Health and Fitness Tips, Like, For Real

Hi guys! A friend recently asked me to help her out with her health and fitness (because of my social posts from this summer when I was going HARD).

I put something together for her, and in all honesty, it helped me more than I ever thought possible.

Why is this? Because, in all candidness, I have totally fallen off the wagon! After having done something so extreme, I kind of catapulted into an unhealthy lifestyle and incorporated too much of the foods I had wanted for so long, going back to my bad body image/mental issues and not taking care of myself — physically or mentally. I’ve still been working out to maintain muscle, however my confidence has declined dramatically, and you feel SO much better when you put good foods into your body.

However disappointing, I am choosing to NOT beat myself up and instead, learn from this experience and the fact that I never want to do it again (your own worst enemy, ya know).

So, here is a very attainable and realistic look into my tips for fitness. This incorporates a lot of the strict aspects of my ten week journey to a six pack, but also incorporates that little thing we call “life” (I love partying with my friends, because, duh).

  1. Focus on performance over looks. Care more that you did a level 8 on the stair master than the fact that you dropped a pant size. Focus more on the fact that you feel amazing than on the fact that you are taking more time than you want to tangibly see change. This is something I didn’t do, because I was training for a bikini competition, and it broke me. So just focus on feeling amazing and improving your strength/endurance! So much more fun anyway.
  2. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or eat too much of something. Seriously, don’t. And don’t over-stress about what or when you are eating – obsessing over it is usually a problem in itself (that’s how I gain weight honestly). Eat when you are hungry, eat small portions, eat real and whole foods. THAT is how you sustain for your whole life instead of three months. Now, this obviously doesn’t apply to those that want to make fitness and health a MAJOR part of their lives, because weighing your food and eating every 2-3 hours does work, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not something I personally want to carry on with forever.
  3. Don’t think of it as a burden or something that is taking time, but more of something that is actually freeing you up! You now know you’re doing what you can to reach your goals and feel better, and you actually save money and time by not cooking random things and eating out so much. This is not a burden, this is something you can control that is helping you in all other parts of your life.
  4. Don’t be intimidated. Workouts can be an hour or even shorter if needed. And meal prepping really doesn’t take more than a couple hours. Change the schedule up however you need! (Meal prep Monday and Friday, rest Wednesday, whatever works best for you). And if you don’t want to meal prep because you enjoy cooking, enjoy that time with loved ones – or simply don’t want to, that’s okay! Just know what to eat when you are out or what recipe websites to use on the fly. Do this how it works for you, so important.
  5. Take one day off a week. The rest of the days, make sure you move. And when I say move, I mean combine resistance training with cardio. And do something you actually enjoy.
  6. Time. There is never a good time. I hear people all the time. “Well it’s Christmas. It’s my birthday. It’s the summer.” That’s the thing. If you’re living life the RIGHT way, there will always be something fun standing in your way. It’s about learning how to incorporate those things into your lifestyle, not taking them out completely. And if you do need to, stop saying you can’t. I went the entire summer (including going to Night in the Country – a festival centered around country music and drinking) without drinking alcohol or going off my food plan. It can be done, it’s just, do you want to do it?
  7. Basically: Eat whole and real foods. Workout every day. Drink lots of water. Sleep.
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Enemies

There are many mantras in which to live your life. Many quotes, many philosophies, many values, many “whys.”

I’ve unlocked a lot of these. Defined my own and what is true to me.

But I was missing something.

Because, though I had defined the reason I continue to work every day, the values by which I strive to live, and the few quotes which help me to remember the kind of life I want to live—I still felt stuck.

I felt trapped in my head, unable to attain certain things—unable to allow myself freedom, vulnerability, and a sense of, to be completely honest, not giving a shit.

It happened over Thanksgiving, over a talk with my dad.

“The only thing you have going against you is yourself.”

What. A. Wake up. Call.

It was in that moment that I realized that truly, the only thing I didn’t have going in my favor, was me.

How dumb is that?

I was the reason I didn’t have confidence in myself for professional endeavors. I was the reason I was self-conscious about different factors in my life. I was the reason I failed to accomplish certain goals. I was the reason I felt stuck in a world of immense opportunity.

