Often time people want to know what I do. It gets very boring to tell others I workout for an hour five times a week and eat small balanced meals containing complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats throughout the day. So let me tell you what I DON’T DO on a daily basis.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying that if you DO any of these things it’s necessarily a bad thing. This article is just a guide to anyone who is seeking more answers to my lifestyle routine.
1. I don’t sleep in. Many successful people want to get their day started and their goals underway. My day typically begins at 6:30am but my constant goal is to start waking up at 5am (which is tough since I work late).
2. I don’t forget to eat breakfast. My body has fasted all night and it needs nutrients first thing in the morning within an hour after waking. Studies show that eating breakfast helps you lose weight – so start planning out your morning meal now. I typically have fruit or eggs. Sometimes I consume oatmeal or a smoothie.
3. I don’t leave the house without a water bottle filled with water, lemon (real lemons) and lots of ice. Water and lemons detoxify your body.
4. I don’t drink coffee or energy drinks. I find the foods I eat and my daily exercise keeps my energy levels up. I also think caffeine drinks can become highly addictive and negatively habitual.
5. Which is why I don’t drink Starbucks. When I do (a couple times a month) I get an unsweetened ice tea or tall soy latter (which I’m trying to cut back on soy). Anything else consumed outside of coffee or espresso has loads of sugar, fat and calories. Cutting back also means you can save some money!
6. I don’t drink Jamba Juice either. The last time I went I read their nutritional guide for a good ten minutes not knowing what to order because 95% of all their smoothies have too much sugar and calories. (I chose a small cup of apple and greens smoothie). I am not anti-smoothie (obviously, I just said I have one for breakfast sometimes) but it’s important to know what goes in your smoothie. Often times people use too much fruit. I suggest one fruit, some green veggies (I like kale or spinach) and some almond milk or yogurt (if you are tolerant).
7. I don’t eat Fast Food often. I want to make it clear that I DO eat it when I’m on the go, busy and have limited choices (and my kids are sleeping in the backseat). When I do I know exactly what to get: I get a chicken fajita pita (no cheese) at Jack n the Box, a chicken burrito fresco style at Taco Bell, a grilled chicken sandwich (no sauce and open-faced) at McDonalds and a turkey burger (open-faced) at Carls Jr.
8. I don’t (often) order special kids food for my children at restaurants. Very often they eat from my plate or they get exactly what I get at restaurants and split into two. Most foods for children have limited choices of pizza, Mac n cheese, fries and hot dogs. If I do order a kids meal, I make sure it’s balanced (some places have become pretty good) and limit the fried choices.
9. I don’t eat fried food. It tastes amazing but it makes me feel yucky afterwards. I try to think about consequences often when performing any action. While something tastes good for the moment, I always know that I will feel guilty and regretful afterwards. So I pick my battles.
10. Which is why I don’t remove my favorite foods (like chocolate, wine and bread) from my diet. (I know I said this already but I thought it was worth mentioning twice!) I believe everything is good in moderation. I’ve tried low-carb diets in the past and it made me constipated and lethargic. I’ve tried low-fat diets when I was very young – and as you can imagine, it made me gain weight (because I was eating a lot of carbs). The best diet you can be on is the one you can stick with.
11. That is why I don’t eat an imbalanced diet. My meals always consist of a lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. I try to avoid eating poorly when busy by storing snacks in my car. I am in my car often: dropping kids, running errands, working, etc. So I have almonds, bars and peanuts stashed in my car at all times.
12. I don’t always eat healthy. I believe in the 80/20 rule all around. I believe you should eat well 80% of the time and 20% of the time you should give yourself a break. After all, nobody is perfect. I have gone through fast food drive thru’s but I usually choose a healthier version despite it being a heavily processed food. I also have a weakness for desserts, chocolate and red wine. I used to have a splurge day once a week, but now I’ve opted for a couple splurge meals throughout the week.
13. I don’t eat late at night. Everyone is different but I don’t like my digestive system working while I’m sleeping. It always makes me feel bloated the next day. I have found when dieting down my body responds best when I limit my food intake after 8/9pm (I’ve pushed back the time because I sleep later now).
14. I don’t (typically) miss workouts. For me that means a good 5-6 days of 30-60 minutes of training. Sometimes I’m able to train for 90 minutes but that is rare. I don’t recommend training for longer than 90 minutes because your body will require fuel to replenish its reserves after undergoing intense training for a long period of time.
15. I don’t skip strength training. If there is one single magic pill you should be swallowing it should be the benefits of lifting weights. Muscle speeds up your metabolism, keeps you agile and makes you stronger. It molds your body.
16. I don’t let others negatively affect me. Sometimes it does happen – when a person (especially those closest) wipes out my energy – I try my best to transfer negative energy by performing a positive action. If people are negative I often write it out, run it out or talk it out.
17. I don’t have a supplement regimen. My husband encourages vitamins like omega 3’s, multivitamins and probiotics. So I will take them when he gives it to me, but I’ve never been consistent with any supplement as I have a hard time depending on things to stay vital.
