5 Common Fitness Excuses

Long time no see Fit Fam! These last couple of weeks were a transition from summer to school starting for me. Excited to have my laptop back open and to blog about today’s topic: fitness excuses. There are so many tasks, people, and situations that can steer us off-track of our fitness goals. Below are some that I have experienced myself and some other common ones.

1.) “I just don’t have time right now.”

This excuse can go for any situation but boy do we fitness people love to use it! Whether it be school, work, social-lives, car-problems, projects, or traveling, we find something to get in the way. One of my favorite quotes is “you only have time for what you make the time for”. Hence, if you want to workout, you’ll find a way to workout. If you have goals you want to achieve, you’ll find a way to achieve them. Whether that be waking up earlier, post-poning a social-event, or adjusting your schedule sometimes. There is always time, the question is: do you want it bad enough to make time for it?

2.) “I’ve earned this.”

After sticking to a strict workout 3-5x a week and “dieting”, suddenly, we find ourselves rewarding ourselves more than necessary. Don’t get me wrong, we all deserve a little something-something every now and then BUT don’t lose sight of your goals either. Make sure to wake up that next morning with just as much ambition and determination as you had before you stuffed your face with your favorite meal or gave yourself that rest day.

3.) “I can’t afford it.”

Living a healthy life has recently gained this reputation of “being expensive”, I couldn’t tell you where this came from but it is again-an easy out. If you have goals you then you have to learn to adjust your day-to-day lives to incorporate them in smoothly. For instance, if your a college girl like me and your paychecks range from 200-400 every two weeks then you are living on a budget. But that does not mean you can’t afford to live healthy. *TIP: When I get my paycheck I like to make it a priority to get to the grocery store within that day or two and touch-up my pantry on the necessities. Staying on top of your groceries and keeping your fridge filled with fresh produce will definitely help you stay on track. It’s those days when the money gets low and the pantry gets empty that we find ourselves reaching for frozen pizzas, ramen, and the dollar menu to get us through the day. Prioritize!

4.) “I don’t have the time or energy to put that much effort into dieting.”

Before I even begin, (most of my blog readers know this pet-peeve of mine) but for those who don’t: do not use the word diet, please please please for the love of chocolate cake! Whenever I tell people about my fitness goals and the techniques that I use, such as, iifym and hiit cardio, I can see their eyes getting bigger and bigger as they look at me like I am crazy. Especially, when I got into detail about how iifym works. (That one I get a kick out-of). What is sad is that nutrition and health is our #1 necessity in life-it really is. And the average person thinks it is “alien-like” of people to actually study nutrition on their own time, or to learn about the foods they are taking in and what our body really needs. If we put as much effort into health and fitness as we did sitting on our laptops, at the bar, or watching movies, we’d all be on the cover of Fitness Magazine. I know nutrition and fitness isn’t supposed to be easy, especially, because we have grown to be completely oblivious and careless about the foods we consume. BUT with a handful of years of practicing new habits and ending old ones, soon you wont have to count every single macro or feel like your forcing yourself into them gym. Soon it will be natural to eat the right portions without counting and you’ll naturally crave outdoor-avtivity. It is the difference between those who want to take self-initiative and and the those who think anyone who does that just has a health obsessive-compulsive disorder.

5.) “Im going to start doing…”

Quit starting and stop finishing. Health and fitness should never end! I hear friends all the time bringing up these new fad-diets and routines that they are going to “start” doing. And most of them don’t last more than a couple of weeks. People need to realize that these fad-diets and spending huge money on trainers for a couple of weeks is not going to get them to where they want to be. The largest goal to conquer is within yourself. Sticking to a juice-cleanse for 2 weeks or doing an online ab challenge for a month isn’t going to get you to where you want to be. Conquering your everyday habits and naturally creating healthy habits is how all of this stuff begins to fall into place. And why do these fad-diets have to end after 2 weeks or 30 days? Because it wasn’t natural and it wasn’t healthy. START not drinking soda M-F, START going to the gym 2x a week, START buying more produce at the store. None of those have an END to them. Unhealthy fad-diets, silly 30-day challenges, and anything else that isn’t sustainable or natural is a waste of your time.

Ditch today’s excuse and do something today you’d be proud of tomorrow!

-London

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First Thoughts of Second Pregnancy

We are so excited for baby no. 2! But just because this is the second go-around does not mean there is no initial shock, excitement, or even fear. I would say the only difference when I found out the second time was that it hit me extremely slow, whereas the first time hit me like a semi-truck.

Some of my first-thoughts when I found out I was pregnant again were:

  1. Can I love another baby as much as I love my first?
  2. Will it be a boy or a girl? Which gender would be preferable? Am I allowed to have a preference?
  3. I definitely want a girl. I haven’t had a girl yet. It has to be a girl. What if I never have a daughter?
  4. My vision of my sisters wedding and my trip to visit family for the 4th of July has officially been altered…Goodbye my sweet champagne…wine…and cosmos.
  5. Oh Starbucks, how I will miss you. But how much money I will save.

