Tag: motivation


Meant to Live Life

When you look back at the past few weeks, what kinds of things do you remember? If you could categorize your thoughts, where would they go? Would you put them in the “Memories with the Kids” category? “Date Night with my Spouse”? “Vacation with my Family?”

Or would the majority of your thoughts fall into categories more like these:

  • Budget is a Little Tight
  • I Hate My Job
  • I Ate Terribly/Didn’t Exercise
  • I Gained Weight
  • My Significant Other is Annoying Me
  • My House is a Mess
  • I’m Stressed

If you’re thoughts fall primarily into the latter category, welcome to the club. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten all the good things going on in my life because I am wrapped up in how much laundry there is and how I need to change my eating habits to see some weight loss. Shoot, we set ourselves up to thing this way when we make resolutions every year to lose the weight or eat clean. I can look back at 2014 and 2015 and remember thinking “I will be the fittest ever this year!” Neither year produced that for me. I remember that, but I have to think a little harder about the good things (aside from my daughter being born, of course).

It’s so sad how so many of us are focused on all the wrong things. All the time you spend stressing out about things could be spent doing things to alleviate that stress!

Think about it. Stressing about a tight budget isn’t going to help anything. Stressing never gave anyone some extra money in a bank account. Stressing never folded laundry or put away dishes. Stress is toxic.

Research has shown that stress can actually do physical damage to your body. Your body needs stress in certain amounts. It’s what helps pump your blood through your body so you can react appropriately in fight or flight situations. Stress is a good thing. The problem is that we are in a constant state of stress. Constant stress can cause respiratory problems, heart disease, kidney and liver issues, stomach ulcers, and it could even eliminate your ability to react to an emergency all together. Stress can literally kill you. (source).

Aside from the physical harm stress does, stress can kill your relationships. If you look at polls and surveys, stress about money nearly ALWAYS listed as a top reason for divorce. Stressing about how you look can push away friends and significant others for a multitude of reasons as well (I could literally write an entire post on how food and aesthetics can ruin a relationship).

With all of this stress, when are you finding time to actually LIVE? I have an answer for you – You’re NOT. You’re not living. You’re going through the motions and waiting for things to change. Guess what? Things don’t change if you don’t change them.

meanttolive

I was listening to Switchfoot this morning – The Beautiful Letdown album (yeah, yeah, throwback, I know)- and I think I actually listened to the words for the first time. We were meant to live for so much more than bills/food/weight/annoyances/insertotherstresseshere. We are not here to spend our days stressing about things that we can’t change. If you can change it, then change it. If you can’t, stressing is a waste of your time. It is literally a waste of your LIFE. We were meant to LIVE.

 


Fitness

 

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. A lot of times, we want to live a healthy lifestyle, but we aren’t sure where to start or how to keep that momentum up on a day to day basis. In this video, I talk about easy ways you can make healthy living a part of your day to day lifestyle!

 

Make sure to check out my Youtube channel!


Back to the Basics Fitness

After being cleared to exercise last Monday, I was so excited to get back to a consistent workout routine! I told my husband that he needed to be ready to watch M when he got home because I was going to the gym. He came home, I got ready to go, hopped onto the treadmill and… walked. I seriously underestimated how hard exercise would be. I ran a little bit but most of my workout was a walk. I did 2 miles in 35 minutes- by far my slowest time ever.

On Thanksgiving, I went to the park to meet up with my running buddy! We hadn’t run together since March. We ran (mostly walked) a 5k and finished in 50 minutes- my slowest 5k to date.

On Sunday, I went back to the gym and ran another 2 miles. I finished in 31 minutes. An improvement from my first run, but still slow.

At first, I was incredibly let down by my times. I ran half marathons! I have a 25 minute 5k PR. The only reason I walk during runs is if I’m cramped. Being slow is uncharacteristic of me. On top of all that, I felt self conscious because of the way I look. I was exercising in a big baggy shirt because all my shirts are either too tight or they don’t conceal the acne that has taken over my shoulders and back (thanks, Post Partum hormones!). I won’t lie, it reminded me of when I first started to get healthy and that made me feel horrible. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’m out of shape. It’s frustrating! After throwing myself a pity party, I snapped back to reality. I just had a baby. I had a hard pregnancy. For months, I wasn’t able to be on my feet for more than 10 minutes, much less workout. Of course my body won’t be able to perform the way it did when I was in my best shape! What I needed to do was get back to the basics. I need to rebuild my endurance the same way I did before: one baby step at a time.

b2bworkout

Am I super excited about basically starting over? No. But I know so much more now that I can apply my knowledge to this weight loss “season” and come back in even better shape! There are still times that I feel terrible about how I look and how I feel, but I’m doing my best to make sure to keep that negative self-talk to a minimum. The fact that I’m working on getting back into shape is a win!


