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!



What makes this time different?

What makes this time different?

In asking that question,  I am trying to get to the bottom of why I have been able to make a meaningful lifestyle change that has enabled me to reach my health and fitness goals this time around when all the other times I previously attempted it, I failed quickly and spectacularly?  Why am I so motivated to stick with it this time? Why have I been able to commit to and complete 5 different but equally challenging workout programs over the last two years?  Why am I able to continue to pick that steamed vegetable side over the side of fries (most of the time 😊) that I used to order or to choose to take the stairs over the elevator every time that is possible?  And most of all, why am I enjoying the process so, so much these days that I can’t even imagine ever going back to the way I was living?

In order to answer those questions properly, we need to back it up.  I mean wayyyy up.  Like back to the beginning of my story when smart phones weren’t a thing, we had to look at paper maps to figure out how to get somewhere new, and the closest thing to Google we had was the card catalog at our local library.  Man, those were the days.  Also, yes I am that old.  But anyway, having put some thought into this whole question of why this time has been different, I realized that back when I was growing up is really the last time up until now that I can remember genuinely enjoying being active and healthy.   I played sports from day one pretty much.  I learned to swim before I could walk and was in the pool on a swim team my entire childhood.  On top of that, I played basketball, softball, ran cross country, and even played a bit of soccer all throughout elementary, middle and high school.  And I loved every minute of it.  I loved getting up at 4am to get in the pool for practice before school.  I loved the 7am swim meets on Saturday’s even though a lot of the time the water was absolutely freezing.  I loved practicing every day after school. I loved practicing on the weekends with my dad. I loved competing, not only as part of a team but against myself.

While I am no longer competing to win a blue ribbon at a swim meet, or practicing my little ass off to get that starting point guard post on the varsity team, I am competing against myself every single day to be better than I was the day before. That competitive spark is back in me and more than anything these days I don’t want to let myself down.  Even back when I was growing up, it’s not that I liked to beat other people so much as I like to prove things to myself.  I like to work as hard as I possibly can and see the fruits of my labor being realized.  I like to push myself further than I thought I could go to prove to I am capable of doing hard things.  But that competitive spark didn’t just randomly decide to reignite because let me tell you before this last time, I tried and failed many, many times to get and stay healthy and in shape.

After my teenage years when I went off to college and beyond there were suddenly no more teams to join.  No more teammates relying on me to get up early and get my ass in the pool.  No more medals to win or PR’s to break.  This is when the struggle became real. This is when the fun stopped.  My weight fluctuated.  I tried starvation diets.  I tried endless hours of cardio.  Then I would get frustrated, swing the other way, and eat anything I wanted without setting foot inside a gym for months at a time.  There were times I was so thin it was scary and there were times I was much heavier than I wanted to be, and let me tell you, neither one of those versions of myself were healthy.  Two years ago, that all changed.  I finally had enough of the yo-yoing. I wanted to lose ten pounds, get my mental health under control and make a real, lasting lifestyle change. I knew it would be different this time because I wasn’t giving myself the option of failing.  I even remember exactly where I was when I made this commitment to myself.  Crazy the things we remember in life, huh?

That day started about a 6-month long process of doing exactly what I had done in my previous attempts to lose weight which was pretty much not eating a lot and finding the closest treadmill and making it my best friend.  Can anyone guess what happened next?  If you said I almost threw in the towel because the process was tedious and not sustainable you would be 100% correct.  But this time I had real motivation on my side so instead of giving up I doubled down.  I knew I needed to shift the way I was eating and working out to find a long-term solution, not a short-term fix.  So what did I do?  Well, it was a combination of a few things that I want to share below just in case someone out there is reading this and is on the verge of giving up and/or debating if it’s even worth starting again.  Just keep reading a few minutes longer and maybe some of the mindset shifts I made this time around will help you as well:

I found the fun again!

Like I talked about above, wayyy back in the day, exercising and being healthy was fun for me. I knew I needed to find that enjoyment again if I had any chance of achieving my goals for long term success.  I found that fun in the at-home workout programs that have changed my life!  I credit these programs with a large part of the success that I have had over the past two years because they are challenging in way that I can’t even describe but also so much fun to do!  There is also a ton of variety….everything from yoga, to Pilates, weightlifting, HIIT, tai chi, cardio, boxing, Plyo, you name it and I would be willing to bet you can find it on this workout platform.  I was the biggest skeptic going into this you guys.  I thought no way am I going to be able to achieve my goals, let alone enjoy working out from my living room! I also knew, however, that what I had been doing wasn’t working and I was rapidly headed for yet another failed attempt so really, what did I have to lose?  Not to mention several of my friends, family members and even two co-workers of mine swore by these programs, so I signed up, pressed play, and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself!  These programs are also keeping me sane right now in the midst of all the craziness going on around us!  I have not missed a beat with my health and fitness goals because I am able to do these workouts at home.  In case you are interested, I will link my top three favorite programs I have done so far as well as where you can you find the free trial of ten of the latest workouts below:

Click to access FREE_BOD_Workouts_Int_20200319.pdf

I realized it was a combination of eating right and exercising. 

You really can’t have one without the other when you are trying to get healthy.   You can read a little more about this in a post I wrote a while back called, It Takes Two…, but the gist is nutrition and fitness go hand in hand.  If you are looking to create a meaningful lifestyle change you have to be consistent with your workouts and on top of what you are eating.  My genius idea in my previous attempts to get skinny was to eat as little as possible.  Like I am talking a handful of crackers a day, which most days would be just enough to keep me from passing out.  I literally cringe when I think how dumb, and not to mention, reckless I was back then.  I realized this time around it wasn’t at all about getting skinny.  It was about getting healthy.  Now every meal I eat I try to do so with intention and the purpose of fueling body with the nutrients it needs not only to be healthy but to maximize the efforts I am putting in with my workouts.  The more I move, the more I need to eat.  I see food as an ally now.  I use it to help me feel and look my best and most importantly I finally have a healthy relationship with food these days.  I don’t weigh myself at all.  I eat when I am hungry and I stop when I’m full.  My energy levels are up, my sleep quality is a ton better, my anxiety is all but gone and as a bonus my pants fit well which goes a long way in assuring me that my fitness and nutrition are both on point!

I educated myself.

