10 Ways to Get Your Steps in No Matter What

When the weather is less than ideal, or you’re stuck inside for some other reason, it can be tough to get those steps in. The good news is that there are lots of ways you can get your steps in!

Don’t give up because you can still get those steps in. Make it fun and challenge yourself, or a friend, to get in as many steps as you can. The Fitbit app allows you to start and join challenges such as these and is an awesome way to keep that motivation alive! Or you can simply take a picture of your pedometer and post it on Facebook, send it to a friend you want to challenge, etc. Make it work for you and have fun with it!

Here are some of my favorite ways to get my steps in when I’m stuck indoors:

  1. Treadmill or elliptical: If you have access to one or both of these machines, they can be a wonderful way to get your steps in where it’s warmer and more comfortable. You can make it more interesting by listening to music, watching videos, creating a photo album on your phone of motivating pictures, or browsing Pinterest for inspiration!
  2. Pacing through your house or other indoor setting: This works anywhere you have the ability to walk back and forth. Your house, a game or other event your child has, while your children play indoors, etc. It can be done almost anywhere and almost anytime.
  3. Walking in place: Again this can work anywhere and anytime. You can walk in place while your children play nearby, while you watch an entertaining TV show or movie, while you listen to music, folding laundry, etc.
  4. Indoor walking videos: Leslie Sansone, on demand fitness videos, etc. Almost everyone has a walking video of some sort out these days. Even Biggest Loser has a Power Walking DVD.
  5. Store or mall walking: Walking the aisles of a store or walking cycles around a mall might be slower going unless they aren’t busy at the time, but is a great way to get those steps in while keeping warm and safe. Just try to avoid those food aisles if it’s too much temptation. Some good ideas where there isn’t much food for sale include home improvement stores, office supply stores, electronics stores, etc.
  6. Indoor walking tracks: These are not available everywhere, but typically in an area where weather is bad there should be at least one option. It could also be a mall that someone has mapped a route around or a high school gymnasium.
  7. Run after or play with the little ones in your life: If you have any young children in your life, simply chasing after them and/or playing with them can really give you a workout… and help you accumulate those steps!
  8. Dancing: You can dance anywhere. Not only does this get your heart rate up, but it also adds up to plenty of steps! The good news is that you don’t have to have any fancy dance moves for it. Just go with the flow and dance to your favorite music. Dance like no one’s watching, as the saying goes!
  9. Be inefficient as you go about your day: Take multiple trips to do housework or to get items you need from different areas of the house. Take clothing from your laundry basket to the washer one at a time, and then from the dryer to where you want to fold them one at a time. Carry in those groceries one bag at a time.
  10. Short walking bursts outdoors: Too cold to be outside more than 5-15 minutes? Walk to your nearest corner and back, or walk five minutes out and five minutes back. Go at your own pace and set a five-minute timer if you need to, so that you know when to turn back again. Short bursts outdoors should be okay and if that sun is shining, you are getting the added benefit of Vitamin D which is something many of us can lack in the winter!

 

~Bonnie~

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Make This Year the Best Year

Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.
-Gary Allan

Finding inspiration each day to live a healthier life can be a huge task sometimes. Motivation naturally wanes as the novelty wears off. If you have trouble finding inspiration and things to motivate you each day, urging you to move forward day-to-day, I might just have the perfect tool for you!

My 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom can be just what you need. It is an eBook that contains daily inspiration for those striving to live a healthier life and lose weight. There is a quote for each day, including some words of wisdom from yours truly where I put a spin on the quote to show how it applies to your weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey.

365 Days of Inspiration

You can check it out here: 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom.

The most valuable skill or talent that you could ever develop is that of directing your thoughts toward what you want.
-Abraham Hicks

Now, how do I know that this will help you with your weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey? It’s simple… Making it helped me with mine! As I mentioned last week in this post: How to Survive a Big Slip-Up, I had a big slip-up. When someone ordered this eBook and I had only finished about half of it, I crunched to put it together. Making it and typing it out ended up having an effect on me similar to that which I hope my readers have while reading it… it inspired me and helped me feel motivated again! It lit a fire under me and helped me get myself more on track again.

