T.G.I.M: Music to Promote Positive Vibes

positivevibeselephantI thought I would do something a little different for you all today!

Instead of writing ABOUT something, I thought I would GIVE you something you can use to help you have a better, positive start to your day!

We all listen to some form of music right? I would like to think so. I 100% believe that the words we listen to and the vibrations we receive from our music absolutely have an impact on our mood and mentality. Have you ever noticed how when you’re mad you might want to listen to rock, hip hop, or something of the sort? I know I do. Or, if you’re feeling sad and sorry to say, you might feel like throwing a little pity party for yourself (I know I have before!) you might listen to some music that hits your emotional side hard like maybe country.

Well I am about to share with you my absolute favorite Spotify playlist that calms my nerves, puts me in a great mood, and promotes positive vibrations!

First of all if you don’t have Spotify I recommend you download it.

https://www.spotify.com/us/

Check it out by clicking the link above.

There is a free version and a paid version. Try it out for free, that’s what I did.

So here is the name of the playlist:

Beach Vibes

After you have created an account with Spotify and logged in, type the name of the playlist into the Spotify search bar. The image you’re looking for is shown below. Click the image below to be taken directly to the playlist!

Some of the songs you will find in the playlist are:

  • Wonderful World, Beautiful People by: Jimmy Cliff
  • What I Got by: Sublime
  • Upside Down by Jack Johnson
  • True To Myself by: Ziggy Marley (my absolute favorite song!)
  • Ordinary girl by: Rebelution
  • Three Little Birds by: Bob Marley & The Wallers
  • Love Is My Religion by: Ziggy Marley (another favorite!)
  • Bowl For Two by: The Expendables
  • Right Me Up by: State Radio

Listen for yourself and feel the calmness take over your body!

Enjoy!

-mk

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I. AM. HUMAN: The Disappearance of Motivation

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“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

I’m sitting here on my couch, sipping on a warm cup of coffee and listening to “The Today Show” all while I look at my blog and wonder where my motivation went. Isn’t it strange how you can start something like a fitness routine or in my case a blog with an amazing amount of motivation to keep it going and then one day you lose it? It is pretty perplexing to me seeing as how it’s something I really enjoy doing.

But guess what … here’s why it happens:

I. AM. HUMAN.

or you can read it like this:

YOU. ARE. HUMAN.

That’s really it. While there are thousands of very motivated and inspiring individuals out there, not everyone is the same. Where one person might be highly self motivated another may not be. These people, like myself, have to look for inspiration that will jumpstart our motivation from something inward or outward.

Just because you experience this odd disappearance of motivation doesn’t mean you failed, I’ll say it again:

YOU. DID. NOT. FAIL.

A lack of motivation is not failure. Failure to notice this lack of motivation and not creating a plan to get back on track is failure. If you aren’t aware of your lack of motivation you wont ever feel the need to make changes. Without creating a game plan to get back on track … you wont ever progress.

  1. Recognize that you have a problem: Lack of motivation
  2. Create a game plan to get back on track
  3. Make a note of why you veered off path before (laziness, school, responsibilities, etc)
  4. Execute your game plan!

As long as you dedicate yourself to getting back on track, you will not fail.

That goes for everything in life: addictions, fitness routines, diets, work, blogs, writing, drawing, etc. Sometimes you just have to recognize what the problem is and where the problem came from in order to create a fresh game plan to get you back on track towards your goals!

-mk

T.G.I.M: Will you sink or float?

sinkaship

I am in love with the symbolism here!

Your body is the ship and the ocean water is the negativity of the world. The water slams into the sides of the ship repeatedly day in and day out just like negativity slams into our mind, heart, and body. How strong the ship was built, or how strong our bodies are built, determines whether or not that negative water will pour into the ship.

But listen! It is up to us whether our boat, our body, sinks or continues to float!


I consider negativity a mental disease. I mean, it works like a disease right? It gets inside of our brain, latches on, and seeps out of our body like blood from an open wound. It shows symptoms of anger, depression, and a lack of motivation; it eventually moves from one part of your life to the next destroying what little motivation and hope you had left.

Unlike physical diseases, we actually ALLOW negativity to enter into our heart, mind, and body.

