The Liebster Award

Hi, friends! So this post is something different besides another lifestyle or fitness post! But I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Uniquely Mickie! She also blogs about college and lifestyle so she is very relatable. You can check her out here.

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I just recently heard about this award and so I’m sure there are quite a few people that don’t know what it is! It is an award that goes out to new bloggers that are trying to gain readers. There a few rules that you must follow:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Answer the 11 questions that blogger provides you with
  3. Nominate 5-11 bloggers that you think deserve the award
  4. Tell the bloggers you nominated them
  5. Write 11 questions for them

Here the questions that Mickie gave me:

1. What is your favorite activity to do outside of the blogging world?

I really enjoy working out (obviously, fitness blogger). I love to go to the gym on good and bad days and it is the perfect way for me to release some steam. I love that working out can be an inside or outside activity and anyone is capable of doing it!

2. If you could go anywhere for a day, where would you go?

Hmm.. this is a tough one. I have always wanted to visit the Great Wall of China and be able to walk on such a huge part of history. But I am torn because I have always also wanted to see the Eiffel Tower ..

3. What is a piece of advice that you would give your younger self?

Don’t worry about what other people are doing, focus on yourself and your goals and it will take you far in life.

4. What is your favorite drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)?

Coffee

5. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you eat?

It would have to be breakfast and definitely maple bars.

6. What is your biggest fear?

Failing or not being good enough. I feel like there is always an insecurity of not being good enough and disappointing the people I care about most.

7. What was your biggest inspiration to start a blog?

Honestly, I wanted a forum to write freely and be able to express my feelings. This blog was something I decided to do for myself. So I suppose I was my own inspiration. If we are talking about what blog inspired me to do so, it would be simplytaralynn.

8. How long did you wait to tell your friends and family about your blog?

I told my friends before it even happened! I wanted their opinions on if I should go for it or not and they were all so supporting of my decision to dive right in.

9. What is the most extreme thing you’ve ever done?

Probably my NPC competition.

10. Do you have any pets?

Yassss, my little friend Wallace.

So cross-eyed but so cute ❤️
#catsofinstagram #snowbengal #catmomaf 
Pc: @risadarvo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.Favorite snack that you have to have?

Well on prep, probably dark chocolate Kodiak Cakes. Off of prep I love Biscoff Cookie Butter, BREAKFAST SANDWICHES, sweet potato fries, carbs, carbs, carbs.

Thank you again for nominating me! I get to now choose 5 people that I would like to nominate! These are few new blogs that I would like to nominate for the Liebster Award:

Susana from Style and Life by Susana

Molly from Molly Rees

Asha from Wellness Ginie

Stephanie from Simply Stephanie

Anisa from She’s Beaming

I love all of your guys’ blogs and hope you keep it going and share the love! Here is some questions for you:

  1. What is your biggest achievement?
  2. What do you wish you were better at?
  3. What is your favorite movie and why?
  4. How long have you been blogging?
  5. What blog inspired you to start yours?
  6. What is your favorite book you’ve ever read?
  7. Which destination is on top of your bucket list?
  8. What is your most memorable travel experience?
  9. If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
  10. Describe yourself in 3 words.
  11. What is your favorite quote and by whom?

Thanks again for the nomination and hope the Liebster will be passed on! If you enjoyed this post, comment below!

 

 

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Not All Breakups are Bad

Good morning and happy Sunday! .. Is it even considered truly Sunday if it’s only midnight?

I am spending today working and then catching some coffee with a good friend of mine. Coffee always seems to be the easiest way to catch up since we all live such busy lifestyles.

Today I wanted to touch on something closer to home for me. When I say breakups you thought I was talking about boys, right? LOL, nope! But tricked you to read this far!

When I started prep there were so many supportive people that came out of the woodworks. Even though I was surrounded by so many positive people, I also seemed to be surrounded by negative attitudes as well. It’s hard when you are trying to do something to better yourself and people will always have something bad to say.

