A letter to my younger self…

A letter to my younger self…

Dear Twenty-Something Beth,

I am writing this letter to you as our 40th birthday is quickly approaching. Yep, the big 4-0. I know 40 sounds ridiculously over the hill to you, but here we are fast approaching that ripe old age.  Thinking about reaching this milestone in life prompted me to want to write this letter to you, my younger self, in hopes I could pass along some of the wisdom I am just now acquiring as we hit (**gulp**) middle age!  While I like to think I have very few regrets at this point in life, I do wish I would have started taking better care of myself, mentally and physically, a little bit sooner than I did.  I know we tend to be a little bit, ok a lot bit, stubborn but it is my hope that by passing along these thoughts, feelings and lessons you will be able to navigate around some of the pitfalls that I wasn’t able to.  So here you go….

Worry more about how you feel than how you look…

Prioritize your health in other words!  It is our greatest asset after all girly.  Yes, going out with your friends, staying up all night, eating greasy fast food at 2am is fun but do all those things in moderation. You should have some fun in your 20’s but you don’t need to be the life of the party every single night.  Burning the candle at both ends is not sustainable, nor is it healthy.  Your friends will still be there and like you just the same if you stay home and catch up on sleep one night or skip a happy hour to get a workout in a few times a week.  Some other key ways you can start taking better care of yourself right now are:

  • Drink more water and get more sleep! 

    Both of these things are vital for our health.  Get yourself on a regular sleep schedule.  Make sure you are getting about 7 hours a night.  Trade one of those energy drinks for a big glass of water.  It’s amazing what  water does not only for our overall health but also our energy levels as well.  You don’t need to run on caffeine and no sleep.  You will not miss anything I promise.  Develop these habits now by going to bed and waking up at relatively the same time each day and making sure you carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go.  As a bonus, this will also keep our skin glowing and us looking youthful which at 40 and beyond will be a much bigger deal than you realize right now!!

  • Don’t starve yourself to fit into those size 0 jeans!

    Strive to be strong, not skinny! Skipping meals, restricting calories, doing cardio until you want to collapse all so you can be as skinny as possible is not only unhealthy, it is dangerous.  Worry more about how you feel, not how you look. Do you feel healthy when you only eat ten crackers a day?  Is it worth feeling exhausted all the time to be able to say you just bought those size 00 Abercrombie jeans you have been starving yourself to fit in?  Oh my gosh girl, NO! Food is your friend, not an enemy.  Eat whole, nourishing, healthy food to help your body perform at its best, keep away disease and illness, and help us age as gracefully and effortlessly as possible.

  • Pick up those weights!

    Instead of spending hours on that treadmill, switch up your routine and incorporate strength training into it.  Like I mentioned above, being a size zero should not be your goal.  You should workout to be healthy, not a stick figure.  Grab some weights, build some muscles and eat so you can continue to chase after your goals.  Building muscle has been the greatest thing I have done for myself in recent years.  I feel amazing, look better than we did at your age (sorry but it’s true), and basically I just feel like a badass.  You will not get gain a bunch of weight if you reduce the amount of cardio you are doing, you will not get bulky, I promise. You will end up falling in love with watching and feeling yourself getting stronger and more fierce with every single workout.

It’s ok not to be ok!

I know sometimes you feel less than because you have anxiety attacks.  I know it is hard for you to ask for help.  I know you feel weak because you can’t stop them from happening.  Don’t!  Having mental health struggles is nothing to be ashamed of.  It is part of our story as it is a part of a lot of people’s stories.  You are not alone in this even though it may feel like it sometimes.  Struggling with something like anxiety, panic attacks and even depression can feel very lonely, even isolating at times. Don’t be afraid to open up and talk to the people in your life that love you.  You are truly blessed to have these people to turn to (which is a whole other lesson for another time).  Let them know when you need help.  Don’t beat yourself up because you feel like you should be stronger than this.  Not being ok sometimes is perfectly ok.  Nobody, I repeat, nobody is ok all the time no matter how it may seem.  One of the most important things to do when you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or uneasy is just to breathe!  Trust me when I tell you the majority of the time whatever it is you are stressing over, worrying about and/or losing sleep because of will turn out to be just fine in the end.  And in the small chance that it is not all ok, you will survive.  You are stronger and more capable than you think  of not only surviving but thriving!  Just keep breathing….

