Oh, We’re Halfway There: Week 7

Week 7 Operation Obsessed

I can’t believe I am writing this half way through our 13 weeks. Halfway doesn’t even seem that far but seriously the time has flown and I have grown leaps and bounds, mentally, physically and emotionally.  Here is a my vlog recap to get you up to speed! 

Honestly, I’ve found it hard to write and take photos every single week. I’m not sure why but mentally I’ve been in a place where I don’t feel like much is happening in my body day to day. I feel like my results aren’t “worthy” of sharing because I didn’t have 20 or 30 pounds to lose. It’s scary to put yourself out there when you know how hard you are working and people discredit, criticize or dismiss your hard work. But honestly, I know how much work I have put in. I know the level of commitment I’ve kept and how hard I’ve been pushing every single workout. Everyday I show up. I’ve been feeling fabulous. I’ve been following the plan. And my confidence and self love is through the roof. That alone is reason enough to celebrate.  If you do want more of that behind the scenes make sure you join me on Instagram. Instastories  is a slice of daily workout moves and recipe ideas (you want them follow me there @ensusiasm)

The creator of this program said that Phase 2 is designed for “building” and I am lifting heavy weights and eating a lot of food. To be totally transparent with you I felt like I wasn’t seeing progress anymore and I was feeling a bit “fluffy” or feared that I was hitting a plateau. I felt like I was working so hard but maybe it wasn’t worth it? Then I saw my progress pictures.

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Rolling with the Punches: Week 4 & 5

Week 4-5 Operation Obsessed

Rolling with the punches, baby. I am back!! Although I may have gotten behind on my blog posts I certainly haven’t with actually following my program! I decided after it was Saturday of week 4 that I was just going to combine Week 4 & 5.  I mean this is my blog, after all 😉 The amount of change that has happened in the last two weeks is pretty intense. After I left Ireland I went to NYC to stay with one of my best friends from high school. My travel back to NYC was long but I prepped enough food to stay on track with timed nutrition even in the airport and airplane. Did you know you can bring your own food in? I feel like a lot of people don’t know this!   As soon as I arrived in NYC I got the dreaded news that my bag didn’t make it on the connecting flight and was still stuck in Norway. So my friend picked me up with no luggage. Luckily I kept my sliders, loops and laptop in my carry on and some extra workout clothes. Preparation is key. 

The next morning we went grocery shopping and my bestie couldn’t believe that was actually what I ate. But once I started prepping for him and showing him how often you can eat when you eat clean, he wasn’t complaining too much! He was a trooper and even completed a couple 80 Day Obsession workouts with me.

I had multiple social events in NYC but I kept my self control and only had a few bites of dessert and indulged a little at the Art of Food Event my bestie invited me to in NYC. It was basically all the best restaurants in the Upper East Side coming together and offering a sample dish for you to taste. Luckily the portions were small and the dishes were quite healthy. I refrained from drinking even though everything was free!

Despite my luggage being lost I just focused on the things I could control, like my workouts, my meal plan and my attitude. I had no idea how I could stick to this very strenuous program while being in 4 different cities and drastically changing my current reality and home but honestly, it all starts with mindset. If you become a “victim” in the situation of course you aren’t going to stay on track. I was in NYC for the first time in 6 months- do you know how badly I wanted to eat EVERYTHING especially pizza and bagels? But I knew that they would be there when I returned and I was committed to trying my personal best despite the circumstance.  I was not the victim. I was the caption of my ship despite the stormy seas. Week 4 ended on a high note getting my luggage back and feeling immense pride for sticking to my schedule and completing the first phase of three in the program. 

