goals

Workin’ It Wednesdays

…a day late….

Good afternoon readers!! I am excited to announce a new weekly series that my boyfriend James and I are starting today, June 1st!

IMG_2585 IMG_2605

Since he and I met and began dating almost 2 years ago (June 11 is our 2 year meetiversary) we have both put on some “I’M SO FREAKING HAPPY I CAN’T STAND IT” pounds. So, we decided to start a Journey to Health and Wellness commitment. We will provide weekly updates, photos, tips, struggles, etc… and entertain you along our journey to health.

James and I will both be writing, so you will get to “meet” him on my blog. I am so excited for this! Although we are heading in the same direction, our ultimate goals are different, so it will be fun to see how we work together to reach our own goals and support the other’s goals.

I have two struggles right now… one is always a struggle… food. I love food, I love cooking, trying new recipes, cooking for others. The whole experience. I have gotten James to start cooking with me, and I love that time in our kitchen creating our meals. My other struggle? I currently have a stress fracture in my ankle, and can’t run… my one true fitness love. So, I have kinda gone into a slump with working out, and that all changes today.

So… quickly, here are my June goals:

  1. Lose 7-10 lbs. (lofty I know, but hoping for a good jumpstart)
  2. Exercise consistently (4-5 days a week)
    1. Healing a stress fracture has taken me off the running plans, but I’ve gathered some great weight, yoga, and pool routines
  3. Greatly reduce my added sugar intake
  4. Meal prep for ALL meals
  5. Walk my dog a minimum of 1 mile a day
  6. Hit my 10,000 steps goal
  7. Daily core challenge at work

My starting data (time to get real)… I haven’t seen these numbers in like 5 years… I am really upset with myself for getting here again. More than you realize.

Wt: 199.8

BF%: 42.6

Bust: 41”

Chest: 35 ½”

Waist: 39”

Hips: 47 ½”

Arm: 13 ½”

Thigh: 28”

Now…. On To James’ goals for June and his measurements, and of course, his thoughts on all this too!

My goals are different than Angela’s. Where she is putting effort into decreasing the 3 digit numbers that show themselves in a snarky, evil way, I am more concerned with my muscle mass and body fat %. I would like to be at 14% body fat in 3 months.

My weakness has always been food that is either sweet or convenient, and very often both at the same time. I justify 1 cheat meal with numerous thoughts to make me feel better about consuming it. That justification usually leads to several cheat meals in a week, and when Angela is out of town for work, I rarely if ever eat healthy nor exercise. I also tend to get discouraged when I don’t have an 8-pack stomach after 2 weeks of moderate exercise and healthy eating and that affects my ability to continue on with the work I was doing. I see progress, but when I look in the mirror after a couple weeks and don’t see John Cena, I tend to get discouraged. That mentality ends now. It’s not a “look” I want, but a feeling. For the first time ever I’m not seeking an aesthetically pleasing body. I want to be healthier internally. The look should follow.

Meals and exercise in our house has become bonding time for us and without her around I haven’t had the discipline or mental toughness to put long-term goals ahead of short-term satisfaction. So often when we are single our goal is to attract a mate and in doing so, we naturally are our “best physical self.” When we have a mate, however, that desire is gone as our number 1 evolutionary goal is complete. We then move to other things on the ladder. This is why, to Angela and I at least, that getting healthy together is the best way to accomplish our goals. We enjoy doing everything together and I feel that us taking this journey together will allow us to both accomplish our goals.

The more people you hold yourself accountable to, the better your chances are of success. It’s why, in my opinion, so many people have a difficult time succeeding with health and fitness. They are only accountable to themselves, so when they fail, they only let themselves down. It takes an immense amount of discipline to accomplish anything substantial on your own. We are now holding ourselves accountable with each other, and allowing you, the readers to do the same. We don’t know how this journey will end, but we hope you at least enjoy taking a small part in enjoying it with us. Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

James’ June Goals:

  1. Exercise consistently (4-5 days a week)
  2. Lose 1-2% body fat
  3. Help Angela meal plan so we can shop and eat/snack as planned
  4. Plan Angela and I’s treat meal/day so we don’t overdo it (does she realize this will be wings ALL the time?!)
  5. Angela’s daily core challenge she is doing with her work… might as well tag along!

