Mental health updates & living effectively + sustainably

Why must I use fancy words in my title? Well… #nerdlife

Effectively (adv): In such a manner as to achieve a desired result

Sustainably (adv): In a way that can be maintained at a certain rate or level

* source

I’m a huge proponent of waking up and feeling excited about life. Aren’t we all? Lately it’s been a lot of waking up content, going to the gym, and then heading to school. Fine and dandy, except when it’s not fine and dandy. I need to be capable of excelling in my day to day life without it being draining or daunting. I need to be effective. I don’t feel these two things right now. I want to reach my goals (we all do), but not destroy myself in the process of doing so. I’ve nearly destroyed myself before, a few times, and I’m not open or accepting to that experience ever again. Sure, I might be served a “shit sandwich” as Mark Manson likes to call it, but it’ll be my own preference and therefore I’ll roll with the punches. I want to be able to sustain my lifestyle, actions, inactions, and values.

Recently I’ve been pretty stressed regarding the future. Okay, I’m still pretty stressed, tbh. BUT, I’m becoming more accepting of the whole process, trusting my instinct (which changes… like daily), and letting things just ebb and flow. I’m a junior in college studying neuroscience and nutrition. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, and that is entirely OK. I always had my mind set on something in healthcare, and I still hope to work within that field in some capacity or another. Ever since I was last in treatment for my eating disorder I’ve had my sights set on medicine (prior to that, for the bulk of my existence it was physical therapy). I’m not going to say I want to be doctor because I hope to help people. I mean, yes, that’s true, but it’s so so so much deeper than that. I want to teach people to take care of themselves before it’s too late, or before they get sick, so prevention. I want to help people love themselves. I want to show people that you can be in pain for years, decades, and still come back from that. I want to be the person who can answer the same questions I once had myself. I’m also insanely interested in the brain, microbiome, biomechanics, and the immune system. Oh and I think reading research papers is fun, almost as fun as histology. So essentially I’m a wee little nerd with a plethora of interests. Yep, nailed it.

I thought pursing medicine would be my thing, my niche. Maybe it will be, that I’m not sure of, but I want to broaden my horizons with new ideas. Perhaps becoming a physician isn’t the only way to do all of the previously mentioned goals I hold for myself. I sometimes wish I could just buckle down and say “ok, I’m going to be a doctor”. Close curtain. End of story. I can’t say that because I’m not sure. I know I’m capable of it but I’m not sure it’s the path to reach my goals, personally and professionally. I am working to expand my scope and explore different directions which are more in line with my life and other interests.

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I recently was listening to a YouTube interview with Dr. Allison Brager where she said “plan your career around your lifestyle not your lifestyle around your career”. This REALLY hit home. It struck a chord which hasn’t been struck in quite sometime. The job description of physician jives with my goals. However, the lifestyle of a physician does not come close to the life I hope to have 15-20 years from now. If there is anything I’ve learned from my past, it’s that not living true to myself doesn’t work. Destroying myself while trying to please myself won’t cut it. There’s always another road, another option, another direction for growth. Perhaps letting go of the one single idea I’ve held for years and replacing it with others is the best move I can make. It drives me absolutely crazy that I know I am capable of practicing medicine, but that the lifestyle and schooling process isn’t for me. I’m letting that go, because holding onto that feeling isn’t helpful. I have to remember what I want, not just career wise, but life wise. Ultimately, it comes down to trusting myself.

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I haven’t been really active on social media lately, which has been a positive thing. I’ve used the space to create a better sense of awareness of my goals versus being stuck in the image I’ve held for myself out of comfort. I’ve been spending my free time hiking, running, journaling, lifting, with friends, and reading. I feel like I’m “re-finding myself”. This may sound crazy but I think the last time I was in treatment, while it was extremely beneficial in terms of staying on the path of recovery, I lost a bit of who I am. I lost touch with the free-living, easy going, open, never quitting, curious, passionate side of Sarah. I still had the same interests but the way I approached life was safer.

