How To Kick Start Your Fitness Journey

How To Kick Start Your Fitness Journey

The 3 C’s in life:

Choice, Chance, & Change.

You must make the choice,

to take the chance,

if you want anything in life to change.

Okay, I’m probably the bajillionth person to write tips and advice on transitioning into a fitness routine, BUT I want to try to reach as many of my friends as I can because I care about them and I want them to live long, happy lives. Even if only five people read this, thats five more people in the world who are taking steps to better themselves. To all of my friends out there who have asked me for advice on exercising and eating right- this is for you. I love you guys!

I’m gonna start off by saying that this is a commitment to your health. It is a privilege to be able to exercise and use your body while you can walk, jump…Move! When you look at the big picture and imagine how you want to be living at 65 years old, taking care of your body now is key. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. So, you want to feel more energized, look better, and increase your confidence? Be part of that 5%.

One of my friends sent me a text asking “How do I start working out?” Well, you just have to start somewhere! When I first started committing to an exercise routine, I found Kayla Itsines body-weight workouts. Let me tell ya, those kicked my ass! Once I felt comfortable enough to venture into the weight-lifting world, I started going to the gym for resistance training. See, we all start somewhere! Personally, I think that mastering body weight exercises is a wonderful place for beginners. However, it depends on the person. Some people prefer running, or yoga for exercise. All are GREAT options, you just need to find your niche-something you can enjoy doing long term. Once it becomes part of your routine, it will be foreign not having it scheduled in to your day.

That brings me to another piece of advice; schedule and make time for your workouts! Whether it is 5AM or 9PM, find a time to take some pre-workout, listen to some banger tunes that get you motivated, and go move your body! (I listen to Spotify playlists, and there are tons of really great genres for all different types of exercise.) You will not only be improving your health, but you will also notice that you are sleeping better, have more energy during the day, and feel a sense of accomplishment.

I’m the type of person that prefers to workout alone. The gym is my personal time where I can handle the shit that is happening in my life. However, I know other people love to have an accountability buddy! Find an exercise buddy, discuss your fitness goals, and keep each other accountable for those goals. One of my friends and I have a goal of running five miles this week, and so far we are crushing it! It is just nice to have someone struggling with you, but also knowing that you’re both accomplishing something that is keeping you healthy and active is a wonderful feeling!

My final little nugget of advice is to pay no attention to what others are doing. Focus on you and what you have going for you. If you become easily intimidated by people in the gym, that’s okay, because I’ve been there! Honestly though, if you stick with it, you get over that feeling. Exercise can build you up in so many ways, including your confidence. Just keep in mind that the intimidating ones at the gym are there for them, and probably are only focusing on their gains (lol) instead of what you’re doing. If anyone ever says something mean to you, just call me up and i’ll kick some meat-head ass.

SO, next time you’re contemplating about going for a run, just send it! You’ll feel amazing after. It’s all about starting somewhere and progressing into more vigorous exercises. Challenging your body, challenges your mind as well, which always results in growth. It’s cheesy, but you really can accomplish anything you set your mind to. If you are reading this, and want to commit yourself to an exercise routine-do it! I believe in you! Tell your friends, family, dog, and don’t hold back.

It’s time for growth.

-The Positive Peanut

6 Tips to Help Build Lean Muscle

6 Tips to Help Build Lean Muscle

I get many messages over Instagram and text of people (mainly women) asking how to build lean muscle mass and become more toned, confident, and healthy! I’ve made a list in my notes of the things I’ve incorporated into my life that has helped me increase my lean muscle mass over the years. This is a fun topic for me because I love nerding out and sharing my personal experiences with others to hopefully help them reach their goals. It’s awesome because these are simple tips that anyone can use to see the results they want. What it really comes down to is time and persistence. Results won’t appear over night, but if you stay motivated, you’ll see changes before you know it!

I would also like to mention that I am not qualified to give any nutritional information, but I am here to share what has worked for me! If you are struggling with the nutrition side of things, I highly recommend seeing a Dietician or Nutritionist. I can tell you one thing though, we have the power of information at our finger tips and you can seriously Google anything you would ever want to know. If you want to know more about nutrition, you can look up the nutritional requirements for an adult who is trying to maintain lean muscle. Please be careful though, your health is not something to take lightly. You must make sure the sources you are obtaining information from are credible, reliable sources. Once you have an idea of what a healthy diet is, and how it can benefit you, it’s smooth sailing from there.

