Monday, July 30, 2012

Making a healthy lifestyle work (for those of us who work) with Kristin

Kristin and I motivated each other during our training for our first Half Marathons on twitter and through email. She ran the Outer Banks Half, and I ran the Disney Wine and Dine. One day we're going to meet up for a race (did I neglect to mention this to you earlier Kristin? I feel like we've talked about it...). She's got great tips on making fitness a part of your lifestyle, and she shares with you bits of the eating plan she's doing right now (the whole 30). I love her post that she's sharing with you, and I really agree with everything that she says (especially that the treadmill works for me and finding a class you love is important). Enjoy!!
Hi!  I'm Kristin!  You can typically find me posting over at Skinny Jeans & a Chai Latte.  I am so thrilled to be guest posting for Meghan while she's away in Hawaii on her honeymoon!  Meghan and I both trained for our first half marathons, and believe it or not, she was my inspiration to run one!  Since Meghan is such a fitness inspiration, it is only appropriate that I give you some of my health tips!

After returning from a major California trip (which was simultaneously a week long eating and drinking binge), starting a new job, and doing the Whole 30, I have had to adjust my lifestyle in order to juggle working out, working my day job, and eating healthy.

[Part of my first half training schedule]

Everyone really has to find something that works for them.  Personally, I've found that I thrive off having two primary things:
  1. A race to train for (meaning I've signed up and essentially committed)
  2. A printed, tangible training plan
I like to use a highlighter and keep track of times, where I ran, etc.  I typically print two: one to keep at work/in my planner and another to post on the fridge.  I designed my own training plan.  I think this is crucial for success.  I used my current lifestyle and sort of planned fitness around that.  I knew D and I typically go out on Fridays, so those are great rest days.  This will vary for others.  I am still flexible with my plan (note arrows) and switch runs as necessary.  If you're scheduling in fitness where you have the time, you don't miss out on fun stuff as much!  I'm currently training for my second half marathon and hope to be more diligent about cross training.

Another important tip to my success: don't be afraid to use the gym!  Yes, it is great to run outside.  I certainly recommend outside runs (especially if you're training for a race), but to stay focused I use the treadmill!  I can't always adjust my schedule to allow for a 5am or 7pm outside runs (since the heat + humidity is the worst in the south).  Most importantly, I've learned that the treadmill works for me.  As I'm sure Meghan would agree, find a class at your local gym, yoga or Pilates studio, and/or bootcamp that you love.  It'll keep you going back.

Finding a consistent routine that works for me is the most difficult.  My new job has later hours which allows me to sleep later than I ever have AND still fit in the gym before work.  When I was teaching and commuting to another school district, my gym didn't even open up early enough to allow an a.m. workout.  While after school workouts weren't ideal, the training plan helped me stay dedicated.  There were lots of slip-ups and flexibility and that's ok!  No one is perfect.  I wholeheartedly agree that you should never miss out on something fun you want to do in order to get in that run or workout. 

[A typical Whole 30 breakfast]

While doing the Whole 30, I've added another ball to my juggling act.  Eating healthy takes a lot of planning.  D and I typically eat out quite often and do not have a ton of groceries in our house #domesticfail.  I'm not thrilled about hitting up Whole Foods 4 out of 5 work days last week, but if you make a commitment to something, you CAN make it happen.  One thing that has helped me change my bad eating habits...discovering and utilizing our local farmer's market.  The local peaches feel like one of the best things to happen to me!  Go find fresh fruits and vegetables!  Since they are fresh and local, the flavors are going to be even better (plus supporting your local community!)!  I'm attempting to make it a weekly tradition.  

[Farmer's market pick-ups from last weekend]

Then take the extra time to make and pack lunches.  Yeah, it sucks.  Yeah, I complain about it.  Yeah, it makes for more dishes.  I promise making my lunch feels a million times better than grabbing my Lean Cuisine or giving into pizza someone ordered.  I've become a bit obsessed with experimenting with smoothies.  I use those for my post-workout breakfast (which requires some creativity since I eat quickly while/between getting ready at the gym).  Another quick and easy breakfast option is overnight oats!

I'm certainly no expert, and even my own tips don't always work.  As a rule, my keys to juggling an 8-5 job, working out, and eating healthy are...
  • Have a race to train for and a printed training plan in place!
  • Use the gym for treadmill, biking, group classes, etc.  Anything to keep you active and often beat the heat or chill!
  • Hit up the farmer's market!
  • Take extra time to make lunches and smoothies for the next work days
It's literally taken me at least three years to figure out what works for me.  Since my new job just started, my juggling has evolved.  Most importantly, do what works best for you!  

Meghan, thanks so much for letting me take over your blog and babble on!  Enjoy that honeymoon!


Claire Kiefer said...

I'm so impressed with your commitment to the Whole 30. And that training plan! Looks pretty intense to me. Meghan, I hope you're having a blast on your honeymoon!

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