Motivational Monday #9

For today’s #MOTIVATIONALMONDAY, I come at it from a a little bit of a different angle. Sure, it’s of course still meant to motivate you and inspire you (that’s kinda the point of these), but I want to do so through a time of reflection. A time to look back at how hard you have worked these past 8 weeks. A time where you can appreciate what you’ve done–whether or not you’ve met your goals. I want you to see your own journey (not those with the seemingly “perfect journey” on social media) that you’ve taken and use that as your continued motivation!

A lot of times when we are trying to reach our goals and achieve great things, we are told not to look back. After all, we aren’t going that way. This is true, but what it means is don’t look back with regret and wish you could go back in time, don’t dwell and live in the past. However, in our own individual journeys, especially if it’s a fitness-related one, it’s important to look back to see how far you really have come. It can be frustrating to feel like you haven’t made any progress physically, emotionally, mentally, relationship-wise, etc. when we look at the short-term. But change takes time! Your body isn’t going to miraculously change in 2 weeks or even 2 months. There will be small changes here and there that over the course of time, will amount to a big transformation. But the only way you’ll see that is if you look back to where you started and see just how far you’ve come.

So often, we find ourselves in the”go-go-go” mode trying to do the next thing on our list and accomplish the next task. When we make one goal or hit one target, we don’t even appreciate that milestone–we just keep chugging ahead to the next one. I think the reason people are often disappointed in their goal-status is because we keep comparing ourselves to what our end goal is and we find, like the quote says, that we aren’t where we need to be or want to be or think we should be. However, we also need to realize that we aren’t where we used to be. That we have grown and changed and become a new person because of our personal journey in life. Now, I’m not saying don’t ever look forward to your goals and compare your current life to your goals. The whole point of having a goal is to have a point to reach that you currently aren’t at now, so you have to keep checking your positioning in relation to your goals. I’m just saying, don’t get so caught up in the fact that you haven’t met your goal or that you feel far away from it, when if you looked at where you used to be you would realize you are making a difference by doing what you are doing.

A good way to sum this up is this: progress over perfection. We are never going to be perfect and you may never perfectly reach every inch of your goal. That doesn’t mean give up. No, you should still work hard every day to reach your goal because who knows, you just might! But instead of worrying about perfection, focus on our progress. Because eventually that progress will lead you to where you want to be. When you do stumble or fall or fail, don’t let that define your ability to reach your goals. It’s all about perseverance that will get you there: to where you want to be. Look back at your journey just long enough to realize how much progress you’ve made and how far you’ve come; and use that to motivate you to continue working to get to where you want to be. And then…don’t ever stop.

 

Overnight Oats

Life gets busy and in the mornings, I often find myself rushing around trying to get ready for my day (school, workout, etc.). Even if I pack my bag the night before (which does help and I try to do) there are times that I feel breakfast is a rush to make and an eating contest to consume. Anybody who can relate, raise ya hand! (Y’all’s hands better be raised because I know I am not the only one!!) Breakfast is a very important meal  especially for someone who has my training in the morning and many people skimp out on key nutrition because they “don’t have time”. Well, I’m here today to tell you that you do have time to make a nutritious, healthy, and so delicious meal for yourself in the morning…the night before! You heard me, we’re making breakfast at night. It may seem weird, but it is a life lifesaver for time in the morning as well as a breakfast game changer.

I’m talking about OVERNIGHT OATS of course. I get a bit too excited about overnight oats because I love them so much. #SorryNotSorry. These clever meals have been popping up over social media left and right so you probably have an idea of what they are (if you don’t, you soon will!), but you might not have tried them yet. That’s about to change because this is me telling you to try them!! Seriously, overnight oats are so good! The texture is more chewy than eating warm oats and the cold aspect brings a new, fun twist. Plus, the great thing is there are so many variations–you can even come up with your own flavor–so you never get bored!

I’ll give you the basic foundation for these oats as well as my personal favorite combo, but feel free to make it completely your own depending on your tastes, likes and needs! Let’s get to it!


Basics

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (instant, rolled, or steel-cut)
  • 1/2 cup liquid (milk, almond milk, yogurt, etc.)*

*A little note about liquid amounts. From my experience, steel cut oats soak up more liquid than just rolled oats, so use less liquid for rolled and more for steel. Also, liquid is just an estimate–if you like thicker oatmeal use less liquid (just play around with the amounts).

After you put both of these in a mason jar, tupperware, or any other container with a lid (I personally use my magic bullet cups), it’s time to start your add-ins!

Add-Ins

  • Protein powder
  • Yogurt
  • Nut butter or PB2
  • Nuts
  • Fruit (dried, fresh, or frozen)
  • Seeds: chia, pumpkin, etc.*
  • Extras: chocolate chips, coconut flakes, granola

*In my experience, chia seeds tend to soak up some liquid too so if you’re adding those in, add a little bit more liquid (unless you want it super thick).

**Fruit, nuts and extras can either be added the night before or the morning of as a topping to your oats.

My Very Berry Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats (I use rolled or steel)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use skim)
  • 1 5.3 oz. container plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup each: blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup pecans or walnuts

Instructions

  1. Add your oats and milk to the container and stir. Add in the yogurt, then chia seeds, then berries, then nuts.
  2. Put lid on and shake well (or mix with a spoon if you prefer) to mix it around.
  3. Put in the fridge overnight (or at least 6-7 hours)
  4. The next morning: pour it into a bowl (or eat from the container) and enjoy!

