1-Year Fitness Update!

Hey Everybodyyyy! Happy Hump Day! 🙂

In today’s post I really wanted to be able to talk to you guys about my 1-year fitness update; how it’s been going, where I’m at with it right now, and where I hope to be in the next few months (my goal).

This is something that I’m a little nervous about, as I’m sure most people would be, just because health, fitness and weight in general, are all really sensitive topics to speak about, especially in this day and age. However, I thought it was important to share this with you guys for a few different reasons.

Important because firstly, it’s a pretty big milestone (for me). Secondly, because who knows, maybe somehow or another me speaking about this will help and/or inspire someone else in their own fitness journey, or to even START their own fitness journey. And lastly (although this sort of piggy-backs off of the first two reasons), because I just recently did an entire post on confidence and self-love (which I’ll leave linked here if you guys wanted to check it out), and so what kind of person/writer would I be if I didn’t speak out on something as important as body-positivity and self-love more in-depth for something as sensitive as this?

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How The Past Year Has Been Going:

The first thing I want to speak about with this is probably the most obvious thing, which is, how this past year has been (fitness-wise). And well….let’s be honest, dieting is hard and it sucks ass. You really have to learn self- control when it comes to something like this, ESPECIALLY if you’re used to eating a certain way for a certain amount of years, which I pretty much was.

I’ve mentioned it before, several times, but I am not only a picky-eater, I’m also a MAJOR junk-food eater. Put those 2 things together, and you’ve pretty much got a recipe for disaster (in my case anyway).

Now, I’ve never been the best eater, throughout my entire life. BUT, I will say that it got really bad when I was away in college (as I’ve spoken about once before in my first health post, the reasons for this, etc. which I’ll leave linked here ). I gained A LOT of weight in college, I would actually say that the majority of my weight gain happened in college (freshmen 15 is no joke ya’ll even though it extended over the course of 4-years, but whateverrr!).

But it just got to a point where I literally weighed the heaviest that I EVER did. I definitely wasn’t obese, but for my age, height, etc. the weight I was at (at the time) was NOT good. Plus, I was not happy and/or confident in my body AT ALL. It was a bad time, for a long time. And I’m sure other people noticed it obviously, but few actually told me about it. Which was fine I suppose, because it’s one of those things that you kind of just need to see/realize for yourself in order to make any sort of change.

There were times where Diego would REALLY try to push me to go to the gym, and I would go, but then I would just be eating whatever still before or after it, so it was completely defeating the purpose. It took a few months after I started my fitness journey for it to REALLY start. And what I mean by that is, for a good 4-5 months, I had gotten the whole working out, and going to the gym consistently part down, but I wasn’t taking the food portion of it seriously, so I hadn’t been seeing results.

It wasn’t until about May that I started to take both super seriously, not to the point that I turned anal about it, but to the point where I actually started seeing results now, so it was the actual exciting part.

And I’m not going to lie to you guys, it’s hard af to keep up a diet, there were SO many times when I would give in to any/all of the cravings that I had, whether it was with regular food or junk food, and would see what little progress I made turn to shit. However, I learned to not only control those urges, but also not deprive myself of the little things that I wanted, and would find healthier alternatives to go around that, while also being able to stick to my diet.

Every once in a while like during “that time of the month,” it gets a little difficult because of cravings and what not, but over time I have actually really felt like it’s gotten easier.

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Where I’m At Now:

Between going to the gym AT LEAST 4-5 times a week, and cleaning up my eating TREMENDOUSLY, I have seen SUCH an insane amount of progress.

I think you guys can agree with me that how we perceive ourselves and our bodies can be really iffy sometimes. Sure, you have your days where you’re feeling GREAT and super confident with yourself throughout workouts, after workouts, etc., but there are also those days where you pretty much look exactly the same, but the confidence just isn’t there. You don’t feel yourself which, as a result, causes your confidence to diminish a little.

Well in general, that’s happened to me pretty frequently, especially since, although I know I’ve made a lot of progress, I’m not quite where I want to be yet and some days are harder than others to see the results that a lot of other people see, in yourself.

HOWEVER, I’ve learned that I really need to give myself credit when it’s due, and little by little (with each pound being shed), I have been gaining the confidence back that I used to have a few years ago.

I think my progress actually hit me the most thanks to some pictures that I took last Thursday (on Thanksgiving). I’m not exactly sure what I was doing or why I was doing it, but at some point during the night I was scrolling through old pictures on my phone and came across the ones I took last year for Thanksgiving. It didn’t fully occur to me until I decided to do a side-by-side picture of that and the one(s) I had just taken earlier that day and this is what I saw:

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Last year thanksgiving vs. thanksgiving this year…a 26 pound difference. On the left, I was at about 203lbs and currently, on the right, I’m at 177.

