One Size Fits All Fitness

Do you ever see clothes and the size is listed as “one size fits all”?

For a woman it’s almost the kiss of death meaning the garment may or may not potentially fit you like a sack..

If you’re a woman like I am, at 6’0 the probability is even greater.

Except now it’s a much shorter sack haha

Why then do people try to approach exercise/fitness and nutrition in that manner?

There is no one size approach. I know with so many new diets and exercise trends hitting the market its easy to get swept into thinking you have to follow one of them to “be successful”.

Let’s not forget social media with the constant barrage of same old fitness poses, looks and “ideals”. That alone can be overwhelming to alot of people.

With all of that in our face, where do we start?

First, it may be trial and error. You try different things till you find something that sticks with you.

Not what your neighbor or sister does. Not what you saw on social media that tells you you’re supposed to do, but the thing ( or things) that you want to go do. The things that make your heart race and make you feel alive.

I can’t tell you the times I’ve had people tell me they admire what I do but “they don’t run”

Ok well then, don’t run.

Easy.

The things that make me feel alive and I enjoy are mine. They may be yours too but they don’t or won’t necessarily be something you choose.

Being out on the road whether it’s running or cycling, working hard and putting in the miles, is my jam.

I love being able to challenge my body, push beyond comfort zones, and dig deeper into myself. It’s crazy satisfying.

And yes most people I know think I’m crazy for what I do.

Find the thing you love, and pursue it to the point people jokingly tell you that you’re crazy.

Bodies are different

Even though we are all designed the same, how we look, how our bodies will develop with exercise and good nutrition, will all be different.

We all have different genetics that determine our bodies development. Your best body won’t look like someone else’s best body and that’s ok! Embrace who you are and celebrate your own unique qualities. Be compassionate and loving to yourself. You don’t need to look like the girl or guy next to you at the gym and comparison is the thief of joy so don’t do that.

Rest

Listen if there’s someone who has struggled at times taking a rest day ( from workouts) it’s yours truly. This is most true when I’m training for something. I intellectually know a rest day or two is neccessary and beneficial, but I hated taking them.

Now I understand the value more.

Give yourself permission to rest.

Looking healthy

Here’s a big misconception. Looking healthy and feeling it aren’t always the same thing. There’s such a focus on “looks” today that we over look healthy as a feeling, an overall well being. Learning to eat well, with healthy foods, allowing for some treats, and exercising in a healthy way is nourishing to our mind, spirit and body. Yes we want to “look” healthy, but feeling it is even more important.

The energy you have for your days, the ease with how you do activites, the appearance of your skin, hair, eyes, how you feel overall and then yes, how you look on the outside all add up to total health.

You don’t always have to go all out

I’m saying this to myself too. I love workouts that are challenging. But doing ones that are shorter or a notch less than what I usually do is ok too.

I feel like that doing yoga. It’s such a different kinda of strength workout but it’s not like how flying down the road feels. It brings me down and reminds me there are times it’s ok to not be going all out.

Same for you too. Find times to do activities that aren’t your full speed ahead usual ones.

Lifestyle changes take time

They really do, but they are worth the time and effort invested. Don’t jump on the snake oil trains of “lose weight get fit in 90 days” nonsense.

It takes time, slow and steady, but the results are satisfying and worth it.

Focus on what your body can do

Again, being constantly bombarded with images of what we “should” look like or what size our ( insert body part here) should be or shouldn’t be you may be left feeling like you’re lacking or should be “better”

Recently I’ve read articles on stretch marks, cellulite, not having skinny thighs, getting a thigh gap, and let’s not forget how…. over the top tired I am….. of seeing huge butts in my fitness newsfeed.

Bigger butts are on trend now. Lucky me Haha

Seriously though….none and I mean none of that stuff matters when you’re running, cycling, doing yoga, lifting weights, rowing whatever it is.

The last thing on my mind when I’m grinding out miles are any supposed “flaws” I have..

