Tag Archives: learning

Just When You Think You Can’t, Remember Your WHY

So this week, I was supposed to write Part II of taking pride in yourself. Here’s the dealio… Not gonna happen this week. I feel that there is a much more important thing to address:

MOTIVATION

Ever since my last relationship, I have been up and down with this, never really being able to stay consistent and dedicated; struggling with being able to practice what I preach so much to everyone about.

The past couple of weeks have been somewhat of a hell, not like in a bad bad way, just an accumulation of so much anxiety. Being in San Diego by myself, being 2,539 miles away from my family, has been a struggle for me. I LOVE San Diego. My heart has been stolen by San Diego, but for a girl who grew up at home, close to family up until the age of 24, this is the farthest I’ve ever lived away from them.

Last week, I felt hopeless as I get a message via text on my phone that merely said, “The ambulance is here” by my brother. My current family situation has me living across the country, my dad working in Arkansas, and my mother, brother, and sister-in-law living in Florida. I felt helpless as they took my mom to the ER for, what I feared, was a heart attack. Even though it wasn’t that serious and she was sent home that evening just fine, I felt helpless. I hate feeling helpless. Anxiety #1.

Then there’s been my social life. I’ve been extremely picky with men since my last relationship and I finally put myself out there to this guy I’d been talking to and hanging out with a couple times that I liked him and wanted to get to know him better, and he turns me down… well tells me he wants to take it easy right now. I have no idea where his head is at, but rejection sucks. It took a lot out of me to be even that honest with him, let alone myself, that I was actually ready to move on. But now, I get to let my mind overthink everything. Anxiety #2.

Then there’s finances… and work… and my dog. I feel like I never have enough money or enough time to do anything I really want or need to do. Anxieties #3, #4, and #5.

All the anxiety leads to lazy days. Sad days. Days where I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to go to the gym. They suck. Yesterday was one of them. All I wanted to do was sleep.

Here’s point one of my post this week:

  • Even the best of us deal with things like anxiety and/or depression. I had someone tell me one time that it was just something I could control. Do you honestly think I haven’t tried? What I’m trying to say is, it’s totally normal. Some days are better than others, but it DOES NOT mean that things are impossible, it just means that sometimes you need to work just a little bit harder. But don’t let it discourage you.

So this morning, I received a text from an old high school friend of mine. We speak every now and again and he is the only person I have legitimately kept in contact with since high school. Long story short, I told him I was struggling, having a hard time staying motivated, and this is what he says to me:

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It was in THAT moment, the moment I read it, that I felt anew. I put aside everything that had been weighing down on me, in that one moment, the moment I realized again my fire, my purpose, my passion, my WHY.

Which leads to my second point:

  • Surround yourself with those that lift you up. Surround yourself with people who are positive and uplifting, who would never do anything to hold you back and help you realize your true potential. And as an individual, make sure that you are one of those people too. Make sure you are someone who lifts others up and EMPOWERS them instead of tearing them down or apart. Kind words and positive spirits serve as some of the most POWERFUL motivation.

And point numero tres:

  • Remember your WHY. Why you do what you do. It doesn’t have to be fitness related. It could be why you do the job you do, why you’re in school, or why you go to church every Sunday. Just remind yourself everyday that you have a purpose and a reason. Everyone’s WHY is different. No two are the same and that is your truth. Own it and follow through with it.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, yesterday I posted my weekly check-in on Instagram (@_victoriafit_).

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“This week has been shitty. Worked four 12 hour days in a row. Ate shitty fast food and I could never be any more ready for the weekend and getting back on track than I am now. I am actually surprised by my numbers this week. Body fat percentage is up, obviously, but I DID  put on 1.5ish pounds of lean mass this week. No idea how as I’ve only worked out maybe 3 times this week. Why am I telling you this? Because it’s real life. As I have said many times before, we all have a life to live and things get in the way. We all aren’t a 100% on our diets every week, and we aren’t constantly in the gym 7 days a week. A lot of us have jobs we need to do to make a living and sometimes we can’t be a 100%. But that doesn’t serve as an excuse to give up and to say that it can’t be done. Just because I had a shitty week, doesn’t mean that I’m done trying to achieve my goals. I just have to get back into my niche. I need to find what works for me, just as you need to find what works for you.”

