My own fitness rules.

So am I right or am I right that there are a million different diet tricks and fitness tips and goal-setting techniques and exercises out there? I honestly can’t keep track. A huge part of my job is to remain current on trends in the health industry, but it is honestly so hard. Instead of telling my clients what other people believe and what is going on in the big corporations, I decided to make a set of my fitness “rules.” Don’t judge me. I swear I’m certified to preach this stuff Smile with tongue out

  1. Drink 100 oz. of water a day. It might seem like a lot, but it is more than possible. Get a 24 oz. water bottle and refill it up 4 times.
  2. Stretch for at least 10 minutes every single day. It will help you from being sore and keep your muscles long and lean. It also just helps you feel fabulous. Too bad guys are typically “too cool” for this.
  3. Set a goal for yourself, no matter how big or how small. Typically I try to say on Sunday how many miles I want to run that week or even just set up my schedule for the week to keep myself on track. Goals help you to have something to work towards and help to keep you motivated when you feel like stopping.
  4. Take a big breath and think before you eat something. Stopping for even 5 seconds and letting a couple thoughts run through your mind about whether or not you are truly hungry will immensely help in stopping you from over-eating.
  5. Make a really good playlist. I swear, good music makes a huge difference in your workout. When I was up north, I of course looked forward to the beautiful scenery I got to run in, but also the new playlist I had made a few days prior.
  6. Invest in a trainer or find one online for at least a few sessions. It is really important to know how to execute movements the correct way in order to avoid injury. It is also nice to have someone to show you the ropes the first time so you don’t have to mess around with machines and weights and look silly.
  7. Find out what time of day works best for you and roll with that. There is no “perfect” time of day to exercise. Different things work for different people, and there is no right or wrong. Typically I stretch and do some toning for 20 minutes in the morning and do my cardio later in the evening. And some random strength training interspersed throughout the day whenever I can. I used to think that if I sweat a drop I had to take a shower, but now I am so over that.
  8. Don’t be embarrassed. I spent too long caring what my family and friends thought about my healthy lifestyle, but that is just silly. There’s no reason you need to be ashamed about getting up early to go for a run or for asking for your salad dressing on the side.
  9. Stay busy. I have found that when you are bored is when you turn back on what you really want. Let’s be real. If you have nothing to do but sit in a house full of food, what are you likely to do? Make your schedule accordingly to serve you the best. You know what works best for your own body.
  10. Love what you do. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, you will give up. You should never feel like you have to exercise. Make it part of your lifestyle and it will become second-nature.

This stuff is so simple, but when I went to see Jillian Michaels the other night I realized how un-educated so many people are on how to take care of themselves. I think the more that health and fitness professionals emphasize the simplicity of fitness and nutrition, the more people will jump on board with it. Why complicate things?

I also try to emphasize to my clients to not take themselves too seriously. I really hate when people think they need to do things exactly one way all the time; that is no way to live your life. You need to keep your options open and be ready for whatever comes your way. I have learned in the past to not be so quick to make a decision, in fitness and in life. I want my clients to try a bunch of different things in order to find what works for their particular body and what they actually enjoy. I always try to have personal conversation during our sessions, because who wants to talk about weight-lifting and cardio for an hour? Not me. And doesn’t everyone want to kick back and have a drink once in a while (or every day)? I do.

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Taking care of yourself should be fun. Not a chore. My goal is to help people love their bodies and themselves so they can in turn spread that love into the world <3

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My Favorite Snacks

Typically I post a recipe for you guys on Fridays, but I’m just not feeling it today. I’m exhausted and not feeling one bit so creative. So instead, I thought I would talk about one of my favorite things: food. I snack all. the. time. Since I don’t eat meat, I’m hungry a lot of the time, even with the extra protein I try to take it. Hence why I’m always eating. Recently, these are some of my favorite things to eat:

  • Clif bars

  • Apples

  • Hummus and carrots

  • Fruit snacks

  • Protein shakes

  • Popcorn

  • Trail mix

  • Pop chips

  • String cheese

  • Juice

I was honestly trying to sit here and think of other things I eat on a regular basis (not including meals), and that’s pretty much it. Very rarely do I eat snacks other than those things. What’s funny is that popcorn and string cheese were the only things I ate prior to about 2009. My taste buds have really changed in the last couple of years. Want to know how I know I’m getting old? Anything over a little bit of sugar makes me feel sick. Do I still eat it? Of course I do. I also feel old when I drink my large black coffee. And when my knees crack when I go up or down the stairs. And when I go to bed at 8:30. Oh well.

