Prioritize your needs

Hi all! As promised I’m back with a post between the spring semester ending and summer classes beginning. I literally cannot believe another semester is done. It feels like just yesterday I was frantically deciding whether to change my major from Neuroscience –> psychology or outdoor education and last minute sneaking my way into classes.

The decision was made and I’m good with it. While I’m extremely interested in a outdoor education, having a solid background in outdoor adventure groups and communities growing up it’s something that I’m really passionate about. On the other hand, it isn’t something that I felt like I wanted to major in “enough” to put myself in a position of taking that many more classes. The way I see it is, if that is the direction my life is meant to go it will happen regardless and psychology is also a great background to have for the field of outdoor ed/adventure therapy.

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Throwback to Mt. Isolation (september 16′). 12 miles, 5k vert gain. One of my favorites thus far. The suck was real but so was learning to love the process.

One year left, one year left. I keep telling myself this on repeat and it helps. It’s not that I’m “bad” at school. I’m for the bulk of my college career a straight A student minus the period I attempted balancing school + work + treatment. Rather, it doesn’t feel right. I enjoy learning, I love it and feed off of it. Increasing my knowledge base and understanding of both the material I’m studying and the world in general makes me feel grounded. However, sitting in a class full of other students with numerous stimuli and distractions doesn’t jive well with my brain. I can rarely focus and while that was okay the past two semesters, I’ve been apprehensive about the upcoming school year. So I’m doing something about that and choosing to be proactive and supportive of my needs rather than just being in la-la land and pretending I’m a perfectly productive student in the classroom.

. Four FULLY ONLINE summer classes. There is the money honey. I honestly dig online classes, I feel that I’m able to grasp the material equally as well if not better than in-class lecture format because I’m not wasting time sitting in classes unfocused and angsty only to go home to teach myself everything I supposedly just learned in class. I feel very uneasy in classes/on campus which fascinates me because it’s only been like this throughout my time at my current university. It could be the school (size), it could be that my mental health is in a different place now than before and I tend to actually feel my feelings, not feeling like I fit in AT ALL, a combination, or none of the above.

Life is said to be this balancing act – a see-saw if you will. I agree with this, there are good days and bad days, days of growth where you thrive and break down walls, then there are days when the going gets tough and honestly I think the best way to manage these days is being able to take care of yourself. Life isn’t giving in or giving up. It’s not hiding from the world or holding yourself back. It’s owning up to yourself, being present, and showing up in the world.

As I mentioned in a couple posts back when discussing the process of overcoming an injury, “count your rainbows not your thunderstorms.” – Alyssa Knight

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In addition to this, I think it’s being capable of accepting and honoring where you are at now, which may be an entirely different place than a month ago, a year ago, or two months in the future. As human beings we constantly are growing, evolving, and increasing our depth of understanding – having the mental flexibility to allow this and accept/be okay with it is HUGELY IMPORTANT.

I am not where I though I would be at 23, almost 24 years old and that is okay. There is no universal law saying that I need to be doing X or have accomplished Y by the time I’m 24. These are my own self-imposed guidelines/goals/expectations. They are the feelings that strip enjoyment out of life. The feelings of being a failure because I decided that I don’t want what I once thought I did, or wondering why I’m unable to roll with the punches the way society expects me too.

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I’m not abnormal. Heck, what even is normal?! I’m working with who I am to develop the best version of me.

There are days where I have to take a step back from everything and just try to enjoy the little things. Focusing on small stuff helps keep the big stuff more manageable. In the past year I’ve come a ways in terms of being able to recognize when I need to do this instead of keeping pushing through which inevitably leads to either becoming burnt out and/or increased anxiety/panic attacks.

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Enjoying the little things – favorite space in my bedroom – lilacs, star dish with sea shells and tea bag quotes, a few pictures, my globe (in the back), and a card a dear friend gave me.

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Close up. Oh hey Panda 🙂

SO what have I been up to in my week off from school? A whole lot of nothing. I’ve worked pretty minimally, enjoyed the sunshine and warm temps, spent time with friends, and given myself space to prepare for the hefty load of classes in my near future (tomorrow!).

