Why I Became a Fitness Coach

As you’ve probably seen on my facebook and instagram posts, I have recently become an online health and fitness coach! No, there wasn’t much planning before this. Heck, I didn’t even know I wanted to or was going to until about 3 days before I became one.  I just saw an opportunity, took that leap of faith, and decided to go for it–all in! Here’s why….

So like I said there wasn’t some big planning ahead of time before I became one. I didn’t know how it would turn it, or exactly all it entailed, or even where it would take me or how I would like being one. I didn’t know any of this. All I knew was I absolutely love health and fitness and I wanted to help people by sharing my passion for it. To me, it was that simple. My insanely huge passion for all of it was enough to give it a chance, to try it out. Because I knew that it was my strength, determination, and love for everything I would be doing that would push me through and carry me on.

I also knew it wouldn’t be work. Would it be hard? Of course. Would I need to work hard? Definitely. But you see, for me, it wouldn’t be dreadful work I loathed to do like some people’ jobs are for them. Because when you are fervent about something (like I am about health, nutrition, fitness, etc.), you’ll enjoy and look forward to the work you do. I’ve already found that to be true in my first 2 weeks. I love creating meaningful posts, talking about my journey and encouraging others on theres. I enjoy talking and answering questions that are health and fitness related. I look forward watching/listening to personal development calls or videos and taking notes because I know the information is going to help me persevere, rise above obstacles, and succeed!

My ultimate dream/goal is to own my own fitness/health/nutrition business one day. I don’t know the details yet, I just know this big vision I have. So with this in mind, I found that this coaching job was perfect to get my feet wet in the industry and see if it was truly something I wanted to commit the rest of my life too. (Note, I will do so anyway personally, even if my job ends up being non-fitness related.) Sure, it was a big commitment on top of juggling school, a full-time internship this summer, workouts, etc. But I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to let me fear take me over on this opportunity. And yes, it is scary because I could fail. But I’m letting my fear motivate me to push harder, do more and ultimately I’m letting my fear drive me to success.

The biggest reason I became a coach though is because I want to inspire. I want someone to look at me and say because of you, I didn’t give up. I believed in myself and I achieved. I want to share my passion with others to help them be motivated! I want other people to be changed by fitness like I was. I want to help those who have never tried fitness to start their journey. I want to show people who think they are on an endless road that they aren’t, and that they can and will make it. I want my story to inspire others to keep going and fighting in whatever battles they may be facing, fitness-related or not. To put it simply, I want to make an impact–make a difference–in the lives of others by sharing what I’ve been through, what I’m doing, and ultimately, the one thing that will always keep me going: my passion!

So, why did I become a coach? Ultimately, I did so because I have big dreams that I want so badly to achieve. But more importantly, I want to help other people dream big and achieve those dreams by being an inspiration for them in their own lives.

As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream if, you can do it.” Well I’ve certainly dreamed it, now stand back and watch me do it!

 

Morning and Evening Routines for Productivity

The biggest complaints/excuses is probably that people don’t have time. Don’t have time for their health, don’t have time to do everything that needs to be done, don’t have time to accomplish things…you get the idea. Yes, we are all limited by our time, and everyone–including myself–is guilty of using this at one time or another. Our lives are marked by chaos and hassle as we run from one thing to the next always seeming to forget this or be late to that. Life often gets busy and in the way, I understand!

To combat this, however, I started developing routines at night and in the morning so that I could become the best, healthiest, and most productive self that I could be! Creating these routines for yourself can save you the stress and hassle of being rushed as well as create a productive, healthy lifestyle hat you can manage and most importantly live! While these routines are heavily catered to my personal life, they are all able to be adapted, applied and modified to your own life!!

