{Health&Fitness} So I changed…

so I changed

How do you feel? Overall? Day after day?

Sluggish?

Tired?

Zero energy?

Stressed???

Disgusted with yourself?

Yeah…I know the feeling, as do many, MANY other people! You are not alone and I hope you really let that sink in to you right now! If you’re feeling alone in this issue, you know, lack of motivation, not meeting your goals (maybe you set too high of goals for yourself? I literally don’t even want to talk about that because I KNOW I set WAYYY too high of goals for myself OFTEN! Do you relate?), what you see as ‘failing’ every day, etc…trust me, you are NOT.

Honey, give yourself the grace and love to get out of the current lifestyle that you are living if you don’t love it. If you hate how you feel about yourself, CHANGE it. If you hate the way you view life, CHANGE it! If you hate the direction your life is going, CHANGE it. You have every right to do that.

And do you know what else?

You’re worth it!

Maybe you feel like people expect so much out of you, that you can’t change the way you are living. You can’t slow down. You can’t make the changes that you want to, because you feel stuck where you are. Well, I don’t believe that’s true.

I do 100% know that it is freaking hard to change all of those things. I know, from personal experience. I have been using the bullet journal to help me track some healthier lifestyle choices, keeping them as simply and small as I can so that I can ultimately make some huge changes in the way I see life, view MY life, and live it! Trust me, it is literally the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I have failed day after day after day (which maybe my definition of ‘failure’ is wrong…and I’m thinking it is…). But I haven’t given up yet because I keep trying the next day. What are some important, yet small healthy habits that you can start to work on TODAY? Here are some of the things I have tried…I will write a blog post later on how I track these things and all of that in a cute, organized way (and with the hope of giving myself grace when I don’t meet my goals, instead of judgement and the feeling of failure, and celebrate when I do reach my goals or at least do well in reaching towards them). But for now, here are some of the areas in my life that I decided to try to make healthier choices:

  1. Waking up at an appropriate time.
    1. Whatever this means for you. And it may change, season to season. You can either write out that time each month (if it changes, or whatever), or you can write ‘appropriate time’ which, for me is what I have done. I don’t really think it’s quite specific enough, however, so maybe when I go back to school I will try to nail that time down a little better.
    2. THINK: What is the appropriate time for YOU, personally, to wake up each morning? Do you have a job? When do you have to leave for work in the morning, if that is the case? What about school, when it’s time for school? What are your goals for the morning? Do the healthier choices that you’ve committed to in the morning include breakfast, coffee, special quiet time with jesus, prayer, yoga, short workout session, etc…? What works best for YOU? What makes YOU feel alive, focused, at peace, healthy and happy? Don’t allow others to make this choice for you (unless you have major responsibilities, in which case you will need to work around that schedule a bit).
  2. Hydrate
    1. I am absolutely terrible at drinking enough water. This runs in my family. But this is one of my goals because, obviously I know I’m terrible at it, and because I have heard drinking a lot of water does many wonderful and healthy things to your body!
    2. THINK: How much do I drink now? DON’T start off with an impossible goal to start with, or you will find that you won’t drink any at all because you know you’re not going to reach your goal, so why try? Why not start with one more glass than usual? Find ways that help you, personally, WANT to drink more water! I love cute mugs, cups, etc. and I believe those things actually help me drink more water. If it is the same for you, invest in an adorable cup and try to keep it with you throughout the day, if you can! If you workout, that also encourages me to drink more water. Both of these things are healthy, and that way you can drink more water as well! Try to keep that cup or water bottle with you so you are drinking all that your body needs! Also, I just started this (and I’m still terrible at it…), but I also think it also helps if you have a cute way to track the water that you are drinking and that shows you what you have left to do to reach your goal for the day! I will post that in my bullet journal post(s) because that’s where it’s at 🙂 It’s the best!
  3. Yoga
    1. Okay, I am also horrible at this (this post isn’t saying many good things about me, is it…lol). I have really been meaning to get into yoga, especially during the summer since I have more time to learn it…I just really have to focus on trying to learn one pose at a time!
    2. THINK: How does this benefit me? What are my motivations behind wanting to start yoga? Is this really for me? Now, or should I wait until I am more committed to this? Where does this fit into my routine? Is it a thing to energize me right when I get out of bed in the morning…or should I use it to destress and relax me right before getting into bed at night? Either way, I think it’s a great, healthy habit that I still want to get into but haven’t really yet. How does this look like practically for ME? I also set monthly goals for myself in the different areas in my life (personal, career/school, fitness, spiritual, etc.), and one of my goals for this month was to look up 3 yoga poses and learn how to do them properly. Unfortunately I have not met those goals this month, but that doesn’t mean that was a bad idea. I think that’s a good way to start! But think about your life and think about what will work best for you. 🙂
  4. Cardio/strength training
    1. This is a HUGE goal that I have set for myself this year. Since last Christmas, I have been thinking that I want to go to Thailand next Christmas because that is where my boyfriend lives, and for so many other reasons. I used that as my ULTIMATE goal in getting fit. So, from there, I broke down what it looked like practically each day. I set goals for myself and got in a routine last semester for working out. This summer (well, this month so far), it has been a little more spotty than it should have been…but as every new season begins, you have to find new routines, right? I was comfortable in the routine I had with working out last semester, but now I need a new one for this month, and next month it’s going to look a little different still. And July I won’t be here. And then I have one more semester at school where I will need to find yet ANOTHER routine for working out! But these are all GOOD things!
    2. THINK: What works in my life AT THIS MOMENT? What do I enjoy, that is active and fun and out there?! Am I at the place where I have access to a gym? If so, GREAT! Can you get there every day? If not, there are PLENTY of other things you could be doing! You just have to committed, and you can do home workouts, go for a run, or a bunch of other things! What routine should I set up for myself? Do I have anyone in my life (that I see everyday and that has similar goals to myself) that could help keep me accountable, be a good influence, and do workouts with me? I think it’s always better to have someone to keep you accountable and help you get that workout in, even when you don’t feel like it…whether that’s best friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, etc. And have fun with it! Remember, if you don’t enjoy it at all, you probably aren’t going to stick with it very long. So find the kind of workouts that you enjoy the most and do those as often as you can, with maybe mixing in a few other disciplined workouts in there as well.
  5. No pop
    1. I actually made this a 30-day challenge in my bullet journal (which will be in another post) because I got to the place where I drank pop a LOT. I never did while I was growing up and even when I went to college I didn’t until maybe about Junior year. Towards the end of this semester I decided that that is a terrible habit, so I made a 30-day challenge to get myself ‘off’ that habit for a while. I will post more about that soon 🙂
    2. THINK: Do you drink pop often? If you do, do you have a problem with that? Is it really the best choice for you? What about healthier options? And remember…this doesn’t mean that you CAN’T EVER have pop…it just means you shouldn’t have it ALL the time! Remember…BALANCE! So, if you are ready to commit to this, think about starting a 30-day challenge! If you’re not there yet, no worries! I wasn’t ready to commit to this for a LONGGG time. You’ll get there! Focus on another healthy habit instead, and come back to this one later! Habits can’t be broken overnight 🙂
  6. Food log
