There’s nothing worse than a workout rut, and lately, I’ve been in a big one. Normally I work out one
The post 4 Workouts That Make Me Feel Confident in My Plus-Size Body appeared first on The Everygirl. More
There’s nothing worse than a workout rut, and lately, I’ve been in a big one. Normally I work out one
Exercise: love it or hate it, we can all agree that if you’re going to spend the time to do it, you better get the most from it. We’re all busy, hustling, and exhausted, so when we designate time to work out (on the days we actually can), you best believe we’re going to want to get the most out of it. The 30-minute sculpt class or the time spent sweating it out on a run gets all the credit, but the steps you take before and after exercise matter just as much. The right pre- and post-workout rituals can help you recover, get stronger, and crush every workout. Ready to optimize your bicep curls and high-intensity intervals? Make these 10 steps an important part of your workout routine:
1. Get enough sleep
If you’ve ever had a sluggish workout (or general lack of energy) after a night of not-so-great sleep, you know why this one is key. When you get enough quality sleep (around 7-9 hours), you have better focus, energy levels, and stamina, meaning you can likely get better results from the same workout. Bonus: exercising can help you sleep better, so it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Prioritize sleep the night before to make the most of your workout the next day. Also, if you have to choose between getting seven hours of sleep and waking up for a morning workout? Either go to bed earlier or fit in exercise later in the day.
2. Plan it out
While it may be tempting to show up at the gym and figure out what to do on the spot or to Google a yoga flow whenever you have time during the day, making a plan in advance ensures you’re making the most of your designated workout time. “Having a specified and well-thought plan can make a huge difference in your workout routine,” suggested Bianca Grover, an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, and owner of Bianca Grover Fitness. “A planned workout can also help keep you accountable. You may be tired after your second set of squats, but that number will help you push yourself to complete your goals.” If you go to a gym, put together a routine ahead of time. If you’re more of a class girl, sign up for online workout classes in advance and write them in your calendar.
3. Warm up
It’s true for new relationships, and it’s true for exercise: when you go from 0-100 way too quickly, it can cause some damage. “Never skip your warmup, which helps reduce injury and improves recovery,” said Barbara Brosnan, NBC-HWC, NASM-CPT, CNC, and a personal trainer and owner of Project Fitness. “Your pre-workout warmup should consist of dynamic stretches (moving stretches rather than holding stretches) that target the muscles you will be focusing on during the workout.” The goal is to warm up the body to ensure your muscles have enough oxygen and increase flexibility to reduce injury. Fit in at least five minutes for a warmup. Try active stretching and low-heart rate cardio like walking on the treadmill.
4. Get in your liquids
What can’t water do? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking two to three cups of water a few hours before you plan to work out, which can maximize hydration levels during exercise. Without proper hydration, your body can’t perform at its best. Curious about other types of pre-workout fuel? Good news for our Starbucks addiction: “Caffeine is an ergogenic aid; which means it can aid in performance by increasing energy, focus, and endurance,” explained Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N to Byrdie. No matter how you prefer to fuel your body before a workout, make sure it feels best for you. If coffee makes you feel jittery (or if you work out in the evenings), stick to water—and get lots of it. Bottom line: make sure you’re properly hydrated and fuel your body with whatever makes you feel your best.
5. Listen to the right playlist
Because what could be more motivating than the chorus of Run the World (Girls) or make you pick up the intensity quite like the first 45 seconds of Lose Yourself? Getting in the right mindset is just as important as getting in the right physical space, so while prepping your body for a spin class or yoga flow, don’t forget to prepare the mind, too. You shouldn’t feel dreadful, apprehensive, or irritated going into a workout. If you do, you haven’t found the workout that’s best for you. Try listening to your favorite pump-up playlist (I’m biased, but this one slaps) to boost energy and excitement, visualize how good you’ll feel moving your body, and pick a type of workout that will make you feel good for the rest of the day.
Yes, stretching gets a point before and after a workout because it’s just that beneficial (and crucial). “Post-workout, focus on isolated stretches: stretch and hold for 20-30 seconds to target the muscle groups that you used during your workout,” Brosnan recommended. Stretching after your workout also has benefits of injury prevention and improved recovery, but the difference is that you should hold each stretch to go deeper. Make sure to target the muscles you worked on, as well as the areas we often forget about, like inner thighs or upper back. Oh, and if you dim the lights, play some relaxing music, and light a candle or two? You just might feel transported into a fancy yoga studio.
