Gratitude, Attitude & Everything in Between

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It’s so easy to think about all of the things in our lives we want to change… whether it’s bettering our relationship or our apartment or our body or our career, we tend to fall into this cycle of always wanting more. I think we’re all a little guilty of it.

We’re constantly inundated with this idea of “practicing gratitude” – just “practice gratitude” and you’ll be happy. Just “practice gratitude” and you’ll finally be at peace. Just “practice gratitude” and you’ll have all the things you want in life.

But let’s be real – sometime’s it’s hard.

Sometimes you’re so caught up in the negative that you don’t even have it in you to think about what you’re grateful for and it’s the last thing on your mind. But I think we can all agree that, especially at this time of year, it’s important to look at your life and say “wow, I’m really grateful for these things I have.” The key is to keep that going past the holidays, into the new year, and into all years of your life.

I looked up the word ‘grateful‘ and here’s what it said:

Grateful: feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.

That brings about a whole other angle of this whole ‘gratitude’ thing, doesn’t it? Sure, you can feel an appreciation of something or someone. But showing it is what actually matters. It’s the tangible part of practicing gratitude.

Have you ever given someone a gift that literally made them light up? Remember that feeling you had seeing the look on their face and how happy it made them? I know that I have and I’m kind of obsessed with that feeling. As cliche as it is, sometimes that feeling of giving provides us much more happiness than anything we can receive.

So I encourage you, this Thanksgiving and moving forward, to show your gratitude. Don’t just feel it and let it pass by. Write a letter to your best friend telling her how grateful you are for her. Tell your mom how lucky you are to have her. Give your boyfriend or girlfriend a huge hug and let them know how much they mean to you (even though you bicker like a married couple.) Show your gratitude and watch how it pays off in your life.

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful to be back in sunny Florida spending the holiday with Danny’s family; for my incredible family; for warm coffee; for my cozy, little studio apartment; for a job that allows me to basically work from anywhere doing something I love; for my readers who encourage me to keep going when I’m feeling uninspired; for good health; and for my best friends.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with those you love. I’ll be over here in FL getting some sun and eating alllll the goods tomorrow (in moderation, of course.) If you haven’t checked out my post on keeping it balanced this Thanksgiving, it’s a good one.

Happy (early) Turkey Day, babes!  

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Girl Boss Guide ft. Jessica Walton of barre3

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When I took my first barre3 class with Jessica, not only was I hooked on the format of the workout but thought to myself how amazing of an instructor she was. From the second I walked into the studio, she made me feel extremely welcome and at home in a studio I had never even set foot into before. I was so excited when this bombshell agreed to sit down with me (over hummus, pita and veggies, mind you) and let me pick her brain on all things health, fitness, food and more.

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Yes Girl: So tell me a little bit more about your role at barre3 and what you love about working there!

Jessica Walton: My official title is Client Relations Manager, so with that role I basically handle anything client-related –from welcoming people who are new to the studio to making sure our members are always happy. It’s important that I’m supportive and act as a friend to our members. I’m also in charge of managing any outside partnerships – with another business, a charity, etc. – so I plan any community classes, private bridal classes, outside events or anything across that spectrum. It’s super fun – I love getting to organize and plan our events! I also run our Instagram so that helps to incorporate my love of photography in with my job as well.

YG: I feel like fitness studios have to be active on social media these days. How have you seen that evolve and what has been the role of social media in continuing to develop the business?

JW: We’ll have people come in to the studio just because they saw something on Instagram or Facebook. Without those platforms, we wouldn’t have those people walking through our doors so it’s really interesting. We’re always trying to find ways to make our social handles entertaining for our clients for potential clients, too.

YG: What is so different about the barre3 method?

