If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you might remember a series that I wrote in 2015 called "Something For Yourself". The main point of the series was to give my readers some ideas on how they could bring self-care into their lives. I'm a big believer in doing nice things for yourself and even though the series only lasted a few months, I still had a lot of ideas that I never got around to writing about.
So, I've decided to bring back the Something for Yourself series and keep talking about self-care and self-love. Honestly, none of the ideas I'll be sharing are all that revolutionary, but even in their simplicity they are all valuable ways to show yourself some love.
If you'd like to look back at some of the original posts, here are a few of my favorites:
For today's post, I wanted to share a new treat that I've been loving lately, detox baths. You've probably already heard about how terrible flu season has been this year and I'm hoping that you've avoided getting sick so far.
A few weeks ago I came into contact with someone who ended up having the stomach flu, also known as Noro virus. Within that first 24 hours I didn't necessarily feel sick to my stomach, but I felt really drained and could tell my body was fighting off something. In addition to sleeping on and off all day, I also decided to try taking a detox bath, which I had heard about on Pinterest.
I headed to my trusty Health board on Pinterest and looked at a few of the articles I had pinned. Different sites had a variety of options for detox baths, but the main component always seemed to be epsom salt.
Here are a few major health benefits of taking epsom salt baths:
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits from taking an epsom salt bath. After I took my detox bath, I felt slightly tired and kind of drained, like my body was extra relaxed. By the next morning I felt SO much better and felt completely back in good health, despite my contact with the stomach flu. Part of my recovery could have been all the extra sleep I got, but I also believe the detox bath helped flush the virus out of my system and prevented me from getting full-on sick.
Here are some instructions for taking your own detox bath. You can do this up to 2-3 times a week. I would recommend trying your first couple of baths in the late afternoon or early evening, because you could either feel extra tired, overly alert, or a little of both. I remember laying in bed after my second detox bath and feeling extremely tired and relaxed, but having my mind racing around thinking about how amazing I felt.
If you're like me and have an extremely shallow bathtub, I've found an amazing solution that is super handy and super cheap on Amazon!
This drain cover is called the Bottomless Bath and is currently listed on Amazon for just $9. I ordered one for myself and I can tell you it worked like a charm! It might have worked a little too well, honestly. I was so excited to have my bath fill up much more than usual that I ran a little too close to the top of the tub. I had to be careful when moving not to splash water over the side. Next time, I'll be sure not to get carried away and will leave a little extra room.
Let me know in the comments if you try taking a detox bath! I can't wait to hear if you love them as much as I do!!
January is coming to a close and by this time of the year most of our New Year's resolutions have been forgotten. Personally, I didn't even set any resolutions for myself this year. For me, they always feel like things I "should" do because I'm forcing myself into them, not because I want to do them.
This year I made it a point to avoid resolutions and just ask myself this question every day: "what would feel good today?" Some days I decide to be lazy or have a low-key day. On those days I might stay in pajamas all day and spend most of my free time reading or watching TV.
Other days, I decide that it would feel good to be productive. This might mean getting some cleaning done around my apartment or possibly getting in some type of physical activity. Today, for example, I ended up doing a Zumba workout in my living room using a new DVD I just bought. Even though the workout only lasted for 25 minutes, it was still something, which is always better than nothing.
I've noticed that by taking the pressure off myself to workout for 'X number' of days a week, I'm actually enjoying exercise more. I look forward to moving my body, even if it's just some simple squats and lunges or some easy stretching.
And even though I have free access to a brand new gym in my apartment clubhouse, I still usually end up working out at home. The last time I went to the gym there were a ton of people there (probably working on those New Year's resolutions) and it felt overwhelming. I walked in the door and felt like every head turned in my direction. Looking back, I know that this was just my imagination simply because I felt self-conscious about being in the gym. It had been weeks since I'd been there and I felt like I was walking into a foreign country where I didn't speak the language.
