Where did I (and my motivation) go??

Where did I (and my motivation) go??

First off, HI EVERYONE!! It has been a while and I sure have missed you! I hope you all are doing well and life is good! So where did I go and why am I back now you ask? Well, the long and short of it is, I got super uninspired, felt like I was not contributing anything worthwhile to you all, gave up on myself, and stopped writing. That is the most honest way I can say it.

Why am I back? Well because I am not a quitter!!

My site turned 5 years old last week and I got that nice little email from WordPress congratulating me on my anniversary. When I saw that email come in, I took it as a sign. I had been thinking about starting to write again over the last couple of weeks anyway, so I figured the universe was trying to tell me to just do it and as I am a big believer in listening to the universe, here I am again!

In thinking about what I wanted to write about for my first post back, I decided I should explore what happened to make me stop writing in the first place. As I was reminiscing about the last year or so of my life the one thing that really stuck out to me was how unmotivated I had become. This lack of motivation was not specific to writing unfortunately but extended to just about every part of my life including my workouts, my mountain biking, my job, schooling, relationships, etc. You name it, I haven’t been giving it my all in any area. Not even close.

So what happened to make my motivation wane exactly? To be honest, I am not exactly sure. I don’t think it was one thing or event that happened but more of a feeling that built up over months that I just wasn’t getting anywhere despite my best efforts. In essence, I began feeling like I was spinning my wheels and not making any forward progress. I started to doubt myself. Doubt my decisions. Doubt the value I was bringing to the people in my world including you all.

So what has changed recently to make me want to jump back into life? I really just decided that I didn’t want to be the kind of person who quit when things got hard. I have never been someone who doubted my own abilities or worth. I know I am capable. I know I am a hard worker. I know I can accomplish just about anything I set my mind to so basically, it was time to get off my butt and be that person again!

People become unmotivated for a variety of reasons. Like me, sometimes you just get uninspired. Other times maybe a lack of self-esteem plays a role. Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety can absolutely also cause us to become unmotivated. Whatever the reason behind it, there are a few ways I think we can combat it and get back on whatever path we may have stepped off. First and maybe most importantly:

Remember why you started!

I started this blog because I wanted to help people. I wanted to make getting healthier and happier something everyone and anyone could do no matter what their current situation. I wanted to share the pitfalls of my own health and wellness journey so that I might be able to spare someone out there the same trial and error I went through so they could get to the good stuff quicker. I never stopped wanting all those things out of this space, I just started feeling like I wasn’t really accomplishing it with the posts I was offering. I felt like I wasn’t telling you all anything you probably didn’t already know despite all of your kind comments and words of encouragement that I would receive every single time I posted a new blog article. This would be a great time to stop and say thank you, thank you thank you by the way for all of those kind words! They meant and still mean the world to me and they are a big reason I wanted to start writing here again!

So in thinking about starting to write again, other than wanting to reconnect with all of you, my motivation reignited when I realized that no two stories are the same. No one is me and if telling you all about my specific journey as it continues to unfold helps just one person out there feel like they are not alone or helps them to keep going when they may want to quit, then it is all worth it. This same logic can be applied if you start feeling blah about your workouts. Remember why you started. Remember your desire to live a healthier life. Remember the passion you had when you did that first workout after making the decision to do something to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Hold on to that feeling. Keep it present in your thoughts and carry it with you, especially on those days when you have absolutely no desire to get off the couch and get that workout in. Remember your “why”, no matter what the situation, and hold yourself accountable to the person you were when you made that promise to yourself to go out and get it!

Stop being your own worst enemy!

Chances are you are wayyyyy harder on yourself than anyone else is. I know this is the case for me big time. My motivation waned greatly when I started doubting myself and second-guessing a lot of the decisions I had been making. I began feeling like I was making decisions that were not moving me forward in life but instead of forging ahead and continuing at least to try to make more positive changes, I basically froze and stopped doing anything at all. Recently I started realizing that making no decisions and continuing to stay where I was in life was making me feel worse than at least trying to do something to improve my situation. I started thinking about how I could learn from my mistakes instead of letting them paralyze me.

I also started talking to myself in a more positive and affirming tone instead of beating myself up for feeling like I wasn’t doing enough or the right things. The danger in always talking to yourself critically is oftentimes you translate that talk into behavior. If you start to believe you aren’t good enough or capable enough you may stop even trying. You might miss opportunities that present themselves either because you aren’t out there looking for them or you don’t pursue them when they do arise because you think you won’t be successful. Listen guys, you miss 100% of the chances you don’t take so why not put yourself out there and at least see what happens? I bet more often than not, you are successful and you may even surprise yourself with what you are able to accomplish. My main takeaway here is to go easy on yourself. Life is not always easy. Give yourself some credit, be your own bff and biggest cheerleader, and watch as you start to not only survive but really thrive!

Set some ATTAINABLE goals.

Start off slow when you are getting back into the swing of things. Sit down and really think about where you want to put your energy and how you are going to go about getting to where you want to be. Then write down some goals that have realistic timeframes attached based on what you decided you want to pursue. Keep that list where you can see it on a daily basis and use it to keep yourself on track and focused as you get back into whatever it was you had let fall by the wayside. For me, I have set a goal to write for a least 30 minutes every single day to start off with. I also decided to re-do the very first workout program that got me hooked on lifting weights in the first place, LIIFT 4. I am actually on the final week of the program, Week 6, and that spark that had dwindled a bit about weight training is definitely back! I not only feel stronger but can see my muscles coming back which has reignited that desire to keep lifting on a regular basis and getting those gains.

Goals help us stay focused and give us something to shoot for. They can also build back our confidence and help improve our self-esteem if we find ourselves, like I did, doubting our abilities. I also find that if I consciously decide I am going to do something and then write it down I am much more likely to follow through and complete the task. As silly as it may sound, I absolutely love the feeling of being able to cross something off my to-do/goal list at the end of the day. And like I said, start small. If all you were able to do today was get up and make your bed then celebrate that win for the day and tomorrow maybe try to do one more thing that makes you feel accomplished. The most important thing is you have a plan that is specific and attainable and that you work that plan to its conclusion. Then you can make a bigger and better plan and so on and so forth. Before you know it you are back in the saddle and once again able to conquer the world!

Allow yourself to take a break!

It’s ok to step away for a while if you need to. Sometimes you need that time away to reflect, to recharge, to realign yourself with your goals and aspirations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with hitting the pause button. Just be careful that you don’t pause for too long. That is when a break becomes quitting. I was dangerously close to the quilting side of things before I pulled myself back and realized I had worked too hard on both this blog and my health to let anything or anyone permanently derail me. That being said, having taken the time away only reaffirmed for me that I was investing my time in places that were worth it and made me happy. I love writing. I always have. I love interacting with all of you. I love working out. I love lifting weights. I love riding my bike. I just needed to hit the pause button for a short time I guess to realize all of this.

Taking breaks, whether we are taking short breaks during the day, or longer periods of time away from something, helps us destress, refocus, and can even increase our energy and ultimately our productivity. I know another problem I have is going a million miles an hour for as long as I can and then suddenly burning out. I definitely had a case of burnout with some parts of my life over the last year so another important lesson I have learned is that I don’t need to accomplish everything all at once. I can go at a more steady, even pace, take breaks when I need to, and ultimately finish things that I have started in a more timely manner with my mental and physical health still intact. Everything doesn’t need to happen all at once, overnight. Allow yourself grace periods to reset every once and a while and chances are you will return and be even more productive than you were when you stepped away.

Ok ok enough about me! What have you guys been up to over the last couple of months?? Drop some comments below and let’s catch up! Also, if there is anything in particular you would like to see more of on this site I always appreciate your feedback!

xoxoxo – Beth

Stop being afraid to fail!

Stop being afraid to fail!

We all fail. Sometimes we fail big, something we fail small but inevitably we all fail at something at some point in our lives. Off the top of my head, right now, I can think of several things I have failed at over the years. Relationships, friendships, exams, even jobs, just to name a few….

The older I have gotten, though, the more I realize that while the word “failure” tends to have a negative connotation, I have learned so much from each of my own failures that that maybe failing isn’t so bad after all. While usually, at least initially, it kinda well sucks to fail at something, if you really stop to think about your own failures, haven’t you learned something pretty significant from each of those experiences? 

Maybe you just learn not to do that same thing again. Maybe you learn it is worth another shot but maybe not in the same manner you tried before. Maybe you learn what to look for and/or what to avoid the next time a particular situation comes around. Maybe you just learn that something isn’t right for you.  

Whatever it may be, I am hard-pressed to think of a time that I failed at something that I didn’t become a least a little bit wiser and more in tune with myself because of it. So, what else can failure teach us? For starters:

Failure Can Clarify Our Path

I wholeheartedly agree with the old saying, “When one door closes another one opens”. Failing at one thing can signal to us that maybe that thing we thought we wanted so badly wasn’t actually meant for us but perhaps there is something better waiting right around the corner. Sometimes you can put everything single thing you have into something or someone and in the end, it still doesn’t work out like you had hoped it would. Is it a tough pill to swallow? ABSOLUTELY! Do you sometimes feel dejected and even bewildered by the way the situation turned out? OF COURSE! Can you still learn a lot from enduring this kind of failure? SO MUCH!

This is a case where I believe life is telling you to reassess where you are putting your energy. It is saying, “hey great effort over there but look over here now!” Take all that glorious drive, ambition, and desire, and let’s put it somewhere that is better suited for you. This is also a great lesson on how to pivot instead of throwing in the towel. Just because one thing didn’t work out for, you doesn’t mean the next thing won’t. Don’t let one failure stop you from getting out there and finding what truly deserves your time and energy.  

