Friday, July 12, 2013

Fitness Fridays: #Fit in

Today's Workout:
6 mile run

Hello friends and TGIF!

Today I want to talk about fitting in. Yes, you read correctly: FITTING IN. You're probably wondering where I'm going with this, but hear me out. Wouldn't it be nice to feel super confident about yourself? Wouldn't it take a burden off your shoulders to look at yourself in the mirror and love what you see no matter what's there? Wouldn't it be totally empowering to have control over your life? Well, let me tell you that you can do all those things and more.

As summertime unfolds, some of us are still trying to shed those extra pounds that hound us. We may feel disappointed that we haven't lost all the weight we anticipated to lose. We may also feel frustrated and blame our flabbiness to the proverbial "fat gene" that we possess. No matter what the case may be, you must ask yourself a question, "Do you live to eat or eat to live?" Some of us eat when we feel anxious or stressed out and some of us eat for the sheer contentment that it brings.

I believe that in order to lose weight you must first ask yourself why do you want to lose weight? Is it to please others and/or society? Is it because you are tired of carrying extra weight? Or is it because you want to be healthier? To lose weight you must first mentally prepare yourself to do it. When I decided to lose weight, I told myself that this would be a lifestyle change; I never referred to it as a diet. I assessed the reasons why I wanted to lose weight, which included: A) I was tired of carrying extra weight, B) I was tired of not fitting in to certain clothes, C) I was tired of having people look at me in a funny way, D) I was tired of huffing and puffing when I walked and went up stairs, etc. I then took a good look at myself and decided to make this lifestyle change because it was necessary. It was necessary for my health and for my future as a young adult. I wanted to step out of comfort zone and try something new and challenging. I knew it would be difficult to break old habits (eating bad, not exercising, etc), but I was ready for the challenge. I found that the battle to losing weight is often won or lost in your head.

Let me offer you some tips on how to mentally prepare yourself to lose weight:
1. Change your mindset. You must first decide why you want to lose weight, then you must tell yourself that this is a lifestyle change and not a diet. You must understand that this is not a crash diet, but weight control instead. By framing it in this way, chances are that you will stick with it for the long run versus quickly giving up.
2. Create a meal plan. Plan your meals for the week and prepare them ahead of time (click here  for a sample meal plan for the week). Planning your meals will also be a guide for grocery shopping, cooking, eating out, and avoiding unplanned indulgences. If you decide to eat out, go online and see if the menu is on their website.
3. Journal your meals and exercise activities. This may seem like a tedious task, but trust me it works! I still document everything I eat and I have a running log. This is a great way to see your progress and to see what works or does not work for you. Remember, you may reach a plateau while trying to lose weight, so this will offer you a way to analyze the problems and thus find solutions to the problems that have derailed you.
4. Set a realistic timetable to lose weight. Don't add pressure to yourself by trying to lose weight quickly. Be realistic and set attainable limits. By maintaining this frame of mind, you'll stick to your strategy and you won't give up. Keep this same mind frame with exercising. So what if you're not a track star. If walking makes you feel better, then walk. You'll be jogging and running before you know it!
5. Believe in yourself. You must have faith in yourself and believe that you can do it. It might take a while, but that's ok. And just know, that it's ok to fall off the bandwagon sometimes. We are not perfect, so don't be too hard on yourself.
6. Be choosy about your rewards. I spoke about rewards earlier in the week when I addressed the issue of cravings. Don't reward your progress with a "cheat" food, but rather reward yourself with a massage or a concert or some fashion accessories. You're giving food too much power when you reward yourself with it. Food doesn't deserve so much praise, you do!
7. Have a weight loss support network. By confiding with friends and family, you are holding yourself accountable to your lifestyle change. Accountability is a great motivator because you are essentially making a pact with yourself while others encourage you to follow through with it. A support network is also helpful because your friends and family can help you and motivate you to continue.
So my friends, today I tell you that I want to see you fit in, but not fit in as in belonging to society, but fitting in to your clothes and fitting in to the amazing person you are.
I'm grateful for the surprise
letters that my far away friends
send me because they're thinking of me. 
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