How I Slim Down Just in Time for Summer

By Crystal Lambert

The sun shining, birds chirping ,kids laughing, runners jogging, and lawnmowers trimming thick, lush, forest green grass. Ahh can you picture it? Summers on it’s way! We’ll all be sitting pool side in no time. What have you guys been doing to prepare? Nothing you say? Well have no fear, spring is still here! So you have just enough time to slim down and tone up before temperatures start climbing.

I am no fitness expert by any means, so please understand that works for me may not work for you. I am here to share what I do personally, and hopefully it will help inspire a few of you. Okay, so when I start to notice that I have been keeping myself overly warm during the winter with fattening lattes, holiday cocktails, and Thanksgiving leftovers, it’s usually somewhere around the beginning of spring. Yes we’ve all heard summer bodies are built in the winter, but sometimes you just want to lay in bed with the heater, snacks, and Netflix— and never leave your room. Like ever. So what do you do when you only have a few months to prepare? My number one slimming method is… (drumroll)… CARDIO.

I can see half of your faces scrunching behind the computer screen now. I love cardio so I don’t mind it at all. The treadmill and the elliptical are both fun to me. But for those of you who don’t like running, I recommend doing a lot of dancing in the house (when nobody is home), or looking up some youtube videos specifically for home cardio. Cardio is the fastest way to help slim you down!

Along with cardio you must tone. I have a fear of getting the “cardio bunny butt.” I don’t know if thats what people call it, but thats what I call it. So the best way to keep everything toned is by lifting weights. I used to lift weights back when my sister and I were living together, and would hit the gym together. Now that I have moved, and my building’s gym does not have many weight machines, I prefer to do my toning at home.

(Females) If you want to tone at home I highly recommend Blogilates. Blogilates is a youtube channel by a young lady named Cassey Ho. Her channel has various pilate exercises to target all parts of the body. She has lengthy videos for full body workouts and short 5 to 10 minute videos if you are short on time or want to work out a specific body part. Although, I must warn you, her videos are NOT easy. You use your own body weight and pretty much do repetitions until your muscles are fatigued. But a few weeks of her video’s and you will definitely start to see a difference. Sorry guys, I’m not so sure what the best channel is for males, but I’ve read “Sixpackshortcuts” is an awesome channel.

The last, but most important thing (in my eyes), is diet. When I am trying to slim down, and even when I’m not, I try to be mindful about what I choose to eat. My family has hopped on the green smoothie train, so lately I have been having a nutrient packed green smoothie for breakfast and lunch. Smoothies are great for me because they’re quick, and I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat in the morning when rushing for school. I also have some healthy snacks in between like an apple, a banana, nuts, or a few hard boiled eggs. I’ll then eat a healthy home cooked meal for dinner.

If you follow these three tips then you should be well on your way to a slimmer, fitter, you. Oh, I forgot to add my last tip— Stalk your fitness inspiration model. I have a few, and I am on one of their pages just about everyday! They keep me way motivated. To check out Cassey Ho’s “Blogilates” click here, and to check out Mike Chang’s “Sixpackshortcuts” click here. I hope you enjoyed these tips, and cheers to working on that awesome hot new, summer body!

Declutter Your Mind by Decluttering Your Space

By Crystal Lambert

If you’re anything like me, you might have some organizational issues. It’s like you know you should stay super organized but then—life happens. Okay, I know thats not an excuse but bare with me. Being a night owl automatically makes you disorganized. That may or may not be true. I don’t know. I suppose it runs in my family though. I have a bad habit of staying up until 2 or 3 AM even if I know I have to get up early the next morning. Then I finally wake up— after snoozing for an hour, go to school, come back, hit the gym, eat, then relax and do homework. In between all of this is me throwing stuff everywhere and somehow my space suddenly becomes cluttered. Ugh. 

It’s really not that hard to stay organized. I just make it out to be. When I think of keeping everything organized, I think of my mother yelling at me, “HOW CAN YOU THINK AND STUDY WITH A ROOM LOOKING LIKE THIS??” Simple, I sit down and do what I have to do. Easy Peasy! Now don’t get me wrong, my room was not a complete tornado— simply because my parents weren’t having that. But somehow after high school, I started realizing, I really couldn’t think when my room was a mess. I’m not sure if that’s because I became older or if it’s because my mom had been right this entire time.