2. Eat nourishing food
There’s a reason spin class and brunch go together like PB&J: refueling post-workout is crucial for your health and achieving fitness goals (although I’m guessing bottomless mimosas don’t count toward that). After using up its available energy, the body needs to refuel (especially with carbs and protein) to get more energy and repair muscles. If your goal is more strength, endurance, or stamina (or just to be overall healthy), don’t ignore that stomach growl. Think about it: your body is like a car (a Rolls Royce, might I add), and food is gasoline. To keep going fast—and get even faster—you need to continually replenish the gas. A fruit smoothie with protein powder and chia seeds, eggs with avocado toast, or a grain bowl make for ideal post-workout meals since they combine protein, carbs, and fats.
3. Try a foam roller
Remember the importance of stretching? Similar benefits apply when getting a massage (as if we needed another reason) by releasing tension in the muscles and helping the body recover from workouts and strain. But since getting a massage is not always feasible (or good for our wallets), enter the foam roller. “Foam rolling seems to make muscles more receptive to stretching and moving. It’s the best thing I’ve found to make people feel better immediately,” explained Michael Bento, a personal trainer at Massachusetts General Hospital, to Harvard Medical School. If you’re new to foam rolling, try out these moves to help with muscle soreness and tension.
4. Take a rest day
If you’ve had a particularly tough workout, taking a rest day might actually help you maximize the work you did the day before. “Your muscles need time to recover after an intense workout,” explained Ashlee Van Buskirk, a registered nurse, personal trainer, and founder of Whole Intent. “However, if you’re itching to get active and you want to maximize the impact of yesterday’s workout, consider some light exercise. Walking, swimming, or doing yoga are great ways to stay active while letting muscles recover.” The key to health is tuning in to your body to find out what it needs. If you’re feeling too sore or exhausted, take a rest day. Listening to your body will help you get stronger.
5. Indulge in some self-care
“Recovery is the missing piece of self-care, and designing a post-workout recovery ritual is key to repairing, rebuilding, and strengthening our bodies from the inside out,” said Dr. Sharif Tabbah, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist based in Miami. In other words, how much you care for yourself after a workout is just as important as how much you push yourself during a workout. Whether that means taking a warm bath to soothe sore muscles or a work break to destress, self-care deserves to be a part of your fitness routine. Going back to the car analogy: if food is gasoline, self-care is the “check engine” light. You have to care for the engine if you’re going to want the car to go faster. Self-care replenishes and nourishes the body so that you’ll be more motivated, ready, and energized for the next workout.
What habits have improved your workouts? More
Taking a peek into someone’s Amazon wishlist is nothing short of getting a glimpse into their soul. One flash of my wishlist and you’ll quickly find my deepest, darkest desires: home decor items that Joanna Gaines would envy, fashion finds seemingly plucked out of Hailey Bieber’s closet, self-help books I want to (but will never find the time to) read, and an ample amount of items that the TikTok community convinced me that I needed.Among those TikTok must-haves, one item taunted me more than the rest. I first saw it brandished on a TikTok account in the summertime. It wasn’t long until I found it appearing just about everywhere else. I saw it again and again on my For You Page, on the streets of Chicago, at the gym, and presented in the form of an ad on my daily IG scroll. The universe wanted me to pull the trigger on this affordable Amazon workout tank, but, I persisted and played hard to get.
Behold, one of my biggest internal battles in life. Do I invest in more expensive items that will fit perfectly and last me forever? Or do I jump at the affordable option, assuming the risk that the cheaper options will be just that—cheap. It is with this contemplation that I decided on investing in the Lululemon Align Tank instead of giving the Amazon tank a try.
I wanted a top that could withstand a light treadmill workout/weight-lifting session but still be comfortable enough to lounge in. If I’m spending over $60 on a top, it needs to be multipurpose. When I saw my best friend rock her brand-spanking-new Lululemon Align Tank, she encouraged me that she was able to work out and watch Netflix in it, so I near sprinted to Lululemon to pick one up for myself.
Typically, I’m a size small in tops, but when there’s a built-in-bra situation, I am continuously dumbfounded for sizing. I’m a 32D so when I tried on Lululemon’s size four, my tatas nearly brushed the tip of my chin. One deadlift hinge forward and those babies were going to slip out and graze my worn, Adidas tennis shoes. I moved on to a size six. Still, my boobs slid out the sides covering more horizontal ground than I ever thought possible. My left breast took an exhilarating road trip west; my right flew coach, hit a fair amount of turbulence, and visited an old friend in D.C. So, I opted for a size eight. It expanded slightly to make room for my bust but the v-cut still left me feeling exposed and uncomfortable—there was no way I could make this work at the gym. Alas, I tried the size 10 at which point the top socially distanced itself from my ribcage and waist and I lost all hope.
