Fit Five Friday – First Edition

Grab our graphic and share the love!

It’s a brand new link up with FIVE amazing hosts – me, My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugs, Zenaida every Friday for Fit Five Friday! Ready for some fun?

First Edition

It’s the beginning of the year and typically the time when many folks jump on some form of bandwagon with either diet or exercise. Here in the Netherlands we cannot go to the gym at the moment, but it’s typically the time of year when gyms are packed and people are feeling terrible about all the weight they gained over the holidays (or the corona-kilos in lockdown). The swearing of “this year it will be different” usually starts right about 1 am on January 1st… (or was that just me?)

You don’t have to jump in full force

I would be lying if I said there were no changes I wanted to make. I feel like I either constantly want to change and improve but realistically jumping in full force doesn’t always work for people. My new motto is “Be realistic”.

Here are 5 Things I’m doing right now that I find are helpful and easy to maintain:

2 litres of H20 per day

Seems easy enough, but unless I focus on it, some days it doesn’t happen. This is just since working from home! At the office I was constantly drinking water and never had an issue. Now I have a cup (almost 500ml) that I set right next to the water tap and drink at least 4 of those. How do I remember to do that? Well:

  1. visual reminder – it’s next to the sink; if I go in for a meal, a coffee, or even have to pass through to go to the WC, I see it and then go ahead and drink one full cup.
  2. There’s an app for that – I’m tracking a few of my dailies on an app so I know how much I drank each day.

I know some people don’t like the “taste” of water; believe me there are some great things you can put in water like Nuun or what I use which is HighFive (hard to get Nuun here). Your body needs water. You’re taking massively good care of it when you hydrate.

10,000 steps a day

I have had this as a daily goal many times, but nowadays it’s pretty easy since I’ve joined in a virtual challenge with some friends locally.

It started as a run up (walk up?) to Christmas (started on Nov 25th) and then we decided to do it again from end of December to end of January. It’s motivating to see others getting their steps in and posting the end of day results. And it helps to encourage and get encouragement!

How do I keep track?

  1. My lovely husband bought me a new vivofit from Garmin. It’s pretty and pink and much nicer than my bulky running watch.
  2. I use the same app as I use for the water to track that I’ve done it, and love seeing my daily streak!

Tracking Macros

Some would argue that tracking macros is just another way of calorie counting, but I’m seeing it as something of a game. I’ve been working with a coach for a few months to learn more about nutrition and getting a better balance in general. Instead of constantly dieting, thinking about my weight, etc., I just want to have a balanced intake, eat food that nourishes me and helps my body at the stage it’s in right now. So working with macros (yes with a calorie goal) is a bit different for me.

How do I do that?

  1. Well, there’s an app for that as well! I’ve been on MyFitnessPal for many years. As of today I’ve also actually logged in AND logged my food/macros for 160 days. A record for me!
  2. I work with my coach and we adjust wherever needed. It’s definitely a process.
sometimes challenging to hit the targets

Food Planning

I can tell you something; I hated food planning. I want to be free! But being free meant I was constantly thinking about and battling my weight. A vicious cycle! So now I plan a day in advance. Sounds boring, I know. But on my work-from-home days it’s easy enough. Similar meals for breakfast and lunch and using MyFitnessPal’s easy functionality to track makes the game of macros a proverbial piece of cake. And… I use the streaks app to remind me to plan and keep up my streak! Just like with water and walking!

So far I have three daily targets to hit – easy to keep track with one app!

The easiest way for me to hit targets is to plan dinner first and then everything else based on what macros and calories are left. Dinnertime for the hubs and me is kind of a thing. It’s important to have a “thing” together in corona-times. Well, in all times, really.

