|Eat Healthy, Work Out = Be Healthy, Be Happy!|
I started this blog about 6 weeks ago when I was flat on my back recovering from surgery. Once I found out that all was well with outcome of my surgery, the thought on my mind was..
HOW LONG I WOULD HAVE TO GO WITHOUT WORKING OUT!
I grew up always being the "chubby kid". In high school (due to medications and poor diet) I ballooned to nearly 200lbs at 5'3". So over the years, diet and fitness have become a VERY important part of my life. Of course because image in the entertainment industry is very important, but mostly because I found that everything about my physical and mental health improved as my body changed. Working out and eating right became just as important for my mind and soul as it was for my body.
At the time of my diagnosis, I was doing some sort of strength training and cardio NO LESS than 5 days a week. I was in the best shape that I had ever been in... and for probably the first time EVER I didn't hate my legs! (That was quite an accomplishment for someone who has hated their legs their entire life!)
So to hear the words, "No running, or lifting anything more than 8lbs for almost 6 weeks"... terrified me! I wasn't even allowed to do yoga, or basic toning... just walking!
Well, that time has finally expired.(Praise the Lord) Now, the biggest problem I face after this short period of time, is reconditioning myself to eating correctly for my regimen again... and getting my body readjusted to working out again.
The first thing I had to learn about nutrition and fitness years ago, is that the mentality has to become an entire LIFESTYLE... you can't put yourself on a "90 day" program, or a 6 week "info-mercial" make-over, and expect that as soon as you complete the program you can just quit working out and "dieting" and not re-gain the weight again and loose muscle - as well as loose all your hard earned results.
Now, at some point in my life, I have tried EVERY "Fad Diet", "As Seen On TV", and "Info-mercial" plan out there! And I learned att some point all of these things can work, but only if you are doing ALL of the other things that you need to do to make them work- and most of the time they are only a quick fix. You have to make a choice to completely change your lifestyle and make eating correctly all the time and working out as important as washing your underwear, and paying your electric bill.
Now I have been watching my diet during the time that I have been "down"... but not quite the same way that I would knowing that I would be baring my body more- ex. photo shoot, formal event, video shoot, or just wearing shorts, or better yet - A BIKINI!
And let's face it - It's almost that time of year again... SO HERE GOES!
It's time to get back to the basics -
Here are some very general rules that I follow for my diet and fitness program. I figured writing it down here would also help me as I get back on track again myself.
Below are very basic and generalized guidelines that I personally follow...
*Eat Small Portions 6-7 times a day.
My common joke is that I eat like an infant. If I don't feed my body about every 3 hours, I turn into a complete "low blood sugar" BITCH! This is something that I never realized when I was heavy... getting to the point of "Staving" only made me eat more, and make bad food choices - not to mention that it makes your body think that it's starving and keeps it from burning more calories! So now I always keep high protein, high fiber, low calorie snacks on me to help fight cravings and keep my blood sugar levels balanced. And the big trick is to STOP EATING WHEN YOU ARE NO LONGER HUNGRY! My favorite trick to retrain my eye and my tummy was to immediately ask for a "To Go" container when my entree was delivered - or try to split an entree with someone else. Half-ing a normal restaurant portion immediately is a great way to save a little dough, and it's usually MORE THAN ENOUGH food for anyone! As Americans, we have become so accustomed to GIANT portions that this sounds horrific to most people, which explains why we have such a problem with obesity in this country. And a great trick I love when eating at home is to fix myself a "salad plate" of dinner instead of using an actual dinner plate. If I'm still hungry afterwards, I can have more - but usually I'm satisfied with the smaller amount.
along with this -
*Read Your Package Labels and Measure Your Food!
Read what a portion size is on a package and actually measure it out! You would be AMAZED at the difference in what you think a portion is, and what a proper portion really is. It makes all the difference in your choices - and how you can control what and how much you put in your body!
*Sugar Is The DEVIL!!!
