IDK my BFF, Taco Bell; The “Healthy” Guide to Eating Fast Food

I get personally offended when someone doesn’t like fast food. I am also extremely jealous because I wish for one second that I could pretend like I don’t LOVE cheesy fiesta potatoes from Taco Bell… I mean have ya’ll had those things? Stick a fork in me, because I am done.

I am just going to preface this whole discussion that the “healthy” in the title is in quotes because I do indeed realize that fast food is not exactly “healthy.” I recognize that eating all-natural, real food is a better option. But, that’s in a perfect world. And I just do not live in one of those perfect worlds. I eat from home about 90% of the time… the other 10% I cannot be held responsible for my actions. Fast food is called fast food for a reason. It’s easy and quick and sometimes that’s all that you have time/money for. I am not a nutritionist by any stretch of the word, but I am a real person that has made some good choices in the last two years. And just as I promised when starting this blog, I am going to share what I’ve learned. Luckily, I have learned a few things about fast food.

The following list has a few different of my go-to’s when I am in a pinch and catch myself only being able to run to a fast food joint. I also sometimes like to just feel like I am a part of the group and don’t always have to be the one requesting that we go somewhere healthy. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t all about excluding yourself in the name of vegetables. It’s about balance – and my life balance includes tacos.

Breakfast 

  • Starbucks
    • Coffee Recommendations: click here. (shameless plug)
    • Sous Vide Egg Bites: Egg White & Red Pepper
      • 170 cals
    • Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Sandwich
      • 210 cals
    • Spinach, Feta & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap
      • 290 cals

Starbucks has a lot of great options, especially for breakfast. You can knock out a low cal coffee and warm breakfast item all in one stop.

  • Dunkin’ Donuts
    • Coffee Recommendations: click here. (second shameless plug)
    • Veggie Egg White Wake Up Wrap
      • 160 cals
    • Ham, Egg & Cheese on English Muffin
      • 380 cals

Dunkin has an entire menu called DDSmart which are items aimed at being “healthier” options on the menu. Sticking with these items when ordering will help you to stray from unruly calories. Be careful when ordering oatmeal out at places thinking that it will be healthy (because it looks like toxic sludge), it is often riddled with sugar. For example, oatmeal at DD has 35 grams of sugar in one cup!

  • McDonald’s 
    • Egg White Delight
      • 260 cals
      • This is my absolute favorite breakfast sandwich! Always my quick go to breakfast.

Stay away from biscuits from any place… it’s a big no no. This is a great option for a fast cheap breakfast because you can find McDonald’s anywhere and they have Diet Dr. Pepper on tap.

Lunch/Dinner 

Human instinct tells us to go for a salad no matter where we go when we want something healthy. Salads are not always your only option, and they are often a worse idea than just eating a burger. For example, a Zaxby’s Fried Cobb Zalad has 820 calories while a Big Mac rings in with 540 cals. You tell me which one you would pick… *the correct answer is Big Mac*

  • Subway 
    • Easiest place to eat healthy because you can customize!
    • Choose wheat bread and a simple meat. Chicken breast or turkey breast are going to be your best options.
    • Steer clear of any complex sandwiches – tuna, chicken bacon ranch, meatball sub. If you’re gonna eat these options, you might as well treat yourself to chicken nugs
    • Try to avoid cheese if possible and full flavor sauces
    • My sandwich: Wheat bread, turkey, pickles, olives, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber and mustard. Pack on the vegetables and you won’t even miss the cheese and ranch. (never thought I’d see myself type that)
  • Bojangles 
    • So random, but one of my favorites!
    • Roasted Chicken Bites
      • 125 cals
    • Green Beans
      • 40 cals
    • Cajun Pintos
      • 120 cals
    • The protein from the chicken and pinto beans really help to keep you full.
  • Wendy’s 
    • Chili
      • Small: 170 cals
      • Large: 250 cals
    • Grilled Chicken Sandwich
      • 360 cals
      • Skip the honey mustard and just get regular mustard to save some calories!
    • Pair the chicken sandwich and get chili as your side to make it a combo!
  • Chic Fil A
    • This is really the mecca if you’re trying to stick with healthier choices
    • Grilled Chicken Sandwich
      • 310 cals
    • Grilled Nuggets
      • 8 piece: 140 cals
      • 12 piece: 210 cals
    • Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap
      • 350 cals
    • Grilled Market Salad
      • 330 cals
    • Fruit Cup
      • 45 cals
    • Chicken Noodle Soup
      • 240 cals
  • McDonald’s 
    • Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
      • 350 cals
    • Well, that’s about all I’ve to offer you from there…
  • Taco Bell 
    • Just because we all know I’m a fan, but it’s a no for “healthy.”
    • Is this gonna stop me?
      • No.
    • Reminder: life balance, people.

