Friday Refine | Fitness

On today’s Friday Refine, I’m taking a look at my previous, current and future fitness goals. But first, let’s briefly recap how I’m doing after last week’s Friday Refine that focused on Food:

Worked:

  • Grocery budget. I stayed well under my $35 budget for my weekly grocery shopping. I had a great time finding meals I could make from things in my pantry, fridge and freezer. I  basically stuck to my grocery list and used coupons for a couple of items to save even more. I’ve already compiled a few coupons for next week on things I am planning to buy.
  • Meal Planning. I really enjoyed preparing my week of meals. While things changed a little here and there, I knew generally what I’d be eating for the week and how to best arrange my meals to receive nutrients needed throughout the day.

Needs Improvement:

  • Protein intake. I did fairly well meeting my 90-100 grams of protein with the exception of a day. And I can tell it makes all the difference to get me through a day. Protein provides me with energy I need to feel fueled the entire day. This must be a priority for me.
  • Water. I actually found myself guzzling a significant amount more of water this week, but it’s still not enough.
And now on to today’s Friday Refine | Fitness
I have come a long way within the past year or so. I’ve introduced new activities in my life to get me moving. I’ve participated in Krav Maga (where I met my boyfriend who inspired me toward living healthfully), I participate in Zumba, I frequent the gym, and I occasionally workout out at home. I look for ways to add more movement to my day. For example, I walk across campus to deliver messages rather than sending a messenger. I stand at my desk rather than sit all day long. I do my own lifting of boxes instead of asking for help.
By adding a love of fitness into my life, I’ve noticed positive changes about me both physically and mentally. Specifically, I feel more confident in the way I carry myself. I’ve always felt like I have had “football” shoulders and the strength toning has improved my shoulder shape. I feel more feminine. Adding dreadful squats and lunges to my workouts has improved and toned up my legs. I like the “new” me, but I’m realizing it does take a lot of work to not only improve your appearance, but also to maintain it.
What has been working for me:
  1. Food and Fitness go hand in hand. I’ve heard the saying that “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym”. I’ve also read that the key to getting healthier is 80% diet and 20% exercise, reducing carb intake and changing the overall quality of carbs (eliminating refined carbs such as cakes, white bread, etc. and replacing them with vegetables, whole wheat, grains, etc.). I tend to agree with that. Plus, I don’t want to waste the time I’ve spent in the gym on bad calories. I think we have to practice the art of mindful eating — being consciously aware of what we’re eating, how much we’re eating, why our body needs the food you’re eating. You must ask yourself if the food you’re about to eat is worth it to you.
  2. I’ve established to those around me that healthy living is a priority of mine. While from time to time they’ll kid with me about my food choices – “You’re eating roasted veggies again?!” – they also respect my everyday diet and often ask me for advice. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I can tell the person what has been working for me and suggest healthier alternatives to what they’re eating. (By the way, I only offer this advice if they ask for it.)
  3. I’ve designated half of my work lunch hour to fitness. I’d say I make it 4 out of 5 times to the gym on campus each week for a strength toning session. This is important to me and I know it’s something I’m doing for myself. I bring my gym clothes everyday to work and it’s become habit and part of my daily schedule to change into them. I can’t say I’m ALWAYS motivated to go, but it’s simply habit to go. Also, people hold me accountable to working out. Since they know healthy living is a priority (see #2), they will come by my office and say, “Heading to the gym?” That pushes me onward on days I don’t feel like it. On days it’s raining or it’s too chilly to walk to the gym, I workout in my office. I have a free weight under my desk that I keep for back up. There are a lot of workouts online or on Pinterest that I can do right here in my office. I’ll simply shut my door and workout.
What needs refining?
  1. Strength Toning Workout Routine – Without a doubt, strength toning has been the single most effective tool for getting my body in shape. Because I focus on strength during my lunch hour, I generally spend about 25 minutes using free weights 4 or 5 times per week. I used to think you needed to spend at least an hour to see differences, but that has turned out to be false. For the past few months, I have focused on total body workouts, combining a little bit of arms, legs and abs. Now, I want and need to challenge and push my body more by targeting specific muscle groups throughout the week. This week I am going to develop a goal specific schedule of fitness focus areas that would look something like this: M- Arms & Shoulders; T- Chest & Back; W- Total Body; Th- Legs; F-Total Body.
  2. Add something to AM I’m thinking about adding some light yoga a couple of mornings each week for stretching. I think it would also be a relaxing way to warm up in the mornings. Though few and far between, there are mornings that I do workout when I know I can’t fit it in during lunch because of an appointment or meeting.
  3. Challenge myself to try something new – Every so often, we all need to mix our workouts up and try something new. I’m thinking about training for a 5K, especially one that would benefit others. Perhaps a race for American Cancer Society. While it’s only a 5K, I simply have convinced myself that I hate running. I want to challenge myself, push myself and persuade myself otherwise. And if this benefited a charity, even better! Or, what about a new class to try? Groupon and Living Social always have deals for classes to try out. In the next couple of weeks I’ll either look for a race to sign up for or a new class to try that takes place this summer.

I think those are three realistic areas I can work to improve in my fitness life. I’m off to enjoy one last day of work and then I’m off to spend time with Mom and Dad for Mother’s Day weekend.

Wishing you the best. katie

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:
When you think about your fitness aspect of life, are you hitting your goals? What areas need refining?

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