[All photos in this post where taken by Huong Nguyen of Heartlab Co. at the Los Angeles Athletic Club]
When it comes to running Follow My Gut, I eat out a lot.
On an average I visit about five restaurants a week. Look at that monthly and I’ve spent around 60% of the month eating out. Add in the breakfast I eat on the way to work, the lunch that I have in the office, or any other food I devour which has nothing to do with my blog and I’ve probably taken in more calories than I would like to divulge to my mom. With such a high intake of food you may look back on the last two years that I’ve committed to eating out and wonder how I haven’t died yet. I’ve asked myself the same question, but I recently discovered the answer. If you’ve been blogging about food and eating out in restaurants for your own website and social media profiles then it’s important that you start to do one specific practice to keep your body, mind, and health intact. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut around this one and I hate saying it just as much as you’ll probably hate reading it. Unless you have an incredible metabolism the only way I’ve learned how to eat out as much as I want and not keel over is to exercise incredibly hard.
It’s impossible for me to exhibit any type of portion control when a great plate is in front of me. Whether it’s a steak or cake, I will eat as much as I my body can hold. If you’re nothing like me and you know how put your fork down then that’s going to be a great way for you to keep a good weight when reviewing restaurants. For the rest of us, hitting the gym or making use of equipment at home is going to be the best bet. When I made the choice to commit to working out, I decided to challenge myself. For the month of June I set a goal that I would exercise for at least an hour every single day. I would do a combination of 150 sit ups, weights, and leg lifts, and spend about 20 minutes riding my stationary bike set at a high resistance. On the days when I could get out of the house I spent an hour in my kickboxing class. The amount of sweat that dropped down my face, arms, and body was pretty concerning, but considering that was simply all the food I’ve eaten prior to the workout, I loved to watch it leave.
Since I’ve started such a rigorous and disciplined workout I feel much better. I never set out with the goal of hitting a certain weight, but feeling better about myself and how I fit into my clothes. A month later I can finally get back into my tighter jeans without walking around with the pants unbuttoned and slightly unzipped. I also don’t feel as lethargic throughout the day or winded when I’m out and about. I still have a long way to go to get my body into a great place, but I’m disciplining myself now to create a habit of exercise that will only be productive considering how much food I eat and how little control I have over the way it’s cooked. I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or physical trainer so I can’t tell you what’s best for your body type, medical history, and lifestyle. However, if you’re looking for a few ways to start and stick to your workout regimen here are a few tips that helped me along the way.
If you’re eating out often for your blog or social media accounts and you’re thinking about incorporating exercise into your day, first determine why you’re interested in doing it and what you want to achieve before you start. Are you looking to work-out to lose weight, balance out what you’ve eaten, to fit into your clothes, find a stress reliever, or all of it? When I began exercising, it was because I was badly out of shape since I was eating so much. Dining in restaurants, is exciting but it will weigh down on your body if you do not work it off. Knowing that, my goals were to combat all the food I was struggling to digest, fit into my clothes, and find a stress reliever. Determining what I was looking to accomplish by the end of the month helped me create a road map to get there. By doing that, it was easier for me to plan out a work-out regimen, stick to it, and appreciate my results once I achieved them.
If you’re not a fan of exercising then you will need inspiration. Inspiration is necessary because it will light a fire within you and will help you begin when you normally wouldn’t want to. To find your work-out inspiration, determine what you think would work best for you and your personality. Since you know yourself better than anyone else does, you know what will get you going and what will cause you to fall off the horse. To help yourself feel the desire to get going with your workout do things and look to people that will help you take the first step. Whether it’s setting a pushy reminder in your phone or watching the Billy Blanks infomercial when you would normally skip it, do it. You could even use my route and look at pictures of celebrities whose work-outs make me get out of bed. Sure the debate over whether Khloe Kardashian’s body is real or not is highly argued, but watching her work-outs on Instagram makes me want to try and sometimes trying is all that matters.
Watching Khloe Kardashian exercise may help me to get to my stationary bike in the morning when I would rather stay in bed, but its my friends who keep me going harder when I’m ready to quit. Friends who can support you as you work-out will be an incredible motivator. Whether they encourage you every single day or here and there, it will make a difference! I’m lucky to see friends like Gigi Eats Celebrities and Chewie workout because seeing them work so hard on their bodies pushes me to do the same. Watching them hit the gym or pole class, respectively, serves as a source of motivation for me and gets me excited. Even more, I love when they support me along the way because it encourages me for the next day.
Working out while going to your job, visiting restaurants, writing reviews, hanging with friends and family can be extremely difficult. When you have moments where it all feels too overwhelming, take some time and focus on the goals you set out. Look back to the list of things you wanted to achieve when you first set out to exercise and focus on them when things start to get hard. Reflecting on the goals you have when things get tough is the best way to keep going when you want to throw in the towel.
Exercising can be tough on your body and draining to your mind especially when you have a lot going on in your daily life. Pushing yourself past complacency requires a serious amount of initial energy that you’ll need to carry you through your exercise. Whether you’re doing cardio or lifting weights, pay attention to your body in its entirety and don’t push it too far. Notice when your body is hurting (not sore), when you need water, or when you simply need to rest. The moment you feel your body talking to you, stop what you’re doing and listen.
Each time I reach a milestone in my work-out goals I reward myself. I don’t care if it was something small like increasing the amount of sit-ups by 25 or something big such as working an extra 30 minutes—if I go past my goal I congratulate myself. I might decide to have a delicious Bai sparkling antioxidant infusion after exercising or I might relax in the sauna after my kickboxing class. Whatever I decide, if it feels like it will benefit me and I worked harder for it I’m doing it and you should to. Let’s be real, you deserve it!
When it comes reviewing restaurants and eating whatever you’re given, keeping a healthy lifestyle may be hard. I know it was for me! However if I can serve as an example I can truly say that it won’t be easy but it can be done. If your metabolism is average like many of us and portion control isn’t ideal to you, then exercising as often as possible will be your best bet. Push through the days when all you want to do is sleep in and motivate yourself to work-out when you think you can take a day off. Keep to it and in only a matter of weeks you’ll see a better and stronger version of yourself.