2015 Goals {Health/Fitness & Blogging}

2015 Goals via Earl-Leigh Designs

One way to reach your goals is to write them down. I like to post mine for extra accountability. It tickles me to no end when I get a reminder from one of you ladies to post an update. Thank you for that! There were a few times last year where I just wanted to eat a pint of ice cream, rub my tummy and watch Netflix but one of those reminders would come just in time. Not that I don’t enjoy that scenario! Haha! Moderation. Because I have a lot of smaller goals to help get me to my ultimate goal of creating a life that I love, I’m only going to post a few for now.

1. Continue to practice yoga and end the year with at least one handstand push-up.
2. Get into competition shape.
3. Compete in the bikini division of an NPC show! The Palmetto Classic is one of the annual bodybuilding competitions held in South Carolina, Charleston to be exact, and I would really like my first show to be drive-able to cut down on expenses.
4. Safely reverse to a weight that is easier to maintain post-competition.
5. Actively participate in a local running group.
6. Work on MY happy.
7. Continue experimenting with food.
1. Consistency.
2. Invest in lighting and backdrops for tutorials and vlogs. I’ve made a few projects but my apartment has the absolute worst lighting so photographs don’t come out the way I’d like.
3. Buy a new camera.
4. Establish a schedule for posting, commenting on other blogs and sharing via social media.
What are your goals for the new year?
Do you have any goals that build on each other?
This post was fueled by coffee, oatmeal and the sweet sound of a lawn mower.

Meet the Trainer and Yoga

We’re making it “Facebook official”! I get to name the trainer and I would love to do some huge buildup about how awesome, funny, smart and hot she is BUT I’m too excited. 😉

It’s my girl Susie of Suzlyfe! Before she sent me the first wave of workouts, I was like “yes, she’s my blog buddy. This is gonna be awesome”!  When I opened the email containing routines for my first two weeks my jaw dropped. She was not messing around. Love it! My immediate response to her was that I was scared. There were words like “burpees”, “yoga” and “Pilates”. I’m one of the most uncoordinated brown chicks you’ll ever meet so I’m hoping that her guidance and lots of practice will make me a yogi.

For the past two and half weeks, I have been busting my booty in the gym and I am starting to see some results already! I’m getting leaner and this is including Thanksgiving, respiratory gunk and Harper’s birthday party featuring chicken and waffles.

Have you ever practiced yoga?
Do you have any tips?

This post was fueled by coffee and the smell of spicy bok choy roasting in the oven.

Negativity, Bodybuilding & a Puff

I will never understand why some people feel compelled to undermine or criticize another person’s lifestyle choices. A YouTube vlogger that I follow posted pictures from her first bikini competition on her Facebook page this weekend and I was left shocked by some of the comments. She wears her hair in all of its natural glory (no chemical straightening treatments) and in the past that is what she mostly vlogged about. As with most people, her interests started branching into other things… for her its fitness and competing.  (She’s even a certified personal trainer now! Yay for her!) At the competition, she chose to wear a straight wig…on the head…that is connected to her person. There was a good amount of cheering from followers but the jeers were just nasty and uncalled for.
Just because a person chooses to do something out of their norm or Heaven forbid…the opposite of what you would do…it never gives you the right to call them a “sellout”, “stereotype” or anything else derogatory. If seeing another person working towards their goals brings out the venom in you, it’s time for some deep self-reflection. I’m just sayin’.
On a lighter note, I know who I want to train me and I’m emailing her today! Cross your fingers and toes, please!

Does the fear of potentially negative feedback ever stop you from posting to social media?

This post was fueled by a free coffee from Brugger’s and Foo Fighters.


Baby Delts, Please Grow

Do you have a memory that just flashes through randomly? For me, its prom dress shopping at a local boutique my junior year of high school. I was so excited. My mom was looking at the pearl jewelry (duh, South Carolina) while I looked for the perfect dress upstairs. I took one option into the dressing room and when the owner came in to zip me up, I was devastated. “You have really broad shoulders.” This was during a time when I was eating disordered and hypercritical of myself, so I felt like I had been punched in the gut. We decided on a strapless dress…and a wrap to mask my shoulders.

Fast forward to now and I’m proud to rock my wide shoulders/back. Why? They’re mine and they aren’t going anywhere. Because of my goal to compete next year, I’ve been working on building boulder shoulders and a wider back. The wider the back, the smaller your waist appears. Hallelujah!

Lawd! Check out the shoulders on Jamie Eason Middleton! Even if you don’t favor this type of physique, you have to admire the drive she has to mold herself. This is what I’m working towards.

I wanted to share some of my favorite shoulder workouts with y’all that are great for beginners to experts.

You could easily do these with resistance bands. Bodybuilding.com has a huge exercise guide with videos to help you with form. This is a small muscle group, use lighter weights. And remember, I’m not a personal trainer or certified in anything but my own opinion. Ha! These are notes straight from my training diary. If you attempt any of these exercises and feel pain or extreme discomfort, stop.

I found a picture of me from prom that year but I’m turned to the side. Thanks to people posting “throwback Thursday” pictures on Facebook, I have a photo taken a couple months before my prom dress fiasco.

Earl-Leigh Designs

I’m such a linebacker. LOL.

When was the last time a negative turned into a positive for you?