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In Pursuit of Yourself || In Pursuit of Balance

“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” -Steven Jay Gould

Just as a caveat, this post may be a little different than my previous posts. I didn’t really want to talk about fitness too much today, but hopefully you or a friend will be able to get something out of my ramblings anyway.

Many of us right now have copious amounts of time that is unprecedented and in most cases, unasked for. If you’re like me, you’re used to having a full schedule with things and people taking up your time and energy. But now that we have so much time on our hands, it may be a good time to ask ourselves some tough questions that we may usually avoid. Simple, but poignant questions like, who are we, really? What do we actually want out of our life? What actually makes us happy? These are questions that are very easy to brush off when we are going on about our daily lives because they can be deep, soul-searching questions that might lead us down roads that may be difficult or painful. Sometimes our worst fear is alone-time with ourselves. For it is in those quiet moments we see truly how filled we are with things we may not like or maybe we feel empty with just ourselves. Maybe we use our busy schedules to mask the things we are filled with. Maybe we use our busy schedules to fill the emptiness we feel inside ourselves. Regardless, sometimes being alone can shed light on the true state of being we hold closely to underneath the surface that we show the world.

But now is the perfect time to sort through all of that. Most of us have nothing but time to sort out our minds and our hearts. Imagine that everything in your life that has happened or traits of who you are, for good or bad, are playing cards in a deck. Now is the time to sort through that deck of cards to see what is serving you and what is not. Take that deck of cards out, one by one, and figure things out as they come. We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to search within ourselves to really get to know our trues selves. To heal our true selves. To forgive our true selves. And learn from our mistakes so we change and move on to a better version of our selves.

I’ve managed to accomplish a lot of self-sabotage over the years, and most everyone I really get to know has experienced similar things with themselves. I went through a period of years where I was extremely insecure and made a lot of stupid decisions that messed me up emotionally and set me up to continue the cycle over and over. Like all downward spirals, I found a rock bottom. I’ve lived in poverty, I’ve lived through abuse, and I’ve lived through a period of time where I was pretty consistently suicidal. It wasn’t easy to break out of that, so I know all too well the turmoil some of you are going through right now and my heart goes out to you.

One thing that was a turning point point for me was when I sat down in front of the mirror and apologized to myself for all the hurtful decisions that made for myself. I may never get apologies from individuals that hurt me, but I can apologize to myself for allowing myself to be in the situation where they had the power to hurt me. And I promised to never do these things again and that I would work to earn my trust back in myself.

So if you have demons, I encourage you to embrace this time as an opportunity to take out the card deck of your life and deal with each card as it is and choose to let yourself to move on. Everyone moves on differently and I am not here to tell you how to move on or when or what it should look like. Obviously a therapist is the best choice to get advice from for moving on from painful things in your past or present, but solitude and self awareness for what you’re feeling and why is a good start.

Whether it’s moving on from painful things in your past or it’s moving on towards success and happiness, I cannot stress how important self awareness is. You cannot create a happy life if you are not aware of what in life actually makes you happy. If you only chase what you are told should make you happy, you’ll waste your life chasing what the media sells you in commercials. Too many people lose themselves in what the media says they should want. Hell, even the stereotypical American dream isn’t what will make a lot of people happy. For me, personally, I don’t want a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, fancy cars, fancy clothes, fancy toys, and a super busy social life. My dream is a minimalist shipping container home in the middle of acres of land that’s wild and wooded. A place where I can grow and hunt my own food and work from the solitude of my sanctuary. My life is nothing like that right now, but that’s what I’m working towards and I know that one day I will have.

My point is is that right now when we have this extra time on our hands, it’s the perfect time to self analyze, to heal, and think up a strategy that we can follow to live our best life. When life is normal, working 40 hours a week plus family obligation, social obligations, and pursuing hobbies has us too busy for deep, healing self-reflection and work. Because healing is hard work–don’t let anyone tell you differently. Creating new mental and emotional habits is tough work. Sometimes healing and creating new life habits is more difficult than living with pain is. Because after enough time, pain becomes normal and comfortable, doesn’t it? It becomes something to define ourselves with and a form of identity. And that may be why so many people avoid it. It takes time. It takes emotional energy. It takes mental energy. But I’m hoping that with this disruption of normal life, your are able to find the head-space necessary to put in the work on our own mind and your soul. It’s worth the effort, I promise.

