Hello, all! It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and gathered my thoughts for good ol’ HelloMissNiki.com. If you’re an avid reader/follower, I’m sure you’ve noticed my lack of posts. I was flattered the other day when someone asked me why I’ve been MIA on SnapChat. Behold! People DO watch! Anyways – I haven’t been posting for a couple of reasons. Work and life have been a little crazy lately, and sometimes, the last thing you want to do when you get home is play with makeup! YES… Can you believe I said that? I just haven’t had the urge to take photos, edit them, post swatches, do my nails. Who am I these days? I’m hoping to get back into it, but a good reason I haven’t been posting much is because I’m focusing on myself.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I’ve taken up a new lifestyle. Since late February, I’ve been eating better, exercising… the works, and I feel fantastic. I’ve lost about 25 pounds, and still have a ways to go until I hit my goal, but that’s not the point. The point of all this is to make myself feel good again, both mentally and physically. I wanted to gain confidence back again, which I have, and I wanted my body to feel more energized, which it is. I’ve been getting up a few days a week to get to the gym at 5:15AM, and when I get home after work, I just want to prepare for the following morning and relax… the main reason for my lack of articles.
As someone who has trouble sticking to a particular lifestyle, I’ve found a few things that have kept me on track. A few of them are legit and a few may be a little nontraditional. But I figured I would take a moment to share what is helping me with my healthy lifestyle journey!
There’s this ongoing debate about FitBit. Do they work? Are they accurate? Regardless – I think it’s awesome and I love mine so much! The default goal is 10,000 steps a day and as someone who works in an office, it’s amazing how difficult that is to attain. Each hour, my FitBit reminds me to get up and take 250 steps… it literally forces me to get moving. You can even do challenges with friends, which is fun, although a little nerve-wracking! Every time I’m at home sitting, I see that a friend is about to pass my daily steps and it makes me want to get up and move around a bit. What I also love is that it tracks my exercise, and really keeps my mind at ease when it comes to physical activity. And let’s not forget about the adorable, interchangeable bands!
YES! My beloved Ninja Blender! Every morning for years, I’ve eaten cereal, and while that’s not bad, I got into the rut of having it each and everyday, and it often left me hungry. I needed to get more vitamins, proteins, fruits, and veggies in my system, and I’ve discovered that smoothies were my way to go. Each morning, I have a delicious smoothie, and while at first, I didn’t think it filled me, within a week or so, I noticed that I would, in fact, remain full longer! I invested in the Ninja Blender from BJ’s, which came with different size blending cups, a food processor, cooking guide, etc., and I couldn’t be happier. The blender is HUGE, but it was one of the best investments I’ve made. What I love most is the AutoIQ, which blends my smoothies just enough. I can’t explain how it works, and I don’t care… it’s awesome… let’s just leave it at that!
With my smoothies comes protein! Each morning I put a scoop of Vanilla or Chocolate Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder in my drink and it tastes awesome. The quest for a good protein powder is a challenge and as someone who didn’t know their ass from their elbow in the world of nutrition, the amount of protein powders on the market is overwhelming. What I’ve learned is that Gold Standard is the purest form of whey protein, and that’s all that I wanted! Certain powders have a variety of benefits, but I didn’t want to make it complicated. Protein powder can be expensive, but it seems to last awhile and in the long run, it’s totally worth it!
I have become obsessed with workout clothes… mainly leggings! I tried to buy cute workout shirts, but I always go back to basic black tanks. However, adorable leggings are my thing! I have a lot of black leggings with minimal designs, but I also have two pairs that I call my “funky pants” that make me feel cute AF! One thing I’ve learned is that workout clothes are freakin’ expensive! Seriously… no reason a pair of leggings has to be $90! Frustrating! So, as always, I turned to Old Navy… my ride or die brand! I’ve been shopping at Old Navy forever because they are one of the few brands that carry TALL pants and shirts, and at 5’9 I often need that extra length. Their Go-Dry leggings are so unbelievably comfortable, and the designs are so pretty! I literally check back a few times a week to see what new items they have for sale, and between my rewards points, and their frequent sales, I make out well! If I’m going to workout, I’m going to try and look cute while doing it!
Yup… relying on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Jet has kept me on track more than you know! I’m one of those people that hate going to the store. I hate supermarkets, I’m not big on malls, and as you could imagine, all my Christmas shopping is done from the comfort of my own home. I’m not even kidding, if I had to go to the store for all the accessories, clothes, food, etc., I’ve been investing in, I probably wouldn’t be sticking to my lifestyle. Such a first world problem, but it’s who I am. I’m a proud Amazon Prime Member, and I’ve bought so many items on there from BCAA Powder and protein bars, to duffle bags and foam rollers. If I want something to help better my routine, Amazon is the way to go! As for Jet… ohhhhh, my Jet! I’m obsessed! I’ve done ALL my food shopping on Jet. I don’t do the frozen packed shipments as much, but I have and it works. But if I need snacks or other nonperishable items, I head to Jet and get the shipment the next day! It’s so awesome. And let me just say, that when I have had a rare issue, their customer service is amazing!
