Monthly Archives: November 2015

what I learned from 3 challenges in November

The month of November provided to be a GSD (get shit done) kind of month. Without realizing it I committed myself to 3 completely different challenges that made me up my game in 3 completely different ways.

I did a 30-Day workout/shape up challenge, a 30-day blogging challenge to myself, and a #findthemoney challenge.

You always hear the criticism that perhaps because I overcommitted that I wasn’t really able excel at one, but I throughly enjoyed the mild pressure I put on myself to better myself in these 3 areas of life. And I think that is because I didn’t really stress about any of them. I practiced what I preach all the time and simply enjoyed the process. I will give you a a quick run down of each one.

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My new workout tank!

30-Day Workout Challenge

I did this for two reasons. I was feeling a little mindless with my eating and there is a prize of $1000. This challenge ends December 5th so I am just wrapping it up this week. And look, I don’t have weight to lose, not even my goal. But why not shoot for something that helps me feel a little more in control of my choices. THIS in itself is more important to me than the perfect body.

When I am eating out of boredom, mindlessness, and stress, I don’t feel good about myself. Honestly I don’t even know if the before and after pics will show anything different when I take the after this Saturday but I feel better regardless. I will be sure to blog more, post challenge with how I changed up my exercise and eating, and maybe even send the before and after pics to my email list.

#Findthemoney Project

I am always conscious about spending but this project by Danny J intrigued me, not so much as finding extra cash, but in not being as wasteful and frivolous with my choices. At the beginning I was required to total all my expenses for the week to see what I was spending and where.

I actually had done this, this past July and August on my own and knew that I was spending $600-$700 a month on food, just for me! In all fairness I often shop at Target for groceries so that total included paper towels, dog food and toothpaste here and there, but $700?

The suggestion was to spend $35 a week per person on food. I am a tall, active, hungry girl and I eat a lot so I didn’t stress trying to make this number but I knew for sure I could get it under $100 a week. So what did I do? 

First I stopped shopping at Target for groceries. Enough said. Next I tried to use up as much food in the house as possible each week and practically cleared out my freezer. I used my canned foods, foods I bypass in my cupboard every week and used all the spices and condiments I had instead of buying new ones.

I limited pricey products like Komboucha and Quest bars to just a few this month. At $3 a pop, I saved a ton. I spent less on convenience food, like pre made rice and pre chopped veggies. I sucked it up and did the extra cooking and chopping.

I also didn’t get any manicures or pedicures this month, which I normally get one of each minimum, and did my own. I didn’t really buy any clothes, books or household decor this month but when I did buy something I made sure I got rid of two other things. For example I bought a new workout tank (truly the last thing I need but oh well) and I got rid of two clothing items.

It really made me contemplate my purchases and I almost got a rush by NOT buying things because it meant extra money in my pocket. Perfect time for the holiday season with present buying and time off. I can estimate that I have $300 extra in my pocket this month! Perfect for some Christmas shopping.

Blogging Challenge

I set this challenge for myself. To post 30 blogs in the month of November. I think I hit 29. Normally I blog once a week and never really find myself ahead of the game but I noticed I had 5 blogs written, waiting to be posted so I thought why not? I write everyday anyways, I might as well write some more. It has actually been really fun for me because I have so many post-its, lists and notes on my phone about blog topic that I never was lost for an idea, I just had to put in the work and write it.

I made a public commitment on social media and in my coaching group to do this and it helped a ton because I put myself on the hook, which is exactly where I like to be.  Responsible for my choices. Which, as scary as it is, it pretty empowering at the same time.

What this month taught me.

I have felt very fulfilled and accomplished this past month and it got me thinking about happiness, joy and being content in life. A lot of these positive emotions are associated when we are working toward our full potential in any area of life.

You don’t need money or an extraordinary amount of time to better yourself in some way. You just need the desire and drive to make a change. The key to is to have a little compassion and patience with yourself and that is exactly why this month was so awesome for me. When I splurged on a certain, food, skipped a workout, bought a new shirt and missed one day of blogging, I didn’t beat myself up over it. I just moved forward. This is such a HUGE transformation from what projects use to look like for me with tons of pressure and criticism from myself and myself only.

If you ever have times where you feel a little lost, lonely or unsure of which direction you are headed, invest in yourself, in something. Taking action of some sort is one of the best ways to lessen misery. Yes, life can be difficult and we are all justified in our own struggles but we also have so much opportunity when we let go of the victim mindset that everything is happening to us.

