10 Tips to Help You Lose Weight

Let’s face it – losing weight is difficult. But by realizing a few key things, you can make that journey a lot easier. The main thing you HAVE to realize before trying to embark on a weight loss journey is simply this: true weight loss MUST involve a life style change. Your weight loss will never be sustainable until you make a conscious effort to maintain a healthier lifestyle! This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I gained about 20 pounds during my college years and it wasn’t until my final semester of college that I finally began to lose that weight. In fact, I lost about 25 pounds and have been able to keep it off. So if you are truly ready to take the first step into your weight loss journey, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Calories are OK, as long as you are burning more calories than you are eating.

Calories are, by definition, units of energy. Therefore, their purpose is to supply your body with the energy it needs to sustain you throughout your day. As such, the amount of calories your body needs is determined by how active you are throughout your day. Someone who exercises an hour a day needs more calories in their diet than someone who leads an inactive lifestyle. When trying to lose weight, many doctors agree that a 1,200 calorie/day diet will lead to successful weight loss for MOST people. To help you track the amount of calories you take in, I highly recommend downloading a calorie tracking app for your phone or investing in a fitness tracker/step counter enabled with a calorie counter. Personally, I use a Jawbone fitness tracker and found it to be an invaluable tool in my weight loss!

2. Don’t eliminate the unhealthy foods you love from your diet.

Everyone has heard the saying, “Everything in moderation.”, but it is so true when it comes to your diet. I honestly do not recommend diets that exclude desserts, chips, etc for the simple reason that it is almost inevitable that you will break your diet eventually to gorge yourself on the foods you have been depriving yourself of. It’s pointless. You can eat unhealthy foods and still lose weight. The trick is this: moderation and better choices. If you’re craving a dessert, then have a dessert! But maybe when you’re in the ice cream aisle at the grocery store, try opting for a quart of frozen yogurt, sherbert, or sugar free ice cream instead of the regular gallon of cookies and creme. Enjoy that bowl of ice cream! But instead of three scoops, opt for one!

3. Carbs are not the enemy, not using the carbs you eat is the enemy. 

Carbohydrates have obtained a pretty bad rap among dieters as a sure fire way to prevent weight loss. This myth drives me crazy!! Ladies and gentlemen, your body NEEDS carbs! Carbohydrates are one of the primary sources your body uses to create energy from food. They also help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. However, failure to actually use the carbs your body takes in will result in your body storing those unused carbs as fat stores. The secret here is, you have to match the amount of carbs your body needs with the amount of activity you do on a daily basis. A highly active competitive athlete will require a far greater amount of carbohydrates than someone who sits on the couch all day. You have to get in tuned with your body’s needs and expenditures!

4. Fiber, fiber, fiber!

If you want to lose weight, a high fiber diet is your new best friend. Your digestive track LOVES fiber! It helps your body to digest your foods and metabolize its properly to absorb all of the nutrients your foods have to offer! When you’re out grocery shopping, always look for foods that have high fiber contents! Fiber One has some great options for high fiber foods that taste wonderful! In addition, I highly recommend investing in fiber supplements!

5. Water, water, water!

Just like fiber is important to your body, water is invaluable in trying to lose weight! Numerous studies have demonstrated that individuals who keep well hydrated are better able to lose more weight than those who slack on their water intake. Your body is made up of 75% water. Virtually every process that occurs in your body, utilizes water in some way or another! So drink up! Invest in a reusable water bottle and be sure to keep it with you at all times so you can keep hydrated throughout your day!

6. Learn to love exercise.

I’ll be the first to admit, I used to absolutely hate working out. It was the biggest chore to make myself go to the gym! However, I’ve realized that once you get into the habit of going to the gym, it becomes a part of your day that you look forward to! Also, if you keep up with your exercise, I promise you will eventually begin to see results and notice favorable changes in your body! Seeing your body change for the better is the BEST motivator! While, yes you can still lose weight without exercising, a healthy lifestyle needs to include exercise. Exercising boosts mood, speeds up your metabolism, and increases self esteem! So get that booty movin!

