Try It Tuesday

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We’re three days into the new year, how ya doin’ with your resolutions? What?! ALREADY? Come on, guys! Jk, jk… I know its tough to stick to resolutions. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips, tricks, and apps to help you stick with it!

One thing that has helped me in the past to actually keep my resolutions was to stop calling them resolutions. Instead, I call them goals. It may sound simple (and a little trite) but it honestly took some of the pressure off and made me want to achieve them even more.

 

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The next thing I do is make a plan. Benjamin Franklin said, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail” and boy, did that kite-flying Founding Father know what he was talking about! Saying, “I’m going to exercise three times a week” is a great goal, but do you know how you’re going to accomplish it?

“Well, no, I’m just going to do it.”

Yeah, well, hate to break it to ya but you’re “just going to fail”.

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When do you want to workout? In the morning so you’ll get it over with or in the evening to help you de-stress? Pick a time a stick with it. What kind of exercise are you going to do? For how long? Make a plan, get organized, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. (There are a lot of great resources out there to help you get fit. Personally, I really like Jillian’s 30 Day Shred to kick off the new year. Its only 20 minutes a day and it works!)

People make all kinds of resolutions and have a hard time sticking with them because of lack of accountability. But, thanks to technology, you can have accountability right at your fingertips! There are many apps that can help you plan and achieve your goals! I’ve blogged about some in the past, but here are a few new ones:

 

HabitBull

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Have a lot of goals this year and don’t feel like having a ton of apps to help you keep track? HabitBull is basically a “catch all” for your goals. You set the goals, determine when it is considered successful, and track your progress! I downloaded this app and its pretty awesome!

 

Elevate

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Do you want to strengthen your memory or increase your focus in 2017? There’s an app for that, too! Elevate is a daily “mind-strengthening” app filled with games designed to help you focus and train your brain! After all, if you’re going to get your body in shape, might as well work on the ole noggin, too!

Gratitude 365

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Want to be more positive in the new year? You should definitely try it! Studies show that by being grateful for the things we have, we improve our immune system, lowers anxiety, and even makes our hearts healthier! The Gratitude Journal 365 app is an awesome way to keep track of the things you’re thankful for. You can add photos to your lists, password protect your journal and back them up to your computer so you can print them later!

 

You may say, “That’s great and all, Jess, but my New Year’s Resolution is to spend less time on my phone.” I’ve got an answer for THAT, too–the K Safe.

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The K Safe (aka, The Kitchen Safe) is a time locked container that you drop your phone, TV/gaming remotes, cookies, candy–whatever it is that is tempting you–into for a specific amount of time.  Once you’ve placed the tempting item into the safe, set the timer, and go about your business. There’s no way to hack into the safe until the timer counts down to zero, so there’s no way to cheat! If you’d rather not spend the $49.95, you can always make your own version like I did! (Mine only cost $2.50!)

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What are you hoping to accomplish in the new year? What do you do to make it happen? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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(I debated on blogging about this because I didn’t want to fan the flames of an already hot topic, but ya know what? I give no cares, so I’m gonna do it.)

Now that Huff the Babe is six months old and we’re on the cusp of starting him on solids, I’ve started to feel a need to shed the excess weight I’m still carrying from having him*. I’ve got about 10-ish pounds still hanging around, mostly around my middle, that I’d like to see disappear.

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I haven’t really been strict about my diet–mostly because any time I cut out a certain food group, my milk supply drops and it takes a bit to get it back up to optimum levels and breastfeeding burns a ton of calories which means I’m constantly hAngry–but I’ve been working on adding better foods to my diet.

Another area that I’ve been working on is strength training. A lot of women tend to think that strength training is a waste of time and that cardio is where you need to focus your attention if you want to lose weight. But actually, strength training is the best thing you can do for your body, especially after having a kiddo.

Weight lifting/strength training helps you burn more fat, gives you the strength to pick up your little bundle/toddler/unload the double stroller multiple times a day without pulling something, as well as help those muscles that got separated during pregnancy to come back together to avoid future problems.

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Last summer, my sister, mom, and I started this workout routine and I actually started it back up again not long after I had Huff the Babe! Its basically three days of strength training and one day of cardio a week. That’s it. And the cardio can be your choice. Y’all, this thing WORKS.

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I measured myself before I started the routine and then about four weeks into it. When I measured a month later, I had lost an inch off of my waist and TWO off of my hips (checked the Advocare 10 day cleanse review by Jade before and guess results would be quite similar). I was doing really good there for a hot minute and consistently losing inches, but then I went back to work (this is pre-SAHM life) and I fell out of the routine so my inches that I lost came back, womp, womp. BUT, I’ve started it back up again now that I don’t have to work about client calls or meeting editing deadlines and I could not be more excited!

I encourage YOU (Momma or not!) to try this out! It is seriously so simple and it is really effective. Now, I’m not saying I’m a fitness expert, nor do I know your body’s exact needs. So, talk with your doc about it first. I want you to be healthy but I don’t want you doing something that could put you at risk.

