It’s All About Environment

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If you’re going to change anything, it all starts with YOU. And your environment hugely contributes to everything about your life. Your thoughts, your moods, your motivation levels, your beliefs, your confidence, and I could keep going. As most of you know, for half of my life I was overweight, dark, depressed, far away from God, and disrespected myself and others. I had been yearning for a change in my life and then one day I finally realized I had to change my environment in order for that to happen. Seriously, i’s all about environment.

Here are just a few things in your environment that could be affecting your life:

  • People
  • Foods
  • Music/TV
  • Books/Reading
  • Living Space

Now I want to tell you why each of these things could affect you.

  • People – This one was the toughest one for me to change, but it had the biggest impact. When I gained all my weight, my friends all stopped talking to me and started making fun of me. I went from “popular” to an outcast basically. So, I made all new friends and it was with the wrong crowd. After associating myself with the wrong crowd for so many years, even in to my adulthood, I realized that a lot of these friends were not helping me move forward in life. They were negative, had unhealthy lifestyles, liked to party, didn’t have big dreams, & were just lazy. As much as I loved them, I had to distance myself from them because it was having a negative impact on me. Once I did that, my weight loss became easier and I started surrounding myself with people who believed and supported my big crazy dreams. It’s all about environment.
  • Foods - This one is pretty obvious, but seriously if you’re keeping unhealthy foods in your living space that is just going to derail you if you’re trying to be healthy. When you’re eating unhealthy foods this can affect your mood and how you feel about yourself. Which will then in return affect your thoughts and all other areas. Body, mind, and soul all work together. Eating a healthy balanced diet will give you energy and make you happy. It’s all about environment.
  • Music/TV - I basically stopped watching TV earlier this year and stopped listening to mainstream music as well. There is so much negativity out there and there are so many females on TV that us women will compare ourselves to. Actresses don’t look like your average person, the news has nothing positive to share, and TV is a waste of time and energy for the most part. And music is about the same. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry just to name a few. But, I blast Elevation Worship music all day er day! It’s all about environment.
  • Books/Reading - This year I started reading a lot of personal development. This was something that was absolutely foreign to me that I had never done before. Do you know how much this has changed and impacted my life? I have grown so much as a person and feel like I am growing all the time, which in result will help me to change my life and others. If you’re reading the news or other negative things, you’re likely to not be as happy and positive, or be growing. It’s all about environment.
  • Living Space - This one is super important because your home/apartment is where you live. I’m really huge in to this and I do pay more for my rent than most people would want to pay. But, since I work from home I want to love where I live. It’s peaceful to me. I also have lots of pictures with motivational quotes and pictures of family and friends that make me happy. I make sure to keep my apartment clean and tidy because if I don’t my mind can’t function as easily. It’s all about environment.

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So if you’re looking to make a change in your life, take a look about your environment. Since I’ve done this, my entire life has transformed. If I surrounded myself in a negative environment like I used to then I have no doubt I would be more tempted to go back to my old ways. It’s all about environment.

I know a lot of people out there struggle with this self  , so PLEASE re-tweet & share this post so that I can help others! icon smile Its All About Environment

Remember to always love yourself,

xoxo <3

Jess

Healthy Grocery List

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Do you feel like grocery shopping is the toughest part about trying to lose weight or be healthier? You’re not alone! Food has been my biggest struggle for almost my entire life. A few years ago I embarked on a weight loss journey all by myself & was able to lose 60 lbs after being overweight half my life. I have done a lot of research & learned so much about food since then. I’ve also learned a way to make grocery shopping easy & simple, while still eating delicious foods. So I wanted to share with you my healthy grocery list to help you out on your next trip.

