October Goals/Intentions

Happy Monday and please join me in welcoming October!!

I am SO excited October is finally here! Cue the pumpkin patches, apple + pumpkin spice things, scary movies, and Halloween!

I sat down the other day and made a list of my goals + intentions for the new month, and I wanted to share them with you guys.

**Health + Fitness**

1. Follow a more (mostly) Paleo eating lifestyle. 

With everything that’s taken place and all the busy day to day activities throughout September, I am in desperate need to get back on track. At least I feel that way! I still plan on enjoying foods I love, of course…balance. I just want to go back to a Whole Foods mindset sprinkled in with some of the foods I love.

If you have little, or no, time to prep food for the week, check out MealFit. They are an amazing company, and you can order meals online where they will have them ready for you to pick up at a gym near you every Monday. The food is prepared…all you have to do is enjoy! Check out my post here, all about MealFit.

2. Make it a priority to stretch + foam roll more before workouts.

Over the last couple of months I’ve noticed more stiffness and slight pain in my knees if I sit in a cross legged position, or sit with one leg under the other. In most cases, I sit like this when I blog or watch tv. It doesn’t even take that long before they feel that way.

My friend Holly, from the gym, said that it may be where my IT band meets my lateral meniscus. As soon as she said IT band, I knew that’s probably what it was. I am terrible at foam rolling it out, and it gets tight easy.

For those that don’t know, The IT band is a multi purpose tendon that runs down the length of your outer thigh, from the pelvis to the tibia.

Out all my muscles, tendons, and body parts, the IT band gets neglected the most. I know better…

My goal (along with icing my knees some—per Holly’s orders), is to stretch more, and particularly foam roll My IT band out before I workout.

—> For a great stretching routine, check out my previous post, here.

**Life/Other**

3. Get back to NOT comparing myself to others so much.

I’ve fallen back into the comparison game lately, and that negative mindset has been creeping back in, too. My goal this month (and to continue on) is to remind myself how far I’ve come (in all areas…not just fitness/appearance), and to let that be what keeps me going.

I have come a LONG way since this time last year, and I am happier, stronger, and overall healthier than I have ever been.

The comparison game is a terrible trap. When it starts back up, I just know if I don’t try to stop it then, it gets worse. It only brings me down and I lose sight of how far I’ve come.

4. Worry less, and enjoy more.

Sometimes I’m bad at getting upset or stressed over little things…or the things I have no control over. For example, I can’t stand being the last one to finish in a workout. It makes me feel defeated, and the last time I was last, I wanted to quit. I was upset, and I ended up crying. It was pathetic and very embarrassing quite honestly…

I had people right there encouraging me and pushing me to finish, but I was still so upset. That whole week was just tough on me mentally, but I let that get to me so much the rest of the night that I couldn’t relax.

From here to the end of December/January 1st, is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year. I especially don’t want to be getting upset over things that I shouldn’t be getting upset over, because I want to soak up and enjoy every bit I can of the remaining year.

Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years…I’m in love with it all. There’s no need for anything petty to get me down. <3

Pumpkin Spice + Everything Nice

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Its officially FALL…aka pumpkin season, as we all know, and I am one of the thousands who are obsessed with it…no shame in my game!

I love the number of things you find in stores now that are pumpkin spice…whether it’s the flavor or pumpkin spice themed.

My absolute favorite pumpkin spice thing right now is coffee creamer…who knew?

You know me and coffee, so really it’s no surprise. Today, I am sharing a few of my current favorite pumpkin spice…anything! 😁

1. Jordan’s Skinny (Sugar Free) Syrups 

One of my mom’s friends had these and wasn’t a fan. She knew I loved pumpkin spice and passed them off for me to try. I love them!!

Since these are the syrups, I pour a little almond milk in with it, for a creamier taste. You have to be careful with these, though, a little goes a long way! It’s a nice alternative to the super sugary syrups they add to the pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks! You can find these here if you want to try!

2. Pumpkin Spice Nutpods

One of my clients first told me about Nutpods coffee creamer and I fell in love! It’s a dairy free based creamer you can get in an original flavor (much like half and half), vanilla, hazelnut, and of course, pumpkin spice!

It’s unsweetened, so if you like the little extra sweet in your coffee, you can add a little stevia or truvia. It’s delicious…find it here!

3. Friends’ Apartment Warming Gifts 

A couple of my friends from the gym gave me a present/apartment warming gift…and boy do they know me well! I love my Fall kitchen towels. “Stressed, Blessed, and Pumpkin Spice Obsessed”…I’d say this is me! I actually have a coffee mug that says it too!

I can’t wait to light my fall candle either! I keep forgetting to pick a lighter up…

Love my sweet friends!

