Walking the Walk

I've been a bad ballerina this semester. tumblr_kyn8pmhEwg1qb9ajqo1_400

How I feel (Image)

Last year, I was on top of my game. I was exercising, doing cardio exercise, stretching, dancing every single day, drinking lots of water, not eating any sugar, and at almost five foot nine, I was 120 pounds.

This semester, I haven't got the guts to step on a scale.

I mean, it's not bad. I'm not fat by any stretch of the word. I still wear size 2 jeans and dresses. I just have a higher body fat percentage and less muscle tone than I did last term. It's mostly because I haven't had the time (or discipline) to eat right and condition myself.But that's really no excuse. So below are some simple ways to get started in walking the walk instead of just talking the talk.

  1. Go to bed earlier so you can get up earlier. Getting more sleep earlier in the night actually helps your metabolism. Getting up earlier does the same. Don't forget to eat a little something—even if it's a half a cup of milk or a piece of banana—to boost your metabolism for the day. *note, it should be a complex carb, not a simple sugar like Captain Crunch cereal.
  2. Start off exercising for five or ten minutes—first thing in the morning (because we all know if you don't do it first thing, it won't get done). As you get used to getting up earlier, you can increase the time you exercise. Don't try to do two hours on your first day; you'll never want to work out again.
  3. Eat Slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it's full. Eat slowly so you don't accidently eat too much.
  4. Stay Hydrated. Water is the fourth macronutrient, and it's much more important than you may think. The best way to check your hydration is to look at your urine color. First thing in the morning, check your hydration level, and determine if you're on track, or dehydrated. Decide how much water you need to drink that whole day, and then aim to meet that goal.
  5. Pick one day of the week to let yourself eat yummy junk-food; and then stick to your strict dancer-diet for the rest of the week! I usually pick Saturday, because I don't have to go to class, and I sleep in that day anyway, so I don't want to worry about my metabolism. This is a very important one, because
    1. It makes you think "three more days, and then I'll let myself eat that cake,"
    2. Your body gets used to that one day a week, and it compensates for it by burning the extra calories
    3. Think about it: if you eat veggies and whole grains every day and then eat pizza and ice cream, you're probably going to feel a little nasty… so you'll eat less of that junk food because you're body isn't used to it anymore. Not only are you only splurging once a week, you're consuming way less of it!
  6. Keep a food journal. This is a very simple way because all you have to do is write down what time you eat and what you eat. Even if you're the only one who will see it, simply writing down what you're eating makes you want to eat healthier, because you really don't want to write down that you had a coffee at 10, a cookie at 1:30, and a slice of pizza at 6. It keeps you accountable, if only to yourself. Want to up the challenge? Pick an accountability partner, or start a public blog!

Good luck! And if you have any advice or suggestions, leave a comment below!

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