The Benefits of Group Exercise

The music is pumping, the mirrors are fogged up, hooting and hollering can be heard and everyone is smiling (and dripping) as they come out of the group fitness room.

What is it about group fitness that makes it so popular?

Well…the BENEFITS of course!

1. COMMUNITY and SOCIAL INTERACTION
Group Fitness may not be as intimidating as wandering around the weight machines and cardio equipment wondering how and what to do.  There is always an instructor present to lead you through the workout, encourage you and keep you safe.  And you are never alone!  There will always be a familiar face waiting to see YOUR familiar face.

2.  A LITTLE FRIENDLY COMPETITION…or…MOTIVATION
Taking a group fitness class challenges you to work past your perceived limitations.  The instructor will watch you for signs of fatigue, but will help you push past your limits safely. You are also likely to work out a little harder when you have your friend next to you because nobody lets their bestie get the best of them, am I right?  You know!

  1. The Secret Sauce:  ACCOUNTABILITY!
    In a group fitness class, you form bonds and create a community.  When the instructor or other participants notice you are gone, they ask about you!  They are genuinely concerned for your wellbeing and don’t want you to miss out on the fun OR reaching your goals!  Because let’s be honest…we need each other and class is NOT the same without you!!

    So this is your invitation.  Follow the crowd to the group exercise room, introduce yourself to the instructor, grab a spot and get ready to not only burn some calories and build some muscle, but to become a part of a wonderful community and group friendship!!

 

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Flexibility vs Mobility

What Is flexibility? Flexibility is the body’s ability to get into a position. If you were to have someone pull your arm behind your back, or bend your leg behind your head; how far can it go? You don’t necessarily have to be a part of this action, but your body just has to be able to somehow get into that position.

 

What is mobility? Mobility is your ability to get into that position with control on your own. Can you get down into a low squat and come out of that “hole” at the bottom with no assistance? Or reach up to grab something from the top shelf with control? This is where strength and flexibility come together.

 

Why is it important? Now I want you to imagine that you are in your car and your purse or child is in the back seat. You reach back, but when you pull your arm back, you get a weird pull in your shoulder. Just because you can reach back there (flexibility), doesn’t mean you have the strength or stability in that range of motion (mobility). When you lack mobility and take your range of motion to its limits, that’s where you risk injury.

 

So why do we need flexibility? Well it’s used to protect our bodies against injury. What happens when we stumble or fall; maybe miss a step? Our ankle’s job is to now basically become jelly and prevent anything from breaking. Its ability to bend and snap back is super important in the protection of that joint. If it can’t do that, we can be looking at a boot for a few weeks, maybe even months.

 

Now why do we need mobility? Well now we miss the step and end up on the ground and have to get up. What happens here? Are we able to get up off the ground? Sounds simple but we have to maybe roll over, get on one leg, twist, brace our core, push off of one hip, stabilize through the hip, balance on one leg, and then plant both feet. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? This is why we need strength when flexed; say we aren’t stable in that stretched position at the bottom, something very quickly snaps and again ends up in a long recovery.

 

How do I gain flexibility? This can be done multiple ways and very easily. Start with a foam roller. To learn how to roll like a pro, visit my other blog post from August 2nd. Find those sore spots, usually calves and quads, and hold pressure there until discomfort subsides. After that, stretch out those areas to help tell your body the muscle length tension that you want.

 

How do I gain mobility? This is done by trying new things. Maybe next time you squat, overhead press, or do a pushup, try lightening the weight, taking it slow, and go through the full range of motion. Go down below 90 degrees in a squat with good control. When overhead pressing, go down to your chest, and up to lock out your arms. In a push up go down chest to floor and up to lock out.

 

Mobility and flexibility will come with consistency and practice. Take it one day at a time, slowly, and you’ll see improvements in your day to day life before you know it.

 

Frank Gonzalez

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What is Motivation?

Motivation isn’t a magical idea that results in success. It is an accumulation of skills or traits that, when used correctly, give you the best shot at achieving your goals.  Motivation can and will come and go. What you do when motivation is low, in part, defines how you progress.

Two definitions of motivation really stick out.  1) The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.   2) The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

If we look at the first definition, it taps into an extremely important idea: YOUR reason to change, your WHY.  Do you know why you want to achieve your goals?  So you want to lose weight, WHY?  What would losing weight change? What will be different when you lose weight?  If you don’t know the answer to these questions, and the answers are more than “because” or “I should” or “_____ said I should.”  Then this is a clear indication why your results might be lacking. Motivation is driven by desire. If you don’t really want to change, YOU WON’T.

