Category: Lifestyle

A Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle – The Progress so Far

 

My Journey

 My goal for this journey is for fitness and healthy eating to become a full lifestyle change.  I’ll be honest. This has not been easy. I started this fitness journey roughly around January…

Technically it was November but I was so busy that I didn’t feel like I was making any progress.In this post, I’m going to be explaining my goals, my motivations and my experiences. I hope that

this will help you start, continue or think about your own journey to a healthy lifestyle.

I would love to hear in the comments how you feel about your journey? Is yours similar or different compared to my own? 

 The Beginning

Between January and April, I went to the gym after work 5 times a week.  This was difficult because I would drive almost 2 hours a day to work,  to the gym and back home.

I was unsure if I should eat at a surplus to gain muscle, or to eat at a deficit to lose fat.  I eventually decided to eat more and gain muscle since I would end up losing fat as I go (Beginners luck).

My gym sessions are roughly 60 minutes long.  Two leg days, a chest/triceps day, and a back/biceps day.

I already eat relatively healthy foods because I have a severe allergy to both onion and garlic.  It is actually in virtually everything processed. Really, just read the label of a ketchup bottle.

I tend to cook at home and rarely eat out since restaurants tend to not be very accommodating. My problem has been with binge eating. I can go for days eating low calories, even too little calories.

Eventually, I’ll over eat, or over snack.  These snacks are usually quite healthy, but it’s  the quantity that kills.  I found that if I skipped breakfast and had too small of a lunch, I would eat more

calories than my daily allowance during supper.

Self Image

Progress has been slow and steady. I will admit, at times I have been incredibly discouraged.  It’s hard to see your progress when you focus on your flaws.  When you see yourself in the mirror

every single day, sometimes you don’t notice the changes.  I am glad that I took progress pictures throughout my experience.  The photo above was taken about 3-4 months after I started.  Yes, the

pose is deceiving.  This picture is evidence that many Instagramers manipulate their bodies and cameras to achieve a smaller waist and a larger butt.  I’m often bloated. I have bad days more than

good ones.  As I have many dietary restrictions, some of which I am still unsure about their cause. I need to force myself stay positive.

Goals

I’ve always been a fairly small person.  I am 5’4 and I am a size 3.  However, I think the common term now is “Fat skinny”.  My stomach is far from flat and my hips are significantly wider than the

rest of my body as those are the places where I carry the majority of my fat.  It’s June, and I measured myself for the first time since January.  I’m very proud of myself, I’ve lost a total of 7 inches

and gained another 4 inches in my thighs/arms.  I still have a ways to go.  My goal is to be strong and fit.  I’m hoping to lose roughly another 4-5% fat.

I hope that you’ve taken something from this post.  Good luck on your own journey!  I’ll be making another update post by the end of summer.

Dealing with Mental Health : Impacts and Change

 

These past few months have been hard. My personal and work life became very stressful.  For the last month, I have changed significantly.  I have little anxiety and my depression is no longer impacting my daily life.  First of all, there’s no reason to be ashamed about mental health issues.  The stigma has to stop.

Now, I still suffer from some anxiety and depression.  I will most likely always have both illnesses.  But, lately I’ve been able to control it.

About a month ago,  I was having severe meltdowns daily. I was stressed for no reason.   I was put on a new medication to treat my increasingly worsening mental illnesses. [I strongly believe that medication can truly help some people.  That it is necessary for some to treat a chemical imbalance, or to help those who need them. ] I was previously on a medication that I found somewhat ineffective.  But hey, finding a good medication can be like finding a needle in a hay stack.

However, with this new medication I had the worse reaction of my life.  I was suicidal.  Very suicidal.  I had incredible panic attacks every hour or so.  I was barely able to function.  Since, I was such a mess, I stopped taking the medication immediately.  However, I wasn’t thinking correctly, and so I also stopped taking all medication.  This is when I went through withdrawal.  I don’t recommend it.  But, I was in no state to make good decisions.  I ended up taking two weeks off of work and endured it.  It sucked.

After stopping all medication, and getting it out of my system. I’ve been working extra hard on my mental health and coping skills. I could probably return on a mild dose for anxiety but I am working hard for now without any.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with medication. But, I had the worse case scenario.

