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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

Don’t Listen To The Naysayers

IMG_1286Don’t listen to people who say weight loss doesn’t last…because it does…but YOU have to put in the work.

There are no quick fixes or magic pills. Only hard work and dedication. You can’t eat well and exercise until you reach your goal and then go back to eating crap and never leaving the couch. (Trust me…I’ve attempted it…it doesn’t work. Sorry.)

It has to become a lifestyle!

The photos above are 16 years apart! The one on the left was a few months after I gave birth to my daughter, and years before I decided to do something about my weight. The photo on the right was taken recently, about 8 years after I decided I had enough of being overweight and hating the reflection in the mirror.

This progress wasn’t easy.

There were a lot of ups and downs (emotionally and on the scale) but I realized that I couldn’t have my shitty habits AND maintain the weight I was happy at.

As I’ve recently shared, these last 1.5 yrs were not easy and I lost focus. I gained back 25lbs and felt like crap, but I regained my focus and feel soooooo much better now.

It’s never too later to make a change. Just remember that this change can’t be short term. It needs to be a total mindset change. It isn’t easy to do, but holy fuck is it worth it!

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

Don’t Be A Size Queen

Disclaimer: This is actually an old post I did on Instagram while I was in my blog rut. As a matter of fact, I’ve been pulling a lot of inspiration from the microblogging I was doing over there…sssshhhhh don’t tell anyone. Just enjoy…

IMG_4642

I bought these boyfriend jeans during the summer and wasn’t able to wear them until recently.

The tag said they were my size, but sadly, they were too tight when I got home.

(Lesson here…always try shit on…our sizing system is total bullshit and varies from store to store and from style to style. I would think boyfriend jeans would run larger than skinny jeans…I was mistaken.)

In the past, after losing weight and busting my ass in the gym, having to put on a “larger” size would have depressed me. Much like the scale, I allowed a number, this time on a tag, THAT NO ONE COULD EVEN SEE, depress me.

What the actual fuck?!?!

Looking back on stuff like that makes me want to smack myself. Really hard.

I allowed stupid things to rob me of happiness during my journey.

The scale, a tag inside of a pair of jeans…let’s not forgot comparing yourself to others on social media. <insert gigantic eye roll here>

SO. DAMN. DUMB.

My point with all of this is simple….

  • Keep your eyes on your own journey.
  • Celebrate every victory you have. (Especially non-scale ones.)
  • Don’t allow the scale to dictate your life.
  • Don’t squeeze yourself into a pair of jeans or not wear a pair simply because the tag inside has a certain number on it.

Wear what makes you feel confident and don’t worry about wether it says S/M/L or if the number is 2/10/16 etc.

The size you wear doesn’t matter…your confidence does!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Fashion, Health & Fitness

Celebrate the Small Things

The Secret of Change Quote

You have to keep your mind positive on this journey.

If you only focus on the mistakes you make or how far you have to go, you’ll get discouraged and quit.

(Raise your hand if you’ve been there and done that. – If you don’t raise your hand you’re lying and we both know it!)

When you’re feeling frustrated I want you to make a list of all of the new habits you’ve started or something you did today that the old you would have never done. Once you list is complete, celebrate the fuck out of it.

Examples of what could go on this list:

  • Ordered a lettuce wrap instead of a bun.
  • Only had a few fries or skipped the fries instead of inhaling a large without thinking twice.
  • Boxed up half of an order before eating, while at a restaurant.
  • Woke up early to workout or read some personal development.
  • Did a workout after work instead of laying on the couch watching Netflix.
  • Did a workout even though you really didn’t want to.

You get the point, right?!

These might sound like small things, but those small things will snowball into an avalanche that will change your life!

If you follow me on Instagram or have been reading this blog for awhile, you might be sick of hearing me talk about the small things, but it’s true. Small positive actions compound over time to make drastic change!

Don’t believe me, go read a book called The Compound Effect or The Slight Edge!

You have to keep your mindset positive and if you have a hard time doing that, you may want to take a closer look at the people you surround yourself with.

Those closest to you should be supportive, celebrate your small accomplishments and  remind you of them when you’re feeling down. They should want to see you succeed!

If instead, they are fueling the negative thoughts or peer pressuring you into behavior that won’t get you to your goals, it might be time to look at that relationship a little closer and maybe put some distance into place.

I know no one wants to hear that, and it’s even tougher when it’s a family member, but you have to make yourself a priority and your goals are important!

So what small thing can you do today to help get you closer to your goal? Leave a comment below or let me know via Twitter or Instagram!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

Intention vs Motivation

 

Get Fit With Nikki - Before &amp; After

I’m by no means full of myself, but when it comes to weight loss, I like to think I know a thing or two about it.