Protein
Protein Powder
Eggs
Boneless/skinless chicken breast
Lean ground turkey
Canned tuna (in water)
Tilapia
Wild Salmon
Tofu
Plain nonfat cottage cheese
Plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Nonfat cheese ticks

Veggie Options (Pick at least 3)
Spinach
Broccoli
Asparagus
Kale
Bell Peppers
Mushrooms
Cauliflower
Brussel Sprouts
Green Beans
Artichoke
Zucchini
Cucumber

Complex/Starchy Carb Options (Pick at least 1)
Old-fashioned oatmeal
Low-carb/low-sugar cereal (Fiber One)
Quinoa
Sweet Potato
Yam
Whole Wheat Bread
Brown Rice

Healthy Fat Options (Pick at least 2)
Natural peanut butter
Olive oil
Safflower oil
Coconut oil
Almonds
Walnuts
Pistachios
Avocado
Flaxseed oil

Fruit
Small apples
Small pears
Oranges
Bananas
Blueberries
Raspberries
Strawberries
Melons
Pineapple
Lemons (for water & fish)

Beverages
Water
Unsweetened Almond Milk (can be flavored)
Sugar Free Coconut Milk
Green tea bags
Coffee

Condiments
Balsamic Vinegar
Salsa
Chili Powder
Mrs Dash
Mustard
Cinnamon
Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
Stevia or other zero calorie sweetener
Pam Non-stick cooking spray

I also wanted to share with you a few go-to meals that I make from my healthy grocery list:

Breakfast
Shakeology Pancakes
Oatmeal with Fruit

Lunch
Salad with Almonds & Fruit
Ground Turkey Stir Fry

Dinner
Spaghetti Squash with Ground Turkey
Tilapia & Veggies

Here is just a sneak peak of what my pancakes look like that’ll be released in my ebook in November icon smile Healthy Grocery List

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So there’s my healthy grocery list! I really hope this helps y’all out! Please reach out to me if you have any questions because I know just how much of a struggle the eating part can be icon smile Healthy Grocery List

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

Results that Transform Lives

dont start a diet that has an expiration date Results that Transform Lives

Happy Monday y’all! Today I have a story to share with you from my friend Jenna about how she’s transformed her life. Jenna is one of the coaches on my team & I am SO PROUD of the results she’s had so far. In my challenge groups, we are not just getting results that will only last temporarily. You will learn how to make this a lifestyle & not gain all your weight back. We are getting results that transform lives.

I did an interview with Jenna about her  journey that I would love to share with you.

Tell the readers about yourself icon smile Results that Transform Lives
First let me say that I am so excited to be featured on my sister from another mister’s blog! It truly is awesome to be recognized for my achievements! icon smile Results that Transform Lives

I will be turning 29yrs young here soon, I live in Ohio and am married to a Marine Veteran and we have 2yr old son. I absolutely love music and my son really is my life. I am now working as a Barista at Starbucks, and I love it! If I’m not at work or cleaning the house I am hanging out with my family just doing whatever. When fall and the holiday season rolls around we love to all go out and venture around different stores looking at decorations and lights!

How’d you get started on your weight loss journey?
I’ve had such a yo-yo experience with weight loss, honestly. It all started in 2003 when my Mom moved us out to Washington State. I was in my Senior year of high school, having lived in the same town since I was 3yrs old. It was a huge change! I went through a lot and it greatly affected my weight because I turned to food. I went from 150lbs in 2003 to 210lbs by 2005! I looked in the mirror one day in a size 16 pants and and XL shirt and just said, this is ridiculous! I was not used to what I saw because I had never been that big in my entire life and I was a dancer and pretty athletic. So, knowing I needed to make changes I started watching what I ate and how much I ate. Within a year I dropped to 170lbs. I stayed there for awhile, we moved back to Ohio and I lost 5lbs more!

I kept at that weight for a good while, got a job and got in to a relationship and did the ‘comfort eating’ thing, I packed on 20lbs, stayed at 185 until about 2007 and I wasn’t happy with myself so I started portion control again, dropped down to 175. Then in 2009 I met my husband, did the ‘comfort eating’ thing again and got up to 190/191, got pregnant with my son in 2010, dropped back down to 175 in the first 3 months but then by then end of my pregnancy I was back at 210!! I couldn’t believe it, but I was pregnant so I chalked it up to baby weight. I had my son and weighed myself a week after being home and was down to 185. I nursed him for 6 months and got down to 175. If you’re unaware, nursing a child burns 500cals per day, so it’s easy to gain weight when you stop, and when I didn’t nurse anymore I went back up to 189!

