Friday, July 5, 2013

FITNESS FRIDAY: How I learned to Eat, Sleep, & Train like GOKU ♥

Hello my Loves! 

Today, I want to talk to you about my personal heath and fitness journey and more importantly, how I learned to push through negative thoughts to find a new love of wellness! In a recent video, I informed you all that I LOST15 LBS overall during the months of May and July. Physical fitness and overall health has grown into something very important to me. Over the past few years, I've realized that I've become incredibly lazy and ate so horribly. It wasn't until I was sick and tired of the way I felt and stepped on a scale that I knew that I had to take action or things wouldn't get better. Now that I've started moving again and eating better foods, I am no longer lethargic during the day, and I look forward to getting my workouts in each day. 

When you first change your diet and exercise plan, it's always hard to stay motivated and stick with it. Your body will go into a shock mode, thinking there is no way you can stick to it. There will be fast food cravings, and your comfy couch will be calling your name. But let me be the one to tell you, YOU CAN PUSH THROUGH IT! I find that once you push past the first difficult two weeks, the results you see and the feeling of accomplishment you get will make it all worthwhile. 

The key to my success these past couple of months has been this:

"Eat, Sleep, & Workout like GOKU!"

For those of you who don't understand the Dragonball Z reference, Goku is the main protagonist. He's eccentric, and when not training, he's either eating tons of food or sleeping endlessly. I love Goku's ability to incorporate these three key health factors into his everyday life, and it has inspired my personal diet and fitness routine. 

Now, let me break it down for you!

EAT: Choose Wisely! 

Even though Goku eats massive amounts of everything, I choose to eat MORE healthy food and LESS junk food. When it comes to dieting, people usually focus on the foods that they cannot have. By actively choosing to eat better foods without restricting myself entirely, I feel better about what I eat, and I never feel deprived. For example, I CHOOSE to only drink water and tea during the week, but I allow myself to drink soda and juice on the weekends. I can eat as much fruit and veggies as I want, but if I'm craving that molten chocolate lava cake for dessert, I MUST accompany it with a salad and drink a glass water first. 

Tip: Allow for one cheat day per week! 

When your diet is restricted, the brain sends signals to the rest of your body thinking that it's starving, which ultimately slows down your metabolism. To correct this, a cheat day allows your brain and body to feel well fed and boosts your metabolism back up! 

SLEEP: At Least 6 Hours Per Night! 

Goku sleeps A LOT, as he should considering how hard he trains! No one really considers how important rest is for your overall health. Not getting enough shut eye leads to junk food cravings and larger portions, because your body is looking for nutrients to help keep it moving. Eight hours of sleep is ideal, but if your busy schedule doesn't allow for it, try to get at least 6 hours each night. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep increases your body's production of the hunger hormone ghrelin, whereas getting more than 6 hours of sleep increases you body's production of leptin, which controls your appetite. 

In addition to getting a good night's sleep, rest days in between intense workouts are important to allow your body to rebuild overworked muscles. Not giving your body enough time to repair and replenish can cause your muscles to breakdown from being overworked, leading to serious injury. 

Tip: Sleep in complete darkness! 

(This was very difficult for me at first, since I have a phobia of things that cannot be seen in the dark and slept with a night light for most of my life.) Even the tiniest bit of light can disrupt your internal clock, so in order to get the best sleep possible and feel completely refreshed in the morning: close your door, pull down your blinds/close your curtains, and lights out! 

WORKOUT: & make it FUN!

On my Instagram, any pictures I post during my workouts over the past two months have included the hash tag "#HyperbolicTimeChamber". In Dragonball Z, the Hyperbolic Time Chamber is in a separate dimension from Earth, a training area where a year inside is equivalent to one day in real time with increased gravity and air density. I imagine that my workouts, no matter how brief it may be, will impact my health and fitness for many years to come. It doesn't matter how you stay active or how long you workout for, as long as you're doing something. 

The most important part of exercise for me is finding a way to make every workout fun. Whether it's lifting weights and using an elliptical at the gym, playing sports, running outside, strolling around the park, or hiking a trail up a mountain, I am constantly mixing up my workouts. This allows me to enjoy staying active and never have a boring workout. If I don't feel like going to the gym, I'll do what I want to do, such as going to the mall. The catch is that I have to WALK to get there, since I chose to skip my original workout plan. 

Anyone can find new and exciting ways to incorporate fitness into their everyday life. No one should restrict their workout to an hour at the gym on the treadmill, when you can find many alternatives that will make your workout more enjoyable.

Tip: Set a goal for yourself and reward yourself when you achieve it!

Setting out to accomplish a goal is the best way to get started or continue to motivate yourself. Want to fit in your size 6 jeans again? Want to be able to run a half-marathon? Whether the goal is big or small, when you finally accomplish it, you will feel amazing and ready to conquer the next one you set for yourself! 

Well, that's it for today's post. Be sure to follow me on Instagram: MorganFreeman7 for my latest workouts and healthy snacks that I've been concocting. Finding a new love of health and fitness has completely changed my outlook these past two months. I always look forward to planning my next workout now, and I drool when I think about picking up berries at the store and throwing together a yummy berry salad. I hope to continue to lose inches and pounds. I am excited to announce that I will be running in The GIANT Race 10K on August 4th! I hope this post inspired some of you to begin a wellness journey with a new positive outlook on health and fitness! ^______^

Denise Joyce