You Have Options

People constantly reach out to me because they are afraid to give up their freedom while trying to get healthy. I share posts like this because there is so much freedom gained from a healthy lifestyle. Freedom to do the things that you weren’t able to do before – and there is still the freedom to eat fast food. Don’t let fear be the thing that stands in your way.

Please screenshot some of these menu items and when you’re out and in a pinch, you can refer back to some ideas and options that you have! Keeping these items on hand can keep you from getting overwhelmed with a menu and making rash decisions in the drive thru.

As always, I’m here with any questions or to talk you off a ledge before you dive into a 20-count McNugget.

-O

 

 

Anyone ready for 2019 yet? How to Re-focus on 2018 before the year is up!

We have just about made it a month into the New Year. We have also made it about one month in to where people start giving up on their goals and chalking it up as a loss for the whole year. People… we have seriously got to stop doing this. You give up on something 23 days in when you have 342 more days to make it happen. One month in when you still have eleven more. But, I get it. Having a goal and going after it is hard. If it it was easy don’t you think we would all be visions of health and glamour by now with a million dollars sitting in the bank?

While we are talking about the physical calendar maybe it’s time that we stop focusing on it so much. As a society, we get so hung up on the day and month and I think that mindset is one huge thing that stands in our way of reaching our goals. For example, we all know that a diet can only start on Monday. If you slip up on a Monday or don’t go grocery shopping on Tuesday, we innately believe that you have to wait until the following week. Health on Tuesday is just pointless… right? Whenever you actually think about it, it’s kind of ridiculous.

Same goes for goals in the new year. “I ate like crap again all January, so I’m just gonna make 2019 my year.” Lying to yourself over and over continues to build a negative mindset within yourself. You’re just teaching yourself that you don’t have to follow-through with what you want.

Just a disclaimer… January has not been fabulous. I’m not even gonna pretend like it has just been a beautiful month and you are all way behind in the game because January has been less than kind to you. I had my wisdom teeth removed at the start of the year, got two dry sockets (can you say ouch?), and then a weird bought of the flu/crud. The water heater also decided one day that it wanted to start pouring water out into the kitchen. It just felt like one thing after another.

So, I get it. It’s a little funny and a little sad how much I get it. I get feeling like 2018 is already beating you up. I mean realistically, there’s nothing that we can do to stop it from kicking us up for the rest of the year. But, we can decide how we are going to react to it. Once you decide to overcome the calendar, and those thoughts that it’s too late to reach your goals, how do you refocus and finish out 2018 strong?

Think

It’s so easy to get caught up at the beginning of the year. Everyone is hype and so motivated and you all start scratching down nine million goals in a frenzy. Chill. It’s okay to have a list of 25 goals or literally just one.

One of the best parts of focusing on goals well into the new year is that you have a little bit more time to really focus on what YOU want. When everyone starts making their resolution lists I feel like there are blurred lines and everyone ends up trying to do the same thing. Pick goals that you actually want to happen. It makes it a lot easier to go after something that you actually want. Sit down this week for 15-30 minutes alone and really think about goals and want you want to see out of the rest of the year. Focus on you and focus on where you want to be.

Write 

After your 30 minute personal goal-setting sesh, write them down. I’ve said it before, but I’m sure some of you just needed a second reminder to get those things down on paper (sarcasm). Having a visual guide to see your goals is just an added accountability factor. You don’t have to advertise them to everyone, but when you see it in ink it really does make you feel more accountable to following through with it. If a big display isn’t your thing, put them in a note on your phone. Take an extra 5 minutes to write down all of your goals and thoughts you had during your thinking session, that way it keeps you intentional while you are thinking and can keep your mind from wandering.

Forget the Calendar 

It really is time that we stop getting so hung up on the calendar. And time in general. If you decide one Friday afternoon that you’re ready to make a change, make the change. You don’t have to wait until Sunday to go to the grocery store. You can workout on Wednesday for the first time of the week, it doesn’t have to start on Monday. The cardio machines still turn on, on Tuesday afternoons. Stop focusing on the time that you didn’t do what you wanted, and focus on the time that you have left to make it happen.

