Monday was the first day of our new fitness and exercise plan, the 21 Day Fix. With an amazing trip to the Bahamas falling right at the end of these 21 days, Patrick and I have no room for error but a ton of motivation to accomplish our goals! Because this isn’t our first rodeo with these types of challenges, I decided to share a list of 5 Ways to Organize Yourself for a Successful Fitness and Diet Journey so you too, can achieve the results you want!
Well, I am officially back on the saddle, folks! After months of inconsistency with my diet and exercising routine, I decided it was time to stop making excuses and get back into my healthy ways. Throughout the years, I have done this yo-yo pattern where I go die hard with being healthy, only to move over to the dark side where I only want to sit my happy little butt on the couch doing nothing but watching reality t.v and eating desserts. Does anyone else feel my pain?!
How did I get here?
Let’s rewind a little bit to last year, Memorial Day 2017 to be exact. That was Day 1 of a really great stretch of healthy living for me. I joined a Beachbody accountability group and religiously worked out 6 days a week. At the time, I was doing a different Beachbody workout program, T25. Patrick joined in with me as well and we completed T25 and then did a couple of rounds of another workout program, ShiftShop. We made it through the entire summer, actually well into October, where we continued to work out about 5 – 6 days a week and continued to eat a well-balanced diet.
We were laser-focused. I was in such great shape!
Full disclosure here: I even felt confident enough to do one of those Boudoir photoshoots and surprise Patrick with a photo album filled with half-naked pictures of myself for his birthday! Other than a professional photographer and the perfect lighting, I didn’t allow them to do anything with the pictures in terms of filters or airbrushing. I went au naturel!
So what in the world derailed us?!?! Well, that’s simple: LIFE!
I went live with my website in October of last year for starters. Of course, that was extremely time-consuming all on its own. With Halloween coming at the end of the month, I started making fall treats to add to the blog like these Caramel Apple Cookies that I would literally die for at the moment. That, of course, snowballed into Thanksgiving and then Christmas and Hanukkah. Patrick and I did continue to workout a few days a week, but the healthy eating went out the window.
At the start of the new year, I decided to not set a New Years Resolution but instead pick a Word of the Year that I would strive for in all areas of my life. My word was “Determined”. Under the fitness category of my goal setting sheet, I set a goal that I would stay “determined” to be bikini ready come summer, stay within 3 pounds of my ideal weight, and drink more water. With a new year ahead, I was ready to get back into things and drop those extra holiday pounds.
So let’s now fast forward to June. Wondering how I did with my fitness goals?
No Bueno! That’s no good in English.
Although I could probably get away with a bikini if I really wanted to, I definitely don’t feel as confident as I did last year at this time. I am not 3 pounds within my ideal weight (more like 5), and my water intake has been sabotaged by an insane amount of caffeine in the form of coffee instead. Oh, and my workout routine has dwindled down to maybe one to two days a week, and that is on a good week!
The final straw happened about two weeks ago while on a family cruise to Alaska. We ate way too much food and came back feeling miserable and FAT! Patrick was nudging me to start cooking healthy again and really wanted to start working out on more of a regular basis. Then we booked an adult-only trip to the Bahamas for just a few days while Zach went on a road trip with my mom and stepdad.
I couldn’t hide from it anymore and knew it was time to just bite the bullet and get a grip already!
So I did the math and figured out the exact amount of days I would need to get the 21 Day Fix completed before going on vacation. We should’ve started on Father’s Day, but come on now, it was Father’s Day and we had plans that included eating some pretty delicious food!
Basically, I had to be okay with the fact that we would really be doing 20 days instead of the 21. For someone who is a rule follower, that was kind of a big thing to overcome. What finally sold me was that fact that the only thing that we are technically going short on is one day of the nutrition plan because the last day, day 21, would be a rest day in terms of fitness.
So in true Tiffany fashion, I had to get myself organized and prepared to get this ball rolling. What I’ve come to learn about being successful with any healthy lifestyle is that you need to be intentional and focused if you want to see results.
With that in mind, I wanted to share 5 Ways to Organize Yourself for a Successful Fitness and Diet Journey that have worked for me and Patrick. I’m not a doctor nor a personal trainer or even a nutritionist for that matter. I’m just an ordinary person sharing my experience in hopes to motivate and help you on your own journey.