Failure Can Reveal Our Strength

When we fail at something in life and then must deal with the repercussions of that failure, we are often forced to call upon that inner strength we all possess just to sometimes make it through and live to fight another day. But we do just that, don’t we? We fight. And in that fight, if we really stop to think about it, our true strength can sometimes be revealed. Even if we don’t know we are fighting and evolving and getting stronger, that is exactly what is happening behind the scenes.  

That realization very often is the exact thing we need to punch forward and either try, try again, or as I mentioned above, pivot and try something that might be better suited for us. And in those moments when the failure is fresh and the feelings of disappointment are raw, remember one thing, you have survived every single thing life has thrown at you up until this point, including all the really hard, sad, and trying things. You are strong. Probably so much stronger than you even realize so just get back up and continue to fight the good fight no matter how long it takes.

Failure Can Force Us Out of Comfort Zone…

If you really stop to think about it, what is so great about being in your comfort zone? Nothing grows there. Nothing new happens there. And while yes, it is comfortable, would you rather find yourself in the same place, day after day, month after month, year after year, or at least try, maybe fail, but try again to reach for your goals? For me staying stagnant is much worse than facing my fear of failure and at least being able to tell myself I made an attempt to better my situation.  

Real, true growth, can only honestly happen when we get uncomfortable after all. Even just practicing taking a few steps out of your comfort zone can teach you amazingly useful lessons on how to adapt, and deal with change, which is of course inevitable in life. If we fail trying something new, great, there are probably a million other ways to approach that problem or situation. Keep trying until you find the one that works.  

If you keep failing at something because you are doing it the same way over and over again, take a step back, realize what you have been doing isn’t working and force yourself out of that comfort zone and into a new way of thinking. I guarantee that getting out of that rut you might be in will spark new creativity, maybe reenergize your fight, ignite a possibly stalled motivation and maybe even see you accomplishing that goal or achieving that next step in life that you have been striving for.

Failure Makes Us Tough

Let’s face it….life can be hard. While there are so many wonderful and beautiful things all around us that we will experience in a lifetime, we also all go through periods that aren’t all sunshine and roses. One of the most important tools that failure can arm us with is toughness. Mental toughness, emotional toughness, and even physical toughness can all be gained by trying and failing and picking ourselves back up when it really counts. Failure can force us to pick ourselves up from the lowest point, dust ourselves off and get back on that proverbial horse after being bucked off one too many times. It can teach us that while success may not be immediate it will come if you just keep on trying different ways of getting there.  

It can also make us take an honest look at ourselves, take stock of the decisions we have been making, and recognize if we are the ones holding ourselves back. Being brutally honest with ourselves is seldom easy but failing enough times unavoidably leads to having to have those tough conversations where you admit to yourself that what you have been doing isn’t working. Taking responsibility for our own actions and failures isn’t easy but it builds character, resilience and in the end a much more transparent and sincere awareness of who we are and what we are capable of.  

Failing is never fun. In fact, sometimes it is downright painful. Did you ever try to climb a really tall tree when you were a kid and then took an unfortunate tumble when the top branches weren’t as sturdy as you might have thought? Yeah, OW! Have you ever trusted the wrong person and then ended up with a severely bruised if not broken heart? Yeah, that one really hurts! But in both those scenarios hopefully, you learned something which helped you in the future stay a little safer toughened you up for the next go of it. Failing teaches all kinds of really important and useful life lessons if we really stop to think about it. So let’s try to change the narrative a little bit on how we view it. Embrace the suck of it just a bit, keep your head held high, and learn the lesson that life is trying to teach you. I bet you will come out the other side a little happier, more self-aware, and even more bad a$$ than you went in!



Why am I not seeing results??

Why am I not seeing results??

One of the most frustrating parts of any fitness journey is when you feel like you have been busting your butt for a solid length of time but are not seeing the expected results. 

Sometimes this happens a few weeks into a brand-new fitness journey, sometimes it happens a few months or even a few years into it. For the purposes of this post, however, I am going to focus on when this happens soon after you have started or -restarted a new fitness routine.

On average, if you are consistently working out each week, you should start to see meaningful changes happening within 6-8 weeks. Considerable changes, we are talking about an overhaul of your body and fitness levels, take about 3-6 months. There are a couple of main reasons that you may be either slow to see results or are feeling like you aren’t seeing them at all aside from just not having been at it long enough. These reasons can include:

You Haven’t Fixed Your Diet 

The old saying, “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet” is so true and in my opinion probably one of the leading reasons you aren’t seeing results from the hard work you are putting in with your workouts. One of the most beneficial things you can do to start getting your nutrition in line is to cut out processed, packaged foods that are often loaded with extra sugar and salt and focus on eating whole foods as much as possible.  

A piece of advice when it comes to finding and incorporating whole foods into your meal planning is to shop on the outside isles of the grocery store and then cook as many meals as possible at home with those whole, fresh ingredients. Meal prepping for days that you are going to be on the go and need something already made and ready to eat to keep you from reaching for that bag of chips or candy bar is also key!  

Finally, I cannot overstate how important it is to get enough protein when we are talking about meeting and maintaining your fitness goals. Protein is highly important for not only repairing and rebuilding muscles after a workout, but the essential amino acids that protein sources like meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy provide help to build new muscle tissue and at the same time burn stubborn fat. On top of all that, eating protein with every meal helps you feel fuller for longer than just filling up on carbs and fat alone.  

If your nutrition is already in line, keep reading for a few more possibilities that may be holding you back…

Strength Training Isn’t A Priority 

This issue was a huge one for me at the beginning of my own health and fitness journey. I was hitting the gym at least 5-6 days a week, spending the majority of my time on cardio machines like the treadmill and elliptical and wandering into the weight room only when it was empty enough for me not to feel embarrassed for being in there in the first place.

Guess what? That approach did not work at all. While cardio is an important piece of any fitness routine, it shouldn’t be your only focus if you are looking to slim down.  

If you have been around my blog for a little while, you may remember I dedicated a whole post (#MBF) to this very subject….how building muscle through strength training is a great way to burn fat. Basically, the more muscle you are able to build, the more fat you burn, even while at rest! Who doesn’t want to burn fat even while you binging your current Netflix obsession?? Take a look at my #MBF post for more details on exactly how this works, but in the meantime, if you haven’t been hitting the weights or at least doing bodyweight exercises up until this point, start incorporating them into your routine now. If you are a little unsure about how to go about this, I have a few suggestions on this one also!

What ended up working for me was beginning to follow a weight training program I could do from home with just a few selections of dumbbells. I wanted to learn how to lift weights properly, with the correct form, and in an order which would be the most effective use of my time, so I did a little research and ended up diving into the program, LIIFT4 (click here for a FREE sample workout of this awesome program!). I am not exaggerating when I say that one decision changed my life. I fell in love with strength training and by the end of the program, I saw muscles I didn’t even know I had…I was hooked!

Another suggestion is if you are more a gym person, but still unsure how to go about lifting weights properly, just ask someone there for some guidance. I would be willing to bet that person who looks like they know what they are doing in the weight room would be happy to share some knowledge with you to help you get started. After all, they were once a beginner too!

You Aren’t Prioritizing Rest

As counterintuitive as this one might sound, rest is a key component in a successful fitness regime. This is one that became a real issue for me about a year into my own journey because I got to the point where I had found programs that I genuinely enjoyed doing so much and that I was seeing such great results from, that I never wanted to take a day off. 

Really, I am being serious! I wanted to workout 7 days a week because I was having so much fun doing it and oh yeah, those endorphins can be addicting! 

Pushing your body 7 days a week with no rest days, however, is a big no-no and can actually be setting you back on your quest to get fit. So, take my advice and build rest days into your own routine!

Nowadays, I typically build two rest days into my own weekly routine, depending on what program I am following and how much I am doing other workouts like riding my mountain bike and running. One rest day for me is typically a full rest day where I really give my body a break and let everything heal and repair itself and the other is usually an active rest day where I do something like go for a long walk, do some Pilates, or yoga or take my pups for a hike.  

A few good signs your body is in need of a rest day or two are if you waking up feeling sore, you are more tired or moody than normal, or you feel a bit under the weather. You may also feel dehydrated despite drinking enough water or you might even notice that your heart rate is a bit elevated. These are all clear indications you have pushed your body hard enough for the week and it is time to let it rest. Build these down days into your workout routine and I bet it will help jump-start your progress again if it has stalled.  

You Need to Mix Things Up

While I totally understand that most of us find comfort in routine, being comfortable while working out is not going to get you the results you are looking for. If you find yourself doing the same workouts, in the same order, with the same weight selection for an extended period of time this might be a contributing factor to the plateau you will inevitably find yourself in. While I do applaud the fact that you might still be consistently showing up if you don’t also switch things up once in a while your body will get used to the routine and your progress with cease.

It is only really when your body is challenged and forced to adapt to a new move or a higher weight selection or an entirely new workout altogether that meaningful progress can be made. For me, switching things up Is not only really great for my body and progress but also for my dedication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The more variety I can incorporate into my workouts the more likely I am to continue to want to do them.

I do everything from weight training, to HIIT workouts, to running, Pilates, Yoga, and of course mountain biking, just to name a few. Not only do the different workouts keep things interesting for me but the unique aspects of each of them target different muscles and focus on different but equally important components of a complete fitness routine such as strength, mobility, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Most importantly, just continue to challenge yourself. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut or are just coasting through workouts it is probably time for a change.  

Plus, you might discover a new kind of workout that you really enjoy which is always a bonus! Check out my post “I can become a ballerina at 40 right?” for how I fell in love with Barre workouts after prematurely writing them off as something I would never like or benefit from. Challenge your assumptions people! You never really know until you try!

