How I Stay in Shape
posted on July 31st, 2013
Many of you have asked me what I do on daily basis to keep in shape, and how I make it a priority. I've gotten even more such requests, specifically about my abs, since a picture of me & Avril Lavigne from her new video went a bit viral. ;)
So here's my philosophy: Yes, I care about how I look. No, I don't think that makes me superficial. And yes, it takes work.
Staying in shape involves a lot of discipline which admittedly can be hard when we're busy, but it is of the utmost importance both because of our health, and because our self-esteem will effect EVERY part of our lives. I'm certainly not saying we have to have perfect bodies to feel okay about ourselves, but an unhealthy and unattractive body is dangerous for men and women alike. It's not superficial to want to stay in shape; it's very connected to our self-respect and our energy level. If I go for too long without exercising, or if I eat too many unhealthy foods, I start feeling lethargic and slow. It's depressing on the inside AND the outside!
I've never been a vegetarian, but here's what I do: (and I'll add the caveat that I'm not a doctor, a nutritionalist, or a specialist of any kind; this is what works for me)
-For exercise, I love yoga (I even made a DVD!) and aerobic activity like dancing, the treadmill, etc, and then for weight-bearing exercise (important for avoiding osteoporosis later in life), I do push-ups and some light weights. I try to vary my routine also - that way it doesn't get boring, and it's actually better for your body to keep changing it up. And here's how I manage to do yoga with my toddler!
For my diet, there are lots of things I pay attention to. It's rare that I go on a "diet" per se, but in everyday life I have certain guidelines that keep me from having to "diet":
-LOTS of water, NO soft drinks, and especially NO DIET SOFT DRINKS. They are the worst. They make you crave unhealthy food and I happen to believe that they mess up your metabolism.
-NOTHING artificial, no artificial sweeteners or colors. This is a HUGE rule of mine. Again, I believe this is why I can go for a week or two without exercising and not see any bad results. I stay away from what nature didn't create. It just couldn't be good for our bodies, no matter what the advertising companies tell us :)
-Plenty of rest, 8 hours a night. This one is very challenging when I'm busy - and of course my baby is my alarm clock - but when we rest is when we metabolize. If you don't rest, you don't metabolize correctly. And then it's difficult to lose weight or stay in shape.
-I don't totally stay away from "comfort" foods (carbs)- I eat bread, etc, but I eat mostly whole grain breads, and no white flour.
-I stay away from salty, sugary, and greasy foods, and over-processed foods. I try not to use "energy bars" - most of those are essentially candy bars with some protein powder sprinkled inside. It's just a marketing ploy- "here, eat something that has lots of protein but that tastes like a candy bar!" Guess why? With the sugar and the chocolate, it IS a candy bar- and basically just as bad for you.
So, read the ingredients. Simple foods are best- veggie sticks, whole grain bread, fresh fish and chicken (cooked at home), etc.
The stores are packed with foods that are adding to the weight problem in this country. We all have to learn to "just say no!" :)
I also love this blog: happyhealthybelly.com; Jen's a good friend and super fun to read. (She's currently taking a break but her older blogs are awesome).
I hope this was helpful. Good luck to you!