Rewards: Fitness, Healthy Choices, and Goals

You bust your butt at the gym, just say no to chocolate covered chocolate, and trade in happy hours drinks  for good ole H2O. You’re doing what it takes to rock your summer bikini or increase your strength. It can be a lot of work, hard work, and as good as it feels sometimes it gets hard. I just want one margarita, one, please!

Through all of your handwork, remember to reward yourself. A gal pal of mine and Beachbody Coach shared an amazing idea to track your health and fitness progress. Eileen is seriously amazing and her fitness story is inspiring, take a second and go tell her hello here. She uses a star system to track all of the goals she meets each day. What a fabulous idea.

Fitness Goal Board

 

How It Works

  • Determine your Health/Fitness Goals and your Total Star Goal
  • Pick your Reward
  • Assign a color to each goal
  • Each day put a color coordinated star for each goal you’ve met
  • Write down your calorie count and amount of H2O for the day
  • At the end of the month add up your stars
  • Enjoy your results

How You Earn Your Stars

  • Meet Your Calorie Goal For The Day: 1 Star
  • Meet Your Water Intake Goal For The Day: 1 Star
  • Complete Your Workout For The Day: 1 Star
  • Meet Your Weight Loss Goal: 1 Star per pound

Example:

Monthly Star Goals: 75 (set a goal that doesn’t require perfection, remember we are all a work in progress)

Goals:

  • Calorie Goal For The Day: 1400
  • Water Intake Goal For The Day: 80 oz
  • Workout Goal For The Day: 1 time a day
  • 30 Day Weight Loss Goal: 4 pounds

Helpful Tips:

  • Try to pick a reward that isn’t food. Saying ‘if I lose 4 pounds I will eat my weight in pizza’ is counterproductive. A better reward would be: new bikini, new running shoes, 1 hour massage, a new iTunes download, etc. You get the idea.
  • Remember with your monthly star goal to not aim for perfection, because you aren’t perfect, I’m not perfect, no one is perfect. If we were all perfect Stepford Zombies the world would be a pretty boring place.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have a 3 start day, it happens to everyone. Each morning is a fresh start, so enjoy your clean slate. You can accomplish the goals you set out for yourself.
  • Have fun. That’s right enjoy yourself. Do workouts that are fun. Add lemon to your water instead of just boring ole water. Take a sassy salsa class as part of your fitness routine. Healthy living doesn’t have to be boring.
  • I created this on one side of my huge dry erase board in my office. Using post-it notes allows this to be created anywhere at very little cost. So no excuses.

How do you track your fitness goals?

 

Brooke

 

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10 1/2 Things to do When You’re Bored Instead of Snacking

It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon, nothing ahead but you and the sofa. You’ve already had lunch and dinner is still a few hours away, when suddenly a familiar twinge strikes. Hunger… or is it? This hunger attack is what I like to call the Bunchies (Bored Munchies). You aren’t really hungry, you just ate. You don’t really have anything else to do, so mindlessly shoveling waves of tortilla chips while watching reruns of Teen Mom sounds like an awesome idea. I beg of you, just say no to the the Bunchies. I’m here to help you distract your brain from giving into the tantalizing call of your kitchen.

10 1/2 Thing to do When Your Are Bored Instead of Snacking

1. Blog, that’s right get a head start on the upcoming blog week. Write and extra post, post a dozen times a day if you have to. I will gladly read your photo heavy blog post about your cat Mr. Freckles adventures in a paper grocery sack. The world can always use more adorable images of cats (even though I’m a dog person), I will always, ALWAYS stop for a cute kitty cat picture.

Adorable Sleeping Kitty

 

 

2. Take your dog for a walk. Fiddo would love to entertain you by stopping to smell every mailbox, he does this because he cares. What a perfect walking buddy, you can jabber away while you walk and he won’t interrupt you once. Plus getting a little exercise is way better that getting extra calories. And I can’t share a cat picture without posting one of my puppy pictures, 1…2….3….. awwwwwww.

cute puppy picture

3. Update your iPod. Odds are you have the same music on your iPod you did when you bought the thing. So toss out old song that don’t get you jazzed and motivated. Now you have all kinds of extra space for new songs that  spice up your time at the gym or hitting the pavement.

4. Read a book, read a magazine, read a blog. It’s summer, the perfect time to kick back with a cool glass of lemon water and enjoy some you time. Escape to another world for awhile. If you haven’t read Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, you so should. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to get pigeon tattooed on your wrist. I’ve read this book honestly about 10 times. Buy it… read it… you’ll thank me I promise.

