Where’s the blog at?!

Ok, it’s been a hot minute guys! And I’m truly sorry to leave y’all for SO LONG!

Let’s back up and kind of do a quick rundown of what has been happening!!!

Covid-19 hit the world and shocked us all. No one was prepared for the pandemic to hit and well, I was no exception!!! It’s been 100 years since our last one so, who would’ve thought?!

Right before the shelter in place happened, we adopted a sweet little 4 month old tiny straight haired Bernedoodle named Lola, who has been keeping us on our toes for the last three months. She definitely made quarantine easier and it’s nice for Gus to have another partner in crime!!

Before covid-19, I was struggling with a (mis)diagnosis of PCOS. PCOS is polycystic ovarian syndrome (sometimes can lead to different ovarian cancers-scary stuff!) and it’s very common among women! There’s weight gain, painful and irregular periods, uncontrollably bloating, breakouts-it’s like being on your period that got turned up by 100. It’s awful!

With PCOS, you can also have fertility issues. When I went in to my original obgyn to speak about starting a family, she diagnosed me, saying I had thick follicles in my ovaries and I wasn’t ovulating. To say I took the news hard was an understatement! (I will also talk later about how I was treated at the first doctor and how you should be an advocate for your own health in a later blog-because this experience alone was traumatizing!) After finding a PC and new obgyn-I was on the healthy train to start a family.

But, plans got put on hold when the decision was made to uproot our lives in Ohio to move to Colorado! Yeah, boy were we in for it

A week into the shelter in place and after making the decision to stop trying because of the stress of selling a house and moving, I found out I am expecting a little nugget in November! Scary times to say the least!!! A pandemic, a move and then the really heavy stuff hit.

I don’t want to get into anything political on this blog, it’s not what it’s for. It’s health and fitness. But, this stuff can’t be swept under a rug-black lives matter. Period. All lives matter, and in this world we should be treated equally and it’s saddening that we aren’t. My heart was sadden and hit hard with the senseless murders of fellow humans by hateful people. I know I’m not saying anything right-which is another scary thing and why I left for so long-I didn’t want to say the wrong thing but also I was sad.

I’m learning, as I hope many others are, and we can all do our parts to change. Having a small tiny life growing inside me and this happening, has forever changed me in indescribable ways. And I can only hope we all raise the next generation with love instead of hate.

So, that’s what has happened-I don’t want to write a book about the last three horrific months that has and is changing our world. But, I wanted you to know I’m still here, I’ll still write and hopefully I can keep spreading love, joy and knowledge (and hopefully some laughs) with all the new adventures I am facing!

Again, this blog will be health and fitness related, plus some sprinkled in adventures of being pregnant and the move/adjustment to the mountain life. I will be providing links below to help spread more knowledge and love!

Stay tuned, y’all! I have a lot coming up!!! Please be sure to sign up on my website for my weekly newsletter (FitLetter! As I like to call it!) and as always, love y’all!

Never any bullshit,

Jess

Coffee Real Talk: I Hate This Picture…

I hate this picture, but, I feel like I need to share it…

This is a picture that I find so hard to post. I’m uncomfortable that I’m exposed-yes, I’m in my underwear-but I had “let myself go.”

As a trainer, coach, fitness influencer, nationally qualified women’s physique competitor…I looked awful and felt even worse. My body was a stranger to me.

Ugh. My body was a stranger to me.

Who else has ever felt like this?! I know as we age and go through life phases, our bodies are amazing at adapting to all this new stuff. We should be proud of what our bodies can do, marvel at the strength we can possess, be in awe that the female body makes life, and so much more!!

And in that first picture, I was struggling. I was holding water, I was bloated and inflamed, my joints and skin hurt; I was also not eating correctly and I was not exercising. Those last two-I tried to lie to myself about many times! Like, “I didn’t eat that bad” or “I’m exhausted and my body needs rest.” When slowly, I was just becoming a stranger within myself and doing the best to cope with some crazy things being thrown my way.

What did I change?? And the last pic isn’t even the most recent (and I was bloated/on my period!)

I took control of my health; I made the hard decision to be honest with myself and reevaluate what I was going to do. Because, what I was doing, clearly wasn’t working. I also decided, to ignore that negative voice in my own head telling me how I should look for Instagram, or coaching, or just social standards-I left them at the door and started fresh.

Number one change: Mindset

Next I attacked my diet. At this point in time (The first pic taken in November 2019) I had fallen out of love with the gym and nutrition seemed like the next logical step for me. Now, my macros aren’t going to be the same as yours-so I’m not listing those (they are fluid tho and change as my training now changes) but I decided to go plant-based. My first doctor had told me she believed I had PCOS and after a deep dive into Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome, I decided that anti-inflammatory foods were going to be best for me. I added in foods that had once scared me away (like fruits!) and my whole outlook on food changed. (I promise to write about more food/diet stuff involving bodybuilding and the after bodybuilding phase in life-so hang tight!)

Next, leaving that negative mentality at the door, I hit the gym. And the gym hit back.

I wasn’t where I had once been and that first workout back, I definitely had a hard time with. THIS IS NORMAL! I took 3-4 months off! Yes, me…I slacked off for that long and figured my body would catch up! I had some accountability help-a friend making sure that I went at least 3 times per week, took a week off here and there for the first two months back! Now, I’m back at it 4-5 days a week, I allow myself solid rest days (I gotta work on that stress management!) and I have lost 11 pounds so far since November.

