Workout Essentials: What’s in My Gym Bag

Hey everyone! I am so excited to share this post with you today! If you are an avid gym goer like myself, you may or may not be aware that there are certain things that you can add to your workouts that will help you reach your goals, big or small. These items can also help you feel more comfortable in the gym. Today I am going to share what is in my gym bag, and why each of these items are essential for me to have!

  • Headphones

This one is pretty obvious, but there have been times where I have forgotten my headphones at home, and it was AWFUL. (If you are an iphone user like me, and you are using headphones that aren’t from Apple, make sure to bring the headphone jack with you!) Even though the gym is always playing music, I prefer to have my own playlist going while I work out!

  • Cell phone armband

While I am working out, I do not want to have to worry about where to put my phone. I always keep an armband in my gym bag so that I can place it on my arm, and if I need to change a song or text someone back, I can still use my phone while wearing the armband.

  • Resistance bands

If you are weight training, resistance bands are game changers (particularly for lower body days)! Resistance bands are used to add resistance to your exercises. Your muscles will work against the resistance, which in turn makes exercises more challenging, but more effective as well. Using these will also help target your glutes, so I use resistance bands during glute activation and for various exercises on lower body days such as hip thrusts, squats, and fire hydrants. If these sound like they would be useful to you, I highly recommend looking into buying them. They can get expensive, but I would not recommend buying the ones made of rubber latex, because they can roll/slip, and I have had one break on me before. Try buying ones that are labeled “non-slip” and made of a stronger material. Make sure to buy a pack that includes bands at different levels (light-heavy).

  • Velcro ankle straps

The cable machines add constant tension to your exercises and they help you control your movements. Ankle straps can be very helpful for cable machine exercises such as glute kickbacks, lunges, hip abductors, and hamstring curls. I do not use these every lower body day, but trust me when I say that you will FEEL it in your muscles when you use the cable machine!

  • Personal hygiene items such as:
    • Deodorant/perfume
    • Lotion or hand sanitizer
    • Razor
    • Hair ties
    • Feminine products

It is so very important to make sure that you are heading to the gym with personal hygiene products. Before I go to the gym, I always put deodorant on, and I spritz on a tiny bit of perfume/body spray. I like to keep a mini deodorant in my gym bag just in case I ever forget to put some on, or if I need to reapply while at the gym (if you are the kind of person who sweats a lot, using a bit of baby powder on your armpits can keep you dry longer)! You DON’T want to be the person who smells like body odor, but you also don’t want to be the person who reeks of cologne (we all know these people). A little can go a long way, but just remember to be aware of and take care of your personal hygiene.

I keep lotion and a razor in my bag just in case. My legs tend to get very dry, so if I am wearing shorts or cropped leggings, I like to put on a bit of lotion. I also wash my hands after every workout since I am constantly touching dumbbells or machines that other people have touched. If you want to carry hand sanitizer instead, you can definitely do that!

There have been times when I have walked through the doors of the gym and I realized that I didn’t have a hair tie on me. I had to ask at the front desk if they had hair ties, but all they could offer was rubber bands (if you have ever put a rubber band in your hair, you know it is not fun to take out).

Don’t ever forget feminine products. I always have something on me just in case.

  • Water

I always try to drink 8 cups of water a day. It is extremely important to drink water, especially during a workout. I always bring 2 bottles to the gym with me (I usually drink at least one of them during my actual workout). In total, I drink 4 water bottles a day.

  • A quick post-workout snack

If you aren’t going to eat a full meal after a workout, you should still try to eat something. Eating after a workout is very important, so try to get something in your stomach and eat a full meal as soon as you can. If you are going to grab a snack, make sure it is healthy and that there is a decent amount of protein in it.

  • Towel

I always bring a clean hand towel to the gym with me because you never know who was using the bench or machine before you. You should always make sure to clean the equipment after you use it, and if you feel the need to, you can clean it beforehand as well. I place a towel wherever I am going to lay my head down, and I make sure that the side that is facing the equipment does not ever touch my face or my head.

