Posed vs Natural – how to take proper progress photos

 no lies lie anchorman liar GIF

You’ve seen the before and after photos plastered all over social media. Whether its a fitness guru’s Instagram promoting their training programs, or a weight-loss supplement ad that popped up 10 times while trying to read an article on buzz feed.

A lot of these do look legitimate, no? Of course they do! You’re seeing what you want to see. Progress or what our eye thinks progress should look like. Lets be real here for a second; how many of you have seen a bikini competitor, or fitness personality post a photo of their not posed photos. Lighting, angles, apparel, and background can all make the difference in seeing something that fools our eye to what is the REAL life image before us.

I wanted to make a bold move and take an photo that would not be posed, edited, filtered, angled, and prepared to make myself and my body look the best it can be.
I wanted to actually take a photo of my worst angle, worst lighting, without a hint of filtered hue. Why you ask? Because I know there are some of you out there who admire a body that essentially doesn’t look the way it does 24/7 on social media. Here’s a little proof of what real vs posed looks like;

Flexed abdominal, shoulders back, chest out, hips slightly forward to fully show the “V” line, warmer but dim lighting to cute more defined lines in muscle, spray tanned, and filtered.
Not such a natural stance.
image3.jpg

Vs the real me, sitting up in bed, no special lighting, no editing, no filters, no flexing.
The real me 99% of the time:
image1

we-all-have-fat. AND THAT IS OKAY.

So before you go ridiculing yourself, asking why you don’t have round the clock hard abs, give yourself a reality check. Its okay to have rolls, to sit up and have a belly, to have your thighs touch or not touch. To feel jiggling in places.

If you’re looking to take progress photos here is the best way to get a real idea of how you look or normal daily basis. This way you can track your progression in a realistic manner!

IMG_4733.jpg

– Pose relaxed and straight
– Wear the same items of clothing in every picture (sports bra, shorts, underwear etc)
– Take your photos in the same place, in natural straight on lighting
– Take your progress pictures every week – two weeks on the same day, roughly the same time
– Don’t let others “progress” photos deter your progress of yourself. Your chapter 1 may not compare to someones chapter 20, and there are a lot of deception when it comes to “progress pictures”. Focus on yourself, your goals and YOUR progression.

Do not let your physique define you, you are so much more than that bullshit. You’ll do a lot more by constantly giving yourself positive reinforcement rather than negative.

Happy Thursday fit babes,

xo
Karly

8

13 Reasons ; opening up about my depression and how to ask for help.

Mental health; something that has long been a taboo of society.

Image result for hannah baker
I myself don’t watch a lot of television or get hooked on popular shows.
13 Reasons stuck out to me, and it wasn’t the drama of the show that had me hooked. It was the overall roller coaster of depression, anxiety and every day bulling that I related so strongly to.

13 Reasons inspired me to really open up about my depression and tell a bit more detail to those who have struggled, or currently struggling with their mental health. To make those aware that you can get help, and there is light on the other side of darkness.

lets face it. Those who have not dealt with serious depression or anxiety (let alone both at the same time) 9 times out of 10 will not understand or be able to wrap their head around what exactly this would entail for a person. For a person to describe depression is one thing. But a lot of those don’t understand the immense depth of darkness it really produces for one person. Its not just “sadness” its losing complete faith in life itself, its losing the belief that you belong and you are not a burden.

As you all know me, perhaps personally, or through my blog, I am pretty transparent when it comes to what I have dealt with over the course of my short 26 years; and this I am fully okay with. I wouldn’t be typing this out if I wasn’t, right?

Moving forward, I have dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life. For the majority of it I was able to use non-medicating tactics to control and calm my mental state. I was never one to hop towards medication to fix or subside my problems. Like many people out there the word medication and or addiction to medication can be a very scary and very real possibility.

Now I’ve always been the optimistic, bubbly and happy personality, so I guess you can some what consider me a closet person when it comes to depression and anxiety. Yes this is a bit ironic since I just said I am transparent when it comes to this as well. Let me break it down for you; I’m extremely talented at hiding these things from people (if I do say so myself). So when I do tell someone that I deal with a serious case of both I usually get the stunned look followed by “you!?”. I know that I am 100% not alone on this front. This is what most of us would call “coping mechanisms” which truly it is. This doesn’t take away from the fact that I deal with this on a daily basis, or that I deny having them.

How far can this type of coping mechanism take me? Well, to be quite blunt, it’s practically what has gotten me through most of my years. I recognize my mental state and I counteract it with putting a smile on my face, and trying my hardest to see the good in everything. Optimism can only carry you so far.

2016; I hit my limit. Along with some very toxic circumstances, friendships, relationships, and a lot of what life was throwing my way on top of that, I felt I couldn’t cope with the pressure of everything. I felt overwhelmed, nauseated, extreme sadness, and considering the unthinkable at the hands of myself.