 I haven’t felt this happy in years.

Since then, I’ve tried to change my way of thinking.  I try to focus on the good.  I know that this is a cheesy and annoying piece of advice.  But, focusing on the bad always put me in a terrible mood. Sometimes lasting the entire day.  I try to stay active and be social to distract myself from those negative thoughts.  I have some great friends who have supported me throughout all of this.  There’s still a lot that I can do.  But, I am happy with what I have accomplished.

This terrible experience has changed me for the better.

*I am not a professional. If you have any concerns about you mental health, see a health care 
professional. Please visit the emergency room or call emergency services if you have thoughts of self 
harm or suicide.
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Anxiety & Depression: Goals to Improve Myself

 

Anxiety is something that I have been dealing with a lot lately. Here are my goals for this month.

  1. yoga and meditation each morning
  2. hangout with 3-4 friends each week
  3. Have a “me” coffee date
  4. Read an uplifting book
  5. Go on a road trip
  6. Skiing night
  7. talk to friends who I’ve lost contact with
  8. Enjoy a nights of board games and wine
  9. Volunteer at the humaine society
  10. Write a journal entry
  11. gym 6x a week no excuses
  12. Be grateful about my friends and family
  13. Give myself a compliment each day
  14. Create short and long term goals
  15. Write blog posts
  16. Wake up earlier to benefit from the sun, happy place
  17. have a spa day
  18. Drink Tons of water

Time for Change : Goals and Changes

Time for a Change

These past few weeks have been difficult. Very difficult. I’ve realized that I have lost myself. Lately, I have not been the cute, funny, bubbly kind of person that I am. I haven’t been super excited about new scientific discoveries. Or, told any long and boring history lessons.

My Mental Health has changed me. After suffering for so many years, I’ve finally hit the bottom. Where life is an impossible task. The only thing holding me here is my family and friends. Without them, I would only be a memory.

The depression and anxiety has pushed me to stop talking to my friends, and to avoid social interactions. I isolated myself. Because of this, I depended heavily on my partner. My former partner.

This has taught me to not lose yourself while fighting mental illness. Continue visiting your friends, loved ones, and be outgoing. My happiest moments are those where I’ve pushed through my mental illness. I did something exciting and different. Go on an adventure! Try new things! Do something different.

I know that there are things that I could have done. It’s too late to change the past; I’ll change my future instead. I have decided to journal. It will be a way for me to get in touch with my feelings and goals. How I will not lose sight of myself again. This will be my way back to the surface when I am drowning. My lifejacket. When it feels like all is lost, I will look back in my journal. There I will find proof that things will get better. It will be my source of

Hope

 

 

February Goals

  1. Be with friends 2-3 times a week.
  2. Drink a lot more water
  3. Eat healthy
  4. Go to the gym consistently 6x a week
  5. Start a Vlog Channel
  6. Read a good book
  7. Practice French with a Friend
  8. Meditate and practice yoga each morning
  9. Wake up earlier to take advantage of the sun light. (more about this later)
  10. Work on being more confident

Fitness New Years Resolution: How To Make It Past January

Motivation

It’s a new year.  Time for things to change. Fitness is a common subject during the time of year.  People are hoping to lose a few pounds and build some muscle.  New Years Fitness goals have begun to be something of a joke.  Everyone starts going to the gym in January.  And then you never see them again.  When it comes to working out, it’s important to stay motivated.  Once the talk of new year goals end.  It’s easy to stop working out.

Going to the gym is not just a new activity. But it creates a new lifestyle.  It’s not always easy to stick with a schedule and a plan.  With that said, create a workout schedule that you will stick to. Choose the time of day that you prefer to workout. Morning or Evening.  Keep this consistent throughout the week.  All you need is one hour, three to four times a week.  I’m currently going to the gym six times a week right after work. Three days of strength training. Two days of cardio and one day of yoga.  The seventh day is my rest day. This helps me be consistent and accountable for my workouts.  I feel bad about skipping a workout, so I don’t.  

