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Refresh Review and Results

This is a long one… but i think it’s important to provide a thorough review!!! 

Before

I think I have been researching cleanses for 2 years. I have read about them all, juice cleanses, elimination diets, even an egg cleanse? I didn’t know where to turn, and I found most of them disheartening because they require little to no actual eating for a prolonged period of time.

 

I already don’t eat enough foods due to dietary restrictions, why would I want to restrict myself to less food! The thought of NOT eating for days and just drinking juices scared me even more. I’ve seen plenty of people who have great results… but have I mentioned before that I’m a “texture” person? I like crunch and chewing.

When I was in Vegas recently, I heard about the launch for the 3-Day Refresh. It is a 3 day cleanse that combines the usage of Shakes and small meals. Not only was this a 3 days (who can’t do something for 3 days??) cleanse, but it also had food integrated into the plan! I could eat!

 

Here’s what I knew about the cleanse going in…

It is meant to be a jump start that will not only help you lose weight but also provide you some real life experience with healthier eating habits.

Unlike other cleanses, where the weight comes creeping back on, this one was created different. Most juice cleanses tax your organs, do a number on your metabolism and leave you feeling upset regardless of the results. Heck, I would think not eating for days would do a number on my emotions! Have you ever seen a Hangry girl??

The 3-Day Refresh was scientifically designed to do just this opposite of a normal cleanse. It was formulated to detoxify and cleanse, while also supporting your metabolism. No internal battles necessary. You eat, nutritious whole foods during the process to re-energize your organs. Because of the science behind it, you should not only lose weight, but feel better because your body is functioning more efficiently.

Interest peaked… so what does it mean? What do I have to do?

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The plan is simple, follow the exact same diet guidelines for 3 days! 3 Shakes a day, one fiber drink, loads of filtered water, 3 small meals and plenty of fruits and veggies to snack on through the day.

Now, here’s a small confession, I’m a review snob. I have to be. I work in healthcare, who has willy nilly amounts of $$ to go spend on things without seeing people’s results and real life experiences. So after leaving Vegas, I sort of lurked for a while. I know that sounds creepy… but not really! I just kept my eyes on my teammates results, reviews about the taste of the products… etc.

After 2 weeks of seeing people’s results, I just had to try it for myself. It seemed like the average loss was 3 lbs, 3 inches in 3 days.

 Now, I know most of you are thinking? What 3 lbs does Eiren have to lose?

When I was prepping for Vegas I was eating a SUPER restricted diet! Chicken and Sweet potatoes, egg whites, and that was pretty much IT!! I was leaning down for that Classic. (Must write a review on that experience too?)

When I got home, I got much more relaxed about my diet. My workouts were still killer, I got in that habit before I left. However, I was doing great during the workday… breakfast through lunch I gave myself gold stars. However, I found that I was snacking on a protein bar on the ride home. Did I need the ENTIRE bar? No. When I got home, first thing I did was open the pantry and grab a handful of tortilla chips. Then I’d do my afternoon workout. Then, not even a half hour before dinner, I would grab a small bowl of more tortilla chips, some baby carrots and asparagus, throw some shredded vegan cheese on and eat a mini bowl of nachos. Not even 45 minutes later I would be eating a gigunda bowl of veggies and protein for dinner. And some nights, I found that I was even eating another handful of tortilla chips. SIGH… In 4 weeks I put on 5 lbs. When you’re barely pushing 5’1, any lb makes a difference.

I thought, going into this, it would be a great wake up call for me. Get out of your head Eiren. Not only reset your body, but reset your mind.

So I pressed Add to basket.

 During…

I decided to start my cleanse on Monday, 7/21. I figured Monday’s were good. No weekend distractions, and I am always WAY more structured during the work week.

 I wasn’t feeling great all weekend, had the chills and body aches, but I thought I would push on. I can wish myself well!

  •  DAY 1

Monday morning, I got up, drank 8 oz of water and then did my normal workout – P90X3 Accelerator.