In June of 2012 is when I started to get serious, watched what I was eating again, tried to be more active when I could. When we moved in to our own place I started doing Zumba a couple times a week and Jillian Michaels DVDs and  I just really watched my nutrition and took my son for walks whenever I felt like it. I hit my first goal of 175 and was SO ecstatic! So then I continued to set small goals for myself, usually 5lb increments, I read more, studied more, and it all worked! I am currently sitting at 160lbs.

What has been the toughest part for you?
The toughest parts would have to be my insane sweet tooth, and my boredom eating. Believe it or not it’s hard for me to really feel like I always have something going on, even though I’m a Mom and I work; especially since my son likes to do his own thing a majority of the time. But, if there’s nothing else to do I tend to snack because then it feels like I’m doing something. And, I’ve often found that it doesn’t even have to be a physical activity, as long as your mind is busy you should be good icon smile Results that Transform Lives And, I’ve alwaaaaaays loved ice cream and Oreos! Those are 2 things I feel like I could eat non-stop, all the time if I allowed myself to!
How did you overcome that struggle?
I have just tried to be strong-willed enough to eat as best I can and watch how much I eat as well. And, I also try not to keep sweets in the house because it’s a lot harder to eat it if it’s not readily available!
What workouts have been your favorite so far?
I have actually only done a little bit of P90X and am now doing T25. I LOVE P90X Plyometrics and Ab Ripper X, just absolutely love them, not quite sure why, ha! And, T25 is an amazing workout in only 25 min, who wouldn’t want that?!

How has Beachbody helped with your journey?
I decided to become a part of the Beachbody community because I know, first hand, how much easier it is to lose weight and achieve your goals when you have solid support, and that’s what Beachbody does. It gives  you a sense of belonging, a REASON to workout because  it’s kind of like your letting more than just yourself down if you don’t achieve your goals. It just makes you want to do more overall.

How has having me as your coach helped you ?
Well, first, you’re now one of my closest friends, and a friend like you is hard to come by. And, you are open and honest and a great listener which are qualities good leaders should posses! You push us to do better, you’re constantly encouraging us as well. You actually connect with us, and you’re not a ‘boss’ who we never see or talk to. You’ve found your purpose in life, and that makes it so easy for you to help some of us find ours. icon smile Results that Transform Lives

So that last statement just made me cry, she’s too sweet! icon smile Results that Transform Lives I wanted to share with you Jenna’s transformation from the past year. She looks amazing!

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I really hope you enjoyed Jenna’s story today. I’m so thankful that she shared it so I could share it with all of y’all! I know there are so many people out there struggling in every way and I’ve been there before, too. Her story just shows that Beachbody is a community that really helps people get real results that transform lives.

If you’d like to join one of my challenge groups and also get real results that transform lives, head over here to get started.

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

When Food is Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy

ecard complicated food When Food is Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy

Do you feel like this is you? You’re not alone!! I lost 60 lbs a few years ago & have maintained that weight loss since then, but I have been struggling lately with the food aspect. Food is by far the toughest part about a healthy lifestyle, but it is the most important. Your results are 80% food & 20% fitness. So, what do you do when food is your best friend and worst enemy? I’ve finally figured it out today & wanted to share with you.

If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you know that for the past few months I’ve been eating a very bland diet. When I say blend, I mean egg whites, veggies, & the occasional bowl of oatmeal or slice of Ezekiel bread. And my Shakeology of course. That was it! I was working on getting more toned, but over time I realized this was not sustainable. I’m not going to be in a bikini competition so why deprive myself so much?! I started binging on the weekends whenever it was supposed to just be my cheat meal. I realized that food was my best friend and  worst enemy.

