Fall has arrived… does it suddenly feel like we can all take a deep breath and slow down for 5 minutes??? I know here in the House I feel like I finally have time to exhale and get my head on straight!
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As I have mentioned before, summer is (obviously) amazing. The kids are home, the weather is gorgeous, the food is even better and your days are full of activities from sun up to sun down. (and let’s not forget that ‘sun down’ is about 2 hours later in the summer, extending days even more!) As much as I love all of this, it also makes me twitch a bit, too.
Incase you haven’t caught on by now, I’m a bit of a planner, perfectionist, and everything in between. I like life orderly, predictable and wrapped up in a nice, neat package. Unlike many, I do NOT strive on chaos! Which is why, as much as I love warm summer days, I love the arrival of fall just as much. Summer is unpredictable. We are always on the go, seldom with a plan. What all of that equates to is my schedule going out the window, along with my diet, exercise and waist line.
So now that the chaos has died down, kids are back in school and days are starting to free up, it’s time to get back into a good routine on the home front (which we will cover next week) and a good routine for taking care of ourselves.
Fall In Love With Taking Care of Yourself
Maybe this is your first rodeo, maybe not. Maybe you’ve punched your ticket on (and off) the health and fitness train more times than you can count, or maybe for the first time in your life you are taking life by the reigns and making your physical well-being a priority. In any case, welcome to the first day of the rest of your life!
Today I want to cover a few things that will get you off on the right foot and get you excited to Fall In Love With Taking Care of Yourself!
Purge the Junk
Ok friends, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Step 1 to a new you is removing all temptation and purging yourself and your house of junk. After all, a healthy lifestyle truly is 80% nutrition and 20% fitness. So go ahead and mourn your melted ice cream in the trash and salty chips tumbling to the bottom of the trash can and get excited for what’s to come!
Don’t get me wrong, I like junk food as much as all of you. My sweet tooth is my Achilles, and I definitely indulge from time to time. But Falling In Love With Taking Care of Yourself is all about making yourself feel good from the inside out. And we all know that unfortunately the best tasting foods are usually the worst for us. So this is a necessary step to change.
I also intentionally listed this step first and foremost before choosing a new meal plan, because regardless of what route you go, no healthy eating plan will include Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s or Doritos.
Choose a Plan
Now that you have a clean slate, it’s time to refill the fridge! If you’re like me, I’m usually totally clueless as to where to begin. There are SO MANY fad diets out there, and a revolving door of what’s healthy vs. what’s not. It’s overwhelming! Seeing as how I’m not a certified nutritionist, I will suggest a few that I have heard good things about, but I strongly suggest that you do your research and make the best decision for YOU.
The Whole 30 Diet
Book reference: The Whole 30: The 30 Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
The Paleo Diet
Book reference: Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started
The Atkins Diet
The South Beach Diet
The 21 Day Fix/Fix Extreme Container Program
These are just a few of the most popular programs out there, that many people I know have experience great results with. Personally, I have followed the 21 Day Fix Container Program and saw great results and am preparing to start the Whole 30 program. Do your research and find what will work best for you. Consider what foods appeal to you, and what you are looking to gain. (or lose!)
Plan and Prepare
Planning and preparation is KEY to following any nutrition plan. You will be much more likely to stick with it if everything is already laid out for you. Personally, where I get in trouble is when I am not prepared. Then when meal time comes around, I (admittedly) feel too lazy to prepare what I had planned on. So I usually just grab the quicker, easier (most likely unhealthier) option.
Now that you have picked a program, it may or may not lay out what you will be eating each day. If you’re stumped for ideas, every program that I suggested has cookbooks available as well as endless recipes on Pinterest. Grab a blank calendar and map out your meals for each day. Once you have it mapped out, then you can make your grocery list and get to work!
Ok, so you have your groceries, now what??? This is where there can be a major figurative fork in the road. I cannot stressing prepping enough. So many times I have been super-psyched for my new, healthy recipes, only to let my fresh produce wither away due to lack of prepping properly. Because, again, I fell victim to going with the quicker option. If everything is prepared ahead of time, there’s no turning back! Looking for direction on where to start? Check out my piece devoted exclusively to Meal Prepping for all of my personal tips and tricks.
So remember when I said that a healthy lifestyle is 80% nutrition??? So that leaves us with the remaining 20%: fitness. On the plus side, 20 is less than 80 so this should be the easy part! (right???) And on another bright note, once you get your nutrition on track, you will automatically feel more energized to fuel your workouts!
Choose a Plan
Much like nutrition, any successful attempt at fitness requires a plan. Sorry folks, flying blind probably won’t cut it here. In order to really commit, you need a plan of attack. Whether it be an actual black and white plan or something you come up with on your own, either way you need to know what you would like to accomplish.
Personally, I am a planner (big shocker), so I am much more successful when I follow a black and white plan. Most recently I completed the 21 Day Fix Extreme with Beachbody, but if you want something that lays out a day by day workout schedule, I definitely recommend any Beachbody program. If you’re looking for more information specifically on Beachbody, check out my full review here.
If home workouts aren’t your thing, check your local gyms. Most gyms offer comprehensive class schedules with something for everyone. If classes aren’t your thing, find something else! The most important part of choosing any fitness regimen is finding something that you ENJOY. Something that excites you and makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning! (ok, that may be a bit extreme, there’s really nothing that makes me want to jump out of bed at 5:30 in the morning)
Set a Goal
Goal setting is SOOOOO important! It will give you something to look forward to, and is also an excellent way to gage your progress. Your goal is unique to you; do you want to lose weight? Fit into your favorite jeans? Beat your running PR? (yes, that’s me!) Get stronger? Whatever your goal may be, do it for YOU and nothing else. Be realistic with yourself; nothing is more discouraging than setting an overly lofty goal, only to fail miserably. It’s great to reach for the stars, just make sure you stay in this galaxy!
Now that you have a plan and a goal, it’s time to commit. Write it down. If it’s staring you in the face everyday, you will be much more likely to stay committed. Find a way to hold yourself accountable. Personally, I am part of an online community that supports each other with our daily workouts, and I also message my friend every morning to let her know that I’m up and ready to workout. Whatever works for you!
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…
Falling in Love with Taking Care of Yourself is all about finding the motivation and excitement to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself. It’s not about depriving yourself or living in misery. The journey will be all about trial and error, and that’s ok. Keep playing around until you find what works for you, what excites you, and most importantly; what makes you feel good about yourself.
Different seasons of life will bring different challenges and different goals. Life is all about adapting to whatever life throws at you in that moment. Using the tools from Fall in Love with Taking Care of Yourself will prepare you for all of the different seasons of life, different versions of YOU and different obstacles that come your way.
As we enter this new season of Fall, I’m excited to jump back on my journey and see what life has in store! I would love to hear about where you are in your health and fitness journey and more importantly, where you are headed! Thanks for stopping by and embracing another piece of the Fall Series, be sure to stop back next week when we Fall Into New Routines!