Everyone can say that words don’t affect them, and I’m sure there is truth to that, but at the end of the day those words do linger in your head. I am here to tell you that during your 20s there are so many opportunities to grow and if we all thought too hard about what people thought we would still be in the same place that we started. You have to truly weed through the people that don’t care about your physical and emotional health. The people that are constantly asking you to dinner and drinks when you have told them multiple times that you are trying to cut those things out of your life. Of course, everyone loves to be invited but at what point is it peer pressure?

At what point is having people that constantly complain around just draining? I’m not saying cut everyone you’ve ever met out of your life; what I am saying is at the end of the day when you get off of work, what people are you dying to text to see what they’re doing? What people are you texting every couple days because you miss their presence? If you haven’t talked to someone in months, this goes both ways, then how valuable to EACH OTHER are you?

My dad always told me that, ‘you are who your friends are.’ I always took this to heart when deciding on who to be close with because when I would hang around certain people I would see myself adapting to their behaviors. Most of them good behaviors, but some.. not so much.

I know at the end of the day you can feel ‘stuck’ in friendships. Don’t ever feel that way. This is your life and you’re the captain.

 

I’m also not saying, ‘hey you should do s bikini prep to determine who your friends are!’ All I want from anyone to take away from this post is that we all get one life. If you aren’t happy at least 98% of the times, whose fault is that? You pick your own destiny

. I can honestly say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I just moved into a new house with 4 awesome roommates and 3 cats (whoa). I am ready to take on the new semester and see all my school friends.

I don’t want this post to seem sad or that I am ungrateful for the amazing people in my life. Therefore, I want to say a few words about each of my friends and hope that you have people that make you feel this amazing about yourself.

 

  

 

Kenz – number 1 since day 1. Always been my best friend, always will. One of the strongest people I’ve ever met and we have shown that distance made our friendship grow stronger.

Amanda – my most truthful friend. She will always tell me the honest truth no matter how much it hurts. She is so accountable and always pushes me to be my best self.

Becca – the best mother. Always putting her son first. Always so understanding of life and my feelings. She truly cares about me and is constantly asking how I am and pushing me forward in fitness, school, life, etc.

Risa – the reason I fell in love with fitness. Will forever be grateful to have found this love. She is motivated and driven and I have gained a lot of knowledge by having her as a friend.

Mckenna – the girl I can call to complain about anything and she will reassure my feelings. The girl who was first to support me in my blog, life, anything. The girl that I can sit in silence with and not feel uncomfortable, my scary movie, sleepover and snuggle buddy. Someone I can always count on.

Colton – Everyone needs a Colton. He will drop anything to help me. Even if I don’t talk to Colton for weeks, or if I’m mean because I’m in a bad mood … 😏He is always so kind and asks how I’m doing. Everyone needs a Colton.

Keira – the sweetest person I’ve ever met .. AKA. My number one cheerleader. Every time we chat I come away feeling more positive and happier than when we started the conversation. I know this girl and I can get through anything because of our past and that makes our friendship stronger then most.

Hales – even though we never see each other, when we do.. it’s always so much fun. I know you would do absolutely anything for me and I hope you know the feeling is mutual. Love you, Hales.

Joseph – can’t believe I’m even putting him in here. Probably the smartest person I know and always has my back. Surprisingly missed him all summer and if you know me then you know I mean this all with love.

Little Linny – our friendship has truly blossomed. Someone I am always laughing with. Every time we get together we are constantly laughing and having a good time. She is so supportive and asks how my life is and makes such an effort to be apart of everything I’m doing.

Kayla – my fiery red head. Someone who has always picked me up when I’m down. Someone who always motivates me and makes me feel 100% on the worst of days. I’ve woken up to so many morning texts from her that set my entire day off to a good start. Find a Kayla, people.

Nat – my ‘chillest’ friend. Someone I call often and never get tired of her company. I go to Nat with pretty much everything. We have so many common interests and similar life styles that I’m confused on why it took so long for us to find each other.

Sid – you are the most level headed person I know. You are so down to earth and look on the positive side of things. You NEVER have anything bad to say about anyone and I think so many people can learn from that trait. You stay calm in the craziest of times and are always there to console me

Michelle – my girrrrrll. We have so much trust. For a long time I didn’t feel like I could trust many people and you have proven that you will be there through thick and thin no matter what the circumstances may be.

