Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mission: Michelle Obama Arms

The other day, my dear sister Lyndsay sent me a picture of the bridesmaid dresses we will most likely be wearing for her wedding.

I think the dress is quite lovely, so is the model wearing the dress. One thing I noticed right away is the lack of sleeves and immediately I think of my big, white flabby arms and I feel some renewed motivation to do something to prepare for it so I can look and feel great wearing that dress, or at least attempt to.

They haven't set a date, but I found out yesterday they are thinking of sometime this September. So I have sufficient time to make these arms presentable.

But that still doesn't change the fact that I am me, and have a really hard time pretty much with everything related to living healthfully, but I've narrowed down some key problems I face: motivation, holding myself accountable and sticking to a routine. I also know that if I bite off more than I can chew, I will not stick with anything I plan out. So baby steps is the key for me.

I then tried to look at my problems from the perspective as a teacher and how I would try to assist a student who was having these problems. So I now introduce you to my new and improved fitness corner:

So its not really THAT new and improved, I've had it since we moved here. But I did add a fan and a new fitness notebook. My fitness notebook is what I am hoping to use to hold me accountable.

Inside, I have a sheet a paper for each week (though I only have 2 weeks prepared, because I hope to adjust depending how it goes. Plus I'm moving back to Portland in 2 weeks, so my next weeks goals may be somewhat different because I'm going to be in a different environment), that includes a checklist of my goals that I can check off as I complete them for the week. I chose a checklist because I quite enjoy checking things off, so I think its a useful and motivating tool for me to keep track of whether I'm meeting my goals each week. So far, the only goals I have for this week is the 100 push-up challenge (week 1) and doing No More Trouble Zones (as far as I can get) and 30 Day Shred Level 1. I figure push-up challenge 3 times a week and a Jillian video (because her videos are, in all caps, THE BEST) twice a week is a manageable start.

I'm still debating on at least one nutritional goal, but may wait to add that until next week. For now, I've included notebook paper for me to keep track of what I'm eating.

I'm not sure if I'll try to input that into nutrition tracker like sparkpeople.com, but I have a feeling that's something I wont keep up with. But I do think that it is important that I keep track. When I don't have a solid routine, like right now when I don't have a job or anything to do, I have a tendency to not eat enough during the day and gorging at night. For example, its 4:00PM and on that sheet it says the only thing I've had today was tea, and that's still accurate. I have yet to eat real food today.

Well, that gets me thinking, perhaps that should be my nutritional goal: eat 3 meals a day.

Another nutritional goal I'm thinking about is avoiding sugary drinks. While I haven't drank soda for a while now, I still drink juice or Sobe way more than I should. Once I am working again, one goal will definitely be NO FAST FOOD. Or at least EXTREME MODERATION of fast food. Its not an issue right now because fast food isn't even an option given our current financial situation.

I'm also thinking about doing weekly weigh-in and/or measurements. I really think if I want to stay motivated I have to see what I am doing is making progress, and if it isn't, I should be reflecting on what I am doing that is preventing progress.

So thats the plan so far. But I would love love love to hear any suggestions or thoughts you might have on my new plan. Wish me luck on my goal to Michelle Obama arms :)


GrassNaps said...

Michelle Obama's arms are truly amazing.

I think it's a great idea! We could give each other some advice. From everything I've heard and from my own experience, breakfast changes you. It gets your metabolism started and keeps your energy levels a lot more stable throughout the day. Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast. You gotta drink a big glass of water or tea or something and have something to eat as soon as you get out of bed so your body knows you're surrounded by food and won't try to store fat. It's more scientific than that, but you get the idea...

Anyway, like I said, I think it's a great idea. I've been thinking about trying out those Jillian Michael's videos. People say good things. Also, check out the weight loss community on YouTube for work-out motivation. Whenever I need to work out and don't want to, I watch something from LoseToGain's channel or Antishay and then I'm totally pumped.

