TGIF & On Setbacks

First things first – TGIF! It’s been a long week (then again, when isn’t it a long week?) and I am SO ready for the weekend. I’ve already got some fun plans – sushi and drinks with friends, a short shift at my part-time job on Saturday, and plans-free Sunday. I’m hoping to put a dent in my Christmas shopping, which I am still not ready to do! (Side note: remember when ABC used to have TGIF with Two of a Kind, Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch? I miss it… Thank goodness for early-morning BMW reruns and the spinoff that’s in the works!)

Now, about setbacks…

Batman Quote

found here

It can – and does – happen to anyone working toward a goal as a matter of course. Students fail tests, athletes get injured, dieters “splurge.”

These so-called setbacks, however, are the moments when we learn most about ourselves.

We ask ourselves questions: Why did this happen? What triggered my loss of control? What will I do differently to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

Goal achievers are those who ask themselves these questions, assess their answers, and own their circumstances. They latch onto the lessons they can take away from making a mistake and move on. They don’t let a flub generate enough self-doubt to deter them from their goals.

Moral of the story: A “setback” is only a setback if you don’t learn from it. A “mistake” is only as big as your mind allows it to become.

I experienced a setback of my own this week, and failed to achieve a goal in a major way. So, what am I going to do about it?

  • I’m going to write myself a letter and read it aloud. Journaling isn’t enough – I think I need to hear a lesson/reality check out loud in order to take it to heart. Plus, self-talk is always a good thing, provided it’s not negative.
  • I’m going to seek help and support. Whether I will seek support online, from my family, from a counselor, or all of the above, I am not sure. One thing is for sure, though – we are not put on this earth to exist in isolation. I have been blessed with family, friends, and resources for love and support.
  • I’m going to choose to move on. I’ll remind myself that every day is a new day; every moment is the chance to choose happiness, to live in the present, to not dwell on past mistakes. I’ll remind myself that it’s never too late to start over.

What was the last setback you overcame? How did you do it?


If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.

It’s no secret that I’ve been lacking motivation lately. In fact, I started this blog in order to recommit myself to healthy living and be held accountable to someone/something outside of my own head. So far, I’ve set two goals in order to get back “on the wagon,” so to speak. As simple as those small goals seem, they are proving to be a big challenge for me. So far, it’s only been a few days and I’ve already been tempted to cheat on myself. I haven’t – yet, knock on wood – but it’s taken Herculean efforts to stay strong. (But the blog accountability is helping!)

It’s the same when it comes to a tough workout. I attended a boot camp class last night. After having skipped the last two weeks, it was really hard! I haven’t been blowing off my workouts (most days), but my body forgot how physically taxing that class is. More than once, I wanted to give up. More than once, I kept at it and pushed through. (Yay me!) But more than once, I gave up.

So what’s a girl (or boy, I suppose) to do?

Enter Instamotiviation.

While many “motivational” sites post pictures of unachievable and/or unrealistic fitness models covered in glimmery sweat, squatting heavy weight with an “inspirational quote” overlaid (like these, or this, or this), Instamotivation is simple. Open the link to the site, and all you see are quotes like the following:

“Happiness is pushing your limits and watching them back down.”

“The harder you work, the better you get.”

“The voice inside your head that says you can’t do this is a liar.”

These short, simple quotes are – in my opinion – the right way to go when it comes to “fit”-spiration. Pushing your own limits, rather than trying to compete with unrealistic “role models,” will prove to be much more effective long-term. Though extrinsic motivation’s fire may burn brighter, intrinsic motivation’s flame will last longer. Striving to out-perform yourself every day is a healthy goal that everyone can work toward.

You can do it!

found here

One quote that really struck a chord with me was “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.” I’m going to keep it in mind as I work toward my goals this week!

Now it’s your turn: What’s your motivational mantra? What helps you keep you on track to your goals, or push through a tough workout?

Thoughts on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

I can’t lie, I am a HUGE fan of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It’s unlike any other fashion show I’ve seen – it’s so much FUN! Fun fashion (love those wings!), fun models, and fun performers. I am SO looking forward to this year’s artists: Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and Justin Bieber. (Yes, I love Justin Bieber. No shame. That little nugget is talented!)

On the other hand, it is a showcase of the high standards our society has for the female figure and the extreme measures that some of the models take in order to look “runway-ready.” Adriana Lima came under fire last year for her pre-VS Show diet and fitness routine, which consists of two-a-day workouts, no solid food for nine days leading up to the show, and no liquids for the last 12 hours before the show. She subsequently defended her routine by saying her heavy workouts and diet aren’t things she does regularly or long-term.

