10 Things That Helped My Overall Wellness/Weight-Loss

I don’t know whether it’s the start of a fresh year or looking back on all the things I accomplished in 2018, but I really felt the need to write out the things that helped me along the way. 2015-2017 were all tough years that took my mind and body on a roller coaster. In 2015 when we were trying to conceive, the month after month negative took a toll on both my mental and physical health and I ended up becoming the heaviest I had been. Then, in 2016, my pregnancy caused me to lose 22 lbs. Once I delivered and suffered with a bout of PPD, I continued to not take care of my own self. Finally the cloud lifted in 2017 and then with the resurgence of happiness came the resurgence of eating, drinking, and merriment. Finally, at the end of 2017, once I truly felt happy and back to “me”, I decided it was time for my mind and body to follow. In 2018, I joined a gym, started paying attention to what was going into my body, and focused on myself. At the end of 2018, I was down 28 lbs and feeling so, so good. A lot of you noticed, too! So, I thought I’d share some principles that helped guide me on my journey and hope they can help motivate some of you!

#1 – Find a way to stay accountable

I think this step is so, so important. Honestly, getting my Apple Watch changed my life. Tracking my workouts on there is what initiated my dedication to it and it became a competition with myself month over month. If a fitness tracker isn’t your thing, try searching for a Facebook group or other online support group that will help you reach your goals. By putting your intention out into the universe and doing it with others will help keep you on track and give you a place to turn if you ever feel yourself wavering on your commitment.

#2 – Find a class/show you love

This one has also helped me so much. Before I started this journey, I honestly viewed the gym as a place to go get on the treadmill or elliptical and that’s it. However, I’m a member of LA Fitness and they offer so many great classes! I particularly love Body Works [which offers strength training] or Zumba for cardio! They also have childcare which helps make it so easy for me to get to a workout. However, if classes aren’t your thing and you really do just love old-fashioned cardio, then find a show you like to watch during it. I started doing this and it would get me so excited to get to the gym so I could catch up on another episode or two. Schitt’s Creek always had me chuckling while I got an elliptical work-out in. It seems silly but it honestly would have me jumping out of bed to get to the gym knowing that I could watch more of a show I was loving. If you need some show ideas, check out this post. So, whether it’s group fitness or a good laugh you need, figure it out and use that as your motivation to get your butt moving!

#3 – Clean out your fridge/pantry

This one is a great one to kick off a new year. Take everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, out of your fridge and pantry. Give the fridge a good wipe down and maybe get some baskets to organize your pantry. Now, go through each item and throw away or donate any items that don’t serve your health and wellness goals. Food banks will always take those cans of high-in-fat-soups or unopened boxes of candy bars. If you only keep healthy, nutritious food in the house, it’ll be that much easier to stick to your goals. An extension of this one is to only grocery shop with a list and never when you’re hungry. By keeping mental and physical stock of the food that is in your home, you are more likely to succeed.

#4 – Hydrate

This may be the easiest one to grasp but the hardest one to follow. Water is so, so important for your body and will help flush out toxins and keep you lean. Water is also great to help curb cravings. Most often, hunger is confused with thirst. Try to drink at LEAST half your body weight in oz of water a day, but I try to get closer to 75%. If water bores you, try one of these refreshing recipes or find a tea you love [my favorite is this one].

#5 – Carve out at least 30 minutes a day for motion

This is another one that sounds easy but is harder to stick to. I promise you that if you find just 30 minutes a day to get moving, you’ll feel so much better. Even on days I don’t get a proper workout, I still make sure to get my 10,000 steps in. A 30 minute walk always helps me get there. If I can’t get that in, I’ll horse around with Dillon or just pace around my house while talking on the phone. Tossing a 27 lb toddler in the air is a great arm workout! Ending the day with 30 minutes of yoga before bed is never a bad idea, either. Whatever it is, just squeeze SOMETHING in. You’ll feel so much better. 30 minutes a day equates to only 2% of the total hours you have in a month! 2%. That’s it.

#6 – Motivate yourself with like-minded influences

This one is super important. In this day and age of social media, it’s really easy to get caught up in those people who seem to just naturally be skinny or can eat whatever they want and never have to break a sweat. For me, finding people who are working hard like to me achieve their goals were the ones that kept me wanting to succeed. I personally love following Liz, Sarah, Blair, and Merritt for wellness/fitness/food inspiration. They’re all real women with real goals and work hard to achieve them. That’s the kind of energy that keeps me going.

#7 – Let yourself indulge

I’ve talked a lot thus far about getting moving, staying hydrated, and using strategy to help meet your goals. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about letting yourself also enjoy life. I truly don’t believe in depriving yourself of the wonderful things this world has to offer, and good food and libations are included in that. If I’m doing all these wonderful things for my mind and body, I also deserve to indulge. Let yourself have a piece of pizza or glass of wine every now and then. It’s all about balance! If you’re local to Cincinnati, check out this post to see where I like to indulge!

#8 – Use technology to your advantage

By technology here, I mean health and wellness apps. There are so many out there and so many have great intentions for your overall well-being. I personally love My Fitness Pal for tracking macros [which I outline in my FWTFL post], Headspace [for meditation], the Activity app for Apple Watch [which helps track my workouts], and AutoSleep [which monitors my sleeping patterns]. Whatever you’re in to, find an app for it and let it help you reach your goals.

#9 – Motivate yourself with reward

As with anything in life, having a reward waiting for you after a lot of hard work is always motivating. Whether that be treating yourself to a new handbag or a new hairdo, do it! For me, cute active-wear is a great motivator to get my butt to the gym. This is my favorite brand for workout duds and I’m always scouting for new ‘fits to keep me wanting to exercise. If athleisure doesn’t do it for you, just set a realistic goal and a realistic award for once you achieve it.

#10 – Love yourself

Last, but certainly not least, you need to fully love and trust yourself through whatever journey or process you’re going through. Give yourself grace, time, and flexibility to reach whatever your end goal may be. If there’s anything I’ve learned through the last year, it’s that my body is a temple and I should treat it as such. This body has gotten me through 31 years of triumphs and failures, birthed a whole human, and gets me from one day to the next. By putting nutritious food [and the occasional indulgence] in it and pushing it physically, I know I’m making myself a better mother, wife, and friend. I have a lot of life left to live [god-willing] and I want to ensure I’m in my best shape for it. Don’t beat yourself up if you skip a workout and definitely celebrate all your successes. You’re so, so worth it.

So, there you have it. 10 things that have truly helped to transform my life over the last year. I hope some of these things help motivate you to fulfill whatever goals and dreams you may have for yourself and for your life. I am certainly a work in progress [but progress > perfection any day of the week] and I only hope to expand on all of these principles in the coming year. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for following along!

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