Sweet Tooth Sweet Attack Cravings Busters

Anyone who has any touch of a sweet tooth understands that from time to time, we all crave something sweet! How to handle such a situation when you’re working on your health and trying to lose weight? Calories are precious commodities in our plans, as is the fat and carbs we try to limit to some degree in order to meet our goals!

So here are some of the things I’ve used for under 200 calories:

  • Apple sliced up with cinnamon on it.
  • Apple sliced up with a tablespoon of peanut butter to dip.
  • Banana with peanut butter to dip (obviously the banana’s slippery lol, so you might need a spoon or fork!)
  • Peaches, nectarines, plums, grapes, strawberries, basically any fruit that has a satisfying sweet taste is great!
  • Fruit with low calorie whip cream on top!
  • Canned fruit mixed with applesauce, yum! Low calorie too with lite syrup or water based canned fruit and unsweetened applesauce, around 100-120 calories. Even diced fresh strawberries in applesauce is delicious!
  • Unsweetened applesauce with a little bit of cinnamon mixed in.
  • Yogurt (regular/Greek) either with fruit or other dessert flavor or with fresh fruit added in.
  • Greek yogurt with peanut butter and/or bananas mixed in.
  • Low calorie pudding with fresh fruit mixed in, I prefer vanilla with diced banana.
  • Fiber One brownies occasionally since they are only 90 calories and really hit the spot for me.
  • Skinny Cow ice creams, which come in a variety of flavors and kinds with low calories.
  • Ice cream cone from McDonald’s is only 170 calories, less if you get the kiddie cone! This is great for those rare treats or when you go out with your kids and want a small treat to enjoy with them.
  • And my recent cravings buster of chocolate Shakeology, which is 160 calories and packed full of nutrients such as protein and fiber.

Most of these packaged foods are only occasional as I don’t keep many of them in the house on a regular basis, but they are good on the occasion that we do have them. I especially like the Fiber One brownies because I can keep them in my own space (away from grabby hands) and eat one as needed or throw them in my purse for when I’m on the go. I have by no means cut out processed foods entirely, and still turn to them pretty often, but it is something I am working on as I continue my journey. It is a process and sometimes I do better than others!

Some of these could even serve as dessert with your dinner, or as an evening snack as most are really low calorie and/or healthy on some level.

So when you’re having a sweet attack, try something from this list and see if it works for you!

What are your go-to sweet treats that are low calorie and/or healthy? Do you have anything to add to this list? I know I didn’t list everything, because there are still so many options, so feel free to share with us! Passing along what you use to healthily bust those sweets cravings can really help others in their own journeys!

 

~Bonnie~

15 Simple Ways to Set Aside Time for Yourself

This time of year is rife with stress as school ends for you or your kiddos and summer craziness is about to start, and we all need to take the time to treat ourselves right. It helps us be our best the rest of the time, as well as to enjoy summer and hopefully some nice vacations down the road!

