Personal Blog

  • Why you have to start being more SELFISH.

    Why women need to start being more selfish.

    When you bring up the word “selfish” to a woman, she’s typically going to cringe. It’s a word we often think of strictly in the negative sense, and it’s time to re-evaluate that whole situation. Yes, I meant to type that. Ladies, it’s time to stop thinking that being SELFISH is a bad thing.

    I’ve learned a whole lot of life lessons in the past several years, many of which you’ll hear about here on my newly re-launched blog (be sure you are subscribed– do so over at the sidebar right now y’all!) – and one of them is that women, myself included, can often be such people pleasers by nature, they will put everyone else’s needs before their own, all the time. While this sounds nice and potentially noble, don’t kid yourself. It’s not. It’s more like a recipe for disaster. And burnout. And adrenal fatigue, among other things. 

     

    Being unselfish is a recipe for disaster.

    What do I mean really, when I say that being unselfish is a recipe for DISASTER? Seriously. Well, if you are, like I have been for most of my adult life, a people pleaser who thrives by taking care of EVERYONE else around you- your significant other, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers or employees, if you don’t pay attention, you may not notice that YOUR life is suffering. YOUR productivity at work is on the decline because you are carrying everyone else’s burdens. Your emotional state of mind can be one of sheer turmoil and exhaustion because you are shouldering the burden of trying to solve everyone else’s problems. (Have you done this? Someone you know loses a job and you feel it’s YOUR job to help them find a new one. It’s YOUR problem they can’t pay their bills. It’s YOU who should lend them money and YOU who should network for them to get a new job…..yea, I’ve been there!!) When you are relentlessly unselfish all the time, you say YES to every request- from co-workers or your boss, or your employees even! You say yes to every social request, even the ones you don’t want to to attend, because God forbid you say NO. What does this do? It leaves you with a schedule that is impossible to maintain, yet you keep trying. When you are insanely unselfish at home, you run around the second you get home taking care of everyone else’s needs- cleaning the house, doing the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning up the kitchen etc. — and you don’t pay attention to the fact that you are EXHAUSTED. 

    And then you look around and wonder why you don’t have the energy to work out. And you wonder even if you DID have the energy, when would you find the TIME? Yea– read above- remember– your schedule is impossibly full. So you have no time. 

    This is a road to nowhere. Because it never ends. The people you think you are helping or serving will not typically appreciate it, but they will come to EXPECT IT. And so their dependency on you will never stop. Their demands will only increase because you’ve set the tone for your relationship — you have become the GO-TO-GIRL. For everything.

    Why you need a LIFE wake-up call.

    Ladies, I’ve had quite a lot of LIFE wake-up calls in the past couple of years- and I’m so grateful for them. I’m convinced that too many of us are walking around on auto-pilot every day, not considering if where we are- with our work, with our body, with our health, with our relationships, is where we want to be. We just keep trudging through the days hoping to “get by” or thinking that things will inevitably get better if we keep working hard, working long, being caring and giving and unselfish etc. It doesn’t work that way. If our lives are to change for the better, it’s up to US to change them. And we can’t change them if we aren’t paying attention. We really REALLY need to start paying attention to ourselves. 

    It’s when we start paying attention to ourselves, and making that a .habit, that we can improve the overall quality of our LIFE. And when we do that, TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS– IT’S NOT JUST AN OPRAH-SHOW CLICHE– when you are happier and more fulfilled and healthy and loving life, you WILL do more for the others in your life. 

    You’ll perform better at the office. You’ll be a better wife/girlfriend/mom/best friend/co-worker. 

    I shot an impromptu video on this topic the end of last week– watch below and let me know if this resonates with you. 

    Ladies, are you feeling this? Is this you? It was me for years. I have ignored my goals and my health issues and my visions for too long. Now, I’m learning, my life and my health will only change and improve to the degree that I invest time and focus and activity on them. HELLO!! It’s time to look inward and focus on US, so we can be better inevitably for those around us. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments what questions you have and if this struck a chord with you. I’ll see you soon. The first half of this year was a lot of prep work for what I’m finally going live with the second half of this year so make sure you are subscribed!! 😉 

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  • The 5 Biggest Fitness Mistakes I’ve Made, and How I’ve Fixed Them For the Better.

    What NOT to do if you want to get fit.

    I have been blogging and vlogging and talking about my fitness journey online since 2007. And in the past 12 years, I’ve learned a lot. 

    I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do that’s for sure. 

