Posted in Wellness

The Truth About Workout Quick Fixes

strength training workout

Let’s chat about workout quick fixes. You know them, the 30 minute workout, the incredible shake, the contraption that can do it all and “make you lose 15 pounds in one month” sort of thing. I wanted to chat about this on the blog because the last few months I have been seeing them (not going to name any company names but they’re a big one and they’re taking over the fitness game) pop up more than ever, and I just can’t hold in how I feel any longer.

I’m super lucky that I have this space to be able to make a change (at least I hope) and I wanted to broach this topic because honestly I think it’s unfair to the women of the world that really do want to make a positive fitness/ health change in their life, but might not have the background knowledge to know what will actually work.

All too often I am scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and come across these people selling fitness workouts, or fitness drinks showing a photo of themselves looking (in shape, ripped, whatever you want to call it) making the consumer believe that they will look like this if they do this workout, or drink this drink and let me just tell you that’s false.

These people forget to give you a little background information which goes a little something like this. They use this drink/ workout to supplement something they are already doing and that something is definitely lifting heavy ass weight and working pretty damn hard for it. This can be in the form of anything from strength training, weight lifting, Cross fit, etc. But they sure as hell aren’t doing 10 sets of flutter kicks in their living room to get a rock hard stellar bod.

Ugh sigh! I totally wish that was the case but it isn’t and if you want that killer bod you need to put in the TIME.

This being said I want my blog, Instagram, etc. to be a space of motivation and positivity for people. I want people to come to my page because they know that what they see is what they get…what i’m promoting or talking about is real and will only lead you to hopefully becoming the best version of yourself.

so…

I am on a mission to post my real unfiltered workouts, the things I do daily (or weekly) to keep myself healthy and in the shape that makes me feel the best. In doing this I hope that it will motivate others to drop the random contraptions, short workouts, and shakes and pick up some weight and get after it!

Follow along over on Instagram and Snapchat (username: lbartlett12) for daily updates.

Here is my first unfiltered Blissfully Lively Daily Workout. Let me know what you think!

  • 10 med ball slams
  • 30 second L-Sit holds
  • 5 trap bar dead lifts (this changes each week, weight and sets)
  • sprints
  • pull ups (as many as I can do)
  • Repeat 3x

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 

In need of some more motivation and good vibes? Check out my Interview with Holistic Health & Wellness Coach Holly of Conscious Dining & Conscious Wellness.


How to Live Healthy & Be Your Best Self

Healthy Breakfast

{Follow Holly on Instagram}

Ok so let me just tell you guys this interview was KILLER!

I am so excited I reached out to Holly, and now have her amazing health/wellness insight to bring to you guys. Her knowledge of healthy living/ eating is beyond amazing and will make you want to drop the sweets ASAP. Her overall positive outlook on life & pursuit of doing something that she loves & cares about is so inspiring. Also side note I’m so happy people are reaching out to me on how much they love these interviews because my whole goal behind it is to be inspiring and helpful to others in need of advice, motivation, etc! Ok ok, enough of me gushing about her… Lets chat.

BL: Hey Holly! Please introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively readers.

Holly: Aloha friends. I live in beautiful Arizona with my handsome husband and our two sweet rescue pups. I’m a holistic health coach and the founder of a healthy food company called Conscious Dining.

BL: I know you started your own nutrition and wellness company called Conscious Dining. Tell us a little about it.

Holly: Conscious Dining began in January 2016 and was created to help others stay committed to eating healthy through out the week – everything 100% gluten free, organic and non-gmo, catering to vegan, vegetarian and paleo lifestyles. We specialize in a 5-Day meal preparation and nutritional consultations. As we continue to grow it’s important that our clients feel the love and integrity in our foods.

BL: Why did you decide to start Conscious Dining?

Holly: I wanted to be able to share my passion for eating and living a balanced, healthy lifestyle with others that truly need it. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that creates a severe inflammatory response and it has been the driving force for me to help others, be my own boss and stay committed on my own wellness journey. Most ‘health scares’ makes people reflect on their life in a new way and it was the catalyst for me to let go and create my legacy to helping others. I have nothing to lose; only supporting others journeys to gain. Simply, I want to do what I love. So I created my dream job.

BL: What is your favorite recipe you currently craft up?

