DIY · health · Weightloss

D.I.Y Your Own Home Gym!

January is all about lifestyle changes and healthy choices. We make promises to ourselves that this year will be different and we start out strong. If you made a health resolution, it can be difficult to follow through. One thing that can help is having your own personal space to get in a workout! Working out is such an important part of leading a healthy life, why not put the effort into customizing a space to do it, just for you.

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The first thing you will need is a little bit of space! It can be the garage, basement or just a corner of a room, whatever works best for you. Clear it of any clutter and lets get started!

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I Heart Organizing

Secondly, arrange whatever workout equipment you have in the space. For example, a treadmill, weights, and resistance bands. Get some cute storage containers to keep smaller equipment organized.

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Next, you will want to think about the floor. If you are working with a carpeted area, just laying down a yoga mat will work fine. However, if you are working with hard floors and want to go the extra mile, think about purchasing foam gym floor mats. This will give your space a serious workout vibe and give you enough padding to do your workouts.

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Make sure you have a TV in your workout space. This will come in handy to stream workouts from Beachbody on Demand or just to keep you entertained while you workout. Catch up on your favorite shows while you sweat!

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Lastly, you will want to personalize your space. You can add some motivational quotes to the wall or do like I did and add some Chalkboard Decals so you can keep track of things like your weight loss, your workout schedule, or to keep track of where you are in the program you might be using. I’m using The 21 Day Fix.

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Making your own home gym does not have to be hard! With these simple steps you can make your own in an afternoon with things you probably already have. I love how my gym came out. What will you do to make your own workout space? Get creative and comment with your ideas, I would love to hear them!

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Here are some more home gym ideas from Pinterest!

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health · Life · Seasonal · Weightloss

My Resolutions: Starting 2017 on the Right Foot!

Most of us make them, hellbent on making the new year mean a new you. Resolution are a tradition of second chances and fresh starts. This year I know I will be making my fair share of them. I want to take advantage of the new year’s opportunities and make 2017 the year that 2016 should have been.

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Firstly, my biggest resolution is to continue on my weight loss journey. I plan on stepping it up by making small changes to my lifestyle. I resolve to workout at least once a day and go on a walk as well. I also resolve to stick to my eating plan, the 21 Day Fix. The 21 Day Fix teaches you about portion control and making healthy choices for 21 days at a time to create new habits. I find that this plan really works. Learn more about it here.

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I also want to focus on my relationships more. I want to become a better listener and make myself more available to the people I love. I rely so heavily on them, I want to make sure that they can do the same with me.

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Lastly, I am making some resolutions about my blog as well! I am going to be posting more frequently and become more organized with my blogging. Hopefully these changes will lead to positive results! Let me know what you want me to blog about in the comments.

You can read about how to keep and achieve your own resolutions this New Year, here.

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Life · Monthly Health Check In · Seasonal

2016, That’s a Wrap!

Today we celebrate and ring in the New Year. Today is also a time of reflect on the year that has passed and what it has brought us. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad. My 2016 was filled with both. I laughed a lot and cried a lot. I tried new things and had new experiences. Today, I want to share some highlights from my year.

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This year I got to spend a large amount of time with family. I am so grateful for that. I got the opportunity to travel to visit my “sister-in-law” in Massachusetts and my aunt in New Hampshire. Along with many other fun visits with other members of my family, I’m so grateful for all the time this year I got to spend bonding with the people that mean so much to me.

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This year, in March, Geoffrey had the final surgery on his left ankle, trying to fix complications from previous surgeries due to the original diagnosis of Osteochondritis dissecans. After a long overnight stay in the hospital, post op, we returned home where he needed constant care, requiring me to stay with him for eight weeks through his recovery.

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Also, this year, Geoffrey’s family adopted a new dog named Beau! I went with them to pick him up and he was mats and dirt, but we could already tell that he was a sweetheart. On the long ride home from the pick up spot, he nuzzled both Geoffrey and I and actually crawled up into Geoffrey’s lap! We got him home and immediately brushed him to get out as many knots as we could and the amount of hair that came off could have made a whole other dog. After that he was ready to come inside and was instantly at home. We are so happy to welcome this big furry ball of love into the family and so happy that Mr. and Mrs.L have finally found the dog for them!

 

We added another member to the family this year. My Aunt Pam and Uncle Dan welcomed baby Tobias Connor Goodenough on September 5th at 10:54pm, at 6.77lb, 49cm. He is a beautiful baby boy and is getting so big so fast! I’m so excited to have baby cousins in the family and to get to be a big cousin. I so grateful to have Toby and his sisters in my life.

 

As I mentioned before, this year I got the amazing opportunity to do some traveling! I wrote about it previously here and here. It was a wonderful trip and the first time I’ve gotton to travel with my boyfriend, Geoffrey. We had so much fun!