Why do we let this happen?

It’s easy. We let it happen because we don’t know how to prevent it.

Living a positive life isn’t a skill you are born with. The negative influence the world has on us is something we are born into and it is up to us to teach ourselves how to deflect it or how to see the positive side to any negative situation.

It is my decision whether I wake up with a smile on my face or a frown. Whether I let spilled coffee on my clean shirt ruin my day or wipe it off, suck it up, and move on.

This reminds of a scene from “The Pursuit of Happyness” where actor Will Smith played a character named Chris. He was sitting in the interview room with his future employers. He was covered in paint from head to toe wearing only a paint jacket, white tank top, jeans, and work boots. His employers were less than impressed but he didn’t let that stop him. Will Smith’s character was able to impress his future employers by answering one simple question.

“What would you say if a guy walked into our office for an interview without a shirt on and I hired him, what would you say? ”

His character replied:

“He must have had on some really nice pants.”

His comment impressed his future employers and he was hired on for a chance to be hired for the internship. He didn’t let his circumstances that he could not change get in the way of him reaching his goals in the pursuit of happiness.

To watch the video clip click the link below! Absolutely inspirational!

https://youtu.be/8ioBmnoto1o

The one thing you have 100% control over in life is your own attitude. 

Don’t allow the bad situations that occur in life, big or small, to seep into your heart, mind, and body. Don’t let these negative experiences dictate whether your life is good or bad. You can decide for yourself!

If you were blessed with another chance to open your eyes and to breathe in the fresh air … you were already given a huge reason to be happy and positive. You are blessed with another day to reach your goals and to experience life: good AND bad!

Don’t let yourself sink.

Patch those holes and build your ship stronger.

You can prevail.

You will float.

-mk

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Is fasted cardio right for you? Here’s what you should know!

The past week I have implemented fasted cardio into my morning routine. Fasted cardio is still pretty new to me which is why I wanted to research and write a small article about it. As with any kind of fitness and exercise what works for one person might not work for another. You won’t know if it works for you unless you try, right?

So, what is fasted cardio?

Fasted cardio is simply cardio that is performed in the morning right after you wake up on an empty stomach. The goal here is for your body to use its fat stores as energy instead of food as energy just like f you were to perform cardio after a meal.

Studies have shown that fasted cardio can promote greater fat loss when performed properly.

What you should know:

  • Fasted cardio is proven to target stubborn body fat stores.
  • Fasted cardio is heavily dependent on your diet.
  • This form of cardio should be kept to a moderate intensity to avoid the loss of lean muscle mass.
    • If you are concerned about losing lean muscle mass, supplement with 5 – 10 grams of branched chain amino acids or a scoop of whey protein before your cardio session.
  • Supplementing with yohimbe or caffeine will improve your overall results during fasted cardio.
  • Fasted cardio, when performed at a low – moderate intensity, is safe to perform daily.
  • When deciding if you should or shouldn’t incorporate fasted cardio into your fitness regimen, assess what your overall fitness goals are. Before starting fasted cardio, make sure that your diet is in check. If you start fasted cardio and your diet is off … you more than likely won’t get the results you’re looking for.

Hopefully this information will help you decide whether or not fasted cardio is right for you. If you don’t think this type of cardio is for you check out my other blog post on other types of cardio!

http://fitlifemk.com/2015/06/17/5-types-of-fat-shredding-cardio/

Has anyone ever performed fasted cardio?

If you have, please share what you think about it!

Does it work for you? What do you like or dislike about it?

-mk

T.G.I.M: Invictus “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”

This poem hit me hard and I hope it will give you a slice of inspiration and motivation this Monday morning.

-mk

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

By: William Ernest Henley

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/invictus-by-william-ernest-henley#ixzz3gR9Ky7Dg

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

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I’m going to give it to you straight up … it ain’t easy. Hell if it was everyone would be living a healthy and fit life! Am I right? Knowing how to start helps and having simple steps to guide you through the process is even better. I have compiled my own step by step process to help guide you into this beautiful, stress relieving world of health.

  1. The Decision

It honestly has to start with the decision to willingly begin. It can’t be someone else’s decision for you, it must be 100% your own. As we all know if our heart isn’t 100% dedicated to something we are less likely to follow through with it. So, when you have taken that first step … you are ready to begin.

