Oh hi! Remember me? I know, it’s been a little while, but I really didn’t want to make blogging a chore anymore. Unfortunately, I got stuck in the idea of writing for the mere purpose of having something to post. It wasn’t out of joy and passion anymore. But since launching flylittlebirdy, I made it a point to only write when I felt inspired and when I wanted to. No more scheduled posts. No bullshit.
So, what sparked my interest today? The sun was shining, peeking through my window and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me waking up naturally to sunlight. I woke up with a really positive mind, took my time getting out of bed (sometimes you just need that), and went for a 7 mile run. IT FELT SO GOOD. I hadn’t ran outside in so long – probably not since my half marathon in February. The weather in Seattle has just been super icky and I’ve also been low key obsessed with cycling and yoga lately. I was also inspired by a message I received the other day from one of my sweetest friends. She was asking for health and fitness advice and it made me SO happy. Someone asking ME for fitness advice? It felt so good because for me, fitness is still a journey. It will always be. My health is so important to me and it took me so long to realize that.
Three years ago, my best friend Roxanne asked me to be her maid of honor.. and I don’t know, I guess something just clicked. It helped a lot that I had friends who were now all on the same page too. We were all working towards the same goal: getting in shape for this epic wedding. I’ve tried diets before. Bologna. I’ve always “worked out.” I didn’t think I was capable of improving in any way. I kind of accepted the fact that this was just my body type, maybe I’d lose 5 lbs and that’d be cool, I guess. That was literally my mentality. It’s weird to think back on now and reflect on how much I’ve changed – now I’m not even talking physically. My mindset is completely in a different place. I wish I could go back and tell myself, “you know you’re capable of anything right?” or “don’t set limits for yourself. seriously STOP doing that.” I was the only thing in my way of achieving these “farfetched” dreams and goals. It’s true what they say. Sometimes you are just too hard on yourself. Sometimes you are your worst critic. Sometimes you are your worst enemy.
Getting started on this journey, I went hard. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was doing something different. My workouts no longer consisted of straight boring (seriously zzzz) cardio for an hour. I started incorporating circuits, strength training, and cardio never lasted longer than 30 minutes, but I made those 30 minutes COUNT. HIIT cardio was my jam, hill sprints especially. Roxanne was/is my partner in gym (ha!). She taught me so much about HIIT cardio, read me articles about the benefits of it and it changed my life. My sister helped me overcome my fear of the “boys’ section” of the gym. Like many, I was so incredibly intimidated by the weight room. How does this work? Does my arm go here? What’s a squat? I felt so out of place. So uncomfortable and awkward. But guess what? Every day, I felt a little more confident. A little more… dare I say.. EXCITED, to hit the weights. It was a weird feeling, but also the best feeling in the world. I had this confidence I don’t think was ever there.
With gym time came a lot of kitchen time. Two words: meal prep. Also life changing. The word diet now had a new meaning. Diet doesn’t mean cutting carbs for X amount of months. It doesn’t mean avoiding dessert so you can fit into a size 4 dress. Diet is literally what you eat. The cleaner I was eating, I found myself thinking, ‘what the hell was I eating before?’ There’s nothing better than knowing exactly what is going in your food. I started pinning clean recipes on Pinterest, binge watching ‘What I Eat In A Day’ YouTube videos, and following a lot of health conscious food bloggers on Instagram. Cooking soon became a hobby and mind you, this is coming from somebody who before considered pressing buttons on a microwave cooking. Zoodles and overnight oats were (and still are) my jam. Love love love my superfoods (yes, I’m that girl) – chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao powder + nibs. I have a love/hate relationship with apple cider vinegar – as much as I hate drinking it, the health benefits are out of this freaking world. Just do it. Your body will love you for it.
Things are always up and down. Some days I feel like I’ve plateaued. Some days I feel like crap, totally unmotivated, and like I’ve taken steps back. Other days I feel incredibly proud of myself (almost always after a killer workout sesh or run) and the only thing that sounds good is a massive salad. I love those days, but I get that this is a lifelong journey. Your attitude and mindset is what will get you through. I believe in celebrating small victories. I believe in encouraging others. I believe that balance is key. At the end of the day, what’s life without pizza?
My best advice to anyone who’s wanting to make a lifestyle change is to acknowledge that it’s going to be tough, but know that you can do it. You can do ANYTHING. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We’re all only human. Don’t deprive yourself of what you love, but also remember to balance. Learn to love yourself. Know that you deserve to live a happy and healthy life. Your commitment to living healthier and eating cleaner will not only show on the scale (scales suck btw) but you will have so much more energy. Your confidence will shine like never before and it’s so freaking amazing.