Getting into Shape (other than Round!)

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While New years has come and gone, so have many fitness resolutions. You can lose those frustrating pounds and inches without an expensive gym membership.

What do you need to get started?

  • Motivation– Staying motivated in the beginning can be difficult unless you have a support system in place. Find a friend who’s willing to go walking or biking with you. Someone who will listen when your legs ache, but will remind you how great you’ll look in that bathing suit this summer. If you don’t want to tell your friends (perhaps you want to “WOW” them), find some online support. You’ll find hundreds of free forums on weight loss, bodybuilding, etc.
  • Goals– You need to set a goal for yourself. Maybe you have a pair of jeans that you want to fit comfortably in, perhaps you envision yourself a particular weight or size. If you’re severely overweight, set smaller goals, say losing 25-40 lbs. Give yourself a period of time to lose it, 10 or 12 weeks. To succeed in losing weight or inches you must have a goal. Without a goal, you’ll lose motivation. Without motivation- you’ll be sitting on the couch munching chips & ice cream.
  • Journal– You’ll need a notebook divided into 2 separate sections, 1 for daily journal entry, another for food diary. Each day, write a couple lines about your day, what worked for you, what didn’t work- how you felt (in general). Where you frustrated? Tired? Full of energy? This may not seem important, but it will help you to recognize patterns. Whether you eat out of boredom, or if you eat from stress due to work-kids-household chores, etc.
    Start the first page of your journal with your body measurements- measure your ankles, calves, thighs, hips, waist, chest, shoulders, forearms, biceps and neck. If you set a time to do this once per week, you’ll see a huge difference in the number of inches on your body, which will help keep you motivated. Another secret- THROW out your bathroom scale.

  • Exercise– Yes, I said it, the dreaded EXERCISE. (Say it yourself, out loud, it kind of feels like swearing doesn’t it? ) I am a firm believer in finding fun in what you do. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, you’ll surely quit. You’ll need to choose a couple different types of Cardio exercise. (If you pick just one, chances are, you’ll get bored with it.)

    Here are a few examples:

    • Swimming
    • Biking- stationary or not
    • Walking
    • Running
    • Horseback Riding

    Create an Inexpensive home Gym
    – My home gym consists of a 40lb set of dumbbells, a body ball, a bicycle, a timer, a fabric measuring tape and a stereo.

    Weight-Lifting – Some refer to this as bodybuilding, but many women avoid lifting weights because of fear of “Bulking Up”. The truth is, Muscle burns fat. You need to have healthy muscle to burn off the fat that has accumulated in your body. In order to get that “Toned” look that most people desire, you’ll have to do some strength training. All you need to do is design a simple work-out plan. The key, for me, in designing a work-out plan, is to divide up individual muscle groups when working out. I like to work certain muscle groups, for instance, Abs & Obliques in one day, giving them at least 2 days rest in between work-outs. This allows for the muscles to have time to heal.

    In each case, I track the number of Repetitions that I do, as well as the number of sets. As I progress, I increase the amount of weights in each set.

    Nutrition– I listed this last for several reasons. First, you can’t slim down long term on food alone. You need exercise. Second, many people think that eating healthy costs more money than eating poorly. You’re body is a fine tuned machine- you need to provide it with fuel on a continual basis. What does that mean to you? It means you should be consuming several decent quality mini-meals throughout the day, rather than 3 big ones. This keeps your blood sugar levels (& Insulin) even throughout the day. If you are the type of person that needs to see immediate results to stay motivated cut out the 3 biggest culprits: White Sugar, White Flour, Starches.

    Opt out of simple carbs and opt in for complex carbs such as Oats. (You couldn’t ask for a cheaper breakfast!)

    Cheap Food Ideas:

    • Bulk Brown Rice
    • Bulk Whole Oats
    • Veggies- this time of year the prices of veggies plummet, take the time to blanch and freeze them for later this fall and winter. (lettuce, cucumber, celery, broccoli, bok choi, choi sum, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, zucchini, kale, mushrooms, green beans, sweet peppers/capsicum )
    • Eggs- excellent protein source, easily digested, dirt cheap
    • Wheat Pasta (make your own!)
    • String Cheese – excellent as a quick snack
    • Cottage Cheese
    • Yogurt
    • Cream Cheese is cheap- mix up some easy fillers- for ex. cream cheese- minced onion- baby shrimp- seasonings- mix well, serve in celery
    • cream cheese- add 1 T. Chopped Walnuts, 1 T. Dried Chopped apple, 1 T. Dried chopped cherries, 1/4 tsp cinnamon- spread on half an apple or celery stick. Absolutely delicious!
    • Lean Meats- beef, chicken and game meats- grill them!

    To View my Work-out Plans visit:

    Weight Loss on a Budget – Forums

    Article By Melissa ‘Liss’ Burnell – Creator & Designer of, “Digging yourself out of debt when all you have is a spoon” © 2005
    © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Kurhan

  • About Liss 4018 Articles
    Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

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