Think I’m bragging?? Hell yeah I am! That was a ton of hard work! There’s a quote from Harvey Spector: “I quit everyday, I just never said it out loud. I would never give them the satisfaction of breaking me.” So, yeah-allow yourself to feel it and then to grow through what you are going through!

Harvey also says, “I can’t hear you over how awesome I am.” Its my motto for when that negative voice starts to chime in with her bullshit. I look at that above picture, remember all the shit I went through, and I keep fighting daily! I tell my clients the same things when they have those negative interactions inside their own heads; to cut it out! You’re a queen and you keep celebrating those small wins.

Again, I will deep dive into those issues as I sort them out myself. From negative self talk to strict bodybuilding dieting to reverse dieting gone wrong, PCOS and the whole spectrum…I promise.

Just know that if I can do it, you can do it! I hope that in sharing a picture that I hate and feel so exposed sharing, that it will help you in this fitness journey you are on! You aren’t alone-and if you are reading this, know I consider you part of my tribe.

Stay strong my friends, keep at the journey, and don’t ever feel shame for where you came from because it built what you are now!

Never any artful bullshit and yours in strength,

Jess

My 7 Healthy Habits for Beginners

So many people want to start a fitness/healthy lifestyle journey and just don’t know where to start! It can all be overwhelming! Social media on all forms can lead you into so many different directions and tell you to ‘do this’ and ‘do that.’ And then you sit, not being able to budge, because there are so many options out there! Let me help…or try to (LOL)

Now these are in no certain order!! And again: when you are starting a fitness journey, getting into a new routine-a lot if not ALL of these are overwhelming.You are not alone and remember this is your journey and there’s no wrong ways.

I suggest take it one day at a time, and one week at a time for these healthy habits. “They say” (I’m assuming neuroscience doctors) that to create a habit you need to do it for at least 21 days before it fully becomes a habit or routine for you!

Changing your fitness, whether you are already fit and need out of a rut or you’re brand new (WELCOME!), attacking each habit and trying it weekly will help! The last one is one of my favorites!!! And I won’t lie to you, sitting down and slowing down to write about and think on everything I was grateful for was daunting at first!

I’m here to tell you these can be done!! Try it-take a week for each! Start with a random one, or go down the line-just start!! Don’t wait for Monday, begin today and let’s see how the mindset shift helps to change yourself and your fitness for the better!

1. Water-drink lots of it!! Whoever came up with the 8 glasses a day rule…well, it’s bullshit! Drink more and aim for ounces instead of glasses!! In my house, we drink from mason jars, so there’s always been discrepancy on what a glass is. I wasn’t a huge water drinker before I started bodybuilding-and it was a wake up call for me to actually have to drink a gallon per day and it was a struggle!! I tell all my clients that struggle with this, to start and aim for 80 ounces! Then we build from there!
 What happened when I started to drink 128 ounces?1 Well, my digestion started to get better! (Less bloating and constipation), my face cleared up (guys-being 30 with acne just wasn’t cutting it anymore!) and I notice a huge difference in my energy levels! Yes, I pee often lol but it’s helping my body to function better and to get rid of the toxins I build up!!!

2. Move-do any kind of body movement for 30 mins each day! That could be, dancing in the kitchen to walking the dog! When I was injured and couldn’t do any lower body days, I would walk the long way to my local coffee shop and back to my house (hitting some slight inclines but also getting in some miles each week!) the bonus to walking is you get time to clear your own head! I caught up on podcasts, came up with business/marketing ideas, reflected on my day so far-you name it, my walks were what got me moving and clearing my head!

3. Eating one healthy meal each day for a week is a great way to start changing your diet for the better. Diet is a loose term here because I don’t want anyone to think of a typical restrictive diet! For one week-plan your morning meals for each day! That easy-could be overnight oats or a smoothie, egg bites (all these recipes will be coming soon to UnreasonableFitness.com!) but start your day off with less sugar and a well balanced meal of carbs, proteins, fats and fiber! It gets your day started, helps wake up your body systems and keeps you fuller longer so there’s no mid-day crash!! (Also another eBook coming soon-Badass Macros: a beginners guide to badass macro tracking and nutrition!)

4. Start planning and prepping for your day…you don’t have to be a chef to plan out a couple of days of food ideas. Also, you don’t have to be Marie Kondo to get a little organized. Start with one small thing each day that will help you out the next day. I always set out my clothes the night before, it’s one less thing on my plate in the morning! I meal prep a few meals in advance-this goes for my tracking too because I plan my days out in advance to help puzzle piece my macros together. This just sets me up for success for the following day, especially when my day can get a little hectic! When my foods are in the fridge and ready to go; it’s one less decision I need to make!

5. Turn off all the tech stuff 30 mins before bed and try to get to bed 15 mins earlier. Sleep is so important to mind and body recovery! I’m not saying you have to get 8 solid hours each night, because I get it! Life happens! If you can average 7 throughout the week-you are winning!! Turning off all the tech literally gives your eyes and your brain a much needed mental break. You won’t be falling down the rabbit hole of who did this and when and comparing it to your life now-which is a double win! You can definitely try reading an actual book, a nighttime yoga routine or breathing exercises, or taking a quick shower with some essential oils such as lavender and chamomile (make sure you don’t put them directly on your skin-but get some infused rubs or body washes!!)

