Blog Archives

There Are No Ugly Women

There are no ugly womenWhen I saw Helena’s Quote, I was like “YES!”. That is SO true! Anyone can be beautiful, it just takes work. STOP!!! Before I go a word further, let me reassure you, I am not talking about make-up. I am not talking about how much money you spend on your hair, having a perfect body or about having good genes. The beauty I am talking about goes deeper than the skin.

First, let’s talk about emotional beauty. When you think of someone beautiful, you think of someone standing tall and confident. You probably don’t picture someone hunched over and insecure. So, first, beauty starts within. Of course, not everyone has a rosy life. Some people are still attending the school of hard knocks – BUT you don’t have to let those moments define you. You LEARN from the school of hard knocks, you don’t grab a dorm and move in permanently.

If you are struggling emotionally, seek help to rebuild your spirit and to heal so you your light can shine again.

yogaSecond, let’s talk about your effort to take care of yourself. Don’t get me wrong, if your husband loves you best with no makeup, go for it! But, that doesn’t mean go ditch the hairspray and toothbrush too! There is a certain level of love we should have for ourselves that we should maintain. Not a vain selfish love, but a caring love for the body God gave us. Not only that, we should think about the effort we put in our appearance to GET our sweetheart, and continue to put in that much effort to keep him or her.

If you are neglecting your health, your body, your well-being, you are not being your best. Not only that, it’s hard to work on our emotional health while neglecting our body. When we start to work on our best and make improvements, confidence follows. This helps us work on the first topic of standing proud and tall. Then we actually feel physically better. THEN we look better because we feel better. THEN we look forward to presenting ourselves as our very best because we know we are valuable and special.

Lastly, let’s talk about the physical appearance. Once you are feeling better, inside and out, we shouldn’t neglect our appearance. I don’t mean you need to get plastic surgery if you hate your nose. I mean powder that nose and make the best with what you have. 90% of beauty is not the make-up you put on, or the muscles you sculpt, it’s the way you present yourself to the mirror and to the world. Beauty is a reflection of your heart, and the effort you put into making the most of the life God gave you. The make-up, hair and dress is just the ribbon on top of the present (and you ARE a valuable prize!).

Monica-Tess-touched-by-an-angel-30892909-1024-768If you wash you car, clean your house, polish your furniture and mow your yard, then why would you neglect your body? Maybe you have put everyone else first. Maybe you have struggled with being too vain (believe me, I’ve struggled with that one too!). Maybe you feel like there’s no hope for you. Maybe you’ve gained too much weight, are too old or have too many problems. Let me tell you right now, some of the most beautiful people I know are not the most perfect people I know. Of matter of fact, some of the ugliest people I know, are the most physically attractive. You can only be as beautiful on the outside as you are in the inside.

No fat, no zits, no wrinkles, no scars, no flaws can cover up real beauty. If you focus on sprucing up the inside, the outside will begin to sparkle too! 🙂

YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.
Don’t believe me? Ask God. He made you and he don’t make no junk! 😉

 

Reward Yourself with Confidence, Not Food

reward yourselfMany times, when people are on a diet, they reward themselves with a nice dinner out or “cheat weekend”, but what about rewarding yourself with nice clothes that support your fitness goals? We would easily blow $50 on dinner without blinking an eye, but why not invest in your confidence and goals?

When I first got married and fell off the fitness train, I dreaded going back to the gym – as the fatter version of me. I felt fat and ugly, and knew people would notice how I had “let myself go”. I wore crappy workout clothes because I didn’t have any cute ones to fit my heavier body. As I lost weight, I began to reward myself with cuter tops and accessories. The closer I reached my goals, the more goodies I got – and the more excited I was about going to the gym.

Changing the way you reward yourself is one way to help boost your self-esteem to help you feel your best as you are working toward your goals. It worked for me – and it can work for you!

Ellie XOXOIf you like fitness and working out, but you want to do it in style, you need to meet Ellie. Ellie is a monthly subscription program where you get a new outfit each month for half the cost. You can stop it any time, or you can even just order pieces you like, but the monthly subscription is the most affordable way to get a killer high-quality outfit each month for less. Here are some of the items I have and really love. As you can see, each piece has a unique design and fun cuts that not only pretty, but are flattering too.
Ellie medium_201306-PERFECTCATCH_RISEANDSHINE_LITTLEBLACKLEGGING_BACK Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 7.05.05 AM medium_9backScreen Shot 2013-08-06 at 7.05.48 AM medium_peek-a-boo-back
medium_201306-outfit-UPALLNIGHT_HEATWAVE_BACKScreen Shot 2013-08-06 at 7.06.13 AM Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 7.06.24 AMmedium_3back

Here is a sneak peak of Ellie‘s Bon Voyage Collection, the newest monthly collection.