Simple Ways to Set Aside Time for Yourself

  1. Whenever possible, take your time in the shower. Hot showers are especially relaxing and soothing. It may be one of life’s necessities but the shower itself can give you time to think through things that are bothering you, hopefully without interruption.
  2. Take a walk. If you can, take a walk by yourself to just think and revel in the beauty around you. If you take a walk with a friend, talking can be therapeutic too. Sometimes we need or want to take the children in our lives on a walk too. It’s still a good way to set aside time for yourself. Take advantage of the quiet moments while also striking a balance with teaching them. I find it relaxing to just point out things and talk to my nephews while walking. Sometimes it’s not relaxing when they ask the same question five times in a row but it’s still usually fun.
  3. Workout. Just in general, spend time getting your workout. Put yourself first for the time being and get that workout in. You can release frustrations, uncertainties, and even celebrate life’s victories. Plus you get the added benefit of knowing you’re doing something wonderful for your body which gives you some peace of mind.
  4. Write in a journal or notebook. Take the time to write out how you feel, discuss your day, figure things out, or even make plans. I find writing out my day and discussing how I feel is so beneficial!
  5. Cuddle with your favorite person/pet. The time spent cuddling your children or other loved ones, or simply cuddling with or petting your dog or cat can be good for your mental wellbeing.
  6. Sit and breathe. Quiet your mind, maybe even close your eyes. If you believe in God, talk to Him. Either way, take time to reflect on your day and all of your blessings, all of the positives in your life. It truly sets the tone for the rest of the day. I’ve been trying to do this more often myself and know I feel better about life just relying on God and reflecting on any good things in my life.
  7. Do something for someone else. You may ask, how is doing something for someone else setting aside time for me? I’ll tell you… doing something for someone else makes them feel good, which in turn makes you feel good to help them. I love helping others and do so not to get something in return, but it still makes me feel good to do so!
  8. Go shopping for something fun! This is hard for some of us, as money is tight or we may face temptation to spend to much… but if you can, a little retail therapy can go a long way. Even stopping in the Dollar Tree or somewhere else that has low price items and browsing the aisles to pick out a few things can boost your sense of wellbeing.
  9. Read (books, magazines, articles, etc.). Read something that you enjoy! Getting lost in a story or something pleasant can be such a nice way to put yourself first because it’s FUN!
  10. Self-care: Hair, skin, nails, etc. Spend some time on self-care. It makes you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world when you have certain self-care things in order! Take a manicure or a pedicure (or both), having nice nails is so rewarding!
  11. Haircut/coloring. Going to get your hair cut or get a color can be a mostly relaxing experience. My last haircut, I got a quiet beautician and I just let myself go, zoning out and just being. It was so enjoyable. I never experienced something like that. You could also find joy in having a conversation with the beautician as well! Either way is nice!
  12. Organizing or cleaning. Such a weird, but therapeutic thing to do once you get into it. Organizing is fun because you’re getting things in order, cleaning is fun because after you’re done, something is clean! Sure it’s a pain to do sometimes but the results are refreshing!
  13. Writing out cards or notes/letters to loved ones. Writing out your thoughts and making loved ones feel cherished and valued is time well spent! You will feel better when it’s done because a lot of us go through our days without much opportunity to say how we feel some of the time. So setting aside some time to do that will lighten your heart!
  14. Art. If you like to draw or paint, that is another way to set aside time for yourself. Lose yourself in your work and make something beautiful.
  15. Sit down to enjoy a sweet treat you really want. Life is too short not to enjoy something you really want once in a while. Treat yourself. Just make sure you enjoy it so it’s worth it!

These are some of my favorite ways to set aside time for myself. Those things really give me a sense of peace, or accomplishment, or both. Sometimes it’s hard to get started on the organizing and cleaning one, but once I do it is such a rewarding experience. I also am not a big on drawing or painting anymore but from time to time it is fun!

I hope you all liked my list. What are your favorite ways to set aside time for yourself? It could be simple like most of these or it could be something more elaborate. I’d love to hear what you do! We could all use ways to improve our sense of wellbeing!

 

~Bonnie~

Failure is Life Giving You Lemons

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

-Napoleon Hill

Failure, what a strong word. We all have a fear of failure on some level. Some of us push past it or do our best to overcome it. Then there’s the actual dealing with it part that can be difficult to handle.

The truth is that we will deal with failure on some level, on a regular basis when we are actively living as it is just another part of life. So how do we deal with it? As a tool we can use it to our advantage and as a lesson we can learn from it. We will be better for this new experience. We adjust, changing our method in order to try again. We can even approach it from a new angle altogether. If it’s important to us to succeed, we will do anything we can to make it happen.

Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again. This time, more intelligently.

-Henry Ford

Ford’s words are so accurate. With the knowledge we acquired from our “failure,” we can continue on in a better frame of mind and we also have more chance of success.

We can choose to let failure debilitate us or we can keep trying until we’re successful. It may be true that some times we may genuinely choose to let go of whatever dream or goal we were striving for because it just doesn’t suit us like we thought it did. However, if it means anything to us, we will find a way!

