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So, what's this week's affirmation? Write the phrase below on a sticky note and start building your confidence!
"I deserve a bright future."
Unfortunately, the wedding business is based a LOT on appearances. One of the first appointments you booked was for dress shopping, you've spent hours picking out flowers, you made a seating chart that lets everyone have a good time, you schedule a trial run for your hair and makeup because a day like this just can't be left to chance, and on top of all that, you hired a great (but probably expensive) photographer to document every single moment of the day despite being totally ready for it or not... So after all of that, where do YOUR emotions fit in to all of this?
try to change your mindset.
Normally, your emotions are sent way down to the bottom of the list, somewhere under stuffing invitation envelopes... I urge you to remember something during all this planning:
when it comes down to it, you and your spouse are the only ones that matter.
I know you have heard this advice before, but I am going to say it again to help it sink in: YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE TO BE ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT MATTER. No one else will remember the day like you two do. No one else will feel the way that you two will. No one else matters. I mean really, does your "spouse to be" really care if you weigh a couple pounds more than you wanted to? I sure hope not. Hopefully, what really matters to them is that you feel confident on that big day, and that you are ready to start your life with them.
how do you achieve that?
By working out. Wait, what? I know, it seems like this goes against my previous advice of not caring how you look, but I did say that I want you to FEEL good, right? Working out releases happy hormones (and "happy people just DON'T kill their husbands" - thank you Elle Woods). Happy people GLOW on their wedding day. Happy people float down that aisle knowing that they look awesome, they feel awesome, and that they have an awesome person waiting for them at the end of that aisle. So yes, all that is how a good workout plan can make or break your wedding prep.
I lifted weights even before I got engaged, so this wasn't totally new to me, but I did step up my game once I got that engagement ring. I knew lifting weights made me feel good, I knew it would help me fill out the curves of my dress and I knew it would make me feel confident on that big day. So now is when I share the skills I learned with you.
I am a big believer in workouts that should fit your schedule (and the rest of your wedding planning), so what you need to think about is:
How many days a week can you devote to lifting weights amidst all the wedding planning: 2 days, or 3 days?
Once you think that through, click the buttons below to purchase either the 2 or 3 day plan. BOTH plans last three months which is plenty of time to make a difference in both your appearance and confidence level for that big day! Your workout plan will change each week and you will cycle through 2 different "phases" of exercises, each phase lasting 6 weeks for a total of 12 weeks (3 months). These phases come straight from my tried and true workout cycles but are offered to you at a discounted rate ($10 - $15 off) because we are preparing for your wedding, think of it as my wedding gift to you!
Upon purchase, you will receive an instant download (mobile friendly so you can take it with you to the gym) with all your workouts complete with detailed descriptions of every exercise you will perform. It doesn't stop there, purchasing this special wedding prep package comes with access to me and my advice! Send me an email whenever you need it if you're stuck, confused, or just need a pep talk, I'm here for you during this major step in your life! Want even more info about the plans? Click here.
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how to use visualization to turbo-charge your morning
Use your evening to set up for an awesome morning. How? Visualize it. No, I'm not saying that everything we visualize will come true, but most of the things will. What about what doesn't come true? Well, all we did by visualizing is just leave some extra space in our minds to deal with the stress and overwhelm!
-always lifting your LIFE, Laura
you need a mix from online training/coaching if...
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The goal of this post was not to sell you on a plan of mine or to convince you that I am the most knowledgable trainer out there. My main goal was to give some advice when it comes to embarking on a health and fitness journey. Do not sell yourself short and try doing things the “free” way because it will only take more time in the long run. You deserve better. I also ask you not to pay for something that will burn you out and cause you to feel farther behind than you were before just because someone has a fancy tagline or software. I urge you to do your research and find your perfect middle ground with someone who aligns with your goals, aligns with your budget and gives you the freedom to make mistakes, grow, and build lasting healthy habits.
