Nike workout bra, pants and sneakers
This past year really was a huge milestone for me in regards to my fitness and health. My awareness of how my body felt grew tenfold and I have been able to really see and feel the changes physically and mentally since the beginning of the changes I made in this department. My appetite is still just as big as it was, but I trained my body to crave the good, nutritious stuff more often than not. Like how I work hard to write about topics of substance as much as I can on this blog, I realized that I want to do the same for my body. It’s amazing how much more confident I am when my body feels energetic and strong. I like the way that my high-waisted jeans fit better. I could tell in even just the little things like the pace of my walk and the lightness of my steps, that working my body on a regular basis, and feeding it well, has made all aspects of my life better. I feel more motivated and less stressed, and I really feel that there is no going back to where I was before. My boyfriend, who I have been with for a year, really did in a way help me kick start this new outlook on healthy eating. One of our first dates was at a micro-biotic, vegan restaurant in NYC that ending up really growing on me. I noticed the foods he liked to eat, things that were healthy and simple, but still delicious. He showed me his favorite raw fruit pies he made back in Brazil. Slowly, I started to cut out the snacks I used to have hidden in my cupboard (bye bye, potato chips and cheez-its . . . both my secret cravings), replacing them with fruits and yogurt and lots of nuts. My white rice was replaced with brown and quinoa and barley. They weren’t actually replacements . . . they have always been foods I liked to eat, they just started making their way into my life even more so. My boyfriend and I started cooking together a lot, and the basis of our meals were a lot of vegetables and fish. I used to never make salads for myself. Then all of a sudden we were making salads full of protein and even fruits together. It felt so rewarding to sit down and eat a healthy meal we prepared. And that gets me to the most important thing . . . make sure to never deprive yourself. Finding yourself satisfied at the end of a meal is number one. Chocolate is still a daily part of my life alongside my home cooked veggie stir fries. I allow myself a burger once or twice a month. But I don’t crave those salty and fatty things hardly as much, but when there comes a time that I do, I let myself have them. Of course, fitness and health is all about balance. Everyone deserves treats every now and then.
A year ago I was inspired to change up my fitness routine and get out of the rut of my Planet Fitness membership. For me, it was 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and then an hour of going around using the weight machines, and I got very, very bored. I needed something to get me excited to workout again. So, I started jumping between barre and pilates classes, and within the first few months of taking these types of classes on a regular basis, I really saw the difference in the tone of my muscles. They were no longer soft, but long and lean and strong. I liked how they looked so much more, and the changes came much more quickly. Like coming to love eating good, nutritious food, I became addicted to that feeling of sweating the bad stuff away, and doing it in a way that didn’t feel mundane. All of a sudden, I felt myself wanting to take a workout class after a long day of work, rather than hit the happy hour. Don’t get me wrong, a glass of wine is a great way to unwind, but a bottle is now opened on the rare occasion. It’s something that I can completely do without now actually, although a delicious craft beer calls my name sometimes. Beer actually pairs quite well with a salad after barre class. hehe. Like I said earlier, balance baby balance.
Today, I am a proud member of Equinox (Williamsburg and Dumbo locations are my fave!) where I love to fit in True Barre and Best Abs Ever into my normal workout routine. My stretching and floor work routines I do myself on the mat, taking everything I learned in previous barre and pilates classes. If you pay attention in class, you can really take what you learn from class and do it at home. But I definitely love the energy a gym and being surrounded by those in a similar motivated mindset. At the gym, I’m totally in my zone. Equinox just started a new class called The Firestarter. It’s a 30 minute, high intensity interval training class. It’s crazy, as you can tell from the name. I’m warning you, but it’s sooo worth the burn and the pain. If you finish this class through the end, you are a real trooper. Your body might need some time to adjust to the high intensity level, but the more you do it, the easier it is. And it’s awesome for those who don’t have much time to workout. This class fits it all in in 30 minutes.
Studio B (by Bandier) is another favorite place to get some workout classes in. They change up their instructors, so you can take a wide variety! I love Amanda Koots’ dance classes there. So much sweat and cardio and fun moves! FLEX Studios is where I really dived into pilates on the reformer machine, and that’s how I started really paying attention to my core and wanting to get my waistline more sculpted. Pilates is all about focus and patience when it comes to core work. Each move is slow and swift, so that every muscle has a chance to be worked. The months before bikini season, I really recommend pilates. You will GET FIT, I promise. They also have a really great high intensity class called TRX. It’s pilates-inspired and uses your own body weight as resistance. It’s 55 minutes, and I actually really enjoy it! As you can tell, I really enjoy changing up my workout routine. It keeps me on the tip of my toes, never bored and every class I learn something new that I can take home with me or on the road.
This past year has been one full of inspiration to make good choices for my body and mind’s wellness. At the age of 29, I feel the best that I have ever felt I believe. With age, I think there really comes a powerful appreciation of the body we are born with, and I think it’s just going to keep on getting better. It might be my greatest strength right now.
This year, I think I’ll start featuring my favorite workout looks for you guys. The workout wear that brand’s are designing is so good today. Chic AF, and I’m wearing them a lot. You guys just don’t get to see that side of me as much one here, but that is soon to change 🙂