Good Morning! So as many of you know I am a FitFluential Ambassador. I’m really excited about this opportunity and blessed to be working with a great team over there. Most of the ambassadors this month will be vlogging and blogging about what makes them FitFluential, and who was their first FitFluence and what inspired them to get going on their fitness journey. We’ll each be sharing 7 tips so you can you start now on your own fitness journey! I think this is great to be sharing this in December. With the new year looming many people set fitness goals, weight loss goals and healthy living goals. You can use all of our tips to get started NOW! Hang in there…this one is a long one. But I promise it’s worth it!
I grew up in a family where sitting still wasn’t really an option. My parents loved to hike and as toddlers they’d pull us in a sled through the snow for winter hikes and carry us in packs for summer hikes. We spent our summers at our summer-house water skiing, kayaking, swimming and running around. My mom took me to Mommy and Me swim classes when I was 2. When I could walk I learned how to downhill ski. As a kid I played soccer and took ballet. In junior high I joined the track team and then in high school I joined the swim team, nordic ski team and track teams. I was never sitting still and loved all of the sports I played. I’m forever grateful to my parents for running me all over town and managing to pay for all those activities. It really helped to shape who I am today.
My Mom never really allowed junk food. When I was a kid we would get McDonald’s maybe once a year. Both my parents loved to cook and enjoyed good food. As a result my whole life has been filled with home cooked meals, fresh vegetables, fruit and wholesome ingredients. My mom packed my lunch everyday for me, until my last day of high school. She’d hide our Halloween candy, and on Easter we got a new toy instead of candy and on Christmas she’d always watch how many cookies we ate. Eating healthy was a way of life and we never knew anything different. It’s still the same at my parent’s house to this day.
In high-school I started to ski competitively. I had some amazing coaches, a husband and wife team who taught me how to hydrate during a 3 hour ski, and how to train in the summer months so I’d be fast on the snow and how to improve my technique so I’d exert less energy to be fast. I spent a lot of time with them and I learned a LOT. In college, I was lucky enough to have another amazing coach who continued to teach me and work with me to understand my body and be the best athlete I could be.
My FitFluencers were my parents and coaches. They made it possible for me to be an active, athletic kid and gave me the healthy foods to keep me going. I was lucky enough to have some amazing coaches to keep all of that going. They continued to shape me and encourage me to be athletic, be a competitor and do it the healthiest way possible.
My fitness journey started when I was a kid. I honestly can say I never have had a point in my life where I told myself I needed to change and needed to get into a fitness routine. It’s always been part of my life. From athletics as a kid, to varsity sports in High School and then on to college athletics it’s always been there. I skied Division I in college and was Division III USCSA National Nordic Ski Champion in 2008. I was incredibly dedicated to my sport in college. I trained in the summers, and ran cross-country in the fall so I’d be fast on the snow in the winter. I took to road biking to build endurance in the off-season. I skipped the college parties, and never joined a sorority and never went on spring break. I missed out on a lot of typical college experiences but I never regret it. I learned to be fierce, and confident and strong when I felt weak. I learned how to prove everyone wrong not with my words but my actions. I learned how to turn within myself to accomplish my goals. I learned how to manage my time and balance two equal priorities. I learned to be humble and I learned how to be a gracious winner. I don’t think any college party would have taught me those things. Those races, losses and wins all have a story and are some of the best memories of my life. And you should know, I got do it with my mom and dad and amazing coaches by my side. Talk about dedicate FitFluencers.
After college I was asked to ski on the New England Nordic Ski Association Development Team. It was a big deal and I was excited to sign on. I then went to Europe back packing with my best friend and had the trip of my life. I started my first job and got my first apartment. I decided after a lot of soul-searching that I wanted to resign my position on the team. I was exhausted, and wanted to have a “normal” life. I wanted to go out with friends, take vacations, do fun things on the weekends and not feel guilty for taking a rest day. I still went to the gym, took Pilates classes and ran but enjoyed a normal life. A few months later I lost my job. I was lost and confused. I went to yoga and Pilates every morning before starting my job search. I went for runs to clear my head in the afternoon. I entered the lottery for the NYC marathon. I needed a goal. A month later I got into the New York City marathon and got a job offer in Boston. I packed up my life, moved to the city and got training. It was a long journey training for that marathon. As much as I knew about running and fitness, I knew nothing about this. But I learned. I ran that marathon with my biggest fans cheering me on, my parents. It was awesome.
