I’ve been hesitant to speak up about the recent lifestyle changes I’ve made in regards to my health for several reasons. The main one being that I’m not a fitness or food blogger to where I’d feel comfortable enough sharing workouts or healthy recipes I was making with my audience. The changes I made were obviously enough for all of you all to notice and question me about it often enough to where I felt compelled to finally enlighten all of you with what’s been working for me. I feel really amazing and in my opinion, I look the best that I ever have all because I made some small changes in my diet and lifestyle. Hopefully this will spark a fire in you that will make you want to feel and look your best.
What sparked the change?
Realistically speaking, I’ve never needed to workout or watch what I ate and I was perfectly healthy. For the past 26 years I could down cheeseburgers, pasta, wings and fries (a few of my favorite things) and still button up size 2 pants without a problem. One morning back in October, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up with my mind racing at 4 a.m. and after laying in bed for an hour I decided to get up and go for a run. Prior to that morning, you couldn’t pay me to be up before my alarm at 6:30, but this particular morning I felt good and was so glad I had got a good sweat in. I felt refreshed. I was up before everyone else getting my thoughts in order so that I could take advantage of my day once I got it started. That morning turned into the next, and several mornings after that until I thought to myself, “why wouldn’t you want to be better?”. Working out and changing my diet was never necessarily about losing weight or gaining a six pack; it was honestly a mind over matter concept about pushing all of my limits. If I can get better mentally and financially, why wouldn’t I want to improve physically? Once I started to actually visually see the changes, I was dedicated. I realized that I didn’t have to be unhealthy to live a healthier lifestyle. I could excel in all areas, including taking control of my physique.
Where did you start?
I started by making the time to spend at least an hour working out at least four times a week. I have a gym where I live and I realize others may not, but believe me you don’t need one. My workouts consist of two miles cardio, whether that be the treadmill, elliptical or stair master. 20 minutes is my minimum and if I need more, I don’t quit before I hit two miles. I rotate between full-body, legs and butt, abs, and arm and back training and honestly, all of my workouts were found on Instagram. I don’t believe in spending money on gyms or trainers if I don’t need them and at this point, I don’t. What I do know is that cardio is not enough to create the change I wanted to see in my body. Running without muscle training isn’t cute. I was already skinny, so cardio helped show the muscle I was building, but training my muscles was what gave me the noticeable results. I was originally only using my bodyweight in exercises until I quit feeling the burn in those. Once I felt comfortable enough, I began using medicine balls or dumbbells and then eventually barbells. My favorite girls to follow for workout videos are @stef_fit_, @krissycela, and @meggan_fit_music. I suggest following women with body types similar to you, who also look like your fitness goals.
What has it taught you?
Outside of the benefits everyone tells you to expect, like feeling more energy and enjoying your body more, it’s taught me a valuable lesson in discipline. When you’re changing your body by working out and eating better it’s you against you. It’s especially difficult to pick chicken and veggies over a Popeyes $5 box because I know I can have the $5 box and it won’t hurt me. Cutting sugary drinks, eating more healthy grains, and leaner meats showed in my skin and in my physique. My skin was clearer, my stomach less bloated and I was sleeping better. I was more productive throughout the day and felt like I could accomplish anything. There isn’t always going to be someone to direct you with what you should and shouldn’t be eating, or to make sure you finish that last set of squats. If I decide I’m ordering a burger instead of a salad, or skip out on a workout when I know I should be in the gym, no one will care. Whatever I decide to do directly affects me and when I make a decision that sells myself short I’m only hurting myself. You shouldn’t need someone to hold you accountable in order for you to do the things you know are going to make you better.
“Cheating yourself will never breed results.”
Where should I start?
Start by making small changes. Even for someone as tiny as me, it took a lot of time, discipline and patience (at least 4-5 months) before I started to see real results. I didn’t know much about nutrition and originally just looked at calorie count. When grocery shopping, I looked for whole grains like wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat or veggie pasta options. I also opted for more fresh veggies and lean meats like lean ground turkey, chicken or proteins like salmon, shrimp or other fish. I never ate breakfast before this year but if you’re going to spend your calories anywhere, it should be on breakfast. I try to do something light, but protein based like an egg white scramble with spinach and tomatoes, oatmeal with cinnamon, brown sugar and a scoop of peanut butter, a protein shake, or even a Morning Star Farms breakfast sandwich. Drink a lot of water. This kept me full longer and also did wonders for making my skin glow. Don’t skip meals. So many people think that if they eat less, they’ll look better. Your body needs proper nutrition to fuel your metabolism and build your muscles (carbs + protein). I eat way more now than I ever have (I’m literally hungry all day long), the only difference is I’m choosing better options. Utilize MyFitnessPal to enter your fitness goals and track what you’re eating. It allows you to decipher whether you’re trying to lose or gain weight, counts your calories and even breaks down your nutrition into macros. Even if I decide to have a cheat meal, I track it to make sure I don’t go too far over my calorie count.
If you have any specific questions about what workouts I started with, what my favorite weeknight meals are or anything concerning this little fitness journey I’m on (LOL) please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I want you to have this feeling too! I can’t promise you any workout videos or fancy recipe photos, but I’ll help you best I can. Get it girls xx