Friday, February 28, 2014

{Part 2} 8 Ways To Give A Compliment Graciously

Hey lovey,

My last post I focused on how to Accept A Compliment Gracefully and to follow up with that I wanted to write a post about how to Give A Compliment Graciously. Although I think for most people, knowing how to act or what to say when receiving a compliment is more difficult than giving a compliment, but there are still things to remember when trying to compliment someone so you don't end up with your foot in your mouth!

1. Be genuine 
You should absolutely believe that what you are complimenting on is true. People will know when you are lying so it's better to not compliment at all then to give a fake compliment. A naturally lovely expression will come over your face when you compliment someone and actually mean it, and they will in turn know you mean it and will be flattered and use (hopefully) one or two of the last tips I posted about! :)

2. Be Specific
Being specific about something you look works much better than being vague. Instead of saying "Oh wow! I love your outfit!" say something like "Oh Wow! I love your outfit! That shirt is such an amazing cut!"

3. Use a Compliment To Start a Conversation
If you're in one of those situations where you have to make small talk conversation with someone, consider using a compliment to start the talk! Something like "I love your outfit!" can evolve into "I love your outfit! Where did you get that shirt??" and there you go!

4. Make Sure It's Appropriate
Complimenting someone on something really personal isn't appropriate for someone you barely know. Personal compliments should be kept to close friends and family.. so keep that in mind before you compliment someone on their figure or a specific body part.

5. Vocabulary 
Try to use words that you wouldn't normally use like "Outstanding!" or "Out of this world!". They have a larger effect and "wow" people more than saying "nice" or "great" (aka. words you would use every day)

6. Compliment Actions
Compliments on actions over objects aren't heard often, so try to do this once in a while! Complimenting someone on their ability to motivate or inspire is something much more deep and meaningful than complimenting someone on their shoes. If you see the good in someone, let them know!

7. Constructive Critism
When people know you're willing to point out the negative (ie. An awful blouse, or calling someone out on being rude) people will respect your compliments more. NOW that doesn't mean going around and telling people what sucks about them... but if you give CONSTRUCTIVE feedback to people when necessary, a compliment will be taken very seriously as well!

8. Don't Be Afraid to Compliment People of Authority
People in power tend to receive fewer compliments than regular people (lol) and complimenting them might really be taken with graciousness and positivity! They will welcome the feedback and will really appreciate the time you took to give them that positive feedback.

Now, don't go around complimenting every person you see about every little thing you enjoy, but when you really feel passionate about something or really do enjoy something, take the time and let the person know! I have never heard of anyone being upset over receiving a compliment and I guarantee you that that person's day will brighten right up thanks to your kind words!

Monday, February 24, 2014

{Part 1} 8 Tips For Accepting A Compliment Gracefully

Hey loveys,

I wanted to write about somethings that have come up lately in my life and wanted to share. This post is about 1 of them, I will be writing about the other soon. I don't want this post to be taken out of context, but I do think it's something that we need to know and be aware of in this day and age.

It's no surprise that when you do something great, or look like a bombshell, people are going to compliment you. It happens to me, and it's been happening to me more since starting my new job and meeting new customers and regulars and all the people I now work with. I get complimented on a dress or my makeup and I blush and get all awkward and have no idea how to handle a compliment. I know, I know.. it's not exactly the worst problem to have, but a lot of the time many people don't know how to accept a compliment in a classy, non-cocky type way.

I did some research and I wanted to share my favourite tips on how to gracefully accept a compliment!

1. Don't be overly modest
This is something most people struggle with, however downplaying what the person is complimenting you on may seem like you don't respect that persons opinion. Plus, if you are being complimented on your work, it may seem like you didn't pull all of your effort into it which kind of makes people think you don't care.

2. Make eye contact
This is something that I struggle with most. I get nervous when I'm looking into people's eyes.. I always have. However, having wayward eyes makes it seem like you don't deserve the compliment, and some people might interpret wandering eyes for rolling your eyes which makes it seem like you don't care. Try your best to look people in the eyes when you're speaking to them, it will get easier over time!

3. Smile
Smiling is probably one of the easiest things to do. If someone is complimenting you, it's easy to smile because it makes you feel good. It shows people that you're acknowledging their kind words, plus if you don't know exactly what to say, holding a smile can give you a few extra seconds. Smiling is a silent way of saying "thank you"...

