Tia Blanco is wise beyond her years with just about everything she does.
She's only 16 years old, but her accolades and laundry list of accomplishments at such a young age are nothing short of extraordinary.
She's a pro surer, ranked number one in the NSSA Open Women's Division and No. 1 in the Surfing America Prime U18 Division. Those stats certainly carry plenty of credibility within the surfing scene as Blanco is poised and primed for a long, length run as the marquee face for the sport.
But beyond being the queen of surfing and wildly successful and nationally lauded before most people her age get a driver's license, Blanco has another adjective that describes her almost perfectly.
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She's an avid runner and does Yoga. She is a Vegan and adheres to that regimen with tremendous dedication. Between the exercise and diet, you could argue that Blanco is about as beach ready as you can be. Her hard work didn't happen overnight but rather is the result of incorporating a healthy lifestyle rather than dieting or exercising just to lose weight quickly, a practice that Blanco is quick to dismiss.
"I think people see ads and publicity of skinny girls leading up to summertime, and it influences them to lose weight by working out and dieting like crazy. It's best to just maintain a healthy lifestyle year round," Blanco says.
That includes understanding that fads and short term fixes aren't the answer. Losing weight or transforming your body in just a few months just isn't a realistic avenue, nor is putting more emphasis on exercise or dieting.
The better option is melding them both together in harmony.
"For surfing, diet and exercise are both extremely important," Blanco says. "They are both necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and perform at potential. However, a clean diet will prevent diseases and provide a longer life."
Blanco continues "You are what you eat; Eat to live; don't live to eat. And put 110% in each workout and make goals for yourself."
Far too often, the general exerciser gives themselves little chance to succeed. Not only do they not put much effort into an exercise routine (no, barely walking on the treadmill doesn't count), but they look at altering their diet as a short term fix to fit into a wedding dress or look good for a few days at the beach over the summer.
But health and wellness centers on changing how you eat and your activity level consistently and permanently. Anyone who tries to find that happy harmony through crazy cleanses or intense, ridiculous exercising that leaves you sore and tired is going to find that long term success is going to allude them almost every time.
The problem with these types of diets or exercise routines is that they're easy. Being healthy undoubtedly is hard, but that difficulty helps to cultivate the kind of change that will ensure a healthier existence.
"If you go on an extreme diet for a couple of days to lose weight fast, it's easy to bounce back to your normal routine and eventually gain the lost weight back," Blanco argues. "Most likely, these diets have low nutrition levels and make your metabolism crash."
The subsequent wreckage is you trying to salvage what's left of an eating plan and exercise acumen that was never meant to last for very long.
"Yes, it sounds hard because you may be giving up a lot of your favorite foods," says Blanco, who follows a plant based diet as a vegan. "Every 35 days your taste buds change and every since I went vegan, I crave vegetables more than any other food out there."
That sound, prudent advice doesn't sound like it's coming from a 16 year old, but keeping eating and exercise simple is something every age group should embrace.
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