Week 5 is the first week of Phase 2 and we got 6 new- more advanced and challenging workouts. I started again in a new place, this time moving in temporarily to stay with my brother and his family for the next few months while my visa for England is sorted out. Again, on the first day I headed to the grocery store( THEY HAVE ALDI HERE- YAY) , explained to them I would need a bit more room in the fridge than a normal guest (LOL SORRY GUYS) and got down to business. Since I will be sharing the fridge with a busy family of four I decided to do bulk meal prep and just keep all the veggies in one, meat in another and carbs in another. This way I can easily plate up my meals but I won’t disturb order too much.

Not only was it a change in location but a change in schedule as I took on a few part time nannying gigs while I’m here and will be helping out with my niece and nephew too! Everyday I do my workout in the living room and a lot of days I have those little eyes watching. They ask me questions about my superfood shake, they ask questions about the workouts, the food, everything and I love to plant little healthy seeds from their crazy fitness coach auntie.

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In Phase 2 the new workouts have been hard– but in a good way. I also bumped up to Plan C in the meal plans and have been lifting heavier weights. The amount of food I am eating y’all– it’s unbelievable. To be honest I feel like I saw less progress in Week 5 as compared to the other weeks but I think my body needs to get used to the increase in calories. These weekly progress photos aren’t necessarily to show epic change just to document the process! 

Overall, I am feeling so proud of myself and ready to crush the rest of this program. I have come this far and stuck to it despite so many temptations and “reasons” to cheat. Despite two countries and 4 cities. I didn’t think it was possible. Like I said it hasn’t been perfect but it’s been damn near close for me. Rolling with the punches, indeed.

Change is Coming: Week 3

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Week 3 was the start of a roller coaster. I felt so strong and motivated to keep upping my weights and getting stronger in the program. I knew that on Saturday I would be flying to Ireland and facing some challenges of getting my workouts in at my Air Bnb and staying on track with my nutrition in a country that is known for its alcohol and hearty foods. Since I knew I was going away, this made me focus on my nutrition and workouts even more for Week 3. I finally felt like I was in a routine with the timed nutrition and really feeling good about the workouts. Hear all about it here in my Week 3 vlog. My visible physical progress feels as if it plateaued a bit BUT visible physical progress is not the goal here. It’s a side effect. I’m still showing you my photos to hold myself accountable. 

Unfortunately I knew that disorder was on the horizon. First would be my 4 day holiday to Ireland and then a week long trip to NYC. I will share more about those in my Week 4 blog, but I want to focus on Week 3. On Saturday I woke up early and got in my cardio routine before we headed to the airport. My boyfriend meal prepped our food for the plane so we had healthy lunch and snacks. When we arrived in Dublin we took the bus to our Air Bnb only to find out that apparently heat wasn’t in the cards and it was freezing in that house. Not letting it get us down we walked over to the local vegetable market and butcher and picked up some essentials for dinner Saturday night and meal prep for all of Sunday because we had a 12 hour tour booked to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway on the other side of Ireland.

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Stronger: Week 2

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Week 2 has come and gone and I am feeling an extremely positive energy this Monday. Watch my vlog and soak up some of those good vibes. The second week is typically harder because the newness wears off. The workouts are just as hard but they aren’t brand new so it’s easier to think about the reasons why you want to give up rather than the reasons you want to push harder.

I finished my workout this morning and I took my progress pictures and I was in awe by what I saw. In just 14 days I see a change in my body and spirit. I feel empowered. I feel disciplined. I feel confident.  I feel like I want to shout from the mountain tops. Movement. Whole foods.  Community & Support- THAT’S ALL YOU NEED. It doesnt’t mean that it is easy but it does mean that it’s simple. The recipe for success with your health and fitness is pretty simple but the mental journey is what sometimes makes it complicated.

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The Power of New: Week 1

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I am sweating bullets right now. I am trying to wrap my head around how I can better serve others in their healthy lifestyle pursuit. Everytime I commit to a new workout program & nutrition plan with my online fit community- it blows my mind how transformative it is. Not just the inches lost and the new healthy habits gained, but the actual mental and spiritual effects- I feel I have trouble conveying with sweaty selfies. I have done many programs all out in the past but it never occured to me to utilize my other biggest passion to document the journey. Not just my Instastories of daily workout moves and recipe ideas (which definitely are there– you want them follow me there @ensusiasm) but the deeper side with my words.