Start 

Jump in. Sometimes that can be the hardest part. Come to terms with your goals, get comfortable with the decision that you’ve made, and just start.

The process isn’t always glamorous, but the results always are.

Fall Off 

It’s bound to happen at some point. Or at least I think it happens to everyone at some point? If you have never had a moment of doubt or fallen off the goal wagon, please teach me your ways because ya girl is not a pro.

It’s okay to fall off, whether that is intentional or not. Heck, I plan when I’m gonna be bad. I know weeks in advance that on the weekend on March 16th I’m gonna eat like a psycho and I can’t wait. Or sometimes, your fall off can be a really bad day where you get home and eat a whole bag of Doritos. It’s life. It happens. But, what you don’t get to do it fall off the wagon and start hating yourself or thinking that your progress isn’t valid or important. A mistake doesn’t define your journey and it’s not going to completely alter the progress that you’ve made. Just don’t let it turn into a long string of slip-ups.

Start Again

This is the most beautiful part of the journey to me. You have the ability to start over time and time again. There’s no need for defeat or discouragement, just a new found motivation and excitement for the journey ahead. Sometimes starting again isn’t fun. (Let’s be real, most of the time it’s not fun.) But, I have found that if I do what I know is right, regardless of if I want to or not, I have a new found appreciation for myself. It’s almost a sense of pride that develops knowing that you can do difficult things and you can do them well. Loving yourself enough to do it is so empowering. Even if you’d rather be eating a pint of ice cream.

I hope that 2018 has been really good to you, but if it hasn’t that’s okay too. Remember that life really is all about the way that you react to the things that are happening around you. Take your power to react and put it all into your fight to making your goals happen.

-O

What’s in My Cup?

C O F F E E

I cruised through 24 years of my life without needing coffee. And yes, the word need was intentional. This last year coffee and I have entered into a very committed relationship. I started drinking it while traveling for work when many mornings began around 4:30am. And the hotel always had free coffee. Let’s be serious, I will always take advantage of whatever the hotel has for free. But, through testing out all of the different hotel coffee options, I realized it makes a big difference in my energy for the day.

I want to first caution you to drink it in moderation. Coffee is not something that our bodies need to survive, although some of us may feel like it. None of these suggestions are meant to be taken advantage of five times a day. I limit myself to one cup of coffee a day as a jumpstart to have a smoother morning. Coffee can also cost waaaaay more than it’s worth and can pack on unnecessary calories. Hopefully these suggestions will help you develop some healthier coffee choices or at least give you some more variety!

I’m going to break this coffee-blog down as follows:

  1. Health-benefit filled coffee
  2. Various Creamer Types
  3. Cold Coffees
  4. Ordering On-The-Go

1. Health-benefit Filled Coffee

  • Bulletproof Coffee
    • This is a high-fatty coffee that is often used by people who abide by a keto-diet or low-carb. Do some research on this type of coffee before you just start churning up butter and oil with coffee
    • Recipe: Blend coffee, 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter or ghee, 2 Tbsp coconut oil. Use a high power blender because they don’t blend easily. You can also add some stevia or sugar-free sweeteners for taste. Many also add collagen to the mixture. If you don’t like the idea of butter you can sub with a dairy-free creamer.
    • Benefits? Credited for providing people with extra energy over normal coffee and fat loss. This is all a part of a ketogenic diet (which I don’t follow, but I know works for many). I like to provide you all with more than just my opinion. To check out keto… visit here.
  • Collagen Peptides
    • This is a simple, quick add-in that has many health benefits.
    • Collagen peptides are a powder form of collagen derived directly from animal collagen. You can also find similar collagen from plants. I use products from a company called Vital Proteins.
    • What do Collagen Peptides do? They are an amazing source of protein, so it can help keep you fuller in the morning with breakfast & coffee. It is great for digestion and gut health. If you have tummy issues, many have seen collagen peptides making it feel better and have better digestion. It increases energy and greatly helps to ease soreness. I have noticed a difference myself between gym soreness with and without the collagen peptides.
    • If you are looking to start adding collagen to your coffee, check out Collagen Peptide Creamer by Vital Proteins. It’s a way to get creamer and collagen all in one.
  • Protein Coffee
    • This is one of my favorites!
    • It is great way to have breakfast-on-the-go, a snack, an extra dose of protein and an easy way to make a trip to Starbucks a healthy one.
    • Order or make an espresso shot (or two if you’re really struggling) and mix with a pre-made protein shake. My favorites are either Premier Protein or Iconic Protein. They are both relatively cheap and can be found at most grocery stores/Walmart/Target. I recommend the Premier Protein in caramel flavor. You can also mix it with a cup of coffee, the protein shake won’t be as strong and you’ll have more liquid to drink. Just depends on what works for you!