The reasons I listed above are just a few possibilities as to why you might feel like your progress has stalled during your fitness journey. Another really viable alternative is that you actually are still making progress; it just might not be reflected by the number staring back at you on the dreaded scale. A lot of the time that number might not be going down because you are building muscle at the same time you are burning fat. Remember muscle is dense and you could be shedding inches off your waist while getting stronger at the same time. If this is the case, ask yourself, “do my clothes fit better?”, “do I have more energy?”, “is my stamina increasing?”. If yes to one or more of those things, you are making progress, and congrats! The scale is by no means the end all be all, remember that!

If you are neither losing pounds nor gaining muscle AND all the things I listed above are not to blame, check things like portion sizes of the meals you are eating, have an honest conversation with yourself about your stress and anxiety levels which if high can be causing weight gain, and of course it is always a good idea to get in and see your doctor in a case like this. Several medical conditions like a low-functioning thyroid, to out of whack hormones, to an overgrowth of yeast in your body could all be to blame here as well. Most importantly, just don’t give up on yourself! Chances are with some small tweaks you can get back on track and continue to reach for and knock out all those awesome health and fitness goals you had set your mind to!



SOS! Why is it so hard to ask for help?

SOS! Why is it so hard to ask for help?

We have all been through a lot this past year and a half. There have been a lot of unknowns. A lot of isolation. A lot of wondering what is going to happen next. I think we have all had new challenges to face and obstacles to overcome and in turn days where we have felt like everything is under control and then days where we have felt completely overwhelmed with how much is not in our control. 

I started this blog with every intention of it being a positive, encouraging, and motivating space and I hope for the most part it has been! As it has evolved though, I have realized that what is even more important to me than being positive all the time is being real and transparent. I don’t think I would be doing my journey justice if I only ever talked about my wins and accomplishments because let’s face it, real life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It is comprised of ups and downs, wins and losses and while the wins are fun and exciting to share with you all, I think the struggles and hard times have so much to offer in terms of learning and growing that I would be remiss if I didn’t also share those experiences.

The past couple of months for me have been challenging. I won’t go into specifics mostly because it is nothing crazy or really out of the ordinary. I have just been facing some life changes and tough decisions that honestly most people probably end up face once or twice in a lifetime as well. While I thought I was managing it all pretty well, turns out I wasn’t doing such a great job of it after all. About a month ago life caught up to me, my ulcerative colitis flared up, my anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks, and I was forced to take a step back and acknowledge I wasn’t ok after all.

If you have been following my blog for a little bit you know that about three years ago, I decided to change my life, get healthy and take back control. I started doing at-home workouts, eating much healthier than I had been, and being proactive instead of reactive about my mental health. The extra weight that I had gained soon came off, I was able to stop taking the anxiety medication I had been on and off of for years and hadn’t had a UC flare-up in over three years which is the longest time I had gone between flare-ups since I was diagnosed. In short, I was happier and healthier than I had been in years!

Unfortunately, last month, that winning streak ended abruptly. While I haven’t let up on consistently doing the at-home workouts I still love so much and am still eating healthily, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep, the stress that was building up over the past several months overtook even my best efforts to power through and forced me to stop and deal with what was going on in my life and my head.

Y’all, I crashed and burned hard. I have since jumped back on the steroids to help my UC go back into remission and renewed my prescription for anxiety medication to get my mind and body right and through this little rough patch. But even more importantly, I forced myself to open up, admit I was in over my head, and finally asked for help.

As I am starting to come out the other side of this little road bump in my life, I have been thinking about how I let myself get to the point I did and why when I finally did realize I needed some help was I so apprehensive about opening up and asking for it? Here are a few realizations I came to from this recent self-reflection…hope they help!

Why is asking for help sometimes so uncomfortable?

  1. There is a fear of being seen as “less than”. This is a very big and very real fear of mine, no matter how many times I go to the same, very accepting and sympathetic people in my life when I am struggling. I know that it is hard for anyone who doesn’t suffer from anxiety or any other mental health issue for that matter to understand what it is really like. I know because I get the questions, and the raised eyebrows, and the confused looks even from those people who are very open-minded, eager to help, and supportive of me no matter what I tell them. Before, during, and even after the conversations I have with them, no matter how much better I feel there is always a small part of me that wonders and even worries a bit that they won’t be able to help but judge me even just a little. Do they see me as a weaker person? Do they not understand why I just can’t stop worrying? Does me being open and honest about my struggles change how they see me at all? This leads me to the next point about why it is sometimes so hard to open up and ask for help…
  2. It involves letting our guard down. I like to think that I am a strong person. A person who can handle adversity, who has it all figured out. A person who doesn’t need to cry or wallow in self-pity or go to other people to get me through rough patches in my own life. Feeling overwhelmed and like you can’t control what is going on around you and even worse what is going on in your own head is one of the toughest things to deal with, let alone admit to out loud to another person. But real growth and healing starts when we are vulnerable enough to open up and admit we are not ok. For me, this is particularly hard because I sometimes feel like if I keep everything to myself and try to fix it all on my own I can retain some level of control over what is happening. What I have realized over the years, however, is that feeling is really a false sense of control. There is no reason in the world to have to be strong every second of every day. It is ok not to be ok all the time. 
  3. It might feel like we are complaining. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t recognize how lucky I am to have the life I do and feel grateful for all the wonderful people I have been blessed with. So, for me, when things don’t go exactly right or I have obstacles put in front of me, I almost feel ashamed to complain about them or even bring them up because in the grand scheme of the very big universe we all live in my problems really aren’t that serious. The last thing I want to do is feel foolish about struggling with problems that someone else might view as minuscule or unimportant. I tend to also worry that people will think “Why is this even a thing for her? She should just suck it up and deal with it like everyone else has to”. But the truth is, if you are struggling with anything at all, big or small, all that matters is you are struggling. Put aside your preconceived notions about how someone might react or feel about what you have to say and ask for the help you need. 

What can make asking for help easier?

  1. Find the person or people you feel the most comfortable with to go to first. For me, my best friend usually can tell when I need support even before I know it. I am beyond lucky to have someone like this in my life, but I also know there are a handful of other people I feel comfortable opening up to when things get really tough. Oftentimes, it makes a big difference just to finally be able to tell someone that I am not ok and have them reassure me that things will get better and that no matter what they will be there for me through it all. Sometimes just speaking my issues out loud somehow to one of these people diminishes the hold the problems have over me. It is almost as if now that I have acknowledged it, gotten it out in the open and someone else knows what is going on I have a partner in the fight, and the power shifts more in my favor. 
  2. Put your pride aside. Don’t worry so much about what other people think…because believe it or not, everyone struggles at some point in their lives no matter how it may appear from the outside. I know this one is sometimes easier said than done but, in my experience, people are far less judgmental if they are even at all, than I think they will be. Every time I have needed to open up to one of my “safe” people there is still a small part of me that feels ashamed that I even need to do so and cringe a bit right before I make the call or have the conversation. I like to be the person that other people come to for support, not the one needing to reach out for the help myself. It is always hard for me to be vulnerable and admit when I am not feeling as strong on the inside as I am projecting to be on the outside but the feeling of support and reassurance I get after I am open and honest about it is far more important to me than hanging on to the pride that is standing in the way. 
  3. Shift your thinking regarding how people feel about being approached for help. If you put yourself in the place of being on the receiving end of a request for help, how do you honestly feel? I know that every time either a friend or family member had the courage to reach out to me when they have been going through something I have been more than open to doing whatever I could to be there for them. I think all too often we get it in our minds that we will be burdening a friend or loved one if we unload on them. In reality, though, I think most people want to help if they can. I know I never feel burdened or put out when someone I care about asks for a helping hand. To be honest, I feel honored that that person thought enough of me to ask in the first place. I also recognize how hard it probably was to come to me and open up which only makes me want to help in any way and as much as I possibly can. 

Asking for help Is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign that first, you are human, and second you are smart enough to know when relying on someone else’s strength, knowledge and life experience might help you get through something that would otherwise be difficult to go through alone. It is a sure sign of not only strength but also of a high level of self-awareness that should be seen and thought of as courageous and commendable rather than shameful or something to be looked down on. Talking to my loved ones and asking for their advice and help through the difficult time I just went through made all the difference in the world to me. I gained the support system I needed to get myself on track to healing and feeling better. If you are struggling, going through something that is becoming too much to handle on your own, or just feel like someone who isn’t directly involved in your situation might have a more objective idea of how to handle it, put your pride aside, and reach out. You may find you end up not only getting the help you need but also forming even closer, more meaningful relationships with those you chosen to open up to!



10 Ways to Embrace the Beauty of a Fresh Start….

10 Ways to Embrace the Beauty of a Fresh Start….

I honestly believe the old saying is true, “sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”. If you have been around long enough, I am sure you can think of at least one time in your life when something that at one point seemed right and good, suddenly or maybe not so suddenly came to an end only for something even better to begin. I myself can think of several times this has happened to me throughout my own life and while sometimes endings can be difficult and even sad, they almost always come with the promise of a fresh start and that all-important feeling of hope that something even better is right around the corner.

What is so great about life is that each and every morning that we are lucky enough to open our eyes we are given the chance to start over. Every single one of us is given a clean slate every day to do with it what we will and in my experience even when we decide to change up even one little thing in our lives that may not be working so well for us anymore or that just may have run its course, a chain reaction often happens. For example, almost three years ago I decided to start taking better care of myself. I didn’t go crazy and buy every diet pill out there or join the most expensive gym I could find and spend hours a day there but I did commit to eating out less and working out for 30 minutes a day to get myself on the right track.