While I was working out today , I decided– it’s not too late! Week 1 is in the books so from now on I will share a weekly review both on video and here on my blog. Here’s my first vlog.

Of course I will discuss the logistics of meal plan, workouts, etc. but this is more for you to walk hand in hand with me and see what goes on mentally throughout the process. You can follow along for inspiration in your own journey or just to see what happens for me. I hope it is one more way I can use my own journey as a message of hope and inspiration for those who are struggling. If you have any questions or want help starting a journey of your own, my inbox is always open for you. My job is to help others get started and I would love for you to be apart of the magic. Here is my starting point.

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New Year, New You: Balance is a lie  

Some days I amaze myself, other days I eat hummus with a spoon and no pants. It’s all about that balance, right?

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Wrong. What if I told you balance is a lie. It’s a false ideology that you are never going to achieve and actually may cause you more heartache than inspiration. Well, that’s dramatic. But parts of it really ring true so let me help you shift your perspective a bit.

I wrote this blog post last night and I woke up early sat on my couch with my essential oils and my crystals and pressed play on the Calm app for my meditation as I do almost every morning. Each day has a theme and today’s was “Sharpening your Saw” I always wrack my brain for what it could mean  and then it’s always better than I expected. Oddly enough(you’ll laugh when you read the rest of this blog) the meditation was about balance. But the sharpening of the saw analogy is one I must share.

A woodcutter who was very busy cutting wood started with a very sharp saw. The more he cuts the more dull the blade becomes and the less efficient he is cutting wood. But he worries about stopping the process to sharpen the blade because he already has so much cutting to do. Little does he know stopping will actually maximize his efficiency and improve the process overall. She equated this to our self care practices. Often times we believe we don’t have time to exercise, meditate, go for walks or take a nice bubble bath. But stopping to “sharpen our saw” doesn’t waste time, it in fact allows us to have more energy for all our other responsibilities and relationships. It might seem like you are using your energy selfishly for self-care but truly it is the most beneficial thing we can tilt our time and energy into. Listening to this was eye-opening and reinforced the concept I am about to share with you.

About a year ago I read an article, by my beautiful and talented friend  Hollie, about tilting. I understood this concept for myself but I never knew it had a name. Hollie explained, “Tilting prioritises making choices each day depending on what is going on in that moment.”

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How to Stay Fit on the Road

 

Are you passionate about traveling and living a healthy lifestyle? Maybe you aren’t necessarily passionate about healthy living but you know you need it. That’s okay too. When traveling for work, play or anything in between- it tends be to struggle to get workouts in and eat healthy. Many friends of mine complain that they often gain lots of weight when they are traveling and come home feeling bloated, run down and exhausted. Alcohol is often a part of traveling to new places and indulging in the local cuisine so how can you enjoy your trip and still stick to the healthy habits you’ve been working so hard to create?

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First and foremost, like anything else in life-it  starts with the belief that you can in fact do it. If you write off every single weekend trip, vacation and work trip before you even start of course you aren’t going to follow through once you are on the road. If it is important to you, you need to believe that it’s possible(because I promise you it is), plan ahead and accept progress not perfection.

In 12 days my boyfriend and I are packing up our lives here in Australia(maybe we should have already started) and heading to Bali for a holiday. If you follow my blog or social media you know that we aren’t leaving by choice but due to visa complications. We have nicknamed Bali our “deported holiday”  and then we intend to move to New Zealand on a working holiday visa until we can sort out a new visa to come back to Australia.

My boyfriend and I are both very passionate about health and fitness and have spent the past year really making it a lifestyle and not a vicious cycle of backwards and forwards! Both of us have been working extremely hard on our nutrition and our training and it’s a bit intimidating to head out into the unknown.