And still am! I put away the mentality that I knew everything I needed to know about how to get my butt in shape and I started researching.  And I continue to do it to this day.  There is so much information out there about living a healthy lifestyle I will probably never be able to absorb even a fraction of it but I try to learn something new every day.  These days I am mostly working on learning about nutrition because that is my weaker point.  The workout programs I follow take the guesswork out of how to get in shape, how to lift properly, how to maximize your efforts, etc. so my focus is now on learning how to fuel my body properly. Currently, I am trying to educate myself about macros because I don’t think I am eating enough protein to achieve the next goals on my list. The point is I humbled myself enough to ask questions and most importantly to challenge my assumptions.  A perfect example of this is I swore by endless hours of cardio for weight loss until I discovered from listening to other people and doing my own research how amazing weightlifting is to shed those unwanted pounds and get leaner.  Take your health into your own hands you guys and invest time into learning how to properly manage it.   Read articles, study what other people who have been successful are doing, get to know your body and body type, have clear goals and make a plan about how to achieve them in a smart, safe and healthy manner.

I was patient.

I stuck with it long enough this time that I got over that hurdle of wanting to quit and started to see change happening. I quickly realized that a fatal flaw of mine in the last several go arounds was I was looking for a quick fix, not a long-term solution. This lesson was probably the hardest one on this for me to get through my thick skull as I am not a patient person by nature, but I knew from all my failure before that I had to become one.  I finally recognized that meaningful change was not going to happen overnight, but it would happen if I showed up every day for myself and put the effort in. I continued to work on my goals even on the days and sometimes weeks that I didn’t see any progress being made because even though I couldn’t see the changes happening, I could feel them. I actually think I noticed the change in my mental and emotional health long before I saw any weight fall off or muscles start to form.  Just feeling better, happier, and more calm gave me all the incentive I needed to keep going.  Eventually the weight started to come off and I could see the outward changes as well.  While it feels like I woke up one day and suddenly saw all my hard work starting to pay off, in reality it was happening from day one.  You guys, this is a slow process, especially in the beginning but quitting won’t make it happen any faster!  Stick with it, find enjoyment in the process and just know changes are happening each and every day.

All of that being said, I don’t what you to think that I wake up every single day feeling like I want to go run a marathon or lift weights until I can’t move anymore.  And I sure as heck don’t wake up every morning being thankful that I am going to walk into my kitchen and find my superfood protein powder instead of donuts, but the majority of the time I really enjoy the process of living a healthy lifestyle these days.   I have found the fun again and my competitive nature is back in full effect.   I am motivated to keep going so as not to let myself down.  And what’s more, is even on the days my motivation isn’t there, my dedication still is.  I am dedicated to maintaining the results I have gotten thus far and building on them to achieve bigger and better goals.  I have put in a lot of hard work to get where I have over the last several years and I have no plans on letting up. And my experiences in getting to this point are also why I am here today, and why I started this blog. I think so many other people out there have been where I have been.  Where we start, stop, start, stop and start and stop workouts or diets or a combination of both over and over and over again until we are so frustrated we end up not even starting anymore.  Break that cycle and stick with it you guys please!!   Write out your goals, post them somewhere you have to look at them every day and make a conscious decision that nothing will get in your way of achieving them!  And guys, make it fun because life is entirely too serious otherwise!

Hope you all are staying safe and healthy!!!





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!



A few small nutritional reminders to keep our bodies happy & healthy in the New Year…

A few small nutritional reminders to keep our bodies happy & healthy in the New Year…

Happy New Year to all of you beautiful people out there!  How is 2020 going so far for you?  Did you make resolutions for the next twelve months?  Have you started working on them already?  In setting my own intentions for this year I think it is always a worthwhile exercise to look back and see where my strengths and weaknesses were in achieving my goals over the past couple years.  My strengths I believe are in my commitment. I have all the desire in the world to be the healthiest version of myself and all the enthusiasm to work as hard as I need to in order to achieve that goal.  I think one of my biggest weaknesses, however, is that sometimes I get overly enthusiastic! I tend to set really big, lofty goals and end up making drastic changes to my everyday life in order to achieve said goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. While this may seem like a good idea that is surely laced with all of the best intentions, if I have learned anything over the past couple years it’s that making drastic changes in any part of our lives usually doesn’t set us up for success.  I think to truly be successful in making a permanent change, the best way to go about it is by taking baby steps.  Make a few small changes at first and then build on those until you reach the end goal and that goal has become your lifestyle.

One of my primary intentions for the new year is to really work on my nutrition.  I have come a long way in this department but still feel between fitness/working out and what I am eating, the eating part is where I still need the most improvement.  So I wanted to write this post today to remind both myself and maybe some of you out there about some basic nutrition information that could possibly help us in achieving our health goals this year.  In no particular order, see below for my top 5 nutrition recommendations:

Eat More Fiber –

Fiber is so important to our overall health, but I feel like sometimes it is overlooked as something we need to make sure we are getting enough of. According to the American Heart Association, we should be getting about 25 grams of fiber per day (based on a 2000 calorie diet).  Why is this so important? Well fiber does some amazing stuff for our overall health in addition to what most people think of when they think of fiber…which is moving waste through our digestive tracks and out of our bodies.  Fiber also helps to control and even improve blood sugar levels, controls weight, can reduce heart disease, lower cholesterol and even fight some cancers!  And again, these are just a few of its benefits.  One of my favorite benefits is that it also is very good at reducing inflammation…which for someone with an autoimmune disease that revolves around inflammation is super important!  So what are the best sources to hit our 25 grams of fiber a day?  See below for some of the best sources of fiber:

    • Whole Grains
    • Nuts
    • Legumes
    • Oats
    • Green Peas
    • Squash
    • Avocados & Artichokes
    • Fruit – especially raspberries, blueberries, pears and grapefruit

Choose the Right Fats – Not all fats are bad!  

In fact, our bodies actually need some fats in order to perform at optimal levels. That’s right, we need to eat some fat!  Omega-3’s in particular are a great example of a fat that is super healthy for us to consume.  They are extremely heart healthy, they help to reduce inflammation, can regulate both blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can even prevent and/or fight some autoimmune diseases…..just to name a few benefits!   Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are two more examples of beneficial fats.  They both fight high cholesterol by reducing your LDL levels, also known as the bad for you type of cholesterol (for more on cholesterol check out my post, “A little about cholesterol”) as well as helping give our cells energy, regulating our hormones and even helping with the absorption of some nutrients.  So where can we get these good fats from?  The following foods are great sources of them:

    • Olive Oil – the Extra Virgin kind is the best
    • Nuts, yep even Peanut Butter!
    • Seeds – Think Chia & Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds & Sunflower Seeds and even Sesame Seeds
    • Avocado – where my guac lovers?
    • Coconut Oil – I use this to cook with pretty regularly. It is great to use to line your pan with when sautéing veggies
    • Fish – Very high in Omega- 3’s especially the fatty fishes like salmon, albacore tuna, herring and mackerel

The fats we want to stay away from are the trans fats.  These can typically be found in the processed foods that are all over our grocery stores and more specifically in baked goods.  These fats are very bad for both heart health and your weight as they contribute to heart disease as well as diabetes.  Do yourself and your body a favor and severely limit your intake of these fats if not avoid them at all costs!

