Three Heel Clicks

Fitness

5 on Fridays - Five Tips for How to Safely Lose Weight and Get Into Shape

Fashion, Healthy, How To, Lifestyle, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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I’m writing about my own experiences over the past few years. I’ll start off by saying that no matter what body type you are you can improve your self-esteem by being fit. Not only does being in good shape help your body look better, but it elevates your mood and increases health to your organs. Today I’m writing about my personal experiences for what has worked for me. I understand that not everyone has the same lifestyle but I hope it serves as a point of inspiration for you if you are looking to increase your fitness and a result of that is to lose unnecessary weight.

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Seek not to Lose Weight But To Live Healthier

First thing first do not seek to lose weight, instead shift your focus to living a healthier lifestyle. I think when I focus on the latter there is a positive emphasis on my body image and mental state. Instead of focusing on flaws, I put my energy towards my health. It makes it so much easier to choose a plant based meal or go on an extra walk knowing that it’s only going to benefit my overall health mentally, physically and emotionally. The bi-product of living healthier is being trimmer and slimmer. Here are the things I’ve done since last August to improve my health:

Removed Alcohol Completely

I will be the first to tell you that this was not easy for me. I love wine. Anyone who knows me knows my affinity for the taste of a deep red Bordeaux. However, I struggle with anxiety and panic disorder. It was at a point where any alcohol increased panic attacks. Back in September I stopped drinking at my home and on a regular basis. At the time I only had alcohol on vacation or for something special. I realized that if I was going to be more focused, alcohol wasn’t going to help. Over the course of the past year, I’ve now removed it all together. I found I felt best when it wasn’t apart of my diet. Whether you choose to cut back or maybe eliminate it from your own diet, you will find so many benefits and improvement to your well being.

Increase Walking

I’ve probably harped about the importance of walking way too many times, but without daily long walks I do not maintain a healthy lifestyle. I use to use the Steps app from Adidas prior to my Apple Watch. It’s one of my favorite fitness apps and works with any mobile device. Now I aim for 11k steps a day, but I started out by just seeing what I was currently doing then slowly increasing the activity. Let’s say you already do 4k steps a day you can set a goal for a 30 minute walk and add another 3k steps. You’ll quickly almost double your activity by adding a scheduled walk in every day. Try taking a walk for 15 minutes at lunch or park at the back of a parking lot when you grocery shop. For more tips about getting steps in see this post!

Add a Fitness Class

From October to January last year I actively took 3-5 yoga classes a week. It was such a beneficial decision and allowed me to work on focus, toning and flexibility. Attending classes also pushed me further to master moves and challenge myself. Whether you choose something with high intensity or more relaxing getting involved in a class breaks up the monotony of working out alone.

Move to a Plant Based Diet

Now I understand not everyone is interested in eating vegan or vegetarian. There are so many benefits on our digestive system when you choose to eat more green leafy vegetables instead of bread, cheese and meat. Eating a plant based diet doesn’t mean you have to go rogue and eat only salads. You can start off by just having a vegetable first with every meal. Fill your plate with as many fresh vegetables and fruits as possible. Then, after you eat them have meat, gluten or dairy. I will tell you, you will be so much more full on nutrients you’ll find you will eat less of the latter. This helps so much in processing your food. Your body can’t burn stored fat if it’s working on processing all the food you just put in your body. The easier your food moves through your body the more nutrients will be absorbed and your body can free up energy for other things like restoring your skin or losing weight! You can read all about this philosophy in Kimberly Snyder’s Book The Beauty Detox Diet.

Well, there you have it. This is exactly how I lost weight over the past six months. My skin is clearer, my mental focus is better and my body feels lighter. I did take pictures throughout the journey as a reminder of my progress and the proof is there. I try not to step on a scale often (maybe once a month) since I tend to get a little obsessive about scales. Instead, I took a picture and would reference the success when I felt like I wasn’t making progress.

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5 on Fridays - Five Ways I Cope With Panic Attacks

beauty, Fashion, Inspiration, Healthy, Petite Style, Lifestyle, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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As I enter a new era of my life I realize more than ever how important it is to manage anxiety and panic attacks. I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and OCD. Yep, that’s a mouthful. It’s a condition I’ve battled with for several years and one of the toughest parts of my life. I am writing today’s post based solely on my own experiences in hopes that if you also struggle with anxiety or panic attacks that you will find help and create a better environment.