I learned how to protect myself from relapsing, which in part translated to protecting myself from the world. I’ve been too comfortable, which has lead to extreme discomfort in my life. I’m not saying I have a bad life, I don’t by any means. I’m extremely grateful for all that I have, and the opportunities I’ve been given. But with all the positives I’m not content with what I’m doing. For too long now I’ve been doing what I feel I “should” be doing. While some “shoulds” is essential for getting though college and into graduate school, abandoning many dreams in the process should NOT be part of the equation. This safe avenue has lately been seeminly another way to not live in a way which is allowing me to thrive. I feel out of touch with myself. I’m doing great by the standards of society, acing my classes, working three jobs, sleeping 5-6 hours a night, working out most days, having volunteer positions, but honestly it feels off. I’m excelling in my academics, but they aren’t helping me to find myself. I’m not happy with what I’ve been doing academically and that is beginning to take a major toll on my mental health, between the time commitment and financial investment. Additionally, I feel as though I’m not pursing my real goals.

Stop taking pride in your ability to destroy yourself.” – Michelle K.

I believe personal experiences change people. For me, I’ve definitely learned a boatload about myself throughout the past four years with the past six months likely being the most notable. I’ve been hiking a lot since July. More than in my 23 years all together. It’s been and is an amazing experience. It is teaching me so much more about myself, my values, and my goals that I could ever imagine. I’ve never discussed much of my past on this blog besides that I’ve competed in jumprope and adventure races and am in recovery from a decade long eating disorder. That’s about it. Growing up my family camped a lot – tent, camper, cabin, you name it. We did a lot of outdoor activities – hiking, kayaking, general exploring. I loved it. I participated in softball, soccer, cross-country, jump-rope for sports. Other things I enjoyed were outdoor trips organized by my home town recreation department. We would go on weekend long trips once or twice a month, from snowboarding, camping, bike riding, horseback riding, farm maintenance, to hiking. I loved being outdoors. It was freedom.

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I’m a neuroscience major. It’s cool, yes, but not my passion. When transferring from community college to my current four-year university I decided on neuroscience versus kinesiology or nutrition because 1. I wanted to be a doctor and felt this major would be the best preparation, and 2. I was still in the treatment of my ED and was very interested in the neurobiology of psychopathologies. I don’t find myself learning what I want to be learning. I have enjoyed some of my classes thus far, they are “cool”, but I’m not gaining skills that I foresee myself utilizing much in the future if that makes sense. I’m excelling in my coursework, however I think I’m able to succeed not because I love the course material, but because I’m a disciplined and focused student. While not easy, they aren’t a real challenge either.

I’m tired of being comfortable. I’m tired of the safety net I’ve created. I’m sick of being anxious, depressed, irritable, and angry. I miss feeling amazing and like I could take on the world because I was living true to my own world. I want to explore my dreams again, because by doing so they could be more than dreams one day. I miss just going with the flow, accepting things, and seeing what comes from life. I hate being comfortable… there’s no growth, no newness, no change. It’s this stange viscious cycle.

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For a while I was feeling really stuck and still am to a degree. Althought by spending more time with friends and outdoors I feel better overall. I’m rekindling my relationship with myself, and while I have miles to go the progress at this point feels true to Sarah, not true to what society finds normal. I’m working to make note of the things which make me truly happy long-term, not superficially. I want to understand why I find myself more anxious in certain situations and have the strength to let go of them if need be. One main thing I learned in treatment was to let go. While I may have become too safe in my general approach to life, letting go is a skill which will likely come in handy. My goal at this moment is working to get back to my roots, and living in a way which feels both effective, supportive, and sustainable for me.

“You must go on adventures to find out where you belong.” – Sue Fitzmaurice

Do more of what makes you FEEL good

 

Hi all! It’s been a super hot minute since I’ve posted on the blog but that’s ok. It’s Friday. Yippee. It’s also the end of week SIX of Fall semester, nuts. Thus far I’m really digging being back in classes. Never actually thought I’d say that considering how rough the entire past academic year was. Insert eye roll emoji here. This directly ties into the title of this post, do more of what makes you feel good. Seems simple, right? Common sense? Of course. Do I follow this advice? for the longest time, nope. I attribute this semester going well to the fact that I’ve been doing more things which speak to me and letting go of the things which stress me. Easier said than done, but the outcome so far has been well worth the struggles along the way.

