I must say that I can’t believe it has been two years and an half since I started my fitness journey. Couple years ago, I’ve never imagined that I’d be so active. I always thought that working out was for weight loss or body builders (insert laughing emoji). My brendnew readers know that I have not had just one weight loss journey but two. How come is that ? Well, the first time , I did it via dieting; as soon as I lost the weight , I got too comfortable and thought I wouldn’t gain it back. Long story short, I gained an extra 20 pounds which made me 45 pounds overweight.
In a previous post , I explained exactly what I did. As a summary, working out and eating healthy became a lifestyle. I genuinely enjoy taking care of my body and it isn’t about just looking good . At 25, I am continuing to educate myself about health and I care about treating my body good to stay strong and healthy. As I am writing this , I’m not going to pretend that I am perfect and say that this healthy lifestyle is easy. I slack off, there are times when I don’t feel like workout out or I’m overwhelmed with life and I am unactive for weeks…
No matter what happens, I always get back up and start again. This post is for those who have bad habits, do not know where to start or aren’t fully motivated.
Fitness gurus are all over social media, we constantly see people doing workout routines and this is great! Seeing such things sometimes motivates me to stop being lazy and start being active . However, do not get intimidated and think that it is too much for you ! A lot of these people didn’t start yesterday, they have built their endurance over time! Don’t compare your beginning to their journey but rather start off by taking baby steps. Small changes yield great results over time. Now I am going to give some tips that I used and continue to use in order to stay fit. Are you ready?
First and foremost, to stay fit , 80% is your diet and 20% is fitness . Not everyone is able to workout. If you workout everyday and eat fast food, drink soda you will gain and be unhealthy! Again, the most important thing is to feed your body good nutrients!
1. Schedule your workout
It is important to have a schedule , write everything down if needed and see when it is convenient for you to workout. For example, I get up super early for work and there is no way I can have a morning workout. After getting off at 4pm, I used to think that the day was already over and slacked off. But no!! I realized that I had to make time for what was important , there is 24 hours in a day and after getting off at 4pm , I still have 8 hours left. At times , I found myself not even using that the remaining of my time, I procrastinated.
What works for me is 1) staying late at work an extra hour and finish everything that way I don’t have to take anything home with me(most of the time) 2) listening to music and relaxing for 20-30 mins while eating my snack before leaving work 3) going straight to the gym!!! For me, a lot of times , when I make a stop at home I get caught up with other things and I end up not being able to workout.
For me, it is a must to workout out at LEAST 3 times a week and I recommend it! I say three because I am off on the weekends and even if I had a busy week, there is no excuse for me not to sweat Saturday and Sunday. And even with a busy week, there has to be at least one day when I can squeeze in a workout! There are times when I get to workout 5 days a week, I call them “perfect weeks” and I love them , but they do not happen very often ,at least once a month !
2. Plan your workout
Believe it or not , I think that I have the most simple workout routines ever!! People sometimes think I do some kinds of complicated stunts , jumps and push-ups but (no) lol I hate push-ups by the way.
The goal is to be active and get your heart rate up. If you are a beginner, start off with a 20 minute walk daily. You will know when your body is ready to kick things up a notch ! Back in 2015, I’d go for 25 minutes walk, a month later 30 minutes, now I am able to jog/ walk for one hour by doing 3 minutes intervals.
**Make it interesting**
-Use Groupon, they always have specials! I joined my first bootcamp through Groupon
-Find a trainer if needed
I am very lucky to have found a free Saturday bootcamp in my area and sometimes , they even have it during the week.
Going to the gym and seeing the same equipments may turn out to be boring over time. I always look for something new and exciting and I alternate to avoid being bored ! I workout in groups and individually. Inside and outside. My city, Houston has a lot of great parks . I walk, bike, paddle boat, swim , ride my bike , workout in my living room using a workout DVD or YouTube (free).
I love variety , I always change things up. I have enough dinners,lunches for one week.
I keep healthy snacks in the fridge at work,that way if I stay late and get hungry, my last resort won’t be the vending machines or restaurant .
4. It is okay to cheat
Cheat reasonably. It is best to have a cheat meal instead of a cheat day.
Cheat meal is once and cheat day is throughout the day. It looks like “Okay, I’ll have 10 donut holes , two breakfast tacos plus a chocolate milk for breakfast, for lunch, double cheeseburger and fries and a diet coke , for dinner, frito pie and bacon! If you do that, do not be surprised!
I only have one cheat meal a week and that’s enough for me. Some people do two, just do whatever works for you. Trial and error is key my friends!
5. Choose your beverages wisely
Water is key, everyone needs a lot of H20. Try drinking at least half of your body weight. Stay away from sodas, alcohol, artificial juices and such on a daily basis. Thank god I’ve always loved water, growing up that’s all we drank, occasionally we were given sodas and such. I can never finish a soda can. People that drink soda or sweets can easily drop 15 lbs just by swapping whose sugary drinks with water.
6. It is ok to be “different “
Not everyone is going to understand your journey and it’s ok. You do not need to explain yourself for not wanting to drink or eating healthy. For example, I choose to not drink alcohol and I do not judge those who do drink it , there is nothing wrong with drinking occasionally. However, I do not because that isn’t something I really enjoy. Whatever people may say, do you ! (Blog post on this topic is coming up next week by the way)
I do not have a special diet, I eat everything , I do not have restrictions. I simply choose to be smarter . I grill, bake and steam instead of frying , I do not use butter but I opt for natural/ unprocessed oils like coconut and olive , I make my own vinaigrette using lime juice, Greek yogurt, salt and garlic for example , I drink at least half a gallon a day, I limit my sweets. I use salt in moderation and stay away for any GMO ingredients.
I take the stairs instead of the elevator, I move around a lot at work while I work, during lunch I take a few walks in the hall ways.
You would be surprised of how much progress you would make if you consistently apply small changes in your lifestyle!
P.S I specified the year under each picture.
I hope you guys found this post helpful and motivating. As you can see, I was not always fit. If I did it, so can you! the choice is yours. Define your goal and make the changes necessary, remember, it is YOUR journey.