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!

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”.)

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!

The Power of Your Mind

What you tell yourself, you will start to believe. This is something that I have come to realize in recent years. When you start pointing out your flaws and bringing up every little mistake that you make, you’re constantly bringing yourself down. As I have gotten older, I have realized the importance of self-love and self-care. I may not know everything, but one thing I know for sure is that speaking negatively about yourself is absolutely going to lower your self confidence. I know this because I have done it to myself too many times to count, and if I am being honest, I still do it from time to time. While I do think that it is important to recognize our faults (because NO ONE is perfect), we have to work on telling ourselves why we are great, too. It is so much easier to point out our flaws than to recognize the things we love about ourselves, but we have to try.

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. We see many people talking about fitness and how they take care of their bodies, which is important, but what we don’t often see is people talking about how they take care of their minds. I recently told a friend of mine that I believe we have two voices in our heads. We have a friend, and we have an enemy. The enemy is loud, rude, and self deprecating. The friend is kind, loving, and caring. You are both of these people, and you get to decide who to listen to every day. It’s sort of like when you’re watching a cartoon, and there’s an angel and a devil on the characters shoulders. I promise you, if you listen close enough, the friend is whispering to you. Block out the negative, and focus on the positive.

I wanted to share some of the ways that I have been keeping my mind a comforting and kind place to be, and working toward confidence and self-love. (I don’t do these things EVERY DAY, but I definitely should, and so should you! Some of them you could even do throughout the day.) I like to start my days off with positivity. I am a morning person, and I am often in a pretty good mood when I wake up, so I keep the positivity going by telling myself that it is going to be a great day, and that “I’ve got this!” I also like to compliment myself on whatever I am feeling good about on that particular day. It may feel a bit silly to look in the mirror and compliment yourself, but it is worth it! On days when I planned to get to the gym but I am just not feeling it, I tell myself, “you’re going to kill this workout,” and when I walk out of the gym I realize how powerful our thoughts really are. This is not always an easy thing to do though, because I am not ALWAYS in a great mood or feeling my best. Sometimes you’re running late, or you forgot your wallet at home, or you’re going through some kind of internal dilemma. Whatever it is, this can negatively affect your mood and your entire day. It is 100% OK to have bad days. Let yourself feel whatever it is that you’re feeling, but once that day is over, work on doing better tomorrow.

Recently I started school again, and I have to say that I am feeling a bit stressed and tired, and this negatively affects my mood. Obviously getting enough sleep is something that you should prioritize, but it is something I am still working on. One way I like to stay positive and happy during the stressful school year is something I decided to do recently. Every morning, my best friend and I started to tell each other the positives about our days. For example, one day my positive may be that I am wearing a new outfit that I feel great in, or it’s a sunny and gorgeous day out, or my class was canceled (no one knows the joy of getting that email like college students do). By doing this, you are stating the things are already great about your day before it really even begins. Another small thing that I wanted to mention is that sometimes in the mornings I will get out of bed and as I get ready for the day, I will play some of my current favorite songs to boost my mood. (On days when I have to wake up a little too early or I am running late, I will most likely not do this, but I have noticed that I feel much happier and more awake when I do!)

Something that I have been trying to do every morning is stretching. Stretching in the morning will wake up and calm your body and your mind. If you just take a few minutes to do this every day, it can benefit you in more ways than you think! I also love to eat right when I wake up, so making a delicious and healthy breakfast is important to me. If you are not a breakfast person, try to eat something small but still healthy and filling.

You have the power to choose how your day goes. You get to decide what you say and sometimes how you feel. You don’t always have control over the things that happen to you, but choosing how you react to it is important. If you choose to be bitter and angry at the world every day, you may not get to experience the joy that you could feel if you simply decided to be happy or positive. I want to challenge those of you reading this to start your days with kindness to yourself. There is always something good in every single day, so look for the positive and give yourself one compliment. Putting yourself in this mindset can really make your day so much better. I know the power of my mind, and I know what to do to let myself have a good day. The hard part is sticking to it, but once you do, you’ll want to do it every day.  One small, positive thought can completely turn your day around and there are so many simple ways to take care of yourself that don’t cost a thing. I have been working on doing these things daily, and I have noticed great changes in my mood and my overall mindset.

