Sunday Self Care

Your body; your silent companion that accompanies you on all of your journeys

This quote says a lot. It’s so easy to forget how much our body does for us, & how amazing it really is.. 

For me, this was a reminder to appreciate myself:

Appreciate the stress I put my body through;

Appreciate the frequent disregard for what my body needs in turn for doing what I want; 

Appreciate the endless hours of thought I put my mind through; 

Appreciate the unending pressure on my body to be better, stronger, prettier, smaller, bigger, happier, calmer, healthier…

Appreciate the things my body needs, but that I often forget to give it;

Appreciate that despite all of the trouble I give my body, it still does everything I ask it to. 

This quote reminded me to think of my body as my friend. It’s here to support me & help me through my journey (aka life). I have to keep this idea in the front of my mind. I have to really start taking care of & appreciating my longest friend; my body. 

~peace & all good~

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Start Your New Year’s Resolution NOW

The new year is a crazy time. The world of fitness & health gets more frustrating than usual- filled with people jumping into new fitness routines, people who vowed to make this year their year

We’re all guilty of this ‘new year, new me’ mindset. We start making promises to ourselves to change all of the things we didn’t like about the previous year. We tell ourselves this year will be different- we’ll get in shape, we’ll run that marathon, we’ll finally try those healthy recipes that have been bookmarked for months..

Why do we need the number at the end of today’s date to change to allow ourselves to be better? What is the purpose of waiting? Maybe it helps us put off our own health without feeling guilty, because ‘once January comes around things will be different’…’the new year is when I’ll get serious about working out’. 

Here’s my advice to you (& myself): START NOW!!!

Start researching. There’s a wealth of information for anyone new to the world of fitness & health & wellness. Here are some of my favorite user-friendly places to search:

  • BodyBuilding.com Sooooo many free workout plans, informative articles, exercise how-tos, & even supplements! This is literally how I built my lifting knowledge-base. 
  • Fitness Blender I just discovered these guys. Their YouTube channel has a plethora of at-home workouts that range from interval cardio to weight training.
  • Bad Yogi Official Erin Motz is a seasoned yogi who totally gets that most people who do yoga are not experts… She has lots of free classes that make you feel good about your imperfect practice ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s going to take some time before you find a fitness regime you really enjoy. It’s going to take even more time before your hard work is gratified with visible results.

Experiment with different types of exercise. Figure out the different things you’d like to try now.

Make small changes each day so you don’t shock your system & give up when it gets too difficult too fast. 

Get a jump start on your 2016 goals!! Have fun, try new things, & never give up on yourself! 

I hope you all have a wonderfully funky final week of 2015. 

~peace & all good~

#YogisWhoLift

So it’s Monday night, 

I’m in bed because work in less than 8 hours,

& I’m deciding getting this post out of my brain & into the screen of my iPod is v important. 

#priorities (or bad decision-making, perspective is everything I guess)

This post is really important to me because it’s the result of what life’s been throwing at me recently. A while back I started practicing yoga via YouTube; admittedly, half the things I thought were yoga I have come to learn actually aren’t… So I was loosely practicing yoga. I started because I was going through things that made me question who I am. I mean really question who I am. I was losing faith in my core values that I had worked so hard to discover. I didn’t know how to disconnect from my anxiety. I was losing a battle to negativity, & I was losing pretty fast. I needed to do something. 

That something was yoga. 

Backpedal a few years & you’ve got the time when I started lifting weights. It was a similar situation, but my anxiety this time was coming from body image issuezzz. I was trying to learn how to be healthy & fit.. I decided to try a 4 week weight training program. I loved it, saw results, & have grown into my own style of lifting since then.. 

  
Yoga has literally changed every aspect of my life…I know it sounds cliche but it’s true. What I’m realising now is how much it’s impacted my lifting. There’s a lot to gain from a body-mind-soul approach to fitness.

Mental Strength: In my experience, exercise of any kind is more of a mental battle than a physical one. My body can ingest some food or caffeine & be easily tricked into feeling ready for my workout. My mind, however, takes more effort. Practicing yoga has srsly transformed the way my brain thinks about me. I don’t have as hard of a time getting through self-doubt, or convincing myself that I am worth that hour and a half in the weight room, or that it’s okay if I’m not lifting as much weight as other people. I’m totally cool with feeling awkward at the gym, & that feels like a really big accomplishment.

