Weekly Focus Point – Plan for Success

I’ve been getting super progress reports and feedback from participants of our New You 12-Week Challenge!  Keep up the good work everyone!

This week’s Focus Point is planning. 

I am a planner by nature and pretty organized so even if I don’t have something mapped out from start to finish, I do have it roughly sketched out in my head.   This is especially true with my workouts, my running and my meals.

And I can say this with a high level of certainty – if you have specific fitness, weight or nutrition goals that you wish to reach, you too, need to start planning, plotting and setting up your week – because life gets in the way.  Now it may seem like more work, but soon it will become just another healthy habit.So here are 3 tips to help you set yourself up for success.

Schedule your Workout Appointments

Start writing your planned exercise sessions, your run, laps at the pool or walks with your friend in your calendar as an appointment.   Do NOT just write “workout” at the bottom or top of your calendar – be specific.  Tuesday, April 29, 2014:  5:45am – Run 4.75 miles. 

Think About Your Meals

Plan your meals, or at least have a good idea of what you’ll be eating for breakfast and lunch at the minimum.  This is where I think it’s OK to have a rut.  I eat the same breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday for weeks, sometimes months at a time.

For breakfasts most recently it was 4 egg whites “fried” in a pan, on a whole wheat sandwich thin smeared with an ounce of avocado.   My lunches are either soup with chicken, turkey or beans or a big salad with chicken, turkey or beans (sometimes I get crazy and have turkey and beans).  And I always have some fruit for a snack around 10ish and some fruit with my lunch.

I know my meals are filling, balanced, healthy and most importantly will keep me satisfied.   If I go out to lunch or breakfast, I take a few minutes to think about what I will have ahead of time.  This pre-planning helps me make smart menu choices.

For dinners I will take a post-it and rough out the week.  Here’s this week:  Mon – turkey tacos; Tue – out; Wed – Pasta; Thur – Leftovers (whatever is in the fridge that I can combine for a meal); Fri – golf tournament; Sat – out; Sun – Steak.  Sometimes I mix up the days depending if the schedule changes.

Knowing what you’ll eat and/or make for the week will help you at the supermarket and when it’s 5pm and you realize you and your brood need dinner!

Be Flexible

There’s an old joke that goes like this, “How do you make God laugh?  Plan.”  Even your well thought-out, detailed plans can get upended by stuff.  You may get sick, your husband and kids may get sick, you may be sick of your kids and husband, or sometimes, Birthday Cake happens.

But having planned out your next workout and next meal will be INCREDIBLY helpful in getting you back on track so you can reach your goals.

So your task this week is to schedule your workouts and plan or roughly sketch out your meals for the week (at least breakfast and lunch).  Let’s start building (or improving upon) your healthy habits!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

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Don’t Let a Bad Day Blow Your Progress

We all have bexplosion_clip_art_23323ad days.  You may be on a great streak with eating well and exercising and then KAPOW!  something throws you off course and you dive headfirst into a box of See’s that you thought was hidden or you get sucked in to a Scandal marathon.

And after you’ve couch-potatoted through your workout or come out of the chocolate coma you will probably be mad at yourself and feel a bit of frustration and regret.  You might also start to run the loop in your brain that you don’t have willpower or are doomed to be overweight or unhealthy.

So I’m going to share with you something my now 14-year old used to say when she was 3.  Stop that right now!

Listen, we’ve all been there.  But let’s not allow a slip to turn into a full blown free-fall.

If your See’s debacle happened in the middle of the day, don’t starve yourself as punishment!  Make your next meal a normal, healthy one, drink your water and think of a few ways you can cope with ‘whatever’ in a way that doesn’t involve chocolate and caramel.

A missed workout?  Take a walk, do some crazy-energetic cleaning, throw a dance party for you and the kids or take 10 minutes for stretching or troll the internet for some yoga videos.

