Pull Yourself Out of Negativity With a Power Phrase

There’s a little voice that runs in my head that tells me “Jenn, you can’t….”

You can’t start your own business.

You can’t lose the baby weight.

You can’t be a full time working mom.

You can’t fit in a workout today.

You can’t afford to live there.

You can’t fix your marriage.

Maybe I am overly cautious, maybe it’s a lack of confidence, but I know I’m not alone. The truth is we all have moments of self doubt.

Negativity is a slippery slope. One negative thought can lead to another and another, so how (and when) do you pull yourself out?

I started implementing a “Power Phrase” which is something I learned from a podcast by Chalene Johnson.

A power phrase is something that you say to yourself in moments of self doubt. In times when you know in your head and your heart you have to do something that scares you. In times when your inner voice is telling you “no, you can’t.” What do you tell yourself to get through it? In those moments, I say these words in my head:

IMG_4799

 

I set the record straight: “Actually, I can.” You’re telling me I can’t, but you’re lying. I CAN. Call me crazy, but it works.

What we constantly tell ourselves over and over again eventually becomes our reality. Make sure you’re telling yourself what you want to hear.

Chances are you already have a power phrase, but if you don’t, take some time today to think about what it might be. Here are a few examples:

That’s not true.

Oh, no you don’t.

It’s not gonna kill you.

All is well.

I got this.

So tell me, what is YOUR power phrase? 

xo,
Jenn

I share more of my healthy living tips and tricks on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love for you to follow along on my health and fitness journey on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.

Healthy Date Ideas

IMG_4687Happy Friday, friends!! With the weekend finally upon us, I thought I’d share some of my healthy date alternatives for you to explore this weekend.

It’s no secret that Mark and I have been trying to focus on our health a little more these days. It’s not just about getting in shape, it’s also about keeping our marriage alive and healthy, which means carving out more time for each other. After adding a little one to the mix, it’s easy to spend every single minute as a party of three. So we’ve been making an effort to schedule babysitters or line up the grandparents to watch Kaylee once a week.

But how do you make it work when you want to explore the local farmers market and drink green juice and he wants to drink beer and try that new burger joint?

Well, with all things in marriage: compromise is key. But if you’re looking for some healthier date alternatives, I’ve got you covered.

WALK there // If the hubby wins and we’re going out to eat, I like to choose a restaurant that is walking distance from home. Whether it’s a day date or a fancier evening affair, taking a long stroll to get there is a great way to extend our time together and sneak in a little exercise. Walking also helps with digestion on the way home ;)

DO something // Instead of sitting around at yet ANOTHER restaurant, talk your partner into an active day date. It could be a day of paddle boarding, ocean kayaking, a long hike, or a little bike ride. Even a long sunset walk is a great way to connect. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.

GO somewhere // Our favorite thing to do if we have a full day is to go on a mini adventure. We pick a town that is 30 minutes to an hour or more away and just explore. It always feels good to just get away, even if it’s not overnight. We walk around, try the local coffee shop, check out their downtown and sometimes do a little shopping if I’m extra lucky.

What are some of your favorite “healthy” date ideas? Please share!

xo, Jenn

I share more of my healthy living tips and tricks on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love for you to follow along on my health and fitness journey on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.

 

What to Order From a Coffee Shop

FullSizeRender 3As the weather warms up, the infamous blended coffees call our name. They are super refreshing and so damn tasty.

But did you know that a Grande Caramel Frap has a whopping 420 calories and 66 grams of sugar?

In my (skinny) opinion, it’s best to avoid them all together. I’m not saying to deprive yourself, but I challenge you to think about better options. Often times indulging in a sugary beverage doesn’t “count” in our minds because we didn’t technically EAT anything. It doesn’t fill us up, so we forget about it and move on with the day, but the extra sugar catches up to us and pretty soon we’re craving more and more junk and can’t figure out why.

Have you ever noticed that as soon as you step foot inside you’ll automatically order “what you always order” without even thinking about it?

Experiences like going to a coffee shop can trigger a habit. It’s the same reason some people simply cannot go to a movie theater and not buy the buttery popcorn. Or some people buy the candy in the grocery store check out line and others don’t even notice it there. It’s important to take a step back and think about what is happening. We often associate a particular food with an experience or location and the habits kick in.

We need to stop and think about what is happening, change our mind set, and make smart decisions until they eventually become our new habits.

So in a coffee shop, what can you order – guilt free?

My general rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Good coffee shops should be brewing really good coffee. I like to start with a base of black hot coffee or iced cold brew and I always ask for room. Then I top if off with almond milk and some cinnamon and mix it up. It’s simple, satisfying, and still feels like a treat.

What healthy choices do you make when you order from a coffee shop?

Get Out of the Mid Day Slump with My “10 Minute Power Jog”

IMG_3968My husband and I have this routine now where we wake up at 5am, drink some lots of coffee, and do a workout together. We love starting our mornings together, just the two of us. Because let’s be honest, we don’t get a lot of “us” time these days. Working out together first thing sets our tone and intention for the day, and we feel more connected now as husband and wife than ever before. Win-win!

The MAJOR downside is that the coffee maker goes off at 4:45am (!).

Wah. Never in my life, would I have thought I would WILLINGLY set my “alarm” that early. But we have come to realize that mornings are best for us, because trying to workout with a toddler running around just doesn’t happen these days. If we don’t do it first thing in the morning, we end up dreading it all day long. Our daughter is waking up earlier and earlier these days (WTF! moms: any advice here?), which means OUR wake up call also got pushed up.

As you can imagine by noon I am EXHAUSTED. I’m not gonna lie: some days it got to a point where I needed a power nap. This wasn’t working. I can’t start napping. And drinking more caffeine isn’t all that healthy.

So – I’ve been implementing a “10 minute power jog.”

Let me tell you: it is seriously a game changer. It’s like a triple shot of espresso. It’s LIKE a 45 minute nap. Only it’s not. It’s PROACTIVE. It only takes TEN minutes. Who doesn’t have 10 minutes? Trust me you will feel like a whole new person afterwards. Ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Now, there are a few rules I’ve given myself:

  1. It’s a jog. It’s not a walk. It’s not a run. It’s not meant to be a workout but you should break a tiny sweat. I take my time and run at whatever pace I’m feeling.
  2. It’s 10 minutes max. It’s not a workout and it does not replace my exercise for the day.
  3. It’s not mandatory. This isn’t another thing I’m adding to my “to-do” list. I can do it when I need it but it’s not an everyday thing.
  4. It’s not scenic. I’m not driving anywhere for this. It’s right out my front door – 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back.

I would love for you to try this with me! Next time you’re hitting that mid day slump, I challenge you to do something proactive and see how you feel. Let me know what you think!

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

1a

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.

Goalsetting

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.

images-2

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

IMG_1893

IMG_2721 IMG_2778 IMG_2851
IMG_3407 IMG_3431 IMG_3502 IMG_3905 IMG_4379

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!

2014-10-04 16.41.50

2014-10-04 16.42.18

2014-10-04 16.42.22

2014-10-04 16.43.38

2014-10-04 16.46.17

2014-10-04 16.48.52

2014-10-04 16.51.03

 

1 2 3 20