Back in late 2009 I started my fitness journey and when I did, I had no idea that by 2010, I would be celebrating a 100+ lb loss. I also REALLY had no idea that I would keep that weight off until today.

You see, all of my attempts before weren’t successful. I tried all of the fad shakes, teas, weight loss programs, women’s gyms…you name it. But shortly after starting, I’d always find a way to stop and lose “motivation”.

It wasn’t until I changed how I looked at things that I saw REAL change.

Intention vs Motivation is what it came down to for me.
Intention
When I sat around waiting to be motivated, I left my fate up to an outside force.

We’re all guilty of turning to Pinterest for some motivational quotes to fire us up. Or maybe you log on to Instagram for some motivation but end up feeling bad about yourself and your progress after scrolling through everyone else’s posts (Comparison is the thief of joy and needs to be it’s own post.)

It wasn’t until I intentionally began to schedule my workouts and meal prep, that I stuck to it.

Once I made the things that would get me to my goal a non-negotiable, a positive shift began to happen. At first it seemed like a punishment, but after a little time, I began to look forward to it. The workout and the meal prep was my time… it was self care, things that I did to take care of myself and you know what?! ….making yourself a priority is a good thing, people!

We schedule things like doctor appointments, play dates, volunteering at our kids schools and lunch/dinner with friends, so why shouldn’t we schedule workouts and meal prep for ourselves?

Would you cancel any of the above things last minute, because you just wanted to sit on the couch and watch Netflix? I’m going to assume the answer to that is no, but I know you should never assume anything.

Anyway…what I have found to be the key with this healthy living stuff is NOT motivation, but rather INTENTION… because intention puts all of the power in your hands. It puts you in full control of the outcome because you’re not relying on an outside force to motivate you into action.

Basically it means you have to own your shit, there is no blaming anyone or anything else when you live with intention. That’s not an easy pill to swallow, but if you’re looking for a magic pill with this weight loss stuff…this is the one you need.

See how powerful that shift in mindset can be?! Crazy right?

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

I Started A T-Shirt Shop!

As you all know, I haven’t blogged much over the last year, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t eating heathy(ish), working out or working on new things.

Earlier this year I launched a t-shirt shop!

Nicole Hynes Designs

It features fitness and lifestyle t-shirts, with a snarky/sarcastic edge to them. I wanted something that allowed people to show their sense of humor without having to say a word.

Funny. Fit. Fierce. You.

That’s what I was going for. Something to balance out the world of perfectly filtered, social media highlight reels. A way to embrace progress over perfection….to find the humor in your imperfections, celebrate the little things (like putting on non-gym clothing).

A way for you to be fierce as you pursue your goals and share your sense of humor as you set new PR’s….but most of all, to JUST BE YOU!

Fueled by 90's Hip Hop &amp; Coffee - Nicole Hynes Designs

I Workout Because Punching People Is Frown Upon - Nicole Hynes Design

If Only Sarcasm Burned Calories - Nicole Hynes Designs

There are many other fun designs over in the shop! Please stop by, check them out and let me know what you think!

Like what you see? Use code GETFITWITHNIKKI for 10% OFF your order! SHOP NOW

I also have an Instagram page for the shop @NicoleHynesDesigns – so be sure to follow to see the newest designs, promos and giveaways!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fashion, Health & Fitness, House/Fashion/Beauty

Low Carb Products I Like

It’s almost disturbing to me that I, the carb lover that I am, is writing a post about low carb items I like. However, low carb is the reality of the keto lifestyle, so you have to embrace it if you want to be successful, and you might as well like what you’re eating too, right!?

So this post will go over products I’ve stumbled upon, tried and enjoyed. Here we go…

Rao's Tomato Sauce

Rao’s, Mid’s and Victoria are all great sauce options when following low carb. They range fro 3-4 net carbs per servings and have a clean ingredient list. Just be sure to check the label…not all flavors are low carb!

Crazy Richard's PB

Crazy Richard’s is one of my favorite brands of PB (along with Teddy’s) – it is inexpensive but only contains peanuts and salt as the ingredients!

Just

This stuff is amazing on burgers, tacos and of course salad. It’s 2 net carbs per 2TBSPs and full of creamy, delicious flavor.

uyvsgwi9scgi11au9wig.jpg

G. Hughes Sugar Free BBQ Sauces are 2 net carbs per 2 TBSP and a summer must have!

One Bars

So these are my favorite things ever right now. (My absolutely favorite is the Cinnamon Roll which is not featured in this photo because I hadn’t found it at the time). These range in net depending on the flavor (remember, for net carbs you subtract the fiber and any sugar alcohols from the carbs on the label) – They are perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth or while traveling!

