Thursday, June 28, 2012

C'Mon Get Happyy!

I used to want to smack happy-go-lucky people. Seriously. You laugh, but you know you have felt/still feel the same way. I would look at them and say, "What are they so happy about? Must be nice to have no problems. You want to hear problems? I got problems.." And I trudged around like this day after day, making snide comments about these types of people and ignoring the cry from inside that I wanted to be one of them.

I wanted to be happy. I wanted to love every minute of life. I wanted to turn negatives into positives..but who was I to do that? I was just a girl going through some tough things that many don't EVER experience in their life at the age of 23, working my way further and further into the trenches of a drinking problem (that I admit was a problem, now, but back then I was in total denial) and just felt completely detached from the world more and more everyday.

I sought "treatment"..naturally..because that's what you do, right? Go the doctor, they prescribe you some crap to make you feel happy, and you're good to go! Well I didn't want the artificial happiness...I wanted the true kind. The kind that you can only find through yourself, and nowhere else.

Look, I'm not going to sit here and say that it's easy to find happiness  Days are hard, life is hard, but what you choose to do with your days can be easy. I'm not saying choose to skip out on work today and go to the beach just because that is what would make you happy (but if you DO decide to do that..please invite me), but choosing to take the high road, choosing to put a smile on your face, choosing to find a WAY to laugh when everything inside you wants to throw something across the room, is easy to do. Don't believe me?

Honestly..can you tell me that did not make you smile, or laugh? Did you know that just the ACT of smiling or laughing can brighten your mood?  So let's keep going with this...

aaand one of my personal favorites...

I mean's that easy.

Look, I'm not a happy-go-lucky freak now because I have it all, because I have money, because my life is perfect, or any of those things! Trust me...NONE OF IT IS TRUE!! And I truly believe that none of that is true for any of my fellow bubbly individuals.  We are happy because we are CHOOSING to be happy. Stop it. Stop giving the same excuses I used in the first paragraph..because they are crap. Yes, I said it: crap.

Bottom line is-we all have problems...some much bigger than others, but we all have them. The question isn't how you react to those problems, because we all need to just "let it out" every now and again..the question is how do you make the effort to combat those negative feelings? How do you CHOOSE to be happy or miserable? Those three pictures above are things that I look for at work when I reach that "I can't take anymore today!!" moment. I give myself a break, go look at some funny junk out on the internet, get a nice laugh, and then I move on. Think about it: has your pissiness EVER made a situation go away or get better? Doubtful. Has a good attitude ever eased the burden of negative news? Have you ever consciously "Put on a a happy face" in order for people to not realize how you were really feeling...only to completely forget that you were miserable to begin with? Happiness has a powerful effect. And when you start to CHOOSE to be happy, you are CHOOSING to make the most of your life. The rest will just fall into place :)

Try some of these to turn your days around:
Watch a short YouTube clip of your favorite comedian. Dane Cook's "Kool Aid Man" always makes me smile "Naughty, naughty, kool aid!"

Put on some old school songs that "take you back" Ahh! Just push it!

Look at funny images on the internet

Pull up photos of places that make you smile. I surround myself with pictures of the beach and mentally go there everytime I need a break.

Take a walk. Even a short walk will release some endorphins!

Stretch It releases stress

Dance. Just do it. Especially if you're at home sulking alone. You are the only one there to judge yourself!

Sing at the top of your lungs ....Windows down or up is optional just consider those around you. Not everyone wants to hear your rendition of Journey's Don't Stop Believin'

Call a friend

Bitch it out.  Sometimes it's good to just let it all out makes you feel 100 lbs lighter!

Youtube search the following: funny babies, funny pets, pranks gone wrong, funny pranks, Jenna Marbles (love her!), bad karaoke, grandmas dancing, ultimate fail

Stay the hell away from negative people! Moods are contageous....their misery should not be your misery!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eat Breakfast!

If you're like me, you feel like you have zero time in life to do anything that needs to be done.  One of the areas I used to really struggle in was the area of breakfast. I just wouldn't eat it because I didn't have time, or I'd grab Pop Tarts and eat them on the go (knowing what I know now I can't believe I ate that many Pop Tarts in my life time. Delicious? Yes...Nutritious? No). I know so many people who skip breakfast, just have a cup of coffee, or if you are my mother "breakfast makes me sick" (c'mon, Mom..really????).

