How To Kick Start Your Fitness Journey

How To Kick Start Your Fitness Journey

The 3 C’s in life:

Choice, Chance, & Change.

You must make the choice,

to take the chance,

if you want anything in life to change.

Okay, I’m probably the bajillionth person to write tips and advice on transitioning into a fitness routine, BUT I want to try to reach as many of my friends as I can because I care about them and I want them to live long, happy lives. Even if only five people read this, thats five more people in the world who are taking steps to better themselves. To all of my friends out there who have asked me for advice on exercising and eating right- this is for you. I love you guys!

I’m gonna start off by saying that this is a commitment to your health. It is a privilege to be able to exercise and use your body while you can walk, jump…Move! When you look at the big picture and imagine how you want to be living at 65 years old, taking care of your body now is key. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. So, you want to feel more energized, look better, and increase your confidence? Be part of that 5%.

One of my friends sent me a text asking “How do I start working out?” Well, you just have to start somewhere! When I first started committing to an exercise routine, I found Kayla Itsines body-weight workouts. Let me tell ya, those kicked my ass! Once I felt comfortable enough to venture into the weight-lifting world, I started going to the gym for resistance training. See, we all start somewhere! Personally, I think that mastering body weight exercises is a wonderful place for beginners. However, it depends on the person. Some people prefer running, or yoga for exercise. All are GREAT options, you just need to find your niche-something you can enjoy doing long term. Once it becomes part of your routine, it will be foreign not having it scheduled in to your day.

That brings me to another piece of advice; schedule and make time for your workouts! Whether it is 5AM or 9PM, find a time to take some pre-workout, listen to some banger tunes that get you motivated, and go move your body! (I listen to Spotify playlists, and there are tons of really great genres for all different types of exercise.) You will not only be improving your health, but you will also notice that you are sleeping better, have more energy during the day, and feel a sense of accomplishment.

I’m the type of person that prefers to workout alone. The gym is my personal time where I can handle the shit that is happening in my life. However, I know other people love to have an accountability buddy! Find an exercise buddy, discuss your fitness goals, and keep each other accountable for those goals. One of my friends and I have a goal of running five miles this week, and so far we are crushing it! It is just nice to have someone struggling with you, but also knowing that you’re both accomplishing something that is keeping you healthy and active is a wonderful feeling!

My final little nugget of advice is to pay no attention to what others are doing. Focus on you and what you have going for you. If you become easily intimidated by people in the gym, that’s okay, because I’ve been there! Honestly though, if you stick with it, you get over that feeling. Exercise can build you up in so many ways, including your confidence. Just keep in mind that the intimidating ones at the gym are there for them, and probably are only focusing on their gains (lol) instead of what you’re doing. If anyone ever says something mean to you, just call me up and i’ll kick some meat-head ass.

SO, next time you’re contemplating about going for a run, just send it! You’ll feel amazing after. It’s all about starting somewhere and progressing into more vigorous exercises. Challenging your body, challenges your mind as well, which always results in growth. It’s cheesy, but you really can accomplish anything you set your mind to. If you are reading this, and want to commit yourself to an exercise routine-do it! I believe in you! Tell your friends, family, dog, and don’t hold back.

It’s time for growth.

-The Positive Peanut

Life-Changing Habits to Start Now

Life-Changing Habits to Start Now

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am taking advantage of today to ease my mind and just relax before my night shift in a few hours. Once again, I am sitting in my favorite coffee house, ready to express the thoughts buzzing around in my head.

As of lately, I’ve had many people question my habits. I know they are just curious, but some times I feel like they think I’m weird for committing to these habits. I know they mean well, and they probably just want to know how I carry out these fixations daily. I guess it’s the insecurity in me that is afraid of explaining the ‘why’ behind my mannerisms.

I have noticed that if someone is doing something out of the ordinary in the bunch, others will be intrigued, and will either start to follow that individual or judge them. Well, if you find yourself always being the odd one out and carrying on with your own habits that spark conversation, don’t feel insecure! If anything, the people questioning you are simply showing you that you are interesting. Wouldn’t you rather be interesting vs. a dull individual?