6. Set some goals and be realistic about them. More so-be SMART about them. You don’t have to have 10 to start with-you are beginning a healthier lifestyle change so start with one or two! Be specific (set a time frame), make it measurable, attainable (you didn’t gain 20 lbs in a week so you won’t lose it either; same with ‘I’m going vegan’ ease into it!) realistic and time

7. Start cultivating gratitude. I have and love using a gratitude journal – it’s daily prompts that makes you think of the positive things that have happened during your day. It’s not just about the good things but also remembering those in your life that have had positive and loving influences on you. I’m always grateful for my mother-not trying time be mushy, but she truly cares for everyone else around her, expects little to nothing in return and has taught me how to be a strong woman. Who you hang out with can also affect how you feel and express gratitude-so take a close look at your five most inner circle. Are they positive? Values line up? Positive influences can do so much for you when cultivating gratitude!

So, if you read all the way through those-congrats!!! I tried to keep them short and sweet…you don’t have to do all 7 everyday all day. Try one thing at a time and celebrate the small wins!!! If 4 out of 7 days you write on a gratitude journal-you are winning!!! You drink an average of 100 ozs in a week-hell yeah!! You are killing it!!! Try to keep it simple for yourself.

Give it a try!
You know I don’t ever give you the artful bullshit.
Yours,
Jess


My 4 Go-To Supplements and Why I Stick with Them

Consistency is something that I’m learning, is very important throughout your life-especially when we think we crave spontaneity! When you date someone, you ask them to be consistent, babies need their routines to grow and sleep better, and my health needs it’s consistency to behave.

Take for instance: skincare. I knew I was an adult when I I stuck with a skincare line and do the steps morning and night! (Athia skin literally cleared my skin and has helped with wrinkles *code: FUNSIZED will save you some money and I SWEAR by this stuff) which we all struggle with-so I know I’m not the only one that is impressed with themselves when they take care of their skin!

Supplements though, they come and go; along with the many many supplement companies out there! It’s a whole different game when it comes to what you take! Three of mine listed are from Bowmar Nutrition, and I want to give them a little shout out. As a supplement company, they test their products and they don’t hide anything! No fillers or proprietary blends-they list what they got in there and show the test results done (they post about it on their social media too!) They believe in their products and believe in a higher standard at an affordable price-so, yes-I love them and their products!

Now, I’m listing my top 4 supplements that I take everyday and that I’ve noticed have made a difference! But, always consult a primary care or health professional when beginning any new supplements!!

Collagen Peptides by Bowmar Nutrition:

What is it?

Collagen Peptides are a versatile source of protein that promote the health of bones, joints and skin. Bowmar Nutrition sources their collagen peptides from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine (high quality). They are easy to digest (they have no flavor) and quickly absorbed! Collagen peptides help repair joints, bones, and tendons and they also support hair, skin, and nail health for an overall radiant look!

Why do I take it?

I tore cartilage in my knee in my athlete days in college-it has a tendency to fight me on rainy days. Taking collagen peptides has improved my joint and cartilage healthy tremendously!!! And I don’t notice that I’m pain free (or close to that) until I haven’t taken my collagen for an extended time!

Also-I’m hypothyroid and I have PCOS-both threaten the thinning of your hair. I decided it wouldn’t hurt to have some help fighting that back and restoring the youthful bounce to my skin! Which, I had TERRIBLE skin before and I’ve noticed a huge change in my acne since taking these!!! The Bowmar Nutrition site and Sarah Bowmar herself, has the clear skin cocktail posted and I’ll share here:

Clear skin cocktail recipe:
20oz room temperature water + 2 scoops collage + 1 scoop greens + 1 scoop cherry BCAAs. Shake and enjoy.

Greens by Bowmar Nutrition:

What is it?

Bowmar Nutrition Greens are a blend of super-foods that can help fill in the nutritional gaps of your diet. 1 scoop will naturally boost your energy levels, support a healthy metabolism, and improve your overall health. It has 12 servings of fruits and vegetables to deliver the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants.

Why do I take it?

Adulthood: I hope you like ibuprofen.

I joke, but the aches and pains I have now are way different then when I was a kid. I workout hard!! I also noticed that my digestive system isn’t what it was when I was a kid! So, I began taking the greens EVERYDAY!

The greens help the liver detoxify/function and supports your body’s digestive system, immune system, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. All pros in my book-I’m huge into digestive health and it’s importance for daily living-who wants to be bloated and in pain everyday?! And, it no joke-has helped me to curb my sugar cravings!! It’s a win-win and tastes delicious!

Probiotic by Bowmar Nutrition:

What is it?

Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria which are naturally present in your digestive tract. Your body is full of bacteria and organisms that maintain and help with the daily functions of all the systems and taking a probiotic supplement can help maintain the ‘friendly’ or important bacteria colonies that can be depleted by stress, anti biotics, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Bowmar Nutrition Probiotics are a potent blend of 12 different probiotic strains and 20 Billion CFU’s per capsule which supports immune and digestive health!

Why do I take it?

I mean, what’s sexier than gut health?! Am I right?! Wink wink! Ok, but for real, I take this bad boy so that my gut health is 100% functioning. I spent too long constantly bloated, inflamed and uncomfortable; not to mention I wasn’t regular and that’s just frustrating! So, all I’m going to say about this probiotic is: it got me right! I take one every morning and I have noticed a very big difference in my overall gut area!

Prenatal gummies with DHA:

What is it?

A prenatal multivitamin is a one stop shop for your vitamins. Why take 10 when you can take 1?? I have been on a prenatal for 3 years, and I can tell you that while you are of child birthing years (even if you don’t want kids or are not planning for them yet) it’s more bang for your buck!!! A regular multivitamin doesn’t contain folic acid, iron, extra biotin (hair, skin and nails) or the DHA (omega 3 fatty acid that aids in brain development and function-it can also help reduce inflammation and help your heart!)

