Hello There...

Welcome to my blog. I'm a full-time mommy of a 4-year-old & a 0-year-old, part-time waitress and a rookie blogger. Living on a farm with my son, daughter and husband among dogs, chickens, ducks and other various wildlife keeps life interesting and anything but normal!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

7 Habits of Highly Effective Fitness-y People

Hey! Me again.

I have had such fantastic feedback from my two most recent posts about my fit and healthy lifestyle transformation that I wanted to follow up with another little post. The most common thing I heard across the board was how difficult it is to stay focused, stay motivated and stay on track while trying to reform your eating and exercise habits. So, when reflecting on that common complaint, I have come up with a couple things that really helped it stick for me this time around. 

I can remember riding on a plane to Disney World when I was in 4th grade. My dad had a copy of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It intrigued me. I asked him if I could read it and I'm pretty sure for the duration of the flight I stared at the pages of words that went completely over my head and made no logical sense to my 10-year-old brain. A couple years later, I was gifted [by my parents] a copy of 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. I read it, but honestly couldn't tell you what a single "habit" of a highly effective teen is. BUT, when I started thinking about the things that helped me to stay on track, or be "effective", if you will, I couldn't resist using this format for my post.

1. Start Slow
I know I have said this so many times before, but I say it a lot because it is completely true. In my experience, if I drop everything unhealthy at once and try to get 2-a-day workouts in, I crash and burn in about a week. It never works. Like, ever. So, starting slow is probably one of the most important keys to success. You didn't gain all the weight overnight, and you're not going to lose it all over night, either. It takes time. Serious transformations take months, sometimes years to complete. Don't let this discourage you, but motivate you to see the end result!

2. Set Goals
Setting goals is important because it gives you something to work for. It's important to set short term and long term goals. If you have a goal weight, size or certain amount of total pounds you want to lose, that is going to be your long term goal. But in the short term set small goals for yourself like:
-working out 3 days a week for at least 30 minutes
-eating clean/unprocessed food for 6 out of 7 days
-giving up X, Y or Z for 30 days
Setting short term goals is important because it helps keep you motivated when you can check them off your list. I'm a list person, and when I see a few things crossed off, it keeps me on track to continue crossing them off!

3. Take Progress Photos
This one might seem weird, but I only have a handful of photos of myself at the very beginning. Mostly because I hated what I saw in the mirror. But now, when I go back and compare current pictures, it helps keep the motivation strong because I can literally see with my eyeballs how far I have come. No one ever has to see the photos but you - there are ways to lock up and password protect photos on your phone, I promise - but when you are able to look at the differences after 30 days, 60 days, 90, days, a year...it's incredible how your progress will actually keep you motivated to keep going. This is important too, because sometimes physical changes don't necessarily equate to pounds lost on the scale. So at times when you're discouraged because the scale hasn't budged, your progress photos will show where you've lost inches and gained muscle definition. Even if you don't plan on making comparisons for a long time, just snap a couple in the beginning. You can thank me later.

4. Keep Track
Now, in my previous posts, when talking about going slow, I included in that to not get all crazy about counting calories and tracking macros at the get-go. Because if it doesn't come easy for you, it will add to your frustration and discouragement. In the beginning, it's more about being mindful of what you eat and not so much how much you eat.

Now, that being said, I think it is very helpful to still keep track of the what you eat. There are so many tracking apps out there and even if you don't have a smart phone, My Fitness Pal can be used on your computer at their website. You can sign up for free. There is a certain level of accountability that comes along with having to keep track of all the food you eat. It will help you think twice before grabbing the bag of chips at the vending machine or the donuts in the break room. If you eat it, log it. At the end of the day you can look back  through what you ate, see what kind of macronutrient stats it created (protein, carbohydrates and fat) and get a good idea of what your diet currently consists of. This will help you make long-term changes in the future.

5. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is another big one. It is so hard to be successful in healthy eating if you just wing it each day and stare into the fridge hoping something healthy jumps out at you. You need to be intentional in what you buy and how/when you prepare it. If you work full time, it might be helpful to prepare a few days or a week's meals at a time. But if nothing else, it helps to have a plan of what you're going to eat so you don't grab unhealthy snacks on impulse.

