Of course! I was definitely one of those cardio bunnies who had misconceptions just like many women do. I believed that cardio burned all the fat, and strength training lead to a "bulky" figure. Wow, was I wrong! Not until I started lifting heavy did I obtain the lean physique I've always wanted. I still do cardio, but focus more on sprint intervals or walking on an incline a couple times a week for no more than 30 minutes. I would rather not abuse the cardio machine, and strip the muscle I worked so hard to gain.
I spend 45-60 minutes 6 days a week in the gym. If you push as hard as you can, that's plenty of time to fatigue the muscle and get results.
Both inside and outside the gym, I'm most proud of the help I've given others. I can't say that I've performed any "lifesaving" transplants, but the opportunity I've been given has certainly turned some lives around for the better. It's the best feeling when someone tells me that I'm an inspiration--I do my best to be a positive example, and provide the tools and support people need to achieve their weight loss, nutrition and fitness goals. Not only have I helped these people find their happiness, but along the way, they've helped me, too.
The biggest obstacle for me has been finding what truly makes me happy. Although it's an ongoing journey, I've reaped so many positive benefits from exercising and adopting a healthy lifestyle. I've found that it's important to treat your body with respect, provide it with what it NEEDS and love every inch. I'm not saying that my physical appearance has rendered all my happiness, but the things I've learned about myself through training has given me a definite self-confidence boost. It's not only the physical transformation, but the mental transformation as well.
There are several things that keep me motivated. The biggest motivational factor for me is how I feel inside and out. On the inside, I'm more energized, less stressed and happier than ever! On the outside, watching how I've been able to transform my body after a few dedicated months is amazing. It's absolutely astonishing what our bodies can do once we are willing to TRY. The people who inspire me and whom I inspire also keep me motivated. I want to lead by example, therefore, I'm always doing my best to practice what I preach to others.
Sweet cravings? I never get those! Ha. That's absolutely not true. If I'm having a craving, I'll usually allow myself to indulge once a week then get right back on track. It's not worth feeling groggy and icky due to over-processed, refined and sugary or salty foods. There's also so many alternative options to make something that's "unhealthy" into a healthier meal or snack. For example, if I'm craving pizza, I'll make a healthier version with homemade oat flour crust, low sugar pizza sauce, lean ground turkey and vegetables. If I'm craving something sweet, protein ice cream is a huge life savor! I don't usually have a problem with cravings because of how many healthy alternatives there are--sometimes you just have to get creative! Nothing feels better than eating right.
Jamie Eason, Amanda Adams and Jenna Webb! They have been my inspiration since the beginning of my fitness journey.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)-- It's extremely challenging, and encourages me to step out of my "comfort zone." I usually dedicate about 20-30 minutes, two to three days a week for cardio.
Click below to-download workout
I eat a clean diet full of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, vegetables and fruit. I make sure to fuel my body every 2.5-3 hours to keep my metabolism moving, preserve muscle and prevent my body from going into "starvation mode." When it comes to building a lean and sexy body, I truly believe that diet is the most crucial part. Here is an example of a typical day for me--I'll usually eat 5-7 meals depending on my workout schedule:
Meal 1: (pre-workout)
1/2 c. oatmeal
6 egg whites
1 scoop Isolate whey protein
1 small apple
2 lightly salted rice cakes
2 TBS all natural, organic peanut butter
1 c. brown rice
1 c. broccoli
4 oz. chicken breast
2 egg whites
10 asparagus spears
6 oz. Tilapia
5 egg white omelet
To stay dedicated and consistent to a workout and nutrition program. Anybody can start something, but it definitely takes dedication and consistency to achieve maximum results.
Photography Credit: www.beam-photography.com
Photography Credit: Jimi V photography