Posts Tagged ‘Food For Thought’
February 20, 2014
Today was one of those days I really didn’t want to do much. I know… just call me the spokesperson for Lame City. I’ll take it, but for the record, I have been thrown through a handful of unconventional loops this month, both mentally and physically.
Before you start thinking, please don’t read too much into this post! I am okay and I am still very much here to pop in and share daily inspirations and musings with you. But, at the same time, you all know I like to keep it real and tell you if I am having one of those “meh” days.
We all have them, and today is most definitely a “meh” day.
It started off very productive, if you count getting a spray tan and trip to Target in before 9 a.m. productive. But when I got home, I put on a pot of coffee and couldn’t help but to notice the snow storm going on outside. I hate to be that person who keeps bringing it up, but I am going to.
There’s only so many days you can take gloomy, cold and snowy weather outside before winter depression sets in. (I really, really, really can’t wait for the spring to get here!)
There I was, sitting down eating breakfast and thinking about what I needed to get done today. A lot. And I had zero motivation to do any of it.
Instead of loathing in my lack of self-motivation, I turned it into motivation to share this post with you today.
Losing motivation is something I think we can all relate to. Whether it is having a case of the Mondays, a temporary absence from the gym, Senioritis at the end of the school year, or – in my case – Danceritis (what I like to call the month of February in the NBA season), we all struggle with staying on top of what we are supposed to from time to time.
I don’t know about you, but I hate that no motivation feeling. I mean, it’s nice on a Saturday morning and all, but smack dab in the middle of my work week? Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.
So what can you do about it? Lots of things, and below you will find my go-to moves to battle those days where I feel less than motivated!
Tips for Staying Motivated
• Make a plan.
As soon as you get the day started, make a list of things you want to accomplish before you go to bed. (I really need to start doing this again!)
Map out your day and try to stick to your schedule. These are the types of days I always get the most done, including workouts!
Although it might be tempting to cross of the easiest tasks first, take more time and effort crossing off the challenging ones. Those, in completion, are what feel the most accomplishing and will give you even more motivation to keep moving!
• Baby steps.
If you have a million things going on and become easily stressed out about everything you need to accomplish in a short amount of time, resort to baby steps. Don’t think about what you need to do next or tomorrow, but what you need to do right now today.
Go back to that list you made in the morning and start crossing off one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself!
• Set attainable goals.
Hey, I want to say I have run a marathon one day as much as the next guy. (Okay, I might be fine topping out at the half distance.) But, if that is just something you already know isn’t in the cards or not important enough for you to personally work towards in the future, look forward towards other goals you will actually follow through with.
Personally, signing up for my second half in October is an attainable goal for me. It won’t be easy by any means, and I will have to train again for it, but I know I can and will accomplish that goal. Knowing this gives me the motivation I need to stick to my plan of getting it done!
• Get out of your comfort zone.
We can all easily get caught up in what feels like Groundhog Day. Doing the same things day in and day out until your life feels slightly monotonous. The best way to shake that feeling is to get out of your comfort zone and do something out of the ordinary.
For me, it was joining a monthly Book Club I only know one person in. I haven’t picked up and finished a book in quite a while, and making a commitment to read at least one a month forces me to get back to it!
• Mix things up.
I guess this one kind of piggy backs off of the previous point.
A sure fire way to always keep life interesting is to go out of your way to try something new.
Don’t think you can pull off that fashion trend? Know for sure you won’t like that film? Positive you don’t like seafood (as opposed to just saying it?) You will never really know until you actually try it.
(Mini flashback to that 80s roller skating party!)
When I started dating Scott, he introduced me to his rule about going out to dinner and traveling:
We don’t go to chain restaurants unless there aren’t any other options available, and we both have to try anything and everything at least once. I found that outlook on life really attractive and strive to be as open minded as he is in that regard.
If I ever get tired of doing the same type of workouts at the gym, I will try out a new group fitness class or choose the elliptical instead of the treadmill. I will ask a friend to join me to hold myself accountable or even rock a new fitness shoe or outfit to feel like something is different.
When it is all said and done, you will then have more options to turn to the next time you need to spice up a weekend: dinner, movies, activities, workouts, recipes, etc.
• Keep inspiration handy.