 After, I made my Shakeology “pudding” with mixed berries (through the plan) and then drank 16 oz of water to make up for the rest of the water I should have drank in the shake (I’m not a huge fan of shakes in the morning, so I improvised). I also had a very small, less than a cup, of coffee. Caffeine is discouraged, but I get up so early and it’s part of my day… so I figured a ½ a cup wouldn’t kill me!

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 By about 9 am, I started to get a little hungry, so I figured it was no time like the present to try the Fiber Sweep. Duh Duh Doh! What would this entail?? It wasn’t so bad! I mixed it up in my shaker at work with some cold water. I definitely think I would have benefit from a blender though. Apparently my guns aren’t as great as I thought. I was worried that I would be running to the bathroom though… nope.

I still wasn’t feeling great though, still had the chills through the day… I had meetings all afternoon, so I went down to the gym and did a half of a workout of arms thinking that I would sweat out whatever was nagging me. Didn’t work!

Lunch was a creative idea that I got… I decided on Sunday to make my Vanilla Fresh into a creation and then drink the water again like I did for the breakfast. I made #strangebutgood from Sprint2theTable jicama porridge! It was amazing! I added some cinnamon and ginger spices (free foods on the cleanse) and ½ an apple for some crunch. Amazingly delic!

jicama porridge

At this point, I wasn’t hungry at all by my usual 3 pm snack attack. But I ate anyways. I had baby carrots and hummus.

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By dinner, I knew I had my Vanilla Refresh to drink again, and I was trying to think about what to make for dinner. The kit comes with recipes to follow. I made a stir fry veggie bowl. I actually made this for all three nights! It was easy to fry the veggies up in one pan and then save and reheat them the next few nights. For the Shake I added a little more ice to make it like an ice cream and I ate it with a spoon.

stirfry dinner

  • Day 2:

Oh boy, I work up with the cold sweats and chills! I ended up taking a day off from work… well I worked from home, a day off from working out and just rested at home. I don’t think this was because of the cleanse, because I wasn’t feeling well starting on Saturday. But, I guess if anything, it was a smack in the face that I needed to actually REST completely! I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I did eat the plan as guided.

Meal 1: Shakeology pudding with mixed berries

Meal 2: Fiber Sweep

Meal 3: Vanilla Refresh with Avocado, Mango and Kale.

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shake 2

Meal 4: Mix of baby carrots and cherry tomatoes with some hummus.

Meal 5: Kale and tomatoes with coconut oil and a vanilla shake.

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I think I drank my body weight x2 in water on this day!!!

  • Day 3:

Like I said, I can “will myself well”. So I got up, and pretended it was business like usual. Went downstairs and did a light cardio workout for 30 minutes. I kept it light because I know this is a restricted diet to what I normally eat and what my body needs when I’m doing my usual workouts.

The only difference in meals between Day 2 and 3 was lunch… which was a horrible attempt at creating a recipe from the shake. I am the queen of baking with protein powders. I tried to make waffles… but stupid me, without a binder they won’t stick! I used pureed apple and green veggs to make what looked like a good batter. I had to leave them in the waffle iron for 15 minutes to get them off the iron! Lol! But I ate them anyways! I will not waste a shake.

I think the plan is supposed to follow the “vegan raw” diet. However, after a while, I need something else. So I mixed it up….

Oh and my afternoon snack was summer squash instead of carrots and tomatoes.

snack

 Review/Results:

  •  I wasn’t hungry!
  • I heard mixed reviews about the Fiber Sweep and Vanilla Refresh tasting funny… I didn’t think they were bad. I don’t think I would drink the fiber sweep on a daily basis! But it wasn’t horrid!
  • I actually enjoyed the vanilla refresh. I think if you make it properly and add certain foods to it, it blended well!
  • I think the one things that surprised me MOST about this… I wasn’t hungry that often! When I did get hungry, I drank more water. I actually drank A LOT more water than I usually do! I think this is something I need to continue on with!

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  • This one may be TMI for some, but I was SHOCKED at my digestion. I feel like it reset me completely. For the first time in a while, I had NO stomach pain on Day 1 or 3 (2 was iffy because of the sick situation) or gassy bloating. And I actually had normal BMs both day 3 and the day after!! Internally, my tummy feels fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!

