I’ve always strived to be the best example I can be for my clients, and as I find myself growing and developing my brand this year I’ve also found myself struggling to keep up with my own health and fitness levels. A couple years ago I was the image of an athlete, sticking to a pale based clean diet, regular work-outs to complement my full in the tack training program. I felt my best, looked great, and performed to a high level all year.
Then I broke my leg and found myself set back both mentally and physically. The accident was in the winter, and come time for spring training I found myself struggling with my head when it came to training like I used to (the leg took its sweet time to recover too). I still got through the competition season, though it was far from the best. I found my schedule filling up with things other then my own gym time, and when my horse sold at the end of the show season I felt immediate relief to be released from the time commitments at the barn. Yes, I was ready for a break. Through that fall I was so busy and burnt out from my own research, school, and life in general that eating and exercise took a back seat when they should have been front and centre. My leg completely healed but my head not quite, I fumbled through the fall.
New Years 2015 was the first turning point. Fresh from a therapeutic trip to the mountains and ready to focus my energies more positively I got involved with a advanced yoga class that pushed all the right buttons. This winter also brought the first big recognition of my vision for Katmah Training. Many positive things were thrown my way, and then in March I got mono. If you’ve had mono… You know what I mean when I say that it’s one of the most frustrating and limiting virus experiences. While the worst of the symptoms only lasted about a month for me, I’ve since found any extra stress brings those symptoms back… And this is 6 months later.
So we had mono, a brief period of motivation and progress following.. Then a 3 week vacation consisting of amazing food and many beers… Because what is a vacation without those things… Followed by returning home broke and 10lbs heavier. So here began my next big push to get back on track and look/feel my best. This was about 6 weeks ago. In the midst of working about 30hrs a week at internships, and another 20-30 at paid positions, and another 10 with clients/working on the business I started bumping up my exercise and cleaning up my diet. After 3 weeks with seemingly no change in my weight or how I felt I got frustrated. Then did some research.
Turns out mono kicks the immune systems ass, as well as slows your metabolism right down. Which makes sense seeing as I get every cold that comes around town, where I used to have a gladiator of an immune system. My next move to counter this on going mono problem was to research some supplementation for my immune system and my metabolism. Since both rely on a healthy gut, probiotics were first up. Adding to my regular supplements of calcium/magnesium and omega-3s. Then I looked into Siberian ginseng (not Korean or Asian or North American!), which is known as an “adapogen”, and can help with energy management and metabolism. I also researched (and not just google searched) juice cleansing. Which from what I can read, if done right is an excellent kick start to health reboot. I’ve juiced before and love it. Something to be noted though is a cleanse is meant to be done for days only, not a permanent diet solution!
So, after all my reading I came up with a plan. I began taking probiotics, ginseng, and vit.D, and did a 3 day juice cleanse (where I (mostly) stuck to juice made from fresh fruits and veggies, cranberry juice (no sugar), water, and herbal teas), and set goals to get stricter about removing processed food, sugar, and white starches from my regular diet. I also began revs,ping my exercise plans. Instead of putting pressure on myself to find time for the gym.. I decided to dedicate 20 minutes a day to weights, cardio, or calisthenics. With at least one intense yoga class a week when possible.
Since I know a lot of the weight I carry is water retention, and some possible a result of background stress, I also set intentions of not putting as much pressure on my body image. Something I haven’t struggled with much until recent years. Not so uncommon for womeni. Their mid-20s I hear. The juice cleanse was a attempt to see what could be accomplished by removing inflammation from my body. And, as predicted, after 5 days of a juice cleanse and then very clean eating I was down 5lbs and feeling much more energetic!
That was about 3 week ago, and the 5 lbs have stayed off until recently. A week ago I began to increase the intensity of my workouts, and almost immediately came down with strep throat. Insert grumpy face. I will admit to being very stressed at the time as well, and missing the mark on clean eating due to events and work scheduling. So a minor set back. Now, after a week off I’m feeling healthy again and ready to get back on track. I’m wanting to regularily blog about the ups and downs of this “rebuild” as I work towards getting myself as healthy and fit as I can. With some exciting promotional opportunities coming up this winter and spring for Katmah Training, I need to look and feel my best to represent my brand. Before those events even I have my big exam, which I also want to be mentally and physically on top of my game for. So, this fall is dedicated to achieving those things.
*please note that all nutritional, supplemental, and exercise ideas I write about are not necessarily an opinion on what is best for others. Health is dynamic and individual, and should never be a “one size fits all” approach.*