Category Archives: Balanced Fitness

Get Your Rear In Gear

Free Time

I am a first grade teacher, and school ended for me on Friday. I always am excited to be done, but I also get a little anxious and lost feeling. “What am I supposed to be doing?” Yesterday, I felt like I had way too much free time in the afternoon. When I am busy, I don’t have as much time to worry!  I cleaned some and added the crab rangoon tacos to the blog, but it still seemed to drag on. I am a little rigid with my routines  sometimes so it is hard for me to work out so late in the evening…. especially for a 5K event because I always get a little anxious for them.

Anxiety

I have not even been running very much and decided where ever I was at by race day was what I had to work with. This is a much different mentality than I have had in the past. I have not even ran three miles in a row since last summer. This was definitely the least prepared I have ever been for one that I signed up for and that may be partially why I was feeling a little anxious. I started feeling like I couldn’t go to the race because I started feeling really lethargic too…anxious but lethargic. A strange combination, but it exists. I started to think that if nothing else, I had at least donated money to a great cause. I kept telling myself that I could do it, and that I was going to run.  I drank some coffee and moved around. I even asked my husband to go support me, and he said that he would. That helped ease some of the anxiety.

My husband supporting me!

All Winners

I also told myself I could just walk if I needed to, but I really didn’t want to. (I did end up walking a couple times by the way!) I finished the 5K in about 31 minutes (my worst time for a 5K ever). I thought that was pretty alright for the amount of training I have done though. The great thing about this race was that it was for a good cause though (proceeds going to colon cancer). So I felt like everyone who participated was a winner. I have never done a race before that went to such a worthy cause. I think that in the future I should sign up for more of those types of runs.

Start!

Motivation

You don’t have to be in great shape if you want to run/walk in a 5K. You don’t have to overtrain either. You can do it just because you want to, and it is a great way to help motivate you to run a little extra. I am a fan of movement, and I love running. I like the idea of moving because you want to move and you want to take care of your body. Signing up for a 5K can help give you a little extra motivation for movement though as long as you can do so safely.

Chilling after the race!

After the Race

After the 5K, my husband, our friend, and I went out to get Sushi. Then we went and listened to live music. It was a beautiful evening, and I was so happy I had signed up. That is how it always goes though…I get so anxious over nothing! Maybe someday I will learn. Maybe.

Sushi… One of my favorite foods!

Medication Update

When we got home, I slept great. I woke up at 5 a.m. like normal, but sleeping the whole night through instead of waking up at 3:00 extremely anxious has been an improvement. If you have been following me, then you know that I stopped taking my anxiety/depression medication. Since then, I have not been having night sweats, and I feel like I am doing alright for the most part. When I first quit taking it, I felt like I was in a slump, but as time has gone on, I have felt like I am handling things ok. I am doing a good job of eating and taking care of myself.

Open-Minded

I never wanted to go on medicine, and I always knew that I would want to try to stop taking it at some point. I actually do support it, and I think it helps a lot of people. I may even go back on it at some point. I try to stay open-minded about it, but if I can go without it, I personally am going to go without it. I feel like I am at a place where I can do that and things are alright now after getting out of the initial rut. My coping skills have improved a lot since I started taking it. If you are trying to make a decision about medicine, you know yourself best… just be honest with yourself.

Third Place Medal

P.S. This morning when I went in to do yoga, I found out that I actually got third for my age group. I do not feel like the time was third place worthy, but hey, I’ll take it.

The Anti-Diet Movement is Stronger Than You May Think

The anti-diet movement is stronger than you may think.

Misunderstood and Alone

Yesterday was a rough long day. I arrived at yoga training in the evening pretty much trying hold back tears. I was tired mentally and physically. One of my students had a rough day, and I let it really effect me even though I know I shouldn’t. I was feeling overwhelmed with everything, and just not good enough. It was just one of those days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. I was comparing myself to others and worrying about what everyone thought about me.  I was already feeling so much different than everyone else and alone. Then I had to listen to a bunch of talk about diets, and I didn’t have the energy to say anything against it. I just sat there, feeling like no one understood me. I feel like I am the only one out of the people that I know in person who has an issue with diet culture.  People don’t even realize how often they mention it and where all the messages are. I didn’t used to either. This acceptance of diet culture, has made me feel like a weirdo overreacting to all of the messages that are given to us by society just because of my experiences.

