Since I've been in Cali a lot more lately, one of many things I've noticed is the insane amount of really healthy people that are there. I'm talking health nut, gluten avoiding, glitz and glam, walking handstand circles around me in a sports bra fit. This is definitely a change for me. Iowans have a week dedicated to eating as much fried food as possible and a season dedicated to hiding your body under as much clothing as possible. When you stop and think about it, for the many ways Iowa exists in its own little bubble, LA does too, but in a different way. Honestly, wearing anything even remotely skin-barring is bound to be met with criticism by at least a few people in Iowa. In California, fashion, fitness, and fame are the norm - no one cares what crazy clothes or lack-there-of you're wearing. Iowaland knows its whats on the inside that counts and LA says its what's on the outside. Given that I've got the whole inner-awesome on lock, it's time I really start making the outside shine. Since December, I've been adjusting my fitness goals, hoping for some significant changes in my overall fitness and appearance. I dove into a pretty strict diet, and recently I've added running back into my workouts.
Saying no to cheeseburgers, fried deliciousness, and basically everything I love eating kind of feels like a nightmare, but cardio and running aren't new to me. In fact, I used to do track and field in high school, and I took on the high-jump as my mandatory field-event. Just to be clear... I'm not a high jumper. I'm not even a high stander. Really there's nothing about me that says I can jump higher than anyone, but I liked running, and it seemed like the least-likely field event to result in my injury. But as much as I enjoyed running competitively, when it came to the gym, I got bored. To mix up the cardio monotony, I recently got beats headphones and a Spotify account. Despite the fact that my head is almost too small for the headphones, this has been a real game changer. I can listen to whatever music I want - sometimes I'm that person bopping along on a treadmill - and not get tangled up on any cords.
Another small but effective tweak has been to get myself prepared for my workouts before I leave the house. Taking a gym bag with me makes it basically impossible for me to go by the gym and not work out. I pack water, shower supplies, the world's best travel dryer, tennis shoes, athletic wear if I haven't snuck it into my outfit, and my headphones, and I am good to go. I do my cardio first, before any strength training, and I actually look forward to it now. I've been finding new favorite snacks to fuel my workouts, and I'm finding different ways to get exercise in every day.
There are still days I think being healthy is actually a scam and that it's slowly killing me, but overall I'm pleased with the progress I've made. Really buckling down and making my gym time and my meals a priority has been crucial to my success. When it comes to fitness, some things never change - focus on what you want, plan what you need to get there, and hold yourself accountable. If you need help with that last step, you can always message me! I love connecting, and I'm even on some fitness apps. Thanks for checking it out and stay tuned for part 2!
What's in my bag:
Travel dryer - GHD
Travel hair care - Living Proof
Face: Foreo Luna 2 and PTR face wash
Headphones - Beats solo 2
Shoes - Nike Free 5.0
I keep convincing myself that if I just eat well, I might be able to get away with exercising less. Of course, this is then offset by my argument that if I don't eat so well, I'll just exercise more.. an ongoing struggle that often ends in less work outs and more poor nutrition choices. One thing that levels the playing field is finding healthier alternatives that I actually want to eat instead of junk foods. I'm personally trying to ease away from so much soda in my daily life.
Last week, the folks from 1915 sent me an extra special, fresh delivery. From the sweet note, to the expert packaging, the contents were delightful from beginning to end. Besides being packed with nutritious ingredients, these babies are brimming with healthy buzzwords. Each cold pressed drink is a unique 100% juice blend, USDA certified organic, non GMO health nut's dream. My favorite flavors have been SBCWASB (strawberry, blueberry, coconut water, apple, spinach, blackberry) and CSPAL (coconut water, strawberry, pear, apple, lemon). Some days, I sip one solo, other times, they pair great with a meal. Plus, they just launched new SMOOTHIE flavors, that I'm dying to check out too! So, thank you so much Bolthouse Farms and 1915 Organic juices! Your willingness to share these delicious juices and create such a high-quality product speaks volumes about your company. If you haven't tried them, you should definitely check it out. Plus, I'm trying out all sorts of new drinks, so if you have any suggestions - LET ME KNOW!
