I’ve been reading Cosmopolitan for as long as I have been flying, 17 years!
It has been a source of style inspiration for me just as long. Even though I couldn’t afford the brands when I was thirteen, let alone pronounce them, I still read any issue I could find. As a young girl I didn’t mind one iota if I wasted a few hours and gaining a few paper cuts flipping through the glossy pages to look at the fantastic avant-garde content. I always keep plenty of band-aids handy.
The irony of this post, is that spring fashion is my least favorite fashion season. I never find myself falling deeply in love with any of the Spring looks, so this year I made a promise to challenge myself to dress sharp for Spring. The first step entailed me doing some research.
Since the modern age is here and kicking, I jumped onto Cosmopolitan's website. Which means no more paper cuts. 😁
I’ve mentioned before that I like looking up images for style inspiration when getting dressed or going shopping, so I looked for articles that discussed the trends and showed trends for Spring 2019. I found this article…..
Here is the thing guys and gals. The website very much like the magazine makes the trends look dramatic and a typical consumer may not be super convinced to try the trends. What I’ve learned over the years is to really take a look at the images and take away the elements that I like. You don’t have to write off an entire trend because you don’t like the way it is styled. So in this blog post I’m going to show you my take on 7 out of the 24 trends listed in this Cosmopolitan article. Ready…Set…Ok! Let’s dive in!
So it’s 2019! Maybe you reached your fitness goals in 2018, maybe you didn’t or you are somewhere in between. No matter where you are on your journey, the advice I will provide you today will help you.
🎧 Be sure to listen to my Soundcloud at the end of this post!
Some of you reading this may be thinking about running three days a week, you may be considering going to Orange Theory twice a week or may be thinking about going to hot yoga four days a week. No matter what you decide 👉 please be clear about your PLAN and your INTENTION.
If don’t have a plan, we will work on that TODAY! Keep reading!
If your goal is to maintain an active lifestyle, lose weight, get stronger and so on how do you know if you are actually doing what you set out to do? You really and truly need a S.M.A.R.T goal!
Fitness and health professionals often work with clients to create a S.M.A.R.T goal before starting a plan! This is a vital part of the process!
S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Time-Based.
I like to refer to it as PLAN + INTENTION + MEASURE!
The PLAN: I plan on going to _______ / for_______ minutes over the course of ________ weeks.
Example: I plan on going to the gym to lift weights 6 days a week for 90 minutes over the course of 12 weeks. (Literally this is my plan!)
BE SUPER DUPER SPECIFIC!
Your INTENTION: By doing so I will be able to reach my goal of _______ and ______(if applicable).
BE SUPER DUPER SPECIFIC!
Example: By doing so I will be able to reach my goal of losing 10 pounds of fat.
Now 👉 combine the 2! I plan on going to the gym to lift weights 6 days a week for 90 minutes over the course of 12 weeks. By doing so I will be able to reach my goal of losing 10 pounds of fat.
NOTE: Look at how specific I was! I didn’t say I wanted to go to the gym. I said I wanted to lift weights. Notice I didn’t just say I wanted lose weight or lose 10 pounds 👉 I wrote lose 10 pounds of fat. You get the gist!
LAST REMINDER FOR GOOD MEASURE: BE SUPER DUPER SPECIFIC!
ASSIGNMENT #1: Complete your PLAN+INTENTION!
Now there is one piece of the puzzle that I’ve left out, MEASURING, and that is where technology comes in. Our success, or lack thereof, will be determine by the results we get. So why not control as much as you can to get your desired outcome? This why technology is so kickass because it can help you measure your progress. Using helpful technology can lead to an increase in your determination and self-efficacy!
Measuring helps increase your determination and self-effciacy when measurements are looked at correctly. If you don’t get the desired result you learn from it. It is not a failure! The more you know the better you can plan. Don’t be so hard on yourself boys and girls!
I REPEAT YOU ALWAYS LEARN 👉 YOU NEVER FAIL!
Having a PLAN and a INTENTION will get you started 👉 BUT 👉 it won’t keep you going. Ultimately, how well you can maintain your DETERMINATION and SELF-EFFICACY is what will keep you going.
The reality is the MEASUREMENTS can help BIG TIME!
This is why I ❤️ using technology to measure what is working and not working so I don’t end up running around frustrated.
So let’s DIG IN!
