9 Year Blogiversary

Nine years ago, I started a blog. I had never done anything like this before, but my friend had just started one and convinced me to do it. I had just gotten into distance running and was training for my first half marathon. I had a theory, that if I blogged about my training, it would be a great way to hold me accountable. If I said I was running 4 times that week, I had to do it, because you know, my four readers were counting on me. (heh.)

Fast forward a few years and I rebranded from Running with Sass to Through Heather’s Looking Glass.  nine years, and wow. Just…wow. Not only did I not have any idea I would still even BE blogging right now, but I had no idea it would change the entire course of my life. I now help support my family because of my blog. I have made lifelong friends, gotten to go to amazing places, run awesome races, and try fun products. I literally cannot picture my life without it, and it’s funny to think about how different things would be now if I had never taken that leap all those years ago.

If you search the word “blogiversay” on my blog, you can check out several other posts over the years on the topic, so I don’t really feel the need to rehash everything, so I just want to say this:

Life is complicated. Things almost never turn out the way we plan, and we all go through valleys and mountaintops. I have loved sharing mine with you, and hope to get to continue to do so in the future. I hope that in some small way, my blog has touched your life. Whether it be something as simple as a good laugh at my expense, or perhaps something more profound like motivation to become a runner or to start a business of your own. While my blog is for me, it’s also for you. A way for me to give back, to help, and to hopefully inspire.

I pray that I can be a little bit of a light in this sometimes sad and crazy world, and please know I am always here to be your cheerleader, and I love hearing from you.

Next year is the big 1-0, and I know it’s going to be epic. <3

If you DO want to start your own blog, check out my free email course that will get you started. STOP waiting. In 9 years, this could be you looking back over all your years. Let’s do this!

Cyber Monday Digital Product Sale

Happy Cyber Monday! While we did venture out on Black Friday, I much prefer shopping in the comfort of my home in front of my computer on Monday. 🙂

I hope you found the things you were looking for, and I wanted to share about a sale I am having on two of my own digital products, and today is the last day for it! You can save 20% on the below two products by using code “holiday20” at checkout. 

The Ultimate Blogger Guide for Working With Brands:

“Feel like you are ready to make money from your blog or social media channels but don’t really know where to start? I can teach you how! I have worked with many brands over the past eight years and want you to be successful in your pitch and writing your posts. You CAN do more than just get free product through your blog and social media, I am proof!”

The Average Girl’s Guide to Living an Above Average Life:

“I want to let you in on a secret. A secret that really, you probably already know, but for whatever reason choose not to believe: no one that you know has it all together.

In the age of social media and oversharing, it may appear that everyone around you is thriving while you struggle to keep your head above water. The truth of the matter is that most people are playing the “fake it till you make it” game.”

Either of these products would make great “digital stocking stuffers” and set you or a loved one up for success in 2019. It’s time to take your life, or your blog, to the next level my friends. Happy shopping, and don’t forget to use code “holiday20” at checkout!

 

 

 

 

Bobby’s Workout Routine: Part 1

Hello! I asked my husband Bobby to do a guest post about his workout routine. He has been consistently working out, in particular, lifting weights, since junior high, so he has a lot of experience! Feel free to comment if you have any questions.

My workout routine is below, though I will first talk a bit about my philosophy.  There are a ton of trendy workouts that pop up each year, some better than others.  The most important thing about any workout is that it gets you doing something…anything.  The new fad in workouts is great by default if it causes people to stick with some form of exercise (maybe with a few exceptions).  The two most important factors when it comes to working out are consistency and intensity.

You will not see significant results if you aren’t consistent with doing some form of exercise.  If you want great results, you also have to be intense.  Not all workouts have to be killer, but if you don’t even break a sweat…

Ask yourself, when was the last time one of your workouts left you gasping for breath, dizzy from exertion, or nauseous?  Note: it’s important to know your body and not hurt yourself.  I’m not advocating for being stupid.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself if you really want to improve and meet your goals.

