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Sunday, January 15, 2017

why you absolutely need to watch "revenge body with khloe kardashian"

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I've never been one to tout the Kardashians as role models, nor involve myself in their drama-ridden "reality."

But, since Khloe took control of her health, I've found her, well ... inspiring. Revenge Body is no exception.

Kelsey Miller at refinery29 was quick to condemn Khloe, those on her new show, and those who watch her new show. Miller — who is not, mind you, a health and fitness expert — is the mind behind "The Anti-Diet Project" and "Rational Fitness."

Both programs seem to advocate utilizing happiness as an effective means of getting healthy. They're basically the Joel Osteens of the health and fitness world. Miller makes some good points with these programs — killing yourself in the gym every day will only make you miserable; depriving yourself of every tasty treat will do more harm than good — but she never tells the whole story. She claims that taking a long, meditative walk counts as being active. I admit that those are excellent for overall health and are far better than sitting on the couch for a Netflix binge, but long walks do not a fitness regimen make.

When you want to see results, you have to push yourself. You have to get out of your comfort zone. That doesn't mean train for a marathon if you hate running. That just means challenge yourself. Get your heart rate above 140. Load the bar a little more (safely). When you've gone as hard as you think you can go, go a little harder.

That, to me, is the point of Revenge Body. In the first episode, we met Will and Stephanie. Both were tested, and both proved to themselves that they were capable of so much more than they expected. Both were on the show to get revenge, against an ex and against friends, respectively, and both eventually realized that those people's opinions don't matter.

Each person found strength within themselves to get healthy, and that's exactly what they did. They spent three months focusing on nothing but themselves, and they were better off for it.

Those of us who struggle with our weight often put others' needs before our own. We take care of everyone else and neglect ourselves. We overeat. We don't exercise. We eat our feelings. Then, we realize how much weight we've gained, feel guilty, and eat even more.

Revenge Body serves as a reminder that your health is about you, and no one else. If you want to get healthy, you have to make the decision to put yourself first. Take care of your needs. You need to make time to exercise. You need to eat whole, healthy foods. You need to get enough sleep, and you need to take care of your mind through plenty of rest and relaxation.

To Miller's points, no, this is not a groundbreaking new health and fitness show that will give you the tools you need to lose weight. It's a Kardashian show on E!, for Pete's sake.

But, it is a show that can provide you that extra bit of motivation you need to get off the couch. It's a show that will remind you that your social and mental problems won't be fixed simply with weight loss. It's a show that will prove that those people you're getting "revenge" against by getting hot are just toxic and completely undeserving of your time.

If you're like me and find motivation in seeing other people succeed in their weight loss and health goals, then Revenge Body is a great show for you. If you're looking for tips and tricks and secrets to weight loss: look elsewhere. Little time is actually spent on the importance of healthy food choices and great workout regimens.

Regardless of whether you choose to watch it, remember that your health is about you. If some jerk inspires you to get healthy to get Revenge, then let that be your motivation. But don't let that be your purpose. Your purpose is to get healthy for you. To show yourself what you can do. To ensure you have a longer life, more energy, and greater happiness over all.

If you are looking for tips and tricks to help you with your weight loss/health journey, these are some of my personal favorite resources (be sure to let me know yours in the comments!):

  • Whole30 Diet:
  • Stupid Easy Paleo Recipes:
  • Self Magazine:
  • Greatist Health & Fitness Blog:
And, you can follow my personal fitness journey on Instagram: @laurencathleenfitness

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

how i will better myself in 2017

I've always been a sucker for New Years.

As a child, I romanticized the notion of a kiss when the ball drops and fireworks illuminate the sky. (Frankly, I romanticized the notion of any kiss, hopeless romantic that I am.)

In college, the New Year provided me with a means to justify paying a ridiculous cover price at a bad bar for cheap champagne, dance-induced blisters and a drunken kiss with a stranger. (Sorry, mom.)

