fitness

How To Set Goals and Achieve Them

“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting and achieving goals”. – Og Mandino

If there is one thing I’ve learned about being in a fitness community, it is that it is constantly changing. There are so many different schools of thought and it is often hard to keep up with. Did you hear that a high fat diet is now a good thing? Anyway, as we change and adapt to these new thought processes, so do our goals. Whether it’s to bulk, or cut, lose weight, gain weight, whatever it is, you can apply the same rules.

I am constantly setting new goals to improve myself. Not just in fitness, but in every aspect of life. In doing this, I have noticed that when one area of your life starts to take shape, the rest of your goals become easier to achieve.

For example, I recently completed a 21 day fitness challenge with a group of ladies. Since we all are being held accountable by each other, we become much better about controlling our instincts. I consistently notice myself wanting ice cream after dinner less and less until one day, I don’t even think about it. Then I realize, “wow. I accomplished something big!”. It’s such a great feeling and I began to crave it. Then I started to think about other goals I had for myself. Saving money. Not fitness related, but a goal all the same. So I went to my husband and told him I didn’t want to spend any money on coffee for a week. For those of you that know me well, you know how much of a struggle this would be for me. I went a week and a half, you guys *insert happy dance here*.

So how you do you start? The first step seems simple, but can often be the hardest one! You ready? Here it is…

Step 1: Define your goal. Where do you see yourself next year? It is so easy to get caught up in what is happening right NOW that we forget to ask ourselves this question (or you could just be extremely impatient like me). Really think about this question. Do you want to feel comfortable in a bikini at the beach? Do you want to buy your first home? Whatever it is, write it down and keep it in a place you will see it often like your bathroom mirror….or if you’re like me and you’re honest with yourself, your refrigerator door.

Step 2: Start small, but be precise. A lot of times when I set a goal for myself, I am so eager to just go all in and give 110%. That’s an easy way to get burned out fast. Did you notice that my goals above were small? Stop eating ice cream after dinner, don’t buy coffee for a week… they are small and precise. Setting a small goal makes you realize that you can do hard things and makes you next goal not look so intimidating. Do not set goals like “I want to drink less diet coke”, say “I will drink 1 diet coke a week”. When you say I want to drink less diet coke, that becomes a relative term and doesn’t help you consistently get better.

Step 3: Know your weaknesses. I used to work a stressful retail job and every night when I got home, I would eat an entire bag of potato chips to cope. Not a great habit for many reasons, but it wasn’t great for my weight loss goal especially. I knew that if I had potato chips at home, I would eat them because, let’s be real, you can’t just eat a few potato chips. So what did I do? I stopped buying potato chips. I realized that I still wanted something salty and crunchy, so I switched to almonds. It did the trick! What is your bag of potato chips? Remove it from your sight!

Step 4: Challenge yourself. What’s that quote I keep seeing on coffee mugs? “Change begins at the end of your comfort zone”? Yeah that’s the one. It’s true. Once you’ve conquered all of your small goals, it will be time to accomplish some big ones, but you’ll be ready for it! Know why? Because you’ve been practicing for them this whole time!

achievement activity adolescent arms
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coffee, fitness

National Coffee Day’s Finest Contributor

Some of you have heard me say this, but I am a major coffee snob. I absolutely refuse to drink coffee from gas stations, hotels, McDonald’s… you see my point.

Not only am I a snob, I’m hopelessly addicted. Like…drink at least 3 cups a day and get a headache by 9am if I skip that first cup. It’s not just that though, it calms me.

My coffee addiction came at a young age. My dad started a tradition as long ago as I can remember to take me to get coffee on weekends (I started with orange juice to ease into it of course). Even after I was much older and moved out, he has always made time to do this. Sometimes it’s just quick catch up sessions, and other times it’s like $200 an hour therapy. I have a great dad, guys.

Anyway, I’m addicted. I’ve been getting by with Green Mountain Coffee….and by getting by, I mean have it on autoship from Amazon, but anyway, I found this new brand the other day and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

It’s called http://coffeeovercardio.com. And you guys, the things I would give to have thought of this myself would blow your minds. This brand is all about “boss babes focused on self growth, business, and booty growth”…..aka THE DREAM.

It sounded too good to be true, but I ordered it anyway and I was not disappointed. This coffee is like nothing I have ever tasted. It’s smooth, full of body, aromatic….everything you want in a coffee. Did I mention they have an organic option? This coffee is the whole package.

After buying all 4 flavors, my favorite is Flourish. It’s an organic, medium blend, and roasted to order so that it stays fresh. It’s the perfect morning coffee to get your day started. This is NOT the coffee that you have to add 5 splenda and 6 creams to just so it doesn’t taste like water.

I want to say that I am absolutely not being paid in any way to talk to you guys about this coffee. I just love the message and the product. I did, however, become a “Barista Babe”. What does that mean? You get to use code 10fitasamother to get a discount on your purchase. Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments! You won’t be sorry.

