Sometimes things that used to work just don’t work anymore.
I remember when I bought a designer skirt that was marked 70% off, but was two sizes too small, all I had to do is skip one cheeseburger and I was wearing that skirt by the end of the week. Years later, it seemed that if I looked at a cheeseburger, I could hear the seams of my jeans ripping. Needless to say, I had to make some major adjustments.
I used to be extremely active. I hardly drove and I lived in an area where I could walk anywhere I needed to go. I ate whatever I wanted and I ate a lot. People couldn’t understand how I stayed so slim. Not only was I slim, I was very toned. I looked like I spent most of my time in the gym. I didn’t. The only extra exercise I remember doing was sit-ups before bedtime. I went to the gym sporadically, usually just to hang out with my friends. The one exercise that I was consistent with was walking. I was also always on the go. I always had something to do and somewhere to go. If I didn’t, I found something. I was single with no children so I could come and go as I pleased and I took advantage of that.
One day I was approached by someone who was training for a Miss Fitness competition. She told me that if I started lifting weights I would do well at a competition. So I started lifting weights. I never competed, but I picked up some extra muscle. I later stopped lifting weights because I could not see myself doing that everyday. I was completely satisfied with my toned walker body. The bulkiness of the muscle was soon gone and I eased back into my pre-weightlifting body.
Years later, I became a wife and a mother, I didn’t remain as active. I drove everywhere I need to go. I was no longer in search of things to do. My day was pretty much planned out for me. Most of the errand running, trips to work (at a desk), and taking my son to and from school involved sitting. I spent the majority of my day sitting down. The pounds began to accumulate and it was very hard to get rid of them. My fitness routine had to evolve with my lifestyle.
I began practicing yoga many years ago in my twenties to relieve my back pain. I never thought of it as exercise, but as a sort of conditioning. Personally, I have not seen any reduction in weight because of my yoga practice, but yoga has conditioned my body to withstand the hours of sitting at a computer, or in a car etc. I wanted to find something that I could incorporate into my life that would get me back into that effortlessly toned look I used to have. So I started walking again. I got up early every morning and walked six miles everyday before work. It worked immediately. Soon I was very close to pre-real-life body. That lasted until I had my son, quit my job, and became a stay-at-home mom. While my son was very young, I continued to walk while pushing him in a stroller. As he got older and started going to school I gained additional obligations. My fitness was no longer a priority. Later I realized that I needed to make some adjustments. I needed to be healthy and active for my family. I began walking again, but I was no longer seeing the rapid results I had seen in the past. Then I began to change my diet.
Controlling my diet has become the key for me to stay in the type of shape I want to be in. Controlling your diet is the key component for everyone because life will always throw you a curve ball. There have been several life instances that have derailed my exercise routine (pregnancy, car accidents, etc.). These things usually give no reason to alter your diet if you are eating healthy foods that are good for you. That is why it is so important to build a good foundation to support you when you are unable to exercise. In addition to eating clean, I have found an exercise plan that suits my lifestyle.
I would like to challenge all of us to find a plan that fits you. In order to do this, you must ask yourself the following questions:
- Will I do this? Your fitness plan should be challenging, but it should not be something that you hate. (If you hate dancing, don’t take a Zumba class)
- Am I able to do this? Don’t do something that your body can’t handle because of an injury or medical condition.
- Is this something I can keep up? You should be able to follow your plan consistently. Make it a priority in your life.
- If this doesn’t work, am I committed to find something that does? Don’t get discouraged. What works for someone else, may not work for you, but something will. Find it!!
- Am I willing to eat only food that is helpful to my body and committed to giving up on the things that aren’t? Your diet is the most important part. If you are able to master this part the rest will be much easier.