Being Healthy is a Way of Life: Is Your Soul Happy?

There’s so much more to being healthy than just eating whole foods and working out. Being healthy ultimately stems from our mindset.

BeingHealthyBeing healthy is about more than what you feed your body. Sure, it’s important to eat healthy. It’s important to work out on a regular basis for cardiovascular purposes. Let’s say you have both of these things in check, but you still aren’t seeing the results you want — you look the same, feel the same and start getting discouraged. Because you’re discouraged, you turn to your vice for comfort, whatever that may be (for me it’s food). I’ve been stuck in that cycle… it’s frustrating. But there was one IMPORTANT question — perhaps the most important of all — that I was forgetting to ask myself:

Is my soul happy? 

Happiness does not stem from the time spent in the gym. Sure, you get momentary satisfaction after a good sweat sesh or after you weigh in a few pounds lighter. You feel great at the end of the day after sticking to your diet. But this happiness is fleeting. Oh so fleeting, my friends.

Is your soul happy? Really. Ask yourself that question right now.

Take a good hard look at the relationships in your life. Are they thriving? Are you doing everything you can to make the lives of the people you love a little easier?

Are you living your life? 

What do you do in your free time? Are you sitting around on the couch, wondering why you don’t have friends, relying on social media as your crutch for social interaction?

If only I had asked myself those questions while I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself, wondering why nothing in my life was getting any better. Why am I gaining weight? Why do I binge? Why am I so depressed? What happened to all the friends I used to have? These are questions I’d ask myself on a daily basis instead of the ones above. Do you see why I wasn’t getting anywhere?

Being healthy is a way of life. It stems from your mindset — the way you think, feel and interact with others. If you’re a positive person who strives to find joy and happiness in the simple things, chances are your time in the gym, eating habits and results will reflect that. To the contrary, if you’re sitting around eating junk, not doing anything besides going to work and going home (and wondering why you lost friends like I did), your results will also reflect that.

Our journey to be fit starts with the effort to change our mindset.

When you change the way your mind works and make a decision (you have to make the decision, it doesn’t just come naturally) to be happy, you’ll reap the benefits of this happiness in your physique, self confidence and relationships.

I challenge you today to dig deep down and ask yourself: Is my soul really happy? If so, keep on keepin’ on my beautiful friend! If not, make a decision to change it.

HUGS AND KISSES and all the love in the world to you beautiful friends of mine! xo

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Perception vs. Reality

It’s winter here in Florida finally! And by winter I mean 50 degrees. You better believe I’m sporting my North Face in style today 😉

Might I add it always seems to get chilly just before my birthday? I absolutely love it. It puts me in such a great mood!

This brisk fall morning started with a 5:45 a.m. spin class followed by some eggs and a delicious bowl of oats. I devoured it before I could snap a photo, but it was pumpkin inspired since it finally feels like fall:

Cinnamon Pumpkin Oats

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • Heaping tbsp. pumpkin
  • Heaping tbsp. almond butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Cinnamon

I quickly rushed to get dressed for work and found something interesting: my pants don’t fit me anymore. It’s been quite some time since I’ve worn jeans and guess what? They’re loose now! This is a good/bad thing; I don’t really want to lose any weight and I definitely don’t want to buy a new wardrobe.

While we’re on the subject of weight, let’s chat about the perception versus reality.

We often don’t see ourselves the way others see us.

distorted body image[Source]

It’s obvious we’re constantly bombarded with images of what we “should” look like via the media. We see supermodels on the covers of magazines and idolize the physiques of fitness competitors. “I do everything she does! Why don’t I look like that?!”

This weekend, I had quite the reality check. I was working an international athletic event on Saturday that incorporated boat rowing. I saw people from ALL over the world — all different shapes, sizes and colors. It was a humbling experience to say the least. And then I noticed something else. Not ONE person had a “perfect” body. (What is a perfect body anyway?) 

Realizing not everyone has this “supermodel” physique was quite freeing. I never really though about it before Saturday, but honestly how often do we see Candice Swanepoles walking around? And really, they’re normal people who deal with the same stresses and body image issues…  just like us.

I tend to LOVE the imperfections in people. I notice little quirks because I think they make people even more lovable. Or dogs. See: Cocoa’s snaggle tooth. That’s what really sold me 😉

cocoaaa

Let’s stop thinking that this “ideal” body is so realistic. Fitness magazines make it seem like people walk down the street with no cellulite (after completing their no-fail “BLAST FAT FOREVER IN 5 MINUTES” programs, of course). The media makes it seem like the norm is to have a thigh gap, strong legs, toned muscles, minimal cellulite, large breasts (women), broad shoulders, perfect makeup, awesome hair — ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

Just take a moment to look around today. Not ONE PERSON has all those things. Not. One. Let’s all start loving whatever we’re uncomfortable with.

We’re all normal and beautiful, no matter the shape or size. Let’s embrace our quirks that make us, us!

[Of Possible Interest:]

Cindy Crawford Stuggles With Body Image <– See! They deal with the same issues we do.
Weight, Size and Media Lies: The Numbers Don’t Add Up via Beauty Redfined
Why We Don’t See Ourselves as Others Do via Discovery News  

Be Amazing

I have a question for you. I want you to be completely honest with me (well, yourself, but me too).
Do you wake up excited about each day?

Breakthrough![ Source ]

Come on, you mean you don’t wake up and scream,”I AM ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!”?

