Quarter Year Progress!

This morning I received an email that made me think about the goals I’ve set for myself this year and what I’ve done to accomplish them thus far. I received an email from BBF (my workout studio) asking if I was going to submit an entry for their Beefore and After contest about my success in the studio. Because I have experienced such a lifestyle change after joining the studio, I decided to submit an entry-but in the process I thought about all the specific things that have contributed to this change in the past 6 months. Below are the small changes that led to big differences for me, and hopefully at least a couple of these tips can also help you in your journey through 2012.

1. Switch up your workouts and keep your muscles confused. I’ve done bikram barre classes, a fusion of dance and barre, kickboxing workouts, used TRX bands, strength training, weights…the list goes on and on. Not only does this keep you from getting bored in a workout but youwill continue to see results.

2. Keep healthy snacks at the office. For me, I keep FAGE 0% Pomegranate Cherry and Blueberry Greek yogurt, Trader Joes Handful of Nuts with cranberries, cashews and almonds, green tea with 1 scoop Boku Superfood, and Rise Bars at my desk for when I need a quick pick-me-up. I probably love office snacking more than anyone, and I’ve found the times where I really overindulge or choose something unhealthy is when I don’t already have healthy options in my drawer.

3. Drink at least twice your body weight in water…this is a bit more difficult for me on weekends, but I typically surpass this and drink between 100-150 ounces per day.

4. Eat breakfast. Inever ate breakfast until 3 or 4 months ago and it’s completely changed my energy levels and allowed me to cut back on my snacking. Egg whites, natural peanut butter on Ezekial bread, greek yogurt with Naked oats, steel cut oats with flax and chia seeds, etc. There are so many healthy breakfast food options and it will fuel your body for the rest of the day!

5. Protein shakes will NOT make you bulk up! Just read this or this or this. Lately, the more articles I read about protein powder, the more I realize this idea that protein shakes cause bulking is completely bogus.

6. Find a way to track your progress. Whether it be weighing in weekly, keeping a food journal, or taking measurements, choose something that will force you to be held accountable for your actions. For me personally, I choose to take measurements periodically and try on an old pair of skinny jeans to keep track of my weight loss. The best reward for me is being able to fit into an old pair of jeans I haven’t been able to wear in years!

7.Splurge. I don’t completely deprive myself of my favorite foods/drinks. I’ve found that when I did, I ended up eventually going back to that food and overeating. If I really want a glass of wine, I’ll drink it. If I really want some chocolate or twizzlers, I eat a few. However, I make sure that I indulge in moderation and realize that over indulging in some of my favorite things could mean a setback or upset stomach later.

8. Ask yourself how the food that you eat makes you feel. What is your mood after? What is your energy like? Does a certain food make you feel better than another? I’ve found that by asking myself these questions, I’ve been able to target which foods make me feel my best and help me stay on track.

Hopefully you are able to incorporate some of these tips into your everyday life. I am by no means perfect and the tips above are pieces of advice that I obviously still struggle with. However, the pain point of this blog is to say that if you commit to a healthier lifestyle, you will see results-commitment and effort are all that is standing in your way!