  • Lifting gloves

If you don’t want calluses or rough hands from lifting, you could always wear gloves. I used to wear them when I first started working out, but I don’t really care to wear them anymore. The lifting gloves can also help with your grip. If you are a beginner, or you just want to try them out, I recommend it.

  • Barbell pad

I actually do not have a barbell pad at the moment. My gym does have a few, but I would prefer to use my own. Barbell pads are great for protecting your neck and shoulders when doing any exercise where a long bar or barbell is going to be over your shoulders. They can also help when doing hip thrusts and they can make performing exercises much more comfortable. I am asking for one for Christmas so hopefully I will have my own soon!

Thank you so much for reading! Leave me a comment and let me know what your gym bag essentials are! If you feel that I missed something and want to recommend it to me, I would love to know in a comment below!

Review: Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

I have tried quite a few mascaras since getting into makeup. I have always loved Maybelline mascaras, particularly the Lash Sensational mascara (my favorite up until now). In my August Ipsy Glam Bag, I received the Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions MascaraTM and I was surprised to find my new favorite. I did not expect to fall completely in love with this mascara, but I absolutely did.

Thrive Causemetics is a brand that supports women who are overcoming challenges such as cancer, domestic abuse, and homelessness among many other things. The brand is all about uplifting women, so with every purchase that you make on thrivecausemetics.com, the brand donates to charities to support women to thrive. Their products are also 100% vegan and cruelty free (check out their website for more details)!

I love the meaning behind the brand, and although I have only tried one product from Thrive, it definitely stood out. As I previously mentioned, Maybelline mascaras have ALWAYS been my favorite, and even though I still plan on purchasing Maybelline mascaras, I have a new favorite mascara that tops any other one that I have ever tried.

This is the Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara in Brynn (Rich Black) and it is $24 (full size). I am always looking for mascaras that will lengthen my lashes, give them volume, and keep them separated. No one likes mascaras that clump your lashes, or ones that don’t give you the length that you want. This mascara exceeded my expectations. It is a long-wearing tubing formula, so when you want to grab your makeup remover and remove this mascara, it will come right off and it won’t leave any black residue on your eyes at all! If possible, I would try to find a sample size of this product before you purchase the full size since, at least in my opinion, it costs a lot for a mascara.

As you can see, there is an incredible difference in my lashes from before and after. In the “before” photo, I have no makeup on my lashes whatsoever; I simply took a photo of my natural lashes. In the “after” photo, I applied a couple coats of the Thrive Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara.

I love trying out different mascaras, and I am so glad that Ipsy included this mascara in my August glam bag because it is now a product that I plan on continuously buying! Thank you for checking out my newest blog post! I plan on doing more product reviews in the future, so stick around! Until next time!

The Consequences of Not Loving Yourself

If you are familiar with my website, you would know that it is all about finding confidence and self-love. This is because I have struggled with it for so long. I have found confidence in myself through my family and friends, my passions, and simply by experiencing life. Over the years, I have become so much more confident, and I am working hard every day to become the woman I want to be. This is not an easy goal to reach though. Something that I’ve realized is that NO ONE is confident 100% of the time. There are things that I am very good at/things I enjoy doing such as weight training and writing. Even something as simple as being able to put a stylish outfit together can make me feel confident, however I am not good at everything, and I still struggle with many things.

Due to my lack of confidence over the years, I have directly seen what not loving yourself can do to you, and it isn’t pretty. Luckily, I have always been good at being myself and doing what I believe is right for me. I rarely followed/follow the crowd, and I am proud of that. But just because I have always done my own thing, does not mean that I was/am always confident. When you don’t love yourself, you sometimes settle for things you don’t deserve. Sometimes you let people use you and hurt you, and you don’t understand why they keep doing it. What I learned is that it kept happening to me because I let it. Because I didn’t love myself enough to say “I don’t deserve this. I deserve better”.

