Tag Archives: lose weight

Image Source: TravelBlahBlah.com via Pinterest

Summer is right around the corner so I thought I’d share some posts I’ve done recently (and some not so recently) to help you prepare for this super fun season!

Some people buy new clothes and makeup for summer while others get super fit for “bikini season.” Others do nothing at all and simply enjoy the weather.

How Do You Prepare for Summer?

What’s Your Favorite Part of Summer?

♥ Tianna

10 Ways to Motivate Yourself for Weight Loss & Life - StorybookApothecary.com

My biggest problem when it comes to weight loss, fitness or anything in regards to my personal life goals is motivation. It’s not that I’m an unmotivated person; I am. It’s simply that I run out of steam eventually and have to figure out ways to pick my momentum up again. You know how it is – you start out and at first, it’s awesome. Then you find yourself losing speed quickly and you feel like there’s nothing to be done to get yourself out of the slump. When this happens, I have found a number of strategies which have worked very well for me in order to stay inspired, motivated and positive about any and all of my goals.

Here Are My Top 10 Tips for Staying Motivated When Losing Weight Or Striving For Anything in Life: 

  1. Make A To-Do List. For me, I’ve found I have had the best success when I’ve written things down and this goes for something as simple as cleaning out my closet to my personal life ambitions. It always helps to get things on paper and make them feel more real and tangible. Also, make sure you’re very specific. If you want to own your own house, put down what kind of house you want, how many rooms, the layout, and what you want it to look like. All those details will make your goal more real and achievable. 
  2. Track Your Progress. I have hated this one in the past, but it’s absolutely necessarily for keeping a positive and motivated mindset because if you don’t know where you’ve been, you literally won’t know how far you’ve come. I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds in the past 3 ish months and if it wasn’t for the fact that my boyfriend and I do weekly weigh ins, I would have no idea I’d come that far and I would constantly feel like ” Oh damn, I only lost a pound this week”  which feels like a whole lot less than it really is in the grand scheme of things. Writing everything down and tracking your progress from weight to measurements will truly open your eyes to the progress you’re making. In turn, that will make you want to continue because you will absolutely see the results on paper.
  3. Celebrate the Little Things. It’s really difficult to do this one, but it is super important. You know they say little things add up to big results and it’s true. I lost only a few pounds a week and sometimes only stayed the same, but in a few months, that’s 20 pounds gone and that’s a lot. Celebrate that 1 pound lost a week or that inch lost from your waist or hips. Celebrate those baby steps you’re taking because they add up to huge strides in progress. I know it sounds trivial and it’s spammed all over weight loss blogs, but it’s the truth so don’t knock it!
  4. Relax & Enjoy Yourself. Weight loss or any goal can be hard work, especially if you’re new to something or you’re doing something very challenging so be sure to reward yourself with some down time to have fun, sleep, and veg on the couch. I know, watching TV is bad for you, blah blah, but seriously, sometimes you just have to watch a movie or your favorite show to rejuvenate your spirit. I’m just saying. Otherwise, you will freaking go insane. At least, I would. I need my entertainment! So whatever yours is, definitely find a way to enjoy yourself a bit. Achieving goals and doing well for yourself doesn’t have to be all fire, blood and brimstone. You can have fun and relax once in awhile and you should.
  5. Work Hard & Be Proud. Make sure you’re pushing yourself and be proud of yourself when you push through something that’s difficult. It can be so difficult to keep going and you need to take note when you’ve done it in spite of feeling crappy. There have been so many times I don’t want to work out and I’ve done it anyway and I feel amazing after. I just have to go do it anyway and remind myself how amazing I will feel after. I have never been wrong about that one. Remember to give yourself some credit for your hard work.
  6. Spring Clean. Sometimes things can get stale if you do them for too long so be sure to clean up a bit and keep yourself inspired with new ideas and strategies for your goals. It doesn’t matter how small a change you make or how big as long as it helps you stay inspired and ready to roll.
  7. Re-Work Your Plan. Occasionally or maybe a lot, you’ll need to scrap your plan entirely. I’ve gone through so many different workout plans, it’s ridiculous. Sometimes, the same old shit gets old fast. Otherwise, you might find that the plan you thought would be amazing isn’t so. Maybe it’s too easy, too unrealistic for your schedule or too boring for your taste so it’s important to remember, you have the power to change it to something you really like and enjoy! Don’t feel tied down to one plan. It’s better you change it to something you enjoy and actually want to do than something you hate and will eventually quit altogether because you find it unbearable.
  8. Re-Word Your Plan Again. Again, I’ve re-worked my plans for things a million times and not just for fitness. I’ve re-worked my diet plan, my workout plan, my budget plan, and my other personal goals SO MANY TIMES. It doesn’t make you a failure to change your mind and try something new that works better for you because it’s all a learning process. As long as you never quit, you will never truly fail. You just get better as you go.
  9. Get A Second Opinion. There are times when I get stuck in a shitty cloud of negativity that I can’t seem to get out of and during those times, I go to friends for advice to talk through it all because I know they will give me an unbiased opinion of things. For instance, I was refusing to give myself credit for the work and progress that I’d made with myself and my boyfriend sat me down to point out all of the things I’d actually done. Once he did that, I could see the facts – I’d come a long way and made huge progress – I just couldn’t see it on my own. So talk to your friends and family, you’re not alone. There is someone who can help you see that you are working hard and that you are enough!
  10. Practice Patience & Optimism. This is my biggest challenge. I am not a patient person by nature. I can be really optimistic, but super impatient about everything and that can kill my motivation at times. For that reason, I like to follow other fitness and health blogs to stay motivated and positive about my goals, my life, my journey. It might sound really stupid, but I even browse the fitspo on Pinterest and it seriously helps keep me in a great mindset.

