How to “Do Fitness” and Stick To It

Hello, my beautiful people! Happy Monday! It’s a new day and a new week and this is my time to get back into blogging. (I can do this!) I recently got back from a really great vacation to California and Vegas, worked a few days, and am now getting back into my typical adult-ing responsibilities. Today is my first day off from work, so first on the agenda- this blog post.

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Doing “fitness” and still ENJOYING life is possible.

I received a comment  on Instagram, a few weeks back, about how to juggle tracking macros, meal prep,and “doing fitness” while still maintaining a regular life … as well as one’s mental sanity … Honestly, i thought this was a really great question.

So that is what we are going to talk about today- How to do some of the stereotypical fitness things: go to the gym, meal prep, track macros, etc… while still maintaining your mental sanity without getting burnt out.

This post is going to be a lot of tips from my experiences that i believe yall might find helpful… so let’s jump right in.

  • Get rid of the “all or nothing” mentality. You do not have to be 100% all the time with your training and diet to make progress. Just because you cannot track your macros to the T or go to the gym for as long as you would like, does not mean that you just say fu*k it to your diet and skip the gym all together. Let’s say you didn’t plan to go out to eat but all of a sudden you are. You still want to stay “on track” but you also want to enjoy yourself- what do you do? Want a burger? Get the burger but maybe get a side salad instead of french fries. Or maybe choose a lighter entree if you really want dessert. Can’t go to the gym 6 days a week? Start and aim for 3 days. 
  • Schedule fitness in. We all have heard the saying “If it’s important you will find a way, if not- you will find an excuse”. Cliche, yes…but still true. Plan your workout into your day just like you would an appointment with your doctor. Plan to prep your meals for the following day, at night, before you go to bed. Schedule it in and make a point to do what you say you are going to. 
  • Find what works for you. This kind of goes with the above point but i am just going to touch on it again real quick. It is a lot easier to make healthy habits a part of your every day life when you actually ENJOY them and they do not feel like a chore. Ask yourself what you enjoy doing in regards to fitness… do you like yoga? walking? classes? working out with a friend? crossfit? zumba? Whatever you like to do- do that. You will be so much more likely to stick to it if you aren’t forcing yourself to do something you hate. Just because Shannon enjoys lifting weights, does NOT mean that you have to lift weights too. Do you, boo boo… do you.
  • Bring a friend. Make the gym something you can do with a friend. It can give you a chance to socialize and catch up with your friend, and also provide you both some extra accountability. You can use fitness as a chance to bond with your friends by doing something that is active and has a healthy twist… this could be trying a new gym class, going for a hike, riding bikes around town, etc. Fitness doesn’t have to be boring and doing it with a friend can help you both reach your goals in a more fun way.
  • Allow yourself flexibility. You do not have to have exceptionally high standards to reach your goals. Be realistic and allow yourself some flexibility and leeway if need be. This could mean giving yourself a macro/calorie range instead of specific numbers to hit. +/- 10g on carbs and protein and +/- 5g on fats could be a good start. This could also mean allowing yourself free, untracked meals or refeed days. This also applies to things or events that don’t happen very often, or special occasions like vacations or trips. It is important that you are enjoying making memories with your friends and families instead of stressing over if you can workout or hitting your macros. Enjoy your time with friends and family, be MINDFUL of your eating habits, enjoy yourself, be active, and make memories. Don’t stress the little things.
  • Change your daily habits. Making small changes in your daily habits can lead to long term results. Instead of drinking beverages that are high in calories, start opting for lower calorie options. Start the day by getting in a good workout, going for a walk on your lunch break or getting into the habit of meal prepping before bed. Eventually, you’ll start doing these things because they are a habit and you won’t have to rely solely on motivation to do them. 
  •  Meal prep essentials. Meal prep can be very beneficial when it comes to eating nutrient dense foods and choosing healthier options instead of reaching for fast food options because you are starving. Personally, i like to prep my proteins in bulk (usually ground turkey and chicken) so they are easy to grab and go. Microwavable/steam fresh vegetables and carbs like rice or pasta can also be a quick and easy meal option. I personally do not like to prep and portion meals for the entire week at one time because i do not find them to stay fresh and taste as great by the time i eat them. But it is super easy for me to grab some bulk protein, throw a steamable bag in the microwave for 4 minutes, measure it out.. and go. If meal prepping all your meals, on Sunday, for the week works for you, thats great. If not, that is great too. Whatever you find works for you, do that. (*If you would like for me to do a separate blog post on Meal Prep How To’s , leave a comment below*)
  • Give journaling a try. You may not see how journaling plays into juggling or creating a fit and healthy lifestyle but mental health can be just as important – and play a large roll- in your physical health as well. A healthier mind —–> a healthier life. I wrote a blog post on Journaling and all it’s benefits a while back so go check that out here
  • Set goals. Whether that be daily goals, or weekly goals, setting goals can be extremely helpful. I personally get a lot of satisfaction from making lists and when i get to cross stuff off and say “i achieved that goal” i know that feels pretty damn good.

