It’s 2017 and the health-conscious craze is at an all time high. There are new fitness trends daily and we are constantly bombarded with different sources on how to improve our well-being.
I recently watched a documentary that informed me that “one egg a day, is equivalent to five cigarettes” What the Health. More like what the fuck? By this standard I’m basically a habitual smoker without ever having the pleasure of “looking cool” outside a club.
We are told that gluten is the enemy, that cross-fit is the solution for cellulite, that sugar is devil and that you can now simply freeze away your fat. There is an account of a Russian guy who survives with merely four hours of sleep a night and swears by his increased productiveness; nevertheless, we’ve been taught that a sleep- deprived mind directly leads to grogginess, a metabolic downfall, and the more important- puffy eyes.
For every study you read, there is bound to be a counter study. And you are bound to find one easily presented on Google. Thus, you will never truly know who is right, and your “I told you so” will just have to linger on.
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that you don’t have to adhere to any type of specific schedule or trend. God knows, I don’t. I do, however, believe in always being your best self (or at least attempting to do), so I would like to share some habits with you that have made me feel strong, fit and healthy; both in mind and in spirit.
Feeling good is all about energy: physical and spiritual. Hence, its no wonder that feeling fit really starts with a positive mental attitude.
I find that it works best for me to envision my success before going to bed. I get my planner out and write my goals out for the week ahead. This usually works best on Sunday night (or whatever you deem the start of your week). Regardless of the capacity of my goals, I try to keep them at a three a day goal limit. The smaller/ more specific the goals, the more likely you will actually accomplish them. If you are starting a routine, make sure to foresee yourself actually doing it, so when it does come down to it your actions will feel familiar, and the task at hand will seem easier.
I rely on books, podcasts, or blogs like these to give me the motivation to proceed with my affirmations. One of my favorite self-help books is “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero and I refer to it often if I’m ever feeling like I’m in a slum. If I’m too lazy to do any of the things I have mentioned so far, I simply say some positive reinforcement phrases out loud. I give thanks to the Universe for all that I have and all that it will bring me, and that instills optimism in me for the days ahead.
Get Moving First thing in the Morning
Get a workout in as soon as you wake up. I know this sounds like a horrible idea at first, but you and I both know that it makes all the difference. Get your ass up and onto the floor, or a yoga mat if you are slightly fancier.
Move for 10, 15, 30 minutes or whatever time your body and your hung-over mind allows you to. If you are not sure what to do, there are plenty of inspirations all around. I personally follow “Karena and Katrina”, the founders of the “Tone it Up” series. They have easy to follow YouTube videos and if you subscribe to their page they send out daily workouts every week. There are also plenty of inspirations from the pages of your old Cosmos to the fitness models you follow on insta.
My day is significantly better when I get moving first thing in the morning. I like to frequent Modo Yoga. (It’s my favorite studio ever and you are welcome to join me).
These daily workouts will not change your body in an instant, and they are not intended to do so. They are simply there to boost your energy and morale, allowing you to feel better and make better decisions consequently.
Food- where cheating is OK
Most of us know how to “eat well”. You eat small portions often; eliminate carbs, sugar, fat, and well, anything fun. Well, shocker, this doesn’t work for me, and I’m assuming, I’m not alone. I used to have weeks (ok, fine, days) where I would stick to a perfectly clean way of living, only to say, fuck it, and order Domino’s and ice-cream and eat it all (as in fully) in a shameful downward spiral. So, since a healthy lifestyle is not a lifestyle in my vocabulary, I figured out a way to cheat the system. I allow myself to eat anything I want in the morning. French toast, chocolate chip cookies, leftover In-n-Out, and whatever else I can find in the fridge. The premise is that time constraints will most likely prohibit you from eating a large capacity and/or you will simply work off those calories throughout the day. Plus, if you chose to stick to a leaner diet the rest of the day, you are bound to see results, which will lead you to indulge less and less.
PS- Beware of salad dressings, and condiments. They contain a lot of hidden calories and fat; making them the most delicious bad decision in sight.
Oh, and don’t eat while watching TV. I believe this to be our generation’s downfall, but I know this is easier said then done. The only way I have been able to counteract this problem is to no longer buy snacks. I also give myself specific time constraints for meals and put the food away once that time is allotted (or I attempt to put the food away. Once again, I’m only human.)
The Scale is the Devil
I know the above statement is a little much but scales lie and can often be deceiving, making this in fact a perfect analogy. Plus, who ever tells the truth about their weight? I even lie to my doctor. My sole mission in life is to be the same weight it says on my driver’s license.
Whatever you are doing in order to feel your best has nothing to do with weight, and no amount of studies can show me otherwise. My mom believes that stepping on a scale daily allows you to stay on track. I say, my mom made me a crazy obsessive psycho, so please don’t take this advice. Weighing yourself often leads to discouragement based on a fucking number (which is often wrong, if the scale has not been recently calibrated). Ultimately, go with how you feel and how your clothes fit you. Judge your health based on your energy; by how you feel going up the stairs, or simply breathing. Listen to your instincts.
Celebrate the fact that you are alive! Take a dance class, go to that weird yoga place, or go on that hike you saw on pinterest. New experiences often come with excitement, which trigger endorphins, permitting you to fully lose yourself in the moment. Creating your own adventure not only generates insta- worthy content but it really allows you to find happiness all around.
Allow yourself to have an off day
I’m highly skeptical of people who perform to their best ability on a daily basis. And by highly skeptical I mean slightly jealous. But, honestly, how can you possibly not have a day when you are just tired AF and want to do nothing at all? Maybe I’m just a closet introvert, but if you relate to what I've said, and don’t buy into the bullshit of always being “on”– allow yourself some rest. Allowing yourself to wind down will only give you more energy to push forward tomorrow and continue on a further path of success.
I strongly commit to the ideology that I have presented; however, writing this blog cost me multiple days of doing nothing. I’m not a hypocrite or a quitter, so I’m going to prove myself wrong/right. I’m going to implement all of these tips and share a video blog with you next week entailing all of my experiences. So have a wonderful week and take everything I just said with a grain of salt. (Pun intended).