Knowing My Limits: No ego lifting! I am able to recognise when I’ve done enough. I can feel in my body & mind when I shouldn’t go further. Being in touch with my body has allowed me to get to this point. Yea I’ll try something & fail with flying colors, but I’m not trying something I know I cannot do with the fullest effort. If I’m not there, I’m not there- simple as that.

  
Form: Along with being connected to my body, yoga has helped me stay in touch with what feels right & what doesn’t. This has helped immensely with form! I don’t overthink my body positioning because I know I’ll feel it if I’m doing something wrong. Increased flexibility from practicing yoga has also improved my range of motion…aka more effective lifting & less chance of injury ๐Ÿ™‚

Breathing: Breath is 100% connected to form. Yoga has taught me how to control my breath. Knowing how to control my breath helps me bring more oxygen to my muscles. More oxygen means more endurance…..& more blood flow for a sweet pump. ~swole~

Appreciation: I would vote that this as the most powerful benefit I’ve experienced from my yoga practice. I don’t measure progress by how I look anymore… If I can do a single extra rep I feel accomplished. If I work through my own self doubt, I feel accomplished. If I try to lift a new weight but fail, I know there was a time when I couldn’t even do the basic lift itself. I enjoy the smaller steps in my journey. I’m way less critical of myself. I don’t obsess over skipping a day at the gym, because I recognise the importance of taking care of my body.  I’m thankful for myself & all that I’ve been through.

So there ya have it- my personal experience as what appears to be two conflicting identities. Before my own journey I never really pictured lifting weights to have any connection to yoga. Zen meatheads? Um…..???? But as it turns out, the health of your body & mind are extremely connected. The love my yoga practice has shown to my physical exercise is the most clear example of this connection. 

I hope yall enjoyed this little exploration of my journey to mind-body-soul health!!

~peace & all good~

Runnin Thru the Gram With My Woes

*You know how that shit goes*

Social media… I use it, like we all do, but it doesn’t really add much to my life. Instagram, however, seems to be the source of all evil (I know that’s harsh, it’s for added drama). 

How many times a day do I scroll through my feed of pictures & think: 

  • ugh, why am I not making progress like that? MUSCLES WHERE R U ???!1!11?
  • I wish I had cute gym clothes ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • LOL he/she looks like a human after working out, pretty sure I usually look like a cave troll
  • man I’m hungry…that looks delicious
  • haha my abs will never exist 
  • y do I work a full time job? I should just get paid to workout all day..
  • wow y am I poor I need more supplements !?!!11! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • Y AM I SO UGLY UGH PLZ HELP BASED GOD

…. Many a time. It’s a bad habit I’ve developed recently that I’m trying to get rid of.  Why do I care what someone else wears while working out? I’m sure my next meal will also be delicious. I’m making progress, just in my own way!

There’s been a lot of talk about how social media is bad for self confidence/living successfully in reality. Internet stars are coming out & giving the truth behind Internet fame; the rotten things people say, the work that goes into maintaining their image, the way it provides a false picture of what life really is. All of this is relevant. It’s also relevant to think about how much time out of our day we take to compare ourselves to people on a damn screen. & the fact that kids are growing up with these ideas about health & what ‘fit’ looks like, but no one understands the toll it can truly take.. 

If someone feels badly about themselves, their feelings are valid. If someone feels inadequate because they just spent 2 hrs scrolling through pics of people with professional makeup/clothes/photo crews (who don’t mention these professionals in their posts), their feelings are valid. If someone is sick of comparing themselves to others & boycotts social media, you guessed it- VALID FEELINGS. Being bombarded with images of perfection creates a lot of confusion in our brains.. 

Maybe you don’t even exercise, but you follow fitness accounts anyway in hopes you’ll become motivated to start exercising. In reality, the posts from these accounts probably just make you sad because you just don’t want to exercise. It’s okay if you don’t like to workout! Stop trying to convince yourself that you do via social media envy. You’re choosing to reinforce an image of what you wish you were- instead of being happy with the person you actually are.