    The truth is, what has become very clear to me recently is that– my massive insecurity about my looks and my body, combined with my incredibly impatient nature, drove me to push way too hard in all areas, with the desire to get fit FASTER. 

    News Flash: that never happened. What did happen was that I became run down, my workouts suffered, I lost my energy and often my motivation, my inner self-talk went from negative to destructive and my eating practices became obsessive. 

    It took me doing a lot of introspection to figure this stuff out and I encourage all of you if you can, to get a therapist you can talk to to figure out your inner BAGGAGE that is likely holding you down. If you aren’t ready for that step, start with some personal development/self-help books– they’ve done wonders for me. (HINT: I’ll be sharing a post next week with some of my favorites for you)– and if you are that person who hears the words “personal development” or “self-help” and rolls your eyes with skepticism (I did back in the day)– guess what? You probably need it far more than you think.

    Whatever you are most resistant to is likely what you need to pay attention to most in your life. 

    Example: Are you always worried about money? Freaking out about paying your bills or wondering how you can earn more? You have money issues you need to get to the bottom of– quite often we have these hangups inside of us that affect our behaviors– until you identify them and recognize them when they appear, you can’t change them. 

    So, when I was finally able to be real with myself, that’s when I could identify all my bad behavioral patterns or thought processes that were becoming huge obstacles for me in my fitness journey. Because what I realized was this: for all my years of working out and dieting– I never once reached my ultimate goal. Never ONCE. I’ve made progress then backslid, then made progress then backslid. It has been a PATTERN of two steps forward then 2 and a half back etc. I’ve LINGERED in the land of “almost there” for so long it’s just sad. 

    But I am the obstacle. It’s MY behaviors and MY habits that I’ve allowed to remain– I’m still working on figuring out why– why have I self-sabotaged, why have I held myself back? Why do I give 80% and not 100%? Why do I make exceptions? This is the hard part, ladies, the inner work. But it’s the work that matters the most– because I guarantee you this- we ALL KNOW the foundational principles of getting fit. We all know what food is the best choice and what is bad for us. We all know we should work out vs. watching TV or sleeping in every morning. We all KNOW what we SHOULD do to get fit. So the things that propel us toward making bad decisions- that’s the meaty stuff we have to figure out on our own. You can read all the diet books and troll as many fitfam instagram accounts as you want – if you don’t get YOUR MIND right, it won’t matter.

    Bam.

    So– as promised then, let me share with you what my biggest MISTAKES have been– the things I’ve cut out of my life now. Then I’ll share what I’ve added IN to my fitness life – and I’ll share how it’s making a difference. 

     

     

    My Top 5 Biggest Fitness Mistakes.

    1. Setting Unrealistic Expectations: I cannot tell you how many times I would start some DIET or “challenge” program that promised crazy weight loss in x weeks– and even if that was already unrealistic I would make the diet and workouts even more extreme to hurry the process UP! Signing up for any challenge that promises you and anyone else in the world the same results in one or two months– is not realistic in any way. Once you are past the age of 30- you have hormonal issues and stress issues to consider– and each of our unique DNA history will have an effect on our inevitable outcome.
    2. Working toward completely unrealistic goals: Ladies. I am as curvy as a Kardashian. (Well maybe not as butt-tastic as they are but this girl has boobs and butt and always has) and all of my life I have aimed to look like Jennifer Garner in Alias. That is NEVER going to happen. We have completely different body types and yet, I have measured my success by comparing myself to her physique. 
    3. Thinking that MORE is better. I am so impatient. I want overnight results. And as such, I would take every diet I attempted to participate in and ENHANCE IT. By doing MORE: more restricting, more working out, more of every extreme measure I could. HINT: It never worked. 
    4. Beating myself up. I cannot tell you how much of my adult life has been spent beating myself up emotionally. I mean, picking myself apart for my looks from head to toe. The conversations going on in my head – if you heard how I talked to myself you would be MORTIFIED. I realize now how damaging this has been and it’s a work in progress to fix.
    5. Aiming for perfection or nothing. I obsessed over every detail for years. I thought I had to be so rigid and compliant with whatever program or diet or challenge I was on that if I slipped with 10 calories, I’d end up bingeing and starting over. To me it was all or nothing. If you messed up one day, the whole week was ruined. STUPID.
    Ladies, these are the biggest mistakes I’ve made and the areas I’ve made the most significant change in recently. And the changes are making a difference in every way. You may also want to read this post I published on FitFluential for more tips; CLICK HERE.

     

    The 5 Best Changes I've Made In My Fitness Journey That Are Paying OFF For the Better.