Little by little I started becoming more and more organized. I still struggle with organization but not nearly as bad as before. Within this past year, I moved from a big space to a small space. That meant getting rid of A LOT of things that I really didn’t want to get rid of. There were so many clothes and things that I thought I might need. So many memories were attached to those random “things.” What about those dusty books I haven’t read for years? I think I’d like to keep them just incase I do want to read them again. This thought processes went on for months as I looked at all of the extra junk in my room and in my basement.

Eventually, I got rid of most of the junk. Once I did, there was a great sense of relief. I don’t regret or miss any of it. The challenge now becomes keeping the things I do have in order. Before I sit down to study or browse the net, I make sure my desk is completely clear and organized. Doing so allows me to really focus. If I’ve learned anything about organization I know It’s best to just go with the, “if you pick it up, put it back” rule. If you take it off the hanger, hang it back up. If you unfold some clothes, fold them back up. The minute this becomes a habit, everything stays organized and clean. I literally have to tell myself, Stop being lazy, stop saying I’ll do it later— do it now! When I manage to do this, the outcome is great. I don’t feel irritated, I can easily find what I’m looking for, and my mornings run smoothly.

I am not perfect at this but I am improving, and it’s working well for me. If you struggle with organization as well, try to make an honest effort to keep everything in place. You will notice how peaceful your ambiance is. Suddenly your thoughts will become clear and you will be able to find what you need with ease.

Why You Really Should Pick and Choose Your Battles Wisely

By Crystal Lambert

Sometimes It’s just not worth it. The arguments, the irritation, the annoyance, the negative energy—but how do you know when you should just leave it alone? Every day you are faced with many decisions. Often times those decisions include deciding if a negative situation is worth your time. Wether it be with your significant other, family, co-workers , or friends— there are certain situations where you should simply take the “high road.”

Okay, so lets say you and your partner argue over something as simple as one person “having an attitude.” Instead of going back and forth, it may just be best to let it go and save yourself from the yelling and fussing. Unless the attitude is occurring everyday, you would be consciously saving yourself from a potential headache. Besides, you never know what may have happened earlier in your partners day to cause the attitude— it could have been completely unintentionalThere is no better feeling than knowing that you did something wrong but your s/o was totally calm and trying to avoid any conflict with you— especially when it’s over something really petty. If you do happen to find yourself being the “Debbie Downer”, be sure to go back and apologize, let them know they were super amazing for handling the crabby patty attitude in such a great manner. Effort goes a long way.

The same idea applies to family, having a mother born and raised in another country affected how she handled certain situations with me. I remember getting my first taste of heartbreak, and my mom caught me crying in my room. Instead of consoling me and telling me everything would be okay, She yelled at me for crying. Foreign moms will not hesitate to tell you how they feel, especially when you are gaining weight. Trust me they will notice before you do. I used to get so defensive when my mom would tell me these things. As I became older I started to realize that she is who she is and isn’t about to stop telling me how things are — straight up. So I learned to accept her comments and just know that whatever she says is coming from a good place.

When it comes to co-workers and friends you will occasionally come across that one person who tries to out-do you or bring you down. Whether it’s intentional or not you have to decide how close of a friend or co-worker they are to you. Then you can decide if it’s worth confronting them about it, or if it’s just better to let it go and carry on. Debating or arguing with people who aren’t that significant in your life is a complete waste of energy and time.

Within my personal experience I’ve noticed that 9 times out of 10, it’s better to just take the high road. I fully understand that it can be difficult in the heat of the moment, and you want to let that other person know exactly how you feel. My advice is to take a breather—walk away, or into another room if you can and see if the situation still bothers you after you’ve cooled off. If you are still bothered, you can try talking to them about it once you are calm and collected. Life is so much easier when everyone is getting along, and once you start to consciously practice avoiding negative situations, you start living in peace. It’s not easy and it definitely takes effort, but in the long run you will be super proud of yourself.

Good Ol’ Comfort Zones

By Crystal Lambert

Unless you have an outgoing, extroverted type personality, who the hell really feels like stepping out of their comfort zone? I’d rather just sip my coffee, and keep imagining all the things I wish I were cool enough to do, then proceed to tell myself that I’ll do it one of these days—just not today. 

