I’ve been told so many times “You should look into being a personal trainer” and every time I laugh a little bit harder. People are saying that to me now because I’ve lost so much weight, and because obviously I know a little bit about getting in shape. My body has changed, yes, but my personality hasn’t changed at all. I’m not (suddenly) this kind person with soft edges who has the power to encourage you to do anything you set your mind to. In fact, I’ve got even more of a no bullshit attitude NOW than I had when I started.
Two years ago, a few months after my first attempt to get healthy (which mostly failed), I found a girl named Mary on Instagram. She was from the northeast, she was a former soldier who was now a trainer. I started following her and so many times I talked with her about getting healthy and working out and eating right. You don’t really need to know about my friend Mary. But if she were here, she would tell you about all the excuses I gave her for YEARS before I decided to start taking my health seriously.
If I were to ever become a trainer, which I won’t, I would absolutely HATE to have a client like me. Someone with a never ending stream of excuses about how they couldn’t (or WOULDN’T) compromise for their results. I’m getting angry just thinking about it.
I posted a status on Facebook the other day and I’ll re-post it here. It said –
This is why I can’t be a trainer. This shit right here. Excuse me as I rant: If you come to me for advice or suggestions, I’ll stop what I’m doing to help you – all day, any day, no problem. However. If your immediate response to my two cents is to tell me how that’s not something you can work into your life, I’m not gonna try to argue with you. I physically cannot. I just say “okay” and go along with my life. That, to me, says “I’ve already decided to continue what I’m doing and hope things work out in my favor.” That says “I’m unwilling to compromise my lifestyle to get the results I want.” And I simply cannot argue with that level of ignorance. Sorry if this is offensive to anyone. I’m ignorant intolerant.
I was that person with all the excuses. I was that person who would get hype about “changing my life”, just to give up when I didn’t drop 60 pounds overnight. I was that person who didn’t like vegetables or most fruits, so I thought I would never be able to diet or eat clean. I was all of these people, and more. I’ve overcome that. Now I know, that all of those excuses were just that – excuses. Now I know that results don’t happen overnight. I know how to eat clean in a way that my body responds well to. I can’t fight those demons in someone else because I’ve just figured out how to fight them in myself.
That’s why they call this a Fitness JOURNEY. Because it’s a long road! And because you learn new things all along the way; about yourself, about your body, about your emotional attachment to food, about your limits… And once you learn those things, they change! Limits change, attachments change, and bodies definitely change. At the end of the day, I’m still on my own fitness journey and right now I don’t ever think I’ll ever know this road well enough to give directions.
However, there is one area where I’m completely confident giving advice, planning, and helping people to understand - and that’s meal prep. I’m so good at it, in fact, that I offer it as a service. I started doing this a while ago, and I have clients all over the United States that come to me for their completely customized meal plans. I don’t do this as a way to make money, but the fact of that matter is that there’s a lot of work and calculation that goes into creating a meal plan for someone. Everyone is different. Everyone needs a certain number of calories to keep their bodies going. Every eats at different times throughout the day. Sometimes people need more calories during certain times of the month (looking at the ladies). Some people need to eat 5 meals a day, others only need 1 meal and several snacks.
The point is, meal plans are not 'one size fits all'. Everyone likes different foods, different textures. These are all things I take into consideration when creating one of my meal plans. I’m still accepting clients, so if you’re interested in what you’ve read about today, click here to create an email. I’ll get back to you within the hour. If you want more information, click here to check out my Meal Plan FAQs.
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to eating. Every meal is 15-30 minutes of pure heaven where I’m clocked out from life and all that matters is me and my fork. With that in mind, I only prepare food that I can be excited about eating! After my struggles with consistent and sustainable dieting in the past, I live by the concept of “eat more good stuff and less bad stuff”. Dieting is a balancing act inside your head. I don’t believe you can eat 100% good stuff and be truely satisfied, and I know from experience that eating 100% bad stuff will leave you bloated, sick, and unhappy. I had my work cut out for me when I started my diet, because growing up “vegetables” meant either canned green beans or buttered corn. As a child, I had never been exposed to healthy foods except for the few times when my Uncle David came to town and gave me grammar lessons at the dinner table over a steaming plate of asparagus and artichokes (which I still hate, sorry Uncle David).
When I started my diet, I knew I needed to prepare nutritious meals that would not only fill me up, but also discourage my long-standing affair with drive-through restaurants. With visions of Pinterest meals dancing in my head, I drove to Starbucks with a notepad, a pen, and a 100% charge on my iPhone. I got to work, Frappuccino in hand, scrolling through various sights writing down ONLY the things that actually looked appetizing to me. When I got done, I looked at my list and was shocked. It was foods I already liked eating, but prepared in a healthy way! I made my way to HEB late that night to ensure I would be one of the only people in the store and could take my sweet time looking at the labels on the food I was considering. It took me several hours, but I made what I thought were healthy selections and went home to prepare the meals for my first week on my diet.
Starting out, I prepared a lot of steamed vegetables and granola bars. Not joking. That’s what I saw heathy people eating, so that’s what I prepped. However, I realized that as the week went on and I grew tired of the bland meals in my lunch box, I was more vulnerable to cheating and ultimately falling off the diet wagon for good. I noticed my body craving carbs, sugar, and meat on a daily basis, even when my belly was full from a recent meal. I know that when pregnant women crave weird things, it’s because their body is lacking a mineral found in that food. So with that concept in mind, I altered my very strict diet to include food I’m eating today, like whole wheat tortillas, high fiber blueberry muffins and sourdough pretzels.
Imagine a smoker whose been smoking for years. They are without a doubt addicted to the nicotine in their cigarettes. Now imagine that person stopping cold turkey. The nicotine cravings would be horrible (which is why most people start smoking and never stop). New studies support the idea that a body can become addicted to refined sugars and caffeine just like it can become addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes. My body was taking in between 3000 and 5000 calories a day, most of that being carbs and sugars. To try to stop that intake cold turkey and go to fruits and vegetables wasn’t healthy for my body and it was downright destructive to my mindset. Looking back, I realized I could not have made a better executive decision. For me, the choice was easy. It was a choice between eating vegetables and granola bars and inevitably cheating several times a week, or making meals I enjoyed with a healthy serving of carbs and lean meats.
This won’t be my diet forever. I’m slowly adjusting my carb and sugar intake, such as a smoker might adjust their cigarette consumption when trying to quit. My mother always taught me to listen to my body – and that principle has truly shaped the way I diet today. My body tells me it needs carbs, I give it carbs. My body tells me it needs caffeine, I give it caffeine. And since I have started allowing my body small, healthy portions of carbs and caffeine, my cravings for fast food and processed drinks have decreased almost to the point where I don’t have any at all (maybe one a week).
Allowing my body to have healthy amounts of carbs has played a monumental role in my weight loss. I truly cannot hype this enough. I no longer cheat during the week and when I go out to restaurants on the weekends, it’s second nature for me to choose a healthy option whereas before I might have overindulged and ordered the worst thing on the menu without a second thought. Dieting does not have to be a death sentence to you happiness. I guess sometimes you CAN have your cake and eat it, too.
I already know what happens when I give up. I want to see what will happen if I don't.