Sometimes taking care of yourself, doing everything you’re “supposed” to do, feels like a full time job. It’s confusing, frustrating, time consuming, and down right overwhelming.
Looks something like this.
You wake up, start your day by drinking warm lemon water. You do this don’t you? Otherwise your digestion is getting no kickstart to the day and you might as well go back to bed. You journal. Practice gratitude and set some intentions for the day. You meditate, stretch, foam roll.
Time to exercise!
60 minutes of exercise. Actually 30 minutes is fine. Only have 20 minutes? No problem, push as hard as you possibly can in that time and be done.
Steady state cardio. No wait, don’t waste your time on steady state, it’s all about intervals. Sprints. HITT. But yes, you need cardio, just not too much. Run. Walk every day.
Yoga, of course.
Strength training. Lift heavy. Yes, I’m talking to you ladies. You will not bulk up.
After that workout you need to refuel with some breakfast.
Oatmeal, you soaked your oats right? Otherwise you are not getting the full nutritional benefit, plus they’ll be harder to digest. Right, skip the oats because you forgot to soak them last night, so it’s onto an acai smoothie bowl. Wait, wtf is that?
Massaged kale. Cayenne pepper avocado toast. Beautiful superfood layered mason jars. Food prepping for the year. Protein! My god, eat MORE PROTEIN. Are you counting calories? I hope not. If you are, talk to me and I’ll explain why you shouldn’t bother.
Doctors appointments to check thyroid, hormones, blood work. Chiropractic to straighten your shit out. Acupuncture to destress your body from trying to take care of itself. Massage and foam rolling. Your connective tissue is a system people and needs hydrated and that doesn’t mean drink more water! But of course, drink more water. Therapists, duh, because you are anxious, tired, and burnt out. IV therapy, salt floats, cupping, and on and on and on. Is it even 10am yet?
While I am obviously being sarcastic. Some of the things I mentioned are important in your daily life. And it absolutely shouldn’t feel like a full time job. Life is awesome and beautiful, and sometimes feels like it is going by way too fast. So let’s just pause for a moment and breathe. I mean reeeaallllyyyy slow the hell down and breathe.
Now, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. KNOW YOUR BODY. TRUST WHAT IT IS SAYING TO YOU. Tune into the energy it is giving off…or not giving off and figure out why.
Sleep. Stress. Mind. Nutrition. Movement.
As a trainer you’d probably expect me to tell you that fitness (or even nutrition) is the most important thing to focus on. But that’s not the case. I need you to get your sleep (#1) and stress (#2) in check. Seriously, for reals in check. When we don’t sleep well, we make bad food choices, feel awful, and have zero energy to work out. When you are stressed your cortisol raises, (so your body thinks you continually need fuel so it holds onto fat, specifically belly fat) and completely wiped out adrenal glands. This is not a good situation. Changing up that bedtime routine, holding off on that afternoon latte, plugging up the electronics, having massages, breathing, seeing a therapist. Do whatever you need to do to get good sleep and be less stressed. SO important. Start here.
#3 Nutrition. This is a huge and super confusing topic. There is so much information out there, a lot of it contradictory. Eat as soon as you wake up. Don’t eat until after workout. Limit your carbs. Practice intermittent fasting. Paleo. Gluten free. Vegan.
So how do you know what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat? Reminder here, YOU ARE NOW LISTENING TO YOUR BODY. Figure out what works for it and what doesn’t. Craving certain foods? Digestion off? No energy? Then something needs to change. My advice to you is to eat clean (meaning whole foods, with as few ingredients as possible). This might include gluten. Or maybe it doesn’t. But it most definitely includes carbs and FAT. Still confused? Find a nutritionist to help you. You are not in it alone. And eating should be pleasurable, not stressful.
#4 Movement and Exercise. Our bodies were created to move. Find movement you love! Each day listen in to what type of exercise your body is craving. And stop fighting against your body, forcing it to do something you aren’t feeling or hating.
Take a walk if that is what your body is craving. Walk as much as possible, every day. It lowers cortisol and belly fat. And yes, walking is considered exercise. The benefits are huge.
Wake up feeling like a bad ass, then go lift heavy and fast. Go for a run if it’s what your mind is craving. Forget trying to plan out your weeks worth of exercise. If you are dreading it, then for gods sakes do something different. And ladies, this will change each week depending on where you are in your cycle. For real. Tune in and pay attention. First half of your cycle is a great time to lift heavy (estrogen dominant!).
#5 Mind/Self Improvement. Journaling is an awesome tool. If it’s not your thing, then just take a few moments each day to quietly think about things you are thankful for. These are little things…like your morning coffee, snuggling your kid at bedtime, the sunshine! Read books. Listen to podcast. Keep learning and expanding and growing.
Ladies (and Men), learn to LOVE and appreciate your body. Your weight does NOT matter. Your clothing size is meaningless. And for flip sake, stop comparing yourself to others. You are you. And beautiful and strong. And that is enough.
That’s it. Slow down. Be quiet and listen. Trust what you hear. Your body will guide you.