Planning ahead also helps when you're at a party or a function where healthy options might not be available. Depending on your level of discipline, you can pack a separate meal for yourself or go into the event knowing what you will allow yourself.
Grandma's 90th birthday? Celebrate the woman and have some dang cake.
Casual bonfire/cook out with friends? It's perfectly acceptable to show up with your own cooler of healthy foods. I promise, no one will be offended.
Company Gala for your husband's job? Probably just choose the healthiest options they have and limit your portions. Probably a slight-bit inappropriate to walk in with your Playmate cooler and Tupperware containers.

It's your call, but it always helps to have a plan!

6.  Give Yourself Grace
This is so, so, SO important. Listen, you will fail. You will eat a donut when you swore to yourself you wouldn't. You'll break down and find yourself drowning all your sorrows in gummy worms and Diet Coke.

It happens.

Your macros reset every day. Therefore, everyday is a chance to start fresh. Isn't that awesome!? Just get over it, move on and do better next time. Don't continue to wallow in your own self-pity. Don't let yourself go down a "cheat-week" path. Just forget it ever happened and move forward. There is no point in worrying about what happened yesterday, you cannot go back and change it. It's impossible. But you can decide what today will hold. So make better choices. The. End.

7. Get Yourself a "Tribe"
This is like a new thing. Having a "tribe". Your tribe is all the people who you look to for support, encouragement, and inspiration. Whether it's total strangers you've never met on Instagram or literally your BFF who wants to get fit with you. Whoever it is, get some peeps in your tribe. Find an accountability group on Facebook (hint: you can join mine here.) or start following some fitness people on Instagram. I mean, there is literally like twelve million of them - or something. For real, there are so many awesome people on IG just getting their fitness on and being all inspiring. Some of my current faves are:


and of course...yours truly @farmerswife_fitlife 

It can be intimidating to start talking about being fit, because, if you're like me who still feels a little insecure about it, you'll be like "well, So-and-So knows way more than me about abs and macros so I can't put this post up - they'll think I'm a total knuckle-head" and you won't make a status update. But people, I'm telling you when you start to talk about your fitness, people get interested. And your friends come out of the woodwork about how they've been getting healthy and fit - BOOM! More peeps for your tribe!! I have reconnected with old friends in awesome ways because of my healthy lifestyle and fitness goals. It's so awesome to have someone to text and ask how their week is going or to vent because you failed and you just need a little 'pick-me-up'.

Listen, if you're super self conscious and you don't even know where to get a tribe - just invent a new IG or Facebook account and use some fake profile picture and name. Literally, no one cares. Follow a bunch of cool fitness people and start getting inspired! Before you know it, you'll want to post and share - and they may not know who the heck you are, but sharing and posting that stuff keeps you accountable. Even if it's to a bunch of strangers out in cyberspace, accountability is accountability, yo.

Alright, have I made a proper plea for a tribe? Because I think it might be the most important one - that's why I saved it for last! Having a support system is just so, so vital to your success. I personally am so blessed to have awesome people all around me to tell me how great I am doing, how much I inspire them and even those who help encourage me when I fall off track. My farmer has been my best motivator to date. He gives me compliments that help me push harder and keep working toward my goals. Having your spouse sincerely impressed with your results is one of the biggest accomplishments (at least for me!).

BUT! But, please don't do it for the compliments from others. Because that was one of my greatest weaknesses in past attempts. Working for the approval of others will get you nowhere, fast! You need to keep in mind what YOUR goals are. Set your mind on what YOU want for YOURSELF and no one else. It's then, and only then, that you'll find your greatest success.

Love yourself, dear friend. Love yourself! Self-love is the key to your success.

So, before you start these 7 Habits of Highly Effective Fitness-y People, stop and re-evaluate why you are doing this and what your end goal is. Keep your eyes on the prize and don't get distracted by the nay-sayers.

Good night, beautiful.

from the farm,

-The Farmer's Fit Wife