When Bernice McGill told us to wear workout clothes to the January CWSBA meeting, I knew I was in trouble (because I’m out of shape). I also knew I was in for a treat (because I’m out of shape). Silver-lining, ladies. Silver-lining.
Bernice had invited personal trainer, Ursula Davi-Myer, to give us some tips on how to shape up. I instantly knew who she was and not because she was the only white woman in a room full of Chamorro and Filipina women. I knew she was the trainer because she had cute workout clothes — just one of the advantages to being super fit. AND, her arms were really toned. If you see a woman with toned arms, she lifts!
Ursula had some great tips to help anyone get started on the path to fitness. She was delighted when I asked her to share them with all of you!
- Figure out the Why: You need to figure out WHY you want to lose weight. You may have specific health concerns, such as lowering your risk for heart disease, diabetes or reducing high blood pressure. Maybe you just want to look better and have more energy. Once you know what is motivating you (the why) to lose weight it will make it easier to stick to a new meal and exercise plan.
- Set Goals: The more realistic you are the more likely you are to reach your weight loss goals. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. What does that spell….SMART! Forget the concept of dropping 10 pounds in 10 days, remember you’re developing a lifelong strategy. Focus on losing 1 to 2 pounds a week, and maintaining that consistent rate of weight loss over the next few weeks or months. When it comes to exercise goals, if you’re out of shape, start small. If you haven’t exercised for a while, starting off running a marathon may not be the best idea! Instead, walk for 15 to 30 minutes two-four times a week, and then ramp up your schedule as you make progress.
- Bring in the Experts: When you are ready to lose weight for life it’s time to bring in the experts. Hire a health coach or a personal trainer. Working with a professional will help you find the program that best fits your lifestyle and one that includes healthy foods you actually like and want to eat. Talk to a personal trainer about your goals and make sure the exercise routine is one that you will enjoy. You should plan and track your workouts on a calendar. You will be more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you see it in black and white.
- Menu Planning: At the beginning of each week, create a menu plan that you can use as your guide for grocery shopping. It also takes the guessing out of the question, “what am I going to eat?” I always tell my clients if you know what your going to be eating each day it will help you reach for the right foods.
- Food and Exercise Journal: Journaling is a key to success in weight loss. You can use pen and paper or utilize the many online tools (I like My Fitness Pal) out there to record what you eat throughout the day and your exercise activity. Promise yourself to religiously track every bite you take and every rep in your workout routine. You will start to see patterns and routines, then be able to analyze and find solutions to problems that have held you back previously from losing weight.
- Stay Positive: There will be days when you skip a workout or eat more than you should have, but in order to continue to move forward you must believe in yourself. You may have failed with weight loss in the past, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to fail now. Changing your lifestyle and achieving your weight loss goals will take time. If you overeat one day or skip a workout don’t beat yourself up, just get back on track the next day and stay positive!
- Surround yourself with Cheerleaders: Everything is easier when you have a support system cheering you on. You don’t have to announce your diet to the world, but tell your close friends, family, co-workers about why your trying to lose weight and tell them how they can help you stay on the healthy track! If you let them know how much reaching your weight loss goals means to you, they will want to do what they can to help. If you know someone else who is also trying to lose weight, make a pact to text each other at crucial times during the day, so you both stay on track.
- Reward Yourself: When you set your goals break them down into attainable increments. For example one of your goals could be to lose four pounds in 4 weeks. Then decide to give yourself a reward once you reach each goal. Make sure to write your rewards down as part of your master plan so you have something to work towards. Choose rewards other than food to treat yourself after you have achieved your goals, like a relaxing massage, pedicure, go to a concert, or go to a movie.
But, before you do, pull out your mat, towel, and water bottle! Ursula’s created a baseline body weight workout that’s sure to work up a sweat!
What is your fitness goal(s) for 2014?
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With lots of sweat and a (future) smokin’ hot body,