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This year also held a lot of personal opportunities for me. In September, I started this blog to chronicle my weight loss and the ups and downs of that and my battle with mental health. I also became vegan this year around August. In late November, I became a Beachbody Coach. Beachbody has helped me lose 30 plus pounds and becoming a coach grants me the opportunity to help others achieve their own health goals and dreams. I am so excited to get out there and help others!

 

I also started a new hobby this year. Hiking the Pennypack Trail! I love being outside and getting some alone time to think on the trails. I get to take beautiful pictures and see amazing things all while getting in some great exercise!

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2016 wasn’t all wonderful, however. This year we lost a dear family friend, Sharon Lyew. This February, she succumbed to complications of diabetes and heart disease. Sharon was someone who was always a part of my life. She taught me to love crafting at a young age when she would come over and teach me how to make jewelry and other things. She babysat me when I was a baby and we have so many funny stories to tell of her. We think of her often and hold her close in our hearts.

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Sharon and I.

 

So much has come together to make up 2016. So much joy, sadness and triumph. 2016 was a jam packed year. I worked hard, accomplished much, and grew as a person. I hope 2017 holds just as much opportunity for growth and change as 2016, just as much joy, and if it brings sadness, that I may learn from it.

 

What are your favorite memories from 2016? What are your hopes for 2017?

 

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health · Life · Seasonal · Weightloss

Tips to Stay on Track This Holiday Season.

The holidays are a difficult time if your trying to stay healthy. With all the temptations of holiday treats and dense meals, it can be hard to stay on track. I have a few tips that can make the holidays a little less overwhelming.

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A great info-graphic by The Daily Star.

Make a routine and stick to it.

A routine is the key to success when it comes to health goals. I personally live and die by a scheduled routine. Take some time to write yourself a daily routine to better schedule your time. This will help you stick to healthy habits. If you schedule in time in your routine everyday for a workout you’re more likely to do it.

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Healthy Replacements.

This time of year is filled with cookies, hot cocoa, and chocolate. Instead of over indulging in all of these treats, replace them! Instead of putting out a tray of cookies this year at your holiday party, put out a tray of veggies.

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Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is so important, especially when your taking in salty or sugary foods. Water helps flush all that out of your system. Instead of eggnog, cocoa or soda, grab a glass of H2O. Make sure you are getting at least eight 8 oz glasses a day!

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Be Prepared

If you know you are going to be at a party or event filled with treats galore, eat something healthy before you leave or pack something healthy to bring with you. You are less likely to go overboard at your event if you are prepared.

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Be realistic

This time of year is about celebrating with the ones we love.  it’s okay to enjoy a treat or two without feeling guilty if you are keeping up with healthy habits. Having a Christmas cookie can prevent a binge later on. Health is all about moderation.

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But most of all, enjoy the holidays with your loved ones!

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Depression · health · Life · Mental Health · Monthly Health Check In · Vegan · Weightloss

November, That’s A Wrap!

I know I’m late posting this but the past few weeks have been hectic for me. The last several months have been difficult for me, you can read more about that here and here. This month, unfortunately, was just as difficult. I’m getting pretty tired of writing about how hard of a time I have been having lately but I feel like it is important to be honest. Battling depression and weight issues is not a straight path, as I’ve been learning, it has many ups and downs.

This month I was lucky enough to go on an amazing eleven day vacation with my boyfriend to visit his sister and then my aunt, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I managed to lose 9 pounds, even though I was on vacation! You can read more about my vacation here and here!

However, once I got home I plateaued, and didn’t lose any weight the rest of the month.

It’s not all about weight, however. I’m a bit disappointed in myself. I definitely didn’t live my best life for most of November. I have been having such a difficult time with other aspects of my health that I never anticipated when I started this blog. When I started writing this blog I felt on top of the world, it is amazing how quickly you can fall back to the bottom.

I try everyday to make the best decisions that I can but because of the adversity I have been facing, it has been very difficult. I’m not giving up though. I’m determined to get back on my feet and get my health under control, in all aspects.

I have so many goals I want to reach. I’m working towards so much. I just need to get a hold on my depression again before I can step forward.

There are some positive things to report this month!

On November 23rd I officially became a Beachbody coach! You might be wondering what that is. A Beachbody coach is someone who helps people reach their own health and fitness goals. I’m so excited to start this new chapter in my life. I am so passionate about my own health, I can’t wait to share that passion with others. The thought of making a positive impact on other people’s lives fills me with so much joy!

I also had an amazing Thanksgiving with my family in Mechanicsburg, PA! My cousin Elizabeth cooked a beautiful dinner and provided lots of yummy vegan options for me! I really appreciated the thought that went into making sure I had something to eat as well.

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How was your November? What do you have planned for December?

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health · Life · Monthly Health Check In · Uncategorized · Vegan · Weightloss

October, That’s A Wrap!

