Liz Wilson Yoga

Baring it all…

By November 17, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Musings

Warning: REAL things ahead, like Instagram not portraying real life all the time, pregnant and mom bodies, and boobs. 

I went to spin class yesterday for the first time in, well, a long time. I think the last time I saw this crew and got on a stationary bike to ride and sweat my face off was in April.

 

Sweaty and naked. Successful Friday night. • • • • • #getnakedpdx #thesweatlifepdx

A post shared by Elizabeth Wilson (@lizwilsonyoga) on

A lot of things have happened since then. Some good, some bad. But 8 months have never been so bizarre, crazy, abnormal. For crying out loud, Jessi had a baby and opened another spin studio in Seattle since the last time I saw her. A lot has shifted.

When I asked Jessi how everything was going, with a big ole smile on her face, she said wheels were falling off and she felt like such a hot mess. While we were warming up on the bike and she’s chatting to the class, she opened up about the fact that it is RARE to really feel like we’re winning at adulting.

We’re just winning, aren’t we…

Life is freaking hard, y’all. Occasionally I feel like I’m doing pretty ok. A project finishes up and the client is happy. Students leave my class blissed out or empowered after nailing a new pose. I made a FaceTime date with my parents or a friend happen.

A lot of times I feel like I’m drowning a little bit. I never really feel caught up with my email inbox. I always have content paused in drafts waiting to be fleshed out and published. There are always things under my “life” to do list that get forgotten. Laundry is never ending, though I can kind of blame #yogateacherlife for that. Most days I’m running around town from class to meeting to run to class, feeling like a crazy person. It’s a big deal when I make a stir fry for dinner, which is practically the easiest thing you could cook in the world. I could always connect with my family and friends from NC and CO more.

Laundry multitasking goals! 

And the list goes on…

Let alone all the balls that Jessi and other lady bosses in my life juggle. Babies and businesses. Houses and husbands. I can’t even imagine all that at this point in my life…

In the age of Instagram, which glorifies the life of SuperWoman, making it look easy to have it all and rock a perfect manicure the whole time, I most appreciate the moments of vulnerability and reality. Like when Jessi opens up to her class that she feels like she has lost her edge, that balancing all of her babies (all of her studios AND three kids under 5) is NOT easy, endears her to me all the more. She has this amazing post on her Instagram feed: picture 1 is a beautiful post-birth picture with her gazing down at her newborn son, picture 2 features her cradling her son still but double fisting with a giant burrito. It. Is. Amazing.

Or when Jamie shares with her community  (aka the world) that pregnancy is NOT all it’s cracked up to be. That she doesn’t feel like she “glows” when she feels like Baby Danger is just a glorified beer belly. When beautiful, idyllic pregnancy photos are everywhere in our digital world…

I mean, Alyse, come ON! You magical, glowing unicorn!  [Photo: Jenni Jones Photography]

…I can understand Jamie not really digging pregnancy so far when she’s frustrated about clothes not fitting and craving cheese constantly. Though I think she’s badass AF on a normal basis, and now she’s growing a human on top of it. Seriously, woah! And I am totally that person that touches (and kisses, oops!) her belly all the time. Get used to it, James! 😉

Craziness and vulnerability seem to be a big theme right now. A lot of change is happening (more on that later) and opening up about the struggle just seems like the right thing to do. The BEST thing to do is get a support system, to grab your squad and pull them in close to you.

Yesterday was one of the most exhausting days I can think of. I taught at 6:30am, worked for a couple of hours, took spin class, worked for a while again, went to the chiropractor, demolished some leftover pizza for lunch, worked through the afternoon, and then taught last night. Two things carried me through the day, well three really (that quick power nap mid afternoon did really work wonders). I drank all the coffee. That one is a given. The other is the combination of people I got to be with all day long. My early birds that showed up to the mat ready to throw down at 6:30am, and totally handled my crazy energy after my coffee filter failed on me halfway through brewing and I had the strongest half cup of coffee ever. Jessi and my spin squad that inspire me every single time I get on that bike. My chiropractor, who lectured me (as always) on self care. My works wives, who inspire me, motivate me, support me all freaking day long every freaking day. My evening yogis, all 21 of them, who braved the crazy rains yesterday to come to the mat and get SO sweaty. My heterosexual lifepartner, who I got to come home to, who makes me laugh even when I’m exhausted, who makes me feel special and loved all the time.

Every time throughout the day I felt like I was collapsing a little bit, I got a burst of energy from someone. Someone inspired me, someone made me laugh, someone showed up.

It’s amazing to me what can amp you up and make you feel great, even when you’re not! Maybe it’s sweating your face off (or a nap), a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), a roomful of people cursing you in chaturanga…

Sometimes it’s mind over matter. It’s deciding, “I’m winning. I feel good. I’m rocking at this.” Create a self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself. Sometimes it’s putting on your big girl pants and powering through. Other times it’s seeking support from your network. Or changing your clothes…

Yes, I’m serious about that last one. I’m a big believer in “dressing the part.” People have their lucky tie or undies for big days at the office and presentations. I have my first date uniform I wear on pretty much every first date: skinny jeans, black tank, black booties; casual yet cute and, most importantly, it makes me feel good. When I worked in an office, I always felt more professional when I wore heels.

It applies even in the fitness world! I always feel more motivated to workout and go hard if I like my workout clothes and feel good in them. I may be sweaty and not get a shower in all day, but I’ll at least have a fresh change of spandex to put on after class. (Occasionally I’ll even mix it up and add in some deodorant too.)

Most of the time I do feel good in spandex. Considering I used to love to dress up…

Wasn’t I just a socality trendsetter, wandering around a field in a “formal” gown…

…I’ve adopted my Sporty Spice persona wholeheartedly! The was-going-to-be-a-lawyer in me never, ever would have thought I’d be wearing spandex for a living!

But sometimes I gotta mix it up. It can feel a little too comfortable. On the days when I need a burst of energy, when I need to get my A-game on, it’s time to break out the rarely-seen-on-Liz real bra.

Real bras can sometimes constitute bralettes (what, they can have clasps!). But in this instance, I mean an actual real bra with cups and padding and everything. This is truly a rare occurrence for me. Jamie and I recently got to review the Upbra, and it couldn’t have come at a better time!

I normally stay away from push-up bras. To put it bluntly, I don’t need the cleavage assistance, and push-up bras always push WAY up for me. But the Upbra gave me more of a lift than a full-blown shove, and managed to be pretty comfortable, too. Not to mention that while wearing this bra there were in fact two of them, which is often lost due to the uniboob situation in a sports bra. I couldn’t stop staring down at my girls! I couldn’t believe they looked like that! It was just enough cleavage without being too much…

On the days when I want to put a little effort in, when I want to get out of my beloved, comfortable spandex, when I want to feel less like Sporty Spice and more feminine, I’m so happy to have the Upbra in my lingerie (or sports bra) drawer.