We all have some level of demons/negative self-talk that happens regardless of these Gram woes.  But it’s important to pay attention to how these images influence the way you think about yourself. When I see a fitness model who looks flawless after a workout I sort of resent the fact that I will never look that good in the gym….ever….because I don’t have a group of people whose job is to make me look great….

Not in a million years will I have a so-called “perfect” body. 

I might never eat clean for a consistent period of time. 

I don’t think I see myself working out in a sports bra anytime soon (never happening). 

I will always eat carbs.

If I ever have abs it will be a miracle. 

I know all of these things, & I’m completely content with that knowledge 98.9% of the time. But that 1.1% feels a lot bigger when I’m looking through Instagram…shiit

So the moral of the story: Remind yourself of what reality is like. Go out & realize that the average person isn’t perfect- even if they appear to be. Most people have rolls when they sit…even if they workout regularly. I can speak for myself & say that I do not look attractive when I work out, nor do all of my gym outfits match/smell pleasant.. 

It’s all good! Our flaws make us who we are!! Everyone has things they want to work on, but that’s why we’re all human.

Here’s a guided meditation for shutting down negative energy. Embrace the funk ๐Ÿ™‚

~peace & all good~

Detoxifyin Myself

I’ve felt a little under the weather lately. Not in an ‘I have an illness’ way…more in an ‘whoa I don’t feel my best mentally or physically’ way.. 

The beginning of this week was when I felt the worst & decided to make an effort to fix this crappy feeling. I was sitting at my desk & felt completely wired yet exhausted at the same time. My eating over the past days had been shit, I wasn’t getting any satisfaction from my workouts, I was tired as hell… Being attentive to my body helped me realise something wasn’t right. I took a break from lifting (sad face) & focused more on tending to my body’s immediate needs (happy face). 

   Taking time to put things on pause & just breathe has been much needed.. My sister says this pic looks like I’m giving my soul away LOL nah fam, I got full control of that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ive also been trying to cut out processed foods & coffee from my daily routine. (yes, ik it sounds terrible but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do..)

Now that it’s Friday & I’m a few days into this restart, I feel really good! The things that are working well I’m going to continue (duh) & see how much more detoxed I can get. To me, making a change like this isn’t about anything complicated- it’s about paying attention, noticing…how do I feel after eating certain things? How do my days go when I do certain things?

More fruit & vegetables: pretty self explanatory.. I’m back on my salad flow. Getting creative with the foods I bring to work & planning for how hungry I’ll ACTUALLY be rather than pretending a smaller amount of food will suffice. 

  Breakfast: instant oatmeal with peanut butter & a ground cocoa/flax mix

  Lunch: greens with beans, feta cheese, & seasoning
Coffee replacement: a large glass of ice water. I’ve been drinking it before even peeing for the first time in the morning & it’s actually made me feel really awake. More importantly, I didn’t tell myself I couldn’t have coffee…I just didn’t let myself think I need it..

Tea: What more is there to say?! Tea is the bomb! The variety of types, the soothing powers it has, the wonderful ness. Yea…basically. Also- tea is a good way to help ease your minds worries about a lack of caffeine. You’re not taking it away, you’re just having it in a less intense amount.. 

Vitamins: I decided to bite the bullet (or pills..) & go for a daily, guaranteed source of vitamins my body clearly is in desperate need of. I haven’t been able to give my body everything it needs- yet I’ve been taking so much out of myself by working out/working/being alive.. I’ve always been sort of skeptical about vitamins, but this change is way overdue. I’ve been taking the Shaklee Women’s Vitalizer pack of vitamins everyday & tbh I feel great. WHICH I JUST REMEMBERED THAT I FORGOT TO TAKE TODAY ….

Not sure if it’s a combination of everything I’ve been doing to refresh myself this week, but whatever it’s from I’m feelin it. If you’re feeling ‘bleh’, try some of these changes! It seems difficult but it really hasn’t been that hard.. I didn’t think about this as staying away from bad things, I’ve been thinking about it as doing more of what’s good. Positive change rather than negative change. 

Start feelin good yall! Don’t deprive yourself of anything, just replace what you don’t need with more of what you do need ๐Ÿ™‚ Live in abundance…maybe not in the ways you’d like (financially, materially, etc..) but in the ways you can directly control (happiness, energy, etc). 