Holly: My husband calls me a professional chopper at home. I love whipping up salads more than anything and I believe the smaller you chop your vegetables the more exciting they are to eat in a salad. I’m an intuitive cook, recipes actually give me slight anxiety. I love vibrant foods and I try to eat a variation of colors through out the week. Currently local figs are in season – and raw, organic figs could just be my most favorite treat on their own.

Lunch salad recipe

{See more of Holly’s delicious recipes on her Conscious Dining Instagram}

BL: Can you give us some healthy eating tips?

Holly:  I swear by a few things…

*Without fail every morning, I make myself a 32 ounce mason of room temp water from our Berkey – a charcoal water filter – and add organic lemon juice and braggs apple cider vinegar. This flushes my kidneys, jump starts proper digestion (wink wink) and helps rid your body of built up toxins.

*I eat organic vegetables everyday – raw, juiced, fermented or baked. Food is medicine and consistent vegetable intake is key. I specify organic because there are only more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants without pesticides or being genetically modified. I think of them like taking a daily multi vitamin.

*Limit your sugars – even natural sugars! This is so important to be away of your daily intake as it is the leading cause of many complications with the body. I know that sugar makes me more emotional – this actually shows up for most people. Blood sugar imbalances can usually show up as irritability, anger, depression, anxiety and it’s interesting to see the affect the day after. If I feel off one day, I can usually trace the previous 24-48 hours and find the sweet culprit! Sugar also creates inflammation and yeast overgrowth in our digestive track. No thank you!

BL: Do you have a mantra you repeat daily? I know you’re into good vibes, and positivity.

Holly: I don’t have a specific mantra but I do try my best to have a consistent meditation practice, which is important for me as I continue to grow older. I always spend part of my meditations focuses on the things in my life I’m grateful for. When I forget or focus only on the things I want, it’s easy to feel not enough. I try my best to get out of that space through breath work and the consistent reminder of the beauty in my world.

BL: What’s your favorite meal? Healthy, and not so healthy for the days when you’re craving something a little sweet.

Holly: I never really crave sweet, but I am a sucker for a gluten-free pastry with a cup of coffee and almond milk. I do crave salty and I think I could live off Mexican food – especially chips, salsa and guacamole. We have an awesome spot that makes vegan butternut squash tacos with homemade corn tortillas that are like mini fluffy pancakes near us and that our favorite date night spot.

Holly Conscious Dining

{Want to work with Holly? Check out her website!}

BL: I know you provide custom meal packages, but tell me a little more about the health consultations you provide.

Holly: Our consultations are my passion and make me feel so fulfilled! I created my own programing for clients that need additional motivation, direction and education to live a healthy lifestyle on their own. I felt like there was a nitch for people recently diagnosed with something and a doctor tells them “no dairy, gluten or sugar”. For many that’s a really overwhelming moment. That’s where I come in, hold their hand and support the transition. I have always loved being a motivator and cheering others on and I wanted to create a program that created lasting change.

BL: What does your healthy day looking like? Do you workout, meditate, eat clean, what is your routine?

Holly: I wake up loving my two furs babies – snuggles are always needed and I’m very present to that moment. I hate rushing so I’m usually an early riser to give myself enough time to have my morning routine and sit in the sunshine. I’ve recently started strength training; I know that for optimal health especially for women lifting weights (or body weight) is critical for bone and immune health. So I try to get that done 3-4 times a week in the morning. After a full day of work – making sure I take breaks to regroup and get breath back in my body – I make a healthy meal for my husband and I. We love this and it might be the most consistent thing we do. Recently we purchased a hot tub so an evening soak has been something I’m digging right before Netflix.

BL: If someone is looking to get on a healthier life track with eating/ working out what is the number one thing you recommend they do.

Holly: Education is power. I would recommend reading books/articles, watching documentaries, talk with others on why it’s important to live a healthier lifestyle. Knowledge is power and for me the more I know, the more I can also hold myself accountable – simply because I know better.

I hope you all enjoyed learning a little more about Holly and Conscious Dining. Isn’t she the sweetest? If any of you are looking for some Holistic Health coaching, or just want to learn more about it follow Conscious Dining on Facebook (& social media provided above).

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

In need of some more Inspo? Check out Anna Leigh’s Skin Secrets to Live By!


