Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Goal Setting Tools

 

I know..I know.  I did that thing again where I say I’m going to start posting more often and then I don’t. It happens, I have no excuse and you know what? I’m not sorry.

In life you have to pick and choose where your energy goes and as I much as I enjoy sharing my story and writing, the old blog here just didn’t rank high on the list in 2019. I will say that writing more is officially a 2020 goal but I haven’t decided if it will be here, on my Medium account or a new project all together.

Curious about what 2019 was all about for me? You can hop on over to the Podcast and listen to some of my solo episodes, or you can jump on over to Instagram and check out my post there. It didn’t post too much in my feed (I’m way more active in stories) but I did post.

ANYWAY…the purpose of this post is to share a Goal Setting sheet that I saw on-line. Someone shared a photo of the goals they set for themselves and I loved the format they used, so I recreated it.

I recently did a podcast on Tips for Making a Vision Board, and last night on Instagram I shared my struggle with setting my goals. Since goals are on my mind lately and so many people reached out to tell me they were struggling too, I thought I would share this little tool!

Hope you enjoy it and are able to put it to good use! If you do, let me know…maybe I’ll make more stuff like this as we go through 2020!

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Failing Forward

 

I have started and stopped blogging more times than I count at this point. This frustrates me but the fact that I keep coming back to it means I have a passion for it…right?

If not, I’m just even more stubborn than I thought and eventually I’ll just give-up on this…lol.

Part of my hesitation for writing here is that I feel like people just don’t have the time to read the way they used to. I know my time is super limited and I spend more time in my car than I’d like to. As a result I began listening to audio book and podcasts, which I personally love, but I also love to read (it relaxes me) and there is something therapeutic to me about writing.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I launched a podcast over the summer, only did two episodes and now I am bringing it back. Did I fail because I hit a pause button on the podcast for 6 months? Nope. I just wasn’t fully committed to it and THAT IS OKAY.

My original plan for the podcast was for it to be a spoken version of the blog posts I write (and I still may end falling into this format…I just don’t know).

Click the photo to check out the Podcast on Spotify or look me up on iTunes

Sometimes we start in things and it doesn’t work out because we weren’t fully committed to it. Writing a blog, recording a podcast, going to gym and eating healthy all have things in common. They all require time…and time is something that many of us don’t think we have these days.

However, we have to make time for the things that are important to us. In the summer when I launched the podcast and in the months leading up to now, making the time for the podcast (or blogging) just wasn’t a priority for me. I had too many other things going on that needed my attention, so I had to make a sacrifice. There have been times over the last 10 years of my wellness journey that I have sacrificed workouts and healthy eating because I just couldn’t make it all fit into the 24 hours allotted to me each day.

Or maybe it’s just an excuse. I do have a habit of standing in my own way when it comes to new ideas and projects… I’m sure many of you can relate. We tend to be our own worst enemies and psych ourselves out when it comes to things that take us out of our comfort zones.

I recently read a book called Start:Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by Jon Acuff and it called me out on my bullshit. I am one of those people who need everything to be perfect before I start and this book urges you to job in and do it….figure it out as you go! So that’s my new plan.

The important thing is that if you continue thinking about it and feel a pull toward it, you keep trying to make it work. When you do this you don’t fail…or at the very least you fail forward until you succeed.

If you have something you keep “failing” at but still feel a pull toward it, I’d love to chat and maybe help push each other toward success. Comment below or message me on Instagram so we can connect!

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#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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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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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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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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Effort

success effort
Effort.

That’s what it all comes down to. Anyone can walk thru the doors of the gym and just take up space…sitting around looking at their phone, socializing or walking at a leisurely pace on the treadmill instead of actually doing work and challenging themselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re walking at a leisurely pace and you’re sweating and breathing hard, you’re putting in effort and you’re doing awesome. Everyone has to start somewhere…I know walking was where I started and you’ll progress from there.

That’s where the effort comes in.

Workouts aren’t supposed to be pretty. They’re supposed to be tough. They’re supposed to challenge you. They’re supposed to make you want to cry at time because they’re just that hard.

There are going to be times that you fail on reps or you can’t lift quite as heavy as you did the week before. Maybe your pace is slower during your run or you can’t do as many flights of stairs on the stair master ….you know what?

That’s okay!

As long as you’re showing up and you’re putting in the effort it’s going to pay off in the long run because you didn’t quite or make an excuse as to why you couldn’t try your best!

DON-T-HALF-ASS-ANYTHING-WHATEVER-YOU-DO-ALWAY-S-US

 

 

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The Struggle Is Real, Yo!

struggle-is-real-

Struggling is part of life.

It’s something we need to accept and be okay with. Over the last 8 years I have struggled A LOT!

I struggled to finally make the decision to do something about my weight.

I struggled with how that decision changed many relationships in my life (both with food and people.)

I struggled with feeling bad every time I ate something “bad” or skipping a workout.

I struggled with the decision to have excess skin removed from my belly after losing over 100 lbs and maintaining it for over a year.

I struggled when I lost all of my motivation last year and gained back 25 lbs. Feelings of failure and fear took over and left me paralyzed for a long time.

I struggled with the decision to join the gym after having a bad experience while overweight at one. I also struggled to go alone when my gym partner stopped going because I allowed self doubt to take over.

Struggling means there is a lesson to learn and it’s time for us to grow.

Struggling is okay. Giving up is not.

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