Looking on the Bright Side of Life

Focusing on the bright side of your life is part of taking care of YOU and loving yourself.

People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder!
-Salma Hayek

Last month I posted about how I made some positivity/blessings jars and you can check that out here: How Making a Positivity Jar Can Help You. This has proven to be a great tool for me because it helps me work through each day in a positive light. Think about it: you’re sifting through the parts of your day, much like files in a drawer, looking for each particular positive. You kind of have to work through everything that happened in order to find the pearls of positivity.

You don’t even have to make these types of jars in order to work through your day either. Sometimes simply exercising, journaling, or blogging can really help a lot. You might even find something else that you can integrate into your routine that will help you focus on the positive.

Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world.
-Oprah Winfrey

Teaching yourself how to focus on the positive in your life can really help you in general as well. This form of positive reinforcement is encouraging and can even be fun! You are basically rewarding yourself for all your hard work.

What you can do to establish this habit:

  • Review your day– work through the negative and emphasize the positive. Processing what happened throughout the day can be really therapeutic. You can do this in any way that feels comfortable and most natural to you.
  • Give yourself a pep talk– tell yourself how well you did today and praise yourself for all of your accomplishments. You have more than earned this recognition!
  • Talk to someone or blog– discuss your day, mention your concerns or worries, and most of all celebrate the positive!
  • Treat/reward yourself– Give yourself an actual “treat” for your hard work, such as time to yourself, getting your hair or nails done, going shopping at your favorite story, purchasing a book or game that you’ve wanted for a while.

What do you get in return (the results):

  • You are encouraging yourself to keep moving forward each time you acknowledge the positive that has already happened. It also allows you to picture what possibilities of positive that you might have in the future if you keep working hard.
  • By training your brain to look at the positive within yourself and your life, you are also becoming your own best support system and cheerleader… which can be one of the biggest things you can do for yourself in your weight loss journey. You are learning how to depend on yourself the most, instead of relying on others for that same satisfaction.
  • Any shred of light, happiness, love, peace, or comfort is all magnified when you choose to focus on these things!

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
-Maya Angelou

Building this habit of focusing on the bright side of life can really help you feel happier and more peaceful. It may take time and lots of practice, but someday you will look back and see that you have come so far and you will be happy you made the decision to be more positive!

 

~Bonnie~

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10 Ways to De-Stress When Life is Overwhelming

As I mentioned last week, with Valentine’s Day coming up soon, we are all thinking about love in some form. Whether it be a significant other, another family member, a crush, or even simply disliking the holiday… Let’s just accept the facts, we know it’s coming and it is probably on our minds.

What I feel is most important is loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves. Even if we have a loved one to spend the holiday or our time with, we need to take the time to take care of ourselves.

One of our biggest downfalls as human beings is stressing out. We’re constantly bombarded by anything and everything, we have mountains and mountains of work not to mention our home life to juggle, or we simply feel overwhelmed about life in general.

Here are some things you can do pretty much anywhere or anytime to de-stress when life is causing you to feel overwhelmed for whatever reason:

  1. Write. Journal, blog, or jot a few notes down on a piece of paper to work through what you’re feeling. It’s quick and it helps a ton. Not only are you organizing your thoughts, but writing and rereading what you wrote can help you discover new things or come to realizations you wouldn’t have otherwise.
  2. Read. Grab your favorite book or any good book and start reading it. It could be a novel, a self-help book, a real life story, anything that you find pleasing. Reading is relaxing because it gets you out of your own mind and into another world. While you’re taking a mental vacation between the pages, your mind can process other thoughts and feelings, which in turn helps you work through your feelings and calm down.
  3. Listen to music. This one can be a given to a lot of us, but even though I love music, sometimes I can forget that it’s such a stress reliever. Pump up your favorite tunes, turn on your favorite radio station, or watch music videos. Sing along and even dance along, let those tunes carry you away!
  4. Take a walk or workout. Taking a walk in the fresh air or getting a workout in can allow you to work through your thoughts and feelings as well. You can take out your frustration or disappointment and work super hard in your workout. Going for a walk is great too as it’s another way to get outside of your head while still allowing your mind to work through things.
  5. Call a friend. Do you have a buddy you like to talk to when you need to just get it all out? Call, email, or message them. A true friend will always be there for you, as a listening ear or to give you advice if you want it (or sometimes when you don’t want it). Talking through things allows you to hear things from another perspective, out loud as well as through feedback from your friend.
  6. Color. Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Grab or print a coloring page and something to color with and start coloring. It is really therapeutic. It allows you to zone out and do something with both your mind and hands that is constructive. Your pictures do not even have to be pretty for this to work. If you think this is something for you, I would also encourage you to go to the store and pick out a kids or adult coloring book and coloring utensils that make you excited to color: colored pencils, markers, crayons, colored pens, anything works!
  7. Housework/organize. Work on cleaning, organizing, or decluttering your house, yard, or car. Making everything clean and fresh is remarkably refreshing to your mind as well!
  8. Pamper yourself. Go see a movie on your own or with a friend/loved one, get your hair cut or colored, get your nails done, go to the library to spend some quiet time, visit a museum, spend some time in nature, or just do anything that makes you feel pampered and relaxed. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Just give it some thought and pick something that works for you.
  9. Play. Play with your kids or pets, or those of friends/family members. It will help release the inner kid in you and help you feel more carefree and alive! Trust me, it is fun! Be silly and throw yourself into it!
  10. Hot shower/bath. Water therapy. Take a nice relaxing bath if you can, or a hot shower. If you have access to a pool or hot tub, those can be amazingly relaxing as well. Whatever floats your boat!

