That Time That Twenty-One Pilots Got it Really Right

Hello everyone! I’m a little bit late, but Happy Sunday! I hope your weeks have been great and positive and productive and absolutely nothing like mine!

To use the term “stressed out” to describe me this past week would be an incredible, laughable understatement. From an absolutely crazy week at work to several things going on in my personal life, I have been drained mentally, physically, and emotionally. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a bad week, and it all just crept up on me and hit me all at once!

RUDE.

Because I have anxiety, stress is nothing new to me. I experience stress literally every day. But when it happens like it did this week and just hits like a hurricane- all I can really do is sit in the downpour and wait until it stops. And that’s actually a great example of what this week felt like- a bit of a hurricane. Probably like a category 3. A big part of the issue is that I don’t want anyone to know how stressed I am, so I try to hide it and I don’t talk about it, and then everything builds up until there’s some sort of explosive outburst and everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

So in reference to the title of this entry,  the song “Stressed Out” is my JAM right now.

Not only is it a huge pain to deal with, but stress is incredibly unhealthy. The particularly frustrating thing about it is that it effects all aspects of your life. Looking at it from the perspective of your health, stress can cause fluctuation in eating and sleeping patterns, diminish energy levels, and wreak havoc on your blood pressure and general homeostasis. Aside from issues that are strictly health related, stress has a huge impact on your emotional state and interpersonal interactions. For example: as aforementioned, I’ve been exhausted this week, but my sleep has been fitful at best. I’ve been tossing and turning, waking up every few hours, never really getting a proper REM cycle in. My workouts have been incredibly off kilter and I’m (shockingly) not eating enough to properly keep my body fueled. I also have had to apologize to several people (in both professional and personal relationships) for being short with them or for handling a situation badly. Stress is a monster to deal with, and this week (although I put up a valiant effort) it definitely won.

So going forward into a new week, I am starting on a quest to de-stress myself. None of these stressful situations have gone away (and in fact, some of them have gotten more stressful), but I know that I can’t let my stress and anxiety control the rest of my life. I encourage you all to do the same this week, and shrug off any stress or anxiety that you may have. This week, I am going to:

  • Do at least one thing that I love  and that makes me happy every day.
  • Try my best to leave stress from work at the door when I come home.
  • Count my blessings. Twice.
  • Commit to relaxing before bed (a cup of tea and a book are great for this).
  • Not let my stress get the best of me.

Last week was a rough one, but I’m ready to take on this upcoming week with a fresh outlook and try to start over! What are your favorite ways to de-stress?

Have a great week everyone!

xx Tiffany

Do Your Own Thing

Hey everyone! TGIF, am I right? I hope you have all had an awesome and productive week.

This week started my summer cut and let me tell ya, I am struggling. I am so used to my flexible dieting and I love treating myself and not depriving myself of the *things I love (*read: carbs). So cutting most of that out and being way more strict with myself is definitely something that I’m not used to. While I know that I’ll thank myself a month from now when I’m at the beach (celebrating my 21st birthday !!!!!! Ahhh!!!!!!!) and all summer when I’m rockin’ my bikini, right now all I can think about is Oreos and baguettes. But I really have to decide where my priorities are, and I’m trying to cleanse my system a bit so I’m not struggling so much with the cravings for sugar and junk. It’s only been one week and I’ve already seen some improvement- I’m excited to see how this goes! Also some exciting news- I’m looking into going back to school! I’m still in the process of narrowing down exactly what I want to go back for, but the ideas are in the works! I’ve loved taking my year off, and I’ve learned a lot and gained a lot from it, but I’m ready to get back into pursuing my education. I so detest feeling stagnant in life!

The title of this post is “Do Your Own Thing”- I have a workout tank top with this phrase on it and I’m not quite sure why, but it’s one of my favorites. I felt that it was an appropriate introduction for what I have on my mind. I just wanted to take a second today to talk about being yourself and embracing your uniqueness and all of those little things that really make you who you are. This comes about because it seems as though I have a follower who is taking things a little too far… I understand that imitation is supposed to be the most sincere form of flattery, but it’s gone a little bit past that (and this has been going on for several months now) and honestly, I’m getting a little irritated.

I had to ask myself why it irritated me in the first place. I wanted to inspire people, right? That was my whole goal in starting this blog and my Instagram. And I am glad that maybe I’ve been able to inspire this person- I mean they must think something of me, why else would they be doing any of this? I guess it irritates me partially because: A) I’m trying to make a name for myself and a brand for myself online, and this person is pretty much copying what I’m doing (down to aspects of my personal life, the type of posts that I make, and things that I say) and B) I value so highly the concept of being yourself and expressing the person you truly are, and it makes me sad to see someone using so little of their own originality in something that they’re so “passionate” about.

