Take Me to the Beach

by Meg on April 28, 2012

So… who else hates packing? ;)

Seriously, though. Isn’t it the worst task ever? I started to pack on Thursday night, but got frustrated so I decided to put it off until yesterday. To no surprise, I didn’t find myself spending any time packing throughout the day whatsoever. Even though I had absolutely nothing to do yesterday other than soak up the freeness of being done school and exams, I still couldn’t find the time to pack. I much rather read your blogs, go for tea dates, workout at the gym, spend hours upon hours on Twitter, and cook ;)
So that’s exactly what I did :D

Proof that I hate packing

To put it in a nut shell, my packing took place last night right before I went to bed. I mean, I’m just going to be lying on a beach all week… what do I really need to pack? ;)

this will be me this afternoon

Before I begin talking about what I really want to address today, I need to thank every one of you for all of your support with the past 13 very successful High Five Fridays! HFF is something I am really passionate about and I chose to present my idea to the world way back in February! If it weren’t for all you you it wouldn’t be the success it is today, though. So please know how much I appreciate your participation every week! <3

Since I have been receiving so much positive feedback about HFF lately, I was wondering if we could try making it even bigger? ;)

I was thinking that if you when you accomplish something throughout the week you could email me at dashofmeg@hotmail.com, share your success story, and then I will make one BIG post of everyone’s successes on High Five Friday! :D
This way, we can celebrate more successes and achievements! And seeing as how that is exactly what HFF is all about, I hope you jump on board with me and my new idea! :)

Before I leave for my vacation, I wanted to leave you with a post that I have been wanting to write all week. The topic is extremely important to me and I must release my thoughts, so here it goes…

I think we can all agree here that in life there are times when we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others.

For an example, when reading blogs you may feel persuaded or influenced to do certain things. Not bad things, but things that you just weren’t doing or thinking about before.

For an example, many food blogs post a full days worth of their eats, I have even done this a time or two. I am not saying it is a good or bad thing to post a days worth of meals and snacks – I love looking at other bloggers’ meals! Posts such as these have inspired many of my own meals! But, they can influence people in not such an inspiring way, too. Some food pictures may influence and individual to reflect back on their daily intake and judge themselves. Perhaps these individuals may even start to wonder,

“should I eat more like them?”

“am I eating too much?”

“am I eating too little?” 

I am definitely guilty of this. Has anyone else noticed the paleo diet become more and more common lately? I have and it has definitely made me wonder and question myself and my own way of eating…

Another example has to do with fitness blogs. I often come across posts where the writer will describe a highly intensive workout such as tabata that takes much longer than the usual four minutes. Personally, if I do a tabata workout I am absolutely burnt out and couldn’t go on for longer than four minutes! So, I begin to question my fitness level and think,

“maybe I am not working hard enough?”

But then I remember, I am doing what is right for me. 

I don’t need to be doing the same thing as other bloggers.

I have nothing against the paleo diet; each to their own, right? If you are following that type of lifestyle please do not tae offence – I am sure you are doing what works for you. But, I need to keep focused on what I need and what works for me!

And about the tabata workouts that are more than 8 rounds, well, maybe they didn’t just finish a heavy leg workout and deadlift more than their own bodyweight?

I don’t need to do HIIT a few times a week nor do I need to change the way I eat. I am currently following a nutrition and training program that has been written just for me and I am feeling better than ever, so I will stick to it – just as it has been written. No modifications. 

Having a beach vacation coming up has been one of the main reasons for such thoughts to occur over the past week or two. Thoughts such as, “maybe I should do some intervals after lifting today” or, “do I need to be eating this much food!?”

I confess I have had these thoughts more than once this week and became very close to convincing myself that I “need” to start doing HIIT a few times a week, but I am more than proud to say that I have not strayed from my training or nutrition plan whatsoever. I have stuck with it to a “T” and I am so proud to share that with you today.

It’s kind of like you hold me accountable in a way?

When I was having strong thoughts about doing intervals on the treadmill after a weight lifting session this past week, I went into my gym bag before I left for the gym, took out my running shoes and socks just so I wouldn’t let you or myself down!

I am committed to my new program and am not willing to alter it just because I have a silly thought in my head to “push harder”.

