Our Fit & Fabulous February Challenge has officially begun! Today, you begin your 28-day commitment to a healthier you.
In all the excitement to reach our goals, we tend to just jump right in. But if I have learned one thing from my past failures, it is that success is a continual cycle of preparation, action, and evaluation. So, before we lace up our running shoes, it is time to set some goals.
A goal is only a dream until you write it down on paper! Grab a journal, or if you prefer, I am sure there is some cool goal-setting app out there, and jot down your goals for this challenge. What do you want to accomplish in these 28 days? Remember your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). In your journal, you will also track your progress. To help with this, you may want to include your start weight, waist measurements, pant size, blood pressure, etc.
Next, take your "before" picture. You can decide later whether you would like to share the photo and earn some prizes! For now, just keep it as reference of your progress. Trust me, you will want it at the end of the challenge.
Alright, now for the real important stuff- FOOD! From an athletic perspective, I can ensure you that working out all day is not going to get you the results you desire. Food is a huge component in athletic performance, weight loss, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While a perfect diet is ideal, the chances of you sticking to it are slim to none. Over the years, I have tweaked my diet until I found one that can fulfill my performance needs while still satisfying my desired tastes and overwhelming sweet tooth. Finding your perfect balance takes time. So, for this first week, let's just make some small changes that will lead to big results!
- Eat breakfast. No ifs, ands, or buts on this one.
- Include a fruit and/or vegetable serving in each meal.
- Use small plates. This one is tried and true. It is the easiest way to control your portions without all the measuring.
- Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet should be whole, nutritious food, while 20% is leftover for your eating pleasure.
- Water, water, and more water. The goal is half your body weight in ounces (180 pound person should consume 90 ounces of water or about 6 bottles of water) plus one bottle for every workout.
- Make your own meals. This one is going to take some planning, but will make a huge difference! Consider this, the spaghetti and meatball dinner at Olive Garden is over 1000 calories (not including the breadsticks and salad) while the homemade version is easily half that amount.
- Finally, plan out your week. A little preparation on Sunday keeps you from an impromptu (and diet-blowing) visit to the drive-thru window.
For those of you with weight loss as a goal for this challenge, trimming just 500 calories a day leads to one pound loss each week. Start by making the above small changes and then keep checking back throughout the challenge for more great tips, meal suggestions, and sample diet plans.
Last, but definitely not least, let's talk fitness! Bear with me, I know this is a lot to cover for one day, but preparation is key! For this week, Steve and I have carefully chosen a week's worth of workouts for you that complement one another and appeal to all different fitness interests. The weekly plan includes 2 or 3 active rest days (depending on your preference) which will aid in proper recovery and ultimately better results. While most of our workouts can be done with no equipment and in the comfort of your living room, we will include workouts with weights, medicine balls, jumps ropes, etc. If you do not own or have access to this equipment, we will always include a no equipment version or make another workout suggestion.
Well, that basically covers it! Now it is time for you to take a picture, make your goals, plan your meals, go grocery shopping, and get ready to rock this challenge! You GET what you GIVE!
Workout- Day 1
You have a lot of planning and preparing to do today, so for our first workout, we are going to participate in what I like to call "active rest." Being that this is your first day, you may want to be more "active" than "rest." As the challenge progresses, you may need to use these days to stretch, rehabilitate, and rest your muscles.
Active rest activities include going for a walk, enjoying a bike ride, taking the family ice skating, or swimming some leisurely laps in the pool. If weather has you cooped up inside, try some housework (you know cleaning those baseboards is no easy task), going up and down your basement stairs, or a favorite among couples- a little bedroom nookie (yes, that counts!) The whole idea is to stay active and not spend your rest day vegging on the couch.
Enjoy your first day of the challenge, and get ready, because tomorrow's workout is a tough one!