Stop Making Excuses – When It Is OK to Be Selfish

FullSizeRenderWARNING! Today’s post is a little HARSH. But I feel like it needs to be said. #sorrynotsorry

Here’s the deal: I am ALL about going after goals. If there is something you want bad enough, and I mean really, truly want — JUST DO IT already.

Be confident. Make up your mind. Don’t be wishy washy. And please, for the love of God, stop making excuses.

You know those people in your life that complain all the time about being fat, or broke, or in a bad relationship, or…whatever it is that makes them unhappy. It’s like they just want to TALK about what they don’t like about their life and then once they’ve vented enough they don’t feel the need to change anything. The venting was enough for them. I call it “word vomit.”

Alright, we ALL do it. I’m not pointing fingers here. I do it, too. (You guys, one of the reasons I write is for self pep-talk.)

My excuse most recently has been motherhood:

“I can’t do that, because I am a mom.”

“I don’t have time, because I am a busy mom.”

“I can’t look like that, I had a baby.”

Blah blah blah.

Ok people. Listen up: It’s time to STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.  Let’s DO something. 

If something is REALLY that important to you where you feel the need to vent about it ALL the time, it’s obviously weighing on you pretty heavily. It’s time to STOP making excuses.

Some excuses are REAL and some are ABSOLUTELY 100% BS. Be your own judge here, but don’t be afraid to work on yourself.

This is SO important, you guys. We are entitled to feel amazing. We are entitled to confidence. We are entitled to look our absolute best. We are entitled to happiness. We are entitled to be financially secure. But all of these things take WORK. It’s about making the smart, right decision every chance you get, which all add up over time. Those decisions become habits, and our habits become our reality.

What do you want most in life right now? What has been your excuse lately? What are you going to do about it? 

Throw Away Your Scale : Why You Can STOP Weighing Yourself TODAY

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Once upon a time, I weighed myself every morning. It helped me stay accountable and kept me motivated. I thought it was for good reason, but it was horribly unhealthy. I let that little number dictate my day. My LIFE, really.

When I got pregnant, I saw the number increase at such a rapid rate, and because there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, I started to become less and less focused on it. I knew I HAD to gain weight to keep my baby healthy. For once, I gave myself grace to gain.

In the process, my habits changed. I knew I was going to be gaining weight no matter how healthy I ate, so I didn’t need to step on the scale. I felt such a sense of relief. When “the baby wanted me too”, I indulged. And really, I didn’t go overboard. My husband and I ate out at restaurants whenever we wanted, because we knew those lunch dates would be few and far between when our little bundle arrived. I exercised daily and listened to my body.

I gained 40 pounds and I don’t regret an ounce of it.

For once I chose what I wanted from the menu. Not what was the lowest calories, but what really, truly sounded tasty. I stopped eating when I was full (because when you’re THAT prego, you can only fit SO much). I learned what hunger and satisfaction actually felt like.

My relationship with the scale changed for the better during those 10 months. I fell out of the habit of weighing in regularly and measuring my success by that stupid little number. And now…I DON’T weigh myself everyday, or even every week, for that matter. I go by pictures. How I feel. How my clothes fit. My measurements.

Do you ever let the number on the scale dictate your progress? Or even worse, your day? Do you get anxious to step on the scale? 

Well today I want to encourage you to STOP. Stop letting that little number control your life. You are worth so much more than a number.

When we weigh ourselves on a daily basis, the number we see plays tricks on us. Our weight naturally fluctuates day to day due to water retention, hormones, sodium intake, etc.  Another big factor is our body composition – our muscle to fat ratio.

Now I know you’ve probably heard “muscle weighs more than fat.” Well friends, that is NOT true. A pound of muscle actually WEIGHS the same as a pound of muscle. !! They are both a pound. The real concept is that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. So if you replace fat with muscle by incorporating strength training into your workout routine, you may not actually see the scale go down, but you’ll be smaller.

Today, I encourage you to let the numbers go. Throw the scale away for all I care! Focus on your journey. Focus on fueling your body with wholesome nutrients. Focus on moving your body. Focus on challenging yourself every day. When you let go of the stress of the scale, you’ll be amazed at what your body will accomplish.

Homemade Skinny Margs for Cinco de Drinko

Hola! In the spirit of “Cinco de Drinko,” it’s inevitable we’re going to indulge in a marg or two today. So today I’m sharing my fave recipe for my homemade skinny margarita. I love to use fresh ingredients whenever possible, and with this recipe there’s no need to even bother with sweet n sour. Keep it FRESH.Honey-Grapefruit-Margarita

BUT! What’s a margarita without a little salt? To me, salt on the rim of the glass MAKES the margarita. If you do add salt, just rim ½ the glass. It adds just enough to compliment the bite of the tequila.

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz grapefruit perrier
  • 1 squeeze of fresh lime
  • 1 squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Margarita salt
  • ice

++Add grapefruit juice, lime, lemon, perrier, cointreau and tequila (in that order) into a shaker. Add ice. Shake, shake, shake. Use a lime to rim the glass and dip in salt. Add ice to the glass and pour over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

What’s on YOUR Cinco de Mayo menu for tonight? We’re having Fajitas with grilled chicken and shrimp, lots of fajita veggies, fresh salsa, and black beans. It’s a FIESTA!