Because what happens when you break through? What happens if your break through the darkness of your past? What happens when you break through your fears and feelings of emptiness? The possibilities of what you are capable of are waiting. I am a firm believer that everyone has a potential and that very few people are living up to the potential that they are born with, myself included. My disappointment with myself is one of the things that I have had to come to terms with, forgive myself for, and decide that I will pursue a life that I’m not disappointed in.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that I do not have everything figured out and that I probably have more flaws than not. But now is a good time to try in different ways to figure some things out and to change and renew myself. But right now I have the time for reflection. Now I have the head-space that I didn’t always have before. So I might as well dive in. I might as well get dirty and see the things that have been lurking in my heart. What’s the worst that could happen?


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In Pursuit of Yourself || In Pursuit of Balance

“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” -Steven Jay Gould

In Pursuit of Nutrition Balance: Why am I eating AGAIN? || In the Pursuit of Balance

I’m sitting on the couch and constantly finding myself wondering what I can eat next…. Sound familiar to anyone else? Please tell me I’m not alone on this! I’m usually on the go and busy with work so now that I am at home looking for things to occupy my time with, I feel hungry all the time. Is it because my body needs more food? Hell no!


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In Pursuit of Nutrition Balance: Why am I eating AGAIN? || In the Pursuit of Balance

With the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve been out of work. Currently it’s been twelve days since I’ve been to work for a normal day and already I find myself eating more than normal. I’m sitting on the couch and constantly finding myself wondering what I can eat next…. Sound familiar to anyone else? Please tell me I’m not alone on this! I’m usually on the go and busy with work so now that I am at home looking for things to occupy my time with, I feel hungry all the time. Is it because my body needs more food? Hell no! I’m moving less than I normally do, so in theory I should be eating a little less as well. So that’s not it.

Sometimes we feel hunger when what we actually are is thirsty. That is a common culprit of mine… I’m not drinking as much water as I normally do while I am at work. I usually drink a gallon of water throughout the day and therefore I’m peeing every 30 min to an hour. But I don’t mind getting paid to go pee every hour. But when I’m at home, I just think less about drinking water I guess. So that could be a good reason why I feel the need to eat ALL the fricken time.

Another reason I feel like eating all the time is due, in part, to boredom. I tend to be a bored eater. It’s been almost two weeks and I’m having trouble filling the time with things I want to do. My closet is clean and organized. My laundry is done (for now). I can’t really think of any big cleaning projects that needs to be done around the house, which is usually what I fill my days off with. But now? All of it’s done. Sooooo, what’s in fridge?

Not only am I a bored eater, but I’m an emotional eater as well. When I was young, emotional eating was a coping mechanism that was easy to fall into. My mother always made sure our family was fed and that we had extra. She still is that way and that’s always a perk when I visit her—she always sends me home with food. And she’s a way better cook than I am, so it’s a treat. But that made it so I always had access to as much food as I wanted. Scientists have done studies and found that eating food releases serotonin and oxytocin. Serotonin is a hormone that your brain needs to feel good—depressed brains are deficit with those hormones, making it difficult/impossible to feel a sense of well-being without something helping your brain maintain proper levels of this hormone. Oxytocin is a hormone that your brain interprets as feeling loved. Physical touch releases oxytocin, which is perhaps why this social distancing is taking a heavy mental toll on everyone. Humans needs physical touch—from birth all the way to death—to function normally and properly. There are other things that help with oxytocin production, but eating food is one of them. In the absence of other forms of oxytocin production, a failsafe way is and will always be food. So, in times of great stress and isolation, craving food can be our bodies’ way of providing necessary hormones to keep our brains feel well and balanced.

Obviously there is a point where using food for these reasons is absolutely counterproductive. Low quality food and especially high amounts of sugar can be counterproductive in the long run for proper hormone balance. There is a time where eating too much, even if it’s relatively healthy choices, can make us feel worse in our bodies as well as our feelings towards our situation.

So what’s the solution? What do we do when we’re trapped in our homes with limited things to do and all we can think about is food? I will never pretend to have all the answers. All I can do is help shed light on what I have seen or experienced that helps.

Being aware of what is going on in your mind is the first step. Awareness is key when you want to address anything, whether it’s a bad habit, a bad mode of thinking, or a bad movement pattern with an exercise, awareness is always the first step to moving to a place where you are able to correct things if necessary. So if you find yourself in the same place as I do right now, when you feel your body start to crave food you’re not sure you actually need, stop and think about why you want it? Sometimes you’ll look a the clock and realize that it is, indeed, time for you to eat something for your body! If so, making a good choice will be a good investment in how you feel later. If it’s not time to eat, maybe take stock of what you’re craving? Are you craving comfort food? Is your body telling you that you need serotonin or oxytocin? Of course, I’m going to recommend some exercise if you need serotonin. Getting up and going for a walk or trying a home workout can really help give your brain some good serotonin these days. If you’ve already had your fill of moving today, grab some snuggles from the nearest person or fur baby! Dogs and children, and loved ones are especially good for snuggles, but if they aren’t nearby, a hot shower can also help. Or maybe none of those things will help and a hot chocolate chip cookie will be the only thing that will! Being aware and honest with yourself about how you are actually doing is important. I would just encourage you to make a habit of performing self-maintenance checks. If we feel off or if we find we’re doing things out of character, it’s important to figure out why. And right now with all the social and financial stress we are under with the covid-19 outbreak, it’s more important than ever to stay healthy mentally as well as physically to continue to thrive in this turbulence.


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In Pursuit of Potential: Finding and Growing your Strengths || In Pursuit of Balance

There are countless strengths and weaknesses in a person’s makeup. Personality traits, intellectual strengths, creativity, work ethic, drive, and coping mechanisms all significantly shape a person’s overall strengths and weaknesses. But it would be a disservice to you to compare your strengths and weaknesses with others and to expect you to reach the same goal the same way.

Balancing Time: Better than Nothing

Not everyone has the same 24 hours so it’s unrealistic to compare your journey with someone else’s. Family, mental illness, career, and access all have huge impacts on your pursuit in balancing life with fitness. Pursue new strategies to help you take steps towards your goals if balancing time or energy is an issue for you!


Pursuing Conditioning: Top 5 Cardio Moves that Require no Equipment | In Pursuit of Balance

In one of my recent posts “Balancing Time: Better than Nothing”, I spoke briefly about how to set up a full body workout that you can perform at home with little to no equipment. In my post today, I want to expand on how to structure home workouts in order that to help teach you how to effectively pursue your fitness goals even if you’re not in a position to get to a gym. Machines are certainly convenient to use, but they are not necessary to get a thorough workout. When it comes to increasing strength and power, some equipment will be necessary, but for conditioning, all you need is your body and a plan!

Part of balancing your life, responsibilities and goals is being realistic about the 24 hours you have available every day and finding a way to pursue each of these practically. If you are pursuing fitness goals within the 24 hours that are available to you, that can sometime mean that you won’t be able to make it to a gym environment in which you have access to equipment. This can make it difficult sometimes to get a proper workout, but it’s not impossible! Although I am a big proponent of mental health and taking the necessary steps to rest and mentally recover from life and it’s demands, but I also firmly believe that each of us is responsible for ourselves and taking an honest account of how we are pursuing our goals for our lives. If fitness is one of your goals for your life, then you must take the initiative for yourself to take steps towards that everyday. You must be honest with yourself about the food you eat, the sleep you get, and the movement your body gets to do. If your goal is better mental health, you need to be honest about the steps you are taking towards that as well. Are you taking your meds, talking to the important people in your life, taking care of your body (seratonin and dopamine manufacture are linked to exercise and good nutrition), and sleeping enough? It applies to any goal you have for yourself. It’s important to be honest with yourself with the effort you are putting in to the steps you are taking towards your goals.

So how do you take steps towards fitness if you don’t have access to a gym? Below, I will outline my top 5 favorite conditioning movements along with their benefits and tips on proper form. At the bottom of the page, you will see a link to my Instagram page, where I have posted videos of proper form for each of these exercises. If you have questions or concerns about these exercises or need modifications for them, feel free to fill out the contact form and ask away! It may take me a day or two to get back with you, but I’m here to help!

