“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~Buddha
You know that your health is important, and that daily exercise can cut your risk of disease while dramatically increasing your energy. But how do you fit a workout into your busy schedule?
Are you too tired after a hard day of work to take advantage of a gym membership, or is your budget not able to accommodate the monthly charges? Thankfully, it’s possible to stay fit without missing a beat of your busy lifestyle.
What, you think I’m just some dumb blogger who doesn’t know what she’s talking about? NOPE. Not around here, y’all – this is the real deal. Here’s ME, on the left and ME on the right. Yeah. Let THAT soak in for a minute. 😉
Wanna know how I did this? Click the photo to be taken to the book on Amazon.com!
Feeling overwhelmed with your own weight loss efforts (or lack thereof)? Don’t – because you don’t have to – I already did it for you and figured out the whole deal – so instead, check out my book Project Blissful in which I detail how I went from a very unhealthy and unhappy size 24 to a much happier and healthier size 6. – and just FYI – while the book costs less than $3, I promise there’s nothing in it that requires you to buy a bunch of stuff – but there is every single secret that I used and learned while I lost more than 100 pounds, as you can see in the photo here.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Who needs expensive, cumbersome exercise equipment or the daily commute to the gym, when you can get valuable, heart-pumping exercise almost anywhere?
Try these easy tips to get and stay fit around your home or workplace:
1. Take a walk. Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. You can incorporate more steps into your day by simply walking around the block during lunchtime or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Even if you exercise regularly at a gym, walking can supplement your routine for more energy and a leaner body.
Consider purchasing a pedometer that counts your steps. Wear it all day, and write down the number of steps you’ve taken at the end of the day. Each week, set a daily goal of steps and increase that goal each week. You’ll be surprised how your mind finds ways to get more steps into your daily routine.
2. Practice breathing exercises. As often as possible, focus on your breathing.
- Learning to relax and slow down your breathing will do wonders for your physical and mental health. You’ll handle stress better and meet the challenges of your life with more effective responses when you learn to relax under pressure by focusing on your breathing.
- You can focus on your breathing anywhere. When you’re stuck at a red light, use the time to relax, instead of getting frustrated at the delay. In between activities or duties at work, take a breathing break. And, when you start to feel stressed, take just a few seconds to breathe deeply and refocus on solutions.
- Close your eyes (if you’re not driving, of course), and slowly inhale through your nose. Then exhale slowly through your mouth, pause, and repeat a few times. Place your hand on your stomach, covering your belly button. If you’re breathing correctly, your hand will slowly rise and fall.
3. Drink lots of water and eat nutritiously. Drink as much water as possible to keep your body well hydrated and functioning at peak efficiency. Think of the food you put into your body as fuel for your life, and choose to fuel your body with high-energy foods that keep you fit.
- Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Fill your dinner plate with vegetables and a smaller portion of meat and carbohydrates. Eat fruits for an energy-producing alternative to candy bars or other sugary snacks.
4. Exercise intentionally for at least 10 minutes per day. You can exercise anywhere, without using special equipment. Examples of exercises you can do without a gym membership or expensive equipment are push-ups, skipping rope, stretches, and crunches. In as little as 10 minutes a day, you’ll notice a huge difference in how you look and feel.
5. Get plenty of rest. The amount of rest each person needs varies. The important thing is that you make it a priority to get to bed early enough that your body gets adequate rest. If you feel groggy every morning, consider going to bed earlier or finding a way to get in a short 15 to 30 minute power nap during the afternoon.
When you put these tips into practice, starting today, you’ll experience a greater sense of vitality and self-confidence. With these simple techniques, the only thing that stands between you and the new fit you is action!
SPECIAL NOTICE FROM OUR QUEENBEEING WEIGHT LOSS COACH JAMIE PARETTI:
VERY LIMITED TIME BOGO Sale: Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off Through Friday Only at MTMBODY.com
Big News: It’s a very special week at MTM Body, and we’re doing our first-ever BOGO sale! This is so exciting because until we launched our very own line of supplements, we weren’t even ALLOWED to offer such deep discounts. I realize I’ll be taking a little hit here, but it’s TOTALLY worth it to me.
Why? Because I really believe in my products and I know that you will fall in love with them when you try them–and you’ll do it fast, because not only do my specially formulated, all-natural weight loss supplements work effectively to help you get and stay slimmer, but they also help you feel more energized (but without the tell-tale jittery feeling many supplements cause) and cleanse your body at the same time.
That’s why, this week, I’m doing something completely unprecedented in the weight loss industry–I’m offering you a discount that will actually cost me money. When you buy one bottle at regular price, I’ll give you 50 percent off another one of your choice.
You can mix and match the bottles as you wish. Here are your coupon codes.
- Use BOGO2 at checkout when you buy two bottles.
- Use BOGOFOUR at checkout when you buy four bottles.
- Use BOGO6 at checkout when you buy six bottles.
I distinctly remember what I felt like prior to getting help for some food issues and previous to working out regularly. For a while, as I mentioned in this post, I avoided being with people, even people I liked. It was a dark, dreary, terrible way to feel every single day.
