Weight Watchers Back to Basics: Exercise

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As many of you may know, exercise is an important part of a weight loss/ maintenance plan.  Some of us have that awesome “I get euphoric off of sweating and have to do it daily” feeling, and I applaud and envy you.  I need to figure out how to get the fire back in my fitness routine, because since hitting my goal, my fire feels really snuffed out.  That being said, I still workout regularly because I understand its importance to my body ( and my mind).
There are many benefits to getting in a 30 minute sweat session.
  • -Stress relief
  • Mood booster
  • PMS relief
  • Wearing is good for the skin
  • You get a sexy glow
  • Sculpted body
  • Curbed appetite
  • Social time or “me” time
  • Earning extra Points Plus Values (aka more food for you!)
And oh so many more.
Everyone has a different level of fitness, ranging from none to Marathoner and beyond, and whatever category you fall into, it’s okay!  There is no need to feel like you have to get up and active from 0- 5k in a week.  The point here is to get up and get moving somehow…any way you want.
Personally I try to get myself at least 30 minutes of cardio every day, and I usually succeed 5 or 6 days a week.  Thankfully I have a nifty little activity tracker that I wear every second I’m out of bed (except when I’m in the shower) called the Active Link.  This is the Weight Watchers version of a pedometer, but it is oh so much more than that.  This baby not only tracks steps, but tracks motion in 3 ways (up and down, back and forth, and side to side) which is an awesome innovation in activity tracking.  This means that it still actually counts for something when I am behind the counter at Kohls for 4 hours.  It used to be that my feet rarely moved, and the pedometer on my body reflected that.  Now, thanks to the 3 way motion of Active Link, the twisting and bending and movement I do near my register can get me close to halfway to my daily goal.  I feel much more satisfied knowing my work actually counts.
The Active Link sets a daily goal for you as well.  I will do a separate post on Active Link specifics later, but the gist is this: I have a goal, and when the little lights blink 100% I know I have earned 5 Points Plus that day.  This turns every day into a game, and it is a game that I do not like to lose.
For me the Active Link is a great way to help me meet a daily activity goal, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs some little computer clipped to their body at all times.  Generally, for weight loss you want to get a good sweat session in 4 or 5 days a week, and for maintenance and general fitness shoot for 3-4 days weekly.  However, if you’re someone on the lower end of the spectrum, fitness success doesn’t have to start there.  Go for an extra walk every day (or a walk, period, if you’re someone who is mostly sedentary).  Take little steps to increase the amount of activity you do on any given day.  Note how I say “activity” and not exercise (even though the title of the post is exercise ).  If you get out and exercise great, but that word can intimidate many beginners.  Here are a few ideas to incorporate more activity into your average day, even for a beginner.
  • Start the day with some light yoga or stretches
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator
  • Park near the end of a parking lot, rather than the nearest space to the door you can find
  • Take the long route to the restroom at the office
  • Spend part of your lunch break on a walk with a co-worker
  • Get up and move 5 minutes every hour
  • Take the laundry up stairs or to the other room in smaller loads..or if you’re really ambitious, piece by piece.  I usually do this when putting laundry from my bed (where I fold and hang) to the right spot.  Trust me, if you put your undies and socks away one by one, you get some movement.
  • Same with the dishes: put them away one at a time
  • Go for an after dinner walk with your significant other or kids
  • Head to the mall for some window shopping, but do a lap around the whole place first before you let yourself look

You get the idea?  There are SO many little things that can significantly increase the amount of activity you get in a day.  Then, when you feel like you can move beyond the basics, head to the gym, sign up for a fitness class, get a workout DVD or turn that walk into a jog or run.  It doesn’t matter how slow you start, at least you’re moving!

So, the bottom line of this back to basics post is to get moving my friends.  I promise you that nothing bad will come from a little more activity in your day.  So bust out some Jillian Michaels (my favorite trainer) or do whatever it is you’re going to do to give your weight loss journey that extra boost of awesome.  And who knows, you just might end up one of those lucky people who get a high off of a quality sweat session.  🙂

September: Back to the Basics

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(The basics are beautiful)

 

I love back to school season.  It’s a time to get organized and start fresh, even if you aren’t a student.  I like to take this time to take on a new challenge, buy myself some “it’s a new year” presents (like a few outfits, a really discounted subscription to Bulu Box (seriously, check it out.  It’s like Birchbox, which I’m also in LOVE with, but for health and fitness) and my very first Bauble Bar purchase, again, on discount), and, in theory, buckle down to make it the best year yet,  My self-dicipline is severly lacking in many areas, so that is going to be a big focus of mine during September.

