How Tracking Food Helps With Weight Loss Success

A very big piece of advice I would like to pass along to you is to track your food and exercise, in some shape or form. It has a lot of benefits, more than I could ever list. So here are the highlights.

These are just a few methods of tracking:

  • Online or through an app: Spark People and MyFitnessPal are just a couple that I’ve had personal experience with and have found work well. There are likely countless others.
  • Computer: some programs such as Microsoft Works and Microsoft Word have food and exercise logs. You could also create your own custom food/exercise logs with simple tables or other buttons within some of these programs.
  • Paper and pen: go old school and use a notebook to write down what you have eaten and done for exercise or print logs from programs and use them to write them down.

Now you may want to know what is so important about tracking food and exercise when you are trying to improve your health and lose weight. I’ll tell you why I believe it to be so important:

  1. To see where you stand throughout the day as well as at the end of it, such as eating within your calorie range, getting enough fruits and vegetables, getting enough protein or fiber, not getting too many carbs or too much fat.
  2. To measure physical capabilities and see how much more you can do compared to when you started or even a couple weeks ago. Some ways to see progress would be with time (minutes), distance, speed, repetitions of strength training exercise, increasing the weights for strength training, etc.
  3. To see what works for you as well as what does not. That way you can repeat what does work and cut out what doesn’t. You will be able to look back and see trends to help you decide your course of action going forward. If you weren’t keeping track, how would you know?

As you track your food and exercise in one form or another, you will also find that it gives you accountability to yourself. It provides you with the chance to see what you’re doing each day in relation to your goals and progress. Keeping track of what you eat and what exercises you do, as well as possibly even how you felt about it if you want, will help you to continuously move forward.

Then as you go along, you will know how to change things as needed and find what works for you. A lot of this weight loss thing is finding what works for you personally. Sure, you can get a million and one ideas from the internet, but some things will work for you and others won’t. Some of it won’t interest you and some simply doesn’t work for you or your body, and this is one way to keep track of that as well.

~Bonnie~

A Powerful Story of Anxiety and Overcoming Obstacles

I’m incredibly honored to have my friend, Cat from Frugal Living and Crafting, share her story of dealing with anxiety as my monthly Inspire the Best You feature! Her story of dealing with anxiety and still doing her best to live life the way she chooses is so inspiring to me. I hope you find something in her story that resonates with you as well!

My name is Cat.  I’m 36 years old, and happily married to my husband, Jeff.  We’re the proud parents of a cat and dog, but none of the two legged sorts of kids.  I’m a free-lance writer, and  I also blog at Frugal Living and Crafting.  

I was originally diagnosed with anxiety when I was 5 years old.  I had almost constant nausea, and often had a very difficult time keeping food down.  Trips to multiple doctors gave no answers to why I was so sick, and being afraid of doctors, it only made the situation worse.  It took an ordinary family doctor to figure out that my “illness” was the physical manifestation of anxiety.  I was hospitalized, and given ways to deal with my anxiety when it struck.

Nighttime was one of the most common times for my anxiety to flare up.  Often, when I tried to stay the night with friends, I would end up calling my dad at midnight to come pick me up.  I felt less anxious when I was at home with my normal routine, and knowing my dad was usually awake most of the night.  Many times, I was so thankful to come home that my anxiety abated almost entirely, but equally as many times I would spend the rest of the night ill from it.

I went on to be an anxious teenager, still having most of my trouble at night.  My parents were very strict about my grades in school, and when I knew I had not done well on something, I would often literally worry myself sick about it.  Sometimes I ended up tearfully confessing that I had gotten a bad grade, long before report cards came out, just to get it off my chest.  I typically got grounded anyway, but they were usually less angry if I had warned them first.

Two major events in my life occurred when I was 16.  I started dating the man I would marry in 4 years, and spend the rest of life with.  And my father left my mother and me and moved across the country.  My anxiety was sometimes off the charts because I was so used to having my dad around, especially at night.  But Jeff was my rock, and we often chatted to the wee hours of the night to help me get through them the night.

