The two major parts of dominating your health and fitness are sweating it out and conquering the kitchen. A couple weeks ago, I released a resource page, filled with all the gadgets and tools I use on a regular basis. You can still find that here.
Today I wanted to focus on my absolute top tools for sweating it out and conquering the kitchen. So if you’re overwhelmed by that big list, this is a great place to start.
We are strong, independent women, ready to conquer our health and fitness. We lead. We set goals. We accomplish our goals and we work hard. Part of what makes us so strong and independent is NOT demanding that we conquer solo.
We are strong and independent because we know how to leverage our resources and work together. We’re efficient and we absolutely do NOT believe in re-inventing the wheel. Instead, we look at the wheel and say “how can we make it roll faster?”
You and I are here because we’re ready to dominate our health and fitness and we’re ready to leverage the resources we have - we can be healthy and fit while still having time for friends, family and other priorities we have.
I’m all about efficiency, which is why I’ve created a MASSIVE resource for you -- all my favorite go-to’s for conquering the kitchen, being a boss at the gym and in general dominating your health and fitness. All in one central location. No download needed, with direct links to everything you need. What’s even better? I’ve created it as a page on my website which means that whenever I find a new food, tool or gadget, I’ll add it to the page so you always have the most updated list of faves. Click here to see the resource list, or you can click “resources” at the top of the website anytime to see the most updated list.
The right resources help you dominate your health and fitness without going crazy or consuming an unreasonable amount of time. Since the list is looong (because this is real life and nobody eats only food a day…) I wanted to give you my absolute top faves from the list.
No diet pill, shake or weird fad is ever going to be your magical unicorn solution to losing weight, keeping it off and creating a healthy lifestyle that lets you not think about being healthy.
Sorry, not sorry.
We're strong, independent women. We've worked hard to get where we are in life. We show up in the office, for a meeting or for a huge potential client presentation and everyone knows we mean business. You don't continue to conquer by making excuses or refusing to get out of bed. You conquer by working hard and blazing trails.
Guess what sweetheart? Your health and fitness is the same way. It's not complicated, but it requires effort, realistic focus and good 'ol fashioned hard work. [Click to Tweet]
If you're ready to be in the fast lane and conserve your energy to live like Queen Bey - spending your precious time on friends, family, aspirations, travel and taking over the world -- then you need to get your weight and health in check. Ain't nobody got time to be worrying about food and exercise.
As lady bosses, we of course know how to delegate. So here's my part - giving you the exact three steps you need to take. In the order you need to take them.
You better believe I just brought Queen Bey into this.
Someone recently challenged me to figure out exactly why I do what I do - what motivates me to be healthy and fit and why I care SO much about helping other women accomplish similar goals. When I dug deep, I realized all I want - is to be like Queen Bey.
All of my life's questions -- answered!
Kidding, but don't we all want to be a little like Beyoncé?
What I actually realized was something amazing - I care about my health and all of the benefits of being healthy and having control over my health and fitness - it's definitely important, but guess what!?
Being healthy has little to do with why I really care so much about the lifestyle I created.
Mind blown, right?
Being healthy and feeling confident when I look in the mirror was a HUGE part of the reason I decided to lose 30 lbs and figure out a way to maintain a realistic healthy lifestyle. But now - 6 years later - what keeps me going is COMPLETELY different.
Every single day, I talk to people who are making these 10 fatal mistakes. They say they want to lose weight, they say they want to keep it off - that they're looking for something they can maintain and a way to live a healthier lifestyle while still being "normal" and living a real - totally hectic lifestyle.
People come to me all the time who are discouraged and don't know how to start making healthy changes and feel totally deflated because NOTHING they've tried in the past has worked. A lot of people end up trying diets and failing over and over again and then lose all hope that weight loss is even possible - that maybe that's just how their body is shaped and it can't be changed - or that their genetics must just be working against them.
If you're making any of these 10 fatal mistakes, you're going about weight loss and healthy changes all wrong.