7. Drink green tea.

Green tea is well known to be beneficial in weight loss. The reason for this is that drinking green tea improves and speeds up your body’s metabolism. The faster the metabolism, the faster your body burns calories and breaks down fat stores. So try to get AT LEAST one cup of green tea in per day. Personally, I love to get a cup of decaffeinated green tea in just before bed!

8. Do not weigh yourself everyday.

From experience, I can tell you that trying to weigh yourself on a daily basis is one of the quickest ways to kill your confidence about your ability to lose the weight. The reasoning for this is that it is NORMAL for your body’s weight to fluctuate a few pounds. It is NORMAL for you to be a pound or so heavier one day than you were the day before. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing the right things and aren’t going on your way to weight loss. It simply means you are human! Your body’s weight fluctuates based on the time of day, where you are in your menstrual cycle (for ladies, obviously), medications you’re on, etc. To avoid this problem, try weighing yourself every week or every other week. To that same effect, don’t read too much into the number on the scale! In a lot of cases, you may see a positive change when you look in the mirror, but may have gained a pound or two when you look at the scale! Pay more attention to your body’s appearance in the mirror than the number on the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat! If you’re losing fat and gaining muscle, you may actually gain some weight! That is OK!

9. Do not starve yourself.

Please, please, please, please, please – if you take nothing else away from this article, take this: do NOT starve yourself in an effort to lose weight. Not only will this strategy simply NOT help you lose weight, but it can be extremely dangerous to your body in multiple ways. In addition, starving your body of food can actually cause you to gain weight in the long run. When your body is deprived of the nutrients it requires, it will resort to storing whatever food you do eat as fat stores. In fact, many studies have concluded that eating small meals multiple times a day (instead of three big meals and nothing else) can actually accelerate weight loss. This is because your body’s metabolism actually speeds up while you’re eating! So please guys, EAT!

10. Just because a recipe or food label says “healthy” doesn’t mean it is.

A lot of times, people buy and consume foods that they assume is healthy, when in fact it isn’t at all. Ladies and gentlemen, do not trust the “healthy” label on your foods. Many times companies will decrease the amount of sugar or fat in a food so that they can label it “healthy”, when in fact they are actually just decreasing the sugar/fat and adding sodium or unhealthy additives instead. Read the labels! Often times “fat free” is the better option, but not every time!

 

Well that’s that everyone! I hope that these tips help you all in your journey’s towards healthier lifestyles!!

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Beauty: Do-It-Yourself Makeup Brush Cleaner!

This is literally the first time I have “Reblogged”. But I felt compelled. Ladies, My makeup brushes have NEVER been this clean since using this mixture of Vinegar, Warm Water, and Dish Soap to clean them! HIGHLY recommend this trick for cleaning your makeup brushes!!!
Try it out for yourself and see the amazing results!

So Fetch Daily

Like most girls, I use makeup everyday; if not twice, depending on the day. This, in turn, leads me to always using my makeup brushes! When you think about how often and where those brushes go, I feel I should be cleaning them as often as I wash my face, but I feel I can speak for most people when I say, I do not clean them anywhere near as often as I clean my room! I have used the wipes that can be pretty pricey. They range from $10-$15 with about 15-20 wipes, averaging about a $1 a wipe. Sure, they are a quick fix, but I feel they never get them as clean as they were when I bought them.

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Stop your acne once and for all!!!!

 

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So this post is honestly coming from a pretty happy place today! The past few weeks I have been trying a skin care routine that honestly has been a miracle for my skin, so I felt like I had to share it.

BACKGROUND INFO: 

Personal background, I have been the victim of moderate acne for about 5 or 6 years. Like everyone else, I feel like I’ve tried every possible drug store treatment out there. With almost every item, I would have about a week of relief where I would think “WOW, this stuff works!!”. But alas, another week or so went by and I was back to having acne all throughout my T-zone. About 3 or 4 years ago I finally tried Proactiv. And honestly, it was wonderful. With consistent and proper use, my skin was relatively clear. I still had a bit of acne, but it was by far the clearest my skin had ever been. But still, my skin was far from where I would have liked it to be which was CLEAR. Which brings me to this summer, when I finally discovered WHAT WORKS.

 

Everyone ready?

THE SECRET!!

Disclaimer: There is NO acne routine that will work for every person because not everyone has the same type or severity of acne. BUT, THIS is what worked for me and continues to work for me.

The secret is plain and simple: MULTIPLE PLANS OF ATTACK. You can’t face your acne with one cleanser or one scrub or one lotion and expect your acne to clear up and have completely clear skin. It just doesn’t work that way. Think of your acne as what it basically is, bacteria. With repeated exposure to one treatment, bacteria will develop immunity to that treatment. However, combating it from multiple different angles with different kinds of treatments prevents the acne (bacteria) from developing immunity. Thus, YOUR ACNE CAN’T WIN.

 

Products:

Now again, these products are simply the products that I personally use and have found great success in fighting my acne. They MAY NOT work for everyone. But I highly recommend them as they have worked miracles for me in my struggle with acne. 

Something to keep in mind is the basic kinds of defenses you will need: a scrub, cleanser, toner, fading cream/lotion (if you have acne marks like me), masks, peel.

The products I use are:

  • Proactiv 3 Step System: Cleanser, Toner, and Lotion
  • Neutrogena Deep Clean Long-Last Cleanser/Mask
  • Clearasil Ultra Acne + Marks Wash and Mask
  • St. Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub Blemish and Blackhead Control
  • Iman Time Control Skin Tone Evener
  • Porcelana Night Skin Lightening Cream
  • Skin Laboratory Salicylic Acid 20% Gel Peel

 

Now as far as routine goes, there isn’t a “routine”. Mix it up. Generally I use the Proactive 3 Step System and Iman Time Control Skin Tone Evener every morning. However, I mix up my products at night. Some nights I will use Proactiv again, but other nights I’ll use the St. Ives Scrub followed by the Peel then followed by the Iman Time Control Skin Tone Even and Porcelana Night Skin Lightening Cream. 

As far as both the masks go. Use them each about twice a week. If you feel like your skin has been more oily than normal, go for the Neutrogena mask designed to reduce shine. On the contrary, if your skins been doing well on shine, go for the Clearasil mark fading mask.

A little note on the peel, BE CAREFUL WITH THE PEEL. I know that sounds intimidating and I promise its not that bad, but DO NOT get it on your lips or inside your nose, or in your eyes. Just don’t. Second off, it will burn. It just will, its a peel here people. BUT, its not that bad. Its more of a sharp tingle if you ask me. And the more you use it, the more used to it you get. Also, do not use this in combination with the Proactiv 3 Step System, it will be far too drying for your skin. 

This post was more for informing you guys about products that I have found WORK, not for telling you how to use them. You know your skin better than I do, try out the products and gauge when you should use each of them. I feel confident that they will begin to work for you!

GOOD LUCK!

DIY: Turn a Corkboard into a Chalkboard!

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Anybody else have an old corkboard lying around? Maybe its got some tears in it, dirty, old? Yeah. I had one of those too. So, if you can’t tell, I’m pretty obsessed with chalkboarding everything. I think its genius!!!! So as I was decorating my apartment, I decided I wanted a big ole chalkboard right in the middle of my hallway for us to write on! So instead of buying one, I decided I was going to find a way to turn my old, torn up corkboard into one!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • A corkboard
  • Chalboard Paint
  • Foam Brushes
  • Putty Knife, Actual Knife, Anything really that you can scrape with
  • Chalk

1: First, what you want to do is lay  your corkboard on the ground and check it to see if there are any holes in the corkboard where you can see through to the bottom layer. If there are, this is where you will start the next step. If not, start at an edge or a corner.

2: Use your putty knife or scraping tool and dig into the cork layer. Under the cork is a smooth, hard surface that should be some kind of a brown color and have small little TINY TINY holes in it. Dig your scraping tool through the cork until you hit that layer. Then begin to scrape under the cork layer and across the top of the bottom layer. DON’T DIG DOWN after you’ve already gotten through the cork. You’ll just make holes if you do that and it won’t turn out quite as well.

3: Ya’ll, I won’t lie. This kind of took me awhile, but it was worth it for the finished product. But what you have to do is go through and scrape off the cork bit by bit. There will be parts where huge pieces will come off together, so it isn’t as bad as it sounds really!!

4: After you have scraped off your cork, run your hand across the top to make sure its nice and smooth. If it isn’t, use your scraper to scrape off any excess cork.

