My Fitness Journey and Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle
I wrote today’s post to inspire those of you out there who are not fans of working out. Because here’s a secret…neither am I.
However, over the last year and a half, I have been able to transition that mindset into getting in shape, committing to a weekly workout schedule, transforming my diet to help me lose weight and achieve a body I dreamed of having. On top of all of this, my skin cleared up, stress is down and I more confidence than I ever have before.
How it started….
I was working an office job like so many of you and was tired of seeing a little pooch of the stomach, my butt becoming flatter, and not having the energy or flexibility I once had in my college years. So with my Christmas bonus, I decided to commit myself to a year’s worth of training sessions. By committing to an entire year, the only way I would be able to cancel the sessions was to move to a city without LA Fitness locations nearby or to get injured with a doctor’s note. So twice a week, I met with a fitness trainer for 25 minutes. I figured there was nothing she could make me do that would kill me in 25 minutes. I would give it my all for that short period of time and afterward do a few extra exercises, some cardio and lots of stretching.
It wasn’t easy those first few times. I was so tired after work and getting myself to the gym was a struggle. But I committed and since the sessions were prepaid and I hate wasting money, I went. I told myself that the time at the gym was a time for me to destress and take care of myself.
It took about a month before I started seeing any kind of physical results. But I noticed pretty quickly that I was alrady making healthier meal choices and feeling more confident. I even found myself more energized and sleeping much better. I kept with the training sessions at least twice, sometimes even three times a week. Over time I lost inches around my arms, thighs, and waist. I developed muscle tone in all different areas. I felt myself get stronger and more balanced and be able to push myself to limits I didn’t know I could.
Now, a year and a half later, I go to the gym two or three times a week and I love it. I meet with my trainer for two 50 minute sessions and one 25 minute session. Some days can still be more difficult than others, but I know that I’ll get out what I put into my workout and that I am going to leave the gym feeling stronger, more confident and less stressed.
Hiring a trainer…
I love having a trainer because she knows how much to push me and has helped me develop a workout plan for my fitness goals (tone, strength and get nice abs.) I chose a female trainer because, in my opinion, she understands a woman’s body more than a male trainer would. It’s important to find a trainer that you trust and work well with. Days when I’m having trouble focusing, or my body isn’t cooperating, I let her know. She’s great at pushing me when I think I can’t go any further and I thank her for that because that is what gets me results! Numerous times Jenn has put heavyweights in front of me, I look at her like she is crazy, she makes me do the set anyway. By the end of the workout, I’m happy that she pushed me and I feel really accomplished that I did something I didn’t think I could do.
I understand that hiring a personal trainer or evening getting a gym membership is a financial commitment. But I can promise you that it’s worth it. You can break it up into monthly payments or work out with a trainer just once a week and repeat those exercises during your own time at the gym. Or you can get workout routine ideas from a ton of great fitness influencers on Instagram and come up with your own routines.
You know what they say, 80% of a good body is diet, and 20% is working out. As far as my diet goes, I follow the lifestyle plan (it’s not a diet) found in the book Body Love. This book explains the importance of having proteins, fiber, greens and fat in every meal. I recommend everyone read it to at least understand a bit about nutrition.
I’ve been working on cutting out sugar, dairy, soy, gluten and processed foods in general and my body seems to be appreciating it. I make most of my meals at home so I know exactly what is in them. For breakfast, I have either eggs or a protein shake, a chicken salad for lunch and some kind of protein with lots of vegetables for dinner.
I noticed that I kept breaking out and discovered it was my daily whey protein shakes so I switched it out for this delicious Vega One chocolate protein powder. I read that dairy products, particularly skim milk (found in whey protein) can cause some adults to develop acne. Yeah, no thank you.
I also learned that sugar causes inflammation and as someone who suffers from an inflammatory skin condition (Eczema) I am willing to cut it out as much as possible. I decided to cut out Gluten as much as possible after learning that the US allows all wheat (organic and nonorganic) to be treated by a pesticide that is outlawed in other countries (read more about that here.) I’ve noticed that my stomach is less bloated when I avoid gluten. Again, each person’s body is different. I am not pushing you to make these changes to your diet, I am simply explaining some things that helped me.
I would love to hear about your own fitness journey and what motivates you to work out. Thank you for stopping by and I hope this article encourages you to hit the gym and learn to love taking care of your body.
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Photos by Taylor Schroeder