Some of these thoughts may be offensive or shocking for others. But I’d like to think that most of us go through these same thoughts the moment we find out we’re pregnant. I felt a sense of guilt that my concerns were loving the baby, the gender, and the fact that I couldn’t drink at my sister’s wedding. But at the same time, babies are life changing…and a women’s life alters completely the instant the see a positive result. In fact, even your body was changing a few weeks before then!

But what I learned now that I am 22 weeks pregnant is this, every mom is scared that they wont love their next as much as their first. That is not a thought to be ashamed of. In fact, thinking that way means you already care, and that’s a great thing. But what we don’t realize is the capacity our heart has to love. And the moment that baby is laid onto your chest, your heart will absorb every part of the baby like it did the first. As far as gender, its already decided. And I can promise you that it will grow on you, even if it isn’t what you imagined. As for the glasses of wine, champagne, and coffee. How great those will taste while staring at you two beautiful children in less than a year…For now, be patient and enjoy the process. Not every women gets this experience – something to keep in mind!

What I have learned during my first year of motherhood.

“There is nothing more exhausting a rewarding than becoming a parent.” A phrase that I took lightly during my pregnancy. Now, I have been a mother for 13 months and all I can say is oh my gosh how accurate that statement is!

1.) I am mentally stronger than I ever knew I was. I never realized just how long a human-being can go without sleep.

2.) Life used to be easy. I never knew how good I had it. Showering, napping, errands, and even trips to the gym…these daily tasks were SO much easier pre-baby life.

3.) Crying feels so good. The amount of strength a mother has to have for her child can truly stretch her limits. Crying in the shower, in the car, during nap-time…it felt so good. I think we get caught-up in trying to be the perfect mom that we forget that we can cry and feel weak. Sometimes a good crying session (and a nap) is all we really need!

4.) You matter. The biggest battle I faced at the beginning of my pregnancy was keeping my self-identity. You become so fully-dedicated to this newborn that you are completely checked-out of the idea that you are your own person as well. Give yourself that time to relax an extra moment in the shower, spend extra time on your make-up and hair, and buy yourself something cute to wear!

5.) There are a lot of things in life that we make a big deal, that aren’t. It wasn’t until I had a baby that I realized things like a lost pair of shoes, getting a cold, or doing the dishes are the least of my problems. My husband and I giggle together when we hear a random complaint out in public. We always think, “man I wish that was my problem of the week.”

6.) I love and would do anything for my family. Most of you would agree, but there is something about becoming a parent that gives the term “husband” and “children” a whole different meaning. This last year the fear of my husband or child dying in a freak-accident has been immensely on my mind. I think its just me evolving into a mother. The typical worrying mother. But seriously, they are my life and in the last few years they have filled the roles in my life that will be there forever, a husband and a son, and the idea of anything happening to them has become my biggest fear.

 

Heels and Weights Plus One!

Hi friends, family, and bloggers!

My last blog post was almost 8 months ago. For a while I did not know exactly where my lack of ambition and energy was slipping off to-or why. For about a month I felt my passion dissipating. I would consciously try and motivate myself and follow what I preached but I felt caught-up in all of life’s distractions. It wasn’t until about 6 weeks after I let those distractions slow me down that I learned that I was going to become the greatest and most rewarding role yet-a mother.

I always thought the moment I became pregnant I would never have urges to touch fast-foods, sweets, or junk foods. Boy was I wrong. I can not blame it on cravings or pregnancy but I can blame it on the abundance of milestones on my plate. I am currently 7 weeks from my baby boy arriving, 9 weeks from graduating college, and 10 months from marrying the man of my dreams. I have juggled a lot in my life but this is probably the craziest roller coaster I have ever been on. I wouldn’t change it for the world and have enjoyed all the ups and downs-but I am ready to close some doors and reopen others. In 1 week I will be leaving my part-time job to psychically and mentally prepare for our baby. The amount of downtime that is to fall in my lap definitely scares me. I have always had school, track, cheerleading, work, friends, exams, projects, boyfriend, family, and all other aspects of life on my plate. Out of all that chaos sports, work, and school consumed most of my life. Sports ended three years ago, work is ending next week, and school will be finished this summer. I was uncomfortable and weary with that concept-until I decided to look at it in an optimistic way.

