Feeling A Little Deja Vu

Although I worked on Friday, I was in weekend mode Thursday night because I got to meet my sister in LA. We had a quick drink and app at SUR Restaurant (and sadly no sighting of anyone from the show) before heading to our meet & greet with David Nail. He is an artist we have followed for almost 6 years across California so meeting him in person was a HUGE deal for us. We enjoyed front row spots for the concert and sang our hearts out for two hours. The rest of the weekend included a cycling class, dinner with the family, an Orangetheory Night Out and time by the pool.

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Feeling A Little Deja Vu

My Saturday night was spent with members and fellow teachers from my Orangetheory gym. Our monthly night out was at a fellow member’s home for a BBQ and pool day. What began as a plan to stop by for an hour turned into a fun, four hour hang-out. I was the only coach who was on the schedule for the next morning so I headed home at a decent hour to prep for the class and get some zzz’s. I woke up at 6am on Sunday morning to teach 4 back to back classes for the day. Although it was my first time teaching more than two Orangetheory classes in a row, I was excited for the challenge. From start to finish, the classes some of the best I have ever taught! I loved getting to meet new students, loved the strength workout of the day and enjoyed every moment of coaching and motivating. As I was driving home, I could not help but be in a great mood. I am teaching at a gym that I love to be at because it really feels like a family. All the way from the studio manager down to each student I have met. On the other hand though of my happiness, I had a bit of a deja vu moment from about a year ago when I wrote this post.

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When It’s Time To Take A Step Back… Again

Last year around the same time, I scaled back some of my classes and tried to make my schedule more accommodating. Within a few months however I was offered a new teaching gig and my schedule went right back to being jammed packed. Driving home on Sunday, feeling as happy as I did about being a coach at Orangetheory, I could not lie to myself any longer. It was time for me to “take another step back.” This time however that meant quitting one of the gyms I work out. Since February, I have taught cycle at a new gym that just wasn’t working for many reasons. I think because teaching at the gym was a dream of mine, I tried really hard to make it work. In the back of my head I knew it never felt right but I hoped it would change. Unfortunately, 6 months later and the nagging feeling that it isn’t working only got worse. This weekend just made me realize I had to take an action and quit. Am I sad about it? Yes, but the relief that I feel is worth any small sadness I do have.

While maybe coincidental that a year ago I felt the same way, I think I am lucky that I have things in my life to compare to. I have a gym that I have taught at for two years that I still get excited to teach at. I have a new opportunity at Orangetheory that has confirmed my love of teaching and fitness. Life is just too short to spend any of your time doing things that do not bring you joy. I just needed the honesty with myself to cut what wasn’t bringing me that joy.

Have a wonderful Tuesday! Catch you back soon for some travel posts.

The Comparison Trap

I deleted my Facebook almost over 2 years ago as it was not adding any benefit to my life. After a break-up and wanting to rid myself of anything negative, deleting my account was good for my soul. I never had a desire to get back on over the past 2 years until I started blogging. Almost every article I read mentioned utilizing Facebook as much as possible. For the first year of the blog I survived without it until this year when two of the groups I am a part of, started communicating via Facebook. A few weeks in, I realized I was missing important information because I wasn’t part of the group. Therefore, I finally started a new Facebook account (under my married name of course). I liked the idea of getting to start my new account under my new name. But… a few weeks in and I got that first request that immediately made me question having a Facebook. I got the all too dreaded 10 year high school reunion group request.

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I know you’re probably thinking “oh gosh, she’s going to share her horrible high school experiences.” No, I’ll spare you. In fact, it really wasn’t that horrible, but definitely not a time in my life as a chubby insecure teen that I like to reminisce on. Getting that initial request (and not knowing how privacy settings or the ability to quit a group worked) I panicked for a second. First, because I was doing the math in my head asking myself has it already been 10 years. After realizing sadly yes I am that old (and reminding myself to have that minor I’m-almost-30-years-old-freak-out another day), I started to remember why Facebook has always been bad for me. Facebook has always sucked me into a negative thought process that would result in me questioning everything I had been doing since high school, how I looked in pictures, where my relationship stood and on and on.

