Monday, November 18, 2013

It's not about me

Exercise, fitness, nutrition- are these all things just part of a selfish pursuit to happiness?

When we choose to eat better, join a gym and take on the battle of the bulge- we do it because we want to look good. We want to fit into our skinny jeans and be able to say "I did it!"... "I challenged myself and I did it!.. and I lost weight and feel good and LOOK good!"

Most people have no problem with the selfishness of it all. Eating right and exercising will keep us healthy, will give us more energy, and lengthen our lifespans. No one would argue that's a bad thing, right?
For a long time now, living a healthy lifestyle has been rooted in some form of selfishness on my part. Yes I want to feel good, yes I want to have more energy and tackle challenging fitness goals, and yes I want to take pride in my body. And it's only as of recently I realized that as much as I LOVE a good run by the river or sweaty session at the gym, and as much energy and joy and sense of accomplishment is left with me after a workout.... something is still missing.

I really had been struggling to come to terms with the fact that something that seems to be rooted in vanity is actually my passion and the thing I get most excited about every day when I wake up. And yes, for many it may be about vanity-but for me it is so much more that what I look like or how fast I run, or how much weight I can bench press.(haha, funny, I know- the amount of weight I can personally bench press is not one to toot my own horn over)

I once had read an article written by a woman who had given away a special piece of jewelry she owned to an orphan on a mission trip she had taken to South America. She had realized that having possessions wasn't as fulfilling as using those possessions in order to love others. That had really resonated with me but at the time I didn't know it could also be applied to my love for healthy living.

All the sudden it really made sense. The joy I get from my passion does not reach its full potential if I can't share it with others! I would love nothing more but to replicate and pass on my love for running, fitness and nutrition, and use my knowledge and experiences gained from my journey to bless other people. Therein lies the unselfish answer to speaking out for my passion.

I understand there is a lot more to life than vegetables, sit-ups and 5k's but for me- all my experiences every single day are so deeply enhanced by the balance I have attained through eating right and exercising. These things have formed the foundation for moving forward and doing good in all other facets of my life, and I want to share that with my friends, family, and even those of you I don't know!

So now: onto to spreading the joy of a healthy lifestyle both near and far!!!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Listening to your body! And a banana berry smoothie!

Through the years my interest in fitness and nutrition has developed over time. I look back to when I was a fairly unhealthy pre-teen and teenager eating hoho's and corndogs and I realize how far I have come! It has been years of a combo of self-guided research on things like running, resistance training and good nutritious food, as well as learning to really tune into my body and figuring out what makes it truly feel at its optimum.

To me its so fascinating to see this change in myself and the fact that I am STILL learning is pretty exciting. 

Just this weekend I learned a great lesson on tuning into your body. I think this is so important in the world of wellness! 

There are times when I feel far less motivated to get a workout in some days. I think to myself "hmm it would be nice if I just skipped it today- I'll just relax, or do something else productive that I need to do." On these days I know that I should just suck it up and do it because the result is a much happier, bright eyed, ready to conquer the world me. Getting started is hard- but as soon as I'm finished- I have relieved my stress, boosted my energy levels and I just feel GOOD. This was the case on Saturday. But I made myself pop in a 40 minute Insanity video at home. I like to have these videos on hand for those days I don't feel like running or going to the gym- it makes it easier by removing the step of leaving the house- which can be half the battle! Before I knew it the workout was done and I felt rejuvenated and ready for whatever my day had in store.

Then- there are times like Sunday- where I am so exhausted that my body just feels like it has nothing to give and its just screaming out for rest. I had had a long, busy week and I was feeling pretty much out of gas. In the past it has been hard for me to feel okay with going a day without doing something active. I had a hard time reading myself to see if it was because I was making an excuse to be lazy- or if I was actually tired. Sunday I needed to rest- and so I thoroughly enjoyed a low key day and now I feel rested and ready for another week ahead!

Learn how to listen to your body! It knows best!!

Another thing!