Some examples of DAILY GOALS could be: 1) Drink 8 glasses of water a day. 2) Go for a 20 minute walk during my lunch break. 

Some examples of WEEKLY GOALS could be: 1) Hit my macros at least 4 days this week. 2) Go to spin class 2x this week.

It is important to make these goals attainable and realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure by knowingly setting your goals and standards too high. Set goals and crush them!

  • Find YOUR balance. So many people shit on (sorry for the expression) the term balance – but i firmly believe that this is what the majority of us need.. balance. We need to find that balance that allows us to be healthy and happy and that is something that looks different for every. single. person. Don’t get caught up on what everyone else is doing.. or what everyone “says” they are doing. Your journey is not their journey. Doing fitness- for you- should be something that you enjoy and are able to maintain.. no extreme diets here. Find what works FOR YOU and do that. Your balance may be hard to find initially, but i promise you, with time and effort, you can find it.

So there you have it. My main tips on how to make fitness a part of your everyday life without going stir crazy. Now, just to reiterate, i am going to ramble a little bit… Haha, get ready– i apologize in advance if this is all over the place. When it comes to doing fitness, it’s important that you are doing it because you want to… not because your doctor is making you, your friend, your boyfriend, whoever… You may not initially love working out, or eating broccoli, but give it a try. I promise that being active and fueling your body with nutrient dense foods will increase your overall well being and help you feel so much better.

“Doing fitness” doesn’t mean that you neglect every other aspect of your life… it doesn’t mean saying “no” every time your friend wants to hangout because you can’t miss a gym session. It doesn’t mean saying “no” to ice cream on your family vacation because you feel like you have to hit your macros. It’s not realistic to say “I am never eating (insert favorite food here)” because you “do fitness now”. You don’t have to eat cake just because it’s there but you can if you want to.. and still reach your goals.  It’s all about finding that balance of fitness and living life that makes you feel happy and healthy… physically and mentally.

I really hope that little ramble made sense lol, but doing fitness and simultaneously living life and being happy is something that i am really passionate about… It’s something that i feel like after a long time, i have finally achieved in myself and i want other people to achieve as well.

How do you “do fitness” and maintain a healthy lifestyle without going crazy or feeling completely unbalanced juggling your life? Leave a comment below with any tips you may have on balancing life and fitness. Has there every been a time in your life where you really struggled or excelled at juggling the two? Leave a comment and share your experience below, i would love to hear your story!

As always, thank you SO much for taking the time to read my blog… i greatly appreciate it. Please feel free to leave any ideas you may have for future blog posts and subscribe to my blog if you are not already.

Talk soon,

PBANDLAURENKELLY

 

 

 

 

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Tracking the “Untrackable”

HELLO, my fabulous friends! Long time no chat… i know i know, it’s pretty typical at this point. (I’m working on it, okay? lol). I won’t go into a ramble about that right now, instead, we will just jump right into today’s blog topic which is…

TRACKING THE UNTRACKABLE.

What do I mean by this?

Well… if you follow me on any of my various social medias (if you don’t follow me, what you doinnnnnn? You definitely should, duh, find my social media handles here), you know that since i moved down to NOLA, i am beyond obsessed with doughnuts… District Donuts to be exact.

I have been a “flexible dieter” for quite some time now so tracking my macros is nothing new to me. I am enjoying tracking at this time and i know that it is a really great way that i can continue to reach my goals without feeling restricted or deprived. Yes, i am currently in a cutting phase. However, this does not mean that i can’t still eat donuts, or other foods that i enjoy. I am not dieting for a show, or something super strict, more so just doing a “lifestyle” diet , for lack of a better word. It is a lot less strict or extreme than a bikini prep diet, so if i still want to go out and enjoy donuts i can easily do so.

But, because District Donuts is a local shop as opposed to a large chain like Dunkin Donuts, Tim Horton’s, or Krispy Kreme, the calories and macro nutrient breakdowns cannot be found on apps such as MyFitnessPal. Does this stop me from enjoying these donuts? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

So how exactly do I still enjoy these donuts, track them (or not), and still make progress towards my cutting/physique goals? Continue reading below.

*Please note, that this is more so my philosophy for everyday life, lifestyle “diets, and simply living… as opposed to something that needs more structure and accuracy with macros like a bikini competition prep.