Skin Secrets to Live by

A while ago I was recommended by my friend to start getting facials because she had seen amazing results getting them done regularly. I have always taken great care of my skin (I’m a freak about washing my face twice a day, toner, lotions, etc.) so I didn’t think I needed one until I met Anna Leigh. Basically Anna is a bad ass esthetician that knows her shit. So much so that she left the salon she was working for and opened up her own. Also side note at the same time she became a health and wellness coach on the side!

Can we all please just chant GOALS in unison.

This gal is a hustler, so I figured I had to share Anna’s tips/ tricks with you all. Whether you’re struggling with random break outs, wondering how to have more work/life balance, or need an eyebrow reshape stat. these tips will resonate.

(My number one skin health/ health tip in general…one word, ROUTINE! If you want to see any positive changes you need to stick with it for more than a week, month, a few months to see the results).

Anyway lets get to Anna’s tips/ tricks.

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday!

skin secrets

BL: UM Hi Skincare goddess, introduce yourself!

Anna-Leigh: Haha Hi! I’m Anna Leigh skincare and nutrition lover! As well as owner of Banana Peels my skincare studio in Dover, NH.

BL: Tell us about how you got into opening up your own skincare studio?

AL: I honestly never thought I wanted to work for myself, but after I started health/wellness coaching which prompted me to complete some professional development I realized that is exactly what I wanted to do! It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears making the decision but it was the best decision I have ever made.

BL: What’s your best kept skincare secret? Anything us gals should know?

AL: Mhmm, I don’t know if it’s a secret but I swear by healthy eating habits. If you eat a piece of chocolate no you are not going to get a pimple the next day, but if you don’t drink a lot of water and eat poorly it will show through your skin. You also need a good at home skincare routine. Of course facials are extremely important, but at home care for your skin is by far the most important because that is something you’re doing daily. Consistency is key.

BL: What is your skincare regimen, or what do you recommend? 

AL: I use Skin Script! (I also make a couple of my own serums and eye creams! I love making my own face products, it’s a fun hobby). But i’m in love with Skin Scripts Glycolic Cleanser. It’s great for mild breakouts and anti aging. I also use their Ageless Serum. I only use serums (instead of moisturizers) especially in the summer because they’re great for combination skin.

BL: Let’s talk products. I know you have turned me on to the Skin Script Toner, tell us about it.

AL: haha every one loves that toner! I sell out of it more than any other product. They are fragrance free, paraban free and they do not test on animals. They are everything I believe a professional skincare line should be. They have something for everyone. Variety is so important because every one has such different skin. What works for one person might not work for the next.

facial product

BL: I’ve heard lately that eating right can change you complexion, do you agree? give us the low down.

AL: Oh absolutely! I used to be a vegetarian, then I went back to meat and now I’m planted based. Between changing my eating and products my skin has changed immensely! I have a lot of clients too that have cut out dairy or soy in their diets and they have stopped breaking out. I keep a food journal and I highly suggest it to my clients too. Sometimes you think you remember everything you’ve eaten or that you’re drinking enough water, but once you write it down on paper you’re like “oh shit I eat like crap and don’t drink any water!” I used to think I drank a lot of water until I started keeping track. It’s an eye opener!

BL: I know you love health/ wellness coaching on the side, what is your favorite healthy recipe?

AL: Oh man that’s a tough one. I know it might sound boring or plain jane, but brown rice, spinach and black beans are my go to. Easy, filling & a nutritious inexpensive meal if you’re on a budget. I’m all about simple healthy meals. I load it up with cumin and a bunch of other spices.

BL: How do you balance being a  business owner and still having time to live a healthy lifestyle? I bet it’s tricky!

AL: It definitely is but i’m so in love with both skincare and nutrition I honestly don’t feel like it’s work. Every Sunday I do meal prep though and that helps me stay on track for eating well through out the week. Also a big one is the fact that I love both my jobs. I love helping woman who want to improve their skin/ health. Loving what you do everyday is so important.

BL: Your #1 Beauty Tip?

AL: Wash your face before you go to bed…ALWAYS!

 

+ Interested in booking an appointment with Anna? Check out her Facebook Page for more info.

+Follow Anna on Instagram.