What Are Your Tips to Stay Motivated for Weight Loss & Life?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

♥ Tianna

Happy Tuesday! 

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day so far and enjoying the week. I’ve been kind of scatter brained lately and fell off a bit on my early morning workouts, but I’ll jump right back on tomorrow morning with that so, it happens. I’ve been pretty on with my eating, except for this past weekend which was pretty off all weekend. Thank goodness I was able to just maintain my weight instead of gain so I’m grateful for that. I’m kicking it into high gear this week and really buckling down with my diet and fitness plans so I can keep on the right track. So with all that on my mind, I thought I’d better update with my goals for this month while it’s still semi-early in the month, though I’m a bit late in posting. 

Here’s Last Month’s Goals & How I Did: 

  1. Make More Money AND Save More Money. I actually got a raise in the new year (yay!!) and I am still working on saving a bit. I am on the right track, though, so I just need to stay on it. 
  2. Organize My Closet, Room & Bathroom Areas! I haven’t done this AT ALL. It so needs to get done, but I’d really like to purchase some organizers for this project and I haven’t been able to do that yet so when I do, it’s more likely to happen. 
  3. Stay Consistent With the Gym & Working Out 5-6 Times Per Week. I’ve been really consistent on going to the gym and working out if I wasn’t able to go so I’m happy about that!
  4. Stay Consistent With Healthy Eating. With my diet, I’ve been really on or just okay and rarely have I been just completely off. This weekend I did slip up a bit, but I was back on track by Sunday so I’m glad I have been okay with that. I’d like to keep on with this and be more consistent with making my lunch for the week.
  5. Lose 10-15 pounds. I actually did lose 8 pounds in the past month or so since January so yay! I know it’s not the 15 pounds I wanted, but it’s a start. 
  6. Be A More Romantic Girlfriend. I think I’ve been doing okay at this. We’ve been taking time to go watch films together and hang out a bit, but I would like to plan more things to do on the weekend as well.

My Goals for this Month:

  • Make My Lunches for the Week More Consistently. I have been pretty consistent where healthy eating is concerned, but I admit I’ve been eating out way too much this past week and it’s mostly due to my being too tired or too lazy to prepare my lunches for the week so starting clean this week with my lunches all prepared, I’d really like to keep on with making my lunches each week because it does keep my healthy eating on track.
  • Go to the Gym 5-6 Times Per Week ( 4 Times At 5 AM During Week ). I’ve been really good with this, but I just like a nice reminder. The only thing I really fell off with was my morning workouts. With daylight savings “Spring Forward” with the clock going forward an hour, it’s been tough.
  • Do More Fun & New Things With My Boyfriend. As I said, we’ve been going to see films together and hanging out, but I’d like to plan more things for us to do and I’d like us to go on a mini vacation sometime this Summer or something. Anyone have any ideas to recommend?
  • Organize My Bathroom & Closet. This just NEEDS to get done. I will be picking up the organizing boxes, dividers and shelving sometime this month and it WILL happen. 
  • Save Money. It’s still on my list and it will happen soon. 
  • Lose 10-15 Pounds. I know it’s ambitious, but I’m keeping this on my list because I really need to motivate myself with weight loss so I’m keeping it on here so it stays on my mind. 
  • Get Up At 4 AM Tues-Friday for My Morning Workouts. As I said above, my morning workout has fallen off and I’d like to get back to that so I’ll be going back to my 4AM wake up times this week and going on through this month. I really enjoyed the improved energy and focus I got from getting up earlier and getting my workout done first thing.
  • Spring Clean. This is just a general note to clean out my closet, clean out my bathroom and get rid of junk and clutter that’s been sitting around catching dust. 

