TAKE A MOMENT AND THEN KEEP TRUCKING

Some weeks I feel invincible, strong, fearless, and determined...Some weeks I feel like I just cannot stay afloat...Nothing seems to go as planned...I am exhausted...I am cranky...I am definitely not fun to be around. That was last week. It kicked my ass. I am the first to admit when I do not have my shit together. I acknowledge it. I have that moment. I pick myself back up. I lean on Shannon. I practice self-care and then I keep on trucking. 

My job is a roller coaster. Social Media is a BEAST and some weeks it can just wear me down. This is life. Life has speed bumps. And when we hit those speed bumps we have two choices. We either let the stress and negativity take over or we put on those "Positive Patty Pants" on and YES, we just keep trucking. As I get older and somewhat wiser and definitely a little more stubborn, I won't give in to the negativity. I have learned what works for me to get out of that place and back up on my feet. Because as I always say, when we look at the bigger picture...Life is really good. Here are a few of my "go-to's" for getting myself back up and moving forward - 

Take A Moment

SWEAT IT OUT - Whenever I feel stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, sad, or need to take some time away from work, relationships, and life, sweating it out is always my favorite way to get my shit back together and start fresh. And usually, that type of sweat session involves my yoga mat and showing up to Sarah’s “The WORKS” class.

This class challenges me physically and mentally. It pushes me...It inspires me...It helps me feel grounded and grateful. I went to 3 “The WORKS” classes last week 3 days in a row and it was exactly what I needed. I was sore as heck and really freaking tired, but I needed someone to tell me to do those dreaded Vinyasa burpees and squat jumps. I needed Sarah to push me. I needed that support system and it worked.

I love my yoga community and I cannot brag enough about Sarah and how she has helped me on and off the mat with my yoga practice, building my strength and endurance, but also being a friend. Yoga is not just about stretching, building strength, and sweating, as amazing as to how this makes me feel. It is also a  wonderful reminder that we have to love ourselves inside and out. That we all have moments, struggles, and breaking points. We just have to take some time to acknowledge this, but also remember to keep moving forward, because life is good and when you look around and remember what you have it is REALLY good.

NOURISH YOUR BODY - Feed your body what it wants and ENJOY it! When I am having one of those weeks, where I feel like I have no control over my workload and life, food USED to be that one thing where I felt like I did have some sort of control. This was not a good thing. Trust me, it is not healthy mentally, physically, and nutritionally. Controlling your food intake is exhausting and takes up a lot of energy. Energy that could be going to someplace else. Food control during stressful moments does not solve anything. It can actually make things worse. Honor your body. Give it what it needs. This moment and this week will pass, so nourish your body with the foods that it is craving and it will all balance out in the end.

Nourish Your Body

We have to remember that our bodies are always changing and craving different things each week. Some weeks I just want to eat BIG salad bowls and smoothies...Some weeks I just want waffles and thick slices of bacon and more bacon. You have to honor these cravings and give your body what it wants. How cool is it that this happens? Life would be so boring if we ate the same thing every day. There have been nights where I just wanted to eat ice cream and cookies. And guess what I ate just that and it tasted and felt awesome. I fulfilled that craving and then moved on. Yes, it has taken me time to figure this out, but I can honestly say that I am so much more aware of these moments and it feels good to not have to worry about controlling the food.  

Nourish Your Body

DISCONNECT - JUST DO EXACTLY THAT! Stop scrolling, liking, commenting, emailing, and even turn your phone on silent. It is an amazing feeling. This past weekend we went to the RBC Heritage Cup in Hilton Head and it was a huge relief that I had to keep my phone on silent. It felt AWESOME. I was more present with our friends, with Shannon, and soaked up that beautiful sunshine, food, cocktails, and the experience.

I needed the weekend to disconnect, because it is so easy to burnout, especially when you are managing multiple accounts, and always trying to stay on top of the comments, mentions, and tags. I was starting to go bat crazy. So I 100% needed to just take that time to breathe, recharge, press restart, and just live life. Thank goodness my friend took all of our pictures, because by the middle of the day I didn’t even bother checking my phone. WAHOO!!!