My workout routine, when I am able, consists of a four-day cycle.  I generally workout on Monday and Tuesday, rest on Wednesday and get back to the gym Thursday and Friday.  I could go four days straight, but my body responds better with a rest day in the middle.  That also allows me to a bit more flexibility regarding the part of my body I want to focus on.

I started my current routine about two years ago.  I change things from time to time, which is important (for time sake, I’m not going into the reasoning behind that thought #AvoidRabbitHole).  I based my rep count off Dwane Johnson’s routine because…well look at the guy.  Most of my main exercises are four sets of 14.  My goals include a practical form of strength and fitness, not just massive growth and heavy lifts, which would utilize lower reps of heavier weights.  When I’m doing my fourth set of 12-14, I should have trouble getting that last rep or two.  There should be times where I can’t get that last rep, which goes back to intensity.

On day 1 I focus on upper back and lats.  My goals also include being able to do a good number of pullups and weighted pullups, hence the focus of day 1.  I generally start with three sets of weighted pullups (either wearing a vest or holding a dumbbell between my feet).  I like to mix in legs into day 1, so I alternate from upper back to deadlifts (3×10) for my second rotation.  I’ve had issues with my low back, so I tend to do lower weight on deadlifts.  It’s important to activate your legs.  If you usually skip leg day, add it in and see if you don’t get better all-around results.  Your legs are some of your largest muscles and working them out produces testosterone, which benefits your entire body.

I usually like to do three sets of max effort pullups next (again with personal goals in mind).  Next is standing 4×12-14 barbell rows.  This is the opposite direction of what a pull-up works.  Notice, a lot of these exercises also engage my biceps, which is intentional.  Two days a week touch on bis and back, while two days touch on chest and tris.

I like to do seated lat pulldowns, 4×12-14 next.  After that, it’s on to dumbbell rows on a flat bench and dumbbell shrugs, both 4×12-14 in a sort of superset.  At this point, I’m usually spent, but if I have a bit left in the tank I will add in a set or two of inverted row or curls.

Throughout this workout, at least after the deadlifts, I will add in leg extensions and leg curls.  Since this is an entirely different muscle group, I can add them in between other sets to keep the pace of the workout going.  I generally only do three sets of each.

I’m going to stop the post at this point, but will follow up with the other days of the cycle in a separate post…provided anyone actually reads this.  In fact, if you’ve made it this far, include “the force” in any comment, so I’ll know if anyone got this far.

7 Weight Loss Tips for Faster Results

When you decide you want to lose weight, you don’t want to wait until next year or next month to do it. It’s hard to even think about having to wait a couple of weeks to start seeing results. While there is no magic pill to get to where you want to be, there ARE ways to make sure you are on the fastest path safely possible to reach your goals. Here are 7 weight loss tips for faster results:

7 weight loss tips for faster results

1.) Eat All the Veggies: Not only will veggies fill you up so you won’t want to eat junk food, but they are rich in vitamins and nutrients your body loves to stay healthy and happy. You will feel better, look better, and be on your way to weight loss in no time. Don’t like veggies? Search Pinterest for recipes that “hide” that veggie taste. People are so creative and have come up with amazing recipes!

2.) Drink at Least 8 Glasses of Water: Water is great for your skin, fills you up, and keeps your systems running smoothly. It’s such a simple thing but just doing this ONE action can jumpstart your weight loss.

3.) Move 10,000 steps each day, with 4 days involving getting your heart rate UP HIGH (even if only for 15 minutes): Get a step counter or Fitbit* and get to walking! You should be moving a MINIMUM of 10k steps a day, plus several days of higher intensity workouts. Keep in mind doing hours of cardio isn’t the answer. Short bursts are super effective too!

4.) Track Calorie Intake…For Awhile: I use My Fitness Pal when I feel like I need to get back on track after a vacation of several days of not eating properly. It’s free, and a great way to give you a visual of exactly how many calories you are consuming in a day. That in itself is eye-opening enough to help you lose weight.

