Blog: Health and Fitness

Life is Beautiful. I love serving the world by capturing beautiful family memories, encouraging others to believe in life’s greatest possibilities, and inspiring others to realize their full potential. Everyone has a story... make it a beautiful one.  

The State of Mind in the Dressing Room

Self love isn’t something you have its something YOU CHOOSE. Choose love over criticism, stress, neglect, and doubt for yourself.

Have you ever gone into a fitting room excited to try on a new pair of jeans or a new shirt just to come out empty handed because of the embarrassment you feel that they didn’t fit and you don’t allow yourself to get the bigger size because all it is is a reminder to yourself that you couldn’t fit in the jeans in the first place?

This happened to me all the time and these are my true, raw confessions.  I’d go into the fitting room coming out empty handed and full of embarrassment and refused to get the bigger size because I refused it.  I felt so insecure and self conscious about myself growing up and even after having my kids.  I remember after 3 months of having, my first son, going into the store to buy a new pair jeans because I couldn’t fit into the ones I already owned.  Yes I know I just had a new baby, but as a new mom for me I was so discouraged and defeated.  Or that time I had Nate, my second son, I had to find a formal dress for a Christmas party and the one I found was really gorgeous and cried because the size 6 or 8 wouldn’t zip and ended getting a 10.  I wore the dress anyways, but felt so insecure in it wondering if I looked fat or unflattering in it.

I remember times I’d go into the dressing room with tears filling up my eyes because I’d try on something and it was to small.  Seeing skin spill over my jeans or the shirt accentuated my rolls.  I’d look in the mirror and see the person looking back at me sad, depressed, and so unsure about the person she was.

I look back at these moments in my life when I hated the person I was… Yes I hated myself… thats harsh stuff right there.  But these moments filled with darkness and defeat gave me strength and hope to change my life around.

It’s not easy taking care of yourself as a mom, as a matter of fact it HARD, but I CHOOSE to do it for myself.  I do it so I don’t feel the defeat or insecurities that  I used to have about myself because its a lonely road to follow.  I made a choice to look at myself in the mirror to love that person looking back at me unconditionally.  I choose to change so that I may have the energy with my kids. I choose to change to confidently go into the fitting room and to look at that mom, wife, daughter, in the mirror who loves herself so much.

Life is HARD. Being full of insecurities is hard but so is taking care of yourself.  I much rather choose the good hard to feel and be my best self no matter how hard it is. This moment in my life, I am becoming in love with this person in the mirror.  It did not come over night nor was it a quick fix.  She still has moments of insecurities and doubts but she knows that when they come up for her, she knows that they are just thoughts that she can change.

A dressing room is just a dressing room.  It’s there to serve a purpose to help us try something on.  Don’t let the dressing room define the person you are.  Choose to love yourself no matter what.  Choose and make up your mind right now if you feel you need to make the changes in your life… DO IT.  Nothing is more beautiful than falling in love with yourself.  Today, Choose to love yourself over stress, doubt or fear.

Be Awesome,

Amber

 

 

 

Reasons Why I Chose a Simple Nutrition Way of Life

In9 today’s world we are bombarded with so many diets and “quick fixes” and to be honest, it all makes my head spin and confused.  Before I had kids, I was all about finding the one diet that would make me look like a celebrity quickly and I get all the magazines to know how, but they never worked for me.  I did all the personal training and cross fit training and the eating lifestyles they talked about seemed confusing or didn’t seem right because they were telling me not to eat this or that.  The biggest food group that most of them told me NOT to eat was carbs and I LOVED carbs!!  I thought there had to be another way.

When I was pregnant with Ethan, I struggled with how to eat while pregnant, I ended up eating all the ice cream and bread because thats what I could and wanted to eat.  After drinking the coveted glucose orange drink, I felt weird and not right very light headed and sick.  I wondered if this was normal.  The day after taking the test, I received a call from my OB letting me know that my sugar numbers were so high, I needed to get in to the nutritionist and specialist right away because I had gestational diabetes.  Both the doctors and nutritionist told me if I didn’t make lifestyle changes, I would end up diabetic after my pregnancy and after hearing of the complications I could have with the baby, I made the change immediately.

