A Few Valentine’s Day Thoughts

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I know this holiday is generally split into two sides:

Those who love it

and

Those who hate it

I can understand both sides, but me being me, I definitely love it more than hate it ūüôā But even if you are not a fan, I think it’s a good day to dial in and see where you can add a little more love to your life. And no, love doesn’t mean searching through every dating app there is to try and find “love”. What it means is looking around and finding love and appreciation in your current lives and day-to-day tasks.

Instead of looking in the mirror and pointing out everything you don’t like, take a minute to appreciate what you have and what you like. It makes for a much more enjoyable experience.

Rather than thinking about everything you can’t do (yet!), focus, embrace & appreciate what you CAN do.

Instead of getting upset at traffic on your way to work, find your favorite song and jam out.

Instead of dreading your workout because of X, Y, & Z, show your body some love for all it can do- and the mere fact that you CAN workout. Because that’s an amazing thing.

If you’re holding on to a grudge about something (work, argument, etc.), try letting it go and moving on. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing (for all parties involved!).

Rather than dwelling on what’s bothering your or what you’re stressed about, try and shift your focus to things that are in your control. It’s energy much better spent.

And, lastly, show yourself some love- treat yourself with kind words and thoughts, grab your favorite coffee at the store in the morning, treat yourself to lunch, a pedicure, a bubble bath, your favorite workout…

If¬†you’re looking for a workout, here are a few fun themed workouts I’ve created over the years:

V-Sits and Leg Lifts & Planks, Oh My!
The Love Your Body

¬†Hope you all have a LOVELY day ūüėČ

I Had One of “Those” Days…

I’ve got some real talk for you today…

Last week, I had one of THOSE days. You know the days where you just feel gross and blah. I’ll preface this post by saying that these days are few and far between for me at this point in my life- luckily. But I do¬†remember a time in my life where even when I barely ate anything and worked out a ton, I felt gross. I would look in the mirror and point out all the things I didn’t like. But, after many years of work on this and following some super inspirational and motivating women like Neghar Fonooni and Jill Coleman, I can happily say that *most* of the time I feel pretty darn great about myself. I work hard, I eat well (most of the time), I drink wine and I indulge when and where I want to. I am proud of all my body can do for me and I’ve really learned to love my body.

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With that said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t slip into the dark spot and have days where I can’t pull myself out of it. However, these days I am able to take a step back, acknowledge the fact that I am being irrational and try to put into perspective WHY I’m being that way:

  • Is it “that” time of the month?
  • How have my eats been? Have I been eating out more than usual? Going to more parties than usual? Eating too many sweets?
  • What have my workouts looked like?
  • Have I been drinking too much?
  • How have I been sleeping?
  • Do I have something else going on my life that’s causing me stress and therefore inhibiting my ability to practice a positive body image mindset?

When I do this, I can generally figure out why I feel less than great about myself. Last week, I¬†was PMSing, I had had an overly indulgent weekend and I was tired. When I thought about those things, it made sense as to why I wasn’t feeling my best. By putting it into perspective, I was able to acknowledge my feelings and realize that I was having a “day” and that I¬†hadn’t gained weight, I wasn’t flabby¬†and I didn’t lose muscle or strength. Once I realized this, I was able to accept the day and feelings for what they were an move on. And, you know what? When I woke up the next day and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I actually laughed at how ridiculous my feelings the previous day were! How silly was I to feel so gross about myself!

But, these are always learning experiences for me because not every day can be sunshine and roses. And I firmly believe that even those who coach women on body image, women empowerment and to love ourselves no matter what, have “those” kinds of days, too. We are human. We have emotions. Emotions can overtake our sensible thinking. And sometimes you just have to succumb to the feelings- as good or bad as they are. Which is why I think- as crazy as I sound in this post- that it was important for me to share this with you. I want you to know that you aren’t alone when you have off days, but I also want to help you take a look at the bigger picture and try to put into perspective WHY you’re feeling a certain way. When we can track back and figure out WHY we are feeling a certain way, it helps us figure out how to move on and not let those feelings totally derail ourselves. It helps put us into action to make the changes necessary to feel better about ourselves- whether that’s a physical action or mental action or a combination of the two is up to you.

So, that day last week, rather than letting those feelings totally ruin my day, I took a shower, had a glass of wine and got in comfy clothes. And soon enough I was feeling much better…. or at least better than I would’ve felt had I just laid on the couch in a fit of self-pity ūüėČ

Every day we have a chance to start over, which for me was starting with some self love and appreciation as soon as I woke up. We are all entitled to our feelings, but it’s how we react to them that’s what is important.

Questions for you: Do you ever have days like this where you’re feeling off? How do you get yourself out of your funk?

“I’ll Do My Best”

Which is all anyone can really ask for, right? As a group exercise instructor, I have the ability to work with various fitness abilities, ages, injuries, etc., which is one of the reasons why I love my job so much. Every class is different which keeps me on my toes, making sure I am able to adequately teach, help and push everyone. Before my sweat-KICK class at Foster Fitness last week, I had a fittie (that’s what Meghan calls her members- love it!) come up to me before class and say that she knew she wasn’t good, but she was going to do her best and keep coming because she loves the class.

Of course my first response to her comment was to assure her that she was good and that I see improvements from her every class. As long as they are safely sweating, I don’t care if they’re not on the same lead or not able to keep up with all the combos- that will come with time and more experience in my classes.

What I loved about my brief interaction with her was that she wasn’t going to let anything like not getting the combos or not being able to do pushups on her toes get her down or stop her from coming. And, what I loved even more was hearing her say “I’ll do my best” because that is all I ever ask my members/fitties to do. We are all different and each day our bodies react to exercise differently based on how much sleep we’ve had, what we’ve eaten, how much stress we are under, etc., so I don’t ever ask them to be better than they were yesterday. I just ask that they do their best THAT DAY.

By going into a workout (or anything, really), with the mindset of doing our best rather than comparing ourselves to someone else or how we did something on another day, we are allowing ourselves to appreciate everything we can do. If my best one day is only running 2 miles or doing incline pushups or squatting 100 pounds, then what good does it do me to compare myself to someone who posted on Instagram their “awesome 5 miler” or “easing back into it with 150 pounds today” or even what I did last week? You’re right. It doesn’t do me any good. Rather, appreciating what you were able to do THAT DAY leaves you with a much better feeling, right? If you give it your all, no matter whether your “all” is more or less than your neighbor’s or what you’ve done previously, then you’re doing your best and that’s great.

So I challenge you to do your best today- whether it’s with a work project, participating in a meeting, getting to the gym or a class or anything else you may face. And even more, I want you to soak in the feeling of appreciating your best TODAY. Not yesterday or last week or even where you want to get. But your best today. Soak it in, give yourself a pat on the back and thank yourself for doing your best. Because at the end of the day, that’s all anyone can really ask of you.

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Photo credit: Janelle Carmela Photography