Current Stats (as of yesterday morning):

▫Weight: 123.2 lbs (55.883 kg) [⬆ from 120.6 lbs]
▫Waist: 69.0 cm (27.165 in) [⬆ from 67.5 cm]
▫Hips: 83.5 cm (32.874 in) [⬇ from 84.5 cm]
▫Legs: 53.0 cm each leg (20.866 in) [⬆ from 52.0 cm]
▫Body fat: 17.6% (21.6 lbs fat mass, 101.4 lbs lean mass)
➡ Last week: 16.9% (2o.3 lbs fat mass, 99.7 lbs lean mass)

Don’t worry, next week I will most definitely have part II up for you. Just felt like I needed to do something thanking this week for everyone who has been so supportive and has continued to push me to fulfill my full potential, to help me remember why I do what I do.

 

UNTIL NEXT WEEK!

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Taking Pride in Yourself. Taking Care of YOU. Part I – Mind

I got a lot of inspiration for this topic from my amazing mother. She didn’t say it EXACTLY like this, but she sparked the idea in my mind. When it comes to her household, whenever there’s company, she wants the house clean. Okay, let’s face it, she wants it clean regardless, but especially when there’s company. The other day, she asked me to straighten up her couch cushions. After doing so, she thanked me and made this comment: “You take care of the things you take pride in. I take a lot of pride in my home.”

And it got me thinking, we can apply that to ourselves. You take care of yourself as much as you take pride in yourself. Meaning, you put in as much effort as you deem yourself worthy of. The more work you put in day in and day out, the more pride and confidence you have in yourself.

This all boils down to every decision you make – from the food you eat, the amount of activity and exercise you do, what you read, how you choose to perceive things, you positive or negative attitude, who you surround yourself with, what you surround yourself with. All of the decisions you make, whether consciously or subconsciously, ultimately are real time proof of how much pride you subconsciously feel about yourself.

In this and my next two blog posts, I will be breaking it down into three areas in which you take care of yourself: Mind, Body, and Spirit. In each area, there are ways (whether you realize it or not) in which you fulfill a sense of pride in yourself.

Today’s topic: MIND

Your mind is an EXTREMELY powerful thing. If you can control your own mind, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve anything. The cliche phrase that you can do anything you set your mind to is absolutely correct. There is never one way to do things and there is always another path to take, even if it is a little harder. But the reason most people don’t take that more difficult road is because they are too much in their own way to overcome the barriers, limits, and obstacles that their minds have set in front of them.

In my fitness career, I will be the first to admit that I have failed myself, or rather perceived myself as a failure or failing. It took some time, but I have learned that failure is never an option. Failure is merely a CHOICE. It is something that YOU decide to settle with.

What is the definition of the word fail?

[feyl]
verb (used without object)
1. to fall short of success or achievement in something expected,attempted, desired, or approved
2. to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fallshort
3. to lose strength or vigor; become weak
4. (of a building member, structure, machine part, etc.) to break, bend,crush, or be otherwise destroyed or made useless because of an excessive load.
5. to be unsuccessful in the performance or completion of
6. (of some expected or usual resource) to prove of no use or help to
Take a look at each and every one of those definitions. What do you recognize as common ground? Maybe the fact that none of them define the END of something. They merely define the lessening of or giving up.
Again, giving up is a choice. I can’t emphasize that enough. YOU are in control of your mind and if you continue to remind yourself that just because you did not succeed at something, the first time, the second time, the hundredth time, doesn’t mean you will never succeed.
So with that being said, how can you strengthen your mind, ultimately caring for yourself enough to realize that you are in control? Try these out:
  1. Read personal development books – they help to improve your outlook on others, on life and your outlook on YOU.
  2. Do puzzles, whether they are crosswords, Sudoku, physical puzzles. Do the ones that make you THINK. This keeps your mind sharp and on its toes, allowing you to improve critical thinking and memory.
  3. Participate in personal positive self talk – when you wake up every morning or every night before you go to bed, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself 3-5 things that you love about yourself.
  4. Exercise. I touched on this in one of posts. Exercise is scientifically proven to enhance mood and aid in improving symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  5. Meditate. Meditation helps to clear your mind and become one with yourself, putting yourself in the present and being mindful of your surroundings.
  6. Write down your goals and keep track of progress. This helps keep your mind focused and consistent.
  7. Try to learn something new EVERY DAY. Something my grandfather taught me growing up was that a day without learning something new, is another day wasted. It doesn’t matter what you learned. Whether you learned how to bake a cookie or how to build a rocket, learn something.