Check out our full review, Jamie’s pregnant bra and pregnancy review (#seewhatididthere?), and our review on YouTube!

Thanks to my squad and thanks to Upbra for supporting me, even when I feel like a hot effing mess. 

You Might Also Like

Instagram: For the love of Stories

By November 14, 2017 Local Living, Luddite Life, Musings, Travel

I’m more than happy to geek out about Instagram under normal circumstances. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago I did actually have a coffee date with someone in the industry during which we did just that.

Instagram is a-changin’, y’all! Have you gone back to the beginning recently? Sometimes I source photos and scroll back through my feed. It’s pretty amazing to see the difference in some of those early posts compared to what we are posting these days. Better filters, an algorithm that determines who sees your photos, more curated grids, hashtags… And the creation of Instagram Stories!

Let’s talk about this recent addition to our beloved photo-sharing platform.

Engagement

I got on board the Snapchat trend kind of late. By the time I downloaded the app, figured out how to (kind of) use it, Instagram had released their Stories feature. I immediately jumped ship from Snapchat to my favored Instagram!

Sure, Snapchat filters are on point.

  • Insider tip: You can upload existing photos to Stories. And, this just in, Instagram has removed the 24-hour upload limit. So you can use all of those old saved snaps in your new Stories! (A date will automatically appear when uploading an old photo, but you can trash this stamp just like any other.)

But I love the interaction you have between Stories and existing geotags, hashtags, and accounts.

This interaction can help you build your own engagement, too. By tagging brands, buds, places, you’re sharing your voice. I love featuring products I love, giving friends shout outs for birthdays and events, making announcements for my classes, and checking in to my regular haunts.

I know I’m not the only one choosing Stories over Snapchat. There are 250 million daily active users of Instagram Stories, versus the 173 million Snapchat users. Engage them!

Create a CTA and Build Anticipation

Turning to Stories for questions, polls, giveaways, and announcements is a great use of this platform! There’s now even a “poll” feature built in!

Now that I’m posting a little less to my grid (we’ll talk about that in another part of the series), I am using Stories to announce when a picture went live. I found myself biting when some of my favorite grammers announced a new picture went up but they blocked out the image. I immediately went to their feeds. Same thing when blog posts are announced with an intriguing or beautiful image, I immediately went to the post. Even better if you have a business page and can include a link to the post or a product page with your Story.

I also love using progression posts to build anticipation within a Story. Stay tuned for more on that… (#seewhatididthere…)

Progression posts

I’m honestly not even sure that this is what it’s called but I’m going with it. One of my favorite way to post is to use the same background image and add features in different posts. It’s a great way to add tags, draw attention to different items in an image, and to build curiosity.

Tell a story

Sometimes my Stories are relatively random. Just things I like or am doing during my day. It’s actually a great way to follow along on what’s going on throughout my day. At Sweat Pink, we’ve done a handful of “day in the life” features using Stories when working with brands.

Day in the Life with Gerolsteiner

It doesn’t have to be a particularly deep Story to be interesting. Recently I created one of my favorite Stories to date inspired by Caitlin’s Queen t-shirt.

  • Insider tip: Next level progression post. Use the same background and switch up the drawings, stickers, and verbiage to create cohesiveness in the Story.

Spontaneity

With the trend going to curated grid (again, we’ll talk about this later), I love the spontaneity of Stories! The freedom of sharing pretty much anything and everything that strikes my fancy that I wouldn’t necessarily want to post to my grid.

I mean, if you think about it, the original point of Instagram was to share “in the moment” things. Now that grids have gotten more curated, Stories is a way to share bits and pieces of your daily life. Crazy hair, silly dance parties, moments of realization and hilarity…

I’ve always wanted to be a journaler, but have always been more drawn to photos than I have to the act of writing in a notebook. Stories gives me that satisfaction of recording my day and all that it entails. It’s also a great tool when I’m traveling to remember all those details that would be included in a travel journal that I can’t be bothered to write down…

  • Insider tip: Check into places when you travel! Grow your following and increase engagement.

Diversify Content

One great thing to do with Stories is to mix it up with your content. Alternate images, videos, boomerangs. See below for more details on specific features…

By diversifying your content, you’re keeping your viewers engaged. Nobody wants to see only images or have to weed through 20 clips of you talking (that’s what Instagram Live is for). And I’m so sick of seeing back-to-back-to-back Stories using the Superzoom feature (the “duh-duh-duuuhhh” one).

  • Insider tip: Mix. It. Up.

Features, features, features

Ok, let’s talk some nitty gritty with some how-to’s….

For a great resource to return to later, this is my go-to when I can’t remember something.

From your Instagram feed, swipe right to get to Stories or press the camera icon at the top left corner. Here’s how you select your image. You can either take an IRL image or upload one from your camera roll. AND you no longer are restricted to images within the last 24 hours! Woo hoo! Before you take a fresh image, use the smiley face with the sparkles to select a filter, or scroll along the bottom of the screen to access Live, Boomerang, Superzoom (the “duh-duh-duuuuuh” feature), Rewind, Stop-motion (kind of like a GIF – but you have to take these images IRL right now), and Hands-free (this helps enormously for flipping the camera mid-filming).

Once you have your image…

Have fun with the stickers! Tag location, time, temp, hashtags, and any of the stickers that you wish. The camera icon below the location tag is how to you can overlay a selfie sticker to your uploaded image. Within the stickers page, swipe left to access an assortment of hats and sunglasses, too.

To write directly on the image, press the pencil icon at the top. You’ll have a few options for style: felt-tip, marker, neon, chalk, and now an eraser is included. Along the lefthand side is a scroll bar to increase and decrease the size of the writing. Same applies for using typed writing, but select the “Aa” option at the top. To change the color of your text or “pen,” there are some preselected colors along the bottom you can select from. You can also hold your finger down on the colored circles to access a larger color palette. For those of you who like to matchy-matchy it up, keep you finger pressed down on the screen and slide it up onto the image. You’ll see a drop icon appear that will change color depending on what your finger is sliding over. A great way to access a color specific to the image you’re editing.

To get a solid color background, select the color from the palette you want and tap your finger on the screen and hold it down. Then write, type, sticker to your heart’s content on the solid color background.

