First I want to give a HUGE shout out to all of my fellow Cathy Savage Ladies who looked absolutely incredible on stage this weekend in Las Vegas. I was watching, I was cheering and you all looked so incredibly beautiful. Next year, I will be there. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
So, today, being that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Instead of sharing with you ways to make your Thanksgiving Healthy and "getting through Thanksgiving" I am going to share with you some things I have learned over the past year or so about me, life, love, relationships, nutrition and everything else in between. I truly found that I have grown more in this past year than I ever have in my life. I have realized I am stronger (mentally) and have realized that for the first time in my life...I am headed on the right path; my path.
First, I just want to say that Thanksgiving is a time that should be focused on family, friends and love. We should be thinking about what we are thankful for, not what we are putting in our mouths. This is ONE meal. I am so sick of seeing websites and recipes to make "Thanksgiving Healthy!" and how to eat less on this meal. Guys, seriously? Its one meal. Take the focus off of the food for once and just "BE" in the moment. Focus your energy on everything you have around you; your friends, family; loved ones; relationships; the goals you have accomplished and how much more living you have to do. Its one meal. If you stress over the food on the table; well I'm sorry to say that's just not living.
1. Never change Yourself for someone else: There is a quote I saw on one of my friends profiles a while back and I stole it because I loved it. It said "When someone says you've changed, that simply means you have stopping living their life" Lets just say that earlier this year, I went through a pretty brutal break up. I am not going to get into too much detail, but I will just say that the moment I felt happy with myself; proud of myself; focused on me (for once) my relationship started going downhill. I was living the life that I wanted to live and had never felt happier with myself. Well, this 'happy life' that I had discovered within myself was simply not accepted. Remember, there is no one in the world like you. If you are with someone who is holding the 'true you' back. Whether they are unsupportive of your job, hobbies, friends, interests, goals, visions and dreams; you NEED to move on and you know this. I felt as though I was a hamster spinning in a wheel. I was just going through the motions but making no strides towards anything that I truly loved because I was simply unsupported (to say the least) After I was put through some serious mental mind games and let myself loose; I finally for the first time in my life had never been happier; ever. It was a weight that felt lifted off of my shoulders and I felt so free. I have gotten myself out of that hamster cage and on a highway to the happiest life I have ever had in 25 years. Find someone who not only makes you laugh, but will be your number one supporter; cheerleader; in your corner. Always.
2. Adapt Habits: Once you get yourself in a routine, it is much easier to stay on task and stick to your plan rather than just put it off. Put time into your training, planning, nutrition and goals and this will set you up for lifelong healthy habits. Whenever I go on a trip whether it be via airplane, car or even if I am gone from my house for an extended period of time, I ALWAYS pack healthy snacks; almonds, protein powder, Greek yogurt, fruit, veggies, raw oats and nut butter packets. I have been told "oh my gosh, Naomi you are SO disciplined." Really? I don't think I am, packing healthy snacks like this to me is just habit. It is part of my routine. These habits to me take no time at all to prep and have become a part of something that I do to ensure my habits stay near and dear.
3. You cannot out train a bad Diet: From my own weight loss journey experience, I have truly realized that diet is more important than any amount of exercise when it comes to body transformation and fat loss. I especially learned this while training for my shows. Do all of the amount of cardio you want, but if your diet is not on point, you will NOT see any changes in your physique. You all know that weight training trumps cardio when it comes to body transformation in the gym, by revving up your metabolism, adding lean muscle and turning your body into a fat burning machine, HOWEVER, to truly get lean and see even more dramatic results a clean, nutritious, well balanced diet of proper fuel is #1. I always tell my clients that cardio exercise is a tool. We use cardio to keep the heart healthy and sure we all love a good sweat session sometimes; but trust me you can take 6 spin classes a week, and if your diet is not on point and you are not strength training; your body will NOT CHANGE.
4. Do what you Love: I have talked about this MANY times on my blog But I cannot stress enough that you must follow your heart and do what truly makes you happy. Why would you want to live someone Else's life? We all have passions, hobbies, interests and talents--use them. Do not lose sight on your visions, goals, dreams. Nothing is impossible.
5. Live a little: I know I preach about health and healthy recipes all of the time, but once in a while it is important to throw all of that junk out of the window and just LIVE. I used to get so nervous going to a dinner party where I didn't know what would be served, so I snuck my own food 'just in case' I have a few times before not gone to social events because I didn't want to be put in tough 'food situations' Then, I slapped myself. (ok not really) but I did wake up and realize this is NO way to live. I found that I was more stressed about the situation than actually enjoying myself with friends, family and loved ones! Yes, prepping for a show is a bit different, as I have had to bring my own food when I have gone to a dinner party a week out from show, but this was an extreme circumstance. I promise you; that eating 'what you want' every now and then is not only okay, but encouraged to ensure that you will not binge and actually keeps your body on track. if you think that this one 'event' where you will be eating like crap will change your body; well then you have other issues you have to deal with.