  • The BIGGEST piece of advice i have for tracking untrackable foods, is find a food equivalent on MyFitnessPal, or online, that is a similar food or the same food, as the food you are going to be eating. For example, if I was going to be eating a glazed donut from district, i would search on MFP “glazed donut”. While the macros may not be exact, you can get the general idea.
  • Once you have searched the food item on MFP, take the time to look at several of the entries. Generally, i choose the item that seems to be the average. For example, if the majority of the entries have about 50 carbs, i would choose one of those food entries as opposed to one that says it has 25.
  • It is also important to use your common sense. By now, if you have been tracking for a while you know a little bit about the macronutrient breakdown of the foods you eat. Roughly estimating the macros for donuts is possible…. i would say at least 12 ish grams of fat, carbs depending on the complexity of the donut, and low protein at about 5 ish grams. Obviously this varies between what type of donut it is, if it’s filled, what it is topped with, etc…
  • You could also use the more manual approach and add the donut toppings individually. Say it’s a yeast donut with chocolate icing and peanut butter cups on top. You could add each part into MFP separately. Yeast donut + chocolate icing + peanut butter cup. From here you would guesstimate the amount of each. If a serving of chocolate icing is 2 tbsp and your donut appears to have two servings, add two servings. If it looks like there’s two crushed up reese cups on top of your donut, add two reese cups.
  • Some basic donut knowledge to throw in there: Krispy Kreme tends to be a “lighter” type of donut while donuts from say Dunkin seem to be more dense. So, if you are eating a more light and fluffy glazed donut, search “glazed donut krispy kreme” and go from there.
  • You also need to be okay with not being 100% accurate. It is important to realize that since you are roughly tracking, you might not be hitting your macros perfectly, but you are doing your best and that is okay! You need to be okay with estimating, enjoying your donut, and then be able to move on your day without stressing about whether or not you went over your macros.
  • If you are super concerned about going “too far” over your macros, or concerned with underestimating the macros, you can always overestimate. Tack on a few extra fat grams or carb grams into MFP. (You can add 1g of fat by searching “fat in grams” on MFP. Same goes for carbs and protein).

The above tips for tracking donuts, or other “ultrackable” foods may seem complicated or overwhelming at first, but i promise it does get easier each time you do it. I keep using donuts as an example (because let’s be honest, i have been eating them a lot lol) but these tips can apply to pretty much anything… from donuts to cupcakes, froyo, pizza, you name it.

I wanted to do this post to show you guys that it is possible to eat delicious foods that are difficult to track without stressing because the food doesn’t have a nutritional label attached to the back. Simply find a similar food item on MFP, use your common sense, guesstimate toppings and portion sizes, and ENJOY IT without stressing over the accuracy of the numbers. If you don’t want to track your macros or guesstimate, that is COOL too. There is a time and place for tracking and guesstimating and there is a time and place for just eating donuts because you want to.  Moral of the story? Just do what’s best for you, boo.


I really am going to try to get back into the swing of blogging on a regular basis so please leave a comment and let me know what you want to see. I am open to any and all suggestions so please don’t hesitate to throw out any ideas. The more ideas the better lol.

Please like and share this post if you found it to be helpful and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any exciting posts to come!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog and keep checking back for more. 

Talk soon (promise),

PBANDLAURENKELLY

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips For “Overcoming” Binge Eating Disorder

Hello, Friends! This is Morgan (Lauren is my twin sister in case you are new here and didn’t realize lol). It’s been a hot minute since I last appeared on Lauren’s blog, but I AM BACK!

My blog post discussing my struggle with binge eating received such amazing feedback and because of it so many people reached out to me about how they themselves have in the past/or currently are struggling with binge eating. If you haven’t taken the time to read that blog, now would be a great time to do so… You can check it out here.

While I am definitely NOT an expert, and would not at all say I am fully recovered from my eating disorder, I can no longer remember my last binge and I am no longer consumed with the self hatred I had for myself most of last year. Because of that, I do believe that I can maybe help others by offering some advice in regards to what has helped me with my binge eating over the past year.

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Left Photo: July 2016 // Right Photo: May 2017


So here we go…

FIRST AND FOREMOST-FIND A THERAPIST:
One more time for the people in the back, FIND A THERAPIST!!
I whole heartedly believe that 96% of the reason I am in a much better place this year is because I found someone to talk to. I found it difficult to talk to my friends and family about what I was going through because I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and like they wouldn’t be able to understand what I was going through. Having a therapist gave me an outlet where I was able to talk freely without feeling judged, and where I could cry if I needed to. She helped me figure out WHY I was binging and how I could prevent binging in the future.

If you go to this website: http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms you can search for a therapist IN YOUR AREA that also ACCEPTS YOUR INSURANCE. While therapy can be expensive, I found it helpful to look at it as an INVESTMENT INTO MY MENTAL HEALTH. I tried for months “to fix my eating disorder” by myself and it did not get any better, it got worse. Remember IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP.