Mental Health Plays A Role

People want to be healthy, and I believe they all want to promote being healthy. Healthy is tricky though. I went through a period of time that destroyed me in the name of health. I was already at what is considered a healthy weight when I started to try to shape my body, lose weight, and restrict food groups. All it took was once, and my obsessions and disordered thinking ran wild. Many people can’t relate to that. Many people don’t understand it. I know mental issues are the cause of many of my problems, and it is not all diet culture’s fault.

Diet Culture is What People Know

However, I look at what I have learned about intuitive eating and exercise, and I feel like it is something that has helped me so much. I feel like it is something that would have helped me mentally and physically before I even tried to lose weight. It would have helped me be healthy as a whole. I truly believe it would have changed my life for the better no mattter what. All people know is diets and diet culture though, and it is what is promoted everywhere as health.

Diet Culture Is Triggering

I just get discouraged like people don’t see a problem. They would rather blame mental issues than a problem with society. In actuality I believe it is both and society can trigger people who otherwise would have never had an issue. Mental issues surrounding food just get worse the more malnourished you become. The self hatred gets worse too. There are a lot of deep issues there.

The Anti Diet Community

My Instagram community of self love, intuitive eating, and exercise people get it, and they make me feel like maybe I am not so different after all. Then I join the people in my life, and I feel like the outcast. Like why do you have such a problem with eating “healthy?” I don’t know if that is true, but it is how I perceive it since diet talk and eating “healthy” is constant.  It is not that I have a problem with eating whole foods…it is the mindsets, the diets, the restrictions, and strong focus on weight and appearance that I struggle with.

I Support Health

I completely support health. I support eating all different kinds of foods with out restrictions though. I support the mindset of want to, not have to. Again, I think that mindset would have helped me before I ever even struggled with strong restrictions… the mindset to eat intuitively and exercise intuitively has led me to actually take care of myself and not worry so much about size. It has led me to believe that food is food and taking away all the labels helps create food freedom, happiness, and less stress around food. It would have helped me with eating mindfully and chewing my food for enjoyment and satisfaction instead of in the name of just trying to eat healthy, unprocessed foods for fuel.

Food Is More Than Fuel

Food is fuel, and satisfaction, and love and so much more. Sorry, but I just love food! If you know me, you know I love all different kinds too! I am very enthusiastic about all kinds of vegetables and fruits, meats, breads, pasta, and ice-cream and butter too! Mmm butter!  I am also cheap and like to avoid spending a bunch of money on groceries and eating out though too. Balance!

The Anti Diet Movement is Stronger Than You May Think

Yesterday, I felt so outcast that I thought about quitting. I thought about giving up balance queen and all my social media posts. I thought about dieting again and focusing on eating only “healthy.”  I think part of my purpose is to keep sharing though, even if no one understands it. It is part of who I am and one of my passions. I may feel a little left out now…  but I truly believe in this movement. I believe it is stronger than most people realize. A year ago, I had no idea how many accounts there were like mine about self love and intuitive eating and exercise, and just thinking about the growing number of accounts gives me hope that I am not an outcast. It gives me hope that I am part of something amazing.

Will you be a part of the movement, or will you continue to conform and let diet culture rule you?

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Do you Struggle to Let Go Of Control?

Let go of the need to control everything... even your yoga practice. Do yoga to get better at life.

Letting Go

My yoga practice has been all about letting go lately. The goals that I have had for poses just have not seemed to be there. I think that this has been important though because it has helped me deal with my attempts to control everything. Every week does not have to be about making huge gains. Sometimes the week is just about maintaining sanity and letting go of things you can’t control.

Focusing on the Breath

I originally started yoga to relax and be healthy; body, mind, and spirit. Some where along the way I got a little caught up in controlling the practice though.  I was able to practice yoga at home for longer periods of time once I started to understand it better, and I started to control it… like I try to control so many other things. The past week it has been all about letting go and focusing on the breath and letting my body guide me. It has been about the focus to relax and not push for poses, but just move intuitively. The movements and breathing have been about accepting my body and life for what it is.

Struggling to Cope

The main goal is to always take care of myself, and I will admit that I have struggled with that this week. I didn’t want to eat intuitively.  I didn’t want to do yoga. I didn’t want to drink water. I didn’t want to write affirmations. I wanted to turn away from things that help me and I did. Why do we do that? I was having trouble letting go of so many things, and it was making it hard to care for myself. It was and is taking a toll on my health.

