Month: May 2014

Operation Health: 5 Goals to Get Back to the Basics

I always have about 273 things that I want to do in my life, and about 200 of those are ways that I want to improve myself. “I should set up a studio in my garage and paint more. I should be more organized. I should work towards doing a headstand in yoga. I should drink a green smoothie every morning…”. There’s so much chatter going on inside my head that I often get super overwhelmed and I end up doing nothing. I have been feeling fed up lately with so much dreaming and “I should’s” and not enough reaching goals and taking names. Have any of you ever read The Happiness Project? In the book you follow author Gretchen Rubin for a yearlong journey in which she strives to become happier. She dedicates each month to a different goal. It was a little too structured for me, but the one thing I took away from it was to set goals and to break things down so they’re more achievable. I keep thinking about how I need to get back to the basics before I can move on to those 273 some odd projects that nag at me everyday. If I’m not feeling good and healthy both mentally and physically, I might as well give up now, because those things I want to accomplish will fall by the wayside. I want to concentrate on my health and then move onto other goals.

I consider myself a fairly healthy person, but I think I kid myself sometimes because it tends to be more like I intend to be a healthy person. Have you ever said to someone something like, “Yeah, I do yoga!” without even realizing you haven’t been on your mat for over a month? Sometimes I forget that I haven’t even been doing the things that make me feel my best. This month (yes even though I’m starting in the middle of it) I want to get back to the basics and set some goals for myself so they’re not just floating around with all my other to-do’s. Health comes first, no matter what.

My Health Goals:

1. Drink 65 ounces of water everyday (which can be in form of unsweetened tea, as well): You should aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of good ol’ H20 everyday. For example: I weigh about 130 lbs, so I should drink 65 oz each day. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to drink about 16 oz of water right after you wake up and before you have anything to eat. It helps to flush out toxins and start your day on the right foot. As silly as it is, drinking from a pretty water bottle helps me drink more throughout the day. Here’s one of my faves:

water bottle

2. Start meditating every morning: I have tried meditating before and it’s usually short-lived. I have the usual and common complaints; I get bored easily and it’s hard to clear my mind fully. However, I’ve heard time and time again that it gets better with practice. I’ve read so much about the many benefits of meditation (especially if you have depression) and I want to cash in on them! I have an app on my phone called Calm and I’m going to give it a go. I’ll let you know what I think in next week’s update.

meditation

3. Yoga: It’s the best. Why do I fall off the bandwagon when I love it so much?? Every time I make the effort to get to class and put time in on my mat I am sooo thankful. I go to a hot yoga studio in San Diego, but if it’s not possible for you to go to a live class, try this app that both Stephanie and I love. My goal is to do it at least five times a week.

yoga benefits

4. Eat more veggies (and LOVE them!): Ugh it sounds so predictable, doesn’t it? In fact I must admit this whole list does. We’re always looking for some new flashy and easier way to feel better, but it really does come down to the basics. When you just tell yourself to eat more veggies it sounds less than appealing, even if you like vegetables like me! I like to find new recipes to try that get me excited to be in the kitchen. Also, with vegetables you definitely get what you pay for. It makes a HUGE difference to buy locally grown organic veggies that are in season. I feel a whole lot happier about eating my veggies if they’re colorful, fresh and beautiful. I am not, however, going to be very psyched about pulling out a 6 month old freezer-burned bag of frozen ‘vegetable medley’. Yuck! Visit inspiring veggie-based websites like Oh She Glows and The First Mess. In fact, while you’re at it check out some of my recipes!

Honey-Lime Glazed Salmon and Summer Salad

Superfood and Gluten-Free Shrimp Ceviche

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It’s so much better to buy quality ingredients that you’re excited about eating than forcing yourself to eat something that’s healthy, but less than inspiring. Veggies might surprise you, give them a chance!

5. Sleep Like a Baby: When we were kids our parents knew how important it was to keep us on a regular sleep schedule. If we weren’t in bed by a certain time, they knew we would get cranky and the whole next day could be thrown off. We don’t treat ourselves to the same luxury anymore, though. It’s so easy to watch just one more episode on Netflix and decide to go to bed an hour later, even if you’re still waking up early the next day. Sleep is one of the MOST important things we can do for ourselves, and staying consistent is key. I tend to be all over the map when it comes to my sleep schedule, but I want to make a conscious effort to make it a priority. Starting now my bedtime during the week is 10… (this might be the most challenging goal for me).

There you have it, folks! My goals for the month. I’m going to keep a little daily journal of how it goes each day. I’ll update you next week on how I’m doing, but you know what I would looooveeee? If you did them along with me! Even if your health goals are different from mine, I would love to hear about what you do to keep yourself happy and healthy. What are your health ‘basics’? Are you good at staying consistent with them or do you struggle like me sometimes? Do you have any apps that help keep you on track?