I made the changes.  I educated myself so that my second pregnancy wouldn’t end up this way.  I dedicated myself to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle.

My nutritionist taught me the fundamentals of balanced nutrition and benefits of it.  After 3 years of seeing her, I approached her with a plan that I had seen around and was curious to know her thoughts about it because she was very open with discussing with me about other diets out there and why they don’t work.  When I gave her this plan, she didn’t hesitate and told me that this plan was the same plan I was on just a more simplified to understand so I wasn’t counting calories like I was already doing.  She was impressed and told me unless something serious came up, she trusted me to move forward and do it all on my own.  That day I never looked back.

You want to know the secret?  Portion control.  It’s all about portioning your food in a way that throughout the day you are getting a balanced amount of nutrition. Portion control is not starving, it is fueling your body for your goals and energy.  With portion control, I am fueling my body every 3-4 hours just as I was when I was eating for diabetes.  Eating smaller portions throughout the day helps with blood sugar crashes, which if I do not do this, I will have a huge crash.  Portioning out your food throughout the day also helps kickstart you metabolism, which will help your body from storing fat.

Portion control is not a quick fix, but is a system that works over time.  You have to trust the process.

Portion control also helps keep you more mindful about the foods that you put into your body and I have had a huge shift in mindset because of it.  I still have sweet treats, I still have pizza, you name it just in moderation. That is the beauty of portion control, it isn’t necessary to delete a food group completely like a lot of the diets out there do like low carb/ no carb diets.  Unless you have a food sensitivity or a medical reason, there is no need to delete food from the plan.  I have carbs every single day and am in the best shape of my life but thats because I have a ratio of 40% carbs/ 30% protein/ 30% healthy fats along with veggies.

It about understanding the balance and amounts your body needs for your goal or maintaining your goals.

When I was seeing my nutritionist I was calculating calories everyday reading labels every time I go the grocery store.  Today, The system I follow makes it even easier for me to keep track.  I am excited to become a master coach of this system because I believe it works whole heartedly.  It saved my life and my babies life.

Want to know more about this system?  I’d love to help you find the plan that is best for you. Contact me for more information.

Be Awesome,

Amber

What if life is happening for me?

Over the weekend,  I have been really diving deep into what makes me… well me.  Why I have been through the struggles I went through and why I feel like I am stuck and not moving forward.  It’s funny to think of how things from our past can really influence the way we think way into adulthood.  The truth is its all about our perspective.  We can either take those things we experienced in our life and fight for something even more awesome or we can take those things and have a pity party for the rest of our lives.

I will admit, I was the type of person to play the blame game and blame everyone else but myself on why I am not where I want to be. I’d allow people to dictate my outcomes in life from both my past and my present.  I’d blame that girl for making fun of my sweater on the playground, or blame that boy that called me fat in the hall going to class.  I’d blame other peoples opinions on why I couldn’t be x,y,z.  I am realizing, this just isn’t the case and its not serving me anymore.

These blame games have held me back because I felt like I needed to be someone better, prettier, and full of more ego confidence we will call it.  I also blamed things from my past.

The childhood drama of depression, obesity, drug abuse, and divorce, I was ingrained from a very young age that life was the way it was and to deal with it.  I was told from a very young age that I’d have some of these issues because it ran in the family and boy they did hit me because that was what I was told.  I struggled with weight, I struggled with depression, and I am thankful every day that I am married.  I was born into these vicious cycle of being the victim.

I realized that perhaps these things happened for me.  For me to use them not as excuses, but to use these things make me a stronger person.  To maybe become a advocate, a voice that there is more to life than the cards we dealt with.  our struggles are our strengths.  They were placed in our life to learn from and see how we take it by the horns and run with it.