4. Glade room spray

This was seriously only $1.00 from Target…and it smells fabulous!! Not much else to say about this besides you should go get some!

There are way more pumpkin things I love, but I’m sticking with this current list of my faves.

Questions for you? 

Whats your favorite pumpkin/pumpkin spice item or food?

Are you even a pumpkin spice person? If not, do you like the apple spice instead?

When Life Throws You Lemons

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Can you believe it’s Wednesday already?? Labor Day on Monday has my week all thrown off, but it’s exciting to know that half the week is already over!

Today I wanted to share something with you that’s been in my mind lately.

Most of us have heard the saying, “When life throws you lemons, make lemonade!”.

I like to rephrase this as my own, based on lemons thrown at me here recently:

When Satan throws you lemons…throw them back in his face!

Honestly, when life throws us things in life, whether that’s job stress, relationship trouble, unexpected struggles…that’s a lot of Satan trying to hit us and knock us down.

Little or big, he will do whatever he can to get us down and try to get our focus and trust away from God.

Im not going into any detail of the lemons that have been thrown my way lately, but all I can say is it’s making me trust God even more so, knowing He will provide, heal, protect, and always be by my side.

Remember when Satan throws lemons at you, throw them back at him and show him how you can handle anything with the Lord!

Tuesday Thoughts #2

Happy Tuesday and welcome to “Tuesday Thoughts” number 2!

Yesterday I opened up about a fear of mine I am about to take head on. If you missed it, you can read about it here.

I had intentions of starting and following the template yesterday, but a couple things came up, left me in a “tizzy”, and the food I had ready to go with me ended up being left at home. So, I was left to find food while I was out and it may have been a little off.

This is why if you FAIL to PLAN, you PLAN to FAIL. I should’ve kept the food I had prepped for me, but because my emotions were all over the place, I purposely left them.

So….we are back on it today!

Tuesday Thoughts #2

1. I am convinced that besides the power of prayer and God to give you calmness and peace, Stress Away is the next best thing.

I love my oils!

2. I realize I have a slight obsession with fun socks from Target…

I found these fun fall socks at Target yesterday. They were only $2 so I had to snag them!

3. The sermon from Church this Sunday was something I needed to hear.

I went to Church of the Highlands again Sunday with my friend Lauren, and the pastor was wrapping up his series on Prayer. This past Sunday he talked on the names on God, and who He is for us. I absolutely loved being reminded of how many roles God plays in our lives:

-Healer

-Constant Companion

-Provider

-Shepherd

-Righteousness

What a beautiful name it is! So many names in one.

4. God takes us through situations we don’t always understand why, but He has a reason for it, and in HIS time, He makes a way for us to get through it…and in a lot of cases, stronger, happier, and more confident in our faith and who we are.

5. I move in a short weeks and I really got to start packing!!

I really only have one tote packed of clothes…all my fall and winter stuff. My Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving tote is packed, my Christmas tote is still packed, so all that’s left is kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, furniture, Knick knacks…basically everything else! Haha I’ll be busy!

6. Life is what it is sometimes, but I sure am thankful for the people in it: family, gym family, friends, great clients, and of course a guy who loves me for me. <3 

Facing my Fears

Happy Monday, friends!

To start off this week, I wanted to share something with you guys I will be starting on that is a HUGE step outside my comfort zone…

I am starting to follow a template for muscle gain, which means:

1. I’m not following a diet to lose weight like most do (although I have days I seriously want to)🙅🏻‍♀️

2. I am focusing on gaining muscle and continuing to get stronger. 💪🏻

3. I have to eat a lot more food 😭

Some of you may have heard of RP Strength, a.k.a., Renaissance Periodization. 

( pic source: Twitter )

RP Strength is highly known in the fitness community: Crossfit, bodybuilding, figure competitions, and weight loss/muscle gain.

RP Strength gives you the option of choosing a weight/fat loss template, or a muscle gain template. You give them some info about yourself and your goals, and they give you a detailed template to follow.

Before I go on anymore, I am not telling you to buy this template. It’s not for everyone. But if you know my background story of going through an eating disorder and not eating enough and over exercising, then you may understand how big of a deal this is for me.

Even now, I still have days I struggle with body image and weight…and for me it’s something I will always have to learn to work through.

Since starting Crossfit in January, I have definitely gotten stronger and have been able to do things I didn’t think I would ever be able to do. I got 2 strict pull ups just the other day…my first back to back pull-ups!

Throughout my Crossfit journey so far, my weight has stayed about the same as it’s been for the last few years, but my body composition has changed some. While I have loved this, I also have always had a big fear of gaining weight and getting too big.