    So, what have I done to be “out with the old and in with the new”? Well, the truth is, I absolutely DO focus on that– call it the George Costanza Opposite Approach (if you don’t get my Seinfeld reference shame on you). In other words, I recognize that what I practiced in the past, did NOT work, so it makes sense for me to do the opposite or close to it. Read on for my top 5 new best practices:

    1. I accept myself as I am. I no longer am striving to look like Jennifer Garner or Ashley Horner, but to become the best, strongest, leanest, healthiest version of ME that I can. 
    2. I cut out the negative self-talk and replace it with self-respect and self-love and ENCOURAGEMENT. I absolutely still catch myself when I see a glimpse of my bad areas- I catch myself slipping into self-loathing but I am now able to stop it for I KNOW HOW DAMAGING IT IS. I move right into telling myself how far I’ve come and how “You’ve so got this Olexa!!” I really do. It works.
    3. I stopped the obsessing. I no longer obsess about mistakes. I don’t freak out if I hit 120g of carbs on a day that my goal might be 90g of carbs. I don’t FREAK out that the day I had to skip my workout because I was sick is going to ruin everything. I CHILL OUT and am learning to enjoy the process.
    4. My goals are LONG-TERM without deadlines. I’ll get there when I get there.
    5. I am LIVING MY LIFE along the way. Before, I thought I could not go to the gym until I was at 20% body fat. I could not go on vacation until I was perfect. I didn’t want to buy a size 10 jeans. I only wanted to wear size 6 so I would never go out until I was perfect. I’ve learned to LIVE my life and buy awesome clothes for my amazing healthy body RIGHT NOW and keep working toward a better version of me every day. But life is for the living!!

    Ladies, these changes above have made a huge difference. In my upcoming posts, you will read more detail on each point– from the mistakes list to the great additions list. Be sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss out. 

    What points hit home for you- the good ones or the bad ones? Let me know in the comments what you struggle with the most. 

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  • Why you have to TRACK everything in order to reach your goals.

    Goal Setting Is Step One. To reach your goals, the secret lies in the TRACKING.

    Do you collect goals like hobbies? Be real- have you created lists upon lists of goals- for your body, for your relationship, for your job, for your business? Do you have more lists of goals than you do dates on your calendar where you actually REACHED THE FINAL DESTINATION of achieving what you wanted?

    You aren’t alone. I was that person for years, and frankly, I was that person– setting lots of goals and buying lots of pretty notebooks and fancy pens (don’t get me wrong, your girl still does that) and luscious organizers with stickers (don’t judge me) — and I’d fill the first few pages with my lofty goals. 

    I want to achieve my optimal body fat level. 

    I want to 10x my income.

    I want to meet the love of my life.

    I want to be debt free.

    Do any of these sound familiar to you? I’m certain you may have had similar goals. 

    Here’s the sad truth. I’ve had many of these goals for 10+ years. I’ll keep it real for you. With the exception of one (I DID meet the love of my life and that’s a manifestation story I’ll share in upcoming posts– be sure you are subscribed!) – I do not have a date on the calendar where I achieved those goals. 

    Damn.

    The good news is this: I now know why I have been in a familiar pattern of maintaining vs. progressing. I now know the bad habits I was embracing and the best practices I was NOT embracing are precisely what kept me holding steady…in the middle.

     

    If you are not progressing toward your goals, you are languishing. That's called being STUCK. And there's a solution for that.

    Being stuck in the “middle” sucks. There’s no easy way to say it. You have dreams and aspirations and you are working– right– you know you are working, but more often than not you have those a-ha moments of “Dang. Another December and I’m starting another weight loss resolution!” or, “OMG. I told myself I’d have this debt paid off by the time I was 30 and now I’m 33 what am I DOING??”.

    Cheer up, friends. I’m here to help. 

    The problem that most of us have when it comes to reaching our goals is we don’t anchor our warm fuzzy dreams and aspirations into a concrete PLAN.

    How many of you have thought about the big goal– whether it’s getting to your ideal body fat or losing 10lbs or paying off your student loans, or starting your own blog/website, or becoming an amazing photographer — and then you found yourself later frustrated AF because you realize you are always wishing for that goal but you haven’t gotten there?

    • But you- bought the gym membership and maybe went to Lululemon for some fabulous workout gear because you knew it would make you motivated. 
    • But you bought a camera.
    • But you read an article on paying off debt and then listened to a podcast about it.

    Yea. I’ve been there. I am RIDICULOUSLY TALENTED at….STARTING. 

     

    To reach your goals, you MUST have a plan. More importantly, you have to TAKE ACTION.

