I’m not going to lie. Getting healthier can be a daunting task. Sometimes, it can even feel like we are swimming upstream, especially when results come slowly – or not at all.
Can I let you in on a little secret? Since Katie and I started talking about this together and trying to be accountable to each other, I’ve actually GAINED weight. In fact, my three-year-old came to me just last week, patted my tummy, and said, “You’re starting to get a baby in there!” because apparently it was “squishy.”
And I’m not the pregnant writer here. (Yes, in case you missed the announcement, Katie is having a baby!)
I have been frustrated, irritated, and downright angry that my body seems bent on betraying me even when I’m actually making positive changes to be healthier.
I tell you all of this because I want to assure you that you are not alone in your frustrations, and neither Katie or I are approaching this as people who have it all figured out.
Now I want to share with you some relatively easy positive changes that I’ve been making on my Faithful Fitness journey.
1) Drinking more water. We all know we need to do it, but it’s so much easier said than done. Katie and I both hate to drink water, especially in the morning. It actually makes us both gag. (Anyone else?) But, water needs to be had. I found this water-drinking challenge (8 glasses of water before 8 P.M.) to be encouraging, although I have failed to even meet that simple of a goal. I view any improvement in this area to be a success.
2) Walking more. Not working out at the gym, not doing pushups and situps – just walking. Walking with friends. Walking with my boy. I even resurrected our stroller from storage, and to my surprise, Little Man thinks stroller rides are “So cool, Mom!”
(Us taking a break halfway through a 5 mile stroller ride)
Our family also enjoys hiking so we have been visiting a lot of state parks this summer, walking on trails almost every week.
(our family on a recent hike in the North Carolina mountains)
I love this post from Momsanity on 9 Reasons Why You Should Be Leisure Walking and this one which talks about the benefits of walking outdoors to lower cortisol levels and burn fat. As someone who has adrenal fatigue (resulting from high cortisol levels), I’m making leisure walking my number one priority when it comes to exercise.
3) Increasing my protein intake. Protein gives energy and helps burn fat. I hate protein powder, so these days I’m getting my protein through hard-boiled eggs, nuts, string cheese, and milk (stuff that’s easy to grab on the go).
4) Going to war with sugar. Girl, this one is the hardest by far. I love sugar. I love ice cream and sugar in my coffee and lemonade and soda and candy and…well, you get the point. I ultimately want to greatly reduce my sugar intake, but the task feels so overwhelming. So, I gave myself a challenge: Aprille, If you can not have any sugar for the next week, when you get to go to the beach next weekend, the two days you are there you can eat and drink whatever you want. So far I’ve been successful (with one more day to go). Hopefully, once I get back from the beach I can find another incentive to keep my sugar intake down.
This has required me to get creative. I love my sweet morning coffee, so I’ve turned to putting honey in my coffee. Which isn’t nearly as good, but, still better than drinking it black. I also made homemade whipped cream with honey (simply whip heavy whipping cream and about 2 TBSP of honey until stiff peaks form). Having whipped cream in the house really helped curb my cravings – and dolloped on top of fruit or iced coffee (or ahem…both), made me feel like I really was having a special treat.
I’ve also started making iced tea with fruity herbal teas sweetened with honey, like pomegranate-raspberry and lemon-ginger. I even made them into popsicles for treats on hot days when I really just want to grab a soda or an ice cream.
I hope that this post has encouraged you. Remember, you have to start somewhere. Baby steps are better than no steps at all!
One last word of encouragement:
Regardless of how you look or how you feel about your body, you really are amazing! Your Faithful Fitness journey is only one small part of who you are. Here are two other posts that might encourage you if you are struggling to love the wonderfully made body that God gave you:
We will be taking next week off from the series because of Independence Day, but will resume on July 11th. In the mean time, make sure to check out our Faithful Fitness Pinterest board for tips to encourage you over the next few weeks.
Also, be sure to follow our Faithful Fitness board on Pinterest where we share great workouts, exercises, health and nutrition tips, and more!