What My Fitness Essentials Are

My Fitness Essentials by IliketotalkblogFitness Essentials 

Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated to workout, but I find it’s easier when you love what you’re doing, and have the right gear to put your best effort into it — whatever you may be doing! I thought I would share what my fitness essentials are to get the best workout.

My Fitness Essentials by Iliketotalkblog

Heart Rate Monitor   – MyZone 

myzone iliketotalkblog

I use something called a MyZone heart rate monitor and I wear it for a few reasons. First, I get an accurate look at what my heart rate, and effort level is. I also find out what my calorie burn is which is useful information when you are figuring out your macros for losing weight. Mine is a chest strap that I wear under my clothes while working out, and all the data is sent to my phone when I’m finished to give me a whole breakdown of how my workout went numbers-wise. I know that WHILE I’m wearing it, I constantly check my numbers to try to stay “in the red” — basically, maximum effort so I get the most out of my 45 minute class. If I don’t hit my numbers by the end of class I stay there doing burpees until I do which could be an extra 5 minutes.

My Fitness Essentials by Iliketotalkblog

Fun Clothing – Fabletics, D’tinas and Champion

Feeling like I look good while I workout truly helps me stay motivated! I cannot workout in stuff that doesn’t fit right, or makes me self-conscious. I also like to have lots of options because I may need anywhere from 7 to 10 different workout outfits for the classes I take. I’m someone who likes my leggings/capris to feel tight and “hold me in” and my tops need to be sleeveless because I get hot and want to rip everything off if I wear anything with sleeves. My favorite leggings are the Salar from Fabletics. They have good compression, and comes in both capri (mid-calf) or full length leggings —and is 100% squat proof. I do the bendover test in every lighting possible to make sure. It’s something I’m weird about. If I think you can see my crack, I simply cannot focus, haha.  My other favorite brand is D’tinas. They have super customizable workout pants (lengths, color, patterns) and I just bought myself two more pairs to add to the three I already own. These can come with a scrunch booty, which imo makes things look just a touch better back there!  For sports bras, I can get away with getting the Champion ones from Target as long as they have thin straps. I love the look of Fabletics ones, but haven’t tried them yet. By the way, I don’t have a Fabletics subscription — I buy them off Poshmark at a discount because WHY pay full price when you can get them for waaay cheaper and brand new with tags! And good socks are important too. I like low socks but if they fall down in your shoe it can be super annoying. I usually buy a pack of no show Champion socks that have rubber inside the upper heel so it stays put.

My Fitness Essentials by Iliketotalkblog

Comfortable Shoes – Nike In Season 7 

I recently treated myself to new shoes and I still look at them with love when I put them on. I tend to stick to Nike for training/running shoes because not only do they feel good on, they look pretty cute too.  My latest pair are the In Season 7’s with a color-changing swoosh. Basically it’s slightly sparkly and shows all the colors of the rainbow depending on how the light hits them. I like that they’re super lightweight and work for both training and running. 

My Fitness Essentials by Iliketotalkblog

Nalgene Bottle  

I get super thirsty when I workout and always need to have something drink or I “feel like I’m dying” as I usually put it. I’ve been trying to get used to using a gallon container for the amount of water I drink per day, but I tend to just refill a 32oz Nalgene bottle a couple times a day. They’re super durable and won’t break if it gets tossed or dropped and can withstand lower rack dishwashing. You gotta get your water in order to feel good and have a great workout, so a water bottle that is of practical size will help get you there.

My Fitness Essentials by Iliketotalkblog

The Stick  

If I don’t feel sore the day after a workout, then that means I didn’t work hard enough. I’m not saying you should be in crippling pain the next day, but I should feel that stiffness when I get out of bed in the morning at least — usually it’s way more than that though. To help with muscle soreness I found this magnificent little tool called “The stick”. This slightly flexible baton looking thing rolls out muscle soreness in the best way possible. By rolling it out, you spread out the lactic acid buildup and help lessen the chance of doms (delayed onset muscle soreness). It feels SO good to use this at night time and you find unique ways to roll your own back and arms. I did used to have a foam roller, but I chose one that was too dense and hurt everytime I tried using this. The Stick is much easier for me to use and I would recommend this for anyone who has muscle soreness.

My Fitness Essentials by Iliketotalkblog

Weight lifting gloves  Harbinger FlexFit Weightlifting Gloves 

I noticed that after a few months of doing my bootcamp classes that I was developing calluses and my hands would really hurt during class. It felt like I was playing on the monkey bars and getting burns on my hands and I’d have to stop more to give my hands a break. It was finally time for some gloves. Gloves are great because they protect your hands from burns and calluses, and help you get a good grip on your weights, or protect you hands from the floor. I have a couple pairs of these gloves because they fit well, have some cushion, and don’t feel restricting on my hands. I can toss them in the washer/dryer at the end of the week, and they stay in good condition for about a year.