Load Up On Veggies – 

Seems like a pretty obvious one but if we are honest with ourselves, how often are we actually incorporating this food group into our meals? Hopefully the answer is all the time, but if it’s not here’s why you should make more of an effort to do so this year.  Most veggies are:

    • Rich in vitamins and antioxidants which fight illness and diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases
    • Are low in both fat and calorie content
    • Help with keeping blood pressure low due to being high in potassium
    • Many are full of fiber, which as explained above, is very important for overall health
    • High in water content which is another great way to stay hydrated

And these are just a few of the reason’s veggies are our friends!  According to the National Institutes of Health, we should be striving to eat 2-3 cups of vegetables a day.  And these days there are so many ways to incorporate them into your daily meal plan other than having to eat a salad every single day!  I am a really big fan or butternut squash.  Throw one in the oven and top it with your favorite sauce and it’s just like eating a really healthy version of your favorite angel hair pasta, only so much better for you!  Cauliflower is having a moment now too!  This is another really nutritious vegetable that now is being used to make pizza crusts, “chicken” nuggets, cauliflower rice and even cauliflower steaks!  I love a good cauliflower crust pizza topped with some extra veggies like peppers and mushrooms and light sprinkling of cheese for dinner.  It’s like being able to indulge in your guilty pleasure with none of the guilt!

Protein is not just for building muscle – include it in every meal!  

Protein is not just for body builders or people who are in the gym 7 days a week. We all need to be eating enough of it for a variety of health reasons, such as it:

    • Supports Immune System
    • Keeps Blood Sugar Levels Stable
    • Good for your bones
    • Helps fight fatigue
    • Ok yes, does help build muscles by repairing and rebuilding our cells

Just be careful you are choosing the right kind of protein.  A good tip here is to swap out processed meats for lean meats.  Think less hot dogs, lunch meats, and even, I’m sorry for all my bacon lovers out there, less bacon.  Instead choose items like canned tuna and skinless chicken or turkey. Salmon is also a great goto, just try to choose the wild caught, not farm raised.  I personally have even gone one step further and for the most part these days only eat plant-based protein in an effort to lower my cholesterol without the use of prescription drugs.  I load up on things like lentils, legumes, protein-rich veggies like broccoli and spinach and of course my favorite the chickpea.  There are also a lot of great plant-based meat substitutes that have hit the market recently…just make sure you are including protein in every meal right along with your veggies.

Less Soda, More Water – 

Well honestly less sugary drinks period. That includes fruit juices, sugary sports drinks, and yes even those super fancy, super delicious latte macchiatos I was once addicted to and especially love….they gotta go!  I was never a soda drinker, and actually do enjoy drinking water which I know sounds kinda weird but I had to make a big effort in reducing the sugary, high-calorie coffee drinks that I really had become addicted to.  Whether it be the Frappuccinos, sugary iced-teas, the couple cans of soda a day you find yourself downing or even the couple glasses of fruit juice you drink because it is made with fruit so it has to be healthy…these things are packing on the pounds or at the very least preventing you from losing them.  They are filled with sugar which besides the weight gain can also lead to health problems such as:

    • Diabetes
    • Calcium Depletion in your Bones
    • Headaches
    • Higher Blood Pressure
    • Kidney Damage
    • Even some cancers

Enough reasons to put done the sugary drinks, I think so!  Make your body happy, healthy and running like a well-oiled machine with those 8 glasses of water a day and I promise you not only see but also feel the difference!  I would be willing to bet your energy levels will go up, your weight will probably come down a bit and your skin might even start to glow a little brighter!  If you want a little more in depth information on why water is so important to our health as well as exactly how much you should be drinking check out my post….”Drink Up!  H20 that is…”.

There are obviously a million other things I could bring up when it comes to nutrition but always keep in mind that everyone is different and every body is different. We all may need slightly different things when it comes to our daily intake of vitamins and nutrients, but I think the above list is a good overall reminder of what we should and should not be consuming.  I myself am also going to be working on preparing more of my own food at home, having something with me at all times so I never get overly hungry and just enjoying the process of eating.  Food should be a friend and ally to us you guys.  It can do wonderful things for our bodies and overall health and with just a little bit of thought and planning we can both enjoy what we are eating as well as get the most out of it to maintain optimal health.  I heard someone the other day say, “Every time you eat something you are either feeding or starving disease” and I couldn’t agree with that more!  Let’s make this year that we value our bodies enough to only feed it good, wholesome ingredients and watch how it responds with all the energy, gratitude and healthy days in return! 😊



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!!



What’s holding you back??

What’s holding you back??

We have roughly 90 days left in this year you guys.  Better yet, we have roughly 90 days left in this decade!!!  Let that sink in for a minute.  We are in the home stretch of this entire decade!  Can’t think of a better time to check in with ourselves and assess how we are we doing with those resolutions we set ten months ago.  So how are you all doing?  Are you happy with your progress? Are you where you thought you would be at this point in the year?  Have you met or are you on track to meeting your goals for 2019?  If you honestly ask yourself these questions and you are happy and on track then yay great and congrats!  If you ask yourself these questions and you are not so thrilled about your progress or maybe didn’t even really get started but still want to, it isn’t too late!  It’s never too late!

So this post is for all my cyber-friends out there who find themselves where I was almost two years ago. Towards the end of 2017 I knew I had let myself down.  I wasn’t working out.  I wasn’t eating properly.  My physical and mental health & well-being were pretty close to the level of dumpster fires.  I knew I needed to make changes and make them like yesterday but I just wasn’t sure I was capable.  For me it was a combination of feeling like I didn’t have enough time, not wanting to spend the money on a gym membership I may or may not end up using and just feeling like the task ahead of me was too daunting to even know where to begin.   Another big part of my hesitation at the time was the bad experiences I had in the past with both attempting and quickly failing at sustaining a healthier lifestyle, not to mention utterly hating the process along the way to that inevitable failure.

The reasons (aka excuses) I had back then are probably very similar to the excuses a lot of people out there have who also find themselves knowing they should make an effort to live a healthier lifestyle but are not really sure they are willing or able to do so.  I am here today to tell you, JUST DO IT!  Stop thinking about it, stop putting it off and just commit!  It was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself and one I would make again in a heartbeat much, much sooner if I had a magical time machine at my disposal.  So today I wanted to breakdown some of the most frequently heard excuses people have for not getting healthy and how I myself got over them and just started to do the damn thing!  Let’s start with the ever popular….”I just don’t have the time”…


This was a big one for me in the beginning as I am sure it is for a lot of folks. I actually think the “I don’t have the time” excuse is probably the one I most frequently hear from people when discussing what is holding them back from achieving their health and fitness goals.  Look, I know we are all super busy like all the time, day in and day out but you can’t tell me you don’t have 30 minutes somewhere in your day to be a little more active.  Do you find 30 minutes in your day to watch that TV show you are currently obsessed with?  Or do you find yourself spending 30 minutes at some point in the day scrolling through countless social media posts to make sure you don’t miss out on something happening in someone else’s life?    Be honest with me now….and more importantly with yourself!

