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What’s In My Gym Bag?

August 18, 2015

gym bagI pretty much live at the gym. I do my best to go at least 5 days a week and I am very proud to say that I’ve stuck to that commitment since I started on my fitness journey back in January. It has become part of my daily routine and I don’t feel 100% if I don’t get a good work out in. Being that I frequent the gym on the regular I thought I would share with you all some of my must-have items that I carry in my gym bag.

fitness must-have items

1. Headphones: I only use headphones when I am at the gym or flying in an airplane. I find them uncomfortable so there is no way I was going to spend a lot of money on a pair so finding these bright pink babies for just $5 at Target was a total win for me! They work great!

2. Lifting Gloves: I train at the gym by lifting weights where it can get heavy and strenuous so protecting my hands from callouses is a must! These Harbinger gloves allow for a comfortable fit, natural grip with built in gel pads that cushion key stress points so I can lift heavier with little discomfort. A must for fit chicks!

3. Fitness ArmBand: Pretty necessary if you like to listen to your own music at the gym. I really like this SonicBoom Armband by Nathan. It has moisture-wicking material that maximizes sweat resistance and unlike other bands the case is fitted to the phone and doesn’t stick (with sweat) to my arm because of extra material around it.

4. Hand Sanitizer: I always make sure to wash my hands after my workout but hand sanitizer is always good to have for emergencies or when the gym is out of soap! I love Bath & Body works sanitizers.

5. Evian Facial Spray: I love this Evian spray and use it after every work out. I rinse my face and then spray it on to help hydrate, tone and refresh my skin. Its important after a good sweat to cleanse your skin as quickly as possible to prevent breakouts. I love it to refresh and cool my skin too because I get really red/hot after cardio. I will also spray it in other areas like my chest, back or stomach to do a quick cleanse after a really sweaty gym session.

6. Blotting Papers: I use these after a less intense workout where I didn’t sweat too much on my face to touch up my skin and give it a matte look.

7. Lip Balm: I bought a lip balm just for my gym bag so I am always prepared and moisturized.

8. Feminine Wipes: Always good to have so you can freshen up if you have errands or quick plans after you leave the gym. These wipes by SweetSpot are so luxe with essential oils, soothing botanicals and complement feminine PH!

9. Combination Lock: I prefer a combination lock so I don’t have to worry about carrying around a key (and possibly losing it) while working out.

What’s in your gym bag? 

Share with me in the comments section and make sure to follow along with me on my fitness journey on my new Instagram account!

P.s. Evian is hosting a giveaway for its Facial Spray and you can enter here!

xoxo

Nicole

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5 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today

June 26, 2015

start today

1. Step Up Your Water Intake 

This is my number one recommendation for people looking to make a start towards a healthier lifestyle.  By simply cutting your calorie intake from drinks you will see changes in your appearance. Plus, that means those calories can be used toward enjoying actual food! I try to drink 1 gallon of water a day. It keeps me hydrated, my complexion clear and most importantly my tummy flat! I do weight train 5 days a week so if you arent as physical a gallon may be excessive. Your goal should be to aim for drinking only water (and maybe coffee!) each day.

2. Take a Walk 

If you claim to have no time to work out the easiest thing you can do is get up and walk more! You would be surprised by how many steps you can take in one day. Get up from your desk and circle the office. Take a walk during your lunch break or go visit a mall/store. Walk your dog. Do anything that will get those legs moving!

3. Step Away From The Scale 

The scale is not your friend and depending on your body type not very accurate either. Muscle weighs significantly more than fat and there are plenty of other factors that can effect your weight on a daily basis so stop checking and stressing over that number. Write your current weight down somewhere along with the date and step away for as long as you can. Take photos of yourself instead! They will help you to see progress a lot better than the scale ever will.

4. Eliminate Just One Thing 

The hardest part about “dieting” or making changes to the way we eat is dealing with the loss of our favorite (and maybe not so healthy) foods and treats. It is not easy to just go cold turkey and give up everything all at once.  It is also not realistic and shouldn’t be how you go about making a lifestyle change.  I recommend starting off by cutting back on that one “unhealthy” choice that you make either daily or way too often. Maybe you order a sugar-filled coffee drink every morning or you find yourself eating ice cream more times than not.  This is another small change that can make a big impact. It takes 21 days to break a habit so you don’t have to say goodbye to these items forever instead think of it as see you later.

5. Think & TALK Positively 

Thinking positive is key when making any kind of change but I find that talking positively is what really helps you stay on track. Use words that make you feel good and refrain from talking about the lifestyle changes you are making in a negative light. No more “ugh I can’t eat bagels” and more ” I am making smarter food choices now”. Talking about your changes positively will reinforce and remind your brain that this is good for you and in turn you will feel good about what you are doing.

start today1Do you have any tips?

