Jersey Girl, Texan Heart: Healthy Habits Interview
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Healthy Habits Interview

5:30 AM

As many of you know, today is the Healthy Habits Link Up with Katie Did What.  For today's post I wanted to introduce you to someone who I've known since I was in 4th grade!  She has always been athletic and she can bend her body in ways that I didn't think was possible!  Now look at her picture above, and wait until you see the pictures I'm about to show you of her fitness journey!

1. Even though I know that you've been athletic your whole life, tell me a little bit about yourself and what got you started.

I started gymnastics at a very young age. I was extremely active and fearless as a child, the perfect combination for a gymnast.  I fell in love with the sport so much that I continued with it through college.  Midway through my college career, I tore my ACL and meniscus during practice.  This injury had me out of the sport for just about a full year and when my knee was fully healed it was a slow progress back into the sport. I truly realized how in love I was with the sport when it was taken away from me.  During my recovery from surgery, I met with a personal trainer twice a week so that he could help me train and keep the rest of my body in shape while I was unable to use my knee. It was then I was able to see this whole entire world beyond just gymnastics and into the fitness realm.

After college, I knew I couldn’t live without flipping around and continuing to be active. I then began to look into the next best thing, fitness competitions.  I also always had this dream of becoming a fitness model, although I never thought it would actually be possible. I decided to contact a few people who were involved in the Fitness industry, and after meeting a friend of a friend, Dawn Butterflield, an amazing fitness competitor, I was introduced to Fitness America Pageants (FAP) where I could continue to incorporate my gymnastics into the required fitness routines.  Dawn introduced me to Cathy Savage, a well known fitness competition coach who stared on MTV “I want a perfect body”.  Cathy immediately helped me and gave me the confidence I needed, she introduced me to this amazing sisterhood that I had never been a part of.  After just one year, she molded me into a Pro Fitness competitor, something that I never thought I would be able to do.  It just goes to show, that if you want something, take a chance and go for it, nothing is impossible.   Cathy truly has given me the self-confidence to go for my dreams of being a fitness model and personal trainer. I surprised myself with the amount of knowledge I already knew about fitness and being active, and now I want to help others look, feel, and be healthy and active.

2. What are your tips for someone who knows nothing about health and fitness and wants to start taking care of themselves?

Some tips for someone who knows nothing about health and fitness:

1) Being Healthy Starts with YOU
Being healthy and active is a lifestyle, not just a one week commitment. You have to be willing and ready to take charge.  Make yourselves accountable and take it seriously. Once you take the first steps to being healthy the rest comes easy.

2) Incorporate active things during your everyday life
Take a leap outside your comfort zone and schedule. You need to slowly incorporate healthy and active activities in your life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator to your floor at work. On your lunch break, go for a walk around the area. While watching your favorite TV show do crunches during the commercials.  While going to the store, park at a lengthy distance to increase your daily steps. All these are small changes that can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Remember: it starts with YOU, so take charge.

3) Make better nutritional choices:
When you go out to dinner opt for a healthy salad and chicken instead of a cheeseburger and fries. Make sure your meals always include protein and veggies while varying starches and fruit.  Also incorporate good fat oils into your diet.  A great example of how to eat right is the Healthy Harvard Plate at this link:

4) Plan ahead PLAN = SUCCESS
Planning ahead is probably the hardest part of being healthy but if you PLAN, you will succeed.  This is the hardest part for most people and it was especially hard for me; but once you have a plan, you can stick to it and hold yourself accountable. Prep your meals for the week. By prepping and planning healthy meals for the week, you will no longer find yourself eating junk food just because you’re pressed for time. Plan your workouts. Make room in your weekly schedule to hit the gym at least 3-4 times per week.

5) Grab a buddy
Make a plan with a friend to help stay active and healthy. Having someone there to support you with positive reinforcement can be essential when making the life changing decision to be healthy.

3. Is it really true that 80% is diet?

It truly is.  No matter how much you exercise, if you have a poor diet, then the benefits of working out will never catch up to the damage of constantly eating unhealthy. The popular saying “your abs are made in the kitchen” couldn’t be any truer.  Clean eating is extremely important and feeding your body with the proper nutrients helps to gain lean muscle and lose weight.  Eating 6 meals a day is ideal so that your metabolism is continuously working. Having protein 20 minutes after your workout helps build your muscles and also reduces soreness.  I personally eat 4 meals a day and 2 shakes.  I have one shake after my workout and 1 shakes before I go to bed or at a point in my day were I am too busy to heat up and eat a meal.  I personally use Isagenix shakes because there are no additive sugars and the shakes give me 34g’s of protein, 280 calories and a ton of nutrients you can find in a whole meal. This protein truly aids in creating that lean muscle most people aim for when going to the gym.

4. What would be a good routine for someone to have for diet and exercise?

Diet and exercise routines vary for each individual.  Its kind of like an experiment at first, you try something and see if it works for you.  What works for me may not work the same for someone else.  The best thing to do is to make sure in your diet that you are having 6 meals a day, all with protein, and veggies, varying on fruits and starches.  For a workout, if you want to gain muscle, do your weight training before you do your cardio.  Don’t just stick to steady cardio, change it up with some HIIT cardio a few days a week. The common misconception with cardio is that the more cardio you do, the more lean muscle you will gain. However, this is not true. Too much cardio, mixed with not giving the body enough nutrients, will cause your body to essentially eat away at the muscle, and cause you to look too thin.

5. Could you share a few quick, at home workouts that someone could do?

Absolutely, here are a few at home workouts that you can do

“Plank it up”

Push up plank (30sec)
Shoulder taps (10es)
Side Plank reach through (10es)
Side Plank pulses (10es)
Elbow up and Down Plank (10es)
Elbow Plank Hip taps (10es)
Elbow Planks (30sec)

Rest 1 min Repeat 3x

Check out the video tutorial here.

“Build your Bottom”

Fast low squats (30sec)
Knee Leg Lifts (10es)
Knew Side swing lift (10es)
Bent knee lift (10es)
Hydrants (10es)
Fast low squats (30sec)

Rest 1 min Repeat 3x

Check out the video tutorial here.

For more information on Isagenix contact me and check out this site here.

For more at home works and in the gym works outs check out my Youtube Channel here.
Check out My facebook page where I will be posting more about my journey to Fitness America Las Vegas in November for my second national pro show here.

Follow me on Instagram here.

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  1. Wow! I really feel like hitting the gym after reading this! I totally agree that fitness/weight loss really is 80% diet.. You have to be really careful not to eat something in one second that it will take hours to work off at the gym. Great read! :)

    1. Especially if it makes you feel like poo too. I hate when I make the mistake of eating something like fries and then trying to work it off, yea it's horrible, makes me feel so much heavier and tired!

  2. Whoooa girl is seriously fit!!! Great tips, too! I love what she said about planning. I love the quote: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!"


    1. She's been athletic her whole life, I really don't think this girl has ever had an inch of fat on her to be honest (known her for quite some time). She has some really awesome advice I hope everyone can learn something from her!

  3. I agree with the planning! You fail to plan, then you plan to fail :)


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