I walk-of-shamed home only to remember the workout tank that sat patiently in my Amazon wishlist. With lingering rage from my wasted, too-well-lit fitting room experience, I added the tank to my cart. For a size 32D, the brand recommended either a size medium or a size large. I said a prayer, opted for a medium in the color black (to no one’s surprise), and let the Amazon gods fulfill my order.
When I got hit with that “your order has been delivered” email, I sprung from my couch with gusto, slapped on an upside-down face mask, and triple tapped my floor’s elevator button because obviously, that would summon it faster. When I got down to the lobby, my package was there, waiting for me in all of its $24 glory.
If you think that I didn’t rip open that package on my commute back up the elevator then, honey, you simply don’t know me. By the time I made it into my apartment, I was already slipping off my Budweiser tee, ready to see if this cult-favorite workout tank was worth the hype. And, boy, did I hope that it was. Still scarred by my Align Tank encounter (we’ll call it Boobgate 2021), I knew better than to be excited. If it doesn’t fit, it’s OK! We can just return it. No big deal.
And before I could even finish my thought, the tank slipped and fell onto my body and I was at a loss for words. It? Fits? I started jogging in place, doing cartwheels, and performing bodyweight Romanian deadlifts in front of my mirror. After about five minutes of pushing my bust to the limits, I exhaled. It. Fits.
And now, a glimpse at my happily ever after. I wear this thing everywhere. I’ve gone to the gym in it, I’ve worked from home in it, I’ve napped in it, and I’ve worn it under a puffer on my last two grocery runs. It’s lightweight, breathable, and functional AF. When I go to the gym to do an incline walk, a weight-lifting session, low-impact HIIT, or yoga, I leave the pads in. When I’m lounging at home, I simply slip them out. If I’m going to be doing what I deem as intense cardio (moderate running or sprinting), I opt for a more supportive, higher neck sports bra but, in all reality, I’m only doing that a mere once or twice a week.
While I’d say that the material is nice, you miss out on the buttery softness that comes with the Lululemon Align Tank. Amazon’s version is 87 percent nylon and 13 percent spandex while the Align Tank is 81 percent nylon 19 percent Lycra elastane. So while the Amazon one is definitely comfortable, it’s not a direct comparison on that front. At the end of the day, while then Align material would be a nice luxury, it’s most definitely not my priority.
If I buy again, I’ll probably try out a large just out of sheer curiosity. If it’s not snug enough for workouts, I’ll still keep it for lounging purposes. If I like it better overall, I’ll be sure to let you know. For now, I’m beyond happy with my size medium sports bra tank that costs just a bit less than a Tao vodka soda and less than half of the price of a Lululemon Align Tank. With that, I can confidently say that in this episode of high-end or dupe, the dupe wins my heart.
As far as I’m concerned, this tank could hit me with a car and I would say, “thank you.” This tank could leave me on read and I would fully, wholeheartedly understand. This tank could put an empty milk carton back in the fridge and I would apologize for assuming it’s full. Thankfully, this tank has shown me nothing but love and it is for this reason (amongst a million others) that I will no longer be wearing anything else. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. More
Over the past few years, one of my greatest, most dreaded challenges has been getting myself to the gym. Here’s the thing: once I’m moving my body, I don’t hate it, and afterward I typically feel pretty darn good. But getting there—oof—that’s a different story.I’ve struggled with yo-yo working out for as long as I can remember. I would do this thing where, after a long hiatus from the gym, I would work up a plethora of guilt-fueled motivation, hit the extreme of working out past my limits for a few days, and poop out, only to fall off the boat and do nothing at all for a week or two or three. No matter how many fitness gurus I followed on IG that preached consistency over intensity, I just couldn’t seem to get myself out of the bad habit of binge-working out, which led to prolonged periods of doing nothing at all.
One of my goals for 2021 was to change my relationship with working out. I knew that if I approached working out with a new mindset, I had the potential to fall back in love with fitness. And for the first time in my adult life, I can finally say it’s actually happening. Here are the seven ways that I tricked myself into loving working out again:
1. I merged fitness and friends
Finding accountability partners in my fitness journey has been an absolute game-changer for me. At the start of 2021, my friends and I vowed that we’d have each other’s backs on the days where we were feeling less than motivated to get to the gym. We don’t work out together (differing schedules and, you know, pandemic and all) but we have a stream of communication that is uplifting and motivating AF.
