Motivation Monday pt. 12

Happy Monday!! Today I’m going to share another excerpt from The Body Book by Cameron Diaz. This one has to do with aging and I think it’s a great reminder to make sure you treat your body the way it wants to be treated.

“A lot of us fear the idea of aging- getting older, being less mobile, having less energy, and being less of ourselves. But I look at aging like this: getting older is a blessing and a privilege, and if you lay the foundation for a healthy life in your younger years, your older years may very well be some of the best of your life. And the point I’m making is not about keeping up your youthful appearance. This is not about beauty and the aesthetics of our bodies. I want you to feel young, I want you to feel strong.”

XOXO

Motivation Monday Pt. 10

Happy first Monday of March! I’ve decided to make March the month that I get back on track with my health agenda. I’ve been pretty good about working out 4 times a week but I still need to work on staying away from the sweets!

Today I would like to share a quote from The Body Book by Cameron Diaz. This book is really incredible, it’s full of information about hunger, strength and the anatomy of women. I have learned a lot from this book and would definitely recommend it to any other ladies out there who want to improve their overall health.

This book doesn’t just provide information about how to improve your diet, health and appearance, it also gives great little anecdotes about learning to love yourself. To stop comparing yourself to others and shaming your own body. It will make you realize how much work your body does just to keep you alive and functioning every day. So here’s an excerpt that I would like to share with you today:

“Sometimes we imagine ourselves to be something that we’re not- perhaps someone that we wish we were- but when we look into the mirror, we are faced with who we really are. And looking in the mirror doesn’t have to be about vanity. Let the mirror be a friend instead of a judgement. So often we look in the mirror and loathe what we see, but we should remember that the most important thing is to love what you are and be honest about who you are. Make time to stand in front of the mirror and identify all the different beautiful parts of your body that you love. Don’t be shy! It’s just you in the mirror, and you can love your body however you want to love it, without anybody else’s validation or approval. The more you love your body and give it attention, the more connected you will be with it. A little appreciation goes a long way. A lot of appreciation goes a really long way.”

Don’t forget to love yourself! Happy Monday XOXO

MOTIVATION MONDAY pt. 4

Since I have been really trying to get back into the habit of eating well and working out 4 times a week, I thought I would use this Motivation Monday to motivate myself a little, all while motivating my readers as well!

I totally gave up on my clean eating/workout habits while on vacation since there was so much good (but bad) food to eat and it also seemed like there was very little time to get a workout in. I think it’s good to take a break every once in a while and indulge a bit in the things you love BUT you have to remember to get back on track when the time comes.

The time has come for me to get back on track. I have been doing pretty well with my working out but I haven’t been doing too great in the heathy eating department.

So here’s a little quote that I stumble upon every once in a while and it always gives me that little push to keep going.

 

 So basically it takes 12 weeks total for people who are not very familiar with you, to notice that you have lost weight or are in better shape.

That’s about 3 months of a ‘strict’ workout and meal plan. If you think about it, it’s really not that long. As I’ve said before, time seems to fly by the older I get. I might as well spend it trying to better myself rather than gaining weight and letting my health deteriorate.

After those 12 weeks are up, you probably won’t even have to think twice about getting your butt to the gym. You’ll just do it because you will look and feel better and you won’t want to go back to the way you felt before.

Hard work pays off. Now go do something active and drink a lot of water!

xoxo

 

Resolution Ideas For 2016

Ok so I’ll start by saying that tomorrow is the last day of 2015 and I seriously cannot believe how fast this year has flown by.

On one hand, I’m excited that time seems to be flying by so fast because for me, it means I’ll be living in California again before I know it! On the other hand it sort of makes me feel really sad that I’m growing up and that the uncertain future is rapidly approaching.

I think a lot of people go through this in their 20’s. Some people go away to college and never move back to the house they grew up in, others travel or take job opportunities that change the way they live their lives. As you probably know, my life changed when I got married and moved to North Carolina.

A positive mindset is always key. I was so excited (yet also nervous) about new beginnings and growing up, so excited that I didn’t realize all that I was leaving behind. Of course, only a couple of months after living so far from the things that I been used to for my whole life, I immediately felt a sense of loss and was no longer excited about these new beginnings.

This year was a life changer. It has been difficult at times and I sometimes feel like I’d like to go back to just being engaged, having wedding related parties, living with my mom and working enough side jobs to pay for necessities and support my shopping addiction. As I type though, I sit back and think about the good times to come and I know that this time in my life (although it may not be my favorite) will shape who I am for years to come and it is only a small stepping stone within the path of my life.

This year I celebrated some of the best days of my life but I’ve also let the hard times get me down. My resolution for 2016 is to be happy. To live  every day with the joy of just being alive. To push myself to do more and be better.

