***Much more importantly I want to first take the time to remember all of the special men and women who have served this beautiful country. Today should be a day full of realization and complete gratitude by all. Millions of Men & Women give/gave their life to serve our country, sacrificing everything they have so the rest of us can live the life we decide to live every single day. THANK YOU***
Hi friends! Did you all have a good weekend? Just when I’m getting back in the groove of things, today is already Wednesday. I’m perfectly okay with that! This last weekend was pretty great. Nick was up North for deer opener and let me just say, coming home to a clean house, all laundry done AND folded, and flowers on the table Friday evening after work was very nice… can it be deer opener more often? 😉 I was able to spend the weekend checking some things off my list and spending some far overdue time with a great friend! I did some planning this last weekend as well, planning for posts I have wanted to do on My Goodness and this one has moved to the top of my list.
With the personalized fitness plans I have been doing for so many awesome people, a certain type of question seems to be asked very often when we are first communicating about what kind of plan I will be designing for that specific person. “How can I get rid of my belly fat” “I hate my arms and do tons of bicep curls, why are they not gaining muscle” “I did a core challenge last month and saw zero results, why not” “nothing I do is helping my legs tone up, what can I try”
I’m sharing my personal experience with these exact same questions I used to ask myself constantly! The above picture on the left was me almost a year ago. I worked out just as much, if not more then I do now, and had pretty good eating habits for the most part. I could feel myself hit a plateau in my fitness and I was motivated and excited to set and reach some new goals, so I had to evaluate what wasn’t working for me. I would concentrate on ONE “trouble” area and focus majority of my workouts on that area. I focused WAY too much on what I didn’t love about myself and only wanted to workout those trouble areas to make them better. BOY was I wrong.
Before I move on to the second picture let me clarify something first. I know I am not overweight or unhealthy in the first picture. I was happy with my body at that time and was ready to switch it up to something new, to challenge myself. This isn’t a post to compare my body to anyone else’s body, I am comparing myself to MYSELF and sharing my knowledge on what works for those stubborn areas we all have. I still have many many goals to reach and I am a constant work in progress. This method I am sharing is proving itself with the results I am seeing on women of all different ages, shapes, and sizes and it’s really exciting! We are all built so differently and our bodies are all beautifully unique in our own ways. You could be 19 and loving college, 21 and enjoying life, 25 and pregnant, 30 and learning to love your post baby body, 40 and starting cross fit, or 60 and embracing your bodies changes. Whatever stage you are in, learn to love your body and find what works and doesn’t work for it in order to reach your goals.
Now on to the second picture. This was taken last week. Taking my interest for health and fitness to a new level and actually understanding the science behind why certain strategies work and why others do not work has been a huge help for me. I want to pass that knowledge on to YOU, or at least some of it! You cannot do 100 sit ups a day and expect to shed all of your belly fat, whipping out 300 tricep dips each week and will not get you toned triceps. Your body is a full package and in order to improve one area, you have to love on the other areas as well. Kind of like relationships, if you only focus on all of the bad, pretty soon the good will turn to bad as well.
My change throughout my fitness & nutrition lifestyle in the last year has consisted of a solid and strong lifting program that targets every single body area, eating clean 90% of the time, indulging in moderation, adding variety to my cardio, cutting my cardio in half, fitting in targeting challenges each month, staying realistic and keeping if FUN! Now lets discuss each of these “briefly” These are all things that anyone can do if you dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle change. I’m not spending HOURS each day working out, I’m not spending hundreds of dollars a week on healthy foods. This is all in reach for most who are ready for a change!
Strong lifting program– Nick and I started a lifting program a little over a year ago that I have been incorporating in some way within all of my fitness programs for others because I believe in it that much. We target two different body parts each day and really dominate those areas on that day, for example: Day 1 is Chest & Tri, Day 2 is Back & Bi and so on. This way we are targeting those “trouble areas” but also building strength all around to help with all areas. No matter what other challenge or program we may be trying out, this lifting program is constant, everything else is an add on to this. It was crazy to me that when I started lifting exercises for my back, that my core got stronger and when I focused on leg lifts, my flexibility and running form improved. It’s all hand in hand. And NO, if you lift you won’t become the Hulk, I promise!!
Eating clean 90% of the time– I have really learned that when I eat right, I feel right! Indulging in moderation is part of my life and I love that 🙂 But eating clean majority of the time has been a big part of the results I have experienced. Just don’t buy the junk and you won’t eat it!
Adding Variety into my cardio– Sprint workouts, runs on incline, stair climber, elliptical, long walk with puppies, HIIT workouts. CHANGE IT UP! If your body gets too comfortable with your cardio, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep up with you so not near as many calories are burned. I am also a strong believer that high intensity interval training is so much more effective when compared to jumping on the treadmill and running two miles at the same pace. You don’t have to spend an hour on the elliptical to burn a huge amount of calories and build muscle. Test out some 5-20 minute HIIT workouts and be amazing with your results 🙂 I have preached it before, but with these HIIT cardio workouts, your body continues to burn calories HOURS after you are doing working out, thats amazing!!
Target Challenges– Don’t get me wrong, you can do extra things to target those trouble areas, just do not focus only on those areas. For instance this month I am running a Core challenge. This is combined with my regular lifting workouts, to really hit my core area hard this month.
Staying Realistic & Having Fun– These two things are a deal breaker for me! I am hard on myself so missed workouts used to be just the beginning of being upset with myself and feeling down, which led to working out not being fun. LIFE happens! It is OKAY to miss a workout or to eat a cupcake 😉 Just regroup and jump back on the wagon! Doing partner workouts, taking some fitness classes, or preparing meals with your spouse are great ways to keep health and fitness fun!
I hope this helps some of you who are asking yourself the questions I asked myself a year ago! Remember, you are a whole and beautiful package!!