What are your goals for March?

Let me know in the comments below!

Related Articles:

My Goals for February

11 Tips to Help Your Weight Loss & Fitness Goals

My Goals for 2013

Hi Loves!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend and enjoying your time off ( if you have it ). 

I’ve had a busy week and I’m enjoying getting back on track with my workouts, healthy eating and all that jazz. I had quite a difficult time this past week waking up at my usual 4 AM to work out at the gym for some reason so I took it pretty easy and only worked out 3 times at the gym during the week and once at home doing a bit of strength training (squats, lunges, etc.). I’ll be going all weekend to get my workouts in and make up for the times I missed during the week and try to get back on track with that by Monday.

As for healthy eating, I’ve done pretty well except for a few days this week where I had 2 cheat meals and caved and bought some white bread ( had 1 slice ) and peanut M&Ms (why are they SO delicious?!). Other than that, I’ve been on a good track with eating.

That aside, I’ve received some beauty stuff this week for review and I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I just finished reading the Host by Stephenie Meyer which is surprisingly really good – highly recommend it if you like Sci-fi! Now I’m onto Beautiful Creatures since I recently saw the film (based on the book) and loved it so much I felt the need to read the novel it’s been adapted from. Highly recommend the film Beautiful Creatures, if you haven’t seen it yet, and also Warm Bodies (a Zombie love story?) – both were really entertaining! If you haven’t heard of any of these, I’ll give you quick rundowns below:

Beautiful Creatures: It’s basically about witches, only they refer to themselves as Casters and it takes place in the South USA. Lena Duchannes is the new girl in Gatlin while Ethan Wates has lived there his entire life. Ethan longs to escape from Gatlin when he meets mysterious Lena. Together, they discover much about their ancestors, their history, and the seemingly normal Southern town of Gatlin. 

Warm Bodies: Essentially, Warm Bodies is about a boy zombie who falls in love with a human girl. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s really funny and cute!

The Host ( book not film ) : The film looks pretty accurate to the book, but it’s not out yet so I can’t say for sure. The book by itself is really good! The plot is that earth has been overtaken by aliens who are basically parasites because they inhabit our human bodies and erase our minds. Wanderer inhabits Melanie, a young human female, but finds that Melanie is still there in her mind when she does and she can’t get her to go away. It’s such a fascinating story about humanity, the nature of kindness, battle for species’ survival and the goodness of souls universally. 

I received this line of Less Is More Organic Hair Care as well which I’m excited to try out soon!  They included Lindengloss Shampoo & Conditioner, Flower Whip Curl and Frizz Lotion & LimeSouffle Styling Cream. Everything smells lovely!

Lastly, I picked up some new running shoes because my Nike shoes were getting a bit worn down and starting to feel off which was making my knees hurt. These are Reebok Realflex Scream 2.0 running shoes and they are SUPER comfortable! I love how they fit my feet like a glove and the cushioning feels like I’m walking on a firm mattress. They’re super supportive of my arches and I can’t wait to run in them! I can do a full review of these, if you like, so let me know if you want one in the comments!

How Was Your Week?

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From fitspoholic.tumblr.com

I often feel that mindset has a huge impact on your overall success or failure, in anything, and many studies have shown evidence that how you feel about things does , in fact, make a big difference.

Just yesterday, I saw someone I hadn’t seen in a long while and who I don’t particularly like and, not surprisingly, brought up a bad mood in me shortly after our interaction. I know that sounds really vague, but I prefer not to put my personal life acquaintances on blast so there it is, in all its vagueness.

Anyway, this person and I had a short conversation and then he gave me this look for some reason and I just instantly felt judged and what’s more, I felt pissed off about it.

Of course, I immediately assumed this person was judging me by my weight or outfit or whatever. I hadn’t put on much makeup either, so maybe it was that and then, I just stopped and did what any normal woman my age would do – I posted this on Twitter :

“I feel like as #women, we’re constantly judging ourselves and allowing others to judge us like we deserve it. We don’t. Be kind to yourself.”

If you want to see my original tweet, check here.

Old Nancy was at it again.

I don’t literally mean a person when I say Nancy.

Negative Nancy, as some may call her/him/it, is that little voice in your head that shouts out ugly, negative and often untrue things and will usually get louder and more believable if you let it.