Your only enemies are your own excuses.

Your only enemy, is yourself.

Because, though life throws you some shit sometimes, you have the choice to handle it a certain way. You have the choice to do things that make you happy, that honor your goals, dreams, and overall happiness and well-being.

Sometimes, we feel stuck. And sometimes, all we have to do is set ourselves free.

dreams or whatever

I used to always believe the grass was much greener [on the other side].

I dreamed of city views and world travels. Of published books and signed contracts.

And yes, I still have my dreams.

But they’re different now.

It’s odd to me, that often we think we want a certain thing, yet then when it is finally right under our nose, we look away.

We realize that we are actually pretty happy with the life we have built. We realize that we might not be ready to walk away just yet.

We realize that while we agonized over what could be, we forgot about what was—and how great it truly is.

It’s okay to be happy.

It’s okay to feel good about where you are in life. To relish in the moment and enjoy the process of growth.

Being happy, and being stagnant are not the same thing.

Yes, your dreams should scare you a bit. You know, “your dreams aren’t big enough if they don’t scare you.”

But I propose something a bit different.

Your dreams are your own. Your dreams are as big as you want to make them. And really, no dream is bigger than the next—because it’s all about perception. To one, owning a house in a small town is a big dream. To another, making it to the Today Show is a big dream. To another yet, changing one life for the better is the biggest dream of them all.

You see, it’s not about what your dream is. It’s about the dreaming itself.

And as we change, so do our dreams.

And as we dream, we learn to love our lives as they currently are—as they are currently setting us up to be.

I hope you never stop dreaming. I hope you realize that your dreams are enough. I hope you allow your dreams to change.

I hope you realize how amazing your life is, right now, today.

I hope you let yourself be happy. You free yourself from your own misconceptions of a “better” life.

I hope you work toward something, whether it be big or small, and realize that the working, well, that might enough.

12 things in 2016

Wow.

What a year #amiright.

I have learned a lot this year. I have been through some internal struggles. I have met some serious goals. I have failed more.

Was it the best year of my life? I wouldn’t say so. Was it probably the most pivotal? I dare to say yes.

In 2016, I have been promoted, moved apartments, completed a fitness regimen, cut all my hair off, went on some amazing trips, made friends, maintained friends, become closer with my younger sister (stoked on that), gotten back to my roots, and bought a car.

Those would be the major good things I can think of.

What else have I done?

I’ve been “down in the dumps.” I’ve had rough days. I’ve forgotten gratitude more than once. I’ve gotten my hopes up, only to be let down. I’ve proclaimed “what I want to do with my life” thirty times, only to realize it’s not what I want at all. I’ve had my lonely days.

So, it’s been a lot of ups and downs. It’s been a lot of good, and some, well, not so good.

But here’s the thing.

I’ve learned. I’ve grown. I’m alive to tell the tale.

I’m pretty fucking lucky, actually.

A lot luckier than most.

It’s hard to remember that every single day. It’s hard to remember that even if you messed up a goal or you don’t know where to turn, you are LUCKY to even have the chance to start over. To have the chance to ponder your goals and dreams, even if you don’t know what the hell they are.

Here is what I learned from this year, and it honestly took me the ENTIRE year up until about a week ago to come out with these lessons.

I hope to never forget them again (though I know I will, which is why I love this archived blog).

You don’t have to be perfect.

Oh, you don’t? God, no. I spent so much of this year planning. How do be the perfect version of myself, the best. How to live perfect days and be a perfect way. Seriously, so unattainable, so boring. I’d rather have my days where I eat a slice of pizza, drink a beer, and watch bad TV then ONLY focus on meditating and reading prolific books. Which leads me to my next point.

Balance is actually the key. 

I suck at this. Like literally suck. I’m an all or nothing person. And guess where this usually leaves me? NOT attaining my goals. Or at least abandoning them shortly after attaining them. It’s all about balance. Goals are great, living your life and remembering what matters is also great. Learn that, learn how to live.

Not everything belongs in your schedule.

