The 5 MOST Important Things When Starting Your Fitness and Health Journey

Hi guys!I don’t know about you guys, but after the holidays, I could use a reboot in the health and fitness area. Today’s “5 Things” post is about health and fitness. I think we all could use a little help in this area from time to time. That is why I am so excited to introduce our guest poster today.


This hot mama is named Nathalie! She rocks. Nathalie is a fitness star. Not only does she teach a number of fitness classes at Gold’s Gym, but she offers private coaching, customized meal plans, and competes in fitness and bikini competitions across the country. You can find her on Facebook at: Rock Your Fitness Now.

She has worked hard to get where she is. Take a look at her before and afters. She has lost 65 pounds and gotten in the best shape of her life.

before and after nat

Before and After Nathalie

Nathalie has 3 kids, and says she has always struggled with weight. She finally just decided to do something about it. She wants everyone to know that you don’t have to have a certain body type to lose weight, get fit, and be healthy. She loves inspiring other mothers to get their confidence back, regain their health, and look at hot as she does! Here are her top 5 things to do when starting your fitness and health journey:


Hi guys! Thanks for having me on Travel Parent Eat. The top 5 things I tell my clients they have to do when they start their health and fitness journey are:


1. Change your thoughts.

90% of success is your mindset! Its time to reprogram the old thoughts to new thoughts of you!

Write the WHYʼs:  Why you finally want to make a change. Dig deep and get really big ones! Fitting into those jeans isn’t big enough. Get bigger.

Once you have your why’s, write 5 declarations/affirmations/mantras of who you want to be, or how you want to feel, as if they have already happened.  It can be something like: I am strong, fit and beautiful. I love eating good nutritious food. I take time for myself to exercise daily.  I am confident. I am determined! I finish what I start.

2.  Good Nutrition.

Nutrition comes at the top of the list because if you want to see your body change, whether it is to lose weight or gain muscle you will really NEED to zero in on this! You can’t eat crap and have the body or the strength that you want. It is hard when you first start, but I promise once you get past 3 weeks it will become easier! So go ahead and write that on a calendar, promise to give it a try for 3 weeks at least.

  • Start small, don’t expect to be an expert the first little bit!
  • Get rid of your trigger foods in the house! We all have that one thing (sometimes more) that once we start we cant stop!
  • Plan a day where you can meal prep some meals. Don’t get overwhelmed by this. Maybe start out where you cook ahead some meats or where you plan out what you will cook for dinner for the family and have it all ready to go.
  • Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand…and ALWAYS take some with you when you leave the house even if you think you wont be gone long. A little cooler in the car goes a long way! Eating every few hours will help wake up your metabolism if you have trained it to shut up. So at first you might not be hungry go ahead and eat something small. Wake up that metabolism, let’s make it start burning again! Try to keep that consistent so it trusts you that you will feed it.
  • Give yourself a rewards meal once a week. Just keep it to 1 meal though especially at the beginning. You will feel more motivated to keep going if you dont feel like you gorge and go back 2 steps every time after the weekends.

3. Hydration.

Water its right up there with nutrition! Water helps regulate your body, helps flush your system! A good rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. If you are very active then you should definitely do more. On a day after you had your rewards meal or went out to eat, make sure to up the water. It will help flush out the extra sodium which makes you feel bloated and makes you retain water. If you skip water I promise you your body will hold on to what it has as a reserve, and it usually is stored right under the skin so it makes you look more soft and bloated. To help you get it in

  • Drink it right when you wake up. 8-12 oz is a good start. Add some lemon to have a light detox effect too!

4. Exercise

Workout! Are you surprised its not the 1st thing on the list? That is because you can workout ALL you want but if you don’t change the steps before you will never see a difference. So, with workouts, I always say weights or strength resistance is the number one thing that will help change how your body looks! Don’t pick up sissy weight. I am pretty sure your child weighs more then 5lbs so don’t go there!Unless you are doing something like shoulders, get as heavy as you can while being able to keep good form.

If you are clueless hire a trainer, or ask a friend who knows what they are doing!

Big muscles burn more so do basic things to get you started. Squats, lunges, pushups, pullups, etc. are all great. Try to work different muscles each day, or if you are only going to start out with 3 times a week do lower body, upper body, lower body.

Try to do cardio at least 5 times a week,but again if you are new, heck shoot for 3 days a week. Think of cardio as intensity not duration! There is NO need to do cardio for an hour or more. You can do a good session in 20-30 minutes as long as you kick that intensity HIGH. You will know because you will feel out of breath for most of it. Get a Heart Rate Monitor if you want to know for sure!

Remember to build up to your workouts. Marathon runners didn’t start by running a marathon, they worked up to it, so should you.

5. Rest

Rest is über important! This is the time your body repairs the muscle you have worked to make them stronger. Sleep is usually when it’s done so shoot for 7+ hours of sleep. If you haven’t gotten that in a long time, start going to bed 20 mins earlier every other day until you reach 7 hours.

Listen to your body. If you are super sore from the day before, just go and do something light, just to get your body moving and heart rate up. Go for a walk get a good stretch in, get your water, and know your body is changing!
Happy New Years!


Thanks Nathalie. Isn’t she great? Don’t you just feel like you can do it. I know I do. I am going to start with increasing my water intake, as that is an area I stink at. I even bought a nice big water bottle to keep on hand. Nathalie is a real inspiration to many, so don’t forget to check her out on Facebook. She is always sharing great recipes and tips with her fans.


Join the conversation, let us know what you are doing to get healthier, happier, and more fit this year! And don’t forget to subscribe in the sidebar so that you don’t miss any of our awesome upcoming “5 Ways/Things” posts.


About Rachael

I am Rachael, I have a passion for all things travel. I have an incurable wanderlust, and a need to see and do. I have four littles that call me "mom" and I am currently wading through the ever changing tides of parenting. I am figuring out what works, and what doesn't. And, I have a passion for food. In fact, I have an entire website dedicated to food I love to eat, cook, and try new things.

Never Miss A Post

Stay up to date, get exclusive content and offers. Subscribe now!

, , , , , ,

2 Responses to The 5 MOST Important Things When Starting Your Fitness and Health Journey

  1. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron January 6, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Wow, super inspiring! And I agree with you Rachael, I definitely need a reboot after holiday season!

    • Rachael January 6, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      Thanks Chelsea! Nathalie really is a rock star. Good motivator for me after a few too many holiday treats! Some of which were from your blog!