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The Well Code

Starting the BBG Workout by Kayla Itsines

An Honest Take on The First Few Weeks of The Program
Filed Under > Everyday

Starting the BBG workout

Have you heard of BBG?  It’s short for Bikini Body Guide, and it’s a high intensity interval training workout program that’s sweeping the planet one body transformation at a time.  It was created by aussie Kayla Itsines, and it’s a super effective 12-week program that’s built of short, concise exercise circuits.  I’m talking 28 minute workouts that focus on arms, abs, legs, and overall body.  And the workouts can be done just about anywhere.  

I have actually tried BBG a couple of times in the past.  But both times I fell out of the routine, lost motivation doing it by myself, and ultimately returned to group classes.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an avid ClassPasser.  The app allows me to try a good variety of fitness classes to keep my workout routine interesting and it caters to me if I’m in a strength training mood or a zenned out yoga mood.  

Since I had had a taste of BBG before, I was thrilled when MKR recently proposed the idea of starting BBG as a team.  I thought to myself, this was finally the time I’d stick it out and see the results I know that so, so many have seen!

I mean, it’s hard to not be impressed with the before-and-afters on Instagram.  Everyone on the team agreed that starting BBG workouts would be an exciting thing to do together, and well worth our time to get into gear and feel stronger.

After getting everyone on board, 11 team members to be exact, we decided on a few ways we’d keep everyone accountable and excited.  We settled on a group text chain, and a Google Doc form that took inventory of everyone’s exercise habits, fitness goals, body type, ages, etc.  We then created a weekly form via Google Docs that would collect everyone’s responses to the previous week’s workout. The form included questions about soreness, motivation levels, thoughts on the specific exercises and overall accountability for following the week’s recommended circuits.  This seemed to be a promising way of keeping everyone on the same page with progress.  

Our baseline survey taught us that our ages range from 20-37, with the majority of us 27-29 years old. Most of us regularly exercise 3-5 times per week, and are in moderately good shape. We have lots of yogis, runners and barre-lovers in the group, too.  Lastly, we all submitted fitness goals of becoming more confident, stronger, and more toned.  It was refreshing to see so many responses about strength rather than weight and lbs! 

So how has it been going?!  Everyone was really gung-ho about the program in the first two weeks.  We encouraged each other on our group text thread, sent photos and videos for a quick laugh and support, and really just felt like we were going somewhere with the workout plan. It was unanimous that burpees were the worst exercise imaginable, though jump lunges and commandos were up there too. We were all sore, but we also reveled in the feeling of comradery as we suffered together. 

But ever since the first few weeks, we’ve definitely had fallout.  Responses in our weekly progress Google Doc have lessened, and the group text is almost all crickets these days.  I personally suffered a minor injury and fell out of routine as I rested before a 10-day hiking trip.  And I know I can speak for the group in saying that it was difficult to adhere to the exact schedule that’s laid out in the guide.  The guide leads you to do at least three HIIT sessions throughout the week, with recommendations for cardio exercise on other days.  Since we had a group doing it together, we all felt a little guilty whenever we’d miss the workout that day.

So why the fallout?  People didn’t have enough time.  Some of us had minor injuries.  Some of us attended other workout classes and wanted them to “count” for the BBG workout that day.  Some of us just really preferred other ways of working out!  Whatever the reasons were, it felt like life in general just got in the way of the very specific schedule.  And after missing one or two of the workouts, it was ridiculously easy to throw the towel in and quit altogether.

From seeing the team’s responses, and in talking to everyone, I think the hardest struggle here is in consistency and the battle we all have in our minds with ourselves.  There were times when we made ourselves feel down, discouraged and guilty for not sticking to the schedule.  But after reading posts by BBG loyalists and many success stories, I think the main thing we need to keep in mind is that the program is flexible. We just need to do the three HIIT workouts sometime throughout the week.  And sometimes it may be harder than others, but we just need to get it done.

