Wanted By All But ONE…

Often times when I’m out on my longer runs I witness seemingly happy families and couples–old and young.  They’re in the parks celebrating, playing, walking and enjoying life together.  Early on in my running journey this used to gnaw at … Continue reading

My Passion Project–My Purpose & Myself

Biggest and most challenging project I’ll likely ever take on–myself.  *SIGH* Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad sigh nor is that a complaint.  I’m a worthy project to spend that kind of time and effort on.  Easy is … Continue reading

Seeing Clearly Now…

How about an update to this crazy no sugar thing I committed myself to?!

There’s a foggy haze that’s been lifted and I feel like I have something substantial to actually write about.  So during this “sugar detox” I’ve found some spiritual clarifty and practices.  I’ve gotten back to and better at meditating, I actually went out and tried hot yoga (thanks to my WeightWatchers friend Lula and my BFF Katie for the nudge), and I realized just how foggy I’d been operatering these last few months.

During my rebirth of my meditation practice, I came across this excerpt and felt the need to share.

The Final Obstacle Is Us

“The greater the crisis it seems, the swifter the evolution.”
~Elizabeth Gilbert
There has never been a better moment in human history than right now to be a woman. Nobody in the history of womankind ever had a better chance to manifest her own life than the modern woman … right now.

 Then why do we still battle the lingering doubts and prejudices in our own minds that convince us we are not worthy—not good enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not brave enough?

Why are we holding ourselves back from greatness?

It’s from a Deepak Chopra daily reflection that I did a while back.  In cleaning out my inbox (yes, I do stuff like that) I came across it again and re-read it.  This speaks so much truth to me.  This whole process is really revealing how much I’ve been holding myself back.  I don’t sit here wallowing in regret about it, on the contrary!  I’m actually grateful for my new found clarity!  I didn’t know I was walking around in a fog.  I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing out on by being in that state of being.  I was more like a zombie then human.  I’d wake up, eat, work some, eat, want to nap (sometimes did), work a bit more, eat, and then sleep again.  It sounds depressing just reading that as I type it out!  To have a day like that, not a big deal in my book.  But to have every day like that, is NOT good!  But I wasn’t aware enough to realize that that is what I was doing.

It’s no wondering I wasn’t happy with myself.  It’s no wonder I put on 15 lbs over my goal weight–note that’s over my goal weight, that’s not based on the lowest I got down to.  Yes, I’m human and until I become superhuman or really accept and deal with my faults I’ll always fight this battle.  But with where I’m at now I feel like I’m in a place where I can do that.  Accepting you’re imperfections is easier said then done.  Actually, it’s almost as challenging to admit my imperfections–step one I guess.

We all “know” we aren’t perfection but who actually talks about it?  And why is it so hard to talk about anyways.  I just saw in the news how we are creating narciscistic kids but what about ourselves.  We start a petition because we don’t think it’s ok that Facebook has an emoji that allows someone to admit that they are feeling fat?  Why?  Who cares if that’s how they feel?  I feel fat sometimes–usually it’s when I’ve over indulged on food.  No we are being censored on admitting our feelings?  And the other thing…with this recent “International Womens Day” (do guys even get a day?) when did this start and why?  It’s like the feminist’s (uh oh, I’m going on a rant and I’m sure I’m going to get comments/emails about this but too bad it’s my blog I can say what I want) own Valentine’s Day!  Why do we need ONE day to celebrate ourselves as women?  Why do we need one day to “come together” and celebrate the amazing women in this world?  Why isn’t that happening every day?  Oh I know, because the other 364 days a year we are sitting in front of our screens and judging each other.  I’ve seen “plus sized” models go through fat shaming and celebration all in the same day.  I’ve seen thin women get praised for eating indulgently in public and shamed in the same day.  I’ve seen a self empowered corporate excecutive female get praised and criticized all in the same day for being a career minded female who also wants to be a mom.  What are we doing to each other?  Are we so unhappy with ourselves that we have to bring down each other too?  This does go back to my original point about admiting and accepting our own imperfections.  In today’s society you can’t be too thin or too fat because there’s going to be a group that comes together and bashes you for it.  BE YOU!  WORRY ABOUT YOU!  I don’t mean that in a selfish, self centered way but in a Michael Jackson “take a look in the mirror” way.