I even tried to do an internal pep talk about how I should be proud of myself for being at the gym, regardless of how out of shape I might be or how much of a newbie I might look like. And I definitely reminded myself that it doesn't matter what other people think of me. Still though, it was a very real moment where I felt unsure of myself and felt self-conscious about whether I "belonged".
Thankfully, I'm not alone and I'm sure there are many of you out there who have had the exact same experience. To help, Aaptiv sent me a graphic that I'd like to share with you. It gives some great advice on ways to overcome gym intimidation. You can also check out their original article here.
Let me know what you think in the comments and stay tuned for an upcoming blog post about my new favorite treat: detox baths.
We all have weekends that take us away from our health & fitness goals rather than getting us closer to achieving them. Maybe you went out to eat a few times and indulged a bit too much or maybe you just didn't get your workouts in like you had planned.
For me, this past weekend was an "off" weekend because I didn't eat as healthy as I would have liked and I didn't get my workouts in. I figure I've got two options...either I can let this unhealthy behavior continue or I can try to start fresh now that a new week has started. If you haven't already guessed it, I'm choosing to start fresh.
Here are the ways that I am going to get back on track and make up for my less than perfect weekend:
These might seem like fairly obvious ideas on how to get back on track, but I wanted to give them to you just in case you're feeling a little gross from this weekend and were wondering how to get back to feeling healthier.
I hope these tips were helpful! On a side note, I have realized that my posts may have been a bit monotonous lately, so I'm going to try to mix it up and add in some new content to keep things interesting.
I am going to try to liven up my Monday posts so that they give you some type of information or helpful tips on living a healthier and happier life. I'm also going to start a new series that I'm going to call "Keepin' It Real" where I'll be posting every Wednesday about topics that deserve to be discussed (such as self-sabotage and fear of failure). And then on Friday evenings I'm going to share a weekly recipe with you.
If you have any ideas or requests for posts, please share in the comments below!
Today I started week 3 of Hammer and Chisel. I used my new 8 lb. weights for the majority of the Total Body Hammer workout and I felt really strong, which was a great feeling!
I have recently noticed that I haven't lost any pounds according to the scale, but I figured it was probably because I had been gaining so much muscle, which weighs more than fat. But now I'm starting to think that maybe I'm not eating enough. A friend of mine told me about someone she knows who just started doing intense workouts and didn't lose any weight until she started eating more. And when I mentioned that in my team's group on Facebook another girl said the same thing. So I'm going to make an appointment with a dietician and talk to them to make sure I'm eating enough. Maybe if I were to up my calories then my body would realize it doesn't need to be in starvation mode and would let me lose some weight. That's what I'm hoping anyway!
Although I would like to see the scale start to move, I do know that the number on the scale doesn't indicate how much progress I've made. I can already see a lot more muscle definition in my arms and legs, so I know that I'm getting stronger every day.
Plus, I feel stronger mentally. It feels good to do something that is so challenging because it gives me confidence in other areas of my life. I told myself I was going to do something and I'm doing it, so now I know that I can depend on myself to stick to my goals and follow through with my plans. Now I'm just excited to see what else I can accomplish with this confidence and sense of motivation!
If you would like more information about Hammer and Chisel or any other Beachbody program, please comment below with "Tell me more!" or email me at email@example.com. And as always, if you liked this post please feel free to share it with someone else who you think will enjoy it.
As of today I have been doing Hammer and Chisel for one week. And today I went out and bought heavier weights and a stronger resistance band.
Guys. This is huge!
I am amazed that just one week into this program I am ready and able to increase my weights! I realized that my 3 and 5 pound weights just weren't challenging me as much as I needed, so I went all-in and invested in some new equipment. And I'm so excited!!
The workouts I've done in the last week have been really challenging, but at the same time it feels so good when I complete one and I'm so proud of myself for stepping it up and making it happen. So what I'd like to do today is do a quick comparison between 21 Day Fix and Hammer and Chisel so that you can see what the differences are between the two programs. Here we go...
