I'm ready. I'm ready to wage war against the nonsensical overindulgence of Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. I'm ready to get rid of the excess weight (but not the memories) gained along the way. I'm ready to feel good, strong, healthy + well!
Anyone else? After the holiday season I always feel so gross. Just full of sugar + all kinds of other yuck that makes me tired + lazy.
Before we go any further, though, let me just make one thing clear. I am about HEALTH. Not being "skinny". While putting this together, I came across the pin below on Pinterest.
AGAINST THE MEDIA's way of making us feel that our value lies in being a certain size or weight. We aren't numbers, we're people. I believe in being healthy. And when our BMI is below a certain point, we are definitely skinny... but we aren't healthy. Our bodies aren't made to function properly with such a small amount of fat. So this post is about "resetting yourself", getting back on track and being healthy. Please understand that I'm not hating on the tumblr blogger... It seems that she is right there, wanting that that unattainable or unhealthy image of beauty that our culture has tricked her into running after. That only evokes emotions of sorrow for me.
So let's get healthy! Let's shed the excess we've gained from sugar plums (really, I've never had one but always wanted to try it), cakes, cookies, pies, candy.... everything. Let's reset our bodies back to healthy and kick off the new year right! The plan is to follow this for the entire month of January. A lot of it will become a habit after that, and really this is just a healthy way to live. After January you may find yourself bending rules here and there, but they will be few and far between. You will have developed healthy habits by then, and your cravings will have changed. So here we go!
Every day we'll focus on THREE categories: a) movement, b) intake + c) wellness
1. Commit every day to a workout. I'm not picky. I get up at 5 am, and there isn't a chance in the world I'm getting up any earlier. Nope. So long workouts aren't part of my routine during this season of life. Even a 10 minute workout can make all the difference in the world. Check out the video below- that doesn't require any machines, is ten minutes long and is still effective. Even if it's just a 10 minute walk or dance session, commit to a workout. I realize that ever person is different and we all have different levels of activity that we can realistically commit to, so figure out what your level is and stick to it!
Victoria's Secret 10 Min Workout- this workout is literally 10 minutes long and was developed by Andrea Orbeck (pictured above) who works with VS supermodels to get them in shape (even though they *still* get help in the form of photoshop).
2. Next- commit to remember this saying, "Sitting is better than laying, standing is better than sitting, walking is better than standing." As you move about your day, ask yourself if you could do what you're currently doing at the next level (for example, standing instead of sitting).
3. Lastly, every hour MOVE! Every hour, either at the end or the beginning set an alarm and do something that is motion oriented. Here are some ideas and all of them take between 1 and 5 minutes, though you may have to adapt them depending on what your work day looks like...
a) 100 jumping jacks
b) 30 squats
c) 1 minute of butt kicks
d) 1 minute of jump roping (with or without the rope)
e) 1 minute plank
f) dance to your favorite song
f) If you're hardcore, you could even do the routine at the top from the tumblr blog. It won't burn 100 calories one time through, but if you do it every hour- you will certainly meet that goal by the 5th or 6th hour! By the time January is over- you will have lost one pound *just* from that!
source here). Don't be discouraged by the thought of "only" losing one pound of fat for all of that work. If it seems awfully hard to lose a pound, remember- it's a lot easier to *keep* it off than to *get* it off!
Don't forget that cleaning the house can be a workout! Here's a fun post about how cleaning your house can help you get FIT.
1. Let's try to think about what we eat. I'm not a huge fan of diets, at all. I believe that everything in moderation is a much easier way to live. Also, not everyone has the same body chemistry. For example, I kept hearing that people always lose weight on a gluten free diet... but I gained 10 lbs. And I promise you- the Atkins diet would balloon me out like crazy (when I was underweight, my doctor had me eat avocados... I gained a LOT of weight!). We all know (hopefully, if not, consider looking into it) what our buttons are. Whether carbs, dairy, sugar... whatever, try to reign it in this month.