Share with me in the comments section and make sure to follow my fitness journey on my new Instagram account!

xoxo

Nicole

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B.A.D. Girl Review: The Katy Hearn 8 Week Fitness Challenge

May 11, 2015

Katy HearnOn January 19th I started an 8 week fitness challenge hosted by the amazing Katy Hearn. She is an insta-famous fitness trainer well known for her amazing glutes that she built on her own in the gym! I have always been relatively slim but thanks to college living and alcohol I put on a solid 30 pounds. Since college I have been trying to lose the same 10/15 pounds for what feels like forever. I know 10 pounds isn’t a huge number but it does make a drastic difference for someone my size. I’ve cleaned up my eating over the years but I have not been consistent in the gym. Signing up for this challenge was exactly what I needed to get into a routine at the gym and finally make a consistent effort.

Winter Challenge Overview: 

The challenge ran from January 19th -March 16th and consisted of an 8 week training plan customized to either home or gym with email and social media support for the entire 8 weeks. The fitness plan incorporated weight and strength training, cardio, plyometrics and stretching. Her very popular ‘build a booty’ and ‘core sculpting’ programs were incorporated into the scheduled work outs. We also received a nutritional guide (not a meal plan) that covered calculating and tracking your macros according to your goals, pre/post workout meal examples, food/grocery/supplement recommendations as well a detailed FAQ sheet. She also had hashtags for easy video reference for each of the exercises in the plan. To enroll in the challenge it cost $200.

Each winner won $500 gift cards to the store or company of their choice. She chose 6 first place winners and then surprised us all with a second round of 5 winners who received $200 gift cards. Throughout the challenge weekly prizes were also given out to girls who displayed a positive attitude, support and /or great progress.

KH ChallengeFitness Overview: 

The program itself consists of a 5 days/week workout regimen along with maintaining a well balanced diet by counting macros. Each day our workouts were focused on a specific set of muscles and everyday you are doing something different so it doesn’t get repetitive. We worked legs two times a week and did cardio 2/3 per week. When I first started the challenge I could barely last 5 minutes on the stairmaster at level 3 and now I am at level 12 like its nothing. It’s amazing how much stronger I have gotten and how much my endurance has picked up. The workouts are intense but manageable for all fitness levels because you pick and choose your weights/reps etc.

Katy Hearn Winter ChallengeNutrition Overview:

We were recommended to count macro-nutrients which is commonly referred to as flexible dieting.  Fats, Carbohydrates and Proteins are what’s known as macro-nutrients (macros for short). We used a fitness calculator to get our individual daily calorie and macro intake based on our current height, weight, and age. Meal prepping was key for success however I did not meal prep because I have a very flexible schedule that allowed me the freedom not to. I tracked everything I ate with the MyFitnessPal app and was allowed to enjoy one cheat meal every week.

2015-05-11 13.07.07The nutrition aspect was the hardest part for me during the challenge and still remains a bit of a struggle today simply for the fact that I actually have to eat a lot more food that I am used to on a daily basis.  I didn’t have to cut out carbs or deprive myself of food to see results with flexible dieting. Its about making smart food choices and cutting out the garbage. I started the challenge eating about 1600 calories a day and by the end (and currently) I am at 1310 cals a day in an attempt to really lean out.

My results:

In the 8 weeks during the challenge I lost a total of about 5/6 pounds however as you can see in my photos I also put on muscle so my actual fat loss could be greater since muscle weighs more than fat. I saw the biggest difference in my upper body with my stomach shrinking significantly and my arms got lean and toned. My strength and endurance have increased significantly. I can squat 135 pounds, lift 200 pounds for calf raises and curl 15 pound dumb bells. The routines are creative and people will look at you like ‘damn this girl is going IN and she knows what she is doing.” The gym can be intimidating if you don’t know what you are doing so this challenge really gave me the confidence to get in there and give it 150%.

Katy Hearn Challenge Results

I highly recommend signing up for a Katy Hearn Fitness Challenge but only if you are ready for a lifestyle change. If you are looking for a quick fix this isn’t for you. If you are looking to get fit, feel sexy and make a change with your nutrition habits than this program will give you the push you need.  Since the challenge ended I have kept up with both my workouts and clean eating. I am currently down a total of 10 pounds  and I feel lean all over. I haven’t felt this good about my body in probably 7 years.  Thank you Katy!

The Spring Challenge has already started and sadly I missed the enrollment period but be sure to follow Katy on Instagram for details about her next one. Feel free to ask me any questions about the challenge and you can keep up with my fitness journey and latest progress on my Instagram account @MzNikkiNic_Fit!

xoxo

Nicole

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Update! A Year For Changes & Happiness

March 11, 2015

updatesHey B.A.D. Girls!