I would say that 21 Day Fix is for people with beginner to intermediate fitness levels. It's definitely a customizable program where you can follow the modifier if you need to go a little easier or if some moves are too hard for you at first. With that being said, I think you can still get a good workout if you're at an intermediate level. It's really all about pushing yourself to your limit.
For Hammer and Chisel, Beachbody says that this program is for intermediate to advanced fitness levels. Even after just a week of workouts I can see why. There are plenty of moves that are really challenging and you also need a good level of endurance to keep up with the routines.
Overall, I am really glad that I started my fitness journey with 21 Day Fix because it gave me a good place to begin. I modified a lot of the workouts at the beginning and slowly worked my way up to following the full moves. I also did the same thing with my weights and started with 3 lb. weights before eventually moving up to 5 lb. weights. I honestly don't think I could have started right off the bat with Hammer and Chisel because it would have been so hard that I would have given up. By starting with 21 Day Fix I was able to ease my way into fitness and also gain some confidence in my abilities along the way.
With 21 Day Fix most of the routines (5 out of 7) are based on one minute intervals. So you do a move for 60 seconds and then move on to the next move. The only exceptions are the Pilates Fix and the Yoga Fix. I liked this format because, as Autumn the trainer says, "You can do anything for 60 seconds". It's a great way to ease into the moves because you only have to do them for a minute at a time. And the workouts are all 30 minutes, so you know exactly how long you'll be spending on your workout every day.
So far with the Hammer and Chisel routines I've noticed that they are all pretty different. Sometimes you will have 60 second intervals, but other times you do a set number of reps and repeat. Other times you do reps in a specific sequence, where you start with 10, go down to 8, and then go down to 6 reps, all on the same move before moving on to the next exercise. And the workouts are all different lengths. So some days you might only workout for 20 minutes and the next day you might have a 45 minutes routine.
Personally I really like all of the variety that Hammer and Chisel offers. Not only do you get two different trainers, but you also get a wide variety of routines and routine structure. There really isn't any time to get bored! I did find that by the end of the third round of 21 Day Fix (so 9 weeks in), I was starting to get tired of doing the same routine on the same day of the week every single week. So in my opinion you definitely get more variety with Hammer and Chisel.
I'm pretty sure all the equipment I needed with 21 Day Fix was weights and a yoga mat. Like I mentioned before, I started with 3 lb. weights and moved up to 5 lb. weights by the end.
With Hammer and Chisel, however, you do need quite a bit more equipment. In addition to weights (probably three different sizes) you will also need a workout bench or a stability ball. You'll also need a pull-up bar or a resistance band with a door attachment. That's all I've needed so far, but like I said before I did just go out and buy a heavier set of weights plus a stronger resistance band.
Overall, I have loved both 21 Day Fix and Hammer and Chisel. I feel like 21 Day Fix was my first love because it was a great introduction into fitness and really gave me the confidence to try something even harder. But I do feel like Hammer and Chisel has already pushed me way past where I was with 21 Day Fix, even just one week in. So Hammer and Chisel is my new favorite and I am really excited to see what kind of results I can get in these 60 days.
If you have any questions about either program, feel free to leave comments below. Also, if you know anyone who might find this interesting, please share the link with them. And, as always, if you're ready to start your own fitness journey and you'd like to talk to me about your goals, go ahead and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday morning I woke up right at sunrise and was able to get this picture out my window. I loved all the colors in the sky and how they represented a fresh start to a new day. I don't know about you, but I love a fresh start. It can be something big like a season changing or even something small, like starting out the week on a Monday with a clean slate. And that's how I started things this morning when I woke up. I knew that today was the beginning of the next phase of my weight loss journey.
This morning I started a 60-day program called Hammer and Chisel by Beachbody. It's been out for a couple of months, but I was still going through 21 Day Fix when it came out and wasn't ready to take the next step. The nice thing about 21 Day Fix is that it can be used by beginners, so when I first started I was able to modify it enough to still get a good workout without overdoing it. Hammer and Chisel, however, is meant for people with intermediate to advanced fitness levels, so I knew it would be a challenge from the very beginning.