Last but not least,

 

Alexa – my little sister ❤️ I love you so so much and you support me through everything. I am so happy how close we are and I know you’re a large reason that you and dad are coming to my competition in September. You are always there when I need to talk and so happy to see the woman you’re becoming. You’re beautiful inside and out, sister 👯‍♂️

Hope you guys enjoyed this post make sure to check-in this Wednesday for some workouts and fitness tips!

QUESTIONS :

Have you ever had to ‘break up’ a friendship?

Who is your biggest supporter?

Holy Cats! Busy Week Recap & Shopping Haul

Good afternoon! Just another relaxing Sunday in the books for this one and was so excited to get home from work this morning to work on the blog.

These past few days have been crazy! I have been trying to work so much before school starts so that during the school year I am able to take off some time to study and compete! I have so many fun things planned for the Fall and I wanted to ensure that I was set to take those vacations!

Starting with a recap of the week (hope you all liked my post on Wednesday!); Monday was a usual slow day, just went to volunteer at the Crime Center in Billings and watched the Bachelor in Paradise (seriously obsessed). Who are you guys wanting to be together? I’m definitely a Ben Z and Raven fan. Tuesday was a good friend’s birthday of mine. I had to work but afterwards I headed to the gym for a quick session and then headed to the fair to meet everyone!

I had such a good workout Tuesday evening. I did a plyo workout and then some cardio to top it all off!

I was so sad that the fair happened to land in the middle of prep because I LOVE FUNNEL CAKES!!! I don’t even like cheese curds that much but there isn’t anything like a funnel cake from the fair.

After looking through the pictures I see that I didn’t get a picture with the birthday girl! Whaaatttt. But I felt so silly in a full JEAN dress, Britney vibes for sure, (I love this dress, btw) and I truly felt like people were wondering where I even found such a thing. WELL I AM HERE TO TELL YOU! Poshmark for $20. Jean is coming back in, people! Go getcha jean on (you’re welcome).

Wednesday I got to hang out with my friend Haley. I haven’t seen her in a lifetime and we wanted to do something outside. I have never been kayaking before so we went to a local lake, Lake Elmo, and got on the water! Afterwards she was so sweet and made me some chicken and broccoli for dinner. The weather was completely perfect for a night in the kayak.

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Thursday was ANOTHER friend’s birthday! Was everyone born in August? She was turning 21 so we went out to get drinks after I got off of work. I didn’t get any pictures from the evening because the bar was JAM packed and by the time I got there it was pretty late and people were ready to party. I got to wear my new camo dress for the first time though and I was over. the. moon. If you know me then you know I lovvveee camo. I have camo shirts, jackets, skirts, dresses … etc. No pants though (coming soon)!

Friday I had an awesome opportunity to explore the Billings evidence lab. It was so cool inside and I really hope that I can do an internship for school there! The people that work there are so nice and they answered so many of the questions I had.

Friday and Saturday I worked, worked, worked. So no fun news there. Sometimes when I am working so much, coffee alone just doesn’t do the trick. So, I seek out other caffeinated drinks to sip on. Here are two of my favs:

BANG you can find at any GNC or Complete Nutrition. They have so many good flavors including: cotton candy, champagne and a citrus flavor! The XS I actually bought from a friend! The one above is grapefruit flavor but I have also tried the blood orange and it is to die for! On days where I am feeling slow I love to reach for one of these so make me feel a little more perky. If you are interest in the XS, you can get them here! They also have some BOMB lemon crunch bars.

ANYWAYS, I seriously think I have a shopping problem, people! I was shopping to get new ‘Back to School’ clothes and I felt like I went H-A-M. I just can’t help myself at Forever 21 or TJ Maxx! Everything is so cheap!

 

 

I got most of it from Forever 21 but there are a few pairs of Lulu’s in there. UGH, can’t help myself with that store! I didn’t NECESSARILY need new workout clothes but I did just get rid of some I had so I picked up a few more items. Whoops! Oh well, now I just need an excuse to wear everything!

