Posted: July 10, 2012 in Articles, Recipes, S&S Tips&Tricks

My friend is a life coach — check out WooHooing.com for some hardcore, upbeat motivation!

There are two little words I beam at (I love…) and three I cringe at (I don’t have…). Today, I’m tackling the “I DON’T HAVE…”s.

Even when exercise wasn’t my profession and I worked an 8am-5pm desk job, I worked out 1-3 times a day. What!? Yeah, sounds crazy, but here’s the deal. I often took a class before work, walked at lunch (and read a magazine!), and lifted or walked or jogged after work. How’d I self-motivate? Honestly, it was never an option to skip it. Only occasionally. I had my clothes ready for the workouts, popped out of bed as soon as the alarm went off, grabbed a water bottle, and left before I was even fully awake. But once you get started, it’s hard to stop and you feel great after. After sitting all day, yeah, I was tired, but the feeling of sitting, watching TV, and eating food doesn’t compare to the feeling of a workout where I killed it in the gym and felt sweaty and successful. You don’t need hours—just 30-60 minutes a day.

I get it more than ever how money being tight can affect your life in many ways. And while there are some great gym membership deals out there, you don’t need one to stay in shape. There are several pieces of equipment I suggest you invest in to create your own home gym: a jump rope, a stability ball, and a pair of 3-6lb. weights. Yeah, that’s it. From my shopping experiences, you can buy all of the for less than $50. There are tons of free workouts online—the workouts I create, YouTube, Pinterest, My Frugal Fitness, Anytime Health, BodyRockTV, Blogilates, and Amanda Russell to name a few.

You may not right now, but you can find it. Listen to music that’s upbeat (I always recommend some!) The fitness boards on Pinterest are totally motivational. Read about weight-loss success stories online—like Fitness and SHAPE.Read Women’s Health’s motivational tips.

Yes, you do! The Internet is full of help. Just use Google or YouTube or a fitness magazine’s website. Read this blog. Read a fitness book like Working Out Sucks!. Read articles, like this one, about how super-fit people do it and start mimicking it one step, one little goal at a time.

Again, yes, yes you do! You don’t need more than bouts of 5-10 minutes at a time. Here’s a great way to warm-up when you’re tight on time at the gym. The workouts I’ve been creating and the ones on BodyRockTV and Amanda Russell’s websites are short—like 10-20 minutes short. If you have time to relax in front of the TV or read the newspaper, you have time to spend on your health. It’s ideal to get in 30 minutes a day, but that can include 10 minutes of yoga and jumping jacks when you wake up, a 10-minute walk at lunch, and 10 minutes of bodyweight exercises and a short jog after work.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions. Yes, fresh food can sometimes be more expensive, but, it all depends on what you get and whether or not it’s in season. I scour the local grocery store ads every Sunday to find what’s on sale. I often don’t spend more than $40-$50/month on food—and it’s all healthy. Also, be a coupon clipper! I do it and easily save an extra $3-$15 when I shop. Did you know that a can of beans, rinsed and drained, is a great meal when paired with frozen veggies (cooked, of course)? And at $1 each, you get a meal for at least two people for $2. Buy some bananas or a fresh that’s in season (so 99 cents a pound) and you up the total to $3 for a full meal for two. Want some grains/starches? Buy a bag of potatoes for $2-$5 and split one for dinner. There, you’re total is up to approximately $3.50 for two for dinner. Buy things in bulk—big bags of brown rice, potatoes, nuts, whole grain cereal, bags of frozen veggies or frozen fruit. Yes, you may drop a little more dough initially, but if you portion it out, you end up spending less in the long run. And screw the vending machines! I can buy myself a whole bag of baby carrots for $1 and if I portion 1-2 Tbsp. of hummus or peanut butter into a cup, I’ve run my snack total up to about $1.50—and that’s a heck of a lot more nutrition than you get from a Snickers for $1. So now you’re thinking, “Well, fast food is cheap….” Yeah, it is. And it’s sickening. You can get a full meal at KFC for $3.99. But guess what? That chicken-potato-wedges-large-Coke combo will run you close to 1500 calories, which is around what most women should be consuming in one entire DAY. That bean-potato-frozen-veggie-fresh-fruit meal I mentioned? Probably 500 calories and so much healthier for you. And you’ll feel fuller longer with my meal than the KFC one.

Want more cheap, easy, yummy, healthy recipes? Check out the ones I’ve found and tried.

Mind over matter. Fake it ‘til ya make it. You can’t change unless you make a change. To achieve something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. Quitters never win and winners never quit.

I could keep on going, but I think you get the idea. You have to start somewhere. Everyone has. Even me. I hated the gym and exercise outside of a sports field when I first started. So I got into workout DVDs. Then I asked for help in the gym. Then I started taking classes. And hired a personal trainer for more ideas. You’ll probably be sore, you’re going to sweat, it may hurt a little, and you have to push through even when you don’t wanna, but it’s all worth it in the end. Achieving your goals—from doing 10 pushups on your toes, to doing a plank on your hands, to running a mile, to losing 15 pounds—is one of the best feelings in the world. I still have goals I work toward and I still feel strong, satisfied, and so proud and happy when I achieve them. If you’re body-conscious, work out at home. If you’re not sure how to keep moving forward, visit a gym or talk to friends about some personal trainers who make house calls.

You can gain endurance, strength, and confidence—no matter your age or where you’re starting. The first step, though, is taking that first step. And then the second. And third. And telling yourself to never stop walk forward. Even if they are baby steps.

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