10 Tips for Goal Setting:

  • Set clear defined goals each week – this can be based on attendance, diet or weight
  • Set clear defined goals each month – this should be results based
  • Decide what has to be done to reach those goals
  • Determine a specific reward for each goal or task met
  • Reward yourself weekly with something small – like a fitness magazine or new music
  • Reward yourself monthly with something bigger, like a new outfit or fitness accessory
  • Create a “consolation prize”, like a smaller reward for those times you missed your goal, but didn’t give up or backslide, so you don’t get discouraged
  • Share your goals with friends for added accountability
  • Constantly remind yourself where you will be if you reach your goals each week.
  • Keep your eye on the prize! Post your goals, pictures and motivation where you can see it multiple times through out the day.

Tough Women: 4 Ways to Build Power, Strength & Confidence

Strong Enough for Men, but Made for Women Too

one-arm push upI always liked the the Secret deodorant slogan “strong enough for men, but made for a woman” but I think it also exposes another secret – the belief that strength is normally only made for men.

Of course we know there are strong chicks too, but I think a lot of women just think they were born that way. Some of the toughest chicks aren’t tough because they LOOK tough – they are tough because they ARE tough. Just like Demi More in G.I. Jane, tough comes with a price. She had to train hard to do the stuff she had to do in that movie – from doing intense workouts, obstacle training and even prepping mentally to shave her head. People aren’t just born that way, they are made that way through enduring tough tasks. The tougher the task, the tougher you become.

Watch this short video clip, and tell me that doesn’t make you want to learn how to do a one-armed push up!

Do You Know Your Own Strength?

scared of the gymWhile I believe, if most women were honest, there is a side to them that would love to be tough and powerful. But, many women struggle with the self-confidence to grow in this area. This is even more of a problem when a woman is overweight or not in good shape. Ironically, one of the best places to fix that (the gym) makes many women even MORE insecure so they avoid it at all cost, or they save it as a last resort. Well, NO MORE! It’s time for you to become the POWERFUL, STRONG and CONFIDENT woman you desire to be!  And I’ve got news for you, it doesn’t include pink rubber weights!

If you want to discover power, strength and confidence, it requires training that requires you to be powerful, strong and confident. If your training doesn’t CHALLENGE these areas, don’t expect to CHANGE those areas. Sadly, many women “ease” into their workouts because they simply don’t know how powerful and strong they really are. Why? Because they just don’t know their own strength –  because they’ve never really tested it.

4 ways to toughen up & gain more confidence:

  1. Women Can Lift Heavy TooUp your weight. I can’t tell you how many women are not even touching the surface of their own strength. They literally don’t know their own strength. However, if they were to up the weight, they’d be surprised to find they can do the same number of reps with the heavier weight. Would it be more difficult? Sure! Would it be possible? Sure! You’ll never know how strong you are until you try. Don’t worry about bulking up. Most women don’t have enough testosterone to gain manly muscles. 
  2. Test your strength. Once a week, choose an exercise to test your 1 rep max, which is the maximum weight you can lift in one exercise. Normally, we are doing multiple reps of a weight, so the weight has to be light enough for us to repeat the exercise 12-15 times. But what if all we have to do is one repetition? That’s the idea of the 1 Rep max. Some of the best exercises, according to Bodybuilding.com, to use to test this are bench press, squats, deadlifts, clean and press, military (shoulder press) and bicep curls. Use Bodybuilding.com’s 1-Rep Max (1RM) Calculator to find out what your 1-rep max should be. There is nothing more empowering that lifting a heavy weight – even if it’s just one time.
  3. female boxer mmaTry something new. If you are constantly staying in your comfort zone, using the same equipment or practicing the same training style, you will likely stay the same too. Venture out and try new things. Even if you discover you don’t like something, you will gain power from the knowledge you gained from trying it. Sure, you may feel a little dorky or awkward while you are learning it, but you will walk away feeling amazing.
  4. Do what the boys do. If you are constantly gravitating to aerobics classes and the women’s section at the gym, you are missing out! There is a reason guys are tough. They do though things – and so can you! For instance, flipping tractor tires is tough. Your hands get dirty and it’s hard work, but it’s an amazing workout and you’ll feel great when it’s done. The same goes with exercises like bench press, dips or pull ups. These are often exercises that never make it on a woman’s workout schedule. Sadly, it’s not because the women can’t do it. It’s because they never even try to do it. Make it a regular practice to incorporate tough exercises into your program.

