Sure, we all know photoshop exists. It used to be one of those things you saw in magazines, before social media. You knew looking at the model on the front cover wasn't actually a waist size triple zero but you still drooled in aw of how amazing she looked. Fast forward to today's society photoshop is way more relevant. Something that you were used to just seeing in print ads or billboards is now literally everywhere you turn. Photoshop or simply fixing an image is now easier than ever.
There are hundreds of apps that are free or a small price that can completely change the way you look within seconds. Scary right? Or maybe not. Some people love the fact that they have these tools at their finger tips. You see, social media has become that platform where you can be literally anyone you want. You can even become the most perfect version of yourself, with little to no cost.
While I can't be the one to criticize because I have done it myself, like fix the dark spot under my eyes or make my teeth look a little whiter in photos, some have taken it to an all new level. Completely changing and editing the way their bodies look all for what? Followers? Likes? DM's? Is it really worth it? When we all know the moment you step outside your social media bubble you don't actually look that way?
I thought long and hard about this post before actually writing it. I was hesitant because sure I use filters too and have done the minor editing also. So who am I to judge right? But have I changed the way my body looks to sell my fitness plans? No. Have I edited my before and after photos to sell more nutrition guides? No. I'm all about the term "fake it till you make it" but not when you're lying for an audience, or an income.
I am just like any other typical 20-something year old girl. We are all impressionable and gullible to an extent. It's hard to see other people on social media whom you might look up to or compare yourself to, yet they don't even look like that. Our society is teaching us to fix all of our flaws, make ourselves look perfect and sell that image to anyone who will listen. Terrifying, right?
I know I have a gorgeous body (not to sound cocky) and I love who I am. Are there things I want to change? Absolutely. Would I love it if I could have insanely ripped abs? Yes, the real question is who wouldn't? And for me, I know I will get there the right way, the healthy way. But that little voice comes creeping back in while I scroll through my Instagram feed. The little voice nagging at you instantly telling you that you don't workout hard enough or you don't eat clean enough or you don't drink enough water. "You're not enough". Which isn't true!
Don't let the insecurities of others become your own. What I mean is, if someone is so drastically changing their own photos they must be struggling within themselves to think others would accept them just as they are. And you shouldn't adapt those feelings either. We are all made unique in our own way. Some people are as skinny as a pole and some have curves. If we all looked the same there would be no diversity, nothing interesting in this world. My point being- stop taking social media so seriously.
Surround yourself with positive vibes. Follow people who speak the truth. Look at things that motivate you to do better, not to bring you down. In a world that is constantly telling us we aren't good enough and that there is a quick fix for all our flaws, say no. Say no and love yourself for who you are and who YOU strive to become. Not someone the world is telling you to be.
Self love. Love yourself and love others. Love is what makes this world go round, not photoshop! XO
Making excuses is way easier than owning up to your shit. The classic "I don't have the money" or "let me ask my spouse" or "I'm too busy" really boils down to only a couple of things, its either not important or I'm not interested. I typically run into this issue because of money situations. I'd love to take a yoga class 5x a week but I can't afford it. Or that's what I tell myself. In all reality if I stopped doing certain things that don't exactly serve me I'd probably have more money left over for yoga.
The same goes for buying supplements or eating at a healthier restaurant. We make excuses because it's just simply easier. Yes I want new supplements but they're so expensive. Yes I want a green juice but it's so expensive. You aren't making these excuses because the money is truly the issue. Maybe you don't value yourself enough or don't see the value in the product. Either, or, this is my favorite time of year. The time of year where all the excuses get thrown out the window.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are such a blast. Everywhere has a sale, and I mean everywhere. Any product or service you want, has a sale. A few years ago I realized that not only is this the best time for Christmas shopping but it's also the best time to get things that I've been wanting that maybe fell on the too expensive side. So here is my guide to finding the best sales this holiday.