    1. I haven’t fully committed this to myself, yet, so I really shouldn’t have it as one of my healthy habits that I am working on…I haven’t been consistent at ALL, because I’m not dedicated to do so.
    2. THINK: Is this something that you have wanted to keep track of? What are your reasons? Do you want to start eating healthier, and you think this fits your life and would be a great fit for you right now? THEN GO FOR IT! Think of cute, fun ways to keep you writing down and tracking what you’re eating!
  7. Fitness progress photo
    1. I do this at the beginning of each month. The first day, if at all possible. I started this before I started working out consistently at the beginning of last semester. I took a photo of me in my bra and leggings (sometimes it’s shorts, or underwear)…whatever you want, because these photos are only for you. To track where you have come from. Trust me, it helps me a LOT. Because when you look at yourself in my mirror every day, it’s near impossible to see any changes in your body. It’s much easier if you have photos to look back on!
    2. THINK: Am I working on getting rid of some fat? Toning muscles? Changing my body through workouts? Can I see physical changes, or is it hard for me to admit to myself that I might actually be doing a good job for once? Maybe this should be an option for me. Just FOR ME. To see my progress. Finally. To realize that I am actually doing great things for my body and that every healthy choice is really getting me closer to my goals each month! (Don’t do it more than one month apart! You won’t see changes and it will discourage you!)
  8. Sleep by ____
    1. I said 12. Because I am a night owl and I prefer to stay up pretty late and, especially during the school year/when I have things going on, that’s too late. And in the morning I’m grumpy. I feel tired all day. And….it sucks.
    2. THINK: What time would you ultimately want to be asleep by? Do you like to go to bed early? Do you like time in the morning? How much sleep do you need/want? What makes you really FEEL good, as far as when you go to bed, when you get up, etc.? Sometimes making healthy choices means denying yourself of what you would really like to do (like at night…watching movies, relaxing, etc…), so that in the morning you can get up feeling energized, great about yourself, healthy and happy!
  9. Read Bible
    1. Onto my spiritual healthy habits. In my monthly habits, for this month I put a specific book that I wanted to read through this month (or at least get a lot of the way through, depending on the book!). That way I would have a plan for which book to read in!
    2. THINK: What goals should I personally have this month in reading God’s Word? Do I need to spend MORE time with Him each day, or do I genuinely feel good about what I have been doing? Any changes needed?
  10. Pray
    1. Something I have been trying to get better at doing recently. For me, personally, I prefer to write them all down. I’m a writer, so I pray as I write in my journal. But it’s up to you…do whatever works best FOR YOU!
    2. THINK: How do I feel closest to God? Does that mean finding a pretty place, and getting away from ‘my life’ for a bit? Does that mean working up a sweat before finding a place to be calm and quiet and listen to God speak? Does that mean sitting on the floor, the bed, a couch…? How do you feel that you connect with God? Writing? Talking out loud? What are some other ideas that you may have? Do what is best for YOU, not anybody else!
  11. Read Christian book
    1. This doesn’t have to be apart of everyone’s devotional time. But I love this. I’m better at reading things like this than the bible, because I feel like it gives more direction to me and thoughts that I wouldn’t think of on my own. I am almost finished reading “captivating”, which I absolutely love! I am about to buy one of Brene Brown’s books, which I am so excited about! What do you like to read that brings you closer to God, gets you to think, and helps you grow?
    2. THINK: Is this something that would help my walk with God? If not, that’s great! Stick with God’s Word and keep going! But if so, find a great Christian book to settle down with, maybe in place of the Bible some days, or in addition to, if you have more time! What kind of book would speak to you with where you are at right now? Does that book help bring you to your best version of yourself?
  12.  Journal
    1. I mentioned that I am a writer (or, maybe you could tell by how long this post is getting…I didn’t even intend to write about any of this stuff, it just flows…). Journaling helps me focus on what matters. Release stress. Figure out life. Talk to God. Does it for you?
    2. THINK: Does journaling fit with my life at the moment? Am I a writer? Is this how I prefer to focus on the right things, process things and thoughts, talk and listen to God, etc.?
  13. Gratitude Log
    1. Again, I will have another post about this in detail, but in my bullet journal I try to write down 5 things that I am thankful for each day. I don’t hit every day, but the days that I do, it helps me a lot! It helps me to focus on the positive things in each day, instead of something negative that may have happened. It helps me to be grateful for all that I have, and all that God has given me…each and every day. It’s a wonderful practice, and I think everyone should start this habit!
    2. THINK: Are you really grateful for the things and people and events that happen in your life? Are you really grateful for the hand of God working throughout your day? Do you see those things, or do you skip over them? I think it’s farrrrr too easy to skip over the small, simple things that are REALLY good, if you don’t write them down in some sort of gratitude log! And that’s a shame, because then I think we miss a huge blessing! We miss seeing God, sometimes! We miss the positives, and for some of us, focusing on the negatives are FARRRR too easy, and this helps some! How does this look for you? Using your phone, or on paper? Pretty, or simple? I’ll share what my gratitude log looks like in my bullet journal post(s).
  14. Tithe
    1. This is something that I have been soooo bad at for years. I never could get a hold on how to tithe each month, or how that would work for me. Partly because I never had a system available to me that really, truly WORKED for me (so I didn’t feel like I was fighting against myself!). But then I started going to a church where you could tithe from your phone. And I made a commitment to try. And I write it down. And track it in my bullet journal!
    2. THINK: Do you need to improve in this area?? What are some ideas that you may have as for ways that will work for YOU?! I’ll share what I have found works for ME in my bullet journal post(s)!! Stay tuned 🙂