Why do I take it?

I take a prenatal because, I’m in my thirties and I love that I can take two gummy chews and receive the benefits of 10 vitamins!! Like I said-way more bang for your buck!

When I went to the gynecologist and found out about the PCOS (I swear I’ll be writing a post about this soon!) she had told me I was wasting my money with the handful of vitamins I was taking! I was just making it harder on my body to do it’s job because I had inundated it with more things to process and I was pissing away money!!! Not something you want to hear on a budget! It also simplified my life taking the two gummies daily instead of remembering to take my handful each day!

Now guys-this is just what I take (plus an allergy pill, because, well Ohio is an allergy itself). By no means is this the Bible to good health!! Simplifying my routine made life a lot easier for me, and taking these things has helped me in my fitness journey! My hair loss has slowed down (thanks PCOS) my skin is looking clearer, inflammation and bloating has gone way down and I know the B vitamins have helped me through some rough days! But always, ALWAYS, consult your PCP or health professional before starting any kind of regime!!

Never any artful bullshit,
Jess

Some Social Media ‘T’

I’m not much of a tea drinker (I’m whiskey in a tea cup tho) but I thought it was a cute tie in to a healthy habit like tea and maybe a not so healthy habit like social media, that needs to be addressed.

Sometimes blogging is hard; you are really putting your thoughts and feelings out there in hopes you connect with people on a larger scale-further proving that you aren’t alone. That you are hopefully impacting those who may feel the same and you keep those from not feeling alone as well.

The world is hard; everyone has problems and we all have ‘those days.’ Sometimes, you look to that YouTuber or the athlete or the ‘influencer’ to motivate you, to make you feel like you aren’t alone in your problems! That’s what the social media platforms of today are supposed to be for! A larger sense of community!

The influencers I follow-I’m lumping them into this category for the sake of this blog. Are REAL people; they respond to comments and direct messages because they give an actual shit and they want to make a difference in this world. Are they Mother Theresa? No!! The little impact that they have touches lives no matter the size of their following. One positive interaction can snowball into many smaller positive interactions without you even knowing the effect!

I’ll tell you my example using Lori Harder, she’s an author, fitness expert, podcast host and self love junkie. I LOVE her podcast, she makes me feel like I’m never alone in my issues and pumps me up!!! I posted I was listening to her podcast, honestly because it was a good message and other women should hear it!!! She messaged me back thanking me, simple enough, but added the sweetest compliment. She raised me up when she didn’t have to, straightened my crown, and for real-it made my day. That day, I swear to you I complimented 6 other women in hopes they would feel how I did when Lori complimented me!!That’s being an influencer-no matter your size following.

I wrote about this because I recently lumped myself into this ‘influencer’ category. I have a small following, but a following nonetheless! I get messages daily from people that love my messages that I’m putting out there. It’s a form of therapy for me, I post and write what I am feeling and what I need to hear that day in hopes to connect to a similar community that needs it too.

Instead, someone commented ‘another person who just goes to the gym with 1500 followers calling themselves an influencer is just cringe worthy.’

I have more than 1500-that’s just semantics. This person only had 200 followers as well and a male on top of everything. Why, as a society, do we feel the need to comment on all things? You have a right to free speech-as do I!! But on a post, spreading positivity, do you feel the need to comment and spread negativity? For real, my post was about creating a small healthy habit and all he got out of the post was the self proclaimed ‘influencer’ title; he even skipped my #boobsweat comment that well, was funny!
The world is full of negativity. We don’t need more. People are battling cancer and other illnesses; children are going hungry; the political climate is toxic and scary; puppies need homes; there’s so much bad-why spread it further?

I fully believe in being the energy you wish to receive. I also fully believe in ‘If you’re going to be a turd, go lay in the backyard.’

I’m trying to put a voice and a face to my blog-to my Instagram-to my vulnerability as a real person. I share in hopes to grow a community; to empower others to be better, do better; to spread positivity where there is negativity and over sexualization.
Yes I go to the gym, I post a lot of gym things. Fitness is a HUGE part of my life, and whether you think fitness isn’t just as much a huge part of the world or not-it is! Look at the fitness industry!! It’s massive. And you want to shit on the few trying to connect in a healthy and positive way, without showing our asses and selling detox tummy tea? Get out of here! No one needs nor wants your shit, we are too busy shoveling our own to be dealing with the shit you throw on our pile.

Be the energy you want to receive.

Show gratitude daily-it’s an easy thing to hate and expend your own energy on being down and hateful. Aren’t you tired?! Let’s compliment the barista that just made your coffee and served you with a smile! Maybe you ride the metro-thank your driver for getting you to and from your destination safely! I saw a girl working out in the gym and I complimented her shoulders because, shoulders are hard to tone!!! (Now guys-I know it’s difficult to compliment a female in a gym, but, you can always build your gym bro’s up!!) I try to smile at people, it’s hard when I don’t have my glasses on, but, you guys-a smile can turn someone’s day around who’s in their head about the bad day they are having. They could see the smile and think ‘oh that’s so nice!’

I’m not sorry for the rant and I’m not sorry for calling myself an influencer. If you read it this far, you know I’m speaking from the heart and I know you’ve felt similar things in your daily lives. Let’s just all try to work on being positive for ourselves and when we all start overfilling our cups, let it run over and spill out into our small world!


