My Review and Thoughts on Trying “Toned Tea” for Myself!

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Hello my beauts, and welcome to my channel if you are new! Hi my name is Alyssa and I am 24 years old from Hamilton Ontario, and I am a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger. I have been blogging for a few years now and absolutely enjoy what I do as a hobby, hoping to pursue it further one day. I absolutely love collaborating with different companies around the world. I enjoy meeting new individuals online and love creating new friendships as well. I recently am collaborating with a wonderful company called, “Toned Tea”,  which is 100% Natural Detox Tea, and for all my vegan friends out there, this product is vegan, allergen-free, soy-free, and non-GMO. Right away I am a tea lover, always have been my entire life, and even have my beautiful “tea shirt” to represent my strong loving!  I was drawn to this company because well first off, I love tea, secondly who doesn’t want to be fit, healthy and have a rocking body for the summer?! I know I do!  I was super excited to work with this beautiful company, and was more than stoked to receive my package in the mail!

Of course, when I work with companies, I want to be completely honest and have honest reviews for my viewers. I am an open book, and love to share awesome information with you guys, especially if I find new awesome companies and new products. I did a bit of research on the product and found nothing but great reviews and information that I have to share with you beauts! First off,  there is an “AM tea package“, and a “PM tea package”. In both packages, there are different ingredients that I am going to share with you guys. When you think tea, you think just boring tea am I right? Well, my friends, this isn’t just ordinary tea, in fact, there are so many beneficial ingredients in both packages!

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In the AM package, the ingredients are:

Green Mate- which is an appetite suppressant, natural energy, helps improve digestion, helps improve your metabolism, and helps reduce blood sugar levels.

Matcha- which boots lipolysis, as well as blocks adipogenesis which is the formation of fat cells in the belly. This ingredient is also an anti-oxidant.

Lemongrass- which helps to flush out toxins, anti-inflammatory, helps to aid in gum health as well as a liver and bladder cleanse.

Rosehip Peel- which is vitamin C as well as an anti-oxidant.

Rooibos- which inhibits the formation of new fat cells.

Ginger- helps to aid in digestion as well as improves gut integrity.

Cardamom-  helps improve blood circulation and aids in digestion.

Oolong- helps dissolve triglycerides.

Black Pepper- increases metabolism and absorption.

Goji Berry- helps to detoxify the liver and stabilizes blood sugar.

Chamomile- helps to regulate sugar levels and is an anti-inflammatory.

Rose Petals- Vitamin C,  fights digestive tract infection, also helps to reestablish normal bacterial population of the intestines.

Basil-  which is an antioxidant, as well as helps to combat stress.

In the “PM Package” the ingredients are as followed:

Tumeric- which is an anti-inflammatory, and helps to promote heart health.

Clove- which is an antioxidant and helps to promote liver health. Also helps to promote blood circulation, aids in digestion, and helps with headaches.

Cinnamon- which is an antioxidant, aids in metabolism,  helps to increase energy levels and lowers blood sugar levels.

Raspberry Leaf-  helps to detoxify soy from the body, reduces nausea, helps with leg cramps,  and boosts the immune system.

Lemongrass- helps flush out toxins, helps with liver and bladder cleanse.

Ginger- aids in digestion,  helps to improve gut integrity, as well as improves blood sugar levels.

I wanted to let you beauts know exactly what was in the two packages as I would always like to know what goes into my body, what it’s helping and what not. I also wanted to explain all the benefits for you guys as well, as sometimes I have no idea the benefits of some of these ingredients. I even learned a lot myself, looking on the website and finding out all the ingredients. I love knowing all the benefits as well, and was so shocked at how many wonderful ingredients, healthy ones might I add, were in this tea!  The ingredients are just the start! Toned Tea has so many amazing benefits that I need to share with you beauts!

Benefits of Toned Tea 

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There are so many amazing benefits that are included in the Toned Tea that I wanted to share with you beauts! As a lot of you may know I am always a tired individual and rarely have little to no energy all day every day… it sucks so much! I am always on the hunt for products that help aid in energy and help increase energy levels. That is one thing that grabbed my attention right away when reading about this product! Also, I am an individual who is literally always bloated all the time, I don’t understand!  As soon as I saw that one of the benefits of this tea was to help reduce bloating, I was all over it!  This tea also helps release toxins, speeds up your metabolism and helps to control your appetite (what I need!). The Toned Tea is laxative-free as well! So many amazing benefits that I could not wait to get my hands on this product.

How to get the Best Results 

It is super crucial and important to follow these tips and tricks when drinking your AM and PM Toned Tea.  You want to ensure that you drink your AM tea as soon as you wake up, preferably 16 oz. When drinking your PM tea,  you can drink it on your way home from work or as soon as you get home ranging the time around 5-8 pm, again 16 oz. It is also important to remain on a healthy diet as well when drinking your Toned Tea. Making better food choices helps out tremendously. I often went on Pinterest to help look up healthier choices and drank a lot more water throughout the day as well. There are so many healthy dinners and snack recipes on there that taste absolutely amazing, you would be super surprised! Eating healthier and choosing a better diet helps to quicken the results, which is what everyone wants!  When it comes to exercising and working out, it is recommended to workout 4 times per week. Again, there are tons of different workout routines on Pinterest which are amazing even fun for that matter! I usually go to the gym a couple times a week, do some machines and free weights, as well as a bit of cardio.

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My Personal Results on Toned Tea

I was more than excited to receive my package in the mail! I received two packages of tea, the AM and PM packages which were a fair size! I was also given such a cute little leaf infuser which was absolutely adorable and such a nice touch! I am not going to lie, I was hesitant as to how good the tea was going to taste and I was blown away! Both the AM and PM tea tastes amazing, and both have a unique flavour to them, which is extremely enjoyable. I am always a girl to add sugar to my tea, but actually drank my tea how it was without adding any extra flavour to it. If you feel the need to, you can add some honey to your tea which is a healthier alternative to add some sweetness to it. I usually drank my AM tea around 9 am, which is when I wake up and then would have my breakfast after.  I drank a lot of water throughout the day, often carrying a cute water bottle around with me (makes me want to actually drink water, which is hard for me).  Sometimes I even find adding a lemon to the water tastes better and makes it more enjoyable. You can purchase really cheap water bottles at Urban Planet, which is where I got mine.  I also incorporated exercise into my daily routine as well, trying to aim around an hour and an hour and a half. I noticed my energy levels right away starting to increase which is what I needed and was highly looking forward to. I felt like I could accomplish more in my day which was amazing and I was not just a slug all day laying on the couch! I looked forward to having my two teas each day which was great, it was not a chore to me whatsoever. I slowly started to notice I was not as hungry as I always am, and trust me…I am ALWAYS hungry. So this was amazing and a complete bonus! There were some days in which I would just keep eating and eating… it was terrible!

I also noticed right away that the bloating was decreasing slowly which felt amazing, making me feel more amazing and satisfied with my body.  It was not too hard to make healthier diet choices as well, as it was fun to experiment with different food recipes.  I was not only starting to feel better but I am slowly noticing slight changes in my appearance as well. I am very happy that I am seeing results and will continue to drink my Toned Tea AM and PM every day.  You can purchase the Toned Tea Detox and use my special discount code “muchlove20” for 20% off your order which is amazing!

“The teas taste amazing, honestly such a beautiful and unique taste. I actually crave them every day!”

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I highly highly recommend checking out the Toned Tea website at http://www.tonedtea.com! You beauts can find different reviews and the products there. Also, I recommend following “Tonedtea” on Instagram, the company is always posting positive vibes/pictures and information about their products for you beauts. I am absolutely loving my Toned Tea and was so fortunate to be able to collaborate with such a beautiful company whose products I adore. For all you tea lovers out there you will love the AM and PM teas. I find they taste so calming and refreshing, for sure the highlight of my day. Stay tuned in the future for result pictures and updates on the Toned Tea. I would love to hear if you beauts tried out the tea for yourself, send me a message! Be sure to use my special discount code muchlove20 for 20% off your order! You don’t want to miss out! Also be sure to follow me on all my social media sites for more blog posts in the near future! Take care and much love xo.

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“remember…it takes time”. A fitness journey in the making with Courtney Hill

“remember…it takes time”. A fitness journey in the making with Courtney Hill

Processed with MOLDIVOne word. Fitness. It literally is everywhere. Whenever I turn on the television I am overwhelmed with how many ads there are promoting different diets or different workout equipment you can purchase for yourself. It can be extremely overwhelming for a fact, especially if you literally do not even know where to start. Even on different social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, we are bombarded with different fitness transformation processes and results that people are getting just by having a healthier lifestyle. I remember being really interested in fitness a few years ago. I had a workout machine downstairs at my dad’s house and I would often be down there for the beginning of the day. I also did a lot of home workouts at my mom’s house and started eating healthy. I could honestly see huge results in the way my body looked but secretly I was not 100% healthy. In the process of doing home workouts and making healthier meals, eating disorders were underlying issues for me, for numerous years. Although I could see wonderful results, I know that I was not doing it the right away. I eventually had went off to University where I entered the partying life, and really did not have time to make all these healthy changes….. that or I was completely lazy and not motivated.

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So those four years of university passed and I was still not doing anything fitness related really. I felt really bad about my body and really had no energy whatsoever, it was extremely frustrating. As an Instragram addict, I am constantly on  social media sites viewing pictures on my newsfeed and I came across one person in particular that caught my eye, Courtney Hill. I had went to highschool with this girl and knew her a while back although we never really spoke that much before. I could see how devoted she was towards fitness and starting this “fitness journey“. Of course, me knowing hardly anything about fitness, viewing her posts were extremely fascinating and were very informative. I knew that I had to reach out to her and ask her about her fitness journey and how she got started and so forth.  I know that a lot of people would benefit greatly from her advice, and I know it could actually help others to strive for that same dedication and motivation, myself included. I was so happy and ecstatic when I received a response back from her, stating that she would love to be a part of this fitness blog. I then began to think of  a bunch of fitness related questions that I had always wanted to ask her, or that I thought would be extremely interesting to hear more about.