We celebrate small wins, hold each other accountable, and lean on each other on the days where we need a little push to get out of bed or motivation to forego the temptations of the couch. Having a supportive community to lift me up, remind me of how much of a badass I am, and assure me that I’m not alone has helped me more than I can put into words.
2. I listened to my body (but didn’t use it as an excuse)
I’ll admit, before 2021, “listening to my body” was my favorite excuse in the world for doing absolutely nothing. The number of times I’ve said, “I’m listening to my body,” whilst withering away on my couch on my 19th consecutive hour of Netflix is simply too high to count.
In my 2021, listening to my body has taken on a new meaning. Rather than use it as an excuse to be horizontal, if I’m feeling sore or am feeling tired I do a leisurely incline walk, stretch, or light yoga flow to get my body warm and moving instead of skipping my daily movement altogether. Time and time again, I find that doing something instead of nothing makes me feel infinitely better.
3. I made a plan—and stuck to it
For me, working movement into my schedule ahead of time has helped me to prioritize my workouts during the week. If I don’t plan ahead of time, life happens, and working out tends to be the first thing I sacrifice. I find that when I manage my weekly schedule and label specific blocks of time to include movement, I’m much more likely to make it happen. 6:30 p.m., workout with me—I can’t cancel that again!
4. I placed an emphasis on consistency
As I previously mentioned, I used to be the worst when it came to consistency in my workouts. Part of my problem was that when I’d finally work up the guilt-fueled courage of hitting the gym for the first time in weeks, I’d go way too hard for two whole hours, then I’d be exhausted, sore, and down for the count for at least a few days.
This year, I’ve adopted the mindset that consistency is more valuable than intensity, especially when it comes to gaining confidence and getting back into the workout game. The positive reinforcement of the endorphin rush that comes from even a short, light workout has made me actually associate enjoyment with working out, which has made me—dare I say it—excited for my next workout.
5. I made a playlist that makes me want to have a one-woman dance party
In my eyes, no workout is complete without a pre-workout dance party. Despite popular belief, the star of said dance party isn’t my lame dance moves. It’s the playlist that gets me in the mood to groove, move, and get my blood flowing. No matter what kind of funk I’m in, a spontaneous dance party to my favorite songs can almost always cure it, which puts me in a positive mindset before I even leave my apartment.
6. I spend less time doing things I hate (i.e., distance running)
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I hate running. I can name a million things I’d rather do than run and, tellingly, that list even includes walking barefoot on a runway of Legos just because. I’ve tried every trick in the book to get myself to like running but, despite multiple attempts, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s just not for me. And that’s OK!
So, instead of forcing myself to do an activity I despise with everything inside of me, I’ve been opting for 10-minute warmups and cardio sessions that—wait for it—don’t include distance running! And let me tell you, it has been glorious. Instead, I’ll do incline walks, sprints, or bodyweight HIIT workouts to get my heart rate up before my lift. I know it isn’t groundbreaking, but choosing a workout plan that I actually enjoy makes me so much more likely to hit the gym.
7. I focused on how I felt rather than what I looked like
At the end of the day, one of the biggest factors in changing my relationship with the gym is focusing on how I feel during and after my workout as opposed to expecting physical results. I think it’s great to have functional and physique goals but, right now, I’m focusing on the short-term benefits of working out. My mood is improved after I work out. On days that I move, I tend to have more energy that carries me through the rest of my day. I sleep more soundly at night. I make commitments to myself and I keep them. As I get stronger and my endurance improves, I gain confidence and I prove to myself that I can do hard things. And, let me tell you, team—I’ve never felt better. More
So January 1 came, 2020 ended (finally!), and you set some goals to get healthier this year. But you know how resolutions go: by February or March, your well-intended resolutions will have become a thing of the past. Or perhaps you’ve been hibernating all winter (or all of 2020), and healthy habits were the least of your concerns. No matter how on track you feel now, there will be times when your motivation waivers and workouts fall by wayside. You might even find yourself complaining to your mom or best friend about how you’re out of shape, as if there’s a “shape” that defines whether you’re healthy or not.First of all, let’s rebrand this “in shape” idea to mean your healthiest self, which looks and feels different to everyone. Being in shape is not a number on a scale or even a six-pack of abs. After all, a dress size could never be powerful enough to give you limitless energy or radiant confidence. Instead, being in shape is a way you feel. When you don’t feel in shape (thanks to that aforementioned lack of motivation or, you know, 2020), here are 10 habits to adapt to get back in shape and feel your best.
