motivation

Fit Bride, Cherie // Fitness Get-to-Know-me

Hey guys! I'm handing things over to Cherie, our resident fit bride today! Everyone say "Hey Cherie!!!!" CHERIE-3Hey guys! Long time, no talk - apologies. Rather than gift you with sayyyy... a pumpkin spice cookie or a gift certificate to splurge at TJ, I thought I would gift you with a little bit of knowledge about yours truly (that's good too, right?). I recently stumbled upon an article by my favorite blogger where she answered questions regarding her active lifestyle, food go-to's and tips for staying fit no matter what season of life you're in. Without further ado, here's a little Q&A session on all things health, food, and fitness!

Why is fitness so important to you?

Oh goodness, this is a tough question worth answering. Fitness is such a big part of my life because of this dramatic changes it has initiated in my life. Deciding to give up a sedentary lifestyle and move towards an active one has literally transformed me from the inside out! It not only keeps my body healthy, but my mind as well. As someone who often struggles with bouts of anxiety, eating struggles, and more, fitness reminds me that God has given me a strong and willing body to climb over mountains with. It's my ultimate path of unravelling all of the stress that the world tosses at me and teaches me to honor every part of my body from the "bottom to the top" in the words of All about that bass. :)

Cherie

How do you motivate yourself to work out when you just don’t feel like it?

Honestly, the best way to motivate myself is to tell someone else that I don't feel like working out. Usually, my friends and family are pretty honest in reminding me why I should and like to work out. They keep me accountable, and ultimately their encouragement leads me to the best decision. Some days are for rest, though. Never forget that!

What is the top diet tip you’ve learned from the blog/fitness world?

Cutting out food groups isn't always better. I've learned from ways like Whole30 and Paleo that cutting out food groups can be both a positive and negative for your body. While certain ways of eating can help bring clarity to any food aversions or struggles you have, it can also bring about negative habits. I find that the best thing for me is to moderate what I eat rather than deprive. However, every person is different so always do what works best for you.

What do you eat when you need a quick energy boost?

Nut butter with fruit or carrots. Right now I'm on a sunflower butter kick. Don't be afraid of fats y'all! When timed correctly, they can fuel your workouts just as well as complex carbohydrates.

What the one treat you have to have, no matter what?

Red wine and dark chocolate. That's not a crime right? Oh goodness, I hope not.

What’s your best stay-slim trick?

Drink water from sunrise until bedtime. I always carry around a bottle of water with me wherever I go. Even if I have a day where I don't drink it all, I always feel better knowing I balanced my coffee and diet soda consumption with water. Also, if you're not too against artificial sweeteners - having a pack of sugar free peppermint gum on you not only refreshes you (peppermint has been proven to boost energy levels and relax you overall) but can also cut cravings that emerge from boredom.

Now it's your turn! Answer any question from above!

What's your go-to fitness trick?

Introducing: Mantra of the Month

October_Mantra

Hello and happy first of October!

I'd like to introduce you to a new column, wherein I post a mantra-a-month that I'd like us all to adopt. I've thought long and hard about these mantras - they're catchy, easy to remember, and meant to inspire us to live better!

October's mantra is out with the old, in with the new.

Isn't that what Fall is all about anyway? We pull out the summer clothes in our wardrobe and put in new fall pieces; throw out our 2013-2014 calendar and seek to find a new, fresh calendar to start the year; trade in pool passes for pumpkin patches and altogether begin to switch gears. 'Get ready for the holidays' and embrace an earlier start to the day. And all the while, nature does the same -- as summer blooms fade and fall foliage fills the sky.

"Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower."  -Albert Camus

I don't know about you but as nature hits reset, I'm ready for one, too.

My year didn't go exactly as planned - there were a lot of goals that got overlooked, things I really wish I would have made progress on, and a bunch of old habits dying hard!

If I'm being honest these last few weeks (few months?) haven't gone at all as planned. I feel like a failure in a number of ways, from keeping my house clean to consistently blogging. And worse yet, the year is slipping through my fingertips - fast! - and I can't catch it, or catch up, with all my goals.

Anyone else feeling this way?

The cooler weather -- while lovely -- doesn't help either! It makes us inclined to slip in the bed and pacify our problems with pumpkin-flavored scones. Amiright? 

Well guys, I'm suggesting we resist that urge, hit the 'reset' button and use the changing season to change ourselves. Refresh our commitments and embrace 'out with the old, in the new!' And yes, there's still time this year! Here's a quick glance at what all this means for me:

+ Fast food, out. Meal prep, in!

+ Rushed mornings, out. Refreshed mornings, in!

+ Fitting in the gym when I can, out. Fitting life in around the gym, in!

+ Comparison, out. Focus, in!

+ Procrastination, out. Determination, in!

+ Excuses, out. Buckling down, in! 

What's on your out list?