20 Tough Activities & Exercises

  1. handstand chickTry a handstand (and practice it)
  2. Test your 1RM for bench press
  3. Take boxing or martial arts lessons
  4. Do a mud run
  5. Do something untraditional like flipping a tractor tire or doing wall-ups
  6. Take a intense boot camp program
  7. Practice olympic lifting
  8. Take a gymnastics class
  9. Do a 5K, half marathon, full marathon or triathlon
  10. Climb a rock-climbing wall
  11. Take a grappling (wrestling) lesson
  12. Test your speed in a quarter mile (sprinting, not driving!)
  13. Practice push ups, pull ups and dips
  14. Train with kettlebells
  15. Take a power yoga class
  16. Practice batting at the batting cages
  17. Do a tabata workout (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
  18. Try a new sport – like surfing, skiing, cycling, mountain biking or swimming
  19. Play catch – football, softball or even frisbee (and GO ALL OUT to catch it!)
  20. Play with the boys. Play a coed ball game, workout with the guys, go to a car show and do something guys do. And don’t just show up – take that time to learn more about what you are doing. Whether it’s a drifting race or skin-boarding, knowledge is powerful.

8 Tough Workouts

Tractor Tire Training 

10 Tire Exercises – If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a tractor tire, here’s your answer!

Conditioning Tractor Tire Workout – Be ready for your heart to be POUNDING!

Tractor Abs – Learn 5 ab exercises you can do with a tractor tire.

Improve Your Push Up &/or Pull Up

Even if you can’t do a pull up or push up, THIS will get you stronger.

Savage Training

Try an untraditional workout, designed for mud runs and people who don’t have gym equipment.

BCx Wallup Workout

Climbed walls lately? Today’s your day! Try this crazy fun workout to boost strength and stamina.

Try a Kettlebell Workout

Learn some kettlebell basics.

Grueling Get Ups

Try this awesomely intense Turkish Getup inspired workout and get your sweat on!

Gym Motivation for Women

Subscribe today to get more motivation tomorrow!

CLICK HERE to see more motivational mantras!

 

BODY: Be Mine

17 years ago today, Steve asked me to “Be Mine” and I said yes. It was such an easy decision, I barely blinked an eye. There is a lot of love in the air around this time of year, but no matter how much love there is to go around, we often struggle to extend that same love to our own self. I have to admit, if my body said “Be Mine” I’d have to think twice. I mean, I can’t help but think there HAS to be a better body out there for me. If only I had the choice to pick it like we get to pick our mate.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” 

Poor Vision
If we could just see ourselves through our lover’s eyes. We would be so much easier on ourselves. We wouldn’t even notice the zit on our face or our love handles poking out of our jeans. We wouldn’t be staring at everything that is wrong, but we would be looking at all that was right. It would almost be like we were looking at a different person.

If only we could see ourselves like we see others. We extend our loved ones so much grace, yet we have none left for ourself. We harshly judge our body, so much so, we end up imprisoning ourselves with negative and irrational thoughts.

Blindness
Even Heidi Klum can rip apart her own smile, yet all we see is beauty. How many times has someone said they wish they had something you had. They wish they had your hair, they wish they had your skin, or they wish they had your eyes. If you’re like me, these comments are hard to accept.

They are hard to accept because we honestly don’t see what they see. Not because it’s not there – but because we aren’t looking at it. We are so focused on all the crappy stuff, we literally aren’t even looking at the good stuff. However, the good stuff is still there, whether we recognize it or not, and it’s normally what everyone else sees first.

The problem with people who are actively working on the “flaws” in our life, is that they become focused on them. It’s difficult to work on something without focusing on it so much you actually become obsessed with it.

Losing Focus
Think of marriage and relationships. You can’t just ignore each other’s flaws – there is a certain amount of work that is required to improve flaws so you can improve your marriage. However, you can easily become so focused on those flaws you begin to take everything else for granted. Before you know it, you can’t even see all the good stuff that made you fall in love to begin with.

This is exactly what happens to people who are working to improve their health and their body. The fat you once were accustomed to, and didn’t bother you as much as it does now, and although you probably even have less of it now, it’s all you see.

As you work and work to improve your flaws, it’s important you don’t become obsessed with them. Because you will never naturally think of all your positive attributes, you have to be purposeful when it comes to building yourself up. Our flaws will always try to steal the show so it’s up to us to close the curtain on them and put the spotlight on the real stars – all your awesome traits everyone else loves and you’ve forgotten.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Life’s “Falls” are Necessary to Grow Strong

A child can’t walk on their 1st try. Success comes with practice – and many falls.

I woke up this morning thinking about failure and how our “falls” in life are necessary to grow stronger. It made me think of a child. When trying to get a baby to walk, if he or she could speak, I am sure the words that would come out of his or her mouth would be “but mom, I can’t” – but they CAN and DO!

Of course they only start walking after about a million falls, wiggle/wobbles and tears, but they eventually walk – and before you know it, they are so good at it you have to hold their hand so they don’t run off.

You can – and WILL
Fitness is the same way. When we have a brand new boot camper, the words “I can’t” often come out of their mouths. “I can’t run”, “I can’t do push ups”, “I can’t lift that” – and you know what? They CAN and DO.  Read the rest of this entry

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