Let’s talk exercise! Calorie counting is great, but it won’t it get you where you want to go alone. There are two parts to weight loss…diet and exercise. You will not be successful without both. I would even go as far to say that between the two exercise is more important then diet (to an extent).

I think a big reason we get in trouble with food is the short lived endorphins we get from eating some things. I know when the kids are stressing me out or I’m having a bad day, chocolate cake and french fries start sounding really great. If I give in, eating these things relives stress, but only for few minutes. Usually by the time the last bite is gone I’m back to being stressed but worse, because I’ve added eaters remorse. What’s eaters remorse…ugly guilt that comes along with over eating and eating badly. The feelings that come from over eating and eating badly are much worse then any stress I’ve ever had. It totally messes with my self esteem and usually causes me to repeat the bad behavior. Now I’m not saying I never allow myself treats like cake and fries…but what I do try to do is not use them as a way to cope with life. Being over weight is a serious health issue, that will dramatically effect your standard of life. This is why I think exercise is so important, because even if you don’t count calories your body will greatly benefit from some good old fashion exercise!

I’ll be honest though, when I first started down this road I didn’t feel very comfortable exercising. My weight made is very uncomfortable, and for the first month or so all I did was count calories. I eased into it as I lost pounds, starting with walking, bike rides on Schwinn Active 10 Series Upright Exercise Bike, and small romps on the elliptical. I shot for 30-45 minutes 3 times a week. I built stamina, confidence and quickly realized the endorphins from exercise are so much better then any food could give. Endorphins from exercise are not only guilt free but they last longer and leave you feeling good about yourself. By the end of last summer I had lost a good amount of weight and was feeling pretty great about exercise so I started using Firm: 500 Calorie Workout This work out is a booty kicker-woooweee is it! Took me a good month of doing it every other day to make it through the entire workout! Don’t be discouraged if the same thing happens to you. Be strong, every time you do it, it will get easier!

Around January I started to get pretty bored with that work out and started looking for something new. I found two very inspiring things. The first is a workout series by a woman named Lindsay Brin. She uses core strengthening as the base for all her workouts, and has so many different workouts, that you should find enough to keep you excited and exercising for a long long time. Here’s some of my favorites Lindsay Brin’s Postnatal Boot Camp with Moms Into Fitness, Lindsay Brin’s Boot Camp 2 with Moms Into Fitness, and my most favorite Lindsay Brin’s CORE Fitness for Moms. These workouts are booty kickers too, and not just for women. Ev’s done them with me and really, a core workout is a core workout, no matter what sex you are!

It was also around this time that I came across a new application for my phone – C25K. The couch to 5k program promises to have you running a 5k (3 miles) in 9 weeks. The program is set up that while you build stamina you also build confidence. It worked so well for me I was running 3 miles in much less then 9 weeks and now run 4 miles almost daily (when time allows). Running is great because you get a lot of bang for your buck-or time as it would be! With lots of small kids at home my window for exercise is small and sometimes non-existent. I head out at 6am (while the monkeys & the mr. sleep) and get in a kick but cardio workout in less then an hour and before the kids even wake up. This sets the tone for the rest of my day- to good! I’m very lucky to be able to run in the mornings. Running may not be your cup of tea, maybe it hurts or you just plain don’t like it. Well walking is just as good, it’s easier on your body and the only difference is you have to go a bit longer to burn the same calories. The best part about walking and running…they’re almost free and require only a good pair of shoes and comfortable clothes. You can run/walk any time day or night. You can do it alone or with friends. No what exercise you choose…I only hope that you do something. Get your heart rate up and get some fresh air. And remember the more you move and burn the more you can eat!