James’ Measurements:

Wt: 197.4

BF%: 28.2

Chest: 40″

Waist: 37 1/2″

Hips: 40 1/2″

Arm: 14″

Thigh: 23 1/2″

Be on the lookout for updates here, some videos, my instagram: @naturallyangela and of course on our Twitter accounts: @naturallyange and @jamesscou

Welcome 2015!

Happy New Year (a few days late)… I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to tackle this new year!! After a roller coaster of a year in 2014, I am excited for a new year, new goals and new adventures!!

So… here are my goals/plans for 2015 broken down by areas of my life:

Work:

  • Be successful.
  • Prioritize daily.
  • Succeed in achieving my goals.
  • Host successful events.
  • Outreach within the community.
  • Grow and learn.

Personal:

  • Be present.
  • Walk my dog every day.
  • Love more.
  • Tell people how I feel about them.
  • Appreciate those in my life.
  • Practice kindness.
  • Read more.  (I just joined an online book club, stay tuned for monthly book reviews!)
  • Smile and laugh every day.
  • Make someone else smile every day.
  • Offer assistance where I can.
  • Volunteer.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Respect my time, emotions, and needs.
  • Cook and bake more.
  • Spend more time with friends and loved ones.
  • Organize my life/schedule.
  • De-clutter my home.

Health:

  • Eat healthy 80% of the time.
  • Start flossing more.
  • Eat less sugar.
  • Cook more meals.
  • Plan my weekly meals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Walk 10, 000 steps minimum a day.

Fitness:

  • Create a plan with my trainer that challenges me, yet one I can commit to maintaining.
  • Try new things.
  • Join a yoga studio.
  • Swim more.
  • Bike more.
  • Run more.
  • Complete two sprint triathlons.
  • PR in a half marathon.
  • Don’t let the Philly Half win this year.
  • Become stronger.
  • Build more muscle.
  • Improve my hill running.
  • Be consistent in all my fitness.

Blog/Social Media:

  • Write more.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Share my knowledge of essential oils.
  • Post more recipes.
  • Be more interactive.
  • Bring you more reviews and information on great products.

Essential Oils:

  • Expand my knowledge.
  • Earn certifications.
  • Share with others both the knowledge, benefits and opportunity with essential oils.

It may seem like a lot, but broken down into life areas… not so difficult at all to manage. To start, I ordered a planner/journal from plumpaper.com and began working with my trainer to create some workout plans/goals for the year. I have worked with my trainer for specific fitness goals, and while some of the goals listed here seem broad, the detailed SMART goals are written!! Now for this cold to go away so I can get to my running and dog walking goals.

What are your 2015 goals and plans? I’d love to hear them!!

 

Why I Broke Up With My Scale

Why I Broke Up With My Scale

Let’s face it… we are all aware that everywhere we turn there are messages about weight, fitness, being the perfect size. Magazines, TV, billboards (especially here in Las Vegas) promoting the latest and greatest way to get that perfect body. Those, along with the “fitspiration” messages (that’s another blog post altogether) are constantly in your face. This pressure to look perfect can be overwhelming and all-consuming. It can also be unhealthy.

Another fact we all need to face….not all of us will look like the model. It is perfectly okay. It is genetics and life. Everyone on this earth has a different body style, fitness level, fitness desire, and genetics; a different set of knowledge and views on what constitutes healthy. For that matter, different goals.

I am a runner. I sometimes don’t run. I am a person who doesn’t do yoga as much as she’d like. I lift weights with the guidance of a trainer. A majority of the time I eat healthy. I like beer and wine and vodka. I like cookies, chewy sprees are my weakness. According to every single BMI and weight classification chart, based on the last time I stepped on a scale, I am overweight.