5.) Don’t Drink Your Calories: I will always remember this phrase from back when I used to watch The Biggest Loser. Jillian Michaels used to tell the contestants to never drink your calories! They are empty, you will still be hungry after, and they add up quick. Just look at a Starbucks menu and you will see what I mean. So many drinks have MORE calories than an ENTIRE MEAL and people drink those drinks PLUS eat a meal and then wonder why they aren’t losing weight. Stick to water except for an OCCASIONAL treat and it will quickly make a difference!

6.) Find A Workout You Love: Not all workouts are for everyone. Some love running, some love stand up paddleboarding, and some love tennis. Experiment and find what you love because then you are way more likely to stick with it. I would much rather play a game of volleyball then run for an hour, and that’s ok!

7 weight loss tips for faster results

7.) Get More Sleep: Cramming too many things into your schedule makes you less likely to want to work out or eat properly, so right there you are sabotaging your efforts. On top of that, your body will be stressed and you are more likely to get sick, so then you won’t be able to work out either! Studies show that getting enough sleep can help aid in weight loss because only getting a little bit of sleep can mess with your metabolism.

I hope you enjoyed these 7 weight loss tips for faster results!

RELATED: 7 Fitness hacks for the unmotivated

*If you purchase through this link, I will get a small percentage in commission.

Photos by rawpixelSara Dubler, Arek Adeoye, Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

7 Fitness Hacks for the Unmotivated

I get it. In our society, there are so many things clawing for your attention. We are all just flat out busy all the time. This leads to burnout, and it can be hard to get motivated to workout. That’s why I came up with 7 fitness hacks for the unmotivated to kickstart your fitness journey and help you reach your workout goals. Follow these tips, and you will be headed in the right direction in no time, no gym membership required!

1.) Drink more water: It seems so simple, but it has such a HUGE impact. Not only is drinking water a super duper easy hack for getting fit, but it is like the swiss army knife of health. It does so many good for you things, so it’s high time you get to chugging! Not only will drinking more water keep you from getting headaches and feeling sluggish, but it will help you feel full, flushes out toxins, is great for your skin, can boost your immune system, and helps keep you regular (aka not bloated). Aim for 8 glasses a day, and if you are like me and drive the struggle bus on this one, try drinking fruit infused water, drinking out of a fun glass, or getting an awesome fancy Hidrate water bottle that helps you track intake and has its own app! (I have the teal one and love the accountability. It glows when it’s time to drink!)

2.) Workout during commercials: This one seems silly, but I use it a lot on days I don’t feel well but know I need to so *something* or when I’m feeling worn down and don’t want to do a lot of high impact movements. It’s also great when you are short on time. Most of us watch some sort of TV at night whether it’s regular TV, Netflix, or something else. My quick hack for when you are just not feeling it is to work out during commercials. I will do a set of crunches, some squats or lunges, or even plank. I will repeat a quick “circuit” until my show comes back on, and I know I will get about 10-15 minutes of work in during an hour. easy peasy!

3.) Wear fitness clothes more often: I often talk myself out of working out because I either don’t have clothes with me or I’m too lazy to change (I know sad but true.) I have combat that by keeping a bag of clothes in my car, and when I AM at home, I wear workout clothes that way I have no excuse. If there is a break in the rain I can go for a walk around the block. While I wait for dinner to cook in the oven I can do jumping jacks or sprints up and down my street. No fussing with finding clean clothes or talking myself out of it because I have to change, it’s already done.

fitness hacks

4.) Follow fit people on Insta: Motivation from others can go a long way, even if its a stranger (hey, you are reading this right? heh.) Search fitness hashtags and follow some encouraging and motivating people online. Some people are great at giving you the little push you need to get off the couch. (By the way, are you following me? (@HeathersLG)

5.) Put it in your schedule: I have always found that when I write my workouts into a day planner or put them in my Google calendar on my phone, I am much more likely to keep them as I would any other appointment. Make yourself a priority!

