Thursday, January 7, 2010

What's your plan?

Health & Fitness experts agree that creating a plan for your meals and workouts will help keep you accountable and on track for your New Year’s Resolutions. So, what’s your plan?

For me, I’ve found that making monthly plans are the best way for me to go. At the first of the month, I sit down with my family’s activity calendar and figure out when I am going to get my workouts done. I am trying to work out six days a week with Sunday being a rest, or possibly my 6th workout day if my schedule gets shifted during the rest of the week. I prefer to workout first thing in the morning. I feel a sense of accomplishment by getting it done early in the day, plus the boost in my metabolism helps me to burn additional calories throughout the day.

When creating my workout plan, I try to keep in mind that most days I have a maximum of 1 hour to work out. Since it is January and most of my races are still several months away, I am splitting my workouts between running, swimming and toning….with a little bit of fun fitness as well. I am alternating days between these exercises so I am not working the same muscle sets back to back. Here is my basic schedule:

Monday – swim                                                     Tuesday – aerobics & upper body

Wednesday – run or bike, if I join a gym for the spinning class

Thursday –aerobics & lower body                          Friday – swim & yoga

Saturday – long runs

Now, when it comes to the meal plans, things are a little more difficult. I know every week we have some of the same activities week after week. I try to work in crock pot meals or leftovers on those days as needed. I try to create a dinner master plan for the month, but each week that plan needs to be adjusted in order to accommodate meals I did not make or as my schedule adjusts as well. Also, most of the time, my lunch is the same day after day. My breakfast tends to change a little, but I am trying to find more healthy recipes that I can make ahead for my early morning meal.

Since I am not a cook, I have very few “favorites” or “stand bys” that I incorporate into my schedule. I am working on it though. I went through my 4 favorite cook books and created a spreadsheet full of recipes that I want to try. As I try a recipe, I’m going to ask my family if they would like to eat the meal again. If so, I will put that recipe on a separate spreadsheet for meals we would eat again.

Grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, dinner times…the whole lot of it is enough to send me off the deep edge. It is a very stressful part of my life. Why? It all seems so overwhelming. All of the planning that goes awry. Trying to stay on a grocery budget. Picky eaters who don’t like what you cook. ALL OF IT.

BUT I will continue to work my plan. I will find the satisfactory answer that fits my family perfectly. It may take years of working it over and over again, but I am determined to not let meal planning and all of the aspects leading into it to sway me from creating healthy & enjoyable meals for my family.

Writing your plans down help you create accountability….when you realize that you skipped to workouts in a row or are making frozen pizza for the 2nd time in a week….a plan is crucial to success in your weight loss, fitness and your ability to stick to a budget.

So, what’s your plan? Is it written down?

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