DISCONNECT

During the hustle and bustle of the work week, I obviously cannot disconnect like that, which is fine, as this is my job, my livelihood, and it is what pays the bills. To stay somewhat sane on a daily basis, I always take Lucy for our afternoon walk and leave my phone behind and I am “trying” to shut it ALL down around 9:00 PM. It is hard because I love what I do and I get excited to see the growth, the interaction, and the excitement for the brands I represent, but I always need to remember, SLOW DOWN and turn it off!

HAVE THAT FLIPPING MOMENT - We are all allowed to have “that moment”. Whether it is crying, screaming, or just being silent, give yourself permission to feel all the feels. It is okay to break down. It is called being human. Once you get all that crap out, put those “Positive Patty Pants” on and just keep on trucking.

What self-care tips do you practice when life is just a HOT MESS?

GET IT DONE WORKOUT - STRAWBERRY SALAD

Time is flying and it is already basically the middle of April. I am loving the longer evenings, the warmer weather, and being able to start running outside without layers. I am one of the few people who does not mind the humidity. Call me crazy, but I just feel healthier...My skin has that dewy glow...It feels good to sweat (okay fine, I’ll admit that the only time I really would rather not look like a hot mess, is when I am actually trying to put on other clothes, besides Lululemon)...And my body just craves big salads, fresh produce, and lighter refreshing meals (I’ve included a deliciously simple salad below by my good friend Valerie for you to try as well). But before we talk about food, let’s talk about a NEW workout!!!

I might be repeating myself, but I love to create workouts! It is fun to put them together and have friends try them out and give me their honest feedback. It is another way for me to get creative, have some fun (yes I consider putting workouts together FUN), and enjoy motivating others to try new things and challenge themselves. With that being said, here is another challenging “GET IT DONE WORKOUT”.

GET IT DONE WORKOUT

Look it over...Give it a try...And of course, if you have any questions, just ASK, because I love hearing from all of you!!!

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE AND DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY

You have completed your workout, you feel AMAZING, you are ready to tackle anything that comes your way, and of course, you need to EAT, because those muscles need to be replenished with all the good stuff. Let's start talking food and food that is simple, refreshing, healthy, and delicious. Because if you know me, I am all about SIMPLE and easy meals and nowadays, everything gets thrown into a bowl and devoured. 

A few weeks ago, I met up with another Charleston foodie, influencer, and chef. Like I said in last weeks post, as I go into my second year here in Charleston, I really want to connect with local businesses and influencers to support them and to ask them to support me. Valerie of Thyme and Joy is one of those people. She's a Jersey girl. She's passionate about food, her job, and creating recipes for her clients and blog. And each time we meet up, she brings me food to try. WINNING!!! 

Make sure to check out her latest recipe, that is perfect for Spring and Summer. This salad is easy to make and can be eaten for lunch or dinner. Pair it with some grilled chicken, steak, or salmon for added protein and you will be good to go. Bring on that warmer weather and ALL the big ASS salads!

Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Salad

Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Salad

YAY or NAY on the "Get It Done Workouts"?

Do you want me to share more simple, healthy, and delicious recipes?

CELEBRATING 1-YEAR IN CHARLESTON

I cannot even believe that it has been ONE YEAR since I moved to Charleston. It has been one of the fastest years thus far in ALL of the places that I have lived and it is probably because I feel beyond blessed and happy for everything that has happened over these 365 days. I definitely have to pinch myself sometimes, because life in the Lowcountry is pretty darn good.

CELEBRATING 1-YEAR IN CHARLESTON

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good” - Roald Dahl

A sucker for quotes, this one jumped right out to me, when I started to write about this past year, because it is so unbelievably true. Life is short, so why go at it half-assed. Why not go big? And go BIG with work, relationships, and YOU. When you are happy, being passionate about life comes naturally. It is almost like it seeps out of your pores and that crazy energy is contagious. You attract the right people; the right projects; you start evolving into your crazy amazing self!!! How freaking cool is that?