4. Say Thank You
When in doubt, just say thanks! If you say it while smiling, there really is no failing :). It is a basic reply, however if you're worried about saying something wrong, this is perfect for you.

5. Don't Over Do It
You don't need to be thanking someone over and over again or crying tears of joy when someone says something nice to you. Going overboard may seem fake and people will sense that, kind of like when you downplay a compliment. Just be yourself!

6. Don't Expect It
When you do good work, don't assume you're going to get complimented for it. Replying to a compliment with "Oh, I know" is really, really bad... so please, just don't do that. It makes you look conceded and no one likes that.

7. Give A Compliment in Return
When someone compliments you on your new hair cut, compliment them on their great outfit! It's a nice way to return the favour of a compliment. It shows that you don't let compliments go to your head and that you don't think your'e superior to anyone.

8. Give Compliments Often
Giving compliments often actually reflects the kind of person you are as opposed to who you are complimenting. It shows you're a great person and that you notice details. Also, when you compliment many different people, it gives you the chance to study how other people respond to compliments, find out what you like and don't like, and then you're able to grow yourself through that.

I think that giving and receiving compliments are both super important to us as humans, however I also think that most people get flustered and don't know how to respond when someone says something nice to them. These tips will hopefully help you when you're in a jam, or at least will encourage you to say more nice things to those around you! Spreading the love makes others feel great, and it will make you feel SO good too :).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Random Musings....

Hey loveys,

I come to you from my GLORIOUS couch (which I have not had enough 1-on-1 time with lately) with a protein shake in hand. I just got home from Optimal Body Fitness and today Deanna, I think, wanted to kill me. I did squats, and deadlifts, and push/presses, and hamstring curls, and lunges, and lat pulls and rows and pushing shit down the hall and back again and kettlebell swings. Basically that equals death... at least for my legs.

I haven't really just wrote on this blog for the sake of writing lately so today I'm posting whatever comes to mind. I did write another post like this over the weekend but I didn't post it. I don't know why, I didn't really like it... it was flakey... Oh well.

I was doing my workout tonight and I started to burp. I burp no matter what I eat... it's kind of embarrassing and it's kind of an issue when I'm doing important things that require eating (events and whatnot). Deanna has been noticing and thinks that it's a problem with my digestion... so after some thought she put me on some Digestive supplement that's supposed to help. It's the Poliquin brand called...... Digestive Force or something like that. I learned how to take them (did you know it's best to take supplements in the MIDDLE of meals?) and brought them home. I plan on testing them out tonight with dinner to see how I am. Apparently I will feel a warm sensation up my throat and in my chest (like I drank warm tea) when I'm taking enough, so I'm starting with 1 and until I feel it I'm upping 1 pill per meal!

The point of this supplement is to help stimulate the production of stomach acid in my body which helps digest the foods and provides me with the nutrition I'm trying to give myself! Apparently this will also help lower my cortisol levels (which will help lower my belly fat!). Here's hoping! I will let you know how it goes.... OH! By the way... today Deanna noticed I was a lot more lean than normal. HOLLA! That's a good thing lol. Last week I was on my feminine cycle (TMI?) so I was retaining water and I felt like the Green Giant. It's nice to be back to normal today!

Another issue I've been having is eating when I'm working. If you don't know I work at an Italian Steakhouse here in Downtown Toronto and it's super upscale. The hostess doesn't have time to eat and I absolutely won't be caught dead eating in front of customers. So instead of going the whole night with nothing but water, the first thing I did was bring a protein shake with me, and I purchased BCAA's (branch chained amino acids) and took a bottle of each with me to work. I drank these over the course of the night and it totally eliminated the hunger feeling because I was nourishing my muscles. Eventually I started bringing a meal to work with me. I make something that's super easy to just shovel in my mouth really quick... so I cut up baby spinach (about 2 cups), cut up some cherry tomatoes, cut up my animal protein and cut up half an avocado. I add sea salt and literally mix it all together. The avocado kind of works as the dressing and the salt really exaggerates the flavours of the food. This has been working SO well and it feels good to get in some actual solid foods rather than just supplements.