  1. Educate Yourself

This is the hardest and most frustrating part. Because you are a newbie you are a beginner and we all know where beginners start … the beginning, the bottom of the totem pole, the back of the line, etc. There is always a stage where you have to put in a little bit of hard work and that comes with anything in life: there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Research any information pertaining to YOUR current health status. For example, if you deal with a disease or have any food allergies you will want to look up the foods you can and can’t eat. Take note. Also, make sure to write down the types of foods that your diet should be rich in and will have a positive impact on your health. As for your fitness plan, research exercises you can and can’t participate in. Any injuries you may have, you will want to find the exercises that will build these parts up stronger but won’t hurt these bones, ligaments, or muscles at the same time.

I strongly suggest avoiding fad diets. A fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These types of diets may give short-term weight loss but the promise of keeping it off long-term … it just won’t happen. Fad diets can also cause metabolic damage and other health related issues.

To learn how to differentiate between healthy diets and fad diets check out the link below:

http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/pages/fad-diets.aspx

After you have made a list of foods you can and can’t eat and a list of body strengthening exercises that won’t further irritate any injuries you may have, it’s time to make a plan of action!

  1. Plan of Action

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

So, it’s time to put all of that information you spent hours researching together in a document. Pat yourself on the back because the hard part is over … for now (insert evil villain laugh). I highly recommend using a word processing program like word, excel, or publisher to put together something you can refer to. This is where you can have fun! What I would do next is simply put together a sample weekly diet plan and weekly fitness regimen. Start with one at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself! A sample diet plan could look like this:

Monday

Breakfast: egg whites with spinach, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese and 1 slice of Ezekial bread with Almond butter.

Snack: handful of almonds and 8oz of water

Lunch: 1 can of tuna mixed with seasonings, spicy brown mustard, and celery served on top of whole wheat toast with a side of mixed field greens and balsamic vin.

Snack: 2 rice cakes with peanut butter

Dinner: grilled chicken breast, mixed veggies, and sweet potato

Try your best to be thorough but the key here is to create something that YOU CAN REFER TO. This shouldn’t be some silly ‘ole regimen you put together and never look at again. This should be your guidance, what you will refer to when you get overwhelmed in the future. Trust me, it helps.

A sample fitness regimen could look like this:

Monday

Morning run / Afternoon weight lifting: Chest & Tri’s

  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell incline bench press
  • Cable flies
  • Skull crushers with EZ bar
  • Dumbbell kickbacks
  • Cable press downs

If you are new and you aren’t sure where to start with selecting exercises visit bodybuilding.com. They provide thousands of sample exercises and all you have to do is type in what muscle group you are searching for.

www.bodybuilding.com

Those are a couple of examples of how you can lay out your sample diet and fitness regimen. A few things to aim for when it comes to creating a healthy diet plan:

  • Include variety: make sure your plan includes a variety of whole foods ranging from green leafy vegetables, fruits, red and white meats, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, dairy, whole grains, etc. Including a variety of all of these foods allows your body to take in the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy! Of course, pay attention to any health or medical conditions you have as they might limit or exclude some foods.
  • Create balance: creating balance just means not having too much of one thing. I am sure you have heard of MyPlate. If not, MyPlate is just a useful website that gives you information about eating healthy. It shows you how to divide your plate according to meats, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, etc. MyPlate says to dedicate half of our plate to green leafy vegetables and then divide the other half of our plate between a carbohydrate and a protein. Simple enough right?
  • Moderation: this simply means to pay attention to how much of one item you’re eating. Have you noticed that you have been consuming a lot of sweet potatoes the past couple of days? Maybe it’s time to switch things up and try eating some brown rice. Too much of a good thing can be bad, so just keep an eye on what you eat and how much of it you eat daily.

Visit the link below for more information about healthy food choices and how to implement balance, moderation, and variety into your diet!

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

  1. Implement your Plan!

The day has finally arrived. Day One in your calendar; this is the day where your life can change forever. You have made the decision to begin living a healthy life and you have created a plan of action that will guide and aid in this life changing process!

It’s GO TIME!