5: Take your chalkboard paint and foam brushes, and paint across the surface where the cork used to be!

6: Let it dry. It might take you two coats, but chalkboard paint is usually pretty thick and covers most surfaces easily. I used one coat and just touched up parts with a second coat.

7: If you want, you can do what I did and use another color of acrylic paint to paint the edges of your board!

8: ENJOY!! Chalk up your chalkboard!!!

Kick Depression In The Butt! (NO Meds Necessary!!!)

Self explanatory title. BUT ANYWHO. This post is something that has really been weighing on my mind the past few weeks so here it is. Like anyone else in the world, I have my ups and downs. I get depressed, manic, the whole nine yards. But the last few months, lets just say they were rough. My depression got pretty darn bad. There was a few points where I literally just didn’t feel like there was anything that would make it better, I felt hopeless. By the grace of God (literally), I was able to muster up enough energy and motivation to sit down and think through ways I could help myself out. So in the rest of this post I will explain to you the process I went through and let me tell you this – I am 150% happier, more energized, more hopeful than I have been in MONTHS. My hope is that this post will help you all achieve the same 🙂

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FIRST OFF

So you know that little voice you have in the back of your mind when you’re depressed? The one that’s feeding your depression with comments like “you’re worthless”, “no one likes you”, “you’re too fat”, etc? I know I do. After thinking for a bit I realized that it was precisely the dominance of this voice in my head that was preventing me from moving past my depression. So as a result I pinpointed that as a target that needed to be destroyed.

BUT HOW???

Alright, so this next part is going to seem completely counterproductive. But I assure you, its necessary. What you’re going to need to do next is listen to that voice. Write down a list of all of the most prominent things your depression echos to you. For instance your list might look like:

-I’m ugly

-I have no friends

-I’m fat

At this point, I know you all are thinking “this chick is just trying to make us worse than we already are”. I know it seems like that, sorry! But here’s where it gets better! Take a look at the list of things you just wrote down. These are some of the things that are preventing you from moving forward. Now take that list and write down reasons WHY these things get you down. For example, using the list used above:

-I’m ugly –> Ugly hair, broken out skin

-I have no friends –> self explanatory

-I’m fat  –> Stomach pooch

NOW you’re all thinking..”this is supposed to be better?” I’m getting there! Take those explanations of why these things get you down and go through them individually. One at a time brainstorm ways you can overcome each of these things individually.

This. Is. The. Hard. Part. 

Trust me I know. When you’re suffering from depression its hard enough just to get out of bed, let alone enforce big changes in your own life. But that ounce of motivation you have in the back of your mind to overcome your depression, that’s the driving force that must be brought front and center in order to overcome this!

-I’m ugly –> Ugly hair, broken out skin —–> hair color, cut/derm appointment

-I have no friends –> self explanatory ——-> join a new club

-I’m fat  –> Stomach pooch ——> find an ab routine

FORCING yourself to carry through with these simple tasks will help you to resolve some of the things that are holding you back, one by one. The simple act of making this list and brainstorming ways to help yourself is EMPOWERING. 

MOTIVATE YOURSELF

Now, the age old question. How do you motivate yourself? Motivating yourself to do the things you need to do is hard enough when you’re not depressed. Trying to motivate yourself when you are, well its pretty difficult. But LUCKILY, it IS possible. For those of you that are Pinerest addicts (like myself) you’ve undoubtedly seen the little uplifting quotes they have on the quotes page. In passing they really just seem like oh how cute, and you carry on with your day right? In our case, wrong. WORDS ARE POWERFUL. Use them.

For myself, I selected about 10 different quotes that I found to be really inspiring and motivational every I read them. A few of mine were:Image

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Just to demonstrate a few. After selecting these, I printed and cut them out. Then I picked a spot where I KNEW I would see them on a daily basis, multiple times a day. Where else for a girl to put them, but on the bathroom mirror. I lined the right side of my mirror with these quotes and forced myself to read at least one or two EVERY TIME I walked into my bathroom. Even though this seems like such a small gesture, the positive impact is unmistakable.