2. Various Creamer Types

If you’re anything like me (and most of the world) creamer in your coffee is a must-have. Adding creamer can also mean adding in un-wanted dairy and a plethora of calories. I’ve found a few ways to combat a few of these disasters.

  • Sugar-free Creamer
    • Every grocery store has the typical creamer brands that make flavors in sugar-free style. There is a small difference between the taste of them and the original “all-sugar” flavors.
    • The reduction in sugar also helps to cut the calories almost in half.
  • Fat-free Creamer
    • Same as above, you can find these just about anywhere. The fat-free can help reduce some calories
  • Dairy-Free Creamer
    • NutPods is one of the most popular brands. You can order online or find it at Publix.
    • There are other brands of dairy-free creamers and almond milk creamers that can be found at the local grocery store.  Califia Farms tastes great and so does Natural Coffee Mate. Click on their names to check out the brands!
    • Don’t immediately be turned off to these because they are dairy free! They taste almost exactly the same and they can help reduce the calories that is in your typical cup of coffee.
  • Coconut Creamer
    • This is my new go-to!
    • The coconut milk creamer helps to “milk-y” (can’t think of a better adjective for that) down the coffee and then I add a tbsp of regular creamer on top of it to add flavor.
    • I use Trader Joe’s brand of this and it costs under $2.00.

3. Cold Coffees

I am a total coffee newbie, so this is where I began my coffee experience. I spent a couple of weeks just purchasing various brand of Cold Brew and Iced Coffee from the store. If you want to start doing this – a couple a tips… They are much more expensive than just buying and making your own coffee. If you are just wanting to dip your toes in the coffee pool this can be a good, non-overwhelming option. If you go this route, be sure that whatever blend you get has “no added sugars.” Pre-made coffee doesn’t have to have any sugar to be made, but many companies will try to sneak it in there on you.

4. Ordering One The Go

Here are some great options if you are in a pinch and need to order on-the go from Starbucks. I’m sure other places will have things similar to this!

  • Order Up:
    • Mix one or two shots of espresso with protein drink (order in vent cup with ice) – best part is this doubles as coffee and breakfast
    • Iced coffee mixed with protein shake
    • Cafe Americano
    • Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiato or Skinny Latte
    • Grande Skinny Vanilla Lattee with nonfat Milk
    • Iced Coffee with sugar free syrup of choice and nonfat or almond milk
    • Skinny Soy Cinnamon Dulce Latte
      • Tall Latte with soy milk and 2 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dulce syrup
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask about fat-free and sugar-free options and ways that you can cut corners. They are used to those questions and usually can get them answered pretty quickly!

If you don’t love coffee – don’t try to force yourself to fall in love with it. Try your hand at a hot tea if you are wanting a morning drink that comes with a little extra energy. Tea has just as much caffeine as coffee and can be sweetened with just a single pack of Splenda!

Hopefully these suggestions have given you a few new tips and ways to have a healthier relationship with coffee. Because let’s be real, this is never a break-up than any of us need to go through.

-O

New Year, New Goals

I know everyone always says this, but I SWEAR it was just 2004 like five days ago. It blows my mind whenever I think about how fast times goes. I am a total sucker for a little bought of nostalgia and the first day of the year always has me feeling all warm and fuzzy.

2017 was a big year for me. There was a lot of heartache, disappointment, and let downs but that was all completely overshadowed by all of the love, success, and incredible moments. I cried a lot of tears and laughed a lot of laughs. I graduated with my Master’s degree. Got my first “big girl” job (that I love). Started a blog. Sang a large amount of karaoke and busted out many a dance move. I loved my people and they loved me back. And I focused a lot of time on keeping myself healthy and happy. Needless to say 2017 was good, but I’m ready to cruise right on into 2018.

In the past, I have always made New Year’s Resolutions but I just kept the list in my head. Mainly because I didn’t have to admit it to anyone if I slipped up or just all together dropped the ball. For example, I will now publicly admit that last year I planned to read a book each month and I managed to reach 30 pages of one book. Not my best.