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Have you tried a strength training workout in which you’ve seen results? Share in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Calm yourself. I’m not saying that every woman should try to lose all the weight they gained from having their precious babies as soon as they can because that’s what is “expected of us”. I suffer from anxiety and depression. Working out gives me energy and endorphins which makes for a happier Momma. A happier Momma = better taken care of Littles and a happier Hubs. Plus, if I lose the baby weight, my clothes will fit better, meaning I feel more confident and I don’t have to buy bigger sizes/more clothes (because hashtag ballin’ on a budget, yo). So check yo’self.

Mommy Monday

I used to be crazy in shape.

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Now I’m just in a crazy shape.

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Before Hermione, I worked out at least 5 times a week. If I only worked out 4 days in a week, I considered myself a complete failure. I would think, “Oh my gosh! I suck! I need to go run laps!” And I would.

I’m not kidding.

My first “big girl” job that I had right out of college was as a technical writer for a government contracting company. I would walk up and down the stairs over and over during my morning and afternoon breaks, and then I would run laps outside during lunch. Seriously.

My, how times have changed. I’m lucky if I get to work out twice a week, let alone 5!

Exercising used to give me so much energy! Now its such a chore. Used to while I ran I would think: “I am burning so many calories right now!” These days my thoughts are: “I could be sleeping right now. Or sitting in my recliner, getting some peace and quiet because its Hermione’s nap time.”

I was just starting to be able to accept my body and then I got pregnant. That’s proof that God has a sense of humor!

And even though I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, I’m not back to my pre-pregnancy size. Things have been…shifted. And areas of my body that I didn’t know could jiggle, jiggle.

My nephew likes to do this thing where he sneaks up behind you and punches your backside. Last time he did it, I said, “Noah, what did I say about that?”

He grinned and replied, “Not to do it because it makes your booty jiggle!” He then exploded into laughter. And why wouldn’t he? Jiggling booties are pretty funny. They fall into the same category as burps and farts.

Moving on…

I used to think that I would absolutely freak out if I didn’t get my “body back”. But now that I’ve lived through pregnancy and labor, I couldn’t give the furry crack of a rat’s behind. For so many reasons, too many to list now. Yeah, I get a little frustrated when I can’t button certain pants or outfits I used to love I now can’t stand because they don’t look the same, but I’m okay with that. And that fact alone shows that I’ve come a LONG way. There are so many other things I need to spend my time thinking about rather than my weight. (Like if I can sneak in a nap before Hermione wakes up from her’s!)

Don’t get me wrong, I still workout and try to be healthy. I want to be able to take care of Hermione, Huff the Hubs, and myself, so I want to be as efficient as possible (and if that means skipping a nap and hopping on the elliptical, I’ll do it). BUT, my weight doesn’t control my life like it used to. The scale used to OWN me; but not anymore! I’ve broken free from those chains! Free at last, free at last!

 

What about you? Are you comfortable with your post-baby body? Are you working toward any goals? Are there ways you sneak in exercise? Have you broken free from the scale’s control? Got any tips for me and my readers?

 

Its that time of year again…

…time to refill my Xanax.

 

I don’t know why but ever since Thanksgiving, I’ve been feeling a little blue. Maybe its the weather, maybe its that yet another year has come and {almost} gone, or maybe its the fact that this is typically the time of year when I get all wistful and start getting nostalgic for days gone by.

But its Christmas! I should be happy! I should be like Buddy the Elf and spazzing out about all the crazy-awesome things this time of year brings. But I find myself sitting around, worrying myself into a pit, too focused on the gray skies and naked trees to enjoy the holiday season. Except when I’m able to stuff  my face with all of the yummy goodies made by family members, friends, and Russel Stover. Then, after about 30 pieces of chocolate, I look back at my day and realize I haven’t done anything except keep the baby fed and maybe eat lunch. Which sends me into an anxiety-spiral.

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Surely I’m not the only one, right? Clearly winter blues is widespread when there’s an aptly-named acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder (S. A. D.; and yes, I realize it may not be grammatically correct…I didn’t come up with this, okay?).

But, luckily, I have found some things that help to keep me smiling!

1. Don’t just stay inside all day. 

I know getting out and about this time of year can be more terrifying than comforting sometimes, what with people pepper-spraying people just to get their hands on a Furby, but staying cooped up will only add to the blues (and possibly make you crazy).

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2. Eat healthy. Well, as healthy as you can. 

When you eat good food, it makes you feel good. I know that this is the time of year when everybody at work brings in their latest Pinterest creations and treats basically fall from the sky like snowflakes. But if you eat well, you’ll feel well. I’ve been trying to at least eat a good breakfast, full of protein, and a good lunch. Then I divulge in the holiday treats.

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3. Stay connected. 

Whether you’re texting, calling, or Face Time-ing, its important to stay connected and in contact with people you love and care about. And studies show that even a short, 5-minute conversation with a loved one can boost your mood! So don’t just surf Facebook, call up your pal!

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4. Get some exercise.

Believe me, this is the LAST thing I want to do in the winter. When its cold out, I just want to put on my sweats, lay on the couch, and binge-watch Four Weddings on Netflix. But I know that working out will get my endorphins up and help me to make better choices later. If its not too chilly out, you could take a quick walk around the block, hop on your bike and ride down to the store, or call up a friend and walk around the mall! Just MOVE!

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Do you find yourself getting blue around the holidays? What do you do to make yourself feel better?