5 Tips to Feeling Good This 4th of July

To me, the 4th of July marks the height of Summer. A chance to spend time on the lake, soak up the sun and be surrounded by family and friends. It also means lots of day drinking, BBQing and treats. It is easy to fall off your normal schedule and throw caution to the wind. There is nothing wrong with that! But, if you want to try and have a balanced weekend where you have fun, enjoy some treats and cocktails but don’t totally sabotage all the hard work you’ve done, below are 5 tips to feeling good this 4th of July.

Five Tips For Feeling Good This 4th Of July

1. Drink water.
On the 4th, typically you are out in the sun, lounging by the water which makes is easy to get dehydrated so it’s extra important to drink water. My dad always says, “One drink. One water.” That’s how you can last all night, and feel good in the morning. I try to stick to this as much as I can, especially on weekends were we are drinking and celebrating a lot. Staying hydrated also helps to keep you feeling full, debloated and looking bikini ready.

2. Eat a good breakfast with lots of protein and fat.
The food you eat first thing in the morning typically sets the ton for the day. I find if I have a bagel, I want sugar and carbs all day. If I just eat fruit, I am hungry in an hour. Since there will be a lot of process foods, sugar and BBQ treats around all day, try to start your day with a good breakfast that is high in protein and fats. I love having scrambled eggs and avocado with a side of strawberry or watermelon.

3. Make sure to eat a meal.
Don’t snack through meals. Often times, especially on long weekends or holiday’s I find myself snacking a ton and then I’m like, “I just ate so many chips and cookies, I don’t need lunch.” So I skip it. But then 2 hours later, I am hungry and start snacking again and end up eating way more calories, way worse food, and feeling shitty. Whereas, if I just sat down and made myself a big salad or light sandwich with healthy fats, protein and carbs I would be so much more satisfied.

4. Move your body.
Don’t stress too much about getting a killer workout in, but try to move your body at least for 30 minutes (preferably in the morning). I find that when you move, you feel better about yourself, you feel lighter and it helps you make better decisions through out the day.

5. Don’t over think it.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in “staying on track” that it is all we can think about but that makes it so much worse. Not only does it make it hard to enjoy yourself, it makes you feel guilty every time you have something “you shouldn’t”. And then you just say “F* IT” and dig into the treats making you feel more guilty, bloated and discouraged. Try to avoid this cycle. Enjoy yourself, let go of all the pressure you put on yourself and spend time with family and friends (preferably on the water, and not around the snack table!!)

I hope this helps! Remember to have a fun 4th of July and enjoy yourself.

What are some tips you are going to try to practice this 4th of July?

The Difference Between Muscle and Fat

Merry Christmas Eve!!

So I am in the 4th week of my Project Fit competition and wanted to give you an update on my progress. While I can’t say I have been completely perfect with my diet especially with the holidays, I can say that I have bumped up my workout intensity to make up for it. We did our mid competition weigh in and the results were not what I expected. Even with eating a less than perfect diet, I still lost 1.8% body fat! One thing to note is that as of the weigh in, I hadn’t lost more than a pound which is EXACTLY what I want right now and here’s why…

I have put on 1.3 lbs of muscle and lost 2.4 lbs of fat. All too often we focus solely on losing body weight when instead we should be focusing on losing body fat and here’s why…

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When I was younger I remember thinking muscle weighs more than fat. This simply isn’t true; 1 lb of fat is exactly the same as 1 lb of muscle. The beauty of muscle is that it is denser and takes up LESS space in the body AND the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. Tighter body, better fitting clothes, higher metabolism, same weight? I’d settle for that any day.

When I was at my lowest weight, my “peak”, I had 19 lbs of body fat and I was 125 lbs. I currently have 24.5 lbs of body fat and am 136 lbs. Let’s say I lose the 5.5 lbs of body fat I have left to get back to my goal body fat but I keep the same amount of muscle. That means that I will weigh 130.5 which means I will have 5.5 lbs MORE muscle than when I was at my “peak”. More muscle and a higher metabolism which means on those days that I do eat much less than perfect, it will not wreak havoc on my progress and goals.

That all being said, losing weight and body fat hasn’t been the primary focus. Instead I am choosing to focus on the healthy HABITS that I am re-forming in my life, such as eating more greens, that will allow me to see the results I am working towards. My eating has gotten better since December 1st and my workouts are more consistent and focused. I create behavior goals for the day and/or week that helps me stick to my overall plan.

When you set behavior goals, which are daily or weekly goals that are accomplishable and manageable, you are more likely to see progress towards your goals. I find the more I think about the results, the more stressed I get and the less results I see. A major focus for me has been meal prepping at the beginning of the week so that I can bring my own meals to eat throughout the day.

Bottom line ladies (and gents), take your mind away from the scale and focus on the process. Make a plan that is realistic and manageable and stick with it and you’ll see results you never thought you’d see.

Kara Fit And At Cross Fit

Check out the link below to learn more about why muscle mass is so important (and no you won’t look like a body builder when you put on muscle).

