September Shape-Up!!

It’s only the 4th day of the month and it’s a long weekend so it’s not too late to set a goal for the month, right?

Good because my goal this month is to start eating healthy and exercising again.

I was looking at myself in the mirror earlier and realized I am one Snickers Blizzard away from being a TeleTubby. That is not okay.

It’s hard to believe that I have let myself go this far. During my senior year of college, I got *skinny*. I was probably borderline UNhealthy in my quest to lose weight. It’s amazing what a little broken heart, disinterest in cooking, and free state-of-the-art fitness facility will do for your weight. I lost twenty pounds in six months by eating healthy and working out nearly every single day.

It started out as a buddy thing when one of the most in-shape friends I have encouraged me to go to the gym with her every day. After going to the gym, I couldn’t bring myself to eat junk and after not eating any junk I couldn’t bring myself to skip the gym. So the cycle began.

I had taken to counting calories when I was living in NYC (they put calories on their menus). There, I found out that 3,500 calories equals one pound. The easiest way to lose a pound a week is to work off 250 calories at the gym and cut 250 calories from my diet. If it sounds easy, that’s because it IS – especially at first. I swear by calorie counting. I think it is the single most effective way to make good eating decisions.

I discovered frozen vegetables that I could pop in the microwave and they would steam perfectly in the bag! I’ve always love steamed vegetables, so when I discovered this in the grocery store, I started buying a ton of bags! I think I ate steamed vegetables (and that’s it) for at least one meal a day, maybe more. They were cheap, easy and healthy just like my fruit fave: bananas.

Soon, I was weighing in ten pounds lighter and obsessed with losing more.

I graduated from college, another ten pounds lighter and a whopping twenty pounds lighter than I’d ever been!

After graduation, I reluctantly kissed that gym (and my workout buddy) goodbye and joined a real world that did NOT lend itself to working out or eating right incessantly. I slowly fell off the wagon and though I’ve experienced several spurts of motivation, I have yet to return to the healthy eating, working out girl I once was.

Until now.

This month, I am committed to getting back in shape.

I love these Nike ads in magazines. So motivating!

For real this time.

I made this commitment a few months ago and I was doing great!  I had begun doing six AM workouts every day but then I contracted what I first thought was a heat rash but the doctor said was actually contact dermatitis. To this day, I have no clue where that came from, but when I got it, I stopped everything — including working out. I’m now pretty convinced I am not allergic to exercise as Google gleefully diagnosed, nor were the salads from Wendys or McDonalds to blame as my mom suggested. I think Im safe to go back to eating healthy and working out. Contracting that CD thing is just one of those things I will never understand.

I want to use the same strategies and motivations I employed back in college…without, of course, the powerful motivator that is heartbreak.

1) Magazines – I love magazines. I subscribe to a ton of them and read them cover to cover. I know so much useless trivia, it’s ridiculous! But I have also learned a lot about relationships, beauty and fitness. When I was working out regularly, I used my magazines as motivation by only allowing myself to read magazines while at the gym. I got so much in the habit that I STILL have unread magazines in my room because I havent been to the gym in a while.

Quite possibly the best app EVER for tracking calories in/out

2) Scale – I weigh myself every single solitary day. I bought a digital scale to keep track of my weight and I weigh myself first thing in the morning before getting in the shower.

3) Calorie counting – I keep track of the calories I eat and I use the internet on my iPhone to find out a food’s nutritional info before eating. Most restaurant’s nutritional info is online. Of course this isn’t incredibly accurate, but it’s much better than guessing. And you would be shocked to know how many (or how little) calories are in something. I found that once I’d been tracking calories for a while, my guessing became more and more accurate.

4) Drowning my diet in fruits and veggies – You cannot go wrong with eating fruits and vegetables. When making a choice between chips and carrots, popcorn and grapes, burgers and baked potatoes, ice cream and fruit smoothies – fruits and vegetables must win out if I am trying to get in great shape. This takes a lot of effort especially for someone with a sweet tooth like mine BUT I can do it because I have done it.

5) Sneaking in little exercises. This was much easier at OU because we walked everywhere. But even now there are ways to sneak in exercise, I just have to be more creative. Of course, these mini exercises don’t replace gym time or eating healthy, but they are a bonus and will take me toward my weight loss goals faster.

Some other things I am employing this time around:

1)Consistent exercise time. When I was at OU, I pretty much worked out when I could. I found time every day but it wasnt the same time. That won’t work now. I have to work out in the morning, before work or else it will not happen.

2)Rewards. I am rewarding my progress. In college, I didnt really have the financial ability to reward my progress. This time, I am tying my workout goals to my clothes shopping addiction by only indulging in buying new clothes when I’ve reached a fitness goal.

3)Blogging. I am also going to use my Tumblr and this blog to chart my progress. There are so many great fitness blogs out there. My friend told me about “fitspo” on Tumblr. I also subscribe to Self and Women’s Health Magazines. It is important to keep my fitness goals out in front of me so I don’t fall off the wagon again.

My goal is to have the best body ever before my February nuptials (how is a mid-winter trip to the beach for motivation?) . I’m 25 and it is important to get into the habit now of eating right and exercising while my metabolism is still at its peak. As far as losing weight quickly and easily goes, it’s an uphill battle from here.

Wish me luck!!

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer or someone who is studying in the health field, nor do I have any experience in that field with helping others. I only help myself and I know what foods, exercises and diets work best for me. If you’re looking for credible resources, you’re reading the wrong blog.]

17 thoughts on “September Shape-Up!!

  1. NaijaSweetz says:

    I’ve been saying for MONTHS that I need to start working out, and regularly so. Hitting the treadmill or elliptical tomorrow was actually on my mind before I read this post. Anyway, all the best!

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  2. Cyra says:

    Hi! I absolutely love your blog. Do keep writing 🙂 Today’s post is so relevant because I’m getting married next year as well and need to get that perfect body too!! I started exercising and counting calories last week and need to keep going.

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