Fitness Spotlight 7

Fitness Spotlight – B.YOU

Ugh the winter rut…

Over the last month I have been feeling the winter blues, and I am craving warmer weather and the beginning of daylight savings time (summer please get here). I feel like I am tired all the time, while also not being nearly as productive as I usually am. If you have been following my blog, you know that I heavily rely on my fitness routine for mental motivation, and that is especially true at this time of the year.

I also need to have fun while working out, otherwise I just won’t do it. Last week I was invited to attend a class at B.You Fitness here in Louisville, KY. This place is such a hidden gem! The first thing I noticed when looking at the website was how fun the classes look. B.You offers Barre, Bounce and Silque classes – I really can’t wait to go back to try out the candlelight Silque yoga class (if you don’t know what Silque is refer to the picture below on the right).

As soon as I walked in, I was impressed with this place. I was greeted with friendly staff at the desk as soon as I arrived. I was running a bit behind (nothing unusual there) and the instructor was nice enough to get my spot set up while I put my coat and purse away. The facility was clean, and the cheerful colors immediately put me in a more positive frame of mind.

Before taking the barre class, I really thought the class was going to be a breeze, but I have to say that I worked my butt off and felt great afterwards! The class was challenging, but being in a room full of supportive, positive women provided a powerful amount of motivation, especially after a long stressful day at the office.

Needless to say, if you’re stuck in a winter rut and want to try something fresh and new, you need to check out B.You Fitness! If you are interested in trying out a B.You class without any commitments, they will be at the Junior League of Louisville’s Tulips and Julips Art and Gift Market on February 24th (10:30AM) at Slugger Field.

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Details: $15.00 – includes 45-min fitness class, admission into the market & a complimentary mimosa ticket! To purchase tickets follow this link.

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My 5 Essential Self Care Habits

In this crazy, busy world we live in, self care is more important now then ever. It is often so easy to get sucked into the daily grind of work and other obligations, all while neglecting ourselves. But one thing we forget to ask is “does this really benefit my performance at work and in life?” – my guess is probably not. For me personally, I need my “ME” time to be a better daughter, sister, friend and employee. Taking time for myself allows me to decompress while boosting my creativity. There are a few things I try to make time for regularly in order to take care of myself.

Reading

I love to read – and not on an IPad or device. Oh no… I love a good old fashioned, finger print stained book and I can disappear into for an hour or so. I love the smell, the texture and the satisfaction I feel as I turn each page. Sometimes, admittedly I do listen to audiobooks (helps my morning commute go by), but in general I love having a physical book in hand. About a year ago I joined the Junior League’s Book Club, which has kept me motivated to read more. When I read before bed (as opposed to watching TV), I fall asleep faster and often seem to sleep more soundly. After a stressful day, it is also a great way to leave some worries behind for a bit.

Hair Appointments

Being on a budget, this used to be something I HATED to splurge on, and would often put it off until the very last minute. But now I just view it as an investment in self care. I have also started going to a stylist who gives an amazing scalp massage, understands my need for peace and quiet at times, and who never skimps on making sure I leave the salon completely styled and ready for a night out. I always feel relaxed and beautiful when she finishes which makes it feel worth the splurge. As a woman (I think most can relate) I often feel stressed, exhausted and tired. Once I hit the age of 30, I suddenly started to notice the aging process had begun, almost overnight. So now I am more appreciative of those moments when I feel beautiful and at my best.

Spending Time with My Dog

Okay, those of you who know me know that I am slightly OBSESSED with my dog. I know this may seem strange to some, but I don’t have kids and I live alone… so she IS my baby. Regardless of my obsession, I think dogs have a lot to teach us, especially when it comes to love, forgiveness and happiness. Minnie (my dog) reminds me to enjoy the moment, let my hair down and sometimes get my hands dirty. We have been on some great adventures together and on every one of those adventures, I have been “fully present” and that is more rare than you might think. She also never holds a grudge when I don’t get home on time, make her take a bath, or forget to pick up her favorite treats. This has been a great reminder to me that holding a grudge or staying upset only hurts me in the long run.

Spending Time with Friends

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to make more time with my friends. When I first moved to Louisville I had very few friends. In fact, my first year living here I spent a lot of time alone. I do think this alone time was good for me, because for the first time in my life I had time to stop and consider the woman I truly wanted to be without any outside influence. That being said, true friendships (not just party friends), push you to be a better person and offer support when you need it most. Over the last year I have made friendships with some amazing women (mostly through Junior League). These friendships have pushed me be bold and reach for my goals. Many of this women have served as my shoulder to cry on and a listening ear when things haven’t worked out as planned. Friendships like that are valuable and worth investing time in.