Tip: If you want to workout near meal times, make sure to bring snacks.  I never want to workout if I’m hungry.

 Tip: Keep a packed bag in your vehicle or at work to motivate you to go.  Set out your workout clothes in the morning.  If it’s a cute outfit that helps even more!  

If you have any friends who are also interested in going to the gym, it could be a great way to motivate you both to go to the gym.  Try to find someone who has similar goals and motivation as you.  It can be even more helpful when you can push each other to do better.  Just don’t compare yourselves to anyone. Not to each other, other gym members or friends.  We are all different.  We lose weight differently.  Be happy with your own accomplishments.

I love to use Pinterest as a source of motivation and workouts.  I pin a lot of pictures of how I want to look, quotes, and full workouts.  It reminds me of some great exercises that I can do to change things up at the gym.  I don’t get bored. Here’s my Fitness Pinterest Page.

Effort

We all know that looking like a supermodel a lot of time and effort. We all go to the gym to see results.  But, it’s important to realize that these accomplishments are not always visible early on.  If you are carrying a lot of extra weight; it will be much easier and quicker to see drastic results compared to those who are trying to lose that extra ten pounds.  Don’t get discouraged if the scale says something that you don’t like.  Remember, muscle weights more than fat. So, the scale might go up if you are building muscle. That’s a good thing.  I’m currently trying to build around 5 lbs of muscle.  Therefore I should be 5 lbs heavier than I am now. 

Keep focusing on your own goals.  Try to find someone who has similar goals and motivation as you.  It can be even more helpful when you can push each other to do better.  Just don’t compare yourselves to anyone. Not to each other, other gym members or friends.  We are all different.  We lose weight differently.  Be happy with your own accomplishments.

Time Commitments

All you need is one hour to two hours a day.  Three times a week.  If you watch any shows on Netflix during the week, you can workout.  You have the time.  If you don’t have the time or access to a gym, try a YouTube video workout.  There are tons of awesome workouts online.  They  are an awesome way to get a quick workout in when in a rush.

70/30 lazy fitness

Fitness is important.  However, when it comes to losing weight.  It’s 70% Diet and 30% Exercise.  If you are trying to lose weight you must focus primarily on your diet. You can exercise all you want, but the majority of body fat is loss through a calorie deficit. Talk to a dietitian to determine the proper food plan for you.

 

 

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Exam Prep: How to Stop Procrastinating

Procrasti—-nating

Procrastinating is something that we’ve all experienced. Some, more than others.  I tend to procrastinate when I have to do simple tasks such as call to make an appointment or go to the bank.  During my first few years in university, I procrastinated a little too much.  I would have to hurry up and complete big projects in a day or two instead of a week.  It harmed my grades. While attending my last few years of university, I vowed to stop procrastinating.  I needed to change.  Here is how I did it.  I’m not saying that I haven’t procrastinated since, but it’s rare.

 

Have a nice planner – I found after purchasing a more expensive and pretty planner, I’ve used it a lot.  For one, I spend the money and I don’t want to waste that.  Also, it’s super pretty.  Brownline Academic Monthly Planner. Schedule everything that you have to do, and start each project long before it’s due date.  Block off specific hours of the day to work on each activity. Stick with this schedule.

 

Leave your phone alone – Technology is both our best friend and our enemy.  It gives us access to so much information.  However, technology is a source of entertainment.  Perfect for distracting students.  Keep your phone in your bag or even locked in your car.  Do not touch it.  If you’re using a computer to study, do not open your social media.  If you are just typing something up, even disconnect the internet.

 

Take short breaks more often – When I say a short break, that means a good 10 minute break.  Go for a walk, get some water and some fresh air.  Don’t just browse the internet.  Take a nice break every 30 to 45 minutes of intense studying.  This is great because you have a time limit to study.  Perhaps, that will push you to study more intensely and without distractions.  

 

Study Alone –  Study in a quiet distraction free area. Do not study in loud common rooms or lounges.  Study in a place where other students are studying well.  Do not study with friends who will talk or distract you.

 

Set goals –  Create goals.  These goals should include a task and the time limit to complete it.  This will hopefully be motivating enough to stay on task.