Each new year is like a fresh start. Resolutions are the motivators that keep us focused on becoming better versions of ourselves. No matter what has happened to you in the year 2015, whether it was good or bad, you get to leave it all behind and just focus on making 2016 the year that you accomplish your goals.

Since I love making lists, I’ve come up with a few resolution ideas incase you’re struggling to find one that you will be able to stick with!

 

  • Fitness- The most common new years resolution usually has to do with losing weight. It’s common because people know that losing that extra 15 pounds or getting into the best shape of their lives will significantly improve their lifestyle as a whole. It’s not an easy one to stick with especially if you love to eat and don’t have a lot of time to workout. BUT, I absolutely recommend that you try to get your body looking and feeling great because when you look and feel healthy you will be more confident and with that confidence you will be more likely to accomplish any other goals on your list. Overall physical appearance and health is always #1 on my list!
  • Career Goals- Another year has flown by and you still don’t know what you’re doing with your life. Make 2016 the year that you get your degree or at least the year you start working towards it. If you have your degree and just haven’t found work, make this the year that you find your dream job! You worked your butt off for that degree and you are so worthy of that job, you just have to make it happen!
  • Be Nicer- I personally like to make this a goal of my own every day. We sometimes get so caught up in our busy lives that we can come off as rude or mean to family or even random strangers who we encounter throughout the day. Make every encounter a pleasant one, smile at people passing by, ask the cashier at the grocery store how their day is going, hug your loved ones before and after work and don’t let the stress of whatever else is going on in your life affect the way you treat people.
  • Address people by their names- This is kind of a strange resolution, but I often have a hard time remembering people’s names just after meeting them. I once met a man in church and I introduced myself to him and his wife. He said “very nice to meet you Victoria” as though he was repeating my name aloud to help him remember it, from then on, every time I saw him he greeted me by my first name. I felt horrible for not remembering his name, but the fact that he remembered my name was pretty awesome to me. Addressing people by their names just after meeting them is a great way to form better relationships. Even if it’s just the waitress at your favorite restaurant, she will probably be flattered that you remembered her name and your dining experience will be a friendly one.
  • DO MORE- If you’ve been dying to go to disneyland or go on vacation to Hawaii, this is the year to just do it! There’s always an excuse whether it’s a tight budget or a busy schedule but you only live once and you don’t want to spend your whole life working just to pay the bills. If you don’t have the money then start saving now! Life is an adventure and it should be a fun one, so in 2016 do more of what you love and experience new things!
  • Get organized- Something that I love doing is organizing! It makes life so much easier when there is a place for everything and everything is in it’s place… in fact my my mom used to have a refrigerator magnet that said exactly that. Start by getting rid of the things you don’t need or no longer use. Have a yard sale and make some extra cash to save for that vacation you want to go on. Donate old clothes and clean out your pantry to give canned foods to homeless shelters. Check out my previous post on organization to get some more ideas.
  • Read a book- I love reading, but it can be difficult to get in the mood to start a book. Once I do, I can’t put it down and when I finish, I feel a little smarter for having read it (especially if it’s educational). Whether it’s a book about something that you’d like to educate yourself on or a novel by one of your favorite authors, just buy a book and make it your goal to finish reading it. If you want to educate yourself on how to be a heather person I definitely recommend that you read “The Body Book” by Cameron Diaz. It is SO full of information about how you should be treating your body and it’s written it in a way that makes it super easy to read.

Good luck on making 2016 fabulous! And HAPPY ALMOST NEW YEAR!

Put down that Pop-Tart

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as that compliment, “you look really good, have you lost weight?”

I’m no fitness model or nutrition specialist. Im just your average 23 year old female, constantly struggling to keep my weight in check. Within the past 3 years or so I have learned a lot about diet and fitness and I’ve made some lifestyle changes that have had a major impact on my overall appearance and health. As a taller person, it is easy for me to pack on a few extra pounds without people noticing since my weight is distributed more evenly. I knew I was overweight but I was good at dressing to hide my flaws. I didn’t have the motivation or willpower to change my appearance until my brother started body building. I could see how hard he was working to mold his body into supreme shape in order to compete in a body building competition. I used to think he was crazy for wanting to workout every single day and for sticking to such a strict diet. Eventually though, his willpower and determination had an impact on me and I started to become more aware of my unhealthy habits.