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 


At-Home Rings Ab Workout

At-Home Abs Workout With Rings

Can we all just agree on how annoying it is to make the drive to the gym!? Even if you live 5 minutes from it (like me) it still creates an excuse as to why you can’t/ don’t want to work out.

I felt this ALL THE TIME!

Especially when I started my full time job. I didn’t want to wake up extra early and drive to the gym to workout only to just drive home to shower and get ready, or have worked all day and then have to make a pitstop at the gym on my way home when it’s crowded with everyone else!

Solution: We created a home gym.

Since creating our home gym I began thinking about adding a few at home workouts to the blog. I thought I would start off with 2 workouts a month and add more if people were enjoying them. These workouts will be created with little use of weights but still be very effective. I will also include some TRX moves for anyone with gymnastics rings/ TRX straps because they work the whole body and are my absolutely favorite moves (hello I teach it so i’m a bit biased but hey). I would suggest these rings, for $44 but if you’re ok with splurging a bit I would suggest the TRX straps. Also there are a few TRX knock offs that do the trick Here & Here. Some of the TRX moves done on rings just don’t work because they don’t hold your feet in placement well enough, but they get the job done!

Anyway now on to the killer but quick rings Ab workout you can incorporate into any exercise plan!

At-Home Rings Ab Workout

  1. 10 L-Sits with hip thrust X3
  2. 10 Weighted Sit ups with twist (or punch) X3
  3. 10 Plank tuck & frogs X3

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren


4 Simple Secrets to Taking Fab. Photos

Meeting new people that have talents, stories, knowledge, etc. has always been my favorite thing. I love to hear about them. How they got to where they are, who pushed them along the way, how they were motivated, what they’re passionate about.

People have so much to say if you just listen.

I recently was visiting with Chris’s Nana and got a bit sentimental. I have always loved to just sit with her and listen to her tell stories. It’s so interesting to talk to her about a time in which she grew up that I will never experience. Her sweet stories of meeting her husband, being young and in love, raising children are all so fond to her. It made me think about how everyone has a story, everyone has something that has empowered them in life or made them happy. Everyone has something they’re good at, and have worked hard at so naturally I immediately think how I can bring this to the blog.

I want Blissfully Lively to be a space of motivation, positivity, & inspiration for women, and this idea of sharing stories shines a light on specific people that will help you stay motivated, positive, and your best self.

This new interview/ motivational section of the blog will be posted twice a month (every other Monday) and be about any professional who I think could bring some insight to the girls that read this blog. I’m talking hair dressers, life coaches, estheticians, photographers, personal trainers, chefs, you name it.

I am so excited to get this new blog topic started with one of my favorite people. My gorgeous friend/ photographer Raya. I wanted her to be the first interview on the blog because she is one of the most hardworking/ passionate people I know. You can find her nonstop smiling/ laughing and she just radiates good vibes. She is the person you want around 24/7.

Here’s Raya to give you a little insight on her craft, Photography!

raya on assignment

Hey loves! My name is Raya and I love through the lens. I have the brilliant responsibility of capturing and sharing some of the sweetest moments we experience as humans. I am also a storyteller, a world traveler, and a woman of compassion. The last nine years have involved capturing and sharing authentic moments throughout various communities and countries. I moved to Portsmouth after graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a BA in English/Journalism. While making Portsmouth my home, I have spent my time documenting the Seacoast. I am here to observe and preserve moments with you. Photojournalism is a passion of mine and my hope is that by sharing my work, we will feel more connected within ourselves and in our communities. To help spread this ideology, I began the photojournalism project, People of Portsmouth, in which the community’s inhabitants are featured with their portrait in unique and often personal words. This project continues to grow in popularity and within two years, over 260 people have been interviewed.  So that being said, I am here to share some tricks of my trade on how to score fab photos when we may not have photography as one of our innate abilities.

Breaking it down for you in 4 super simple secrets…

  • Get low. I find myself stomach down during a lot of shoots to score a neat perspective. As humans we see a lot of eye level stuff, get low to create instant interest!
  • Get high. Piggybacks on the philosophy I mentioned above, creates an interesting and unconventional perspective.
  • Get close and frame it. Not applicable always but can be used most of the time. Use the entire frame you have, and fill it up.
  • Copy the blueprints that work. Stalk the people you love, write down what it is about their work that makes you glow, and try to emulate that. Then unfollow them and focus on honing in on your craft!