Yeah, so… additionally suck at this. Not everything needs to be penciled in. Sometimes it’s about drinking 9 glasses of wine and hating your life the next day – all unscheduled.

Learn what makes you happy, and follow that. You are the only thing standing in your way. 

I was feeling down for about a week. I was pointing to everything under the sun for why I might be feeling that way. I went to the gym (for the first time that week) – and bam, I felt mostly better. I KNOW that going to the gym and eating healthy helps me to feel better about life in general. So why wouldn’t I do it? Your only enemies in life, are your own excuses.

Loneliness is an option. Let others in and have faith that they will understand.

I often spend time alone. Which is okay. However, being alone and being lonely are two different things. While wrapped up inside my own head, I often think no one will understand what I’m going through, no one will be able to help. Wrong. Give your loved ones the benefit of the doubt and let them try to understand. More often than not, they’ll give you some wisdom.

People are all that matter.

Refer to above. The people you love both old and new – that’s all life is about. I promise.

Learning to love where you are, right now, today, is the only way your goals will come to fruition and you won’t be miserable along the way. 

If you want to lose weight because you hate yourself today, you aren’t going to. If you want to lose weight because you care about how you feel and honoring the already awesome person you are – and understand that every single day you take a step forward you are one step closer and one step better – then you will reach your goals.

Dreams change, and that’s perfectly okay. 

I thought I wanted something my whole life. Turns out, I’m not so sure anymore. Dreams changing IS NOT THE SAME THING as giving up on dreams. That is important to remember.

It’s about the cup of crappy coffee, not the venti frap. 

It’s about the experience, not the extravagance. That’s all.

Overthinking kills. Life is actually pretty simple.

Want something? Work toward it. Unhappy with something? Change it. Regret something? Move forward. Think people are judging you? Stop caring.

Do your best and do what makes you happy. Way more simple than I tend to make it.

Focus on how you feel.

Consider measuring your success on your eagerness to jump out of bed every morning, your willingness to continue to work after a long day, your overall feeling of wellness rather than by crossing things off of a list. Life is about feeling great. It’s not about looking great, having a great house, having a great title. Focus on how you feel, and I guarantee those things will come, though.

Learn your whys.

Goals don’t matter unless you know why you want them. I have a few goals I’m working toward right now. My reasoning? 1. To live my why (to inspire others to their maximum potential and best lives). 2. To be happy. 3. To live my life in my own way. 4. To become at peace with myself.

These “whys” are huge. DUH I want to work toward mini-goals that contribute to those overall.

Who wouldn’t?

Alright folks that’s all I have for 2016. Good luck in the new year!

Wait, plot twist: here’s a 13th:

STOP CARING WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO.

Do you know how many people make fun of me for writing this blog? For doing pretty much everything I do? Many. I stopped caring, and they stopped bothering me. Literally just do your thing! (Highly recommend Do My Thang by Miley if you need a pump up jam in the morning).

Blog dat

My sister told me to “blog that shit” in regards to the recent trip I took home to Montana.

So here we are.

I’ve been back home in my routine for almost a week now, so details have since passed. And so, I will give you the 9 things you must understand, in order to even break the surface of trying to understand the Warren family based in Missoula, MT.

1. We don’t streamline processes.

Be it a conversation, a trip to the grocery store, a family outing to a basketball game – we generally make things more difficult than they should be. If I were to come into my family as a business coach, I would immediately streamline our internal processes, providing a more efficient and cost-effective approach. So, are we efficient? No. But are we fun? Yes.

2. Something must always go “wrong.”

“Wrong” is in quotes, because with our “life is an adventure” attitude, the things that go wrong, are not really wrong…because we easily brush them off. Example: we went tree hunting this trip in the freezing cold of Montana. As we were all talking over each other and getting nowhere in conversation (refer to number one), the window of the truck broke and would not go back up (why was it even down you might ask? Again, refer to number one). “Welp, there goes the window,” as Bill said. We all laughed, zipped up our jackets, and prepared for a freezing drive back home.

3. We literally all have opposite personalities.

That’s all.

4. We like Hallmark movies.

We’ll pretend we don’t (except Cath who owns it), but Hallmark is literally on every night. Cheesy movies are our jam. Just ask Mariel.