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From fitfabcities.com

I thank God for all of the amazing bloggers and consequent friends I’ve made since I began blogging last March because I don’t think I would’ve been able to shut that b*tch up if it wasn’t for the support I’ve felt from the online community because I instantly thought, others must be dealing with this too – I have to tweet about it and hopefully encourage others as they’ve encouraged me.

Yeah, I’m lame. I think I might save the world with my words, but hey, I just might! 😉 Words are powerful things.

But this weird little epiphany got me thinking that we all deal with this negative self talk (as the self help authors have deemed it) at one point or another and it’s absolutely important to make sure you don’t let that voice of self doubt take over your life.

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From fitfabcities.com

I’ve learned that it can be hard to ignore at first, but if you make a conscious effort to stay positive and optimistic and know that you are supported, that voice will stay quiet and small.

What’s more than that is I’ve also found that the best weapons against this are gratitude, acceptance, optimism and sweat.

When I work out, I just feel better. I feel more accepting of myself and life and more positive for the future. In turn, I feel more grateful about everything and it just sort of snowballs.

So, amid my rambling, I guess what I’m trying to say is do whatever it is that makes you happy, content, determined, optimistic for the future, and grateful to be living. It doesn’t have to be fitness , though that’s what I enjoy. It can be crafts, art, travel, spending time with your children and/or friends, or meditation. Just find that thing that makes you feel good about life and don’t let the small doubts and fears about life turn into huge roadblocks on your journey to success, happiness and a fulfilling life.

As people, women especially but also men, we tend to be our biggest obstacle: we’re standing in our own way. So, remember to let yourself have what you deserve and also that, when God or fate of the powers of the universe (whatever you believe) close a door, they might just be opening several windows so don’t be afraid to jump when the moment arrives.

How Do You Deal with Negative Self Talk?

I’d Love to Hear Your Methods In the Comments!

Happy Wednesday!

So, I recently posted this image on Instagram ( Follow Me @StorybookBeauty! ) so people could see what my weekly workout routine consists of. Some people thought I was completely insane ( I’m looking at you F00dVentures! :-P) while others seemed impressed by my dedication to a fitness schedule. Personally, I’ve simply found what works best for me, given my work schedule and time constraints. I didn’t want to sit there forever going, I just don’t have the time, because I know that that would be a total lie. That being said, I also want to make time to live, sleep, rest, and enjoy myself so this is what seems to be working the best for me. It might seem like a lot, but actually, I feel like I have a LOT more time, especially in the morning. I can go work out, come home and actually sit down to eat a nice breakfast. I can make a few smoothies, put the finishing touches on my lunch and snacks, and leisurely walk upstairs for a shower. It’s nice. 

And, the most shocking bit of all? I actually enjoy getting up in the morning now!

Now, I know, I know, if you’ve been following me, you may have a bit of an idea of just how much of a not morning person I am. or was?  And you may be a bit shocked to hear that I actually enjoy getting up now. I know – it’s weird for me too.

The weirdest part about this is (aside from the fact that I may actually be slowly turning into a morning person) that I think the most helpful tip I’ve been using to do all of this is that I have literally been sleeping in my gym clothes. Now, I’ve done other things to prepare myself and leave myself with literally no excuse so that I absolutely have to get up, but I know that this is one of the most helpful things I’ve done because I feel like it gets me into the mindset of working out and  cements my plans into stone (figuratively, obviously) because it’s like – If I don’t get up to workout, I am going to feel like I complete moron for sleeping in my workout clothes. 

I also think it helps a lot because, with the freezing cold weather we’ve been having, I am less and less inclined to want to undress and then change into gym clothes in the morning. It’s quite nice to just be ready to go. I don’t sleep in my sport bra, though, because that would be kind of uncomfortable for me so that’s the only thing I do change into in the morning, other than putting my shoes on.

Other things that I’ve done to prepare for waking up early include:

  • Setting 5 Alarms at 5-10 minute intervals of each other. Looks like this: 4:25 AM, 4:30 AM, 4:40 AM 
  • Sleeping in My Gym Clothes.
  • Leaving Running Shoes by the Door.
  • Prepping My Lunch & Snacks the Day Before.
  • Carrying a Water Canteen/Bottle.
  • Going With A Workout Buddy.
  • Deciding I Am Going to Do it , No Excuses.