I am your seacoast photographer and I remain open to collaborations, so drop me a line if you’re interested!

Raya Al-Hashmi

(Check out my People of Portsmouth Interview here)

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren


My Fav. Ways to Burn 100 Calories with Chobani

chobani 100 calorie

Who doesn’t love a tasty treat every now and then?…I know I do! but lately (the last month or so) i’ve been eating a few too many treats, and slacking on my daily workouts which = not feeling so great. The cause for my missing workouts is always time management issues! Being a working gal and going to school at night sometimes results in 12 hour days and the last thing I want to do is workout on a day like that!

Truthfully though getting a good sweat in would definitely make me feel 100 times better

So now that I have acknowledged this lapse in judgement (we all do it) and am back on track to being the happiest and healthiest version of myself, I have decided to dedicate 30-40 minutes a night to exercising in whatever way I am feeling. Some days that may mean yoga, other nights that may mean strength training, but whatever it is it gets my body moving and burning those calories. I know some may think it is impossible with their schedule but truthfully whatever you’re passionate about, you make time for it.

Along with working out, eating right is so important to me. I love crafting up delicious recipes that will fuel me for a kick ass day, or recharge me after a hardcore workout. Yogurt has been my go to lately as it is so easy to blend into a smoothie, substitute for mayo in a tuna sandwich, or even top with granola and eat on the go. Luckily Chobani has recently come out with Simply 100 Crunch– A light greek yogurt, naturally sweetened and loaded with flavor from the crunchy sidecar of all natural toppings (Mango Cone Crisp is my ultimate fav.). Wanna know the best part?

chobani 100

Only 100 Calories!

For guilt free munching to your hearts content! I usually snack on one of these after my PiYo class to replenish those calories and enjoy every last bite. The combination of light yogurt and that sweet and delicious crunch along with it’s easy grab and go container make it a perfect treat to snack on after teaching some awesome ladies how to get their sweat on. What’s not to love?

Here are a few other fun ways to burn 100 calories which include 10 minutes of skiing, 20 minutes of dancing, or my personal fav. 38 minutes of shopping!

simply100

Which ever your exercise preference, Simply 100 Crunch is the perfect guilt- free treat to indulge in. Thank you so much to Chobani for asking me to share the ways I burn 100 calories, and introduce you all to their newest tasty treat! What are you guys doing to live life a little lighter this year?

P.S. Go check out how Neon Blonde burns 100 calories the most fun way possible with Chobani! Click Here 

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren


Fitness Favorites

fitness favorites

1|2|3|4

Who needs a little workout motivation?… I know I do

And what better way to get motivated then with some new workout gear! As you guys know I obsess over inexpensive and fashionable workout attire, and recently I have gotten a lot of questions on Instagram asking where I purchase my workout gear so I thought why not do a post all about my favorites.

  1. Forever 21 active leggings: Sadly these ones are sold out from Forever21 but I linked a similar pair (that I may even like a little more 🙈) from their site. I have gotten so many questions and compliments on them so I thought I would give you guys the inside scoop. $22 and the most comfortable fabric ever. They also are awesome for teaching PiYo because they’re able to be worn high waisted, and absorb sweat so you aren’t left dripping after an intense workout…Fashionable and stylish, my go to.
  2. This water bottle caught my eye on Instagram and I knew I needed to have it…I mean what girl isn’t thinking about pizza while they work their ass off at the gym 🙌🏻haha. Super in expensive and makes me laugh so its a win win in my book.
  3. Fabletics Moorea Bra: I have been in love with this high neck crop top sports bra for quite some time and every time I check Fabletics for my size it’s sold out…I can see wearing this in the summer with a long cardigan, black leather detail leggings, and black nikes running around doing errands. And the price point is perfect $24 if you are a vip member.
  4. Target black and white leggings: Lets be honest here…these I was a bit hesitant about when I purchased them. I loved them initially and then was like hmm… do they look too much like cow print?…I finally ignored that and just stuck with the fact that they look cool with the mesh and are so damn comfy. And I mean $19 who can beat that?

