Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
Spark: Goodbye, Guilt!
Like many women, I used to think my muscles made me less feminine. For years I hated my muscular calves, silently wishing I had those toothpick-thin legs that looked so great in skinny jeans and shave gel commercials. I tried barre classes and yoga videos online in hopes that the "lean, toned" muscles they promised would eventually become my reality.
Thanks to a steady diet of HIIT exercise and a newfound love of strength training, I've since gotten over that needless self-shaming (thank goodness) and embraced my muscles fully. For anyone still questioning if their own muscles are something to be ashamed of (they're not) or are wondering if muscles can be girly (they can be) or need to know if muscles can be attractive (obviously), I'll ask the class to please turn their attention to Kelsey Wells. A bona fide workout warrior, Wells' journey to health began after suffering from postpartum depression. In search of a solution, she discovered the power of exercise and, in time, built the biceps, quads, triceps and abs of our dreams. Now, this mommy is on a mission to help women embrace their muscles and their strengths, both physical and mental.
Her Instagram is full of workout motivation, strength training routines to try and adorable pictures with her photogenic toddler, but it was a recent post about cheating on her regular eating routine that struck a chord with me. In the post, Wells details how she treated herself to a frosted cookie after dinner. No big deal, of course. Then, later that night she found herself bicep-deep in a box of Lucky Charms, leaving her feeling overstuffed. It doesn't matter if you're a bodybuilder, a fitness model or an elite athlete, this is a place we have all been at one point or another.
Rather than let her overeating define her entire week—which can be a challenge, to say the least—Wells explained how she tackled this atypical night head-on by simply not letting it affect her. "Am I gonna waste time feeling guilty today? NO. Am I all of the sudden 'off track'? NO," she writes. "Just a friendly reminder that we are all human babes. Don't get down on yourself ever—but especially not over something like missing a workout or eating poorly."
Getting healthy takes time, dedication and a lot of focus, which can make a slip-up feel like an epic disaster. As Wells notes, though, we're all human. It's all about the choices we make most of the time. Eating cake on your birthday isn't going to throw off five months of work, just like exercising for a week isn't going to instantly undo five years of unhealthy habits. Living healthy is meant to help you embrace and live your life to the fullest, which means sometimes you're going to want to eat the burger or stress-eat some Lucky Charms. What it doesn't mean is that you're going to allow living to interfere with your ultimate goals.
Ultimately, this comes down to mindset—if you have a flexible mindset, you'll be able to remind yourself that healthy living is all about balance and this is a one-time over-indulgence or a special occasion. Without a flexible mindset, your slip-up could lead to feelings of regret, negative self-talk or, worse, defeat. No food or overeating event has the power to control who you want to be and what you do next. Focus on how you feel when you're following your healthy living plan, recognize that it's just a piece of cake/handful of cereal/extra margarita/bag of chips, and know that you have the power and determination to stay the course tomorrow and all the days to come.
Sweat: Josh Gad Is All of Us Working Out
Some days, the gym is your friend, encouraging you to push yourself to that next level, motivating you to channel your inner Kerri Walsh Jennings or Mike Trout and unleash the beast. Other days, you feel like Josh Gad, the hyper-relatable star of musical hits including "Frozen" and "Beauty and the Beast."
I'm not entirely sure what Gad is training for—perhaps it's just general wellness, which is fantastic!—but his Instagrams of late have been a welcome break in my otherwise serious fitness-obsessed Instagram feed. Dripping with sweat sometimes, cursing his trainer other times, usually out of breath, Gad is a reminder that getting in shape isn't all finish line selfies and abs angles. No, getting in shape is gritty and challenging and usually really, really sweaty.
Sugar-coating nothing, Gad offers a glimpse into the world of Hollywood that comes before you're 20-feet tall on the big screen. Magazine covers praise the Tomb Raider body, offering some brief summary of her workout regime, but rarely do you see the real hours of dedicated training in, what he calls, "this sick fitness prison" (and healthy eating) that actually goes into getting those envy-inducing biceps and six-pack abs.
When you've had your fill of fitspiration and unattainable bodies sculpted from hours with personal trainers and consultations with an on-call nutritionist, give Gad a follow for a laugh and a little reminder of reality every now and again.
Who do you look to for health and fitness inspiration?
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