Set Your Intentions

Do you yoga?
Back in my mid-twenties, when adulting seemed to hit me in the face like a baseball bat every single day, a friend introduced me to CorePower Yoga in Boulder, Colorado. I made every excuse in the book not to give it a try, but when I finally caved…EVERYTHING changed.

Much to my surprise I fell in love. It activated my muscles in a completely new way that left me feeling totally detoxed. But best of all, it magically relieved stressors in my life.

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Practice

  • Set Your Intentions – Go into class with a goal, and focus on that goal the entire time. It may be to get a good workout, or to let go of burdensome thoughts
  • Take it Seriously – Even if you have trouble at first, continue to take each pose seriously and give it your best effort.
  • Take a Towel – You’re going to sweat, so take a towel with you! I invested in a YogiToes towel years ago, and it was well worth it. It prevents me from sliding around on my mat.

If you haven’t tried it, but are looking for something new to spruce up your daily workouts, I definitely recommend CorePower Yoga. It’s a difficult workout, a great stretch and if you allow it, an incredibly powerful mental health activity.

Give it a try, and tell me what you think in the comments below!
loveB

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Strong Isn’t Always Brave and Little Isn’t Always Small

Hey friends. I typically try to keep my posts informative and playful. This is a fitness blog, so many posts focus on getting stronger in the gym or on the track. But recently I had the rug pulled out from under me, and my personal life is in a tailspin. The intimate details of what I am going through are not important. At times like these, what’s important is to remember that strength doesn’t equal bravery and little doesn’t equal small.

Strength vs. Bravery:

IMG_9336I was lucky enough to be taught, from a young age, that little girls can be strong and fearless. In my house, both my sister and I were forces to be reckoned with. But in all of the lessons that I’ve learned and all of the teachings about pushing for what you want, somehow I began to mistake strength with stubbornness instead of bravery. I thought that being strong meant absorbing everything that was thrown at me and carrying on despite it all. I missed the part about how walking away can be incredibly brave.

I hope that all of you reading this can recognize that, in life, bravery is doing what’s right, even if you think you can muscle through the pain just a little longer.

Little vs. Small:

IMG_8979In the situation that I’m currently in, I am constantly reminding myself that I am not insignificant. I am worthy of all I desire and no small mind should crush my huge dreams. I have to keep telling myself, despite what others may say, I am not a small girl waiting for a fairy tale ending. I am a petite warrior battling for what I believe in.

If anybody or anything has ever made your life or your dreams feel silly or wrong, I hope this helps you to remember that you, like me, are capable, brave and significant.

Fight on, warriors.
loveB

Getting Over the Fear of Failure

Three months ago, I cut pictures and words out of magazines ready to build my vision board. I was pumped and carefully scanning each page for inspiration, motivation and all the good feels.

The images sat on my desk in a jumbled pile, emblematic of my brain, vision, direction and thoughts. The board stared back at me, blank, vacant and overwhelmingly silent.

I couldn’t do it.

Three months ago, I decided I was moving. I didn’t know where yet, I just knew it was time. I knew I wanted a career shift and change of scenery. I’ve been here since 2009, and when people ask why I didn’t go back to New York after college, my response was always, “I got a job and just never left.” Not exactly a strong reason to set up your life somewhere.

Fast forward to right now, as I write this blog post. My vision board is complete, I’m moving back to New York this weekend and am working on a website for my own Health Coaching business.

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So, why now? What took me so long? Why didn’t I just glue the pieces of paper to the board two months ago? Why didn’t I just put in my notice and move away? Why didn’t I just sit my ass down and build the website for the career I am passionate about?

Fear.

Fear is an interesting emotion. It’s motivating as hell. Most of us, thankfully, haven’t faced a life-threatening situation, but think of the last time you were nervous or scared about something small. Maybe it was the first day of a new job or school. Maybe you were going on a first date or meeting your significant other’s family. Think of the weird things you do in those situations.

I couldn’t pinpoint what was stopping me. I thought it was fear of taking a step in the wrong direction and sending my life off course, but that wasn’t it. I’m a firm believer that you can always live the life you desire, no matter where you are right now. I just had to remind myself of that.

So, what was stopping me?

I thought it was my fear of putting myself out there, being vulnerable, making a bold decision to go after what I want. But, the more I thought that way, two things started to happen. First, it increasingly became a self-fulfilling prophecy. You really do start to believe the shit you tell yourself. I planted that seed pretty deep, and I began shying away from opportunity, settling in and just watching life.

The second thing was the more I said this and acted this way, the more separated from myself I felt. But something pretty magical came from this. I found my authentic self, because I could see it from afar. I could see who I truly was at that moment. It didn’t match up.

Enter trust and intuition. I was beginning to understand my own intuition, my gut, my heart. Maybe, I feared it was steering me wrong?