After that I have other ‘healthy habits’, or just habits that I wanted to track, etc. These include fun items (under the CREATIVE tab): New blog post, instagram photo challenge, planning for the evening, morning, week or month…and then I have my FINANCIAL habits: No spend, expenses recorded, save for Thailand, and ask King about his expenses, to help him keep on track as well! I will talk about all of these things in more depth in my bullet journal post! Stay tuned for that!

What other healthy habits can you think of? Have you started new, healthier habits?? How have you stayed motivated? How have you tracked them? What are they, and why do they work for you?! Please comment and share your ideas, thoughts, inspiration, etc.! You can do it. I can do it. One step at a time. Progress is still progress, even if it’s in little, TINY, almost UNSEEABLE steps!! 🙂

{Health&Fitness} Definitely not boring

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{Mid-workout}

Today, I decided that I wanted to try a fun workout at home, using mostly bodyweight exercises. (I say mostly because my family owns a stability ball and a few weights, which I used for a few of the workouts). You, however, can totally skip those workouts or not put those workouts on the index cards if you don’t have access to these things, or you can change it slightly to meet your needs with where you are at the moment.

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I saw this idea on pinterest (where else?) and I finally gave it a try this afternoon!

First of all, I already had a few workouts written out on index cards. I grabbed these cards and made a few extras. Then I divided them into sections, based on the kind of workout: i.e. abs, butt & legs, arms, and cardio. You could also simply keep them all in one pile, and just see what you get…but that way it won’t be as evenly divided and you won’t get a full-body workout, most likely. But that’s completely up to you and what you want for that day! Also, if you just wanted to focus on one section of your body that day (i.e. arms), you could write a lot of different exercises for your arms on index cards and just use those. It’s completely flexible!

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Then I grabbed the uno deck that we have at our house. I shuffled the cards first. Then I picked up the first card. Then I assigned a workout group (abs, butt & legs, arms, or cardio) to the color that was on that card. And then I did that for each color, including the wild cards. (For that I just repeated the ab group because I wanted to).

Then, because it is an absolutely GORGEOUS day, and because I am obsessed with being outside, especially on beautiful days like this, I carried my cards and workout equipment outside! That’s where I set everything up. I laid everything on the grass (watch out for wind! It sorta messed things up for me once today…). I kept my colored card on top of the workout that I was working on so that I would keep the colors and workouts straight (i.e. I kept the initial red card that I had picked out on top of the initial workout that I had picked (such as a leg workout)).

I picked up the first card. I then looked at the color and noticed which color workout that went with. Then, I did as many reps as was on the card! For wild cards, the initial number was 11. If it was a +2, +4, etc., I would do 11 +2, or 11+4 (and that went with +2 colored cards as well). Obviously you can do this however you want too, that is just how I did it.

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When I made it to five cards of the same color (that I had already ‘used’, or completed that workout), I gathered up those cards and placed them in a pile. Then I would replace that workout with another workout of the same group (i.e. if I had completed the workout of 5 red cards, I took those cards away so I wouldn’t get them confused with any other piles. Then, if that color represented the ab workouts, I shuffled the ab workout index cards that I had and randomly chose (without looking!) another workout. So the next time I drew a red, I would do that workout instead!) Again, this is just how I did it. Any other ideas on how to do it differently? I also just saw a ‘0’ as a ‘by’, but you can treat these things completely different, or whatever best suits your needs or wants!

