Enjoy Life

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION

At the end of Sarah’s practice yesterday morning downtown at The Works, I was sitting on my mat coming down from the high of the intense movements, loving the amount of sweat that came out of my body, and then taking that precious time to focus on my breathing, before I stepped outside and had to tackle my day. I say it OVER and OVER again, but that place on my mat is sacred to me. It is my therapy. It is MY SPACE to sweat, to challenge myself physically and emotionally, to cry (yes, I have cried many times on my mat), to become inspired, and to create.

It was after I walked out of the studio and thanked Sarah for kicking my ass, I fogged up my car from the sweat and heat that was coming out of my body, I was still high from her words of wisdom, that this blog post idea went off like fireworks in my brain. Giving yourself permission to do things is a BIG thing and it is a BIG one for me.

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION

I GIVE a lot and sometimes I forget to GIVE to myself. And what happens when you forget to give to yourself? Things start to fall apart. You have to GIVE to YOU. They can be little things or BIG things. Whatever floats your boat. This past weekend I had a full day of #SelfCareSaturday and one of my girlfriends asked if she could join in next time. I am thinking that this needs to be a thing...right?

Ever since we have kicked off 2019 and I have had an new attitude for what lies ahead. It is a hell of a lot of good energy, better decisions, working and training smarter, taking more chances, and GIVING MYSELF PERMISSION to do only the shit that serves ME. Here are a few of the ways that I am doing just that and it is making a HUGE difference personally and professionally.

Give yourself permission to…

To let go of all the rules…A couple of weeks ago, I had my annual girls trip with my fabulous friend Brooke, who owns Statements Boutique in Madison, NJ. We went ALL OUT. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we both needed a break. We needed to catch up on life and to just have fun and did we ever. I let all the rules GO…I got out of my routine...I wasn’t eating peanut butter every morning or watching what I was putting in my body daily...I wasn’t doing my normal intense workouts. It felt AMAZING. We actually only worked out 2 days and the last 2 days we were like HELL NO and it was awesome. More time to eat and visit the wineries...no brainer!

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION

We did it up at the Vintage House...We ate at some of the top restaurants...We ate ALL the crunchy bread, cheese platters, pasta, but the WINE. We visited some of the most beautiful wineries...the big ones...the small ones. It was like Disneyland for adults. I was happy. It was just what I needed to just be. I came back home exhausted, but my heart and belly were full and I was happy. No regrets and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

To slow down or go really hard...When I came back from my girls trip, I was tired, slightly hungover from the wine and food, and I knew I just had to get back on track. And I did. I went hard all week. I sweat it all OUT. It was intense and at the time it felt great. I was motivated, focused, and just ready to do it. I tackled my work the same way. The time away helped me gain some perspective on what I want, my goals for my clients and myself. I was going HARD and full speed ahead. And at that moment it worked and worked for me.

This week was a totally different story. I slowed the F down, because I was tired. I was sore. I needed to to reel it in and come back to a healthy balance. I cut back on my workouts and I tried to disconnect earlier. The colder temperatures kept me inside, so Lucy’s afternoon walks didn’t happen. Dogs need a break too...right? One night I said F it again and got into bed at 8:00 PM. I listened to my body and it felt really good.

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION

Some weeks we need intensity and other weeks we don’t. It is not possible to go 110% all the time. I have tried and I have fallen down hard from that. We need rest. We need the peace and quiet. And then other times we can go balls to the wall. It is so important to listen to your body. You have to give it what it needs emotionally, physically, and nutritionally.

To make mini goals instead of big goals…I am not a fan of BIG GOALS. For me personally, I feel that they set me up for a failure. I begin to realize that I may have gone too big. I start to procrastinate. I start to make excuses and it honestly starts to stress me out. I don’t have time for that shit. Instead, I like to come up with “mini-goals”. These are goals that I set for myself on a weekly basis. Sometimes I even email them to a friend, to hold me accountable. They are simple, mini, and truly serve ME.

Mini-Goals for me include:

  • Treating myself to a mani/pedi

  • Buying a small gift for the condo

  • FLOWERS...always flowers!

  • Enjoying a sweet treat that I haven’t had in a while!

To just do YOU...One of my mantras for this year is to JUST DO ME and not give AF as to what others think, say, or do! I have been saying this for a while and I haven’t followed through, so heck yeah I am calling myself on my own bullshit, but that was in the past. There was a major shift that happened at the end of 2018. I was done with 2018. It was time to make a choice and I did.

It is happening this year, because I have made changes. I have made changes to surround myself with a tribe that serves me. I am taking more chances and living a fuller life. I am putting myself in front of the camera more and showing ME. I am doing ME and heck yeah it is scary, but I am happier. I feel more confident. I feel more full. I feel inspired and motivated and SO READY. The energy is crazy and contagious and with turning 40 so close, there is no better time to just do ME!

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION

What is one mini-goal that you set for yourself weekly/monthly/yearly?

Have you given yourself permission to be the best version of you?

