Some times the smallest steps in the right direction end up being the biggest steps of your life, and my fitness journey has been one of the greatest examples of this.
Growing up, my uncompetitive nature left me on the sidelines during school gym sessions, never being picked for teams, causing my self esteem to take a serious hit, and I ended up almost completely giving up on the idea that I could ever be physically fit.
Fast forward 7 years, a few bumps in the road, a change of direction and now my entire life and career revolves around fitness and the healthy habits needed in order to achieve optimum results.
Anyone who trains is aware of the direct correlation between physical results and nutrition, and if you do train and don’t, I highly recommend you look into it. Once you fuel your body with the proper nutrition, you will begin to reach your goals, and today I’m going to help you get started by sharing my 3-step story.
Step 1. Motivate
In order to get moving (both literally and figuratively), set a tangible goal that you can visualize every single day, and plan your workouts according to what you want to achieve. In my room I keep a framed pin board (or my virtual one found here) where I post inspiring quotes and pictures of different yoga poses I want to be able to master one day. Once I have a goal in mind, whether its completing the bird of paradise, or running an 8-minute mile, I have something I can work towards each time I go to train.
Having a goal is the first step, getting there is an entirely different matter, and in order to stay focused with my training, I have acquired daily habits to make sure I get in each session. I always have good music on hand to ensure I complete each workout to the best of my ability, and my playlist is a mix of everything from One Direction to Flo Rida (yes, you read that correctly), you can find what I listen to by clicking here.
I also follow numerous individuals on YouTube, Instagram, etc. who embody healthy lifestyles, and sometimes all the motivation I need to hit the gym is to see how happy they look after their own workout or after eating a healthy meal. Having a network of support, whether its your family, your boyfriend or a random stranger on the internet, is crucial to me.
Step 2. Train
I like to switch up my daily workouts by completing fast, effective training sessions that keep me both mentally and physically on my A-game. I complete Kayla Itsines` Bikini Body Guide Resistance Circuits 3 times a week, and after each workout I add in additional weight-lifting exercises to build my muscular strength. High intensity bursts paired with strength conditioning moves have brought me to my peak physical performance – its a love-love relationship.
To keep things exciting, I also add in roughly 2 sessions of cardio where I can sweat all of my frustrations away, and get my heart rate up. I do yoga on a daily basis to stretch, soothe and balance my mind and body (which is my key to staying on track).
Adding in challenges that are out of the ordinary help keep fitness fun, and I recommend you try switching up your routine to keep yourself mentally sharp. For example, this October I am going to be running my very first 10K in support of a local charity close to my heart; running for an amazing cause, surrounded by people I genuinely care about is the kind of thing that really helps me to reconnect to my goals.
Step 3. Nourish
Its no secret that I love food, I mean 50% of my blog posts revolve around nutrition, and its a vital aspect of training that cannot be overlooked. What you eat before you workout and how you afterwards can make or break you, so I pay close attention to what I am putting into my body.
To gain a rough idea of the nutrients I need in order to keep progressing physically, I have calculated my macros, meaning the amount of carbs, fats and proteins I should be eating on a daily basis, which are specifically tailored to my lifestyle. I follow them very roughly, using intuitive eating as a guide, I eat when I feel hungry, and stop once I am full.
Surrounding my workouts, I ensure that my body receives the pre-workout energy required to crush my workouts, and along with a good source of a carbohydrate (my got-to is a banana or a handful of dates), I have recently been playing with pre-workout supplements.
Pre-workout supplements deliver the fast-acting energy needed to show up on the days when you least feel like it, and I recommend it to anyone in need of that extra boost. Eat The Bear (or ETBFit) is a great brand that provides supplements that deliver the strength, energy, stamina, and muscle building benefits of taking a pre-workout supplement. They also have a range of protein powders, and as long-term readers know, is essential following a grueling session, as it helps build muscle and repair tissues.
You can find their products by clicking here.
My general rule of thumb is a 3:1 ratio of post workout carbohydrates to protein for achieving optimum nourishment. Ideas include a bowl of pro-oats with nuts and peanut butter on top or eggs on sprouted grain bread – the options are endless!
Keep on challenging, nourishing and believing in yourself – you can and you will reach your goals, your way.
Wishing you above all Health & Happiness