New Year, New Ass

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New Year, New Ass

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Hi! Happy New Year to you! I have missed blogging over the past month plus...and I feel horrible for being away that long! Between moving and being sick for the better part of December, I took an unwanted break. But I am back and ready to get on a regular posting schedule again!

Since we're here on the second day of the new year, I'm sure many of you have listed out your resolutions for the year...and many probably include upping your fitness game, losing weight, toning and tightening, getting healthy, eating better, or all of the above. 

I'm with you. My mantra for the new year: NEW YEAR, NEW ASS.

I'm really going to dive in here and share a little back story on my fitness journey thus far, my tips for TIGHTENING up, and how I'm going to do it again.

I have been blogging for 10 years now - yes, 10 freaking years! It all started on a different platform and many of those posts are long gone, but about 8 years ago I shared my fitness journey and how I lost nearly 50 pounds. I have been very apprehensive about sharing more on this topic because it puts me in a vulnerable spot, but I hope it can help at least one person out there.

The back story: Growing up, I was never overweight. In high school, I competed on a swim team and I was pretty damn fit. My weight didn't fluctuate much at all as a child through my teen years. I was always a healthy weight. Then, in my early 20's, anxiety seemingly randomly rolled in like a tornado. More on that some other time. My solution at the time: taking an SSRI to treat general anxiety. It worked, however, I gained 40-ish pounds within 6 months. My diet hadn't changed (it wasn't great then), my exercise hadn't changed, and after relentless research and blood work, I figured out that the culprit was the medication. So I said, "bye, bitch!!"

That is when my fitness journey started. I began weight lifting, I started researching nutrition, read a million books, and when Instagram launched, I followed just about every fitness blogger. I was so inspired and motivated. It took me about a year to lose nearly 50 pounds (A lot of the weight just fell off due to my previous hormonal imbalance normalizing). I was in the best shape of my life, and I felt AMAZING because I was treating my body right.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2016...the anxiety was back again like a stage 5 clinger. I had sworn I would never take the SSRI medication I had taken years prior again, and was prescribed a different SSRI. What happened? I gained 30 pounds in 10 months. This time around, I was already living a very healthy lifestyle and I had no doubt that it was the medication. 

I said goodbye to SSRI's forever last year. NEVER AGAIN. This time around, it has been harder to get rid of the residual weight. I have lost a significant amount of weight, however, I am on a mission to say buh-bye to the rest this year.

(Note: I am not a doctor or registered dietician. I am not here to provide advice on whether or not you should be taking any sort of medication or not. I am simply sharing my personal experience.)

Now for the fun part. Let's talk about HOW TO DO IT. 

THE HARDEST PART OF ANY CHANGE OR RESOLUTION IS STARTING. SO JUST FUCKING START.

It really is that simple. Go out and start taking action. 

MENTAL GOALS

It's all about mindset. Call me crazy, but it is. The biggest difference between the first time I achieved what I wanted and now is all mindset. You are quite literally a manifestation of your own thoughts. Negative, Debbie downer? That is what you throw back and become. I'm telling you this from experience. Start thinking positively and you will see a huge shift. 

Be vocal about your SPECIFIC VISION. Determine what your vision is and then voice it, whether it's out loud to yourself, to a friend or family member, or the internet! ;) The more specific, the better. For example, instead of saying "I want to be fit in 2018", determine the how, what, and why. For example, "I want to have a 6 pack by living a healthier lifestyle to prove to myself that I can look and feel my best."

Write down action items that aligns with your vision. My favorite way to do this in regards to tightening up is to make a list of everything that I need to do to meet my goal/vision, and then I calendar it out. If you're new to fitness, don't go all in at once. Start with just walking on the treadmill a few times a week and work up from there to avoid burnout and disappointment. 

Think like you are already where you want to be. For example, if you want to have a 6 pack, what would you be doing if you were already there? This step seems to simple, but it makes such a huge difference.

FITNESS & DIET GOALS

Use My Fitness Pal. This app is amazing for holding yourself accountable, understanding what you're eating and how much. If you're looking for HUGE results, this will make a HUGE difference. I recommend buying the paid version as it is easier to track macros this way.