NOW….. into the nitty gritty.

  1. EAT A CLEAN, WELL-ROUNDED DIET. You will be amazed by how little changes in your diet can make a huge difference in your appearance. I remember when I was committed to a vegan diet, and I thought I was filling my body with healthy options just because they were dairy/meat/egg free. That is not the case, because I didn’t realize how much processed food I was consuming. I was also ingesting large amounts of soy every day, which wasn’t helping me achieve my goals in the long run. Now, I’m not bagging on vegans by any means, I’m just saying I wasn’t doing it correctly. This directed me toward eating more whole foods, such as roasted vegetables, chicken, turkey, eggs, fruits, rice, and other unprocessed foods. This change not only made me feel better, but it also has helped me increase my desired amount of muscle mass and now I look healthier than ever.
  2. GET ON AN EXERCISE ROUTINE. I made the mistake for the longest time of going into the gym every day without a plan. No specific targeted area I wanted to work on, no exercises planned, no specific goals in mind either. I just wanted to stay in shape, like I’m sure many of you do as well. I was cheating myself though. I was not putting in the mental work when it comes to exercising. Once I got a coach, I started to mentally push myself to feel the movements of my workouts. The mind-muscle connection is key. Its better to focus on the movements vs. the amount of weight you can move. Instead of hammering out some bicep curls as fast as I could, I actually focus on feeling the contraction of my muscles so that I know it is benefitting me. My coach gives me “phases” of my weekly workouts, which shows me exactly what I am training Monday-Friday, including cardio time, and supplements. (If you’re seeking an online coach, hit up Shaun Standridge, instagram: wycked_shaun)
  3. DRINK TONS OF WATER. You guys know this! Water is essential for living. We all have those days where we totally do not keep track of how much water we drink, which most likely is less than we are supposed to. I try to drink at least half my body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weight 140lbs, try to drink about 70 ounces of water a day. If you are’t a huge fan of drinking water, try adding BCAAs or crystal light to help you enjoy your fluids. Your water intake has a huge role in digestion, skin appearance, energy levels, and mood. If you want to feel your best, keep on drinking!

4. LIMIT YOUR CAFFEIN INTAKE. I am so guilty of consuming 500mg of caffein per day, and I’ve done it countless times. Granted, I do work for a coffee company where the supply is endless. The morning coffee, the mid-work energy drink, the pre-workout…All day, every day. I was an addict for sure. However, I’ve changed my ways, and so can you! I’ve noticed that the more caffeinated drinks I have during the day, the less energy I have or I don’t even feel a difference in my energy levels at all. Sometimes I crash hard and don’t want to do anything for the rest of the day. You also have to consider the calories that are in your energy drinks and coffee. That alone could be your source of carbs for the day, which will not help you increase your lean muscle mass. Ever since I reduced my caffein intake to about 150mg/day, I’ve noticed myself feeling a lot more energized and more lean (from cutting out the milk in my coffee) and replacing it with water. However, I do enjoy my ultra sunrise monsters occasionally, and those are usually my source of caffein for the day. So try swapping out the regular coffee for decaf, drink more water, or find a less caffeinated version of your favorite drinks!

5. INCREASE NON-EXERCISE ACTIVITY THERMOGENESIS (NEAT). Yes, I know that is a big jumble of words. Basically, NEAT is the time and energy spent that is not eating, sleeping, or working out. It is the physical activity you partake in during your daily business. For example, instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. If you have a desk job and you find yourself sitting most of the day, get up and walk around the office every hour or so. There are plenty of ways to increase your NEAT, and in return you may notice some positive changes!

6. WORK YOUR ASS OFF. Plain and simple. Do the work, and you will be rewarded. It is almost like a formula, and if you follow all of these tips and work with intention, your desired outcome will show. Sometimes you have to wake up at 4am for the gym, or stay up late meal prepping on the weekends, or even cry on the stair master (guilty) BUT you will be proud. Accomplishing something you put your mind to will give you more confidence than you can imagine. You just gotta work your ass off.

Again, these are all things I incorporate in my daily life and it may work for some of you, and some of you it may not help you at all! Regardless of the outcome, I hope you enjoyed reading. I’m trying to be more transparent with my posts, so if there is anything you readers would like to know about me or a subject along the lines of mental health or fitness, don’t be afraid to drop a comment or shoot an e-mail. 🙂

-Molls