When I started on my own journey to get healthier I was commuting two hours each way to my day job and then working 3 nights a week at a second job just to pay my bills and put a little away to buy my first house.  So when I decided I was fed up with myself and made the decision to get healthier I sat down and thought long and hard about how to make it work.  My solution was to commit to using my lunch hour to get my 30 minutes in.  Maybe for you, you can spare an extra 30 minutes in the morning to workout before your get you day started or find time in the evenings where you watch one less show before going to bed and instead take a walk around your neighborhood.  I started my own journey at a point in my life when I was exhausted all the time, stressed out, overworked and really didn’t think I had it in me to incorporate one more obligation/activity into my schedule but I also knew that I desperately needed to get more active and I was never going to get less busy.  The point is the time is there guys, just take a serious, honest look at how you are spending your waking hours and make a few minor adjustments.  You and your health are so so worth it!  And you can always DVR that show and binge on it over the weekend!  😊


This is probably the second most commonly given reason I hear from people when they are explaining what is holding them back.  Like I mentioned above, money back then for me was tight as it is for so many of us.  I researched joining a few different gyms but the thought of adding an extra bill to my monthly expenditures was enough to make me break out in a cold sweat, not to mention the initiation fees that I just couldn’t afford at the time.  So like the time constraint issue, I sat down with myself and came up with a plan.  For me what worked at the time was taking advantage of the many walking paths around my office when the weather was nice in combination with using the free gym we have at our disposal where I work.  These two options were very helpful to me when I was getting started and then about 6 months in I found the workout programs I use now which cost only $99 for the entire year and give me access to over 700+ workouts I can stream from anywhere at anytime.  This option was also appealing to me because I travel a lot for work so I can just pop open my laptop in my hotel room and get a workout in even while I am traveling.

I also had to be really honest with myself about where I was spending the money I did have. I realized I was basically throwing money away with my twice daily trips to Starbucks and countless doctors bills I had racked up from not taking care of myself for so long.   I sat down and calculated how much money I was spending on things that weren’t really necessary and realized if I just made some minor adjustments, I would have plenty to spare on the really important things in life like my health!  I started making my own coffee at home, packing my own lunches instead of eating out every day (which also helped my waist line) and before I knew it I was actually able to put money into savings every month.  And as the months went by and my health vastly improved the trips to the doctor and expensive prescription all but ceased. You guys, if you think getting healthy is expensive, trust me when I tell you it is far more expensive to be sick!

Don’t know how or where to start?

The main reason I started this blog is I wanted to try to help other people out there skip right on over some of the mistakes I made in the beginning of my own journey and see results faster and in a more efficient manner than I had. While I had all the motivation and the best of intentions once I committed to my own journey,  I didn’t do a whole lot of research into the best ways to go about it.  I dove right back into thinking endless cardio workouts would be the answer to all my health and weight issues and proceeded to very quickly get bored and disillusioned when I wasn’t seeing results like I expected to.  About six months into my journey I knew I needed to make a change so I started doing some research on-line. I read blogs like this one. I researched different methods of working out.  I followed personal trainers on their social media pages for ideas and inspiration. And what I quickly found out that was that I needed to incorporate strength training into my routine.  I started hitting the weights and while I very rapidly fell in love with lifting I also very quickly injured myself because I didn’t know anything about form or the proper way to go about it.  Again, this is where the workout programs I currently use came in which showed me proper form, the best ways to structure a weight-training routine and taught me the most effective moves to achieve my goals.

There are plenty of resources out there to help with this process.  Just do a little research and find what works for you, not only for your body but what will keep you engaged and motivated, aka not bored!  Whether it be consulting a nutritionist, scheduling a few sessions with a personal trainer, trying different types of workouts, or finding a workout program like I did that pretty much takes all the guess work out of getting in shape, there are a lot of options out there to help you get educated and chose the right plan for you.  Just make sure you do some research before just jumping in.  Also a really good idea (like I have mentioned in previous posts) is to get a physical from your doctor before you start any exercise program!!

Don’t think you can do it?  Stay committed? Have the motivation?

If you are thinking about failing before you even start, you might have already sealed your fate. I am a firm believer that whatever you believe will happen.  If you believe you will fail, most likely you will fail.  If you believe you will succeed, you already have!  You have to find what motivates you. And that is different for everyone.  But at the end of the day, motivation comes from within you.  No matter how much a trainer, or a friend or family member or even me tells you how important it is to get fit and live a healthy lifestyle, you have to want it for yourself.  Start by setting small, very attainable goals and build on them slowly but surely.  Maybe find an accountability partner or a workout buddy that can hold you to your workouts. If you need one I am always here!

Very early on in my journey I signed myself up (and dragged along a few very reluctant friends) for a couple of 5k races and mud runs. That gave me clear goals to work for and also a deadline to meet so I had to keep up on my training in order to be prepared.  I also right from the start took pictures of myself every single time I completed a workout.  For me, being able to see the results start to happen with before and after pictures was hugely motivating for me.  I still do this to this day and the pictures I have now compared to when I first started working out and eating better are staggering!  I love seeing how my hard work has paid off and I am only motivated more me to keep reaching for even bigger and better body goals when I see the progress I have made.  Maybe for you what works is telling yourself if you workout consistently for a month straight you will buy yourself a new pair of fancy workouts shoes or those jeans you have been eyeing that will probably fit better than ever now!  Whatever it is, whatever motivates you put some thought into it, formulate a plan and get working towards it.  The sooner and more consistently you put one foot in front of the other the more quickly you will start seeing results and reaching your goals!

Whatever is holding you back, whether it be one of the reasons above, a few of the reasons above or something else entirely,  it is time to really sit down with yourself and find a way to, well, to get out of your own way!  There is no more important project to work on then yourself  and while I am not going to tell you is that it will always be easy or super enjoyable I will tell you that it will be more than worth it!  YOU are more than worth it!  You deserve to live the happiest, healthiest and most enjoyable life you can but you have to want it badly enough for yourself that you continue to show up even when you don’t want to.  There will be days it won’t be easy.  There will be days that you just don’t feel like it.  There will be days when it will be a struggle to find the time but do not wait to place value on your health only after you have gotten sick or neglected it so much you have no choice but to pay attention to it.  Take your health and well being into your own hands now and make yourself the priority.  And hey, just like me, you may even fall in love with the process along the way!