Going hand in hand with my self-dicipline improvement comes a challenge that I’m participating in all month to get one area of my life back on the right track, and that would be my Weight Watchers lifestyle.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been lazy lately, and that’s taking a toll.  Thankfully, one of the women I follow on Instagram, Brooke, is a fellow blogger and Weight Watcher.  She has lost over 170lbs on the program and is super motivational.  **You can visit her blog here.  **  Brooke wrote a post about a September challenge with the goal of getting us Weight Watchers “Back to Basics.”  I think it’s brilliant and couldn’t wait to join the group.  Now there’s a Facebook group of over 200 people ready to go with this challenge.  I love how social media has the ability to bring people from all over together so they can share common interests, goals, and support one another.

The basic idea is this; When you first sign up for Weight Watchers, usually you jump right in and get sucked into this new world of tracking, PointsPlus, and changing your lifestyle.  The goal of this challenge is to get that fire that we started WW with burning again.  Every week of the month there is going to be a new focus, so I will be blogging about those, but lets talk about what the curriculum of Back to Basics means to me.:

Tracking- In my opinion, this is the most important part of being successful on the WW program (Sorry to those of you on the simply filling plan).  When tracking is done correctly, meaning you stay within your PointsPlus budget (weeklies and activity points included), the plan is successful.  There’s no way around that.  Sure, there is the occasional week where you do everything perfectly and there’s still a gain, but that’s just your body testing you (or PMS or random bloating..all of those little details we have n control over), but rest assured if you behave just as well the next week you will not be disappointed.  Tracking involves quite a bit of work sometimes, but it becomes second nature after awhile.  I have to get back to measuring out proper portions and writing down every single thing that goes in my mouth.  If I can get my self-dicipline back in tracking and staying in budget, then 90% of my battle is won.

ActiveLink Challenge- When you’re on maintenance (I plan on writing a post on maintenance in the future) you’re supposed to earn 6 PointsPlus a day (to counteract the 6 PointsPlus you get to add to your target, no doubt..again, more on that later).  My current ActiveLink goal is 100%=5 PointsPlus earned.  Most days I’m good about getting close to my target, as 5 PP is quite ambitious for a daily goal, but I want to get to 100%.  My approach to getting 100% is not going to be daily (although that will probably happen by default), but weekly.  Active Link tracks your whole week and tells you what your % of achieving 100% is.  FOr example, I worked at Kohls two days this week, so I brought home 120% one day and 110% another, so when I had an 86% day after that, my week achievement was still around 108%.  So, Active Link Challenge: 100% of my weekly goal achieved, which should buy me 35PP as a cushion, minimum.

Good Health Guidelines- In our little WW tracker there are these boxes that you check to make sure you’re getting your good health guidelines: Water, fruits and veggies, vitamins, activity, healthy oils, and dairy.  There used to be one for lean meat as well, which I still try and count.  Usually when you’re making good choices these things just check themselves off, but I want to start focusing on them to the best of my ability.  Lets get the GHGs done first, and then see what kind of points I have left to mess with for the day.

Self-Dicipline: As I’ve mentioned, this has been a bit out of control lately.  I’ve been a lazy, unmotivated, queen of procrastination and it’s taking it’s toll.  When it comes to food, I’ve gotten good at being able to to justify “oh, its only one more piece of chocolate or one more cookie” and have seemed to have lost my power against the kitchen.  I used to be able to say “no” and walk away!  Well, it’s time for me to come back hard and be dictator over the food once again!  It’s not only the food I’m after here, as I could use the discipline in many other areas of life, and I will be working on those too, but for the sake of the back to WW basics, we’ll stick with me reclaiming my throne as queen of the kitchen.  Any suggestions here would be amazing.  Please feel free to comment below.

So there are my basics for this September challenge.  Now, you don’t have to be a member of Weight Watchers to get something out of this challenge as well.  Are there certain areas in your life (or in your kitchen) that could really use the “first day of school” mentality?  Thought so..   Whatever your personal challenge, join us.  This challenge is about getting healthy again, getting back on track (or getting on track to begin with).  You can look into sites like SparkPeople for a free health tracking website.  There are quite a few out there.  If you are on Twitter or Instagram we will be using the hashtag #wwbtb to track activity in this challenge.  Don’t forget to join the Facebook group which has a ton of supportive Weight Watchers friends who discovered one another via Instagram and blogs.  It’s a pretty cool thing, so if you want to join me this September, get back to basics.

 

Follow me on Instagram: @beautifullybroadway and on Twitter @beautifullybway

 

Let’s let back to school season get us back to basics and back to success.