A few of us are still hanging in there.  We’re feeling stronger overall, but a lot of us haven’t seen any dramatic results just yet.  As we approach Week 6, we’ll admit that may have missed some workouts but we still DO want to stay strong and complete the guide.  We’re trying to fight the temptation to quit because we want to tackle this challenge.  We’d love to know: any BBGers out there?  What struggles have you faced while doing the program?  Do you have any tips or suggestions for our team?  Thank you!  Cheers, Kat

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Photography, Haley Sheffield for Waiting on Martha

My Top Summer Essential Oils

Simple, Effective Essential Oils to Put on Your Radar This Summer
Filed Under > Everyday

Summer Essential Oils on Waiting on Martha

Essential oils have really become a cornerstone for not only my physical health, but my mental and emotional too.  They were a core reason I founded our sister brand, The Well Code, and they’ve continued to address just about everything throughout my everyday routine.  Natural beauty and personal care, as well as nontoxic cleaning and emotional support are just a few applications for essential oils.  And as the seasons and my time diving deeper into essential oils continues to grow, so does the actual oils that I put to use.  

As you may remember, I previously shared my top 10 beginner essential oils here in this post.  But if you’re like me, deep down the rabbit hole, you’ll appreciate today’s list of summer essential oils that are worth putting on your radar.  

At the top of that list?  Citronella.  The word citronella shouldn’t be new to most of you, as its basically the poster child for summer.  Citronella is the oil distilled from the citronella plant, and it’s main use is for keeping bugs at bay this time of year.  It’s so potent I’ve made numerous DIY bug sprays—my favorite blend is 15 drops Lemongrass, 15 drops Eucalyptus and 2o drops Citronella mixed with a little witch hazel and water.  This spray allows me to actually enjoy my time being outside during these summer night, plus using just essential oils puts my mind at ease knowing I’m not putting anything toxic on my body.  

I’ve also included a few others you may not be familiar with, like Carrot Seed and Valor.  Carrot seed is a great natural detoxifier and even helps with appearance of aging!  Since it has a calming scent, it’s really nice in the diffuser, and paired with Orange and Lavender.  And I’m currently adding a few drops to a carrier oil, like jojoba oil, for a daily moisturizer all over.  And Valor; my love.  It’s one of Young Living’s most popular blends, and it’s incredibly lifting aromatically. 

I’m breaking down the rest of my favorite summer essential oils below, and I’d love to hear if you’ve used any of them or have always wanted to try them.  Also you can read more and get answers to frequently asked questions about why I chose Young Living  here.  It’s truly been one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself and my family!  Truly, MKR

P.S. Are you interested in essential oils?  But never have known where to begin, or have felt overwhelmed?  Or have you recently gotten into them, but don’t know what to do now?  We’re hosting a fun and casual night of cocktails, conversation and shopping at Waiting on Martha Home on Tuesday, July 25th from 6-7:30 and even doing a little Make & Take for all guests!  For more information and to RSVP, click HERE.  Space is limited, so hurry and snag your spot. 

P.P.S. If you want to take the oily plunge with us over here at Waiting On Martha just sign up for the premium starter kit through this link and we’ll send you a Citronella Oil & Spray Bottle for FREE so you’ll have everything you need to live your best, non-toxic summer life.  The premium starter kit has everything you need to begin and stay invested with essential oils; 11 oils and a free diffuser!  Once you sign up, just comment below and we’ll get your welcome package all shipped out! xo
  

Citronella

Young Living via The Well Code, $19.50

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Citronella is a relative of Lemongrass, and has a slight citrus scent. As I mentioned above, it’s a great natural solution for bug repellant.  But beyond that, it can also be added to your beauty routine as a nourishing moisturizer agent, and it can help freshen indoor spaces too. 

If you’re interested in saving 24% and becoming a “wholesale” member, read more about joining our team at The Well Code here

Orange

Young Living via The Well Code, $10.75

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Orange has a bright, sweet, citrusy aroma that is really an MVP here.  It not only helps clear the mind, it also can help eliminate odor and it’s really just a mood-lifting scent everyone loves. 

It also may help reduce the appearances of blemishes, when paired with a light moisturizer. #Score

I absolutely love diffusing this oil.  And it’s so affordable, so it’s one of my constants in my monthly Essential Rewards order!