I linked all of the items above under the photo. I hoped this helps anyone who is in the market for some new workout clothes…now go crush that workout while looking seriously stylish!

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren


5 Ways To Be More Productive

Desk Essentials- 5 easy ways to be more productive| Blissfullylively.com 

I have always had a seriously bad case of getting side tracked. I have all the intentions of doing a million errands/ cleaning the house/ redecorating/ going to the gym, etc. But I end up only doing two of the tasks throughout my day because I don’t have a concrete plan. Please tell me you ladies out there can relate?

I start out my day all peachy and begin by making mental notes while eating breakfast. oh I need to clean the bathroom, I should probably throw in some laundry, I have to run to target for toothpaste (don’t even get me started on how side tracked I get in Target), etc. until I have planned out all the things I need to accomplish. Fast forward to me in the middle of cleaning the bathroom, when I remember that I need to rotate the laundry. I go down into the basement to rotate it and I see a project I forgot about which I realize I need supplies for and I’m out the door on my way to Target to get supplies….

WHEW!

HELLO THAT PROJECT WASN’T EVEN IN THE PLANS TO ACCOMPLISH TODAY!

So basically I used to run around in circles doing 40 things at once until these productivity tips  came into my life. Let me fill you in.

1.Schedule your day on paper or better yet in google calendar because it feels more official. I know this one might be a little far fetched for people who want to feel relaxed on their days off but I need to stick to a schedule so I know everything will get done. Instead of just making mental notes like I used to I write down time slot by time slot what my day will look like. Here’s an example.

8am-9am workout

930-1030 blog

1030-1130 clean the house

1130-1230 finish DIY project and take photos for blog

1230-130 lunch/ relax

130-330 Homework

ETC.

2. Purchase a planner. I am a little crazy about checking things off my planner. I have one that is a notebook that I carry around with me everywhere I go that has a calendar in it, and pages to write more in depth. I also have another little planner (The Mon-Friday one above) that I keep on my desk. I like to roughly plan out my week on Sunday night with that so I know what’s coming up.

3. Silence your phone or put on music. I am guilty of checking my phone for the time, etc. seeing a nice Instagram comment and getting carried away looking through others feeds. If I really need to concentrate or am on a deadline to get things done I silence my phone, keep it out of my reach and quietly play pandora. If you can’t be motivated to stay on task by Adele serenading you Idk what will help!

4. Take exercise/ stretching breaks. This one helps me so much because I can get hyper focused on editing a blog video, or typing up a paper for homework and catch myself not having stopped for 2 hours. It is always good to look away from the computer screen, stretch a little, get the blood flowing, maybe even do some quick yoga in your office. Cue the productivity!

5. Accessorize/ clean your desk. I know this one might make people laugh but I can’t tell you how much more productive I am when my desk is clean but also looking cute. I repainted my desk white (love the crisp look of it) decluttered the top and added just a few of these Target dollar section desk accessories and have been wanting to sit at my desk so much more. I feel like when you love the space you work in it makes you want to get shit done! & there’s no excuse for not loving your space when these accessories were only $5 in total!

I hope these tips helped, now go get to making your lists & feeling as productive as ever!

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren


The Transformation Illusion

transformation 1 transformation 2Transformations have been super popular lately given the #transformationtuesday hashtag, and fitness programs that thrive off before and after pictures. Because I love fitness, and take my own personal fitness journey seriously I follow an array of different fitness, motivation, wellness, etc. social media accounts and have felt overwhelmed by the amount of transformation photos popping up everywhere.

I am a huge believer in documenting your progress, and taking your fitness seriously, but I’m not sold on gimmicky transformation photos, and let me tell you why.

2 reasons. 1 The photos are misleading because of many different editing tactics & 2 They’re a poor representation of what companies programs actually will do for you. They make it seem like a magic fitness genie will change the way your body looks in a months time.

Losing weight, or making the decision to live a healthy life is a lifestyle change that takes dedication, serious hard work, and motivation! & there are people that grind it out on the regular that completely understand this.

Even the best workouts take months of hard work to get results from…plain and simple.

