Easy Protein Waffles!

Easy 5 Ingredient Protein Waffles!

184G Liquid Egg Whites

70G 1Up Birthday Cake Whey Protein Powder (Or Protein Powder of Choice)

30G Freekeh Flour

16G Barney Almond Butter (Smooth) – Or Nut Butter of Choice (You could also substitute Coconut Oil)

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

Combine Ingredients Above in a Bowl

Preheat Waffle Maker

Lightly Spray

Cook Waffles

Enjoy! 🙂

This made 4 servings (2 Waffles Each) – Using a Small Waffle Griddle not the Larger Ones.  I think it’s probably 3 inch diameter per waffle.

Estimated Macros Per Serving: 3G Fat, 6.5G Carbs, 19.3G Protein

*Macros May Vary Slightly with Substitutions

I enjoy mine with Walden Farms Calorie Free Syrup

Lemon Blueberry Protein Muffins

Where my lemon lovers at!?  I have loved lemon flavor since my first Home Ec. Class in Middle School with Mrs. G.  She has us make Lemon and Orange Flavored Tea Breads and they were just delicious.  Although I love my sweets, I equally enjoy the tartness of lemon for something like a breakfast treat, or something to go with an afternoon cup of tea.  When I stumbled upon 1UP Nutrition Brand Liquid Gold Lemon Crumble Limited Edition Protein Powder, I knew instantly I was going to try and make a Lemon Bread or Muffin.

I want to preface this by saying, if you like less tartness you can use less lemon juice and lemon zest in the recipe.  I personally enjoy the tartness so I used the juice and zest of a full lemon.  

I hope you guys enjoy this one! 🙂

Ingredients

60G Freekeh Flour

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Salt

3 Scoops (105G) 1Up Nutrition Liquid Gold Lemon Crumble Protein Powder (or protein powder of choice)

184G Liquid Egg Whites

5.3oz Greek Non Fat Chobani Yogurt

32G Barney Almond Butter (Smooth) (Or Nut Butter of Choice)

Juice of 1 Lemon (Use less if you like)

Zest of One Lemon (Use less if you like)

40G Frozen Blueberries

*Substitute the blueberries out for/or add Shredded Coconut for a different variation of this tasty muffin!

**Macros may vary with substitutions

Instructions

Preheat Oven to 350

Spray a 12 Cup Muffin Tin with Non Stick Cooking Spray

Combine Dry Ingredients in One Bowl (from Freekah Flour to Protein Powder) – Sift with a fork or whisk so fully combined

Combine Moist Ingredients (from Liquid Egg Whites to Barney Butter) – NOTE: If the nut butter you choose is too thick like Barney’s often is, zap for 15-20 seconds so it’s soft before adding! 🙂

Zest a Lemon into a small dish

Slice and Squeeze Lemon Juice into another small dish (I do this separate to avoid losing seeds in the recipe.  No one wants lemon seeds in their muffins, lol)

Add the Dry Ingredients to the Moist Ingredients and stir or whisk until fully combined.

Add in the lemon juice and stir or whisk until fully combined.

Add the Blueberries and Lemon Zest and FOLD into the batter.  You don’t want to stir this because it’ll turn your batter blue if overly mixed.  🙂

Once everything is mixed together, transfer the batter to the greased, 12 muffin tin cups evenly.  (I always recommend using cooking spray as opposed to muffin papers because high protein, lower fat muffin recipes tend to stick to the papers more because they have less fat/oil.)

Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until slighly brown on edges and toothpick test comes clean.

Remove from muffin tin and place on a cooling rack until cool.

Enjoy or Wrap Individually and Freeze to keep freshness.  

Estimated Macros per Muffin: 2.3G Fat, 7.6G Carb, 11.1G Protein

Bodybuilding Competition 2021

In September of 2020, I knew it was finally time.  Time to get serious about a bodybuilding competition.  It is something I have wanted to do since 2015, and the time just never felt right.  Life’s obstacles often make us feel like we have to put off the things that we feel are important to us.  But last year I knew in my heart it was time and that regardless what happened I needed to see this through.  After a very long, slow, and patient prep, I competed in two shows back to back.  

