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*The site you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Setbacks: Find Out Why You Need Them To Succeed

Hi there!
Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.


 The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!


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I used to let failures and setbacks ruin me. It took me a long time to realize that failures are an IMPORTANT part of the journey. 


They are signs that something needs tweaked and changed. It doesn’t necessarily mean that what you’ve been doing is wrong, sometimes it just means that you need to do something different now. If it does turn out that you've been doing something wrong, the setback is a blessing in disguise. It gives you an opportunity to nip the problem in the bud before you waste anymore time and effort going in the wrong direction.


We learn from obstacles and when we overcome them, they make us stronger… and smarter. We become more durable, more seasoned, and more equipped to deal with the next challenge.



If you really think about it, it is absolutely impossible to travel through any kind of physical and mental journey without hitting hiccups. Hell, you can’t even go through a drive-thru without hitting a hiccup. So, what makes you think you can make a complete life transformation without roadblocks? (BTW, you better be just getting salads and grilled chicken sandwiches in that drive-thru ;) 



It is completely unrealistic to think it will be smooth sailing the entire time. Where would the mental and personal growth come in if it did? If that‘s how it went down, everybody would be lean, mean machines and sporting giant smiles all day, every day. You don’t learn anything from a cake walk. Not only is the physical end of your journey difficult, but the emotional part of it can be downright brutal. It’s no easy task to dig deep inside of yourself and start pulling out all the junk you’ve been stuffing down for years and years. This shit is no joke. You are pushing your body to physical limits it's probably never before been asked to go to. You’re working out, sweating, and getting your blood pumping everyday. You’re making time to eat right with all the food shopping and prep that goes along with that part. On top of all these changes and all this strenuous work, you’re asking your mind to puke up everything it has tried to hide from you for a very long time.



If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that a weight loss journey has very little to do with losing weight. It might start out that way but if you’re on the journey for any length of time at all, it starts to be abundantly clear that the size of your ass is the least of your troubles. It’s what has been lurking on the inside that has made you feel bad about yourself, made you feel so ugly. The weight is just a cover for what’s really going on.

When you take all of this into account, I mean really think about it, you have to admit that you’re putting yourself through a whole heck of a lot. I mean who the hell would put themselves through this? Not a lot of people. That’s why almost everybody who starts a journey, doesn’t ever finish it. And that’s why you’re a bad ass, because you’re still here, still pushing yourself.

It’s unfair to blame yourself when setbacks happen. They’re suppose to happen. Even if your setback is happening because you are doing something wrong, so what? 

You’re not expected to know everything. 

You’re not supposed to know all the ins and outs of this process. If you did, you’d already be done with your journey (not that we truly ever are). If you find you’re doing something wrong, fix it and move on. Pick yourself up, know in your heart you are doing your best, and keep pluggin’ away. You will prevail in the end.

It is so frustrating to try so hard day after day and yet still run into problems. At times it makes you want to quit. Other times it makes you angry. I found myself over the course of my weight loss journey, especially in the beginning, feeling that way quite a bit. Then once the intensity of my emotions lessened a bit, the sadness would show up. And I'm not gonna lie, sometimes it stuck around for a while. I took all of those bumps in the road and I internalized them. I blamed myself and would start up a punishing internal dialog with myself. It took me 14 months into my journey to realize that there was a lesson in the sadness. Why was I so sad? Because I wanted to succeed. I wanted it so damn bad. After 14 months, I still had the fire in my belly. I still had the motivation and drive. I never put it together that the setbacks enraged me because I felt like they meant I wasn’t trying hard enough. I was taking them as a personal failure.



Then one morning I woke up and it hit me. This shit is not easy. I mean, we all know losing weight and getting fit isn't easy but I never really thought about it that much. On this particular morning that I had my revelation, I really, REALLY thought about it. The light bulb just went off and all of a sudden there was peace. Of course this isn't easy, it's hard as hell. And over a year into my journey, I was still plugging away and putting in the work. Why in the world have I been scolding myself? I should be praising myself. I asked myself one question. 

What if it were not me who had been going through this journey, but someone I love? 

What if it was them, for over a year now, who was the one working out every single day, spending countless hours preparing healthy foods, and willfully not giving into temptation at all the picnics, parties, and holiday gatherings. I would be praising them constantly. I would be in awe of that dedication and determination. I wouldn’t be telling them they weren’t working hard enough or degrading them when they hit an obstacle. I would be proud.



