Healthy Wife…Happy Life: A Healthy Kind of Sexy

What do you think about when you think SEXY woman? Do you see a younger version of yourself? A magazine model you wish you looked like? Or do you think “we’ll I’m pretty sexy”? I hope its the latter but for most women we constantly analyze our bodies and pick apart every single bit until there is nothing left but negativity. Then try to feel up for bedroom time with the hubby, not!

So no matter where you’re starting in your health seeking journey, the end result can be a healthier and SEXIER you! Why not? Why not feel so good about yourself that you look forward to being in the buff!! I don’t have to tell you that your husband or significant other will be thrilled that you feel so good about yourself that you want to share that excitement. It’s a win-win.

No more stress about having to have sexy time; nope, you’ll look forward to it just as much as your GUY! So this sounds great right? How can you make it happen?

Here is the first time that I’m going to suggest you actually start on a new healthy routine TODAY. I’m not just going to suggest that you think about being healthy, remove negative thoughts and outside factors that are getting in your way, or make room financially for the important stuff. Nope, today I say “start today”. There is no time like the present to start your healthy eating and exercise. So will you automatically feel better, healthier, and sexier on day one? Well this might sound silly but yes, within a few days to a week you will already feel so much better about yourself. Then it’s day by day as you improve your health and YOU WILL FEEL PRETTIER, HAPPIER, SEXIER…just taking the steps will change your whole mindset and its your mindset and thoughts about yourself that matter – not other peoples’ opinions.

Because I don’t want you to delay another day, read these tips to get started now:

  1. Eat 5 balanced meals each day consisting of 40% carbs, 35% protein and 25% fat. Women should aim for 1500-1600 calories and men 2000-2100 calories per day.
  2. Drink a lot of water – way more than 8 glasses a day!
  3. Clean out the junk food and don’t buy more. When it’s time for a cheat meal, go out to eat and don’t bring any home with you. When you keep the junk away there is nothing to tempt you!
  4. Since I mentioned cheat meals, make sure they are just “MEALS” not “DAYS”. You can have 1-2 cheat meals each week. Make them special nights out so you look forward to them.
  5. Eliminate or significantly reduce alcohol consumption. Perhaps have a drink with your cheat meal but then back on the sober bandwagon!
  6. Exercise 5-6 days each week; 2-3 of those days should incorporate 30-45 minutes of strength and resistance training and all of the days should have some cardiovascular training for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Step on the scale just once a week and always the same day and time. I recommend Friday morning before you do any cheat meals over the weekend!

Check in often for tips, recipes, and motivation to keep you on your journey. Start TODAY and the SEXIER YOU is not far away at all!

Healthy Wife…Happy Life: Financial Priorities

There are so many excuses to not be healthy but they are just that – excuses! We hear everything from it’s too expensive to be healthy, to it’s too time consuming to be healthy, to it’s just too hard to be healthy. But ask yourself this, are you happy being unhealthy?

While it may seem that there is a mountain blocked by a rapids river blocked by “the wall” from Game of Thrones in front of your healthiness, there really doesn’t have to be. First things first, start removing the excuses. Let’s focus on the financial excuse. It can be expensive to eat right and workout if you don’t know what you’re doing, but with some easy tips you can trim your waistline and leave your wallet girth intact!

  1. The best way to eat right is to prepare the food yourself, don’t go out to restaurants and struggle to get the order healthy and then pay through the nose for it to be cooked for you! And definitely don’t go to a fast food restaurant to “just get a chicken sandwich and throw the bun away”. Yes, we really do hear that a lot! Go to the grocery store and buy fresh (or frozen) vegetables, fruits, and meats. Prepare them with low-fat techniques including baking, grilling, steaming, or chopping fresh with various herbs. One of my favorite things to have with my lean meats and grains is homemade salsa. Chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and a few dashes of salt and cumin can add a tremendous amount of flavor to any meal. Cooking at home is gratifying when you see your family eating right, enjoying the food you prepared, and sitting down to eat together (yep, why not put down the technology and eat as a family — you’ll benefit in so many unexpected ways when you start eating right).homemade-salsa
  2. You don’t need the best fitness gear, fanciest gym membership, or expensive trainer. If you can afford these things, great, because they certainly won’t hurt and can help hold you accountable. As mobile trainers we remove the excuses for our clients by bringing the workout to them and helping with the accountability issue. But if you’re motivated and have a good friend or loved one who wants to do this with you then you can be each other’s accountability. And you don’t need a gym – get outside and exercise! Get some free-weights and exercise! Get some fitness DVD’s and exercise. You’re getting the point. Just start moving and find a buddy who wants to do it too. It doesn’t cost a penny to take a jog with your friend. Wait to see how good you feel after that first workout session!

