Get off your butt & back into the gym

Get off your butt and back into the gym! Understand I’m telling this to myself just as much, if not more, than I’m telling it to you. As I sit here creating my meal plan for next week, I’m also eating mint chocolate chip ice cream out of the tub and drinking a glass of white wine. So to say that I view life as a balance is an understatement.

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Getting back on track for me is the hardest part. It’s not the staying on track that’s challenging, while it provides plenty of temptation, it’s getting started that causes me to immediately fail before I even begin. I have set a 5-6am alarm every morning for the last 7 work mornings and have only gotten up for one of them. Something has to change.

I have been an Advocare product user for 2+ years now and absolutely love the products. They have given me more energy, allowed me to cut out caffeine, helped me stay on track and made me love filling my body with healthy foods again. I’m starting a 24 day challenge on Monday and thought about the steps I’m taking to prepare for success. Maybe you can use one or two of them as well to help you on your journey to a healthier future!

1. Meal Planning – Make a list of the meals and snacks that you’re going to eat for the next 7 days. Also make the grocery list to match. This will help you to stay on track and ignore all of the items you’re craving while shopping.

2. Weekly Meal Prep – I always meal prep on Sunday’s after church. It makes the week easy for those on the go. With your meals already made, you know exactly what you’ll be eating without having to think about it and with the money already spent you’ll be less likely to stop for something different.

3. Refillable Water Bottles – I love my 32oz water bottle, as well as my Swell water bottle (which keeps fluid cold for 12+ hours). This lets me keep water with me at all times! I also recently heard about a 10 gulp rule. Every time you go to take a sip of water, take 10 gulps instead. This will keep you incredibly hydrated throughout the day!

4. Have a workout buddy – Find a friend who can keep you motivated and accountable. I take BodyPump and Spin classes with a girl friend and it helps get us both out of the house at 5am. Knowing that someone is counting on me helps get my feet on the floor and me out the door. It also makes it more enjoyable. Anywhere where you can laugh and be yourself is a great place to be.

5. Get outside – Rather than always working out in a gym, get outdoors. Run around the neighborhood, take a community yoga class, go paddle boarding. Switch up your routine!

6. Throw out the junk – Get rid of all the foods in your home that will cause you to get off track. For me its sweets, and chips. I have made sure to throw out all of the junk in my house so that I can be the most successful. Also, it requires me to go out of my way if I really want to get those items.

7. A good night sleep – I have found I’m the most productive if I get 8-9 hours of sleep, so going to bed early is essential.

8. Daily Journaling – Writing every evening about my day helps me clear my head before bed but also lets me list out my workouts. It also allows me to track my progress.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

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Talk about being humbled

I think, like most people, failing is something that scares me. Its frustrating, disappointing, disheartening and discouraging. It can make you feel down on yourself, and depressed. And it can make you feel like you’ve let yourself, as well as others, down.

I realized today while logging on to my graduate school program that I am in my last semester to get my grades up before I am academically discharged from my program. In english, that means kicked out. I knew it was possible, but never did I think it would happen to me. My program is my dream. To be a nutritionist. To teach people all about food, and how it can hurt and harm, or heal and help you. How vitamins can change the way your body accepts and rejects food. The importance of physical activity, through both strength training and cardio exercises. The dream was to open a yoga studio where my nutrition practice funded the studio so that yoga could be more affordable for everyone who wants to practice.

Its incredibly hard to not feel like I’m watching my dream fade away. And I immediately go to that saying, you have to lose everything before you can really find yourself. Or you have to lose it all in order to gain everything.

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I have always believe that the more you talk about something, and put the idea into the universe, the more likely you are to fulfill that dream. Which is exactly why everyone and their mother knows that I’m in graduate school. And that I want to open a yoga studio. And obviously be this world renowned yogi that travels and teaches. Like Yogagirl. 🙂 What she does is the dream, truly. But when I’m realistic, opening the studio and teaching people about good food was more than enough.