Not gonna lie, I have some odd habits. However, I consider them “healthy” habits. They make me who I am and I’m proud of myself for committing to these habits because they make me feel good and inspire others to take care of themselves as well. 

Here are some of my habits that have changed my life for the betterment of my health.

1.) Hydrate In the Morning

Obviously, hydrate all day too! By this I mean to wake your body and digestion up with 16oz of some good ol’ H2O. Your body will thank you.

2.) Lift Some Weights

If you’re trying to lose weight, become more toned, or even put on some pounds of muscle, weights will be your friend! My morning weight lifting sessions have helped me over the years in so many ways. I always go to the gym around 6A.M. every day (except for Sundays) to start my day off on the right foot! Make time to take care of your body.

3.) Get Some Beauty Rest

This is SO important! Honestly, I am a little old lady when it comes to sleep. I usually go to bed around 8:30-9pm, which many of my friends tease me about. I love being productive, but I also love sleep. It is vital for all humans in order to function properly. Prioritize your sleep, and I promise you’ll be amazed by how your body reacts to a consistent sleep schedule.

4.) Cook Your Own Meals

Okay, I don’t always follow this because I am addicted to Whole Food‚Äôs salad bar. However, cooking your own meals can be healthier and cheaper for you in the long run! I always bring a prepared meal and snack with me wherever I go if I plan on being out of the house all day. If you don’t have the time to cook your own meals, there are plenty of healthy food options out in the world! Grocery stores, cafes, and even gas stations are so much more accommodating to healthy diets these days.

5.) Express Your Gratitude

Tell your loved ones how you feel about them, and do it often. It never hurts to tell someone you care so much about them, or that you have been thinking about them. You just may make their day! It will fill your heart with love, and that always makes one feel at ease. Life is short, you deserve to be treated right, and so do others.

That’s just a few of my healthy habits that I hope y’all start to implement into your lives! What are some of your weird/healthy/different habits? Feel free to share your thoughts below. ūüôā

-The Positive Peanut


6 Tips to Help Build Lean Muscle

6 Tips to Help Build Lean Muscle

I get many messages over Instagram and text of people (mainly women) asking how to build lean muscle mass and become more toned, confident, and healthy! I’ve made a list in my notes of the things I’ve incorporated into my life that has helped me increase my lean muscle mass over the years. This is a fun topic for me because I love nerding out and sharing my personal experiences with others to hopefully help them reach their goals. It’s awesome because these are simple tips that anyone can use to see the results they want. What it really comes down to is time and persistence. Results won’t appear over night, but if you stay motivated, you’ll see changes before you know it!

I would also like to mention that I am not qualified to give any nutritional information, but I am here to share what has worked for me! If you are struggling with the nutrition side of things, I highly recommend seeing a Dietician or Nutritionist. I can tell you one thing though, we have the power of information at our finger tips and you can seriously Google anything you would ever want to know. If you want to know more about nutrition, you can look up the nutritional requirements for an adult who is trying to maintain lean muscle. Please be careful though, your health is not something to take lightly. You must make sure the sources you are obtaining information from are credible, reliable sources. Once you have an idea of what a healthy diet is, and how it can benefit you, it’s smooth sailing from there.

NOW….. into the nitty gritty.