  1. Make sure physical needs are met - This seems obvious but lack of sleep, exercise and poor diet all contribute to my panic attacks. Although I have an affinity for wine, I have found alcohol only temporarily minimizes anxiety and then immediately increases panic attacks the following day or two. Removing alcohol requires me to deal with a situation instead of medicating myself. I feel better when I don’t drink all around and can tackle more situations with a clear mind.

  2. Have a plan - I go through a checklist when I start feeling light headed. I start with making sure I have snacks and water. Then, I find a quiet space. I slow my breathing down and focus on things that bring me positive feelings. It may be a song playlist, it may be a photograph or words of encouragement. I have a list of about ten things that bring me joy so when I feel one coming on, I slow down and go through my checklist.

  3. Take a walk - A ten minute walk can do wonders when I feel anxious. I usually have an exit strategy in place prior to most situations. I will excuse myself to the restroom or take a call if I need to in certain situations, but the best remedy for most of my panic attacks is a short brisk walk around the block. I set a timer and walk in one direction, then turn around and walk back. It takes the guess work out of things and I can just focus on moving my body. Panic attacks usually last 15-30 minutes so I know if I take a walk my mind will settle as my body moves.

  4. Remove things from your plate - Now instead of multi-tasking I try to focus on one thing at a time and only on my top 3 priorities. Once those things are accomplished I work on my next three items. By only worrying about three things it helps my brain to focus instead of feeling like a thousand thoughts are swimming in my head. I also allow breaks throughout the day, naps if needed and a good shower usually helps. I wrote an entire post about Taking Life Slower which you can read here. It’s helped so much and decreases the pressure I put on myself.

  5. Seek guidance - This is probably the best thing I did to help cope with anxiety and panic attacks. For years I only treated the problem but didn’t work on the underlying issues. My body was in a constant fight or flight state with adrenaline rushing through my veins. I found after meeting with counselors and a psychiatrist I was able to get the tools I needed to handle tough situations instead of freaking out. If you are currently experiencing panic attacks, I recommend visiting a reputable psychiatrist and a therapist. They will begin with evaluating your body and mental state to see if your brain chemicals are off balance. I used both medication and behavioral cognitive therapy to put long term strategies in place.

I write this post not from a doctor’s perspective but from a patient’s view. Anxiety and panic attacks haven’t completely gone away but they are more manageable than six months to a year ago. I’ve had to try different things over time to include meditation, journaling and yoga. All of these have aided but at the end of the day it boils down to making sure my body and mind are in a healthy state.

Have you ever experienced a panic attack? What are your coping strategies? Leave me a comment or send me an email at threeheelclicksblog@gmail.com. I love hearing about your own personal experiences.

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Three Casual Looks Wearing Yoga Pants

Fashion, Healthy, How To, Petite Style, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Athleisure is trending right now and it’s not just reserved for the gym or yoga studio. I love being athletic and getting a good workout in, but I also love looking put together whether I’m at the gym, home or out running errands. On days I do not have meetings or photo shoots you will find me more often than not in athleisure. I love mixing and matching yoga gear with cotton tops, hoodies and casual accessories like baseball caps or totes to take an outfit from workout to street worthy. Today I’ve put together three looks where I’m wearing workout clothes out in public.

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Outfit #1


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The first look I wore last week to dinner and then to a hotel before we flew out to Birmingham, Alabama. I wore a pair of simple black slim fitting joggers, a loose black cotton tank, a pink hoodie and grey sneakers. This look can easily work if you are doing a lot of travel or walking for the day. Chances are you already have black leggings or joggers, a tank and a colorful hoodie or zip up! Just throw it all together and swipe a little nude lipstick and add mascara to take this look out for a spin.

Outfit #2:


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For the second look I wore a pair of cropped yoga pants with a light pink ruffle top for a quick coffee run. I added a pair of blush sneakers and a structured bag to go from the mat to the real world. Finally, I added a pop of color with a sunflower yellow sports bra. Remember, the rule of three colors. You can mix and match outfits by sticking to three colors. Here I used teal, pale pink and yellow but you can accomplished this look using any three colors.

Outfit #3:


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For the third look I am wearing a monochromatic outfit complete with maroon leggings, a sports bra and long sleeve cotton tee. I added a blush hat and blush colored sneakers. Since I wore this look to pick up groceries I brought along one of my favorite bags from Longchamp that’s perfect for toting things home.