Recognizing your worth is so important, yet many people don’t talk about it. When you don’t recognize your self worth, you are going to find that you are unhappy a lot of the time. Something that I’ve realized is that happiness comes from within you, and you should never place your happiness in anyone else’s hands. It is completely OK to have people in your life who bring you happiness and joy. You should have these people in your life. You just have to be very careful and selective of who you share your happiness with. What I believe is that you, yourself should be able to make yourself happy. It can be hard to trust other people because not everyone wants you to be happy. Not everyone wants you to succeed. Do not let anyone take away your happiness or your confidence. Sometimes, I will randomly feel extremely happy for no particular reason, and I believe that this is the best kind of happy to be. No one did anything specific to make me happy, so no one can take it away. It came from me, and I love experiencing those moments.

There are so many simple ways to practice self-love. I do things daily that make me feel good. They could be as simple as relaxing for a little bit, or something more exciting to me such as weightlifting or pampering myself. I also try to compliment myself daily, particularly on the days when I am not feeling so great. Getting enough sleep, getting some work done, and ranting about your day to a friend are all ways to practice self-love. I tend to talk down about myself sometimes, and I used to not think twice about it, and now I recognize when I do this. I am trying to stop the negative self-talk, and either replace it with love and kindness, or not say anything at all. When you want to say, “I can’t do that, it’s too hard” replace it with, “I know this may not be easy, but I am going to try my best”. Instead of saying, “I suck at ___” say, “I need to practice ___”. I have trouble doing this, but I am going to try to start. When you tell yourself that you aren’t smart, beautiful, or strong, you WILL start to believe it (check out my post titled “The Power of Your Mind” for more on this).

When you don’t love yourself, you may find that you are constantly going through the same old cycle. Dealing with the same people who don’t lift you up. Feeling like you aren’t worthy, or beautiful, or smart. If you choose confidence and self-love, you are going to go so much further in life than if you were to continuously put yourself down. It isn’t easy, and I believe that it is a journey that we will be on for the rest of our lives. Even when we get to a point in our lives where we feel incredibly confident, there will still be moments where we may not feel that way. We are forever growing and changing. When I look back, I can’t believe some of the things that I put up with, but I have since changed, and for that I am so grateful. Don’t fear self-love, because on the other side may be everything you deserve and more.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope that my message sticks with you today, and I hope that you continue to better yourself and walk in the direction of confidence and self-love. Know that you aren’t alone on the journey, and I am right there with you. Your passions and your confidence will lead you to your dreams.  I feel like mine are beginning to come true already.

OOTD: Does it Come in Black?

Hey everyone! I wanted to share an ootd (outfit of the day) with you today because I am obsessed with this look that I put together!
There is something about wearing all black that makes you feel powerful. I created this look using a couple new additions to my wardrobe! 

First, we need to talk about this shirt! This is the “Illusion Sweetheart Crop Top” in black. I purchased this adorable top from Forever 21 for $22 this past summer, and I am just now getting around to wearing it! I love the polka dot mesh and the ruffle combination!

I then paired this top with these belted high rise ankle pants from Charlotte Russe. I bought these pants right before the store closed. If you weren’t aware, Charlotte Russe went out of business earlier this year. They used to be my favorite store, but now that they’re back, I haven’t heard many great things about them. If I do decide to shop at Charlotte Russe again, I will let you know what I think of the quality of their clothing!

Next, you may be familiar with this jacket since it was in my “Finally Fall OOTD”. I will most likely be wearing this piece all season! It is the “Faux Leather Hooded Moto Jacket” in camel/gray. I purchased this jacket from Forever 21 this past summer for $15.

And lastly, my other recent purchase, these ankle boots! These are the “Faux Suede Booties”, also from Forever 21. I had been looking for a nice pair of pointed toe ankle boots for a while now, so when I came across these I had to have them! I paid around $20 for these shoes!

I truly believe that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to look put together or fashionable. I am not too sure how much the pants I am wearing cost, but they were most likely no more than $20, making this outfit’s total come to around $80. 
I love planning and putting outfits together and being able to share them with you! Thank you so much for reading!