This can be a great tool to save to your phone, tablet, or computer and take a peek at each day. Inspiration will be at your fingertips and will be fresh each day. You can also print it to have a physical copy of the eBook as well.

If you are interested, take a peek at the official page here: 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom

For a limited time, you can also get all THREE of my products to-date for a special price, here: Getting Started Weight Loss Bundle which includes my previously free Getting Started Weight Loss Workbook, 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom, and Goals to Become the Best You Workbook + Guide. This bundle and it’s low, low price will only be available for a short period of time!

 

~Bonnie~

How to Help Your Kids Eat Healthy

Most parents and caregivers can agree that getting kids, especially young ones, to eat healthy can be a constant challenge. They don’t want to try new things and when they do, they can be put off by the texture or the taste, or even something else. Here are some tips that have worked for me or a family member:

Rule #1: Don’t force them to eat certain things! It doesn’t get you anywhere and may even backfire.

Rule #2: OFFER all foods by asking them if they want it and/or placing a small amount on their plate. The more the food is mentioned, the more likely they are to at least say yes at some point.

Rule #3: Make the food appealing or attractive in some way. Entice them. For example, with broccoli, I told my nephews that it looked like a little tree that they could eat. It still took a while for them to try it but the tree thing intrigued them and helped them get used to the idea.

Rule #4: If they really don’t like a certain food, don’t force them to eat it. They may learn to like it later on and you can certainly keep offering it to them, but if they’ve already tried it and say they don’t like it, don’t force them to eat it.

Some other ideas:

  • Hide the healthier foods in the less healthy food that they like. Go with this age-old idea of hiding it in their other food. You can mix small pieces of veggies and meat into scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese (or other pasta dishes), spaghetti or other kinds of sauces, breads/muffins that you make yourself, etc. The ideas are endless. Now, I realize that you’re not going to “fool” all kids this way but it’s an idea for some that are picky but not super picky.
  • Put it in front of them without saying anything. Serve their veggies on their plate along with their other food without offering it or mentioning it beforehand.
  • Tell them that they need to at least take a bite of it. This can go hand-in-hand with the previous idea. Say they need to try it before they make a decision about it. If they finish the rest of their food and want more of those, make a deal with them that if they eat their veggies, they can have seconds of the other dishes.

Children will learn to view it as their choice which makes them feel as if they have more control over what they are eating and is usually more constructive long-term as well. Sure, it may take longer for them to even try a food let alone actually eat it, but it gives them a much more positive view of healthy eating… particularly regarding vegetables.

I have used these tactics with my four-and three-year-old nephews for at least a couple years now and have much better results than when forcing them to eat certain fruits and vegetables. My mom also did this with my siblings and I when we were younger and I fully believe that it helped us enjoy healthy foods more. My sister and I especially like a variety of fruits and vegetables. My brother likes a few too, just not as much as us girls. I know for sure that what my mom did helped me and now I love all kinds of healthy foods that even she doesn’t particularly like.

My opinion is that the better a view of healthy eating that your kids have, the better it will serve them and your whole family. So teach them about healthy living and simply encourage them to live a healthier life. Most of the time it doesn’t have to be rocket science to teach our kids good habits!

What do you do with your own children to get them to eat healthier, drink more water, or exercise?

 

~Bonnie~

How Making a Positivity Jar Can Help You

Many of us can find it hard to stay positive, especially when life keeps throwing lemons at us. I am not naturally a positive person myself. In fact, when I had just graduated from high school, a friend gently informed me that I complained too much. Still, it hit me hard and that’s when I began to make a transformation. It has been slow going and it isn’t all continuous. I make progress here and there but it adds up in big ways. The lesson I learned then has stuck with me.