Even if it's just one thing - out with gluten, out with smoking, or out with sugar - commit to it and when you're tempted, repeat this mantra to yourself: out with the old, in with the new!

On the blog you'll still see the usual CrossFit couples and posts from my fit bride and fit mom contributors, but you'll also notice me nudging us all get out of our life the stuff holding us back (see my list: comparison, procrastination, laziness, and a lack of planning), and pour in a lot more goodness!

So, whaddya you say? Wanna get refreshed? Hit reset? Give your goals another good effort?

Let's do this! We got this!

I'd love to hear your 'out with the old, in with the new' list in the comments.

What will be your mantra this month? 

Mind Tricks to Get You to the Gym

As I was walking out of work yesterday in my gym clothes I received a ton of praise in the elevator -- "oh good for you!" Then came the slew of excuses why everyone else -- headed straight home -- doesn't workout. "I wish I could but I never have time," and one lady even admitted, "I just never want to go workout!" Although she said, "I'm always glad I did when I do!" Seemingly puzzled at that phenomena of not wanting to but then being glad she did, I shared some of the mind tricks I play on myself to get to the gym. When we parted ways I realized that lately I've done a decent job going -- even when I didn't want to! Here's how:

I live by this one rule -- When in doubt, go workout.

That's my motto people, plain and simple! I usually start out the day with the best intentions, packing a gym bag and planning to go after work, but you know the drill... work is tiring and long and there's so much to do at home (clean and cook dinner). As the day goes on my will to get to the gym gets weaker and weaker and I start coming up with all sorts of excuses why I shouldn't go. That's when I tell myself: When in doubt, go workout.

It might sound silly but it works! I even have a tank top with the phrase that I wear when I'm feeling especially resistant to working out!

2014-04-12 10.34.46

Immediately following rule number one, I change into my gym clothes before I leave the office.

If I get in my car at the end of the day and I'm not dressed for the gym, it gives me that much more time to back out and book it straight home. But, I'm much less likely to do that if I'm already changed. In fact, my favorite time of day is when work is done and I change for the gym! I instantly feel more comfortable in my workout clothes and energized at the thought of going to workout. It really works - try it!

Some other good tricks: 

I get someone to meet me there or commit to someone I'll be there.

I hate letting people down or bailing at the last minute so it's likely that if I've committed to someone, such as meeting a friend at the gym, I'll make good on that promise! I try to coordinate with Aaron and going with him helps a ton, too.

If your spouse doesn't workout ask your fellow gym goers when they'll be around and verbally commit to be there the same day. Ask, "Will you be here tomorrow?" If they will, commit, "Me too! Hold me to it!" You never know, that small conversation might turn into a great support system!

I watch CrossFit videos on IG or YouTube.

Monkey-see, monkey-want-to-do! Seeing hard-working, strong, awesome athletes motivates me to want to get MY workout on! You could always ask yourself this one, too:

CrossFit Diehard

Finally, I remind myself...

Goodmood

Seriously guys, I don't work out to be fit or lose weight -- I work out for my mental health! I get such a boost from even just an hour at the gym and there's nothing quite like it! I can tell myself going home, cleaning, and getting things done will feel wonderful, but I know better; I'll get MORE done after a workout (I'll be energized) and I'll feel a lot better about myself too -- accomplished and refreshed!

What mind tricks do you play to get yourself to the gym? 

Do you have a hard time getting motivated to get there?

It's March! Get Motivated with this Printable Calendar!

Hey friends! Happy Friday! I hope you had a fabulous last week of February! Can you believe it's March 1st tomorrow? Summer is fast approaching! Which is one reason why I've been working hard behind the scenes to put together weekly challenges that I hope will help all of us implement small, healthy changes. Before we get there, though, we need to get motivated. The winter blues are probably settled in and the realtiy of holiday weight gain might be setting in too. It's time to take charge! Below you'll find a printable calendar with daily prompts to get you motivated for change. If you're like me, you've been stalling to get started, but let me tell you friends: there is no better time than the present! That's why you see the quote "A year from now you will have wished you started today" printed at the very top of this calendar - as a reminder that now is the time. RIGHT NOW! Let's do this!

Get Motivated

[wpdm_file id=5 template="bluebox " ]

Here's a breakdown of what's required this first week. These small steps will lead to big changes if you follow them and get motivated! Next Friday I'll post more details about the prompts for week two. I'll also do a few check-in posts because I'm doing this challenge with you! Let's go!

March 1: Plan your day!

Really, really plan your day. Go ahead and write down what you're going to eat on Saturday, and make it healthy! Log it in MyFitnessPal or just write in the notes in your phone - however you do it, just do it! Be in control! Don't let the weekend start (the month start!) and you're midway through pancakes and mimosas at brunch, putting off your goals yet again!