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Yesterday was really hard for me. I recently signed up for Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Push. I would highly recommend it if any of you are interested in figuring out what the hell you want to do with your life; and it’s free! The past few days have been focusing on goals that I want to accomplish in the next year. It makes me really sad to look at my goals list and see all the wonderful things I could do if I just stopped making excuses and did them already. For some weird reason I have been feeling really bad for myself lately and I gotta snap out of that. Why would I sulk around when I could get out there in the world and make shit happen? I’m also trying really hard to stray away from the misconception that I have to do what I feel like I should. Why can’t I do what I want? Tara Stiles says, “Who made the rules?” I support that.

I really believe that things will be easier once I’m out of my parents house. It’s very difficult to do what I want without being judged, because what I want to do with my life is not “typical.” I understand how that can cause some uneasiness with my loved ones, but people have to trust me (and I have to trust myself!) that I can be successful if I really set my mind to it and dedicate some serious time.

Just so you guys kind of understand what I’m talking about, here’s the 10 goals I would most like to accomplish in the next 12 months:

  1. Open my own online health business.
  2. Start writing a health book.
  3. Have 10 steady PT clients.
  4. Meet and/or speak with Ellen DeGeneres and Jillian Michaels.
  5. Stop my crazy eating cycle.
  6. Practice yoga 1 hr./3x/week.
  7. Lose 10 pounds.
  8. *something I can’t say because I would get in trouble!*
  9. Move out of parents house.
  10. Run 1/2 marathon.

Chalene encourages you to “go crazy” on these goals. Put yourself out there and don’t make goals that are “comfortable,” so that’s exactly what I did. My problem is that I tend to forget about what I really want in the moment. My thought process goes something like this:

I want that cookie.

*eats cookie and feels like crap*

10 minutes go by

I should have some ice cream.

*eats ice cream and feels like crap*

later that night listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast…

Why on earth did I eat that stuff? I feel terrible and I don’t even like it!

Everyyyyy day. This happens to me all the time. I think I just get so caught up in what I’m doing for other people, that I forget to think about myself. I’m a personal trainer and a nutritionist; I need to live up to what I am preaching! Hopefully the rest of Chalene’s challenge will help me to get my shit together.

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Update on my Tara Stiles obsession: it’s increasing by the minute. I kind of love her.

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What is one goal you have for yourself this year?

Surprise!

We’ve all been there. We have all been in that position where things just aren’t clicking the way they’re supposed to. In the cliché words of John Mayer, “your body is a wonderland,” and you should treat it as such. I know, I know. Easier said than done, yeah? I have found from research and personal experience that it really helps to have a goal that you’re striving towards. Even more important is to make this goal public, in order to hold yourself accountable!

Want to know my goal?

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Yup, this is happening. Now I am certainly not aiming to be a muscle-woman, but I would like to feel confident about my body in a bikini. What better way to do that than to force myself to prance around a stage in front of hundreds of people? I gotta get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I’ve been telling myself I’m finally going to get in shape every day for the past year. “That day” never comes. I’m ready for a change.

I am trying to get a friend of mine to train for and compete in the competition with me, just to make things more fun and lighthearted. I am not going into this with any expectations to win anything or have a life changing moment where I want to become a bodybuilder. We (hopefully!) will be competing in the “Ms. Bikini” competition, which is the most low-key event Fitness Universe offers. It basically involves being fit, toned, confident, and dedicated. I know I can do it if I set my mind to it.

Check out this video for footage of two of my favorite girls, Karena and Katrina, competing in the competition a few years ago. They are the ones who inspired me (hopefully us!) to do this. So thank you.

Now as you can probably guess, this is going to involve quite a bit of lifestyle changes. As many of you know, I am hoping to start my own online health coaching business. I’ve had some ideas floating around in my head for a while now, this “plan” being one of them. I’m going to create a healthy plan to prepare for a fitness competition, in hopes of helping women in the future train for such an event if they wish. This is just one of many things I’ll be working on towards my website in the upcoming months.

Want to know the best part? You can participate in this program even if you’re not interested in the slightest in doing a fitness competition! Let’s say you want to clean up your diet. This plan works. Let’s say you want a set workout schedule. This plan works. Let’s say you need consistency in all areas of your life. This plan works.