So you're sick of diets? Tired of yo-yo'ing? Tired of feeling like a failure or getting all psyched just to find out that the program your friends have been raving about didn't work for you? What about the other side of it? Have you tried a program or diet that DID actually work? You got stoked, but as soon as you stopped the program, you stopped exercising and you were back to eating junk food?
UGH - WHY!?!
Why me? Why again? Why can't I get the hang of this? I'm just always going to be overweight. That's just how I'm built.
WRONG, WRONG AND WRONG AGAIN!
You know why you failed? Because the diet told you what to do, but never equipped you with the knowledge to wean yourself off of it and incorporate aspects of that diet into real life. And in real life, we don't starve ourselves for 30 days and we don't refuse every opportunity to go out to eat. Lunch meetings, hello! And date night? Can't cut that out.
You want to lose weight, you want to be healthy and you want to look and feel great - but you don't want to sacrifice your sanity to do it.
Learning how to create healthy habits that actually work for your lifestyle is CRUCIAL - absolutely vital! How do you do it? By laying the right groundwork, and getting comfortable with taking just one step at a time. Here are the 6 steps you need to take, in order.
"Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life."
I love this saying. For one, it's a reminder to me that I want to learn how to fish instead of being given a fish (because honestly, who wants to rely on someone else for daily food?).
But what about in other areas of your life? You learned to walk, talk, and read on your own. You've learned how to study, how to drive, how to use a phone. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you had to rely on someone else to communicate for you? If you couldn't go anywhere on your own, if you didn't know how to learn, or study, or check your own email? Or use Google maps?
Would you feel stuck?
What about healthy lifestyles? Diets and programs are the equivalent of giving you a fish.
I mean if you don't know where to start, diets can at least give you a boost, right? Act as your cleanse? Get you started in the right direction? Drop your first few pounds?
Wrong. They'll just end up making you feel stuck.
Learning to create healthy habits of your own is like teaching you how to fish. And just like all those other skills you've learned in life, it'll free you, make you less dependent on others and give you what you need to sustain healthy habits over a lifetime - all of which will leave you feeling more confident, capable and probably happier and more productive.
Not convinced yet? Here's 5 SPECIFIC reasons it's absolutely CRUCIAL to learn how to fish, a.k.a. learn how to create your own healthy habits.
Before we jump right into today's post, let me preface it with this: we all have different experiences in life. We have ups and downs and each of our ups and downs looks different. There are plenty of you who have gained less weight than I did, but likely felt the same discouragement, frustration and stress that I did. But there are also plenty of you who gained more weight than I did and felt a similar misery, disdain and depression.
No matter what the details of your particular journey are, I want you to know that you're not alone and you're definitely not stuck.
In some capacity, we've all experienced that depression and anxiety that comes with not liking how you look or feel. I've been there too.
If you're looking for added motivation to kick-start healthy changes, join me for free every Friday, where I'm doing a weekly Facebook live series: Real Talk: Motivation for a healthy lifestyle. It's full of tips, questions, answers and just plain real talk about getting motivated to make healthy changes. There are over 400 people currently tuning in, and you should be one of them!
Think about your biggest life accomplishment. How did it feel to receive that award? To publish your book? To finalize your project? To purchase your home? To get that little league trophy... :)
But how did you get there? You didn't just wake up one day and say "Today, I'm going to publish a book!"
And if you're saying that's how you wound up making your biggest accomplishment, you're lying. Either that or you don't realize everything that went into achieving your goal.
What you did first was sit down with a goal: "I want to publish a book."
It's likely that after that initial goal, you made several other, smaller goals (what I call check-point goals). You probably sat down on different days and said "Today I need to write a chapter." Or, "This week I need to write a chapter."
You then start to write - you sit down, you know you need your computer, some scratch paper, some good music to get the creative juices flowing and maybe some snacks and water so you don't even have to get up to eat. You can just sit, focus and write.
And so you do. You sit down and you carry out the plan to write a chapter in a day.
You sit back at the end of the day, give a good smirk at that good 'ol computer screen and raise both of your hands in the air like you just came in first place in a marathon.
And you did - your marathon was your writing an entire chapter in one day - and you slayed.