I am aware though of how my body moves. How it responds to what I ask if it. The way it feels to pick up a bar loaded with weight. How my legs work to pedal strongly up huge hills or run up them or when I can simply use my body weight in planks or side planks or difficult yoga positions

Those are the things that matter.

Stop obsessing over size

When I first started on my health journey 8 years ago it became a game to get smaller.

Where it is important to be aware of weight gain, you shouldn’t be hung up on sizes.

The more I’ve grown knowing myself the more I realize it’s not about being small. I’ve built a strong, powerful body and I celebrate that.

Focus on building a healthy, strong body, not the smallest size or some arbitrary number on the scale.

So as you move along on your health and fitness journey remember you are unique. Your needs are unique. Your body will respond to what you do in different ways from someone else. There is no one size approach. Find what works best for you and go after it.

Tell me have you ever tried fitness or nutrition approaches that were not good for you or weren’t a good “fit”? What has worked best for you?

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Saturday Snippets

If there is one thing that often seems to be a stumbling block to people who want to lose weight it’s this….

They think there has to be an “all or nothing” mentality to get it done.

Either they have to exist off of kale and water ( both of which I have nothing against) and live a totally miserable existence constantly checking the scale to see if a pound or two has vanished.

They go back to counting down the days till they can get back to “normal” again because they don’t think there is room in a nutrition plan for having a hamburger or Chocolate cake on occasion.

I feel bad when I see people choosing a complete deprivation plan. Mainly because I know they are setting themselves up for failure.

It’s the same when they choose a specific diet that eliminates food groups or severely restricts foods that make life enjoyable.

We just aren’t wired for complete and total extremes. None of us are.

Who wants to be at a birthday party watching everyone else eat cake or not enjoy a meal out that you splurge a little?

Freedom is being able to do those things and knowing the end of the world won’t happen because you did.

In our daily nutrition we should strive to eat well with a good balance of all food groups. Little daily healthy choices add up for long term success.

Each meal should contain good portions of vegetables and fruits and a good amount of protein ( about 30%)

A healthy lifestyle means getting the appropriate nutrients we need but allowing ourselves a bit of freedom to have that treat.

It means that we can trust ourselves enough with those foods to eat and enjoy it and move on with life. When we blend our favorite things into a healthy eating plan we are less likely to binge because we’ve restricted ourselves

Building an awareness of food in our life will help us learn balance but also will lead to a slow steady weight loss that will be permanent

And …you’ll have your cake and eat it too ๐Ÿ˜‰

Smart Nutrition

Good nutrition. Smart nutrition. It’s a topic that comes up a lot and it’s a topic I’ve fielded not only for myself, but talking with others who desire to live a healthier lifestyle in regards to foods.

 

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Colorful foods are always healthy choices

 

Add to that, for most of us, we have busy lives and schedules and food sometimes is well, an afterthought.

There could be a tendency to grab just whatever is convenient or at hand because we’re tired or worse yet, our hunger is on full blown overdrive.

I am notorious some days for being hungry, yet feeling to lazy to make myself something. This is especially dangerous when it’s been a day I’ve trained hard and my body is wanting some good quality nutrition for all it’s work that morning.

Someone, please admit, there are days you feel like that too. Hungry yet the idea of making food or even putting something together seems like to much trouble so you just skate by.

Not ideal, I know.ย  There are some days I admittedly feel that way.

I’m smart enough to know my body needs proper fuel not just post workout, but also for a busy day of activities.

Yours does too.

Smart nutrition where does it start?

I’ve had friends jokingly ask if I’d follow them around and slap wrong foods out of their hands orย  tell them they’ve had enough at the dinner table.

It always makes me laugh. Maybe, we all want someone like that. This tough love accountability person who snatches a donut from us or reminds us we don’t really need that big Mexican platter for lunch.ย  This person would simply follow us around like some muscular side kick directing our food choices.

I hate to break the news but smart nutrition, well, that starts with you.

It has to start with you because really, ultimately you are the only one making the choices.