So let’s get down to the brass tax here… what you all want to know about the weight loss?

  • Start Weight: 126.5        End Weight: 119.6 = 6.9 lbs lost (my normal weight is usually around 122, so I’ll be happy around that!!!)
  • Inches lost:   Belly: 3.5 inches Natural Waist – 2.5 inches

 

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I am entirely aware that most of this is water weight, but what a great way to not only re-set your body but, if I’m ever in pinch for a big event or anything… I will DEFINITELY be doing this again!!!!

Lessons Learned and Tips

  1. It’s only 3 days, you can do anything!
  2. Don’t do a cleanse when you don’t feel well!! I was already “in it” and didn’t want to waste the packets and the $$ I spent on the kit.
  3. My portion control was OUT OF CONTROL! I am going to definitely scale back to normal sized bowls for one! And get back to measuring out foods.
  4. Don’t exercise during a cleanse. Give your body a full time to rest. Or if you are going to do something make it an active rest, ie walk or bike ride.
  5. I don’t need that much coffee, but I will continue to drink it anyways… (we all have our vices!) But I can cut out the afternoon runs to Starbucks! This will help save some extra $$ too!
  6. I need to drink MORE water!
  7. Find ways to get creative if you can… one thing I do is add flavor drops. My favorite are Capella’s Flavor Drops found on Netrition I love the Peanut butter and Green apple!! They have OOOOODLES of flavors too!

capellas drops

  1. Fully aware this is water weight, and I will probably gain some back!

 

Have you ever tried a cleanse?  How did you feel after? 

 

oxo

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Need a Lyft?

Being a SweatPink Ambassador gives me great opportunities to try new products! One of which is the new Lyft Clean Caffeine Energy Stir Stick

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 Lyft Energy Stir Sticks are literally stirable caffeine!  Zero calories, clean taste, can be added to ANY beverage, no additional additives and are the equivalent of 1 cup of coffee!

I am not one of those naturally hyper people. Well, I guess I kind of am, but because I get up so early for work, I definitely need an extra boost at the end of the day!  Some weeks, I can spend upwards of $20 at Starbucks!  I love my coffee, but A. it gets expensive and B. it does a number on my tummy some days!

I drink coffee every morning, no fail.  However, I really like to drink it again before a workout, but I do so for the caffeine.  Caffeine acts as a stimulant for your central nervous system.  Effects including increased heart rate and blood pressure – which make you feel more energized and alert, and even make your workout seem easier!  It has also been known to enhance athletic performance as a ergogenic aid.

There are some warnings though… too many caffeine is also hazardous.  It can lead to psychomotor effects which can make you think you can do more than you can.  As a caution, if you ever feel jittery or nervous after drinking too much, or if your heart begins to race, I would cut back on the caffeine and consult your physician.  Some people just can’t handle too much of it!

So what’s the recommendation… One cup of coffee is a great “pre workout” booster! And how convenient that Lyft is exactly that, the equivalent of one tall cup!

Additionally, Lyft has some other great add ins, VITAMINS!  Included are A, B3, B6, B12 and B5!  Compared to the other leading brands of energy boosters, this is definitely worth a try people!!!  Check out the comparison chart… http://cdn.editthewebsite.com/documents/files/ccc3c847.pdf

If you’re interested in purchasing or more information visit Lyft at http://www.purelyft.com/product/

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Taste Test….

I simply mixed my Lyft Energy Stick with water.  I figured why not get the “real deal”.  I mixed it in my water glass for the recommended time.  I did notice when I looked in the little holes at the bottom that there was still a powdery mix.  I ended up stirring for almost a minute.  Hey, i wanted to get the “full effect!”.  My water turned foggy for a little bit and then cleared up.

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It definitely gave the water a sweet flavor (there is Sucralose in the ingredients).  I don’t eat much sugar, so my ‘sweet tooth’ is very sensitive, so this may be different for someone else!

