My 8 and 6 year old could not be more excited for the Olympics. They have really fallen in love with Michael Phelps and all of his accomplishments. For me personally, watching these athletes compete truly gets me fired up. They work so hard for so long, it is all about personal accomplishment of lifelong dreams. Olympic athletes train for years in order to compete in the Olympics. This typically includes an extensive workout regime, a strict diet, and intense mental conditioning, but they didn’t get there overnight. As with most things, health and wellness takes time and gradual change. I am learning this firsthand, on a much smaller scale, as I prepare for my upcoming Iron Man competition.
This is a great opportunity to reconnect with our own fitness buffs on the Sunlighten team and see how they keep fit and strong. You don’t have to take massive steps all at once: your health and wellness can improve gradually at your own pace.
Spotlight on Sarah Wickens
Sarah decided to get a kick start on her health after she had been unhappy for several years with her weight. Add a 20-year high school reunion and an increased risk for type two diabetes to the mix and she was fed up and ready to change.
Sarah works as our commercial sales manager and has been committed to a special diet and fitness routine which has helped her to lose 20 pounds and a body fat decrease from 26.4% to 18% in just four months! Naturally, our in-house personal trainer has supported her tremendously, but we will get to her later! Well done on the weight loss Sarah!
One of the things that has supported Sarah in her fitness journey is having supportive peers around her, such as her trainer and coworkers, to keep her accountable on her fitness schedule. Luckily she uses the Sunlighten gym which isn’t too far from her desk. That’s right, for those of you who don’t know we have a gym within our building that our team members can utilize. Sarah admits her biggest challenge was not eating and drinking what she wanted to. Another challenge she faces is wanting to quit – but her support team, including friends and family, keep her on track and ask for fitness updates all the time. This helps to keep Sarah going!
Sarah also revealed that working in the wellness industry has supported her tremendously. Most of her coworkers understand and appreciate her journey, and while she has been with Sunlighten for 9 years, she likes being able to talk the talk AND walk the walk at a pace she can commit to.
Meet Briana Brewer
Briana’s story is different from Sara’s in that she started being health conscious at a very young age. Since 16 years old, our sales rep and personal trainer knew she had to change – from what you ask? At the tender age of 9 she suffered from eating disorders. Constantly comparing herself to those picture-perfect models in the magazines and on T.V. had a huge impact on Bri. After years of struggle, she turned 16 and realized that her lifestyle choices weren’t sustainable, so she decided to hit the gym and started eating healthy.
Briana has a determined attitude where quitting and making excuses is not an option. She is a perfect personal trainer, coach and accountability expert for those who need support and guidance in terms of health and wellbeing. She doesn’t just talk the talk either, her whole life is a testimony to her stick-to-it-iveness!
She packs her meals every day which makes it easier for her to keep to a meal plan. She does an hour of cardio every morning before work, and ensures her body gets plenty of rest every evening, leaving her with 30 minutes of free time every day. Literally, she is a 5am – 9:00pm woman – you’d think she was an Olympic athlete!
She confesses that if something is really important to you, you will make time for it. Period. Needless to say health and wellbeing is something very important to Briana!
After she is off the clock at 5:00 pm, she starts her second part-time job as a trainer! Talk about being busy! Aside from working around the clock, she stays on her nutrition which can be a challenge. Never underestimate your nutrition.
Many people believe you can work out and get results, but according to Briana, a whole lifestyle change is what is needed. Change can be difficult for people but it isn’t impossible, the key is you have to want it. If you want it, you’ve won half the battle!
Fitness Tips of Champions that You Can Take Today!
- Be willing to receive support from friends, family and coworkers around you – a supportive environment is crucial to achieving your fitness goals!
- Change your lifestyle gradually – changing one small thing about your lifestyle each week and sticking to it makes it easier to change instead of flipping EVERYTHING around in one day. That may work for some people, like athletes, but not for the rest of us mortals.Taking a moment to expand on item number two, one common misconception is people have to give up a lot in order to be healthy, but this isn’t always the case. Yes, it is a lifestyle change and yes, it may take time, but this doesn’t mean you have to change everything about your life this minute. You risk giving yourself and your body a shock which leaves many people giving up and falling back into their old patterns. The key is to make one small change per week so as not to overwhelm yourself. Some people may simply add raw vegetables and fruits to their diet daily, and then make a small change in their lifestyle each week. For example, the following week you may choose to add a 20-minute cardio routine or reduce the amount of carbs you ingest. There are limitless possibilities to what you can achieve!
- One of the things I do best includes shouting out my goals to people around me. Give it a try – it will help you be THAT more determined to achieve them!
- Remember, the best exercise routine is one you will actually do – no need to take on an Olympic athlete’s routine if you won’t see it through! Check out some of Briana’s tips here.
- Changing your diet doesn’t mean you have to eat tasteless food. Our blog has tons of recipes which include whole foods that actually taste delicious
- Cheat. That is right, I said it. If you are not having fun, change will never last. Find times where you can indulge and enjoy life. Just make sure it is not every day!
- Last but not least, do not discount the power of positive thinking. Olympic athletes practice mental conditioning in order to keep them focused on their goals, and many attribute their success to their positive attitude. Keep your chin up and stick to the plan!
Wishing you all the best in your health and wellness journey.