Fitness and Nutrition for the best you | look your best in professional photos | Denver Senior Photographer | Denver Senior Portraits | Denver Senior Photos
Let me start by saying, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. However, I totally get it, you want to look your best, especially in your professional photos. So let's talk about nutrition and fitness and what you can do to be the best YOU!
Now, notice I said, "...be the best YOU". That's because everyone's body is different, no two people will ever look alike (except for twins, I guess). Your genetics are different, your DNA is different, your environment is different, your access to fresh foods is different, etc. So the most important thing to accept when looking at fitness and nutrition is that you absolutely CANNOT compare yourself to someone else. I know this is hard - nearly impossible - but you're better off for it. Heck, I deal with it every day! I'm always comparing myself to my friends, celebrities, strangers, and other businesses. But I try not to, because they're not me!
So let's dive into my tips to be the best you:
1. Love Yourself
I know, I know you've heard it time and time again. But it's true! Now, I don't care if you love your body the way it is right now, but do you love yourself? Loving yourself is the first step to becoming a better and healthier you. By loving yourself, you let go of negativity and allow room for positivity thus allowing yourself the opportunity to be healthier. By loving yourself, your outlandish expectations of yourself diminish and your stress seeps away.
Now, I know that you may not love yourself today, or even tomorrow, or a year from now. But each step you take, is one step closer to fully loving yourself. One thing I like to do is write down everything I love about myself on sticky notes and place them around my bedroom so that I see them every day. I write down what I love about my looks, my personality, and my life. Try it!
2. Diminish Stress
In this world, we are constantly in a state of stress, however big or small. But by diminishing the stressors in our lives, we allow our body to repair itself: our skin looks brighter, our acne goes away, the stress-weight we're holding melts away, and our immune system bounces back. When we're stressed, our outer appearance (and our inner attitude) is a little lackluster.
If you're not sure what exactly is stressing you out, here's what I do to figure it out: I'll brain-dump everything onto a piece of paper. Anything that could be stressing me out, anything in the future that is causing me anxiety, or anything that happened in the past that's in the back of my mind. Then I see which of those things make my stomach flip, or my heart beat faster. For me, it's usually a momentary tightness in my throat. Once I've figured out what thing(s) is stressing me out, I see what I can do to fix it.
3. Eat Whole Foods
You don't have to eat at Whole Foods to eat whole foods (I'm hoping that was funny... Was it? Even slightly?). What I mean when I say "eat whole foods" is to eat things like fruit, vegetables, good fats, meat, and whole grain. I used to read a lot about nutrition, so hopefully I can give you some insight, but I'm not a nutritionist or anything, so please do your own research before taking my word for it.
My number one rule for myself, is to listen to what my body needs. If I'm hungry, I'll go through a list in my head to see what "sounds good". Is it chicken? Then my body needs protein. Is it a salad? Then my body needs veggies and fiber. Is it something sweet? Then my body needs fruit.
Now you might be saying... "But Sarah, I'm craving french fries" or "I can't stop thinking about a that Coca Cola in the fridge". Bad fats and refined sugar are addictive because they are fast, high energy sources for your body (they are also empty calories and cause acne - but we won't get into that now). So your body sees them as the easiest way to get a lot of energy quickly. But if we aren't marathon runners or working out all day, every day, our bodies can't use all the energy those foods provide. So our body ends up storing it for later. So if you constantly have crave things like soda, candy, or fried foods. Try weaning yourself off them slowly - your brain won't like you for a few days - it will probably be demanding you give it an Oreo cookie (or 5). But after a few days your mind and body will adjust and the cravings will stop. For example if you crave fried foods (like I do) try eating good fats instead: fresh mozzarella cheese with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper; or smear avocado on toast with a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Heck you could even eat zucchini fries to start, but then slowly wean yourself off those too.
It can be REALLY overwhelming to think about how to exercise. I mean, there are so many exercise videos, workout plans, P90X things, gyms, and infomercials... I'm exhausted just thinking about it! But all you need to do is move. That's it! I don't care what you do, as long as you're moving. I think "they" recommend 30 minutes of exercise a day. But you don't have to start with 30 minutes. You can start with going for a 5 minute walk and eventually work your way up to a 30 minute walk. You can dance, play flag football with friends, play with your dog, run (if that's your thing... it's definitely not mine!), walk on your hands... it doesn't matter as long as you are moving your body.
Exercise not only burns calories, but it also reduces stress which, as we talked about earlier, is a whole benefit within itself!
5. Love Yourself, Again
I know I said it above, but I'll say it again. Love yourself. Loving yourself allows you to exercise, eat healthy, and destress and ultimately allows you to become the best you (and one that will look fantastic in all your professional photos!).
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