In regards to the caffeine fix?  I drank this on an early work day.  Usually on those days I have a tough time coming home and making up for my ususal #bootycall at 4 am.  I drank this little Lyft before I left work for the day.  I can say it gave me just the perfect amount of energy to go home and kill it!  It was actually nicer than having to drink a cup of coffee pre workout.  Plus, again, much cheaper than my usual Americano!

All in all, I will probably use these Lyft Energy Sticks again! And I would recommend them to anyone who enjoys an extra boost!

Sweat-Pink-ambassador-badge

thumbs up for my first SweatPink review!

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Listening to a miracle.

I have always been a geek at heart.  I love to read.  However, lately cannot seem to find much time to just sit and enjoy a book.  I know that come summer i can plant my bum in a beach chair and zen out to the sea in the background with a page turner.  Until then, i have to come up with some creative alternatives.  One of which is BOOKS on tape…. I age myself, now they are books on my iphone!

One of the best books that i read/heard a couple of months ago was by Gabby Bernstein, Spirit Junkie.

This book helped me to really come to terms with some of the fears that i had and really know that if i love myself and others first that i can succeed and accomplish whatever i put my mind to.  hmm… maybe i should listen to it again?  Do you ever re-read a book?

Well… I have been having a tough time balancing life lately and struggling to cope with stressors.  Oddly enough, as soon as i  thought about doing something about it, i got a new email – a blog post from Gabby on her NEW BOOK, Miracles Now.  I often read self-help books that will provide some great tips, but nothing concrete that i can apply in my daily life.  Now, i have JUST started listening/reading this book as of last week!  But, in the short time that i have been listening, i can tell you that Gabby provides some amazing tools, tips, and meditations that you can apply to your life TODAY, right now, this very instant!!  Each tip is a “Miracle Message” and she provides a # for you to pass it on!!

I am almost sad that i didn’t purchase this book in a hard copy.  I think the next time I venture over to the bookstore I am going to purchase a copy, that way I can highlight my favorite messages and have the meditations available when I need them most.

Do you ever read any self-help books?

If so, what’s your favorite?

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Mind over Munch!

 

We have all been there… it’s 3 pm, we are walking by the office kitchen or “snack area” and we see the leftover cookies from lunch.  We see it, smell it, grab it, and just go.  There’s no thinking.
Or everytime we walk by the candy dish, we grab a handful of M&M’s.  After 5 trips by that bowl through the day, you’ve eaten a lot of sugar and calories without even thinking about it.
We have to train our brains to STOP mindless eating.  We are doing a disservice to ourselves and our bodies.
Mindless eating is defined as eating while distracted, hurried or in a state of high emotion (excitement is included in this!).  I have fallen prey to this multiple times.  It typically happens when watching TV for me!  Everything from an exciting football game, to the last minutes of a chopped challenge!  (how did they cook all of that food in 20 minutes?!?)
Mindless eating falls into a few categories,

  • distracted eating – when you’re not fully aware you’re doing it.  I sometimes will eat while i’m making dinner!  I don’t even realize that i’m not just tasting the food to see if it tastes right, no i’m full on eating an entire meal before my dinner!
  • emotional eating – most of us are women here! we eat when we’re sad, depressed… or if we’ve had a bad day and we need to “soothe” ourselves with something comforting.
  • stress eating – when we come home from work and just need to unwind, so we grab the first thing we can, sit down and just eat to forget the day.

So how can we get a handle on these chaotic eating habits??? And make it Mind over munch??
Slow Down!  Enjoy your meal or snacks vs. scarfing it down!  I heard once to actually chew your food.  Weird to think about it, but even having that quick reminder to yourself, will slow you down!
Limit distractions – turn off the tv, get off the phone.  This is also a great time to just enjoy the fruits of your labor of cooking too!  You’ll learn to enjoy the time with your family as well!
Eat sitting down – when we’re standing we tend to graze more! If you sit down with a plate, you’ll most likely eat only what’s on your plate.

If you feel the need to eat and it’s not a “meal”/”snack” time or you just ate.  Give yourself a few minutes, have a drink of water, go for a walk or do an activity.  Then ask yourself, am i still hungry?

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I’ve never been a “me”, I’ve always been a “we”…

Did you know I was a twin?  Yup.  Identical.  I’m the older one, by a mere 60 seconds.