Of all the things that you will ever hear about dieting -this is the one thing that consistently rings true. You HAVE to watch the amount of sugar you intake all the time. It's in EVERYTHING and if you don't read labels and are not fully aware of what you are putting in your body, you defeat everything you are working hard for, by simply putting the wrong things in your mouth. I do not drink soda at all anymore... including diet soda. Once in a while, I will have a weak moment - and just NEED a Diet Coke, or a Diet Sunkist (SO GOOD!) but when I realized how defeating soda and fruit juice can be to a healthy diet, I decided to treat them as just that, A TREAT! Now I try to keep all junk food and sugar OUT OF THE THE HOUSE and try to only enjoy them occasionally OUTSIDE OF MY HOUSE or as a once in a while treat. I will share a dessert, or have the occasional juice with breakfast at Cracker Barrel or IHOP, but I will not keep any of these things in my house regularly as a general rule because I know that I LOVE SUGAR and I just don't have the will power to stay away from it if it's right there in front of me all day/night.
*Calories Are The Most Important Thing To Count -not JUST Fat, not JUST Carbs, not JUST sugar!
At the end of the day, CALORIES are where you gain, loose, or maintain a healthy weight. Do your homework on this!!!! All diet programs that work LONG TERM are based on balancing YOUR CALORIC INTAKE. It's why systems based on "points" and food diary's work... at the end of the day, they are keeping you below or within a certain number of calories. This is different for every single person, and every person's goals... so when in doubt talk with a specialist, a nutritionist, or a personal trainer (who has GOOD KNOWLEDGE of nutrition) Some very simple ways to cut calories - Stay away from creamy or sugary salad dressings - and always ask for these on the side, try to use about 1/3 of what is served at a restaurant. Order foods without cheese, or easy on the cheese if possible. Opt for a baked sweet potato (PLAIN- no butter or sugar) instead of a "dressed" Baked Potato. Cut out Cheese and Mayo on Sandwiches. Try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible... This is tough, but has been proven the healthiest way to eat. When you "Eat Clean" you consume less calories, less sodium, and less preservatives. It's sometimes more expensive, and not always feasible - but it's a great practice to try to follow.
Click Here For More Information On Eating Clean
Here is one of my favorite magazines and websites for fitness and nutrition information -
Oxygen Magazine and Website
*Most "White" Foods Are Pointless...
Almost anything "white" has little to no nutritional value. And it's usually just converted right back into sugar in your body. White Bread, White Rice, Pasta, Potatoes, etc... When looking at "starches" you should ALWAYS opt for WHOLE GRAIN - and read your packages, if you buy Whole Wheat Bread and the first ingredient doesn't start with the words "100% Whole Grain" or "Whole Wheat"... it's not that much different than buying the white bread... Go for brown rice, "whole grain breads", "whole wheat pasta'...etc. and don't be fooled by a lot of the new "whole grain cereals" out there... it's easy to slap the word "whole grain" on a SUGAR based cereal to make it sound healthier.
* YOU GOTTA WORK OUT!.
I used to HATE training with weights because I have a very muscular build to begin with and I like the look of a long lean body. In the past I always found that I got a "bulky" look from weight training - this is a common complaint from women...It took me years to discover that the look of a "bulky" body when I tried weight training had much more to do with my DIET and lack of cardio than the actual weights. If I was eating the proper amount of calories, mixed with the right amount of complex carbohydrates and proteins... adding weights to my routine sculpted a much more toned and lean body. Now I'm back to starting over again with weight training, and rebuilding my cardio endurance. I am going to experience the soreness that is involved as I retrain and "re-shock" my muscles... which quite frankly just SUCKS at first, but it is SO, SO worth it in the end. After being on the road for almost 3 straight years, I learned one thing. There is NO EXCUSE for not working out... I have done everything from gyms to working out in an 8'x8' space in hotel rooms. If you can't get to a gym - there is still no excuse for not doing SOME SORT OF WORK OUT - at least a few days a week!
Here are some programs I have enjoyed on the road and at home -
Josh Rogers is the trainer I worked with to get ready for several music videos, and photo shoots. His "No Excuses" DVD is a great start for ANYONE, and working with him one on one is what I would recommend for anyone who is looking to take fitness to the next level.
Energy Fitness By Josh
Here are two other programs I have enjoyed on the road -
P90X 90 Day Fitness Routine
Brazilian Butt Lift
So as a VERY GENERAL recap, here are some things that I always try to remember.
Eat Small Portions, Read Food Package Labels, Sugar is THE DEVIL, Limit or Eliminate "White" Food, Count your Calories, and Work Out!
I will keep a weekly update here of my progress, and hopefully by the time I get to put on a BIKINI AGAIN (cringe) in a couple of months - I will be able to strut my stuff with limited JIGGLE! :)