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Over the past year, I’ve been working as a group fitness instructor. My approach to teaching is to emphasize your health, not your appearance. The Kylie Jenner body is simply not achievable unless you have a butt-load of cash.
Often, my clients ask for advice on how to lose weight, get in shape, win a race, and so on. I always respond by saying the person needs to start living a healthy lifestyle. And believe me, I am not the healthiest person in the world. I love drinking beer, hitting McDonald's, and putting a ton of sugary crap in my coffee. But, I’ve learned to listen to my body and it has paid off.
I know the following tips have worked for over a hundred (yes, I said hundred) people that I’ve worked with. So here are a few pieces of advice for achieving your health goals:
1. Diet renovation doesn't happen overnight
Meaning, don't go cold turkey on everything crappy about your diet right away. Take baby steps - cut out soda, switch to black coffee, only order the burger and not fries, pick healthier restaurants. My current favorite tip is to cut out snacking after 9pm. Over time, the changes will add up and you'll have a newer healthier diet! Also, don't diet, adjust your current diet permanently - so no fad diets or cleanses.
2. Understand that you feel as well as you eat
If you eat donuts in the morning, you’ll feel sluggish for the rest of the day. If you have eggs and a slice of toast in the morning, you’ll have ample energy for the rest of the day. My point is what you eat will not only have an impact on your body physically but also mentally.
3. Don’t do too much too fast when starting an exercise routine
If you dive into the deep end, you'll burn yourself out. Start with lights weights with weightlifting. Start with a run-walk workout with running. By doing too much too fast, you'll come to resent the workouts instead of embracing them. And you put yourself at a higher risk of the initial injury
4. Binge Drinking Adds Up
Drinking beers or mixed drinks or seltzers (claws up) or any alcoholic drink adds up. It’s a sad truth. And when you drink a lot, that lovely hangover will impact your next-day performance. Cutting down on alcohol intake or switching to a lighter calorie option will make a difference.
5. Train for performance, not appearance
Training for appearance can be demotivating since progress is slower than performance training. If you train for performance, the appearance will eventually come with it.
6. Find a niche community that will support you
Whether it's OCR, Crossfit, yoga, cycling, running, triathlon, swimming, sports - find a group who does it, too! That community will serve as motivation to keep going, build friendships, and give you people to embrace the suck of a hard workout with. Plus going out to eat with them afterward is awesome.
7. Remember, no one is perfect
You will slip up and have a cheat meal (or day). You will skip a workout at some point. The important thing is to not dwell on your setback and keep moving forward.
8. And it's okay to have a cheat meal
Just make your cheat meals consist of your favorite foods! Don't eat a cake that you kind of like - make it worth it so you don't feel the impulse to do it again. And try not to have your cheat meal on the same day as your workout off day.
9. Water is your best friend
It helps with everything: controlling cravings, feeling rested, maximizing workouts, boosting your immune system, preventing injury, etc.
10. If you're sick, take an off day
Working out when you're sick will make you sicker for longer.
11. Wear proper equipment
For running and OCR, sneakers are everything. Getting fitted at a reliable shoe store will help prevent you from injuries and maximize your performance.
12. Know your limits
You want to push the limit, not go screaming past it. It's okay to push them for a new PR, but if you're not feeling 100% and you decide to go for a new squat 1rm - is that really a good idea? Or is two hours of speed training really necessary when you have a sore calf? Sometimes it's better to work smarter, not harder.
13. It's a slow, but rewarding process
Be patient and persistent and you'll become badass.
My advice on this topic is endless and if you ever need help, don't be afraid to reach out.
Y'all rock. Stay tuned.