Not only had I not taken time to be proud of myself, instead I treated myself horribly. I would hit a snag and start telling myself I hadn't made enough progress because I wasn't working hard enough or because I must be doing something wrong. No, I hit a snag because this is life. Life is full of snags. I was putting the work in, my eating was on point, and I pushed myself further every day. Sometimes snags happen. In rare cases, sometimes there's absolutely no reason for them at all, or at least you'll never figure the reason out. But most of the time there is a reason... And it's a valuable lesson. 



If you learn to look at the snags as clues, it makes you smarter. Instead of getting frustrated and mad, take the time to try to listen to your body. Your body is an amazing machine. It knows far more about itself than you’ll ever know. But it will try to give you clues. I swear to God if I would have listened hard enough at times, I probably would've heard my body actually saying the words, 'Hey dumbass, look at the serving size, you can't eat your weight in almonds just because they're healthy.' Or 'Hey, Swifty, you haven't had a good night sleep in over a month, take a few days off and let me catch up on some repairing. You want me to drop some weight? How about giving me a damn break?'

Ya, sometimes the body really does know more than you. A lot of my setbacks, and what I thought at the time were failures, were later explained. And guess what? Most of them weren’t my fault. It simply was a place in time where I needed to make some changes or tweak what I was doing. If you have been finding success and all of a sudden it just stops, there’s a very good reason for it. You need to work on figuring it out and no matter what, don't give up! It's going to be okay. Setbacks are an opportunity to learn.



I was on my weight loss journey for two years. I didn't have this epiphany until half way in. Let me tell you, the second half of my journey was SO much easier because of it. I also had a lot more success in my second half because I didn't sulk over hurdles anymore. I figured it out and moved on. No feeling sorry for myself, no walking around in a bad mood being angry, and no wasting time. Most importantly I wasn't bashing and belittling myself anymore. I reminded myself often that I was one tough bitch and that if I made it this far, no one was going to take the finish line away from me, especially me.



All of these trials and tribulations, when it’s all said and done, are gonna make you one gorgeous, resilient, unstoppable, tough, BAMF. So when you get knocked down, you gotta stand up, brush yourself off, and keep moving forward. 



Go forth and make yourself epic.

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If you liked this article, I think you might like these :)




























SETBACKS: How To Deal With Them



Need some healthy sweet treats in your life? 

Try these!
















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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jillian Neal, Best Selling Author, Talks About Her Gifted Realm Series

Hi there!
Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.
 The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!

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I am so excited to bring you this blog post today! Okay, where do I start?! Well, as you know, there's a lot that falls under the umbrella of health and fitness. Health and fitness isn't just simply eating right and exercising. Being a healthy person entails a lot more. Luckily, some of these healthy activities do not require hard work, constant self-propelled motivation, and hours of food prep in the kitchen. Some are easy and completely awesome... but just as important! One of these super, fantastic things that you SHOULD be doing is reading!

Now we all know how wonderful reading is, right?! I mean it's relaxing, it's an escape, and you get to go on adventures! But did you know reading is actually really good for you? Well it is. Like REALLY good for you. Reading reduces your chance of developing Alzheimer's disease, enhances your memory, and studies have shown that reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress levels up to 68%. So, you need to get reading! Aaaaaand boy do I have some great books for you to read!

Today I am going to introduce you to Jillian Neal, a super, talented romance novelist who just released the fourth book in her Gifted Realm series.



I was so excited when she agreed to take time out of her busy schedule and let me interview her! Her Gifted Realm series will pull you into an exciting world filled with suspense, drama, and romance. You'll have it all... and holy moly the romance! Let me tell you folks, the books just keep getting hotter and hotter. Seriously! But it's just not all sexy scenes and romance, Jillian's writing is such a breath of fresh air. It's different, it's clever, and it's captivating. Her characters are all so dynamic and multi-dimensional that you truly feel as if you know them. The plotlines throughout the series are gripping and it makes these books very difficult to put down. I know, I know, stop talking Gabby, let's meet this woman! Okay, without further ado, here is my interview with author Jillian Neal.
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1. What does ‘a day in the life’ look like for you? 

Well, my weeks probably look like complete chaos. ;) I usually write, edit, blog, and promote around 65 hours a week, if a book is due out soon it’s closer to 80. I try to squeeze in 2-3 good workouts a week, spend as much time as I can with my husband and our boys, and occasionally I attempt to clean my house and do laundry. All of this takes place thanks to the copious amounts of coffee I consume on a daily basis. This career is not for the faint-hearted, but nothing fulfills me like writing does. I love it all!