Start Goal Setting TODAY

SetAndReachGoalsI am HUGE, firm believer in goal setting and today, I want to encourage you to set some for yourself. This is something my husband, Mark taught me and I am so hooked. You can accomplish some amazing things by just letting yourself realize and fully understand what you truly want.

Every year, it’s important to set personal and professional goals. Maybe it’s how you want to feel or how you want to look. Maybe it’s the relationships you want to have. Maybe it’s a financial goal. Maybe it’s a career goal.

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So HOW exactly do we set goals?

At the beginning of each month, form these concepts into more specific goals. And then weekly, make a game plan of how you are going to get there. Make sure your goals are really goals and not “to-do” items. Cleaning the house is not a goal. Going to work is not a goal. Those are tasks. Think: BIG PICTURE.

Here’s an example: you want to lose weight. 

**Yearly: I want to be 30 lbs lighter a year from now. I want to feel confident and good about myself.

**Monthly: I am going to lose 2-3 pounds per month. I am going to respect my body and improve my health.

**Weekly: I am going to workout 5 days this week and follow a healthy nutrition plan. I am going to listen to personal development podcasts to help boost my confidence.

**Daily: TODAY I am working out and eating healthy. I am speaking positively about myself and loving my body at the state it is currently in.

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My #1 tip is to write down your goals! The act of WRITING with pen and paper helps define what it is we really want. Put them in a place where you can see them everyday. Maybe it’s a notebook or planner, maybe it’s posted on your bathroom mirror.

Once you’ve laid our your game plan, start daydreaming! This feels super awkward at first but it’s all about our mentality. Your inner thoughts become your reality. So THINK and ACT as if you’re there. Here’s a video clip I love on how to do this:

What are YOUR goals and what are you doing TODAY to get there?

What’s Been Happening!

Hi friends!

I took a (really) long, much needed break from blogging because, well… I had a baby! 14 months ago, actually. (Where does the time go??)

Becoming a mother has been the greatest gift. I just adore that little girl more than I ever thought possible.

Adjusting to the whole mama thing has been so exciting and fun for me. I LOVE it. A funny thing happens when you become a mom: you instantly have a connection to every other mother you run into. You develop a little community of new momma friends which is incredible and SO necessary, especially in those early months.

The first time Kaylee smiled at me, I thought, “THIS.” THIS is what life is about.

“Being a mom is my jam.” (Bachelor, anyone?)

When Kaylee was born, I got SO immersed in my new found role and love for being a momma that I sort of lost my sense of self, as I’m sure many moms do. I spent every ounce of energy I had caring for this tiny bundle. She was my world. And then I went back to work. Suddenly I had to figure out how to make money and keep this child smiling. Six months in, we moved 500 miles away from everything we knew. Where we met, where we fell in love, where we developed the most genuine friendships, that we cherish so much. SD friends: we love you. And where our family started.

All these changes in a relatively short time really makes you sit down and think. Or write, in my case. I needed to feel like myself again. I needed to rediscover my passions again and carve out time for myself.

So, yes, I’m back! I don’t plan on blogging nearly as much as I once did, but I’m shooting for weekly articles. You can follow me on instagram: @skinnyopinion or facebook.com/skinnyopinion for daily motivation and inspiration.

Thank you for following along!

XO
Jenn

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It’s a GIRL!

First off – I know I’ve been MIA for a while…growing a baby is exhausting and all-consuming. To be quite honest, blogging has been the last thing on my mind these days.

But it’s about time I announce that we’re having a beautiful baby GIRL!

Our dear friends threw us the most beautiful gender reveal party to celebrate the new addition to our family. It was the most perfect and memorable day and we were so blessed to be surrounded by our closest friends and family to find out the gender of our new little bundle of love.

I can honestly say I was SHOCKED. I thought for sure it would be a boy! So much for mother’s intuition, right? I am so excited to have a little girl and mostly just so thankful that she is growing healthy and strong. I can’t believe she’ll be here in just three months!

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Pregnancy Progression Pics

Tomorrow I’ll be 19 weeks. I can’t believe I’m almost half way there. I’m so looking forward to finding out if our little bun is a boy or a girl next week. I honestly have no idea and like most things in my life, I change my mind on a daily basis about the gender of this little babe. Some mother’s say they “just knew.” I say, lucky guess.

Part of me hates to be “that girl” sharing my preggo pics, but let’s be honest — pregnancy is one of life’s most beautiful adventures. I love seeing other girl’s bump progression and I wanted to document my own journey here on the blog.

Admittedly, it’s not easy to watch your body change on a daily basis. I’m sure this is something all women struggle with during pregnancy. I’ve found that taking these progression pictures and being able to look back on how I’m changing every two weeks opens my eyes even more to the miracle of pregnancy.