I had the opportunity to work with an amazing natural bodybuilding coach. I did a ton of research on coaches.  I wanted to make sure I was working with someone who’s coaching style aligned with my goals. I came across 3D Muscle Journey (3DMJ) through Layne Norton actually.  I own Layne’s books and have followed him on social media platforms for a long time and really always respected and appreciated his knowledge on health and fitness topics. In one of his books there was a review from Eric Helms.  I looked up Eric Helms on IG, and realized his wealth of knowledge was as resourceful as Layne’s.  Then I learned he had a natural athlete coaching team, a whole bunch of endless resources such as books, wedbinars, social media Q&A’s, podcast, etc.  I reviewed the 3DMJ pages, and learned about their team – the coaches, director of operations, registered dietitian, mental health consultant, injury reduction & management specialist… Just a well rounded group providing quality coaching for natural athletes!  I was so excited and knew this was who I wanted to work with.  I began listening to the podcasts, and I got my application submitted.  I started working with Brad Loomis in my off season at the end of 2020 and we started prep earlier this year.  

For those of you that don’t know, I have always taken a lot of pride in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I knew that competitions may pose additional challenges because I choose to be a natural athlete.  I have always felt that the true competition is only between me, myself and I.  So I did this for me. To prove to myself I could push my body to new levels, to see something through, to tick off the check mark on my bucket list.  

During my prep I worked quietly.  I don’t post a lot on social media or discuss with people openly when I am working on personal goals.  I have always found that I am more focused when I can tune out the noise around me.  My goals are my own and I don’t need the distractions.  That’s why I waited to post about it.  I believe that goals should be personal, and sometimes when we allow people to have too much input into them, the haters and naysayers will cause us to veer off the path we believe or know is right for us.   

*My first show I placed 2nd in Figure Open.  

*My second show I placed 3rd in Figure Open (and 3rd in Bikini Short  – to elaborate, they needed someone to volunteer to cross over so they could have enough competitions for a pro card.  I am definitely not built for bikini lol but I said what the heck, and got up there to help out my fellow competitors.) 

Overall my physique was a little tighter for the second show and my posing improved based on feedback from the two panels of judges.   But the second show my competition was just a little more experienced.  Could I have done better? Absolutely.  But am I disappointed? Absolutely not.  This is the leanest I have ever been and I retained a great deal of mass.  If I compete again, I know I need to come in a little leaner, and dig a little deeper. And I am good with that.  

Figure might be where I stay for future competitions, or I may consider another division (not bikini, lol). I was told I have great muscle bellies and really should consider a few other classes.

I don’t think I would do back to back shows again.  I think one week in between two shows made it difficult to improve on the feedback from the judges.  I did my best to do so, but a few more weeks could’ve really made a difference.  

Overall this experience has taught me a lot.  For starters, I reduced body fat by over 5.% and gained 3lbs in lean body mass during this prep.  I hit new PRs, and improved my form on certain exercises.  I learned additional methods for diet/food manipulation. I learned new methods for coping with stress, hunger, irritability, etc.  I leveled up in patience.  

I met so many awesome people!  Other competitors, sponsors, judges.  Although the shows were small due to COVID restrictions still making things difficult, I really had such a great time.  

I want to give special thanks to:

*Brad Loomis for being such a great coach!  He has been great to work with.  Super knowledgeable and patient and efficient.  I improved on so much with his help and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

*3DMJ for proving quality coaching, and amazing podcasts and online content!  I am so beyond grateful to be a part of the 3DMJ athlete team.  And I would highly recommend to anyone.

*Black Paw K9 Solutions for providing quality dog boarding and a place my boy Walter feels safe and at home while Mama traveled for her shows.  

