Staying Positive

Before I get into this can we all just a take a moment to appreciate cold brew iced coffee from Starbucks?

(could I be more basic right now?)

^^anyone else just read that in the voice of Chandler from Friends? No?

OKAY ANYWAYS to the point. Something I wanted to talk about is positivity and thinking positive. For me this is something that I normally sort of, “pride” myself on. I feel like no matter what’s going on I’m usually able to keep myself thinking positive about the situation. However, for the last week, this has not been the case. With my husband and dog in MN, and me in AZ, knowing I’m leaving my job in 3 months, all this change, I have become the most negative Nancy ya’ll have ever met. I have NOT been dealing with it well inside at all, and I couldn’t really seem to figure out why at first. I felt like I was doing everything I could to be happy and positive, and no matter what I was bitter and depressed. I kept telling myself I was trying so hard to be positive, but the truth that I now realize? I wasn’t being positive, because I didn’t really want to be.

I had made up my mind. I had made up my mind that the situation sucked, that I was lonely, that I was sad, and that this was going to be difficult. I kept praying and praying for strength to be positive and get through it, and it wasn’t happening. But you know why? Because I wasn’t  letting God give me strength. We can pray for things, but we have to be willing to receive it. It wasn’t until I finally realized I was doing this that I’ve now realized what has to happen to turn it back around.

I know times are hard. Right now the situation I’m in is difficult for me, and it’s going to be difficult. But is being angry or depressed about it going to make it any better? Hell no! It’s just going to make it that much worse. So when you’re in a situation where you find yourself letting the negative thoughts take over, you have to really ask yourself, is being upset about this going to make it easier? Is it going to the change the situation? If the answer is no, then its time to change your thinking.

I have a bad habit of looking to the future. For the past week I have been so focused on what’s going to happen 3 months from now when I move. Where are we going to get a house? What am I going to do for a job? How am I suppose to go 3 months without seeing my dog? (lol but for real). What I’ve been failing to remember is to enjoy the now. To remember that God has it planned out, but the present, the part I’m still in, that’s still part of the plan. And me pouting because life isn’t perfectly how I want it right now… well that’s messing up that plan.

You don’t have to have it all figured out to stay positive. In most cases the negative thoughts are going to come easier than the positive ones, because we’re living in a negative world. It’s easy to just want to curl up in bed with Netflix and let the time pass. But whatever it is that’s going on right now…. YOU get to decide how you feel about it, and how you’re going to handle it. If you decide you’re going to be positive about it, you have to really want that. But when you start thinking more positive about everything is when amazing things start to happen. I’m not saying you can never feel other emotions because that’s just not realistic. I will tell you right now I am one of the most dramatic people you will meet (in a good way of course 😉 ) and I feel a lot of different emotions in a day. It’s important to be aware of it, and to not let the emotions take over you, but to remember that you’re the one in control.

So instead of being sad about the next 3 months, I’m going to be excited about them. No, not everyday will be perfect, and that’s ok. But I’m not going to be anxious about it. I’m going to enjoy my time still in AZ, embrace the change that’s coming, and be excited about whatever it is that God has planned for me next, even if I cant quite figure out what that is yet.

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Journal

I have always enjoyed writing, even though I don’t think I’m some gifted writer. I’ve had journals that I’ve kept around for random nonsense for years. Whether it be for expressing feelings, or just a hobby when you’re bored, I really think writing in a journal is something everyone can benefit from! My journals have been filled with songs, poems, sketches, goals, affirmations, late night thoughts, and prayers!

While shopping around Target the other day I found the COOLEST journal! And what’s really neat about it is if you’re someone that has never owned a journal in your life, this one is perfect for you! It’s a guided journal, so it has pages for specific things, and I’ll show you some examples.

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The title of the journal is Ideation. I cant remember exactly how much I got it for but it was somewhere around $10.00
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there are many different sections to the journal. This one example is a section with pages about how to progress/grow forward and write about those things that are important to you

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I think this section of the journal might be my favorite! For a week it challenges you to do a good deed every day, and there are pages to write about them!
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throughout the journal there are pages like this for “brainstorming” or just writing those random thoughts and ideas that come to you while going through this journal.