I know myself that I do push myself hard. I also know that I am eating properly. I have so much knowledge about nutrition that I need to use it on myself. I eat a well balanced diet and if I eat more than the next person, who cares? I am trying to build muscle, right? ;)

A few things that have helped me overcome the pressures to amp up my workout routine are:

1. Keeping my goals in mind. I ask myself, “what are your goals?” My current goals are to put on weight, build muscle, and increase my strength. Reminding myself of these goals that I am so passionate about help me get back into the right frame of mind. I need a lot of food to keep seeing gains. I don’t need cardio right now because gains will be even harder to achieve.

2. Reflect on what works for me. To help myself realize that I am in fact doing what is right for me I think back to the first half of this school year. Prior to December 2011, I was doing 20 minute HIIT workouts on the treadmill two times per week along with 1 hour lifting sessions 5 days per week. But after December 1st, I completely cut out cardio and have never felt better. I am stronger, more muscular, and much happier, too. My diet also changed since December; I am eating more and that is most definitely another factor as to why I feel better than ever before.

Clearly, whatever I am doing now is what works for me.

Get to know your body and understand what works for you!

Maybe you need to include cardio into your workout routine to achieve your goals and you most likely need a different diet than me too – because, remember, we are all different. 

I hope this post has helped you reflect back on your goals.

Are they in line with what you are currently doing? 

Are they helping you achieve what you want to achieve? Or are they hindering progress and holding you back from your goals? 

A very good friend of mine, Lindsay, wrote a similar post to this earlier this week so if you need some more inspiration to do what is right for you, go check out her incredibly inspiring post!

Thanks for sticking with me, I know it was a long post, but I felt like I needed to share my accomplishment of not straying from my training or nutrition plan (even when the thoughts were strong) and reminding myself of what is truly important – doing what works for me. 

Unfortunately, I will not be writing another post until May 13th; however, some fabulous friends of mine, bloggers and non-bloggers(!!), have written guest posts for me, so I am not leaving you hanging while I am gone! ;)
I have a great line up of guest posts, so please come by and check them out! Everything from inspiring recovery stories to mouth watering recipes! ;) You name it, it’s here ;)

I will love and miss each and every one of you so much, but we will chat soon enough! :)

Meg
xoxoxoxo

P.s. did I mention I will miss you?

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

tam April 28, 2012 at 7:04 AM

hi meg!
can i just say omg i needed this post! as someone who has had a history of disordered eating, it is so inspirational to read how you overcome those negative thoughts. as you now it can be so hard to not compare what you do with others – something i am still struggling with at times. i will often see many blog posts showing what they eat and think to myself that i am eating much more than them or look at their workouts and think i need to do more intense exercises but at the end of the day we are all different and have different goals. thanks so much for helping me realise this!
seriously cannot thank you enough – i often have bad days and it is blog posts like this and the one linked from lindsays blog that help me in overcoming any negative thoughts.
i want to build muscle so need to realise eating more is good not bad!!
have a great holiday – so jealous love tam x x x

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 7:07 AM

you’re the first to comment on this post and I couldn’t be happier with the response <3 thank you sweetheart. This post is meant to do JUST what it did for you. I don’t want to offend anyone at all, but I just want to provide others with ways in order to come over such thoughts if they have them, too <3

keep your goals in mind and stay true to yourself love xoxo

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tam April 28, 2012 at 7:12 AM

no problem! it feels so good to have someone to talk to about issues who understands exactly what its like. i know you are there when i need a chat or some advice! thanks hun x x

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Oh gosh, I am so happy you KNOW I am always here for you :) That made me smile! LOVE YOU!

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tam April 30, 2012 at 11:23 AM

haha love you too hun, hope your having a great holiday! xx

Tara @ Sweat like a Pig April 28, 2012 at 7:06 AM

Best post ever!! Haha obviously, you know that I agree with you about everything you said. I never post my eats, unless it is something seriously amazing (and probably then not even on my diet) because a) no one wants to see me eat the same ol’ thing day in day out, and b) I don’t want people comparing themselves to me.

As for tabatas lasting longer than 4 minutes, that is one of the things that make me most angry!!!! Hello, it’s four minutes people – that’s the point. You get in, get out, and are done. You don’t need to make it last longer than four minutes because then you’re not doing it properly. When I’m running at 20km/hr on the treadmill, you can bet that I’m dying my 2:30. There is no way you should be lasting longer. I saw one girl post like a 40 minute tabata workout the other day???? No sweetheart, that’s a crappy attempt at cardio. It was all bicep curls and crap as well. ARGH. As you can probably tell, it makes me angry!