It might sound tedious to log your food before you eat it but this will start your month off on the right foot! Take CONTROL of you diet, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN, and remember: Fail to plan then plan to fail! Planning your meals for this first day will set the tone for the rest of this month! Do it!

Here's what I'm eating Saturday:

  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs, a banana and green smoothie
  • Lunch: sweet potato hash with chicken sausage and tomato slices
  • Mid-afternoon snack: A lara bar and protein shake, maybe an apple and/or almonds
  • Dinner: I'm going to an event at Golden Corral - YES! The buffet! FML! - But, the plan: grilled chicken, greens, and a sweet potato! I can do this! If I have a sweet tooth, I'm hitting up the fruit bar!

March 2: Get Ready

Print this calendar, weigh-in,  go to the grocery store, get the healthy food you need to stay on track this week, and meal prep! YOU HAVE TO MEAL PREP! This is key to your success this first week. If you don't have healthy foods on hand, you'll eat something easy, which usually means something processed, sugary, and without a lot of nutritional value. Even though grocery shopping and prepping will take time of your day Sunday, it will save you time this week. It will make eating clean feel effortless, especially if you have the healthy foods you LIKE on hand.

Here's a quick rundown of my meal plan for the week:

  • Breakfast: Egg casserole
  • Morning snack: Apples + almond butter
  • Lunch: Sweet potato hash with chicken sausage
  • Dinner: Pizza spaghetti squash bake from PaleOMG
  • Other dinners: Chicken, veggies, and cauliflower mash / Salmon salad
  • Afternoon snack: Almonds + raisins or hard boiled eggs or a lara or quest bar
  • Dessert: Banana "ice cream"

Want a more specific meal plan? Try this one.

March 3: Take a Picture

- Here's what works for me: taking a picture of myself in a cute bikini at Target and then SAVING THAT PICTURE AS THE BACKGROUND ON MY PHONE. Do I want to look at my body in a bikini, the way my body looks right now? No, not really... I'd prefer not to think about bikinis or my diet at all! But, by saving the picture as the background on my phone, it's a reality check! (It's a little "ahem, reminder, you have goals!")

March 4: Plan your reward!

We need rewards to movitate us to stay on track. Brainstorm incentatives to stay the course - what is your timeframe? Is there an anniversary or trip coming up? If not, plan one! Make that your first benchmark! Another idea is to set-up weight-loss rewards (at 10 lbs, I'll treat myself to a manicure; at 15 lbs, a new pair of shoes, etc.) I also love the idea to buy the rewards ahead of time, wrap them, and put them in plain sight as motivation!

March 5: Measure 

Take your waist, hip, and thigh measurements as a starting point. Sometimes you lose inches before you lose weight (fact) and in my book, that's just as exciting (if not MORE exciting) because it means my clothes fit better!

March 6: Get Visual!

Print pictures and post them around your apartment. Create a calendar on your wall. GET VISUAL. Make your goal the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. Put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror that says, "A year from now you will have wish you started today." Anything to keep your goals ever-present in your mind! (Here are some motivational tactics on Pinterest!)

weight loss motivational wallimage via eat-healthy-train-hard-tumblr

March 7: Journal for 10

Take 10 minutes and write down why you're doing this, why you want to do this... what's your motivation? How bad do you want it? What's holding you back? What usually works for you? Write it all down!!!

March 8: Start the day with a healthy breakfast.

With the weekend, it's all about getting off on the right foot! Keep your motivation strong by starting your Saturday with a healthy breakfast! That will set the tone for a great day and another awesome weekend!

I'm so excited for those of you doing these small challenges with me! If you can't start tomorrow, feel free to start Sunday or Monday, or whenever! I'll post more details about week two next week! In the meantime, GET MOTIVATED!!! And happy March! :)

What motivation tactics work for you? 

What's it take to motivate you?

 

Navigating Diets & Finding a Weight Loss Method that Works for You

Hi guys! Sorry for being quieter than usual lately! As you can see, I've been making a few changes around here. We now have a static homepage - www.fitforabrideblog.com - that will soon link my shop and bootcamp! Eek! There are a few other tweaks on the way, so please bear with me! This website is a constant work in progress!  So, lately, I've been feeling more and more confused when I think about how I want to approach weight loss and advise others on weight loss. There's so many diets and methods out there, and having experimented with quite a few myself, I tend to overcomplicate the process in my mind, and stall actually getting started... sound familiar?

