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Dude. Spring is coming! How it is already February 14th, I haven’t the slightest clue. But if it brings me one day closer to bare legs and green grass? I’ll take it! So if we’re all honest with ourselves, we all have some tinge of apprehension going on on the inside. The “OMG, my bikini bod needs work” thought races through all our minds. So what do we do? We search for inspiration! For direction! Motivation! We hang up last year’s red bikini in our rooms, plaster ripped out Victoria Secret catalogue pages all over our wall, we snag the latest SHAPE and Fitness Magazine from the nearest drugstore. We’re all “yeah!” and “abs by April!”… and then… merp… the “inspiration” dies within a week and we find ourselves hiding with a bag of chocolate chips on the couch watching Meet Me in St. Louis in sweats. This is where a lot of the self-loathing stuff happens. Oh? Just me? Well I’ll be…

Ok, so that used to be me! Then I stopped looking at all these unrealistic sources of “inspiration” and just did something really simple. Stupid simple. Really.

1. I wrote down my goals. Think specific. Down to the detail. One of my goals that I wrote down in 2012 was to be able to perform an unassisted handstand push-up. Guess what? Done and done. You HAVE to write down attainable, detailed goals and plaster them somewhere you can see them. Daily reminders, people. (For example, some of my fitness goals for 2013 are to be able to perform a muscle up, and power clean 95 lbs)

2. Then I made a schedule. An appointment book with myself, if you will (these are the most important appointments, hello!). “Erika, you have a date with barbells every morning at this specific time. Be there or be flabby.”

4. I replaced all of the negative thoughts I had about myself and my body with positive ones. I decided that I needed to love myself before I could accept love from anyone else and find happiness in my own skin. Self-love is a real thing, and if you don’t have it, you’re sorely missing out. Once you start filling your mind with positive thoughts about yourself and your body, you become your own best friend. Start with finding something you like about yourself and verbally say why it’s pretty awesome. For example, I think it’s pretty awesome how strong my legs have gotten, and I remind myself of this daily.

5. Then I just did it. Some days I didn’t. But then I felt dumb and lazy, so the next day I worked out twice as hard. Over time, it got easier and easier. It started to suck less and then I formed a habit. Then my days started to feel odd when I didn’t work out. Years later, working out is one of the best parts of my day! I can’t wait to work out, sincerely. It takes time to get to that point, but if you’re willing to make some effort and stop making excuses, you can do it too.

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Some of you are going to think I’m absolutely crazy for making it sound so simple. But it’s really up to us, isn’t it? We can make it as hard or as easy as we want to. When we tell ourselves that it’s hard before we’ve even tried… well, let’s just say it’s like shooting yourself in the foot. Not pretty, huh? If you’re not going to be your own biggest cheerleader, you won’t get very far in the gym – or life, for that matter.

You have to take baby steps to form a lifelong habit of health. Everything is progress. 

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So in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve partnered up with Violet Love Headbands to give away three gorgeous headbands! You can wear them at the gym, while you’re washing your face, out on a date (they’re that cute), or wherever you please. They don’t give you those annoying headband headaches or snag your hair. When I’ve worn them through a couple workouts, I can just throw them in the washer and they don’t fade or fringe. I’m obsessed with them.. and my friends at our gym are too!

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Wearing AE vest [similar], Target zip-up, Nike capri, Nike Free Advantage shoes, gifted Violet Love headband.

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 Here’s how you enter the giveaway*:

1. Follow @Violet_Love on Twitter because they tweet some pretty inspirational stuff! 
2. Like Violet Love on Facebook because there’s awesome stuff on there, too.
3. Commit to stop talking negatively about yourself + your body
4. Love YOU more. You are pretty awesome.
5. Comment bellow telling me what some of your fitness goals are + how you plan on making it happen

**3 winners will be chosen at random. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 19th.**

What are some of your fitness goals? What’s your plan of attack to make it happen?

 

*Winners Announced! Congrats Stephanie, Katie & Jesse! Please e-mail me to receive your Violet Love gift!*

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