I started a Quotables board on Pinterest for this very reason. Whenever I need that extra push of motivation or inspiration to start my day or handle something challenging, there it is.
Also, if I am ever feeling a bit womp womp about getting around to writing a blog post, I take a quick scan of blogs I find to be inspirational. Are you on Bloglovin’ yet? I highly recommend it and enjoy getting an email update filled with motivational people every single night!
• Schedule breaks.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been too “in the zone” to eat lunch at lunch time or answer a phone call. Finding the right time to take a break is great, but make sure you never get “too busy” enough to take one!
Whether it is enjoying a cup of tea next to a snowy window, going for a twenty minute walk outside, or meeting a friend to catch up over lunch, do yourself a favor and include those moments into your life.
Coming back to everything you need to do will feel a lot easier if you allow yourself at least a few minutes to unwind and refresh!
• Find your social support and hold on.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Reach out to friends and people who are equally as motivating, listen to each other and share ideas.
Ever wonder why I use the hashtag #FitFluential religiously? It’s basically the best inspiration I could ever ask for in the healthy living and fitness blog world.
If it’s school work you are having trouble with, talk to your peers or counselors for course suggestions. Frustrated at work? Isn’t that how Happy Hours with co-workers started?
Help people help you.
• Rock out.
This might not apply to everyone, but if you are anything like me you need music to keep you going. Whether it is during a workout or while I am blogging, I go through multiple stations on my Pandora radio throughout the day, depending on what I am doing and what kind of mood I am in.
I have noticed that I am the most productive when I am listening to upbeat music and that is why I create and share workout playlists with you!
If I am ever in a writing slump, I crank one of them up for a song or two, then turn it down and get back to work!
• Acknowledge your accomplishments.
When you complete something big off of your goal, to-do, or even cleaning list, reward yourself! Why else do you think “healthier” desserts were created? It’s like an accomplishment and a treat all in one!
My favorite trips to the gym always include a recovery protein smoothie from the cafe afterwards. It’s like my little way of treating myself after the hard work I just put in.
Also, I really look forward to getting pedicures. I used to get one every two weeks when I was a server and dancer in Orlando, and I always had that reward in my mind during a physically hard day at work.
If you attain a notable goal in your professional career, don’t let it go unrecognized! Finally purchase that iPad or upgrade from your point-and-shoot camera (not hinting here or anything, Scott!) to help you stay on top of things and further your successes.
I hope you have acquired even a little bit of motivational gain on some kind of level. If not, then all I have left for you is…
Coffee. Drink lots of coffee.
Kidding! (Kind of.)
See you all bright and early with tomorrow’s Friday Favorites!
Question of the Day
• What is one thing you have done lately to help you stay motivated?
February 4, 2014
I was going to share something food related today, but I guess all of that can wait until tomorrow’s WIAW. Today, my heartstrings are tugging at my typing fingers and telling them to share everything about my recent run, so I’m just going to roll with it and see where it goes.
I only had about a half an hour to complete a workout yesterday. I could have easily skipped it since I was going to get plenty of cardio in during dance practice, but I didn’t want to. I could have popped in a workout DVD or completed one of my already put together at-home workouts, but I didn’t want to do that either. I wanted to run.
Running is an outlet for me and during the freezing winter months in Michigan, I miss the luxury of running comfortably outside to clear my head a few times a week.
So, with a glimpse of the sunshine beaming down onto the snow, I wanted to take advantage of it by getting out there and enjoying the (somewhat) sunny (pretend) warm afternoon outside.
Running Through Challenges
Geared up and ready to set out on a quick stroll around the neighborhood, I put on my Winter Workout Playlist to warm up with a walk.
From my view, the roads looked plowed enough to run without having too many issues, and I was pumped to get out there!
Challenge #1: Scott pulled into the driveway right as I was leaving it. As much as I wanted to take that half hour and spend it with him, I charged forward.
Challenge #2: Knowing I was on a time schedule, I mapped out an exact route in my head to complete about two and a half miles in twenty minutes. About three minutes into my run, I realized the sidewalks and roads were no longer plowed, and definitely not runnable.
I took a chance and ran on the street, dodging ice patches, slush, and the occasional passing car.
