10 Small Changes that Add Up to Big Results

10 Small Changes that Add Up to Big Results

You may think that losing weight and getting healthy is this big, elusive, undertaking and super difficult to do… but it doesn’t have to be! You can make small changes that add up to big results! Check out and try some of these ideas:

  1. Challenge yourself to drink 8oz of water before eating dinner each evening: Not only does this help you get some water in and your hydration up, it also helps you feel full faster! Eight ounces really isn’t much to drink at once, yet has such a great impact.
  2. Eat one fruit or veggie at each big meal- breakfast, lunch, and dinner: Just take it one meal, one small choice, at a time! So at each meal, make sure you have a serving of fruit or vegetables. This makes it manageable and one serving isn’t as big of a deal. You’re adding in three servings of fruit and veggies per day, just by this small change and that’s amazing!
  3. Get just 10 minutes of exercise each day to start with: Starting with a goal of ten minutes is small enough to not be daunting. Then you can add more if you feel up to it and eventually work your way up as you progress.’
  4. Park further away from the store entrances to get more activity and use the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator. It won’t take you much more time to take the stairs whenever you have the opportunity, or to park further away from the store entrance. The activity and benefits of doing these things add up big time!
  5. Grab a piece of fruit when you have a sweets craving: Instead of picking up a cookie or whatever other sugary treat, simply grab an apple or another fruit to eat. You will save a bunch of calories and there are wonderful health benefits to fruits!
  6. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef when you cook: Using ground turkey does taste different, I won’t lie. However, it isn’t that big of a difference. You can alternatively use lean ground beef too. This simple swap makes a huge difference in calories and fat content, which is so much healthier!
  7. Walk in place during commercials of your favorite evening show: When you watch your favorite evening show, get up and walk in place during the commercials. There is a good 15-20 minutes of commercials per one hour of TV. If you walk in place during each commercial, which lasts a few minutes each, it adds up to a lot of activity!
  8. Don’t always “clean your plate:” If you’re full or done for whatever reason, then stop eating, whether your plate is empty or not. Which is a bigger waste: eating extra calories your body doesn’t need, or throwing food away to prevent those extra calories from turning into extra weight on your body?
  9. Track your food: Take a few minutes to track your food after each meal or once a day- write the foods down in a notebook, track online through SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal, or simply whatever works best for you!
  10. Walk to do errands if they’re close to your house: If your errands are only a mile or so away, walk to get them done. You’re getting exercise in and running your errands at the same time!

All of these little shifts can be made one at a time, or by doing whatever works for you to start and then adding on as you move forward. They are relatively small changes or sacrifices, that add up to big results over time!

What small changes have you made that have added up to big results? Or what small changes can you make to improve your health or lose weight?

 

~Bonnie~

POWERFUL: My Word of the Year

POWERFUL: My Word of the Year

Choosing a word of the year has become more and more popular lately. Last year was my first year to participate in this idea and I chose the word UNSTOPPABLE for 2016. That is where I wanted the new year to lead me as a focus and a reminder to myself.

What unstoppable meant to me at the beginning of 2016 was that I was going to take the world by storm and not let anything get in my way! I was on a roll, feeling strong and confident, and ready to move forward. Now that the year has ended, I feel like the word wasn’t necessarily lived up to as much as it could have been by me. However, there was a lot that was beyond my control, and that’s okay!

did not give up and that is what unstoppable means to me now that the year is over. I may have taken a break in the middle of the year, for a few months, but after things calmed down to a more normal chaos level again, I was back at it! The most important thing is that I ended the year on a strong note- back on track with my eating for a few months, my blog and business moving forward, and looking forward to upcoming races in the year ahead! Therefore the word worked for me and I’m looking forward to my word for this year guiding me as well!

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I put my word up on the wall to constantly remind me: “I will be POWERFUL in 2017!”

There were quite a few words that I considered for this year: warrior, survivor, persistence, relentless, spirited, resilient, and finally… POWERFUL! It was more difficult to choose a word for 2017. Last year, I spent some time thinking about it and the word pretty much came to me. Then this year, I had to actively search out a word! I googled words, I googled “word of the year,” and scouted out what others were picking in hopes that I would find something that fit what I wanted the year to embody, as well as what I had been through.

Powerful

What does “powerful” mean to me for 2017? I want powerful to represent me and my various journeys this year. I have a lot going on and coming up soon, and I will be powerful as I accomplish each one. Here are some things I’ve got in the year ahead:

  • Half marathon for the second time in May.
  • Full marathon in November.
  • Publishing my first book in March, if all goes according to plan.
  • Writing other books and workbooks.
  • Serving others through my weight loss coaching.

I’m going to use my power for pouring my passions, skills, and enthusiasm into each task and activity. I am ready, I am powerful, and I will have a great 2017!

