Healthy Me | Claire Maxwell
Claire Maxwell is an ICU nurse turned fitness enthusiast. Working in any medical field puts health and fitness into a different perspective. You get a better look at the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. It naturally becomes a part of your everyday life. “I currently work in a medical intensive care unit and feel like it’s a pretty good fit. I like that as an ICU nurse there is a high degree of autonomy which really pushes me to critically think. At the end of the day, it’s rewarding to do something where you feel like it actually might make a difference. To be honest, I wouldn’t even share anything fitness related! Granted, it’s a big part of my life but I don’t like to get into it unless people ask me about it. Probably because I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m pushing physical fitness onto them! I just feel like working out is something that I like to do, and that’s kind of it. I forget that sometimes it’s grown to be a little bit more than just an interest,” Claire says.
The Start to Fitness
Often times there is some elaborate story about why someone decides to go on the path to fitness. Yet, Claire’s journey is slightly different. Like most of us, Claire did not have this huge “ahaa” moment. It was a matter of growing up. As we get older our bodies change. You have to learn to adapt and take on a lifestyle to keep your body on the right track. “I guess it was about two years ago when I first started to become conscious of my health decisions. I was never someone who was out of shape or ate poor. I was always active when I was younger. When I went off to college, I would go to the gym. As for eating, fast food has just never been my thing. I’d much prefer pizza or a good gourmet burger with fries! While I wasn’t eating fast food, I also wasn’t making a conscious effort to eat clean,” Claire says. But as she finished college, she began to notice changes to the way she felt physically and mentally. “I was definitely what you could call skinny fat. My BMI was close to the underweight spectrum but that never mattered to me. I didn’t care about the number on the scale, I cared about how I felt. I was starting to realize that when I would wake up in the morning I just didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. That’s when I decided to make a change.”
There are many fitness options to explore. It was important for Claire to find the right approach to taking on a new lifestyle. “I remember one night I was online. I was looking for some workout programs or routines to follow. I had started going to the gym but was feeling lost. Let’s just say the elliptical, treadmill, and I spent a lot of time together. But I remember, I coming across BBG through Shape magazine. I read about the program. The transformation photos were amazing. So I went to Kayla Itsines (The founder of BBG) website and Instagram. From there, I was pretty much sold. I saw all these amazing transformations, and thought that the program seemed doable. I figured why not? I didn’t have anything to lose,” Claire says.
Claire went on to give the program a try and initially had a rough time. The BBG workout program is intense. It was a wake up call for Claire. Claire continued on with the program through her tough start. She was pleased with the results. Not only did it help her achieve physical results, but it also made her feel a lot better about herself. “I think the greatest benefit is just feeling confident; comfortable in my own skin. The combination of eating better and working out just made me feel better both internally and externally,” Claire explains.
Keys to Success
Claire found significant amount of success by taking on the BBG program. She could be a great inspiration for many. Especially to those looking to achieve fitness to keep up with the maturing process. Her keys to obtaining her success are consistency, variety, eating clean, and experimenting.
“Consistency is definitely key with physical fitness. I feel like it’s often overlooked, but it is so important to the outcome of your goals. Every day doesn’t need to be filled with great workouts, or entirely clean eating. That’s not realistic; life happens and every day won’t be perfect. If you are making a consistent effort to get in your gym sessions and stick to your eating regimen, I believe you will be successful. Look at the bigger picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.”
“I definitely think variety is important; it’s always good to mix things up and try new workouts. I would say that a combination weight training and resistance workouts are my favorite. This is why I love The Strong and Sexy Body Method so much. I like weight training because it has helped produce what is my ideal body type. Also, when I weight train, I can actually feel my body being built up (for lack of a better term). In the moment, it feels great to isolate and build specific muscles. Resistance complements the weight training by helping build lean muscle and increase my endurance. It’s also a nice way to incorporate some elements of cardio,” Claire suggests
“For about a year I just stuck to eating clean, and limited myself to 1-2 “treat/cheat” meals. At the beginning of this year, I felt like my body had hit a bit of a plateau. I was looking to try something new for my routine. This is when I started The Strong and Sexy Body Method to counting macros. Counting was a little daunting at first. Once I got accustomed to it, I found that flexible dieting works for me. I like that I know that I’m putting into my body is exactly what my body needs to get my desired results. There is no second guessing if I’m over or under eating calories. More specifically, carbs, proteins and fats. Also, while I still eat clean 75-80% of the time, it allows me to indulge more often and not feel guilty. I can eat something that isn’t considered completely clean. Yet, I know that I am still working towards my fitness goals. Though, I do not believe in any diet or eating regime that cuts any type of food completely out. I believe that your body needs proteins, carbs and fats to function. With a little guidance you can still enjoy all types of food while still working towards your goals! Moderation is key.”
“Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s important to try new workouts and eating regimens to see how it affects your body and progress. I think many can get nervous about deviating from the status quo. This is because what if end up looking worse instead of better? I used to be very guilty of this. I honestly finally got over this when I fractured my jaw recently. My entire workout and eating regimen was turned upside down and it forced me out of my comfort zone. I truly believe that every unfortunate situation has a silver lining and this was one positive thing that came from my accident. I wasn’t able to abide by my normal workout routine for 6 weeks; I couldn’t lift over 10 lbs, do any explosive or high impact movements, etc. I had also lost so much weight initially from having my jaw wired shut that I was eating in a caloric surplus to help gain back the weight and also to help my body heal. My point is! Overall, due to my inability to maintain my workout routine plus the increased calories, I was not accustomed to how my body was looking. At first this was hard for me to accept and I was really frustrated, but honestly, it has been a good thing to experiment with different macros and workout regimens. I’ve been able to branch out of my comfort zone and now I am not afraid of how different regimens affect my body; I know that the changes are only temporary and plus, there are far more important things than having abs! In the end, I am happy that I have a capable and healthy body—that is what matters and I hope that others can find happiness in that too.”