How the Heck do You Stay Motivated?!

So, I get asked this question a lot, and the person asking usually makes it seem like I have to practice crazy self-control every day, as if I were on a super strict diet and exercise regimen. The truth is, I have been living a healthy lifestyle for almost 8 months now, but I don’t consider it a diet by any means; I consider it a way of life. I feel that this is the way that everyone should be living! The person might as well ask, “How do you stay motivated to get up and go to work?” It’s a way of life, plus I do it because I want to get paid, just as living a healthy lifestyle is a way of life, and I do it because I want to look and feel good!

With that said, that doesn’t mean that every day it’s a piece of cake to get up and work out, or to turn down, well, that piece of cake! But just like anything in life, the more you do it, the easier it gets. So the hardest part of this journey for most people is starting out! And that tends to be when a lot of people get discouraged and give up, and sadly, never realize the full benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. They never get to learn what it feels like to make these things part of their everyday routine–habits.

At this point in my journey, eating clean and working out daily are habits. They do not feel like chores. I don’t feel like I am depriving myself. I don’t feel like I need to keep looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. But all of that is for a different post. The point is, I no longer have to rely on outside motivation like I did in the beginning, because now I am my own motivation.

images

Below are some tips that really helped me stay motivated in the beginning of my venture into a healthy lifestyle, and ones I believe will help you too!

1) First of all, you absolutely HAVE to write down realistic and attainable goals, and then create a pathway that will help you reach those goals. If you don’t have a clear purpose, it will be hard to stay motivated to work towards what you want. For instance, here were my goals:

-Tone up in all areas of my body (arms, legs, tummy) and be able to confidently wear a bikini (i.e. no sucking in!)

-Get abs!

-Be featured on @kayla_itsines Instagram page (yes, this was an actual goal of mine)

And then my plan to reach my goals:

-Research clean-eating, find recipes on Pinterest, browse people’s Instagrams for meal ideas and read/study the HELP guide

-Slowly incorporate healthy, whole foods in my diet, and each week, buy foods to replace the unhealthy, processed junk that would not help me get closer to my goals (i.e. almond flour or make my own oat flour instead of white flour, brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice, coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, etc.)

-Create a workout routine that will work with my schedule and stick to it

-Don’t lose sight of my goals. Every day, remind myself why I am doing this. Remind myself it’s a journey, a process, and that it will get easier!

2) Ok, so once you’ve created your goals and a plan, it’s time to get started! People are usually super motivated at first and then quickly lose that momentum. That’s why it’s not good to go cold turkey with this lifestyle. It’s so much better to start slowly and take it a day at a time. One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give someone who is new to eating clean is to not deprive yourself. Allow yourself a treat here and there. Look forward to a weekly cheat meal, and even a cheat meal twice a week won’t kill you in the beginning. You have to ease into this clean-eating thing, or it will intimidate the heck out of you and be too overwhelming to continue.

3) I like to give myself incentives sometimes. For me, finishing a BBG workout was a big deal in the beginning, so I would reward myself with little things like a chocolate smoothie or a favorite show, for instance. I would just tell myself, “After you complete this workout to the best of your ability, you can enjoy that shake.” You can also give yourself weekly rewards. “If I eat clean for one week, I will buy myself a new workout outfit.” Rewarding yourself for small accomplishments is fun and a great way to stay motivated in the beginning.

4) Probably the BIGGEST motivator for me in the beginning was Instagram. Every morning before I got out of bed, I would quickly scroll through some of the feeds of girls I was following to see their progress pictures. I even screen-shotted a couple amazing transformations on Kayla’s page to remind myself that if she could do it–an average girl like me–then so could I! There’s nothing like seeing other girls’ amazing bodies to motivate you to get up and get moving!

5) This next one is SO important. Find a way to keep yourself accountable. Starting a fitness IG account was my way to stay accountable. I would post progress pictures, pictures of what I was eating, and posts about the workouts. This was also an awesome way for me to connect with other amazing ladies on the same journey. And I’ll tell you–there is something about the IG #fitfam that is sooooooo incredibly motivating and supportive! You can also get a friend to agree to embark on this journey with you, or even just check in daily in a progress journal.

6) I can’t stress the importance of good music when you work out. There’s nothing worse than trying to stay motivated to complete a workout when you don’t have some of your favorite, upbeat tunes blaring in the background. Find a playlist that will pump you up and make your workout fun.