*Savanah Sharp and Angel Competition Bikinis for helping my create an amazing suit for my first year. If you didn’t notice, I picked black and blue because those are 3DMJ colors! 🙂

*I want to thank my friends Brody, Frank, and Russ for being the best gym buddies and cheer leaders a girl could ask for.  You guys always believed in me and it helped me keep pushing forward!

*My boyfriend for learning and trusting the process and being supportive.

*My sister and my mom for being there when I need someone to talk to, and equally understanding when I just need to be alone.

*And my dog, Walter for being my best boy. Always being right there when I needed him. Late night or early morning walks, sleepless nights and extra snuggles. And for being a good boy for Black Paw while I traveled. 

Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins

Is it too early for Pumpkin Spice? I had to go to TJMaxx the other day for a gift for someone. I haven’t been shopping in stores much since COVID started back in 2020, and man did I forget just how much I love TJMaxx! The place was full of Fall colors and smells… Candles and Décor galore. Naturally, I left with way more than planned… I got the perfect gift, but also some amazing Fall scented candles, some clearance items for the house, and of course some Pumpkin Spice Coffee.

Once I got home and lit the candles, I knew I wanted to make Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins for this week. So as promised, here is my latest recipe! I hope you guys enjoy it!

1/2 cup (60g) of Freekeh Flour or Flour of Choice **See Note Below

Dash of Salt

1 Tsp Baking Powder

3 Scoops of ON Gold Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Whey Protein Powder (Or Protein Powder of Choice)

Spices:

1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon (you can use less, I am a little heavy handed on the cinnamon because I love it)

1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp Ground Pumpkin Pie Spice

230g Liquid Egg Whites (5 servings of Bob & Evan’s is what I used)

1 Cup of Organic Pumpkin Puree (I used Libby’s)

2 Tbsp (28g) American Dream Nut Butter – Butter My Cookie Flavor (Or Substitute Nut Butter of Choice – I like these because they are lower in Fat and Higher in Protein. Not to mention they taste amazing!)

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

30ML of Sweetener of Choice (I used Sugar Free Maple Syrup)

Optional Icing:

Zero Calorie Confectioner Sugar (Swerve, Truvia, other)

Vanilla Protein Powder

Splash of Almond Milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees

Spray 16 Muffin Tins with Non Stick Cooking Spray (I do not recommend using papers for protein muffins because they are lower in fat – so they don’t have the oils/moisture to prevent them from sticking to the paper and then you miss out on the muffin, lol)

In a Bowl, Combine the Dry Ingredients (on the list above from flour to the spices) – Sift with a whisk or fork so fully combined.

In another Bowl Combine the Wet Ingredients (on the list above from Egg Whites to 30ML of Sweetener of Choice. Whisk together until fully combined.

Slowly Add the Dry Mixture to the Wet Mixture. Stir until fully combined.

Transfer the Muffin Mixture into the Muffin Tins.

Bake in the oven roughly 10-12 minutes or until fully cooked (toothpick test).

Remove the Muffins from Muffin Tins and transfer to a cooling rack.

For the Optional Icing just mix 1 part vanilla protein powder, with 3 parts zero calorie confectioner sugar (small amounts – like start with a Tsp size amounts) add a splash of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk or Milk of Choice. (Note: Too much milk will make this watery so use like a Tsp to start and slowly add til desired thickness level is achieved) Using a basting brush, gently baste the icing onto the muffins. Top with a little cinnamon/stevia blend if desired.

Once cooled, I wrap these individually and freeze them. But they are delicious warm. I reheated daily for about 25 seconds in the microwave and enjoy with my coffee.

**Note: I wanted to share a little side note on Freekeh Flour. Freekeh Flour is a type of wheat flour that yields low fat but high fiber and a decent amount of protein. I am including a link below with a few screen shots. You can substitute any flour you prefer, but I personally am trying to keep fat at bay while currently on a reduced calorie diet. Yes, you heard me… I eat muffins daily on my reduced calorie diet 😉 You’re welcome. lol.