2. What draws you into the romance genre?  

I absolutely love everything about love in all its many forms. I’m absolutely fascinated with people falling in love, staying in love, attracting love, and giving it away. To me it is the strongest most invincible force on this earth. There is power in love. When I began writing “The Realm,” I never even considered it for any other genre. I want to tell love stories. It is what I was put here to do.


3. For the newcomers to this amazing series, how would you describe The Realm to give them an idea what they are in store for? 

The Gifted Realm is a fast paced, passionate tale about several couples navigating their way through the take down of a far-reaching, cruel criminal organization. While all of that is going on, our characters are also navigating their way through life. The center balancing force would be the Haydenshire family with all of their many sons, several of whom help tell the story. My characters are either in very devoted and sizzling hot relationships or are falling into a relationship that will set their sheets ablaze.  Ultimately, it is the love in these relationships that defines, shapes, and rectifies “The Realm.”

4. How did the concept of The Realm come to you? Which character(s) were created first? 

My characters sort of all approached me at once and then proceeded to take my brain hostage and they still refuse to release me. (I am totally okay with this at this point.) Actually, Dan Vindico and Fionna Styler were my first creations. As I recall, one day in absolute desperation, I scribbled down Dan’s defining characteristics and his mounting losses on a kitchen napkin. That wasn’t enough. He wanted to be written. Adeline Parker was the first character I named. I debated Rainer Lawson’s name for several weeks. I was driving downtown Atlanta and saw the exit for Emory Hospital. I gasped. Rainer Emory Lawson-- That was it!

5. What overall theme, if any, can be found throughout each book in the series? 

There are actually several themes woven throughout my books. I would love for my work to empower women sexually and in seeking romantic love. I would like to lift sex out of the more derogatory terms associated with it. I hope to show that not everything is always what it seems when presented by the media at large. I try to tell the story of the fallible hero. None of us are perfect, and none of us are impregnable. None of my characters will walk away from the end of this series without being changed and marred by their experiences. But most of all I want to take you on a journey, introduce you to my Realm, and give you an escape. When my readers tell me that they read my book while sitting in a hospital or while awaiting test results, my heart swells. That they would choose to escape into my books is an honor like no other.

6. What can readers look forward to after The Gifted Realm Series is complete?

 After “The Gifted Realm,” I have already completed another “Gifted” series focused on different characters than the ones presented in “The Realm.” I am currently writing a third “Gifted” series that actually changes location entirely. And I have scribbled a few notes on a kind of Gypsy love story that I plan to begin as soon as I’ve completed “The Gifted Islands.” 
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I'm telling you ladies (and gentlemen), these books are just what you need to find some relaxation time. And if you don't want to take my word for it, here are just a few rave reviews you can check out!
5 Star Review for Jillian Neal (I had to add this review because although it indeed is a rave review, it's also hilarious).
So how do you get these books, you ask? You can get them on Amazon right here! And for a limited time, you can get the very first book, "Within the Realm" for only 99 cents on your kindle. Whaaaat?! Yes, you read that right. The second and third books, "Lesson Learned" and "Every Action" are also available at a steal for only $2.99 each on your kindle! Seriously, what are you waiting for? Oh and remember, reading is good for your health!

I'd like to send out a giant thank you to Jillian! Thank you for sharing your time and giving us some insider scoop on your fabulous "Realm". I for one, cannot wait until the next book is out!

If any of you would like to keep up with Jillian, you can follow her blog. Jillian's blog is one of my favs. She not only keeps you updated with "The Gifted Realm", but she also posts health and beauty tips, healthy recipes, and basically any of the things us girls like to read about. Check it out! You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.


   


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FOLLOW HALF OF GABBY ON FACEBOOK FOR DAILY MOTIVATION!

You will receive daily goodies including: HEALTH & FITNESS TIPS, WORKOUTS, HEALTHY RECIPES, MOTIVATING ENCOURAGEMENT, as well as FAMILY FITNESS, MOMMY IDEAS, CRAFT IDEAS, and even FUNNY STORIES & ARTICLES for some comedic relief. You get a little bit of everything in just one click :)

To follow, simply 'Like' Half of Gabby's Facebook Page.

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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.