7) On a day you are feeling extra discouraged, look back at your goals. Remind yourself of why you are doing this, and don’t lose sight of that. Also remind yourself that the time will pass anyway. You could just give up and go back to sitting on the couch watching Kardashians, but where will that get you? Or you could spend that time squeezing in a quick workout which will definitely get you closer to your dream body. (And you can always watch Kardashians later! We have more time than we think we do!) The time’s gonna pass anyway, so it’s how we choose to spend our time that matters. Six months from now you will look back and thank yourself!

8) If you have a sweet tooth like me, find ways to replace your favorite treats with healthier alternatives. I promise that you will still be able to satisfy your sweet tooth without refined sugar. Start learning to bake with honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc. I have made some of the BEST “clean” treats these past 8 months, and in our day and age, there are a MILLION clean-eating recipes at your fingertips. Just go google some!

9) Lastly, HAVE FUN. Make sure that your workout plan and the food you are eating is enjoyable to you. You will NOT stick with something for the long haul if you are not enjoying it. For LISS (low intensity steady state), I love to walk outside with my dog and daughter. If I had to run five miles every day, I would have quit. As for eating, I love a variety of foods, and I love to experiment and try new things all the time. If I was limited to salads only, I wouldn’t have lasted more than a day. Decide what is fun for you and stick to it!

images

So, there you have it: my tips for staying motivated. Remember that you must ease into this kind of lifestyle and continue to remind yourself that it will get SO much easier! And even though these are habits for me now, it doesn’t mean that I still don’t have “off” days, or days where I am feeling unmotivated. Even the most FIT people have days like this. We are only human after all. But it’s how we deal with these feelings that make us different from everyone else. We might tell ourselves to shut up and “just do it.” We might just decide to take a rest day. We might let ourselves have a second cheat meal. But you won’t see us giving up completely. Staying motivated is something you have to work at sometimes, but it will be worth it once you understand that the benefits of living this way far outweigh the temporary pleasure that comes from eating junk or taking a nap instead of working out.

Unknown-1

Keep on keepin’ on, friends! YOU CAN DO IT!

xoxo-

L

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I have many beliefs, and two of them are that you should eat pumpkin all year-round and you should consume dark chocolate on a daily basis.

So Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes for breakfast it is!

This is a super basic recipe that can be modified of course, but I promise it will deliver a fat stack of delectable and fluffy pancakes. Oh, and they’re also a much healthier and way better-tasting alternative to that powdery, chemical-laden Bisquick stuff. 😉

IMG_8222

Recipe:

1 cup oat flour (ground up oats in the blender)

2 stevia packets or your preferred sweetener (such as honey or agave), to taste

2 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs, 4 eggwhites OR 1 mashed banana

A dash of pumpkin pie spice OR cinnamon

4 heaping tbsp. pureed pumpkin

Unsweetened almond milk to desired consistency

A handful (or 2) of dark chocolate chips

BONUS: Grated zucchini–however much you want! You can’t taste it at all, and I love the added nutrients and volume!

Directions:

Mix all of these ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Heat a pan or griddle on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Scoop your batter up and plop it onto your pan. When bubbles start to form, flip and cook other side. Also, a tip for making them extra fluffy: About 10 seconds after plopping the batter onto the pan, add a little spoonful of more batter to the center of each cooking pancake. I love this method because they always turn out perfect!

Top with natural peanut butter, pure maple syrup, some sliced almonds and fruit of choice! You’ve just made yourself a perfect, well-rounded and HEALTHY breakfast for the win. 🙂

IMG_1286

ENJOY!

xoxo-

L

How to be Totally UNSUCCESSFUL at Attaining your Dream Body

Alright ladies, for those of you who have been wondering and waiting…..I present to you the steps you must take in order to NEVER acquire that dream body you have been so desperately yearning for. Do not ignore a step. I repeat: no step shall go unnoticed! Think of these as the “Ten Commandments for How to Fail at Living a Healthy Lifestyle.” ALL OF THESE are important keys to ensure you NEVER look good in a bikini. Enjoy. 🙂

1) Eat a cheat meal……….at every meal.

Unknown

2) Get super motivated to get in shape. Tell all your friends and family that you’re FINALLY gonna do it; there’s no stopping you now. Proceed to go home and devour a donut.

Unknown-7

3) Do one round of resistance training and tell yourself you suck. Then quit.

Unknown-2

4) Scroll through Instagram and gawk at other girls’ perfect bodies. Tell yourself, “Self, you don’t have a chance.” Sigh and continue scrolling.