I muddled through life with my anxiety always in tow.  It was the reason I dropped out of college.  After leaving school, I got a job and still, I muddled through.  About 10 years ago, my anxiety took a turn for the worse and I was having a tough time doing anything.  I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the same time, and suffering with the symptoms of that as well.  I spent a week in a mental hospital while doctors tried to find medications that would work for me.  In the end, I couldn’t control the anxiety enough to function and I became disabled and had to leave my job.

Living by the rules of my anxiety has been my life since then.  Often, I’m too anxious to leave home, or too anxious to leave home alone.  I worry about everything.  The nights, however, are still the worst by far.  Some nights my anxiety affects me so badly that I feel like I can’t breathe, and end up shaking and sobbing in my bed.  Sometimes getting up and reading helps, other times I can’t focus on the words.  The biggest balm for my soul is having Jeff at home, but he works nights so I am often left to fight my demons alone.

By now I’ve learned a few tricks to head off a panic attack.  Focusing on a deep breath, letting my belly expand as I breathe in, helps.  Simply getting out of my own head and doing some writing or reading a book can also be helpful.  These things are only helpful if I catch it before it reaches the state of a full blown panic attack.  Once that has happened, there’s nothing to do but wait it out and try to recover as best I can afterward.

These days I just take things one day at a time.  If anyone reading this suffers from anxiety, know you are not alone.  It’s a difficult road to travel, but sometimes reaching out to someone, just to talk, can help ease your misery.  If you don’t know who to talk to, feel free to reach out to me at frugallivingandcrafting@gmail.com .  I’m a pretty great listener.

My thanks to Bonnie for allowing me to share my story, and I hope perhaps it helps people understand what it’s like to deal with anxiety, and perhaps abate the loneliness for someone who also fights the battle.  

Tinker Bell Half Marathon: 2016 to 2017

Last year in May, I did the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland for the first time! It was something I had seen on a show, I think it was Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, and thought… “Wow, that would be fun to do!” I love Tinker Bell, she’s my favorite Disney character, so that was one of the reasons I was so drawn to the race, but also the fact that I had recently started my own healthy living journey and was very interested in doing races.

Triumphant right after finishing the half marathon in 2016!

I didn’t think that I would be interested in running a half marathon at that time though. Then one of my friends on SparkPeople ran the Tinker Bell Half in 2015 and I was so motivated and inspired by her story, that I decided that I could totally do the race too. I had a lot of help from friends encouraging me and helping me make this happen, and I am so thankful for all they did for me because the half marathon there at Disneyland was one of the very best experiences in my life so far.

So, in May 2016 I did the Tinker Bell Half Marathon for the first time and it was a big struggle. I had trained but not as well as I would have liked. Still, the training I did do allowed me to finish. If you don’t know about runDisney races, they will pull you out if you are too slow and fall too far behind. They require you to keep up a pace of 16 minutes per mile. I had a hard time with this the first half of the race, kept up with the pacers for a little bit, and then slowly started falling behind. I didn’t get pulled out though and was able to finish the race in 3 hours 43 minutes. I was so ecstatic and triumphant for being able to finish the race! It was an amazing feeling. I even didn’t have as much soreness or pain following the race and recovery went really smooth for me!

A picture from my longest training session before the race- 10 miles!

I finished the race feeling ready to tackle another half marathon in November, in my hometown here in California, but due to our moving across the country so close to the race, I wasn’t able to train at all for it. Over the summer though, when they opened registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon for 2017, I signed up right away! I was so excited to be able to do the half marathon again!

With the half marathon in May, I needed to start training right around the New Year, but I didn’t. Then only a few weeks into the New Year, I got a puppy… totally unplanned, literally showed up at my door. She was pretty calm and allowed me to work and my parents could handle her when I needed them to take care of her. Just four days after she entered our lives, she was taken away by her previous owners who had said we could keep her and then changed their mind, telling our apartment managers that we wouldn’t give her back. A few hours after that whole debacle, they sent Jasper, my puppy to us as an apology.

Look how tiny Jasper was! My heart is melting!

Jasper was younger and they weren’t attached to him, plus I had some insurance against them making a claim against us like they had before. He was meant to be mine, but he is high energy and high maintenance, and I didn’t want to leave this little ball of energy in his cage too often to go training. I already had to put him in there a bit while I worked on writing and later health coaching. I thought things would improve, he would calm down a bit. He did, but not enough and by then I was hustling to make enough income to support him and both of us. Therefore my training kept being pushed back and eventually there was just no time to train. Not only that, but we experienced some car troubles and other financial hardships that left me without a way to pay for the traveling and hotel I would need.

