I'm ready to start, but I need help...

lauraloolauraloo Posts: 2,121Registered Users
I've decided it's time for me to start working on my health. I am a total beginner and just thought I'd pop over here for some motivation/advice/general discussion on how to do this! I've never really had to make myself "diet/exercise" because I have always been active and had a high metabolism. I'm 20 now and my metabolism isn't handling my yucky unhealthy college lifestyle anymore, and I've been really bad with physical activity. I'm not looking to lose a ton of weight, I just want to feel healthy (being able to do the things I want to do) and have my clothes fit again!

I think I'm going to start with actually buying a scale :goofy: and buying this for motivation and help tracking calories and exercise. I'm not going on a specific diet, just tracking calories and exercise so I can see calories consumed vs. calories burned.

Ok, so, and I even on the right track? Advice, motivation, help, anything would be really appreciated!
Not all who wander are lost.

Fine and thin 3a. PW: curls

Comments

  • Mamacurl3Mamacurl3 Posts: 1,559Registered Users
    Hi Laura! Good for you deciding to venture down the road to better health! Does your college offer Fitness classes? That might be a good place to start, I took a weight training class in college (twice actually) and really enjoyed it. We learned how to journal our intake..we'd do weekly journals to give us an idea of what we were eating , how many cals and fat we were taking in, and adjust our diets accordings. Keeping track has helped me realize that I wasnt' getting enough fruits and veggies, and was adding too much fat. I wouldn't necessarily to it continually, just for a week or so here and there when you think your diet has changed. Try sparkspeople.com. I don't own a scale, nor do I think it's necessary. I try to judge my health and fitness level by the energy I have, how I feel and by my clothes. While I do want to drop another 10-15lbs, that's just roughly speaking.
    As far as exercise, find something you enjoy doing and change it up once in a while so you don't get bored with it. I like to read while I ride the stationary bike too, I get my exercise and reading in at the same time.
    GL!
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  • lauraloolauraloo Posts: 2,121Registered Users
    Mamacurl3 wrote: »
    Hi Laura! Good for you deciding to venture down the road to better health! Does your college offer Fitness classes? That might be a good place to start, I took a weight training class in college (twice actually) and really enjoyed it. We learned how to journal our intake..we'd do weekly journals to give us an idea of what we were eating , how many cals and fat we were taking in, and adjust our diets accordings. Keeping track has helped me realize that I wasnt' getting enough fruits and veggies, and was adding too much fat. I wouldn't necessarily to it continually, just for a week or so here and there when you think your diet has changed. Try sparkspeople.com. I don't own a scale, nor do I think it's necessary. I try to judge my health and fitness level by the energy I have, how I feel and by my clothes. While I do want to drop another 10-15lbs, that's just roughly speaking.
    As far as exercise, find something you enjoy doing and change it up once in a while so you don't get bored with it. I like to read while I ride the stationary bike too, I get my exercise and reading in at the same time.
    GL!

    Thanks for the response! My university does do fitness classes, and I have participated in them relatively frequently... I really like doing the Power Yoga class and will probably continue with that this semester. I also really enjoy working out at the gym (except cardio :pukeright: ). My only issue is that I have a wicked class load this semester as well as working 1-2 part time jobs... I am really trying not to be too hard on myself about making it to the gym because most of the time I am utterly exhausted after class and work. I know my energy will go up after I work out regularly but sometimes you just can't push it too much, yaknow? I want to slowly ease myself into a semi-regular workout schedule and not beat myself up if I miss a day. (Plus, I walk probably several miles a day just from class to class and home, etc.).

    I am really interested in learning to journal... I know the best way to lose weight is eating a healthy set number of calories and burning enough to off-set that. Unfortunately I don't think our fitness class instructors work with us on journaling. I think it could be easily done on my own, I just don't want to make myself crazy with counting. BUT, then again, I don't want to just "wing it" and get nowhere because I'm not counting accurately. Although intuition says that I really just need to cut out empty carbs and fats and eat WAY more fruits/veggies... Ack!

    I'm still debating if I really want to buy a scale. I see it as a form of motivation in seeing the numbers drop as well as knowing the scale won't lie if I do sneak that extra piece of pizza. :laughing7:

    I think I just need to get started and then I'll have a better idea of what I should be doing. Thanks for the response!
    Not all who wander are lost.

    Fine and thin 3a. PW: curls
  • Mamacurl3Mamacurl3 Posts: 1,559Registered Users
    Not a problem Laura! I think that you could easily work on a journal, start off with tracking everything you eat on a regular basis (like I said, most of your nutrition info is on the packaging. There are also books you can buy that lists the nutritional info for a lot of foods, I"m sure you could find lots online too if you google, and sparkspeople too has a nutrition tracker, you just type in the food you ate, and the amount you ate and it figures it all for you. Easy as pie. I don't bother with a scale, I was too scale obsessed when I was younger and weighing myself constantly wasn't healthy. I know roughly how much I eat in cals, though it varies 200-500cals/day. I try not to be too fixated on exacts, rough estimates are good enough to keep me in check. You'll do what works for you and what you are comfortable with:)

    Is there a track at your schools sports center? If you have time between classes, if they aren't back to back, maybe you could sneak off and do 30min around the track?