I am not perfect, nor is my body. But that number on the scale, it ate away at me. I would obsess over it, step on the scale every morning to see if there was a change. I would cut out things I enjoyed eating (and eventually fail), I would increase my physical activity until I was exhausted. I got blood tests done to make sure everything was in order. But still, that number was stubborn… would go so far, then stop, then go up. I would get frustrated, angry, sad… I couldn’t get to where I thought I should be, to where the charts said I should be. I had long conversations with my trainer discussing options, nutrition, fitness, you name it. I did some soul searching.

Here is what I learned about myself during that time. I enjoy being active. I love to run and do yoga and ride my bike and lift weights. Every single time I hit a fitness goal, I felt amazing and strong… until I stepped on the scale. I also enjoy food. I enjoy the experience of eating itself… preparing it, smelling it, the appearance and the taste. Not just quickly eating food to not feel hungry, but the experience, the use of those senses to experience it. I often look at pics of “healthy” fuel, powdered food or pureed concoctions, etc. and think, none of that looks appetizing. What happened to real food… seasoning fish, preparing vegetables…  a giant salad of fresh greens and vegetables. Truly enjoying what you are eating.

Therein was my dilemma… give up the foods I enjoy like sweets, alcohol, breads; make them healthy; or find a balance to enjoy them, be physically active, and be happy. I chose finding the balance.

My first step… was to take the scale and pack it away. I didn’t even step on it to get a “starting weight” for this endeavor. I just walked into my bathroom, picked it up, and walked into my closet and buried it under stuff on the top shelf. That day I suddenly felt liberated. That square piece of equipment was done ruling my life and emotions. My next step was to create a shopping list of foods and meals for the week. To make sure I didn’t eliminate things, but there was a 90/10 ratio of healthy to unhealthy. Then, I talked to my trainer. I told him of my crazy plan, and we worked out some workouts. I often rave about my trainer, but to his credit… he really let me go with this one. I am pretty sure he was skeptical or concerned, but, he trusted in me, and respected my decisions. I then reviewed my goals. After removing a goal weight, I noticed all of my goals were health related, not size or looks related. I wanted to be stronger, I wanted to be healthy, I wanted more energy. None of my goals focused on what my body looked like, they were just about a healthy body. I realized then that was my true goal, to be healthy. My trainer and I stopped doing weigh-ins and measurements, we focused on fitness. He gave me workouts, I did them. He gave me monthly fitness tests, my numbers improved. I ran when the urge hit me. I ate well. I also had treats and alcohol. I just lived. I was no longer defined by a number.

Yesterday I bought myself a pair of new boots. My one friend wanted to see them when I wore them… so of course, I wore the new boots the next day. I took a pic and sent it to her. Her response, WOW you look great! I really looked at the pic and thought, hmm, I do look good. I sent the pic to my trainer. He was amazed at the difference. Then I really looked at the picture. I do look more toned. I still have no clue what I weigh, but I know what size I wear and how my clothes fit. I know that my fitness levels are continuously improving and that my emotional health is even better because I am enjoying life and have truly accepted my body, my perfectly imperfect body. I don’t have six pack abs, and I don’t want them, that isn’t one of MY goals, I still have cellulite, and so what. I feel great mentally and physically. I love how I feel, I am proud of the work I am doing, and I think my perfectly imperfect body is strong and looks great. But even better than that, it FEELS great. I have energy, I have curves, and a few extra pounds…. and that is okay. I know that if I push my body physically, it will give me more than I ask of it. It will climb that hill, run those miles, hold that pose and lift those weights. It will give when my mind doesn’t want to. That is my true accomplishment, a healthy and fit body.

As of today, I will work to never again let someone make me feel bad that my goals aren’t their goals, that my body isn’t perfect by media standards or for eating that piece of cake or extra piece of candy, for having that second (or third) drink. I embrace my mind, my body, my goals and my life. My wish for you… find what works for you, and embrace it. Set goals that matter to you, that fit with what you want and enjoy in life. Live your goals EVERY SINGLE DAY and they will just become your life.

….thank you for reading, live well my friends…