I just wanted to share this quick message to remind you to love yourself and to always be kind to yourself. Just do the best that you can! Thank you for reading, and I would appreciate it if you shared this post with your friends and remind those that you love to take care of themselves as well! Until next time!

I am not sure who originally said this quote, but it is something that I think about often, and I wanted to share it with you:

“You live most of your life inside of your head. Make sure it’s a nice place to be.”

Gym Tips for Beginners

I remember how I felt when I first started going to the gym. I felt like everyone was watching and judging me, and I was a little nervous that I was doing something wrong. Luckily, I had my Dad right by my side to teach me everything I needed to know. I know that not everyone has someone to head over to the gym with and I can imagine that going by yourself would be a little nerve wracking at first, so I am here to give you some tips to get over that fear today!

  • Go with a friend

As I just mentioned, going to the gym alone can be a little scary at first, so if you can, grab a friend, parent, sibling, or whoever you feel comfortable with and work out together! This way, you will be more focused on you and your friend and not on everyone that is “watching you”. Most of the time people are at the gym to better themselves, not to watch others and laugh at them. I have to say, I have met many more kind and supportive people at my gym than judgmental and rude people.

  • Plan your workouts ahead of time

YouTube has so many helpful videos that demonstrate the proper way to perform any exercise. (I would try to find videos of someone reputable and trustworthy. You don’t want to hurt yourself or perform any of the exercises incorrectly.) Watching videos and practicing the exercises at home will help you feel more confident when you’re in the gym!

  • Find the form of exercise that you love the most (or one that you can at least somewhat deal with)

There are so many different forms of exercise, and just because weight lifting is my favorite way, it does not mean that it will be yours too. You do not have to have a gym membership to get a good workout in, or to be healthy. Running, lifting, hiking, dancing, yoga, and participating in sports are all great ways to work out! Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to try new things!

  • Create a playlist

Another way to combat nerves is to have a fun workout playlist! Pick your favorite upbeat songs to play while you kill it! Not only will hearing your favorite songs make you less nervous, it can also help you focus and get you through difficult exercises!

  • BREATHE

This one may seem obvious, but I cannot tell you how many times I will forget to breathe properly during my workouts.  As you exert energy, exhale. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.

  • Start slow and start light

There is absolutely NO reason to lift 50 pounds on your first day at the gym unless you want to injure yourself. There is nothing wrong with taking the 5 pound dumbbells and using them for your entire upper body day. If you feel like 5’s are way too easy, try the next number up. Don’t forget to go slow and control your movements.  (Remember that although the 5’s may seem easy on your first set, as you get to your second or third, it may get more difficult. Don’t get ahead of yourself.)

  • It’s not a competition or a race (unless it actually is)

If you are heading to the gym with a partner, whether they are more experienced in the gym or not, you do NOT have to use the same weights they are using, or go as fast as they are on the treadmill. Unless it is actually a competition that you are participating in, there’s no need to focus so much on the other person. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Although healthy competition is good for us at times, in many cases it is better to simply focus on yourself and do what is best for you. (Use these people as motivation; you will get to where they are one day!)

  • Designate a small corner of the gym for your workout

I have been going to the gym for almost 4 years now and this is something I still do to this day. If you are uncomfortable working out in front of a bunch of people or you just like a more private workout, try to find a corner of your gym where no one really goes too often and do your exercises over there (preferably near a mirror so you can see what you are doing).

  • Wear what makes you comfortable (but follow your gym’s dress code)

If you are most comfortable in leggings and a tank top, wear it! If you are more comfortable in an oversized t-shirt and shorts, wear it! If you are constantly tugging at your clothes and walking around uncomfortably, you are not going to get a good workout in.

I hope that you found some of these tips helpful and before you know it you’ll be walking around the gym like you own it! I am planning on posting a fitness update sometime in the near future so be on the lookout for that! Thank you for reading! Now go kill it!

