Motivation Monday: Real Rewards

Today's Motivational Monday serves as a kick in the rear end and a reminder of what happens so often as we journey towards a healthier lifestyle. I have seen so many tweets, Facebook statuses, and picture uploads of my friends who have a fitness or health goal, accomplishes a milestone, and then chooses to "reward" themselves with a big slice of chocolate cake.

Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with chocolate cake if that is your thing (I prefer a heavenly slice of strawberry cheesecake myself); what I am saying is that if you lose a pound, or cut a few seconds on your 1-mile run, or you increase the weight on your power-lifting, that is awesome... but do not go feed yourself as a result, especially with junk food.

I love the quote above because it accurately compares how we reward our beloved four-legged friends and we reward ourselves. We treat them with food. Anyway we choose to treat ourselves should always be in line with our goals, not go against them.

My gift to you this week are my five favorite ways to properly reward myself when I succeed:

5. Try a New Healthy Recipe - For someone who does not LOVE cooking with all of her heart, I do get excited when I find a new recipe that is both healthy and delicious. New recipes get me excited about cooking, and sometimes help pull me out of a slump of repetitive meals. I have not tried it yet, but I would recommend taking a cooking class with some friends. I know it would be a fun time, and of course, learning something new is always a plus!!

4. New Digs for the New Shape - A great way to reward some weight loss success is to purchase a new outfit, pair of shoes, or bathing suit (something to show off that slimmed down figure). I personally do not do this for every pound I lose, but maybe for incremental goals. For example, for every ten pounds, you can purchase a new pair of jeans or shoes. You can also keep the reward within your goal by purchasing a new pair of workout pants or dumbbells. You always feel more amazing in new clothes after you have worked for it.

3. A Visit to the Salon - A perfect addition to celebrating your fitness goals is with a new 'do. Treat yourself to a new cut, some fresh highlights, or just a basic shampoo and style (because there is nothing like having some one else massage your head for you during a wash). It does not have to be dramatic or expensive, but it will make you that much more confident in your other goals and give you a pep in your step.

2. New Cosmetics - A great way to show off a new look is with some of your favorite cosmetics, mine obviously being from Artistry Cosmetics & Skincare through my marketing business, Rivers Empire. Once again, you do not have to go crazy and break the bank, but a simple purchase of your favorite lip color or mascara will give you that boost of confidence to tackle your next health goal.

1. Get a Massage - This is my personal favorite. I call them my "Monthly Monday Massages." I make sure to get at least one, once a month; usually at the end or beginning of the month. I choose to reward my hard work in the gym weightlifting with some much needed relaxation. The awesome thing is that I do not splurge by any means. I have standing monthly appointments with the Houston School of Massage, where I can get an hour long massage for only $30 from one of their students. Everyone wins!!

People who reward themselves with food, have a higher chance of overeating, feeling guilty, and giving up on their goals. Find other ways to celebrate your successes in the gym that keep you focused and fresh! Come up with your own list of rewards to motivate you to push harder and go farther.

Remember, fitness and wellness are supposed to be fun!!

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia 


Monday Motivation: Just Eat Healthy

I know we have all heard it, said it, lied about it, and have slipped up on it: DIET. A funny article I once read stated that there was a reason the word DIE was in "diet." I mean, you have to admit the word itself sounds so limiting and repulsive; I have even heard people turn down food and say the words "No thank you, I am on a diet" with such remorse, that I felt guilty.

But no more. That was yesterday and today is... well, today. I refuse to say the word diet. I personally think it is putting a label on a healthy lifestyle and therefore, making it sound like a bad thing. The tag line of my blog refers to health and fitness being a way of life, something you make an investment in for your long-term benefits.

So people of the world, mainly the small following who read this blog, it is time to remove the word "DIET." From now on, this shall be our response on choosing to eat smart:

See, doesn't that sound so much better? I eat healthy. It takes away the stress of feeling like you are punishing yourself, when you are really choosing not to partake in certain foods, because you know you have healthier options. Simple.

For the past week I have been fasting, and for those who have not heard (considering that fact that I have not told many people) I am transitioning from a omnivore to a herbivore. That is right. I am slowly preparing myself to become a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian. A what?

That is just a long and fancy way of saying I will eat vegetables, but still enjoy dairy (lacto) and egg (ovo) products. Since I am training in bodybuilding, I still want to be able to get my protein and strengthen my lean muscle tissue.

I will start with this being my diet only 75% of the time (Monday -Friday). Then on the weekends I will allow myself chicken breast and fish only making me semi-vegetarian, I suppose.

The point is, that I am choosing to make a different lifestyle choice when it comes to what I eat. Why am I bringing this up? Simply because when someone offers me a delicious, grilled beef burger, I can kindly say, "No thank you, I do no eat meat." It gives me the power, instead of having to say no because I am on a d _ _ _.

As people striving to live healthier lifestyles, we must not only be careful of what we do and consume, but our attitude and reasoning behind.

Stand firm on your health choices and be proud of them. Everything is not for everybody. Trust me, I am not encouraging or promoting vegetarianism if it is not your thing. I love a hot slice of bacon and a delicious burger, often together.

This transition for me is something personal that I want to do. And it is temporary. At any time, I can make the same switch to go back to adding lean meats to my regular meal plans.

Make the most of your workouts and meals this week. Enjoy them, and know your WHY for doing them. Action without purpose is pointless.

Make it a Magnificent Monday!!

Until next time...

~ Q. Olivia