Motivation

My yoga practice was hard to start, and a couple of mornings, it didn’t even happen. I knew I would feel better, but it was so difficult to just get started. My only motivation was to feel better and try to care for myself even when I didn’t want to. That is the healthiest way to motivate myself. Once I started, I just focused on letting go and not trying to control everything so much. It was my place of comfort. It was my place of letting go of the control that I always crave. I tried not to control the practice like I normally try to control it or think that I should be doing this or that. I just let it be.

Yoga is About Getting Better at Life

Letting go of what I thought the practice should be and what I thought my life should be were what kept me going this week. Yoga is so much more than just poses. It is so much more than pretty pictures. I love those things, I do. When it comes down to it though, yoga is all about getting better at life. It is about helping me cope and navigate this crazy, beautiful world.

How will you use your yoga practice? Will you let go of how you think things are supposed to be and appreciate them for what they are?

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Why Counting Steps, Calories, and Macros Doesn’t Count

“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” -Albert Einstein

Counting Everything

I used to run and count my steps. I wanted to make sure the fitness tracker was getting my steps accurate on my run. I would count my calories that I took in by weighing my food and only eating foods that I could track. I counted macros and tried to get my macros just perfect. If I was low on something, I would try to eat something that balanced it out for my goals. I counted how many days I worked out a week and how many workouts I did. I did everything but listen to my body. I counted, counted, counted, and tried to will my body to be something it wasn’t.

The focus on appearance was obsessive, and it would never be good enough. I am a competitive person, and I wanted to be skinnier and skinnier. I thought it would set me apart from everyone else in a good way. I wanted people to say she is such a hard worker, and she has amazing will power. I wanted to control everything that I could. I felt like I had little control over everything else so it was the one thing that I felt success with. What I didn’t realize was that the counting was controlling me and everything I did. I was in denial that I even had a problem. I didn’t realize at the time that the counting was useless and making me even more miserable. All the counting is not necessary, and I am going to explain how I have come to the conclusion that listening to my body and doing activities that I enjoy is a less time-consuming, healthier approach. This is all from my personal experiences, and I am not a nutritionist or doctor.

Counting Steps and Calories Out

The fitness trackers are not accurate ways of counting steps or calories out because they don’t measure exact steps, intensity, or personal factors. The fitness tracker steps are rarely accurate and can be off.  You may have 9,887 steps displayed, but you may have only taken 9,800. (I am not saying go take more than it estimates by the way.)  I used to walk around at night to make sure I hit 10,00 on my tracker. The goal to have 10,000 exactly is really kind of silly when I think about it now. I even thought that if I worked out and didn’t have the tracker on, the workout was a waste because it was not recorded.

The estimated amount of calories burned are not accurate either on most fitness devices including treadmills and so forth.  In addition, it does not really measure the intensity of the workout. I could do a really intense strength workout that didn’t use many steps, but burned a lot of calories. You could have ran those steps, instead of walked them and it makes a difference. You could have been moving periodically throughout the day, or you could have done a workout then sat the rest of the day. Not to mention every body’s body is different and the amount of calories you burn can be different!

Not only is the tracker not accurate, but it emphasizes numbers instead of listening to your body and moving because you want to. It becomes a chore and a stress. Now I challenge myself to workout without the tracker and not even wear it sometimes. The goal to listen to my body and move intentionally has created less stress and worry about being active enough for the day. I do wear it still because it is my watch and connects to my phone, but I just do not put emphasis on it. The emphasis is on listening to my body and what it needs.

Counting and Measuring Calories In and Macros

Eating a certain amount of calories or measuring your macros is unrealistic, time-consuming, unsustainable. Counting calories and macros on MyFitnessPal seemed to do more harm than good. I went through some different phases trying to figure it all out and lose more weight. For a while, I would feel deprived if I didn’t get a certain amount of calories or if I was not high enough on certain macros so I might eat even if I wasn’t hungry.  Later on, it was usually more along the lines of depriving myself when I did feel hungry because I didn’t want to go over on calories. I was completely ignoring my body. When I would measure my food out exactly… it took a lot of unnecessary time and work when my body already knew what it wanted. The portions never looked right. In addition, if I did’t measure the food out exactly, it was just an estimation and not really worth counting anyway.

