This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Becca Bristow.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
My name is Becca! I am a Registered Dietitian, and I am all about living a healthy lifestyle in an uncomplicated way. I got involved in health and fitness when I decided to study nutrition six years ago. It is a huge passion of mine to share my knowledge, and teach people small, manageable ways to make a big impact on their health.
Where does your motivation come from?
Nutrition can be so convoluted and confusing. My main motivation for my work comes from the desire to make understanding nutrition and how to eat healthy simple.
In my personal health journey, my day-to-day motivation comes from the desire to feel my best, and my overall motivation comes from the desire to live a healthy, happy life for many years to come.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion – what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
So far my biggest stumbling block has been figuring out exactly want I want to do within my field as a Registered Dietitian. This type of career path is largely very clinical, which is not where my passion lies. I have always been extremely passionate about nutrition, but I started to feel that maybe I had chosen the wrong route toward living out this passion. I felt as though I wasn’t truly helping anyone, which is the whole reason I started down this path to begin with.
Through my YouTube channel, I have been able to forge my own route, where I can help and inspire my viewers to lead a healthier lifestyle on a daily basis. It feels so good to have found where I am supposed to be – and most importantly, to finally start helping others simplify nutrition and better their lives with it!
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
Self-care is so important! I am a firm believer that you cannot properly take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first. Both external stress from our environment and internal, physiological stress can do such damage on the body and greatly increase risk for disease.
You don’t need a full day at the spa to relax – just taking five minutes out of your day to take some deep breaths or go for a walk can make all the difference. It’s critical to take care of your body through eating wholesome, real food, being active, and remaining positive!
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
The biggest misconception is that women will build a lot of muscle and become “bulky.” While weight lifting does build muscle, your macronutrient intake must perfectly align with your exercise regimen in order for muscle mass to actually increase, which requires a lot of careful attention and diligence. Not to mention it takes a very long time!
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
This is truly what scares me the most about the next generation. We are constantly bombarded with images of “perfect bodies” on a daily basis, which skews our perception of reality. Also, I think younger women are inadvertently being taught that their worth is directly linked with whether or not they have abs or a thigh gap.
As a member of the YouTube community – specifically in the health and lifestyle portion – I see a wealth of content (that is highly viewed, might I add) dedicated to “eating for abs.” While their diets may be tweaked to favor a lower body fat percentage, and therefore see abs, they still may be consuming highly processed foods. It’s almost as if once they achieve visible abs, they’re automatically deemed “healthy,” and someone you should be seeking nutrition and diet information from.
I feel it is so important to get the ‘real food’ message out, so we can put down the junk food and also our risk for developing disease. And to teach girls that true health is not necessarily synonymous with a chiseled outward appearance!
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
For me, learning that consistency is key when it comes to exercise! I have learned that even if I’m not in the mood to go workout, doing something minor like going for a walk or a quick yoga sequence is so much better than skipping out on the day all together!
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
Always listen to my body! If it’s craving something decadent, I eat it. If it’s telling me I should just rest, I rest. Oh, and not to taking myself too seriously! 🙂
How do you stay productive?
Making lists! If I don’t have a to-do list for each day, I am not nearly as productive! They keep me on track and on task.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Don’t worry so much about what other people (or your future-self) think of you.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
My diet is very balanced. I always aim to eat a ton of fruits and veggies, then fill in the gaps with whole grains, lean meat, lots of nuts/nut butters, and some dairy (mainly yogurt – Siggi’s or just plain greek yogurt are my go-to’s).
My current exercise regime is a bit of a mixed bag – each week usually involves some HIIT/strength training workouts, running outside, or yoga. I do not currently take any supplements.
My thinking behind my diet/exercise is just to make my body feel as nourished and energized as possible.
What are your biggest life goals for the year?
Growing my YouTube channel, traveling with my hubby, running another marathon, and continuing to make our house a home. And plant my own vegetable garden this summer!
Where can people go to learn more about you online?