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Sports psychology/mindset reading

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I biked and she ran 🙂

I think that while I still deal with anxiety on a regular basis I’m much more accepting of it and I understand it better than I ever have. Taking time to just be and really pursue the things which light my soul on fire have been absolutely essential to my mental health. That and forcing myself to do things which while sometimes uncomfortable are only going to help me grow. I believe that there is a difference between doing things which are uncomfortable but promote growth versus things which are just not good for our personal needs (e.g online vs. in-class courses). I believe understanding where to draw the line for yourself and prioritizing this is the base of the pyramid in terms of self-care.

Prioritizing is knowing what you stand for. What are your goals? What makes you tick? What are you willing to put up with, sacrifice, leave behind, etc. etc. Learn to maximize everything that will help get you to your end goal. Look at the end goal and determine what needs to happen to get from now –> then. Focus on that stuff.

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clotuds, everything.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

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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)

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

Prioritizing needs + goals vs. ‘wants’

Hello there! Good morning and it’s Sunday funday 🙂

Today is a day full of all sorts of things including taking a few minutes (times like ten) to post on the blog. After this is done I’m getting ready for work and then after work it’s right to finishing up my genetics homework due Monday morning! Sunday’s are such an interesting day – a majority of people have the day off, but yet I find those who work it typically don’t overly mind doing so. Or maybe that’s just me. It’s probably just me. I don’t know it just seems logical because I don’t have class on Sunday and if I weren’t working I probably wouldn’t get much studying done anyways so I might as well just do a shift? It’s not like my job is overly challenging, I’m a barista for crying out loud. It’s fun. I get to play around with fancy espresso drinks and make sandwiches all day, which ultimately results in me smelling… well… not that good by the end of the day.

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Onto today’s topic – prioritizing needs and goals versus “wants”. First off, let’s establish what I am referring to by saying needs and goals and then what I think of as wants. This is probably fairly easy to guess but I want to make sure it’s clear for everyone. I”m not referencing the little things such as food, water, sleep, ect. I’m after the deeper stuff. Needs are the things which are physically and/or mentally/emotionally necessary or else overall wellbeing would be affected. Goals are the things which our innermost being wants to reach. They are the things which keep people driven and in pursuit. Goals are fire, fire to keep going. Goals are the things that our hearts feel complete by reaching. Goals help make us better versions of ourselves. Wants are the things which while maybe they would be nice to have/reach but aren’t necessarily in line with our truest self, or would require letting go of something more important in order to get them. Wants are what we think we need but in reality actually don’t. Wants can be ego, desire, envy. Wants aren’t based from internal “needs”, rather they are external “needs”.

How to know which is which? How to pursue the ones that will actually benefit you as a person? How to actually prioritize and pursue and not allow doubt, fear, or discomfort push you back towards going after the “wants” because, well, typically they are easier.

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It’s no secret that this semester went nothing like planned for me. Nothing. Dropping from full-time to part-time. Adding a second job. Adding a second volunteer position. Leaving the lab I was volunteering/working in. Deciding that I was pursuing a career too specific because it was part of my nature (another post, too much to explain). Taking a step, more like 100 steps back to really look at my life and figure out what I actually NEED for my life. What’s important to me. What am I doing because it makes me happy vs. what am I doing because I think it makes me happy.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Needs // 1. Continue figure out my gut and physical health. 2. Sleep more, drink less coffee, stretch my hips out more, meditate. 3. Pursue the things in school which actually mean something to me versus just make me feel good because I can get an A. 4. Spending quality time with those I love because this helps center me and make everything seem ok.

Goals // 1. Start working in a different lab, one that fulfills my interests because I’m interested not because I think I should be based on my major. Lesson learned. 2. Spend more time with my volunteer positions because I genuinely enjoy them and they involve a community of like-minded people which is a positive influence on my wellbeing. 3. Be honest, nope, be more honest with the things that are in my life that shouldn’t be. Ditch those things, gracefully. Or to be even less concerned just say “bye”.

Wants // 1. I want to get (physically) stronger. I don’t need to. I’m strong. I’m not strong for a girl, for my size, or in comparison to x,y,z. I’m just strong. Could I be stronger? Yes. It is necessary that I am ? Nope. Will it make me a better person? No. This is a want. It’s not a need. It’s not a goal that will make me better. It’s a goal, but not one that should be at the top of the mountain in my case. This kind of belongs between categories because it is in line with my passion but it isn’t critical.  2. I would love to work more. I would love to have more money. But honestly, my mental health and school need to be my PRIORITIES. I’m still working, I’m in college, it could be worse and I don’t have it that bad. I can’t allow this to stress me out (although it totally will). 3. Controlling everything and having a plan for my life. It’s not possible, nor should it be. There are so many variables, ups and downs, factors outside of my control and striving to control everything will ultimately just make me more unhappy.