The fact is: breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It gets your body up and ready to burn fuel for the day! It sets your whole day in gear! So for those of you who claim that you do not have time for breakfast, I have a delicious sandwich that will take you..are you ready for this? 2 MINUTES TO MAKE! Tadaaa! I know...I'm awesome..and you're welcome :)  Here we go!


2 Pieces of toast (I prefer Ezekiel bread..but hey, whatever works for you)
Egg Whites (I prefer All Whites)
Small amount of Cheddar
3 strips of turkey bacon


Here's how you do this all in 2 minutes:

Throw your egg whites into a small pan and cook..about 1 minute on each side.

While this is happening, toast your bread, put your bacon in the microwave for about a minute, and get your plate out your cabinet (totally hard so far, right?)

*Pop!* The toast is up! *Ding!* The bacon is done! And by the looks of it, so are the egg whites. Just place them on the toast, sprinkle with cheese, and put one strip of bacon on there while leaving the other two pieces for you to eat.

This is so simple, that there should not be any excuse for not having time anymore. Rushing out the door in the mornings? Try my method:

Cook the egg whites at home and place in a plastic container.
Package your bacon in a Ziplock, your cheese goes in with the bacon, and you also grab your bread.
When you get to work, throw the egg white in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and the bacon in there for about a minute and a half while your toast is in the toaster..then put it all together and eat!

This entry seems so lame because it's like, " just made an egg sandwich. Bravo." but what I am trying to point out here is not that I am a master chef when it comes to egg sandwiches...I'm trying to put out the simplicity of breakfast. And you don't even need to do eggs! Get some cereal (no...not Cap'n Crunch!) that has a high protein value like Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Pay attention to the serving sizes of the cereals and follow those! Grab some Shakeology (the healthiest meal of the day!) and make yourself a delicious shake to drink on your way to the office. JUST EAT!

The most important thing to remember is that breakfast fuels the rest of your day. Try, if you can, to avoid breakfast foods that are high in carbohydrates as these will leave you feel overly full and end up making you want to take a nap. Lean foods high in protein are best to kick off your day, keep you full until lunch, and drive your mornings.

So tomorrow..stop making your excuses..and eat some breakfast.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Two Is Better Than One

Do you prefer to exercise alone, or with a partner? I’ll be honest, for the longest time I loved going to the gym alone. There was something about it just being a time for me, and a time to worry about my needs that made it a more relaxing and enjoyable experience. I could listen to whatever I wanted on my iPod, do my reps or my cardio, and then leave the gym.
Lately I have also tried to workout with others, and I find that it also has some added benefits. While training for my first half I did something I said that I would NEVER do – I ran with a partner. My friend Stephanie and I had the same goal in mind: to simply finish. After much back and forth conversation we decided to tackle our distance days together. While I thought it would be detrimental and get me out of “the zone”, working out with Steph helped me to achieve 10 miles, then 11 miles, and while we didn’t run the 12 miles together, talking afterward made the accomplishment more special. It was nice going through something like that with someone, and not alone. The day of the race, we both were able to celebrate our accomplishment together, too. It changed my outlook on working out with a partner.
This can also work if you have a significant other; however, I always recommend using caution on this one. Working out with my husband CAN bring us closer together; however, the two of us have a competitive spirit and I will admit that we do not like being criticized. We had tried running together while he was in training, and at that point I sucked at running. I mean I really sucked! I just hated it! So he was running with me at a snail’s pace while I felt like I was holding him back. He would have to stop and wait for me, or he would finish before me (again, I don’t like being beat). So, the running thing never worked out for us.  Then we tried RevAbs together. We both committed and did the workouts together, side by side.  Well, all was fun until an exercise involving weights started to show up at which point I politely let him know that he was lunging to the point where his knee was going over his toe…that ended that!  I thought that this was just not somewhere that we would ever see eye to eye on. The fact that he was a diver and I was a swimmer in throughout our lives would be just about as close as we would ever come to finding a common ground to relate on when it came to fitness. But, thankfully, I was wrong.
About a month ago I decided to start trying P90X, and I invited him a long for the ride on one condition: we did the workouts separately, BUT we completed the program together. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!  This workout program has totally brought us closer together as a couple!  While my husband is not as health conscious as I am, he has made a conscious effort to try new foods and really be a source of support.  This workout gives us more to talk about at dinner than just our work day.
 “How was your day?” 