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5 Ways Confident People Live Differently

world peace printing paper
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

for blog

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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The Third Trimester

36 weeks

The third trimester, also know as the part of my pregnancy when TIME STOOD STILL.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I called Tyler having an absolute, running mascara, stress eating Starbucks scones panic attack, “NINE WEEKS. THERE WILL BE A BABY IN OUR HOUSE IN NINE WEEKS.” It’s funny because I knew I had been pregnant for eight months, but it doesn’t seem super real until your stomach gets so big that you feel like you are permanently trapped in a sumo wrestler fat suit. See photo above.

Fast forward two weeks. I had switched to weekly visits with my OBGYN and good thing too because I was so paranoid that the baby would come any time. I had this picture in my head of my water breaking at work (40 miles from home) and having to push a baby out next to the bunny cage. Not a pretty sight. Anyway, I was experiencing a lot of normal pre-labor symptoms, but it was all a first for me so everything made me go “oh my god, this is it. I’m having the baby right now”…… pretty sure my doctor had my phone number memorized at this point. I had Braxton Hicks regularly, the baby dropped, already lost my mucous plug (even though I had JUST learned what that was. Some advice: don’t google it), and was experiencing “lightning crotch” like nobody’s business. For those of you that don’t know, lightning crotch is just what it sounds like. It’s literally a sharp pain on the inside of your vagina that makes you feel like your whole body is falling apart starting from the inside. Fun times.

I went in for my 33 week appointment, my doctor noticed the baby dropped and that I was 1cm dilated. This wasn’t concerning to her, but I hadn’t show any signs before this and I was so active at work that she said I should probably take some time off for at least a week so I don’t force my body into early labor. I took a week off and spent the entire time in bed. I only got up to eat and most of the time kept a full array of snacks on my night stand to minimize the moving.

Sleeping was the worst. I had read that you aren’t supposed to sleep on your back because the weight of the baby can damage your organs and/or nerves. It was already devastating to me that I could no longer sleep on my stomach, but now not my back either??? I bought a Boppy full body pillow to help me sleep on my side and it was life changing. Highly recommend to any pregnant woman. Or any woman. Or man.

Here it is for those of you that are human.

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After another couple of weeks, my doctor told me it was time to go on maternity leave. My job was very physically demanding and it just wasn’t worth going into labor early for me. I desperately didn’t want to have the baby until my dad’s birthday, November 22nd. Adeline’s due date was November 23rd, so it was almost too good to be true. This was important to me for a couple of reasons: one being that I just love my dad. I have always been and always will be a daddy’s girl. Also, every other generation on my dad’s side has been born on November 22nd! It was meant to be. My dad and now Adeline.

What’s funny and totally predictable about my life? I always, always, always think that everything is going to be horrible and it never is. I thought I would have Adeline early, but instead I got scheduled to be induced at 39 weeks, 6 days to have her on November 22nd. My parents took me to buy a bunch of little bundt cakes after. It was a good day.

 

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The Second Trimester

Baby

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” – Albus Dumbledore

At 14 weeks, the worst part was over. I finally felt like almost myself again. I finally had enough energy to motivate myself to get out of bed. I didn’t feel like some foreign object was calling the shots anymore. I literally woke up one day and all of the sickness was gone. This was a great day.

Here is what was most interesting about this portion of pregnancy: people no longer see you as a person. They see you as an attraction at a museum that doesn’t have a “Do Not Touch” sign ONLY because that should be obvious. Apparently it’s not. I could go on for days about how pregnancy was unintentionally quite a social experiment and how shockingly different people treated me, but I’ll just give the highlights. One of the first instances I remember was at work. I was helping a man pick out some fish for his fish tank and I was spewing off roughly 5yrs of knowledge to help him successfully keep his aquarium alive. I ask him if he has any preferences and as an answer to my question he says, “so…..are you pregnant?” …… ……….. There are SO MANY things wrong with this scenario. First of all, you’ve all heard it, NEVER ask a woman if she is pregnant. Best case scenario, she says yes which does not weigh out against the worst case scenario. Just leave it alone. Also, I am a human being genuinely trying to help you. I just spent 10mins explaining different water quality levels and how to remedy them and you act as though you have heard nothing because CLEARLY nothing is more important than me being pregnant right now. Me. A stranger who has never seen you before. Me. A statue in a museum only worthy of your curiosity and personal entertainment. But wait there’s more.  Just because clearly commenting on the shape of my stomach was not enough, he then proceeds to ask me if I’m married. What. WHAT?! First of all, I’m wearing rings, look for yourself, but second, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? Clearly this conversation can’t just be about fish anymore. I’m sorry. Excuse me for thinking you care about living things you invest your money in. That was my fault. I remind myself that my job is customer service and nicely reply that yes, I am married. His opinion was that this was good. Thank God. I’m so glad I got his approval. And God forbid, I not be married.

