Because everyone loves a shortcut, right?! Two truths, 1) we don’t believe in the summer body, just get out there and try to be healthy, and 2) well-balanced health has no shortcuts. (bummer, right?)
BUT, sometimes challenges can give you something new to focus on and invigorate your attitude for working towards a goal when your current habits have started to bore you. Mark your calendars, and hold us accountable 30 days from now!
In 30 days, our family is headed to Oklahoma for the wedding of a dear friend. We couldn’t be more pumped! We will get to see so many friends, who are really family, that we haven’t seen in a YEAR (we miss you guys so much…blame Walt for the lack of travel). And who doesn’t like to look and feel their best when traveling and seeing friends? So this seems like the perfect time for a 30 day something-or-other…
For the past few years, Meagan and I have worked to change some lifestyle habits related to the food we eat and the activities we do. We have tried several different approaches to get healthy and trim up. We did a Whole30 (Meagan did 2!) and we saw DRAMATIC results. But since we don’t really intend to lead a paleo lifestyle, a lot of those results faded as we incorporated other foods back into our diet.
The biggest part of our fitness journey has been finding what works for us. Our greatest results have come from simply making wiser choices with our eating habits and finding enjoyable, maintainable exercises for life that involves three tiny people who live on carbs and peanut butter (just to clarify, this isn’t all we OFFER them, but often all that gets INTO them). And then just consistency. We recognize we are working to take care of ourselves long term, not just for summer time and shorts.
After our first burst of success a couple of years ago, we took what we’ll name the “Walt Break” and let some of those great habits slide. But since January, we have refocused on the routines of caring for ourselves. I have to admit I have really enjoyed the last few months of getting back to health and hope we are passing positive habits down to the kids. We haven’t been perfect, but Meagan has had great results, and I have lost weight while continuing to lift weights as well.
Very briefly, here’s what we’re currently doing. Meagan outlines and prepares an eating/cooking regimen with mostly clean, whole foods. She tries to fit some old boot camp workouts or yoga tapes into her day, but you know, tiny people. I really enjoy lifting free weights and chugging water in addition to following our eating plan. When we stick to what works, we both feel better, have more energy, and always see results. They’re not instant, but we didn’t find ourselves unhealthy in an instant either!
SO ONE MONTH! 30 DAYS! 31 ONCE YOU REALIZE MAY HAS 31 DAYS BUT FOR SOME REASON 30 SOUNDS BETTER!
We don’t want a rigid program. We don’t want to change up everything we are doing. So we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re adding these 30 day challenges to revive our resolve in this healthy lifestyle and help us feel more energized and healthy much longer than one month. So here goes:
Jeff–I am going to focus on my lunches. When I focus on eating a small lunch, I always stay under my calories. I am also aware that every diet or fix in life is about calories in vs calories out. There is a little nuance to each different plan but it all boils down to the amount of calories. I eat the same breakfast everyday, and Meagan has great dinners ready. So if I can focus on the meal I am responsible for, I will see real results. I drink a protein shake on the days I lift weights, so really I should only have to focus on two meals a week. It doesn’t sound like much, but if past experience is any indicator, I still struggle with that and will keep fighting it until I figure it out.
Meagan–(me for a second!) 100 ounces of water a day. That seems like a lot, but I need it! For my weight, fitness level, breastfeeding, etc. I need MUCH more than I’m currently getting. I can eat almost the exact same nutritious breakfast and lunch each day without getting bored. I have great snacks planned throughout the day, and then I cook great healthy dinners. But water. I. Hate. Water. And when I’m not involved in an every day bootcamp style workout routine, I just don’t feel that thirsty. Until that thirst manifests itself in the afternoon urge to snack on things that are not in my plan to eat. Because your body does that! When you don’t get enough water, your body can THINK it’s hungry. So then I eat the things. Things that do not fuel my body well. Like goldfish. And graham crackers. Those aren’t even good! Why let those ruin a lifestyle of improvement! So then not only am I dehydrated, I’m eating pointless, empty calories that crash my healthy food and potential energy. And water does so much for your health in SO many ways! So water. That’s me.
That is where our change has come from. Finding something we can stick with but also see results. We don’t want shortcuts or quick fixes. We have found that short cuts usually lead us back to binging or overindulging. So we looked for practical areas that needed some tune-ups.
At last count we have 5 big family and friend weddings this year. Awesome opportunities to dress up and celebrate with so many people we care about. It is also a time for pictures and memories. Like Meagan said in her post last week, we know that even if we never “lost” another pound but continued to be healthy, we would be happy. But it is always nice to look good, and weddings (or any big event) give us specific destinations to aim for while staying diligent in what we’ve been doing.
Kimmy Schmidt wisely encourages, “You can stand anything for 10 seconds!” I know 30 days is a LITTLE bit longer than 10 seconds, but if you break down your goals into manageable chunks and aim to change things little by little, the slow-and-steady consistency will almost certainly pay off.
Anyone want to join us? Share one (or both) of our challenges, or make your own!