CAUTION: MAY ENCOUNTER A HEAVY DOSE OF RAMBLING. SORRY.
Excuses are like bellybuttons.. everyone has one (probably not the saying). At least that’s what I am told, so therefore I won’t even try to fabricate a reason for my absence! However, I am here now and that is all that matters!
I feel like I have so many things to talk about and I can already tell that I am having trouble forming words that make sense. TODAY however, I have decided to talk about one of my favorite topics: health & fitness. Now- I know what you may be thinking.. how can you incorporate the words favorite, health & fitness into the same sentence? If you asked me that question two years ago I would say that is nearly impossible, and anyone that does feel that way needs to be checked out by a doctor. But, I have done something that seems to be inevitable in this life, and that is grow up and realize what is important to me as I get older. Some of those things being my health, my confidence, and the ability to give myself both of those things.
The word journey sounds so cliche doesn’t it? However everything that we go through in life is a journey to take us somewhere else. We are all constantly going through a journey regardless if we realize it. The journey that I shall be talking about today is my fitness journey, which started about a year and a half ago, and I thank myself everyday for making that change in my life and best of all.. sticking to it.
One thing I will not do is paint you a pretty picture and tell you that any of this came easy to me. It wasn’t without a lack of blood sweat and tears- and still isn’t. Did I enjoy getting out of my angelic bed in Bloomsburg PA at 7am before my class to realize it is -4 degrees outside (literally) and I needed to put on my workout clothes, trek 1567 miles to the gym completely across campus? Hell no. Did I ever regret it? Hell no.
So let us rewind shall we? I’m not sure if any of you are familiar with Kayla Itsines or KAYLA_ ITSINES on Instagram. She casually has 3.9 million followers on Instagram and if you follow her you know of these insane transformation pictures she is always posting. Anyway, after going to the gym for a short while with one of my very best friends, we decided to purchase Kayla’s 12 week workout guide. One word.. LOL.
I am the type of person that is extremely hard on myself when it comes to working out and keeping a healthy lifestyle. I need to work on this trait because I wouldn’t necessarily consider it to be a positive one all the time. However, I also know that if I wasn’t this way I would have felt defeated a million and one times which essentially tears you down on the journey to success.
One of my biggest struggles when working out is needing direction. I am so quick to feel defeated and dumb if I don’t know exactly what I am doing and when. If I don’t walk into the gym with a set plan I feel off track. I think that is why I began using Kayla’s guides because it did exactly that, it guided me and helped me to gain knowledge about my body and what I was capable of, and not very capable of. For instance, I didn’t know weighted burpees were equivalent to death however I learned that rather quickly. I incorporated Kaylas guides with about an hour and a half of cardio a week.
The guides consisted of 8 different exercises that were focused on abs, legs, arms, etc. These exercises were to be broken up into 4 and 4 and completed as many times as you could in 7 minutes. (reps and instructions listed on the actual guide). I am not going to go into detail about the guides however if you are interested I recommend checking out Kayla’s Instagram or website!
Long story short.. I used Kaylas guides for about 8-9 weeks. Being at college however it was a constant battle trying to find the right foods to incorporate into my diet. I did not have healthy food at my fingertips and it was extremely difficult for me to find a way to remain healthy while being at school. There were times I literally lived off of chocolate rice cakes with peanut butter and bananas (not complaining it is so good). When you are surrounded by unhealthy food it is truly difficult to find a middle ground. I did the best I could with what I was working with and completely changed my diet. When I look back to what I used to eat and how I ate food without a care in the world and best of all not working out, it actually shocks me. Because I have been eating well for so long when I do splurge and eat something unhealthy my body doesn’t even know how to react and I usually end up not feeling well. Yes, I am a college student and a human and still LIVE FOR pizza and everything else you can imagine, however I have found that moderation is key (cliche af sorry). Also, I tend to beat myself up when I fall of track (working on it) that it is easier for me to eat nutritious, healthy and delicious food rather than pizza and fries because it takes my mind that much longer to get back in the game. So therefore, it is easier for me to stay on track and eat well rather than splurge just because I feel like it. This isn’t the same for everyone obviously. This is just the way my mind functions. This is why I would probably not be great at counting macros but if it works for you amen to that.
