Friday, July 5, 2013

A Few Things about Fitness

When I started this blog, I talked about my workout routine and my passion for fitness. I haven't really brought it up since then. Recently though a friend contacted me with some fitness related questions, and I feel like that gave me the push to talk about something I really care about (so thank you if you're reading this!).

Fitness is my real passion in life-infinite miles ahead of makeup. But I've conciously avoided writing about it for a few reasons. I feel like it's really hard to write about fitness without sounding braggy or preachy, and I don't want to come across that way. I also think it's a topic that can get pretty heavy, and I've tried to keep the tone of my blog pretty light and not too personal. It's hard for me to keep my snarky edge when I talk about fitness becasue it's something I actually deeply care about. So I don't know that I'll be writing about fitness too much, but I thought maybe a few people would be interested in hearing my take on staying healthy and feeling good about your body. I promise not to get too cheesy.

Like too many girls, I have been through the ringer when it comes to body image, weight flucuation, and fucked up feelings about food. But in the past few years I really feel like I've figured out what I need to do to be healthy and feel like I look good (it can be a tough balance for sure).  A lot of what I've learned has just come through time. I've been going to the gym for almost 10 years, and I started out knowing nothing.  For me, reaching my fitness goals has been a lot about adjusting my mental attitude towards fitness. Here's just a few lessons I've learned (usually the hard way) over the years.

1.Being in your best shape is HARD- I feel like you really have to give up on the idea of finding an easy fix. Some people are probably lucky enough to have bodies that are naturally amazing, but I believe they are a tiny minority. Chances are if there's someone whose body looks lean and fit-and makes you want to touch it- they are working hard for it.

2. You have to decide how important being in shape is to you. For me, it's a top priority. I give up a lot of my free time in the gym. It can hinder my social life, and I never seem to have enough time to dedicate towards housework. But I accept those things because I've decided that going to the gym gets first dibs on my time. It's ok if fitness isn't that important to you. But you should admit that to yourself and be okay with it.

3. You need to push yourself. This goes with #1. I used to go to the gym and do an hour or more of low intensity cardio followed by a few light weight exercises.Classic "girl" workout. It was better than nothing, but it only served to keep me from gaining weight. If you really want to change how your body looks, you need to work harder than you think you could. A great way to learn how to push yourself is to hire a personal trainer for a while. I did this about 5 or 6 years ago. It was expensive. But it was undoubtedly the best money I've ever spent on myself.

4. You need to figure out your nutrition. You might have heard the 80/10/10 rule. It says that the way our bodies look is 80% Nutrition, 10% Exercise and 10% Genetics. It seems crazy, but I have found  it be very true. You can't out-train a bad diet. And again, you need to be honest with yourself. You say you're eating healthy, but are you really? If you're eating Special K for breakfast, Subway for lunch, a Lean Cuisine for dinner and those 100-calorie cookie snack packs in between..that's NOT healthy!!! I follow the Eat Clean Diet, and I really feel like it is THE way to eat-I recommend at least looking into it. Lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts-whole foods. I can honestly say that when I follow this diet my weight does not flucuate, even if I take time off from the gym.

5.You have to eat. This goes with #4. I have been thinner than I am now. But I got there in a very unhealthy way. I learned that being thin doesn't feel good and doesn't make you happy if you got there by treating your body horribly. I feel best about my body when I am eating lots of healthy food. It's honestly so rewarding to have a body you like that you got by making healthy choices. Don't be mean to yourself.

6. Know that even top fitness models don't keep that physique all the time. It's ok to relax sometimes. This is something that I've just started to figure out myself. Fitness models train extremely hard for events or photoshoots. Then they chill out on the crazy dieting and extreme workouts. If you make fitness a life commitment you can learn to do this too. I like to stay in shape to the point where if there's something coming up that I want to look my best for, I can get in my personal best shape in a few weeks.

Ok I think that's all I'm going to say for now. I guess these aren't really specific tips, more like overall ideas that have helped me along the way. I'm not an expert, but I do have a personal commitment to fitness. It's a huge part of my life, so I guess it will inevitably turn up in my blog. It's definitely more important to me than makeup-which is fun, just not essential. But don't worry. I've been really good about saving money lately and I'm ready to blow some at Sephora soon.

I like there to be a picture with every post. So here's a photo of Camille Leblanc-Bazinet. She's an amazing, strong and beautiful CrossFit athlete who has been inspiring me lately. She lifts, FO SHO.