5. Clean. I don’t care how much of a neat freak you are, there is something you can clean. Cleaning is a great way to get moving while also checking things off your to do list. You know that dust bunny that has been taunting you with it’s little bunny hopes and dreams for at least a month. Sweep him up and send him to a new bunny home. Finally dust off your blinds that have so much dust on them it looks like your house has been through a volcanic eruption. I wouldn’t however recommend cleaning your kitchen, that puts you to close to the food.

6. Call up some friends and invite them over for an old fashion game night. Pull out Dream Phone, Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity and get your game on. When everyone gets bored sitting around, challenge them to hide and go seek or tag. Seriously, when’s the last time you let your inner child out and played hide and go seek? I played kickball over the weekend with the kiddos in the neighborhood and had a blast. You are never to old to let your inner child out to play.

7. It’s summer which means shorts and bikini season, so pamper yourself with a sugar scrub leg treatment. I make an awesome citrus sugar scrub that leaves legs feeling smooth and healthy looking. Did you know that if you don’t exfoliate your legs your leg hair can actually become ingrown? Doesn’t delicious smelling sugar scrub for beautiful summer legs sound better that that box of chocolate cupcakes you were thinking about eating?

8. Lose a few hours in Pinterest. Find a DIY project, research new healthy recipes, or pin a couple of beauty secrets. If you can’t waste at least an hour at a time on Pinterest… please tell me your secret because that place is like black hole sucking me in from afar.

9. Do something nice for someone. Leave little notes for your significant other telling them how sexy they look. Mow the neighbors lawn because you know her husband is deployed and she has her hands full with a couple of kiddos. Take your mom flowers. Whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy share that with others. You never know how your actions can change someones day.

10. Dance around to your favorite 90s boy band. Proud NSYNC fan since 1998. Yes I said it, I’m not ashamed.

10 1/2. Logic with yourself. Are you really hungry? Are you really in desperate need for some sort of entertainment? Is the bag of mini M&M’s worth more than a body you can rock at the lake in a bikini? You are strong enough to say no to the bunchies. Don’t go into the light of your refrigerator. Walk away friend.

Brooke

Fitness Friday: Goals and Accountability

Running Gear

We aren’t what we eat, but we are the choices we make. What are your choices saying about you?

Personally my choices don’t always reflect the type of person I want to be, or know that I can be. If I eat Taco Bell every meal for a month, I won’t turn into a tap dancing Dorito’s Taco. However the choice to eat Taco Bell with that kind of frequency will surly not result in the toned body I’m looking for. My choice to skip running because it’s a little to humid outside isn’t a huge deal, or is it? My choice to make an excuse about something I’m scared to fail at, only makes my failure a reality. See I can’t run, no… I’m not running there for I’m not getting any better. It’s really REALLY hard to run a mile when my butt is stuck on the sofa watching ABC Family, don’t judge me.

The beautiful and always stylish Ivete from Girl in a Hot City asked me two days in a row this week how exactly my running was coming along. I explained that it was going slow, very slow actually, like snail going in reverse slow. It’s time for a little blogger accountability here people, I hadn’t started. Yup, I had successfully freaked myself out of doing it for nearly a week. I’m not proud of that choice, but a good thing about choices, is we can always change them, and that’s exactly what I did.

The running training schedule I posted last week sort of overwhelmed me, how do I know when I’ve gone 1/16 of a mile. I don’t run on a track, I make it easy and use my good ole neighborhood sidewalks. That’s when my big brain started thinking, how can I make this super scary goal more achievable? How can I make it just a wee bit easier? That’s when I turned to my iTunes to create a playlist, one long 23 min MP3 that I created to make it easier for me to know when to run and walk. I was feeling all girl powered up when I created this track, so all the artists featured on this Training Track are powerful ladies.

Here’s how it works. I will include a link below where you can download the track I created. It’s a single long track where you change your pace each time the song changes. Since I’m probably explaining this wonky, let me get into a little more detail.

Week 1: Ladies Week Running Training Music (download)

Song 1: Warm up, just to get your muscles and blood flowing.

Song 2: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 3: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 4: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 5: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 6: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 7: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 8: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 9: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 10: Cool Down

I’ve tried this out and it works great. I don’t have to worry about checking a timer to see how long I’ve been running. I don’t have a robotic woman shouting in my ears how far I’ve gone. I just listen to the music and go. The music is fun and it really helps the time to fly by. I still used my Endomondo App to track my time, distance, etc.. but I wasn’t focused on the app itself while running. I simply put my phone in my pocket and went with it.