Enlightened Ice Cream

Low Carb ice-creams are a must for me. I’m sorry, I just can’t live without ice-cream. I know they’re high in sugar alcohol & some people don’t like that, but as an occasional treat, why not?! My favorite flavors are Cold Brew by Enlightened and I LOVE Pancakes & Waffles by Halo Top.

BANG

Energy drinks have never been my thing. They typically taste gross and make me feel sick to my stomach, but these….uh…game changer! I’m a caffeine junkie (not proud of this) and there are days when coffee just doesn’t cut it, so I’ll have one of these. They have zero calories, carbs or sugar. The contain creatine, caffeine and CoQ10. The only other flavor I’ve tried besides these are the Pina Colada and they’ve all been good.

I feel like this post is getting a little long so I’ll stop here. There are so many great items on the market like: Nekstella (it’s like Nutella), ChocZero, Lily’s SF Chocolate, KetoFeed protein and more.

Follow me on Instagram to see what new items I’m trying and if you have a favorite Low Carb item you can’t live without, please comment below or reach out to me on IG!

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Products I've Tried, Recipes, Snacks & Treats

Fat Bombs: A Keto Staple

I think the hardest thing to wrap your head around when starting keto is the amount of fat that you will be eating per day. It just goes against everything we have learned over the years. It’s also not as easy as it sounds…and that my friends, is where the fat bomb comes in.

Below are a few of my favorite bombs. I also posted on for Cookie Dough fat bombs in my first keto post which can be found HERE.

CINNAMON PEANUT BUTTER FAT BOMBS

IMG_0671
•1/2 cup melted coconut oil
•1/4 cup natural pb
•1.5 tsp cinnamon
•1 tsp pure vanilla
•liquid stevia (to taste)

Mix everything together in a bowl. Add 1TBSP of mixture to candy mold or mini cupcake liners and freeze. (Makes 13-14 Fat Bombs)

CHOCOLATE COCONUT FAT BOMBS

IMG_0677

•1/2 pkg HERSHEY SF chips
•1TBSP coconut oil
•1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Melt chocolate & coconut oil together. Add shredded coconut to chocolate and stir. Spoon into candy mold or mini cupcake liners and freeze. (Makes 12 Fat Bombs)
.
*Optional: sprinkle a little Celtic Sea Salt on top*

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUP FAT BOMBS:

IMG_8924

•1/2 pkg HERSHEY SF chips
•1TBSP coconut oil
•2TBSP natural PB (I used Crazy Richard’s Creamy)

Melt chocolate and oil together. Spoon a little into your candy mold or mini cupcake liner  and freeze until solid. Spoon a little of your pb into each cup and freeze again. Top with more chocolate and freeze one last time.

With all of these fat bombs, pop them out of the mold or liners and store in a a ziptop baggie in the freezer. Then you can just pop one or two out whenever your sweet tooth kicks in or you need to bump your fat up for the day!

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Recipes, Snacks & Treats

My Adventures In Keto

Last September, I decided to give the Ketogentic style of eating a try. If you’d like to read about why I finally decided to give it a try after being super skeptical about it, check out this post.

After 3 months of following keto, hitting the gym at least 5 days a week and incorporating Intermittent Fasting (IF), I dropped almost 30 pounds and saw muscles that I had never seen since starting my fitness journey.

IMG_4378

The photo on the left was Day 1 of joining the gym in September,
Photo on the right was late November.

IMG_9940
Photo on the left was August 2017, Photo on the right was May 2018. It’s crazy how I didn’t feel like I had gained so much back at the time, but looking back,
I don’t know how I fooled myself into thinking I didn’t.

I learned a lot while doing keto. Starting out as a carb/sugar junkie was rough….I’m not going to lie. Thankfully as I mentioned in the above referenced post, I hit Pinterest for Keto-friendly recipes that would help me with my bread and sweets cravings – Need inspiration? Check out my Keto board over there – I think it’s really important to plan things out before jumping into this lifestyle change because there are NO CHEAT DAYS while following keto.

There is science involved with keto. When you’re body is in a state of ketosis, it’s completely changing the way it fuels itself. 

Keto Flu is real. Don’t roll your eyes about it when reading about keto on-line. When you drop your carb intake, your body naturally begins to dump excess water that it normally holds on to. This will result in a big number drop on the scale because you’ll no longer on to excess water, however this fluid dump will also leave you low on electrolytes and leave you feeling like you have the flu. NOT. FUN.

Ways to combat this is to up your salt intake…but not with regular table salt, you’ll want quality salt like Celtic or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.