One question was extremely easy to come up with and I knew I had to ask it right away.

What motivated you to want to start working out and start this fitness journey?  “Throughout university, I partied A LOT – you could find me in the bar 4, sometimes 5 times a week. I drank on the regular and with that came a not so healthy diet. I worked out here and there between my crazy nights out but never saw any results of course. After a while I also noticed I had a lack of energy and never felt 100%, I knew I had to make a change. It wasn’t that I ever struggled with weight issues or anything but I just did not feel the best that I knew I could feel.
       It just so happened that my boyfriend and I of 6 years broke up shortly after I started to pay more attention to my diet and workouts. I was a mess – there’s no better way to put it. Working out kept my mind off my troubles and helped me to remain positive. I guess you could say it is what stemmed my fitness journey to continue. To this day, fitness is still a source of stress relief for me. I can always guarantee to feel amazing after I work out.”

I can completely relate to the partying aspect 100%. It is extremely hard to not go out with your friends and have a great time, especially in the best years of your life. I find it extremely interesting that Courtney uses fitness as a source of stress relief. I find that this reason is honestly not promoted enough in the world today. Often we think of fitness as strictly dealing with body image and striving for that “perfect body image“. In reality, however, fitness is so much more. As a person who suffers from anxiety, I often use fitness now as a form of lowering my stress levels. I find this helps tremendously.

So progressing with the interview, I basically wanted to know exactly when she had started this transformation and journey. I know for myself, it is extremely overwhelming deciding where abouts to start if you want to create a more healthier lifestyle for yourself. So I decided to go straight into it!

No, I never set a goal weight for myself. I am a firm believer in it’s about how you feel…not so much the numbers”. 

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What age did you start working out at? I started working out here and there when I was about 17 years old, I would go for runs around the block or to the stairs near my house. It wasn’t until I was in my final year of university (20 years old) that I started to take it seriously and follow an actual plan“. I honestly think that is where a lot of us get “stuck”, we do not actually follow through with a plan and stick to it. I began to ask Courtney if she had ever set a goal weight for herself. I know often people are not realistic when they actually want a specific goal weight.  She then had stated, “No, I never set a goal weight for myself. I am a firm believer in it’s about how you feel…not so much the numbers”.  I absolutely love this, and I feel that this should be said to a bunch of people who are in the fitness industry or who are starting this journey. Often we are so taken back and focused on the numbers that are on the scale. We are slowly missing out on life and we don’t even notice it. Fitness is about helping your body feel more energised and overall feeling, “happier“. It is an amazing feeling after a workout to sit back and think, “wow….that made me feel wonderful“, as opposed to hopping on that scale afterwards and being disappointed with yourself. Often this can result in body dissatisfaction and using such cruel and harsh words towards yourself. We need to focus on being kinder to ourselves and giving ourselves credit for that workout we just completed.

I then began to ask Courtney about going to the gym and what she basically did for her workouts. There are so many different kinds of workouts out there, especially if you look on Pinterest. I know for myself, I never really know how often to go to the gym during the week, but this can be different for every person. Not everybody has the same workout plan but it is nice to see different people’s workout schedules!  Courtney stated, “between the gym and hot yoga, I work out 6 days a week – because it has become such a significant part of my life I struggle to take a rest day. I know how important it is to rest your body so I do try but it feels like such a part of my routine so it’s hard. I work out at Aftershok Performance Fitness which is a functional facility that offers various classes such as spinning, TRX training, strength training, boxing and open gym times. I also go to hot yoga which is amazing to balance out the intense workouts – it also helps with the mind!”.

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Do you every do any at home workouts? “I have tried home workouts videos and what not as well as many youtube videos but I can never seem to keep motivated for long. I use them when I am in a pinch and can’t make it elsewhere”.  I can relate to Courtney here for sure. I have tried at home workouts as well, and sometimes they do work but other times, it can be extremely hard to stay focused when there are so many other things that you could be doing in your home at that very moment. Do you come up with the workouts on your own? If so how did you come up with them? (i.e Pinterest, friends and so forth). “I have made up workouts on my own in the past based on different things I have learned at Aftershok and researching over the years. I use Instagram a lot for fitness motivation and workout ideas”.  That is why I absolutely love social media sites and what they have to offer. There is so much to look at especially when it comes to fitness. You can literally type in “ab workouts” and there are videos that can show you different exercises. One thing that I struggle with however when I am at the gym is trying to figure out what different muscles to work on that day. I wanted to see what Courtney’s view was on this. She stated, “I usually try and lift heavy 3-4 times a week which is split into chest/triceps, back/biceps and then legs. Other than that I will do a mix of HIIT and boxing as well as hot yoga like I mentioned before. This changes often though, I do what feels right for my body. I am not training for anything in particular so I do what makes me feel good”. There are a lot of different muscle groups that you could focus on while at the gym. It is nice to see other people’s workout plans however to maybe compare and add in a view of their exercises! Nothing wrong with that!

