Tag Archives: Motivation

Transformation

Transformation

I’m posting this not because I want anyone to think or feel that either of these two physiques is right or wrong, or more or less beautiful than the other, because all of that is a matter of opinion and entirely subjective. However, I’m posting this as a reminder that anyone has the power to make changes to their life when they see that change is needed… whether that change means losing weight, gaining weight, getting healthy, having better grades in school, being more productive at work, finding self confidence, becoming more organized – whatever it is you are trying to achieve and trying to become stronger in, this is a reminder that you CAN. As I posted recently from Jillian Michaels, “why not you?!”

This girl decided to lose weight and get extremely fit, and though it took her two years to reach a place where she felt ready to share her success with others, she achieved her goal and that sense of dedication and willpower is what is most inspiring here to me.

She is beautiful no matter what, but now she’s healthier, stronger, and has so much more energy and clarity of mind to live her life as best as she can. If she can do it, why not you, and why not me?

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Tone It Up

Some of you may have heard me mention Tone It Up here and there, but for those of you who don’t know, I’ll give you a brief synopsis. (Please note, I have no financial or any sort of incentive whatsoever to be talking about Tone It Up. I just really like them and want to spread the word!)

Tone It Up is a fitness, health, and lifestyle blog… or dare I say movement, that emphasizes positivity, self-love, teamwork, community, and flexibility. The two founders/trainers are Karena and Katrina, two real-life best friends and fitness professionals who have taken a really fun, carefree spin on wellness by encouraging their followers to get healthy through friendship and a friendly, relatable attitude. The success of Tone It Up can be largely attributed to how easygoing and normal these two girls are. Many fitness professionals take the intimidation route, where they yell, push, scare, and generally try to light a terrifying fire under your ass in order to achieve success. Karena and Katrina are not like that. They are silly with each other and with their viewers and it really works. Personally, I’m all about it! (Plus they’re really cute California girls and their whole vibe is very beachy and warm and incredibly inviting).

I first heard about them about a year ago, when I was buckling down to get fit for a friends wedding. I came across Tone It Up (TIU for short) on Pinterest, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I started by just following their blog and their Youtube Channel and eventually I registered (for free) in their community to be able to interact with other TIU members and to get encouragement from others who were working hard to reach their goals. I love the support network and the sense of family and I think this was one of the most important aspects of Tone It Up for me. Often times I didn’t feel that I had the full support or understanding of my close friends or family, so I looked elsewhere for people who understood my struggles and who cheered me on through every up and down of becoming healthier and fitter. I really love the community and I still use it, though I haven’t been as active since I’ve been in France. I’m hoping to dive back in soon! They are also all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media, and followers can interact with them, and with each other everywhere. You can also find plenty of regional TIU groups, where other TIU followers in your area can get together to exercise (or do whatever you want) together, extending the support network out of the internet and into real life. It’s super inspiring and I’m a big fan.

I also purchased the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan last summer, which I mostly use for recipes and nutritional education. I haven’t been following it very strictly in France, but when I get home I will hopefully get back into the swing of things quickly. Essentially, Tone It Up is all about 5 small meals a day, and the nutrition plan gives you everything you need to know about that lifestyle in order to achieve the greatest health success.

Best recipe ever… Protein Pancakes!

 

This is Katrina, one of the TIU girls… She’s a big inspiration because even though she’s a fitness professional, she strugged (and still does) to get fit and healthy. Her transformation is impressive and reminds me that anyone can do it!

Anyway, the reason for this post was to share the big “Bikini Series” that Tone It Up does every spring. It was through this series that I first started really following TIU and now, a year later, I’m excited to follow the Bikini Series once again. My resources are limited and my schedule is more complicated than it was last year, but I’m going to try to get back into my Tone It Up routine for the next 8 weeks, at least as much as I can! And I want to invite anyone out there (and it does not have to be just for women!) to join me in this years Tone It Up Bikini Series. There will be great recipes, workouts, education, and plenty of motivation to keep you on track for your goals, whatever they may be. If you are at all intrigued, be sure to check out the website and learn more. Once you sign up (all you need is your email address), you’ll get a cute little “starter pack” with recipes, and a few workouts to get you going from day 1.

Summer is coming… lets make this a good spring, together!