Aside from sleeping in my gym clothes, I’ve been going each morning with my boyfriend’s cousin so it’s helpful to have a person there who is encouraging you ( or bullying, if needed LOL) to get up when you don’t particularly feel like it. Also, I think I’ve just reached the point where I decided this is what I’m going to do and that’s it. I didn’t give myself an out by saying or even thinking “I might do this” or “If I feel okay, I’ll do this,” because there’s too much room there for me to back out. I just firmly planned everything out as detailed as I could and organized everything toward that goal with no options to back out and I’ve been pretty successful in this plan thus far. I’ve only taken a few breaks midweek (usually around Wednesday) when I’ve gone to bed too late and just simply been too exhausted to go, but I’ve made up for the lost day on the weekend somehow or in the evening.  It does seem to be working, too, because I’m on week 3, going strong, and I’ve lost 6 pounds so far and find myself getting up every morning with less and less trouble every day.

If you’re like me and have trouble rising early, but really want to do it, then don’t give up! Keep trying different tactics and, if you’re really set on doing it, then you can and will.

And, if all else fails, just sleep in your gym clothes.

What do you do to get yourself up in the morning? 

I’d love to know your tips and tricks in the comments!

Happy Saturday All!

I just thought I’d share what I’ve been up to all week and update you on my fitness routine and thoughts. I hope you find it interesting and maybe even a little helpful!

I did these coffee ice cubes earlier this week – they work really well for a quick iced coffee when you mix them with your milk of choice ( regular, almond, or oat ). The coldness of the ice actually turns the milk into a bit of a slush, but the taste is really delicious, even if it’s too cold at the moment to be drinking iced coffees!

I made a massive salad for my weekly lunches and enjoyed tons of mixed greens and spinach. I got them all from Costco at a pretty great price too! I also included cucumbers and tomatoes for some colors and because I love them. I made my own homemade dijon vinaigrette to go with it, which was seriously easy AND delicious!

Thursday I received this Restoring Body Oil from Kanti Organics for review. I’ve tried it a bit yesterday and it’s lovely in the bath for softening skin! It also smells AMAZING! I will do a more thorough review of this once I’ve done more testing.

I received an invitation yesterday for my little sister’s baby shower! She’s having a girl and I’m so excited to be an auntie and buy her adorable clothes and things. Any ideas for good gifts to give?

I spent yesterday at the gym doing more cardio. I did 45 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill with alternating running, walking, and varying levels of incline and then a 5 minute cool down. It really helps getting through all of that when you focus on calories burned rather than time. I’m more motivated to keep running when I see I’m almost to 500 calories burned or whichever than looking at the clock, which kills me!

Anyway, I noticed that this was the one day I did my workout at the end of the day rather than at my usual 4:30 AM and I’m finding that waking up earlier worked better for me than doing it later in the day. When I woke up early and got my workout done first thing, it changed my entire day for the better. I felt more optimistic, happy, less stressed and more awake. I slept in a bit Friday and did my workout in the evening and I noticed I was much more tired during the day, less motivated to stick to my healthy eating plan ( though I did for the most part), and I was in way less of a good mood. Getting up early can be tough, but it’s worth it for the long term effects of being in a great mood, being optimistic, and the energy and motivation that comes with all of that.

After last night’s workout, I felt great and much more relaxed than I had all day. I made a really yummy post workout smoothie which tasted pretty literally like a PB & J sandwich, though much healthier!

Here Are the Ingredients: 

  • 1 Cup Mixed Berries { Fresh or  Frozen } 
  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened, unsalted Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup 100% Orange Juice

Dump it all into the blender, blend and split into 2 small glasses!

I drank one last night and enjoyed one this morning, but you can share with someone else, if you like.

So, that’s my week!

I hope you enjoyed and found this helpful.

How has your weekend been going?

Also, let me know how you like these posts and if you want me to do them more regularly or not in the comments as well!

Have a Great Day!

Happy Friday All!

I hope you’ve had a fantastic week and are looking forward to an even better weekend! 

Today’s post focuses on a few tips and tricks I’ve come up with to help you reach your goals, whether it’s to lose weight, become more fit or simply be healthier in 2013. I personally love reading posts about health and fitness and watching videos because I find them really interesting, but I also find that so many people are truly vague when it comes to the whole “how I did it” part of things. They say things like “I worked really hard” or ” I worked out every day” or ” I ate healthier” without explaining the specifics and I’m all about the specifics so here are some that have helped me in my own journey and I hope they help you too!

