I’m a big believer in balance.
Balance is necessary for harmony and happiness in all areas of our lives. In our personal lives, we need to balance work life with quality family time. In exercise, it’s important to balance maximal intensity exercise with mobility, relaxation and quality sleep. In our daily diet, balancing nutrient dense whole foods with the occasional splurge is helpful for long-term success and maintaining sanity. Keeping a mindset that there are aren’t foods that are off limits, but better choices that can be made, helps to keep you in control of how you fuel your body.
Believe, me, I know this first-hand. I used to battle with food guilt, being crazy obsessed with restrictive eating. It’s not a fun road and really creates unnecessary anxiety around food. I struggled with the same issues with exercise, believing that the only way to be fit was to over-exert myself and never skip a workout. I would be plagued with guilt if I didn’t exercise.
Now, I’ve learned to listen to my body and follow periodized workout plans that are doable for me. I always strive to be physically challenged and work towards designated goals. Hard work and dedication is important for improving your skills in your chosen sport and achieving a healthy body. I strive to train smarter, not harder, to maintain balance in other areas of my life. My relationship with food has improved dramatically and I’ve become really comfortable with intuitive eating and only logging my macros when I need to fine tune for particular goals. I’m totally cool with eating a cupcake or pizza every now and then, you gotta live a little! I’m all for the 80/20 rule (80% nutrient-dense whole foods and 20% freedom to enjoy foods you love), even though I actually eat a 90/10 diet because I honestly love healthy, whole foods and the way my body feels when I eat them.
I started WholeFit360 to focus on wellness from a whole-health perspective, with an emphasis on dietary balance centered around nutrient-dense food, purposeful exercise (according to an individual’s goals) and mindful eating practices. I’m also a big fan of flexible dieting. I think that ALL food groups are healthy and delicious! I’m all for a well-rounded diet. Unless there are true food allergies or sensitivities, you shouldn’t have to exclude things that you really enjoy. No trendy diets here, folks.
Exercise is important for many reasons, but nutrition is also a vital component in achieving your best health. If you focus on both quality nutrition and being physically active, they work synergistically to yield amazing results.
Fitness motivation comes from doing an activity that you really enjoy. Even something as simple as walking every day is a great step in improving your health. There is not a “one size fits all” diet and I believe the same thing applies to exercise. You need to find what plan fits your individual physiology and embrace activities that you truly enjoy. This is the motivating force that will keep you on track on a daily basis. Daily exercise is essential to living a life of optimum mental and physical wellness. Whatever form of fitness that you embrace, make it fun and challenging so that you’ll want to stick with it! Exercise is your best therapy. It’s a stress reliever, increases your energy levels and makes you feel amazing. Motivation comes from loving your sport and surrounding yourself with encouraging people.
If you enjoy running, find a buddy or group of people (such as a running club) that will run with you. This makes you accountable and makes it more fun. I’ve been active in many different exercise modalities over the years. I was an avid CrossFitter before transitioning to primarily Olympic Weightlifting and competing as a masters athlete. I still love doing a few CrossFit WODs and I’m actually one of those crazy people that actually loves cardio and still do some occasional running (mostly sprints, though…..can’t mess up my gains ;). For most of my cardio, I like to lift weights. I just lift them faster.
I received my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification in October 2012, followed by a CrossFit Endurance certification in April 2013. In 2014, I pursued a nutrition certification through Precision Nutrition to learn how to properly fuel the body for performance. Nutrition is such a vital component to overall health and good body composition. In 2016, I received a certification through USA Weightlifting as a Level 1 Sports Performance Coach, followed by a personal trainer certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I’m always reading, learning and growing, as both a coach and an athlete.
After my world was rocked with a breast cancer diagnosis in 2016, I decided to shift my coaching practice to working with breast cancer survivors and exclusively women. I could completely relate to the struggles survivors face when regaining their strength and mobility. While recovering from my cancer surgeries, I studied for two additional certifications through AAHF to be qualified to work with this special population. I love coaching and helping people. It fills my heart to help others achieve their goals. Through a difficult journey, I found a new purpose.
Find and embrace your fitness passion and make it a non-negotiable part of your day. You should and CAN always make time for yourself, to nourish your body and spirit through physical activity. Be the best you that you can be! You only have one body, so be kind to it, fuel it right and move it! A great physique is only an aesthetic bi-product of being physically fit and properly fueled. Feeling good and being healthy should be the primary goal. Live fit and live well!