I’m currently writing this post sitting on my couch in my snowflake print sweater leggings. In very few other careers would I have the “freedom” to wake up and stay in my PJ’s all day, every day for weeks on end. Okay, maybe not weeks… but sometimes, us creative business owners do go a few days without putting actual clothes on. I didn’t think I would ever actively have to think about how to stay fit while working from home. You think you’re not going to be that person and then you end up being that person. When I originally pictured owning my own business, it looked like working in coffee shops in cute cardigans and pullovers or a bright white-walled studio with vintage furniture and a mini-fridge… not this. Not snowflake print sweater leggings and an oversized tie-dye hoodie from Forever 21 with my glasses getting tangled in unbrushed hair. Apparently, this is reality. This is my life.
Sadly, that means that something else could easily become my reality. The risk of staying on the couch (or in bed…) for a few days when nothing is on the calendar except for do-at-home tasks runs high in this career. This time of year is especially dangerous for entrepreneurs like wedding photographers who generally don’t have any shoots or meetings happening outside of the home for sometimes several weeks at a time. So then, how do we prevent putting on 10 pounds when our yoga pants surely won’t be any indicator and we won’t be aware of how much physical strength we’ve lost until it’s too late, wedding season hits, and we feel like we got hit by a truck?
Making Health A Priority
This past year I made a life-changing executive decision for myself. I decided to make my physical health a priority and put my body before my to-do list. After all… if I lose my health, I lose everything else. Shooting weddings is an incredibly physically demanding job, and I’ve learned my lesson the hard way in the past when I’ve pulled a muscle in my back picking up my camera bag or just not been able to sit up in bed the next day without pain after shooting an 11 hour day. That honestly doesn’t have to be normal… we can condition our bodies to handle physically demanding situations (even for hours on end!) if we just put in the hard work and determination ahead of time. Oh, and you’ll also feel better, look better, and more likely than not, live longer! Who doesn’t want that?!
When writing this post, I was trying to think of ONE simple step you can take today to start making your health a priority, even when you’re working from home, drowning in your to-do list, and don’t have the time or energy to invest in a full-on workout routine. I actually had two things come to mind that have changed my life when it comes to taking care of myself at home and I hope these are as life changing for you as they were for me!
Drink Your Water!
The first thing is my favorite water bottle that literally forces me to drink more water. I take this thing EVERYWHERE. Literally everywhere. It’s with me on wedding days, in my car at shoots, in my purse at meetings, and on the plane with me when I’m headed to a new destination so that I can fill it up when I arrive and have it by my bedside while I sleep. This bottle is literally magic. I think it has something to do with the air valve release that allows air to escape while you’re drinking (and therefore pushes more water into your mouth), but honestly it might just be witchcraft. I don’t know. What I do know is that when I go to take a sip of water from this bottle, I end up drinking a lot more and we all know how vital drinking water is to your health (clearer skin, mind, digestive track, arteries… the benefits are seemingly endless). This is honestly probably the quickest and easiest way to make a positive impact on your health right away.
Add Some Protein To Your Life
The second thing I love that’s changed my life for the better is my Quest protein powder. First of all, it’s SO GOOD, and secondly, it’s pretty much JUST protein, so if you’re like me and carbs make you feel crappy and you need actual protein in your stomach to stop the hunger pangs, this protein powder will become your new best friend. I usually drink this after workouts, but I sometimes have it for breakfast too when I’m not feeling up to making anything and I’ve run out of my organic microwavable breakfast burritos (lol). It’s also perfect for mixing with breakfast bar/cookie recipes or other sweet snacks that you want to add a kick of protein to. My favorite flavor is peanut butter (ugh it’s so good), but vanilla milkshake is almost just as yummy. If you’ve never taken protein powder before, don’t worry…. this isn’t going to bulk up your muscles or make you feel like a body builder! Whey protein isolate (this protein powder) is actually the highest concentration of protein you can get from dairy and doesn’t have the lactose, carbs, and fat you would get from a glass of milk. That’s all! Try drinking this after a workout and your muscle soreness will lessen. It’s the best.