Pinning text or a sticker to a video is a little elusive for me, but I have gotten it to work before. Move your text or sticker to the desired location. Tap the screen and hold down until you get a bar at the bottom of the screen that says “pin.” That should let you select the subject in the video you want to pin to.

The features are where I think a lot of artistry can come into the mix. I have some favorite grammers that I turn to for inspiration. But I think we’ll save that for another day…

Play around, have some fun, and let’s get arty next time!

You Might Also Like

Easy, delicious, and nutritious: #putaneggonit

By October 27, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Kitchen & Nutrition

I think I’ve discovered something important: cooking yummy food doesn’t have to be time consuming or challenging! Game changer!

I’ve been a cooking storm this week, making tacos, rice bowls, huge salads. And I’m always putting an egg on it. It’s the easiest and best way to sneak in some protein and extra nutrients. And I realize that I actually have some more skills that I thought…

Anne’s Egg McMuffin Sando

One of my good friends in college introduced me to the homemade egg sandwich. It was seriously so easy and so delicious, the perfect way to feel like I’m cooking and get away from big bowls of salad all the time.

Crack an egg into a warm fry pan with some olive oil. While it’s frying, put an English muffin into the toaster. When the egg is nearly cooked, put a little bit of water into the skillet, toss some spinach leaves on top, and cover with a lid. The steam wilts the spinach and finishes cooking the egg. Put the egg and spinach in the muffin, top with fresh-cracked salt and pepper and feta cheese, and nom!

Alyse’s Avo Toast

When I first started working for Sweat Pink, Alyse posted the most delicious-looking avo toast, which was still a relatively new thing for me at the time.

 

I took her toast recipe and ran with it! A slice of toasted Dave’s multiseed bread, goat cheese and avocado spread onto it, and topped with a fried egg and freshly cracked salt and pepper. I seriously had this for one meal a day for 6 months.

Breakfast Tacos

Yesterday morning I was craving something comforting: cheese, eggs, and avocado. Basically the best trifecta! I put parmesan cheese on a tortilla and in a warm oven. While that baked, I scrambled two eggs. I topped the warmed tortilla and cheese with the eggs, a little fresh cheese, half of an avocado, and salt and pepper.

Nic’s Veggie Tacos

Nic and Jamie seriously inspire me in the kitchen, and with their love of tacos. I love watching what they put together seemingly effortlessly. Nic oftentimes will sauté up some veggies, put on a tortilla, top with an egg, and go to town. So that’s egg-actly what I did. I chopped and sautéed onion, sweet potato, zucchini, and kale. Toss on a warm tortilla, and top with a fried egg and avocado. I was SO full!

No tortillas? Use chips for a taco salad!

#putaneggonit

I love a simple “kitchen sink” salad where I toss whatever is in my fridge in a bowl over some lettuce. My favorite is topping greens with red and yellow pepper, shaved parmesan, a hardboiled egg, avocado, snap peas, and maybe some wild rice. Refreshing and hearty,

Keep it simple

A lot of times I eat eggs solo. A hardboiled egg with some avo or topped with some cheese is a great quick snack.

A fried egg with some yummy homemade bread. Or an Ocean Roll I brought back from Bend…

It’s the best way to get a burst of protein that keeps me fueled and satiated.

I prefer using Eggland’s Best Eggs! They’re fresher, so they cook and taste better. And then the yolk is a much prettier color to photograph… Plus, they’re filled with all kinds of nutrients like vitamin B, D, B-12, and more omega-3’s.

I tend to go through waves of dishes. I’ll find one or two that I love and make it pretty much every day for months on end.I’m ready for more! I’ve got these recipes down and am ready to expand my repertoire.

Have a recipe of your own? Join in on all the yummy love. Today is the last day to join the #FallingForEB recipe challenge. Post your recipe to Instagram, tag #fallingforeb #sweatpink @fitapproach @egglandsbest, and you could win $200 in groceries! The recipe can be a new creation or an oldie-but-goodie; just make sure it includes eggs.

I’m also so egg-cited to get all the egg prep knowledge down! Ever since I saw Runaway Bride and Maggie Carpenter basically had a moment of self-realization over classic egg preparations, I’ve always wondered what most of them really were. We’ve teamed up with Eggland’s Best to really dive into how some of those classic egg preparations are actually made. On Wednesday Alyse broke down the difference between hard boiled and soft boiled eggs (hint: it’s all about the timing).

mmmm, where’s the bread for that yolk?!

Tune in today at noon to get all the poaching coaching from Nic!

that poach tho… <3

 

Thanks for keeping my belly full and happy, Eggland’s Best!

You Might Also Like

It’s The Big C, now what?

By October 11, 2017 Musings

After I got back from my last trip to NC, I got together with a friend whose mother was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

She’s in what I told her is the hardest stage, where they know how bad it is but haven’t finalized a treatment plan yet. There are no words to really explain how that feels. When your world is in the process of imploding around you, and within you, and there’s nothing you can do. Yet.

Once a treatment plan is in place, there are things to focus on. Hurtles to overcome. Doctors appointments, lab results, chemo side effects. There are stages of treatment. You focus hard on reaching the end of the current one before even really thinking about the next one(s).

During this period, emotions are ruling. I’ve never felt that level of anxiety, grief, fear, and uncertainty ever, let alone all of them happening at once. Once treatment starts, it doesn’t all go away by any means, but there’s more for you to do, more ways to stay busy, answers to give to all the questions.

I came away from this lunch date drained. I was so happy I could be there for my friend who is embarking on this horrible journey, but it definitely brought everything back to the forefront for me as well. There were a couple of points we discussed that I discovered really helped me get through what was hopefully the worst stage of the process, but continues to help me every day as the ordeal continues.

Avoid triggers

As I processed everything that was happening to me, there were triggers that could incite crying and a lot of emotions. At first, that’s pretty much everything. In those first weeks, I would start crying and fighting a panic attack at everything.

Some of it’s obvious. The night I found out about my dad’s cancer was Stage IV, Caitlin and I watched Creed. Sexy Michael B. Jordan and boxing, what could go wrong. [SPOILER] Then I saw the signs of what the storyline was building to, and yup, Rocky gets cancer. And not just any ol’ cancer. But Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, the cancer my dad has. Woah, did not handle that well. We made sure to lighten it up afterwards by watching Ali Wong…

Some of it wasn’t so obvious. I, for whatever reason, fought the emotional attacks a lot while driving.

Time goes on and emotions level out. But there are still triggers that bring all that emotion and fear to the surface. Creed is still an amazing movie, but I definitely fast forward through the cancer section.

