About five years ago, my routine for fitness only entailed running. I had never set foot in a gym or had any knowledge about weight training. That all changed when a close person in my life started taking me to the gym.
It meant so much having him there to teach me what to do. It removed all the intimidation I would have felt finding my way around the weights.
From that moment on I was hooked! I will forever be indebted to him for showing me the way to a new lifestyle, and helping me believe I could do it. It has since been a way of life for me with the main goal of being healthy.
My workout plan includes four days of weight training and three days of cardio. I change up my routine every 4-to 6 weeks. I always include two leg days. A sample would be as follows:
As a person who eats fish but not meat, it is always a challenge to find alternate protein sources. My diet consists of fish, eggs/egg whites, beans, tofu, whey and casein shakes. Balancing my protein with complex carbs and healthy fats has been a beneficial way of eating. Learning about macro-nutrients and appropriate ratios is so helpful.
Of course whey is a big help to me, but also many of the basics.
Besides the obvious health benefits, I have grown to love working out because it falls in line with the idea that we have to be the best we can be first, before we can be helpful to others. Some of my colleagues at work and also friends will ask me questions about their diet or fitness goals, and it feels so rewarding to share what I have been taught.
I remain motivated simply to stay healthy. My mother was sickly all her life and after she passed away earlier this year, I am reminded that being physically able is a gift. I want to make the most of that gift every day. I also hope to encourage others over 40 or at any age, to remember that it's never too late to become a fitter and healthier person.
I still have many goals to achieve. However, what has gotten me to meet my goals to this point is proving to myself that I can. It sets a framework for the rest of my life's ambitions and reminds me that when you put your mind to things you can get farther then you may think!
I hope to compete in my first show this fall. I am also planning to become certified as a personal trainer. As a teacher it feels like a natural progression to take something I am passionate about and use it to help educate others.
Having not competed yet, I would not have a lot of advice to impart. I am aware however of the discipline it takes to get there. So I would say "Stay disciplined, and do it right!"
I am a big fan of Erin Stern. I have read about how she had to overcome feeling shy about going on stage, and it is so encouraging to see how she overcame it! Also, Ava Cowan is a huge inspiration- one of my favorite quotes comes from her; "Happiness is an inside job. Nothing externally can make you happy. People, places, and things - they can't make you happy. Only you can." Wise words from a woman with awesome abs!
I always refer to the site to look for workouts and videos for exercise form. There are so many great articles about supplements and workouts. Last summer I followed Lee Labrada's 12 Week Lean Body Trainer. I enjoyed using the forums and BodySpace account to communicate with others following the workout. Of course I order all my supplements as well!