I want to get a little raw and real in this post - because that's what wellness and weight are. They're raw and real. And I tend to avoid the conversation or get self conscious. But when I started B&B I always told myself I'd keep it honest and share even the things I don't really want to share. So here we are.
I've struggled over the past year with my fitness and wellness goals. I've been wanting to get down to a slightly healthier weight (only about 5-10 pounds lighter - not much!) and have felt like I've hit failure after failure - mostly because of burnout and a lack of education around wellness and nutrition. I've raced to all the different classes - and began to dread going. I cut all the "nasty" foods out of my diet - and then craved them so intensely I've ended up binging. It's a cycle I'm sure so many women - so many people - are familiar with.
And honestly I'm so tired of it.
I started to take a very different approach just a few weeks ago - slow and steady, with a focus on nutrition education and psychology. I'll get into all the details of exactly what it is I'm doing, but let me tell you first what I'm not doing.
I'm not on a diet. Period. Because "diets" for me personally never work.
I do; however, track all my food and am focusing on eating the rainbow. I've been exercising, but have scaled back to 1-2 classes a week and outdoor walks in between. Slow and steady wins the race is my new motto.
Like I said, I just know there are so many people out there facing this same cycle of motivational surge and burnout. I wanted to create a post to talk about fitness goals - but with a BIG focus on keeping them realistic. You won't find tips and tricks with hour long gym routines. You won't find suggestions about fad diets (or even non fad diets - you just won't hear me recommend any "diet" period lol).
But what you will find in this post are tips and tricks about how I've started to take small, realistic steps towards reaching my own personal fitness goals. And how you can, too!
Have you ever found yourself on January 1 setting big, aspirational fitness and wellness goals? Maybe you want to work out five days a week. Maybe your goal is to lose 10+ pounds.
Can we be honest? How many of these goals did you abandon by February 1st?
For me, every single year, it was almost all of them. I'd make this big goals and fail. Every. Time.
Now, we can chalk my "failure" up to a whole host of things - lack of consistency, etc. But honestly I think it really came down to the fact that I was shooting so high I was honestly destined to feel like a failure when I didn't see immediate results, and thus actually failed. Basically I set my goals so high that when I didn't achieve them (and fast), I ditched them.
And that's exactly why I'm taking a more "realistic" approach. Yes, I still have larger goals - but I'm breaking them down into even smaller more realistic and achievable goals. Instead of saying I want to lose 15 pounds - I'm setting my goal for the month at -3. Once I hit that -3, you bet I'll keep going. But honestly -3 is a lot easier to process than -15.
I want to be really clear up front - I am not sponsored by NOOM. I don't even have an affiliate link for NOOM. I just use it and like it. I won't bore you, but the long story short here is that NOOM is an app based wellness program where you create goals, track your food, weigh in, and do some reading about the psychology of how we eat (why we eat what we eat, why we eat when we eat, etc). I've definitely found the program to be super helpful. Some of the things the program has had me do are:
Similar to my ode to "realistic" goals - "SMART" goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
Also echoing what I wrote above, NOOM encourages you break down your "big picture" goal into smaller SMART goals...but always remember your "big picture." Always remember your why. Not just "oh I want to lose 15 pounds"...but why do you want to lose that 15 pounds? Is it to look better? To feel better? Understanding your big picture helps you not to give up on your goals.
I'll admit I hated this portion of NOOM at first. How on Earth is weighing in every morning encouraging? If anything, I'd think it was discouraging.
But actually - I was wrong. Weighing in has helped me be conscious of the little decisions I make throughout the day (snagging a donut in the break room or skipping a walk, for example). The scale doesn't have to be scary. The number you see is okay - whatever the number is. But stepping on each morning helps raise awareness.
If you're a grazer like I am, logging your food into an app can be incredibly eye opening. Each little handful of trail mix adds up! Logging my food has really helped me reign in my portions. Am I actually hungry? Or am I just bored...
Looking to make an achievable wellness goal? Try adding "pack my own lunch for work" to your list.
Trust me. Even packing your own lunch just three days a week will save you hundreds of dollars each year PLUS you'll naturally make healthier choices!
The important thing to remember through all your wellness goal setting is to also outline rewards for yourself. For me the best reward (other than feeling and looking better) is always cute workout gear.
I have a lot of fitness brands I love, but Adidas has been a FAVE of mine lately. I've got this page bookmarked and check back for new styles I want to add to my "rewards" list. You can also find my shoes from this post on this page - Ultraboosts are the most comfortable fitness shoes of all time.
There's just something about a cute outfit that makes me incredibly motivated to head to a studio class or take a walk. Like hello look at me I LOOK SO GOOD. Lolz.
On that note - seriously try to remind yourself exercise doesn't have to suck and it doesn't have to be traditional. If you like sports, try signing up for a non-competitive league! Even walking is amazing exercise. Yes, just taking a 20 minute walk each day is enough to be considered "exercise."
Exercise doesn't have to be intimidating, boring, or crappy. Exercise is good for you and doing something good for you should be fun. My daily/weekly walks have become my ME time. I pop in a podcast and zone out.
The other assumption I've made for so many years is that eating healthy tastes awful. I love carbs, I love cheese, I love meats - basically I love food. I assumed all veggies were boring and bland, but this year I've really been encouraging myself to re-approach vegetables with way less judgement.
If you've been following me on Instagram Stories, you've seen me whip up tasty veggie based dishes like homemade pumpkin curry! SO YUMMY. Make sure you follow me because I'll be sharing more healthy plant based dishes as I discover them!
But real talk - eating healthy can taste good. It can.
Like I wrote earlier in this post, I'm rethinking what it means to exercise. Instead of setting an unrealistic goal of hitting the gym 3+ times a week, I'm clarifying I want to get my heart rate up 3+ times a week. This could mean taking a walk during lunch, doing a BBG session after work - a whole host of things! I just want to sweat and get my heart beating a few times each week.
Packing my own lunch has never been my strength. Like, ever. I'm sure a lot of people can relate - planning your meals is a lot of work! I'd like to save some cash and control my calories a bit better by packing my own lunch 2-3 times a week.
NOOM classifies foods as "green," "yellow," and "red"...but it's not what you think. This color coding system has nothing to do with "good" or "bad" foods, but actually indicates calorie density. "Green" foods are low calorie density (think high water content, low calories), while "red" foods are high calorie density (think low water content like dried fruits and nuts). NOOM helps you strategize on how you can eat more food by volume, and stay more full (thanks to high water content).
I really want to incorporate more "green" foods into every meal. Common "green" foods are fruits and veggies like watermelon, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries - the list goes on and on! It's a big goal of mine in 2019 to make sure half my plate is filled with "green" foods at every meal.
I've tried to keep my focus not on weight, but on wellness. That being said - YES, of course I want to lose a little weight. My current goal weight is 128-130 pounds, which would put me in a much healthier range for my age and height.
Share your tips and tricks for how to create realistic fitness goals in the comments below!!!
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