What is Freekeh?

https://www.freekeh-foods.com/nutrition

Thanks again for visiting; Hope you guys enjoy this Recipe!

Cinnamon Oat Protein Muffins

Couldn’t sleep last night, so I decided to make my protein muffins for the week. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I was out of the flour I was using for my Breakfast Muffins, so I had to improvise since it was like 2 in the morning. This recipe came out awesome and I am really happy with it!

Hope you guys enjoy it!

Ingredients:

80g of Cinnamon Oat Kodiak Cake Pancake Mix (Kodiak Cakes Powder Cakes)

3 Scoops of Protein Powder of Choice (I Used 93g Gold Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Whey Protein Powder)

11g Apple Cinnamon Protein4 Oats (by PE Science)

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp of sweetener of choice (I used Truvia Brown Sugar Blend)

28g American Dream Nut Butter – Butter My Cookie Flavor

184g Liquid Egg Whites

5.3oz. Greek Non Fat Plain Yogurt

4oz. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Spray Muffin Tin(s) with Non Stick Cooking Spray (Makes 16 Standard Size Muffins)

Combine Kodiak Cakes Powder, Protein Powder, Protein4Oats, Salt, Cinnamon and Baking Powder in a Mixing Bowl. Sift thoroughly with Fork or Whisk.

In Another Mixing Bowl combine the Egg Whites, Sweetener, American Dream Nut Butter, Greek Yogurt and mix well until fully combined.

Add the Dry Ingredients from Bowl One into Bowl Two and Mix together until fully combined.

Add the Almond Milk. Mix until fully incorporated.

Transfer the mix into the Greased Muffin Tins.

Bake in the oven 10-12 minutes or until fully cooked (time may vary based on oven size and true temp, etc.)

Remove from Oven, Transfer to a cooling rack, let them cool and enjoy! I wrap mine individually and freeze them.

(Below is the macro breakout info if you don’t make substitutions, if you enter the ingredients into myfitnesspal)

Check out my recipes tab in the Menu for other recipes! Be sure to subscribe, like, share, etc. 🙂

Protein Muffins

Ingredients

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 Cup King Arthur Keto Wheat Flour*

12 tsbp(184g) of liquid egg whites

4 tsp Truvia Brown Sugar Blend

4 Tbsp Sugar Free Syrup of Choice**

1 1/2 Cups Canned Pumpkin Puree

4 Tbsp Butter My Cup American Dream Nut Butter (Or nut butter of choice)***

3 Scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein (I Used Syntha 6 Edge Vanilla Milkshake- to reduce carbs and fats you can use a different protein)****

1Cup Chopped Banana (I sliced the banana into wheels, then cut each wheel into quarters – so fairly chunky)

1/2 Cup Frozen or Fresh Blueberries (I used frozen)

18 Muffins using a standard muffin/cupcake tin

Macros: Roughly 80 Calories: 2.1g F, 7.4g C, 8.3g P

Preheat the Oven to 350 Degrees

Spray the muffin tin/tins with non stick cooking spray (I don’t recommend using papers for any protein based muffins because they will most likely stick to the paper)

Combine Dry Ingredients in one bowl (Baking Powder, Salt & Flour)

Combine Wet Ingredients (from egg whites to nut butter above) in a large mixing bowl, stir until fully combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Add the Whey protein powder to the larger bowl and stir in until fully incorporated

Fold in the bananas and blueberries

Pour into the muffin tin

Bake for about 10-12minutes (can vary depending on oven and pan type)

Remove from oven, and remove the muffins from the pan – put them onto a cooling rack

Enjoy!

*You Can substitute other flours – I chose the King Arthur Keto because it is lower in fat than almond flour, but still only has 8g of carbs per serving.  It also yields 17g of protein!  It is a wheat based flour.  