Your reason(s) need to be so important that you have no other choice than to act.  Do you always want to go to work? I’m betting that the answer is no. Then why do you keep going back?  Your motivation is probably one or more of the following: paying the bills, feeding your family, providing shelter, having money for recreation, etc.  These reasons are important enough to override the potential negative aspects of working.  The results/benefits outweigh the consequences.  If the results, or perceived results, of your health and fitness aren’t important enough, your motivation will be lacking.  You will be more likely to prioritize other things over changes to your health and fitness.

Similarly, the second definition touches on willingness – you must be willing to put in the work required to make the change.  If you aren’t willing to change, it will be a constant battle; you wont even want to show up.  You are essentially doomed to fail before you even start.

So what do you do? First start by discovering your why. This isn’t easy. In fact, it can be quite challenging for some. Dig deep and find what you want to be different and why that matters. How will your life change if you achieve your specific goal?

Next find one or more people to hold you accountable.  A friend or family member can be great.  BUT, you must find someone who supports the change, who doesn’t act opposite of the proposed change, and who wants you to be successful.  Similarly, a coach/trainer can be an amazing resource for accountability.  If you don’t constantly remind yourself about the goal and the plan, if you ignore mistakes, you won’t get very far.  Accountability is crucial to success.  The electric bill is a constant source of accountability to keep you going to work and earning your paycheck. Find something similar for your health and fitness.

Start with small steps; if you set unrealistic goals, all the motivation in the world won’t make you successful.

Plan to work hard and make SACRIFICES.  Change requires you to, well, change.  If you continue old habits it won’t magically lead to change.  However, if you are willing to make changes, develop new habits, then you will see progress. Remember the old saying  “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” While that may not be a textbook definition of insanity, it certainly depicts the need to make changes.

Recognize old habits that inhibit your progress. Understand that you will likely, depending on your mood, have days that you don’t feel like doing the things necessary to achieve your goal.  But remember your WHY, remind yourself of what you have to gain if you do what is uncomfortable.  Use your why to give you the kick in the pants to get going.  Let the idea of staying the same drive you to change. Don’t accept the same lifestyle that led to your current situation.

Just keep going, don’t stop.  Tell yourself you can quit tomorrow.  Then tomorrow, tell yourself you can quit tomorrow, and so on. YOU DON’T NEED TO BE PERFECT. I can’t stress that enough so I will say it again, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT!!!!!!!!! All you have to do is keep making progress, no matter how small it is.

Lastly, motivation is a skill that you can develop. If you practice these habits and learn from the mistakes that you will make along the way, you can get better and better at staying motivated toward any goal you set forth.  Practice makes perfect.

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If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You

Finding inspiration and motivation to reach your goals can be challenging. Giving yourself daily reminders, within arms reach (your iPhone), is one of the easiest ways to keep up the momentum. The 10 graphics below are perfect for your wallpaper and will motivate you to keep your training going. Remember, you got this!

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Foam Rolling Matters

The vast majority of us aren’t stretching nearly enough, myself included. All it takes is one wrong movement to tear something and make you think twice. Now, consider how many times we have all tried to stretch without any improvements, leaving us prone to injury with a general feeling of tightness. This can set us back in fitness. That’s where a foam roller can be very beneficial. Before we learn how to use one, we need just a quick overview of what it actually does.

A foam roller can be anything from a big roll of foam to a small tennis or lacrosse ball. All have their place in helping with muscle tightness. For the beginner, I would suggest the cylindrical foam roller; as it is easy to use. By reading this, you are just solidifying your place in the yoga hall of fame (with practice of course).

But what does it even do? We think a lot of times that the purpose is to relieve pain. While not far off, it’s not the only purpose of this fantastic tool. What we like to use the foam roller for is called Self-Myofascial Release (SMR). That simply means it helps release the knots we create inside of our muscles.

Picture this with me, you have a hand full of different headphone wires. Now line them all up and put them in your pocket all neat. Walk around for the day and take them out. What you get is a jumbled, twisted, knotted mess. That’s your muscles. Especially for the more active person, this happens to a higher degree. The constant contracting and stretching of our muscles causes knots in our muscles that simply stretching can’t get out. Go ahead and grab the ends of those wires and give them a pull, the knots don’t go anywhere. Now that you have taken control and learned what’s going on inside your body, it’s time to use that knowledge and get rolling.