This year, I wrote out a list of the goals that I have for the new year and I literally taped them to my bathroom wall. There was something so exciting to me about writing out the list. I could feel the opportunity and growth popping out of the page each time I wrote out a new goal. And I don’t want to rush anything, but I am already excited to get to the end of this year and see what all I was able to accomplish. Isn’t this a mindset that you want to have about the upcoming year? Instead of being encompassed by dread and already thinking about things that might go wrong, encompass your whole mind with things that you want to go right and the new year’s opportunities. Y’all know by now I am a big supporter of intentionality and this is no exception. You have to make intentional changes and choices to meet your goals.

In an attempt to be more transparent with you all and an added way to hold myself accountable, I want to share my goals for the upcoming year.

Goal 1: Lose 30 pounds 

  • I know that numbers aren’t everything. But, I think that this last stretch of loss will get me to a healthy weight for my height. (Those of you who don’t know me; I’m a few inches under the Jolly Green Giant).
  • Action to get there: I will be mindful of what I eat, 4 gym visits a week with one day added for yoga/deep stretching, 120-150 ounces of water a day.

Goal 2: Find Home Church 

  • I have lived in my current town for far too long to not have a church family and I am looking forward to finding a place that I really feel at home with. I’m looking for a church that has a choir and a larger number of people around my age.
  • Action to get there: I am going to start visiting a few churches. I have done some research on ones that I think will be a good fit, so I will be going to those in the coming weeks.

Goal 3: Daily Happiness List 

  • By nature, I am a not an overly joyous person. I mean I really have to dig deep to just be happy, happy, happy. But, I know that I live an incredibly happy life. I just want to be better able to reflect on those experiences at the end of the year. So, after I got sucked into a sappy Facebook video detailing another woman’s experience with happiness for a year, I have decided to follow her lead. I am going to write down a sentence or two each night about something that really made me happy/thankful that day. It can’t be “I am happy because I have a house,” it needs to be a dig-deep moment.
  • Action to get there: I am keeping a journal by my bed and each night I am going to write about my happy. This is going to be such an amazing list of memories to have at the end of the year. *cue tears*

Goal 4: Grow Blog Following 

  • I want to continue sharing good content that my followers think is interesting and finding new followers along that way that will let me be a part of their own journeys.
  • Action to get there: Continue weekly posts on blog, try to post on Instagram at least 4-5 times a week. Comment and create connections with other bloggers.

Goal 5: Financial Stability

  • I have said it once and I will say it again… It is hard out here for a young professional.
  • Action to get there: Stick to a firm budget that I make each month. Create a savings account and continue working on paying off student loans. It’s a marathon here, not a sprint.

Goal 6: Focus on You! 

  • I tend to get pretty caught up in what other people are doing. “Oh they’re not working out so I won’t go to the gym.” “So and so isn’t giving this project their all, so I can slow up a little bit.” “Everyone else is eating fast food, so I am going to do the same.” These are just minimal examples and I know that I need to overall focus on myself and the things that I want.
  • Action to get there: I plan to just be more mindful of myself in general. Focusing on my successes and goals without getting wrapped up in the things that are going on around me.

Feel free to share your lists with me! I love to knowing what you want out of the year and we can team up and continue to encourage each other to do great things.

I want to challenge you to make a physical list of your goals. Be intentional about the things that you want. Go out and get them instead of just being mad that you aren’t making progress. Because when you walk by and see that list everyday, you will be reminded why they mattered to you and why you wrote them down in the first place. Let’s make 2018 our year.

-O

15 GIFs that Describe the Workout that Almost Killed You

We are thankful once we get there, but no one said it would be easy…

1. It’s time, you’ve finally come to terms with the fact that you’re actually going to have to workout.

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2. Gotta listen to a pump up song on the way there hoping it will stir something wild inside of you.

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3. You just sit in the parking lot trying to talk yourself in to walking in.

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4. “Woah, there are a lot of people here.” This is specifically rough around the new year when everyone has new-found motivation… And I think I know that guy over there by the weights.

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5. Cardio…  here we go…

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6. “Let me pick a treadmill beside someone who doesn’t look like they are in way better shape than me…” Can’t be letting them hear you breath too hard.

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7. “Wow, I think I’m in better shape than I thought!”