Never any artful bullshit and with much love,
Jess

Does The Drama Ever End?

#MentalHealthMonday

I had this best friend all through high school, wicked sense of humor, great head on his shoulders and just a very well said kind of person. He told me once: ‘you avoid drama like it’s the plague.’

I wasn’t, still am not, a confrontational person. He told me that statement because I wasn’t ‘taking a stand’ but, I mean-high school, what kind of stands were there to really take?

Now that I’m older, I realize he wasn’t telling me to take a stand, or choose a side, or even to help stir the shit pot. He was telling me to not get walked on-a lesson I’m still working on! I have better boundaries than I once had, even from a year ago, let alone two years or even then-in high school. That’s just a hard lesson.

Drama can have a lot to do with lack-of boundaries but can also just be that: drama. And the more boundaries you work on having, the more people will push back and not like them!

I’m hear to tell you, I’m pretty sure (like 93.4% sure) drama doesn’t ever go away. Damn. We got a good grip on the plague, why can’t we on drama?!

Drama seems to be what makes the world go round. I, to this day, try to avoid drama like the plague. I really do! I’m a cute (but quirky) blonde in the fitness industry-so it tends to find me rather quickly. The more I avoid it, the harder it hits me when it comes.

I’ve had big soap-opera worthy dramas and small melodramas not even worthy of screen time…here’s the thing I’ve realized though: I may not be able to control others thoughts and actions (not my choice of superpower anyways) but, I can control my own thoughts and actions.

See, I recently started to think of drama as like the ghost in the attic. If you give it more attention, it feeds it the energy needed to keep getting bigger and bigger. If you tend to ignore the ghost, it loses its power. I was recently drug into some, and I choose to keep my two cents out of it~again, as hard as I try to make everyone like me, I had to take a step back and not care about the opinions of others.

I realized that the people that know me, know I wouldn’t be doing what was said that I had done. I can’t control what that particular human thinks or has said, but I control me and how it made me feel and how I choose to react. My so-called drama, that stared at me like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man-turned into a marshmallow the size you get in your hot cocoa mix-because I choose it! I removed myself from that persons equation and decided that if their circle of people wanted to think that way of me, then I can’t change it nor do I want to put the energy into it.

My energy these days, (and during that particular drama) has been going towards my business and my health. My life is plastered all over social media as well, not to where I pin my locations (I listen to true crime podcasts-so, any versions of ‘You’ can be avoided-duh), but enough that people know the level of hustle I’m putting in to each day to A) create a business B) support the people in my business that truly want help.

So, if you skipped all that (because I put no-fun details of drama in the post-Lol) let me just tell you this: drama can’t be avoided. We are humans, miscommunication is one of the biggest fire starters to any drama, followed up by the drive to be seen in a certain light.

Drama can’t be avoided but, you have the right to choose what you let into your space!
I didn’t run from my drama, I have faith that my true friends and true people, know me. They know I’m an introvert and would rather hang with my dog. They also know, I’ll be the first person who holds their crowns up and supports them in their endeavors no matter what! So, drama doesn’t scare me like it once did.

Be confident and be comfortable in yourself to turn away from the silly shit. It’s difficult at times and I’m still working on it, it’s a part of having a healthy mental game!! But, when you truly care less what people think of you-you start to be a little less drama free (though you will hear it from time to time, get headphones ;)) and you’ll be that much freer to be happy. Put up some boundaries, unfollow anyone that makes you feel less, block the negativity all day. Your mental health is important!

Also, if you made down to here after my little rant and ‘trying-to-make-the-world-a-touch-bit-better-post’-and you don’t know what ‘You’ is…get some Netflix already!! I swear I’ll probably write a blog post on how to stay safe in this technological world…look it up tho, it’s a creepy thriller that’s grabbed a lot of attention.

Happy Monday, y’all!

No artful bullshit and forever yours (drama free of course)

Jess

Why Your Diet Isn’t Working For You…

Healthy lifestyle over ‘dieting’

Consistency is the key on playing the long game of weight loss. I read and hear so much ‘well, I tried intermittent fasting and I was so hungry I caved.’ Or ‘keto was working but on the weekends with friends I need wine.’ Ever hear ‘you can’t out work a shitty diet’??

Those above statements are why I try to work with my clients on eating healthy, making good decisions, and portion control. Tracking your macros is just the tool used for all trending diets because the big thing is: calories in vs calories out! There are circumstances where this won’t work-and I would argue that it’s mainly in athletic performance that they would need to push calories. Also, I would never ignore the studies that show, for example, a true ketogenic diet helping epileptic children.

The problem with the trends, you aren’t learning any mental aspect of eating. Food has a huge mental impact; we eat when we celebrate birthdays, weddings, babies being born, and funerals (every aspect of the life cycle). Holidays circle around eating; as we become adults, socializing is harder because it also revolves around eating!

Setting limitations, so the rules of your ‘diet,’ may cause you to over-eat, binge or fail. The continuing cycle of dieting, failing, not dieting and then dieting again-‘yo-yo’-is just as bad for you as the unhealthy fat that either clings to your backside/hips or your gut.
Staying consistent will help-it’s hard to do this but if you set yourself up to succeed it won’t be so difficult! And there’s a better chance of you sticking with it and seeing results! No matter what type of lifestyle dieting you wish to do!

