Hello, everybody! Today I thought I would talk to you a little about my fitness journey and how I stay on track. I started making changes to my diet and exercising in March 2015. I had always been active in sports growing up, and used the gym in college, but that first year after I graduated, I noticed I was gaining weight rapidly. Now, I’ll admit I’m a bit vain, and I started this journey with the hopes of looking really good. However, along the way I’ve realized it’s about so much more. It sounds cheesy, I know, but fitness changes you on the inside too. You feel better, you have more energy, sleep better–it’s all connected. I’ve learned some things along the way that I wanted to share with you, so grab a cuppa, because it’s a bit of a long one! Read on for more details on how to stay fit, healthy, and happy!
Before I start in, there’s something you should know about me. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t like dirt, mud, or pain. Let’s just say nature and I haven’t always been on speaking terms. And we are still figuring things out if I’m being honest. I’ve really pushed myself outside of my comfort zone these last 2 years. Because that’s where all the magic happens, right? The best advice I can give someone who is just beginning their own fitness journey is to start walking. Put on your sneaker, pop in your headphones, and start heading in any direction. Find what motivates you. I know I’m willing to walk four miles if it means there’s a cup of hot chocolate or a nice smoothie cart waiting for me at the other end. Put one foot in front of the other and just start moving. I lost 20 pounds just by eating better and walking two miles every night. It’s so easy to do, it requires no equipment, and you can bring a buddy.
If you’re looking for something you can do in your house, try YouTube. Sure you can go to the gym, but if there isn’t one close to you or you can’t afford it, there are hundreds of thousands of free videos at your fingertips. Lately, I have been addicted to Blogilates. It’s like having your own personal pilates trainer. There are monthly work out calendars you can download and each day a new workout playlist is added to the channel. Plus, Cassie has the most bubbly personality, and also really great clean eating recipes. Seriously, go check it out. You will be sweating and shaking, but it’s so worth it! If you’re more into the yoga scene, try Yoga with Adriene. She has a huge YouTube following and is fantastic. She also does 30 yoga challenges that will increase your flexibility and strength. Go check out her channel!
At the end of the day, you are your only motivator. Do I want to work out everyday? Of course not! We all have days when we would rather be couch potatoes. But every excuse we make sets our progress back that much further. And I don’t know about you, but I want to look and feel great this summer–and every season.
When it comes to food, my advice is very simple: eat as clean as possible. Processed food is just that–processed. It’s full of chemicals and preservatives, and I promise you that your bag of Cheetos’s was not plucked from the dirt. There are some many different ways to eat clean, and it can all get a bit confusing if you don’t have the right information. Paleo, gluten free, vegan, organic–we see and hear these words every day, but what do they really mean? The best thing you can do for yourself is to be informed. Get to know what works best for you. I personally have decided to cut meat out of my diet, but that doesn’t mean that will work for you. Typically, I eat a vegan diet during the week (with the occasional exception of fish), and will eat vegetarian maybe once or twice a week. I start my day with a smoothie bowl–which is actually the highlight of my day..is that sad? Nah, it’s a really good bowl. For lunch I eat leftovers from the night before or I will eat tuna from time to time. For a snack I love a honeycrisp apple with peanut butter. Nothing beats it. For dinner I love cooking with my Thug Kitchen cookbooks. They are so funny and full of delicious vegan recipes. I’m addicted.
Eating right is about holding yourself accountable. Do I indulge? Duh. But in moderation! If you’ve been craving ice cream for a week, don’t deprive yourself. You only have this one life, so enjoy it. I used to obsessively count calories and beat myself up over every little slip up. It’s just not worth it. If you go out for dinner and have a few drinks and some fries, who cares? In fact, letting yourself have one meal a week where you stop worrying is so exciting. Seriously, try it out. You’ve earned it.
The last thing I wanted to talk about is where you buy your food. The biggest complaint I hear from people when it comes to buying quality food is that it’s too expensive. Yes, organic produce and snacks can sometimes cost more than conventional foods. But not always. I typically do all my shopping at Trader Joe’s and pick up specialty items from Whole Foods and Fred Meyer’s.
I will admit that some quality items do cost a pretty penny. To me, it’s worth it. However, if you’re looking for a bargain, try Grocery Outlet. I know what you’re thinking, but honestly, every item in the picture above was purchased there. You can get quality organic snacks for $1. Check the expiration dates, and if you’re not familiar with a brand, just Google it! Usually brands will tell you on their website which stores their product is sold in. If you see a store you recognize and trust and you understand all the ingredients on the package, you’re good to go. Their selection is always changing, so it can be hit or miss, but give it a try. I honestly love the thrill of the find!
I hope these tips were helpful to anyone just starting their fitness journey. Or maybe a helpful reminder for anyone who has fallen off theirs–I’ve been there! If this is something you’d like me to blog about more often, let me know in the comments! And please share your fitness stories with me! I’d love to hear them!
❤ Taylor ❤