Planning to stick to it + Fantastic Digital Kitchen Scale GIVEAWAY!

Planning is my friend, at least when it comes to sticking to a healthy routine, which is something I’ve been striving to do these days.

Meal planning helps me avoid going out or getting take out when I have ‘nothing to make for dinner’ in the kitchen. It also helps me from straying into the cookie aisle. Scheduling and planning my times to exercise isn’t just helpful, it’s necessary. I’m no different from anyone else with two young kids – no planning means no time for exercise.

This is one of my four calendars – organization for my organization!

Right now, my schedule allows for a 30-40 minute workout three mornings a week, for which I’m very thankful. I try to make the most of the two days I don’t have a scheduled workout with a walk or bike ride, but as there are two little somebodies around, these plans don’t always work out the way I’d like them to! This is my summer schedule. When fall comes, things will change and I’m actually kind of nervous about it. So, I’m planning for it. Planning for pitfalls is what helps avoid completely derailing (at least that’s my theory).

For me, when fall rolls around everything changes. The kids’ schedules and mine are thrown for a loop and the time I have now for my three workouts? Poof! Gone. My plan of attack is to get up early to workout. I have a whole raft of reasons this doesn’t work and I’ve been clinging to it for ages, but really, it’s the only sane option left to keep working out and I’m going to face it and take the plunge. So I need to figure out what I can do to make getting up before my family does work better for me so I can stick to it.

One of my favorite approaches is the “you don’t have to do it all/the same as last time, you just need to do something” to get me going. We’re talking the epitome of short-term goals here. Even on current workout days, I sometimes feel utter dread as I wave goodbye to my kids and husband as they set off, on their way to childcare drop-off, thinking how much I don’t want to do anything. But I tell myself that my goal is do something: I don’t have to do what I did the last time, but I do have to put on my sneakers and do something. Last time I did that I had my best workout of the summer (and goodness, was I sore the next day as proof!).

My workout space for the past few days (a.k.a. my living room with stuff shoved out of the way and a mat and weights toted in)

I think I’m getting better at setting goals. Of course, the end goal I have in mind is wonderful, but it’s too far off and too unreal to me at this point. Short-term goals work better for me and I get a real sense of achievement when I reach the goal (even if it’s just “do something today”).

I just started using Slimkicker.com to help set and keep track of goals, too. It’s kind of like Livestrong: there’s a great food diary section that tracks not just calories, but carbs, proteins, sodium, and so on. And you get to input the exercise you’ve done, to keep track of how that is coming along. Plus there are groups to build connections and gain inspiration and forums for various diets.

But my favorite part are the challenges. There are a bunch of 7-day and 30-day challenges you can join. Somehow, promising to give up soda for 7 days feels so much more do-able than swearing it off indefinitely. I check in everyday to keep me honest that I’ve stayed off the Diet Dr. Pepper and the Diet Coke (my favorites). And I’ve found some other challenges, like “playing with my kids” and “30 minutes of down time” that are truly helpful from a feel-good perspective, too (that’s all part of this healthy living thing, right?!).

Checking in, entering my exercise and food diary info for the day, and so on earns me points and moves me along and up another level and that’s motivating. Plus you can upload a picture of a reward such as a cheat food, or a massage, or whatever you’re looking forward to, and as you reach a certain number of points, you’re reminded to reward yourself with that reward. I can’t control the scale directly, but I can control my behavior directly and seeing progress toward my health goals, even when the bathroom scale isn’t showing it, really helps me stick to my routine.

My first level reward I’ve chosen? New sneaks! (Boy do I need some. Can’t wait to go shopping – I’m 57% of the way to this goal already!)

Check out these worn out, nasty sneaks (holes in the lining of the heals and all!) OK, I’m somewhat embarrassed! See – good first reward choice, right!?

This has given all this “planning” and “scheduling” and “routine” a little fun – like a game, which can go a long way in helping a person stick to something, too! Check out Slimkicker.com (it’s free and there’s an app version, too, for on the go).

