No technology before bed?

Hello everyone!

I struggle so much with unplugging before I got to bed. But I know when I do pry my eyes away from a screen beforehand, I definitely sleep better. It is so incredibly hard for me to do this, it’s almost like an addiction. I know I’m not the only one. Scrolling through Insta right before I fall asleep does not help me sleep. In fact, it is so easy to waste an hour or two of prime sleepy time on social media.

I find it gives other people too much power over the beginnings and endings of my day. When I take the wheel and fill that time with things that I enjoy and aren’t pixelized, I feel more positive. And in this case, more well rested. So here are some of the tech-less alternatives I’ve come up with to help me wind down and get ready for sleep.

First thing’s first.

Set your morning alarms and plug the phone into the charger across the room. That way, you’re not even tempted to scroll. I’m the laziest person ever, so if the phone is far away, I won’t get up out of bed to go get it unless I seriously need it.

Stretch out.

I’ve recently enjoyed doing a little bit of yoga before bed to shake out the day’s frustrations. While I admit, I do sometimes use my phone to listen to instructional YouTube videos to guide me through a flow, I have been trying to do the moves on my own. Concentrating on breathing and clearing my mind puts me in the perfect mindset for sleep.

Read a book or a magazine.

I feel like this one’s a given, but reading is the best way for me to forget about the events from my day and put my thoughts onto something else. Read a set number of chapters/pages/articles, and then put yourself to bed after you’re finished. Or until you feel tired enough to sleep.

Do something to nourish your soul.

For me, it is doing a devotional and reading my Bible. For others, it might be meditating or journaling. Or even completing a page in a coloring book. Whatever it is, as long as its relaxing and enjoyable for you.

Write out your goals for the day to follow.

When I write out my goals and read them in the morning, I find that I go throughout my day more mindfully and intentionally. Also, crushing that to-do list and rereading my completed goals and intentions makes me feel super accomplished and relaxed before I head to bed.

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I’ve found that when I do any number of these things before I sleep instead of using technology, I’ll feel so much better and sleep so much easier. However, a habit isn’t built overnight. I would like to challenge any of my readers who would like to join me in a 21-day bedtime technology detox. Starting tonight, put the phone aside with me. Let me know if you’re joining me in the comments!

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Workout Routine

Hello everyone!

So far this summer I’ve succeeded in keeping up a healthy lifestyle. However, I’ve tried multiple different exercise regimens, such as BBG and the Rebecca-Louise Burn app, but I haven’t really enjoyed either enough to stick to them consistently. Mostly, I like doing my own thing and making up routines for myself. I just do what feels best for my body. If I feel like a 30-minute kettlebell workout, I’ll do it. If I only have time for a 20-minute yoga routine, I’ll do that. I’ve found that I stick to a healthy lifestyle much better when I’m enjoying what I’m doing, rather than forcing myself through something that I hate every second of.

Normally, I’ll start with some cardio.

I’ll do 30-40 minutes of cardio to start my workout off every day. Due to the beautiful summer weather (when it’s not ghastly hot and humid outside), I enjoy going outside to go running around in the sunshine. I’ll go around the neighborhood or to the track near my house, or even do sprints up and down the bleachers at the football stadium at my old high school. If the weather is too ugly for this, I have an elliptical I can use in my garage. Sometimes, I just feel in the mood to do that and watch YouTube videos until my 30-40 minutes is over. It all depends on my mood.

Next, I try to do something “toning.”

I usually do a Tone It Up video, but sometimes I like switching it up. I’ll do HIIT (high intensity interval training) or even an old-school aerobics video. I also try to incorporate an ab routine into my workout as well. I’ve been exercising so long, I usually just stick to the ab moves that I know and love. Here is a routine that I put together for you guys I’ve been loving, too!

 

Short ab exercise routine graphic. 60 second plank, 25 bicycles, 15 single leg raises per side, 20 butterflies, 20 v-sits, 15 hip raises, 25 side crunches, 60 second forearm plank, and ten burpees to finish. Then repeat.

Before ending the workout…

It’s sooo important to stretch. To prevent feeling too sore (because we all know it happens anyway) I’ll stretch and use a foam roller on my leg and back muscles.

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All in all, I try to keep my workout time to an hour to an hour and a half. Sometimes it’s not even that much. As long as I fit in even 30 minutes, I’m happy. A shorter workout is better than nothing, and as long as I’m feeling good and healthy, I know I’m doing what I can.

What have you guys been doing so far this summer? Leave your adventures and workout routines in the comments, I would love to see them!

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Workout Playlist!

Hello everyone!

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know how much I love making playlists. I mean, who doesn’t love a good playlist, though? I’ve made playlists for the last few summers, just because I love having them for when I run. They’re usually made up of the songs that I’m obsessed with at the moment, and this year is no different! But ya girl loves a good throwback, too 🙂

 

13 cup fresh lime juice3 tbsps agave nectar1 cup pineapple juice2 cups pineapple14 cup triple sec

I have the playlist all put together on Spotify, so come follow me on there! My username is writerchic 🙂 CLICK HERE for the link! I’ll keep adding my favorite songs of the summer to the playlist as the summer progresses, so make sure you’re following!