You can do this! Stay focused, determined and get back on the horse if you fall off!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

 

 

The 12-Week Challenge – Analyzing Your Food Journal

Yay you! You’ve made it to your 3rd day of the Challenge. I know from the emails and conversations I’ve been having that this challenge is coming at a great time and that you are motivated.

Today, as promised, we’re going to drill down into your food journal.

On Monday I asked you to start tracking everything you are eating and drinking for three days. Yes, even the mik and sugar for your coffee and the handful of grapes you grabbed on your way out the door or chicken nugget butts off of your child’s plate.

Our goal today is to take a look at what you normally eat and see how we can start to clean it up so you can eat nutritious foods that are satisfying and filling.

Step 1: Take a look at your food tracking log and review what you ate.

Step 2: How does it look?

Is your food journal balanced?  Does it include a lot of fruits and veggies, are you drinking water, eating lean proteins and proper portions?  If not, don’t worry, we’re going to make a little tweak that will yield great results.

Step 3:   Now here’s where the rubber meets the road and the magic happens.

I’m a big believer of adding lots of healthy things so that it makes less room for the junky foods.

Fruits and Vegetables

7-9 servings is what you should aim for. Produce is bulky, has water and fiber plus a ton of nutrients. I eat fruit with breakfast, as a snack, with lunch and in the afternoon with some yogurt or a handful of nuts. I also bulk up my meals by using a ton of veggies. Mushrooms, zucchini and sautéed spinach make a great bed for eggs, and steamed broccoli tossed with a half cup of pasta and marina sauce and a drizzle of olive oil and you are set.

Drink Water

Water is awesome. Drink it. A glass when you wake up, a glass with each meal and snack, during or after your workout and if you have a strong bladder, a glass before bed.

Step 4:  Now what?

Now that you have checked out your food journal, have found some substitutions you can make and some suggestions on how to do it, it’s time to start taking charge.

Start with drinking water and eating more fruits and vegetables. In a week or two, or three, work on incorporating some other healthier foods and now is the time to start taking a look at your portion sizes.

We, as a nation eat too much food.  Restaurant portions are out of control and many of us serve our dinners “family style”.

If you want to lose weight start paying strict attention to portion sizes.  Pop a chicken breast on a scale and see where that puppy comes in at.  You don’t have to give up any foods you love, just keep track of how much you are eating.  You will soon start to see that you can eat smaller portions and still be satisfied.

Really calorie dense foods such as nuts, oils, nut butters, cake (ha ha) should be carefully measured.  You (I) can easily smear 3T of peanut butter on a sandwich without thinking about it.  Count the bread, pb and jam and that’s a hefty sandwich.

In a (pea)nut shell, be smart with how much you need to eat!

Step 5:  Your new food journal

Continue journaling what you eat.  The simple act of writing it down helps keep people accountable and on track with their healthy eating.  If you are trying to get a handle on emotional or stress eating, it’s helpful to also jot down how you are feeling when you are eating.  More on this later.

Changes don’t have to happen all at once.  Small steps will still add up to a mile as long as you keep going.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

New You 12-Week Challenge – Week 1

Welcome to the New You 12-Week Challenge!  I’m excited to be able to offer a forum for change and to provide as much information as you’ll tolerate!

To help you get started, this week’s Focus Point will be “I’m in, now what?”

Let’s take each part of the challenge and break it down.

1.  Track everything you eat and drink

Why is this important?  Studies show that people who write down what they eat tend to lose more weight than those who don’t.   It gives you a clue on where your calories are coming from and you can pinpoint areas of ‘weaknesses’ in your diet while also identifying specific opportunities where you can make changes and improvements.

For the next few days (three is ideal) I am going to suggest you write what you eat without making any dietary changes.  This is going to be your baseline.  If you can, include portion sizes (1/2 cup, handful, etc.).

Don’t worry about making changes.  Yet.  This is a big topic so I’m going to post in further detail on Wednesday.