For example, I recently decided I was going to go plant based. I sat down with my husband and discussed the budget, the ‘why,’ and if he would be interested in doing it with me, etc. Now, from the beginning I knew that I didn’t want to support our meat industry (it’s bad for the environment and I believe we need to respect our food better) but, I would eat wild game that our family could provide (mainly venison). I also started with two days out of the week! First, I had food already in the fridge that I wasn’t going to just toss (that budget thing!) and I knew the switch would be difficult around the holidays (I don’t expect family to ‘get it’ lol so I adjust).

This process can be taken with most diet trends. The only one I would say you shouldn’t take this approach to would be keto. Keto is more than ‘eat avocados and bacon’ it’s trying to produce a hormone reaction in your body! So you should be getting into ketosis; which will suck for a bit but I know men that truly see results after getting past the ‘keto flu’ stage. I also said MEN. Women have a harder time with keto due to our damned hormones!! They initially lose weight then start to gain, I found an amazing article that I will link here that further explains (way better than myself) on this.

I just never suggest my female clients delve into keto. A lot of them are young or have families and this is not the easiest way to set yourself up for success! It’s not the most family friendly so meal time would be hard if you had to cook for kids, husband and you!
Here are 5 tips to help set yourself, and whatever diet lifestyle you choose, for SUCCESS:

  1. Back to basics! Drink water (take out sugary drinks) and watch your portions <link portion or find pic>
  2. Prep before hand! I like to meal prep Sunday for meals until Wednesday and then I take a little time on Wednesday to prep for the rest of the week. Helps keep things fresh and it breaks down the time of actual meal prep.
  3. Set up small goals you can hit. This will help you feel accomplished and help you stay consistent! (Ex: This week I will have all my healthy lunches planned and packed the night before.)
  4. If you can, plan for the variables! Variables can be: kids birthdays, anniversary, holidays, etc. Some diets you choose to partake will be a little harder to do this but you can always bring dishes that you can eat/share or plan to eat before hand. Not only did I go plant based, I’m lactose intolerant-like BAD-so I learned I always needed to plan ahead of time what I can bring or what I will eat before hand!
  5. Don’t limit your foods. Setting limitations just makes that forbidden food sound that much better! Again, this won’t work with some diets (like keto) and I always suggest with those that you just stick to the rules so you don’t mess with your hormones! But, if you can, don’t set limitations. Watch your portions! You don’t have to skip the birthday cake-just don’t eat the whole damn thing or eat it everyday! This sets you up for a better mental state in the long run.

I’m not saying that any one diet is good vs bad! I’m just saying, they are not all created equal! They all have pros and cons and you should do all the research you can before partaking! (And I don’t mean the kind of research you get when your hair stylist is telling you her second cousin lost weight doing so-and-so or even ‘my trainer does this’) do your own research and plan ahead!

One last thing, and this goes with staying consistent, you need to be understanding and gentle with yourself. I say this to a lot of clients! Having a good mental game is key to anything you are putting your mind to. If you mess up on your diet, don’t continue to eat garbage (staring you’ll start over the next day) start over the next meal! Or if you mess up, don’t punish yourself with an hour extra of cardio!

A diet and exercise are just the tools in your belt, along with consistency and discipline, that will help you lose those pounds or gain muscle, or run that marathon; whatever your goals are!

No artful bullshit, ever-

Jess

When Life Hands You Lemons, You ask for Lulu-Lemons Instead

See what I did there? And yes, this is a blog article about leggings-kind of.

Recently, I made a post to Instagram that I didn’t think would have an impact on me or any of my followers. Let’s be honest, most of my followers are men and don’t necessarily care for fashion posts, health posts, or any posts really that don’t have to do with my backside. That’s just social media! (And I do have some awesome male followers and clients-so I’m not male bashing, I promise!)

The post I made, well, I was tooting my own horn! I was unapologetically me. I didn’t think about anything except that I had put on a pair of leggings that I haven’t worn in a long time. These leggings just started to be uncomfortable and show things I wasn’t happy about and they basically reminded me that I had fallen off the fitness wagon! I gained weight and the leggings were punished (obviously) to lay forgotten and discarded in the back of my drawer.

One back up on laundry later though…and I needed some leggings! I grabbed them, and again, thought I’d squeeze them on and take them right off and get rid of them for good. Ladies, and some of you guys, know what I’m talking about. Why keep clothes that make you feel bad about yourself? Marie Kondo-remember?? If it doesn’t spark joy-GTFO! And wouldn’t you know it, I put them on and they actually fit. I was shocked at first but, then I also knew that I had worked really hard this past month and a half to get back on the horse and I was ecstatic!

@Fitness_Funsized

Naturally, I posted on Instagram that I was just happy these suckers fit and stated that 2-3 months ago I had gained weight and struggled a bit with my fitness. I didn’t have a clever caption or a booty shot-I was just so happy that I had to write about the small win that was these once tight leggings. I wrote about going back to the basics with everything I ever knew about fitness and started over. Again to my shock, it got a ton of likes, (I’m fully clothed and got over a thousand likes!) and it received over a dozen comments. Comments that hit home in the feels, it was other women telling me they felt that way too and could relate, and to keep up the hard work! (Those are some boss-ass babes too! Love my tribe!)

I really did have start over, and it was hard. I recently decided to become mainly plant based in my diet, I eat 3 meals a day because its what I can manage (I was at 5-6) and I workout consistently-if I miss a day, I don’t beat myself up and that was a MAJOR change/challenge for me. Women commented/messaged me, that it made them feel better knowing that someone on ‘your level of fitness’ struggled and that it didn’t make them feel so ashamed or guilty.

