Fit Mission: Take Your ‘Before’ Pictures ASAP

Fit Mission: Take Your ‘Before’ Pictures ASAP

Here's my most recent 'before/during' photo.

Here’s my most recent ‘before/during’ photo.

Do you take before and after fitness photos? If not, no pressure–but you should consider it. I regret having deleted so many of my ‘fat’/before photos over the years–I’m left with not so many to work with. But you can do better!

(Psst! Just an aside–our Dare to Bare 8-Week Fitness and Weight Loss Challenge started today! It’s not too late to sign up!)

Fitness Mission: Take your own before & after weight loss pictures

Take three full-body photos of yourself today–one from the front, one from the side and one from the back. File them in a secret folder if you like–you never have to show them to anyone if you don’t want to, they’re just for you.

Weight Loss Progress Photo Tips:

  • Show as much skin as you can stand in the photo (but keep your private bits covered, in case you later decide to publish them or share them in a progress video like I did.) This is one regret I have–I wish I’d taken a couple shots in a swimsuit or at least something that showed more of my actual body.)
  • Be sure you use a decent-quality camera if you can–but any camera will do if not.
  • Try to take the photo in a well-lit area and remember that this is supposed to be a VERY HONEST photo–so let it all hang out. Not only will it give you a better idea of your progress later, but if you’re like me, you’ll find it very motivating.

Do you find progress photos motivating in your weight-loss journey? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!

Before you go: are you trying to lose weight or have you already succeeded? If so, I want your story! I’m seeking guest weight loss and fitness bloggers.

Want to share your progress photos, weight loss tips, comments, thoughts or questions with the Project Blissful community? We want to hear from you! You can submit your post directly to us by visiting the submission page.

Dare to Bare Challenge Starts Today: The First Steps

Dare to Bare Challenge Starts Today: The First Steps

dont play it safe quoteDear DTB Challengers,

This is it! Today is the first day of our challenge, and I hope you’re ready to roll! Let’s do this. Here are the rules of the challenge for your convenience. And don’t forget, today by the end of the day you should have:

  1. Weighed yourself and recorded the weight.
  2. Joined our secret challenge group on Facebook (you can find the link in your email once you’ve signed up for the Dare to Bare Challenge .
  3. Visited the secret challenge group and posted an introduction of yourself.
  4. Exercised/intentionally moved for at least 60 minutes.
  5. Tracked your food. (Your choice on how—here’s how I like to do it!)
  6. Reviewed the challenge rules (below) and begun keeping track of your points.
  7. Had plenty of water to drink. I like to drink at least 64 ounces each day—more on heavy workout days.

By the end of the week, you should take your “before” pictures—the sooner the better. Keep an eye out for upcoming Bliss Missions and Fit Missions too!

Optional: Get a Leg Up in the Competition With Bella Vi

Because MTM Body and Project Blissful are both all about paying it forward, there is no fee to participate in the challenge. However, participants are encouraged to use the MTM Body supplements during the challenge. These supplements are all natural and formulated from a proprietary blend of specialized herbs that were designed to fire up your metabolism, suppress your appetite and curb sugar cravings. Plus, they’ll help detox your body, boost your energy levels, enhance concentration and alertness and accelerate fat loss.

“The powerful combination of natural plants allows you to lose weight without sacrificing your favorite foods,” MTM Body tell us. “You don’t need to change your daily habits to lose weight with Bella Vi.  You will lose weight safely without the use of dangerous chemicals, stimulants and additives.”

If you join our group challenge and choose to use the Bella Vi supplements, you’ll qualify for our special 10 percent group discount! Plus, you’ll have the chance to win free supplements doing the event.

Learn more about Bella Vi all-natural weight loss supplements and purchase them here.

Opportunities for Prizes

  • Weekly Prize Opportunities—There will be a minimum of two weekly prize opportunities for active participants. Winners will be selected on a number of factors, including points and participation levels.

 Sign up for the Dare to Bare Challenge for free!

  • Overall Prize Opportunity—One overall winner will receive a special prize pack from MTM Body. The winner will be selected based on the amount of points reported during the challenge, as well as the submission of before and after photos*.
  • Second, third and runner-up prizes will also be awarded.  Everyone who successfully completes the challenge will receive, at minimum, a certificate of completion and, we hope, the gift of several new and supportive fitness-minded friends. Most importantly, we hope each participant finds a new sense of self and a renewed zest for life as they get healthier during the challenge.

Learn more about Bella Vi all-natural weight loss supplements and purchase them here.