If you have a favorite combination for your oats, I would love to hear your comment below!!

The Truth Behind Counting and Measuring

While macros can be all fun and great when you start seeing results from following them, there is definitely a dark side to it all. At least at the beginning of tracking. I don’t say this to scare you away or discourage you from starting to count and track macros if you want–I just want to give a little warning of some of the frustrations and hassle you may feel at first. All this information is coming first hand from me and my experience, and although each person is different, I have read similar stories from other people about this too. So, the information seems pretty similar across the board for those just starting to track.

If you truly want to be accurate when tracking, the first thing it comes down to is weighing and measuring everything. If you don’t have a food scale already, investing in a good one is going to be very important. Oftentimes, food will have serving sizes in terms of measuring cups (like 1/2 cup or 2 tbsp.) which is fine for some things such as maybe peanut butter; however, those measurements don’t always take into account things like air space so a scale is going to be much more accurate.For example, my walnuts box says a serving is 1/4 cup or about 28 g. Whenever I used to measure 1/8 a cup (half serving) I would get 2-3 walnuts, but when I measured out 14 g I would get about 4-5 walnuts depending on size. You can see there is a difference and when you want to be accurate, the scale is going to be the better place to go.

For those of you saying, do I really need to be accurate, that depends. If you’re just wearily counting macros then accuracy isn’t the biggest concern. But, if you want to count macros, and track them and reach them every day, then accuracy is ver important, especially in the beginning. Do not eye-ball or rough estimate things because our perception of measurements and amounts can be way off. I’ve heard that once you’ve been tracking for a few months, you get used to the right amounts and how much your body needs so strictly measuring isn’t as important…but it still is important for tracking macros.

To be honest, this is where the annoyance and frustrations come in: measuring and weighing everything There are times where I feel like it takes more time for me to measure my oatmeal, protein powder, banana, walnuts, blueberries, and almond butter than it does to actually eat my breakfast. (Probably slight exaggeration, but it seems like it sometimes). A good thing to remember here is that it is important and helping you reach your goals and your macros. After a few days, for me, it seems almost satisfying to know exactly how much is going into my body because I know I am helping it by doing this. I’ve been at it about 2.5 weeks now and it is still annoying and timely at times, but I just keep working at it and doing so because I know the benefits of it. Now, even then I’m not perfect every time. Sometimes I forget to measure before I throw the banana in my protein shake or I measure out my oatmeal with a cup rather than weighing it, but even when I do forget to, I don’t give it up completely. I just start back on track with my next meal.

Hopefully, this information has helped prepare you if you  want to start tracking. Don’t be intimated by counting and tracking macros or all the time and “frustrations” that may seem to come with it. It’s just like starting anything new, it will be difficult at first, but within time you will get the hang of it–meanwhile reaping the many benefits of doing so. I would encourage people who have a fitness goal and are very serious about reaching it (especially for muscle gain or fat loss), to get your macros calculated if possible and start tracking your food. There are even great apps online (such as My Fitness Pal or Myplate) that help you! It may not seem like much, but slowly and surely you will see and feel the difference it will make. And that is the best part of it all!

What are your thoughts? Do you have an ideas on tracking and counting?

Motivational Monday #8

Happy #MOTIVATIONALMONDAY everyone! I hope you make it an awesome one and a great start to your week!

Today’s quote is venturing off the straight “fitness” mindset. Not that all the past quotes have been only for fitness motivation, but I did tend to focus more on fitness than life in general. Motivation is great for exercising and pushing through, but honestly, life is hard and not everyone lives it to the fullest like they want. That is where today’s quote comes in. I hope it motivates you to go out there, take a chance and do something crazy that you want…you never know what you might find!

This quote has been my recent switch of lock screen backgrounds because it is an awesome daily reminder! Especially for someone like me who LOVES their comfort zone, because well, it’s comfortable!! I like routine, organization, knowing everything that could and is going to happen; and that just doesn’t happen outside of my (or any) comfort zone. But, you know what does happen? Mystery. Magical Moments. Life-Long Memories. Overcoming Fears. LIFE.

Now for those telling me it’s freakin’ scary, trust me when I say I am right there with you. I understand and can completely agree. But we shouldn’t fear the unknown. We should embrace it for all its possibilities–sure something bad could happen BUT SO COULD SOMETHING GREAT AND AMAZING AND TERRIFIC. Something that you would never know unless you took that leap of faith outside of your comfort zone. Sure you could always play it safe, but when you grow old and look back on life, you’re most likely going regret all the chances you didn’t take. I know I certainly don’t want that to be me one day.

To battle that, I’ve made the decision today to do things outside of my comfort zone, things that may terrify me, but that I’ll be glad I tackled. For those who want to make a change in their life, I would suggest you join me in making this decision too–however that may look in your life. Rise above the fear and the doubt, and be motivated to positively change and impact your life! Because at the end of the day, you’re the only person who can bring you forward or hold you back–the choice is yours. Don’t be afraid of the unknown; instead, be confident in your strength, in your tenacity, and in your ability to do anything and everything and produce amazing things!

Life truly does begin at some point outside of your comfort zones…so let me ask this: why are you still living in it? Go out, take that leap of faith, start living your life, and of course, in doing so, stay Beyoutifully Healthy!