I fully believe in the power of intuition. There is scientific proof that it exists. It lives in the part of our brain that is connected to our gut—hence gut feelings. This part of our brain is primitive, so it isn’t capable of language—hence phrases like, “I don’t know why, I just felt like I had to do it,” or “I can’t explain it, it just feels right.” You legitimately cannot explain it because there’s no link between this gut feeling and the part of your brain capable and responsible for language. It’s your intuition, and you should trust it.

Okay, so clearly I trust my intuition. Are you getting annoyed with me yet? I’ll tell you what it was.

Fear of failure.

My own self-doubt and fear of failure was sabotaging my drive, intuition, passion and confidence. That’s how powerful negative thoughts can be. That’s how powerful fear can be.

I felt stuck. I felt it in every aspect of my life. Menial tasks became an uphill battle. Exhaustion set back in. I was exercising and eating from a place of fear, I was socializing from a place of fear, I was living from a place of fear.

My inner critic was telling me things like, “Who do you think you are?”, “You can’t just pick up and leave without a clear plan”, “You can’t start a business”, “You can’t make it in New York”, “You’ll never succeed”, “You’re not smart enough”.

My inner critic is a big, big bitch.

With the help of some audiobooks, good old-fashioned page-turning books, affirmations and videos, I’m healed! Just kidding. That voice in my head isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but I have completely changed how I listen and respond to it. I stopped agreeing with the bitchy friend in my head and started believing in myself.

So, what’s next for me?

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I am moving back to New York City on Saturday, transitioning out of the digital world of marketing and into Health and Wellness, full-time.

Some decisions were made out of an “act now, think later” mindset. Some were highly analytical. Some were made out of complete trust and confidence in myself.

Of course, I had amazing, supportive people helping me make this decision, but since it was made, one person’s reaction made me feel at ease. A friend told me he heard I was moving back and, like everyone else, asked, “So, what’s the plan?” I laughed, threw up my hands and said, I’m not 100% sure yet, I just know what I want and I know I want to be in New York. His response, “Just going? I love it.”

The fact that I can recall this one reaction reminds me how much work I still have to do on myself. It shouldn’t matter. I know that people react out of their own fear. That moving with no clear path or plan seems crazy scary to them, so they disapprove, question or sabotage out of love, out of a want to keep me “safe”. But, the love for myself and my happiness is what is driving me to go after my dreams.

I might still fail. I think about it all the time. I might move back to New York, struggle to find a job, never find a single coaching client and have to start from scratch. But then again, I might become more successful, happier and healthier than I have ever been. It’s not a matter of luck or circumstance. It’s faith in myself and in life. It’s trust in my brain, body, spirit and intuition. It’s confidence and composure.

It’s up to me.

Review: Nike Women’s 21 Days of Better For It

Hi friends (and total strangers)! About 21 days ago, I told you that I was going to take on Nike Women’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt. Now, I’ve gotta be honest here, I did most of the workouts but during that 21 day period I went on a five day vacation and we had a three-foot blizzard that isolated me in my home for four days. Needless to say, there were some interruptions, but I am here to report back to you all now that I’m finished!

BIG PICTURE:

Each morning, I awoke to reminder message in my iPhone. The reminder took me directly to that day’s workout plan. So seamless! The program gave me a balanced workout that was thoughtfully prepared and included stretching and rest days. Those Nike folks must know a thing or two about fitness.

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

200m sprints: It’s been years since I had a proper track workout and it felt amazing to stretch out my legs with these 200 meter sprints.

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Stretching before sprinting = smart.

Drop Squats: Start in the standing position, drop down to a squat touching one hand to the floor while the other stretches out behind you. Jump back up. I love squats, nuff said.

Lateral bear crawls: This exercise isn’t as difficult, coordination-wise, as it sounds. But it kicks your butt (and back, and core, and hips)!

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Bear crawls are the bees’ knees. Or something like that.

Chest press with dead bug: The dead bug may make you look silly in the gym. But combine it with a couple dumbbells and you’ve got yourself a hard-working move.chestpressdeadbug.png

Rear foot elevated single leg squat: Put your back leg up on a box or curb, it doesn’t need to be high. Squat down, similar to a lunge and feel the burrnnnnn!

Diagonal bounds: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. These little jumps (or slides, if you have the proper equipment) are a daily must.

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Leaps and bounds!

AND YET:

As with any workout, there were a few things I avoided. Burpees, for instance. I fail to see the true benefit of burpees. Without perfect form, you’re much more likely to hurt yourself than do any real good. Burpees = the plague. Keep back! Another activity that I was cautious with was sprinting at the track (surprisingly, this was also my favorite activity). But I am 31, and about 12 years past my last track workout, so in the early morning cold temps, I was pretty nervous about pulling something while trying to prove that I was once a good sprinter.