12142331_404469916417674_1453166683_n Time outside is helpful too. Afternoon walk along the railroad with a good friend ♥ Thanks, Lu.

All of this is really individual. It’s a lot of just gaining the right perspective, for you… and trying to avoid that comparison trap because that’s just a surefire way to get you anxious about your habits and lifestyle. Know where things stand in your life and accept that and allow it to be fulfilling – because honestly if you know what’s important TO YOU and all of your ducks are in a row working towards those things (those needs and goals) then you will ultimately feel fulfilled.

“Don’t sit and wait. Get out there, feel life. Touch the sun, and immerse in the sea.” – Rumi

Realizations & goals for 2015

Hi friends! It’s been quite a while since my last post, coming up on a whole month. What have I been doing? Any news? What’s keeping me busy? So many questions and I am here to answer them. There is one very simple answer: I needed to get a better grasp on my life and take a deep look at myself, my actions, and my goals. I’ve been re-finding myself, so to speak.

First off, I passed my chemistry class last semester 😉 So that’s a MAJOR plus. On top of working, studying my NASM materials, and my own gym time I’ve been keeping busy with an increased social life and enjoying winter break from classes. Although with transferring to a different school starting in the spring, I’ve been super super busy with all that is required for that process. Final transcripts, parking permit, tuition and applying for scholarships, looking into different student organizations and club options, figuring out what credits transferred and which courses I still need. Lots of sticky notes have been used this past month.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know how passionate I am about the gym and lifting. I absolutely love lifting and really any realm of fitness. Being a competitive athlete as a child I don’t think this passion will ever leave. It hasn’t been all fun and games though, and in this case I’m not referring to my eating disorder past and dealing with the inter-mingling of the gym and my ED. I haven’t discussed this much if at all on the blog yet but it’s been a pressing issue recently and I want to share, I have hip dysplasia. For those of you who aren’t familiar, hip dysplasia is a “developmental deformation or misalignment of the hip joint (source).” In my case it’s my left hip and while it isn’t severe by any means it is something that limits my flexibility and stability greatly on that side, alters movement patterns, and limits specific things I’m able to do fitness wise. It’s taken me a long time to be ok with all of that and I’m not going to say I’m 100% ok with it either, there are days where I want to squat heavy again or get my body into a specific yoga pose or row more than 2000m without pain. But my body wasn’t built that way and I’ve been working on accepting that. I’ve been focusing on what I’m able to do rather than what I’m not able to do.

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I cut out all squatting besides the body weight squats done in yoga class (which don’t bother me) about eight months ago because each rep sounded like rice krispies popping. Any additional load above body weight results in a pop. I could feel a pop every time I went down and back up, it didn’t matter if I went above, below, or to exactly parallel. It didn’t matter if I was narrow or wide-stanced. The motion wasn’t right for my body (read: the LOAD isn’t right for my body). But, in the fitness community people are told that squatting is a backbone exercise, the base of the pyramid. I’m here to say, not in every single case.

For me, I deadlift, lunge, do wall-sits, glute-ham raises, bulgarian split squats, step ups, stair runs, partial range of motion leg press, and power cleans. Guess what? I still have insanely strong legs. Perhaps it’s from eight years of competitive jump rope? 😉 This has worked very very well for me until a few weeks ago I began to notice a very minor twinge in my hip during deadlifts, a lift which I’ve never every experienced any issue with. Notably my weight for them is also higher than it has been in years. Being the stubborn child that I am deep down I shrugged this instance off and continued the following two weeks according to plan, increasing weight each week, and by the second week that pop that I was feeling on each rep of my squats I was then feeling on each rep of my deadlifts. After comparing a video of a recent lift to a previous lift and testing the observations I saw I have found that I only feel a pop if my hips reach a certain depth from the initial pull. My speculation is that with an increased pull depth, my pelvis is going into a similar position as a squat would causing the pop. If I keep my hips about 10-15 degrees above parallel during the lift then I will continue to have no issue. There is absolutely zero pain, so as long as the pop stays away I’m continuing on with my lifting goals. Such a struggle. But oh so thankful I think I figured it out.

This is just one instance lately where I have found myself asking what am I willing to risk? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Maybe my version of health is different than others. Perhaps my goals and non-negotiables are different.