** You can substitute regular maple syrup, or honey or agave as well.  It is really a preference.

***I chose American Dream Nut Butter because most of their flavors are higher in protein and lower in fat and carbs than traditional PB.  Plus they taste AMAZING!!!  They have a ton of flavors.  But yes, you can substitute another nut butter if you prefer! Their website is: https://www.americandreamnutbutter.com/ if you’re interested in checking them out. (Promo codes can be found on Instagram from their Ambassadors!)

**** I Chose the Syntha 6 Edge Vanilla Milkshake because I heard it is better for baking than Gold Standard (which is the whey protein I usually buy in bulk)  You can substitute any protein of choice.  I just recommend vanilla and something on the sweeter side since the muffin’s don’t have a lot of sweetener.  If you choose an unflavored protein, you can bump up sweetness with some Stevia or Truvia.

Lastly – I chose banana/blueberry – but you could also do another fruit or chocolate chips, or any combo really.

Easy Macro Friendly Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos was a staple in our house growing up. I am always looking for ways to cut calories and making meals healthier without cutting flavor!

These easy macro friendly chicken nachos were an easy meal that take 30 minutes or less to prepare.

What I used:

B Free Gluten Free Wraps

Shredded Chicken Breast (I used a rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store)

Reduced Fat Shredded Cheese (I like a Mexican or Taco Cheese Blend)

Half a packet of Low Sodium Taco Seasoning (you can also make your own if you prefer)

Veggies of Choice (I used chopped green, red, and jalapeno peppers and yellow onion. You can use any veggies you like on your nachos! Some people like other pepper varieties or chopped tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, etc.)

Step One: Making Chips Out of Tortillas

Cut the B Free Wraps into triangles (think of it like you’re slicing a pizza). Line a cookie/baking sheet with foil and arrange the triangles on there so they are not over lapping. (Depending how many chips you want this may take a few batches, but they take only a few minutes to make.) Lightly spray the tortillas with a cooking spray of your choice, then season with salt and pepper. Place them on the top rack (or in the broiler if you have a broiler drawer on your oven). Broil for just a minute or two (until slightly browned) then pull them out and flip them over. Lightly spray and salt and pepper the second side once flipped, then return them to the oven for another minute or two until slightly browned on the second side. Remove from oven and put them aside (I usually put them on a plate) then repeat the process until you have enough tortilla chips for your nachos.

B Free Wraps Macros
A close up of some of the left over homemade tortilla chips (using B Free Wraps)

Step Two: Prepare the chicken

I purchased a rotisserie chicken then shredded the breast meat. This was a small chicken and made about a cup and a half of chicken for my nachos. A perfect amount for two people.

Add one part mayo to one part plain greek yogurt and the desired amount of taco seasoning. (I used a little less than half a packet, but it depends on how much chicken you have and the taste you prefer).

Mix until fully combined.

Step Three: If your veggies didn’t come chopped up, then I suggest washing and cutting up your veggies so they are ready in advance.

Step Four: Preheat the oven to 350

Step Five: Make the Nachos

Line a cookie/baking sheet with foil (or use the same one you used to make your chips on). Arrange your desired amount of chips overlapping so there are no gaps on the foil. Scoop the chicken mixture onto the chips – (spread out evenly).

If your chicken is cold then put the nacho chips in the oven for a few minutes at this point to warm up the chicken. I’d say probably 5-7 minutes.

Pull the chicken and chips out of the oven and sprinkle with desired amount of cheese and veggies.

Return to the oven until cheese is melted (usually another 5-7 minutes).

I severed mine with Fresh Salsa and Plain Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream. But you could also enjoy with other sauces like guacamole.

Enjoy!

Motivation Vs. Habit

A few phrases I hear all too often:

  1. “I wish I had your motivation”
  2. “ Where do you get your motivation?”
  3. “How can I become more motivated to get healthy?”
  4. “How can I become more motivated to build muscles?”

The answer to any of these questions has nothing to do with motivation, it is about building habit. It is about doing the things you need to do, even on the days you don’t want to do it.