-always lifting your LIFE, Laura
Yes, you already honor yourself in some way. I know you do. Do you have anything that’s even remotely “fancy” in your life that you do? Maybe you have a hair masque you love, a special breakfast you make after a workout, an extensive skincare routine, or a special candle you burn in the evenings. Or, maybe you’re like me (and most of the world) and have a special way you make coffee or tea in the morning. All these things are specific to you. You chose them for a reason. You chose the process, the products, and the timing all because they make you happy and they offer you some benefit. You already do the legwork, now it’s time to make it work for your emotional health too and turn it into self-care.
here comes the lesson in mindfulness
Just like my coffee, my tea has a special "art" too. Tea tends to be more relaxing for me, and is thus saved for the weekends or days off with my hubby. I have a gorgeous gold press for my loose leaf tea and the same mental notes happen here too. I admire the color of the press, the shapes of the tea leaves, the sound the water makes as it fills the carafe, the steam hitting my face, and the color changes of the steeping tea. Again, all those steps would happen no matter what, but being mindful of what is happening and what you are doing makes the difference.
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have I lost you yet?
I sure hope not. I know this tip sounds silly at first, but think about it... All I am asking you to try is change the way you think about your face wash, your candles, your conditioner, even your scrambled eggs. All you need to do is be more mindful. Although these daily acts are simple, they are repeated for a reason: they give us comfort, love, satisfaction, etc. Let those feelings bubble up even more and enjoy not only the final product but the PROCESS you took to get there. Those 5 - 10 NOT extra minutes will definitely change your day.
I know. You're overworked, spread thin, stressed, tired and have too big of a to-do list. You see all these posts about self care, about giving yourself time and space and on top of that you NEED to get a workout in AND meal prep...
You think "how the heck am I supposed to do that PLUS all the other crap I have to do PLUS be the best for the people in my life that rely on me???"
Well, I have some news for you:
If you do not focus on yourself and push through your exhaustion to help and serve others with no break, you WILL get burnt out. You might not be burnt out now, but you WILL get to that breaking point some day. And when that day comes, all hell will break loose. Why? Because you will be so fed up, tired and drained to do all the things that you do for others (which we all know is pretty much EVERYTHING).
I know self-care gets pushed to the bottom of the list. It feels like it something we do only when given permission... Permission? Really? You're the one taking care of everyone and doing everything, you DESERVE that time to build yourself up, to learn more, to grow more. Give yourself your own permission. Self care should never be viewed as just a treat. It should be viewed as the thing that keeps us vibrant, renewed and ready to serve the world in the best way we can. Please, take this thought with you today:
"You can only give others what you give yourself."
Give yourself the gift of time to breathe, the gift of reflection, and the gift of time to honor yourself.
-always lifting your LIFE, Laura
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I urge you to go on social media with a purpose. Instead of falling prey to mindless scrolling, go on and DELETE. If someone always posts things that make you feel bad about yourself, get rid of them! They will have NO idea. Just do it. Go on social media with the purpose of creating the most motivational and nurturing environment you can. Un-follow the half naked gym selfies, the "better than thou" posts, the posts that only show highlights. They don't deserve to be in your life. This is YOUR YEAR and they shouldn't share in any part of it.
-Always lifting you life,
PS: I you're looking for someone to add to your nurturing social media environment, add me on Instagram and Facebook (links at right). If you want even more motivational support, make sure to check out my confidence coaching program!
I am not at all the girl today that I was in high school. Nope. I am SO FAR from that girl. In high school I was never the “popular girl”, “no guys liked me” and I was too scared to try anything outside my comfort zone. I was too scared to make new friends or even think for myself really. I had no confidence to trust in my own wants. All that time feeling “less than” led me to view college as finally getting a clean slate, a blank canvas to work with, much like how many of us view a new year. Although I was ready to leave my sheltered life, I was still so scared.
With this clean slate of college in sight, I was determined to change the way people viewed me. I was determined to no longer be the “fat girl”, the “shy girl”, the “sheltered girl”. Now I’m not going to lie to you all, my journey to confidence didn’t start with lifting weights but it was definitely the turning point in my success.
Things started slowly, because for me, I actually LOST the freshman 15 rather than gained it. I was so sedentary in high school and had absolutely no healthy muscle mass, so the simple act of walking through a hilly campus made a big change for me. With the loss of weight, I started noticing some things... like GLANCES. FROM GUYS. Yes, guys started noticing me. I know, I know, I should NOT be saying that the way men look at us is the only reason we should feel worth, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t help me when I was at my lowest and most scared point. It did. Those glances gave me the hope that my work was not futile.