As I said before, your mind is a very powerful thing and its something that you have control of. Take pride in yourself enough and take care of it.

 


 

Since this post is a week late, I will only be sharing my stats for this week:

Current Stats (as of this morning):

Weight: 120.6 lbs (54.703 kg) [⇓ from 124.6 lbs]
Waist: 67.5 cm (26.575 in) [⇓ from 69.0 cm]
Hips: 84.5 cm (33.268 in) [⇓ from 85.0 cm]
Legs: 52.0 cm each leg (20.472 in) [⇓ from 53.5 cm]
Body fat: 16.9% (20.3 lbs fat mass, 99.7 lbs lean mass)
⇒ Last week: 16.9% (21.0 lbs fat mass, 103.0 lbs lean mass)

Did I forget how to fitness? My stats are all down this week with a stable body fat percentage. Reason: this week sucked for me. It’s been my first week back to work in two months. No excuse, but it’s life and how I handled it. My meals have been off and so has been my workout schedule. Money is tight and there’s barely any food in my apartment. Life just LOVES to get in the way sometimes. But here’s the way I see things. There are a lot of POSITIVE things going on in my life right now and I am super happy with the changes. I haven’t had this positive of an outlook on where my life is in a VERY long time. It’s only January, and 2017 has already been SO good to me.

Overall Health and Fitness

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Being a nurse, I have come across so many people who have conditions that are easily treated and/or managed through physical activity and a healthy diet: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, anxiety, depression.

The benefits of physical fitness and clean eating extends far beyond that of weight management. You could read hours and hours of research and studies showing that regular physical activity helps improve overall health and wellness. In the end, improving overall quality of life.

The most obvious effect is that of weight loss. Obesity increases the risk of those previously mentioned diseases and conditions. The reduction of fat helps preserve muscle mass and improving the body’s ability to properly use calories. With proper diet, this helps control weight and prevent obesity, which is ultimately, again, a MAJOR risk factor for many diseases.

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For example, daily physical activity helps reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke, peripheral vascular disease (a blood circulation disorder that causes the blood vessels outside of your heart and brain to narrow, block, or spasm), and high blood pressure by strengthening your heart muscle and improving blood flow.

Not only does regular physical activity help with physical health, but it also helps with mental health. Personally, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for years. A lot of it boiling down to relationship issues and never really feeling like I fit in, especially when in high school. Fitness was something I learned to turn to. When I was in college, I started my fitness journey. At first it was because I just wanted something to do. As the years progressed, it became more than that. It became more about personal therapy: better confidence, motivation to improve on myself, motivation to be a better person than I was yesterday. My self-esteem improved. I had better control over my anxiety and the severity of my depression became a thing of the past. Granted, I still suffer from the occasional depressive mood swings, my quality of life is SO much better than it was before.

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I never thought in a million years that I would step on stage in a tiny, little, blinged-out bikini in front of hundreds of people  and place 5th all on my own! I was never one to be the center of attention with all eyes on me.