Check out Justin Check’s article on Healthy Food Can be Cheaper than Fast Food for further details on saving money while being a better you!

When you start breaking down your excuses and tackling the real reason behind why you make the excuses, you’ll be one step closer the the HAPPIER, HEALTHIER version of YOU that you really deserve to be!

Stay tuned, next we’re working on bedroom YOU and how to finally feel good about yourself when the lights are on and the clothes are off. You DESERVE it so check back in for my next post soon!

Healthy Wife…Happy Life: Time Management

Hello ladies and thanks for checking in to see my latest post. We are all so busy – morning, noon and night! There is never a time of day when I think I wish I had something to do. As a part-time personal trainer and indoor cycle instructor and full-time mommy to Liv and wife to Justin there are countless things that I need to (have to) do everyday. So how to find time for healthy eating and exercise?? Time management  of course, and it is a skill I learned in college that should never be underestimated as it truly is the difference between happy Steph and stressed Steph.

Here’s how I start just about every day…thinking about my list of must do’s, should do’s, and it would be nice to do’s! I usually get it written in my notebook by the time I’ve finished my coffee. If it’s not concrete somewhere then it’s hard for me to remember and get it all done. My husband likes to use his phone and that’s great too; me personally.. I need it where I can scratch it off!

Prioritize the important items you must get done and make sure YOUR WORKOUT and healthy food preparation is a priority. Also, work hard to set yourself up for success. While I’d rather relax and play with my family ALL weekend, I take time (time management) on Sunday to prepare food for the beginning of the week and then I do the same thing on Wednesday night to hold us over through the week. You could do it all on Sunday but we like the taste of fresh food so I do it twice a week.

FOOD PREP: On Sunday’s, I go to the stores (Publix and Sam’s Club) in the morning and spend about two hours making enough vegetables, meat, and grains to last through Wednesday. It’s simple cooking that doesn’t take a lot of effort or time but the key is to get it done ahead of time. I also prepare Liv’s food so I can feed her on demand without having to make it each meal. On Wednesday’s I make more meat, veg, and grains to finish out the week. On the weekend’s we enjoy tasty food and reset for the week. That’s all there is to it. Make your grocery list, do the shopping, prepare the food in bulk, and enjoy the healthy eating you deserve. Time Management: When it’s all done ahead of time you don’t have to feel stressed, disappointed, and guilty when you CAN’T eat healthy. You CAN and you deserve to have the great feeling that healthy eating provides!food prep

The other important items you must do need to make it on the list so you can feel good about life. A healthy wife is a happy life so set yourself up right and don’t be afraid to delegate chores to your hubby/kids. They don’t mean to NOT help, they just don’t think of the things that need to get done like you do. You will be so much happier when your house is clean, the dishes done, laundry folded and put away, and healthy food is cooked and ready to be eaten in your refrigerator. Then it seems nothing will be standing in your way of a trip to the gym to get your workout on — and again, another thing that will make you FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOU!

You’re probably noticing the trend, do the things that need to get done so you can be healthy and happiness will be a direct result to that healthiness. Make your lists, check them twice, delegate chores, and you’re on your way to a healthier and happier you!

Healthy Wife…Happy Life: Outside Factors

Are outside factors controlling your emotions and well-being? These can be a job you don’t care for, a boss you can’t stand, a friend who always complains, etc. Negative outside factors can weigh on us and make obtaining optimal health an even bigger challenge. So what should you do?

Give your complaining friends the chance to be more positive around you and stay above the negativity. Don’t throw pity parties for yourselves. Everyone is in control of their current situation whether they want to admit it or not. If you don’t like your job, quit. If your boyfriend/husband treats you poorly, leave. If your kids are horribly misbehaved, put your foot down and change it. Easier said than done? Of course it is…if it was easy everyone would do it.

Here’s how I overcame my biggest negative outside factor: an unsatisfying, stressful career.