There wasn’t a day I wasn’t curled up by myself crying. Begging myself to just let go to take the pain away, to release everyone around me of my burden that I thought was forcing upon them. I hated asking for help. I hated myself. I hated the fact that I had no control over what had happened to me. I questioned myself relentlessly, I didn’t trust my thoughts, opinions, and judgment of anyone or anything. I was scared to allow myself to feel anything other than immense sadness. I was scared to be alone with myself. Its all I had known for so long. I felt I didn’t deserve happiness, or to heal. I should have been hospitalized, I knew I needed help; I finally asked for it.

My doctor suggested an anti-depressant. I was extremely nervous to start this medication, any medication for that matter. In that past year I had become a hypochondriac in the sense of having a chronic fear of having an allergic reaction to ANYTHING. Especially medication. I also have a petrifying fear of having a major anxiety attack, and or heart attack due to the same hypochondria thoughts I was believed into thinking consistently. A type of OCD that I’m still working restlessly with to conquer, and I’m okay with that!

The point of all of this is to show everyone out there struggling that you’re not alone. You don’t need to fight a silent battle with yourself, or your mental health. Even when things seem like they will never get better or turn around, they indeed will, and the first person to make that choice to heal is you. You can have all the support in the world but it still needs to be a conscious decision you make on your own. To move forward with an obligation to yourself to push forth.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Talk to your friends, your family, your doctor.
Do your research, take the time to really evaluate your depression and the best ways to conquer it.

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” ~Winston Churchill

Suicide Support and Help

Happy Friday to all my fit babes

xo
Karly
8

Women lifting women up

 mean girls rachel mcadams amanda seyfried mean girls movie regina george GIF

Lets face the bold truth. Insecurity, self-doubt, and low self esteem can really equal out to very vindictive, angry, and hurtful actions.

Time and time again I’ve seen countless examples of women tearing other women down, intentionally trying to intercept their stride and purposely assassinate their self esteem. This is not only a problem women face everyday but also men. This can create a domino effect of envy, jealousy, and cruel intention to bring another person down.

This is an incredibly large issue that we have all faced forever. In one way or another there will always be people that will cross your path and create an unnecessary shit storm of mental and emotional drainage.

 mean girls mean girls movie burn book she is a fugly slut do not trust her GIF

I’m just going to call it for what it is; bullying.

Now, not only is trying to figure out who the hell you are as a person tough enough. But learning to love yourself for being you can be a very daunting task. I could go on about loving yourself, and looking in the mirror and blowing kisses to your ego, but lets be real here. That shit only pulls so far.

Rise above this bullshit and really see things for what they are.

 bitch mean girls mean girls movie bitches adult humor GIF

When I see or hear another person being a complete rude ass hole about someone else it just screams insecurity to me. There is no point in putting your energy into trying to tear apart someone else. Use that energy else where, like on not being a shitty person. COOL RIGHT?

 love 90s clueless 90s kid judging GIF

Ladies,  judging someone else is none of your business. If a girl wants to sleep with 100 dudes, none of your business. If a girl wants to wear a sweater or a crop top, none of your business. What ever happened to girl power? Build-each-other-up.

One thing that shocked me joining in with the fitness culture craze is how accepting and supportive the women were. For years I couldn’t look at myself without pointing out flaws, and hating myself for everything that I was and everything that I wasn’t. Before getting to know these amazing women I judged them, hard.

 mean girls mean girls movie girl on girl ms norbury theres been some girl on girl crime here GIF

“They’re so full of themselves” is probably one of the more frequent sentences thrown around. Turns out, no, they’re not. It took them a long time as well to find their inner peace with themselves, just like me.

And that is why they were so welcoming, warm, and supportive. They had been where I was for the longest time. They understood the years of torment I had been putting myself through. Battling self esteem and insecurity for years turned me bitter towards a lot of women. I soon came to the realization that because someone else is beautiful doesn’t mean you are not. Everyone is so unique and radiant in their own way – both physically and mentally.

 mean girls mean girls movie kevin g kevin gnapoor dont let the haters stop you from doing your thang GIF

This is why women empowering women is so incredibly important to me. I still to this day receive hateful and terrible comments – whether that be online or in person. But the part I now understand is that those people are at a place in their lives where they haven’t yet discovered that you don’t need to dim someone else’s light to shine brighter. You both can shine, equally.

 movie pretty mean girls pretty girl rachel mccadams GIF

Take the time to tell a woman in your life that she is bright, brilliant and resilient.
You may just inspire that light to carry though to other women in her life.

Happy Friday fit babes

xo
Karly
8

Protein chocolate chip cookies recipe

 hungry eat cookie cookie monster GIF
Its Monday, and some of us need a pick me up, so why not treat yo’ self to some macro friendly cookies? Awe HELL yeah.

Follow these ingredients and the macros work out to:

120 Calories per cookie
5g Protein
8g Carbs
8g of Fats

pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1 scoop vanilla protein (I use either Mutant or Cellucor)
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup maple syrup (you can use walden farms to cut these cals out)

Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Cream together wet ingredients then combine.
This will make 10-12 medium sized cookies.

 cookie monster GIF
spread out on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes. Of course let them cool down before you devour the bastards.

Feel free to sub the chocolate chips for nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter chips, mini eggs, or whatever your hungry heart desires.

Happy Monday fitfam.

xo
Karly
15369012_913719838759411_5900642890711483066_o