Instead of feeling like the word owes you something, find something you owe the world and go do it. Even if that starts with bettering yourself by waking up every day and making the bed.  

Click here for a FREE Holiday Workout Challenge!

Why Being Grateful doesn’t mean you have to settle Part 2

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Today I want to finish up my 2-part blog series on why being grateful for your body and what you have doesn’t mean you are committed to settling and not striving for improvement.

I think sometimes the stress and dissatisfaction with our bodies feels like a very lonely struggle.  I know everyone feels it in a sense, from the leanest of people I know, to the most overweight people I know. No one is immune in some sense or at some point. But when it comes down to it, it has less to with what you body looks like and more to do with your mindset and perception of what you are capable of doing.

We are promised greater happiness, success and satisfaction with our bodies, or at least that is what we think, when we see photoshopped women and super thin celebrities as the “role models” for what our body is “suppose” to look like. We associate losing 10, 20, or 30 pounds with being fully content and joyful. Yet even when we do achieve the look we are desiring, we are often left wanting more because it is not the look we are striving for, deep down in is contentedness with who we are and what we look like.

Could it be that contentment is the cure? Not a different body. Could you just accept yourself right here, right now for what you look like and what your body does, even if you are striving for improvements? Could it be that using gratitude is the way to achieve satisfaction with your body, not losing the weight or being leaner?

Why choose gratitude over negative self talk and excuses?

Gratitude is tough, especially if we are not where we want to be. If we just loved everything single thing about our body then of course it is easy to be satisfied. When we are dissatisfied it takes a lot more effort. But are we looking in the wrong places?  Excuses and negativity often take away from the solution itself.  It takes owning our choices day in and day out, that result in the body we have and the body we want. 

Rather than dwelling in poor choices or making excuses about why we can’t make progress we can use gratitude to make better choices in the future. We can use gratitude to focus our attention on what we do have rather than what we do not have. Can you imagine what would happen if you took every negative thought about eating, working out, and your body and made it a positive, productive thought?

Every time you start to let the negativity, shame and sadness creep into your head make a conscious effort to turn it into something that actually helps you create a solution in your present state. That is acceptance and gratitude at its finest. To appreciate even in the toughest of times. Gratitude is a decision.

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Your body’s current condition does not determine your self worth.

Sometimes I have been guilty about feeling bad about my body and then in turn feeling bad about myself. Even thought deep down I know I am more than a body. I am more than a size, a number or if I fit into a certain pair of jeans. I know my body does not determine my self worth, but sometimes it is a mindset I get stuck in. It is a constant practice to remind myself that my body does not determine self worth!

The other day I talked about a concept known as the “if,then” detriment, and it is so often applied to the correlation between body shape and happiness.

If I lose weight, then I will be happy. 

If I get rid of my cellulite then I can feel ok about myself.

If I can control my eating, then I am worthy.

Let’s switch this mindset.

Instead of any of this negative body talk,  use healthy striving self talk. 

My worth is more than my jeans size or the number on the scale.

I want to be healthy and strong for myself. 

I am worthy of happiness, love and respect right this moment.

It is so hard in the moment to snap out of this mindset, when you feel depressed, anxious or upset about the way your body looks or feels. The best thing you can do is acknowledge it and use healthy striving talk that promotes of mindset of being enough. The first few, or first hundred, times you may not believe it, but after practicing this you can change shift your mindset into a more positive, powerful state.

Would I talk to others, the way I talk to myself?

Another concept I use when dealing with the dislikes of my body is thinking about why I am so hard on myself. If I could use the same love and compassion towards myself as I do for others, I would be able to accept myself the way I accept others. Other people bodies do not determine my love or appreciation for them. I do not critique other peoples bodies the way I do my own. 

People who are most satisfied with their bodies are the ones who do not let their body’s “flaws” determine their worthiness but also view their health and fitness, as a journey not a destination. Again it is about the journey.

Struggles with food, mess-ups, missed workouts, months in the gym, maybe months out of the gym….it is all a part of life. Of course we can and should strive to be healthy but when we can focus more on the appreciation about what we have and what we are working toward we can be more accepting in the moment. I am where I am suppose to be. You are where you are suppose to be. We are always learning and growing and that is what is it about.