Well, duh! Of course the gym is helping me! I was even hesitant to list it, but let’s face it, without it, I wouldn’t be as successful as I have been. I think I go to a great gym! I don’t have any other ones to compare it to, but I really like it. There are tons of machines, the staff seems really nice, it’s really clean, and I like the amenities. I love the sauna and sit in it for 10 minutes after my workout. The only thing I’m struggling with is getting into Strength Training. My gym has sooo many machines, that it’s a bit overwhelming to even look at all of them. One day, when it’s quiet, I have to explore. I know once I get into it, I’ll be fine. In the meantime, I’ll stick with my cardio!
UPDATE: I’ve started strength training! I’ve only done it a few times, but I’m really excited about it! I’ve worked up a few plans, so maybe once I get into the swing of things, I’ll post all about my routine!
My husband kept telling me to take a before photo, but I refused, and I’m honestly kicking myself for not doing so. Granted, I’ve been taking old photos off Facebook, but I should have done all different angles. Oh well! Anyways – sometimes, I’ll take a full body shot if I’m feeling really good about myself. If I really like the picture, I will grab one from Facebook and use my Collage App for a side-by-side, and it makes me feel great about myself! I keep a few of these photos to myself, but once in awhile I get brave enough to post one, and the feedback is always so motivating! I don’t post it to look for attention, but getting the little boosts of encouragements, the “You go girl!” makes all the difference in the world and pushes me to keep going!
I’ve discovered the true beauty of Trader Joe’s and I’m obsessed! I always thought it was this expensive store considering they have a lot of health food items, but nope! It’s quite reasonable, and it’s probably the only store I look forward to going into. Here I was, buying makeup all the time, but I’ve cut down! I use my money for my weekly trips to TJ’s! They have the most delicious snacks, really fresh fruit, and, like I said, decent prices! I even bought my own reusable bags and feel like a “regular” when I walk in!
Some fun, delicious recipes I made from Pinterest!
Vague… but true! Social Media has really made all the difference in the world and helps keep me motivated and on track better than ever before. My go-to’s are Pinterest, Instagram, and SnapChat! On Pinterest, I’ve found the most amazing recipes! I have “Secret Boards” of all types of health stuff from dinners to popsicle recipes, fashion to exercise. I could seriously spend hours scrolling through! For Instagram, I make sure to turn on notifications when motivating accounts post something. I follow PopSugar Fitness (who has been amazing in giving me the advice I need – seriously – sign up for their daily newsletters!), FitandFiesty, Greatist. It’s kind of nice throughout the day checking my notifications and seeing something inspiring. For SnapChat, it’s basically the same thing… I follow motivating figures in the health and fitness community. And OMG, let’s not forget about YouTube! I have discovered some fantastic motivators that I follow on all social media outlets. Love Sweat Fitness, Jessica Gilmartin, and my current favorite, Whitney Simmons. Sometimes, their exercises could be a bit much (mainly just intimidating to an amateur like me), but their videos with tips, tricks, monthly faves, really help me discover some pretty cool things!
Okay – so I’m not going to sit back and say you should rely on a scale… NO WAY! Even though I like seeing the numbers drop, the real way to tell if you’ve lost is by measuring. Ask yourself…. Do your clothes fit better? I’ve already gone down almost three sizes, so yeah – that feels better than seeing the number on the scale. But – it can be fun to keep track, especially with a Smart Scale. There are many on the market… some better than others, some more expensive. However, I’ve found the RENPHO Body Fat Scale on Amazon and I love it. Not only does it measure your weight, but it measures your BMI, Body Fat, Body Water, Skeletal Muscle, BMR, and more! Do I know what it all means and now it works? Hell no! But it’s great to have everything in front of me on their very own app that syncs up with the scale, and helps me obtain a better understanding of my body.
Motivation from Family & Friends
Let’s face it… it’s nice to hear “You look great” or “You’re such a bad ass”. Having people in my life that notice these little changes really makes all the difference in the world. My friends have been so great and supportive, and my family sees such a difference in me. Sometimes I think “Wow… I must have been a lazy b*tch before….” But I kind of was. I feel like a different person these days and it feels great. Do I like to veg out and do Netflix marathons… DUH! Of course! And I certainly do not deprive myself of food! You have to indulge otherwise you’ll go crazy!
A huge motivating factor has been my husband, David. We are doing this together! He started his healthy lifestyle about a month before mine, but we encourage each other. We go for walks, we share what we ate for the day… we’re eachother’s cheerleader! I’m so proud of him for working hard… he looks fantastic and I could tell he feels great! We don’t workout together because we have different schedules, but we always ask eachother how our workout was. It’s so great having someone else in the house that’s changing themselves for the better. We’ve even got our dog walking more and getting into shape!
Bottom line – I feel great. Do I feel tired sometimes? Yes. Do I have my off-days? Yes. Do I have cheat days? All the time! I am human, afterall! But as long as I keep myself on track, I feel so good about myself!