Motivation is defined as “the desire or willingness of someone to do something”. Habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up”.

I want you to take a minute and think about those two definitions. Now how many people do you think just have a natural desire to eat clean and workout everyday? Like seriously. Not many! Motivation comes from building habits that revolve around your goals. You want to achieve a goal, so you develop habits that will support you in getting there. Goals are what motivate us. Motivation is great, but sometimes it’s not what is going to get the job done.

Now there is a whole bunch of different information out there regarding how long it takes to build a habit. I have read everything from 21 days to 66 days to 50 repetitions, to 254 days (I included references for these figures below). I think it is probably somewhat dependent on the person. No two of us are alike, and just like how our bodies adapt to diets, stress, exercise, etc. differently, we most likely also all learn somewhat differently and build habits at different rates.

Just like anyone else, I have days I don’t want to workout, or eat clean, or do much of anything but relax. But the difference between me and someone who is just starting on their health and fitness goals, is that I have already built a habit out of working out, eating healthy and getting a good nights rest. So most of the time, even on the days I just am worn out from a stressful day at work, or a crappy night’s sleep, I can muster up the courage to get in a workout.

I still fall off track sometimes. Just like any human, I have set backs. But because I have already built a habit of living a healthier lifestyle, it is usually easier for me to jump back into the swing of things if I fall off track for a few days.

So if you find yourself asking questions similar to the ones I listed above, my advice to you is to stop focusing on the motivation, and start focusing on the goal, and making a habit out of eating healthier, or exercising more, or going to bed on time, or drinking more water, etc.

It doesn’t just have to be health and fitness related. This also goes for developing new skills, or achieving a goal to advance in a career, or have better communication skills, make more friends, etc.

A perfect example:

Now bare with me for a second on this because I am going to bounce around a bit, but it will all make sense in the end…

I hate stretching. I haven’t stretched really in probably 7 or 8 years…. SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS PEOPLE!!! That’s ridiculous. Lol. Stretching is so important and so good for our bodies! But I just never liked setting aside the time honestly. And the worst part is I sit at a desk for 7-9 hours a day, which can cause all kinds of aches and pains and slouching and leaning to one side, etc.


Recently, a friend of mine decided he was going to start drawing. And every day he draws a picture. And everyday he sends me a picture of the picture he drew, and the image he is using as a reference for his artwork. And everyday he is getting a little better at it! Well this “habit” that he is building, has motivated me to want to build some better habits of my own.

So I decided I was going to start stretching everyday. I set my goal at 30 days of consistent stretching every morning. 30 days, that’s it. Because I know, 30 days isn’t much. 30 days is enough though, that I know I will feel the results and want to continue to stretch. It is a realistic and attainable goal, that will allow me to work towards building a habit out of stretching regularly. When I hit the 30 days, I will set another goal of maybe another 30 days, or maybe 45. Maybe I will try some different stretches for the second 30 day goal.

Now where these tie together, is every day when he sends me a photo, he asks me how the stretching is going. Now we are holding each other accountable for our goals!!! This is an important and helpful tactic to help you build habits! ACCOUNTABILITY! So if you struggle to achieve your goals on your own, have an accountability partner! You don’t have to see them everyday, or even talk everyday. It can be daily, or every few days, or once a week; but don’t be afraid to talk to a friend and ask them to partner up with you on accountability.

So again… To recap…

  1. Don’t focus on motivation or lack thereof, focus on the goals and create steps to achieving those goals (that will become habits)
  2. Set small, attainable goals that will help you build habits to help you get to bigger goals. (Like my 30 days of stretching example)
  3. Make yourself a daily checklist for your habits/tasks that need to happen and follow through with them. Check them off or cross them off as you complete them each day.
  4. Get an accountability partner. Whether you have the same goals and are working together, or different goals and are just checking in with each other, get a friend to help you stay on track.

