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!!

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 🙂



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.


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. 


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



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.


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.


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.

10 Rules for Smart Ebay Shopping


So I know most of my posts are DIY oriented but I’ve come to realize, I’m kind of an Ebay expert shopper. (No big deal or anything) But as such, I also have come to realize that Ebay can be the best and worst place to shop depending on how you use it. So, as self appointed Ebay Expert Shopper I thought I would provide some tips on how to save money, avoid scams, and get what you want out of your products.


ALWAYS check the feedback of a seller before buying anything from them. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid sellers whose number of negative feedback accounts for 25% or more of their total feedback. Anything less than that, then you can generally attribute negative feedback to a frustrated buyer who was the rare victim of the occasional fluke in a seller’s normal operations.


When possible, opt for items that have a real life photo instead of a product photo that you would see in a catalog. One reason this is important is that it allows you to obviously inspect the product prior to purchasing it, whereas with a stock photo you will only see the product at its prime. Which, lets be honest, is not the norm with Ebay items. Another reason is that sellers who take the time to photograph their own products are generally more invested in the product they are selling and take pride in its quality. So in summary, if the items photo is a stock photo be prepared for a poor quality item.


Don’t write off an item just because it sounds too good to be true. It’s Ebay, “too good to be true” happens. The reason that so many products will sell on Ebay for dirt cheap prices is that a large portion of sellers on Ebay are wholesale sellers or mass produce their products to such an extreme that they sell the overstock on Ebay. If a product is selling for $1 it may be terrible quality, BUT there is a good chance it will be just fine. I’ve bought multiple rings and bracelets off Ebay for $1 or less and have never had problems. Trust your instinct.


This one is specific to cell phones you’ll find on Ebay. I was recently in the market myself to buy a cell phone and perused Ebay for one. BE CAREFUL. Ebay is wonderful, but is also a hotspot for sellers to sell off stolen cell phones. For those of you that don’t know, stolen cell phones CANNOT be reactivated. A way to avoid such cell phones is to look in the description and see if you see the words “GOOD ESN” or “BAD ESN”. A bad ESN indicates the phone will not be able to be activated ever again as it was reported stolen or something of that nature. Unless you’re looking for cell phone parts, do not buy these. Warehouse sellers of cell phones are always guilty of accidentally selling stolen phones. So again, beware. Check the feedback, if others report the phone having a bad ESN you need to be prepared for yours to also be.


Avoid sellers with return policies that will charge you or will simply refuse to accept returns. It is simply too often a way for sellers to make easy money. Sell you a terrible product, refuse to accept a return. You’re stuck with a piece of junk and they’ve made a quick buck.


Contact the seller with questions about the product prior to purchase. Seriously, make up questions if you have none. Contacting the seller ensures that they are actually open to contacting you. There is nothing worse than purchasing a product, being dissatisfied, and then being stuck with it because the seller won’t respond to you. Establish contact ahead of time.


Never, ever, ever, place a bid before you absolutely have to. I don’t know why its so hard for people to realize, but the more you bid the more the price goes up. If you bid 3 days before the end time, many other people will outbid you numerous times before it sells thus raising the price more than it needs to. Inevitably, the price will go up as someone else is going to be bound to bid. But a way for you to keep the costs down is to wait till LITERALLY about the last 10 seconds before placing a bid. I usually bid about 10 seconds before an auction ends and almost always win auctions as a result.


Watch lists are your best friends. Put multiple versions of an item on watch lists and watch the item to see which retains the lowest price. Then bid, at the last second!


Download the Ebay app on your phone. It sounds silly, but downloading the app will enable you to be so much more successful. It will remind you ahead of time when an auction is closing so you can get yourself prepared to make a final bid without having to run to a computer or miss an auction because you weren’t at the computer.

RULE #10

Beware of the “Ebay Buyer Protection”. Honestly, that entire thing is a way for Ebay to cover its butt against angry customers who don’t get what they want or get scammed. But in all honesty, there is not much that Ebay can do for you if you get scammed or can’t get in touch with a seller. The only things Ebay can do for you is disable their account and get you in touch with Police in your area or their area. Aside from that, there is nothing they can do. Don’t be expecting full refunds from Ebay themselves if things go awry, it won’t happen. Its between you and the seller. NOT Ebay.