When I came home from Ireland on the left. When I started taking care of myself 2 months later on the right.
As the 2015 appears, resolutions to lose weight and get in shape start to surface. Although motivating, these resolutions are nothing more than temporary fixes. Why are they only temporary? Inconvenient workouts, tempting foods, the holidays and busy schedules (especially this New York weather) start to drag us down. Who can really sit at the dinner table and eat a tasteless, wilted salad while your boyfriend sits across the table and devours a juicy cheese burger? WELL NOT ME!! Who would rather go to the gym and do a boring workout routine then sit on the couch, drink a beer and watch the game? Again, count me out. One of the main reasons I wanted to create this blog was because I wanted to show people that there ARE healthy alternatives to your favorite foods and there is a way to maintain a healthy life—you do not have to wait until January 1 to start it.
When I studied abroad in Ireland in 2013, the only exercise I got was picking up my Guinness and pouring it in my mouth. I gained a lot of weight and when I got home I was super unhappy. I look back to the pictures of myself and although I had an amazing experience, I never wanted to look that way again. I didn’t know how I would have time to get back into shape because I had a 3 day a week internship, was taking 18 credits in school and was absolutely broke (correction: I am still broke). I decided to not use those things as excuses why I can’t eat healthy or can’t work out. I started buying healthy items like frozen vegetables or fruits that were on sale. I started going to the gym everyday after school, worked hard and really pushed myself. Instead of drinking tequila and coke, I would drink tequila and seltzer. Instead of eating sushi with white rice, I would eat it with brown. It is something so little and simple but this is what motivates me today.Those pictures were my motivation to stay healthy and work hard and I achieved it! In addition to going to the gym, my roommates and I signed up for Bikram yoga because the studio was having a 30 day unlimited trial for $30. I never tried yoga before so I was a little nervous and thought I would be extremely bored. I learned to love it and saw my body completely change. I lost all the weight I gained, I ate healthier, drank less alcohol and felt amazing about myself. I never thought I would go from running and kicking a soccer ball around for 90 minutes to doing 26 yoga poses in a room that is 100 degrees for 90 minutes, but hey we learn something new about ourselves all the time!
Reward yourself two days a week
Although I eat pretty healthy, I never deprive myself. I have my weird little ways to fit in some of my favorite foods without feeling guilty. For example, I LOVE cheese. So everyday for lunch I eat a salad but I put my favorite cheese in it so I actually look forward to it everyday. I don’t think about how I have to eat a boring salad everyday I think about, “I can wait to stuff my face with some fresh mozz!” I am constantly looking up healthy recipes on Pinterest to keep myself on track and motivated to try new recipes and use new ingredients. DRUM ROLL PLEASE……..I eat unhealthy two days of the week: Friday and Sunday!! Every Friday, I like to reward myself because it is payday, the end of the work week and I want to celebrate with a margarita, some chips and guacamole. I also reward myself Sunday because I am Italian and need to live (also if I tell my Mother no to her food on Sunday I won’t be alive to write this blog anymore). So when I eat healthy the other five days of the week, I do not feel guilty when I eat a 1/2 pound of pasta to myself on Sunday. I may not be losing weight or gaining weight, but I mentally feel great about myself ( and that is really all that counts in the end). I don’t follow the “don’t eat carbs after 1pm or “don’t eat past 7pm” because those are unrealistic for me. What I do follow is eating smaller portions, adding more fiber and greens into my diet and drinking more water and tea.
Find a workout you love and stick with it
The same goes for your workout routine. I workout 5 days a week and take off the two days I eat unhealthy to relax and enjoy myself, watch Netflix or do whatever I want. Don’t just go running on the treadmill because you hear “cardio is good for you” if you hate to run!! Choose something that has cardio that would be fun for you like Zumba, yoga, boxing, hiking, sports etc. Exercising shouldn’t be look at as “inconvenient and negative” it should be looked at as fun. I played soccer for 16 years and when I stopped playing, it was hard for me to find a workout that I enjoyed. I loved playing soccer and it didn’t feel like I was “working out” when I played because I enjoyed playing it. The same goes for your workout routine. I personally love Bikram yoga because you sweat, work your muscles, tone your body and feel so alive afterwards. Once you start to do these things, they won’t feel like a boring workout routine anymore and you won’t feel badly when you give yourself those two days to eat what you want. One way for your workout to not become a routine is to switch things up. Sometimes I go to the gym before work, sometimes after. One day I run and do abs, the next I do all weight lifting. One Saturday I will go for a bike ride the next I will go hiking. Change is what keeps things exciting ( and I get bored pretty easily.)
Rid yourself of people that have a negative attitude
Have you ever been out to dinner with a bunch of people and want to order a salad or something healthy to stay on track but everyone looks at you like you are some boring, cynical stuck up? Well just order it! You’ll be laughing in the end when you look and feel fantastic in a bikini.
Hang out with people who like to exercise or do active things, this will motivate you to stay on track and try new things.
It is easy to stop doing things you enjoy because of work, the holidays and other distractions. I myself always struggle to stay on track and not be tempted to skip the gym or eat unhealthy but I have my silly little things to motivate me. When I do not exercise or do not eat healthy, I can feel my mood change into a sluggish, negative one. Just have a positive mind set and set goals for yourself and you will stay on track:) As part of my New Year’s resolution, I decided I will incorporate more Bikram Yoga back into my life again– hoping that this resolution won’t be temporary but permanent year round!