#GetGrateful Tasks:

Write down 5 things you are grateful about in regards to your body. It can be internal, such as the air in your lungs or the beats of your heart. It can be shown in your ability, to be able to feed yourself, dress yourself or do an activity like run or dance or play with your children.Your body is so blessed to be able to do those things. Pretty impressive when you dig deep and think about it, right? Or it can be about your appearance, your eyes, your hair, your arms. Write it down. I doubt you will have trouble making a list. Read them often.

Write down 5 excuses you make about why you can’t change or why it feels hard. Then change those 5 statements to solutions. This is difference in talking and taking action.

Why Being Grateful doesn’t mean you have to settle, Part 1


IMG_2979Today I want to talk about having gratitude for yourself, your life, and everything beautiful, and not so beautiful, that surrounds you. 

Somewhere along the way we become conditioned that what we own, where we are in our lives, what we look like, and who we are, just isn’t good enough.  We downplay strengths, compliments, and successes, because somehow allowing ourselves to be good enough, just doesn’t cut it.

I think there is an underlying  fear within all of us, if we invite goodness, gratitude and confidence into our lives we somehow set ourselves up for disaster, letdown, and failure. It feels if we are grateful for our current situation, accept a compliment with confidence, or find happiness, even when goals have not been met, we won’t be motivated to improve or progress in our lives.  In a world of already “not good enough’s” we desperately try to minimize as many negative emotions as possible. Like this quote says though, we are all meant to shine.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?  Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

Let yourself shine.

We bring so much to the lives of others by simply showing up as ourselves. Not when we say whatever we feel, or criticize and bash people with open brutal honesty, but when we show up with courage, confidence and purpose as ourselves. There is no need to play small or downplay our amazingness. We can show up with gratitude and know that our current conditions are exactly as they were intended to be and we have it in our control to improve, while being content with where we are.

This is tough because often our insecurities come out in blame, envy, comparison and withdrawal. We get caught in a never ending cycle of not being “good enough” and current acceptance gets confused with resignation.

Remember there is not a guideline for who we should and should not be, what we should and should not feel, or where we should be in our lives. I should be happier, I should be more exciting, I should be leaner, I should eat a certain way,etc. When we feel we should be a certain way, we are then telling ourselves that we are not good enough right now.

What if we changed our perspective? To no longer devalue ourselves and our feelings but GIVE value to ourselves, our feelings and accept who we are and how we feel. We do not need to rely on other people to tell us we are good enough, we can simply rely on ourselves.

When we rely on constant validation from others we are constantly living in a world of dissatisfaction. If we can learn to accept and start loving ourselves, we will not have to rely on it as much from others. When will we be enough? 

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Enough is now.  Not if or when. Enough is NOT the following statements. 

“I will be happy when I lose weight.”

“I will be happy if I get a new job.”

“I will be happy when I am in a different relationship.”

“I will be happy if I made more money.”

Believing you are enough right NOW, is the first step of your journey of progress and change. You can strive for all of the above, but why not be happy right this moment, right now, while working towards your goal? More money could be 10 years from now. A 50 lb weight loss could be a year from now.

Are you going to spend all that time miserable and upset the way you are, OR are you going to embrace yourself, and life, to the fullest, right now exactly the way you are? Be grateful for the present moments and people and you will find happiness and joy to be more abundant in life.

Adele’s 5 Friday Favorites

I am back this week with my new series, Adele’s Five Friday Favorites (AF) where I share my favorite things food, fitness, mindset and life. I wanted a space where I could do some quick sharing on things I am loving right now!

Adele’s Five Friday Favorites 

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You have been hearing me talk about it all month and today is the first official day of the #16to16 holiday workout challenge where I challenge you to join me in starting your health resolutions early and get 16 workouts in by 2016. This series also includes an educational aspect where I teach you how to carry out these habits in the new year. If you are suffering from major FOMO, go ahead and jump on the list here.

 

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This pre made salad mix is one of my favorites partially because it is already prepared. It is a combo of shredded carrots, cabbage, cilantro and green onions and comes with yummy toppings in an Asian Chopped Salad or Southwestern style. I usually use my own dressing depending on what else I add to it.

 

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LOVING these Lululemon pants with the sheer backside. The fit is amazing as I love the high waisted style that holds everything in lets say. 😉 Knowing Lulu, you probably can’t find these exact pants right now because they rotate through everything so fast, but you can probably find something similar.

