I am convinced that the best way to improve your chances of weight loss success is when you feel part of a community. Having a team to cheer you one and pick you up when you feel you can’t do more is some of the best motivation I’ve found to date. Clear proof of that theory came yesterday at Boot Camp and Zumba. Some family and friends joined me for both and I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic to sweat and move. We were all into the workouts and cheering each other on, high fives abounded! When I first started working out at Fit in 42 having my teammates made all the difference in my efforts and each program I’ve done since always needs to have that element of support.
Everyone has their preference when it comes to exercise and fitness and I strongly encourage you to experiment with what settings work best. I don’t like big gyms, I didn’t enjoy the huge classes, I don’t like treadmills, I like working with people in a small setting, preferably outside. That’s what works for me so that’s what I look for.
Making this journey on your own can feel like wandering alone in the woods and that gets discouraging fast. Feeling like an integral part of a group gives you the immediate gratification of encouragement and motivation. You need those little rewards to keep you going and you need every tool at your disposal.
Speaking of which I found another nifty tool I’ve fallen in love with. It’s this app called MyFitnessPal where I can track my food intake. A simple rule of weight loss is calories in, calories out. If you want to lose weight you’ve got to take in less calories than you expend in a day. This app makes it so easy to track that AND within the first day of using it I realized how off track I’d gotten with my meal plan. A little extra rice here, a late night ‘healthy’ snack, that cheat meal with pizza, they may be just as filling but they pack so much extra calories and unnecessary salts, fats and sugars. It made it so clear to me why I’d been plateauing in my weight the last month. “Oh I don’t need to plan the meals I’ll just make ‘smart choices’ in my eating today, on the fly” Nope! That does not work. I found the best way to use this app is to log your food before you eat it (or as you eat if it you’re one of those people attached to your phone 24/7). Know what is going in so you’re not tempted to sneak in that little extra. Thanks to Andy for reinforcing the importance of logging your progress, or shortfalls to give more meaning to accomplishments.