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Preparing to Fail

I may have quoted this before, but I keep thinking this in my head when I have days like today where I waste a bunch of time, and thus don’t accomplish all the things I wanted to accomplish, i.e. a decent workout. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

This is kind of how things end up happening for me…

I live abroad, so I stay up late (1, 2, sometimes 3 am) talking to friends and family back home and winding down from a long night of work (I end work at around 9pm). I don’t get much done on the internet late at night, but I can’t seem to convince myself to just turn my computer off and go to bed at a decent hour, because I feel like I need that time to disconnect from work before sleeping, and eventually the night gets past me. As a result, I wake up late the next day, usually feeling a bit of remorse for staying up late, but rarely enough to get me to bed earlier. I generally plan my eating and exercise around each other, such that I’ve eaten the right types of foods before and after exercise, giving myself enough time to digest properly before working out, but I somehow manage to get lost in whatever it is I’m doing, and my exercise tends to get pushed back, further and further, until I’m down to very little time before I have to shower and pick up the girls from school and thus start my work day. On days like today, since I woke up late, ate late (and too much, thus forcing me to wait even longer before I felt ready to exercise) and didn’t plan my time properly, I missed my workout entirely and felt shitty all afternoon because of it. My exercise was walking up and down the stairs a few times throughout the day and walking to the school to get the girls, and that was it. My body feels stale and tense and my brain isn’t functioning as I wish it would, and emotionally I’m not feeling as lively as I know I can… and what kind of way to live is that??

As far as food choices go, I think its all entirely related. Woke up late, felt anxious about it, ate a little too much for breakfast and with the first poor choice I made in the morning, I set the tone for the rest of the day. The moment I reached for a small handful of granola, I knew today would be difficult. Was it my knowledge of my upcoming “failures” that led me to “fail” (I don’t really like using the word “fail”, but I can’t think of another word to use…), or was it just an honest acknowledgment of my weaknesses in the hopes that I would overcome them? I don’t really know. But I knew I was setting myself up for trouble by making poor choices in the morning, and thus continuing that behavior all day long. It was a small handful of granola in the morning, and by 5pm, I had, over the course of the day, managed to eat several cookies, bread, granola, and all sorts of terrible nonsense, without even realizing it. Without my necessary exercise to raise my motivation and self awareness, I didn’t feel compelled to stop myself from my poor choices, and I spent all day with the mentality that I had already failed, so may as well continue to do so. Because I didn’t plan my meals, snacks, workout, and work schedule properly, I didn’t succeed in any of them and allowed the failures of one to hugely influence the behaviors in another. I know I didn’t eat enough protein today, which may have encouraged the constant snacking (because I didn’t feel adequately full or nourished by my food) and I know I ate too many carbs, which similarly did not keep me full long enough to feel satisfied. I allowed allowed myself to “fail” today by not being wise about my preparations for my day, by not setting intentions for the day, by not visualizing my goals, and by not weighing the consequences of my actions. I’m beginning to see the relationship between seemingly unrelated behaviors and how they are all actually very much interconnected in the definition of my life and of my self.

On a more positive note, I’d like to share some inspiration from a friend that recently sent me a picture to show me how they are preparing for success this week. Many people will praise the habit of preparing all/most of your meals for the week on Sundays (or whenever works best for you) so that you don’t have the excuse of not having enough time or not having the right ingredients to make good choices when all the stress of daily life comes at you during the week. Even if it doesn’t involve cooking entire meals, at least having vegetables chopped and meat pre-portioned can help save so much time when you are in a rush or getting home late and feeling lazy. I have always wanted to get into this habit, but living in my current au pair situation doesn’t allow me that flexibility. I was so pleased when I received these pictures from a friend who really made an effort to avoid failure this week.

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A grocery basket full of clean, raw food. Nice!

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They made 2 different dishes, full entirely of vegetables and lean protein. Looks delicious.

 I have to forgive myself for my mistakes today and use it as an opportunity to learn. I want to set my intentions for tomorrow and I hope you will all hold me accountable for them! I will wake up earlier than I did today and I will run 4 miles (my usual short run) first thing in the morning so that I don’t have an excuse later on in the day not to exercise. I know myself and I should have known this today, but I chose to ignore it: I need exercise in the morning, because I know I will get lazy later on in the day. By working out first thing each day, not only have I started the day on the right foot, but I’ve also gotten my workout out of the way and I don’t have to worry about it later. This routine works for me when I find the motivation to wake up early enough, but I have to remind myself “If its important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” I’m so tired of making excuses for myself! Tomorrow is a new day, and tomorrow, I’m grabbing that shit by the balls and doing what is best for me.

Fuck yeah.

