Gettin' Healthy

Over the past couple of weeks I have made the transition from just dieting to working out at the gym on a daily basis and doing at home toning exercise routines. It's been something I've wanted to do for quite a while now, but with teaching, and graduation, and moving, and Carl's immigration (you get the picture) things were just too hectic and I couldn't find the time, or motivation for that matter, to kick my ass into gear. So lame. But thankfully that kick up the pants came in the shape of a guest post over at Life After I "Dew." The lovely Shannon had asked if I would compose a post to be shared on her blog while she's away beach babing it with her family. Of course I was absolutely tickled pink to have such an opportunity and straight away sat down to compose my post (which Shannon so kindly left boundary and limitation-less in terms of the content). But as always, I found that having free reign to write about whatever tickled my fancy meant that I struggled  to find any ideas at all. And for a good 30 minutes I sat staring at my laptop with an empty mind. I'm pretty sure there were tumble weeds rolling across my keyboard and the Jeopardy theme song was playing somewhere in the background. 

That was until I had my eureka moment. 

Aha! I can write about my weight loss success and goals for the future! Shannon's readers will already know her amazing weight loss journey and it's something they'll really relate to. Besides, it's something I've not really talked about in much detail on my own blog, and I don't know a single person who isn't trying to lead a more healthy lifestyle. It's something I'm passionate about and something that could inspire others. Perfect. Topic sorted.

And within 15 minutes of my light bulb flickering I'd busted out over 1,500 words about my real life Weight Watchers inspired fairy tale. As proud as a peacock, I grinned from ear to ear as I uploaded my side-by-side before and after pictures and got tearful when (as if out of nowhere) it finally dawned on me that I had actually achieved something I never thought I'd be able to do. I'd lost the amount of weight equivalent to one of my Kindergarten students. But it wasn't long before I came back down to Earth and realized that I'd  now come to the part of the post where I needed to write about my future weight loss/workout goals.  And like some delusional cowboy movie, the tumble weeds returned and a gun-slinging Alex Trebek whistled in my ear. 

That was until I had my 2nd eureka moment. I was like a blog composing genius. In fact, I'm surprised I wasn't on fire.

You know your goals, Amanda! For weeks they've been floating around in your mind like a buoy at Daytona Beach. Just get them down on paper, take the before pictures and make the commitment. Grow a pair, share them with the world and use that as motivation. Start that 30 Day 300 Ab Challenge you've been wanting to try. Dig out your gym shoes and lace those bad boys up. Hop on that Elliptical at the gym down the road and run your ass off. It starts now. Let's do this thing!

And within another 15 minutes I had finished my blog post, complete with a before picture of my Bridget Jones wobbly bits on show for Shannon's followers, and all of the world to see. I'd grown a pair and shared with the world my future goals, I'd bookmarked the 30 Day 300 Ab Challenge, I'd dusted off my gym shoes and gone and got my gym pass. I was making the first moves and gettin' healthy. 

It felt fantastic then, it feels unbelievable now.