If you end up picking up this journal, or any journal let me know! I’d love to hear what you think about it or hear the ways journaling has helped you!!

Remember, fully embrace who you are, because you are beautiful!! I hope journaling will help you remember that!

Daily Dose Of Beautiful

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I love this quote! To me some of the most beautiful women I have met are the ones who fully embrace being true to themselves. This is something that often times is easier said than done. I fully stand for being yourself, but are there some days where I’m in a funk, and I just feel a little more insecure than usual? Absolutely. Not every day is perfect. And in fact, I have been having a lot of “funk” days lately due to life being a little extra crazy. When I got back to AZ on Wednesday, leaving my husband and dog in MN, my first reaction was that I wanted to hide away in my room watching Netflix by myself. I didn’t feel confident enough to put myself out there, to be social. Would that have made me feel better? Probably. For a moment anyway. Yes, there are days where we need to just unwind, collect our emotions, and spend some time alone. But is hiding out in my room going to help me grow? Help me become stronger? Help me to achieve my goals? Nope.

It’s important to be able to recognize the difference. The difference between a day here and there where you take it easy, compared to continually making excuses to take it easy. To not go out of your comfort zone today. To not start going after your goals today. To not work on being confident in yourself today. It’s those little excuses that are made, that we think are harmless, that make all the difference. So if you’ve been in a funk like me, for a few days, or heck maybe weeks or months, it’s time to break out! Start paying attention to the little choices you’re making in your everyday life. You should be doing 3 things daily to better yourself and make you happy. Whether that’s going to the gym, cooking a new recipe, meeting with friends, reading a good book, writing affirmations, etc.
Come up with 3 things you’re going to do daily this week that are for you and your happiness. Write them down, and put it somewhere you will remember. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture of your list if you want (tag me so I can see! @ashleyjacobson_fitness) ! Whatever will help hold you accountable!

And of course remember, fully embrace who your are, because you’re beautiful! 🙂

Daily Dose Of Beautiful

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Big changes aren’t made over night. It’s the little things we do every day that make all the difference. Don’t wait for Monday to start making the changes that you want. Start today! Going into this weekend, do one thing outside of your comfort zone that you know will bring you joy. For me, I’ll be meeting with a girlfriend tomorrow to work on some things outside of my comfort zone that will help me grow in my Nerium Business. Sometimes we may not, desire to do these things. Would I rather lay in bed and watch a marathon of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix? Yeah, probably. But I know that when the day is done I will be SO happy, and feeling stronger that I did it!

So whether it’s having the courage to finally enter the weight room at the gym, saying yes to deserts or a night out, wearing the sassy little dress you haven’t felt quite confident enough to wear, this weekend is your time to DO IT!

Fully embrace who you are, because you are beautiful!

Why My Passion Is So Deep

For those that have been following my fitness instagram page for a while now (ashley_lgfit) you have kind of seen a little glimpse into my past here and there. I have never truly shared my whole story of how/why I became so passionate about health and fitness with anyone except maybe my husband, but I feel in my heart that its time!

High school was a really difficult time for me, as I know it is for a lot of people, and especially girls. I cared way too much about what other people thought of me, and no where near enough about my education. I don’t have regrets. I’m thankful for every part of my journey because I know its the reason I am who I am today. But I cant help but think every now and then, how much better those years would have been for me if I had the strength to be myself.