GIVEAWAY: Want to win this seriously fantastic kitchen scale? (It sure puts my old-school, analog, plastic number to shame!)

Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale

Just comment below with your idea for a 7-day or 30-day challenge. Explain your fun and creative diet or fitness challenge in a phrase or a couple of sentences. The best one wins!*

Giveaway closes at 10pm Eastern, on August 1, 2012.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU!

*Chosen by Slimkicker – giveaway sponsor.

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59 Responses to Planning to stick to it + Fantastic Digital Kitchen Scale GIVEAWAY!

  1. Mello says:

    Eat every color of the rainbow each day for a week (salads, fruit bowls will get you most of the way) : )

  2. I’m not sure if this is fun or creative, but my challenge is “break a sweat every day!” This has been helpful to me in challenging my all-or-nothing thinking about exercise, particularly because I’ve been sidelined by an injury for a couple of months. While my injury has rendered me unable to run (my exercise of choice), there is no reason I can’t do SOMETHING that causes me to break a sweat every single day :).

  3. Jeanna M says:

    No white sugar for 7 days, or if adventurous 30.

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  7. Austin Baroudi says:

    I want to skateboard for at least 2 hours everyday for thirty days!

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  9. I think I’ll challenge myself to not go 2 days in a row without exercising for the next month!

  10. Danielle T says:

    well i live with my boyfriend and we both go on 7 day challenges of no cheese and we TRY for no bread like foods, its hard but we do it every so often

  11. gail says:

    no soda for a month

  12. Cassie Rivera says:

    Keep track of your daily fruit and veggie intake to make sure you’re getting enough. And try to make 2 meatless dinners a week!

  13. Billie says:

    With this crazy heat wave we’ve had all summer, I would say I challenge myself to finding fun ways to liven up my water. Freezing fruits like raspberries into ice cubes or trying True Lemon’s lemonade.

  14. stacy h says:

    Fresh, Fit, Full!

    For 2 weeks eat nothing but fresh foods- nothing processed at all. As much as you want! And drink only water. Feel Fresh, Fit, Full!

  15. Move a different way for 30-60 minutes every day for a week. It’s a great way to try new workouts and find something that will work for you. Everything from fencing to rock climbing to samba lessons count, just get moving!

  16. Spend time excercising with your spouse and kids! Go on a jog or bike-ride together, play toss-the-kid, do sit-up and push-up challenges. Our sons love to challenge us and each other and see who wins!

  17. hannah K says:

    well my 30 day plan I’ve tried to stick to, was to eat several cups of fruit and veggies a day, with protein at every meal. It’s really Really worked at keeping my cravings down, and keeping me feeling full and satisfied all day.

  18. Jennifer Winchester says:

    to ride my bike everyday

  19. Corey Olomon says:

    I’m going to try and go no sugar, low carbs for 7 days and then see how it goes.

  20. LaTanya says:

    Try juicing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 7 days.

  21. debbie jackson says:

    My challenge would be to eat organic and fresh for 30 days and track weight loss debbie jackson,
    djackson1958 at hotmail dot com

  22. Jamie Knupp says:

    Soda is my big downfall, so my 7-day challenge is to replace my dr. pepper with green tea or water for the next seven days. I’m pretty sure when I notice how much better I feel and how quickly my belly chub goes away, it will become 30 days, then (hopefully) permanent!

  23. mannabsn says:

    A fun challenge for me and one I’m planing for myself would be a 7-day vegetarian challenge. It’d be hard to get my husband and kids on board, since they’re meat-and-potatoes guys, but I think it’d be great for our food budget AND our waistlines!

  24. Kristi S says:

    I always forget to drink water so my challenge would be to drink the recommended 8 cups a day!

  25. Tara Brooks says:

    My 7 day plan would be to eat NO preservatives. I’m trying to eat only whole foods, and things that I make at home. I’m putting nothing in my mouth that comes from a box, container or package. It’s tough, but I’m trying.

