April Update 

Hey you, how have you been?

Oh me? Oh you know, I’ve just been hanging out here on my beautiful white chair, in this room this pristine decor, hanging out in a body suit. I’m pretty sure that’s what bloggers do.

Jokes aside, it was a pleasure to have my sister take these shots the other day. I am in awe of how well she captured me. I think there is something to be said about being able to be vulnerable around someone. During this shoot, I was able to be and embrace myself,; I felt completely comfortable. And isn’t it interesting how that can come across in a photo? It reminds me that energy transcends everything.

I have been feeling so comfortable in my own skin lately. They say that is something that comes with age, and now at 28 years old I can say I believe it is true. Even when my skin was fresher, or I was smaller, or my eyes were brighter – I never appreciated all that I was. But now I look at myself with the audacity to say “I’m cute” ( I am though).

I wish I could go back and shake the younger me – I wish I could just say STOP! You are beautiful! Stop criticizing yourself! But I guess that it’s all a part of growing up.


So I will do my usual fitness update but first I want to say: even if my cutting season didn’t go very well, I would still rock a swimsuit with pride. My eyes are nice and my butt is round and my stomach is cute… so take that, society!

I’ve been cutting for the last couple months, but only last week since Brittany left have I actually kicked it into high gear. You know how it is #fitfam – less carbs , more cardio. I’ve been doing at least 30 minutes of cardio with each workout – sweater on and sweating up a storm.

I’m trying to keep my carbs under 100g daily for my cut, with refeeds when I really feel I need them. And before you begin to believe that this means I am restricting myself, please remember that I eat in abundance. Ask anyone who has the pleasure of eating near me about the size of my meals. It’s ridiculous…ly awesome. At the same time, in this lifestyle, sacrifices must be made – I know this game. And I love to play it.

Although this is an important part of my lifestyle, I want you guys to know that I do this for me. I’m happy with who I am. No number on a scale can ever change that. And restricting carbs will never make you happy. Being skinny will never make you happy. So I urge you to be at a good place before you put any additional stress on your body. And as always: love yourself first (the rest will follow anyway).

 

 

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If you are wondering what has been on the menu lately, a day in the life of me eating looks something like this…

  • Meal 1 – Breakfast shake (fruit, veg, Iron Vegan protein powder)
  • Meal 2 – A banana and a handful of almonds
  • Meal 3 – A large salad with greens, vegetables, and nuts
  • Meal 4 – A bit of protein and greens (usually tofu or chicken)
  • Meal 5 – Raw fruits or veg with almond butter or a piece of choc, etc…

Does anyone else get mad sweet cravings before bed? I’ve been making my own chocolate with melted coconut oil, raw cacao, nuts and stevia. Then I just pop it in the freezer for a couple minutes – voila!

Oh one more thing – only 3ish months of school left! I can’t wait to begin taking on clients. I’ve learned so much and my passion for health is a fire burning hotter than ever before. We can all be healthy. We can all be happy. And we all deserve it.

 

Stay tuned for my next post – it’s coming up tomorrow and it’s going to be a good one!

I hope everyone’s April is off to a great start, and onto an even better end!

Catch ya later

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog on your way out, if you haven’t already!

Find me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/standingstrongwellness

Watch me on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9XftlyYl711lf0o7MMt8MA/videos

Things Leaders Do

I have acknowledged many leaders in my 27 years on this planet. Professors, bosses, mentors – for better or worse I marched along to the beat of their drum. Some were good, some were awful (we’ve all been there). But I’m not here to complain about the literal ‘man’ in charge.

This post is about what makes a good leader. It isn’t a title, it isn’t a dollar amount, and it isn’t being the best at something. True leaders are the people we look up to. And this is what they’re like…

True leaders lead by example. They don’t delegate from behind the desk, they are out there doing the work. Leaders shouldn’t ask you do to anything they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do themselves. Leaders should know what it means to do the task; they’ve got to be able to show you how it’s done.

True leaders also lead from the back. They encourage you, support you, and integrate themselves as a part of the team. They are not ahead of you, or above you, or beyond you.

True leaders use their skills and energy to attract people to them. Leaders are approachable and open. Leaders listen to their people actively, thereby letting them know that they are genuinely interested in their success.

True leaders know that their success is dependent on the success of the team. They identify the strengths of their people and use them to the team’s advantage. Leaders are able to see and get the best out of people. Leaders empower. Leaders create leaders.