I joined a big (to me) challenge

I’m not one for virtual races and challenges but … I’ve stopped being so stubborn and decided to actually do a big one to keep me moving. Thanks to Kim, I’ve joined the Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge; a 25-week virtual event covering the state of Illinois. There are two challenges, West – East (224 miles) and North – South (435 miles) which can be done separately or, if you are insane like me (and Kim *wink* ) you can sign up for both. That works out to about 960 kilometers for me…

The good news is, you can join the challenge at any time and enter all your runs or walks since November 5th. So I’m *almost* done with West to East! It’s fun to actually see on the map how far you’ve gone and the guidebooks tell you about the towns you pass through. You may already know, but I lived about 10 years in my youth in the Chicago suburbs. Later when I was out of high school I went back up (from New Mexico) and lived in the city a few years. For this reason, I’ve joined the challenge; Illinois is still a place that is like “home”. Plus the challenge keeps me moving and I have an actual GOAL (that isn’t necessarily a running goal) – I know, I said no goals, so let’s call it motivation, shall we?

In addition to this challenge, I’m also doing #REDJanuary which is to help raise awareness (and some people raise funds as well) for mental health. I know how much walking and running helps me to feel better, even if just temporarily. So I’m using this challenge right now on IG and Facebook to talk a little bit about mental health awareness.

What are you doing RIGHT NOW for your own mental and physical health? Do you use any apps to help you with good habits? Are you on MyFitnessPal? What about virtual challenges?

Join the Fit Five Friday Link-up!

Here are the guidelines:

  • Your link should center around some kind of fitness (exercise, wellness, mental health, nutrition… the possibilities are endless!)
  • Please link back to your hosts! It’s the right thing to do! 
  • Share the link-up love by visiting and commenting on your hosts and at least two other Fit Five Friday bloggers!
  • Feel free to share about Fit Five Friday on your social media! Tag #FitFiveFriday to get the word out!

Here are the guidelines:

  • Your link should center around some kind of fitness (exercise, wellness, mental health, nutrition… the possibilities are endless!)
  • Please link back to your hosts! It’s the right thing to do! 
  • Share the link-up love by visiting and commenting on your hosts and at least two other Fit Five Friday bloggers!
  • Feel free to share about Fit Five Friday on your social media! Tag #FitFiveFriday to get the word out!

And let’s go! We can’t wait!


  1. Lisa says:

    This sounds like a great plan! I love that your focus is to be realistic. I have been meal planning for years (just dinners) and I don’t think I could get by without it! I would be lost not knowing what I would be making each night!

    1. Renée says:

      My biggest problem is that I may have expected too much from myself and my body, comparing to others and trying to achieve what maybe wasn’t the right thing for me! So being realistic for me is just better. At least right now. With the last few years not being that great and finally feeling better mentally and physically, I’m not going to wreck that by being unrealistic and expecting too much (leading to injury again most likely…). As for meal planning, I guess it’s something to get used to. A habit to build in just like getting dressed or brushing your teeth :)

  2. Many of these are things I did as stepping stones to get where I am now, not tracking food at all. I’ve pretty much maintained my weight for the last couple of years that way, but those things were important stepping stones for me!

    I’m not one to have 20 million goals, I think that almost always backfires on people. But I do like goals. :) They keep us accountable and more importantly, they us thinking about important stuff. As long as it’s not an obsession, it’s all good. Good luck, Renee!

    1. Renée says:

      I do consider these stepping stones for sure and really the base for a good healthy life. While my weight is not where I want it to be, I can at least be as healthy as possible. Weight isn’t everything, it’s only a small part of it all. And yes I do agree that accountability and goals shouldn’t lead to obsession.

      1. Really it all starts with self love. It’s not about the number — that’s what I’ve had to work on for year — and of course continue to work on.

        I know if I had had to continue to track the rest of my life to stay at a healthy weight, I was ready to do that.

        Using those macros is a great place to really get a feel for what you should be eating. Obviously, it’s taken me almost 60 years to get where I am right now (and that could always change).

        I hope I don’t come off as preachy, that’s not how it’s intended.