 

exam prep

 

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exam prep

Exam Preparation: What you Need to do to Succeed

exam prep

Exam Prep

It’s important to be very prepared ahead of your exams.  Not only does it keep you organized, but it also gets you started on the right foot.

Make sure that all of your notes are together and properly arranged.  If you have a lot of time between now and your exams.  Write out one page summaries or equation lists for each chapter or topic.  This will be wonderful to use as a review once you’ve studied your notes.  Highlight and create post-it notes for the key concepts and words.  This will make them stand out.

When I study I will always bring all of my textbooks and binders.  It’s important to use all available information while studying.  Other awesome resources include websites like KhanAcademy where large amounts of useful information is available for all sorts of subjects. I depended on Khan Academy throughout my High School and Undergraduate degree. It helped me so much!

 

exam prep

 

Essentials

Set up to study somewhere quiet and distraction free.  Check out your school’s library, and local coffee shops.  Make sure to go somewhere where you won’t be distracted by friends.   I love to study in the business building at my university, even if I was a science student.  The building was full of windows and natural light.  It helped me stay focused.

Have pens, pencils, highlighter and markers with you.  Markers are amazing because they make bigger text and are full of colour.  I love to use them while making those summary pages I mentioned above. I’ll even doodle to make it prettier.  I will use only solid white paper.  I find it easier to read compared to lined paper.

Bring your laptop or tablet to study.  Or, use the ones available at your library.  A lot of school material and professors depend on the internet.  Materials are now sent via email or education’s institutions sites. I found it super useful to have my laptop in class and to study.  All my notes are typed and I print them off.  Since my writing is well s***.  It helps a lot.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a laptop or a tablet.  Here are some great options.

 

Laptops/Tablet

The ASUS F555LA 15.6 Full HD Laptop  : is wonderful.  My boyfriend has this one and absolutely loves it.   He’s also a very techie guy completing his Degree in computers.  I trust ASUS as a brand.  If you’re looking for a great Windows computer.  Check this one out!

Apple MacBook Air 13 Inch: If you’re thinking about getting a MacBook. This is the one to choose. It’s powerful, thin and portable.  They come with IMovie which is wonderful for editing videos.  This is the newer version of my laptop.  If mine ever breaks, (It’s already 5 years old and still working perfectly), I will definitely be purchasing another.

 

 

Apple iPad Air 2: I love the iPad Air.  It’s light and beautiful.  This tablet will be great for studying, searching up concepts and watching videos.  The App Store also contains tons of free and paid apps to help you succeed in school!

 

Distractions

I never bring my cellphone to study sessions, or I leave it hidden away in my bag.  It is a huge distraction.  I would highly suggest you do the same.  You will notice how dependent we are on our cell phones when you put it away for an hour or two.

I love to bring a hot beverage with me while studying in the winter.  It keeps me awake and warm.  I will keep a package of tea in my bag throughout the year.  There are kettles available throughout my campus and I will often make myself a cup.  Also, bring enough healthy food and snacks to keep you from being hungry. It’s so hard to study when hungry.

Since it’s winter, and super cold where I live, I will always bring a small fleece blanket to school.  I find that I study better when I am not focused on how cold the study room is.  

 

 

I hope that these tips are helpful.  Good luck with your exams!

 

Sarah

xox

 

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fitness plan

A Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle: My fitness plan and How I stay motivated

My Fitness Story

I’ve always been an active person growing up.  It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I haven’t been working out daily.  I used to swim competitively. Yes, like Michael Phelps. I even have the lanky limbs.  So, I was a member of the varsity team for a number of years. I also played tennis, volleyball and soccer.  Therefore, I have a lot of experience with being active.

However, a year before entering university, I severely injured my elbow. I continued to train despite the pain.  I was supposed to get invasive surgery to repair it but the doctor refused to perform it because of the possible consequences.  And so, these last few years I’ve had to suffer through the injury.  It has improved slightly.  But I still cannot do a push up or lift anything over 20 odd pounds. It sucks!