Wearing my “I DID IT!” shirt after the 2016 race.

I was super disappointed that I wasn’t able to go do the Tinker Bell Half Marathon this year. It was heartbreaking to me, seeing the emails from runDisney hitting my inbox, knowing I wasn’t going to be able to go in the final month before the race. Then they sent me a “thank you for participating” and “congratulations on your amazing accomplishment” email a couple days after the race. In my head I was thinking, “Oh how I wish I had done this amazing accomplishment again this year.” It made my heart sink. However, something that took the sting out of it was Jasper having his neuter surgery two days before the race, on May 12th. Taking care of him and all that entailed really kept my mind off of the fact that I was missing this race I had been looking forward to ever since I had done the first one.

There is next year though, and this time I will be training properly and finishing the Tinker Bell Half Marathon for the second time. The first time was such an amazing experience and a huge accomplishment for me, there is no way I’m going to miss the 2018 race!

 

 

~Bonnie~

A Day in the Life of a Health Coach

I’m often up late at night working, writing, connecting, answering messages, and much more, so I do not get up at a “traditional” hour. Besides that, there are some days I sleep in even longer due to simply needing more sleep.

As I am a writer and health coach, my day encompasses both roles. Just like everyone else, I have family things going on each day as well and that doesn’t stop just because I work from home. What I love most is being able to have a flexible schedule, take care of my puppy, and just do what I’m passionate about! This was yesterday’s day:

11:15am- Time to wake up, take my parents’ dog (Daisy) and my own pup (Jasper) out for their morning potty trip, and finally coffee + healthy breakfast! My usual go-to is whole grain toast with peanut butter and sliced banana on top. Yum!

Noon- Fed Jasper and catch up on Facebook notifications + touch bases with friends and clients, answer emails, and whatever else needs to be done while my brain is “waking up.”

1:30pm- Jasper needed to be taken out again for a potty run and to have some playtime. We tossed around his toys, played keep away and tug-of-war, and generally did whatever got him running around and getting some energy out.

2:15pm- Poor little Jasper had to be crated so mommy could get a workout in… I did YOUv2 our new workout that was just released last week! It is dancing to 80’s and 90’s music with a fun and charismatic trainer named Leandro Carvalho. I love love love the workout and am excited and pumped to do it each time.

3pm- Made a run out to the car to carry a package of water in that my mom went out to get. She can’t carry it in herself, so I needed to do it. Next I took Jasper out for a potty run again, and finally Daisy.

3:30pm- Drank my Shakeology shake. Today I started “drinking” it with a spoon that I had been using to stir it up, but found myself eating the rest of it with the spoon. It was super satisfying that way!

4pm- Time to get back to work messaging my own coach and touching bases with friends, catching up with my clients, and whatever else I need to catch up on for the afternoon. I also checked in on my Facebook groups and pages at this time. Yesterday I created an event for a live webinar in the group for Wednesday, my first ever FB live webinar.

5:30pm- I took Jasper out again and then did some dishes while he hung out in the bathroom. Only two safe places for him are the bathroom or his crate because otherwise he gets into mischief! He did really well in there and didn’t whine until I was almost done.

6pm- Played with Jasper in the room, throwing toys, playing tug-of-war, and getting him to run around like a lunatic!

6:30pm- Cooked dinner. Tonight we had tacos. I usually do tacos in a bowl, or have a taco salad. However, I indulged this evening with two tacos. Fully tracked and accounted for.

7pm- Caught up again on Facebook with friends and clients, while the pup slept in his crate. He was a crack up though, sleeping upside down, his little back legs resting on the back of the crate and he looked so peaceful that it made me smile!

7:45pm- I let the rascal out of his cage, got my running shoes on, put his harness on him, and made sure we were all set for a walk.

8pm- We left for our walk and we decided to walk on the main road today, which was fun for Jasper as someone had dropped a piece of cake on the sidewalk and he managed to snatch a bite while we walked. On our way back home, we ran into a puppy that’s a little older than him and they played for a couple minutes.