Morning Routine

  1. Get up with your alarm: Hitting snooze is not going to help you start your day off right. If you find yourself doing this, place your alarm across your room so you have to actually get up to turn it off.
  2. Wash your face: I know this may seem simple, but not only does it benefit your skin and healthy, it also helps you wake up and feel refreshed!
  3. Make your bed/tidy up your room: Coming home from a long day of school, work, etc. to a messy room can actually increase your stress. Studies show that making your bed actually increases your feeling of accomplishment for the day and that having a clean room helps you sleep better at night!
  4. Exercise: For me, I find that working out in the morning helps keep me active, energized and alert for the rest of the day! I know it isn’t always possible to do so, and sometimes I have to workout at night and that’s okay. But, if you have the ability to try working out in the A.M., do it!
  5. Drink Water: Drinking 8-16 oz. of room-temperature water upon waking up helps your body flush toxins out, balance itself out and get everything started! Not to mention that this will help you reach your goal of enough water throughout the day!
  6. Read something: For me, its chapters in the bible or some bible verses to get my day started. For you, it could be the newspaper, a book you enjoy, a personal development book, etc. Whatever it is, reading will help stimulate your mind as well as give you a good, positive start to the day.
  7. Eat a good breakfast: Last, but certainly not least (maybe even most important), is to eat a good, nutritious, breakfast! I’m not talking grabbing a granola bar or fast-food on your way out the door. Feed your brain and yourself something healthy and filling to start your day off right!!

Evening Routine

  1. Pack for the next day: When I would have to wake-up early for practice and then head straight to class after, packing my bag the night before saved me time, hassle and the possibility of me forgetting something! Whatever it is you have the next day, pack everything up the night before to help you be less hassled and more productive!
  2. Prepare your food: Because eating healthy, nutritious meals can help power  you through your day and handle stress better, ensuring that you have these foods is easier when packed the night before. Make yourself some overnight oats, freezer breakfast sandwiches, or even some eggs to heat up the next morning. Also, if applicable, pack your lunch and snacks the night before to save yourself time the next morning!
  3. To-Do List: Often people get stressed by trying to write their big to-do list in the morning. Instead, try picking out your top 2-3 things that need to get done first and foremost, and writing them down at night to get it off your mind!
  4. Turn technology off: 1 hour before bed stop using technology such as your phone, computer, tv, tablet, etc. It may seem impossible to do, but I promise you, you’ll get a better and more restful night’s sleep if you do. Your email, friend, social media will still be there in the morning, but without good sleep your healthy and productivity may not be!
  5. Stretch/Roll Out: It always feels good to wind down at night by rolling out and stretching before bed. It helps loosen up my body and any tension-areas as well as calms me down to relax for a good night’s sleep!
  6. Read: Instead of technology, I find myself winding down with a good book in bed. Not only do I enjoy it and look forward to doing so after a busy day, but it also helps relax you more too!

So there you have it: morning and evening routines to help you be your best for the day! I would also suggest going to bed and waking up at the same time every day–weekday or weekend. I know sometimes you’ll stay out later with friends or want to sleep in, and that’s okay! But try to have a set time for most mornings and evenings! Creating routine in your life will help make you less-stressed as well as healthier, happier and more relaxed so that you can enjoy life–that’s what it’s meant for after all!

What I Learned from a Rest Day

Rest days–the ultimate love-hate relationship. I always knew rest days were important to give your muscles and your body a break from the physical strain put on them by training or playing a sport. Actually in high school, I would look forward to them because it meant having time off, it meant taking a break. During my eating disorder this was not the case at all. I hated breaks and rest days because it meant I wasn’t being as active which meant that my body wasn’t burning as many calories. I saw rest days as a time to lower my calories even more because I had to eat less since I was doing less. I would try every way I could to get exercise in or not take too many rest days even when I was tired. I still took them because there were days I felt so tired and unmotivated that I couldn’t work out (probably because I didn’t take properly timed rest days and I wasn’t appropriately fueling my body).  I would find ways to eat less food, even if I felt hungry, or feel ashamed for eating something I wanted that wasn’t the healthiest because it was my rest day. I had the wrong mindset that exercise was only to burn off what I ate, especially if it was a “treat”. Even during recovery I struggled with this, heck even last week I struggled with this. However, that all changed yesterday and I have my body to thank for that.

