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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The Root of Emotions and a Shoulder Workout

RootOfEmotions

“No one has direct power over your emotions except for you.”

I’ve been told this many, many times, but it’s not exactly comforting to me. What if someone is rude to me? What if I’m criticized? What if everything seems to be going wrong and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to control it?

These are all outside factors that have the power to affect us internally. But here’s the key: only if we left it. 

We have no power or control over what happens to us; what others say about us; the words that come out of another person’s mouth, with or without malicious intent. All we have control over is how we react to it. Ultimately, we’re responsible for our own emotions. No one has the power to make us feel sad, happy, guilty, worthless, inadequate, etc. Those emotions are rooted within.

Think of your emotions as a tree. The fruits of the tree are the emotions that you outwardly produce. These emotions stem from deep down in the root of the tree — your heart, your soul, your values. That’s why we’re more likely to talk bad about others if we feel bad about ourselves. Alternatively, we’re more likely to give others compliments and fill them with joy if we’re internally happy.

This is why it’s so important to spend time on self care — giving ourselves love and nurturing ourselves. We can’t take care of anyone else if we’re feeling down about ourselves.

Sometimes (actually most of the time) as I’m writing these posts, it’s like I’m speaking directly to myself. There have been a lot of things going on in my life lately that I’ve let steal my joy and happiness and who I am at the root of my being. I’m producing some rotten fruit because I’ve let outside factors affect the deep-seated roots I’ve worked so hard to build over time.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with our lives, we need to focus on what’s right with our lives. Negate any negative emotion by replacing it with a positive:

“Joe said I don’t produce good work.” –> “I’m well able to create great work. I am talented in what I do.

“I look fat today.” –> “My self worth is not defined by my appearance. I’m going to focus on the way I love others, my passion and ways I can contribute to make others’ lives better.

“I’m spinning my wheels because I’m taking on too much.” –> “I’m blessed by all the opportunities in my life. Is there anything I can get rid of or spend less time doing so I can have more time to care for myself?

These are easy to say, but you actually have to believe these positive reinforcements in order for change to happen within. And the more you repeat these, the more you will start to believe them. It may take time, but eventually the truth will seep down into the roots of your soul and you’ll begin to produce healthy, beautiful fruit on your branches. 🙂

PHEW!!! That was a deep one.

Do you feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders? Not for long ;-)… Physically, at least. Day 5 will leave your shoulders burning and looking sculpted in no time!

ShoulderWorkoutDay5

I hope you take some time for yourself today. In the end, you must love and take care of yourself in order to do the same for others.

Love you guys. MEAN IT!

Dwelling on Compliments vs. Criticism

Why is it that when someone says something negative to us, it tends to stick? We can hear 500 compliments, followed by one negative statement and that negative statement just hangs over our heads like a dark cloud for the rest of the day, week, month, or even year. I can recall negative things that were said about me years ago, but can I recall the positives?

Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired to think like this. We’re wired to focus on the negatives, as if we can come up with a solution to fix the things that are “wrong” with us according to other people. Well, I have news for ya. The only opinion that matters is yours. Chances are when someone is speaking negatively about you (either to you or behind your back), it’s a reflection of what’s going on in their own lives. The things that people are the most insecure about are the SAME things they bash others for.

For example, I know that when I used to be super self conscious about my own body, I noticed the imperfections in others. I never really spoke about them, but the thoughts did arise in my mind. But it’s because I was dealing with my OWN issues about my body. Now that I have chosen to accept myself for who I am rather than what size I wear, I never even think about the way others look. Everyone has a story, everyone has a journey, and NONE of us have the right to judge. The old saying is true: you never know what someone else is going through.

So how can we hardwire our brains to think differently: to focus on the positive things instead of the negative?

It’s easy, it just requires effort and practice. Next time someone pays you a compliment, write it down. Remember it. Let it sink it. Next time someone says something negative about you, redirect your thoughts to something positive — something you’re looking forward to, a positive affirmation about your self worth, or another compliment that you’ve received in the past. It all starts with recognizing that we’re paying attention more to the negative. Once we realize we’re doing it, it’s much easier to correct.

Remember, ultimately it’s not about what anyone else says about you. It’s how you feel about yourself. You’re the ONLY person with power over your emotions. 

Instead of dwelling on criticism, let’s dwell on compliments. One of my favorite compliments I’ve ever received is from my dad:

photo

Sure, I appreciate comments about my looks, but it’s when someone compliments my heart that really touches me. I really do genuinely care for others and I’m always happy to be reassured that it comes across that way 🙂

What’s one of the best compliments you’ve ever received? Share the love below. Let’s spread the positive thoughts!

