Weight Loss 

M/26/6’2″ [315lbs > 219lbs = 96lbs, 6″ lost] (10 months) Gave myself the challenge of losing 100 pounds before the end of 2018. While I may have been off the mark by a few, I feel better than I ever have before in my entire life. Never give up. Set your 2019 goals and demolish them.

M/26/6’2″ [315lbs > 219lbs = 96lbs, 6″ lost] (10 months) Gave myself the challenge of losing 100 pounds before the end of 2018. While I may have been off the mark by a few, I feel better than I ever have before in my entire life. Never give up. Set your 2019 goals and demolish them. View Reddit by whatsaphoto – View Source

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Fat Loss Weight Loss 

The Weight Loss Motivation Bible: How To Program Your Mind For Sustainable Fat Loss

Product Name: The Weight Loss Motivation Bible: How To Program Your Mind For Sustainable Fat Loss Click here to get The Weight Loss Motivation Bible: How To Program Your Mind For Sustainable Fat Loss at discounted price while it’s still available… All orders are protected by SSL encryption – the highest industry standard for online security from trusted vendors. The Weight Loss Motivation Bible: How To Program Your Mind For Sustainable Fat Loss is backed with a 60 Day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee. If within the first 60…

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Weight Loss 

I lost 45 pounds in 10 months. I worked out 5 to 6 days a week using Jillian Mic…

I lost 45 pounds in 10 months. I worked out 5 to 6 days a week using Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred and then Shaun T’s Insanity. I counted calories and ate clean and completely gave up fast food. I also try to drink at least half a gallon of water a day. I feel amazing now! Source by chaunblessa

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5 Healthy Travel Hacks to Help You Stay on Track

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Traveling isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. Long drives, cab rides, flights, hours in terminals, and the occasional jaunt through a train station can result in major stress — on the body and mind. For me, travel is a fact of my everyday life. The benefit of that, beyond frequent flyer miles and knowing how to pack very quickly, is knowing the simple tricks to staying healthy while on the go.

So how do you make sure your traveling doesn’t interfere with your healthy habits? Here are my five best tips that you can start today to get back on track!

1. Bring Healthy Snacks With You
The stress of traveling can make you hungry, so it’s a good idea to keep something on hand that will satisfy you. Let’s be honest here, there aren’t many healthy options on an airplane, so packing healthy snacks is your best bet. According to Toronto-based culinary nutritionist Keisha Luke, “Try to bring along some mixed nuts, low-sugar or naturally sweetened with raw honey, maple syrup, agave, or even dried fruit granola, protein balls (natural peanut butter, oatmeal, honey, and nuts), fruits, and opt for water when offered a beverage.”

2. Wear Your Exercise Shoes
Heck, wear your sweats, too! Why? Because exercise clothes and shoes are never out of style, plus dressing for fitness means that you’ll be more likely to walk to your destinations. You’re also more likely to go check out the city, the gym, or the mall a few blocks away without calling a cab.

The more you walk during your time away from home, the better you will feel. Take the long way, take the stairs, whatever you’ve gotta do to keep moving, do it.

3. Order à la Carte
Most meals are already put together for you on many menus, and most of the time you’ll have no idea what the calorie content is. Luke told us to keep it simple: “Order things you know are healthy. For dinners, pick a lean cut of meat and choose sides that are as simple as possible such as steamed veggies, brown rice, quinoa, or a side salad.”

For lunches, choose turkey wraps, salads, or other lighter fare and opt for more simple dressings. Say no to fries as a side, and choose sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese, or even a small salad instead. Remember: there’s no law that says you have to finish everything they put in front of you. We won’t tell your mom, honest!

Breakfast can be tricky with all the sweet treats offered such as pancakes, french toast, and more, so choose wisely and go for good old eggs and oatmeal if you have to. Even a cup of yogurt can be a great option here.

For drinks, stick to water or unsweetened tea. If you drink alcohol, keep it to a minimum and choose wisely. No cola in your mixed drinks; go for unsweetened grapefruit juice or seltzer and lime as a mixer.

