#Last90Days Challenge

Instagram is a place I spend a lot of time.

I have made a lot of friends, found a lot of empowered people to learn from, I’ve found motivation, and I’d like to think I provide some value and motivation to those who take the time to double tap and hopefully read the mini novels I sometimes (Okay…quite often) write under my photos.

Don’t follow me on Instragram? You can by clicking here & hitting that FOLLOW button!

Earlier this year I read the book Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and it really spoke to me. It made me stop and think about my life… like REALLY stop and think about things.

It’s something I’ve been focused on this year and there has been a lot of change taking place behind the scenes of my writing and posts. It’s a bag of mixed emotions cause let’s be honest, facing your shit and owning up to your actions isn’t the easiest thing to do in the world but as Rachel Hollis says in her book…

If You're Unhappy That's On You

So when I was scrolling my feed and saw a lot of people joining the #Last90Days challenge that Rachel Hollis and her husband where hosting, I thought why not?!

(What more info on the challenge? Click here)

I started out Day 1 by reading the e-mails, watching the videos and listening to the podcasts listed. I felt fired up and began reflecting on one of the quotes and topics from the book Girl Wash Your Face…

Never Break A Promise To YourselfEver stop to think about that? Cause I hadn’t since I read the book.

If a friend or family member made a promise to you and time and time again broke their promise or left you hanging would you trust them anymore?

The answer to that is most likely no, yet we break promises to ourselves ALL. THE. TIME.

  • “I’m going to start eating healthy on Monday.”
  • “I’m going to start going to the gym.”
  • “I’m going to make time to read.”
  • “I’m going to make time to relax.”

Any of these sound familiar? I’m sure they do and I’m sure there is stuff on this list that you made excuses NOT to go thru with because it’s easier to grab fast food, lay on the couch watching Netflix or put everyone else needs before your own.

It’s time to stop flaking on yourself and make yourself the priority you deserve to be!

I am sooooo guilty of breaking promises to myself and I am determined to stop doing that. I am going to use the next 90 days (well 87 since it’s day 3 as I’m writing this) to get my shit together and start treating myself with the respect that I deserve.

If you struggle with any of this stuff I encourage you to join the #Last90Days challenge, connect with me on Instagram and end your year STRONG!

Which promise are you most guilty of breaking to yourself? Drop a comment below and let’s chat!

 

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Adventures in SoCal

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Wanderlust is something I feel in my soul. There is a very strong, burning desire to travel within me and I have a list a mile long of places I want to go.

For over 5 years now I have been wanting to visit Southern California again. I had only been there once in my life and I was 13 years old, so I didn’t appreciate anything.

I’ve felt this strong pull to the west coast for the last 3 years. Most of the people I’ve been meeting on-line, clients I’ve been working with and opportunities to learn and grow have all stemmed from the west coast. It’s like the Universe has been trying to drag me there and like the stubborn person I am, I kept coming up with reasons not to go.

I mean who does that?!

Thankfully I removed all of my excuses a few weeks ago and I finally boarded a flight to LA for 5 days.

From the second I saw the California mountains from my window seat on the plane, I was in love. (and the 5 hours of being kicked by the little kids next to me and behind me, who were headed to Disney with their family, all faded away.)

Cali from the sky

Yeah, there was smoke from the fires that poor California seems to battle every year, but there was something about the landscape that just filled me with happiness.

In true East Coast fashion, as soon as I landed I had to head over to In-n-Out to find out what all of the fuss was about. Let me tell you something… this burger did NOT disappoint. I was told I had to order the Double Double Animal Style and it was amazing. The fries were meh and I was warned I had to eat them first because if they get cold you might as well just throw them out, this piece of advice was spot on…In-n-Out needs to up their fry game!

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After I stuffed my face in true foodie form I headed to the coast and just took in the views  for a bit. Never in my life have I sat somewhere and felt the calmness and sense of peace that I did while taking in this view. If would have sat in this one spot for all 5 days, I would have been happy. How could you have this view and be unhappy?!