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

Raise your hand if December is kicking you ass?!?!?! It has been one hell of a month and I am SO READY for Christmas. I am READY to disconnect. I am READY to be present with family and friends. I am READY to live in the moment and just BREATHE, EAT, DRINK, and, of course, BE MERRY! It is kind of funny and kind of annoying how we go into the holidays with all the right intentions, but somehow life happens and it still exhausts us and leaves us feeling run down. When you are an entrepreneur and you are dating an entrepreneur, this time of year is just flat out NUTS.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

Shannon and I have been working like crazy and we are both at that point where time away from Charleston is happening at exactly the right time. We both have been plowing through and just getting it done, because that is what we do. But eventually it catches up with you, so it’s time to slow it down...to reconnect...to nourish.

I had no intentions of writing a blog post this week, but when I received an email from a good friend yesterday and could sense her stress and emotions, I had the inspiration to write about how we need to be kind to ourselves during this time of year. This is a reminder to myself and to all of you, that YES it is totally normal to be all out of sorts during this time of year, but let’s try to reel it in and practice some self-care and remember to SLOW DOWN. So how do we do it? How do I do it?

DISCONNECT - Thankfully I have been practicing this more and more and will continue practicing it through the New Year! Disconnecting to me is like taking days off from working out. I don’t necessarily like to do it, but it’s a must for my physical and mental well-being. After taking a few days off, I come back stronger, more focused, and inspired to dive into my projects with clarity.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

But the most important reason for disconnecting not only during this time of year, but on a regular basis is to BE PRESENT! It’s hard to enjoy life if you are constantly scrolling. Make it a goal between now and Christmas to put the phone away and not check your accounts for two days. GASP...I dare you!

SWEAT IT OUT - Obviously you knew that this would be in the list! Sweating makes me happy and it makes me feel good, so if this helps you get through the ups and downs of the holiday season, just do it. I’m looking to tackle some long runs while away. No weights, gyms, or studios. I just want to soak up the sunshine and sweat in the beautiful outdoors.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

If you are going to be dealing with bitter cold temperatures, why not tackle this oldie, but goodie “At-Home Workout”? No equipment required and it gets the job done, so you can do on your merry way and go to that holiday party feeling like the badass that you are...BOOM!

NOURISH YOUR BELLY and YOUR SOUL - Enjoy yourself...Enjoy the parties...Enjoy the food...You don’t have to do it all. I am going to repeat that...YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL!  Do what serves you and what is going to bring you happiness at the end of the day. When you feel like you are being pulled from all ends this time of year, take some time to be selfish and take care of YOU!

For me, this could be as simple as a mani/pedi...Or making a loaded plate of nachos with all the goods...Taking Lucy to the beach and leaving my phone in the car...Catching up on all my reality shows and just letting the couch soak me up...Planning a date night with Shannon at one of our favorite restaurants (I’m going to do this as soon as this post goes live).

Whatever makes YOU happy, just do it! You deserve to love yourself as much as you love others!

LEAN ON THE ONES YOU LOVE - This is a MUST in my opinion...That’s what loved ones and friends are for. They are in your life for a reason. They get you. They get your weirdness. They support you through the pretty and not so pretty times. They are your TRIBE!

Don’t hold all that shit in. In the past, I used to hold it all in, but now I am an open book. This has come from working on myself, which I am still doing by the way, because shit, I have my own issues, but I couldn’t do it without my Life Coach, my friends, and, of course, Shannon.

I am grateful for my tribe. It keeps growing and they keep inspiring me and helping me and just being there for me whenever I need them. People have come into my life for a reason and each one of my friends near and far are there to help me in certain aspects of my life. I find this unbelievably cool and comforting.

And because I cannot help myself, I have to brag about Shannon, because he is my rock. He sees it ALL. He has seen me at my worst and my best moments. He stands by me. He supports me. He makes me feel safe. He keeps it REAL. We are by no means a “perfect couple” and that is okay. I am just happy that I can lean on him physically and emotionally and know that he has got my back and I will always have his. And I promise in 2019, to share more about US, and who this Wisconsin man is.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

Merry Christmas you AMAZING humans! So grateful for YOU and this space where I can write, inspire, and just BE! xoxo

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_.

A Week In Review

HELLO Beautiful Friday! How are you doing friends? How was your week? No small talk needed, so let us jump right into today's post before I kick off the weekend and disconnect. After working a little too much last weekend, it is time to step away from the devices. Happy Friday friends! XO

My Weekly Reminder...I love this quote! Thanks Leslie for posting this on Tuesday! I have spent this week worrying too much about my social media numbers and it ends up being annoying and exhausting. There is so much more to life and happiness! So YES, I am looking forward to time away from my devices this weekend. To enjoy the tangible things in life that bring me joy! 

Week Of Workouts...There has been lots of running involved over the past couple of weeks, which has me thinking about signing up for a race. It has been way too long and I am itching for something to help me stay motivated with a goal in site. I am even thinking about triathlons again too...HA! I am not sure what has gotten into me, but I am kind of excited about it! 