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8. “Oh my Lord, I am really not in shape at all.” *breathes too hard*

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9. “Hey, at least this is almost over… HOW HAS IT ONLY BEEN 7 MINUTES?!”

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10. “If I do squats… am I going to have a booty like that girl because dang lil momma?”(Looks at own behind and immediately knows that ain’t happenin’)

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11. Then the person you avoided at the beginning has come over to small-talk while you are so out of breathe that you may pass away

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12. Now it’s time to move on to weights and every machine I know how to use is occupied…

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13. “I just know I am going to wake up tomorrow and be able to tell a difference.”
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14. The line at the water fountain is entirely too long because everyone is slowly dying. Or trying to flirt. It’s a toss-up.

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15. But, once it’s over I am a goddess, my body is a temple. All these endorphins got this body feelin’ 10/10.

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And as soon as you’re done, there’s a tiny piece of you already looking forward to coming back tomorrow.

-O

Ready, Set, Reset

There is a huge difference between being comfortable and stuck. When I started my fitness journey, I was really unhappy with where I was. Then over the course of the next year and a half, I slowly but surely moved into a place that I was really proud to be in. I started being able to shop in whatever store I wanted, getting compliments from people I had known for years, and I finally was getting the results that I worked so hard to get. I mean, losing 70 pounds completely changes you; mentally and physically.

For the past couple of months, I have been comfortable. I eat healthy, drink the water I’m supposed to, and hit the gym a few times a week. I also am not afraid to indulge myself once in a while and I don’t spend hours beating myself up if I miss a trip to the gym. Travelling for work has also been an added challenge as I have had brand new restaurants I wanted to try and for some reason the state of Kentucky doesn’t have Gold’s Gyms (insert eye roll). Kentucky does have a lot of good food and I have made it a point to try most of it (excuse, all of it).

I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the past couple of months. I have spent a good amount of the time celebrating my victories, on and off the scale. Most importantly, I have proved to myself that I really understand what goes into a sustainable maintenance lifestyle and the importance of finding a balance that works for me.

But… I have, yet again, moved to a new part in my journey. I feel stuck. I’m not seeing new results (and no before anyone suggests a plateau, I’ve just gotten lazy), I’ve gotten too relaxed with my eating and I am just overall not challenging myself anymore. I feel stuck and I refuse to let that be a word used to describe me. So, back to moving I go.

Hitting the Reset Button

I would daresay at some point during your life, you have set a goal and reached it. Even if you never quite got to where you wanted to be, I am fairly confident that you at least started the process and saw some results. It’s okay to get comfortable/stuck and have to hit the reset button. That is exactly what I am choosing to do. I am looking forward to challenging myself again, even though I know it is going to suck. But I have survived (and thrived, if I say so myself) before.

Goal Setting

We have already discussed goals, but just ensure that whatever you are pushing for is something that you want. Unless it’s a goal at work and then you’re on your own with that one, kid. Your boss will ever so politely set those for you. Anyways, your personal goals need to be just for you. When you begin to do things for you, it just continues to create a culture within yourself of power and self-love. And just like the most important Word you’ll read says, “Do everything in love.” So wouldn’t you want to live your own life in love?

Your Goals Should Be:

  •  Attainable & Realistic. You’re not going to drop 70 pounds in a week. That’s not realistic and you don’t get to be mad at the end of it and drown your sorrows in a bag of chips. Your goals
  • Trackable. It’s hard to keep track of anything if you aren’t actually able to track it. Take measurements. Write down how you are mentally feeling. Note when you start to see a difference in your clothes. Take pictures. Whatever you do, just keep up with it.
    • You can choose more subtle ways to track. For example, I didn’t take any photos of my body to document progress. It wasn’t good for me mentally, so I chose not to do. For some, that is the biggest motivator.
  • Adaptable. Your goals are not concrete. It’s okay to make adjustments to fit better for what you ultimately want. It’s also okay to just completely change what you want or if you change your mind. Key word: YOU. Stop letting people step all over what you want and rearrange your goals accordingly. This is coming from someone who was told they couldn’t reach their goals…. boop, guess what happened? I did. You can too.

Accountability

Now it’s time to actually put the goals into action and start working towards them. Whether you are just beginning or restarting or resetting or just re-doing the whole thing, I think it’s always nice to have a reminder that you can do it. Even if you are scared, you are capable.