  1. EAT A CLEAN, WELL-ROUNDED DIET. You will be amazed by how little changes in your diet can make a huge difference in your appearance. I remember when I was committed to a vegan diet, and I thought I was filling my body with healthy options just because they were dairy/meat/egg free. That is not the case, because I didn’t realize how much processed food I was consuming. I was also ingesting large amounts of soy every day, which wasn’t helping me achieve my goals in the long run. Now, I’m not bagging on vegans by any means, I’m just saying I wasn’t doing it correctly. This directed me toward eating more whole foods, such as roasted vegetables, chicken, turkey, eggs, fruits, rice, and other unprocessed foods. This change not only made me feel better, but it also has helped me increase my desired amount of muscle mass and now I look healthier than ever.
  2. GET ON AN EXERCISE ROUTINE. I made the mistake for the longest time of going into the gym every day without a plan. No specific targeted area I wanted to work on, no exercises planned, no specific goals in mind either. I just wanted to stay in shape, like I’m sure many of you do as well. I was cheating myself though. I was not putting in the mental work when it comes to exercising. Once I got a coach, I started to mentally push myself to feel the movements of my workouts. The mind-muscle connection is key. Its better to focus on the movements vs. the amount of weight you can move. Instead of hammering out some bicep curls as fast as I could, I actually focus on feeling the contraction of my muscles so that I know it is benefitting me. My coach gives me “phases” of my weekly workouts, which shows me exactly what I am training Monday-Friday, including cardio time, and supplements. (If you’re seeking an online coach, hit up Shaun Standridge, instagram: wycked_shaun)
  3. DRINK TONS OF WATER. You guys know this! Water is essential for living. We all have those days where we totally do not keep track of how much water we drink, which most likely is less than we are supposed to. I try to drink at least half my body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weight 140lbs, try to drink about 70 ounces of water a day. If you are’t a huge fan of drinking water, try adding BCAAs or crystal light to help you enjoy your fluids. Your water intake has a huge role in digestion, skin appearance, energy levels, and mood. If you want to feel your best, keep on drinking!

4. LIMIT YOUR CAFFEIN INTAKE.¬†I am so guilty of consuming 500mg of caffein per day, and I’ve done it countless times. Granted, I do work for a coffee company where the supply is endless. The morning coffee, the mid-work energy drink, the pre-workout…All day, every day. I was an addict for sure. However, I’ve changed my ways, and so can you! I’ve noticed that the more caffeinated drinks I have during the day, the less energy I have or I don’t even feel a difference in my energy levels at all. Sometimes I crash hard and don’t want to do anything for the rest of the day. You also have to consider the calories that are in your energy drinks and coffee. That alone could be your source of carbs for the day, which will not help you increase your lean muscle mass. Ever since I reduced my caffein intake to about 150mg/day, I’ve noticed myself feeling a lot more energized and more lean (from cutting out the milk in my coffee) and replacing it with water. However, I do enjoy my ultra sunrise monsters occasionally, and those are usually my source of caffein for the day. So try swapping out the regular coffee for decaf, drink more water, or find a less caffeinated version of your favorite drinks!

5. INCREASE NON-EXERCISE ACTIVITY THERMOGENESIS (NEAT). Yes, I know that is a big jumble of words. Basically, NEAT is the time and energy spent that is not eating, sleeping, or working out. It is the physical activity you partake in during your daily business. For example, instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. If you have a desk job and you find yourself sitting most of the day, get up and walk around the office every hour or so. There are plenty of ways to increase your NEAT, and in return you may notice some positive changes!

6. WORK YOUR ASS OFF. Plain and simple. Do the work, and you will be rewarded. It is almost like a formula, and if you follow all of these tips and work with intention, your desired outcome will show. Sometimes you have to wake up at 4am for the gym, or stay up late meal prepping on the weekends, or even cry on the stair master (guilty) BUT you will be proud. Accomplishing something you put your mind to will give you more confidence than you can imagine. You just gotta work your ass off.

Again, these are all things I incorporate in my daily life and it may work for some of you, and some of you it may not help you at all! Regardless of the outcome, I hope you enjoyed reading. I’m trying to be more transparent with my posts, so if there is anything you readers would like to know about me or a subject along the lines of mental health or fitness, don’t be afraid to drop a comment or shoot an e-mail. ūüôā

-Molls

Bikini Prep Diary #3- Holiday Edition

Bikini Prep Diary #3- Holiday Edition

T-minus five days till…

CHRISTMAS!

There is so much to appreciate during this time of year. People tend to be in better moods, and are more giving, loving, and empathetic. It is truly wonderful, and it makes me feel so at peace.

I am currently waiting to board a flight to my home town to finally spend Christmas with my family. It has been two years since I’ve spent a holiday with them, so I am extremely grateful that I was able to do it this year. My head is full of positive thoughts, and I can’t wait to love on my family and friends.

I’ll be honest though, I am a little nervous about being on prep during this trip. I am 12 weeks out, so it’s getting close to crunch time! The house I grew up in is about 25 minutes away from the nearest grocery store and gym, which I will need daily access to. I’ll be lucky if my dad lets me drive his truck, because last time I visited, I managed to back into it which left a pretty huge dent on the side. I’m just nervous about balancing my goals withy family time, but I know that my family supports me in this and will understand what I need to do and why.