What’s in My October Ipsy Glam Bag

I am so excited to share what is in my October glam bag with you! If you follow me on Instagram (@sacchere14), you may have already seen a sneak peek on my story. This has been one of my favorite bags that I have gotten so far!

This month, Ipsy collabed with the confidence queen herself, Betty Boop! The bag is absolutely adorable, and as you can see, Betty Boop is right on the front! The back has black sequins all over it, and I love that they chose to collab with a cartoon character for the month of October!

Inside the bag:

  • Betty BoopTM X Ipsy: Matte Lipstick in Boop-Oop-a-DoopTM

I do not typically wear red lipstick, but when I do I feel so confident. I have to say, I think I found the perfect, true red lipstick and I am obsessed with it! It does go on a bit dry, so I would recommend applying a chapstick or moisturizing balm beforehand. This red is so beautiful, and it is perfect for this time of year! I rated it a 4/5 stars!

  • Kaleido Cosmetics: Diamond Foils Eyeshadow in Sizzle

I was so excited to get this shadow in my bag, and the color is gorgeous and so pigmented, however I do not typically go for silvers. I prefer to wear golds and browns on my eyes but this coIor will be perfect for this time of year. I rated this product a 4/5 stars!

  • Seraphine Botanicals: Camelina + Strobe Luminizing Primer

I actually only started using face primers last year (crazy, I know)! Now that I know how they can help create a flawless makeup look, I use some every time I do my makeup. That being said, I love receiving them in my bags, and this one worked great for me. I rated this a 4/5 stars!

  • Space Case Cosmetics: Highlighter in Seen From Space 1B

This highlighter is great for an everyday natural makeup look or a look where you want a subtle glow on your cheekbones. It is a very neutral color, but I often prefer very bright and pigmented highlighters. I rated this product a 3/5 stars.

  • Benefit Cosmetics: They’re Real Lengthening Mascara in Jet Black (my pick)

This month, Ipsy members were able to choose one product in our glam bags for the first time! I was excited to be able to do this, and I chose this mascara because I had heard great things about it and I love the brand Benefit. This mascara did lengthen and separate my lashes quite a bit, however it is not my favorite mascara! I rated it a 4/5 stars.

Because I had enough points, I decided to add another product to my bag this month, and I chose the most beautiful highlighter (that can also be used as an eye shadow).

  • Daisy and Pearl Natural Radiance Booster

I could not find a name on the product, but it is a stunning, shimmery rose gold. I rated this product a 5/5 stars!  It is beautifully pigmented and I am just obsessed with the color!

This is the makeup look that I created using the products in my glam bag this month (plus a few others to complete the look)! When I received the bag, I was not sure how to create a makeup look using a silver eye shadow and a red lipstick without making it look too Christmas-like (I plan on creating a holiday/Christmas makeup tutorial in December, and I just might use the eye shadow and the lipstick from this glam bag, so keep an eye out for that)! For now, I kept it simple by applying the silver eye shadow in the inner corners of my eyes and the inner part of my lower lash line. I created a simple black wing, I used the Benefit mascara, and the natural highlighter as well. And of course, the beautiful red lip. (Tip: If you want to create the perfect red lip, apply the lipstick to the center of your mouth, then use a lip defining brush to neatly fill in the rest of your lips. Apply your concealer around your lip line and blend it out to clean up the edges. Blot with some tissue, and you’re good to go!)

I’ve decided that I will not be doing makeup tutorials every month like I originally planned. Since this look was so simple, I decided that I will post makeup tutorials whenever I feel like I have a new and exciting look/products to share with you! As I mentioned, I plan on creating a Christmas one, but I may also post an everyday Fall makeup tutorial sometime soon!

Thank you so much for reading! If you are subscribed to Ipsy, leave me a comment below and tell me what you got in your October glam bag!

How to Keep the Magic of the Holidays Alive

Today, I wanted to chat about this time of year and how the holidays can feel somewhat bittersweet as we get older. Don’t worry; this is not going to be a completely depressing post! I want to share the ways that you can still keep the magic alive during this time of year as well.

