I have learned that, just like most people, if there is a way to negotiate health and fitness out of my life, I figure out a way to do it. So I have learned that by living by a few simple rules, and not allowing myself to negotiate past them, I can live a very satisfying and healthy life. Here are the 5 rules that keep my healthy and fit:
1) Get ready for a workout every day
Essentially, I get dressed for a workout every day. I even put on my gym shoes and put up my hair. I have learned that just getting dressed for a workout makes me more likely to DO a workout.
If you want to take this rule a step further: Drive to the gym every day. I tell myself that if I go to the gym, I can leave if I arrive there and am just not into it. But more likely than not, I figure I am already there so I might as well go in.
2) Don't buy junk food, but have it if it is offered
I do not allow myself to spend any money on junk food. If it is not healthful, I am not allowed to buy it. (By the way, this is a great money-saving trick too). As a result, there are no midnight ice-cream binges or cheese and cracker fests. But I do allow myself to accept junk food if someone else gives it to me. For example, I can have dessert when I go to a friends house and am offered it. And sometimes my husband will surprise me with a small carton of coconut milk ice cream or a deli cookie. But this rule ensures that such occurrences are treats.
3) Find a workout you enjoy
I promise there are workouts out there you will love. I am a HUGE fan of Leslie Sanson's Walk Away the Pounds workout DVDs. Leslie is just such an uplifting and spirited woman, I find myself truly enjoying my workouts in the living room when I turn on one of her DVDs. Her workouts are also low impact and simple, literally anyone can do them. I also enjoy pilates, and the 10 minute solutions DVDs are great for getting in a great but quick, no-excuses work out.
4) Decide which foods stay and which can go
There are some high-calorie foods which I love, and I allow a few of those into my diet by sacrificing other high-calorie foods I can do without. For example, I love feta cheese and olive oil. Both are not necessarily unhealthy, but they are high calorie. I make allowances for those items in my diet by sacrificing others which I care less about, like butter on my popcorn and juice. These are just examples, and every one of us is going to have different foods we really want and which we can live without. It becomes so much easier for me to say no to certain foods when I know I get others I like more instead.
5) Don't go to bed without doing push-ups and lunges
This rule will have a huge and very immediate impact on your body. I began doing this when I was 17, and have kept this rule for 9 years. Every day I do not go to bed until I have done 25 lunges on each leg and as many push-ups as I can do. This whole thing takes only 3-4 minutes, and everyone can spare that. Lunges are amazing for strong legs and hips, and push-ups work your chest, back, abs, and arms. To start, just do as many as you can (yes, I started being able to do only 10 push-ups on my knees), and slowly increase it.
Here's an instructional video on how to do a basic lunge