True leaders inspire. They attack the day with enthusiasm and make the day worth something. They effect change with strategic ease. Leaders make things happen.

I see so many people out there trying to be in charge by looking down on others, bullying, shutting people out, and making other people do all the work. I aspire to be the kind of leader one day I have written about here, I want to effect change with people – empowered people – and make this world a better place.

Thanks for reading!

 

Strong to the Finish Challenge – Week 1

Hello beautiful humans.

I’m here to recap the first week of my transformation challenge!

My “all business” face

I am almost astonished to say that this week, diet was easy. I enjoy healthy nutritionally dense food, so most of it has been a walk in the park. That being said, I haven’t gone “all out” on the dieting yet. I’m eating clean, but I haven’t completely cut out all carbs. I’m not counting calories. I’m focusing on eating my meat and my veggies, and I’m feeling good.

In this way I have noticed that my approach is really different from my other coworkers who are also doing this challenge alongside me. Their approach to diet seems to be more intense. But you know what? Different things work for different people. I think if I completely restrict myself this soon into the challenge I will drive myself bananas and end up on a binge! So I’m happy with my approach and as the challenge continues forward I will adjust my diet accordingly.

Chicken and veggies on spaghetti squash

 

Strawberry, banana, and caocao smoothie

I’ve gotta be honest, workouts have been a tough one for me this week. My gym has gotten increasingly busy over the last few months, and it does cause me a little bit of anxiety when I walk in with a plan and I have to do all sorts of maneuvering and adjusting!

I imagined the first week in I would be a lot more “fired up”, but for some reason I was really missing that this week. Maybe it’s just the business of life spilling over into places it has no business being. I would hate to look back and think I let anything distract me from or during my workouts.

I am a solution-oriented person so as soon as I figure out the problem ( which is typically what takes me the longest ) I decide how to tackle it. I think in this case the answer is simply to be creative. Busy gym? Take the workout outside. Busy and stressed? Switch it up and do some hot yoga. Bored with the same old stuff? Incorporate some lifting moved I haven’t done in a while.

I snapped a quick pick this morning post-breakfast:


I am still a bit bloated from last night, but all in all this is a pretty accurate representation of my core currently. Knowing I am no where near where I want to be is really motivating me today.

It’s time to step things up a notch you guys!

Why you need to pursue your goals for YOU

Beginning any new challenge in life is so exciting. Motivation is at its peak, the fire inside you is burning. The people around you are your cheerleaders, they support and encourage you. Heck! Some might even join you on whatever it is you are venturing into. Excitement is brimming!

But, as time goes on, motivation changes from a steady stream to more of an ebb and flow. The challenge becomes increasingly difficult. Doubts seep in. Your family and friends aren’t there to support you like they were before. Heck, maybe some are so jealous of how far you’ve come that they begin to even sabotage you.

You start to get discouraged. Your heart sinks. This isn’t what you thought it would be.

So what now?

Go back to why you took on this journey in the first place. I hope at the top of the list you find the most important reason of all: YOU.

That desire is one thing that CANT change on your journey: YOU. Money, family, friends, motivation… It all comes and goes.

And it’s not “sad”, it’s just life.

It’s something I’ve come to expect on any new venture.

When I encounter this leg of the race, I try and channel the energy and remember what brought me to take it on in the first place.

My dreams, my goals, showing myself what I can do. It matters to me, and I hope it matters to you.

That’s what you have to fall back on, your love for yourself and your own self-empowerment.

No matter what new exciting thing you have taken on, stay positive! Stick with it! Believe in yourself that YOU have the capacity to see it through!

March Check-in

Even as I write the title to this post, I can’t believe it’s MARCH.

These last two and a half months have gone by so quickly. I think it’s because I’ve been working so much. I barely have time to catch my breath, let alone realize what day it is!

I have taken an interesting turn in the journey towards my best self over the past couple of months. You know, I never realized that self-acceptance required a certain amount of continual maintenance. A year ago I was at a place of radical self-love and self-acceptance. I felt untouchable, simply because I knew who I was and loved that person, flaws, mishaps and all. I acknowledged myself as a human moving forward.