I’ve always been a people pleaser. I genuinely want and enjoy helping others but there is a boundary (at least for me) that needs to be set here. I can’t go out of my way on a consistent basis without taking care of myself because that leads to burnout mentally and physically. Not only a people pleaser but if someone is upset with me, has a difference of opinion, doesn’t like the way I handle X/Y/Z, then I would take it out on myself and myself only. I never actually realized how much this was hurting me on an emotional level until I’ve been working on the way I go about my day to day and filling my life with more activities that truly benefit my wellbeing. I hate saying “no”. It’s so hard for me because I feel like I’m letting someone down and will ruminate on that feeling of not pleasing said person for hours, days, weeks. It’s absurd. Seriously, not ok in any way. Having this kind of mentality isn’t healthy, beneficial, or even sane for that matter.

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I think I’ve shifted away from this mentality easier recently because I’ve been doing more things which I enjoy and therefore feel better in general. I’m less anxious. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a general baseline anxiety and there are days when I’m convinced I’ve gone off the deep end. But, the bad days are further apart now in comparison to the past probably ten years of my life. I will take that and run with it. I no longer throw a complete tantrum like every other day over little things that won’t matter twenty minutes later. I’ve been staying in my classes and coping better with the stresses of school for the most part. Like I said, I still have my moments for sure but after all progress is a process. I know my anxiety is deeply rooted into my being, and breaking free from it is going to be a long and daunting haul. Rewarding, worth it, and beneficial to my health… YES absolutely. But emotionally a roller coaster also. I also believe that over time dealing with my anxiety I’ve become a bit more resilient in managing it, so to say, I’ve become accustomed to it. More adapted.

I keep mentioning that I’m spending more time doing things which are enjoyable to me. The biggest one here is hiking without a doubt. Additionally, just spending more time with friends and enhancing my social life has also been very helpful! I’m what I like to call an outgoing introvert. I need my space. I need “Sarah time” to recharge, sleep, focus, breathe, and chill. But for a while I had too much me time, and that wasn’t good either. I notice that if I’m alone too much I tend to ruminate more, which I would say is probably common for a lot of people. I was stuck in this place of not really wanting to be social because I was afraid or anxious about not having enough time to myself when in reality I had too much time to myself. Catch 22 I guess.

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Back in July I went on my first hike of this season and the bliss I found from this hike was something completely inexplainable. A week later I met with a friend from high school for another hike. A few weeks after the same friend (she’s fabulous) and I went again. One thing that has been super cool is the social aspect I’m getting out of this hobby/passion also. Between reconnecting with a high school friend to actually meeting a social media friend for the first time (and we’ve now gone on two hikes together) is amazing and I’m so grateful for these friendships.

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It’s been a consistent pattern of hiking every weekend to every other weekend since July. I don’t think this is stopping anytime soon. A total of 16 New Hampshire 4000-footers since July. Most of these hikes take up an entire day: leave at 7am, begin hike by 9:30am, hike lasts anywhere until 2pm-6pm, get home between 5pm-8pm. Day done, legs tired, belly full of protein bars and turkey sandwiches and I’m happy. I think about nothing else for a whole day. The driving is usually spent talking and jamming to good music while drinking copious amounts of coffee to prepare ourselves. The hike itself is pure bliss, being in nature and focusing on hiking (read: not tripping over myself every .9 seconds). I feel so good. Not to mention, the views are phenomenal.

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South Twin mountain.

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Zealand mountain.

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Garfield mountain trail. GUYS look at this. Seriously. How can you not be completely at ease after a day spent walking along this trail?!

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Casually standing on top of the entire world. E.g Mt. Zealand lookout spot. Straight up cheesin’ so hard. Endorphin rush to the max!

I’m going with these good feels. I can firmly say I feel more confident in myself and my abilities than I have in years. It’s a good place to be mentally. I still have work to do, but I think I’ve found something that will help me get it done. For me hiking is the best meditation, and meditation is where I calm myself, let go of all the negative feels, and realize that everything will actually be ok despite thinking the world may collapse under me some days.

Tonight a friend is staying over (also hasn’t happened in years because I’m absurdly uptight) and then tomorrow we are… guess what… HIKING. Trip report to come! Also to come – what I’m taking for classes, fitness updates, new job(s), ect…

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir (clearly my end of the post quote had to be this one… so fitting! Winking smile)

That fitness thing

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday. When it’s Tuesday, I don’t workout Winking smile I’m actually being serious though. I’ve talked before about my gym routine and even given some examples of at home workouts. Today I want to talk about what I’m currently doing, which although fairly similar in structure to 2014’s post, there have been some changes and also about two years since I’ve talked about this with you guys. I can’t explain how often I get the question from friends, other bloggers, and readers… what do you actually do at the gym? I’m here today to begin answering that.

Before I lay it all on the table I want to quickly point out that I’m thinking about making this blog a bit more fitness, workout, lifestyle oriented. Just a thought. Everything from workouts (weekly workouts?), supplements (another super common question), what I learned in my sports nutrition course, gym clothing reviews, mobility, daily eats and snax, mental health and self care. These are all topics I’m super passionate about, so naturally I want to delve into them more. It will give me some direction to head in with future posts especially seeing that school is done until the end of August, I no longer work weekends, and have more free-time on my hands.

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Cool? cool.

So my workouts… The general outline is 5 weeks “on” and 1 week “off”. On meaning I’m pushing it, off meaning I do a deload week. During my “on” weeks though I do 1 active recovery day and one full off day. Deload weeks I will lift 40-60% of my usual weights and cut the length of my lifting sessions by about half by taking out some accessory work. I also take out metabolic conditioning workouts for this week to let my body completely restore and replenish itself. You can read more about deloading here if you’re interested. This general outline seems to work super well for me though as I have energy to get through the five weeks, feel refreshed after my deload week, am gaining both strength and endurance, and haven’t been injured since 2012 (knock on ALL the wood).

I’m not going to get super specific in this post because it would be way too detailed, rather I’m just showing an outline of what a 6 week cycle looks like and I’ll get into more of WHAT I do in following posts!

Typical week

Monday: morning lifting + evening conditioning (1 hr – kickboxing) I freaking hate the word “cardio” haha so I use conditioning instead because #IdowhatIwant

Tuesday: active recovery day OR full off day (whichever option I choose here, I’ll do the other on Friday – I choose full off day or active recovery depending on my soreness level and how busy I am on the particular day).

**Note: Active recovery = something like a yoga class, or a short and slow “run” aka casual jog (1-2 miles @ 12-13 pace). Whereas full off day = I do nothing other than typical daily living.**

Wednesday: morning lifting and metabolic conditioning (10-20 minutes high intensity) (CrossFit terminology: “metcon”)

Thursday: evening conditioning (1 hr – kickboxing)

Friday: active recovery day OR full off day

Saturday: morning lifting

Sunday: morning lifting and metabolic conditioning (20-30 minutes high intensity)

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Playground.

Another common question that I’ll answer in this post is “do you do CrossFit?”… Put simply, no. I don’t workout at a CrossFit gym so I try to avoid confusing people and answer no. That being said, the gym I go to has a huge weight room and then a turf area (pictured above) with things like a rower, ski erg, slam balls, medicine balls, a plethora of kettlebells, boxes, tires, ropes, a Rogue rig (not pictured), gymnastics rings, ect. The metabolic conditioning workouts I do are either taken from Crossfit Invictus, made up by me but are things that would also be seen in a CrossFit gym, or taken from Instagram (because lets be honest, people post some good workouts on the gram’).

One thing is for sure though, double unders make it into just about every single workout I do because I love them and am completely biased towards the sport of jump rope.

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Weighted pull ups are another favorite. Mainly because I get to #dickaround Winking smile So there’s that for your Tuesday entertainment.

Like I said, I’ll get into more specifics in following posts, so like what my lifts consist of and a few examples of metabolic conditioning workouts. I’m thinking a weekly workout post idea could be of one of my metcon workouts from the week because those change each week whereas lifting is essentially the same week to week so that would be as boring as boring can be for you guys to read and therefore nobody would read. Kapeesh?

Questions: what are you favorite things to put into a workout (mine being double unders and pull ups)? Do you take a deload week/rest days?

“We often want it so badly that we ruin it before it begins. Overthinking. Fantasizing. Imagining. Expecting. Worrying. Doubting. Just let it naturally evolve.” – Anonymous

FIVE: survey time

Hi guys! Happy 4th of July to everyone Smile I hope you all get to sit back, relax, remember what the holiday is about, and have some fun.

