How To Get Over A Plateau

Earlier this year I was struggling with the progression of my weight loss. Despite upping my weights, doing more cardio and eating more carbs I was stuck in a plateau for months.

I tried it all, different types of exercises in all forms, intensities, and endurance. Although my body was looking more toned the fat layer just seemed to stay in place.

It was starting to destroy the self-confidence I had gained from the weight loss

So how did I solve this pesky issue?

I changed my diet.

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The Back Story

I wasn’t actively seeking to change my diet, it was a fluke.

In fact, I was reading a study about the effects of gluten causing adult acne. Which I had pretty bad.

I changed to a gluten free diet and there were numerous other side effects. These included clear skin, more energy, and less bloating.

Bloating that was causing me to plateau.

Watching The Pounds Melt Off

As I progressed with this new diet, the pounds were melting off like nothing before. I’ve noticed a big reduction in my trouble areas and my confidence has come completely back.

I’ve had never been happier with my weight loss progression.

I just wanted to share with those who have hit a plateau this can mean a plethora of things. However changing exercises, going up on weights, adding reps, and changing your diet are all great places to start.

Stay motivated, stay healthy.

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Maintaining A Healthy Blog Work Life Relationship

It is no secret that blogging chores just seem to never end. It’s an endless tunnel of planning, writing, editing, publishing commenting, promoting, liking, and sharing.

A blog itself can be considered a full-time job, however, for most, the option to blog full time doesn’t food put food on the table.

So how do you maintain a full-time blog and a 9-5?

Answer: planning ahead!

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The Reality

I write a minimum of 5 posts a week for my readers. That can be 20-30 posts in a month of 300 words or more!

Think of that, it’s a small novel I write every month.

I also work 40-50 hours but not at a 9-5. I work in hospitality so I literally work on a 24 schedule.

So when I’m not meal prepping, squeezing in a workout, and doing household chores. I am trying my best to squeeze in blogging chores.

The Not So Day Off

When I do get a day off its not really a day off. Unlike most people, I don’t get weekends so it is common to have one day off sporadically.

This means my day is, go, go, go, from start to end.

Depending on my work schedule I write anywhere from 1-10 posts in a day. This means written and edited. I do keep a notepad to collect ideas on, so it is a matter of implementing them.

This way I avoid writer’s block too.

I usually shoot 1-4 posts in terms of photography. This is usually DIY, Eye looks, Recipes and Workouts I have tried and wanted to share.

Then I heavily promote older content from the last two weeks.

I also take this opportunity to thank my followers on twitter, share old content on Facebook and Instagram. Finally, I pin my content on Pinterest.

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Work Days

Depending on the day of the week I either post something new in the morning or take the opportunity to bang off a new post if it isn’t a new content day.

I then promote my content by Bloglovin’ and liking and comment on other blogs.

Once I get home from work I promote on social media.

Having a Contingency Plan

Because I’m so busy it is best to have a contingency plan in case something falls through. For instance, if I cannot complete everything I back up days to complete it.

I post generally Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday are my slowest days so there’s no point in putting out content. So I use the weekends as my back up days to emergency new content.

For social media, I try to pin my content on Saturdays (high volume day for Pinterest) and post a new image to Instagram on Sunday nights (high volume time).

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Overall Thoughts

Blogging is an endless job, however, the drive I get from all the comments and likes keeps me going. If I had it my way I would just focus on my Lidsandstricks and nothing else as this is my true passion.

The best blogs succeed because of the passion that has been driven into them. However, it takes dedication, frequency, and consistency to propel them past others.

A lot of new bloggers aren’t prepared for the amount of work that goes into maintaining a blog and easily give up.

Stay motivated! Happy Blogging!

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Gluten Free Diaries: Ch-Ch-Changes!

I have been gluten free for just over 3 months now.

In this time I have noticed several changes with my body and overall mentality.

For those who suffer from acne, sleep issues, and even wacky hormones I suggest you read on.

I do not claim to be a doctor or dietician these are just changes I have noticed with my body and I wanted to share my journey with you!

Acne

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I have suffered my entire life with acne. Here I am, at 25 and still have cystic, digestive and hormonal acne. It has caused me to miss a plethora of events in my life because I was simply embarrassed by it.

I have missed work and even lost jobs because of it. In fact, the only thing that came of it was creating this blog.

But enough of that.

I was researching for a post and read a study about adult acne and gluten. I took the leap of faith and went gluten free. I saw my skin healing with in 4 days and I was shocked.

