Maya Fit Girl

Dream big…then do it BIGGER!

4 Quick Tips to Help Reach Your Fitness Goals March 31, 2015

Filed under: Exercise,Fitness,Training — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:13 am
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Have you ever tried to test yourself- to try and see how successful you can be at sticking exclusively to your meal plan- meaning no little snacks here and there, no eating the kids’ leftover bites of granola bar, or no small taste of chocolate chip cookie your co-workers bring to work to torture you? How about skipping your workouts because your schedule is so hectic? That may mean that you will have to work out a little later or earlier than normal to fit it in your already busy day.

I have been living consciously in all of my daily moments, recognizing those triggers that tempt me into thinking that it’s ok.  In order to do that, I have incorporated the following four things into my everyday way of thinking:

1. Think before you act

The moment before I reach my hand out to break off a small, tiny piece of that deliciously warm chocolate chip cookie, I ask myself- “Why do I want this cookie?” If the sole reason for me wanting it is because it tastes good and not because it will fuel my body with the nutrients I need to live, then I need to walk away and drink some water. Period.

2. Have a clear vision

Every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed, I envision the body I want to see walking across the stage at my next competition. Keeping this very specific vision in the forefront of my mind, helps me to automatically conjure up that same picture in my mind when I want to have a big bag of potato chips drowned in Louisiana hot sauce. (Not only is my ideal body vision specific, but so are the visions of my ideal snacks!) Obviously, everyone’s vision will be different. Maybe yours will be to see yourself strutting confidently on the beach wearing that hot new bikini or finally being able to get into that complicated yoga pose. Whatever it is, see it clearly, then soon you will be it.

3.  Write it down

Almost every month I write down my goals on a dry erase board at home.  I do this monthly to keep my goals fresh and new, so I won’t get bored or stuck in a place where I neither see nor expect change from myself.  I also put my goals on a board to ensure that I see it everyday. We have to constantly challenge ourselves if we want to become better than we were yesterday.

4.  Don’t give in

We are always confronted with things that could potentially put our fit plan in a position of compromise.  We may be at work and have our healthy lunch packed in our lunch bag, but then we get that visit from our work friends asking if we want to join them for lunch at Taco Bell or wherever.  Although a big Nacho Supreme may sound good, is it worth breaking a commitment to ourself to stick to our meal plan and eating healthy? Those friends will understand.  Sometimes I will still go with them, but I’ll bring my own lunch with me.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I allow myself a snack or two, but if I want to accomplish my goals in the timeframe I want to accomplish them, I have to stick to the plan.  Your goals are important, all you have to do is believe that and do what it takes to work your way to them. You can do it!

Be sure to check out the Fit Girl by Maya website for recipes, workouts, videos, apparel, and more!

 

 

How to Eat Healthy at Fast Food Restaurants September 29, 2014

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[As originally contributed to ThisFitsMe.com on 8/12/14]

We all have been through the scenario where we are pressed for time, we don’t have our prepared meals with us, running errands has taken longer than usual, and our stomach is starting to sound like a grizzly bear. We are down to our last resort—the fast food drive thru.

Here are a few healthy ways to navigate the fast food menu at various restaurants:

Subway

  • Six inch veggie sandwich on the 9 grain whole wheat with spinach and not regular lettuce, it packs more fiber and the essential vitamins needed to reenergize you. Season with a little oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Oven Roasted Chicken salad or the Double Chicken Chopped Salad has everything you need to fill you up without the guilt. You can choose all the veggies you want and add chopped chicken breast. Remember to choose spinach as your leafy green and oil and vinegar as your dressing.

Chik-Fil-A

  • Chik-Fil-A has just added Grilled Chicken Sandwich to their menu. I love that it’s on a multi-grain bun and is seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper. Sea salt is a better salt option than table salt because it is an all-natural mineral while table salt is heavily processed and contains additives.
  • The Grilled Market Salad is another one of their grilled chicken options, packed full of protein and tons of veggies, including Romaine lettuce and baby greens. The red, and green apples, strawberries, and blueberries adds the sweetness and natural sugars you need to replenish body with energy. I would suggest having this salad before noon to give you plenty of time to burn off the extra sugar.

Wendy’s

  • Try the Grilled Chicken Wrap (found on the value menu), but remove the tortilla and ask for a side of sliced apples. Both will give you the fuel you need to keep going until you get home for your next meal.
  • The Ultimate Chicken Grill sandwich can be eaten open-faced (with only one slice of bread) or with no bread at all. Ask for it without the honey mustard, which cuts the fat intake in half.

