I’m sure we’re all embracing that 2019 motto, “New year, new you,” right? As we close the door on 2018 and step into the new year, many of us set those health and wellness goals that we hope to hold onto all year round. As we move through January we’re still motivated and holding strong, but once February and early spring hits many of us fall off the wagon – yes, myself included!
Health and wellness encompasses so many different lifestyle aspects it can be overwhelming when trying to make a shift. I’m here to motivate and encourage you with a few tips to keep your 2019 wellness goals going strong.
Now keep in mind, I’m no registered dietitian or nutritionist – but I’ve done my own research and have learned so much about food and how it affects our bodies. These are simple tips that have helped me learn more about my relationship with food. If you’re not eating the right foods for your body, you won’t be able to maintain a healthy weight.
First: Cut out the sugar!
I know this one is so hard because sugar is in EVERYTHING. Literally EVERYTHING.
The American Heart Association recommends “…no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men.” Now that you have a daily intake cap, start reading those labels. One easy way to cut out sugar is to kick that soda. Don’t go to the sugar free stuff, just kick it all together. Instead, switch to sparkling waters with natural flavoring; sparkling kombuchas are another great alternative!
Second: Try and stay away from processed foods
If it’s processed (i.e., comes in a box), it’s most likely not going to be very good for you. Processed foods are filled with artificial flavorings and preservatives that do nothing for your body – they actually are known to cause illnesses and wreak havoc on our bodies.
This also includes fast foods. I know, I know, buzzkill, right? But most fast-food restaurants have such highly processed foods that I don’t think we can even call it real food. Start thinking about cooking at home with real ingredients – ingredients you know and can actually pronounce!
I’m sure as some of you are reading this you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to make a home-cooked meal.” I know. I get it. We are all busy! This leads me to my 3rd tip:
Third: Become best friends with Pinterest
It’s the best resource I’ve found that is easy (and fun) to use when searching healthy, quick meals. Really what it comes down to is being prepared. You have to get your recipes down, make sure you go to the grocery store and PLAN on making those meals. Just remember – the simpler the better. Less ingredients is actually more!
When it comes to food and maintaining your health goals, you have to stay committed. You have to find a sustainable diet that works for you. Not all diets work for everyone and you need to find a diet that allows you to get all the food groups – even carbs! Personally, limiting carbs, eating lean meats, enjoying lots of fruits and veggies, and reducing sugars has been the best plan of action for my body. I know this is a tough task but YOU CAN DO IT!
Workin’ on that fitness
Being active and finding what motivates you to move is so important! There are so many fun fitness activities out there, I’m sure you’ll find one that will inspire you to get your booty up and moving!
For me, fitness is a state of mind. I don’t always WANT to do it, but I know once I get out and move, my body (and mind) thank me! Fitness is time to be at one with yourself and to challenge your body (and mind for that matter).
First: Write down your goals
One way to get yourself into fitness is to write down or talk about your fitness goals. Once you put your goals on paper it becomes more real. So I ask you – what are your fitness goals? Do you want to try a new workout? Do you want to do your first 5k? Do you want to sign up for your first half marathon? Well go ahead and just do it! I know once I actually speak it out loud or write it down, I actually sign myself up. Once I’m signed up, I’m committed.
Second: Grab a friend!
Another great way to get into new types of workouts is to get your friends involved! Reach out to that super active friend who’s always going to spin or yoga. It’s much easier when you decide to partner up, plus it’s a great excuse for that after workout coffee that us mommas need so much! I always love taking advantage of the free trial classes that studios offer. I’ll drag a friend with me to hold me accountable, and then depending on the time of day we make it a workout date by heading to a juice bar, coffee shop or even enjoying a glass of wine. Because let’s be honest, we have to reward ourselves.
Third: Try a group class
Over recent years, I’ve fallen in love with group fitness classes. They seem intimidating at first, but I enjoy that there’s an instructor telling me what to do so I’m not aimlessly walking around the gym wondering what free-weight exercise I should do next. You can find some great classes at your local yoga studios, cycling studios, and even gyms. Some of my personal favorites are CorePower Yoga, CycleBar and Genesis. And if you’re looking to get into running, there are about a dozen running clubs here in Fort Collins. They all meet during the week and all the groups are super welcoming!
Fourth: Check out the Fort Collins Fitness Festival
Lucky for us here in Northern Colorado, we have the Fort Collins Fitness Festival coming up! These festival events are all things fitness, ranging from group workouts, studio previews, to vendors, to food, and everything in between! Save the dates: March 1st and September 21st!
Get comfortable & confident
Once you’ve decided what type of fitness you’re going for, make sure you’re prepared! And by this I mean, make sure you have all the right fitness gear to make sure you’re comfortable. Now this is an investment, but remember this is an investment in yourself and YOUR health. You want to be comfortable and confident in order to make sure you’re able to focus on your fitness, not wondering if that hole in your pants is getting bigger (ha!).
Here are a few necessities I’ve learned to invest in: shoes, pants, and a quality sports bra. Shoes you have to spend some money on. You want a pair that will ensure you perform, especially if you’re doing anything with high impact like crossfit or running. We’ve got some great running shoe stores in Fort Collins like Runner’s Roost and Altitude Running. There is also the Nike Outlet in Loveland which has some great performing shoes at a discount!
Pants are another important investment to care about. You’ll want some workout pants that last. You’ll want some that don’t stretch out on you and ones that you feel snug and put together in.
Same goes with a good sports bra! I personally like Athleta and Lululemon. They aren’t too expensive and they have really good support that actually last. You can also find some great deals at TJ Maxx or Marshalls if you want to spend less.
You can also take this in small steps – start with buying yourself those new running shoes. Then, as you accomplish your health goals, reward yourself with a new pair of pants. It’s so much sweeter when you work for something and then you hit those goals!
If you’re choosing to do fitness on your own, don’t forget about a GREAT playlist. Build yourself a playlist that gets you pumped up and gets you motivated. You want music that gets into your soul and makes you want to dance like no one is watching.
Make the mental shift
This may sound harsh, but you have to stop making excuses. Your health is so important and you have to start making it a priority. Get out of your head and into your body. Drop the judgements that you think people have about you and start focusing on yourself.
Remember, we all have to start somewhere. Maybe it starts with kicking that soda and making sure to move your body 30 minutes a day. Maybe it’s signing up for that first yoga class or joining a group run. Whatever it is, commit to yourself. If you waiver, don’t be hard on yourself. Stay with it and hold yourself accountable.
This is a journey and only YOU are in control of where you’re headed.