I realized the other day looking at past posts, that I haven’t posted any of my workout obsessions yet… A sign of the holidays? Or the fact that I took a couple weeks off after the wedding? Coaching others is my passion next to cooking… My hope is to return to it someday when we are able. In the meantime, I have you, and my client for the last year Kelly who I trade hair with training and who has had an amazing transformation and I am so proud to know and have been there for it:) I hope you will read my story and find some commonality. I have tons of workouts in this head and am happy to post some so if you need one or would like something in particular that I don’t have yet please feel free to ask and I’ll try to get them out quickly… Before I post my workout hotspots or obsessions though, I think it only fair to share my journey and how I have gotten to where I am now. Your journey may be different, you may have different goals and beliefs. My hope is to share what has worked for me, and to help others however I can.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have had the hardest time with moderation and acceptance when it comes to workouts and nutrition. Although it’s paid off with clients and my professional life, it can feel daunting if you don’t remind yourself to take a break once in a while… And to reward yourself in moderation. Staying in shape often becomes a roller coaster for many, myself included. It’s taken me years to get my body to where it is now, and to understand what styles work for me and my body type.
Genetics play a part, but you can still transform your body to something better no matter where your starting point is. I’m between 5’6″ and 5’7″ and 4 years ago I averaged 140-145lbs and had an average body fat of 15%, with a low of 13%. I was HUFF… but wasn’t happy. Genetically, my body builds and maintains muscle easily so my workouts inevitably focused around what was easy for me. I lifted a lot of weight, broke up body groups, and my cardio consisted of stairs a couple of days a week. My workout style would work for a figure competitor, but that’s not what I considered feminine or beautiful which is another thing I have had to learn over time…
When I think about my fitness journey, I can’t help but think back to when I discovered femininity and first became self aware… I still think of my moms ballet photos from when she was younger and how I wish I had grown up taking those classes instead of playing soccer at recess with the guys or getting blisters on the monkey bars while we practiced cherry bombs (ouch!) I don’t think I willingly wore a skirt until after my mom convinced me to enter a local pageant my sophomore year of high school, and discovered that my annoying fuzzy hippie hair could be tamed with a straightener! Although the pageants made me self-conscience at points, it also taught me a lot. I hated lining up in heels and a swimsuit next to the other girls behind the curtain before going on stage. I hated realizing what my weak points are on my body (inner thighs, back of my arms) but I’m also grateful because I know what I constantly have to spend the extra attention on. I loved the long gowns I got to wear and getting dolled up. I loved seeing people from high school that didn’t acknowledge me now cheering me on and wanting to get to know me… and I LOVED WINNING! I think this was my turning point, when I realized I was a girl and could be into this make up stuff. That playing sports and hanging out at the ranch on the weekends didn’t mean I had to be a tom boy. I think those pageants were the closest I have come to really feeling graceful and pretty. It built confidence that I have carried with me over the years, and began the constant push I have had in regards to my body and what I can achieve with it.
Being strong and pushing my body to the point of exhaustion came easily to me. I saw change quickly and got a kick out of being able to leg press more then the other girls at the gym. I could knock out 10 pull ups and 30 pushups without breaking a sweat. I realized working at a gym and being in those surroundings made it more acceptable, but I was never confident with myself. Keeping up with that kind of body type was a full time job, and taking a break meant an immediate gain in body fat if I didn’t immediately change my diet also. It wasn’t until I started phasing out of my life revolving at the gym, that I was able to expand my knowledge and discover different disciplines and begin transforming myself. I started with running. I had never run willingly, I have a bad knee, and spent years telling clients they didn’t want to be marathon runners… Man was I missing it! I remember the first time I zoned out and was able to get out of the “this sucks” feeling. I stopped thinking about my breath and started picturing myself dancing to the music playing on my iPod. I added it to my lifting days and started tapering off the weight until I pretty much used nothing but my body weight while strength training. Nutritionally, I quit the protein shakes and “trainer diet” that I had become accustomed to, and started experimenting with more seafood and veggies. Cutting the alcohol back to one or two days a week and remembering moderation made a big difference too. I also started entering in local running events starting with 5k’s, then 10k’s, and ultimately my first half marathon in Laguna Hills. Over a year and a half, I dropped 15 lbs and learned how to maintain it.
The last 5-10lbs depending on where I am now has come over the last year and with the discovery of hot yoga, pilates, and barre. All 3 were the hardest for me, but the most rewarding. I never stretched, I couldn’t even touch my toes, and I got foot cramps the first few weeks trying to point my toes. Pilates taught me core strengthening, hot yoga burns a ton of calories, helps with relaxation, balance and flexibility, and Barre builds that dancer physique by strengthening lean muscles we didn’t realize we had while improving flexibility as well. Barre gave me ab definition and calves which I’ve never had! This phase is also where I discovered portion control and different food styles like RAW, and organic, and that my body doesn’t process grains, flour, or red meat well. I’ll always struggle with my sweet tooth, and moderation… but I have come a long way and am accepting.
Everyone’s journey maybe different, but when it comes to staying healthy there are 3 main factors to consider: Nutrition, Fitness, & Lifestyle. All the hard work you put in is lost if you counter it with too many cocktails or wine, and not enough sleep. Remembering the following tips can help too:
- Moderation is key in your normal habits AND when your indulging. Your once a week cheat meal shouldn’t be a free for all stomach stretcher. If it is, you’ll be left craving more of the bad stuff. Trust me, I’ve been there:)
- There is a difference between being comfortable and becoming complacent. It’s important to become comfortable with yourself, but becoming complacent can hinder progress so it’s good to set goals for yourself so you always have something to reach for.
- There’s ALWAYS room for improvement
- Take a break here and there to enjoy the progress you have made, and then get back to it!
I hope these tips help you as they constantly help me… especially when I’m off track. They help me get back to it, and keep myself in check. Keep in mind that this is a journey for a reason, and that it takes time to figure out what works for you. The key is understanding that everyone has something that makes it hard to progress: past injuries, lack of time, lack of knowledge… (the list goes on)… but you have to know that everyone is capable of making progress in spite of these things. They are factors to take into consideration, but not a deal breaker in your life or in your journey. Keep going!!!
I’ll post ideas and experiences as they pop up, I hope you do the same:)
Lots of Love,