I still get some acne but it is 95% better than what I was experiencing.

You are what you eat!

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Chronic Sleep Issues

Before I changed my diet, I would say I had chronic sleep issues. I would drink 4 coffees in a day and still would have to nap 1-2 hours or I would literally go without sleep for 24 hours simply because I had insomnia like issues.

Part of this is because of my work. I work in hospitality and therefore work on a 24 hours clock at all hours of the day. So it was impossible to get my body into a set routine.

When I went to a gluten free my energy levels went up and I felt more like a human being. I could go a full day on only 1 coffee and I don’t need to nap ever. I have had only one insomnia episode in the past three months and that was the night before my driving test (don’t tell my instructor).

Bloating and Weight Loss

I have been on a weight loss journey over the last two years. Although, I was comfortable with my weight loss success I hit a plateau at the beginning of this year.

It seemed like no matter the intensity or variations of exercise I was doing I just couldn’t past this plateau. I was almost at a point of defeat.

Then I changed my diet and realized that gluten was bloating my body, preventing me from getting the results I wanted.

Since cutting out gluten my body has become leaner yet more defined. Without all that extra bloat on my body, I feel better overall not carrying that extra weight around.

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Periods?

I don’t know if this is just a coincidence or I’m experiencing a change in hormones but I have noticed over the past three months a litter period.

Remember I’m not a doctor.

I have noticed that my menstrual cycle has lightened and even shortened up. Overall, I have experienced less pain from menstrual cramps (thank god).

Generally, I am a very heavy bleeder (can soak through a super plus tampon in 3 hours) over 5 days. Now I don’t experience that heavy bleeding like before and my period has shortened by .5-1 day.

All in all, I have barely experience hormonal acne before my period, and there have been no instances of cystic acne.

What do you think of this post? Let me know in the comments below and don’t be afraid to give this post a like!

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Chapter 6: The Cordoned Surprise

I have worked in hospitality for way too long!  I thought I could have been put in every situation possible.

Then you get a situation that makes you laugh and shake your head at.

This is one of those situations.

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It is no secret that hotel rooms are the scene of numerous explicit activities. However, do to the hotels taking cuts where ever possible. This meant that there were fewer housekeepers and more work, resulting in a few corners being cut, and a couple dollars saved.

You can already see where this is going.

I got a call on a particularly busy day in the 4-star hotel that I worked at.

The front desk called me in there particularly normal yet disorganized fashion. I was assisting a family with a room move however they failed to tell me why.

I arrived on the families floor, knocked on the door, and announced myself as “Guest Services”.

The Father answered the door, in an almost breathless fashion. I could see the concern on his face.

I asked if they were ready to go to their new room. The Father cut me off and asked me if I wanted to come in to see “it”.

As a young female normally I would not go into a guests’ room alone. However, since it was a family of 4 I deemed it safe. Part of me wanted to see what “it” was.

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The walked in the two room suite. Through the first bedroom past the bathroom and into the second bedroom. I immediately noticed the family had turned the sofa bed around to cordon off the corner of the room.

The Mother told the Kids to go into the next room. The Father said he “didn’t know what to do and he didn’t want his kids to touch it”.

My heart is racing as I’m mentally preparing myself for some sort of animal or even dead animal.

The Father asks me to take pictures for the front desk. I just happened to have had my phone on me and comply with his request.

I have my camera phone out and slowly push the sofa bed away from the corner of the room. I’m clenched up in case something jumps out at me.

Then there “it” was.

A used condom cordoned off in the corner of the room. Mentally I breathe a sigh of relief. This is a normal occurrence, something that happens at least once a day. But I could tell the family was obviously disturbed by this.

I apologize and get them in their new room. I go back downstairs and follow up with the front desk and get the family a partial refund for when they checked out.

Like I said this was a common occurrence. Drunk people will whip the condom in the corner of the room. The next day they have no recollection since the housekeepers are on a strict (I mean very strict quota). They don’t think to check every nook and cranny when they’re just trying to cover the basics of the room.

In this case, the family just happened to find a used condom beside the sofa bed and under the curtain.

What hotel stories do you have? Let me know in the comments and don’t be afraid to give this post a like!

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Quick Underarm Workout

For the last couple months, I have been sharing my weight loss journey with all of you. Right now I am in the midst of getting  “bikini ready” to go to Cuba in late September.

Here is a quick workout (10-15 mins) to work out your bingo wings a.k.a underarms. Oh yeah, you better bet this burns.