You turn around to the imaginary people around you and thank them for their compliments and paparazzi, but say "no, really, it was nothing." Even though you're glowing with success, confidence and a well deserved feeling of accomplishment. And everyone can see it.
Without realizing it, your past accomplishments are proving my point. If you want to actually accomplish some kind of healthy change, it is absolutely necessary that you make a realistic goal and create a practical plan. Somewhere inside, you already know how to accomplish your goals.
When you hear "healthy lifestyle," do you immediately roll your eyes and think to yourself: "healthy, sustainable and realistic just don't go in the same sentence!"
Does a healthy lifestyle seem overwhelming and waaaay too time consuming because you've been stalking Instagram accounts of totally ripped women spending hours in the gym and cooking and food prepping EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL?
And never going out to eat?
And never making exceptions?
And never skipping a workout?
And scoffing at people who say they don't have time because #noexcuses.
Ya. Social media can really make healthy look overwhelming. And that's not cool.
What we often forget when we see posts on social media is that those people in the images we're drooling over and #bodygoals over - they're real people. And they didn't go from sitting on the couch all day to having totally drool worthy bodies.
If I came to you and said "hey, I have a diet that'll make you gain 5 pounds!"
Would you try it?
Probably not. Unless you're actually trying to gain weight and in that case, it's a whole different situation.
What about if I said, "There's this really weird concoction that tastes like crap and makes you miserable, but if you drink it for a week you'll be on-trend, me and some other friends are doing it, so being miserable together might be fun (what!?). And the best part is you won't lose any weight, but you'll be exactly the same when we're done. So, you in?"
You're joking, right? I'm being a bit facetious, but this is no joke.
Why wouldn't you try a diet that made you gain 5 pounds? Or even more importantly, why would you try a diet that made you miserable for a week and let you end up right back where you started? You wouldn't. Because you're smarter than that.
I know it's easy to buy into the "drop 10 pounds in 10 days!" nonsense you might see. I know there's a part of you in the back of your head that's thinking: "quick-fix? Maybe it's possible..." But I also know that there's a bigger part of your brain telling you that 10 pounds in 10 days is unrealistic and definitely unsustainable.
Every day I hear numbers of "reasons" (cough, excuses) why people can't workout. Life is busy, the timing isn't right, you're waiting on something. Maybe on everything? I have good news and bad news.
The bad news: The timing is never going to be right. Your life is never going to just calm down and give you extra hours. You'll always be busy. You'll always be traveling. You'll always have responsibilities. You'll always have a million things demanding your time, attention and priority. The stars are not going to align just right to finally give you the time, knowledge and motivation you've been waiting for.
The good news: All those reasons you're telling yourself you can't workout REALLY ARE excuses. Excuses can be overcome. You have more control than you think. You can make your own stars align. And today we're going to do just that.
Here are some of the specific excuses we're going to overcome today:
"I don't have enough time."
"It takes too much time." (you REALLY need to ready this)
How many of you have been discouraged because you've failed time and time again? Have you let that discouragement creep in and keep you from moving forward? I have a secret for you.
A healthy lifestyle does NOT mean giving 100%, 100% of the time. As much as we all believe we're superwoman, we really are human.
A healthy LIFESTYLE is just that. A life-long journey. That means that you're likely to fail 100+ times. Some failures might be big, and some small, but failing is inevitable. But the relief comes in realizing that failing is part of the process. Everybody fails. But those who succeed get up and keep going.
Recently I found myself getting really down because I've been slacking. I mean seriously - I blog about creating a healthy lifestyle. How in the world could I be falling off the wagon? This is exactly what I teach people to avoid! I started eating out a little too much, I was going to the gym maybe 2-3 times a week (which admittedly isn't all that bad). But come on!? How in the world can I teach people to have a healthy life if I'm failing? I was being SO hard on myself. Until I realized this:
I've created a healthy lifestyle because I've failed over and over and over again.
That's right. I'm not out to make good choices for only a week or a month or even a year. My goal is to make healthy choices and create healthy habits for the rest of my life. That means that I will fail time and time again.
The failures are not what's important. What's important is that I've gotten back up time and time again.
