“Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels….errr, something like that?”
For the record, My Life Elevated is not becoming a fitness blog (hilarious). Still just sharing my life and what I’m struggling with or accomplishing on any given day. So with that, I believe it’s time for an update. It’s February 7. On January 7, I started my clean-eating revolution. That makes it sound so official. Really, it means I cut out: alcohol (mostly because it was triggering vertigo), sugar, gluten, meat, dairy and caffeine.
Honestly, I thought it would be torture. I thought I wouldn’t make it through the first week. I thought I’d definitely cave and have cake on my birthday at the end of January.
But here I am, a full month later, with honest-to-goodness success. I’m down 11 pounds. I’m no longer craving sugar. I’m no longer addicted to caffeine. I’m genuinely into working out again. And while I did have a couple bites of things on occasion (looking at you, lobster nachos and fried cheese curds), I actually did stick to the plan about 98.5% of the month.
I don’t know if this plant-based diet is permanent (let’s be honest, probably not entirely – I love a good steak), but it feels way too good right now to stop any time soon. Plus, there is some research showing a decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer for plant-based eaters, so, I very much like the sound of that. (Please don’t ruin this for me if it’s not true. It’s a good motivator.)
I’m back to a pattern of conscious eating, instead of mindless eating. Or eating out of boredom, or to stay awake, or because I just want something. Mindless overeating is a tough habit to break, so I’m pretty grateful to be back at this point.
But on top of the eating better, I’ve also renewed my love for working out! I’ve spent plenty of time (and way too much money) in and out of gyms over the years. From the regular old rec centers to the trendy Orange Theory types. From $25 a month to $150 a month (sick). There’s something for everyone, of course! I do love the benefit of having free weights at my fingertips, and the plethora of machines a gym offers. I love the ability to jump in the pool and swim for an hour if I want. I love the group mentality and support of a fitness community that meets regularly.
That said, they also have their downsides. First of all, you actually have to GET there. You have to physically leave your home and drive 1-10 miles to get to the gym. And you also tend to want to look somewhat presentable for this. Which means putting on all your gym gear, at least pulling your hair back into a reasonable-looking ponytail and making sure your makeup isn’t smeared all over your face. On top of that, there’s the insecurity while you’re there. Or maybe that’s just me. But every time I’m at a gym, I feel like everyone is judging everyone else. My brain goes, “Well, that girl is super fit and I look like a disgusting idiot.” Or “Don’t even bother trying that machine and making a fool of yourself.” Or “Well, at least I’m in better shape than that person.” Which then makes me feel like crap and think, “At least they’re here doing the work! Good for them! Why are you being like that?!” Just me?
Anyway, here’s where my rekindled love of at-home workouts comes in handy.
- I can literally roll out of bed with my hair amiss, my jammies on, sleep lines on my face, no socks, no shoes, walk upstairs and start. (After throwing on a good sports bra, because ouch.)
- NO ONE IS THERE TO JUDGE OR BE JUDGED. It’s just me, flailing about like an idiot and sweating like crazy, and not giving a care because no one can see me. Shirt flies up? Pants roll down? No one to see. I’m not worried about how I look to anyone else, and so I just keep going.
I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’m just being honest here. The most success I’ve ever had is when I’m doing my own thing. I know not everyone operates like this, but for those who do, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite at-home workouts that seriously kick my butt and keep me motivated to try more. And bonus – you can do all of these TOTALLY FREE. (Assuming you have access to the internet…which, if you’re reading this, you seem to.)
I know I’ve mentioned this a million times before, but D2Fit or Dance Fitness with Jessica, is my favorite way to work out. Imagine you and your best friends on a dance floor when your favorite song comes on. That’s what this feels like to me.
(Confession: I fully believe that my love of dance as a form of working out stems from doing countless hours of “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” tapes with my mom in our living room growing up. Enjoy this Richard Simmons gem of a throwback if you’re in the mood for some old school grooves and a few good laughs!)
HIIT Workouts (high intensity interval training)
These get your heart-rate up quick, and most are total-body workouts, no equipment needed.
Just search YouTube to find a million options! Lots of 30-minute workouts you can easily squeeze in at the beginning or end of your day.
Here are a couple favorites:
I am no yogi, but I do like the occasional slower paced workout, and yoga really helps with my stretching and flexibility. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, it’s just a good change of pace.
This girl keeps it basic for beginners likes me, and I also enjoy her dog Benji hanging out while we practice: Yoga with Adriene
So maybe there isn’t time for a full-body workout, or maybe you just don’t feel like it. You can always step outside your door and start running or walking. Take your dog. Meet a friend. Or throw on an empowering playlist and feel like the strong, badass chick you are…(Kelly Clarkson lyric reference!)
I made you a playlist in case this is what you need today. (My apologies to the approximately three men who regularly read my blog…this probably won’t do it for you.)
Whole Lotta Woman Playlist on Spotify!