JW: The good thing with barre3 is that it’s celebrated to take care of your body and to modify where you need. It’s low impact, but it is so incredibly effective! Even if I’m feeling depleted and fatigued, I’m comfortable with modifying in any barre3 class, and we have some amazing instructors who offer personal attention to everyone in class. Barre3 has online workouts where they post a new workout every week that you can do right at home. They really take the time to make the workouts totally fresh and interactive, and the instructor that teaches the class will do live chats about the class if you have any questions or anything like that. Barre3 is constantly doing research to find out what’s going to work best for our clients. Sadie Lincoln (founder) has always said if she finds out one day barres are not best for our clients, then she’ll rip out all the barres in the studios! Also, company-wide we really focus on off-the-scale victories like “I had to have my clothes tailored down a size.” We celebrate those accomplishments, whether they take a week or a year.

We don’t support counting calories or obsessing over the scale.

 

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YG: You look amazing! What is your workout schedule like?

JW: I try to take three barre3 classes each week. I’ve learned that that works really well for my body. I also really love yoga so I try to get a class in once per week. My favorite studio is Tough Love Yoga! I also love spin classes, specifically Cyc Fitness who we’ve done a few events with (spin and barre are such good complements to each other!)

YG: How do you maintain motivation in your workouts? 

JW: I’ve tried everything from belly dancing to bootcamp. I think you have to find something you love and that you’ll keep gravitating toward. I see so many people fall out of love with a workout, and then they just can’t get themselves to make it happen. I think consistency is also key. If you can get yourself to move for ten minutes a day, it makes such a difference verses doing nothing.

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YG: What does a usual day of eating look like in your world?

JW: I have never had to fuel my body like I do now with teaching – As soon as I started training, I was ravenous! I eat an hour before any class I teach, and I usually like to start the day with something substantial, so I’ll do a protein with a healthy fat. I love sprouted grain bread with almond butter and banana slices or avocado toast. If I skip breakfast, my whole day is shot so I’m pretty consistent with my breakfast routine. I snack a ton, so I always have bananas, almonds, nut butters, and Kind Bars or Perfect Bars on hand. I’m on the move a lot, so bringing a lunch isn’t that feasible for me. I’d rather take a break during my day and get a salad at Zoe’s or an Unwich at Jimmy John’s, or one of my other go-tos. I definitely eat really intuitively and just try to get what I’m craving that day. Dinner is kind of the same thing!

YG: What’s your food philosophy and how did you get there?

JW: When I’m craving a sandwich, I just eat a sandwich. I’ve finally figured out that my body craves certain things for a reason, so I give my body what it needs. With time and becoming more mature and learning more about nutrition, it just kind of happened naturally. A lot of that came once I started with barre3 because they really help to guide you nutrition-wise. Learning from binge-eating mistakes combined with gaining the right knowledge helped me to figure out what works for me. I love dessert, I have a huge sweet tooth! And I love wine, too. If you don’t overdo anything, I think you can enjoy the things you love. Your body just kind of adjusts once you start to listen to it.

I don’t punish myself for eating things that aren’t necessarily the most nutritious, but I’m also careful about making healthy decisions most of the time so that I never have to feel guilty. 

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YG: How do you deal with society’s version of ‘perfection’?

JW: I could make a list of things about my body that I want to fix, and it’s just kind of crazy that we still think that way. I will say though, there was a time I would carry that list with me and now I’ve learned to ignore it. I’m so impressed by the rise of the body positivity movement and I think we’re really headed in the right direction. There are so many amazing women out there being brave and putting themselves out there to create something positive.

YG: What are some actionable items you do to combat negative self-talk or body image issues?

JW: I honestly think the best thing to get me out of a slump is moving. It’s not moving to look better, but to feel better. I measure how much activity I need by how I feel, not by how many calories I need to burn or pounds I need to lose. I think the fact that I don’t punish myself keeps me from having those down days all together. It’s more like down moments and, to combat those moments, I’ll usually get up and do a 10-minute online workout, take my dog for a walk, etc. I try not to let myself stay stuck in that slump.

With all the tragedy and unpredictability in the world, I would much rather just choose to be happy every day. I would much rather connect with people that I love and not really be worried about what my ass looks like in my jeans.