I love putting on How I Met Your Mother almost like a security blanket (I constantly am rotating screening through my favorite shows). The episodes when Marshall’s dad dies just came up in my recent series screening, and I automatically skipped them. Marshall’s pure devastation is absolutely heartbreaking. It immediately brings up all of that emotion in me.

Sometimes it’s not even cancer or death related. It can be a really beautiful, heartfelt moment. Recently at my friend’s wedding, I had to look away during the father-daughter dance. For whatever reason, during the first stages of everything, a fear that kept repeating itself in my head was that my dad won’t be there to walk me down the aisle. I recognize it’s a manifestation of the overall fear of my dad’s potential death (any I’m nowhere close to getting married), but it is difficult to witness those moments in others when I’m holding onto that relationship with everything I have!

Find an outlet

When I first was processing the diagnosis, I couldn’t handle doing yoga. It brought all of the roiling emotion to the surface and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt too volatile for yoga, even power vinyasa. I had emotions that yoga didn’t help me process like the way it normally does. Even running and backcountry skiing didn’t do the trick. I had so much anger. Though I did make sure I went out on the trail on the days my dad started his rounds of chemo.

Today’s therapy session… • • • • • #mthood #movingmeditation #uphillskiing

A post shared by Elizabeth Wilson (@lizwilsonyoga) on

Back when I played field hockey, I had an outlet for my aggression. There’s a kind of therapy in hitting something as hard as you can. So what better time to give boxing a try? I’ve started boxing at a local gym here in Portland with a badass chick who is a two-time World Champion and plays Britney Spears and Lady Gaga during our sessions in the ring. Best outlet for all of my anger and anxiety!

Open the lines of communication

I can’t stress this one enough.

At the beginning of this whole process, I was talking to mom separately on the phone one day. I was asking her how my dad was doing and how she was doing. I was afraid of her and them sugarcoating things to protect me. I flat out told her that in this fight, I’m not their daughter. I’m her partner.

On the phone with my dad getting word that he’s being discharged from the BMTU after three weeks.

I avoided looking anything up on the Internet. There are way too many scary things out there that have nothing to do with my dad’s situation. So I told my mom she had to be sure to tell me everything the doctors were saying because I wasn’t doing my own research separately.

My dad told me very plainly from the beginning that he didn’t want me to give up my life in Portland to move home. They’ve never been ones to guilt me into coming home for visits, or even phone calls. But he and my mom didn’t talk me out of coming home as much as I did. So I knew how much they wanted me there when they didn’t insist on me not coming.

It’s also important to have open communication not only with your loved one you want to support, but those in your life that want to support you. In my last “caregiver” post I talked mostly about being ok with not being ok with what’s going on, and how to navigate communication with your loved ones that want to support you. Don’t hesitate to tell people in your life what you need. Whether it’s, “Why haven’t you once asked me about my dad? I need you.” or, “Can we not talk about that right now? I appreciate you asking though.”

Keep calm and compartmentalize

What can be hardest when communicating with friends are those that have an experience they want to share with you. It’s natural, to want to share and communicate on common ground. Sometimes it was really challenging hearing things like, “If you ever need to talk, I lost my mom to cancer, so I know what it’s like to have a parent with cancer.” I tried to maintain my compassion, even as I wanted to scream, “WHY would you tell me about your parent dying from cancer when my dad is fighting it right now?!”

I remember the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie and her lover du jour Aleksandr had a big communication faux pas about Samantha’s breast cancer diagnosis. Carrie was wearing her positivity goggles a little too tightly and blew up at Alex when he brought up his friend who had died from the disease. I remember thinking Carrie was being a big B, but I now understand that she’s fighting to stay positive for her friend who is fighting this disease. (And is a little in denial.) But Alex losing his friend had just as valid of an experience. Once emotions had calmed, it was as simple as Alex putting on the positivity goggles with Carrie for Samantha and Carrie giving him her condolences for Alex’s friend.

I tried to remember this interaction when friends would tell me their experiences with cancer. They’re not trying to be hurtful. They’re trying to let me know they understand what I’m going through and that they’re there for me. Being able to reign in the explosions of emotion is a good skill. I also, regardless of the pain I’m going feeling, want to be always be someone that my friends feel like they can go to with their fears, stories, hurts, and memories. I’m now better able to calmly discuss experiences with friends, but at the time I just had to smile tightly and say thank you.

Sometimes the emotions literally do explode. Sometimes it’s impossible to compartmentalize them away into a little box you can deal with later. And that’s ok, that’s normal. The day I first found out about my dad’s cancer diagnosis, I had to teach yoga that evening and attend an event at the studio. I made it through teaching, albeit with maybe a little more subdued of a demeanor. On the way to Flex & Flow, I fought back a breakdown of emotion while driving. I had to excuse myself a couple of times during the bootcamp workout because I just couldn’t fight back the tears. We then went as a group to a local bar that has karaoke. What a horrible night for karaoke. It did help distract me off and on for a bit, but overall I was hardly in the festive mood. Jamie and Nicci knew something was up, but I hadn’t been able to tell them separately before the event, and it was definitely not something I was going to text them. But I tried to keep it together for my friends and my students.

It’s ok to smile

In the first weeks of diagnosis, a friend of mine told me not to feel guilty for smiling and laughing. I was too deep in the fog at the time to really register what she was saying, but it’s a real thing. How could I be laughing, taking smiling selfies, singing karaoke like everything is normal when everything is far from normal?? The reality is that it is reality. The only way to function is to compartmentalize. I had to put all of the fear, sadness, anger, grief off to the side in a little box in order to make it through my day. Of course it starts by just barely going through the motions. But little by little, I found some semblance of normalcy. And that includes laughing and smiling.

The breakdowns will happen. They still do. But not nearly with the frequency as in the beginning. I felt like I cried for days and anything could set me off. I felt like nothing would make me laugh or smile again. Let the emotion happen. It helps you process everything that’s going on. Once that wave has passed, set it off to the side to focus on other things.

Have an insider

One of my parents’ best friends lives right down the street from them. I’m able to call her to get an “unbiased” opinion on how they’re doing. Right after we heard the initial diagnosis, I called her. I asked her how they were really doing and if I should come home for Christmas, which was the next week. It’s relieving knowing I have someone I can turn to that’s close to the situation, that can be there with my parents, that can keep me informed, that can tell me they need something they won’t ask of me.

Do what you need to do

A parent isn’t generally going to want you to give up your life for him or her. As my dad insisted. As my friend’s mom insisted. I told her that that may be the case, that it really makes her mom happy to know that my friend is continuing to run, laugh, smile, work, live. But she, my friend, might need to go home and lay eyes on her mom for herself.