I would love to hear from you guys! I hope you have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll see you next week!

xo,

Em

Good habits are as addicting as bad habits, but much more rewarding”

 

 

 

 

Monday Memoirs

Hello sweet readers, it’s Emily here, and guess what? I’m still part of this blog! I have been gone for almost three weeks now and I feel the need to apologize to you profusely and tell you how much I missed you…but I’ll spare you and just hope you guys forgive me. I was gone on a vacation with my husband (which Steph so kindly explained here) and then I was having to take care of getting our lives back on track…. but I’m back now and I’m so happy to be writing again. A big fat thank you to Steph, who took over this blog like a champ these last few weeks even though she just started a new job. That girl is my soul mate.

So anyway, the tables have turned a bit now and Steph is swamped with work and errands so I’m doing Monday Memoirs today :)  Here goes:

Have you ever lived alone? If so, did you/do you like it? How was it different from your living situation now? If you’ve never lived alone, what would you do differently living by yourself compared to how you live now?

First off, I have never lived alone. I can never decide if I wish I had at one point or if I’m happier living with other people, but I do think about it from time to time. When I moved down to San Diego for the first time for college I was already in my junior year, so the dorm room days were not an option. I moved in with some friends of a friend and shared a room with one other girl. I didn’t mind living with other people but I wasn’t super close to the girls I lived with so it wasn’t the most exciting thing in the world, either. I spent a lot of time at Kirby’s house. When Kirby and I decided to move in together it was mainly because living with those girls wasn’t the best situation, so I needed to find a place to be asap. At the time I never thought I would live with a guy until I was married, but that quickly changed once I was basically living out of my car. We got an apartment together and it was the best thing EVER. There was no adjustment period, no conflict in our styles (other than a heinous island painting that Kirby had bought several years earlier…it got banished to a closet once we moved in together) and it immediately felt comfortable and meant to be. We had such a great time in that little apartment, and we have so many fun memories there of hanging out with good friends, dinner parties, getting engaged, and having the time of our lives. I never thought about wanting to live by myself because it was so much fun living with Kirby!

DSC01957 our little condo 

 

Once we grew out of that tiny one bedroom apartment, we moved to the two bedroom condo we live in now, and I’ve had fun making it feel more like an ‘adult’ place. DSC01987 our bar

I think I would have more of a desire to live on my own if Kirby wasn’t so easy going with how I wanted to decorate. He’s always down for whatever new thing I want to try (with the exception of a BEAUTIFUL floral couch I found on craigslist that would have been the perfect statement piece…he didn’t agree). I’m a pretty creative person and Kirby fully supports me when I want to paint our walls crazy colors or spray paint everything gold. I think if I was living on my own there would be more pink and florals and teacups strewn about, but I’m surviving without all that, I promise. DSC01990 I spy with my little eye lots of gold things…

I definitely try to play with a mix of masculine and feminine styles, but I realized I actually just like that, so it’s not really a compromise. Kirby is also clean and tidy and appreciates our house looking good, so that makes it easier too. Notice how I’m mainly just talking about living with Kirby and not just living with people in general…I’ve been living with him since I was 19, so this is my life.

I think if I lived by myself one thing that would be different is my schedule. When you live with someone there’s some accountability for your actions, especially when they’re your spouse. It’s like, “Why yes, I have been on the couch all day and I haven’t put on real clothes for the past 72 hours… DON’T JUDGE ME.” My friends and I joke that Kirby is like having a golden retriever because he’s high energy and gets antsy pretty easily if we haven’t done anything epic lately. Typical text convos between Steph and I go as follows:

Steph: “What are you doing today?”

Me: “I’m reading magazines on the couch and watching Netflix in my pajamas and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

Steph: “Sweet! I’m doing the same thing and it’s awesome.”

Me: “Yeah I would stay here all day but Kirby is looking at me from across the living room with sad/bored eyes. I need to take him for a walk soon…”

I’m not gonna act like this is bad thing though, because most of the time the outside world turns out to be more interesting than my couch (who would have thought). But it does sound nice to me sometimes to just get to do whatever I want whenever I want. Steph had a little studio for awhile and she told me how nice it was to just not have to worry about anyone else and do her own thing. I think I would love that for about a week. I would be like, “Wow! Look at me! I do what I want! No one cares! I’m freeeeeeee!!!!!”. Then after my week of “freedom” I would be like, I need someone to cuddle with and I’m BORED. My one disclaimer is that if I’m making it sound like Kirby bosses me around and tells me what I can/can’t do, that is the opposite of the truth. It’s more that when you live with someone you have to take them into account, too (aka a relationship). I’m happy with living with the hubbs, even if it does mean a little compromise :)

So in conclusion: I’ve never lived by myself but if I did I would paint my walls pink and hang out in my bed/robe for more hours than what is socially acceptable.

