When the Magic Fades

To be honest, I didn’t want to write this post. As I sit here typing I still don’t really want to to write this post. But I promised myself that with this career path I chose I would share the ugly too. Not just the uplifting motivational posts that you usually get from me, but the times that I’m struggling. I’m stubborn in the way that I have a hard time admitting when I’m not being super awesome.

About 1 year ago I started my dream career in the health and fitness world as a personal trainer, and about 6 months ago God’s will with this plan hit me like a brick wall. My plan for my dream finally came to life and I have been working non stop ever since to make this vision a reality (more exciting details on that later). When the works of all this first started it filled me with fire of excitement and motivation that kept me running better than coffee (only time you’ll ever hear me say that). Unfortunately lately that magic and motivation has start to run dry. So here I sit in the middle of this grand plan that is still being worked on, only I have to fight with myself ever single day to get the work done. It feels more like I’m over tired and stressed than high on life and excited. So my point here is what do you do when the magic fades? When the excitement ends and the work and stress become real?

For those that don’t know I struggle with anxiety which makes the unmotivated feeling I get a bit more dramatic. It’s frustrating to feel this way and I have found myself many times sitting wondering why. Why isn’t this exciting anymore? Why don’t I want to work on this when it is truly my greatest passion? It’s not that I don’t want to do it anymore, it truly is my dream and brings so much joy to my heart.I don’t know that there really is one reason though I have some theories. Fear being one of them. It’s scary as hell to actually work for your dream. It’s hard. It’s a lot easier to just do your regular full time job then add extra work on top of it that doesn’t pay off until a lot later (hopefully).

While I don’t have the exact reason as to why the excitement and motivation fades, I do know it will come back again. I know this is just a hard season/phase. And I know this is something every one will go through. So for now, I fight. I make myself do the little things each day that I know I have to do even though I don’t want to. I remind myself constantly throughout the day why I’m doing it and why it will all be worth it in the end. I read motivational quotes and pray whenever I feel like I want to just give up. I look to family and friends for encouragement. Some days aren’t very pretty and I try to be littler easier on myself through times like this. I give myself a break and walk away when I need to. Sometimes doing something the best that you can looks differently. So I do the best that I can do right now and remind myself that for now it is enough.

So for anyone who finds themselves in the same season of life, when the magic fades, do your best to just keep fighting. Remember it will spark up again. And reach out to me so we can encourage each other ūüôā

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It’s not for you to decide

It’s not for you, for me, or for the media to decide whether or not Khloe Kardashian is too thin.

I don’t usually talk much about the Kardashian family or any celebrities for that matter but this is a PRIME example of such a huge problem that gets overlooked everyday.

A headline popped up on one of my social media pages today “Has Khloe gone too far?” along with a selfie she had taken showing off her waistline. Now before I go any further I understand that if someone is going to an unhealthy extreme we may have a duty as a family member or friend to step in. But that is not what this situation is. This is completely different.

For so long it was no secret that Khloe was bashed for being “fat”, “too thick”, or “the ugly sister”. Recently she had changed her diet and started exercising and lost quite a bit of weight. Suddenly in the eyes of every one watching she was HOT. Didn’t last long though until now, when we are going to go right back to bashing her only this time we’re going to tell her she’s too skinny. Has she gone too far?
WE DON’T GET TO DECIDE IF SHE HAS GONE TOO FAR. We don’t get to decide if she’s too skinny or too thick. You and I don’t get to decide that for anyone but ourselves and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach that THIS is news?!

I get to decide at what weight/size I look and feel my best, and the same goes for every one else. Why as a society are we so quick to jump on people for being different shapes and sizes. I know there’s people reading this thinking “yeah, but that’s what you sign up for when you’re famous.” And to you I say that’s a pathetic excuse. There is never any reason for body shaming, celebrity or not. We as women know how hard it is to live in a world obsessed with diets, unrealistic expectations of beauty, and body shaming. Why are we making it harder for each other?!

To any women reading this now, I hope you know others words and opinions don’t matter. I hope you’ll think twice before commenting on another women’s body. I hope you’ll work each day to empower others and love them for who they are. I hope as women we can stop shaming and start embracing.

The To-Do List

I make to-do lists all the time, but then I find myself still not getting things done or forgetting I even made a list. Can anyone else relate?! Last week for me was hectic and at the end of every day I was wondering how on earth it was already 10:00pm, stressed that I still didn’t get certain things done, and feeling like there are simply not enough hours in the day. Though it’s easy to become overwhelmed and simply blame the fact that “I don’t have enough time” I realized I needed to face the fact that maybe I wasn’t using my time wisely.