I never would have thought I was going to have to step out of my program so that I didn’t have to get kicked out. Its embarrassing. Something that SO many people know about is ending. And I have no control over it because I did my best. With a full time job, I tried to add a masters program. I really am embarrassed, because I never thought it would happen to me. Never would I have thought that I would be worried about losing my job because of a move cross country. Never would I have thought that at 24 I would be single again, in this big and terrifying world. Never would I have thought that I would lose the dream before I created a new one. I never thought I would have to lose it all before I’d find everything, which I’m praying is coming.

The Bible tells us 365 times “Do not fear”. 365 times. That is literally a daily reminder to not be scared. To not worry and to have hope in the plan that is bigger than I am. For someone who has always, and I mean always, had a plan I have never felt so humbled at the idea that I have no idea what is next in my life. I have no idea what the dream is now. And honestly, it could be on hold for a few years at most when I reapply to my masters and finish in 5 years. Or I get my personal training cert and go that direction. Or maybe I just work at an established yoga studio, rather than creating my own. Or maybe I develop a new dream.

All I know is that I have never really and truly given my whole life, dreams and all, to God for Him to do with as he will. But in the last 3 months, He has proven to me that I don’t need any of the things that were in my life previously. I don’t need the man that was never going to make me a wife and a mother. I don’t need the masters program that I was so openly proud to have (which may have been my problem. Maybe I was too proud.) I don’t need the job that pays my bills, now my student loans, as well as my new car payment, and the food for my golden doodle. I don’t need to worry about the things I have no control over, like my pup eating a cat toy and providing me with $6,000 of medical bills. (Thank the Lord for pet insurance.) And I don’t need the only city that I have ever lived in and the comfort and support that it has provided me.

God, you are SO good. And through everything that you have thrown my way these last few months, I have never once questioned you. This alone is incredible, knowing everything else that life has thrown me, and how I always blamed You for it all. Maybe thats growth. Maybe its acceptance. But I think it’s faith. Faith in a plan bigger and better than I can imagine. The dream I had for myself was so big, and bold, and what You have for me is going to be even better. My only request is that I’m ready for it when You give it to me. Please God let me be ready. I am constantly in awe of You. and I surrender everything to You. Your love is so incredible, and I will keep focusing on the blessing you continue to pour out on me, even when I have no idea where I’m headed. Thank you God for keeping me in the palm of Your hand, even when I have no idea where I’m headed. Amen.

Austin, Texas

When you have the opportunity to selfishly put yourself first, its incredible what immediately comes to mind.

I have been single for just under 2 1/2 months now, and honestly one of the first things I decided in that initial week of this new chapter was deciding to move out of Northern, VA. While I have lived here my entire life and absolutely love this city, I’m ready for a new place to learn, explore and fall in love with. While visiting Austin last month I had the opportunity to walk through apartments, and truly fall in love with the city that I would be spending so much time in. I honestly have never been so excited about what is coming. But, knowing whats coming, with so few friends knowing makes this summer even better. I have never been good at living in the moment, and this move in actually teaching me that. To enjoy every moment. Say yes to every opportunity that is brought to me, and really love the time I had left in this incredible city.

I never thought I would leave this area. When my parents moved, Andrew and I had decided we would purchase a house in the Northern, VA area. After visiting Austin at Christmas I realized that I loved the city life, and wanted to be able to experience that, but Andrew wanted to stay in the suburbs. So we agreed to the suburbs. I also had suggested to Andrew that we move south closer to my family, but he never wanted to leave this area, so we were going to stay. When I’m honest with myself, I know I’ve wanted to leave for a while. And that I only truly stayed in this area after my parents moved because of Andrew. My mom asked me at least 100 times to come with them and start over. I never thought I would.