I wanted to cry reading those words. Guilty and Shame.

People! You do not have to feel guilty for taking care of yourself, for figuring ‘it’ out, for not working out, for not having a squat booty…the list goes on and on. We are all humans, and I can tell you that life happens and it does so on its own terms.

Back story: Life didn’t care that I wanted to go pro and had a show in a month’s time last January. My body had tanked, and family, career and figuring ‘it’ out had to happen. Let’s just say, I didn’t need any help finding the way to the Struggle Bus stop.

There is a balance to fitness that I think some people either ignore or some just forget. I would’ve told you that I forgot, but if I’m being honest-I was ignoring. I was fighting myself (image issues, self-worth issues, etc.), I was struggling in personal relationships and I was struggling trying to find my career path. I turned to the gym for an escape, and I loved bodybuilding because of the routine and control. No matter how hard I lifted or how many trophies I won, my problems caught up with me! Not one by one either-it was like a tidal wave of issues/problems breaking through a dam!

Therapy, doctor appointments and a few pounds later-I was finding balance and trying to return to fitness. 3 months ago, I hated the gym and hated working out (not like me at all). I was busy and didn’t want to give up my new routine. I was enjoying my life without the fitness aspect which had consumed my life for a long time. Now, I felt like a stranger in my body and when I tried to head to the gym, I was plagued with negative thoughts. I felt judged and out of place in a place I used to call a second home-ouch. I also felt pressure to be a fitness idol like my Instagram page said I was! It took some time; the first three weeks felt like pulling teeth but I went back to the basics and set small goals to hit each week. Soon I was back at it and seeing progress!

I’m now in a much better place mentally to be Fitness Funsized again. I am so happy that my honesty and transparency made the impact that it did to the few women that really needed it. I know I was there and I understand it-a person of my ‘fitness level’ lacked motivation!

I can say now that it changed my perspective and it changed the message I want to spread on social media. I want you guys to know I struggle and that I had to start over! That I’m not perfect, I don’t have a perfect diet or even a perfect training program but all I can do is my best and that’s what you should be doing too. Small steps to becoming a better you each day.

My friend shared a quote with me today: “It’s not about the idea, it’s about the execution.” I loved it; it lit my fire and I hope that it lights yours! And I hope that in sharing my past struggles, you don’t feel alone, but feel empowered to start becoming a better you, for you ;).

Never any artful bullshit and forever yours,

Jess

Goals; They Aren’t Just a New Years Kind of Thing…

Goals was a word that used to intimidate me. The definition given states a goal is: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. In my own head, a goal was a deadline-it was something you HAD to meet and it was CONCRETE. I’m not the best at planning life events ahead of time and trying to figure out goals used to make me feel like I needed to have my chaotic life better put together! Talk about pressure!

Recently, I began to see goals a little differently. I think of goals as being more like guidelines. They are the big dark outlines in a coloring book that form a picture. I can use whatever color I want to fill in the blank spaces, but, staying in the designated lines help see the picture. This, (and that picture of Jack Sparrow I always imagine) takes the intimidation, the expectation of being perfect, and the fear, out of setting goals.

Having guidelines in your life are important, they give you purpose-and in a gym setting I know I thrive when I have a purpose. New Years is the time of year people go full speed ahead with fitness and health goals but then they sputter out just as quickly…why?? Sometimes life happens, you get busy, the gym has too many people or my favorite (and I’ve done this) is not making goals/half-ass making goals. (Never half-ass anything, use your full ass!!!) Easy to say, but when it came to goal writing, I wasn’t doing a good job and would end up quitting or continuing the year with no sights in mind.

Here is where I am going to be that blog, for this time of year-aka New Year’s. It’s just the perfect time to bring up goal setting and how it’s done. Even when I believe you can set goals at ANY time during the 365 days we have in the year, now is the time when people are googling “how do I set a goal”…I know I did!

SMART Goals:

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. These are important aspects to a goal and hitting all of them can be is a little difficult and a tad bit overwhelming if you are new to the goal setting game.

For this little blog, I want to touch on the goals people will make that pertain to their health and fitness (because, well-its me and I eat, sleep, and breathe fitness.) So, I’ve laid out some of my best guidelines to help you this year! That doesn’t mean SMART goals with health and fitness in mind won’t aide you in your life goals that you may have, but it will help you practice!

1. Write it out! With any writing process, just start writing your thoughts down on paper and then sort that out later. Writing down what you are thinking about will get you closer to figuring out a SMART goal and it helps hold yourself accountable to that goal. Be sure you place this where you will see it daily (I know it sounds a little granola/yogi but it’s been proven that writing it down and having you goal visible will help you achieve it-check this article from Forbes here.)

2. If your goal is to ‘lose weight’ I want you to tell yourself how many actual pounds you want to lose. That sets your goal in your sights. Now, with this I also want you to pick a time frame and this will just be another guideline to help you in your journey. Here’s something I tell my clients (and myself): you didn’t gain that weight in 5 days so don’t expect to lose it in 5 days. Be gentle with yourself and also pick a time frame that works with your lifestyle. You can always build on these guidelines, especially if you surpass your original goal (Notice we definitely hit the Specific, Attainable and Timely part of SMART)

3. Now, if losing weight isn’t a goal and you need a more task driven goal for the gym-that’s also something we can work with! It will hit your Specific in SMART, just in a different way. You want to do a pull up? Give yourself three weeks to build up the strength and muscles used, but most importantly make sure you are doing things that help with your goal. If you set your sights on a non-assisted pull up, don’t build yourself a program that has you squatting three times a week and doing bicep curls! (We just touched on Relevant, y’all and this goal setting doesn’t seem too bad-right?!)