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Fitness Style: Expectations vs. Reality

Fashion, Healthy, Lifestyle, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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50% off Until 3pm Today:

Use Code: NEWFAVES

While I usually don’t dress completely in one brand, there are a few exceptions. LOFT is one of those classic but current brands I’ve loved for almost two decades. I wore one of their sweater dresses in yesterday’s post and since they are having a HUGE sale through 3pm today I thought I’d share a workout look with you guys! The reality of working out in style is not always easy to achieve. Sometimes I end up just doing yoga in my living room or BBG in sweatpants. When I head outside I try (not always succeeding) to look somewhat put together. I’ve found a few ways to easily put together athleisure and work out outfits that easily can transfer to other activities like running errands or grabbing coffee.

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One of the easiest ways to throw a good outfit together is to dress in a color scheme of two or three colors. I layered a lavender scarf and puffy vest over a simple lavender long sleeve cotton shirt. The puffy vest is so great for this time of year especially on the warmer days with chilly mornings and evenings. I love being able to stay cozy but not get ridiculously hot. A brisk walk will get the blood moving and all that’s needed is a vest instead of a bulky coat. If you are in a colder area you can layer a cute winter jacket over a coat for additional warmth.

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I love a good pair of leggings and these are made out of the best material. The dark charcoal gray is so slimming and a good change from plain black leggings. You could swap the athletic top and vest for an oversized blazer with pumps to transition this to a work look. Being able to take a pair of pants from dressy to casual or vice versa makes it so versatile and worth purchasing. When you are putting together an athleisure outfit make sure to keep it simple. You don’t want a ton of pieces getting in the way of your workout or being able to just relax.

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The reality of working out is that you usually get sweaty. I prefer cotton tops so my body breathes. Due to having sensitive skin synthetic fabrics do not always agree with me. In fact, certain materials (specifically found in sweaters) will break my chest or back out if I wear them all day. To prevent my body from having a bad reaction I try to workout in breathable fabrics or natural materials. Cotton is my absolute favorite because it comes in a great price point and you can wear it most of the year.

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What are your favorite pieces from LOFT right now?

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Getting More Activity in Every Day

Fashion, Healthy, Inspiration, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Back in 2014 I ended up with a knee injury that caused me to wear a brace. It was pretty ecruiciating to walk most days and I found out that I tore my miniscus which is a little muscle on the inside of the knee. Up until that point I was walking every day in heels for work and at least an hour in workout gear after I arrived home. On weekends I tried to clock 4-6 miles on Saturday. But my knee was in the worst pain. It left me from walking all of the time to zero. Soon enough my muscles grew out of shape, stress increased and I entered a lower point in my life.

Being that walking was my number one form of exercise up until that point outside of dance which now I could do neither for a while. It was so hard and frustrating. I think we all go through peaks and valleys of working out and feeling really fit. I’ve been unhealthy and skinny and I’ve also been healthy and fit. I had to start slow after my knee injury and build back up my endurance to walking. I’m sharing this with you all, because whether you are out of shape, overweight or have undergone an injury yourself you can increase your activity little by little everyday to get enough activity in to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The other day I ran into an acquaintance whom saw me walk often to pick my daughter up from after school care. She asked if I still walked as much and I answered “yes, of course.” Now I just walk to different places since my kiddo rides the school bus. I thought back to that time in my life when walking a mile felt so heavy and difficult. It felt like with each step my body was made out of lead. I thought with so many people’s new years resolutions includes getting back into shape or exercising regularly today would be a good time to talk about building endurance by increasing your step count.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

I always have a purse big enough to throw a pair of flats in it. NEVER use the excuse that your shoes are uncomfortable. You can store a pair of flats in your desk for lunch walks or keep them in a larger purse if you are going out for the evening. Recently, I bought this pair and they required ZERO breaking in. Actually, I have a ton of cute flats that are comfortable and stylish for dressy outfits. I’ve rounded up my top used flats and sneakers for you guys below if you are looking for a good pair. Choose a neutral color like blush, white, black, tan or a navy so they go with lots of outfits!

Download a Step Tracking App

Last week I shared about my Favorite Features of the IPhone Watch which uses an activity app to push you to exercise, burn calories and stand throughout the day. Prior to my watch I used both the Apple Health App and Runtastic App to achieve tracking my steps. What I really like about the Runtastic App is how it shows you on a pie chart displaying every month the days you hit less than half of your goal, less than your goal but more than half, and when you hit your goal. It also averages your activity steps every month. I loved using it! Even though I have my watch now, I still reference Steps on my phone when I do not utilize my watch. I think the first step in improving ANYTHING in your life is to begin by tracking progress. Take a picture of today in a typical workout outfit and start monitoring what your body is doing over the next few weeks.