Now we know what a roller is and what it does. This is how you use it:

Begin your workout with foam rolling. You don’t want to warm up and begin lifting with tight muscles. For example, your calf is tight and you want to roll it out. Sit on the ground, place one leg on top of the roller. The other leg can be crossed over for more pressure or simply left on the ground. Find the sore spot by gently rolling the foam roller and pressing your calf into it — trust me you will know when you find it. Now hold this for about 30 seconds. This tells the body to relax and release that knot. Once you do this in about two to three spots per leg, we go into our normal static stretches. You might even find this part to be easier or find that you have a greater range of motion from doing this a few times.

What about lower back pain? This is most likely the most common reason for people grabbing a roller. Please be careful when doing so. The problem with rolling the lower back is that there is nothing to support your spine while you put pressure on it. The upper spine has the ribs to protect them. When trying to relieve pain in the low back, look above (the thoracic spine) and below (the glutes). Rolling these areas may take some of that pain with it.

Knowing all this doesn’t fix the issue. You need to put it to use. Consistency is key. Stick with it for a few weeks and reap the rewards of foam rolling with less injuries and bigger gains in fitness.

 

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Nutrition for Long Term Success

How many times have you started a workout program, put in weeks or months of hard work and sweat, only to make little to no progress toward your goals?

Have you ever experienced the holiday meal hangover? This might include feeling like you need to let out your belt, take a nap, or even like you’ll be sick.

Do you get colds often? Feel sluggish and tired? Feel sad or depressed?

What do all of these scenarios have in common? Food! Nutrition plays an undeniably important role in our health and fitness.  Nutrition is often the limiting factor that prevents us from achieving our goals.  We eat 2, 3, 4 or more meals per day, 7 days a week.  Those numbers add up quickly.  This means that even small things can add up and lead to either great success or prevent us from progressing.

Unless you live under a rock, you have undoubtedly seen or read many different videos or articles related to nutrition. It’s hard not to get sucked into the catchy headlines. Fix your diet in 30 days, eat like your caveman ancestors, avoid carbs, avoid fat, avoid protein, the list goes on and on!

With all of the “information” and “resources” people are often left either confused or religiously dedicated to one single approach.  With all the conflicting information, it’s easy to lose sight of the simple answers that produce the best results.

Arguably the single most important concept of nutrition that will lead to long term success is sustainability.  What I mean by this is simple – ask yourself this question: Can you maintain your current nutrition approach forever?

Assuming that the approach you are taking is working, then it comes down to your ability to maintain that approach long term.  Once you change it up, you will likely backslide. This is why diets fail. Sure, you can lose weight by a drastic change, like giving up ALL forms of sugar. BUT,can you realistically do that forever?  Chances are slim.

So regardless of the approach you choose, you must be able to sustain it for the rest of your life, in order to maintain its results.

The next most important quality of nutrition practices that will yield the best results is convenience.  If the approach you select is too complicated, then you will be far less likely to see success over the years.  You must find an approach that you can implement on a regular CONSISTENT basis in order to have long term success.

When we choose the approaches that don’t follow these two rules, we are left with feelings of restriction, lack of motivation to continue, hunger, disruptions in mood, and many other deleterious situations.

Regardless of your specific goal(s), a successful nutrition program will always be centered around whole, minimally processed, foods.  It will contain a variety of produce, lean protein, and healthy fat sources.  As you might imagine, the balance or ratios of these items will fluctuate depending on the individual and their goals.  This is precisely why no one single approach will fit everyone.  There will certainly be similarities among the different successful approaches, but there will also be some specific differences as well.

Another key to successful nutrition is awareness!  Do you really know what’s in your food?  There are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 ounce soda. A pint of beer can have about as many calories as a slice of chocolate cake. And peanut butter has twice as much fat as it does protein (and usually added sugars too). Take the time to investigate what’s in your food, that way you can make informed decisions.

Variety is also a key component in a successful nutritional approach. If you eat the same thing over and over, you might see results, but you will also likely get sick of it and fall off the wagon.

This leads to the next great strategy: get back on the wagon as soon as possible! Too often a small slip up leads to a major relapse.  Have you ever said, “I messed up on Friday dinner so I’ll just get back on track Monday”? Instead, get back on track with your very next meal!!!

Hopefully by now you are beginning to see that to be successful in your nutrition you need to build a toolbox of skills and habits.  This is what will lead to real, sustainable, long term success!  This also means that your approach to nutrition may vary over time, but the skills and habits won’t.