4. Bring Your Personal Trainer and Nutritionist With You
Literally! With today’s technology making it possible, you can still travel and complete your sessions with a personal trainer or fitness apps. Either plan ahead with your trainer for some Skype sessions to stay on track, or as certified personal trainer Heather Neff told us, “Use LiftSession.com; all you need is a laptop or tablet and some WiFi (which is usually available and free at hotels) to get in a great workout.”

Mobile personal trainer apps and sites allow you to connect with a live online personal trainer and never miss a workout while you are traveling. You can do it from the comfort of your own hotel room (or mom’s guest bedroom).

You can do the same thing with your nutrition. Either seek out food delivery services that will get your meals to you no matter where you are, or seek out a culinary nutritionist in the city you plan on visiting to give your diet a new kick.

5. Do Your Best and Don’t Dwell on a Mistake
You’re traveling, after all. This is supposed to be an exciting time where you get to try new things and let loose a little. My best advice would be to never eat two bad meals in a row, keep moving as much as you can, and enjoy your time away. In addition to that, try to de-stress and have a little fun. You deserve it.

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This Is Exactly What You Need to Eat For Breakfast to Lose Weight

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Did you know you can use the first meal of the day as a tool to lose weight? Want to know how? We’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists — Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition — to share the perfect equation for how to make a scrumptious and satisfying breakfast that will help you lose weight. Follow their advice below to start seeing results.

Calories

Aim for a range between 300 and 400 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick with the 300 to 350 range, and if you’re trying to maintain weight, especially if you’re working out, shoot closer to 350 to 400 calories.

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Carbs

About 45 to 55 percent of your breakfast calories should be devoted to carbs, which is about 40 to 55 grams of carbs. Skip sugary and overly processed foods or those made with enriched white flour, and choose whole grains, fruits, and veggies.

Protein

About 15 to 20 percent of your breakfast calorie amount should be protein, which works out to about 13 to 20 grams. Getting enough protein at breakfast is important for keeping you satisfied throughout the morning. And studies have shown that getting at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast may help you lose weight as well. Eggs, dairy products, soy milk, protein powder in smoothies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are great sources of protein.

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Fats

Shoot for about 10 to 15 grams, which is about 30 to 35 percent of your total breakfast calories. Instead of saturated fats like bacon and cheese, go for monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like olive oil, nuts and seeds and the butters made from them, and avocado.

Fiber

Aim for about 25 percent of your recommended daily total of 25 grams per day. That works out to about six grams, but it’s OK to go above that, as long as it doesn’t bother your digestive system. Berries, pears, apples, greens and other veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can help you reach that goal.

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Sugars

If you follow the equation for carbs above, then you won’t have to worry about going overboard on sugars, especially if you’re eating a combination of foods like fruits, whole grains, and dairy products. But for a ballpark number to keep in mind, stick to 36 grams or fewer. And when it comes to added sugar, try not to exceed six grams — that’s about 1.5 teaspoons’ worth of any sweetener (white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave).

Timing

Ideally you should eat breakfast within 30 to 60 minutes of waking up. If you’re not keen on eating anything big first thing, split this meal up into two parts, having something light close to waking up and the other half about an hour and a half later. This also works well if you’re a morning exerciser and prefer not to have a full stomach while you work out. If you’re exercising, you can aim to have the more carbohydrate-based portion of your breakfast (fruit, toast, etc.) prior to working out and the more protein-centric portion afterward.