It’s when the discomfort strikes that one realizes a strong mind is the most powerful weapon of all.

-Christie Wellington

We can use this never give up approach in our weight loss and healthy lifestyle journeys as well. It is vital for us not to give up. Sometimes we may need a break but we should never let go of striving for a healthier us. So when we fail, we should view it as something that will actually help propel us forward in our quest.

None of us are afraid to admit it, weight loss is hard and we are afraid we might not succeed! It’s natural to take the hit of failure and want to curl up in a ball and never move again. It’s truly debilitating in its own right. We can’t let those feelings win. Grieve for that plan that just couldn’t work out, but then move on and use that knowledge to help you move forward. Your health is too important to let go of.

 

~Bonnie~

My Struggle with Self-Love & Confidence… To Publishing My First E-book

I am very honored to have Alisha Overstreet from The Improv Caregiver here to share her story about struggling with self-love and confidence, and then going on to write her first eBook. Alisha is the Inspire the Best You feature winner for April… and also one of my most inspiring friends! I’m so happy to know her and learn more about her today! I hope you find her story inspiring for your own battle with self-love and confidence, as so many of us struggle with that, including myself!

For as long as I can remember, writing has come quite naturally to me. My father is a published author, has written countless poems, and has always encouraged us to channel our emotions and experiences through writing. Whether it was gifting my sister and I a journal, or encouraging us to be creative with our words and foster our language skills; he has always the one to boost our morale.

I’m not a speaker! Period!

I don’t do well speaking in front of large groups…in fact, I don’t do well speaking in front of a small group. Actually, let me be absolutely clear: I don’t even like to have in person debates with family or friends. The very people I should feel the most comfortable with, still don’t make me feel confident enough to discuss complex ideas and theories I know by heart!

But I write! And I write well. I’m not Agatha Christie, Danielle Steele, or J.K. Rowling, but I enjoy writing.

I can concoct a 20-page research paper in my Psychology class including factual information and clear presentation without an issue. I can write post on my blog about caregiving, being married to a veteran and the struggles of motherhood with a special needs child all day long. Give me a reason to talk about mental health stigma, politics, or psychology and I could go on for days.

But…don’t force me to present any of this in front of people!

As a caregiver, I have struggled a lot with self-esteem and confidence. The isolation that comes with this role can be devastating. It is no wonder many of us end up dealing with our own struggles and fighting our own demons.

For years, I fought with my perfectionist doppelgänger; and I still do. She’s always been able to knock me down when I felt the slightest bit of success. She has always been able to find the tiniest of flaws in any of my successes. Overall, she’s been quite victorious in knocking me down many, many times. No matter how many times I get pushed down or fall, I only have to get up one more time.

I might have fallen 50 times, but I pushed myself one time to get back up. And right now, I’m on my first time getting up after my 50th fall. Over the last two years, I’ve spent money we don’t have, started on an academic path that doesn’t seem to fit my personality or current lifestyle, and I have fought my way through grief after a miscarriage. My doppelgänger took advantage of it and knocked me so hard on my behind that I almost gave up on getting back up.

But I figured: I only have to get up ONE time!

So, I did. I am standing tall and I am writing.

Everything my father has taught and encouraged me to do is starting to come full circle. My grief, fight and strength has evolved into this new-found love for what I am capable of. This does not mean that I have achieved complete serenity in terms of loving myself, nor am I at a point in my life that would warrant me to slow down. I simply have a better understanding of what my limitations are.

I am now encouraged to share my struggles, fights, self-esteem issues and grief more than ever before and use this to create positive channels that will not only help me in my personal growth journey, but also touch others who share similar experiences. With this, I have set a goal to publish my first e-book this year. It will be a milestone; a kind of coming full-circle experience for me.

And I hope I will continue to be granted the opportunity to write, share experiences, and connect with individuals around me. As it stands, my doppelgänger is losing the current fight; which would put the score at Perfectionist Doppelgänger: 50 / Me: 1.

