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How To Set Goals and Achieve Them: Part II

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that 2018 has been about finding the best version of myself. Let me tell you, it has been WORK. Constant doubt, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, wanting to take the easy way out. It isn’t easy. This process has taken me to some of the best books I’ve ever read and listened to some of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. Know what’s interesting? They all say pretty much the same thing. In my How To Set Goals and Achieve Them post, I talked about steps to take to be more successful. In this post, I want to go more into detail about what these steps look like.

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It seems that through all of my studying, there is almost a pattern to success. Of course the details change from person to person, but from everything I’ve read or listened to, they all agree on these 6 things:

  1. Write Down Your Goals. I talked about this in my last post, but it was such a constant theme that I wanted to say it again. Writing down your goals gives you a constant reminder of what you truly want to accomplish. It is so easy to get into the mediocre routine of life and lose focus. Seeing your goals daily will help you by letting you remember what you told yourself you wanted when you felt most motivated for change.
  2. Keep A Journal. Rachel Hollis, Michael Hyatt, John Maxwell, and may others stress the importance of this practice. In your journal, you should be keeping track of a few things: your weekly goals, your daily goals,  5 things you are thankful for each day, and your biggest wins at the end of each week. Sometimes it’s hard to see progress. You keep moving forward and forget how far you have come. Keeping a journal will not only keep you on track, but will motivate you by helping you see progress. My favorite journal is the Full Focus Journal from Michael Hyatt (https://fullfocusjournal.com/  <–buy it here). It breaks down everything for you and keeps your daily journaling simple and organized.
  3. Have A Routine. Like you will see in the Full Focus Journal, there is a morning routine and an evening routine. Your morning routine should be setting your goals for each day, and your evening routine should be a reflection of the day followed up with some kind of winding down. For example, my morning routine is: make coffee, read my Bible for 10mins, decide my big 3 daily goals, and workout.
  4. “Hope is not a strategy”. This quote is serious. I first heard it this morning while listening to Rachel Hollis’ Instagram live video and it inspired me so much that I had to include it here. She ends up saying that she read it in John Maxwell’s book “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”. Anyway, she goes on to say that you can not hope success into existence. She said that is like saying “oh I hope I get healthier” and then never taking action to get there. You can not hope your way into success. You have to put in the work.
  5. Find your gap. John Maxwell talks about success gaps that keep you from your goals. There are 8, but I will share the 2 that resonate with me most heavily. The Perfection Gap. This one is what holds me back more than anything else. Sometimes I can’t get myself to start anything because before I start, I want everything to be perfect. Maxwell explains that to be able to be perfect, you must first start. Mind blown. The Comparison Gap. This is where you compare yourself to more successful people so often that it breaks you down mentally and keeps you from making progress. The advise is to take a page out of Nike’s book and “Just Do It”. Maxwell says you can only learn if others are ahead of you.
  6. Commit. I will be the first to admit that I am the most impatient person I know. The advice I’ve heard over and over again is that you have to commit to your goals. Success is not born overnight. Walt Disney was fired at age 22 for “not being creative enough”. Oprah was told that she was “unfit for television news”. JK Rowling was fired from her secretary job and lived on welfare. She described it by saying, “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded and I was a jobless alone parent and as poor as it was possible to be in Britain without being homeless.” Can you imagine if these people were not committed to their goals? The world would be a much different place.

Do you practice any of these steps? How have they helped you accomplish your goals? Let me know in the comments!

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Mexican Style Lettuce Wraps

I don’t know about you, but I am always curious to see what other fit people are eating. I used to get so frustrated because people would only post their workouts. While that is extremely helpful to those new to fitness, it’s not enough for me! Food is your fuel and I want to know how you’re fueling your body to get it to look like that.

This is why I always post recipes on my instagram (fit.asamother). The one I made today was just made from whatever I already had in the fridge and it turned out to be delicious! So here it is: Mexican Style Lettuce Wraps.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts, baked

1/2 cup of mild rotel

1/2tsp chili powder

1/2tsp cumin

1/2tsp onion powder

1/4tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup of black beans

Head of romaine lettuce

Optional garnishes: cheese, hot sauce, and/or salsa.

