Sunday, February 13, 2011

Updating My Health Goals

So, I told you a few weeks ago that I joined a local gym. Wahoo for me, right? Ugh, I tell ya, it is a lot of work, but I am slowly but surely making it a habit! One of the perks of joining the gym is a free consultation with a personal trainer. I had my consultation about a week after I joined and it went really well--so well, in fact, that I decided to continue to work with my trainer once a week for three months. Yes, it is another expense, particularly when I am on a strict budget, but I feel that at this point in my life my health is really priceless. If hiring a personal trainer for three months to get my butt in gear is what I need to succeed in reaching a healthy lifestyle, then the price is really irrelevant. (But at $39 per session, I think I'm getting a really great deal!)

I met with Alexa (my trainer) on Thursday morning and she helped me to figure out my realistic goals for getting healthy.
  1. Lose 20 pounds. This one is the hardest to swallow for a few reasons. First, when Alexa weighed me I found out that I weigh not 160 pounds (like I thought) but 170 pounds! Have I really let myself go that badly?! Losing 10 pounds felt do-able to me, but 20 pounds is daunting! Second, in my case losing weight means taking a much closer look at my diet. SCARY! I have never really paid much attention to my eating. I do chose healthy foods, and I love fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. But portion control? Monitoring fats? Umm...this is going to be a challenge. 
  2. Get to the gym at least 3 times per week. This is something I feel like I can do, and once working out becomes easier and more of a habit, I can see myself really enjoying this time. The plan right now is to work out with Alexa once a week, go to yoga once a week, and make it at least one other day per week. So far, I have been able to exceed this goal, which feels great!
So how will I achieve my goals? First, I am keeping a food log so that I can visually see what I am eating each day. Alexa will take a look at it and let me know where I can make changes. This is only the third day I've been writing down my food intake, but it has already changed the way I eat. If I'm embarrassed to write it down, I'm less likely to eat it--that thought process has been a huge help to me. I want to impress Alexa and myself by being able to look at my diet and see all of the good choices I've made. Next, I'm buying even more fresh produce than I usually do and staying away from empty calories and fatty snacks. I would rather treat myself to a piece of cake when I go out to dinner than eat Oreos every day. So, if they stay out of my house, they stay out of my diet. Except for those treats, which I don't need to feel bad about if they are only once a week or so. As far as making sure I get to the gym on a steady basis, it just requires me to schedule my time a little more carefully and make working out a priority, right up there with doing my homework, spending time with James, and going to class. To help me with this, I took an inventory of all of the things I need to get done this week and literally wrote out a schedule for Monday-Friday. Being a student, I have a sporadic schedule, so I prioritized my work and school assignments, and fit in the gym as part of my week. As of right now, I'm going to make it to the gym every day except Monday (plus I went today), so I have already exceeded my goal!

I never thought that I would get excited about health and fitness, but the more I spend time at it, the stronger I feel about its importance in my life, and yours too! If you aren't taking care of your body the way you should be, like I wasn't, consider making a change. It is easier than it seems--take it from someone who (now) knows!


Erica said...

Hi Jenn!
I'm so glad I read this... I'm doing exactly what you are doing. I'm working with a nutritionist to help me get my eating on track... one good hint she gave me... Stick to the perimeter of the supermarket... meat,dairy, bread, vegetables, fruit. I have been doing this for 6 weeks and very rarely, sometimes never, have to trek into the middle of the market!
I'm also hitting the new gym on Rt. 7 two-three times a week. It hurts at first, but what a high when I'm done!!!

Jennifer said...

Yay! Good for you! I love the idea of shopping the perimeter, and now that you say that, that's exactly what I've been doing too. I love the feeling of bringing groceries home and realizing that most of them go in the fridge--meaning that they are (for the most part) fresh and healthy fruits, veggies, meat, and dairy. Can't wait to see you since you've been kicking butt at the gym!

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