A very serious question.

Do you like popsicles or ice cream better in the summer? I truly can’t decide. I bring this up, because I had both yesterday and both were equally as wonderful and I am just wondering if anyone has something important to say on this topic.

Although I do want to really know what you think about that, my real question is actually somewhat applicable to something that matters in life. Would you rather be busy or have a bunch of free time? I have had the serious luxury of being able to make and adjust my own schedule for the past year, and I am just now going back into a corporate environment and not having that choice anymore. It’s definitely a huge adjustment to not make those kinds of decisions for myself anymore, but it’s one less thing I need to plan out, which is absolutely a plus. I get so stressed out trying to coordinate everything, so I am actually beyond relieved to have someone else do it for me. And to think that I wanted to be a wedding planner in college. Hilarious.

During this week alone, 5 different things came up that I hadn’t been planning on. Although at first I kind of freaked out and probably still am a little bit without even realizing it, I’m loving the fact that I don’t have a choice and my schedule just is what it is. I am the worst decision-maker in the whole world, and it is nice to be able to use work as an excuse now instead of knowing that I have the power to move things around. Even though this new job will definitely cut into my precious reality TV watching time, I think I can deal as long as TiVo is around. I don’t think I mentioned this, but I am working at a hugely popular fitness club chain and obviously have a membership there now, so it will be super easy to workout myself before I work. I also live close enough that I can run there and shower in the locker rooms before my shift, which makes me smile so big just thinking about it. Weird that running makes me smile. That scares me half to death.

On the other hand, I do not do well when I don’t have more than enough time to workout, clean, blog, respond to e-mails, watch my shows, and all those other unnecessary, but important to me, things. I know there are much bigger things to worry about and that these are all things that do not need to be done immediately and in the super quick fashion that I do them, but I get really overwhelmed if I am ever behind on something. I know I need to remember that I am cutting down time on other jobs I have been doing for a regular basis during the past year, but that just hasn’t set in yet. Am I crazy? Probably. I know I just need to get used to this new schedule,  but I am probably going to be a hot mess during the next month or so.

With that being said, if this blog gets pushed to the side or if my posts are just off the wall ridiculous, please forgive me. I’m just trying not to lose my mind with all that I have going on right now. I am super excited to start this new job and hopefully make it a career and I can be done with this whole “finding myself” thing. Although let’s be real, I have tried anything and everything (job-wise) during the past 7 years and fitness is the only thing that I have actually enjoyed and wanted to excel in. So I think I’m pretty much stuck here, whether I like it or not. And I am very lucky, because I love it. So fingers crossed this all goes well!

What’s your job? Do you like it? And I really hope you say yes, because if you say no that is going to make me very sad :(

Cool stuff.

You guys. When I started this blog it was all health and fitness and advice and professional and stuff, and now……..it is this; haha. What happened. Apparently I just like to tell you all the ridiculous things that go through my mind on a daily basis. A while ago I did a post on all of my favorite things, and if I had a little bit more drive and motivation I would probably scroll back and find it, but I don’t. So in case you care and want to be my best friend and provide these things for me, here you go: my best things right now.

  • reality TV

  • my iPhone
  • flip flops
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • my sisters

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  • my pool

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  • sleep; so much sleep

  • kombucha; yeah judge me, I like it

  • the sun
  • pie
  • bronzer; oops
  • I’m sure Identity Thief will be on this list if I ever see it

  • this lotion

  • the fact that my free Pandora is back
  • VS hot pink shorts that are ridiculous looking but I don’t care

  • sangria
  • nice people

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  • sleeping with my window open
  • popsicles

  • my girls

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This is getting weird. Byeeeeee.

Favorite thing, ready set go.

My own fitness rules.

So am I right or am I right that there are a million different diet tricks and fitness tips and goal-setting techniques and exercises out there? I honestly can’t keep track. A huge part of my job is to remain current on trends in the health industry, but it is honestly so hard. Instead of telling my clients what other people believe and what is going on in the big corporations, I decided to make a set of my fitness “rules.” Don’t judge me. I swear I’m certified to preach this stuff Smile with tongue out