Deanna told me today that since I'm only able to get in one meal over the course of the night, that I should double the meal that I would normally have (so double the amounts of macronutrients I would normally have) just so I'm able to get in all my meals and it doesn't leave my body in a deficit. So on Saturday (my next night of work) I'm going to do that and see how I feel. Nom nom nom. So far I've been not drinking for 7 days and it's been great!! I've been in a couple of hard situations.... on Friday night the General Manager of the restaurant I work at had his last night of work so they popped a bottle of champaign worth $625... I got offered a glass but had to turn it down. On Valentine's Day I got offered a Valentine's Day themed Martini and had to turn it down... The way I see it, there will be SO MANY other opportunities to drink expensive champaign so I'm not too worried. I feel amaze-balls and I like being able to say no and take the healthy way out!

School has been super good so far.... I love it, have I mentioned that lately? I just got through mid-term week so that's a relief, and I have next week off for Intersession Week so I'm going to get tons of studying and essay's and assignments done that week... GLORIOUS! I don't have exact marks back yet for all of my classes, but I have A's in basically all of my classes. I learned the hard way that I shouldn't be cramming for tests the night before because it doesn't work (didn't get an A on 1 test.. wah) so I'm altering how I study... live and learn, right? I've now made some awesomely fun friends, so that's been really nice as well.

Needless to say life has been crazy in general, but I'm slowly adapting and getting a grasp on how to deal with it all. TGFMP (thank god for my planner)... I think I will continue learning how to cope and get better coping strategies with everything. Like the food issue.. and the studying issue... and the sleep issue... Lol!

What I would LOVE to know is how you deal with everything when times get insanely crazy? Do you have a planner? Do you use something on your phone? HELP! Any and all advice welcome! :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Skinny On Eating Fat

Hey loveys,

Since I started working out with Optimal Body Fitness, things have been a lot different in terms of the foods I eat and when I eat. I've gotten a few questions recently about how much fat I eat in a day and what types of fat I eat.... so I wanted to do a little bloggy today about the low-down on eating healthy fats.

On any given day I eat at least 85g of fat. I'm not talking about french fries and ice cream... I mean like amazing, delicious, appetite suppressing, healthy fats like almonds and avocados. There is a lot of stigma out there regarding fats and it's becoming increasingly known that eating healthy fat  makes you skinny (YES!) however it's super important to know the best kinds of fats to eat and how much to eat.

First off - you need to have fat at every single meal. I aim to have 15g of fat for most of my meals (I won't get into specifics) and that's about 1 half of an avocado. I love avocado... I eat it with chicken and spinach with a little sea salt and it's delicious! For 15g of fat I could also eat about 18 almonds. I like mixing almonds with ground chicken and steamed bok choy with sea salt. It's another big favourite of mine. We also have to remember that oil counts as a healthy fat (ie. olive or coconut or organic butter). When I make baked kale for dinner, I count the olive oil I use on it as part of my fat intake!

Needless to say it hasn't been a struggle to eat fats, especially because they are the main reason I don't get hungry at all during the day. When healthy fats enters the small intestine is slows digestion, increases fullness and reduces appetite. Ingesting healthy fats helps your body absorb vitamins A, D, and E which are vital for nervous system health. Eating monounsaturated fatty acids helps lower the bad cholesterol in your body, and protects against a build up of plaque in your arteries. OH - and they also help prevent belly fat. WHAT!? Yes.. you heard correctly. As long as you're consuming MUFA's, it will help prevent belly fat! What can you eat with MUFAs in them?

- olives and olive oil
- canola oil
- almonds, cashews, peanuts (or their butters)
- sesame seeds
- avocados

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids also aid in lowering the crappy cholesterol in our bodies, they include omega-3 fatty acids which boosts brain function (makes us smart!), helps strengthen our immune system and increases our mood (I need to remember this for when I'm grumpy). Omega-6 fatty acids (which we need less of than Omega-3 fatty acids) are great in providing the health of our eyes and skin! Where would you find PUFA's?

- salmon, mackerel, herring
- canola oil
- flax seed
- walnuts
- tofu (the unprocessed kind)

If you aren't already making a conscious effort to get some of these foods into your diet you could not only be limiting yourself in terms of the vitamins and minerals that come along with these foods, but they are SO GOOD and tasty! I know calories are a big thing for people and fatty foods such as these are high in calories.... but honestly, don't worry about it. The value and the benefits of these foods by far outweigh the fact that they are high in calories. Plus, if you include them with your meal, the chances of becoming hungry between meals lessens and it helps you eat less!

