Friday, March 15, 2013

Getting Healthy and Fit (Part 1): Preparation/ Determination

Fun, Fit Friday

 A number of women have complimented me by saying, "I want to have a nice waist and flat stomach like you,” and “You have great, strong arms!

The question that followed always is: “How did you do it?
My simple and quick answers always are: 
1) “It took a long time”, 
2) “I lift really heavy weights,” and 
3) “I eat right.” 

But that sounds way too simple—there is so much more than that! 

Today I share 10 tips to get started!

Getting Fit (Part 1): Preparation/ Determination

1) Attitude is everything. Your attitude/approach in this journey can either take you to places you never dreamed of or it can make you miserable. When we have the right mind-set we strengthen our will power and character. Sure, there will be challenges and setbacks-- not all days will be perfect-- but we need to use these as opportunities to move forward! You’re in for the long haul; make sure your mind is set to see the positive sides of everything. 

2) Write it down in a journal. Buy a journal/notebook and make it your new best friend. Carry your journal around with you at all times (like you do your cell phone).
Writing things down helps you keep track of thoughts, ideas, goals, progress, challenges, setbacks, and successes. It also keeps you accountable to yourself.

When something goes wrong as it always happens in life, you will complain, but don’t do it too much. When you tell yourself awful things your body hears all the negative self talk and you harm yourself.  So write it down in your journal, deal with it, learn from it, get over it and move on. Research has shown that writing in a journal helps people achieve their health and fitness goals!

3) Set realistic goals. What are your fitness goals? To lose weight? Gain muscle, get stronger, etc. Post them a large poster in your bedroom so you can see them all the time. Even if they're large, write them down. It will help you see the big picture. Speaking about pictures, take "before" pictures and track your progress. Every few weeks take more pictures and see how far you’ve come. 
You can't just set goal and hope it will happen on it's own. You have to do the work to reach them! Follow your plan and take it day by day. 

Check out these sites to help you set S.M.A.R.T. goals:

4) Find a meaning/purpose. Ask yourself: Why do you I want to get fit? Is it to wear nice clothes, to lose weight, to be more attractive? Although those are the primary reason (let's be honest!) why we all want to get fit, they are superficial and are not enough to get you through. Have a purpose, a goal, a vision of being fit and healthy; add meaning to your desire. Think of all the benefits you will gain like, improved health, vitality, more energy and stamina, physical strength, feel happier and have more stable moods and the list goes on!Again, write it down!

5) Educate yourself, gain more knowledge: Read, read, read. We’ve all heard “knowledge is power” so indulge yourself into reading about health and fitness as much as you can so you can take your power back and get healthy and fit! So APPLY what you've learned. Remember this though: "Knowing" and not doing is really NOT knowing.

My first motivation and main source of health and fitness information initially came fromOxygen Women's Fitness Magazine and

At first you will find that there are tons of philosophies out there about everything! Still, read, read, and read. Take lost of notes, write in your journal. Then, pick and choose what you think could work for your body; apply them and see how you feel. Soon you’ll figure out which ones would work the best for you.

6) Get extra inspired and motivated. As you research you’ll read about success stories and see amazing body transformations you'll automatically feel inspired and motivated! Check out the sites I mentioned above, watch videos on You Tube, read personal fitness blogs and seek out real people. Most people who are already living a fit and healthy lifestyle are happy to reach out and answer your questions, don’t be afraid to smile and ask away! 

This was me before I started my journey in January 2007:)
Right after stepping on stage at my 3rd bikini/fitness competition, May 2012

7) Plan ahead and prioritize. To reach any goal one must always plan ahead and prioritize. A calendar (paper or electronic) will help you see plan your week and schedule your workout days and times. The key for me was waking up at the same time M-F and working out within 1 hour of eating my first meal, and then I was fueled and ready to hit the weights before I started my day-to-day responsibilities. You can get workout routines at

For any fitness level you are in right now, I recommend trying Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer, it's awesome!

8) Eat right, sleep well, and stay hydrated. Nutrition is 85% of health and fitness success. I live by this philosophy: You can be at the gym all the day and bust your butt, but without proper nutrition you will never see results. 

Let me reiterate: Eating healthy is the real secret. Clean your diet, eat healthy. It's the only way will get healthy, transform your body and your life! Check out one of my past blogs about my list of 6 things to include in your life journey to getting healthy and fit:

 Sleep for at least 7 hours of sleep. Deep sleep is best
6 Glasses of of fresh, clean water
5 Whole grains (at least 5 servings, but aim for 6-11)
4 Legumes, seeds and/or nuts (servings)
3 Leafy greens (servings)
2 At least 2 fruits
1 Hour of exercise
Earlier this year I heard Robert Cheeke give a vegan bodybuilding talk where he said “Before you reach out an eat anything, ask yourself, what will this do for me?” When eating think of QUALITY of food as opposed to QUANTITY of food. 