Thats my ultimate fear…weight gain. After so many years of trying to stay/get slim and fit, and it being embedded in my head to “be skinny”, it was always instant fear for me to gain weight.

What I Love about this template is that they push eating whole, non processed foods…which is best for everyone to follow, really. Something else I love about it, is they tell me about how much of protein, carbs and fats to have at each meal. I know there are some days I’m not eating enough to fuel me, or I know when I didn’t have enough carbs before a workout.

I’m always one to focus on healthy eating, and I think most people know that. But sometimes your girl has bad days, or weeks, where I feel my nutrition is completely off track and I genuinely get down about it.

Since I am passionate about Crossfit and want to be a better athlete, I am really wanting to dial in my nutrition more…not just for my health, but performance as well. Of course, I’m going to be keeping my balance in there because I do enjoy pizza, ice cream, burgers, etc. ❤️

If you signed up to receive weekly emails from me (on the right side on my home page), then you know this last week I sent an email out explaining how I don’t like the word “diet”, and now no one diet fits all.

You must do what is right for YOU. Everyone is on a different journey with their health and fitness. For me, I am at a place I want to continue to get stronger. I’m not obsessed with being skinny like I used to be. I’m focused on being healthy and the best version of ME possible.

Lets face it, this girl needs help with her food too sometimes! I am human just like you. I love helping people with food and fitness, but the trainer needs training too!

Thats what I want to get across to you today. I don’t want you to think, “I can’t believe she’s following a diet”, or think, “she’s telling us no diet fits all but she’s following this”…

I will be eating healthy, staying balanced, and working on ME. Now, I want you to focus on being the best version of YOU possible. 😊

Thankful for Family + Health

Happy Monday everyone!

i hope you had a wonderful weekend! We are finally into August, which means one thing for me…it’s closet to FALL!! 😀

I am planning some great fall posts, so get ready soon!

This weekend was full of workouts, good eats, and being thankful for family and health.

Last Tuesday night, as many of you may know, we had to call the ambulance for my Dad. He sat up on the side of the couch, said he wasn’t feeling well, and passed out. This was very unusual for him and the ambulance took him on to the hospital.

For 2 days they ran tests on him to rule out all they could. We found out he has a couple of blockages in his heart, one—I know— that was around 60%. What the doctors told us, though, was that they weren’t for sure exactly why he passed out.

After all the tests, they sent him home with an adjustment in his meds, and for him to come back the next week to get a heart monitor. He will go this week to get it and will wear it 30 days.

Mom said the other day she thinks God was giving us a warning about his heart. We had no idea he had that going on. It could have been a lot worse. I truly think it was God letting us know what was going on. Even though we had to take him to the ER and I had to see him in the bed a couple days (I don’t always do well in hospitals), it’s a blessing it wasn’t anything worse. God has a way of showing us things we need to know, even if it comes in more of a wake up call.

We were all glad to have him back home Thursday night. I know he was ready to come back home. He kept saying how bored he was! Haha

I am so thankful for my family, friends, and even more grateful my Dad didn’t go through anything worse.

You don’t always realize how grateful and blessed you are with friends, family, and health until something happens. I think we take it for granted too often.

There are people in my life I love and care for so much. Be sure you tell those important to you how much you love them! You never know when things are going to happen.

Everyday is a gift from the Lord!

Each Day is a New Beginning

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you were able to get some rest this weekend and enjoy the sun we had, even though it was quite hot!

Today I want to talk about something I struggle with and I know that others do too:

Letting things from your past affect your present.

Whether it something that happened 2 years ago, 2 months, or yesterday, we often times continue to carry something from our past with us and let it affect our present. Big or small, minor or major, we just tend to hold to things more than we should.

I can drop things and move on quickly depending on the situation.

For example, my divorce was with me for a little while and I let it get me down…mainly because, even though I wanted it to be done with anyway, I was embarrassed that I let it get to 2 months before it got so bad that I told myself i should have stopped it before it happened.

I quickly realized how much weight was off my shoulder, how much better I already felt, and I had grown hope for the future. It made me stronger to be honest. Everything happens for a reason, and God doesn’t take you through something you can’t handle.

I have never been so happy in my life right now. It’s been so so long since I’ve been genuinely happy in all areas. I have true love, amazing friendships, and I’m doing what I love for a job.

For me, that was my big thing, but I also let smaller things drag me down and I will carry it into the next day sometimes. A recent example: I’ve been working on movements and workouts for a Crossfit competition me and a few friends are doing as a team. I am SO excited to be a part of it, but I’ve been getting super down and frustrated because I’m not hitting certain numbers like I am hoping I’d already be hitting.