However, DON’T skip cards! I know it’s tempting…some of the exercises I had on there were really difficult, and then I picked up cards with high reps on them! These were difficult and I wanted to skip, or quit in the middle, but I didn’t! I forced myself to complete the set (I never even stopped in the middle to take a rest, even though I thought I was going to have too…if you have been working out for a while, try to not take rests in between!). Stick to it. And sometimes the reps are so low, you wonder if it’s even worth it. Like a ‘1’ card. Don’t skip it! I believe that every rep counts!

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At the end of my workout (I worked at it for about an hour…I was originally going to finish the stack of uno cards, but then I realized that I was hungry and really did need food-haha-and that I had been working out for a long time already), this is what I had completed:

Burpees: 9 (I had stopped before I had finished 5 cards)

Roll-up: 11 (I had stopped before I had finished 5 cards)

Bicep curls: 18

Windshield wipers: 21

Plank jump-ins: 56 (This was one of the workouts I desperately wanted to skip! Especially since I had chosen this (without looking!) as my wild card workout. Although that means it didn’t come up as often as the others, it also meant more reps! Tons of +4 cards!)

Bridge: 32 seconds

Butt kicks: 33

Step ups: 44 (a step on the back porch of my house!)

Shoulder press: 27

Squats: 31

High knees: 32

Oblique crunches on stability ball: 51

Lunge step ups: 52

Push-up with side opening: 27 (Trust me, this was definitely another one that I didn’t think I could do, and wanted to skip or quit or take a rest! But I didn’t even allow myself to take a rest in the middle of the set! Keep going, you can do more than you think you can!)

Mountain climbers: 41

Stairs (steps): 28 (At this time I didn’t have the option of stairs unless I went inside my house to run up and down the stairs, so I just ran on the step on the back porch instead!)

While all of those were broken up, I completed each and every one of those reps! It looks like a lot (my legs were kind of shaking when I went inside and who knows what I’m going to feel tomorrow! lol), it was kinda fun! My point? Working out doesn’t have to be boring. You don’t even have to take time to go to the gym (or pay for a membership) to live a healthy lifestyle! This was something fun that I did outside (you could easily do inside if you are more comfortable there…I just prefer being outside on beautiful days!), and something that I enjoyed! And now I feel AMAZING, knowing that I did more than I ever thought I could do!

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What are your fun workout ideas? What are some things you would do to change this one?

And DON’T FORGET YOUR WATER!!! I have this adorable little mug/cup that helps me keep on track with drinking enough water (or, I’m hoping it will as I attempt to make it a healthy habit of mine!). There’s just something about having something cute that really helps! I brought it right outside with me and kept it in the shade! Keep drinking 🙂

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{Health & Fitness} Invest in Yourself

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Have you ever thought about what it means for you to truly invest in yourself? Have you been doing that?

If so, that is fantastic and I’m happy that you have made yourself a priority!

But for most of us, I do not think that is the case.

Especially, I’m sad to say, in Christian communities. This, I think, is why we see so many exhausted, defeated men and women walking around, serving, but not from the heart, showing up when they should, but all they can think about is going home to rest. I mean, we don’t really need a billion things to do for church, etc., after all, we have jobs, school, relationships…tons of responsibilities during the week. How are we supposed to have the energy for this during the weekend, too?

I think that part of the answer is in investing in yourself. I don’t know where you’re coming from. But I have seen this, and I have been there and I know. When you read those words: “take some time to invest in yourself!”…what immediately comes to mind?

Fear? What will other people think when I say I’m taking some time for myself. Will they think I’m a horrible Christian and have my priorities all wrong? Will they label me as ‘selfish’? Will they judge me for not saying yes to all service opportunities? Will they look down on me because I admit that I’m tired?! Or, what will God think of this? If I don’t say yes to that opportunity, who else will step in? Does HE think this is selfish and a waste of time?! 