Happy Friday y’all…have a great weekend!



P.S. – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take a second to take my poll down below.  I want to make this blog what you guys want it to be!  Thank you again for all the support…it means the world to me! 😊



I love to sleep y’all!  And the older I get the more I realize how much a good night’s sleep can cure.  But sleep and I haven’t always been the best of friends.  For years I struggled with bouts of insomnia. There would be months on end where I would only be able to get a few hours of sleep a night.  First it was I couldn’t fall asleep.  Then I would fall asleep but wake up like a gazillion times during the night.  Ugh, there are very few things more frustrating than laying in bed and staring at the ceiling for hours and hours just wishing you could fall asleep.  But these days my insomnia is a thing of the past (**knocking on wood**).  Like just about everything else in my life, my sleep has improved dramatically since I started taking better care of myself.  I generally fall asleep very quickly now, I rarely wake up in the middle of the night anymore and I usually get the solid 7ish or so hours a night that I need to not feel like a walking zombie the following day.  Sleep is sometimes a part of your health and fitness journey that gets overlooked or not given a high enough priority,  so I wanted to talk a little bit about it today because it really is so, so important to your over all well-being! Let’s start with the basics:

How much sleep exactly do we need?

Well like most things’ health and fitness related, the exact number varies from person to person.  Some people can function with less, some need more but generally adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.  Adults in this case are healthy individuals between the ages of 18-64.  See below for a full breakdown of sleep needs by age:

Sleep Chart

Why is it so important for good health?

So, so many reasons you guys!  I mean we all know how much better we feel, how much more alert and energetic we are after a good night sleep but that is only the tip of the iceberg when talking about how beneficial good quality sleep is for us.   Below are some of the major impacts sleep has on our bodies:

  • Cardiovascular Health: Lack of good quality sleep has been shown to raise blood pressure which puts you at risk for things like heart attacks, heart disease and strokes.  Even otherwise healthy people who do not smoke and aren’t overweight are more at risk for cardiovascular issues if they aren’t getting enough sleep. The more sleep you get the more rest you give your heart muscles and blood vessels, both of whom work hard for you day in and day out!
  • Reduces Inflammation: This is a big one for me because I suffer from Ulcerative Colitis so getting enough sleep to make sure my UC stays in remission is key.  Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in both inflammation and cell damage which can cause, exacerbate and/or prolong a lot of really undesirable diseases such as IBS, Crohns, UC , diabetes and even some cancers.
  • Reduces Stress & Anxiety: Getting a good night’s sleep is a great mood booster don’t ya think!  Getting the proper amount each night has been shown to ward off things like depression and anxiety disorders.  An interesting way this happens is while you sleep your brain is actually processing your emotions which in turn trains you to react the right way when you are awake.  This training helps ward off the blues and just makes us easier, happier, more well-adjusted humans to be around. 😊
  • Improves Concentration, Attention Span and in turn Productivity: We all know how tough it is to get through even the most routine of tasks when we haven’t slept well or enough but there is actual science as to why.  The more sleep we get the more able we are to not only intake but store new information, aka. learn new things!  Just as our brains are processing our emotions while we sleep, so too are they processing all the things we learned during the day.  The more sleep, the more knowledge is processed, stored and in turn available for use long-term, practical use.
  • Helps promote healthy weight and muscle building: While we are sleeping our bodies are hard at work repairing themselves. Sleep gives us the chance to basically reap the rewards of all the hard work we are putting in during the day with our fitness routines by giving our muscles a chance to repair and rebuild themselves bigger and stronger than they previously were.  Sleep also fights away the hormone cortisol which is largely responsible for how much water we retain as well as our fat burning ability.   I feel like I also have to throw in here that the more rested we are the better quality our workouts are gonna be in the first place which obviously leads to more calories burned and better overall results!

Tips for Better Sleep:

So now that we know how important sleep is to so many difference aspects of our health, how can we help ourselves get the sleep we so desperately need?  Well here are a few tips I have come across which have really helped me!

  • Unplug! – Studies have shown that staring at your phone or computer screen right before bed can actually trick your brain into being more alert due to being triggered by the bright lights coming off the screen. It in essence wakes up your brain instead of allowing it to wind down in preparation for sleep mode.  You want to cut out screen time at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.  One thing I have started to do is read for about 30-60 minute before bedtime.  It’s a double win for me because one of my goals was to read more/watch less this year and reading tends to make me tired anyway so I end up falling asleep quicker!
  • Along with putting electronic devices down, don’t watch TV in your bed – You want to condition your brain to think of the bed and bedroom as a place for sleep and that’s it.  Your bed shouldn’t be a place for entertainment (I mean, at least not like movie watching/Netflix binging entertainment if you get my drift).  It should be a place your brain associates with sleep and that’s it.
  • Limit caffeine to morning/early afternoon One of the big things I did about a year ago to help with my sleeping issues was I stopped drinking caffeinated beverages after about noon.  I was religiously having a second and even third coffee of the day way past 2pm and I think it was contributing to me not being able to fall asleep come nighttime. You also want to limit nicotine usages before bed and even alcohol intake as well.  While alcohol is a depressant it has actually been shown to contribute to restless and poor-quality sleep later in the night.  You might pass out quickly after one, two or five drinks but trust me you are not getting good, solid sleep!
  • Stick to a regular schedule as much as possible That is go to bed at the same time every night and get up in the morning at the same when at all possible.  The more regular your sleep cycle is the more conditioned your brain and body will become to falling asleep at a regular time and getting up hopefully 7-9 hours later hopefully fully recharged.  For me, I even make it a point to wake up generally at the same time on the weekends as I do during the week so that I can maintain a consistent sleep schedule.  It makes getting up on Monday that much easier (well as easy as it can be to get up on a Monday!).
  • Take a hot shower/bath right before bed This is another tip I started implementing on a regular basis that has really helped me fall asleep much quicker.  When you take a hot shower/bath right before bed you are raising your body temperature.  With your temperature being raised, your brain thinks you are getting ready to slow down and basically hibernate for the night.  Plus it saves me time in the morning as well so I can sleep just a little bit later!

The moral of this story (post) is that sleep is an integral part of achieving and maintaining good health.  So often I think people don’t prioritize it enough when it comes to losing weight and getting fit.  A huge recommendation of mine is if you are doing all the other things right, watching what you are eating, working out consistently, but still not losing weight, is to examine you sleep patterns.  With so many benefits far beyond just feeling refreshed and well-rested, sleep is not something to skimp on.  Everything from your heart health, to preforming better at work, to fighting off the common cold, to battling life-threatening diseases can be made better if you are consistently getting those 7-9 hours of sleep a night. So put down your phones, make your bedrooms a sleep sanctuary and get in your zzzz’s each and every night!  Your body and mind will both thank you!!