fitness hacks

6.) Grab an accountability partner: This is actually how my blog came to be! So not an individual PERSON, but what turned out to be a whole bunch of people! When I began training for my very first half marathon back in the fall of 2009, I started this blog to hold myself accountable for my training. It clearly worked, because I have run around 30 half marathons, four full marathons, and countless other race distances since then. Start a blog, find a friend, ask your spouse to hold you accountable (ok, maybe not that one. I can see that ending badly), but anyway you get the point! (PS if you sign up for my free email course in the “start a blog link” you will get free fitness and goal tracking printables emailed to you!)

7.) Practice self-love: You guys, this is the most important one, and honestly the other things will work SO MUCH BETTER if you have this number seven at your foundation. You have to love yourself enough to workout. These fitness hacks can only take you so far. You have to realize that you are worth it, the time you spend is worth it, and that it will allow you to be an all-around better person for your family and yourself. <3

*May contain affiliate links meaning if you purchase through my link I make a small commission. 

5 Signs of a Great Leader

It is also often said about other people: “well she was just a born leader.” While I do think some people have personality traits that lend them to being leaders a little bit easier, it doesn’t mean you CAN’T be a leader or be successful if you don’t naturally have those traits.  I would like to think of myself as a leader. I like to be in charge, and I like to help people. I was always in charge of the group projects at school, captain on my sports teams, a coach for volleyball and basketball, and well you get the idea. I like to direct and guide people. I love to teach. That’s why my blog is such a passion project, I have the opportunity to “lead” in a sense and help others be successful.

One of the best ways to develop leaderships qualities within yourself is to first recognize some of the basic qualities of a good leader. In this post, I am going to share five. There are of course others, but I feel that these are important and can cross over to whatever field or niche you are in.

A great leader…

1.) Leads by example: You have probably heard the phrase “do as I say not as I do?” We say it as a joke sometimes because it’s not the way to do things. In business its so easy for me to just spew off information and be like “this is how you start a blog” or “this is how to make money in your small business”, but if you can’t see me actively doing or striving for those things myself and leading by example, then I’m not being a very good leader. Ok so that’s number one,  you have to lead your people by example. Out in the open, walking the walk.

2.) Is decisive: This is a big one because I have talked about risk and reward before and about letting go of fear and jumping in right? Well that all comes back to being decisive and making decisions for yourself, for your team, for your business, for your family, for whatever it is you are doing. If you are a fence sitter and never actually commit to doing anything, then you are going to just be ok at a lot of things and not really great at any one thing because you can’t be decisive and stick with your decision. So what I want for you is for you to not be a fence sitter. I personally like to push people off of the fence, it’s one of my favorite things to do, and you know why? because that adrenaline rush people get from being pushed off the fence is contagious. It makes them feel awesome, it makes me feel awesome, and I love helping people realize their full potential and kind of “wake up” if you will and do something awesome in their lives.

3.) Not afraid to ask questions or for help: Ok guys so you cannot be a good leader and refuse to take criticism or advice from other people. Some leaders see asking questions as a sign of weakness guys but it’s so not true. We need to be continually learning and growing because there is always someone out there smarter than you. So learn, read, grow, ask questions, get better, do better, be better. It’s not a sign of weakness to not know it all.

4.) Has a positive energy and attitude: Do you respond better to positive energy? I know I do! How many of you would like watching me do Facebook videos or Instagram stories if I talked in a monotone voice, didn’t smile, and didn’t really seem confident in what I was saying. NO! You probably wouldn’t watch for very long right? Energy and excitement is contagious! Have you ever sat in a really boring church service, and literally almost fell asleep because the preacher is just speaking I such a monotone voice. I mean, its hard to get excited about Jesus in that situation am I right? So you have got to have a positive attitude and bring energy to your business, to your team, to your family, to your blog, to whatever it is you are doing. People like to follow charismatic people right? So why can’t you be that leader? Drink some coffee, eat some sugar, whatever you have to do before talking with your team to pump them up.