  1. Drink 100 oz. of water a day. It might seem like a lot, but it is more than possible. Get a 24 oz. water bottle and refill it up 4 times.
  2. Stretch for at least 10 minutes every single day. It will help you from being sore and keep your muscles long and lean. It also just helps you feel fabulous. Too bad guys are typically “too cool” for this.
  3. Set a goal for yourself, no matter how big or how small. Typically I try to say on Sunday how many miles I want to run that week or even just set up my schedule for the week to keep myself on track. Goals help you to have something to work towards and help to keep you motivated when you feel like stopping.
  4. Take a big breath and think before you eat something. Stopping for even 5 seconds and letting a couple thoughts run through your mind about whether or not you are truly hungry will immensely help in stopping you from over-eating.
  5. Make a really good playlist. I swear, good music makes a huge difference in your workout. When I was up north, I of course looked forward to the beautiful scenery I got to run in, but also the new playlist I had made a few days prior.
  6. Invest in a trainer or find one online for at least a few sessions. It is really important to know how to execute movements the correct way in order to avoid injury. It is also nice to have someone to show you the ropes the first time so you don’t have to mess around with machines and weights and look silly.
  7. Find out what time of day works best for you and roll with that. There is no “perfect” time of day to exercise. Different things work for different people, and there is no right or wrong. Typically I stretch and do some toning for 20 minutes in the morning and do my cardio later in the evening. And some random strength training interspersed throughout the day whenever I can. I used to think that if I sweat a drop I had to take a shower, but now I am so over that.
  8. Don’t be embarrassed. I spent too long caring what my family and friends thought about my healthy lifestyle, but that is just silly. There’s no reason you need to be ashamed about getting up early to go for a run or for asking for your salad dressing on the side.
  9. Stay busy. I have found that when you are bored is when you turn back on what you really want. Let’s be real. If you have nothing to do but sit in a house full of food, what are you likely to do? Make your schedule accordingly to serve you the best. You know what works best for your own body.
  10. Love what you do. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, you will give up. You should never feel like you have to exercise. Make it part of your lifestyle and it will become second-nature.

This stuff is so simple, but when I went to see Jillian Michaels the other night I realized how un-educated so many people are on how to take care of themselves. I think the more that health and fitness professionals emphasize the simplicity of fitness and nutrition, the more people will jump on board with it. Why complicate things?

I also try to emphasize to my clients to not take themselves too seriously. I really hate when people think they need to do things exactly one way all the time; that is no way to live your life. You need to keep your options open and be ready for whatever comes your way. I have learned in the past to not be so quick to make a decision, in fitness and in life. I want my clients to try a bunch of different things in order to find what works for their particular body and what they actually enjoy. I always try to have personal conversation during our sessions, because who wants to talk about weight-lifting and cardio for an hour? Not me. And doesn’t everyone want to kick back and have a drink once in a while (or every day)? I do.

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Taking care of yourself should be fun. Not a chore. My goal is to help people love their bodies and themselves so they can in turn spread that love into the world <3

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Playing catch-up.

Happy Monday lovelies! My posts have been all over the place lately, because I haven’t really felt like talking about a lot of things, but I’m ready to talk now and catch you up with what’s been going on in my crazy mind. Bear with me here.

  • I am working with a wonderful group of 5 ladies in a fitness challenge group. We’re working together to get our bodies ready for summer, develop a new healthy lifestyle, and make some good food choices. I just adore them, and it makes me so happy day after day to hear about their progress and do what I can to help them along the way. It helps me, too, to stay accountable! Even though I might not have all the answers all the time, it’s nice to use my knowledge and experience to help other girls love their bodies and themselves.

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  • I am cutting down my nannying hours and focusing more on my personal training career. I am really lucky to have played trial-and-error with all the jobs under the sun and found what I love to do so soon. I love children and I love fitness. If I can build up my fitness career over the next few years, I will be able to train on my own time, make my own schedule, and love life. Making your own schedule is the best. I highly recommend you get a job where you can do this if possible Smile with tongue out I want to open up a fitness studio that includes child-care so moms can come and bring the kids with no problem. First though, I need money.

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  • I am still working really hard to try to get a job with Ellen! I e-mail her every day and have been making a bunch of random YouTube videos saying why I should move to California and do it. But now after going up north for the week, I honestly can’t decide if I should move up north to the country (which would probably be great for me) or to Los Angeles to have my dream career. I guess for now I have to just keep my options open and cross that bridge when the opportunity comes up. All I know is that I want to move away from where I am currently living. I need a big change.

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  • I am so super pumped for all my summer TV shows to start up. Is that lame? Yeah. Oh well; I accept that. So You Think You Can Dance, The Bachelorette, and Pretty Little Liars all start up within the next couple of weeks. I smile just thinking about it. It’s the little things.

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  • I would give just about anything to go back to college lately. I complained about it so much while I was there, but thinking back on it, I had the best time of my life. I really regret not taking some of the opportunities I had and wish I could go back and make different choices. I am not one to listen to slow music; typically I am a pop or upbeat country kinda girl, but I am all about the stuff that makes you think lately. Why? I have no idea. But if I could rewind my life 2 years and really think about the long-term consequences of my actions, I think I would have made some different decisions. Actually, I know it. So for any of you who are in college, live it up and enjoy every minute. The real world sucks at first.

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  • Ever since before I went up north, I have been craving my workouts like crazy. I go nuts if I don’t exercise, but that can be from 10 minutes to 2 hours. I just like to get my body moving and am starting to realize that when I do a ton of different exercises it keeps me from getting bored and keeps me motivated. Lately I really like long walks with my mom in the morning and yoga before bed at night. I also have been doing a lot of Tone It Up strength-training and incline runs. Then I like to throw DVD’s in there once in a while. I am all over the place.