8:30pm- Took Daisy out and then got to work in my room on a blog post and my newsletter, so that I could schedule for later!

10pm- Made the finishing touches for the blog post and then scouted for freelance writing jobs online and sent a few applications and emails for jobs.

11:30pm- Another potty trip for Jasper. Finished up the newsletter content to schedule! If you’re not already signed up to receive it, be sure to sign up here: Inspire the Best You Weekly Newsletter.

12:30am- Downtime for a bit to catch up on the website SparkPeople, another place for weight loss and healthy living support.

1:30/2am- Time to brush teeth and go to bed!

What does your daily schedule look like? Do you work from home or out of the house?

 

~Bonnie~

How to Survive a Big Slip-Up

The truth of the matter is that slip-ups happen from time to time, for all of us. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes we also go through periods of time where all it feels like we do is slip-up! Those are really the pits! I had one of those myself recently and I had to constantly fight the “I’m a failure” feeling that kept creeping in simply because I was struggling so bad and nothing I did was working.

There is some great news… It is completely normal for this to happen in your weight loss or healthy living journey and I guarantee that you will get through this as long as you don’t give up! So no matter what you do, keep trying to forge ahead with your healthy living goals. As long as you keep trying, you will find something that works for you. It just takes time! It may even take longer than you imagined but it will indeed happen.

Use your bad experience to fuel you as you move forward, instead of seeing it as a totally negative deal. Learn from it and keep moving forward. There’s no use beating yourself up about the past. As I like to tell myself: “It is what it is and all I can do is move forward.” You can’t change what already happened, but what you can do instead is keep trying to do better.

Here are some of the things that have helped me get out of my big slip-up:

  • Look at the big picture. When things are tough and it feels like everything is fruitless, look at the big picture of your goals. It can be a beautiful tool because it reminds you of the big reason as to WHY you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy.
  • Focus on what you CAN do. Focus on each healthy decision you can make to help dig you out of the hole that it seems you fell into. What can you do right now, right here, to better your mentality?
  • See what you can do TODAY to move forward. There is only so much you can do each day. Think about what you can do today to work towards your goals. That way it seems like so much more of a manageable chunk.
  • Take it all one day, one moment at a time. No one can achieve their goals in no time flat. You think about each day, or each moment at a time, whatever works for you to make it easier and more doable.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how difficult it seems. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of all the things you need to do in order to achieve your goal. Just put one foot in front of the other no matter what and keep yourself moving forward.
  • Get yourself pumped up about something! Nothing can spark your motivation to do well like getting yourself excited to do it or something else you really enjoy. Feeling happier and more at peace will certainly help you get back on the right track with your weight loss and healthy living goals!

Even when it seems fruitless, remember that you are simply AMAZING for your efforts. Always keep trying! Even when it feels like you’re not making any progress whatsoever, keep going!

Try something new if you need to or try things that worked for you in the past. Trust your process because it is yours alone. Remember you haven’t failed until you quit trying.

Repeat this mantra when all else fails, “I CAN AND I WILL!” You will get through this.

~Bonnie~

The Secret of Success: Celebrate Your Victories

If you are trying to lose weight, you may think “Well, I’ll reward myself when I lose X pounds.” Yeah, do that! However, you should also celebrate the non-weight related goals… and maybe put even more emphasis on these!

Did you eat 5 fruits and vegetables today? Celebrate that! It’s a huge accomplishment and takes amazing willpower. I for one don’t accomplish that as often as I would like to so I admire anyone who does it even for one day!

Did you make it through a hard workout without quitting? Workouts are hard, period. An intense one is even tougher to make it through because there may be multiple moments where you would absolutely love to quit! If you pushed through a hard workout without quitting, give yourself a big pat on the back!

Have you eaten within your calorie range for the first time, or have you eaten within your calorie range for a certain amount of days in a row? This is another feat! Go crazy, do a little dance for your accomplishment!

Are you starting a new exercise routine? Starting a new exercise routine is sometimes a hard thing to get motivated for, it’s new and it’s scary. Reward yourself for motivating yourself to start a new one and change things up!

Have you tried a new healthy food recently? Another new and scary experience is trying a new healthy food. What if you don’t like it? You’re spending money on something you don’t even know if you like. But how will you know if you don’t take a risk? Whether you end up liking this new food or not, give yourself a figurative high-five for putting your taste buds out there!

