Tag: my view


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!

 

 


18 Week Bump Update // Thoughts on Weight Gain Family

Happy hump day!

Across the internet, there’s a “thing” for pregnant women called “Hump Day Bump Day.” Wednesdays are the days pregnant ladies post their bump photos. Wednesday also happens to be the day that my weeks start over! Now that I’m almost halfway through pregnancy (what?!), I want to start participating in Hump Day Bump Day (HDBD) on the blog. I’ll also use it as a weekly update to let yall in on what’s been going on with me in general! Here’s this week’s bump update!

 

How far along? 18 weeks!

Total weight gain: 13 pounds (I don’t even want to talk about it– but I will below)

Maternity clothes? Yep! Maternity pants are super comfy. I have mostly been wearing a lot of maxi skirts and dresses which haven’t been maternity, though.

Stretch marks? None yet!

Sleep? I’m functioning off less sleep than I was in the first trimester, which is great. Sleep is tough, though. Between sciatic nerve pain and needing to use the bathroom 2-4x a night, my sleep is interrupted.

Rings on or off? On, but it’s a replacement set. My hands are the only things on my body that swell right now. I’m pretty sure it’s the heat.

Best moment this week?  Yesterday! We heard the baby’s heartbeat again. It was strong and high due to a lot of movement. This baby is very active in the morning!

Cravings: None really. I’m glad my food aversions have gone away. I’m more the type to really want something that is mentioned rather than crave something random. Usually that feeling goes away after a little while!

Symptoms: Back pain is my biggest symptom right now. If I walk/stand for a long time my lower back starts to hurt and I get pretty nasty sciatic pain at the end of the day. I also have some pretty killer acid reflux. Hooray!

Nutrition? Definitely could be better! That’s something at the top of my list between now and my next appointment.

Workouts? I’m working out 2-3x per week. Mostly 2x a week but last week I hit 3x and it felt good so I’m thinking I’ll be able to continue with that. I mostly do cardio but I’ve also started to include some light weight training.

Belly button in or out? In.

Looking forward to? Next Monday! We found out if Baby C is a boy or a girl!

 

Now. The big weight gain talk.

Pregnancy is so different for every person. My OB says “Some girls eat like pigs and don’t gain anything while others eat like fleas and gain a lot.” I’m somewhere in the middle as far as eating goes, but I’ve gained 13 pounds in 18 weeks. At my last appointment, my doctor wasn’t overly concerned but it was something she mentioned to keep an eye on so I’m making that a priority for the next month or so. Weight gain up to about 35 pounds is healthy for a pregnancy but my weight can’t continue to increase at this rate.

It is really hard to see the scale go up after losing a lot of weight. When you are mentally used to see the scale decrease, any increase is hard, much less a pound a week. It has been a big adjustment, but I am focusing on the fact that our baby is healthy. As long as our baby is healthy, I’ll be ok seeing the scale go up.

 

 


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


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

 


Currently // March Life

I follow a slew of incredible blogs, but one of the blogs I frequent the most as of late is Dearest Love. I met Jenna in undergrad at Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship years ago. I have followed her blog since she started it and I am in love with it! Every month, she does a “Currently” post. In those posts, she mentions different things she is currently doing. It could be things she is doing, reading, wishing, dreaming, anything. Each month has it’s own topics. Other bloggers will write their currently posts and they all link together so we can see what everyone is doing. It’s a really cool little circle and I decided I wanted to take part!

currently march

Currently I’m…

Dreaming of warmer weather! We have had some amazing weather the past couple of days and I wish it would stick around! Sadly, I know that it’s going to get back to around 40 degrees on Friday. I will definitely be cherishing the 80 degree weather we’re going to have tomorrow!

Planning for a busy season at work. I will be back to back to back with appointments for the next couple of months. I love it, but it is going to be really busy so I have to be organized! Combine that with the fact that I’m moving offices soon… I’ve got a lot to plan for.

Making a new habit. I am really trying to get into the habit of practicing yoga at least 4 times a week. I did it almost every day for a week and then I got busy. I have been increasingly exhausted every day, so yoga is on the back of my mind, but I always feel better when I practice so I’m trying to do it more often.

Baking nothing at the moment, but I made no-bakes yesterday!

Watching Empire. I LOVE this show. Cookie Lyons is my Spirit Animal! She’s so fierce and I love it!

 

What are your currently’s?