2.  Workout at least 5 times each week for at least 30 minutes per session

Working out means to exert oneself.  If you are able to carry on a conversation and a latte at the same time when you walk with your friend, you are not exerting yourself.  Your workout should include:

  • Sweating
  • Increased respiration (breathing)
  • Increased heart-rate

Take a class, go for a fast walk, hike or run.  Ideally you should do some sort of cardiovascular exercise 4-5 days per week and include strengthening moves (using weights, bodyweight exercises, or some form of resistance training) 2 times per week minimum.

If you are experienced and already exercising try adding 5 minutes to 3 of your cardiovascular workouts.  Walk, run or hike just a smidge further.  This little increase in time will deliver huge benefits.

If you are new to exercising and do not have access to a gym or trainer, I want you to find 30 minutes each day for the next 5 days to walk.  Pick a loop, a track or an out and back.  Walk briskly and with purpose.  We’ll cover more intensive workouts later.

3.  Track your progress

But first, set your goal.  Weight loss, improved fitness, cutting out junk food, etc. Now you can determine how to track your progress so you stay motivated and inspired.

For weight loss, try using a pair of pants as your gauge as well as a scale.  Why both measurements?  A scale can be friend or foe but pants never lie.  Weigh yourself today and try on a pair of pants that are too tight to wear in public.   Take a photo or a good long mental picture.  In 2 weeks, try these pants on again and see how they fit.  And again in the next 2 weeks.  Etc.

If your goal is to run faster or longer write your current time and distance of your longest run today.  Continue to track your workouts (building on them) and in 2 or 3 weeks time a run or clock a longer distance.  And then build from there.

To eat healthier and cut out junk food, start by counting the days in a row you don’t eat the chips.  You may think Day 1 isn’t that impressive but I promise, you’ll be tickled at Day 15.

**Do not underestimate the power of these little successes**

4.  Email me

Use me as a resource.  I am very interested in your success and am here to help you navigate your journey.

On Wednesday we’ll take the food tracking/journaling part to its next level.  Have a great day!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

Are you ready to take the Challenge?

Welcome to our newest challenge; the New You 12-Week Challenge.

The Challenge is for people who are committed to making positive, healthy lifestyle changes.  The reason it’s a 12-week challenge versus a 30 day challenge is that it takes some time for lifestyle changes to become ingrained and results noticeable.  You need to have patience in the process so you can have long-term success.

Here are the ‘rules’ of the Challenge:

  1. Track everything you eat or drink; either on an app such as My Fitness Pal, a plain spiral bound notebook, a spreadsheet, Livestrong.com, Spark People, whatever. 
  2. Workout 5 times each week for at least 30 minutes per session and keep track of what you do
  3. Track your results.
  4. Email me and let me know if you’re in! 

Sound like a lot?  Don’t freak out, I’ve got you covered!

The problem with a long-term challenge can be motivation and stick-to-it-iv-ness.   So to guarantee that you are staying on track and keeping your eye on the ball for the entire challenge, I will post a weekly Focus Point every Monday.  These Focus Points will discuss an area that we are going to work on, they will provide proven tips, tricks and tools that will help you be successful.

As a teaser, our Week 1 Focus Point will be how to set yourself up to begin this challenge and ensure you know where you’re starting and where you’re going.

So are you ready?  Committed?  Prepared to reach your goals?  (Hint: those are rhetorical questions).

We start tomorrow!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Challenge Coming Up!

I’m in the process of putting together a NEW challenge!

If you take on this challenge I will provide you with the tools you need to create an overall healthier lifestyle and tackle the ‘hows’.

  1. How to make time for exercise.
  2. How to eat healthier.
  3. How to stay focused and motivated for long-term results.
  4. How to get back on track after setbacks, etc.

This challenge is about creating a sound plan for success.  I’ll ask you to work hard but promise at the end of this challenge you’ll see results.

So get ready to take the challenge.  Full details and our start date will be posted at the end of April.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