There is nothing like waking up as a kid on Christmas morning and seeing that Santa Claus stopped by. It is such a magical feeling and nothing can really compare to it. As children, we believed in so many things; Santa, The Easter Bunny, and if you were in my family, maybe even a leprechaun and the Sandman. Sadly, this magic doesn’t last too long. We end up finding out that all of these magical creatures do not actually exist and it can be very upsetting. I remember my first Christmas when I found out that Santa wasn’t real. Even though I was happy and excited on Christmas day, it just didn’t feel the same. The holidays have always been important to me and I have always enjoyed this time of year, however as I am getting older I feel like the magic of all of it is disappearing. I am a full-time college student and sometimes, even though I am technically on “break”, I may still have work to do. I want to be able to relax and participate in fun holiday activities, but I am not done with the semester just yet, so it can be a bit stressful. If you are a college student like me, or it is a really busy time at work right now, try to manage your time. Every day, I make sure to get a good amount of school work done, so I can somewhat enjoy my weekends. Weekends during this time of year are usually when I can feel a bit more festive!

How to keep the magic alive:

  • Decorate

This is my first tip because it is such a simple thing to do, yet it can really get us into the holiday spirit. Decorate your home for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! If you do not celebrate one of these, just decorate for the season! Even when I am drowning in school work, being surrounded by a string of lights or holiday scented candles can really boost my holiday spirit.

  • Bake or cook holiday related recipes

You do not have to be a professional chef or baker to make some fun holiday treats. If you are not very experienced in the kitchen, go out and buy holiday themed cake mix or those ready to bake holiday sugar cookies! If you do have some great cooking/baking skills, try googling a recipe for something pumpkin spice, apple cider, or cinnamon flavored, or come up with your own recipe and share it with your loved ones!

  • Spend time with children

If you have younger siblings or cousins, take them out to go trick or treating, or bring them to meet Santa at the mall. Even though you may not believe in Santa or monsters anymore, they do, and it is still a very precious thing to see the look in a child’s eyes when they see Santa Claus, or when they get home from trick or treating and pour out their giant bag of candy. Don’t ever ruin the magic that children feel , and let them enjoy it as long as they can!

  • Attend or throw a party

It doesn’t have to be a big party, and you could just invite friends or family. I love to plan small parties for my friends and family, and it gives you a moment to be with the people you care about during the holidays. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to do this either. You can also try DIY (Do It Yourself) decorations or holiday clothing if you wanted to. (Pinterest can be very helpful when planning a party!)

  • Spend time with the people you love the most

 I feel lucky to say that I have the most incredible and loving family, and I always love spending time with them. They are the most important thing to me. I always spend the holidays with my immediate family, and that is all we need! I know that not everyone is close with their family, or sometimes you may have to see family members that you’re not incredibly close to at this time of year. If you can relate to this, spend time with your friends or just the people that matter most to you, whoever that may be!

  • Watch holiday themed movies

As a college student, I feel like there are times when I don’t even have a minute to breathe, but if you’re not on break and you manage your time well, you can definitely fit a couple holiday movies in your schedule! There is nothing better than sitting down with family to watch a Halloween or Christmas movie. At Christmas time, I absolutely love putting on Christmas pajamas, making some hot chocolate, and sitting by the lit up Christmas tree while watching movies.

  • Follow your traditions (or make your own)

My family has little things that we do every year during the holidays. One of my favorites is on New Years Eve, before the stroke of midnight, you have to finish eating 12 grapes (I think I may have finished mine only a couple of times)! I am not entirely sure where this tradition came from, but I am pretty sure we’ve done it my whole life. If you don’t really have any traditions, make some new ones to follow!

  • Go out and find holiday related events in your area

By simply googling events in your area, you are bound to find some kind of holiday event. You could go ice skating, visit haunted trails, get lost in a corn maze, go to a pumpkin patch, go apple picking, or go sledding. Also, there are many things that you can do for free such as driving around to see Christmas lights. Find an event that interests you, and show up with your friends or family.