That one pretty small decision snowballed into so many positive things happening in my life such as getting off the anxiety medication I had been on for years, starting this blog, reconnecting with old friends, and even getting a promotion at work and buying my first house! I had gotten sick and tired of the way I looked and felt and just decided it was time to start fresh.

That is how it usually happens though, right? We get sick and tired of the current situation we are in and finally decide to do something about it. And while sometimes the universe does it for us, we always at least have the power to control how we react to it being time to start over. By this point in my life I have of course realized that change is inevitable, so why not embrace it, make the best of it and come out the other side of it a better, stronger, smarter, and more badass version of you?! Below are some ways that we can shift our mindset from being tentative and maybe even afraid of change to being excited about the possibilities it might bring:

Accept that is it indeed time to make that fresh start. Make peace with the fact that a new chapter is necessary and begin to think of all the possibilities that lay in front of you as opposed to dwelling on what you are leaving behind in the past Take an honest account of your life and hold on to the things that make you happy and put behind you the things that don’t. Life is moving forward one way or the other after all, so why not live for what could be instead of what was.

Pull off the proverbial band-aid. If you have been thinking about it for a while, feeling the change coming, or just been hesitant to make that jump, my advice is just JUMP! Life is too short people! That little 6th sense that we all have telling us something is over, something is not right anymore, or something has run its course is very rarely, if ever wrong. Listen to your intuition and just go for it.

Work on changing old habits and forming new ones. So often in life we get into ruts because we just accept that the way things have been is the way it has to be. It is never too late to start over you guys. It is never too late to learn something new, to meet new people, to take up a new hobby or even just to alter a routine you have been in or a mindset you have had forever. Make conscious decisions to change what is isn’t working until you find what does.

Talk to someone.  Reach out to a friend or family member who knows you well and have an honest discussion about what is going on. Very often I find it is invaluable to get an outsider’s opinion as they may see things much more objectively than we are able to. We have the tendency to wear blinders when it comes to our own lives so talking through a situation with someone who is not directly involved in it may just provide us the right amount of clarity we need to finally make that fresh start.

Don’t wait for the “right time”. You will probably find yourself waiting a long time because there very rarely is a right time to do something that we might, at least at first, find scary. Don’t wait for a new year or a new month or even next Monday.  Decide, commit, and do everything in your power to get yourself where you truly want to be the instant you feel like a fresh start is necessary.

Don’t worry about what other people will think. This isn’t their life after all. You need to do what is right for you without fear of judgment or disapproval because you are the one who has to live with the decisions you make, not them. If you decide to stay in a situation that is not making you happy then you decided to live with it. If you decide to do something about it and are brave enough to take that leap, tune out any negativity that may come your way and celebrate the fact that you were strong enough to do what is best for you. But either way, do it for you. Not for anyone else. You have one life. Live it exactly how you want.

Get out of your comfort zone. Just because something is familiar and “normal” to you does not necessarily make it right. The normal reaction to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones is to just not do it. Our comfort zones are warm and inviting, and well comfortable for a reason. But no real meaningful change happens there. We often have to get uncomfortable for a little bit to find something even better on the other side of the temporary struggle it will take to get there.

Try something new. Maybe you know it’s time for a change but you just don’t exactly know what that should look like. That’s ok! There are so many things out there that you can start doing or try for the first time to get yourself at least moving forward. Sign up for a race. Go skydiving. Join a book club. Take a class on something you have always been interested in. Like I mentioned above, oftentimes taking one step forward, making one small adjustment or baby step in the right direction can lead to much larger, more meaningful changes happening down the road.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of life y’all. I have failed so many times I have lost count but what I haven’t done is quit. Every time I have fallen flat on my face, I have picked myself up and started anew. Failure offers us a wonderful chance to take stock of ourselves, our actions, and our behavior so that we can avoid making the same mistakes again. I have come to the point in my life where I truly believe if you haven’t fallen you haven’t tried hard enough. Fail a hundred times if you have to because when that one time comes that you succeed all those failures will have been more than worth it.

Believe that you are worth it. Don’t settle you guys. You deserve all the happiness in the world, but guess what the world is probably not going to hand it to you. Love yourself enough to let go of things that are not truly making you happy so you can pursue what does. And don’t be reactive about it. Be proactive. Make that change. Go ahead and jump. Take it upon yourself to better a bad situation. Shed what is holding you back and find what makes every day a day you look forward to waking up and embracing life to the fullest.

Fresh starts come in all shapes in sizes. Sometimes they are major events like ending a long-term relationship you thought would last forever, or finally leaving that job you have been talking about leaving for years, or picking up and moving across the country just because you have always wanted to live somewhere else. They also might be smaller events like dyeing your hair pink just because you have always wanted to do so or adding to your family by adopting a new pet, or maybe it’s just waking up one morning and deciding to start eating healthier and exercising a bit because it is finally time to take better care of yourself. Whatever change you feel you may be needing, just go for it! I am not saying it is going to be easy or quick or painless but sometimes you don’t even know how badly you need it until you start moving in the right direction.

Stay safe and healthy out there you guys…and don’t forget to be kind to each other!!



Monthly Goal Intention – June

Monthly Goal Intention – June

Question for you all, can you be allergic to running?!?!  I’m kidding of course but if you could be, I would definitely be suffering from the running allergy because wow is it an unpleasant experience for me!  No matter how much I talk myself up about getting out there and getting miles under my belt, I have had a lot of trouble staying consistent over the years with an actual running regimen because well running for me is just plain hard.  These days though, since we have found ourselves spending a lot more time at home I have desperately been looking for any reason to get outside the four walls of my house which has led me to really recommitting to achieving some of my long-standing running goals.  In fact, if I had to search for a silver lining to living through this whole pandemic it would be that I am finding myself spending A LOT more time outside enjoying all the beauty that mother nature has to offer, so I figure there’s no time like the present to give becoming a runner the ole college try again.   

As painful as I find it, running isn’t a completely miserable experience for me.  I do love getting the fresh air and the much-needed Vitamin D. I love about 30 minutes into the run when that runners’ high kicks in and I especially love when I finish the run and I can give myself a pat on the back for at least having tried.  It is the part in the middle though that I struggle with, the actual running part.  Running is painful for me. Not like my legs hurt or I am actually in pain the whole time or anything alarming like that, but if I had to describe what the overall experience of running feels like to be it would defnitley be summed up in that one word, uncomfortable.  That being said, I still so badly want to become a “runner”.  You know, one of those people who can run for miles and miles and miles and make it look effortless all the while barely breathing heavily or breaking a sweat.  That is definitely not me right now nor has it ever been to be honest.  I feel like I look like a baby elephant lumbering down the street, most of the time gasping for air, having no form at all and just praying for it to be over as quickly as possible.    

The extremely competitive part of my personality though refuses to let running beat me so I have decided that my goal for the month of June is to complete my first 10k race!  I have run plenty of 5k’s over the years.  I’ve never won any, or even come anywhere close, but I can always complete them and feel a great sense of accomplishment after I do.  With the 5k’s, I just generally went out an ran the 3.1-mile distance a few times leading up to the race so I knew I could do it and that was pretty much how I approached training.  There was no real planning, no actual training, no consistency whatsoever. It’s actually a minor miracle I never got injured!  Knock on wood!!  With this 10k though, I am really looking to use the training leading up to it and the actual race as a jumping off point for future longer-lasting success in running so I know I need to do it right.  But what does right mean? Well, for starters, it would probably be a good idea to:

Make the commitment now!

I feel like most people, myself included, tend to stay on track and put more effort into a task when there is a clear deadline involved. That being said, I think a really important step toward reaching this particular goal is to sign myself up for the actual 10k race I plan on running right now and then work my little butt off to get myself ready for it.  Given the times we are living in most if not all the races this season have either been cancelled or converted to a virtual format so I have already started searching for the perfect 10k virtual race to sign myself up for to give myself that deadline and something to look forward to. 

I decided to try virtual racing last month after all my actual races were cancelled for the year.  I was super bummed about the cancellations but had heard about virtual racing before so I jumped online and found out as much as I could about them and decided to sign up for one figuring it would be the next best thing.  I was a little hesitant to give virtual racing a try because part of me just didn’t think it would be anything special, more just like going out for a normal run on any given day, but I figured I would give it a shot as what did I really have to lose?! It turned out to be a really fun experience and even though I was running against myself, by myself it still felt like a race day and my competitive streak definitely came out in full force to get a good time to submit to the race site.

Another really great part of the experience was I was able to sign up for a race benefiting a cause I feel really passionate about which is helping animals.  I chose to sign up for a race that supported a charity called the Puppy Rescue Mission.   This charity aids our troops who are overseas bring back puppies and dogs they find on the streets while they are serving.  The charity enables the troops to get these animals back here to America so they can be adopted and have much better lives.  I am a sucker for anything to do with saving animals and dogs in particular so this was not only a really fun running experience but also a really great way to contribute in some small way to a cause I feel so strongly about…as a bonus I also got a super cute medal!  See some pics below from that race:

Follow an actual running/training plan!

Seems like a smart idea, huh?  I am not sure why it took me so long to think of this one, but better late than never!  One of the best decisions I made several years ago was to sign up for the at-home workouts I have been doing ever since primarily because they took the guesswork out of when, what and how much to workout.  I show up, press play, and the rest is done for me in terms of how to structure a workout program.  So many of my previous attempts to get fit failed I believe because I had no plan or structure when it came to working out so I over-trained in some ways and way undertrained in others.  Ultimately this lack of structure led to not only injury but inevitable failure because I was just spinning my wheels and not seeing any results. 