There’s no quick fix… 

I’m here to let all my awesome hardworking fitness ladies out there know it doesn’t happen at the snap of your fingers, and you shouldn’t be upset if it doesn’t. These photos are there to lure people in to buying a specific workout program, or drink, etc. but don’t work for everyone, and are an illusion to make people think their body will look chiseled in a seriously short about of time. Just to show you guys how much of an illusion they are I put up my own before and after photo. Both of these photos were taken on the exact same night one after I had worked out and was flexing, and one after I ate a large meal and was manipulating my pose to look unfit (slouching, etc). This just goes to show transformation photos can easily be doctored to show desired results.

I know people who have been on a fitness journey for 2 years and have lost weight, become physically fit, & happier in their life, and that didn’t take them 1 month. It has taken two years of killer workouts (actually lifting weights), & eating right.

The human body doesn’t want to change. It fights the process of losing weight, & the process of gaining muscle. It’s one thing to exercise to maintain your look and it’s another to transform the way you look and that takes a significantly greater amount of work. It’s great that people are creating fitness challenges but what do you do after your month long weight loss challenge? Even if you lose weight in that month then what do you do after it’s over? People who have had the most success have bought into it as a life long lifestyle or journey and not as a temporary challenge.

I wanted to write this post because I don’t want people to be discouraged, or insecure because they aren’t producing the same results as transformation photos. Photoshop, lighting, time of day the picture is taken, etc. can drastically change the photos for better or worse and that is what you need to remember when you start to feel upset or insecure in any way.

Everyones fitness journey is different, but what isn’t different is the hard work that it takes to get there. Fitting working out into my schedule is hard, eating right is crazy hard especially during the holidays, but remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day (cheesy I know) is so important. I have been working out for years trying out different styles to see what I like, and only in the last year from the help of Chris’s workout plans I have seen my handwork paying off. (yes I said year it takes a long time to see change!).

Everyone’s bodies are different, and everyone’s best bodies are different. As hard as every girl might try to have Carrie Underwood’s legs (holy shit how amazing are her legs), no one will ever have her legs… (unless you have her DNA). This doesn’t mean yours aren’t just as amazing, they’re just different and that’s ok!

I want to end with saying that this is just my personal opinion, and what works for me. I just wanted to put a little positive encouragement out there for everyone working hard to live a healthier happier life.

Merry Christmas!

Live Blissfully!

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Fake It Until You Make It.

Rye beach

The other day I was chatting with a friend about success, and failure (killing it, and struggling) whatever you wish to call it.

And a little something popped into my mind to get her out of the rut she was in…Just fake it until you make it. Seriously.

Your mindset is everything. If you’re thinking positive, encouraging yourself, & embracing your struggle it will benefit you in the long run.

Everyone struggles, and has troubles in life but what pushes them forward is (I think) positivity & Hard Work. If you think negative thoughts you will get negative results. If you go through life thinking “woe as me” your life will be filled with the negative.

I know this topic might be a little out of the blue but I thought if my friend is struggling with this, and I have struggled with it, why not write about it in hopes it could help one person who too is stuck in a rut.

No one has ever been successful by sitting on their butt and complaining. lets take this blog as an example. It’s hard work to blog. People don’t think so but it truly is. You have to find a topic to blog about, take the pictures of that topic, edit them, write up the blog post, edit that, post it, and then link it to all other forms of social media if you really want people to read it. I also have a day job, am in school full time, and somewhere in there need to fit in homework, workouts, spending time with family/friends. Even though that seems like a lot and could be overwhelming I know that if I keep on keeping on, work hard, and stay positive I will succeed.

Granted it’s hard to stay positive at all times given good old social media. I mean don’t let me fool you guys its so freakin’ easy to sit on Instagram and have a pity party…This blogger has 100k followers, and this blogger has the cutest picture, why can’t I have that…. My pictures suck, I need a new camera, I need more followers, my content sucks, I should just quit blogging all together, etc.

BUT I don’t (most of the time, no ones perfect) because I know that everyone starts somewhere, and the only way to get to having 100k followers, or awesome blog pictures, whatever it may be that you’re striving for is to work hard and stay positive!

So to wrap this all up, whenever you start feeling this way, turn it around and think to your self if you were in another persons shoes admiring yourself what would you say?. What would others say that are positive about you? What do others compliment you for, what is you best trait, what makes you happy, etc.

Be mindful of these things, and enjoy your struggle, thrive in it because everyone is right there with you girl!

Live Blissfully!

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