Underarm Circuit

Forward Row with Dumbells

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This exercise is great for engaging muscles all over the body including the back and legs. With the forward row, you are fighting gravity. It is essential to keep a straight back when doing this exercise with your legs slightly apart and bent.

Using 5lbs dumbells do this in sets of 15-20.

Forward Fly With Dumbells

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Here’s an exercise that I have a love-hate relationship with. I hate doing this exercise but wow do you feel good after.

Like the Foward Row, it is crucial to keep a correct posture when executing this exercise. Keep your back straight with your legs apart and slightly bent. You will feel this exercise all through your arms and back.

Using 5lbs dumbells do in sets of 15-20. Try to match the above set.

Tricep Extensions

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I personally like to do this exercise by itself when I’m about to hit my cool down. However, as part of this superset, it’s the grand finale and a burner.

I can do triceps extensions either standing or sitting down. Sitting down will ensure more stability when doing this exercise. I prefer to these on each individual arm.

For best results keep as close to your head as possible.

Do with a 10lbs weight in a set of 15 with both hands or individually with 5lbs dumbells in a set of 30.

The Superset (Complete 3-4 for 10-15 minutes)

Here is the set in all of its glory.

Forward Rows X15-20 times.

Forward Fly X1520 times.

Tricep Extensions X20-30 times each arm or X15 with one dumbell.

REST

REPEAT 2-3 more times.

What do you think of this quick underarm work out? What are your favourite underarm workouts? Let me know in the comments below and don’t be afraid to give the post a like.

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Blogger Besties of July

It’s that time of the month again, where I give a little praise to the blogs and social media accounts that I’ve been enjoying in the months of July.

Let’s face it we all work hard on our blogs and it’s nice to have that dedication showcased from time to time.

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WordPress:

If you love DIY Home decor and arts and crafts in general than I highly suggest you check this hidden gem, Adrienne Brown and the Wonderful Creations Blog. You will find endless projects here!

Bloglovin’:

Lately, I have found myself really enjoying MindBodyGreen. This is a site based all health and wellness but the articles are well thought out and insightful.

Youtube:

Lately, I have been obsessed with meal prepping videos. I stumbled upon Fit Couple Cooks and have watched their entire playlist. If you love cooking or even meal prepping check these guys out!

Instagram:

Glitterville is the official Instagram account of Stephen Brown of Glitterville Studios. This account is great for if you are having a bad day and just need to an upper.

Pinterest:

I stumbled upon Creme De La Crumb when looking for adults beverages to add to one of my pins. This site is a great way to fall in the love with cooking and try new combinations of basic foods.

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In a monthly round up, here are the most popular posts as voted by you guys!

The Untold Truth About Paid Advertising And Blogging  You guys went crazy over this post! I shared my experience with paid advertising as an education tool and the response was incredible!

Blackened Gold Look Here’s a simple yet elegant smoky eye looks that’s great for any occasion.

My, My, 1000! As always I love to share my milestones with you guys! At the beginning of July, we hit 1000 subscribers on this site. Its crazy to think that we’re at the end of July I hit over 1500 subscribers!

DIY Teeth Whitening The cats out of the bag now! Here’s a quick way to whiten your teeth with items in your pantry!

Pro Makeup Tips: How To Change Your Eye Shape Here’s another post you guys went crazy over!

If you enjoy these posts then go ahead and give it a like!

Lidsandtricks is now on Facebook! Drop by and me a comment or thumb’s up!

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Peanut Butter Carob Balls

As I’ve been learning to be gluten free, I have been bringing you the recipes and different ingredients I have been experimenting with.

Today’s focus was on carob, a fruit which pods are roasted. Carob is used as an alternative to chocolate. I just happened to have a bag of carob powder and wanted to experiment with it.

Ingredients

1/2 cup of carob powder

1/2 cup of honey

1 cup of crunchy peanut butter

4 teaspoons of sugar (optional)

rice flour for dusting

Instructions

Measure out the carob powder and add to a medium mixing bowl. Measure out the peanut butter and add to the carob powder. Stir the mixture until well combined.

Add the honey and mix until even.

I added sugar as I was giving this to someone who has never had carob before and wanted to mask the bitterness without compromising the flavour. This is optional and up to you.

If you have more honey I would recommend that. I just happened to have run out.

Roll into small bite size balls.

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Then dust the balls with rice flour.

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I personally like to keep these in the freezer to make them chewy. Again this is up to you.

Bon appetit.

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What do you think of this recipe? Let me know in the comments and don’t be afraid to give this post a like!

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