If you need more guidance and want to develop a specific approach to your nutrition, please ask! I have been certified with Precision Nutrition for more than 7 years and I’m currently in the process of completing their advanced Level 2 nutrition coaching program.  I would love to assist you in developing a nutrition program that will help you in achieving all of your goals!

Eric Bono
Eric@givefitness.com

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Attitude is Everything

Life in our modern society is incredible. Are you hungry? Hop in the car and drive to the window of the nearest fast food establishment and they’ll serve you a hot meal to go. Do you need directions? Pull them up on your smart phone. Better yet, ask Siri. Actually, ask Siri any question you’d ever want to know, and skip the trip to the library. Skip any errand, for that matter, and have your needs delivered via Amazon. Our lives are overwhelmed by ease. But what happens when we want health? What happens when we need to exercise? Is there a button that makes it more comfortable to swap sugar for veggies? If only health could be dropped off on our doorstep in a carboard box sealed with blue tape.

Alas, we must do the difficult thing. The thing that makes us sometimes scrunch up our face as we force our tired bodies to the gym. You know, the one that makes us frustrated as we deny pastries from that glorious pink box Larry decided to put in the break room. Come on Larry- it’s day-one of my cleanse. Yea we’ll do the difficult thing but we often do it with a bad attitude. We punish ourselves with diets and overindulge when we’ve suffered long enough. We beat our bodies up at the gym, and then quit when the motivation wears off.

Feelings come and go, enthusiasm is temporary, but our attitude is what forms the outcome of our lives. Dale Carnegie put it this way, “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” This means that our attitude is actually the thing that must change if we want any physical change to happen. So, if you believe that the gym is a place to punish yourself, you probably won’t stick with it. But if you believe that the gym is a positive place to rejuvenate and grow yourself, you’ll probably go more often.

What healthy change are you struggling to make today? Whatever it is, I’m with you. Donuts tempt me often and I’m not always in the mood to exercise. But also know this: you are more capable of accomplishing your goals than you know. Stop the criticism and start naming the things you like about you. Start with a positive approach; ignite the desire to invest in yourself.

Attitude can make good change more permanent. It may not always be easy, but making an active choice to view yourself, exercise, and healthy foods as desirable, might just be the change that will change your life. And who knows, maybe you’ll learn to enjoy the difficult thing.

#DoHardThings

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5 Surprising Benefits of Exercise

We all know that consistent workouts keep us looking good and feeling great, but here are 5 surprising benefits to keep you motivated and moving!

  1. Exercise Helps Alleviate Depression and Anxiety

Taking invigorating daily walks around the neighborhood may help you fight off bouts of depression.

In a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine in 2007, researchers found that just 30 minutes of light- to moderate-intensity exercise (think: brisk walking or jogging) was enough to alleviate many symptoms of major depression and may be just as effective as medication.

Exercise may also help people with anxiety disorders. When exercising, the body produces many of the same physical reactions as it does during a panic attack and can help the brain associate those reactions (heavy perspiration, increased breathing, elevated heart rate) with safety instead of danger.

  1. Exercise Helps You Poop 

That’s right: The next time you feel “slow”, try some cardio. The American Gastroenterological Association advises on its website to get at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week for treatment of chronic constipation.

Yoga may also help keep you regular. Many practitioners believe that deep breathing combined with twisting postures can help physically move waste through the intestines.

  1. Exercise Helps You Relax and Get Some ZZZs

If you have a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep, try incorporating more movement into your daily routine.

In a study performed on mice, researchers found that mice that performed at least 30 minutes of exercise experienced a significant increase in the soundness of their sleep.

(The National Sleep Foundation also recommends exercise to help treat chronic insomnia, the most common sleep disorder among adults.)

  1. Exercise Helps You Be More Productive

One of the most common reasons people don’t exercise is due to lack of time and/or energy. Studies prove, however, that people who exercise are MORE energetic and productive.

This is how it works: With age, your body produces fewer brain cells. Exercise fights this by increasing the growth and development of your brain cells, which in turn improves memory and cognitive function.

Studies have found that purely through exercise (as opposed to medication and/or surgery), the brains of both young and old mice were positively affected by exercise. Some of these positive effects included increased learning and memory.

So next time you find yourself looking for your glasses (they are on on top of your head) or your keys, add an

  1. Exercise Helps Boost Your Self-Esteem

Before you can put your best face forward, you might want to work up a sweat.

