Self-Esteem is Work (and it’s worth it)!

We’ve all had those days when we just wake up, and we don’t feel good about ourselves. Maybe it’s your hair, maybe it’s your clothes. Maybe it’s your weight. Or maybe it’s something less physical, like your ability or your strength. Whatever it is, or combination thereof, it’s taken a hit.

You stopped believing you were great.

Where did this self-esteem deficit come from?

It’s different for everyone. And the list is so long. From trying and failing. From feeling overwhelmed. From taking on too much. From comparing ourselves to others. From our culture and our society. From our anxiety and depression. From listening to other people. From letting the negative energy in.

I want to clear the air: no amount of material goods can cure you of a lack of self-esteem. You can buy all the make-up, clothes, electronics, and whatever else you desire. There is no expensive luxury item that can fill that void. There is nothing you can buy.

We tend to go there though. We feel bad so we go shopping. We feel bad so we get our hair done. We feel bad so we hide behind some $50 eyeliner. It can’t fix you. It can definitely give you a boost. It can for sure make you feel good in the moment. But it can’t fix you. And here’s why:

The real problem is inside. A lack of self-esteem truly stems from one thing and one thing only, and it’s this thought:

“I’m not good enough”.

I’m not saying that well-off men and women all suffer from a lack of self-esteem. But if you don’t feel good about yourself unless you have those material things to hide behind, then you’re hurting.

You don’t need to have the best of everything and fit into a size zero to be good enough. You don’t have to spend half your paycheque at Sephora, or almost kill yourself on the treadmill to be good enough. You are good enough. Just as you are.

Once you believe that, once you believe that you are enough, no matter what the scale says, or your crazy hair day says, or your especially hectic and overwhelming day says, then you have self-esteem.

Getting there, unfortunately, doesn’t just happen. I wish it did.

I wish we could just sit in a chair and “dig really deep!” and find that self esteem that we’ve been missing. But like all other good things in life, it takes work. But it’s worth it.

Self-esteem is something you grow. You nurture it and give yourself the love you need.

Take on small challenges and own them. Try something new. Do something you didn’t know you could. That builds self-esteem.

Stop taking people’s shit. Be impermeable to the negative energy from others. Do what’s best for you. That builds self-esteem.

IMG_5986

Look in the mirror and say “I love you no matter what”. This is your body, and it’s the only one you have, so cherish it. Know that you are so much MORE than a body. You’re a mind. You have things to offer. Begin to believe that you are good enough. That builds self-esteem.

When all else fails, put out into the Universe what you desire most. Tell someone you love their sense of humor. Highlight someone’s strength. Let a friend know how much you appreciate them. Make someone else feel good, and wait for the Universe to deliver that energy back to you.

My sister sent me a message yesterday to tell me how much she appreciates my love and support. It meant everything to me. I thought to myself “yes! I did something right. I’m a good sister”. That built up my self-esteem. Highlighting something I’m good at.

I want to end this post by letting you know that you are a miracle. The chances of you being born were so slim, you are inherently a miracle on this earth. Inside of you is boundless potential. And you can do anything., granted you put all of your passion and hardwork into it. No one can live this life the exact same way you will. You will affect others, you are special.

Please don’t forget that!

Check in – November 17/2015

Hello everyone!

It’s that timeeee it’s that time again! Buckle in for a check-in that’s only slightly longer than my previous. I try to keep things short and sweet but I need to touch base about a couple of things before I get started.

I’m going to make my long story incredibly short, because I plan on getting into the details in a later post. Here we go: I have taken medication which has had varying negative effects on my body. One of those things has lead to my inability to lean out like I had planned. What’s more, I’m actually gaining weight. Easily. I eat pretty healthy and I live an active lifestyle. But that hasn’t hindered my ability to gain 2-5 lbs in one week.

Am I overweight? I don’t know if I could really say that about myself; I am still a “smaller” person. But my relationship with my body is no longer in alignment. It has its own agenda. And for a person who has prided themselves for so long about the close relationship I have with my body, this has been hard on me. The medication should wear off in the next 4-6 weeks and I anxiously await that.