I’m working out details with my work now, and while I confidently believed that it would work out, now I’m not as confident. But I’m not scared or worried at all. For someone that is a total type A personality, I’m generally in a panic when something doesn’t go according to the plan. I think I actually understand the idea of ‘giving it all to God’. He is going to take care of me. And whether my job lets me work remote or not, I’ll figure something out when i get there. Maybe I focus on grad school for a semester, and work at Lululemon in Austin. And maybe teach for a yoga studio. And maybe a restaurant or bar as well. Well obviously that is not the ideal plan for a 24 year old with a bachelor’s degree, 2 years experience, 1 year to go in my Masters and student loans, it might actually make me the happiest. I feel like when I have been so worried about the money, and figuring every out I have considered less what makes me happy. What will provide me the best quality of life. And maybe its not a 9-5 job. At this point, I don’t know. But I have a lot of ideas, so I guess well see.

I sit down with my director on Tuesday morning to discuss my role in Austin, and how my pay, and expectations will change. Depending on how that goes, I may not need a new job. But I also might need something when I get to Austin, or even before then. Who knows? But either way, my lease in Northern, VA doesn’t end until Sept 1, and I don’t think I want to spend my birthday in a place where I know no one. So no matter what I will be in DC until after my birthday.

I’m giving it to God. Literally all of it, and believing that He has a plan for Bentley and I.

Dreaming the biggest I can

With my parents living in Texas, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it would be like moving there too. I miss you family. I miss weekly dinners and being so close to them. I hate stalking travel websites for the cheapest discounted tickets and worrying about taking days off from work to see my family. MY FAMILY. Family is the most constant thing I have ever had. And I never realized how much I loved having them so close. In the house I grew up in. Literally 5 minutes down the road from my apartment.

All this got me thinking and dreaming. What do I want out of this life?

I want to travel. I want to see the world. And open a yoga studio. I want to write. And donate my time. I want to get married and have a family. I want to go to the beach at least once a year and make time to have the sand in between my toes and tan lines that look ridiculous with tank tops. I want to practice yoga daily and meditate. I would love the opportunity to create and teach a course online about nutrition and yoga, and how they pair well together. Maybe as an elective for undergrad or masters. I want to live fearlessly and be content. I want to be completely authentic.

I would love to be able to teach yoga every day. To never wear work clothes again and wear yoga clothes 7 days a week, except for when I don’t want to wear stretchy clothes. And take my dog to work. Have time to write in a Starbucks in the middle of the day and enjoy more of the sunshine that were blessed with. To create my own schedule and do more of what I love.

If you could do what you love, and be your most authentic self, I wonder what you would do.

The New Years Resolution

Every year I have created a New Years resolution about something health related, like practicing yoga every day, or eating more fruits and vegetables, spending more time with family, doing better in school or focusing on me. I’ve never been one to follow through on New Years resolutions. Not because I can’t do it but I forget about what was set for myself in the first place. The year gets crazy with work, school, vacation days, sick leave, and anything that gets you off track.

While with my family over the holidays, I had lots of quiet time to reflect on everything. I realized that in the mist of being so focused on the ring, wedding and marriage, I lost time learning about Andrew, myself and us together. This was such a big disservice that I did to our relationship, and honestly every relationship before him. So this year I’m focusing on learning about us this year, learning about him and learning about us together.

So this year, my New Years resolution is to propose to myself. Because it’s not about the ring. I’m proposing to make more time to learning about myself and putting me first. Focusing on what I want out of my career, and running with the dream of being a yoga studio owner. Focusing on my yoga practice, both on and off the mat. And loving on my fur-baby Bentley every second that I can. I’m proposing to learning more about Andrew and truly taking life one day at a time. There is so much about Andrew that I’ve probably heard him say without understanding, but rather listening to respond. So I’m proposing to actually learning about him, and growing with him as a pair. Life is too short to forget about the days that were given and each moment we can experience. I’m proposing to love fearlessly. And find patience in the challenges.

2015 – I truly can’t wait to see what you reveal.