Two days ago we had our spring tournament for collegiate volleyball–this is just our one day in the spring that we are allowed to play other schools and so we just scrimmage different teams. It was a long day and tiring, but nothing I couldn’t seem to handle. Then, when I woke up yesterday it hit me. First off, it was 7 am when I woke up and I laid in bed trying to go back to sleep to no avail. But when I tried to get up to start my day I couldn’t. It wasn’t like I was physically paralyzed or hurt (although I was a little sore and in pain), but it was this notion that had washed over me where I could not muster up enough energy, effort, or motivation to get up. I literally thought to myself I could lay here all day and not even care about getting up to eat or anything. And this is big because I love to eat, but at the moment my mind and body didn’t even care about eating the rest of the day. My stomach wasn’t growling either so I didn’t even have that to get me up to feed me. It was one of the worst feelings–I laid in bed almost 2 hours like this.

When I did finally manage to get up, I knew that it would be a much-needed rest day…but a different kind. Sunday was going to truly be a do-nothing-but-the-basics (laundry and grocery shopping) kind of day where I would literally rest and lay around and not feel guilty. My body needed it–I was so exhausted and tired that I knew my body was trying to tell me something and luckily, I received the message. From it, I learned some important things that I think everyone should hear not only about rest days, but about their health as well.

So…I learned to:

1. Listen to My Body

Seriously, it knows best! Now, there is a difference between feeling unmotivated and skipping several workouts and truly realizing that your body is dead tired from everything you’ve put it through and it needs a break! I learned that when my body is truly needing it, I will give myself a full and complete rest day to help my body and my health!

2. Listen to Cravings

A second part of listening to my body was food that it was craving. For some reason, the minute I got up I craved Panda Express’s orange chicken and chow mein–something I haven’t had in forever because I deemed it “unhealthy”. And while yes there are much healthier choices at Panda and I always choose those, there is nothing wrong with enjoying foods you crave every now and then. So for dinner, I got myself exactly that!! This was a big step for me too considering I had gone to Cici’s the night before and was treating myself to my favorite food truck later  in the week. For me, I usually only allow myself a treat meal out 1-2 times a week because that is what works best for me. But to fully respect my body and fight in recovery, I knew that I needed to listen to my cravings and realize that it is okay to have a few enjoyable, unhealthier meals out–it wasn’t going to harm my progress and would actually probably help it in the end.

3. Enjoy the Moments

My mom had told me to relax in bed, eat breakfast and then go out for a walk because the weather was so nice. Wow, do moms really know best. The weather was absolutely beautiful–sunny, clear, blue skies–and reminded my of Fall which made me super happy. (Now, I didn’t take the walk for exercise, I took it because I knew the air and the sunshine would be good for my relaxation and health!) During the walk, I realized just how enjoyable little moments are, such as the beautiful weather, the sunshine, nature, a relaxing walk, my health. In life, we often look for the big things, but those only make up a small portion of our moments; instead it’s the little things that really make life enjoyable. That short 10-minute walk made me enjoy so many things such as good food, my health, and even my rest day! I also found joy and pleasure in a short walk, something I wouldn’t normally do, but it really helped slow me down and turn my day around!

4. Not Let Tracking Control Me

Lately, I had gotten so caught up in my FitBit and its data. I would get mad that I didn’t hit my step goal because I couldn’t wear it to practice and so it missed all those steps–and same goes for the calories side. Especially on rest days, I would get upset by the lower calorie burn number. I would constantly be checking my watch and thinking in my head how I could get more steps or get more calories burn to show especially–I was obsessed in an unhealthy way. I let my life and my thoughts be dictated by a fitness tracker! I’m not saying they cannot be helpful nor that it’s not good to hit your steps goal, but just like the scale doesn’t define you, neither should these fitness trackers! Although I feel naked without it (yes, I did still check my wrist multiple times), I made the decision to go without it on my rest day. And I kinda enjoyed it. I felt free from the stress of tracking and I knew that I was still just as healthy as when I had it on, maybe even more so now mentally.

