BALANCING FOOD, FITNESS, AND FUN
I’ve gotten multiple requests to cover the topic of my food/fitness/lifestyle balance. I sometimes forget that followers often get the highlights of my days instead of the full picture, and my stories aren’t always reflective of my everyday life. So if you’re looking for the honest details of my fitness/food routine, here it is:
I’m not a nutritionist, dietician, or healthcare professional, but I speak from experience when I say my diet has had the largest impact on my weight loss journey. I get a lot of messages from followers about how I’ve lost weight, etc, etc, but I think the biggest contributor has been my approach to food. No, I’m not on a mainstream, restrictive diet. Yes, I indulge. I’m very in touch with my body, and I know what foods make me feel good vs. feel bad. I know what foods upset my stomach. I know what foods/drink combinations keep me regular (a medical concern/priority for me.)
Staples in my diet include:
vegetables (all kinds)
Oatly Oat Milk
Polar Sparkling Water (cranberry lime and lime!)
That being said, this has been my diet for awhile. Although it's not glamorous, when left to my own devices, I eat for survival/fuel. Even when I started dating James, I made it clear that my favorite foods are meat + veggie + rice combos (cue his AMAZING Peruvian Chicken). I’m also a chronic snacker, and I don’t eat big meals. I prefer small snacks to feel ‘comfortable’ without feeling full. Tools I use to track this info are below.
THE biggest contributor to my weight loss (and my sometimes visible abs) has been cutting out alcohol. I will indulge, but it’s rare that I have more than two drinks at any event (I’m feeling it after a few sips, hah.) I don’t drink at home, I’m only a social drinker. And after cutting down on “social” alcohol consumption, I saw a dramatic impact on my overall health…to be expected. It’s fun to go out with friends, but at the end of the day, alcohol is a toxin.
I still have a glass of wine or two when I go out to dinner (I’m couldn’t cut out Sauvignon Blanc entirely!), but it’s all about moderation. I still drink beer, cocktails, wine, but I’m over the social expectation to indulge when I’m not feeling it. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, and I’ll order soda water with lime at the bar without guilt. Not to mention, could write a whole other post on my alcohol - productivity relationship.
I am by NO MEANS the picture of health, and I’m a believer there’s always room for improvement. Stress often dampens my appetite, and on some days, I struggle getting enough calories/nutrients in my diet.
In terms of fitness, I take the Kettlebell class through ClassPass at MV Fitness on Wednesday mornings. I try to workout other days when my schedule allows, and I incorporate moderate activity at home to supplement gym sessions.
My Quick Fitness Hacks:
I do 10 push ups before every shower.
I will also do short 10 minute, full-body circuits at home when I need to get my body moving and break a sweat.
I move when I can, but the majority of my day-to-day activity is through walking. Let it be known, I walk a lot. When I get bored or overwhelmed at work, I take a walk. And I’m talking power walking, this isn’t a leisurely stroll. I usually hit my 10k steps without a problem.
Honestly, as a society always on the go - in cars, Lyfts, public transit - we forget that our bodies are meant for mobilization. And that movement contributes to our fitness. You don’t need to run a 5k every day to benefit your body. If you’re looking for easy ways to fit in movement, I suggest examining your routine!
When are you immobile? How can you adapt? Could you walk to the bus instead of drive? It’s not always as glamorous but switching up your lifestyle takes work.
Other factors I think are important to mention:
ROUTINE. I felt it was important to mention my daily routine; I usually have two cups of coffee in the AM. I only eat breakfasts mornings after I work out, and I eat lunch around 11:30-12PM. I tend to feel full very quickly, so I continue to snack until about 8PM. After 8-9PM, I only drink water (no late night snacks unless I'm on my period because cravings/emotions.)
WATER. I strive to drink a minimum of 64oz of water in a day/2 of these Nalgene's a day (not including seltzer water.) Dehydration makes me cranky, and it's better for everyone involved if I stay hydrated.
SLEEP. Get enough of it! This is has been a blessing for me and it comes with backing down on social drinking. I tend to get home earlier and sleep longer — it’s crazy how much difference 8 hours can make.
MANAGING STRESS. Easier said than done, but mindset can play into perception of body image and overall satisfaction.
WEARING HEELS. This might be a more of a niche suggestion but wearing heels is a work out. Investing in (and wearing) comfortable heels that are easy to walk in is another subtle way to challenge your body without really thinking about it. Great quad workout and your butt will feel fiiiiiiiine.
Class Pass. I'm definitely a high intensity workout kind of girl. I want to get the most bang for my buck, and I don't mind if someone is blasting music/yelling at me to do it. I also need the workout to feel personalized to my ability level - approachable, modifiable, yet challenging. Through Class Pass, I've found a few classes in Baltimore that fit the bill. If you've thought of trying it, I suggest giving it a chance as a segue into a new workout routine or a supplement to your current workout plan. Get $30 off any plan using this link! Not sure you want to commit quite yet? Try one class for free using this link!
Apple Health. I track my daily steps and activity through Health App on my phone. It’s not always the most accurate, but I normally have my phone on me when I’m walking around during the day. It helps to give a rough estimate of how much I’ve moved in a day. FREE daily stats.
MyFitnessPal. I use this App for tracking my diet/food intake. I mostly pay attention to my nutrition/macros more than my calories. I don’t have a smart watch to log workout stats, so I also track my workouts in the app as another FREE way to get an estimate of activity. You don't need to pay for the app to track your food!
Calm App. This app isn't directly related to fitness, but mindfulness and stress reduction has become a recent priority. If you couldn't tell, I keep busy. Caffeine, adrenaline, and anxiety can carry into my downtime; and if you can't make it to a yoga class, the Calm App is a great substitution.
This post was pretty highly requested by followers, and I hope it helped to give a better insight into my priorities when balancing food, fitness, and fun. I DON'T restrict myself in terms of food intake, but I DO prioritize eating foods that make me feel good. I cut out most alcohol and soda by replacing the carbonation and flavor with seltzer water/soda water. I walk regularly, move my body when I can.
It's important to evaluate your goals. I've never intended to be a fitness model, but I did want to tone up my body. Integrating fitness classes and at-home workouts into my routine - combined with my diet - has helped with this. I like my curves, and I want to maintain and enhance them. I'm not trying to be "thin". At the end of the day, I'm trying to be the best version of myself, happy and feeling healthy.
If you have any additional questions for me -- feel free to leave a comment! As always, follow along with the food, fitness, and fun in real time by following me on Instagram!
Until next time, stay happy and healthy!