What’s Your Excuse? Fitness

During the first half of my pregnancy, I worked out a decent amount. I would go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week for an hour or so. It paled in comparison to my usual 4 to 6 times a week but I was pregnant and exhausted so I let myself take an extra day or so off. I posted pictures and updates fairly often and I remember posting one tweet that said something having to do with feeling sick and being pregnant but still working out. I hashtagged “what’s your excuse?”

Over the past few months, I’ve come to learn that I HATE that phrase.

After being put on bedrest, I wanted to work out but I couldn’t. I physically was unable and forbidden to do more than walk to the bathroom. Seriously, I was told that if I wanted to use the bathroom and shower right after, I would need to sit in the shower. Otherwise, I was told to use the bathroom, go back to bed and lay down, THEN go take a shower. I would log in to Facebook and Instagram and see posts like “35 weeks pregnant and crushing my gym session! What’s your excuse?” or “This guy has one leg/is 90 years old/has been in a wheelchair for 2 years, what’s your excuse?” These posts really hurt my feelings and, frankly, they made me feel like shit. I had an excuse. A damn good one too. But, somehow, I felt like it wasn’t enough of an excuse to not be in the gym. I missed running so much- I still do! As someone who has spent the last 4 years consistently in the gym, it was crushing to not only be unable to exercise, but see others rub my inability to exercise in my face. It really sucked.

Now, I understand the sentiment behind the phrase. It’s supposed to be motivating. A kick in the ass to people who are just lazy, right? And, sure, maybe I was emotional and that led to my feelings being hurt by these posts, but the phrase itself is judgmental. It assumes that you’re just making excuses if you’re not out there beasting a workout every day and that’s not the case. Why not just, “Hey, if I can do it, so can you!” If someone had asked me in person what my excuse was, I wonder how they would react if I’d told them. Well, my blood pressure is so high that I could end up having a seizure which could kill me and my unborn child. Is that a good enough excuse for you? It’s ridiculous.

Moving forward, I’m going to eliminate those types of phrases from my vocabulary. Not everyone has the ability to do what I can do and I don’t have the ability to do what other people do. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s just the way things are and that’s ok!

 

 


The Best At Home Workouts! Fitness

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Sometimes, it’s really hard to get to the gym. Maybe the hours aren’t ideal some days. Maybe you’re a stay at home parents and you’re not sure if you can stay at the gym for an hour. Or maybe the weather gets ridiculous (Northern Winters and Southern Summers, I’m looking at you) and working out outside is nearly impossible.

What do you do on those days? You could pop in a Jillian Michaels DVD or go on YouTube to find workout videos, but those get boring after watching the same video everyday.

Or, you could go to a website that is constantly updating their workouts, has workout challenges and programs, offers advice from trainers, and actually has some great workouts for less than $10 a month.

I’d go with option 2 and, luckily, that website exists! Cosmopolitan magazine has created CosmoBody. It’s like Netflix, but for workouts.

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Before I go any further, I want to say that I don’t endorse things I don’t love. I actually really dislike promoting workout/diet plans because I feel like a lot of them are scams to get you to consistently pay a good amount of money for something like a shake or workout DVD’s that end up sitting on a shelf somewhere. Some people have been very successful on those plans, but I am uncomfortable promoting them. This program, however, is so different. When CosmoBody first contacted me about promoting their website, I was a little hesistant because I didn’t know if it would be one of those “pay money and don’t get your money’s worth” things. I can honestly tell you that it’s not. To be honest, $10 a month is really cheap for the amount of resources they offer. There are a ton of different options for workouts on CosmoBody.

There are cardio videos like:

Cardio Dance (Hip Hop Dance 101 is a great video to get started!)
Kickboxing
Endurance workouts

even a workout that you do on a set of stairs!