This is a time for me to work on me. Yes, a baby brings a different type of workload and lack of sleep into my life but there is still room for experimenting with hobbies and finding enjoyment in the downtime I will have while being a stay-at-home mommy. I have already began creating a post-pregnancy workout plan that I am so excited to get started on. I was very logical and thoughtful of the strain I will feel weeks after our baby is here. I critically planned out 6 weeks of post-pregnancy relaxation and mindfulness of food-intake. After that, there is a circuit portion that leads into a gym membership and weight lifting. The post-pregnancy booklet is well thought-out and the goals are definitely logical and reachable. I am excited to enjoy this time with myself and my baby. I am excited to concentrate on who I am and where I am going. I am also very fortunate to be able to be with my baby and not be forced to go back to work. I definitely plan to take advantage of all this time off and make the most of it. I will be keeping in-touch and sharing my newest journey with you guys: “Post-Pregnancy”.

“When You Can’t Change the Direction of the Wind-Adjust Your Sails”

Love,

London

Fitness Tips: What to Do During that Moment of Temptation

Happy Thursday FITFAM! Getting ready to head outdoors and do a little cardio-circuit today. Before I do, I wanted to go over a few simple tips as to how to handle that moment of temptation (because we know this world is filled with them)! These tactics may seem silly or over-analytical but they really aren’t. Being involved in the fitness world is not just about training your body, or your diet, it is about training your brain and your habits as well. Once you conquer your mind-it will all fall into place. So before you brush these tips off-seriously give them a try!

1.) Gain Control of Your Good and Bad Conscience

This may sound a little eerie, but what I mean is if you find your brain blocking out your ‘good conscience’ and you are going head-first into a bad decision-STOP! If you take a moment right now and reflect on the times you gave into a bad meal or skipping your workout-do you recall deep down a voice trying to battle you or challenge you-a voice that knew the right path but you intentionally blocked it out and made that bad decision with little thought. (Guilty). And thats ok! We are all human BUT practice, practice, practice, and train your brain to stop blocking out the ‘good conscience’. Work on acknowledging when you are blocking out the voices in your head. Even if you do give in, at least, work on being conscience of your decisions. Then, after you have began to understand when your like that and how you feel during those moments, try and start acknowledging BOTH sides of you arguments. It is so easy to block out the voice that doesn’t sound so tempting at the moment. Once you have got that down you will start to get a rhythm of how your mind and stomach work at a time of desperation. Being conscious of your decisions instead of going into denial and reaching for that bag of chips or soda is a HUGE step in itself to controlling your brain. In order to control it-you have to understand both arguments it continuously brings to the table.

2.) QUICKLY Change Your Environment

Find yourself pacing around the house battling whether to just throw in that frozen pizza versus actually dedicating time and preparing fish and veggies? If you aren’t good at listening to your conscience just yet then do yourself a favor and run. (Not literally). For example, I am interning at the front desk of a convention hotel right now and if there are over 600+ check-ins that day, odds are they are ordering in pizza and canceling our lunches. Do you know how hard it is to not shove 3 amazingly greasy pepperoni pizza slices into your mouth during your work shift?! (I am sure you do) Ughhhh it is the WORST. Sometimes I feel like I am going to have an anxiety-attack. It is almost like my good and bad conscience are battling it out in my brain, mouth, and stomach all at once. And when it does for your try this: I just freeze-and go into a state of ‘auto-pilot’. I shut my brain of and ignore every thought flying through my head. I reach into my purse and grab my KIND bar and walk into the other break room in order to remove myself from the situation (still zombie mode) and start shoving the meal bar in my mouth. And guess what…within minutes I feel like I am me again. Like I just survived an exorcism (not really) and shut both my bad and good conscience up and made the decision on my own. And my tummy is happy, my brain is happy, and my mouth is satisfied. Sometimes we just have to turn our bodies on auto-pilot and ignore every thought flying through all of our senses while ten pizza boxes are stacked in the employee break room. As crazy as it sounds-this tactic works when you’re at your weakest!

3.) Know What Motivates You

Again when your good and bad conscience are battling it out with each other, turn your body on auto pilot and take initiative to crave a healthy meal or a good gym session. Whether it be cranking pandora up on your laptop, chugging some pre-workout, or scrolling through your favorite fitness people’s Instagram-GET MOTIVATED. Know those key things that really inspire you to have a productive day and use them all the time.

4.) Look Around

When you are not feeling so inspired inside, look around at the real world. For example, another day at work when they ordered in pizza (yes, this happens often unfortunately) I was again battling it out in my head as to why I should and should not eat any pizza. The tactic I used was I sat back and looked around…I saw a girl who was just venting to me about how “thick” her body has grown since college and how determined she was to feel healthy again grab not one, not two, BUT three slices of pizza during her break. I also, saw an older women who was just telling me how healthy she has been eating and how much weight she has lost grab a slice as well. Not that that is ANY of my business but it I did selfishly use their lives as inspiration of my own. I didn’t want to be the talker or the dreamer…I wanted to be the do-er. Just looking at our society today and how many people walk around looking uncomfortable in their own bodies can inspire me in a moment of desperation. This tactic involves more reflection-but all it takes is a simple pause and a glimpse around at the world we live in today.