I’m back with a little survey action because why not?! I’m such a sucker for surveys (maybe it’s the science part of me – ok well that makes like no sense but whatever). I find it super interesting to find out random tidbits about other people that you wouldn’t have guessed otherwise. Like, Allie really wants to Horseback ride more often, that’s super cool. I also jacked the idea of taking this survey from her. Without further ado…

FIVE PLACES I WANT TO VISIT

  1. Colorado
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Germany
  4. Ireland
  5. Mayan, Inca, Aztec ruins – I think they are just super cool and I love seeing and experiencing history because it gives me a better perspective of this world

FIVE FOODS I EAT EVERYDAY

  1. Eggs
  2. Sweet potatoes – at one point I was eating WAY too many and my skin began to turn orange. No joke. It’s now like a half to one a day.
  3. Mustard – with horseradish and apple cider vinegar in it please… my breath smells great after I eat this stuff. So great that you should probably avoid hanging out with me until I’ve brushed my teeth or covered it up with gum
  4. Ice cream – So Delicious Cashew Milk (I mentioned this stuff in my favorites post). Seriously like all flavors are the amazing and I know this because I’ve clearly had almost all of them. Chocolate truffle, Snickerdoodle, Cappuccino, Salted caramel… all the bomb.
  5. Nut butter

FIVE THINGS I WEAR EVERYDAY (I swear I do wear “real person” clothing too!)

  1. Gym shorts
  2. Birkenstocks (kids Birkenstocks, mind you, I’m a womens 5 haha! #savingallthemoney)
  3. Sweatshirt
  4. Sport bra (#ittybittytittycommittee)
  5. My hair in a ridiculous bun

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Point proven.

FIVE BOOKS I LOVE

  1. The Sun Also Rises – Earnest Hemingway
  2. Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  3. Being Peace – Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. The Champion’s Mind – Jim Afremow
  5. When Things Falls Apart – Pema Chödrön

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FIVE THINGS ALWAYS IN MY GYM BAG

  1. Jump ropes – literally there are three Smile
  2. Wrist wraps – I talked about these here as well
  3. Nutriforce Sports balanced hydration in citrus flavor
  4. Extra sneaks
  5. Gum – Orbit sweet mint is my go to and I usually chew it during the beginning of my lifting sessions and get bored with it about half way through!

FIVE BEAUTY PRODUCTS I USE DAILY (or bi-daily)

  1. Too Faced Better than Sex mascara
  2. Victoria’s Secret PINK body spray
  3. Dr. Bronner’s soap
  4. Stila eyeliner
  5. Essie nail polish – it’s always painted on my toes so technically I use it daily Winking smile

FIVE THINGS I DO DAILY

  1. Color and/or doodle
  2. Stretch/foam roll
  3. Sing in the car and (if I’m home alone) shower
  4. Drink too much coffee
  5. Pee too much – probably a result of #4… fellow lab and gym friends are concerned

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FIVE THINGS I WISH I DID MORE OFTEN

  1. Yoga
  2. Walk outside
  3. Swim
  4. Spontaneous adventures
  5. Hiking

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I do enjoy my walks to get coffee and then back to the lab however. A nice change of pace and a healthy dose of fresh air + sunshine (aka a break from chemicals and some vitamin D…)

That’s all for now kids. Have a wonderful day and I’ll look forward to any of these surveys you guys repost (seriously, do it for my pure entertainment). Buuuuuut if you don’t feel like doing it at least tell me: what is something you wish you did more often? And, where do you want to visit/travel to?!

“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.” – Sylvia Plath

Recent faves // it’s summah thyme

Hi friends!!! It’s June. Heck, it’s almost July! The summertime is my favorite, probably because I’m a Gemini and June baby. AKA I just had a birthday, now I’m the ripe age of 23. I’m sorry but time seriously flies. I mean first off I feel like I just became legal – never mind that I’ve been legal for two years, like jeez louise hello. I also feel like I just ended school and haven’t been on “break” since the second week of May. I say “break” because technically I finished school today, summer sports nutrition class baby. Loved it. So so so loved it.

Birthday snaps:

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So let us commence a true break for July and August. I’m happy about it. I need it. I’m nervous about it because I am a busy body and get a bit (read: very) stir crazy when I don’t have enough things going on. I mean I could enhance my social life, but honestly while I am pretty social, I need my alone time and a hefty sum of it to recharge. I’m like the outgoing introvert with social anxiety that comes across in most social realms to be an extrovert. Talk about confusing, eh?