Electrolytes like Nuun can also be added to water, but be careful which ones you buy. Some of them are high in carbs and will kick you out of ketosis (or slow down the process of getting into ketosis). I am a fan of these electrolytes…

PE0krZ5wTESe%ZBWCMYKNQ

They come in these handy little packets that you can easily stick in your bag or pocket, but if you prefer, they also come in a tub. I picked them up at Vitamin Shoppe but I’ve also seen them at Whole Foods and Amazon also has them. They come in different flavors and Amazon sells a sample pack so you can try the flavors and see what you like best.

Another great way to combat Keto Flu is to sip on bone broth throughout the day. It is full of minerals that your body needs and if you’re doing Intermittent Fasting, you can sip on it and not break fast! My favorite brand is Kettle & Fire which I have found at Vitamin Shoppe as well as Whole Foods.

My workouts also suffered a bit when I first started keto and I had to change my mindset about things. I couldn’t move the same kind of weight I was able to move while fueling my body with carbs and that was a punch to the ego. Dropping down in weight after hitting new PR’s is a painful thing, but I sucked up my pride, adjusted what I was doing and my body rewarded me by burning fat like it was nothing and allowing my muscle to finally show through!

While eating low carb/high fat I also no longer suffered from the 3pm slump. You know that feeling when you need a coffee IV, sugary treat or a nap? Yeah….I didn’t experience that anymore and THAT was an amazing feeling.

Despite all of this, I stopped following strict keto toward the end of December. Between the holidays and some travel, I just wanted to try to find balance that allowed me to not have to stress over food and freak out about wanting to have a few beers with friends. I simply kept my carbs low and my fat higher, but not to an extreme that allowed the body to switch over to producing ketones on a regular basis.

Of course adding carbs back into the mix triggers your body to hold onto fluid again, so my weight increased by 3-5 pounds but i’m totally okay with that.

This experiment taught me a lot of things about my body. The most important one being that despite how much I love carbs & sugar, my body does not. They leave me feeling tired, lost in a brain fog and fluffy feeling. None of those are good feelings.

I also learned that I really like Intermittent Fasting and incorporating lower carb days into my routine. This style of fueling my body leaves me lots of energy and helps me to find the balance that I feel is so important in life. I’ve been using an app called Zero to track my fasting and I highly recommend it.

So will I go back to strict keto? Probably! I definitely saw the benefits of it and felt great while following it…however I also love real pizza, beer and donuts from time to time.

I’ve made a promise to myself that I will find balance this year. I won’t keep my nutrition & workouts so strict that I go off the rails as soon as I have something that doesn’t fit plan. Life is short and I want to enjoy it, but I also don’t want to lose all of the hard work I’ve put in over the last 7+ years. That’s where balance comes into play and it looks different for everyone. I’m not 100% sure what my balance is yet, but I feel like I’m a lot closer to finding it.

Keep an eye out for more low carb recipes and keto information! I promise there is more to come soon!

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

Recipe: Low Carb Keto Pizza

Well hello once again everyone! I know…I know I posted a few months ago all excited about starting keto and promising to share my thoughts and results with it and I failed to do so.

What can I say? Life happens. Between work, meal prep and starting a new routine at a gym, I was short on time and focus. I really do apologize and yet again, I’m vowing to try to be better about posting here.

Now…for those of you who are just here for the Low Carb Keto Pizza, I’ll shut up and post the recipe now. I’m even going to include a second recipe for a Low Carb White Pizza, as a consolation prize for reading my rambling.

(I’ll do a separate post about how the last few months on keto went for me for those who care tomorrow!)

Low Carb Keto Pizza

I used 1/2 of a Joseph’s Lavash bread.
2-3Tbsp of Mid’s pizza sauce (Rao’s is also a good low-carb sauce option)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
5-6 tsps ricotta cheese
A sprinkle of basil, Black pepper & red pepper flakes
.
I brushed the bottom of the lavash with some olive oil and placed it on my griddle pan (you could cook it in the oven too). Topped it with the sauce, cheese, ricotta & spices and cooked it until the lavash got crispy and the cheese became bubbly.
.
Easy peasy, yummy, low-carb goodness!

Low Carb Keto White Pizza

For this White Pizza I used:

1 Mission Whole Grain Low-Carb tortilla (you could use a 1/2 of a Joseph’s Lavish too)
!/4 cup Whole Milk Ricotta
Broccoli that I sautéed in garlic and oil
A sprinkle of whole milk mozzarella

This can be cooked just like the pizza above. I then I drizzled it with chili oil for a little kick, but you could just use a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for an added kick.

I hope you enjoy these quick, low carb pizza options and I thank you for stopping by the blog after all of these months with no content!

My goal is to share my keto experience, foods that I found that helped me with cravings and to just overall share my journey again.

If you’re on Instagram and we don’t follow each other yet, please check me out there and shoot me a message saying “Hi!”

(I am THE most consistent with posting over there…it’s just a quick and fun platform that I really enjoy!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Main Course, Recipes