Holiday Season

You may or may not have wondered where I had ventured off to since I have been MIA for a few weeks. Life just got to me and I had to take a step back from the blog and my business. Too much has been going on lately in my life, add to that the holidays and everything else, I’m still not back to normal but I am slowly getting there.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed their time with family and/or friends! Personally I had the best Christmas I had had in a long, long time. It wasn’t anything spectacular by any means but it was special to me and I really lived it up and enjoyed it as much as I could.

This post is short, and hopefully sweet, because I just wanted to get back out there and post something. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. I promise you that I will be making more of an effort to get awesome posts published these coming weeks, particularly with the New Year coming up. We will make 2016 our best year yet. Here are some posts to help you make it until my next ones, a three part series about how to survive winter while focusing on your health (just click on the links in the captions of the images to view the blog posts):

winter fitness tips
Winter Fitness Tips
Winter healthy comfort tips
Winter Healthy Comfort Tips
Winter Motivation Tips
Winter Motivation Tips

 

How was your Christmas? Did you get any gifts that you’re particularly happy for? Or did you realize that all the gifts you really need are in your life already such as your family, friends, pets, etc.?

~Bonnie~

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Be More Than a Dreamer in 2016!

I wholeheartedly believe we should be doers. Dreaming is all fine and dandy but what are we achieving if we’re not getting out there to do and live! That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go out everyday or take every opportunity that passes your way, but live your life the way you want and explore so that you can have experiences. Both good and bad will shape you because how else will you learn but by doing? Chase those dreams, make them a reality!

Dream Big, Dream Often

I think back to just a few years ago, when my life seemed to be empty professionally and personally, and think about how far I have come.  I am no longer working my retail job which, at the time, seemed like a prison. I have married Evelina and we have moved into a new townhouse.  Although my symptoms are tough to deal with right now, my neurologist believes the medical community is on the brink of terminating MS altogether!  Life for me is as good as it has ever been.

And I don’t believe it is by happenstance.

image credit: joshfults.com image credit: joshfults.com

I understand the frustration of all you dreamers out there.  Feeling you could do so much more and wondering why things just don’t seem to work out or why you don’t have a better job making more money.  Or why you can’t seem to meet the right partner.  Or why others have it better…

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Why Anticipating Failure Might Be the Key to Your Resolution Success!

Failure, or slip-ups, are a part of all aspects of life but especially a weight loss journey. They will happen. The important thing is acknowledging that it happened but not beating yourself up as you move forward. This post has a lot of good words of wisdom!

Dream Big, Dream Often

Next up on our list of 31 Ways to Achieve Amazing New Year’s Resolution Success are #6 & #7: Don’t get discouraged with short-term defeats and keep the big picture in mind.

I understand that many of you have commented and emailed me expressing your frustration with having tried to change in the past and the failures associated.  It is important to understand that everyone in every arena will fail at some point.

stumble

One way to deal with failure is to anticipate failing before it occurs and develop a plan for how you will deal with it.  You can even write down your strategy and read it to yourself when you experience a short-term setback.

If I have learned anything on my personal journey it is to anticipate all possibilities and have a plan mapped out ahead of time on how to deal with road bumps.  If you have your…

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You are So Worth It


Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde


This simple little quote really says it all, doesn’t it? We need to choose to be ourselves because we are unique, valuable beings. It is important to be you and be proud to be who you are.

You are beautiful and you are worth it, remember that. There are no qualifications or conditions that make you so. You just are because you are a one-of-a-kind person with qualities and traits that make you uniquely you.

Take a moment now, if you can, and think about your beauty. Let it fill you with promise and love for yourself. You have something to offer the world. So remember that the next time you’re getting down on yourself. Think of all the things you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish. Quiet that negative voice in your mind.


Now is the best time to start becoming the person we want to be.
-Alan Watts


It is never too late to build yourself up. If you or other people in your life have been continuously putting you down, then it might take longer to achieve results. However, it will never be too late to turn your self-image around… to learn how to love yourself.

Take it day by day. Think positive thoughts. Encourage yourself and become your own very best cheerleader. Tell yourself when you’re doing a good job, give yourself a pat on the back for it. Reward yourself from time to time for all of your hard work. You are worth all of this!


It is never too late to be who you might have been.
-George Elliot


Like I mentioned above, it truly is never too late to work on you. Why…? Because we will all be continuously working on ourselves throughout our lifetime. We are never done, and that is not a bad thing!

This gives us infinite possibilities to do what we want, to achieve the things we really want to achieve, and to spend time doing what we truly want to. It won’t be all puppies and rainbows, but it will definitely be rewarding and fulfilling.

The more you build yourself up, the more things you will be able to achieve… and the more you achieve, the higher your dreams will soar. I know this from personal experience. You will learn that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Life is full of chances and choices you might not have even considered before.

Your whole world shifts the more you believe in yourself and your abilities, your beauty and your worth. So let me tell you that the world is beautiful with this clarified view!

Join me in believing in you and your ability to make your dreams come true! I have faith in you!

