Operation: Motivation-chella

There's all this buzz in the music world right now about #Coachella. I couldn't be more excited about it, myself.

This will be the first time I've attended a festival as a single lady, so it should be interesting and the best time ever with my girlfriends. I leave tomorrow morning for the weekend, and have been seriously preparing for it for the last month and a half, both mentally and OF COURSE physically.

I asked my co-worker who trains clients privately to give me a regimen and to kick my butt in gear and to get my #CoachellaBodyReady! Not only has he gotten my butt back into gear and the swing of my old routine, he's been motivating me and training me for free! He must know me well, as he's only charging me if I MISS a scheduled workout! NOT a bad deal, if I do say so myself.

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For the last six weeks I've been honing in on my diet and for the last four, my coworker has given me a strict weightlifting plan. I'll be posting that next week, so stay tuned, Piggie Posse! Here are my results from the last 6 weeks...

Me, feeling ABSO-FAB after yesterday's heavy lifting session

Me, feeling ABSO-FAB after yesterday's heavy lifting session

45 days, 3 phases and one goal, my diet has consisted of hard-boiled eggs, egg whites, turkey, chicken breast, ANYthing spicy, and tons of avocado (HELL yes!) while I've kept to mostly cruciferous vegetables as my carbs. For all three phases, I TRIED to cut as much alcohol as possible, but that truly only worked for one week at a time. I'm a HUGE lover of wine, so that was the hardest part.

As shown in my progress chart above, it's worked! I not only feel fantastic, I've lost a total of 5 lbs, and 9.5 inches all over my body in various places. The winner? My hips - AKA my jeans fit better!!

If you want to know details about how I did it in the gym - check out my next post. But, since I still have to pack up and get ready for the weekend, I'll have to give that to you next week when I get back! 

Until then!

An Open Letter to... Myself

I set myself up for vulnerability a lot - Just like I’m doing right now

As long as I can remember, my mother has always told me not to put my business out there for others to be able to use the information against me at a different point in time. Lately, I’ve heard that from more than just her. Even though it has set me back more than it’s helped me out, burning me when I trust the wrong person or people, I still think it’s one of my biggest strengths and most valuable qualities I own. There’s something to being truly raw and real with people that at times it can come off as remarkably strong or “too much”.

Cici from The Crimson Kiss on Instagram has some really in depth and whimsical posts, and it hit me hard and right in the feels. I read a quote the other day that really resonated with this feeling:

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Sometimes I feel like an idiot

for telling most of my secrets to the world, but other times I feel like that’s something about me that makes me “real”; I walk away from a situation or from a relationship (platonic or romantic) knowing I was genuine and that I held nothing back. I know that when I do something, whatever it may be, I put all of my effort into it; 100%. That’s the thing I’ve taken away from my recent personal experiences. It’s not that I’m not enough, and it isn’t that I didn’t try my hardest – it’s that I stepped up to the plate, I gave my all; I just was a reminder that what he was doing wasn’t up to par, and that I’m sure didn’t feel good from his perspective. It truly was easier for him to leave than to admit that maybe he’d gotten comfortable and stopped trying.

To the women who have gone through this before me, I acknowledge you…

For allowing them all of your time and attention, even when they were only available to you when it was convenient to them. Having undying hope is what makes you beautiful, and trusting. You gave yourself completely, despite all the signs that told you it wouldn't work out. You held on to the tiny parts and few reasons why it actually could. I commend you for having the strength to love someone who couldn’t love you the way you deserved to be loved, but loved you the way they knew how. You loved the wrong person, but that’s okay… all it did was reflect complete bravery on your part.

That said, the gym is exactly the best relationship I’ve ever had.

It’s the only thing in my life that truly gives me back what effort I put into it. The same with my nutrition and eating habits. You have to really be open and honest with yourself if you’re ever going to make progress, and I think that’s why I started this blog a year ago. Stepping out of my vulnerability bubble, understanding that I am putting myself out there to be ridiculed by the wrong people and possibly be made a fool… and still doing it anyway because that’s me being true to myself regardless of what anyone else thinks. I'm grateful for my little Soaring Society, for you all have let me be me when I write about my journey.

You'd think the lifting would be the heaviest weight to carry, but sometimes it's not. 

My (*gulp*) ex-boyfriend told me that I try so hard to do the right thing, and gauge all other reactions and perspectives of those around me, so much so that I lose sight of the main picture and end up making things worse; that I try “too hard”. So that’s where this stems from – my want and need to be seen as real and genuine by myself.