Let me tell you about some of my failures so you can learn from my mistakes. Brace yourself, I have plenty of them.
Plus, I created an awesome cheat-sheet for you so you can turn your failures into successes. Feel free to download it and fill it out as we go, or just have it sent to your inbox and you can go through it later.
Raise your hand if you've been guilty of saying you don't have time. Are all of our hands raised? Mine is.
Life is busy and everyone seems to be demanding our time and attention. Whether you're working in an office, traveling or attending to little ones, I'm sure you have your hands full. Work, family, friends, me time, and a million other categories I could list -- are constantly asking for our full attention.
And getting fit? It's likely that when you hear someone talking about creating a healthy lifestyle that all you actually hear is "here's one more thing I want you to juggle in your already hectic, head barely above water life."
Let me be totally clear: I am NOT here to make you feel overwhelmed.
I am not here to convince you that you have to un-earth the sought after 25th hour.
I'm also not here to try to convince you that your life isn't as busy as you think it is.
I'm busy too and I know I would absolutely hate it if anyone tried to convince me of any of those. The thought alone is annoying.
What I am here to do is to show you that a healthy lifestyle isn't nearly as out of reach as it sometimes appears. I'm here to show you that a healthy lifestyle does not have to require a lot of time.
So the myth: "It takes too much time." Here are 3 reasons that's totally busted.
You start by knowing where you are. Plain and simple. Except... it's not always plain and simple to figure out.
"I already know: I'm not in shape, I want to be in shape. That's my starting point."
Knowing you're ready for change and knowing where you're starting are two completely different things.
These are all examples of knowing you're ready for change:
I'm not in shape.
I need to start exercising.
I'm not eating right.
I need to lose weight.
I'm ready for a healthy lifestyle (because diets suck).
These are all examples of knowing you need to make changes - which is a great start! It's absolutely necessary. But once you know you're ready for some healthy changes, it's time to figure out your starting point. You'll want to ask yourself some of these questions:
I'm not in shape
(What exactly does that mean? How is your health effected? Do you know your limitations? Do you know what exercise pace is right for you? How long has it been since you've exercised?)
I need to start exercising
(Could you run a mile? Any idea what kind of exercise you like? How much weight can you lift? How long can you workout? What's a practical frequency for you?)
I'm not eating right
(How often are you eating out? How many calories are you eating every day? What good/bad habits do you have?)
I need to lose weight
(How much weight? In what time-frame?)
I'm ready for a healthy lifestyle
(What have you tried in the past? What does "healthy lifestyle" mean to you? Are there certain foods you want to cut out? Or add? What does your ideal you look like?)
Please don't let all these questions overwhelm you. I'll help walk you through it. Georgia Bamber and I are co-hosting a free workshop tomorrow. Register now to join us live. We'll walk step by step through all the steps to find your starting point.
When you hear people talk about eating healthy and exercising, do you roll your eyes and think "ya, ya - I know what to do, I'm just not doing it," and then tune out?
...stop drinking soda...
....stop eating junk food...
...go to the gym...
Yup. I've heard it before. And there's a reason I'm not doing it. IT ALL SOUNDS MISERABLE! Not worth it. (So please stop talking about it.)
Guess what? That bad attitude of yours is KILLING your motivation. I don't blame you. The way people talk about "healthy lifestyles" isn't always appealing. People might be talking about healthy habits, but I bet this is what you're actually hearing:
...eat boring, bland food...
...kill your body (or at least feel like it)...
If that doesn't already sound horrible enough, what makes it worse is that you're probably betting that all of that miserable stuff isn't even going to get you results. At least not ones that stick. So why deprive yourself, eat like a rabbit, be cranky and feel so sore that you can't even sit down to pee if all it's going to get you is a bad attitude and no lost weight?
I'll tell you why. You've been going about it all wrong!
There’s only one road to a healthy lifestyle: Hard work
A true, sustainable lifestyle takes hard work. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s an easy fix you can get in 7 or even 30 days. If you want to look better for a week, do a week long program. If you want to be healthy and look great for the rest of your life, it’s going to require committing to a healthier lifestyle and creating healthy habits.