A Few Examples of Perfect Breakfasts

Steel Cut Oats With Fruit and Nuts: Steel cut oats not only have more fiber than an equal amount of rolled oats, but they also have more protein since you’re eating more of the original grain. Cook one-half cup steel cut oats in a mixture of one-half cup water and one-half cup unsweetened soy milk. Top with one-half cup blueberries, one tablespoon chopped walnuts, and one teaspoon drizzle of maple syrup.
Calories: 328
Total fat: 9.7 grams
Saturated fat: 1 gram
Carbs: 51.1 grams
Fiber: 7.2 grams
Sugars: 16.6 grams
Protein: 11.8 grams


Mexi-Egg Wrap: Scramble one egg and one egg white with two tablespoons black beans, one-quarter cup chopped tomato, and two tablespoons onion, until eggs are set. Stir in one cup spinach. Fill a nine-inch whole-wheat tortilla with the egg mixture and top with one-quarter of an avocado, cubed, and one tablespoon salsa. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste.
Calories: 345
Total fat: 15.7 grams
Saturated fat: 3.5 grams
Carbs: 36.8 grams
Fiber 9.7 grams
Sugars: 3.2 grams
Protein: 17.4 grams


Smoothie and a Hard-Boiled Egg: Pair a carrot cake smoothie made with two medium carrots, half a frozen banana, two cups spinach, one cup unsweetened soy milk (you can use almond), half a scoop plant-based protein powder, one-eighth cup golden raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This is easy to split — have half of the smoothie before your workout, then have the rest plus the egg after the workout.
Calories: 368
Total fat: 12.6 grams
Saturated fat: 5.1 grams
Carbs: 49.5 grams
Fiber: 9.4 grams
Sugars: 25.5 grams
Protein: 25.4 grams

Breakfast Mistakes to Avoid

Skipping out: When you sleep, your body slows down while you’re not eating. So when you wake up, if you don’t break the fast (yup, that’s where the name comes from), your body will burn calories slowly. To jump-start your metabolism and get your body burning calories, you need to eat. Not fueling up also deprives your brain of glucose, which is why you feel foggy-headed and cranky. Think of breakfast as an opportunity to get your fill of valuable nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
Skimping: You know skipping breakfast entirely is a no-no, but not eating enough will also backfire. It’ll leave you feeling hungry soon after eating, which will cause you to need more food and can translate to more calories consumed over the course of the entire day. Stick to the formula above, and you’ll not only feel satisfied longer, but you’ll also have more energy for the workouts that can make you drop pounds even faster.
Imbalanced meal: Leaving out a key component of the breakfast formula such as avoiding all carbs or going too heavy, such as having an all-protein meal, means you’re not going to get enough satisfaction or nutrition from this first meal. Following the formula above will allow you to eat a balanced meal while also helping you see weight-loss results.

Looking to lose weight during other times of the day? Here’s what to eat for lunch, what to eat at snack time, and what to eat at dinner to lose weight.

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The 1 Change I Made to Cure 10 Years of Feeling Bloated

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Entering college was supposed to be all bliss and excitement, but I had such terrible digestive issues, I wouldn’t dare stray far from my dorm bathroom. It was so embarrassing, feeling so bloated and being so gassy, the only person I could confide in was, of course, my mother. In her thick Long Island, NY, accent she said, “Aww, yaw just nervous. You’ll feel bettah soon.”

But months later, nothing had changed. I felt happier at college than I’d ever felt in my entire life and I was far from nervous. I still felt like sh*t, though. As a vegetarian who lived on cheese, I was lactose intolerant in a major way, so giving up dairy helped. I even gave up gluten but pretty much felt the same — tired and bloated. Every time I ate, I had digestive pains. Plus, I thought being a gluten-free vegetarian would help me drop my college weight gain, but I was actually gaining more weight.

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Why? Gluten-free baked goods, breads, pastas, and vegan ice cream and cookies were part of my daily diet, so no wonder the scale numbers were going up. And even after giving up gluten for 10 years, my stomach was still a bloated mess. It wasn’t until I ditched the processed junk and started eating more salads, roasted veggies, soups, beans, whole grains, and fruits that I noticed the enormous difference I had been hoping for. I felt energized and lighter, and, most importantly, I had no more belly bloat. I mean NONE. I even started introducing a little gluten back into my diet and still felt amazing.

The cure? Fiber. I wasn’t eating close to enough on my junk-food gluten-free, vegetarian diet. I started focusing on getting at least 25 to 30 grams a day, which worked out to at least eight grams at each meal and three to four grams for each of my two snacks. To ensure I get my fill, I add ground flaxseed and berries to my smoothies and baked goods, chia seeds to my overnight oats, use avocado when I make pesto pasta, and add beans, quinoa, and sunflower seeds to my salads.