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So taking a step back, often, with chronic medical conditions, there exists stress and therefore, many people develop comorbidities such as depression and anxiety. As talked about in a previous post, regular physical activity has been shown in countless studies to help elevate mood and improve the way that you look at yourself, thus helping to manage stress and reduce anxiety and depression. I have also seen fitness and physical activity do SO much for those who also suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

There are no limits to what encompasses physical activity. Whether you walk every morning for thirty minutes or are in the gym seven days a week prepping for a bodybuilding competition, the euphoric feeling you get from accomplishment and achievement is indescribable. That, on top of having more energy, watching lab values improve, and knowing you are improving your quality of life, and likely your longevity in life, makes the journey so much better!

As I had mentioned previously, I set a goal for myself this year to check-in every week and keep everyone updated on my progress. I am planning to start competing again this year, hopefully by July, no later than August. So in case you didn’t know, I had previously mentioned that I was going to post my stats every Sunday showing my progress through 2017 with my primary focus being on greatly improving my leg/booty mass.

Here are this weeks stats:

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▫Weight: 120.7 lbs (54.749 kg) [unchanged]
▫Waist: 68.5 cm (26.969 in) [⬇from 69.5 cm]
▫Hips: 86.5 cm (34.055 in) [⬇from 87.0 cm]
▫Legs: 53.0 cm each leg (20.866 in) [⬆from 52.0 cm]
▫Body fat: 16.9% (20.3 lbs fat mass, 99.7 lbs lean mass)
➡ Last week: 18.2% (21.8 lbs fat mass, 98.2 lbs lean mass)

Keep in mind that a lot of the drastic changes in these numbers are due to a cleaned up diet with a side order of loss of water weight and body fat. Even slow progress is progress and with a newly improved mindset, I have big plans for this year and no one or nothing is going to stand in my way! It’s game on!

Fitness & Exercise: Good for the Brain

 

First things first: Happy Freaking New Year, right?!

I will be the first to tell you that I am so glad that 2016 is over. That was a rough year for me, but I’m not about to throw at you the whole “new year, new me” crap. Yes, it’s a new year, but it’s not a new me, just…. an improved me. I have so many things I want to accomplish this year and my mindset is so focused right now, it’s ridiculous.

Foremost, I plan to be more consistent on this blog and improve on it. I have a lot of learning to do, but it can be done. I know through my own experience, that blogs have been a HUGE help in terms of my fitness career. I turn to them all the time and I want to be able to share what I’ve learned to people around the world looking for the same motivation. Writing these are also a learning experience for me because I get to go more in depth in research and learn along the way as I am teaching all of you. It’s a WIN, WIN!

Speaking of learning, that’s the topic of this post. My last post revolved around how fitness and exercise has a positive impact on your mood and now I want to expand on how it helps with intellect and learning.

It’s a very simple concept, but recent studies by the University of British Columbia have shown that regular aerobic exercise (anything that increases heart rate) appears to increase the size of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is that located on each lateral (side) of the brain, and it is the area of the brain highly involved with verbal memory and learning. Not only that, but exercise also reduces insulin resistance, reduces inflammation, and stimulates the release of growth factors (chemicals in the brain responsible for the health of brain cells, growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and the survival of already existing brain cells.

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Now that’s just the surface.

Exercise also indirectly improves brain functioning by improving mood (see previous post), improving sleep, and reducing stress and anxiety. I know for a fact that the gym is my outlet whenever I’m stressed or a little anxious.

Crazy, huh? So not only are you keeping your body healthy, but your cognitive function too!

See, it’s actually pretty easy to understand and that’s just in terms of exercising. Eating the right foods also helps improve brain function and improves your mood.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I feel so much better physically and mentally after a good gym session and a healthy and clean diet.

So enough of that.

My plans for 2017:

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As I mentioned before, I have a lot of things I want to accomplish this year and I want to share my progress with you. Every week, I will be doing a weekly check-in (#weeklycheckin) on my Instagram. No filters, no bullshit progress photos every week. I want to be real with people. These weekly check ins will include current weight, some measurements, and current body fat percentage. The fitness journey and industry is not always peaches and cream. I want to share my progress as I work on obtaining my goals.

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So here is to you fitfam! Here’s to new goals, a new mindset, and a fabulous 2017!!!!