Jan 30, 2014

My Health & Fitness "Routine"

I added the quotes around routine because the fact of the matter is, I'm not the best at putting my body first. I wouldn't consider myself terribly "unhealthy" (although I'm sure a lot of people out there would) but I also wouldn't say I love salads. I'm also not any sort of registered dietitian or personal trainer. I'm a work in progress!

Here are the basics.

I have been following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan (pescetarian here) on and off for a few years now. Tone It Up is a health and fitness brand started by Karena and Katrina (K&K) years ago. If you haven't heard of these girls, I suggest you scoot on over to their blog or YouTube channel and come back here at a later date. They're the best! K&K are best friends who have been providing free workouts on YouTube for years, and their bubbly California personalities are contagious. I don't do well with angry, in your face trainers (I'm looking at you, Jillian Michaels) so for me, their positive attitudes towards food, working out, and life in general is just what I need. They also sell their nutrition plan which is something like 200+ pages of all the information you could ever need. There are an absolute ton of recipes packed in there, and Tone It Up members receive plan updates for free forever. An update that came out last week was called the Superfood Edition. K&K went into depth about what makes a superfood a superfood, and then gave us lots of recipes to try that incorporate at least 2-3 superfoods in each. Yay!

Anyways, through Tone It Up and various other sources, I've really learned about what's best for my body and why. Michael Pollan's Food Rules is another awesomely simple resource. Moderation is key. Depriving yourself of that ice cream or only eating fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free when you don't even have a wheat allergy is going to get you no where. Whole, natural foods are best. We all of things that are more enjoyable to eat than others (sugar addict here) but trying new natural foods and learning to incorporate them into your daily meals can't hurt.

In terms of actual workouts, right now I'm doing something at least 5 days a week. The Tone It Up girls post a weekly workout plan on their blog which includes cardio and strength suggestions. Right now, they are doing their annual "Love Your Body" series which is awesome. It really focuses on making sure to love yourself and the other women in your life. Us girls are hard on ourselves! Tone It Up also encourages checking in with other girls on Instagram, Twitter, and in their Community. I love it because seeing other people's progress and dedication keeps me motivated. And everyone is so friendly!

Other workouts I do something include videos from Blogilates and POPSUGAR Fitness. I've really wanted to try out a more intense strength training program like Jamie Eason's Live Fit, and probably will look more into that once the Love Your Body series is over in February.

One of the most important points I've learned is that there are no shortcuts. Reshaping your body inside and out takes time and dedication.

Knowing what your body is capable of is also a pretty cool reminder on days when you feel like you're stuck--seriously, ANYONE is capable of going for a power walk or building some muscle. If you want to work out enough to maintain your healthy weight, that's great. If you want to spend a few hours in the gym doing a whole routine every day, that's great too! We're all on our own fitness journeys.

I want to end this letting you know why I work out. (Side note: Goodness KNOWS I am not perfect, and I truly believe it is a lot easier for some people and a lot harder for others to find a fitness routine that fits their lifestyle. Personal opinion here; take it with a grain of salt):

- I believe that my body is a temple, a gift from God, and not taking care of it is kind of just like raising a big middle finger to him.

- Going along with the gift of life, it's no secret that my husband and I want to become pregnant one day. When that day comes, I already want to have this healthy routine set in place because I want my body to be a healthy carrier for our baby. God willing, I want to be able to keep working out during my pregnancy because it's what I've always done.

- Finally, I want to empower others. I gained a *lot* of weight during college. Complete years went by when I didn't put any miles on my sneakers. But someone out there said a few motivational things that kickstarted my butt into gear. You never know how your life is going to impact others...if I can wear a smile when I'm out for a walk, or introduce someone to a new food, then why wouldn't I? We're all on the same team, and being honest with others about our journey can only help them.

So tell me: What do you do to workout? What's one of your favorite go-to healthy recipes?

My favorite workouts are ones where I get to lift weights! I'm not a fan of cardio--I have to be listening to some really good music or catching up on a tv show.

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