Not too shabby!

Alisha from The Improv Caregiver
I’m a caregiver and advocate for my combat-veteran husband & son with High-functioning Autism/ADHD. I share the realities of life as a family caregiver and tips & tricks I’ve learned over the last few years in my role as caregiver. I’d be delighted to have you join me.

Blog: www.theimprovcaregiver.com
You can also find her on: Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

What I Learned After 6 Weeks on the Portion Fix Eating Plan

It has been more than six weeks since I received my portion fix container system in the mail. However, I didn’t start using it right away. There was a lot of information to read and take in, that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it all right away. So now that it has been six weeks of me being on the portion fix container system, I have to admit that I’m still not using it 100% of the time. It is a huge shift to go from counting calories and worrying more about that, while still getting in the all important protein and fiber, so changing over to a portion container system is a massive change for me. I’ve finally got to the point in the past two or three weeks where I am not focusing on calories, not even naturally thinking about that first. I am getting to the point where I think, is this healthy for me… is it too processed for me to eat? Besides that, I’m also telling myself no about certain foods a bit easier, without feeling deprived.

The portion fix container system is a whole new way of thinking about what I eat. It is forcing me to think more about what I’m putting in my body and how that food will fuel my body to do my workouts. Slowly, but surely, I will get to the point where I’m using the colored containers 100% of the time. I’m excited to work towards that. In the beginning, this system was a bit intimidating because it was new and not something I was used to using, or doing things in the way I was used to. However, I don’t see it as intimidating anymore. Does that mean that it’s going to be easy from here on out? Absolutely not, but I know that it will only get easier from here the more I practice using the containers.

While I have not made a huge transformation with my eating yet, there are still some amazing changes in mindset and eating habits that I have made:

Less Sugar

I have been eating less sugar. I am the first to admit that I’m addicted to sugar, and I am a chocoholic! So this is a big step for me. I always have to have something sweet at multiple points in the day, which is part of the reason why I got so off track. Those sweets were my outlet for my stress and depressed feelings. Undoubtedly, a misguided outlet, but one that I turn to on default. Now in the past six weeks, I have been working on that. I still have a long way to go, but I’m slowly making better decisions, rather than relying on sugary sweets! That is an amazing result to me!

Less Processed Food

Like I mentioned above, I now think more about how processed my foods are. I still don’t see myself as someone who avoids all processed foods, all the time, and I never have saw myself doing that. However, I do think about how much of these processed foods I am putting into my body and working hard not to eat them as often. When grocery shopping, I have noticed that I will avoid more of the types of foods I used to want or grab, because they are processed and I would rather eat something I put together at home. Again, this is something that I still have a long way to go to get where I want to be, but I am making progress and that is what matters!

Saying ‘NO’ to Myself without Feeling Deprived

Here is another one that I mentioned earlier… not feeling deprived when I tell myself ‘NO’ to a certain kind of food or eating when I don’t need to eat. I’m trying to think of the alternative being more attractive to me than these foods that I used to want all the time. I still want them a lot and more than I should, but less often than I used to. As I keep working on this, I will continue to make progress in the right direction and soon will not have to say ‘NO’ so often!

What kinds of foods do you find hard to say ‘NO’ to, and what are you doing to work on saying ‘NO’ without feeling as deprived?

 

~Bonnie~

How to Beat the Motivational Slump

Everyone deals with that motivation slump from time to time. I know I personally deal with it at least once a week. It’s those days where nothing sounds appealing and you just can’t get motivated. It is especially tough when your bed is more appealing than going about your day. This type of day can be frustrating beyond words as you know that you have many things to do, and some of them are even desirable, but you can’t get yourself started with any of it.

