Health & Fit Women, Isabel del Barrio
The last Health and Fit Chick profile of this year is finally here. I am so glad to introduce you this amazing and inspirational woman Isabel. She is now officially one of the Spanish Women’s Health bloggers and crazy amazing athlete. She is now here to tell her story and ho she found herself on this beautiful fitness journey. Find her on Instagram @onmytrainingshoes
What made you do it?
YOURSELF.? I used to say that sporty and active lifestyle is printed in my DNA, because I don’t remember any phase of my life without that. I started ballet classes at five years old, and in fact, all the years in ballet school have been the best years of my life, when I learnt the meaning of sacrifice, hard work, rehearsals, the importance of working hard , being responsible and to have a real awareness about sense, art and my body movements. At the age of 19 I left the dance school, to go to University. I have a Business Administration and Law degrees. That was the time when I found my way to fitness. I have been always so focused on my body weight, because I’m strong and was bigger than other girls, in terms of mass muscle, and didn´t like so much my body, so I had some struggles with eating disorders. I am certified Fitness Instructor, Less Mills Body programs, indoor cycling instructor and personal trainer. It was an important point to start understanding everything about healthy and balance eating habits and how important part it is for your training. We are what we eat. So if you have no healthy and balance diet, you won´t feel good psychologically neither physically. Until I started with strength training programs, I could´t understand the importance of healthy food and a balance diet, and the real necessity to eat well and more, in order to be efficient and better performance. Something so simple that I understood by training and listening to my body, which demanded energy. I love to eat, however, I was guided by a professional nutritionist to learn how to eat in an order manner accordingly to my trainings. That’s why I eat all kind of foods and nutrients, apart from some indulgements. Body and mind also need this kind of rewards. Now, I´m aware about the importance of having a very good nutrition. It´s important people understand that healthy food and lifestyle is the better guarantee not only to live longer, but also for better physical performance. Besides, as a triathlete and my experience in that, once you learn the way of nourish your body, it needs such a good food for better performance.
Fortunately I have no daily routine, I mean, every day is different from the one before. By one hand I attend my triathlon trainings, mostly during the peak period season, when I’m really focused on that, and use to make two sessions a day, including Bodybalance, Yoga, stretching and strength sessions. I think that whatever sport you practice, it is important to complete it with strength and stretching sessions to complete a total body workout and finding balance, apart from prevent injuries. A complete workout will lead in better performance. Actually, in pre-season I try to vary my weekly routines and practice different programs, cross training plan to prepare my body for the upcoming peak season. I consider that in order to have a balance body we should work on strength programs (muscle tone and building strong body structure), flexibility and elasticity workouts (such as Bodybalance and Yoga). As a triathlete, I swim, bike and run. I’ve always ran when I was younger, as a way to do cardio. Besides, I love bodypump, spinning and crossfit. I also practice ski and surf in peak seasons, winter – summer.
Mornings are like…
First thing as I wake up is to drink 1 or 2 glasses of water, then I practice twice the complete sequence of Yoga Sun Salutations to wake up my body, joints mobility and start in a better mood. Very good way to start the day. Then having breakfast, whatever the hour is. I need to have breakfast quietly, prepare it and taste all different foods and a big cup of coffee. It’s a fact that training in the mornings is the perfect way to start your day and energy boost. When I do my spinning classes at 7:30 am, I feel much better than when I train later. All of it depends on my schedule, I train in the morning and in the afternoon too, apart from the gym classes as an Instructor. When training triathlon, most of the days I do 2 or 3 training sessions, for example: swim and run, plus core or strength training workout.
I don’t care much about cooking (I actually should :)), because I don´t like cook so much, however when I go shopping I always try to buy everything what is in my nutrition plan, vegetables, fish, meat and fruits. I never skip any meal, having 5-6 small meals a day is healthier than just 3, to keep the metabolism active and avoid sugar peak moments. What I care the most is the breakfast, I love breakfast and mine is very complete: some nuts, natural orange juice, 2 toasts with jam and big coffee with some milk to wake up! Some things what I always have in the fridge are lettuce and spinach (high fiber content), and chicken breast or turkey. So when I don’t have enough time, I still cam make the basic healthy meal for me, it is a big lettuce and spinach salad with fresh tomatoes and vine vinegar, with tuna or turkey. Also I have some dark chocolate always around. I love chocolate. It has less fat than milk chocolate, so it´s healthier than high sugar content chocolate.
What was the biggest learning lesson on your health and fitness journey
Since I started expressing myself trough the active lifestyle (when I was a ballet dancer), sacrifice and working hard every day towards to your passions and dreams is something is essential. If it is in your mind, then you can do it! The only way to gain it is to put all your effort and passion in it. I´ve learnt that we have one body, it´s like a car, and needs so much care. Sleep well, rest well, and having a balance life (family, friends, work and physical activities) are the best things to have to be happy and peaceful. I´ve learnt that we have to be the first ones to believe in ourselves if we want to accomplish our goals. We need to train our body, but most important is that our mind is in balance.