Fitness, Healthy Habits, Nutrition

Consistency & variety

Each day I check into the YMCA I see the “before” photo.

It’s so not awesome. It’s just a head shot so it’s hard to tell, but I just know everything is super round. And not tan. And just not my favorite.

  
But it’s a good reminder of how far I’ve come. The “before” photo is probably a nice 190 or so pounds. Yikes! Three years later I’m down to 150 but I’m not changing that picture!

The purpose of this post is two fold-to explain that it’s a process, not an overnight victory. But also to tell you what two keys to that process are (wait for it). When I look back at My FitnessPal’s recorded weigh ins…yeesh!

  • Dec 29, 2011 – 203 lbs (Just had a baby, but still)
  • Mar 15, 2012 – 204 lbs
  • Mar 27, 2013 – 186 lbs (this is a bit after I joined the Y-what I count as my starting point)
  • Oct 28, 2013 – 182 lbs (this is when I teamed up with my buddy Kristen)
  • Nov 24, 2013 – 175 lbs (I remember being ecstatic to see the 170s!!)
  • May 7, 2014 – 164 lbs (I had made so much progress, then got pregnant! But it was okay because I knew what I was doing by then and I gave myself grace)
  • Feb 2, 2014 – 179 lbs (grace period is over, 21 Day Fix starts!)
  • Jun 15, 2015 – 155 lbs (a day I had been waiting for FOREVER, my goal weight. I couldn’t believe it finally happened!)
  • Jan 14, 2015 – 151 lbs (I’m still here, theoretically trying to get to 145 at some point to see what that’s like)

Those 50 pounds were hard earned. They didn’t come all off at once and they didn’t come off easy. They came off with the help of two very, very important words:

Consistency & variety.

Let’s talk consistency first. It’s SO important to stay consistent when it comes to nutrition and fitness. Those behaviors need to be daily, routine, habit. Fits and starts will not get you results. If you stay consistent, stick with it, the math will add up on your side.

Every day you need to be active some how.

Every day you need to make good food choices.

We’re not just eating well during the week and then killing all the progress on the weekend. We’re not just eating well during the day and then eating out/late night snacking at home.

  
HOWEVER!

That’s not to say that you’re not human! Realize I’m not saying don’t splurge or enjoy life-that is the entire point after all, isn’t it?  But, being active on a Sunday might mean taking the dog for a walk, gardening or playing in the pool with the kids. Making good food choices might mean that you know you’re splurging for a holiday bbq so you eat really well and drink lots of water that day to help flush some of the crap out later (literally…gross!).

Consistency will get you results. You have to stop starting over! 

  
You know that first week of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is evil. But it’s especially evil if you go through it every five or six months. 

Think about it like this: if you hadn’t stopped the last time how much further along would you be now?

  

You’ve heard it said before-you didn’t put that 20 lbs on overnight, it’s going to take longer than overnight to get it off. But it WILL go off. Trust yourself, trust the process.
So, we need to eat well and be active consistently. Like, MOST of the time. Check, got it.

We also need variety. We need variety in our diet and we need variety in our exercise. 

For some of us, we need to eat the same thing day in and day out when we are changing our habits just to make it doable. That’s fine to get you started but you will end up failing yourself in the long run if you don’t add some variety to it. First of all, your body needs that variety. That’s why the seasons bring different produce and such, we need the variety! But also, mentally, you don’t need to fall into a rut. Once you get healthy habits going, it will be easier to start adding in variety.

  
Once you have those healthy habits established, every once in a while, feel free to shock your body by splurging on your favorites. Tell your body, it’s okay, I’m not starving you, look at all this indulgence! And then the next meal, you’re right back on the wagon.

  

When I talk about variety, I’m also talking about your fitness program. Personally, my workouts consist of running, weights, yoga, bodyweight training, HIIT…okay, well you name it. Variety is a very important part of chiseling out your best body possible.

  

On one hand, they say it takes about six weeks for your body to adapt to a particular mode of training. So, in order to continue to see progress, you need to continue to change up your workouts. Don’t let your body become to comfortable!

  

I really believe in not getting to caught up in any one fitness trend. I definitely think all these different ways of exercising have their pros and cons. For example, you’ll not find me in a Crossfit gym, but I definitely incorporate some of their methods to madness into my routine (Modified Murph is my favorite!). 

  

Likewise, kickboxing is an amazing way to torch calories and tone your muscles. However, for me it tends to be a little higher impact on my joints than I like, especially since I run so much. So, I take kickboxing and love it when I do, but I don’t do it 5 days a week.

   
 

And, oh-by-the-way anyone doing Crossfit or heavy lifting would TOTALLY and COMPLETELY benefit from the flexibility and balance that Yoga offers. And vice versa! People who do get their cardio through running and SPIN will see their performance there improve with weight lifting. Interesting, huh?

So, it is important to enjoy your workout, so stick with what you love and be consistent about it. But also make sure you add in some variety too, both to challenge and to strengthen your body.

   

So, what have we learned here. 

Consistency & variety kind of sound like oxymorons, but they aren’t. Stick with it, change it up here and there and your body WILL reward you.

  
 

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