Action!

At the beginning of the year, Cathy Savage sent out an email to her team members that said, “We all must have VISION to make our goals a reality; however, unless we take ACTION, visions just become dreams.”  She encouraged her team members to create an “action board” with clear, actionable goals, rather than a “vision board” that may be somewhat more vague.

I love the idea of having a health and fitness action board.  Wanna see mine?  😉

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That’s me in the middle, from the Fitness New England competition I did in 2012.

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I want to make sure I focus on getting up early to fit in my workouts, and spend time every week prepping meals!

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In the middle, I have a few cute quotes and a reminder of my long-term fitness goal for this year (more on that at a later point!)

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By the way, the postcards on my action board are all from my last Birchbox delivery – how cute, huh?
I really enjoyed putting this together and I can imagine I will add to it as time goes on. I plan to hang it in my office next to my quarterly goals that I framed. I’ll show it to you when I get it all set up.

Have you ever made an action board? What are some of your actionable health and fitness goals?

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Back to Center: Health & Fitness Updates

Hey friends!  Oh boy, how time does fly…

I’ve really missed blogging – the problem is, the more I put it off, the less I feel I have to blog about.  That being said, I gotta start somewhere with a new post, because I miss y’all, and I miss my little blog.  So here goes – my health and fitness update (with a little bit of spirit thrown in there for good measure).

I’ll start by saying that 2013 is turning into a year of self-realization for me – and we’re only 3 months into it 🙂

I’m not sure exactly when the turning point happened, but earlier this year, I realized that I haven’t really been living up to being my authentic self.  I’ve been reeeally good at acting like the girl that I imagine people think I should be.  I want to go further into this thought in another post, but for now, I’ll just say this:  I’m coming to realize that I don’t need to be anyone other than ME.  And I don’t need to do things just because I feel like others expect me to do them.  In fact, those perceived expectations are all just in my own head.

So, I’m making conscious choices to spend my time doing things that I truly enjoy and that nurture the real me; not because they are a chore, or a challenge, or because there’s some kind of prize waiting for me at the finish line.  This applies to my health and fitness choices too, as you can imagine.

That’s why I quit the gym.

What, what!?!  Well, technically I froze my membership.  And here’s why:

  1. I love, love, love getting fresh air, walking my dog, and being outside (and dammit, it may be freezing outside here in PA, but spring will be here soon, I have faith!).  I want to start running and walking outside more as the weather gets nicer.
  2. I’m trying to get myself back on track with my budget (that’s a whole ‘nother post) and I want to save a few bucks.
  3. I really haven’t been inspired to hit the iron like I used to.  It just doesn’t seem like where my heart is right now.

Instead of the gym, I’ve been getting up really early in the morning and doing a short session of yoga before the sun comes up.  It feels glorious.

And, get this:  I’ve been meditating.  This is probably the most centering, enlightening thing to have happened in my life in years.  It’s amazing, seriously:  15 to 20 minutes a day of sitting in silence and quieting my mind has helped me to feel calm, centered, and confident for the rest of the day. The daily routine of meditation is allowing me to gain the clarity and focus that I’ve been craving.  It makes my spirit happy 🙂

*Note:  If you are interested in starting a meditation practice of your own, I highly suggest that you jump on the tail end of the free 21-Day Meditation Challenge for Perfect Health, hosted by Deepak Chopra and Oprah.  Amazing.  Trust me 🙂

Also on the fitness front, I’m excited to start TurboFire soon – I ordered the set a while back and am anxiously awaiting to get it in the mail!  I think it’s going to be a great way to get my booty moving and to lean out in time for summer.  The reviewers of TurboFire all say it is so fun  and I can believe it – Chalene Johnson is such a ball of energy!

*Another note:  Chalene wrote an amazing book called Push: 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin’ Body, and the Life You Deserve.  I love this book!  In fact, it was the inspiration for this blog!  It’s written with a health focus, but Chalene so clearly outlines how to set and achieve goals that I recommend it for anyone looking to achieve a sharper focus in that area.

And the final thing, that’s not so related to fitness but is related to health, is that I’m planning to go off the pill.  NO, WE ARE NOT TRYING TO GET PREGNANT!  However, I am ready to stop taking synthetic hormones, which have been in my system for the better part of half of my life.  Crazy, huh?  Again, this experience will probably deserve its own post or two, so if you’re interested in my journey as I get back to living as the authentic “me,” sans fake hormones, let me know 🙂

*Final note:  I’ve been reading a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility, which is full of information and support for women wanting to take a natural approach to birth control (or getting pregnant).  

So…that’s where I am.  I guess I had a lot more to chat about than I thought I did 😉

To anyone who may still be reading this little blog, please let me know:  Have you ever entered a period of your life where you had a shift in perspective?  Where you realized you were neglecting your authentic self?  How did you get back to center?

xoxo (missed you)

May faves

Can you believe we are already 1 week into the month of May?  This year is seriously flying by.  I feel like I just did one of these “faves” posts!  This month’s faves are less about beauty or fashion products and more about things and people that are inspiring me or making my life a little easier.