4. Re-evaluate your goals! Quarterly? Half way through the year? It doesn’t matter when, but you definitely need to. Life may throw you a curve ball, for example you change positions at work or you need to work different hours and travel more; you should look at your goals you’ve written and see what can change to help set yourself up for success. These goals you set aren’t CONCRETE (like I once told myself they were) and you should always help set yourself up for success!

Still feeling a little iffy on goal setting? My last tip, and one that I did. I made a list! It help me sort out in my mind all the thoughts jumbled up in there on what I wanted to accomplish in 2020. I’ve since gone back to my list and started to write out a more detailed version of the one-word goal I had listed. Goal setting can be as overwhelming as you allow it to be, like most things-if you just take a step back and revisit the basics, you can work through it.

Now, sit back with your favorite mug of coffee and start your New Year (or any of the 365-ish days we have in the year) and set some goals! I know I am…maybe after my third cup 😉

No artful bullshit ever and forever yours,

Jess

Boundaries

I don’t know about you, but I need some #MentalHealthMonday in my life! So, here on this little everything blog-I’m going to use some of these Monday’s to bring awareness to some mental health issues.

What are boundaries?

Physical boundaries pertain to your personal space, privacy and body. Emotional boundaries are more internal boundaries that separate your emotions and responsibility for them from someone else’s. It’s like an imaginary line or force field that separates you and others.  Mental boundaries are similar in that they apply to your thoughts, values, and opinions. 

Through some time in therapy, I have come to think of my boundaries as this: I have a house with a beautiful and maintained yard, and around that is a white picket fence. That fence is a boundary-now if you also now me and that house, you’ll see a second higher fence with barbed wire and electricity running through it and possible a mote with alligators beyond that…but its a good visual.

Boundaries, in simple form, are your bottom lines. Your rules and principles that you live by. Simple, right?

If you are like me, it hasn’t always been that simple. I am people-pleaser by nature and I’ve always had some issues with boundaries and finding a healthy balance. My bottom line was an ever changing and chaotic blur that caused me way more damage in the long run! And damage to MYSELF. (And, let’e be honest-if your ‘friend’ ever has an issue with one of your boundaries that you’ve set up, are they really a good friend?!) Think on that!

Recently, I went through my social media and unfollowed, muted and blocked some accounts. *Sarcastic, hands up and fainting*

Social Media is a blessing and a curse. Social net-working and being able to connect with friends and family over vast distances is AMAZING and not only that, but for businesses-it’s a game changer! There is a dark side…It’s linked to a high percentage of teen and young adult depression and insecurity, but also to adults. 77% of Americans have social media accounts (I didn’t even look at the numbers nation wide because the numbers I saw linked to America was enough to hurt my head!). A study I read about that I will link here, proved that the study group that had less to no social media interaction after a number of weeks, had less mental issues such as loneliness and depression (or FOMO, if you will).

Back to my very public, very active account on Instagram. I would say a great deal of my life is fitness, and I share that through my profile. Fitness Funsized was created for fun but quickly grew into a brand that I now use as a business. Last year, maybe even a little over (maybe 2 years-I’m horrendous with this stuff) I decided to make it just that. Business.

That simple concept alone (of treating Instagram as a business tool) helped me so much mentally. Instagram, and I’m not proud of this, had become my LIFE when I first began it. I wanted, NEEDED, those likes and follows and validation. Until the I hit rock bottom in my life, and I don’t mean a drugs or alcohol kind of bottom. I hit life rock bottom with depression, my relationshits/ships were failing left and right, I had turned 30 with no career or anything to my name besides a follower count and fan base. (Which, I love all my fans and fit family still!). That being said, I learned the hard way about boundaries, about people, about social media…

That being said, I don’t feel bad blocking people like I once had. I used to think “OMG what if they get upset?!” or what if it caused unnecessary drama?

SO WHAT IF IT DOES?!

I’m here to tell you, like I needed to hear (and still need reminded of occasionally) that social media is what it is. It’s your account, your mental health and you have every right to protect your mental and physical health.

I’ve unfollowed fitness celebrities that I would once compare myself to in a very unhealthy way. I’ve blocked past relationships with men that I know are unhealthy. I wish them all well-I really do! But, I can not have a door that could even possibly be opened to them from either side if I want to move on with my life! And that goes for women who I compare myself with, past female friends who have created an unhealthy and competitive environment, men who’ve I had a relationship with or even unhealthy friendships….

That’s one of the great things social media has given us too! Is it rude to be at your desk and pull out a full size changing screen with a huge ‘BLOCKED’ written on it to the girl a cubicle away that posts her baby, perfect husband and cat memes all day everyday…yes it would be. So, discreetly, you can block her from popping up on your feed. FYI, I don’t have a desk nor do I know anyone that does this-but you catch my drift!

I wish everyone well that was in my past, but, they are in my past for a reason and I’ve created a healthy boundary to protect myself and my mental health. I hope they do as well, and my hope is that you go through and ‘clean up’ your social media as well! Block, un-follow, mute, deactivate and unplug when needed. It’s OK to create the boundaries needed for your own good!

With all that being said, there is an amazing book I’ve read, and re-read called Boundaries, that will be linked here if you are ever interested in reading!

No artful bullshit and forever yours,

Jess