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Luckily, I know what to do. I have the belief I can do it. I have the tools to stay on track. I have a loving relationship with my body, food and adventure. I will never miss out on life for the sake of 3% body fat or a few pounds. I actually have no idea how much I weigh and I don’t care. I don’t expect perfection but I know I want to feel strong, healthy and happy when our vacation is over.

I care about treating my body well, nourishing it with quality foods and treating it sometimes too because let’s be real, I love food. Going backwards or stopping all together on my fitness journey is something I did FOR YEARS. I backpacked through South East Asia and Australia in 2014 and I definitely got off track and ended my trips feeling really shitty. The crazy part is I was still implementing some of these and didn’t even give up completely. But not this time. I’m going to share my plan and my tips so that you can take on your next adventure with the right attitude and not feel like you missed out on a thing.

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Let’s Talk Transformations

It’s not Tuesday, but my headspace is all about transformations. In the social media universe #transformationtuesday has become a beloved hashtag of fitness fanatics, entrepreneurs and motivators. Every Tuesday my Instagram is filled with tons of before and afters. Of course, our eyes are attracted to the photos and usually they are discussing a new fitness program, nutrition plan or diet they have been following. But usually, when you read the caption you find that there is so much more that happens when you shift your lifestyle and take control of your life.

My Transformation Tuesday this week was a little different and I shared a very raw but what I thought was evident story about myself. When you are constantly sharing your journey you forget not everyone has followed along the whole time. I forget that I meet new people both in person and on social media almost every single day. I forget that with all of the growing I am doing I am changing a lot more than I realize each day. I spoke about my internal transformation and the freedom I have gained from leaving behind my “party girl” lifestyle and diving deep into my writing, traveling and healthy lifestyle. If you have known me for a while this transformation might be more apparent to you but I realized it may not be something I have necessarily opened up about. Based on the response to that post and the countless personal messages I received about I feel as if I should elaborate a bit because it seems to me like this is a topic that many women my age and people in general connect to.

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Let me start out by saying, this is absolutely not a post to claim I am a “forever changed person” and I will never drink or party a day in my life. I mean, Cabernet Sauvignon will always be a part of my vocabulary. I fully appreciate a good espresso martini. I can drink crisp ciders in the sunshine. And, yes I will still get down on the dance floor when presented with one. But from a girl who was voted “Life of the party” in high school and started drinking as a young teen, to a crazy sorority girl in college…to who I am now-I feel I have made leaps and bounds with my habits and quite honestly my desires have changed. I used to feel free when I was out dancing, drinking, going to clubs, bars, house parties, and anywhere in between. I went to WVU for heaven’s sake, WE KNOW HOW TO PARTY! I do not regret one second of those memories (or lack thereof) but I have realized that is simply not what lights me up any more. And I don’t know if it was ever truly lighting me up or just helping me escape.

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1,2,3… UNPLUG 

Preface: I wrote this two days ago. Since then the wifi has successfully been installed in my apartment! YES… life &a business is back in order. That same day my Mac Book Pro absolutely freaks out starts flashing a black screen and has to be taken for emergency treatment at the Genius Bar and since I am no longer under my 2 year Apple care plan this could be an extremely expensive hospital stay. My Mac Book is the center of my business, my blog, and my teaching career. 3-5 days without it is a hard pill to swallow. It makes this blog even more necessary and quite frankly ironic. Is mercury in retrograde? I know the supermoon is coming but seriously there is some STRANGE energy floating about. I’ve had so many highs this week but also many setbacks that just seem to keep on being thrown my way. It feels like a great outcry for an increase in my unplugging. I hear you universe, I’m doing my best to listen. Without further delay, here’s the original piece: 
My heart is racing because my Mac Book is at 9 % as I write this. I am down to the wire but feeling the itch of inspiration. Much like the mosquito bites I collected on my camping trip this weekend, that itch is relentless. Let’s see how much I can bang out before this beauty dies. 