This afternoon (Sunday) after I finish up the blog, I am going to start reading my two new books. My friend Jayde and I decided to start a 2 person book club (if anyone wants to join you’re more than welcome to!) and picked out our first book that we want to read.

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The Serial Killer book is mine to just personally read and the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is the one we are reading! I think that there are so many things that people often care way too much about and this book breaks it down to why we give such a f*ck about the most unimportant things and how to move on from caring too much! I will keep you updated on the how the book is coming and if anyone wants to talk about it more, just let me know!

All good things have to come to an end, so thank you for reading and stay tuned for some fun news this week that I will be sharing! On Wednesday I am going to post a shoulder workout and a review over a new beauty product that I am trying out! Stay tuned!

QUESTIONS:

What books are you currently reading?

When coffee doesn’t ‘do the trick’ what do you reach for?

What is your favorite food from the fair?

The Dark Side of Competing

I thought a lot about writing this post before I decided to sit down and actually write it. I feel like this is a pretty heavy topic and won’t be loaded with pictures and positivity. It is such a personal topic to me that I didn’t know if I was comfortable sharing my experience with other people and to maybe have them think differently of me.

When I tell people I am competing in a bodybuilding (NPC) competition they look at me like I’m crazy. Now, if I showed them before and after pictures, they would see how far I have come physically. And if they have a conversation with me, they would see how far I have come emotionally.

I have been on ‘prep’ since April. At first, I was beyond motivated and loved to be in the gym. When I started to see progress I was even more motivated and wanted to spend more time in the gym and wanted to push myself to eat perfect – to the point where it became obsessive. Watching your body change from week to week and seeing the progress can be an incredible feeling – until one week, you don’t see any progress.

When you start to plateau for the first time and maintain the weight right before you start cutting; it can be discouraging. When you eat one ‘bad’ food item and feel bloated for two days, it can be discouraging. When you miss one gym day and spend an extra hour in the gym the next day, IT CAN BE DISCOURAGING. No one holds your hand through this process. Of course, you have a Coach. But he isn’t here making me go to the gym daily and telling me how good my diet is going.

Even after all this time, I could look in the mirror and pick at my body. Who am I? I feel like at the beginning of this process I was comfortable in my body (never a girl that would wear tight clothing or wanting to go out in a swimsuit, but comfortable). One day I felt like I needed a change and wanted to push myself in fitness since I felt like I was already pushing myself in other aspects of my life. It seems like the closer I get to my competition date the more critical I am of myself. Somedays I am extremely sad or moody for whatever reason and don’t want to go to the gym. If I decided to not go then I kick myself until I feel even more sad. It feels like a never ending process.

When my diet isn’t perfect it makes me want to quit. It makes me want to throw away everything I have worked for this far even though I am only 10 weeks out. Some days I weigh in at 130 and other days I am down to 123. It makes me sad to think that I care about the scale so much when in reality, it isn’t the scale that is determining how my body is looking. Why after all this time and healthy eating do I still look in the mirror and see no change? These are the thoughts that run through my head.

I have never been one to be self-conscious with my body but now that I am in the best shape of my life and I am? It is incredible how being healthy and working out can make you feel that way. Shouldn’t it make you feel like you’re on top of the world? Although I love the process of becoming a better ‘me’, it is hard to talk about this topic because it makes me feel weak and upset. I shouldn’t feel this way, and yet, I still do.

These are some pretty dark words stated above and not every person will obviously feel the same way I do. I hear from people that when you get on the stage after all your hard work it makes all the months prior worth it. I am excited for that feeling and I feel like that is something that definitely drives me forward. The support from my friends and family also pushes me to be my best self. I have dinner every Sunday at my dad’s house and he always sets aside grilled chicken for me even though the rest of the family is eating something different. I have had support come out of no where at certain times and people’s kind words make it all worth it.