TIP 1: Track how you LOOK!
App/s for this tip: The CAMERA app on your phone and the STREAKS app.
What to do: Decide on day and time you will commit to taking a video of how you look at the moment. I suggest you find a plain wall in your home that has good lightning. Place a X on the floor with tape or place pushpin on the wall so you know where to stand every time for accuracy. Input a reminder in the STREAKS app. (See Tip 3!)
TIP 2: Track what you EAT AND DRINK
App/s: I recommend you download right now MyFitnessPal (MFP) app, Calorie King app and How You Dish app!
What to do: For beginners who don’t have access to the data I use to determine my calorie intake**, follow the questionnaire on MFP to determine your starting intake. Track everything you eat and drink!
Be sure to track your water and other fluid intake!
If you find yourself eating out a lot, you will find the app CalorieKing most helpful. I find this app to be a bit more accurate than MFP for finding calories for many popular restaurants. If you are planning a work lunch or want to eat a bit smarter the app How YouDish you can find diet friendly dishes at restaurants near you.
**See www.elitebodydata.com to learn about all the tracking I do to reach nutrition goals. I’m available to travel nationwide to any gym if you are interested in having these test done for a more accurate calorie amount.
TIP 3: Track your workout EFFORT!
App/s: If you lift weights I highly recommenced you download right now the STACKED app. If you are a cardio fan download Motion Traxx app. No matter what you should download the STREAKS app. The STACKED app allows you to type in your workout plan, the weight you use as well as the reps you complete each set.
Each week you can try to increase you weight to maximize results. No more randomly grabbing different weights every week. Commit to getting better getting stronger👉 which will lead to you getting the results you want! If you are a cardio lover, I suggest MotionTraxx. This app plays songs with the perfect BPM to match your workout intensity. Additionally, they have workouts for elliptical, spin bikes, treadmills and more so you will never feel bored again! 🙏 Streaks is super easy to use goal reminder app. Input your goals and how often you want the app to remind you of your goals. Every time you complete an action you tap the applicable icon!
TIP 4: Track how you SLEEP!
App/s: I recommenced you download right now Sleep Better: Sleep Cycle App.
What to do: Use this app to determine how much sleep you are getting a night. If you are taking on a fitness regiment, you want to be sure to get 6-8 hours of good sleep a night. This app will provide you valuable insight so that you can have a good night of sleep. 😴
ASSIGNMENT #2: Download the apps! Create a folder for the apps on your phone! Label it 👉 MY FITNESS etc!
I will track using _______ , _______ as well as _____ and review the data every_______
Example: I will track using Video, MFP as well as Stacked and I will review the data every 14 days.
Combine the 2 previous statements: I plan on going to the gym to lift weights 6 days a week for 90 minutes over the course of 12 weeks. By doing so I will be able to reach my goal of losing 10 pounds of fat. I will track using Video, MFP as well as Stacked and I will review the data every 14 days.
ASSIGNMENT #3: Take your 3 sentences and put them around your house! You can place on your fridge, on your night stand and so on!
🎧 Be sure to listen to my Soundcloud at the end of this post!
DO 👉 Use OpenTable to pre-book restaurants you’d like to dine at. I highly recommend you do so because, it can be a real challenge, if not near impossible to walk into favorite restaurants the day you want to eat there.
DO 👉 Pick a combination of 4 to 8 key restaurants, shows, landmarks and shops you’d like to see. It is physically and mentally hard to do more than what I recommend in 48 hours. I was fighting jet lag, my feet killed from all the walking I did, I was experiencing sensory overload walking to my chosen restaurants, shows, landmarks and shops.
DO 👉 Devote at least 2-3 hours of time to spend at your restaurants/ shows/landmarks/shops of choice. The dining experiences in London were long. The show entrance lines were crowded, disorderly and it took time to get in as well as settled. The landmarks had tons of tourist and it was tough to get a good spot to take pictures. Additionally, most shops were packed with people trying on clothes, shoppers asking associates questions and had long check out lines. So don’t expect to get in and out of shops quickly. With this in mind, you really should think about the REALLY want to experience.
DO 👉 Bring shoes that you are incredibly comfortable walking in. The streets in London are not 100% flat. In fact, Google Maps will even tell you how flat the road is in London! 😂 You will find yourself walking on flat land, randomly uphill or suddenly walking on a cobblestone path.