All in all, I’d say that Nike’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt was a success. I learned a ton of new activities to add to my workout regime, and there was something motivating and exciting about having a little personal trainer in your phone that wakes you up with new workouts each day.

If anybody is interested in doing the 21 day routine, I’ve got all of the workouts saved and would more than happy to send you the details. Comment below if you would like me to share them!

LOVE YOU ALL!
loveB

 

 

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11 Ways to Be Healthy and Active During Snowmageddon

Apparently, the apocalypse is coming to the DMV. So, I figured I would share a couple tips to staying healthy and active while snowed-in.

I could give you eleven different ways to burn major calories in your apartment, but I am not going to do that. The challenge for this weekend, snowed-in or not, is to reframe what healthy means. It’s not about fitting in your workout everyday, no matter what. It’s about keeping a healthy mind, body and soul. It’s taking this time to de-stress from our crazy, everyday routines of exercising, work, family, friends, responsibility and obligations to other people and other things.

Take this time to recommit to self-care, self-love and creating healthy habits.

  1. Read this post on 10 healthy snacks to make while snowed-in.
  2. YOGA! There are tons of YouTube videos of challenging yoga practices for all of your goals. You can also download the Yoga Studio app, which lets you tailor your practice to your needs. AmandaBisk.com also has great 30-minute yoga sessions to download.   giphy-3
  3. Meditate. It’s not all about your body. Your mind is just as important. Turn off Netflix, put down the chips and dip and find a meditation to follow online that fits your goals. Trying to sleep better? There’s a meditation for that. Trying to get healthier, get a promotion, change a relationship, increase your self-worth, or just de-stress? There are great guided meditations all over the internet for anything you can think you. I personally like the guided mediations on melisssaambrosini.com, but warning to all the men reading this, you might want to just search Google.
  4. Clean your apartment/house. I don’t mean put away your pile of laundry that has been sitting on your chair for weeks. I mean do a deep clean of your house. Vacuum the carpets, scrub the bathtub, get the ceiling fans. This one is good for the body and the mind!giphy
  5. Dance party. Turn up the jams, turn off the judgment and rock out. Not only does this burn some major calories, it is guaranteed to improve your mood. (Note: If you’re not snowed in alone, check out the Triller app and make some music videos)giphy-5
  6. Make a vision board. Sit for 5 minutes with your eyes closed and think about what you really want. What are your biggest dreams and aspirations. If you couldn’t fail, what would you do? Now take that, and create a vision board that you can look at every day to keep you on track towards your dreams.IMG_3101
  7. Assess your kitchen. Never have time to really get your healthy eating habits started? Well, now is the time. Empty out those cabinets and throw away all the shit you have in there. You’re more likely to reach for refined carbs and sugary food when you’re tired and bored, so why tempt yourself?
  8. Challenge your roommate, significant other or whomever is snowed in with you. Loser does the dishes for a week or shovels the snow. Who can hold a plank the longest? What about a wall sit? Who can do the most push ups in a minute? Can you do a headstand? Who can do the most burpees in a minute? giphy-2
  9. SLEEP. We run our engines pretty hard everyday, and it’s generally inappropriate to nap in the middle of a workday at the office.  Try cutting out the caffeine for a day or two. If you don’t have anywhere you need to be, let your body rest naturally, and maybe this can even decrease your daily caffeine intake when you get back into your routine.
  10. Break out the old workout DVDs. If you’re going to be staring at the TV all weekend, you might as well be burning some calories doing it.giphy-4
  11. Maybe the most important tip of all. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy time with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, siblings, roommates, friends, pets, etc. Cook together, laugh together, play a board game, go play in the snow. Nothing keeps you healthier than enjoying the small moments in life. Jen-Wheeler-Snow-Man

Start 2016 With More Than A Resolution

This time of year always makes me cringe a little bit, especially when marketers try to capitalize on our insecurities by pushing “fitness resolutions.” Don’t get me wrong, getting healthy should most definitely be a top priority, but not because 2016 is upon us. It should be a priority because you only have one body and you need to treat it right. All year, every year.new-years-resolutions-seinfeld

My “resolution” this year is to recognize that my health, my mind and my body are a constant work in progress and I cannot accomplish everything at once. Just as I did in 2015, I will work on each of them but will not expect any certain results.

My Health: Anybody who knows me knows that I am a pretty unhealthy eater. This is an area where I have a TON of room for improvement. I cannot resolve to give up sugar, because I will fail. But I will consciously work to make more home-cooked dinners with more vegetables. The goal is simply to feed my body more of the nutrients that it needs to meet the demands I put on it.
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My Mind: This past March, I made the decision to leave a very toxic work environment. The decision, which was not a New Years resolution, was one of the most important choices I have ever made and has proved to be a very big step in improving my mental health. This year, I will continue to find ways to let go of unnecessary stressors, which will not only impact my mind, but my heart as well. Here are some tips on ways to improve mental health every day.