The most at ease I am during this whole situation is when I’m with my dad. When I can see him, watch movies, snuggle our pup, go for walks. When I can hug him.

So maybe you don’t go for a visit for your loved one. Maybe you do it for you.

You Might Also Like

Feel amazing, feel beautiful, be beautiful

By October 3, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Kitchen & Nutrition, Musings

Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.

– Sophia Loren

The best way to “be” beautiful is to feel beautiful. It doesn’t come from owning the Tiffany heart necklace, wearing foundation, having a boyfriend, or being born with symmetrical facial features. It comes from confidence, self worth, and happiness. It comes from within and radiates out!

And that takes work.

I used to joke that I would run on the treadmill with a picture of Gisele in front of me as motivation. The picture self deprecation. And delusion. There is NO WAY I could ever look like Gisele. I’m not saying that as a knock against myself. I could workout for a living (oh wait, I do) and it would never happen. She’s literally like a foot taller than me and we have completely different body types. What is natural for her is not natural for me. It took many years for me to realize that being thin and a model does not a beautiful woman make.

When I was a freshman in college, I got the flu. My first day back at classes I walked by a mirrored window and loved how thin I looked. But then I went to field hockey practice that night and couldn’t run for shit. I recognized that my body naturally gets muscled when I’m running and am active. I realized I’d much rather be fit than thin, to be able to play field hockey and go running than fit into a size smaller pants. It was a big realization for me!

Beauty is being the best possible version of yourself on the inside and out.

Comparison can breed unhappiness and insecurity. My psychology 101 professor drove this point home for me. He pointed out that there will always be someone thinner, richer, with shinier hair. The thing is to be the happiest, healthiest version of yourself possible!

I don’t workout to try and look like Gisele anymore. I don’t workout to try and attract a guy. I don’t workout to get a six pack. I workout because I like having goals for myself that I aim to meet. Because I enjoy it. Because it keeps me healthy. Because it makes me feel good.

Confidence breeds beauty. – Estee Lauder

When I feel fit, I feel confident. I’ve not only made my peace with my muscled curves, but come to love them. My quads are from skiing powder and running hills (“mountain booty” is a thing!). My butt is from all those chair poses Jamie makes us hold in yoga. My shoulders are from handstanding as much as physcially possible. My body is strong and capable, and that makes me feel beautiful.

Our moms (and dads!) told us when we were girls that it doesn’t matter what other people think as long as we’re happy with ourselves, that confidence is sexy. 

My dad has always been a big advocate of girl power!

As I’ve gotten older, I’m starting to see the validity of their words.

It’s really been in the last year or two I’d say I’ve gotten comfortable with who I am, and owning that. I’ve moved to places where I didn’t really know anyone. I’ve traveled alone and been in situations that are outside of my comfort zone. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve initiated break ups because I knew something was missing. I’ve learned through being single for a long time what makes me happy and what I really want and need out of life and a partner. More importantly, I’ve learned how to make myself happy. I have a healthier relationship with food, which is totally helped by being really active and having foodie friends that are also so active. I’ve developed a complete lifestyle around being active.

It’s a daily process and hard work, not a miracle. I am lonely, but won’t settle in a relationship. I battle guilt from eating french fries, even after running a half marathon. I lecture myself about resting during injury or illness when insecurities pressure me to workout. I don’t wash my hair for a week (Literally, me last week. I just kept forgetting.). Confidence isn’t easy and isn’t a surefire thing. It takes work.

It’s taken years and still changes every day, but I’ve learned that when I feel healthy and comfortable with who I am, that’s when I feel the most beautiful.

Beauty is about enhancing what you have. Let yourself shine through!

– Janelle Monae 

Taking care of yourself is the best way to feel amazing, to feel beautiful. Making sure I’m eating healthy most of the time while still treating myself. (Going a day without chocolate is absurd.) Drinking plenty of water. Working out.

You can embrace who you are wholeheartedly and still work toward something better. “Better” isn’t Gisele, it’s the best version of myself that I can be.

I’m a big believer in treating yourself. I think it’s really important. I’ve lived in the woods for a month and been the happiest I’ve ever been, so I know you don’t really need anything to be happy. I know the difference between necessities and luxuries. But treating yourself is a little borderline in my mind.

Massages, waxes, wearing jewelry, drinking nice wine. I genuinely enjoy all of those things. They make me feel good. Well, I don’t enjoy the process of the wax, but I like the by product, so I deal with it. (Though I do love my salon I go to!) That’s actually a great example. I don’t get bikini waxes because someone told me I had to to be considered beautiful. It makes me feel good (and I don’t have to deal with shaving!), so I do it.

 

Pedicures aren’t required to get a date, though I’m sure my yoga classes appreciate it since they end up looking at my feet a lot, and having my hair cut isn’t a pre-requisite to posting on Instagram (good thing, since I haven’t had mine cut since March). I don’t do the “grooming” thing for social norm reasons or to look beautiful, but rather I do it to feel amazing!

__________________________________________________________________

Feel amazing every day!

So we’ve established how important I think it is to feel amazing in order to feel beautiful. So what now? How to feel amazing?

  • Sweat. Who doesn’t feel amazing after a good sweat session? There’s a reason I don’t mind going on dates after a run or a yoga class. Seriously I do that. And a big part of it is that a guy who is going to like me or date me is going to have to be ok with being around me when I’m sweaty. But I also like how I look after a sweat: pink cheeks, messy top knot, glistening skin.

  • Eating healthy on a regular basis is SO important. Keep the belly and innards happy!
  • But don’t forget to treat yo self! French fries and ice cream are pure happiness. What fun is it to eat healthy all the time if you can’t indulge every now and then…
  • Drink healthy! Health doesn’t stop with food. Drinking plenty of water and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake are good guidelines to follow.
  • Drink beauty! Add in Amazing Grass’s Beauty Elixir to your next smoothie or glass of water.This elixir is an herb blend containing chaga, hibiscus flower, Indian gooseberry (amla fruit), aloe vera, maqui, yumberry, camu camu, lucuma and blueberry juice with 100 percent DV plant-based biotin to support radiant skin, nails and hair! Get your glow on! Get 40% off Amazing Grass products with the code sweatpink2017!

  • Sleep! It’s called beauty sleep for a reason…

  • Take care of your skin. Wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, Wash your face before bed every night and put on moisturizer. And exfoliate.

  • Treat yo self! Get that massage, get your nails did, take yoga. Don’t hesitate to pamper yourself a little. Mud bath, anyone?…

  • Laugh every day. Nothing’s more beautiful that a big, unfiltered laugh.