Add more fiber to your diet. This is one goal I have just started paying attention to, and it makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE. Fiber keeps you full longer without added calories. Sign me up!

Drink more water. ...Says everyone. I drink a lot of water, but I'm adding more in to my morning routine with a zing of lemon to kickstart my metabolism. After this, I go straight for coffee or espresso, which is also great for your metabolism.

Mix up different workouts. Changing things up confuses your body, which is a GOOD thing when it comes to weight loss and/or toning up. Have fun trying out different workouts and different classes. My favorite classes are Bodypump, yoga, pilates, and spin.

How are you going to kick this year's ass? Please add your list in the comments!

Happy January!

xo Lynn

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How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

I know I'm not the only one who says they're going to bed at 10 PM, only to find myself scrolling through Instagram until 2 AM. I'm sure you've seen THIS meme!

Lately I have been practicing a more healthy bedtime routine that allows me to fall asleep easier and sleep better - watch the video above for all of my REAL tips!

Hint: one of my favorite things to do before bed is to turn on my oil diffuser. It completely sets the mood for whatever you want depending on what kind of oils you use with it. My favorite for bedtime is lavender essential oil - it's SO relaxing! If you don't have an oil diffuser yet, you're in luck because Organic Aromas is giving away one diffuser (the same one seen in my video) to one lucky winner! Enter to win below!

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Acupressure Mats

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Acupressure Mats

I have an amazing wellness tip and product to share with you today...using an acupressure mat. I am asking myself WHY I didn't discover this baby sooner. It's inexpensive and it feels SO good.

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I shared this acupressure mat on Instagram stories over the weekend, and I heard back from some of you telling me that you have it too and love it. I love to try new wellness products, and I am so glad that I picked this mat up on Amazon.

Let's back up a little. Awhile back, my mid to lower back hurt so badly. I love massage for relieving back pain, but I've heard from so many that acupuncture is incredible for relieving pains, stress, and more. However...I'm too afraid of it. 

What exactly is an acupressure mat? I have researched a lot, so here is what I have to share with you:

An acupressure mat is also known as an "acupressure needle stimulation pad" or a "bed of nails," and is made with foam along with thousands of very sharp, short plastic needles. The goal is to sit or lie on your back and/or stomach on the mat between 20-40 minutes. I know this sounds like it would be miserable, but it's not. It feels AMAZING. BYE muscle tension. Acupressure mats also help with fibromyalgia.

When I lie down on this amazing mat, I can literally feel pain, stress, and fatigue go away, and I am now a believer in acupressure and acupuncture (even though I'm scared to try it)...the mat is enough for me for now. I am ALL FOR holistic medicine, and so many holistic doctors recommend acupressure for aches, pains, tension, and insomnia. 

Let's talk a little about neck pain. I had chronic neck pain before I got the Z pillow (life changing), and wish I'd had this mat then. But when I do get neck pain now, this mat is perfect because it comes with a pillow. Yep, a pillow with little spikes on it that feel SO good on your shoulders and neck.

So, you're probably thinking..."does it hurt?" My pain tolerance is pretty high, but I am a scardey cat. I was scared to lie down on this mat when I first got it. But it doesn't hurt. 

My favorite time to use the mat is before bedtime. It's relaxing. I've worked my way up from laying on it clothed to going naked.

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Here are many benefits of using an acupressure mat:

+ Increases blood circulation

+ Provides headache relief

+ Relieves neck pain

+ relieves shoulder pain

+ relieves back pain

+ Relieves stress from the body

+ Reduces anxiety

+ Stimulates endorphins

+ Helps with insomnia

+ Heals foot pain

+ Relieves leg pain

+ Relieves hip pain

+ Relieves heartburn

+ Relieves inflammation

+ Helps with energy levels

So, are you sold yet? I hope you'll try it. Any acupressure mat will work. This one from Amazon is the only one I have tried and I LOVE it. Very inexpensive and it WORKS.

Have you tried acupressure? 

xo, Lynn

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Gucci Low Ace Sneaker Dupes!

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Gucci Low Ace Sneaker Dupes!