9)  Build a strong support system. Tell your friends and family you are ready to commit to getting fit and healthy and ask them for their support. Explain to them what you are doing and why. If they cheer you on, great!If not, don't let that negativity get your down. Do your best to stay away from it because that will only harm you. 

While you're telling everyone around you, why not tell the world you’re gonna get healthy and fit this year for sure!
  • Post it on Facebook or Twitter (A recent study showed that Tweeting actually helps people lose weight.)
  • Start a blog and document your journey

10) Gear-up. I absolutely love investing in workout gear! Make sure they are comfortable and breathable. Amigas (female friends), the reality is that there are lots of perverted eyes at the gym -- so know that some of your workout pants may actually be see-through! I’ve seen too much skin when girls bend over or even just running on the treadmill. I will always watch out for other women so I’ve actually told some of them in a whispering voice, “I thought I should let you know that your pants are somewhat see-through…” They respond surprisingly and thankful for me letting them know. 

To get fit and rock it at the gym you don't need a lot. Once again, you don't impress people at the gym with your workout clothes or shoes. However, when you consistently train hard you will not only impress people, but you will inspire and motivate so many more! 

By the way -- going to the gym is NOT a fashion show, people. Honestly, any FIT person could care less what you are wearing. Well, it's really up to you to wear whatever you want, really. Just make sure to focus and you really are there to train, not to try to impress. But while I'm at this, I'll go on with a little gym etiquette... Please don't wear perfume. When people are gasping for oxygen at the treadmill or weight room, the last thing people want to smell is your perfume/cologne, yuck!  Also, if you bring in your phone into the gym someone's weight will drop on it and smash it or it will get stolen. Please leave your phone in your car/locker and don't bring it in to fix the drama of your life; no one is interested in hearing it. Just focus on your workout (period).
This gear is essential and the only thing you need:  
  • One good pair of running shoes is enough
  • Workout towels 
  • Large enough water bottles
  • Digital watch with a time stopper
  • Lifting gloves (optional)
  • Black socks (that way you won't be able to see how dirty still they are even  after a wash ;p
  • Gym bag/backpack
  • Awesome music! 
Many people have approached fitness differently. Everyone will have a different opinion of what is “healthy and fit” for them or what they did to get there. Just do what is best for you, what feels right and good. 

Now to wrap up....Although I feel that I am constantly redefining hat is “healthy and fit” for me, I can tell you that at 31 years old I am in healthier and in the fittest shape of my life! It’s amazing, I just know it will get better as I age. I always dreamed to be where I am, but never really know how to get there until I just did it by embarking on a life journey.  

If you really want to get fit this year and be fit for the rest of your life-- your life has to change (period). What does it take? The 5 P's: prioritizing, planning, persistence, practice (over and over!) and patience. If you're really serious you have to do whatever it takes. You have what it takes!

For those who are struggling, it is NEVER too late to get back in the game. It’s mid-March already. Pick yourself up and start over! Don’t be so hard on yourself, but do the work. Enjoy your journey! 



(DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer. The above blog is what worked very well for me since I started my life journey to getting healthy and fit since January 2007. I still do all of these.)


  1. I remember when I was in high school and I was 16 years old I was really chubby and extremely out of shape, and I was living in Miami, FL., and then when I moved to Boston and I was turning 17, I started losing weight I was working hard and then my eating habits changed. I remember it like it was yesterday.

  2. Hi Renald, it sounds like once you moved you started making all these changes and your transformation began. Thanks for sharing. Do you already follow any of the tips I mentioned above?

  3. yes I'm making sure I'm following them, and even when I fall off of consistensy I make sure I get on them and keep your tips in mind cause I know that could happen or even will happen. I don't want to be cocky and arrogant and say just yes and do the opposite, I'm trying to have humility by following your tips. You give awesome advice. Hi Bratriz.

    1. That's great, Renald! Stay consistent and be the best you! Love, Bea

  4. Thank you I'll do my best to be the best me. Thanks for the awesome tip.

  5. I love your blog! You give so many resources and hope to those who need it. Erika

    1. Aw, thank you for stopping by and commenting, Erika! I checked out your blog and it's awesome! I will sign up for your updates :)

  6. Great post, Beatriz. I think that one of the main setbacks many people have is setting unrealistic goals. They tend to give up since they don't see results as fast as they want. I actually used to weigh a lot more (5 years ago) but I've lost weight and I'm more fit and healthy now too.