If you’re interested in saving 24% and becoming a “wholesale” member, read more about joining our team at The Well Code here

Abundance

Young Living via The Well Code, $37

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Abundance brings Orange and Ginger together for, what I think is, an irresistible blend.  The two were actually used by ancient cultures to attract prosperity and magnify joy and peace, and I can totally get on board with that. 

I like to diffuse this in the office to combat any afternoon slump. 

If you’re interested in saving 24% and becoming a “wholesale” member, read more about joining our team at The Well Code here

Harmony

Young Living via The Well Code, $69.75

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This special blend contains 17 therapeutic grade oils, and it promotes harmony in all areas of our life.  It’s thought to help us reestablish the connections by balancing the energy centers, or chakras.  

I’ve found that it helps ease stress; I just love the scent.  I like to keep this one in my bag to directly inhale throughout the day, and sometimes I diffuse it in my office if it’s one of Those Days. 

If you’re interested in saving 24% and becoming a “wholesale” member, read more about joining our team at The Well Code here

Ylang Ylang

Young Living via The Well Code, $40.75

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Ylang Ylang has a rich, romantic scent and is known as “Poor Man’s Jasmine.”  It’s a popular element in a lot of luxurious perfumes and skin care products, and it smells amazing. 

It has moisturizing properties that can work well into your skin care regimen; simply add a few drops to coconut oil for a deep conditioning hair treatment or a few drops with a carrier oil like jojoba oil for all-body nourishment. 

I love to diffuse Ylang Ylang for a calming, mood balancing effect, but I also like to add a few drops to the bath for a spa-like experience. 

If you’re interested in saving 24% and becoming a “wholesale” member, read more about joining our team at The Well Code here

Valor

Young Living via The Well Code, $39.75

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This special blend has a calming, woodsy scent from Black Spruce, Blue Tansy and Frankincense.  It’s thought to help bring about a positive attitude in the morning and to help tap into gratitude and contentment at the end of the day. 

It’s one of Young Living’s best sellers for a reason; it’s an incredibly versatile oil that I find myself reaching for many times throughout the day. My favorite way to use it is to simply directly inhale it from the bottle or rub a drop or two on my wrists. 

If you’re interested in saving 24% and becoming a “wholesale” member, read more about joining our team at The Well Code here

Carrot Seed

Young Living via The Well Code, $21.75

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This oil has a midly sweet, soft aroma with a hint of something earthy and herbaceous. It’s traditionally been used to help digestion, and it’s thought to be a huge support for a healthy liver.  But I just recently learned how wonderful it is for skin and complexion!  Carrot seed oil can help bring a bright glow to otherwise dull skin, and it’s gentle enough for all skin types. 

I’m currently pairing a few drops with jojoba oil for a daily moisturizer to combat signs of aging. 

If you’re interested in saving 24% and becoming a “wholesale” member, read more about joining our team at The Well Code here

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

The Importance of Morning Rituals

Making Time to Start Your Day With Intention
Filed Under > Everyday

The importance of morning rituals, Waiting on Martha

Lately I’ve really held strong to my morning ritual.  I’ve found that the quiet time in the morning, the time I hold for myself and no one else, is an invaluable piece of my daily puzzle.  But really that should come as no surprise, seeing as the importance of morning rituals is talked about often as we’re becoming more familiar with mind-body wellness and the secrets to living more balanced lives.

Studies show that there are several scientifically proven benefits to meditation and mindfulness.  Think reduced anxiety, increased body satisfaction, improved cognitive function and emotional intelligence, an increase in our brain’s ability to deal with distractions and so much more.  Meditation and mindfulness both teach us to step back from our reactions, and observe what’s going on inside our minds with intention.  Just taking that simple moment to recognize the stream of consciousness in our busy minds, before immediately reacting, can help us combat stress and teach us to be more resilient in all walks of life. 

It’s especially becoming more and more common to read about the success of CEOs and powerful professionals with meditation and morning rituals at their core. Bestselling author of the book The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday, put it perfectly in this article on Inc.:  “What is universal, I think, is the need to reduce friction and extraneous interference as much as possible. You want to get into a rhythm so you are focusing as much of your energy as humanely possibly on your work–not only deciding what to wear or what to eat. The less you are fighting the world, the more you can fight against the difficulty of making amazing work (whatever that happens to be for you).”