Stop the Comparison Trap

Now don’t get me wrong.. I love social media. I’m a consistent Instagram scroller at night and love me a good Twitter chat but neither have made me go into such negative thinking like Facebook does. Even then, Facebook is great to connect with family and friends in other states or countries but for me it always lead to the comparison trap which never ends well. After rejecting the reunion group request on Facebook, I started thinking about the comparison trap that I experience on Facebook that I see so many people fall into at the gym. In the classes I teach, I see many new students get upset because they cannot lift as much weight, bike as fast or long or complete as many reps as another student. I find myself telling new and old students often that you cannot compare your fitness journey to someone else’s. Every single person is at a different point in their fitness. When you are working out in a group fitness setting just like a solo workout session, your focus should be on YOUR workout. You will never find anyone who is in the exact same point in their fitness to compare to, therefore comparison does nothing for you. The only comparison that should take place is against yourself. Reminding students to keep track of their accomplishments. Tracking their workouts can show an increase in reps, time or weight and is a great way to compare yourself to the only person who you should. This is one of my favorite quotes and a constant reminder to stop comparing yourself to anyone or anything because YOU are the best you!

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Tell me: What is your favorite and least favorite form of social media?

Changing Your Mindset

Happy Friday, Happy April and April Fool’s Day! Looking forward to the weekend with plenty of relaxing on Saturday before a fun day in Los Angeles on Sunday for the Boston v Celtics basketball game. Before the weekend starts though, it’s time for a feelings post. I’ll be honest (really this whole post is an honest dump of my thoughts/ confession/ get it off my chest kind of post) after returning from my trip to Thailand, I really lost my workout mojo, my drive to push myself and my motivation to keep pushing. At first I brushed it off as the post vacation blues. However, as the holidays came and went, I found myself still not able to shake the funk. I started to have more struggles with work, feel the stress of our upcoming wedding, landed a new teaching job that wanted me to start a new certification and the never ending pressure that I wasn’t being the best ‘fill in the blank’ I could be. I spent way too long feeling bad for myself and suffering through. Some days I would crush my stress through a workout and eat healthy throughout the day. Other days were filled with a night on the couch drowning myself in ice cream. From there, the spiral happened as stress eating became a regular event. my workouts were cut short, sometimes non existent. And then…

…one day while writing a post, I saw one of my very favorite quotes sitting in my media library.

Motivation

Such a simple thought that I have always tried to follow. Somewhere along the way I got a little lost and forgot. I had lost that vision to remember that no matter how bad something is, there is good everywhere. The key is looking for it. Not everyday will have something glaring or is smack dab in front of you. Some days simply mean realizing the good is that you woke up that morning. I made a conscious effort to change my mindset, each and everyday. I started to shift my focus to the things in my life that were good. I had to remind myself of things I take for granted. I have the most supportive husband, an adorable dog and a great “framily.” Suddenly although the variables have stayed the same, I found myself able to deal a bit better and step away from the ice cream. I found that when I felt the stress building up, it was better to pound the pavement than pound ice cream in my face. So while I may be 5 lbs. heavier than I was this time last year, I am just fine with that. I know as I continuing with my workouts and healthier eating, those 5 lbs will fall off (and Im hoping they take an additional 5 with them). I am dealing with stress in a better way (yay for running) and finding more appropriate outlets for my stress.

Tell me: Plans for the weekend? Did you plan or get tricked on an April’s Fool joke?

You Do You

Last night as I walked into the gym to meet my mom for Yoga, two of my sisters walked out of the gym having just finished Zumba class.I would go to almost every other workout class before I would go to Zumba (it is on the list to try but coordination is not my thing). Of those two sisters, one of them is my “running” buddy while the other shares my love of cycle. It is great because at the end of the day, we all share the desire for a healthy, active lifestyle. We have shared interests among the 4 of us but don’t all love the same thing. That is alright because we each have to do what we enjoy.

