“Far from what I once was, but not yet what I am going to be.”
Below you will find reasons to why I have been driven to share this site with you. Each main category represents a different aspect of my life that I have improved on. Hopefully this will give you some insight into how I reached this point so you can connect with me and also do the same!
I consider myself to be a pretty active person and have always had an athletic body for the most part. I was a dancer when I was younger but that was the extent of sports for me really. I quite despise running, but my husky motivates me to try to change that. I much prefer going on a hike instead. All in all, my figure is something I’ve always been pretty confident about, but what woman doesn’t want to change a few things about the way she looks? For me, I really just wanted to lean out slightly and tone up a bit more. I have been maintaining the same physique for about 10 years and started to get an urge to challenge myself to see if I could break that. Now I wish I had taken a before photo so my after could show what a difference just a few small changes can make to your body. It took about 6 months for me to truly start seeing noticeable muscle definition or inches lost in certain areas. This is why you should stick to what you start- it does not happen quickly unless you are in some hardcore training/diet mode.
I currently try to work out 4-5 times a week, with those workouts being at least 10/15 minutes to maximum 1 hour 15 minutes. An average workout for me is about 20-45 minutes. When I first started to really make an effort with creating an exercise program I worked out NONSTOP for over 60 days straight, sometimes twice a day. Do not do that. (Unless some of your days are just taking a walk or doing a relaxing yoga flow). Your body needs some rest days to recover. Also, try to do a variety of exercise types so that you don’t hit a plateau. I mix up toning with cardio, as well as alternating standing and floor exercises (a tip I picked up from Jillian Michaels). I got started by watching videos from FitnessBlender, PopSugar and Melissa Bender Fitness, which I all highly recommend! These women motivated me to keep up with what I was doing because of the wide range of workouts and the different amounts of time offered. If I only had 10 minutes to squeeze in that day because of my schedule they had a routine to help me achieve that.
You have to try a few things to figure out what pattern you are able to stick to, but also to encourage yourself to see what you might get into. Your body is capable of so many things if you can just train your mind to not hold you back. (I am currently trying to do more morning workouts but need to master the snooze button better.) Some people need to get away from everyone and drown out the world with music, others want to join a fitness group to help motivate them. I prefer to work out at home mostly because that works best for me. I feel it takes too much time to go to a gym, wait for machines and sit in traffic there and back. I am slowly building my at-home gym but started off with just body weight moves. People say they don’t have time to fit in a workout. Yes you do. I get home from work and just want to spend time with my man, but I also want to cook and get a workout in…. then I get annoyed there’s not much time left in the day to do everything. My solution? Multitask. I prep dinner with him and while it cooks I workout in front of the TV so we get to Netflix binge together. Then I have the rest of the evening to do whatever I want. I try to do a class at least once or twice a week for just me time though. Like I said- variety is key to make sure you don’t get ‘stuck’ so I switch off between yoga, Krav Maga, dance, aerial yoga, crossfit and kickboxing. Become addicted to Groupons! I took classes with friends at first and then eventually tried things on my own that I was interested in. Don’t allow yourself to feel insecure about it- you are doing this for YOU and other people just happen to be there doing the same.
I have done a workout in silence with no music, on a cold bathroom floor…. even cramped into a closet. There is NO excuse. If you want it, find a way to achieve it! It really is that simple… what makes it complicated is convincing yourself. There have been many times in the past I tried to start making fitness a habit and did not keep up with it. The truth is, slacking is a habit. You can retrain yourself so that fitness becomes your go-to instead. Regular exercise can help with stress, image, overall health and more. It IS possible to reach a point where fitness becomes a priority for you.
For the most part I felt like I ate pretty healthy in the past. I was never a frequent to fast food except off and on in high school/college. I have always enjoyed health food, loved fruits and vegetables, etc. but I do have a major sweet tooth and a love for pasta with cream sauce. I didn’t cook too much growing up except for a bit of baking. This is most likely because my mom and best friend (who was my roommate throughout college) were both gourmet cooks and I just enjoyed it. Eventually, it sparked my interest in cooking- although I wish I had cooked more with both of them sooner.
Like I said before, I was proud of my body for the most part and just had a personal struggle with a few pounds and random problem areas. I felt that I couldn’t achieve the small goals I set but since I was working out and eating good I guess that’s just how I was meant to be. In truth, you can workout as hard as you want and it will help but if you eat poorly you will be in a constant battle with yourself. I had no idea what a few adjustments in my food intake could do for me.
A few years back I had a coworker who was gluten free and I didn’t even know what that really was since this was before it became a trend. I did notice that when we all went to lunch she could eat quite a few things and it didn’t seem all that restrictive. I was intrigued and started asking questions. Gluten can make you feel heavy and although I loved things like pasta, bread, cookies, crackers, bagels, etc. I realized there are substitutions for most of these that were quite doable. I tried it out and immediately felt better within about two weeks and actually saw the results when I looked in the mirror. I have now been doing this for about 4 years.
