Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor.
What can I say, life is crazy. Bad things are happening all around us. It’s easy to let these things get to us and perhaps prevent us from doing anything to help. In the midst of a sad, angry and anxious state of mind we often want to escape it all and ignore it. I don’t have any answers as to why bad things happen to good people, but I do know the best remedy for the sadness you may be feeling about all of the tragedy occurring right now: help someone or something in need.
Helping others and showing we care is the best way to get out of our depression and possibly prevent more bad things from occurring. It’s been proven that when we perform unselfish, philanthropic acts it enhances our ability to heal and energizes us to keep going and do the next right thing. It’s also the best way to help our society by alleviating the ills of those who suffer increasing their ability to be a positive, instead of negative, force in society. Making contact and showing you care is a great way to do this.
These acts can be as simple as making a small donation to a cause you care about or even holding the door for someone. Everything counts. I am so grateful when someone stops to let me perform a left turn! Or another example is when the person in front of me at Starbucks buys my coffee. These are small examples, big ones could be becoming a mentor to a child who needs guidance and love, volunteering at your local boys and girls club, homeless shelter or hospital, going on a mission with your church…
Choose a cause you care about and think of ways you can help. It doesn’t have to be complex, simple gestures make a big difference.
What is a cause you really care about? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by this question, try and narrow it down to one or two that you can dedicate a little time and energy to.
I’ve been struggling with trying to combine my fashion and fitness expertise into one “brand”. I love both so very much and when I’m in the midst of either am so happy. I love the joy of putting together a killer outfit and the feeling a great workout and eating healthy bring to me. I struggle with how I can share these with the world in a streamlined, sensible way.
Nowadays the two go had in hand. Fashion and fitness are so intertwined for a few reasons. First, the emergence of Athleisure has made it not only fashionable but practical to dress in fitness apparel. That is if you’re doing it right of course! If you follow me on Instagram (@ugobabyfitness) you’ll know I work as a stylist at Saks Fifth Avenue in Boston, so I get to see all the latest styles come in. From Public School, Opening Ceremony, to even higher end designer brands like Fendi and Vehements, athletic is the latest aesthetic.
If you struggle with how you can sport this style here are some ideas I pulled from some Street Style sites.
Midriff baring tops are back big time. If you are comfortable enough rock the hell out of those sports bras wherever you go.
This i certainly a more bold look, red heels are a must in anyone’s wardrobe. They go with everything!
I love how Gigi pairs her gym outfit with an elegant coat.
This is your most basic athleisure look, I love it though. Simple and so on trend. The motorcycle jacket is everything right now.
I love how these heels pair with the striped pants.
You can wear sneakers with anything.
Some of these styles are a bit more bold than others, but they can help inspire you to get more fashionable, funky and even glamorous with your workout clothes. What’s your favorite athleisure look?
On my YouTube channel today I share some of my favorite booty shaping exercises. You can check it our here.
Below are some of the benefits of having a strong, perky behind, other than the obvious aesthetic reasons.
For many trainers the glutes are considered the “powerhouse” of strength and physical fitness. This is because the buttocks is the largest muscle group in your body and helps with most of your physical activity. Here’s more on the subject from Women’s Health Magazine:
The glutes are known in fitness circles as your body’s engine, not only because they’re the largest muscle group in the body, but also because they’re involved in most athletic functions, says Bret Contreras, C.S.C.S., coauthor of Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body. The glutes produce four distinct actions: extending the hips, swinging the leg outward, rotating the leg laterally, and tilting the pelvis backward. “Strong glutes increase your force and power during everything from sprinting, jumping, and squatting to climbing, swinging, and cutting from side to side.
I was the perfect example of why people get fat yesterday. I met a friend for coffee and made the mistake of going to the coffee shop starving! Normally I would try to eat something before hand or bring a healthy snack to hold me over. But let’s be honest, in real life sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
So I peruse the shop for something “healthy” to eat and there’s not much. Bagels and baked goods are the main attraction. This is why I try to arm myself from making bad dietary decisions when I’m out by eating something healthy beforehand. Instead I go for the delicious and calorie ridden coffee cake. Now, there’s nothing wrong with calories, we’re all taught in school that calories = energy. However there’s a BIG difference between good calories and what I like to call, negative calories. These foods give you very little energy and then leave you more tired and hungry afterword.
This coffee cake, as delicious and sumptuous as it was, basically held me over through my coffee date and upon getting into my car to go to the gym my stomach was rumbling in hunger. I forced myself onward to the gym, probably didn’t get in the best workout because all I could think about was lunch. I then came home absolutely famished and ready for a nap. So the problem lies here. I ate a calorie filled “snack” to tide me over that just left me even more hungry and willing to eat anything in site later in the day.
