“It's never too late to be who you might have been.” - George Eliot
Take a hard look in the mirror and make a decision on what you want and start heading there today. The road is never easy, but then again, nothing worthwhile is. There are numerous little things within your normal day that, when adjusted, can help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals. It is the sum of all parts as there is no silver bullet in living a fit life.
First Things First
Why not wake up 10 minutes earlier to avoid stress? In the morning, your natural cortisol levels are highest and if you are running late for work and thus stressed out, your cortisol levels will continue to increase, especially with the obligatory cup of Joe. Why is that important? There are numerous studies strongly suggesting increased cortisol levels are connected to fat gain and potassium loss. Both are bad. So, that makes stress bad. Stress is something you can control throughout the day; why not start in the morning? Oh, and speaking of coffee, use non-fat creamer or skim milk if you cannot give up the coffee. Those extra 80 calories equal almost 15 minutes on that stair climber you are beginning that intimate love/hate relationship with.
I Spoke Too Soon
The morning is actually too late to get started. One of the most beneficial things you can do is plan and pack your lunch and snacks the night before. This simple action can keep you from getting the munchies and running to the fast food fat trap down the street from work.
Your little brown lunch bag should include more than just lunch though. Make sure you bring healthy, natural snacks so you don’t move conversations from the water cooler to the vending machine. Also, be sure to pack a pre-workout snack like yogurt, an apple, or a piece of wheat toast with honey as it can help keep you energized for your workout without making you feel like you’re gonna hurl with every rep.
You should also make sure your gym bag is ready the night before just in case you do run late in the a.m. And then, keep it in the front seat of your car so you have a stark reminder of what needs to be done before you go home.
At Work or Wherever
Once you do get to work… park farther away. Save the close parking spots for the pregnant, disabled, or old and infirm. 9 out of 10 times you do not need to be that close… and waiting for someone to pull out so you can get that spot is, let’s face it, rather pathetic. This same approach should be used at the Mega-Super-Grocery-Big-Box store of your choosing. All kidding aside make that a habit, the extra walking is good for you.
Speaking of a little extra effort, use the stairs whenever possible. Yes, even if you did the most gnarly leg workout yesterday, use the stairs. You will usually get there as fast if not faster than those in the elevator and you can gloat about if you like.
You will find that your coworkers will try and tempt you with donuts and birthday cakes seemingly at every turn. You must take a superior position to those in the office kitchen who are running in to get their favorite free pastry. You don’t need it. You don’t want it. There is a task at hand and you mean to complete it. If they want to gorge themselves on pure fat then so be it. You are in charge of you.
You’re Home Now What
Ok, so you just got done with a killer workout and you are feeling pretty good and rather spent. Excellent, but whether you want to or not, you must eat within the next hour to maximize your muscle recovery. A protein shake or snack should be the number one item you stuff down your pie hole… not pie… no matter how hard you worked, you haven’t earned pie yet.
Oh, and here’s an easy one… walk after dinner. It burns calories and helps digestion… and it’s a great thing to do with you partner or even a great way to meet someone.
Lastly, make a change in how you spend your down time so that it’s more rewarding than watching the special features on your 2nd season Seinfeld dvds. Plan a weekly activity for one day out of the weekend. It can be as hardcore as going mountain biking in the Rockies or as simple as taking a nature walk at a local park. Just do something active if not memorable.