Gymtimidation – Why Do We Get It?

Omg, I feel like everyone on the face of the planet has experienced this- Gymtimidation.

Why do we get it? I mean we go to the gym for noble reasons – self betterment, to boost our moods, or to work off stress. Shouldn’t we just be proud that we’re at the gym? 

It’s funny too because we’re all thinking that people are judging us when really we are just judging ourselves!

So confession – I went back to the gym yesterday (it had been almost a week). I used to go to the gym every single day with out pause. I had the same routine down- run on the elliptical for 30 minutes and then do some crunches and call it a day. I was scared to branch out and try something new because I had these workouts to a T. When summer came, my free school gym membership was no longer valid, and I did not go to the gym ONCE.

Now that school’s back- I’ve gone to the gym a few times, but I have mostly been doing youtube video workouts, which I highly recommend if you can hold yourself accountable that way. Anyways, when I work out at home I can do whatever I want. I’ll notice myself laughing when I look funny doing a workout a certain way, but continue to do it regardless.

Thinking about how freely and excited I am to workout at home, while I was at the gym yesterday, made me realize:

I’m going to the gym for me.

Oh that person thinks I run funny?

I think that too. It’s hilarious.

But I am here for me not to impress you.

I’m here to become the best version of myself.

I will push boundaries and enjoy this time at the gym

why?

Because this is for me. No one else.  

Thanks for reading. Do you and be less hard on yourself! When in doubt- laugh it out!

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How Can We Feel More Connected?

Have you ever felt disconnected?

It’s a strange feeling, isn’t it?

Disconnect can take form in a number of ways. This disconnect can be from your authentic self or a disconnect from others.

Being curios to understand how feelings of disconnect occur, I did some research and have compiled a list of potential causes for feeling disconnected and a list of ways to minimize these feelings from my own experience and from what I have read.

I believe that whatever words stand out to you in these lists may be a sign or call to action. I know while doing research that I noticed that some things resonated with me more than others.

Potential Causes

FOMO caused by social media

Not being fully present in conversation

Doing things that don’t align with your goals

Worrying about yourself instead of helping others (yes, obviously you need to take care of yourself, but our purpose on earth is finding ways to serve others)

Not spending enough alone time

Spending too much alone time

Drug use

Chemical imbalances

Potential Solutions

Physical activity

Spending time in nature

Developing mindfulness practices

Paying attention to your emotions (don’t suppress)

Make future plans (events, girls night, etc.)

Talking to a stranger

Eating whole foods

Hugging someone

Writing

Volunteering

Laughing

Playing

Giving gratitude

Playing with a pet

Having a creative outlet

Putting your phone down and taking a break

 

These lists contain causes and solutions for both personal disconnection and disconnection from others.

Again, I think whichever activities resonated with you the most is what is most telling. 

We all crave to feel connected. It’s a human need!

I hope you find love & connection in your day today. Thanks!

 

Any things you do to feel connected? I would love to hear them.

Changing Your Relationship with Food

What’s the perfect diet?

What can and can’t you eat?

How many calories are in that?

Our relationship with food has become exhausting. We constantly beat ourselves up for not being perfect and punish ourselves as a result.

I’m not an expert on the perfect diet, by any means, but I have found a few people who have inspired me to think about food in a new way:

The first is Michael Pollan.

I discovered him on the Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast.

The episode is “Conscious Eating” 

Michael Pollan’s philosophy is that, “three times a day we get to express our values through food.” He believes that we have let convenient foods take over our diets and that this is making us unhealthy. He talks about the power of cooking your own food and knowing exactly what you put into your body.

Read: Michael Cohen’s 7 Rules for Eating.

If you don’t have the podcast app, here’s the audio from it

The second is Mel Wells.

I discovered her on the Earn Your Happy podcast.

The episode is “231: How Healing Your Relationship with FOOD Can Help You LIVE A FULFILLED LIFE” 

Mel’s philosophy is that releasing our need for control around food is the key to having a better life. She emphasizes the importance of listening to your body, letting go of strict rules, and understanding that sometimes our cravings are not actually for the food itself but for some kind of change in our lives.

I summarized her ideas quite a bit, but the podcast I shared with you will do a good job of filling in the gaps and make more sense of the philosophy.

Here website is linked here.

Highly recommend her video as well-

 

Let me know what you think. Thanks 🙂

Diving Deeper into: Love and Kindness Meditation

Love and Kindness

In my “Curious About Guided Meditation? Here was my Experience .” blog post, I talked about how impactful the love & kindness practice portion felt- at one point it even had me in tears.

Since this day, I’ve been eager to learn more about this whole Love & Kindness Meditation thing: what it is, the benefits, and how to practice it on my own time. So here is what I’ve found-

What is LKM?

“Put most simply, Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM) is the practice of cultivating the feeling of universal love – love for all beings, as opposed to personal or romantic love. This is typically done by directing well-wishes towards yourself and others. In Buddhism this is known as Metta, or compassion meditation.” Source here. 