Good Music

I have no idea how anyone workouts without music. Music is everything to me! It gets me pumped to workout, it keeps me on beat and helps me push through when I’m really tired. I keep playlists ready on my phone, but I also use an app called Soundcloud also.  I also use an app called soundhound so if I hear a song I think I really like and don’t recognize it can listen to it for me and figure out what it is so I can buy it.

My fellow beauty bloggers have shared what their top fitness essentials are also — just hit the links below!

What things help you stay motivated with your fitness plan? Do we have an of the same things? Share in the comment section below!

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Healthy Tips For The Holidays: Watching The Waistline

battle-the-bulge-iliketotalkblogUsually right around the beginning of October, I get a flash of all the food that’s ahead in the upcoming months. Halloween brings candy into the house, Thanksgiving is a day of being surrounded by a feast, and Christmas tends to be a day of food as well. For someone who hasn’t been watching their waistline, or is currently trying to avoid temptation this can be a really difficult couple of months. I wanted to share some things that have been working for me that might be able to help you as well!

It’s been two years since I had my daughter and have struggled to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I would lose the weight, but gain it back and then some. I finally was able to make some lifestyle changes that have helped me drop around 12 pounds and 6% body fat over the last two months. While I don’t expect anyone to do exactly what I do, I know it helps me to listen to what works for others, and take what I can — even if it’s just one little thing out of several they are doing.

  1. Get Moving. I enrolled myself back into bootcamp classes and give my 100%. And when I say 100%, I mean, grunting, sweating, ugly face 100%. I am not pretty when I work out and I don’t really care who hears me grunting when I give it my all. When I couldn’t go to class, I would go for a walk or run in my neighborhood. Basically, I will find SOMETHING I can do for 45-60 minutes five to six days a week. But, I wasn’t always able to do that. It started with three days a week and I worked up the days. Now I’m challenging myself to take a double class on different days just to see how well I can do! I should also add that you should pick something that you actually enjoy doing or it won’t stick. So walk, run, dance in your living room, get in a gym or out in a park — just get moving!
  1. Find someone to be accountable with. It’s easy to make promises to yourself in the beginning of the day, and then go “NAH” later on. But would you do that if you promised someone you would meet them at class? I know that when I tell someone that I wanna attempt double classes I better do it because they may ask me about it later! LOL. I have a friend that we would text each other every day after we finished our workout. I have someone in my classes that we both want to be fast and strong at the things we do, so we try to workout near each other so we motivate each other. I signed up for a fitness challenge after a nutrition challenge so that I could be surrounded by people who had the same goals. It really helps when you find an accountability partner if you find that you make healthy promises to yourself that you don’t keep – whether they be face to face or just a text away.battle-the-bulge-iliketotalkblog-2
  1. Check what you’re eating. I did a nutrition challenge with my bootcamp and realized by day two that I was mindlessly eating all the leftovers on my daughter’s plate. That sh*t adds up real quick day after day and I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Talk about a total face palm. I decided to go back to counting macronutrients which truly helps with body recomposition. In my case, losing weight and building muscle. By keeping track of how much fats, carbs, and protein I eat on a daily basis I was able to drop excess fat and build muscle at the same time. I should note that I have tried tracking macros before but fell off track around my daughter’s first birthday. I was really upset with myself for it, but you know what? You just gotta start and try again. And this time around it’s been SO much easier to follow through with. If you’re interested in trying it, google IIFYM or macro calculator to find out what fits your age, weight and currently activity levels. I use My Fitness Pal app on my phone to log all the food I eat on a daily basis  — there is a paid and a free version within the same app.food diary iliketotalkblog
  1. Plan ahead for meals. I used to think that I had no time to plan for my own meals. I cook for my daughter every day and felt like there was no time for me so I certainly wasn’t going to have time to cook meals for myself for the whole week —WRONG! Cooking and preparing healthy, balanced meals on the weekend and storing in plastic containers has saved me so many headaches of trying to figure out what I could eat on the fly. I usually prepare 3-4 different meals that I can rotate through the week that have all been premeasured and packaged to fit my macro count. This is one of the biggest points that has helped me in battling the bulge. When I eat on the fly, I end up eating WAY too much because I’m standing in front of a pantry picking random things. If you have a REALLY hard time planning and cooking for the week, there are services out there that can help you. Google local meal prep and you will find tons to choose from.meal-prep-iliketotalkblog
  1. Realistic Expectations. Do realize that it IS the holidays and you should enjoy yourself. I try to eat healthy 90% of the time so that once a week I can indulge in that pint of Halo Top at the end of the night.  Don’t be afraid thinking you can’t enjoy Thanksgiving or Holiday meals. Eat! And get back on track the next day. Granted, you can’t be like this every week or things will go in the opposite direction, but just be mindful if you can. If you know you’re going to want all the desserts, maybe skip the mashed potatoes. Fill up on the veggies and lean protein (even if they have butter and oil on them :). If you’ve gone overboard and ate everything in site, just know that tomorrow you can start over. It happens. Just don’t make it a habit!

