“The more I train, the more I love my body. “ ~Dr. Eva B
Fitness is a journey and looks a little different for everyone. Our bodies, lifestyles and preferences are unique. One universal thing is our desire to look and feel good. It’s the main reason I started working out more consistently.
When I first started working out, it felt like a chore. Not the first time I’ve been down that road. Once I began to see results, like feeling more comfortable in my clothes, having more energy and sleeping better, I wanted to keep it up.
After all, we’re motivated by progress, aren’t we?!.
Well, just recently, I decided I wanted more of a transformation in my body. I wanted to see more muscle definition and to look more athletic —not bodybuilder style, just ‘noticeably’ fit.
It’s important to be your own competition and always looking for ways to improve. However, that shouldn’t stop you from being satisfied with who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Love yourself always.
Approaching your fitness goals in small steps
It was time to set new goals for what ‘fit and healthy’ looked like for me. And even though I was working out consistently, I probably wasn’t putting as much emphasis on my diet as I should’ve been. As a full-time working mom, always on the go, I made time to exercise but made less time for the right food choices.
With my fitness trainer’s help, I decided to level up my workouts and focus more on my diet.
Since I had made so much progress in the gym, increasing the intensity of my workouts and modifying my diet seemed like a ‘logical’ next step. Hey, whatever it takes to get our brains on board, ay!
Push harder in the gym because you can
Step One: workout longer and harder. Over time, my 25-minute workouts became 45-minutes. Fast forward to now, and thanks to a little nudge from my trainer, I’m in the gym four days a week for 1.5-hour at a time.
Admittedly, I plateaued. I’d been lifting the same weight for quite some time when really, my body could handle more. Our muscles grow by increasing the workload, so it’s recommended to add more weight about every four weeks. Knowing you can push your body is as much in your head as it is in your muscles.
Change your diet to see better results
“You can’t out-train a bad diet” ~Autumn Calabrese
After discussions with my fitness trainer, she helped me understand that real results come from the kitchen. Exercise alone can’t do it all. (We all know that’s not a new concept, but it’s definitely one we easily overlook —and maybe I just needed to hear it.)
Diet affects your mood, motivation, sleep and energy levels. The type of foods you eat affects your body’s ability to process them. It’s not so much about going on a diet as it is about learning how to incorporate a healthy balanced diet that fits your health and fitness goals.
Don’t cut the calories- change the calories
Overall my eating habits weren’t horrible. But when I made my first food diary and listed out all the food I had eaten for the day(and the week), I realized it’s not that I was making bad food choices, I just wasn’t making the best food choices. Eating on the go and quick meals let unhealthy food slip by.
My transformation goal was to get a more toned and sculpted look, so, my trainer encouraged me to worry less about reducing calories and focus more on the types of food the calories were coming from.
I’m amazed at how simple my diet changes were to understand and execute. I didn’t have to hop on a fad diet, and instead, I followed my fitness trainer’s instructions and changed the calories I was consuming. I cut out the refined sugar and simple bready carbs and incorporated lean protein and veggies… lots of veggies.
It’s crazy to say, but I’m full all day long. I eat lean protein and veggies or a hearty smoothie as my meals. Because the foods are packed with nutrients, protein and lean fats, my body has all the fuel it needs to be energized for work, my family and my workouts. I’ve been getting better sleep too!
My go-to lean proteins have been:
- salmon filet
- tilapia filet
- ground turkey
- protein shake
Plan your meals and prep ahead
I always thought meal prep seemed daunting but if I have a long work week ahead at the hospital, I prep my meals to minimize any chance of losing willpower and falling off the wagon. Being tired or starving are two of the biggest things that can derail you from your healthy eating. I make a grocery store run and the day before I go back to work I spend an hour or two prepping my meals. Packing a lunch for work guarantees I stay on track.
Find recipes that you enjoy and you can replicate
Nothing’s worse than not being in the mood to eat bland food. It doesn’t have to be that way. I found go-to recipes, a couple that I’ll share below.
Once you know the healthy ingredients to use you can add spices and flavorful vegetables. Who knew veggies could be so filling. And because there’s no sugar or simple carbs that break down quickly into sugar, I’m not even craving those things. The more we eat them, the more our bodies crave them.
A protein-rich smoothie in the morning or midday cuts cravings and is super filling. It’s also quick to make and great for on-the-go. I use it as a meal replacement too.
My favorite dish below has been a staple. You can add so many different seasonings and vegetables that it never feels the same.
And lastly, plenty of water —can never say it enough!
My fitness journey continues and I’m hopeful that sharing mine might help you. If you try these recipes or have some to share, leave a comment, I’d love to hear.