Does that sound like any of you? If not, I envy you. See, I believe that I am half introvert half extrovert. I’m pretty sure I was born a complete introvert, but thanks to my dad, he pushed me out of that— for the most part. I remember being around 4 years old, and my parents would take me to the mall playground to interact with other kids. I loved that little playground, I just didn’t like making new friends. I was way too shy. So there I am left in the middle of this exhilarating, yet terrifying plastic jungle. Back then it was like the Yucatan to me, full of logs, mushrooms, and other forestry things, all I wanted to do was walk, and perhaps sit down and swing my tiny legs on the frogs tongue— and for all of the other kids to leave me the hell alone. When I was done I would walk happily back to my parents. Then came the much dreaded, yet anticipated question from my father, “Did you have fun? How many friends did you make?.” Crap. “Yes, and umm… like… well… none.” Sure enough he’d send me right back to the playground to go introduce myself to someone and ask if they’d like to play.

As much as I hated introducing myself to make friends, I’m glad I was forced to do it. Throughout the years, I slowly but surely broke out of my shyness. With that said, you’d think I’d be able to go out and do anything I wanted to do with no problem.

It took me 3 years to start blogging. I knew I always enjoyed writing, I would write short stories at home and worked super hard on my essays for English. Then one day I decided to create a blog. This is going to be great! I wrote a few entries but told no one about them. I had way to many insecurities. What if my writing isn’t good enough? I can’t spell that well, and I think I have grammar issues. What if people think what I write about is stupid? Forget this, I’m done. After much consideration and compliments from a few professors, I decided to try again.

So hello everyone, here I am, stepping out of my comfort zone, putting my thoughts out there for whoever cares to read. Did I get rid of those insecurities? No, not really, but at the end of the day this is what makes me happy. This is how I am able to relieve stress. This is what I have been doing for years, just privately. Why not share it with the world? Yes, there will be people who dislike my posts, but there will also be people who find what I have to say uplifting. If I can make just one person’s day better by sharing my thoughts, then I have done what I intended to do.

Moral of the story— step out of that comfort zone and go for it! You’ll never know what you’re capable of doing until you try.

Are You too Late?

By Crystal Lambert

In today’s fast paced world, it’s easy to get ahead of yourself. With pressure from your parents, social media to compare yourself to others, and that pesky voice inside your head criticizing your every move; how do you slow down?

To be honest this is still something that I am trying to figure out myself. Day in and day out there are a million distractions that allow me to forget what I should be focusing on.

Let me further explain— Beyond what anybody says, I know that I am on my way to becoming something great. Great meaning I will be able to support myself financially, and wherever I end up— I will be content. I’m in school (for something that genuinely interests me), I have a job, I have a roof over my head, and goals. Sounds great right? Then why do I still question myself?

I’ve been in school part-time and I really should have been done by now. I wasted 6 years trying to pursue a nursing degree, only to turn around and switch majors. Great another year trying to pursue my A.A. I still live with my parents, (who live in a small condo and did everything they could to accommodate me so I can live for free). I use our small condo gym for free. Ugh, such a small variety of equipment. I’m so sick of that treadmill. And all of my followers on Instagram are just out and about doing amazing things with their lives. Yet here I am, little old me, still with my parents, and still trying to graduate, dandy. 

But wait— Within this long ride, I think, just maybe, I might be starting to truly discover myself. If I’ve learned anything— I know what I don’t want to do. I know for sure that nursing is not the best job for me. I know that I am blessed with an opportunity to not owe any student loans. I know that a gym is a gym, and at least I work out. I know that Instagram is Instagram, and whether or not those people are doing well for themselves or not, I am working on me, and I am doing well for myself now. Everybody treads at their own pace and this just happens to be mine.

People like to judge. That is just part of being a human being. After all, I can’t say that I am not guilty of judging others in my past. At the end of the day, you have to know that as long as you are doing what it takes to meet your goals, then you are on the right track. There is no “right” pace. What is important to me, is working towards something that I can honestly call my passion. Once I reach that point then I will be truly content. In the mean time, the distractions are simply just that— distractions. They may catch me off guard, but once I realize it’s a distraction, I pause, then remind myself that I am on my own time and will reach my goals at my own pace.

To each of you who can relate, just remember; as long as you are working towards your own goals, how fast you do it does not matter. Just get there.