For your beverage at any fast food restaurant, choose water, unsweetened iced tea, black coffee or hot tea (no sugar). Don’t ruin your progress with sugar-filled drinks. They don’t quench your thirst and they are bad for you — diet cola, or not.

Although making your own food is the best option, you don’t have to starve or deny yourself food just because you think you don’t have options while out of the house. It is better to eat the healthy options from fast food restaurants, than to skip a meal. Just keep in mind that you can remove or order your food without the condiments or things that would be considered unhealthy.

Take your health in your own hands. You are in control, so make the right decisions that will help you reach your health and fitness goals.

 

Don’t Be Afraid of the Weights September 16, 2014

Kettlebell-Exercises-Weight-Loss

[As originally contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 8/5/14]

Recently, I hosted a fitness workshop and found that all of the women in attendance exclusively had cardio in their daily routine with Zumba being the favorite.  Zumba is fun and gets your heart pumping, running for miles and miles really improves your endurance, running on the elliptical and treadmill are great for the legs, but what about weight training?

There is a myth, among many women, that lifting weights is a man thing or that if you lift too much, you will end up with the physique like a man. Let me let you in on a little secret…both are false. Women have been lifting weights for just as long as men and the only way that you will end up with the body like that of a man is if you are taking steroids and/or lots of testosterone.

Incorporating strength training into you workout creates a great balance for the body.  Adding a little muscle to can help fill out the body and, depending on how heavy or light you lift, can really get you the curves you desire.  And just know that lifting weights doesn’t mean that you start with a 300 pound barbell. If you are not looking to achieve that ripped, super defined look, lift light, yet challenging weights for longer repetitions (reps). For instance, curl 10 pound dumbbells for 20 reps, instead of 35 pound dumbbells for 10 reps.

Aside from gaining muscle tone, here are five other reasons you should start lifting weights.

1. Lifting Burns that Baby Fat

High intensity lifting and metabolic training stimulates lipolysis or the fat breakdown and release and increases the body’s metabolism hours after your workout is complete. You not only burn calories during your weight training session, but you’ll continue to burn calories long afterwards.

Your body becomes strong, defined, and lean. No more will you feel ashamed or lack self-confidence when you are naked.  You will look and feel better than you did before you had your baby!

2. Post-Workout Burn

A high intensity lifting session burns approximately 500 calories per hour and boosts your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the minimum number of calories your body burns at rest, working out, or lying down.

What this means is that you not only burn calories while working out, you also continue to burn them up to 24 hours afterwards. The more intense you lift, the more you burn through your boosted metabolism.

This also means that the more muscle you gain, the less fat you’ll have. The less fat you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Gaining muscle gets you lean and keeps you lean.

3.  Prevents Your Metabolism From Declining

As we increase with age our metabolism typically decreases, starting around the age of 30.  To prevent this from happening, incorporate frequent weight training in your fitness life.

With your metabolic rate elevated, you will stay in shape well after the kids leave the house!

4.  Improves Posture

Lifting weights strengthens your muscles, including your back, neck, shoulders, and core (abdominal area).  Strength in these areas helps you to stand up taller, improve your posture, preserve the spine and reduces back pain.

Who wouldn’t want to look strong and confident on a daily basis?

5.  Reduces Stress and Improves Mood

Exercise and weight training release endorphins- neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and enhance pleasure.  Endorphins are released during long workouts where the intensity is moderate to high and breathing is difficult.

With all of that release going on, your stress levels decrease, along with any anxieties and depression. You begin to feel happy with each breathless set you complete! The kids love it when you smile, so should you.

Being strong is not a “man thing.” Being strong is what you are everyday and in everything you do. Believe that.

Be sure to visit www.FitGirlbyMaya.com for FREE recipes, workouts, and fitness apparel.

Photo by: http://www.fitsugar.com

 

Don’t Get Discouraged August 26, 2014

 

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(As contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 7.28.14)

When we finally decide that we want to start getting active and be healthier to not only take better care of ourselves, but also our families, we begin to realize that we face many challenges as busy mommies.

You vs. You

Sometimes we get in our own way. We talk ourselves out of a workout out because we are tired from working all day at the office or at home taking care of the kids.  Then we talk ourselves right into a heaping bowl of ice cream because we can “start again tomorrow.”  Besides, it’s easier to scoop ice cream in a bowl than it is to make a hearty salad, right?

Easy doesn’t get you healthy. You have to work hard, push through the challenges of life and know you are worth the struggle.

You are Not Alone

Starting the journey can be very difficult, but if you have a support system to help you through it all, you will be more successful. Find a friend, a co worker, someone at your church, an online buddy, someone that will workout with you. You can encourage each other and share your successes.

Having an exercise partner can keep you accountable and committed to your goals. Having someone to answer to increases your fitness achievements.