Weight workouts/body conditioning workouts like:

10-2-10 Workout: 12 minute workout that works your entire body and leaves you sweaty. It incorporates plyo and some dumbbell work for a full workout. This workout was really tough!

Multiple yoga videos, interval training, and (my favorite part) challenges!

The Challenges are workout programs like:

30 Day Summer Action Plan
21 Day Total Body Makeover
5 Day Maintain Don’t Gain program

 

The workouts range from 5 minutes to over 30 minutes so there is a workout for any situation. One of the best things is that the workouts require minimal equipment. If you dont have any equipment at home, don’t worry! There are plenty of body weight workouts. Only have dumbbells? No problem. You don’t need a full set of weights or any machines for CosmoBody workouts. It truly is the Holy Grail of workout websites.

I am really looking forward to using this post-partum!

CosmoBody is letting you try it for free for 10 days, after that, it’s only $9.95 per month! To me, $10 a month is worth being able to stream workouts wherever you are.

Click here to sign up!

If you do sign up, let me know what you think! I am loving it!

Carrie Signature

 


The Truth Behind a Fit Pregnancy Fitness

Some women have pregnancies that give them energy to workout often, eat healthy, sleep well, and gain minimal weight.

I am learning that I am not one of those women.

How many Pinterest Pins have been pinned about “staying active while pregnant” or “working out with baby?” Probably a zillion. I’ve looked through a lot of those and, honestly, I am having such a hard time dealing with any of them. I am learning that there is a truth behind having a “fit pregnancy” that is not often talked about.

truth behind a fit pregnancy

 

That truth? Having a fit pregnancy is hard. Really hard.

Physically, this pregnancy is really beating me up. My morning sickness went away, then I had some stomach issues, then I caught a cold, and now morning sickness is back. Sure, someone could say, “Carrie, you’re just making excuses.” If you have never been pregnant, you cannot fathom the exhaustion that pregnancy brings. If you felt well enough to exercise during your first trimester then good on you, but that is not my experience. I’ve gone to the gym about twice per week, but that’s about as much as I can muster.

Emotionally, I am tired. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of seeing articles and pins about these perfect, healthy, fit pregnancies because guess what? That’s not always possible!

I am frustrated and I am hungry and I am nauseous and I am tired. And you know what?

That’s ok.

I am growing a human being. I am already superwoman. I don’t need to workout 5 times a week and eat clean to have a fit pregnancy. As long as I am eating healthy when I can and exercising when I can, I am having a fit pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, don’t let social media or so-and-so that you know make you feel like you’re not doing enough. Be honest with yourself and make sure you are doing what is best for you and for your baby.

If you are not pregnant, the same advice applies. Do what works for you.

Carrie Signature


18 Weight Loss Truths Fitness

weight loss truths

  1. Incorporating exercise into your routine is HARD at first.
  2. Running feels nearly impossible at the beginning.
  3. Completing a workout is extremely rewarding.
  4. You know how many calories are in pretty much anything.
  5. Calorie “sticker shock” is a real thing.
  6. Shopping for groceries is hard. (I will not buy Oreos. I will not buy Oreos.)
  7. Shopping for clothes is fun…(smaller sizes, YES)
  8. Shopping for clothes can make you cry. (goodbye, bank account)
  9. When people start to notice your weight loss? Win.
  10. You cry. Mostly at the beginning. (It’s hard to work hard and see little or no change!)
  11. You learn what determination is.
  12. You learn how to perservere.
  13. You find out more about who you are.
  14. You grow as a person.
  15. You become more confident.
  16. NSV’s become more important the longer you’re losing weight (weight loss has stalled? Well I still fit into a smaller jean size today!)
  17. Sometimes you get mad that you have to watch what you eat when everyone else seems to be able to eat whatever they want without a problem…
  18. But then you remember that everyone is different and that you are awesome!

 

What are some other weight loss truths you’ve experienced?

Carrie Signature


Staying Active on the Weekend Fitness

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever stayed on track with workouts and nutrition during the week and then spent the weekend eating junk and watching Netflix. *raises hand.* 

How miserable is that feeling? Monday morning rolls around and you feel awful because your body is filled with junk and you didn’t move as much as you should have. Those weekends can often roll over into weeks and then months until you wonder what you’re doing with life. Not a fun way to live!

