I went through a phase in seventh grade where I would wear ponchos and Ed Hardy apparel weekly, and I also ate at a sketchy Asian buffet last month.
What I’m trying to say is that sometimes I make very questionable decisions.
Whether the poor decisions revolve around unfortunate fashion choices or what I’ve put in my body, I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes, which brings me to my next point: I have made some not-so-great choices in the realm of health and fitness. Luckily, I’ve made these mistakes so you don’t have to.
I remember my thought process when I started my first cayenne pepper-lemonade-maple-syrup-cleanse, better known as the Master Cleanse. I thought: “Hey Beyoncé did this. Why can’t I? This cleanse is going to change me.” The idea of the cleanse is pretty simple. All you eat, well drink really, is a cayenne pepper, lemonade concoction for two weeks. You heard me, two weeks of no food. No bagels, no steak and no joy.
I did this cleanse hoping to flush my body of toxins, reset my metabolism and shed a few pounds. After finishing two weeks of eating nothing but this juice, I immediately got the worst flu of my life and gained back the twelve pounds I had lost within a week. The juice-cleanse did nothing but make me miserable for a solid month of 2012. As healthy and appealing juice cleanses may be, it’s not worth the pain and hunger hallucinations.
It’s so easy to hop on the elliptical after a long day and mindlessly put in 40 minutes of bland cardio while watching bad reality television (cough, cough, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” cough, cough). I am guilty of slipping into these cardio ruts, and I’ve found that I don’t feel as energized and fit while I’m in these lame patterns. The ruts also make me fall into a routine where I don’t push myself as hard at the gym.
To help myself not fall into these tedious elliptical sessions, I’ve put myself on a schedule that outlines at least three different types of cardio each week. This schedule makes my workouts more productive and less boring.
From age 17 to 21, the word carbohydrate was a swear word. I blame the Atkins diet craze of the early 2000s for demonizing any and all carbs. I recall denying myself of apples because they were “filled with carbs,” and that was really dumb of me.
Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is one of the most accessible sources of energy for the body. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, healthy carbs like fruits and whole grains should make up one forth of your everyday diet. So while I still restrict the amount and type of carbs I consume, I’ve made nice with the carb family and have felt better because of it.
Let’s be honest, pre-workout supplements are incredible. They can make a workout harder, faster, stronger, better, to quote Kanye. However, pre-workouts are easy to get hooked on. For a solid three months I was taking the pre-workout C4 every single day, and I became less and less susceptible to the energy and focus it once gave me.
The tipping point was when I went to the doctor and discovered my blood pressure was a bit too high, and the doctor recommended that I take a break from the pre-workout supplements. Now, I only take a pre-workout supplements when I feel like I need a boost; not taking them as often makes me feel the effects more.
As much as I’ve learned from being mocked in a poncho and starving on a juice cleanse, they are lessons that I wish I didn’t have to learn for myself. So learn from my mistakes when it comes to your health and fitness.