 

So, do you have a word of the year for 2017? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?

 

~Bonnie~

(Shared to the Think Tank Thursday & the Welcome Home Wednesdays link ups, hop on over to those posts and check out some of the other wonderful blogs!)

 

Mulling Over My Morning Coffee
A Review of 2016: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

A Review of 2016: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

2016 was a year full of ups and downs and while overall it was a bit of a rough year for me, there were still some pretty awesome things that happened as well. Some are healthy living related while others are more about my own self-growth. Here in this post, I am going to share the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. So come along for the ride!

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January Happenings

  • We decided that we were going to move back to our home state of California sometime in the summer… so exciting!
  • Mid-month I fell on the ice at the bottom of our ramp, which resulted in a bruised body from the impact, strained muscles that took a long time to go back to normal, and a bruised tailbone that still flares up from time to time.
  • Just as I started feeling good enough to return to exercise, I got sick.

 

 


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February Happenings

  • I started training for my upcoming half marathon with increasing my steps, walking outside when I could, doing my first interval training sessions of the year, and starting a self-compiled strength training routine for runners.
  • I had a tooth pulled, which was unplanned.

 

 

 


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March Happenings

  • This month I let my Be the Best You (www.journeytohealthyyou.wordpress.com) blog go, not necessarily by conscious choice. However, I didn’t have enough time or energy to keep it going.
  • Mid-month I had a tooth pulled again, this time it was planned ahead. Just when I thought I had the tooth extraction thing figured out, I was thrown for a loop with a long, hard, and more painful recovery.
  • Climbed trees, probably for the first time, with my niece and two young nephews. What a rush! It made me feel like a kid again.

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April Happenings

  • My first staycation started at the end of the previous month and lasted a couple weeks into this one. Such a nice break and I used as much of it as I could for rest and relaxation.
  • I worked to increase my steps 2-3 days a week and hit a new record for me of 25K steps!
  • I had two long training speedwalks in preparation for the half marathon- one 8 mile and one 10.5 mile, the last of which was in the rain for most of it and I persevered.

 


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May Happenings

  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon at the beginning of the month- I finished and had the time of my life! I even spent the next day with my cousin and her kids, whom I hadn’t seen in a few years and we took a light hike.
  • My parents went out to California to scout for apartments.
  • 2-year anniversary of my healthy living journey was on the 28th!
  • New bigger playground was installed in our community- my nephews and I were thrilled!

 


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June Happenings

  • We started packing things up for our move, which was a huge undertaking with six of us in the household.
  • I spent a good chunk of the month working on and struggling to get back on track with my eating, which had gone haywire during the previous month.
  • Started a new medication for my joint pain, which didn’t end up helping.

 

 


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July Happenings

  • There was lots and lots of packing to be done in preparation for our big move.
  • We had a dud of a community yard sale, which I ran mostly on my own but with help that made it a bit easier.
  • We sent out a rental application for the apartment complex that my parents had chosen as their first choice in California.
  • I had to change anti-depressants since the one I had been on before was not helping as much as I, or my primary doctor, had hoped.

 


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August Happenings

  • My parents’ dog, Daisy had surgery to remove a cyst-type thing. She did well with her recovery and soaked up all the extra attention!
  • My brothers and little nephews moved out on the 17th, we finished cleaning out my grandparents’ mobile home for its sale a few days later, and finally moved out of our own house on the 22nd. There was still a couple days of clearing out the remaining belongings. We learned that we always have more than we think we do!
  • We got stuck in a hotel room near where we lived in Indiana for over a week, and the rest of the month.
  • We said goodbye to my siblings, nephews, and nieces. The two youngest boys, my brother’s, were a huge part of my life and I was like a mother figure to them. It was so hard to leave them and I still miss them like crazy!

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September Happenings

  • We hit the road on the first of the month, for our cross country trek that took ten days. We spent a final twelve days in a hotel in our new city due to issues with our apartment that was supposed to be ready but wasn’t. We also had our dog and cat along for this big ride of hotel living and road tripping.
  • We finally moved into the apartment on the 22nd, after exactly a month in various hotels.
  • Then began the settling-in process. We hadn’t brought much furniture along with us, so getting what we needed after moving in was a focus at first, along with unpacking.

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October Happenings

  • I got back on track with my weight loss efforts a few days before this month started. The craziness of moving was finally over and I was able to refocus more effectively.
  • My birthday was this month as well. I am getting even closer to 30, wow!
  • I traveled to my hometown for a few days- reconnecting and visiting with a lot of friends and really enjoying the visit!

