Food, fitness, and feelings

tumblr_onsi33gm7W1rc9mw1o1_500

As I sit here scooping out the bottom remains of my Halo Top pint— that tastes freakishly like Maple Syrup for something flavored Chocolate Chip Cookie dough— I decided to share my own nutrition/fitness regimen for anyone who would be mildly interested. Although I do not have pictures of me in unclad crop tops or gym apparel parading Social Media to prove my healthy habits, I can assure you that true wellness is more than what is shared to the masses. It is having the strength to do pushups with proper form (I’m talking real pushups), mastering proper breathing techniques during HIIT workouts, and utilizing effective muscle recovery to work out every day without strain. It is also eating foods that will help propel the body rather than render it useless and sluggish. Whether you have a sedentary day job or you are always on your feet, every one can benefit from having a focused mindset to get through the day. And how is that achieved? By paying attention to your health!

Now, for those who read my Now, if we’re talking body post they would know I have had a rocky time with my history of eating. A low weight does not constitute a sound mind, body, or soul. It actually can deprive you of happiness and longevity. That is why I said farewell to my scale. I know my weight because I go to the doctors pretty regularly but having a scale at home is a distraction from what real progress entails (and spoiler: it is not a number). It is watching visible changes to your body which may include greater lifting, longer cardio circuits, and higher overall activity level. True story: Last time I had my weight checked, the nurse was shocked to see the number on the scale and commented on it. She justified her abrupt reaction by saying that since I looked so small framed, she did not expect it to be “that” high. She added, in an effort to save face, it was probably my taller than average height swaying the scale (I’m 5’8). I kindly soothed her concerns over her indiscretion and simply told her that muscle weighs more than fat and that was probably the reason behind it. Now, I think my old, undernourished self would have retreated inward from that encounter with unmistakable embarrassment to show for. However, by taking care of my body each day, I have formed an unshakeable relationship with it that not one antagonizing comment can damper. For more proof as to why you should ditch that scale, search for the hashtag #ScrewTheScale on Instagram and see for yourself.

My problem with certain health programs is that they enforce a certain caloric intake each day without taking into account your current starting point or health goals (Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide is an unfortunate example with its 1600 calorie limit). That is why I put those types of guides aside to make my eating decisions based on my recommended macro intake (try the IIFYM calculator for yourself). To be clear, when I ascribe to this way of tracking my intake of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, (and fiber), I do not arbitrarily choose foods that will simply satisfy the total gram goal. Specifically, eating refined, processed foods, (like those that say “reduced calorie”) are not going to keep you satiated for long or provide lasting energy. I believe eating real foods is hugely critical. This includes whole grains, fibrous vegetables, nuts, and lean meats. Now, it is hard to eat clean all the time but you should try to at least 80% of the time! I use Lifesum to log my food diary each day and it helps see patterns over time in the foods I gravitate towards while staying accountable. Everyone is ultimately different in what diets get them motivated—some people prefer fewer meal options to stay more structured and others prefer variation/flexibility. Before you commit to any health plans, the BEST recommendation anyone can give you is to do your own research first. This way you will have reinforcing support for the diet strategy you ultimately choose. Additionally, you will have no doubts moving forward of its legitimacy, increasing the likelihood you will stay with your program. That aside, if you want a sample of my health diary, feel free to Contact me for that information. 🙂

In my fitness journey, my initial priority was losing excess fat. I have to credit my very first exercise regimen to a simple phone app called Workout Trainer: personal fitness coach by Skimble. It was so easy to jump right into, especially for my old equipment-free self because it utilizes predominantly body weight. There were different muscle groups and routines to choose from with their respective workouts. For specialized programs i.e. the “Brazilian Booty Butt”, one had to cough up a bit more money. However, the charge is virtually free compared to the cost of a personal trainer for the same duration. It was an overall well-rounded app and with phone notifications turned on it helped me stay on track. Quick disclaimer: Please keep in mind the details of the app I provided are those I remember from when I used it about 5 years ago. More than likely, there have been in-app modifications that could have changed its structure and pricing. Anyways, I continued this app from the first summer I took the plunge into exercise, the following year, and into the next summer. When I began craving variation and felt my body could handle more, I began T-25 with Shaun T, a program that will always be my “holy grail” of fitness programs. The results you achieve from doing T-25 every day are DRAMATIC and made my old app look like child’s play in comparison. I not only got into the best shape of my life, I was all the more motivated to workout because of the advancing levels of fitness and constant challenge presented. After many years of doing T-25 religiously, I decided to trade it in for workouts on Youtube with Fitness Blender, POPSUGAR Fitness, and Blogilates. After doing T-25 for so long, and memorizing every word uttered by Shaun T during his workouts, changing up the routine reinvigorated muscle groups that T-25 had laid the foundation for. I use T-25 occasionally yet I primarily use Youtube to exercise, adding new videos every day to my ever-growing playlist called (*drum roll, please*) Workouts. The most recent change to my health goals is incorporating heavier weight (50-100 lbs) to activate my lower body. I was a dumbbell user since my T-25 days but never drifted more than 8 or 10 lbs. Nowadays, I try to bench-press, squat, and lunge as much as I can possibly lift. This being said, when I have many repetitions to do in a glute or leg workout, I will alternate between 15, 20, and 25 lbs per hand to stay safe and keep good form. I am trying to limit my cardio workouts and increase my intake for serious mass gain. Further, last year I was working out three times of week because of my course load and this summer I have began to workout consistently 5 days a week (and hope to keep it this way!) These two new goals (mass and more workout days) have led to challenges and successes along the way. It goes to show that we are always learning and growing when it comes to fitness in order to be a better athlete and more determined individual. 

This basically sums up my nutrition and exercise history and current arrangements. If you need any advice or motivation to stay with your goals—comment or message me directly. I’m here for you!

-Additional notes-

If you made it this far in the post, I BOW DOWN TO YOU! I just wanted to take a second to tie in how Myndfulness and my health goals have interplayed. When my body started functioning at its best, so did I. I had an easier time sleeping at night, doing work assignments, engaging with others, and checking in on my own self. My awareness increased two-fold as it was strengthened each workout when I had to be in the zone. Working out and eating right are essential to achieving inner balance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s