Yoga Pose 1

My Changing Body – Another Uncomfortable Topic

For the sake of staying on track and sharing every uncomfortable issue with everyone under the sun, let’s discuss the changes that happen to women (overnight) once you enter your 30’s.

I am healthier and more appreciative of my body than ever, so what the hell is this crap!

Throughout my teens and 20’s I abused my body in ways I would now find unimaginable. I am ashamed to say I drank too much, stayed out too late, even occasionally smoked cigarettes (a thought that now makes me gag beyond belief). There were even times where I would obscenely binge on Taco Bell and Dairy Queen (oh God… the things I would do for a cookie dough Blizzard) with basically ZERO consequences. If I even entertain the thought I eating that way now, I would suddenly gain 20 pounds!

 

Throughout my teens I actively participated in dance and cheerleading, and consistently stayed on the very low end of the BMI chart, partially from training and partially good genetics. As many women often do, I took my body for granted and even nitpicked my body for no reason whatsoever. I had no idea the changes that would happen as soon as I celebrated that 30th Birthday two years ago!

I now enjoy staying active (especially hiking, climbing & yoga), and cooking is a hobby for me so I prepare dinner at home most nights and prep most of my lunches for the week. Even with those healthy changes the days of wearing size 4 dresses and crop tops are gone; instead I have to learn to honor my womanly body with all its curves, and what at one time I viewed as imperfections. I have boobs and a booty and when I am not eating right a little belly too. I am by no means overweight, but am definitely not the size I used to be and I am slowly becoming accepting of that fact – you could even say happy about it.

I am healthier today than I have ever been. Every day I try to be grateful for my body – it takes me on beautiful adventures, allows me to dance, play, run, and hike. I try to be conscientious of what I put into my body (forgoing the excessive late nights and things that go with that). I try not to pick on myself and really focus on not speaking negatively of other women because I really hope to be a source of encouragement for others. We all have “flaws” and we all harshly compare ourselves to others, but lovingly accepting ourselves and others brings a sense of solidarity and peace – even if it is total CRAP that I bust my ass with half the results of the girl I was in my early 20’s lol.

 

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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.

Why I Hike Alone

One question I consistently get from family and friends is, “Why do you hike alone?” and “Don’t you know how dangerous that is?” and the answer is there are many reasons I do, and I am fully aware of the risks involved. Hiking alone can be dangerous and I would never suggest it for just anyone. In fact, as many of my friends know I took a little spill on the ice this week.

 

*Before and after my little accident. 

Luckily my fall wasn’t too bad since I was out alone and pretty far from my car. For me the rewards just outweigh the risks by far.

Empowerment

Being able to complete a challenging hike on my own gives me a sense of confidence like I have never know before. Learning to use a compass, map and my own sense of direction while navigating miles on my own fills me with an amazing sense of accomplishment. This is something that I would never have had the confidence to do alone a few years ago. And these empowering hikes have pushed me to see what other goals I can accomplish (hopefully one day the AT). I am woman – hear me ROAR!

Anxiety Relief

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I have coped with an anxiety disorder since my early teen years. It has been one of those struggles that has at times seemed like I am in an exhausting, unending battle with my mind. One thing gives me relief more than anything else, and that is spending time alone in nature. There is something about getting back to the basics – no makeup, hair in a ponytail, no internet/cell phone and just fresh air, dirt, and me and my dog. I LOVE time with my friends and I love staying connected, but sometimes I need to just take the time to unplug and appreciate the beauty around me. I need this time to unwind and remember that tomorrow is a new day; just breathe and let things go.

Gratitude

When I am alone in the woods or in the eastern hills of Kentucky I often find myself in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. I feel so grateful for my body, my life and the experiences I have and I just feel so joyful. Joyful isn’t a word I normally use, but it seems like the only word that truly conveys the feeling of happiness that fills my heart. I sometimes even catch myself just smiling alone for no reason. Being grateful doesn’t mean everything in your life is perfect – there are so many things I could improve on – but I acknowledge what things I do have in my life instead of constantly seeking the next best thing. I am grateful.

What empowers you? What brings you joy and makes you feel grateful? I would love to hear from you.

Please note: Although I enjoy taking a hike and enjoying the solitude, I always let someone know where I am going, distance and expected completion time and I always go prepared. I have a pack filled with emergency gear, extra water and I always study my routes prior to hitting the dirt. I also know how to read a topographical map in case I get lost – pretty important before setting out alone.

 

Novice Runner & Yogini Begins Her Journey

A little over a month ago, I decided to get back into a solid fitness routine. I have always been very active, but I really HATE going to the gym – I mean REALLY HATE. There have been a couple things that sparked my motivation. Sometime in early November, I got a wild idea to sign up for Louisville’s Triple Crown of Running (this includes a 5k, 10k and finally a 10 miler). I also signed up for my first 502 Fit Pass in December. This has been amazing because I can schedule classes with ease and attend classes throughout the city – never bored with the same old thing. I have really focused my fitness routine on three things right now. Once I have a better habit developed, I’ll begin adding more to my repertoire but this is a good start.

