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What’s One Thing I Wish I Knew When I Started Working Out

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Fit Girl Magic podcast

Hey Magic Makers!  I rounded up a bunch of amazing freaking women (Kasey Jo Orvidas, Kim Ingleby, Tina Tang, Sarai White and Denise Wellik-Peterson) to give you today’s blog! Do you want to know inside tips from women who have been in your shoes’ Here is a TON of amazing information about what they wish they knew before they started working out!  And I am so hoping that by reading this, that it will help you to not make the same mistakes and find a fitness path that works for you! 



When I think about what I wish I would have been told at the start of my health and fitness journey, or what I would tell someone who is starting is…. 

Better understand what to take seriously and what to not take so seriously!  I really struggled honestly, with answering this question, because part of me wanted to say, “Oh, I wish I would have known that protein was as important, etc and be really strict with my exercise. And doing as much cardio as I was, wasn’t so important.    But what it really all boils down to is just a better understanding of what is really important in my health and fitness journey and reaching those goals.  

So, for instance, I spent way too much time and energy on hours and hours of cardio every week. Anytime I went to the gym, I, for whatever reason, needed to hit 600 calories burned, according to my activity watch, which we know isn’t always accurate to begin with. I would live and die by that number. But at the same time, I was eating 1200 calories and not really focused on nutrient dense food, not paying attention to how much protein I was eating versus carbs versus fat. I spent a lot of time and energy on things that weren’t necessarily important, as where I could have put that in a different place to make more progress, learn more about my body, understand the benefits of strength training over cardio, understand how to eat healthy and not just eat to hit a specific number.  

I think that there’s a lot of other things sort of under this umbrella of understanding what is important and what isn’t. These are a couple just to kind of show the examples. I think that’s a lot of times what I see too, with new clients that are coming on board with my team is that it’s a lot of the same thing…  Obsessing over things that aren’t necessarily going to be helpful and totally missing the things that will be helpful, like sleep and stress and understanding our digestion and the foods that work best for you and things of that nature.   

Understanding what is really worth focusing on and what isn’t! 


Kim Ingleby 

I am a coach in the UK, and what I wish I knew when I started fitness and working out. Oh, it’s such a big question.  But my first instinct is, everyone is different.  What works for you is going to be different to your best friend to your family member to somebody in the gym.  And also, what works for you now may be different in a year’s time in five years’ time in 10 years’ time, so be flexible with yourself yet committed.  

Be curious, try something out and don’t be scared to try it. And then go “Oh, actually, that’s not working for me or it is!“.  Fitness is so many different things, and it means something different to everyone. So what does it actually mean to you’  

Also, fitness is not just about your macros, your calories, your strength, your speed, yes it is all of those things, but it’s also.. How’s your sleep’ How’s your mindset, your confidence in yourself’ Do your foods give you energy and make you feel good and brighten your eyes and lift your skin and just make you feel good for the day’ Or do they make you feel something else’ Are you hydrated’ Do you drink enough water’ Do you do fun things that lift you up’ Do you know how to manage your stress’   

Because times will be challenging as well as times will be good. And when times are good’ Do you know how to celebrate it and fitness is so many different things’  

As a beginner, welcome to the journey… Embrace it and get some support around you. Don’t be scared to ask for help. But also, don’t be scared to commit to yourself because you are your own wisdom.  Keep a little journal, notice what works, notice what doesn’t and enjoy the journey. You’ve got this!!! 




 Tina Tang 

When I first started working out, I wish there was more than one thing someone told me. When I first started working out, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I should go to the gym, but I had no idea what to do there!   

What I wish was that there had been a primer for, lets say, even for women, whether it be in school, or somewhere where I was taught how to squat properly, how to press, how to pull rows or pull ups, how to properly do core exercises, even something as basic as a plank.  

I wish I had learned the basics, and then I would have felt equipped to advance from that!  





Sarai White 

When I think about the question of what advice I would have liked to receive when I first started working out, I think about what would 15-year-old me actually have been open to receiving, 😜 probably not conversations about body acceptance and just focusing on what your body can do!  But what I think I would have heard is the advice that how you get to your goal is how you’re going to keep your goal.  

I spent a lot of time doing extreme diets and exercise programs that would last two or three weeks. And I was on this constant loop of going yoyoing back and forth between programs. And had I known that I needed to find a way that was sustainable, and that I wasn’t going to be miserable so that I could keep going for an indefinite amount of time, that that was actually going to be the quickest way to get to my goal. MAN!! That would have saved so much heartache, so much hassle! 

So I wish that someone had told me that and then I think that would have led off into other areas because when you’re treating yourself kindly and finding things that you can do that you enjoy, I think that the body acceptance and all of that starts to come along with it. 



Denise Wellik-Peterson

What’s the advice I’d give someone just starting out to exercise…’ 

Just remember it all takes time. It’s about being consistent. It’s not about all or nothing.  

Pain does not equal progress. Although you will be sore the first few weeks. It gets easier and easier. The longer you keep at it! 

Pick a day, pick a time and just get started.  

Focus on progress, not perfection.  Think of the long game and your workouts do not have to be so long.   

And finally, stay off the treadmills!! Get in the weight room. Lift some heavy stuff. Make sure it’s heavier than your purse!  

You got this girl! 




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Website: https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/ 

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-girl-magic-healthy-living-for-women-over-40/id1476883661 



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