As much as I hate to admit it, I cannot continue to eat whatever I want to and continue to fit into the clothes in my closet. More than fitting into my clothes, I'm most concerned about fitting into my life - I'm an active person, and I expect myself to look and feel a certain way. I think everyone processes their own health and fitness differently, but it's important to me to keep myself looking and feeling how I'm most comfortable. That being said, I'm a total sucker for lots of delicious foods and drinks, plus, I pretty much can eat most people under the table. I decided the best way to get healthier foods into my hands was to start stocking more of them in my kitchen. I started getting more fresh fruits, meat, milk, and juice. My kitchen has so much fresh food now, and I actually love it. I'm cooking more and feeling better. Plus, if you've been dying to take a bunch of selfies w/ fruits and vegetables, and let's face it, who ISN'T, Naked Juice company is donating 10lbs of produce for every pic. snapped with a fruit/vegetable and tagged #DrinkGoodDoGood.
If you're looking for the perfect prop / healthy kitchen addition, try out a pineapple. Go for one that is firm, but not hard, with a healthy yellow color. There're a lot of ways to slice it, but the easiest way is to cut each side with a sharp knife, like you're making a flat surface for it to stand on, then cut it into rings. Let me know your healthy eating tricks, and thanks for stopping by!
Last week, the lovely CEO of Dallas Fitness Ambassadors, Mai Lyn and I were able to connect, and today I'm excited to announce your girl is an official Dallas Fitness Ambassador! With their network of knowledgable bloggers and awesome sponsors, I am thrilled to collab. and contribute to the community. I can't wait to try out all sorts of new places and report the must-do things I discover! Plus, being new to Dallas, I'm loving having the additional options to supplement my fitness adventures!
Check back often to keep up to date on my discoveries and let me know what great new work outs, gyms, or fitness finds you're into! In the mean time, here's a few facts about the Michelle you see in the gym..
1) Watching the Olympics made me realize I am in terrible shape
2) I'm currently on the hunt for a new lifting routine
3) I'm excited to try a cycling class because biking without moving is more my style
4) No matter how much strength training I do, there are days, I still can't open jars
5) Dancing and lifting are my favorite workouts
In case you don't know, let me tell you what my life with food is like. Comments like, "Michelle will eat that," and "where do you put all that?" are the norm around the table. One day, I ate a whole pizza when the Cowboys were playing. They won; so, for the rest of the season, I attempted to eat a whole pizza every time they had a game. Yes, when it comes to food, I basically throw caution to the wind and hope for the best.
Even so, I would classify my relationship with food as healthy, at least in the sense that I eat it for deliciousness, not happiness. I don't obsess over my body size or a number on a scale, but I am noticing that with different fitness goals, certain foods do more good than others. I'd read articles about being skinny-fat and wondered if maybe that was me. I began to think about becoming healthier. I began to think about cardio and knew dark times were upon us.
Though Asians remain mystical beings who age in astonishing fashion, even I can't deny that as the years go by, my fitness needs have changed. Much like the high school genius who never studied that began to flounder when it came to hard work in college, my system also took a shock when my super-metabolism started to slow. Most of my life, I was heavily active, from weight training to dance, to whatever new thing I could try. I was also blessed with a ridiculously fast metabolism that allowed me to basically eat whatever I wanted. This fueled my McDonalds-based life style and what I came to call my chicken nugget abs (abs masked by yet mysteriously formed by a steady supply of mcnuggets).
As my activity levels slowed and my eating habits stayed the same, I realized I needed to get back in the gym. I tried running and convinced myself I liked it from time to time, but it's strength training that will always have my heart. Some friends from back home have been on cross fit kicks, so when a groupon came out for a cross-fit near me, I had to try it out. I'm a few weeks in now, and in a serious love/hate relationship.
For anyone who's ever tried it, let me know what you think. Any tips for not being the most sore human on the planet will also be well-received. Until then, wish me luck!