Unknown-3

5) When a moment arises where you have to choose between a set of weights and the couch……well duh!  Choose the couch!

Unknown-4

6) Push snooze instead of getting up to work out. Do that every day, always.

images

7) Skip meals, drink Slimfast and spend two hours on the elliptical every day. Constantly wonder why your body never changes. Never EVER do any research about what actually works. That’s not allowed.

Unknown-5

8) On Sunday night, tell yourself you will start on Monday. Now go ahead and do that every Sunday for the rest of your life.

Unknown-9

9) Start. Give up. Repeat.

Unknown

10) Last but not least, complain and cry that you are too busy and that it’s too hard. Keep complaining until someone tells you to stop. Then continue to complain silently, in your head, until you are confident that your inner mean girl has won. Now continue to feed that inner mean girl those lies forevermore. She LOVES that. 🙂

Unknown-8

And there you have it. I really hope that now you fully understand–in case you didn’t before–the ways in which you are guaranteed to fail at achieving your dream body.

xoxo

-L

(Ok, now in all seriousness, please do yourself a favor and go work out.) 😉

images-1

Why Being a Fit Mom Matters (to Me)

I have always known that I was NOT going to be a mom who “let herself go.” I absolutely HATE cliches, and to me that is the ULTIMATE cliche/stereotype. I don’t want the mom haircut or the mom jeans. I don’t want to be frazzled or stressed all the time, with people whispering, “she must hate life.”  And I refuse to be a mom who resents her kids and husband because I feel like I can never get a moment to myself.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

With that said, I will fully admit that motherhood, though an amazing blessing, can be very unglamorous. It’s hard work. It makes for some long days. It requires patience, which I find I have to constantly pray for. It sometimes means messy hair, yoga pants, bags under my eyes, and a to-do list that seems to only grow longer. It means I get to deal with embarrassing tantrums in Target and will probably be forever carrying around dum-dum suckers to keep my child quiet and happy. So, I think it’s safe to say that motherhood is hard. And I only have one child!

IMG_4136


IMG_4117

But I refuse to let all of those things be excuses as to why I don’t take care of myself. Moms have the amazing ability to set the tone for the household, and in my book, a happy mama=a happy family. Knowing that, I decided when I had my daughter that I was going to have to MAKE time for me every day. Read a book. Watch my favorite show. Take a hot bath. Exercise. Nap. Scrapbook. Put on makeup. Whatever. I knew how important it would be to find time for myself and take care of myself, so I made it a priority.

And then when I discovered Kayla Itsines’ guides, my philosophy of the importance of taking time for myself stretched even more to a PHYSICAL aspect–I decided it was important to LOOK and FEEL good too. I’m not a shallow person by any means, but I do believe that health and happiness go hand in hand. And to me, a big part of happiness is being confident. TRUE confidence has many layers, and I believe one of them is being able to feel good in your own skin. As in, being happy with the way your body looks. But a nice body doesn’t just create itself, right?!

IMG_9135

IMG_9292

As you can see, hard work pays off!!!

Now I’m going to share a list of reasons why I believe that being a FIT MOM is so important:

1) When you treat your body right, the results show. Results ignite a fire in you to keep working hard so you can continue to look and feel good. This confidence is displayed to your family and to the world, and of course, is now a part of your every-day mindset. And who doesn’t want to feel confident?! It’s a cycle!

2) You can be an example to your children (and husband). Healthy habits are learned in the home, and that huge responsibility has awakened in me as I have watched my daughter grow. I now have proper knowledge and tools regarding health and fitness that I can pass onto her, which will ultimately help her find happiness too.

3) Exercise=endorphins. Endorphins=happy. Enough said.

4) Eating clean=energy. What mom doesn’t want more energy? With kids to chase and drive around and a forever-long to-do list, I know this extra energy as a result of healthy eating is priceless.

5) Working out is a great way to relieve stress. And many moms also consider their workouts to be their “me time.”

6) It’s awesome to be able to smash the stereotype that moms can’t be hot. Because we very well can, ladies! And you better believe people are surprised by it. Not only that, but they totally respect it when they know how hard you work for that body!

7) Cooking and meal-prepping is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle and being fit, and although these things do take time, when done right, you actually SAVE time and money throughout the busy week. So it’s a total win/win in the end.

8) Do I have to mention you are upping your chances by a MILLION AND ONE percent of living longer? And this means more time to travel, live a full life, and enjoy your children and grand-children.