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To be honest, there wasn’t a single beach I visited that didn’t make my soul happy and make me feel like I needed to come up with a plan immediately to relocate. There is just something about the vibe out there that made me feel like I was home.

I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I should have. For once in my life I found myself not reaching for my phone and just enjoying the moment. It was such a refreshing feeling to be unplugged and relaxed.

We should probably all try doing that more often.

Below are some photos that I did manage to snag during the trip…I really need to bring my DSLR with me next time and have fun documenting.

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Amazing mural I spotted while driving around the Huntington or Newport area.

Newport Beach

Soaking up the SoCal sun on Newport Beach

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Santa Monica Pier

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Santa Monica Pier

La Jolla

View from La Jolla, San Diego

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Redondo Beach

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The Cinnamon Roll French Toast was legit at Barney’s Beanery

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View from The Queen Mary in Long Beach – The final stop on my 5 day SoCal adventure

Sunrise heading east

Took the Red Eye home and caught the sunrise over PA.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t heartbroken as I boarded my flight home to the incredibly humid east coast. SoCal definitely stole my heart during our 5 short days together and I can’t wait to go back and be reunited.

 

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It’s Your Life…No One Else’s

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It’s your life…don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for living it the way you want.

Lately, I’ve seen too many people “policing” posts on Instagram and it needs to stop.

Just because the way you do something works, doesn’t mean that it is the only way to do it.

Offering advice or sharing what has worked for you is totally acceptable. Hell, I encourage it! That is how we learn about new things and you might inspire someone who is stuck on their journey to try something new or take their progress to the next level. That is how I ended up trying keto and I’m sooooo grateful for that conversation.

What is NOT acceptable is making someone feel bad about their journey or like they are doing something wrong.

I don’t believe there is really a right or wrong way to go about this. I mean yes, I have a pretty firm stance on cleanses and “quick fix diets” but that’s only because they haven’t worked in the long term for myself or any of my clients in the past.

(If you have had success with these I would LOVE to have a conversation with you about it!)

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Everyone is different. Everyone has different circumstances and everyone has different genetics. Health and Fitness is NOT one size fits all, so quit trying to make it that way.

  • If you’re keto and just count your net carbs (or if you’re strict keto) and it works for YOU….Awesome!
  • If you do Weight Watchers but don’t workout yet and it works for YOU….Awesome!
  • If you workout but eat whatever you feel like eating and it works for YOU…..Awesome!
  • If your lifestyle works for you and your family is open to joining YOU….Awesome!

If you’re doing any of the above and someone is giving you a hard time about it because it’s different from what they’re doing…give them the middle finger and walk away. You don’t need that shit in your life.

This journey is hard enough without people giving you shit because you’re not doing something exactly the way they are.

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You Were Born a Blank Canvas

IMG_3813When we are born the world is ours. We are capable of anything we put our minds to. Don’t believe me? Watch a baby try to figure out how to walk. No matter how many times they fall over and cry, they get back up and try again. They don’t stop until they master that shit because failure is NOT an option.

It isn’t until we get older and we begin receiving messages from the people around us about the “way things are” they we begin to doubt ourselves and allow failure to exist.

Any of this sound familiar?

  • Security comes from working a 9-5 job.
  • Everyone in our family struggles with their weight.
  • It’s expensive to eat healthy.
  • Gym memberships are a luxury and most people don’t use them anyway.
  • People like us never get ahead.
  • Money doesn’t grow on trees.
  • What’s the point of setting goals when the odds are stacked against you?

You started filling up with a lifetime’s worth of beliefs, which mostly have nothing to do with who you are, what you desire or what is even necessarily true, before you even entered grade school. Forget about all of the outside noise that fills your head once you’re an adolescent and have the noise your friends have been hearing added into the mix as well.

