Top 12 Steps to Getting Healthy and Fit

Happy Friday! Five friends of mine were born on this day according to my FB contact list. This must be a record for a single day. 🙂 I don’t know about you, but for the past few years, my birthday month has always been the month I start getting myself on the path to being fit. I guess its something about getting old that makes me want to be fit for once in my life.

Usually my goals will end up resulting in a couple months of yoga classes and a few trips to the fitness. Perhaps I’ll get a few weeks where I manage to hit the fitness 3 times a week. By the time I hit Thanksgiving and Christmas, all my intentions somehow fade away. Lost in oblivion. Lost amongst all the celebrations.

This year is different, I’ve actually reached my goal since last year and have been able to maintain my weight without fluctuation for the past half year. Let’s continue to keep it going this well even a few years from now.
To help those who want to be healthier and fit, today I thought I’d make a summary list of some of the things I’ve been saying in my past blogs about how to start your way to a healthier and fitter life.

1. Get a scale: Interestingly most unhealthy people (like me in the past) have no use for scales. We never get on them to weigh ourselves except for the yearly health check up. When asked how much I weigh? I have no clue. I am not so vain as to be weight conscious….I tell myself. Being body conscious is not for me, I prefer to think about other things. In reality, I just feared seeing how much I weighed. I hid myself under all that fat. When I got myself to face reality, I realised I was indeed overweight. Weigh yourself daily. Know your body.

2. Fit for “ME”: Being healthy is not about how you look or having a body to impress. It’s about being healthy and fit. It’s about doing something for YOURSELF and making yourself feel good. It’s about being able to feel light and energetic, having more energy to do all the things you want to in life. Being able to travel the world, and be with the people you love. Being able to live to a ripe old age far away from the hospital.

3. No Excuses: Before we actually get to the physical part of losing weight, we have to fight the mental battle. This is the hardest part. A million excuses will suddenly emerge as to why you don’t have time or the energy to exercise. It ranges from 1) too much work 2) not enough time 3) unlike you, I don’t like exercising 4) I can exercise with my virtual Wii machine with a game of tennis 5) I can run in place without a treadmill or actually running outside 6) housework is my exercise, do you know how tiring it is? …the list is endless. Push those excuses aside. Nothing can stop you from getting healthy and fit.

4. Get a Good Pair of Running Shoes: Shoes are something a lot of people overlook. They want to lose weight, but they skimp on the most important equiment they’ll need: Shoes. It is really important to get a shoe that fits right for your type of feet. I was big and heavy, so I need a shoe that would cushion my weight and soften my impact. I used ASICS which has a great gel sole and cushions the impact remarkedly well. It is also designed in such a way that it makes running a lot easier. I was a huge difference from my 10 year old running shoes that I had been using. Your feet will be what gets you to behing physicall fit and healthy so treat them right.
5. Join a Fitness/Gym: Nothing beats running on a treadmill. For me, it was the best way to lose weight. Some people tell me they are afraid of hurting their knees, but really you will have to be running an awfully lot (like those ultra marathoners, which of course you won’t) . The treadmill is also cushioned so the impact is less than if you run outside. If you don’t lose all that excess weight, I think the extra weight it is supporting will most likely have done more damage to your knees than a little running would.

6. Schedule in your routine: Go through your weekly schedule and actually make time for exercise. Find a slot that you will be able to keep and priortize your health. So if that dinner engagement suddenly pops up on the day you are scheduled to workout, ask to see if you can reschedule your dinner. Your health gets top priority. Move things around your workout schedule and not vice a versa. Make sure you get at least 2-3 sessions per week.
7. Keep a food journal: A lot of time we do mindless eating when we are stressed. We eat bags of chips, cookies or just devour whatever is in our path. So start being ‘aware’ of what you eat and when. Write down what you eat, when you ate, and how you were feeling then. Were you angry? sad? Most often we eat when we are emotionally stressed and then get even more stressed because we did all that mindless eating that got us unhealthy and big. Be aware and watch what you eat.

8. Drink Water: By this I mean plain water. A lot of times we don’t drink enough water and our bodies feel ‘hunger.’ We don’t know what hunger it is, so we eat rather than drink. Lacking water, our bodies go into starvation mode, stocking up water for that day we need them. Our bodies become large stores of water. Drink water (I drink around 2 liters a day) and your weight will start going off. It will involve going to the bathroom often, but that only happens in the beginning. Once you are used to it, things will get better.

9. Portion Control: Eating healthy is not only enough, you have to watch your portions. I always ate healthy foods, salads, fish and all that stuff that’s good for you. I just ate ALOT. I ate excessively, and I ate fast. Cut down your portions. Have half a serving of what you will normally eat. Overtime this will add up to your benefits.

10. Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper: In this hectic environment, we sometimes ignore the most important meal of the day: Breakfast. This is the meal that will set you out for the rest of the day. Have protein (eggs, baked beans) and you will feel full throughout the day. As a result, there will be less snacking of unhealthy foods or a big lunch. Have a healthy salad with tuna or grilled chicken for lunch, fruits, yogurts for lunch or dinner.

11. Avoid Sugar: Sugar is awful for your metabolism. It will slow down your metabolism, whilst giving you sugar ‘highs’ which quickly dissapate and require you to take in more sugar. If craving for carbohydrates or sugar, have carbohydrates.

12. Sleep: Make sure you get sufficient sleep at night. This will help regulate your body and keep everything in control. When I was losing weight, I’d try to sleep at least 8 hours a day. It really made a big difference! 😀

Hmm..it turned out longer than I anticipated, but there are just so many things I want to share with you. I leave you with this unhealthy picture of me 2 years ago. See the difference. Believe it or not, at that time, I never felt unhealthy. I just considered myself “Chubby.”

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