This past week I’ve done so well eating right and exercising. I made some healthy banana chocolate chip muffins to satisfy my sweet tooth, I’ve made healthy choices when going out to eat, and I’ve included healthy meals into this week’s meal plan. I also worked out 4 days this week and I’ll be working out tomorrow too. It has been a very successful week!

All that being said, it’s Friday and, while I would love to just sit and do nothing and relax this weekend, it’s important to stay active! Here are some FUN things you can do to make sure you’re staying active this weekend!

staying active on the weekend

Hiking
The weather has been amazing here lately so it’s perfect for a good hike or walk on the beach. We don’t have mountains close to us, but we do have a lot of good places to walk like Fort Pulaski and Tybee Island.  Going hiking is a great way to get some fresh air, spend time with someone, and get in a good workout.

hiking for fitness

Gym Class
If it’s not quite warm enough for hiking, try going to a class you haven’t tried yet! While classes at the gym are often fewer during the weekends, gyms usually offer the staples like aerobics, spin, and yoga. Check your gyms class schedule and try one you haven’t done before!

Pickup Games
Have some friends and a Frisbee? Find a park and start a game of Ultimate Frisbee! If you can find a basketball court, volleyball net, or soccer field, get some people together and make a day out of being active together. Go to the beach and throw around a football! Some of my favorite summer memories are going to a friend’s house, having dinner and a beer, then walking over to a neighborhood park and playing a pickup game of soccer with some small nets our friend has. It’s a great way to stay active and enjoy the spring and summer weather while it lasts!

staying active

Shop
This may sound stupid, but shopping is a good way to get off your butt. Yeah, you’re not exerting a ton of energy but if you go to the mall for a couple of hours, that’s a couple of hours you’ve spent walking on your feet and not sitting watching a movie. Imagine how many FitBit steps that would be!

 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do something to keep you moving this weekend. Your body will thank you for it!

What is your favorite weekend activity?

Carrie Signature


5 Things Losing Weight Has Taught Me Fitness

When you go through challenging things, you tend to learn a lot about your life. I have had my fair share of challenging times and I have learned so much about myself through each of them that some of them don’t seem so bad. Learning and growing from those experiences is a silver lining to the bad things.

Losing weight is one of the hardest things I have done. Not just 5-pounds-for-spring-break weight loss, but a “I’m a pre-diabetic which high cholesterol at 19 year old” type weight loss. It was medically necessary and it was hard. There were definitely times that I wanted to just give up because it was hard, I was working my ass off, and I wasn’t seeing any results. Spoiler alert: I didn’t give up and I learned a lot along the way.

  weight loss lessons

  1. Willpower can get you through anything.
    There’s a show on Netflix called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s hilarious and you should watch it, but that’s besides the point. There’s an episode where Kimmy says that you can get through anything for 10 seconds. I think Tina Fey read my mind when writing the script for that show because I lived by that motto throughout my weight loss journey. I would tell myself I could do anything for 15 minutes and then say it again 15 minutes later. It got me through workouts, cravings, anything. I knew I could do what I needed to do for 15 minutes.As long as you can really push yourself and hold yourself accountable, your willpower can get you through anything.
  2. Fast progress isn’t always the best progress
    While it feels amazing to see weight fly off, it’s often not the best thing. At the beginning, my weight came off like crazy. I also had a lot of weight to lose. As I lost weight, it came off slower and slower until I plateaued- which is normal. What I should have done, however, is not attempted such a fast loss in the first place. While websites will tell you you can lose 2 pounds a week safely, it is much safer and more long-term if you stick to half and pound to a pound loss per week. Losing too quickly will throw your body out of whack and lead to faster plateaus. You also may gain back that weight. I did and it was so discouraging. When I regained the weight, it came back differently so I don’t look as heavy as I did when I weighed what I weigh before, but the weight came back and it can be frustrating.Learn from my mistake: slow loss is better!
  3. Negativity breeds negativity.
    When you’re going through a major life change, it’s important to evaluate your surroundings and prioritize what is important to you. On the top of that list should be getting rid of negativity in your life. You will realize that there may be people in your life that cause more stress, drama, or negativity than positivity and it’s important to minimize your interaction with them. Sometimes it can be hard because they may be family or old friends, but it’s important to realize that you deserve to have positive energy around you. You are a person, not an emotional punching bag. If you notice someone is complaining to you about their life more than they are being uplifting, have a conversation with them. You are bettering yourself and you need positivity in your life.Which brings me to my next point…
  4. A positive mindset can be the difference between success and failure
    Staying positive will always give you the push you need to finish a workout or choosing a healthy meal. Removing negative self-talk will help you view yourself in a positive way which will lead to a much more happy and healthy journey.
  5. How you look on the outside doesn’t reflect who you are on the inside.
    Out of all the things I learned, this was the most important. It is so easy to get caught up in wanting to look a certain way, but it’s important to separate looks and self-worth. You are so much more than your weight or your pant size or the number of abs that you have visible. The scale doesn’t show how strong you are or how fast you can run or how kind you are. Don’t let the scale have an impact on those things because it doesn’t indicate anything other than how much force is being exerted on your body due to gravity. You are much more than that.