If you’ve read any of the other pages on my site, you already know that appearance is not the primary reason I advise women to workout, but back then, for me, it was. I wanted to finally be the fit girl, the thin girl, the healthy girl. So, those first glances from guys led me to incessant hours of cardio at the gym, the same way most of us start out our fitness journeys. I woke up super early, went to the school gym when the average college kid was still asleep or hungover and I used the elliptical for a brain numbing hour. I would then go to the dining hall and eat the healthiest meal I could, again alone because I didn’t have the confidence to talk to anyone new.
I continued this cardio cycle for a few months until one of my friends took notice and said “hey why don’t you workout with me and my boyfriend at the gym!” My immediate reaction was “UH NO, I am still too fat to touch dumbbells”. She assured me that one day would not hurt, so I begrudgingly joined her fit self and her boyfriend's fit self...
Well, that workout changed my life.
I mean, yes, the insane soreness changed my life, but that day was when I realized that weight training was a skill. It took thought, it could be intellectual, it was therapeutic, and most importantly, it was EMPOWERING. I was hooked. Every waking moment from then on was spent thinking of my next workout, how to pair exercises together, how to get the best bang for my buck in the gym. I was single at the time, so I went four days a week to lift, gathered as much information as I could and spent the rest of my time with the mantra "lift, eat, sleep, repeat." By lifting weights, I was forced to venture out into the “men’s section” of the gym, and although I was received by the bros with even more looks, something had changed inside me. Instead of these looks inciting happiness, they
incited a desire to move past their approval, to only focus on the approval of myself.
When you’re a girl in the weights section, you’re only able to compete with yourself really... all you can do is just be better than you were the day before. That became my mantra eventually. Simply remembering the fact that each day I was closer to my goal than the day before was what kept me going, despite not having anyone to share it with. All I wanted to do was go to the gym, get stronger, hone my skills and keep learning. I remember vividly the day when I was at the grocery and got up from picking something from the bottom shelf. I was able to squat back up with ease. I was finally making change that cardio alone was not doing.
For the first time ever in my life, I was able to walk through a crowded place and hold my head high. I was able to laugh and not care if my face looked weird. I was able to be alone and not feel judged. I was able to love myself for who I was at that exact moment. I was able to focus on the journey to my goal. I didn’t care if others liked me or approved of what I was doing. What mattered was continuing the amazing energy that was growing inside of me.
If my story inspired you, please reach out to me, I would love to hear your story! If you need help achieving the same thing I did, please take a look at my workout cycles or confidence coaching, they will definitely get you on your way towards confidence.
-Always lifting your life, Laura
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Now you're probably thinking, "Uh, just one? Why? Isn't this when you should be telling me to go tackle all my goals and start the year off strong?"
Well, yes, that is all true... The beginning of a new year is a great time to harness motivation after we have drank/ate/sat around too much over the holidays, but there is another truth there that no one really wants to think about.
The reality is...
The reality is, most people jump in to the new year with WAY too many changes/additions/removals on their list. We have all done it, myself included! Think about it this way, isn't that how it goes at the gym at the beginning of the year? Those first few weeks, EVERYONE is there, crushing as many goals as they can. But... life catches up with them and all the new habits start getting harder to manage. Where do all those gym goers go after that? They stay home because they quit, frustrated with themselves and farther behind than they were when they started.
Creating a healthy lifestyle takes time
Creating a healthy lifestyle takes time and it is very easy to get burnt out if you take on too many things at once. So, I ask you to NOT be one of those New Year gym goers. I ask you to be the person who chooses your resolutions wisely. That means, you pick ONE thing to start on. Just one and START there. Resolutions don't have to happen only at the beginning of the year, they can start any day you want them to. Pick your ONE resolution for the start of the year. Once that has become a habit, make another resolution. Who cares if it's April, all that matters is you mastered what you wanted to and still have the stamina and willpower to achieve another goal.
My name is Laura and I help overly tired 20something women overhaul their lives, energy and confidence without overwhelm.
Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and write to the best of my knowledge on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle practices, I cannot be made liable to know all information on a particular subject. Knowledge gained through this blog is to be used at your own risk and all lifestyle changes should be discussed with a doctor before starting.
I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I do receive a small reimbursement for sales made through the links provided on my blog.