Excuse-Proof Tips to Help You Get to the Gym!

Good morning! I hope you have a wonderful day today. The last two blogs have been of a more serious nature, so today I’m sharing something a little more light and upbeat. Today I’m going to be talking about going to the gym! Yay. (Insert sarcastic tone) 

If you’re anything like me, going to the gym is pretty much the worst thing ever and it takes SOOOO much motivation. I can pretty much make up any excuse to talk myself out of going to the gym. However, I know deep down that it’s actually good for me, I feel and sleep better, and I like being healthy. I have developed a few small habits, over the last couple of months, that have been a great help to get me back into the gym. So far, these small habits have proved to be excuse-proof! I’m going to share these tips with you in the hopes that it helps you conquer your fitness goals, as well!

Excuse #1: I don’t have any clean gym clothes.

Solution #1: Have as many changes of work out clothes as the number of days you go to the gym. So, if you are planning on going 2-3 times a week, make sure you have 2-3 changes of workout gear (ie. 3 pairs of leggings or shorts, 3 shirts, etc…). By having separate changes of clothes for each gym day, you won’t have the excuse of needing to do laundry because you have nothing clean. At the end of your workout week, do laundry for the next week. In the mornings before I go to work, I grab my shoes, a clean pair of socks, leggings, and a shirt that I can leave in my car. I also have a designated gym bag that I clean out every night and leave by my purse. I also feel the most confident about working out when I have gym clothes that I like wearing. And of course, almost every single piece of workout gear that I have is black, haha! Some of my favorite brands of workout clothes are:

Excuse #2: I can’t seem to find any time to go to the gym.

Solution #2: Plan specific dates and times for the gym month-by-month. For example, in January and February, I decided that Monday, Tuesday, and Friday nights were my available times to go to the gym and I need to go as soon as I get off work. I used to get very overwhelmed with trying to plan when I would go to the gym on a long-term basis, but by having a monthly plan of when to go–I can be flexible with my schedule based on the month’s activities and it’s easier for me to plan on a smaller scale. Also, by going to the gym straight after work, I can also eliminate the excuse of “well, now I’m home and I’m just too tired to leave the house again.” 

Excuse #3: I am just too tired. 

Solution #3: This one ties in with #1 and #2 but it’s probably my biggest excuse. I think it’s my biggest excuse because, at the end of the day, I just want to be lazy sometimes. However, if you set a specific number of times you want to go to the gym, plan appropriately to help you achieve that goal, and follow through–the end results will make it all worth it! You will never regret doing a workout after you’ve finished your session. Even though you may be tired–working out may help you sleep even better and give you more energy for the next day! Also, make sure you plan for and pack snacks that you can have pre-workout and post-workout for any blood sugar fluctuations or panic-y, hangry feelings.

I hope you feel encouraged and motivated to get to the gym! Let’s get moving!

Love From Amy Blog

Happy 4th Birthday, Blog: Lessons from Last Year

On January 31st, this past weekend, my blog turned 4 years old! Yay!! I know that year 3 was kind of a wash, but I learned many lessons about myself and life during that time. Today I want to celebrate new beginnings, refreshment, a new year, and new goals–which is what I am hoping year 4 will be for this blog.

I would like to share with you 4 lessons that I learned last year during my little hiatus. While I probably learned more than 4 lessons–these are the ones that stick out to me the most.

  1. Material things will not and do not make you happy. I mean, I guess they kind of do–but if you go in with the mindset of “well, if I get this or that then I’ll feel better about myself,” you will be wrong. I think in the first couple years of blogging, I tried to accumulate so much stuff because “that’s what everyone else was doing” so that things could showed off and reviewed. While yes, I know that some bloggers do a really good job of giving reviews, writing about fashion and style, and marketing for other companies–I was doing a really bad job at it. After a while all of the stuff I had was beginning to crowd me and make me feel overwhelmed with the amount of money I was spending and also just how much stuff I had to maintain. I do not mean to offend other bloggers at all, because I know that many have full-time careers through them, but this was a lesson that I learned because of my blogging and social media experience. This lesson made me check my heart and evaluate the motives behind my materialism. I have since adopted a much more minimalist mindset.
  2. Moments with Jesus are powerful and change everything. If you read my last post, you’ll know that I mentioned my battle with anxiety and depression last year. There were many times that I felt so paralyzed by it all that I couldn’t really pray anything other than “Jesus, help me.” My quiet times with Jesus were not as often as I would have liked–but the moments that I would meet with Him and when I felt so desperate–I knew He was with me. I would instantly feel peace and an assurance that He knew exactly what I was going through. The times that I spent in His Word were so powerful because everything was relevant and applicable to what I was dealing with. That’s one of the amazing and powerful things about the Bible and gospel message–it is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12)! I encourage you to, even if you don’t know what to do or what to say, spend time with Jesus! He loves you, He is waiting for you, and He has given us access to Him at all times (Ephesians 2:18).
  3. Life is precious. Life is short and must be valued and celebrated! Last year, my mom went through cancer treatment and throughout the whole process, the reality of mortality was scary. It made me want to make the most out of the time that I had with her and my family each day, to not complain, but to plead with God for more time. As I mentioned in my last post, she is now cancer-free and God was, and is, so gracious to our family. I know that this world is not our home and one day we will be in eternity. I am so thankful for the promises of God and the hope we have of spending eternity with Him. I hope, very much, that you have the same assurance as well. I don’t mean to turn this post into a morbid topic, but that’s just reality.
  4. It’s ok to wear black 99% of the time. I’ve come to the reality that I just really like to wear black. I used to think it was boring, I really should wear more color, or that everything just looked the same. But that’s just me and my style–and I love it. Yes, I do have some color in my wardrobe–but it will most likely be accompanied with black. It’s classy, versatile, appropriate for all-year wear, and it’s great to mask the occasional coffee spill. Ha!