 

Would you like quotes like this with encouraging words every day of the year? Check out my 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom, which is on pre-order by clicking that link.

~Bonnie~

Winter Motivation Tips

This is Part 3 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness. You can find Part 1 here: Winter Fitness Tips and Part 2 here: Winter Healthy Comfort Tips.

Today I am discussing ways to keep your motivation strong throughout winter. Here are some tips that have helped me presently as well as last year:

  1. Keep your eyes on the goal: keep focused on your WHY:
    Why you want to lose weight, but also why doing your best throughout the winter to lose weight and improve your health is so important to you personally. What are you most looking forward to this coming spring or summer? Would you like to be healthier and be able to enjoy it even more?
  2. Think about each event coming up and focus on each one at a time:
    Holidays, seasons themselves, events, vacations, etc. Any kind of special occasion you’re looking forward to or have a party for. Use it to your advantage to keep you focused and on track.
  3. Stay focused on your goals:
    Think about your short-term goals. Make weekly and/or monthly goals that will help you stay focused on the here and now. If you have a long-term goal, breaking it into smaller and more manageable goals that you can focus on weekly will help immensely. That way you have something to look forward to but aren’t overwhelming yourself.
  4. Find supportive support:
    Having support is pretty important, but having the right support is even more important. Make sure you are choosing people that will support you and have your back no matter what. If you don’t have those kinds of people in your life already, try online support such as SparkPeople. You can find all kinds of support there: chat forum (even on the mobile app), friends, blogging feedback. Of course take everything with a grain of salt because where there are people, there are going to be negative nellies or just downright troublemakers.
  5. Create a motivation board just for winter:
    Have you ever heard of a “vision board?” Well, I prefer to call mine a motivation board because that’s how I see it. I fully plan on making a winter motivation board for short-term visualization purposes and have even started collecting pictures for it. So I encourage you to include all the things that motivate you: pictures, certain words/phrases, or other items that symbolize your WHY.
  6. Create and/or work on your Weight Loss Journal:
    There are so many ways to go about this and you can include anything at all that you want to. You should include the things that motivate and inspire you, as well as including some of your accomplishments. You can also include your progress pictures here, letters to yourself, descriptions of your healthy living goals and dreams or experiences themselves, pictures of things you like that represent healthy living. Starting my own weight loss journal saved me last winter. It helped keep me motivated and was very therapeutic to work on.

 

Some general life tips for getting through winter as well:

  • Do things you enjoy doing: read a good book, go to an indoor game place such as an arcade or bowling alley, go ice skating… just do anything fun that makes you excited and happy!
  • Keep warm: If you have a fireplace, sit in front of it or roast some marshmallows. Pretend you’re camping in your own living room. Remember what it was like to be a kid! Drink hot beverages (caloric ones in moderation), snuggle up with the pets/loved ones, get moving to get the blood flowing, etc.
  • Get out once in a while. If you’re like me, you might spend too much time indoors. So if you need to get out, get out. If the weather is bad, go somewhere indoors: the library, a mall, bowling alley/pool hall/arcade or something else, or simply make an enjoyable outing of your trip to the grocery store.
  • Sit and breathe. Focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and let your thoughts take you wherever they want… but guide them with positive vibes/thoughts. I guess you could call this meditating in a sense. I’m not sure about “meditating” myself but definitely enjoy a quiet moment just being.
  • Keep your hands and mind busy: Board games, puzzles, word searches/crossword puzzles/Sudoku, online games especially ones you need to play with actual people, active video games, and much much more!

 

What is your favorite way to combat the winter blues? Would you like to share any tips on keeping motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the colder and darker months?

~Bonnie~

Slow Cooked Gingerbread Oatmeal

This sounds pretty good, and maybe a bit healthier than some holiday foods!

Running On Healthy

I love sweets.  It is a serious issue for me.  After I stuffed my face on Thanksgiving and woke up craving gingerbread cookies, I knew I was in trouble.  It was as if my body sensed the holiday season had begun and it was time to start eating cookies.

wedding4 A little cookie love from last year.

I wanted to give in but since it was breakfast I set out to find a version I could eat anytime.  However, let me be the first to say that cookies are an anytime food.  I love cookies with coffee for breakfast!

I did a few searches to see if I could make oatmeal that tasted like gingerbread and the results were simply awesome.  I gave it my own twist to make it a little healthier, and also added a little “icing” to my recipe to give it a touch of sweetness.  Put this…

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Winter Healthy Comfort Tips

This is Part 2 in my series of Winter Health and Fitness Tips!

(Here is Part 1: “Winter Fitness Tips” if you want to check it out!)