1. Fit in more non-exercise movement
You don’t need a 60-minute workout session or access to a gym to get in shape. Instead, live a more active lifestyle overall by fitting in non-exercise movement into your routine. Even if you have a typical desk job, there are many ways to move more. For example, walk your dog more often, stand while working, try gardening if you have a yard, clean your house more frequently, walk everywhere you can, dance while cooking or getting ready, stretch while watching TV, and get outside to take conference calls. Change your goal from fitting in workouts to just living less sedentarily. For more ways to fit in movement, click here.
2. Don’t ignore cravings
Cravings are not mistakes or punishments, and they’re not there to sabotage your health goals. Cravings are actually one of the ways our bodies try to communicate with us. Plus, if we have a major craving for pizza and force ourselves to eat another boring salad instead, it can lead to bingeing, restrictive eating, and an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead, find alternatives with nutritious whole foods to nourish your body, like dark chocolate squares (for your sweet tooth) and sweet potato fries (for your salty cravings). If that pizza craving strikes again, score a frozen cauliflower crust from Trader Joe’s to top with tomato sauce and organic cheese, or try spaghetti squash in your favorite pasta recipe. For any other craving, check out these recipes to find a healthier alternative.
3. Make exercise enjoyable
Maybe you think those always-in-shape women are the rare breed that came out of the womb loving jumping jacks and jogging, and you just happened to miss out on the magic workout-loving genes. But guess what: that isn’t true. You may not innately enjoy exercise, but you can find joy in exercise. For example, try a workout like dance that feels more creative, notice how centered and peaceful you feel after going on runs, or maybe even fall in love with the stability and routine of moving your body every day. Don’t work out because you have to; work out because you want to. Focus on how exercise makes you feel, and if you don’t enjoy HIIT circuits or weight lifting, find a new workout you’ll look forward to.
4. Keep a routine
Getting (and staying) in shape is a series of simple habits. That’s it. Turning healthy practices into habits is helpful because you won’t have to debate whether or not to follow through with each healthy habit; you make like Nike and just do it. If a yoga flow is part of your daily routine, you don’t think about whether or not you should fit it in on a busy day. You’ll prioritize it because it’s a non-negotiable, just like brushing your teeth or scrolling through Instagram (guilty). To build habits, start with something even easier than you think. Even two push-ups a day can turn into 60-minute workouts. Also, designated morning and nighttime routines are crucial for an overall healthy life because they set your entire day up for success.
5. Utilize your calendar
Working out takes more than just deciding you’re going to work out. Making a plan and then adding it to your calendar ensures you’re not only setting realistic expectations, but you will follow through on them. When it comes to figuring out a workout routine, begin with what you know will work for you, not with a challenge. You can’t get to five or six workouts a week if you don’t master one, so start with whatever feels doable. Whether it’s Monday morning or Saturday afternoon, find a time that works for you to exercise. Write it on your calendar and treat it like any other work meeting or appointment: show up on time, be prepared, and don’t skip.
6. Eat more vegetables with every meal
Hoping to make some diet changes but not sure where to start? Or maybe going clean feels overwhelming because you’re so used to takeout? The answer: don’t worry about changing, transforming, or taking away food groups. Instead, eat more vegetables. Adding veggies can not only make you crave vegetables (yes, really), but it can also subconsciously crowd out processed and sugary foods (totally guilt-free). Do you love eggs for breakfast? Instead of forcing yourself to have a smoothie, add spinach to an omelet or put avocado on top. Do you eat pasta regularly? Throw in some kale and asparagus for nutrients that keep the body healthy without feeling deprived. When you focus on adding in more of the good stuff, you see food as fuel, rather than in categories of “good” or “bad” (and just like bad boys and the cookie jar, we want it more when it’s off-limits).
7. Be flexible
Reality check: there will be times when you’re too tired to work out, or you want to enjoy a glass of wine and an entire box of mac n’ cheese. Maybe you sleep through your alarm and miss a morning workout, or you’re not in the mood for a smoothie. Those times don’t mean you’re out of shape; they mean you’re listening to your body. Have an easy and flexible backup plan so that you don’t give up when your plan doesn’t pan out. If you’re exhausted or busy, go on a walk after dinner or do a yoga flow before bed instead of a workout. Likewise, have a wide range of healthy meal options so that when you’re not in the mood for the meal you had planned, fast food isn’t the only alternative. Have back-ups, be flexible, and listen to your body (even above listening to your workout plan or schedule).
