Thursday, June 02, 2016

Time Out Thursday - Health Habits

Inspirational romance author Jill Kemerer is back at the Pink Heart Society discussing how she's getting in shape, the slow way.

About a month ago, I saw a picture of myself and knew it was time. Time to get serious about eating healthier and exercising. I've been steadily gaining weight (and losing it!) over the past four years, and I'm tired of dealing with the same ten pounds. But even as I acknowledged something needed to be done, I recognized I had to do things differently this time.

I don't know about you, but I have enough willpower to restrict my calories, eliminate sugar, flour or dairy, and stick with an intense exercise routine for all of nine days. Sometimes I can barely get through three! I'd vowed years ago I was never eliminating an entire food group (flour, sugar, dairy, etc...) again. I refuse to try weight loss supplements, because I know as soon as I stop using them, I'd be back to square one. Moderation suits me better. As for intense exercising, no thanks!

So this time, before I made any plans, checked out diet books, or girded myself to be strong, I sat down for an hour and really thought about what causes me to ditch my good habits.

I came up with three things:

1. Anxiety

2. Lack of sleep
3. Lack of planning

Anxiety can really throw me over the edge. I made up my mind to pray through my anxieties instead of trying to avoid them through chocolate. I also started doing some deep breathing exercises when I recognize the signs I'm stressed.

Lack of sleep is ongoing. I'm terrible about getting to bed earlier, but my wake-up time is the same during the school year. Now that school is out for summer, I'll be able to get an extra hour each night.

Lack of planning is actually the easiest area for me to tackle. Scheduling exercise? Yes! And coming up with safe parameters regarding food? You betcha!

I love walking outside, but with my son's busy sport's schedule, I can't always fit a walk in. I work from home, and 9:00am is an unproductive time for me. I decided to do a thirty minute workout video every weekday morning at 9. I switch up the workouts, but have the same weekly schedule. Here's what it looks like:

Monday: Rodney Yee Foundation Yoga (25 minute DVD)
Tuesday: Kathy Smith Arm workout + warmup (27 minute DVD)
Wednesday: Rodney Yee Foundation Yoga (25 minute DVD)
Thursday: Kathy Smith Leg/Butt workout + warmup (26 minute DVD)
Friday: Bonus--either yoga or a walk.

I also fit in outdoor walks whenever I can, especially on the weekends.

Exercise isn't enough for me to reach my goal of being toned, though. I also count calories. Since I'm home all day, it's easy for me to eat healthier. After I grocery shop, I spend an hour prepping fruit and veggies. This makes fresh fruit and salads a breeze to grab for a snack. Soup is my favorite lunch, and I make a big pot each week. Last week, I made cabbage/potato soup. This week it's low-calorie cream of broccoli/cauliflower. I also make black bean, minestrone, chicken noodle, you name it!

One last note on my healthy intentions. The scale is not my friend. If I work out and eat healthier for a few weeks, I expect to lose weight. The number doesn't budge? I think what's the point. The scale can throw me back into bad habits quicker than anything. Even if I lose weight, I somehow think it will stay that way. Off to my old bad habits I go. I realize the scale is a great tool for most people, but at this point in my life, I'm concentrating on good habits for at least six weeks, maybe more, before I step on the scale. I might throw the thing out altogether!

Anyway, I can't claim I'll always stick with my current plan, but the fact it doesn't feel like a diet is helping a lot. The fact my clothes aren't as tight is helping, too!

I'd love to hear how you deal with your health. What do you do to stay in shape?  Join the discussion in the comments!

Jill's latest book, Her Small-Town Romance, released April 2016:

Cozy Lake Endwell, Michigan, seems the perfect place for Jade Emerson's new T-shirt shop—and perhaps a fresh start. After a lifetime of letdowns, she is finally ready to face the future on her own. 

So when local wilderness guide Bryan Sheffield offers to help Jade overcome a past trauma, she warns him they will remain strictly business. But soon, with the help of Bryan's big, complicated family and a boisterous St. Bernard named Teeny, Jade's frozen heart begins to thaw. 

Now Jade wonders if she can return the favor, bringing a little happiness to a man who has long kept his own sorrow under wraps…

Jill Kemerer writes Christian romance novels with love, humor and faith for Harlequin Love Inspired. Jill loves coffee, M&Ms, fluffy animals, magazines and her hilarious family. Visit her website,, and connect with Jill on FacebookTwitter and sign up for her Newsletter.

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