Adding some FLAVOR!!!
For those who get to experience a Zumba class with Ingrid, in addition to having some of the most FUN condensed in an hour, at some point the orders “Add some FLAVOR!!!!” will be heard, loud and clear. Here’s how it works: As she begins her instruction of a new routine, the basic steps are presented to give you a foundation for the choreography. As the moves repeat and all become a little more comfortable with the steps, she encourages everyone to add a little something special, a little style, a little extra that comes just from you. To continue with last week’s V-Tip, let’s use that concept to help SPICE up your routine, introduce you to new things and always be uniquely YOU to help keep your momentum going STRONG!
Fitness: Just as in Ingrid’s classes, once the steps are learned, you already know what you’re “supposed” to do and to help you keep going she makes it fun, she changes it up and sometimes she reminds you to add your own “special something”. Applying this to your entire fitness regimen, in my opinion, is the best way to maintain an active lifestyle. Always, always, always be willing to try something new! You never know what new exercise, sport or activity will generate that FUN factor inside of you. Let your goal be to see how much fun you CAN have while working out and let the activity cater to you and your personality. Always wanted to try kick-boxing or pilates but not interested in the pressure of a class? Check out a few different workout videos and try it out solo. Prefer a more social atmosphere? There are almost always new student specials at different studios, gyms or fitness clubs and if you’re already active somewhere, see what other classes they have available—you might be surprised! As you try new things, the activities that allow you to bring about that something special inside that makes you feel HAPPY, feel ENERGIZED and feel STRONG or whatever else you need to feel like you’re celebrating YOU will be that flavor that keeps you going and keeps you active!
Nutrition: Speaking of something you already know you’re “supposed” to do! You’ve learned some tips to help with portion control (like cutting your usual portions in half to save for later) and you know some basics in improving the quality of your food (like cutting out the unnecessary JUNK such as the only thing on the menu at fast food joints!) but really, why stop there?? The main reason to not stop there is because your body will adjust to the changes and you can get tired of snacking on carrots and thinking “healthy” food is never going to be tasty food. Now, if you’re still eating the same portions as before and you’re still stopping through the drive-thu for any meal of the day, don’t expect any changes right away—at least any significant changes until you can start taking those necessary steps. Once you have those basics down, however, don’t let yourself get bored either!
I’ll say it again: food is nourishing, it should taste good and be enjoyable and satisfying to you. The first step in adding flavor (literally in this case!) is to keep trying something NEW and keep finding things that work best for YOU. You don’t know what you’ll end up enjoying if you don’t try. Does heart disease or high blood pressure run in your family? If so, you may have been advised to cut back on red meat or meat in general. Think a vegetarian diet or food without heavy, greasy meat isn’t tasty? Just TRY it out and learn a few things from the wonderfully talented catering duo Señor Veggie! Talk about some AMAZING dishes that are not just HEALTHY and free of animal products (and therefore animal fats and byproducts) but they are full of FLAVOR and are absolutely DELICIOUS! Other wonderful local options to explore are Green Vegetarian Cuisine or Vegeria Vegan Restaurant. You’ll be surprised at the options out there and what you might end up loving! Don’t let yourself get bored when it comes to healthy eating. The satisfaction of food that is clean and whole and natural but prepared well with PLENTY of flavor, not to mention love, can generate the same mouth-watering craving as a Big Mac used to but never will again!
Attitude: I’m always going to address attitude because it makes the biggest difference in everything you do or ever try to do, even when it comes to that something special that makes things your own. Adding flavor to your attitude is more about preserving that uniqueness that’s inside of you but modifying it so only the genuine truth comes out: Not what you hate but rather would you could love. Again, without judgment, I’ll say that it can be natural to always pay attention to and bring up the negative that we think, feel or see. It’s just not an effective approach to staying motivated and it doesn’t help you in your efforts. It may be true that you don’t like this activity or that type of food or this number on the scale or the way that move feels, etc. I implore you to quietly acknowledge the initial thought or feeling as necessary to bring about awareness to that fact, but instead voice the opposite and use words that encourage rather than discourage.
If you don’t like an activity or type of food, think about a part of the activity or food you DO like or consider one you like better and think about why and what makes the other one more enjoyable to you. If you have to say something out loud in anyway, share the positive instead. Be aware of the words you use and think about the kind of attitude it takes to say something in a negative way versus a positive way. Pay attention to what the words feel like and choose positive, hopeful, kind, generous and encouraging words especially if you’re going to share it with others. Think about the attitude it generates after saying it out loud and whether or not that is the kind of energy you want within and around you.
Writing these tips every week has been a constant and humble reminder of how I, myself, choose to live my life. I write each week with such passion and care for everyone I may be able to inspire but trust me, I don’t stop there. Throughout my day, I do find myself struggle from time to time. I hear myself begin a thought that I just advised against and I have to say to myself “No, I don’t need to think/say/do that… I wouldn’t want others to say that to themselves or not try this or express that.” Whether it’s in my physical activity, the way I try to eat most of the time or the way I feel when I look in the mirror, every day I’m working on my attitude because I’m on this journey alongside of you. We’re all learning together, on our own paths and at our own levels. There is no judgment, only hope, love and encouragement. Let’s add some flavor to this life we have and make it our own.