Guest post: Being confident with your lifestyle

Guest post: Being confident with your lifestyle

Hi everyone! I have a very special guest taking over my blog today. Jessica is one of my online clients, who is trying to become more involved in the health and fitness community. She doesn’t want to start her own blog (although I’m hoping this post will change her mind!) but she has created a Twitter account to start connecting with bloggers and readers. I hope you guys enjoy the post! (PS. I didn’t pay her to say all the nice things about me, haha)

Hello there! How are things over in your neck of the woods today?

Before I begin my post, let me introduce myself – I am Jessica, known to twitter and instagram as the_toned_teach!  Last week, I created the account and decided to put a face with the random comments I have been leaving on blogs for about a year now.  While I think it would be incredible to be a blogger, I don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to a (meaningful & decent) blog right now.  However, I love writing guest posts and random tidbits.  To all you bloggers out there, thank you for your honesty, words of wisdom, recipes, and workouts! It is an incredible service you give to your readers, and we are grateful… especially to you, Sweat Like A Pig 🙂

Back to my introduction, I get easily sidetracked, I am Jessica! I just graduated from college and am about to move to Charlottesville, VA to begin my career as a high school math teacher.  I have a passion for teaching and reaching the next generation.  I am a very optimistic person and believe they can & will make the world a better place than it is today… they just need some motivation, which is where I come in 😉 In addition to teaching, I am a fitness guru! I love heavy weights, cardio intervals, plyometrics, spinning, yoga, and basically any form of moving around and working up a sweat.  I am currently doing a program designed by Tara, and am loving it! My program is loaded with weight lifting, high reps/low reps/pyramids, HIIT, and all kind of other goodies.  If you are looking to spice up your fitness routine or get serious about your goals, I highly recommend her!


SO, time for the meat of the post 😉 Recently Tara mentioned that she is starting a cutting phase and referenced how wonderful it was to have Rob embarking on the same leaning out journey.  She said that it is so helpful and encouraging to share the same goals as your partner and work together to achieve them.  Many of you are blessed with husbands, wives, family members, roommates, or twin sisters who share similar fitness goals.  However, some of us aren’t as lucky – in fact, I have personally never lived with someone who shared similar fitness goals!  Therefore, I wanted to take this time to share how I have worked to achieve my fitness goals while living with a variety of people.


When it comes to fitness and health, I have lived with just about all types: cardio junkies, junk food junkies, self-acclaimed “professional” bakers, vegetarians, meat-lovers, international students (helloooo different cuisine!), the “skinny” girls who never work out, and a model… just to name a few, hah!  While I have truly loved every roommate I’ve had, it has been quite the balancing act, and while I am no master of balance, I have learned a few things along the way…


If you’re sketchy about it, they’re sketchy about it. 


When I first began lifting about 1.5 years ago, I got really self conscious about my protein powder, clean eats, and training methods.  I thought my roommates would think I was weird for cooking the foods I was – because let’s be honest, “foodies” eat some pretty strange foods! When I would come home from working out, I would try and secretly scoop the protein powder in my blender.  When I would pack snacks, I would sneak them out of my purse bit by bit so no one would know I was eating a protein bar or veggie mix. When I would make a bedtime shake, I tried to be ever so discrete in the kitchen… really, Jessica? What is discrete about a blender. Looking back, it is absolutely ridiculous, I know, but I think all of us at some point struggled with embracing the lifestyle.


Finally, one day, my roommate asked me what I was putting in the blender, and I told her: a frozen banana, almond milk, ice, cocoa powder, flax seed, and… (gulp) protein powder.  “Cool!” she replied.  And that was it. No more questions asked (that day) and I moved on with my blending.  From then on, I began to get more comfortable with my eating choices and being open when others asked me what I was eating.  Most of the time, they said it looked good and wanted to try it!  And you know what, most of the time, it is pretty darn good – that’s why I eat it.


