Confession: I’ve Fallen Off of the Fitness Wagon…Now What?
So, I’ve gained some weight. We’re not talking the good kind either. Over the past year, I’ve allowed my workouts to wane, my meal prep to disappear, and my healthy diet habits to become almost nonexistent.
What happened? Oh, you know, LIFE.
I could blame it on starting grad school last year and on starting a new job with a longer commute–and I do. However, if I’m honest, I just felt overwhelmed in general. Of course, there is always time for at least a quick workout, but I was tired and my bed was sooo comfy.
Yet, even without my usual workouts, I still could have made healthy eating choices, but I didn’t. I went for convenience, sweets and late night snack/study sessions.
Here’s the thing: once you start down that dangerously delicious and wonderfully lazy path, it becomes harder and harder to turn around. Caffeine and sugar addictions latch on stronger than crack cocaine, and then there’s Halloween, which slides into Thanksgiving, and before Christmas even comes you’ve arrived at the place where you’re tired ll the time, only 2 pairs of pants still fit and you’re not really sure how you got here. (Groan!)
So, I’m taking the responsibility to get back on track NOW. I wasn’t posting on the blog, or even taking any gym selfies because the my slacking was staring me in the face. Getting back on track means no longer running from that, but facing it head on.
My first step is working to rearrange my schedule a bit and incorporate a new, more doable training plan into my weekly plan. Cardio 5 days a week and lifting 6 days a week are no longer practical, but that doesn’t mean another plan couldn’t work.
It also means that I will need to go back to a real commitment to healthy meal prep. Getting to work at 8 a.m. and getting out of class at 10 p.m. means that if I don’t pack healthy meals and snacks, I will surely be reaching for whatever is close to fuel my long days at work and school.
So here’s the plan.
First (and most importantly): BRING BACK MEAL PREP!
As we know, this fitness thing is truly 20 percent workout and 80 percent diet! Therefore, not only am I going to get back on my meal prep, the key to the physique results that I truly crave, but I will be sharing the details here on the blog as well! There are so many ways to make meal prep delicious, affordable and time-saving. I’ll be sharing more on that soon.
What I like to do is keep my breakfast items at work so I don’t have to lug them around each day. Breakfast-at-work staples for me include:
- Egg whites (made with a microwave egg poacher)
- Instant oatmeal (low or no sugar)
- Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread or Thomas’ Light english muffins
- Veggie maple flavored “sausages” or Turkey sausage
- Super Coffee (made with coconut oil)
- Protein powder w/ almond-coconut milk
For lunch, I try to change up my meal prep so that I’m not eating the same thing each day. Here are a few of my favorite meal items to rotate:
- Lean ground turkey or beef
- Grilled chicken or fish
- Veggie medley – zucchini and mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- Roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes
- Flax seed flatbread
- Black beans with salsa and low fat cheese
- Chopped salad (in the bag, minus the carb-heavy toppings
- Peanut butter (as a snack)
- Greek yogurt (as a snack)
- Roasted almonds (as a snack)
For dinner, I try to either eat more of my healthy meal prep from lunch, or make a nice meal at home if the time allows. I’ll save my cheat days for a few weeks from now when I’m seeing the progress I want.
Second: Create a Workout Schedule that Allows Flexibility
Here’s a sample of what I try to do in a typical week. Note that having days where I do cardio only allows me to move around my lifting workouts if my day ends up busy, and I don’t get to keep my schedule. Using my rest day on class day is also a way to set myself up for success instead of trying to squeeze too many things into one day. Also, if I have a busy Saturday, I can still push my long run day to Sunday. Having flexibility in your workout schedule is what keeps you from skipping workouts altogether.
M – Morning: Cardio, Evening: Shoulders/Chest/Triceps
T – Morning: Cardio
W – Morning: Back/Biceps/Abs, Evening: Run Club
Th – Rest day (School) *OR Additional Leg Day (Optional)*
F – Morning: Cardio
Sa – Long Run
Su – Legs/Glutes
Third: Remember That This is a Lifestyle
Revamping your eating and organizing a workout schedule are great, but in order to make this truly a habit and not just a phase, you will need to incorporate healthy living into your daily activities. Slipping up once or twice won’t be an excuse to throw the whole plan away, because it’s a commitment to improving your health, your life. This means subbing out water for juices, taking the stairs whenever possible, cutting back on alcohol and other high calorie treats and logging your progress in a journal or an app.
Starting with these three steps, I know that I’ll be back on my fitness “wagon” in no time.
Have you fallen off the wagon? Perhaps you never got on?! Hit me up and tell me what your plan is to change that, and turn things around. You can do it!
Don’t forget to see how I’m doing and follow my journey on Instagram!
Featured photo: Boy and wagon. istock.
Grilled chicken and asparagus 03.29.09 by timlewisnm is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Girls Stretching photo is via Miles + Mimosas
Helena Hong (#76545) by Mark Sebastian is licensed under CC BY 2.0