8. Invest in your health
There’s a reason pricey programs work (even if only temporarily): when people invest money, they’re more likely to stay on track. Try investing in an online subscription, a new pair of leggings, or a pretty yoga mat, and see if your motivation changes. Likewise, invest in healthy produce. Because fresh produce goes bad much quicker than a frozen pizza, you’re more likely to go for a meal incorporating the fruits and veggies, if for no other reason than you don’t want your money to go to waste. Also, think of how you can invest time and energy too; the more you invest in yourself, the more you will become a priority. After all, there’s nothing more worthy of time, energy, or money than your healthiest, happiest self. Invest accordingly.
9. Focus on each individual choice
When it comes to health, we often think we have to be all in or all out. Have you ever thought, “I’ll start eating healthy again on Monday,” or “I’ll work out once this stressful week is over?” Maybe you had a few slices of pizza one night, and your diet spiraled the next few days (might as well eat the whole carton of ice cream and get McDonald’s for breakfast since you already “slipped up,” right?). But all-or-nothing thinking automatically sets us up for failure. Instead of seeing “getting in shape” as a long-term project, focus on each individual choice. You don’t have to wait until the next day, week, or month to start over. In fact, you don’t ever need to “start over.” Some decisions will be out of pleasure (you deserve that slice of pizza!), but those decisions don’t mean anything other than you wanted a slice of pizza, and they shouldn’t impact future decisions.
10. Change your motivation
If you’ve skipped workouts for weeks or are ordering takeout more often than you’re cooking, your motivation might not be motivating enough. Reevaluate why you want to get in shape in the first place. “Going to the gym every day” or “running a marathon” are fine resolutions, but you need to look at the bigger picture to stay motivated. Will getting in shape help you live a longer, healthier life? Will running a marathon increase your confidence?
When you identify the true motivation and find a purpose for staying in shape that has nothing to do with the way you look, healthy habits not only become sustainable, but become enjoyable. You’ll no longer feel like you have to exercise. Instead, you’ll want to exercise because it will make you less stressed throughout the day, or because being active now means you’ll stay healthy as you get older, so you can live a long life with the people you love. Now that’s more motivating than a number on the scale.
What do you do when you feel out of shape? More
The dreary winter months at the beginning of the year always feel like the perfect time to do a little reflection and check in with yourself. From cultivating new hobbies to pursuing mindset shifts and overcoming personal roadblocks, it’s a great time to work toward a more content and revitalized you. Which is why we’re so excited to have partnered with The Bundle Co. to offer our popular Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone course as part of a pack of 111 (!!) online courses full of self-improvement-focused classes on everything from overcoming imposter syndrome to financial wellness. The full bundle is an incredible value, worth over $20,000 (seriously, $20,000), and on sale now for just $75.90. This is the biggest bundle they’ve ever offered, at the lowest price, and we’re so excited to be included.
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Our popular course, Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone, is included!
About Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone
We start the course with our best tips and tricks for actually taking your photos. Even though editing can cover a lot of sins when it comes to photos, it always helps to set yourself up for success when shooting. We go over how to create balance in the composition of your shots and our process for taking our fave photos—like outfit flatlays, exterior shots, and interior vignettes.
Next, we take you through all the edits we routinely make on our photos—from brightness to contrast to removing imperfections. With guided video tutorials and pro tips from our guest instructors Lauren Taylor and Ali Stone.
You’ll learn our favorite apps for making specific edits—like Snapseed and Tezza—as well as the order we make our edits for the best results. Playing with filters is fun, but sometimes you need to overhaul a photo and a filter just won’t cut it. In this course, you’ll learn the separate core elements of photo editing, so you can edit any photo with ease. All you need to take the course is a phone with app capability.
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Imposter syndrome can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from achieving your goals or feeling like the best version of yourself. Learn how to shift that mindset and start thinking differently with Erika Cramer’s in-depth guide on overcoming imposter syndrome and reclaiming your confidence.
