Thursday Thoughts

Just a collection of some of my thoughts and insights on fitness and nutrition(mostly via Facebook posts):

*No matter what nutrition protocol you follow, we can all agree that we need to be eating plenty of veggies and unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods. I mean, come on, that's common sense. But all the rest-how many meals you eat per day, what foods you choose to eat or not eat, whether you eat high carb or high fat, track macros or don't track -that's all individual preference. NO ONE WAY works for everyone. Find your thing. Find what makes you happy and healthy. Find what you can stick with FOREVER.

*There are so many health benefits to lifting weights. Muscles are just an added bonus.

*There have been and will be many fad workouts that come and go. But one thing you can be sure of is that strength training is here to stay.

*My nutrition and fitness philosophy is this: eat however the heck you wanna eat, and do exercise that you enjoy. If you are getting the results you want, and you're healthy and happy, then don't worry about what anyone else thinks about it.

*There is no right or wrong time to eat carbs. Want them at breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Bedtime? Go for it! As long as you are within your calorie/macro goals, that's all that matters.

*In the last 10 years, I've leaned out without ever focusing on fat loss as a goal. How? It came as a result of focusing on getting as STRONG as possible, building muscle, and cleaning up my eating habits-better quality food, more protein, and a LOT less crap.

*There is something about lifting heavy weights that changes a woman in so many ways.

*When it comes down to it, the sole reason for lifting weights shouldn't be for physique improvement, but for life improvement.

*Health is not a number on the scale, a body fat percentage, or a clothing size. In fact, you can even "look" healthy on the outside but actually not be healthy at all.

*Drastically cutting calories and eliminating carbs is an easy way to lose weight fast. It's also an easy way to lose muscle, get skinny fat, lose strength, and potentially damage your metabolism.

*If you've been dieting ever since you can remember, and it's no longer working...then the last thing you need is to go on another diet.

*People always want to know the "best" exercises and the "best" foods or the "best" diet for fat loss. Well, the answer is that the "best" thing is just time and consistency-doing the little things day in and day out. But no one wants to hear that.

*I will always promote strength and lifting heavy because I know what it has done for ME, and I want other women to experience the same thing! Be done with obsessing over the scale, the constant dieting,the picking your body apart, the hours of boring cardio, and exercising just to be skinnier. Instead, shift the focus of your training to getting stronger, getting bigger(I promise, you won't turn into a hulk-you'll just get toned) and eating to fuel your workouts, not starving yourself. Just give it a try! If you hate it, you can always go back to the elliptical.

*Diets work. Until they don't.

*I have found that what makes ME happy is not having a 6 pack, but being athletic, fit, muscular, and strong but still able to enjoy a few treats now and then. It's not having to worry about every single gram of carbohydrate that I put into my mouth. It's being able to eat a fruit or two a day without the fear that it will make me fat. It's being able to go out to dinner or a family function and not be the one who brings out their Tupperware container of chicken and broccoli. I have never and will never be that person. I will always watch what I eat, but I have realized that being super ripped and lean is not what brings me fulfillment and satisfaction.

*If you constantly fantasize about sweets and/or all the foods you "can't" eat...I'm sorry, but you need to re-evaluate your diet.

*One thing I've learned in the last few years is that when it comes to building muscle, you HAVE to put as much effort into your eating as you do towards your training.

*Macro tracking can be a great thing for some people. I think it's especially good for those who have been struggling with fat loss for some time, or for those who are trying to build muscle and need to make sure they're consuming an adequate amount of food. But despite popular belief, you CAN actually just EAT without obsessively tracking every ounce of food you put into your mouth.

*I normally don't have things like cookies, candy bars, ice cream, etc., on a daily basis, but the thing is, I don't feel that I CAN'T have them. And that makes all the difference.

*Strength is more important to me than having 6 pack abs, but feeling confident in my skin is more important to me than being able to eat whatever I want all the time. See, it's not about the abs-I just like knowing that I'm fueling my body with nutritious foods but also allowing room for treats here and there. Finding a happy medium where you look they way you want to look but are also able to enjoy life to the fullest and not feel deprived all the time IS possible!

*It's easy to "kill" yourself in the gym...it's harder to actually make yourself better.

*When it comes to my training, I stick with mostly the basics. I train hard, but I don't kill myself every workout or walk out of the gym drenched in sweat. My workouts last no longer than an hour. I don't do cardio. I have 3 rest days(to the surprise of most people who think I LIVE in the gym!). Sometimes less is more.

*There are no weight loss foods or muscle building foods, just foods that are high in calories and foods that are lower in calories. The same food can be both great for weight loss AND muscle building. It's comes down to the quantities you eat of those foods in a day that determines whether you lose or gain.

*6 pack abs won't help you when you're old, but being STRONG will. 

*Best time to workout? Whenever you can do it. Best diet? The one that you can stick with. Best exercise routine? The one that you enjoy. Best results? The ones that come slowly.

*Of all the goals you could strive for(weight loss, muscle gain, 6 pack abs), to me, strength is the most important and the one that will give you the biggest payoff not only now, but in the future. Nothing comes close to what it does not only for your physique, but also for your quality of life and your mindset.

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