Create the Habit of Walking

Our bodies love knowing what to expect. For the first two-three weeks just make it a point to walk every single day. Maybe that’s for 15 minutes at lunch or when you get off work. Set an alarm to remind you to get up and get moving no matter what. When I worked at a desk I used to walk the first half of my lunch break and the second half I’d eat what I brought for lunch. It worked out perfectly for months. Once I created that habit, I would walk for longer and faster periods of time to burn more calories. So much of exercise is mental (ask any yogi and they will talk about how the alignment of the brain and body is key to holding half of those poses!) For the first few weeks just focus on a walk every day to get into the habit of it. Don’t worry about speed or distance. Set a time of 15-30 minutes and just get moving.

Take the Long Route

Unless I’m in a HUGE hurry I park as far from anything that I can and walk. It may be a trip to Target or meeting up with a friend at dinner but I park at the furthest point from the entrance in the parking lot as possible. If I’m at a shopping center I park at one end and do not move my car until I’ve run all of my errands in that area. Yep, the long route is an easy way to get more steps in daily. Walking takes so little mental effort. You put shoes on and get up to go. It takes me far less time to park at the back and walk inside somewhere than it does to fight traffic finding a close spot. If I’m just grabbing a few things from a grocery store, I walk to it! I am lucky that I live about a half mile from a store but I can take longer routes if I have extra time to pick up a few groceries. I also live within 2 miles of two coffee shops. You better believe I walk to both! Taking that long route gives me a reason to exercise.

When Strapped for Time Set a Timer

Most days I have some sort of a schedule or time constraints therefore I set a time for half of the time I have available to exercise and walk in a single direction. When the timer is up I turn around. For instance, if I am awaiting a friend for lunch and arrive 10 minutes early I set a timer on my phone for 5 minutes and walk down the street. Then, when the timer goes off I turn around and come back. A good rule of thumb is 1,000 steps for 10 minutes if you are going at a moderate pace. All of those little 10 minute increments add up! Another trick is to take an extra lap all the way around the grocery store or even a department store when shopping. We have humongous grocery stores in Texas and most of the year it’s really warm. I take advantage of their air conditioning and add a lap in before I check out.


Take a Walk When Recieving Phone Calls

Whether you decide to pace around your home or go on a strut outside phone calls are an easy way to get more steps in. Plus, you feel more energized when you are engaged and active. I use my walks to catch up with friends, make work calls or even conference calls that don’t require a lot of notes. Again, it’s super easy and only requires you to get up and get moving. Lately, I’ve entered the world of listening to podcasts. A walk is a perfect time to kill two birds with one stone. Go for a walk before work for 15 minutes and listen to a motivating podcast or informational podcast. I’ve been loving the Instagram Husband series! It’s been really insightful and inspirational. You can also learn a new language while walking with a language podcast or app.

Take the Stairs or Walk Up an Escalator

This is probably my favorite tip! I take the stairs up parking garages (yes all five or six flights) or at the airport to get to baggage claim. If I see the option to only take an escalator I walk up or down to stay moving. I also live on the second floor at my apartment building so getting in multiple flights is pretty easy with a dog needing to go out several times a day. Remember you are looking for the long route at all times. Take advantage of stairs and you’ll see you work muscles in your legs you didn’t know you even had.

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Involve the Family

Dogs are a good way to get you out an moving. They are always eager and love to spend time with you. They can easily add a couple thousand steps to your day without you having to give it much thought. There was a time where I would walk my dog while pushing a stroller with my toddler. We’d go for hours stopping at a park to play. I’d bring snacks for the kiddo and a coloring book or her tablet to play with to keep her busy. Now she’s too big for that so we use walks to spend quality time together. I stay off my phone and focus on our conversations. It’s so much like car time. My daughter now walks 4-5 miles with me to grab dinner, go to the grocery store or just make a few laps at the park. Oftentimes, I incentvize her to make the process a positive thing. But really, she enjoys getting to talk more than anything!

The more steps you take, the lighter your body will feel. You can reference your step tracking apps and pictures to keep you motivated and track your progress. Start by just walking and soon you’ll find your body feels so much lighter, you have more energy and you are naturally incorporating more steps into your every day life!

What are some ways you try to get more activity in your day?

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