This limited mindset ends up being passed down from generation to generation without anyone even realizing it. After hearing it so many times, it becomes part of your subconscious and therefore becomes ingrained in you even though these beliefs have NOTHING to do with your reality, your goals or who YOU are aspire to be as a person.

It’s time to wake up and make a change.

Many of us don’t even realize these subconscious beliefs are ruling our lives, so identifying them is where you need to start in order to undo them.

Make a list of how you view health & fitness, money, yourself and your situation. Then really look at them and see how much of what you wrote is true and how much of it is just what you think to be true.

—–> I highly recommend reading the book You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero if you have not already. (and if you still struggle with this stuff, read it again, highlight key parts of the book that speak to you and keep a notebook nearby so you can actually DO the exercises in it….they’re not just there for fun, people!)

Once you identify the limiting beliefs that your subconscious thinks are real, you can begin rewriting the script.

I have found that starting with positive affirmations are a great first step. They really help to change the internal dialog we have with ourselves and changing that dialog helps to change your mindset.

This is where many people give up and roll their eyes…. because let’s be honest, positive affirmations sound hokey and dumb, but they are NOT and they work.

Examples of Positive Affirmations:

  • I am healthy and active.
  • I control my body, my body doesn’t control me.
  • I believe in myself and can accomplish anything I put my mind to.
  • Money is available whenever I need it.
  • I am amazing. I am smart. I am successful.
  • Happiness is all around me.

The first time I read about them I almost lost my eyeballs in the back of my head from rolling them so dramatically. It was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. <— Limiting belief!

When I was told to record myself saying them and listen to them while I drive, I thought the person coaching me was out of their minds. But I did it! I gave it a shot and after realizing that no one could hear me or knew what I was doing, they were nice to hear.

Next you have to kick fear in the teeth.

I won’t lie, I struggle with this one ALL THE TIME. I have perfectionist tendencies. I’m super critical of myself and I sell myself short constantly.

The only thing I give myself credit for is being perfectly imperfect. Over the years I have learned how to own my shit so I can admit that I am inconsistent, I’m my own worst enemy and I should probably practice what I preach more often. <—- Not a limiting belief if it’s true FYI.

I’m a work in progress, what can I say?!

We need to stop wasting hours, days and even years of our lives trying to perfect our next move. Overthinking will NEVER get us ahead in life, only action will.

If you can just focus on taking the next step and doing the best you can to accomplish it, you’ll make progress. Sometimes it’ll be backwards progress, but I promise you there is a lesson to be learned with it and if you open yourself up to that lesson, your next step will be a leap in the right direction.

You have to fight for the life you want to live. You can’t sit around waiting for someone to save you…cause that is never going to happen. It’s up to YOU to unf*ck yourself, cause no one is going to do it for you.

You have a choice in life: Stay paralyzed with fear and continue to be unhappy wondering “what if” -or- start making change and see where it takes you.

Which will you choose?

 

 

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Own Your Shit

own-your-shit

The secret to success is in your daily routine. You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.

As I’ve said before, these changes don’t have to huge. They can be small, they can seem simple, but they have to happen and you have to build upon them in order to create that big change in your life.

-> Seriously, if you struggle in this area I highly recommend a book called The Compound Effect or The Slight Edge. Go read one of them!

This week I challenge you to pick one thing that you need to change and do it!

If you fail at getting your workouts done when you’re supposed to, I want you to set the alarm earlier and get it done before you do anything else for the day. Getting it done first will ensure that NOTHING can come up and keep you from reaching that goal.

-> Now if you hit snooze 5 times and sabotage yourself, that’s on you and you have to face yourself in the mirror and take the blame…you won’t like how that feels, trust me!

Being aware of your habits and the changes you make to them will really help you to reach your goals…actually it’s a big key to this journey.

Own your bullshit.

Do something to change it.

You’ll be happy you did!

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Low Carb Chicken Parm

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You don’t have to give up chicken parm when switching to Keto or a low-carb lifestyle, you just have to get creative!