Don’t worry so much about what other people think…

They are not you after all.  What works for us may not be what works for them.  Heck, what works for us may not be the most popular or mainstream things to be doing but you need to live your life for you.  You are going to have to make decisions in your life that are going to be tough ones.  Make those decisions based on what’s best for you and what is going to make you happy. People may disagree.  They may have their own opinions.  Actually, they will for sure have an opinion. A lot of the time people will have your best interest at heart.  Sometimes they won’t.  There is nothing wrong with listening to the opinions of others and taking in what they are saying but just remember you are the one who has to live the outcome of those decisions, not them.  If they don’t like it, trust me they will get over it.  And if they don’t, are they really someone you want in your life anyway?  Which leads me to my next piece of advice…

Not everyone and everything is meant for you…and that’s ok!

With age comes the wisdom that sometimes some people and/or situations just are not meant for you.  It is ok to recognize this and walk away.  There is no shame in throwing in the towel to preserve your emotional and mental well-being.  If you’re in a toxic relationship with a person get out of it.  If the job you are in is not making you happy, find a new one. Life is far too short to remain in things or with people who are not good for your self-esteem, self-worth or just overall happiness.  You are the only one who can control if you are happy or not.  Do not look to other people or outside influences to find it.  Create your own happiness by surrounding yourself with people who are good for your soul and want the best for you.  You can’t change people so pick your battles and choose your fights wisely.  Know that for the most part what you see is what you get with people. Also know the way a person treats you is really a reflection of how they feel about themselves.  Remember that everyone is fighting a battle that you can’t see.  Be kind when you can.  Be firm when you t need to and most importantly at the end of the day if that little voice inside you is telling you that something isn’t right, LISTEN!  And finally…

Learn how to say “no” 

The old saying really is true, you can’t pour from an empty cup.  There is nothing wrong with prioritizing your wellbeing.  There is nothing selfish in admitting you are overwhelmed and can’t possibly take on one more thing.  People pleasing is in our nature, always has been.  We tend to take on more things than we can really handle because we hate to let people down.  Girl, we need to get this in check.  It is admirable to be a kind, giving person but not at the expense of yourself.  There is also nothing wrong in saying no but explaining why you are respectfully declining.  People will end up respecting you more if you stand up for yourself and voice your opinion in a respectful manner. It is my experience that unfortunately SOME people will take, take, take until you set boundaries.  Having healthy boundaries does not mean you are cold or mean or selfish, it means you know your worth, have self-respect and are able to recognize when something or someone is asking more of you than able or wanting to give.

As an older and oh so very slightly wiser version of you, I hope you take at least some of what I said in this letter to heart.  If nothing else, continue to love yourself and know that you are stronger than you probably think and more capable than you can even imagine.  Tune out all the negative energy that inevitably comes along sometimes in life and focus on continuing to grow and better yourself every chance you get.  Read as many books as you can.  Travel every chance you get.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things as often as possible.  Smile at strangers.  Most importantly live every day with a grateful heart.  There is so much to be thankful for in this life and even on days that those things seem few and far between know tomorrow is a new day and the bad days just make you stronger.  And once again please please, please, don’t forget to take care of your body, it’s the only one we get! 


Almost 40-Year Old Beth

One more thing…

If you wouldn’t  mind taking a second and voting on my poll below I would greatly appreciate it!  Your feedback on this site means the world to me so I would love to get your opinion!

Thank you as always!!


How we doing with our resolutions?

How we doing with our resolutions?

So reading that title either made you cringe or smile. According to statistics more of us cringed than smiled. Hopefully, however, we have achieved or at least are still working towards some of the goals we set for ourselves 4 months ago?!? Maybe? Ok, I’ll go first…my initial reaction was to cringe but then I took a second to think about it and realized I am not totally unhappy with how I have been holding myself accountable to my resolutions. I am actually really happy with how I am doing with my workout programs and sticking to a healthy meal-plan so that warrants a smile, right?? In other areas….not so much but there is still plenty of time left in the year! So let’s begin by focusing on the smile worthy accomplishments first…

A few weeks back I completed my second full program that was 80 days long and pretty intense!  It was a bit more mentally challenging for me than the first one I completed, LIIFT4, (and have since completed once more because I loved it so much!) so getting to the end of it made me feel even better than I could have even imagined. I think that was in part because the person I was a year ago would have probably gotten a few days into it and quit. This program pushed me out of my comfort zone and the old me would probably have thrown in the towel because it was too hard and I didn’t think I could see it through to the end. The new me said “Suck it up and get it done princess”. I like this new me…she’s kind of a badass! 😊

Doing something you think you can’t is one of the best feelings out there you guys. I was actually taken aback by just how good it felt to get to the end of that program in large part because I realized I hadn’t been proud of myself in a long, long time. I am not a crier. I just don’t cry a lot. A couple times a year maybe and usually that is when I am really tired and something happens to where I am slightly inconvenienced or I see a sad story about an animal on TV. I actually teared up when I got to Day 80 y’all. Thankfully I was alone in my living room so no one was there to see it, and I will deny it if asked, but I definitely got a little teary eyed that I had accomplished a goal that challenged me quite a bit both mentally and physically.