So this one post isn’t for anyone else

I’m writing this one for me.

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The Best 3 Strategies for Recovery

Hey, Hey - Piggie Posse!

My little hiatus is over!

Sorry about that… I took a couple months to get my sh!t together after a rough personal life situation, and I’m back. A lot of things have transpired in the last two months, and I needed a little bit of a recovery period. I’ve experienced many emotions, both happy and sad (mostly sad, if I’m honest) and I feel compelled to write it out so here it is.

Recovery comes in all forms. Physical, mental, emotional…

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When something happens to shift your routine, it’s scary and sometimes hurtful. Whether it’s being sore after leg day, relaxing after a long day at the office or nursing a broken heart.

I went to Disneyland on Saturday with a friend I hadn’t seen in five years, and it was the best time I think I’ve ever had there, and probably the best walking mileage I've had in a long time!. We made our day a “Wayne and Garth do Disney” trip for April Fool’s day, and it was a blast! The last time I was there, it was May of 2015 and I was running the Pixie Dust Challenge, and it brought back some seriously bittersweet memories.

Just like exercise and sore muscles, the discomfort you experience makes you stronger. It sounds so cliché and even reading myself writing it makes me cringe – but it’s true.

Wayne Campbell, The Weird Naked Indian, and Garth Algar. We'll call it WayneStock
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Taking this break I needed has helped me re-evaluate some crucial aspects of what is and ISN'T important. Just like resting between workouts helps foster the development of your muscles.

Muscle growth occurs “whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown”. This adaption doesn’t happen while you lift the weights. It happens when you rest; when you spend time recovering from the stress and the trauma of it all. If you don’t allow for recovery, you may do the opposite of what you intend. Same with all situations, and in my case, VERY much my current situation. Reflection and time to recover is crucial to both my physical and emotional health.

My 3 Best Strategies for Recovery

  1. Get Enough Sleep: or you’ll be cranky! Who doesn’t love a good nap? Outlaw Fitness suggests that “Human Growth hormone is essential to both muscle recovery and repair, and it’s mainly produced during your sleep”. I don’t know about you, but I feel like crap if I don’t get at least seven hours of sleep a night. It helps lift your mood and rejuvenates the body. I’ve done a lot of that.
  2. Eat the Right Foods and Drink Your Water! Eating and fueling your body with the right nutrients is a given, but if your gas tank is running on empty, you won’t go anywhere. Our bodies are 70% water, and our muscle tissue is the same – staying hydrated is vital to all health, not just physical. Research has been done to show that people who consume fast food and highly processed foods on a consistent basis “51% more likely to develop depression than minimal or non-consumers”. If I eat like crap, I feel like crap. That’s just how it works.
  3. Take a bath! Okay I know, I know… it sounds dumb, and feminine (sorry guys) but it truly helps. Epsom salt or ice baths (hell to the no for me on those) are helpful to “reduce swelling, relieve stress, improve circulation, soften skin and improve mood.” For me, ice baths are not something I’m into. I did one after the Pixie Dust Challenge and couldn’t handle it, even though it’s said to constrict blood vessels and flush out waste like lactic acid, and reduce swelling… but warm baths I’m all for.

Regardless of what it is you’re going through – sore thighs or a sore heart – you have to take care of yourself. Everyone has been telling me to take care of myself first. That if you pour from an empty cup, there isn’t much to give. It’s not in my nature and that’s a hard adjustment for me to make, so I get it. Relax! “They” say to work hard, but to also enjoy yourself. It’s ALL about balance. 

Til next week!

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Young sb Kwon, M. a. (2004). How do muscles grow?
Plataforma SINC. (2012, March 30). Link between fast food and depression confirmed.

My Top 5 Recipes for the Beginning Meal Prepper

Food Prep! It's a thing! And let me tell you, it's DAUNTING! I's overwhelming to do all the work that you're unfamiliar with...

I can't tell you how many times in weight watchers they told us that if you "fail to plan, you plan to fail"! Well, they're right. If you don't have a plan, if you don't have snacks that are good for you nutritionally, you'll get hungry while you're out or at work and you'll cave into the coffee and donuts in the break room, or accidentally order the 20 piece chicken nugget meal and extra large fries at McDonald's.

I get it!

I've been there. I know what it's like to emotionally eat your sorrows - or to be so HANGRY that you just don't care anymore about what you look like or physically how you feel. I've compiled my top five favorite meal prep go-to's below. Just make sure you have enough containers! I like to use these from Amazon - they have compartments (if you like to keep things separate like me)! 