Next weeks prompt: What do you like about living in your current city? Dislikes? Do you want to stay there? Where do you see yourself ending up/settling down, if anywhere?

I hope you all have a great week! You’ll finally be hearing more from me now whether you like it or not ;) Happy Monday!

 

Monday Memoirs

Hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day! In light of that holiday, let’s chat about this week’s topic…

Do you want kids? Why or why not? When? What do you like about your life now with/without kids, versus the alternative?

2014-05-08_0001 For the record, that is my niece. I am happily childless at this time in my life.

I never thought about having kids much growing up. I kind of just assumed I would want them and have them, like most of the people I knew.

Once my sister had a baby, I started to really think about it. Not only do I identify with my sister a lot and try to relate to whatever she is going through, but we also tell each other EVERYTHING. So I got the full scoop of what it was like to be pregnant for her and give birth. Do you know how many alarming things are just NOT talked about when having babies comes up? A lot, is the answer.

I also moved in with my sister and her family after grad school, when she was pregnant with my niece and Ben was two. I got to know all about life with a newborn and a toddler, all at once. And it was very different from going to happy hour almost every day and only having to worry about finishing my thesis on time.

So the past few years I have fallen madly in love with my niece and nephew, but also started thinking about the possibility of not having kids. Anthony also stayed with his baby twin nieces for a few weeks when they were born and when they were a few months old and has the same kind of mind set as me right now. Basically, it feels nice to have the option to opt out and just love the shit out of our nieces and nephews.

I have come to the conclusion that I want to give myself ten years to think about it and have my time to myself. Ten years sounds like such a long time, and it always puts me at ease. I have TEN YEEEEARS before I decide. My mom had me at 36, and I never was attached to the idea of being a “young” mom. A lot of my friends want to have kids by 30. Now that seems a little too soon – Anthony is almost 28. Anyway, that little rule makes me feel less panicky about the whole thing. I know it’s a totally arbitrary time frame – it just makes me feel better.

Things that would be cool about not having kids:

  • We could spend all of our money on travel our student loans instead of diapers, college funds, etc.
  • We could move cities, change jobs, or pursue random dreams while only thinking of the impact on us two
  • We could sleep a lot for eternity.
  • We could get dogs and pour all of our love onto them
  • We wouldn’t have to worry about the toll it could take on our relationship
  • My body could be spared from many disturbing things

Things that would be cool about having kids…eventually:

  • My body could go through some amazing things that I can’t even imagine. I would feel like a walking miracle – and super powerful.
  • I could see attributes of my partner and my family in my kids. How crazy is that?
  • We could just MAKE awesome people like us to hang out with. (I kind of just want to skip to when they’re in college and we can all just hang out and have beers and just have cool friends that we happened to have raised.)
  • They would be super cute (obviously).
  • And here’s the kicker. The one I know will probably get me in the end…..

I always want to grow and learn and move on to a new experience when I feel like I’ve gotten my fill of one stage of life, or relationship, or what have you (uumm, just like the rest of the world). I know that once I have been in a relationship for however long, and I have a career and a place of my own, I’ll be looking around for what’s next. What is my next challenge? What is my next relationship that I can learn from? And when all of my friends start reaching that stage in their life, I will feel the pull to relate to them and share experiences.

I just hope everyone gives me a few years to….sleep a lot first.

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NEXT WEEK’S PROMPT

Have you ever lived alone? If so, did you/do you like it? How was it different from your living situation now? If you’ve never lived alone, what would you do differently living by yourself compared to how you live now? 

Hope you guys had a great weekend! Remember, if you want to join in, let us know your thoughts in the comments or link to your response on your blog/Tumblr/Facebook/whatever. Hope to hear from you!

 

 

A Rant About: Why my body is such a thing

bodyrant I have been steadily gaining weight the past few months. As a feminist and lover of all body types, it shouldn’t matter to me. But I am a human living in THIS world. The one where it seems like EVERYONE is always talking about bodies…their bodies, a celebrity’s body, working out, eating right, looking a certain way…it gets in your head, no matter how actively you try not to care.

I don’t have a problem with the way I look. There is nothing wrong with my body right now. It’s just different than it was a few months ago, so I am adjusting. Emily and I always say that if we just had clothes that FIT, or if we had money to go buy a whole new wardrobe to adjust to our weight gain, we would not care. It’s just hard trying to feel good in clothes that don’t fit you. It’s that simple.

But I don’t have money to buy a bunch of new clothes so it feels like a THING all the time. Oh, I can’t really wear any of my skirts any more because my butt is for reeeals right now. Which is AWESOME. But it’s not awesome that I can’t wear any of the like, six skirts that I love in my closet.