Here are some ways I have found to beat that all compelling motivation slump:

  • Take a moment to drink coffee: Use your morning coffee as a chance to wake up and get motivated. Drink it a little slower to enjoy the moment and revive your mind after a night’s slumber. Read something you find motivational while you drink, such as a magazine, part of a book, uplifting news stories or articles, etc.
  • Fake it till you make it: Have you heard of this saying? Sometimes simply going through the motions of the day helps you find motivation to move forward again. Eventually something clicks and you feel better again, rejuvenated even!
  • Do something simple that brings you joy: A way to baby step your way into your day… find something simple and easy to do that also helps you move toward your goals. You can’t find the motivation to workout? Go on Pinterest and look at all the healthy living pins or read some blogs on the specific topic. You can’t find the motivation to work? Make a list of something related to your work that makes you happy.
  • Blog/Journal: Sometimes blogging or journaling helps as well, just working through your thoughts and emotions can help you process whatever has put up a “motivational roadblock” in your mind. Other times it brings to light a spark of interest in doing something you need to do because you thought of something completely new!
  • Listen to upbeat music: Listening to upbeat music, or simply your favorite music, is uplifting and inspirational! Try it sometime when your motivation is down the drain.
  • Go for a walk or exercise: Take a walk outside. The fresh air and sunshine will do you tons of good. All other types of exercise as well can help revitalize your body and mind at the same time.
  • Let loose: Act like a kid again, or simply let yourself be carefree. The release is amazing and can remind you why it’s worthwhile to just take action and live life!
  • Post on social media: The moment you post on social media that you don’t feel like doing something, you either get feedback that helps motivate you… or you feel motivated because you feel relieved, taking the pressure off. Sometimes even finding something positive to post on social media can help ignite a fire within you.

What do you personally do to get yourself motivated on a day where nothing seems appealing? I’m sure we could all use a whole arsenal of ideas to spur us to action on those days!

 

~Bonnie~

10 Ways to De-Stress When Life Gets Crazy

What I feel is most important is loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves when life gets crazy. I’m not sure about you, but this time of year is proving to be a little bit crazy and busy, this month especially is full of events and deadlines!

One of our biggest downfalls as human beings is stressing out. We’re constantly bombarded by anything and everything, we have mountains and mountains of work not to mention our home life to juggle, or we simply feel overwhelmed about life in general.

Here are some things you can do pretty much anywhere or anytime to de-stress when life is causing you to feel overwhelmed for whatever reason:

  1. Write. Journal, blog, or jot a few notes down on a piece of paper to work through what you’re feeling. It’s quick and it helps a ton. Not only are you organizing your thoughts, but writing and rereading what you wrote can help you discover new things or come to realizations you wouldn’t have otherwise.
  2. Read. Grab your favorite book or any good book and start reading it. It could be a novel, a self-help book, a real life story, anything that you find pleasing. Reading is relaxing because it gets you out of your own mind and into another world. While you’re taking a mental vacation between the pages, your mind can process other thoughts and feelings, which in turn helps you work through your feelings and calm down.
  3. Listen to music. This one can be a given to a lot of us, but even though I love music, sometimes I can forget that it’s such a stress reliever. Pump up your favorite tunes, turn on your favorite radio station, or watch music videos. Sing along and even dance along, let those tunes carry you away!
  4. Take a walk or workout. Taking a walk in the fresh air or getting a workout in can allow you to work through your thoughts and feelings as well. You can take out your frustration or disappointment and work super hard in your workout. Going for a walk is great too as it’s another way to get outside of your head while still allowing your mind to work through things.
  5. Call a friend. Do you have a buddy you like to talk to when you need to just get it all out? Call, email, or message them. A true friend will always be there for you, as a listening ear or to give you advice if you want it (or sometimes when you don’t want it). Talking through things allows you to hear things from another perspective, out loud as well as through feedback from your friend.
  6. Color. Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Grab or print a coloring page and something to color with and start coloring. It is really therapeutic. It allows you to zone out and do something with both your mind and hands that is constructive. Your pictures do not even have to be pretty for this to work. If you think this is something for you, I would also encourage you to go to the store and pick out a kids or adult coloring book and coloring utensils that make you excited to color: colored pencils, markers, crayons, colored pens, anything works!
  7. Housework/organize. Work on cleaning, organizing, or decluttering your house, yard, or car. Making everything clean and fresh is remarkably refreshing to your mind as well!
  8. Pamper yourself. Go see a movie on your own or with a friend/loved one, get your hair cut or colored, get your nails done, go to the library to spend some quiet time, visit a museum, spend some time in nature, or just do anything that makes you feel pampered and relaxed. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Just give it some thought and pick something that works for you.
  9. Play. Play with your kids or pets, or those of friends/family members. It will help release the inner kid in you and help you feel more carefree and alive! Trust me, it is fun! Be silly and throw yourself into it!
  10. Hot shower/bath. Water therapy. Take a nice relaxing bath if you can, or a hot shower. If you have access to a pool or hot tub, those can be amazingly relaxing as well. Whatever floats your boat!