Going into this week I still made my handy dandy to-do list but remembered the importance of PRIORITIZING the things on that list. I also wrote a schedule for some of the things I need to get done. I already feel less stressed and honestly more motivated. When I just have a giant list of things to do but don’t focus on what’s important to get done and what can wait until later, I end up doing the simple tasks that could have been put off, put off the important things, and then go into panic mode and decided maybe I’ll just take a nap and not deal with any of this. I know I’m not the only one. Don’t lie.

When the list is prioritized to what’s important it helps me to stay calm and excited to tackle the projects that matter. Sometimes the projects that are important, are also a little scary, but it’s because they’re something that will eventually bring something good. It’s a vicious circle. Hopefully you’re still following me.

If you haven’t written your to-do list for this week yet, get it done today! After writing your list prioritize it and give yourself plenty of time to make sure that the big important things get done. Then sprinkle in the smaller tasks where you have a spare 20 minutes here and there. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed at this point, then maybe you’re giving yourself too much to do. If that is the case, then remember you’re not super human (as much as you might want to be) and figure out what can be taken off that list for now. Your body also needs proper rest in order to function and complete the things on your list. We’re back to that whole vicious circle thing.

And if you wake up Wednesday morning still kicking ass on the list but crawling on all fours trying to get over that hump day (see what I did there) then I suggest a large coffee to help tackle the list as well. Because coffee makes everything better ūüėČ

to the one who’s scared of the gym

I can remember when I first started going to a gym how terrified I was to walk in. The conversation in my head went a little something like this….”What if my gym outfit¬†isn’t trendy enough because it isn’t lululemon? ¬†How do you move the seat on this machine? WTF¬†is this machine even for? Am I doing this right? Is there a right way to even¬†do this? Is it suppose to hurt?¬†Oh god everyone in here is staring at me. It’s because I’m doing this wrong isn’t it? Or is it because I have swass again?! Oh god I can’t do this, ABORT MISSION!!”

Sound familiar?

As I grew farther along in my fitness journey I learned a little secret, I wasn’t the only one who felt like this the first few times walking into the gym. Though I don’t think I would call myself an expert I’m going to toot my own horn for a second and say trust me with what I’m about to tell you because I do actually know what I’m talking about for once.

Nobody is actually staring at you. And if they are it’s probably because your ass looks great in those spandex.

Nobody cares what outfit you’re working out in….except you. Cute workout clothes make you feel a little more motivated? Wear them. You feel better in sweat pants and a baggy tee? Perfect. Wear whatever clothes make you want to workout.

Nobody knows how to move the seat on that machine. It’s ok. Move on.

Queen of swass here. And my motto is if my butt¬†isn’t sweaty by the time I leave the gym, then I didn’t work hard enough. You’re probably going to sweat in some places you may wish to stay unnamed. Own it my friends.

My point is all the insecurities we build in our head, are just nonsense we are telling ourselves out of fear. Every single time you walk into a gym you should do so with your head held high because you’re doing something great for yourself. I don’t care if you’re walking on the treadmill, going to zumba, or bench pressing 400 pounds. Every single person in every single gym you walk into is equal. And there is NO reason that fear should ever be the reason that you didn’t workout today.

My Nightly Routine

It’s¬†a weeknight. You’ve worked all day. Haven’t been home, and just want to crawl in bed and watch Netflix. I feel you. We all know how important the mornings are for our day. How what we do/our mood in the morning often creates a snowball effect for how the rest of our day is going to go. But something not always realized is how much of a difference the night before can make on the next day.

I wanted to share with you guys my nightly routine during the week. The things I do every night to help take care of myself and make sure I’m setting myself up for success the next day.

First. I usually eat my 5th meal (dinner) around 5:30 and get home from work about 8:30. Some days I’m hungry again by the time I get home so I’ll eat first thing. I try to keep this meal/snack higher in protein and lower in carbs, just because I don’t really need the carbs since I’ll be going to bed soon! Wanting something quick I will usually just heat up one of my protein options I prepped for the week (example: a turkey burger), or make a protein shake/smoothie. My favorite smoothie for this time is a¬†chocolate peanut butter smoothie!