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Neat fact… my parents didn’t even know they were having twins until about a month before we were born.  I’m not quite sure how no one asked questions considering my mom was a peanut and was HUUUGGGEEE!  Per stories from my family she got stuck in doorways in a MG Midget!

So the reason I mention that I’m a twin.  Two actually.  First, it’s our BIRTHDAY!  Golden Birthday to be exact.  Have you ever heard of a golden birthday?  Apparently it’s when you turn your birthday on the date of your birthday.  For example, this year we are 31 on the 31st!  (Oh yah, we are also New Year’s babies! Double tax write off for my papa!)

twins current

Second reason I mention it is because I came to a huge realization this past week.  I was telling someone about me and I kept referring to myself as “we” in my past history.  It wasn’t until about 10 minute into the conversation the person I was talking to asked, “who is we?”  I quickly replied “oh, my sister and i.” It was at that moment that I realized that I will never be a ME.  I never have been, and never will be.  I have always been a WE.  I know that we have grown, and separated.  We live on separate coasts of the United States, and she is now married and creating her own new family.  But we will always be intertwined as a “WE”.  She is my soulmate.

Yes, I hope to have a “love” someday that will be my soulmate, that person that I will love more than myself.  However, my twin sister and I have a different bond.  It’s almost as much for me to say that I can’t breathe without her.  She is my other half, my best friend, sometimes my worst enemy… But I know that I am 150% certain that she was put on this earth for me, and I for her.

We have gone through some difficult times in our lives, and have always had to lean on each other.  I know that there is no way that I could have gotten through my life without my sister.  She played devil’s advocate MORE times than I can count, she calls me on everything I do wrong, she lifts me up when I need it, and she would fly across the country if I needed it.  Heck, most times with our “twin” powers, she doesn’t even need a call from me, she just knows when I need her….

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I just wanted to write my first blog post in a LONG time in thanks to her.

Sissy, we have spent 31 years together.  You are creating your new family, and I am just blessed that you include me in that.  I cannot wait to celebrate our birthday together this year!

I’ll be there soon.

oxo.

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Savory Puffy Pancake Recipe!

Posted from my IG for http://www.toneitup.com #summersizzle

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@karenakatrina #summersizzle #toneitup #recipe @toneitup savory puff baked protein pancake!!! I made this up the other night!?!  It was loosely based on a puff pancake my twin sis and I used to make that had lots of butter and flour! This was two base ingredients Egg whites and protein powder!  I used pea protein as I can’t really digest ‘rice’ based proteins after lunch time.  #sunwarrior I added spinach, asparagus, and carrots, #nooch! And baked! Yum yum yum!!!  ½ cup egg whites, 2 egg real egg whites, 1 scoop protein powder (natural flavor), 1 T nooch, I also did a dash of salt and pepper! Preheat oven to 400, pop veggies in a sauté pan (must not have handle that can melt!) and leave in oven to “semi roast veggies”.  Then I prep my other ingredients while that’s in the oven.  I beat the egg whites (all of them) until foamy with a hand blender whisk.  Then added protein powder and nooch.  Take pan out (with a pot holder!), spray with some #coconut oil and then pour egg white mixture on top!  Put in oven for 20 minutes. I checked on it at 15 to see.  Once it starts to brown on top! #glutenfree #dairyfree #eatclean #protein #weightloss #lowfat #tiuteam #tiusisters #toneitupnutritionplan

Today I plan on having ½ of it for lunch topped with some tahini!!

savory puff pancake

How do you get comfortable with being uncomfortable???