  1. Buy A 16-64 Oz. Water Canteen. This was something I unintentionally stumbled upon because I really had been wanting a more eco friendly way of getting my water quota for each day without drinking a million and one plastic water bottles, but ever since I got my aluminum water bottle (16 oz) from Target (you may have seen if you follow me @StorybookBeauty on Instagram), I find that it’s SO much easier to get my water in. I have a little rule for this canteen, though, and that is that it’s only for water and tea so in the morning, if it’s freezing, I’ll enjoy some unsweetened tea and then directly after drink water. It’s easier to keep track of the amount of water I need to drink as well because I know I need to have around 64 Oz or more per day so if I drink 4 of these, at least, I’m good. I know it seems like a really little thing, but water has a LOT to do with weight loss, fitness performance, and your overall health. For you beauty mavens, it also has a huge impact on your skin and fighting off free radical damage and consequent wrinkles!
  2. Drink More Green Juices & Smoothies. I am SO busy during the week and it can be tough to get all 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies in since I’m running around all the time, but drinking them in smoothies has helped me immensely in reaching this goal. It’s simply too cold, at the moment, to be eating salad every day and I don’t really want it when it’s cold – I’d prefer soup so this helps give me added nutrients during the day. If you want straight vitamins, make your own juices – it’s light and easily customizable for your needs, but won’t make you super full like a smoothie might. On the other hand, smoothies are great for getting in your greens and lots of fiber so you stay full, get your nutrients AND it will help you shed weight. If you’re new to green smoothies, I recommend adding spinach in to any fruit smoothie recipe – the color may put you off, but it will taste delicious when blended as spinach has very little taste when blended with fruits. Another easy one to get in is cucumbers because they are just refreshing and add more nutrient dense water to your smoothie with very little taste effect. It’s actually better to eat a cucumber if you feel tired (as opposed to coffee or an energy drink) because it has most of the nutrients you need for the day. Crazy, right? Once you get more accustomed to that, you can add others like kale, collard greens, broccoli, fennel, celery, etc. If you’re still not motivated to drink them, it might help to know that drinking smoothies like this makes your skin clearer, more hydrated, and glowing and helps stave off wrinkles!
  3. Exercise 30 Minutes a Day or More Doing Cardio. If you are maintaining your weight, 30 minutes a day of any kind of cardiovascular movement is fine. This means anything from bike riding, running, the treadmill, or elliptical to basketball, walking, or tennis. Just get moving. Even playing XBox Kinect can count, though it may not challenge you nearly as much as actual fitness would so keep that in mind. If you’re NOT trying to maintain, but want to lose weight, you need to be putting in 45 minutes to 1 hour of Cardio at least 3 times per week. I know this is debated a LOT and this is just my personal opinion – you know what is best for you and if not, please consult your physician first! – but I personally believe you need at least an hour to help burn off excess. 
  4. Do 30 Minutes of Strength Training 2 Times Per Week. It’s really important to tone and muscle build to get a tight, toned physique and you get that by strength training. In the beginning, if you have a lot of weight to lose, cardio alone is fine, but after you’ve lost some weight, you’ll want to add in weight training to build your muscles up and also TONE them. This is to tighten your body and give you that defined look. If you’re a female and you’re worried about getting bulky, don’t be. It is IMPOSSIBLE for you to do so without steroids. As women, we don’t produce enough testosterone to get that type of body without the help of steroids. 
  5. Buy A Pedometer. This may or may not work for you, depending on your lifestyle and where you live. For me, it didn’t work that well because I live in a bad neighborhood where I don’t walk outside much and I drive everywhere I go during the day because I work about 30 minutes from my house. That being said, if you live in an area with a good bus line, train, or you can walk to and from work or around your neighborhood, this might be really great for you. It basically counts your steps for you while you wear it. Most need to be worn on your pants pocket or shirt lapel to work properly, but they sell some more expensive ones that you can put in your shoes (like the one by Nike). If you want a cheap one, it’ll only cost you like $5 or so. The more expensive ones can get in the $100 range. Just choose one that will work for you. 5,000 – 10,000 steps a day is a good, attainable goal and will ensure you walk a couple of miles a day without putting too much effort in. 
  6. Plan EVERYTHING in Detail. You may or may not need to do this. Personally, I am much more successful when I plan it all out. For my food, I’ve planned out the entire menu for the week for my breakfast, lunch and snacks. I looked up clean eating recipes and picked my favorites out. I wrote the recipes down and then I wrote up a grocery list. I did most of my prepping on the day that I bought my groceries and cooked the first 2 days of meals on the same day to make my week a little easier. I stored things in either tupperwares or mason jars and it’s worked out really well. Since I planned it all out, I didn’t have to think about what was for lunch or breakfast and I have not been hungry all week because of it. For breakfast, I’ve had mostly smoothies or juices, but you can eat what you like. I recommend throwing in some smoothies or juices to get your greens quota in, but it’s up to you. You can add in greens and veggies also by adding them to omelets, eating salads, veggie soups, etc. Just make sure you eat what you like and planning will make your life easier. 
  7. Less Grain & Meat, More Green. I know, for a lot of people, it can be difficult to do this if you’re used to eating meals that are mostly all meat and grain, but it’s really important to get 5 servings of vegetables a day in so I recommend focusing your meals around your vegetables instead of your meat or grain. 
  8. Laugh Often. So many people work to get in shape and be fit, but they seldom think about the emotional bit and I think it has so much to do with succeeding versus failing. I once learned in a Psychology class that 80% of personality is perception and how we view things so if we see the glass as half full, it is. I think laughing helps a lot with optimism and seeing the world and your life in a positive life so remember to laugh a bit daily, even if that means watching stand up comedy or hanging with your friends – just do it. You need it as a human being to stay sane. 
  9. Get a Good Motivating Playlist. This one is not really “necessary,” but it’s something that has really helped my motivation in terms of how hard I work out at the gym and how hard I try during exercises because music has an emotional effect on us. Fast music = move fast while slow music will inevitably make you want to go slower so you match the tempo. So, I have a super upbeat and motivating playlist of songs that I really love and find really inspiring. You can see that playlist in the post I wrote yesterday – here.
  10. Don’t Give Up – Consistency is KEY. I have tried so many times to lose weight throughout my life – I think that’s true for most people, especially if you’re female. The problem is that once I would get started, I would give up at the first sign of trouble. Or I would get lazy and give up. Either way, I never stayed consistent enough to see results. The biggest thing you need when trying to lose weight, get more toned and fit, or just be more healthy in general is to be consistent. You will see more benefit if you work out 15-30 minutes a day for 30 days than if you worked out for 2 hours for 2 days. That’s just the truth of it so whatever you need to do to stay focused and on track, do it. Don’t give up! I saw this quote on Pinterest and it was “I’m giving up on giving up.” I really like it and it’s something I tell myself when I want to quit halfway through my workout because I’m tired or discouraged. It works for me!
  11. Remember – You ARE Enough & You Deserve This. Last of all, but not least, remember that you are enough and you DO deserve this! I know it sounds like a fitness commercial or something, but seriously, you ARE enough. Love yourself right now. Tell yourself that you are enough and make peace. It does not serve you in any way to hate yourself or put yourself down in life – all it does is make life harder to deal with and burn out your happiness. You can totally do anything you put your mind to and you deserve all the best in life so don’t be afraid to try your best and seek it out – it’s totally worth it. I know, I sound like the “because you’re worth it too!” commercial, but it’s the truth so there!