The coolest part of the 2nd trimester….and well…really all of the pregnancy? This is when you first start to feel the baby move. It is scary and amazing and when I first started to feel a bond with this thing growing inside of me. It made it real. My mind went from “wow this is amazing” crying to “oh my god, I’m for real having a baby” crying. Quite a range of emotions. Speaking of emotions, this is period where I was MOST emotional. For example, I went on a work trip and after a 6hr flight and over an hour drive from the airport, all I wanted to do was sleep and watch some TV. Now to help you understand, I do not have television at home. I have Netflix and Hulu, but one vital thing that those two services do not provide? The Food Network. Every time I go on a work trip I am secretly excited that I get to stay in a hotel so I can watch The Food Network and keep an inevitable Chopped marathon on while I sleep. ANYWAY, I’m at the hotel ready to eat my weight in potato chips and watch The Food Network. I turn on the TV and “there is an error”. What. This is all I wanted IS THIS TOO MUCH TO ASK? I call the hotel office, a guy comes to look at the TV (and by look, I do mean literally stare at it and…that’s it) to tell me there is nothing he can do. I keep reminding myself to have the dignity to not cry in front of a stranger. He walks out and I instantly start to try and problem solve. WHAT DO I DO I MUST WATCH CHOPPED. So I finally have some clarity and download The Food Network app on my phone and start to watch The Next Food Network Star (my 2nd favorite show on this network) and everything was fine. I could stop choking back tears now. Then five minutes later it starts buffering……ugh. Okay. AND IT KEEPS BUFFERING FOR YEARS. I lost my mind. I instantly started bawling my eyes out and everything that ever seemed a little bit bad in my whole life came to mind at that moment. “I can’t even call Tyler because I’m halfway across the country and it’s 3am. Omg I can’t even be with Tyler right now, I won’t see him for a week. Am I too dependent on him? Ugh I didn’t even want those chips anyway. Pregnancy is making me gain so much weight. I JUST WANT TO WATCH THE FOOD NETWORK. You realize you’re crying about not getting to watch TV, right? YES AND I DON’T CARE”…… I. Was. A. Disaster. Then 5mins later, my app started working and I was fine.

And that is a perfect description of the 2nd trimester.

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I’m Having A Baby? No I’m not….Wait…

“We aren’t having a baby this year, are we?” This is not a normal question, but it is one that I asked my husband in January 2017. I was just checking. I’ve never had maternal instincts or felt….well, motherly in any way, so this was a legitimate question in my mind. We both laughed it off and went to sleep. Fast forward 1 month, I went to him complaining about tender breasts. His reply of “you’re probably pregnant” meant nothing to me because I knew my period was supposed to start soon and this happened every month. Period symptoms are often the same as early pregnancy symptoms! And every month he would say “you’re probably pregnant” almost as reverse psychology. We’re kids ourselves! We don’t need to have them. And we won’t, as long as we use the “you’re probably pregnant” phrase. Logic.

I had just gone back to my old job as a General Manager after leaving for almost a year, so I was too focused on getting back into the swing of things without thinking about, hello, bringing a life into this world. Then I realized that my period was about 5 days late. This has happened before too. I’m generally pretty regular, but with the stress of a “new” job, it made sense to me that it was late. I waited another day or so, then bought a pregnancy test for peace of mind (history lesson: I’ve bought a million pregnancy tests for peace of mind, so again, this was no different than a normal routine to me). I was so NOT WORRIED about this test that I took it at work, an hour from home, without talking to Tyler about it. I went to the bathroom, waited the required amount of time, and picked up the pregnancy test with rolling eyes with “ugh this is such a waste of time” going over and over in my mind. Then I saw it. A positive sign. Double take. “No it’s wrong. Wait… I’m pregnant? ME? No” this replayed in my mind at least 100 times. I’m at work, what am I supposed to do now? Tyler is at home asleep. I’m shaking. I’m not even sure what being pregnant means. Looking back at this, I think it’s hilarious when I see “cute pregnancy announcement” suggestions on Pinterest because what I did was so not cute or thought out. I went to the back room and called my husband. Again, he’s been asleep for about a good hour, so the perfect time to break the news, right? Here’s the exchange:

Me: “Hey babe. I’m just calling because….well, I took a pregnancy test just so I would stop thinking about it. ….but uh……well. It was positive…”

Tyler (half asleep still): “What?”…then he starts laughing because, I guess it seems ridiculous. We haven’t been pregnant before, why would we be now?

Me: “Yeah.”

Tyler: “well alright then!” – his tone was bright. He seemed happy.

Me: “Well what do we do now?”

Tyler: “Well nothing. It’s going to be good! I’m going back to sleep though”

I wonder what Pinterest would think of this type of exchange. On another note, this is why Tyler is perfect for me. He was so chill and that helped me relax too. I even smiled after I hung up the phone. I get home later that night where he was still in bed, but not really sleeping. I sat on the bed next to him and we both just started laughing. This was the easiest response and I still look back really happy that this is how we deal with life changing events.