Enough ranting and dilly dallying (I had to do a brief catch up though, obviously)… today I want to share with you guys some of my recent favorites – things I’ve been loving from gym gear, to foods, to self-care. 3-2-1-go.

Epsom salt // spearmint epsom salt foot baths have been the best thing I’ve been doing lately on the self-care bandwagon. Well, that and journaling more. Pen to paper always helps ease the mind. But epsom salt does wonders to ease the body. I’m not a huge bath person, so I prefer to just soak my feet haha!

Dreaming Tree wine // Dave Matthews is a co-founder, so clearly this stuff is worth buying (if you’re 21, of course… be safe, kids). I’ve had Crush which is a red blend and the Pinot. This is funny because my go-to wine is Cabernet… which this company does make one… I just have been slacking apparently.

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So Delicious cashew milk ice cream // I don’t care if you need to be dairy free or not…. BUY THIS. I can mildly taste the cashew but this stuff is amazing and I don’t even realize it’s not “real” ice cream. I’ve had the snickerdoodle and salted caramel cluster flavors – both equally good. I’m the weirdo who eats 1-4 spoonfuls of ice cream a night, any more gives me a brain freeze and a sugar high because I’m wicked (can you tell I’m from NH) sugar sensitive.

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Wrist wraps // I’ve always just used straps which are the thicker option but with having small wrists I was finding I felt restricted in my overhead lifts and wanted to try wraps. Loving them. I got these ones.

B-up vanilla peanut butter protein bars // anybody had a white chocolate peanut butter cup? Well, these taste like those do. At least that’s how my taste buds feel. I’m ok with it. Vanilla + PB = the bomb. Thanks, B-up for allowing me to reminisce about my childhood a bit… or multiple times a week. Winking smile

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Essie’s “in the cabana” // summer time = birkenstocks = my toe nails NEED to be painted. I’m typically a fan of the darker purple and red shades but this one is growing on me rather quickly.

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Source

Reading // The Champions Mind. Mental health is just as important as physical health. I really find myself liking this book because as someone whose been involved in sports since age four, I definitely have a very competitive mindset around most of my life so this read is getting through to me and helping me change my focus/shift my thoughts a bit. Highly recommend.

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That’s all for now friends. I’ll be back soon!

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – Paulo Coelho

Summer plans + what I’m doing + some entertainment

Hi there! It’s the weekend, yahoo. To be honest, this entire week has been like a weekend day. Not too much to accomplish, and pretty easy going. The spring semester ended up early last week and I just started my summer sports nutrition class on the 23rd!

Other than school ending and then starting again not much is new. I start summer research full-on this coming week, so I’ll be found in the lab Monday – Friday until end of August. I’m so incredibly pumped to have weekends off. I’ve worked weekends every summer since around 16, so over six years! Ready to have that time off, mainly to start balancing out work, working out, and my social life a bit better. The social life needs some tlc.

For summer classes, I’m taking sports nutrition (month of June) and life-cycle nutrition (month of July). I’ll have August off and will hopefully be headed out to San Diego for a mental health vacation. The first week of sports nutrition so far is pretty lax, a decent amount of work but not uber challenging. The class is right up my alley, and I’m so excited for what’s ahead in terms of materials to learn! Perhaps I’ll get all jacked up Winking smile or get some “useless muscles” (joke between people at my gym)… apparently a member told a trainer they didn’t want to get useless muscles… like shit really…. muscles are useless? Why didn’t someone tell me sooner. Oh wait, I’m being 110% completely sarcastic. I enjoy biceps. I also enjoy being strong, thriving, and being able to support my body… but that’s just me. I’ll keep my useless muscles.

The gym has been going great. Like great great. Lifting feels solid. I’m not the fastest when it comes to strength gains, but maintaining isn’t a concern so I’m happy with that. I’ve been really dialing in on training, and all things recovery (sleep, sauna, stretching, nutrition), and it’s paying off. My endurance is increasing, recovery from workouts is a bit faster, and I’m able to handle a slightly increased volume, and I rarely have any nagging pains or random injuries. It’s been a long time coming to be able to actually say all of this. A LOT of work has been put into the process of getting my body physically where it’s at. There is still a long ways to go to get to where I hope to be, but that is part of the journey. Progress is a process.

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Just focus. (or look like you’re going to sneeze before a lift… either seems to work Winking smile)

Those are essentially my updates for y’all. SO now just for a few random tidbits of information for your reading pleasure.