I just want people to know that when they say, ‘How do you do it?’ Sometimes I don’t even know. For awhile, I was working four jobs and still trying to train twice a day. It felt nearly impossible and really put me in a rut for about a week. I totally missed a few workouts and could feel my anxiety skyrocketing by the day. But, I feel like I pushed through it and feel better than ever now. I feel blessed and grateful for the life I live and the support I have.

Right now, I am in a good place in life and with school right around the corner I am excited for the structure. I know that I will make it to the end of these 10 weeks and not even remember these feelings that I am having. now. I can’t wait to accomplish something so far out of my comfort zone and to say that I DID IT! I know it is always good to challenge yourself and this is one of my biggest challenges yet. Can’t wait to dominate.

Everyday can’t be the best day. Do what you can right now, don’t hesitate.

Go Shawty, it’s your … wedding day?

Happy Sunday! Like I said in Wednesday’s post. THIS WEEK IS NUTS! I love being busy though because I feel way more focused and have to actually plan out my days instead of just ‘going with the flow’. When I do have an entire day off I just lay in bed and watch tv (bad, bad, bad); so being busy definitely keeps me on track.

On Wednesday I mentioned that I went to lunch with a friend of mine. What I didn’t mention is that she is going through a hard. Lately I’ve been feeling pretty down about a few things and getting together with her made me realize that sometimes you need to be a little more carefree. She is such a positive and strong person and it made me think that even when someone may be having a rough week, rough month, rough year, she still chooses to see the bright side of thinks and it such an amazing trait that makes me admire her so much as a person. We don’t get together often, but when we do I always leave wishing that I spent more time with her. She is a true blessing to have as a friend and I hope that I can learn from her outlooks on things and hopefully because more like that one day.

Thursday was THE BEST DAY. My friend Becca just got back from Bahrain and I was OH SO EXCITED to go visit her and her little one, Ki. I haven’t seen her in over a month and she is getting married in October and we still have so much planning to do for the Bachelorette party and such. I knew she got me a gift and I was so excited to receive it!

 

On one side my name is written in Arabic and on the the other it’s my name in English! Such a thoughtful gift and can’t wait to get to wear it. She is getting married in the Fall so all of the bridesmaids now have ‘matching’ necklaces.

THEN, it gets better. Another friend of mine just visited Oregon and went to Picathon and brought me back a gift (I know, how did I get so lucky with my friendships?!) If this ain’t me .. then I don’t know what is.

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They are seriously the cutest gift ever and I am so happy!

Thursday afternoon I was excited to get off and go to the gym because I have the best workouts in the afternoon. I got in my car and on my way I looked over at my cute new air freshener from Francesca’s and reminded myself to continue to have a positive attitude the rest of the day. It truly is the small things that help me overcome stupid little things that bother me throughout the day.

 

I was jamming out so hard at the gym.. I’m surprised no one said anything. I was lifting back and then did some cardio on the stairmill for awhile. I wanted to do HIIT but I always feel better after a half-hour running up some stairs. There are a few songs that I HAVE to listen to while I workout to get me in the right mindset lately. Here is my top 6 songs that I’ve been starting my workouts with.

 

Most of them are pretty upbeat but I love Corinne Bailey Rae’s cover of ‘The Scientist’. It literally gives me chills every time I listen to it!

After the gym I ran home to change to before I went out to my friend Lindsey’s birthday dinner! We decided to go to Alive After Five, which is just a big drinking fest with some live music hosted at a different restaurant every Thursday in the summer, (run on sentence FOR SURE ^^) and then head over to Wild Ginger for some hibachi. A few of my close friends there but I wasn’t drinking and couldn’t really eat the hibachi food so I left shortly after dinner (every party needs a pooper, right?)

 

For dinner I had a sushi roll made with raw salmon, avocado, mango, a mango Thai chili sauce and topped with Basil! It was delicious… I ate a few of Amanda’s veggies from her hibachi as well because I just couldn’t resist!

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I ended the evening with a late night cardio session (fun, right?). But came home exhausted and ready for bed.