My personal favorites are walking, writing, and reading. If I’m really antsy or anxious, putting myself to work picking up the house or organizing things helps me too. It gives me something to do physically that betters my world in some way! I also love to pamper myself whenever I get the chance to.

What is your favorite way to de-stress when you feel overwhelmed?

 

~Bonnie~

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~

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~

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!

Black Friday

Super exciting news that I haven’t been able to wait to tell you… Best Year for the Best You 2016, my New Year’s product is now up for pre-sell. What does that mean exactly? You get to pre-order it, at a really low price and it will be delivered directly to you as soon as it debuts!

Here is more information:

If you’re seriously ready to make 2016 your best year yet… your year to lose weight and get healthy, then this package just might be perfect to help you achieve that! I am including everything I believe you need to do what I have done: to lose weight, get healthier, and to stick with it!
Instead of just one tool, you are getting SO MANY tools, 12 total! All for a special Black Friday + Cyber Monday deal of $159! Once this package is released, it will go to it’s original price. So purchase it for 50% off now and it will be delivered to you on December 17th by 6pm US Central Standard Time!
This comprehensive package will get you started and help you continue throughout 2016! I have included whole host of printable tools, eBooks, workbooks, guides, as well as support tools. Whenever you are having trouble, you will have something to rely on that will help inspire or motivate you to keep moving forward. With all of these tools, you will also be learning how to sustain this momentum on your own in the future. That is the biggest goal, to be self-reliant and to pursue health and fitness.
Included is 1 year of support, inspiration, and tools to keep you going:
  • All inclusive goals:
    • 30 Day Kickstart into the Year
    • 12 monthly goals printables
    • 12 months of calendars to record your daily goal progress
    • Picturing the Year Workbook
    • Goals to Become the Best You e-course complete with a community feature for support!
    • 365 Days of Inspiration (Quotes + Words of Wisdom for each day of the year)
    • 52 Weekly Journal Prompts to help you review your dreams and goals throughout the year
  • How to Make Lasting Changes eBook & Kit
    • How to Make Lasting Changes eBook where I share all of the things I learned during my weight loss journey so far and teach you how to stick with it in your own weight loss journey!
    • Empowering Yourself Workbook
    • Exercise Handbook
    • Organizing for Weight Loss 7 Day Challenge
  • One Year of Support:
    • Monthly Group Coaching Conference lasting 2-3 hours and full of helpful information, tips, and support!
    • Monthly Digest Mini Magazine delivered directly to your email inbox on the first of each month for a whole year!
  • Forever Support:
    • Facebook Private Group with continued access, where you can meet others with similar goals and converse freely.
    • Google+ community where you can also interact with others.

All this is worth $319! However, you get this whole package for a very low Black Friday + Cyber Monday deal of $159 between now and Monday night! Grab it while it’s at such a low, and hot price!

Purchase here: BetheBestYou Store and you will get the whole package delivered to you in three weeks, on December 17th!

Click the buttons below to share this post! As the saying goes, sharing is caring! Don’t let others miss out on these deals!

~Bonnie~

6 Tips for Thanksgiving Exercise

Holidays + Exercise = nightmare!

Do you find it hard enough to get exercise when there isn’t a holiday or some other big thing going on? So how does one handle healthy living on a holiday?