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THESE.ARE.THE.BOMB. You need them… Now. It’s like the cookie dough (wouldn’t have guessed that from the name would you? Winking smile) out of cookie dough ice cream. To a key. I’m amazed. As a kid I always ate just the cookie dough chunks out and left all the ice cream…haha typical Sarah. So yes, I approve.

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My brain daily. But serious question: do penguins have knees?!! I’m really curious and don’t feel like looking it up on Wikipedia, or rather…the source of all knowledge.

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It’s a damn good thing pineapple is my favorite.

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More e-cards because they’re also my favorite. Apparently a lot of things are my favorite today. But this is SO TRUE. I swear I’ll run 3 miles outside and it’s 25-35 minutes depending on how much lifting I did the day before (to be honest) and how many bugs fly into my face, but then I’ll run three on the dreadmill (yep, I mean to spell it like that) and it’s seriously an hour… well not really… but it damn feels like it.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this post. I miss blogging more and connecting with all of you wonderful blog people that know who you are! I’m happy that it’s the summer and I have much more time on my hands to get some posts out and stalk all the rest of you on the blogosphere.

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E.E Cummings

Pursue YOU

Hi all! Gosh it felt good to finally get something up last week after being on a complete hiatus this semester.

New tunes: tune in while you read. See what I did there? Winking smile

I know I usually (read: always) end my posts with quotes, but today I’m starting with one because it totally ties into all the stuff I’m about to lay on the table.

“NOTHING KILLS YOU LIKE YOUR MIND.”

Well, that’s bold and abrupt. But so f**king spot on. I saw a quote somewhere recently (probably Instagram, lets be honest) and it said: my brain has too many tabs open. THIS. I try to do all the possible things full speed and get myself into so much trouble. Anything and everything that I’m remotely interested in I will try to make something of it. This is both a fun and destructive way to live. I’m terrible at saying “NO” because I think I’m super woman. I’m definitely getting better but I’m stubborn and try to be two-three people on a regular basis. It’s a work in progress. I know I need to cut myself some slack because I’ve cut a bunch of extra baggage from my life in the past year which didn’t belong anymore and this shows progress which I’m happy to recognize.

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When Kombucha bottle words always nail it

I can’t help but feel lately that I’m going after the wrong goals. What? Wrong goals? I *should* say things that are beneficial but not entirely my calling. I found this list of 100 questions to ask yourself on Mind Body Green and wanted to share a few + my answers here.

What lessons am I learning right now? I am learning to honor my body – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually even more. I am learning that although I feel like I should have my life figured out it’s not necessary or typical. I’m 22 not 42, even then, things change, life changes directions. What is stable one day might not be a week later. Life is dynamic and fluid not static.

What expectations am I willing to release? I need to release the expectation that when I make a plan of attack it will go my way… always. This isn’t possible. LIFE happens. Like I said above, it’s fluid. Life ebbs and flows, ups and downs. I like to have a plan and that is ok. However, I need to be ok with it changing. Goals evolve.

In what ways can I be kinder to myself? I need to let go of expecting myself to be able to do it all because this is the thing which is undoubtedly driving me off of the deep end. It’s been all or nothing in each part of my life since I can remember, always saying yes, always going full-in or not going in at all. I need to learn to be ok with the unknown and in-between.

What in my life am I forcing? being a full-fledged science person. This is confusing, complicated, and messy. I’m going to try and explain: I love science. I love learning about new findings, research, medical approaches, holistic medicine. Reading articles on epigenetics or the newest finding on how x chemical affects x hormone is REALLY FUN for me. Listening to podcasts on autoimmunity, the microbiome, or synthesis of vitamins. This stuff utterly excites me. I love the learning and findings but am not so thrilled with being the finder. Does that make sense?!? I like interpreting and understanding. I want to be able to apply this to my career and future life. I don’t want to be the “finder” per say, rather a healer, guide, interpreter.

Where have I been playing it safe? in the gym. I want to compete again. Rather, I want to pursue what lights me on fire more than anything else in the world (yep, even more than reading microbiome articles). I’ll get into this more next time but there will be some changes around here, kids. Expect that. Smile

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“Find a way to block out all the noise around you, create a tunnel and dig.”

You know what you are capable of. Trust that.