Friday, March 27, 2009

Fitness Friday ~ Accountability

It's Fitness Friday and I had several ideas for topics today. I want to share the reason I decided on the topic of accountability.

You see, it basically comes down to this ...I need accountability!

Yesterday I participated in Thankful Thursday. I wrote that I was thankful for spring and described the beautiful weather we were experiencing this time of year in Phoenix. I began thinking that it would be a great time to go for a hike after completing my post.

Well, you know how it is. I got distracted with other things and didn't go for the hike.
Kate AKA Jottin Mama left a comment asking me if I went for my hike. She's been a part of our Fitness Friday Fanatics blog.


And I suddenly felt very convicted. So, I put on some sun screen. After all, you don't leave the house without it in Phoenix. And off I went for my hike.

Thank you Jottin Mama. I needed that accountability so I could respond to your comment honestly and say "yes, I went for my hike". Check out this cute photo with her hubby and little boy. Did I mention that she's also pregnant?

OK, so let's get back to acccountability.

Maybe you set a goal to lose weight, to get in shape or to simply adopt a healthier lifestyle. I believe an important step to accomplishing your goal is to set up some accountability.

It might be a friend that becomes your walking partner or someone who takes a spinning class with you. It could be simply keeping a log of your food intake and exercise for each day.

My friend Georgann recently lost quite a bit of weight through Weight Watchers. When I asked her about keeping the weight off, she told me that her motivation was that she doesn't want to have to pay a monthly fee to continue to participate. I guess in Weight Watchers if you meet your goal you get free maintenance.


So, for Georgann her accountability is the scale. When she weighs in at Weight Watchers, she doesn't want to gain or else she'll have to start paying fees again.


Here are a few online resources to keep you accountable:
  • The Daily Plate: They were recently acquired by the Lance Armstrong health website. But this is a free place where you can log all of the food you eat in a day, along with your activity. You can track your progress towards your weight loss goals. I used this for some time and found it quite helpful. You can also calculate how many calories you should be consuming depending on your goals.
  • Fit Day: This is another free online site where you can keep a diet and weight loss journal.
  • Nutridiary: A free site where you can keep an online food and exercise diary. You can track your weight loss, obtain information on calorie intake and energy expenditure for different exercises and group support.
  • Diet Nation: This site has some handy weight loss tools including a calorie and activity calculator. A waist to hip ratio calculator helps you determine your body shape.
  • Shape Up America: You will find tools that include a meal and snack calculator and a body mass index calculator. You will be able to track your progress to add some accountability.

One of the best ways to add accountability, especially if you don't like to track your progress with a log, is to have an exercise buddy. If you make a commitment with a friend, you're more likely to continue it so you don't let your friend down.

Several of my neighbors hike together three mornings a week. Kate tells me that there's pressure to join in because everyone's waiting for you. I'm sure there would be mornings when she'd rather stay in bed but knowing that her friends are outside waiting provides accountability.

So, how about it? What's your plan for acccountability? Do you have any stories to share of successes or failures?

If you'd like to join our Fitness Friday Fanatics group, be sure to link to Sandy's blog called God Speaks Today. Send her your email and she'll send you an invitation. It's a private blog so if you're a little shy about sharing your weight and struggles, this might be a good group to join and at the same time, have some accountability.

Speaking of Sandy, have your ever wondered about organics and natural foods? Well, Sandy's Fitness Friday post will provide you with all the information you need to make informed food choices when it comes to these foods. She'll help you decipher what's really healthy and the benefits they provide.

Fitness Friday ~ AccountabilitySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

10 comments:

LisaShaw said...

Great post!

I've written on accountability on my fitness blog before as well. We all need someone to be accountable to. Many view it as a negative or frustrating at the least but I've found that accountability in many aspects of our lives is a wonderful thing! Keeps the flesh in line with the spirit! Our spirit is always willing to do what is good and pleasing to God but our flesh can be lazy and desiring to go a different direction. Someone said, fuel the body don't feed the flesh!

I know Sandy well. She's awesome!!!

I'll have to visit the other link you mentioned of your friend and congratulations on her pregnancy. Bless you!

JottinMama said...

Hi Debbie!

Thanks for the shout out on your post! It totally made my day! Really, it did!

And I'm so glad you went for your hike! After this little girl arrives this summer - I have some hiking plans myself!

Accountability. Whew! I've been learning here lately that I need accountability not only when it comes to fitness - but also when it comes to my walk with the Lord! Life is so much harder to do on our own - I'm so glad I have friends and bloggers (like you!) to encourage me along!

Enjoy your weekend :)

Blessings and Hugs,
Kate :)

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

Debbie:

I'm pretty self motivated and don't really like to work out with a partner, (mostly because with little kids I cannot always choose the time I work out, but have to go with the flow), but I do so much better when I'm checking in with someone.

I recently challenged our Fanatics group to work out every day for 30 days straight. There were many days I would NOT have worked out, had it not been for the fact that I was checking in with them.

I love that you posted some on-line links for more private fitness gals like myself.

Great Job...and Kate (Jottin Mama) is one of the sweetest commenters in the blog world.

And Lisa Shaw??? She's so inspirational that I'm featuring her NEXT week on Fitness Friday!

I love our little community, don't you??

Sandy

hk said...

I have never really wanted an accountability partner - at least when it comes to walking. I always thought "I'd rather walk by myself, commune with God and nature." Well, that's just another excuse. Actually, I think I need an accountability partner. I especially like the idea of meeting with a group that doesn't leave until everyone shows up. I should look into that.
Hope you have a great day!

Angie said...

THIS is something I struggle with. I NEED the help. The accountability. The walking/hiking/jogging partner. The motivator. I LOVE bike riding...not mountainous...but fun/easy bike riding. I enjoy walking too...but have not (since we moved) found anyone with a schedule that meshes with mine. (I work WAY out of town)

I REALLY enjoyed reading this...gives me new determination!

Grammy and Olivia said...

Timely post for me. I just paid for a walking track membership at our local community center yesterday and plan to meet two friends every afternoon to walk for an hour. I will have to leave work and go back to work after, but I decided that the accountability of someone waiting for me to arrive was the ony way I would be consistent. I really need to get back at it with some consitency. Thanks for the links too. I have heard about the Daily Plate and thought about it. I was quite successful with Weight Watchers some years ago, but that does not fit our budget right now--however free fits just right!

Tea With Tiffany said...

I used to have a workout partner. Not anymore. I definitely see the difference. I need others to help motivate me. I used to be a work out fanatic in my teens and twenties, but not anymore. I've lost energy over the years and I'm sure I've lost muscle tone.

Thanks for the gentle push!

Felisol said...

Dear Debbie,
I'm still writing and it's the unique way of self control.
Monday I was for a 6 hour shopping mania with my two best friends.
(The three of us were splitting up on different journeys the next day.)
We had a lot of fun and two coffee breaks. It has never been easier to withstand from those gorgeous chocolate cakes etc. Wow. I fitted a smaller size in dresses and jeans.
The reward of all times!
From Felisol

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Debbie:
I just got in from my 4 mile run. It started raining even before I finished mile one, but I kept going. The weather is wild, just wet. Boy, was it awesome. Praise music and rain all coming down at once! It just doesn't get much better or freer than that.

peace~elaine

Sarah said...

To me accountability means everything. I know that I'm getting fit and healthy for a good reason, but it so helps me to know that there are others out there going through it with me that I can lean on!

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