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I know that both mental and physical health are extremely important to me and I personally don’t believe that we can really have one but not the other. They go hand-in-hand. I also know that I’m not willing to let go of all the hard work I’ve put into my recovery these past few years. Keeping this in the back of my head, I developed my list of goals and things I’d like to accomplish in a years time.

~ 2015 goals ~

  • Finish up with my NASM personal trainer certification (I’ll be done by April!)
  • Start up at UNH. January 20th can’t come soon enough!
  • Stop identifying myself with labels. I’m not a thing, I’m a person.
  • Journal more, much much more.
  • Start being completely and entirely honest with myself.
  • Get to a point where I don’t need ativan or any other psychoactive medication (future post to follow up this).
  • Meditation, yoga, love, energy, nourishment, and smiling = medicine.
  • Internship at a medical office.
  • Compete in a push-pull powerlifting meet (also April).
  • Smile AND laugh more.
  • Explore the possibility of a nutrition minor, because it’s only five additional courses and I believe nourishment is the foundation to wellness.
  • Explore my own nourishment and the needs of my body. AKA my digestive system could use a tad bit of tlc.
  • Practice finding more internal acceptance during yoga rather than being slightly still on-edge. Did I mention I have anxiety?
  • Try out a new gym.
  • Be involved in a student club at UNH.
  • Determine a fitness routine which both heals my body and helps me gain strength. Let’s be honest, the end goal is to compete again and feel amazing doing so.
  • Keep my social life somewhat possible with school and continue to strengthen it along with relationships.
  • Let it be. Let it go.

What’s a goal or two of yours for the upcoming year?

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso

Favorite things: October

Hi there! Happy hump Wednesday 😉 It’s been a while since I’ve done a post of my favorite things, so I figured it was due time to catch you all up on what I’m obsessed with as of late.

First things first where did October go?!? Seriously though I can’t believe the semester is half way done, craziness I tell you. But please don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about that. I am however (slightly) complaining about the fact that snow is on its way, perhaps even this coming weekend. There is part of me that is excited about this news though. I love the cozy factor of the late fall and winter months. By that I mean scarves, having candles going all day long, and all of the coffee.

What made the list this month:

New mug which reminds me to keep on keeping on. And to not take things too seriously. After all, what happens happens and you can’t let it kill your good vibes. Yes I took a selfie of my coffee mug. Sorry not sorry.

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Avalon Organics Lemon hand & body lotion. For both saving the health of my hands which seem to take a beating on the dryness factor to the extreme and smelling amazing. I’m a fan.

Brand-spankin-new lifting journal. My previous one ran out of room and I figured what better than some motivational words prior to a workout. So far it seems to be doing the trick. Hello PR’s on bench and deadlifts.

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SFH tangerine fish oil. Yes it’s liquid form. Yes it’s tangerine flavor. No it doesn’t taste like crap or give you fish burps. Total win.

Via Nature “purification” essential oil blend. This stuff is the bee’s knees. It’s a blend of grapefruit oil, lemon oil, lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, and frankincense oil. Up until about three months ago I had never even heard of frankincense. Well let me tell you that it smells amazing. Put it in with the rest of the oils listed and you have yourself a killer mix. How I use it: ~ 15-20 drops mixed with about 1/3 cup water in a diffuser and you are good to go. I have this in my bedroom and still notice it each time I walk in.

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Lululemon’s vinyasa scarf. I bought this as an impluse/retail therapy/make myself feel good present and boy am I happy I did. You can check out lulu’s website for details but this scarf can be worn and upward of ten different ways. I mainly wear it as an infinity scarf because it keeps me warm which I totally dig. However let’s not discuss the price tag? Mmmk, thanks.

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Foam rolling. No I am not ridiculously behind on this bandwagon, I just neglected it for a wee bit too long. When I was training for the Spartan Death Race back in 2012 I foam rolled daily and I swore by it. In recent months training though I have just been practicing yoga and calling that my primary form of mobility work. While yoga is great and beneficial for stretching and balance, it isn’t the end all be all of mobility work especially when you are lifting heavy. Over the past month or so I’ve been back to foam rolling and lax ball rolling and I’m noticing a huge difference in mobility and muscle recovery especially in my calves, glutes, and traps. AKA the three main areas of tightness for me.

Maca powder and L-glutamine in my smoothies. I’ll be discussing these two supplements in an upcoming post but for now I’ll leave it with they are doing wonders and I’m keeping them around.