My All-Time Favorite Workout Programs
Because I can’t finish this post without sharing a tip for physical fitness… there is one workout program that I’ve found easy to follow, quick to do, and helpful when it comes to maintaining my strength through the winter (and building strength as time goes on). The best part about this 30 Day Shred program is that you do it from home! It costs less than $10 and each day’s workout is only 20 minutes long. It’s the best for those of us who work from home and might not make it out of the house for several days at a time. It’s also great for people like me who get intimidated and distracted at the gym, especially when I’m not in the best of shape. My all-time favorite home workout program is P90X (I could seriously rave ALL day about how amazing it is and how I’ve been in the best shape of my life when doing those workouts), but 30 Day Shred is a great place to start for people who have never done an at-home program before and are just getting back into the swing of things.
If you have a gym membership and can’t bring yourself to forget about it, check out Body Building’s Find A Plan feature. If you’re walking into the gym without specific exercises, sets, and reps, you’re honestly wasting your time. I use this Workout Log to write down what my workout is going to be before I head into the gym, and then I use it to track my sets, reps, and weights as I’m doing them. I also track my weight, overall performance, how I felt, etc. and take notes about how well the workout went and improvements I’m seeing. If you’re a Type A organized personality like me, this workout log will be your best friend.
What About The Food?!
Now, I know what you’re thinking… what about what matters MOST, Megan?! They say health is 80% diet, 20% gym. I believe that is SO true. I can workout every day for 2 weeks, but if I’m eating burgers and french fries every day, I’m going to feel like crap. My favorite app on my iPhone that I’ve EVER owned is this one little handy tool called Fooducate. When you’re shopping at the grocery store, you scan the barcode of each item and Fooducate will “grade” it for you based on ingredients, fat and sugar content, etc. It will even explain why it got a certain grade (for example, something you might not even know is highly processed could contain ingredients known to cause cancer). I honestly can’t go grocery shopping without this thing! I love learning what the “A” foods are and trying to buy only those. If you ate mostly these foods, your diet would naturally improve… and there are some tasty “A” foods, I promise!! I just found some siracha pumpkin seeds the other day that I’m obsessed with. This app will change your body, your health, and your life!!
You can also easily track what you are eating (and create a simple plan for how much you should be intaking every day based on your goals) using an app called My Fitness Pal. My own goal is 1500 calories a day, so I love logging what I eat and seeing how much I have left in the day and knowing whether I can afford to add the extra caramel sauce to my Starbucks caramel macchiato ;) It’s a really helpful tool for tracking your overall progress. I have my weight logs going back all the way to 2010! It’s cool to see where I was, where I am, and where I should be. I’ve loved using this app and I’ll probably use it forever.
Let’s Stay Fit While Working From Home
Well, there they are… all of my best fitness tips I could think to give in a simple and straightforward way! All of these little tips can be applied to your life within a matter of days if you have Amazon Prime! In all seriousness, the most important thing to remember when it comes to our physical health is to just take care of our bodies. I struggle with drinking water and eating the right things (I mean, I’m an adult… should I really be forgetting to drink water?!), so these are the steps I’ve taken to help counter that. You do what you gotta do. If that means buying a magical water bottle that forces water into my mouth, I’ll take it. The road to health is one that requires discipline, but it’s also a road that becomes easier to walk as time goes on. These are lifestyle changes we are talking about, not just quick fixes that you try for a few weeks and then forget about after they start working. When you see even just the littlest bit of progress… when you start to feel that extra pep in your step… you won’t want to lose it. The best part about being healthy is that it literally FEELS good! My goal for 2017 is more about feeling better than it is looking “better,” about taking care of my body so that I can perform my job better. I think that’s something every creative business owner can get behind. So let’s stop putting our to-do list before our health and get serious about taking care of our bodies! We only get one, after all…! How are you treating yours?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission. Regardless, I only recommend products I actually use personally and believe will add truly value to my readers. I am adding this disclosure in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 225. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” I hope you find all of these products as useful and life-changing as I do!