Five Things You Hate About Bloggers That I LOVE!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ok, so we've all seen the articles out there about what bloggers or social media users do that drive people crazy. And we've all read articles about how bloggers make life look perfect and, in doing so, make other people feel inadequate. Well, I tend to have some opposing opinions, and not just because I'm a blogger and social media user myself, but because I see some inherent value in these habits.

Five Things You Hate About Bloggers That I Happen to Love:


Sharing what we're eating: I hear a lot of people grumble about how they don't care to see what other people are eating. Me, me! I do care! Maybe I'm an exception to the rule because I like eating clean, but when looking for healthy new meal ideas quickly, I need look no further than Instagram. More than once I've thought, "hey, I want to try that!" And I've actually tried many of them, or they've reminded me to dig out a recipe I may have forgotten about! Also, I am part of the Tone it Up community, and I love seeing what other people are cooking from their Nutrition Plan. The amazing meal pictures were one of the big reasons that I finally bought the nutrition plan in the first place!





Making things look perfect: Now, I like to see that other people's houses are messy too, not just mine. It makes me feel better. But, I do appreciate picture-perfect settings and easy-to-look-at images more. I myself am always striving to search out and share picture-quality moments, not just for others, but for myself. Reaching inside that mess to extract the beauty is what I'm all about!!!! It's like a gratitude journal in picture form! I already know and acknowledge that the world isn't all pretty and that no blogger has it completely together, so it is not difficult for me to appreciate the perfection inside the chaos. I appreciate paying more attention to the beautiful, rather than the hair-pulling scenarios. I fall into the negativity trap all too easily and can use all the help I can get to retrain my focus on precious moments.

Seeming to do projects just for content: While I don't condone only throwing parties to create blog content, I do appreciate being more intentional with our time, especially time with my kids. If I've figured out a genius activity to do on a rainy day, I love being able to share that with others and maybe inspire them to do the same. If I've set an intention to bring more Scripture into my son's life, I can easily come alongside that with blog posts, with my life encouraging and pushing my blog growth and vice versa. Plus, blogging is just another incentive to keep our homes clean and aesthetically pleasing, the way we'd really prefer it to be anyway.




Over-sharing/little privacy: now, we all love to see peeks into people's real lives. Some things are sacred, sure, but I am the type of person that appreciate other people's authenticity, openness and vulnerability. I like to know that we share the same worries, values, problems and imperfections. So I like when people share what's really going on. In fact, I dislike it when bloggers hold back and don't show readers much about their personality and you can sense that they're hiding something. I tend to seek out "about me" pages when I come across a new blog, and I want to know more about the faces behind the blog.

Sharing about pets and kids: I know a lot of people say "I really don't care about your dog or your special sparkle princess," but I am not one of those people. I love reading about other people's families. I learn more about my own family this way. For instance, I know exactly what our priorities are in my family, and after reading certain blogs, I am better able to reflect on how we implement those values and how we could handle different situations. Dogs and kids are not for everyone, sure. If it's not, just move along from the mommy/cat lady blogs. No need to muck up comments because it isn't your thing. Find your thing and leave your non-things to other people.


A photo posted by Jessica Collins (@boun_seejess) on



I LOVE blogging and I LOVE social media. I get tons of motivation from there (as long as I'm following the leaders, not the complainers). I LOVE connecting with people. I like knowing what's going on in the world. I like seeing other people going after their dreams or working hard because that fuels me. I like being able to having topics of conversation ready to talk to people about "hey how's the car? I saw on Facebook that you just got a convertible." I love learning new skills on Youtube. I just love love love social media. I even #love hashtags. They're little glimpses of people's personalities and what people are about. They're a way to be cheeky and share humor too. They're a way to find people with similar interests and form little communities. They're a way to learn about different types of people. They can even provide a platform for building a successful business. People use Facebook and social media in different ways and for different things, and that's ok. I just happen to be one of those people that enjoy and keep up with social trends.

Now bad grammar, vulgarity and mindless chatter, those I can do without!! :P

Hey, while we're talking about it, let's connect on social media! Just press the social media buttons on my sidebar to connect.

How Sugar, Hormones and Stress Mess with Weight Loss

Monday, April 4, 2016



Sometimes, there's more to the weight loss game than just diet and exercise.

I went to a very interesting Lunch N Learn at work last week about how sugar, hormones and cortisol affect weight loss. So, let's start with your typical weight loss equation. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. That's typical for almost everyone. Most people respond well if they eat less and exercise more.

But, if you're like me, you have a few more factors that affect that equation. My body doesn't respond that easily. And I've been thinking that every one of those factors mentioned in the title might be affecting my own personal weight loss. I've been working out 6 days a week, eating pretty darn clean, and seeing no progress. So, I had to start thinking outside the box of diet and exercise.


Reduced Diet Calories + Increased Exercise  Weight Loss

I do have issues with anxiety, so cortisol is something I'm exploring. Diabetes runs in my family, so I've been trying to eat more protein and fewer carbs, including sugar, at my doctor's advising. So, when my workplace offered this presentation on sugar, hormones and stress, it was 100% in line with what I wanted to dig into more. So, I signed up right away!

Our speaker had her own amazing weight loss story, having lost and kept off 70 lbs just in the past couple recent years, so she had some immediate proof in her own body. And I just really clicked with everything she said and have a lot of similar views as her.

Let me sum up the presentation for you:

1. Sugar is the root of all evil. Seriously.
2. Cortisol makes your body hold onto fat.
3. Hormones from sugar and stress create a vicious weight loss struggle.


