Business Casual Outfit Ideas + Tips

Hey everyone! I am very excited to share this blog post with you all! I absolutely love looking polished and put-together, so I came up with five different business casual outfits. Whether you work in an office or you are beginning your first internship, these outfit ideas should spark some inspiration.

Depending on where you work, there may be specific rules when it comes to professional attire. You can very easily add or change certain pieces in each of these outfits if they do not follow your specific guidelines.

I know that I did not include a dress or skirt in this post, and this is mainly because I don’t feel that I own a dress or skirt that is necessarily “professional.” If I owned a simple black, navy, or nude dress/skirt that was about knee length, I definitely would have included it! If you prefer skirts and dresses (as I often do), you can definitely choose to wear them rather than pants!

You will notice that the color pattern I tend to stick with when it comes to business casual is black, pink, gray, nude, and navy. Although it is often best to stick to neutrals, I do like to include a few colors. The ones I chose are professional, and in my opinion, they make the outfits a bit more fun. Check out my Instagram: @sacchere14 to see a fun transition video I created while wearing these looks!

Here are the five outfits I put together…

Outfit #1:

For this look, I went with a navy and white top. These two colors always look so beautiful together. What I love about this top is that it can be worn casually, or you can dress it up. It is perfect for so many different occasions. I added a simple black blazer because you would most likely have to cover up a bit more. I love a nice blazer, and I like to wear them often, even for the most casual activities. I went with a nice pair of gray, patterned ankle pants. The pattern is not over the top or too bold, but it adds a bit of flair to the look. I decided that my nude block heels looked best with this outfit.

Outfit #2:

For this outfit, I wanted it to be a bit more girly yet still professional. I chose this light pink collared top. Collared tops are perfect for the workplace, and this one is a bit more fun with the ruffled sleeves and the zipper detailing in the front. If needed, I would recommend a black of gray blazer as well. I chose a pair of slim black ankle pants to go with the top. For my shoes, I decided on my black block heels (a pair of neutral flats would look great too).

Outfit #3:

This look is for those of you who prefer something comfortable yet still pretty. I chose a black pussybow top. I love the sleeves on this top because they flare out at the end, and I have such a love for big sleeves! It is great because it looks professional and stylish at the same time. If you aren’t a fan of blazers, this kind of top is perfect for you because it keeps you covered without the extra layer. For my bottoms, I went with the same gray patterned ankle pants from the first outfit. Lastly, to complete the outfit, I chose my black block heels (once again, neutral flats would be a great option as well).

Outfit #4:

This look is the most bold out of the five, however I feel that it still gives off a professional vibe. I wanted to include it in case the rules at your workplace are a tiny bit more casual. For my top, I have a long sleeved pink turtle neck. I feel that turtle necks, mock necks, and high necklines in general look very professional and they make any outfit more polished. I then added a patterned blazer. This may be a bit bold, but you can always use a neutral colored blazer (such as black or gray) instead. For my bottoms, I chose a simple pair of black ankle pants. I love the look of a sleek pair of pants, and these are pretty comfortable as well. Lastly, for my shoes, I chose the same pair of black block heels (again, if heels aren’t your thing, you can wear a neutral colored pair of mules or loafers). If you are going to add color to your business casual outfits, try to stick to one item of clothing and keep the rest of the outfit neutral.

Outfit #5:

I think that this last outfit is my favorite of the five! I love that it is simple yet classy and put together at the same time. For this look, I chose a gray, mock neck sweater. The material of this sweater is light, so it wouldn’t be too hot, but it would still keep you warm if your workplace is a little cold. I paired this top with my favorite ankle pants. I adore the windowpane pattern of these pants, and the navy and white look beautiful paired with the gray top. If the pattern is too bold for you, a nice pair of black pants, or a skirt would look just as nice! I decided to go with my nude block heels to complete the look!

Tips for women:

Stick with neutral colors for the most part

Wear heels that aren’t too tall or if heels aren’t your thing, a nice pair of mules, loafers, or ballet flats would be perfect

Wear a blazer or a nice cardigan over a tank top/sleeveless top

Ankle pants/capris are a stylish yet professional choice

Skirts and dresses should be 4 inches above the knee at most (knee length is perfect)

Go for a nice blouse

Nothing too tight or short

Keep the jewelry minimal and simple

Avoid bright colors

Avoid sneakers and flip flops

Tips for men:

Neutral colors are best

Sweaters, button ups, or collared shirts are the best options

Dress slacks or semi-formal pants

Tie-up shoes and loafers

Avoid t-shirts and sweatshirts

Try to stay away from very bold prints and patterns

Avoid  boots and flip flops

There are definitely ways to look fashionable while wearing business casual attire. It isn’t too complicated to know whether or not something is inappropriate for the workplace, however I felt that sharing a few outfits and tips would be helpful, especially for those of you who are just starting out in the workplace.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post! Thank you so much for reading!