Challenge #3: About half way to my half way mark, I found my path was completely blocked by snow.
Part of me wanted to press forward, but I knew my stubbornness wasn’t worth me risking slipping and twisting an ankle since I was also in a hurry. So I turned around.
I was running with the Armour39 performance monitor, so I was already frustrated that I couldn’t track a consistent, normal run. Eventually, I got over it and kept tracking it anyways.
Challenge #4: My music stopped playing at an audible level.
This has happened before, due to the cold temperatures. Apparently my iPhone is also a Florida native who doesn’t always perform it’s best in freezing climates.
Not having music doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I am a person who thrives off of it. I mentioned last week that I literally have music playing at every moment when I am home, unless I am reading or watching television. During any type of workout, I have to have music I am into playing or it totally throws off my kick booty outlook.
I know, I’m super high maintenance about it. Now you see the challenge.
There I was, only about half way done with my allotted time to run and ready to get back home and move on.
I’m not sure why, but at that exact moment I felt like snapping a photo of my awesome “running track”.
Before you think I am overly dramatic about this one twenty minute run, I promise there’s a purpose in sharing it with you. Read on!
For the remaining ten minutes, I finally saw the reality that workouts don’t always go the way we plan. Days don’t always go the way we plan. Jobs and relationships don’t always go the way we plan. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan.
Listening to nothing but slushy crunching from my footsteps, it only took ten minutes to have an entire new perspective about what is going on in my life.
Running In Circles
In a sense, the title of this post is literal. Due to blocked off sidewalks to my “normal” running path, I did turn around and run in circles around my house until my time was up.
In another, the title of this post subtly mirrors what all of us do every day: deal with the viscous cycles of life’s ups and downs.
Without getting too deep in this one post, I’ll simply say that this year has been one of many challenges.
When Scott lost his job three weeks before our wedding day in Orlando, I thought the next year would be the hardest on both of us, as well as our relationship. And it was.
After moving up north, away from family, friends, and everything I knew, this past year and a half has proved to challenge me and us more than ever.
Just like all of you, I have my good days and bad days. But our futures are only ours to change. The only thing you can change about your future it is your perspective. So that’s what I did.
In just ten short minutes, I blocked whatever negativity I am forced to deal with out and just went for it. I appreciated the fresh and freezing air, even though my nose was running uncontrollably. I stopped getting frustrated with snowy sidewalks and used the random snow patches as obstacles I could jump and hurdle over whilst looking like and idiot. I’m pretty sure what neighbors did see me now refer to me as “that crazy runner lady” and I am now proud to hold that title.
And I think the best part of it all was that I didn’t even know how far I ran. It didn’t matter.
Just for fun, I took a look at my Armour39 app stats and saw the following:
(The left screen shot was taken after my final full speed running step and the right two were taken after I was finished with my cool down walk.)
Do you see it? Look at the 11 minute mark. That’s when I turned around and everything changed. That’s when my perspective lightened. That’s when I said a big “screw you” to the challenges and just went for it. I gave it my all and was on a natural high for the rest of the night as a result.
You might be thinking, “it was just a freaking twenty minute run, Heather.” And you’re right. But you’re also wrong. Nothing is just anything. Things are what you make of them. And through this crazy year of ups and downs I have learned that every day is a gift.
When I got home from practice yesterday, Scott and I turned off the television and had actual conversations. We talked about our days and he showed me two videos he stumbled upon earlier.
Got your tissues ready? Okay… I warned you.
Okay, I’m bawling again.
I don’t know if this is all stemming from my run or if it also has to do with a group text that continuously happens between a few friends and I, but I guess my entire purpose of this post is for you to take away two things.
1) You don’t have to keep running in circles. You are the only one who can change your path, and in a sense, your future.
2) You’re not alone. No matter what you are going through, there is someone out there who can relate and knows what that feels like. And things can always get worse. Find your support system and keep them close!
I have a hard time remembering these things myself. So I encourage you (and me) to keep those two points in mind whenever you feel like you might be running in circles just “going through the motions” on a run, at work, in your relationships, and in life. You don’t have to. And you’re missing out on what life could be. What it’s supposed to be.