I didn’t completely cut gluten from my diet. I am a strong believer that what matters most about how you eat is portion control and limiting, not eliminating. I try to consume a vegetarian meal a few times a week, not overload on cheese and watch my carbs more now. What was difficult for me in the past was when I tried some fad diet where you can’t have any of X for X amount of time. This may work for some people, but I found that doing that to myself made me more likely to quit. My cheat days aren’t half a pizza, an entire bag of chips and a milkshake either. It’s all about balance. I have plenty of friends who are vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc. and I have learned from each. Some things that really helped me get to where I wanted to be was using the MyFitnessPal app. Educating myself on the food I was putting into my body really opened my eyes. If you are conscious of eating right on a regular basis the outcome can be incredibly rewarding in numerous ways.
Too often we abuse our bodies or don’t seek out a solution for things we are bothered by but can fix if we just tried. I used to have thick hair but I destroyed it. I used to not think about smooth skin until I realized I had more wrinkles than others my age. I didn’t have asthma until I ignored my allergy doctor and kept letting my cat sleep up against my face. Suddenly you reach a point where those things you took for granted start to mean a great deal to you and you will do anything to find a way to get it back.
When I started college my hair started thinning- maybe it was stress, maybe it was the fact that I used to iron it (literally- with an iron) and dye it from a box every few months. I had my thyroid tested but realized I had just ruined my hair that badly for so many years. I have gone to a salon before and had them tell me that I should just bob my hair and start over because it was so dry and damaged. Nope. I walked out and decided it was time to rebuild my hair naturally. My hair had reached a point where it was not growing past a certain length anymore- the reason being because it just kept breaking off. I also started paying attention to my roots and noticed my hair was growing much slower than average. Most of my friends (and my guy) all had hair that would outgrow mine drastically, no matter how many times they cut it. About two years ago I started doing at-home oil treatments. I try to do these once or twice a week now, plus wash my hair less often. I have switched to better shampoos and conditioners, started to use baking soda every now and then to get rid of the build up from products and quit dying it. I now notice that my hair is finally growing at a normal rate, is much healthier and is actually achieving some length.
As for my skin I love the sun too much being from Texas, and never used any protective moisturizers until my mid-20s. I was never that young teen with a break-out problem but when I switched birth control a few years ago I suddenly had facial acne as a result. This enraged me and I became obsessed with figuring out masks to try to get this to go away. In turn, I became aware of all these other face masks I could do to minimize pores and help with wrinkles. Luckily I have someone I am very comfortable with that doesn’t care if I have avocado mashed all over my face, but even so it’s easy enough to do most of these masks quickly if you feel weird about it. I try to do at least a few a month and have for a few years now. This mixed with the right vitamins and foods has made a huge difference in the appearance of my skin.
Health-wise I have bad allergies and used to be sick way too much. I worked with children for years and felt like I was constantly coming down with something and couldn’t build up my immune system. Adding certain things in to my diet and incorporating more all natural remedies into my life really turned this around for me. It’s amazing what you have around the house that can have a big impact on your health if you just knew what to use it for. I don’t rely on medicine as often and am usually only sick once or twice a year now.
Yes, I should have cared to do these things sooner- but the point is I’m doing it now! All it took was a little bit of research and minimal effort. Re-adjusting myself from the inside out helped me become less insecure about personal issues that were really affecting me. It won’t be immediate, but over time it will be visibly beneficial.
Your mind controls your actions and how you perceive everything. If you don’t learn to have power over your thoughts, you will lack control of your life. It took me a very long time to figure this out correctly, and it is something I work on daily.
I have come very far from the person I was just a few years ago. I used to be VERY co-dependent and have toxic friends/relationships. I had a tendency to be pessimistic, overdramatic and hold grudges. I struggled with letting go of things that weren’t helpful to me because I was used to it. I also continually made bad decisions in hopes it would turn out right this time around. In order to change your way of thinking you have to be willing to feel it, to be honest with yourself and to truly want to be a better person for YOU and those close to you. I read self-help books, listened to podcasts with good advice, subscribed to uplifting newsletters, even went to a therapist for a while. Something that literally turned my life around is Mastin Kipps’ The Daily Love. Mastin was so easy to relate to and wrote about so many different avenues of life that you can improve on. There were things I didn’t even realize I was doing that were keeping me going in circles and his words became a breakthrough for me.
Every single day I try to be aware of how I am acting, the words I am using to express my feelings and the way I am talking to myself in my own head. Is what I am doing today helping me to become the person I want to be tomorrow? Living with regret and a what-if frame of mind can make you unappreciative of the life that is right in front of you. I used to feel like I wasted years but really all of my past helped build the person that I am today. Life is a constant lesson, and it’s up to us if we want to participate in learning that or just complain about it. Altering your way of thinking can open so many new doors for you than you realize. Our own minds can restrict us, so to me the most important thing I’ve learned is to try to step into that unknown and release yourself to the possibilities of a better you.