FIT FOR LIFE Lifestyle

It is about eating healthy and training smart, every day. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it truly is. The key is making a decision, abiding by and sticking to it. It is simple yet challenging. There will be good days and bad days. It may be hard to do but it’s certainly not impossible. As long as you are willing to do the hard work consistently, it will get easier in time. Being active is the reward your body deserves for working hard each day for YOU. Think of exercise and eating clean as “gifts to yourself” and it won’t be a struggle to stick to it on a daily basis. Get FIT not just for aesthetic reasons, but because you love yourself so much that you want to take care of your body. You exercise and eat right because doing so makes your mind, body and spirit feel good.

Bob Harper (from the infamous “The Biggest Loser” TV show phenomenon) said: “Motivation has to come from within that part of your soul that truly wants change.” If you want to really make that change, you will do anything and everything to turn your life around and change for the better. NO EXCUSES. The key is to start NOW.

NUTRITION

“Your relationship with food needs to provide you with a sense of joy, growth and enrichment.” ~Kim McCosker, Rachael Bermingham and Deepak Chopra

Nutrition plays a vital role in your journey to get fit and stay fit. Food quality and its’ nutritional content are keys to weight loss. The moment I changed my food choices and eating habits, I saw the improvements in my physique. More importantly, consciously choosing healthy foods give me a sense of both pride and joy because I feel in control of correctly feeding my body.

Start by EATING CLEAN. Eating clean is about choosing the least processed, most nutrient-dense foods available to you. A clean diet focuses on choosing foods that are low in fat, high in fiber, and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Eating the least processed foods helps control blood sugar, stabilizes energy, and provides your body with sufficient amounts of fiber to help with digestion. This means eliminating “junk food” from your diet. Junk food are processed foods made with trans fats, saturated fats, and large amounts of sodium and sugar.

EXERCISE

“If you keep at it, exercise is habit-forming because the feelings of strength and well-being that result are hard to beat.” ~Joan Borysenko

If you want to stay FIT FOR LIFE, make strength training and cardio permanent in your weekly regimen. Nutrition plays a big part in getting fit and so does exercise. Our bodies are made to move — not to sit around all day and yet, that is what most people do. GET MOVING! No matter what your age or shape, you should exercise daily. Not only does exercise tone your body so you can wear your favorite jeans, it strengthens your muscles, keeps your bones strong, and improves your skin. Exercise has more benefits than you know — increased relaxation, better sleep and mood, strong immune function, and more.

People ask me how I permanently lost 12-14% of my body fat. They want to know whether one should focus on cardio or weight training when trying to lose weight. The usual question asked is: “Should I burn the fat first by doing lots of cardio, then start toning by lifting weights?” That’s exactly what I was thinking when I started out. But boy was I so wrong! It’s a good thing my husband, Mel (who has been body building since he was 13), advised me to do both cardio and strength training at the same time. First, let’s differentiate cardiovascular exercise from strength training. Cardio is any movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout the body. And Strength training, on the other hand, is working the muscles against external resistance to increase muscular strength, muscular endurance or muscular power. If you want to alter your physique, become healthy and strong, DO BOTH!

Strength training is the best way to burn fat. Yeah, you heard me! When you lift weights, you are helping your body build muscles. The more muscles you have, the more fat you burn! The muscles you build will burn fat at rest than any cardio workout could ever do. When you are done with a cardio session, your body stops burning fat. Period. But with strength training, your body will continuously burn fat for 24 hours after one session. Plus it strengthens your bones and strengthens your heart at the same time. The benefits of lifting weights are endless. But, do not discount the importance of cardio. Besides the fact that it burns off excess calories, it also improves the condition of your heart. Your heart is a muscle just like any other, and in order for it to become strong it must be worked. If you fail to work it, it will weaken over time and this can cause a variety of negative health effects. Some forms are slightly better when strictly speaking of fat loss but all cardio, regardless of form, will burn off calories. Since fat loss does depends on calories burned versus calories consumed, it is a step in the right direction.

It takes time to change how you think about exercise. In the beginning, working out was a chore for me. I worked out because I felt like I had to because I had a goal. But over the years, I’ve learned how to enjoy both lifting weights and doing cardio exercises. Training makes me feel good — I feel stronger, more confident and I feel like I can tackle anything in life head on.

Part of making exercise a part of your life might involve opening your mind to different possibilities. Exercise and eat healthy not just to look good but to feel good, as well. Exercise because you want to – not because you have to. It really is possible to make exercise an enjoyable part of your life—you just have to work at it!

Live your best life. You deserve it.

Author Chef Trina’s first-ever cover for The Statements Project by Michael Frias of Pea and The Bean Photography (October 2010)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: