One area that has really helped me stay focused while creating my healthy lifestyle has been the tracking and measuring side of my weight loss journey (read more at https://skinnybonny.com).
I’m not a huge numbers person, I don’t even really keep track of my Google analytics for my blog, but what I have learned is that if I don’t track and measure my weight loss and subsequent maintenance program, then I find it far easier to “fall off the wagon”.
One of the easiest ways to track your progress is to simply jot down your measurements. I don’t actually weigh myself on scales; instead I take the measurements of my arms, waist, hips, legs and chest area.
This tells me how many inches I’ve lost, which relates to body fat.
This is a far better indicator of weight-loss progress than what you see on the scales, because muscle is heavier than fat, so when you’re just starting out, your fat is being turned to muscle… it can take a little longer to reflect weight loss on scales.
So, do yourself a favor and measure your body fat instead. It’s rewarding to see inches falling off week after week rather than checking the scales and seeing no change at all.
Here are some of the apps you can use to track and measure your progress:
Simplenote App – if you want to “write” your details down, this is a simplistic app that takes away all the fuss. I use this app to jot down what I did during my exercise session rather than taking down my measurements. (Play store link)
Tracker – Fitness and Nutrition Tracking – this app is great to not only track your workouts and weight/body fat, but you can also track your nutrition, which is great if you’re struggling to stay on top of the food you’re eating.
Weight Loss Tracker – this will purely track your weight and body fat, based on the information you provide it. It’s a nice, simple app for anyone that is looking to just track their weight loss or keep an eye on their weight for maintenance purposes. iPhone and Android compatible.
Fitlist – Workout & Fitness Tracker – this is my favorite. You can enter in your own workouts and track your progress over time. This is what I’m currently using in conjunction with my spreadsheet. iPhone and Android compatible. (App store link)
I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to keep track of your weight loss/maintenance progress. Tracking and measuring are important to the success of your weight loss and it will also drive your maintenance program.
If you struggle with doing something like this, then definitely use one of the suggested apps, preferably Fitlist, Honestly, if I wasn’t tracking my weight, I wouldn’t be able to gauge my progress and I also wouldn’t be able to monitor and make sure I am maintaining it.
I know that I spend most of my time during the day sitting, so I need to exercise to ensure the longevity of this body I’m residing in.
I don’t believe you need a gym to achieve the body or healthiness you’re looking for, and evidently, neither do you – or you wouldn’t have read this far!
I acknowledge that some people need a gym to achieve a certain look, and kudos to them, they can spend all the time they want at the gym. Me, I’m going to continue finding and developing different ways to stay fit that fit in with my lifestyle and that I can do in under 30 minutes a day.
I know that I’m preaching to the converted here, but seriously, why does society really feel the need to make us all work out in a confined space and dress in a certain way? Beats me.
In conclusion, this article is merely a representation of my own personal experiences and the guidelines I try to follow in order to become a happier and productive person.
Everything I said is exactly what I do because it works very well for me, but this is not to say that it will work for you.
Modern life seems to trick our minds into thinking that…
“This is the way I should behave, sleep eight hours, work eight hours, eat when I can, have sex when I can, try to raise a family and repeat…”
This is the cycle that traps many people and before they know it they are unhappy with their lives, likely due to the fact that they are unhappy with themselves. Just because our species has evolved in exponential ways over a brief period of time, doesn’t mean we can forget our roots and genetics.
Our species conquered due to our rapid evolution of intelligence and fitness.
Remember, it’s survival of the fittest, not the mere existence of the complacent. We are at the top of the food chain because we have the physical abilities to act upon our ideas.
It’s a well-known fact that human beings are the best long distance runners on planet earth. Yes, it’s true that cheetahs could catch and eat us with ease. It would also not be wise to place a wager on a human at a horse race.
Humans could, however, run down both of these animals over a long distance until their hearts exploded, the reason? Sweat! Humans are able to sweat and when this sweat evaporates, our overall body temperature is cooled.
Many people hate sweating but I embrace this vital trait. In fact, sweating it out is a major catalyst if you ever want to lose weight.
So, sweat lets me know that I’m exerting myself in an effective way and burning calories. Imagine if primitive humans behaved in the ways that the average person behaves today.
Lying around in caves, entertaining themselves with futile activities. We would have never made it out of that era and likely gone extinct if that was the case. The reason that didn’t happen was all due to a lack of choice.
There were no T.V.’s, cell phones, iPods or things like that; there were only the priorities of food, shelter, water and reproduction. If you weren’t mentally and physically fit enough you would perish, period.
Ironically, we seem to have great interest in the way humans ATE in that time, thanks to things like the paleo diet or the caveman diet (Here’s a nice paleo guide on my blog – https://skinnybonny.com/paleo-caveman-diet-plan/).
Choice has quickly become societies enemy and has forever altered our priorities. Distractions have become so normalized that people forget what’s important.
It should be abundantly clear that we are not genetically designed to be sedentary all day.
Your body doesn’t release endorphins if you beat a video game or finish a season of Breaking Bad. Endorphins are released under moments of stress, pain (like repeated exercise), and extreme pleasure.
I think of Endorphins as a natural reward for doing something that will increase your chances of survival. If sex didn’t feel so damn good, I guarantee we would have a less populated planet.
If you don’t make time for physical activity in your life, you either will or currently are feeling the consequences. I think that if you trap and suppress your physical needs, your body has a tendency to “short circuit” and fulfil this physical need in other ways, such as violence or forced drama in your life.
I wish I could do an experiment on every single person on earth who suffers from depression, or who is just generally unhappy. I bet a large majority of these people do not exercise and I bet that if they did a lot of them would throw their prescriptions out the window.
I’m not trying to discount mental illness in any way. There are a lot of people who desperately need medication in order to function, due to major chemical imbalances in their brains.
My point is that in some cases, people’s feelings of emotional imbalance could be fixed or ameliorated through greater fitness levels and significant fat loss.
Let’s stop lying to ourselves, I mean who doesn’t want to look into a mirror and say, “damn, I look great and all my hard work is paying off”? That’s an awesome thing to desire and I think we all should.
Break your monotonous cycle and make room for your own fitness. Not only will you look better, but I guarantee you will feel more mentally and physically balanced as well.
If I have a difficult decision to make in my life, if I’m frustrated about something or if I just need some moving meditation, I go for a run or a swim and it helps immensely.
I think there’s something hypnotic about continuous movement. The ability to feel control over your entire body allows you to transfer this feeling of control to issues in your life.
This article will hopefully serve as your brief, yet difficult guide to a greater level of general fitness. Allow me to reiterate: Weight loss is not a simple thing to achieve or maintain and anybody who tells you otherwise is lying to you, likely to make a quick buck off of you.
Weight loss in an ongoing battle, it must be achieved, maintained and constantly improved upon. It is a lifestyle choice that will make you a happier person. You only have one body, so why not make it the best physical specimen that you possibly can!