Did you push through and do your workout even if you weren’t “feeling it?” Good for you. Celebrate! Your a rockstar for pushing through and just doing it!

Did you push harder during a workout you’ve been doing for a while and just cruising along with? Another good reason to celebrate because that is not easy, to raise yourself up a level and give your workout your all!

One day you notice you feel stronger and healthier… Woohoo! Yeah, that is a great result! Celebrate it and tell the world or have a mini party! Those are the kinds of results you are working so hard to achieve.

Really, the list of non-weight related accomplishments are endless. You decide what you feel is a victory in your journey. It’s you who is living it and you who you need to keep motivated!

Your next question might be… How should I celebrate?

Here are a few ways that I have used or seen others use:

  • Let loose and just dance! Turn Some upbeat music on and dance your heart away.
  • Get your hair or nails done, pamper yourself!
  • Window shop for a bigger goal reward.
  • Spend some extra time alone or putting yourself first, and don’t let yourself feel guilty about it.
  • Buy something you have been eyeing for a while.
  • Watch your favorite TV show and just relax.
  • Go check a book out from the library that you’ve been meaning to read, and make time to read it. You deserve it!
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. This is so good for the soul!
  • Go for a drive with some new scenery if possible.
  • Dress up and go out, even if it’s not somewhere fancy.

Again, the list for rewards and ways to celebrate is endless. What do you like to do that you rarely make time for? Make time for it now to reward yourself or simply celebrate a job well done. You deserve to pamper yourself in some way, big or small, for your hard work.

What are some of your recent non-weight related accomplishments? And what do you like to do to celebrate those accomplishments?

How to Change Your Perception of Yourself

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

What is it that you see in the mirror each morning? Do you see the beauty that is within you? Do you see all that you have to offer yourself, others, the world? Believe me, you have plenty to offer.

I see your reflection, you’re unsure and maybe even scared to follow your dreams… to believe that you are truly beautiful, inside and out. However, I ask you to trust me. Trust me when I say that you are beautiful.

You have valuable and helpful things to offer to others. You do them every day. To you they might seem small, but they are big to those watching from the outside. Try looking at yourself as others might see you. See your actions how others would see them.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

How does one change the perception of themselves?

  • First of all, when you look in the mirror, push out all negative thoughts. Anytime a negative thought about yourself enters your mind, cast it aside and replace it with something positive. What physical features do you like about yourself…? Your hair, your smile, your eyes, your body shape, anything at all!
  • Look at all you do for others, your family and friends or even total strangers. You have so much to offer others. Some things you do on a daily basis can be considered valuable and beautiful!
  • Approach the mirror mentally prepared… ready to search for all the beautiful things about yourself. Start with something you already know you like about your appearance. Then let your mind naturally wander to another thing you like about your appearance. Going in with a blank mind ready for positivity will allow you to think of all those things that are good instead of automatically focusing on things that you don’t like so much.
  • Even without the mirror, you can spend a few minutes a day thinking about all you accomplished recently, and all the good works you do on a daily basis. This doesn’t make you conceited. Boosting your self-esteem actually makes you more efficient and productive. You can be more helpful to others if you believe yourself to be just that.
  • Every time you take a peek in the mirror, allow yourself to be proud and happy with your appearance and all you have accomplished outside of what the mirror can tell you. Mirrors don’t tell the whole story, obviously. They can only show you what you can physically see at any one given moment. What about all of those other moments accumulated throughout the day that happen that are positive?

So what do you think of your reflection…? Physical reflection, the reflection of yourself that you see in others, and the reflection in your mind based on your thoughts of yourself. It is a process in itself to change these thought processes to be more positive and not put yourself down every time you think of it. It takes hard work and consistent practice, but you are very much capable of that!

So often we think of ourselves as failures just because we don’t accomplish everything we set out to accomplish or everything we “need” to do in a day. We are so much more than that! We need to focus on all of the things we do accomplish, all we do for ourselves and others that is good.

Tell me a bit about you and what you want to accomplish this week. Are you going to be kinder to yourself if you don’t accomplish everything? Are you going to try to alter your mental reflection of yourself?

