Put Yourself Back On Your Priority List and Manifest Your Dreams in 2016

Put Yourself Back On Your Priority List and Manifest Your Dreams in 2016

The New Year is around the corner. As we wind up for the holidays, I’ve noticed some old feelings creeping back – and that’s why I’d like to remind you to keep an eye on your priority list this holiday season! 

Your Own Priority List and Why You Need to Be On It

Join Project Blissful 2016

Awhile back, I noticed I felt a bit out of sorts. I had struggled to get back “on track” with my regular writing schedule, and had been skipping workouts left and right. It was not working well for me.

Essentially, the holiday madness caused me to slip off of my journey toward personal fulfillment. I found myself floating through my days mindlessly, feeling busy and harried instead of centered and peaceful.

I’d been aware of this situation for awhile and had been working on getting my mind in the right place again, seeking solutions to my malaise.

Once again, the law of attraction worked for me. 🙂 I sought a solution, some inspiration…and it came.

Allow me to preface the next paragraph by telling you, in case you weren’t aware, that I think Oprah Winfrey is an absolute goddess. If you disagree with me, that’s okay, but don’t let it deter you from the message I’m trying to get across here.

See, I happened to catch most of an old episode of Oprah in which she very openly and honestly shared her personal struggles with “falling off the wagon.” And while she did discuss her struggles with weight (as the symptom), her main confession was that she’d been failing to take care of herself.

She was so busy working and taking care of everyone around her, that she forgot to make time to nurture herself. In true Oprah style, she had a plan.

One thing that she said several times when discussing her new plan really stood out for me.

“Put yourself back on your priority list.”

Change your life–sign up for Project Blissful 2016 right now! It’s free.

Who of us isn’t guilty at one time or another of forgetting to add ourselves to our ever-growing lists of responsibilities? I know that I have been on more than one occasion. Sometimes, we let life “get in the way” of taking care of ourselves.

This may seem like the right thing to do at times–especially when our jobs or loved ones require extra attention. But its then that we must make a specific effort to build a little time into our days to nurture ourselves, our souls, our individuality.

Take a moment to think about it. When was the last time you did something just for you? When was the last time you scheduled time in your life for yourself?

I’m not asking you to take an entire weekend away, or even an entire day. We all know that sometimes that isn’t possible. Instead, I’m asking you to take ten minutes, an hour, whatever you can afford in your day.

Maybe you need to get up an hour earlier, or stay up an hour later. Perhaps you can sneak it in during your lunch break or baby’s nap time.

And, you may be asking, what should you be doing to take care of yourself anyway? This completely depends on you. What makes you happy? Could you use a nap? Simple downtime? Perhaps you’ve been meaning to work out or read a good book. And who doesn’t enjoy a nice hot bath?

The point? It doesn’t matter WHAT you do, so long as it’s something only for you. As Oprah said on her show today, it’s really a love issue. We must love ourselves in order to love others–we must love ourselves in order to maintain any level of happiness and personal fulfillment in our lives.

Today, my challenge to you is to be brutally honest with yourself. Open up like Oprah did on her show that day, and figure out what you can do to make yourself happy. You deserve to be happy, and you deserve to feel joy. What can you do to make that happen? 

How much love can you give yourself in 2016? Don’t wait – go sign up for the all-new Project Blissful 2016 now and get ready to start the next phase in your journey to ultimate fulfillment – whatever that looks like for you. 

Tell me what you’re looking to change about your life in 2016, and I’ll be sure to create free content that teaches you exactly how to do it. PLEASE, share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

How doing literally nothing for 20 minutes can help you lose a LOT of weight

How doing literally nothing for 20 minutes can help you lose a LOT of weight

As I’ve mentioned before, the way that I achieved my 100-pound weight loss was to make one small change at a time. The first thing I did was to simply start drinking enough water.

100 pounds lost before and after 5 feet tall

And, even though I started out on Weight Watchers and following the points system, there were times (still are, actually) when I felt like I wanted to eat a second helping of something awesome–and if I had the points in my daily budget, it didn’t seem like a big deal.

Want to learn how I lost 100 pounds? See my story, right here.

So in the process of losing weight, I was always looking for ways to refine my process and make it go more smoothly and BLISSFULLY (which is why the book is called Project Blissful!). 

