So lately everyone's been asking me "what's your secret?". I laugh a little on the inside every time. I have no secret, being/getting healthy isn't some secret... It's pretty obvious actually: eat right and exercise. See, no secret! All too often we make excuses about why we can't so the simplest things, believe me, I know. I'm too tired, my foot hurts, I already took my bra off for the day (come on girls, you KNOW you've said this one a time or two!).
The truth is, you can either keep making the excuses or you can start to make the time to take care of yourself. It's a choice, you just have to make the right one. I made two choices: MAKE the time to exercise and find a useful way to keep track of what you eat.
EXERCISE: If you have an hour to waste on Facebook or Pinterest, then you have an hour to spend on exercise. Choices. "But I live like 20 minutes away from the gym or it's cold outside." Excuses. If you can't get to a gym or you aren't into/able to go outside, drop a little $ on an awesome workout DVD and some small weights. Jillian Michaels: crazy and scary, but awesome easy workouts! Or maybe use your late night Pinterest time to "pin" the links to the zillions of free online at home workouts (many require nothing but your body weight). BOOM, excuse is now invalid!
FOOD: fruits, veggies, lean protein... all good things you need, but how do you know at you're eating is really GOOD for you? How do you know you've eaten the right balance of calories, fats, carbs and gotten in the essential vitamins and nutrients you need? Now do you know if you've had too much? There are all kinds of ways people manage food intake. When I first started out, I became a huge fan of calorie tracking and thanks to smart phones, an app made it super convenient and easy!
If it goes in your mouth, it goes in your app. Every last little thing you eat or drink in the day. There's no sense in leaving something out so your "count" looks good. It went in your mouth, it's going to make its way to your hips, butt, etc... Put it in your log and learn from your habits.
About 2 years ago, after many years of constant digestive issues I finally found a doctor who put something real to my problems: a gluten allergy. I cut it out (well mostly, sometimes I cheat and eat something I shouldn't and regret it later- physical regret, not mental regret haha). Making that change really forced a change in my overall eating habits. Less unnecessary carbs, like pasta loaded with sauce, and more healthy foods, like fruits and veggies. (DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend a gluten free life as a fad diet, only go this route when medically necessary.). I really felt like my eating habits were fine. When I started using the app, I was shocked... At how much I was UNDER eating. Yes, under eating. Days when I barely had 1,000 calories. I didn't necessarily feel hungry on those days, but seeing those numbers made me realize how unhealthy can go both ways. I upped the calories and made sure I did it in a healthy way. I shoot for around 1,400 on average every day. That still seems low to me, but it's comprised of solid servings of lean protein, fruits, and veggies. 1,400 "good" calories feels a heck of a lot better in you than 1,400 calories of crap does! Each person is an individual and you need to research how much food YOU need based in your lifestyle, activity level, size, etc. keeping track of what you eat keeps you honest about what you're doing.
So there you go, there's the big secret! I'll post some of my daily food logs another day, check back!