  • Be you, be authentic, and absolutely own it!
  • Inner beauty is great, but a little mascara never hurt. I will admit, I rarely leave my house without mascara. It’s the only bit of makeup I use on a daily basis. But again, I do it because I like how I feel when I wear it. I wear it for me.

The happier you are, the more beautiful you become. – Lorna Jane

A few years ago there was a challenge to select 5 photos of yourself that you think are beautiful. Some of them are from professional yoga photoshoots, one is a candid of a gregarious laugh at my friend’s wedding. One is classic beach life: covered in sand, salt, and sunscreen, no makeup, and big ole smile. In all of them you can tell how happy I am, how good I feel, and I think that’s what makes it beautiful.

What do you do to feel beautiful? When do you feel the most beautiful?

In partnership with Amazing Grass. Thanks to all the brands that help us feel healthy, amazing, and beautiful!

You Might Also Like

Home is where you lay your head at night

By October 2, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Local Living, Travel

The past months have been B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

When you travel a lot, whether for work, pleasure, or necessity, you start calling wherever you’re going to sleep that night “home.” For me this summer, I said “home” a lot. Home the beach where my parents are. Home Asheville, my hometown where my childhood house is. Home Portland. (In my defense, I guess I do have a lot of places I legitimately call home. I even think of Breckenridge as a sort of home still.)

I slept in 15 different beds in three months. (And not in a sexytimes kind of way.)

  1. Portland – my bed
  2. Rochester – at my friend’s house for her wedding
  3. Chapel Hill – hotel while we visited my dad in the hospital
  4. Wrightsville Beach – in what’s normally my parent’s bed at our house
  5. Chapel Hill – different hotel when my dad got discharged from the hospital but couldn’t go home yet. (Started on the pull out couch, but ouch! Moved to the bed with my mom.)
  6. Wrightsville Beach – in our friend’s guest room
  7. Chapel Hill – back to the hotel with my parents
  8. Wrightsville Beach – on the futon at our friend’s house
  9. Vegas – hotel
  10. Portland – my bed
  11. Ashland – hotel (and Nicci and Abbie snuggles!)
  12. Tahoe – guest room at Alyse’s house (and Nicci and Abbie snuggles!)
  13. Berkeley – air mattress (and Nicci snuggles!)
  14. Portland – my bed
  15. Wrightsville Beach – in what’s normally our friend’s bed at her beach house
  16. Asheville – my childhood bed
  17. Wrightsville Beach – my bed back at my parent’s house
  18. Portland – my bed

As much as I traded beds (and other sleeping surfaces) over the summer, my schedule changed just as much. Though I continued to develop some sense of schedule, by necessity.

Through our partnership with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water and their Sparkling Detox challenge, I hosted a few “a day in the life” takeovers on Instagram Stories. As we’re wrapping up the campaign, it’s fun to look back at my days in my various “homes” over the summer.

A day in the life: Portland

I usually start my day with some yoga.

And then it’s off to a coffee shop to GSD.

I like scheduling my errands and appointments late morning so I get a break and can move around.

Off to Forest Park for an afternoon trail run!

And ending the day the way I started it: yoga with my loves.

A day in the life: Asheville

My days in my hometown vary. I usually run round the lake in my neighborhood, take class at my yoga studio, pop by some of my favorite shops, and try to see some old friends. This past time I was home was extra special because I was there for a wedding of one of my oldest friends!

A day in the life: Wrightsville Beach

In the dog days of summer when I’m home in the South, I try to run first thing in the morning before it gets too hot.

Post run, I have breakfast and watch Morning Joe with my parents, have meetings, and GSD some work.

My mom and I head to the beach for a few hours. We read, walk, swim, do yoga, and sometimes nap in the sun. Under normal circumstances, my dad joins, too, but right now it’s when he takes a nice long nap.

After a few hours at the beach, we’ll come in for lunch. And Tori snuggles.

The afternoons are spent running errands, napping, reading, and otherwise avoiding the hottest part of the day. I’ll post up for a while and bang a bunch of work out.

I like squeezing in another sweaty activity in the evening. Most of the time that’s a walk on the beach. But sometimes I need a quick and hard sweat: enter HIIT & Flow!

We normally eat dinner out on the deck with the sunset, but my dad can’t be outside without his mask yet. So this summer we enjoyed a glass of wine with those glorious colors in the sky, and then came in for dinner and a movie.

I’m back home in Portland now and I can’t wait to get back into my routine!! 

Thanks Gerolsteiner for the support in finding routine amidst the chaos. 

You Might Also Like

Break out the boots!

By September 22, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Local Living

One of my favorite parts of fall is the instant style upgrade.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE summer. The sunshine, relaxation, beach trips, fresh fruits, porch dates… I could go on. I love the style of summer, the ease of it. Jean shorts and birks. Breezy sundresses. Wedges. It’s so easy and so casual.

I always feel edgier when it comes to getting dressed come fall. I don’t necessarily change what I’m wearing all that much though. My uniform is still pretty much leggings and a tunic or jeans and a tank with a sweater. During the warmer months, it’s a pretty casual look with ballet flats or sandals. During the majority of the year (at least from living in Colorado and now in Portland), I add boots and booties to this ensemble and get the instant upgrade! Jeans look less frumpy and leggings can be dressed up.

Same outfit, TOMS versus booties.

I developed a literal uniform in Colorado, the land of 8 months of winter: Black leggings, knee-high Frye boots (Sorel snow boots for commuting), a long black tank, a long grey or black sweater (a Patagonia flannel for casual), and a scarf. Oh, and a beanie.

There were a lot of good reasons for my ski bum life uniform.

  • Leggings are just so damn comfortable.
  • I can always #stopdropandyoga with freedom.
  • The classic black goes with everything.
  • I also worked in a restaurant. I ran around like a crazy person and interacted with food. Black doesn’t show sweat or food stains.
  • Black can also be dressed up a lot easier than any other color.
  • Boots are the obvious choice in a ski town. I had my Sorel snow boots for commuting, and then always changed into nice Frye leather boots at work or for nights out. Knee-high was necessary for trudging through piles of snow.
  • Layers. Are. Everything. You have to learn to layer when living in perpetual winter or a place with crazy weather (I see you, SF).

Occasionally I throw in some funky leggings…

Since coming to Portland, my style has shifted ever so slightly: I’m wearing jeans.