A Guide to Glute Growth

Disclaimer: I am in no way a personal trainer, nor am I an expert on this topic. I just wanted to share my experience with lifting and shaping my glutes, and talk about what has worked for me! I have been weight training for around 4 ½ years, and even though I have experience, I do not know everything. What I am sharing with you today are some things that I have learned over the years. If you want to learn more about the glute muscles, what a calorie surplus/deficit is, or what any of these exercises are, I highly recommend you research them further, and make sure the information is from a reputable source. (I am aware that many gyms are still closed due to COVID-19, including my own, but you can still work your glutes at home!)

While it can be difficult to lift and shape your glutes, you WILL get results so long as you are taking the proper steps (keep in mind the the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body). When I first started weight training, I didn’t really have a set goal in mind. I just wanted to learn how to lift weights correctly. After a couple years of learning and creating new goals for myself, I decided that I wanted to start changing things up a bit. I started going to the gym on my own and changing my exercises as well as my workout split.

I’ve found that shaping and lifting your glutes takes a lot of hard work and discipline. While I have seen great changes when it comes to my glutes, I am continuing to learn and work harder to get to where I want to be.

Here are some tips that I wanted to share with you:

  • EAT (enough)

If your goal is to grow your glutes, this tip is especially important. When I first started trying to grow my glutes, I had no idea that I would have to eat more than I already was. I was also surprised and a bit discouraged when I learned that it’s not very likely that you will grow your glutes and flatten your stomach at the same time. I have often heard that if you want to grow your glutes, you need to be in a calorie surplus. At first, I really did not know what this meant. I haven’t looked into it very much because I prefer not to track my calories. Through trial and error, I have found what works for me and what doesn’t. I allow myself to trust and listen to what my body needs, and I often go by that. Since I started working on my glutes, I have been eating a bit more than I used to, but the change was not too drastic. Decide what your goals are, and decide what you want to focus on right now, and go from there. Just make sure that if you are going to be eating more or less, to do it safely and make sure to eat healthy foods that will help you reach your goals!

  • Mind to muscle connection

My dad taught me this very early on: when performing any exercise, you need to think about the muscles you are targeting. If you are targeting your glutes, really think about your movements and think about working the right muscles. If you are simply squatting without much thought, you will most likely not get the results you are hoping for. Mind to muscle connection is a very real thing for any exercise, so make sure you are focused on what you are doing.

  • Slow down

All too often, I see people rushing through their workouts. While I understand some people want to squeeze gym sessions into very busy schedules, rushing through a workout will not lead to great results. Not only that, but you can hurt yourself in the process. If you are running low on time, try to pick a few exercises you know you want to complete that day. By doing this, you can take your time and really focus on your movements.

  • Glute activation

Glute activation is when you perform quick and repetitive movements in order to wake up your glutes. Many people do not work these muscles on a daily/weekly basis, so activating them can be difficult at first. Resistance bands have been very helpful to me for activating my glutes. Before I start any lower body day, I grab a resistance band. You want to place the resistance band right above your knees and you can warm up by doing glute kickbacks, fire hydrants, squats, etc. I use a resistance band for most of my lower body exercises. They help you target your glutes and it makes the exercises a bit more challenging. I wouldn’t recommend using these at first. Learn how to correctly perform the exercises and practice it for a while before using any resistance bands. You will still be able to activate your glutes a bit without them.

  • Hip thrusts

This exercise has absolutely changed the game for my glutes. I’m not going to lie, this exercise is going to look and feel pretty awkward and maybe even a little uncomfortable. I would recommend practicing it at home beforehand.  Make sure that your form is correct before doing this exercise in the gym (this will make you feel much more confident). I felt and sometimes still feel awkward when performing this exercise, so if you can, go to a corner of your gym and do your hip thrusts there. Make sure your movements are controlled, and that you are breathing through it properly. I would also like to say that when starting any new exercise, you should always start with lighter weight. However, you should have a goal to continue to add more weight over time. If your goal is to grow your glutes, you will need to be lifting heavier, just don’t overdo it.