[Of Possible Interest]:

How to Accept Criticism with Grace and Appreciation via ZenHabits
Everyone Will Always Have an Opinion

What’s the Deal with Introverts?

So, I finally decided to take a break from everything pumpkin related (crafts and pumpkin rice galore!) for dinner last night. I whipped up this bad boy in no time at all:

TurkeySpaghettiSquash

This is 99% lean ground turkey sautéed with spinach and garlic, perfectly ripe avocado (!!!- this gets me so excited), spaghetti squash & veggies. I topped it off locally made marinara sauce.

Let’s get personal for a second.

I’ve always considered myself a very outgoing person. I love a great dinner full of meaningful conversation. I love having a good time and laughing until my rock solid abs hurt.

I also REALLY like to be alone. If no one called me to do anything for a week, I would be perfectly fine. It’s a blessing and a curse. I love my friends, but I love my alone time, too.

For the longest time, I classified myself as an introverted extrovert (wait, what?) until I found this picture that describes me to a tee:

Introverts

I always joke with my friends that I have a 2 a.m. “limit.” If it’s after 2, it’s time for me to go home. Call me grandma, please. I’ve heard it plenty of times before. After a long night out I just want to be snuggled up in my PJ’s with my giraffe pillow pet. <– (Just in case you were wondering what people sans boyfriend/dog sleep with.)

As a 21-year-old, it’s hard to relate to most of my peers. I much prefer staying in and having a casual wine night or going out for a few drinks. I had a hard time accepting this for the longest time, because I felt like I didn’t “fit in.” Why didn’t I have the urge to party past 2 a.m.? Am I just weird? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I fit the “typical” college student mold?

Recently, I stopped caring so much about what people thought of me. I no longer consider myself “weird” for not wanting to rage every night of the week (not that there’s anything wrong with that. To each his own.) I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m an introvert by nature, and it’s ok that I need some time to recharge. I may not be able to hold a keg stand, but I can certainly hold a conversation and that’s perfectly OK with me. 

[Let’s chat!]:  Are you an introvert or extrovert, or a little bit of both?

[Of Possible Interest:]
10 Myths about Introverts via CarlKingdom <— love this
23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert via Huffington Post
The Introvert-Extrovert Test <— What are you? 

You’ll Fail and No One Will Notice

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We’re all scared of failure, whether it’s in the form of rejection, loss of pride or embarrassment. If you’re interested in someone, I’m sure you can relate to staring at a text message for 10 minutes, deciding whether to send it or not. You change what you’ve written 15 times as if the other person will actually notice a difference. Why? You’re scared of being rejected. If you’re in the workforce, I’m sure there are times when something has bothered you or you have a great idea for a new project. Rather than addressing it with your boss, you choose to remain silent. Why? You’re scared that your proposal will get shot down or your problem will be regarded as insignificant and a waste of time. Either way, you’re scared of being embarrassed.

Our brains react the same way to fear whenever it’s presented to us, whether we’re approaching someone we find attractive, sending the first text, asking for a raise or stepping foot in the gym for the first time. We’re scared that we will fail.

Fear is a learned behavior. We learn to be scared of situations based on previous occurrences that have happened in our lives. Perhaps you’re scared of initiating conversation with someone because you were rejected before. You’re scared to start a new diet plan because the last one failed.

We all have the mentality that we have something to lose if we take a chance. In other words, we build up the worst-case scenario in our minds. We’re scared to quit that job that we’re so utterly unhappy with for fear that we’ll run out of money. We’re scared to step foot in the gym or switch up our routines because we will look like idiots if we don’t know how to properly perform an exercise. We’re scared to start eating healthy because surely we will hate it and will revert back to our old ways and gain even more weight.
We would rather avoid failure at all costs than taste success. 

I found this quote in a magazine the other day:
Failure Quote

I laugh in the face of failure… Mwahaha 😛

Think about that for a minute. Everyone is so concerned with their own failures and embarassments; do you really think they’re focused on yours? In the worst case scenario, those who are close to you will learn of your momentary failure, but they will soon forget. Failure should not be seen as a roadblock, but rather a learning process that helps us grow. Ultimately, failure takes our relationships to greater depths and our dreams to new heights. If you didn’t fail, you’d keep doing the same things over and over without seeing results. If you NEVER fail, you don’t learn. And if you don’t learn, you don’t succeed.

Start weighing your risks and their rewards. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. If you fail, so what? At least you’ve tried. And you’ll never have to wonder “what if?”