I am an AFPA certified personal trainer and nutritionist, but all opinions are my own. Always consult with your doctor before making any huge lifestyle changes. This is just my well-thought through plan of how I am going to prepare my body to be in the best shape of my life.

Ready to get started? I am!

The competition is approximately 17-ish weeks away. We’re going to use the next 5 days (Tuesday-Saturday, or whatever day you’re starting this on) to ease ourselves into some new habits and to make subtle changes that will eventually become habits. Then we will have 16 weeks of “the plan” and another 5 day turbo-boost to get ready for the competition (or whatever you’re preparing for; life perhaps ;) ?). Think of the first and last 5 days as a warm-up and a cool-down: necessary for a successful workout! Also necessary for a successful, healthy lifestyle.

So finally after all my rambling, I present to you the rules for The 16-Week Fit Body Plan.

1. Drink 100 oz. of water each day. Water flushes toxins from your body and allows your internal organs to perform at their highest capability. I like to use a 16 oz. water bottle and fill it up 6-7 times each day. Trust me, it’s more than possible.

2. Complete 3-4 cardio sessions and 2-3 strength training sessions each week. I’ll be giving plenty of options for these workouts along the way, so no worries. I know that I have a crazy schedule, so I’m providing lots of flexibility with your workouts so you have no excuse not to do them. Aim for 5 intense workouts, 1 “easy” workout, and 1 rest day.

3. Start and end with tea. Green tea in the morning gives you a metabolism boost. Decaffeinated tea at night helps you sleep. A high metabolism = more calories burnt. Relaxing, warm, herbal tea = better sleep. It’s a win, win. Enough said.

4. Get off your butt! Aim for 12,500 steps each day. An easy way to track this is to buy a watch with a pedometer on it, or even get a cheap clip on pedometer from Target. Walking definitely counts as exercise. It’s important (especially if you have a sedentary job) to get the blood flowing and the heart pumping multiple times throughout the day. Walking allows you to do this without breaking a sweat and having to shower in the middle of the day. Because really, who on earth wants to do that?

5. Stretch. We will be very active in these next few months. Stretching allows the muscles to release any pent-up energy you may have in order to prevent injury, not to mention giving you that long, lean look I know I am definitely striving towards. I highly suggest investing in a foam roller.

6. Read a book. Or take up any hobby you wish, that doesn’t involve exercise. It’s very important to not get too caught up in one thing, in order to avoid burnout. I advise you to indulge in something you love, such as reading, writing, playing an instrument, volunteering, meditating, or baking. Something that is just for you and allows your body time to recuperate from the stress we will be putting on it.

7. Grab a friend! Everything is better when you can do it with someone else. I’m praying I can get one of my friends to join me on this journey. I’m hoping some of you will play along, too!

8. Eat the greens. And the blues. And the purples. And the reds. And the yellows. You get the picture. Eat your colors. But the natural colors. Not those nasty artificial ones. I suppose what I mean by this rule is to eat your fruits and veggies. Plain and simple. No one ever said they gained weight from eating an apple.

9. Avoid the whites. If a food is white or in white packaging, it probably shouldn’t be going in your mouth. Except for eggs. And if you can think of anything else, let me know. Check nutrition labels always, and avoid processed foods at every opportunity. Let’s go back to the basics for a few months, shall we?

10. Keep track. I use my iPad to schedule out my daily workouts for the week on Sundays. I also use an app to record the foods I eat, but I do NOT count calories. No counting calories here; just focusing on eating the good stuff. Writing (or typing) things down helps you to visualize exactly what you got going on and what’s working for you and what needs to be changed.

So there you have it! Super simple rules. Probably stuff you already knew, but it’s nice to see it again. Print those out and stick them on your mirror. Make copies. Give them to your friends. Put one in your car. Get it tattooed. Okay, don’t do that last one. Bottom line is to remember these guidelines at all times. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. Just take a deep breath and start over immediately. Do NOT wait until tomorrow. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Please watch this link if you haven’t seen it already.

Tomorrow morning (early!) I will be posting the schedule for the next 5 days. No preparations necessary, just yourself and some dedication!

On a totally different note, I’m looking into buying a heart rate monitor. Any suggestions??

And of course since it’s Monday, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

You have to shut out all the noise and remember it’s your thoughts that matter. –Lady Gaga