 

Girl Boss Guide ft. Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential

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So, I’m fangirling so hard right now because I had the opportunity to interview my all-time favorite blogger and one of the people who originally inspired me to start Yes Girl – Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential! You guys, she knows her shit. Not only is she a healthy lifestyle guru but she and her fiance’ Michael have some amazing, amazing advice on business, blogging, Snapchat and other social media, following your passion, etc., etc. As someone who works in PR/social media and blogs on the side, I’ve found their advice to be so incredibly helpful in a kind of light-a-fire-under-your-ass-and-get-shit-done kind of way.

My conversation with her is geared towards more of her health and lifestyle advice, but I seriously recommend checking out more on Lauryn here:

+ Influencer marketing, How to go Viral & Vlogging on The #AskGaryVee Show

+ Consistency, Snapchat & Hustle on Refashion.co podcast

+ The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast

Without further ado, so, so excited to turn it over to Lauryn of TSC.

Yes Girl: What does your weekly workout routine look like? 

Lauryn Evarts: No matter what, I try to move or do something active every single day, even if it’s just walking to get coffee or walking the dogs. I usually do The Skinny Confidential Bombshell Body Guide 3 times per week, walk uphill on the treadmill twice per week, and do a Pilates or yoga class once or twice per week. I like to mix it up!

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YG: What’s your best advice for female entrepreneurs like yourself?

LE: Approach everything you do with passion. Think first and foremost about creating the best content or product you can, then think about monetization. Also, be patient. Growing a following or a business takes time.

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YG: I’ve heard you talk about “balancing your diet like a checkbook”, can you tell me a little more about what this looks like/what you recommend?

LE: For me, living a healthy lifestyle isn’t about depriving, starving, or punishing myself. It’s about balance. Think kale in one hand, champagne in the other. I enjoy healthy food, exercise, & nutrition, but I’m not going to rule out dessert, a good lazy Saturday, or my favorite cheat snack— HOT CHEETOS!

YG: What does a regular day of eating look like for you? 

LE: Typically I wake up & immediately head to the kitchen to make a TSC Detox Drink, AND coffee. Then I hit the gym, and opt for some sort of protein after ( eggs or a green smoothie with my favorite protein powder ). Throughout the day I snack constantly. I’ll eat almonds, berries, kale chips, hummus, a slice of cheese, anything I’m in the mood for. Then dinner I usually go for something tasty, healthy, & filling! Lately Michael & I are loving brussels sprouts, salmon, & baked sweet potato!

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YG: What’s a typical day like in TSC world?

LE: Typically I work out, work, & walk my dogs every day. I love squeezing in time with friends or family when I can. I run errands ( nails, hair, shopping, hiking, etc. ) with friends too!

YG: Your & Michael’s relationship seems pretty rock solid. [ps: you guys kill me on Snapchat] What’s your advice for maintaining a healthy, great relationship?

LE: Relationships take work. They take compromise. Michael & I have learned each other, we let each other be ourselves. We love to make each other laugh, I think having fun with your significant other is VERY important. The most important thing though, is trust and having each other’s back 100%.

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YG: Self-love can be hard for a lot of women – Tell me how you maintain a positive body image and how you deal with insecurity.

LE: When you’re putting in an honest effort to take care of yourself, you sweat your butt off during workouts, & you mostly opt for clean healthy food, the body you always wanted will come naturally. Feeling clean and energized from living a healthy lifestyle naturally improves mood. It’s crazy, but I think if women had a healthier relationship with exercising and food, they would naturally feel more secure and empowered.

A big ‘thank you’ to Lauryn for being so incredibly authentic, kind, helpful & letting me include her in this series. Make sure to check her out at theskinnyconfidential.com for all you could ever want to know on coconut oil lube, vagina steaming, boob jobs & coffee enemas!! 

Sometimes all you’ve got to do is ask, people! Happy Tuesday xx