Dread? This means I have to admit to myself and to others that I am exhausted and that I don’t have it all together…which is scary. Also, this means that I will have no excuses. I will need to look at myself for once…I can’t hide behind serving others and always focusing on other people 24/7. I don’t even like myself all that much, so I don’t know if I want to spend much time by myself or on me. Am I even worth it? 

Hesitation? If I spend time, energy, effort, and money on myself, that means I won’t be able to participate in other things. My life can’t go on for an hour or two a week (or whatever works best for YOU, with where you are right nowwithout me! How will my husband manage to take care of the kids for half an hour? I am being so selfish! We need that money for other things, and I’m spending this on myself? I don’t think I can do that! And it continues…

What is it for you? {If another emotion comes to mind, I would love for you to comment with that word and a description like I did above!}

Look, healthy habits are scary. And hard. FREAKING hard. They often seem impossible, actually! I recently started a bullet journal (#BUJO), which I LOVE btw! {I can do a post about it, if people want} Part of the reason why I wanted one (with many, MANY other reasons!) is because of the habit tracker idea! And I am trying so hard to remind myself each and everyday that it really isn’t about the number of boxes that I don’t get to color in each day, or nearly as consistently as I wish I could. It’s all about giving myself the grace and love to see that I am trying, and to try and do better the next day! It’s hard, I’m not going to lie. Both that mentality, and the habits. But it’s important! {More on that later…}

What does ‘me’ time look like to you? I would encourage you to sit down and write it out and really think about it. Are you feeling tired? Exhausted, even? Empty? Here are some things that I can think of that may help you:

Health & Fitness | Nutrition. Working out. All of these things will help you not only look better, but feel better as well! When you start seeing and feeling results, you will be able to better serve and love the other people in your life. When you are in better shape, you will tend to like what you see in the mirror better, which will make you feel better about yourself so that you can love on other people better! You can do it…one day at a time! Forget about the results you want for a while…just focus on what you’re doing TODAY to get to your ultimate goals! Remember, the goal is to eliminate stress and get a healthier, happier lifestyle which starts with learning to love the process (because what happens when you get to where you ‘wanted’ to be? Don’t you want MORE?) 

Photography | Okay, so…this is my thing. So, this might not apply to you, but I’m willing to bet you can think of something that makes you feel the same way…so substitute that in here for you! Remember, this is ALL about thinking about what works best for YOU with the life that you are living, with where you are RIGHT NOW (not in a few weeks, months, years!). Sometimes all I need is to go out and take some pictures. Photography is my passion. It’s what I love. It makes me smile, especially when I have clients in my type of photography (seniors, portraits, engagements). It makes me feel like I have purpose, I am talented, I am living the life that I have dreamed about! It fills me with peace and happiness. It relieves stress. Do you have something like that? Think of what this might be for you, and try to do more of it! (In the right way! If I get busy doing photography just to take pictures, but it’s not for a type that I like…it has the EXACT OPPOSITE affect on me!)

Scrapbooking, or other crafty hobbies | Scrapbooking is another hobby of mine. I think it’s fun. It’s a creative outlet that doesn’t take too much thinking, but reminds me of all of the great memories that I have had with friends, etc. through the pictures. I love being creative. My bullet journal is also another creative outlet for me, although a slightly more structured outlet (on MY terms!). Do you have a hobby like this? Think through this and make time for it, if it helps relieve stress, reminds you of who you want to be and where you have come from, brings you closer to Christ, etc.! 

Spending quality time with Jesus, instead of a rushed time | This summer I am making it my personal goal to be better at this. It is so easy to let the time get away from us, isn’t it? Especially when you are busy with work, school, or both! This summer I have a job, but it doesn’t start until later (mostly July), and I haven’t been able to find anything else yet for before I leave, so I can’t use the excuse that I’m too busy…because I’m not! It’s simply a matter of deciding that this is a priority and discovering what works the best for me right now! You probably aren’t as free as I am, but it’s never too late to start trying to be more consistent with spending quality time with Jesus. His peace can fill you throughout the whole day, no matter what you might have going on. This is when he teaches you how to live and what to change…so you grow during the time when you’re living it out! You get better at it 🙂 

Praying deeply, without rushing | Basically the same as above! 