Maybe you want to blame the co-worker for stocking piling donuts in the break room or use the reason you’re toย tired to not make healthy foods so you stop at the fast food drive thru.

For example….

I’ve been helping my son at his shop this week. I ran out to do some errands for himย and drove through a local fast food place for lunch to take back with me.

No. Not burgers and fries.

Although, I will admit, fries are at the top of my most favorite non- necessary food items.

However, they happen to make some amazing salads and that’s what I was after.ย  I love salads, not as a “diet” food but as a “healthy, nutritious good for my body” food.

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Now tell me how tasty this looks…..protein, fruit, and leafy greens

 

Eating it leaves me feeling satisifed, yet also energetic and not sluggish like I’d feel from a meal heavy in more simple carbs.ย  I’ve eaten like this long enough that it’s a no brainer for me to go for healthier choices.

Although… why… why can’t salads smell as good on the wind as the smell of greasy foods??? hahaha

We encounter choices each day in how we eat. There can be an endless list to reasons why we don’t make smarter, healthier choices in our nutrition each day.

But when it comes down to what we put in our mouths, no one is standing there shoveling it in but us.

We are responsible for our own nutrition, good or bad.

Well where do I start?

No one understands better than I do that you just don’t magically develop good nutritional habits over night.

You just don’t.

You don’t undo or change a life time or years of eating certain ways without some determination and discipline to see it through. If you’re reading this I may assume you are wanting to eat nutritionally smarter.

Getting started requires a bit of a mental shift in your thinking. The foods or snacks you reach for. Your beverage choices. How much you eat. When you eat. It all takes some time and planning.

Oh yeah… planning helps. Some tips and tricks…

we live busy lives.ย  Planning somewhat is crucial to success in developing smart nutrition habits.

Sitting down and thinking about meals and snacks and ingredients needed when you aren’t hungry is the best place to start. Once you’ve developed a plan and utilized it for awhile you won’t have to think so much about what you’re doing.

Consider your lifestyle. Do you work? Do you need healthy easy meals that won’t take much time to prepare or could be prepped in advance? Crock pots and one pan dinners are at the top of my healthy recipe ideas. If you need creative ideas, Pinterest is loaded with them.

You would need to consider your work meals. Maybe you don’t take a lunch but really, it’s the best way to ensure you are eating foods that you’ve chosen and aren’t going to be subject to grabbing whatever is easy in the work cafeteria.

Food prep. Ok I’m not really into that. I know what I like and what works for me so I don’t make containers of food to keep in ‘fridge.ย  I’m also at home so it’s easy enough for me to make my meals based on what I want.

However, making and prepping things like fruits and veggies in advance will make it easier to grab it for lunch or to make up a easy salad if you don’t have to chop a lot of stuff, I sometimes will buy already cut and prepped veggies because I appreciate the convenience of it ( like broccoli )

Hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, or sliced lean meats will make lunch prep quick and easy.

Try to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. ( fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc) the more colorful, the better.

Cheetos don’t count by the way ๐Ÿ˜‰

Learning to swap out high calorie or less nutritious foods is another way to being smart in making a healthy change. For example, swapping chips for crunchy veggies with ranch dip made with Greek yogurt is a way to not only cut calories, you get a little protein in with the yogurt. Greek yogurt is very high in protein and all I eat now days. I buy the non-fat plain and add my own fruit, nuts etc. or use it as a base for dips and cooking that requires sour cream.

Don’t forget your drinks. Sugary drinks contribute to your daily calories and are not a part of a smart nutrition plan.

In conclusion….

becoming smarter in nutritional choices takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you make choices you think you’ve “failed” in.

Really, an awareness shows you that you are trying and are aware of choices so that’s a good thing!

Take each day at a time, try to make wise choices in that day, celebrate your victories and learn from your mistakes.

Each day makes you smarter in your nutrition habits and leads to a healthier body and lifestyle.

Tell me… what tips or ideas work for you in regards to smart nutrition ?