For a blogger and online business owner-Wifi is pretty much my blood type. Unfortunately, the wifi is Australia proves time and time again to be stuck in the 1990’s.No offense Australia, but come on, I think I could have faster Internet if I rubbed sticks together and created my own connection. Between wifi problems at my last apartment, moving into a new apartment and getting the wifi set up (only to find out this process apparently takes 2 ½ weeks) and a 4 day adventure in the Australian promise land that is Jervis Bay I have been semi-disconnected for about a month now. Of course, I have data on my phone, I have wifi at work, I can pop to the library or a local cafe, but these all prove to be much more difficult than working from home in my Nike Pros with my apartment that serves as my home gym, office, and restaurant. Not having the access to internet is something that is annoying for most people, but for someone who coaches ONLINE this is panic inducing. For the sake of my sanity, I am trying to roll with the punches, control what I can control and keep calm waiting patiently for tomorrow. 

The lack of wifi has gracefully reminded me how ultra connected we all are at all times. Not only our wifi but just to our phones & devices in general. My boyfriend’s phone has been broken for about two weeks and seeing how inconvenient it is for him and also the people who need and want to talk to him is frightening. 

What time is it? Check your phone. Do you have that appointment tomorrow or Friday? Check your Google calendar. Need your alarm? Grab your phone. What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? Weather app. How much money did you actually spend on your bar tab? Online banking app (if you’re brave.) Are you going to be late for dinner? Text your friend. Need directions? Google maps. Need to find a local grocery store in a new town? Google. What time does that pharmacy close? Google. 

How many times a day do we rely on our phones, wifi, internet, Google, etc. for all of life’s needs? How much do we rely that other people will have these luxuries as well? When we text someone, when expect them to reply pretty quickly. So much so that we have to apologize and explain WHY we didn’t answer even if it’s only a few hours later. 

Man, technology is AWESOME but it is also very overpowering. I am genuinely sad and scared by how dependent we are on our little devices. I live in probably the last generation who knows what it is like to live in a world without cell phones and I am still part of the crew who were infiltrated by cell phones by about 7th or 8th grade. I remember what it’s like to call someone’s house and have to ask their parents politely if you could speak to so and so. I also remember having boys call my house and my dad answering or even worse, if they called too late and he proceeded to tell them so. AOL dial up internet, YUP. These seem like they were so far away and now I can’t stand living in a world that doesn’t have 4G or 5G speed wifi. Well, I can… But I chose to start a business that is run online, so it kinda made my ties to technology even stronger. 

I admit my dependence but I don’t do this to moan and groan without a solution. I don’t do this to claim a holier than thou attitude. Parents moan about “kids these days always on their phone” and then you hang out with a group of 50 somethings and they are all clinging to their iphones with the classic one finger, reading glasses on the tip of their nose swag. It’s a societal thing…not a generation thing. And the scariest part is- the kids who are growing up in today’s world are just taking our lead.
They are following what we are doing at a much more impressionable and tender age. The job market and the business world is expanding to the online marketplace in all career fields. It is extremely common for people to have side hustles online whether it be fitness, makeup, skincare, jewelry, leggings, consulting, selling goods on Etsy, you name it. Technology is not going to stop. We need to learn how to take a stand for ourselves and our society. How do we use it as a tool to enhance our lives not a means to control it?
These are some tips that I have learned, lived, experimented with and am still trying to implement. I would love it if you joined me in a quest for a technology rich life but also a life rich life. Nothing in the world can replace actually digging your toes in the ocean, smelling fresh mountain air, bear hugging your bestie, looking in someone’s eyes and FEELIN’ them, the sound your glasses make when you clink them after an important and beautiful cheers. How can our social media, technology obsessed world take a step back and appreciate the small things right in front of our face?