*Please note: When you submit your before/after photos, they remain your property and you continue to have all ownership rights. However, we reserve the right to use them in our publications at our discretion, as we see fit.

Six Ways to Earn Points

Participants will receive points each week for the duration of the challenge. Points can be earned by staying on track with your personal diet (eating healthy), exercising, drinking enough water, tracking your food and completing Bliss and Fitness Missions, among other things. This is about creating healthy habits—not just losing weight! Sometimes you will have opportunities to earn double points.

Sign up for the Dare to Bare Challenge for free!

Please note: It is up to you to keep track of your points. We ask that everyone in the challenge be bound to a code of honesty, and we’ll expect to see your progress in the form of before and after photos, to be submitted no later than midnight on Wednesday, October 28, 2013. In addition, we will check the points for the commenting, encouragement (when possible) and the Facebook and private group comments.

  • Workout  Points (up to 4 per day—15 minutes=one point)—We suggest that you exercise 5 days per week. While you may exercise more often, you’ll only get points for up to 5 days in order to make it fair for all participants.
  • Sugarfree Points (up to one per day—one day of no sugar=one point)—We suggest that you limit your intake of sugar during the challenge, but we are big proponents of a “free day” each week. That’s why you can get points for up to six days of not eating sugar.
  • Food Tracking Points (up to five per day—each meal and snack=one point)—Although we love a “free day” as much as the next bunch of fitness fanatics, we still think it’s a good idea to journal your food on that day. That’s why you can earn points for up to seven days of food journaling/food tracking.
  • Participation Points (up to 3 per day—each post or comment in the private challenge group=one point)—We would love to see you commenting more often, but we’ll give you up to three points per day to participate.
  • Comment Points (up to 3 per day—each comment on the MTM Body blog or the Project Blissful blog=one point)—Anytime you leave a meaningful comment (no spam please) on the Project Blissful blog or the MTM Body blog during the challenge, we’ll give you a point. Up to three points per day.
  • Encouragement Points (up to five per day—each friend contact=one point)—We believe that support is the best way to get and stay healthy, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. That’s why during the challenge, we’ll give you one point per day, up to five, for each challenge member you reach out to and encourage to stay on track. This can be in the form of a phone call (if you know the member personally), an email or Facebook message, or a response to a comment or question in the private Facebook group. Other forms of encouragement may also be accepted.
  • Weight Loss Points (as earned—one pound=10 points)—As long as you maintain your weight for the week, you’ll get an automatic point. If you lose any weight, you’ll get ten points for each pound loss from your original starting weight.

Dare to Bare Admin—Who Keeps Track of the Points?

Our ‘Dare to Bare’ (DTB) administrator is Angela Atkinson, founding editor at Project Blissful. You’ll email your weekly points tally to Angela at [email protected] with the subject title ‘Weekly DTB Points for (Your Name),” and Angela will keep a spreadsheet of everyone’s points.

Please note: All points must be submitted by midnight on each Monday during the challenge. Anyone who fails to submit points by midnight on Monday will forfeit any points earned for that week.

Prepare to ‘Bare’: Getting Ready to Work Out

Prepare to ‘Bare’: Getting Ready to Work Out


Yoga-ss_shot_6-009Dear DTB Challengers,

It’s Wednesday, and we’ve got six days until the Project Blissful & MTM Body ‘Dare to Bare’ 8-Week Fitness and Weight Loss Challenge gets underway. Yesterday, we discussed planning what we’ll be eating for the duration of the challenge. Today, we’re  focusing on preparing mentally and physically for the exercise we’ll be doing during the eight weeks.

Ask Yourself a Few Questions

  •  What kind of exercise will you do, and how often?
  • What will you wear?
  • Do you have everything you need to do it?

Decide in advance how you’ll workout, where you’ll do it, how often and even what you’ll be wearing. If you need equipment, get it now. Special shoes, workout clothes, sports bra? Make sure you’ve got everything you need in time to get started on Tuesday.

Learn more about the Dare to Bare Fitness and Weight Loss Challenge.

You could simply walk or jog in your neighborhood, or you could consider picking up a workout DVD (I love the Insanity series), or check out a bunch of free workout videos I’ve collected here on the site from YouTube. If you’ve got a gym membership, use it now! Whatever you do, just plan to get at least 60 minutes of exercise, five days a week. You can do this in increments of 10 to 30 minutes—or you can do one long workout. It doesn’t matter how you move, just that you do it and do it safely. (And, in my opinion, you should try to enjoy it! This is not punishment—this is you celebrating the awesomeness that is your own body!)

Sign up for the Dare to Bare Challenge for free!

As for me, I’ll be working out in addition to trying to meet my step goal each day during our challenge, and Jamie, our challenge partner and MTM Body founder, tells me she’ll be doing the same. That’s right, Jamie and I are doing this challenge with you! And we won’t ask you to do anything we wouldn’t do!

Are you preparing for the challenge? What kind of workouts do you plan to do? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Next up: How will you keep track of your food intake and exercise progress?


14 More Ways to Look Thinner Instantly (Without Losing a Pound)

14 More Ways to Look Thinner Instantly (Without Losing a Pound)

Maria Sharapova unveiling the Canon PowerShot ...

“When you look good, you feel good. Confidence with what you’re wearing is very important. If you feel good, you will always perform your best without worrying about anything.” ~Maria Sharapova

Did you know that you could instantly look thinner without actually losing any weight? While you’re waiting to see results from diet and exercise, there are ways to slim down instantly. Try these tips for your wardrobe, hair, face, body and mind.

Wardrobe Tips to Help You Look Thinner Instantly

  • Wear one color at a time. Wearing a single color or similar shades for your whole outfit will help you to look thinner and taller. Black is a practical choice, but other colors can achieve the same effect. Solids are usually more slimming than prints.
  • Ensure that your clothes fit properly. Wearing clothes that are too small makes you look bigger. Seek a comfortable fit and professional alterations if necessary. Get a personalized bra fitting at any department store periodically to keep up with any changes due to aging or weight fluctuations.
  • Use undergarments with comfortable shaping. Body shapers and other compression garments are more comfortable than ever before. Invest in some strategic undergarments that will make all your clothes look better. I love Spanx–and just FYI, the Target cheapie version works great if you want to save a few bucks.
  • Choose slimming pants. Look for pants with a flat front and minimal detail. Skip the pants with hidden zippers and no pockets. Pant legs with a slight flare can also help you to look trimmer (but to be fair, they’re currently on their way out!).
  • Select flattering tops. Pay attention to the length of your tops. A top that ends below the waist will deflect attention from a thick middle. Similarly, a wide collar will help balance broad hips.
  • Wear the right shoes. Chunky shoes can make your legs look thicker. Look for narrow pumps with a slightly pointed toe rather than square or rounded toes. Nude shoes are especially good because they make your legs look longer. Any heel can reduce your weight visually.
  • Liberate yourself from the fear of swimwear. Many women shrink from shopping for swimwear but there are bathing suits designed for every body type. High cut legs can make you look thinner. Lightweight compression can keep you feeling comfortable and sleek.

More Tips to Help You Look Thinner Instantly

  • Use makeup to make your face more angular. Iridescent powder can make your face look thinner instantly by creating contours. Brush it along your brow bones and the top of your cheekbones to bring out your bone structure.
  • Make your eyes stand out. If your eyes look bigger, the rest of your face will appear smaller. Curl your upper lashes and apply extra mascara to your top outer lashes. Keep your eyebrows slightly arched and well groomed.
  • Get a flattering haircut. If you want your face to look less full, try cutting your hair shorter. Instead of bangs, pull your hair away from your face to make your face look longer. Choose a hairstyle that adds a little height and fullness at the crown.
  • Practice good posture. Develop strong abdominal muscles and hold your stomach flat at all times. Pull your shoulders back. It’s good for your health and makes you look leaner.
  • If you must tan, get a safe tan. If you ask me, tanning is SO over. But if you think that tanning makes you look thinner, do it safely. Sunless tanning products have come a long way in recent years. Daily tanning moisturizers are one easy option to get a little color gradually without any increased risk of skin cancer or premature aging.
 I’d rather go with something like a moisturizer with a ‘glow.’
  • Project a positive attitude. No matter what your dress or pants size is, you’ll feel more attractive when you cultivate a healthy sense of self-esteem and a genuine affection for others. Focus on your most attractive features and qualities.
  • Get a leg up. Many successful dieters are using a supplement called all-natural, bee pollen-based weight loss supplements, such as the My BFF (Body Fat Formula) line, to give them a leg up in the competitionLearn more about My BFF all-natural weight loss supplements and purchase them here.

Looking thinner can help you feel more confident and give you the encouragement you need to stick with your fitness program. Simple adjustments to your wardrobe and beauty routine can have a huge impact on your appearance and your state of mind.

Do you use any of these tips already? Are there some you’ll try now? What do you do to look and feel your best? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.

Pin It on Pinterest