Last week officially marked 10 years that I have been in business (13 years in the fitness industry). So in honor of 10 years, here are 10 random thoughts and things I have learned that I hope most of you find useful! I mean, I have learned a lot more than 10 things as a business owner for 10 years, such as I don’t like paying money just to find out how much money I owe the IRS. Or, if your website isn’t ADA compliant, you can get sued? I learned that is a thing now and I am looking into it (so please don’t sue me, seems like a cheap shot at small business owners). But hopefully these 10 things can apply to all!
- Consistency. This is without a doubt the most important ability when it comes to fitness and nutrition. The perfect workout does not exist. There is no special food that is missing from your diet that will make you magazine cover lean. No magic supplement exists that melts fat off of your belly. The only thing that works is what you can do day in, day out.
- Foam rolling and warming up are absolutely essential the older you get. I may only be 35 now, but I definitely take more time to warm up now versus when I was 25. When I was 25, I would warm-up by doing squats with less weight, then load up each set after that. Now, I foam roll, stretch, do a few shoulder and hip exercises, do body weight versions of exercises I am about to do, then I feel ready.
- Learning to be a decent home cook is really helpful for eating better consistently and getting leaner. When I was 25, I didn’t cook a whole lot. I ate cereal, lunch meat sandwiches, and takeout. I started cooking with hamburger helper and gradually increased my culinary skills over the years. Now I’m slinging the meats on a pellet smoker and the smoked turkey I made last was on par with some of the local BBQ establishments in my opinion :). So learn to be a better cook. Get good at making 5 different meals and you can have a lot of meal prep success.
- Build up that home gym. The two years that I have been working from home are the most consistent I have ever been with my workouts, even when I worked at a gym. The fact that I had to bump most of my wardrobe from size Large to XL speaks for itself (I know that isn’t most peoples’ goals, and it wasn’t mine either, it just happened :). So buy those bands, buy the adjustable dumbbells, get a bench (they make ones that fold up to store away). If you’re more advanced, get a trap bar and some plates. If I had to drive to the gym, I know my workout wouldn’t happen sometimes.
- Awfulness based coaching doesn’t work. Standing on my soapbox and shaming anyone that strayed away from their diet doesn’t do anyone any good. And it makes me look like a hypocrite since I know I had ice cream yesterday. Focusing on what someone is doing well, works much better. It encourages more of that! Dwelling on what didn’t go well just makes someone feel like a failure. Life happens, and you’re going to have the cake sometimes, just refer back to #1 up at the top of this list.
- Get outside as much as possible. It’s good for the soul. If it’s cold, bundle up. I believe in the saying “there isn’t such a thing as bad weather, just bad gear”, to an extent. You have to draw a line somewhere and it’s about 17℉ for me. Getting outside in nature always makes me feel better and there’s plenty of research out there to back it up. Even if it’s a walk down the block, that’s great! Just do it.
- Write down the things you want to get done tomorrow, tonight! Have a plan for the next day when you’re going to do certain things. That way you’re more proactive with your day instead of reactive. I am working at getting better with this one myself, but it helps so much! Tired of that extra workout not happening? Refer to this.
- Keep it simple, don’t overthink things. Don’t worry if eating another slice of cantaloupe is going to be too many carbs for the day. It’s not processed food and it’s good for you. Don’t fret over regular potatoes or sweet potatoes. Both have nutritional value and belong in a balanced diet.
- The answer to many questions is often, “it depends.” Saying blanket statements like simple sugars like gummy bears are bad for you depends a lot on the situation. If you’re trying to lose weight and want to curb your cravings, you should not have them often. If you are a cyclist and need simple sugars that digest quickly while on a long ride, they might be perfect for you, and they will fit easily into your pockets and not go bad.
- Never stop learning. Whenever I go through a phase of burn out, this is my go-to. Learn something new, take a new course, read a book, watch some webinars. It doesn’t even have to be related to what you do. Just keep using that brain of yours! It helps keep life from getting stale.
So I just want to say that I greatly appreciate everyone who has trusted me with their fitness and nutrition goals in the last 10 years. Some of you I have trained longer than that, some of you I have never met in person. It is has been quite a ride and I don’t plan on doing anything else until retirement calls me!