Honestly, I think the reason it took me so long to order Hammer and Chisel was because it intimidated me. After 3 rounds of 21 Day Fix I was very comfortable doing the workouts and knew exactly what to expect each day. And with Hammer and Chisel I'd be going back to the beginning. I was also unsure if I'd be able to keep up with the program. Even though I've come a long way in the past five months, I'm still not in great shape yet. I'd like to improve my cardiovascular endurance and also continue to increase my weights for more muscle tone.
But, while staying with 21 Day Fix was the easy option, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and start fresh with Hammer and Chisel. I bit the bullet last week and ordered the program and it arrived on Saturday. One of the really nice things about being a Beachbody coach is that you get a 25% discount on all products and programs, so I got a great deal and I know it's an investment in my future.
This morning was my first workout, which was called Chisel Balance. As you can probably tell, it's all about balance and most of the moves are done on one leg at a time. The nice thing about the workout was that it has the same trainer as 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese, so that part felt familiar at least. The moves were completely new and they were definitely challenging. Let's just say that I think I'm going to have a hard time walking for the next few days!
But...I did it! I made it all the way through without quitting or giving up. And that was an amazing feeling to know that I made it through 40 minutes of intense exercise and was still standing. I'm hoping I can take the confidence I felt today and take that with me into each workout, letting it grow with each completed workout until I realize that I really can do anything I set my mind to!
So that's it for tonight! I'll be posting my Hammer and Chisel progress every week on Monday, including my insights and lessons learned, plus any pounds or inches lost from the week before.
If you have any questions about Hammer and Chisel, please leave them in the comments below or email me at email@example.com. I'd be happy to walk you through the program if you're possibly interested in signing up.
Wow, it feels like this year is going by way too fast, doesn't it? I can't believe we're a week into March already! Today I was thinking back on the year and I felt really good about what I've done so far this year. I'd say my biggest accomplishment since January is completing two more rounds of 21 Day Fix. My third overall round ended almost a week ago, so last week I was in an in-between stage.
I knew I needed a break from 21 Day Fix, but also wanted to keep up the momentum I had built the week before by doing two workouts a day. So last week I did a mixture of different workouts and also tried to take an evening walk most nights to watch the sunset. Overall I was able to get in 250 active minutes from Monday until Friday, which I thought was really good!
For this week I was planning on starting another round of 21 Day Fix, but I decided that I was ready for some variety and for something even more challenging. So I decided to order the Master's Hammer & Chisel program. It's been out for a couple of months but I've been too scared to order it. I knew that it would be a challenging program and for some reason I convinced myself that I wouldn't be able to do it. But I think the double workouts for the last two weeks really boosted my confidence, because this morning I ordered it and now I'm really excited to get started!
I think another big confidence boost was that last week I hit the milestone of having lost 20 pounds so far! I had been close for a while, but I had no idea how good it would feel until it actually happened. I am so proud of myself for making such a huge change in my life and in my health. I have a doctor appointment next week, so I'm excited for my doctor to see how much has changed since I saw him last October. It will be great to see how my overall health has changed now that there's less strain on my body from all that extra weight.
I still have a long ways to go until I hit my goal weight, but I am confident that I can keep up the good work and see more and more milestones completed as I get closer to my goal weight.
So that's a quick overview of where I've been and where I'm going. Next Monday I'll have my initial impressions of Hammer & Chisel that I will share with you. Until then I hope to keep writing some other posts. If you have any requests, feel free to share in the comments below.
And as always, if you like this post please share it with anyone who might also enjoy it. Also, if you'd like to see more of my life you can follow me on Instagram @besidebeth
Lately I've been spending a few minutes every day doing some free writing. For me it's a great way to get thoughts out of my head and organized them on a page. Today I sat down and wrote something that I immediately knew I wanted to share on my blog. It's about body issues, which is something that I think a lot of people can relate to and maybe even learn from, so I decided that I would share it here. I hope it's something that is helpful to anyone else who has issues or has had issues with their body.
