Pay attention to what you are consuming, and when it comes to the gym- something is better than nothing. There is no magic sauce to getting fit, but there is a key. And, it’s about doing what works for you, and it’s going to take some time and dedication.
I get asked a lot how I maintain my figure or abs. I hate to say it because I wish I had more advice to give, but a big part of my figure is hereditary. I seriously have had a defined bicep since I was about 6 years old. My sister and I have been told we look like twins a million times, but we have very different body types. We could both follow the same ‘diet’ and gym routine for 5 weeks and we would have incredibly different results. Remember THAT whenever you check in with yourself. THIS is the body God gave you. Accept it. Love it. Treat it well. There is no saying you can’t improve it in your eyes, but just work on being the best that you can be.
I don’t mean to not give myself any credit because I work hard to maintain this body and to stay healthy. As a once D3 basketball player, I have a gym-first mentality ingrained in my head and after so long it has become a standard. I dedicate time at the gym 5-6 mornings a week, doing a variety of things. But, more than time at the gym, an understanding of a good diet is what keeps me on track in a body I am proud of.
First, let’s set some ground rules, I am just going to say it- I hate the word diet. A diet to me sounds like a short-term quick fix.
Instead, aim for a realistic lifestyle change to your diet. This is not the fast way, but it is the permanent way.
To do this, you need to start looking at your food labels and start paying attention to what you’re putting in your body. Before I started seeing Greg I had no idea how much sugar was hidden in the drinks I consumed on a regular basis. He taught me the importance of being aware. I am not suggesting that trips to the grocery store mean cutting out all of your favorite foods or being a total nut-case and analyzing every single little thing that you consume. You really don’t want to be that person that becomes obsessed with what you eat- that is not a realistic way to live. We still eat chips, but we eat baked chips. We still have yogurt, but we stick to brands like Oikos triple zero, or Siggis, both low in sugar and high in protein. Just pay attention to the healthier options available.
But, stating the obvious if you are committed to making a lifestyle change, you need to cut out fast food and soda as much as possible. It’s not worth it. Whenever I am craving a carbonated sweet drink, I have a sparkling ice which is zero calories but still tastes great.
**Everything is about moderation, do I still eat junk food- yes! But, during the week, we eat overall healthy meals and I am conscious of what I am putting in my body. Go to a restaurant and order what you want- just don’t eat out every night! Have 5 drinks a night on the weekend, but drink tequila soda- or something that isn’t packed with sugar.
I personally focus on two main things when I look at my food:
Someone once told me that if I am trying to ‘cut’, that I shouldn’t consume more than 20 grams of sugar a day. I thought, Oh that doesn’t sound too bad… until I started counting. Yikes. That was too extreme for me to do every day, but it gave me a number to shoot for. Find what works best for you, what is realistic + commit to it being a lifestyle change.
Now for the gym.
Going to the gym is as complicated and time-consuming as you want it to be. The gym can be your bedroom floor, a Lifetime, a Yoga Studio, the park, a treadmill… you get the point. Personally, I need to be in a gym with people, this holds me accountable. If you don’t have access to classes and need inspiration, invest in a workout app (free or paid) to help you navigate a workout. I personally have a Lifetime Membership and pay for an Aaptiv subscription, but there are tons of free ones on the market. If you don’t want to dive into that, do the basics. Walk on an incline for 20 minutes, or commit to 15 minutes on the Stairmaster (and you better not hold on to the rails 😊) or elliptical. End with crunches and pushups. There are a million creative lifts out there, the power social media has blown up that area- but I have found sticking to the basics do my body the best. Pushups, planks, arm curls/raises, squats. You can always branch out as you get more comfortable.
Lastly, invest in some materials for the gym.
First, get some cute outfits.
Second, start experimenting with pre-workouts and see what you like.
Most importantly, do not skip post workout protein. Whether it be a protein powder, bar, or a full meal. As you lift you are tearing apart your muscle fibers, if you do not replenish after, your body has no way to rebuild and grow! (Consumptions 30 minutes post workout is optimal).
I know this all might seem basic– but the most important thing IS to start basic, and be consistent. There is no magic sauce when it comes to being healthy, and getting a fit figure. It is about finding a realistic routine for yourself and your lifestyle. It is about listening to your body and acting accordingly!
My favorite reminders for the gym:
You don’t need 5 hours; 30-45 minutes of dedicated exercise is plenty
Don’t worry about who else is in the gym; you are all there for the same reason, to better yourself!
Look good, feel good, play good
My favorite pre-workouts:
Thermonade (this is more of a cardio fat burner!)
My favorite protein powders:
PE Science SELECT Gourmet Vanilla
Pro7ein Synthesis (I get mine at Nutrishop- Maple Grove)
My favorite Trainers on Aaptiv:
Kelly, Sultan, and Mike
Ready. Set. Work!
P.S. I know this may not seem very insightful, I will continue to get more specific on what has worked for me along me fitness journey! As always, let me know if you have any questions or feedback!
xo – E