10 Tips To Help You Find The Time

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In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the importance of making time for fitness. It’s tough! We’re extremely busy – taking kids to school, working full time jobs, making time for our families, cooking dinner, etc. And not only does exercising require time, it requires energy. In this post, I’m sharing 10 tips for finding time to exercise.

How do I find time to exercise? I’m a mom, wife, teacher, trainer, nanny, and waitress, so working out is impossible, right? Wrong. Life will always be busy. If we tell ourselves we will pick it up when things slow down, you’ll never begin.

Here are 10 tips that I’ve personally used to help me make the time for my health and fitness. If you have any additional tips that you find helpful, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

  1. Scheduling workouts – Write your workouts in your schedule. If it’s on my calendar, I’ll actually follow through. I forget about meetings that aren’t on my calendar. The same is true for my workouts.DSC_0271
  2. Ditch the gym membership that has you driving to workout. You can exercise just as well in your house. (Get inspired here) When you eliminate the 30 minute round trip to and from the gym, you’ve added time to workout.
  3. Accountability has been my biggest game changer. I was hesitant to get a personal trainer, but the accountability alone was worth the money. Aside from providing expertise, my trainer keeps me on top of my diet and constantly checks in to make sure I’m on track.
  4. Invest in your fitness – This tip will fluctuate with your budget, but I’ve noticed I have more motivation to workout when I have new equipment or new athletic attire. Making small investments along the way will keep you excited for your workouts. You can use the money you’re saving on ditching your gym membership! Making these investments also keeps me dedicated since I feel like I’ve wasted money if I don’t actually use my purchases.
  5. Join a group – Meet friends to do your workouts or create a group text with like minded individuals with the same goals in mind. This can serve as another form of accountability outside of a personal trainer. The more pressure you have to workout, the better.
  6. Multitask  Can’t miss the latest episode of The Bachelorette or Suits? No problem. Workout while you watch the show! This will, of course, be easier if you are working out from home.
  7. Limit your screen time – Watching TV and social media can be huge time wasters. We are constantly on our phones or computers. Put away the devices and pick up the dumbbells. Also, I’ve found that checking emails or looking at Facebook while exercising takes away from my workout. I now tell myself to put the phone up until I’m finished. This motivates me to get through my workout quickly so I can get back to a text or email.
  8. Work out in the morning – Not only does it give me energy, but it also gives me back my lunch break or evening. As the day goes on, my to do list seems to pile up, and it makes it easier to skip out on a workout that night.
  9. Bring the family If I can’t workout early in the morning or at night after my daughter goes to bed, I come up with a fun, full body workout that my daughter can do with me. She loves it and knowing she is watching makes me push myself even harder. Take advantage of opportunities to get the family involved in your workouts. Going hiking or throwing a ball around in the backyard totally counts!DSC_0291
  10. Challenge a friend – There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. When bragging rights are on the line, we tend to find motivation. After getting a Fitbit, I quickly became obsessed with the number of steps my friends were getting. It really kept me on my feet.

These are just a few tips you can try to help you find the time to exercise. Show me your calendar, and I’ll show you what’s important in your life. Shouldn’t your physical health be one of your top priorities? Stop making excuses and start making time for yourself and your body!

 

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5 Reasons Women Struggle With Fitness

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Before October of last year, I knew I needed to take control of my health and fitness, but something came up on a daily basis that prevented me from starting the process. Then, one day it hit me; those things weren’t holding me back from becoming fit, I was holding myself back.

Women tend to struggle with making lifestyle changes for many different reasons, but I feel these five points have crossed all of our minds. I am here to break down these excuses and encourage you to take the next step in rejuvenating your health.

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1. We don’t have time

This was my primary excuse. I have four part time jobs (crazy, I know) and a family on top of that. The weekends are as packed as my weekdays, and I can barely find the time to breathe, let alone workout. Women have a lot of responsibility. As mothers, our job doesn’t end when we come home. It’s easy to feel burnt-out between working and taking care of a family. After reading countless blogs that told me to take time for myself, I decided to listen. Working out has become my “me time”. I get to lock myself in my room for 45 minutes or go for a run around the block. That’s the beauty of creating an at-home gym (Get inspired here). Other perks of an at-home gym include no travel time to and from an actual gym and no hours to abide by. This allows me to save my workouts for the end of the day after my daughter has gone to bed or early in the morning before she gets up. That way, I don’t lose out on any family time, and I don’t have to worry about child care.