Now, though. Now, I just see so much life attached to New Years. It's a chance to start anew, wash off the bits of the previous year you'd like to forget, and be a better version of yourself. New Years, to me, is filled with endless hope and a sense of being cleansed.

This year, I've decided to take that last bit quite seriously.

Cleanse and Renew

I love finding ways to better myself, even if the attempt at betterment only lasts a day. In 2017, I'm going hog-wild to cleanse myself of bad habits, bad people, bad environments and bad food. I've pledged to better myself financially, intellectually, nutritionally, friendshipally and fitnessally.

My New Year's Resolutions:

Better myself financially. I've always had an unhealthy relationship with money. Since I first started working, as soon as I got money, I had to spend it. Try as I might to save money with savings accounts, the envelope system and whatever else, I can only set aside money until I need a new pair of shoes. Unless, of course, the money is being taken out of my paycheck before it ever hits my bank. Thank you, 401K.

This year, I've resolved to get my credit card utilization below 30 percent and save enough to cover three months' living expenses. For my credit, I like to use Credit Karma, a free resource that provides your credit score, credit report, credit card utilization and a ton of other factors, as well as how they affect your credit score and personalized tips and suggestions. And, no. Getting your credit score from them doesn't affect it. For budgeting so I can save money, I'll use Mint, another free resource that gives you everything you need to budget successfully.

Better myself intellectually. I've been trying to learn a new language for more than a decade. In high school, I took both Spanish and French, and in college I took Swahili. But, with each language, I didn't dedicate time to practice or continue learning after class. What resulted is a weird SwaFreSpanglish that only extends to "Hello, how are you?" in each language. I've started improving my French with Duolingo, a free app that lets you learn a multitude of languages. My goal is to be able to annoyingly order in French at a French restaurant and have boyfriend roll his eyes.

And, I'll be making an effort to read a little every day, because, as much as I love books, I never make time for them.

Better myself nutritionally. Back to the more literal sense of "cleansing." In all honesty, I've struggled with my weight my entire life. I love food, but, more than that, I love unhealthy food. That, combined with my tendency to emotionally eat have left me overweight and unhappy. While I always try to eat healthy, I find that the little allowances I give myself, the taco here or candy bar there, inevitably stunt and even reverse my progress.

I've resolved to get serious about my health and nutrition and am recommitting myself to the Paleo Diet. First, though, I'll be doing The Whole 30 to reset my system, debloat, cure cravings and restore my body's natural balance. I started today, am sincerely hoping this blog will be a little commitment to myself to follow through for the entire month.

Better myself friendshipally. I've lived in Houston a year and a half and I have exactly three girlfriends. Making friends as an adult is difficult, especially in a new city where you're not really sure what to do. I've tried making friends on BumbleBFF, but I've fiercely decided that online dating ... or online friendshipping, if you will ... is not for me. This year, I'll be making an effort to make friends through things that I enjoy doing, most likely through activities on Meetup.

Better myself fitnessally. I've been working out diligently for about six years, but I've always struggled to maintain a routine. While daily workouts at CrossFit gyms worked wonders, my weight gain has told my knees that's no longer an option. This year, I'm firming a workout routine for myself to establish good habits and make sure I stay active. I like to think of that arthritis commercial to get myself moving: "A body in motion tends to stay in motion. A body at rest tends to stay at rest." I'm resolved stay in motion in 2017.

Follow my fitness journey on Instagram: @laurencathleenfitness

A lot of these resolutions are pretty personal, and the posts to follow will be downright intimate. But, to me, that's not only great motivation to keep going, and have that one person who reads my blog hold me accountable, but will also provide a chronology of my journey in 2017. And I'm so excited to have you on that journey with me.

What are your New Year's Resolutions?

*It should be noted that, although I link to a lot of resources in this post, none of them are sponsored or affiliate links. I just really enjoy them and legitimately recommend their services.