So here they are - ALL of these have been packed in my work lunch bag 

 
 

I hope you enjoy! Subscribe here for more recipes and ALL ACCESS to the Recipe Gallery!


How to Lose Weight: The Bare Facts

Motivation Monday! 

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If you're like me, you've struggled with the topic of how to lose weight effectively and keep it off. There are THOUSANDS of magazines centered on this very topic. There are televised doctors and plenty of reality TV revolving around this very concept...

Myth: "You Can Lose Weight Quickly!"

They claim misleading facts about so much of it too. I used to sit there, remote in fidgety hand, and cry about how I was unhappy with my body but didn't make any changes in the habits that made me that way - don't they say that's the mark of insanity? "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"??

Truth: It takes Effort and Time

I tried so many different things - weight watchers, counting points, and still eating pizza and beer. Following the quick "fad" diets without true exercise... Well, let me tell you there's NO quick and easy fix. You will NOT lose it in two weeks, you will not lose it in five days. True results take work!

You get out of this what you put INTO it.

A friend of mine posted this photo of himself on Instagram yesterday and it reminded me of how our journey is so different but oh so similar to one another. Each one of us faces different obstacles, but it's greatly reassuring that with each one of us, it takes time. Everything worth doing in this life takes painfully, carefully crafted patience to truly appreciate it's end. As a reformed over eater, I will continuously struggle internally with making positive and healthy choices for myself each time I'm faced with fork in-hand scenarios. I admire each and every one of you who face the same issues, and wherever you are on your timeline of progress, I'm proud of you.

This guy Zach, a 30-something 8th grade English teacher and fantastic comic-book author, undoubtedly wins the award for determination and continued motivation! Read his story about what it's been like for him for the last ten years - since his point or revelation and what jettisoned him into healthy living and learning. I've received his permission to post this here, as his Instagram is private. Read his post below:

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"10 years ago, give or take a few days, I began my fitness journey. It began with trying to run to the stop sign at the end of the block. Then it was around the park. Then it was all the way back to my apartment, which would equal a mile. This continued through that year, culminating in a 5k. The next year I began going to the gym regularly, trying to lean out. I took classes, worked on the machines, and took advice from friends on how to lift. 2009 was a very productive year. I joined Weight Watchers, which, for anyone trying to lose or maintain weight, I cannot recommend enough.

One of the biggest lessons I've had to learn over the last two years is that food is what helps with your health more so than exercise. I ended up dropping 60 pounds by the time I decided I just wanted to maintain.

In September, I competed in the Volkslauf. I ran a 10k, plus obstacles. I started attending more classes at 24 hour fitness and working with the PE teacher at my school in '09 and through 2010/2011. This helped with the leaning process, but I was still relatively weak. This continued till march 2013. This is when I joined Crossfit. Through the support and guidance of my friends and coaches, I gained a lot of strength. I performed things that I never thought I was capable of. I've attended regularly for almost four years now. I've expanded my fitness regiment in the last two years to include rock climbing, boxing, and I still try to run occasionally, but have not passed the 14 mile mark.

What I've learned over these last 10 years is that every day is a possibility for failure, advancements, setbacks, improvements, learning experiences, and perseverance.

Know, that it's all up to you. You have to be hard on yourself, as well as be kind, with the knowledge that none of it will be easy, but it will be worth it."

How to Get Results:

Here are my suggestions! See more HERE

  1. Keep Going - go to the gym, do intervals - Just get moving at least 30 minutes a day.
  2. Lift all the weights!! Girls *cannot* "turn into men" by lifting. AT ALL.
  3. Eat healthy, raw foods - fruits, veggies, and healthy fats (avocados! yum)
    GBOMBS - Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds!!
  4. Protein, Protein, Protein! Turkey, Eggs, Chicken... ALL the chicken.
  5. Don't get discouraged! Every step forward is still getting closer than you were before!

Don't forget - YOU'VE GOT THIS

Why a Fitbit didn’t work for me... and what DID!

I have to say that a lot of my time has been spent these last few weeks making the most of my recipe planning and culinary skills for you guys, but I have to share - I got the best present this holiday:

TIME OFF

Well, that and my new Apple Watch, if I’m honest. Otherwise, the time for reflection has been great! I've been able to silently and calmly ruminate what has transpired in my life right now (a lot) and the pace in which I've been living (fast). Of course, it's influenced solely by my gracious 10-day work break and (DUH) the crossover into the new year (Come on, who isn't screaming "New Year, NEW ME!", pssh - Uh – me!) … but more on that later.