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  • I ordered my first ever Pressed Juicery cleanse! I will be starting it on Thursday and doing a full review of just about every little detail I can think of. I understand that there are mixed reviews on juice cleanses, but I have always wanted to try one, so why the hell not? I am so excited to see what all the buzz is about. Maybe I will like it, maybe not. I want to know for myself though instead of hearing opinions from others. I tried my first juice from Pressed Juicery when I was in Los Angeles and loved it, so I’m sure the juices won’t be an issue for me. It will be not being able to have wine :x You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I gotta stop my bad habits!

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  • I actually have plans this week with a lot of friends, and I am really excited! I am starting to put myself out there again and do what I want and not really care/think about what others say. I’m over doing what I am supposed to do. I am just freaking over it. People can judge me all they want, but I’ve always been the type of person that just wants to be happy with myself. It doesn’t necessarily matter to me what other people think of me. I feel like as long as you love yourself and treat yourself well, you’re doing something right. Or as Jillian Michaels says, “As long as you’re not a total dick, you’re doing pretty good in life.”

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  • My sisters and I bought tickets to go see the Jonas Brothers in July. Score. Now if anyone wants to take me to see Justin Timberlake, my summer would be set. Speaking of summer, I really miss summer breaks like they were in high school. It was actually a break! Now summer is just another time when you have beautiful weather, but have to go to work anyway. Cool.

Whew. That was a lot. Sorry! Hopefully you are all doing fantastic. Start this week out on the right foot. Smile

“Tough times are like physical exercise. You may not like it while you are doing it, but tomorrow you will be stronger because of it.”

Tone It Up 2013 Bikini Series

I just have to share how excited I am for this!

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Since I discovered these girls back in July 2012, I have only grown to love them more and more with everything they continue to produce. They are so dedicated to what they do and are getting to live their passion; everyone’s dream, right? They are extremely good at what they do and work really hard at making women feel comfortable with their bodies and have a fun journey along the way. Yesterday they launched their 3rd annual Bikini Series, and you better believe I signed up immediately!

Basically what it involves is signing up via their website, following what they say to do each day for exercise, eating “lean, clean, and green,” and checking in on social networks to keep yourself accountable and win prizes. This is a huge form of motivation for me. Since I am a personal trainer and work with quite a few different people, the last thing I want to do is make up a fitness plan for myself, too. I would much rather have someone tell me what to do! Check out their website for more information if you are interested, or submit your question in the comments below Smile

Last year the grand prize winners of the challenge got a trip to California to hang out with Karena and Katrina! I swear you guys, if that is the prize again, I will win. They are basically leading my dream life. If I was doing this whole fitness thing for The Ellen Show, it would be my exact dream life. I am not a big competitor at all; I can usually care less if I win a prize, find some money on the ground, or am given a present. I’m just not a huge stuff fan! But this would be something that I know would be great for me, so fingers crossed it’s an option! I know I could learn a ton from Karena and Katrina and want to thank them for everything they have given me in the past few months. I am determined to really get on board with the program this time. No more giving up!

A big part of the first day is also to journal intentions for the next 8 weeks that the series will run. By June 21 I will:

  • Buy a bikini that I am completely comfortable in
  • Tone up my arms that have lost some muscle in the past few months
  • Get rid of the extra weight in my stomach that has also come on in the last few months
  • Be happy in my body and not make excuses to constantly stay home because of it
  • Work out 6 days a week/1 hr. a day
  • Focus on eating whole foods and less of the packaged crap
  • Have made progress towards living in California/working for Ellen!

For any of my other health and fitness professionals out there, you know how easy it is to get so involved in your clients that you forget about taking care of yourself. I have definitely fallen into that rut lately, and I want someone to kick me out of it! So if any of you are interested in joining this challenge/lifestyle as well, I would absolutely love that Smile 

And also, if anyone is interested in learning more about the nutrition plan these girls developed, let me know and I would be more than happy to do a post about it.

What is one goal you have for yourself to reach before summer?

Guest Blogger: Erica!

It’s my last day. I am probably throwing a tantrum in the airport right now about not wanting to leave and Luke is embarrassed sitting in the corner pretending like he doesn’t know me. You think I’m kidding, but I am not. I haven’t even gone on my trip yet and I know I don’t want to leave. However, I’m sure I’m very excited to recap you all on it tomorrow!

This chick is my bestest friend. And I know her in real-life, too! Yes, a friend; I know. Crazy concept. She does a really good intro of our relationship, so I’m not messing with one. Just listen to her Smile

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Hi everyone!!

So first can I say that aren’t we ALL jealous that Ally is in CALI right now!? I have always wanted to go there and sure many of you do as well! So I thought I would be a little “guest” blogger. Let me give you a little introduction here!

My name is Erica and I have been best friends with Ally ever since we were um… could poop our diapers ..basically. TMI? Sorry. We also live exactly 3 minutes away from each other and enjoy bike riding in our trails in the summertime and being obsessed with way too many TV shows. I am currently in my last semester at Grand Valley State in MI finishing my degree of Exercise Science with a Health/Fitness emphasis. I am Zumba certified and have taught this semester for my first time and LOVE it as well as teach circuit classes, train clients, etc. As you can already tell, Ally and I have lots in common since we both are in the health field!

