Let me start this post with a small disclaimer: I think that any Instagram account that inspires people to workout, be active, and stay healthy is a GOOD thing!
Now let me say, don't always buy into the perfect display of health, fitness, and the ideal body that you see on #fitspiration accounts. Over the last year I have seen several Instagram account owners take the perfect video of the start of their workout then struggle to complete it or sit it out entirely. I've seen people post the salad they have and forget to mention the fried foods or giant dessert that follows. And I know that some of that "perfect" look Instagram stars have is really because of their genetics and not some magic workout they are doing.
When I was in high school I remember being so frustrated when I would be up against girls in gym class who looked the way I wanted to (slim, lean, flat stomached) but I could run circles around them. It always seemed so unfair! Now, while I sometimes still wish I could just will away that last bit of squish on my stomach, I know that the restriction in my life and my diet needed to get my particular body there isn't worth it and I am much happier to be fit and strong than just look "perfect". The TRUTH is your health is so much more important than your aesthetic look and will help you lead a long and healthy life. Genetics doesn't condemn you to be overweight or unfit, but it does dictate how your body stores fat and where it builds muscle fastest. So focus on your FITNESS and love that beautiful body of yours. Don't compare yourself to the perfected snippits of someone else's life, even if they are promoting health and fitness.
Love yourself, take care of yourself, let social media inspire and motivate you (if it helps), and remember... Those Instagram models have NOTHING on you!
Not sure how to get started on your fitness journey? Or not sure if what you're doing is going to get you to your goals? Let me help!
I have heard people say that the carpe diem attitude towards life is counter to living a healthy lifestyle. In some ways, I understand the argument. If it was my last day on Earth would I forgo the ice cream cone I'm craving? Would I spend an hour at the gym or working out at home? (Well maybe, I really do love workouts.) No, you would enjoy every moment and indulge in all of life's pleasures.
BUT it isn't, as far as we know, your last day on Earth and because of that you should be doing everything you can to enjoy a QUALITY life. That means as many illness-free, high energy, feeling good days as you can manage. And that comes from a healthy lifestyle. So the next time you think "life is too short, I can eat that junk and not workout if I want to" take a moment of perspective and ask yourself these questions.
What if you live to be 100?
As many of you have heard me say before, I fully intend to live until at least the age of 100. Why not? We've got great medicine, I live a healthy lifestyle, and there are far too many places in this world for me to see and experiences for me to have in any shorter a period of time. Here's my caveat: I want to be 100 and still physically mobile with a sharp mind. What's the point of living such a long life if the last 15 or 20 years are rife with illness, pain, immobility, and a loss of memory or cognitive abilities? I workout now so I can live longer.
Is it about balance or a lack of focus?
I will be the first to admit I have a full on sugar addiction. It is something I constantly battle and every few weeks totally lose to. Every time I find a way to step away from the ice cream, donuts, etc. and get back to eating healthy. Here's the thing... when I find myself giving into cravings and grabbing something sweet on the way home from work, I don't pretend like it's under the guise of "balance". Here's how I define balance... taking the opportunity to indulge to appropriately enjoy a moment, an occasion with others, or to keep from a deprivation mentality. So enjoy the birthday cake, the glass of wine on girls' night, or the doughnut that one morning because it's been weeks since you've had a treat and it's starting to feel like a job. Just try to ask yourself if you're just off track when you make a decision to indulge. I'm with you in the struggle, but keeping perspective helps me break the habit.
Do you want to feel good today or tomorrow?
You might hate to workout and you might love fried food, but the fact is, maintaining a healthy lifestyle today will make you feel so much better tomorrow! Sitting on the couch eating junk food might make part of your brain happy in the moment, but you're going to feel even worse tomorrow. It's a vicious loop of bad behaviors that make us feel worse so we act worse to try and get more of a momentary high. It is impossible for me to share how good it feels for your body to be running at its peak, but once you experience it, you won't want to stay away from that feeling for long. Knowing how good I can feel is my best motivator for changing my behavior when I start to get off track. Give it a try, it's worth it.
So remember, focus on having a QUALITY life, not just one lived in the moment.
P.S. If you're struggling to learn what fit and healthy means to you, I'd love for you to join my free Facebook community where I post tips about how to find balance, love your body, and stay healthy and strong.
For those of you who know me well, my making the professional shift into personal training was a no-brainer and probably felt like a long time coming. The truth is, about 5 years ago I almost went for it, but chose to stay committed to the path I had put myself on for graduate school. What you might not know is WHY fitness lights me up so much and has been such a consistent part of my life. Here's the story...
When I was in 6th grade I was the last kid in class to run the mile and almost failed the physical fitness test because of it (it was a 16 minute mile, in case you were wondering). I was so embarrassed and mad at myself because I was never last or worst at anything but I had almost failed. So, I took it upon myself to stop my couch potato ways and go outside and play on the playground in our backyard and to cut sugar out of my diet for a while. I lost weight and had more energy and was delighted to hear my doctor happy with the changes my body had made.
After that I joined the track team in 7th grade and learned to love the progress one can make through consistency and persistence. I was the SLOWEST kid out there racing, but I never gave up and I was no longer bothered by being the last one to finish the race. At least I was in the race!
Once puberty hit I found I actually had a natural athleticism and became much faster and able to run further distances and became a lot stronger through stunting in cheerleading. I also loved being able to hang with the guys in the weight room and not be looked at as weak. I also learned that as soon as my activity level dropped, the pounds packed on (thank you sweet tooth) and that if I didn't want to feel heavy and uncomfortable in my own skin I would have to make exercise a regular thing.
The biggest change for me since high school was completing the program Insanity. It changed my body composition and fitness level in a way I had never expected (at the time I was in half marathon running shape and was just trying to get faster). When I saw how much I could do with my body and how well it could move and control itself when challenged, I fell in love with it in a way I had never felt before. As someone who has always struggled with body image and wanting to be thinner it was like a light turned on and I suddenly could appreciate my body for what it could DO and not just how it looked. That has led me to love how I look as well.
I'm not perfect and I still get down on myself from time to time, but I have found fitness makes me feel better about all aspects of my life and my being and I simply cannot keep it to myself! So here I am, looking to help as many people with all of the knowledge I have accumulated throughout the years of trying different things and getting my certification as I can. I hope you'll join me in learning more about yourself and what healthy looks and feels like for you. It is a gift to be able to love yourself, especially through your own efforts.
Health and Happiness,
I'm Amanda K; lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and happiness.