Active Living Challenge

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What is your favorite form of social media? Mine is 100% Instagram right now. I love it! If you are on Instagram, follow me and I will follow you back. I have a “follow back” policy here at Simple Delights and love supporting others.

So now you know I love Instagram. Well, I am also in love with this new fitness brand, Lorna Jane. I am a Sweat Pink ambassador with Fit Approach so when I saw the Active Living Challenge for this month, I had to hop on the wagon. Both Lorna Jane and Fit Approach post the photo challenge of the day and everyone participating tags Lorna Jane and Fit Approach, while using #ActiveLivingChallenge.

I love it. It is allowing me to take more pictures of things that make me happy and share those with others! Active living is definitely a lifestyle I live, love, and promote.

My first picture was of my favorite summer move. I am loving side planks these days. Along with regular planks, they work the core and even get deep into the obliques. I love working my abs, especially during swimsuit season. I am not in my swimsuit all that often (that’d be a different story if I had a beach anywhere near me), but I still love a strong and beautiful core.

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My second pic was of a healthy, delicious recipe. I altered this recipe slightly from PBFingers (mostly because I didn’t have green onions or cumin). And by the way, I LOVE that blog. Highly recommend it if you need/want new blogs to follow.

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My third pic was the one up top. What active living means to me. I love to be healthy so that I can spend more time with loved ones going on our own adventures, whether at home or somewhere spectacular. Life should be enjoyed… every minute of it!

Lorna Jane promotes active living. I love what the brand stands for. I did not get paid for this post nor was it mandatory for me to write this post. I just wanted to. To find out more about active living through Lorna Jane, visit www.movenourishbelieve.com

Movement… you’ll never regret it!

Empower Day 18

It is day 18 of my 30 Days of Yoga Empower challenge through Yoga with Adriene. Instead of simply providing an update of how I am doing thus far (but I AM doing fantastic, thanks for asking!), I am devoting this post to movement.

Movement… as in another word for physical activity or exercise that sounds less intimidating.

One thing I have learned about myself over the years is that to get and stay healthy, I have to develop habits over time. Good habits. I like to think other humans work the same. So, perhaps you have found that developing habits over time works for you too (as opposed to the “change everything all at once and then give up in defeat after 4 days” mentality).

Yoga is movement. But so is running, walking, Crossfit, PiYo, Pure Barre, Insanity, Zumba, dance, tennis, and so on. When I truly listen to my body and what it needs, often I am drawn to a certain form of movement that day. Now, I developed this habit over time. When I first started getting active and formally “working out”, ¬†I just had to get into some sort of routine first. And to be honest, I actually loved elliptical machines. I despise them now. But, they helped me develop the regular habit of movement.

Movement is active medicine for your body. It can be free (or relatively inexpensive even if you pay for a gym membership) and really does provide you with more energy and gets those “feel good” hormones activated. Movement is simply something that you’ll never regret! Find different forms of movement that work for you. That you can find delight in, even if it is just a tad bit of it.. come on, you know that doing punches in a kickboxing class makes you feel like you just beat up your old micromanaging boss! ūüėČ

So how does this post on movement even relate to me doing more yoga? Well, yoga helps me be more mindful. And that is a habit I am currently developing. I am working on finding what feels good and using my mind/body connection as a guide. It’s okay if I don’t want to run a marathon today (or ever, really) and it’s also okay if I planned to do yoga, but chose to go for a walk instead. Movement of any kind can provide mind, body, and spiritual benefits.. if you allow it.

With that, I wish you more days of movement! What’s your FAVORITE way to move?

 

Empower Day 10

Empower Day 10

10 is such a powerful number. It kicks off the two digits.

And to be honest, once I wrote the word powerful to describe the number 10, I got curious and decided to look up the number 10. According to this numerology expert I found on google (not saying he is right or wrong, because hell if I know), the number 10 is associated with peace, harmony, leadership, optimism, confidence, independence, creativity, originality, and adaptability, among a few others.

How cool. Whether it’s true or not, on this very 10th day of Empower I do feel a lot of those energies. I feel more confident in myself. I feel at peace with where I am at, where I’ve been, and where I will go. I feel optimistic and creative. In fact, I was doing yoga this morning before work and had a huge “smile” moment where I genuinely felt happy. I took in the realization that true joy comes from each step, each day, and appreciating that moment you are in.

What I love about yoga is that it brings forth mindfulness. Yoga does not force you to become something you are not, nor does it really change you. It just allows you to reconnect and check in with yourself. It can bring forth emotions, absolutely. It can allow you to see something you want to change. It can also allow you to see the little things that make you who you are and what makes you happy. That’s where the confidence boost comes in.

Life is not all candy and roses. We know that.¬†It’s important to have tools in your tool belt that work for those hard days. Tools that can reconnect you with who you are, where you are, and the knowledge that you will be okay. Yoga is a tool for me.¬†It’s one of many tools for me. And Empower is helping me see that.

With that, I hope you all have tools that work for you when the going gets rough. Namaste, friends!

Altering my Starbucks Habit

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I am two weeks into breaking my almost daily Starbucks habit. I wrote all about it on July 7th and kicked off a little challenge with it. You can read more about that here if you missed it. Seems fitting to provide a little update so here we go.

How am I doing? Kicking ass and taking names. Yes, you read that right.

My goal is to only visit Starbucks once or less per week. And when I decide to go, visit an actual Starbucks location and not the miniature ones you find in Tom Thumbs, Targets, and other stores. They were almost always a disappointment to me.