Reading through Christian books that help you, take your time and write out your thoughts! | Again, the same as above! I also love journaling (as you can probably tell), so another way that I love to take some time for myself is journaling out my thoughts, especially in relation to the current book that I am reading (Christian non-fiction). This is how I hash-out my thoughts. If you’re a writer, maybe try the same thing! It helps to get it all out, it helps you learn and grow, it helps you get closer to God and prayer right there on the pages, etc.! If you’re not a writer, NO WORRIES! {Remember: GRACE, not perfection…} Find out what makes you feel this way! Is it grabbing your best friend and going out for coffee and talking for hours (yeah, that’s mine too hehe)? Or is it some other way?

Are there other ways that you have found work out for you? {If so, I would LOVE if you would write it in the comments with a description similar to that above!!}

This health & fitness journey is so hard because it’s about a whole different lifestyle than we’ve been used to. The point is a healthy, happy lifestyle. Which is hard. But it is so, SO worth it! You are worth it. Beautiful. Worth the time, energy, effort, money, etc. that healthy and fitness and investing in yourself NEEDS!

 

Living for likes, Longing for love

Longing for Love

You open Instagram. Immediately you see that little notification tab. You wait for it to refresh, thinking that there must be notifications. You posted three photos just a few minutes ago. There’s not. You’re crushed. Does anybody care about me? I thought that post was particularly encouraging and great, but apparently nobody else agrees. Somehow that defeats you. Somehow that means way too much to you.

We live for Facebook and Instagram likes. We like the attention. We feel good about ourselves. But what is really happening there, below the surface?

We are pushing our loneliness aside, to make room for immediate affirmations and in some cases, even begging for it! We are that desperate for love, attention, affirmation, encouragement, that we are willing to practically beg for it. In the meantime, what happens to that loneliness? It certainly doesn’t go away. Instead, we long for more.

“Okay, what she said was great, I guess…but what does he think?”

What about this photo?

What about this clever caption?

Does anybody love me?

We are so desperate to get those likes on social media…at least, we think that’s what we want.

Deep down, what’s the truth? You want love. Affirmation. Encouragement. Attention. To be // k n o w n //. Truly. Deeply. Unconditionally. Fully. Completely.

I have an addiction to affirmation. I want it. I seek it. When it doesn’t come, I’m sad and lonely. It makes me feel good about myself, but the problem with me is that I feel like I can’t really trust it. I can’t believe it. So it’s never enough. Someone compliments me, I say thanks and move on to the next person that I am hoping will compliment me or affirm me and my existence. I easily forget the good things people say to me, while I hang onto the bad for dear life. I hate that. It’s a terrible thing, and something to work on.

What if we were so full of Christ’s love, that we no longer had to recklessly pursue the love of others. What if we were CONFIDANT of who God says we are, so nothing else matters. What if we were so FULL of love and grace, that the overflow would sweep others up and they would be brought along with us. What if we could stop living for likes. Maybe what would follow would be exactly what we need. L O V E. Get rid of those endless, heavy chains that keep holding us back from the amazing life that God can see for us…but we can’t yet see. What is holding you back?

// F e a r //

// F r i e n d s //

// F a m i l y //

// Y o u r s e l f //

What is it? Are you happy with your life? Is this… REAL life? The life that God has planned for you. Or have you settled with something you hate. Given up, because the process is too long and too difficult. What is it. We all long for love.

God has more than enough to give and it fills us up way more than any other human ever could. There is Love. Life. Joy. Happiness. Out there. You can do it.

 

*Thoughts from “Rock City” church in Columbus, OH.

{Wednesday Workout Blog} | Pushed

add life

Health & Fitness is hard.

Being fat, uncomfortable in your own skin, depressed and sad every time you look in the mirror, feeling sluggish and lazy with no energy and having a bleak look at life is hard.

Which hard will you choose?

If you’ve followed my journey at all, you know I’ve had my terrible days.

Days when all I could focus on is that the number on the scale definitely isn’t going down (maybe even going up)…

Days when it felt like no matter how many steps I THOUGHT I had taken forward, I felt like I had actually taken MANY backwards.