Obviously, there have been some not so pretty moments...Moments where I have failed...Been rejected, scared, unsure, and hit some speed bumps, but this is life, and I try to be REAL and honest in this space. I am still growing...learning...striving to be the best version of me. I am still figuring it all out and that is OKAY! The best part of this new chapter is that I am not doing it alone.

MY TRIBE - I have met some amazing women down here, who I have worked with and have also become very close friends with. They are teachers, entrepreneurs, dreamers, and supporters of my vision and dreams. It is not easy to make friends as you get older. It is hard to put yourself out there when we are kind of set in our ways, but for the first time I have put myself out there and it has helped me connect with a solid tribe. These women have helped build my brand; my relationships; and my overall well being. The past couple of months, I have made that conscious effort to get out and connect with other like-minded women to help build my presence in this community and I am wondering what took me so long to do it. Again...living and learning!

CELEBRATING 1-YEAR IN CHARLESTON

MY PARTNER IN CRIME - I will eventually share this story because it is a good one and it is another anniversary that is approaching fast as well! Shannon is an amazing man and I am one happy and lucky lady to have met him. He’s hardworking, real, honest, kind-hearted, and yes very good looking. He has kept me on my toes. He helps me stay grounded. He motivates me. I feel safe in his arms and whenever I am with him and that is something I have not felt in a really long time.  It has been one amazing journey to where we are and I would not change any of it. Is that cheesy enough for you? BOOM! 

CELEBRATING 1-YEAR IN CHARLESTON

My BUSINESS - I am a busy woman! I am currently managing 4 different social media accounts and YES it is a lot of work...YES it is time-consuming...YES it can drive me bat crazy...but at the end of the day, I LOVE the companies that I work for and the people I have connected with. I enjoy being the voice behind other brands. I enjoy creating and inspiring and helping these businesses grow because I LOVE their products.

When it comes to my own personal brand, this is a little bit harder and is taking more time. I sometimes worry that a “Fitness and Lifestyle Influencer” has become saturated. I am by no means giving up, it at times gets extremely frustrating. But like I have said, I am just going to keep on trucking. I am going to write, create, and share with all of you the things that I love, inspire me, and continue to introduce you to my tribe! I have also made it a goal to start educating myself and truly learn how to build my brand, by joining supportive communities who specialize in this. It is time to be a little selfish and do it.

My VISION - I am going to keep it simple as I move forward into this next year down here in South Carolina. I am not going to set any goals, I am just going to do ME. There is definitely a list of things to do and things I want to do, but I am not putting any pressure on when they get done. When time flies this fast, I am finding I just have to take it one step at a time. Who knows what this coming year will bring. I think I am ready for it, but who the hell knows what will happen. Good vibes ONLY! 

What do you want to see more of in this space? Below are a few topics I love to write about, so tell me what YOU want!

  • Workout Videos
  • Simple Recipes
  • "Get It Done" Workouts
  • Women Who Inspire ME
  • Body Image 
  • Self-Care Tips

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE - VICTORIA MYERS

Beautiful Inside and Out...Strong...Knowledgeable...Passionate...and INSPIRING, I am so excited to introduce y'all to Victoria Myers!!! Another woman in my TRIBE, who I respect and admire for her fearlessness of being unapologetically herself!!! She helps educate others - To eat intuitively...To live authentically...To practice self-care...and most importantly to LOVE YOURSELF!!! We need more women like Victoria and I hope you will continue to read what she has to say about cultivating a healthy body image in today's society. ENJOY!!!

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

Well, hello! I'm so thankful for this opportunity to talk about some of my favorite topics, the body positive movement and how to cultivate a healthy body image. 

The body positive movement is growing right now and is currently a buzzword for sure in the health and wellness space. Of course, its something that I want every person to experience, because it feels AMAZING to have love and compassion for your body. Every single person deserves that! But I think a good place to start this conversation is actually talking about who the movement is for.

To put it simply, the body positive movement is meant primarily for the marginalized bodies of today's world. While we are all affected by diet culture, and I think each of us can attest to feeling the weight of diet culture on our shoulders and the need to shrink our bodies, many of us still are not as stigmatized as those in larger bodies, disabled bodies, older bodies and the like. 