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November Happenings

  • Started my Inspire the Best You blog and business, undertaking a little bit of rebranding and starting over in a sense.
  • I took part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this month even though I was writing a memoir. I nearly finished the book too, which was such an amazing feeling!
  • I managed to get two, back-to-back, colds… lasting into December.
  • I went to my hometown again to visit with another cousin and her family, and had a great time there with her!

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December Happenings

  • Made lots of connections and progress with my blog and business, branching out much more than I could have ever imagined.
  • I continued recovering from the last cold I had.
  • We placed membership at a Church of Christ in our new city, finally.

 

 

The theme of the year was change, perseverance, and learning how to be a better aunt and mother-figure to my nephews. I got them outdoors a lot more than I imagined I could handle, and we did a lot of crafts and fun indoor things as well. As you can see, there were also a ton of big changes and other happenings. I learned to persevere, and push through whatever life threw at me! It has made me stronger and I finally feel like I was thriving as the year ended, which is a great feeling!

What were the highlights or big happenings in your year for 2016? What was your overall theme of the year?

 

~Bonnie~

(Shared on the Welcome Home Wednesdays link up, hop on over there and check out some of the other wonderful blogs!)

Helene in Between
FREE New Year’s Goals Coaching Session

FREE New Year’s Goals Coaching Session

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!

I hope you have a fun and safe celebration as you bring in the New Year, whether you’re going out or staying in this year!

“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”
-Zayn Malik

As part of bringing in a new year, I would like to offer a FREE 30-minute New Year’s Goals Coaching Session to you all! Set up your appointment here: Inspire the Best You Calendar.

We can discuss what your goals are for weight loss, healthy living, or self-improvement this coming year or for the month of January, if you prefer. I am only holding this specific free coaching session from Monday, January 2nd until Friday, January 6th, so go snatch up a session now!

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you figure out your goals and how you can go about accomplishing them!

“There are far better things ahead than any we may leave behind.”
-C.S. Lewis

For my views on New Year’s goals, check out these posts:

“So I close my eyes to old ends, and open my heart to new beginnings.”
-Nick Frederickson

Are you ready for new beginnings in 2017? Whether you are or not, take advantage of the coaching session this coming week! We can figure it out more together!

 

~Bonnie~

How to Have a Winter of Healthy Living

How to Have a Winter of Healthy Living

Winter can be a hard season to get through when focusing on a healthy living journey. I know, because I spent the first two winters of my journey in a snowy and very cold (to me) area in Indiana. Even when you live in a warmer winter climate, the short days, abundant illnesses sweeping through, and other factors can eat at your motivation and resolve to live a healthy life. Based on my experiences the past few winters, I’ve put together a list of tips on how to focus on healthy living and maintain a more upbeat mindset through the colder months.

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First of all, find alternatives that are appealing for your plan:

  • Exercise- if you’re unable to get outside for exercise, plan some energizing indoor workouts such as videos, yoga, walking in place, and dancing! If it’s snowy but you can get out, go play in the snow. Build a snowman, go sledding, make a snow angel, or build a snow fort. Other ideas might include going to an indoor family gym or a fitness center that allows you to join for a few months at a time.
  • Eating and nutrition- Most of us crave warm comfort foods during this time of the year. There are ways to do this while still practicing healthy habits, like making homemade soups or having low-sodium premade soups. Here are a couple articles about healthier soups: Healthy Soup Recipes from Eating Well and Healthiest Canned Soups from Livestrong for some ideas! Making healthier versions of other dishes like veggie noodles for pasta dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches with whole wheat bread and less butter. As far as hot drinks goes, there are quite a few we can enjoy this time of year as well: hot coco, coffee with minimal flavorings, and tea.

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.
Edith Sitwell

Second, focus on your goals.

Just because the weather changed, doesn’t mean that your goals have disappeared. It’s still important to pursue your goals throughout the colder months. My suggestion is to make weekly goals that will help you reach your long-term goals in a smaller, more manageable, manner.  Then you should review them and your progress at the end of each week to see how you’re doing and where you need to go from there. It’s a method that keeps you more focused because you’re able to create a smaller vision with smaller steps to get you where you need to go.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.
-John Steinbeck

Thirdly, do your best to stay motivated through these months.

I wrote a blog post a couple weeks ago about motivation, called How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight, and a lot of the tips in there can help you in regards to winter as well. Another tactic is to picture spring and summer, and how you want things to be then as far as your accomplishments and progress go. You can also look ahead to upcoming events, holidays, outings, and anything else you are looking forward to that will help you stay on track and looking to the future!

Not only that, but staying positive can help your motivation and mindset immensely. Think about the things in your day that are pleasant or bring you joy. Even in the darker, colder months, there is always something to be positive about! Celebrate those moments to make the days much more enjoyable and the winter seem less dreary.