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You probably started 2018, 2019, and 2020 vowing it was going to be your healthiest year ever (LOL at the pure innocence of what we thought 2020 was going to be like). You made resolutions with the best intentions, and maybe you even invested in a gym membership or healthy cookbook. But then life gets busy and work gets stressful. Before you know it, you’ve skipped your workout three weeks in a row and are ordering takeout while your cookbook collects dust on the shelf.So why is 2021 going to be different? Read on for 12 tips that will prove this year can be your healthiest year ever, resolutions (and healthy cookbook) or not. The secret is that your healthiest self looks different than my healthiest self; we all need different things to be our best. It’s time we stop thinking there’s only one route to be healthy, and instead, listen to our bodies to achieve what “healthy” means. These tips will get you there. Whether you implement all 12 tips or just a few, by 2022, you’ll be stronger, happier, more confident, and healthier. Read on for the foolproof roadmap to becoming your best self in 2021:
1. Make one healthy swap every week
A clean diet doesn’t have to feel so overwhelming. In fact, if it feels hard or unenjoyable, it probably won’t stick. Instead of expecting total transformation, take baby steps and make one healthy swap every week. For example, try spaghetti squash instead of boxed spaghetti in your favorite pasta dish, and next week, swap tortilla chips with sliced jicama to eat with guacamole. Another week, swap your usual pizza with a cauliflower crust or replace half of the rice in your favorite stir-fry recipe with cauliflower rice. Not only will one swap at a time make healthy eating more manageable, but you’ll learn how to make all your favorite meals and go-to recipes with more nutritious options.
2. Identify the #1 thing holding you back, and then fix it
You already know to eat more plants, work out more, and decrease sugar intake; knowing how to be healthy isn’t usually the problem. So to be truly healthy, identify what’s holding you back from achieving your health goals. Is it a lack of time, energy, or cravings? Maybe it’s a lack of motivation, or maybe you don’t truly want to give up the habits you know aren’t good for you because they provide emotional comfort. Whatever the reason, identify what’s holding you back from being your healthiest self, and then make a plan to fix it.
For example, meal prep if the problem is lack of time, or find more nutritious versions of the food you crave. If it’s lack of motivation, rethink your “why” (do you want to adopt healthier habits to feel more confident, live a longer life, or have more energy?), and if bad habits provide emotional comfort, identify the root of the emotional discomfort. Then find alternative methods to relieve stress, anxiety, or boredom in ways that will actually provide a long-term solution.
3. Go to bed earlier
Even if your diet fails and you don’t have time to exercise, prioritize sleep over everything because getting enough sleep can affect your overall quality of life. If you have difficulty fitting more sleep into your schedule, start by going to bed five minutes earlier every night until you’ve gained an hour of sleep. If you have difficulty falling asleep, figure out why. Talk to your doctor about improving sleep quality, try adaptogens, or drink chamomile tea and reduce screen time before bed. Going to bed earlier will not only mean more sleep, but it means you can get up earlier for a more productive or relaxing morning routine.
4. Prioritize gut health
There’s a major connection between the gut and the brain, the gut and the immune system, and even the gut and the skin. In other words, prioritizing gut health will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Add fermented foods to your diet (like sauerkraut, miso, or kimchi), eat more fiber, and add prebiotics to meals. More than anything, trust your gut. Pardon the pun, but your body knows what it needs, so pay attention to your body’s reactions: avoid foods that make you feel lethargic or nauseous, and load up on foods that make you feel good. For more ways to improve gut health, click here.
5. Set up your environment for success
You are what you eat, but you are where you live too. Surround yourself with motivating images, start a vision board, or post your mantra on your mirror, desk, or fridge. Whatever is a visual representation of what you want to achieve, seeing your goals as often as possible will keep you motivated. Beyond vision boards and mantras, make sure your home is setting you up for success. Keep your blender in an accessible spot, display healthier cookbooks on the shelves, leave your yoga mat out, and turn your bedroom into a relaxing oasis.
6. Do something every day that you’re passionate about
I have a theory (nay, proof!) that afternoon slumps or overall low energy might mean you’re not doing enough that lights a fire in you. To increase your energy and general zest for life (a crucial part of wellness), do more things you’re passionate about. If your job doesn’t get you excited, read a fascinating book on your lunch break, fit in a motivating workout, or spend weekends fighting for a worthy cause. If you’re unsure what you’re passionate about, make a list of events that you look forward to or your greatest talents. What would you invest your time in, even if you weren’t getting paid? What were your favorite hobbies as a little kid? Find ways to fit in those things more consistently. Your energy levels, happiness, and excitement for life will thank you.
7. Live less sedentarily
So you know you need to work out to be healthier, but the healthiest people are active even outside of designated gym time. In addition to your online yoga class or morning jog, focus on living less sedentarily overall by adding more non-exercise movement in your life. For example, walk your dog more often, stand while working, try gardening if you have a yard, clean your house more often, walk everywhere you can, dance while cooking or getting ready, stretch while watching TV, and get outside to take conference calls. For more ways to fit in movement throughout your day (no matter how busy you are), click here.