I hope this was helpful and wish you a great, rejuvenating weekend!

If you have any questions regarding any of this, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out. If you prefer it to be private, you can also email me at StorybookApothecary@gmail.com.

Have a Lovely Weekend!


Pain is Fear Leaving the Body.

You’ve probably seen this original quote all over Pinterest, fitness websites, health websites and other fitness blogs, but I decided yesterday that the quote is wrong. Pain is not weakness leaving the body — it’s fear.

The reason I say this is because I had a weird revelation while running yesterday and that is – I don’t feel as afraid. 

I feel like fitness is such a liberating thing. We fight it as much as we might because it’s much easier to hide ourselves away rather than face the world and say “This is who I am…and proud of it” because doing that might mean judgment, rejection and yes, failure.

But I also realized another really epic thing and that is what we’re capable of when we stop being afraid, anxious and just go for what we want – it’s SO liberating!

I realize now that no matter what, I’d rather face my failures and get back up, face myself head on so I can improve and succeed in the future than stay forever on the ground because trying and failing is better than doing nothing at all and feeling constant anxiety, fear and despair.

So with each stride toward your goals, whether fitness related or not, move towards your better future with the confidence that you’re leaving fear behind you without a backwards glance.

Here’s My Current Workout Playlist – Hope it Helps to Motivate You! 

{ The Links with take you to the corresponding YouTube Videos to have a listen! }

  1. Imagine Dragons – RadioActive 
  2. Florence + the Machine – Shake It Out
  3. Mumford & Sons – The Cave
  4. Linkin Park – The Catalyst
  5. Ellie Goulding – The Writer 
  6. Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
  7. Florence + the Machine – The Dog Days Are Over
  8. Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man
  9. OneRepublic – Feel Again
  10. Imagine Dragons – Demons 
  11. My Chemical Romance – SING
  12. Switchfoot – Dare You To Move 
  13. Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed 

Hope this post was helpful and motivating for you in whatever area of your life – whatever it is, you CAN make it happen!

