I’m pretty proud of myself. Without trying very hard, I made several healthy lifestyle changes during the month of September. I have more energy, my body is looking better, and these changes can easily be continued long-term (or replicated by you!).
1. I took the stairs. Every time.
The hospital has 3 floors and the unit I cover is on the 3rd floor. Between every floor is a Service Floor – i.e. where all the oxygen pipes etc. are. So to get from my office to my unit, I hike up 5 floors. I do this probably 3-5 times a day, plus the 4 floors to get to my car in the parking garage.
The difference? My legs are definitely looking more toned. Who knew something so simple would make such a huge difference?
2. I started taking Probiotics.
I often have a feeling of fullness in my stomach, hours after I’ve eaten. The best way to describe it is that it feels like I can’t suck in my stomach or sucking in is uncomfortable.
Three weeks ago I started taking Pearl Probiotics. I can’t say for sure that it’s made a drastic difference but I definitely have that feeling of fullness less and, without much effort on my part, my waist is measuring an inch smaller. I’m attributing that to the probiotics, as I didn’t up my ab exercises at all or lose any significant amount of weight. My stomach feels flatter and I feel bloated less.
3. I bought a heart rate monitor and subsequently upped the intensity of my workouts.
I kept seeing people take pictures of their Polar Heart Rate Monitors and post photos of their workout results to Instagram (which I always found annoying). I started to wonder how useful they are and if it would help me make my workouts more efficient. Turns out, it did. I learned a lot about the workouts I was doing (and how they weren’t burning nearly as many calories as the machine told me) and changed them accordingly. Now my workouts are shorter but burn more calories.
Also, just a note on cost – I bought my Polar FT4 at Best Buy. The price at Best Buy was $89.99 and on Amazon it is $59.37. Best Buy does price matching and gave me the Amazon price.
4. I chose raw veggies for lunch almost daily.
Our hospital cafeteria is awesome. The salad bar has tons of raw, cut up veggies. I usually load up a big bowl with raw broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and sliced green bell peppers. Then I grab a cup of soup or another offering as my main dish, because duh, I need actual food too. But I’ve found that by filling up so much on veggies, I’m eating smaller portions of whatever else I’m eating.
I could easily prep veggies myself at home (and pack my lunch) but I’m lucky enough that it’s convenient to just get my veggies at work. The readily available fresh foods was just the push I needed to focus on getting proper nutrition.
5. I drank 1-2 liters of water during my work day.
Every day I aimed for 2 liters. Many days I succeeded, some days I didn’t. I did always drink at the very least, 1 liter before leaving work at 5pm. At home we only drink water (and wine) so my water consumption is definitely on target. Basically, I drink coffee in the morning and then nothing but water the rest of the day.
Things I could really work on but probably won’t:
- Eating breakfast. I don’t.
- Making pizza a treat and not the default when I can’t think of anything to cook.
- Quit using non-dairy creamer in my coffee. It has trans fats. I need to stop but it makes coffee so creamy and delicious.