News flash: you are good enough.
...for Mr. Right, your dream career, financial freedom, the white picket fence, all of it.
Whatever it is, the key to unlocking these desires is seeing yourself as deserving. When you make that mental shift, your world will transform to reflect that belief.
Get my drift here? You teach people how to show up for you.
Walk into a room, hunched over, unable to make eye contact and you'll immediately communicate that you're unworthy to look at or engage with.
Walk into a room, smiling, strutting your stuff, and you'll demand the attention of the whole room without saying a word.
Be the latter.
So I'll say again, once you see yourself as beautiful, the world will too. Upgrade you and your outer world will upgrade, too. ✌🏽
After posting this dish to Instagram, so many of you messaged me wanting the recipe! So here it is (if I can remember it).
Funny story: I made it up. I never follow recipes. I usually go on what I have in the frig and mash it up together. Surprisingly enough, this one tasted pretty damn delish! As I've experimented and failed (miserably) over the years, I kind of know which foods work together and which ones don't 😝
The beauty of cooking is making it your own. Don't hesitate to throw in a new herb, bake instead of sauté or use bacon bits to spice it up (confession: my secret to every dish). Experimenting is fun, but what's more important is that it teaches you to trust your intuition (or your taste ;)). Mindful cooking and eating is liberating. It makes food more of an experience to be enjoyed that an obsession to control or track (coming from a disordered eating past).
So while I give you this recipe as fact based on what I did, I encourage you to use it as a loose guideline and give it your own twist!
Week 1 of Madeline Moves' new #TIGHTERTOGETHER program is officially in the books!!! I can hardly walk, but hey, it's DONE!
Since this is a brand new program that just launched, I figured I'd write a review for those of you wondering if it's for you or not.
First off, Madelin Moves is a teach by day and a fitness guru by night. She's the creator of Move Sweat Shred and now Tighter Together. Go give a girl a follow ... she's the cutest, most down-to-earth girl on the planet. Her real-ness, sweetness and passion to connect and make others better sealed the deal for me.
The last time I saw something like this take off like it has was BBG (Bikini Body Guide) with Kayla Itsines. One thousand people joined this challenge in one week. Girls are creating Instagram accounts just to document their #TT journey. I have a feeling this is a start of a beautiful and powerful movement. And I'm so glad to be a part of the beginning.
WHAT IS TIGHTER TOGETHER?
WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?
Madeline personally calculated each person's macro requirements (carbs, fats and proteins) based on the goal of fat loss, height, weight and age, as well as daily activity (not including the program workouts). Macronutrients are basic components of every food and are grouped by their highest content (chicken=protein; pasta=carb; butter=fat).
Before the program, we all received our macro counts for both "Low Carb Days" and "High Carb Days." To make sure you stay within your allotted amounts, it's crucial to weigh and track ALL OF YOUR FOOD! I feared this process as I thought it would be obsessive and bring back my eating-disorder food mentality, but it has actually given me food freedom. If it fits in your macros, then go for it! Hello, glass of wine ... or 2 ;)
But, know that learning to weigh your food and counting your macros is a LEARNING PROCESS (and a definite headache when just starting). You have to be patient with yourself.
Quick story: the first night of prepping my food, it took what felt like hours and I literally threw my hands up, dropped it all and walked out! No joke.
It has gotten better since then (6 days ago, ha). But to be quite honest, I've been relying more on my Fitness Pal to help track my macros. With that said, I do use the food scale when I need to get an accurate measure, like when I cooked sweet potato fries or needed to measure out the right portion of black beans for each tupperware container.
Since this challenge is a shorter version of Madeline's 8 Week Coaching Program, we are expediting the fat loss process while maintaining or building muscle with cycling carbs.
The science behind carb cycling: your body will be depleting it's carb sources over the course of two to three days and then replenished for the purposes of energy during more taxing workouts (leg and glute days) and restoring healthy hormone levels. The process helps your metabolism to stay fueled during a caloric deficit and prevents plateaus as your body isn't able to reach a homeostasis due to the carb manipulation.
The carb cycling coupled with the type of circuit training in this program gives us the most "bang for our buck" in a 30-day span.