18. So don’t ask me about protein shakes because I don’t take those either. I used to depend on protein shakes because I also don’t eat a lot of red meat or meat (outside of occasional chicken breasts) in general, but I started getting stomach aches after consumption. So, along with most of the processed foods I’ve cut out of my diet, I took that one out also.
19. I don’t eat artificial sugars (tummy ache), drink milk (lactose intolerant) or consume alcohol (outside the occasional glass of red wine). Studies have shown that consuming diet foods with fake sugars makes you crave sugar more. I believe it!
20. I don’t count calories (anymore). I used to have a generalized idea of what I ate in the past and I really encourage people to write their food intake down so they can see what they’re consuming – which makes them more accountable.
21. I don’t wear normal clothes (normally, lol). I wear workout clothes most of the time. It makes it easier to move and gives me no excuses for not working out at a moment’s opportunity.
22. I also don’t wear deodorant, perfume or scented lotions. I think living a ‘clean lifestyle’ allows most people to smell decent and not depend on products to mask their body’s smell. Pheromones are actually great human signals of health, vitality and sexuality.
23. I don’t weigh myself daily. In fact, I haven’t weighed myself for several months as the number on the scale can change if I’m gaining muscle, retaining water or in need of a good bowel movement (lol). I’ve lived to many years being a slave to scale. These days I track my progress based on measurements, body fat and how well my clothes fit.
24. I don’t compare myself with others. It’s very easy to do this – especially when there is a hot celebrity who has a better body than you after just two months of giving birth or eyeing a person who has long lean legs (my legs will never be long). When you compare you lose focus on what you have and your resources to improve your health and lifestyle.
25. With all this said, I have to say – I don’t’ skimp on sleep. Sleep is very important. I never realized how true this rings until I had a newborn and savored just 3 hours of straight sleep. Now I am able to sleep at least 7-8 hours each night. Remember that your fitness is not just about being eating right and exercising; it’s about all the things in-between including rest.
I DO workout with my mom club every Tuesday with my kids! Find a
free No Excuse Mom Group near you at www.noexcusemom.com
Interesting list-I think I do most of them the opposite of what you do, but it works for me 🙂 For #2 I’ve found not eating early in the morning has actually helped me with my almost 60lb weight loss, and I continue to see positive benefits doing this now that I’m in maintenance. I did a version of IF (intermittent fasting) for weight loss and now do a different version (16:8) for maintenance. I break my fast at 11am and then my eating window closes at 7pm. I’m a firm believer that we all need to find out what works for us and then build on that! We’re all unique and have different lifestyles, medical histories, fitness goals etc.
I’m a newer follower of yours of fb and I’ll be bookmarking your blog too 🙂
my compliments for how you are living!
i also live healthy and it feels good.
But what i want to ask you. What sort of exercise are you doing?
which works the best for your belly?
Do you have video’s of it?
That works better for me .
i hope you can answer my questions. thank you and have a nice day
Hi maria, I want to ask you a question that worry me: is having baby can make you lose your youthfulness? I mean, I want to go out sometimes and live my life very well, so how can I do it if I want to have baby early in my life?
Where’s “support myself financially” on this list? Of all the things you don’t do, that’s clearly the one that makes it easiest for you to stay in such good shape. The degree of difficulty for keeping in excellent shape is DRAMATICALLY lower when you don’t have to work for a living.
Apparently you aren’t familiar with Maria’s full profile.
None of the things she listed are difficult even when supporting yourself financially. Stop putting someone else down to make yourself feel better about your own choices. It’s a matter of time management.
While I don’t have children, this is my situation: I work two jobs (55+ hours/week) that are scheduled so I do not have days off. I work with children, the elderly, and the mentally disabled, which is exhausting. I am also in college (which I pay for) and currently taking 18 credits this semester (all A’s). I workout 3-5 times a week at home or in the park (no gym membership), cook all meals from scratch for the household (the cost of produce here is one of the highest in the country), and even keep the house clean for three people and a dog. I am completely self-reliant. I’m also in excellent shape. And you know, it’s really not hard, because I don’t make excuses for why I shouldn’t be.
seriously jack! i seriously cant stand someone who doesnt work telling me how to live my life when i have a real job, bills to pay, and special needs child with no spousal support what so ever!
@ pam and Jack – she owns her own business, she works, what other excuse will you come up with next
Her family owns the business. She works for them!
Everyone’s lifestyle is different, everyone has different situations and we all have our own struggles. Getting mad at someone who’s not even referring to you only reflects on you and not them. She’s only referring to be the best you can be in general (and its only as a SUGGESTION, not an order) to try to be as healthy as you can with her inspiration being how much it hurt her see her mother being sick in the past. Based on your comment, you are already a very strong woman, supporting and raising your child- All completely by yourself! Not too many women do that. No too many women keep up without spousal support, most women just complain all their life instead. Honestly, having the strength that you have to keep up its very hard, and that just portrays what a strong woman and mother you are being. Sometimes its good to look back in ourselves and realize how much we’re worth as a person and the beauty in ourselves and when we realize that, we are able to see the value in the rest of the women around us as well.