5.) Is surrounded by great leaders: Lastly, the number five mark of a great leader is someone who is surrounded by and learning from other great leaders. The team I am on in my new business venture embodies all of these qualities I have just talked about. They are excited and ask questions and they have a positive attitude and they make decisions and they lead by example. Its contagious and it has made me want to be better in my business and the excitement has spread and has helped me grow.

It is possible to be a great leader, even an online leader in an online business with people from around the county. So stop being a fence sitter and decide for yourself that you want to be a great leader today, and go out and do it. You will never get better by sitting on the sidelines. Go out and experience things, take risks, and try things that scare you. Go forth and lead! You got this!

5 Reasons To Get Over Your Fear of Starting A Blog

A lot of people have really good things to say. They have knowledge on a topic, or many topics, and have thought about starting a blog. However, that’s as far as it goes for some. For one reason (or maybe many!) they have fears and reasons why they won’t actually take that next step and start a blog. Today I am hoping to ease your mind and get rid of some of those fears for you. Blogging has literally changed my life in so, so many ways and I absolutely love getting to share my life with you, my readers. I want you to have the same excitement and feelings I have as well if that’s something you desire, so let’s get over these fears together!

5 Reasons to get over your fear of starting a blog

Reasons to get over your fears of blogging. If you can do this, you can potentially…

1.) Make Money: Let’s call a spade a spade. A lot of folks get into blogging so they can make money and work from home. Don’t be afraid to speak out if this is your answer. ‘Aint no shame in my game, I definitely like to make money! Granted when I started blogging eight years ago it isn’t why I started…back then I didn’t even know it was possible to make money blogging, but things change and it’s definitely high on the list of motivating factors for me. I love being able to work from home, have a flexible schedule, and work with brands that I really love. It’s very satisfying to be my own boss and make my own decisions!

2.) Have a creative outlet for your thoughts and knowledge: This is kind of why I started. I wanted to start distance running, and decided to blog as a way of holding myself accountable, and a way to share my training with others, in hopes it may inspire them to do the same. Here we are eight years later. Many things have changed, but one thing remains: I love having a place to share and inspire and teach others. I have always loved to write, so this is right up my alley!

3.) Learn and grow as a person: If you asked me to tell you what I have learned about myself and about other topics in the course of the years I have been blogging, it would take me approximately 27 years to tell you all about it! When I look back at a lot of the ways I have grown as a person over the years, so many things stem from my blog and things I have learned, mistakes I have made, and people I have met. Heck, I even owe my husbands CAREER to a friend I met through blogging. It’s so fun and a little unreal to be able to trace back important life milestones, experiences, and decisions to your blog or someone you met via blogging.

4.) Meet great people: Speaking of people I met through blogging…some of my very best friends in the world I met all because of the internet. I love how it connects people from all over the world, and you can share a bond with people you have never met or don’t see that often. I have also made some amazing business contacts, met celebrities, and had mind blowing experiences all because of my blog. It’s awesome, and to think of not having them if I had never started makes me so, so sad.

5.) Have the chance to inspire and change the lives of others: This is definitely my favorite part of blogging. I have a folder in my email titles “happy emails” where I have saved emails from over the years where people have taken the time to write me and tell me that I have helped them, encouraged them, or inspired them in some way to make a change, get over a fear, or try something new. Those emails warm my heart and make me feel like I truly am making a difference in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, some days are hard or frustrating, and it’s not always happy emails, but I wouldn’t change any of it if it means I got to connect with or help someone through my written word. I hope that these reasons to get over your blogging fear have encouraged you to stop being a fence sitter! The best things in life are often the scariest, but come with the greatest reward. Who knows what your life could look like a year from now? You will never know unless you try.