To effectively track my macros, I am using a meal-tracking app—Fitness Pal. Each piece of food I put in my mouth also goes in my Fitness Pal! I used to despise food journaling or meal tracking, but it takes the headache out of weighing food and helps you to know where you sit with your macro count. I've even been planning my days ahead and putting my meals into Fitness Pal so I'm sure to meet my macro needs. If I go over or under, I know ahead of time if I need to add certain macros to my daily intake. As obsessive as it sounds, it motivates me and gives me peace of mind that I'm on track.
Who would have thunk that I'd be an advertisement for Fitness Pal?!?! If you know me, I'm more about mindful eating vs. tracking. But, I have to say, for the purpose of this challenge, it's a super helpful tool
After purchasing the #TighterTogether app, you automatically get entered into the BEST Facebook accountability group ever. Little did I know that this community would extend to Instagram and Snapchat, too. Many of the girls created new Instagram accounts to track their #TT journey (much like BBG or TIU girls do) and a good 50 of us have an ongoing Snapchat group chat to share our daily struggles (alcohol, weekends and negative body image), wins, and daily life (our dogs, boys, etc.). It's the most unique fitness community I've ever experienced and I'm so, so grateful for them.
Each week, Madeline gives away prizes based on completion of the program, engagement in the Facebook group and sharing of our experience on other social media platforms. Prizes include $100 Lululemon gift card, other cool fitness products and a $1000 grand prize (I'M COMING FOR YOU .. WATCH OUT GIRLS!)!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED (this program is MINIMAL which is AWESOME!)
WHAT I'M ADDING TO THE PROGRAM:
Pre-workout, my Herbalife supplements and shakes, as well as my typical multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium, calcium and green tea supplements.
I work the shakes into my macros (2 scoops of Herbalife Formula 1 is 11C/1F/9P with 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk mixed in: .3C/.8F/.3P). Pre-workout is my God-send—it gives me maximum energy and fires up fat burning (cha-ching). If you haven't tired a pre-workout to amp up your fitness routine, I HIGHLY suggest you try one. My recommendation is Cardio Cuts by NDS Nutrition (not just for cardio—no one knows why the company titled it that!) or C4 Ripped. The Green Tea and Herbalife Cell-U-Loss supplements increase fat burning and water release throughout the day. My multivitamin and fish oil is a staple for every day—multivitamin ensures I fill all my nutritional voids (vitamins and minerals) and fish oil provides Omega fats which help with fat loss, but also are good for the brain (hello mood & mind booster). Magnesium and calcium I take for muscle recovery, relaxation and better sleep.
MY ONLY FEEDBACK
My one struggle with this program is how long the workouts are . With cardio AND 3 circuits, I'm averaging about 2 hours of working out a day. With that said, you can mold the workout plan to work for your schedule. I'm launching a business and am always on the go and it's hard to go from start to finish in one sitting. So, I break it up—usually fasted cardio (LISS or HIIT) in the morning and circuit training in the evening. This way, I can also plan my carbs for the first part of the day so I have enough fuel to sustain the long circuit workouts in the evening (when my energy is usually low and I just want to plop on the couch).
I'm down 2.5 pounds in 6 days and am feeling tighter than ever. Side abs are even popping out. WOO!
HERE'S to the next 3 weeks #TT ladies! Let's do some work!
Thank you, Madeline. xoxo
“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free”. ~Robert Tew.
I’m Kathleen, and I am so excited to share my experience of fitness competing with the Finding My Beautiful readers! I work in two industries that I love: wine and fitness. However, it can definitely be challenging to find balance between the two.
I finally overcame my struggles with weight gain and lack of self-confidence and am now a Fitness Nutrition Specialist, nationally qualified bikini competitor in the Nspire Sports League, and an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor. Fitness has always been an important part of my life and has gotten me through many tough times throughout the years.
My decision to compete came after a very difficult time in my life. I was recently divorced and had just moved to a new city. My self-confidence took a big hit and I felt like a failure. During one of our last conversations, my ex said that he “wasn’t attracted to me anymore because I had gained weight.” I knew the words were said to hurt me and weren’t necessarily true. However, they hurt like no other. What disappointed me the most about this is that I lacked the confidence to let these words roll off my back. Why didn’t I have the confidence to only care about what I thought of myself? I knew I needed to do something to build myself back up so that I was in control of my self-esteem and not other people’s opinions.
I decided to get back into teaching group fitness classes since I was new to the city and didn’t know anyone. In doing so, I met my boss, Lauren, who I truly feel was put in my path to help get me through this time. She too had gone through a divorce, and now seemed to be living a really happy life. She gave me hope that I, too, could have a great life after this experience.