Okay, I get it. NO one likes to change.  Actually, we all have a physical reaction when something changes, good or bad.  We’ve all heard about the effects of stress on our bodies and the damage it can do?  Well what causes stress… CHANGE!  So any common sensed individual would be screaming right now, so WHY WOULD I WANT TO CHANGE?  Because some changes, while they may be difficult for us to go through in the moment will BENEFIT our overall health, both physical and emotional, long-term.  Sometimes we have to step back and think of the bigger picture…

What have you been wanting to change in your life?  There must be something!?  I am always a body in motion.  I am growing, learning and changing every single day.  Some may beg to differ that I will change in my personality, ahem ahem my father (who I live with!) lol, but for the most part, I am willing to adapt!  :P Do you want to change your body?  Eat better? Give up smoking? Save more money? Get out of debt?  Well… you’re going to have to change something to get to that goal, because right now WHAT YOU’RE DOING ISN’T WORKING.  I don’t mean to CAPS yell at you.  Well, I guess I do, but it’s just so you can understand!  You really have to look internally and think about what the cause is.  Why isn’t what you’re doing to work toward your goal working?  Obviously something isn’t working!  We can all come up with excuses, “Well so and so brought in a cake last Friday, and I had to eat some or they would be offended” or “My friends wanted to go shopping, and I couldn’t just go and not buy something”.  There is always an excuse so that we don’t have to change.  It’s our “scapegoat”.  What we need to stop doing is looking at others and start looking at ourselves.  Because, for the most part, that’s where the stem of the problem is.  And if you aren’t willing to change your habit or behavior, then things will NEVER change, and could even get worse.  For example, bad eating habits… you keep eating poorly or making excuses, you’re going to continue to gain weight or, even worse, could develop a health condition.  If you don’t stop spending money, you’re just going to go further and further into debt.

We have to get a little uncomfortable to get what we want!

 

Now, I do a lot of personal development.  I listen to a lot of podcasts talking about this idea of change, and that we need to change.  We should work  to create new habits, etc.  Some of them get me so fired up, but then they don’t follow through on giving me the tools to do so!  I still love them though.  They’re like the cheerleaders to the tools that I’ve collected in other places!  I’m going to share some tips that have collected and that have worked for me.  They may not work for you… but I know I’m a pretty tough cookie to crack, so if they work for me, they might be worth a shot in giving them a try.  These are pretty amendable, so they could be transitioned for different situations.

·         You have to more than one goal.  I’ve said this before.  You can’t jump a staircase, or a mile.  You have to take it ONE STEP at a time.  What does one step entail?  It’s basic, I know.  It’s putting one foot in front of the other.  But each of those steps is a goal to get you to the end point.  I try to think of it like a staircase.  I start with my main goal.  And then I look at it in pieces, what is it going to take to get me to that goal?  I then think of a mid-point and then work my way out from there.  I take as many steps as I need to succeed.  It’s going to be individual for each of you.  As an example…. My dog needs to lose weight.  Here’s his step chart!

 

o   Lose 15 lbs Weight (2-3 months)

     §  Go for 2 10 minutes walks twice a day (week 4)

·              Cut back dog food by ½ cup (Week 3)

                      o   Go on a 10 minute walk twice a day (Week 2)

                              §  Cut back dog food ¼ cup in morning (week 2)

·                                        Walk fumble to the end of the driveway 3 x day (Week 1)

                                                    o   Cut back dog food ¼ cup in the evening (week 1)

As you can see… I created a step chart, and then I added a timeline for each item! I also set realistic timelines.  I have never had a dog lose weight before, let alone a 200 lb creature.  So… I set my goal time a little extended.  I knew how to manage his food, and I know his walk schedule and that we had to increase his resistance for walks.  Change was uncomfortable for him.  He hates walks.  He was starving and asking for more food.  BUT, I didn’t give into him begging.  It was uncomfortable for him because he was hungry and his schedule was messed up.  It was uncomfortable for me because A. I had to change my schedule to walk him, (as well as my dad) and B. we had to say “no” to him when he was begging.  I kept thinking that I wanted a dog that was going to be around longer… and then it hit me.  My goal wasn’t for him to lose 15 lbs.  It’s bigger than that, it’s for him to be around longer and enjoy his doggy life.