Today I did a really challenging workout. I felt like quitting and I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I did finish it. You’d think that I’d be super proud of myself for pushing myself and making it happen, but just now even when I was looking in the mirror I was thinking to myself, “It’s not enough”. Basically, I was telling myself that even though I’ve been working out twice a day for pretty much the last week and a half, I still don’t think it’s good enough. And the main reason is because I haven’t seen a huge change in my body. I’m literally letting how I look on the outside determine how I feel on the inside.
And then I realized...I’ve got it all backward. Instead of worrying about the changes I’m seeing (or not seeing) on the outside, I should be focusing on how I’m changing on the inside. First of all, how I feel is something that I can control, while how I look on the outside is not something I can control (as much as I'd like to). Also, I’d like to think that the changes on the inside count even more than ones on the outside.
What I realized today is that I’m literally a different person than I used to be. I never would have thought six months ago that I’d be working out twice a day and be following a 7 day slimdown from Tone It Up without any major slip-ups or without quitting. Six months ago I had given up on my body and given up on myself. Now I am proving day after day that I believe in myself. I’m showing up and taking charge of my life, which is something that wasn’t happening even a couple of months ago.
I’ve also changed how I think. I won’t say that I’m one of those people who necessarily looks forward to their workout, but I am getting closer to being that person every day. I don’t dread my workout anymore and I definitely don’t make excuses to try and get out of it. Working out is something that I know I need to do in order to be a happier, healthier version of myself, so I’m willing to do it in order to make my life better.
So instead of getting down on myself for not seeing huge improvements on the outside, I’m going to focus on what I can control, which is how I feel on the inside. I am going to remind myself that every time I workout I am proving to myself that I deserve to be happy and healthy.
And that's exactly what I wrote in my free writing today. It's not easy to admit that I am still so critical of myself even when I'm working so hard to get healthier, but at the same time I know that I'm not the only one who has had these thoughts, so I wanted to share them in case even one person out there can relate and hopefully know they're not alone.
If you would like to start your own health & fitness journey and would like to work with me (a real, genuine person, just like you) then please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to work with you!!
Today I'm starting my third week of my third round of 21 Day Fix. An optional part of this week is to do double workouts, so that would be days 15 through 21. Even though this is my third round of 21 Day Fix, I wasn't quite ready to take on double workouts in my first two rounds. But this time, I've decided to push myself and make the commitment to do two workouts a day for every day this week!
I know that working out 14 times in one week is not going to be easy, but at the same time I'm actually excited for this challenge to see how hard I can push myself. I'm ready to step outside of my comfort zone and make this happen.
So today, for example, I did a 30 minute full-body workout that includes a mixture of cardio and strength training. I've been doing this routine weekly ever since I started 21 Day Fix and it's still tough to get through. I'm always red-faced and drenched in sweat by the time I get it done. But I'm always proud of myself for starting another week on a strong note, so that feels good.
Then later today I'll be doing an ab workout. It should take about 20 minutes, so all together I'll have worked out for about 50 minutes today. That's not even very extreme, but the tough part is that they want you to do the workouts at different times so that you're getting your metabolism revved up twice in a day. It's actually really smart and it's supposed to help get you even better results.
Speaking of results, I weighed myself this morning and have lost 18.2 pounds so far. Just last week I lost 2.2 pounds, which puts me right on track to hit my goal weight before my cruise at the end of April. All I need to do is keep up the hard work and I should be looking and feeling pretty darn good by the time I go on my trip. I can't wait!
Another exciting thing happening this week is that my team is hosting a coaching sneak peak event on Facebook, so if you've ever wondered what I do as a Beachbody coach, now is a great time to jump in and learn what it's all about.
And, on top of everything else, I announced today that there will be an accountability group starting on March 7. This group is a great way to give yourself a kickstart and really dive into a program. The last day to sign up is next Monday, so don't delay if this is something you're interested in.