But I digress. I’ll get back to this check in and save the rest for a post later this week!

 


Tricep Flex! 

Improvements: My shoulders have been finally starting to get that capped look, which is something I looked forward to even at the beginning of my fitness journey. I’ve also noticed that my mind-muscle connection has improved quite a bit, and I think that is a sign that even greater gains are in my new future.

Current Focus: Currently I’m focusing on getting to a more grounded place in my workouts. I’ve been noticing especially lately that my mind has been wandering. I really want to make the most of my time during my workouts, so I want to stay focused on me and my goals so long as I am in there.

Eating: My eating has been centred less around my gym goals lately and more geared towards stabilizing my blood sugar. When my blood sugar gets low, my anxiety starts to creep up on me. So eating frequently has been my main concern but stay tuned for a post coming up shortly about what I’ve been munching on lately!

Feeling like: Last check-in I said “I weigh the most I have ever been”. This is still true. In fact, I’m still gaining. A mind-fuck to be honest with you. I think that this is a hard thing for any person to accept. Again, I’m not saying that I’m a bigger person by any means, but when you eat well/consciously and workout regularly but the scale continues to climb, it’s difficult. It’s teaching me to love my body no matter what way it looks. Because it’s mine, it’s the only one I have and I cherish it. I feel heavier, as a person. I feel it in my face and my belly.

Fuck it. It’s only temporary. I have a beautiful life and a partner who loves me no matter what the scale says.

I might even be able to manage turning this unfortunate circumstance into the bulk of the century. When I am able to lean out,  I look forward to showing off some awesome gains.

Find the positive in every negative situation and you have mastered your mind!

Until next time everyone!

10 Ways to Relieve Stress that AREN’T Total Bullsh*t

This is not your cookie-cutter stress relief list; you know, the one that said take a bath and smell some fresh lavender and all your problems will go away?

This list came from the need to see something more realistic. I’ve looked up natural remedies for stress on the internet and I’m tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. I’m stressed out ok? Maybe I don’t have the wherewith-all to practice any of those obvious self-care techniques.

So I guess this list was also made out of a need to just simply see something different.

And I promise you this list is different.

endofstresszone

 

10 Ways to relieve stress that aren’t total bullsh*t! 

  1. Destroy something. It doesn’t have to be anything valuable, it can be something as simple as a cardboard box. Take it outside into your back alley and destroy it. Stomp on it, punch it, crush it. I’m not advocating violence here: do NOT, I repeat, do NOT use the techniques on a person. Make sure it’s a non-living object; one you won’t miss. Get rid of all that pent up negative energy. Obliterate the thing.
  2. Watch funny videos on youtube. Distraction is actually an amazing technique when it comes to stress and depression. Is this video of harmless pranks going to cure your problems? Nope. Are you going to forget them for a minute or two and have a laugh? Yep.
  3. Cry. Give yourself 100% freedom to go ahead and have one big giant sloppy cryfest. Maybe you’ve been holding those tears in for too long. That’s probably not good for you! It’s okay to let it out.
  4. Waffles. Eat some waffles. Scientific studies show that it’s impossible to be sad while eating buttery, syrup soaked waffles (studies were self-administered).
  5. Sing at the top of your lungs. Remember that album by that band that you really loved in high school and still believe is pure gold? Well the first chance you get to have the house to yourself, play it loud. Sing your heart out! Go to that place the music takes you. And in that moment, nothing matters more than putting on a good show for your non-existent audience.
  6. Hug someone who is a really good hugger. We all have that one person in our lives who has that extraordinary hugging power. Find them and allow them to put their skills to good use.
  7. Watch your guilty-pleasure movie. You know, that one that is so bad it’s kinda good? I always go back to the same movie when I’m going through a rough time, mine is “Dirty Love“, it’s fantastically horrible and ridiculous. It takes about 0% brain power to watch – that’s the kind of movie that you need at a time like this.
  8. Make a list of all the things you are going to do. You don’t even actually have to do anything on the list. No, you’ve accomplished enough today by simply making the list. Time to relax.
  9. Look at travel destinations. This will make it a lot easier to pretend that you’re not even actually where you are. Maybe you’re in the Bahamas, maybe you’re in Laos! Maybe you’ll make secret plans to run away so you don’t have to deal with your problems. Sometimes even just knowing that’s an option makes people feel better. Plus, pictures of beaches and oceans are awesome.
  10. Go in the mirror and smile and laugh at how ridiculously overwhelmed you are. Like, dear god, is this some kind of sick joke?! It must be and I get it because Im laughing now! In all seriousness, you either laugh or you cry sometimes. I prefer to laugh like a madwoman at those times. And thats okay.