FUNDAMENTALS
FUNDAMENTALS

Having this realization, I decided to nail down the things that have always worked to help me lose weight in the past, and, surprisingly, they're quite simple! No diet restrictions, no memberships, or expensive proteins or pills, just 5 fundamentals! 1. Get Motivated - Whether it's an upcoming event (ahem, like a wedding!) or just another summer season, I need something to get me motivated. An upcoming trip is good motivator and so is an upcoming anniversary of some kind (my 3 year wedding anniversary is in April). I also get motivated by taking a before picture of myself, making visual reminders (like below), reading about health, searching crossfit and weight loss on Instagram, trying new workouts, and combining forces with others. There's so many awesome ways to get motivated - it' just a matter of tapping in! In the past, I've used challenges to motivate me, too, but I've often fallen way off the bandwagon at the end of the challenge and gained back all the weight I lost while on it. I read this word of caution about Paleo Challenges and "Clean Eating" Programs and could totally relate! In my opinion, a challenge might motivate you, but it won't sustain you.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 1.36.07 PM
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 1.36.07 PM

2. Change it up - Just like I constantly need motivation, my body needs constant change; this is especially true with workouts. If you've been doing the same workout or same type of workout for the last 6 months and you haven't seen any changes (and you're looking for change), you need to switch things up! Try something new, whether it be the workout itself or even the time of day you're working out. Challenge yourself! I love the quote "If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you!" So true! I think that's why CrossFit has been so beneficial.

Challenge-Change
Challenge-Change

Change is also the reason why strict diets that only allow for certain foods or meals don't really work for me. I've received meal plans that were the same two day's worth of meals repeated for an entire month! No thanks! I like to use those meal plans as a guide, but ulitimately, I need there will be a lot more variety in my own diet. I like to experiment! The key is experimenting with healthy foods, not new flavors of oreos!

2. Meal prep and log your food - These are big. Huge. Majorly important fundamentals to weight loss in my book. I do so much better when I think about what to eat ahead of time and then log as I go. While a diet might work to outline WHAT you eat, I find that just being prepared and watching it WHILE I eat is a much more effective and long term.

Meal Prep
Meal Prep

4. Have some accountability - I'm always thinking about new ways to incorporate some accountability into my life because I do my worse when I go unchecked for several days and weeks at a time. That's one reason why I think programs like Weight Watchers and other weekly weigh-in programs are great. Not because they focus on your weight (I don't think that's good), but because they add an element of accountability. I mean, cause, let's face it, how easy is it to ignore what we don't want to deal with? Too easy!

5. Get into a routine - Even though I like to change things up and try new workouts and recipes, my routine - with work, working out, sleeping, and meal prepping - always directly translates into whether I have a good or bad week in terms of weight loss.  If I don't go to bed at a decent hour, I'm traveling a lot, or bogged down with lots of obligations one weekend, it's easy for me to get off track. And then it's easier to stay off track than to refocus! I know it's important to be healthy on the go, but it's hard for me! I do much better when I have a set schedule and stick to it!

If you're navigating lots of diets and not sure where you should begin, it might help to brainstorm the simple solutions that worked for you in the past! I wouldn't be surprised if we had some in common - most people agree that tracking food and having some accountability helps!

And, here's an idea! Let's help each other! Beginning in March there will be weekly challenges that reinforce these simple weight loss fundamentals. One week you might be challenged to track your meals, or prep your breakfast for the week! You might be challenged to change up your workout and go for a run outside, or try a CrossFit class! I'll publish the Get Motivated March calendar tomorrow, and all the challenges will be typed into each day!

Get-Motivated
Get-Motivated

There will be a new calendar and a new set of challenges in April! I'm really hoping these challenges motivate us to stop stalling and do what we know we ought to! Who's with me??

Do you overthink healthy sometimes?

Do you go back and forth about how to go about losing weight?

9 Amazing Instagram Transformations

When I first joined Instagram back in September, I had no idea it would play such a huge role in my fitness journey. But, the way this social media platform instantly connected me with clean eaters and crossfitters, and incredible transformations, has been the biggest motivation. I love meeting new people (Hi Nutty!), trying their recipes, and watching others transform their lives as I try to transform mine. Posting my own before and after pictures, workouts and clean eats is fun, too. Not to mention it's free and easy to use! If you have instagram and you're on a weight loss journey or a get-strong journey an eat-clean journey or whatever, you should be following these women.

@Estellearcher

Dawn is positive, upbeat and on a mission to change the lives of women across the nation! I love seeing glimpses of her fast-growing zumba/fitness workout classes, SWEAT and her motivational quotes. I also love that Dawn setup a seperate instagram account to share other people's transformation stories. If you need a shot of inspiration, just start following @wesweat. Like Dawn, the people, the stories, the transformations are incredible!

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 12.04.15 AM

@Nutty4Nutrition

You guys know I'm a huge, huge fan of Nutty!! She always posts great recipes that are easy to make and taste delicious. I also love all the funny jokes she posts, and her before and after shots are so inspiring. I love that her fitness journey has been HERS and hers alone. She advocates finding a path to healthy that works for YOU, and that there's no one-size-fits-all approach.

nutty4nutrition

@sarah_griff_fit

Sarah is a friend of mine and she is on fire for running - she just completed her first half marathon! - and PX90! She's a beachbody coach and on Instagram, she posts the most inspiring before and after photos (like the one below!). This mama was definitely born to encourage and inspire others! Rock on, sister!

sarah griff fit

@myweightlossfr

The picture tells it all! Wow! Just wow!