A life filled with health, happiness and confidence?
I think yes.
You’ve heard people say “the best things in life aren’t free.” Sometimes "not free" means "not easy." The best things in life are worth working for. A healthy lifestyle is absolutely, positively attainable. HOWEVER, if you aren’t willing to work for it, you aren’t ready for it. Yup, I'm getting real in this post.
You don’t have to have all the answers or know exactly how you’re going to accomplish all your goals. You just have to be WILLING TO WORK! You don’t even have to be fully motivated yet – finding your motivation is part of the process. But decide that you’re ready.
Decide that you’re going to do what it takes to get the body, the lifestyle and the confidence you want and deserve. Then take it one step at a time. If you're not sure what steps to take, don't worry, I've got your back. I have lots of free resources for you. My faves are the motivation checklist and the free email course.
Let's be honest, when you're ready to start a healthy lifestyle, the LAST thing you need is your closest friends and family members trying to convince you to break all the good habits you started.. yesterday. Amiright?
We all know the feeling - TODAY I'm committed! TODAY - I'm not eating sweets. TODAY I'm going to the gym. But then you're reminded that it's your co-worker's birthday. What do you do? As important as it is to incorporate healthy habits into your life, you would think it would be easier to get the support you need, right? Riiiight....
We have pressures ALL around us - enticing us to break healthy habits (or not start them in the first place). And all "for good reason." Sometimes it seems like everyone around us - friends, family, co-workers - are all encouraging us not to eat healthy.
"Wait.. you love me but you want me to be unhealthy!? I'm confused."
Why aren't you supporting me? Ever felt like that? Isn't it about time someone at least ACKNOWLEDGES how difficult it can be? Can't you see I'm trying here!? And you're messing with my groove.
I'm giving away a no excuses bundle to kick start your healthy lifestyle.
Why? Because I want you to be successful and I want to give you an easy way to kick-start your healthy lifestyle - with practical time saving products.
I'm giving away 1 week of free food - fully prepped and delivered to your doorstep for ultimate ease. PLUS, you'll get exercise equipment that you can use at home, on the go or in the gym. It's lightweight and doesn't take up much space.
THEN, use the "lucky url" you get on the thank you page to share with your friends. The link is unique to you so I'll know who is referring like a boss. There's no limit to how many friends you can refer, so be sure to share as much as you can while the giveaway is live. For every friend that enters, you get an extra 5 entries.
I decided the best way for me to tell you how to know when it's time to make changes for a healthy lifestyle is to tell you all about what I've actually experienced. This is a little vulnerable for me - with embarrassing pictures and all, but I'm hoping it will help you. I'm basically turning myself into a science experiment so we can dissect what I've done and help you learn (so try to go easy on me when I show you how ugly I can get). Here's my case study.
At this point, I recognize a need for change because I’ve had to see that ugly beast come out of me so many times. Don’t think for one moment that because I’ve sustained a healthy lifestyle for 5+ years that I never have hard days or I never fall off the wagon. I absolutely do! I’m human too. But the key to sustaining a healthy lifestyle is getting better and better about recognizing when you need to make a change – so you can start changing before you hit rock bottom. The faster you recognize the need for change, the sooner you can make changes, which means the less time you spend in that black hole of disappointing unhealthy habits. You learn to pick yourself up again – and again – and again. You start to do this so often that even picking yourself up becomes a habit. Every time you do it – it becomes easier to do it again next time.
We all react differently to healthy and unhealthy habits. Each of the consequences I’m about to write about can probably have over 100 causes. However, I've learned that if several of these things start happening, my "healthy" lifestyle is probably out of whack. Usually I’ve started eating out more, or eating too many sweets, or neglecting my workouts. It's rare to go from total fit athlete to full-fledged couch potato (or vice versa) overnight. Since we typically make poor choices one at a time, it's important to recognize them before we've blown all of our healthy habits. I hope this case study helps you recognize similar indicators you may have in your life. If you're ready to find those indicators, download the free worksheet I made just for you.
You finally got motivated to workout, you signed up for a class at the gym, popped in an old workout DVD or found a program online. AWESOME! You're totally stoked and ready to OWN this workout. You go all out and totally kill it.
