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.
Eat at the same time every day.
Even if you're eating complete and total shit - Be consistent about your shit eating. Do it at the same time every day, 7 days a week.
It has to do with training your metabolism - which is a fancy way of saying You train your body to use your food for energy instead of storing it as fat. If you eat at the same time every day, your body notices. Imagine your body saying "Oh yay! I don't have to store this food as fat, because I know I'm going to get fed again in three hours. Let me burn this off right quick." Diet or no diet, this is important.
Diet or no diet, this is important. Everything but water is either loaded with chemicals or sugar (but I'm not gonna fight that battle today). If you don't like the taste of plain water; add lemon, mint, or lime.
Fat leaves your body in two ways, pee and sweat. So the natural answer to How do I lose weight is pee more and sweat more. That translates to drink more water and make your body sweat.
Invest in a Fitbit, and actually use it.
If you don't know what a Fitbit is, let me be the first to enlighten you. A Fitbit is a fitness tracker. You wear it on you wrist like a watch. They range anywhere from $60 - $250, and they are worth every single penny. In addition to real-time step and calorie tracking, some of the more advanced models have features that track the flights of stairs you climb throughout the day, your heart rate, and answer calls with the touch of a button. In addition to the actual trackers (which are very well made), you get a whole world (literally speaking) of support via messageboards and communities. You can add friends who have Fitbits and see how your activity compares to theirs over the last 7 days. Fitbit is an excellent company - I recently LOST my tracker. I was no one's fault but my own. When I emailed the company to see if they could use GPS to locate my device, they offered to send me a new one completely free of change. They are incredibly loyal to their customers and NO, I am not being payed to write this article. That's just a huge perk.
If you're not someone who has the time and energy to spend at the gym, this will show you that some exercise is better than none. The trip to the restroom, the walk to and from your car, walking next door... It all matters. Fitbit technology takes these steps and adds them together and gives you a very accurate idea of how many miles you've walked. That's right, miles. Before long, you'll find yourself parking at the end of the parking lot just so you can hit your step goal for the day. You'll be walking laps around your house at 10:00pm just trying to get those last few steps in before bed. There's something comforting about knowing that what you're doing, matters. And that's why so many people (like myself) SWEAR by the use of Fitbits.
Find healthy options of foods you already eat.
I love pasta so much that I've actually considered the possibility that I'm Italian and nobody told me. In fact, if you looks in my Recipe section, you can see that even my very restrictive diet can't come between me and my Pasta. The difference? I use whole wheat pasta (aka the brown stuff) and do you know what? My taste buds can't tell the difference.
First things first, carbs are your primary source of energy. If you stop eating carbs all together, your car runs out of gas (so to speak). But most importantly - Diets don't work if you don't stick to them. If you cut all carbs out of your life, your body is just going to crave them until your break. It's better to have a healthy serving of carbs every day, than to starve yourself of energy until your break your diet and binge eat the entire McDonalds menu.
Don't ever stop.
This is so important, and I know how cliche it sounds. But don't ever stop. You have a cheat meal? Alright. Drink lots of water to flush the toxins out, and get back on the band wagon tomorrow. You missed a workout because school/work/life was too overwhelming? That's okay. Promise yourself that you'll push yourself to the max at your next workout. Your Uncle ate some of the meals you had prepped for yourself? Treat yourself to healthy meal out with friends instead. You're craving chocolate? Eat half of the bar, and drop the other half in the toilet and throw it away (assume you don't have anyone around you that'd like a free half chocolate bar). Don't let a bad day, rotten mood, or bump in the road derail all of your success. There's a quote that says "You didn't gain all the weight by eating ONE bad meal. So don't think you'll gain it all back after one cheat."
Think of the reasons you want to be healthier. Think of the people that want to watch you fail. The people that want you to succeed. What kind of an example are you setting for those people? For your siblings, for your children? You CAN do it!
One of the first things I changed about my lifestyle when I started trying to lose weight was increasing my water intake. “They” say you need to drink half your body weight in oz of water every day. So, if you weight 150 lbs, you’re supposed to drink 75 oz of water a day. If you weigh 200 lbs, you’re supposed to drink 100 oz of water a day. If you weigh 250 lbs, you’re supposed to drink 125 oz of water a day. (Some products like pre-workout suggest your drink at least 125 oz of water a day no matter what your weight, in order for their product to be effective. If you take any supplements, please make sure to check the container for information like this in order to achieve the maximum effect.)
In the beginning, I absolutely could not hit my goal. I could drink maybe 80 oz of water a day, and I was constantly bloated and rushing to the bathroom. But within a week, I was drinking 128 oz of water a day (four of my 32 oz water bottles filled up to the top). The bloating went away and I my bladder started cooperating so I wasn’t rushing to the restroom out of nowhere every 45 minutes.
BUT I SAID ALL THAT to say this. Since the beginning, I wake up super thirsty. I wake up and the first thing I think about is WATER. This is truly a brand new experience for me because I have never craved water before. Water has never ever been my drink of choice, so for me to crave water is a really weird thing. Sometimes, like this morning, I even wake up feeling nauseous (normally this happens after a cheat meal) and water helps SO much. Still, I’m not sure why I crave it in the mornings.
Over time, I’ve noticed that I am less thirsty during my workout, so where I used to drink 32 oz or more at the gym now I drink between 16 and 24. And when I leave the gym, I switched to low-calorie Gatorade where I used to drink a protein supplement. I get home and I’m in bed within an hour, and I’m really bad about drinking water during that hour, I assume because by that time I’ve already met my water goal for the day.
If you are like me and wake up craving water, I highly encourage you to drink a bottle (the bigger the better) while you’re getting ready or commuting to work. Not only does it start your metabolism early in the day, but also, you’ve got nothing on your stomach when you first wake up. This is beneficial because you can drink a TON of water! I have a 32 oz water bottle that I leave in the fridge overnight and drink on the way to work in the morning. I drink 32 oz before I even start my day! That’s more then ¼ of my suggested intake!
I really encourage everyone to drink as much water as they can, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. As your body gets used to the water, you will notice your skin becoming more clear and less oily, as well as more regular bowel movements. There are a ton of other benefits that you can find if you search online, but those were the things I noticed right away.
Has anyone else experienced morning thirst like this? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I already know what happens when I give up. I want to see what will happen if I don't.