When I began my weight loss journey this time, one of my focuses was to be more positive. I’m not even sure how or why this got driven home so well, but I’m glad it was! I’m thinking it was a combination of reading motivational articles and receiving consistent positive support and encouragement from my friends on SparkPeople. Part of it had to be a natural gravitation on a personal level as well though, because I know it wouldn’t have had this much of an impact if not.

Either way, I still may not be the most positive person but I learn more and more each day on how to be more positive. One thing I have learned is that the more positive I am in general, the happier I am and the better my life is. I can see so much more beauty in the world each day than I ever could have before!

Here are some questions to ask yourself in the moment:

  1. What can I learn from this negative experience?
  2. Is there any way that I (or someone else) benefits from this?
  3. Can I spin this problem/experience around and squeeze any amount of good out of it?

There is always something positive to be found in each day and there is also something good in every bad. Sometimes we just have to dig deep or look hard for it!

How you can stay positive each day:

  • Embrace the good times. Whenever you are happy or enjoying life, take the time to be grateful for it! It helps train your brain to focus on those happier moments. Those little things you might otherwise not give a second thought to, are some of the best ones to focus on.
  • Never stop looking for the positive. Even in moments where you might not otherwise take the time to really see your surroundings, simply be observant. Notice all the positivity going on in your life.
  • Appreciate the beauty around you. Whether you are in a car, bus, on a bike, or walking… or even playing the waiting game for whatever reason; look around you and appreciate the beauty in the little things.
  • Repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Tell yourself nice things: “I am beautiful” or “I am worthy.” My favorites are “I am strong and I am capable.” The more kind things you say to yourself each day, the more the world opens up to you!
  • Do nice things for other people. When you are nice to other people, even doing something as small as smiling at someone passing you by, it can lift your spirits and remind you that there is so much good in the world!

You may be wondering by now, what is all this about a “Positivity Jar” mentioned in the title. Well, I have been seeing this idea all over the place but on Facebook mainly, about a New Year’s memory jar. You write down good memories and put them in a jar to look back on at the end of the year.

My spin on this is to put anything positive in there, not just memories necessarily. You can write anything good that happened each day on a piece of paper, fold or roll it up, and drop it inside. Then you can take them out and read them throughout the year, whenever you’re having a hard time or needing inspiration, as well as at the end of the year. This encourages you to focus on all the good happening in your life instead of letting your life pass you by. Then you get to remember even the “little” things that happened throughout the year when you read them again.

Some ideas for jars:

  • Positivity Jar: To put positive happenings in each day.
  • Positive Affirmations/Positive Thoughts Jars: Fill the jar right away with positive affirmations, or positive thoughts, that you can pull out whenever you need a boost!
  • Gratitude/Thankfulness Jar or Blessings Jar: These you can write down things you are thankful for or consider a blessing and drop them in over the course of the year.
  • Smile or Happiness Jar: Whatever makes you smile or feel happy each day or whenever the feeling grips you!
  • Inspiration Jar: This one kind of works similar to the positive affirmations/thoughts jars. You can fill a jar with things that inspire you and then read them as needed to spark your inspiration. You can also add inspiration ideas as you go along as well!

What you can write down to put in the jars:

  • Weight loss or fitness related achievements
  • Goals of any kind, progress or achievement
  • Career happenings
  • Finance progress you’re working towards
  • Life in general

Really, anything goes for what you want to write to go into your jar each day. You can make the jar however you want. I personally used the coffee cans you see in the above picture. Then I put labels on them and wrote what I wanted it to say. Your ideas for your jar might change over time. Also, don’t be afraid to make two jars. It can be double the fun and double the dose of positivity.

In the short amount of time that I have been using my jars, I have noticed great results. They are a fun way to focus on the positivity in my life and end the day on a good note. Not only that, but they are also very easy to make and use. Now, who doesn’t love easy things that actually work?

Here are some blog posts by some women who are doing similar jars themselves:

Michelle from Dishes and Dust Bunnies has a “DIY Dollar Store Memories Jar” with a free printable for the jar! This post is from 2015 but she has made an update in there for a 2016 printable. Check it out here: Memories Jar.