  • Do something kind for others

Whether this means buying your family gifts or giving back to those who have less, a small act of kindness can really go a long way. Nothing beats the anticipation when your loved ones are opening gifts that you picked out just for them. If you can’t afford to buy gifts for your loved ones, tell them you love them and let them know just how important to you they are. Since I love to write, sometimes I will write my family cards that simply remind them how much I love them. Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter the most.

As we get older, the holidays can feel bittersweet. I think every adult and teen misses being a kid and experiencing that magic again, but it doesn’t have to disappear. I hope that this post was helpful to you, and I hope that you fight to keep that holiday magic alive no matter how old you get! Thank you for reading, now go make the most out of the last few months of the decade/year!

Fitness Update: October 2019

Today I wanted to share a fitness update with you! I plan on sharing these every once in a while just to give you a bit of insight on where I currently am on my fitness journey and to keep myself on track!

I hate to say it, but this year I let myself lose my motivation and I have seriously been struggling to get it back. I won’t blame it all on school and being tired, but those have been a small part of why I haven’t been feeling my best when it comes to fitness and health. In 2018, I was in the gym four times a week, doing new exercises and feeling great about all of it. I worked really hard, but then all of a sudden after months of hard work, I started to crash. It was around September-October last year when I started to fall into a fitness rut. To go from lifting four times a week (and working out for a total of six) to not wanting to do it anymore was devastating and confusing. This has happened to me before as well. After my two year anniversary of weight training I noticed that I was losing my motivation a bit so I changed my workouts and started to eat healthier, leading to amazing progress in 2018.

I thought that I could do what I did in the past and it would work again. If I changed my workouts and focused, I’d get back into it. Well, that didn’t really happen. I think that there have been multiple factors that have led me to this point this year. School and school work have always been one of my top priorities, so this sometimes takes precedence over the gym. During the school year, I do not always get enough sleep (depending on my schedule) so there are days when I just do not feel like I can get through a workout. I also share a car with a couple of my siblings, so a car is not always available for me to take. I won’t make excuses though. I need to make the choice to get my workouts in. I need to change my attitude again. I hate that I let myself fall for so long because it just got easier to make excuses as to why I couldn’t get to the gym. I can’t believe that I’ve been feeling this way for about a year now.

Even though I haven’t been feeling up to it for quite a while now, there were days when I would tell myself “you’re going to kill this workout”, and I would. I had great days. Great weeks even. But none of it seemed to last. I feel like I wasn’t making much progress this past year. I would say that during the school year, I was getting to the gym 2-3 times a week, if that. I would try to workout at home at times but it’s a bit harder to get through it when you’re not at the gym. Eating healthier was also starting to feel more difficult. Although I’ve stuck with it pretty well, I seemed to be more tempted to eat too many sweets and I would let myself eat some things that aren’t too good for me.

I think it is important to be honest and to be real with people because although I love weight training, there are still times when I don’t feel like doing it. There are still times where I make excuses and lose my motivation. After looking back at this past year, I want to do better. I want to be excited to be back in the gym again. My health is important to me, and I am happy to say that I feel like my motivation is coming back. I don’t really know what brought it on, but I have been enjoying my workouts a bit more lately. I am starting to make new goals for myself, and I am going to try to change things up a bit. I am not too sure where to start, but I think that maybe I should start with my attitude. Right now, my goals are to get stronger, eat healthier than I ever have before, and get to the gym whenever I can because there IS always time, even with my schedule. I’ve talked about it in a blog post before, and I will likely say it again and again, but your attitude affects everything. I am always trying to better myself, and I don’t want to get so far off track again. I can’t take it back, so instead of focusing on my failures, I am just going to move forward and do better. I am proud to say that my 4 year anniversary of weight training is coming up in the next few months and I can’t wait! If my 16 year old self could see me today (even with the setbacks), I know she’d be proud. Even though I got a bit off track, it didn’t take away all of the progress that I’ve made for the past 4 years. A couple things that have been helping me get back into it are my dad, because he is the one who got me into this healthy lifestyle, my attitude, making the right choices, making new goals, changing things up, and showing up, even when I don’t want to.

