If you want to get motivated to stay in shape, just turn to the online fitness community and start following some of the amazing peeps who give it their all every day. Take Fitmark Ambassador Carah Cole, for example. An athlete who takes her CrossFit seriously, she found inspiration from Instagram’s #fitfam and now she’s paying it forward.
The most rewarding thing about being active in the fitness community is being able to motivate and inspire others. It’s an intangible happiness I feel when I am told that I help people or drive and inspire others. I openly offer my knowledge, advice, and experience simply because I want to help spread the word of living a healthy life.
Full-Time Job | Full-Time Passion For Fitness
When you love something as much as Carah loves CrossFit and training, it doesn’t matter what you do for a living or how busy your schedule is, there’s always time. Check out how hectic Carah’s working schedule is during the week:
I am a full-time registered nurse in the operating room, where my current schedule is Monday to Friday – 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with the occasional weekends and call shifts). I’ll soon be switching to 12 hour shifts.
And yet she manages to squeeze everything into her schedule…and into the trunk of her car!
A photo posted by CarahCole RN (@ccole_fit1) on
Lycra vs. Scrubs
At the end of a long day, Carah turns in her scrubs for some lycra and sneakers for a whole other kind of sweat! She told us:
I am also a full-time athlete and I train 6 days a week with one rest day. I wake up at 4:30 a.m. and I’m at work by 6:15. Then it’s gym time at 3:30 p.m., before the commute back home.
Post-Workout Meal and Prep for Tomorrow
The secret to staying on track and balancing this busy lifestyle? You guessed it! Meal Prep!
When I walk through the door at 6 p.m., I waste no time in preparing my food for the next day. Plus, let’s not forget about my post-workout meal. So I prepare my eats and my workout gear and pack up my Fitmark Bag all ready to go, so I can do it all over again the next day!
Meal Prep – No. 1 Priority
Carah believes meal prep is the number one priority if you want to stay on track. She says,
In order to juggle and balance it all, you need to prioritize and organize. It also helps to have supportive loved ones who understand your regimen and goals.
It also helps when you have a bag already packed with your meals ready to take with you ~ #grubinmycar !
Favorite Fitmark Meal Prep Bag – The Shield
I do not leave my house without my Shield meal bag, because it carries all my meals for the day at work and training as well as holding some essentials like my Nuts N More peanut butter, gum, protein, bars etc.
Favorite Fitmark Gym Bag – The Transporter Tote
I also have the Transporter Tote that I bring my training clothes in for after work. I use these 6 days out of the week and without them I wouldn’t be on track as I am.
What Carah didn’t tell you is that she has three other Fitmark Bags that she also uses all the time:
Top 3 Fitness Tips
1. Number one is to meal prep. You can’t expect to stay on track or keep nutrition on point if you don’t make that a priority.
2. Second would be to organize and plan. Mapping out your meals and your training sessions for the week. It makes the week go so much smoother and easier on yourself. For instance, on Saturdays I write out my weekly meals and grocery list before going to the store. On Sundays, I map out my training regimen for every single day including lifts, sets, reps, and WODs (workout of the day).
3. My last tip would be to remember this is a lifestyle and not a short sprint. Be smart with your choices and decisions, because they need to be maintained for a long time. Make yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy for life.
Living an Active, Healthy Lifestyle
I plan on living an active and healthy lifestyle for life! So I have to make my food and fitness choices safe, realistic, and attainable, if I want to continue for years to come. I don’t believe in dieting, I refer to my food as simply ‘my eats’ because I eat real food with real ingredients.
These real ingredients need to accommodate Carah’s goals, which include being active at work and play. Her job is busy and has her on her feet all day, and her training regime is demanding. She told us:
I don’t incorporate bulking or cutting seasons in my fitness regimen, I maintain my physique year round because I continually want to grow as an athlete building my strength, improving my gymnastics, bettering my endurance, enhancing my flexibility, polishing my technique etc. Those are my goals so in order to achieve those, I need to keep my nutrition consistent and not constantly varying my intake.
The Bottom Line: “Since I want to continue this lifestyle for all my years – recovery, being safe and smart are essential. Train and eat smarter, not harder!
So what does recovery look like when it comes to eats?
Favorite Healthy Go-To Recipes
“Since I do have a sweet tooth on the daily, I choose to make myself protein ice cream.” Check it out:
Protein Ice Cream
- Almond Milk
- Protein Powder
- Xanthan gum
Blend all the ingredients together in blender until really thick.
I also like protein frozen yogurt: nonfat plain greek yogurt mixed with stevia, protein powder, and water with peanut butter on top!
If it’s something savory that Carah is craving, then it’s a big plate of scrambled eggs:
- Egg whites
- Sweet potatoes
- Grilled onions
- Turkey bacon
- Coconut oil for cooking
These fitness tips and recipes and advice are just some of the ways Carah gives back to her online fitness community. As someone who started out following fitness enthusiasts on Instagram as a way to stay motivated, she still follows people who inspire her.
Online Fitness Community
I use Instragram as a tool to connect with other fitness enthusiasts, find others who motivate me, make yummy recipes, and make me want to be better. These are people who inspire me, offer good advice, who are relatable, and post enjoyable content. I don’t necessarily go for the mainstream ‘Instagram Fitness Socialites or Fitness models,’ because revealing selfies and exposing the body is not what I find inspiring. I choose a wide range going from CrossFit athlete Brooke Ence (@brookeence), trainer Taylor Dayne (@tdlfit_atx), power lifter Krissy Mae (@krissymaecagney), bodybuilder Dana Linn Bailey (@danalinnbailey), to foodie Juli Bauer (@paleomg).
The important thing, Carah says is to:
Have fun with your training and enjoy what you eat. Make your meal prep enjoyable and diverse so you don’t get burned out on “clean” foods because that is what can make you want to binge and give up. Ask for help if you need to or find me on Instagram @ccole_fit1 because I am available to help.
Sport Your Lifestyle
The Fitmark Team