Now, I know this is a silly example.  But it’s easy to understand for the steps.  Does it?  Please let me know

·         YOU HAVE TO step out of your comfort zone.  One of my goals is to meet new people, and make some new friends.  I have to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there to do this.  I’m not going to attract friends while sitting at my desk, or in my house on the weekends.  I have to constantly talk to strangers.  I KNOW this is something we are told not to do as children.  However, I know my Turbo Fire and Les Mills moves!  I can bring it if I need to! :P I also know who I shouldn’t just go up to and strike a conversation with! Lol.  I have also stepped out of my wheelhouse and have gone to a few meetups from meetup.com.  To me, this is the equivalent of blind dating for friends.  It is NOT easy! And it’s hard to do on your own, but I did it!!  And I will continue to attend them!  It’s a great way to meet new people!

·         Visualize.  We can all set action statements.  My goal is… However, I think it’s important to give a reason why.  And I think it’s important to rephrase into as much of a positive statement as possible.  When I succeed, I will… For example…. When I lose weight, I will be able to play with my children outside.  Put a reward to it!  Aren’t we all more apt to do something if there is a reward attached?  Pavlov’s Dog 101!

·           Make a competition for yourself!  Join an accountability group.  Do something that will hold you accountable daily.  This can be as simple as going to the dollar store and getting gold star stickers and putting a sticker on every day that you do some type of fitness!  You will enjoy putting that gold star on that calendar!  Or post your photos on IG.  It will be like a daily goal for you.  I can eat clean because I need to post my meals on Instagram!

·         Don’t stop learning.  Educate yourself as much as you can about behaviors, or things related to your goal.  I have podcasts galore on my iphone and I buy self-help audiobooks and listen to them when I’m driving to and from work.  Most audiobooks come with the book section as well for you to track your notes!

·         Try to surround yourself with people that won’t sabotage your success.  For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, you won’t stand outside with your normal crowd for 10 minute breaks.  That would be like hanging a mouse in front of a cat!  You want to surround yourself with ‘Like-minded’ individuals.  Join a new club, or a book group!  Or join a walking or running group.  Most running shoe stores actually have running groups that you can join!

·         Manage your surroundings!  Don’t buy unhealthy food.  If it’s in your cabinet, it’s only going to whisper your name.  Eat me, Eiren.  Eat me, Eiren.  It’s like Alice and Wonderland in your cupboards.  I try not to buy anything with sugar.  If I want something, I have to go out and buy it.  And more than likely in that entire process, is the bar of chocolate REALLY that worth it for the gas it’s going to cost for me to go purchase it?  Sometimes yes, but most times no.

·         Set reminders on your phone.  You can even get creative and visual with this one!  For example.  I snack while I make dinner.  Well, most nights I make dinner at the same time.  I can always set up reminders to show myself photos of my “sweaty selfies” or that bikini that I’ve been eyeing to buy.  Those reminders will trigger me to STOP and think about my habit!

·         Invest in your goal.  For example, if you are trying to lose weight.  Give yourself a reward (this goes back to the reward concept) for every day that you ate 100% clean.  This may not be every day because, heck, I eat healthy and I’m not “clean” everyday!  So say for every day you put $5 in a jar.  Well, at the end of the year I bet you’ll have a nice little jar all set up for something to treat yourself to.  Or perhaps enough to go away for the night and celebrate that new little body you’ve been working hard for!

·         Know your triggers.  This is a hard one because you have to put some thought into it.  I’ve heard people say that they mindlessly eat when they watch tv.  Well, instead of eating while watching tv, pick up a new habit.  Learn to knit.  Or brush the dog.  Or get up and jump rope or do some pushups when you get that “food urge”.  Most of us don’t drink enough water through the day, so I turned my mindless eating habit into drinking water.  I’ll get up and go to the kitchen, but instead of filling a bowl, I refill my water bottle.

Always remember that you are more likely to succeed if you plan for your “future” self.  These may seem like a lot of steps and a lot of work to do upfront.  However, if you don’t make time and change, then you’ll never change!  And if you don’t change… you don’t succeed.

What’s the worst that can happen?  At least if you TRY, then you are setting the wheels into motion and YOU ARE ALREADY CHANGING AND GROWING.  You aren’t standing still any longer!!

I hope this rambling , long post made some sense!

Oxo

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What are some changes that you have struggled with before?

What are some tips that have worked for you to create new habits and grow?

What are some of your favorite personal development books that have helped you?