I am a single mother of a 9-year old (have been since he was born). I work full time as a Civil Engineer (so my hours are pretty crazy). My family lives 5 hours away so it’s only me with no extra help. I have to take care of a household, pay bills, run errands, make dinner, ensure my child is taken care of, attend PTA meetings, check homework, etc. etc. etc. Long story short, you can ALWAYS make time for a workout.
I still put in about 60-90 minute workouts, 5 times a week. NO EXCUSES!
It’s good you don’t drink milk. I think Americans eat way too much dairy. It’s like there has to be cheese on EVERYTHING! I lost 15 lbs just from taking dairy out of my diet. I feel so much better.
I know !!!! I lost 10 pounds since mid Feb just by eliminating dairy and grains from my diet with minimal work out. So easy !!! I really wish somebody told me this years ago.
You so smelly. You think you living clean lifestyle but you making other people sick with you smelly culo.
enjoyed reading this blog! great tips 😉
I work full time. I am a wife, mother of two, and also a foster mom. I try to eat clean (I cook a lot of food in advance because I don’t have time to cook every night). I also make myself work out 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes. In my guest room. Yes, in the time it took others to read this list and criticize – I get my workout done. Haters will make excuses…I’d rather get fit, thanks! 🙂
There it is. My excuse.
I’m not fat. Yet! In fact, even 10 years older than Maria I was looking much better than she was in 2005 being a mom of a kid under 3.
But lately with chemotherapy and steroids I gain around 40 pounds in few months! Although I was barely eating.
I have lymphedema, which doesn’t really help with exercises and frozen shoulder which makes most exercises impossible to do.
Also I have severe back pain, that will be check next Monday, just in case it is new, bone cancer spread.
And why is it your problem with me not exercising too much?
Do not wish for real challenge in your life.
Love your site, information, suggestions, comments & feedbacks.
All I can say is, you’re right there are no excuses.
So with that said, I better get my calendar up on the wall & plan my schedule.
Heck if I can sit & watch CNN, then I can do planks or sit ups or squats while
watching it. Sounds easy enough, now to find motivation * need to find some
soul searching motivation too. Well looking forward to your feedback *
Blessings to you & your family
I woud really like your answer to my questione on my email. I am a mother of a 13months old boy and I breasfeed him. He does not sleep well so nor do I. That means that I sleep maybe 3 to 4 hours at night and during a day he naps only for 30 minutes twice. So do you please have any advice on how to put workout in my scedual ‘coz you obviously have much more experiance beeing a mother of three. Or do your kids sleep mach better, cause thats a big issue to me. Btw, before having a kid i used to workout 6 days a weak so its not something new to me.
Thank you very much for your answer.
Ivana, when I nursed, I skillfully nursed while sleeping. Not for most people, but I was able to do it. Training requires only a good 20-30 mins of intensity. The majority of your success will stem from good eating habits. Sorry for the late reply. Hopefully your sleeping has improved since.
Well Praise God for each and every one of you and the body that God has given you. Keep something in mind. Prayer works. Trust me, I am 48 years old and have the same fit body I had at 18. 120 pounds and have never worked out a day in my life. Am I bragging, nope…Just thanking God daily for it. Exercise your faith as well as your body would be a good idea. It works
I clicked “Fitness” because I was wondering if maybe you meet a lot of resistance in moms because there is a serious gap between someone who is beginning to work out and someone who has been working out for a long time. I was wondering if you address “how to get started” because if you did, some bigger moms may not be as hostile towards your seemingly perfect looking pictures, like the most famous viral one that got so much positive and negative feedback.
Acknowledging we all need to start somewhere and giving tips to beginners as well as those who need the final toning or the final 10-15lbs loss can help bridge the gap between those moms that are say, “Hell yah, I want to be fit!” and those moms like the ones you met in your recent video interview By ABC News Nightline April 8, 2014 10:10 AM by Paula Faris
that seemed hesitant to even perform any exercises in your fitness class you took them too.
I had to stop at #1. 1. I don’t sleep in. Many successful people want to get their day started and their goals underway. My day typically begins at 6:30am but my constant goal is to start waking up at 5am (which is tough since I work late).
There is nothing virtuous about getting up early. Nothing. I am not a morning person, never have been. Although I had a job in a hospital for years were I had be at work doing very precise procedures at 5:30 am, by body and brain never got used to it. Now I work at home and work easily until 2 to 5 am. The peace and quiet and lack of interruptions make for very effective and productive work.
And working late into the night vs. getting up early isn’t a sign that someone isn’t ambitious or lacks goals.
Jane there is a disclaimer in the beginning of Maria’s post.
My point of view: there is EVERYTHING virtuous in waking up early. It gives you an edge !!! Most successful people wake up early.
Before I made my first million, I used to think that I can do things my way and reinvent the wheel until I understood to BECOME SUCCESSFUL, we must have SUCCESSFUL HABITS. Success is a habit and waking up early is a successful habit.
How can I join your Elk Grove mom club?
What do you use to replace your deodorant?
I don’t have a strong, negative body odor…so I don’t use anything. I notice when y diet is poor, I tend to smell – so I keep it as clean as possible.
Love this article,
i indentify with alot of this tips.
Thanks for being an amazing fit mommy.