5. We are centered around hard work, a humble lifestyle, and family values.

On a serious note, we are a small business owner-minded family that works hard, lives within our means, stays grateful and humble, and truly values our experiences more than extravagance. Solid group of people in my opinion, but that’s prob biased or something.

6. We love our dog.

Dodger is like the king of the house. They’ll deny it, but it’s the truth.

7. Due to our competitive nature, things can go from good to bad real quick.

Apples to apples usually ends in an argument. Enough said.

8. We are freaks.

So weird. So odd. So random. But I would say this is all in a good way… usually.

9. In the end, we are happy to be us.

We’re lucky, blessed, grateful, and we love each other. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

path

The only thing that matters, truly, is the journey.

The why you are doing what you are doing. The good days and the days your tire goes flat. The two glasses of wine that turn into 17 with great friends. The weekends you spend with your family, the weekends you need to get away. The minutes spent agonizing over your bills, the minutes spent doing what you love.

This is what counts.

Everything.

We are, as humans, prone to comparison. We are prone to wanting more. We are prone to forgetting to realize that the journey itself, is actually our life.

The days and tasks spent building up to something great are just as, if not more important, than the days after you have arrived.

And I think too often we forget that.

I recently discussed my hopes for my future with my mom. Though as I spoke, my dreams felt so far away, so unattainable and hopeless – I was wrong (shocker).

After hearing what I wanted to do, she said, “well, aren’t you on the path toward that right now? I’m not understanding the problem?”

LOL.

Oops.

I had forgotten that while I am not there yet, I am on the right road.

I had forgotten that I am creating that future each and every day that I live an “ordinary” life.

I had forgotten that truly, it’s not about the end-game. It’s about the game itself.

It’s about the journey itself.

It’s NOT about what you see others doing, what you think is someone’s perfect life (newsflash, it rarely is).

Who gives a blank what everyone else is doing.

It’s about YOUR path. YOUR future. YOUR life.

TBH, life would be lame if I could live my dream, own my dream car and house, meet my dream guy, etc. etc. etc. – right this second.

To me, results are less meaningful if there is no hard work and struggle behind them. Think weight loss, promotions, big purchases. You had to work to get there, making it all the more awesome upon attainment.

So actually, I’m HAPPY I’m not living my picture perfect life today.

Because I think I like my slightly messy picture even better.

I’ll take working hard, appreciating what I have, and slowly but surely creating a life around me any day of the week.

Picture

A few years ago, I set out to change my image. To build my resume. To set myself up for success.

And it worked.

I support myself, I have a good job with even better people, [insert more seemingly bragging here].

Somewhere along the way, though, between the schedules, the strategy, the huge dreams and large goals – I lost a large part of who I am.

The part of me that only thinks of the day in front of me. The part of me that only lives for that moment and that moment alone. The part of me that doesn’t plan, doesn’t only look to the future, doesn’t waste away her life in her dreams.

I lost the part of me that appreciates the little things. The part of me that has gratitude for the world and everything in it. The part of me that looks around and realizes that this is enough.

That I am enough.

Amid people telling me I’m going to do big things, amid the pressure I put on myself to achieve greatness and change lives, I lost the part of me that allows me to do just that.

Simply being myself.

Recently I became lost, I felt like I was floundering – and why? Because I was chasing a dream that might not be mine to chase.

Because I’m not sure it’s my dream anymore.

Dreams change.

As we grow older, develop into the person we were meant to be, and experience different things…we evolve.

And as we evolve, so do our dreams.

I don’t want to chase a dream that isn’t mine anymore in fear of regret and not doing big things. I don’t want to take my days for granted in search of a better future. I don’t want to go after something that in the end, may leave me feeling more alone and empty than before.

I want to live for today. I want to set dreams and goals and allow them to change. I want to enjoy the journey as I pursue those goals, realizing that the fact that I even have the option to pursue them is a blessing – is enough.

While it’s okay to want something more, something different – it’s more important to appreciate where you are today, right now.

“What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.”

I’m done obsessing over that picture, I’m ready to put my glasses on, work hard, and enjoy my own.