Since I haven’t really been active in about a year.  I’ve found myself gaining some unnecessary weight and with less energy. So, I decided to join a GoodLife gym.

lazy fitness

My Fitness Plan

Currently, I am working out 5 days a week. I make sure to write down all of my gym sessions in my planner.  It helps me not only to stay organized but the fact that it’s written motivates me to go.  I am rotating between arms/back, abs, legs, and cardio days.  Each session is roughly one hour.  I begin each workout with 15 minutes of cardio (bike or treadmill).

Planners: At-A-Glance Amazon, Pink Planner Amazon.

 

Motivation

My goal is to gain lean muscle while losing some extra fat. I want to focus on my butt, arms and back.  My hope is to accomplish my goal by march break.  So, I hope to put in as much effort and time as necessary.  I am making lifestyle changes, not just changes in appearance.

I specified march break not because I want to be fit by that date.  But rather, my personal trainer and I believe that this time frame is realistic.

I’ll keep you all updated on my progress.  Keep on eye for future fitness, food and motivational posts. Don’t forget, subscribe to get access to free exclusive material.

Worksheets are available via subscription.   Join by signing up ! 🙂

 

elleadore

 

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anxiety

How To Get Out Of A Rut: Helpful Tips and Tricks

rut

 

I think almost everyone knows what it’s like to be in rut.  Perhaps, it’s because of school, work, friends, and/or mental health issues.  Personally, I go through a “rut” about once a year.  Usually it’s caused by stress.  If you are currently going through a tough time.  Or, in the future, realize that you are in a rut.  Here are some of my tips to help bounce back.

First of all.  Is it a rut that you are in, or is it something more? If it is more than a rut, it would be helpful to see a professional.  These tips will still be helpful in that case.

rut

Be Social

I know, I know, being social is probably the last thing that you want to do right now. But, by surrounding yourself with good friends, (avoid the toxic ones), it will distract you and comfort you. Don’t be afraid to tell those who you trust about what is going on.  They may put a greater effort into including you in activities.  They should also understand why you may not call them as much, or feel like hanging out.

Try going for coffee with a friend.  This is how I’ve been able to rekindle a few friendships.  I had a period of time where I barely spoke to my friends. I rarely got out of the house.  So, I made sure to tell them what was happening. They understood. When I was ready, they were still there for me.

rut

Be Adventurous

If your day to day activities only include school/work, food and Netflix. It’s a good idea to add some adventure to your life.  (That you actually go on. Not the actors on TV).  It can be as simple as going for a walk on a new trail, beach or area.  Try hiking.  Visit new villages surrounding the city. Check out their bakeries and the little shops.  Invite friends over to play board games.  Try to get out of the house each day or every second.

This will not only keep you active, but it will also help increase your mood.  The hardest part is getting out the door.  Once out, trust me, you will enjoy it.

rut

Remove Stresses

Stress causes many negative consequences on your physical and mental health.  If there’s something that is stressing you out, school, work or friend related; try to fix it.  Actively trying to fix situations will help end them quicker.  If it’s typical daily stress.  Eat well, relax, and exercise.  Take care of yourself.

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas: For Her

 If you’re struggling to find that perfect gift for her.  Here are some neat ideas.

Electronics

Wonderful sound, small and easy to transport.  I don’t know what I would do without it.

Bose Soundlink mini bluetooth speaker – Amazon

I found that after getting an Ereader I began to read so much more.  It’s small and easy to carry in a purse.

I would use mine constantly on trips.

Kindle PaperWhite Ereader – Amazon

No, guys aren’t the only ones who enjoy video games.  This system is wonderful.

There are games available for all types of games and skill.

Playstation 4 Slim 500GB  – Amazon

Perfume

Who doesn’t love perfume? This one smells absolutely amazing.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Eau de Parfume  -Amazon

For a less expensive perfume, this one is great.  Reminds me of a cozy winter night.

Taylor Swift Enchanted Wonderstruck – Amazon

This beautiful perfume would be a wonderful gift.  All that needs to be said. It’s Miss Dior.

Miss Dior Eau de Toilette – Amazon

604214916463_naked2

This palette has been popular for years now.  The colours are perfect for this time of year.

It allows her to be more creative!

Naked 2 Palette –  Urban Decay

holidays

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