Monday, May 2, 2011

10 Steps to Get Fit

I slowly walked down the street holding my toddler's hand.  My three older children and husband laughed and chased each other back and forth as they walked ahead of us.  For once I didn't mind bringing up the rear as we walked to a local elementary school playground.

I felt tired, sluggish.  My body ached.  I wanted to plop myself down on the couch and veg in front of a video or my laptop but my children had asked me to walk to the playground with them.  Mama guilt will get me off the couch and outdoors quicker than anything else will!

Not so cute in May 2010.
As we walked down the street my husband turned around and snapped a picture of me and Sam.  At the time I thought I looked pretty cute.  I knew the baseball cap wasn't doing anything for me but the red t-shirt and black shorts seemed to suit me.

When we arrived back at the house I uploaded the adorable pictures of my kids on the playground and the picture of me, who most definitely did NOT look cute.

It was then that I became a woman on a mission to get fit.  I wanted to feel energetic.  I wanted stamina to keep up with my kids.  Truth be told I wanted to look cute again!

By following 10 simple steps (I said simple, NOT easy!) I lost 15 pounds and 3 pants sizes in 3 months.  That is nothing short of a miracle!

Looking better in January 2011.
You're probably wondering if I've kept it off.  Well, yes and no.  It's almost 9 months since I took off those 15 pounds and they haven't returned.

But I did stop exercising so all those muscles that were starting to firm up have now returned to mush.  When you are only 5 feet tall and birthed 4 babies by c-section in 5 years the difference between one size of clothing and another is mushy muscles or toned muscles.  I'm just vain enough to want the smaller size!

So, today I'm starting a series of blog posts called '10 Steps to Get Fit.'  I'm writing this series as accountability for myself to implement the lessons I learned last year.  I'm also hoping that you will join me on the journey to fitness.

Here is each step in a nutshell:
  • Set fitness goals.  "I will lose 10 pounds by June 9.  I will eat 5 fruits and/or vegetables a day.  I will exercise for at least 20 minutes 3 times a week.  I will drop one pants size by June 9."
  • Enlist a support group for accountability.  I will be talking about my struggles and successes to reach my fitness goals on Facebook each day.  
  • Make an eating plan.  The plan should be sustainable and doable until your goal date. 
  • Make an exercise plan.  Yes, if you want to see noticeable results it really does take eating healthy and moving more.  In my case 20 minutes a day with Jillian's 30 Day Shred brought amazing results.  I'm hoping to do it again. 
  • Track your weight loss, exercise minutes, and inches lost weekly. Tracking my weight loss encouraged me to see the big picture and not become discouraged when the current week didn't meet my expectations.
  • Document your motivation.  My motivation is a pair of jeans that fit early last fall and most definitely DON'T fit now.  I plan to take a picture wearing them now and another wearing them in 6 weeks.
  • Drink only water or milk.  Yes, I'm asking you to give up tea, coffee, juice and sodas.  They are nutrition-less calories that rob your body of real energy.  Trust me, you can kick the caffeine habit and you will feel so much better for it.
  • Wear cute and comfortable work out clothes.  This includes supportive athletic shoes, correctly sized sports bras, and modest exercise tank tops and shorts.
  • Be inspired by others' success stories.  Read books.  Watch television shows.  Participate in a Bible-based study.  Remind yourself that others succeeded in losing weight and so can you.
  • Adjust your eating and exercise plans for special events.  This doesn't mean you go crazy at the family cookout and eat 3 hamburgers.  It means you plan to eat 1 whole hamburger so you don't eat another grain product that day.
Those are my 10 steps to getting fit for summer.  Stop by every Monday and Thursday morning as I share more about each step.  Don't forget to 'like' Stephanie's Mommy Brain on Facebook so we can encourage one another (or complain about our aching muscles together!).

Will you join me in getting fit?

Read the other posts in this series: Set Fitness Goals, How to Fail Proof Your Weight Loss, Get Fit and Eat Pancakes Too!, How to Plan to Exercise.


Amy said...

Very practical steps! Personally enjoying getting back to an exercise routine--it's amazing how much better I feel!!!! Think I'll check out your video suggestion for later this month when I really won't be able go for my run!

J.Lynne said...

Your post came with great timing. I have set some hard goals for the month of May in my battle against the pernicious pudge. Hoepfully we'll look fabulous by June!

Carrie said...

Yup! I'm with you now that baby is out. =) I can't exercise just yet but I can control food so I'm working on that already and am getting set up to read Made to Crave (per your recommendation.) I'll be looking forward to your posts as I work towards my own goals!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Amy, 30 Day Shred is painfully effective. Well, you probably won't be as pained. :) It's only 20 minutes but gets the job done. If you want something longer the Biggest Loser workout DVDs usually have several options that you can link together for a 30-40 minute workout. Your local library might have some of these. I know the RI system has all of the Biggest Loser DVDs. Before you invest money into it, you might want to see if you like them.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

J.Lynne, we will definitely look fabulous together!! Thursday's post is about setting Get Fit goals - please share yours and how you intend to accomplish them.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Carrie, you've got plenty of time for that! Breastfeeding is a great way to get rid of extra pounds - as long as you remember to stop eating like you're pregnant. :) I hope you enjoy Made to Crave, I know you're book standards are high!

DivineChoice said...

Well I am working at getting fitter as my doctor has told me what I already knew... I need to be more active. I recently started walking home from work and I can feel the effects already.

The steps I find harder to follow is the eating and drinking better but I'm working on it.

I look forward to following your progress and being inspired to keep up the good work :)

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