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Speaking of Things That Aren’t Sexy…

housewife-spongeStilettos are sexy.

Fast cars are sexy.

Some say facial hair is sexy (though generally, only on men).

But let’s be honest, schedules aren’t sexy.

Still, sticking to a schedule when it comes to your eating and exercise habits can make all the difference when it comes to weight loss success.

Week 2 of the “10-Week, 10-Pound Challenge” is all about creating a schedule.

Schedules become routines, and routines become habits. Having healthy habits, behaviors that are seamlessly integrated into your life, is the key to long-term, permanent weight loss.

This is exactly why I end my blogs with the tagline: “Weight loss is hard, but it gets easier…” yada, yada, yada. The “… it gets easier…” part is what happens when those behaviors, which right now seem to take so much effort, become second nature. And they will, I promise.

Here is Week 2, in a nutshell:

Monday: Set consistent times to eat, sleep, wake, work, and exercise every day.

Tuesday: Who me, hire a trainer?

Wednesday: Recall the calorie range you calculated last week and plot those calories out over 5-6 mini-meals each day.

Thursday: Invest in products that streamline your routines.

Friday: Podcast of Week 2’s topics and answers to your “Ask Marilyn” questions.

Creating routines not only cements habits but it also reinforces consistency. Whatever you do consistently is exactly the result you will get: if you exercise regularly you will become fit. If you eat within your calorie range consistently you will lose weight and then maintain that weight loss. Likewise, if your exercise and eating habits are haphazard and inconsistent, you will not achieve the results you want.

Your body will do exactly what you train it to do.

It may seem rigid, but most days my schedule looks exactly like this:

6am stumble out of bed (and to the coffeemaker)

7am Marilyn’s “First-Thing-In-The-Morning-Let’s-Go-Get-It” Smoothie (aka breakfast)

8:30am workout

9:45am mid-workout snack

11am post-workout snack

1pm lunch

4pm afternoon snack

6:30pm dinner

9pm late night snack (optional)

10pm bedtime

I work from home, so I don’t have a commute to worry about and I can work all afternoon and evening, which suits me. And yes, I workout a lot. Please don’t compare your schedule to mine; I offer it only by means of example. The point is it’s very consistent. Even on the weekends.

What’s really important here is that you create a routine that works for you and then stick to it! We get into trouble when we leave good habits to chance. We’re all busy, but flying by the seat of your pants doesn’t work very well when you’re establishing new behaviors.

So maybe schedules aren’t sexy, but for me, keeping a consistent routine means that I don’t battle with myself about whether or not I “feel like” going to the gym. Because my schedule has become second nature, I no longer waste mental energy thinking about it.

Ultimately, I don’t try to squeeze healthy living behaviors into my busy life. I have healthy living behaviors that I build my life around.

Losing weight is hard. But it gets easier. And you’re so damn worth it!

Let’s go get it!

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