Over a year ago, I lost more than 20 pounds. Because I am online (and TV) the weight loss was very visible and people would come up to me on the street and in stores and ask me how I lost the weight.

I wish I had some magic secret for losing weight and keeping it off. It comes down to how many calories you eat and how many calories you burn (I believe the quality of food also matters).

I had a wonderful personal trainer who guided me through the weight loss process. I used a food tracking app and was consistent with my workouts. Even on the days when I really did not want to workout.

I didn’t eliminate any foods or eat a special diet. Eating a healthful diet and tracking my calories were the most important factors to my weight loss.

There is a popular misconception that if you have a hard workout, then you can eat whatever you want (I know, I used to think this way too!). Food and calories are really the biggest factors in being healthy and weight loss goals.

Every body is different. My main focus is to be the healthiest, happiest and strongest person I can be. These tips have worked wonders for me.

Intensity

A gentle stroll is fine when you first start working out, but at some point you will need to increase the intensity. I am always looking at the speed, incline or weights to see how I can increase the intensity and get stronger.

Another upside to intensity is that your heart and lungs will get stronger and you will burn more calories.

Intensity is even more important as we get older. To push the limits of who we can be, we need to up our game in all aspects of our lives and especially with our workouts.

Consistency

Those days when I truly would rather do anything else in the world than workout or lift weights are the most important days to my fitness journey. My personal trainer once told me that the best thing I can do to be healthy is to be consistent. Even if you do 20 minutes on the treadmill or a dozen push ups, it is better than missing a workout.

Whenever, I am tempted to miss a workout, I think to myself that this is probably the most important workout of my week. This is the one workout that is key to me being healthy.

More important that the big, long workouts are those smaller, shorter workouts on the days you don’t feel like working out.

Strength

As we continue to age, weight training can help keep arthritis at bay. Speed up your resting metabolism and help your daily performance.

The biggest benefit of strength training that I love is how it has helped me get stronger when I am running or on the StairMaster (soon the Grouse Grind!) or cycling. I can ride home that much faster!

A personal trainer has helped me so much with my weight training. They provide a map of where I am going and a plan for my workouts. Asking me what my goals are and creating a plan for how we are going to get there. Another benefit of having a trainer is that they will show you how to do a workout move properly (think back alignment) and also act as a person to be accountable to.

I know when I am tempted to skip my weights workout and do cardio instead (I love cardio!), I remember that Brain (my trainer) will see one less set of check marks next to my weight training schedule and know I missed the weights workout.

Personal trainers can be your biggest source of ongoing support and encouragement!

It is possible to find cost effective personal trainers. To find a personal trainer, check out your local community recreation centre or look for students doing their practicums as trainers. As long as they are qualified and you feel comfortable with them, then they can be a huge source of motivation and help you keep on track to being super healthy.

Eating Healthy Everyday

I eat lots of fruits and veggies everyday. I am not a cook by any stretch of the imagination (luckily my partner is a great cook!) but I do make a weekly salad. Sundays I chop up a salad that is big enough for 4 or 5 days. To keep the kale or lettuce from getting wet and wilted, I cover it in the salad (as a layer) with paper towels which absorbs the excess moisture. The weekly salad is the foundation for our dinners and then we add a meat or fish portion for protein.

Smoothies are wonderful too, but be careful with the calories of these. Again, even healthy foods have calories and need to be added to your daily calorie count.

I indulge! Last night, I had cheesy pizza with red wine and was in heaven. But these nights or indulgences, are every few weeks and then I am back to eating healthfully.

I never say I won’t eat this or that (because of the lack of nutrition or how many calories it has). My focus is on eating the best I can, the majority of the time.

The biggest challenge for me to eat healthy is when I am traveling (this is for another blog post). Busy schedule, not knowing where the healthiest food options are (and sometimes they are not even available) and being jet lagged can put a real wrench in my workouts and eating healthy. But I am getting better with this. Stay tuned for the blog post!

Wellness

Every morning, I meditate and it has changed my life for the better. It provides another layer of clarity, ability for me to be creative and deal with what might come my way throughout the day.

I meditate for about 15 minutes and then sometimes I will say what I am grateful for (out loud) or I will say what I would like my day to look like (set an intention for the day). With a focus on how I can help others, be a good member of the community and be kind.

I am not perfect, nor do I have a perfect body (whatever that is). My goal is to be healthy and strong (physically and mentally) and to be the best person I can be for myself and others.

Please let me know how your fitness journey is going, I would love to hear from you!

Visit Sacha daily at SachaD.com
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