thoughts on weightloss

It's easy to get consumed by the obsessive thoughts and opinions of our own bodies, and those of others. We compare our tummies, our arms, our tushes, our legs to those of super models and women we see at the gym. We think, "If only I could look like her."

But what would it really change in your life? Maybe you're going to walk the next Victoria's Secret runway show. Maybe you're going to land that career you've been working hard towards. Maybe you are going to run naked through the streets. Maybe you'll finally nab a date with that guy who would date you only if you were a little bit thinner. Maybe not. No, probably not.

Weight is just a number and losing it doesn't magically transform our lives into magic and miracles. So why do we think it will? If we weren't so transfixed on what we'll "supposedly" get out of strutting around in a hot body, then maybe we'd actually enjoy the process of getting there. Perhaps we'd quit the yo-yo diets, the counting of calories, the guilt when we eat cake, the obsessive stalking of Miranda Kerr, and the races between you and the woman next to you on the treadmill.

I used to be that person. I used to try this diet and that diet. I was obsessed with the calories I consumed. I felt like crying after a bite of delicious lava cake. I stalked the shit out of Miranda Kerr. I swore that woman was racing me to some unknown destination once we hit the "STOP" button. I lost the weight. And guess what? I wasn't a Victoria's Secret angel, I still had my part time job, I sure as hell didn't run naked anywhere, and I didn't nab a date with that shallow guy. Instead, I was still stuck with the mindset that I wasn't good enough.

When I came to the realization that weight loss didn't grant wishes, I backtracked. I gained a little weight back. I had the "to hell with it" mindset. I said farewell to the gym. I ate the damn cake...and the beer..and the burger. And I felt like doodoocaca. It was then that I realized that there has to be a middle ground.

Where is this middle ground? A place where you care about your body, but in a non-obsessive way. A place where you put your health first, rather than a number on the scale. A place where the gym is simply something you enjoy, not a place you torture yourself while burning off those evil calories. A place where food is fuel, and no longer the enemy. A place where you love yourself, and the comparisons stop. A place where you comprehend that the grass isn't always greener with a six-pack. 

I went to that place, and I haven't left since. I've never been happier in my body. I've never been healthier. I'm in the gym every day because I love it. I set challenges for myself. I am getting stronger. I find happiness with a good run. It's basically my morning coffee, without all the sugar! I eat clean foods because they keep me healthy and feeling good. It doesn't mean I don't pig out on a burger every once in awhile. I sure don't feel any guilt about it. You have to enjoy the things in life!

If you change your mindset you can change your body.
You can love your body.


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Strawberries
I've been eating so many of these yummy berries. Look how huge these are!
2. The Used
Boyfriend and I went to see them play, and it was so much fun. They never disappoint!
3. Liquid eyeliner
I feel naked without a cat eye, so when I find a good liquid line, it becomes my best friend. I swear by this Kat Von D liner.


arm workout

My favorite day at the gym is when it's "arms day." There is something about getting in the weight room and lifting. I started out at 8 lbs and now I'm lifting 25 lbs. It's crazy knowing what our bodies can do with practice and dedication. I feel stronger than ever! 

Here is my arm workout for those of you that have been asking. Remember, everyone is different! You can change the amount of reps and weights to suit you and where you are at in lifting. Try to lift weights that challenge you. Make sure you can complete the set, but make sure it's very difficult at the last rep.


free people wish list

Spring is just about here. If only Arizona weather could make up its mind so I can start wearing shorts again. It's too cold, it's too hot. Here is my wish list for when the weather is steadily warm...


sunday spark

"A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water log stick will do just fine. A dog doesn't care if your rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary"
-John Grogan


pumpkin protein muffins

I baked a batch of these delicious pumpkin protein muffins, and I just had to share it with you guys. They are seriously addicting. They're baked with clean ingredients, packed with protein, and so moist. I'm kind of in love. Here is the recipe...

