Guest Contributor: Jasmine Symone Gates
Follow on IG: @bodyambitions
This will be a three part series by pro workout trainer Jasmine Symone Gates. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing with you some of her tips on how to start your health and fitness journey and how to maintain it until it becomes a lifestyle.
I’m going to keep it all the way real, getting in shape is far from “easy”. In fact, that word should never be used when on a fitness journey. While it may seem easy for some to stay in shape, getting there is the toughest part that I’ve seen most people struggle with. Why? For many reasons: working out requires time, dedication, conviction and determination. I know it sounds like a cliché, or a motivational tagline but it’s all true. You can’t simply hop on a piece of equipment and see instant results. You need to change your daily physical routine, eating habits, and also put in the effort to find the regime that works best for you. Now once you’ve started your regime, it will slowly become a habit, and then staying in shape will definitely become an ‘easy’ part of your life.
How does one get there? I have a few recommendations that will help alleviate the stress of getting in shape as you focus on small steps rather than jumping right in.
Now, I’m not a nutritionist and I cringe every time someone asks me, “What should I be eating?” after a workout session. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fair question and there’s so much information online regarding various diets. The reason I cringe at this question, is that we are all different, what might work for me may not work for you. For example, I hate smoothies and shakes. It’s a texture thing and I can’t stand the taste of melted milk. That’s just me, whereas there are tons of people who swear by them. If you were to go online, juicing and replacing meals with smoothies is the current “trend”. However, if I were to follow that trend I’d be angry, moody and would not have enough energy to get me through five minutes of a workout. So rather tell people what they should be eating, my suggestion is to have them think about what they like, what they can cut back on, what they can incorporate more of and then speak on my personal preferences.
I love food and I love eating out at restaurants even more. I am the ultimate foodie. It seems as if every pain, illness and bad mood is best relieved with good food and great company. I live in New York, so the amount of eateries available to me is never ending. However, I cook and eat at home practically every night. Partially because it’s become a lifestyle habit at this point but also because it allows me to control and maintain my healthy food preferences. I only buy organic meat. I cook with coconut spread or olive oil and I eat a salad with dinner almost every night. That and a glass of red wine of course! I don’t cook anything processed, or anything that contains artificial flavors or preservatives. If I can’t pronounce or recognize some of the ingredients, I won’t buy it. So, you can see why I prefer this more than indulging in my love for eating out. I’m able to eat cleaner when I cook for myself.
The above lifestyles changes have changed my overall energy, mood and physical levels tremendously. Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean I never eat out. I don’t eat kale and almonds 24/7 so I won’t front like I do. Sometimes I crave a burger and fries and other times believe it or not I crave cart food. But like anything, moderation is key and never should your habitual and moderate cravings make you feel guilty whatsoever. I don’t believe in counting calories as I think it adds unnecessary stress to any fitness journey. I do think it’s important to incorporate healthier foods into your routine so that a) they eventually become a habit and b) your body is able to maintain enough energy to get you through your workouts.
Enjoyed part one of #GetFit by pro fitness trainer Jasmine Symone Gates? Stay tuned to the next installment on April 4th 2016! Want to connect with her right now? Find her on social media: @bodyambitions
Three women going through life.