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 12.05.37 AM

@the_masonette

I totally love this girl! Just look at her before and after photo - it's not just about weight loss, look at that muscle! And doesn't she look so much younger in her "after" photo? Someone commented the before picture could easily pass as her mom! It's amazing the way weight loss makes us look younger. The Masonette is down more than 67 lbs, and has more than 100,000 followers. If you need a dose of heavy inspiration, look no further!

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 12.12.22 AM

@babnotonadiet

I interviewed Brooke about her incredible weight loss and ever since, I've been following her journey on Instagram. I love Brooke's balanced approach to weight loss through Weight Watchers, and not any extreme measures. She's also not afraid to try some hardcore workouts like Jillian Michaels Shredded or Insanity! She's lost more than 150 lbs!!!!! It doesn't get anymore inspiring than this.

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 12.11.06 AM

@jessicasmith626

I also interviewed Jessica- she's incredible! Like Brooke, Jessica takes such a balanced approach to weight loss and healthy living. Jessica is a runner and her blog is full of awesome, healthy recipes. She just doesn't give up! She's got a heart for God, which I love seeing laced through her posts; she's so inspirational.

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 12.13.48 AM

@niftyfoodie

Another friend of mine who has lost an incredible amount of weight - Amy is an awesome source of inspiration! She's been tracking and counting calories, running and weight lifting! I love these shots of her flexing that she posts every once in awhile to Instagram. Amy also has an incredible food blog, The Nifty Foodie, where you can read more about her weight loss journey, as well as find some awesome recipes! I really love Amy's approach because she's not looking for a quick fix! She's slowly, but surely changed her life through running and eating better - and the results are just a side effect of that. You're amazing girl! Keep up the good work!

niftyfoodie@average2athelete

I get a new favorite instagrammer every so often and the moment, I'm obsessed with @average2athelete - two girls on a mission to inspire! Below is a photo of Julia before and after beginning crossfit - she looks incredible! Both ladies, Julia & Kayte post some crazy workouts that always looks awesome and intense! I love that they're doing them in regular gyms, too! Not necessarily crossfit gyms! They look like they do these workouts on their own, too, which is something I really admire!

If you're looking for a place for workout inspiration - this is it! These girls will have you leaping from off the couch in no time! They also have a blog you have to check out!

average2athlete

Are you on instagram?

Who do you follow? Share your favorites!

Two Apps, Two Dollars, Better Habits

Good morning + Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I want to start off this week telling you about two apps I recently started using. Even though I consider myself a true pen-and-paper girl, I have to admit, it's a lot easier to keep up with my phone than any binder, day planner, or checklist I create or convince myself to buy. For that reason I'm trying to truly (and fully) embrace technology and use my iPhone for better organization... and while I'm at it, better health, too!

Waterlogged (free):

Water... I'm not a huge fan. I mean, of course, I know the importance of drinking water. I know it aids with weight loss and prevents breakouts, and has a whole slew of other amazing benefits, but what can I say? I'm just not that into water.

That is, until I started using Waterlogged, a free app for tracking water intake!

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 10.41.27 PM

The first day or two I had this app on my phone I didn't pay much attention to it, but then, I decided to play along (it's kinda like a game). I looked up how many ounces of water the tumblr that sits on my desk holds and was pleasantly surprised it's 24 ounces! With a daily goal of 64 ounces, I figured, hey, 24 might get me there! So, I forced myself to drink one full glass first thing in the morning. Recording 24 ounces was exciting, but let me tell you, recording ANOTHER 24 felt even better! I had some tea in the afternoon to give myself a few more ounces, and hey... look at me... I'm drinking water!

I highly recommend this app as it makes drinking water FUN, which is the opposite of what I think of, when I think of water). Give it a try and let me know if it changes your perspective, too!

Be warned: this app causes excessive peeing.

Streaks ($1.99):

No, no, not that type of streak! God no! We're talking about a healthy streak, whether it be a few good days of clean eating, getting to the gym, or drinking water! Whatever your daily health goals are, make a calendar in Streaks and mark off days you've accomplished your task!

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 10.38.20 PM

For whatever reason, even though I know this is just an app, it's really pushing me to stick to my guns. Right now I have two calendars set: paleo eats and handstand practice, and yesterday, in the afternoon when I was really craving some choclate (or something sweet! anything!) I couldn't stop thinking of this app and how sad and disappointed I'd feel for not even getting a TWO day streak! Something about the psychology here. It works!

What are you favorite health apps?

Do you like water?

Would getting a long streak motivate you?