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
3 egg whites
2 cups oat flour
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup truvia
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together. Pour into muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Tops should be golden brown. Makes 12 yummy muffins!  




friday funnies

I forgot about this lady. I'm in tears.


hiit workout

I talked about the benefits of HIIT here. So, let me give you my own HIIT workout on the treadmill. Get your running shoes on, grab a bottle of water, and turn on some good tunes. You're about to sweat and kill calories for thirty minutes!


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Surprises
Boyfriend really went all out for me on Valentine's Day. I woke up to a decorated kitchen, and left the gym to find a decorated car. I'm a lucky gal.
2. The Melting Pot
I had never been to this yummy restaurant, so I was very happy when Boyfriend's surprise date for us ended up being here.
3. Chocolate cups
Tone it Up is my favorite. They provided an easy recipe for a delicious and healthy treat. I filled my chocolate cups with fruit.


why hiit?

I incorporated HIIT into my workout not to long ago. What's HIIT? It's high-intensity interval training. Riiiiiiiight. Let me break it down for you. It's an exercise strategy made up of short intense exercise, followed by less intense recovery periods. Alternate this pattern, and you're doing HIIT. Doesn't sound so hard.

I like to do HIIT on the treadmill. Right now I'm doing:

5 minute warm-up of speed walking
1.5 minute sprint
2 minute speed walking to light jogging
Repeat x 6
5 minute cool down of walking

I'm working on increasing my high-intensity intervals and speeds. This is accustomed to each person's limits and levels. You just have to find what works for you. This can also be done on the elliptical, stair master, or bike. It's extremely versatile!

So, why HIIT?

Burn more fat. The high exertion your body goes through fires up its repair cycle. This keeps your body burning calories long after your workout is complete.

Increase stamina. When you push your limits, you'll be able to go longer and harder later on. Get in that anaerobic zone!

Lose weight, keep muscle. This is the most important to me, as I'm trying to build my muscle and cut. When HIIT is mixed with strength training, you maintain the muscles you've worked so hard for and shed body fat.

Revved metabolism. HIIT stimulates production of your HGH (human growth hormone), which gives your caloric burn a swift kick into high gear.

Shorter workouts. Sometimes we just don't have the time for long workouts. HIIT is short and sweet, but extremely challenging and gives you results.

No boredom. You're constantly changing speeds and intensity, which makes this workout anything but boring. Sometimes that long, steady pace can be so mind-numbing!

So, now that you know...why not HIIT?


breakfast quinoa

[image source]
I'm a huge fan of quinoa. It tastes delicious, and is very versatile. It's yummy served cold or hot, as dinner or breakfast. Breakfast has quickly become one of my favorite meals, and Oxygen Magazine provided a simple way to whip up some delicious quinoa. Mmm Mmm!

¾ cup cooked quinoa
½ pear, cubed
1 oz light coconut milk
Dash cinnamon
Dash sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet Splenda (optional)
1 oz walnut halves
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1.    Mix quinoa and pear in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine coconut milk, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and Splenda, if you desire.
2.    Drizzle coconut milk mixture over quinoa and warm in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
3.    Top with walnuts and yogurt. 


swimsuit wish list

The weather is heating up. Thank goodness. I'm a baby about the cold, especially when I live in Arizona, but I don't care. My toesies prefer being warm, and I prefer being in a bikini by the pool. So, speaking of bikinis...here is my wish list for the upcoming spring.


happy valentine's day

Happy Valentine's Day to the lovebirds, the singles, the "it's complicated." 

Whatever your status is, enjoy today. It's all about love, and there shouldn't be anything wrong with that. If you are on your own, then tell your family, friends, and pets that you love them. Eat a box of chocolates. Make a date with the gym. If you are taken, then enjoy this special day with your honey. Remind them of all the reasons you love them. Exchange silly valentines. Simply be together and in the moment.

I'm lucky to have a valentine this year. Not only is he my valentine, but he is the love of my life and my very best friend. I'm so happy that Cupid finally did something right and put us two together.


happy 2nd birthday

 Time has seriously flown by! I can't believe today marks the second birthday of Shine or Set.


Thank you, readers. You've been such a huge support and it means so much to me. This is the one place I love coming to and sharing my thoughts. Knowing I can do what I love each and every day, and have people to share it with is incredible. I never thought this would turn into so much.
Here is to another year!

