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How to GET and STAY on Track

I thought it would be helpful to create a list of things that help me stay motivated and make it easier to live more healthy fit.  Hopefully this list gives you some direction and ideas on how and where to start and stay on track.  Remember living healthy fit is a forever kind of lifestyle with milestones along the way but no finish line.

1.      CLEAN

Do your best to clean out and limit the amount of temptations and unhealthy items in your home.  I realize with kids and spouses who have no desire to live more healthy fit this can make things a bit more challenging but consolidate and cleanup where possible.  However, if there are certain items extremely hard for you to stay away from communicate with your family and compromise.  Maybe you buy these kinds of items once in a while and you buy a package at a time.  I have one shelf in the house with snacks and 98% of the snacks do not tempt me one bit so this system really works well.

2.      GROCERY SHOPPING

Create a list and stick to it!!!  Make sure you have the staples in your home like eggs, oatmeal, Greek Yogurt, meats, fruits, veggies, items for omelets, sandwiches, beans and grains.  I am sure you have all heard this before but do not go to the store hungry – extra items somehow appear in your cart.   I try and only go down the aisles I absolutely need to and if I happen to go down an aisle with several temptations I grab what I need that is on the list and move on to the next item on my list as quickly as possible.

3.      COOK IN BULK

Saturday or Sunday when you have an hour or two is when you should cook a big batch of meats, rice or beans and have an assortment of everyone’s favorite vegetables ready to eat.   These staple items are the base of so many meals.  You can also have a crockpot meal or meal everyone enjoys as leftovers that they do not mind picking at through the week.  I cook a majority of my food on Sunday so I have staples ready to go in the fridge for the days I seem to run out of time.  I work two jobs and fit in training on top of it, so I have things ready in the fridge to make homemade meals that will not take me a lot of time to prepare.  Cooking in bulk will prevent you from going out to eat, ordering in or heading to the drive thru. This will keep you from those temptations and keep you from getting off course.

4.       PREPARATION

Saturday or Sunday after cooking a bunch of staples set some food aside for your lunches.  Create a menu of what you will take to work with you each day.   I have one drawer in the fridge set aside for my foods I take with me each morning to work.  I measure everything out in containers so they are ready to put in a cooler each morning.   Having snacks, drinks and meals with you at work will save time, money and really help with the temptations at work (the snack bar, vending machine and the homemade goodies…)  I find it nice not to drive anywhere on my short lunch break. I also find I feel so much better when I am snacking on nuts and yogurts than I do when I am eating chips and candy bars each day.

5.      WATER WATER WATER

Water is essential to your health.   I like to think of water as a nutrient needed by the body to:

  • Aid in digestion and circulation
  • Maintain your body’s temperature
  • Keep the skin moist and provides a healthy glow
  • Aid in creation of salvia; saliva has many important functions
  • Keeps waste out of your kidney’s and helps with bowel functions
  • Transportation of nutrients

I drink about 132 ounces of water a day.  Each person’s needs are different and can be dependent on the climate or altitude lived in, the amount of activity they get in and even the type of medications taken so many variables to take into consideration on your water needs.

I CHALLENGE YOU to buy a GALLON of water and see how much you can get through in one day.  It might surprise you how little water you actually get in and how challenging it is to get water. Occasionally I will mix a container of crystal light in the gallon and drink it throughout the day. Be sure to have water with you in the car at your desk at work; if it is arms reach the more water you will drink.

6.      SMART SNACKING

Healthy fit eating does not need to be boring and bland.  All you need to do is substitute foods to help reduce calories and chemicals you are putting into your body.  80% of how you look and feel in the inside and the outside will come from the food and drink consumed.

  • Avocado instead of mayo
  • Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Fruit instead of sugar
  • Frozen grapes instead of candy or ice cream
  • Use apples or veggies instead of crackers and chips for spreads and dips
  • Use small plates instead of large plates

Every little bit helps and most often people are surprised but how much variety is available.  It is easy to forget about all the options when all your mind can do is think about all the should not options.

7.      GET CREATIVE

The moment you are try to eat healthy fit it seems like at the exact same moment is when the cravings hit.  Cravings for waffles, pancakes, chips and salsa, brownies… Get creative and try creating healthier versions of the foods you are craving.

Black bean brownies
Protein pancakes and waffles
Shredded cauliflower as rice or cauliflower as mashed potatoes
Use oatmeal and almond flour to bread your meats
Make noodles out of zucchini or bake spaghetti squash
Make a sandwich and use avocado as your butter
Protein mug cakes or brownies
Homemade flavored hummus with veggies
Spinach cottage cheese lasagna

These are just a few of the numerous recipes out there for healthy fit eating.  Next time you are craving a certain food head to the web to find a creative healthier version.  Also make sure to ask around you would be surprise what you friends and family have tired.

8.      MOTIVATION

What motivates you?  What does it take to get you excited about something?  What does it take to keep you going?  Sometimes people just have to wait until they are sick and tired of being sick of tired of their current state and are ready and determined for a different state.

These things motivate and keep me accountable:

My health:  I want to do all that I can to stay out of the hospital and if this means 20 minutes a day doing some kind of physical activity than this is what will be done. I am not a fan of needles, medications or hospitals so I want to embrace my health and try and remain as healthy fit as I can.

Comfortable in my own skin: I have been on both sides of the working out and eating right fence.  I have not always lived healthy fit and I know what it is like to not be comfortable in my own skin.  I also know what it feels like to have energy and be comfortable in my skin.  Once you feel comfortable and full of energy you never want to go back to feeling anything but comfort and energy.

Working out and eating right clears my thoughts and raises my energy.  I feel rejuvenated and refreshed.  With all these positives why would you not want to incorporate healthy fit living in your life?

These things above have motivated me to continue my 10 year healthy fit journey.  Surround yourself with positive people and resources are great daily motivators.  Seeing others do what you should be doing makes you think twice. I need and like this kind of accountability.

9.       GOALS

What are your current goals?  What goals do you have for the year or even this week?  What are you working towards?  Goals are important they help give us direction, vision and purpose each day.

When it comes to living a healthy fit lifestyle is really important to have goals and to write them down or express them to your close friends and family.  With all the information, the plans, programs and with articles constantly contradicting one another it can be overwhelming and easy to get lost in the congestion of information.  Important things to remember about goals:

Realistic: it is important to be fair to yourself and not set expectations too high.  Remember a healthy fit lifestyle is a forever kind of thing with no finish line only milestones along the way.  Slow and steady will get you where you want to be so be realistic with each step you take.

Specific: specific goals will help keep you focused and help you remember what you are trying to accomplish when you feel lost along the way.

Why:  it is important to know why you are doing something so when it get hard or your feel lost you can go back to why you are doing it in the first place.

A plan:  having a plan saves so much time and thought each day.  Without a plan it can become too much a pain to figure it out daily.

Setbacks:  expect them they will happen.  Be mentally prepared for setbacks they are here to stay and are a part of life.  The goal is not to get stressed. Just deal with them and then get back on track.  Slow and steady will get you where you want to be so do not forget this, ever.

Short term goals:  make a few short term goals each week to focus on until they become natural habits and a part of your daily living.

This list helps me stay on target of maintaining my healthy fit lifestyle.  I will refer to it from time to time to ensure I am doing the basics.   I enjoy homemade goodies, family parties and my favorite restaurants in moderation.  By following the list I am able to stay in control of moderation instead of being controlled by food.   I once heard that it takes two weeks to make something a habit and I truly believe if you make a small goal or two a week you will develop and grow new healthy fit habits.