8. Experiment with something new every week
The secret to achieving your healthiest self might be as simple as making healthy habits feel new. Whether it’s trying a veggie that you’ve never cooked with, taking an online HIIT class when you’re more of a yoga girl, or experimenting with various wellness trends, regularly trying something new can help you become your healthiest self. The purpose is not to fit in every single self-care trend circulating on Instagram (that’s just FOMO disguised as wellness). Instead, the point of experimenting with new things is to find foods, exercises, and products that could really make a difference for you. Plus, trying new things can increase confidence and motivation.
9. Put your needs first
Do you ever say “yes” when you really want to say “no?” Are you a chronic people-pleaser, or do you waste mental real estate worrying how other people think of you? How often are you disappointing yourself to avoid disappointing other people? To truly be healthy, you have to be OK letting other people down if it means staying true to yourself. Putting your needs first, setting (and keeping) boundaries, and listening to your gut over other people’s advice are some of the most crucial ways to be healthy, but often the most overlooked. Your new 2021 resolution should be to do what you want to do and stay true to who you are. Your healthiest self will follow.
10. Go on at least one walk every day (or just get outside)
A simple health goal that could change your life? Go for a walk every single day. Not only is getting your steps up good for your health (your Fitbit will be so proud!) but getting fresh air and sunshine will boost your mood. If you don’t have time to go on a walk, do whatever you can to get fresh air throughout the day: take your laptop out on the balcony or patio for work, make conference calls while walking around the block, or eat your lunch outside (just don’t forget SPF). If it’s too cold to even think about spending time outdoors, open your window for a few minutes of fresh air.
11. Eat the rainbow (every day)
No, I’m not talking about Skittles. Plants get their colors from antioxidants, so it only makes sense to eat all the colors to provide your body with all the antioxidants, right? Incorporating reds (tomatoes, apples, red pepper), blues (blueberries, blackberries, blue potatoes), oranges (sweet potato, butternut squash, tangerines), greens (leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, zucchini), yellows (spaghetti squash, bananas, corn) and purples (purple cabbage, eggplant, grapes) is the easiest (and prettiest) way to ensure you’re getting an abundance of phytonutrients and the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. As an easy hack, try to add at least three different colors to each meal or plan grocery lists to include each color of the rainbow.
12. If you’re not enjoying it, reevaluate
Maybe you’re in the mindset that getting healthy is supposed to be hard. After all, we’ve been bombarded with restrictive diets and intensive workouts so often, we might confuse exhaustion or deprivation with health. Maybe you’ve even heard the phrase, “nothing worth having comes easy.” But I’d like to offer you a new idea of health: it doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) difficult to achieve any health goal. When we’re eating nourishing foods and moving our bodies in ways we crave, healthier habits are much more sustainable. It’s also a sign that we’re in tune with what our bodies really need.
You don’t have to make drastic changes or set strict rules to achieve your healthiest self. Instead, it’s about unlearning what you think you “should” or “shouldn’t” do, and listening to what your body is trying to tell you instead. It might take some time to get there, but listening to your body and giving it what makes it feel best should not only be easy, but enjoyable.
How are you getting your healthiest this year? More
No matter how many times that I attempt to make a conscious effort to slow down and enjoy my food, my hanger always prevails as I continually find myself inhaling my meals. The one benefit to this fatal flaw of mine is that I have the *unique* ability to use my lunch break to accomplish more than just curbing my hunger with my favorite Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken Bowl. Instead of sleepily scrolling TikTok as I digest, I use the remaining minutes of my lunch to move my body, even if it’s just for a few moments.For a long, long time, it was ingrained in my brain that my workouts “weren’t effective” unless I spent over an hour doing intense cardio or lifting heavy weights at a gym. After the past year of adapting to our new normal, I’ve found that keeping things short, simple, and consistent is more effective for me than pressuring myself to hit the gym multiple days a week for hours on end. More times than not, I don’t have the time, energy, or motivation to make my previous methods even the least bit successful.
Incorporating movement into my WFH routine has been an absolute game-changer for me and helps me to get my mind right before I tackle the second half of my workday. Whether you find yourself with an extra 10, 20, or 30 minutes in your day, these quick, yet effective workouts are the perfect way to step away from the screen and get your blood pumping:
Use code TEG50 for 50 percent off your first month of Obé Fitness, in addition to the 7-day free trial.
Use code TEG50 for 50 percent off your first month of Obé Fitness, in addition to the 7-day free trial.
Use code TEG50 for 50 percent off your first month of Obé Fitness, in addition to the 7-day free trial.
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