FIND YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM: YOUR THERAPIST IS ONLY PART OF YOUR TEAM.
I also recommend talking to your family or close friends about what you have been going through. I have had family members (coworkers/nonfamily members) mention my weight gain (whether in a joking manner or not) and it literally crushed me inside. Typically if you explain your feelings to your love ones, they will be more respectful to your feelings and can be there for you in the future.
For example, after being more open about what I experienced last year, I now am able to text my sister when I feel myself getting in a ‘binge mindset.” She helps talk me off the edge and she helps remind me of my progress and that I am not alone. REMEMBER: THEY LOVE YOU AND WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY.

IDENTIFY TRIGGERS.
For me, I binged to avoid dealing with my emotions.
Something made me upset, I ate. Food made me happy (but only for a short time.)
Breakups, getting yelled at at work, stress, fighting with friends, money anxiety, feeling lonely, long days at work……. to name a few, I binged.
Then the day after a binge— I would typically BINGE AGAIN- almost out of habit.
Now when I am at work, I try to be more in tune with my emotions and what I am feeling. While being constantly around food its easy for me to reach for a cookie or 5 after my boss yells at me but I ask myself, “Do I really want this cookie or am just eating it because my boss just yelled at me and I’m feeling xyz….” If its because I am feeling xyz, I accept what I am feeling and I usually don’t eat 5 cookies.

** Now I am in no way saying don’t eat cookies, because cookies are delicious and there a few things better than a hot out of the oven, ooeey goey cookie— Im just saying If you’re eating said cookie to avoid dealing with your feelings it’s important to recognize that. And to remember that COOKIES WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.

Triggers for some people can also be foods.
I have never bought a bag of goldfish that I did not end up binge eating so as I result I just don’t buy them anymore or keep them in my house.

STOP RESTRICTING.
STOP RESTRICTING!!

Telling yourself you can’t have something only makes you want it more and will ultimately cause you to binge again. Last year while constantly binging I was also attempting to loose weight through IIFYM. While IIFYM is a great tool, it can still be seen as restrictive if the foods you want won’t fit into your macros. While my macros were lowered due to “dieting” to lose the weight I had put on binge eating, I was constantly telling myself I couldn’t eat certain foods which is part of the reason I would binge… Telling myself I could only eat so called “whole foods” until I drove myself crazy and would binge eat thousands of calories at one time. After I would binge, I would RESTRICT my diet, do extreme excess cardio, and then as a result I would binge again. ITS A CYCLE. YOU HAVE TO TRY TO STOP THE CYCLE!
Maybe eating without tracking could be helpful to you, intuitive eating, or perhaps try increasing your calories so that you won’t feel as restricted with your diet. You can also consult a nutritionist who would be able to help you. I personally never talked to a nutritionist but my diet took a lot of trial and error until I found something that worked for me.
I would also not recommend trying to loose more weight if you are already constantly binging. You keep binging because you keep restricting… Once again, its a cycle and you have to break the cycle.

Last but not least, FORGIVE YOURSELF AND UNDERSTAND THAT RECOVERY DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.

When I first started going to therapy I was hopeful that I would never binge again…. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case…

The only thing you can do after a binge is to let it go and start over.
You are not a failure and you are doing the best you can.
Forgive yourself when you relapse and just try to do better the next day… and the next day… and the next day.
All your efforts will continue to add up over time and before you know it, you’ll start to feel so much better. You are a work in progress.IMG_9705

Also helpful, INVEST IN A JOURNAL– It’s the perfect place to reflect on your day an
identify any positive or negative things that happened so you can identify patterns or keep notes of things to discuss in therapy

BOOK SUGGESTIONS:

Find Your Happy- DAILY MATRAS’ by Shannon Kaiser: A Very good daily reflection book to help with journaling.
Brain Over Binge- By Kathryn HansenThis book was recommended to me by other people who were struggling with eating disorders and I found it really insightful.


I was asked the other day “How I got back on track” and I found that to be a hard question to answer. It seems like the horrible things I was going through last year were so long ago at this point and somedays it still feels like last week. Recovery and progress take time but if I could offer you any advice I would just say: Stop restricting.. Address the issue(s) at hand and jump right in with trying to make it better. Avoiding the issue(s) will NEVER FIX anything and it also isn’t going to fix itself. Ultimately I’m glad that I took those initial steps in bettering my life.

Once again, If any of you have any questions at all or just need someone to talk to, DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ME. I hope someone out there found this helpful and always remember… YOU ARE NOT ALONE. My email is morganbrooke027@hotmail.com OR you can DM on various social medias, my handle on Instagram is mbkellyy.

If anyone has any questions or topics they would like to see discussed here, on Lauren’s blog, regarding Binge Eating Disorder, please do not hesitate to let me know. I want to do several blogs in regards to BED in hopes that it can help at least one person who is struggling.

Hope ya’ll have a great rest of your day and talk soon,

Morgan