My personal favorites are walking, writing, and reading. If I’m really antsy or anxious, putting myself to work picking up the house or organizing things helps me too. It gives me something to do physically that betters my world in some way! I also love to pamper myself whenever I get the chance to.

What is your favorite way to de-stress when you feel overwhelmed?

 

~Bonnie~

How to Spend Less Money on Clothes When Losing Weight

These aren’t mind-boggling tips that I’m about to share with you, but if you’re losing weight clothing can get really expensive and I want to share some tips that I’ve personally found helpful!

How to spend less than $100 per wardrobe while losing weight:

Number 1: Thrift Stores

Sometimes even thrift stores can be out of our price limits with $5 clothing pieces. That’s a whole lot cheaper than a brand new piece of clothing in most places, but my trick is using the sales days at thrift stores to hit the jackpot. My personal favorite is the 50% off day at Goodwill, but there isn’t one of those everywhere and I’m not sure if they have that sale at all of their locations either. However, nearly all thrift stores have a day where clothing is 20-50% off at least once a month to get people coming in. So my suggestion is to do your homework and go on those days, get as many quality pieces of clothing as you can. You might even find a brand new piece of clothing with a tag still on it for a lot cheaper than the store. I know I’ve found at least a few such pieces in the past year.

The good thing about thrift stores is they have almost every type of clothing right there, usually pretty well organized in sections. You can find shirts, pants, skirts/dresses, jackets, sweatshirts, shoes, etc. The downside, of course, is that they are nearly all used clothing. If you don’t have a problem with that after a good washing at home, then this is a great place to get your clothes. Chances are you have 2-3 different thrift stores (not all chains) in your town with sales on different days where you can hit them all and get even more bang for your buck. Also, don’t forget to go early in the day so that you have even more pieces to choose from!

Number 2: Yard Sales

Obviously, this is another choice where the clothing is used, but sometimes we can’t be choosy if we want to save money on our clothes as we lose weight. The good thing about yard sales is that you can haggle, and get the price per piece of clothing down even lower than they marked the clothes for. How much each piece of clothing is depends on the person holding the yard sale and the brand of clothing. However, you can get clothes for as little as $0.50-1 a piece when they just want to get rid of clothes. Of course, some might be as high as $5 a piece or even more expensive depending on different factors.

The downside of yard sales is it’s harder to find clothes in specific sizes unless they advertise it ahead of time, and it’s also harder finding exactly what you need if you’re looking for something specific. If you have the time and gas though, search newspaper and online ads and see who is posting sizes and/or just go out yard sale hopping!

Number 3: Clearance Racks

Now here is an option even when you don’t want something used… hit all those clearance clothing racks at various stores. Kmart and Walmart might give you more choices for less money, but Target and other stores are great as well. If you know the system they use to mark down their clothing, you could save even more money. These systems are sometimes posted online and on social media by people who used to work at these stores. I know my mom has given me tips for different stores that she’s worked at, but I can’t for the life of me remember any because I don’t go shopping often lol.

Prices vary greatly for clearance clothing as well, but you can get pieces of clothing as low as $3 and up to $15+ depending. I have actually found exercise shorts and shirts for $3 a piece at Walmart. The downside to this is it’s mostly by chance to find exactly what you’re looking for, and you get tempted by other more expensive deals on clothing around the clearance racks… which is probably exactly how they plan it!