This 3-2-1 “breading” is super easy to make and is an amazing substitute for when those decedent Italian food cravings kick in.

All you need for the “breading” is:

  • 3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax
  • 1 Tbsp almond flour

Mix them all together, dip you chicken in egg before dipping into the 3-2-1 coating and then fry up your chicken as you normally would.

Top with some low-carb friendly tomato sauce (Rao’s, Victoria and Mid’s are some of my favorites.) and nice amount of shredded mozzarella and cook until melty. Add a sprinkle of chopped basil and satisfy that Italian food craving without feeling guilty!

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Stuffed Peppers = Simple Meal Prep

stuffed peppers

Meal prep is one of those things that should really be a non-negotiable when it comes to staying on track with a healthy lifestyle.

When we take the time to make a menu for the week, purchase the groceries that go with it and even pre-make some meals, we make it easier to avoid takeout and the drive-thru.

One of my favorite meal prep items to make are stuffed peppers. They are flavorful, convenient and tend to portion control themselves (as long as you don’t buy the biggest peppers you can find and overstuff the hell out of them.)

These are some stuffed pepper recipes I have shared on here in the past:

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Southwest Style Stuffed Peppers
Santa fe Style Stuffed Peppers

Sometimes I just keep it super simple and skip the recipes. You can just browned up some ground beef with onion & mushrooms, added some cumin, chili, cayenne, garlic, salt and tomato purée. Stuff it into par boiled pepper halves and topped with cheddar cheese. Bake them up and top with a little salsa and guacamole for a tasty low carb lunch.

Stuffed peppers are so versatile and can easily fit into a low carb lifestyle! For the recipes above that contain rice, just use cauliflower rice instead!

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Find Yourself and Be That

find yourself

This is something I’ve really been working on this year.

Filtering out the noise of who you should be vs who you are, is not an easy task. It can take time to figure it all out, but when you do, you’ll be 100% you and you shouldn’t change that for anyone.

You’ll attract your tribe, find happiness within yourself and if you suffer from anxiety…well…that’ll ease up too, because you won’t be worried about others accepting you. You’ll accept yourself and all your weirdness and no one else opinion will matter anymore.

  • Try new things.
  • Go on adventures.
  • Meet new people.
  • Read new books.
  • Learn something new.

Do what inspires you and figure out what makes you happy! It’s time you live the life you were meant to live, without the fear of disappointing others.

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There Is No Perfection

perfection doesn't exist

There is no perfection on this journey. The only thing that matters is consistency.

If you focus on being perfect all the time, you will rob yourself of joy because there is no such thing as perfect…we are all perfectly imperfect.

Failure is part of the journey. It’s where you learn the most about yourself and it’s not really failure unless you stop trying.

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There is about 17 years and so much failure I can’t even count, between these photos. The reason why I have a before & after is because I never gave up!

I failed, I cried and I got mad at myself but I always kept pushing forward…and so can you!

You just have to be patient and remain focused on what your goal is.

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How to Overcome Gym Anxiety

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As many of you already know, I lost all of my weight with at-home fitness programs because of my gymphobia.

A long time ago, during one of my many attempts to lose weight, I joined one of those “women only” gyms. I figured it would be a more comfortable way to get myself active because it was only women and most of women have issues with what they see in the mirror on a daily basis.

What I forgot was that women can be nasty and vicious.

One day while I was on the treadmill at the gym, I overheard a group of women making fun of my size. I instantly became embarrassed and couldn’t wait to get out of there. I never went back again, even though I still had to pay my monthly fees.

I allowed them to control my life and I regret that.

It took me 16 years to get over that moment. That’s crazy when I sit here and think back on it and it’s something I don’t want anyone else to do.

First off, some people just suck. They can be small minded and so insecure about themselves, that they need to belittle everyone around them so they can feel better about themselves. It’s not you that has the problem…it’s them. Remember that.

If you’re in the gym looking to improve yourself and someone makes fun of you instead of giving you credit for getting started, they are not a good person and karma will eventually bite them in the ass.