This year, Candice Swanepoel Instagramed this photo:


found here

According to People Magazine, comments on the pic ranged from “appreciative to concerned.” Personally, I’m more concerned on the concerned side. Granted, it is Ms. Swanepoel’s body and hers to share with the world (as she has chosen to do), but one has to wonder about what kind of standards she holds for her body and where she’s getting them from.

I hope that everyone watching the show – women of all ages and men alike – keep in mind that these are models, and that their bodies are not necessarily representative of the female population, nor are they realistic for most of us. Beyond that, the extreme measures that (nearly) all models – fashion, fitness, etc. – are not sustainable, or even healthy.

In all honesty, I sometimes struggle to grasp this idea. While I realize that what we see in photos and on TV is edited, photoshopped, and otherwise not representative of reality, I do think about how much better I’d look if I didn’t have love handles, if the skin on my elbows wasn’t so wrinkly, if my tummy didn’t have that little pooch… The list goes on and on.

Then I return to what I was talking about on Sunday night: that I am enough.

I remember that I should be the one dictating the standards I hold for my body, not social pressure. I love this image from Nike, which has helped me remember to love my body for what it can do, instead of tearing it down for not conforming to an unrealistic standard.


found here

Now it’s your turn…

Will you be tuning into the VS Fashion show tonight?

How do you feel about the standards our society has for the female (or male!) body?

Global Warming FTW



I’m chalking up my lack of Christmas spirit to the weather. A high of 65 in December in the Midwest?! And they said that global warming was a bad thing…

The weather made for a great weekend, even though I didn’t spend much time out enjoying it. It was nice not to be freezing while bar-hopping on Friday night, but I had to work yesterday night and today late in the afternoon. Driving from my uncle’s to the mall, from the mall to the gym, and the gym to Target with the windows down was fabulous. I should’ve gone for an outdoor run, but I’m a total wimp when it comes to outdoor running. It’s hard, I’m too lazy to gear up, and I tend to get bored. I used to be all about distance running and epic cardio workouts, but these days I’m all about short-and-sweet cardio/strength circuit workouts and interval training.

Weekend recap time!


Lots of massive salads – three to be exact. Here’s a beaut’:

kale salad

kale, Craisins, sunflower seeds, homemade croutons, and (my favorite) nutritional yeast, topped with fat free Italian dressing.

A mindfully-enjoyed meal (goal check-in day 1, doin’ alright!):


organic mixed baby greens, romaine, snap peas, carrots, tomatoes, Craisins, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, topped with fat free Italian dressing. Again, delicious, although it was dripping with dressing.

A massive sweet potato, nuked…

sweet potato

topped with garlic salt, probably enough to make a cardiologist (and not to mention anyone within a 10-foot radius of my breath) cringe. delicious regardless.

Starbucks was a little slow as I was going through the drive thru pre-work this morning. They forgot to put this baby in the oven:

prize inside

there’s a (yummy) prize inside!

spinach wrap

It’s a spinach & feta wrap!! Best chewable thing on their menu by far.


I may have had to pull around through the drive thru (ironically) and wait for them to bring it to me. It was worth it though – got two free menu items just for being patient and nice! You definitely get more bees (and free drinks) with honey than with vinegar. 😉

I also had three great workouts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. My legs are feeling quite fatigued right about now from all the lower body work. Not a bad thing at all – means I’m getting stronger, right?


Post-dinner snacks:

post-dinner snacks of champions

Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop Kettle Korn, sliced white mushrooms, and light Archer Farms traditional hummus.

I should really know better – any post-dinner snacking ends up turning into a binge/extended graze. Another goal for the next week – to ix-nay post-dinner snacking. I know I can give it up for just a week! Let’s do this.


Okay, this may not be the prettiest thing in the world…

ugly PF&J

Peanut fluff and sugar-free raspberry jelly on sprouted wheat bread.

…but it was damn delicious.


In other non-food-related recaps, I spent a lot of time working, running errands, doing laundry, and generally spinning my wheels this weekend. One of the “chores” I had to do was clean out my personal email inbox this weekend. I came across this post by Janetha at Meals & Moves through Tina’s Saturday Shares post. Gave me a lot to think about, and I definitely pinned two the images she had (the ones with quotes). My mantra for the next week will be “YOU ARE ENOUGH,” and I’m going to print this one…

this week's thoughts to remember

…and carry it with me and/or hang it up in my office. It’s a nice reminder to be true to yourself – very important for me, since I tend to feed off of others and listen to external cues (rather than my own internal ones) in general. Time to start trusting and believing in myself more.

On that note, I’m off to get some sleep. Can’t wait to get the new week started. I’ve got some fun, exciting plans to look forward to, and a few goals to achieve! 🙂

Cheers to a new week. Good night, all!