Squat Jumps or Box Jumps

Box jumps would be a more advanced option and require something sturdy to jump onto. Something as simple as a step would suffice, though, especially if it’s your first time attempting to jump onto something that is raised. Squat jumps will be the easier of the two, although they are no less demanding. Anytime you are doing a lower body exercise, it’s important to focus on shifting your weight into your heels when you squat (or lunge) down. Doing this heel shift will help engage the proper muscles in your hips and glutes to give you the best strength and power for the movement. Very often, people tend to shift their weight into their toes, which puts extra strain on their knees and can disengage glutes completely. So, to protect your knees, back, and use the correct muscles for lower body movement, teach yourself to heel shift when doing squats and lunges.

Touchdown Squats

These can be a good beginner to intermediate exercise. They increase your heart rate, but can still be done in high volume without wearing you out quite as much as more advanced moves like burpees. You start with feet together, hop your feet out into a sumo squat, touch the ground, then hop your feet back together in the center! It sounds more complicated than it is, once you’ve got the hang of it. Touchdown squats are a great way to make regular squats more interesting!

Skaters

Skaters can be tough for people who have issues with knee pain or past knee injuries. However, if you do not suffer with knee pain, skaters done correctly can not only get your heart rate up for effective conditioning, they can also help to strengthen your knee stability and prevent future knee injuries. This can especially be helpful if you (or your kids) like to play sports that require quick directional changes, like soccer, basketball, and baseball. One thing to always be conscious with this exercise is to always focus on balance and stability every time you land. Every time you land, you should feel your foot, ankle, knee, and hip come to full stability before hopping back sideways. I recommend using targets to hop to side to side, like towels, cones, or the width of a yoga mat. Having targets helps with form as well as challenging yourself to hop the same distance every time!

Lunges or Jumping Lunges

Although lunges are considered to be a basic strengthening exercise, if they are performed in high volume sets, they can be very effective in spiking your heart rate up high. Add in some dumbbells, and you’ll be working on strength and conditioning simultaneously! Anytime you perform exercises that target one leg at a time, you will be engaging your adductors (or inner thigh muscles) whether you feel them or not, Their main function is to stabilize the hips and knee during single leg movements. So if muscle tone is on your list of goals, lunges can be a good option to incorporate regularly to achieve well rounded muscle development.

Burpees

The first thing you need to know about burpees is that they suck. They’re tough physically and they’re tough mentally to get through them when you’re fatigued. But anything worthwhile is never easy. When you break down the movement, it’s basically a push-up that turns into a jump squat. Burpees are great full body conditioning because they incorporate so many big muscle groups in the movement. They incorporate your chest, shoulders, and triceps every time you push up from the ground. They engage your core as you push up into a plank. And, of course, they work the tar out of your legs with that ending jump squat. Put it all together, and you have an exercise that will effectively get your heart rate up high and work on muscular strength and endurance.

Structuring Your Workout

Ok, you have a few different exercises to pick from, now it’s time to set up your workout for the day! I tend to get bored with doing the same things the same way over and over, so I try to be creative with my set-ups. Sometimes I’ll stick to consistent sets and reps. Sometimes I’ll add a few reps every round to make things interesting. Regardless of what I choose, I try to pick something that will keep me mentally engaged in what I’m doing, so that I avoid becoming robotic or automated with the work. For me, personally, becoming automated is a quick way for me to get bored, and therefore make it that much more difficult to stay motivated and challenged. Trying different sets and rep schemes can be helpful in keeping things interesting for you mentally as well as physically. Think about it terms of spices in cooking. If you use the same salt and pepper for every chicken recipe, things can get bland very quickly. Trying out or researching different combinations of spices can make even the most common dishes taste different and new! The same theory applies to working out. Try new approaches when one structure becomes stale or boring. Because there is never a reason to get bored with movement and exercise! Pick one or two conditioning exercises that I listed above. Next, pick a core exercise like a plank or crunches. Then set a timer for at least 20 minutes. Now you’re ready! Do each exercise for 20-30 repetitions each and see how many rounds you can do! Or start with 5 reps of each and then add 5 reps every round you get through.