When I came home from school for the Summer I immediately went down the shore and fell off track which is why I abruptly stopped the guides. However, I would recommend them if you are looking for a guide.
I remember when I came home from school I went to the doctor for an annual check up. I was very eager to be weighed because I really didn’t know what to expect nor did I weigh myself regularly. He weighed me, checked his paperwork, sat back down and looked at me. He asked me if I had made changes in my daily routine and if I was living a healthy lifestyle. I said yes, because I was; and also because my weight for the most part has been consistent years prior. He told me I had lost 10 pounds. I remember not being able to put my smile down because right then and there I knew all of those times that I would have paid a million dollars to skip the gym but didn’t.. payed off.
Everyone’s “journey” differs so much. One of the most important things across the board is finding your own motivation. No one else can make you work out, you need to do it for yourself. You need to find that reason within yourself to get up everyday and go to the gym. You need to realize that this is could be an amazing and permanent change in your life if you let it be. You are allowed to incorporate a healthy lifestyle however you so choose. If that means cutting out pizza to one day a week, or drinking more water, or walking everyday so be it. The worst thing you can do to you is compare yourself to others around you or the people you see on Instagram.
When coming home for the summer I decided to join a gym. Since that day, I have made it a goal of mine to go to the gym 5 days a week. Do I have days where I skipped because I simply didn’t want to go? Yes. Do I force myself to go when I really don’t feel like it and then feel a million times better after I do? Yes. It is all about mindset. You have the ability to make as many changes as you please. The mind is a powerful tool and can do amazing things for you if you let it.
Now, I limit my cardio which is usually the bike or the stairmaster to about 40 minutes or less a week. I usually give myself more freedom on the weekends so by the time Monday rolls around I like to start off my week with cardio, just as my way of starting fresh. I recommend if you are looking for a guaranteed sweat and a challenging workout try the stairmaster. When first starting out I used to last maybe 7-10 minutes on a good day. Now, I can do 30 minutes. It is definitely one of the most challenging forms of cardio and one of my favorites.
The rest of the week I dedicate towards lifting, with one leg day and a few ab exercises incorporated within each workout. I have gained a love for lifting in addition to muscle which I didn’t even know existed. I have upped my weight week by week and it feels great to watch myself get stronger. I have watched thousands of videos, learned from others around me including my brother, and continue to incorporate challenging workouts that really make me feel the burn. There is no easy fix or easy workout when getting toned and in shape. You need to put the work in in order to see results, it’s just the way of life.
Sami’s steps to success:
- Drink more water. The benefits are unreal, and you will feel like a million bucks $$$
- Follow some inspirational workout fanatics on Instagram. The first thing I do in the morning is check Insta and I love seeing all of my favorite workout people posting first thing in the morning, it may not sound like much but it does wonders for your mentality (Nikki Blackketter is everything and more)
- Don’t beat yourself if you have a off day. You’re human for God sake you’re allowed.
- Everyone progresses in different ways. Everyone’s body is different. Be patient.
- Don’t stop because you do not see progress. It will come I promise. I tell myself this everyday when I check to see if my tiny tiny baby abs have turned into toddlers. (lol??)
- Make healthy and delic dishes without completely giving your body culture shock. You don’t have to snap your fingers and be a health fanatic. It doesn’t happen overnight.
- You need a bomb playlist. enough said.
This is just a rant on my personal experience. I don’t have nearly close to all the answers nor do I think I am a fitness expert by any means! I am learning so much everyday and look forward to continuing that. I hope someone gets a little motivation to make a change in their life big or small.
Didn’t think I would ever post progress pics but then I reminded myself that I woke up too damn early and worked too damn hard to not be proud of what progress I have made.
(these are old because I lost all of the pictures on my phone and computer:) )
Thanks for reading this aggressively long blog post:)