When discussing “balance” and trying to fit a good fitness chunk into your day it can be stressful for sure. I know when I have had a very stressful day at work, I usually want to come straight home, grab a coke, and lay on the couch while I watch a movie. It is hard to balance your career and your fitness journey for a lot of people, including myself. I wanted to see Courtney’s view on this as I had seen that she worked as a nurse, so working 12 hour long shifts can be extremely exhausting! How does she do it? Courtney explains, “I am very fortunate with the job I have right now I work straight days (Monday-Friday) so I have plenty of time to work out and keep my meals on track. I am a nurse but I currently work in research so I am not worried about the 12 hour shifts and what sort of thing. If I do however decide to get another job where my hours will be more inconsistent I will have to make that extra effort to stay on track”. It really does come down to motivation and dedication. If you really wanted to, you can make time for that chunk out of your day for your exercises. I know when I am working and had a stressful day, I sometimes bring my gym bag with me to go straight to the gym afterwards. I know that if I go home, I will be more tempted to just stay home and not go, which I will kick myself in the butt for later on. If you have that right mindset that you are going to stick with your guns and go that way, you can push yourself to go.

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Going off of this thought, mentally preparing yourself for this fitness journey that you are currently in or wanting to start is extremely important and crucial. Having a strong support system behind you can influence your progress on this journey. Courtney shares, “My biggest influence is my best friend, Kristen. We have shared this journey together. From all the runs around the block back in high school to the meal prep dates, yoga sessions and crazy lifts these days, she has been my rock”. It really does help when you have people around you supporting your healthy lifestyle change. Recently my boyfriend and I have begun meal prepping together on Sunday nights, and we both push each other to head to the gym.  Having that support system there and behind you 100%, you can push yourself to go further. I then began to ask Courtney a series of questions based on how she felt now after starting this new fitness journey.

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Do you feel more energised every morning since beginning your workout journey? “Yes definitely, especially when I am able to get morning workouts in. It is the perfect start to the day for me and truly makes a difference. Overall though I would say that I am definitely more energised and I think that it is a combination of keeping active and also fueling my body with the nutrients it needs”.  That honestly was one question where I was excited to see her response to. I will admit it, I f***ing hate mornings, and I am nowhere near a morning person whatsoever. However, with my job and like most jobs, you literally have to become a morning person whether you like it or not.Having that boost of energy in the morning and feeling happier in the morning because of fitness would be an amazing feeling. Having started the gym, I have felt better in the mornings when I wake up as opposed to when I never really involved fitness in my days. It is a super nice feeling to be able to wake up and think positive thoughts and vibes. Having that mindset that you are “ready to take on the day and see what it brings“, is so important when wanting to be happier and live a more positive lifestyle.  I then asked Courtney what her own personal advice would be to someone who wanted to begin a fitness journey. She explained,”The best advice I have for somebody starting a fitness journey is to remember it takes time. It’s about making small changes little by little rather than trying to change everything all at once. From experience, this only leads to failure. For it to be a true lifestyle you need to take it one day at a time and make small adjustments as you go. There is NO quick fix – what works for you may not work for everyone – even Kristen and I have many differences in our workout and meal plans”. I think a lot of people do not realise that fitness is a “journey” not a one-day thing. Even for myself, I know some days when I know that I had a great week at the gym and I am seeing little results I get bummed out. In reality , however, your body is slowly changing and preparing itself for that change. This is where we begin to get so hard on ourselves and become discouraged. Look at Courtney, she has been working extremely hard each and every day for the body that she has now, it’s not some magic pill that we can take and say “voila“. As you can see in a majority of her photos on Instagram, she pushes herself. I can guarantee you that workout below is not as easy as tying your shoe…

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“it has changed my life and allowed me to grow in so many positive ways. I couldn’t imagine my life without fitness now”

So I know what we are all dying to hear…. the important part of this fitness journey right? It is not strictly based on the exercises you complete but a lot of the results you are going to see are made from the kitchen. I was interested to hear about Courtney’s meal plan and was excited when she generously gave some examples of different meals she cooks in the kitchen.