Directions:

Chop the chicken into very small pieces. I used a food processor. Put the chicken, spices, and rotel in a Pam sprayed pan until it starts to brown. Take your lettuce and rip off individual pieces of Romaine to use almost as a bowl. Place black beans in romaine lettuce, followed by chicken mixture. I added hot sauce and cheese to mine but thats up to you! 1 serving fit into 4 pieces of Romaine for me.

And that’s it! Super easy recipe and delicious! Let me know how it is in the comments!

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Why I Became A Beachbody Coach

I remember when I first started using Beachbody programs and people made SO MANY JOKES, “what do you do? Just dance in front of your television?”, “Julia can’t eat anything but broccoli because she’s trying to get a ‘beach body'”.

Here’s the thing, I am the first person to call BS on ANYTHING…..but these programs have truly changed my whole lifestyle. I went from laughing when my husband asked me to workout with him to …..actually wanting to workout. Daily.

Here are a few reasons why I believe in Beachbody:

1). The meal plans are NOT a diet. This is what got me first. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know how I feel about dieting. Long story short, I hate it. Anyway, Beachbody uses a portion control system and gives you TONS of options of what to eat, just not overeat. I honestly didn’t know I was overeating (…which I should have because I would easily eat a bag of potato chips on my own, but…let’s not dwell on that)! It also gives you categories of food that you have to eat each day. It made me realize that I did not eat enough fruits, vegetables, or even healthy fats.

2). It improved my mental health. I believe that a lot of people that have weight issues struggle with their mental health. I, for one, have always turned to food as a source of comfort when things went wrong. As a recovering perfectionist….a lot always seemed to go wrong. Working out is not just about changing your body, it truly changes your mind. I never thought I could lift weights. I never thought I could do push ups or have definition in my arms and abs. You may have heard the phrase, “your body achieves what your mind believes” – it’s true! Say you won’t, you can’t. Say you can, you WILL. Working out has proved that I can do things that I thought I couldn’t.

3). Workout plans for all levels. Most people think of Beachbody and think of INSANITY and P90x. While those are great workout programs, they are INTENSE. I definitely could not have done those back when I was using 2lb weights for bicep curls. They have HUNDREDS of workouts ranging from yoga to kickboxing…and you can do them anywhere! My favorite spot right now is in my kitchen.

Have you ever thought that you couldn’t workout because it just isn’t the time? You want to get your eating right first or join a gym and try a few smaller workouts? I’m here to tell you to stop the excuses. There is no time like right now. Imagine where you could be 3 months from now if you start today. If I can do this, anyone can.

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Dieting vs. Lifestyle Changes

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

People are so used to using the term “diet”. I hate that word. It implies so much. It implies that you restrict yourself, that you stress out about social gatherings because they might not have something that fits into your points system, or that your relationship with food is like that bad boyfriend that you want to leave, but you don’t because you keep hoping he will eventually have something to offer you.

Because that’s what diets are. They aren’t sustainable. How long can you keep saying no to your favorite beer because your diet doesn’t allow it? A few months maybe? But then what typically happens is when you FINALLY allow yourself to have that Blue Moon, you binge. “Well, I’m already drinking beer so I might as well get those mozzarella sticks too”…

This is how we create an unhealthy relationship with food. Diets allow food to control our lives. It’s a constant cycle of restriction, bingeing, and guilt.

“Eat to live, and not live to eat.” – Benjamin Franklin

The key to breaking the “whatever, I’m getting cheese fries” cycle is all about changing your mindset. Here are some keys tips on how to do that:

  1. Instead of thinking about how much you want cake but can’t have it, think instead about how you will feel after eating it. Will you eat it and feel energetic after, or will you feel bloated and lethargic?
  2. Instead of dieting, change your bad habits. I have always driven long distances for work and often times was required to travel. To cope with boredom, I would always get a soda for the drive. Then I realized that every time I get in the car, I want a drink with me even if it’s a 10min drive. Since I noticed that, I go for water or black coffee.
  3. Eat what you want, just don’t overeat. There was a book that came out years ago called “I Can Make You Thin”. The whole concept was if you want mac and cheese, eat mac and cheese! But the second you feel that hunger pang go away, stop. That could be 3 bites, but you stop after that 3 bites.
  4. Drink lots of water. I feel like this is in every healthy living post, but there’s a reason. The recommended amount of water is half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 200lbs, drink 100oz of water. It is an appetite suppressant, boosts your metabolism, and cleanses your body of waste.

What are some of your unhealthy habits that you need to break and how can you change them?

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5 Ways Confident People Live Differently

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Photo by Alizee Marchand on Pexels.com

This has been weighing heavy on my mind lately. The fitness world is a hard place to exist in. It is easier now than ever to see what your ideal body would look like or to compare yourself to others. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty.

As someone who has always struggled with self confidence and body dysmorphia, you may wonder why I would be the one that is able to talk about this. But here’s the thing, I have the inside scoop. As a classic Virgo, I internalize and over process everything. Though this can be exhausting, it also makes me extremely self aware.

It is normal to have moments of doubt. Everyone goes through ups and downs. In my mission to become the best version of myself, I first have to ask “what is holding me back from being truly happy?”

I’ve been reading “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. Within the first two chapters, she says:

“If you’re unhappy, that’s on you.”

That hit home for me. I am not in control of what people say to me, but I am in control of how I react and process other’s words and actions.

So what now? If I truly want to be my best self, that means being 100% comfortable with who I am, so what am I missing? I’ve done some research on the difference between confident people and ones who consider themselves…well…less than. And here is what I’ve found.

  1. An article on Lifehack explains that highly confident people do not make excuses. They don’t blame traffic for being late to work, they were late to work! They take ownership of their actions.
  2. They don’t let fear control their lives. This is a big one for me. I have let anxiety get in the way more times than I would like to admit. I even got a tattoo to remind myself to “live free”, but let’s be real, that tattoo doesn’t make me want to ride a rollercoaster or have a confrontational conversation.
  3. They don’t obsess over other’s opinions. Someone made a comment that your boobs are small? Um okay, guess what? YOU CAN’T CHANGE THAT. And you shouldn’t want to. I would love to spend years talking about women taking pride in their bodies, but that’s for another post. Your grandparents don’t approve of your choice to not go to college? SO WHAT. It is your life, you need to live it. Confidence comes when you are comfortable with the choices you make. You should not make choices for other people, you make them for you. Which brings me to my next point…
  4. Confident people do not find joy in pleasing others. Listen to me, I do not mean that you need to be selfish. I’m talking about the kind of people pleasing that gets in your way. The kind where you put aside your own happiness to make someone else have a better opinion of you. The kind where you let people change your mind! The kind where you won’t choose a place to eat, you accept any invitation, or you are constantly working hard to prove yourself.
  5. Lastly, they don’t make comparisons. I want to say first that social media makes this very difficult. It is so easy to make it appear that you have a perfect life when nobody knows what is going on behind the scenes. As far as fitness goes, it can get unhealthy so fast. I recently have decided that I will unfollow people who I compare myself to. I may love their page! But our lives are too different for me to aspire to be what they are.

What are your thoughts? What is one thing you can change today that will help you become more confident in the future?

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The Instagram Fitness World

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I recently created a fitness profile on Instagram (@fit.asamother) and in the month or so that I have had it, I have learned a lot about people.

This will probably make me sound like an 80yr old woman finding out that any kind of social media platform even exists, but I’m willing to take that risk. I joined Instagram to find a group of likeminded people. I want to see what they’re doing, we can all motivate each other, and just create a support group. However, Instagram is much more superficial than that. A lot of you are probably nodding your head like “duh. It’s a profile made of 99% selfies”. Okay, I get it, but…..well let me give you some scenarios just from this past week:

  • This guy direct messages me: “wow, you’re a mom and you workout. How do you have time to get a body like that?” I don’t respond. “Have any tips on how to get abs?”…before I can even THINK to respond, *sends shirtless pic of shredded abs*. I can’t even eye roll enough to get across how I’m feeling.
  • Guy DMs me: “I sent you a request because you are a very beautiful woman and seem to be a very nice person that I would like to know more about, God has a reason for all purpose, Are you single?” *gives me an email address*, “drop me a message and I will get back to you asap. baby please don’t share my number with anyone.. Kisses & Hugs for you!!!” …….I’m not even going to comment.
  • Guy DMs me: “have you ever let anyone photograph you before?
  • Every girl on IG that sends a DM: “Hey! Just noticed your profile and it’s so inspiring and motivational. Are you a coach? You should be with results like that!”