When something bad happens to you do you feel shame (I was wrong) or guilt (I did something wrong). I felt this for a very long time is I still do.  I felt I was always in the wrong, or I did something wrong.  The reason for this, growing up I had to be the achiever, I had to be perfect otherwise I got punished if I wasn’t.  Now that I am adult I have the people pleaser syndrome and if I don’t achieve something big, I punish myself for it because that is all I knew how to do.  It sucks. but you know what I am learning that these things are not true.  It is a story i made up in my head.  Today  I am creating a new story for myself, changing the perspective on life that I am stronger because of the things I went through.  They aren’t my excuses, they are my fuel to my fire.

When life throws you lemons, take a moment to think how is this for me and how can I have a better attitude about it.  This is my Monday Motivation for you friends.  As hard life gets find how its working for you not against you.

Be Awesome,

Amber

 

 

The Impact Health and Fitness has on Anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety and depression hits 40 million adults a year.  There are many factors that give way for anxiety genetics, childhood life events, personality, and brain chemistry. In 2017, I was officially diagnosed with severe anxiety by a professional.  At first it seemed unreal however it was a relief because I knew for quite some time that I had a different thought process than most people. I was anxious, sad, nervous, had moments of self pity, and cried because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

Going through the process of overcoming anxiety has been a journey of healing and self discovery.  It hasn’t been easy, but the journey for me has been about living with the condition rather than letting it run my life because I know it was a trial that I have been blessed to help strengthen me.  I was given this for a purpose and to learn from.  I am learning to embrace it everyday.  To talk about it more authentically. Most of all creating a better life for me living with a mental illness.

The number one thing (besides having professional help) that has created a better life for me to live with my anxiety is my health and fitness journey. This part of my life has given me a sense of purpose.  Before I was diagnosed, I was into the health and fitness scene but not fully committed because I didn’t have the motivation.  After having kids and being hit left and right with health issues, I had no other choice than to change.

How health an fitness has helped me over come anxiety is first, the opportunity to push myself further.  With each run or workout, I am mentally challenging myself to go a little further, to do one more rep, or to go just a little faster.  These small little challenges help train the brain to think more positive thoughts.  After you have succeeded on the small little victory that you achieved, Ii helps reinforce the positive thought into the brain creating a sense of self confidence.

The second way how health and fitness has helped me cope is by the dose of endorphins that I get each time I am active.  Endorphins play an active role in the body.  They provide the body with positive feelings similar to that to morphine without the crazy side effects.  They reduce stress in the body and help create a more positive, and energizing outlook on life.

The third way is being more mindful of having a balanced lifestyle.  Living an active life style has helped me create a better relationship with food through changing my mindset. it all boils down the mindset and how you perceive food.  Having a better relationship with food and changing that mindset that food is “bad” to food is “good” really helps create a more positive mindset.  A a healthy mindset and a balanced lifestyle diet all help with how you think about yourself in turn help you feel less stressed.

Fourth, being apart of a community. Health and fitness can help you create a sense on community wether it be at the gym, a virtual fitness community, or through various groups.  Having this community can help you by being around like minded individuals with all the same goal to become better versions of themselves.  Having this community can give you the accountability and motivation you need to get through the tough times, and to cheer you on when you achieve your goals.  It’s such a great little boost of positive energy when you are able to celebrate those small everyday victories with a group of people working together with the same goal in mind.

And fifth, The feeling you get when you see change in yourself for the better.  This truly for me has been the most valuable and has made the greatest impact helping to keep my anxiety at a minimum.  When you feel good about yourself and what you have accomplished, and to physically see the results on how far you have come, it truly gives you a huge confidence boost which in turn gives you so much positive feelings about yourself. I used to look in the mirror and truly despise the person looking back at me… a bit harsh but the cold hard truth and that is what anxiety does to you. When you are whole heartedly in love with the person you are, your mind and body starts to reflect that love you have for yourself.  When you feel good about who you are becoming, you feel positive and hopeful not the negative feelings that anxiety brings.

Take each day at a time.  Look at how far you have come and focus on your strengths and celebrate the small victories in your journey. Wether you have anxiety or not, exercise is good anyways but I truly believe in the process and how it has helped me to manage my anxiety.  It’s been a positive reinforcement for me that has given me purpose and something to look forward to accomplishing each day.  So much positivity comes from creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself.