Also, if you guys don’t mind taking a quick sec and taking the survey below, I would really love to get your feedback on what you would like to see more of on this site.  Your opinions is super important to me and I would love to hear from you!  Thank you!!!




The secret to losing weight and getting healthy is…

The secret to losing weight and getting healthy is…

JUST STAND UP!  Ok, I just heard you roll your eyes but stay with me here!! The good news is losing weight and getting healthy isn’t all that complicated.  You really just need to burn more calories than you are taking in and make sure that you are taking in calories that nourish your body and help it to thrive.  The not so good news, you have to do this like a lot.  Not just once a year around January 1st. Not for a few weeks before your beach vacation rolls around.  Not when the latest fad diet comes out and you go all in for like a month.  Your results will depend on what you do the majority of the time, day in and day out, consistently. Period.  End of story. This goes for both working out and eating healthy.

But before we can become consistent with either of those two things we just have to start.  And to stand up and take that first step I really recommend you have a solid reason to do so or a “why”.  My “why” was I found myself ten pounds heavier than I had been ever in my life about two years ago.  I was uncomfortable in my own skin.  I was chronically sick with sinus infections, colds, flus, you name it.  I was missing work. I was eating like crap, hardly ever working out and I think most debilitating of all was my anxiety was through the roof.  I went from having maybe a few panic attacks a year to having a few every single week!!  My “why” started out with just wanting to lose the weight but it very quickly morphed into wanting to be as strong and healthy physically and mentally as possible.

So why is the “why” so important?  Because without it the motivation to stick to our guns and go after our goals when the struggle gets really real isn’t there.  As much as I have grown to love working out and eating right, I still struggle on some days to find the motivation to do so.  Sometimes I would much rather sit on the couch and binge on Friends reruns than pick up those weights and press play. And for sure there are a lot of days I would much rather eat that extra-large sundae with all the toppings instead of my small cup of plain fro-yo.  On days when my motivation is pretty low I always think back to my “why”. I think about the person I was two years ago. How crappy I felt all the time.  How out of control of my own life I felt.  How I wasn’t happy with myself at all.  It really was a dark period in my life and these days when working out and/or eating right is the last thing I want to do all I have to do is think back to how I felt two years ago and my butt gets right off the couch and in motion because I don’t ever want to be that person again!

No matter what your “why” is once you have found it the first step to achieving your goals is simply to just stand up.  Decide. Commit. Don’t look back!  If you are at home, get up off the couch and move around for 30 minutes.  Take a walk, clean your room, bust out some crunches while you are watching you favorite TV show.  If you are at work, same thing.  Take a 30-minute walk at lunch time.  Get up and stretch every hour. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Just start moving!  Being active for even just 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your health! For instance, 30 minutes of heart-rate raising activity can:

  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Help shed some pounds
  • Ease stress and anxiety
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Boost your immune system

Just to name a few benefits!  So what are some other ways to get off to a good start when you have made that all important decision to get healthy?  Well a few ways I recommend are:

  • Get a baseline physical: It is important to get clearance from your doctor before you really dive into an exercise program just to make sure everything is in good working order. You want to make sure you are healthy enough to start putting extra stress on your body for one and your doctor may even be able to guide you in terms of what exercise might be right to meet your fitness/health goals.  I also recommend getting your labs done to make sure you are hitting the mark nutritionally and getting all the vitamins and minerals you need through your current diet.  For example, in my case my last physical showed my cholesterol was borderline high so I have made some efforts to change my diet in order to naturally lower it.  Fingers crossed it works!
  • Focus on whole foods: The basic idea behind eating more “whole foods” is that you are eating more natural foods instead of pre-packaged, processed foods. Examples of whole foods include fruits, veggies, nuts, fish, poultry and eggs.  Examples of not-so-healthy foods to stay away from are chips, cookies, snack mixes, white breads, basically anything that comes in a convenient, ready-to-eat package.  Usually processed foods are very nutrient poor, have a lot of added salt and/or sugar and just often contain artificial ingredients that aren’t doing our bodies any good.  On the flip side, whole or non-processed foods are usually full of nutrients, are heart-healthy and can even reduce the risk of some diseases.  Start by switching out a few of those pre-packaged snack foods you keep around for when that afternoon craving hits for better choices like apples and peanut butter or carrots and hummus.
  • Up that water intake: I am such a huge proponent of drinking enough water you guys!  I even wrote a whole separate post (Drink up! H20 that is!) on it if you want more details but in the meantime making a conscious effort to up your water intake is a great way to start getting healthy. Water does so many important things for our bodies including improving brain function, upping energy levels and even boosting our immune system.  Plus, a tall glass of water before meals can fill us up a bit so we don’t eat quite as much.  Start by replacing a sugary soft-drink, iced tea or fruit juice with a glass of water once or twice a day.  Also, I find it helpful to keep track of how many glasses I have had a day to make sure I am hitting the mark  Trust me, the more water you drink the healthier you will feel and be!!
  •  Find what works for you: Find something that appeals to you when you are just starting out, whether it be a quick walk around your neighborhood, a short hike at the local park, a Pilates or yoga class or maybe go swim a few laps at your local pool.  Choosing something that you enjoy doing will only increase the likelihood of you sticking with it and in turn hitting your goals.  Physical activity in just about any form has so many benefits and there is no reason you can’t make it fun as well!  I also personally believe that mixing up your workouts and trying new ways of being active goes a long way in helping you stick to your goals.  One of the reasons I think I have been successful thus far in my own journey is that I found a program that includes over 700+ different workouts that I can do from just about anywhere. I am never bored and can find a workout to fit whatever mood I am in that day. As they say, the only bad workout is one that you didn’t do! 

So find your “why”, stand your newly determined butt up and take that first step towards a more active, healthy future!  Make small changes in the beginning that will ultimately become the foundation for your new lifestyle moving forward.  Don’t beat yourself up over setbacks.  Remember to celebrate your successes and on those especially challenging days where you can’t find your motivation anywhere, think back to your “why” and remember why you started in the first place.  You’ve got this and if ever you need that extra kick in the butt you know where to find me!!

Also guys if you want to take a minute and check out my poll below…I would love to get your feedback on what you would like to see more of on this site!  Your opinion is so important to me and I want to make sure I am putting stuff up that you find helpful!!

Thanks so much and happy Monday y’all…let’s make this a great week!!



Why can’t I take this weight off?!

Why can’t I take this weight off?!