Well, if we’re taking this question literally, I can assure you I don’t. I’d be lying if I said I even cracked a smile first thing in the morning (maybe I need a dog or a boyfriend). Unless it’s Friday. In that case, I wake up instantly happy. 😉

Generally the smile comes after some coffee, a little prayer and a reminder of what I’m grateful forAfter I’m caffeinated I really do get excited about each day. Have you ever just sat down and thought about how amazing it is that you woke up this morning? It really is. You’re granted the opportunity to make amazing things happen every time you wake up.

Make an effort today to make AMAZING memories.

1000762_10152079790638266_822369746_n[After a bike ride with my uncle this summer in Cleveland.]

Have an AMAZING conversation.

Be AMAZING at work.

Complete one last AMAZING workout before the weekend.

Take a look in the mirror, love yourself and say, “I am AMAZING today.”

IMG_1512[ Source ]

Life’s too short to be average. And bloggers aren’t all that average, are we? 😉

{Of Possible Interest:}

How to Live a Mind-Blowingly Amazing Life via Forbes <– Umm, sign me up.
What Makes You Happy? <– Learning to be happy in your current situation. 
6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Get the Most Out of Life <– This is everything

Guest Post for Daily Cup of AsheeJoJo

While Ashleigh was being fabulous in Vegas for her birthday weekend, I had the honor of guest posting for her blog!

about2

Check out my post for this little cutie HERE. It’s all about loving yourself no matter what point you’re at in your health and fitness journey. Here’s an exclusive VIP sneak peak 😉

“Let’s face it, we put our body through some pretty tough stuff. Demanding workouts, different diets and indulgences. Shouldn’t we at least be able to show it a little love?! What’s all the hard work for if we can’t appreciate it?”

Let’s chat: Do you ever feel insecure? Do you find yourself working toward SOME end point, but don’t know what or where that end point is?

Of Possible Interest: 
Time to Get Real <– This post details where I was & how far I’ve come
Appreciate the Journey 
Stopped Focusing on Results and Started Seeing Them

Romanticism… And not in the way you may think

how-to-boost-your-self-esteem-

Social media exposes us to a world we would otherwise know nothing about. We’re berated with photos and Facebook statuses and Twitter updates that expose us to what used to be the secret lives of others. Any given day on these social networking sites, you come across posts bragging about accomplishments, cute pictures with significant others and the “perfect” family — the clean house, the cute puppy, the family traditions and cookie cutter siblings. We can’t help but romanticize these situations.

It’s human nature to want what you don’t have. We’re all victim to it. Whether it’s the skinny girl in the gym with the small spandex or the woman with the perfect husband and children who seems to have it all figured out, we’re left feeling a bit insecure. How can we not? Some days it’s hard enough to get out of bed and go to the gym, let alone apply make up and look super cute.

Let me remind you of one very, very important detail — People only put out there what they WANT you to see. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. There isn’t a perfect family. There isn’t one person in this world who has it all figured out.

So how can we simply ignore these messages when we’re constantly bombarded with them? Well, unless you’re willing to delete all social media and stay indoors at all times, it’s nearly impossible. But we can change the way we think about ourselves. Just because the girl at the gym has a 6-pack and a to-die-for body, she is not any better than you. The couple who always posts the cute pictures? You have no idea the actual depth of their relationship. Stop romanticizing and start focusing on what you do have. 

Every one of us has a set of positive attributes. What do you like about yourself? Are you gifted at your work? Do you go out of your way to help others? Do you strive to be the best person you can be on a daily basis? All of these are amazing accomplishments. You are perfect the way that you are, just as you were made to be. Start focusing on the talents you’ve been given instead of those you have not and you will live a much happier, fulfilled life.

There is no person better at being you than you are. Shift your focus to what you do have: friends, family, a job you’re proud of. Having confidence in who you are allows you to break down the thresholds of comparison and ultimately, unhappiness. Being who you are brings so much joy to others. Stop comparing. Stop romanticizing. Stop judging.  You are incredibly made just the way you are. 

One Person That Makes a Difference Series

makingadifferenceWe live in a society where judgment reigns supreme. We’re constantly bombarded with images and suggestions about how we should look, dress and feel on a daily basis. It’s exhausting! Whether you’re male or female, we’re both subject to criticism. The purpose of this series is to point out a few awesome superstars that are making all the difference in this world by being comfortable in their own skin.

We’ve all been bullied — from the media, classmates, colleagues and sometimes even by friends and family with “good intentions.” We’re too fat, too skinny, too ugly. Our clothes aren’t fashionable, our skin isn’t clear enough, we have cellulite. Our hair has to be a certain length, our clothes a certain style, our bones must stick out to have the “magazine” look. All because they say so.

I think it’s about time to STOP listening to them. Who are they anyway? Who makes all these rules?

If you take away one thing from ever reading my blog I hope it’s this: People will never remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. 

When you pass, no one will remember what you looked like or what size jeans you wore. People will remember they way you made them feel — your relationships, the times you went out of your way to be nice or helpful.

I understand that we can’t make the world a better place all at once or figure it out individually, but we can be one person who makes a difference. You can’t fix the drop-out rate of students, but you can buy a student school supplies who otherwise would have none, in hopes that they will go to school that year and become someone incredible. You can’t save every marriage or relationship, but you can be nice to your spouse and the people in your life. You can’t transform the world, but you can walk out of the door each day striving to be a better person. Don’t just be like the world. If you give expecting to get something in return, what credit does that give you? Give something you know you’ll never get back. That’s where the difference lies. We can’t make the world safe or figure it out, but we can be one person that makes a difference.

I’m going to showcase individuals who display selfless acts of courage and bravery to stand apart in today’s society. They love themselves. They love other people. They’re grateful to be alive in order to find their own purpose in life, while helping others do the same. Cheers to the beautiful people in this world.