The weather on the east coast has been cold and snowy, so any sort of running outside is not safe. I do not mind the treadmill as long as I have some good shows to watch. It is usually my time to either catch up on the news of watch the Food Network. And to beat the boredom on the step mill, I always bring my book. 

  • Sunday - 45-minute run + Strength Training (Legs + Triceps)
  • Monday - 45-minute on the Step Mill + Strength Training (Chest + Shoulders + Core)
  • Tuesday - 6-mile treadmill run + 25-minute outdoor walk with Lucy (the sun was out WAHOO!)
  • Wednesday - 45-minute on the Step Mill + Strength Training (Back + Core)
  • Thursday - 90-minute walk with Lucy
  • Friday - TBD
  • Saturday - OFF

Favorite Eats Of The Week...I forgot how good and easy preparing spaghetti squash is and I finally roasted it on Sunday when I was stuck inside ALL day because of ice. It is a great substitute to pasta. I can do without pasta, but bread...heck no! Crispy Italian bread slathered in butter and dipped in sauce...DELICIOUS! I had that meal 2 nights in a row and it just hits the spot on cold winter nights and leaves me feeling satisfied without the bloat. 

How did I prepare my spaghetti squash:

  • Cut in half + take out the seeds + drizzle in olive oil and salt;
  • Place flat side down on a baking shee;
  • Roast for 50-60 minutes at 400 degrees! Shred out the insides or eat straight out of the half!

Sweet Breakfast Bowl - Eggs + Fruit + Nut Butter

More BIG Beautiful Salads (except this time it's not in Tupperware)

Spaghetti Squash Bowls - Mom's Meat Sauce and Crispy Bread

Recent Reads...I LOVE to read and it is the best way for me to SLOW DOWN at the end of the day! I start working every morning between 6:45 AM - 7:15 AM, so I am pretty tired at night. Disconnecting earlier from all of my devices and reading instead of watching TV in bed, has definitely made a huge difference. Since I have made this change into my nightly ritual, I have been flying through books! These 2 are great reads to help you unwind at the end of busy day!

  • A Dog's Purpose - Funny, sad, heart-warming, and so TRUE, this book is for dog lovers!
  • Eligible - The modern day version of "Jane Austen" this book was so much fun to read! 

I am ready for the weekend and hoping the sun will stay out and grace us with her presence! Enjoy friends and see you next week!

What is the best thing you ate this week?

What was the last good book you read?

    ENJOY The Holiday Season

    It is the most WONDERFUL time of year or this time of year can wreak total havoc, stress, and weight gain...Am I right? Instead of going into the holiday season with these "Negative Nancy" feelings when it comes to eating and exercising, why not go into it with a positive, HAPPY, and HEALTHY attitude! Yes friends, put on those "Positive Patty" pants and have a jolly good time! This is a wonderful time of year and you should celebrate...you should be smiling...and you should be enjoying it with the ones you LOVE! I am not here to tell you what you should and should not eat. I am not here to share killer workouts, to help you burn off the Christmas cookies and wine. I am here to inspire you to go into this time of year with a NEW, refreshing, fun, and healthy attitude! Be grateful, be joyous, and just have FUN!

    Happy Holidays

    My Happy and Healthy Holiday Tips

    • ENJOY those holiday treats that only come out this time of year, but in moderation! It is hard to not eat all the cookies, candies, and cakes that always seem to be everywhere this time of year! You don't need to eat them just because they are there. Eat them because you want to! Eat them because it makes you happy and you haven't had Peppermint Bark since last year...HA!
    • Get LOTS of fresh air! Yes it is cold outside, but fresh air is always good for the mind and body. Grab a friend, family member, or you dog and just go for a long walk. Whether it is 15 minutes or a 60-minute walk, moving your body on a daily basis is a great way to stay healthy, happy, and motivated. I am cold ALL the time during winter, so I look like a snowman on my walks, but that fresh ocean air feels so GOOD! 
    • Remember to DISCONNECT! When you are at holiday parties, dinners, or events, try turning your phone off and just leaving it alone for a few hours. It is so refreshing and liberating to not be constantly checking your phone. Make those connections with those around you, by engaging in conversations, making eye contact, and giving friends and family members BIG hugs! I believe that when we are truly engaged and having a great time, we forget about our phones and we are just living in the moment. To me, that is PURE happiness!
    • Stay ACTIVE! If you feel like you are in a rut or not very motivated this time of year, switch things up! Try signing up for new classes. If you are traveling, check out local studios and sign up for a yoga class, kickboxing, or even swim laps at the local Y. And check out Groupon to see if you can get some good deals too. Staying active during this time of year, will help you stay happy, healthy, and prevent you from gaining any extra pounds if you really are enjoying that Peppermint Bark a little too much!
    Happy Holidays

    So what do you think of these tips? They are not hard...They are attainable...They are simple and they are REAL! Now go put on your holiday attire and smile big, because this truly is a wonderful and special time of year! Have a wonderful weekend friends and see everyone next week!

    Happy Holidays

    What are you looking forward to most this holiday season, besides peppermint bark?

    Are you signing up for any fun holiday races, fitness, or yoga classes?