Katie said...

First off, this has nothing to do with your fitness goals, but when I saw your "Week 1" in pink highlighter in your handwriting it made me happy. :) I think because it reminded me of hanging out with you in high school and sitting next to you in English class and stuff. I miss you. You are cool. And fun.

As for your fitness goals, I think they are totally great. And I can totally relate when it comes to not having any idea where to start since, I too am totally prone to quit when I take in more than I can handle.

From experience, I think writing down everything you eat is key. There are days when that's the only thing keeping me from eating twelve Oreos. Because I know I'm going to have to write down, "Snack- 12 Oreos." And then I will not only feel like a pig at the moment, but I will feel like a pig every time I pick up my food diary. I think writing down food intake is just as powerful as writing down goals. It solidifies what you're doing. At least for me anyway.

I think your workout goals are really cool too. But I just have to say--if you get tired of doing work out videos, don't quit all together. I got sick of "Tighter Assets" quite some time ago if for no other reason than they make me SO sweaty. And I hate being sweaty. But it took me a while to learn my fitness preferences. Especially since I didn't really have any fitness habits before. So don't feel dumb if you start on something and realize you hate it. (Or, if you do feel dumb, at least know that you're in good company.)

The only thing I had ever really done before to stay fit was dance, and since I didn't have a dance class to go to, that wasn't really an option I could be consistent with. So, luckily, Sarah called me out of the blue one day and we've been walking buddies ever since. I think I especially love walking because it gets me outside experiencing the day. There are so many days that I tend to get busy with crafts and blogs and trying to figure out why Olivia is biting me that I don't think I'd make it outside if it wasn't for our walks. I love to be outside, but I think sometimes I forget that. Walks are a great way for me to get my daily fill of exercise AND out-of-the-house time.

My advice is- if you feel yourself getting sick of something, don't stop exercising all together, just try something else. Even if it just means skipping your routine for one day. If you get sick of the videos, go for a run one day. Or go to the mall and walk around if it's raining, but you want out of the house. It takes some practice to say, "this is different from my plan, but it's still good for me and that means it's okay."

My other main piece of advice is to focus on water. Figure out about how much water you need each day. Then make your goal a little more than that. That way even if you don't reach your goal every day you'll still be a lot closer to the amount of water your body needs to function really well.

And, lastly, I just wanted to ask if you'll be around at all in April. Because we're going to be visiting OC toward the end of April and I'd love love love to see you while we're there. And of course it would give you a chance to see the big O. And I know how much you love babies. :)

Love you Whitney! Good luck with your goals! They are awesome!

Katie said...

Oh, and P.S. weighing yourself weekly is a great way to see progress. Also, I took some measurements of myself before I started anything. I haven't measured myself again yet, but I'm sure I'm smaller because I fit into my size 8 jeans again! And I haven't been able to do that in a LOOOONG time. Like, it's been years.

You can totally do this.

Whitney said...

Thanks for the advice guys! I added breakfast to my check list and am trying to make it a priority.

I am pretty stoked about the new show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Its streaming on hulu and I think it should be pretty motivating.

Lindsay- you DEFINITELY need to try some Jillian Michaels videos. I absolutely love them. I torrented (is that a word?) them cuz I can't afford to buy anything and just do em on my laptop. But I always feel like I've worked every muscle the next day, and she doesn't waste your time. Each move she has you do works most of your body so I feel like you really get the most out of each move. I also like her repertoire, she's not super annoyingly perky and her motivation isn't super cheesy. I really can't say enough about her videos. If you have comcast, I know some of her videos are on demand exerciseTV too.

Katie- I miss you too! And I am actually moving back up to OC at the beginning of April, so I'll definitely be around when you visit and I would love love love to see you and meet little Olivia. I definitely do have a hard time with getting bored with videos, so much so that I've ended up with quite a collection, so I have some variety as far as which workout videos to choose from. Thanks for all the advice.