I’m going to the beach next week with my family (yay!), as I do every year! So, I will be posting my usual OOTDs and stories from the week! However, I will be posting even more on TGI’s Instagram, so make sure you’re following @thegingerintrovert on Instagram as well!

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Plans…?

Hello everyone!

The end-of-the-semester madness got the best of me again, and it’s been a while since you guys have heard from me! But now it is the middle of June (how the heck did that happen??), and a long summer stretches out before me! But don’t get me wrong… I may not be jet-setting as much as I did last summer — check out some of last year’s adventures here and here — but I have plenty on the docket this year!

Before the end of the semester, I took to my trusty planner and I wrote out ALL of my goals for the next few months. I wound up with about three pages filled with possible plans and ventures for me to begin working on over the summer — and I can’t wait to get started! I thought I would share some of them with you 🙂

Blogging?

I plan on sticking to the Monday/Friday schedule that I had maintained a few months ago, and maybe even adding Wednesday there too! I’m also going to put some serious thought into my content. What am I super passionate about? What do I want to write about every day, and publish posts about every other day during the work week?

YouTube?

I have wanted to do YouTube videos since I was in middle school and watching JuicyStar07 and AllThatGlitters21 on my iPod Touch when it was way past my bedtime. I never had the guts to do it, even all through high school until a few months ago, when I published my first video! I am planning on only putting up one or two videos a week, but it’s a start!

Fitness Instructor Certification?

For a few years now, I have thought about getting my personal training certification after I graduate. I am going to begin that pursuit this summer, by first getting my fitness instructor certification online from the American Council of Exercise (ACE)! As I study, I will also be trying my hand at writing and producing more fitness content here on this blog… hence what I said before about focusing on what I’m passionate about!

Traveling?

Last week, I went out to visit with my family in California again (blog post to come!). All that’s left now is my yearly trip to the shore with my family! Other than that, I will be traveling back and forth between mine and my fiance’s homes, just so we can spend more time together. Don’t worry… I’ll be posting regularly on my personal and blog Insta accounts, if you want to see what I’m up to daily!

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Other than these key points, I also have an internship with a local art show, and volunteering at my local historical society. So, you could say I have a lot on my plate! But I’m determined to make Summer 2k18 the best summer yet — and I’ll be taking all of you with me on my adventures before senior year begins!

With love and excitement for the future!

XOXO

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The Bikini Question…

Hello everyone,

Even though it may not feel like it, the end of the semester is mere weeks away! Summer is fast approaching, and racks on racks of bikinis can be seen in Targets, Urban Outfitters, and Hollisters everywhere. Especially with Spring Break now behind us, we have all probably been thinking about buying that new bikini or swimsuit of the season… Or already have! I know I can’t be the only one who definitely does not look forward to that task.

Now, you’ve been warned. I’m getting personal with some of my body image issues in this post. I struggle with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), and have since I was really young. Whenever I go to try anything on, I never like how I look in it. However, a swimsuit has always been a different ballgame entirely with me. It exposes the features of my body shape that the BDD part of me obsesses over… And if I’m not careful, even a short shopping trip can cause a relapse in unhealthy behaviors and thoughts that I don’t want popping up again. So, over the years, I’ve gotten smarter about shopping for swimsuits. Maybe some of these little tips can help you guys out, too 🙂

Don’t go shopping when you’re already in a bad mood.

This seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve made this mistake time and time again. I’m a girl who likes to schedule her errands. If I’ve allotted time for myself to go bathing suit shopping, sometimes I’ll feel pressure to just go and get it over with… Even if I’m in a mood or already feeling bad about myself that day. And this has set me up for disaster time and time again. Just let yourself off the hook, and don’t go that day.

Decide whether to bring a friend or fly solo.

What would best serve you and your mental health? Do you need moral support? Or do you shop best alone? I honestly never stick to just one. Sometimes I feel like I need a friend there to keep me grounded. Other times, it’s best not to subject anyone else to my craziness. See how you feel, but keep a friend in the loop with how you’re feeling anyway. Texting a friend can sometimes keep you just as grounded.

Find a cut you know and love, and stick with it.

Know you’re comfortable in high waisted bottoms? Halter tops? One pieces? Stick with it, girl. You love what you love.

Remind yourself it is not that big a deal.

The BDD has a way of making little things like this feel way out of proportion. I always need to remind myself that it’s not as big a deal as I’m making it seem to myself. Deep breaths.

Literally look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful no matter what.

If you look in the mirror and think you look gross, you probably don’t. If you tell yourself you’re beautiful inside and out, and repeat it to yourself, you might just start believing it.

Sometimes, online shopping is your BFF.

Obviously, online shopping has its pitfalls. However, sometimes it works out. To be honest, this year I just wasn’t feeling the whole crying-in-the-dressing-room extravaganza. So, I found a cute swimsuit on Zaful (after checking their return policy, of course) and tried it on at home. And I loved it. No muss, no fuss.