Whatever gets you through those tough times is okay. And these solutions don’t have to be “fixes”, you know why? Because your storm will pass. You will have made it through one teeny-tiny step at a time. And like me, you won’t bother googling stress relief ideas until the wave comes over you again.

Take care everyone!

Quick Personal Update && Vegas Vacation Pics!

Hey everyone!

Tonight, just a short post to update whats going on with me! I was away for the weekend in Las Vegas and I had a wicked, much needed vacation. It was fun to dress up, see a couple of shows, and just let lose!

I am, without a doubt, a very busy person. Sometimes, I pretend to complain about it. But the truth is, being productive and being busy makes me happy. However, there are those times when I want nothing more than to relax with my babe poolside…

IMG_0069

Me with my babe at the pool 

What’s great about taking vacations is that I usually return home with a renewed sense and focus of what I want. I’ve got some plans in the works here, which since I am well rested I feel excited to get going on!

Here are some of the goals I am focusing on right now:

  • Leaning out for the winter (seems backwards, but my goal is to show people that you CAN be #rippedforchristmas !)
  • Staying business focused
  • Saving for a house. I’m finally adulting! I feels good to be moving into the next phase in life!

For me, life revolves around self-improvement. I will be content with what I have, but I will always want more. And I’m not just talking about money. I’m talking about personal growth 🙂 !

IMG_9981

Good things are happening and I hope to see them continue for the rest of the year!

Check-in/ October 21tst 2015

Hey everyone! I’m a little late posting my October progress but here is me 🙂

I aim for mid-month but life does get in the way sometimes!

IMG_9882

I’ve been dieting for the last 3 weeks or so, but I haven’t seen any leaning out. I was definitely frustrated initially. Ugh. You guys know how it is. I just have to hang in there! I’ve been having major stomach issues for the last few months and that has definitely affected me as well.

After thanksgiving dinner, I bloated up like I was 9 months pregnant! And I didn’t even eat until I felt super full! But I dealt with bloating for over a week. And just a general feeling of being unwell. I’m sticking with my workouts and I’m sticking with my eating. And any week now I’ll pull through!

It’s so easy to go to a place where we hate our bodies, especially when we work so hard for one thing and it doesn’t work. But I will continue to love myself towards my goals.

Improvements: My butt is looking better than ever! I’m lucky; my genetics do allow some of my fat to magically float there when I’m a few pounds extra!

IMG_7906

As my boyfriend says: “look at those dimensions!”

Current Focus: My current focus is on leaning out and building curves. Big legs and big shoulders. If you aren’t born with it, build it!

Eating: My eating has been pretty clean for the last few weeks! I’ve been restricting carbs throughout the day and focusing on having them more during breakfast when I need the energy!

Feeling like: I’m overcoming. I weigh the most I have ever been. I don’t look overweight, but it plays games with your head. I have struggled. But I have also realized that my muscle definition is not what makes me beautiful. My determination and work ethic do. And I never quit 🙂

What is so beautiful about the fitness journey is that I have the privilege of setting and resetting my goals. Overall, I look forward to getting better every day, in one way or another. I would love to be nice and lean over the holidays. I want to show people that it’s not impossible to be lean over the holidays. But that’s a post for another day 🙂 !

Thanks for reading!

How to Build your Butt!

The women in my family are blessed with great bum genetics. But last year, after going through some stressful and unfortunate circumstances, I was down to 102 lbs and struggling. Truthfully, I didn’t want anybody checking out my backside; I was ashamed because I felt like I was simply wasting away. I wanted to gain weight, but I wanted to do it the healthy way.

