The Best Decision

Because it’s easy to love yourself when you’re working out everyday. Or when you’ve been eating well. 

Sticking to the plan. 

It’s easy to love yourself when you’re doing everything right, but what about those moments where you’re anything but? 

I used to get hung up on those moments. Beat myself up for my failures. I would hang on to every imperfection. Every mistake. 

The truth is, I would be become very insecure. I would believe that people could see every single fault of mine, but the actual truth was only I could see them. 

And even though I’ve had my fair share of ‘mean girls’ there’s no one meaner than myself. 

Given the opportunity, I can cut myself down to nothing. 

And it isn’t pretty. 

Because wouldn’t it make sense to love yourself especially during those times? 

I am always talking about giving grace to others. Showing compassion and love, even when they don’t deserve it. 

So why not me? 

Why not ourselves? 

Because even though I might have an off day. Or even though I might make a bad choice. Or I might slip. That’s just one choice. Why not celebrate the hundreds of good choices I’ve made? 

Why not be able to celebrate the choice to love myself even when it’s hard? 

So what if I had a doughnut for breakfast instead of my 3 hardboiled eggs. And maybe chocolate cake at the birthday party wasn’t necessary, but, boy, was it good. 

Because there’s no reason to beat myself up over it. I made the choice and now it’s time to move on. 

Because the next good decision is right around the corner. 

And the best decision you can ever make is to love yourself. 

Go Pick Something Up

I cannot tell you how many years I spent trying to lose weight or get into shape. 

Countless. 

And the thing is, I never did. I never lost the weight I wanted. I never hit the goals I wanted. I was absolutely miserable. So what gives? 

Anyone else know what I’m talking about?

Because I was doing things right. Or at least I thought I was. I was eating well. And by ‘eating well’ I mean eating things that still left me starving and craving for all the things I wouldn’t allow myself to have. (More on ‘diet’ later)

I was working out. Or at least trying to be more active than I had before, but seriously, nothing changed. 

I was the same size. The same weight. Except I was a lot more unhappy.

It wasn’t until this past year that I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment. 

See, when I first started going to the gym regularly this year I did what I always did, cardio.

I would spend 2 hours between the treadmill, elliptical, and stair master. I would be drenched in sweat and exhausted from my workout. But the reality hit when nothing was changing. 

Sure, I felt better. It was nice to sweat. It was nice to get my heart rate up, but when I wasn’t hitting the goals I had so desperately wanted to hit, I became defeated. 

Something had to change. 

I started to notice the other women in the gym, the ones who walked right past the cardio equipment. I saw their tone, definition, and I wanted it. 

How were they doing it? What was wrong with me? 

The excuses began to clog my mind. 

So then I started reading. I started asking questions. And if that second one scares you, don’t let it. If you see someone who has nice arms or nice legs, talk to them. Find out what they do. Chances are, they didn’t look like that when they first stepped into the gym. It took time and it probably took asking some of their own questions. 

So what I’m about to tell you is hopefully going to blow your mind the way it did mine when I first heard it. 

So, cardio. You’re sweating, you’re burning calories. You are feeling pretty good when you’re on that elliptical, right? Well, guess what. Once you step off that elipitical your body stops burning calories. Until you step back on later.

Now, let’s talk weightlifting. “But Lauren, I don’t want to look like a man.” Yeah, me either, and I’ll address that topic in a later post, but did you know that when you lift weights not only are you burning calories during lifting, but your body will burn calories even when you’re done lifting?! 

Yep, let me repeat that. Even after you’re done lifting for the day, your body will continue to burn calories. 

That means after I leave the gym and I am done with my workout, my body isn’t. It’s still burning calories. 

And isn’t that what we want? Ladies, isn’t the formula to losing weight more calories burned than taken in? 

It wasn’t until I started lifting that I started seeing the results I had so desperately wanted for a long time. My waist has gotten smaller. I’ve gotten leaner. My belly has gotten flatter. 

And for those of you who love your cardio, I’m not telling you to give it up completely. I believe a solid workout is all about balance. I try to get at least 15-20 minutes of cardio a day. But what I am telling you is to get off the treadmill for a little bit and go pick something up. 