Point of this long-winded story is to make healthy choices, by choosing to eat unhealthy you will in turn eat more later to make up from your body being drained of energy trying to digest the negative calories you consumed.
In short: Eating healthy throughout the day will prevent you from eating more than you should.
Here are my go to “on the go” healthy snacks:
- Nature Valley Protein bars.
- Kashi trail mix bars.
- Fage yogurt. I like Chobani as well, but Fage has less sugar and you can control how much fruit you put in.
- Horizons Organic mozzarella cheese sticks.
- Almonds and cranberries.
I read this article yesterday on embracing your body and loving yourself just the way you are. We expect so much from ourselves and others. Often we want others to love us “just the way we are” but have trouble loving everything about ourselves, including our imperfections. We put ourselves down, body and soul. It’s human nature to be hardest on oneself which serves the purpose of helping us to be better people. But, as important as it is to try to be better, it’s equally important to love yourself.
The biggest inspiration for me to love myself and be confident in who I am is my children. I think about what I want for them and how I want them to feel. More than anything, I want them to have the utmost appreciation for who they are, where they come from, what they have to offer the world and most of all, to be confident. In order to teach them to be this way I realize I need to practice these skills myself.
A good way to kick off your day with confidence is to take a few minutes to appreciate YOU, body, mind and soul. Here are some mantras you can say to yourself when you wake up in the morning to kick-start your day with confidence:
- I am enough. I do enough, I have enough.
- I love myself. I am a beautiful, unique spirit. There is no one else quite like me.
- I let my happiness be visible to others. My happiness overflows from me. I can use my happiness to bring joy to others.
- I thank my body for taking such good care of me today. It is perfect and takes such good care of me.
- My body is a gift and I love and appreciate it just the way it is.
How do you practice appreciating yourself?
I used to get sick of hearing about fitness professionals and fit celebrities thinking of food as fuel. Even though I knew it was the right attitude to have, I thought it was silly and improbable that I could actually make choices based on the idea that I was fueling my body. I love the taste of food and that’s what I based my decisions on most of the time.
Nowadays I’ve completely adopted the attitude that food is meant for nourishing the body, not just for taste. A lot of it has to do with getting older. The effects of what I eat on my mind, body and emotional state are much more obvious than when I was in my twenties.
Mindfulness is another big component of adopting this attitude. I wake up in the morning and instead of not eating (do NOT skip meals!!) or eating an unhealthy breakfast, I realize the importance of starting my day off right. I make conscious decisions like eating whole wheat toast instead of white, or having egg whites instead of the whole egg and including calcium to balance out the meal like a glass of milk or yogurt. And of course adding some sort of fruits and vegetables to all your meals is key. I love avocado for any meal. It’s one of the most nutritious and filling foods you can eat.
Weight loss is not something you can focus on for a few months and then forget about. You need to make eating healthy your lifestyle. This is my mantra that I repeat over and over again to people who ask me how to get fit, stay fit and be healthy. If you struggle with weight loss and keeping it off you probably need to change your attitude about the whole process. Here are a few tips:
- Be patient. Whenever I hear someone talking about going on a crash diet it makes me cringe. Crash diets do not work in the long-term! Make a point of eating healthier and making better choices all day everyday and you will see the weight come off. Maybe not as quickly as you would like, but it will result in a lasting change that you can maintain.
- Take every opportunity you have to get some exercise. Every little bit counts! So walk to work, take the stairs and park a little further from the entrance than usual. You’ll be amazed at how much these little changes make a big difference. I used to walk to work everyday when I lived in the city, it was the main form of cardio I got and it worked for me.
- Get to know your body and what works for you. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. What works for one person may not work for another. Everyone is different so rely on how you feel personally to make healthy decisions regarding diet and weight loss.
- Love your body throughout the process. This is most important. Love your body for all it does and has done for you. DO NOT beat up on yourself. You are beautiful just the way you are and need to appreciate your beauty and use that confidence to motivate yourself to be better and take better care of yourself.
I love high intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of exercise can take on many forms. I like the tabata format, this effort ratio torches calories and you only need to do it for 10 minutes to see results.
Here’s how it works: pick an exercise that you can perform at high intensity for 20 seconds and then walk it out for 10 seconds. Do this for 4 minutes then rest for one minute. Then another 4 minutes and rest. I usually mix in some strength training in between, but for today just focus on doing the HIIT as many times as you can comfortably.
Fo these exercises in the 20/10 format.
1) High Knees.
3) Jumping lunge.
Comment below and let me know how you did and how many sets you were able to do. Don’t over do it! I don’t want you to hurt yourself and he too sore tomorrow. Do what feels comfortable while still challenging yourself!