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8 weeks | baby is the size of a raspberry

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10 weeks | baby is the size of a strawberry

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12 weeks | baby is the size of a plum

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14 weeks | baby is the size of a lemon

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16 weeks | baby is the size of an avocado

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18 weeks | baby is the size of a bell pepper

One Ingredient Healthy Ice Cream

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If there’s one thing a pregnant lady can’t resist, it’s a scoop of ice cream on a hot day.

Unfortunately I just can’t eat it whenever my little heart desires or I just might end up with a 60+ lb weight gain by the time this baby pops out. No thank you!

So I’ve found the next best thing to the real deal, and no, it’s not fro-yo. It’s much, much healthier. Because, I hate to break it to you, friends, but frozen yogurt isn’t any better for you than ice cream.

The best part about this recipe is there’s one ingredient. Oh, and that it’s all natural. No artificial ingredients, no sweeteners, and no dairy. Oh, and you don’t need an ice cream maker. Too good to be true?

Nope. That one magic ingredient that can be whipped into rich, silky ice cream is…

BANANAS!

That’s right — thanks to their high pectin content, bananas make creamy, rich ice cream when frozen and blended. They don’t get that flaky/icy texture like other frozen fruit.

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe banana

Instructions

  1. Peel the banana and cut into small pieces.
  2. Put the banana pieces in a large freezer bag and freeze overnight.
  3. Blend the frozen banana pieces in a food processor. Keep blending and scraping until the banana resembles ice cream.
  4. Add in any toppings/flavors as desired.
  5. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid or enjoy right away for a soft serve texture.

** Note: You can make a large batch with more bananas. Just make sure your food processor is powerful enough!

Mix-Ins

The one-ingredient aspect of this ice cream is what makes it so healthy, but you can add in a few toppings to spice it up a bit.

  • Spoonful of peanut butter
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Handful of chocolate chips
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon

Let me know what you think!!

All About That Bass

Loving this song lately — really funny lyrics with some pretty awesome messaging. Now I’m all about being a healthy size and weight, but positive body image is most important. You can’t have a healthy body if your mind is in a bad place. And in a society where so much value is placed on appearance, we could all use a little reminder once in while.

“Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”

Enjoy!

First Trimester Essentials

Can you guys believe I’m already 17 weeks? It feels like I just passed the first trimester, but I’m really already a month into my second! Time is flying.

While it’s still (relatively) fresh in my mind, I wanted to share my first trimester essentials that helped me through those first 13 weeks.

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one || crystalized ginger || I don’t know why it works, but trust me on this one. Candied ginger helped more than anything else to combat my morning sickness. I didn’t go anywhere with out this stuff. Yes, it tastes like ****, but I got over that pretty quickly when I realized how much it works. Oh, and don’t bother with the ginger or flavored hard candies — go for the real deal.

two || fitbit || Low to moderate intensity exercise is very safe and is actually essential for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Since my doctor recommended I back off on my normal fitness routine, I relied on my trusty fitbit to help motivate me to move enough throughout the day, especially during a time when I was honestly feeling pretty lazy.

three || prenatal vitamins || Prenatal vitamins are an absolute must throughout the entire pregnancy (and especially early on), to support fetal brain and eye development. The Nature Made prenatal vitamins + DHA have served me well, but a word to the wise: take them shortly after eating a meal or that ginger will come in more handy than you hoped!

four || baby center app || Pregnancy is full of so many unknowns. Is what I’m feeling normal? When will I start to show? What can I expect at my first prenatal appointment? Mark and I decided to only share our pregnancy news with immediate family and close friends during the first trimester. As you can imagine, my brain was full of questions and I had few people I could talk to! The baby center app is a great resource for week by week updates and lots of Q&A.

five || unisom || Despite being so fatigued, I struggled to get a good night’s sleep. Between the frequent bathroom trips and all the excitement and fears surrounding becoming a new mom, I experienced horrible insomnia (which I’m told is extremely common). My doctor recommended taking Unisom and what a LIFESAVER it is. I’ve found that a half a tablet is plenty for me to avoid that groggy feeling in the morning.

six || healthy snacks || Pregnancy hunger is no joke and for me personally, I basically felt like I was starving throughout the first trimester. I learned to never leave the house without a few snacks. Chilled green grapes, protein bars, and almonds were some of my first tri go-to snacks.

seven || palmer’s cocoa butter || I am all about stretch mark prevention, so when a coworker gave me a bottle of this stuff with a high recommendation, I started using it daily and never looked back. I also use their skin soothing oil to relieve dry, itchy pregnancy skin.

eight || loose clothing || During the summer months, there’s nothing worse than tight, restrictive clothing…unless you’re also pregnant and your body is changing daily. During the first trimester, I lived in either a flowy top and comfy shorts or a loose-fitting dress. It’s all about comfort these days!

I hope this helps out all the newly pregnant and future mamas. Plus, who am I kidding – with the pregnancy brain I’m experiencing these days, if I don’t write it down, there’s no way I’ll remember when baby #2 is on board!

Did I miss anything? If you’re a mom, what could you not live without during your first trimester?

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