EXERCISE AWAY THE BLUES

Yeah, if you’re like me you just read this header and said “Wellllllll crap”. TRUST ME, I am not a fan of working out at all. I am most likely one of the laziest people you would ever meet, as a result, exercise really was never a big part of my day. However, there is a reason doctors tell you to exercise at least a little every day. Not only will it keep you in shape, remove toxins from your body, and make you look snazzy, but they also can help drastically diminish symptoms of depression (and anxiety).

“I don’t believe you”

It’s fine you don’t have to. But believe science my friends! Working out is scientifically proven to boost the release of a chemical in the body called endorphins. If you’ve ever seen Legally Blonde, yall know what I’m talking about. Endorphins are chemicals that diminish your body’s perception of pain while simultaneously boosting mood, promoting positive outlook, boosting self confidence, and improving sleep patterns. In other words, exercise may be the best thing that has ever happened to you if you’re ready to be through with depression.

ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE

Humans, by nature, are creatures of habit. Once a habit is formed, it’s extremely difficult to break. Which is part of the reason depression is so hard to move past. We get into such a set routine of negativity and hopelessness that our depression is constantly fed. If we truly want to say goodbye to endless bouts of depression, the way to do it is through developing and maintaining positive habits. Habits like daily exercise, positive self talk, looking at motivational quotes, anything and everything that works for you in giving you a boost!

Good luck to all of you! Remember, there is NOTHING that you cannot overcome! God bless!

 

I would like to add that if any of you EVER feel like you need someone to talk to, someone that has been there and really knows what you’re going through. Feel free to email me at this contact: livinglifeyourownway@gmail.com I will check that email everyday! More often if I get lots!

How To Make Ramen Vegetarian

So if you’re a vegetarian college student like me, you may or may not have noticed that one of the staple foods in any college diet is NOT vegetarian/vegan. Top Ramen, and almost any other instant noodle brand like it, comes with a block of noodles and a packet of seasoning. The noodles are completely vegetarian and free of animal products themselves, its the seasoning that will get you if you’re a vegetarian. In any of their flavors, the seasoning packet will contain some kind of beef/chicken/shrimp powder which is basically just a dry form of broth.                          Image

As a broke college student myself, I was pretty sad to realize these 10 cent meals wouldn’t cut it for me and other vegetarians. So I set out in search of a vegetarian substitute that would be close in cost. Though I found now already made substitutes, I discovered a way to use these Ramen in a way that was vegetarian.

By substituting Vegetarian Vegetable Bouillon for the seasoning packets they include in the packages, you can easily make ANY flavor of Ramen instantly vegetarian. And it tastes good!

Image WARNING: Don’t use more than a half a cube for each block of ramen unless you want a salty overdose.

DIY: Chalkboard Upgrade to Plastic Drawers

DIY: Chalkboard Upgrade to Plastic Drawers

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So for this craft I had decided that the clear plastic stackable drawers chilling in my room were just not very attractive. If for no other reason than I wasn’t too psyched about the idea that my underwear was being stowed in a clear container for all to see! So for that reason, I started looking for ways to cover the drawers and make them cute! I saw lots of people using chalkboard paint to add flare to different items and thought to myself, maybe it would work for my drawers!

What you will need:

  • About a bottle and a half of chalkboard paint (You can make it yourself, look for the recipes on Pinterest!)
  • Chalk
  • Your Drawers
  • Foam Brushes

STEP ONE

So first, to start off take out all of the drawers and lay them on some newspaper on the ground. Literally all you have to do now is use the foam brushes to paint the drawers. Here’s where the pain in the hiney comes in though. Since the surface you’re painting on is plastic, it will take MULTIPLE coats of paint to get a thorough cover. I ended up only painting the sides and front and left the insides and back unpainted. But that is really up to you which parts you want to paint!

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STEP TWO

After applying the first coat of paint, let it dry for about a half an hour to forty five minutes before applying the next coats of paint.

STEP THREE

Once you have a nice, thick coat let it dry. Make sure there are no streaks or spots where you see plastic.

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STEP FOUR

After the drawers are all fully dry and smooth, put them back in the frame and mark them up with your chalk!

CAUTION: Be VERY light with your chalk. If you press too hard, especially too soon, you will tear through the layers of paint and have to repaint that area.