Essie nail-polish. “She said yes” and “ignite the night”, worn together.

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Perfect food bars. Obsessed. I convinced the grocery manager at my work to get these in stock and I’m fairly certain at least 78.3% of what we sell are due to me. I’m oddly ok with this.

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Philosophy ‘Pure Grace’ perfume. I needed a new scent and this one is awesome. I’m not big into fruity perfume, so this stuff does the trick for me. So fresh and clean.

I think that’s a fairly solid list. I love doing these posts because it’s a fun way to break things up and let readers get to know me a bit better aside from the more personal topics. Plus I love seeing others post their favorites which give me new ideas of things to try out!

Question: What have you been loving as of late?

Favorite things: July

Hello there! I want to begin a series of different things I’m enjoying each month. I’ve seen this on numerous other blogs and wanted to join in on the concept, because I think it’s great and fun! With trying to blog more I don’t want to always be talking about more serious topics – I want to break it up. Equal parts fun and serious discussions. Having a balance of the two is important for me.

Before jumping in can I just say how excited I am that it is August? Not to rush time but I’m a fan of learning and can’t wait to be back in a classroom setting come September 2nd. It’ll be here before I know it and I absolutely want to enjoy the rest of my summer relaxing time, but I also am excited to get back pursing my dream of being a physician. Oh the dilemma 😉

Baoding balls. These things are a blessing. Seriously do yourself a favor and buy some.

Red wine. Because it’s my first full legal month. Which actually means it’s my first full month drinking. Because I was that person. Kind of.

I’ve been obsessed with green juice lately. I honestly never thought I would be one to say that because the idea of juicing to me for so long was that it’s unnecessary and costly. While it is quite $$$, I’m also finding some solid benefits. For starters when I work back to back long shifts such as closing then immediately opening and hitting the gym in between my body asks for some support. It’s a convenient way to get in nutrients. For seconds, fiber is taken out of the equation when juicing so there isn’t all that roughage if too much fiber is something you struggle with. So many people are all “I need more fiber”, and I’m over here all “I need less”. My body can’t handle a ton. And by that I clearly mean my digestive system tends to become absurdly upset with me. Not cool.

928574_255832381276287_124704332_n Kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, and kiwi.

On the topic of green things… green monsters have been even more frequent than juice. While I’d love to drink the above everyday my wallet can’t support that. I mean it could but about half of my other expenses would have to go. I can’t really go without gas. Or food. Or coffee. Did I just say I can’t go without coffee? That’s a topic for a different day. Anyways, green monsters are great because they allow for a ton of nutrients (fiber included, but roughage broken down to liquid form) and they taste great. Especially when it’s hot and sticky here in seacoast New Hampshire. Cold, yummy, awesome. The only downside? They look like broccoli soup. That’s what my co-worker tells me. She was convinced until I made her try a sip and she loved it. Winning.

10326367_1380958305498223_372647598_n Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, spinach, banana, mixed berries, strawberry protein powder.

Increasing my time journaling.

Actually painting my nails. I think the last time prior to about a month ago was for a holiday or some family function. I didn’t even paint them for the wedding I attended in June.

securedownload Essie tart deco, smokin’ hot, and she said yes. I’m a fan of these.

What else have I been loving… Well I mean there is yoga and meditation, but those aren’t exactly secrets. With continuing my increased yoga practice I’m feeling better mentally and physically than I have in years. I literally can’t credit these two enough between increasing mental clarity, working through difficult decisions, increasing my self-awareness, and healing my body. Magic I tell you, magic.

10507898_593910520729890_1355017164_n Namaste.

Blogging more 🙂

Group fitness classes. Specifically body combat. I used to go on the regular but fell off the wagon when training for all my races. Fun fitness just wasn’t aloud. Well I’m changing the name of the game. It’s now about what I am feeling on each given day.

Justin’s maple almond butter. No surprise here. In my defense it’s a re-kindled flavor obsession.

10576033_710693569015543_320746607_n This stuff is magic. And I put it on everything.

 

So that is that. I just wrote a post about the little things, and posted pictures of almond butter and nail polish onto my website. On the plus side I didn’t post a selfie of my coffee cup, I’ll save that for instagram. This is a post which is oddly outside of my comfort zone. Cheers to breaking free, new beginnings, and letting go of the fear which holds us back. What have you been loving lately?

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln