GRIT by Brit

Fun, Fierce, Fitness


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Believe in Yourself: 10 Tips to Boost Your Self-Confidence

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believe in yourself confidence

Confidence really is the “key” to… everything.  After working in 2 totally different environments,  full-time in a conservative corporate organization and part-time in a gym teaching fitness classes,   I’ve noticed that in both contexts the most confident people always fare best.  Notice I didn’t say the smartest, most experienced or even the most talented.  For example, at my corporate job the person who speaks up in meetings and boldly takes on new projects is always first in line for promotion.  Also at the gym, the fitness instructors who risk looking like an idiot to energize their class always have the biggest following.   The consistent trait among these successful folks is a high degree of self-confidence. 

The reality is that we all have insecurities.  We compare ourselves to others and feel shameful at times (or at least I do).  To me, it’s refreshing to see people who are fearless and confident enough to take a stand or risk failing.  Seeing someone who believes in their self makes me believe in them too.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.   

That said I did some research on tips that can help us boost our self-confidence.  Below are my 10 favorites.  I hope these tips helps you as much as they’ve helped me.  

10 Tips to Boost Your Self-Confidence

  1. Sip coffee – Studies show that just a little coffee increases alertness, energy and confidence.  But remember to skip the cream and sugar, no need for the extra calories.
  2. WIN! do something you’re naturally good at – It’s great to improve on our weaknesses, but it’s really nice to be the best at something.  Make winning a habit by doing something each week that you are naturally good at.
  3. Stick out your chest – “Research suggests that people with good posture have more confidence in their thoughts than slouchers.”  Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Quick-Confidence-How-to-Boost-Self-Esteem#ixzz2qPV2G9gB
  4. Strut some stilettos – High heels make us stand up straighter and walk taller.  Don’t be afraid to stand tall and be big!  Throw on those pumps and “get on wit yo bad self!”
  5. Blog – Sharing your innermost feelings online rather than in a personal journal can help us feel more comfortable with ourselves – flaws and all.  There’s something powerful about taking the risk of sharing your thoughts and experiences with the world.  The vulnerability required to blog can increase self-confidence.
  6. Dance in the mirror – I find dancing in the mirror to be extremely liberating.  I’ve told you guys over and over that I am not a great dancer, so watching myself let loose (and look kinda silly) helps me feel more comfortable in my own skin.  Try it!
  7. Savor compliments – Instead of dismissing compliments, simply say “Thank You” and then repeat the compliment in your head 3 times.  It’s okay, don’t be shy 😉
  8. Smile – “Social psychologist Laura Kray, PhD, has demonstrated that smiling, laughing and engaging in slight physical contact when negotiating can help you win the day.”  Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Quick-Confidence-How-to-Boost-Self-Esteem/5#ixzz2qPVIodQO
  9. Sweat –  Exercise gets endorphins flowing and increases serotonin which makes us feel good.  It’s easier to be confident when you feel good.  Also the physical benefits of exercise makes us feel better about our abilities and our appearance.
  10. Write about a time you felt “powerful” – I was at  women’s brunch a few months ago and the speaker asked the audience how many of us wanted to be powerful.  Only only like 10% raised their hands.  Then she asked how many wanted to be influential and like 90% raised their hands.  I don’t get that?  What’s wrong with being powerful?  Powerful people with good intentions can make the most significant positive impacts!  People possess power because others believe in them. Powerful people exude confidence!  Spend some time writing about your most “powerful” moment to give yourself a confidence boost.

Fake it till you make it!  xoxo, Brit


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Get FIT don’t QUIT – the Secret to Keeping your New Year’s Resolution

getfitdontquit

This weekend my Turbo Kick class was PACKED!  More people came than ever before.  Clearly getting “fit” is high on our list of New Year’s resolutions.  I’m so motivated by the energy, foggy mirrors and soaked pony tails that come out of a packed group fitness class.  Unfortunately, I have to face the reality that this awesome feeling will only last for a short while.  The February “drop off” is just around the corner.  You know what I’m talking about, that point when we all push our resolutions to the back burner.  As a group fitness instructor, this is the month I most dread.  It’s depressing indeed.

The “February drop off” really makes me sad, because I understand why people quit coming to the gym.  I understand because I was one of those people.  I was the person who set out the New Year with high hopes and expectations of perfection.  However, the minute I slipped up, I beat myself up and quit.  I showed myself no grace.  It was all or nothing.  The crazy thing is that many of us think this “do or die” mindset is critical to achieving our goals, but the reality is that aiming for perfection only assures failure.

I had to learn that each day I’m blessed with a clean slate.  What happened yesterday is gone.  It doesn’t matter.  Yeah, even that chocolate cake I smashed and that workout I skipped.  My entire outlook on my health and my weight management changed once I learned to love myself enough to forgive myself for my slip-ups. I had believe that I am worthy of a healthy body despite my occasional lack of discipline.  Indulging and being lazy WILL cause a delay in achieving my goals, BUT I can still achieve my goals as long as I DON’T QUIT – the same goes for you!

So, I simply encourage you to be kind to yourself as you set out to achieve your New Year’s resolutions.  Calling yourself a “fat cow” after enjoying a burger will NOT help you achieve your goals.  However, committing to an extra 30 minutes of cardio will help you 🙂  Hold fast to your goals despite your slip-ups.  We are human.  We are perfectly imperfect.  Embrace it (and keep coming to my Turbo Kick classes.)

Get FIT, Don’t QUIT! xoxo, Brit


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Join the GRIT by Brit DietBet to Lose Weight & Win Cash!

Join the GRIT by Brit Diet BetLet’s jump-start a healthier 2014 with some fun & friendly competition!  I started a diet bet game that will start on Monday, January 6.  Click here to join our game and invite your friends and family too.  Our pot of money grows as players join.  Whoever hits their goal splits the pot.  Get healthier, have fun and win some cash – don’t wait our game starts next Monday!

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Better Sore Than Sorry: Activity alternatives to avoid skipping workouts

better sore than sorry

We had some crazy cold weather in Dallas this weekend – an ice storm to be exact. Consequently, many of my favorite group fitness classes were cancelled, which kind of put me in a funk.  A big part of me wanted to just skip my workouts all together and curl up on my couch.  Fortunately, while doing some internet browsing I came across this article, 10 Questions to Ask Yourself before You Skip Your Workout, and it became very clear to me that I needed to get my butt off of the couch and into my workout clothes.  While there’s nothing wrong with resting (our bodies do need adequate recovery), I’m really glad I went ahead and got some alternative activity in.  My workout schedule this weekend went like this:

  • Thursday = Run up and down the stairs in my house for 10 min + 50 push ups + my 10 Min Abs vol. 1
  • Friday = TaeBo 60 min fat blaster DVD + dancing around in my living room with ankle weights on to some of my favorite jamz
  • Saturday = Turbo Kick + Body Pump (my gym opened for a few hours – yay!)
  • Sunday = Hot Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Now that I’m getting ready to embark on my work week, I’m feeling energized and happy that I didn’t skip my sweat sessions.  In fact, I think changing up my routine actually benefited my body – I’m pretty sore in areas that I don’t typically focus on.

For the Dallas readers who are still going to be stuck at home tomorrow, here’s a 15 minute workout video created by yours truly that will get you sweating 🙂  You can knock this bad boy out in your home with no equipment.  The routine is designed to get your heart rate up, work all of the major muscle groups and burn 150-200 calories.

Enjoy the workout, be encouraged  and have a wonderful week! xoxo, Brit


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Embracing the Healthy Side of Thanksgiving

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

Guest post by Lindsay Krasna, Registered Dietitian

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, Grit by Brit readers!

The other night, I hosted my first family-style “dinner party” of sorts: a pre-Thanksgiving potluck/apartment-warming, Brooklyn-style. The combination of the good energy from my pals, and the scrumptious Thanksgiving-esque fare they all contributed made for one of the most fun Big Apple nights I’ve ever had! While admittedly, I ate more in quantity, and more “indulgently” than I would have on a typical night, I walked away from that meal with an incredible sense of well-being, contentment and nourishment.

Reflecting on the evening inspired me to post on this topic – The Healthy Side of Thanksgiving – because so often, this holiday gets a bad rap in the nutrition world. I mean, let’s face it, “nutritious” isn’t exactly the first adjective that comes to mind when we think of Thanksgiving… “diet buster” or “gluttony” is more like it. Furthermore, during this time of year, the media is relentlessly flooded with stories featuring tips on “how to avoid holiday season weight gain” or “how to re-work traditional holiday dishes into healthier versions.” While I certainly recognize the value that this type of information offers for health-conscious individuals looking to sustain their healthy habits throughout the holiday season, I also feel strongly that there is not nearly enough attention paid to the (perhaps less obvious) healthful aspects of Thanksgiving that we may forget to embrace and appreciate.

Thus, I’d like to draw your attention to my personal top 4 underrated (yet wonderfully nourishing, and yes, even nutritious) parts of Turkey Day!