Woah, I know. I’m getting crazy. Jeans are still kind of “dressing up” for me, though it happens more and more these days. Some of that is because I’m not wearing knee-high boots as much anymore. I don’t have to deal with snow all day every day and ankle booties have taken over the fashion world. My favorite boots right now are a pair of waterproof wedge Sorel booties from last year (omg, you guys, they’re back this year, too!), and I rarely wear anything else. Cute and functional, my favorite combo!

I still love the skinny jean style that’s still in fashion. But I’ve struggled with it for a long time in colder months. I have small feet but muscular calves, so it’s very hard for me to wear jeans with knee-high boots. But now the style is ankle boots and cuffing your jeans, and I absolutely love it! For years they told us never to cuff your jeans, especially as a shortie, but with a wedge bootie, it’s actually very elongating for my short legs.

Now that I’m “dressing up more,” aka wearing jeans, I love trying to find new jeans to try out. I’m short with a small waist but have muscular thighs and a booty, so finding jeans is always pretty challenging. Joe’s and Paige jeans are usually my favorites, and have been for a long time. My new favorite for this season: prAna’s Jenna Pants! These pants in coal are my new favorite for fall, classic with a twist. Cuffed with booties or birks, paired with a tank or a leather bomber, these pants are taking me from summer into fall stylishly and comfortably. And they’re bluesign certified, the highest of environmental and human safety standards!

Jenna Pant + birks

Jenna Pant + booties

What’s your go-to fall style? How do you rock your jeans?

Check out the cute, functional, and eco-friendly garb at prAna! And get 15% off with the code FALY15 at checkout! 

You Might Also Like

Feeling amazing, even when you really don’t

By September 21, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Musings

I don’t have to wake up on the wrong side of the bed to not be in the best mood. Some days I just don’t wanna…

So when there’s not necessarily a problem that can be fixed, but I just feel meh, there’s a few things I do.

Eat chocolate

Some recent studies have shown that it’s healthy to eat chocolate cake for breakfast. Yeah, I’m totally on board with this kind of science!

Chocolate apparently can improve your memory and cognitive function. Who doesn’t want to be able to think outside the box a little better? AND it can be a better time of day to satiate your sweet tooth as our bodies convert food into energy most efficiently in the morning!

I maybe don’t partake in pastries every morning (let’s be honest, a chocolate muffin is just the morning version of cake), but I do actually have chocolate almost every morning. In my homemade yogurt bowl I top of a mixture of coconut yogurt, frozen blueberries, and a banana with chocolate chips. And when I’m running out the door for early morning run club, I grab a handful of chocolate covered almonds. The sugar and protein wakes me up and gets me ready to run!

When in doubt, throw it out

Sounds like a closet purge is big on the fall organization list for a lot of us. Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping. Obvi. Probably a little two much. But right now I feel like my closets and laundry are consuming my space. And it’s causing me anxiety. Plus, I end up re-wearing the same few things. Some of that is because I wear my favorites, and some of it is the ease of choosing what’s on top of the drawer. So then why do I need all the other items of clothing under my favorite few that rarely get worn?? It’s a difficult process, especially for a sentimental borderline hoarder like myself, but I feel so relieved once I finally do the deed.

Need a little extra help? Here are some great resources to turn to:

Sweat it up, sweat it out

The BEST way to motivate is always to get my sweat on! It gets up off the couch and moving my body, which inevitably gets my mind off the proverbial couch, too. I’m always able to focus better after a good sweat. Or maybe it’s a day to return to vegging, but I’m still able to chill and relax way better after working out.

I felt utterly “meh” and beyond this morning. I’m coming down with a cold and am still pretty sore from our half marathon on Saturday. I was nervous before teaching HIIT & Flow, a kick-butt class on even my best day. I can’t say it was my best class, but I can say I feel better having moved, sweat, and flowed.

Get your mind right

We talk a lot these days about better ways to get focused in a world of soooooo much stimulation around us constantly. Most of the time I prefer working in coffee shops. I have since college. Libraries are too quiet. I like the white noise of the espresso machine, typing keys, quiet conversations. But sometimes distractions happen: I love people watching, Instagram, I end up eavesdropping to the conversation next to me (and try so hard not to interject “Oh no he didn’t!”), adorable babies that want to play hide and seek, Instagram. Home can be just as distracting with cleaning, laundry, roommates, and dogs. Remember that disaster of a room that’s staring at me when I’m at home?

Sometimes you just need a little extra boost to get your mind going. Nibbling helped me study in college, but I got a cavity from all the jelly beans after my first semester. And carrots just aren’t as satisfying. Coffee is undeniably my go-to when I need help waking up and focusing. But there is in fact such a thing as too much coffee. (This is the only time I will ever ever ever admit this.)

Hello, Amazing Grass’s Brain Elixir. This magic packet is full of adaptogenic herbs and greens that aid “cognitive health, concentration, and mental clarity.” Just mix into a glass of water or smoothie, and BAM! Focused.

Get 40% off Amazing Grass products with the code sweatpink2017!

What else do I try and do to get my mind right and my GSD on?

  • Get going in the morning. Things come up as the day goes on. Energy flags. Coffee wears off. Morning is the best time to be productive, bang out that to do list. A morning sweat always helps, too.
  • Make your soul sing, and cut the other shit out. This one is a little bit more big picture. Do I want to email my accountant today answering all of her questions? Absolutely not. That does not make my soul sing. But it’s absolutely necessary. Sometimes I just have to suck it up and deal with the adulting, but I don’t have to be an accountant and deal with taxes every day.
  • Play mental games. Setting small, achievable, and realistic goals can really help! Alyse’s is so treal (true and real): “Must respond to two emails before I mindlessly scroll FB and IG for an hour.” It’s working right now; I’m finishing this post before I’m allowed to leave this coffee shop. And it’s working because I really have to blow my runny, stuff nose. (How can a nose be runny and stuffy at the same time?!)

Photo: Kate Rose

So when you’re just feeling “meh” and not in the mode to do anything, let alone Get Shit Done, what do you do? Sometimes it only take one little thing to get my up and at ’em. Sometimes I start with the chocolate for breakfast and have to work my way all the way through to playing mental games. How do you get motivated and focused?

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Amazing Grass. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.

 

You Might Also Like

Happy belly, happy life

By September 20, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Kitchen & Nutrition, Musings

Health is one of those things we definitely take for granted. Whether it’s injury or illness, it’s never fun when something takes us out of the game.

I was sick for about a year and a half in high school.

Fall of my sophomore year in 2005 I somehow got a bacteria called H. pylori. A lot of people apparently have this bacteria and just don’t demonstrate symptoms. However, I had severe stomach cramps and nausea. And no, I was not pregnant. I was treated with medication, and voila, cured.

