I always considered myself to be an active individual in my youth. When I went to college, I kept a healthy mindset and while I didn’t gain the “freshman fifteen,” I never set a regular exercise program when I was there.
At that time and thereafter into my 20’s, exercise was more of a “chore” for me and something I really didn’t enjoy doing.
I worked in New York City, so I made it a point of trying to walk to work and felt that I had done exercise for the day. After I had my first child, a friend who did not have any children at the time, came over and it would be an understatement if I said she looked nothing short of amazing.
Here I was, baby in tow, coming down from 50 pounds I had gained from the pregnancy. I asked her what she did, she told me a video, and of course, I immediately went out and bought it.
I never was able to actually finish the simple 30-minute video because of simply being a new mom and was stressed on time and life balance.
After my second child was born at age 31, however, I started to “step up my exercise game.” I did a good job of taking the baby weight off, mostly by watching what I ate. I relied heavily on salads and vegetables and a lot of grilled chicken very boring.
Like many, I was led to believe that carbs were the enemy and they simply had no room in my life if I wanted to be thin.
People frequently ask what made me start doing what I do in the first place. Truth is, I wanted to see definition in my body and to see the muscle in my abdominals. I read and was obsessed with being a certain weight as the less pounds, had to mean I was skinnier and then you would absolutely see a flat, muscular stomach.
I did endless cardio classes and also took the occasional class which incorporated light weights – no more than 10 pounds.
Result was a body that was skinny and flabby all at the same time, and I was starving because I limited my food. That was the picture on the left. I was eating much less than my body actually needed of only “clean” foods and of course no carbs.
Little did I know I was not properly feeding my body with enough food and actually couldn’t lose a pound no matter how little or “clean” I ate because of it. Fast forward the right. I have not done cardio in over 2 years.
I lift heavy in the gym for about 45 minutes a day, 4 to 5 days a week. I now eat 2000-2500 calories a day and consume about 50% of my calories on carbs that are needed to fuel my body.
Of course, vegetables, fruits, and fiber are a part of my everyday but I also enjoy ice cream, pizza and whatever else my body is craving and I don’t deprive it. I am finally at peace with myself in knowing that if I take a day, or 2 or a week off from the gym, my body isn’t going to change.
Lifting weights and eating enough food to support a healthy metabolism was finally the solution to achieving the abs I always wanted. Do I care about a six pack anymore? Not at all.
But the process of getting out of a damaged metabolism, building strength and being stronger than I could ever imagine, as well as being able to enjoy food and not feel guilty is the biggest gift of all that I have given myself.
Now, the next phase, and certainly the most rewarding part is, that I am able to teach others how to have a healthy relationship with food.
I teach my clients through flexible dieting that there are no “good” and “bad” foods. Yes, you can still lose weight having a slice of pizza or an ice cream for dessert. I love flexible dieting because it takes away the need to binge.
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Flexible dieting allows you to know that you are getting enough fiber, vitamins and minerals. It enables you to enjoy a night out with friends, holidays with family and special occasions. Flexible dieting eventually becomes a lifestyle.
The more knowledge you can obtain of what you put in your mouth the better relationship you will have with food. The better your relationship with food, the more you are able to sustain that lifestyle, the more results will follow. Flexible dieting = long term success!
People always ask me how long in between did it take me to change my body. The truth is, I’m still changing it. There is no end goal. You simply just keep going. The process simply never ends.
I find over the years my body keeps improving. It is impossible for it not to improve if I feed it the necessary nutrients, not starve it, and continue to build muscle. Weights and feeding your muscle, creates incredible results.
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