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CUTE sneakers can be hard to find. You know, not the athleisure style and not a gym shoe. But an everyday sneaker. Luckily they are becoming more and more readily available and popular. 

I am super picky when it comes to any piece of clothing and shoes, so when I find a good pair of sneakers that I love I have to get them. Buying sneakers for my size 10 feet can be difficult - I like to avoid the clown foot look at all costs! 

Anyway, I am completely obsessed with these white Gucci inspired beauties that I got at Target. They were only $28, a HUGE difference from the $730 pair from Gucci. It's a no brainer.

I love me a good white pair of shoes because they're sleek. Yes, I think even sneakers can be sleek. Need a tip on keeping white shoes clean? White shoe polish does the trick!

I love wearing these with jeans and a baggy sweater, or a simple t-shirt dress with a drapey cardigan. 

See how similar the two are below? 

SHOP

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Vital Proteins Collagen: I'm OBSESSED

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Vital Proteins Collagen: I'm OBSESSED

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I am one who will try {almost} anything in the name of wellness and beauty. And before I ever recommend any product, service, or potion, I try it out.

Vital Proteins sent over their Marine Collagen packets, and I was very scared to try them because I was pretty grossed out by the idea. I waited a long time to give it a try. 

Finally, I was feeling ballsy and dumped a packet into my hot Cinnamon Peppermint tea from Trader Joes - which by the way is SO YUMMY! 

You know that feeling right before you're about to taste something that might be absolutely disgusting for the first time? That was me.

...I took a sip, and it wasn't bad. At all. The collagen powder is unflavored, but you can still tell it's there if that makes any sense. And now I am hooked because of COURSE I want to strengthen my nails and hair, and improve my gut health. 

After being sent the packets, I did some research on collagen products, and I learned that so many brands use fillers and lots of chemicals to produce their products. STEER CLEAR of these! I really love Vital Proteins because not only are the benefits simply amazing, but their products are non-GMO, the marine collagen is from wild-caught snapper, and there are no added flavors. Just one ingredient. No bull.

Let's get into all of the ways that collagen can help your health:

1. Improves the health of your skin and hair: As we age, collagen production declines. When this happens, you'll notice more wrinkles, thinner skin, more brittle hair and nails. By ingesting collagen, your skin's smoothness and elasticity will be improved. With that, the appearance of cellulite will decrease. Sign me up! 

2. Improves digestion and a leaky gut: Collagen helps break down proteins and soothes your gut's lining, healing damaged cell walls and infusing it with amino acids. The second way collagen helps improve digestion is by forming a stronger connective tissue to "seal and heal" the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Many illnesses and inflammation stems to a leaky gut, so this can help with rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and other autoimmune disorders.

3. Reduces Joint Pains and Degeneration: When we produce less collagen, our joints can become sore and swollen. With its gel-like structure that covers and holds bones together, collagen allows unto glide and move without pain. This is so amazing to me because I can already tell that I have bad knees. Yikes.

4. Boosts Metabolism, Muscle Mass and Energy Output: Consuming collagen can help your metabolism by helping with the conversion of essential nutrients. One of collagen's most important roles is helping form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that feeds muscle cells. Retaining muscle mass is crucial as you age, since it helps support posture, bone health and burns more calories than fat. 

5. Protects Cardiovascular Health: The amino acid proline helps your artery walls release fat buildup in the bloodstream, shrinking the fat in the arteries and minimizing fat accumulation. Proline is needed for tissue repair within the joints and arteries, plus it helps control blood pressure. As part of collagen found within joints, it buffers our bodies from the effects of vibration or shock and helps us hold on to valuable cartilage as we get older.  It’s also linked with the prevention of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) since it helps our arteries stay clear of dangerous plaque buildup.

Not only all of these FANTASTIC benefits, but the marine collagen packets contain 11 grams of protein! I am a HUGE fan. My biggest recommendation when taking collagen is to mix it with a hot tea. 

If you try it, let me know what you think!

xo, Lynn

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Amazon Must Haves

As you will see in this video, I take my Amazon purchases very seriously and have used everything I'm talking about here for at least a few months. Many I have been using for years. 

Let me know what your Amazon picks are! Is there anything that I should add to my cart?

xo, Lynn

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