                             “Eh..its work. You?” 

 “You know. Same old same old.”

Now it’s..

“OMG! So, the other day during Plyos I totally wacked my hand off the rafter. I had no idea I could jump that high” 

                              “Uuugh! I’ve done that too! Hey..what do you think about Ab RipperX?”

“Holy crap! I have done abs my whole life-that’s intense!”

                                  “Oh I know! Those Mason Twists…”

The conversation goes on and on. Sometimes we go from workout out, to remodeling the basement, and then on to some other semi-related topic. It has really opened up the door for us to grow in terms of communication. While we aren’t working out together, we are still completing something together.
I decided to look into this a little further and found a variety of articles that state the same: working out with your partner is beneficial to the relationship. The articles discussed running, yoga, and a variety of other exercises in which the connection between two people can grown when they complete them together, and I completely agree and believe that is true. Among just having company, working out with your partner allows for increased feelings of security and safety (they can either spot you in the gym, or make it so you are not alone), increased intimacy (hellooo! Working out releases chemicals in the brain that stimulate that activity), and an additional source of motivation. Let’s face it: who do most people want to have as their biggest cheerleader – their significant other!
I suggest stepping out of your comfort zone this week and working out with a partner, be it someone you are romantically involved with or just a friend. See if it works for you.  I would be interested to hear your comments about your experiences below!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

30 Days Into P90X/BBL Hybrid

Yesterday, well today really, marked the 30 day point for my P90X/Brazil Butt Lift hybrid. This workout is going to take me 90 days to go through, and should last me the majority of the summer.

I chose this particular workout because I wanted to really change my body, and I thought what better way to do that than with P90X. Obviously with swimsuit season on the horizon, I also was concerned for the back-end of things so I decided that a hybrid paired with Brazil  Butt Lift was just the ticket.

I started this schedule the day after I finished my first half marathon, and let me tell you-that first day sucked! The first workout that I had to take on was BBL Sculpt. I thought to myself, "This workout can't be that hard..I'll start with a higher weight"; I was totally wrong. That workout was intense! But even its intensity couldn't prepare me for what was next: Tummy Tuck.

Tummy Tuck, in my opinion, is harder than Ab Ripper X.  I can make it through Ab Ripper X (did it for the first time this week!), but I cannot make it through Tummy Tuck, yet. This workout combines a variety of exercises used to strengthen your core and every ab muscle you can imagine by combining core moves, isometric ab work, and standard sit up variations. It is NO-JOKE! Don't believe me? Try it.

The BBL workouts are a ton of fun, and I always can't help but think of the beach while I am doing them. The music makes me feel very light-hearted and Leandro constantly telling me, "Don't settle for less!" keeps me going.

The P90X workouts, though, might be my soulmate workout. I have NEVER enjoyed something so much as the P90X DVDs.  When I hear people say, "Oh God I hate Plyomatrics!" I can't help but wonder how?!? I think that is the most fun workout! And Core works you, it is frustrating when you can't hold the moves, but you KNOW that it's working (and you can feel it for about two days after!).  I love workouts that challenge me, while at the same time motivate me to continue on, and build me up in terms of my physique, but also my character.

P90X isn't only a physical challenge, but also a mental game. For many, their body has never been put through something so strenuous before, and their mind continuously yells at them to quit, or tells them it's not going to work anyway, or that they suck because they couldn't lift the weight/finish their reps. Getting over that voice in your head is the key to P90X.  Being able to ignore that voice and do one more rep today than you did yesterday is what this workout is about. Being able to lift a heavier weight during Phase 2 than you did in Phase 1 is what this workout is about. It's not about starting off with heavy weights, maxing out on reps, and getting it over with barely breaking a fact, if you can do that your first time then I would say you just wasted your money. Obviously you were above P90X. But not many people can! The key here is build yourself up, and not allow yourself to be torn down.