I’m so proud of you for sticking to the program and not giving into the pull of cardio. It’s so unnecessary for you right now. Finally, I’m going to miss you!! Have the greatest time and I can’t wait to hear all about it xoxoxox

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 7:12 AM

hey sis :) beautiful sis <3 beautiful beautiful sis whom I love so much it’s CRAZY <3

thank you for saying best post ever :) I was nervous publishing this one for some reason? I really don’t want to offend anyone, but I just needed to tell people that focusing on what is right for YOU and YOUR goals is the only way to live – not doing what others do just because it may seem right for some reason?

Thanks for the support. Seriously, I was so close to doing sprints :s but then I thought – how awful would I feel. I couldn’t even imagine telling you that I did sprints! So, I seriously took that picture right when I took my shoes out of my bag. I WAS SO PROUD OF MYSELF BABE! <3

And ugh – the 40 min tabata! DEFINITELY SAW THAT! Obvs you aren’t pushing yourself, right? I mean, I seriously cannot go longer than the four minutes. You are SUPPOSE to feel burnt out after 8 rounds! Oh dear…

I am going to email you and send it when I get to Toronto :) my flight to Barbados is at 3:30 I LOVE YOU

Miss you already :( xoxoxoxo p.s. your email was the best thing ever

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Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body April 28, 2012 at 7:24 AM

I LOVE THIS! IT is so true, and I have to be so careful of not comparing myself to others! Especially when it comes to race times, I find it really hard when a blogger says they weren’t happy with their pace when it was a million times faster than mine! I just have to remember at those times that we are all at different levels and I can still be proud of myself.

I find packing to be alright because I’m usually super excited to go away, and love making lists of everything I need. Unpacking when I get home is an entire different story though, it is soooo tedious! :) Have an amazing time!!!!

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I am proud of you too Sarah :)

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Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats April 28, 2012 at 7:28 AM

This is such a wonderful post! I can totally relate to falling into the comparison trap and wanting to do what everyone else is doing and not even necessarily in a “healthy” way. This ALWAYS ends up stressing me out and leads to some kind of binge, which then makes me even more stressed out.

“Get to know your body and understand what works for you”–This line is my favorite.

I hope you have a fantastic time on your trip! :) Love you so much and will miss you like crazy!

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Love you like a sister

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Steph April 28, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Oh my gosh.. yes, yes and yes! Amazing post. I TOTALLY needed to read this. Thanks Meg for being so open with us, its soo comforting :-) <3. Have a lovely vaca girlie!
Steph

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I am glad you enjoyed my openness :D XO

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Alexandra April 28, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Beautiful post my friend! You are SO right– I think there’s an underlying comparison game in the blog world can can be motivationally good or really bad. What matters most is that you’re doing what’s right for you! That’s fantastic!! I’m glad everyone is unique and doesn’t fit one mold of diet or exercise– imagine how boring that’d be!
Enjoy every subtle moment of your vacation love, you deserve a fabulous break!! I have a feeling you’re gonna get a killer tan ;)
Have a safe flight!!

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I hope I get a killer tan ;) When I was in grade 3 I got as dark as a beer bottle ;)

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Linz @ Itz Linz April 28, 2012 at 7:39 AM

you’re absolutely right! i definitely have those thoughts and feelings sometimes and i just have to remind myself that it’s not ME! i do me, you do you! have an amazing vacation… you deserve it!! xoxo

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Thanks love! Will be missing you

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Taylor April 28, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Thank you SO much for this post! My trainer is whipping me in the butt for not listening to her enough – I’ll take bits and pieces of what she says but then think, “She’s only telling me I should be doing 20 minutes of walking a day for my cardio? That’s it? Clearly I need to be doing mor or I’ll just ee fat gains.” So then I continue to do HIIT on the StairClimber every other day or so…..ugh.

I’m tripping over myelf and really scared to cut back on cardio/cut it out completely! Plus eat more!

Have an AMAZING vacation – I’m super excited for you!