Days when I took another progress photo (after a MONTH), and I see no difference. No change. No more life than the last time.

I have those days…a LOT, actually. And I’m sure you do too.

The other day, though, I had a great day.

It’s finals week, here at Cedarville. Everyone is crazy busy and stressed, and there is just generally a lot going on. I am extremely grateful to have an easier load for finals week this semester than I sometimes have had. But even still, I’m still busy. Trying to meet up with people for the last time that semester/ever. Playing volleyball alongside with the Seniors that I have now played with for four years as often as I can before we all say our goodbyes and go separate ways. Still looking for a job for the first part of the summer, as well as next school year.

Basically,

L i f e  i s  c r a z yyyyyy

Tuesday afternoon is usually one of my heavier workout days. Throughout this semester I have had first volleyball class (first half of the semester) and then tennis class (second half of the semester) at 12:30 on Tuesdays & Thursdays. This has been perfect for me because I have used that as my warm up, and then worked out before I had to go pick up my boyfriend from his internship in Xenia around 2:50-3pm.

This Tuesday, I obviously no longer had Tennis class, but I wanted to workout anyway, and my boyfriend want to as well. We went to the gym. He had to talk to someone, so I jumped on the elliptical and did my usual 30 minute workout (that I have been doing fairly consistently at least every TR, rarely skipping). This time I went through one of the training workouts, though (rolling hills), which is a bit harder than what I have been doing. Because working out on the elliptical isn’t like running at all, you usually get in about 2 miles at the end of that 30 minutes. Not a fast mile, but I believe it has been helping me with endurance, because I obviously cannot stop anywhere in that time.

Somehow, I felt a little stronger that day than I usually do. I went a tad faster, and felt better in general throughout the workout. As I was finishing up my elliptical workout, I started thinking about what else I should do. I decided I wanted to push myself.

I got off the elliptical after 30 minutes had passed and, after drinking water, went directly to a mat to workout my abs, since we missed that part on Monday when we worked out and I really wanted to get it in. I started with

Crunches       1 0 0

Scissor Kicks  20

x3

Previously, I think the most crunches that I have done in one time without stopping was      5 0. I felt like pushing myself. The truth is, I didn’t know if I could do it. But I felt like being a little crazy and really pushing myself, literally beyond what I thought I was capable of!

The next section…

Slow roll-ups   1 0

Rolling plank    :3 0

x3

Let me tell you something, I’m scared of planks. Silly? Yeah…But I am. But I’m trying to conquer that fear, simply by facing it head-on. (And I did a super heavy arm workout on Monday, so they were already tired…) But I did it!

And then I finished up with <<Russian twists with 12 lb medicine ball (20) & racquetball for 15 minutes.>>

For whatever reason, though, I felt incredibly strong. When I pushed myself past my own limits, there was strength. Stability. Focus. Love. Confidence. Happiness. I knew I DID something super hard…but I finished it, and I knew that that would make a difference in my body someday, even if it doesn’t show as I want it to for a few days, yet (as I continue to workout and trust the process!)

Maybe this is what’s important. We aren’t supposed to live inside our own limits. Comfort zones. Terms. Closed-minded ways of living. Maybe, if we dare to brush past those expectations, habits, and demands…that’s where we could find true LIFE!

Strength. A strength that goes beyond you. Beyond me. A deeper kind of strength. One that comes from God and can be humbly seen by others.

Focus. Focusing on what is important in that moment, and ignoring the rest. This is what I’m doing, therefore this is the most important to me in this moment.

Love, Confidence, and Happiness. Love for yourself, which means you have the ability to now love others as Christ would. Love for God, and seeing His hand in your life. Confidence that you are beautiful, strong, athletic. And you no longer have to stoop down and play the comparison game. You don’t need it anymore, because you KNOW of your worth. You know who you belong to. You know why you do the things you do, which means you’re the best that you’re supposed to be in that! You do deserve happiness. You can be happy.

Life. Or Death?

Which one do you choose? 

Why do you workout?