  26. Jennifer says:

    I’ve tried so many different ideas thru the years and usually get bored within a few days… I have only been able to stick to one thing- riding my bicycle! We ride daily as a family for about 8 miles. It does not seem like exercise, but I have noticed a change in my body! It wears my kiddos out and everyone loves it! We also eat great- growing our own veggies and using them to start meals, versus around meats and breads!

  27. Cassandra Eastman says:

    My 30 day plan is doing the “30 day shred DVD” with Jillian and a low carb diet!

  28. Nancy says:

    7 Day Challenge: Wear a different color each day of the week, eat at least 3 servings of that color fruit or vegetable daily (along with other colored fruits and veggies, of course) , and keep a food and exercise journal.

  29. Be supportive of your teenager who is dieting. This limits your eating and increases your exercise. You will do things for your child that you would never do for yourself. (P.S. I am down about 6 pounds this way!)

  30. Pamela Sims says:

    My suggestion is to stop drinking soda for 7 days than add another thing like stop eating Little Debbies until every week for 30 days try to take away something else that is bad for me.

  31. Mary Williams says:

    I’ve given myself an exercise challenge. Workout with Kettlebells and walk most days of the week for a month, and see what changes I see. Saying I’ll do it for a month is much easier then saying forever, and I like a challenge!

  32. Debbi says:

    Drink only water, eat 3 servings vegetables and 2 servings fruit per day, and wear a pedometer and walk at least 10,000 steps every day for 30 days. Keep a monthly calendar and star each day that I complete my goal, with each star earning a reward (such an hour of uninterrupted reading! WOW! lol).

  33. tandcsligh says:

    well today is starting my challenge…for the next 7 days the change i am making is to have a consistent work out and try some healthier recipes (like cauli rice)…the 7 days after that i will continue the work out and healthier recipes, but also make some better dinner choices (instead of cereal which tends to be my staple, steel cut oatmeal or an all fruit smoothie made with greek yogurt)…then the next 7 days i plan to just keep the same changes so as not to stress myself out…then the next 7 days i am going to try to cut down to a coke every other day (i only drink one a day now) and continue the other changes… and the last 3 days in august i want to take those to evaluate how i did and did it make any changes in my weight/inches and how i feel…i really want to loose weight the right way through diet and exercise and if i don’t start today when will i?…callee2005(at)hotmail(dot)com

  34. An hour a day….split into as small as 10 minute increments if necessary, get your heart rate up! Or, sleep plays a big factor in health and weight loss, how about a sleep challenge, get on a sleep schedule to sleep away the pounds?

  35. My challenge is to eat more fruits and veggies than meat and bread. I also take the kids walking in evening when it is cooler and spend time playing outdoor games with them. That def breaks a sweat, cleans the pores and I feel better after a few days!

  36. laura ari says:

    I would do two one week challenges. The first week, I would write down every thing I eat for a week. Week 2 would be a change it challenge. Take a look at week one and make sensible changes to better balance your diet! Sometimes writing it down makes all the difference – you actually see what you eat!

  37. I find that making a lot of changes at once causes me to fail before I even begin. In the last week, I swore off diet sodas and caffeine. I have been drinking herbal tea instead. My other goal is to eat more fruit and vegetables while decreasing the amount of processed food and walking more.

  38. Diana Stanhope says:

    Wow that is a great scale! My fitness challenge would be log my food everyday for the whole month. I always start with great intentions but trail off as the chocolate cravings hit mid month. Funny those cravings also signal the end of my Yoga for the month too, so maybe I should add to stick with my yoga three times a week too.

  39. Amy Honious says:

    i challenge everyone to cook at home ONLY for 2 weeks. i find that we think a lot more about what we eat when we cook it. really cook, from scratch. try it!

  40. kelly says:

    Work out while watching the olympics, even rolling a soccer ball back and forth can burn calories. Especially because I just had surgery and I can not get up and exercise!!

  41. dreadedjaws says:

    PLEASE NOTE: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. SUBSEQUENT COMMENTS WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN. THANK YOU!

  42. Pingback: Giveaway Winner | MamaNut

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