I’m not at all happy and/or proud of the way I look on the left side, in fact, I’m kind of embarrassed to be showing that picture compared to me now, BUT I am SUPER proud to see how much of a difference between the two there really is.

If you know me, and even if you don’t really but follow me on social media and see my posts, you would know in recent months how much work I’ve truly been putting in at the gym, and this is just proof of that. I am super proud of where I currently am at now and can’t wait to see where I’m going to be in a few months with this fitness journey of mine!!

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Where I Want To Be (My Goal):

As I said earlier, I’m not at all where I want to be yet, but I know that slowly but surely, I’m getting to meet that goal.

Ultimately, my main goal is to lose another 10-15 pounds and tone up my body a little more, then just continue to maintain it from there.

If I continue the work-out and eating regimen that I currently have, I really don’t see how or why I wouldn’t achieve these mini goals that I have set for myself (unless of course I just happen to throw it all out the window one day, which I don’t count on doing).

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Overall, it definitely has NOT been an easy fitness journey for me, but looking back at where I once was, and seeing where I am now, is enough motivation for me to keep pushing through. Besides, I’m not looking for easy and never have. And between my own confidence and Diego behind me pushing me to keep going, I know I’m going to end up hitting all of my fitness goals sooner rather than later.

Well guys, that’s it. That is my 1-year fitness update. I hope you guys like this post, and that in some way, shape or form it helped and/or motivated you to keep pushing through your hurdles that may be stopping you from going to the gym or just continuing your own fitness journey. You CAN do it. It’s going to take time and dedication, but it is 100% possible. Keep pushing through and I promise you that you’ll end up seeing results!

Thank you guys so much for reading, please like, follow, comment and share, and I’ll see you guys in my next post! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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Giving Back This Holiday Season

Hi Guys! Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone had a GREAT and long Thanksgiving weekend, whether you spent it with family, friends, significant others, etc.

As we all know, Thanksgiving is a time for us to all be thankful/grateful for everything we have in our lives at the moment. It’s a time to really step back and realize how many blessings we truly have compared to those that may not be as fortunate.

That being said, in today’s post I’m going to be speaking about an event that Diego and I put together this past Wednesday in order to be able to give back a little during this holiday season to those that are less fortunate.

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The Process to Gather Supplies & Put Everything Together:

This event was something that Diego and I had spoken about doing together for a few years now since we had gotten together. We always knew we wanted to be able to help out the homeless around New York, but it was just a matter of actually planning it out and right timing. Last year we got pretty close to doing something, but for one reason or another, it never ended up happening.

So, this year, we knew for a fact that we wanted/needed to make it happen. Just amongst ourselves, we had played around with the idea for a few weeks leading up to November, but it wasn’t until November 1st that we actually made it known to people through our social media accounts what we were actually trying to do (which was to create care kits for those that were homeless and then pass them out around the streets of New York). We asked our friends/followers to contribute and/or donate any supplies and money that they could, while also (if they could) donate their time to help us put everything together and come out with us to distribute everything.

Time went by super fast which was a bit nerve-racking because we weren’t sure if we were actually going to have everything in time to make our event happen, but thankfully, everything happened the way that it was supposed to, and before we knew it, it was Tuesday, November 20th and the day that we were putting all of our little care kits together.

Each care kit came with: 1 sandwich, 1 water bottle, 2 snack bars, 1 pair of socks, 1 hat, 1 pack of tissue, 1 small bottle of hand sanitizer, a sweater or jacket and a cup of hot coffee if they wanted it.

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We didn’t actually have a set number of care kits that we were going to make, we just knew we wanted to make as many as we possibly could with the amount of supplies that we had.

After putting everything together, we ended up seeing that we were able to make a total of 47 care kits for people.

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Wednesday, November 21st: The Day We Passed Out The Care Kits:

Diego and I knew that we wanted to be able to go out and distribute everything that we had the day before Thanksgiving in hopes that it would be/feel slightly more significant and memorable to these people (not to say it wouldn’t have been significant regardless, but nonetheless). Unfortunately for us though, we realized a little too late that we were going out for this on one of the COLDEST nights of this Fall/Winter season thus far.

There was about 8 of us that night going to pass out all of the care kits and although it was freezing outside, and we had ended up starting slightly later then what we originally intended, we continued to try to stay optimistic….