Here are some warm comfort foods that are healthy, or at least lower calorie:

  • Hot cocoa, add in some mini marshmallows which are low calorie and you’ve got yourself a treat!
  • Coffee, just be sure what you’re adding to it is low in calories and not high sugar/fat. Some ideas are nut milks, cinnamon, and honey.
  • Hot tea (same goes for what you add as above).
  • Warm milk
  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Toast or English muffin: as long as you don’t put a ton of butter or something else on your them, whole grain/wheat toast is a healthy warm food. English muffins are also somewhat lower in calories than some other breakfast foods and if you toast them can also make a nice comforting, warm food.
  • Soups (make sure to check the nutrition label for sodium though!)
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches with whole grain/wheat bread and minimal butter.
  • Chili: ground turkey chili, chicken chili, meatless chili.
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Healthy lasagna (the opportunities are endless with this, look for some recipes).
  • Meatloaf made healthily, again there are many recipes for this online.
  • Crockpot meals: there are so many recipes out there for this as well.
  • Popcorn (yes, popcorn is a healthier snack choice than some snacks, just be careful of all the additives such as butter or salt).

It’s good to spend some time just chilling too: curling up with a good book and a hot cup of your choice beverage. That is an ultimate comfort for a lot of us. So cozy! Time spent putting your own wellbeing first is time well spent, and very healthy. You can also cuddle with pets, your kids, or other loved ones. I love snuggling with my nephews on a cold morning, it helps warm me warm up faster and also keeps them warm which is true of pets and other loved ones as well. It’s a mutually beneficial activity!

The more you move, the warmer you’ll feel. Of course this is only temporary, but at least you’re killing two birds with one stone: getting warmer and burning calories! Plus you also get things done as well, which means you’re multitasking, such as cleaning or other housework or even getting your exercise in!

Imagine popping in a good movie to watch, with a bowl of popcorn (portioned out so you know how much you’re eating)… maybe even some hot tea or coffee to drink… curled up with loved ones or even by yourself. So comfortable and cozy!

What is your favorite way to stay warm and feel cozy during the winter? Mine is curling up with a book and just letting the story take me away. It helps me to not think of the freezing weather outside!

 

~Bonnie~

P.S. If you want to make 2016 your best year yet, check out my New Year’s product: Best Year for the Best You 2016 Package. It’s up for pre-order right now for a limited time price of $259! It will be going up to full price once it’s released on December 17th, but if you order it now, you’re saving sixty dollars and you will receive the full package on the release date! If you purchase from this link, your card won’t be charged until the day it’s released!

Winter Fitness Tips

This is Part 1 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness.

(And here is Part 2: “Winter Healthy Comfort Tips” if you want to check that out as well!)

Today I am bringing you winter fitness tips. It can be quite hard to continue your exercise plan as the weather gets colder and colder. You’re used to warm weather and being able to get out more. Now all of a sudden it’s dark earlier, cutting your available exercise time even shorter. Not to mention the chilly air and low temperatures. Those can really present a challenge for many of us.

  • First of all, if you’re going to exercise outdoors, bundle up and layer your clothes too. I personally like to do a tee shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and a coat when it’s super cold. Also try leggings under your pants, or use thermal underwear to wear under your clothes. Plus a hat, gloves, and scarf as necessary.
    • Ideally you should get exercise clothes that wick away moisture (sweat) to keep you warmer. However, if you’re like me and even bundled up can’t manage to spend much time outside, regular clothes work just fine.
  • If it’s icy outside, be extra careful. Shoes with good traction in the treads are necessary, maybe even good fitting snow boots specifically for walks in the snow/ice would be beneficial. Walking sticks might be a good option as well.
Now obviously you can choose to exercise indoors as well:
  • Join a gym. If you want to and can afford it, this is a valid option. Weigh the pros and cons though. If you feel you really will go and will make it a priority, then invest. If not, then choose some alternative exercise options. You don’t want to waste money.
  • Exercise videos: stock up on exercise videos that interest you, either physical DVDs/discs or online subscription, or even free services such as On Demand or YouTube!
  • Dance around your house. You can do this anytime, with children or pets or some other loved one… or even by yourself! It’s very versatile. You can even dance with or without music. Let the moves just carry you away.
  • Walking in place. You can do this almost literally anywhere. If you have pedometer or fitness tracker, set a goal for yourself… or set a time minimum instead. Use the timer on your phone to make sure you’re moving for a certain amount of time.
  • Get more steps in everyday life. Be “inefficient.” Take extra steps to accomplish your daily chores in order to increase your activity. Instead of grabbing as much as you can to carry in one trip (such as laundry or grocery bags), take them one at a time. It adds up, trust me!
  • Small equipment: Dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, hula hoops, mini trampoline, step up stool, a small stepper, and sometimes even a stationary bike are smaller and take up less room to store in your house except at times of use.
  • Clean or organize! You can certainly work up quite a sweat and get your heartrate up just by cleaning and organizing your house. Clean and organize in stages if necessary, but use the things you don’t do on a daily or weekly basis as exercise! Plus all extra activity is a great idea and good for your health! It’s hard work physically and you also get the added bonus of a clean and orderly house!
  • Mall walking. Grab a friend to go walking around the mall just to get your walking in… or even go by yourself! Depending on the size of your mall, you can get quite a few steps in just walking a couple loops!

 

There you have it, some tips to at least get you started and/or get the mental juices flowing.

Do you have a plan for winter exercise? If so, what is it? If not, do these tips help you?

~Bonnie~