Thank you so much for reading. Sharing personal things like this always makes me a bit anxious, but I know there are people out there who can relate. I want to tell you that no matter what setbacks you go through, know that you can always push past it. You WILL get through it. Living a healthy life is not always easy, and you are going to have difficult moments, just don’t stay stuck. Find new ways to feel excited about working out and eating healthy again. Try something new, and don’t give up. Remember that you started for a reason, and as you continue on your fitness journey, you’re going to look back and be so proud of what you’ve accomplished. I know I am.

(If you want to know more about my fitness journey, check out the “Fitness and Self-Care” section of my website, and read the blog post titled “My Fitness Journey”.)

OOTD: Finally Fall

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to share an ootd (outfit of the day) with you! When I tell you I have been waiting FOREVER to share this outfit with you, I mean it! I am so excited to start wearing boots and jackets and that it is finally feeling like fall!

Let’s start with one of my newest obsessions! First, I want to talk about this adorable brown faux leather jacket! I bought this jacket from Forever 21 this past summer for $15! I’ve never owned a brown one, but I think I may like the look of it more than a black one! I feel like a brown leather jacket gives off a completely different vibe and I think that it can make your look a bit more casual than a black one would (especially with the attached gray hood that mine has)!

I then paired this jacket with my other new obsession. Can we talk about these jeans?! These are the “Kanta High Waisted Straight Leg Jeans” in the color Medium Indigo. I absolutely LOVE the look of two toned jeans, and these ones are from PacSun! I purchased these jeans for about $50. I am a major fan of high waisted jeans, and honestly if they ever go out of style, I will still refuse to go back to low rise jeans.

Under the jacket, I am wearing a simple gray t-shirt that I bought from Forever 21 for $10. And lastly, I paired the outfit with my favorite ankle boots that I got from Charlotte Russe last year.

Thank you for checking out my newest blog post! I love sharing ootd’s, and I can’t wait to share more with you! Until next time!

The Importance of Nutrition + My Experience with Healthy Eating

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not a dietician, nutritionist, or qualified in any way to discuss nutrition, however I wanted to share my journey with food because it is a big part of my love for fitness and health. This is just MY experience so far, and I do not believe that anyone should copy it exactly. Take my story with a grain of salt, and if you do decide to make changes to your diet, start slowly and talk to your doctor. Take care of yourself!

You know that saying, “You are what you eat”? Well, I didn’t realize just how true it was until I started to change my diet. When my two year anniversary of weight training came around, I felt so strongly about trying something new. I was doing the same exact exercises every week, and I continued to eat whatever I wanted, and although I saw results in my first two years in the gym, it got to a point where I felt like my body started to plateau. I felt like I needed something to boost my motivation again. So, in January of 2018, I decided it was time for a change. I slowly started to change my diet (SLOWLY being the key word here).

I never really had any body image issues, but I wouldn’t say that I completely loved my body. I think that everyone goes through periods where we don’t necessarily like our bodies, and that’s ok, but we should work toward loving them daily. I’ve never had any eating disorders but if I am being honest, when I changed my diet, I realized just how dangerous diet culture can be. (I didn’t make any drastic changes, and I didn’t do anything unhealthy or anything that could hurt me in any way. But I could definitely see how people could get to that point when it comes to food.) When you’re trying to reach a certain goal when it comes to food and eating right, you CAN NOT be hard on yourself. I am always hard on myself, but I am learning to relax a little and just do the best that I can (in all aspects of life). I also wanted to mention that you do not need to focus on a number on the scale. As long as you know you are healthy and doing your best, THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. If weighing yourself gives you anxiety or it makes you feel insecure, don’t do it unless your doctor asks you to, and if you are concerned about your health, speak to them.

