Like many moms, I have struggled for years with my weight and have found it difficult to live a healthy lifestyle. I recently took a hard look at myself to try and figure out why I consistently fail every time I attempt to lose weight. I realized that my biggest problem was that I didn’t have the money for a trainer or a nutritionist and I lacked the ability to keep myself on task and motivated. This means I would start a healthy lifestyle change and give up a few weeks later when I wasn’t seeing the type of progress that I wanted. This year I decided to approach fitness in a completely different way. I started to use technology as my own personal free trainer and nutritionist and here is how I am doing it.
This is the most amazing app. It’s free and it will calculate your calories and tell you the nutritional value of the food you are eating. You keep a virtual diary of everything you eat and every workout you do. The app monitors your calorie intake and lets you know how many calories you can consume to lose weight or maintain your current weight. This is the personal nutritionist part of the plan. It lets me know that if I eat or give my kids a package of Pop tarts for breakfast we are consuming 400 calories and 2 grams of protein. If we eat a cup of cereal with a half cup of 2% milk we are consuming 171 Calorie and 14 grams of protein. If we eat two eggs and four pieces of turkey bacon we are consuming 172 Calories and 15 grams of protein. So basically I will never be buying Pop tarts again (Sorry Kellogg’s), too many calories and not enough nutritional value. This app takes all of the guess work out of dieting.
My Smart Phone Calendar
Once I started my virtual food diary, I realized that I frequently forget to eat. I work nights so I am on a different eating schedule than my kids so I couldn’t eat when I was feeding them, which means that I really wasn’t on an eating schedule at all. I would go hours without eating, get hungry, and eat whatever was fast and nearby (Yep, I’m talking about a package of Pop Tarts…or two). This means that I always felt hungry, but I was actually eating enough calories for an NFL linebacker. I set up my smart phone calendar with alarms at certain times a day to remind me what to eat and when to take any medicine, supplements, or vitamins that I need. I also remind myself a few times a day to drink water and I have time slots blocked out for my workouts. This helped me organize my healthy lifestyle. If I plan healthy snacks and meals out ahead of time that fit into my busy schedule and eat them when my alarm goes off, I constantly feel full and I have so much more energy than I did before, but I am eating 1/3rd the amount of calories and I’m getting more nutrients.
I got a cheap activity tracker from Walgreens. It’s not as fancy as a Fitbit, but it serves its purpose and comes with four different colored wrist bands, so it sort of makes up for my parents not buying me that swatch I wanted in the 80’s. It keeps track of my steps and how many calories I burn. It makes me want to push harder every day on my workouts so that I can burn more calories than I did the day before. Basically, it’s a trainer on my wrist who is telling me to do more and work harder than I did yesterday. Bonus: it also tells me what time it is, no more asking random strangers because my phone died.
In the past I would buy work out DVD’s and find someplace in my house to watch the DVD and do the workout. It got boring doing the same workout DVD’s over and over. Then I realized YouTube has some amazing fitness vloggers. It’s like having tons of different trainers in your pocket. I love Yoga with Adrienne, Blogilates, Dance Fitness with Jessica, Pop sugar fitness, and Runtastic Fitness. I can do these workouts anywhere. I do the Runtastic Fitness Stair workouts on the stairs at my work at 2AM alone, but I feel like Lunden is right there running up and down the stairs with me keeping me motivated. Bonus: This video is with Taylor Swift’s trainer…you are welcome!
Exercise Bike & Television
I brought my exercise bike up from the basement where it was collecting dust and I put it in front of the TV. Instead of sitting on the couch to watch my favorite shows, I make myself ride the exercise bike. Now I get a workout while I am watching TV. You could do the same thing with your treadmill or elliptical. If you don’t have a cardio machine you could jog in place.
See you don’t need a nutritionist or a trainer, all you need is your cell phone and a fitness tracker to stay motivated and keep on track. Hopefully some of these fitness tips help you.
Tiffany O’Connor is a mom to two amazing, energetic, and fearless boys. She is married to her high school sweet heart and has three college degrees. Her hobbies include watching TV shows about zombies, hiding in her hot tub with a bottle of champagne, and writing all about her misadventures parenting in a “man cave” at #Lifewithboys.