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Meg April 28, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Listen to your trainer girl! She knows whats what ;) You hired her for a reason, right? ;) I can email you today <3 Sorry it has been forever

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Taylor April 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

An email would be faaaaantastic! If you have the time! :) and yes, you are right, I did go to her for a reason/purpose :p

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Caitlin April 28, 2012 at 9:14 AM

I’LL MISS YOU MEG! Have a great time. I’m so jealous of your trip! And I love these inspiring words you’ve left us with. So easy to get trapped in the comparison game. I am my own person just like you are your own. We can use other peoples’ eats/workouts/etc to be inspired but NOT to bring ourselves down! High five :D

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Emily@RunningPerspective April 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM

yay!! <33 LOVE YOU AND THIS POST!
this seriously is SO RELATEABLE TO ME because i am right now trying to change up my training to increase my gains…and at times its hard to move away from what i KNOW. but then i keep reminding myself…that if you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place!

i am SO SO SO PROUD OF YOU and you better believe i will be emailing you for high five friday<33
HAVE AN AMAZING VACATION I AM SO SO JEALOUS! (you will be on the beach and i will be taking three exams! waaah) you should probably be able to feel my jealousy from here!!
hahah love you<333

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes April 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM

This is one of those posts that we all need to read like once a month so thank you for writing about it today. You are a beautiful person Meg! Safe travels!

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Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health April 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Thank you so much for the shout out Meg! As you know, I totally understand where you are coming from. And can I just say that I am SO SO SO proud of you for telling those thoughts NO and sticking with your plan!! You are such a strong and beautiful person…and it’s so inspiring that you can stick with what you know is best for you! I hope you have an amazing time on your trip! I cannot wait to see pics and hear all about it :D. Love u!!! Safe travels xxoo

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Michelle (Better with Berries) April 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I hope you are having a wonderful time at the beach! You deserve it! I don’t like packing either – I used to love it, but now I’m always afraid I’ll forget something. And I fret about the things I can’t pack until the day of because I’ll need it up until then. It’s too complicated :-)

LOVE what you have to say about not comparing yourself to others. It can be so hard not to do in the blog world. When I first discovered blogs this past fall, I did start comparing myself. And I started changing the way I ate and worked out because it didn’t seem like enough. Luckily, I snapped out of it pretty quickly when I realized it just wasn’t working for me. For me, 30-45 minutes of exercise is just right. When I first read about others working out for at least an hour every day, I started worrying that I was just being lazy. But I feel great after my workouts and that’s what matters :-)
Now I just focus on being inspired by other bloggers rather than comparing. I love getting new ideas for recipes and workouts from blogs – I just keep in mind to do it all in a way that works for me!

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale April 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Meg! Great post. It’s a tiny computer screen with a HUGE potential effect on us. Those thoughts, in my opinion, are another way in which our eating disorder manifests itself in our lives. It is the same voice in a different form. It sucks but you know what? WE ARE SO STRONG BECAUSE WE CHOOSE NOT TO LISTEN! CHEERS TO THAT! :-) I think we can all relate to this. I did the same thing with your routine a little while back, questioning whether I should cut out cardio altogether. But then, like you, I listened to my mind and what my brain wanted – I LOVE CARDIO! So, I kept it in. If it means I don’t gain as much muscle, who cares? Because I’m happy. You’re happy. And that’s all that matters. LOVE YOU!!! Have an incredible vacation in Barbados with your family. You absolutely deserve it. :-)

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Haley @ Health Freak College Girl April 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

gahh i miss the beach so much! i can’t wait for the summer till i can go home and soak up the sun. have fun on vacation!!

i have a horrible history of comparing myself to others. whether it’s through other blogs or through regular day to day life. the paleo diet is definitely something that i have seen a lot of. i have wondered if i should try it! but then i realize that a) i love whole grains and carbs too much and b) i like the way i eat

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Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile April 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I agree with this SO much. I always say that, there is NO need to compare yourself to others. Everyone is different in so many ways! I’m glad you’re sticking to what works for you girl. Have fun on your vacation <3

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Amazing post girl! I can definitely relate. Whenever I read about bloggers who do 2 hours of cardio or an hour of cardio followed by an intense circuit workout, it sometimes makes me feel insecure about my measly 4 mile run. But I know I shouldn’t feel this way! So thank you for the reminder. :)

Have an awesome time on your trip. I’m going to miss you! <3

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Natasha@yogininoms.wordpress.com April 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Thank you for addressing this issue! It’s so easy to start comparing yourself to other bloggers. Even to how they look/what they do/how much fun they seem to have. I have to remind myself that what they post on their blog is a portrayal of them, not the whole picture.