Focusing on counting and measuring out food can wreck havoc on your social life as well. I was never very social to begin with, but it got worse. Social gatherings became full of fear and anxiety about food. To be honest, they still are sometimes. I would not go out with friends either because I would feel guilty for eating bad foods or foods that I couldn’t measure myself. I still cringe a little when I get asked to go get ice cream sometimes, but I try not to let the disordered voices win.  I try to focus on having fun and eating the food that is there and what looks right. I obviously still have some things to work on and reminders to give myself.

Listening to Your Body is What is Important

You don’t ever have to track your food. You don’t have to eat something you don’t like or don’t want just because you are low on a certain kind of macros. You don’t have to track and hit calorie goals and macro goals. You don’t have to deprive yourself. You don’t have to ever eat out of containers that measure your portions to live healthy. You don’t have to focus on appearance to be healthy. You don’t have to eat the same foods over and over again. This goes for everyone! Developing holistic healthy behaviors and relationships is key for everyone no matter where you are at in your journey and no matter what size you are. Listening to your body is what is important.

There Is No Perfect Balance

Eat for satisfaction and what looks right. I just try to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein where it works for me.  I feel like we try to make healthy living so complicated, when it doesn’t have to be. By listening to my body, focusing on living life, and eating what is available or easy, I have had more success with naturally being healthy and happy as a whole. Everything does not have to be planned and every meal does not have to be balanced. I do strive for balance in life, but it is important to remember there is no perfect balance either.

The Counting Doesn’t Count

All that counting really doesn’t count when it comes down to it. It was setting me apart in a bad way… not in a good way. I was not looking at being healthy as a whole: mentally, physically, and spiritually. I still struggle with counting things sometimes, but I have to keep telling myself that the counting doesn’t really count. I have to keep listening to the rational voices and not the disordered ones. The things that really matter in life, can’t be measured and counted. The types of things that I should work hard at, have nothing to do with counting and appearances.

Are you going to count and worry your life away or are you going to try to live intentionally and care for your body, mind, and spirit?

A Cold Intolerance May Mean You Are Not Getting The Nourishment You Need

“The cold always bothered me everyday!” When I would restrict, eat only certain safe foods, and count calories. I had a major cold intolerance. My mom actually has raynauds, and my circulation really isn’t the best. I still get cold easily, but nothing like it was. There were other symptoms that went along with not being nourished properly, but that was one that I, as well as other people really noticed. Maybe because I would wear sweatshirts when it was 75 degrees, and I would still feel cold. My hands and extremitities were really discolored during this time as well. I was in denial though. I didn’t want to admit that I had a problem. I insisted that I was trying to be healthy, but feeling like I did wasn’t healthy at all. Being healthy is a feeling, not just a look.

I know some people are cold easily and may be getting enough nutrients. It depends a lot on your body and your personal needs. I just encourage you to try to be honest with yourself. I know that I wasn’t, and it wasn’t healthy.

I probably could be smaller while nourishing by body properly and not possibly be as cold… but I like lots of different kinds of food and want to enjoy them all. I want to focus on living life and making the most of it and food is such a social activity too. I want to go enjoy icecream with a friend. I want to be able to eat a cupcake at a birthday party if I want one. Sometimes, I really don’t want one and that is fine too. I want to eat breakfast that my dad makes for me on a Sunday morning. I want to eat the food people serve me and not take my own separate food anywhere or eat before going there. I don’t want to turn down a social event because I am worried about the food. I don’t want to spend my life worrying about calories and eating only safe foods. I obviously love food, but food is not life. The more I focus on living life, the less obsessive I become about what calories and food I eat, the more accepting I am of listening to my body, and the easier it becomes to live a balanced, healthy, and happy life.

Exercise is Celebration of What Your Body Can Do

Guilt and Punishment for Eating Treats

Exercise is a complete celebration of what the body can do. It is not a punishment for what you ate! I keep hearing so many women talk about how they need to work off the goodies that they ate over the holiday. I hear it other times as well, but especially this time of year.

Actively Change Your Thinking

I am guilty of thinking like that in the past, and those thoughts still creep into my head at times. However, I have made it a point to actively kick those thoughts out of my head and change my way of thinking. When I go work out, I stop and think about why I am doing it. It is much more motivating and healthy to think about what my body is able to do, and not focus on working off food.