Making Time to Play

This may be the most important item on this list. Yes, I am a 32 year old woman and I still love to let loose and play. Life isn’t meant to be serious all the time, and I love to laugh. I like to be silly and tell stupid (usually corny) jokes. I LOVE dancing in my living room to 80’s music with the dog jumping around in confused excitement. I love to sing at the top of my lungs in the car and I need to consistently try new things (like the trampoline class). These things make me smile and laugh, and we all know that laughter is the best medicine.

We all need ways to unwind, especially when life gets stressful. These are just a few of the ways that I let loose. What are some of your self care practices?

 

 

 

 

Coping with Anxiety 3

Uncomfortable Truth

Even as I just write this post, I am beginning to feel quite self-conscious and anxious. Partially because the topic has been stigmatized, and though I have mentioned it in passing on other posts, I have never focused completely on this topic. I am the face of someone who copes daily with anxiety and depression. It is something I have struggled with since my early teens, but there are times it seems to rear its ugly head more than others. This often surprises those I’m not super close with, especially since I try to share mostly positive images of my life.

The fact is I do feel really positive in my life right now, but there’s sometimes a quiet whisper in the back of my mind that likes to focus on the fact that I’m not at the place I thought I would be at this point in my life. I have mentioned this before, but it often feels lonely that I haven’t found someone to share my life with, and that I am not sure if having children of my own will ever be something that happens for me (if my dating life is any indication – probably not). As horrible as it can make me feel, sometimes I am jealous when I see others moving through the phases of life like motherhood, and I feel left behind.

It also hasn’t helped that my dating life has been less than extraordinary. I’ve been in countless relationships that start out AMAZING, but somewhere down the line I tend to begin investing too much. I invest my time, and energy, and emotional support to make someone else happy, which is certainly fine to do in a balanced relationship, unfortunately I tend to be the giver and wind up feeling completely drained and empty. In past relationships, I have spread myself far too thin, as I feel many women probably do. I become the cheerleader, the confidante, and I try so hard to be light and positive with little given in return. Often after these relationships end I slip into a bit of a depression because I have invested so much time and energy and I feel betrayed.

This is actually how the hiking hobby began for me. I had ended a toxic, long term relationship, moved to a new city where I didn’t have any close friends, and began a new career. The first 6 months were lonely, and although I told no one, a lot of tears were shed. I desperately needed to feel strong and independent – I already was, but needed to prove it to myself. Hiking began to make me feel empowered, and I often do it when I need to clear my mind and feel strong, and capable on my own as a woman.

Aside from hiking, I try to be healthy and active which is a natural mood elevator for me. I also say “No” more – without guilt. Sometimes if I am feeling off, I back out of plans. I do this, not to be an ass, but because I know that is what I need to feel recharged. Sometimes I’m a crappy friend because I don’t text right back, but its because I need some time to myself to refocus my energy. And I am not writing this as a personal pity party, because I am slowly getting a handle on my life (I think). Really, I wanted to share this because I feel like if even one of my friends feels lonely, heartbroken, or like they just aren’t where they feel they should be, that they aren’t alone.  As we all share (myself DEFINITELY included) the happiest, most beautiful parts of our lives, and rarely give glimpses into the darker corners, it feels more important than ever to share my struggles.

I want others to know it’s okay to put yourself first, not answer your phone sometimes, and choose to do the things you enjoy. It’s okay to leave unhealthy, unbalanced relationships behind, because you want to invest your energy where it’s wanted and appreciated. And it’s okay to do these things unapologetically.

Ponderings in the Woods

This weekend I decided to head to Red River Gorge on Sunday because the weather was unseasonably warm and I just had to spend it in one of my favorite places! Sometimes the winter months can put me in a bit of a melancholy mindset, and getting outdoors always helps to shake that off.

I loaded up my gear and the dog in the car and we headed for the Gorge. This time I decided to hike to Moonshiners Arch and a few miles along Copperas Creek. My pictures don’t do the scenery justice. The cliffs of the Gorge rose grandly above us on one side and the meandering creek was on the other side, all while being enveloped in the lush forest. Moonshiners Arch is a little off the trail, but it’s a unique treasure with a hole in the top of the arch where the sun was peaking through.

As I walked I began thinking (I think a lot on my hikes) about many of the things I have been worrying about lately. Am I where I should be in life right now with regard to relationships (meeting the right person… how do people do it?!), finances – saving for a home, not to mention the trip I’m trying to plan to Machu Picchu within the next year or so, work performance, yada yada yada…. the list just goes on and on!

At a certain point I finally stopped myself and just enjoyed the moment. I sometimes think I focus so much on my future and where I think I should be and I forget to stop and appreciate the moment. Life is so precious and beautiful, and often times the most beautiful destinations are reached on the most difficult paths, and usually on a path few have traveled. We don’t have to keep up with friends and acquaintances because they are on their own journey.