2. We don’t see quick results

Everyone would obviously love to see fast results, but the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight. Real change takes time. Making these changes requires a lifestyle change, not a 21 day program and you’re done. You’re unfortunately not going to lose 20 pounds in a week. Keeping this in mind from the beginning helps ground our expectations and prevents us from becoming disappointed when the weight doesn’t just fall off.

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3. We get bored easily

It’s easy to get bored with the same old gym routine you’ve done a thousand times. Your muscles no longer hurt and you start to lose the drive to workout. Well, this is an easy fix! Mix it up, ladies. YouTube is a great place to get mini workouts or find new moves to add to your current workout. Our bodies like change, so be sure to add new things as you go. You can also increase your weights and reps to get that nice burn in your muscles back. Your workouts should always remain challenging if you want to continue to see results.

4. We compare ourselves

Both men and women are guilty of this. We compare ourselves to others. I think it’s great to have a role model or an image of how you want your body to look, but keep in mind that we are not all built the same. Set realistic goals, and once you reach them, make new ones. Your biggest competition should be yourself, not a three time, gold award winning weightlifter.

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5. We don’t want to get bulky

I am guilty of this. We use the excuse of not wanting to become bulky to skip certain workouts or the workout altogether. For example, when I first began training, I could rationalize skipping arm workouts because I didn’t want manly-looking arms. This isn’t an excuse because in the event you’re gaining too much muscle, you can always make adjustments to your workout. Remember, we workout to tone (assuming this is your goal), not gain large amounts of muscle. Plus, while many of us begin training to lose weight, after the weight is gone, don’t you want something to show for it?

 

As women, we can find a million reasons to not workout, but I challenge you to find at least one reason why you should. Take that and turn it into a reality. Use your reason to fuel your fire and get started today!

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What You Might Be Missing

DSC_0223With today being close to 9 months since I became fed up with being out of shape, I thought it would be a good time to discuss an often overlooked piece to your fitness goals: determination. Let’s face it, passively pursuing a fitness goal, or any goal for that matter, does nothing but put a hole in your wallet with nothing to show for it.

It’s not enough to merely want to lose weight or tone your muscles. You have to be willing to do everything it takes to reach your goals, not just part of them. You have to enter into a fitness lifestyle with goals set in mind and a “can do attitude” to back them up. You have to be willing to push yourself further than you originally expected and never allow yourself to give up.

Determination must be something that sticks with you throughout the process. The second you lose it, you start to lose confidence in yourself. Even when you miss a workout or eat a box of Oreo’s, your determination should get you back on track. You won’t allow a setback to prevent you from reaching your goals.

Your results will drive your determination and your determination will drive your results. They go hand in hand. If you truly want to see a physical and mental change in your health and fitness, the sky is the limit. Believe you can make those changes and don’t quit till you have reached every last goal you set for yourself.

“A dream doesn’t become reality

through magic; it takes sweat,

determination, and hard work”

TIP: I’m a visual person. Therefore, I have learned that having an end-goal in mind makes the steps to get there less painful. I know it sounds cheesy, but find a picture of someone that exemplifies a visual image of your goals. Either print this picture out or burn it into your memory. Going forward, anytime you lose focus, look back at this picture and remind yourself of your goals and why you can’t quit today’s workout after 5 pushups.

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Transformation

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My church launched a campus-wide bible study with the book, “Transformed” by Rick Warren at its center. I absolutely love this book and the change it has inspired in my life. It focuses on seven key areas of life: spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, and vocational health.

We have all struggled in these areas of our lives, creating a barrier between us and our creator. When reading this book, I realized I struggle with my physical health the most. I took for granted the fact that my body is not mine to keep, it’s borrowed. In the second week of the study, something pulled at my heart and cultivated my desire for physical change.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corintians 6:19-20

This verse speaks volumes as to why I began my fitness journey. Jesus paid the ultimate price for my body. Why would I not treasure it as he has commanded? Physical health is a form of obedience to God, and I’ve let years go by letting myself think this body was mine to keep. After completing one of the weekly lessons, I decided I wasn’t going to wait any longer. That day, I gave my body back to the Lord.