I hear this a lot.  “I am working out. I am eating healthier. I think I am doing all the right things but I just can’t seem to lose the weight”.  I hear this from people who are new to their fitness journey and equally from people who have lost a significant amount of weight but are struggling to lose those last ten or so pounds.  My very first “client” aka. friend of mine who has joined me in doing the same workout programs I do as well as drinking the daily superfood shakes has to date lost 26 pounds!  Pretty amazing right?? He still, however, would like to lose another 10 but has been struggling to do so.  This is not an unusual problem or something unique to him by any means.  This happens quite a bit to people even despite having the best of intentions!  And in his case, I know he is putting in the work because as his somewhat overzealous and borderline psycho accountability partner, I am ALWAYS checking in on him and even doing a lot of the workouts right alongside of him! 😊

Whether just starting out or well into your journey like my friend, stalled weight loss or the inability to even start losing weight can potentially be caused my any number of factors. They seem to generally fall into two categories, however, at least as far as I can tell: Physical Issues and Lifestyle Choices.  Physically there might be something going on with your body…think an imbalance of hormones or a vitamin deficiency of some sort which could be due to a variety of reasons which I will talk about in a bit.  The second category is lifestyle choices. You may just be missing the mark somewhere in your everyday life, particularly with your nutrition or in the manner in which you are approaching your workouts.  Now there is a third possibility which is you really just aren’t putting in the effort you should be and maybe sorta kinda lying to yourself about it.  I want to skip talking about number 3 because really there isn’t much to say about it.  Just get you butt in gear and don’t cheat yourself.  Ok that’s all I’m gonna say about that, I promise!

Let’s focus on the two reasons that have nothing to do with motivation.  I started looking into this topic again because as I mentioned above my friend/client hit that dreaded plateau and has been unable to lose the last ten pounds he set his sights on shedding and I was trying to figure out what the cause might be.  What I found out reinforced some of things I already suspected, but I also came across some new information that may be helpful to him as well as anyone else who is in the same boat.  So as usual, I thought I would share some of this info with you guys!  Happy reading! 😊

Physical Reasons:

  1. You aren’t sleeping!! OMG you guys I can’t emphasize enough how important sleep is to well just about everything health related but definitely to losing weight!    Not getting enough sleep affects your body in two major ways when it comes to shedding pounds:
    1.  If you are not sleeping, your body is not repairing itself.  Without being able to repair, it can’t continue to perform at peak levels and sustain a workout regimen that is doing any good.  Also, without being able to repair itself, you are more prone to injuries that will just set you back even more.
    2. Your hormones get altered if you are not sleeping enough.  And not just any hormones, your hormones that are responsible for controlling your hunger sensations.  It becomes harder to tell when you are hungry and full when these hormones are affected by continually getting poor quality or not enough sleep.
  2. You are stressed out! Aren’t we all??  Chances are at some point, yes.  The problem becomes when we are chronically stressed out our hormones get thrown all out of whack just like they do when we aren’t getting enough zzzz’s.  When talking stress and hormones, the main hormone affected is cortisol.  Being stressed out is linked to higher levels of cortisol which in the long run can cause your blood sugar to be elevated and your waistline to expand.  And of course high levels of cortisol cause us to gain weight right in the lower stomach region in particular.  How convenient right?? Couldn’t have helped me gain weight say in my butt could you cortisol!  All joking aside, the good news is exercising is a great way to reduce stress.  So find a workout routine that works for you and stick with it!  Your body and sanity will thank you!
  3. You are deficient in Vitamin DSo about a month or so into my own health and fitness journey I woke up one day and thought I really needed to go get my Vitamin D levels checked. You guys, I still to this day have no idea why that thought popped into my head other than I just had a feeling.  Sure enough, after going in a getting it tested I as low, like really low.  I immediately started supplementing my diet with Vitamin D pills and got my levels up to normal again.  I bring this up here because I found out that a lack of this particular vitamin can cause fatigue, sluggishness even depression all which can negatively impact your ability to be active and drop the unwanted pounds.  There is some controversy about whether Vitamin D deficiency actually leads to weight gain, but in one study of women over 65, it was shown that the women who were deficient in Vitamin D gained more weight than their counterparts who had normal levels of the vitamin.  Either way, you want to make sure your levels of this vitamin are where they should be along with your levels of other key vitamins and nutrients.

Lifestyle Choices:

  1. You are eating more than you think! – Ok so this one goes back to a topic I wrote about a little while back about how important PORTION CONTROL is! I won’t go into the whole thing about how out of control our portions have gotten these days, but needless to say most of us are actually eating way more than we need to because we have been conditioned to think we have to eat massive amounts of food every time we sit down to a meal.  Distracted eating plays a role in this one too…think about how easy it is to overeat when you are sitting in from of a TV snacking on your favorite chips or pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream (my personal fave).  Just being mindful of how much you are putting on your plate is a great start.  Weighing food is another technique or using portion control containers (that are used in one of my favorite workout programs, 21 Day Fix) to start re-training your brain and stomach to the correct amounts of food needed are also two good ways to be mindful of your portions.
  2. You are trying to out-exercise a bad diet!Along the same lines as you may just be eating too much, exercising a whole lot but then neglecting your diet is also another common problem. Sometimes people think if they spend hours on a treadmill that they get a free pass then when it comes to what they are going to eat during the day.  Sadly, (and I truly am sad about this) it doesn’t work like that.  You need both consistent exercise as well as a healthy, balanced diet in order to see results in the weight loss department.  This includes getting nutrients from all 5 of the food groups, in the right amounts on a consistent basis. Of course, with any good nutrition plan, there is that all important cheat day where you can binge on some of your favorite foods just for sanity sake, but in general you need to eat healthy, whole foods in order to lose the weight.   This leads me nicely into my next topic…
  3. You might be doing the wrong exercises! – While it is wonderful that you are committed to exercising, you just way be going about it in a way that is not beneficial to your body…and oh boy I would not blame you! There is a TON of information and opinions out there are about what the best type of exercise is to lose weight.  There is so much it is almost overwhelming, especially when you are just starting out on your journey.  I can relate to this one so much it’s crazy.  For years and years and years I believed cardio was the holy grail of weight loss.  I was one of those people who hit the treadmills and stationary bikes religiously only to waste a lot of time, get frustrated and quit.  In fact, my journey this time started out much the same way until I realized I was again beginning to spin my wheels and headed for another failure.  Being wholly dedicated this time around to getting my butt in shape, I did some research and realized I needed to not only add much more weight training to my routine but I also needed to add variety to it.  This was also the point in time when I stumbled upon the workout programs I do now and realized it was exactly what I needed.  With over 700+ different workouts that include a variety of exercise types (cardio, weightlifting, Pilates, yoga, HIIT training, just to name a few), and meal plans to go along with it, I knew there was no way for me not to get results.  The best part, I don’t even really have to think about it.  The workouts are all planned out for me so all I have to do is show up, press play and follow along.  The point is, don’t just rely on one type of exercise alone to do the trick.  Your body and mind need the variety!

