My 'Feel Good' Resolution
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.
Today I want to talk about making big change in your life and how to figure out where to begin. But before I get into that, I just want to say that I cannot believe that this blog has been up for over 3 years already! How did that happen?!
I'm actually really excited about going into the third year of this blog because I have a lot of ideas on how I'd like to post more and make this an even better resource for you. One of the things I'll be doing soon is writing about the life coaching course I am taking through Beautiful You Coaching Academy. Here's a sneak peak at my study corner that I posted on Instagram earlier this week:
My first class is a week from Monday, so I'll spend some time before then writing about how I decided to take the class and also cover what I expect to get out of it.
But for today, we're talking about something else. I was listening to a podcast yesterday by Connie Chapman. Her podcast is called Awaken Radio, and in case you haven't heard of it she covers topics like happiness, confidence, self-love, and spirituality. I would highly recommend checking it out if you are into personal development. The episode I listened to was about "Bringing Your Big Dreams To Life". I had some ideas and I took some notes while I was listening, so here they are...
In order to make big changes in your life, you need to figure out where to start. Sometimes this can be so overwhelming that we quit right there and don't go any further. But generally this can make us feel like we have unresolved issues or like there's something missing. So instead of giving up, I'd like to walk you through how I personally make big changes in my life.
First, you need to put some thought into who you want to be and what that feels like. You might want to ask yourself what kind of energy you want to feel throughout the day. An easy way to do this is to simply pick a word. It can be any word that makes you feel good and embodies the person you ultimately want to be. For this example, we'll use the word Confidence. It clearly explains who I want to be and I already have an idea of what Confidence feels like.
And then the next step is even easier - you simply need to do it. Which sounds stupidly simple and kind of ridiculous. But honestly, give it a try for a day and see how it feels. For example, if you spend a few minutes when you first wake up thinking about Confidence, it's going to plant a seed in your brain that will stay there all day. And every time you remember to think about your word and and how it makes you feel, you'll be watering your plant and it will grow. It's a cheesy analogy, I know, but work with me here...
A lot of times we tend to build up in our heads what it would take to make a change or to start living the life we want to live. We tell ourselves "If I lose weight, then I will be confident". Or "if I find my soulmate, then I will be happy". But what if we are putting the cart before the horse? Isn't it possible that in order to fall in love or in order to lose weight we need to be confident and happy first? And what are confidence and happiness? They are feelings!
What if the answer is to simply feel our way towards living the life we want to live? Honestly, our feelings are one of the only things that we actually have any control over. We can't control the economy, or traffic, or what other people do. Those are all external things. But we can control how we feel each and every day. And it takes a lot of work to be conscious of how you are feeling throughout the day, but once you become aware of your feelings it's easier to navigate and get back on track once you realize you are headed down the road you don't want to go down.
Here are some ways to get in tune with your feelings:
These may seem froufrou or too "spiritual", but in reality they are just ways to quiet your mind and listen to what you are feeling. And that's really what matters.
So in summary, pick a feeling, make a mental decision to embody that feeling for the whole day, and occasionally stop what you are doing and listen to how you are feeling throughout the day. Easy enough, right?
I hope this was a helpful exercise. Please let me know if you have any success following these steps. I would also like to know what other topics you'd like me to cover in the future, so please feel free to leave a comment below with questions or requests.
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!
Hammer and Chisel Update (Week 3)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, if you liked this post please feel free to share it with someone else who you think will enjoy it.
Starting My Next Adventure
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.
Looking Back & Moving Forward
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
Keepin' It Real: Body Issues
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!
My Journey Hasn't Been Perfect
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.
I love this saying that I found in my Erin Condren planner: "Keep your head up, keep your heart strong". This is exactly how I want to approach the month of February! I am hoping to work hard and not give up regardless of how many challenges come my way.
The biggest example of me following this saying is by starting another round of 21 Day Fix today. This will be my third full round and I am excited to see what kind of results I can get. When I weighed myself this morning I was still down 17 pounds from my starting weight, so not a lot has changed over the last few weeks. I'm hoping to lose 8-10 pounds over the next 21 days so that I'm well on my way to my goal.
I will have the added challenge of being out of town on a work trip for four days next week. But I'm already planning on bringing my Shakeology packets with me so I can maintain healthy nutrition and I will also plan on doing my workouts in my hotel room. The hardest part will be choosing healthy foods to eat while eating out for all four days, but I'll just have to do my best!
For this round, I am planning on doing things a little differently than how I've done this program in the past. The biggest change is that I will be trying to follow the double-workout schedule for the third and final week. This is optional and I've never done it before, but I've heard it's a great way to fast-track your results.
This means that for my third week I will be doing two 30-minute workouts instead of just one workout each day. The plan explains that you need to do the workouts at different times to keep your metabolism revved up, so I'm hoping I can commit to such a challenging schedule. I'm going to give it my best, which is the most I can ask of myself!
I'll keep you posted each Monday on my progress and give you any tips & tricks I learn along the way.
Another goal I have for February is to bring more variety to my blog posts. I'm planning on posting about my upcoming cruise as well as sharing my 2016 reading list, so keep an eye out for those!
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.