The body positive movement is for all of us, but primarily for understanding that we need representation and respect of every body type out there.

Personally, I have always felt the need to shrink my body and to be smaller. For many reasons...because I am a woman, because I am a dietitian, because I am a blogger...the list could go on. I felt like I always had to look and be "perfect" for what I had to say to have validity. The pursuit to have the perfect body led me down a deep hole of restricting and binge eating, orthorexia, over-exercising, constant anxiety and contributing to major health issues I experienced.

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

But even as terrible as all the repercussions of the pursuit of the perfect body was, I am so incredibly thankful for each of these learning opportunities. To teach me to love my body as it is, right here, right now. To say screw it to diet culture and give up the dieting and disordered eating for intuitive eating. To learn over time to love my body. I feel that if all of us can begin to love our bodies and heal our relationship with food, we can also continue to propel the body positive movement forward and ensuring that ALL of us experience it. 

So...how do we begin to cultivate a healthy body image, love our bodies and join the body positive movement?

1. Develop boundaries - Develop boundaries for the kinds of conversations you have about body image to co-workers, friends, and family. Develop boundaries as well for the information you consume, on social media, magazines, TV, etc. Unfollow people who make you feel unworthy or less than in your own body, or who promote poor body image in others. Develop boundaries for the length of time you spend on social media and consuming content in order to avoid the comparison trap. I personally find having my morning and nighttime without any outside influences (like Instagram) allows me to consume the content more mindfully, choosing to be inspired by it instead of comparing myself to others. I also find it very helpful to follow bodies of all shapes and sizes, people outside of the health and wellness space, people of different races, genders, ages, etc to ensure I am getting a good representation of what true health looks like.

2. See your body as something more than its appearance- Understanding that our bodies do amazing things, that have nothing to do with our bodies appearances is vital to cultivating positive body image. This is where I began my journey, by choosing daily to STOP thinking of my body's appearance and instead focusing on the amazing things it did for me. I walked today, I am so thankful for legs that move. I helped a client today, I am thankful for my compassion to help others. Focusing on aspects outside of what we look like (both physical and mental abilities our bodies provide us) and having gratitude for each of those abilities goes such a long way in this journey.

3. Start with being neutral towards your body - Look, I get it, in the beginning, if someone would have said to me you will one day love your body fat, I would have looked at them like they were crazy! After steps one and two, I believe this next step is crucial. Just be NEUTRAL towards your body. This is a great leap from hating your body and is progress towards loving it. Every time you think to yourself something negative about your body, stop yourself and turn it into a neutral comment. So instead of saying, "Ugh my thighs are SO big, I hate them so much", instead say "I have thighs that touch". Period. Understanding that this doesn't have to be a negative thing (because let's remember the only reason we think this is a bad thing is because society says so), it is just stating a neutral comment and then moving forward with life.

4. Developing love towards your body - Again, this didn't come first for me nor was the easiest part of this. This work is HARD. But it so uplifting, empowering and so damn worth it. Overtime of developing steps one through three as part of how I viewed my body, I was then slowly able to change the internal comments to positive ones. I began to love my thick thighs. The cellulite covering all my legs and stomach. The body fat I hated for so long, I truly began to see as beauty in my eyes. Because I realized that I, and only I, get to choose how I see beauty. I had spent my entire life being influenced by others views of how I should look, I never stopped to ask myself- but what do I value? What do I truly believe in? Shifting my perspective and seeing my body, and ALL bodies as beautiful has truly been life changing.

5. Use your voice to advocate for change - This last step is a must! Once we cultivate positive body image, self-love and join the body positive movement, I believe it is our duty to use our voices to stand up for the changes we need to see in our society. So many of us have been affected by diet culture, and every single person out there deserves a life free from the restrictions it has placed on us. My favorite way to advocate for change is actually quite simple...Be a role model. When you hear others hating on their bodies, talking about how they need to change their bodies, or the new diet they are starting on, simply do not encourage it by not adding to the negative talk. You may feel comfortable talking to the person about your own struggle with body image and how you got to a place of love, but not everyone can be ready for that message. If they are, great! If not, no worries! Just keep the conversation light and find a way to transition the conversation to something else. By simply not contributing to the diet and negative body image talk we can begin to shift the way each of us views ourselves, and then truly begin to change the world.