A Healthy Relationship with Food and Exercise

You deserve to eat, enjoy life, and different kinds of food if you want. You don’t have to work it off. I might sound repetitive, but I know how many times I have to say it to myself, so I am trying to reiterate it. I want you to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise. If you are motivating yourself by saying you need to work on “trouble spots” on your body it is not healthy. If all your focus is on weight and how you look, it is not healthy. If you are trying to work off food you ate, it isn’t healthy. It is buying into society’s idea of beauty, and punishing yourself because you may not fit that ideal. It is so hard on your self-esteem, and it effects your confidence and happiness.  When part of your motivation for working out is feeling bad about your looks and bad about what you ate, you are punishing yourself.

Our Bodies Are Made to Move

Our bodies were made to move and accomplish amazing things. When I watch athletic events and competitions, I see people doing extraordinary things with their bodies.  When I watch children play, I see that they just enjoy moving and having fun. When I see dancers dance, I see passion for what they are doing. When I see my own videos of yoga, I am astonished at how far I have come, and how far I have to go.  I am surprised by how my body can easily adapt to other skills too.

The Body Adapts

I attended a beginner Aerial Silks class last night at Flow Foundry in Wichita, Kansas. You hang from silks and do different things like climb, flip upside down, and hang completely using only arm strength at times. It took a lot of core strength and leg strength as well. I was really amazed at how my body could adapt from my yoga practice to the silks class as easily as it did. To me, it is truly a celebration of what my body can do, and the best part was that it was fun and exciting trying new and different movements.

They did a great job explaining form and common mistakes. I think some athletic abilities helps a lot if you want to try it. I pretty much made this one up at the end though. It might be a pose? I don’t really know!

Past Motivation

When I was working out to form my body, I still enjoyed workouts and trying new things, but my motives were different. My mindset was different, and it was not healthy at all. I would punish myself, and it was a miserable cycle. Eventually, I had to stop working out all together for a while to get out of those habits. I would  take walks and stretch, but no step counting or strength.  I was upset because I couldn’t work out, but I knew it was what I needed at the time.  If that is what it takes to be in a healthy spot, physically, mentally, and spiritually, then it is worth it. I don’t regret taking some time off to get to a better place, even though it was hard. You can always go back to it later. It has taken me a long time to get to where I am at today, and I still struggle sometimes.

What Are Your True Motives?

I just encourage you, no matter where you are at in your journey to  actively focus on and evaluate your motives for doing anything. Do something you enjoy to help you deal with stress, take care of yourself, and think about and CELEBRATE YOUR BODY AND ALL THAT IT CAN DO.  NO PUNISHMENTS!

Healthy Happy Balanced Life Today and Everyday…. Not Just for a New Year!

 

Keeping Things Simple

Constant Worry

In the past, I have always wanted things to be perfect for holidays or parties that I am hosting. I would want the food and cookies to be perfect. I would search the internet to find the best recipes and combine different ones and do test batches. The house had to be perfectly clean.  I wanted the wrapping paper and gifts to be perfect.  I would walk around the stores for hours and hours indecisively trying to find the perfect gifts  that took me so long to find I would finally settle on something easy. I wanted the wrapping paper that all coordinated. My decorations were well thought out. I wanted to be the hostess with the mostess because I felt like I had to be.  I would just worry so much about things that I needed to do and making things amazing.

Simplicity

This year, I have taken simplicity to a new level though. I have felt a little guilty in the process, but I have not been near as stressed out about Christmas. To some it may be worth it and that is fine, but to me it just isn’t. It may not stress some people out like it does me as well.  I want to enjoy my time instead of feeling like everything has to be done perfectly though. The meal will be simple for the one we are hosting and I will not do any test runs. The things that I am taking to others will be easy to make or require little preperation. Food will not be the priority. The house will be a little messy. My presents were bought online. My wrapping paper doesn’t match or coordinate with the rest of my Christmas decorations. It really doesn’t matter because you know what? Everything will turn out just fine without all the emphasis on perfection. Just like my body doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautful, my life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful either. Simple IS beautiful!