Cheating is Ok

To keep me sane, I always include one (maybe two) cheat meal in my weekly meal plan.  I have it every Friday night to coincide with date night with the hubs.

A cheat meal gives me something to look forward to each week and it allows me to have my “naughty food” fix.  Once I have my special meal, all my cravings are curbed.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

We all have our moments of weakness where we give in to those temptations that can get us off track- that slice of greasy pizza at the office party, the endless cupcakes at your kids’ birthday party or that two liter bottle of cola calling your name from the fridge.

No worries, if you slip up, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Don’t give up on your goals. Commit to be stronger when faced with temptation again. Take one day at a time and know you have what it takes to reach your goal to live a fit and healthy life.

Be sure to sign up for the Fit Girl by Maya newsletter and be the first to get FREE workouts, recipes, promos and more!

*Photo credit by http://www.click2houston.com

 

How to Find Time to Get Fit August 18, 2014

 

Take-Time-photo

(As contributed on www.ThisFitsMe.com on 7.25.14)

(As contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 7.25.14)As moms, we all have been faced with the same question. How do I find the time to get fit in my already hectic schedule? Time after time we try to squeeze a workout into our daily lives as if it is a non-priority. Ladies, it is time to PRIORITIZE!

Here are 4 proven ways to add fitness to your life and become your number one priority:

1.  Make an Appointment

Just as you make your weekly nail appointment or schedule your kids’ playdates, make an appointment with exercise.

Even if it’s only a 15 minute walk around the block, a 30 minute yoga video in your living room, or a 45 minute Zumba class at the gym. Take time for yourself and get active. So, get out your calendars (on your smart phone or in that appointment book) and schedule times throughout the week you will commit to get fit and stick to it!

2.  Make it Fun

When planning your workouts, include things that are not only challenging, but also fun.

Remember, workouts don’t always have to be the standard jog on the treadmill or bicep curls in the weight room.  If you love to play tennis, go do that! As a matter of fact, take a friend and go play  at the courts in your local park. Go play tag in the backyard with the kids. Not only will they have fun spending quality time running around with you, but you will too. When was the last time you played outside? You’ll have so much fun you won’t even realize you’re working out!

3.  Plan Ahead

In order to always be workout ready, you must be prepared.

Have a packed gym bag in the trunk of your car, ready for those last minute or impromptu visits to the gym. You know, for those times when you leave work late with no time to stop at home and hit the gym before you pick up the kids? Or, have a bag already packed siting by the front door.  Now you don’t have to take the time to search for your bag and pack it every time you want to go to the gym. It’s conveniently waiting for you as you head out the door. Now you won’t have any excuse to miss your workout. You’ll already have your gym bag packed and ready to go.

4. Get Real

When you decide to start getting fit and live a healthier lifestyle, be sure to set realistic goals for yourself.

Although we want to challenge ourselves, setting unrealistic goals does more harm than good. More often than not, it leads to us quitting and going back to being last on the priority list.

For example, losing 30 pounds in 10 days is an unrealistic goal that will not only send your body into shock, but is so extreme that if you are able to lose that 30 pounds, you will most certainly gain it back and then some.

Let’s take care of our bodies and be patient with our goals.  If 30 pounds is what you want to lose, do it the right way by  incorporating  healthy meal and exercise plans and stick to them and give it time.

Time and consistently are crucial to your success!

Ladies, we all want to look good, feel good,  and be healthy, but the only way to get there is to make ourselves a priority. You take care of everyone else, so be sure to take of yourself.

Be sure you sign up for the Fit Girl by Maya newsletter to get all the latest promos and fitness tips!

*Photo credit by www.getintravel.com

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Lift Weights NOW! July 17, 2014

I always hear women say, “Lifting weights will make me look like a man.” My response, at least in my mind is, “No, steroids will make you look like a man.” But, I usually just tell them that lifting weights creates a great balance when done with cardio, but cardio alone will cause the body to look too lean and skinny.

MW 2014-05LH6222-MI don’t know about you, but I’ve already done the skinny thing (not on purpose) and would rather look healthy and lean with some muscle tone.  Muscles help to fill out the body and, depending on how heavy or light you lift, can really get you the curves you desire- especially your booty.

Aside from gaining muscle tone, here are five other reasons you should start lifting weights.

1. Lifting Burns Fat

High intensity lifting and metabolic training stimulates lipolysis (breakdown and destruction of fat) and increases the body’s metabolism hours after you leave the gym. You not only burn calories during your weight training session, but you’ll continue to burn calories long afterwards.

Your body becomes strong, defined, and lean. No more will you feel ashamed or lack self-confidence when you are naked.  You will look and feel awesome!