That’s it! If you incorporate these into a daily workout routine, you’ll be able to get in a great workout anytime you’re stuck inside. If you have questions regarding these exercises I’ve listed, feel free to contact me using the form below!


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Pursuing Strength: Top 5 Back Pain Prevention Techniques

Let me just start this off by saying that I am not a physical therapist, so if you have access to healthcare and need a diagnosis for your back pain, GO DO IT! Seriously. Get off your keister and do something about it instead of suffering. However, if you’re like me, health insurance and doctors […]

In Pursuit of Health: Balancing Your Mindset Towards Food

This is your gentle reminder that there is no moral value attached to food! There is no food that is morally bad or morally good. There is just food that can help you and food that will hinder you from your goals that you have chosen for your health and for your life.  You didn’t […]

Pursuing Mental Health: Meditation for People Who Get Distracted Easily

There’s a cliche image in my head whenever I hear the word “meditation” : it’s a perfect looking, perfectly zen looking woman sitting with perfect posture and meditating…perfectly. You know the one I’m talking about. She has a perfect body, a really nice yoga outfit, and lush hair that’s blowing ever so slightly in the […]


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In Pursuit of Potential: Finding and Growing your Strengths || In Pursuit of Balance

I was having a conversation the other day about people’s genetic potential and how different people are according to their genetic strengths and weaknesses. This is something I’ve thought a lot about because it’s something I’ve struggled with over the years. My genetics don’t necessarily lend itself to a body type/look that I had wished that I had, and for a long time, I struggled to attain that body type. Spoiler alert: I never attained it. And I was always disappointed with myself for not achieving it. But, as I’ve gotten older and more experienced, I’ve seen the same pattern with many people expressing that they wished that they looked like me. And some of these people saying this actually had the body type that I wished for! Weird, right? So what’s the conclusion? Why are so many people so hell bent on looking a way that is opposite of what they are? I think he answer is complicated and absolutely varies from person to person, but here are my theories. I think “the grass is always greener principle comes in to play in major way. I also think that society preys on our insecurities in order to profit from our drive to be excellent or feel wanted. We want to emulate what we admire, because we wish to be admired also. But the reality is, is that we are all so different that it would be a shame to squander what we are gifted with in search of possessing what someone else was gifted with.

There are countless strengths and weaknesses in a person’s makeup. Personality traits, intellectual strengths, creativity, work ethic, drive, and coping mechanisms all significantly shape a person’s overall strengths and weaknesses. My experience lies more with physical strengths weaknesses, so I will stay in my lane and explore what I know more about. Correct action can take you places and lead you to progress, but simply wishing things were different, especially wishing your genetic makeup was different, is a waste of your precious energy and life. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. And yes, that even includes those genetic freaks you see that are perfectly suited for their sport. I guarantee that they have weaknesses, but theirs might just not be physical. So I think it’s incredibly important to take stock of your strong suites. Now, because I’m a trainer and this is a blog about health and wellness, I’m going to focus on the physical side of these genetic strengths and weaknesses.

We have all heard the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side”, right? I think that this is a common reason that people are not happy with the genetics that they have been gifted with. It’s that same principle that even leaves us wishing we had the same material possessions or relationships that the person next to us has. It’s easy to idealize something we don’t have because we don’t know all the pros and cons associated with with that thing we are idolizing. It’s easy to look at things we don’t have through rose colored glasses and ignore all the complications and challenges that come packaged with it. And that can apply to more than just body type or genetics. That can apply to relationships, careers, children, material items, etc… It’s easy to wish for it because we don’t fully understand the challenges and downsides to having what they have. In my personal experience, I have had women tell me that they wish that they had my legs. It takes effort for me to not tell them that the only reason that I have the body that I do is because I live with some nasty depression and one of my primary ways to manage it is to train hard to manufacture serotonin and dopamine for my brain to stay somewhat stable. They see the end result of that training, but they don’t see or feel the mental/emotional work I have to put in to stay sane for my family and job. So hey, you can take my legs, but you”ll have to take my depression along with them in order to maintain them! But that same thing can apply to any athlete we admire, can’t it? It’s difficult to see the process through which they have attained the skill or strength or body that they have. Some people work and struggle and sacrifice for years to be able to look or perform at a certain level. When we see a great athlete smiling on a podium, all we see is the end result. We see the fruits of their labor, not their years of labor that lead them to that destination.