I’m not too worried about staying on track, because I am very disciplined and self-assured. I want to succeed in this journey. As much as I will want my grandma’s christmas cookies, the thought of me being on stage with an incredible physique is so much more satisfying.

If you struggle to stay on track and committed to your healthy routine during the holidays, you’re not alone! Everyone wants to pig out on all of the goodies laying around, and then fall asleep with a full tummy. I really wish I could do that. With that being said, I have a few tips for anyone who is seeking advice for living healthfully during the holiday season!

Prep¬†your¬†meals!¬†Make¬†it¬†a¬†priority.¬†Sure,¬†you¬†may¬†have¬†people¬†comment¬†on¬†how¬†odd¬†it¬†is¬†to¬†eat¬†differently¬†than¬†the¬†others,¬†but¬†assure¬†them¬†of¬†your¬†goals¬†and¬†they¬†should¬†understand.¬†If¬†they¬†don’t understand,¬†frick¬†them.¬†

Cut out the alcohol. This is so hard for many people! Especially because everyone wants to get tipsy and have a good, care free time. If you plan on having a drink or two, stick to a vodka soda or something  low-calorie. 

Be¬†mindful¬†when¬†eating.¬†For¬†example,¬†being¬†aware¬†of¬†how¬†many¬†handfuls¬†of¬†popcorn¬†you’ve¬†had,¬†or¬†the¬†amount¬†of¬†cookies¬†you’ve¬†eaten.¬†It’s¬†easy¬†to¬†let¬†your¬†habits¬†get¬†the¬†best¬†of¬†you¬†and¬†“only¬†have¬†one¬†more.”¬†Eat¬†slowly,¬†drinks¬†after,¬†and¬†enjoy.

-Be¬†active!¬†It¬†is¬†so¬†important¬†to¬†move¬†our¬†bodies¬†and¬†give¬†them¬†some¬†fresh¬†air,¬†especially¬†if¬†you’ve¬†been¬†indulging¬†in¬†many¬†treats.¬†It¬†may¬†sound¬†like¬†the¬†last¬†thing¬†you’ll¬†want¬†to¬†do,¬†but¬†I¬†promise¬†you¬†that¬†you’ll¬†feel¬†so¬†much¬†better¬†taking¬†a¬†walk¬†after¬†dinner.

Be¬†present.¬†it is¬†so¬†easy¬†to¬†get¬†caught¬†up¬†in¬†all¬†of¬†the¬†stress¬†that¬†the¬†holidays¬†bring,¬†but¬†you’ve¬†got¬†to¬†try¬†to¬†keep¬†in¬†mind¬†that¬†it’s¬†a¬†time¬†for¬†love,¬†family,¬†friends,¬†and¬†pure¬†enjoyment.¬†It¬†will¬†benefit¬†your¬†mentality¬†with¬†achieving¬†your¬†goals.

I just want to make it clear that if you are unable to meal prep, that is OK! Shoot, if you are unable to do any of this, that is okay, as long as it is okay to you. Your health and happiness matters. Don’t kill yourself over trying to be the picture of health this holiday season, but it’s important to challenge yourself. Otherwise, how will you grow?

If you can discipline yourself, you will set yourself up for success and I promise you will reach your goals. Think about what you want, plan ahead how you can achieve it, take action, and don’t stop until you’re satisfied.

I encourage you to take the next step in your self-improvement journey, whatever it may be. If it is attempting to eat healthier, I hope this post has served you. Writing these kinds of posts really make my day, so thank you endlessly for reading.

Bikini Prep Diary #2

Bikini Prep Diary #2

I started my day at 5am, I had about five hours of sleep last night. I got a sudden migraine in the middle of the night, which used to happen religiously, but hasn’t occurred in years. I feel moody, annoyed, frustrated, and just not very good. I’m really struggling with today so far. But, you know what?