Anyway, my point is, you may have felt the same way. And I am certainly not trying to say that I’m struggling or something. It’s just a thing that’s on my mind way too much, considering that I like how I look right now for the most part. I also feel good, because I’m being active every day lately, which is unusual for me. So why does it matter?

What inspired me to write this post was first a conversation I had with Emily where we vented about how annoying it was to have to think about our bodies so much when we generally are very confident. We don’t want to feel like it matters at all when we go up two pant sizes – who cares? But then why are we close to tears after trying to just find something to wear? It can get very confusing. And it helps so much to talk to someone who gets that you love your body even while you complain about adjusting to having more weight. We can joke and we won’t take it too seriously, and it’s not a compliment-fishing expedition. But it also helps to talk to someone who tells you you are beautiful all the time.

The next thing that inspired me to rant about this is a conversation I had with my friend a few weeks later. She is a personal trainer, so she knows all about the health crazes and fitness nuts, and I love her because she is so healthy and good at her job – but balanced at the same time. She doesn’t make me feel weird for never working out, but she’s also a great resource if I have any fitness or health questions.

So she texts me the other day saying that people keep commenting on the fact that she had gained a little weight. Which makes me upset to begin with. Then she said that one woman asked her if she gained weight, and she said “A little.” The woman responded: “A LOT!” With her eyes bulging as she said it.

What. The. #%&$()@^#???

My friend wanted me to note that she kept getting comments from people a few months back saying that she looked super fit when she lost some weight. But she was not eating properly and was super stressed out at the time. Further confirming that weight is not a sign of health.

So I obviously freaked out. I can’t imagine how that would make me feel, when my weight is on my mind a lot already. It makes me mad enough that I can’t stop thinking about what I’m eating or if I’m working out sometimes – it feels involuntary, like I just feel like I have to think these things but I don’t ACTUALLY care. But if other people were commenting on it too??

Who does that? Who thinks it is their right to “weigh in” (har har) on someone else’s body?

I don’t think that we should never talk about our bodies, or health, or whatever. Our bodies are an important part of our lives so we’re going to talk about them and we should be comfortable doing so. But this policing that people do! It’s so preposterous.

I had a boss who would go to the gym at lunch every day, which is great. The thing is, he would come back and joke around with the younger girls in my office about what they ate that day and asked them if they worked out that day yet. Seriously.

This monitoring that people do with each other is totally inappropriate. It is not okay to pressure someone else to have the same health or fitness routine that you do. I have encountered this so much and it is so blatantly rude.

I realized that I actually feed into this every time I criticize my body out loud or think out loud about if I should really have a burger and not a salad. Even if I’m not being rude and talking about someone else’s habits, I still am putting that negativity out there. Whenever someone says they hate their legs or what have you, I look at my legs. “Wow, her legs are great… if she hates her legs, should I hate mine?” Obviously the process at my age is a little less middle school and more subconscious. But it’s something I have tried to work on lately to battle this environment of body policing.

What if we lived in a world where we saw people of all shapes in the media? Where we didn’t feel pressured to look a certain way? What if feeling good and having our personality define us was the whole point?

A while back Anthony and I watched some documentary where this guy talked about how much his image mattered to him. He was highlighted as a “metrosexual” or whatever. Basically he was remarkable because he was not the male norm. Anthony talked to me after and said, “It made me think- like can you imagine if how you felt about yourself depended that much on your appearance? ” I replied, “Ya, welcome to being a woman.” And he said, “I know, that’s what I’m saying! That must be so hard.”

We went on to talk about how fragile your physical appearance is, and how relying on that as a source of self-worth is just not sustainable. It’s a part of life that your body will deteriorate. Imagine if we placed more of our worth on our other, non-physical attributes from the start, as a society?

Because you can’t escape the messages that are constantly meandering their way into your head. I don’t have cable, don’t read magazines, and barely watch movies. I watch a lot of TV, but I also read feminist blogs and have feminist friends who all actively try and combat pressures like these. Regardless, I still hear it in my head…

If only my stomach was just a little flatter…If I bike this much every week, how long until I will see results?…God, my pants just look BIG, am I that big?…Look at that picture of me last year – I used to be so skinny!…

I love getting dressed up, and taking pictures of my outfits, and obsessing over a new hairstyle or makeup trick. I am not against a little vanity. Just like I said in my selfie post, I think we should embrace images of ourselves as beautiful and more valuable than the fake images we see on the regular. I just wish we could take all of the pressure and anxiety out of it.

I’m trying my best to wake up every day and remind myself that I don’t look like everyone else. I have a unique body that no one else has, and I want to appreciate the things about my body that are solely mine. I want to love my body as I age, and notice the beautiful things about it in different stages in my life. I want to drop the voices in my head and just buy new clothes, already.

Here’s to loving our bodies now, just the way they are.

 

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