How long have you been on your health and fitness journey and why did you get started?
First, I would like to say hello and Happy New Year to all who visits this site! I’m very excited to be a part of your health and fitness journey and I hope my writings will influence someone along the way. My name is Angela Sale and I am a Family Nurse Practitioner with over 25 years of health care experience. I developed a love for fitness in 1991, during my freshman year in college. I enjoyed spending my free time in the gym lifting weights and engaging in cardio. The feeling I received after my workouts was exhilarating and a great stress reliever after hours of studying. As time moved forward (post undergrad), my workouts became very inconsistent as life got in the way. I followed a path of jumping on the fitness horse then falling back off again, this went on for many years. In the fall of 2010, I reached my heaviest weight ever. I became very frustrated with myself, so I decided that I was going to get serious with my fitness and shed the fat. I joined a gym and hired a trainer. For 1 ½ years I trained on a consistent basis (2-3 times/week). During that time, I noticed changes in my body composition, as I picked up quite a bit of muscle but still struggled with getting rid of my muffin top. In 2012, I came across another trainer who identified that I was quite strong and carried a lot of muscle, however, he was perplexed about my mid-section.
He stated, “Your gut should be much smaller considering how much you work out.”
He began questioning me about my nutrition plan; which was horrible and consisted of lots of white carbs, sugar and saturated fats. At this point I knew little about nutrition as this subject matter was lightly touched on during nursing school. Ultimately he designed a healthy nutrition plan for me (lean meats, fruits, veggies and lots of water). It was then that I began to notice a change in my body, within months my muffin top disappeared. The success of my weight loss and overall transformation lit a fire inside of me. This was when my true health and fitness journey began!
Many wives and mothers find it challenging to know how to incorporate healthy eating and staying active into their already busy lifestyles. Do you have any tips for them.
Healthy nutrition and exercise is the cornerstone for wellness. While parents are establishing a healthier lifestyle, it’s important for them to expose their children to the same type of lifestyle as well. Therefore, as their children grow older they will not have to struggle with obesity and other health related issues due to poor nutrition and inactivity.
Weight loss is 85% healthy nutrition, 15 % exercise
- The key is preparation. Always prepare your meals ahead of time and designate a time a day for exercise where you have the least amount of distractions.
- Invest in tupperware dishes, zip lock bags, a cooler and/or a thermal bag, they are a life saver!
- Remove any unhealthy items from the fridge and pantry and replace with healthy items.
- Keep your meals simple and cook in bulk. Cook enough food that will last 2-3 days (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Set aside 2 days of the week/ a few hours each time to accomplish this.
- If you need to leave your home to run errands or go to work, place your food in tupperware dishes and/or zip lock bags, store in a cooler or a thermal bag and take it with you, therefore when hunger strikes, healthy foods are available to eat. If you’re not prepared when hunger strikes, most likely you’ll lean towards quick and convenient options such as fast food restaurants or sugary/processed snacks which has no nutritional value. This type of eating on a regular basis will ensure weight gain.
- As far as exercise, join a gym and hire a trainer to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Fitness centers offer a wide variety of exciting classes such as zumba, kick boxing, cycling, boot camp, yoga, etc. If you choose a class that you find to be very enjoyable, you’re more likely to stick with it. Furthermore, most gyms offer free daycare, utilize it, your child can play while you exercise.
- If you cannot afford a gym membership, work out at home or do laps inside a mall (engage in a brisk walk at a good clip for 30-45 min). Bring your child with you and push in a stroller if they are an infant or toddler. Another great place to work out is at a park. The park is an outdoor gym waiting to be used. While your kids are playing, utilize a picnic table for step-ups, tricep dips and push-ups.
- If you have an infant or a toddler and you’re a stay-at-home mom, exercise during their nap time. You can use house hold items as exercise equipment (i.e. canned goods for weights, run stairs for cardio, do push-ups/sit ups/ squats during commercials or purchase a few work out DVD’s that you enjoy).
- Accountability is so important. Designate one or a few of your greatest cheerleaders to be accountable to (husband, close friend(s), trainer, fitness group, etc), It’s very difficult to achieve weight loss without having an accountability partner. I’m accountable to a trainer and a nutritionist. They keep me on point throughout the year.
- Invest in a “Fit Bit” or similar gadget, it’s a great accountability tool that monitors and displays your weight loss progress.
- Exercise 3-5 times a week, 30-45min. Eat 3 well balanced meals a day (including lean meats, fruits, and lots of vegetables) with small snacks in between meals. Drink plenty of water, divide your body weight in half and add ounces, that’s how much water you should drink daily to flush toxins out of your body and stimulate motility in your intestines to prevent constipation.
- Organic is the healthiest route to take when purchasing produce (and meat) as it does not contain toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. But if you cannot afford organic, make sure you rinse your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, using a natural bristle brush to lightly scrub the surface, which aids in removing some of the pesticide residues that may be present.
- If your schedule is really tight and you have no time for food preparation, ask a close friend or family member to help you out. Just remember, “If you have no time for healthy nutrition and exercise, eventually you’ll have to make time for illness.”
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