Friday night I went to the movie Annabelle:Creation with some friends. It was terrifying. I am a big fan of scary movies and this movie was totally worth the $13 to get in. I didn’t really think that it tied in with the other Annabelle movies as well but I liked that it was constant freight. I looked over at my friends during the middle of the movie and we all had our hand over our eyes. I probably wouldn’t see it again just because I don’t see value in going to scary movies twice in theaters. Although, the new IT movie is coming out September 8th and I’m counting down the days! It looks so creepy. Stephen King’s novels are so creepy to read. I haven’t seen the old IT but I’m going to be front row in the new one!

Saturday evening I had a wedding to go to! It was so beautiful. It was at a venue that I have never been to before called Oscar’s Dreamland. When you pull in there is a bunch of run-down buildings that remind you of an old town look. On each building there is a description of how the building got there. We aren’t exactly sure if it used to be a town or what but there was a bank, barber shop, tall clock, and a gas station.

The wedding was for my friend Britt and her fiance Jeremy. Their hashtag was super cute: #gettingthejohnson (because his last name was Johnson). My friend Amanda and I had such a fun time! We danced for awhile and ate some fresh hog (a whole entire hog — FRESH — apple in mouth FRESH). Around 9pm I decided to jet on home because I had to work early on Sunday morning. Although I am a grandmother when it comes to staying out late, I always have a fun time with my friends. Here are some pictures from the wedding!

Coming to a close on this post! Sorry that I didn’t talk fitness this part of the week but I was so busy with so many other things that I wanted to discuss those instead! Next week Bachelor in Paradise starts and I am looking forward to it more than I should. School starts in three weeks and then my competition is in 10 weeks! Many fun times ahead. Until next time!

 

QUESTIONS:

What is the coolest gift that you have ever received from a friend?

What is your go-to workout song to get pumped up at the gym?

 

Coffee, walks & the Bachelorette

This week has been C R A Z Y busy so far! Thus, I decided to post TWO posts this week to make sure that I didn’t leave anything out. I was so excited on Sunday evening because I got a gift in the mail (the best kind of gifts). I ordered a Fitbit Alta! I really wanted something that would tell me how active I was being during the day.

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It’s dark purple with interchangeable bands! It tells me my text messages, phone calls, active minutes, calories burned and steps taken. The active minutes was confusing to me at first but it is when you haven’t stopped moving for more than 10 minutes. ANYWAYS – I love it and can’t wait to share more about it after I wear it a few more times.

Monday morning was a good friend’s birthday, Natalie. So in honor of her birthday we woke up early to go for coffee and take a walk on the rims. One thing I love about Natalie is she is always wanting to do something adventurous. The coffee shop we decided to go to is a new coffee shop in Billings, Black Dog. The exterior and interior of the joint was very cute and I decided to get an americano with a splash of almond milk.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t the biggest fan of my coffee but I was happy to venture out and try something new! I love local shops! Since I work in a coffee shop I always love to try new things (especially our mess ups). Since I’m on prep I can’t really have an entire thick caramel, vanilla, latte made with half and half with a whip cream on top (I just made that up – but people order that!), so it is always nice to just take a sip of these drinks to try new things! Usually I get a coffee called a bee-sting. I get a quad shot over ice with honey, cinnamon and a splash of coconut milk.

One thing to mention about coffee if you are trying to cut weight, get in shape, or whatever, is that what you are drinking can really affect your fitness goals. Getting half the syrup or switching up your milk can be very beneficial in drinking coffee! Sometimes you should drink that extra flavor pumpkin latte. But when you are trying to reach a goal it can be detrimental to your diet.

Here is just a quick look at a Venti Starbuck Vanilla Bean Frappe vs. a Mcdonald’s hamburger. The three things that I always look at when before I eat something is carbs, fat and protein. To me, calories are not as valuable because if I am hitting all my macronutrients then my caloric intake should be fairly low regardless.

Back to discussing Natalie’s birthday! Here are a few pictures of our walk on the rims!

