I committed to getting to school early every morning and walking in the gym or the walking track if the weather permits. I get about 30 minutes of walking in, and then I have to go outside and greet the students in the car rider line, but I never stop moving. At first, I got some strange looks as I walked in place, danced or side stepped, but once the kids and parents got used to seeing me, I would get some encouraging comments and waves. With that extra 30 minutes of moving I can usually get 6000+ steps in by 9:00am which is important for me as my job is mostly done from behind a desk.
My family has been a part of my new lifestyle as well, we always talk the talk and now we have all decided to start walking the walk. We are all approaching things a little differently, my mom started Weight Watchers, and my sister has been working on her portion control and doing a variety of fitness videos at home. My brother and sister-in-law are a little more advanced and have been working together doing “Insanity” workouts. My sister-in-law created a private Facebook page for just us, so we could support and encourage each other, post motivational quotes or funny memes, but most importantly so we’d be accountable to one another every day. It has been a huge help in staying on track. On days when I am feeling lazy or crunched for time and I see that my sister has already gotten in her workout, it spurs me to get myself going. We decided to start doing 30-day challenges, which everyone would commit to. This was a first for me, as I usually I approach fitness and weight loss with very broad, long-term goals. Our first challenge was a 30-day ab challenge, involving crunches, flutter kicks and planks. Day one started you with 20 crunches, 24 flutter kicks and a 20-second plank that I thought would kill me, but steadily, day by day, I worked up to 125 crunches, 110 flutter kicks and a 90-second plank. That bears repeating…a 90-second plank!!! I loved doing the challenge. I would cross each day off as I went, so I could visually see my progress. I say love, but it was kind of a love hate thing. Many times I didn’t want to do them, and many times I was squeezing them in at 10:45 at night, because I was determined to stick to my challenge. It hurt, and I was tired and many times I had to have my daughter talk me through the end of my planks, but I did it! Now I do not have abs of steel, but they are in there, under several layers and little by little, I will get there. I am midway through my second challenge, which is a full body workout, and I am killing it, every day.
Another thing that I have done is sign up for the Triple Crown of Running, a 5k a 10k and a 10 miler. Now I am no runner, at least not yet, but I already have the 5k under my belt and am looking forward to the 10k this weekend.
I have learned to start taking advantage of things that are offered to me such as Go365 formally known as Humana Vitality. Go365 is a program offered through my employer that helps you “discover your path to wellness, gives you personalized activities, as well as tracking , support and rewards, to keep you inspired along the way” This is a great program and there are so many ways it can help you. I have almost completed the course: Living fit a 90 day walking challenge, and last year I took the 12 week course: Living Lean, Nutrition and Lifestyle Management. Living Lean was an incredible course. I gained tools that I still use today. They want you to be successful and show you exactly how to achieve that success.
Below are the things in my toolbox that help me every day:
- My Fitness Pal app (keeps me aware of my calorie, carb, sugar and sodium intake daily)
- Fitbit Charge2 (keeps track of my steps and my sleep)
- 30 day challenges (small goals, big rewards. No matter how hard, you can do it for 30 days)
- Go 365 (quality courses, and rewards for your hard work)
- Teamwork (A good support system is huge. You work together and celebrate each other’s victories)
I can’t say that I’m a huge success story yet, but I can say that I am working really hard and celebrating every little success along the way and one day in the near future I will reach all of my goals.