I know what you’re thinking… “wait wait wait – didn’t you JUST buy yourself a Fitbit Blaze, after *careful* and precise consideration and writing the detailed post The Fit Tracker Dilemma?? Why yes. Yes, I did. Based on my findings in both my blog post back then AND in real life, it’s not that great – I should’ve heeded my own damn warning and chosen something else. The Fitbit isn’t accurate (hello, like I said!) and not only was its heart rate accuracy disgraceful, it wasn’t *actually* counting my steps, but how many times my arm moved back and forth. I could run a mile, and it would still say .67 miles. Like, WHOA! Not even close?!

So… that said, I was looking online all over again – you know, square one – and when my cousin gave me an Apple Watch for the holiday, I just about died. I have to say, if you can afford it, GET IT.

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 “But Jaycie, it’s expensive!”

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I know – believe me! BUT if you can find the Series 1 for under $250 (like here - on Bestbuy.com), it’s manageable! Especially when you’d be willing to shell that much out for a Fitbit Charge HR or that new one they just came out with - Mine was $299!

Now, why am I pushing so hard for the Apple Watch, you ask? Because it does more than just count your steps, accurately monitor your heart rate and reminds you to “stand, move and exercise” … but also because to reminds you to breathe! I know, I know- that one sounds like a silly dumb blonde joke – but I’m serious.

 

Most of my followers and subscribers know about my weight loss and self-esteem issues, but not everyone knows that I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety in late 2014 and have been battling mild depression since 2004… so it’s rough for me to find something that ‘works’ for both my fitness goals and health habits AND something that offers a CBT mechanism (for those of you who don’t know what CBT is, it’s a therapy tool called Cognitive Behavior Therapy the gets you to identify physical stimulus and pulls you into the present moment).

It's a fantastic piece of technology and I cannot wait to see and experience all of it's features!

 

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Don't forget that in our lifestyle change, resolutions mean nothing!

It's NOT "New Year, New Me"!!! It should be: 

"New Year, SAME (determined/happy/healthy/awesome) Me"!!!

 

 Set intentions, not resolutions!! But, more on that next week!

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to thank you all for being a part of my life. It's the time of year (among every other day as well) to show appreciation and love to all those who lift you up and make you a better person... Well, guys - you do that for me! You've given me a spark of insane creativity and I love that I'm able to share it with you. I've been fortunate to have wonderful supporters and you followers that make me feel like I contribute knowledge and maybe even just a shared purpose... or simply just relief that I'm not the only one going through this all. The fact that even one person can take something from what I have to give... I'm beyond grateful for that.

Thank you!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and I'll have more coming up in 2017! (Recipe launch included!)

It's okay to have 'Holiday Stew'

I’m back! (well, kinda) Did ya miss me?

I’m SO sorry for being away so long, (three weeks! Yikes!) but I’ve been working on getting more goodies for you guys! I took a week off after Thanksgiving, and then had such a lack of inspiration with writing, that it took all of me to gather any source of creativity – that’s when a co-worker of mine told me that she thought it was the season – how we all kind of sink into it and let it envelop us for the six weeks following Thanksgiving (Maybe it's the tryptophan... hmm).

The time for the Holidays is to relax and be with family, and it’s been nothing but a stressful couple of weeks, to be honest. I needed the break.

Sometimes, you just have to stew in it

This slew of Holiday negativity, or even simply year-end, emotions makes us all a little lazy or demotivated. Feelings of exhaustion are normal and the fact that we guilt ourselves into thinking we’re incapable of pushing forward or that we need to be little energizer bunnies all the time makes us feel negative about the whole process – sometimes it’s okay to just BE.

SPEAKING of stew… I wanted to take time away from writing weekly in order to get out the next phase of my blog – the recipe portion of it. I’m working on gathering all of my most recent favorites and compiling a gallery or a library of those resources for you all – my subscribers – to be able to use and try.

That’s right!! All of my recipes can be yours! Simply subscribe for access, and you’ll get updates when I post new ones (Once they’re up and that section of my site is finished).

So for now, I’m going to diligently work on getting those pieces together and prepare juicy food for your taste buds!

Why Having a POSITIVE Support System Matters

There are a lot of cliché sayings in the world… Having heard so many of them, I've begun to lose sight of any meaning behind them.

I’ve been struggling with a lot more than just my weight or my motivation in the gym for the last year, and if I can’t write it out here, what is the purpose of this blog? What is the purpose of having this forum of expression and ability to share things with people who might be feeling lost/scared or any of the similar emotions I am?