I have become a big fan of smoothies. Especially for refueling after a high intensity workout! I think I have found my favorite blend- I made this one after my workout Saturday and here it is:

Half a frozen banana (you can use a regular banana but I like to cut them up and throw them in the freezer-they have a longer life span and help give the smoothie a thicker- smoothie like texture, rather then a juice like texture)

Frozen berries (I like to buy fruit in the produce section and freeze them but the frozen already bagged kind is great too)

1/2 cup PLAIN greek yogurt (you don't need the extra sugar in the flavored stuff- its going to be sweet from the fruit!)

1 cup of fresh spinach 

Tablespoon of Chia seeds

1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder (optional- but I like to give it a little chocolate kick)

1/2 cup Almond milk (might need to add more as you blend to get the right consistency)

VOILA! delicious and does a body good


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The early bird gets the worm

Does anyone else find mornings extremely full of life and hope and hapiness?
I know it seems that I am a rare breed- as it seems many friends/family/colleagues say they hit the snooze button as many times as possible before they slowly roll out of bed and drag themselves into the shower. And not to say that this NEVER happens to me, because it definitely does, but for the most part I can't wait to get up and start my day early. I love that there is a whole day ahead of me-the earlier I wake up, the more day you get!
When it comes to working out, the morning is primetime for me. It kickstarts my mind, body and mood for the rest of the day. I can't tell you how good it feels to be finished with a run or time spent at the gym and head into work with that already checked off my list. As the days get shorter and colder the closer we get to winter, I know it can be so challenging to have the motivation to get up and work out but I just have to remind myself of that feeling that comes over me that fills me full of energy and propels me through the day. I feel unstoppable, I feel motivated, I feel as though positivity is just exploding from the inside out!
It wasn't always this way! Mornings were definitely not always my jam. I used to be a sleep-til-noon if I could type of girl too. I remember in highschool driving to school and thinking to myself when I saw a runner on the sidewalk "what is wrong with them! WHY are they up this early..running!?"
I can remember the summer that waking up early was neccesary and I learned what worked best for me, and I haven't looked back since! Now I would never give up my mornings for anything! Which brings me to the conclusion that if you want to be a morning person- you CAN! It's possible, I promise! A few quick tips that have worked for me..
Routine, Routine, Routine.: try getting in the groove with the same routine every morning. For me I get up the same time, I go to the gym the same time, I come home from the gym the same time-EVERY DAY. I set little time goals of when I should be getting up, leaving as well as what time I need to be in the shower by.
Food!: Look forward to breakfast! It has become my absolute hands down favorite meal of the day. Eggs/ Whole wheat toast/ coffee= YUM. I reward myself with a healthy, nutritious breakfast that I truly enjoy after my workout is complete.
Build in extra time: I never feel rushed in the morning because I build in about 45 min extra time to eat/check emails/Facebook/ online time. I feel this really allows me to unwind and mentally prepare for my day ahead.
Know it takes time: I think the biggest thing that defeats peoples efforts is that those first few days, or even weeks is that they are NOT fun- I'm not gunna lie, YES they suck. It's hard to get up and you may not feel that you enjoy it for a while. It takes time to develop habits and progress is made slowly. Don't give up. Try it for at LEAST a month. It WILL get easier.
And sprinkled in for visual goodness are some random fall Boston photos that I love, Enjoy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Life on paper

There is a sort of excitement stirring today and to be quite honest- I can't tell you why.
I often feel as if I have this greater purpose that I am right on the cusp of discovering. My heart and soul are being prepped for something big. The hard part of it is just waiting to know what exactly that means.This is not one of those things you can force, so I will sit here patiently waiting and watching and listening and soaking in the euphoric feeling of knowing something really cool is on the horizon.
On another note- I really enjoy writing and reflecting and making observations through words on paper (er..or computer?) Not that I am the next Ernest Hemingway by any means but I do think there is something about sharing my life story through this creative outlet of writing that is so appealing to me. After all life is just a series of stories strewn together back to back to back. In all hopes of creating a story that people want to read, I am going to do my best to write my little thoughts here. No matter how big or small the audience-or if for nothing else than to have something to read when I get older and to reminisce on how amazing and full of adventure my life has been.

So here's to a life full of curiosity, adventure, and a whole lotta' love.