Do you meal prep? If so, what kind of meals do you usually eat for breakfast, lunch , dinner and snacks? “YES – meal prepping is key for me. Every Sunday I prepare meals for my work week. I prepare all of my lunches, snacks and dinners for the week. I do this for convenience and for portion control which I have always struggled with. Nothing worse than coming home starving after the gym and eating everything in sight (healthy choices of course just WAY TOO MUCH). Being prepared helps with that. I have been meal prepping for 2 years now and it is a saviour for me. . I tend to eat the same stuff over and over again until I am bored of it” . Some examples that Courtney shared included:

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Breakfast:

Vanilla protein shake with fruit, almond/cashew milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, ½ avocado and PB

Eggs and avocado toast or oats

Lunch/Dinner:

Chicken Salad with avocado, tomato, cucumber, cranberries, pecans and balsamic dressing

Quinoa-arugula bowl with pulled chicken and roasted veggies (cauliflower, zucchini, butternut squash, sweet potatoes)

Lean ground chicken, quinoa and sautéed veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, spinach)

 

Snacks:

Rye crackers, tuna and avocado

Rice cakes with peanut butter, almond butter or avocado and salsa. YUM

Piece of fruit and almonds

Protein ice cream (I freeze almond milk to make ice cubes to blend with my protein powder)

 

“There are many other recipes and things that I try but those are just some of my go to meals”

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One thing that I can strongly emphasise right off the bat is how hard it is to resist those sweets and cravings. I am a huge chocolate lover and I absolutely love any baked goods, so cutting these out of my meals is super challenging for me! I wanted to see what advice Courtney had based off of this. She stated, Best advice I have for cravings and sweets is everything in moderation. DO NOT deprive yourself or restrict yourself from any foods – it’s about finding a balance and making it a lifestyle rather than a diet. I have tried every diet under the sun and they have all failed terribly; making lifestyle changes little by little is the way to go. If you tell yourself “I cant eat any chocolate, I’m cutting it all out” 9 times out of 10 you’re going to eventually cave and binge which will be a lot worse than having that one piece when you were craving it. If you find yourself with constant cravings, drinking a lot of water helps – so does brushing your teeth. Sometimes after dinner, I will brush my teeth and that usually helps me.”  Having heard this from someone who is so motivated and into fitness was extremely helpful. I know for a fact that I have said to myself numerous times, “I am going to cut out all sweets and also stop drinking pop altogether“. Has this worked for me? Absolutely not. Having these in moderation however, would benefit me way more! I would not be setting myself up for complete failure.  I also really loved the advice on brushing your teeth! I have never actually tried this but it really does make perfect sense! I am for sure going to try this next time!

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Do you have cheat days? No I do not do “cheat days”. I have tried that method of eating “clean” for so many days and then going all out for one meal but to me, that’s no way to live. For me, I do what makes me feel good, if I want to go for froyo or sushi with my friends on the weekend I won’t beat myself up over it. I love food and trying new things and that will never change. I try my best to make the best choices but every so often I will have meals out of my usual routine of course- everything in moderation J I have gotten to know my body and how I feel after eating different things”.  I think this is extremely important. Knowing how you feel and how your body feels after eating certain meals is useful in determining what you should and shouldn’t really be eating. When I would eat pizza I would literally have 4-5 pieces….no joke. Now if I were to eat pizza I would cut myself off at 2 pieces because I know I would feel like absolute shit after I am done. We need to get to know our bodies more and take into consideration what makes us feel good, thinking and keeping in mind to keep living your life.

Do you have to restrict a lot of food that you intake? Do you feel like you are deprived of certain foods? Like I mentioned above I do not restrict myself from specific foods or anything like that. I will steer clear of foods that I know will make me feel like crap that’s about it”.

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“…I have finally realised that being happy and healthy cannot be achieved based on outer appearance, happiness and health of the MIND and the HEART are just as important”-Courtney Hill

 

Overall, having a healthy mindset and heart really are extremely important. Often we are so focused on striving for that perfect figure that we really do forget about all the other little things that fitness is associated with.  We need to step back and look at the bigger picture. Courtney provided us with so much important and helpful information on how she got started on her fitness journey. Having the proper information and knowing those steps that you need to take are so helpful. I am beyond grateful that Courtney took the time out of her day to share with us her helpful tips and tricks when it comes to fitness. Be sure to check out her Instagram page for more fitness related posts!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I did writing about it! I thought this would be extremely benefical for others to look at and view for themselves. Be sure to check out my other social media accounts for more updates on my latest blog posts!

Photograph taken by Alisha Marie 

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Much love xo.

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Living and coping with your worst enemy, your mind.

Living and coping with your worst enemy, your mind.

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Hello my beauts, I hope you guys have been well! I apologize for the super late posting as I have been extremely busy with everything and I have not been able to sit down and actually blog/ put my thoughts down on my site. I have been super busy with starting up work again, and let me tell you, working with children tires you out for sure. I have also been debating on what to blog about because I usually like to mix up my blog posts every now and then. I have decided to write a more personal post to share with you guys this week, just because a lot has been going through my head and I have had numerous amounts of time to think to myself. I have decided to write this post about your mind, more specifically my mind and how it works/functions.