Be awesome,

Amber

Ways to Fill Your Mama Love Cup

It has been a year since I went from being a working mom to a stay at home working mom.  It’s had its challenges adjusting to the change, but it was a decision I felt in my heart that needed to be done.  I wasn’t feeling it working for someone else because I had bigger ambitions for myself.  I had the opportunity to take my kids to work with me since I works with family, but it was getting too hard to juggle getting my work done,  while day dreaming of the things that could be all the while juggling two energetic boys to stay quiet to get my work done because that’s why I was at work in the first place.

I could have done the daycare scene, but for me, it just didn’t feel right.  I quite my job and decided to focus on my passions at home with my kids.  To be honest, I wouldn’t change the decision I made for the world, but it has had its trials and struggles and wasn’t as easy I thought it would be.  So many new emotions I have never felt I have experienced.  At times I feel alone being a mom. I have mom guilt when I want to get work done and I am not playing on the floor with my boys.  I feel obligated to have the house to be clean as a whistle when my husband gets home and most times that is simply not the case for him and I apologize all the time if something didn’t get done that day.

Being a mom is a full time job in itself and if you are working at home, that just adds so much more to it.  Most would think why I juggle all the things I do and many have told me that maybe I have too much on my plate and to back off on some of it but the truth is I am stubborn and I am not the type to quite on what I started even if it takes me years to get there.  I wanted to be a stay at home mom… I made it happen.  I wanted to be my own boss… I am making that happen. I am learning very quick to not allow the nay sayers in my life.

With all that comes with being a stay at home working mom, I have really had to dive into what makes me happy and sane… What fills my mama love cup.  It’s so important that we do things as moms to keep our love cups full because we can not take care of anyone else if your hearts aren’t in it.

Here are some ways that I have found joy over the last year to fill my mama heart cup:

1. Take a day for yourself once a month: I most enjoy going to the spa and enjoying a spa day because I find that as a great opportunity to enjoy a relaxing time to myself.  This really can be anything like going on a nature hike or going to the mall or taking a drive to a mall out of town with girlfriends.  Find something that you enjoy and use the day for you… and not to do mindless errands that need to be done.

2. Take an hour time out a couple days a week: Find an hour a couple times a week to go for a run, to walk around Target kid free, go to the park and read a good book.  Again this should be something for you and what you enjoy doing that allows you to get a moment to yourself away from the chaos of kids and work.

3. Personal Development: I have found that working on myself and growth has really helped me to overcome stresses from being home with the kids.  Being able to take time out of my day to work on me gives me a little more strength and empowerment in my day to take on the stressors that may come my way with kids and work.  Doing personal development has also allowed me to find ways to become a better version of me.  I have come to know things about myself I never knew before.  Be open to the possibilities on this one.  It opens a whole new door that is beautiful.

4. Exercise:  I know I mention this A LOT but getting the endorphins going daily HELPS A TON! Most the time I feel my mom stress at the highest by the time I get settled to do my workout .  Working out helps so much with getting the stresses of the day to calm down and release from the body.  I always feel so much more better after a great workout session.  Most my workouts are less than 30 minutes which is all you need to get those endorphins going.

5. Take a time out for yourself a day:  When things get crazy, take a time out for you.  Tell the kids mom needs a time out, put a movie on for them and go into a quiet space for a few minutes to calm down and breath.  This at times may not feel like it works since the kids are in the other room, but it does. Find an uplifting quote, read a quick devotional, or paragraph in a book to remind yourself YOU GOT THIS. After the kids go to bed, I’ll take a hot bath with some essential oils and I’ll read some of my book I am currently reading.  I have found this really helps me to give my mind some calm from the crazy day.

Being a mom and if you are your own boss on top of being a mom isn’t easy, but know that no matter what you got this.  If it’s what you dream than do it.  Keep pushing yourself forward and remember to fill your mama love cup because you deserve to have that in your life.

Be awesome,

Amber