References:

https://medium.com/swlh/21-day-habit-timeline-how-to-form-a-habit-in-21-days-day-by-day-92298446bf6b

Are Your Goals Aligned with Your Motivators?

What drives you? No I mean what REALLY drives you deep down in your soul? That passion and love that make your heart hurt. That’s what I am talking about. If the answer isn’t somehow involved with your goals (whether personal, spiritual or mental growth) then maybe it is time re-evaluate.

Can goals involve other people? Absolutely. Example: “I want to have a better relationship with (insert noun here)”. Or “I want to be a better parent”. Or “I want to be more involved in my kids school or hobbies”. Or “I want to spend more time with my family”. Maybe love as a whole is that driving factor. Maybe it’s your kids, or your spouse or best friend or pet. Maybe it’s yourself. Maybe it’s your job or a sport you play or a hobby you are passionate about. Maybe its music. Maybe it’s community and being involved in helping others. Maybe it’s an itching you’ve always had to do something to change the world. Regardless of what it is, that passion and love deep down… THAT’S what fuels success. Usually its a combination of things that motivate us, so don’t feel overwhelmed if it’s multiple things that come to mind as you’re reading this.

To be honest, I find that many people that tell me they are struggling with their goals it is because their goals are not aligned with their drive or motivation. Being in tune with yourself is an important part of balance and success.

Step one is knowing what your drivers are and building your goals to be aligned with your love and passion for those drivers. Write them down. Maybe not all at once but maybe when you’re feeling them in the moment. Or if you don’t know where to begin, try to make a list first then narrow it down later. I’d suggest you make tally marks next to each item on the list every time you get that love or passion for them to help organize them by importance to you over time.

Step two is linking your goals back to your drivers. This can be directly or indirectly. (I will provide a few examples below of what I mean by this.) This will help you prioritize your goals and stick to the important ones.

Examples:

Lets say one of your drivers is your kids and you just want to be involved in their lives as much as possible.

A direct link would be directly related to that driver. So a few goal examples would be: volunteering for school field trips or being interested and involved in your kids hobbies or after school activities. It might also be having a special parent/kid day (or even family day) once a week or once a month where you guys do stuff together like hiking or trying something new together to build a stronger bond.

An indirect link would be a goal that is indirect to the driver but still links back to it. For example if you have a goal to lose 20lbs, how can that tie back to your kids? Make a list of all the pros of losing the 20lbs and how they can relate back to the driver.

Here are a few examples of things you may find on that list: more energy, more active, better mood, healthier, better quality of life, setting an example for your kids that goals are important and you can and will achieve them. Now personalize it so it appeals to you when you read it: “I will achieve my goal of losing 20lbs because I want to have more energy (some may add..so I can do more with my kids)”, and so on and so forth for each pro on the list.

Another way you could link this goal of losing 20lbs back to the driver is maybe doing something active with your kids like hiking, biking, walking, running, playing sports, dancing, or even trying something new with them. Maybe cooking healthy meals together.

These are just a few examples to elaborate and give you a better understanding of how to tie your goals back to your drivers. This is important because if a goal is not linked to our drivers or motivators in some way, we tend to push them off because they just aren’t that important.

Goals that are less important are still goals. But if we are constantly setting goals that are not important to us (not linked somehow to our motivators) we may eventually feel like goals aren’t worth it because we never succeed. This is something we want to stay away from so it is important to set realistic and attainable goals, that motivate us. In the example above, if 20lbs seems too difficult, maybe start with 10lbs, or even 5lbs and then build from there. “I lost 5lbs, I feel great and I know I can lose 5 more.”

And finally step three is seeing the goal in your mind already achieved by you. Think into the future and picture yourself achieving that goal. Feel those feelings internally that you expect to feel when you are successful and the goal is achieved and hold onto this until it happens. Close your eyes, and mentally go here on the hard days.