5. Actually Rest

Lastly, I learned that it is okay to actually rest on your rest days (novel concept, I know). It’s okay to have complete day of nothingness. In general, you want to live an active lifestyle, but there will be days when you just lay around and binge watch Criminal Minds all day (#noshame) and THAT’s OKAY!!

Despite the awful feeling of exhaustion I felt, I am grateful for it because I learned so many valuable things from a single day. If I’m gonna grow, I have to let my body recover so that it can continue to provide a healthy life for me.  It was uncomfortable at first, but I believe that I have made strides in my recovery and am on my way to living a happier, healthier life because growth happens outside your comfort zone!

Weightlifting Part 5: Tips for Maintaining

Once you get started lifting, you may never want to stop! However, there are times when life gets busy and chaotic and you may start to reconsider your workout plan. I get it, keeping any kind of plan, working out or not, can be difficult, especially if progress is slow (let me just say: goals take time!!). So I have put together some tips on how you can maintain that #liftinglife (it’s a thing) and continue with your healthy lifestyle!!

Tip #1: Be Patient

Patience is truly a virtue, especially when it comes to wanting to change something with exercise. I think all of us can say we are guilty of wanting that quick-fix, or that one exercise program that will get us to where we want in 2 weeks…well unfortunately that most likely will not happen. Change takes time, especially with your body whether that be gaining muscle, losing weight, changing your physique, etc. But, the good news is that fitness (especially weightlifting) isn’t just about end results, it’s about the journey you take through your transformation and growing to be better everyday. So don’t panic or ditch lifting if you don’t see progress that you want in a few weeks; it may take months or even more than a year to get where you want to be. But trust me, once you get there, you won’t want to stop and you’ll never look back!

Tip #2: Be Consistent

Along with being patient, consistency is key. You cannot expect results when you only stumble into the gym 4 days a month and sporadically at that. Your muscles and body needs routine, needs constant and consistent work (depending on your goals of course). It can be hard to continue and be consistent when you don’t happen to see “results”, but not being consistent won’t get you near those goals, consistency will. One way to combat this “lack of progress” is to take pictures along the way so that you can truly see yourself and the progress you’ve made. This will help you stay consistent with your lifting and workouts which will lead to better and more positive results.

Tip #3: Challenge Yourself

When you use the same weight week after week after week, especially if it’s light, it’s going to be hard to see progress. Now, I am not saying that using light weights to start with are a bad thing, or that you should throw yourself into lifting super heavy right at the start when you’re not ready. It’s important to use a safe weight until you can go up, but it’s also important that you go up in the weight you’re lifting over the weeks, that means you are getting stronger and seeing progress. The amount and the time are going to depend on the person. But, one way to maintain lifting is to challenge yourself to one more rep, or 5 pounds more than last week, or maybe even not to take any pauses/breaks during a set. Whatever it may look like for you, constantly challenging yourself in the gym will A) get results which will make you want to continue and B) allow you to have fun with your lifts because you’re always in there pushing yourself to become better.

Tip#4: Switch it Up

Another way to help you maintain lifting and not get bored by it, is to switch things up every now and then. While consistency with your routine is key, sometimes your body can get used to certain weights and movements, and you seem to have hit a plateau. If this happens, or if you’re just getting bored with your routine, don’t be afraid to change things up! Try circuit training, high rep/low weight or low rep/high weight. Try a new machine, do new exercises, or find a strength and toning class, if your gym has one. My point is that to keep things fun and interesting with your lifting and your progress, it’s okay to switch things up and find something new!

Tip #5: Have Fun

Lastly, I know I mentioned this before, but the most important thing to remember when lifting is this: make sure you are having fun and enjoying yourself. Working out and fitness shouldn’t be a “punishment” or “doing it because I have to” mentality. It should be you doing something you enjoy because you love it, the way it makes you feel and the healthy lifestyle it is helping you create. So if you start at lifting one way and it isn’t working for you, try a different way or type or style. Find the routine and the workout that you have fun and love doing! Because at the end of the day, lifting may not be for you, but living a fun and healthy lifestyle doing workouts you love while feeling good about bettering yourselfIS!