In addition to my 45 mins a day on the elliptical, 30 Day 300 Ab Challenge (which I've modified ever so slightly and do every-other-day as I believe it's better to give my muscles a rest in between hardcore workouts) and other toning workouts, I've also become a proud participant of my friend Jen's Facebook masterpiece: Operation LGN (Look Good Naked). Jen created a group where friends could all come together to motivate one another for 30 days  (we're now on day 6) to participate in some form of exercise (whether it be running after toddlers, briskly walking, or busting out some p90x) on a daily basis. We've also been inspiring each other to eat healthier by sharing yummy low-fat recipes! It's been SO wonderful to catch up with everyone daily and the motivation from all of the group members has been seriously unbelievable! So many people have shared great Facebook pages (such as  Skinny Ms. Fitness, Tone It Up and Fit for Life) and posted great workout routines! This has been fuel to my gettin' healthy fire and I'm loving every minute of it. If you're interested in finding out more about Operation LGN or looking for some awesome workout tips, click the links to the blog posts by my bestest buddies Jen and Nina! These girls are rock stars with lots of great advice! You won't be disappointed!
I'm super proud of myself for getting off my ass and taking another massive leap in living a healthier lifestyle. And the truth of it is that I'm seriously enjoying every single second! So much so that I'm about to say something I NEVER thought I'd EVER say in a MILLION years (drum roll please)... it really is true that working out can become enjoyable and addictive! (keep in mind this is coming from a girl who only ever used to go to the gym to get a fruit smoothie, float in the hot tub or go tanning). It's like I'm a whole new person. I don't dread going to the gym, I actually look forward to it. And if I ever take a day off from going - I miss it. I really believe that this is down to my outlook and attitude. For the first time in my life I am 100% committed. I have a positive outlook on my health and feel motivated. And in that kind of frame of mind - it's ENJOYABLE! Trust me. Obviously you need to be fully committed and sometimes that can be hard. Of course there are days where I'd rather sit in my PJ's nibbling away at an entire tub of Ben & Jerry's Vermonster while watching Pretty Woman, but I have to remind myself that more than that tub of Ben & Jerry's I want to be healthy. I'm in no way claiming that I don't enjoy a bowl of Alfredo from time to time, or that cake and ice cream is totally off limits. Because it's not. What I am saying is that this isn't just about running on the elliptical or counting my Weight Watchers points. It's not about joining a gym. This is about changing my way of thinking. I don't want to be a skinny rail who counts every single calorie for the rest of her life and hasn't tasted a chocolate bar in 5 years. I want to live a balanced, healthy, enjoyable life where I'm confident and comfortable within my body. I want to be in the best shape I've ever  been and MAINTAIN that. I wan't to feel proud and find new goals and ambitions. I want to inspire those around me to do the same.
While I'm enjoying my current workout plan, I'm one of those people who likes to keep things new and exciting. My latest endeavor? Yoga. And not just any Yoga. Vinyasa Yoga. Now if you're sat there scratching your head (as I was) wondering what the HELL Vinyasa Yoga is - don't worry! I shall now enlighten you. During a yoga-loving conversation today, Nina shared her love of Vinyasa, explaining that if you're looking for a faster paced Yoga (vs the slower version which focuses more on breath control and simple meditation) then Vinyasa is for you! She recommended the P90X Yoga X (which the hubby has so sweetly found for me tonight) so I'll be attempting that tomorrow! Many of my friends and even family members are fans of Yoga so I'm excited to check it out and see if it's for more! Stay tuned for future yoga news...and don't be too surprised if I fall and crack my head on the coffee table. I'm worried I may not be coordinated enough for this. Ha! We shall see.

If, like me, you're interested in Yoga and looking for some free online Yoga videos, check out  this link that one of my  fellow Operation LGN companions posted! I also found (through the wonderful and amazing Pinterest) this Morning Yoga Sequence (which is the slower paced version, but still effective!) And as I'm new to Yoga, I'm finding all of the terminology to be like freakin' Japanese, but I happened to stumble across this helpful little website with a list (and pictures!) of all of the basic yoga poses! Hopefully those of you who are new to Yoga will find those as helpful as I have! I'm excited to get this Yoga show on the road!

Well, that's all for me tonight love bugs! But before I get off my gettin' healthy soapbox, I'd just like to say this. If there are any of you ho-humming over whether to get off the couch and abandon How I Met Your Mother in order to start making positive changes, I hope this post has inspired you! DO IT! The first step is making the commitment, putting down that extra cupcake and tying those sneakers! You don't have to join a gym, you don't have to run 4 miles, you just need to find something that works for you and stick to it. I did, and I know you can too! :) 

Happy Thursday!
P.S. You can read my guest post on Shannon's blog next week! I'll provide the link here and I'll also be sharing my half-way pictures of my 30 Day 300 Ab challenge! Also, be sure to stay tuned for the before and after pictures from Operation LGN! I'm so excited!


Leave me some love and make me smile!