When things seem dark and gray… Remember that you must keep pushing forward… focus on the small, little things in your day that can bring you joy!
-Heather Stillufsen

Lastly, be creative and make some visual incentives and encouragement for yourself.

  • A motivation board- A collection of graphics, quotes, pictures, and whatever else that represents your goals and your reason for moving forward each day. Some ideas for a winter-specific motivation board are:
    • What you’re looking forward to in the summer.
    • The goals you’re working on in the next 3-4 months.
    • What you would like to have accomplished by summer.
    • Any other ideas that will keep you motivated and inspired throughout the cold months.
  • Weight loss journal- Start or continue a weight loss journal in notebook or binder form. You can use it to track your progress throughout your journey. It’s never too late to put one together either! Some things I have included in mine:
    • Inspirational quotes.
    • Progress pictures.
    • A list of non-scale victories.
    • Accomplishments.
    • Races or other fitness events.
    • Essays and blog posts from my personal blog that I was particularly proud of or showed how far I had come.
    • A list of rewards I wanted or planned to get.
    • Fitness and nutrition pictures that were motivating.
    • A letter to myself about why I started my journey and what I wanted to achieve.

You can make these however you choose to make them. They are yours to create to work for you. Use them to keep you motivated. I know whenever I worked on either of these, I felt more motivated than I did in other moments because it was fun, exciting, and got the creative juices flowing!

What are your favorite ways or simply methods of staying motivated and on track through the winter months?

~Bonnie~

(Shared on the Welcome Home Wednesdays and Bloggy Brunch link ups, hop on over their pages and check out some of the other wonderful blogs!)

Let's Be Friends

31 Day Better You 2017 Challenge

I would love for you all to hop over and visit Tiffany from tamberdi.com‘s Better You 2017 Challenge. It will help you get off to a great start during the New Year and is full of ways for you to be able to build new habits and work towards your goals! So be sure to check it out and sign up if being a better you in 2017 is something you’re interested in!

“With many of the winter holidays over and the new year about to begin, what better way to start fresh than with a plan already made for you by me?? I’ve created a 31-day challenge to kick start your year off in the best way, leaving you prepared to create new habits and achieve your goals.”
-Tiffany

Her full post, complete with the link to join the challenge: Better You 2017: A Challenge to Be Your Best Self This January. You know this is one of your goals, so why not join and see how much progress you can make in a month!

 

~Bonnie~

 

3 Steps to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

3 Steps to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

The New Year is fast approaching, and 2017 will be here in less than a week now. This time of year tends to be full of reflection, planning, and hopes. Whether this past year has been great or horrible for you, I’m sure you’re hoping that the New Year has some wonderful things in store. I know I personally want it to be the year that I finally make a success with my new business and writing ventures. I also know that believing I can do these things will get me halfway there!

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

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Today I want to discuss with you a few steps that will help you make 2017 your best year yet:

Number one: Create a lifestyle around what you want, not just something that is temporary or that you’re simply wishing for. Think about what steps you need to take to get to your goal. Write them down, as well as the actions and things you need to accomplish in order to get there. Simply wanting or wishing for something to happen will not help you get there, you have to be willing to work at it too!

Number two: Make goals for yourself instead of resolutions. Some may argue that there isn’t much of a difference between these two terms, but I feel there is even if it is just all in our mindset. To me, the word “goal” elicits a meaning of planning and doing. You know that you have to do something in order to achieve it. While resolutions aren’t necessarily that different, the thoughts that come to mind when someone mentions the word are quite different. When I hear the word “resolution,” especially with New Year in front of them, I think of something that gets abandoned when things get too tough or the person loses interest. Therefore, I recommend a goals-type framework for whatever amazing things you want to accomplish this coming year. Here’s my process for the past few years: New Year, New You 2017. Making goals instead of resolutions has helped me immensely!

Number three: Make sure to plan and prepare for success. Like I mentioned in the first point, writing down what you want to accomplish and figuring out how you will get there can be very beneficial. You also should make sure you have any supplies or tools that you might need to get there. For example, if healthy eating is your goal, make a meal plan and a grocery list full of healthy foods that you can consume to help you succeed. If exercising three times a week is your goal, find some workout videos you can do, workout clothes and shoes to exercise in, or join a gym if that works for you. Whatever goal you have for the New Year, figure out what you need and either get it or make a plan for how you’re going to get it so that you can take that step when you get to it!

If you would like help with meeting your healthy living goals in the New Year, please check out my Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching PackageIt’s worth $179, but is on sale for $99 during the pre-order phase. It will go back up to it’s original price soon!

 

So tell me, what are your goals for the New Year and how do you plan on accomplishing them?

 

~Bonnie~

 

(This post is linked to the Coffee and Conversation Linkup and Bloggy Brunch Linkup, hop over and check out more posts on those blogs!)