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Mike Bires - Co-Founder/CTO of TeamFFD

Welcome to my blog here on Team Fit For Duty. I hope I can inspire you and keep you motivated as you travel alongside my journey of becoming healthier, and I can't wait to join you on yours!
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Fitness Challenge Tips: Getting Prepared

Fitness Challenge Tips: Getting Prepared

The first Team Fit For Duty Fitness Challenge starts on January 9th. For some of you, this is your first time at working out and following a nutrition plan. Others might be seasoned pros, but one thing is for sure - we're all here for a common goal of getting healthier and leaner. 

During the last few days, I've been getting myself prepared for the challenge, by slowly changing some habits. As with anything involving "Murphy's Law," I'm testing what will work and what doesn't as it relates to this change I am about to undergo. There's more to it than just working out and eating. Here are some changes I've made as far as my daily routine is concerned.

Change #1: Sleep Pattern

Here's what I know; Sleep is crucial to weight loss, and I'm a huge violator of not getting enough sleep. Between parenting, shift work, home matters and the side business, there's never enough time in the day. However, I recently took a full month off from EVERYTHING, and I can tell you it was worth it once I started sleeping on a more set schedule.

If you own an iPhone, swipe up to get to the alarm settings. At the bottom of the screen, you will see a bed icon. Set up your bedtime and wake-up times, and the app will remind you when you should go to bed. It also has a very peaceful way of waking you up. 

Change #2: Timing of Meals

You know how it goes; we get involved in a priority call, or a large task or investigation, and we put off eating to accomplish the mission, right? We have to eat smaller meals about every three hours. For me, this helps fuel my body while not making me feel like I have a sandbag in my stomach. 

Set up your phone's alarm clock to go off in three-hour increments throughout the day. It will remind you when it's time to stop and eat.

Change #3: The New Brown Bag

​I've used lunch coolers before, but there is always some problem with them. Either they are too small and the containers don't fit, or they're too big, and it's like I'm taking the family to the beach. I had to figure something out, and that something was one of the bags made by and sold at Isolator Fitness. I chose the three meal bag, even though I'm able to get the 4th meal in the main area, and a 5th meal in the top zippered area. 

It comes with re-useable containers which are microwave and dishwasher safe, as well as a set of utensils. There are two large side pockets to hold shaker cups and exterior mesh pockets for water bottles. Inside the main compartment are two pockets which hold specially designed ice packs, which come with the bag. 

They did an excellent job planning this bag out. There's a psychological side to using coolers like this. You see how many meals you get in a day, and the various containers remind you of the fact you need to eat throughout the day, and not all in one sitting.

A cool meal prep idea here...

Change #4: Drink Water

It is amazing how quick water starts making you feel good. Trust me; I love my sodas, Moscow Mules, Jack & Coke, and energy drinks just like everyone else. 

My body is extremely sensitive to these drinks and bad foods now that I feel like crap after consuming unhealthy food. Maybe it's my age or simply my body rejecting the toxins in these foods, but whatever it is, I hate the feeling. When I drink water using a half or one-gallon jug I purchase at the convenience store while on patrol, I can see the progress I am making throughout the day. 

An interesting fact is the more water you drink, the less water you retain. 

Change #5: Get A Food Scale

​I use a simple electronic food scale I purchased from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I place my empty container on it before I turn it on so that it automatically "zeros" out before I place food in the container. This helps me stay "dialed in" with the amount of food I'm supposed to be eating.

Change #6: Equipment Set-up

I know this sounds obvious, but the whole point of this article is so you can make sure you are ready to go for the challenge, as far as equipment and routines are concerned. For example, I realized I needed to carry both running shoes and lifting shoes with me, as I never know what will happen at the CrossFit class for the day. I also learned that I need to carry cloth tape for pull-ups and re-stock my deodorant. 

Make sure everything is going to work how you want it to. Check the little things like your Bluetooth earphone battery and Fitbit battery; Are they charged up and ready to go? The last thing you need is to have a "let down" on your first day because something isn't working, right?

Change #7: Network and Encourage

​I have found that reaching out to others, like in our Facebook Challenge group, on Instagram or through our text messaging group on GroupMe, I am being held accountable, motivated and in good company.

That's the key - surrounding yourself with those who are going through what you are going through as well.

Good luck and I'm here for you...

I can't wait to see, hear and speak to everyone involved in the first fitness challenge! I'm committed to helping everyone succeed as I work on making success for myself. Reach out to me through the company's website or find me on social media under the handle @iSocialCop.

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