  1. Expanded food repertoires. We are creatures of habit, and so often, we get stuck in foods ruts, eating the same things for breakfast, lunch and dinner without even realizing how routinized we’ve become. But food variety is an important part of good nutrition, too. With an extensive “food-scape” to choose from on Thanksgiving, we can use this meal to expose our palates to less familiar flavors and textures, learn about new cooking techniques, and even garner inspiration for some new meals ideas outside of holiday time.
  1. Kitchen collaboration. There is a TON of research touting the benefits of family meals. For example, children of families that cook and dine together regularly tend to have more nutritious diets and a decreased risk for developing disordered eating habits. And while meals together may not always be a realistic gig for families on a regular basis, what better holiday than Thanksgiving to make it a family affair! Cooking as a group also provides a natural foundation for bonding, which occurs through the collaboration and communication necessary for preparing and enjoying a home-cooked meal. Speaking of which…
  1. Emotional nourishment and group entertainment value.  We receive nourishment not only in the form of the physical nutrients that enter into our body through food, but also through the emotional satisfaction that comes from experiencing fulfilling connections with others. The convening of family (or friends) in a group setting such as Thanksgiving provides us a unique opportunity to bond with loved ones, many of whom we may not see on a regular basis. There is also a special dynamic that comes along with a group meal. Groups have a way of forming a life of their own, and if you take a step back and actually listen to the group’s conversation, it can be quite humorous and highly entertaining. Or, maybe this is just my family… 🙂
  1. A perfect opportunity to practice self-compassion. Remember my post on “Finding Balance?” The definition of healthy eating is: consistently blending basic nutrition principles (cerebral knowledge) with your body’s intuitive hunger-fullness cues and taste preferences (internal knowledge). Key word: “consistently.” Overindulging is TOTALLY normal and natural at a meal like Thanksgiving, when we’re presented with an overwhelming amount of food (and perhaps overwhelming people, too). If nothing else, we can use Thanksgiving to practice being compassionate with ourselves, especially after we realize we were waaaay off the mark when we reached for that 3rd helping of sweet potatoes…. (yum).

Wishing you a Thanksgiving feast that is truly nourishing!

For more nutrition tips or to get in contact with Lindsay Krasna, Registered Dietitian, visit: http://www.lknutrition.com/


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Just in time for Thanksgiving: Happiness, Gratitude and GRIT

gratitude

Hey gang – it’s almost Turkey Day!   I know many of you are probably getting Instagram and Facebook overload from your friends sharing their “30 Days of Thanks” or whatever it’s called.  While I’m sure it can be annoying, don’t “hate” too much.  Turns out, drinking the gratitude Kool-Aid can do us good.

Let me digress for a bit.  We’ll come back full circle.  I promise.

While growing up in Texas I attended a small, Southern Baptist church and we had this ritual of giving “praise reports” during every service.  At this time, members of the congregation would stand up and share something good that had happened during the week (i.e. a promotion at work, healing from a sickness, winning a big game, an exciting family vacation, etc.).  We always did “praise reports” before sharing “prayer requests.”  Prayer requests are unfortunate situations in which people needed prayer, support or encouragement.  I always wondered why we had this practice of first giving praise before we prayed about a problem.  Over the weekend, a friend shared this video with me (below).  While watching it, “praise reports” started to make more sense…  thankful happiness

“The Science of Happiness,” suggests that the simple of act sharing gratitude (aka sharing praise reports) is therapeutic in itself.  Being grateful and expressing gratitude can actually give us the strength and perspective that we need to make it through tough times.  In short, gratitude gives us GRIT.  Gratitude makes us happier.

In true GRIT by Brit fashion, I also thought to myself, “Maybe expressing gratitude for 2 good arms, 2 good legs and a heart and lungs that work can be the extra push I need on days I don’t feel like working out?”  haha –  we shall see.

Watch this video from SoulPancake if you want to feel good, get in the Thanksgiving spirit and maybe even tear up a bit 🙂

“Praise [gratitude] works best at the start, before the miracle, before the breakthrough, before the restoration.”  – Brian Houston

Lots of luv to you this Thanksgiving season!   xoxo, Brit


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Negative Impacts of Negativity: Why we should CHOOSE to think positive thoughts

postive lifeYou guys know I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes, but I saw this one and it really made me think.  Not trying to get all “preachy,” but sometimes it’s good to take a step back and be mindful of our daily thoughts.  Lately, the term “mindfulness” is a popular buzz word among inspirational speakers and spiritual thought leaders.  Mindfulness simply refers to “awareness”  – being conscious of what your mind is processing.   This also means being conscious of negative thinking.  We may think that negative thoughts here and there aren’t a big deal, but actually negative thinking can become nasty habit that’s difficult to overcome. In all honesty, it’s really hard (almost impossible) to always think positively.  It take a lots of discipline and GRIT to train our minds to consistently look on the bright side. Fortunately, like with all things in life, we can train ourselves do anything we want – that’s beauty of being human – WE CAN CHANGE (we are not trees).  I found this list of Negative Impacts of Negativity from Always Greater, LLC and wanted to share it – hopefully it encourages us to proactively choose positive thoughts and be mindful of the negative ones.

Negative thinking leads to…

  • A less worthwhile life instead of a more worthwhile life
  • Less confidence instead of greater confidence
  • Lower self-esteem instead of higher self-esteem
  • Less happiness and enjoyment instead of more happiness and enjoyment
  • Less feelings of strength instead of greater feelings of strength
  • Less energy instead of more energy
  • Less peace of mind instead of more peace of mind
  • Less success instead of more success
  • Less enjoyable social interactions instead of more enjoyable social interactions
  • Less health benefits instead of more health benefits
  • Less clarity of mind instead of greater clarity of mind
  • Less sensible mind instead of a more sensible mind

“Since you have a choice, it doesn’t make much sense to think in negative ways that hurt you rather than positive ways that help you.” – David Fonvielle