The Year of Fitness
There is no escaping it. This is the century of fitness. Every other post on instagram advertises lululemon, nike, adidas; fit girls making working out look fun. Well, for those of us who loathe working out and love sweets, it’s a challenging task to keep up with this ‘trend’.
I admit I’ve been wanting to ‘get fit’ for as long as I can remember. I envy those people who dedicate their sunrise mornings for running or hitting the gym. I think it’s a great way to boost your day and get going. I’ve always loved salads too, but they are always accompanied with something sweet afterwards. I’ve tried numerous diets and workout plans and could never really seem to dedicate myself to any of it.
So what makes this year different? The truth is – I don’t know if anything will change. But I have come up with strategic ways to make it stick. Mainly, setting goals for myself and having REALISTIC expectations. I mean, come on guys. It’s totally crazy to just drop all junk food entirely, cut out cheese and meat, go dairy-free, gluten-free. What I’ve come to realize is we NEED carbs and proteins to feel like a functional human being. Seriously – ask my husband. I am a terror without my carbs! Plus, working out requires you to have calories to begin. Calories are not your enemies; they are a source of energy. That being said, as I’m sure most of you know, there are good AND bad calories. It’s all a matter of balance.
I’m not nutrition expert, and I don’t claim to be. I’m just another girl struggling in this society to keep up. I want to become fit for MYSELF, to feel more energized and clean. I’m going to write out some tips that I’ve made for MEEEE. I can’t guarantee that any of them work, but these are things I’ve been using for myself. I’m still totally new to this. But you’ll see soon it’s not about the weight, but changing the way you feel about yourself.
1. Meal Plans and Meal Preps: Something my husband and I have tried to do since we moved in together is plan out our meals. It wasn’t for health purposes, but more to avoid spending money on items we didn’t need, or spoiled quick. Now, if you’re anything like me, planning is not your forte. I’m not suggesting plan every meal of every second of every day. It’s just good to have a general sense of the type of meals you are going to eat. If you know you’re going out to dinner one night with a friend, maybe keep your meals lighter and cleaner for that day. If you have a busy work schedule and know your going to end up getting takeout because it’s easier, pack your meals over the weekend. It sounds tedious, but there are sooo many videos out there with easy instructions that are not time consuming.
Generally, my meals look like this:
Breakfast: Smoothie – frozen berry blend, vanilla almond milk, 2 scoops PBFit or Plain Greek Yogurt with Granola or Muesli
Lunch: Salad – Lettuce, Spinach, corn, olives, feta cheese, avocado, quinoa (make sure to have protein and carbs in there!)
Dinner: Salmon & Rice or Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, & Chicken
2. Find a Workout Program that fits you and your schedule: It’s so important to be honest with yourself. If you know the mornings aren’t going to be a good time for you – that’s okay! But find a different time that works. Plan your workouts around your daily routine, but make sure that you schedule them in. I have different times for working out everyday because of my hectic class/exam schedule. It’s also important to pick a program you like. I downloaded BBG and started a free trial, ended up loving it, and have paid for the full app. It gives me the structure I need (so far – I’m only on week 4). I also started going rock climbing with my husband twice a week. It’s a fun way to workout and build strength. If you don’t like running or treadmills, that’s totally fine. There are a million ways of working out – try to find something that is enjoyable for you.
3. Ignore the Meal Plan Every so Often and CHEAT: Every. Single. Time… That I have cut out sugar and snacks and all that jazz from my diet, I have ended up completely off track. There’s a super simple reason why; we always want what we can’t have. SO HAVE IT! Seriously, everyone needs a cheat day. You can even have multiple cheat days if that’s what works better for you. Have a piece of a chocolate every other day to curb your sugar cravings. ITS OKAY. If you are eating healthy for the most part, it’s totally fine to have a snack here and there. Like they always say, everything in moderation. This tip has single-handedly affected the way I diet. Now that I don’t feel restricted to only greens, I don’t feel the need to have junk as often.
4. Add some weights to your workout: For the longest time, I thought ‘being healthy’ meant being skinny. That’s not the case. I’ve been on and off weight training for about half a year, and every time I really get into it – I see results. I promise that toned legs and arms are just appealing as a thigh gap – if not more. It depends what your going for, and I’m not judging. But I’ve come to accept that I won’t look like Victoria Secret models, and that’s okay. I’d much rather be toned and fit any day. Cardio is important if you want to keep the weight off, but adding weights into your workout will help you see definition and toning very quickly. Not to mention that you will get strong , which is a huge plus for a little person like me!
5. Ditch the Soda and Sugary Drinks: I cannot tell you how much this has helped me. Two years ago, at my old college, I used to drink soda and power-aid and all those fun, sugar-filled drinks. I used to put THREE packets of sugar into one cup of coffee. Yes, I love sugar, it’s a weakness. I literally used to only drink soda, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But then something amazing happened. I quit cold turkey. I don’t know if that works for everyone, but it’s been a year or two since I’ve had soda – and every time I try it, it tastes gross to me now. I easily lost five pounds after cutting it out of my diet.
6. Ignore the Scale: Guys, seriously. You must have heard this a thousand times, but it’s so true. One day in my senior year of high school, I got so fed up with the scale that I literally smashed it. Okay, I’m not telling you to physically break your scales, I’m just saying to avert your focus. It’s not always about the weight. Go on instagram, and you’ll see TONS of transformations that look amazing, but the weight has stayed exactly the same. It’s not about the scale, it’s about loving how you look in the mirror (which you should love regardless!!!)
7. Do it for yourself, and for the right reasons: I know it’s easy to say, but this is a big one. Part of the reason I always felt the need to lose weight is because society told me I needed to (not literally, but you know what I mean). If your goal is to get thin to impress other people, it will never stick. The motivation has to come from within you. Channel some of that inner force! You want to be eating right and working out to be HEALTHY. Getting skinny doesn’t help your confidence. Feeling good about the way you are living your life does. I started working out to make myself more confident, to feel stronger, to feel like I had power in myself. Pick a few reasons why you want to stay healthy and put them on your mirror. And remember that you are beautiful no matter what.
I just want to end on a little pep-talk note. I know it’s hard for us girls to feel beautiful sometimes, with the world telling us all of their expectations. It’s something I’ve struggled, and still struggle with sometimes. But can I be super cheesy for a moment and tell you guys that I sincerely think you are all beautiful!!! Whenever you have an off day, I get it, but just remember; I THINK YOUR BEAUTIFUL! Does it count? I hope so!
It’s okay to want to change your lifestyle. It’s okay to want to look toned, and eat healthy, lose a few pounds. Just don’t get lost in it. I know the world is currently obsessed with fitness, and that could be SUCH a good thing. But don’t ever start comparing yourself with anybody else. This journey is for you, and you alone. We are all here to hold your hand through it, but this is something you should do for yourself. Nobody else has the right to tell you how to live your life.
I hope this has been helpful. Like I said, I’m no expert, these are just tips I tell myself daily to keep on track. And just remember, you are beautiful!