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This Shit Is Bananas

And only about 20 minutes later after that last post, another friend sent me a text saying this: “Ok, you have officially inspired me too”, followed by these 2 pictures:

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I had mentioned my experiment to this friend in adding oatmeal (uncooked) to the smoothie, and looks like it was a total hit for them as well. Plus frozen strawberries. Yum.

KEEP ‘EM COMING, folks!!

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YAY

I just received such an amazing surprise. One of my friends sent me an email saying “Check out what I’m having for breakfast… You inspired me!” with this picture attached to the email:

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I feel so happy and honored to know that this little baby blog of mine has already inspired at least one other person to try some of the nonsense that I share with you here every day. There is nothing better than knowing that you can be some type of inspiration for another person, and that is one of the greatest personal inspirations I could ask for. Thank you, friend, for sharing that with me. And for anyone else out there that has enjoyed or benefitted from my silly words, please don’t hesitate to share with me! It’s a positive cycle… I’m inspired by you as much as I hope I can be an inspiration to you. Hearing that I’ve even just been able to positively affect someone’s breakfast is more motivation for me to keep doing what im doing, for me, and for you.

Let’s do this together. Whatever it is you are trying to gain strength in, whether its physical, mental, emotional… whatever its is, I’d love to hear about it. Send me a message or leave a comment and lets keep up this positivity cycle. FUCK YEAH.

 

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Just Do It

Really, just fucking do it. Stop over-thinking it, and go. When it’s over, you’ll be glad you did.

That can be about anything, but today, for me, it was about exercise (as usual). Spent all day feeling tense and agitated, like a dog that needed to be walked, and I was getting annoyed at all sorts of stupid little things. I had plenty of excuses not to work out (there are so many things to see on the internet!) and I didn’t have much time, but I stopped thinking about it and I just mindlessly/robotically put my workout clothes on and head out the door. I considered doing a workout in my living room, but I know myself and I know when I’m feeling unmotivated and hungry like I was, I would find an excuse to stop and head straight to the kitchen halfway through my workout, so I decided to go for a run instead, because I know that way I have to finish my workout if I ever want to get back home. So I did.

The run started okay, but still, my brain was too involved and I kept whining to myself about how I should just go back home and eat a bunch of shit, but I forced myself to turn off all thinking whatsoever, and just run. 45 minutes and several sprints, stair sprints, pushups, and crunches later, I was back home, run was done, and I wanted to break windows and punch people cus I felt/feel so FUCKING good.

Just DO IT.

Also, I have no relation to Nike whatsoever. Their slogan just so happens to be fucking rad and relevant. Deal with it. And I do not advocate consuming Jersey Shore in your diet.

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Transformation Video

Today got past me! But I don’t want to go to bed without a post today, so I’ll be brief with this one.

The way this video was made is pretty cheesy, but the message itself is inspiring and really moving. I think the first time I watched it, I got a little teary-eyed! I’m a sucker like that. I literally cry during commercials for Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Anyway… it’s a great motivational video and if this doesn’t get you pumped to go out there and improve your life, your health, and your body, then you are a SAD, sad human being.

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This Always Happens

Try as I might, something always seems to throw me off. I had been doing pretty well with my nutrition today, making good choices (albeit, I admit, ignoring portion control to an extent) and sticking to my planned meals without cheating in between, and even during dinner time with my host family, I was able to make decent enough choices (as in, not going for seconds on that delicious quiche lorraine my host mom made), but alas, I am in France and I can’t escape the temptations, even on the best of days.

My host mom, being the amazing, caring, considerate woman that she is, bought me some delicious butter/sugar cookies from the town they went to over the weekend, and offered it to me tonight after dinner and insisted that I try one. She knows how much I love sweets and I love her for always being thoughtful. I really am a lucky au pair. I excitedly opened the box to try a cookie, while mentally telling myself that I would only have one.

Guess what? I had 3.

Oops…

We were all just talking, munching on cookies, and I almost felt rude not eating more than one, so I allowed myself another, and another, and now I’m sitting in my room with a small belly ache and a big load of guilt over my head. I had a great workout this afternoon and I ate clean all day long before dinner, but as is always the case, dinner time comes around and I fall into the trap of feeling like a guest in the home of some very gourmet French people, who eat for the sake of pleasure, not for the sake of health. This is the case pretty much every night, and I’m struggling to balance myself within this environment. I lack motivation and courage to say “no” and I easily give in when I’m offered seconds, or dessert, or cheese. I have spent over 5 months battling this same issue, and I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever really be strong enough to do what is right for me and my body.

Ugh.

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