So without further ado, here are some lovely little tips I came up with to help us along with our goals. I hope this helps you all as it does to me!

Trainer Tips #1

What have you always wanted to do? Write it down, goal set, and get to it!

“I want to be in better health”; “I want to feel better”; “I want to lose weight”; “I want to be stronger”; “I want to look better”.

Do you ever find yourself thinking or telling others any of the sayings above? Or possibly something similar to it? Why is that? Why do we constantly tell ourselves for months, even years, that we want to accomplish a specific achievement but are not able to follow through?

Goal-setting !!

1. First, think of a feasible goal that you are highly confident that you can achieve.

This should not be something that it easy for you, but also not something that entirely difficult to manage. For example, you should not pick a goal of exercising 5x/week if you never have exercised before. Likewise, you should not pick a goal of running 2 miles if you run half-marathons.

2. Make a plan.

We can say over and over again of how much we want something, but it’s not actually until we take one baby step forward that we are actually on our path of achieving it. For example, you can say over and over that you want to buy a house, but it’s not until you actually look at houses for sale that you are getting one step closer to completing your goal.

So how are you going to do this?? I challenge you to right now to think of where you would like to be with your goal. If it’s a health-related goal, start making reminders for yourself every day. Look at the calendar in a month-view and write down your goal each day so that you can actually see you are progressing and taking those baby steps. Cross those days off when you have completed your task.

3. Make yourself accountable!!

“There’s an app for everything” – Although humorous, yet basically true. Just one tech-savvy way of keeping yourself accountable, regardless of your goal.

Whether it’s drinking more water, getting to the gym more often, or increasing your energy, goal setting will get you to where you want to be. Don’t think of the big picture. Take and treasure each day as improving your health; one by one. It will become easier, but you can’t begin to achieve if you haven’t even begun!

Trainer Tips #2

Try group Exercise!

Many individuals get stuck in a rut by repeating their same workout routine over and over again. This can lead to boredom and possibly even fewer results. So why try group exercise?

1. Accountability

It’s so easy nowadays with our hectic schedules to skip the gym. It’s even easier to skip the gym when no one knows that you were even planning on going and you talk yourself out of it. Group exercise is a way to help you overcome that goal by setting a time for you that fits your schedule and sticking to it! You know the class is going to start without you, so it’s even more motivation to go!

2. Social reinforcement! AKA make some friends!

What better way is it than to surround yourself around others that have similar goals and successes that you want to achieve?? It’s extremely easy to start making “small talk” with a few participants in the classes. After going for a few classes, you expect them to be there and to catch up on the latest TV show gossip with them. If you don’t show up, you may feel as if you are letting the other person down…which helps with accountability!

3. Motivation!

Do you push yourself hard enough at the gym? Do you wish you had a personal trainer? Group exercise can act as if you do! By seeing others around you push themselves to the limit; it makes you want to be right up there with them. This helps increase your heart rate and possibly help you do things you might not have thought possible!

4. Still thinking Group Exercise isn’t for me?

Are you thinking, “Sure, that’d be great if I was coordinated- I can’t keep up with all those fast Zumba moves!” Think again. Don’t restrict yourself to just aerobics! There are offerings from yoga to pilates, aqua to cycling, and even small group training.

I challenge you today to whip out that big chunky planner of yours and to find one class a week for a month that you are able to attend (even look on weekends) and try different formats you never have had. You may find some you hate, but you may also find some you love. As the famous saying goes, “You will never know unless you give it a try!”

“The challenge, therefore, is to take pleasure in the “atmosphere of growth” in the gradual progress made toward a goal, in the present.”

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I currently am finishing up an internship now and will graduate in 3 weeks! Crazzay. THEN, I have the INCREDIBLE opportunity to partake in the Disney College Program from mid-June to January in Orlando, FL. PUMPED! I actually already did the program once and am going back down again because I want to be there for the holidays and such. I also just got interviewed for a fitness internship position there which I would be STOKED if I get, but it is super competitive. Since we are in the blog world.. here is mine! I only am going to write it in regards to Disney, so if you like Disney, feel free to subscribe! (I’ll try to be as funny as Ally, but I’m not sure if I can be). This first post I wrote was super long, but you can see all the previous posts and “secrets” from last program I did. Enjoy!

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She’s much funnier than I am, so don’t let her try to convince you she’s not. I know I will be reading every post she writes from Disney and being insanely jealous every day. I love her. Don’t you?? See ya tomorrow with hopefully some good news! Smile

Guest Blogger: Thien!

It’s Friiiiday, Friiiiday, gotta get down on Friday. I had to. I just had to. I’m in LA and I’m sure I’m having a blast even though I’m writing this in Michigan on Monday. Hopefully today we’re going to the beach, but if it’s not nice enough we’re going to Disneyland because we’re cool and never want to grow up. Or maybe shopping again if I’m not broke yet. Or maybe trying to climb up the Hollywood sign like Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake do it Friends With Benefits. So many options.