Always keep in mind what your long-term goals are: lose 20 lbs, clear your acne, relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, and strengthen your heart, whatever it is always remember what you are working so hard for! They will be your motivating factors on this journey. When it comes to health and fitness nothing happens over night, let me say it again,

NOTHING HAPPENS OVER NIGHT.

Got it?

This process takes time. Do not give yourself unrealistic expectations of trying to accomplish this life change in one week or a month. Be patient and trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it? No.

If you are someone who is motivated through seeing changes, as I am, I recommend keeping a journal. This is where you can write any and everything! Write down your starting waist, hips, and thigh measurements, your current weight, how clear your skin is, how you feel mentally and physically. Write down whether or not you enjoyed the food you ate or if you hated it. Make notes about your fitness: what did you enjoy and what did you dislike? As time goes by you will begin to notice subtle changes and you will also have a point of reference for determining if and when you need a change.

These steps helped me start living a healthy and fit life. I always recommend reaching out if you have questions or concerns. Contact a friend for advice, information, and motivation. Talk to your doctor if you have health related questions or a personal trainer for physical questions. You won’t know the answer until you ask the question!

Today is the day you could change your life forever.

Go for it!

-mk

Other blog posts I have previously written that can help aid in this process are listed below:

T.G.I.M: 8 Tips to help you Self Motivate!

8 Tips to help you Self Motivate!

Self motivation can be very difficult for many of us and trust me nobody is perfect! We all suffer from a lack of motivation. That’s why learning how we can encourage positive motivation in our lives is important! Below are a few things you can do to help you along the path of self motivation!

  1. Get Started!

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If you want to achieve any particular goal in life you have to make that first step! You have to get started and begin working towards what you want to achieve. Push that ball and get it rolling my friend!

  1. K.I.S.S

KeepItSimpleStupid-1920x1200

I know we have all heard this acronym throughout our years in school! The second step to help you self motivate is simple, literally!

Keep

It

Simple

Stupid!

Keep any and all motivators around you at all times. Pictures, quotes, jewelry, notebooks, etc can all be motivators that help spark your motivation! Keep them with you at home, in your car, and at work!

  1. Keep Company with People Who Uplift You

goodcompany1

Have you ever heard the phrase “keep good company”? I am sure we all have and those are words to live by! You are only as good as the company you keep. It is very easy to get caught up in the web of destruction negative people weave. The best way to self motivate is to have positive motivation around you and that involves the people you spend your time with: family AND friends. When you surround yourself with people who uplift you and provide a positive and motivational atmosphere, self motivation comes naturally!

  1. Positivity is Key!

positivekey

No, that glass is not half empty, it’s half full! See? Looking for the positive side to any situation will create a motivating atmosphere for you! You need to learn how to look for solutions to a problem and if it’s something you can’t control don’t dwell on it! Let it go. The one thing you can control is your attitude, so get a grip!

  1. Don’t Over-think!

overthinking

Stop thinking … just do! There are times where you should think about the different aspects of making certain decisions but, when it comes to achieving your goals and maintaining a high level of motivation you need to stop over-thinking! Take a leap of faith! Don’t be afraid to take that first step towards what you want in life! JUMP!

  1. The one person who knows you best is YOU!

Butterfly-clock

You know what makes you tick and what makes you … not tick. Even if you’re not sure what motivates you, you can learn! Try keeping a log or journal. Write down notes on the days where you are suffering with a lack of motivation AND write down notes on the days where you are more motivated than ever! Take notes of specific things motivate you and what brings you down. Over time you will notice what works and what doesn’t and will be able to create a plan that promotes better self motivation!

  1. Keep Track of Progress

progress

Keep a list of the projects you are currently working on. Also, keep a brief description of how far along you are on that project. Wherever we see growth or progress therein motivation lies! The best way to complete a project is seeing how we are progressing!

  1. We rise by lifting others!

werise

I use this quote quite a lot in my blog posts because I truly believe that by lifting others up we find self growth! It’s rewarding and motivating. Work with others who have similar goals as you. Talk to people and motivate them to reach their goals. You and the people you help will find that self motivation will come naturally when you see others achieve success!

Apply these to your daily routine whenever you need help in the motivation department!

Happy Monday Everyone!

-mk