That’s what led me to do the research on the whole eating seconds thing – and since I’m no scientist, I’ll just let the ones from Harvard Medical School tell you the science behind it. 

“Stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water; these signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects gut and brainstem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine. One example is cholecystokinin (CCK), released by the intestines in response to food consumed during a meal. Another hormone, leptin, produced by fat cells, is an adiposity signal that communicates with the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on the body’s energy stores. Research suggests that leptin amplifies the CCK signals, to enhance the feeling of fullness. Other research suggests that leptin also interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to produce a feeling of pleasure after eating. The theory is that, by eating too quickly, people may not give this intricate hormonal cross-talk system enough time to work.” ~Ann MacDonald, Contributor, Harvard Health (See the full scientific explanation at the Harvard Medical School website.)

no fail 20 minute weight loss hack

The 20-Minute Rule That Changed My Life

Anyhoo, since it takes your brain approximately 20 minutes to inform your body that you’ve had enough, I would sometimes end up eating more than I wanted.

So, I made a new rule, and it hasn’t failed me yet.

I allow myself to eat literally WHATEVER I WANT, but I only take one serving at a time AND I wait 20 minutes between servings. I also try to eat slowly, for the same reason. (According to Harvard researchers, there’s a good reason for doing so.) For me, that usually means I don’t eat a second serving, because I really do feel satiated by the single serving in most cases.

Your Fit Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

Starting today, make the same rule for yourself. If you still feel hungry after eating a single serving or plate of food, give yourself a 20-minute break before loading up that plate again or taking a second helping. It’s so simple, but this single change can offer you a serious advantage on your weight-loss journey.

Will you give it a shot? What are your best weight-loss tips? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

Sisterhood of the Flintstone Feet: Where to Buy Sexy Shoes for Wide Feet

Sisterhood of the Flintstone Feet: Where to Buy Sexy Shoes for Wide Feet

“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”

spring statement shoe from torridI am a total shoe diva. NO, seriously, I am. Every season, I buy a few new pairs of shoes to go with my wardrobe–generally, a couple of basics like flats or sandals or both in various colors, plus stylish seasonals (flip flops in the summertime, boots and/or booties in the wintertime) and one or two “statement” shoes, which I define as shoes that get plenty of compliments from my fellow fashionistas. (Who doesn’t love it when one of our fellow women comes up and tells us they love our shoes??)
My statement shoes are always my favorites, and I always find ways to work them into various looks.
But there’s just one obstacle to my love affair with shoes: I have wide feet.
I mean, Fred Flintstone wide. My dad even used to tell me I had Flintstone feet when I was a kit. Seriously. This does not bode well for a fashion-conscious gal like me. But I am not one to just give up–oh no. I find the shoes I want, and I find them every time.
I’ve been dealing with my size 7w since I was about 15, and though I’ll admit that I went through the “wear only flipflops and tennis shoes” phase, it’s not one I’m proud of. I really prefer to look fabulous all the time, and in my version of fabulous, heels and/or wedges are generally involved. (I’m only 5 feet tall, people–and looking fabulous makes me FEEL fabulous!)
Even though I have lost more than 100 pounds and my clothes have gone from a size 24 to a size 6/8, I still have wide feet. (And, by the way, let’s debunk the “wide feet = fat” myth right now–that’s just not true. Plenty of thin, thick and otherwise endowed women and men have wide feet.)

Walking around with these things  can make wearing certain “normal width” shoes a little painful, especially when it comes to wearing sexy shoes like heels and wedges. Obviously, this doesn’t gel well with my style–and I don’t like to be uncomfortable. So what do I do?

Since I’m a girl who likes to stick to a budget and to keep up with the times when it comes to style, I am an avid bargain hunter.

Where to Buy Sexy Shoes for Wide Feet

I know I’m not alone on the wide feet thing, and I know how frustrating it can be to get a glimpse of all the cute shoes available to our narrow-footed sisters and not be able to find a wide with version. And, since I’m one of those people who loves to share her secrets, here are my favorite places to buy sexy shoes for wide feet.