A couple days ago I shared tips with you regarding stress and eating tips: 8 Tips to Manage Thanksgiving Stress. So check that out if you would like tips on those topics.

Here are some tips for your holiday exercise plan this week:

  • If it works for you, plan your rest day for Thanksgiving instead of your usual day, and then just try to make the day as active as you can.
  • Plan your day ahead of time: making a rough schedule to fit your exercise in around cooking or interaction with others. We all know holidays can be so hectic that we lose track of time or forget to take care of ourselves as well as everyone else.
  • Fit your exercise in early in the day so that you aren’t totally exhausted when you try to do it later. You might prefer to get your exercise in before everyone else wakes up if you have company or small children, otherwise just get it done before all the cooking and festivities start.
  • Walk or dance in place while you cook… just be careful not to scald yourself!
  • Make exercise a family/group activity. Play sports or games outdoors if you can, or break out active games or videos to do indoors. Go for a walk with one or more family/friends. Basically anything that gets your family or group moving instead of sitting and lounging the whole time is a good idea!
  • If you need a breather from the holiday festivities, take your dog for a walk… or take your host’s dog for a walk if you don’t have one and your host does. It is a legitimate excuse to get away and fit some exercise in, while also allowing you a breather from everything else going on.

Most of all, just do your best to fit in your fitness and don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you don’t for some reason. Eat moderately, indulge a little bit (after all it’s Thanksgiving!) and realize that it’s just one day. In the grand scheme of things this one day where you will likely go over your calorie allotment is okay.

What are your exercise plans for the holidays? Since I’m not doing anything the day of and my family doesn’t seem to be holding an actual Thanksgiving meal, I will likely just go about exercise as normal. Not to mention the fact that I will be babysitting my nephews all day that day anyway.

I hope you all have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING tomorrow! Be as healthy as possible, but also be flexible and enjoy the day!

Don’t forget to keep your eye out for a post on Thursday afternoon/evening for the 48-hour sale codes on my Be the Best You products!

~Bonnie~

8 Tips to Manage Thanksgiving Stress

Thanksgiving, well any holiday really, can just get so chaotic and crazy that we forget that we still need to take care of ourselves and keep ourselves as sane as possible. I have put together some tips that I have found helpful in times of chaos in my life and hope they help you during the holidays!

Some of these are geared towards weight loss and healthy living:

  1. Find time for yourself. Put yourself first, first, so that you are better equipped to handle the rest of the holiday. So get up early and decompress before the day even starts if you feel you might need to! Do it before you need it so badly that you end up exploding later.
  2. Run away. If at all possible, find a place to hide in the middle of the chaos. A quiet room, outside, even the bathroom might do the trick. Take the time to just take a deep breath and think, or just exist for a moment! We all need a breather once in a while.
  3. Pace yourself. Realize that you don’t have to do all or be all to have a good holiday. Just focus on doing your best.
  4. Plan ahead. Prepare food ahead of time if you can. Think ahead today and figure out what you can make the day or two before Thanksgiving so that you don’t have to cook it all at once. That way it isn’t as frantic when the time comes.
  5. While you’re at it, make a game plan for your meal. Stick with veggies or fruit for 1/3-1/2 of your plate. Then turkey or other meat 1/4-1/3 of your plate. Then a little bit of each of the foods you really want to have such as mashed potatoes, a roll, and/or a small piece of dessert.
  6. Estimate calories. Make educated guesses on anything you don’t know the exact calorie content of. Google how many calories in whatever Thanksgiving dish it is. Do your best to stick to that. This way you can plan the rest of your meals and snacks around it for that day.
  7. Don’t expect to be in your calorie range. You almost definitely won’t be in your calorie range… and that’s totally okay! Do your best to minimize the damage but just enjoy the holiday and time with family without worrying about it too much.
  8. Do not deprive yourself! I repeat, do not deprive yourself of your favorite Thanksgiving foods. That is almost a sure fire way to sabotage yourself. Pick the things you really want to eat, for example what Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without, and have a small helping of it!

If you’re not already, sign up for the weekly newsletter: Be the Best You: The Insider for more stress/emotional eating tips. Click here to subscribe: Be the Best You Newsletter. This time of year can be really hard. Why not arm yourself with action steps to use when you really need them! Subscribe to the newsletter and you will automatically be emailed download information for The Blast Emotional Eating Guide (#TheBEEGuide)! It’s completely free and lists nine great ways to combat stress and other emotions that may make you feel like you want to eat everything in sight!

~Bonnie~