You have to be able to hold yourself accountable. You have to have some kind of desire to reach your goals and do what it takes to make it happen. One way to hold yourself accountable is to physically write down your goals. Put them on the fridge or on your bathroom mirror. My coworkers and I are going to post our goals on a column by our desks that we see multiple times a day. I’m going to put my new goals up in my room. It’s not about guilting yourself into doing it, but it’s a nice reminder and a promise that you’re making to yourself.

Finding an accountability partner also really helps. An accountability partner isn’t just someone who is supportive, this should be someone who is also working towards a goal. So on the days when you really want to skip the gym, they encourage you to go. And on the days that it’s been really hard and you just want to eat some ice cream, they grab an extra spoon. It’s nice to have someone in your corner rooting for you while you can root for them at the same time.

If you feel like you need someone to hold you accountable, I would be more than happy to be that for you. The whole reason that I started this blog was to share my story, get some laughs, and ultimately help people. I know, sooooo cheesy. You’ve made it to the end of the post… so for that, I applaud you. If you feel like you need someone in your corner to cheer you on (even if we don’t live in the same place), I would love to be that person for you. This isn’t some blogger gimmick and I don’t want to be your cheerleader for $20 a month. I just want you to feel the strength that comes when two people choose to empower each other. If that’s you, please reach out. Let’s do it together.

-O

Fitness List: Must Haves

Thanksgiving has come and gone which can only mean one thing. It is officially the Christmas season. So all you Scrooges out there can quit being rude and start listening to Christmas music like the rest of us. I love Black Friday shopping. I mean I love it a ridiculous amount. I just delight in the drama of the whole day. People running through Walmart to get a cheap tv in a fit of rage cracks me up. Just for the record, I am not running through stores, I am just an innocent spectator. And by innocent spectator I mean spending way too much money on crap I don’t need. Anyways…

As I was walking from store to store I couldn’t help but notice a lot of the craze items that every store had on sale. A lot of those items were things that have been really instrumental for me during my fitness journey. So, I thought you all might want to add some of them to your list since Santa Clause is getting ready for the big day. Here’s a list of my top five in no particular order:

  1. Air Fryer
    • If you add nothing else to your list, please do yourself a favor and add this.
    • An air fryer does the same thing to food that a deep fryer does, but it does it with air. It’s witchcraft and I cannot explain what is happening inside besides the fact that it is magic.
    • It also can cook raw chicken in 12 minutes and roasts broccoli in 6 minutes versus the 36 minutes and 25 minutes that they take in the oven. It’s so versatile and there hasn’t been a thing I’ve made in it yet that hasn’t been good!
  2. Big Water Bottle
    • I’ve had a lot of experience drinking water, but I have realized there is nothing more exhausting than filling up a bottle over and over again.
    • I just bought a new bottle that is 64 oz. and it is a game changer. I really only have to drink two bottles the whole day and that’s just easier for my brain than trying to count nine other bottles. I never said I was good at math.
  3. Nice Headphones
    • Preferably wireless
    • These make a huge difference at the gym. Especially if you are doing any floor exercises or lifting weights. You don’t have to worry with the cord getting in your way.
    • Headphones can be hard to pay for because there are the Gummy brand sitting two feet away on the shelf and they are only $5. The investment will be worth it
  4. Digital Food Scale
    • There is no way to know what you are eating if you don’t have a way to track it. I started out by using measuring cups but it made everything much more difficult to manage. And I got lazy and tired of constantly washing them.
    • A food scale serves the same purpose but you start measuring it all in grams and ounces. I recommend a digital one instead of one that you have to read the numbers… once again, not great at math.
    • My scale was only $14 and worth every penny. I got it at Walmart.
  5. Home Gym
    1. Spoiler Alert: You don’t have to spend a ton of money to make your own functional, home gym.
    2. I have a few staple items that can give me a full body workout at my house.
      1. 10 pound hand weights
      2. Yoga Mat
      3. Stretch Resistance Bands
      4. Foam Roller
      5. Fitness Ball (optional)
      6. Kettle Ball (optional)
    3. By adding these few items to your house, you are able to get rid of the excuse to not workout because you don’t want to go the gym. Just bring the gym to your house.

       

The list may seem like a list of simple things. Nothing on here is over $100 so they’re great additions to add to a list if you’re looking for a few small things to help with your lifestyle change. I use each of the things on this list a couple of times a week, if not more. Hopefully Santa can pull through for ya, as long as you’ve behaved.

-O