I was inspired earlier today to share my secrets of how to maintain a well balanced successful fit life. No, I’m not gonna be sharing tips like: drink more green tea to speed up your metabolism, super set your exercises, get a firm booty by squatting ‘x’ amount of weight blah, blah, blah. No. I’m gonna give you the very basics that people often seem to forget about, but with these 9 tips, you will be on your way to a creating a healthy lifestyle plan.
1) Set realistic goals – I can’t stress this enough! People tend to aim high, which is great, but setting extremely high goals can also be a detriment to your success, especially if you are beginning. Start small and build so you are constantly challenged. Setting attainable goals and achieving them creates the desire to continue. Setting goals that are too high and seem barely out of arms reach can make one feel disheartened and can cause one to quit before they even start. During school, I’m extremely happy if I make it to the gym 4 times a week!
2) Add variety – People can pick their favorite activities, but the key to a healthy well balanced exercise and nutrition plan is variety. You can add running, weight training, yoga, HIIT, and plyo workouts. Pick up a new spin class, take a dip in the pool and do laps, check out Groupon for fitness class deals. There is so much out there to be discovered! Not only will this keep your body guessing and toned, it will give you mental relief so you don’t burn yourself out on one thing. This can be applied to nutrition as well.
3) Incorporate regimen and structure – Create a plan for yourself and stick with it. I personally like to plan the following:
- One outdoor running day, 5-8 miles
- One or more lifting days, I like to hit the squat rack and focus on legs
- Two at home plyometric HIIT days, great full body workouts
4) Have patience – Results aren’t immediate. Progress doesn’t come without 100% maximum effort and dedication. Be patient with yourself, don’t become discouraged, and remind yourself WHY you are making the decision to change your lifestyle to a more wholesome one. Take photos as a way to track your progress so you can see the changes your body is making. Progress photos helped me so much during my competition! Even though I had lost 15lbs, it was hard to see by just looking in the mirror.
5) Reward yourself – When you make progress and reach your goals, REWARD YOURSELF! You stuck with it, you worked hard, you did everything right and it’s showing in how you look and feel. Pamper yourself! Don’t reward yourself with a “cheat meal” because you worked too damn hard for that. Go get a massage, buy that new Lululemon jacket you wanted, get a new workout top or pants, get manicure and/or pedicure, or if you’re really daring get a Brazilian wax! Feeling sexy yet?
6) Know when to say “No” – This can be applied to exercise and nutrition. Listen to your body. If you are over training, feeling stress on your body, and are sick or exhausted, YOU CAN SAY NO! If you have a really important family event and absolutely CAN’T fit in your workout, it’s okay, skip your workout because family comes first. On the other hand, if there is leftover food from a meeting at work, you don’t need it! SAY NO! Someone brought donuts in? No thanks, you don’t need those empty calories that manage to stick to our hips, thighs, and butts. Choose your food wisely!
7) Do NOT depend on the scale – The scale only shows a number. It doesn’t measure your muscle mass over your fat mass, or take into account your waist size or jeans size. The scale is rubbish, pay no attention to it. Right now I weight 5lbs more than I did last year, but I’m also composed of a lot more muscle. It ain’t no thang. It doesn’t bother me. I’m happy, I eat, I train, and I sleep. It’s a good life, don’t let a stupid number ruin that.
8) Love your body at all stages – You might be working towards a goal, but never hate your body, never let that be your motivation. Love your body! That’s why we train and fuel it properly, because we love it and want to treat it right no matter what it looks like or what it can do. Do not let insecurity motivate you. You are strong and you are able to achieve anything you want, love your body and it will take you there.
9) “Live a Little” – The last key component is learning to “live a little.” This can be the hardest part for some people. I struggled with this last piece of advice for nearly the entire year. The first 6 months of the year I was training rigorously for Emerald Cup. I ate 1,200 calories a day, counted my macros, tracked my calories burned, and made it to the gym 6 days a week. After the show I struggled to find a proper balance, a way to be happy with the new body I was so uncomfortable in. The post show weight gain made me insecure and I still struggled to find balance in my life. I kept trying to track my macros without the same success, kept trying to stick with my old training plan. Finally I said, “Screw it.” I stopped counting macros, started running and working out at home, making it to the gym when I could, eating whatever I damn pleased with discretion, and became a whole lot happier spending time with family. Balance is key, and you can’t have it without living a little.
I promise if you begin incorporating these 9 tips today and stick with it, you’ll be a much happier and healthier person. Sometimes you have to go back to the basics 🙂