But over time people do change. As I changed, I think I began to lose that acceptance in some ways, because the person I accepted myself as was gone. And not to say in any way I have changed for the worse. I’m just not a student anymore. My work is different. I’m not the single student out there exhausting herself trying to prove something anymore, or make her way. My whole life has essentially changed, and I need to accept who I am now in this space.

So that’s what I’ve been working on. Anything good that will ever come from me will come from a place of love. When you accept yourself and love yourself, you strive to be healthy in all ways. Without that motivation we are just lost. We might be moving but we have no direction. I needed to find that again.

Improvements: My improvements over the last month have been less physical and more spiritual. I have absolutely no sense of shame in saying this. A lot of people fall and feel like a failure. You are only a failure if you don’t get back up! And I always get back up. I’ve just been focusing on a different aspect of my wellness lately. Not to worry, I’m still on track with my fitness in working towards that summer bod!

Current Focus: My current focus is to continue on my physical fitness journey without compromising how far I have come emotionally and spiritually. I want to continue to accept myself at this time and in this body while also working towards bettering myself.

Eating: My eating has been so much better since I removed dairy from my diet. I don’t experience the same mood swings or physical symptoms that I was before I knew I had an allergy! I’ve been eating about 80/20 these days and I am happy with that. My issue most recently has been not eating frequently enough. So although my meals are quality, nourishing, and healthy, I feel like I undo that to a certain point when I’m too busy to eat or I’m unprepared! I would like to start eating 5 meals a day again. Grocery shopping is today so I will definitely be doing some prep work tonight!

Feeling: I feel like change is on the horizon. As a person with anxiety, sometimes I spend more time thinking about doing something than actually doing it. Now, I am at the stage where I am ready to stop thinking and just get my feet moving, you know… move forward.

I am told so often that I am the “healthiest person” that somebody knows. I am met with shock and disbelief sometimes when I share my own struggles. Yes, I go to the gym. Yes, I prefer healthy, homemade cooking. Yes, I continually embark in a spiritual journey towards the betterment of myself! That doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle. Struggling is simply a part of the human experience.

I cannot sit here and be an example as somebody who is perfect, because as we all know, perfect is a myth. What I can do is be open about my knowledge, experiences, and my healing in the hopes that you will connect with something that I’ve said somewhere along the way and that it will resonate with something in you.

Today I am human and I am humbled.

 

Moving Forward (onward and upward)

I’ve made my share of mistakes in life. I’ve said the wrong thing, done the wrong thing. I’ve acted selfishly. I’ve had one too many drinks before and thanked the lord I woke up safely in my home. I’ve blown up in anger, I’ve missed opportunities, I have been stubborn once or twice in my past.

I have embarrassed myself like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve tripped, I’ve fallen, I’ve realized I’ve said too much when it was too late to take it back. I’ve had panic attacks in public, and I have cried in a chair all by my lonesome in a nearly packed Starbucks.

I have been hurt. I’ve trusted the wrong people. I’ve been absolutely crushed by people I invested in. I’ve spent hours trying to understand how any decent human being could treat me in such a way.

But to be honest, I haven’t thought about any of that in a very, very, long time.

Why?

Because that’s all in the past, and I don’t live there. What purpose would it serve me to think of it, to revisit it over and over again?

I’ve learned from every mistake, every hurt, every failure. I carry the lesson with me, not the pain.

So often lately I find myself in contact with people who are very much stuck in the past. They just can’t get over that one, or sometimes the many events that have been negative experiences for them. The friend who lied, the boyfriend who left them, the opportunity they missed. They can’t let it go.

In order to move forward, you have to be facing that direction. No one walks down the sidewalk with their head turned around backwards. Why would you operate in such a way in your mind?

The past can be such a distraction from what really matters, which is the here and now. That’s all we really have. And if you are too busy dwelling on things that have already happened, you are bound to miss the precious seconds passing by. Moments meant to be cherished and appreciated. You will miss that if you’re stuck.

I think a lot of people get stuck in their past because they are still looking for answers. If only it were so easy. Those black-and-white answers are not so readily available in life, and you may never find the one you are looking for.

But don’t be discouraged, because there is one thing you can always find: Meaning. What you have been through, the hurt and the pain and the agony, can mean something. But that’s up to you, to attach a purpose to those negative experiences. You might never be able to say “This happened because…” , but maybe you could say “because of this the positive change I made was…” . That’s your meaning right there.