 

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TACOS! My favorite go-to meal when I eat out at restaurants right now. I used to stick with plain salads, but that no longer works because I like food. Healthy food that tastes good. Tacos with corn tortillas and minimal toppings are surprisingly healthy while satisfying at the same time. Eureka Burger, Chipotle, Cheesecake Factory all have ’em!

 

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Please be okay with failure and be okay with failing again and again.  Please don’t be ok with doubt. Doubt keeps us stuck, unable to move forward. Be confident, makes more decisions and own the decisions you make.

how to be less miserable and have more gratitude in relationships


With all the celebration for thanks, love and family during the holidays we all know this: relationships bring so much joy to our lives but also can bring a great deal of stress, hurt at the same time and require tons of effort.

From personal experience I have realized that my own thoughts and perceptions play a huge role in the quality of my relationships and either benefit them or take away from them. What we do and how we view things is HUGE! This does not even begin to go how we interact with others or what others say and do, it begins with our own thoughts, ideas, and stories we make in our head, assumptions.

Not making assumptions is one thing in life that can take a way so much pain and misery. Think about it. Do you ever assume the other person is thinking something or feels a certain way?

For example, someone responds abruptly to you, you either get pissed off, mad or think something is wrong. You react based simply on what you are assuming, which technically is a make believe story you created in your head. You are not alone, I do this ALL the time and it has been a constant practice of mine.

We assume, take things personally, and go about our days in self-inflicted drama and made up stories in our heads and it becomes very inwardly focused. All about ourselves.

I am quite amused as I write this because it sounds ridiculous that we can get so worked up about things that we don’t even know to be true. If you want to know ask, take people at their word, because at that point it is up to them to let you know if something is wrong, and live your in truth, free of make believe problems. We want others to be every thing we want them to be, but they are not, and thats OK!

Love and accept others for who they and learn to ask for what you need in relationships. We can always improve, grow and nurture relationships but lets do it with less expectations, assumptions and judgements.

One of our greatest traps is waiting to be happy or waiting for someone else to make us happy.

 

Everyone is simply doing their best. Have you ever thought about it this way? That everyone around you is just try to handle the situation in the best way they know how. Maybe becoming defensive and critical is the BEST they know how. Maybe that is how they were raised, maybe it is how they feel in the moment, maybe it is all they know.

Let’s use divorce as an example. I have witnessed friends and family go through divorce and I have seen some handle it with honest attempts to be as compassionate as possible, considering the situation, and some handle it with anger, rage and be just plain mean. Some may think one way is wrong or right but when comes down to it is the best they know how, dealing with the flood of emotions with such a huge life change. 

But we also have the choice to choose how we handle situations. Make the best of it or let it ruin our days. We can play victim and view the world as everything is happening to us or we can learn to make things work for us.

Take Personal Responsibility In Your Relationships

 

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I think part of personal responsibility intertwines with gratitude because we cannot appreciate and be grateful for our lives if we are constantly putting the blame on someone or something else. In Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is, she calls it “arguing with reality.” And when you think about it, it can almost be comical when we get  frustrated, upset or negative about simply, what is real. 

Your friend is always busy and rarely makes time to hang out. You get upset. This is the reality.

Your husband is watching t.v. when you want him to be hanging out. He wants to watch t.v. You do not want him too. That is the reality.

There is traffic.  It is the reality.

In all these situations you can choose an alternative. 

This concept helps you become aware that it is hard to practice gratitude when we are constantly arguing with reality. When we are constantly not accepting what is, or trying to change what it. Change your perspective.

You can still love and appreciate your friend, even if you don’t see each other all the time.

You can let your husband watch t.v. and do something you want to do. Sip some wine. Read a book. Go workout.

There is traffic. I get be frustrated the whole way or enjoy time to chat, listen to music etc.

The problem with “I’m Fine” in relationships.

 

You know what I am talking about. Someone asks if you are ok and you say, “fine” even though something is eating away at you. You somehow expect that person to know what you are upset about and try to manipulate the situation by making them feel bad about what you never expressed to them, though they asked you what was wrong and you said, “fine.” 

We tend to use passive aggressive behavior to get our point across and this solves all of the following:

Nothing.

This type of behavior encourages:

Someone in the dark about what you are feeling. It is YOUR job (personal responsibility) to bring them into the light to talk, communicate and understand. They actually did their job by asking you what was wrong.

Causes you to feel resentment, anger and hostility towards the other person for not having a superhero mind reading power.

Does NOTHING for the relationship.