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


Meal Planning // Keeping You Fit Fitness

I’m really excited about today!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time creating a few things for you guys. First, an eBook! I get a lot of questions about how I lost weight, how I was able to stay healthy, and how I live a healthy lifestyle. I love responding to everyone, but I thought it may be nice to have all that information in one place, so I wrote an eBook about it! healthy living ebook

This eBook includes some tips on living healthy, a short grocery list, some healthy cooking tips, and more!

I also created a few printables!

The first is a weekly meal planning printable that allows you to plan your meals for the week, write out a list of groceries you may need, and add some notes (like where to find a recipe).

weekly meal plan

The second is a monthly planning printable. I really like the monthly planning printable because it allows me to take the events I have planned into consideration when planning meals and grocery trips!

monthly meal plan
All of these are available for download in the “Shop” tab! And as a bonus: You can download them as a bundle!  When you download them as a bundle, you get the weekly printable for free!

I’m really excited about these products because I find them really useful and I think you will too!

Let me know what you think!

Carrie Signature


Slow Cooker Recipes for Beginners // Review + Giveaway! Fitness

sponsored post

slow cooker recipes for beginners

The Crock Pot is probably one of the best inventions ever. When days are busy, it’s a lifesaver to be able to throw some ingredients in the crock pot and let it turn into dinner during the work day.

I’ve made a few crock pot meals this week and they’ve all be amazing!

On Monday, I made shredded Spicy Barbecue Chicken. It was super easy! I just threw frozen chicken into the crock pot with about ¼  cup barbecue sauce, ¼ cup sweet chili sauce, and ¼ cup wing sauce. I cooked it on high for 6 hours, shredded it, then added some more barbecue sauce before putting it on buns. It was so good!

The issue with a crockpot, to me, was lack of variety. I was either making pulled something, chili, or soup. Very rarely did I ever make anything other than that. When Antares Press sent me their cookbook Slow Cooker Recipes for Beginners in exchange for a review, I was really excited! Pinterest has a TON of great recipes for a crockpot, but there are so many that it can get overwhelming.

I made a couple recipes from this cookbook and I was very impressed! The first one, Creamy Mexican Chicken, had 4 ingredients and was incredibly easy. It tasted really good, too! I put mine in tortillas and we had plenty leftover for lunches. It was good without any tortillas as well.

The second meal I made was the Bacon Ranch Chicken. I wasn’t sure about this one because it calls for cream of chicken soup and peas. I omitted the peas and kept the cream of chicken soup even though I’m not a huge fan of it. This dish was actually really good as well! We ate ours on sandwiches, but you could definitely serve it with a veggie on the side.

I honestly probably picked the two most boring recipes out of the book because I had to use the ingredients I had on hand but there are so many amazing recipes in this cookbook and I can’t wait to try more of them!

Some of those recipes include:

  • Cranberry Turkey Meatballs
  • Curried Chicken Breasts
  • Balsamic Almonds
  • Thai Chicken Soup
  • Tex-Mex Chicken Stew
  • Pepper Venison Steak
  • Cheese Ravioli
  • Ratatouille
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Cheesecake
  • Cinnamon Apples
  • and a TON more!

 

I would love for you to try some of these recipes with me, so I am giving away 5 copies of the eBook! You don’t have to have a Kindle to read the eBook. You can download the free Kindle reader app on your smartphone. If you have a nook or other reader, don’t worry! I have those formats as well.

You can get entered to win by going to the Keeping Carrie Fit Facebook page, find the giveaway post (it will be pinned to the top of the page), and comment with the recipe from the list above that you want to try most!

The contest will end on Monday, February 23rd and the winners will be announced the next day!

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above in exchange for an honest review of this product. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Don’t Curl in the Squat Rack (and other Gym Etiquette Rules) Fitness

Gym rules are important to the overall functioning of a gym. There are the written rules (like don’t wear flip flops or street shoes) and there are the unwritten rules.

Unwritten gym rules often vary based on the culture of your gym, but here are some common gym etiquette rules and reasoning behind why they exist.

 

  1. Check yourself!

    Deoderant is your friend. If you forgot deoderant, please please run back home or stop at a store on your way to the gym. Better yet, maybe keep some in your gym bag or in your car so, if you do forget, you can apply. There are few things worse than working out, taking a deep breath, and getting a huge whif of body odor (and yes, there is a difference between body odor and sweaty odor). For the sake of everyone in the gym, please remember deoderant!
  2. Don’t hog the weights.