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

Blue is not (traditionally) my color. There have been other factors that have led to my decreasing motivation for the gym and eating proper, and this has cast a light on how important a positive support system is. Not only do they remind you who you are when you’ve forgotten, they most DEFINITELY remind you of why moving forward can be daunting, but with one step at a time, it’s possible.

“I just need to work on myself right now.”

That's what this whole thing is about - working on yourself, making yourself the best version to move with positivity and growth in this life. Oh man, how after-school special do I sound right now?

I think the single most influential aspect of health and fitness is having people that are for you just as much as you are. If you don't have people that cheer you on, you might lose the will or the fighting drive after some time.

I call it having an "accountabili-buddy"

I have been dabbling in this blogging world for roughly seven months now, and I've learned a few things. I've been networking and trying to promote this little project of mine, and have gained a couple special connections with fellow bloggers. One of which is an online and in-person fitness trainer named Christian Scott

"I need someone who challenges me"

This Oklahoma City woman can do it all - not only is she an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, she is a Zumba instructor, fitness blogger and mother! I know how busy I am, and can't even imagine her schedule. Since connecting with her, I wanted to try out her program, and she gave me a schedule of work outs over the course of four weeks, in preparation for my ten year reunion. She checked in with me over the course of those four weeks, and kept me accountable - exactly what I needed! Her program is mostly HIIT (high-intensity interval training) moves, varying from 40 seconds of work with 20 seconds rest sets with kettle bells, ab work and weight lifting mixed in - the best way to maximize the fat loss while keeping your heart rate in it's best zone. 

Christian Scott, ACE CPT •Lifestyle &Fitness Blogger• www.lifestylefitnesscs.com

Christian Scott, ACE CPT Lifestyle &Fitness Blogger•
www.lifestylefitnesscs.com

I had 3 planned workouts per week, with an additional 2 days of my own planning, making it a total of 5 days of activity per week. As long as I was active for 30 minutes on those 'rest' days, then I could choose whatever activity I wanted to do outside of her plan. I have to say, I don't think I've EVER sweat that much during a 30-minute workout... I felt like I'd walked out of the shower with how drenched I was! At my last check in I found that in my month of her program

I've lost two inches to my waist and three to my hips!

Check out her website HERE for other plans and pricing - my one month work out was valued at $65/month - SUCH a deal! Right now, she's got a sale going on from November 24th (Thanksgiving) until the 27th for 50% off ALL online training! Check it out HERE - no code required! You can get the same deal I had for half price! 

Follow her HERE on Instagram too - she always posts great shots of her clothing, Zumba classes, or motivational quotes. It's a good deal her responsibility that I've been getting back in action these past six weeks! It's made me re-evaluate why I've slowed. 

I miss my gym-buddy! 

Doctors and fitness minded individuals alike state that teammates or coaches, or simply friends who say 'good job!' are pivotal in the success of your journey. I know, I know - everyone calls this a journey (I've seen that word so many times, I think it's starting to look misspelled)! But it's true! I read a quote from an article that reminded me of a time when I was my most motivated self, and it was all the power of having a gym buddy!

“In my 10 years of experience evaluating what creates long-term health-and-fitness success, the single most important factor is having a support system,” says Wayne Andersen, MD. Exercise partners provide a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation and, in some cases, healthy competition. “They can play the role of teammate, co-coach and cheerleader — all while working out,” says Michelle P. Maidenberg, PhD." - Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Fitness Buddies

So wait - WHY DOES IT WORK?

Habit Reliability 

Exercise habits of people you know have a positive influence on your exercise habits. IF they have the same habits, or similar goals to your own. If your accountabili-buddy is at a radically different level of health, fitness or ability, you could be held back, pushed too hard or - worst case - injured. “Having a reliable workout buddy increases your chances of sticking with your program,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD. Pushing yourself beyond your perceived mental ability is tough if you're alone in the gym, and it's also difficult to increase your weight without a spotter to keep you progressing.

Emotional benefits

Kara Thom, coauthor of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom, says that “during a workout, more than our pores open up. We find ourselves connecting with our workout buddies more intimately than we might if we were just meeting over coffee. Workout partners not only get us through a challenging workout, but can help us through life challenges as well.”

The more people you have actively engaged in supporting your fitness efforts the more likely you all are to enjoy the process as well as the results. 

No-friggin-wonder I've been lagging lately (aside from poor choices in diet slowing me down)! I have a boyfriend who doesn't find fitness as important as I do - and that's perfectly okay, I just need to get into my habit again and find an accountabili-buddy again (Kasey, I miss you!). 

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