I bring this up again because I feel this is such a normal, innocent sounding ( but very detrimental) aspect to so many relationships from those I have observed to my own experiences. So the next time someone asks you if you are ok, instead of saying “fine” say what you feel. Just do it. Have enough faith in the person you are dealing with that they can handle what you choose to share with them.

Learn to let go of the past, be more engaged in the present and anticipate the future with excitement, even though you know there will be struggles and challenges. If you can’t find something to be excited about, it has nothing to do with your life, it has to do with your mindset.

Sometimes we get caught up in how we expect life to be and we think that everyone is out to get us, to hurt us, to cause us pain and suffering. We even assume that those close to us want to cause us that hurt. It has more to do with the expectations we create, the personal responsibility we refuse to take, and the stories we make up in on our head. 

Choose more responsibility and truth, with less judgement and misery.

Festive Spinach Salad

Not only is this salad super easy and tasty, but this pretty colors make it perfect for holiday celebrations. I will add that the dressing makes the salad but you can always choose your own.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • 1 chopped gala or fugi apple
  • Dressing: Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil, seasoning packet, follow directions on packet or use your own balsamic dressing or dressing of choice.

Directions:

  1. Prepare dressing.
  2. Toss spinach with nuts, feta and fruit. Shake dressing again and drizzle over salad to coat evenly.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

 

Easy Crockpot Chicken Chili

Thanksgiving week is in full effect and I while gratitude is a practice of mine all year routine, there is no doubt that I am reminded of if more during the holiday season. In today’s recipe blog post I have an easy crockpot chicken chili for you and will leave you with this.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

Crockpot

Crockpot Chicken Chili

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 can kidney beans (reduced sodium if possible)
  • 1 can black beans (reduced sodium if possible)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce(reduced sodium if possible)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of diced green chili’s
  • 1/2 packet of chili seasoning
  • A light sprinkle of cayenne pepper, or more if you like spice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Drain all the beans and diced tomatoes.
  2. Place everything in the crockpot and mix well.
  3. Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
  4. Shred chicken breast with fork, when done, and mix.
  5. Sprinkle with a little bit of cheese if you desire.
  6. Enjoy. 🙂

Will you be different in January?

We get really good at putting things off, like until tomorrow, next Monday, or January 1st. Actually, usually it’s January 2nd right? January 1st is usually still a day of celebration, food, the holiday season.

I use to get caught up in putting off my next plan and sharpening my procrastination skills. I was committed to start “next week” until I realized that I had some social event or vacation that would interfere with my plan of eating well and getting my workouts in.

It was around that time when it became very clear that I would have to find a way of eating and working out I could do on a regular basis and find ways to adapt, enjoy, and indulge without completely falling off track and without constant guilt or shame.

Part of me was wondering if was even possible to have fun, enjoy life and food without completely derailing myself from my goals?

I have gotten the hang of it though it has been, and still is, a constant practice.  It is just not quite as overwhelming now. I have learned how to get better results but working out less and eating in a more balanced and moderate way. No deprivation, no long hours of exercise. 

This 100% began with a mindset shift that it really is about committing to do the work forever.  It can be really tough in the beginning, breaking habits that don’t serve you anymore and replacing them with new habits that require a lot of extra thought and effort. If just requires you to have a little patience, and to start now.

If you are debating waiting 5 more weeks to get your act into check out 3 reasons why it’s not so bad to start your new years resolution early. As in today.

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Workout less to get better results.

You do not have to commit to perfection.

I think part of the problem is we worry that if we commit to healthy living we have to commit to perfection. That there is no way health and enjoyment will go hand in hand. There is, and chances are if you have found that way you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t that’s ok too, and it is likely your mindset probably revolves around the thoughts that being healthier is boring, complicated and time consuming.

It all begins with changing your thoughts. The idea that you should comply to a strict diet forever and workout hours on end is absurd and that is why many people are often unsuccessful with diets and consistency with workouts.

Let’s take food for example. At Precision Nutrition they use the 90/10 rule when it comes to eating, that essentially state, if you make healthy choices 90% of the time, you can use that 10% as you like. For example if you eat 5 meals a day, 7 days a week you are consuming 35 meals a week and at least 3 of those can be more indulgent. Perhaps 2 pieces of pizza at one meal or a couple of glasses a wine a week? Allowing yourself to have a little more can actually help you feel more satisfied and make you less likely to overindulge.