I continued to practice yoga multiple times a week throughout all of this and fell in love. It gave me a place to escape. I had the chance to just be one with my body and relax and stretch and build strength. After the marathon I practiced yoga for the entire winter, I hardly ran.
In the spring I did a Team Relay and then in the fall I did the Boston Athletic Association Half- Marathon.
By then I had met Michael and we decided to do the Chicago Marathon. Right when we started training for Chicago I decided to start this blog. Most of you know I finished the marathon with Michael and it was amazing. The recap is here if your interested.
Today I’m lucky enough to be growing this blog, working with FitFluential and sharing my lessons and experiences. Personally my fitness journey is taking a turn I never really expected. I’m studying for my NASM Personal Training Certification and will be starting my Yoga 200 hour teacher training in August. In April, I’ll be running my 3rd marathon, the Boston Marathon with Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! I’m really excited to be making healthy living my life’s work and really have no idea where this journey will take me but it feels great to be FitFluential!!
I guess my past inspires me to keep going in my future. It’s really hard to ignore that feeling of success and pure bliss when you cross a finish line, accomplish a goal or get into some crazy advanced yoga pose. It’s addicting.
So Here’s My 7 Tips for Those Looking to Get Started Now!
1. Find a Passion.
Mine was Nordic Skiing, today it’s running and yoga. Maybe for you it’s a boot camp class, or a group weight loss challenge or a Pilates Reformer class. Whatever it may be, find what gets your juices flowing! Find what you can’t get enough of and go do it!
I’m busy, your busy we are all busy. I always have about 10 other things I could be doing aside from a run, or yoga class or a workout at the gym. You know what? It will all be there when I get done except, I’ll feel better and be more motivated to tackle it all! Schedule time for the gym, put it on your to do list or in your calendar. Fit it in where it fits.
3. Shop Well.
I’m a healthy eater, but I lack self-control. Put 10 cookies in front of me and I’ll likely eat them all. I know this about myself, so I only buy healthy options. I buy foods I can eat a lot of and not feel guilty. I buy foods that are convenient. Breakfast on the go? Yep, I have options. A light dinner after the gym? Yep, I have ingredients A hot fudge sundae for dessert? Nope, I don’t have any of those ingredients!
4. Drink Water.
I pretty much only drink water. Drinking soda, coffee, iced teas, etc. don’t make me feel great. I’d rather have water with lemon than a diet coke. It’s better for your body and you skip a ton of calories!
This goes for food and workouts. Mix it up! Our bodies actually like this! Switch up what you eat so you’re not eating the same things all the time. And try a different workout to kick-start some calorie burn and muscle tone. Keeping food and workouts new and fun will make healthy living a lot easier. Don’t get stuck in a rut and when you do be sure to change it up!
6. Set a Goal.
I love goals. They keep you focused on what you want to accomplish and keep you from being side tracked by all the side roads life offers. Set monthly goals to keep you focused on what you want to accomplish that month. Set long-term goals to help guide your monthly goals and keep you looking to the future. Healthy living isn’t easy but dedicate yourself to it and keep at it!
7. Life Happens.
Yes, life happens. Be flexible with healthy living. Your going to have a bad day and want to go home and eat pizza. It’s OK! Eat a slice and a side salad and enjoy it. Don’t eat half the pie. If you miss your gym workout, reschedule it! Maybe you can’t make a kick boxing class but could walk for an hour at lunch. It’s not as intense but it’s exercise. Up the intensity of tomorrows workout instead. Roll with life’s punches and make healthy choices!