2. Post-Workout Burn

A high intensity lifting session burns approximately 500 calories per hour and boosts your basal metabolic rate (BMR)- the minimum number of calories your body burns at rest, working out, or lying down.

What this means is that you not only burn calories while working out, you also continue to burn them up to 24 hours afterwards. The more intense you lift, the more you burn through your boosted metabolism.

This also means that the more muscle you gain, the less fat you’ll have. The less fat you have, the more calories you burn at rest.

Ernestine Shepherd, 77yo

Ernestine Shepherd, 77 years old

Gaining muscle gets you lean and keeps you lean.

3.  Prevents Your Metabolism From Declining

As we increase with age our metabolism typically decreases, starting around the age of 30.  To prevent this from happening,

incorporate frequent weight training in your fitness life.

With your metabolic rate elevated, you will stay in shape well into your retirement years!

4.  Improves Posture

Lifting weights strengthens your muscles, including your back, neck, shoulders, and core (abdominal area).  Strength in these areas helps you to stand up taller, improve your posture, preserve the spine and reduces back pain.

Who wouldn’t want to look strong and confident on a daily basis?

5.  Reduces Stress and Improves MoodSnip20140716_3

Exercise and weight training release endorphins- neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and enhance pleasure.  Endorphins are released during long workouts where the intensity is moderate to high and breathing is difficult.

With all of that release and heavy breathing going on, your stress levels decrease, along with any anxieties and depression. You begin to feel happy with each breathless set you complete!

So what’s your excuse for not lifting weights?

 

5 Ways to Stay on Track While Traveling July 10, 2014

Anytime I have travel plans, whether for work or for leisure, I not only have to plan basic things like daily attire, toiletries, outfits for special nights out (which never happen, but at least I plan for them) and maybe a travel snack or two.  But when you’re either competition training or living a healthy lifestyle, you must take a lot more things into consideration when traveling.

Here are the top 5 things I do when planning for travel while training:

1. Do Reconnaissance of your Accommodations

Snip20140709_10Call the hotel at which you are staying and ask the following important questions:

Is there a mini fridge in the room? If not, what is the additional cost to add one to the room?

(If having a fridge is not an option, you should count on bringing a cooler or purchasing one upon arrival and store you pre-packed food in the cooler. Feel free to return the cooler back to the store before you return home.)

Is there a fitness center on premises? If so, do you have [insert the specific equipment you need to use]? For the equipment they don’t have, plan to modify your workout to have exercises that can replace the ones you can’t do.

If there is no fitness center on premises, ask if there is a gym nearby. Most gyms give one week free trials.

Is there a microwave in the room? If not, is there one in or near the lobby? If a microwave is not an option, determine if the foods you are bringing can be eaten cold and/or raw. Whichever the case, be sure to cook all the foods you can prior to departing.

2. Cook, Pack, and Prep Your Food

 

Once you know the number of days you will be gone, cook and prep the meals you will need for each day. Don’t forget to include your travel days.   I have a step by step guide to meal prep here.

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Once prepped, I pack my food and supplies inside of my 6 Pack Bag, which you can purchase here.

Be sure to bring extra plasticware- forks, covered food containers, and water bottles. Also, be sure to bring extra condiments- sodium free seasoning, sea salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or whatever seasonings you normally use.

If smoothies are on your plan, take/purchase a portable blender. I have this one from Oster , but the NutriBullet will work and others just like it.

3. Pack For Your Workouts

In addition to your regular day time outfits, you must also ensure you pack for your workouts.  The types  of workouts you do will help you determine what to pack.  Because my workouts usually take place indoors, I usually just pack shorts, tanks, socks, a pair of gym shoes, weight belt, and lifting gloves.  I also throw in my headphones and headband.

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If you run outside, you may include a light running jacket and any other accessories you normally use.

4.  Make a Date With Your Workouts

You’re used to your at-home workout schedule, but what do you do when you’re on the road and your schedule is turned upside down?

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Start by scheduling your daily workout(s) based on your daily itinerary.  As your schedule may change on a daily basis while on the road, be sure to go day by day to set your workout schedule.  If it’s on your calendar and already planned, you are more likely to stick to it.

So set it in your phone alarm!

5.  Know Your Area

So, you already did some research on your accommodations, now you must research your surroundings.  You need to know where to go if you need some extra bananas, bottled water, or even socks.

Check the hotel gift shop, local convenience stores, and/or discount stores like Target or WalMart to make sure that, if needed, you are able to get the supplies you need to stay on track.

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Do you have any other tips to add to stay on track when traveling? I’d love for you to share!

 

 
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