Motivated Monday

We haven't had a motivated monday post in awhile and I really need it this week. I've been strugging to balance everything going on in my life: the blog, crossfit, paleo meal planning and all the usual stuff like family get-togethers, keeping in touch with friends, and getting enough sleep at night! Has anyone else's life been just plain hectic lately?

Things aren't slowing down either! I have two trips planned in October, one in November and a big one in December. Not to mention the big plans I have for this blog in coming months, plus applying to grad school and eventually taking that stinkin' nasm test. Phew!! I'm exhausted just thinking about all of it! Then I remember:

tumblr_m26x3kHb2S1qa3p2ho1_1280

Everything I'm working on from the day-to-day of working out and getting enough sleep to the bigger, broader goals is worth the overwhelm I somtimes feel. And while I may have to fight for time on the weekend to blog and meal prep, it's alway so worth it when I do. Not to mention the outcome: healthier living, a beautiful blog, and eventually a master's a degree, a bootcamp... career satisfaction.

I'm curious: What are you strugging with right now?

Do you have a lot on your plate?

What are you fighting for that just won't come easy?

Image via the decorista tumblr

Monday Motivation: Abandoning Your Plan for God's

"Whatever is worrying you right now... forget about it.

Take a deep breath and trust in God."

-Unknown

Scripture-1

Do you feel like you need to have a five-year plan? Or a ten-year plan? Are you a habitual goal setter? A list checker, like me? Do you worry if you don't have a plan for the future, or at least a good handle on where you're headed?

I'm one of those people who loves to plan everything; heck, I love to meal plan! I also like to plan for business and I like making plans with friends. I'm just a planner. Plans make me feel safe-- I can prioritize if I know the plan. I can relax if I know the plan.

The thing is, in life, you don't always know the plan. In fact, you might have a plan, but life isn't abiding your plan! Life just happens!

It's been said that some of the worst times turned into the best; some of the hardest experiences turned out to be the most rewarding; and you have the best time when you least expect it... but in my mind, I still want to know the plan.

I have questions like, What's my career path? When should we have kids? Should we buy a house, stay in Northern Virginia? Should we pick-up and move? Needing a plan and not having one (or rather, not being able to control the universe) is stressful. Stress isn't good for us. (Read 10 Scary Things Stress is Doing to Your Body.)

I'm learning, or at least trying to learn to let go of my need for a master plan, and instead, leave it up to the master.

And just like the verse says, know He works for my good. Period! Let go of the rest!

What are your methods for de-stressing about life and the future? 

Do you try to control the future, or do you live by the moment, trusting in God? 

PS: While doing research for this post, I discovered Stress Decreases Attractiveness in Women's Faces. Ah!

Monday Motivation

Fit-Way-of-Life To be totally honest, I've always hated when people said "it's a lifestyle." Well, maybe not hate it, but for the longest time, I didn't get it. I knew what it should mean, but I didn' t know what it meant for me... until recently.

At least for me, "it's a lifestyle," means meal prepping is cool and fun, and probably my favorite weekend past-time. It means that even though I haven't been running every weekend, I do love running, especially early Saturday mornings around the Nation's capitol. It means I love being pressured into lifting big heavy weights, and challenging others to do the same. I love Whole Foods grocery shopping, salad club, and trying new, healthy recipes. I love dark chocolate and eat it in moderation. (love should really read LOVE; and to say I'm learning* to eat it in moderation would be more accurate.) I have slip-us, but we all do. I love writing, learning, and sharing it all.

All these things are my life and they're also characteristics of being 'fit,' something I am certainly striving for.

What's "it's a lifestyle" mean to you?

If nothing yet, what do you want it to mean?

Monday Pep Talk

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Psalm 139:14

Untitled-1

Confession: I've been less than forthright with friends and family about my desire to become a bootcamp instructor and have a side business focused on fitness.

However, after last week's event--as amazing as it was and as enthusastic as everyone was--I feel more compelled than ever to just own it! Own this little blog and all the dreams and goals that go along with it, despite what others think.

But, for me at least, that's a lot easier said than done. I've given it some thought, though, asking myself: Why am I so self-concious about Fit for a Bride? Why don't I want people knowing I am studying to become a personal trainer?

Is it because I'm shy? That's a bit of a stretch; I'm pretty outgoing. Is it because I'm ashamed? What's there to be ashamed of? I'm posing often! The content is strong! Is it because not everybody understands what a blog is, and it's difficult to explain? Eh, maybe.

Or is it because I need to let go of negative labels?

I listed to Joel on the way home from Williamsburg yesterday and he told the story of David; and how Samuel came to find a King among Jesse's sons-- there were seven total. David was the smallest and youngest of all his brothers and his father didn't even call him from the field for the line-up. See, cause, David was the least likely to be chosen as King. His dad thought he was too small, too young, too inexperienced, whatever...

Well, as the story goes, Samuel asked David is there was another son, and when David came, God said he was the anointed one.