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Overnight oats
I've been obsessing over this breakfast for the past week. It's the easiest thing to put together, and a grab-and-go breakfast for the mornings.
2. CLIF bars
I'm only mildly obsessed with these protein and energy bars. Crunchy peanut butter is my favorite!
3. Pups
I just can't get enough of our adorable pets. They are so sweet.


enchilada casserole

[Cooking Light]
Cooking Light is my go-to for healthy recipes. They always give me inspiration for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert. A girls gotta eat, right? This recipe looks delicious. I love casseroles and enchiladas, and this makes a yummy collaboration out of both of them. Mmm



  • Cooking spray
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onion, divided 
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño pepper
  • 9 (6-inch) corn tortillas 
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded sharp cheddar cheese 


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. 2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, corn, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) to chicken; toss to combine.
  3. 3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture; stir to combine.
  4. 4. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, remaining 3 garlic cloves, broth, salsa, 1/4 cup water, and jalapeño in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into a blender; add 2 tablespoons cilantro. Process until smooth.
  5. 5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove tortillas from pan; repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Cut tortillas into quarters.
  6. 6. Spread 1/2 cup salsa mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 12 tortilla quarters over salsa mixture. Spoon half of chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Pour remaining salsa mixture over tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with remaining cilantro.


nasty gal wish list

I had to post another wish list for Nasty Gal. What can I say? I'm obsessed. Can't stop, won't stop posting their amazing items. I just want it all. I am finally adding a little color to my wish lists!


anthropologie wish list

There is one place I wish I could live and that's inside Anthropologie. However, living in a store is not possible. Sigh. Instead, I drool over their catalog and website because I want all of their decor for my own home. With high prices, and a boyfriend who doesn't appreciate knick-knacks, I can only make a wish list...


friday funnies

One of the best Super Bowl commercials.


be alone

I think there is a scary connation that comes with being alone. With thoughts of being alone come thoughts of emptiness and unhappiness. It's terrifying to some. Hell, it used to be terrifying to me. I'd constantly call up friends just to come over and watch reruns or join me out at the bars. Sure, there came some good memories out of those nights, but they all became so redundant and blurred together.

Loneliness is the worst after a breakup, failing at something, or losing friends. It's this lingering feeling that just pulls and pulls at you until you can't take it anymore. You need a distraction. You need a getaway, and another person serves as the perfect vessel. You get to vent about your issues, and hear about theirs. You get to down a few glasses of wine and not feel like you have a drinking problem because you are in company. You get to feel worth again because someone is spending time with you.

Last year, I came to the realization that being alone isn't the same as loneliness. It's an art. It's a blessing. It's necessary. I don't know when I realized it. It could have been losing interest in the night life, old friends, and old habits. It could have been a breakup that left me reeling for whatever reason. Hello, the relationship was three months old. It was laughable.

Whatever it was, I found comfort in solace. I was free to do what I wanted to do. I was free to be healthy and free from hangovers. I was free to walk around my apartment naked and sipping on coffee. I was free to cook what I wanted. I was free to practice the hobbies I had forgotten in all the bustle. I was free to not care about gossip and drama. I was free to go to the movie that I wanted to see, and eat my own popcorn without another hand blocking the perfect, buttery pieces.

When you're alone, you build a relationship with yourself. It's one you can only form when you are on your own. In those moments you find yourself. You love yourself. You become yourself. When this relationship is at its strongest, you are able to build healthy, loving, and successful relationships with others. You don't lean on people you don't really need just because they fill a void for the moment. You find people who fit your life because you want them to.


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Hockey
Boyfriend and I went to the Coyote's game this past weekend and had so much fun. It's definitely something we have to do more often.
2. Breakfast
I used to never be a breakfast person, but now I'm obsessed. I never skip (as you shouldn't!) it and always find new things to cook up in the mornings.
3. Homemade pizza
Boyfriend and I had a blast making our own healthy, homemade pizza. The tossing of the dough was the best part, oh and eating it!
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