So in thinking about what I needed to do to be successful in achieving my running goals, it seemed logical that the same thing that brought me success in one part of my fitness life would bring me success in this one as well.  I started doing some research about how to properly train for a 10k in terms of how many days per week to actually run, how long those runs should be and the types of workouts to do on my days off from running. I am following a 6-week training plan now, and I have already gotten slightly faster and feel like I am in better cardiovascular shape.   Following an actual plan is important for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Provides structure and routine  
  • Helps to prevents Injury
  • Enables you to track your progression more meaningfully
  • Allows you to become a better all-around runner by forcing you to work on things you might normally skip (like speed work or those dreaded hill workouts)
  • Helps to hold your interest by providing a variety of workouts throughout the week instead of just going out and running the same mileage and routes over and over again

Keep my head in the game!

And last but not least, actually possibly most importantly, I need to get my mind right!  As I mentioned above, running really does not come easily for me. I love the idea of running but when it comes to the actual execution of it, I struggle.  I have been really putting a lot of thought into what I can change, what I can improve upon, how I can make it a more enjoyable experience for myself because I know in order to keep at it, I have to learn to enjoy it even just a little bit.  After having done all the physical things I can do to help , like getting the right shoes,  making sure I am following a training plan, doing all the appropriate stretching and even working on how I fuel up for my runs and recover after them, I am left with needing to work on the mental aspect of it all because I think that’s my weak spot right now. I have heard plenty of people say how much of a mental sport running is and I am really starting to understand that in order to be a successful runner you have to really be in control of your mind.  I think the saying actually goes that running is a whopping 90% mental which means the body is just basically along for the ride.

At this point in my own running journey, I am pretty sure I am physically capable of achieving longer and faster runs, what I waiver on is if I am mentally tough enough to do it.  I have been realizing that when I hit that point in my runs that I start to think I can’t go much longer it is not my body giving up on me, but my mind. I start to let doubt creep in because I am out of my comfort zone with longer and longer mileage and I have been quitting on myself quite a bit sooner than my body is actually needing me to.  I have to learn to trust my body more because it has not once let me down since I started on this health and fitness journey two years ago.  So what specifically do I think I can improve on, well a few things, like:

  • Being aware that I have the ability to direct my thoughts – If you believe you can, you are right.  If you believe you can’t, you are right.  I again need to trust in my body and know it is more capable than I even realize.  When the run starts to get uncomfortable and then moves into downright hard, I need to work on training my brain to re-direct my thoughts to more positive emotions like being proud that I am out there even doing it in the first place and knowing that I am able to continue running because I am both mentally and physically strong.  Probably adding to my running playlist will help also…. focusing on good tunes always gives me an extra boost during my workouts!  Running playlist suggestions welcome!!
  • Changing my definition of possible – Two years ago I never would have thought I would be setting my sites on running a 10k.  Now not only do I know I can do it, I am actually planning on doing it!  Having achieved so many of my other fitness goals over the past few years I know I am capable of doing hard things. I just have to trust my body to carry me through and continue to tell myself I got this.  This is such a great lesson to apply not only to running but also to life in general.  The first step toward achieving any goal is to believe you are capable, followed closely by the next step which is to….
  • Visualize myself achieving my goals – Visualization is a powerful tool that I don’t think I utilize enough.  I have started seeing myself completing the workout programs I commit to before I even start them because I trust in the process after having had such great success with the first one I completed, LIIFT4.  I hadn’t been applying this technique to running up until now but I think it could be a great tool to employ. Having competed many 5ks I know I am capable of achieving at least one of the goals I set for myself in running, so I just need to visualize completing even harder ones.  Now that i have a goal in mind and a time frame I would like to achieve it by, I have started seeing myself crossing that virtual finish line and I am even looking beyond this upcoming race to the next goal I may try to achieve…a half marathon! 

Running is hard no matter how you slice it, but I think with a better more structured approach and the right mental attitude it is something I believe I can at least become better at.  Having said that I want to take a second to acknowledge all the actual runners out there who can have completed half and full marathons because that is truly an amazing accomplishment and one that I have a sincere appreciation for.  While I don’t know that I will ever rise to such levels, I know I can accomplish this 10k goal and heck maybe I will even surprise myself and one day join the illustrious ranks of all of you badass runners out there who have completed even longer and harder races.  But for now, I have my sights squarely set on earning that 10k medal!  Follow up post to come when I actually complete the race which I am hoping will be in a few weeks time.  Fingers crossed and everyone stay happy, healthy and committed to reaching whatever goals you are working towards right now…I would love to hear them btw so drop me a line anytime! 😊



Monthly Goal Intention – February

Monthly Goal Intention – February

Welcome to February lovelies!  As I mentioned in my last post, my plan for this year is to set one specific goal each month that has to do with something I want to work on in my health and fitness journey.  Last month, I really wanted to re-dedicate myself to betting my nutrition.  I am happy to report I am back to cooking and meal-prepping more, drinking my superfood shake each and every day and really paying attention to limiting processed and prepackaged foods a lot more than I was. So on to February’s goal…this month l I really want to work on my flexibility!  Man, this is a tough one for me.  I have been saying I am going to stretch more and do more flexibility work for like a year now but I am not going to lie, I have not been at all consistent with it, like at all.  Soooo that being said, February = Flexibility Awareness Month!  I am re-committing to this very important goal of mine because let’s face it, I am not getting any younger or more limber.  In fact, just the opposite unfortunately, so consistently stretching is only becoming more and more imperative to my overall health.

It seems to me that flexibility is somewhat overlooked and undervalued when it comes to a well-rounded health and fitness plan.  Most people, myself included, seem to be focused solely on strength training and/or cardiovascular training.  While I personally strive to get a good mix of both of those things, I am definitely guilty of not placing enough emphasis on the importance to stretching everyday. Even though the majority of my workouts come from the amazing programs I follow and do right from my living room, I am somewhat ashamed to say that I often fast forward through either the warm up or cool down aspects of each workout even though they are included in each day’s routine.  I do make sure to take part in the days where either Pilates or Yoga are on the schedule and very much look forward to and enjoy those days, but I don’t do enough flexibility work outside of that.   So other than just getting older and less nimble I wanted to take a second to remind myself and any of you out there who are lazy stretchers as well why this is so important for us to starting doing on a regular basis.  Consistently stretching and becoming more flexible will:

  • Prevent Injuries! – This is a big one you guys. Consistently stretching helps to improve the range of motion of your joints and the higher the range the less stress is put on them when exerting pressure on them during a workout.  The less strain on your muscles the less chance you will actually strain one of them.  And we all know how painful and sidelining a strained muscle can be.  Anyone ever strain a muscle in your back?  OUCH to say the least!  Happened to me one time because I didn’t stretch before a rock climbing workout and I basically couldn’t stand up for two days!  If I had taken the time to stretch before jumping on the wall I would be willing to be it wouldn’t have happened or at least it wouldn’t have been so debilitating.
  • Promote Circulation – Stretching does wonders for keeping your blood flowing well. Doing some low-impact, low-intensity stretching can get your heart rate and body temperature up which promotes a healthy blood flow.  Healthy circulation is super important for getting oxygen to all your vital organs helping them to function properly.  Healthy blood circulation is also crucial for helping the body remove waste which is obviously vital for good health!!
  • Improve Posture – This is especially important to all of us who sit at a desk for hours on end! In this day and age where we all seem to be hunched over a screen for a large part of each day, being aware of our posture and working on it whenever we can is really important.  Stretching is a great way to take some time out each day and work on lengthening and elongating our spines.  Being hunched over for too long can create tight muscles especially in the mid to lower back and chest areas.  This can lead to not only poor posture but stiffness and even pain.  Consistently stretching these areas as well as strengthening your core muscles can elevate back pain as well as lead to much better posture.
  • Decrease Stress – And who doesn’t need some help in this area?!? I know I am always looking for ways to decrease the amount of stress I am feeling on any given day.  Stress is so bad for our health, not only out mental health but also our physical health.  Taking ten or so minutes out of my day to stretch my tense muscles and really focus on my breathing does wonders for my mental state.  Stretching on a regular basis has been shown to reduce overall tension and even lessen feelings of anxiety and depression.  Besides all the physical benefits that you will be getting with a good stretching session, feeling calmer and more relaxed at the end of it is almost like the cherry on top!

Now that we know why stretching consistently is so important, I wanted to share a few of the basic stretches that I have started to incorporate into my daily health and fitness routine.  It is really important to hit the major muscle groups when thinking about what and how to stretch.  Although we have tons and tons of different muscles all over our bodies,  if you target the major ones you maximize your efforts and be doing your body a true service.   Some examples of the major groups to aim for are your leg muscles such as your calves, hamstrings and quads.  Your hip flexors are also a really good group to target as they do a lot for your strength, stability and athletic performance.  As far as your upper body goes, focusing on your neck, shoulders and upper back as targets will do wonders for to ward off pain, help with pain relief if you already have it and as I mentioned before will go a long way in improving and maintaining proper posture.  Something to keep in mind…. stretching shouldn’t hurt!  You should feel some resistance and even tension but not pain!!  Ok so now let’s actually get to it!  See below for five of my favorite beginners stretches:

