BLOG POST #9 How I’m Using Technology to Get & Stay Fit in 2019! (You Should Too!)

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!

STEP 1:

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!

STEP 2:

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! 

STEP 3:

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! 
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BLOG POST #8 How to Spend 48 Hours in London

TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR STAY: 

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.

LONDON TRIP RECAP: 

Correction: The Wolseley*

LONDON SHOPPING HAUL

CLICK THE LINK: 👉 http:// https://youtu.be/iT_acsLCtaU

WHAT I WORE: 

12/16/2018

12/17/2018

12/18/2018

12/19/2018

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BLOG POST #7 When is the last time you said, “I FELT amazing!” ???

For me it was a just last week. I fell in love again with FELT! I’m not talking about the material, I’m talking about the female owned and operated boutique located in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. FELT has a special place in my heart because it was the first high-end boutique that I felt at ease. (Cute, no? )

This video was shot and edited by Cortland G.
You can reach him via his instagram: @hightech_corto
You can reach him via his email: hightechcorto@gmail.com

Anticipate drinking one glass of champagne, having a few laughs, looking at Catherine aka Cat (co-owner) or Paige (lead-stylist) like they are crazy when they tell you to try on something on that you wouldn’t usually try on and being introduced to fellow shoppers who quickly become your impromptu shopping buddies for a few hours.

Remember the first time you….

…FELT your heart pitter patter after you learned how to master walking in heels.

…FELT heard and listened to by a significant other.

…FELT your heart burst with joy when you got a compliment on your outfit.

…FELT like you could rule the world when you found a pair of jeans that fit you.

These are the feelings that you feel not just the first time, but every time you shop at FELT. If you haven’t experienced these firsts that I’ve listed, then you need to make your way to FELT to experience a metamorphosis. You may not think you are sequin girl, snake print girl but the beauty about all things in life is that when you feel confident and surround yourself with people rooting for you, you in turn starting living your bravest life.

Blazer purchased from FELT:
Veronica Beard
Bodysuit purchased from FELT:
Good American

FELT is not just a place I buy clothes, rather a place that I buy the confidence and spark so I can shine my brightest.

What we wear shouldn’t be a display of how much money we have or career we have. What we wear is an opportunity to show our personality, our energy and our mindset for the day to the world. What we wear, also provides us with an opportunity to spark conversations with others. Most importantly, what we wear should bring joy to you and those who see you. When you wear joy, you provide an encouraging ray of light to others who will hopefully, in turn, go on to live their brightest life.

❤️ FELT TRY ON HAUL ❤️

Shot and edited by ME

📝 HAUL NOTES 📝

Veronica Beard denim dickey that you can add any dickey style blazer.
Good American Bodysuit: 0(xs)-5(2xl)
When you get chance make your way over to FELT to meet Cat and Paige!

👇They are located at 👇

2317 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647