If you knew me in those years you probably wouldn’t have guessed there was a battle going on on the inside. I wasn’t quiet and reserved. I was always an outgoing, people person who somewhat enjoys the spotlight. But on the inside I had a constant fear of what I looked like, and what people thought about me. I would have loved to audition for the school plays, but I didn’t because I feared people would think I was weird for it. I wish I would have continued with dance, but I quit because I didn’t think I was good enough. I wish I would have studied more, but I didn’t because to me it was better to not try than to try, and still get a failing grade. When it came to my looks, I was my biggest bully. I stood in the mirror and pointed out everything I hated. I needed others approval to feel pretty. I was extremely self conscious of my body. I struggled with a cycle of “eating disorders”. I would try and “eat healthy” for a week or two, but when I didn’t notice in instant change in my body I would try to just not eat at all. After about a week of that (cause lets be real I love food too much) I would binge eat. I was an emotional eater so anytime I was feeling anything but happy I would pig out on everything unhealthy. Occasionally I would get mad at myself for doing this and make myself throw up. Then when I felt motivated again I would start the cycle back over at the healthy eating. I had an unhealthy relationship with food and with myself. I hated the way I looked and refuse to wear a pair of shorts in public for about 3 years straight.

Fast forward to now, almost 23 years old, I have learned to completely love myself for who I am. There are two things that helped make this happen.

I am a believer, and follower of Christ. Now before you roll your eyes and leave this page, I’m not here to shove my beliefs down your throat and tell you it’s the only way to be happy. But if you want the truth to my story than this was a big part of it. When I accepted Christ as my savior I learned that I didn’t need any one else’s approval. That by being myself I’m embracing the person God made me to be. There may be people I meet along the way who don’t like me, and that’s fine. I don’t fear that anymore. I have family and friends that love me for me, and I’m happy so that’s all that matters. I’m not saying you have to be a follower of Christ to love yourself and be happy, it’s what saved me. But you DO have to learn to love yourself for who you are completely.

The second major thing that helped me was when I gained the passion for health and fitness. This does not mean I’m only happy now because I lost 20 pounds. Yes, this gave me a new confidence boost. But it’s because I learned to have a healthy relationship with food. I learned to embrace my athletic/muscular build. Instead of stuffing my face to deal with emotions, I spend an hour of “me time” in the gym and fill my body with endorphins. I’ve learned to eat healthy to nourish the body, not trying to starve myself to look a certain way.

Looking back at that time, I thought I was the only person who struggled with this. Now I know the truth, and how many younger girls and woman struggle with this daily. I wish I could look each and every one of you in the eye and say YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! You are not the only one struggling with this and you CAN get through it.

Because of my journey and the changes I’ve made I have been filled with a burning desire to help other woman that may have some of the same struggles. Because not every day is perfect, and yes there are days still where I want to stay in pajamas and not leave the house because I hate how all my clothes look on me or my hair is a hot mess (ladies can I get an amen) . I want you to have somewhere to go where you can maybe get just a little inspiration to put one foot in front of the other in the right direction.

I’m going to be doing a new thing on my blog called your daily dose of beautiful. You can come here each day to find some sort of message to help remind you why you’re beautiful for who you are, and it’s time for you to embrace it!!!

How I Became A Morning Person

I wake up at about 5:15am on weekdays to get my butt to the gym before work. I’ve noticed lately when I tell people this, the reaction is often the same. The response is usually something along the lines of “teach me your ways!!!” or “how do you do that?!”. While I like to think I have some super power force inside of me that allows this, unfortunately I don’t. I’m a normal girl in her 20’s who loves to sleep as much as everyone else. What it comes down to is I work 12 hour days, and I know there is no way I would go to the gym when I get home at night (I want nothing but a bubble bath and my bed please). So if I really wanted to get that workout in, I had to make myself a morning person. I’m sharing with you some of the “tricks” that helped get me there.

1. Don’t make it an option
I know what you’re thinking….. duh. But let me explain the mental breakdown of this one. When I first started setting that early alarm, it would go off in the morning and the same thought would immediately pop into my head every.single.time.
Maybe i’ll get to the gym after work. I was up kind of late to I’m sure my body needs the rest. Is my throat a little scratchy? I better sleep in.
Now, when your alarm goes off for work, or that important morning meeting, or coffee with a friend, do we have those thoughts? No. Because in our mind it’s not an option. We can’t just show up to work whenever we want. We have to get up when that alarm goes off. This is the same mindset I learned was needed for getting up to workout. Think of it as a big important meeting with yourself, because really that’s what it is! Don’t give yourself the option to go back to sleep.