You Do You

In an effort to stay hip, coolio or whatever the kids are saying these days, the message is simple – YOU DO YOU. In case you are like me and learn all your current slang from your younger sisters, the meaning is be your awesome self, do what you want, do what works for you, do what makes you happy. It is hard enough to get to the gym, why would you go to the gym to do something you don’t like? You are more inclined to go if look forward to whatever your workout is. Maybe your workout doesnt involve paying for a gym membership but grabbing your dog for a run outside. Maybe it is dancing to music videos in your living room. Beyond fitness, whatever it maybe, do what works for you in your personal life, job or relationships. Life is too short to do anything else. 

Tell me: How do “you do you?” What makes you happy?

Eat, Pray, Love

I read “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert when my desire to travel was strong but my passport had not even been ordered. I read the book and loved it so much, I read it again. I saw the movie at a premiere with SELF magazine before it hit theaters. I was so inspired by the movie, my first thought leaving the theater was “I need to read the book again,” which I did. I have two copies of the book. One is in my husband’s side drawer as I have tried to convince him to read it a million times. The other copy is my copy I lend to my family and friends when I badger them enough to read it. Now if you are reading this and have read the book, you might be thinking, “it was good but really not to the extent you write about, definitely not worth a second read.” The book doesn’t have a significant amount of traveling (the movie has more) but I loved the life lessons Gilbert shares. I liked that Gilbert showed some of these life lessons were obtained by traveling to other countries, exploring and doing what she wanted as she tried to find inner peace. Although there were a significant amount of life lessons, there were three that really summed up why I loved the book so much.

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  1. Find Your Own Happiness & Love Within Yourself – As a society, we are so hard on others and even harder on ourselves. We push ourselves to be the richest, skinniest, funniest, most fashionable, etc. etc. Why not accept who we are because let me tell you, who we are is perfection. This took me a while, even after reading the book for the second time, this still was not something I had grasped. After a break-up with someone I had been with for 7 years, I realized most of identity came from being with that person. Being left all to myself, I realized that without that person, I was still awesome. Being in a relationship, owning certain things or wearing a certain size jean does not define me or make me any better/worse. I have learned how valuable I am and how to love myself as I am. Before I embarked on another relationship, I asked myself: If you cannot love yourself, how can you expect someone else to? You will have doubt when you should have complete peace that you are the most amazing person.Eat Pray Love
  2. Traveling is Worth Anything – Besides the actual money need to travel, traveling costs even more. Even if you can collect the funds for traveling, you have to ensure you are not missing any big events/holidays or that you are able to get time off work or that you have someone to watch your pets. There are many costs and trade-offs with traveling but let me tell you, they are all worth it. This year I will be missing my first Thanksgiving with my family in 26 years to travel to Thailand. While I am bummed to miss the holiday in the US, the trade-off to travel to Bangkok and Phuket will be worth it. Traveling changes your world and any cost will be well worth it.  I would rather spend my money on traveling than any material good. The memories and experiences last longer than a new dress.“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Be Open To Change – This is the life lesson I still struggle with but have definitely worked on (and improved) throughout the past two years. A few years ago, my name and the word change were not uttered in the same sentence unless it was Samantha hates change. Change is scary but it also can bring you the best things you never knew possible. Just in the past year, being open to change has brought me to my husband, my job, traveling and my start as a group fitness instructor. While each change brings growing pains, there will always be change in your life. The difference is being prepared to accept the change versus fighting what is inevitable.Change

If you have not read the book or watched the movie, I highly recommend it. I have read the book in so many stages of my life and picked up on all different life lessons each time. The movie has some great scenes in Italy, India and Bali.

Tell me: Have you read Eat Pray Love? Do you agree with Elizabeth Gilbert’s experiences and lessons? What is your favorite book?

 

 

Change is..

Last summer, my then boyfriend, now husband and I were driving home from the beach when I asked him what he would title the summer we had been enjoying. My answer was “The Summer of Love.” Oh so cheesy but I am cheesy especially when it comes to my husband (my best friend is reading this nodding her head in agreement). Anyways, this year has been a very unique year. At this point if I had to title my year it would be “The Year of Change.”