Heather from Mommypotamus discusses making her own as well. You can check it out here: Gratitude/Happiness Jar.

And finally, Vicky Barone has a post from this year for making a “Happy Things Memory Jar 2016” and also has a free printable for it as well. Check hers out here: Happy Things Memory Jar.

You can also search Pinterest for even more ideas or just visual inspiration for your jar! Remember you can use anything. There is probably what you need in your house right now. Either way, take the idea and run with it if you want!

 

~Bonnie~

The Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Andrea from A Measured Life. She has a wonderful blog full of information, tips, advice, and recipes for healthy living! She has lost weight herself and is now in maintenance, and totally rocking it in my opinion! Hop on over and check her blog out if you’d like! I highly recommend it.

Thank you Andrea! It’s taken me a while to get back to blogging again but this was awesome to see while I was on my “hiatus!”

liebster award discover new blogs

The intent of the Liebster Award is to help bloggers get to know each other and expose us to new bloggers.

My nominees are:

No Love for Fatties

It’s Good to Be Crazy Sometimes

A Momma’s View

11 questions for my nominees:

  1. Who is your favorite artist? Hmm my favorite artist has been Jesse McCartney for so long I feel like that’s a default answer. While I still love him, I’m not necessarily sure which artist is my “favorite.”
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up? Artist, vet, and author/writer.
  3. How do you take your coffee? With hot chocolate powder these days. Mmm it’s the best of both worlds: coffee + cocoa!
  4. What food do you love that other people think is strange? I’m not sure about strange but everyone always thought I was crazy for liking broccoli.
  5. Who inspires you the most? It’s too hard to pick just one person, so I’m going to list a few: my mom, my sister, and all of my amazing friends on SparkPeople who support and encourage me no matter what.
  6. What is your favorite tree? Coming from California, I want to say a palm tree. However, I would say that redwoods or other trees you would see in a wooded area. Those are so beautiful, so tall and grand.
  7. Rain or sunshine? Sunshine definitely, although a good rain is good on occasion.
  8. What’s your favorite body part (of your own body)? Hmm usually my eyes. I used to have brown eyes when I was a kid and wanted so badly to have blue eyes. Now my eyes are mainly green and I love that, they have become a point of pride for me.
  9. What’s your favorite song to sing? I don’t know if I have a favorite. Really any song that is fun to sing, i.e. I can remember all or most of the lyrics and can actually form the words while singing, is my favorite! Of course it also has to have a great message and nice rhythm.
  10. Tea: sweetened or unsweetened? Lightly sweetened.
  11. What piece of advice would you give your younger self? Find the beauty and strength within yourself. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to!

11 random facts about me:

  1. When it comes to jewelry, I prefer silver over gold.
  2. My favorite forms of exercise include: walking, running, the elliptical, and kickboxing.
  3. I love turning on music through iHeartRadio and just silly/crazy dancing with my nephews, and one of my nieces when she’s over.
  4. My favorite meat has always been chicken, which was an easy transition when I started my weight loss journey because grilled and baked chicken is some of the healthiest meat.
  5. I love reading Young Adult book series because I find I can relate to them a bit more. I’m an old soul with a young heart. These books seem to speak to me a bit more than books written for adults.
  6. My favorite radio station to listen to through iHeartRadio is K-Love Christian Radio. When I workout, take a walk, need to de-stress in the evenings, or even when I simply need to block out the noise going on in the house around me, it is a great station. It lifts me up and helps me focus at the same time.
  7. One of my favorite things to do is curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book, especially in the colder months!
  8. My favorite color is purple, but pink has really been growing on me recently.
  9. My ideal weather would be in the 70-80 degree range. Oh how I miss California, although it could get sweltering hot in the summer.
  10. I think snow is pretty, but I do not like living in it. Once I move away from Indiana, I will probably do all I can to stay away from snow for at least a couple years.
  11. I am allergic to many things: grass, trees, mold, dust mites, feathers, cats, dogs, vinegar… and really I am never sure I’ve listed it all because there are so many things. Thankfully not too many foods but vinegar is in a lot of foods so it’s something to be careful of and limit. Otherwise I do fine.