Like any major event that you end up putting together in your life (especially when it’s a first-timer), there was a lot of nerves and excitement building up around the entire thing.  Excitement, because we knew we were doing a good thing (or trying to) for these people that we didn’t know, but knew needed it. And nerves, because none of us had ever done anything like it before, so we didn’t necessarily know how to go about doing it.

There were also a ton of other things going through our minds about it like how to go about approaching these people and how to truly even decipher if they were homeless or not (without trying to accidentally offend anyone), etc. But, before we knew it we were in the city and it was officially time to pass out the care kits.

We went all over the major parts of the city like Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, passed Times Square and Bryant Park, Grand Central and even up to 51st street (which actually ended up being our last stop), which I am proud to announce that we gave out every single one of our care kits to people that we saw that night!! 😀 (scroll down to see pictures from throughout the night).

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Our General Experience From The Event:

Thankfully, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that although we were all super nervous in the beginning, we were all pleasantly surprised by the end of the night at how smoothly the entire thing went, and also at how unbelievably grateful everybody we encountered was.

I don’t exactly know what I expected, but I definitely don’t think it was to get as positive a reaction as we did from pretty much everyone we gave a care kit to that night. I’m not really sure why, but I just didn’t. The reactions from most people were stunning, in the best way possible. Although there were SO many different ones, 2 examples in particular stood out to me the most…

The first woman we saw and gave a care kit to, Charmigne, was probably the sweetest woman I had ever met, especially for someone in her situation. I went up to her with Diego’s nephew Aden, simply asking if it was okay with her that we gave her one of our care kits. She answered, “of course,”  which then followed by her asking us our names. We introduced ourselves, she introduced herself, and then she continued by commending us on the work we were doing. She said it was amazing to see us, such young people, walking around attempting to help people like them, especially since it was more than she had seen people of higher power (our government) do for people like them (her words).

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She then proceeded to ask Aden if he prayed, he said yes. She asked him if he would mind saying a prayer with her, which he got a little nervous and said that he didn’t pray out loud around other people. But she saw the rest of our group standing at a distance behind us, and asked him if he would feel more comfortable doing it if everyone from our group did it with us, to which he said yes. So, I called them all over, we all held hands, said a few things we were grateful for, said a few of our hopes for her and the people that we were going to encounter that night, and before we knew it, we were on our way. But not before she was nice enough to let us know certain areas in particular to head to, to be sure we saw others in her situation to be able to give our care kits to.

The second example was actually one of the last experiences we had of the night, and it was these 2 guys Eric and Shan who were just as grateful as Charmigne was, but they also just kept questioning why we were out there, in the freezing cold doing what we were. We responded by saying that we wanted to do what we could to give back a little this holiday season, and they were just in awe. They couldn’t believe we had actually willingly wanted to be out there, and expressed to us that it was people/kids like us who were actually slowly but surely saving the world…

Who would’ve thought? Our small gesture of wanting to put together these little care kits for people, would really be enough to have them completely look at the world differently, at least for a little while. I don’t know about anyone else that was involved, but for me, those 2 examples alone were enough to make the entire 5 hours that we were walking around, 100% worth it. Obviously there were a ton of others, but these were the ones that stood out the most for me.

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Overall, we were all so unbelievably happy at the positive responses we had continuously received throughout the night, not only from the people that we had given the actual care kits too, but also from our families and friends that had known about us doing this.

And I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it was definitely a humbling, eye-opening experience for us all, because although sometimes we may say we are thankful for everything in our life, we do also sometimes tend to take for granted the “little” things like having food, shelter and clothes. Things that we sometimes don’t even think twice about, because we never really had to. An experience like this definitely puts all of that into perspective.

Personally, I wish that we could’ve done more, but you know what? Looking back at it, considering we managed to be able to give out every single care kit we had, I don’t think we did bad at all. Plus, this was our first time ever putting something together like this so it was definitely a learning experience, and there’s always next time to be able to try doing something more, bigger and/or better.

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I really want to just take a second to thank every single person that was involved in helping put all of this together….whether you had donated money, or actual materials/food, or even just donated your time to be able to come out with us and pass everything out….thank you SO much; because without you guys, we wouldn’t have been able to make it happen. Irene, Jailene, Victoria, Tabatha, Chris, Mom, Tyler, Genaro, Pablo, Leslie, Alfred, Miyenia…thank you to all of you. You guys really did not have to help us in the individual ways that you did, but we are both so unbelievably grateful that you did. Thank you for helping us put our first little event like this together and making it as much a success as it was, and hopefully next year, or sometime soon we can put together an even bigger and better event.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post. Please like, share, follow and comment, and I’ll see you guys in the next one!