So here’s the deal y’all! We have to go back to the simple basics:

  • Eat more fruits & veggies. I aim to eat one of the two at every meal.
  • Get your exercise in. Shoot for at least 30 minutes a day 4-5 days a week.
  • Get enough sleep. Relax. Don’t stress.
  • Listen to your body, not what others tell you.
  • Calories in vs. calories out. You must be burning more calories than you’re consuming.
  • Everything in moderation. If you make a food “off limits,” you’re just going to go out of control whenever you do consume it. Or you’re going to just keep eating other stuff until you fulfill that craving.
  • Make healthy versions of “naughty” foods. There are TONS of substitutions that you can use to make recipes healthier. For example, instead of mayo use plain non-fat Greek yogurt.

So are you still wondering what to do when food is your best friend and worst enemy? Well, it does take time y’all. You do have to be patient, persistent, & dedicated. But, it doesn’t have to be restrictive. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. And if you’re still unsure of what to eat – I have great news for you!

I am currently working on two major projects that will help you figure out how to have a healthy relationship with food.

  1. Recipe E-Book – I will be releasing an E-Book with my friend Sarah with tons of delicious recipes that are simple & healthy. We are aiming for November, so keep your eyes peeled!
  2. Holiday Survival Guide – I am launching a 6 month program where you’ll learn how to survive the holiday season without gaining weight, but still enjoying delicious foods. You will learn how to make this a lifestyle change & even lose weight & keep it off for good.

Here are more details on the holiday project:

October Flier When Food is Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy

I really hope this article helped you because I’ve personally struggled with my relationship with food my entire life. I’m finally back at a happy point with it again & I can’t wait to help you do the same. So now I hope you know what to do when food is your best friend and worst enemy! I truly also hope to see you in my holiday group as well, it’s going to be amazing!

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

Restore Your Relationship with God

Relationship with God Restore Your Relationship with God

Have you ever felt like you’re on an emotional roller coaster that just won’t stop? You’re not alone. I’ve felt that way the past month or so since moving to a brand new city & state. I was seriously having emotional breakdowns several times a week & thought that things just wouldn’t get better. After talking to several of my close friends, going on a road trip, & praying a lot I’ve finally figured out what was going on. I realized that I need to restore my relationship with God. Today I want to share with you how you can help calm down your emotions even when you’re going through some really tough times.

I’ve been battling a lot emotionally due to being in a new place, feeling lonely at times, binging due to being on a restrictive diet, & some financial things as well. I continued praying, but felt like nothing was changing. Then I realized something huge – I was not putting my relationship with God first. You CAN restore your relationship with God just as I have done recently. So here is what I started thinking & doing that I thought would help y’all out as well:

  • Don’t worry about things out of your control. Do everything you can to improve it & give the rest to God.
  • Don’t let a bad day turn in to a bad week or year. Things won’t always be a struggle.
  • Keep your friends close & don’t spend too much time alone when you’re going through hard times.
  • When you feel like it’s too hard to stand, get on your knees & pray.
  • Remember the good things that you have that going on & be thankful for them. Just don’t think about the bad.

Those were just things that helped me out mentally. I also started doing new things in my daily routine that have helped me out with restoring my relationship with God:

  • Listen to worship music first thing in the morning & spend an hour with God & in prayer.
  • Go outside & be active. Take a walk. Do some jumping jacks.
  • Call a friend. Skype a friend. Hang out with a friend. (Don’t be alone when you’re down!)
  • Listen to Elevation sermons & get plugged in to other similar resources.
  • Cook something fun that makes me happy.
  • Read more. Read personal development. Read books for fun. Read books about God.
  • Listen to worship music at night while falling asleep. Spend time with God during the day.

Worship God Restore Your Relationship with God

Doing these things the past couple of weeks have truly helped my mental stability & my emotions lately. I feel so much happier than I did a few weeks ago & I feel comforted by God. I’m no longer worried about all of the things I was a few weeks ago. I realized I needed to stop trying to control everything & run to God & let Him know how much I need Him. I know I cannot do anything without Him & I don’t know what I was thinking before!