11 questions for nominees:

  1. What is your favorite TV show?
  2. Which hot beverage do you prefer: coffee, hot cocoa, or tea?
  3. What is your favorite color?
  4. How do you get to work (ex. public transportation, your own car, carpooling, etc.)?
  5. What is the weather like right now where you live?
  6. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working or doing something else you have to do?
  7. Do you prefer cats, dogs, or another kind of pet?
  8. What is one place you have always wanted to visit?
  9. What color eyes do you have?
  10. If you were in the circus, which act would you rather do: walk a tightrope or tame the lions?
  11. What type of movie is your favorite to watch?

 

~Bonnie~

 

How to Survive a Big Slip-up

The truth of the matter is that slip-ups happen from time to time, for all of us. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes we also go through periods of time where all it feels like we do is slip-up! Those are really the pits! I had one of those myself recently and I had to constantly fight the “I’m a failure” feeling that kept creeping in simply because I was struggling so bad and nothing I did was working.

There is some great news… It is completely normal for this to happen in your weight loss or healthy living journey and I guarantee that you will get through this as long as you don’t give up! So no matter what you do, keep trying to forge ahead with your healthy living goals. As long as you keep trying, you will find something that works for you. It just takes time! It may even take longer than you imagined but it will indeed happen.

Use your bad experience to fuel you as you move forward, instead of seeing it as a totally negative deal. Learn from it and keep moving forward. There’s no use beating yourself up about the past. As I like to tell myself: “It is what it is and all I can do is move forward.” You can’t change what already happened, but what you can do instead is keep trying to do better.

Here are some of the things that have helped me get out of my big slip-up:

  • Look at the big picture. When things are tough and it feels like everything is fruitless, look at the big picture of your goals. It can be a beautiful tool because it reminds you of the big reason as to WHY you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy.
  • Focus on what you CAN do. Focus on each healthy decision you can make to help dig you out of the hole that it seems you fell into. What can you do right now, right here, to better your mentality?
  • See what you can do TODAY to move forward. There is only so much you can do each day. Think about what you can do today to work towards your goals. That way it seems like so much more of a manageable chunk.
  • Take it all one day, one moment at a time. No one can achieve their goals in no time flat. You think about each day, or each moment at a time, whatever works for you to make it easier and more doable.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how difficult it seems. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of all the things you need to do in order to achieve your goal. Just put one foot in front of the other no matter what and keep yourself moving forward.
  • Get yourself pumped up about something! Nothing can spark your motivation to do well like getting yourself excited to do it or something else you really enjoy. Feeling happier and more at peace will certainly help you get back on the right track with your weight loss and healthy living goals!

Even when it seems fruitless, remember that you are simply AMAZING for your efforts. Always keep trying! Even when it feels like you’re not making any progress whatsoever, keep going!

Try something new if you need to or try things that worked for you in the past. Trust your process because it is yours alone. Remember you haven’t failed until you quit trying.

Repeat this mantra when all else fails, “I CAN AND I WILL!” You will get through this.

 

~Bonnie~

Discover New Blogs: Liebster Award

liebster award

I was nominated for this award by Ashley from Mommy Lanes Adventures. She has an awesome blog where she posts about her family and life. I love blogs like hers because even though I don’t have any children of my own, I really relate to the posts as a full-time aunt! Check it out!

Thank you for nominating me Ashley!

Here are the rules for the new nominees which I will post at the end of this post.

LIEBSTER AWARD RULES:

1.Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Display the Liebster Award on your blog.

3. Share 11 random facts about yourself.

4. Answer the 11 questions you were asked.

5. Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers for the Award and have them answer 11 questions.