Hey! guess what? Ready to take the plunge and get over your fear of starting a blog but don’t know where to start? You are in luck! I have a completely FREE 5 day email course on how to start a blog of your own. Every day for 5 days I will meet you in your inbox with tips, encouragement, and how to’s for getting your own blog up and running. You can sign up now and get going on that blog!

How the Fabletics VIP Membership Works

Hey guys! I posted on Instagram recently that I will be working with Fabletics again. I truly love this brand! I love that they have extended sizing and that they show photos of women of all shapes on social media. Also kinda have a girl crush on Demi but whatevs.

How the Fabletics VIP membership works and how you can get two pair of leggings for $24!

Anyway, I get a lot of questions about how the VIP membership works and if its too good to be true that you get 2 pair of leggings for $24. (It’s TOTALLY true, I promise!)

Watch this short video if you are curious about the details. I will also make some notes underneath. Let me know if you have questions!

Fabletics VIP

Link to shop my looks. I hope you join as a Fabletics VIP!

-Sign up and get 2 paid of leggings for $24
-Every month you can purchase an outfit for $50, or skip that month
-No limit to the number of times you can skip
-Cancel at any time
-If you forget to skip, your card will be charged $50 but you can use that money as a CREDIT for another purchase
-Their clothes are awesome! I run in them, do Orange Theory in them, and they last FOREVER!

-Here is the link again to shop my looks and join as a VIP.

Fabletics VIP

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase through my link I may get a small commission.

Better Body Jump Start FREE Email Challenge

2018 is upon us, as is the time we all make goals or resolutions for the new year. Let me ask you a question. How many goals do you ever actually keep? Let me make it a little easier…how many do you keep for at least a month? That number is hopefully higher, but the sad truth is that so many of us have GREAT intentions, but then fall off the wagon because we have no support or accountability, or we just plain don’t know where to start.

I want you to be successful in 2018, and actually stick with something. I realized 2 things: 1.) Changes can and need to be SMALL if we want to really make them stick, and 2.) it truly does take a village. I don’t know about you but when I’m working out with a group, I push harder than when left to my own devices. So I figure in health in general, if we are left to fend for ourselves, we may be likely to cheat, skip, and give up all together.

 

I want to put an END to excuses and an END to goals that never get met. That’s why I created the Better Body Jump Start 7 Day Email Challenge. This is a completely FREE challenge. When you sign up, you will get 7 days worth of emails in your inbox, one each day, with ACTIONABLE tips, motivation, ideas, and calls to action to get you going.

 

 

Remember, little changes add up to BIG things, so don’t discredit the small shifts you make in your schedule, habits, and life. I KNOW you can do this, and I want to help you prove to yourself that you can.

The emails may only go on for 7 days, but I CHALLENGE you to keep up the thins I discuss all the way through the month of January. At the end of January if you don’t feel stronger, healthier, more energizes, and better about yourself, then you can stop. BUT, if you do the things I talk about, then I know you will feel amazing and want to keep going!

All you have to do is click this link to sign up (make sure you confirm your subscription when it hits your inbox, and be sure to check your spam!) Please email me with any questions, I’m happy to help any way I can.

Let’s make 2018 the year you become the best version of yourself. To get you really thinking about your goals and what you want out of 2018, I decided to share with you something that I actually started a couple weeks ago but was nervous to share out loud, but I am letting go of fear and taking action in my life.

I started a podcast! It just so happens that my very first episode is all about goal setting. I encourage you to listen to it if you are on the fence about the challenge (it has nothing to do with the challenge itself) or if you are telling yourself NOT to make goals because they never happen for you. After you click the link, check out the December 18th episode. I hope you enjoy, and then will join in the email challenge.

 

Episode 1: Goal Setting Strategies You May Not Want To Hear (But Will Work!)

Episode 1  of my new podcast is fitting for the new year, goal setting. In this episode I talk about the biggest reason you aren’t reaching your goals, and we have a little chat about not making excuses (all said in love!)

I give some calls to action to get your 2018 off on the right foot.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Average Girl’s Guide to Living an Above Average Life Ebook