My Fitness Journey

At a young age, my Mom signed me up for dance and ice skating lessons. After doing this for a few years, we ended up moving to a completely different state in 2011 and I was too nervous to sign up for lessons again (although I loved to dance and ice skate).  I never really considered myself an athlete, and throughout my late childhood and early teenage years I was not a part of any sports teams nor did I care to be. It was never a goal of mine to be the best female soccer player, or the best gymnast in the world. From that point on, I was not a very active person. In February of 2016 all of that changed. My Dad decided to start going to our local gym after taking quite a few years off due to a shoulder injury. He had done weight training almost all his life. I am not really sure what made me want to, but one day I asked him if I could go with him and he said yes. I started to go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My Dad would pick me up from school on those days and we would go straight to the gym. He taught me everything I needed to know, and he always stressed the importance of having proper form when lifting. I started off using very light weight and spent a lot of time practicing the exercises he taught me. Many women are terrified to even go near the weights section in the gym for the fear of looking too “manly”, and many will often opt for cardio instead.  I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous about that when I first started too. I now understand that that is very unlikely and that you have a lot of control over what your body looks like. I stuck to the same routine for almost two years and my body reacted to weight lifting (and cardio) very quickly. I first noticed that my legs were looking different, and eventually I noticed the changes in my upper body as well, and I think this is partly why I fell in love with weight lifting. It wasn’t just because of the way my body was changing, but also because of the way that it made me feel. I would walk out of the gym feeling so much better than when I walked in. Not everyone is the same, and results may come sooner or later depending on the person and what they do in the gym. I got lucky, but I also worked really hard. Around my two year anniversary, I discovered the Gymshark athletes on Instagram and YouTube and watched their videos religiously. I learned a lot about changing up your workout routines from time to time, and about eating healthy to see more results. I was never someone who ate a TON of unhealthy food, but I definitely could have been eating better. Up until that point I really didn’t change the way I ate even though I was working out and seeing some results. I didn’t realize that changing my diet would help me see even more results. My three year anniversary in the gym came around and I decided that it was time to change my usual gym routine and to start eating healthier. The change was not very easy (especially for someone with a GIANT sweet tooth like me), however it made a really big difference. I was pushing myself harder in the gym and taking it more seriously than I ever did before. I saw more changes in my body and I slowly added more protein, fruits, and vegetables to my diet. I was making sure to eat enough food to grow muscle, and I was drinking eight cups of water every day. Since then, I have been changing up my workouts around every six months to keep myself motivated, however eating right is still the most difficult part of living a healthy life. As time goes on, I am learning more and more and I have definitely made mistakes but that is OK! I let myself eat something sweet every single day, and I am still learning to not be so hard on myself. I have also realized that motivation comes and goes and NO ONE is motivated 100% of the time. Living a healthy life is a little bit more difficult as a full-time college student but I am doing the best that I can, and that is enough. February 23, 2020 will be my four year anniversary of weight lifting and I cannot believe that so much time has passed since I first started. I always like to thank my Dad for getting me into a lifestyle I never saw myself in. I never considered myself an athlete, not until now. And for someone as girly as me, I did not ever picture myself being the kind of person to head over to the gym and lift weights. Change is possible, and self-love is possible. This is just one step that I took that led me in the right direction. It  has brought me so much joy and confidence. My fitness journey may not be the most inspiring or incredible story to ever be told, but it is mine, and I am very proud of it.

Thank you so much for reading this post. As my fitness journey continues, I will be sure to update often! I would truly appreciate it if you shared with your friends and subscribed to my blog!

