I wrote this post back in June of 2015! Just thought I’d share with you for the good tips and to show even myself that being healthy & fit is something you work at everyday. It’s about progress not perfection. 🙂
Engaging in an active lifestyle has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I always question how such an ambitious and smart gal could find it so difficult to get and remain fit/healthy. After completing my Master’s degree while simultaneously working a full-time job, I really surprised myself to what I could do and how I could push my limits. It was indeed one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, but it made me see that I could do anything I put my heart and soul into. In order for me to really love or be committed to something, I have to grow a passion for it.
I began this journey back in September of 2014 when I had promised myself I’d make it a priority to eat healthier and exercise on a more consistent basis. Getting to the gym was one of the toughest things for me to do. I tried everything, I even got a personal trainer to show me how to properly lift weights and to teach me how to use all the fancy machines my gym offered. After about a month of failed attempts, I decided to try something new. This pretty much changed my life and has been the reason I can say I found a new passion. I began to take all the different classes my gym offered. This was the schedule I built and began to follow consistently:
|Monday||75 min weight sculpting class|
|Tuesday||30 min core class followed by an hour of Zumba|
|Wednesday||Boxing. Boxing was one of the most intense classes I’ve taken and I usually needed about 24-48 hours to fully recover before going to another class, it was amazing!|
|Thursday||Either Barre or Zumba (it ultimately depended on how hard I went the day prior)|
I was lucky enough to have my trip to the Caribbean to motivate me so that I could stick to my schedule. After my vacation, winter really took a toll on me. I really couldn’t get back to my routine and a huge part of that was because I had grown used to it. A lot of things changed too, I started a new job and that meant that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the gym classes my gym offered anymore and not having a fabulous Caribbean trip to look forward to made things a lot more difficult. So what did I do? I was proactive and took some small steps to get me back on track.
- I realized I needed physical activity in my life. During very stressful times, the fact that I wasn’t going to the gym really took a toll on my body. I wasn’t releasing my stress in healthy ways, so I found myself being short tempered or impatient with people. I came to the realization that going to the gym wasn’t just helping me get physically stronger it was positively affecting my whole being. After I had that epiphany, “going to the gym” isn’t a mundane task I feel like I have to get over with, it has become a necessity for my well-being and happiness.
- My bestie sent me an email for a promotion class pass where we could do unlimited classes in all participating gyms around Baltimore for $99 (for two months). That was less per month than I paid at my gym so this came at the perfect time. I cancelled my gym membership and off we went to sign up for class pass. Best decision ever! We have been using this for the past 2 months and we’ve been going to all sorts of classes. Class pass has allowed us to take the most diverse, fun, and challenging classes. Each week we set a day in which we choose the classes we’ll engage in during that week. From boxing to barre to pole dancing class, we’re never bored with our workouts.
My latest obsession that ClassPass introduced me to was Barre class at Pop Physique. I loved it so much that I ended up purchasing more classes through their studio! I leave every class feeling SO good and it gives me the perfect full body workout I need.
My 5 tips to those gentlemen/gals that are desperately trying to begin or need to get back on the journey of an active lifestyle here are my 5 tips to you!
- The more the merrier! I can honestly say that having my friends join me in these classes really keeps me motivated to not miss one class. Sometimes when either of us doesn’t feel like going, the other can make sure to remind ourselves that we won’t regret working out. Invite your friends to go with you and set dates so that you could all go for a run or class, it’ll be like an outing but with some physical activity. Win, win.
- Fuel your body with the right energy. Proper hydration and nutrition are really the driving force for your active lifestyle. The days I don’t eat well or properly hydrate, I can feel it in my workout. You want to feel the best both before and after your workout so make sure you get that energy through a balanced diet. Lately I’ve been juicing like crazy and it has worked wonders! I always feel energetic and revitalized after drinking my greens. ☺
- Be patient! Results take time and lots of patience. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results, just remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t focus on numbers too much try and really enjoy your workouts. Let the feeling of burning calories and building muscle in a healthy way drive you to stay patient.
- Have fun with it. Go to classes or go to a gym that makes you happy and makes you feel amazing. Whether that be spinning, yoga, weight training, boxing etc. find what makes YOU happy and stick to it!
- Find what works for YOU. Don’t go by what others say to do, or what your favorite celebrity says they do, go with what works for you. I haven’t been lifting too many weights lately, but for right now the classes I am taking are working for me. They are targeting the areas I want and are making me feel good. Yes, I want to start lifting, but for now I found what works for me and I am going at my own pace.
Lastly, a lot of my friends have asked me, how do you stay motivated? I bulleted some of the things that have helped me in case you need an extra push. ☺
- I think about the feeling I get after an amazing workout, it’s so freeing and blissful
- I remind myself why I am doing this. I look back and look at the times I didn’t work out and remind myself of how stressed and unhappy that made me feel. I aim to be happy everyday so I won’t allow myself to actively miss a workout knowing the effects it will have on me later.
- I think about my health and my future. I am Hispanic, which means a lot, but for the sake of this post it means we eat a lot, and I didn’t grow up with “portion sizes” or a clear emphasis on healthy living. There are also a lot of health problems that come with genes and your diet, and when I see what my past generations have done, it motivates me to live a healthier and more active lifestyle for the long run!
- I know + love my body! I know I am petite and that I’m only getting older and my metabolism will slow down as well. I love to eat and love to indulge, therefore I need to make sure I am doing my part in supporting my body. Some people can eat 10 times a day and not gain a pound, but I know my body and I know that I can eat while also knowing I will need to burn calories as well.
I leave you with this, a lot of the times I hear and have even probably said, I want a body like ___. Whether I am saying Beyoncé or Rihanna or anyone, I realized after working out that I don’t want a body like theirs because that’s THEIR body, not mine. I want a body I can be proud of and feel 1000% myself in and I am still working on that. I want abs and toned legs but at the end of the day I am not stressing if I don’t look like the “perfect” girl. I don’t want to compare myself to anyone because I wasn’t meant to be like anyone except my own self. This is why I encourage you to envision what you want the best YOU to look like. Yes, the Rihanna’s and Beyoncé’s motivate me (mostly through music) but I know that in the end I am me and I love every inch of myself.