Be a little bit different to discover your next personal best

By Elizabeth Jarrard on May 15, 2014 , categorized in Inspiration

Whether you’re completely new to fitness, working towards an endurance goal or getting creative with how to stay active, there’s likely a Vegatopian alongside you on this journey. We’re all about doing things a little bit differently, and though our goals may differ, we all believe that we get better one small change at a time.

Sometimes the missing piece is nutrition

Although Sales Merchandising Representative Rachael invests a lot of time and energy into training, it wasn’t until she focused on fueling with clean, plant-based nutrition that she started to see large gains. “I try to work out five times a week, but it’s very important for me to switch up my workouts. I love bootcamp, spin, bike rides, yoga, barre and kettlebell class. I work hard, but finding the appropriate recovery products has taken me to another level. I am able to recover more quickly, train harder, so I do these back-to-back classes and not enter the next one sore and tired. Thanks to Apple-Berry Recovery Accelerator, I’ve gone from saying ‘there’s no way I’ll be able to do this’ to ‘oh my gosh I can do this!’”

Rediscovering motivation to be better

As a mom with a full-time job, Production Manager Carolyn looks to her family for motivation. “I used to run a little bit, but never a lot. In January I decided to get back into shape by incorporating a run into my routine. It’s not an easy thing to do as a mom. Weekend mornings, my husband watches my 3-year old son, and I go out for a run to clear my head. Although I never want to go, I feel better once I get back. Whenever I’m out on a run and I’m not feeling that strong that day, I envision my kid in front of me. It’s a big motivation because I never want to not be able to keep up with him.”

Finding balance to avoid overtraining

PR and Social Media Coordinator Trevor has been practicing yoga since he was 14, but finds balancing it with weight training, spin and meditation to be one of the most important parts of his practice. ”If I’m doing yoga every day, I get little injuries. If I’m just running, every day I get different injuries. Since I’ve adopted a more a balanced practice, and taken better care of my body, I feel much more well-rounded. A yoga teacher I respect once said, ‘we have so much more strength than we realize, but when we don’t have the flexibility to access that strength, the strength goes unused.’”

Recovery as a top priority

A nonnegotiable recovery period of 3 to 5 years is forcing PR Manager Jessica to reframe her training challenges. “My challenge right now is recovery from injuries. For me, better is acceptance of what you can do. It’s all about focusing on what you can do not what you can’t. I’ve had to shift my mindset from training at a very high level 6 days a week in functional fitness, kickboxing, yoga and dance, to taking small steps towards a different type of better. It’s very challenging. You just to have to let go of the need of having to do something high performance, and be grateful you have ability to move at all. Right now, sweating of any type feels good. Walking and salsa dancing makes me feel good—I have a boost of energy, I clear my mind and have more energy the next day. I know over time I’ll get to a higher level.”

Skeet, our Account Manager in Detroit, also turned an injury into a bright spot by shifting his energy. “I got started in in Olympic weight lifting as a strategy to add power because I was in kickboxing. Then I started having issues from kickboxing and had to stop doing that. But I still love, and can deadlift very heavy weights. I love lifting really heavy things first thing in the morning because it makes all other workouts (and even my job) seem easy.”

Cross-training to better

Bay Area Account Manager Kelly has become better by combing yoga and Crossfit. “For me, yoga and Crossfit are two complimentary, but opposite ends of the spectrum. For 12 years I’ve been practicing TriYoga style. It’s a form of slow flow that is more meditative and focuses on alignment. While yoga is good for strengthening the whole body, for me it’s more about restoration and recovery. I turn to Crossfit to develop more of the strength—with a faster response time. I teach free weekend classes in a park to encourage connection. Not only does it help out my community, but it keeps me motivated to work out every Saturday morning. It’s very empowering to share what I know with other people.”

Redefining expectations to be better

Trade Marketing Specialist Lindsay previously danced professionally, but had to make a choice between continuing to dance full-time or switching careers completely. “After stopping dancing, I wanted to be able to maintain that movement. I now sit at a desk all day, but I want to be able to still dance. I’ve had to get creative to find opportunities for adults. I attend aerobics and zumba weekly, and my new challenge is to learn traditional Ukrainian folk dancing—something totally brand-new.”

For Vancouver Account Manager Kate, expecting her first child has forced her to redefine her expectations for what better looks like. “Before I got pregnant, fitness was really important to me—I always wanted to try the latest thing, and always pushed myself to do better, look better and be better. Becoming pregnant has taught me that I have to become intuitive to my body. When I go to the gym I have to change and manipulate all the exercises because I just can’t do them. It’s been a big challenge. I have to take a step back and remember that I’m creating a human being. I have to start listening to my body and what we need. It’s a lesson in slowing down and being flexible.”

Remember, what’s better for me, may not be better for you. Learn how to fuel your next personal best at FuelYourBetter.com

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better one change self-care

Elizabeth Jarrard

Elizabeth Jarrard is a registered dietitian in Denver, CO who specializes in medical nutrition therapy and plant-based nutrition. She educates clients and consumers on how to optimize their health through nutrition.

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