When I get frustrated or down in the gym, I just want to give up and not try anymore. I always want to push myself in the gym to be better and stronger, but sometimes I have those days I want to not try anymore. I know that mentality isn’t going to get me anywhere, and I’ve been told that before.

I have to constantly remind myself how far I’ve come since starting Crossfit. I have only been doing this since January, and just since then I have come so far. All my other teammates on my team have been doing this longer so they have more under their belt. Yea, it makes me feel as if I am out of place from time to time, but they are all so encouraging and motivating!

Its the encouragement and motivation I receive from Austin and my friends that help me to keep moving on the next day. I have to push what I did yesterday out of the way and not dwell on what I couldn’t do.

Austin is full of great quotes and encouragement! Lol But what he told me last night really helped.

I think this quote/advice from Austin can go along with any area in life.

You can apply this to getting a job, job promotion, nailing a recipe, a song, or an exercise in the gym. Just move along the next day, for every day is a fresh start. Don’t let your past, your yesterday, affect your today.

The Rock With A Smile On Its Face

Yesterday, I was at a coffee shop, The Neighborhood Brew, doing some blog work in between clients. I went to the restroom and found a little yellow painted rock smiling at me on one of the decorative shelves they had.

Could it be that I came across one of the painted rocks I had heard so much about in the recent past? I had heard of people finding painted rocks in places, and you can choose to keep them or hide them again for someone else.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.”-Romans 12:2

I flipped it over and sure enough it was one of those rocks! I noticed it had told me to use the hashtag #the.WellHouse, and saw where they had a website. I had never heard of them before so I was curious to know more.

The Well House, located in Odenville, Alabama, provides a safe place to women, offering them a combination of spiritual, mental, emotional, and even physical support services. They welcome all the women/girls who have been sexually exploited through human trafficking.

I know human trafficking is one of those things going on all the time, and right under all our noses. It breaks my heart when I hear about girls who’ve been involved with this.

The Well House mission, taken directly from their website, is:

“We exist to honor God by rescuing and providing opportunities for restoration to female victims of human trafficking who have been sexually exploited.”

I think it’s great the people at The Well House take in these girls, providing a safe place and support in order to get them back out there in life.

If you want to visit their website to learn more, contact, or donate, click here.

I think I’ll hide this little gem again for the next person to find it.

Chase After Your Dreams, Goals, + Passions

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and were able to relax, have some fun, and enjoy time with family and friends!

Today I want to share a little Monday motivation:

Chase after your dreams, your goals, + your passions.

Last week I had a moment where I almost decided to stop blogging. I wasn’t going to delete my blog…just stop for a while. I was getting discouraged about people not reading it, may not be interested in what I have to say, etc., and I was discouraged that my blog seems to be at a standstill when I want it to grow.

I immediately snapped out of it (after a few hours), and thought to myself, “Emily, what are you doing? People read your blog, they love what you have to say, and growing my blog isn’t something that will happen just overnight.

We all have dreams, goals, passions in life, and one of my passions is this blog. I’ve changed the name a few times since I’ve started blogging (To Love and Live fits me now), and I’ve been on and off with blogging too, when I get discouraged; but whenever I stop blogging, I miss it and I need it back in my life. I love to write and reach out to other people.

My goals for this blog are to not just reach people, and have people enjoy what I write, but for my blog to grow and be able to reach people all over! I want to help people through more than just my personal training, but through writing.

Of course, everyone’s goals, dreams, passions, are all different. Some are small, some are large, some are important and some may be for fun. We all have something we want to achieve though. You may have a goal of being able to do 10 pushups just because you want to, or for someone else it could be to build strength for everyday activities.

You may have a dream of being promoted at work, or just being able to land the job you know you will love. Whatever that is for you, chase after it and don’t give up.

I didn’t get the clients I have now just overnight, and my blog won’t get as big as I’d like it to overnight, but with hard work and perseverance, we can all be able to accomplish things we may have thought we couldn’t.

😀

Setting Spring + Summer Intentions

The Merrimack-Webster online dictionary defines the word Intention as 1. a determination to act in a certain way and 2. what one intends to do or bring about

Since spring has arrived and summer is right around the corner, I started thinking on making intentions for the upcoming seasons.

2018 started out hard, but it was also a turning point for me to reevaluate my life, who I am, the people in my life, and my passions. It was time for me to start setting goals, being hopeful, and being open to new things.

While the year may have started out tough, I am the happiest I’ve been in a long, long time. Now that I’m in a great place in my health and happiness, it’s time to start setting some different intentions not just for the summer, but for the rest of the year and on.

1. Be open to new things/activities/adventures.

2. Discover something about myself I never knew.

3. Love more, worry less.

4. Be more present in the now, and not caught up in the past or future.

What intentions will you set for this season?