In regards to weight training, when you lift properly, your body transforms and you start to look good.  Who doesn’t want toned arms or good calves?  When people ask me how I work out, I tell them I lift heavy.  Girls laugh when I say I curl 20lb dumbbells in each hand… then they realize I’m being serious.  As a result of my (new) confidence in weight training, many of them have given weights a try! Two of my roommates bought protein powder this semester and have added some weights to their cardio-crazed workouts… hey, it’s a slow transition 😉


By learning the hard way, I know now that people are just curious, especially girls.  If you are eating something that looks good or different, be open about it. Yes, I am making protein muffins because I love the taste of pumpkin and want some healthy snacks to pack for school. Yes, I just kicked my own butt in the gym and am refueling with a chocolately & refreshing protein shake. Yes, I did just go lift weights, and I actually increased the weight for my squats – it felt awesome! It is a matter of confidence, and if you are happy about your healthy choices, then don’t be afraid to share your healthy lifestyle with others!


Know the difference between junk and joy.  


When working toward achieving fitness goals, it is easy to get consumed in workouts, meal plans, timing, measuring, and not breaking your schedule.  For me, I do not have a show coming up in a month that I am cutting for or a marathon next week that I am training for; however, I strive to maintain a clean diet and weight-filled routine.  Life is all about balance, and I’m all about living life to the full, so I need to know how balance looks in my life.


I think balancing is knowing the difference between junk and joy.  When faced with a decision – most of the time about clean eating – I ask myself, “is this junk or joy?”  If I conclude it is junk, then I say “no, thank you” or “I’m good, thanks though” and move on. Some examples of junk include crappy pizza at midnight, packaged cookies because friends are bored while watching tv, or even dessert one night after dinner just because some other people are getting it. To me, these indulgences are not worth the sacrifice in my fitness goals; I think take-out pizza tastes horrible and just because other people are eating it doesn’t mean I have to.


Along with food junk, I have learned that I might have to say no to other random life events. For example, I lift in the mornings before work; sometimes, I will be at a friends house and they will want to start a movie (that I have already seen multiple times) really late at night. Sleeping is SO important for the recovery of your muscles, and if I don’t get sufficient sleep, my workouts are so slack the next day. Thus, I have left apartments before a movie started just because I wanted and needed rest – it is okay to do this.  Sure, you might miss out on one inside joke, but most likely, they will all fall asleep half way into it and end up leaving at 2am.


On the other hand, we have joy, or joyful moments where sweetness is a form of celebration. Recently, I have experienced several instances where I chose to indulge a bit because it was a joyful & special moment: a piece of cake at my cousin’s wedding, skipping an early morning workout to surprise a friend with breakfast on her birthday, and a midnight fro-yo run with my roommates before we graduated and went on to new life adventures. These moments are ones that I will never get back, and in the moment, I didn’t want to think about calories… I wanted to think about how special the moment was and be fully present in it. And that is just what I did!


Once I made this realization, it became easier for me to say “no” when offered their unhealthy treats and snacks.  I was able to find a happy balance between enjoying the company of my friends/not missing out on life and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  All in all, it’s okay to say no, just make sure you aren’t letting obsessive food thoughts steal your joyful moments!


** Side tangent: For some reason, probably jealousy or insecurity, girls always try to encourage other girls to make unhealthy choices. Why?  In my years of living in a dorm, a sorority house, and apartments full of girls, I have been surrounded by girls who secretly want other girls to not be as healthy as they can be. Tara wrote an excellent post about stopping female hate here, and many other fitness bloggers have posted about the topic as well. My advice, for what it’s worth, is just politely decline the offer.  Most of the time, these forced snacks/treats/drinks/etc. fall in the “junk” category and your life will be just as happy without it. It is not your problem if they are upset that you did not eat something or chose to wake up early to workout before work.  Hopefully, your healthy living habits will be an inspiration for them and you can invite them to come with you to pump some iron in the morning?! Just don’t let the haters get ya down! **


While I could keep going on and give more practical advice like “make a workout plan and stick to it,” or “have a food prep day to make healthy options available,” or “make friends with like-minded bloggers for accountability and encouragement,” those are all things I feel like most blog readers already do! And if you need advice on making a workout schedule, Tara is the perfect resource. I just want to encourage those of you who are trying to live a healthy lifestyle by yourself. Regardless of the lack of support (in the fitness/health department) from your friends, family, or roommates, be confident in your choices. Be bold about lifting weightseating clean, and building muscle and strength – these are awesome decisions and you should be proud of yourself!  So embrace your community, share your choices with them, learn when to say “no” and when to indulge in life’s joys.


Enjoy today, you’ll never get it back 🙂


Thanks Jessica! Are you confident about your lifestyle? Do you think Jessica should start her own blog? 😉
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...