I found myself in a pretty miserable spot when I was just a few months pregnant. I was thrilled to be pregnant and had wanted it for what seemed like forever. BUT, big but, I was not happy with my job. It’s funny that sometimes our first job in life is the one we should stick with. I became a personal trainer when I was only 18 years old and in college for my degree in finance. I loved fitness but after graduating college I had 4 different corporate jobs with none better than the rest. I would either love the job and hate the boss or hate the job and love the co-workers — never feeling completely fulfilled and always very stressed out. I took work home at nights and weekends and gave it my all for seven years, thinking that at some point it would get better. I would constantly tell my husband that this just couldn’t be my life and I didn’t know how much longer I could do it for. The stress weighed so heavily on me and when I found out I was pregnant I started seriously doubting how I could raise a child with so much negativity constantly swimming in my brain. So what did I do? I gave up a six figure job to join my husband (in the middle of my pregnancy) in our personal training business. Helping people reach health is so fulfilling, brings a smile to my face, is stress-free, and provides the flexibility necessary for me to be the best mom to my daughter. Money doesn’t buy happiness (so true) but love, a happy marriage, a healthy baby and a stress free mommy sure do!

jobIf you’re thinking I’m crazy to suggest you quit your job, I’m not. Figure out what makes you happy and go get it. Find the friends that add to your life and only hang out with them. If someone/something is weighing you down then get rid of it — it/they are only getting in the way of your BEST YOU. Clean up your outside factors. Then tackling proper eating, exercise, etc. won’t seem so challenging because you’ll be HAPPY.

This week’s homework is to identify the outside factors in your life. The positive ones and the negative ones. Can you change anything for the better immediately? Which ones can you fix in the near term and what need a long term strategy to improve (job, marriage, etc). Identify first then map out your plan for improvement or elimination. Happiness can be reached by everyone you just have to take the steps to achieve it!


Healthy Wife…Happy Life: For Women’s Eyes Only

Hi Ladies! Thanks for laying your eyes on my article series: Healthy Wife…Happy Life. I hope to inspire, educate, entertain, and most of all relate to each of you. I picture an ongoing series of healthful (and helpful) short articles to set you on your way to being the best you. And so you ask, who is this lady and why should I take advice from her? I’m Stephanie Check, a 28 (soon to be 29) year old mother of 5 month old Liv, wife of 28 (soon to be 29) year old Justin, personal trainer, business owner, and above all else a healthy and happy woman.

Justin, Stephanie & Liv Check
Justin, Stephanie & Liv Check

How did I reach health and happiness to such a level that I feel compelled to share it with the world? I’d say it’s simple, fast and easy but it’s not really. It’s taken me many years to achieve the level of health and happiness that I have now and I can tell you its mental, physical, spiritual, and difficult – you thought I was going to list some other “al” ending word but I threw in difficult. Why? Because I think we all deserve the right to remind ourselves that wherever we start, in our minds, it may be challenging, hard, impossible to not just dream of the BEST YOU but to actually realize that dream.

In a brief nutshell (which I plan to stretch into several articles with recipes, tips, workouts, advice, etc) a healthy you is a happy you. Why? When you’re healthy, you feel good (inside and out). You don’t dread looking in the mirror, trying on a bathing suit, having your husband undress you with the lights on…nope, you start looking forward to these things. Not to mention when you feel good about the outside a likely coinciding fact has taken place with making your insides healthier too. Yep, you can chase after the kiddos, join your incredibly fit girlfriend for a jog and ACTUALLY be able to keep up, and your sex life – no need to ask – it will be worth it!

So let’s end this first article with a question and because I like to answer questions, a few answers! Q: What do you think about when you are alone with your thoughts? Just thoughts about you, not the kids and husband… Do you think about losing weight, toning up, loving your co-workers but hating your job, what you should have eaten instead of what you ate for breakfast, lunch, etc? A: These are pretty normal thoughts for us gals and I’d challenge you to find anyone of us who hasn’t had everyone of those thoughts sometime in our lives. They are largely NEGS though – negative thoughts about yourself and when you have NEGS often they start to really impact your happiness.

Start paying attention to your thoughts regarding YOU. If you find the NEGS creeping into the majority of your thoughts, stay tuned and come back often. What would tickle me pink is for every woman in this world to find the strength, confidence and happiness that I have and I’d love the chance to share my “carrie-isms” with you — that’s a Sex and The City reference just in case any men ignored the title of this article and are reading along (I’d put a winky face here if that wasn’t bad blogging form)!

Until next time then…FOCUS and figure out what NEGS are ruling your mind so we can start eliminating those nasty pests one by one.

Can’t get enough? Here are my tips for having the healthy and happy life you deserve:

Healthy Wife…Happy Life: Outside Factors

Healthy Wife…Happy Life: Time Management

Healthy Wife…Happy Life: Financial Priorities

Healthy Wife…Happy Life: A Healthy Kind of Sexy