Fitness is an integral part of my life. Whether that was playing sports through school, working at my fitness center in college, or assisting my dad in his development of a new digital wellness platform, I have always been active and interested in bettering my health. Now, when you’ve lived in both Los Angeles and New York City, fitness and wellness doesn’t just refer to a trip to the gym. It’s a lifestyle. I must admit, as with my food preferences, when it comes to wellness, I will try anything once (at least). This includes boxing, barre classes, apple cider vinegar cleanses, Soulcycle, carb-free diets (do NOT recommend), even Gwyneth Paltrow’s $200 smoothie (cringe). Although I am admittedly a very big consumer of the latest health trends, it’s best to take it all with a grain of salt (lol jk, sodium is bad for you).
Puns aside, most recently, I’ve sold my soul to the Equinox devil. The siren call of those eucalyptus towels and Kiehl’s products had me at namaste. Pop culture in recent years has had quite a time poking fun at the elite and boutique fitness industry, as seen in shows like Broad City (SOULSTICE is based on Equinox, didn’t you know). I will admit the caste system of employees at Equinox is rather cringe-worthy, having the locker room attendants donning “Maintenance” t-shirts while the trainers flaunt their “Trainer” t-shirts. But beyond that, the gym itself is pretty darn great, with beautiful equipment and beautiful people. What more could you want in a sweat session, AMIRIGHT?? I’ll be honest, my love-hate relationship with Equinox is giving me some serious whiplash, but if there’s anything I can say, it’s certainly gotten me to #CommitToSomething.
On another note, gifted with an advance copy, I started the book Fitness Junkie, a novel by Lucy Sykes of Rent the Runway and award-winning journalist, Jo Piazza. (Click here for a chance to win a Fitness Junkie prize package).The book profiles the CEO of a couture wedding dress company as she embarks on a fitness journey to lose 30 pounds after her betchy business partner gives her the ultimatum to lose the weight or lose her job. The novel is rife with laugh-out-loud satire, chronicling the step-counting, cleanse-drinking, naked-yoga-doing (yes you read that correctly) New Yorkers, hungry (in more ways than one) for the next wellness trend. Despite my own penchant for trying and (often buying) into the latest wellness fads, I find it refreshing to see these trends teased in this way. If you’re not laughing about it, then the joke’s likely on you, folks, because a lot of it is BS.
With this BS in mind, as we are constantly bombarded with detoxes and workouts guaranteed to burn 1000 calories per hour, how do we know what actually works? Through my own experimentation, I will say there are a few nuggets I’ve collected along the way that are worth it and remarkably simple.
Water. Shocker I know. But honestly, forcing yourself to drink water regularly is worth the hype. To be honest, I’m terrible at forcing myself to be constantly hydrated, what with my coffee addiction taking precedence over all other beverages. But, when I do force myself to drink water, I feel, look, and perform (at work and in my workouts) much better. Pro-Tip: find a water bottle that you like to drink from. Weird I know, but I find I drink a ton more water when it’s from a straw (like this one).
Exercise Regularly. It doesn’t matter what you do, but whatever you’re doing, enjoy it. Whether its boxing, running, dancing, or rock climbing, make sure you’re doing it at a time of day that works for YOU and will motivate you to keep going. Endorphins are real and no matter how sluggish you’re feeling walking to the gym, you will 100% feel glad that you went afterwards. No one regrets making it to a workout, but you will inevitably regret skipping one. Plus, it’s INCREDIBLY easy to get out of shape in just a short amount of time, so don’t go down that rabbit hole. Consistency is key.
Apple Cider Vinegar. It tastes like shit, I won’t lie, but it works wonders to decrease bloating, spike your metabolism, and curb your appetite. After months of tummy bloat, I needed a solution for feeling like an alien was constantly trying to claw its way out of my stomach. So, I did some research and found a recipe for an Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Lemonade. It works guys. Once you get past the pretty gnarly taste, it kick starts your day like no other.
Meditate. This one was a tough one for me to get on board with initially. I am not into yoga, partly because I have the flexibility of the Tin Man, and partly because I’m impatient and I figured meditation would just be glorified sitting still. GUYS, meditation is like taking a nap in the middle of the day. You feel refreshed, your mind is clear, and it sets you up for more productivity. Guided meditation apps like Headspace make it easy to meditate almost anywhere, even if you’re a beginner. Just take 10 minutes per day for yourself to clear your mind. You won’t regret it.
Feed Your Body Well. Unless you have any intolerances or aversions to certain foods, avoid cutting things out. Every time I’ve decided to fully cut out a food group for whatever diet I was trying, I was super cranky, ended up craving those things more, and over-indulging the second I gave myself a reprieve. Be moderate, folks. Try to meet your macro and micronutrient goals for the day and don’t deprive. I like to reference the app My Fitness Pal to keep track of my macros and micros to make sure I’m hitting all my nutrient goals. It’s not always easy, but if you try to make responsible choices through the week, and you want some damn French toast and a mimosa on Saturday at brunch, #JustDoIt.