DON’T 👉 Go to shops you can shops or restaurants you can go to in your hometown, with two exceptions! I challenge you to visit some of the shops and restaurants that are unique to London. You don’t need to go to H&M and Five Guys in London. Exception #1: I did shop at the Kooples shop which is available in Chicago in Bloomingdales; but, the selection of the Kooples in Chicago is sparse. The Kooples is a legendary Parisian brand that has a significant retail presence in London, so I decided to put it on my list. Exception #2: If you are big on collecting souvenirs from your favorite food spot, by all means, do so. For example, my sister loves collecting Hard Rock glasses, so I did stop in the Hard Rock to buy her one.
DON’T 👉 Be afraid to ask for directions. Londoners are quite friendly and helpful. The few times I got lost, I got help from strangers who had no qualms about making sure I was going the correct way.
DON’T 👉 Attempt to book show tickets for yourself. I strongly suggest you minimize your travel stress as much as you can by having the hotel find tickets for you. Almost every hotel concierge works with a booking agent that has connections to the hottest stage shows, concerts, and operas in London.
HOW I PACKED FOR MY LONDON TRIP:
HOW TO GET TO LONDON IN STYLE :
I flew on Norwegian Airlines in the premium class and I highly recommend this airline. I got an email to place a bid for premium seats, which is their version of First Class and decided to place a bid. In the end, I found that I could buy an upgrade for a “reasonable” fee and canceled my bid. I will say that my trip to London was not 💯 percent rainbows and glitter bombs as I didn’t care for their poor bag handling during my arrival to London. My suitcase was utterly destroyed, and my clothes were literally oozing out of my suitcase upon the collection of my bag at Gastrow Airport. Luckily, the service aboard the amazing Boeing 787 Dreamliner more than made up for the poor bag handling. The flight attendants were extremely attentive the whole time. There was not a single moment of trying to flag someone down for anything.
WHERE TO LAY YOUR HEAD AT NIGHT:
My big tip is to stay somewhere that is near the places you want to see, shop or eat at. You can save yourself a ton of taxi money and time. Though London is tricky to navigate if you stay within .5-2 miles of your desired plans, you will be fine. If you are not keen on navigating on your own, you aren’t alone! I asked one of my taxi drivers how long it would take for someone moving to London to be able to navigate the city and he said, “Three years for most people to learn. Though it is not uncommon for people to spend five years learning how to navigate London.” With that in mind I’m super glad that I stayed at the Mayfair Hotel because it was very close to the world famous shopping on Bond Street, luxury shopping store Harrods and famous landmark Buckingham Palace. All the aforementioned places were on my list to visit.
WHERE TO EXPERIENCE A MAGNIFICENT HIGH TEA:
There are just too many things I loved at my stay at the Mayfair Hotel and the high tea at the Mayfair is most certainly one of the experiences I loved. I researched high tea options in London and got quite lucky that I happened to be staying at a location with a highly regarded tea time. The platter of finger sandwiches, scones and desserts were worth an encore.
WHERE TO AVOID HAVING HIGH TEA:
You can say that I was really serious about experiencing tea time in London as I booked two team times the same day. Sadly, my second tea time at St. James Hotel was horrendous. This was quite shocking because, during my research, I found out that people suggest the prestigious St, James Hotel tea-time. It was one of the worst culinary experiences in my life thus far. The service was sub-par, and the server was not that attentive during tea time.Furthermore, the finger sandwiches were quite salty and the sweets insanely sweet. There was nothing to write home about! Avoid at all cost.
WHERE TO HAVE AN AMAZING DINER:
The Wolseley gets many check marks from me. ✅ Beautiful interior! ✅ Outstanding table service! ✅ Food was divine! ✅ Deserts were magnificent! Whether you are a fish lover or red meat lover, you will surely find something to suit your palate.
BEST PEOPLE WATCHING:
I definitely had a great time people watching on Bond Street and in Harrods. I would grab a coffee and saunter to take in the street fashion trends of the moment. I took notes in my phone of outfits I want to try. For example, I noticed a lot of women in London would throw on a real or faux fur on top of hoodies, I saw tons of fedoras worm with unique hat belts and tons of amazing unique tights with shimmer, pearls and a vast array of other adornments. There was no shortage of fashion of statements and inspiration. I was there living for it.