“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live in”
Now that we’re in the last week of the challenge, we are seeing some real results! First things first, congratulate yourself and celebrate your accomplishment! But what do we do next? Remember that being healthy should be a part of our overall lifestyle, and that should help us maintain our awesome results and continue to make changes going forward.
1. Keep up the exercise. At our boot camp classes, we motivate each other, we are a team, and that makes it fun! Well we’re all still here, so this support still exists after the challenge is technically over. If it hasn’t happened already, this healthy habit will be ingrained and you’ll miss the endorphin rush you get from exercise. If you can’t make it to class, commit to doing at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity and make it fun- choose sports and activities that you really enjoy.
2. Stick to some of the eating guidelines that have been given to you during the challenge, but you don’t have to be as strict. By now you should have a handle on how certain foods work with your body. For example, if you cut out dairy from your diet for a period of time and felt a positive change such as less bloating, then keep it out of your diet. But if you didn’t feel a significant change and diary is something you love to have, then it’s probably fine. Or if you’ve noticed how limiting your alcohol intake accelerated weight loss, or perhaps made you feel overall better and more energetic, then keep the alcohol intake to a minimum. When eating out, stay away from menu items that are breaded or fried, and order your salad dressings and sauces on the side. Also, if you slip up, forgive yourself. If you overate or overdrank while on a vacation, don’t shame yourself, just leave it as “I enjoyed my vacation” and then continue on with making healthy choices.
3. Keep surrounding yourself with a support system. A spouse, friend, co-worker, relative, online buddy, etc… they will be your cheering section when it’s hard to keep up your determination. Talk to these people that you trust about holding you accountable. They will also be happy to celebrate with you as you continue towards your goals; and another plus to this is that they won’t encourage celebrating in ways that will take you off track. They may even want to join in!
4. Remember the mini challenges and maintain them for a balanced healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to do every single one each day, but just keep them in mind throughout your day as tools you can use to maintain your results. One more time they are: drink half your body weight in oz of water daily, get 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night, be grateful for one thing each day, eat consciously and take time with your food, and meditate 5 – 15 minutes daily.
5. Know when and how to de-stress. Taking care of your mental health is just as important. Make sure you have positive ways to deal with stressors in your life. (Ask the class for some of their own personal examples that they’d like to share. Some may be exercising, yoga, dancing, meditating, stretching, reading, etc..) Be sure to take time to relax.
Integrate all of the above into your lifestyle. The easiest way to stay committed to fitness and a healthy lifestyle without constantly getting off track is to integrate it into your daily life and make it something you do by default, like brushing your teeth in the morning.