  • Hip abductors

This is another exercise that will help grow your glutes. Many people do not realize that we have three muscles that make up our glutes: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. Many people are familiar with the maximus because it is the largest muscle of the three (and in the human body in general). If you are only activating your gluteus maximus, you may not see the results you want. You want to be doing exercises that target all of these muscles. The medius and minimus make up the top and sides of your glutes. Hip abductors are just one way to target them. By using your legs to push the weight outward, you will be targeting your medius and minimus, leading to better overall growth.

  • SQUEEZE

Squats are probably one of the most popular exercises for your lower body. What some people don’t know is that squats are a compound movement, meaning that your entire body is working hard during this exercise, not just your legs/glutes. However, squatting is really great to incorporate on lower body days. When you are coming up from a squat or deadlift, squeeze your glutes together. By doing this, you are activating the muscles and engaging them. Don’t neglect them, because even though you will see that your legs are getting stronger, your glutes will not be on the same page. You want to have a balanced proportion.

  • Be patient

Ugh, I know, but hear me out. When I first started working on my glutes, I wanted to see results right away. Obviously that is not going to happen. It takes hard work and time to grow any muscles. In order to lift and shape your glutes, you need to be eating enough of the right foods, performing the correct exercises, and working hard in the gym frequently. It is going to take time, but you WILL get there. The tips mentioned above have been so extremely helpful to me over the years, and I have seen incredible results! Work hard and don’t give up.

Thank you for reading! Until next time!

How to Build Self-Confidence

Hey everyone! As I am sure many of you are aware, I am all about confidence and self-love. That is, after all, what my blog is centered around. I did not just create this blog for myself though; I created it for other women like me. For the women who are trying to gain confidence in themselves. For the women who are working on loving themselves unconditionally. I created this blog to stand with you, and to let you know that I understand exactly how you are feeling. Today, I wanted to share my best tips on how to build self-confidence.

I feel as if I have been on this self-love journey for so long now, that at times it can get really frustrating. I say this all the time, but I am not where I want to be in life just yet. I still struggle with confidence and I still struggle with self-doubt. I have grown so much in recent years, and I have gained quite a bit of confidence in myself, despite the struggle. I am proud that I was never the kind of person to pretend to be anyone other than myself. I always stayed true to who I was and what I wanted, even if that meant that I didn’t fit in. This still rings true today.

Part of me felt that it wasn’t right to share these tips with you all because I am not the most confident person out there. But then I thought, if I am feeling this way, there is bound to be other women who do too. Plus, these tips that I am sharing with you today have definitely helped me gained confidence in myself, so I hope that this helps you too!

My tips:

  • Be prepared

One thing that always brings me a bit of confidence is being prepared for anything. Since I am a college student, this is a tip that I have learned in the past few years. Sometimes, you need to be ahead of the game. For me, this means getting my school work done and being productive. If that means going over something the day before class, I do it because I know that by taking the time to look over a reading or do an assignment, I will know exactly what my professor is talking about. I like to know what’s going on, and I like having a plan. This is just a personal example. Find what that is for you, and stay on top of it! Whether you are studying for your driver’s test or you are getting ready for an important interview, being prepared will always bring you confidence and calm your nerves.

  • Compliment yourself daily

Self-affirmations are a great way to start your day. You do not necessarily have to believe the positive things you tell yourself, but you should! I try to do this every day because it makes me feel confident. It may seem a bit silly to look at yourself in the mirror and say “you’re beautiful” or “You’re strong”, but I am telling you that it works! Embrace the awkwardness and show yourself some love. Soon enough, you are going to believe the words that you are saying.

  • Get out of your comfort zone

This is something I tend to struggle with a lot, however I’ve been doing this more often lately. I am the kind of person who enjoys routine and planning things out. I find comfort in a daily routine, and getting out of it can be challenging for me. Well, I recently went above and beyond with this tip, and I was able to go on my dream trip to France! This was a huge step for me, and it brought me confidence as well as independence. Although I wasn’t alone, I did go with a group of girls from school who I did not know too well. I ended up having an amazing time and I learned that sometimes getting out of your comfort zone can be the best thing for you. This is a big example, but there are smaller things that you can do in your everyday life that will lead you to a similar result. Do the things that scare you. If it is going to help you grow in positive ways, take the risk.

  • Self-care

I always feel my best when I take care of myself. I like to take some time to pamper myself, and keep up with my appearance. Although I know that looks aren’t everything, it does make me feel more confident when I look presentable. I also enjoy dressing up and doing my makeup and hair. I’ve noticed that when I am wearing an outfit that I love and feel comfortable in, that is when I feel most confident. I know that everyone is different, and not every girl likes to get glammed up. If this is not your style, I would suggest wearing what you want to wear. Whatever you feel best in, wear it. I do not look at the word “self-care” and think that it only applies to appearances. I work really hard on taking care of my heart and mind as well. Take care of yourself all around. It makes a world of a difference.

