Shaping Up

I am sure that there are many of you who are looking to live a healthier lifestyle in 2015, at least that’s what statistics seem to show.  So I thought I’d gather together a few resources for you that I have found helpful.  I’m not an expert and whatever you choose to do or not to do is totally up to you and what fits for your lifestyle, personality, and enjoyment.  I had babies in 2010, 2011, and 2014 and while I’m no supermodel by any stretch of the imagination, I’m relatively healthy and have lost my baby weight each time.  So take what I offer as coming from someone with experience but who has a ways to go and is still daily challenged herself, always in the process of learning and growing.

With that said, here are some resources for you to check out.

shaping up

Photo borrowed from http://bit.ly/1HZvcT6 and edited.

Tried & True Resources

Fuel

30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge:  I did this a while back and prior to it, I didn’t like the taste of green anything in my smoothie (and I’m an adventurous eater).  But this challenge helped me to grow to enjoy green smoothies.  Tip: Blend your greens and liquid first before adding the other ingredients so you aren’t chewing your greens (HUGE difference).

Very Smoothie:  This started as a Facebook page and she created a website with searchable smoothie recipes.  Fantastic resource for looking for new smoothie ideas depending on what restrictions you have and/or ingredients.

Smoothie Ideas: This is my Pinterest board with smoothie ideas (and some other drinks but you can ignore those) that can help get you started. But there are a ton of them out there so just do a search and you’re bound to find some that your taste buds will jump at.

100 Days of Real Food:  Try her challenge to eat only real food or go the 80/20 route (real food 80% of the time and other stuff 20% of the time).  She has some great posts, lists for what is real food, and recipes (both for regular meals and for substitutions for the normal processed stuff we buy).

Weelicious:  This is especially helpful for if you have kids and need some kid-friendly meal/snack ideas.  You can search by age or just do family meals for dinner ideas.  Great website.

Exercise

Workout videos on Pinterest (free):  This is my board with a bunch of videos (you can usually play them from the pin itself).  There are also some monthly challenges but I wouldn’t do those without having some other all-body workout too.  It also helps to have accountability with the challenges.  The videos will likely often be geared toward a barre/yoga/pilates style as that’s what I like best.

YouTube Barre Body/Dance Playlist (free):  This is a playlist I compiled for me and for others who wanted to try the barre-style workout without paying for DVDs or an online subscription.   Lots of videos at varying lengths.  Even if you don’t have a dance background, these are great because they’re low-impact and don’t require much space or often times any equipment.

Fitness Blender YouTube Channel (free):  This is a free resource and a great one.  It has a variety of types of exercises, the girl is usually dressed fairly modestly, and it’s recorded well.  I also appreciate that they don’t make it seem easy all the time.  The girl will sometimes say or show that she’s challenged too.  I appreciate that!

Barre3 Online Videos ($): It honestly helps motivate me if I know I’m putting money toward something. Online subscriptions are a good alternative to a class.  Sure, if I pay for a class I’m going to go and not leave early so that’d be ideal but time-wise and financially, it’s not always feasible.  I don’t have experience going to a Barre3 class, but I do use the online videos and love them.  I’ve also been to classes similar to Barre3 locally and saw a difference in just a few classes.  Highly recommend the $15/mo to do this if you’ve tried out the free ones above and like this exercise style.

Holy Yoga TV ($):  I feel like I need a huge disclaimer or something because there is often so much controversy in the Christian culture when it comes to yoga.  But the point of this isn’t to get into a debate on it.  This is a yoga-alternative centered on Scripture rather than the New Age stuff.  It’s a time of both exercise and worship and I absolutely love it.  It’s by donation with a minimum of $10/month.  I love doing one in the morning and one at night to wind down.  I could go on and on about how much I love this and can go into more detail if you want to ask.  I’d even say it’s good if you want to try yoga but have been put off by the oddness of some of it even if you aren’t a Christian.  Like Barre3, I haven’t been to a class but do the online workouts and love them.

Other Tips
  • Start small.  This post talks about mini habits which basically means stop trying to have these lofty goals for yourself and make very small achievable goals instead.  So rather than saying you’re going to start working out 30 minutes 5x a week, instead commit to working out for 5 minutes a day.  It’ll motivate you more rather than having you give up out of defeat.  Some small steps to consider:
    • Wake up 10 minutes earlier tomorrow to exercise for just 10 minutes.
    • Commit to making and freezing some breakfast so you stop skipping that meal.  Maybe make one of these muffins.
    • Carry a bottle of water with you and drink just one each day if you struggle with drinking water.  Up it to 2, 3, etc. as you conquer each.
    • Brush your teeth after dinner so you’re less likely to eat later in the evening.
    • Eat one fruit a day (maybe it’s a banana with breakfast or an apple with lunch).  Just one.
    • Only eat a palm-full of chocolate chips for dessert tonight rather than a bowl of ice cream or some other dessert.
  • Stop using the time excuse.  I’ve used it too.  But realistically, we all have the time to spend 30 minute or so a day exercising.  We just choose to spend it elsewhere (watching a TV show, browsing Facebook, going on Netflix, sleeping).  I mean we can even exercise while cooking!  Each second of our day we have a choice how to utilize that time.  Sure, some of you are super busy but there is still room in there to move or to make healthier meals (myth buster: eating healthier doesn’t mean more time-consuming).  Just be creative if you need to (use your lunch break, do exercises at your desk, while you’re in the kitchen, or just a short exercise before bed).  No more excuses.
  • Plan your meals.  I thought basically everyone did this but am finding out that’s not the case.  I can’t stress this enough.  I highly recommend Plan to Eat and you can read my review of it here.  I’ve tried a lot of different things and maybe other options will work better for you depending on your needs (there are lots that plan your meals for you, for example, but because I have a picky husband those weren’t the best for us).  If you need some ideas for websites that do all the work for you (tell you what to make, compile grocery lists, cater to specific dietary restrictions, etc.) then comment below and I’ll help guide you in the right direction.
  • Use an app to track yourself.  There are so many apps out there so find what works.  I used Noom for a while to track my eating.  It was helpful because it’s based on volumetrics and showed me what foods were green, yellow, and red.  I could eat whatever I wanted but it would tell me if I needed more green foods, where I was at with calories, and even had ways to learn (you could get points or something in case you were going that route).  But track what you eat, your steps, whatever you need to.  It’s at least helpful to do at first to get you started. My husband did this and found it really eye-opening for his food intake.
  • Get accountability.  Find someone who will either commit to something with you or will be faithful to check in on you regularly.  This can be a huge help for someone who isn’t self-motivated.
 What are your health goals for 2015 and what is one step you can commit to taking toward that goal?

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