You guys there are a ton of other reasons in addition to the ones I went into detail about above that might be causing you to struggle in the weight loss department, such as:

  • Being dehydrated
  • Not focusing when you are working out (think scrolling through Instagram to kill the time at the gym instead of actually working out)
  • Not having a well-thought out workout plan
  • Being sedentary for too many hours during the day
  • Overdoing it with sugar
  • An issue with your thyroid function

And those are just to name a few more!  Now there is one more option for people who have been working out for a while and still not seeing the number on the scale drop.  You might actually have lost fat, just not weight!  You may even look and feel thinner but the darn scale just does not seem to be moving in the right direction when you are stepping on it. That is because muscle tissue is denser than fat!  You very well may have lost the bad fat and replaced it with good muscle!  This is yet another reason I avoid scales at all costs….they aren’t necessarily accurate in terms of how healthy you are or the progress you may actually be making!

If you are concerned about not being able to lose weight, whether you are just starting out or well into your health and fitness journey, I would recommend getting a baseline physical to begin with.  Rule out anything going on with your body that may be contributing to either a sluggish metabolism or unintended weight gain.  If all looks good there, examine your lifestyle.  Pay attention to what and how much you are eating, what kind of workouts you are doing and then tweak and/or tailor those things to work as effectively as possible for your body’s needs.   Most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP!!  If you need any extra encouragement, guidance and are in the market for a slightly psycho accountability buddy please feel free to reach out and I will do my best to help as much as possible!



Drink up! H20 that is!

Drink up! H20 that is!

Happy June 21st!!  Aside from it being a Friday (Yay!), today is also officially the first day of Summer (double YAY)!  Can you tell I am a little excited?!?!  😊 I am a summer girl, no doubt about it.  I don’t like the cold weather at all so as soon as the trees start to bloom and the birds start to chirp again, I am a happy camper.  Aside from just not liking the cold, I really love the warmer weather because it means I can be outdoors more.  Whether it be hiking, rock climbing, swimming, running…I am just happy to be outside enjoying mother nature.  The heat doesn’t bother me at all unlike the cold which is physically painful for me these days.  I would take a 100-degree day over a 20-degree day anytime!  Anyone else??  With the summer heat though, you do have to take extra precautions if you are going to be outside no matter if you are engaging in a physical activity or just laying by the pool.  Aside from applying and reapplying generous amounts of sunscreen (which is crucial especially for a really light skinned person such as myself), staying hydrated is a must!

I wanted to write about this particular topic because I have now been on this health and wellness journey of mine for over a year.  It started out with me just wanting to lose a few pounds but has rapidly transformed into so much more.  These days I am really trying to make sure I pay attention to my overall health, not just the number on the scale (which I still don’t own and probably never will because I think they are evil little things).  Along with exercising and eating right, a huge part of being healthy is making sure we are properly hydrated.  This is extra important in the summer months, but it really should be a year-round, everyday goal.  Our bodies are made up of 60% water after all!  Water is so crucial to us for so many different reasons. For instance, water helps us:

  • Regulate our body temperatures
  • Helps to convert food to energy
  • Cushions our joints
  • Moves nutrients and waste/toxins through and out of our bodies
  • Makes our skin healthier and gives us that glow we all want 😊
  • It can even help with weight loss by suppressing our appetites and keeping us from consuming high calorie foods or beverages when we may not even really be hungry…just thirsty!

And those are just a few of the many reasons water is so important to our very existence.  So knowing it’s importance, the next question becomes how much do we need on a daily basis to reap all those benefits mentioned above?  I’ve heard everything from a gallon a day, to the popular 8 glasses a day, to just drink whenever you are thirsty and that will suffice.  So which one of those is accurate??  Well in looking into this topic further I found out that the exact amount depends on a number of variables, such as your gender, your overall state of health, how active you are and even where you live. For instance, if you live in a more arid, dessert-like region where it is warm most of the year you are probably going to need to drink more than say someone who lives in a cooler climate by a body of water.

According to the Mayo Clinic, however, a good overall guideline for your daily intake is as follows:

  • MEN: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day
  • WOMEN: About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day

Now don’t forget you get about 20% of the water you need from food you are already eating during the day.  Foods like fruits, vegetables and even soups are good sources of water as is your daily cup of coffee and even smoothies or in my case the superfood shakes I drink each day.  Like many other things health and fitness related, listening to and paying attention to your body is also key in monitoring if you are hydrated properly.  Generally, if you are not thirsty and your urine is pretty clear you are doing well!  On the other hand, common signs you need to up your fluid intake because dehydration might be creeping up on you are:

  • Headaches
  • Dry Skin
  • Dry Mouth, Dry Lips
  • Dizziness and Fainting
  • Confusion/Feeling Mentally Foggy
  • Dark Colored Urine or Little Urine Production
  • Sleepiness

So now that we know why staying hydrated is important, have a good general idea of how much fluid we should be taking in each day and are aware of some of the signs of dehydration, lets talk about some ways to make sure we are hitting our hydration goals each day. For me, it’s just about always having water with me.  I carry a water bottle literally everywhere I go!  The more I have it with me, the more likely I am to meet my numbers…

A few other great tips for getting the recommended amount of fluids each day are below:

  • Drink a glass before and after meals. This gives you a set time each day when you are already focused on fueling your body so sneaking in two cups here can just become part of your meal routine.  It also might help to fill you up so you don’t eat quite as much!
  • Keep a measured/marked water bottle with you all the time. You tend to want to meet your goals when they are right in front of you all day!
  • Refill your water bottle as soon as you empty it!
  • Add flavor! Use fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs like mint.  It’s also fun to freeze fruit into your ice cubes and then add that to your water. 
  • Use a water tracking app on your phone – some good FREE ones are Daily Water and My Water Balance.
  • Follow each caffeinated beverage you intake with a glass of water. Caffeine is a diuretic which means it causes you to have to go to the bathroom more. Refilling your body with water after you drink something caffeinated will ensure you are replacing those fluids that you might be losing due to the caffeine intake. 

Find what works for you and stick with it.  Again for me, I know if I just have my water bottle within reach at all times I am setting myself up for success.  I keep a full bottle on my desk at work each day.  I make sure I have it with me in the car every time I go some where and I keep it filled up and on my night stand each night when I get in bed. I have also started to keep watermelon in the fridge all the times because it consists of 92% water and makes a great snack!  Try sprinkling it with some kosher salt…yummmmm!  And more recently I have started to track my water intake using my little, mimi-Happy Planner, which I carry everywhere with me. 😊  I find for me that if I track things like this I hold myself more accountable to meeting or exceeding what I did the day or week before.  But again, whatever works for you….just drink up!!