So I really hope you know if your relationship with God has faded like mine did for a bit, it is possible to restore your relationship with God. He will be waiting for you with open arms icon smile Restore Your Relationship with God

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

Save Time & Lose Weight

Lose Weight Save TIme Save Time & Lose Weight

Does losing weight just seem like it takes up too much time? I completely understand! We all have so may different demands in life between our jobs, families, church, volunteering, & other social obligations that it is easy to put our health on the back burner. But, if you are healthy it is that much easier to manage everything you’re juggling right now & you will be so much happier. Let me tell you my story today & how you can save time & lose weight.

If you’ve been following me, you know that I was overweight half my life & lost 60 lbs back in 2009. I have maintained that weight loss since then as well. I felt like I did not have enough time to lose weight because I was working more than full-time, doing an internship, & I was in college full-time. Then one day I woke up & realized that I wasn’t healthy & had to figure out how to lose weight. I figured out how to save time & lose weight.

Here are a few tips that will help you get on track to save time & lose weight:

  • Do interval training for workouts. This is simple & effective. Get on the treadmill for 30 minutes. For 1 minute walk/jog at a normal pace (between 3.0-4.0 mph). Then for 30 seconds go as hard as you can (between 6.0-9.0). Interval training burns 10 times the amount of calories as regular cardio. Yesterday I burned almost 400 calories in 30 minutes just from doing intervals on the treadmill. 
  • Record what you’re eating. My Fitness Pal is an app that can be downloaded on any smart phone & is very user friendly. You can scan barcodes & foods from most restaurants are in their database. When you’re tracking what you’re eating, you’re more likely to stay on track.
  • Get enough sleep. This one couldn’t be more simple. Sleep between 6-8 hours each night. You’ll be less likely to crave unhealthy foods.
  • Drink one of your meals. Shakeology is my go-to meal when I’m in a hurry. It’s literally so easy to just blend up, it gives me energy, gives me a healthy immune system, & tastes delicious. To learn more about it you can click here.

Save Time Lose Weight Save Time & Lose Weight

I know sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated & stay on track, I still struggle with it now. But, just focus on your end goal & why you’re doing this because nothing worth having comes easy. It will take time, so make sure you have someone to help hold you accountable like I do in my support groups on Facebook. Just don’t give up! Because you can save time & lose weight.

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

Why the Scale Lies

The Scale Lies Why the Scale Lies

Did you step on the scale this morning? I bet most of you did. Did that number that flashed upset you? It did me. But, then I reminded myself that the scale is NOT an accurate description of how healthy I am. So let me tell you today why the scale lies.

If you’ve been following me for the past few months, you know that I’ve lost 60 lbs a couple years ago, the scale has been a mental battle for me. I’ve always known that muscle would make me weigh more & always wanted to be toned, but I didn’t want that scale to budge so I was literally living so unhealthy. I was eating 1200 calories a day & doing nothing but cardio workouts. I was still in the “weight loss mentality” & it became very dangerous. This is why the scale lies – because I was so unhealthy a few months ago.

Then one day one of my close friends told me that I needed to get over this & stop being unhealthy. So he helped me realize that I needed to start eating 1800 calories a day. I became so tired of having cellulite & flab, so I knew I had to accept this & just do it. So, I started doing Chalean Extreme to lift heavy weights. I discovered what clean eating was all about & started fueling my body with proper nutrition. This is what I looked like prior to starting my hybrid of Chalean Extreme & Brazil Butt Lift & then also my after.

Chalean Extreme Why the Scale Lies

So this is why the scale lies – I weigh more in the picture on the right. I’m not sure if you saw my post a couple weeks ago, but right now I weigh 160. That is 20 more pounds than I weighed before I started lifting heavy weights, eating 1800 calories a day, & eating clean. I looked at my old pictures from college at the last time I weighed 160. Let me show you the difference – again – this is why the scale lies!

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Okay so seriously, have you gotten the point yet? icon smile Why the Scale Lies The scale lies! Your weight can fluctuate for so many different reasons including water retention, too much sodium, menstrual cycles, etc. So don’t let that number on the scale define your happiness! Too many times (even today) I let it get me down, but then I remember that I need to go based on how my clothes fit, how I feel, & focus on being the best me for God’s kingdom! So this is why the scale lies!

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3