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May 21, 2024
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What I did wrong, and what I’d do again [in my health journey]

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Hi friends! How’s the morning going? I hope you’re having a great one so far! Today, I’m cleaning up all of the patio furniture and getting it ready for swim season. Bring.it.on! I’m excited to head out for a yoga class in between client calls, too. For today’s post, I wanted to share more about…
The post What I did wrong, and what I’d do again [in my health journey] appeared first on The Fitnessista.

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Hi friends! How’s the morning going? I hope you’re having a great one so far! Today, I’m cleaning up all of the patio furniture and getting it ready for swim season. Bring.it.on! I’m excited to head out for a yoga class in between client calls, too.

For today’s post, I wanted to share more about my initial health journey. Newer reader friends (hi! hello!) may not know that I lost 40 lbs in college. This was long before I became a group fitness instructor, or personal trainer, or Integrative Health Practitioner… and I had to learn everything on my own, the hard way. This was also in the old ages, when blogs weren’t a thing. Everything I learned (good and bad) was through fitness magazines and stacks of health books I’d purchase from Barnes and Noble.

When I reflect on my initial weight loss journey, I remember the snafus (like getting so sick after eating a pack of cooked chicken and a can of cold black beans lol) but I also feel proud of myself. I stuck with it, I wasn’t afraid to pivot when I realized things weren’t working, and I did a lot of things right.

What I did wrong, and what I’d do again [in my health journey]

Here are some of the things I did well, and are foundational habits I recommend to all of my clients:

– More protein and whole foods. I started to emphasize protein in my diet, and I paid attention to the foods that were processed. I used to eat almost entirely processed foods (with the exception of dinner), and it felt so much better to eat food from the earth. I was sitll a poor college student, so I had a tight, tight budget, but I went for inexpensive options, like apples, yogurt, frozen veggies, bananas, jerky, and wraps that I could make at home.

– Adding walking into my routine. Walking made me feel better almost instantly, and I also got the benefits from the sunshine, and a mood boost.

– Started strength training. I had NO clue what I was doing, but my friend and I hired a personal trainer from LA Fitness. He gave questionable nutrition advice, but he taught me the basics of strength training.

– Paid attention to a balanced plate and portion control. I learned that my plate couldn’t be entirely carbs and actually be satisfying, so I started to incorpoarte more

I think it’s easy to remember that the classics are classics for a reason— they work! Simple changes that you can maintain for a long time are going to make the biggest difference.

Mistakes:

Here are some things that were difficult for me, and it took me many years to unravel the damage from some of these.

– 3-5 hours of sleep per night. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to go to school all day, teach at the dance studio until 8pm, drive to the school library and study until 2 or 3am, and then drive back home, nap, and repeat. I did this for pretty much all of college. The weekends were for work (I alternated between two or three jobs), studying, and parties… no sleep for this girl.  it’s no wonder I was exhausted, hormonal, and craved sugar and caffeine all the time.

– Not addressing stress. I was under a lot of stress, and I didn’t realize the impacts that stress can have on immune system function, hormones, hunger levels, skin, sleep, and wellbeing. Stress management is huge, and can often play a role in preventing body composition changes.

– Afraid of fats (even the healthy ones). “Health magazines” taught me that eating fats made you gain weight, so I avoided them for a long time. Nowawadays, it’s NBD to eat an entire avocado.

– Took hormonal birth control. I know now that it was a horrible fit for me and masked many of the hormonal symptoms I was experiencing. When I stopped taking it, I felt like the clouds were lifted from my life. (<– read this old blog post so you can see how short they used to be and the horrible photos. You’ve gotta start somewhere, though!)

– Didn’t focus on fiber or digestion. I’d eat maybe one vegetable a day.

– Hopped around without a solid plan. This can be one of the most difficult things for friends who want to change their lives. There’s SO much conflicting info, and what works for one person may not work for someone else.

– Lots of fake sugar substitutes. I ate so much Splenda, it makes me cringe to think about it.

My body composition has changed since then, but I also feel much better! Before I made changes for my health, I had no confidence, deep acne on my cheeks, slept poorly, and had digestive issues. I don’t have any of those things now.

It’s been a learning journey – you can read about everything I had to do and change just last year!- but it’s always interesting to look back, assess, and plan for the future.

So tell me, friends: how squiggly has your health journey been? What are you working on right now? If you’re curious about working together as we head into summer, let me know (gina@fitnessista.com) and we can book a complimentary discovery call.

xoxo

Gina

The post What I did wrong, and what I’d do again [in my health journey] appeared first on The Fitnessista.

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