Wow! I really had to dust off the cobwebs on my WordPress account. They have made a ton of changes since I posted last year. Yikes!

I’ve been MIA from not only the blog but real life too. I made the decision to make 2015 more about ME. I needed to take a time out and really focus on what I could do to feel good about myself and where I am at in life at the moment.

So I’ve decided to make changes and I thought I would share some of them with you all.

1. Hair. I chopped it short last September and then decided to add in some color. So I went with purple over my usual caramel/blonde highlight color. I’ve always been a plain jane when it comes to my hair so it being purple makes me so damn happy.

2. Travel. I always say I want to see the world, but then it never happens. This year I am finally crossing off a travel destination from my bucket list and I am visiting California! I am also going to Coachella and may have a heart attack in the dessert heat once you add DRAKE into that equation. I cant freaking wait!

3. Fitness.  On January 19th I embarked on one of the best decisions of my life and started the Katy Hearn 8 week fitness challenge. The program has me in the gym 5 days a week doing weight training and cardio.  I haven’t missed one workout yet. I am currently in my last week of the challenge and my legs/glutes are so sore as I sit here and type this, but the pain has become an addiction.  I plan on doing a complete post dedicated to this so stay tuned!

4. Nutrition. The fitness challenge has also introduced me to a new way of eating commonly referred to as flexible dieting or IIFYM.  Before I started the challenge I thought I ate pretty okay. I was used to eating fairly healthy being that I made a conscious effort not to put (too much) crap into my body and I only drank water. However, what I was doing wrong included eating way too little and not eating nutritiously balanced meals. In order to see fitness/weight loss results you need a well balanced diet and this was my missing puzzle piece for so long.

So that’s what I have been up to lately. Expect regular posts and an all new site very soon!

 How is your 2015 going so far?! 

xoxo

Nicole

P.S. Big shout-out to my gym partner, my sister Nina, who I wouldn’t have been able to makes these changes without. ILY.

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MyTee B.A.D. GOAL-GETTER Collection + CYBER MONDAY SUPER SALE

December 1, 2014

MTB Goal-Getter Collection Cyber MondayI am so excited to finally launch my Fall/Winter Collection for MyTee B.A.D. called GOAL-GETTER. This collection is designed to celebrate women who work hard and its the essence of what it means to be a B.A.D. Girl. We are strong, passionate and we give 100% or nothing at all. You can snatch up your favorite pieces for 30% OFF TODAY ONLY for Cyber Monday! Woo!

MTB CYBER MONDAY SALE

My entire website is on SALE and you can score 50% OFF your total purchase! Thank you so much for the continued support of my vision to empower women and redefine what it means to be B.A.D. <3

Happy Shopping!

xoxo

Nicole

SHOP CYBER MONDAY SALE

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MyTee B.A.D. Clothing Winter 14 Accessory Collection

November 25, 2014

MyTee B.A.D. Beanies 1

I am very excited to launch my new winter 14 collection of handmade turbands and beanies for my fashion brand MyTee B.A.D. Clothing  just in time for the holidays!
MyTee B.A.D. BeaniesMyTee B.A.D. Turbands

I wanted this collection to be a bit more girly but still have that tough edge so embellishing classic beanies with pretty rhinestones made perfect sense. I decided on leopard, plaid, stripe and solid black patterns for the turbands because I find that these prints can be used very frequently as a neutral to pair with your everyday outfits. All of the pieces in this collection can be dressed up or down and will make perfect holiday outfit accessories and gifts!

Peep the full collection here.

Which new piece is your favorite?

xoxo

Nicole

P.S. Don’t forget you can shop the collection and save 20% with my exclusive reader discount code SMB20.

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B.A.D. Girl Tip: Eat, Drink and Feel Happy

November 24, 2014

eat drink be happy quote

It’s that time of year where there will be plenty of opportunities to indulge.  My secret for enjoying the holiday season and all the guilty pleasures that come along with it is easy. I do whatever is going to make me feel good and I focus my energy on the positive versus the negative. I feel good about that piece of pie because it was exactly what I wanted. I don’t shame myself for having seconds on Thanksgiving but instead practice gratitude for being lucky enough to have a meal to enjoy. I also make it a point to not participate in those after holiday discussions where people share all that they ate and how bad they feel about it. I don’t need to feel guilt because I am doing nothing wrong. When you feel good about your decisions you are rewarded with an equally good outcome (i.e. no increase on that scale).

It has worked for me thus far so I challenge you to do the same this year!

What is your favorite holiday indulgence? 

xoxo

Nicole

P.S. This post is meant to promote positive thinking and I am in no way taking responsibility if you decide to eat the entire pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving! ;-)

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