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Let me know how you guys made out with the beginning of swimsuit season, and how you keep yourself grounded during the shopping process. Also, let me know where you guys found your cute suits! Leave a link and a comment below, I would love to hear… As always!

XOXO

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My Current Netflix Watch List!

Hello everyone!

We all have it. The arsenal of movies and TV shows we’re just waiting to sink our metaphorical teeth into. My list is obviously much longer, but these are the shows and movies that I will be watching whenever I have a free afternoon next. So… Easter break anyone?

Black Mirror

My best friend recommended this series to me, and I’ve heard lots about it online as well. I’m not a huge fan of ultra scary shows and movies but she recommended a couple episodes that were especially good that she thought I would like, so hopefully I’ll like them! Coming from somebody who knows me so well, I think I have a pretty good chance.

That 70s Show

Tanner and I have watched up to the sixth season of the show, and then we stopped watching. I still want to know what happens, so I just want one free afternoon to snuggle and finally finish this series off!

Riverdale

I’ve already watched part of the first season, and I’ve liked the storyline so far. I read the Archie comics as a child, so I’ve needed to slowly introduce myself to the new storyline for fear of ruining my childhood. But what I’ve seen so far is so so good, I can’t not watch it. That, and (Spoiler Alert!) I’ve been shipping Betty and Jughead my entire life, so I’m excited to finally be able to see them get together.

 

The Great British Baking Show

I have heard so many good things about this show. And I mean, who doesn’t love a good baking show?

Beauty and the Beast (Emma Watson version!)

I’ve been waiting to watch this remake of a childhood favorite ever since it went into theaters (which was probably about a year ago now). I never get to the theater because it is way too expensive for my small college student budget, but Netflix is just my speed. Hopefully the movie will be worth the wait!

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Have a favorite Netflix show or movie? I mean, who doesn’t, right? Mine are Gilmore Girls and Friends. We could all use some recommendations for our next binge-watching session, so let me know what some of your recommendations are in the comments below!

XOXO

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Photo Cred: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Fitness apps I’ve been using lately

Hello everyone!

I’m sorry for a late post to start off this week! With midterm season in full swing, it’s Tuesday and I already feel crazed. It’s weeks like these that I need something extra to keep me accountable for my workouts. Especially since I am one of those people that needs help keeping track of my workouts, or coming up with different exercises to do. I also need to be kept accountable. I’ve found that personally, apps are the best way for me to do all of these things, and still keep myself in check during the week when it is all too easy to skip out on a workout. Here are the super helpful apps that I use, both currently and in the past!

Tone It Up

As I explain in my original post about my fitness journey, TIU has been my number one go-to when it comes to fitness. As I’ll write about acouple paragraphs down from here, right now is the first time in about four or five years that I’m not doing their workouts consistently. I still love their workouts, and would recommend them to anyone, from a fitness newbie to someone who just wants to change things up! More often than not, I’ll use their “Daily Workout” webpage, which I have bookmarked on my homescreen on my phone. There are complimentary daily workouts and printables on their website that are just as good as anything you might need to pay for!

To be honest, I’m honestly not super crazy about their new app. Their new subscription service is a fitness “studio” app, where you pay $12 for the ability to enroll in live classes through their app, along with other videos and content they have on there as well. For me personally as a college student, this method doesn’t make sense for me, since I don’t know if I’ll be able to do an hour workout tomorrow morning at 9. However, just because this doesn’t work for me now, who knows about three years from now! I may be all about their “Tone It Up Studio.” But as a junior in college, I would rather put my money elsewhere.

Fitness Tracker

Before I recommend this app, I will preface with a warning. This app is basically a calorie counter. If you don’t think that it would be healthy (mentally and physically!) to use a calorie counter to aid in your healthy lifestyle, then please don’t. I don’t really use this app anymore for exactly this reason. However, I will also recommend it to some because it was really helpful when I was attempting to initially lose weight four years ago.

What I like most about this app is that you can easily record all of your meals, and also your workouts. The calorie counter aspect comes in when you select any number of different foods, which will list the calorie content, and it will count your caloric deficit while taking all of these aspects into consideration. You can also record your water intake, which I appreciated! Another thing I liked was that you can scan barcodes from food packaging when you’re logging your meals as well.

SWEAT by Kayla Itsines

I’ve been using this app for the last month. This is basically the BBG program by Kayla Itsines, just on an app on your phone and not a printable. You do have to pay money for it (the amount is determined by how many months ahead you want to pay for), but I’ve been impressed with the program. The workouts are challenging so I don’t know if I would recommend this app to a beginner, but for me I think it’s just the right amount of a challenge. The app also has a meal plan portion, including recipes and grocery shopping lists! I don’t use this function much while I’m at school, but hopefully over the summer I’ll be able to enjoy that aspect of the app more.

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As I continue with the BBG program, I’ll review it for you guys! If you have any questions about the program let me know, and I’ll be sure to answer them in the upcoming review. As always, be sure to leave your favorite fitness apps below in the comments as well! I would love to see them!

XOXO

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Photo cred: freestocks.org on Unsplash