Spirituality

I think that yoga has been a huge part of that belief. I have not been doing a variety of workouts and cross-training like I used to, but I have been  trying to focus on yoga, flexibility, strength, and spirituality.  Spirituality is the quality of being  concerned with the human spirit and soul instead of material or physical things.  Not to say that you can’t get that from cross-training, and not to that I will not do them again because they are things that I love to do. However,  I wanted to take some time to grow deeper in my yoga practice.

Always Changing

People are always changing and balanced is always changing for what you want at the time and what works for you. I have lots of passions in life, and I don’t want to limit it to one thing. By keeping things simple and more balanced, I felt like I  have actually got to enjoy this time of year a little more. I want to try to enjoy this one life that I have… not worry constantly about every little thing. Not just at Christmas, but all times of the year.

Will the things that you are worrying about really matter? What will help you to worry less and enjoy life more?

Count Blessings, Not Calories, Today and Everyday

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I will be counting my blessings today instead of the calories! However, I do have some guidelines that I am going to try to follow to continue to have a healthy relationship with food. This is not dieting, it is being mindful and trying to be healthy, happy, and live a balanced life.

I will be eating three meals today. I won’t save up calories for a meal by skipping other meals. I won’t be counting the calories of any meal today, but rather trying to eat three balanced meals like normal.

I will not worry what others think of my plate. I will get what I think is right for me. I will try to use a plate and not graze. I will try to take a small break and breathe if I get anxious.

I will be eating dessert. Everyone can have a little dessert of their choice. I will try to pick one, eat slowly, and be mindful. That is something I can do with every bite of any food.

I will not punish myself if I eat a little too much.  I will not cleanse or detox or overwork myself because I ate too much.  I will not restrict or do resets. I will just try to get right back to my normal eating.

I will be going to hot yoga today and tomorrow as long as I am in good health. Not because I want to work off calories, but because it is an activity that I enjoy, and I want to do it.

I will  try to focus less on the food, and more on of the meaning of Thanksgiving because it seems to help me with some anxiety about food.The pilgrims and Indians had a feast, but it was not near as extravagant as we try to make things in our society. Sometimes, simple is just better. This is the holiday we are supposed to be thankful for what we have, and not spending our time upset about foods and perfection.

I could list so many things that I am thankful for on here, but honestly the list could go on and on and on and on…. today and everyday.

Are you going to try to focus on your blessings today and everyday, or are you going to focus on food and calories?

I know for many, it isn’t that easy, but if we don’t pick something to strive for, we will surely have trouble getting there. I truly hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and take care friends! I am thankful for all of you who have supported my blog!

You Are in Control

Other’s Thoughts

Do you let what other people may think or actually think about you get to you to the point where it is hard to function and your mental health and self confidence is compromised because you can’t get past it? You feel like you have no control so you try to control other things(…such as diet and exercise)?

Two Choices

I decided that I had two choices this morning. I could let opinions of what I think people think about me bother me, or I could be happy and enjoy my life knowing that I try to make good decisions and do what I feel is right for everyone. If I let them steal my happiness, then they have won.

Constant Worrying

In the past, things that people may think about me would take away my happiness for a long time, and I would worry constantly. I still do worry some, and it still bothers me some. I would be lying if I said it didn’t. However, I recover faster and worry a little less now. I have overcome a lot of obstacles to get to this point with the help of a lot of people. It isn’t always easy.

Progress

I tend to wake up with a fresh mind and think a little more rationally in the mornings. Sometimes, the best thing for me to do is just sleep on something. Once I have had the opportunity to process it, I try to turn something into a positive instead of a negative. I need to work at doing that sooner rather than later, but that is a lot of progress from what it used to be. I always have lots to work on. I think we can always be working to be better.

What I Think is Best

I just try to remember that I try to do what I think is best for everyone. I do not think it is okay to just do whatever you want, and only please yourself. I do try to think about others and what is best for them, too. I know I make mistakes sometimes, and if I know it is a mistake, I will try to do better next time. I will not be bullied by the voice inside my head or anyone else’s possible thoughts. I will not people please all the time. I have in the past, and I have let it control my every move. 

YOU HAVE CONTROL

Others may not always agree with you or have the same opinion, but it doesn’t mean that they can take away your happiness and you don’t have to let what they may think about you destroy you. You have the control. Don’t let other’s thoughts take control of you. Most of the time, you are  assuming their thoughts anyway, and they are assuming yours.

What choice will you make today? Will you control the thoughts or let the thoughts control you?