Your mind can be a magical place, filled with imagination, positive thoughts, years of educational knowledge and places to put memories. However, what mom, dad, schools, teachers and textbooks don’t teach you is how your mind can completely turn against you. Remember having friends when you were little in Elementary school where they would take your toys away without asking or leave you to play by yourself and go to another friend group? Remember saying “I’m not going to be your friend anymore”, and finding new friends to play with? I remember times when I would dislike certain friends because they were not being “nice”, I never knew what the word “hate” meant or even that the specific word existed.  You had the freedom to meet new people,  leave behind friends that weren’t considered “friends”, and create relationships with people who love and care for you.  I remember waking up in the morning when I went to elementary school and not having a care for my physical appearance whatsoever. I would simply put my hair back into a tight pony tail, throw on some random clothes that were not name brand, and throw on some chapstick before heading out the door for school. Now if you were to ask me today if I could get ready in 30 minutes like I used to for grade 6 I would say “not a chance in hell”. I need approximately 2 hours to get ready before going to work, going for dinner, or hanging with friends. Why might you ask? Because my physical appearance is one of my biggest necessities in life. Usually when you are asked what is considered most important to you in life, one might say “education or achieving an education” in order to live a successful and happy lifestyle. I could be wrong but I do not think that this is one of the most important aspects that people would answer if asked this question today.  Your appearance does account for a lot of things and maybe that is how I met my own worst enemy/friend, my mind.

You know how I stated earlier up above that in elementary school you can choose who your best friends are or friends in general? I wish you could do this with your mind, but sadly this is one part of your body that stays with you for life, whether you want it to be there or  not.  If asked one day, “do you hate anybody in your life?”, I would answer simply with not somebody but something, my mind. Not all the  time do I have to use this vulgar word in relation to hatred, but we have a love/hate relationship more than anything. Somedays I am not too sure if this is a good thing or more of a bad thing, but it’s something that I have to deal with when I open my eyes in the morning, to when I close them at night time. Even though our minds are a powerful  thing and sometimes are overwhelming, there is one thing that is more powerful than it, and that simply is your courage to fight it when the bad thoughts approach and turn them into positive vibes. A lot of people often let their minds win their battles, and I am for sure not one to talk. I admit that often my mind loves to break me and try to bring me down. One prime example of this that I have to deal with is my anxiety. I have mentioned this in my previous blog post before strictly on anxiety and how to cope with it. Anxiety plays such a powerful role on your mind and comes out in your actions. I sometimes do not know when my anxiety is going to trigger but I usually have good ideas when it is going to come on. Having to wake up in the morning panicking because you have to go to work to talk to people is exhausting and embarrassing. This is one of my major anxiety triggers, which is the concept working.  One thing that my mind starts doing and I am sure this happens to many people in this world or who are reading this blog is that my mind likes to wander. Once my anxiety has been triggered it’s like a domino effect. My mind becomes overwhelmed with numerous negative thoughts and the “what-ifs” come into play. “What if you can not go to work today? Then  you will get fired. “I have to work every single day of my life, how am I going to get through this?” I do not know if you can. “How come I get anxious and nervous for everything in life?”, maybe because you  do not try hard enough. See what I mean? I feel like often my brain likes to answer the what-ifs for me even I didn’t ask it to. It’s like my mind is invading my personal space and interfering with my life at points. Even though I feel like some days it is out of control, I know deep deep down that it won’t defeat me. Even though my mind is attached to my body and I have to live with it for the rest of my life, I can slowly but surely start to change my outlooks on things, especially when my mind starts to emphasize my flaws.

When discussing and talking about flaws, I do not think the mind works independently on this project but rather has the help from other sources, one being social media sites. I know for a fact that when I go on social media sites such as Instagram or Facebook I love to “creep”. Why might you ask? My mind is searching for new ways to fix my flaws, and gather ideas on how to change my appearance. Sad isn’t it? But I do not think I am the only one who admits to doing this on a daily basis. What I do not get is why I can not accept me for me. At times it is extremely hard to when society and social media is encouraging individuals to better themselves, specically when it comes down to appearance and what one looks like. All you see now a days are super skinny models with their hip bones sticking out, no pimples on their faces, beautiful long hair, and an all around perfect physique. No wonder everyone is so messed up and are thinking in the same ways. I know that this has had a huge impact on me over the years, and in fact more recently again, specifically when it comes down to dieting and eating. I have come across numerous diets over the past few months, some I have tried and some I have not even bothered with. The overwhelming message of “YOU HAVE TO BE SKINNY”, is extremely overpowering and for sure plays with the ways in which I intake certain foods. Often my mind races when I eat more carbs and tells me to “stop eating”, or to skip certain meals. Of course being a 22 year old who is pressured to look a certain way by our society, I have chosen to try these techniques in order to lose pounds but let me just say this. Instead of me being happy and listening to my mind’s orders, I just became angry due to the lack of food inside me. This did not work whatsoever, nor was it healthy at all, and I am quite aware of that. Being 150 pounds and reaching a height of 5’8 is nothing to be shameful about considering the average weight for a female with this height is 154. How come society strives for us to push harder? How come people recieve nasty comments on facebook or Instagram from individuals stating their opinions on how “overweight” or how “chubby” this person is when they fall into a healthy weight category. This is why there are 12 and 13 year olds all over the world caring more about their physical appearance as opposed to their education. This is why eating disorders are so common in this era and is occurring in females as young as 10 years old. We are starving, puking, dieting, over exercising and exhausting ourselves for what? To recieve that attention we always wanted or to fit in with our messed up world? This is a question that even ponders my poisonous mind all the time, considering I am sill keeping an eye on my “healthy weight” and striving to shed more pounds.