We are holding ourselves back and each other by living the way we are.  Let a kid get a gift they didn’t ask for on a list so they learn humility and gratitude.  Let a student fail at a problem so they can learn how to get it right on their own.  Let a baby fall while learning to walk so they learn how to get back up and try again.  Let a woman, man, girl, boy, etc. learn to pave their own path so that they may reap the reward for achieving their goal.  There’s always a reaction for every action we take–they may be unintended but it’s going to happen none the less.  What’s the better option–“Bandaid” the problem or find a solution?  I prefer the solution, personally!

So that’s why I’m sitting here in bed (at 915pm PT) and I’m ok with that.  Label me the old lady who’s in bed before some kids are.  I don’t care.  I know that I need sleep in order to function well and with this jump ahead an hour, “performing well” isn’t where I’m at yet.  I know I’m a littler bitter that I don’t wake up at 6am to daylight anymore because of daylight savins.  But the whole government isn’t going to change that just to please me–nor they should!  Plus, I’ll adjust and get there.  I’ll be happy when the weather starts to warm and I can go for an evening run after work outside because it’s brighter later now.  I’m just a little immature about it at the moment–I’ll get over–I learned that lesson young too and I’m better for it!

So what’s this rant (yep, I’ll admit that) have to do with inner reflection, imperfection, and appreciation?  We are all individuals part of a greater piece/system.  My place in this world effects others who come in contact with me–physically or socially.  I know that if I’m not offering my best self through taking care of myself first, i’m weakening the system as a whole.  So yes, some times I just suck it up and get up and do what I have to because the world isn’t going to stop revolving if I don’t want to get out of bed.  Plus, being in that state isn’t going to make me feel any better.  Getting up is hard sometimes, but it’s for the best in the long run.

I’m seeing clearly now that taking care of myself–first and foremost–allows the system as a whole to be better.  It allows me to offer my best self to those I love and care for.  I’m not an immortal superhero who can do everything, all the time, forever.  I’m perfectly imperfection me.  What I can’t do well, someone else can and I’m good to delegate to them.  I was put on this earth for a reason and I’ll work at vocation versus trying to fulfill other’s!

Be ok and accepting of who you are and why you are who you are.  Accept your imperfections as openly as you accept your assets–they all make up who you entirely are anyways.  I’ll share this one last bit with you.  Someone in my WeightWatchers meeting this week said something so simple and yet so profound.  She was going on a cruise and worried about making the healthy choices with the all you can eat options.  A friend told her to just enjoy herself AND (this is the part I love) to let enough be enough!

Time to CELEBRATE!!

There’s so many numbers that seem so defining in the world–an area code (ladies, remember when Carrie freaks out in the SATC movie?!), zip code (uh, hello just about everyone know 90210), income brackets, credit scores, sports rankings, weight, cholesterol counts, nutritional counts, followers, likes, comments, and so on!  Guess I may have forgotten one there…age!  We are young and give our age in fractions when people ask–so how this matters then!  As we grow up we start rounding up to the near whole–meaningful–number, if we are 14 we are saying “almost 16”, 17 goes to 18, 21 starts when we are…well maybe I better not go there, lol! In our 20s we don’t seem to care what the number is until we hit 29 and then wonder how we got to 30, but embrace it after all 30 is the new 20 right?!

As 30 goes just as fast as it came, I find friends starting to round down like the 3__ is somehow a dirty lil secret.  “Oh, it’s the 5th anniversary of my 29th birthday!” Um, what?!?!  Why?  Because if we are 3__ there’s an expectation of where and who we should be and if we aren’t that then we better not actually embrace the number it is?  Because if we don’t say it, it doesn’t really exist?  Because getting older is a bad thing?  Because if I’m 3__ and still living alone and not married with kids I’ve some how failed or something is wrong with me?  Because at anything over 15 I have to act a certain way, look a certain way, and live a certain way?

What’s with all the numbers and labelling?  For a OCP (obsessive compulsive personality) you’d think I’d be all over this labelling and categorizing it’s my thing! But (and maybe this is my creative side that comes out and keeps me from being OCD, literally) the fact of the matter is that I’m just the opposite when it comes to people, and especially myself.  That’s not what this whole post is about though.  Do you ever notice when people (who don’t know you) find out it’s your birthday and one of the first questions they as you is “how old”?  It’s like anniversaries, everyone asks how long.  But what matters to me is everything in between the years! “Oh it’s your wedding anniversary?  That’s great!  What’s been the best part about being married?”  It may sound kind of silly, but I’m serious. A life isn’t a life if it isn’t being lived.

