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My Passion Pursuit

By Mae Elizabeth »

The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement, as well as when starting new exercise regimens. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer who has been compensated by the up4® Probiotics Brand, and do not portray the opinions of the brand, i-Health, Inc., or DSM.

When asked what I do for a living my first response is “hustler.” I’m part fitness instructor, photographer, blogger and business owner. My name is Mae and two years ago I quit my nine-to-five job to work for myself. Like a lot of new business ventures, my solo career didn’t exactly take off in the first few months. With my savings account trickling down every week, I started doing side jobs here and there to make extra cash. Those side jobs snowballed into my current career. Now, I wouldn’t say I “fell” into my current position, because I worked really hard to get where I am, but I will say it wasn’t in my five-year plan.

How it All Began

When my active lifestyle and career merged it was a beautiful, yet unexpected thing. However, five years ago, no one would have associated my name with health and fitness. I was a photo-obsessed college student with dreams of living in New York City and being a fashion photographer. My idea of food consisted of cheap drive-thru meals and frozen dinners. During my last quarter of college, I met a guy (I know, so typical, but trust me this one was a game changer.) He guided me in the purchase of my first adult bike that I could ride around the city for fun and educated me on healthier food choices. I’m not kidding when I say the only veggies I ate growing up came from a can and were simmered in loads of butter and salt (I grew up in the South if you can’t tell). To document this change, I started posting my rides and new recipes on Instagram. Little did I know that this bike and new way of eating was a complete 180 for me. It was the start of a brand-new lifestyle that would eventually bleed into my career path.

A Balancing Act

I wish I could say that this new lifestyle started and stuck overnight, but that wasn’t the case. Quickly, I learned that things that worked for other people, like counting calories or macros, didn’t work for me. I also wasn’t willing to give up my favorite foods. There had to be a compromise, which is why finding balance was—and is still—massively important for me.

If you’re not a calorie-counting, meal-prepping, kale fanatic, here are a few tips I have:

  • Schedule your workouts ahead of time, as if they are meetings with yourself.
  • If you make a bad food choice, don’t consider it a wash for the whole day. Instead, make your remaining meals a bit healthier.
  • If going to the gym isn’t for you, try a studio workout. Group fitness isn’t your thing either? Basically, just try anything that gets your body moving until you find something you love.
  • Set yourself up for success. Traveling, for example, can quickly break your routine. Before you leave, scout out your food choices and plan your workouts in advance. Pack your favorite snacks, and remember, something is better than nothing.

This new life change may not happen overnight. Expect a few great weeks or months, followed by a few not so great weeks or months. If you fall off, try again and keep it going for even longer this time. During class, I reference a Woody Allen quote, but change it up a touch. I remind my class that 80 percent of the work was showing up. The remaining 20 percent is the hard work they are currently doing. What I’m trying to remind you is that a huge part of the work is done when you walk in the door or the second you decide to at least try. If you can show up, you’re most likely going to put in a solid effort. Lastly, it’s never too late to start taking care of yourself. No matter your age, weight, or busy schedule—you are worth the journey.