The Beyonce Life Plan {spring into summer}

So a couple months ago Athena and I discovered that we are soul mates, which is awesome. I had been (she probably does not know this) reading her blog for like three years, then we became friends on the Twitter, and now we text all the time. She helps keep me focused (eyes on the prize) and we have developed the Beyonce life plan together.

Beyonce life

This is the end goal.

What is the Beyonce life plan, you ask? It’s basically a lifestyle change program like any other, but a whole lot more fun. (And with a pretty great personal model, too.) You find a friend (or a group of friends) and use each other for accountability. Set up your goals and lean on each other for support. I realize this is not the most revolutionary advice, but it makes it a little more fun to have a sort of inside joke to talk about texting Yonce.

The beauty of the Beyonce life plan is that it is customizable. Here’s my plan to get back on track after working for 20 days in a row and eating like crap:

  • Grocery shop once a week for fresh fruits and vegetables
  • No added sugar
  • Three servings of vegetables (this used to be super easy for me when I was juicing but I have found it much harder now)
  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Pack healthy snacks for work
  • Go to the gym five times a week
  • Do laundry weekly

When I work too much, everything else goes to the wayside. Eating well (or eating real meals at all), going to the gym, and general maintenance get thrown aside for grazing on unhealthy snacks, conserving energy to get through the day at work, and three-day blowouts and outfits that become more and more questionable. Having a partner in crime and a go-to photo to look at (regardless of whether it is attainable for my body or not) helps considerably – especially when I want to make bad food choices. This Beyonce cannot eat McDonald’s, no matter how much I think I miss the fries. This is really the worst part for me, so whenever I want a muffin or something sugary, I look at the photo of Beyonce pictured above and think twice (or three times) about what I’m eating and why I’m eating it.

Your plan might include cutting gluten or evaluating your finances, automating payments and savings, or starting a program like Couch to 5k. Set up your plan, find your Beyonce, and you too can become like this:

Let us know if you are joining us!

Disclaimer – obviously Beyonce is not affiliated with two silly bloggers who are using her to inspire our plan to get our lives together. But thanks Yonce!

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What I Wore: Fit Style {workout wednesday}

Sometimes when I look back on this blog, I have to laugh. I had originally started it thinking it would be more personal finance-oriented with a focus on frugal fashion. Outfits of the day breaking down the cost of each item, spending recaps, things like that. While I still try to incorporate those kinds of posts, I now mostly blog about fitness. When I started writing around two years ago, running and lifting were nowhere on my radar, and weight loss was something I thought about passively, but I was never as unhappy with my weight like many weight loss bloggers talk about. By far the most popular posts now are those about fitness fashion – I love that I’m not alone in my quest to be stylish as I sweat!

“I refuse to do anything if I can’t look cute.”

I said this a few weeks ago while trying on clothes at the local running store, and the girls around me were rolling. “You have a point,” they said. I completely believe that having a great outfit to work out in makes me more efficient. Maybe it doesn’t help most people, (and is probably totally psychological for me) but it makes me feel good, so I do it! (Sorry, every media outlet that has published articles about how people concerned with looking “cute” aren’t in it for a real workout.)

So today I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite outfits.

workout fashionThis outfit features the most expensive item in my closet, including “real” clothes. It’s the lululemon Run Full Tilt top with Ellie capris from last summer (and of course a chevron Sweaty Band.)

I continue to have a lot of really mixed feelings about lululemon, but I will say this about this shirt – I tried it on at Thanksgiving and didn’t buy it because of the price tag. I regret not buying it every day until I found it again (and this time it was on sale!) I didn’t wear the capris for a long time because I felt the sizing was ill-fitting, but I would be willing to try Ellie again to see if they have gotten better. This was the first time they offered their styles in XL, so maybe they’ve gotten feedback for a better fit.

IMG_2447 This is another one of those shirts that you put on and you just know. It feels like a second skin and oh, I love it. It’s a Nike Drifit 1/4 zip that I scored for around $12 at the Outlet at Thanksgiving. Under it is a lululemon Cool Racerback and a pair of black Old Navy capris ($8 on sale combined with a coupon.)

purple

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wore this on a night where I double-dipped and did both a BodyPUMP class and Zumba (which I have been doing very rarely since my favorite teacher left.) The long-sleeve top and booty shorts are both from Gap, which I’ve mentioned many times is a favorite of mine for gear on the cheap. The shorts were $4! The top was a pricier $17, and those shoes (Nike Free Fit 2, which I only wear for classes) were another Nike Outlet find for $40. Sweaty Bands are my fave, and I picked this one up at the warehouse sale for $3!

What’s your favorite thing to work out in? Does feeling stylish motivate you?

I was provided samples from Ellie to review, but all opinions are my own.
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Tune Tuesday: My Queen

I really pride myself on being in the know with music and very active in discovering new artists before they hit, but I admit that this one is someone I really slept on and missed the bandwagon. Lana Del Rey is potentially still best known for an SNL performance a few years ago, but if that’s the only exposure you’ve had to her, you are missing out for sure. In honor of her new single release yesterday and in desperate anticipation of the next album coming soon, she’s the subject of another Tune Tuesday post. (For more Lana, check out last summer’s post on her!)


“West Coast” Down on the west coast, they got a sayin’, if you’re not drinking then you’re not playing but you’ve got the music in you, don’t you?


“National Anthem” money is the anthem of success so put on mascara, and your party dress. I’m your National Anthem, boy, put your hands up, give me a standing ovation


“Born to Die Feet don’t fail me now, take me to the finish line. oh my heart it breaks every step that I take but I’m hoping at the gates, they’ll tell me that you’re mine. walking through the city streets, is it by mistake or design I feel so alone on the Friday nights?

For even more Lana, follow my Spotify playlist!

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4 Ways Running A Marathon & Paying Down Debt Are The Same {money monday}

ways paying down debt is like a marathon

Admittedly, I haven’t trained for a full marathon yet. I’ve trained for (and run) several halfs, though, and read a lot about going the full 26.2. And I have been working on paying down my student loans (thankfully the only debt I have) for longer than I care to think about. The two processes feel very similar. Here are a few examples of how.

  1. Training – to run nearly 27 miles, you have to put in the work. Not only does your body need to build endurance and muscle to run for that long, your brain needs to learn how to push through barriers and shut down the part of you that says “I can’t.” Paying down debt is the same way – no matter how much or how little, there’s always a part in your head full of doubt. Retraining your mind to think you can conquer your big goals – student loan payoff, running a marathon, or anything else that seems insurmountable can be accomplished if you get your mind right.
  2. It sucks – I can’t think of any runner who hasn’t thought this at least once. On a less than stellar run, during speed work or hill repeats, or even during Couch to 5k, we’ve all been there. Throwing money at debt also sucks – you have to make sacrifices and skip out on things you might want right now, and there’s nothing fun about that.
  3. It’s expensiveI’ve covered the costs associated with running before, and that barely begins to cover marathon entry fees for some of the bigger races. (Go on, Google it – I’ll wait while you pick your jaw up off the ground.) There are costs associated with paying off loans, too – interest rates and late fees can increase already high monthly payments.
  4. Research – everyone’s an expert on the internet, but for running and finance, this can be a good thing. Not every method works for every person, but if you read enough blogs and magazines, you’re sure to find a running method and payoff strategy that suits your style. And while sometimes it’s daunting to look at payoff success stories and feel like you’ll never be able to match their success, it’s also empowering to see that it is possible.

What big goals have you accomplished? Do you think paying off debt and running a marathon are comparable?

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