almonds but I could eat the whole can in one sitting if I just mindlessly dipped my hands into it.  Take the time to make your single serve portions so that you don’t wind up overeating.

I know some of you are thinking, “But my kids won’t eat my hippie-dippie food!”  Well, guess what: too bad!  This is where you get to step up and be their role model.  They’ll whine and bitch about it for a little bit (your spouse or partner might, too) but they don’t need the crap either and certainly will not die without it.  They will get hungry and forage for whatever is in the house.  You have a responsibility to ensure that they, too, are learning healthy eating habits and eventually they will come to love apple slices, grapes, raspberries, cantaloupes, carrot sticks and other good options.  Besides, they’ll get enough of the junk at school and birthday parties which is okay because it teaches them that there are certain kinds of food that are for special events and not for everyday consumption.  It’s not forbidden.  It’s just a treat.  The exception, not the norm.

TODAY’S WORKOUT:  I only get two days of lifting this week and they’re back to back.  I also wanted to maximize my cardio sessions.  Today and tomorrow I will be doing fast-paced supersets.  A superset allows you to work several muscle groups with very little rest in between.  Today’s focus was upper body, so to superset it, I did a chest exercise immediately followed by a back exercise (working in opposition).  After three sets of those (I did dumbbell bench press and bent over dumbbell rows), I did three sets of biceps/triceps/shoulders (bicep curl bar, lying tricep extension, dumbbell shoulder press).  For cardio, I used very fast-paced music to power my 15-minute elliptical routine and followed that with 30 minutes of medium to high effort step aerobics.

TODAY’S TIP:  Everyone has an off day and everyone deserves a break.  Forgive yourself and move on.  No need to dwell on what happened in the past.  Focus on the present and the goals you want to achieve.  If you really feel badly about it, well, beat yourself up in the gym with a killer cardio session J

TODAY’S HAPPY THOUGHT:   I’ve recently closed a big, challenging chapter in my life and am very excited to move forward.  Thank you, JTR and DJP!

What are you going to do today to get closer to your fitness goals?  Comment on this note or drop me a line!  Here’s to good health!  -Michelle

If you are interested in weight loss or exercise, you need to consult your physician.  Remember, I am NOT CERTIFIED as a trainer (but do have a bachelors and masters degree in HPE).