If you have gone through weight loss, what kinds of things did you learn?

Carrie Signature

 


Thinking Thin // Abandoning the “Fat” Mentality Fitness

The desire to lose weight is one that many people can relate to. For some people, the goal is maybe 10 pounds. A difficult task, but definitely doable without any other sort of necessary changes. For others (myself included), those who have to lose 20, 30, or even over 100 pounds, there is more to lose than just weight. We also have to lose our “fat” mentality. We need to think thin (or curvy or healthy or whatever your goal is!).

think thin

Losing weight is hard, but it is often the mental aspect of weight loss that is harder. Let’s use a hypothetical example to explain. Jane needs to lose 50 pounds. Jane changes her habits and starts eating better and moving more. Her clothes get loose and she has to buy smaller sizes. She notices that her tummy is flatter and her arms are getting smaller. People comment on her weight loss and it makes her feel good. She gets to her goal weight and, while she sees the loss, she still doesn’t FEEL like she’s at her goal weight. Instead of being happy that she made it, she feels like she failed because she doesn’t look the way she thought or she still needs to make some changes here or there. She still feels fat. This is much different than an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder. Those diseases are exactly that, diseases. This is someone who has spent their life (or more recent life) as “fat” and now does not know how to identify as being not “fat.” That can be a tough time! I’ve been through it and it’s not fun at all!

 

It’s a tough thing to avoid, but it is possible. In order to avoid this way of thinking you have to be proactive and you have to learn how to stay positive. It is so much easier said than done, but if you put in the work to make your mind right, your body will follow and you will thank yourself later.

 

After I gained back a lot of the weight I lost initially, I worked hard to lose it again– the right way. I took it slow and didn’t over do it. I made my goals more realistic and I gave myself more wiggle room. More importantly, I adopted habits to keep me from feeling negatively about myself for gaining weight back.

 

Instead of focusing on the scale, I focused on what I was capable of. I became stronger and faster and I used that to push me to keep up my good work. I also made sure to (try) to balance out all negative thoughts with positive ones. If I thought something bad about myself, I would find one positive thing about myself so I could continue thinking positively.

 

Lately, I’ve found that yoga has really helped. Yoga is great for your muscles as exercise, but it is also great for your mind. It gives you an opportunity to just be with yourself for an hour (or however long your class is). How often do you have time to just be with yourself and focused on you for 100% of the time? It’s very rare. Meditation during shavasana (the last part of a yoga class, generally) can be a time that can really open your mind up to things that you may be too busy to realize otherwise. Use shavasana to reflect on positivity and mantras of self-worth and self-esteem. It will change the way you think!

 

Lastly, and most importantly, the best way to avoid the “fat” mentality is to set realistic goals. Don’t say “I’m going to weigh 120 pounds and have a 6 pack” because you don’t know that! Set goals like “I’m going to get stronger and I’m going to improve my blood pressure.” If you must set a goal that has to do with weight, don’t add anything. Talk with your doctor about a healthy weight. Don’t aim to be 110 pounds if you’re 6 feet tall because, for most people, that wouldn’t be healthy. Don’t put any aesthetic expectations with a weight because 120, 130, 150, 170 pounds will look different on everyone.

 

If you already are dealing with the “fat” mentality, I strongly encourage you to take some time to write out what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. When you put it all down on paper, you’ll see that that standards you set for yourself can be ridiculous. At the end of the day, what you are capable of is important and the only person who needs to love what you look like is YOU.

Carrie Signature



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