I know our brains and minds are powerful things but we can not let it take over our bodies, let alone affect how we present ourselves in a negative light. Coming from myself, I am still trying to create more of a love relationship with my mind. I know that this does not just happen over night, but if progress does occur over a long period of time than that is better than nothing. To become that little girl in grade 6 again with not a worry in the world and a care for my appearance would be a dream, but I know that I have experienced, witnessed and became vulnerable to society’s demands of the “perfect image”. I know that I have numerous questions still lingering inside my mind that I have a hard time finding an answer for such as :, “why I can not just wake up one day and love every part of my body”, or “why I constantly strive for an image that is not me”. Although I can not provide answers to these questions right now, I can state this, “there is no definiton of perfect and there are no human beings on this earth that are considered perfect. If we as individuals keep spending time fixing the person god created you to be, we are never going to live. I hope and pray that one day this message will sink in to my friend and my closest/worst enemy, my mind.

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Learning to love your body the right way; eating disorders & the negative effects on the mind/body

Learning to love your body the right way; eating disorders & the negative effects on the mind/body

“You are not fat,  you have fat. You also have fingernails, but you are not fingernails”.

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      Talking about body image is not the easiest topic in the world to discuss. Weight seems to be the number one headliner that is coming out of everybody’s mouths these days, especially girls and women. Girls even at the age of 12 and under are discussing among their friends if they are considered fat, skinny, or even too skinny. The media has also portrayed a negative image towards viewers that emphasizes the importance of being “skinny” and staying thin. Girls, women, men and boys all look up towards celebrities and stars in the media, and view them as being “our role models”. A role model can be defined as someone who you look up to and who you admire. It saddens me how people want to change who they are and what they look like in order to mimic people within the media. Such changes can be so extreme that they can harm your body and cause permanent damage. Your’e probably thinking who are you to talk? You have probably thought the same thing once in your life .. and your’e right. There was one point in my life where I wanted to change one thing about myself in order to look like the celebs in the media. My weight. I wanted to lose some, and I wanted to do it fast. I am going to share with you a personal story that I wrote in grade 12 for a school assignment and had to share with my class. This assignment was geared towards sharing a personal “turning point” that has happened in your life so far, and this is what I chose.

“Life as I knew it”

    I wasn’t always thin. My body was never jealous with the amount of food I would consume on a daily basis. My stomach and my body got along with one another; best friends as I would recall. I was a content girl, and I had once believed that I could be invincible. I got a long with people who were around me and close to me, for I was an agreeable person, but that would all turnover. God didn’t prepare me for my poor decisions. Was I due for something negative to occur in my life? Maybe I was too greedy as a teenager,but all I could realize was that I was not in control of my life after the age of 16.

     Two summers ago, all it took was one day to comprehend that I was worthless in one man’s eyes. I had meant the world to him, but he had a passion for another girl. Why did he not want me? My security level shrunk dramatically. Why couldn’t I look more like the models on the television? Why do I have love handles and they have none? How come they are a size 0 and I am a 5? I was disoriented in my own world. Thoughts fluttered my brain as to why I was not worthy enough for him? My weight. Maybe if I looked and appeared more like some of the models on TV he would like me? One question that lingered on my mind for ages was what would make me stoop low enough to starve myself? The answer: one boy.

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     Two falls ago, all it took was a drastic diet change in my meal plan in order for me to feel desired in life. Society and the media were eating my mind whole, swallowing every meaning of health in my life. I had a desire to change into the “perfect body image“, like the media advertises to young teens in magazines,ads and television. I could not determine or identify what was so wrong with the idea and process of starvation. I would never think of consuming food. Ignoring the intensifying growls within my crying stomach became second nature to me. It was official, my stomach f***ing hated me, but I didn’t develop an interest for anything anymore. I was too selfish to acknowledge the cries for help that my body was conveying. I refused to eat all three meals on a daily basis, for I had no idea what the word “breakfast” meant. After a while I was seeing slight changes with my weight, and my body image. I had a positive outlook for the results.

   Two winters ago, all it took was one thought that appeared in my mind, to dig myself into a deeper hole.Puking. If I gave in and ate something, I would binge it up right away. Being referred to a “hoe” would’ve hurt less than knowing the truth of who I’ve become; anorexic and bulimic.  Nobody knew who I was changing into. Nobody knew that I headed to the bathroom after every meal to binge. I was surrounded by a clueless family, no boyfriend, and a poisoned mind. My body had become possessed and I had not even come into contact with a Ouija Board, just my evil thoughts. Although I was seeing more changes, I had no idea I was slowly sucking the life out of my body. I was becoming used to the idea of binging and starvation, for I could tell you all about these two strange words I thought I knew so well.