2. Preparation
Prepare for that important meeting with yourself. Have your workout already planned out. Lay out your gym clothes, or even sleep in them! Have a yummy pre workout meal prepped. Whatever gets you excited/motivated to get up.

3. Workout Partner
This one is no secret but if you can find someone to get up in the morning, then this will be a huge help!! You don’t want to be that friend that cancels on someone 😉 . Have a friend you plan on getting that workout done with. Feeling accountable for that will give you the push to get out of your bed!

4. Create a morning you enjoy
When I first started working out in the mornings I would wake up with just enough time to get the workout in, and then get ready for work. After a while, I started waking up earlier and earlier because I wanted that extra “me time” and I started to really enjoy my mornings. After your workout, enjoy a cup of coffee or yummy breakfast. Read some of a personal development book to help start your day off right. Give yourself extra time to get ready for the day. Who doesn’t love a good jam session to music while doing their hair and makeup?!

I hope some of these tips help you like they helped me!!

xoxo AJ

Wedding Day

I can’t believe our wedding was already 2 months ago! Since I just got our pictures back I figured this was the perfect post to make after not writing for so long 😉 .

We got married April 3rd in Phoenix, Arizona. We chose a place called Rustler’s Rooste, a restaurant we have both loved and never even realized did weddings. It is a “country” themed restaurant, with a barn type setting out back with a view that overlooks the whole valley. As far as pricing goes it was WAY less expensive than any other wedding venues we looked at (and I looked into at least 20 others) and the service was amazing! Everything ran so smoothly from the first time we talked, to the end of the wedding night.

You know how people are always saying “things will go wrong” , or “just expect some things to not go as expected but enjoy it anyways”….I felt like I was in another world that day because nothing went wrong!!! The whole day was so perfect it didn’t feel like it could have even been real.

Pretty much all of the decorations were DIY. The centerpieces for tables were mason jars and wine bottles that were either painted or wrapped in twine. The tables were set with white table clothes and the burlap table runners were DIY.

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The table numbers were written on the chalk hearts and hung from the center bottle on each table.

Our wedding favors were drink koozies that I had ordered on Etsy.

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My sister also made those burlap silverware holders for all the place settings at the head table. So cute!!

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dress

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I got my dress from David’s Bridal. One thing I hear a lot is people not wanting to get their dress from there because they don’t offer the same kind of experience as smaller boutiques. However, if you are a bride on a budget I highly recommend it. They have a TON of options at great prices. I got my dress for right around 800.00 on sale. Compared to what most dresses were going for this was a win!!

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I loved my boots and garter! The boots are made by Corral. There are a few different places that you can find these online. The least expensive (and where my husband ordered them) was Amazon. Gotta love Amazon! The garters were ordered on Etsy.

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The Bridesmaids wore strapless blush pink lace dresses that were also from David’s Bridal.

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If you’re not following @anniesforgetmeknots on instagram you need to go do that now!! To my Arizona brides, she is who you want doing your hair!

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Makeup was done by Sandy Goldstein and she was absolutely amazing!! Again to my Arizona brides, I HIGHLY recommend her!

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Flower girls dress was also from David’s Bridal, the sash was purchased from there but not part of the dress, we added that separately. Ring bearer suit was purchased from Men’s Wearhouse. The sign they carried was also DIY.

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The guys had more of a casual look, wearing gray Van’s shoes with the suits, and I loved their look! They looked so handsome!!

For the video of the ceremony, we had our officiate wear a GoPro camera on his chest. I can’t express enough how happy I am that we did that. I absolutely LOVE having the video from that point of view, getting to see our facial expressions and emotions through the video as well as our guests. During the reception we broke out the GoPro on the selfie stick and passed it around the dance floor. BEST DECISION EVER!! The video footage from that is priceless!

Thank you for letting me share our special day with you! It was almost like getting to relive it 😉 . Any questions please ask me!

Till next time..
xoxo AJ