My next guest blogger is my new internet friend, Thien! She is super sweet and super smart and has taught me so much in just the short while I’ve know her! Enjoy her better writing and grammar than mine Smile 

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Hi! I’m glad to be able to reach out to all of you guys on Allison’s blog so I thank her for the opportunity! Here’s the rundown for this post: an introduction to me and what I really hope you read – tips for what to eat/drink after a workout.

My name is Thien. It’s pronounced pretty much like the number “10” if you’re wondering. Here’s an introduction to who I am and all that fun stuff…

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  • Lived in OKC since I was a wee one and I’m a ride or die Midwestern girl – even though I just moved away recently.
  • Moved to MA for graduate school last fall.
  • I live with my better half and we’re trying to get used to life in the Northeast. The absence of fried chicken, sweet tea, and cheap meat is starting to get to us. We might riot soon.
  • Now that I’m out on my own and actually have to cook for the both of us, I’m a lot more conscious about what we’re putting into our bodies. I really enjoy learning more about nutrition and what a balanced diet really is about. Learning to cook and to prepare wholesome meals has been very challenging but extremely rewarding.
  • Also on the notion of having moved away for school, I left all my friends and my old life behind. I left behind all of my old hobbies. Can’t ballroom dance now because Mr. Man has to work all the time. Can’t sail now because I don’t know the community. Can’t just go hang out with a friend because I still don’t know my classmates. Stuff like that. So my life outside of schoolwork became more about keeping myself busy indoors and being pretty sedentary. This was when I decided that I needed to engage myself in a lifestyle that didn’t require other people. I needed to work on being active because it depressed me to read about sedentary lifestyle studies for school and know that I was one of the statistics. This woke me up and I knew I had to make a change. Enter: P90X. I’ve picked up C25K recently and I love having something to work towards.
  • With all of this stuff going on – exploring my new life away from home, nutrition commitments, and fitness goals – I had to have a way to document it for my own purposes and to share it all with everyone back home. This is where my blog comes in. Smile
  • Thien’s New Adventures. Yes. Check that stuff out. I heard the chick that runs it is pretty cool. (Sidenote from Allison: she is.)

In my blog creeping researching, I found Allison’s blog and was like, “Yes! She does Beachbody stuff too!” All of the other Beachbody blogs I had found were macho dudes writing about their weights and stuff for P90X and I did not give a crap. You can imagine my excitement when I saw that she had become a Beachbody coach. Anyways, I say all of this because you’ve probably seen Beachbody related stuff on her blog and I have to admit that I preach Beachody too! There’s something for everyone. I don’t do TurboFire like she does, but I’m a fan of the community and the products.

So to finally get to what I really wanted to talk to you guys about here it is:

Tips on What to Eat/Drink After Exercising

  • Get some protein in your system! WebMD says that our muscles need protein for recovery and growth and the best time to deliver protein is right after working out. It really doesn’t matter where we get our protein from. Our bodies really don’t know if it’s from an egg, a piece of cheese, a protein drink, or a glass of chocolate milk as long as we’re getting it. The thing to note is that there is a limit! Duh! Not too much of a good thing, remember? Stick to 10 to 20 grams.
  • Carbs?! Yes, carbs. Strength-training workouts and aerobic workouts are taxing on the body and the best way to help it recover is to deliver some fast-acting carbs. Good carbs (complex carbs) help to re-energize the body and examples include whole grain bread, pita bread, oatmeal, and brown rice. I’m sure you could Google it and find more examples.
  • You’ve probably heard of the carb to protein ratio. Confusing, much? Christopher Mohr, a licensed and registered dietitian, suggests there’s no gold standard recommendation when it comes to protein and carbohydrate consumption following a workout. He says effective ratios vary from a 2:1 carb-to-protein ratio up to a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio. Your doctor or dietitian can help pinpoint the optimal ratio for you. I’ve heard that chocolate milk is a good way to get this ratio and it’s what I’m currently drinking after workouts. There is criticism on whether that’s actually good for you or not. I guess I should do more research. Beachbody has a recovery drink too that’s wildly popular and has a cult following. It meets the suggested carb to protein ratio too with a ton of other goodies. You can check it out from Allison’s own Beachbody Coach page here.
  • In regards to the tips above. Do eat after a workout. Please! Your body needs the replenishment. I’ve heard all sorts of numbers about when the opportune window is after a workout for taking in food for recovery. I’ve heard 45 minutes and I’ve heard 2 hours. How about we just give our bodies what we need right after the workout? Sounds good I hope.
  • Water should be common sense, right? With all of the sports drink hype nowadays, there’s still nothing better than water. The verdict isn’t clear on whether or not we even need sports drinks considering all of the sugar and excess stuff added to them so I say we stick to water. The Mayo Clinic says to drink 2 to 3 cups of water after a workout for each pound lost. Fluid intake should happen right after working out. You should be parched when you’re done. Chug that water!

There’s a lot more out there about this topic so please do your own digging if you’d like! I wanted to talk about something that I haven’t talked about on my blog before and Allison mentioned that she hadn’t talked about it on her blog either. Hopefully it was interesting and you guys got something out of it! Since I’m not a registered dietitian, a personal trainer, or a physician, I’m always trying to learn new things every day and I wanted to share it with all of you for your own research. Consult a professional if you decide to change or introduce anything to your diet and exercise routine.

