“The Beauty behind the Brawn”
Having been entrenched in the beauty industry for many years, I’ve spent countless dollars and tireless hours in a never-ending search for Holy-Grail beauty products to give me that captivating glow, that “je ne sais quoi”. I’ve purchased, tested, sampled, researched, and exfoliated on my seemingly never-ending quest. Inevitably, I found myself time and again with drawers full of superfluous beauty products that failed to live up to their hype and a wallet equally as deflated.
Fast forward to the start of 2013 when I had a serendipitous encounter with one of my husband’s colleagues. He casually shared with me how he and his wife changed their nutrition habits to whole foods, clean eating only which proved to be the impetus behind their positive physical and mental changes. Adopting this new nutrition lifestyle as my own proved thrilling and empowering. Each month I saw improvements in my health and with it came increased self-confidence. Little did I know at the time, this fortuitous meeting would lay the foundation for a major lifestyle change.
Shortly thereafter; like a magnet, I took a deeper notice of those working out to get fit all around me. A dear friend suggested we give the wildly popular Burn Boot Camp a try. “Why not?” I thought, what do I have to lose? Well, turns out what I had to lose was 30 pounds, 12 overall inches, and about 8% body fat! It was in this losing process, I found me again. Subsequently, I discovered that it was the compound effort of clean eating and explosive workouts that work together synergistically to evoke that allusive glow I was attempting to find in a bottle of beauty.
So what gives? Is there a science behind the beauty that stems from the brawn? In short, the answer is a resounding yes! The rewards of clean eating and exercise are bountiful in the form of visible physical changes as well as more subtle psyche changes.
You know that instant glow you get after a workout? That is your skin receiving a powerful dose of oxygenated blood; bathing the skin in nutrients that work to improve circulation and enhance both detoxification and cellular renewal – alas, making your skin look radiant! Sleeping deeper at night since you’ve parlayed fitness into your life? Chalk that up to beauty sleep, truly! Reports find that exercise may help induce deep sleep, which in turn surges the production of growth hormone that repairs and rebuilds muscle, bone and skin tissues. Find yourself looking more vibrant after you get your sweat on? Happily, regular workouts keep our cortisol levels in check (think: maintaining collagen production to prevent loss of skin elasticity and keeping us looking youthful). Do I even need to mention the boost in self-esteem that stems from these glorious benefits? Confident people clearly radiate a beauty in and of itself.
Alas, the allusive glow I was in search of came in the form of kale and cardio, not in a jar of that very expensive French cream. As such, I’ll continue to lace up, get my sweat on, and eat clean. But I’ll keep the eye cream too, thank you very much!