    People, trust me when I say, this quote above is so spot on it’s scary. Far too many of us spend way too much time, after identifying our fancy goals and dreams, in the PLANNING phase. That phase where you research EVERYTHING and buy books and listen to podcasts and watch YouTube video tutorials and buy 5 different online classes about complementary topics to help you….

    HAVE YOU BEEN THERE? 

    I have. It’s a place located at the intersection of PERFECTIONISM Street and FEAR Avenue.

    Yes. When you spend days and weeks and months in START mode– planning and researching and studying vs. TAKING BIG ACTION, you are likely operating from a combination of FEAR and PERFECTIONISM.

     

    Perfectionism is the enemy of progress.

    Take it from me, the Perfectionist Queen. If you are obsessed with everything about your goal- whether it’s reaching your ideal weight or starting a new business or attacking your debt– if you feel that everything has to be perfect before you take action — you will NEVER GET THERE.

    What does that look like? Let me give you an example of me and my fitness goals in the past. 

    I’d want to reach my own Ashley Horner version my physique. I’ve purchased pretty much every Ashley Horner workout she’s published. Then I’d start my RESEARCHING. I’d read through the program — convincing myself I had to “really do this PERFECTLY this time to reach my goal”– have you said that? I’d go to Ashley’s Facebook group and get caught up for HOURS many days reading success stories of other people and finding out everything they did so I could copy that. I’d shop at Lululemon for more workout clothes. I’d watch Ashley Horner videos on YouTube and then obsess about how I would do those programs at the gym without a partner. Then that would worry me, that I couldn’t do it perfectly so I’d research how to do the workout at home. Then I’d discover one move that required equipment I didn’t have. THAT led to- more research on equipment I could buy. Then I’d research all the recipes and then I’d shop for better protein powder and flour alternatives. 

    I’m telling you. The above is not an exaggeration. And each day while I was in this research mode I often gave myself a pass- to not work out because “shit is about to get REAL Kelly, enjoy your life now before this diet starts!!”– so I’d slack off and eat bad food.

    Do you see the big picture? I have big goals and then I settle into START/RESEARCH/EVERYTHING MUST BE PERFECT MODE and my progression toward the goal takes two steps BACK not forward. 

    FAIL.

     

    ACTION and TRACKING are the best guarantees for reaching your goals.

    You see how this is a long road to nowhere. So what do we do, to effectively reach our goals and not take a decade to do so?

    TAKE ACTION. 

    TRACK ALL YOUR ACTIVITY.

    That sounds simple and it is- but simple is not always easy. This takes time and effort and you must force yourself to be committed and accountable. Let me tell ya, I told myself for YEARS “I really should journal….people say it’s so good for you”- and I never stuck to it. Until I made A COMMITMENT to myself to journal every morning for 2-3 pages M-F. I’ve done this now for 3 months straight. When you make a promise to yourself and commit to it, it’s received by your brain more favorably than “you really SHOULD do this or that”– right?

    Identifying your goals and dreams is the easy part. 

    Figuring out your action plan to GET THERE (stay tuned, that’s a blog post coming up I promise) is the next big step. But the most important step– TRACK WHAT YOU DO EACH DAY. It can take whatever form you want. Some people track publicly on social media. Some like spreadsheets. Some like hand written journals. Make some form of RECORDED data– of all your activity. 

    Why? You do this for 2 reasons.

    1. WHILE you are pursuing your goals, tracking them in whatever form works best for you is a constant reminder that you are making progress– it’s tangible evidence for your brain to feel “I’m DOING THIS” and inertia occurs. A body at rest……you know the drill. Get your mind and body understanding that you are MOVING FORWARD and give yourself PROOF every day.
    2. AFTER you have achieved success- you keep your records because I guarantee you- down the road you’ll want to reference “How did I get so lean back in 2017?” or “How did I ever pay off $35K of debt in 3 months….I’m there again!”

    Friends, tracking your activity is a game changer. I’ve been tracking my workouts for years and it keeps me GOING. And I have used my books/records/calendars for reference more times than I can count. 

    Watch this video below to learn more about how and why I’m taking my TRACKING up a notch.

    So– did this post strike a chord with you? Have you been like me in the past– languishing in the middle and not getting anywhere? Are you ready to start TRACKING your way to success? Let me know in the comments below. And if this post was helpful for you, I’d so appreciate you sharing with your friends that need it– THANK YOU! See you soon- I’m back!!

    Below are some of the tracking/organizing tools I bought and am rather obsessed with. Please enjoy this shopportunity. 

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