Well friends, I think I better stop there. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my running reflections. Maybe now you get why the heck I run so much. Me time. Thinking time. Reflecting time.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day with a positive attitude! Because I’m sure we could all use one to bounce off of. See ya tomorrow!
November 12, 2013
I had a realization today that I make excuses for so many things.
Sometimes I am okay with it and fall back on “when I am done dancing this will change” or “when I have more of a normal schedule this can happen.”
There comes a point when reality sets in and those excuses just seem lame.
Eventually, I get that am just falling into the lure of it… because I can.
A perfect example is the state of my current workout routine:
Where I used to go to the gym four times a week with a long run on the weekend, I have let the busyness of outings, visits from friends and cold weather get in the way.
When I take a step back and look at my calendar there is always something that can get in my way if I let it.
This week it’s the extreme soreness of my body. For some reason, this past week has felt hard on it and my neck, arms, shoulders and back feel fried, which is not exactly the best motivation to hit the gym.
Today I have two options:
1. Say I’ll go to the gym another day because my body deserves it’s rest. (When – in reality – I haven’t been to the gym in almost a week.)
2. Get over the excuse and get it done.
Since working from home, it feels like I have to make much more of an effort to leave the house and get things done. Really. When I was in an office environment, my mind was always go-go-go and I got so much done even on an hour lunch break. I was dressed and ready to attack the day with a cup of coffee in my hand and excited for after-work activities when the day was through.
Now, I’m on my own schedule for the most part. And when it’s cold and snowy outside it takes something really important to get me out the door. I’ll start asking myself…”Do I really need to go and get milk today?”
Ha! It’s actually kind of pathetic when you think about it. I currently have more time than I ever had before, yet I have more excuses. Explain that one.
Sitting here with a smirk on my face, I wanted to share some of the ways I have learned to tackle the concept of making excuses. Because I know I’m not the only one who can fall into them!
• Think about what the outcome of putting your task off will be.
Will it affect you in a big way? Slow you down and push you further away from your goals? Add more to your plate later and stress you out? More than likely, it’s not worth giving into.
• Figure out where the excuse is coming from.
Are you just being lazy? Allowing others to get into your brain? Scared or shy of what or where the task will get you?
There’s a difference in being lazy and reasonably accepting a valid point:
Thinking “If I finish what I started now, it might make me late for my commitment tonight.” vs. “I can just do it tomorrow because I don’t really feel like dealing with it today.” Sadly, I can relate I do the later quite well and is what you call procrastination at it’s finest, my friends.
• Remember how it feels when you finish.
Is it a workout or assignment you’ve been putting off? Whenever you feel like shoving it to the side, think of how accomplished you feel when you finally complete it or turn it in. Hey, remember the feeling of getting off of work on a Friday evening if you need to!
Keep those achievements stored in a little box in your brain to open and dip into any time you need some “do it now” motivation.
(Or just wear motivational messages on your leggings!)
• Foresee the future train of excuses.
Excuses are habitual. If you make one, more than likely another will follow.
- Today’s my cheat day, so I’m going to allow myself to have pizza for lunch. Then a cheeseburger for dinner, followed by a slice of apple pie for dessert. And another. “Because it’s my cheat day.”
- This week is too busy to add anything extra on my plate. I have to stay focused on <insert school/work/family>, so I don’t have time to do anything else not already scheduled in. I’ll have to catch up with that friend or take that yoga class another time. But next week is a holiday, and then my in-laws come into town the one after that.
- It’s just not my week. Crazy things are happening (speeding tickets, drama, injuries) and I can’t stop them. So I’ll just mope around and get through the rest of it. Until when? Monday? Because that’s the start of another one and things just magically fall into place? Only you can change the outcome and attitude of your days.
• Just say yes and move on.
Stop saying no and making excuses. Seriously. As soon as you sense a negative vibe coming at you, block it off.
Take a moment to look at the situation and decipher ways you can handle it. Option A may get you some extra time, but Option B gets you here. Which one is going to help you out in the long run and which one is going to keep you in this middle rut of thinking about it.
I’m not just hinting towards eating healthy and working out either. I’m talking about life and about allowing yourself to let the extra excitements in. Embracing last minute opportunities and not saying “no” just because it wasn’t planned. I am notorious for this, but am also learning to be more spontaneous.
You probably could have already done it by now.