2. In addition, cut down on (or eliminate if you can) the sweets. If you're like me, you've probably had enough sweets from T-day til now to last a lifetime. If you're likely to binge from restriction, then limit yourself to one small treat per day (such as a dove promise). Eating sugar makes you crave sugar more. Every January, I always give up sugar for the entire month because of this. By the end of the month, the cheap candy that I would have ripped throats for doesn't even seem appealing any longer.
3. Of course, DRINK MORE WATER! Cut out the other drinks. If you're a coffee/tea addict, try to have them as black as possible. Water is so fantastic for your system, drinking enough (I follow the rule of one ounce per lb of your weight) will purge the body of toxins and also help you flush out some extra weight. There have been studies showing that we often confuse thirst with hunger. If you drink a glass of water before every meal (20 minutes before) and also often throughout the day, you won't find yourself reaching for snacks or larger meals. CLICK HERE for flavored water recipes if the thought of a water-only month makes you want to die inside.
4. Skip the processed food. Cutting out processed food is a great way to start when you're looking to detox and reset your body to healthy. Generally it is filled with lots of non-food ingredients and lots of trans fat, so letting it go will help you get back on track. Here's a great resource TONS of RECIPES/SNACKS as well as a fantastic site for cutting out processed food. While we're at it, cut out the fast food, too!
5. Increase your fruits + veggies. Also look for food that is high in fiber (beans, oats, berries, etc. Ideas HERE and HERE) which will make you feel fuller for longer. Try to eat lean meats + fish, subbing in ground chicken or turkey where you would have used ground beef.
The holiday season is super fun. But it's also kind of stressful. Never underestimate what stress will do to your body and your overall health. In the wellness category, let's aim to do one thing for our wellness each day.
a) Spend time in contemplation + reflection about your day. Pray, reflect, be calm.
b) Forgive past hurts. The holiday season is so painful for many people, because when everyone is thinking about family, friends and togetherness... they're often drawn to remember different relationships that are broken for many reasons. Take time to forgive others, and even if you can't mend the relationships you can forgive them in your heart. I recently read, "life is easier when you learn to accept an apology that you never received." It really spoke to me.
c) Stop spending- debt is stressful, and your wallet is probably pretty tight from all of those presents. So do yourself a favor... stay out of malls (and Target- that wiley minx) and lock your wallet up tight.
d) Take this DETOX BATH early and often.
e) Find something good to read, take time to read it.
f) Journal. Each night, write a lot or a little. I've heard of people who write one line in their journal each day saying what they were thankful for, or a little remembrance that they loved. Great idea.
g) Get plenty of rest (7-8 hours per night is crucial... google how sleep affects your quality of life).
h) Try one (or all!) of these DETOX SMOOTHIES.
i) Focus on the positive. Instead of worrying or thinking about things that have gone wrong, spend time actively thinking of what you are grateful or happy for. Remember happy moments or the things that are going well in your life. You'll find your mental health goes way up!
So what do you think? Want to join me in resetting? If so, remember that while scales are awesome- they aren't the best indicator of health. One of my favorite health books is, "French Women Don't Get Fat" and she talks about how hands and zippers do a much better job of telling you where you're at than a scale. You may become leaner while still having the same weight, since muscle is so much more dense than fat. I suggest getting a tape measure and measuring your hips, waist and thighs TODAY and then where they're at along the way. That's what I'll be doing!
If you're going to join us, comment below! I'll keep updating with tips + tricks throughout the month to keep you motivated.
Hurrah for HEALTH!
All the best (on the *very* last day of 2012) and here's to a great new year together! As always, I'm extremely grateful for you now and all year round.
*** I do realize there are some women who are just naturally extremely thin. I have two such friends who cannot gain weight no matter what. My doctor even put me on a high avocado diet last April after needing my BMI to come up to the "healthy" range. SO I'm not hating on thin women, either! Love all body shapes. Make yours as healthy as it can be.