Number 4: Store Sales

Keep track of the sales at the stores in your area. Sometimes you can find great sales and coupons in the ads! This saves a lot of money if you’re diligent! I know bigger department stores such as Kohl’s and JC Penney’s sometimes have coupons in their ads, to get a certain amount off if you spend a certain amount or more. This is more expensive as their clothing is more expensive per piece, and some have exclusions like no clearance. A lot of them will allow you to use the coupons on sales items though, so choose wisely!

Obviously with Thanksgiving coming up soon, you could also shop on Black Friday if you’re brave enough and find many deals that way as well. I’ve never done this myself but I’ve heard and seen great deals advertised for that day.

Number 5: Discount Stores

There are more and more of these types of stores popping up places: $5 a piece or less! I know one just opened in my town and before when I lived in California there was one as well. Sometimes the clothing is very cheaply made though, but it could serve it’s purpose while you’re losing weight since you only need it temporarily until the next size. However, if you want quality clothing, take a peek at these stores and try the other tips mentioned as well.

Now I’m sure I haven’t listed everything out there as I’m not a big “bargain hunter,” but these are some of the things I’ve done myself over the past year or my mom has done in her own weight loss journey. I have spent as little as $50 on each size’s wardrobe as I lost weight just by going to Goodwill’s 50% off sale a few times. I usually browse different sizes and grab a few in each size that I will be fitting into soon to be prepared for that size. I have found many cute and beautiful items there which is super motivational! Using all of these tips, you have a great chance of spending a mere $50-100 for a wardrobe that should fit you anywhere from 3 to 6 months as you are steadily losing weight.

Other tips would be to make your current clothing last longer by using a belt to hold up your pants to make it last a couple size reductions. I have also used a scrunchie/hair tie at one point to tie a baggy tee shirt to the side like the style of a long time ago, just to make it look less baggy. You could also save a little each month to do this budgeted clothes shopping or for even more expensive clothing while losing weight. Each little bit will add up and take some of the pressure off when the time comes. I personally like to look as sharp as I can in whatever clothes I am wearing: tee shirts, workout clothes, jeans, skirts, dress pants, etc. so I like having a variety and the tips above have helped me do so!

 

~Bonnie~

6 Things My Daily Shake Has Done for Me

As of Monday, I have officially been drinking Shakeology for a month… and what a month of benefits it has been! At first, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of how a shake could help me more than just providing protein and being something tasty to drink. I wasn’t sure these Shakeology shakes would actually make that big of an impact on my health and daily life. However, since they tasted so good and were a good snack replacement as I added them into my daily routine, I kept up with them. Within five days, I started to notice that I had slightly more energy and that has slowly increased with time. Then within three weeks, I started to notice that besides simply building muscle with my workouts, I was realizing that Shakeology was making a difference with muscle soreness the day after an intense workout.

By a week into drinking these shakes, I was a big believer! And here’s why:

  1. Shakeology has superfood ingredients- From protein to vitamins and minerals, and many other wonderful ingredients. Some of the others are antioxidants, pre- and probiotics, and digestive enzymes. All of these lovely ingredients are what makes it so beneficial to our health. These things pack a punch to give me the energy, full feeling, and reduce soreness in my muscles the day after an intense workout.
  2. It tastes great, especially with some awesome recipes- There are so many things you can do with Shakeology to create a delicious tasting shake, such as adding fruit, veggies, cinnamon, and many more delicious and healthy additions that combine to make it an even more delectable treat or meal!
  3. Shakeology helps reduce hunger and sweets cravings- I have noticed that these shakes help me feel less hungry, and help squash those sweet tooth cravings. Let me tell you, I have always had a huge sweet tooth. It’s not that I have wanted to sit and eat nothing but sugary foods, but I have always looked forward to having them and wanted them on a daily basis. The Shakeology shakes, especially the chocolate ones, have really helped me with my cravings. They are a treat, in and of themselves, yet healthy at the same time!
  4. They help with muscle soreness- Like I mentioned earlier, they really have been helping with my muscle soreness. I can do a more intense workout, such as TurboFire, and the next day, I don’t feel quite as sore… because I am getting stronger and have also been drinking these shakes! With the protein punch, and other valuable ingredients such as those listed above, help my muscles recover faster and I don’t have such a long period of extremely sore muscles!
  5. It has increased my energy levels- Shakeology gives me the energy boost I need to get through my days with less napping or resting. I used to need a daily nap. While I still need one some days, it’s more like half of the time rather than every day. If I drink my shake an hour before starting a workout, I have found that it also gives me an energy boost in my workout as well, and that is such an awesome feeling. I hadn’t done it on purpose the first time, but I was pleasantly surprised when I felt even stronger and more energized for the workout. So I have been working on timing my lunchtime shake for right before my workout!
  6. Shakeology is actually filling- I have to say that this one was the most surprising benefit of drinking the shakes that I have experienced so far! I wasn’t expecting it to be filling at all, as I had never experienced that with any other protein shake. However, Shakeology is not just any protein shake. It has so much more inside of it that makes it filling. Some of the things that help it be more filling are the flax, quinoa, super-fruits, and super-greens.

These are just a few of the most amazing things that I have experienced in just one month of drinking Shakeology. I can’t wait to see what continued results and benefits I see as I keep drinking it!

Have you tried Shakeology? If so, what is your favorite flavor? And if not, what keeps you from trying it?

 

~Bonnie~

How to Establish a Lifestyle Change

You’ve heard it before, likely too many times to count, that in order for your weight loss to stick you need to establish a lifestyle change. I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely true. Weight loss will not magically make it to where you can eat whatever you want or chuck exercising once you reach your goal weight. You will need to continue with these new habits you’ve created for yourself for the rest of your life. That’s not to say that you will have to exercise at the rate and intensity or restrict your calories as much as you have been to lose weight, but you will still need to keep your habits going.

“Lifestyle change” sounds so cliché to most of us by now. We see and hear it everywhere as we immerse ourselves in our weight loss efforts. I know it sounds cliché to me even though I wholeheartedly believe in it and even though my lifestyle change has become just a way of life for me. This phrase sums up all of our focus on building a healthy life for ourselves. That is our goal, to be healthy individuals and to live a fuller and higher-quality life.

 

Now you may want to know that if this is so vital to being successful, how to achieve it, so here are some tips:

  • Start small and remember each step in the right direction is progress. Make small changes and simply focus on making one good choice at a time. This way it is much more manageable.
  • Remember that slow and steady wins the race. It might sound enticing to go full force from the very beginning and keep going at that pace, but you will hit a burn out wall. So take things slow and focus on your progress. Sometimes you may feel like you’re not making any progress at all and that’s okay, as long as you keep moving forward and keep trying you will see progress soon enough.
  • Make sustainable changes- start eating and exercise habits that you can stick with long-term. Find exercise you enjoy doing and healthy foods you enjoy eating. You can change things up and try new things but don’t exercise too much or restrict your calories too much too fast.
  • Arm yourself with information. Research healthy habits, recipes that sound good, and find things that work for you. There are so many possibilities out there!
  • Keep yourself motivated- surround yourself with people who have similar goals, read blogs or articles about people who have lost weight or are losing weight currently, join weight loss websites/apps where there is no shortage of support (such as Spark People where I found just this), and keep searching for things that interest you in your new lifestyle.

That’s the simplified version. Obviously there is more to it, but some of it we all have to figure out for ourselves because we are all different. We need to find what works for us in particular. So please, don’t be discouraged if what works for someone else or what you feel should work for you doesn’t, because there is so much more out there than just that! Make your lifestyle change work for you and it will be so much easier to stick with because you will learn to enjoy it.

What have you been doing to establish your lifestyle change?

 

~Bonnie~