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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Confidence Is Key

You guys, if there’s any 2 things that I can take away from 2018 thus far, it’s that 1. if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will and 2. confidence is EVERYTHING.

2 majorly important things, that which are not at all easy to achieve for some. In fact, for some (many…..most?), these 2 things are things that take YEARS to master.

You need to believe in yourself in order for other people to, and not in a “you have to please and/or prove anything” to them type of way, but more of in a “oh he/she is not only serious about what it is they’re doing, but they’re also owning the heck out of it,” sort of way. There’s a major difference.

I’ve learned that doing that (along with your actual work obviously) is going to end up not only attracting more people to you as a person, but also whatever work it is that you’re trying to put out there to the world.

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As I said, I’m fully aware that confidence like this doesn’t happen overnight, in fact, it’s something that may take YEARS for you or anyone to perfect, but that’s okay.

People are going to talk regardless if you’re succeeding or failing at whatever it is that you want to do with your life. There are ALWAYS going to be haters, critics, and people who just generally don’t care about the work you’re putting out into the world. Which, for a long time it’s going to suck to see, but as long as YOU know that you’re working hard and being the best version of you and your work possible, that is ALL that should truly matter.

Although most times it’s easier said than done, you need to do your best to ignore any and all negativity that may be blocking you from doing your best work. Being insecure about putting yourself out there and receiving negative or no feedback at all can be REALLY discouraging, that’s normal, but you can’t just let those feelings take over and win.

Take those feelings and use them as motivation to add fuel to your fire to want to do TEN TIMES better than you were before, because if you keep trying your hardest to put that all aside and putting your best work out there, I promise that slowly but surely you will begin to see results.

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I’m not an expert, and I’m obviously still learning with each day that passes, but I’ve dealt with this SO many times, so speaking from experience, take it from me. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a little over a year now, and similar to doing YouTube, sometimes it gets REALLY hard, harder than people may think. That’s because there are so many bloggers out here trying to make it and trying to do what I’m doing that it gets discouraging to see sometimes when I don’t get likes, views, comments or followers on my post.

I used to take it SO hard, to the point where it would stop me from wanting to write altogether, and don’t get me wrong, every once in a while it still happens, but after reading various bloggers’ advice/tips on how to see results and get better with your blog, PLUS this book I read (which I’ll speak more about later on) and other things on the internet, I gained my confidence back and learned a few things…

  1. How do I ever expect to achieve a fraction of the dreams/goals I have for myself if I get discouraged and just stop altogether? I told myself that although it may be a little difficult right now, that I knew what I was capable of with my writing and reminded myself about what exactly I wanted to do and get out of this one day.

And 2. Although there may be a lot of people with similar blog themes, topic ideas, etc., no one will EVER have the exact same way of thinking, writing and/or expressing their thoughts as me. Everyone, including myself, is different in how they do things believe it or not. We may all have similar ideas, but we express them in unique ways. NO TWO PEOPLE ARE THE SAME!!

Obviously I specified these examples for my specific case with writing and my blog, but it’s equally the same with any other field as well. It’s all about finding what you’re good at, making yourself stand out from the rest somehow, and just perfecting it from there. It IS do-able!

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I mentioned earlier that there was a book I read that actually REALLY helped me gain some of my confidence back. The name of the book is “YOU ARE A BADASS; HOW TO STOP DOUBTING YOUR GREATNESS AND START LIVING AN AWESOME LIFE,” by: Jen Sincero. It’s actually a pretty popular book, so many of you may already have seen/heard of it before and I’ve actually spoken about it before in my ‘Top 5 Favorite Motivational Books’ post (which I’ll leave linked here if you guys wanted to check it out), but if you haven’t, I HIGHLY recommend that you pick it up.

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Just based off of the title alone, I think it’s self-explanatory, but it really is a great and super-relatable book. Anyone that’s read it before I’m sure can vouch for that. It’s also not a complicated book at all, in fact, it’s full of quotes, examples and personal stories from the author that really help to break it down for anyone that may be lacking the confidence in themselves to succeed and conquer their dream(s).

I’m attaching the link for you guys here to be able to purchase it. I also am posting a snippet of it for you guys to determine for sure if you’d be interested and want to actually buy it.

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Rome wasn’t built in a day and hard-work never goes unnoticed (believe it or not). Believe in yourself, keep working hard no matter what and own the shit out of whatever it is that you’re most passionate about and want to do and watch the positive outcome for it happen sooner rather than later.

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I hope this was helpful to someone out there to some extent, if not I hope you at least thought it was an interesting read. Thank you guys so much for taking the time out to actually read my stuff. Please follow, like, share and comment, and I’ll see you guys in my next post!

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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