5 Ways to Organize Yourself for a Successful Fitness and Diet Journey
Research and find a fitness program that is right for you
Some people love working out. They think it’s so much fun and consider it their most favorite part of the day. As much as I wish I was that person, I’m not. Honestly, I kind of hate working out. Don’t get me wrong. I like how I feel after a workout, but I’m not jumping for joy to do burpees or push-ups just for kicks and giggles. Knowing this about myself, I try to find programs that mesh well with my style and ones that I can actually tolerate!
Working out at home is what works best for us. Patrick and I have both had gym memberships and personal trainers at some point or another but we just don’t have the time to fit that in our schedules right now.
As I mentioned before, I use Beachbody programs for my workouts. I’m sure you’ve seen their infomercials on the t.v. before. They are the creators of P90X and Insanity (which I’ve done before and it is named appropriately!). You can buy the programs as DVDs, or as I learned last year, you can sign up for Beachbody on Demand and have full online access to every program they make. You’re able to try it out free for two weeks, which I did! I loved it so much I ended up signing up for the monthly subscription. I like it because I can sample tons of different programs and find the ones that work best for me.
When you are researching fitness programs, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of time can I dedicate to working out?
- Do I want to be part of a gym? Workout at home? Smaller fitness studio? (think yoga, cycling, Pilates)
- Does this program seem like something I can learn to love? More than likely you won’t love it right off the bat, but can you see yourself growing to like it more and more over time?
- Do you like the instructor? Personal trainer? Coach? When I’m searching for Beachbody programs to try, one of the main things I look for is an encouraging instructor that is motivating and keeps me going. This is very important to think about because not liking the person who is supposed to be helping you achieve your goal is a perfect recipe for disaster.
Research and find a diet plan that works for you
Another great benefit of using Beachbody is that almost all their workout programs come with a nutrition plan. They help you tally your ideal calorie intake for weight loss and give you the tools you need to create a meal plan to achieve it. I love Beachbody for this reason.
With the 21 Day Fix, you use colored containers to portion out your serving sizes for the different food groups. The amount of each of the colored containers you use depends on your targeted calorie intake. I’m on Plan A, while Patrick is on Plan D. I’m allotted 3 green containers each day for my plan but he can have 6. I still make us the same meals but I add extra servings for his plan.
Here are our plans for this week.
If you don’t use Beachbody, you definitely have plenty of options. Of course, your doctor can be a helpful resource and should actually be someone you contact prior to even starting any fitness or nutrition plan. You can meet with a nutritionist or even get help from your gym or fitness studio coaches.
MyFitnessPal is a great app you can get on your phone that will help you track your calories throughout the day if you aren’t using a program like the one I mentioned from Beachbody. I love it because you can just scan the label of the product you are eating and all the nutritional information shows up. It’s super easy to use!
Create a detailed shopping list
Once you’ve created your meal plan, you’ll know exactly what ingredients you need for the week. Make a detailed grocery list of all the items you need prior to going to the store. For example: If you plan on eating an apple a day as a snack, you’ll write down 7 apples on your list so you are set for your snacks all week.
I’m not going to lie, this is time-consuming up front, but it saves you from having to go back and forth to the grocery store a million times during the week for items you forgot. It also helps you stay focused in the grocery store and helps keep you from grabbing that calorie-packed bag of chips!
Prep ahead as much as possible
Making your grocery list and shopping is just half the battle. Once you get home, you’ll want to prep as much food ahead of time as possible. Again, this will take some time to do but it is so worth it in the long run! Wash and clean all your fruits and vegetables, cook and shred your chicken breast, bake your sweet potatoes. Basically, anything you can do ahead of time, do!
Make sure you have all the tools you need for both your fitness and diet program
What do I mean by this?
For the fitness portion, I’m referring to things like fitness mats, weights, resistance bands, and sliders. Do you have the proper workout clothes? Are your sneakers good for working out in? Ladies, do you have a good sports bra?
For your diet plan, do you have plastic containers to place your portion meals into so you can bring them for lunch? Do you need a lunchbox to carry it all in? Do you have a protein shake container?
These are things you need to be prepared with from day 1 so you’re ready to nail it!
Well, that was a mouthful. As you can tell, I have learned a thing or two about fitness and nutrition in my 36 years of life. Again, I’m not an expert but I’m willing to answer any questions you may have about anything I wrote in this post to the best of my ability. My hope is that you can find some motivation from these 5 Ways to Organize Yourself for a Successful Fitness and Diet Journey. Get on it! I believe in you!
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