    If you’re doing a superset with dumbbells, try to use the at least one set of weights that have multiple sets. Especially if your gym is popular or crowded. No one likes to wait on the guy/girl doing triple sets with 3 different weights. And it’s just rude to hog equiptment.
  3. Be open to working in with someone

    Speaking of supersets- if you do have to do a superset, let people work in with you. If you are the one working in, don’t be afraid to ask! You have rest time where they can use equipment and vice versa. Sharing is caring, friends.
  4. Use the equipment correctly

    Have you ever heard “don’t curl in the squat rack?” Well, this rule is why. The squat rack is for squatting. EZ bars and barbells are for curling. Any weight or arm position that would require the use of a squat rack is something you can do with a barbel elsewhere. I went to my gym and a guy was doing shoulder presses in the squat rack–even though there was a shoulder press barbell rack behind him. When you do things like curl in the squat rack, you are using equipment that other people could be using for the right purpose. Some equipment does have multiple uses, but, if it’s a specific piece of equipment, don’t try to use it differently.
  5. Be mindful

    If it’s 5:30 on a weekday and the after-work rush is in full swing, don’t do your Crossfit WOD. Go to a Crossfit gym. I cannot tell you the amount of times the only cable cage at my gym has been completely occupied by 2-3 people doing burpees and kipping pullups for time when people are trying to do tricep pushdowns. It’s impossible to work in because someone is always going and you get kicked in the had. If you get to the gym and it’s fairly empty? Go for it! But don’t hog equipment for a purpose that can be done elsewhere (see #2 and #4). Also, if there isn’t a chalking station at your gym, chances are you probably shouldn’t use chalk. So don’t bring your own. And if you do, wipe down your equipment.
  6. Wipe down!

    If you sweat, wipe your machine down. If you leave a butt print? Wipe your machine down. If you have a cold, wipe your machine down.
  7. Keep it quiet.

    Sometimes people call, sometimes people have workout buddies, and sometimes lifts are so heavy that a little grunt comes out. That is totally fine! I get that. But please refrain from loud talking and grunting so loud it sounds like labor. It’s distracting. (+1 for LOTR gif)
  8. HANDS OFF!

    Unless someone asks for help or someone is on the floor passed out, do not touch anyone. If you need to get around me, say excuse me. Do not touch me. If my form is off, don’t touch me to correct it unless I know you or pay you to do that.

 

 

Do you agree or disagree? What are some gym etiquette rules that you can think of?

 

Carrie Signature

 


Pulling Yourself Out of a Rut Fitness

Sometimes, living healthy can get hard. You get in a rut, you get confused as to what you need to do to meet your goals, you feel like you’re not doing enough. There are so many things that go into living well and it’s really easy to doubt yourself sometimes. When you doubt yourself, it’s really easy to give up, but it’s important to keep going!

runner

Pulling yourself out of a rut isn’t always easy, but there are things you can do!

 

  1. Don’t over think things
    I am the WORST at this. I think “oh, well this used to work for me so let me change what I’m doing” and then two days later I think “but what if what I was doing was working?” It can be a nightmare and it’s not worth it! Don’t overthink things. If you’re making progress, then keep doing what you’re doing.
  2. Don’t flip flop
    Piggy-backing off #1- if you keep changing what you’re doing, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your body needs time to adjust. If you’ve increased your calorie intake, don’t give up on it after a week! Wait 2-3 weeks to give your body (and your mind!) time to adjust to the new intake.
  3. Do an inventory
    Write it out! What is causing the rut? Are you unhappy with your progress? Why are you unhappy? What can you do to fix it? Are you tired? Why are you  tired? How can you get more sleep? Writing is therapeutic and it can really be beneficial when looking for solutions to problems.
  4. Remember where you started
    Have you lost 5 pounds? 10 pounds? 100 pounds? Were you borderline type 2? Were you depressed? If you remember where you started, you can use that as motivation to not want to go back.
  5. Remember why you started
    Did you start living well because you wanted to lose weight? Or because you wanted to get stronger? Or to improve blood pressure? Whatever the reason, remember why you started and it will help motivate you to stay on track.

It is really common to get into a rut, but the important part is to keep going and never give up!

 

How do you get out of a rut?

Carrie Signature



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