Most of us know what happens next, right? David was chosen and later, he defeated Goliath. This too small boy, whose own father thought he should stick with tending the field, became a legend. He became a giant-slayer, despite the negative labels ("too small;" "too weak").

I can relate to David. I'm the last of several people I know who you would think of as a fitness instructor. I certainly don't look the part (buff arms and six pack), and there's been a lot of negative labels put on me (remember? My first crush called me fat)!

But there's something to be said about removing those negative labels. Overcoming them. Deciding that, in fact, you are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are fully capable of fulfilling God's destiny for yourself (the dreams he's put in your heart), no matter what anyone else thinks (even family)!

Do you have negative labels holding you back? 

Did someone once tell you that you were too small, too big, too slow, too fill-in-the-blank? 

My goal is to remove those negative labels from your mindset and encourage you to uplift yourself with positive affirmations. As a start, write a list of positive labels you could use to describe yourself. I'd love if you left your list in the comments! Here is mine:

I am friendly. I am strong. I am knowledgable about health and fitness. I am not fat. I am not too big. I am not too slow. I have a knack for uplifting others. I would make a great personal trainer. I am a motivator. People like me. People look to me. I will fulfill the dream of encouraging others to have better health-- it's part of God's plan!

Now it's your turn!!

Motivational Quote: Don't Stop Trying

I just got the most encouraging email from a new reader (Hi Meg!!!) and it made me feel so much better about the fears that I've associated with becoming a personal trainer. Thank you for your vote of confidence, Meg! I really do appreciate it! With that, I think this quote goes along perfectly with Meg's advice not to try to get it perfect "out of the gate." Things take time and often, failure is a apart of success.

Michael-Jordan

I'm also applying this quote to my diet. As of late (Easter, really) it's been a complete wash. I always have a lot of healthy go-to meals and snacks (like salad club and my greek yogurts), but I went overboard with the sweets! DietBet is ending this weekend and I'm sad to say that I don't think I'll lose the 4% required to win. But, that doesn't mean I'm giving up.

I say all this to let you (yes, you!) know I'm not perfect and chances are, niether are you. But that's OK! We can't have perfect diets or be perfect in the gym (or doing whatever) all the time. We should strive for balance. We should strive. Period.

Who's with me?

Happy Monday friends!

Real Housewife, Sarah: Maintaining During Intense Travel

{This is our weekly check-in post with Real Housewife Blogger, Sarah in Australia! Sarah weighs in Wednesday, then checks in with us Thursday. Since she started blogging her journey (end-of January), she's down 8 lbs!} So last week was ridiculously out of control. No amount of meal planning, food tracking or alarm reminders could have saved me from it. Just as an indication: I was in Auckland, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Sydney all in the span of 7 days~ Tuesday to Friday, I spent 15 hours in an airport or on planes. Needless to say, I was exhausted. I still managed to squeeze in a few workouts this week, though:

  • Monday - None
  • Tuesday - Walk (130 calories)
  • Wednesday - None
  • Thursday - Walk (407 calories)
  • Friday - None
  • Saturday - None
  • Sunday - Tag session (939 calories)

I only managed to maintain my weight this week, which I will be honest, was an absolute win! Considering I was 963 calories over my weekly net goal.

This is only a quick check-in because I am once again traveling and feel like I am working 24/7, things should settle down soon! I'm looking forward to having my meal plan and routine back next week!

Weight Loss this Week: 0 lbs Total Weight Loss (Since Jan.7): 7.9 lbs

To catch up with Sarah, by check out her intro and Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5! You can also follow Sarah’s journey over on her healthy living blog, Eating the Olives!

Motivational Quote: Start Doing

Good morning fit brides and friends!

Stop-Talking

This is a little motivational reminder to get you back on track. This really hits home with me because I'm a talker and I love to make lists and plans, and discuss things with people before I do them! Often times, though, this mentality holds me back. I spend too much time planning (talking!) and not enough time doing. Each day that goes by is an opportunity for you to just do it! As Nike would say!

So, what are you waiting for?? START TODAY!  

Real Housewife, Sarah: A Rewards System & Six Pounds Down

{This week is our first check-in post with Real Housewife Blogger, Sarah in Australia! Sarah weighs in Wednesday, then checks in with us Thursday to share what’s working and what’s not!} One thing I am a big sucker for is the "I deserve a treat, I did a huge workout this morning." Now that I am tracking my calories in MyFitnessPal (join me - LicoriceOlives), I can see that "treat" has actually just taken away all my good work that I did in the gym! I could not have the treat and not do the workout and still be in the same boat.

I dont want to be in the same boat!

So, I have to stop rewarding myself with food and instead here are the different milestones I have set for myself and when I reach them I get a little reward of the non-food variety.