6. Appreciate your Training: I train to get strong. I train for a purpose. I love the feeling of lifting heavy weights; I love the way my body feels and I appreciate my body. Our bodies are amazing units and I make sure never to abuse it. If you feel tired one day but it was a 'scheduled' leg day; so what?! I skip it! LISTEN to your bodies and RESPECT them. They are smarter than you know
7. Always be positive: This is something I have adapted from my mother. "always see the glass half full" The power of positivity is crucial to living a happy, healthy life. Smile, help a stranger, give someone a compliment and just embrace LIFE; its the only one you have!
8. Our Bodies are Different: I have always known this but this year it really hit me that every single persons body responds different to different foods, nutrition, training and volume. I get emails daily asking me what I eat and how I train, and maybe this person will follow exactly what I say but see no results. Well of course this is most likely what WILL happen because what works with my body may not work with yours. Close to my 2nd Bikini Competition I was talking to my coach about my nutrition because we were changing it up a bit. My body was not responding in the way that either of us thought (I was too hungry all of the time andmy body was therefore not recovering properly) so she upped my food intake and decreased my training a bit. I got nervous that I 'Wouldn't come in for show" she went on to explain to me that one of the winners of an FAP show last year was eating five servings of-1/2 C servings of starch each day UP TO SHOW! This was almost unheard of for me, but that beautiful, strong, amazing woman WON the show! It goes to show that diets/nutrition truly is a unique puzzle for everyone. We all are made up of many different pieces, so if you are following someone elses diet and not seeing results; I am not at all shocked. This is a reason I cannot stand diets in magazines that young women follow. They are not built for you. Seek out a dietitian who can make you a customized program if you are serious about getting your nutrition in check!
9. Stop Thinking about What Others Think: Why? Why waste your time about other people's expectations. Are you on this earth to prove something to others? Prove to yourself that you are making the most of whatever it is that you are doing. If you are trying to hard to 'fit in someones mold' or aiming high for something that is not there, you will only set yourself up for disappointment. Just be yourself for crying out loud.
10. Never Stop Learning: Anything. Ever. Being in the fitness industry, I am always trying to stay ahead of the game or learn about methods I am unfamiliar with. My brain is constantly wanting to seek out new information. As a solid trainer, it is so important to be well rounded, knowledgeable and up to date. I will keep on learning until the day I die.
11. Fuel Properly: Real foods. Eat them and eat them often. Eat fats. Healthy fats and often. Ladies; if you want to be strong, you need to stop eating like a bird. Yes, I love vegetables too, but there is no need to have all of your meals be simply vegetables. Bleh. Stay well balanced and make sure you are eating every 2.5 hours; protein at every meal. EAT something for crying out loud. No wonder you aren't getting any stronger with your current program; you need to FUEL your bodies!
12. Regress Your Training, if Need Be: If you want to make true progress in the gym and with your strength gains, it is sometimes necessary to regress to perfect your form. With a goal at hand, your workout plan should be well thought out and make sense. If you currently have a trainer who changes up your program every single time you meet, this is not only pointless, but should show you that your trainer really doesn't care to see you progress. How can you get better, stronger, leaner, reach your goals if there is no real goal at hand. You wouldn't build a house without a solid foundation so why force the body to perform something that is shouldn't? Next time you are training, I want you to truly focus on YOUR FORM. Are you engaging properly, is your body aligned properly or are you just looking to lift as much weight as possible?
13. Have a Goal at Hand: Do you suffer from Gym ADD? This is when you go into the gym and just do whatever the heck you want, but then get frustrated because you aren't reaching your goals? I have been here before too. Get a plan. Do your research. Focus on what you are truly trying to accomplish. If you just workout with no goal or plan in mind and get continually frustrated, well I don't really feel bad because you must put in the time to create a scruted workout schedule. Head over to my workout/exercise tips page and you can put together your own workout schedule. Get that goal in your mind. Think about what you need to do to get there and then plan it out so you will achieve it! There is no need to make a workout schedule so complicated. Keep it simple yet effective and stay consistant.
14. Stop listening to those Silly Workout Myths: Just read this to learn about that one
15. BIG lifts. Focus on compound movements, rather than isolation. Check out some of my favorite new exercises that are big, compound moves. I am talking squats, dead lifts, chin ups, bench, and of course some plyos thrown in the mix. I cannot tell you how much stronger I feel throughout my entire body. When I do a set of push ups now, I feel my back being activated more than ever before and I can also notice a huge difference in my back; it is more defined and this is simply from toning down the volume of my training and completing more compound, 'back to basics' movements in the gym
What is something you have learned recently?