Completing that program did help me achieve some more of the physical goals I have been working toward but more than that it made me realize how much mentally stronger I have become over the past year. Another really cool thing that happened when I achieved this goal, was I got refocused on the other goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the year. I suddenly felt re-energized and inspired to do better in the areas that I had let slide a bit such as personal development and reading and writing more. This also got me to thinking about how to better tackle those resolutions that I may have set with the best of intentions but have since put aside as something I keep meaning to get around to doing.

Maybe if you are like me and some of your resolutions are still sitting there without a check mark next to them, it would help to rethink our approach. Sometimes I think we set out to accomplish really important things but fall short because the goals we set are too vague or lack an actual plan of attack. For instance, maybe try some of these changes:

  • Instead of saying, “I want to workout more” – Come up with a realistic number of times during the week you are willing to dedicate to a workout session. Maybe start with 2 days a week and if you can hit that number several weeks in a row, go to 3 or 4. It might also help to say you are going to work out for a specific number of minutes a day. A good place to start is 20-30 minutes a day. Each workout in the current program I am following, 21 Day Fix, is only 30 minutes and believe me I am sweating and my heart rate is up the whole time…you can burn a lot of calories in just 30 minutes if you do it right! Who doesn’t have 30 minutes a day to work on your goals?!?
  • Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight” –Try holding yourself accountable to a specific number of pounds you would like to shed over the next six months or the year or how many pounds per week you want to lose. Having a goal weight in mind makes it a more concrete aspiration and not just a nice idea.
  • Instead of saying, “I want to eat healthier” – Start with a simple swap such as bringing your lunch to work a couple days a week instead of eating out. Another idea is to pick one thing in your diet that isn’t all that healthy to give up the first couple weeks such as soda or fast food. If all goes well, find another swap to make. In my case, I cut out the twice daily sugary Starbucks drinks I was consuming every day and added the superfood shakes I swear by today. What a huge difference that one made y’all, for my health and wallet!!
  • Instead of saying, “I want to be happier/less stressed”Think of things you enjoy doing or activities that are stress-reliving for you and make a plan do them more often. For instance, I have found that attending a Pilates or Yoga class once a week really helps with my stress levels and overall happiness so I plan a day a week that I will attend a class and hold myself to it. Another idea is to try journaling or keeping a daily gratitude list. I use my Happy Planner to write down daily things I am grateful for or looking forward to and that has made a huge difference for me in terms of being happy for all the little things! 😊
  • Instead of saying, I will write more” – Again put an actual number figure to this goal. Like I mentioned earlier, this was a goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year that I haven’t felt I have lived up to. I got really busy with work, was traveling some and you know…life happened aka. Excuses. So for me to start refocusing on this goal, I am going try to write for an hour a day moving forward in hopes of posting once a week which was my original resolution. Same with reading…
  • Instead of just saying, “I am going to read more” Again put an actual time amount on this sort of goal. I have actually begun reading for an hour before I go to bed at night instead of sitting in front of the TV mindlessly scrolling through social media. I remember now how much I like reading for pleasure and am so happy to be doing it again. I have finished three books over the last couple weeks and now I look forward to this time every night as unplugged, me time. Bonus: I have found I am sleeping a little better too not having screen time right before bed!!

Qualifying and/or quantifying our resolutions and in the process making them more tangible might help us get back on track with achieving some of the ones that we have let fall to the wayside. Any time you have a goal without a plan the likelihood of failure seems a lot greater in my opinion. Keep your goals specific, attainable and well-thought out. Also, keeping yourself accountable by writing down your progress either daily, weekly or even monthly tends to be a great motivator as well as a good way to keep track of where you are in terms of achieving your goals. So let’s refocus, reenergize and crush the rest of this year y’all!! #goaldigger



Be accountable…

Be accountable…

to a friend, a trainer, a workout buddy, to yourself!  The more accountability you have to meeting your goals to more likely you are to do just that!  This seems like a pretty basic, even obvious concept but it is one that in my opinion is so important when you are both starting and all throughout a fitness journey.

Lets face it, getting and staying healthy is not an easy task.  It doesn’t happen overnight and even when you do achieve your desired goals it’s not like you can just stop training and eating right once you get there.  It is a life long commitment you are making to yourself, a wonderful one, that will hopefully enrich and prolong your life, but a commitment nonetheless.  Signing up at the gym or committing to a workout program is the first and possibly easiest step.  You know you want to get healthy.  You basically know what is going to get you there…exercising and eating right. The trick is continuing to show up.  Showing up when just don’t feel like it.  When the couch is way comfier than that recumbent bicycle seat.  When it is cold outside.  Or rainy.  Or ordering that pizza sounds like a much better idea than making that kale salad that seemed like a good option when you were at the grocery store.

