For some, a delicious cocktail comes in the form of a Cosmopolitan, a martini, a Manhattan or maybe a frozen margarita. For others, it is a solid workout regimen. But more than a regimen, it is a lifestyle. We all have different tastes, we all want different bodies, and we all need different ingredients to make our perfect fitness cocktail.
But why do we need a cocktail? For starters, nobody wants that dreaded muffin top, saggy arms, or a low tush. And those who have made progress dread hitting that brutal and torturous plateau! Finally, we all hate being bored, so mix it up and add some spice!
A fitness cocktail is just like any other cocktail – a mixture of what works for you and what makes you happy! And as your life changes, so may the ingredients.
I fell in love with endorphins at age nine. I left ballet class “high” one day and was instantly hooked! But I was still too young to make my first fitness cocktail. Like many adolescents, I put on some weight and made bad decisions in high school and at the beginning of college, and my body truly suffered. Not surprisingly, I was miserable…
The summer entering sophomore year, I looked in the mirror and said enough was enough. I made a plan and committed to go back to school in the fall a different person. Through college, now adulthood, two pregnancies, and all the sacrifices, soreness and injuries that went with it, my body has been a never-ending work in progress. While there certainly have been peaks and valleys, I could always rely on my cocktail.
Inspiration + Exercise + Lifestyle x Extra Fun Active Wear = Success
Get inspired. Find a few people in your life who inspire you. We all have them. Take that inspiration and feed off of it. Let them make you want to be better! No need to tell them; keep that to yourself if you want. And trust me, you will inspire not only yourself, but others with your hard work. After my second daughter was born, I was feeling big, out of shape and not very sexy.
Finally cleared to exercise, I set out for the gym with toddler in tow and an infant in daycare. Thank goodness, another strong endorphin charge kicked in. I left the gym that day inspired and once again hooked. My inspiration was the gym and everyone around me. It motivated me, it fueled me and reinvigorated me.
Nothing comes without hard work and a bit of suffering! Growing up my dad and I used to joke “a high fever, a few sprains, maybe a migraine, no problem!” Get up and show them how it’s done…no prisoners. Learn to really push yourself.
I am a cardio junkie and the treadmill is my therapy, it gives me my oxygen. A runner’s high is delicious and addictive! The revolving stairs are a killer leg and tush-tone, and I attack them either after a run or a weight class. Group fitness classes like kickboxing and cardio weight intervals are also amazing highs.
There is nothing like sweating it all out and leaving it on the floor. We all have an inner animal so let yours out! There are tons and tons of workout styles and methods. Find the one that makes you high. Do it a few times a week and then add in some others to mix it up – you don’t want bored in your fitness vocabulary.
Skip the dry cleaners and stay on the stairs for 10 extra minutes. Don’t hit snooze so many times and take that early barre or spin class. Change up those ab routines & throw in an extra plank. Try a new class that’s out of your comfort zone.
The tiniest change can makes a difference. We all get comfortable, and that’s your wake up call to switch it up, before you plateau! It’s not supposed to be easy, and you want to be uncomfortable. Easy doesn’t drive results. Pick your cardio, pick your weights, pick your challenge. It’s your heart, it’s your muscles, and it’s your metabolism. It’s also your bikini.
Do this for yourself – no one else! We all want to be healthy energetic people and to look our best for that reunion or wedding but those extra five to 10 pounds you kill yourself to lose quickly won’t stay off. There is no diet, no juice, no cleanser that you can do for the rest of your life. Going to the gym three times a day isn’t a reality either. Who has the time for that?! Find a balance, a lifestyle that includes what you love with everything in moderation.
You want your wine, treat yourself. I do! It’s one of the primary “mom food groups.” And if that is your sugar, skip dessert. Eat more dishes steamed and grilled with sauces on the side – it’s an old easy trick, so follow it! Have a roll at dinner, just not the entire basket. It’s all about choices and making the right ones for you. Depriving yourself is only going to cause you to indulge later. You skipped your workout today; maybe also skip the wine. It’s your life, your energy, your body, your jeans.
Any successful change takes time. We all know there is no miracle to make it happen overnight. Fitness and a healthy lifestyle is a never ending amazing journey. There is always going to be a stronger weight to lift or an exercise to master or a running time to beat. Enjoy the ride! You don’t want to get to the finish line because then where do you go? Set a realistic goal, reach it and then make another one.
Commit to your “X” number of days a week at the gym or in your living room that work for you, and stick with it. A rainy Saturday morning is no excuse; get up! You only have an hour before work, use 30 minutes of it. Take the time you have and utilize it. Lazy isn’t attractive. Go online and learn exercises for the body parts you want to work, educate yourself and then follow them.
Move that coffee table and do timed drills. Get creative so you don’t get bored. Become addicted and stay that way and commit to a lifestyle you can keep up with. Of course, the exercises and strength ingredients will always change as will your body and age, but that delicious endorphin addiction stays.
Active wear is the icing on the cake (or cocktail). Get yourself some sweet gym clothes and dress the part! Sweat in them and have fun wearing them. Build your confidence and you will do better.
We all perform better when we like how we look. Treat yourself to something new every time you reach a goal or when you are feeling discouraged. Exciting gym wardrobe choices are anything but boring and might just be the extra motivation you need.
Jamie S. Banker
We all can’t wait to wear that hot, new top out on Saturday night, there is definitely something to be said for not being able to wait to wear those new hot leggings to exercise. We all have our own styles so build your gym wardrobe your way. Your sweat, your time, your determination, your active wear!
Ingredients are basic and mixing them together is fun! Who doesn’t like to have fun?! My cocktail is my way. It might be mixed up differently depending on the week but it helps me avoid that hated plateau and it keeps me from getting bored. Boring isn’t fun, boring isn’t sexy and boring doesn’t burn calories.