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Why-Building-Muscle-Mass-Important-21059579

****This is more aggressive of a link but it would be good for you to read it just so you know more about the topic. It’s a huge issue with women

http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/9-reasons-muscle-is-good-and-you-should-get-some

Victoria Secret Runway Show

It’s past my bedtime but I had to stay awake to watch the Victoria Secret Runway Show. It just started and I am so excited! The entire show is incredible and these woman are totally freaks of nature, but I love to watch them work!

Victoria Secret Runway Show Twitter ##VSFashionShow

Let’s back up to this morning and do WIAW [what i ate wednesday]

What I ate Wednesday WIAW

I woke up bright and early to fit my workout in before having to work all day. My alarm went off at 5:45 and after 3 snoozes, I rolled out of bed around 6:00, immediately turned the coffee pot on and packed up a lunch for the day. I try to pack up my food for the day the night before, but lately that has not been happening.

Food Prep For The Day

I threw everything into a bag, grabbed my to-go mug of coffee and headed out to start my day. I work out at my office and get dressed there to beat traffic and be more efficient with my time.

Coffee

 

I did a quick Tone It Up ab routine and 30 minutes on the elliptical. I have been slacking a bit lately so it felt good to work up a sweat.

My work day was full of meetings… literally from 9am until 1pm. I knew they would provide food, but I prepped my meals so I wouldn’t have to eat the baked goods and fast-food. Welp, it didn’t matter. I gave to my will power and the tempting treats. So instead of my KIND Bar and banana I had planned on eating, I had a Panera cinnamon roll!

Panera Breakfast Treats

They had a catered lunch from Bakers Best which I actually really like. They have really good salads and sandwiches and it seems pretty clean and relatively healthy. Instead of my salad, I had a chicken sandwich, and a variety of pasta salads.

Bakers Best Lunch

So all the time I spent making my lunch and snacks for the day went to $hit but sometimes things don’t go as you plan…and, I won’t have to do anything for tomorrow!

For dinner, I got back on track and made a giant salad filled with tons of veggies. There were carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, nutritional yeast and topped off with some poppyseed dressing. It hit the spot and was the perfect way to end the day of feeling a little discouraged about following my plan.

Salad For Dinner

The Victoria Secret Show is about to end. I am just waiting for Taylor Swift to perform her last song. 🙂 I was very entertained the entire time. The LED stage was incredible and created so much movement and dimension. Did you watch? What was your favorite part?

Have a great day!

Body Image

Two and a half years ago I decided to pursue fitness modeling kind of on a whim. I got hired by Cybex from an open casting call and had so much fun with them that I decided to do a portfolio shoot with Lucie Wicker. I got signed with Maggie, Inc. a few months later and have done a few shoots and fit modeling with Reebok, did an infomercial for Gorilla Gym a year ago and just yesterday did a shoot with Via Prive, a local fitness wear company that absolutely rocks!

I found out about the shoot less than 24 hours prior and knowing I would be in booty shorts and a bra, I kind of/really started to freak out because to me, my body is not where I want it to be, nor where I feel it should be for modeling. But it’s funny to me how much we worry about our bodies when at the end of the day our worries are for nothing.

I was texting Mattie all morning freaking out about how fat I felt and she kept reassuring me I look great and that they wouldn’t have chosen me had I not had the look they wanted. When I first put on those white booty shorts and bra for the shoot, my immediate reaction was to grab a sweatshirt and cover myself up. Can they see my cellulite? Does my butt look fat? Can I hold my stomach in more? Oh my god, my lower abs are protruding! Why can’t I hold my abs flat? I’m so white right now. My arms are fat and my thighs are like tree trunks. All these thoughts going through my mind and I am about to step onto set for the shoot.

I walked out of the changing room and I was greeted with nothing but compliments. Wait, what?? Am I hearing you right? Are you blind? Are you lying? I immediately tried to cover myself up. I was thinking about my body before surgery. I was 10 lbs lighter and had 7% less body fat. I felt and sometimes still feel that my body was better and looked better when I was really lean. But the question is, was I happier then or now? Ask anyone who knows me and the answer is that I am happier now. Women place so much weight on our weight and it’s time we stop.

We must be kind to our bodies. You will gain weight and lose weight many times in your life depending on what is taking place at that moment. Embrace the change and know that nothing is permanent. You can change your life in anyway you please when you are ready to do it. I look at myself in the mirror every day, multiple times and tell myself I look damn good, beautiful, sexy, incredible…any positive word I want to use. Every time you feel fat or ugly or any negative thought about your body, run to a mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful. Give it a try for a week and see how you feel.

Mattie was right. At the end of the shoot, I realized that my body is perfect the way it is. It might not be the right look for every company, but for the companies that do hire me, it’s the right look. But more importantly, it’s the right look for me right now. I am happier than I could have ever imagined even though I am not at my “ideal” weight.

This whole blog is about two women striving to become comfortable in our own skin so that we can brave the world with confidence, all while being on this crazy adventure we call life.

So I ask you, what does a woman who is striving to be comfortable in her own skin, a woman that is radiating confidence look like? She looks like you, Mattie, me, the girl sitting next to you. The key is to believe it.

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🙂 Kara