We had so much fun on our walk! Sidney (Nat’s roommate) and I got Nat a Fitbit for her birthday so we are now twins! The rest of the day was pretty mellow, I just went to volunteer at the crime center downtown and had to work that evening! The silliest thing happened when I got off though (aka, a not so funny story). I went to the gym for a late night session and my key FOB wouldn’t work! I was so sad. It definitely put me in a funk before I went to bed that night and I felt like I didn’t sleep as well because of it. I always sleep better when I’m completely exhausted from the day and I still had some pent up energy.

Tuesday I woke up and was ready to rumble. I wanted to make it to talk to the ladies at the gym early but actually didn’t end up going until after I got off of work! I wanted to workout after work but did not want to run home beforehand because it is SO HARD for me to get motivated once I am already home. Therefore, I took tuna packets togo so that I could eat them in my car before my workout!

I was so pumped to be back in the gym that I did a HIIT circuit and some lifting. I always keep my BCAAs close. BCAAs are so good to workout with because they help with soreness and the recovery process of your muscles (and also taste delicious).

It was the second day wearing my Fitbit all day and I reached 15,000 steps! I feel like Tuesday was not even an active day but I had 54 minutes of non-stop movement (cardio) and felt pretty proud with my end of the day check in.

The past few days I have been listening to a good friend of mine’s podcast. If any of you are interested in movies then you have to check it out here. Him and his brother discuss movie reviews in a very funny and witty way. It is even good to listen to when you haven’t seen the movie and it kept me enthralled the entire time I did cardio. I am always looking for new podcasts to listen to so if anyone has good podcast ideas, please share them in the comments!

After my workout I did some stretching. Stretching is so. good. for. you. Did you hear me? So. good. for. you. When you stretch you are increasing your range of motion in your joints. When you don’t stretch, muscles are tight and will have more of a tendency to tear. Stretching lengthens your muscles and can be truly relaxing to get into a good mindset before a workout.

After the gym I went home and watched the latest Bachelorette episode and boy was I bummed. I was already a day behind so I knew who was going to be the winner (I also looked it up a couple weeks ago because I am very impatient). WHY DID PETER NOT WIN?! I am so sad for him I hope that he will be the next Bachelor .. except he doesn’t want to get married so that would ruin the point of the show? Anyways, I was upset to see how Rachel treated Peter in the end but I do have to realize that it is reality tv and a lot of it is done for the viewing. I will FOR SURE be tuning in for BIP (Bachelor in Paradise) though. I am devastated to see that Dean will be making an appearance on there, low-key obsessed with him, but as long as my girl Raven shows up – I’ll be happy.

Back to business, Wednesday was a great day. I love Wednesdays more than any other day in the week. I feel like the week is halfway over and it doesn’t hurt that it is usually my day off. I spent the day food prepping but did end up going to lunch with a friend. Prepping can be hard during the summertime because there is so many events, lunches, dinners, birthdays, etc. But pretty much everywhere you go there will be always be healthy (ish) options. As long as you aren’t going completely H A M you will be okay. Sometimes it is needed to treat yourself.

I made soup for this weeks prep and I’m so excited to try it. I also do not know what I was thinking but I accidentally bought regular potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, what? (But on the real, the bag looked the same and they were next to each other in the store). So I soaked the potatoes for about 20 minutes, peeled them and cut them into fourths. After that, I set the oven to 450 degrees and roasted them for 35 minutes! They came out a littttle crispy but hopefully when I microwave them they’ll be good.

I think soup should be an every season thing. I found this squash apple bisque and I can’t wait to try it! I will totally pair it with some chicken for some extra protein. Lately, I’ve been so on-the-run that I have been eating tuna packets DAILY. I don’t always have time to take two hours to prep, like everyone else – I only have 24 hours in a day. So when I stopped by the grocery store I made sure to pick up some of my quick go-tos for the week.

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I grabbed some tuna packets, yogurt and some rice cakes! I always keep Lenny and Larry’s cookies close. I always have sweet cravings and they are perfect for that.

Before I jet out for the rest of the day, I just wanted to share a quick plyo-leg workout.

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Have a wonderful rest of your week, friends! I hope to catch up with you all soon.

QUESTIONS:

What did you guys think about the Bachelorette results?

What is your favorites go-to snack?

