Monday, March 10, 2014

Updates + A few workout tips

In my last entry I told you guys about my fitness goals for the upcoming month. And so far so good-I was up in the gym 5 times this week, doing challenging workouts and complaining about it on Facebook. I was happy with my meal prep too. Like I said, even when you buy prepared food that seems clean, it's usually not as good as making it yourself. Case in point, one time this week I picked up some roasted salmon and steamed vegetables from the hot food counter at my grocery store. Sounds like a good choice, but it was soooo salty-which is really common in prepared food. I've already prepped some food for this week(just another batch of the same recipe as last time). I plan to do some more cooking this week and hopefully share recipes on here, if I have time, which brings me to my next point.....

Ok, I don't usually use this blog to talk about what's going on in my day to day life-who the fuck cares, right? But I do have some stuff going on at the moment that I want to tell you about. First of all, as I mentioned on Facebook this blog hit 10,000 views last week. And I know that's basically nothing on the internet, but still it felt like a bit of a personal milestone for me. I get so much enjoyment and fufillment out of writing here, and to think that even one person reads it is the icing on the cake (Or the organic blueberries on the 10 grain hot cereal). I am feeling really motivated and excited to put more time and effort into the blog-and do more YouTube videos! The problem is that the next month is pretty jam packed with less exciting stuff. Namely a ten page book review, for a book that I have not only not started, but have now also misplaced somewhere in my apartment(I totally would). So a lot of my brain power is going to be going towards writing that, and most of my leftover spare time is going to be spent in the gym. So if you don't see a lot from me in the next couple weeks, it's not because I've lost interest in this blog. It's totally the opposite-I'm pretty fired up on the whole thing. I just have other things I have to deal with. The worst!

I do want to keep updating on my fitness regime-it's really suprising to me how many people are interested in the entries I write about fitness. It's a topic that I was hesitant to write about, because I fear coming across as really superficial or even arrogant. I've also held back on writing more about fitness because I love it so much that I can't even talk about it in my usual sarcastic bitchy way- all I can offer is genuine enthusiasm. It's hard to put your guard down like that. But fitness is my passion way above makeup, and I'm really glad other people want to read about it. I have to work really hard to stay in shape, and I've been working out for a long time. I think I've learned a thing or two along the way, and I thought today I could share a few tips I've picked up in my 10 years of going to the gym.

These are just general tips-some are about the actual physical side of working out, some are motivational, it's just sort of the first few things that come to mind. I hope to do more specific posts in the future-including maybe posting some sample workouts. It's like, 1 degree outside, and all good Canadians know that means  it's pretty much summer, so we better get ready.

Ok, here's a few tips that help me in my fitness regime:

1. Don't fall for the classic "girly" workout routine- for the first few years that I was going to the gym, I would spend an hour or more on the elliptical (at an easy resistance), then do some crunches, and if I felt really motivated maybe I'd get on a weight machine or two for a few reps. It was better than doing nothing, and it did at least get me into the routine of going to the gym. But there's no progress in that kind of workout. If you want to see real change in how your body looks, you need to push yourself harder than that-there's probably going to be weights involved. And sweating.

2. Good form is key for getting the best results and avoiding injury- When you're working out with weights, you should always be checking your form-meaning how your body performs the move, your posture etc. You know-chin up, shoulders back, chest forward, abs tight. I constantly check myself on my form when I'm working out. If you look around the gym, I guarantee you'll see someone doing squats with their neck bent forward, or crunches that seem to only involve moving their chin toward their chest. Take the time to go through your reps slowly, and pay attention to your form.

3. Concentrate on the muscle that you're trying to work- I want you to stand up right now and do a squat without thinking about it, just get up and do one quickly. Did you do it? Ok, now stand up again and do another squat, but this time, move slowly and really squeeze your buns on the way up-use your butt to stand up, rather than your legs. You're doing the same move, but using totally different muscles (unless you squeezed those buns the first time, in which case eff you for outsmarting me and ruining the demonstration). The same goes for all weight exercises-it's really important to focus on the specific muscle that you're trying to work. If you're trying to work a back muscle, don't let your arms do all the work.

4. Work out to get your best body, not someone else's- Eating clean and working out have amazing powers to transform your body. But it's still your body. I'm never going to have long, slim legs. But my legs are strong, and they look better than I ever imagined they could. I'm not envious of people who have different body types than I do-there's just no point. And you might think that's easy for me to say because you think I'm naturally slim. But that's not the case-when I was 16 I weighed 25 pounds more than I do now, and was 4 or 5 pant sizes bigger. I never believed that I could love my body like I do now.

5. Let other people inspire you- I know some people are too cool to enjoy inspirational posts on Instagram, but I love them. I'm a big believer in the power of positive affirmations, and I believe that the messages we take into our brains affect us, postively or negatively. I follow lots of fitness professionals and groups on the various social media. I read those cheesy motivational messages, and I look at the sculpted bodies of the people I admire, and those things motivate me to work harder. Through fitness, I have found a strong mind/body connection. Working out has had immense postive affects on my state of mind. And my mind in turn drives me to keep working out. Your body does the work when you get to the gym, but first your mind has to make the decision to go in the first place. Fill you mind with positive, motivating messages.



Ok that's all I have time for today. Those are just some really basic things. I'm going to make an effort to post at least one entry a week over the next little bit-once I get to the real procrastination stage of writing my book review I should have no trouble with that.

Thank you so much for reading. It really means a lot to me.

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