No one ever said that making a commitment to a healthier, happier life would be easy. But I can tell you that it is soooo worth it! When you look good, you feel good! And when you feed your body the right types of foods at the right times, it rewards you with things like more energy during the day, a more restful nights sleep, and a happier, more fulfilling lifestyle. You probably hear all the time that the most important thing is patience. It is a process to adapt to any types of change, especially physical changes like appearance. We all want quick results, but quick results are not lasting results. So you need to be patient.
The best thing that you can do for yourself, is take it the challenge day by day, and don’t analyze the results too frequently. When trying a new program, I personally try to compare my results every two weeks. So for example, on week 4, I can compare my results not only to Day 14 (two weeks earlier), but to Day 1 as well. I find it helpful to keep a daily food log and portion out food in the beginning while I am adapting to the change. This helps keep me honest. As time goes on and you become accustom to what you should and should not eat, eating right will become the habit and you might no longer need a food log or a measuring cup. But it is a great tool for beginning a new challenge. You can make your own food log, or you can utilize helpful tools on the web, like myfitnesspal.com.
As I mentioned before, I don’t really believe in yoyo dieting. I prefer to commit to long term change. For those of us that live in New England or similar climates where the weather changes so frequently, I do think it can be harder to stay away from comfort foods. Especially around the holidays!!! I try to give myself a little slack but honestly I often regret it. This is a habit I am hoping to change for myself this year. I don’t play any winter sports and I really can’t stand the cold weather, so between lack of energy and motivation and increased cheat meals, I tend to increase my body fat in the colder months. I feel sluggish, bloated, just all around gross and disappointed in myself for allowing it to happen. So my personal goal is to break this habit this year once and for all.
As an athlete, I know sometimes it helps to get assistance from other athletes or trainers! I design my own programs usually and just do my own thing, but sometimes I use programs designed by others to try them out, or switch things up! It can help broaden my knowledge, experience, and discipline. Don’t be afraid to get assistance from others, even if you are a trained professional or an expert in what you do. There is always something new to learn! In the past, I have met with other trainers, and got consultation on my diet, exercise routines, and changes I could make to maximize performance or results. The more you know the better off you are! I often use Bodybuilding.com as a resource! They have tons of great articles, recipes, and workouts that can help keep you on track.
So, I just started a 12 week, clean eating challenge and a more regular exercise program that should put me back on track. This program is designed by one of my all time favorite athletes, Jamie Eason. The program is called, Jamie Eason’s Livefit 12-Week Trainer. Now to be clear, this isn’t a diet program, it’s a lifestyle change, but I am forcing myself to commit for an entire 12 weeks with no cheat meals or deviating from the program. This should work to break my bad eating habits from winter and to get me back into a routine at the gym. I figure- March, April and May… That puts me back in the groove just in time for Summer! I started a couple days before March 1st because I feel like what’s the point of putting it off 3 more days? I don’t NEED to eat more junk, so I started early. The first week is going to be my biggest challenge because I have to portion out meals and rid my body of toxins that I have allowed to build up in my system. It will definitely effect my mood, most likely effect my sleep habits, and test my patience and will power on more than one occasion… But I am doing this, and I am READY!
I will keep a food log, measure out my portions, keep a calendar to check off my exercise as I progress through the challenge, and track my results every two weeks. I will share my progress and results with you on here so you can follow me as I move through the challenge! At the end of the 12 weeks, I will decide if the challenge was worthwhile, and if I would recommend it to others or use it again. To learn more about this program, check it out at: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-eason-livefit-trainer.html
Wish me luck! 🙂