I’m finding that having my morning routine, things that have begun to fall into a seamless ritual lately, not only helps to ground me each new day, it helps me observe my thoughts, feelings and goals in a mindful, proactive way so that I can carry out my day with drive, inspiration and passion.  It’s dangerously easy to become uninspired in this industry at times, especially when you’re juggling five million balls in the air, and it’s common to be bogged down with mental clutter.  These simple steps that I’ve outlined below help keep me going and I think if you just adopt one or two you’ll quickly find your mornings to be the best part of your day.

No. One… I don’t look at my phone.  There’s literally no way to have peace of mind when you’re immediately reactive, right out of the gate every morning. Text messages, emails and social media notifications ultimately symbolize peoples’ want and need of your time.  By checking the phone first thing, you’re giving your time and mental energy to someone else.  Reserve this small slice of the morning for yourself by not answering to others for at least the first thirty minutes of the day.  

No. Two…I’ve created rituals out of the simple, mundane tasks of the morning.  For example, when I brew my pot of coffee, I really take the time now to enjoy the sensory experience; breathing in the grounds brewing.  I take a few extra moments to relish my senses, avoiding the urge to multi-task and instead enjoy a few moments in silence.  Some mornings I also check my garden during this time as the coffee brews.  By connecting with nature, I feel a surge of fulfillment and peace. 

No. Three…I meditate. Once the coffee is done, I’ll bring my mug, along with a glass of water, to sit down at my desk and use the Breathe app on my Apple Watch.  I’ll meditate for 2-5 minutes, depending on what’s going on/how much time I have.  Here’s where I also usually sit with several healing crystals, and I’ll breathe in my current favorite essential oil and start the diffuser. 

As you’re reading this, you may be rolling your eyes.  But just know that your mind controls everything!  Whether you believe this crystal has energy, or this essential oil can really remedy your ailments, what will be will be.  If you’re creating a peaceful space with things you love, you’re going to feel the effects.  I’ve found that holding certain crystals can help me tune into my body and channel the thoughts and feelings that I need for the day.  If I’m feeling anxious, I’ll reach for my calming crystals; this simple observation is my way of honoring my mind’s thoughts, not letting them run rampant and take over my day.   And if I need to be raring to go for a big day ahead, I’ll smell an invigorating essential oils blend, or if I need a moment to get back to gratitude, I’ll diffuse a blend like Harmony or Abundance in the diffuser.  

No. Four…I pray, and I have a discussion with God.  Here’s when I take time to do my daily scripture.  I shuffle between daily scriptures based on how much time I have. I have a quick one for when my day when I only have a little bit of time, and I also have a journaling scripture if I can settle in and put more time into it. Currently I’m journaling with Lara Caseys new Write the Word Collection and Jesus Calling.  For my shorter mornings I’m reading A Daybook of Grace.  Another devotional or workbook I’ve loved in the past is She Reads Truth.

No. Five…I write in The Five Minute Journal.  I like to harness the scientific concept of positive psychology and write down everything I’m grateful for in this wonderful prompted journal. Taking five minutes to do this in the morning and night helps me to remember everything I feel gratitude about, while also setting me up with intentions and a strong mantra for the day.  I’ve found that this gives me a good jumping off place to tackle my schedule ahead of me. 

No. Six…I revisit goals for my business.  If I really have time in the morning, I’ll use this last few minutes to focus on specifics for Waiting on Martha, Inc.  That could mean working in a workbook on leadership and management— especially love Lara Casey’s sheets—writing down goals and ideas, or simply realigning with the company’s manifesto.  

My morning ritual has become almost sacred to me.  And if I don’t get to every single step each day, I understand.  I give myself some grace.  But I recognize the most important parts of my ritual, and I complete the abbreviated version.  Some mornings I may not meditate for five full minutes.   This way, I’m still staying true to myself, holding space for what I know I need.  I now can’t imagine my days without it!  Truly, MKR

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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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