Another really important part of being in tune with yourself is accepting failure and knowing it’s okay to fail as long as you don’t give up. You don’t really hear/read about the failures on social media. Most people don’t post about the days or even months they fall off track, because it’s not motivating. But they happen! To all of us! It is important to know when you fall off track or have a few bad days it doesn’t mean give up. It means dust yourself off, let it go, and pursue on. Shit happens.

I am finding that the older I get, the better I get at being in touch with who I am, what motivates me and where I want to be in this life. (And no I’m not just talking health and fitness goals- I am talking life goals). Things that used to seem like big obstacles now seem smaller. I may be bummed out for a moment but I seem to overcome them faster because I just say “I’m not going to let this slow me down”. I look ahead and see my goals just beyond the clouds obstructing my view. This is because I have trained my brain to have a better outlook on things. (Because I have been setting goals that are linked to my drivers and achieving them.) I have a better mindset overall.

Let me just end this by telling you, I am just a regular, hard working, woman who has had her fair share of struggles and found this method helpful when setting goals and sticking to them. This post is simply my opinion and advice. Take it like a grain of salt, or give it a try and see if it works for you!

The Quarantine Struggle Part Three…Working Out From Home

Let’s be honest with ourselves… If you’re a gym goer, working out at home is TOUGH. (If you already workout at home you are probably crushing it during the “Stay at Home” Order. So kudos to those people.) But us gym goers miss the gym! For many of us, the gym is our zen, our balance, our therapy, our happy place. It might be where you see your friends or lifting buddy that you now don’t get to see. It might be where you push yourself your hardest and achieve new goals. It might be where you take your favorite workout class. This is just to name a few reasons why people who love the gym, LOVE the gym! So what do we do about not having a gym?

We modify and adapt! No gym? No problem. As hard as it may feel when some of us are thinking about it and over analyzing all the reasons why a home workout isn’t good enough, it really doesn’t need to be that complicated. For every day you sit and sulk about “no gym” you’re missing an opportunity to do a home workout to maintain your lean muscle mass, or keep unwanted body fat off, or break a great sweat! This is also a GREAT opportunity to start if you haven’t started!

A workout doesn’t NEED to be done with gym equipment.

Improvise:

If you have some dumbbells, kettle bells or barbells at home, great! If you don’t? Who cares! If you look on social media right now the home workouts are off the charts! People are improvising in so many different ways. Using everything from water bottles to gallon jugs, buckets and broomsticks, wooden boards and cinder blocks. Those innovative, creative people, that are modifying and adapting, those are the ones who are successful in their fitness goals!

If makeshift free weights isn’t your thing, you can still do body weight workouts and just focus on intensity rather than load. (Increase the reps, or do super sets, or HIIT training.)

Side Note: Don’t forget you can also use resistance bands. I have been telling people for years, resistance bands are a GREAT investment. Not only can you use them at home, but you can use them at work, or when you travel also! You can get a full body workout with a good set of resistance bands.

For my class people, that prefer the group atmosphere and setting: Some gyms are offering FB Live Workouts. If your gym isn’t, maybe check out some of the other gyms that are, or get on a video chat with your Bestie and stream a workout video you guys can do together. Help each other stay accountable. This is also helpful for people who prefer/enjoy a workout partner. Get on FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype with your gym partner and create fun workouts together.

Where Do You Start?

You start now! By figuring out which home workout style fits you best. Write out a plan for yourself each week and add it to that daily checklist (from Part One, Remember?). Whether you are following online workouts, streaming workout videos, doing a live workout with a group, or even just going for walks outside, commit to it! Make yourself a plan and fit it into your schedule. It doesn’t matter if its 30 minutes or 2 hours, just get it on your agenda and get it done!

I hope this information has been useful! And don’t forget, the gyms may be closed, but you can always hire an online coach to help!

Lastly, I want to mention the other important parts of this equation, which are your diet and sleep habits. If you’re eating like crap and/or not getting enough sleep, no amount of exercise is going to fix that. Get your diet and exercise in line with your goals and make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. Stay the course, modify and adapt to the challenges we are facing and keep moving forward!