My Body: The biggest thing I noticed as my twenties passed me by was that my body is different day-by-day. The body I had when I was 21 is very different than the body I have now at 31. I can’t expect the same results, and I cannot make goals for my 31-year-old body that are based on 21-year-old me. These days, I am working on being more aware of how I feel. I am trying to see how my diet and stress may impact my physical output. I am always working on tightening and toning, but I am also thinking about recovery and proper care for my muscles. My roller is one of my best friends these days. RELATED: Have a Body-Positive New YearIMG_9382

Those are my “resolutions.” They’re not really measurable, and they do not have an expiration date. They’re fluid and always changing as I learn more about myself. So instead of a New Years resolution in 2016, I challenge you to take a holistic view of your health, your mind and your body. Self-improvement doesn’t ever end, and it is defined differently by everybody. #YouDoYou.23d45062-b649-4be8-b2d0-348c78b9be46

Happy New Years, see you in 2016!
loveB

 

 

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7 Holiday Workouts

If you’re anything like me, the holidays are a time to eat as if the calories don’t count. Another serving of cheesy rolls? Yes, please! More wine? Duh! Donuts or cinnamon rolls? Both, por favor! But that sort of carefree eating can start to bring you down, so here is the secret to enjoying the holiday feasts without regretting it later.

The Holidays are not an excuse to stop working out!

That’s right. You heard me. Holiday vacation is a vacation from work or school… not from your health and wellness. But this is part of a larger shift in your attitude toward exercise. It’s time to stop thinking of it as “work,” and start to think of it as “me time” or “play time” or “the best damn 30 minutes of my day!” Ok, that last one might be pushing it.

Once you make this shift, you’ll find yourself looking forward to working out, even when you’re on vacation. So, this holiday season, maybe try one of these fun ways to keep yourself and your family members active in between feasting!

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Snowshoeing at Beaver Creek in Avon, CO
  1. Take a hike!: Hiking is an activity that all family members can enjoy, including our furry friends. Depending on the hike you choose, it can be a quiet nature walk, or it can be more rigorous, like mountain climbing. Get the family outside to enjoy a healthy activity together! Tip: If it’s really snowy, find someplace to rent snowshoes!
  2. Make a cameo!: Visiting a relative who has a membership to a gym? Find out their policy on guests and have a gym-date. One of my favorite things to do when I visit my mom, is to go to the gym with her. We take turns picking a workout or weight machine and we both come away with new activities to try and very sore muscles!
  3. 15-minute jam!: Busy holiday schedule? Lazy family members? Not a problem. The Nike Training Club app has tons of 15-minute workouts that are perfect for getting in a quick, but effective workout without needing any equipment. Tell mom to stop complaining about her knees; tell your sister so stop worrying about her kids’ meal schedule. All you need is 15-minutes and a good attitude. More on Nike Training Club.
  4. Run like the wind!: Gather up
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    Snowshoeing at Beaver Creek in Avon, CO

    your fitness-minded friends and family and take them on a group run. One of my favorite, recent Christmas memories is of running around my boyfriend’s hometown when we were visiting his family. We ended up at his high school and spent a while roaming the halls while he shared some pretty cool memories with me. Check out my post about running while on the road.

  5. Grab and go!: If you’re road-tripping to your holiday destination, there is no excuse not to bring some exercise equipment with you. A couple of easy-to-pack items include TRX gear, a jump rope, resistance bands, a yoga mat, or P90X dvds. In addition, you could always pack a set up dumbbells, a medicine ball or a kettlebell.
  6. Lend a helping hand!: What if you could win Daughter/Son-of-the-Year status AND get in a great workout? All you’ve gotta do is offer to help rake leaves or shovel for your parents, grandparents or their neighbors. Seriously, put in 1 good hour of raking leaves and then try to tell me your obliques aren’t on fire.
  7. Go sledding!: If you’re going sledding with friends and family, try running up the hill after each turn. The snow, coupled with heavy boots and bulky layers will prove to be a great leg workout. You’ll quickly feel it in your calves and quads. For an EXTRA good workout, take a lazy friend or a young kid with you and PULL them up the hill. I did this with my nephew last year and let’s just say that I was pretty embarrassed how sore I was the next day. But he had a blast and so did I!

So there you have it. Don’t stop enjoying the home-cooked goodness of a holiday meal. Don’t turn down a refill of a great Malbec. Just find some time to enjoy a bit of exercise while on break, and avoid having to play catch-up when you’re back to reality.
loveB