Physical activity improves self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-concept, and self-efficacy, according to a 2009 paper published in The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. The authors suggest that any form of aerobic exercise will do — as long as you do it for at least 20 minutes. (I suggest Zumba!)

Be Well!
Gina Hobbs

 

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Progress, Not Perfection

“Failure is success in progress.” Albert Einstein

I cringe when I think about how I used to train people 10 years ago. Pushing people to the point of leaving Sunday brunch on the gym floor, setting “my” goals for the client, not listening to what the client really wanted but imposing what I thought was best for them, and of course letting the client make unrealistic goals. Over the years I’ve learned it’s the slow and steady that wins the race. Little by little adds up to big changes and little progress is better than no progress or lame excuses.

I love what Martin Luther King said about progress, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goals requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

So while it’s extremely important to set realistic and attainable goals, it’s equally important to understand that the goals you set for yourself, no matter how small or big they seem, will all require some form of sacrifice or struggle…the struggle is truly for real!

“But I want a 6 pack NOW, gimme gimme gimme!” We live in a world of now, what is patience??? Nevermind the fact that we’ve chosen to live a life of sitting and eating cheeseburgers for 20 years. No, we want results in 2 days! If we don’t achieve the unrealistic goals we’ve set for ourselves, then we feel like failures and go into an even deeper state of despair than we were before. Or maybe you’ve worked really hard and achieved great success in a matter of 3-6 months, then a family tragedy sucker punches you in the gut, or you lose your job, your kids get sick, you get sick, and slowly but surely you let your life slip back into the unhealthy lifestyle you were trying so hard to get out of. We’ve all been there at some point I’m sure, but here’s the deal: life happens. There will always be something that happens that is out of your control. So how do we stay in control when life feels out of control? I think first, we need to address our expectations. Nobody is perfect, no matter how amazing you are! Yet when many of us contemplate a health or weight loss program, we start with the expectation that we need to be perfect, leaving no room for error. We start with the “all or none” or the “go hard or go home” mentality (which I’ve totally used before). But what if getting fit isn’t a pass/fail scenario? I hate even saying the word failure because I don’t believe there is such a thing as failures, only experiences. What if almost any attempt—no matter how imperfect—could result in real, trackable progress? What if it didn’t take 100% consistency, what if just 50% consistency could help you lose weight, drop fat, and feel great?

A case study of 1,000 clients studied over a course of a year revealed these very real results. Most of them fell into the 50-79% consistency category, and on average women lost 12 lbs, 7% body fat, 15 inches lost, and 3.5 inches lost just around the waist. Men on average lost 17 lbs, 7% body fat, 12 inches lost, and 4 inches just around the waist. This is at 50% consistency! Everybody has a different starting point on what 50% looks like also, so if you haven’t worked out in a year, 100% consistency would mean working out 3 days a week, so 50% of this would be to aim for 1.5 days a week. If you’re trying to cut out alcohol, 100% means no alcohol, 50% consistency would look like drinking 1 glass of wine a night instead of 2. Now, going back to the issue of “when life feels out of control,” you’d be surprised to find out that in this same study, clients were asked about the stressors in their life. What they found was that people’s actual circumstances didn’t determine what they were able to do. No matter what level of stress they were facing, if they were able to figure out how to take small, meaningful actions day to day, they were able to be consistent anyway. Isn’t that amazing?! I think so. This means that when your kid throws up on you RIGHT BEFORE you’re about to hit the gym, instead of going home and calling it quits, go for a walk (with your freshly changed toddler) around the block. It may not be what you planned but you still got something in–progress not perfection. This means you may have to scale back a little and eat the same breakfast and lunch so you don’t have to worry about prepping two meals. Stay away from the “all or none” mentality, it’s dangerous, and gets you no closer to your goal. Instead adopt the “all or something” mentality I’ve used with my clients for the last 2 years: If you can’t do “all” you planned, then do something at the very least.

In closing, set a goal, make sure it’s realistic and comes from within, not a goal someone put on you or someone else’s goal – make it your own. Then establish a daily habit you can achieve that will progress you toward that goal (remember aim for 50% right now). If you find you’re having a hard time sticking to that habit, then you need to scale back a little to an easier habit (Personal trainers can help with this!). When you feel ready, willing, and able to take on a new habit, then add one more on and practice that for a few weeks. Give it a year! Tons of research suggest is takes a year of consistency to make sustainable results. Remember you are not a failure, your program isn’t a failure, they are experiences that you get to learn from. But you can’t go anywhere standing still. Start moving, start thinking. You only get one body-one chance. YOLO!