I was not only free from the chains of feeling bloated, but eating more fiber filled me up and I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I had been, which helped me eat fewer daily calories, and in, turn lose weight. Talk about a major win-win, people!

American diets tend to focus on getting more protein and eating fewer carbs, so if you find that you’re feeling bloated, gassy, and you can’t remember the last time you pooped, check your fiber intake! As a general rule of thumb, make sure to get fiber every time you eat, whether it’s through veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, or whole grains. If you need some meal and snack inspiration, check out these recipes:

High-Fiber Breakfast Ideas
Fiber-Filled Smoothies
Top 10 High-Fiber Foods
High-Fiber Snacks
High-Fiber Fruits

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The Surprising Way Arguing With Your Partner Affects Your Health

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Do you enter a fit of rage when arguing with your partner? Or do you completely shut down? Either way, you’re not doing any favors for your health. According to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University, how you react during a conflict with your partner might have serious consequences to your health.

For the study, published in Emotion, researchers looked at the relationships of 156 middle-aged and older heterosexual couples. Robert Levenson, the study author, tracked these couples since 1989. Every five years, the couples came into a lab and gave testimonials about what was happening in their lives, as well as the agreeable and tenuous points of their relationships. The interactions were coded and tracked for behavioral analysis and the spouses completed detailed surveys about their health.

Researchers looked for lips pressed together, knitted brows, tight jaws and raised or hushed voices as signs of anger. Signs of “stonewalling,” or shutting down emotionally during conflict, included a stiff face, rigid neck muscles and avoidance of eye contact.

At the end of the decade-long study, researchers found a distinctive link between these two conflict reactions and overall health: those who experienced outbursts of rage in reaction to their partner during the testimonials were more likely to have a cardiovascular problem at the end of the study. Those who stonewalled their partners had an increased risk of musculoskeletal ailments like back and muscle pain. Researchers found this effect even after controlling for age, education, exercise, smoking, alcohol use and caffeine consumption. The correlation was true for both partners, but was more pronounced for husbands.

The conflict that lasted just 15 minutes or less predicted the development of health problems for husbands 20 years in the future, said Claudia Haase, study author, in a statement. Researchers could, effectively, guess which ailment would strike which partner all based on how they reacted to the disagreement.

Need help keeping your anger (whatever way it manifests) at bay? Here, 16 ways to manage your frustration, whether you have a quick temper of a biting sense of humor.

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We Tried Cricket Chocolate Chip Cookies So You Don’t Have To

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CRICKET cookies. Yes, you read that right. Entomophagy is by no means a new practice to those of other countries, but the eating of insects is quickly gaining momentum in the Western world. They say it’s the future of low-fat, high-protein cooking. Plus, you eat the whole thing. Sustainable much?

Get this: Just 100 grams of cricket contains a whopping 12.9 grams of protein. Ounce for ounce, you get nearly twice the protein of beef. They’re also a complete protein, which means they contain all nine of the essential amino acids. It’s hard to argue with stats like that.

Still not convinced? We figured. We know these critter cookies aren’t for the faint of heart, so that’s why we gave them a try for you.

RELATED: DIY Breakfast Tarts

On one recent, fateful day in our food studios here in Birmingham, Alabama, we developed and taste-tested a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that included 2 cups of cricket flour. “Oh, whew, cricket flour. That’s not so bad,” you say? Well, we also tossed in an additional 1/2 cup of dry, roasted whole crickets with the chocolate chips just for the fun of it. So. Fun.

After shooting the video and baking the cookies, it was time to ensue the taste test. Our team of pro chefs and bakers gathered around the large tasting table and stared at the plate of bug cookies piled high in the center. The conversation went something like this:

“Yeah, these are Fear Factor cookies right here.”

“Come on guys, be brave and grab a good one. You want to see some real crickets in there.”


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RELATED: The Top 10 Newbie Cooking Mistakes

(Everyone grabs a cookie)

“I don’t think I got enough cricket.”

