As we kick off the first full work week of 2013, we’re also at the beginning of week two for anyone with big plans to get their health and fitness routine on the right track this year. I send big kudos to anyone who’s made it this far and hope this “Motivation Monday” post inspires you to keep going!
For anyone who’s feeling a little discouraged or frustrated – hang in there! If you’re saying, “Laura, I’ve gone to the gym every day since January 1st and I haven’t had one cupcake or even one glass of wine, but I don’t see the hint of a six-pack yet,” consider this your reality check. Slow and steady wins the race and when it comes to running down your health and fitness goals, well, it’s a bit more like a lifelong marathon. It’s important to remember it takes six weeks for anything to become a habit. So if you’re not completely moved by a post-workout endorphin rush or haven’t figured out which cardio program is the right one for you yet, don’t sweat it! Stick with it and focus on the positives you have experienced since making some healthy changes. Perhaps it’s a clearer mind after a busy day at work or not feeling as winded after climbing a flight of stairs. Remember, you CAN do this!
Along with the shot of motivation, I also wanted to stress an important component to keeping your healthy eating goals in check. While I’m not a registered dietitian or licensed nutritionist, I’m always happy to share some of my healthy-eating “tricks.” Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned is that a little planning goes a long way.
I spent 40 minutes yesterday chopping fruits and veggies so I have no excuse not to get my daily servings in all week. I have grab-bags and containers filled with cherry tomatoes, red and yellow pepper strips and carrots. I also have tubs of diced strawberries, grapes and a big bag of clementines. (My favorite brand is “Cuties,” they’re sweet, easy to peel and have no seeds.) Having these go-to snacks takes the guess-work out of deciding what to eat with my turkey on whole-wheat sandwich or when I need my late afternoon pick-me-up at the office. Also, on those days I get home after work and the gym, grabbing a container of raw veggies and munching on them while I grill a tilapia filet or chicken breast is a lot better than inhaling a handful of crackers to stave off the rumblings in my stomach.
When you’re ready to re-stock your fridge again, here are some of the items you’ll always find in mine:
- Non-fat plain Greek yogurt (Which can easily be jazzed up with sliced strawberries, sliced banana and even a handful of almonds. It’s a great base for an easy breakfast or protein-packed snack.)
- Low-fat string cheese
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red, yellow and/or orange peppers
- Baby carrots
- Clementines or other citrus
- Fat-free salsa
- Egg whites or egg beaters
- Mustard (my favorite zero-fat, low-calorie condiment)
The last item I’d encourage you to prep ahead of time is a gym bag. Having your workout wear with you at all times kills the possibility of using the “I-don’t-have-my-gym clothes-with-me” excuse.
Remember, the habits and routines you develop now can make an impact long after January is over. Here’s to a great week ahead filled with new enthusiasm to stick to your guns and do all you can to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!