    Bringing healthy snacks from home helps too, that way you are less tempted to pick something up from a mart or vending machine. Luna and Cliff bars are good, Kashi makes some good ones too. You'll find that once you start making a workout part of your every day routine, it gets easier to just do it...second nature. Just like taking a shower, you just do it because it's what you do regularly. It's been a while since I've been in college, so Im' just trying to remember what worked for me aside from taking a class. Walking to school, though I only lived a mile away. GL
    Type: 3a/3b, fine-medium
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  • mysteryflavoredmysteryflavored Posts: 1,271Registered Users Curl Novice
    I'm just about to start myself out on a work-out program this week, too! I've decided that I really need to get off my butt and do something active, as I've felt pretty lethargic lately and it's getting to my mood. Last week I attended one of my college's weight room orientations (mandatory for weight room use, AND it gets me access to the fitness facilities for the rest of my life, should I choose to live in NYC), and I plan to start on a semi-regular schedule this week. I'm looking more for cardio, so I'll be hogging an exercise bike for about 40-60 minutes 3-4 times a week (I can't STAND running), but I'll also try to fit in weight training about twice a week.

    I don't have any major expectations or goals, but as for the short term, I just want to feel healthier and more energetic. As it warms up, I'll be taking those 80-block round-trip walks as often as I can (love love love walking), but for now, I hope the semi-frequent biking will help keep my energy up -- and at the very least, provide me with a good chunk of time during which I can catch up on some class reading. (:

    I kicked off the week by purchasing about 6lbs of fruit in Chinatown. I'll be drinking less coffee and more tea, and really really trying to keep a water bottle on me at all times (I'm a really awful water drinker, admittedly). I guess we'll see how this all goes soon enough.
    Location: North NJ or NYC
  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Posts: 7,578Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    good luck lauraloo. i have used the body minder, not the diet minder, for over a year. the body minder allows for food entries but is balanced on the cardio and strength training parts. if you're into logging a lot on food then stick with the diet minder but if you want to basically list the food, calories, carbs, protein & fat then the other would be good...
    a dreamy pisces :fish:
    please recycle, it matters...
    i change lives...through fitness
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  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    If tracking your calories every day sounds daunting or if you worry about getting obsessive, you might want to start by just trying to eat healthier without worrying about calories. I think it's Pixiecurl who always talks about how her most effective way of losing weight/feeling better is to try to eat more of the "good" foods rather than worrying about eating fewer calories. And I've found that this works really well for me - better than tracking calories. Basically, I find that by concentrating on eating more of "good" foods, I feel fuller and probably end up eating fewer calories overall, but I don't feel deprived at all. I also find it's easier for me because it doesn't require as much planning and work as tracking calories does. I tend to do okay with tracking calories until I get busy, and then it gets too hard to track and I feel like I've failed and end up eating badly again!

    Some things you could try as goals might include:
    -Buying whole-wheat or higher-fiber versions of foods you normally eat (e.g., bread, pasta, tortillas, cereal, granola bars)
    -Eating fruits and vegetables as snacks
    -Eating at least one serving of veggies or fruits at every meal
    -If you eat dairy, low-fat dairy products like yogurt, milk, string cheese, etc. make filling snacks
    -Eating protein with every meal
    -Drinking plenty of water
    -Drinking green tea if you need caffeine
  • Mamacurl3Mamacurl3 Posts: 1,559Registered Users
    Badger has some great points and tips! Though keeping a food journal, would not only give you an idea of your caloric intake, it would give you insight on what you are missing from your diet and from there you know where you can plug in some of the whole grains, fruits, veggies etc.
    Type: 3a/3b, fine-medium
    Cleanse: hg:whispering windz farm jar soaps,
    Moisture/Co rinse: GVP conditioning balm
    DT: Jessicurl's dt
    Leave in: KCKT
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    "My father says almost the whole world's asleep...He says only a few people are awake. And they live in a state of constant, total amazement."
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  • lauraloolauraloo Posts: 2,121Registered Users
    Wow thanks for all the replies guys!

    I am currently just a tad sick (I NEVER get sick so it would figure that it would happen right as I wanted to start working out...) so I'll have to postpone going to the gym until I feel better. After that I'll just have to make it part of my routine, like Mamacurl3 said to go to the gym. Luckily there are two power yoga classes a week this semester and I do hatha yoga on Sundays and sometimes Mondays, so I'll only have to go to the gym for a "conventional" workout (cardio and weights) maybe one or two times a week! Which is good, because I have a hard time getting revved up for those. :tongue5:

    I think I'm going to start out with badgercurls'/Pixiecurls' suggestions... just trying to start eating more "good" foods. It's obvious to me that I eat badly so it seems like it will be pretty easy to make those "duh" changes, like not eating cookies for breakfast sometimes. :oops: Maybe after a while when I start getting the hang of it I can keep track of calories, etc. so I can begin to include more junk food in my diet :laughing7: or just to allow myself more freedom.

    Badgercurls, your suggestions were great. I know that I knew them in my heart of hearts, I just need to DO it, esp. eating protein with every meal (I tend to gorge on carbs) and eating more fruits and veggies. I am also trying to replace my beloved Coca-Cola with iced tea (for the most part... can't give it up entirely!)

    Thanks for the support and advice, ladies. I'll try to keep you updated on my progress!
    Not all who wander are lost.

    Fine and thin 3a. PW: curls
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    Hehe. I have the same problem with loving soda (right now, I'm addicted to Diet Cherry Coke) and not eating enough protein. And I have been known to eat cookies for breakfast. Posting those suggestions for you really helped me remember that I need to be good about adding those things to my diet, too!
  • Gemini13Gemini13 Posts: 5,000Registered Users
    Hey, I think someone else mentioned this site, but I love www.sparkpeople.com. You can use it to come up with a fitness and nutrition plan, journal/track your calories, and get lots of information on fitness and nutrition. There's a messageboard as well, where you can get info and support. Definitely check it out, at least!
    Brooklyn, NY

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