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

I truly hope this post today helps you to cultivate positive body image, and I'd love to hear from you on your progress towards body positivity! Keep me updated by tagging me at @victoriamyers_.

MY FAVORITE YOGA POSES TO STRETCH YOUR HAMSTRINGS

Running...Strength Training...Sitting for long periods of time...and overall inflexibility causes tight hamstrings. The hamstrings NEVER lie and these big ass muscles are VERY crucial for our daily movements, so it is important to make sure that you to take the time to stretch them.

MY FAVORITE YOGA POSES TO STRETCH YOUR HAMSTRINGS

Let’s be real and state the obvious, that many of us do not take the time to stretch. I will be the first to admit this and I have admitted it MANY times. That is why I make time to incorporate yoga into my training schedule EVERY week. It honestly the only way that I can disconnect...slow down...breathe deeply...let shit go...and yes STRETCH.

If you cannot make it to a yoga class, then I highly recommend you take some time after your workout or your long day of work to do as many of these poses as your schedule allows. Grab your mat; put on some music; get in the zone to stretch. I promise you will feel better...Pinky swear!

Some tips to remember:

  1. Hold each pose for up to 1-minute;
  2. Try to do each pose 2 - 3 times;
  3. Listen to your body...Remember to breathe...And take your time with getting into the pose and holding the pose...Do not get frustrated...Enjoy and embrace the pose!
  4. Use props if are unable to touch the ground in certain poses. Yoga blocks can be your best friend!

Pyramid Pose:

  1. Make sure that your front foot is aligned with your back arch;
  2. Square your hips to the ground;
  3. Reach for the ground and allow your upper body to fall over your front knee;
  4. Fold forward as much as your body will allow you and HOLD!

Head to Knee Forward Bend:

  1. Bring one foot into your groin, while the other goes straight in front;
  2. Keep the front leg straight and reach for your foot;
  3. As you reach as far as your body will allow you, let your head relax and fall off the straight leg;
  4. I like to cross my wrists and pull myself towards my foot to get real deep into the hamstring;
  5. Hold, breathe, and try to relax!

Big Toe Pose: L O V E this one!!!

  1. Stand straight up with your feet hip-width distance apart;
  2. Slowly fold forward and grab your big toes with your thumbs and peace fingers;
  3. Pull your toes toward your face; bend your elbows to the side; and bring your chest towards thighs as far as your body will allow you;
  4. This pose will let you know how tight those hamstrings are, so be patient with your body and this pose...Remember to breathe and move into it slowly!

Triangle Pose:

  1. If there is one pose you should do every day...this is THE ONE! It is one of my favorites for stretching my hamstrings; opening my heart and shoulders; improving and strengthening both my balance and core. YEP, it works all that stuff!
  2. Make sure your front foot aligns with your back arch and your feet are spread wide. An easy way to get into this posture is from Warrior II;
  3. Slowly hinge your body forward and bring your front hand as close to the ground as possible;
  4. Keep your hips and chest open and facing forward;
  5. Keep your legs and core engaged...Do not get lazy in this pose...Feel that hamstring burn;
  6. You can use a block for support if you cannot reach the ground and you can grab your big toe for a different variation.

Reclining Hand to Big Toe Pose:

  1. Lay on your back and take a moment to breathe and enjoy that time laying down;
  2. If you don’t have a yoga strap, you can always use a towel, jump rope, etc.;
  3. Keep your spine glued to the mat; one leg straight and on the ground; and bring the opposite leg up. If you cannot grab your foot, use your prop.
  4. Try to keep the lifted leg as straight as possible, while slowly bringing closer to your nose;
  5. Hold...breathe...let your body settle into the stretch!

Let me know which ones you start adding to your daily stretching sessions...Like I said up above, make the time to take care of your body. Whether it is five minutes or 30 minutes, a little self-care goes a long way both physically and mentally.

Embrace the hamstring BURN and just do it!