When I first changed my diet, I would say that my goals were to eat less sugar, to eat to build muscle (this meant eating a bit more than I was before), to cut out processed foods, and to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and protein in my diet. Before I made any changes, my diet was not terrible, but definitely not very healthy. In the mornings before school I would eat cereal or toast with butter, for lunch I’d have a turkey sandwich with chips and a chocolate covered granola bar or cookies, and for dinner I would usually eat some kind of meat like chicken or beef, and a side like mashed potatoes or rice. I definitely snacked between these meals as well. I absolutely LOVED ramen noodles and those frozen pizzas which are processed foods. In the beginning, I was so determined to turn things around, and I did. I didn’t reach my goals right away, and honestly I haven’t completely reached a couple of these goals; there are still a couple processed foods that I eat. Did I mention I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth? This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but I am so addicted to chocolate that I truly feel like I need a little bit EVERY DAY or I’ll go insane. Ice cream is also a problem for me. It is very hard for me to avoid sugary and sweet temptations, but I try. What I have done that seems to help me is I will take a few pieces of chocolate rather than eating an entire bar. I don’t always have to eat the entire chocolate bar in one day (but there are still times when I do). Some of the foods that are always on our grocery list now that I’ve changed my diet are broccoli, carrots, salmon, chicken breast, oatmeal, and quinoa to name a few. My meals are almost the exact same everyday now, particularly my breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Dinner is usually different depending on what my family makes and if I like it. One of the biggest differences I noticed when I changed my diet is that I was feeling SO much better. I feel like I have so much more energy when I am eating right, and it makes me feel a bit more confident knowing that I am taking care of my body even more now than I used to.

Even now, I am still learning to love my body for exactly what it is today. Not for what it will be in a few months or a few years. It isn’t easy but we need to try to love our bodies. Think about what our bodies do for us every day. It is truly incredible. Your body is working so hard to keep you alive, so you should love and appreciate it. So many older people tell me that I’ll look back at my body when I was 20 and wish I looked like that again. Realistically throughout life, our bodies are going to change. When I am 40, I won’t necessarily look the way I did when I was 20, but that is ok. I want to learn to love my body at any stage in my life, and as I get older, I think I will be better at eating healthier. As a full time college student, it isn’t always easy to eat healthy. I don’t have much money, but I do still live at home, which helps! Lately I’ve been lacking motivation and I haven’t been feeling as great, so for now I am trying to focus on getting back on track with my gym schedule and with food!

Some quick tips to start eating healthier:

  • I’ll say it again, start SLOW. You do not want to rush into changing your diet. What you eat can really affect you in both negative and positive ways. If something is going to negatively affect you and your health, such as a trendy diet, do some research and speak to your doctor.
  • Understand that cutting out something like carbs is not exactly good for you. Eating carbs is NOT going to make you gain a ton of weight. As long as you are exercising frequently and eating things such as pasta and bread in moderation, you’ll be fine! A balanced diet is important.
  • Try to snack on things such as fruits or nuts instead of chips or candy. Because of the natural sugars in fruits, this can actually satisfy that sweet craving often!
  • Don’t copy anyone else’s diet. Just because you see someone who looks very fit and healthy, that does not mean that their diet is what is going to make you healthy. You need to look at your own personal goals and go from there.
  • I wouldn’t recommend following any of those “90 Day Fat Loss” challenges or anything like that. I personally feel like when you make short term goals for yourself, once you reach that 90th day, you kind of feel like you don’t have to try anymore. Make long term goals. Eat healthy because you want to live a long and healthy life, not because you want to be “skinny for summer” or “beach body ready”.
  • Give in to your cravings sometimes, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Remember to make goals for yourself that are attainable. Try to be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Look at where you are in your life, and see if you should even be making any drastic changes. If you are an avid gym goer like me and you want to see results, they WILL come! It takes patience and hard work in the gym and in the kitchen.

I hope that you learned a little bit more about me through this post, and I hope that I was able to help you in some way! Thank you so much for reading!