 

~Bonnie~

Healthy Living Becomes a Struggle When Your World is Unstable

When your world is unstable, compared to your normal, it can be hard to focus, to remember what is important, and to simply take care of yourself. I know because I experienced this myself on many occasions, but most recently in my journey when it started again in May of last year. That’s when my whole life got tilted on its axis.

Our big cross-country move was in the works for a few months before then, but that is when the true craziness began. We had to find a place to live in another state, pack up all our belongings, clear out my grandparents’ house, ups and downs with my brother and little nephews getting another place to live, clearing out our own house which was a huge to do with lots of issues, and so much more last summer. Let’s just say, having all of this on my plate led to me putting my health on the back burner.

After that huge ordeal that lasted a few month with nonstop work, worry, and figuring things out, I struggled really badly to get back on track. Each time I did work on it, I would do okay for a while and then slip back down into the blackhole of eating what I wanted and not getting enough exercise. I had thought that healthy living was such a part of me before this, but I was proven wrong in one of the worst ways. As some of you may know, I ended up gaining back half of the weight I had lost in the previous two years of my journey, in this past year.

However, I have never given up. I knew I would get back on track at some point and I was not going to stop trying! I am so thankful to have had the opportunity and to also have made the decision to work with Beachbody a couple months ago. I’m finally working on my health in a more consistent way and while it is not some magic pill to help me lose weight, it is helping me rebuild those habits that I let go… and that is the biggest part of this! Truth be told, I haven’t lost any weight yet because I’ve been working on building the habits again instead of actual weight loss, but it will follow. It is all thanks to the great workouts, the support system, the nutritious shakes, and the Portion Fix container system. They all add up and are helping me learn how to do things in a way that works for me again.

When your world is unstable…

It makes it hard to focus

You have to figure out what your priorities are and you may not always pick the most important ones. When you have too much going on, your health is usually one of the first things to fall by the wayside, at least it was for me. Your focus is split between so many things and it becomes overwhelming to keep a hold on everything that you need to hold onto.

It makes things feel as if they are too much work

For me, even though healthy living was such a part of my life that it really shouldn’t have been so hard to keep it up even in the craziness, it just wasn’t. Everything felt like too much work because we had so much to accomplish in such a short period of time and things seemed like they kept being added to our plate.

It makes you feel guilty for not being “perfect,” even in moments of weakness

As humans, we often have this ideal that we need to be everything to everyone, in essence… to be perfect! And this feeling doesn’t just go away because we’re busy or our world is unstable, it may even intensify. I felt like I had to get absolutely everything done and stay on top of it all, but it was impossible, which made me feel guilty! That guilt does not help us get anything done.

Have you ever experienced a time in your life where you struggled to keep up with your healthy lifestyle due to your world being so unstable? If so, what did you do about it?

 

~Bonnie~

How to Set Goals and Actually Accomplish Them

Goal setting can be one of the best tools at your disposal, but also one of the hardest to accomplish:

Where do you start? How do you know you’re making goals that are right for you? How can you follow through and keep moving forward when the going gets tough?

My first tip: Think about what is realistic for you!

What someone else is doing won’t necessarily work for you. Your goal has to be something you want and something you can realistically do if you push yourself just past your comfort zone. So first, think about what you CAN do and what you can accomplish and then raise the bar just ever so slightly.

My second tip: Make a plan and stick to it as best you can.

Will you be perfect? No. However, setting a plan that will enable you to reach your goal is essential. If you stray or lose motivation, you can use the plan as a reference point to get back on track. Realize that you are just doing your best and you won’t be completely on your game all the time. It also helps in making things seem doable instead of overwhelming. So break down what you need to do in smaller timeframes, such as by weeks or days.

My third tip: Focus on WHY you want to accomplish this goal.

Never lose sight of the reason why you want to pursue this goal, why you are trying so hard to achieve it. If you remind yourself each day of the why, you will find it a lot easier to feel motivated when things get hard.

My fourth tip: Believe in your ability to reach (or even surpass) your goal.

You sow what you reap, as the saying goes. So a simple belief in yourself to make this happen will actually help you make it happen! Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Whenever you feel doubt sinking in, say to yourself, “I am strong, I am capable, and I CAN do this!” Trust me, it really does help!