I’m okay. It’s times like this where I need to remember how blessed I am to see another day, and to have the opportunities that I obtain. My mentality is¬†strong¬†right now, but being tired is definitely a top three worst feeling in my book. It takes so much away from my work ethic, my relationship, and just my ability to carry on with tasks. It’s extremely frustrating, so I’m trying to be more aware of my actions when I’m feeling exhausted and working on not letting that moment of deprivation control my day.¬†I planned on going to the gym a little later in the morning, but life happens and I forgot that I had a meeting this morning before my shift. So, here I am, sitting in the parking lot of the gym trying to calm my anxiety once again. When I feel my anxiety start to come on I mentally prepare myself for a breakdown. (Sad, I know) However, I think this is healthy because that means I know my body and mind well enough now that I can prevent those breakdowns. Some of the things I do to kind of push away my anxiety attacks are mindful exercises that I learned in therapy a few years ago:

1.) Find a quiet place where I can be alone.

2.) Address the feelings I am having and try to talk myself through why I am feeling that way.

3.) Decide what I can do to prevent a breakdown/lash out.

4.) Take deep, focused, breaths.

5.) Say kind things to myself and others.

6.) Do something that relieves my stresses. (Gym, calling parents, treating myself, writing)

This is what works for me, and I hope it helps some of you as well. I am so glad I can have some alone time at the gym this morning, it really does bring me peace. Today is about to be a crazy day, but I know that life is just like that sometimes, and I have to accept it. I have to go with the flow of things and stay consistent with my actions. I’m sorry this post was basically just me complaining and ranting, but sometimes that’s just what a little human needs. I feel a lot better now. I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Bikini Prep Diary #1

Bikini Prep Diary #1

Do you ever get the random urge to do something drastic and actually follow through with it? I get those a lot. I call them my mid-(insert whatever my age is) crisis’. It’s funny because I am actually very thankful for those crazy emotions that cause me to do semi-crazy things.

For example, I have decided recently that I am going to train for and compete in my very first bikini competition. Now, this thought of competing has been on my mind for years. I just wasn’t sure when I would commit, considering I am so young and sometimes I feel like I look I’m not mature enough to create a mind-blowing physique. I’ve been training and lifting for about seven years now, so I would consider myself very experienced and comfortable in the gym. I’m hoping this competition can bring me a new level of confidence that will help me with my future plans.

Anyway…Long story short, I was going through a mid-20’s crisis one day and dropped a FAT amount of money on a coach. Luckily, I already knew my coach through going to the same gym for a few months.  I trust him, and this process. I am about 3-weeks into my prep with about 16 more to go, and I am extremely motivated. Sometimes I have my doubts though…Like, “can I really do this?” “Will my efforts pay off?” “Please don’t give up/fuck up, Mollie.” AND THAT’S FREAKING TERRIFYING. I know I won’t have the guts to give up anyway, but the fact that my brain is thinking those negative thoughts is very annoying. I’ve decided that if I start something, I cannot and will not give up. Not until I’m satisfied with the results.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately on my Instagram regarding my prep and what my workouts/meals are. I think its super rad that people are actually interested in what my goals are and what the process is like. I just hope people take everything I provide as motivation to improve their lives with healthy habits. As of now, the meals are plentiful and  I struggle to finish them sometimes. Some of my friends have told me that I look way more muscular in my legs, calves, and booty. That puts me on cloud nine! Having other people notice your gains is one of the best compliments anyone can give. I’ve been working so hard, and I will continue to do so throughout the rest of this prep. Some people may not understand why I’m doing this but that’s okay. This is for me, no one else. 

Since I’ve been getting a lot of questions on my workouts, I’ll post the one I did today! My good friend Adam is helping me create a video prep diary on youtube, where we will be posting my workouts, motivational speaking, Q&A, and more. I’ll be posting more details here soon! We filmed the first video today, so expect content early next week. 

Check out their Instagram! I’m also an ambassador for them. 

https://www.instagram.com/monolithiclife/

Now for my workout: 

GLUTES/PLYOS

-Seated abductors: 6×40 (sit close to edge, really focus on pulling with your glutes and squeezing for 2 seconds when in full contraction.)

