Avoid Burnout and Boredom With Your Fitness and Nutrition
Written by Dana Yarn, RDLD
When I initially became interested in nutrition and fitness it was through running and triathlon. Then in college I became fascinated with physique competition, including bodybuilding, fitness and figure competitions. I competed years ago and it was my first and last show to date.
I approached the entire competition with a militant attitude (which is common among some competitors). I remember endless hours of cardio, plain and boring low carb and fat food, and my social life went down the drain. It was my junior year in college and the show was in the middle of July (prime time for some serious parties and typical college lifestyle). We rode our beach cruisers to the bars and clubs, life was great. During my competition prep I can remember everyone else drinking mojitos and chowing down on bar food on the 4th of July, but not me, I was 2 weeks out from my show! I had a protein shake in my bike basket and my muscles were so flat from carb depleting that I did not have the energy to ride my bike past 7pm. I bailed on my friends early and listened to fireworks in bed.
Looking back I made some serious sacrafices to my overall quality of life. Sure I looked great in a bikini, but the aftermath of the competition was devastating, I gained over 20 pounds in a couple of weeks, my kidneys hurt from depleting water, I was bloated every time I ate and if I would have known back then what adrenal fatigue was I am sure I was in it.
There is a right way to compete in physique competitions and my above experience was not the right way. If this is something that you are interested in doing hire a trainer and nutrition coach who have references and the diet and exercise routine should not be daunting. Save your thyroid and adrenal glands from metabolic damage and have a health professional guide you every step of the way.
The moral of that story is to be successful at weight management and have a optimal functioning metabolism we need to have a balanced lifestyle. Enjoying the company of family and friends, eating healthy food that still taste good, and staying active daily without an obsessive mindset is the key to achieving long term results.
If you are bored with your current fitness routine it is time to make some changes.
Get outside, life is too short to be stuck on a stationary cardio machine every day, breathe fresh air and absorb your surroundings. Sure you may not be able to do this every day but try to do it more then you already do.
Try something new, go to a dance class, rent a kayak (in a few months, I do realize it's January, haha), go for a hike in park that has some beautiful scenery, take a new group fitness class at your health club, or hire a trainer, join a boot camp or ask a friend to be your workout buddy.
Don't go for quantity, go for quality. If you strive to be "moving" daily, ie. parking far away, walking your dog, getting up and out from behind your desk, playing active games with your kids, taking the stairs vs. the elevator, etc. you really only need to exercise with intention for 30-45 minutes per day. Buy a pedometer or a activity monitor "ftibit" and strive to walk 10,000 steps per day in addition to some weight training and yoga/Pilates. The pedometers or activity monitors will make you will think twice about leaving laundry on your stairs, multiple trips will help you get those steps in.
If you are bored with your nutrition, it is time to shake it up!
Look up different recipes that are NOT low fat or laced with harmful sugar substitute chemicals. Some great resources for recipes that I personally use daily include:
www.unrefinedkitchen.com or www.facebook.com/JustEatingRealFood or www.healthylivinghowto.com
Stay up on the latest. Read healthy blogs, books, etc. Every night I read myself to sleep with a nutrition book (reading beats the heck out of reality TV and it does not suppress natural melatonin production making it hard to fall asleep). If you understand the reason why you should avoid certain foods and limit grains and sugars you will most likely stick to it more. A few of my favorite books include:
Wheat Belly, Ultrametabolism, Cracking the Metabolic Code, Primal Diet, etc.
If cooking is overwhelming to you and your schedule consider investing in a personal chef. I know you probably are thinking that personal chef services are only for the extremely wealthy, but the price of chef services is actually quite reasonable, especially if you compare it to the amount of money you spend eating out. A chef will take care of the shopping, menu planning and preparation. I have hired chef's for clients and it has made a world of difference in their overall health. Just make sure you get a Chef who specializes in grain, gluten, and modified to low sugar/carbohydrate preparation, interview several and ask for references. Be firm with your lifestyle and how you want things to be prepared, limit grains, sugars, and processed additives and flours.
Make it a year full of exciting exercise and nutrition!