In this transitional period of my life, it’s so important to have a strong foundation with clear values, goals and morals. This morning I had a big AHA moment — I realized I’m lacking clarity.
What are my goals? What are my passions? What do I stand for?
To be honest, I’ve been neglecting a lot of these lately — things that make me feel good, things that bring passion into my life. Honestly, I haven’t been too nice to my body or myself. Because I lacked clarity, I felt for a while like I was aimlessly wandering day-by-day with no purpose, no set goal, no vision of what I know deep down in my heart to be correct.
So, in the grander scheme of things, here’s what I stand for:
Nutrition — Whole foods: In a perfect world, my diet would consist of all fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Maybe a morning green juice with ingredients fresh from my garden. By “whole foods,” I mean I do my best to make sure the food I put in my mouth has one or two ingredients (i.e. apple, brown rice, turkey, avocado, etc.) I thrive on foods that are minimally processed and I notice an improvement in both my mental and physical abilities when I eat them.
Exercise — Strength training: Although I teach group exercise classes (boot camp, BodyWorks, yoga and sometimes cycle), I try to spend the rest of my time in the gym strength training. Strength training for me incorporates various circuits, because I believe in the importance of functional strength. Being able to lift 9,000 pounds is great, but to me it means nothing if you can’t run at least a few miles or have any capacity for cardiovascular activity. Also, in terms of fat loss and long-term results, I’ve found a mixture of high intensity interval training (HIIT — sprints or other exercises with hard working periods and periods of rest) and strength training works best for me. Less is more here — no need to spend hours in the gym to get results.
Lifestyle: In order to balance hormones and counterbalance my hypothyroidism, I need to remember the importance of SLEEP, rest and recovery. Allowing my body to rest from strenuous workouts is key to improving my time in the gym. It also allows this lifestyle to be one that I’m able to maintain throughout my life. I rarely drink alcohol anymore (maybe a few drinks here or there); I strive to drink 1-2 gallons of water daily; and I take vitamins daily to fill the gaps in my nutrition.
Religion: I believe in the power of long, restorative walks and meditation. Through prayer and communication with my God, I’m able to recognize that I’m fully and wholly loved, and perfectly made just as I am. I’ve realized my worth in relationships and to myself through Christ. I attend church on a weekly basis and just joined a Bible study with a group of women whom I already feel such a strong connection with. More than anything, my spirituality fills me up, makes me whole, and helps me realize that I am good enough.
Relationships: As I stated above, through Christ I’ve realized the importance of not settling for any old thing that comes along. I’m working on building myself and the foundation for my life now, so when I’m ready, I’ll be the best I can be for someone else. I genuinely believe that relationships (friendships, family, intimate) are the foundation of life. Without love, we will never truly be satisfied. Love is worth more than any materialistic thing in this world.
Work: I take pride in my talents and abilities. I’m very self-motivated and give 100% to everything I do. This is a blessing and a curse, because I tend to wear myself out by taking on too much. However, I wouldn’t trade my discipline and dedication to my work, studies or fitness for anything. I can’t wait for the day that I’m able to speak, eat, breathe, sleep and portray my passion and love for health and fitness to the world.
Side note: these are arranged without order to importance in my life.
I’d love to go into further detail about each of these topics in upcoming posts, simply because I could talk for hours about each. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own mind that I forget to share what I believe to be basic information that could be SO beneficial to those who are just starting out on their own health and fitness journey!
I’ll leave you with what I posted on my Facebook this morning:
We are all a work in progress. No matter how much someone seems like they have it all together, we all are struggling in one way or another. That’s the beauty of life, though. We’re all in this journey together and it’s important to help each other out — giving someone a word of encouragement, a shoulder to lean on, a soul to confide in… Even when someone doesn’t admit they need the help. Without the darkness we wouldn’t see the light; without the rain we wouldn’t appreciate sunshine. Keep pushing. This life is beautiful and fleeting, and so, so worth living to the fullest.