Everyone borrows a little bit of themselves from other people. It’s only natural. It’s been proven (by some scientists, somewhere, surely) that you pick up idiosyncrasies and habits from the people that you spend a lot of time with. This is natural. This is human nature. But sometimes, people tend to take it to a point where they’re not being who they really are or saying what they really feel- they’re borrowing everything that should make them unique from other people. Seeing this happen to people is so sad and disheartening to me. I firmly believe that people should express themselves and embrace the things that make them unique rather than trying to conform to what they think they “should” be like, what anyone wants them to be like (whether it be friends or family), or what they think that they want to be like. To strive to improve yourself is one thing, but to want to be a totally different person is another. Each person was made unique and has something different to offer the world. Don’t drown out your own unique ideas and opinions and strengths by trying to take on someone else’s.

So I said all of that to say this: be yourself. It’s so much easier and way more rewarding than trying to be someone else. If someone in your life can’t accept you for who you are, they don’t need to be a part of your life anyway.

Also, it would be really rad if this person would cool it with the whole “copycat” thing that’s going on right now.

I hope you guys have a great weekend! As always, e-mail me if you have any questions and find me on Instagram and Twitter at xfittiffx.

xx Tiffany

My Motivation

  
Hey everyone! Welcome back. I hope you all have had a great week so far! It’s my spring break, and I am thoroughly enjoying my time off. I thought I’d share my most recent progress/transformation picture with you guys- on the left was this time last year and the right is now! I’m proud of myself and my accomplishments and I can’t wait to see what else is to come! 

Lately, a lot of people have been asking me where I get my motivation from. This usually happens after I tell them that I get up at 4:00 (yes, in the morning) to work out before I go to work. The most common responses I get to this are as follows:

“You’re insane.”

“Wait, WHAT time?!”

“……. Why?”

And then the big one: “How do you motivate yourself to do that?”

Ever since I started on my fitness journey, one of the main things people want to know about is my motivation and where they can get some. Unfortunately, I can’t show you where to get it. There is no black market for motivation. Starting off, my main motivation was simply that I was tired of feeling gross. I felt lethargic, fat, and unhealthy. It got to a point that I knew I needed to make a change, so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and changed my lifestyle. I found a lot of motivation on fitness blogs and instagrams, and in the beginning they really helped me stay on track. I began comparing myself to those people though, and when I realized that it wasn’t healthy or beneficial, I decided that I needed to find something else. That’s where I started, but lately my motivation has changed. 

I am my own motivation. I do this for myself, for my health, for my happiness. I am competing against myself. I am motivated because I know that I can do better, that I can reach my goals, and that I can top my own personal records. The only person I will compare myself to is who I was yesterday. I think this is the best way to motivate yourself- by competing against yourself. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally fine if you see someone being successful and you take inspiration from that. I can only hope that I’ve been able to inspire some of you guys. But there’s a difference between being inspired by someone and using them as your motivation to keep working by continually comparing yourself to them. 

Everyone is different and everyone loses/gains weight and muscle differently! This makes comparing yourself to another person more detrimental than anything else. Find your motivation to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be and don’t worry about other people. 

That’s all I have for today, I hope you guys have a great Friday and a safe weekend!

xx Tiffany

“perfect”

Hello everyone and happy Sunday! I hope you’ve all been kicking butt and taking names. I know I’ve been trying to, and let me just tell you that it’s way harder than it looks.

I’ve changed jobs and my entire life schedule has changed around it- and sometimes fitness falls to the wayside. I’m getting into a new routine now (one that involves waking up at 4:00 am to go to the gym. Ouch) so things are finally getting back on track for me, and I’ve been able to get my thoughts together.

So today I wanted to talk about something that’s really been eating at me lately. It’s not all about fitness or health but they both definitely come into play. This is something that people have been talking about for a while (however, I have seen a lot more of it in most recent years) and I have to throw in my two cents (and I know you want to hear it).

I am not “perfect”.

There! I said it. It hurt. It hurts me a lot to think that I’m not “perfect”, and nor will I ever be. My idea of “perfection” is way outside any possible realm for me to attain. There is no amount of exercise or healthy eating that will get me to my idea of “perfection”. Working out every day and only eating clean is not going to change my entire body shape and structure. I have been brainwashed by the media and society to believe in their idea of “perfection”, and as much as I try to fight it, I still find that I’m comparing myself to these fashion icons or models (and this exists in the fitness community as well- not just in Hollywood). This idea of “perfection” is so skewed and so toxic that it can poison even the most confident of minds, and confidence in yourself is one of the most important things that you can build.

The fact that my idea of “perfect” is so far away from what I am now absolutely terrifies me. It terrifies me for future generations of girls who don’t know how to be strong and love themselves- girls who don’t have other strong women in their lives to show them that their beauty is perfection in it’s own right and by it’s own design. I am terrified for the girls growing up in a society that glorifies celebrities and models who weigh about as much as just one of my legs. I am terrified because I have a little voice inside of me, the one who looks at a picture of some beautiful celebrity and wonders why she’s not good enough or tall enough or pretty enough or skinny enough and I know that every other woman out there has that little voice too.

I want to encourage anyone out there who is struggling with the pressures of society and the media. You are good enough. You are perfect by being yourself. You are the embodiment of perfection in your happiness and in the way that you laugh. Your body and your face are perfect because they are a part of you. You are perfect when you are happy and you are perfect when you are sad. You are perfect when you are on the mountaintop and you are perfect when you are in the valley. Your struggles make you perfect. Your heartache makes you perfect. When you think of the word “perfect”, I want for you to picture yourself.

What the media and society think is not important. What YOU think is important.

I’ll step off of my soapbox now, I hope you found some encouragement from my rant. Have a great week you guys!

xx Tiffany

 

Started From the Bike and Now I’m Here

Hello again everyone!

First of all- I just wanted to thank everyone who read my last post and gave me such overwhelmingly supportive feedback! You guys seriously rock my (currently halloween themed) socks! You all have blessed me so much already and made me feel so accomplished, THANK YOU for giving me a much needed confidence boost as I struggle through these first few posts and really “find my voice” or whatever the blog- jargon is for getting in the swing of things. As I mentioned in my first post, please send any inquiries to my email (squatsandsass@yahoo.com). I’d like to put together a Frequently Asked Questions post in the near future (because I get a lot of them).

One of the questions that I did receive was asking about what kind of routine I started out with when I first got into working out. To be quite honest, when I first started going to the gym, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Literally. I wandered about and would use one machine, then another, then another, and call it quits. Really, I was just too afraid to ask anyone for help (PLEASE DON’T MAKE MY MISTAKES) and I wasted a lot of time! I took to the internet to do my investigating (PTL for Google, am I right?!) and ended up stumbling across different cardio based workouts that had been put together by other people, and I started doing those. Most of them were HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts and were really difficult for me starting off (especially the running… I am not a runner) and I ended up being very frustrated by my inability to complete them or to perform to the standard I had set for myself. I ended up getting so frustrated that I very nearly threw in the towel then and there. It wasn’t working, so it must not be for me, right?

WRONG! Holy hallelujah, was I wrong! Somehow I mustered up enough motivation (or was it desperation? Technicalities…) to keep going, and I decided to just listen to my body. I knew that I wasn’t much of a runner, even in my more active days. What on Earth was I thinking, trying to jump straight into running 4 miles a day?? I ended up started out on the stationary bike (easier on my bad knees), and I would sit on that sucker for an hour and read a book and just bike to my heart’s content. Eventually I kept bumping up the resistance level and I was able to maintain a faster speed, and just being able to see that little bit of progress was astounding to me. It was probably one of my first real “Hey… I can actually do this!” moments. For that moment, I was on the mountaintop, and that made all the hard work I had put in leading up to that point totally worth it. Eventually I realized that in any good workout regimen you have to change things up and keep your body guessing, so I finally moved on from the bike I loved so dearly and was able to start using the elliptical and running (plus, my gym just got a Stairmaster, which I am loving so far). Now I’m a Cardio Queen and it’s one of my favorite things to do and my favorite way to relieve stress! There’s nothing like a good sweat session to whip my attitude into shape.

When I started, I focused almost entirely on cardio because I was so concerned with cutting fat and losing weight. If I could go back, I would definitely have done more strength training at the beginning. What I didn’t realize was that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, and (surprise) the more weight you will lose. Also, when you’re starting to build that lean muscle that comes from light to moderate strength training, watching your body tone up is a huge confidence boost and a great way to really see what you’re accomplishing. The best advice that I have for someone starting out is to find a good balance of cardio and strength training, and listen to what your body tells you as far as your limits are concerned. Don’t push yourself to the breaking point because you haven’t seen the results you want yet- it takes time. Patience is important in this process (although most days it seems as though God has neglected to give any to me), and keeping your body healthy and taken care of is the most important part. Pushing yourself too far leads to injuries, and let’s be honest- ain’t nobody got time for that.

Nowadays my routine is still pretty heavily cardio based. I’m still trying to cut body fat (see ya NEVER, thunder thighs!) so I try to do at least 30 minutes every time I’m in the gym! Also, as I said before, I really do love cardio and the stress relief that I get from it (#cardioqueen). Right now I’m starting to include more and more strength training into my routine as I’m trying to build more muscle than just the lean tone that I have now! I rotate through doing upper body, lower body, and heavy cardio/core days. I go to the gym 6-7 days a week- but that’s just me. Go as often as you feel comfortable and as often as fits your lifestyle, especially in the beginning when you’re just getting started. Your body needs to adjust and have time to recuperate if necessary! I only go so frequently because fitness and working out has been a major way that I manage my depression and anxiety- but that’s a story for a different time!

I hope that this has been helpful for any of you guys just starting to get into fitness, and if you have any questions about specific exercises that I do or anything please just holla at ya girl via email or post it in the comments and I will do my best to answer those questions that you have!

Happy Sunday and don’t forget as we start this new week- Never miss a Monday!

xx Tiffany

First Things First

Hey everyone!

My name is Tiffany, welcome to my health/fitness/inspiration blog! I am so excited (terrified) to finally be doing this- sharing my thoughts on the world wide web for everyone to see. Thrilling!

I would just like to preface this with a disclaimer: I am not a professional. I don’t have a degree, I’m not a certified nutritionist or trainer. Health and fitness is simply something that has become a passion in my life, and I have been encouraged to share my journey via this blog and a fitness Instagram (check it out- xfittiffx). This is a huge step out of my comfort zone and I’m not sure exactly how to go about doing this, so please bear with me! I’m sure that as I continue to post, I will get better (maybe).

My main goal in creating this blog is to be able to inspire people and share my life with them. I’m not a model, I’m not an actress, I’m not a body builder. I’m just a normal girl who’s trying to shred abs, ya feel? ANYONE can do this if they put their mind to it. It’s all about believing in yourself.

I suppose that a good place to start would simply be with an introduction of myself and my fitness journey. I’m 20 years old and started my fitness journey last June. I had always been reasonably active in high school, but when I started college that pretty much stopped completely. When I first started, I wasn’t very serious about losing weight or working out- I just went to the gym a couple of times a week and made minimal changes to my diet. Everyone’s journey is different and starts for a different reason, and I started because I was uncomfortable with my weight and the lifestyle that I was living. I was the definition of a couch potato- I slept all the time and was rarely active. Netflix was my main (AKA one and only) hobby. My typical snacks consisted of flaming hot Chester’s Cheetos Fries (which will always be delicious) and Oreos (my favorite cookies that I will never ever give up no matter what ANYONE says). I also work at a fast food restaurant, and regularly gave into the temptation to binge on fried, salty food. I felt sluggish and unmotivated, and I was stuck in a slump both physically and emotionally. I knew that I had to make a change, so I started getting serious about my health- both physical and mental. I realized that –spoiler alert- I would actually have to WORK HARD for what I wanted. I’ve been serious about being healthy for probably about a year now, and since then I’ve lost 22 pounds and feel like I’m on top of the world. It’s taken me quite a while to get to the place I am now, which is why I will always encourage people to persevere even if they feel as though they aren’t seeing any changes! At this point in time, I work out 6-7 days a week and have changed my diet completely. I don’t deprive myself of the things I love (…. Oreos) but at the same time I’ve recognized that I have to eat to fuel my body, not to satisfy my cravings. There are so many different elements that have contributed to my success thus far, there’s no way I could put them all in this one post. I hope to be able to share all of these things with you all as this new journey of mine progresses!

One of the biggest drawbacks I had in starting this blog was simply that I have no idea where to start. I would love to know if any of you have any questions or suggestions- please email them to squatsandsass@yahoo.com! I hope to be able to address any and all questions that people have and look forward to hearing from you guys! My goal is to make at least one post a week on this blog (maybe more, depending on how many times I get random inspiration for blog posts) and I would love to get both feedback and ideas so PLEASE do not hesitate to inundate my inbox!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings! TGIF and have a great weekend, everyone!

xx Tiffany