So, we have these stressor in life, just general worry and real stressor too like deadlines, bills, and close calls. These stressor activates the sympathetic nervous system--fight or flight.

During this, the body is told to stop digesting, stop muscle building, and flood the body with glucose (suger). Then, glucose comes along thst needs insulin to clear it out, but cortisol blocks insulin. All the extra sugar floating around, that you didn't use to flee from a tiger, is stored as fat.

But then, to add insult to injury, leptin, the hormone that tells you when you're full, is blocked by insulin.


So, let me summarize: 

Cortisol blocks insulin and insulin blocks leptin.
So basically, sugar and stress cause fat to hang on like crazy!
 And the body is still over there telling you it's hungry, feed it quick, with sugar!



Sugar feeds disease in all different ways. It is evil.

So what do you do to combat this? Meditation, sugar elimination and a plant-based diet can have a profound impact on your life and weight! Guess what I'm adding to my diet and fitness regimen? A daily meditation practice, a kitchen sugar clean-out and a shopping trip to the produce and Steamer aisles. It seems so simple, but are you actually doing it? Can you do it better? Start there! That's where I'm starting.


As a side, our presenter is a certified eating psychology coach, which really intrigues me. Of course healthy eating and fitness have always been my passions, but I've also had lots of interest in the psychology behind it. I had an emphasis in psychology in college and just couldn't get enough of it. Check her out:



PSA, I've Been Published on Kind Over Matter!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hey there, just thought I'd pop in and announce that some of my writing has been published over on Kind Over Matter. I'm super excited!!! KOM is a beautiful platform for "feel-good" reading. The articles are about self kindness and nice things, without getting too gooey. How's that for an elevator pitch? Ha!

Check out my article HERE.



The Love Drive

Weekly Food and Fitness: Food Prep Video!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

**Hey there, I thought I'd bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it's easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I've been alternating steady state and interval training.

Workouts:


  • Monday: 30 min Brittne Babe arms, abs and HIIT
  • Tuesday: 30 min run
  • Wednesday: 30 min BB legs and HIIT
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday
    • 30 BB chest, abs and HIIT
    • 30 min walk at lunch
  • Saturday: 35 interval run
  • Sunday: rest


This week I started a new 21-day program from BrittneBabe.com just to switch things up a bit. She sells her programs for just $10, so it was an easy sell. I will do a full review when I'm finished, but so far I'm enjoying it. Brittne is a youngster with a solid business sense and ambition (not to mention a killer bod), which I find really admirable. You can follow along more of my workout journey on Instagram.

On the menu:


  • Breakfast:
  • Lunch: Quinoa burrito bowl (see video description for recipe)
  • Snack: Apple and almonds
  • Dinners: Grilled chicken, burgers, subs, tuna salad, Easter feast!


I filmed a video of my food prep this week, and it only took about 1/2 hour to make. I hope this inspires you to prepare for the week! Food prepping really can be easy, cheap, super healthy and mostly clean!



What are your goals this week?

Poetry Analysis: Dresser for Sale

Friday, March 18, 2016

I have a new video up on my Youtube channel (could you show me some love and subscribe, pretty please?) delving a little deeper into one of my poems that I wrote quite a few years ago. Come check it out and let me know what you think!




Make Your Own Sunshine Poem

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Last week, I talked about how healing the sun is and I promised that there would be a poem about how much I am drawn to the sun. Here it is:


Sun Spots
by Jessica Collins

I gather bits of sunshine,
roll them out with the blinds
and curl inside the sun spots
on the carpet, like a kitten,
bending it inward with mirrors.

I collect the sun's treasures too,
store them up in glow stick and wick
so even when evening falls--
thought the quiet moon
would suffice once or twice--
I can melt and mend inside the spirit
of what is radiant and alive!



Like I pointed out in my sunshine post, I am just drawn to the sunlight. I long to be outside in it, when it's warm. In fact, this past Saturday, when the weather was stunning for a Wisconsin winter day in March, I rolled a picnic blanket out on our deck and took a nap in the sun. Rayna was napping and Kayne was gone fishing, so it was the perfect opportunity to spend some alone time in the sun. I gravitate toward sunny windows and run around opening all the blinds in our house. This poem encapsulates that feeling for me. Hope you like it!

Let me know what you think!

Weekly Food and Fitness: What To Do When You Didn't Meal Prep

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

**Hey there, I thought I'd bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it's easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I've been alternating steady state and interval training.


Workouts:





Meal Prep:
None!


Oh my goodness, this week was a bit "off" for me with no meal prep, but I'm hanging in there. We had unexpected company over on Sunday and didn't get the chance to grocery shop or meal prep like we always do. I definitely don't eat quite as healthy when this happens. But, I have a few tricks to share on what to do when you haven't meal prepped, so you can still maintain a healthy diet.

1. Always have some backup food in the freezer or cupboard. I always have a supply of Boca Burgers in the freezer and usually a can of Amy's soup in the cupboard. I also try to keep a few of those new Protein Steamers on hand. These are not entirely the "cleanest" meals ever, but they're still very nutritious and a much better alternative.

2. Grab just a handful of ready-to-eat things at the grocery store--or even Kwik Trip! We grabbed eggs, cottage cheese and bananas to fill in my snack gaps for the week. There's no reason to have to whip up something complicated every week.

3. Use dinner leftovers whenever possible. My hungry boys usually eat up everything we make for dinner, so this one can be a little difficult at times. But if I'm able, I will sneak away a few things before we start eating so I have food for the next day. This helps prevent me from having to go out to eat.


What do you normally do when you haven't meal prepped for the week?