What are your goals for 2013?

I totally skipped out on the whole monthly goals post series I had been doing for like 2-3 months and it makes sense that my goals since then have been jumbled, static, and nonexistent so I thought it would be good to do a post on my goals for 2013. I don’t want to calls these “New Years’ Resolutions” because I feel like, if I did, I would be setting myself up for failure. Just the idea of that seems so frivolous and fickle and I prefer these goals to go the entire year or you know, until I accomplish them so here are a few of my goals for 2013!

Goals for 2013

  1. Make More Money. I think this one is on nearly everyone’s list, but yes, I’d like to make more money and live more comfortably. 
  2. Move to My Own Apartment. I live with a bunch of people at the moment in a big house and while I don’t necessarily hate it, I’d prefer to live in my own place with my boyfriend and my dog, Yoshi mainly because I’d like to have my own fridge. That might sound weird, but I a a huge food snob and I want to stock my pantry with healthy food and my fridge with lots of fruits and veggies without 1. the fear of everyone eating my food and 2. the annoyance when my food is constantly pushed to the back. Also, I’d like to decorate! 
  3. Run 3 Miles a Day 4 Times a Week Consistently. I really enjoy running, but what sucks is that I live in a really bad neighborhood to run in. It’s not really safe for a girl to run by herself and my boyfriend gets all crazy whenever I want to go running by myself. Also, with the hours I work, it’s nearly impossible to go running before it gets dark so I’d like to run on the treadmill at my local gym and possibly run outside on weekends, but whatever, I’d like to be running 3 miles a day 4 times a week consistently in order to lose weight, improve cardio health and bring my body fat percentage down. 
  4. Eat Clean & Get My 7-9 Servings of Fruits & Veggies Everyday. I am working as we speak on re-designing my eating plan by planning out breakfast, lunch, and snacks that are all “clean.” If you’re unfamiliar, eating clean is basically eating only whole foods – no processed, packaged, or artificial foods – only whole foods like veggies, fruits, meat, beans, legumes, and some grains. 
  5. Take More Fashion Risks & Incorporate More Color Into My Wardrobe. I am not necessarily someone who wears all black all the time, but I have a number of safety color choices from black to blue, purple and sometimes a little green or pink, but I haven’t branched out to some more eclectic colors and I’d like to do so this year!
  6. Organize My Beauty Collection. It is a MESS. Seriously. It’s out of control under my sink. Some of it is kind of stored, but it just looks horribly disorganized and I’d like to be as awesome as all the people on Pinterest and YouTube and really get that madness under control.
  7. Start a YouTube Channel. This is one of those things I’ve wanted to do, but just haven’t gotten around to doing and I’d really like to do it because it looks like a lot of fun! I would love to share my fitness tips, recipes, makeup and beauty tips, DIY, skincare and things so this one is big on my list.
  8. Organize My Closet. My closet doesn’t necessarily look as horrible as my beauty collection, but it’s just cluttered and disorganized and since my room is so small, it’s quite obvious that it is! I really want one of those wooden hanging closet systems so that’s high on my list to get my closet in shape! Plus, I’d like to get rid of my dresser and just have my closet. I’m avant garde like that :-P. 
  9. Pay Off Debt. I don’t have like massive amounts of debt or anything, but I have balances I’d like to pay off that I’ve put off and sort of not really made a plan on how to pay them off when I really should so this is a big one on my financial to-do list because I’d like to be debt free this time next year. 
  10. Go Back to Acting Classes. This is very near and dear to my heart and it’s not something I really talk about on here because this is a beauty blog and I don’t know that it’s of interest to anyone really, but I did take acting classes and go to studios all through my teens. I took a break when I was 20 and just couldn’t afford to go back. Then I gained weight, lost my confidence in my ability and yeah. So this year I’d like to go back to class and really do something. Acting is my passion and something I’d like to do as a career and so this is a huge priority for me. 
  11. Get An Agent & Audition for Parts in Film & TV. Lastly, I’d like to get an agent and start working in film and TV. I love TV and film and ever since I was a young girl, that’s been something I’ve wanted to do. I’ve put it off out of fear of rejection and lack of confidence in my abilities, but it’s high time I just went and did it so that’s my goal for 2013. 

What are your goals and wishes for 2013?

Where do you imagine yourself this time next year?

I’d love to know in the comments!