  • Surround yourself with good people

This is easier said than done, I know. I feel lucky that I have an incredible and loving family to fall back on. They are my everything, and I am so grateful that I have the relationship with them that I do. I am aware that not everyone has this though. I always struggled to make friends, so I never had very many, but right now, I know that the ones I do have are true. As long as you remain true to who you are, you will attract the right people, however, there is a good chance that you will attract the wrong people too. Be careful and be aware of who you surround yourself with. Some people will only get close to you to use you, to hurt you, or to bring you down.  Trust me, you don’t want or need people like that in your life. Cut the ties, and find people who truly love you, support you, and care for you. And remember to be that person for them as well.

  • Work toward your goals and passions

This is something that I have been working very hard on, and I have to say, not only does it make me feel confident, but it makes me happy. Creating this blog was one of the biggest steps that I have taken that is helping me reach my goals. Since I love to write, I now get to do it often, all while helping others, and nothing makes me happier. If you take some time to think about your goals and what you want in life, you can start working toward those goals right now. There is no reason you have to wait around. Go after what you want in life, and even with the setbacks, please keep going. If you are passionate about something, and if you believe in yourself, you can reach your goals. And don’t forget to celebrate your victories, no matter how small!

  • Envision the person you are trying to become (essentially, fake it til’ you make it)

As I have learned, gaining confidence can take a long time. It also takes a lot of work. Even if you aren’t 100% confident in yourself, it is ok to act like you are. There is a difference between confidence and cockiness or arrogance. No one is better than anyone else. Just try to imagine the person you are trying to become, and work every day to get there. This does not mean copying anyone else’s lifestyle or comparing yourself to anyone else. While it is great to be inspired by others, I simply mean that you should strive to be YOUR best self. When I imagine the woman I am becoming, I see that she is strong, confident, and kind. While I would describe myself with these words right now, I know there is always room for improvement.

  • One last tip from my momma: There is no deadline

I was recently speaking to my mother about confidence, and how I wish I was further along on this journey. What she told me is something that I think everyone should hear. I told her that I was worried about never reaching that point of being 100% confident in myself. I was worried that I would not be able to have the things I want in life if I am not confident in who I am. She reminded me that there is no deadline, and that people have their dreams come true at different points in their lives, and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, by taking your time and working on you, the right things will come to you at the right time. She said that life may seem long right now, but it is actually really short. And lastly, she reminded me that it isn’t about the destination, it is about the journey.

I know that this may seem overwhelming, but we would all be much better off if we gained more self-confidence. Know that it takes time, but you will get there eventually. I haven’t given up hope, and I hope you don’t either. I am right there with you. Thank you so much for reading!

At-Home Workout Guide: My Tips & Tricks

Hey everyone! With all that is going on in the world right now, I wanted to share something that may be helpful to my fellow gym lovers! Sadly (yet understandably), many gyms are temporarily closing due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This means that many people are either skipping their workouts, or working out from home.

 For me personally, I prefer working out in a gym because I feel more motivated to get through a workout this way. When I choose to workout at home, it is a bit more difficult to get through it! Well, now it looks like we don’t have much of a choice, so at-home workouts will have to do!

Today, I wanted to share some tips on how to have a great workout in the comfort of your own home! I know that not everyone has dumbbells or resistance bands lying around, but if you do, it will make your workouts even more challenging! For those of you who do not have these items at home, or cannot purchase them right now, there are alternatives! For added weight, you can use soup cans, milk jugs, bags of apples and even bags of pet food! If you plan on purchasing resistance bands or dumbbells, Amazon has some great options at a variety of prices (although you may not be able to purchase anything right now).

Since my university has moved all of our classes online, and I have been staying home more often, I have had a lot of time to myself. When I have some free time, I really enjoy pampering myself, writing, watching Netflix or YouTube, and of course, working out. I feel lucky that I am one of those people who actually enjoy working out (most of the time). Although I prefer the gym, I have gotten experimental with my at-home workouts and I have found that you do not need to go to the gym to get a great workout in! Here are some of my tips to get you through your at home workouts:

  • Purchase gym equipment OR use everyday/common household items

As I mentioned previously, having resistance bands, dumbbells, and a workout bench can be extremely helpful for completing a workout at home. However, I am aware that not everyone has this equipment at their homes, but there are alternatives (see above).