My life is currently filled with adventure, and I am on my own so I have the benefit of making my own decisions, the ability to grab my backpack at anytime and head out the door. I love having my own space, my own rules and solo adventures. The other things will fall into place when it’s time. For now I will love on my beagle pup (aka best hiking partner ever) and enjoy the space I am in now.

What are some of your goals and dreams? Do you ever find yourself worrying about the things you don’t have, instead of appreciating the things you do? How do you find balance? Let me know! ❤

How Junior League Has Impacted My Life

Today marks the 97th Anniversary of the Junior League of Louisville, and a little over a year ago I was lucky enough to go to my first Meet & Mingle where I made the decision to become a provisional and join. When I first joined I really had no idea what to expect, or if I would even enjoy it; now looking back I can’t imagine my life in Louisville without this group of motivated, intelligent, and empowered women.

When I first moved to Louisville in September 2015, I really didn’t have many friends in Louisville. Many of the people I met were more acquaintances than actual supportive relationships. After a year went by, and desperately feeling the void of not having any strong female relationships, I decided to make the leap and see what Junior League of Louisville was all about.

I also must admit, at first I had some preconceived notions of what it meant to be a “Junior Leaguer.” I had images of white-gloved ladies gossiping, all while they sipped tea ingrained in my head. I quickly realized (within the first meeting) that this was far from the case! These women come from all backgrounds, but they all have their love for the community and their compassion in common.

Since joining JLL I have been privileged to no longer just live in Louisville, but become an active part of the community. I have gained the confidence to use my voice, because I realize now that I do have the power to make a difference. My leadership skills have improved and I trust myself more because I am given opportunities to learn new skills. I have worked with numerous non-profits, hosted wonderful events like Mother’s Day Tea at Gilda’s Club, helped mentor kids on school and career goals, all while making friendships I know will last a lifetime.

If you are interested in learning more about the Junior League of Louisville, please feel free to message me, as I love meeting new potential members, or visit the Junior League website by following this link.

Volunteers of America

Volunteering has become a very important part of my life, especially since joining the Junior League of Louisville last January. For me, volunteering has provided valuable insight into the community I live in and I love having an opportunity to give back. It has certainly made Louisville feel more like home. Most of my friends know that I work with many local organizations, but I want to begin sharing some opportunities where you can become more involved.

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting and poverty simulation at the Volunteers of America facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Until last night, I had heard of this organization, but didn’t really know much about the work they do throughout the region. This organization serves as a shelter for the homeless community, but not only that, they are unique among other homeless shelters because they are able to keep entire families housed together. They also serve as a launching pad to help people overcome the challenges associated with pulling themselves out of poverty. The organization provides:

  • Addiction Recovery Services
  • Veterans Services
  • Developmental Disability Services
  • HIV Services
  • Homeless and Housing Services

The Statistics

  • 4,025 people are homeless in Kentucky (Kentucky Housing Corporation, 2017)
  • Largest percentage of homeless are in Fayette County (Kentucky Housing Corporation, 2017)
  • The fastest growing homeless population is 18-24 year olds (KET, 2017)
  • There were 1,330 overdose deaths in Kentucky in 2016; 31% were among people ages 33-44 (Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, 2016)

The best thing we can do to help our community is spread the word and step up and get involved. If you are interested in learning more about getting involved in Louisville, feel free to message me. If you would like to learn more about the work that Volunteers of America does in our community follow this link.

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Living My Best Life at 32

And no where close to where I thought I’d be.

This week I celebrated my 32nd birthday (yep… the BIG 3-2). Birthdays have always been a bit melancholy for me. I think because it is a reminder of how quickly the years are going by. Often times, I seem to catch myself focusing on the milestones and goals I haven’t yet achieved.

Honestly, if you had asked me 5-10 years ago where I would be at 32 my vision would have been very different. Back then, I felt sure that I would’ve been married with children by now. Sometimes that isn’t always an easy pill to swallow, especially as I watch my friends begin that phase of their life. It has been a challenge for me to accept that there isn’t a “right” timeframe for life.

One thing I can undoubtedly say is that I love the life I am living. It isn’t always perfect and some days are better than others. My 30’s have been amazing so far and I feel less pressure to fit in and more relaxed in my own skin. I have fun, I challenge myself and try new things. This past year I have been fortunate to make new friendships with some of the most talented, compassionate and intelligent women I have ever known.

As I reflect on the last year, it definitely had its lessons and challenges – oh did it ever! But I am grateful knowing that everyday I am becoming stronger, braver and growing closer to the woman that I would like to one day be. I am living my life for me.