  • Butterfly StretchThis is a great beginner stretch because it is easy to do and targets several muscle groups at the same time! All this move requires is for you to sit on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together and slowly bend at the waist brining your chest as far down to the floor as possible.  Now when I first began doing this stretch on a regular basis, I wasn’t able to bend over very far so a great way to ease into it is instead of bending over just simply press your knees down to the floor with your hands and hold for anywhere from 15-30 seconds then repeat for 3 rounds while sitting up as straight as you can.  As you progress and get a little more flexible, you can then start to incorporate the bending at the waist for an even deeper stretch.  As I mentioned, this stretch is really effective because it targets your glutes, lower back and thighs all at once!
  • Cat and Cow Stretch – This one feels amazing on your back and is one of my faves!! You want to start in the tabletop position with your wrists directly under you shoulders and knees right under your hips.  Inhale as you arch your back up toward the ceiling for the cat position.  Picture a scared cat here and you will understand why this is called the cat position!  Hold there for about 10 seconds and then exhale as you release.  To move into the cow portion of this stretch, simply drop your stomach toward the floor as you lift your chin up toward the ceiling.  Hold here for about ten seconds then repeat the whole sequence several times.  Bonus!  This move also helps strengthen your abs so you are not only loosening and lengthening your back muscles but also working on your core!
  • Hamstring Stretch – Another one of my favorite stretches targets your hamstrings, which are the big muscles located on the back of thighs. My hamstrings are always tight so I have really made an effort to get a good stretch of these guys in daily.  To target these muscles a good simple stretch can be done standing up by simply crossing one foot over the other and slowly bending down as far you can toward your toes.  You want to keep your knees as straight as possible without locking them.  Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds then repeat on the other side by uncrossing your feet and then re-crossing them with the opposite foot over the other this time around.  Don’t forget to breathe while holding the pose!!  You can also stretch your hamstrings from the seated position by sitting with your legs straight out in front of you and slowly bending forward at the waist reaching for your toes.  Again, keep your knees straight but not locked.  Hold for 15– 20 seconds again and then repeat 3 to 5 times as needed.
  • Hip Flexor LungeMuch like the Hamstring Stretch, this is another one that feels great and also targets multiple muscle groups. It is especially important to stretch your hip flexors if you sit the majority of the day because sitting for prolonged periods of time shortens up these muscles and can lead to major back pain.  All you need to do to get a good stretch of your hips is start in the kneeling position on the floor with one knee out in front of the other one at 90 degrees.  From this position you want to slowly push your pelvis forward leaning forward as far as you comfortably can.  Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.  You want to make sure you are keeping your back flat at all times in order to get the most out of the movement.  To add a little something extra, you can also take one arm up in the air (the arm that is on the side of your body where your leg is bent backward) and do a slight side bend as well.   That just opens everything up a little more!
  • Seated Triceps Stretch – Equally as important as stretching your lower body, is getting a good stretch in for your upper body. While this move targets your triceps, it is also very effective for loosening and lengthening your shoulders, upper back and neck muscles.  This is a super easy move that you can actually do sitting down or standing up.  If you are sitting just begin by coming up to your knees while making sure to keep your back nice and flat and tall.  Bring one arm up and bend at the elbow to place your hand at the top of your upper back.  With the other arm, grab the hand of the bent arm and slowly pull down as far as you can to activate the stretch.  Hold for 15-30 seconds and simply repeat on the other side.

Hopefully that info above is a good reminder for us all as to why stretching and flexibility is so important and just how easy it is to accomplish.  For me, I know I need to work on slowing down and taking the time to actually just do it.  I am often rushing from one thing to the next (like we all are) and as much as I have grown to really enjoy working out, I am still anxious to get it started and finished because my to-do list seems never ending!  The beautiful thing about stretching though is you can do it just about anywhere and everywhere!  It is obviously a good idea to stretch before and after a workout, but I find a good stretch first thing in the morning as well as midway through the day can also do wonders for our bodies and minds.   And all you really need is about ten minutes to dedicate to becoming a more flexible, healthier human.  So lets make February the month we all spend a little more time becoming more limber.  Do some of the beginner stretches I mentioned above while you are sitting in front of the TV at night, take ten minutes on your lunch break and stretch it out with a co-worker, hit up a local Pilates or Yoga class or stream a flexibility workout right form your living room like I do!  Just get to it and if you have any favorite stretches or discover some along the way feel free to reach out and share!  Happy February y’all! 😊



Monthly Goal Intention – January

Monthly Goal Intention – January

This year I thought I would do a little something different when it came to my personal goal setting.  I have decided I am going to set one goal each month that has to do with something I am working toward on my health and fitness journey.  Now this could be anything from my nutrition and eating habits, to my workouts to even something like my mental health and self care practices.  I think this might be a more effective way for me to target specific things throughout the year and keep up with my resolutions even after the hype and energy of the New Year dwindles down.  So, for January I have decided that my goal is to cook and meal prep more in an effort to stop reaching for those quick and easy processed foods as much as I have been.  As I mentioned in my previous post, “A few small nutritional reminders to keep our bodies happy & healthy in the new year”, nutrition is definitely the weak spot in my overall health journey and I have vowed to make 2020 the year that I get more of a handle on it.

While I have definitely made some solid progress in the nutrition department, I still don’t feel that I am quite where I should be in terms of fueling my body with the best possible options to help it thrive.  I do have a ton of food allergies that I have to work around, but I think I have almost been using that as an excuse to not try as hard as I should be to cook more and grab quick, pre-packaged options less.  While I don’t eat out hardly at all, like maybe once or twice a week if that, I do tend to hit the grocery store and still reach for those dreaded processed foods that are in all honesty pretty terrible for us.  I have never been all that interested in eating or food itself so for me just finding something quick to get me through the day has always been my MO.  But as I get more and more immersed in this world of health and fitness, I am realizing how very unhealthy that mindset it.  Most, not all, but most processed foods are sorely lacking in anything redeeming and pretty full of bad for us ingredients.  More specifically they are:

  • Full of Harmful Chemicals – Such as MSG, artificial sweeteners, BHA (which is a type of preservative both in foods and the packages a lot of food comes in), and a whole crap ton more which I can’t pronounce so figured I would skip trying to type also. These compounds have all been linked to several types of cancer, can damage our thyroids, have negative effects on our hormones and can wreak havoc on our fertility.  YIKES!  They are basically toxic to our bodies but staggeringly processed items still make up about 60% of the food we eat!  No time like the present to change that statistic you guys!!
  • They are addicting! – We already have a portion control problem, especially here in the US, where we are led to believe we need to be eating a lot more than we actually do and processed foods contribute in large part to it. I won’t go too much into the issue of portion control now, for more info on it though check out my post, “Portion Control: Know When to Say “When”, but it is a big problem with serious consequences for both our waist lines and general levels of health.  Prepackaged, processed foods are actually engineered to make us want to eat more of them!  Yep, they are made to be uber salty, overly sweet and generally exceptionally pleasing to our brains which makes us want to keep reaching for them long after we should have stopped and walked away.  Very sneaky food companies, very sneaky!
  • Low in Nutrients – So you are basically just eating empty calories while doing nothing to help your body along the way when you choose a processed food option. Most of them lack fiber, along with many of the other necessary vitamins, minerals and antioxidants our bodies needs to run at their best.  Not to mention, prepackaged foods are often high in trans-fat, which again is the bad for you kinda fat that will clog your arteries, contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol and can increase your risk of many forms of cancer.  Choosing whole, unprocessed foods goes a long way in getting your daily intake of all the stuff we need to avoid so many diseases and maintain optimal health.
  • High in Sugar – And more specifically, High Fructose Corn Syrup which is even worse than actual sugar! Besides just packing on the pounds and slowing down our metabolisms, excess amounts of sugar can also lead to higher cholesterol, a fatty liver, diabetes and again even certain kinds of cancer.  Most people actually get the majority of their sugar intake from processed foods and beverages and probably don’t even realize it.  Adding all that extra sugar is just another way the food companies make their products too appealing to resist.  Our brains are really happy when we get that sugar rush but our bodies are screaming at us to stop!  Listen to your body you guys, they almost always will lead you in the right and healthiest direction!

So, of course the bottom line here is processed, prepackaged foods are NO BUENO!  While I logically know this to be true, the problem still remains that they are just so dang easy to reach for when you really don’t care what you’re eating but just need something to ward off that dreaded LBS (low blood sugar) midday.  I guess this is where willpower, planning and keeping my goals in sight comes into play.  The one thing I have on my side is I really do enjoying cooking.  In fact, I used to do it allllll the time before I was diagnosed with all my food allergies.  Cooking was a creative outlet for me as well as a bit if a stress reliever.  I liked searching for new recipes to try, then experimenting with different versions of them until I found something that was a crowd pleaser.  Having vowed to start cooking more and been back at it for the past couple weeks, I am once again reminded of all the joy it used to bring me. While I do have to put quite a bit more thought and research into everything I cook and eat these days, it is well worth it both for the mental and physical benefits it provides me.