  • Payless.com–Whether you shop online or in-store, Payless is a great place to get your seasonal, trendy shoes. The prices are really reasonable, and sometimes, a good sale will turn less than $100 into a whole new shoe wardrobe. And the company is working with designers like Christian Siriano, who happened to make my favorite “statement shoe” back in 2012.
  • Torrid.com–Like Payless, you can shop online or in-store at Torrid. Their shoes are nearly always available in wides, though sometimes the really cute styles sell out quick. If you sign up for their mailing list, they’ll notify you of good sales, often BOGO, and you can get some really gorgeous shoes for next to nothing. The standard prices especially seem to be anywhere from  $39 to $50 but can vary based on the current promotions and of course boots are sometimes more expensive. (This is where I’ve purchased 8 of my last 10 statement shoes. In fact, one of my fav current statement shoes is from Torrid, this blue wedge–see it pictured above?)
 Now, I realize that these places aren’t for everyone–they’re just the two that fit best in my budget and that I tend to go back to over and over again. But since I know everyone has different needs when it comes to their shoes and style, I asked my Facebook friends where to buy sexy shoes for wide feet–which places were their favorites?
Here’s what they told me.
Zappos.com
Zappos was recommended by two particularly stylish friends of mine, oddly enough, both named Sarah.
“I have a horrible, horrible time finding shoes and Zappos is the place to go. Free delivery and free, 365 day return policy. You can’t beat it and the quality is so much better than Payless. Zappos is expensive but I really feel that you get what you pay for or at least that’s been my experience,” said Sarah A. “The sandals I bought from there 2 years ago still look brand new and I’ve worn the heck out of them. Shoes I’ve bought from payless have hardly lasted one season.”
“Wherever I’m lucky enough to find a good store,” was my friend Bridget B’s first answer. “EE width blows! I have tried & had success with NoMoreRack.com”

I have personally bought lots of outfits and accessories from NoMoreRack.com and have always been thrilled–but haven’t ever tried the shoes that I can recall. Adding that one to my list!

HSN

Lara, who is a very sexy and stylish woman I recently met at a sex toy party (no, I’m not kidding! I’ll tell you all about that one later!) suggested HSN.

“HSN, baby! Not all styles are wide but many are,” she said. “There is even an HSN app!”

I haven’t tried HSN yet, for anything, but Lara’s suggestion makes me think I might give it a go. Plus, I really like that Lori Greiner. What a Queen Bee she seems to be! <3

Other Suggestions for Where to Buy Sexy Shoes for Wide Feet

Shelly S. chimed in on the thread, noting that finding wide shoes that she considers attractive has “always been a problem.”

“Plus, I never can wear the cute strappy ones,” she added.

“Shelly, try Hush Puppies and Clark brands,” Sarah A. suggested. “I have double wides, seriously, Fred Flintstone feet, and on Zappos found that both of those brands work well and had CUTE options.”

“I love Clark shoes,” added Sarah C., a friend I didn’t get to know for two years after meeting her because I was so intimidated by her high-end style. (True story!)

“Also, Lane Bryant carries some really cute shoes,” Lara added.

So there are our suggestions! What about you? Where are the best places to buy sexy shoes for wide feet in your experience?
One Shockingly Simple Act That Led to a 100-Pound Weight Loss

One Shockingly Simple Act That Led to a 100-Pound Weight Loss

“It’s tedious and time-consuming. It tethers you to your phone or computer and can trigger anxiety and obsessive behavior in people who get overly hung up on numbers. Yet research repeatedly demonstrates that people who keep food journals are more successful at weight loss and weight loss maintenance than those who don’t.” ~Tamara Grand, FitNitChick.comthis one trick led to a 100 pound weight loss

Listen. If you’ve been reading my stuff for long, you know that I pretty much tell it like it is. With that being said, you’ll know where I’m going with this.

There are some things we have to do if we want to meet certain goals in our lives. And sometimes, those things aren’t fun, at first, but once you get moving, you realize they’re totally worth your time. 

I’ve Got Bad News…But Not THAT Bad.

Here’s the bad news. Food tracking is one of those things when it comes to losing weight – if you want to do it successfully and long-term, you’ve got to figure out what you’re doing wrong and what you can do better. Plus, you’ve got to retrain your brain – stop thinking those “fat person” thoughts and start thinking like the hottie you really are. 

