Sunday, August 4, 2013

why i choose health.

i just can't get enough.  my outlook on health and fitness have changed tremendously over the past few months and nothing has felt more fulfilling than the transitions i've made about taking care of my body and my mind. 

one year ago:

i was attending school full time and was commuting every day which meant leaving at 7:15 AM and not getting home until 6 PM.  i developed this fear that if i didn't get a workout in FIRST THING in the morning, i wouldn't feel accomplished for the day and "all hell would break loose."  because of this, my alarm would go off at 4:30 AM in order for me to run pointless miles on the treadmill with no food in my stomach, no passion for what i was doing, and left me feeling not healthy at all.  

guess what?  i did it anyways. 

it's like it was engraved into my brain that i had to run.  i couldn't do anything else besides miles and sprints and inclines.  i hurt more than i will ever admit to anyone.  weekends were no different as i would wake up at 7 AM in order to get myself to the gym and once again, run run and only run.  occasionally i would do some sit ups but i found myself in so much pain and stress that i would just go home.  

stress?  from working out?  i never thought this was possible but yes, this is exactly what i was going through.  

there is a key element on the other end of the health spectrum that i was also struggling with and even ignoring for that matter; nutrition.  i was so busy counting calories and finding ways to eliminate things out of my diet that by the time i actually thought about what i was eating, there were probably only 5 things to list.  yogurt, oatmeal, peanut butter toast, trail mix, raw veggies.  i was getting enough calories (or so i thought), but the foods i was eating were not doing anything for my workouts or my lifestyle for that matter.  i had a problem and was extremely afraid to admit it. 

after many struggles and really taking a step back to re-teach myself about how to be healthy and stating the reason for it, i have learned so much and can finally say that my outlook on fitness and even nutrition have completely changed.  i've learned that exercise is really just a huge period of trial and error.  it's finding what works for you and what doesn't.  i was the opposite of many people in that i had a slight addiction to working out for all of the wrong reasons.  i wasn't doing it to benefit my health, i was merely trying to burn calories and trying to cut things out of my diet that i thought would make me gain weight.  after all, i read somewhere that the key to losing weight is to "burn more calories than you take in." sound right?  while this is true, it is the one sentence that led me down a path of self destruction, insecurity, and so much pain.  i took that sentence and completely removed it from my thoughts and instead replaced it with sentences like, "use your food as fuel."  "you can get through this cardio session because you have strength trained your muscles to be strong enough to get you through it and you have supplied those muscles with food, real food!"  

going through all of this has taught me patience, hard work, balance and ways to rebuild some much needed self confidence that i somehow lost long ago.  do i still struggle with all of it?  are there still days that i find myself having small set backs?  of course i do and i probably always will, but i am now on the right track towards the healthiest version of me and i cannot tell you how fulfilling it feels!  i love being able to share my passion of healthy living with others and because of it, i'm going to pursue what i wish i would have done a long time ago.  right after my wedding and honeymoon, i'll be attending some workshops in order to become a personal trainer.  i smile just thinking about it and i believe i've finally found one of my callings. 

now, for the less in depth part of this post...

some things that helped me from where i was then to where i am now:

1.  switch up your workouts.  as soon as i started doing different types of exercises i noticed many changes in my body and my eating habits.  running is hard enough on your body and when you're doing it EVERY DAY...of course you're going to hurt!  try a group fitness class, go for a bike ride (my new favorite thing), do circuit training in your garage (i'm pretty sure my neighbors think i'm crazy), and dance or do anything that gets your pretty self movin!

2.  know your limits.  my limits were something i pretty much ignored back then.  it didn't matter that i was tired or that i was hurting or even hungry for that matter, i was going to finish that last mile.  dumb.  listen to your body.  push yourself, yes, but there is nothing more important that you can do than listening to your very own self about what's going on with you and only you.

3.  strength train, and think about the muscles you're working when doing so!  by far, this is the biggest change i made that developed my passion for fitness again.  i've always loved being active but as you read earlier i wasn't doing it correctly and when i started weight training, this whole other passion and whole new person developed!  you can use any equipment or even your own body weight for that matter!  try try try your hardest to strength train three times a week. 

4.  use a heart rate monitor.  my Polar Watch has helped me manage my heart rate during my workouts so i can visually see when i need to step it up a notch in order to be the most efficient during that time.  it also helps you keep track of your time and calories burned, which are little bonuses.

5.  i know it sounds pretty cliche', but HAVE FUN.  the minute i started having fun exercising again was the exact moment that it didn't feel like a chore.  i used to write my workouts in my planner every single day just to have the satisfaction of crossing them off when i was finished.  now i find myself looking for the next class or even just telling nick things like "I benched 85 lbs today!"

lastly, here are a couple workouts i'd like to share with you that got me through the weekend!

yesterday was this killer legs workout, yeeeesh! 

complete 3 sets of each exercise:
kettlebell squat 25lbs
Split Squat with dumbbells
hamstring curls on stability ball

50 jumping jacks
walking lunges (30)
calf raises of step aerobics bench with 18 lb barbell on shoulders 

kettlebell swings 25lb
kettlebell single leg dead lifts 25 lbs (15 each leg)
mountain climbers on bosu ball 25x

i work this afternoon but am going on a 15 mile bike ride beforehand followed by this little circuit:

- Push up to side plank rotation 15x
- Row with Tricep kickback in static lunge 20x
- Push up with Dumbbell Row, 10 each arm
- Wall sit with dumbbell Curls 25x
- Spider Planks 25x
(-repeat circuit 2x)

i hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and you get a chance to MOVE THAT BODY!!!

1 comment:

  1. You go girl! I wish I was this health conscious. I use to be when I was in college, but I just can't seem to get motivated anymore.