The next day? You can't move.
"Why does it hurt to sit down, or go to the bathroom? Did you really have to buy a house with stairs? You sit down and realize you forgot your laptop in the other room. Leave it."
There's just so. much. pain.
Sound familiar? We've all been there. We get excited, we decide we're going to make it happen - and we do! BUT, we make it happen a little too hard, a little fast. In the moment, you're all about your new exercise - you're pumped - you know you can push yourself. You believe all those motivating phrases - sweat is just fat crying, sweat is weakness leaving the body. I am NOT WEAK. I AM STRONG!
You're absolutely right. You are strong. And you are capable. But maybe you started a little too fast? You had a killer workout yesterday (literally you feel like you're about to die now). But what now? Are you going to workout today? Tomorrow?
"ugh, no. I need at least a few days to rest. Maybe a week. Maybe forever? :)"
Has it been awhile? I know I’m not the only one. I played sports in high school and intramurals in college. But after that?
In High School and College I was accustomed to showing up for practice and games, working with a team and working hard at the drills and skills given to me. Once I didn’t have a coach or team, I was a little lost. And if you’re anything like I was, you have to find your way again. It’s no cake walk, but it's definitely possible.
Some background first:
About 5 years ago, I was really feeling this frustration. I wanted to be fit again. I always preferred playing sports as a way to be fit, but that wasn’t always a good option because it required other people - sometimes a lot of other people. I wanted to do something that would not only help me create good habits and get me fit again, but help me feel that sense of accomplishment again. I wanted to be excited. And for some reason, I had heard that the habits you have when you’re 30 are basically the habits you’ll have for the rest of your life. I had no idea if that was true or not, but it was motivation enough for me. (I'm sure it might make things easier, but it's not like you're incapable of making changes after 30 - your habits, good or bad, have just had a more time to settle in.)
My habits at the time - rarely working out, eating poorly and just plain not putting a focus on my health - those were NOT the habits I wanted for the rest of my life. That I knew. I figured if 30 was coming up, I better get a move on things and find a way to be healthy and happy again. I don’t mean that as some cliché. I wanted to be invigorated. I wanted to be healthy and I wanted to have the energy I need to be adventurous - for the rest of my life. Well, the rest of your life has to start somewhere. And if you really want it to, the rest of your life can start today. I figured if I went through this little dilemma, there had to be other people facing the same tough turning points. So, I’ve gone back (in my head) to really break down what has made me successful and what the individual steps are to getting you started on your life-time journey back to the healthy, fit life that works for you.
Expectations are everything right? I don’t know about you, but I don’t like going in blind. So why would I expect you to? I figured I would break it down so you’ll know exactly what you can expect from me.
First, my objective:
My objective is easy. I’m here to help you establish healthy habits that actually stick. I want to help you bridge the gap between knowing what to do and doing. I’ll do that by breaking things down into simple, clear steps that are easy to follow and lead to results. You can start today by taking my free course.
Why I’m doing this:
Too often I hear people say they want to be in better shape, but nothing they’ve tried has worked. Or worse, they’ve lost the motivation to do anything about it. I’m so sick of the boring, bland, intense from the start programs that aren’t sustainable and don’t produce real results that stick. Most of us are average, busy people who need real solutions with real results.
We look at pictures of fitness models as “inspiration” (don’t worry, I do it too), but that’s not actually what we want to look like. In reality, we just want to feel confident and be able to look forward to the summer. Not only that, but most of us don’t have the time or energy to devote our lives to our health. When you’re booked in meetings, going into the office early, traveling or doing any one of the other 942 things you need to be doing, you need a realistic solution.
Diets and trainers can get expensive and can be time consuming. It seems like we’re all saying “it’s really all about making healthy lifestyle changes.” But are we doing that? That sure isn’t what the diets and programs are focused on. But it is what I’m focused on. A healthy, sustainable lifestyle is absolutely attainable. Even amid a crazy work schedule and other responsibilities that life brings along, it’s practical to have a healthy lifestyle and it really is the best solution.