Have a cut off time
. There should be a certain time at night before you go to sleep that you (and your partner if you’re in a relationship) cut the ties to your phone, iPad, laptop, or any other gadget you have. Talk to each other, cuddle, read a book, or just get to bed early. We are all guilty of scrolling and staying up late but my boyfriend and I literally will say to each other, “OKAY, NO MORE. We’re cut off.”

Take Now & Post later
. I am all about pictures. I love photography and I love capturing memories. I am always the one to ask a stranger to take a photo and also the one to shamelessly force people into a group shot. So I am not hating on the photos but I am a take now, look/ post/share later. If you are at an amazing beach, concert, mountain, or travel destination, of course you want to take a pic but take them and forget them until LATER when you’re back at the hotel, on a 10 hour bus ride, at a layover in the airport, etc. If you take it quickly now and then you look later it’s like enjoying it twice. You rule the photos, the photos don’t rule you. I hate seeing someone in an amazing location spending 25 minutes changing the filter and scrolling through pics they JUST TOOK! It’s right in front of you, look up!! 

Dinner Date= No phones
. Despite a quick snap of my brunch before I eat it (foodie probz) if I’m sharing a meal with a friend, family member or lover- I stick to a no phone policy. Why go out to eat if you aren’t going to talk to each other? Of course there are exceptions, if someone is supposed to meet you, an emergency, an SOS text, but come on for the most part everything can wait 1-2 hours until you finish the meal. Some of the best conversations and memories of my life have happened around a table, eating good food, drinking wine, talking about dreams, the universe, how to change the world and sometimes, still talking about food while we eat other food. Okay let’s be real, with my people about 80% of the time is spent also discussing food. Live in those moments. Cherish them. 

 Listen to signs
. If you can’t find wifi that works and you are traveling and you really want to ______________(insert semi emergency here) I believe the universe is telling you to LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Sure, you miss your peeps back home, you wanna check your inbox, your email, Snapchat, etc. But the world still turns without you. And you may waste your whole trip searching for wifi. Even if it is work related, it is not the end of the world if you take the day off or find wifi at a later time. 

Be purposeful. My business has been my greatest lesson for this. Most people spend some time every day online. For some people it’s on social media, online shopping, researching travel destinations, blogging, chatting about various topics, reading articles or watching YouTube videos. I don’t know about you but sometimes I actually frighten myself by how easily I can waste time on the Internet. I also have learned how to be focused and intentional with my time online. If I only have 2 hours to work my coaching business, I do the essentials- the vital things that serve my clients, my coaching team and potentials and then I GET OFF. Staying focused and being intentional about what you are doing online cuts down significantly on the amount of time you need to spend connected. 

Force yourself to unplug. Hey, maybe you can’t do it for a whole week or even a weekend but everyone can unplug for an evening or even chunks of time. Unplugging is hard for me, every single time. But every time I find clarity, inspiration and a sense of rejuvenation. I am more excited to use technology when I return to it and more aware of how beneficial it is not to be glued to something you need to charge 24/7. I am huge advocate for hikes, camping, coastal walks, etc. because being in nature is one of my favorite ways to bring me into the moment. 

Constantly Question: If you find yourself caught in a rapid stalking circle on Instagram or lost on your 37th youtube video from a blogger from Iceland who is learning how to play the guitar (not an actual example just sounds random enough for emphasis) ask yourself WHY am I doing this? What value is this adding to me? What could I be doing that is more beneficial or interesting for me? There is nothing wrong with using the internet and technology for entertainment but I personally would rather be spending it fueling my mind with positivity and inspiration than agonizing over which color bodysuit I should buy for my perfect weekend outfit for 2 hours. Don’t give in to MINDLESSNESS. 

Technology is a tool to enhance our lives not a means to control it.

And remember, like the writing goddess Anne Lamott once said, “Almost everything will work if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.”
 Let’s unplug our technology rich life more often and tune into that life rich life that is waiting for us. 1,2,3…