-(SUPERSET) Smith machine/barbell hip thrusts x Barbell RDL: 4×20 (when doing hip thrust, push weight through heels, squeeze glutes. Barbell RDL, get full stretch and pull through hamstrings/glutes.)

-Close stance lunges: 4×20 (Push with glute of leg in the front)

2 ROUNDS:

-Kettle bell swings: 20 reps (push kb with glutes, not arms)

-Box jumps: 10 reps (When on top of box, stand up straight and squeeze glutes)

-(SUPERSET) Barbell walking lunges/Reverse lunges 10, 10

This workout is a bit shorter than my other’s for the week, but it never fails to make me feel like my butt is gonna fall off! I hope y’all enjoyed this and you find it useful. 

If you have any questions, future post ideas for me, or just wanna show some love, feel free to comment below or e-mail me! Have a lovely day.

What Sparked My Passion for Fitness

What Sparked My Passion for Fitness


An apple. No, seriously, It was an apple. 

It sounds silly, but I remember coming home from school in 5th grade and grabbing an apple instead of the jar of peanut butter and a spoon. (Doesn’t sound like the most appealing trade-off, but I was determined) I remember feeling so unusually proud of myself, I even told my mom and dad that I was eating something healthy. 

You’re probably asking what sparked this behavior in such a young child’s head. You’re probably thinking that a child shouldn’t have to worry about eating healthy as much as the average adult, considering that their metabolisms are fresh and more inclined to digest all of the junk food. Well, let me enlighten you on my realization at such a young age.

As an adolescent, I was a bit bigger than most of the other girls, and even quite a few of the boys my age. I was not uncomfortable about this until the day I decided to change my eating habits for the better of my health. Again, it sounds silly and maybe a little sad, but I remember wanting to go on the teeter totter with my friends at recess. I always shot my friends basically to the sky without even trying because I weighed significantly more than they did. However, it wasn’t that situation that bothered me much.

*Flashback to elementary school* My class was lining up to head back to the classroom from the library and I was standing with some of my best friends in line. I’m not sure how the conversation came up, but they were talking about how if you were chubby at a young age, that you would be skinny when you’re older, and vice versa. They told me that I would end up being skinny and pretty one day. Sounds kinda messed up to think about, but that always stuck with me.

Now, I knew I was a little chubby, but obviously I wasn’t going to go on a “diet” at such a young age. That is just a nightmare waiting to happen. I did however, have the courage to change something about myself that I knew could improve my well-being. So, I started to eat healthier day by day. Or at least what a 5th grader would consider “healthy”, which was good enough at the time. This change excited me, and I believe that is where the passion sparked. I became faster, better at sports, and more confident in my abilities. 

Fast forward to eighth grade and many obstacles later… My soccer coach at the time suggested that I start personal training at this new gym to prepare for high school soccer tryouts. The gym was called Forever Strong, and it was probably the best experience I could have endured. My trainers taught me traditional and olympic style lifts combined with HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) that elevated my interest in the fitness world to newer heights. I was slowly improving my physical fitness to the best it’s ever been. I eventually decided to take my knowledge from there and implement it into my own workouts at a local gym, and I have been awed by exercise and the human body’s capabilities ever since. 

Let me tell ya, it was not always a smooth process. I consider it more of a learning experience. It is a journey of mental toughness and self-belief. I struggled internally from about sixth grade to senior year of high school. Body image issues was a huge obstacle that took me years to overcome, but honestly, I think my ability to stick with my healthy exercise habits helped me out of that rut. I went from 105lbs (my unhealthiest) to 125lbs in about a year. I am very proud that I saw that I needed to take care of myself and take action. I did my research, and tried to learn about what I could do to get myself to be healthy again. 

Older photo comparison, but I will provide recent ones soon! 

Long story short, the fitness aspect of my life has completely saved me. I’ve learned so much over the years, and I just want who ever is reading this to know that…

YOU ARE LOVED & VALUED.

If you are in a place where you feel helpless, lost, or lonely, I encourage you to find a niche. Whether it be lifting weights, running, writing, playing an instrument, or anything that bring you comfort, use it to your advantage and for self-improvement. You gotta go through rock bottom to get to bikini bottom. (Spongebob reference lol)

I gotta end this with a cute puppy picture.