Monday, June 15, 2015

Getting Back To Health & Fitness

For a while I have been meaning to speak of my ongoing fitness journey. Every time I have gone to write it the post turns into this long rambled mess that loses its meaning. However, its a topic that I really feel passionate talking about. Since last year I have been on a up and down journey with my fitness and health. I had some great success by losing 20lbs. It almost feels mysterious as to how I did it now. Since that initial weight loss my progress slowed down a bit and I have plateaued. Other focuses/obligations popped into my life and distracted me from my healthy goals whenever I went back to make fitness and health goals I found it hard to latch back on. 

Fitness and health are long term goals, in fact I would say they are more life long goals. There are days where I feel very low due to depression or anxiety. I am very hard on myself. I do not tend to eat healthy or want to workout. I just want to lie down and exist. 

Which I think is an overlooked important step to health. 
I wrote breifly in another post " Five Ways to Have a Calmer Week" that its healthy to acknowledge whatever is causing stress or hurt in your life. Do not ignore it. During that time when I was writing that post I myself was feeling quite a bit of pressure and stress in the middle of the school semester. I wrote that post on a very late bus back home from school ( 2 hour journey). It felt cathartic to write that. You see health is not only taking care of the body, but its also taking care of the mind. Because they both affect each other, they are both connected. Your diet and activity will change based on your mental state whether you are feeling good or bad. But I think we tend to overlook rest. Resting the mind, trying to care for ourselves. Sometimes that requires a more purposeful type of rest. Where first we try and take our selves out of as many stressful situations as we can. We isolate and maybe we indulge ourselves with favorite tv programs or whatever helps you to get into a leisurely calm state. Then, we can work towards reflection and solutions towards further combatting that stress instead of pushing it back and onward. That pain will inevitably drag you down. We have to work on our mindsets as much as we try to work our bodies when trying to "get healthy". 

I do not have the healthiest mindset. Again, as I said earlier I am extremely hard on myself, I have a hard time giving myself a break. When my diet takes a dive I am very self critical and I also don't have the best self esteem. So while I am also on this physical fitness journey I am also on a mental fitness journey. 

In the past two weeks I have tried to make some bigger leaps in my fitness regime. I already see a nutritionalist who has helped me tremendously along the way from the very beginning. I have been recording my food which can be a massive pain and sometimes can be detrimental if I focus too much on just the calories, however it is really enlightening to see what I get up to in my diet on a daily basis and see what I can change. I also have been heading back to the gym to get some cardio in. But, if I don't feel like going to the gym I either take out my kettlebell ( which is a great tool by the way since you can kill/three birds with one stone = strength, full body and cardio) or I roll out my mat and hop onto Yoga With Adriene youtube channel . If you have not checked out her channel I would highly recommend that you give it a look. Even if yoga has been or seemed unappealing to you in the past I would highly encourage giving this channel a look at. Adrienne is an amazing teacher, has a calming voice and doesn't focus on making "perfect" or rigid yoga poses. Its all about the practice. Also, yoga is also a great workout for the mind, it has really helped me to focus on my breath and also put my mind at ease when I am feeling particularly stressed or worn out. Thirdly, walking is always great exercise and if its particularly beautiful out, the fresh air and surroundings can be good for the mind.  

Tools + Tea

Now you don't really need any tools to workout, just your body, mind and soul. However, tools can be nice and help you along the way. I have two products that I have been testing out recently. The first is a wearable, which is from the brand called Misfit. Its called the Misfit Shine. This is very much like the Fitbit if you are familiar with those, but if you're not its essentially an activity tracker and also a sleep tracker. All in this beautiful and minimal watch like design ( that comes in multiple colors! mine is in the color Champagne). My close friend has been testing one out for a couple months and has really enjoyed it so I decided to make the investment. I like it so far. The app is a little wonky on my Android phone. Apparently the app works better on Apple devices ( of course..) but, so far I am liking it. By tapping twice on the watch face with your fingertips it will tell you how much progress you have made towards your activity goal by little shining lights, then it will show you the time ( yes, it acts as a watch too which was a huge selling point for me. I like things with multiple functions).  You can then look at the full picture or analytics on the app ( and you can connect other apps to it as well like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt). Its pretty neat stuff. I will update you guys my further thoughts on it once I have spent some more time using it. 

Next, I decided I would try out this "teatox" brand called SkinnyMint. I came across them through late night Instagram scrolling. I have looked into a lot of similar "detox" tea brands and found a lot of negative reviews, and it just didn't sound too promising. However, this brand through some digging around seemed pretty promising to me and I decided: "why the heck not!" and placed an order for their full 28 day program. It comes with a Morning Tea and a Evening Tea ( which seemed simple enough for me, I steer away from programs that are like: " Drink five cups in the morning, a cup before every meal and then two before bed." that is just not sustainable for me). The morning tea is supposed to be fruity, ( which sounded quite appealing), energizing and also help to reduce the appetite. Whereas the evening tea is geared to cleanse the body, reduce bloating and assist digestion. They just arrived in the mail and I really like the taste of both of them. In fact I was quite scared of the Night Cleanse taste but it has a slight minty flavor which I have become very fond of. I will be sure to update you whether I see results or not! 

Mission/Vision Statement

Lastly I wanted to talk about my vision/mission statement. At the beginning of my fitness journey a year ago I was twenty pounds heavier and living a much more sedentary lifestyle. I made my first visit to the nutritionalist and she told me to write a sort of mission/vision statement. A piece of writing only for myself really of what I wanted to accomplish. What kind of results did I visually want to try and achieve. It was quite long and I even drew a illustration cartoon version of myself and what I wanted to work on. They were simple things like: " I wanted my clothes to fit looser on me" or feel more energetic, etc.. I believed even if I never really looked at that vision statement again ( which I probably should have more often than I did, we're are being realistic to real life here) that it was really cathartic putting everything down on paper. Now thinking back on it I have achieved a lot of what I initially set out to do. However, now I am a little older ( a little wiser) and my body has changed, my mind has changed. I have different circumstances laid in front of me and now I have different goals. My most recent visit to the nutritionalist gave me the guided inspiration and motivation to write a new Mission/Vision statement for myself. So that can be further motivation. The reason I am sharing this is because if you are on a fitness journey or a health journey I highly encourage to write down a vision statement. What would you like to achieve ( be reasonable with yourself there are some goals that might take a long time to achieve, they might even be a little unreasonable. But, its good to get that out onto the page as well.) You don't have to share it with anyone, its just for you and you only. I think its good to have physical visualization instead of trying to keep in all in your head. In a year or in a couple months if you are feeling down or unmotivated, take a look at that statement. See how much you have achieved or remind yourself peacefully ( not in a damaging " ugh I still haven't done that" sort of way but "oh maybe I will focus my sights on this goal for now" sort. I think its a good and motivating tool in itself. 

My journey is far from over, but I really wanted to talk about it with you all. Let me know if you want me to share anymore. I certainly can do that. ( I am no expert by any means..) but, I enjoy to write and speak about other things like this on the blog besides just makeup. ( Even though makeup is a huge passion of mine).  Please share your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any tips out there I am sure anyone who reads this post would also like to see any further tips I may not provide in the comments. ( Plus, I like to see them too!) I hope that some or a few of you might find this helpful and I really and dearly hope that you all are having a great week so far.

- A 

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