I believe that part of this wishing that we do is because we look up to our role models. We find people we admire because it helps us define or goals and gives a direction to our motivation. We want to emulate what we admire because we also want to be admired. Now, using people and defining goals is absolutely helpful. Without being specific about our goals and what we want in life, we would wander aimlessly and it would be next to impossible to accomplish the things we want. But there is a thin line between using an athlete or some other figure as a tool to define your own goals, and idolizing them to the point where you neglect to see your own magic. Because everyone has their own magic. I’ve seen some people run so effortlessly and easily that it makes me feel like a hippo racing gazelles. I’ve seen some people flow like water through yoga poses that would make me collapse like a crushed pretzel. And don’t even get me started on dancers. I’ve worked in gyms for fifteen years and not once have I ever done a zumba class. No way. Give me a barbell and I’ll be fine. But there are so many people who breeze through those things because they found their magic. They found their strengths and their happy place, and they pursue it! Their strengths look completely different than mine, and that’s beautiful. Now, that’s not say that I shouldn’t ever work on my weaknesses or never try new things. I may discover that I have more magic in me than I thought! So exploring everything is important!

With the revolution of social media and constant connectivity, I think a lot of people fall victim to that “wishing” because of targeted marketing. It’s not secret that facebook and google sell every bit of your data to companies worldwide that use it to tailor advertisements and recommendations to you personally. If you put on your facebook that you are engaged, advertisements for wedding dresses and venues will absolutely start popping up all over your phone. Even if you talk about certain topics with your phone nearby, google and youtube will listen in and use that information to tailor advertisements for you. If you don’t believe that, I encourage you to experiment with it. You’ll notice it immediately. If these companies do that with just mundane information, you can bet they do it with your health and body image as well. On TV, in social media, and every advertisement, we see images of beautiful people who have nice bodies. We are conditioned from childhood to see that as being normal even though most of it is altered and photo-shopped. And when we see that we don’t live up to their so-called normal standards we are inundated with, we are given advertisements for products and services that will fix us. We live in a society of corporations that manipulate us into having insecurities and then sell us cures for the disease that they created in your mind. It’s a huge business and unplugging from it completely is as difficult as living without internet these days. Being aware of what the media is doing and how it is trying to manipulate you into being a consumer for these things is the first step. Limiting your exposure really helps. But I understand all too well that avoiding all exposure is impossible if you plan on functioning in society with other people. I don’t plan on being a hermit in the near future, so all I can do is take everything I am fed through social media and other forms of media with a grain of salt. I ask myself this question, “Who benefits from me believing this or thinking this way?” If the answer to that question is anyone besides me and the people I care about, it usually means that a corporation will benefit from it.

I understand that this all may seem a little paranoid or you may think that I go around wearing a tin foil hat. But I challenge you to start challenging the ideas that you are exposed to on a daily basis. Is it actually healthy to give 100% of your energy to a workout every day? Is it really a good idea to chase your fitness goals at all costs, even if that cost includes your loved ones? Is it really beneficial to your life to beat yourself up for missing the gym because you were recovering from a panic attack? There is a balance between chasing your goals and what you have determined you want for your body and living your best life. You have different strengths than the person standing next to you. It would be a disservice to you both to compare your strengths and weaknesses and to each of you to reach the same goal the same way. So we must approach it with a balance. We must pursue our strengths with gratitude and be mindful of our weaknesses.