And now you feel silly for wasting all of that time thinking about it.
Let me save you some time… just say “yes” and move on.
I’m no life expert, but I do run this blog and it’s here to express more than a healthy recipe, event, or workout from time to time. I don’t plan these types of posts out ahead of time and I just sit down and write them when I feel them. Most of the time, I am writing myself and hope I take my own advice!
Today it worked. While I only have limited time before having to be somewhere, I could have easily slacked and spent my time doing who knows what not doing what I need to be doing. Instead, I’m getting dressed in my workout clothes, making a list of today’s to-do’s, getting my sore booty to the gym and arriving to my commitment with a smile on my face… because I got past my excuses.
And in the end that feeling conquers all.
Questions of the Day
• What is one way you get past the urge to make excuses?
• What holds you back from always saying “yes”?
• What’s your favorite soup recipe? (I’m dying to try out a new one tonight!)
August 29, 2013
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I am not quite sure where this need for self-love and reflection is coming from, but I’m embracing it. And since I write a blog, I’m sharing it with you.
Do you know what has been the number one thing on my mind?
Growing up vs. not growing up.
28 years old is a strange age for me to grasp. I have officially entered into the “late twenties” category, and am starting to wonder what exactly that means. I woke up thinking about this and stumbling across this “30 Signs You’re Almost 30″ article did me in. That is my life!
When I think back to my college days, I would have bet high dollars that at this age I would be a mother, settled into a home, and possibly into a full-time career. I would have told you that my nights will consist of making dinner, tucking the little ones into their beds, and spending my down time catching up on laundry, cleaning up, and relaxing with the occasional glass of wine. That nights out will only be on the weekends, if we had a babysitter, and they will be something I would look forward to and have in the calendar weeks ahead of time. Friday nights will be “pizza nights” just because. Sundays will be “family day” and after lunch, I will spend the rest of the day getting ready for the busy work week ahead.
When I think back to five years ago, I would have said the same thing.
When I think back to two years ago, it makes me laugh a little.
Nothing about what I wrote above has happened. But, I couldn’t be more okay with it! Here’s why.
On one hand, I feel like I have matured greatly over the past five years. I have learned from mistakes, grown spiritually, and have found exactly what I want to get out of life. I want to be me. I want to live a happy, healthy life and inspire others to do the same. I want to dance. I want to share my stories and surround myself with positive people. I want to set goals and reach them. I want to make a difference!
Not Growing Up
On the other hand, I still feel like I am a 21-year-old who doesn’t have it all figured out. I’m not quite ready to be a mother. I’m selfish and want to be able to go out of town on a moment’s notice if the opportunity presents itself. I like to spend my extra income on things like makeup, dinners out, and little indulgences that make me happy. I’m not ready to sacrifice things I like and want to do and completely change my schedule. I like to have a good time after a game and hang out with my friends. I like to make breakfast for dinner. For now, keeping up with Roadie and the cats is enough responsibility.
I am completely content with where I am and what I am doing.
Seeing people post baby pictures and home improvement projects on their houses used to leave me feeling a little left out. I wanted to own a home and start remodeling it room by room. I wanted to create the coolest permanent home office. I wanted a game/entertainment room for adults and a play room for kids. I wanted to create a place to call my own and start traditions in one place with my family.
With every wedding anniversary comes the question from friends and family about our plans for children and our future. Now that we live far away from a lot of them, catch up calls are required and in turn, so is an update of life each time. It’s not uncommon for those close to us to wonder what our next move (figuratively not literally) in life is.
We really don’t know. Starting a family is something Scott and I go back and forth about every day. We firmly believe that everything happens for a reason at the right time, and it hasn’t happened yet for a reason.
Am I ready to grow up, and for that matter is Scott ready to grow up?
Only time will tell.
For now, I will continue to enjoy being the grandma of my dance team and hang with the best of ‘em! Doing what I love and loving what I do is all I am striving for.
Something To Think About
Embrace the present.
Stop worrying about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
Some things are in your control, but most of life isn’t.
Only you have the choice to make each day better than the last.
(Thought this little nugget from Tina was appropriate.)
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Don’t live off of silly life timelines and deadlines.
Do YOU and be HAPPY with who that is!