Now post-workout I also try to avoid people but for a whole other reason.
My name is Sarah and I am an endorphin-aholic.
Let me preface this by letting you know I work out at my office. I am fortunate enough to have a gorgeous, fully equipped gym, complete with enthusiastic trainers and classes, in the lower level of my building. This has its perks. My fortune continues in having a boss that lets me workout during actual “on the clock” hours so I can avoid the gym’s busy periods. Did I mention I love my job and my boss?
I knew exercise was supposed to make you feel better, “they” said. But we all know how “they” can be. “They” have a lot of fickle opinions that change with the wind and the wind seems to whip in a new direction every two weeks.
They were right about endorphins though and I am here to be a witness!
If you’ve never been on an endorphin high let me tell you what you’re missing out on. Imagine taking the tingle of a first kiss and gently mixing it with the excitement of that big drop on a roller coaster and then add a twist – a generous twist – of that adrenaline rush that comes along with your ultimate song being played in a club and you know you’re about to cut a rug. Mix all of that up, add a shot of espresso and voila, that’s how good my post workout endorphins make me feel.
Oh, and they make me chatty (okay, chattier). How unfortunate for the poor souls who innocently step into the elevator with me post exercise- all ‘dorphined up.
Sarah and Carolyn enjoying their well deserved endorphins
In the elevator heading back to our desks, my workout buddy, Carolyn, and I have been known to high five one another for pushing so hard stating, “man you killed it today, you ran!”… and then we just continuing to high five every other passenger in the elevator, celebrating our victories. They had no choice. They must high five.
This is endorphins.
Wide eyed and unsure of what just happened, the innocents would step out on their floors and continue with their day. We smiled widely and waved farewell to them (only to later resolve to stop doing that to people, lest we lose our jobs).
Even on days when I didn’t feel like working out but made myself go, I would be awarded with my endorphins. When I can’t be my own cheerleader, it’s like they’re telling me “way to go Sarah, you did it and we’re proud of you.” They rush over me and they simply just make me feel good. They make me feel proud. They make me feel happy. They make me feel alive and strong.
If you’re on the verge of starting an exercise routine or are just entertaining the thought for somewhere down the road please, please just do it. If you can’t because you just aren’t there, mentally, trust in the endorphins to take care of some of your mental health. Take that one little step and get your endorphins running. You will be so glad you did.
As you may or may not be aware, I lost more than 100 pounds a couple of years ago. When I finally hit the big 1-0-0 in December 2013, I released a video showing my progress. Here it is (be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see the updated video!):
At that time, I got many positive comments from people who had watched and felt inspired by the video. Comments such as one from a user named Nina who said, “You look BEAUTIFUL!!!!! IF You did it I know I can,” made me feel great–like I was inspiring others to get healthier. Helping others get healthy is an absolutely beautiful thing, something I aspire to do–something that makes me feel good.
Another user said, “Even at your heaviest you are an attractive woman. Now you are unusually good looking. Keep it up. I have just started my journey,” which of course stroked my ego a little.
And Britva613, a fellow Weight Watchers member, said, “What an inspiration!! I also started out a size 24 (well 24-26 by the stretchy labels I wore) I got down to a 16 and am back up to an 18 I just put on the breaks and went back to WW and this video collage is great! Way to go and it looks like you husband lost along with you.”
There were many more really positive comments too, and I’m grateful for them.
And then there were the negative ones. Now, I could publish them or acknowledge them directly, but I won’t, because I don’t want to add fuel to any negativity fires. There was one user who felt so passionately that I had lied about my size and who felt the need to tell me how fat my arms were, rather than to offer support.
While I chose not to respond to the comments, other users jumped in and defended me, which I appreciated. But honestly, I don’t care what some mean-spirited YouTuber thinks. I know what size my jeans are, and guess what? I know my arms are one of my problem areas. Everyone’s body is different, and I know how much better I am than I was before.
So, to the lady who chose to try to bring me down–I feel sorry for you. You’ve obviously got some really difficult issues in your life and maybe it helped you to feel better to try to destroy a random stranger’s self-confidence. But luckily, my confidence doesn’t come from you or anyone else–it’s all about me and what I choose to believe about myself.
And I’m not so unique–everyone gets to decide who they want to be and how they choose to perceive themselves and their lives.
Anyhoo, enough about all of that.
Here’s the big update: I’ve maintained the loss and even dropped a few more pounds. The loss is going slower now of course, but I’m also in a sort of maintenance/loss rotation. I am relatively happy with my size now, actually. I just want to tone up a bit, and maybe lose 30 or 40 more pounds in the long run to reach my ideal weight. But ideal is all in our heads anyway, right? It’s about being happy, healthy and feeling good, for me anyway. 🙂
So here are a few updated photos from 2013 and Jan. 2014.
Jan. 2014 Weight Loss Update: 100+ Plus Loss Maintained, Continued
Jan 2014 Update: 100+ Pounds Weight Loss Maintained by Slidely Slideshow
If you’re trying to lose weight, support from your weight loss buddies can be the key to your success, and luckily, there are several ways to get good support.
First, you could enlist the help of a friend.
Getting together a couple times a week to work out or even just discuss your weight loss goals and accomplishments can be a huge motivator to stick to your program.
You could also make a daily phone date to discuss progress.
Another idea is to join a weight loss support group. There are many of these available in most areas. You could join Weight Watchers and attend weekly meetings for a small fee or just use the online program, or any number of other commercial groups.
Video: how I lost 100 pounds with Weight Watchers.
You could join a group at your church or community center, such as Overeaters Anonymous. This could cost you nothing but time.
I have found that online support works pretty well for me, which is how I met my Fit & Fabulous Girls and ultimately, part of the reason I’ve been able to lose the weight up to this point.
Meet my girls, right here.
I also find support locally with a group of close friends who are on the fitness trail–we call that group Fitness for Life. I’ll share more on that one in the near future.
Don’t forget: you can join the Project Blissful group on Facebook for live support right now.
Do you a weight loss buddy?Have you had one before, and if so, did you find that it helped you stay on track?
If not, will you seek one now? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.
Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from a dear friend and a long-time weight loss buddy I’ve been connected with for nearly eight years. She’s one of my “Fit and Fabulous” girls. You’ll meet others in the coming days and weeks. This post is one she shared in our private group, and with her permission, I’m sharing it with you. Get ready to get motivated!
By Stacey Celaya
I met a woman who just went through a rough divorce after 17 years of marriage and decided she wasn’t going to live life afraid to do things anymore. So she signed up for a bikini fitness competition and has spent the last year training for that.
She talked about how she is so focused on her goals that when invited to dinner by friends and family she generally takes her own food because she wants to stick to plan.
And she talked about how she gets a lot of shit for that. (By the way, this woman is the best friend of Jacqueline from Real Housewives of New Jersey – since they were teenagers, which is just a really cool thing.)
Anyway, what was so amazing about that conversation was that I had just become obsessed with a blog from a woman that started at 230 lbs and is now ALSO training for her first fitness competition. And you KNOW I don’t believe in coincidences.
At the same time as all this I had a conversation with my hubby in which I mentioned that I was afraid that he wouldn’t want me at some point if I could never get skinny. (Left over shiz from my first marriage.)
And he literally stopped short and couldn’t understand what being skinny had to do with him wanting me or anything else for that matter.
He actually SAID that.
I was stunned.
How could he not understand that? But apparently I am the one that didn’t understand. WHAT AN EYE OPENING EVENT! How skewed my perception of my worth was!
So I literally couldn’t stop thinking about these ladies or the conversation with my husband – I went to bed thinking about it all and I woke up thinking about it all – for DAYS.
I started thinking about my own life and what I was afraid of. I started thinking about what I really wanted out of my life and this journey that I am on. I started thinking about how much I have struggled this past year with weight loss.
And here is what I realized.
Part of what has been holding me back in the weight loss department was a sort of dare for my husband.
An “I dare you to leave me” or a test maybe. In my warped mind – no matter how wonderful a wife I was, the weight thing would eventually make or break the relationship.
When he was stunned and confused by my linking my weight with his wanting me or valuing me as a wife, that made me realize how ridiculous my thought process was.
Another part was that I bought into the bullshit about being 40 and over.
It’s harder, I am middle aged, I am too old to expect too much from my body. Well BULLSHIT. I realized this about 6 months ago and I called bullshit on myself then – but I don’t think I REALLY believed it was nonsense until now. And trust me – that IS nonsense!
But here are the BIG ones!
I spent the last year working towards average results. I am not average. I have NEVER been average.
Quite frankly, I want to be better than anyone else when I am doing something.
And when I say better than anyone – I mean anyone…random people, strangers, TV folk…ANYONE.
So by working towards average results I was actually working AGAINST my nature.
Plus I spent the year TRYING to lose weight. TRYING leaves the door open for the possibility of failure. So NO WONDER I couldn’t get it together.
And finally here is the MOST amazing realization I had:
I have given my EVERYTHING to being a Mom for the last 21 years of my life and I am good at it. I gave my EVERYTHING to my first husband for 10 years. I have given EVERYTHING to my husband now for the last 13 years and I know I am a great wife. I give EVERYTHING to school everyday and I have rocked a 4.0 or close to for most of my academic career.
So what would happen if I GAVE EVERYTHING to MYSELF and what I want?
I TRULY believe that in a former life I was a fit athlete – that feels familiar to me even though I have never completed achieved that yet.
So what if I GAVE myself the gift of this year. This year to give EVERYTHING to ME?
What can I do with ONE YEAR for me?
So that’s what I have done. I GAVE myself the gift on 2013.
This is MY year. I am not going to try to become fit – I WILL be fit. I am not going to settle for average results. I am going to not only lose weight but I am going to lean out and build muscle. I am going to be my dream girl. And THAT’S IT. There is no other possibility.
And I am going to do it bigger and better than anyone else…because that is who I am and what I have ALWAYS done.
So stay tuned, because you ain’t NEVER seen the like of me or what is going to go down this year. It’s going to be EPIC.