This can work in other ways too. Just the other day I was talking with a friend about feeling ravenous at night after getting off work and wanting to eat everything in sight. Turns out she was having oatmeal, lunch meat and veggies throughout the day. I urged her to actually make a sandwich with 2 pieces (yes 2 whole pieces) of bread to give her a little more satisfaction during the day. There was one caveat though. She actually had to try it, not just think about trying it.

Two days later she texted me. “Your advice is actually working!!”

Your expect your future self to do what your present self cannot manage.

We are pretty kind to our future selves because we really, truly believe, that though we don’t want to make healthy choices today, we will next week, next month, perhaps even in 2016. This isn’t so bad, except this ideal vision we have of ourselves saying no to cookies and working out 5 days a week doesn’t often play out and if it does, it is not for very long.

This theory is actually studied in the psychology world and in the fantastic book, The Willpower Instinct, the author Kelly McGonigal says this. “It is one of the most puzzling but predictable mental errors humans make: We think about our futures selves like different people. We often idealize them, expecting our future selves to do what our present selves cannot manage.”

When we view ourselves as different people we think even though we don’t workout now, we will next month or next year 6 days a week.  We never really turn inward to find out what is true about ourselves and what is getting in the way of our present self making good decisions. Ask yourself how you can manage fitness and health in your current lifestyle not at some ideal point in your life?

It is not a time issue, it is a priority issue.

People who are successful do the little things even when they don’t feel like doing it. It is not just one little thing, it is lots of little things. Just because you get in one week of good workouts or eat good for one day doesn’t mean you get to let yourself off the hook ongoing.

Find ways to prioritize health into your life and reframe the way you think about healthy living.

Is it the worst thing ever to have to say no to a few foods here and there?

Is it miserable to workout a couple times a week when you don’t feel like it?

Can you learn to enjoy the process even when your daily results are invisible?

The bottom line is this. We know what to do, we just don’t know how to consistently implement it. Or we do, we just don’t do it.

Remind yourself during the holidays, it is possible to celebrate and get your workouts in. It is possible to eat and be social without throwing your health ideals to the bottom of your list and/or feel guilty when you do indulge.

There is no better time than the present to intentionally fight the voice inside your head saying it is not important or you will start in at some future point.

This is exactly why I created my #16to16 holiday workout challenge. Start now. Details here !

Join me for 16 workouts to 2016! You owe it to yourself, for motivation, for accountability, and yes for a little fun.

Click here for a FREE Holiday Workout Challenge!

Adele’s Five Friday Favorites

I am starting a new, fun series called Adele’s Five Friday Favorites (AF) because I seriously have so much good information I don’t know what to do with it all.

I love to share all things health, fitness, and mindset and will be doing so every Friday with things I am loving right now. Here we go!

 

Adele’s Five Friday Favorites 

 

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I picked up this loose fitting alo tank the other day, on sale I might add, and am loving the sheerness, and the cutout on the back. I know it is not perfect for all locations of the country in late November, but for SoCal, it does just fine.

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This quote! Those who are most successful, in health and in life, are those who take the most consistent action each and every day, then sit back and let the universe supply the necessary time.  Sometimes we get caught up in the quick fix mentality and get frustrated when we put in all our effort for weeks, even months, and see minimal results. I get it. It doesn’t feel all that motivating. But it is hardest in the beginning and the more you can lean into the process and just stick with it, the steady and slow results will come. Getting impatient and giving up just makes the whole process take longer.

 

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I don’t come across a new favorite protein bar too often but these Oatmega bars are just that. They are made with grass-fed why, are gluten free, high in Omega – 3’s, high in fiber, low in sugar. The chocolate mint is my favorite and I am giving some away as a prize for my FREE workout challenge, 16to16. You can sign up here.

 

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I finished this book at the end of summer but find myself referring back to it quite often. “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”   Our perception is everything when it comes to life, living and challenges. We decide it we will be weakened by challenges and obstacles or grow from them.


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Loving this SIP mug from Marshalls. In fact, I also picked up a Trick or Treat and Boo mug for Halloween and have my eye on the Jingle one I have seen floating around Instagram. No better way to start my day with a delicious helping of hot coffee with a little bit of cuteness to go along with it.

See you next week!

 

Why walking is the only cardio I do

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Walking helps me feel accomplished in my daily need to move, without overdoing it to my body.

About 5 years ago I did some online training with a coach who was a figure competitor. She gave me an outline of weight workouts for the month and I asked her what I should do for cardio as I noticed it was missing. I learned that cardio was simply not part of the protocol and when I expressed my concerns of blowing up like a balloon, she promised if I lifted intensely and watched my nutrition I would get the results I was seeking.

