How to Finish 2017 Strong

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Ah, December. The last month of the year. It’s been an eventful one for me – getting engaged to my best friend at the beginning of the year, wedding planning, getting married in the summer, road tripping to Oregon, taking my health serious, crushing my fitness goals, starting a blog, teaching three jiu-jitsu programs (adults, teens and children) all while learning confidence and self-love. Needless to say, I’ve accomplished a lot and though it’s been a busy year, it’s still not over yet. There are 20 days left of 2017 so let’s go out with a bang! Bust out your notebooks or a nearby napkin, and your favorite pen to jot down some ideas on finishing 2017 strong!

Need some ideas for your goal list?

  1. Travel goal. Where do you want to go? It can be local or even a plane ride away.
  2. Try something new goal. Feeling brave? Taste a new cuisine, bake a sweet treat, take a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class or attempt a Pinterest DIY craft.
  3. Productivity goal. You know that thing you’ve been avoiding? You should go ahead and just do it.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone goal. Do one thing that scares you.
  5. Keep in touch goal. Mail some cards out to friends and family to let them know you’re thinking of them.
  6. Health goal. Gain or lose weight, stop drinking soda, eat more vegetables, drink more water.
  7. Fitness goal. Run a mile in less than __ minutes, go for a walk 3 times a week, do 30 consecutive push-ups without stopping.

Here are a few things I said I wanted to accomplish by the end of the month:

  • Make jump-roping a habit (Haven’t jump-roped once)
  • Finish reading two books (Haven’t even finished the first one I started!)
  • Increase muscle mass (Haven’t strength trained in a couple weeks)

We won’t always accomplish every single thing we say we will; unless that’s your style (more power to you!) I feel that it’s important to set realistic and measureable goals in order to actually ensure you’ll achieve them. So if I’m being honest with myself (and you), I’ve decided to re-vamp my list of to-do’s.

I want to:

  • Make a diy craft
  • Finish reading one book
  • Clean out my closet
  • Donate to the Goodwill
  • Send Holiday cards
  • Increase blog following +3 followers
  • Paint an art piece
  • Gain 3 new BJJ students
  • Increase female students at Gomez Jiu-jitsu (If interested, comment on this post or email me bjjandselflove@gmail.com)

I know that completing this list will fulfill my soul and I’ll be content with how I ended 2017. So make sure to set some goals that will launch you into an amazing start to 2018!

What are some of your December goals? Comment or make your own list and tag me on Instagram @bjjandselflove to be featured!

Thanks for reading.
-Jules

10 Ways to Reset After a Holiday Binge

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I love the last couple of months of the year. It’s a time to surround yourself with friends and family, enjoy delicious food, find inspiration in the holiday décor and music, eat tons of yummy food, look back on all you’ve accomplished during the year, and did I mention eat lots of FOOD?

Yes, it’s that time of year where, personally, I’m likely to over-indulge in all of the holiday goodies lying around. I mean, how can you not have hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and marshmallows, home-made warm baked cookies, turkey, ham, and tamales, etc?! The holidays only come once a year so it’s okay to enjoy all they have to offer. However, if you do feel like you’ve veered too far off track, here are a few things that help motivate me after a splurge.

  1. I accept that not too much time has passed. If you’ve been eating fairly healthy, working out at least 3 times per week then go and splurge at a family get together, relax. All your progress did not go down the drain. One bad meal won’t make you fat just like one healthy meal won’t make you fit.
  2. I acknowledge that every day is a new beginning. Isn’t it wonderful that every morning we wake up; we get the chance to improve our life? If yesterday you were too lazy to work out, today you can make a change and exercise for 30 minutes. 55f7db462eb7cd78ca6cd18e5bc2ce7aIf you were in a grumpy mood, today you can do a good deed for someone. Weren’t very productive yesterday? Get up early and don’t scroll through social media until you’ve finished everything you’ve been procrastinating on. We have the power to edit our day as if we were writing a page out of a chapter book and creating our life story.
  3. I increase my water intake stat! If you’ve indulged a little too much, chances are you’re feeling bloated. How do you get rid of bloat? By drinking water to flush out the excess sodium you just consumed. Yes, you may feel even more full but only temporarily. The more water you drink, the more your body can excrete the toxins.
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  4. I drink green tea all day. This powerful herbal tea can help you beat the bloat by increasing your metabolism thus burning calories. I did an 8-day experiment in which I drank 6 cups of green tea a day. The results were shocking. Read about it here if you haven’t already.
  5. I decrease my intake of sodium-filled foods. Sodium makes you retain water, something you don’t want to do if you’re trying to shed pounds. It’ll hold onto that water making you feel bloated. Stay away from salty junk and increase your water levels to stay balanced.
  6. I get a workout in ASAP. I always feel lighter after a quick sweat sesh’ both physically and mentally. You may not like the way you feel during your workout but you’ll feel quite accomplished after. Your endorphins will kick in and your whole attitude will change.
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  7. I recognize that the scale doesn’t matter. Don’t weigh yourself often and especially not after a splurge. The scale is just a number and it doesn’t mean anything. What matters is how you feel on the inside. Do you like what you see in the mirror? If you do, yay! If you don’t, get motivated, but don’t let a scale affect your mood.

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  1. I train Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Not only do I find BJJ beneficial to my physical health, but it has improved my mental health immensely as well. While other fitness related activities focus on improving your physique aesthetically, BJJ has helped me appreciate my body for what it can do rather than how it looks. Being a 114-pound female, there’s only so much that I can bench press, but that 185-pound dude over there? Yeah, I can sweep that 😉 I can easily break an arm or put you in a choke hold. I use leverage rather than brute strength to control someone and that makes me confident in my skills rather than in my appearance.

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  1. I look for fitspiration (fitness inspiration) related blogs, articles, watch health documentaries or scroll through Pinterest and Instagram. There is always some awesome recipe, workout, cute outfit I’d like to fit into or motivated person that inspires me. Whether it’s a picture of someone’s progress or a quote, I’m sure to get my ass off the couch and go make some green tea or get on my spin bike.
  2. I distract myself. I’ll go out and do something fun with my husband, start tidying up the house, read a book, play with my dog; anything to get my mind off of how I’m feeling.

These tips usually motivate me to get my healthy groove back after a splurge. It’s frustrating to fall off track so we have to remind ourselves that if we don’t want to keep starting over, we have to stop giving up. If all else fails, wrap yourself up in a blanket with a hot mug of tea and lemon, throw on your favorite chick flick, and get some rest.

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Thanks for reading!

-Jules

 

16 Reasons to Love Working Out at Home

 

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Sometimes getting to the gym can be difficult for a number of reasons: You don’t feel like changing out of your warm PJ’s and driving there at 7am OR it’s packed af after you get off of work OR you don’t want to make eye-contact with the person who saw you embarrassingly hit your head on the squat rack last week. Whatever the reason may be, here’s why ditching your gym membership might not be such a bad idea.

  1. You can straight up rock the roll-‘outta-bed look. PJ’s. No Mascara. Hair brush? What’s that?
  2. No one staring you down a) Rushing you for a machine b) Being pervy or c) Judging you.
  3. You won’t forget your headphones, hair-tie, shower sandals etc.
  4. You can come home from work, rest your mind & body for a little then prepare yourself for an intense sweat sesh when you’re ready.
  5. Feeling anti-social? Avoid everyone & get your squat on in private.
  6. Post-workout protein shake or food is right around the corner. Literally.
  7. You don’t have to worry about random people’s germs all over your equipment.
  8. You can multi-task. Have a minute between sets? Set your timer and grab that book you’ve been itching to read. Take it one page at a time.
  9. You can blast your own tunes. LOUDLY.
  10. You can Netflix n’ chill er I mean Netflix n’ agility drill. Duh 🙂
  11. You can invite a friend over to workout with you bi-weekly & they don’t have to have a (or the same) gym membership.
  12. It’s free. Enough said.
  13. You don’t have to worry about it being packed or finding/paying for parking.
  14. You can create your own home gym. Invest in some equipment- yoga/Jiu-jitsu mats, dumbbells, pull-up bar, jump-rope, resistance bands, spin-bike etc.
  15. You can pull up any kind of YouTube fitness video on your Smart TV, phone or laptop so it feels like you’re in a class setting i.e. yoga for beginners, BJJ drills, body weight exercises, cardio home workout, kettlebell workout.
  16. No more “Can’t go to the gym because no one can watch my kids excuse.” You can even include your children in your workout- Squat with your baby, do push-ups while your child sits on your back, or find a Mommy and Me Workout online.

It doesn’t take much to get a good home workout. You can use your own body weight and still challenge yourself. It will, however, take some discipline but as soon as you realize that you are entirely up to you and that your health should be a priority, the rest is easy; even fun! So get started, girl.

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Tips:  Create a workout schedule. Whether it’s every morning at 9am or evenings at 6:45 three times per week. You decide. Make a commitment to yourself and stick with it. What’s cookin’ good lookin? Create your own workout menu. HIIT? Dance? Yoga? As long as you get your heart racing and muscles movin’, any workout is better than no workout. For more tips on getting started, read up on my “7 Steps to a Healthier You” article.

Post a pic of your workout and tag @bjjandselflove on Instagram to get featured! Happy sweatin’ 🙂

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Thanks for reading!

-Jules

“Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.”

If this doesn’t frighten you into action, there’s seriously something wrong with you. Joking aside, whether you’re already accomplishing your goals or you know you better get off the couch soon and get shit done, we’ve all had that feeling at one point of “I know what I have to do but I just don’t want to do it right now or am I doing enough with my life?”

Don’t beat yourself up too much. It’s good that you’ve made the realization that you have so much more to offer the world. It’s just time to get to work now. You owe it to yourself. We only get one life; one chance to make our dreams our reality. You can work towards that career. You can travel the world. You can learn to play guitar. You can lose that weight or buy your dream home. Or maybe you just need some motivation to get out of bed in the morning? Clean that space in your house you’ve been avoiding? Let go of the past and just work on yourself? You can do whatever it is that you so desperately want and need. You can and you will.

Ask yourself this: “Do I really want (blank)?” I mean, really want (blank) like wake-up-in-the-morning-go-to-sleep-with-it-on-my-mind kind of want it?” You do? Well enough is enough already. It’s time to start taking those steps in the direction of what you really want in your life. This blog will document a journey of becoming the best version of myself (and some other random shit, of course). I hope it will inspire you to also take action in pursuing your greatest potential.