Good morning Peaches!
I was almost certain that I would not keep up with these posts because of the fact that diet and exercise no longer take up a large space in my mind. But I do have a wealth of fitness information stored up from my many years of fitness obsession and I have decided to pass it along to you. This will be an extremely honest series of blog posts on how you, my friend, can live a healthy life right now without spending any extra money. You can lose weight right now without joining a gym, without buying any special products, and without even buying a book on the matter if you don’t want to. I do recommend at least buying a book. I mean, come on, they aren’t expensive and you get to keep it forever.
I am going to start with some things for you to remember and then give you free resources to go to get you started.
*Note- I am not selling anything. I am not directing you to places where you will be sold something. I am just a former fitness instructor with info to share. This is a ministry.
Free Fitness – Get Honest
Step #1 – Step Away From the Media
The first step is to step back, look away from the media telling you that you need to go low carb, go vegan, go gluten-free, do this diet do that diet, make sure you workout this much and this way and get your heart rate so high before you will be able to make any progress. The fitness industry is just that, an industry. It needs to tell you that you need to follow these programs, and drink protein powders, and buy books on specific diets to get healthy, lose weight, and change your life. This is not true. This is sales.
While gyms, network marketing, and products can be great and provide you with motivation to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. You definitely don’t need to purchase anything to be fit. If you have feet (or not!) you are equipped. If you eat food, you are all set.
Step #2 – Be Honest With Yourself About How You Lost Your Health
I say it this way because you can be thin and still be unhealthy. Maybe you aren’t overweight but your cholesterol is high or you have high blood pressure. Maybe you do have a good amount of weight to lose. You must be honest with yourself about how you got to where you are so that you don’t fall for the gimmicks telling you that your lack of health came from not using a product or doing a certain diet.
I will use me as an example because I know that I am one of many.
I was overweight because I overate on numerous occasions for an extended period of time.
That’s it. My weight gain did not come from eating carbs or eating a bite of my kid’s food or saying yes to pizza night or going out to coffee with friends. My weight gain came from overeating alone on numerous occasions for an extended period of time. Remember that for yourself.
Step #3 – Understand The Impact of Stress On Your Body
This one is huge and will be a whole blog post in itself. But for now, you must accept the fact that in this world of insta-perfect, you are not. You need sleep. You need rest. There are consequences to burning the candle on both ends.
My counselor, Sarah Beth, says you must put on your shoes to run the race. Sleep and rest are your shoes for the race. Without them, you are going to have a much harder time and likely give up.
Put on your shoes.
Step #4- Think Choice By Choice
A friend that was a personal trainer once told me that if you are a couch potato, eating chips in front of the TV seven days a week and never exercising and you begin eating healthy and working out for 4 of those days, you are going to lose weight and be better than you were. He was right!
Let go of the future and think of the meal or activity right in front you. You can do that right now. What are you about to do? Go out to lunch? Choose something grilled instead of fried. Get a fruit cup instead of chips or fries. Get water instead of soda. Are you heading back to work? Take the stairs, park far away from the building and walk in. Heck, do one minute of squats in the bathroom!
Don’t worry about if you are eating or doing the right thing. Spoiler alert: It’s right. You are choice by choice practicing making good decisions. Remember the couch potato. You are already doing great!
Step #5 – Google….You May Have Heard of It.
Once you make sure you are not looking anywhere but right in front of you, Google! We are so blessed to live in the information age. You have a wealth of free information at your fingertips! The key is to not get caught up in gimmicks and extremes. There are gimmicks around every corner saying they are anything but and unfortunately we live in a society of extremes. We don’t just jog, we run marathons. We don’t just weight train, we bodybuild. We don’t just eat healthily, we become our diet! BEWARE.
Here are some websites that I have found helpful.
Pinterst (I know. Haha. But seriously, we get forget how simple it is sometimes.)
My Favorite Healthy Living Blogs:
Step #6- Steer Clear of Extremes
Actually, first read this article. These people all lived to be well over one hundred years old and not one of them is a hardcore healthy eater or extreme exerciser. One guy even says it important to NOT eat too healthy! Haha! But I would agree.
It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes. Ecclesiastes 7:18
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25
Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 1 Corinthians 10:25
Remember the goal of fitness is to enhance your life, not to burn you out.
Step #7- Eat Exactly What You Want
When living choice by choice, you are going to have times that you want to eat something not even close to remotely healthy. Do not feel bad. Do not feel guilty. EAT IT. Do not eat a bunch of healthy things first trying to get rid of the craving. You will likely only eat all the calories of the healthy food PLUS the donuts that you will surely still have. This is very important. If you are craving a Krispy Kreme donut, tell your family, go get some and joyfully eat them with everyone. Do not get Dunkin Donuts. Get Krispy Kreme. Satisfy the craving, be thankful for it. There is no reason at all to feel guilty (Matthew 6:25). A few donuts is a blessing. But friends, be honest with yourselves here. If you don’t satisfy the craving with a few donuts you will eventually satisfy it….with a dozen….or two.
Do you see how it works out? Even if you have one dessert every day you are still not overeating all the time which was what got you to an unhealthy place to begin with.
Step #8 – Just MOVE
Exercise really is as simple as that. Don’t think you have to get in a formal workout every day. JUST MOVE. Swim with your kids. Clean the house. Walk around the block. Squat and jog while watching your favorite show. Lift heavy things in your house. Stretch your body. Remember, look away from the media. Look away from the person next to you. Just move.
Those are my first few tips! I hope you found at least a few of them helpful. Stay tuned for more tips next Thursday!
Blessing to you all!