Focus on These Three Things and Start Feeling Better
By Alesha Damerville
Photo on Visual Hunt
By Alesha Damerville
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS– Variety is the spice of life and I intend to give you just that. During the first few weeks of blog entries, we learned about ion footbaths, discovered a delicious and extremely healthy recipe, and met two health and wellness professionals offering services to help us live our best lives.
I've learned quite a few things two weeks into this journey into self-betterment. Sharing about Steamboat’s health and wellness services is the bulk of this blog, but my personal experiences throughout this process also have a home here. This is a summary of my changes in perception since beginning the “For the Health of It” blog.
I’d been working out wrong my whole life. Contrary to my prior beliefs, you should always lift weights before doing cardio. When you do cardio before strength training, you tire the muscle, which often hinders the contractional force your muscles generate…simply put, you can’t lift as much. If you want to get the most out of your workout, lifting first, cardio second.
If you do it right, you can spend only 35 to 45 minutes in the gym. My workout routines, designed by Charlie Chase, are just that long. Eighty percent of my time is spent on strength training, while the other 20% is divided between abs and cardio. That 10% of cardio is only four minutes long. I can get behind four minutes of cardio.
Each of the five weekdays, a different muscle group will be targeted. My plan is as follows: Mondays, chest; Tuesdays, legs; Wednesdays, shoulders; Thursdays, back and Fridays, biceps and triceps. Chase has another stipulation: only 15-second breaks between sets. Obviously, not only does this expedite the process, but it has great benefits as well. The short breaks between sets help me maintain focus, and speed up toning by keeping my heart rate up.
My ab routine consists of a variety of crunches divided into three sets of 30, followed by four minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Although HIIT has been around for over a decade, it has gained popularity in the last few years. It’s basically four minutes of torture. Chase isn't a fan of me saying it, but it's true, however worth it the training is. But, it’s only four minutes.
If you’d like to know more about my routine, I’ll be posting workout videos soon, which will be cool, but you should know it literally terrifies me. I've done video production work for a couple different television series, short films, a feature film and a documentary. Working around cameras was never an issue – until I had to get in front of one. I won't tell you how many takes it took to get that first video posted, but it was an excessive amount. Anyway, at the bottom of this entry you will find my second video.
No one has the power to hurt your feelings. It is up to you to decide how their words or actions affect you. This is a powerful concept. I'm so full of feelings and emotions that it often becomes overwhelming, but this idea has become sort of a mantra in my life, and it honestly helps me think differently about how I interact with others.
Valerie D'Ambrosio helped me embrace this new view, as well as another idea that I've need in my life for years.
The intense amount of feelings and emotions I possess are not a burden. In fact, they're a superpower. This is a hard concept to embrace. I care deeply for anyone throughout my life that I connect with. There are thousands of people who have my love, some of which are no longer part of my life. If I’ve had love for you, that will never change.
Why is this a superpower, you might ask? We are living with catabolic energy all around us. In case you don't know – because I didn't until meeting with D’Ambrosio – catabolic energy is all of the negative thoughts that don’t align with who you truly are. Being able to feel and love on an extraordinary level is a rare gift when negativity is so prevalent in our society.
If you work out consistently and eat healthy meals six days a week, you earn a free day. Notice that I said free day, not cheat day. I've busted my ass, so if I want to eat french fries, bacon and Ben & Jerry's, I don't have to feel guilty about it.
I led with that because, as I've mentioned in the past, I love food, so it's important to me that I’m able to have those things. Otherwise, I'm just setting myself up for failure.
By far the easiest way to consistently eat healthy is to meal prep. For me, that's done on Sunday, and I won’t lie, it's a lot of work. Lucky for me, I enjoy cooking because I spend anywhere between 4-6 hours cooking. I could probably do it faster, if I had more kitchen space and a gas stove top. The burners on the electric stope top at my current place are warped causing the pots and pans to heat unevenly, and it presents quite the challenge.
If you meal prep, you're less likely to make hasty food choices. Eating six small meals a day is best for you, not to mention you're rarely full. I started supplementing by drinking vegan protein shakes, not because I'm vegan but, because I think they taste better. I truly despised the taste and hated the idea of drinking protein shakes daily. But, no lie, they grew on me. In fact, I like them.
Keep an eye out – there is so much more to come.