The other day I was asked what fuels my workouts. My immediate thought was food, food fuels my workouts – Oreo and pancake gains over here. The longer I thought about this I thought of a million different answers. So here are some of the ways I want to answer the question.
1. Fire in my heart fuels my workouts. Having grown up pretty thin as a teenager because of dancing I never thought I would gain weight in college and if I did, I never thought it would be so much. Once the weight started piling on I never thought it would be possible to lose it all or even a little of bit. Seeing my progress in the first few months of my journey where all I did was cut out food items that I didn’t truly need to nourish and fuel me such as pasta, soda, juice, chips and candy; I knew I could accomplish something small and maybe it had potential to turn into something great. There’s fire in me to achieve great things, not necessarily great by others’ standards, but great by my own because I had doubted myself just like those around me. I’m not willing to let myself down. I have standards that are too high for that nonsense.
2. Food fuels my workouts. Last summer when I first decided to prep for a competition I researched everything I could about bikini and bodybuilding shows. I realized I couldn’t afford everything, but I could make up for some things. I couldn’t afford a coach, but I could have conversations with people and then develop my own training based on personal progress and what others have tried. I had been given advice to try a fat burner, many competitors use them and they’re legal. I figured why not, it couldn’t hurt. Well, if you’re not hydrated enough nothing says hurt like a headache from your fat burner. Holy fuck. Now food fuels me. Black coffee is a great pre-workout for someone who wants a little boost in their fasted-cardio. A well-rounded nutrient dense meal can help rebuild your muscle fibers, prevent straining and injury and give you the energy you need to smash leg day. I do drink a protein powder – I prefer Cellucor’s whey. It’s easy on my stomach and the flavors are really good. It also dissolves really well in a blender bottle. Some other brands not so much. I follow flexible dieting, but mostly eat clean and try to eat 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
3. Other people sharing their journey’s pushes me to try new things, train harder and smarter. It inspires me that people who know what I’ve gone through, not just physically, but mentally, are on a similar path toward a healthier life. When I was at my heaviest I was told that I was never going to be skinny again. When I started lifting I was told I should stick to cardio. When I start training for my first 5K I was told yoga would be easier on a body my size. When I decided I wanted to compete I was told I was too fat to do so. Regardless of sharing my story on social media, I have heard a lot of “you can’t” sentences in real life. The people I have connected with on social media have heard similar things as well and we hear them more often because we’re so open with our journey’s. It’s not that “haters” don’t fuel my workout, but those who believe in me fuel it more. My friend Sarah – fit_badger15 on Instagram is a long-distance friend. We met on IG and actually text most days. When I feel like pushing through the last set is hard, she’s in my head. “What’s one more rep? Let’s finish the set. You can rest when you’re done.”
I’m sure for some people it’s a simple answer. “I use such and such pre-workout. I use such and such product. I’m a coach for such and such brand.” For me there’s more than a shake that fuels my workout, my lifestyle.
What fuels you?