This is where accountability comes in!  Sometimes you need that extra little push to get you up off the couch or to help motivate you to eat the salad over the pizza.  Accountability can come in a lot of forms.  Sometimes you can hold yourself accountable sometimes it helps to have someone else holding your hand (or dragging you kicking and screaming) to that workout.  For me it is definitely a combination of both.  I have a few ways in which I keep myself focused and a few plans for when I need that extra help.  Take a look below for some of the ways I think are useful in achieving accountability:

  • Make it Instagram official! – Or Facebook official, or start a blog or Snap Chat your progress…whatever works for you!  Sharing your journey on social media is an incredibly powerful way to hold yourself accountable.  This was one of the first things I decided to do immediately after I made the decision to get in shape.  I started my Instagram page to document my progress because I knew if I put myself out there I would be more likely not to give up…and it worked!  Not only do I feel the need to continually show up and share my journey but the support and motivation I have gotten from other users has been incredible!
  • Tech – Santa brought me an Apple Watch 4 for Christmas this year and my favorite part about it is all the ways it can help track my health and fitness.  It monitors and logs so many things from your steps, to calories burned, heart rate, workout goals, flights of stairs climbed and even tells you when you need to stand up if you have been sitting too long!  It goes a step further with motivation by awarding badges if you meet your fitness/movement goals throughout the week which I really like.  I have found this extra accountability to be a great motivator and a fun way to keep an even more detailed eye on my progress. There are a lot of great options for wearable fitness trackers from FitBit, Garmin and the really cool Motiv Rings.  Do some research and find the one that best fits your needs! ⌚
  • Planner/Journal Writing – Although the tech is fun, I am still old-fashioned and like to put pen to paper.  This is why I also am a big fan of writing down my health and fitness goals.  I love love love my Happy Planner (https://www.thehappyplanner.com) which is what I have been using since I started on my own journey last year.  This particular planner combines the best of both worlds, planning and journaling, in one book that I myself use every single day.  I record my workouts in it along with my goals for the week and month ahead.  I go a step further too and get cute little stickers to mark special occasions or important dates which helps to make the whole process of getting and staying healthy more fun! 📝😜
  • Join a Group – This is a great way to meet like-minded people who are striving for the same things you are!  This could be a neighborhood group, an on-line workout group (I belong to one of these through the program I am doing and having scheduled workouts with a team is a great way to make sure you stick to your goals!), or even just a group of your friends or co-workers who want to make getting and staying healthy a priority just like you do.  When one person in the group isn’t feeling it, the other ones are there to help them push through.  In my experience, the hardest part of a workout is just standing up and getting ready to do it!
  • Create a Group –  If you can’t find an already established group to jump into, why not create and lead your own??  I did this as well with a few of my friends who saw all the positive changes I was making for myself and wanted to join in!  What’s great about this is being responsible for other people’s health and fitness only makes me more accountable to my own.  I feel like I need to lead by example now and not let them down!  Talk about accountability! I am loving every minute of helping others though and sharing the passion I have found for this lifestyle.  👩‍🏫
  • Sign up for classes  –  Sometimes accountability can be as simple as just finding a class you think might be fun and signing up!  Along with the workout program I follow, I also make it a point to sign up and make it to at least one yoga or Pilates class a week.  Signing up and putting it on my calendar makes it more likely that I will go and I love the variety it introduces to my weekly routine.  As I have discussed in previous blogs, variety is so important to staying on track and not getting bored with my workouts plus an hour of zen a week and is soooo good for my life and everyone in it! 🙏
  • Sign up for races/events – I’ve spoken about this one before as well, but I can’t stress enough how great having a deadline to work towards is for holding yourself accountable.  I usually do these races with friends as well so that adds a level of competition (I am extremely competitive by nature- probably too competitive 😮) to them that only makes me want to train harder and more frequently.  5k’s, Color Runs, Tough Mudders, Terrain Races, Half Marathons…there are so many great ways to get out there and be active and a lot of them are to benefit charities which is the best part!  🏁

After you make that all important first decision to get healthy, find a way(S) to hold yourself to it!  Just like one size does not fit all when it comes to working out or what meal plan works best for your body,  how you choose to hold yourself accountable is unique to you.  No matter how you go about it, though,  finding ways to overcome the excuses and show up is what’s important!  Below are a few pics of the ways I practice accountability from my list above…