I struggled when I first started my fitness journey. I wouldn’t stick to my diet; I would miss workouts; and I just felt like I couldn’t do it. When I was close to throwing in the towel completely, I remembered why I started in the first place. God has yet to give up on me. He has granted me salvation, and all he asks in return is obedience to him. So I adjusted my attitude and continuously come back to scripture on the tough days.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

When I feel like I can’t push any further, I always remember I can’t do it alone. There is nothing my God can’t push me through. He is the unseen strength that gives me motivation to continuously reach new goals. He has started great works in me and continues to change areas of my life I never knew were a problem.

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Focus on healthy, not skinny

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All too often I hear girls say how they wish they were “skinny”. By who’s definition do they want to be skinny? If it’s Barbie Doll skinny, let’s hang that up. Not only is it unrealistic, but it’s very dangerous. There are healthy ways to get yourself in shape. Starving yourself will not be on that list. I am personally on a diet, and it’s very flexible. Yes, I have to cut back on sweets, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to treat myself. Nor does it mean I can only have 800 calories a day. If you think starving yourself will help, look at the research that proves this is not a positive approach.

Set realistic, attainable goals when it comes to losing weight. If you think you can lose 20 pounds in a week, think again. Losing weight and actually keeping it off takes time and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it is totally worth it. Also, eating healthy plays a role in not only your physical health but your mental health as well.

But don’t stop there. Eating healthy is only the beginning. Make sure you’re keeping your body active. Don’t over do it. Take rest days as your body can only take so much. Any trainer will tell you how important it is to give your body rest. Working out 7 days a week can really take a toll on your body. Now we all know eating healthy and exercise are important, but don’t forget another important key step: Sleep. Your body needs sleep, and a good amount of it. When your body has time to rest, you recharge and are ready to tackle the long day ahead. If you’re making sure to make real efforts in these areas of your life, you wont have to worry if you’re skinny enough, because being healthy is far more important. Your body will start to look good and feel even better.

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When the gym isn’t an option

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A full-time working mom just doesn’t have time for the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the body you’ve always dreamed of! In October of 2015, I decided I had enough with the excuses. I was ready to make time for my physical health. Did that mean I had to sign up for a gym membership and attempt to go two times a week before cancelling after three months with no results? Of course not. I did, however, get a personal trainer who works with me long distance. She’s located in my hometown of Greenville, so everything we do is online and over the phone.

I started with my diet. Never in a million years did I see myself on a diet. However, if you want to see results, you have to start here. I’ve never been overweight, but I’ve never been one to go on a run in a sports bra either. I want that confidence. So I started counting macros. This is a very flexible diet that really works for my sweet tooth. It allows for those sweet treats in moderation. It hasn’t always been easy. To be honest, I really sucked at it for the first three months. Now it’s rare that I don’t hit my diet goals. After diet, then comes exercise. Both go hand-in-hand and are a commitment, a life changing commitment. My trainer has started me on an at-home workout that usually takes 45 minutes, and I usually squeeze this in after putting my daughter down for bed. The most it has required me to purchase, as far as equipment goes, is dumbbells and kettle bells. I have three different workouts that I can spread throughout the week. This is perfect for me because every day is so different in my life, and I need that flexibility. I then run a total of two miles at some point in the week. Again, this is totally on my schedule and the weather, of course. Here in South Carolina, rain is almost always in our forecast.

Once I got both of these aspects of my life in-line, I broke my plateau, and I am seeing results every day. Not only am I looking leaner, I have more energy than I’ve ever had. With four jobs and a toddler, you just don’t hear that often. Having a trainer has been such a constant in my route to success. She holds me accountable, and even though she’s one of my best friends, she doesn’t go easy on me. She’s pushing me to goals I never thought possible, and I am loving every minute of it.

If you’ve been up in the air about getting into shape and living a healthier life, don’t put it off like I did for the past three years. There is no time like the present to get that fit mom bod you always wanted. Results speak for themselves, and they don’t lie.

 

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