Okay, so I just dumped a lot of information on you at once. So if you're interested in the coaching sneak peak or in joining the accountability group, either comment below or email me at email@example.com. And don't forget to bookmark this blog if you like it and share it with any friends who might also enjoy reading it!
As of today, I have been a Beachbody coach for exactly four months. In some ways it's gone incredibly fast and in other ways it's been the longest four months of my life (for both good and bad reasons). I feel like I've already shared all of my good experiences over the last four months, to the point where I almost feel fake by not talking about the hard things I've gone through. So today I'm going to be completely open and transparent about how hard the last four months have been. I'm not sharing this to be a downer or to get you to feel sorry for me. I simply want to show you that behind all of the upbeat posts and shiny pictures is someone who is just as real and broken as anyone else.
Let's start at the beginning. Four months ago when I signed up as a coach I was in one of the darkest periods in my life. I had basically hit rock bottom. When I looked in the mirror I didn't recognize myself, both physically and emotionally. Physically, I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life, literally 100 pounds overweight. And emotionally, I felt empty inside, which showed in my eyes when I looked in the mirror. I was desperate for a change and had thought of many ways that I could start over, from starting a new job to moving across the country. I was in dire need of a fresh start.
When I heard about the Beachbody coaching opportunity I knew immediately that it was what I had been waiting for. This was the change that would give me the opportunity to start new and find the old me. My plan was to follow 21 Day Fix and get back to a healthy weight while also building my own business, which would give me both purpose and passion back into my life. At first I felt euphoric and I was amazed at how much better I felt almost immediately. I was excited to get out of bed each day and I had pages of lists on everything that I wanted to accomplish. And I was making it happen. I quickly started to lose weight and was getting positive feedback about my choice to start my own business. I felt unstoppable.
But then reality started to set in. Not every day was a great day and I started to lose those feelings of euphoria. There were days when I just couldn't make myself work out, even though I knew that was one of the main tasks of being a coach and even though losing weight and getting healthier was something that I wanted more than anything else. Sometimes that just wasn't even enough to get me moving. And so I started to doubt myself and wonder if I was really cut out to be a coach. I was determined to share my story and hoped I was still inspiring people to change their lives, but at the same time I was starting to lose momentum in changing my own life.
Around the holidays I basically gave up on trying to be productive and stopped trying to stay on track. I told myself that once the new year hit I would get back to it and start fresh...again. Six weeks have gone by since the new year started and honestly, things still aren't where I would like them to be.
This past week I was in Texas for work and I had every intention of working out in my hotel room each night and of making healthy food choices despite the fact that I would be eating out every meal for four days. While I did give myself some leeway on food choices, I was able to start each day with a healthy breakfast and also accomplish my goal of not eating any dessert while I was gone. But…I did zero workouts. So that makes me feel like crap. I told myself I would do something and I didn't do it. Period.
Today's a new day and another fresh start, so to speak. I've got plans for getting back on track (again) and am hopeful that I can stick to it this time. Truthfully I was almost too afraid to weigh myself this morning because I didn't want to see how much progress I've lost. When I did weigh myself I realized that I haven't lost any weight for a month. Sigh. I am hopeful that I will have a good week and can eat healthy and work out and basically treat my body the way it deserves to be treated, which is with respect and love.
So that's it, that's my whole story. Thankfully it doesn't end here and there's plenty of time to turn things around and build the life I've imagined. I'm determined not to give up and I am grateful to know that I'm not alone. I truly appreciate all of the love and support I've been given by the people in my life. I do realize I am my own biggest critic and am going to start focusing on how I can make each day count.
I hope this was helpful for you to hear. We all know that no one's life is perfect and that everyone publicly shares the good stuff and tends to gloss over the not-so-good stuff. My main goal is to be open and honest with you throughout my journey so that you know you're not the only one who has bad days. If I can help just one person get through a hard day they are having then I have accomplished my goal.
My name is Beth and I live in Denver. I am a single lady in my 30's and wanted to start sharing my awesome and amazing life through a blog.