Back in 2017, I had just finished university and moved back in with my parents, which led to a lazier-than-expected mentality. I felt slow, sluggish, and my diet was terrible. So even though you might look at the before shot and think, “I liked him better then!” — know that 2017 Michael was not very happy or motivated.
Last week on my Instagram Story, I shared my fitness progress over the last couple of years, and asked you peeps to submit fitness-related questions…
How do you fit gym time on very busy days? Also how do you keep motivated?
To answer your first question, I try to get my gym workout completed before any other major task that day. I find that if I postpone my workout until later, I’m more prone to skip the gym altogether. On days where I’m super busy, I’ll just head to the gym and complete 15 minutes of H.I.I.T. and leave! The boost of cardio will help tp increase my metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. Every day doesn’t have to be an incredible workout, but I always try to fit in some kind of fitness 4-5 times a week.
How do I stay motivated? I don’t do it alone! Chris and I keep each other motivated. Try to find a friend or peer who’s also looking to hit the gym more often. They don’t have to be your BFF — just a human with similar goals, who can be independent at the gym, and offer support when needed.
How did you overcome your fear in the gym? What made you more confident?
I’ve been confidently working out for YEARS. When I first started working out in freshman year of university, my gym buddy reassured me that every single person at the gym started out where I was. Once I learned that, it was so easy to realize that everyone at the gym is doing their own thing. They, TRULY, don’t care about you (and that’s great!).
Do you count your protein intake? If so, how much protein do you consume?
I don’t count my protein or strictly regulate my diet very much. I just ensure that my diet includes a bit more protein than carbs, and I try to consume a healthy amount of good fats, such as avocados and coconut oil.
What’s the hardest thing for you about staying fit?
Late-night eating. I love me some 10pm chips sooooo LOL.
How much has your eating habits changed from then to now? In what ways?
Overall, I would say I focus on eating whole-foods that keep me fuller, longer. I have a focus on oats, avocado, eggs, and fish!
Breakfast THEN: cereal, OR eggs/toast/bacon
Breakfast NOW: a big bowl of overnight oats that keep me full until lunch
Lunch THEN: heavy on carbs and protein, might include chips or rice as my side
Lunch NOW: Protein smoothie, avocado toast w/ a poached egg, a vegetarian or vegan sandwich
Dinner THEN: large portion of meat, large portion of rice
Dinner NOW: Medium portion of fish or meat or tofu, medium portion of rice, large portion of salad or greens.
For you, what is the best hour to go to the gym?
There isn’t a “best hour”, but rather “worst hours” hahah! Try to avoid weekdays, 11:45am – 1:00pm (lunch rush), and 4:15pm – 6:45pm (after work rush). Workout out in the morning, while difficult, is extremely rewarding. You’ll burn more calories throughout the day as your body works to repair itself, and there’s nothing but relaxation after work.
Looked way better before…
Oh well! I didn’t feel that way.
Besides HIIT, what are some of your favourite workout routines?
Military press for shoulders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yjwXTZQDDI
Overhead tricep extension: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbX7Wd8jQ-Q
Standard squats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oed-UmAxFs
** All courtesy of Scott Herman Fitness — he’s easy on the eyes, heavy on the fitness information!
Do you actually enjoy working out? If so, any advice to enjoy it? I just don’t enjoy it!!
Hahaha! I looove working out. IMO, the key to loving your workout is finding music playlists that get your head out of work, social drama, responsibilities, and allow you to zone into your workout. Try a new playlist!
Oh, and be sure to take weekly progress pictures. In two or three weeks, you’ll start seeing some small changes, picture to picture, and that’s always helped my motivation.
Have you hd ups and downs during this process? If you have, how do you deal with them?
Most definitely! No matter who you are, you’ll end up going through days, weeks, or months with a lack of motivation. As much as I try to fight back, sometimes its best to just let your body feel unmotivated for a while. If you body needs a couple weeks off to enjoy some tasty food, or just be less mobile for a little while, then go for it.
For me, fitness is a lifestyle, so it’s less about working out 4-5x a week, EVERY WEEK, and more about balance.
What to eat before going to the gym?
I eat a big bowl of overnight oats, 1 hour before my workout!
How to get abs?
Have a very low body fat %. That’s it. No amount of crunches will get you abs, because they are LITERALLY made in the kitchen. You’d need to have a very clean diet! I wouldn’t know much about that, because I don’t have abs and never have. I think they’re overrated…
How much time do you spend at the gym? Is there something you cut out of your diet?
40 – 60 minutes per workout, or 15 minutes or HIIT if I’m in a rush.
I’ve pretty much cut out sugary drinks, outside of cheat meals. I primarily drink water, which saves me a LOT of calories per day.
I hope that clarified some of y’all’s fitness questions!
Have more fitness Qs? Leave them in the comments below!