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Family Fitness, Getting Started with Exercise and Changing your Diet.

Posted by Bert on 12/6/2012 to Family Fitness
So where did I leave off? Oh yeah! The phone call.

There I was having a nice family dinner with some friends of ours when the phone rang, the caller ID said STEELE on it. My stomach dropped and my heart skipped a beat once only to then begin thudding loudly in my chest. After figuring out that I was talking to Steele, the owner of the gym, I found out that I was one of the ten semi-finalists! My second chance was here. I was really going to start to lose the weight and make a lifestyle change. Now that you know the rest of the story here are the answers to your burning questions:

How much did I lose? I lost 28 pounds and 37.5 inches. That's 25.43% of my body in 90 days.

Was it hard? Yes, it was completely time consuming. It ruled my life for 90 days. Well, actually it reorganized my priorities. My husband and kids became the main priority when I was at home and everything else had to play second fiddle.

Can you do this too? Yes, with any kind of goal or challenge that you set for yourself there will be ups and downs, peaks and valleys, hurdles and easy strides. If being healthy and setting a good example for those little ones you love so deeply is one of your goals like it was mine then believe me you can do this.

Your Challenge

Alright, how do you start this thing? First things first, lets assess your activity level. If you're a stay-at-home mom or dad like me you probably spend the majority of your day on your feet either following a toddler around or preparing meals in your kitchen. If you're a working parent you'll spend the majority of your daytime hours at your job which could be sedentary (i.e. an office job in cubicle world) or active (i.e. working in the food industry or healthcare). Whatever the case the chances are good that you are probably not reaching the kind of heart rate required to give your body a good cardiovascular workout.

That being said here is the activity assignment for you this week. Be active for no less than thirty minutes six days this week. And I mean active as in you're working up a good sweat and may smell afterwards kind of active! This is going to be different for everyone. If you're in a fairly active job during the day or you are pretty active at home then walking at a fast pace or even jogging is not out of the question for you. When I started the 90 day fitness challenge, walking at a speed of 3.5 on a treadmill was challenging for me; I worked my way up to running. Here are some things you can do based on where you feel your current activity level is:

  • Walk at a 3% incline on your treadmill going at 3.5 for speed.
  • Have a dance party with your kid(s) for thirty minutes, not stopping any longer than 30 seconds.
  • Do a workout DVD
  • If you live in a warmer climate (lucky duck! Im in Minnesota and am so dreading the coming snow and cold weather) ride a bike if you own one and if you have a bike trailer hook it up and bring enough snacks, books, activities to keep the kiddos entertained. I did that a lot during the challenge with my kids and they loved it. Plus, pulling that extra weight was a great workout for me!
  • You can also try your feet (ha get it!) at jogging and running. Try walking for two minutes and then jogging or running for one minute. If you want to pick it up try sprinting for a minute and then walking for one minute. The intervals are a great way to get started running and its great for your heart too. Plus, it helps burn more calories because you're bringing your heart rate up and then back down. (Don't worry; well talk about heart rates in a different post!)

What about food?

Okay, you've got it; activity is important. What about what you're eating? The simple answer to help you get started is this mentality Garbage in, garbage out. That's right; if the majority of what you're eating is out of a box then my next question is whether or not you can pronounce all of the ingredients that are listed. If you cant well, that my friend, is garbage. Remember this is a lifestyle change you're making. You're doing this for your family. Your young child will follow your queues now and you know why? Simple, its because you're still cool in his or her eyes.

Next, try to increase your meals to five or six small meals a day, eating every three to four hours and adding a full 8 oz glass of water with those meals. This keeps your blood sugars level which will help with energy and also curb any hunger pains you might feel. The water helps flush out your body. Here's an example of what I eat typically:

1. Breakfast Greek yogurt (plain), scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, and cup of frozen berries (and of course COFFEE!)

2. Snack at 10am Kashi bar, the chewy kind or the crunchy kind

3. Lunch at noon (I know its only two hours but I do have kids to feed!) 1 Flatout wrap (only 90 calories) with some deli meat, lettuce and a little mayo. Depending on what I have around I may have some veggie straws with it.

4. Snack at 3pm with the kids An apple with low fat cottage cheese. This is my absolute favorite snack! I dip my apple in the cheese for that sweet and salty taste.

5. Dinner at 6pm I try my best to stay away from carbs after 5pm. So I have good veggies and I usually prepare a main dish thats meat. Then I serve the good carbs to Ben, my husband, and the kids, and I skip those side dishes.

Thats it! No more snacking after dinner. Which leads me to the next assignment

Clean out those cupboards!

Get those food vices out of the cupboards! We all have them. Mine is peanut butter. Seriously, I can go through an entire tub of peanut butter in one week. Whats yours? What food do you instantly want to run into the kitchen, find and inhale when you're having a bad day or you're feeling stressed? Do what I did.either don't buy it (which we didn't buy peanut butter for a very long time) OR put it in an inconvenient place. My peanut butter, as you can see from the picture, is on the top shelf of my very annoying cupboard. I'm 5'2 so I have to pull my step ladder out and stand on the counter or I have to hoist myself up onto the counter and then reach back to grab it. In that amount of time I will have thought about whether or not I really want to eat that peanut butter. And in most cases I wont. Instead Ill opt for a yummy cup of decaf toasted coconut coffee!

Lets review, shall we? Assignments this week:
  • 1. Thirty minutes of activity at least six days this week.
  • 2. Focus on what you're putting into your mouth can you pronounce the name of the ingredient?
  • 3. Eat every three to four hours, focusing on portion control were not doing an all day long buffet here!
  • 4. Get rid of or hid your food vices.

Let me know which one of these you're looking forward to trying the most or the least?

Yours Truly,