  • Make some room

Try to find an area in your home where there is enough space. Depending on where you live, this may or may not be easy. Work with what you have, and if needed, move a few things around!

  • Get experimental (find new ways to workout)

When working out at home, you are going to very quickly realize that you may not be able to do every single exercise you would normally do at the gym. For example, when I am doing a pull day, I am working my back and my biceps. If I want to do seated rows or use the lat pull down machine, I cannot necessarily do this at home. This is when you need to get experimental. YouTube and Google can be very helpful for finding new exercises. If you want to replace seated rows, for example, try taking some dumbbells and doing bent over rows. If you love weight lifting, but you’re finding it difficult to do this at home, you can find other forms of exercise. I personally love doing a combination of weight training and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Also, don’t underestimate the power of bodyweight exercises!

  • Get outdoors

Since so many of us are staying indoors right now, I think that some fresh air is especially essential. Even if you aren’t working out, I would recommend getting outside every day (even if it is just to your back yard)! If you’re able to, I would recommend working out outdoors every once in a while. Whether you want to run, lift weights, or practice some yoga, your body will thank you.

  • Grab a friend

I actually prefer to work out alone, but for some people, having a friend by their side makes exercising more enjoyable. By working out with a friend, they can help you avoid distractions, keep you motivated, and keep you laughing!

  • Blast the music

Every time I work out at home, I like to blast my music. Anything upbeat and loud usually helps me push through my workouts and keeps me moving… or should I say dancing?

  • Put your phone down

I think that one of the reasons I find working out at home to be a bit more difficult is because I am more tempted to take longer breaks/look at my phone. If you have to, turn off your ringer so you won’t hear any notifications going off. While you should absolutely take breaks in between sets, they shouldn’t be more than a couple of minutes. If you look at your phone after doing some shoulder presses, you may find that you’re on your ex boyfriend’s girlfriend’s sister’s cousin’s Instagram page 20 minutes later. Trust me, you don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole. Get a great playlist going and PUT THE PHONE DOWN.

I hope that you found these tips helpful! I know that having to stay in our homes can be frustrating at times, but please remember that by doing this, we are stopping the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are strong and healthy, you could still potentially pass on the illness to someone who isn’t as strong. Take some time to focus on your health, and hopefully sometime soon we can all go back to living a normal life! Thank you for reading!

Holiday Outfit Ideas

Whether you are attending a holiday party or you’re simply spending time with family and friends like me, you may be unsure about what to wear. I know that for some people, the idea of dressing up can be a bit stressful, especially for bigger events, so today, I am here to help! I have put together three different holiday outfits to wear for any occasion! Whether you would describe your fashion sense as “casual” or “classy”, these three outfits should spark some inspiration!

This first outfit is for those of you who prefer a more classic look. You can never go wrong with black and white. I think that these two colors always look good together, and this outfit may be my favorite of the three! I first took some simple black pants and paired them with a long sleeved black top with pearl accents. I then took a white peacoat to wear on top. Lastly, I wore my black knee-high boots (which you will see me wear quite often in the winter time).

Next up, I have an outfit that is for those of you who don’t really love to dress up and prefer a more casual or comfy look. First, I took a pair of dark wash jeans and paired them with a simple white sweater. If you are a fan of color, and you want to stand out a bit more or feel more festive, a red or green sweater would look just as nice! I then took a pair of faux leather boots to match the outfit. With a simple outfit like this one, I recommend accessorizing with a shiny pair of earrings or a nice necklace. You can also add a scarf to the outfit for a cozier feel.

And lastly, this outfit is for those of you who like to have a bit of fun with fashion, and would describe your style as “girly” or “trendy”. This is a beautiful red off the shoulder dress with a scalloped neckline. I wore this dress a couple years ago for Christmas Eve and I still adore it to this day. I paired it with the same knee-high boots from the first outfit!

Whenever I want to wear dresses or skirts in the winter, I’ll typically pair them with my knee-high boots. Since it can get pretty cold where I live at times, I always wear knee-high socks with my boots to stay warm. Even though it’s not much, it still helps (plus, I don’t spend a ton of time outside in the winter anyway, so when I do, I bundle up and rush inside!)

I hope that these outfits gave you a bit of holiday fashion inspiration, and I hope that these tips were helpful! And if you still want to wear sweatpants and hoodies instead, trust me, I feel you! Let me know which outfit is your favorite in a comment below. Thank you so much for reading!

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!

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!