Do you include healthy fats into your diet? If so, how do you do it and what are your favourite "healthy-fatty foods"?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spinout Cycle Grand Opening & I Got A New Job!

Hey lovey,

*disclaimer. If this post doesn't make sense in some parts it could be for 1 of 2 reasons. I'm writing in bed right now... or because I'm hung over. Sorry.... not sorry.

This is probably the longest in the past 2ish years that I've gone without blogging. I'm fairly certain that it happens to everyone though, so I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Life gets in the way and a lot of things have happened since the last time I wrote!

First up, midterms were this week so any spare moment I had was spent studying. I think I did well on them!! The hardest test that I had was Friday morning and it was for Marketing... I think it was the way he worded questions that kept throwing me off. I had to read them a bunch of times before I could really comprehend what he was trying to ask. My Business Concepts course midterm was online so I was able to get my mark back for that right away, 82% baby! A! I'm anxious to get my tests back this coming week (hopefully).

Secondly, I GOT A JOB! Hahaha... the streak of purposely being unemployed has ended, sadly. It is the craziest story on how I got the job. I met this wonderful woman, Rebecca, 2 weeks ago (give or take a couple days) and it was on a Wednesday  night. She basically recruited me that day and then by the Sunday (which happened to be Super Bowl Sunday), I was meeting with the owner of this insanely fancy restaurant about being a Hostess.... that was at 3pm. By 5pm I was working!! Haha... crazy right? It's probably the most perfect timing ever. The restaurant I work at now is called Michael's on Simcoe and it's a very upscale, very trendy place to eat in the city. It's an Italian Steakhouse and they age and butcher all of their steaks in-house, so it's pretty cool!! It's a super hot spot during TIFF (last year they had Will Smith come in, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhal...) and they often have sports teams come in as well as local celebrities (the Dragons from Dragon's Den are big fans!). So yes! I've been working as well which made even less free time to do anything....

Personal Training is still kind of going well. This week was an epic Cluster@($& of things because of starting the new job and studying for exams. Deanna taught me some good ways to fit in my meals with work so tonight I'm going to make sure I bring in enough stuff to munch on while I'm at work. I actually need to go buy some BCAA's so I can drink those at work. Yesterday was a rough day at the gym. I didn't get a lot of sleep so I came home and napped which made me feel worse. I got to the gym and I just wanted it to be over... I was grumpy.. SO grumpy.. but Deanna handled it well and by the end of my workout I was in a better mood.

AND.. I guess this is the fun part. On Tuesday I went to a Grand Opening party of a new spin studio here in Toronto, in Liberty Village called Spinout Cycle! It was SO FUN. So I got invited to attend a class and other bloggers were there and press was there and PR people were there.. it was fun. I ran into a girl I knew so it was nice to be able to chat with her. She was hanging out with one of the athlete's that was in attendance, Martin Reader! He's an Olympic Volleyball Player and he's a super nice guy!

Alisha is a sprint coach and personal trainer, she's in SUCH good shape too.. if you want to follow her she's @trainitright on every social media platform lol. If you want to follow Martin he's @martinjreader! Anywho, once the class started we got our bikes and got taught how to use everything.

There was another athlete there who I was unfamiliar with, Elijah from The Ultimate Fighter...

The basis of the class is that your tracked on a big screen for everyone in the class to see. Your bike number is ranked based on how hard you're working so it's a big competition against everyone in the room. Martin and Elijah were ranked 1st and 2nd... I came in close in 10th position out of about 40 people so that was cool!

The bikes are super high tech and come with this screen that tells you how hard you're working and how many calories you've burned. If you tap one of the buttons at the end it shows you the average for all of your stats from your whole workout! I burned about 500 calories doing the 40 minute class - not bad!!!

This is the owner of Spinout Cycle! I'm not sure of her name but she was so proud and so excited, it was adorable!

I was Bike 1, and as you can see kind of, I ended up in 10th place!! :) It was a super fun experience and if you're ever in the area you should definitely check them out!! Here are some more photos from the event!

There's me! :)

Anywho I must go get ready for my day and then I'm off to work at 4!! If you're also in the area near Michael's, come in for a bevvy! :)