My first week, I treated myself to a Starbucks on Saturday with my favorite Zen tea. I bought it before heading to the grocery store for our household weekly purchases. I did feel totally zen. The whole time. And I savored the heck out of that tea…

My second week (or this past week), I did not visit Starbucks at all. I did, however, purchase a small Chai Latte at Central Market on Sunday while picking up a few items. I love that store. City of Rowlett or Rockwall, do me a favor and build one a little closer. Please!

I knew I would save some money by breaking this habit. I also knew I would get rid of the constant urge to get a Starbucks any time I walked into a Target or was out and about on the town. Those two were given. And it feels great to be saving money and to be rid of¬†those borderline-addict type of urges. You really can develop a bad habit over good things. It’s crazy, but it happens. When you feel urges or negative emotions about a certain habit, whether it’s a good or bad habit, it is time to make a change. Even if a small change.

A few other positives have happened as well. Now that I am brewing tea at home more, I find that I savor it more, only drink it when I want it (instead of feeling like I need it for caffeine), and am okay with lesser amounts. I was the chronic Venti-is-my-size orderer. Any smaller size and I would feel like, “What’s the point? Load me up, Captain!”

I am pleased. I hope that if you ever find yourself needing a little change, that you do it. With an open-mind. You never know what positives may come of it. And don’t be ashamed of your habits. Own them. And change or alter the ones that need a little cracking.

In the words of Michelle, “You got it, dude!”

Break the Habit Challenge

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I have a bad habit. This habit is one that I WANT to change. I decided yesterday that I was going to take some time over the next month to change it. Realllllly change it.. and not let it come back.

Then I got to thinking a little more. What if others have a bad habit they want to change too? So, I decided to blog about it and create a little “break the habit challenge.” Don’t worry, there are no rules or check-ins… just the comfort of knowing other peeps are changing habits too. Sometimes it helps to know that you have a team. We are ALL connected, after all.

So, I leave this thought with you… Decide today if you have a habit you want to change. If so, change it. What is stopping you?

For those interested, I am going to share my story and the habit I plan to change over the next month. Here it goes…

I love tea. If you didn’t already know that (and I am sure you did), surprise! I also love convenience. Who doesn’t? So, I frequent Starbucks. And I mean frequent. Sure, tea is one of the cheapest things on the menu (I get a venti which ends up being around $2.65), but if I am going even 3 or 4 days per week that adds up to $414-$551 per year. And some weeks I think I am going more than that. I say think because I really don’t know. And THAT, my friends, is why I feel I need to change.¬†

I have another reason pulling me to change too. I go grocery shopping at Target on Saturdays or Sundays. I love Target. And again, I love tea. So the two go together perfectly. Every time I go into a Target, I feel drawn to stop by the little Target Starbucks store and grab a tea. Only, I am convinced that the little Target Starbucks stores do NOT do as good of a job at making my tea as the free-standing Starbucks. Yes, I have had this conversation in my head… MANY times. The sad thing is that tea is just a tea bag and water, but I am convinced that their water is not the same. So why do I STILL get one? Doesn’t make sense whether I am crazy or not.

The above is plenty reason to change my Starbucks habit. My SMART goal (because let’s face it.. SMART goals just work better!) is that I will reduce my Starbucks tea consumption to no more than 1 per week over the next month. And to add to that, it will be a free-standing Starbucks. I am starting this week so today officially kicks it off. My hope is that I will break the habit this month so that it carries on for the year (and so on).

Here’s to drinking less Starbucks tea and saving an extra $500 or so this year!¬†

What about you? Is there a habit you know you need to change and have the desire to start? Do it. Because YOU can!

150 miles by Summer!

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Who is with me? Ready to take on this Bikini Series Challenge and be bikini ready by summer?

This will be my second Tone It Up Challenge. I really enjoy their challenges, because they are 1) FREE and 2) FUN. Two F words that everyone loves. You can find out more about the challenge on their website (which I linked to above for your easy click & go.. aren’t I sweet?!) and then I will blog about my journey throughout the challenge. Please let me know if you are taking on the challenge too.

My cardio of choice for the 150 miles over the next 8 weeks will mainly be Insanity. I am a lover of HIIT training! Since you really should only do HIIT’s a max of 4 times per week, I will also incorporate running or walking into the mix. And of course, booty shaking when I get the chance. I do love to dance!

How many miles will one Insanity video count for? I am so glad you asked. My 40 minute videos will count for 4 miles. So, to keep it simple… 10 minutes=1 mile for the vids.

On top of the 150 miles, the Bikini Series consists of other challenges as well. Toning workouts are posted on the weekly schedule for the challenge so I will do those during my lunch break or after work (whenever I can fit it in).

What about nutrition? Well, nutrition is VERY important. I already eat pretty healthy, but during this series I am going to try NEW fruits and vegetables. Expand my horizons a bit. And, lately, I have had a bad habit of over-snacking on crap at night in front of the TV. I am going to replace that bad habit with a bowl of frozen fruit and a calorie-free hot beverage (like tea or water with lemon). Not going to get rid of my TV watching, though. Too many good shows on these days. Bates Motel or Blacklist, anyone?

And didn’t I mention FUN? Yes, yes I did. Thanks for reminding me. While I find working out and living a healthy lifestyle EXTREMELY fun, I know that not everyone does. So what I also like about this Bikini Series is that the ladies of Tone It Up throw in some other to do’s into the mix, like making a vision board, creating a summer fun list, etc. Summer is meant to be enjoyable so heck, ENJOY it! Every moment of it… and that, I will.