So…. these kinds of messages disturb me for a few reasons. I had to come to terms with the fact that most guys are following #fitgirlsofig just because they find them attractive. Not out of respect for what they are doing or what they have done, but for the hope that they will post a lot of good booty pics. Girls follow a lot of people just so they could potentially be clients of theirs. I do respect what coaches are trying to do. Would I love to make money on Instagram? Um yes please, I just thought it could also be a place to find genuine people with similar interests. Don’t get me wrong! There are some, but they are few and far between.

Again, this may only be surprising to me, but it did stop to make me think. It’s not even surprising….it’s that it has made me become a little jaded. As soon as someone messages me, it’s like when you see that mom at the mall with their kid that keeps poking them, “mom. Hey mom? Mom. Mom. Hey mom?” and she finally snaps, “WHAT?!” Someone DMs me, “WHAT?!”

Has anyone else experienced this? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts!

 

 

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Resolutions

The Beginning

I’ve talked a lot about what my pregnancy was like so that I could get into how I finally got into working out like it’s my job….and….enjoying it? Such a weird concept still, but hear me out.

I have always been skinny, but not the “good skinny”, you know? Not the fit skinny, the soft skinny. I have always had a great metabolism. If I wanted to lose weight, I would just really make up my mind to be all in on a diet and within two weeks would lose the weight, no big deal. I’ve also always been kind of physically lazy. There was a point in my life where I would run 3 miles a day, but that only lasted about a year before I decided I would rather just….well, do nothing.

So naturally I assumed that losing the baby weight would be similar to how I normally lose weight. Quickly and with minimal effort. It was not. Three weeks postpartum, I was basically screaming at my love handles in the mirror, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!”. Looking back, it was really ridiculous. I had just had a baby and gone through the most physically exhausting year of my life and immediately expected the weight to just melt right off. There is a lot to be said about the societal pressures about feeling like you need to lose the weight right away, but for right now, that is not the point I’m trying to make.

Anyway, it was January 2018 at this point and I had decided that I was going to make a New Year’s Resolution and actually keep it…..like everyone says every year, so original I know. I wanted to lose the baby weight. I weighed almost 160lbs, I’m 5’6″, and wanted to get back down to at least my pre-pregnancy weight of 135lbs.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it this time because this is the first time I had a significant amount of weight to lose. I am so thankful that at the same time, my sister-in-law had just become a Beachbody coach. She recommended the 21 Day Fix program to me and it.changed.everything.

This program was super easy to follow, was very clear on the type of food you could eat, but I never felt like I was starving myself. In 3 weeks, I lost about 10lbs so I decided to do another 21 days. I lost another 10lbs. I lost the last 5lbs I wanted to lose in one more round and never felt better about myself. It was the first time that I worked out on a regular basis and I LOVED IT. Well….I hated it at first, but when you start seeing results and you get to feel like you really worked hard, it’s 110% worth it. For the record, I am not a Beachbody coach and I am not promoting it in any way except to say that it really helped me decide what to do and how to do it. If anyone is new to working out or just wants to get in a routine, I highly recommend the 21 Day Fix.

The first picture is me at 6 weeks postpartum, the 2nd one is of me now. Neither of them are good pictures….but it gets the job done.

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Now I weigh 132lbs, workout 5 days a week, do intermittent fasting (feel free to ask), and I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in…. and I actually enjoy it. I eat junk when I want to, I drink when I want to – except one thing has changed. My focus is not, and never again will be, to keep losing weight just for the sake of a number on a scale. My goal is to be healthy.

Question for everyone: What are your current fitness goals?