Do you think that soup should be an every season item?

 

GTL, anyone?

This week has been absolutely wonderful. I am starting a new job and finally had a few days off where I felt like I could relax. On Monday, besides volunteering, I didn’t really do much. I actually didn’t make it to the gym. I felt so guilty. Sometimes when I go, go, go, I need to remind myself that it is okay to miss a gym date here and there. You don’t always need to be work yourself in the gym to death. If you miss a day I AM TELLING YOU IT IS OKAY. Your mental health should always be #1 and if you feel like you are not mentally there while at the gym then your workout isn’t going to be good. So, Monday I felt like I was having an off-day and skipped out.

One thing I cannot live without is PANCAKES. Even on prep I am constantly looking for healthy ways to make pancakes. Kodiak brand is BY FAR my favorite brand but I went to Albertsons on Monday and they. were. out. I was appalled. So I decided to try a different brand for once and use a few substitutions.

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For a 1/2 cup of mix I made quite a few substitutions. The only thing that I really added to the mix was 1/4 c scoop of protein powder (Kodiak Cakes have protein in them but this brand didn’t and I couldn’t justify pancakes without protein powder in them).

The macros for the pancakes after all the substitutions were the following:

carbs – 53.4g       fat – 3.1g       protein – 36.7g

 

Although I missed Monday I woke up a little earlier on Tuesday to hit the gym for an early morning cardio session. I decided to do a HIIT circuit because it always gets me sweating. The best part about doing HIIT in the morning is that you are going to continue to burn more calories for the rest of the day – crazy, right? So as much as I hate going to the gym in the morning, I like to at least get a little cardio in (I also feel like the days I get up and go are the days where I have the most energy). Generally, I am a late night gym goer and for the school year, that just isn’t going to work. SO, my goal for the rest of the summer is to try to get my workouts in early or in the afternoon. HIIT is high intensity interval training. Essentially you are going to work out at maximum effort for a short amount of time and then take a short break. Here is an example of a 45 minute HIIT workout that I did on Tuesday.

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Late after work I decided to head back to the gym to finish my day with a shoulder workout (my favorite part of the body to lift). And walked on incline on the treadmill for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday I got up pretty early (is 8:30am early?) and went to walk on the rims with some friends. I love to start my day outside but I usually don’t get the opportunity to do so! After our walk we ran to the mall and I stopped at GNC to buy some goodies. Eeeek! I seriously love trying new protein and products.

I decided to go with GHOST. I think I just like the packaging. But the lady at GNC said it was extremely good so I trusted her judgement and got a huge container, whoops! I also got a ONE bar, Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites (red velvet flavor) and Enlightened Marshmallow Treats (original, double chocolate, and birthday cake)! Can you tell I am a snacker? For how big the rice crispy treats are the macros are C R A Z Y low. Seriously, go pick some up today. They taste just like regular rice crispy treats. The mocha Oreos I bought for my roommate! I will definitely have to try one though!

The macros for the original ON rice crispy treat:

carbs – 48g       fat – 3.5g       protein – 15g

BUT THEN, the best part of the day. I went to Albertsons AGAIN and look what I found!

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OVER THE MOON.

Friday did not go as planned .. I slept most of the day (much needed) and then had to work that evening. After work I decided to hit the gym for some late-night lifting and cardio. Lately I’ve been OBSESSED with Jersey Shore. It has made doing cardio so much easier because I can just put on an episode and not even realize the amount of time that has gone by! Reality TV is definitely a weakness of mine.

I worked both Saturday and Sunday as well. After what seemed like a long weekend I was ready to sit down and relax. I got an email from my Coach saying that I will be cutting from this coming Monday and forward. I’m very excited to see what the next few months have in store for me!

All positive thoughts moving into the next week. I have many birthdays this week and a wedding! Woohoo! Can’t wait to share all of it next Sunday. Have a wonderful week, friends and readers and hope to see you again soon.

QUESTIONS:

What do you guys want to see more of, fitness, lifestyle or recipes?

What is your favorite thing to watch/listen to when you do cardio?

What is your morning ritual like?