Don’t Let Stress Stop You

Feeling Stressed

Sometimes when we get stressed or feel short on time, we go away from the things that help us. Every year around conference time, I get really stressed out, and I have trouble relaxing. All of my thoughts tend to center around them. I have to do other things to get my mind off of them and quit overthinking them. I want to be prepared yes, but thinking about it and thinking about it does no good. I tried to stay busy this weekend to help relax my mind and write my conference comments.

Guilt

In the past, I have felt guilty for taking time to myself, when I know I have things that should be done. However this year, I took the approach of taking needed time to myself to do things that help me and I enjoy. It is hard to run on empty.  It has helped to take a mental break to quit overthinking, and then do what I needed. 

If you followed my story this weekend. You know that I was making a list and trying really hard to do things that help me relax and have a mental break. I am going to go into a little more detail about each of them… in a different order though!

One: Running

I signed up for a 5K fun run in my home town knowing that it was the weekend before conferences. I thought about not signing up because I figured I should make time to be at home as much as possible to get prepared. However this is when I first decided, I was going to do things I enjoy and not feel guilty. I just knew I needed the mental break to prepare. It was just as important as all of the other preparations.  (P.S. If you want to push yourself to work out signing up for a 5k can be a good strategy to push yourself. I have been running more for my workouts to try to prepare for running the 5K. I try to keep the focus on running for fun and to feel good, but there is always a competitive part of me that wants to train harder. I like to win! Who doesn’t? I actually did win. There were two young girls who were right behind me at the finish, and I thought about giving into the fatigue, but I just had to push through.)

Two: Time with People & Eating Brunch

I know I need to spend time with people to keep from withdrawing. It can be friends or family, but it is so important to push myself to do this even when I don’t want to. I went and had brunch with my dad and ate some pancakes and eggs. Food is fuel and energy and sometimes that is in the form of a pancake! I didn’t used to eat them at all for a while, but as I have learned a balanced approach is best!

Pancake and Eggs at Brunch

Three: Daisy Pup Cuddles

Well this one doesn’t really need much explaining, but having a dog to cuddle with has been so helpful.

My cuddler, Daisy Duke!

Four: Clean Environment

I tried to do some cleaning and laundry even though I didn’t want to. I know that when my environment is clean, it makes me feel better and more prepared for any other stress. This is self care in my opinion because when I feel like everything around me is a mess, I feel like a mess. 

Five: Laugh

I took time to laugh at my husband and his overalls…. not in a mean way. I just got a chuckle out of it. He snuck some overalls into the washer that I never wash because I don’t really like them. I also like comedies, but I am not really a TV a watcher. I try to find amusement in every day life. My husband helps.

Six: Breathe

Every morning I took time to breathe. This is something I don’t want to do when I get stressed. I want to start doing everything that needs to be done, but I realize that I am not usually mentally prepared to do them without a little bit of time to relax.

Seven: Eat Veggies and Whole Foods

I tried to indulge and eat my pancake, but then I wanted my natural whole foods for energy as well. I balanced out my brunch with a salad for dinner with lots of veggies. I do love salads! I really think that I am lucky that I like so many foods.

Before I added the cheese and crackers! Balanced Life Friends!

Eight: Stay Hydrated

I turn to coffee for energy sometimes when I feel stressed. This weekend, I tried to drink more water and some Pedialyte to replace some electrolytes. I did drink some coffee too, but I tried to limit it.

Nine: Grocery Shop and SOME Food Prep

I actually kind of like grocery shopping, but so many times I rush through it trying to get to the next thing. I took time to walk around the store and explore a little without rushing. When I got home I did a little food prep to help prepare for the week, but try not to overdo  it and spend a whole day in the kitchen preparing the same things to eat day after day after day. A variety is important and if you food prep too much, you end up with no variety.

Ten: Yoga

A yoga class is so important to me mentally to detach. I can stretch and breathe at home, but it is just not the same. A class challenges me in ways that I never thought it could. I enjoy being around people too because again, it is another challenge for me that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Yoga is another piece of the puzzle that is so helpful to me and encourages me to take care of myself.

My tongue out really helps me hold the pose!

Take the Time

If we take that time to care for ourselves, we can handle the stress going on around us a lot better. I can often accomplish more in the time that I am working if I take some self care brakes. You have to find out what works for you.

What would you add to the list?

The coffee mug at brunch! 🙂