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Jessica April 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I need to stop focusing on others but in a slightly different sense. I have to realise that just because most bloggers struggle to put on weight, I am different: I can’t look at the amount others eat and try to copy it when I need much less and balloon just looking at a jar of nut butter. It seems crappy and unfair to me, but I guess I just have to shrug it off. That’s life, for me :(

xxx

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Jill April 28, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I agree! As much as other blogs can be inspiring I don’t like when they leave me doubting my abilities/training. Great job for sticking to your training program, the results you’re seeing and continue to see will be 100% worth it! Have a fantastic vacation and enjoy the time with your mom and dad :)

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Lisa April 28, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Love the idea! Yep, I can definitely relate and it is something I am working on. I have definitely been doing tabata more than the 4 minutes, but usually its my workout for the day. And I’ve noticed the increasing paleo posts, its great for other people. However , not for me. I would be brain dead without my carbs ;) Thanks for this love!

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Kate @ Work in Progress April 28, 2012 at 4:13 PM

so SO true Meg!! thank you for bringing this issue up. The blog world is such a fun place because there are so many of us women all doing things a little differently, and it can be great if, for example, you have a goal but have no idea how to get there, or if what you’re currently doing isn’t working for you. But there IS a lot of comparison that goes on, especially with “blog trends” like the paleo diet! And I think it’s important to ask ourselves, “am I doing this because I think it will help me reach my goals? Or am I doing this because it’s the new ‘thing’ in the blog world?” I have to remind myself of this a lot, especially because I often get insecure about what I eat – I really need to consciously say, “no, that person might eat X but her training is different than yours”, etc. We all have to be ourselves!

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Laurie @ Love, Laugh, Laurie April 28, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Sad you will be gone, but have soo much fun! Also, great post, definitely things that need to be said!

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Alex @ therunwithin April 28, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I agree, this is something I feel I myself am guilty of. These people are eating so clean, should I? Am I not doing enough? It is hard to not feel that way but I think it is reassuring that other bloggers address that it is what your body wants and needs. I love the idea of success stories, i can’t wait to read them!

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish April 29, 2012 at 2:36 AM

Meg, I don’t even know where to begin! Maybe by telling you that this is one of the most INSPIRATIONAL posts I’ve ever read!? Love you!! I needed this, especially since I’ve been seriously doubting the no-cardio component of my program all week. I really enjoy reading about others’ workouts and meals, but it can be challenging when I see someone else doing hardcore cardio and weights in the same day. I’m trying hard to overcome the mindset that more is better, but that little voice still rears its head from time to time! So thank you thank you thank you for reminding us that we TRULY are unique. What I need right now might be very different than what somebody else needs and that’s perfectly okay! Letting go of cardio has allowed me to begin working towards a goal (weight gain and muscle building!) that’s been unachievable for years because I was pounding away on the treadmill. Taking back my strength is so empowering and what motivates me to stick with the plan, even when I’m tempted to “cheat” a little.

I hope you’re LOVING the sand and sunshine right now! I’ll miss you, but can’t wait to hear all about it! xoxo

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sarah April 29, 2012 at 2:36 AM

I agree with every single, fabulous point you have made- umm, Best.Post.Ever!
You are helping and inspiring Sooo many people Meg!

I hope you have a BLAST on holiday:)!
Xxx

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Sable@SquatLikeALady April 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

You already know this because you are one smart lady =) but just for reinforcement…. stick to your training plan & your diet! You are in GREAT hands. Trust the process. =D <3

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Megan @ Weddings and Workouts April 29, 2012 at 7:46 PM

SUCH a great post honey. From what I’ve been reading, it seems like a lot of bloggers are feeling this way.

HAVE AN AMAZING HOLIDAY!!!!! Love you xoxo

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Ali April 29, 2012 at 8:39 PM

You are so good to sticking to the plan. That’s what they’re there for. I remember towards the end of last year I had a program designed and one x PT session a week and as hard as it was at times to stick to it – I got results in the end!

To be honest, after following ‘health/fitness’ blogs for the past year and a bit (mainly american ones) – I’m quite sick of seeing what people are eating day in/day out. Occassionally I like to learn new recipes etc – but seeing someone’s food diary daily – that’s a nutritionists job!

And the same for exercises – on the whole I enjoy seeing what people are doing on and off but not in detail. What we need to remember is every single person is different; has different fuel requirements and has different goals (weight gain, weight loss, strength training, figure competitions etc).

Thanks for another great blog post Meg and enjoy your well earned holiday! :)

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