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Walking into the gym when you’re not used to going is intimidating enough without small minded people like that. Between worrying that you might not know how to use the equipment properly, to worrying about your gym clothes or if you’re breathing too heavy while climbing 9 million steps on the stair master, the last thing we need is their shit.

But enough of my rambling…here are some tips that can help you get over the gym anxiety, so you can be the best version of you that you can be!

  1. When you first join the gym, find a gym partner – Preferably someone who has been going for awhile and feels confident in the gym. They can help you with the equipment and to feel more at ease your first few times going. Don’t have someone? Many gyms will give you a full tour and set you up with a trainer to show you how to properly use the machines for free. There are many YouTube videos that show you how to use machines. Take some time to plan out what you’d like to do and then do your research!
  2. Try to visit the gym at off peak times – If you’re worried about being judged for how you look or not knowing how to use the equipment, going at an off peak time can truly help, since there will be less people there. Usually the gym is busiest in the early morning and right after work. Don’t be afraid to ask the front desk person at your gym when the quieter times are!
  3. Don’t let fear or self consciousness stop you from going – For the most part, it’s all in our heads and those “mean girls” I dealt with are not the norm. Most people at the gym are zoned out what they are doing. They are lost in their music, thinking about all of the things they have to do that day and believe it or not, they may even be worried about being judged.
  4. It’s okay to skip the classes and just do your own thing – I have never been a class person because I find how “easily” some people get the steps to be intimidating. They give me major anxiety. “What if I step left when I’m supposed to go right?! Everyone is going to laugh at me and I will never be able to show my face in the gym again!” If walking into the gym gives you anxiety, why make it worse by adding more anxiety with a class? It’s okay to skip them. Trust me…I joined Planet Fitness because they don’t offer classes.
  5. Set clear goals that you can achieve – Don’t start out with a goal of hitting the gym 7 days a week for an hour a day when you first start out. Aim for 3 days a week for 30 mins. It’s much more reasonable, gives you time to rest between workouts (trust me, you will be sore) and it will help you to build confidence.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to others – I preach this about social media and I’ll preach it about the gym. You can NOT compare your chapter 1 to someones chapter 30. You are not them and they are not you. They may be comfortable and confident lifting heavy weight with all the dudes, but once upon a time they were an anxiety filled newbie too. Just stayed focused on yourself! You’ll be happier that way.
  7. When you feel frustrated or like giving up, remember your goals – As a trainer we have you set goals for a reason. It’s so when you’re feeling like a failure, you can refer back to them, remember why you set them and refocus. There is no such thing as failure if you keep dusting yourself off and trying again. (See Be Stubborn, Yet Flexible)
  8. Block out the noise with headphones – Getting lost in a good, motivating playlist is what I do when I’m at the gym. I channel all of my energy into the workout and fuel that workout with the music I choose. (I listen to a lot of 90’s hip hop, Eminem and Linkin Park when I lift) Doing this also helps to drown out the chatter and keep the focus off of what others around you are doing.
  9. When in doubt, ask someone – I know… I know… asking someone is proof that you don’t what you are doing, but it’s okay. When I first started at the gym I had a gym partner, but they stopped coming at one point and I wanted to change up my workouts. There was equipment I wasn’t familiar with, so I simply asked a fellow gym goer if they could show me how to use it. Did I want to throw-up as I approached them to ask? Yup…but it honestly wasn’t that bad and I ended up making a new acquaintance at the gym. Score!
  10. Be proud of yourself – No matter how nervous you feel. No matter silly you may think you look. BE PROUD. You walked through those doors, you signed up, you did your workout and maybe you tried new things. There is ALWAYS something to be proud of… even on the days when your workout sucks and you hated every second of it.

Still feeling uneasy or unsure after reading all of this? Shoot me a message and let’s chat! I’ll do my best to help you overcome your fears…heck if you’re local to me, I’ll even go workout with you!

 

 

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