Interested in how I’ve been doing since my choice change, you can check it out here.

Remember you are the choices you make. Each time you do something it sets you on a path. If you are on a path towards an end results that doesn’t work for you, change it. It’s never to late to change your mind and change your life. A setback is a setback is a setback, they happen. We can’t avoid them, but we aren’t perfect, so we have to learn from them. One questionable decision does not a failed goal make. So shake off the negative setback juju and get excited to start working towards your goals. For me the proverbial mountain I’m trying to climb is being able to run a mile without stopping.

What is a goal you’ve set where you’ve encountered setbacks?

Brooke

 

 

Fighting Battles For Others, Be Switzerland

floral on path

I’m a giver, a fixer, a what can I doer, and most of all I’m a wear my heart on my sleever. You er, get the point. For as long as I can remember friends have jokingly called me “Ma” do in large part for my desire to make sure everyone is okay. If you’re sad, let’s fix it. If you’re hurt I have a bandaid. If someone broke your heart, I have a shovel. Protecting people is what I’ve always done, it gives me purpose, but it can also give me a great deal of stress.

There comes a time as we grow up, 30 years old and still growing up here, that we have to step back and allow people to take care of themselves. We have to be Switzerland or marooned on an island without offering advice to the outside world. This was such a foreign concept to me, it felt like I was turning my back on those I care about. By protecting them I was helping them, I was showing them I cared right? Wrong. I ended up enabling them and taking their stress onto myself.

Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself knee deep in crap and in desperate need of mud books. I was in deep, so deep in fact my entire body felt it. My head hurt, my body ached, I was feeling overly anxious about everything. A dear friend of mine was suffering greatly in a situation just far enough out of reach she couldn’t fix it. I’ll spare you the gory details, but we’ll say it involves yucky boys and their yucky choices. In my desperation to dry her tears and mend her heart I chucked myself smack dab in the middle of Yuckville, population me. It was dumb.

What started out innocent enough ended up with me becoming the scape goat for a whole slew of problems that had not an iota to do with me. BUT, since I’d dove headfirst into the mud and the muck, I became an easy target. For the lack of having a more eloquent way to word it, the situation sucked, hard. The positive thing about it though, I had brought it upon myself thus had total control to fix it. And so I did, today, like right now.

I’ve become Switzerland. My job as a friend is to sit back, drink some Swiss Miss Coco (or a margaritas, whatever), and listen. That’s right listen,  just quietly take it all in. It’s exhausting riding in with the Calvary every time a war doctrine is signed by a pal of mine. I tend to walk away with far to many unnecessary battle wounds. So a girls got to do what a girls got to do. Look at me like you’re sounding board, a comfortable place to vent, and feel safe to cultivate a game plan. However, that’s where the drama llama train stops. I have no opinion and once the conversation is over I’m clicking the erase button. In fact I’m inventing a bigger erase button.

Why do we all need an erase button? Have you ever had a friend confide in you about an injustice in their life? You are so fired up about, for example what an idiot their hubby is, that you then vent for 6 months about it. Fred is such a jerk, how could he eat all the white chocolate covered pretzels when he knows they are Wilma’s favorite. Then when Wilma asked him to get more at the store he laughed at her. What? What a jerk… you get the idea. Now all your hubby or BF hears about it what a jerk Fred is instead of what a hunk he is for putting his dishes in the dishwasher. When you hit the erase button, you are still being an active listener, you just aren’t taking the drama llama home with you. Houses are for dogs and cats, not llamas.

Does anyone else take on the problems of those around them? How many drama llamas have you put out to pasture?

Brooke

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Crepes

Good hello lovelies, I don’t know about you, but I am not a morning person. In fact I am as far from a morning person as humanly possible. My idea of cooking anytime before noon is hitting the start button on our Keurig. It’s because of this that I almost always skip breakfast, which isn’t exactly good for the ole metabolism. Fear not my fellow health bunnies, I’ve come up with an awesome home cooked breakfast meal that is both healthy and filling. Oh and easy, did I mention that part, super easy. So easy a Brooke can do it.