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Balancing Time: Better than Nothing

It won’t take long on social media to find taglines like, “Everyone has the same 24 hours, so you have no excuse!” or “No days off” used by people who make it look like it should be easy for everyone to have their shit together juuuust like they do! Most of them will sell you a step by step guide to their embodied perfection too… I feel like a lot of people feel like that there is something wrong with them or that they are failing at life if they’re not as perfect as what they see in social media posts or reality television. The real reality is that not everyone has the same 24 hours. Most of the people you see who have perfect bodies either have a team of people helping them live the rest of their lives, like nannies, house cleaners, cooks, trainers, and/or personal assistants, or their might be several areas of their lives that are completely failing as a result of their so-called dedication to the gym. The fact is, if you have kids, a spouse, a job, and a home, there’s a good chance that your free time or your available energy is more limited than fitspo would like to admit.

Even my 24 hours are not realistic for most people who work 9-5 jobs. I am a full time personal trainer, so I spend eight hours a day in a gym whether I want to or not. This allows me to work out without having to create free time to spend at the gym or have to arrange additional childcare for the time I spend there. So for most people, working out the way that I do is not necessarily realistic, and I understand that. Although I chose my profession intentionally, there is a trade off to working in a gym environment. Personal training in the economy in which I live is not a very financially lucrative job, but it allows me more freedom to exercise than other jobs would, even though other careers would have given me more financial success. In regards to living with depression, it’s difficult to say which would be more beneficial: more financial stability, or the ability to use exercise every day as an anti-depressant. There is no definitive answer for that for me. But all of that is simply part of my journey. My journey isn’t necessarily one you want, and for you, that’s the way it should be! Everyone has their own journey and their own path to follow. You should be passionately pursuing your own journey in life! Comparing your journey to the journey of someone else you know is not beneficial. That energy you use on comparison would better serve you if you harnessed it to pursue your own goals and ambitions.

When it comes to fitness and health, I find that people tend to be either all in, or all out. Navigating the middle ground and finding the balance between pursuing fitness and pursuing the rest o your demanding life is always difficult and there are far too few examples of how it can be done well. So having that all or nothing mentality can sometimes hold people back from pursuing half steps towards their fitness goals. Half steps still take you forward! And sometimes just not regressing can be enough. I tend to be a perfectionist or all or nothing attitude as well. I have to consciously tell myself that it’s ok to to half ass something as long as I try. It’s ok that my attempts are far from perfect, because the more I attempt to do it, the more I’ll learn how to do it better.

We all have good days and we have bad days. On my good days when I’m feeling sassy and energetic, I increase my weights in the gym and see how much I am capable of that day. I take on household projects that I’ve been too drained to tackle. I go the extra mile for a stranger at work. Because I never know when that good day will end. Hell, I never know when I’ll get another good day. So, as an act of gratitude, I go full send on those good days. At the gym, at home, at work. I use my good days to the best of my ability. Every time. It helps the bad days not feel so dark.

So when your 24 hours gets too hectic to make time for the gym, you can still do something, Still take those half step towards your goal and pursue your goal. If going for a walk or a run isn’t realistic or appealing, you can structure your own workout inside your home! Structure to a full body workout doesn’t have to complicated. For a full body workout, you only need to pick four movements! you’ll want to pick a movement for the lower body (squats, lunges, bridges, etc…), upper body (pushups, rows, shoulder press, etc…), core (crunches, planks, etc…), and cardio (burpees, jump squats, thrusters, etc..). Then, choose a repetition scheme. A really simple scheme could be twenty repetions of each. Then you can do the circuit, working at your own pace, to see how many rounds you can get in ten or fifteen minutes! Working out can be complicated at times, but it can also be very simple when you need it to be.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to help you on your fitness journey is to figure out what is realistic for you and consistently sticking with it. Consistent effort, even if it’s imperfect, will take you further than waiting for convenient or perfect circumstances. Now read that again. Imperfect effort will be more beneficial to your life and your fitness journey than waiting the rest of your life for perfect effort. Find an approach to your goals that is realistic for your 24 hours. Focus on your journey and where you want to be. It’s easy to compare journeys, but that can be toxic and may trip you up in what you could be pursuing your own journey. It’s important that you surround yourself with people who will inspire and encourage you to keep consistently working towards your goals. Some people may tend to influence you to compare yourself to them or others or straight up discourage you from making good decisions for your goals. The circle of people that you keep is very important in how your 24 hours plays out day to day. Having good people around you who are chasing their goals and dreams will naturally be encouraging to you while you pursue yours.


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