I’m off to a pretty good start with this goal of mine for January but to make sure I stick with it for the rest of the month and then hopefully the year and beyond there are a few things I think I need to do to set myself up for success.  For instance, I know I need to:

  • Plan, Plan, Plan! – As with most things health and fitness related, the more you plan the higher the chance you will be successful.  I know I need to make more of an effort to plan out larger chunks of my meals, not just the one or two days in advance that I have been doing. I need to consistently plan out each week’s meals for all seven days, do one big grocery trip a week and stock up on all the ingredients I will need.  This planning phase also needs to include some research into new recipes to try out and new ingredients to incorporate into my ever-expanding arsenal.  There are so many wonderful, healthy, whole food options out there that I haven’t tried yet or haven’t made the most of in their different forms that I know there will be endless options to keep me interested and fulfilled.
  • Prepare and pack my lunch ahead of time – Lunch is the meal that gets me. I have my breakfast down as it is almost always some variety of my superfood shake, dinner I almost always cook and usually do so pretty healthily, but man lunch is what gets me.  I will freely admit I am lazy when it comes to this meal.  I usually just grab a can of soup with my favorite gluten-free crackers or a cup of yogurt (I am currently obsessed with the So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut brand) or just a protein bar that I make sure to always carry in my bag with me.  While they aren’t the most unhealthy things I could be eating, like the fast food I used to grab all the time, they are mostly prepackaged items as opposed to the whole, fresh foods that I could and should be eating.  I just need to make more of an effort to put together healthier options the night before so I can get up, grab my meal out of the fridge and head out the door.  Again, with just a little bit of thought and prep I could seriously improve my nutrition by making my lunches just as healthy as my other two meals.
  • Be committed but also realistic – While I do want to explore new recipes and make much more of an effort to cut down on my lazy eating, I also need to plan for life. Life is busy. Life is hectic.  Life can sometimes throw you curve balls.  Keeping that in mind I know I can do more to plan for the days when life doesn’t go exactly how I thought it would.  I think keeping easy and quick but also healthy backup meals on hand, such as my favorite protein pasta, frozen fish filets and even just a salad I can toss together will be key for the days that life is just well, life.  I know sometimes meetings run late, after-work social activities pop up, or I will just get home and be too tired to follow a new recipe and that is ok.  I also know sometimes I will just want to throw a frozen cauliflower pizza in the oven and pour a glass of wine at the end of a long day and that is ok too.  Moderation you guys, I am a firm believer in it!  Along the same lines, cheat meals are also going to still be key for me.  Most Fridays night are eat-out nights which I eagerly look forward to and use as both as a tool and a reward.  Allowing myself this flexibility is a key in my opinion to achieving my larger, overall goals.  We need to be able to give ourselves a little bit of a break every once in a while so we don’t burn out and end up quitting altogether.

As I am sitting here typing this post today I have a big pot of lentil stew simmering (check out the pics below along with the superfood shake I ate this morning)  that I made up this afternoon and a batch of homemade gluten-free cornbread in the oven as well.  I had a blast putting it all together today (also it has been a great way to spend a snowy Saturday!) and will have plenty of leftovers for several meals this week.  January’s goals are off to a good start if I do say so myself!  I am feeling really motivated to keep this momentum going and happy that I am making more of an effort to take care of my body.  I want to keep getting stronger, continue to build more muscle and knock out even more of my goals this year and I know continuing to improve upon my eating habits will go along way in getting me there.

Stay tuned for my February post which will be all flexibility.  This is another area I keep saying I am going to work on but admittedly have not been doing such a great job with.  If you guys have any resolutions or goals you set for the year and would like to share….I would love to hear about them (and see below for a quick poll about this site, please and thank you!!)!   In the meantime, have a happy and healthy weekend everyone!



Non-Scale Victories!

Non-Scale Victories!

As the New Year is rapidly approaching, I have of course been thinking about all the things I want to accomplish in 2020.  In starting to set my intentions for the next twelve months though, I suddenly realized how important it also is to take a second and reflect on all goals I was able to cross of my list this past year.  I think sometimes in the crazy, hectic, fast-paced world we live in we don’t spend enough time absorbing and praising ourselves for our successes before hurriedly moving on to the next item on our checklist. In thinking about the ways that I have grown and evolved this year, I was struck by how setting out on my journey to lose ten pounds almost two years has created such an unexpected but extremely positive ripple effect on my life.  Two years ago my one and only motivation was to lose weight. I had no clue whatsoever that I would end up gaining so much more than I lost.

In taking a second to reflect back, the things that I have gained can’t really be qualified by a number on the scale or the size of the pants I now fit into but they have come to mean so much more to me than any number possibly could.  I think back two years and I shake my head a bit at who I was then not because I had gained weight but because the only reason I decided to get in shape was that I was ashamed of the number staring back at me on the scale. It wasn’t because I was sick all the time.  Or almost at the point of being a shut-in because my anxiety was so bad.  Nope, it was because I was horrified that I had to buy pants two sizes larger than I thought I should be wearing.  I quickly though remind myself that if it wasn’t for that version of me, the more superficial version if you will, I would not be here today wanting to shout from the roof tops about how making that decision to lose the weight was one of the best decisions of my life. 

So today I wanted to talk about what has come to be commonly referred to as non-scale victories.  If you have never heard that term before, it truly means exactly what you would think…. successes that have nothing to do with that stupid number on a scale.  For me, when I sat down to write this post I was almost instantly overwhelmed by how many things popped into my mind when thinking about all of my own non-scale victories.  I even find myself getting a little emotional sitting here writing this post today because these successes truly mean the world to me.  I want to share a few of the NSV’s that have come to mean the most to me in hopes that if you or someone else out there is just about to embark on your own journey for the first of fourteenth time you will maybe be more inclined to stick with it even on the days you just don’t feel all that motivated to do so. So in no particular order, see below for my top 3 favorite NSV’s:

I regained a healthy relationship with food…

For years and years, food was my enemy.  I hated to eat.  I obsessed over everything I did eat and I was sure to count every gram of fat in everything that did make in onto my plate, every single day.  Looking back now I probably had a borderline eating disorder.  Ok, maybe not so much borderline.  There was a while there I was sub-100 pounds and most definitely struggling with my body image in a major way.  And then it was like a switch flipped.  Because I had been so strict with myself for so long, because I had deprived myself for years and years, all of a sudden, I did a 180 and started eating anything and everything I wanted.  For the year or so before I made the decision to lose the weight I had put on, my daily diet basically consisted of fast food for breakfast, fast food for lunch and Chinese take out for dinner.  Oh, and don’t forget the two Venti Starbucks Caramel Macchiato’s I washed everything down with.  Every. Single. Day.  No surprise I gained those ten pounds huh?  When I finally got fed up with myself and decided to start exercising and watching what I ate again, I was able to find a healthy medium. Nowadays, I don’t deprive myself or obsess over every calorie I eat but I do for the most part focus on eating whole, nutritious food that facilitates my ability to workout consistently, keeps my energy levels up and helps keep me healthy all the way around.  Over the past two years, food has slowly but surely become my ally, not my enemy.  I have started to really enjoy cooking healthy recipes and meal prepping so I am sure to stick to my goals even outside of my house. I eat without guilt.  And I respect my body enough to be careful about what I am putting in it not because of how afraid I am to gain a pound or two but because I treasure my health so much that I want to do everything I possibly can to take the best care of it possible!

Got my mental health under control…

As I have talked about in previous posts, I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for many years.  In the year or two before my “get healthy” journey started, I was REALLY struggling.  Like at least one pretty debilitating panic attack a day struggling.  Most days it was more than one.  I was almost at the point that I was afraid to leave my house because it wasn’t a matter of if an attack was going to happen, but when and how bad would it be.  I was embarrassed.  I was shutting myself off from people because having an attack in public for me was completely mortifying.  I felt weak, out of control and ashamed.  A few months into me working out consistently and eating better I noticed my anxiety lessening. Over the past two years, I  have weaned myself off the anxiety meds I was taking almost daily and to date haven’t had a full-blown panic attack in months if not maybe over a year.  The most beautiful part is I feel fully in control of my life again. If you suffer from mental illness of any kind and have come out the other side of it you know how amazingly freeing and truly priceless having that control back is.  Your mental and physical health are so intertwined you guys.  Sometimes you don’t even realize how much your mind is craving an outlet for the stress it is under on a constant basis.  My daily workouts are such a huge stress reliever for me and give me that outlet that keeps me calm, happy and feeling like there is nothing I can’t deal with anymore. 

I am so much more driven to succeed…

In the past two years I have gotten a promotion, completed 2 certification courses and am currently working on a third, bought a car and even bought a house.  Oh, and I started a blog! 😊  I truly feel like the sky is the limit for me at this point in my life and I honestly don’t think any of those things would have happened if I hadn’t decided to get healthy.  Basically, pre-happy and healthy Beth, I was just getting by, barely getting by at that.  I didn’t have much ambition, I wasn’t all that motivated to better myself or advance my life in any way, and because I just generally didn’t have much energy most days, I just tried my best to make it through the day. I was surviving you guys, but by no means thriving. Fast forward to the present day and I am almost bubbling over with energy and excitement about knocking down more of my goals.  I want to use every second of every day putting energy into things that bring me one step closer to achieving the all the things I once thought impossible.  I have grown and accomplished so much over the past two years that I now know there really isn’t anything I can’t do if I set my mind to it. Probably most importantly, I’m proud of myself for the first time in a long, long time.  And oh man what a cool feeling that is!!

And those are just my top three NSV’s!  I am also sleeping a ton better, I get sick significantly less that I had been before, and I’m all around just a happier, better human being. It really hit me how far I have come emotionally and mentally on this journey when I went to the doctors the other day to get my knee looked at (anyone out there have any advice about re-occuring knee pain when running I would love to hear it!) and of course got weighed upon arrival.  I actually have gained about four pounds over the past six or so month and not only am I ok with this I am actually happy about it!  I am putting on muscle mass and muscle well just flat outweighs something.  It actually weighs more than fat so it makes perfect sense that the number on the scale is higher than it has been in a while. Seeing a higher number on the scale and not instantly freaking out is so telling of how far I have become because my previous self would have been utterly freaking out at seeing that I had gained weight.  I probably wouldn’t have eaten anything but crackers for a week and obsessed about the calories even in those.  The new and improved version of me gave myself a mental high five and thought how happy I was that the strength training program, Hammer and Chisel, that I had just completed over the past 8 weeks had paid off!! 

What is comes down to you guys is that I am a much healthier version of me all the way around….  mentally, emotionally, and of course physically.  I am focused on being healthy, not skinny.  I have made the connection between my mental and emotional health and that of my physical well-being.  My goal weight now is healthy, not rail thin!  So now I want to hear about you!!!  What are you proud of that you accomplished this past year?  What are some of your resolutions for next year?  Do you even make resolutions?  I would love to hear about it all!And finally, Happy Holidays you guys!!  Thank you as always for all your amazing support over this past year…here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2020!!