  • 1 minute plank on my feet - new workout item (likely from Lululemon)
  • Run 5km without stopping - new lipstick
  • Under 80kg - pedicure and manicure
  • Lose 5kg - new workout item
  • Lose 10kg - to be decided
  • Lose 30cm from my measurements - workout headband
  • Lose 50cm from my measurements - new jewelery
  • 50 days continuous food tracking - new work lunch box

There are a couple there that I am not sure about, but I am quite excited about all of them! I am really close to getting a few (like 50 days tracking and being under 80kg) but I know I can achieve them all!

How am I funding all these expenses? I pay myself a dollar every time I work out. If I burn over 1,000 calories (or more than 2 hours) - I get $2! The idea came from a similar picture to this and it is a wonderful motivator!

Reward

{Image source: Brooke: Not on a Diet}

Now for my check-in!!

So last week was spent travelling a little and usually that means too many calories in and not enough out. I made a conscious effort to keep up my water, though, and at least do my walking for 20 minutes!

  • Monday - Walk (220 calories)
  • Tuesday - Morning and afternoon walk (685 calories)
  • Wednesday - Toning session and walk (493 calories)
  • Thursday - Rest
  • Friday - Gym Cardio Session (503 calories)
  • Saturday - Cardio Session (806 calories)
  • Sunday - Rest

Lucky for me, it went very well this week. Despite having 2 rest days and one light day, I was careful with my calories and some of my walks were tough!

I was in Perth and there are some fun stairs that are common workout stairs- there were so many people! The view at the top was definitely worth it though!

IMG_3850[1]

IMG_3851[1]

So this weeks numbers are awesome, not in whole numbers I guess, but in that mental figure- I am under 176 lbs! I managed to weigh in at 175 lb this week! So exciting!! My husband was standing in the bathroom next to me when I weighed in and I clapped! Just need to keep down here!

Weight Loss This Week: 1.8 lbs

Total Weight Loss (since Jan. 7th): 6.2 lbs

Readers, if you’ve missed something, check out Sarah’s Intro, and catch up on Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3! You can also follow Sarah’s journey over on Eating the Olives, her healthy living blog!

Motivational Quote: Challenge Breeds Change

Challenge-Change

I stole this phrase from my trainer. He says it ALL THE TIME during tough workouts. I usually hate it at the time. (Screaming inside, WHY IS THIS SO HARD?) But when it's over, I'm so proud. I feel leaner and stronger. I feel changed! 

 Do you challenge yourself in the gym, or in other aspects of your life?

When you have, was there a pay-off? Did it change you for the better?

Fashion Friday: Black & Rose {Splurge}

Workout-Clothes-Splure-I-Love-Working-Out
Workout-Clothes-Splure-I-Love-Working-Out

Happy Friday fit brides! I've got a workout *splurge* for today, but if you break it down it can also be considered a *save!* This cute tank from oGorgeous is only $10! I think several sizes are sold out, but Large is still available! Also, while $45 may seem like a lot for a gym bag, I had this bag in pink and used it for (wait for it) like 3 years! Hubs got it in blue and is still using his! Sometimes a little extra buck is worth it!

I Love Working Out Tank $10 / Compression Shorts $15 / Aerie Sports Bra $20 / Nike Duffle $45

I'm not sure whether you noticed, but this week was a little all over the place posting/schedule-wise. I haven't had much time in the evenings prepare posts because we've been searching for an apartment! We're actually moving mid-April and while I'm very excited to have a new space to decorate (and a Fit for a Bride studio 2.o!), it's been tough finding the right property! We saw a really nice place last night and we're submitting the necessary paperwork to secure it today, so, please keep your fingers crossed for us! (Total bonus: it's within walking distance of Target! Eek!)

Later today, I am finally sharing Part Three of my Blogging Series :: FINDING AN IDENTITY :: Check back later this afternoon for the inside scoop on how I got my fab logo (centered as the header above) and this unique blog design!

Yay- Friday!

Fashion Friday: Fushia & Baby Blue Stripes {Save}

It's FRRRRRRIDAY!!! As promised I have a "SAVE" outfit for you guys this week! We're all on a budget, right? It's hard for me to justify spending a lot on workout clothes, but, new gear almost always provides instant motivation! How about a mini-splurge? A whole new outfit for less than $50!

This top is from Old Navy and the capris are from Forever 21! Both stores are great go-tos for inexpensive workout clothes!

Let me know what you think!

Workout-Clothes-Save
Workout-Clothes-Save

Motivational Quote: Don't Quit

Hey fit brides and friends! It's another Monday and can you believe, March 4th already? I know many of you are approaching wedding season and feeling the time crunch- this quote is for you!

Don't-Quit

 

This quote is for me too! I woke up with a horrible sore throat yesterday and it only feels worse today! I'm fighting the urge to sleep so that I can get blog posts up, but please bear with me if it's slower than usual! I also owe the blog my March goals and a review of my February ones! This year is flying by!

When you feel like quitting, what do you do to pull yourself back in the right mindset?