Yours in health,
Tiffany Encinas

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LOVE YOURSELF


You know the feeling. You look in the mirror and you’re filled with disgust. Thighs touch, belly pooches, arms flap, butt dimples. Sound all too familiar? Well I have the solution! Whether you’re experiencing post-pregnancy bod or “dad-bod”, I’ve got it. It’s a quick fix. A 21-day program, a special drink, a pill, a fast. No, wait. That will only make you feel good for a few days. What if I told you I have the long term solution? What if the solution is “The Love Yourself Program.” Why waste another minute pointing out your flaws, avoiding bathing suits at the beach, obsessing over all the little details of your body? What if you just worked to LOVE what you already have? I am a firm believer in feeling good about your body but believe that in order to FEEL good, you need to change your mindset and love who you are in this moment. My goal as a trainer is to teach my clients to love WHO they are and not focus so much on their physical appearance, but more on their mental health. When you love who you are, you want to take care of yourself and you begin to enjoy the process. Life is all about balance; restricting yourself all the time can create stress and a negative self image. So here are a few tips to get you set on the road to loving who you are, in this moment.

1. Self-care. You were given one body, take care of it. That doesn’t mean you need to obsess and work toward perfection. It means you should strive for progress. Find something active to do daily. Do you love yoga but have a hard time getting to class? Try setting your alarm 20 minutes early each morning and begin your day with a few sun salutations. Maybe you enjoy riding your bike or hiking. Maybe you’ve been avoiding the pick-up basketball game with your buddies because you’re not “in-shape.” Stop. And GO! Look for ways to work these activities into your lifestyle because it feels good to get up and move! How many times have you said, “I’m just too tired?” Or how about, “I don’t have the time.” News flash: you DO have the time. Turn off social media, stop watching your Netflix shows, and give up the Bachelorette for the time-being. Do you really need to watch EVERY athletic game on TV? I know, that was a little rough. As far as being too tired, exercise gives you energy! In fact, on the days I skip exercise, I feel even more tired and lethargic than on the days I wake up at 5a for an early morning workout. Exercise is going to release some pretty epic feel-good endorphins and you’re going to feel pretty freaking amazing. Trust me.

2. Tweak your nutrition. No, I didn’t say, “Give up all carbs. No more sugar. Stop drinking alcohol.” You should simply take a look and what you’re eating and do your best to make healthier choices. Do you really need dessert EVERY day? No. Or maybe you feel like you do. So just take a couple bites… if you have self-control. Maybe switch to half a sandwich instead of a full. Swap the potato chips for a side salad or a piece of fruit. Is beer your drink of choice every night? Think twice. But always, always feed your body. Don’t think you’ll be happier by skipping meals. Your body needs nutrition like your teeth need a daily brushing (or two). Trust me, once you start eating healthier, you’ll start to feel better. And this is ultimately about feeling better, right?

3. Stop comparing. So you’re a woman at 5’3”, 160lbs and you’re instagram stalking a fitness model who is 5’9” and appears to be 125lbs? How is that going to make you feel better? Or maybe you’re a male who works 40-60 hours a week and you’re following a guy on social media who spends 4 hours a day at the gym? Come on. Let’s stop focusing on other people and start focusing on what you love about YOURSELF! Do you have two legs that allow you to walk from here to there? Most likely. So what if your thighs touch? Do you have two arms that allow you to work, cook, hug those that you love? I’m going to guess you probably do. Are you a dad with a gut? I bet you work pretty hard and come home and spend time with your kids, don’t you? Or how about two hands that lend help to others, ears that listen when a dear friend needs you, eyes that see someone in need and a caring heart that does something to help. Our bodies don’t need to be perfect in order to feel good about ourselves. In the long run, isn’t it better to just be a good person?

At the end of the day, we really just need to give ourselves some compassion. Do you really want to spend another day feeling sad about your body? Take your shirt off at the beach and run around with your kids! Wear that bathing suit proudly! Self-love is a basic necessity and will lead to inner peace and ultimately, happiness. It’s important that you continuously seek ways to physically, psychologically, and emotionally grow as a person.

So get out there, spend some time being active, choose to be healthy, love yourself and others, celebrate each of your accomplishments and remember… you are worthy, you are important, you are loved, and You Are Enough just as you are in THIS moment.

Brianna
805-423-6931

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