Summertime is rolling around. The cars are rolling towards the beach. The beach balls are rolling across the sand. Are you ready to roll off your cover up and show off your summer body? If your answer is no, do not fret! The first step is committing to making a life-altering change. Being healthy and fit is full of so many rewards. There are “downfalls” too, of course, but these are minor. The great rewards overlook these things! For me, committing to my fitness has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have developed a passion for weight lifting and working out and preparing healthy meals. It holds a priority in my life, because like so many things, we take our health for granted. You are only given one body, people! And I am here to tell you, I don’t care what problem areas you have, with the right mindset and hard work, you can achieve the body of your dreams!
“Where do I start?” might be your first question. My advice would be 2 simple things. You have to start clean eating and being active! Start eating clean by cutting out processed foods, sugary drinks, refined carbs, and junk food. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, you will crave the foods you have put to rest. Yes, you can eat these things in MODERATION. You do not have to starve or restrict yourself. I promise! A cookie will not make you fat, a slice of pizza once a week will not ruin your diet, and carbs will not make you gain weight! The big deal about these things is that you don’t eat them everyday or eat the entire package or container when you eat them. You have to learn to have self control and the self-will to say “no”. Realize when your body is physically full, not when your mind is saying, “eat, eat, eat”. Start incorporating fresh and raw fruits and vegetables into your diet. Switch to whole grains versus bleached grains and flour. Grab a bottle of water and add some fresh fruit to it instead of grabbing your favorite soda drink. When you eat healthy, you will feel better, look better, and be happier. Trust me!
My next advice is start exercising! Try to aim for at least 45 minutes of strenuous activity 4-5 days a week. I recommend doing cardio alone 2 days and strength training 2-3 days a week. A big misconception about women, specifically, and exercising is that you only need to do cardio. THIS IS SO FALSE! Yes, cardio burns fat. But if you are burning fat and not shaping and toning your muscles underneath, you will never have the body you want! If the weight room or gym intimidates you, there are more than enough at-home workouts you can do to put resistance on your muscles. My favorite websites for exercises are bodybuilding.com, popsugar.com, and blogilates.com. Don’t stress about what you are going to do – just start doing something!
My story: Like most people, near New Year’s Eve this past year I set resolutions. One of mine was to get fit. And I’m not talking skinny and like a bone. I’m talking strong and fit and healthy and prepare myself for a lasting future in fitness. I was going to dedicate myself and fully commit to making the lifestyle change. So I did. I can honestly say I haven’t looked back since either. Yes I have made mistakes and I have overeaten and I have been unsatisfied with my results. I have skipped workouts and been unhappy with my appearance. But through all of these things, I have thanked God for my body and for my ability to overcome these rough days. I set 3 goals for myself. 1. Larger, more defined calf muscles. 2. A bigger, rounder back side. 3. Overall improved health. I have developed a deep passion for working out and the results it has brought along with it have been overwhelming. Not only do I feel better, I look better, and I am stronger. My muscles are stronger, my heart is stronger, and my mind is stronger. I have overcame the fear of being inadequate. I have become the person I want to be and the athlete I always knew I could be. I can run easily and lift heavy. I carry myself with confidence because I know my body is something I have taken advantage of that God has given me. The other day I was at the doctor when the nurse asked me if I exercised regularly. “Yes,” I replied, to which she told me my pulse and blood pressure were excellent. My body is improving and the rewards will last far longer than the taste of a chocolate chip cookie or a day without a workout. I have cut down inches in areas and I have increased inches in places desired. I am not perfect and that is not my goal! I haven’t weighed myself since late January. I know I weigh more, I feel heavier, and I have had to increase jean sizes. But I don’t worry because those things are just numbers. I am not a number, I am not a size. I love the way I look and I am a girl on the way to being the best version of herself. I don’t diet and exercise anymore…these days I eat and I train. I am an athlete, and I am on the way to greatness. I would love to have you guys on the train with me, too. Let’s do this!