I'm not going to lie: there were days where I didn't want to workout. There are always days where I don't want to work out - but I do it anyway, because struggle is always easier than regret. My entire life I have allowed myself to quit. When the going got tough, I'd move on to an easier task to provide myself with a source of instant gratification: no more. I want to be a finisher. The half marathon taught me how to overcome that voice inside my head, and gave me my first taste of how it felt to be a finisher. I want to experience that feeling over and over again. It's like a drug, and I couldn't even begin to imagine the feelings that I would feel if I quit and let myself down - I'm not worried about anyone else - I'm worried about myself, and you should be too. When taking on a challenge, you must be your biggest cheerleader. I mean think about it: if you doubt yourself...why should anyone else believe in you?

I'm posting my 30 day result pictures on here not because I am looking for attention; I am not one of "those" girls who is all "Look at me! Look at me!" but I am posting them on here to show you that they are REAL. While the pictures make it hard to see, the muscle definition that I have now is INSANE. I couldn't do 8 push ups when I started..and now I can do 20.  I started out doing 12 chair I'm up to 30, and I DEF couldn't make it through Ab Ripper, but now I can (though it still kicks my ass everytime). The point is: I'm growing stronger. And that is what a fitness journey is all about.

If you would like to try either of these programs, please feel free to visit my site  Click on Shop to browse all of our products, and please don't hesitate to contact me at with any questions that you might have!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Only Person in Charge of You is YOU!

How often does your life feel out of control? Do you honestly feel like you are in control of every aspect of your life, or do you feel influenced by others in your “circle”? Many of us would say that we feel influenced, but there is hope to feel completely in control of our lives.
While reading Brendon Burchard’s new book The Charge, I came across a section in the book where he talks about control. We all desire it in various aspects of our lives and our work, but how often do we really take it? Many people sit back and will give the excuses, “Well it’s not that easy”, “You aren’t in my situation”, “Well I’m trying!” but they do not realize how easy it is to gain control of things if they take it one step at a time.
The Charge focused on two scenarios that dealt with the business world in which he compared the feeling of success when on a team vs. when being independent. He put it like this, “Have you ever worked on a book project where you were in and out of multiple meetings on it, and then the book became successful, and you and the team were very happy about it?...And have you ever worked on a book project that you really ushered from beginning to end and took as your baby, and then the book became successful, and you and the team were very happy about it?...Which of the two felt better? Which had you more engaged and left you feeling more satisfied and fulfilled?” In this example, everyone said that they had felt more fulfilled when a book that they had more hands-on experience with went successful.  This is because as human beings we not only crave control, but we crave ownership.
One of the easiest ways to take ownership in your life is first by taking ownership of yourself, and you can do this by beginning , and following through, with a workout program (of your choice, of course!). No one else owns you, or your body-that’s all you. You can be the one to blame, or you can be the one to praise, but the decision is yours to make. Studies have shown that being more involved in a project from beginning to end is more satisfying than just being engaged in that activity part-time; think of how this translates into your workouts.
I don’t know anyone who has ever finished every single workout program that they have started. We all get tripped up and discouraged from time to time and sometimes we even just give up and quit. I ask, how did you feel when you quit? Defeated? Embarrassed? Let down? Angry? Frustrated? The list of negative emotions goes on and on. Now think to a time, any time, where you saw something through from start to finish (it doesn’t have to be a workout). How did you feel after that? Proud? Happy? Excited?  Finishing a workout program or accomplishing a goal will yield you those same feelings!
Workouts do not have to be 100% about getting healthy, or getting a great body; they can also be about getting happy and continuing (or starting) a more positive outlook on life. I challenge you this week to complete something you have been putting off, or that has defeated you in the past. When you complete it (and you will) I want you to take notice of the various emotions that begin to flow through your veins. Use those feelings to carry you on to your next big accomplishment, and know that those feelings NEVER go away, no matter how much you accomplish. The feeling of accomplishment and pride in yourself, is one thing that never gets old.