1.  New Apps:

I never really use my iPhone to its fullest potential.  But in recent weeks, I was keeping a very hectic schedule between my job and my fitness training.  I decided to download some Apps to keep my schedule in order, and here are a couple that turned out to be my faves:

Evernote:

Aaaah, Evernote.  Love of my life.  What in heaven’s name did I do before this came into my world?  Basically, it’s a way to capture and organize information all in one place.  You can save info from your iPhone, iPad, email program, or the Internet, and collect it in notebooks to access later.

Here’s a great example of how this works:  Leading up to my competition, I received a bazillion emails and messages a day about various things.  Hotel reservations, lists of things to pack, confirmation emails for hair / makeup / posing practice appointments, my registration email from Fitness America…the list goes on and on and on.

With Evernote, you can simply click “add to Evernote” with any PDF, email, or selection from the web.  Then you choose the notebook where you want the info to be – in my case, I created a folder called “CSF Competition.”

And voila!  There you go – everything in one place, accessible from anywhere!

Ace Budget:

I’ve really been slacking on keeping track of my finances lately.  I find that when I get busy, I just kind of forget to do things like pay bills or look at my checking account balance.  Oopsie!!  😉

This became most evident last month when my husband received a call from our power company, letting him know that we were not one but TWO months behind on our electric / gas bill.  Uh yeah, I pay that bill.  Uh yeah, I spaced out for two months.  Again, oopsie!

There’s no reason that a 32 year old woman shouldn’t be able to keep up with her bills and home budget.  I mean, really.  So, I downloaded “Ace Budget” to help me keep track of my spending, and I love it!

(not my info; this is from iTunes)

Basically, you just input your expenses and your income and it tracks these items compared to a monthly, weekly, or annual budget.  Nothing complicated, but it helps keep me in check.  My goal is to update my Ace Budget app every Monday night, just to be sure that we’re not about to have our utilities shut down or anything.  Seriously, ridiculous.

2.  Flavored Coffee:

Omg, omg!!  This coffee is soooo good.  It totally reminds me of when we got married last year.  I have such a great memory of my wedding day in Hawaii, when my sister-in-law Ali showed up to my hotel room with all kinds of snacks to tide us over while we were getting dolled up for the wedding.  And one of my favorite things she brought to the room was coconut-flavored Kona coffee.  This, my friends, is the closest dupe I’ve found on the “mainland.”

I bought this at Giant.  It smells divine and this got me through my cravings when I was training for my competition.  TRY IT!  🙂

3.  Girl Crushes:

Can I get a “hell yeah” for some strong, beautiful, kick-ass women?!

Gina Carano:

My hubby and I just recently watched the movie Haywire, and I was enthralled by Gina Carano.  Her rise to fame was due to her career in mixed martial arts, which I’ve always had an aversion to (just seems so gruesome!), but she may have changed my mind.   She is so gorgeous and such a BAD ASS in this movie!  Love her!

Elle Swan:

I listen to Sirius Radio Cosmo Channel’s Wake Up with Taylor EVERY morning.  Several weeks ago, they interviewed Elle Swan, an “International Vibrant Living Expert.”  I was totally captivated by her story!  Elle has risen up from some of the darkest scenarios you can imagine:  she was a homeless alcoholic and drug addict who struggled with her weight and almost died from an overdose.  She had an emotional awakening and now specializes in “assisting others in overcoming all self-defeating thinking and behavior.”

What really resonated with me from her interview on Wake Up was her views on relationship standards.  Elle teaches women to rise above mediocre when it comes to men and to EXPECT the BEST from your relationships.  As I listened to her speak, I found myself emphatically nodding my head and saying “yes!!” aloud.  I wish I had come across Elle years ago, back when I didn’t take care of myself and allowed my relationship standards to be sub par at best.  Anyone reading this who may feel she deserves better should pay Elle a visit 🙂

The pop up videos on the site are a little annoying to me (sorry, girl!), but please check out Elle’s site for an eye-opening reality check from a true life success story.

Tara Mohr:

I like to listen to Jillian Michael’s podcast when I’m taking Pickles on long walks around the neighborhood.  Jillian recently interviewed Tara Mohr, and I was blown away by this woman’s quiet confidence and practical advice for professional women in today’s workplace.

I took so many little gems away from that interview.  Tara points out various things like speaking patterns or little things in your communcation style that may downplay your abilities in a male-centric workplace.

Please sign up to receive Tara’s 10 Rules for Brilliant Women Workbook today!  You won’t be disappointed!

 

That is all for my faves so far in the month of May!  Hope you enjoy and let me know your thoughts on anything mentioned in this post!!