The good news is that you can do it, and even if you’re lazy and don’t like to feel uncomfortable (like MOI), you can STILL do it. 

The Harsh Truth About Food Tracking: It’s a Pain in the Ass.

So yeah. Tracking your food is TRULY a huge pain in the ass. I’m not gonna lie.

But if you can do it for a month, you can do it for six months.

And often times, if you do it for six months, you don’t have to keep doing it all the time. That’s because you can train your brain to actually WANT to eat healthier foods and in healthier ways. I swear. 

Here are some super simple food tracking hacks that will help you make it happen, too. 

Food Track-Hack #1: No Cheating (At First)

Weight Watchers Weekly Tracker/Food Journal TotalsI had to be very strict about tracking during the beginning in order to lose the weight.

I had to track LITERALLY every single day for at least six months before I felt like I was ready to try going track free.

I tracked every single thing I put in my mouth–even if it was just a handful of peanuts or a bite of a cookie. It mattered, and it changed my life.

Food Track-Hack #2: Okay, Cheat a Little (Within Reason)

Some people do well with a “cheat day” each week, others need two. My suggestion is to do one or less “days” of “freedom” at first.

Instead, I suggest a “cheat meal” option or a “cheat dessert” option once a week.

For me, the Weight Watchers bonus points (aka cheat within reason option) made it easier to understand what an appropriate amount of cheating looked like, and tracking taught me how to eat right and still live in the “real world.”

But even when you cheat, you should still track every single thing you eat. It will help to know exactly what kind of damage you’re doing–in more ways than one.

Food Track-Hack #3: Why Tracking Is Seriously Worth the Trouble

Look, I know what you’re thinking. Tracking food? Boring, waste of time, annoying, restrictive, waste of energy–doesn’t work anyway. Right?

Wrong. So wrong. And trust me, I know what I’m talking about – I learned it the hard way.

Don’t believe me?

Look at this –  a rare “no makeup” side-by-side of me before and after losing 100 pounds. (I even wrote a book about how I did it without starving, sweating or surgery so that other people could do it without having to learn the hard way.)

ang bef and afer

For me, tracking everything I ate and drank was a pain at first and felt really restrictive, but that short period of restriction ultimately led to freedom.

It will be for you too, I promise–so just do it! It is WORTH it. Now I get to wear stuff like this. Way more fun. 🙂 

ang and bill fireplace

Food Track-Hack Tip #4: Find Your Inner Gamer (Dig Deep If You Gotta)

So listen, I’m not a gamer. Honestly. But tracking sort of became a game to me, eventually. I actually (don’t tell anyone) sort of had fun with it.

I wanted to see how much I could eat while still staying within my points allowance, so I’d figure out different menu options and play with the numbers until I had the most satisfying options possible. Give it a shot!

And Freedom From Food Tracking Looks Like This

These days, I don’t track on a daily basis. But through tracking, I learned what portion sizes are healthier, which small adjustments to which dishes can reduce your fat and calories but still retain the flavor and more.

But the biggest and most important thing that six months of tracking my food helped me to learn was how to listen to my own body’s cues.

Now, I just eat what I want and nothing more or less. I pay attention to my body and feed it what it wants–and nothing else.

How the Food Tracking-Game Changed My World

Within the confines of my little game, I naturally leaned toward healthier foods. Fruits and veggies were mostly free–so I could eat a HUGE and awesome salad with a few ounces of chicken and a couple tablespoons of dressing for seven or eight points, max.

This kind of game-playing led to a change in my taste preferences. Eating greasy, cheesy, creamy, fried or otherwise bad-for-me foods suddenly became less attractive.

Now, I wanted fresh, cleaner-tasting stuff.

These days, I am able to literally eat anything I want, simply by eating healthy MOST of the time and by allowing myself to indulge on occasion.

And since I’m still working on getting those last few pounds off, I am still keeping an eye on my scale. If I notice that I plateau for too long or even gain a pound or two, I’ll go back to tracking for a few weeks so I can regain balance.

I promise, tracking your food doesn’t have to (totally) suck.  You might be surprised to find out how much (or how little) you’re really eating and how small changes in your choices can lead to big changes in your health.

Do you track your food? Have you in the past, or will you start food tracking now? Have tracking tips that worked for you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

 

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