Running

Well as much as I hate it, I am trying to get in at least 4 runs in a week. Lately, they’ve been on the treadmill, I know… NOT the same, but I refuse to freeze my ass off. I have never really been a runner, so completing a 10 miler this Spring is going to be a challenge that I am really going to have to work for.  Slowly, I am beginning to enjoy my runs a little more each day – despite having to get to the gym by 5:30AM to avoid the New Year’s crowd.

Yoga

Lately, I have been posting a lot of yoga pictures and that’s because I have been taking A LOT of yoga classes. My 502 Fit Pass has let me try some new studios with a variety of yoga classes including (Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram and Kundalini). I love my yoga practice because it helps me to reduce my stress level and calm down at the end of the day. I have suffered from terrible (sometimes debilitating) anxiety since my early teen years, and having a grounding yoga practice has worked wonders for my stress level.

Various Activities

I really don’t hate the gym that much, I just get really bored with it and often prefer other activities. I really enjoy going to the climbing gym near my apartment and as I am sure you know I love a good long hike with my dog (Minnie Pearl). I also like riding bikes at the park. Winter has slowed me down on a few of these things, but it is a huge part of my fitness life.

I really just enjoy staying active. I plan to add more weight training and cross training in the future, but hoping these practices will give me a strong foundation to build some positive habits. What are some of your favorite ways to keep fit? If you’re in the Louisville area, do you have any classes you would recommend?

 

5 Days In and 4lbs Down!

So to kick off the New Year I decided to read and begin Dr. Mark Hyman’s The Blood Sugar Solution: 10-Day Detox Diet. Dr. Hyman is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, and I really like his holistic approach to wellness. I really wanted to start eating clean for my health, but I don’t like focusing on a number on a scale because it can be so disheartening.

The Blood Sugar Solution incorporates meditation, light exercise and it is a detox program where you are encouraged to eat… Hallelujah!! Now I do have to admit, I am only 5 days in and I have had to cheat. This diet is not easy as it cuts out all sugar, gluten, dairy, starchy carbs, caffeine and alcohol for 10 days. After the 10 days you can add a few things back in moderation. I am training for a 10 miler right now and plan to do a half marathon after, so I am running a lot. My body needs carbs to not feel like complete garbage. So I have made some modifications to meet my own needs.

I will say the first two days I was following this diet to a “T” and I had a pounding headache, and was dreaming about chocolate; however, I have not felt hungry so far. Now my body has seemed to adjust to the lack of caffeine and sugar and I am sleeping really well. The change on the scale isn’t a primary goal, but I have dropped 4lbs already and feel a lot less bloated.  So I am going to see this through to the end and I will keep you updated.

If you’ve completed the 10-Day Sugar Detox, I would love to hear comments on your experience. I would also love to hear from anyone with any questions! If you’re interested here is a link to Dr. Mark Hyman’s Facebook Page.

New Year’s Resolutions

Well it is the beginning of the New Year and I cannot tell you just how ready I am to have this fresh start in 2018. I know that New Year’s resolutions are somewhat cliché, but I enjoy taking the time to evaluate the previous year while setting some small (achievable) goals for the year ahead. For myself I plan to focus on three things in 2018 including Friendships, Hiking and Personal Wellness.

Friendships

Since moving to Louisville 2 1/2 years ago I have made so many friendships with an amazing group of talented women. The only thing is I tend to be lazy with making plans with my friends at times, and sometimes I just want to chill out in front of Netflix with my bag of Doritos (please don’t judge). This year I want to commit to making plans (outside of mandatory Junior League Meetings) once a month with at least one of my friends.

 

Hiking

Okay, so this is an easy one for me. I just want to recommit myself to getting outside and enjoying a great hike. This is definitely when I am my happiest and any stress I have just seems to melt away. I would like to commit to one hike a month this year, regardless of weather. Since I am planning to blog and record some of my adventures throughout Kentucky this will be an easy goal to accomplish. I get way more than 12 hikes in a year, but I usually don’t get out much during the colder months.

 

Wellness

My most challenging goal will be focusing on my wellness this year. I don’t really want to say fitness, because I want it to be more than that. I am not interested in losing a certain number of pounds (although I won’t be mad). Yoga has been a great addition to my life and helps me manage my anxiety. I want to eat more colorful, healthy foods and I have already committed to run more – I signed up for Louisville’s Triple Crown of Running, so come March I better be ready for a 10 miler! Did I mention I am NOT a runner.

Overall, I just wanted to share a few of my goals for the upcoming year. If you have any goals that you are working on I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment. Either way, I hope you have a wonderful 2018!