My Biggest Fitness Tips!

IMG-4060

While I don’t consider myself an expert, I’ve certainly been dedicated to health and fitness long enough that I’ve picked up some great lessons along the way. I’ve had the numerous ups and downs of someone traveling along the journey of making their health a lifestyle rather than a short-term goal, although I’ve definitely had those too. Since I know fitness is on a lot of people’s resolutions for 2018, I thought I would share some of my biggest tips that have helped me along the way.

1. Don’t dwell in the “downs”– This is one of the hardest but most important lessons I have learned. When making health and fitness a lifestyle, you are inevitably going to experience some slip ups or moments of stagnation; everyone does. I spent years being so unbelievably strict, working out for 2-3 hours every single day, never even eating a bite of “bad food”, days of not eating anything and guess what? I was miserable AND I didn’t get a single step closer to bettering my health. These habits weren’t good for my mind or body. It’s taken years but I’ve finally learned to embrace the slip-ups. They’re an important part of my journey. They DO NOT mean I have failed, they DO NOT mean I am unworthy, and they certainly DO NOT mean I will never reach my goals. It’s quite the opposite actually because it means I am human and I’m going to come back stronger than ever tomorrow!

2. Drink more water– I know this one is such a cliche but, man, is it true. I think all of us know that we need to drink more water, but we really don’t make an active effort to do it. And for awhile, I had to force myself to carry around a huge liter of water so I remembered to drink it but I cannot tell you how many benefits my body has experienced! I get less migraines, I’m way less bloated, my skin has started glowing, my hunger has decreased, and so much more! It’s so important to stay hydrated, so find ways that makes drinking water more enjoyable for you.

3. Find the workouts you truly enjoy– First of all, there isn’t one kind of workout that is miraculously going to give you your dream body. It’s important to switch it up and try new things to keep your muscles guessing, to keep away boredom, and to make the greatest gains possible. I used to think running was like the holy grail of fitness, but I hated it. So, I either forced myself to run and dreaded it or I would find excuses not to do it. I didn’t get any closer to my goals and my body did not change. I tried so many workouts and found that I love HIIT and strength training the most. Not only does my body respond to these but I truly love doing them. The most beneficial workout is the one you are actually going to do! So experiment and find what you love and switch it up. Maybe it’s walking with a friend, swimming, weights, kickboxing, Zumba, whatever it is embrace what makes you happy and I promise you’ll start to see the changes much sooner!

4. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet– Unfortunately, we can’t all keep our hyper-active teenage metabolisms. So, making healthy choices is vital in making fitness a lifestyle. Try following the 80/20 rule: pick whole, nutritious foods 80% of the time and indulge in your favorite treats 20%. Not only will it help you shed the pounds, it will improve your skin, help fuel your workouts, give you more energy, and much more. Also, stop labeling foods as “bad”. There is no such thing as a bad food. Those are labels we create ourselves. Just try to fuel your body with nutrient dense foods MOST of the time and stop stressing. I used to put ridiculous labels on foods to the point I refused to eat any food I didn’t cook and I didn’t shed a single pound. Now that I am much more balanced and way less stressed, I’ve lost 30 pounds and never felt better. There’s no miracle diet either. You lose weight by being in a calorie deficit, so any eating style that does that will help you lose weight. Also, don’t use exercise as a punishment for indulging. Work on forgiveness and start over tomorrow. Having a healthy relationship with food is so important!

5. Self-love changes EVERYTHING- Finally, this is my most important tip. It’s so sad for me to say but I literally spent my entire teenage years HATING my body. I viewed it as disgusting and unworthy for not looking like my petite best friend’s or like the girls I saw on magazines. I longed for a naturally petite body, but that’s not what I’ve been given. I have an hourglass figure and naturally muscular build. I will never have a petite or Victoria’s Secret angel’s body, and that okay! I was desiring a body that was literally impossible for me to have. Of course I have fitness role models, but I’ve made sure they have similar builds as me so I can be realistic in my goals. Also, I don’t punish myself for not looking like them anymore. We are all in different parts of our journey and I will never look exactly like someone else. I constantly have goals I want to meet but I’ve finally learned to love my body in every stage of the process. I’ve come so far and even though I want to go further, I worked so hard to be the woman I am today and that’s worth celebrating!!

I really hope you’ve found some comfort and inspiration from this post. Like I said, I’m no expert but I know how lonely and defeated I used to feel on my journey and I don’t want anyone else to feel that way. Remember, to love and have fun before anything else. I will always regret the holidays that I was too busy obsessing over my body to enjoy the love and family around me. Enjoying life is so much more important than being shredded, so find your balance and love every step of this journey!

All my love and support,

The Traveling Brunette

Advertisement

Be Your Own Greatest Adventure

One of the hardest things I have ever learned to do (and am still learning every day) is how to love myself exactly as I am. It is so sad to see in our society today how hard it is for everyone to accept themselves. We are constantly bombarded by images and messages telling us how to change ourselves, how to be sexier, skinnier, more successful, etc. The whole point is a constant demand for MORE. And it is exhausting and discouraging if you listen to these messages because you start seeing yourself as unworthy and not enough. There is nothing wrong with wanting to change things about yourself, but the important thing is still loving yourself exactly as you are in this moment because you are fighting.

For a long time all of the relationships in my life were poisonous because I was relying on everyone else to give me the love that I wasn’t giving myself. And when you constantly tell yourself that you don’t deserve love, you will always push it away and you will lose people who truly do love you. Even if you think you don’t deserve the love someone is giving you, they think you do! So stop trying to deny it and just accept the abundance of love that surrounds you!

The journey to loving yourself may be the longest and hardest journey you will ever take but it is certainly the most important. Until you truly respect yourself, you won’t be able to confidently accept the love that others want to give you. I went so many years truly hating the girl that I was. In my head I wasn’t pretty enough, skinny enough, strong enough, etc. I was just never enough. So I buried deep inside myself, which didn’t work because I didn’t like who I was. I exhausted myself trying to please everyone because I couldn’t handle the fact that I wasn’t happy with who I was. And let me tell you, if you have a powerful negative self-image, it WILL start poisoning you. I started losing weight rapidly, I stopped sleeping, my relationships suffered, I developed debilitating anxiety and depression, and I just truly stopped possessing any joy in my life at all. The most important relationship in my life suffered because I believed I was unworthy of love and my insecurities led to jealousy and a desire for constant reassurance. One of the reasons I know I have met the love of my life is because he stuck by me through my absolute darkest times, despite how hard it was on him.

At the end of the day, loving yourself is the most important journey you will ever take. My journey started with the absolute hardest year of my life. I will always be on this journey but I am finally at a point where I have started accepting who I truly am and am actually being proud of being myself. I’ve stopped wishing to be someone else. I’ve started loving my body, encouraging myself, finding acceptance through genuine friendships, and taking all the steps to recovery. You are your own biggest adventure. No one else can be your everything. I’ve learned that. It was up to me to find the change and joy that I had been desperately searching for. You are never alone by any means, but you can never place the sole weight of your happiness on someone else.

So, find adventures. Travel to somewhere that scares you. Create memories. Take a bubble bath. Enjoy the brownie. Enjoy the salads, too. Wear what makes you happy. Dance to your favorite song. Blast the music in your car. Find your support system. Find your tribe and love them ferociously. And most importantly, be your own biggest adventure.

 

IMG-3486

Always and forever,

The Traveling Brunette