Work out time! What fuels me through my fitness schedule?

After opening up about my battle with anxiety and depression in this post, I was introduced to a pretty cool company called ETBfit. Here’s an except from their “About Us” section:

“ETB stands for “Eat the Bear.” A work colleague of ours who was diagnosed with Leukemia a number of years ago used to remind us during challenging times that ‘Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you.’ As a constant reminder that we are in control of our lives personally, physically and professionally, we continually remind ourselves to ‘Eat the Bear’ every day without exception.

“Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you.”

The name serves as a constant reminder that we, as individuals, are in control of our lives. That’s not to say that we control everything that happens to us; rather, when those things happen, we control the effect and the result.”

I like people (and companies) that like food & fitness (duh), and that can empathize with my history.  Extra points when others can understand that fitness helps me conquer my past every day. Learning more about this company inspired me to share what motivates me and what fuels me through my workouts. I’m new to the sport of weightlifting, but if I can do this so can anyone!

First, a little progress picture for everyone:

I have been busting my tail and really committing to a 3-4 times/week workout schedule, and I do believe the results are showing! So what fuels my workouts? Food, obvi. But in all seriousness I have been practicing an “IIFYM” diet since about January and I LOVE IT. I can eat basically whatever I want but it needs to fit within the carb/fat/protein ratio I set for myself. No deprivation ever just balance. And I make sure I eat enough calories in the day to fuel me. DON’T EVER STARVE YOURSELF!!! And FYI- I don’t shy away from carbs. Love me some carbs!

While I can eat whatever I want under this approach, I still tend to choose very nutritious foods. I eat my green smoothies every morning (loaded with protein powder and probably peanut butter). And I break up my meals so I’m eating 5 or 6 times a day. This way I can eat a balanced, macro fitting meal before and after a workout.

My favorite things to eat immediately before of after a workout are protein smoothies, protein bars (like Quest chocolate chip cookie dough), peanut butter sandwiches, or ye old standard brown rice, boiled chicken, and veggies (with ranch, of course!). I just make sure to time 2 of my meals around my workouts, and I feel properly fueled to really push through a workout.

I’ve seen weightlifters really load up on supplements. I tend to take a more minimalist approach on this topic. I take a multi-vitamin and biotin (because who doesn’t want better skin and nails?), and I like to keep my protein powder’s ingredients fairly minimal. I load up to the max on fiber, and ALWAYS stay super hydrated.

So what else fuels my workouts? Music.

This sweaty selfie was taken after a 30 minute ab routine followed by 30 minutes on the stair master from hell. Especially when it comes to the minimal cardio I do, I really need music to help push me that last bit. I like to listen to what I call “Bad Bitch” radio on pandora (and yes I know, I should try Spotify…). Lots of Iggy Azalea, Beyonce, Niki Manaj and Drake (why he plays so much on this station I’ll never know…). Fast beats, and catchy lyrics. Bad bitch radio is also helpful when you’re the only lady in the weight room. The music can make you feel like you OWN THE ROOM, which can really help you overcome how intimidating that weight room can be when you’re first starting out!

Food and music are what fuels me through my workouts. But what drives me is knowing that I’m better than I was yesterday. My body never stops impressing me in what it can do, and the best way to thank it is to fuel it properly and love myself from the inside out.

If you want to try some cleaner fuel for your workout from the super cool ETBfit, check out some of their pre workout recommendations! 

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