You might be surprised at your own results. 

Just 5 lbs

I’m not sure that I’ve ever met another woman who actually likes the scale. 

I don’t know about you, but for a long time my life was all about numbers. And the scale was a constant reminder that I was failing. 

Every single day. 

I have always been tall. I remember when I was younger, it was a blessing. The teacher always called on me to grab things. I was always taller than the boys. I loved it. 

And then, as we got older, as I filled out, suddenly my blessing turned into my biggest curse. 

My friends were average. Wearing average sizes. But me, I was ‘big boned’. 

I hated it because I couldn’t share clothes with my friends. I was too big. Even though I wasn’t anywhere near big. 

But the scale told me differently. 

For years I constantly compared my body to everyone else. From my friends to the magazines I read. In my opinion, I was never pretty enough. Skinny enough. Sexy enough. I hated everything about the way I looked. 

No matter how much weight I lost or what size I was, the scale always reminded me that I was bigger. Different. Not good enough. 

Sexy was a size. A certain number. And despite my efforts, I just couldn’t get there. 

I was a failure. Not just a failure, but a fat failure. 

And then came marriage and kids. And if I had thought I was fat before, I was wrong. 

I remember constantly moving up in sizes at the store and pretending like it didn’t bother me. 

But it did. 

And again, I found myself hating everything about me. 

Especially when I got back on the scale. 

Oh, I tried it all. Spanx, sucking it in, sweats, but I couldn’t do anything to hide the fact that I was now actually fat. 

I stopped taking pictures. I hid behind people if I had to be in a picture. 

I hated myself. 

Until one day, I read a book. ‘Wheat Belly‘. It changed everything for me. The author suggested throwing wheat out of your diet for 3 days. If you felt better, keep going. If you didn’t, resume wheat. 

I could do 3 days. And I did. And I felt incredibly better. So I kept going. And I kept going. And in just about a year with no exercise really, I lost nearly 50lbs. 

I remember pausing for a moment when I was on the scale reading those numbers. I hadn’t seen those numbers since high school. It was the first time I didn’t rush to get off the scale. 

I paused and took it all in. 

Thus began my health and wellness journey. Soon I would incorporate wheat back into my diet, and decided to add the gym.

For those of you who know me, know that it all started because of the free childcare. 

Oh I took full advantage of 2 hours kid free. And overtime, I got into lifting. 

The progress was undeniable. My body was transforming right in front of me. I was wearing sizes I hadn’t worn in 15+ years. 

In my opinion, I hadn’t looked better. 

So, I jumped on the scale. Excited to see what the numbers said. Because I just knew that this was going to be huge for me. 

Boy, was I right.

I had gained. Nearly all the weight I had lost, I gained back. 

I’ve shared this picture before, but I want you to see it again. The difference according to the scale? 5 lbs. Thats it. 

5 flipping pounds. 

Now, if I had listened to the scale or believed that numbers still defined me, I would have been angry and defeated. But instead, I’m looking at this picture and I am blown away because even though 5 lbs doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s so much in this picture. 

The thing is, the media would have us believe that 5 lbs is nothing. The magazines would tell us that it should only take a week to lose 5 lbs. The number on the scale would have you believe that I’m not in good shape. That I’m not ideal. That my body is not where it should be. 

But what I’m telling you, from the girl who always let a number define her, 5 lbs is one hell of an accomplishment. 

And 5 lbs, has never looked better. 

So please, don’t let the numbers define you. Don’t listen to what the scale says. Start small. Start where you are. Because progress is progress. 

Even if it’s just 5 lbs.

-XXOO

Cleaner, Safer, Better

Every once in awhile I’ll have a pretty good idea. And I’m happy to say that I think this is one of them. 

Because of my work with Beautycounter and my commitment to bringing safer products to the marketplace, I decided to create a group on Facebook solely dedicated to health, wellness, and all things healthy living.

I believe that it’s easier to live a healthy lifestyle when we live it with those we care most about. 

So please take this invitation and consider joining us. Share your favorite recipes or ask us about our favorite workout routine. Whatever it is, we want to know. 

And I’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on all things Beautycounter too. 


(Oh! And did I mention that’s where I do lots of giveaways?)