        1. Renée says:

          definitely not preachy Judy. speaking the truth! x

  3. Coco says:

    Gosh, I struggle with all of these things. My water consumption is about 75% where it should be, I’m sedentary after my morning workout, and I suck at meal planning. :-P

    1. Renée says:

      are you more sedentary now since working from home Coco (after the workout)? Because I know it was never that hard for me to get 10K steps a day until corona. And in the beginning of the lockdown we ran a lot but then it just fizzled out with househunting being the priority.

      And I still hate meal planning, but it’s the macro game that makes me want to do it (and keeping my daily streak).

  4. Darlene says:

    Gee I feel like a slacker.

    I rarely drink water…I keep saying that I should…maybe some day!!

    I do not track my food either…takes so much time. I eat healthy at least my version of healthy.

    I do have goals of walking EVERYDAY no matter what. And biking or running or hiking – so two activities a day (if possible)

    I joined the NYCRuns Challenge and the ZOOMA Run club – in both you set your own running goal and track it – Mine is 1000 miles. It’s just something to strive for. I know if the Pandemic ends and I start doing things, I will not run as much but that’s ok.

    1. Renée says:

      don’t feel like a slacker! everyone has a different journey! It’s good to have daily goals; for me anyway daily things feel more achievable at the moment than big hairy goals! I too will likely walk less and maybe even run more if the pandemic ever ends. We make adjustments for now and for later. It’s all good.

  5. Macro tracking has been a huge help to me. I started using Stronger U a few months back and it’s been fantastic. I have learned a lot! Getting enough water has also been key for me

    1. Renée says:

      oh I never heard of Stronger U! I’ll have to look into that!

  6. Congratulations on hosting this new link-up! I’ll be sure to link up when I can! This week I started a hydration goal and I’m already feeling a lot more rejuvenated. Just 1.5L a day for the last 4 days and I already feel like a new person!

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks! I was kind of stuck with blogging (as you know) and am glad to also have more of a purpose again here! Seems like so many people struggle to get enough water! And awesome that you are feeling rejuvenated after a few days!

  7. kookyrunner says:

    Little steps are key to success! I would like to get into macro tracking but it all seems so overwhelming so I don’t know where to start. In the colder months I tend to not drink enough water so i have been actively working on that this Winter.

    1. Renée says:

      It is kind of overwhelming Kim, that’s why I finally got a coach. I really tried to figure it out on my own. And I can’t say I’m losing weight, but I seem to have lost inches and I feel pretty good in general. Could also be the fact that I’m on HRT that I feel good, or a combination of nutrition and medical chemistry :)

  8. I’m glad we’re running across Illinois together!! I was leery of taking on the double routes, but I figured I’d be doing (close to) that distance anyways with my combined running & walking. Why not score a little swag along the way?

    1. Renée says:

      yes thanks for mentioning it on your blog! I finally was able to upload everything since Nov 5th and I have about 15 – 18 more days depending on mileage before I finish West to East. And that actually really excited me! Because that means I’ll have 4 months to do the long route! And I am real excited about the swag – why else do it? hahahaha!

  9. Hydration is a big goal for me! I need visual reminders – right now I’ve been using a water bottle with timestamps to remind me how much I “should” be consuming by when.

    1. Renée says:

      There are so many helpful products these days to help getting in hydration! My friend Gerrit has a “smart” bottle that calculates how much he’s had and then connects it to an app on his phone! My system is a bit more caveman than this haha!

  10. I’ve been doing really good with the water. I make sure to get up and drink water. I have a 32 oz bottle and make sure to drink at least 2 of those per day. I also end up going more to the bathroom so that forces me to get up and take a break.

    1. Renée says:

      I agree that drinking more water forces you up to take a break! definitely experienced that lately! good that you are hydrating more!

  11. runswithpugs says:

    Yay! Love it!

    I am currently running the Best Damn Race Oregon Trail virtual challenge (2000 miles with a team). I’m also doing a 31 Day Plank Challenge for January (yuck, but it’s going well).

    I struggle with water, so much. I don’t love it.

    1. Renée says:

      great that you are also doing a challenge!! I know you struggle with water – but doesn’t Nuun help you with that?

Comments are closed.