Thanks for checking out Allison’s page and for reading or even skimming through my post! Smile

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I’ll be real: I need to follow those tips myself. Goodness, I’m a health professional and I can’t follow advice! Someone come over and force me to please. See ya later gators!

My Favorite Snacks

Typically I post a recipe for you guys on Fridays, but I’m just not feeling it today. I’m exhausted and not feeling one bit so creative. So instead, I thought I would talk about one of my favorite things: food. I snack all. the. time. Since I don’t eat meat, I’m hungry a lot of the time, even with the extra protein I try to take it. Hence why I’m always eating. Recently, these are some of my favorite things to eat:

  • Clif bars

  • Apples

  • Hummus and carrots

  • Fruit snacks

  • Protein shakes

  • Popcorn

  • Trail mix

  • Pop chips

  • String cheese

  • Juice

I was honestly trying to sit here and think of other things I eat on a regular basis (not including meals), and that’s pretty much it. Very rarely do I eat snacks other than those things. What’s funny is that popcorn and string cheese were the only things I ate prior to about 2009. My taste buds have really changed in the last couple of years. Want to know how I know I’m getting old? Anything over a little bit of sugar makes me feel sick. Do I still eat it? Of course I do. I also feel old when I drink my large black coffee. And when my knees crack when I go up or down the stairs. And when I go to bed at 8:30. Oh well.

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Yesterday was really hard for me. I recently signed up for Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Push. I would highly recommend it if any of you are interested in figuring out what the hell you want to do with your life; and it’s free! The past few days have been focusing on goals that I want to accomplish in the next year. It makes me really sad to look at my goals list and see all the wonderful things I could do if I just stopped making excuses and did them already. For some weird reason I have been feeling really bad for myself lately and I gotta snap out of that. Why would I sulk around when I could get out there in the world and make shit happen? I’m also trying really hard to stray away from the misconception that I have to do what I feel like I should. Why can’t I do what I want? Tara Stiles says, “Who made the rules?” I support that.

I really believe that things will be easier once I’m out of my parents house. It’s very difficult to do what I want without being judged, because what I want to do with my life is not “typical.” I understand how that can cause some uneasiness with my loved ones, but people have to trust me (and I have to trust myself!) that I can be successful if I really set my mind to it and dedicate some serious time.

Just so you guys kind of understand what I’m talking about, here’s the 10 goals I would most like to accomplish in the next 12 months:

  1. Open my own online health business.
  2. Start writing a health book.
  3. Have 10 steady PT clients.
  4. Meet and/or speak with Ellen DeGeneres and Jillian Michaels.
  5. Stop my crazy eating cycle.
  6. Practice yoga 1 hr./3x/week.
  7. Lose 10 pounds.
  8. *something I can’t say because I would get in trouble!*
  9. Move out of parents house.
  10. Run 1/2 marathon.

Chalene encourages you to “go crazy” on these goals. Put yourself out there and don’t make goals that are “comfortable,” so that’s exactly what I did. My problem is that I tend to forget about what I really want in the moment. My thought process goes something like this:

I want that cookie.

*eats cookie and feels like crap*

10 minutes go by

I should have some ice cream.

*eats ice cream and feels like crap*

later that night listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast…

Why on earth did I eat that stuff? I feel terrible and I don’t even like it!

Everyyyyy day. This happens to me all the time. I think I just get so caught up in what I’m doing for other people, that I forget to think about myself. I’m a personal trainer and a nutritionist; I need to live up to what I am preaching! Hopefully the rest of Chalene’s challenge will help me to get my shit together.

—-

Update on my Tara Stiles obsession: it’s increasing by the minute. I kind of love her.

—-

What is one goal you have for yourself this year?

Learning About Life

I think that as you go through life, you don’t so much as learn what you want to do, as what you don’t want to do. I find that I am continuously eliminating things that do not interested me or that I am not passionate about. Sure, I know that I have a huge love for health and fitness and children, but do I know exactly where I want to take those skills? Nope. However, I do know that I don’t want to be a nanny for the rest of my life and I don’t want to train in a gym for the rest of my life. I’m starting to think that I just want to be a mom and have nice enough equipment to train out of my home eventually, or travel to other people’s homes. I also want to work from home during the day, writing freelance work, doing blog stuff, and potentially writing a book. I’ve always wanted to do that, so why not now?

This whole post is about to be a ton of rambling, so bear with me. What is bringing all this random-ness on today you may ask? Well, it’s because I’ve been losing my mind lately. I have way too much going on, and a lot of it I’m just not interested in. I want to look forward to my days rather than dreading them. I want to be excited to get out of bed in the morning rather than feeling like crawling under my comforter all day. I want to want to see my friends rather than wanting nothing more than to come home at the end of the day, crack open some wine, and watch reality TV alone all night. I want to have my passion for exercise and healthy eating back for myself, rather than just preaching it to my clients (*Side note* I’ve heard about personal trainers who completely let themselves go once they get into the field because they’re focusing so much on their clients that they forget about themselves. I never understood this until I actually experienced it. It is SO easy to do.”) I want to love my life and live each day rather than just going through the motions. I need a change. Let’s rewind a little bit to see how I got here.