You see, at that time I was running 4-5 times a week for about 3 miles, either mixing it up with sprints or doing steady state. I was also dreading every minute of it. I was never motivated, it hurt my back and my hips, and it sent my appetite through the roof.

I put constant pressure on myself  to get 3 miles in for no particular reason except that 30 minutes was an acceptable minimum time to do cardio and I needed to burn more and more calories and get my heart rate up to breath hard. I was also lifting weights and trying to add some yoga in the mix. Still burning tons of calories, still not happy with my body, still a hungry girl.

Yet when this no cardio suggestion came about, I had a really difficult time accepting it. Long story short, with a little trust, I stopped the cardio and focused on weight lifting strictly for the few months I worked with her. Five years later I am stronger, happier, healthier, have more time, and have way better control of my appetite, still not making cardio a priority in my routine. I have since turned to walking my dog as the only consistent “cardio” with the exception of a few activities which I will further discuss. Here’s why.

It helps control appetite.

I was always hungry and I always felt under fueled. When I did eat more, I felt I would eat everything in sight. I craved salty treats, I craved sugary treats and I even when I was full, I never felt satisfied.

 From experience I know that exercising too much and for too long can potentially have more of an effect on appetite. Studies even show that walking is one of the few exercises that does not trigger some type compensatory cravings, such as long steady state cardio or progressive heavy weight lifting. These activities are not bad per say but if they leave you feeling ravenous with little self control it might be better to choose exercises that don’t impact your hunger, cravings and appetite as much.

You don’t have to recover from it.

When I was running everyday and adding super intense exercise in like CrossFit, I simply could not recover. I would hit it hard for a couple weeks and then take a couple weeks off. I couldn’t workout on back to back days, or even every other day, without feeling weak and exhausted. I would show up at my workouts within minimal strength, energy and motivation. Walking is added movement that does not hinder your current fitness routine.

It reduces stress levels.

One of the worst feeling I had with exercise was at a point in my life when I was extremely stressed and would start my workout with my heart thumping from anxiety and stress, as if I was in the middle of a CrossFit workout. I quickly learned this was not the time to bump, or encourage, extremely intense exercise from metabolic conditioning to sprints, etc.

High stress levels can have an affect on your relationship, your mood, your well-being and your appetite. In any case, finding ways to reduce stress is crucial to our health and walking is one great way to do it. It can almost be meditative in a sense, boost your mood, get you outside and be a great time to reflect and take in your surroundings. I always come back from my walks with a new idea, story or perspective. It is also a great activity to spend more quality time with your family. More resources here and here.

I don’t have to plan my meals around it.

Ever try doing cardio at an odd time like after work around 6:00, when you afternoon snack was yogurt at 3:30 and now you are trying to push yourself through a tough workout, starving for dinner but don’t want to eat to much to make you feel sluggish doing cardio. I use to stress out about this but with walking I can eat before or after and don’t have to worry about timing. In fact, it is kinda of nice to walk around after dinner instead of sitting on the couch.

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This is my dog Lulu and this is the opposite of how she looks on our daily walks.

Is walking really my only cardio or exercise I do?

My primary form of exercise is lifting weights (3-4 times a week at moderate intensity. I also add in yoga and/or pilates once a week.

For cardio, I walk my dog from 10-40 minutes most days of the week.

Occasionally if it is a brisk day and there is no incline on the road (yes that is a requirement) I sprint for a block because its kind of fun to see how excited my dog gets and it makes me feel like a little kid.

Once a month I hike or swim because I simply love moving outside.

A few times every couple weeks I will do kettlebell swings, mountain climbers, jump rope or some sort of plyometric for for 20-30 seconds, rest until I recover and repeat 5 times. Usually takes about 4-7 minutes depending on the day and exercises.

A few times a year I get on a piece of cardio equipment for 10 minutes and do similar intervals that I just mentioned.

The bottom line.

Do what works for you. I know many runners and cardio goers who love it,  but if it is not working or you absolutely dread it, or it leaves you in pain, don’t stick with it just because of the calorie burn or just because you are suppose too.

Walking fulfills my need for a daily physical accomplishment without overdoing it for my body. I like to move. I need to move. My body thanks me and I thank my body.

Click here for a FREE Holiday Workout Challenge!