My mom has also been a great example of living a healthier lifestyle. A few years ago we both started to make changes in our lives to feel better about our appearances and we unknowingly motivated each other. She has always reminded me to love myself no matter what but to continue to work on becoming the healthy person that I want to be. She has educated me on which types of food are good for me and which ones aren’t. As a kid when my mom took me grocery shopping, she would always make me look at the nutritional value on the boxes of cereal and I was forced to give up all of my hopes and dreams of eating lucky charms for breakfast and settle for a healthier option. Although I would scoff at her advice when she gave it, since I would have much rather snacked on a box of candy than a bag of almonds, I have grown to appreciate the knowledge that she has shared with me.

Once I was finally motivated enough, I signed up for a gym membership and made a goal to go at least three times a week. 20 minutes on the elliptical seemed like an eternity for the first couple of weeks but eventually my body started to get used to it and the task became less agonizing. When you’re out of shape it is easy to be discouraged after your first workout. Everything seems so difficult, but if you stick with it, you’ll find out that it becomes a little bit less horrible each time and eventually you may even enjoy it.

When I started to lose weight and gain muscle, I could feel the difference. When my pants weren’t too tight around my hips and my form fitting shirts didn’t make me feel like a human muffin, I realized that I never wanted to go back to being unhealthy. Now, I’m not saying that I’m the most health-conscious person in the world. I always have and always will love candy and sweets, so I often have a difficult time saying no to sugar. That’s why working out is so great, I pretty much only workout so that I can occasionally indulge in the types of foods which I know are not good for me. To me, dieting is much less effective than exercise. Diet is an important part, but without exercise you won’t be able to burn fat, build muscle and tone. It’s also important to be realistic when you set a weight loss goal for yourself. You can’t look at pictures of someone who is anatomically smaller than you and think that you can workout and make your body look like theirs. You have to be realistic and focus on creating the best version of yourself.

Here are some of the major steps I’ve taken towards living a healthier lifestyle;

NO SODA

This was my first big step towards a healthier diet and it was no easy task. I was huge fan of soda and energy drinks. I would sometimes have multiple energy drinks in one day and also found myself going through drive thru’s just to satisfy my craving for a soda. I slowly switched from coke to diet coke, and regular to sugar free energy drinks. Eventually I was able to stop drinking them all together and it turns out I have more energy without the energy drinks. Now my go-to drinks consist only of water, flavored sparkling water, tea and coffee.

NO FAST FOOD

Fast food is a quick and easy alternative. Unfoturnately nothing worth having is ever easy and if you want to be fit you have to say no to the french fries and hello to a homemade meal. Saying no to fast food was one of my biggest steps toward a healthier lifestyle. I used to eat fast food almost every day. Especially when I was old enough to drive, I took full advantage of my drivers license and went straight to the Taco Bell drive thru for lunch. Not only was it easy, but it was also cheap. The problem with fast food is that it has no real nutrition. Shortly after eating it, I found myself hungry again. I stopped eating anywhere with a drive thru once I realized how unhealthy their meals really were. The few exceptions I made were el pollo loco, because they have much healthier options and of course I still couldn’t resist the occasional trip to In N Out.

LEARN TO LOVE SALAD

Salads don’t have to be gross and unsatisfying. When I started to learn how to make delicious salads they became my go-to meal. I like to prepare my ingredients before hand so that when I get hungry, it makes it easier for me to quickly throw a yummy salad together. I peel and chop a cucumber/red onion/bell pepper (or any other salad-appropriate vegetable) and place them in ziplock baggies at the beginning of the week. I also like to cook chicken breasts, cut them into strips and keep them in a tupperware container. When I get hungry, I pull out my spring mix add my veggies and some chicken strips for protein. Then I’ll top it off with a little bit of feta cheese, avocado and a light champagne dressing. YUM! Quick and easy. Salads are just one of many delicious healthy options to prepare. I love finding new recipes that taste good and are actually good for me. (Stay tuned for some blog posts with my favorite recipes in the near future.)

WORKOUT

The hardest part is getting started. Once you get a routine going you can eventually add extra distance to your cardio or extra reps to your weight training. I have never pushed myself to the point of feeling sick because I don’t want a bad experience to keep me from continuing to workout.  I started out doing a mile of cardio every day and eventually that turned into two miles. Don’t forget to add the weight training. Using weight machines can be confusing, but I recommend risking making yourself look like an idiot trying to adjust that seat because the machines are really helpful when you’re not sure where to start. You can simply look at the picture and description on the side of the machine and start building the muscles that you don’t normally use. Learn to love your soreness… weights will leave your body feeling.. well.. in pain, especially two days after an intense workout. It may be miserable at first but you’ll learn to love this feeling once you start to feel your body change. You’ll know that soreness is just the not so subtle reminder that you have done a good job and your body is on it’s way to becoming stronger.

DRINK MORE WATER

This one pretty much says it all. Just drink a lot of water. You may have to pee more often but your body will thank you for it.