2009:

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I was graduating high school.

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Had just started dating Luke (well, in September 2008; close enough).

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Having a graduation party.

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Started having a blast at college.

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And met my best friend, Audrey<3

2010:

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Saw The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Los Angeles with my mom.

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Had a great first summer back at home after living on my own for 8 months on my own for the first time.

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Moved into my own apartment!

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Went out. A lot.

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Joined a sorority.

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Had a great Christmas home with my family.

2011:

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Went to a Lady Gaga concert.

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Studied abroad in Italy and had the time of my life.

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Family vacation to the Jersey Shore…and a pit stop at Hershey Park. A wonderful, wonderful place.

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Had okay seats to a Taylor Swift concert.

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Christmas with the fam.

2012:

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Hung out with Luke. A lot.

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Went up north to help my grandma with a huge garage sale.

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Turned 21!

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Saw Kip Moore, Justin Moore, & Eric Church with my best friend Mike.

And here we are today.

Now looking back at that, you can obviously see that I’ve had a great life. I’ve experienced different parts of the world, held many different jobs, lived in many different places, and gotten to know many different people over the years. I am so thankful for all those experiences and lessons, but it’s time for me to be done with that. My life has been so go-go-go up until this point, that it’s time for me to have some consistency and settle down to start my own life.

I’m going to be totally honest: I have been very unhappy lately. I’m getting back into the rut of not wanting to do anything, and it’s been this way for a while. I don’t want to go out with or see friends, I don’t want to do anything that I don’t have to do, I love spending time alone in my room, my exercise and eating schedules are whack, and I constantly feel tired and/or sick. I have a lot going on, and am not loving all of it. Looking back on my life, I find that the times I were happiest was when I was in one place doing something consistent:

  • high school, living at home with my parents dating Luke
  • last year of college, living with my grandparents
  • summers, home from college

I notice that I like things calm. I like to be on top of things and have time to do what I love and see whom I please. Right now, I can’t do that. I have a schedule that requires me to do many things a week that I do not enjoy, leaving me with minimal time to exercise, eat right, see Luke, see my friends, and do anything else for just me. I need to change something before I lose my mind, my health, and all the people in my life. I’m fully admitting that I have pulled away from a lot of people recently. I’ve lost great friends in the process and regret some of the bad decisions I’ve made.

I think that a large source of my problems comes from living at home. I love my family and am beyond grateful for them taking care of me, but I just don’t feel like I can live my own life here in my parents’ home. I need my space. Hopefully this will change in the future and fix a lot of the issues, but Luke and I will not be financially stable enough until at least the summer, so I need to make some immediate changes in the meantime. Here’s what I’m going to try to do to make things a little better:

  • Cut back my hours at the gym. I hate to do it, but I am not going to be able to work behind the desk at the gym AND train my clients. Some people can work one job from 8am-5pm and then go to another one from 530-930pm, but I am not one of those people.
  • Learn to say no to babysitting jobs when they come up. I am a “yes” person. I say yes to everything. I need to learn to schedule time for myself to work on client training plans, study new materials, write blog posts, and just have a little bit of a life of my own.
  • Exercise at the same time every morning. For me, this is going to have to be 6 a.m. This week is going to suck, but I’ll get over it.
  • Start food prepping and meal planning on Sundays. I have such busy days that I end up eating crap, simply because it’s there and I have no other food. This is an easily changeable problem; I’m usually just too lazy to do anything about it.
  • Start applying for freelance writing jobs online and start writing the book I’ve wanted to write for years. Also start my personal training website. The one thing I have determined is that I want to work from home whenever possible. I need to start taking steps in that direction, rather than just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

Wow. That was a lot of stuff. I really think I’m going to print out this post as a constant reminder that I don’t need to live this way. I can be happy again like I used to, even now as a grown adult. I’m old enough to make my own decisions and point my life in whichever direction I want it to go. I need to stop being lazy and complaining about things, when I’m taking no steps to fix them. Today is a new day and one I am going to use to be productive and prepare for the upcoming week.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I’m able to get my head on straight this week and start this new chapter of my life. Anddddd, if you’re still reading this, you rock<3

What has been the happiest time in your life so far?

The 5 Day “Warm-up”

Hello friends! Ready for my (yours too if you want it!) schedule for the next 5 days? If you have no clue what I’m talking about, go ahead and check out this post and get yourself all up to speed.

No beating around the bush, here we go!

Day 1 (Tuesday-cardio):

- 10 minute full-body stretch

- 30 minutes cardio

  • Incline walking on the treadmill
  • Run a 5k!
  • Intervals on the elliptical
  • Your favorite cardio workout DVD (I like Biggest Loser Cardio Max!)

- 10 minute HIIT routine (Do each exercise for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds before starting the next one.)