Groupon - Up to 80% off
*Perfect for fitness classes, nutrition courses, and massages for recovery*
GymShark - 50% off entire website
*Some products are 30% off*
Macys - 20% off pre Black Friday sale
*Sneakers and activewear on sale*
Kohls - 15% off pre Black Friday sale
*Activewear like Nike and Adidas on sale*
Vistaprint - 60% off entire site
*Perfect for business owners or creating your own accessories for the holidays like Christmas cards, tshirts, mugs, etc.*
Fabletics - Two pair of leggings for $24
Before I blow your mind, let me just say this. We all stress. We all have different stressors in our lives and some that we can't control. But some that we can. For a long time I knew I was suffering with a large amount of stress that just never seemed to go away. I was exercising almost 7 days a week because it was my escape and I ate extremely clean. But I didn't understand why my weight and body wasn't changing. Then I read this.
"When you have stress, your body releases certain "fight-or-flight" stress hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands: cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine. When you first get stressed, these hormones kick into gear. Norepinephrine tells your body to stop producing insulin so that you can have plenty of fast-acting blood glucose ready. Epinephrine will relax the muscles in your stomach and intestines and decrease blood flow to these organs. Once the stressor has passed, cortisol tells the body to stop producing these hormones and to go back to digesting regularly. It's normal for your cortisol levels to go up and down throughout the day, but when you are chronically stressed your cortisol level goes up — and stays there.When your stress and cortisol levels are high, the body actually resists weight loss. Your body thinks times are hard and you might starve, so it hoards the fat you eat or have present on your body. Cortisol tends to take fat from healthier areas, like your butt and hips, and move it to your abdomen which has more cortisol receptors. Hello ab flab! In the process, it turns once–healthy peripheral fat into unhealthy visceral fat (the fat in your abdomen that surrounds your organs) that increases inflammation and insulin resistance in the body. This belly fat then leads to more cortisol because it has higher concentrations of an enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol. The more belly fat you have, the more active cortisol will be converted by these enzymes — yet another vicious cycle created by visceral fat."
I couldn't put it any better. It is true and was true for me when I realized what was going on with my body. My "muffin top" wasn't even because of my diet and exercise. It was due to my emotions and feelings from my everyday stressors. So I thought how can I change it? I can't just up and quit my job. I can't just go after all the things I really want and leave this crappy reality behind. But why can't I? So I made a list. A list of things that helped me feel better when I was stressing and a list of things to change to get me out of environments that weren't good for my soul.
1- Job hunt. I knew I wasn't doing what I wanted to and I knew the job was out there for me somewhere, so I hunted until I found it.
2- Cut yourself some slack. I would get so wound up if I missed a workout or a meal, but I had to learn to be more gentle with myself. I'm only human after all.
3- Write. For me writing is what I love, it's my passion and it clears my mind. Find something you love that releases those tensions and do it often.
4- Nature. Get outside. Even if its a freezing cold day in the middle of winter. Your body needs fresh air. Go for a walk, and let the sun warm you.
5- Talk about it. Sometimes we keep everything in and it feels like with a hug we will burst. Talk about what's going on with a friend, family member, therapist, whomever. Don't feel like you're all alone, there is always someone there willing to listen.
When I was younger I used to hate if my foods on my dinner plate touched. Like hated it so much my mom purchased a plate that was divided in three parts to avoid the food run-ins. As I got older I got over it, but the plate we never got rid of. As an adult who is certified in all health, wellness, and fitness endeavors I always found that preparing meals ahead of time and portioned out was a great way to stay on track. And it is! There is nothing easier than grabbing a container of food thats already made for you and being able to eat it instantly. Which is also why so many of us love fast food!
Although I've pretty much always meal prepped I never believed in measuring out my foods. I knew portion control was a thing- but I was never eating an excess amount of cake or chips (or usually). What I didn't realize was that portion control isn't just about the bad foods we eat but the good ones too! For example, I love avocado toast and I mean who doesn't? But I would eat two slices of toast with a half of avocado on each. It was delicious and way better than grabbing a pop-tart but it wasn't aiding towards weight loss. Yes I was eating whole grain bread and a healthy fat but I was starting my days off with already way too much.