Benefits:

Increases energy

Increases positive emotions & decreases negative emotions

Decreases migraines

Decreases PTSD

Activates & increase empathy

Increases compassion & social awareness

Curbs self-criticism

Better sleep habits

A calmer mind

Brightens complexion

Source 2 + Source 3

How to practice Love & Kindness Meditation in daily life

Here’s one method.

Begin by finding a quiet place, close your eyes, and begin by picturing yourself and say the following-

  1. May I be happy.
  2. May I be safe.
  3. May I be healthy, peaceful, and strong.
  4. May I give and receive appreciation today.

Once you have done this, think of someone you love. picture them in you mind’s eye, and say (in your head or out loud) the following-

  1. May you be happy.
  2. May you be safe.
  3. May you be healthy, peaceful, and strong.
  4. May you give and receive appreciation today.

Repeat this step for everyone you have ever loved, then for someone you feel neutral towards, then someone you don’t particularly like, and end this meditation with picturing the world and do the same.

More information about how to perform meditation here.

 

I hope you learned something new from this post.

This is definitely something I will be putting into practice in my daily life.

Thanks! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

How Jealousy Serves a Purpose

Do you ever look at someone online and think “why am I not as rich, happy, successful, or thin as them?”. 

Do you ever talk to a friend or an acquaintance about their accomplishments and leave thinking “why is their life so much better than mine?” 

Comparing ourselves to others is completely natural, but it can be a bad habit that can steal our happiness.

You will never be the person you are comparing yourself to. You don’t know what they have done to get to where they are and they don’t know what you have done to get to where you are. 

Jealousy is a dangerous cycle. It can fill us with hatred and resentment towards ourselves and others. 

What if you took the negativity and anger that comparing gives you and began seeing it as a positive thing? 

Begin seeing jealousy as a point of growth and motivation.

Begin to reflect on your jealousy of others and question what this jealousy can do for you going forward.

For example- One day, you catch up with an old friend and when you see her she looks really good- she lost a bunch of weight, started a garden, and just got a new job that she keeps raving about.

What about her accomplishments has made you jealous?

I’m jealous that she looks super good

Instead of being jealous of your friend’s fitness success ask yourself if this is an area of your life that is lacking? Am I jealous because this is something I want to be bettering myself in? Your jealousy is serving a purpose- it’s a calling for something you have been wanting to do. 

From there- you can genuinely congratulate your friend and ask how she did it. Instead of being jealous- be inspired!!! (also note that success is contagious so you should always be happy that your friends are succeeding- and be patient you are next!) 

To wrap this post up:

Let’s face it- it can be really hard to prevent ourselves from feeling jealous of others. So, instead of sitting in horrible jealous feelings – turn these emotions into feelings of  inspiration. There is a reason why you are jealous of someone’s success: realize what it is and adjust your life accordingly.

Looking at jealousy as an opportunity for growth will help you understand that- where you are now isn’t a permanent state of being. You are still learning and bettering.

Let jealousy motivate you and become exactly who you want to be.

A Moment to Check-in with Yourself

It’s so easy to get so caught up in our busy schedules that we forget to take a moment to ourselves. Like Oprah says, “the greatest gift you can give yourself is time”. There are many ways to interpret this quote and they all make sense. You should give yourself time to heal, improve yourself, and time to reflect. Today, I want to focus on the reflection piece. I think we all know that reflection is good for the soul, yet we rarely make it a daily practice.

Reflecting can have a number of benefits. When we are so consumed in small details and daily tasks, we often forget the bigger picture. This can result in a loss of motivation, satisfaction, and can cause us great amounts of stress.

So today, I want to prompt a brief reflection. Grab a notebook or just think about the answers to these questions:

What do I hold sacred and how do I express it?

Is it your relationships? Your profession? Pets? Spirituality? It can be anything and it doesn’t have to be just one thing. Make a list.

What do I like about my character?

Don’t be modest! Truly, what values do you hold that you are proud of?

What can I do for myself today?

Your greatest investment is yourself! What will you do/ have you done today that shows yourself love. It can be going to the gym-investing in your health, it can be taking a long bath, learning something new, going to bed early, etc.

How can I make a difference in someone else’s day today?

Doing things for others makes us happy! Are you going to bring a coffee to a coworker who helped you out yesterday? Will you compliment someone? Little things like this go a long way. Start noticing the positivity that surrounds you and return that energy back onto others. And remember that you don’t have to bend yourself backwards to do something nice.

 

Happy reflecting! Today is your day.

 

 

 

 

No gym? No problem. Here are 7 Fun Neighborhood Workouts

Stairs! Find a set of stairs and get in the zone.

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Hills! Put on your pump-up playlist on and get excited.

Live near a coffee shop? Run or bike there and get your day started early.

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Grab a basketball, tennis racket, or soccer ball and get playing. Make it fun!

Resistance bands! Find a reliable pole and enjoy the fresh air while getting your strength up.

Find a quiet spot, bring a mat, and practice some yoga.

Invite a friend to go for a walk. Gossiping and walking makes for lots of steps!