  • Elbow plank
  • Wall sit
  • Side plank w/ leg raise
  • Alternating lunges
  • Swimmers (lay on your stomach, raise head/shoulders and legs, and flutter legs like you’re kicking through water while “swimming your arms”)
  • Push ups
  • Squats w/ front kick
  • Flutter kicks (same as swimmers, but legs only; really squeeze your butt!)
  • Squat thrusts
  • Lateral hops

- 10 minute cool-down

  • 5 minutes easy jump roping + 5 minute stretch
  • 10 minutes meditation
  • 10 minute walk on treadmill or outside

Day 2 (Wednesday-abs):

  • V-sit crunch
  • Mountain climbers
  • Leg lower throw downs
  • Side plank reach under
  • Plank
  • Burpee shuffles
  • Side to side leans
  • Reverse crunch
  • V-sit twists
  • Stability ball crunch

*Repeat each exercise for 40 seconds, resting 20 seconds.

*Repeat entire circuit 3x, resting 2 minutes in between circuits.

This should take you about 35 minutes. Follow it up with 15 minutes cardio (any type you wish!) and a 10 minute cool-down stretch or yoga series.

Day 3 (Thursday-legs/butt):

  • Pendulum lunge with dumbbell curl
  • Plie squat on toes
  • Sumo squat jumping jacks
  • Lunge and lift
  • Kneeling pike kicks
  • Jumping lunges
  • Leg curls with dumbbells
  • Side static lunges with bicep curl
  • High knees
  • Ball squat squeeze

*Repeat each exercise for 40 seconds, resting 20 seconds.

*Repeat entire circuit 3x, resting 2 minutes in between circuits.

  • Booty back kicks
  • One-leg deadlift
  • Booty bridges on toes
  • Core kicks with butt up
  • Yoga squat up’s
  • Kneeling side leg raises

*Repeat each exercise for 40 seconds, resting 20 seconds.

*Repeat entire circuit 3x, resting 1 minute in between circuits.

If you bust your butt, this will take you about exactly 1 hour. You can do it!

Day 4 (Friday-cardio):

A couple of options here:

  • For you runners, why not run for an hour? Cardio, check!
  • For you non-runners, how about running anyway? Just kidding. Kinda.
  • Here’s an option for those of you who don’t want to run. This will take you an hour. Check out this post for a run-down of how to do the exercises if you’re confused.

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Day 5 (Saturday-arms/back):

  • Bent over one-arm row
  • 3 way row and rear fly
  • Tricep kick back
  • Front and back arm circles
  • Push-up to side plank

*Repeat each exercise for 40 seconds, resting 20 seconds.

*Repeat entire circuit 3x, resting 1 minute in between circuits.

  • Squats
  • Walking lunges
  • Side lunges
  • Squats with alternating leg lifts
  • Pushups
  • Bent over rows
  • Shoulder presses
  • Tricep dips
  • Bicep curls
  • Stability ball crunches

*Perform 1 minute of each exercise with no rest!

Stretching Circuit

  • Arm cross-overs
  • Wide legged reach down
  • Standing side stretch
  • Warrior 2
  • Child’s pose
  • Downward dog
  • Sitting side stretch
  • Sitting middle stretch
  • Back-bend
  • Cat/cow

Everything today should take you a total of 45 minutes!

Now if you’re a bit confused on how to do some of the exercises, don’t you worry about that! I will be making videos to show you how to do some of the more complicated exercises. Nothing fancy, but just enough to show you how to correctly complete them with good form.

Nutrition Tips for the “5 day warm-up:”

  • No eating after 7 pm. This helps you to sleep better and allows your body the chance to really relax at night without having to work to digest your food.
  • Eat a breakfast rich in protein. This helps you to remain fuller longer and to start your day off on the right foot. Good choices are a veggie omelet, Greek yogurt with fruit and granola, or a protein shake with some fruit on the side.
  • Write it down! If you’re really trying to watch what you eat, writing things down helps to keep you accountable and really see exactly what is going in your mouth.
  • Cut out the non-essentials. I’m not saying by any means to deprive yourself, but I’m just saying to ask yourself if you really want it before you put it in your mouth. I know that I sometimes find myself having a bowl of ice cream at night simply because I am used to doing that, not because I really want it.
  • Be prepared. Meal planning helps, big time. Even if it’s just something you think about in bed before you fall asleep at night, thinking about what you’ll eat the next day helps you to start out with a guideline. Bringing healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day will help you to avoid bad choices, simply because you’re “starving.”

These tips and guidelines are just meant to ease you into this plan I’m developing for myself if you so choose to follow along. Once again, don’t do anything you feel uncomfortable with. Just take this as a guideline! I want to use the blog to motivate myself and keep me accountable, and I’m really hoping that some of you join me in my journey along the way Smile

The Tuesday workout should be pretty self-explanatory, but hopefully I’ll have videos for ya’ll starting tomorrow for the other exercises.

Have any questions for me? About anything? I’m going to be doing a Q&A session tonight, so post them here or e-mail me at [email protected] if you wish Smile