I began to think back to that plate. It wasn't just so my food wouldn't touch but it had the perfect size for your protein, vegetable and carbohydrate all on one plate. If you look at any diagram when it comes to eating a balanced meal its exactly that. Or you'll hear your protein should be the size of your fist and fat the size of the top of your thumb. Who has time to measure it out like that? Doesn't everyone have different sized hands? There must be a more accurate way.
So I began to change my ways. With my program that I always follow it has ounces, cups and tablespoons. That's how I measure it all out. And maybe you think it sounds completely anal to do so, but try this. I used to buy organic long grain brown rice from Trader Joe's. It came frozen and you can heat the bag up in only a few minutes. So I'd make that with chicken and vegetables, put a little bit of sauce on top and I was good to go! When I started to measure, I measured out this exact meal. I was eating almost a cup and a half of rice in one sitting. I was eating way more protein than my body knew what to do with, so it was excreting it (aka not absorbing and literally coming out of my body) and the sauce that I felt was only a little bit, was a lot!
Interesting, right? Even if you are eating completely clean, you can still be over eating.
I have a good friend who loves peanut butter. She used to eat it all the time and would say but it's good for you. Yes it is good for you, but she didn't realize the excess amounts she was eating. It's a great healthy fat and protein but too much of anything can always have a negative side effect. Once she started to measure out how much she was eating she was still able to enjoy her favorite snack, without all the extra calories.
Don't let your eating habits get in the way of reaching your goals! Tweek the bad habits and keep the great ones!
A few years ago Eric Thomas was introduced to me by a good friend. His words and attitude on life spoke to me in a way that inspired me to be a better person. Fast forward a few years and the exact same video still gives me the same inspiration. And while the video itself may not be all that great, its not shot on some fancy stage or with a perfect filter his words are all you need to hear.
For years I've had a passion of helping others. I've wanted to take my passion and create it into a career. For me, coming from a family where I began to work in my teen years I have always had to work hard for anything I wanted. I realized early on that if I wanted to create this empire for myself I would have to put in all the time, sweat and effort.
Along the way I have come across some "haters" or people who don't agree with my beliefs, and that's okay! Not everyone is going to see my vision or understand it because it is just that, mine. Something that I may believe in and want is something someone else may not, and it took me a long time to come to grips with that. I began to feel really down on myself when I would run new marketing strategies or put myself out there more. After a while it was exhausting to feel like a failure. So I decided I would no longer feel that way.
I love lists and having writing pieces to look back on. So I did exactly that for when the haters start to come around.
1- Remember negativity from others is usually just their fear projecting onto you.
2- Often when people are telling you you can't they failed at their own endeavors.
3- It's your vision, not everyone will see it like you do.
4- You were put on this earth for a reason, follow that reason.
5- People will always underestimate you, believe in yourself enough to know you can do it.
6- You don't need anyones approval other than your own.
7- People will not believe in you until movement is in motion, then they will jump on board.
8- You have all the knowledge, resources and answers you need already within yourself.
9- You're a bad ass.
10- When your head gets filled with negativity go for a workout and meditate, you've got this.
New goals are like a new pair of shoes. You love them at first until you start to wear them out. Over time you want another new pair. Goals are similar. Once you start to attain a goal you've set for yourself, you're ready to tackle the next one. I love the beginnings of a new month. Something about the first of the month feels so cleansing. It's almost like whatever happened last month is no longer able to be brought into this new one. Regardless of what day of the week it is, I always set a new goal for the month. I give myself those four weeks to buckle down and hit my goal.
For this month, I am setting a new goal for cardio. I used to love waking up early in the morning and doing an hour of cardio on the treadmill. It was my alone time and I usually enjoyed a new book. It was my time to decompress, start a new day and start it with new bright ideas. So for this month my goal is to get back on the horse! I would go almost as often as 4-5x a week. So that is the goal set in place!
What will your goal for November be?
With Thanksgiving right around the corner and then Christmas, maybe your goal will be finding a new healthy recipe for the holidays. Or starting your Christmas shopping early and helping your entire family get on a healthier page. Comment your goals below!!