Do you know your body type and why is this even important?

Do you know your body type and why is this even important?

Ok so up until this week I didn’t even know there were body types, let alone what mine was!  It wasn’t until I was doing some research the other day on how to gain more muscle that I came across some info about how knowing your body type can help with putting together a successful training and nutrition plan. I have been really trying to get stronger, leaner and more muscular over the past year and I took a solid step in that direction after completing my 5th workout program over the weekend, Hammer and Chisel. This program really focused on powerlifting moves in order to shred some fat and replace it with lean muscle.  My hope was that I could further develop the baby muscles I had begun to see over the past couple years and the previous four programs I have under my belt. While I did get some fantastic results from Hammer and Chisel (you can see my before and after shots here), I am steadfastly continuing my mission to figure out how I can up my gains game even further. 

Despite significantly upping my protein intake, focusing on strength training and even adding creatine to my regular routine I have been finding it pretty slow going in the muscle development department.   In doing some research and talking to a friend of mine who is in fantastic shape and is #bodygoals, I quickly learned that what I had been neglecting to factor into my own nutrition an fitness plan is how my body type could be influencing my results, or lack there of. I also learned that body types go much deeper than our physical appearances.  They describe not only how we looks but also how our bodies perform, react to different types of food, how high or low our carb tolerance is, and even how our hormones behave.  Pretty cool right?!  I thought so too, so of course I wanted to share some of what I learned with my favorite people (you 😊) because I found it not only very interesting but also potentially really helpful in trying to work with and not against my body.  So let’s start first with the basics:

What are the 3 body types?


These are the smallest, leanest people.  An Ectomorph generally has the least amount of body fat, a delicate frame and they may even have trouble gaining weight if they are trying.  The reason they have trouble gaining weight is because of their fast metabolism, which hey, doesn’t sound like such a bad thing to me!  But because of this, they also have trouble gaining muscle even when they are making the effort to do so.  Other characteristics of Ectomorphs are:

  • Small Frame
  • Lean Muscle Mass
  • Low Bone Mass
  • Narrow Shoulders
  • Long, thin limbs
  • Small Joints


So if Ectomorphs = Small, Mesomorphs = Medium.  These, in my opinion, are the lucky ones that have an athletic build.  They are naturally strong individuals who can both gain and lose weight easily. So with Mesomoprhs the plus is they can gain muscle quite easily, but then that also means they can gain fat just as easily.  Mesomorphs do, however, have the perfect body for body building!  This may be because they tend to have higher levels of testosterone as well as the growth hormone that make these folks naturally strong.  Other characteristic of Mesomorphs are:

  • Athletic
  • A rectangular shaped frame
  • Well-defined muscles
  • Athletic and Strong
  • Medium Bone Structure
  • Larger Muscle Mass


And if Mesomorphs = Medium, Endomorphs = Large.  These are the folks with the larger bone structures and higher amount of body mass.  As opposed to mesomorphs who have a pretty straight up and down shape, endomorphs are rounder.  They gain weight more easily than the other two body types and also have a harder time losing it.  They have the slowest metabolism of the bunch which accounts for the difficulty in losing weight.  The good news is they are strong.  Their muscles, especially the upper legs/quads are solid and naturally dense.  Other characteristics of Endomorphs are:

  • Generally Short and Stocky
  • Softer Body
  • Round in Shape
  • Thick Arms and Legs
  • Slow Metabolism

Time for my usual line now guys….like everything health and fitness related you may not fit nice and neatly into one of those 3 categories above.  Actually, there is a good chance you won’t.  There is a 4th category just generally referred to as a Combination Body Type that I myself think I fall into.  This body types may describe you if you kinda feel you have traits from more than one of the standard choices above.  An example of a combo type is for instance an Ecto-Mesomorph who would be someone who might be mostly mesomorph so athletic and more rectangular in shape but have a few ectomorph traits such as small joints or longer thinner limbs.  Another example is an Ecto-Endomorph who is someone who might be pear-shaped in that they have a lean upper body but store all their fat down below in their stomach. 

Now that we know what our body type is what can we do with this info?

Well like I mentioned above, identifying your body type can go a longgg way in figuring out how to best approach working out and eating if you are looking to either lose weight or gain muscle.  The following is a general breakdown of how the 3 body types respond to exercise and nutrition:

Ectomorphs –

  • Diet: Ectos again are our friends who have a hard time gaining weight but also a hard time gaining muscle.  Because of their faster than average metabolism, ectomorphs want to eat to a high carb and higher (healthy) fat diet.  They also want to eat more often, think at least 4 meals a day, in order to get a few extra calories in they need to combat how quickly they burn through them.  Now my Ecto people out there, just because you lose weight more quickly and easily than the rest of us, please don’t think you have a free pass to eat junk food all the time just because you won’t pack on the pounds.  You still want to eat a balanced, nutrient rich diet in order to maintain good health and because honestly as you get older you metabolism will inevitably slow down a bit so you want to develop good eating habits early to avoid the later in life weight gain.
  • Fitness: When it comes to fitness, for Ecto’s resistance and weight training are a must.  Ecto’s have the hardest time putting on muscle so you really want to make sure you are picking up those weights on a consistent basis if your goal is to define muscle and sculpt some curves. Make sure you are lifting heavy weights at lower reps so as to really focus on deep muscle fiber growth.  You still want to incorporate a bit of cardio into your routine for the sake of your heart health, but try to limit it to about 30 minutes, 3 times a week at most.   

Mesomorphs –

  • Diet:  Good news for all my mesomorphs out there, you can not only lose weight quickly but gain muscle more easily than the other two body types.  Your bodies respond really well to proper nutrition so when fed properly, the sky is the limit for setting and crushing body goals.  Because mesomorphs tend to have more muscle mass than the others, incorporating protein into your meals is important for maintaining that athletic physique of yours.   Also due to your higher ratio of muscle, mesomorph’s tend to need a bit more calories per day to sustain those muscles became after all muscle weighs more than fat an takes more calories to sustain.  A good rule of thumb when filling your plate, go for thirds.  Shoot for complex carbs taking up a third or your plate, healthy fats taking up another third and finally lean protein making up the rest.  Now for a word of caution, just as mesomorphs can shed weight quickly with a nutritious diet, you all can gain it just as quickly if they you reaching for unhealthy food choices too often.  Fuel yourself with the right stuff and again there is no stopping a mesomorph who is on a mission to get fit!
  • Fitness: Our natural athletes, mesomorphs are perfectly created to be strong and fast.  Due to being blessed with thick, dense muscles and the ability to add muscle mass quickly and relatively easily, mesomorphs seem genetically blessed and one step ahead of the rest of us when it comes to getting and staying in shape.  A well-rounded training program that incorporates moderate weight training (think longer sets of about 12 reps at a heavy enough weight that you are struggling a bit by the last few) with about 3 days a week of moderate cardio should do the trick.   Cardio is important for all my Meso’s because again while you are naturally blessed to be able to lose weight quickly, gaining weight just as fast is also a concern for you if you aren’t careful.  Adding Plyo and HIIT routines into your program will also be beneficial to keep that slim, but toned physique we are all envious of! 

Endomorphs –

Diet: Where are all my J Lo’s out there?!  If you are an Endomorph I am a bit jealous because you are naturally curvy and I am, well, the exact opposite of that!  Unfortunately, what comes along with those curves is a very strong propensity to gain weight rather quickly.  With the proper diet and dedication to a fitness routine, however, Endo’s are more than capable of achieving great results.  Staying away from processed, simple carbs (cereal, white rice, pasta, crackers) is a must for Endo’s who want to lean out and build muscle.  Endo’s are especially carb sensitive so limiting your carb intake and upping your consumption of protein, vegetables and healthy fats is imperative if you want to see results. Oh and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Focus on getting plenty of fiber and washing it all down with a lot of water (stay away from those sports drinks, Endos’s!) to keep things moving and your metabolism running as fast as it can. 

Fitness: The good news for my Endo’s out there, you can gain muscle pretty easily!  The not so good news, you can also gain fat very easily.  So what does this mean in terms of structuring a workout program?  Glad you asked!!  Endo’s, you have to fight your natural tendency to want to stay sedentary.  Cardio is essential if you are an Endo body type.  The most beneficial kind of cardio for my Endo’s is HIIT training because it will burn the maximum amount of fat in the shortest amount of time.  Spinning is another good option as is a brisk walk for 30 to 45 minutes, 3 times a week.  Equally as important is strength training.  Lifting moderate to heavy weights is a great way to boost your metabolism which is key to Endo’s who unfortunately tend to have the most sluggish metabolism of all the body types.  Much like everything else fitness related, staying consistent for Endo’s is very important.  Incorporate as much variety as possible into your fitness routine so you don’t get bored and tempted to taper off or quit and commit to making it a lifestyle!

Knowing your body type and taking into consideration what the different aspects of each are can go a long way in helping to tailor a successful fitness and nutrition game plan.  It can also help you set realistic expectations as to what you should expect so you don’t get frustrated and wind up throwing in the towel before seeing any meaningful results.  While as much as sometimes we would like to be able to change our genetics we each have been dealt a hand when it comes to how our bodies are shaped and how they preform.  This does not mean, however, that we can’t put in some smart and well thought out work in order to achieve any results we want for ourselves.  Set a goal, make a plan to achieve that goal with your body type in mind, and then work your little butt off until you not only reach it but crush it by so much that you can’t even believe what a bada$$ you and your beautiful body truly are!



P.S. See below and take a minute if you can to fill out my poll! I would love to get your opinion on what you would like to see more of on this site! Thank you! 🙂