Thursday, May 21, 2015

my weight loss toolbox: active living // guest post!

This is another special, guest post by my friend (and sister ;) Jasmine. I invited her to share tips for maintaining an active lifestyle. (See her first guest post: 12 Dates // Valentine's Day or Anniversary Gift Idea here; her second: 8 1/2 x 11" Pocket Scrapbook Idea here; and her third: Making Time to Craft here).

You may be surprised to find out that I am passionate about more than crafting- *gasp.* ;) It’s true! I am interested in a variety of things, so I was really excited when Jessica suggested I write a guest post about fitness. I have not always been passionate about fitness and up until a few years ago I had never made an effort to work out… ever. I had never really been taught how to live a “balanced” lifestyle nor did I consider it all that important growing up. This lack of knowledge coupled with the stress of starting college and other young adult crises really took a negative toll on my health. My sisters and I all started to take our health more seriously at around the same time and Jessica had asked me to start an at-home workout video with her (doesn't she always have the best ideas ;). [Oh, go on... ;)] Before we knew it, we were shedding off the weight and were really motivated to not only keep it off but to learn more about how to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. After losing a significant amount of weight (collectively we lost about 100 lbs!), we joined Weight Watchers, which not only reinforced the healthy choices we were making, but also gave us the additional tools we were searching for. I really enjoy Weight Watchers because I believe it has a realistic philosophy in regards to leading an active and healthy life.
my weight loss toolbox: active living With all of that said and all that I've learned and the progress I have made, I still struggle with maintaining a healthy life style (like the phrase suggests, it requires a lot of maintenance!) I especially had a hard time staying active when I starting working. Spending most of the day sitting at a desk isn't conducive to an active lifestyle, so I thought I would share the tips I have learned for staying active at a desk job (though these tips can be applied to trying to increase your activity in general).

1. The little things add up

I work in a multi level office building so I always make it a point to walk up and down the stairs to my office on the second floor. I avoid the elevator at all costs and sometimes even take the back entrance to the building if I want to get a little extra walking in.

2. Look for opportunities to be active

Along the same lines, you have to be intentional if you want to increase your activity at a job that’s mostly sedentary. I use the bathroom on the third floor even though there is a bathroom right next door because I am a firm believer that the little things add up. I also make it a point to run my own errands to the other departments on campus even though it’s technically not in my job description and I avoid using the office golf cart to make these deliveries (could they make it any easier to stay immobile all day??).

3. Track your activity

There are a number of ways to track your activity and countless fitness monitors on the market to choose from, but I'm partial to the Active Link. ;) [Read more about the Active Link here.] I like that you can set challenges for yourself every 3 months and that it gradually increases the amount of activity you should be doing from week to week. Not reaching your goal? Adjust it to a more manageable one or vice versa. Am I sounding like a Weight Watchers spokesperson yet?? ;) Seriously. However you choose to track your movement, I think it’s so important! I am constantly searching for ways to reach my activity goal and find myself running in place at night just to make sure I reach it. It’s so motivating.

4. Be prepared

I think one of the most important elements of staying active is being proactive and removing any excuses- searching for ways to overcome any potential obstacles. One of my obstacles is having to wear heels for work. It’s hard enough to walk in those things let along trudge my way across campus in them. I have found that I am drastically more active when I carry flip flops in my purse. Not only am I more willing to volunteer to go on errands, but I also enjoy more active recreational activities during my lunch and throughout the day. Rather than sitting and playing with my iPad during lunch, I will plug in my headphones, turn on a podcast that I've been meaning to get around to, and enjoy a nice walk for 45 minutes. I see the evidence of my activity when I plug in my Active Link and I have accomplished my goal sooner than usual. It is so motivating! my weight loss toolbox: active living You know what else is motivating? This adorable gym bag that Jessica gave me for my birthday! [This is how we celebrated Jasmine's birthday this year.] She filled it with a mint glass water bottle I had been eying, dry shampoo, an eos lip balm, and face wipes (I had been complaining about my makeup getting into my eyes and blinding me halfway through my workout). So thoughtful; so cute. Now I have absolutely no excuse to not want to go to the gym. ;)

Thank you, Jasmine! 

Keep up with Jasmine on Instagram. :)

Read more about my Weight Loss Toolbox here