Change

This year has included moving apartments, starting to teach at a new gym, writing a blog and getting married mixed in with races and vacations. Needless to say, it has been a year filled with constant change. Let’s be honest here:

Change sucks. Change is hard. Change is scary. Change is inevitable.

BUT

Change= growth. Change makes you stronger. Change brings new life. Change is exciting.

I find it funny how much I let my fear of change cripple me at times when I crave a change of scenery (literally) every day of my life. Why does the change of a different country excite me when other changes frighten me? I have concluded it is all in my perception. Every change I listed from this year has been amazing and beneficial. All change including those that were stressful and emotional, were for the better. Sometimes you have to get through the growing pains to get to the beautiful result. Just like I look at traveling as an exciting change I crave, I need to learn to crave change in other aspects of my life. It is how we grow, improve and push ourselves.

With that being said, there is one big  (sometimes stressful) but exciting change coming for the blog. I am in the process of switching over to a self-hosted site. The majority of my site will be moved from WordPress to Planks and Planes. As this process happens, I appreciate your continued support of the blog as the back end stuff gets worked on. You will notice some changes in appearance but there will be minimal disruption. Same blog, same blonde girl rambling on – just a different website title at the top of your screen. I do owe a special thank you to everyone who has read my blog filled with my wordiness (my mother always said I was a talker not a listener), amateur pictures and type A personality. Again, this change has been one I never expected to be so well received and please know that every comment, like, view and subscription is noted and extremely appreciated. See, change can be good!

Today is a perfect day for Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Linking with Amanda at Running with Spoons.

Fill in the blank: change is _________________________

 

Positive Thoughts

Over the past few years I have come to learn one important lesson- Life can just plain suck sometimes. However, the bigger life lesson following is that staying positive can change any negative situation. Honestly, although life can suck, it is all about turning any situation that is not going your way into a positive outlook. I sincerely can tell you that I have been able to get through many of bad situations because of positivity. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is easy and sometimes you may even have to force being positive in the beginning. As you learn to appreciate the good in a bad situation, you will slowly start to find yourself picking positivity as your first reaction.

Positive Thoughts

Being positive is important in any and all situations. Did your layover get delayed in a random city overnight? Look at it as a way to explore a new city for the night. Did your favorite group exercise class get cancelled? Maybe it is time to finally try that Zumba class. Who knows if you are missing out on a new favorite workout or instructor. In running races, positivity has helped me get through the last few miles as I push myself to make it to the finish line.

I myself work on being positive every day and brush the little things aside. There are times when I feel like the zen of yoga is working while other times there will never be enough Ujjayi breaths to get me through the day. So how do you stay positive when all you want to do is throw something at someone?

*Breathe. Yoga is onto something with the deep inhales and releasing exhales. If you find the negativity creeping up on you, take a step back, take a few breaths in and calm yourself down. It will often remind you that your emotions are overruling what is at hand and helps you to refocus your negative energy.

*Speaking of stepping back, do exactly that in a negative situation. Removing yourself for a few minutes will help you to evaluate from a different mindset. This tactic helps you to clear your head from the negativity to reevaluate and change your thinking.

*Stepping back in a situation is especially helpful when you take the time to list of all the positive things in a situation. By bringing focus to the positive aspects, it will help you to overcome the negative thoughts. A positive list will also help you to realize usually a situation is not as bad as we think. It helps to clear your head and bring you back into the bigger picture of a situation.

*Again as mentioned, sometimes you just have to fake it. You have heard the saying “fake it til you make it” and the same goes for a situation you find yourself struggling to be positive in. It becomes a domino effect. By forcing yourself to have positive thoughts, slowly your mind transitions to being less negative and more positive in all situations. Positive minds lead to a positive life.

Stay Positive

 Positive thoughts are a choice that you must make. We will all find ourselves in a situation we could easily choose negative thoughts as our end result but where will that get you? Let’s try this week to pick one situation where we let positivity take over. I’m sure you will find it is always the better option.

Tell me: What do you do to help stay positive in a situation where negativity takes over?