“No, no…the less body parts the better.”

“I want to really taste the cricket. I need more cricket.” (Grabs a different cookie)

 “That one’s a whole abdomen. Uh, yep. That’s a cricket family.”

(Counting to 3, they all take a bite simultaneously.)

“I think I can feel legs between my teeth.”

“It’s just like walnuts. Little crunch. Definitely crispy.”

“I can basically feel it, like, moving in my mouth. Hmm. It’s pretty nice.”

“Honestly, these are pretty good. They taste like normal chocolate chip cookies with a nutty undertone.”

“Just okay. They taste kind of grainy. Is that the crickets?”

“I think it’s good.”

“They taste very earthy and nutty, just like what you’d expect from a wheat flour chocolate chip cookie. I could have done without the addition of the dry, roasted crickets.”

(More thoughts later on…)

“If you just grabbed the cookie and didn’t know what it was, you honestly wouldn’t know.”

“Not the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had.”

“I took them home to my 12-year-old son, and he ate it because he’s adventurous and loves trying new things. He thought they were fun. My 8-year-old daughter also tried it. She didn’t spit it out.”

“I wasn’t worried about the bugs. I knew I was about to eat a cricket cookie, so the bugs didn’t freak me out.”

Overall? Our editors actually gave these cricket cookies a thumbs up. Check out the video from the official tasting.

This article originally appeared on MyRecipes.com.

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Spending Money on Experiences Makes You a Better Person 

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You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of practicing gratitude—how it can boost your mood, help you treat others better, improve physical health, and keep stress and fear at bay. Now, here’s a little trick for how to automatically infuse more gratitude into your life: Spend more money on experiences, and less on material objects.

“Think about how you feel when you come home from buying something new,” Thomas Gilovich, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Cornell University and co-author a new study on gratitude, said in a press release. “You might say, ‘this new couch is cool,’ but you're less likely to say ‘I’m so grateful for that set of shelves.’”

“But when you come home from a vacation, you are likely to say, ‘I feel so blessed I got to go,’” he continued. “People say positive things ab­­­­out the stuff they bought, but they don't usually express gratitude for it—or they don't express it as often as they do for their experiences.”

Gilovich’s new study shows that people not only express more gratitude about events and experiences than they do about objects; it also found that this kind of gratitude results in more generous behavior toward others.

To examine these patterns, Gilovich and his colleagues looked at 1,200 online customer reviews—half for purchases made for the sake of doing (like restaurant meals, show tickets, or vacations), and half for purchase made for the sake of having (like furniture, jewelry, and clothing). They weren’t surprised to find that reviewers were more likely to bring up gratitude in posts about the former than the latter.

“People tend to be more inspired to comment on their feelings of gratitude when they reflect on the trips they took, the venues they visited, or the meals they ate than when they reflect on the gadgets, furniture, or clothes they bought,” the authors wrote in the journal Emotion.

First author Jesse Walker, a psychology graduate student at Cornell, says that experiential purchases may elicit more gratitude because they don’t trigger as many social comparisons as material possessions do. In other words, experiences may foster an appreciation of one’s own circumstances, rather than feelings of falling short or trying to measure up to someone else’s.

The researchers also performed several experiments with either college students or adults recruited from an online database. In one experiment, 297 participants were asked to think about a recent purchase over $100, either experiential and material. When asked how grateful they were for that purchase on a scale of 1 to 9, the experiential group reported higher scores (an average of 7.36) than the material-possessions group (average 6.91).

In a similar experiment, participants also said that the experiential purchase made them happier than the material one, and represented money better spent—findings that echo previous research on this topic.

Finally, the researchers performed two exercises to determine how purchase-related gratitude might affect how people behave toward others. In both, participants were asked to think for a few minutes about a meaningful purchase, either experiential or material. A few minutes later, they were given a seemingly unrelated task of dividing $10 between themselves and an anonymous recipient.

Which group was more charitable? Those who had been tasked with remembering an experience or event gave away about $1 to $2 more, on average, than the material group.