Creating “Compass to Confidence”

Those closest to me know that I have always had a passion for writing. As a little girl I would write in a diary often and before I could even fill up one journal, I had already bought my next one (I am almost positive that none of those journals were ever filled completely). I would write about my days; what I did, the friends I saw, etc. As I have gotten older, I have changed so much and so has my writing. For me personally, writing has been my way of reflecting on the things that I have learned/am learning. We are human, and we are always growing and learning. No matter what I am going through, I always like to keep a positive mindset and writing has helped me with this so much. Have you ever read something and it stuck with you? Or you felt like you understood exactly what the author was saying? When I read poetry or work written by other people, I often feel a connection. The thing I love the most about writing is that you don’t have to speak to connect with people. This connection that I often feel has inspired me and made me want to help others as well. If I could live my life helping people through my writing, I would feel extremely fulfilled. I decided to call my blog “Compass to Confidence” because something that I’ve struggled with, and continue to struggle with at times, is self confidence. Although I am a much more confident person than I used to be, I am not where I would like to be just yet. I created this blog to help others and to share the ways that my passions have led me to become a more confident woman. I am still becoming the person that I am meant to be, and I would love it if we helped guide each other in the direction of confidence and self-love.

What I Wear:

I have loved beauty and fashion for as long as I can remember, and it is still something I adore to this day. Over the years I have learned how to dress myself properly for any and all occasions. On a budget? No problem! Don’t forget that I am a college student who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on my clothing (although I do still want to look put together and fashionable). My main focus will be on my favorite affordable clothing stores! I plan on sharing new purchases, ootds (outfit of the days), styling tips, and so much more!

Here and There:

There is absolutely no feeling like traveling somewhere new, and I am grateful to get to experience that feeling often. Over the years I have been lucky enough to travel with my family and I have seen so many beautiful places. I plan on sharing travel tips and tricks, and telling stories about my past vacations. It is a goal of mine to travel as much as I can in my life, and my dream vacation is Paris! Although travel may not seem like it can make a person that much more confident, seeing the world has definitely made me feel very appreciative and more aware of other cultures.

Makeup and Hair:

I fell in love with makeup at a very young age. Every Christmas I was given a Barbie or Bratz makeup kit and my go-to look was chalky blue eye shadow, bright pink blush, and a deep red lip (thank god things have changed)! Around the age of 10 I discovered the beauty community on YouTube and learned everything I needed to know from the popular beauty gurus. (Anyone remember Juicystar07 or Macbarbie07?!) I began to wear makeup more often, and I have made all of the beginner mistakes. I wore foundation that was too dark and too light. I did not blend my eyeshadows enough. I was way too rough when removing my makeup. Skip to present day, where I am still just as makeup obsessed, however, I now feel much more confident in my makeup abilities (granted, I am still learning how to perfect a few different looks). I will be giving beauty tips, reviewing beauty products, and teaching you how to create the perfect everyday makeup look (among many other things)!

I would also like to mention that drugstore brands are typically what I purchase, so the products that I share with you will be affordable!

Entertainment to Share:

I am very much in tune with pop culture and I love following celebrities and keeping up to date on new music and movies/TV shows. I am constantly listening to music and finding new songs to workout to, and I love the way that art can connect with so many people across the world.  I plan to share posts that relate to my current music faves, movies/TV shows, and books I’ve been loving! Entertainment is another interest of mine that may not bring me a ton of confidence, however I think it will be fun to share my interests and find people out there who are interested in similar music, books, movies/TV shows as me! (I am a big Top 40s fan, and pop music is my favorite, but I do listen to and enjoy many different genres of music, so stick around!)

Fitness and Self-Care:

 In February of 2016, I began my fitness journey and I fell in love with weight lifting thanks to my Dad. He taught me everything that I needed to know about training.  My overall health has become very important to me over the past few years and it has changed my life for the better. I want to share my fitness journey with you, and I plan on giving tips for my fellow gym goers, healthy meal ideas, and ways to take care of your mind, body, and soul. (Focusing on my overall health has been one of the biggest steps I took that led me to becoming much more confident!)

Grab a Chair:

For this section of my blog, I plan on sharing many of my random thoughts. When I write about my feelings, I could go on forever, but I’ll try to keep it somewhat short for you. I sometimes feel that I have a better way with words when I am writing rather than speaking. If you care to read some of my deeper and slightly more personal thoughts, feel free to check this section out, and I hope that you feel a connection.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first post, “Creating ‘Compass to Confidence’”! I would appreciate it if you would like this post and share with your friends! Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when I post something new! I can’t wait for you to come on this journey with me!