I’m 33 now (officially, it’s now after midnight) and I’m kind of like “ok, so this is another year in 30…”  A younger version of myself would turn to me and say “girl, you better get it together and get yourself a ring on that finger, a house you own (vs rent), some kids, etc. because you’re on your way down, time is a ticking!”  But the me I’ve become knows and thinks differently.  I know that there’s value in planning and goal setting.  But the planning part is just that.  Life will happen and things will change and you need to as well–the only thing that is constant is change.  Life will happen as it’s meant to, it may not go as I initially planned but it will go on.  I never imagined a 30 something birthday without my Mom around.  But the fact is that, she never saw me out of my 20s.  My old self freaked out after my 27th birthday because I realized 30 was right around the corner and 30 ended up being midlife for my Mom.  But me now just lives and celebrates each day.  Sometimes that celebration is done out on a trail and other times on the comfort of my couch.  The last 6 years have taught me that either way, it’s my choice and in making a choice I lay the path to how I live my life moving forward.

My birthday is one I thank my parents for.  I’d like to celebrate those who have helped bring to this very day in this year.  Who created me, help shape me, guide me, support me, encourage me, console me, inspire me, motivate me, reflect me… I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without them.  I like reflecting back on how I got here.  All that I survived and thrived to be who I am today.  The past that prepares me for my future…

I’ve lived 33 years and I’m still here.  I appreciate the gift each day is–the laughter and the tears.  The love and blessings from everyone.  The good, the challenging and everything in between. I’m more then that number, I’m all the living I did until this point.  Today I celebrate my presence.

A Few of my Favorite Fit Things…

With the holidays upon us I was recently asked to share a few of my favorite fit things!  If you don’t know me here’s a synopsis…I’ve personally and naturally shed 170+ lbs (with no desire to gain them back).  I’m a proponent of an overall well being–meaning that in order to truly live a healthy life we must address all aspects of health (mental/emotional, spiritual and physical).  Health is an inside out way of life; we must treat our inside well to reflect a healthy outside.  You’ve seen this probably when people post things like it’s “20% exercise and 80% clean eating/diet”.  But it goes beyond that, our “dirty eating” is triggered by mental/emotional/spiritual lacking.  Similar to how we often confuse hunger with dehydration (meaning we are actually in need of water not food).  I can go more into that in later posts.  This post is about some of my favorite tools to live/lead a healthy life!  So here we go! And some of these are FREE!!

1)  FitBit –This little device (which they have a number of models/styles to choose from) has been attached to my hip–literally–since February 2012!  To date I’ve travel over 6.7K miles!  I love this because it’s a great monitor and motivator to keep me moving throughout my day and not just for my workouts!  The key about sustaining a healthy lifestyle is regular activity not just a hardcore 30-60 minute workout.  This is both a motivator for those busy work days when I’m usually more sedentary and shows me how much more so then usual.  It’s also a great “cheerleader” for those very active days I have!   It’s caught on in my family–my Dad, sister, brother-in-law, three cousins and many friends have their own!  It also allows you the ability to keep yourself accountable with your friends/family online.  

2)  Chopra Center Meditation — I’ve done two of the free 21 day challenges now and loved both of them!  They also offered paid guided meditations and apps.  They help clear my mental clutter and see what’s right in front of me and most important.  I have to admit I don’t get “frazzled” as much any more and this is partially because these challenges allow you to schedule the time to decompress and they guide you towards sustaining the results of their meditations.  

3) Gym Membership — I’m being general here because a gym membership is like a pair of shoes, one style/size doesn’t fit all.  Take the time and do the homework to find the right one for you and your needs.  I’ll admit, I’m a member of 24 Hour Fitness.  I appreciate the convenience and the amenities they offer.  But, there’s no sense in signing up for the one everyone else is if it’s not the right fit for you.  You’ll never go and you’ll end up wasting money.  In fact, perhaps the gym atmosphere all together isn’t your thing…or you are like me and can’t always get there, which leads me to my next favorite thing.