5.) Ask Yourself Out-Loud: “What do I want more?”

We all know the correct or ideal answer to this. It is common sense. BUT how often do we ignore that dream or goal and swing through McDonalds or sit in bed watching Netflix instead of going to the gym. Now I am going to ask you to do something extremely ‘dorky’ and that’s ok…literally, ask yourself out loud “London, would you rather eat this pizza now or have that fit body you’ve been craving for a long time now?” Saying it out loud might trigger your common-sense and help you snap back to reality quicker. Just like those other tactics people suggest like telling yourself your beautiful in a mirror or fake a smile when your mad and instantly your body will make you that much happier. It is all a mental game with yourself. So challenge yourself out loud. This entire fitness world is a battle against yourself always, it is you versus you.

My Go-To Grocery List

Happy Saturday Fitfam! And happy Labor Day Weekend!! One thing I have struggled with most in the fitness world is my nutrition. Weightlifting has always came natural for me I have done it since I was in high school and I have a competitive mindset both against myself and others. But when it came to adjusting my nutrition I was continuously amazed by how much I didn’t know I loved. Below is a sample go-to grocery list for me, as long as I keep my fridge filled with at least half of this stuff then I am happily enjoying eating healthy!

Fruits (apples, pineapple, bananas, strawberries, grapes, oranges, lemons *for lemon-infused water)

Vegetables (corn, green beans, edamame, broccoli)

Grains (whole-grain protein pasta, whole-grain breads, oatmeal, potatoes, sweet potatoes)

Protein (chicken, Top Sirloin steak, Tilapia, Tuna)

Dairy (cottage cheese, 2% milk, protein milk, greek yogurt)

Snacks (Lara/Kind bars, chocolate animal crackers, almonds)

Beverages (water, green tea, lemon-infused water, water flavors)

Supplements (Cellucor amino acids, Questbars, vitamins)

Craving-Killers (dark chocolate, quaker ‘popped’, chocolate milk)

Everyone’s ideal grocery list varies but after trial-and-error you’ll slowly try new things and find that there is a good basis of nutritious foods you love. Once you get that large basis and you keep your pantry filled-eating healthy will feel natural and enjoyable.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend-stay safe and don’t forget your fitness goals!

-London

3 Alternatives for Cardio-Haters

Most of us share the common battle with cardio. Personally, I find it extremely boring and my endurance is horrible. The issue is that most of us think “running” when we hear the word cardio. Well, thankfully, running is not the only version of cardio out there. So all you need to do is explore and work on finding out what works for you!

 

1.) Plyometrics

Plyometrics, as defined by Google, is “any exercise in which muscles are repeatedly and rapidly stretched (“loaded”) and then contracted (as in jumping high off the ground or in push-ups with a clap between them).” Most of us have seen variations of this on Instagram when fitness trainers post mini-clips of them doing a variation of exercises back-to-back in their living room or their backyard. The reason this falls under cardio is because it is a variation of movements back-to-back which keeps your heart-rate up.

Example:

  • Scissor Jumps (30 seconds)
  • Double-Leg Butt Kicks (10x)
  • Side-to-Side Box Shuffle (30 seconds)
  • Box (Bench) Jumps (10x)
  • Rocket Jump (Frog Leaps) (10x)

(repeat 3-5x)

For more plyometric ideas that are easily done at home or the gym go to BodyBuilding’s Plyometric Page to find several ideas, as well as, search for specific muscle groups worked during exercises. *TIP: Some great purchases to have for plyometrics are a medicine ball, box/platform, cowbell, mini plastic hurdles, cones, and jumprope. Have fun and get creative!

 

2.) HIIT Training

HIIT Training, as defined by Google, is “a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery.” In other words, HIIT is taking a 60 minute jog at the gym and cramming it into 10-25 minutes with faster results.

Example: (beginner-intermediate)

  • Before: Warm-Up 2 minute jog
  • After: Cool-Down 2 minute jog

Repeat 10x:

  • 15 seconds steady-jogging
  • 30 seconds sprinting

Total Length: 11.5 minutes

 

3.) Outdoor Activity

The simplest form of cardio out there and the one we never think of yet we have been doing it since we could walk. Remember being younger meeting up with all of the neighborhood kids and picking up a basketball or kickball or tennis racket? What happened to those days? It would be an off-day if we went even one day without playing outdoors whether it be gym class, practice, or playing with friends. Somewhere and somehow we lost all of that to working late-hours, nightly tv-shows, and meeting colleagues out for drinks. We need to train our brain and bodies to pick up that old ball and step outdoors for fresh air again. Try to make it a regime once a week to get out and play. Soon you’ll be finding yourself craving it all the time. Hours of cardio-without even realizing it.