 

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Crepes….

photo-34

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder

Whipping Them Up:

  1. Whisk together eggs and milk.
  2. Whisking constantly add the protein powder a little at a time, whisking until smooth.
  3. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add just a dab of oil to your skillet, I mean less than a thimble full, just a drop.
  5. Pour badder into center of the skillet to desired size, I made mine about the size of a saucer.
  6. Heat until there are bubbles forming on the top of the crepe and then flip, cooking the other side for about 60 seconds or so.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Take peanut butter (I used Omega-3 peanut butter) and smear across the crepe, roll crepe up, eat.

It’s that easy. This badder made about 6 saucer size crepes, I ate 3 and was stuffed. The leftover crepes can be put in the fridge for an easy breakfast later in the week. You can reheat the crepes in the microwave by heating maybe 30 seconds. After reheating, then add the peanut butter.

Have you use protein powder for baking: brownies, crepes, pancakes? Tell me about it in the comments.

Brooke

 

Running, Let’s Try This Again

Let me start out by saying I am not a runner, nor have I ever been. My idea of running is sprinting around the house trying to find where I set my phone. That takes about 30 seconds, well 30 seconds of sprinting… okay okay. I sprint up the stairs, stop at the top to huff and puff, then walk the rest of the area looking for my phone. I don’t sprint, I jog, I don’t walk much faster than I have to. Some people say, “I’d only run if I was getting chased by a _________.” Nope not me. I don’t care if I’m getting chased by an evil tap dancing clown who throws bombs filled with tiny little attack spiders, I’m still not running. If that ever happens, I will figure that it’s the end of days and curl up in a ball and cry.

With that being said… I’m going to try running… again. You see I’ve tried this before. I tried for about a week to do Couch to 5K. It was hard, like really hard. Inset incredibly whiney voice here. Sure I have asthma, but the truth of the matter is that I’m incredibly out of shape. That could be one of the reasons my thighs are out of control, seriously, they look like the Stay-Puft Man’s legs from the Ghostbuster movie.

Something’s got to give. In exactly 1 month I’m lake bound for a long weekend the revolves around bikinis and sundresses. I’m already going to look a fool trying to ski, like running I also can’t ski, I don’t want to feel like a fool squeezed into a bikini again. I spent one weekend like that, I don’t want a replay. I won’t do it again. So I’m setting a goal, goals another thing I’m not good at, but that’s another post. Let’s set this goal.

My Goal: Lose 4 pounds by 7/12/14 AND Be abele to run 1 mile without stopping by 7/12/14

How I’m going to do this: Make better food to mouth choices. Follow running program. Don’t be a quitter.

The Running Program:

Week 1

  • Day 1: Run 1/16 mile, walk 3/16 mile – repeat 4 times
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Run 1/16 mile, walk 3/16 mile – repeat 4 times
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Run 1/16 mile, walk 3/16 mile – repeat 4 times
  • Day 6: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 7: Rest

I’m going to start running today, even if I look like this.

Wish me luck…

Brooke

Fitness Work In Progress Photos (1)

Anything you want to do today kiddo, you name it!

I want to go to the pool!!

Do you want to go get ice cream…… NO

Do you want to go to the park… NO

Do you want to ride bikes….. NO

The pool…… YES

Gulp….pool. The most dreaded combination of 7 (or 6 depending on how your brain works) words ever constructed. Pool means hot PTA moms, with hot gym bunny bodies, and epically beach wavy hair. What do I bring to the lounge chair? 15+ extra pounds of fluff squeezed into a purple sausage casing (er bikini) and hair the doesn’t hold a curl in this darn Midwest humidity. Sigh. Why oh why did the word pool have to be brought up? Oh that’s right it’s June, 90+ degrees, and it’s the last place I want to be.

So that leads me here doing something I never in a million years thought I would do. Posting “work in progress” pictures. Not my before pictures, because there isn’t a set destination. I’m not going to magically be done and be able to take after pictures. I will always be a work in progress, always working towards a healthier life, because even a Doritos binge is a stepping stone. Every second is a choice: do I go the sassy healthy path or the easy comfortable path? The comfortable path is going to push me out of a jean size and into further bikini phobias; while the sassy path will help take me where I long to be. Seems like an easy enough decision right? Sure if I didn’t love Taco Tuesday with the intensity of a thousand ghost chilies.

So here they are… The cold hard facts in black and white. Proof of what a long period of excuses will get you. A whole lot of sucking in.

06062014 back 06062014 Front

Date: 6/6/2014

Height: 5’4″

Weight: 135.8

BMI: 23.3 ( I used this basic BMI calculator)

I believe out of habit I sucked in my stomach, but hey long time habits are hard to break. I look forward to the day I don’t have to suck it in.

 

Brooke