9) Ok, so this one applies more to being a wife than a mom, but it still affects the kiddos. We already know that being physically fit means health, confidence, and energy-just to name a few. But what about strengthened relationships? People who exercise are happier. When you’re happier your relationships tend to thrive. So, overall, being a fit woman is beneficial to your relationship because you are happier, you feel better about yourself, your hubby probably thinks you’re super hot too, and do I really have to mention the unmentionable? Let’s be honest, that aspect of your relationship will improve too! A happy marriage=a happy family.

10) Living a healthy lifestyle makes you feel in control. And we all like to feel in control of ourselves and our lives. It takes a lot of dedication  to consistently live this way, but once you form these great habits, your life feels more balanced and you feel more calm.


IMG_9859IMG_0123

I LOVE being a mama, and even more, I love being a FIT mom. Remember that mamas set the tone in family life, so we gotta make sure we are taking care of ourselves and are happy in all aspects of our lives. There’s no denying that a proper diet and consistent exercise are keys to a GREAT life.

xoxo-

L

Tagged , ,

The First Post: How I Got HERE

Hi Friends!

Thank you so much for checking out my blog; it means a lot! I really hope you enjoy navigating through my posts and learning more about my journey to becoming healthy and fit!

IMG_5309

So just a little background on me and how I got here:

This past June (2014), I was browsing through my personal Instagram and there was a picture that caught my interest: one of my friends was holding up a book titled “The Bikini Body Guide.” In her caption she mentioned that she had just started doing this guide (BBG) to get in shape after pregnancy. I thought, “hmmmmm….I wanna know more about this.” I was led to @kayla_itsines page by clicking on the tag, and I soon learned that Kayla is the creator of these guides. Immediately, I was intrigued as I browsed through her page and saw all these amazing transformation pictures of regular girls like me! I was so used to seeing fitness models and random people on TV and in magazines who were super ripped, but wasn’t used to seeing normal every-day girls like myself achieve such awesome results. I have always had the desire (or maybe I should say “dream”) to have a super nice body, but I guess I had never been exposed to the right tools to get me there. So I proceeded to spend a lot of time looking through Kayla’s page and learning about her guides. Long story short, I purchased both the H.E.L.P. guide and the Workout guide and got started on both soon after. I was COMPLETELY new to clean-eating–like total rookie–literally had not a CLUE as to how to eat healthy. I was a total pro at eating a lot of sweets and processed junk though! Kayla’s HELP guide educated me on how and why to eat clean, and I slowly started to incorporate healthy, whole foods into my diet. I can say now that I’m a total believer and LOVE eating clean. Additionally, the workouts were challenging but fun, and they made me feel SO good.

Unknown-1

Obviously, you can see from my transformation pictures below that I have achieved awesome results from sticking to these plans, just like many other fabulous women out there. There was no “secret” or “quick fix” to attaining my dream body, and amazingly, that idea really attracted me to her guides. For once, there wasn’t another crazy fad diet in front of me; there was the TRUTH. The truth is that in order to achieve your goals, you gotta work HARD. And that is what sold me. I’m goal-oriented, so I knew I could do it.

IMG_9399

Left picture: start date (June 2014)// Middle picture: 12 weeks in (September 2014)// Right picture: 24 weeks in (December 2014)

So many blessings have come from changing my lifestyle. Obviously, besides the fact that I now have what I consider a “bikini body” and feel super confident with that aspect of my life, other amazing things have happened as a result of making this decision. My husband has lost 20 pounds after jumping on the clean-eating bandwagon. He is now working out at a CrossFit gym every day. I have priceless knowledge about health that I can pass onto my daughter as she grows up. I have WAY more energy than I used to. I am stronger, both physically and mentally. My immediate family members have jumped on board with eating healthy and working out. I have been able to share my journey on Instagram (you can follow me: @fabnfitlinz) and have made some awesome friends with ladies who are on the same journey as me. I feel blessed to be able to inspire women to change their mindsets and their bodies, because I myself have done it. There are SO many more benefits that I could list.

Overall, I feel very lucky to be where I am now, and I figured it was finally time to launch a blog so I can share even MORE about my journey. RECIPES. FITNESS POSTS. TIPS AND TRICKS. MEAL PREP IDEAS. And the list goes on.

Thank you for being a part of my journey, and I hope you leave here feeling uplifted and motivated to take charge of YOU. You’re the only person who can make you truly happy, and I now know that living a healthy lifestyle is one of the KEYS to finding that happiness.

Unknown

xoxo-

L