Co-author Amit Kumar, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Chicago, says that this link between gratitude and altruistic behavior “suggests that the benefits of experiential consumption apply not only to the consumers of those purchases themselves, but to others in their orbit as well.”

These findings can certainly apply to individuals looking to be more grateful in their everyday lives, Gilovich says, but they may have implications for communities and governments, as well.

"If public policy encouraged people to consume experiences rather than spending money on things, it would increase their gratitude and happiness and make them more generous as well," he says. Funding organizations that provide these experiences—such as public parks, museums and performance spaces—could be a good start, he adds.

If you’re looking to express more gratitude as you spend time with family, shop for gifts, and juggle your packed schedule this upcoming holiday season, you can keep the researchers’ advice in mind.

“All one needs to do is spend a little less on material goods and a little more on experiences,” the wrote in their paper. “In addition to enhancing gratitude, experiential consumption may also increase the likelihood that people will cooperate and show kindness to each other.”

 

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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Health and fitness with Alexa Towersey

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We chat to September cover model, Alexa Towersey about all things fitness, health, career and self-love. Check out the exclusive cover story interview below!

 

ON CAREER

I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years. I’ve played pretty much every sport known to man including American football, boxing, soccer, skiing and horse-riding. I completed a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology and went on to do a post-graduate diploma in sports management and kinesiology, and then I interned with an All Blacks-endorsed Pilates studio.

ON EXPERIENCES

When I was 27 I moved to Hong Kong, where I was the senior strength and conditioning coach at a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym. I decided to get into half-Ironman events and I took two years to qualify for the world champs. Living in Asia gave me the opportunity to travel and learn; I spent five years commuting between HK and the United States, learning from the legendary Gym Jones (the outfit responsible for training the cast and crew for the movies 300, The Immortals, Repo Men and Superman) and internationally recognised strength coach Charles Poliquin.

ON PASSION

When I was younger, I was bullied for being too skinny.  My nickname at school was Alexa Anorexia. I started going to the gym when I was 15 on a mission to create muscles and it was the first place I ever truly felt in control of my body and my mind. I want to be able to educate, empower and instil that passion in everyone I work with.

ON HEALTH

Both my parents passed away from lifestyle-related diseases – my mum from lung cancer and my dad from alcoholism.  This led to me giving up alcohol six years ago and is the reason I remain such a passionate advocate of living a healthy lifestyle.

ON DREAMS

For years, I was limited by own lack of self-belief. It wasn’t until I moved to Australia two years ago and immersed myself in a community of likeminded people that I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I truly believe that if you’re driven by passion and positivity rather than profit, then success is organic.  

ON BODY IMAGE

I think it’s a really exciting time to be in the industry as the landscape is definitely changing for the better. Women seem to be less focused on wanting to lose weight and be a size zero and more excited about getting stronger, feeling better in their own skin and wanting to develop shape.  

ON CREATING CURVES 

I love celebrating the strength of the female form. For me, as both a trainer and a female, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a woman become empowered in the gym and watching how this translates into the rest of her life. 

ON SELF-LOVE 

I have a very holistic approach with both myself and my clients. I’m a big advocate for learning to listen to your body and trusting your gut instincts. Your body is a very clever instrument and it will tell you in no uncertain terms what it likes and dislikes.

ON WHAT’S NEXT

I’m rolling out my Creating Curves workshops internationally, including Kuwait, the US and New Zealand. I’ve almost finished my second e-book program with Renae Ayris (former Miss Universe Australia). I’ve also recently started public speaking on behalf of the charity Livin, which is an organisation aimed at educating people about mental health issues and suicide prevention. I love being able to be involved in such an incredible and relevant cause. Twenty-sixteen is shaping up to be a huge year, so watch this space!

 

Alexatowersey.com // @actionalexa

Photography: Emily Abay // @emilyabay_photographer

Hair & Make-up Artist: Mae Taylor // @maetaylor_makeupartist

Dressed in: PE Nation // @p.e.nation courtesy of StyleRunner // @stylerunner

 

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