I soon discovered that she was a serious figure competitor! I remember being extremely excited. I asked her a million questions and thought this could be something that helps me rediscover my self-confidence. This was an opportunity for me to push myself to achieve something I had always thought about doing, but was always afraid to do. I hired the same coach that Lauren used and decided to go for it!
I had no idea that I was about to go through such a life-changing experience. I decided to compete in the bikini division where you don’t have to put on as much muscle mass. I saw competing as an opportunity to:
Here are my pros and cons to competing:
I've been on a green juice kick, not just for the crazy health benefits, but to shake up my boring, errryday meal routine. Meal planning and food creativity have fallen to the bottom of this busy gal's priority list, so green juice is my BFF right now.
Here's my go-to recipe—even you green juice haters would like this one. 😎
🍐 Spinach (handful / 1 cup)
🍐 Kale (2 stalks)
🍐 Cucumber (1/2 without the skin)
🍐 Strawberries (3—4; frozen or fresh)
🍐 Pineapple (1 slice)
🍐 Banana (just a little to keep sugar down)
🍐 Unsweetened Organic Almond Milk (I never measure this! Just throw a splash in)
🍐 Unflavored Greek Yogurt (1—2 tablespoons)
🍐 Ice (3—4 ice cubes)
🍐 Water (1 cup)
🍐 1 Organic Stevia Packet (if you need a little sweetener)
You'll see I don't give exact measurements for any of the ingredients. It's more trial and error to see what your taste buds enjoy! Little hint: kale may be the most nutritious of all the ingredients, but its sour taste will throw you off. If that happens, up the sweetness of your juice with spinach or fruits.
Enjoy, lovelies! xoxo
THIS was one of my most popular blog posts from last year, so I decided to repost it given Valentine's Day is just around the corner! I know some of you lovelies could use this reminder as we approach the sometimes dreaded V-Day.
First off, today's society builds up this one day of the year to the point we feel like utter failures if we're not attached to a significant other. It's total bullshit. What society really needs is a little slap in the face and shift in perspective.
February 14 isn't just about your "other half"—the cards, flowers, chocolates, wine, intimacy or "I love you's."
To be real, none of the things above can actually authentically mean anything without loving yourself first.
::insert your rolling eyes here. but hear me out.::
Right now, in this very moment, would you say you are "on track" or "off track" with your diet?
What if I told you that very mindset of all or nothing is what is setting you up to fail, time and time again?
If you're not sure whether this approach to eating is running your life, let me know if this sounds like you ...
Yesterday, you've fallen "off track." You ate a bite of bread that you was on the "bad foods" list. You say, "fuck it," and eat the whole damn loaf. But it's ok, because tomorrow you'll start again. (how many Day 1's have you had? I know I can't even count them in my 32 years of being).
You wake up the next day and eat the healthy, clean breakfast you had planned.
Lunch comes around and you'd really like the turkey, avocado sandwich at the nearby cafe. But, you've heard you shouldn't be eating gluten or carbs if you want to lose weight, so you decide to be "good" and get the salad.
The day gets busy and you get hungry. You wait too long, your blood sugar drops and you finally eat your cucumbers and hummus. But, you're ravenous and scarf them down before you can even enjoy the taste.
You get home. You're tired. You cook the healthy dinner outlined in your meal plan. You find yourself picking at the ingredients as you cook, eating while standing...
You finally sit and try to make yourself enjoy it. But, you're not satisfied.
You go back to the pantry and allow yourself to indulge in a little of whatever was "off limits" to begin with. Of course you can't stop at a little bit. You end up saying "fuck it" (again) and keep eating with the goal of "starting all over again tomorrow." (Haven't heard that one before 😒)
The rush feels good for a second, and then it hits you…
Since everyone has been commenting on how tasty my stuffed peppers looked, I decided to share the recipe on the blog with all of you lovelies! It would be totally selfish of me anyway to keep them to myself since they are HEAVEN, crazy EASY and uber HEALTHY.
The best thing about these peppers: they trick your brain into thinking you're having your guilty taco pleasure ;) #WINNING
Try them and let me know what you think!
When you love yourself, you want to treat your body like a temple. Period. 💯
Although I allowed myself to indulge in ALL the joys of the holidays (everything in moderation, right?), I felt like 💩 after. So I committed to a 3 day reset. No crazy food rules. No restriction. No counting calories. Just lots of nourishing food, detoxifying yoga, positive affirmations & good sleep. Believe me people ... you DON’T have to go to crazy measures to FEEL GOOD!!!