4) & 5) At Home Workouts — I have videos and small equipment (I’m going to mention more than one workout, hence this being two numbers in one).  I’m usually at the gym but there are times I can’t get there.  When that happens I won’t give myself an out but instead another option.  I have a number of different workouts to go to but I like the total body workouts offered in the different BeachBody workouts.  Tony has some great strength and endurance workouts (and NO he doesn’t just do P90X).  My other at home is usually Pilates and/or Yoga.  It’s still one of those workouts that I don’t enjoy doing with a group of people.  So for Pilates I love my Tone and Tighten DVD that I got at my local WeightWatchers which came with some equipment as well!  For yoga I use the PocketYoga app offered for iPad/iPhone.  It’s a guided and timed routine for all levels of yogis!

6) At Home Equipment — Let’s face it, majority of us don’t have room for workout equipment at home and don’t really want an at home gym (I do some day but living in a studio apartment that’s not my reality)!  My go to equipment is the following: yoga mat, kettlebells, bands, and my Gaiam ball/chair.  I’m sitting on the ball/chair as I type this and it’s benefited me in so many ways since I got it!  It’s improved my core while I work, it serves as workout equipment when not being my chair, and my back is much better since I’ve gotten this–I rarely get back/shoulder pain anymore.  The bands are a great alternative to storing weights at home.  For one they are lighter and easier to store!  They come in different tensions to simulate heavier weights and are used in many at home workouts.  Kettlebells can be found at many gyms now as well but I like having my stash at home too.  They are easier to store (in my opinion) vs the regular dumbbells.  They also provide a different kind of weight training workout–think of it like stability training with a weight.  You can do isolated weight training, in addition a lot of the workouts include exercises that work more that one muscle/group at a time which equals more efficient!  And a yoga mat comes in handy for of course your yoga/pilates work but also for any workouts that require you to do floor exercises!.  

7) HydraCoach Water Bottle — I bought mine off of Amazon.com…well I technically got it for Christmas two years ago but I found it there, LOL.  We all have our stash of water bottles (like coffee tumblers) we never use, but this is one I’ve used daily for the past two years!  This water bottle tracks you daily water consumption.  I got it because I always lost track of how many times I’d refill my water bottles and/or glasses.  In addition to, this taught me that I was walking around dehydrated because I was consuming less than my daily goal needed for my body size!  By far one of my favorite products!  I have dropped it (not on purpose), it fits into cup holders, etc. and it’s still by my side daily!  The only thing I’ve had to replace was the mouthpiece and that’s because after two years I wore it out!

8) Journal — Any one that inspires you to go to it daily will do!  I bought my current one off of Amazon but I’ve gotten past ones at Barnes and Noble or other local shops as well.  The purpose of my journal?  Well it’s multi-functional for me!  I track my food/water/activity in my journal but I also write down snippets of what’s happened that day to reflect those choices and then do a weekly reflection of how my week went overall–did I follow Good Health Guidelines, reach my daily water goal, and/or have emotional/stressful day(s)?  It allows me to not only pause and reflect daily/weekly but it offers me the time/space to track that and learn from it.  I can see patterns of good times and struggling times.  

9) Garmin Forerunner — as a runner I have to admit that I’d be lost literally/metaphorically without this!  They come in different styles/models and my Dad even purchased one this past year for himself. Mine is GPS and Heart Rate monitor in one, which is why I got it.  With the training for half marathons I’ve been doing and they on/off road running for it, it’s been a great guide both for miles and my heart rate!

10) CEP Compression Sleeves — my newest addition to my favorites!  In a month I’ve gone from none to four pairs!  They are the one thing I don’t want to take off after my long run days!  They keep you muscles in tip top shape while you are on the go in addition to they are great for recovery as well!  Speaking of recovery, I’m sneaking in one more as a bonus (BonVital) my sport cooling spray.  This was introduced to me by my sports massage therapist and is great for recovery post run!  I pack it in my after race bag for immediate use after I change out of my sweaty clothes.  I reapply after I shower post run as well.  I’ve noticed my recovery to be faster and with little/no soreness.

 

So there you go!!  A few of my Favorite Fitness Things!!!  But remember, they don’t work unless you do!