6. Let the other bloggers know you’ve nominated them.

7. Copy the rules into your post.

11 random facts about me:

  1. This one may not be so random since I mentioned it above, but I am a full-time aunt to my two youngest nephews who are four-and three-years-old. Even when I’m not babysitting them, I am here to love on and encourage them. They are growing up so fast!
  2. Although I LOVE writing, I find it hard to write pages worth of content on paper: journals, notebooks, etc. unless I’m taking notes from something so I can remember it better or reference it later. I guess I must think faster than I can write so typing works best!
  3. I do not wear makeup and I don’t regularly wear jewelry. I have desired to do the latter more often lately but I still don’t. I can’t stand having something on me that might interfere with my movement or tasks, if that makes any sense to you!
  4. My “homestate” is California. Yes, I said homestate. I consider the whole state my home even though I was not born there.
  5. I love reading but rarely have the time or patience to sit and read anymore. However, I’m coming to realize maybe I am just a lot more picky about my book choices than I ever was before and am investigating new avenues to reawaken my bookworm side.
  6. I once had three pet rats when I was 20 years old and I loved them, they were so much fun but had to give them away when I got sick and had to move across country.
  7. It is extremely hard for me to get into a strength training routine to complement my cardio routine, even when I see results. I sometimes find a strength training routine that works for me and then I inevitably get sick or something else and then it’s incredibly difficult to get back to it.
  8. My favorite breakfast is whole grain white toast with peanut butter and sliced banana on top, of course paired with my delicious coffee!
  9. I recently realize that I was finally living life more lately, finding beauty in nearly everything and just living life more fully.
  10. I am an introvert and also have anxiety, social included. While I have fun with close family and friends, it is extremely hard for me to be around people for extended periods of time and it is hard for me to be around strangers period. Some outings or get togethers I do better than others.
  11. I love my Fitbit. It helps me be more active even in this cold weather where I’m stuck inside for long periods of time. It motivates me to get a certain amount of steps and/or exercise minutes each day, which means I take extra steps to do normal things like get myself more water or do housework!

11 questions to answer:

1. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be? For vacation, I would say Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to go there.
2. What is your favorite book? I don’t necessarily have a favorite book but I was totally in love with the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead while it was still going.  I might even consider reading it through again at another time, which is saying something for me.
3. If you could buy anything no matter the cost, what would you buy? An iPad mini or the newest iPhone model.
4. What is your favorite thing to do? Write, color, read, and have fun times with family and friends.
5. Outside or inside person? Mainly inside but there is also something about nature that restores something in me! So that said, I love being indoors but I enjoy my walks and other exercise outdoors as well.
6. What is something you would love to learn to do? Speak another language, maybe finally learn Spanish or possibly French or Italian.
7. If you could change one thing about your life what would it be? Mainly my living situation. I would love to be living on my own even if it was a small studio apartment, and I would also love to be living in California instead of Indiana.
8. Who is your hero? My mom and sister tie for this slot!
9. What is your favorite television show? Grimm.
10. Coffee or tea? Coffee.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve? People being inconsiderate or completely self-centered.

 

My nominees (some blogs don’t have follower counters on them):

HoneyBear & Albertina
When I Thought I Was Fat
Ceilthegreat
In Pursuit of Contentment (Nikkispeaks)
The Life and Writings of Ally Cat
LondonAndIoW
fabulousgracelessness
happyandhealthymeblog
The Hidden Hoarder
Endless Possibilities
Four Stone to Lose

11 Questions for my Nominees:

  1. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
  2. What is your dream car… you know if money weren’t a concern?
  3. What is your favorite fruit?
  4. How many brothers or sisters do you have?
  5. Kitchen appliances: white, black, or stainless steel?
  6. Do you prefer to live where it is snowy and super cold, or somewhere where it is warmer in the winter?
  7. Long hair or short?
  8. Would you rather go hiking in the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls?
  9. Do you have a favorite shoe brand? If so, what is it?
  10. What is your favorite physical feature of yours?
  11. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

 

~Bonnie~