I am by no means any type of health expert, but I do know the struggle of losing weight, gaining it, and feeling like it’s hopeless and I’ll be in stretchy pants the rest of my life. But as I continue to stick to my goals, and stay motivated by working with other motivated people I get better and better at it each time. I’m not quite at my end goal just yet, but I can see the light at the end of tunnel and know that even though there will be some bumps in the road (I’m talking to you, Thanksgiving dinner!) I will keep at it and eventually get there.

Want more tips or a different perspective on battling the bulge? Some of my fellow beauty bloggers rounded up their tips on staying healthy during the holidays:


Style Collective Orange County Spring Meetup

** All images graciously provided by Bleudog Fotography **

Style Collective OC Spring Meet UpJust two weeks ago I attended my first blogger meet up through Style Collective, a blogging community made up of fashion and lifestyle influencers across the globe.  While I mostly stay within the beauty blogger circle, I thought it would be good to branch out and see what these blogging groups had to offer since I’ve moved from LA to the Orange County area with no close by friends. They offer great support in helping grow your brand and online presence and building relationships with likeminded bossbabes in a social networking community. We all need a little help sometimes and Style Collective is a great place to start! If you think you’d want to check it out or join you can use my affiliate link here.

The event that I attended was specifically for LA and OC influencers and was held in Costa Mesa at Mesa Lounge, a trendy indoor-outdoor bar and tapas spot with beautiful, warm lighting,  lush greens and a sophisticated ambiance. Debbie Savage of To Thine Own Style Be True hosted the event and hit the nail on the head with venue selection. Shawna of Bleudog Fotography had lots to work with since each corner of the venue was a serious photo opp!  Talk about a place that had that swanky, but not over the top feel to it! Our entire area was beautifully decorated with floral arrangements from Bleudog Floral. They did an awesome job appealing to all the senses with this location! No doubt, I was excited to put on a dress and heels and get out since having my little one. These types of outings are far and few between when you’ve just had a baby. Upon arrival, I dropped my car off at valet and headed inside to be greeted with drinks and warm hellos from fellow influencers.

Style Collective OC Spring Meet UpIt was a large group of girls to try and meet one on one, I didn’t get a chance to meet them all, but was happily relieved to share discussions about our blogs, the changing landscape of comment pods, and more casual things like family life, where to live, and our kids. Shortly after a brief mingling session, and getting out headshots taken by the photographer, we all sat down to introduce ourselves and share a bit about our blogs. I was on a bit of a ramble when it got to be my turn but that tends to happen with you have 30+ new women to meet! Haha!

Style Collective OC Spring Meet UpWe spent the rest of evening chatting while enjoying the delicious small plates that Mesa had to offer. I had skipped lunch that day due to a busy schedule, so I was just about starving by the time I got there. I did my best to not devour everything TOO quickly, but I definitely could not put down those pizza slices or going back for a second serving of their salad. The tables were also sprinkled with bottles of wine donated by Middle Sister’s wine which I forgot to try. Whoops!

Style Collective OC blogger meet upThe time went by quickly as I got to talk to the women seated close to me, like Diana from Bo.do.ke, Kathleen of KatAnderson who shared the deets on Texas living, and Nancy and Jessica from the fabulous essential oil infused jewelry brand, LavHa. I was super interested to hear how the brand came about since the pieces they were wearing were beautiful and I love the wellness aspect of it. Everyone was very outgoing and I only wish the tables allowed for us to talk more with those sitting further from us!

Style Collective OC blogger meet upI wasn’t able to stay for the full event since I was worrying if my daughter was successfully put to bed or still running around the house telling daddy what to do (LOL), but I was happy I was able to spend a good amount of time meeting those women before heading out with our fabulous Sponsor swag bag put together by all the women attending the meetup!

Style Collective OC Spring Meet UpSpecial thanks to all the wonderful and generous brands that donated their goods and services to the group! I found several items in my bag that I will be featuring on Instagram in the near future. Check out the goodies I got and tell me what you’d be most interested in hearing more about!

Style Collective OC Spring Meet Up

Attendees: Debbie of To Thine Own Style Be True, Shawna of BleuDog Fotography, Mindy of ThreadsNBreads, Mindy of The Songbird Co, Maria of This Is How We Wear It, Caitlin of BoyCherie, Amber of Amber Nicole Fashion, Marshel of Between You N Me, Alina of Besos Alina, Adrina of AdrinaRose, Caitlin of Beauty and Colour,  Amira of Fall Over Fashion, Julie of Stylish Paradox, Nora and Ani of Moda Mob, Kathleeen of Kathleena31, Melissa of Brocade Closet, Amaya of AromaOffelicity, Karissa of Kris + Joy, Lauren of Lauren Yes Lauren,  Kristina of Laugh Love and Hippie, Diana from Bo.do.ke, LavHa, Nancy of Love Light and Bliss

Style Collective OC Spring Meet Up