My 3-day results:
-👇🏼 3 lbs.
- Absolutely no bloat left (you can tell how puffy I was to start)
- Energy is back
- Body feels tight
- Slept LIKE A FREAKING BABY
Make yourself a priority. It’s not selfish. It’s your duty. When you feel good about yourself, you have more to give others & the world around you. ❤️🔥👊
Believe it or not, what you're thinking—positive or negative—determines how your body decides to metabolize your food.
So, your relationship with food directly impacts your body composition, weight loss, energy level and so much more.
Don't believe me? Let's break it down.
Envision a plate of spaghetti with meatballs. If different people were looking at the exact same plate of pasta, no two would see the same plate of food or metabolize it the same way.
Sarah, the yo-yo dieter, might live her life according to low-carb rules and FEAR the heaping pile of carbohydrates.
Joe, the pro athlete, might see the plate as fuel—the perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein to support his rigorous training.
Trisha, the patient, who has been suffering from health-related issues sees nourishment and healing.
Greg, the scientist, may look at the plate and immediately see the makeup of the food—the breakdown of molecules, vitamins, minerals and macro-nutrients.
As you can see, people view food differently—some have emotional ties to food and others view it simply as a way to survive and thrive. Whichever bucket YOU fall in will determine how your body breaks down food—storing it as fat or using it as fuel. Literally, what you think and feel about food can have as much impact on how you metabolize it as the actual nutrients themselves.
(See: there is a scientific connection between mind and body for all of you doubting folks 😉)
So, let's break down exactly how your brain functions at the sight of food ...
Take an ice cream cone for instance. It's right in front of your face. Your brain starts to process it immediately ...
The thought of the ice cream cone first occurs in the cerebral cortex. From there, the information is carried to the limbic system or your "emotional brain" that regulates emotion and basic survival functions, like hunger, thirst, temperature, sex drive and heart rate.
The Hypothalmus, part of the Limbic System, then takes any sensory, emotional and thought input and translates it into a physiological response:
IF YOU LOVE THE ICE CREAM & EAT IT WITH DELIGHT:
You're positive thoughts and feelings will activate increased function in your salivary glands, esophogus, stomach, intenstines, pancreas, liver & gull bladder. In other words, your body will work in your favor to process the food properly.
IF YOU'RE FEELING SHAME & JUDGING YOURSELF FOR EATING THE ICE CREAM:
Your body will intrepret this as a form of stress. The hypothalmus will take the negative & emotional mental input and send signals that slow down the digestive organs. You'll be eating the food, but not fully metabolizing it. It could stay in your digestive tract which could diminish your healthy gut bacteria, increase the release of toxic byproducts into the blood stream and decrease your calorie burning efficiency via increased insulin and cortisol, which would cause you to store your guilt-infused ice cream as body fat. No bueno.
"The thoughts you think about food instantly become realty in your body via the central nervous system."
— Institute for Eating Psychology
Let's take the placebo effect as an example:
Say a person is given a fake substance but told it's a life saving medication. The patient's belief in the healing power of the medicine creates a measurable physical response.
DID YOU KNOW:
The placebo effect is responsible for 35-45% of the effectiveness of prescription medications and upwards of 90% of the effectiveness of over the counter drugs?
The POWER OF THE MIND is so strong that you can think yourself into healing from disease.
What do you think happens when you think negatively about what you put in your mouth or judge yourself for eating a certain food? The OPPOSITE of healing, that's for sure.
This placebo effect I just talked about is built into the nutritional process and comes into play EVERY TIME we eat.
Science supports it. Again, what you think and feel about the food you eat powerfully affects how your body will process it.
This is why it is so important to start healing your relationship with your body and food. You can't start to feel at ease about eating or settle into your ideal weight while at war with yourself.
So next time you experience strong and convincing thoughts about a meal, try to relax.
If you feel anxiety towards a food decision (this was me for years every time I ate), slowly count to 10 and breathe deeply.
Reset your mind to a neutral (or better yet, positive) state and start to proceed with mindful eating practices.
Think happy thoughts ya'll ;)
Need help handling emotional or disordered eating? Let's chat.
Thanks for stopping by! It means a lot to me.