A major key to my success has been weekly meal and exercise planning. I’ve been planning my workout schedule since around April of last year, but starting in June I actually wrote it out every week. I can’t always stick to it 100%, but I’m pretty close. If there’s a class I can’t make because of a conflict that comes up with work, kids, life in general, then I try to make it up by doing a Beachbody workout at home, or going for an evening walk. Just trying to make 10k steps a day can make a difference in me feeling like I’ve been sitting on my butt all day (especially with a desk job).
On Friday or Saturday of every week, my husband and I plot out the menu for the upcoming week. We coordinate it based on our calendar and schedules. If it’s something where we both have to be in the office all day, we might do a crockpot meal. Or if we have activities that allow a shorter amount of time for meal prep, we plan accordingly. We rarely go out to eat these days which has both saved us money, but also made it a lot easier to stay on track with healthy eating. We also try to look at what’s on sale in our grocery store, or if we’re going to get a CSA box for the week (we do it about once a month or so because we are part of a flexible plan that allows us to put it on hold on weeks where we don’t need it).
I’m happy to share my weekly meal plans and workout schedules. My workouts generally stay the same on a weekly basis, at least for a few weeks. I try to mix things up once in a while and change out a class or two so that I’m getting the right amount of cross training, but I do find that once I like a program, I like to stick with it.
Remember, a lot of this came from trial and error. I went to class after class trying to find the ones I liked. I used to hate spinning, but after going to a few classes, trying out various teachers, and getting used to the initial discomfort to the bicycle and my legs feeling like lead, I started to really enjoy it. So don’t give up on something on the first try. Just because it may not feel right the first time, doesn’t mean that you won’t start to (somewhat) enjoy it eventually.
Workout Schedule for Week of March 7th:
- Monday: 2 miles on treadmill before Cycle Beat class. Cize! workout in the evening
- Tuesday: 2 miles on treadmill before Interval class. Cize! workout in the evening
- Wednesday: 2 miles on treadmill before Cycle Express class. Cize! workout in the evening
- Thursday: Work conference so no gym. Cize! workout in the evening.
- Friday: Treadmill interval class and Zumba! Rest day from Cize! challenge.
- Saturday: Big Fig’s birthday party. Cize! workout in the evening.
- Sunday: 6 mile run in the morning. Cize! workout in the evening.
Meal Planning for Week of March 7th:
- Monday: Salmon, rice pilaf, asparagus
- Tuesday: Chicken, lentils, peas
- Wednesday: Big Fig’s birthday dinner. Going out so probably a chicken salad.
- Thursday: Homemade fajitas in lettuce wraps. Chicken, veggies, spanish rice, beans, corn. I do smaller portions of the carbs. Usually the chicken and veggies in a lettuce wrap fill me up pretty fast.
- Friday: Spaghetti with homemade sauce, broccoli
- Saturday: Family in town so going out to dinner. Not sure where yet.
- Sunday: Soup and chicken salad to detox from all the yummy birthday food from the last week.
We use a meal planning notepad like the following that we attach to our fridge, so at any point we can easily refer to it to see what’s for dinner. We only plan our dinners but we usually have a grab bag of breakfast items as we’re in a hurry to get out the door in the morning. These include granola bars and/or Shakeology and a banana. Lunches are generally open faced sandwiches, wraps, soup, or salad. We write the breakfast, lunch, and snack options in the side as a reminder so we’re less likely to forage around in the pantry saying ‘what should I have for a snack!’ thus encouraging the less healthy options.
I also drink a TON of water. I drink probably 16-20 glasses a day. I love water – thankfully soda wasn’t a habit I needed to kick. But I did drop coffee and swap it out with a cup of the every day or so. But every so often, I do need to remind myself to get up and fill up my glass. I get lazy when I’m sitting at my desk and as much as I enjoy water, I forgot to keep it up.
Setting a schedule has helped us to get into a healthy routine. Sometimes, when I’m feeling bored with our usuals, or can’t remember what we’ve done previously to mix things up, I’ll go through websites or my cookbook collection to get some ideas of new things to try. We haven’t quite been doing this for a year yet, but we rarely get bored with our options because of these little tricks. Hopefully this helps you in some way!
What do you do to ensure success every week?