Those are my top 4 lessons of the last year! Some are pretty serious and some are not as much–but I think important, nonetheless. What are some lessons that you learned last year? I would love to know!

You Are Loved: Encouragement on Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the international day of love, sentiment, and all things lovey-dovey/mushy. If you are single, married, dating, etc., I hope you’re able to celebrate the day with those you love.

I feel like there is so much pressure associated with Valentine’s Day that sometimes it’s not a day that people enjoy. Some may have experienced pain and heartbreak on this day or might just be longing for love. Regardless, I want to share some encouragement with you, in case you need it today.

First of all, you are incredibly unique, precious, and loved. I hope you never forget that. You have a valuable purpose in life and there is no one else like you. You are fully equipped and have what it takes for life, in Jesus’ name. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and of self-discipline”– 1 Timothy 1:7

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”–Numbers 6:24-26

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails…”– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”–Galatians 5:22-23

God’s love will never be taken away from you. He loves you so much and has given His life for you. In the scope of the universe, humans are just tiny specs. But yet God loves you so much that He came to die for you. God cares for you and you are valuable to Him. He will never leave you or forsake you. You are not alone and are not forgotten.

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.”– Psalm 36:5-6

“The earth is filled with your love, LORD; teach me your decrees.”– Psalm 119:64

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”–Romans 8:28-29

Because of God’s love, you now have an example of how to love others. You are part of a fellowship of other believers who love Him and you just the same. Because of God’s love, you are part of a community that is different than all the others.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”–Romans 12:9

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”–1 John 3:18

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”–1 John 4:7-8

“We love because He first loved us.”–1 John 4:19

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”–John 15:13

Happy Valentine’s Day my friend!

Allow Your Soul to Rest

Hi friends, happy Thursday. I hope you are having a great week! I have been settling back into my routine after being at The Declare Conference this past weekend. It wasn’t until the conference that I realized how life had taken a toll on my soul and spiritual life–but I am so glad to feel rejuvenated after the conference.

There’s something about being in a worshipful setting that allows your heart to become quiet before God and open to the things He has to tell you. The biggest eye-opener this past weekend was the revelation that I have been trying too hard to do all of the things (ie work, home, putting pressure on myself, going non-stop, etc) that I have forgotten to focus on The One thing. That One thing is my walk with God–because only He is my purpose, strength, and peace. He is the only One that provides rest to my soul–when I feel like I run it into the ground.

If you are needing rest for your soul–let me encourage you to do so!

Remember the faithfulness of God. Remember what God has done for you and how He has answered prayer. I think that so often we tend to forget these things, even after praying so hard and for so long for that thing to happen. When you feel like life is just all bad and not turning out how you thought it would–stop and think about how God has worked in ways you did not expect.

Go to God. I have been waking up earlier this week so that I can have time in prayer and Bible study before I begin my day. Going to God first thing each day needs to be my first priority–and I’m ashamed to say that sometimes it’s the last. Let God be the best part of your day and allow Him to guide you in the words you speak and work you complete.

Literally stop and let yourself rest. It’s ok to say “no” to things and spend that time instead to care for yourself. You know what flight attendants tell you–“put your oxygen on first before assisting another person?”–well that is true in the sense that you can’t help anyone if you are just totally done. Also, you cannot minister or encourage anyone else as effectively if you are not right with the Lord. So, stop and let yourself rest before God.

Love from Amy Signature