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   Last summer, that’s all it took for my mood swings to come into affect. Impatience, irritation, and ill tempered were the three “I’s” of my life. I had developed a relationship with anger- he owned me. Depression was my bystander. I was abused and wounded, for I was paying the consequences of my actions, all because I wanted to be “skinny“. I was skinnier, so that’s all that mattered right? To me it was. I secretly loved myself under my layers of emotions. I felt like a model with anger issues, for the lack of food made my mood decrease dramatically. I was beginning to not even recognize myself anymore, but in a sense I was blessed with my results. This was all just a normal process I was going through correct? I would get better? That wasn’t the case at all.

    Last fall, all it took was cries from my family members, a guilty conscience and one disgusting number on a scale to make me give in. I was deprived of my body, my weight and my appearance. I had lost a descent relationship with my mom and my family, for I hid all my dirty secrets from the world. I was sucked into a society in which I was blinded, and could not see dangers approaching me. 135 pounds to 120 pounds patted me on the back, but I did not feel deserving, for I was not proud of my accomplishments. I was terrified. My dream was for my mirror to tell me “I” was fairest of them all. The thing that stared back at me was nothing but a broken twig. I eventually brought the topic up with my mom about my “bad habits”. She had taken “hints” on the account of me hurrying to the bathroom after every meal. A weight was then lifted off my shoulder knowing that I was no longer invisible. A doctor’s visit greeted me a week later, as well as an offer to get professional help from an eating disorder program. I had refused to go get the help I needed because in the back of my healing mind, I wanted to get rid of this illness on my own.

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    Last winter, all it took was a group of friends and relatives to make me feel like I mattered in the world. A distraction to get my mind off starving myself, that’s all I needed. Food was staying in me. Cries from my family reached out to me, everyone kept an eye out when they found out about my problem, even my new boyfriend. All it took was a clear mind, a sense of security, stability, a sense of determination and support from my family to start a better life.

By: Alyssa Hotrum

      It’s crazy how much I look back on those years and think to myself “what the hell was I thinking?”. Sadly this kind of thinking happens all over the world, and people just want that perfect body image. Individuals need to realize that you are never going to be perfect. There’s only one of you in this world and you should appreciate that and learn to love YOU for YOU.  Although this is easier said than done I can’t emphasize how true this is. If you don’t learn to accept yourself and love yourself, how are you going to be happy in life? You only get one life and instead of damaging it on risky diets, unsafe eating habits and negative thoughts, try living a more healthy and positive  lifestyle.  I know so many individuals who are dying to change so many things about themselves, one being their weight. There are many different ways to going about losing a couple pounds, and doing this the right way. Exercising in a healthy manner is one of the main key factors when wanting to lose a few pounds.  Do not try to attempt to lose weight with the two unhealthy methods of starvation and bulimia. Trust me.. it’s not worth it one bit.  Look up different exercise routines to help target the areas you are not happy with.  There is no harm in trying to improve certain areas of your body, you just don’t want to change your entire  “you”. Even though I am not a size 0 or 00, I am now content with the way I look. Going for walks or runs everyday, fitting in a nice workout, and making some yummy healthy food is what I try to do as much as I can. Do I go to the gym and workout everyday? No. And that’s okay, you do not need to go and do that. You need to find out what makes you happy, and feel good in order to love yourself and who you are on this world. Don’t let the media suck you in. You need to realize that a lot of people in the magazines and in the ads are photo shopped in order to have the “perfect body image”. There is no such thing. Whether you are a size 0, 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, you are beautiful.

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The Effects of Bulimia on the body

  • tooth decay
  • facial swelling
  • moody blues
  • sore throat
  • bloody vomit
  • dry skin
  • irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint
  • red eyes
  • a secret life
  • compulsive exercising
  • trouble conceiving
  • low sex drive
  • complications in childbirth

The Effects of Anorexia on the body

  • tooth decay
  • dry and chapped lips
  • dry skin
  • thinning hair
  • bruises
  • frail appearance
  • heart disease
  • blood problems
  • hormonal change

“still worth it?”

“Losing weight is not your life’s work, and counting calories is not the call of your soul. You surely are destined for something MUCH greater, much bigger, than shedding 20 pounds or tallying calories. What would happen if, instead of worrying about what you had for breakfast, you focused on becoming exquisitely comfortable with who you are as a person? Instead of scrutinizing yourself in the mirror, looking for every bump and bulge, you turned your gaze inward?

-Lisa Turner, “losing weight:what’s the point?”

Another key point that I want to bring to your attention is never change who you are for a guy. If they truly like you, they will love you for YOU. A good boyfriend will not pick apart your weight, and you shouldn’t have to worry about changing for someone. I am now dating someone who doesn’t mind my stretch marks on my inner thighs, my breakouts that I sometimes get on my face, the freckles on my nose, the way my one finger bends slightly to the right and even the little chip in my tooth. Because you know why? Nobody is perfect. Everybody has imperfections, and they should not matter towards people that love you in your life.  Do not be afraid to ask for the help if you need it.

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Much love xo.