I know it’s easier said than done, I know this. That is the rule for most things. These are the emotional growing pains, even positive change can be a painful process. But you have every right to live a happy life.

You deserve to move on.
Onward and upward !

 

Girls Can Have Big Arms Too

Are you guys on Youtube?

If so, check me out! Posting videos has been somewhat on the back burner for the past few months, but finally I have followed through with my intention.

 

I’m so excited about my channel because it gives me a new way in which to share my passion for health and wellness. I’ll be posting workouts, recipes, wellness thoughts, nutrition, and anything else health and wellness related.

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Where the Energy Goes.

We are more visible now to others than we ever were before. Our world is shrinking in a way, thanks to social media. Our daily routines and events can now be followed by people all over the world.

It’s an interesting time to be alive, isn’t it? And to think that this wouldn’t have any effect on us at all is outrageous… Our world has changed dramatically.

When I was a kid, I never dreamed that I would be posting pictures on social media of myself in the underwear equivalent of a bathing suit. But it’s not weird. It’s as normal as washing the dishes.

And so I’ve noticed my energy shifting outward. Has anybody else felt that? The world is watching. Likes are being thrown around. How many people are going to post a picture without first wondering what others are going to think of it? I myself am guilty as charged.

Now, I don’t obsess over what people think of me.

But I do believe that the time and energy I do spend investing in guessing or caring could be better spent on something else.

I think that’s why I’ve noticed such a radical self love movement on social media. People are beginning to proudly display themselves as they actually are, instead of how their ego wants them to be seen.

I’m talking armpit hair, no makeup, food baby hanging out. Zero filters allowed, no flattering angles necessary.

I think it’s beautiful. And challenging. On one hand, it’s challenging because it’s scary to be so vulnerable in front of other people. On the other hand, it’s scary because you are about to scream from the mountain tops “I LOVE MYSELF UNCONDITIONALLY” , and so you have to mean it. That’s the challenge. Not saying it, but meaning it. With your whole being.

It’s not easy to face ourselves and say “I love you no matter what”.

It is freedom though.

And it’s a great way to use the energy that we have.

This is something I will be focusing on for the next couple of weeks, or months. Or however long it takes to feel like I’m finally at that place of radical self love.

 

I dont care what you think of this photo

Where does your energy flow?

Hitting Rock Bottom

Bad days come and go, difficult things happen in our lives, but we work through them.

Hitting rock bottom is entirely different.

I can pinpoint events in my life that served as catalysts for change. In reflecting on those times, I notice that it was not the great and wonderful events in life that changed me, but rather the situations that brought out the very worst in my life.  It was rock bottom that brought me to my knees, the lowest I ever felt, the furthest down I could ever go.

Rock bottom is different because it’s do or die. When you hit rock bottom, that is the Universe telling you “something’s gotta give, it’s time for a change”.

You’re on the precipice of complete and utter destruction. At this time in your life, the world holds up a mirror, and you are challenged to face who you really are. Are you a fighter or not? Because in that moment, you are running out of options. So what do you do?

If you don’t fight, you die. And I don’t even mean in the physical sense. If you don’t fight, you are spiritually dead. Because you let that event beat you down. You didn’t listen to the Universe when it encouraged you to change. You got stuck. at the bottom. And that’s where you’ll stay until you find the courage to move on from where you are.

Change can mean many things, but as the saying goes it is not easy. Change is hard. Worse than that, it’s uncomfortable. The way things are, miserable as they may be, can be comforting when it is familiar. You’re going to have to be brave. You might have to do things a way you have never done them before. You might have to reinvent yourself. You are going to change your life.

Getting out of rock bottom is up to you. It is no one else’s job to bail you out. No one else can be responsible for changing your life! Other people can offer support, your friends and family can share their wisdom, but at the end of the day change is about action, and it’s up to you to take that action.

The reality of the situation is that everybody goes through this. Multiple times. We want to believe that once we’ve been to the bottom we can never go back there again. But it can and likely will happen. That’s just life. At 27 years old I have hit rock bottom more than once. I know when the time comes I will visit it again.

What gets you through is an intense regimen of self-care. What gets you through is a support system of family, friends, and/or faith. What gets you through is that inner voice that tells you not to ever give up.

It sounds cliche, but you’ll get through it, and you’ll come out stronger than you were before. Smarter than you were before. And damn proud of yourself.