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Sunday, February 15, 2015

It's Your Time

Are you hoping to start an exercise program or establish healthier eating habits? Wondering how to get started or re-start?  It's your time! The truth is, this is the journey of a million beginnings for me.  After many failed attempts, I finally feel successful.  Here are the three secrets I've unlocked that have made all the difference.

1.  Setting Goals

Although my goal has never been to become skinny (I love my curves!), I'm currently a recovering scale addict.  Eight months ago my goal was to drop 100 pounds.  This goal made me obsess over numbers.  The obsession with weighing-in became very evident the last couple of months because weight loss is actually at a stand-still and it's not because I haven't been working hard.

Keep these things in mind when setting goals.    Lifestyle changes can lead to weight loss but, if your focus is just weight loss, you will be an emotional wreck when you plateau.  Focus your goals on nutrition, fitness, sleeping habits, or water intake.  Keep goals *SMART- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based.  For example, as apposed to saying that I'll drink more water, my goal is to drink 100 ounces of water each day this week.  I've read articles that suggest drinking half your body weight in ounces.  Drinking 155 ounces of water each day is not an attainable or realistic goal for me at this time.  At the end of 7 days, I will be able to measure my success in reaching this SMART goal.

2. Finding a Support System

Find someone or lots of someones to help keep you accountable, encourage and mentor you.  I found support in what seemed like the most unlikely places.  The CrossFit athletes that I have the blessing to know are a key factor in establishing life changes.  It's both heart-warming and humbling to know that, no matter how slow I run, they'll never let me run alone.  Trust me, I've tried to avoid the awkward moments when I'm breathing so heavily that it feels like I'm about to die and my dedicated friends are doing everything they can to run as slow as I'm going.  They believe in me and I won't let them down.

I also found the unconditional support of empowering women on social media.  Secret FaceBook books can be your best ally when implementing changes.  Being able to vent, post goals, ask for advice, cheer others on, read success stories, and post pictures to a controlled audience is priceless.  Please comment below if you're interested in joining of of these online communities or start your own with people you know.

3. Planning

Life happens all around me.  With a demanding career and two children to raise, my days aren't naturally conducive to exercising regularly or eating nutritious foods.  I have to force it. The key is in planning.  I've found a sense of security in planning meals, snacks, and grocery shopping trips for the week.  I seem to control emotional eating better when my food is planned. My Sunday evening routine includes preparing breakfasts and healthy snacks for the week.  I also take time to chop any meats and veggies I may need for our meals during the week.  In short, food prep is the new fast food in my home.

Dedicated to those who give me their unconditional support, are my healthy food companion when cake is abundant, run by my slow-pokey side, cheer me on during workouts, and encourage me on tough days...thank you!  You know who you are!

*SMART goals were developed for educational institutes but, are perfect for any area of life.  For more SMART goal information go here.

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