Second. I will shower, or take a long hot bubble bath (depending on the day I just had lol) wash my face, and brush my teeth! All of this helps me to unwind and get into bed time mode.

Third. Any meals I’m going to be bringing to work with me the next day I will make sure are packed and ready to go. I also get my gym bag packed. I will lay out my outfit for the gym, which is what I’ll put on first thing in the morning, and also the outfit that I’ll pack with in my gym bag for what I’m wearing to work.

If you guys are interested in a “what’s in my gym bag” post or video, let me know! I’ll totally do it.

Third. One last scroll through social media! lol. I TRY to do this now so that I don’t grab my phone when I’m laying in the dark and should be sleeping. Some nights it works, and some nights it doesn’t.

Fourth. If I’m wanting to write in my prayer journal then I’ll do it now, and then I do reading! I have a¬†bible reading plan that I’m currently following so I have certain scripture already planned to read. Also I read 10 pages of a good book every day. When I say “good book” I mean either a personal development type book, or something on a topic that’s going to help me be motivated/work toward my goals. I am currently reading a book called “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel. It’s about different business start ups and tips on that.

By packing my meals and gym bag the night before, all the work is done for me so I don’t have much effort to put in when my alarm goes off at 5:45am. I like to do the reading at night because it helps me unwind, plus I feel like I wake up with all that good info fresh in my brain.

Hope some of these tips help you, as always let me know if you have questions!

xoxo AJ

Whole30

Today marks day 17 of the Whole30 challenge, and I wanted to share a little bit on my experience so far. First off, I call it the Whole30 CHALLENGE. Not the whole30 diet. I am not on a diet. It is not some quick fix, lose weight fast, restrict myself for 30 days to lose some belly fat diet. In fact one of the rules during the challenge is you cannot weigh yourself or measure yourself for the 30 days. There are two reasons to do the Whole30 challenge.

Reason number one has to do with food sensitivities. During the whole30 challenge you¬†cut out foods such as grains, dairy, sugar, soy,¬†and legumes. These are foods that are common for people to have sensitivities to. The idea¬†is that¬†you go 30 days without any of the foods, to really get them all out of your system, then reintroduce them one at a time to see how each effect your body. For me I’m excited about this part because my stomach is very sensitive. I have already been eating gluten free for about 2 years, but still have issues and I haven’t been able to figure out what it comes from, so we’ll see! (my bet is on sugar, unfortunately)

Reason number two has more to do with the relationships we tend to have with food today. As I have shared before, I tend to be an emotional eater. After coming back to AZ after a month in MN, with all the changes that were going on, my stress levels were high and I noticed myself going back to those old emotional eater habits I used to know so well. And if I’m being honest? That scared the crap out of me. For the first time in a long time I had felt like I had completely lost my self control when it came to food. So when a friend said she was doing the Whole30 challenge, it sounded like the perfect way to get myself back on track. To learn that cravings are just cravings, and I don’t actually need whatever it is that I’m craving. This was really frustrating for me the first week or so. Now on day 17, its gotten so much easier, and its gotten really easy to be around all the treats but not feel like I need it.

Annoyances at this point¬†are that¬†I miss my foods that are quick and easy to prepare, like a bowl of oatmeal or a protein shake. And let’s be real the fact that pumpkin spice lattes are out is somewhat torture that I cant have one yet. But at the end of the day knowing once again I put nothing but healthy, whole foods in my body REALLY does make it all worth it. I cant wait to see how I’m feeling by the end of it!

Monday Feels

workout

Disclaimer: As a reminder I am not a certified personal trainer or nutritionist. I am sharing workouts/meal plans that I use personally and have worked for me.

Happy Monday! This mornings workout for me was back and biceps and I just wanted to share it incase anyone was interested!

This week I want to remember to start of each day with intention. My intention for today is to focus¬†on happiness, and remember to find joy in the little things. My intention for the week is to spend my time more wisely. Rather than spending my free time watching way too many episodes of Friends, I want to use it to do something that will help me grow, and make me happy. It’s important to have these thoughts when starting out our days and weeks because we can easily get so caught up in the little stuff that’s not important, that we forget to focus on the good.

ALSO if you haven’t yet seen Kathie Lee Gifford’s return to the today show talking about the death of Frank then oh my goodness you have to watch because it’s amazing. http://www.people.com/article/kathie-lee-gifford-returns-today-show-after-husband-frank-giffords-death¬†<—watch it here!