My fifth and final tip: Don’t give up.

While you may need to adjust your goals here and there if you begin to realize they are unrealistic for you right now, you must not give up. Adjust the goal and proceed. Change it entirely if you must, but keep moving forward no matter what! Always having a goal to move forward will help give you structure.

 

This obviously isn’t the whole picture but will definitely help you get off to a good start with your goals. These are some of the ones I have found to be the most important in setting goals myself.

~Bonnie~

10 Acts of Self-Love to Set You Up for Success

If you haven’t noticed already, I am very passionate about self-love. It has so much to do with our all around health, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Why…? Because how we show ourselves love has a huge impact on how we take care of our bodies and minds, how we deal with our emotions, and how worthy we feel to receive help and guidance from God.

I want you to take a moment and ask yourself how you treat yourself and your body on a daily basis.

Now ask yourself if you can improve on the way you treat yourself and your body.

 

Here’s a not so big secret… everyone can stand to improve on how they treat themselves and their bodies. None of us are perfect and we all have certain struggles. So, I wanted to compile a short list of self-love acts that can set you up for success in your healthy living journey:

1. Read your favorite book, or even one you have been putting off for a while.

I am a bookworm, but even as a bookworm, I often don’t have the time or patience to read. So, when I need some chill time, I try to pick up a book and read… even if it’s only a few pages. Reading is often relaxing and is also very beneficial to your mental wellbeing.

2. Get up and dance!

Dancing is so freeing and fun, so this one is a big act of self-love that all of us should take part in more often! Put on your favorite music, or any music that makes you feel like dancing, and dance! Bonus points for singing along with the song while you dance.

3. Color in an adult coloring book, or even a kids’ coloring book.

Coloring is relaxing, and meditative. If you don’t have a coloring book in the house, go pick one or two up at the store, along with your favorite coloring tools. I personally like to use skinny markers for coloring and I really enjoy the adult coloring books with plants, flowers, and words. Once you get started, you will likely find that you get so deep into the coloring that you forget all else!

4. Go to the park!

Parks and playgrounds can really be a good, positive place to be, especially when the weather is nice. Take advantage of the sunshine, take a walk at the park, admire the trees and animals, and just recharge. Sometimes even playing on the playground like you are a kid again can be really fun and rejuvenating!

5. Take a break, get in a nap when you need it.

Always take a break when you need a break. Go outside or get away from whatever situation is stressing or overwhelming you, and take a breather. If you are tired and need a quick nap to get through the rest of your day, do it if you can! I’m a huge fan of naps myself, and they really help me feel better so that I can accomplish more.

6. Play with your pets.

Playing or cuddling with your pets is another great way to show yourself love. They give you unconditional love, some giggles, and can be a distraction from stressful situations. Plus, they need that interaction as much as you do!

7. Cook yourself your favorite meal.

Even if your favorite meal isn’t necessarily a healthy one, cooking yourself your favorite meal once in a while can be a great boost and is exciting too. Treating yourself occasionally is not a bad thing and you should be able to enjoy your favorite foods on special occasions. What better special occasion than pampering yourself?

8. Write in a journal.

Writing in your journal is therapeutic, and it helps you work through anything that is bothering you. I know I don’t write in mine quite as often as I would like, but when I do, it is super helpful!

9. Watch funny videos or a funny show.

When you watch funny videos online or a sitcom, you may just find yourself laughing uncontrollably… and laughing is good for the soul! I have experienced this on multiple occasions, where I laugh my head off and then I feel better afterwards because it helps me release those negative feelings.

10. Binge watch Netflix!

Yeah, sitting around for hours on end, watching shows on Netflix isn’t necessarily healthy. However, one day, once in a while, can really be awesome and fun. Make up your favorite healthy snacks to chomp on while you watch your favorite shows or movies, and spend the time recharging, either on your own or with loved ones.

Self-love is so important to practice on a daily basis, to show your body and mind that you find them important and will continue to take care of them. I am starting a FREE program on Facebook on May 6th, called the 7-Day Self-Love for Summer in my group Inspire Your Best Life! Be sure to join the group before Sunday, I would love to have you!

How do you show yourself love each day? Is it something you make time for every day, or just when you feel you need it?

 

~Bonnie~