I’m not going to lie, my October has been one big setback. It all started when I got back from a trip at the end of September and ran out of one of my medications, I briefly addressed that issue here. I was without it for three days and became physically ill. I was racked with chills, nausea, throbbing headaches, and more. It was excruciating. After those horrible three days my prescription was filled, but unfortunately the damage had been done. I believe, and so does my doctor, that being without my prescription caused a relapse in my depression. To counteract my symptoms, he put me on a new drug and when it didn’t produce the results we expected, he quickly swapped me to another drug. The second medication made me so physically ill that I had to go to the hospital and quickly stop taking it. As of today I’m still figuring out how to manage. I’ve been frustrated with this whole process, but I’m not giving up. I’m confident that I can get back to where I was in September. I’m not done with my journey to be healthy. This month has just been a small bump, not a complete derailment!

This monthly check-in will not be like the others. There are no accomplishments to post because my biggest accomplishment everyday this month was getting myself out of bed. There is no weight loss to report because I haven’t had the energy or drive to work out or cook healthy meals. My only goal for the next month is to get back to where I was, to put myself on a healthy schedule and stick to it. I look forward to my November check-in, full of improvements and goals met.

I’m feeling a bit better now and currently enjoying spending my time with family in Massachusetts for Halloween, it’s much more fun to celebrate with the nieces! I am having so much fun with them, they are the perfect motivators. This was definitely the break I  desperately needed, to get out of my environment and clear my mind. Today is Halloween, my absolute favorite holiday! I hope you have a fun and spooky Halloween too, and keep the fun going into November! Be safe, and stay healthy!

 

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My nieces Addie and Millie. Read more about them on their mom’s blog at aisforadelaide.com

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Awareness · Depression · Mental Health · Uncategorized

World Mental Health Day

As many of you may or may not know, as I myself was unaware, World Mental Health Awareness Day is today, October 10th. First started in 1992, it is now celebrated in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its goal is to bring attention to mental illness and the major effect it has on people (1). When I was deciding what to write about for this post, a picture and an idea was making it’s way around the internet.

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Over 41 million people in the United States take an antidepressant (2).

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States (3). It affects 16.1 million adults over the age of 18 (4). Depression can cause severe symptoms affecting sleeping, eating habits, personal relationships, and work life. It can cause a loss of interest in activities, feelings of hopelessness, sadness, irritability, decreased energy, appetite changes, physical pain, digestive problems, and thoughts of suicide and or attempts. These are just some of the symptoms that people with this disorder have to live with everyday. This is a serious illness that affects a large population and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

A diabetic cannot go without their medication and you would never expect them to. So why do we treat mental illnesses and depression differently? Without insulin a diabetic could go into diabetic ketoacidosis, a coma, or even die. Without their antidepressants a person can fall into a deep depression, become recluse, and or commit suicide. This article explains perfectly how suicide is a symptom of mental illness  Stop Looking For Answers: Suicide Is No One’s Fault.

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I prefer this version!

The original post of the above especially got to me, not only because it is Mental Health Awareness Day, but because of a pharmacy snafu, I found myself without my antidepressant for 3 days this past week. That might not seem like a lot of time, but in my experience abruptly stopping any antidepressant causes me to quickly show signs of withdrawal. After the first day I started to experience severe stomach pain. I later realized, after blowing it off, it was withdrawal when I suddenly started getting dizzy. My eyes felt as if they were throbbing in my skull and I felt as if I was sea sick. I knew I wouldn’t be getting my medication for a few more days but I was already so sick without it. I was terrified. I found myself struggling for control over my depression. I would just cry for no reason. Finally, after three days and countless phone calls I was able to get a 2 week sample of my prescription from my doctor, but my pharmacy still could not fill my prescription for a week.

Even after being back on my medication for two days, I was swinging in and out of a depressive state. I was afraid to be alone. All of my fears and worries came rushing back, as if a dark cloud was looming overhead. The next day I called my doctor and  we figured out a new game plan and I’m feeling better, but I’m still not back to where I was before. I’m afraid I may never get back to that place again. That is the delicate balance of a mental illness. After all that I’ve been through, to say that depression is not a real illness, that it is something that can be brushed off by a walk in the woods, is ignorant to those who struggle everyday. On today of all days, everyone should know that depression is something that many people can’t manage on their own without relying medication.

I am one of those people.

I have depression, and it doesn’t have me. Everyone with a disorder, disease, or illness are not defined by it. It’s important to understand managing whatever you have, so that you can express who you really are to the world.

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Let’s not shame those who are brave enough to seek help for their illness. Only 44% of adults with a mental illness ever seek treatment according to this insightful article about Mental Health Facts and Myths. So many suffer in silence, too afraid to ever get the help they need. Let’s raise each other up and embrace our differences, instead of judging one another.

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Read more about my battle with depression here.

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Sources:

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Mental_Health_Day

2: https://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/people-taking-psychiatric-drugs/

3: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml

4: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

5: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/myths-facts/