For the last year and a half, I have been determined to be the best I can be; mind, body, and soul. And butt. Here are my tips for building a bigger, better butt!

My butt progress, approximately one year between photos 

SQUATS are obviously monumentally important if this is your goal. The big thing here is proper form and squeeze at the top. Go below parallel. Be consistent with your squats, and try to increase weight every couple of weeks. The heavier the squat, the bigger your butt will grow to compensate and support you.

GLUTE BRIDGES are my all-time favorite booty exercise. Again, don’t forget to squeeze at the top! I do these with my back against some kind of support, usually a bench. Throw a barbell across your hips and thrust! Aim for 8-10 reps, 4 sets.

CLAMSHELL EXERCISE really helped me shape those side glutes. This link explains proper form. I’ve actually never used a band; I typically place a plate weight on my outer knee during the reps; increase the weight and you increase the difficulty of this exercise!

I truly dislike LUNGES, but I can’t give them up because man do they work. What’s great about lunges is you can do them anywhere. I grab a couple of 10lb Dumbbells for each hand during my lunges. On the days when I want to focus more on my quads, I do raptor lunges, which are lunges with a shorter stride.

Stuck with it! Progress will happen slowly but surely. I can’t wait to compare pictures another year from now!

Cheers!

How to Create Your Dream Core

Defined abdominals aren’t for everyone, you either want them or you don’t. If you DO want them, this post is for you!

Creating a strong core was something I was initially drawn to in fitness – and initially I worked them out during almost every workout. Not only us a stable core important for fitness in general, but I love the way a strong core makes me feel. It took about a year to get where I wanted to be, but my hard work did pay off!

 Current ab situation, a little less lean than usual nut they’re under there!

Abs: The world doesn’t begin and end with them but damn, they are fun.

Here are a few tips to achieving a more defined core:

1. Reduce body fat. Yup. This is why they say “abs are made in the kitchen”. Because you can have great abs, but typically the ultimate goal is usually to have all that hard work become visible. Reducing body fat isn’t easy – it takes a lot of hard work, determination, and usually a lot of meal planning.

2. Be consistent. Whatever your goal is, you’ve got to consciously work on it. If you really want those abs, be consistent in setting time aside to work them out exclusively – at least 2-4 times per week. Also, when it comes to training don’t be afraid to mix it up! If you continue to do the same boring old ab routine, you will be way less inclined to keep up with it. Lastly, don’t forget to engage your core during the rest of your workout routine.

3. Slow movements. What this really comes down to is engaging your core. You want to do slow, controlled movements to get the most out of your workout. Personally, keeping this in mind was a game changer for me. I highly recommend slowing down and really contracting your ab muscles when working them out.

Try adding this quick ab workout onto the end of your routine: 

  • 15 sit-ups
  • 15 leg raises
  • 15 heel touches
  • 15 boat pose

Good luck on getting those abs girl, and all those other goals too.

Check-in – August 2015

Hey y’all!

Here I am for my August mid-month check-in! I’m going to get straight to it!

This pic is from my workout this morning. I’m still on vacation in PEI, so it might not be the best quality picture but I definitely wanted to ensure I included one that was super up to date!

Improvements: I’m officially bigger pretty much everywhere. I’ve been eating like crazy out here. My pants are tight! That’s okay, I prefer leggings anyways. Arms are looking big, traps are looking mighty fine if you ask me too!

Current Focus: Forever on my legs. I had a CRAZY leg workout here, so bad I could barely walk for two days.  Yet my quads weren’t sore? Only my hamstrings and butt? There is no giving up! Also working on my shoulders, trying to cap those beauties.

Eating: For the last 10 days of vacation I’ve been eating burgers, icecream, fish and chips, and anything else I want. Bulking is fun! It is hard to watch my body change so quickly, but I do my best to embrace it.

Feeling like: I’m thick and I’m strong; feeling powerfully connected to my body. Embracing changs, making gains… I am moving towards my goal so I am happy.