~peace & all good~

HAPPY FRIDAY

Rejoice, celebrate, run around in your underwear! ๐Ÿ˜€ 

We have all made it through the majority of the week.. Congratulations. Now get out there & do something you enjoy! 

How to have a successful weekend: 

  • wake up.. notice that it is not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
  • smile
  • don’t set an alarm (or do, idk you)
  • if youre putting a long work week behind you, take time to blow off some steam (in a safe, productive way of course)
  • keep up your weekly routines to a certain degree- that way Monday won’t be so rude

Basically, I think the weekends are a great opportunity to reset & let go of any stress that has built up. It’s also not a bad idea to do this throughout the week/each day, but we can be way more attentive to ourselves when we don’t have other work to tend to. 

Just wanted to drop by with a reminder to relax. Take time for yourself. Do things you enjoy & that make you feel human. Have dessert (or an extra slice of pizza). TREAT YOSELF ๐Ÿ˜‰

~peace & all good~

Soul Food: Hike to Heal

Hiking is a loaded form of exercise. It’s obviously great cardio, but I think there’s so much more to gain from a good hike. I might be reaching here- but bear with me!

ย ~Bull’s Hill in Cold Spring, NY~

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do (although I don’t necessarily do itย that often). I really enjoy the peacefulness of the nature around me, even though I usually can’t breath for most of the time I spend on a mountain… Within about 15 steps I’m probably sweating & losing my breath….but that’s beside the point!

I’ve had a lot of realizations while on hikes. Usually keeping them to myself, sometimes sharing them with whoever I’m with at the time. The main one that I think should be shared is that hiking parallels life. It takes a lot of the same things to be successful in both.

Be in the Present

The path up a mountain is not typically well-cleared. There are rocks & bumps & tree branches & other treacherous qualities about trails. It requires you to stay focused solely on the path that’s right in front of you.

If you look ahead to try & figure out what’s coming up, it’s almost guaranteed that something will trip you. Trust me, I know this from experience…& not just once…

Looking back means you stop moving forward. Of course it’s always cool to look back down the trail you’ve travelled once you get to a high point. You keep trudging for who knows how long, & all of a sudden when you turn back the place you started seems so small & far away.ย But if you look back too often you’ll slow down your trip & it’ll take you forever to get to the top!

ย  a view along the way up Bulls Hill

How is this like life? Wellllllllllllllll. If you focus too much on the future, you won’t have time to enjoy what’s going on rightย now in your life. Challenges you need to face in the present will pass you by & your progress will take a hit. You’ll be too concerned with what may/may not happen to truly observe & appreciate where you are now.

And ifย you only focus on the past….we all know that’s a bad idea. I’m sure everyone can relate to the thoughts of ‘ugh my life was so good when I had _____’ or ‘wow I was so happy when I dated _____, why can’t i go back to that? *sadface*’. Yeaa…..stop that. If you never turn to move forward you won’t get anywhere. However, looking back is great when you’ve made accomplishments/met goals because it lets you see how far you’ve come.

Determination

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Hiking is not easy…it’s tiring, can be boring in some stretches, it makes you hungry & sweaty.. But once you get to the top it’s so worth it. Imagine if you stopped right before the best viewpoint because you decided it wasn’t worth it to keep going. That would really suck because you were so close, but let the difficulty turn you away from your end goal.

In life, we have to be determined to reach our viewpoints. Whatever goals you set for yourself, you have to remind yourself of them to keep yourself motivated. It’s so important to give your determination fuel during your journey. I like the idea of vision boards- they’re a simple reminder of what’s important to you in life. Even just simply taking the time to actually think about what you want to accomplish can be super motivating. Whatever you do, keep your eye on the prize ๐Ÿ™‚

ย  a little yoga at the *almost* top of Lamb’s Hill in Fishkill, NY

So, maybe this will make you want to go for a hike…I’m hoping for one soon too.

Maybe you’re going to take more time to enjoy your journey.

Maybe this will give you the extra push you need to keep working for what you want.

Maybe this just made you laugh..

I don’t know! But I hope you enjoyed the read & hopefully got something out of it!

~peace & all good~