Starting in January of my sophomore year the symptoms H. pylori caused the previous fall returned, but with no bacteria. So ensued a month of many, many, many doctors, medications, tests, changes to my diet, and anything else we could possibly try to make me and my tummy happy. And no, I was not pregnant. (I had to answer this question a lot.)

We tried everything we could, and finally returned to the gallbladder specialist. April of 2005 at one of many medical test appointment, I was given an enzyme to make my gallbladder function so they could monitor me. Nothing looked unusual on the ultrasound, but my symptoms manifested. We thought surgery should be a last result, which we then returned to later.

January 2006 I had my gallbladder taken out. I spent one night in the hospital, the rest of the week at home, and then returned to school. I was very sore and very bloated, but due to how non-invasive laparoscopic surgery is, I was able to return to normal very quickly. Within 10 days of surgery I was back walking on the treadmill. And I was symptom free! Though my gallbladder looked physically normal once they’d removed it (not unusual, and no I didn’t see my organ after it left my body).

It was not a fun process, let me tell you. Even though my GI doctor looked like Keanu Reeves. I passed out in the parking lot of my GI’s office after an endoscopy, quickly discovering I did not handle my sedatives and anesthesia very well. The overnight nurse in the hospital was very rude and literally pulled me across the bed to take my vitals. My lunch the next day in the hospital was salisbury steak; I’d JUST had an organ removed people! I couldn’t laugh without pain for weeks, and needed a bar or help to sit up. I missed track meets and field hockey games. I just stopped playing basketball altogether. I went off dairy, and these were the days when soy milk was really the only milk alternative. I flashed my dad.

Ok, that one merits the full story. Due to my intolerance of the sedatives from my endoscopy and the fact that I’d never had surgery before, my doctor elected to keep me overnight in the hospital to monitor how I did with the anesthesia. When I was still pretty drugged up, I was coming out of the bathroom and attempted to show my dad the incisions on my belly, which were covered by bandages. I have four small scars on my belly, the highest of which is right at my bra line. So when I lifted my hospital gown to show my dad the cuts, I looked down and saw my boobs just hanging out. Now, the normal reaction as a girl (of any age, but especially at 16) when you’ve accidentally flashed your dad is to squeal and quickly cover up. But in my drugged state I only said, “Oops, soooorrrrryyyy” and lowered my gown in slow motion. My dad, being the amazing dad he is, just said, “That’s ok honey, just get back in bed.” Hilarious story now, a little mortifying when I’d sobered up.

As much as the surgical process sucked, getting my gallbladder removed was actually a relief. I continued to play sports throughout the whole 18 months, but apparently some questioned the validity of my illness. My boyfriend at the time told me that at a party one night some of my teammates posited that I was making the whole thing up for attention. When you break something, you have a cast. It’s a physical injury people can see. When something is going on internally, especially for a long time, it’s hard for people to understand what’s going on and how you feel. The surgery was my version of a cast.

Some people apparently don’t know what a gallbladder is, either. Not saying I knew exactly what it was or what it did at the time. But enough to not confuse it with the ability to successfully urinate. When I returned to school my belly was still extremely bloated from the surgery. So I wore yoga pants and long sleeved t-shirts for probably a week. When I got back from the bathroom one day, one of my friends asked how I was able to pee now after surgery. I kind of stared at him, and then told him I’d had my gallbladder taken out, not my bladder. I sincerely think he expected me to tell him I had a tube I now had to whip out when I needed to pee.

After all the turmoil, pain, and anxiety of the process, I will never take belly health for granted again. I try to take care of it as much as I can. I unfortunately do get motion sickness sometimes, pick up stomach bugs easily, and just have this feeling I’ll be morning sick 24/7 when I get pregnant. So I have a few belly health habits I’ve developed over the years.

  • I eat plenty of veggies. Fiberrrrrrr!
  • My only real post-surgery limitation is that I need to not eat too much fat at one time.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Ginger!!!! I always travel with ginger! Ginger chews are my favorite, but before I knew they existed I did actually take a whole piece of raw ginger with my on my trip from Alaska to Telluride in Tim’s 206. There was no way I wanted to be stuck in a 6-seater with air sickness. Ginger ale is always my go-to, too.

  • Mediation and deep breathing. This one is super important. In the moments I start to feel motion sick, I turn to my yoga breath. Long, slow deep inhales in. Long, slow deep exhales out. There’s also quite a bit of evidence that shows we hold a lot of anxiety and stress in our belly. So making sure to slow down and destress is as important for my belly as it is for my mind.
  • Amazing Grass’s Belly Elixir. This organic mixture of greens and adaptogens contains Moringa, Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Holy Basil, and more, designed for gut health. The adaptogenic herbs are also designed to help your body destress! I love putting it in a morning smoothie. Get 40% off with the code sweatpink2017.

I discovered the hard way that a happy belly makes for a happy life. But now I do everything I can to keep it happy and healthy. 

Disclaimer: I received product from Amazing Grass. All opinions expressed are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.

You Might Also Like

Purge, detox, cleanse, sparkle.

By September 15, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Kitchen & Nutrition, Local Living, Musings, Travel

To some of us, the eclipse a few weeks ago was a moment of slight darkness and insane traffic on an average Monday. To some, it was a magical celestial moment that we organized our day, even our summer vacations, around. To others, it signaled a time of reset and reflection.

I saw my favorite massage therapist in the world last week. She’s one of these amazing people that drops f-bombs while aggressively rubbing essential oil into my tight shoulders and reading my masculine-feminine energy imbalance. In the past few years she’s delved into the world of the goddess and the divine feminine, which always leads to talk of energies and nature.

We touched on the eclipse and it’s potential significance. We both had similar experiences on the day of: making time to see it, but being glad we hadn’t planned a whole deal around it necessarily. (The traffic in Salem and Madras, OR at 100% totality was NO joke!)

As she dug her elbow into my glute, she told me about the other significance of the eclipse to her, and that it’s effects could last 6 months to a year. The literal blocking of the sun by the moon, the creation of darkness in the midst of light, signifies a chance to turn inward and sift through some of our own neglected, dark spaces. To get rid of things that aren’t serving us.

I’m not particularly religious or spiritual. I wouldn’t say I really stay in touch with the cosmos and it’s predictions. But I have to say the timing of the eclipse seems pretty pertinent.

Travels and feelings

I traveled home again, signaling the beginning of the end of one of the most bizarre summers ever. Caring for my father as my mother and I try to take care of each other, too. Taking some time off work and then diving back in full steam ahead. An insane travel schedule: PDX > ROC > CH > WB > Vegas > PDX > Tahoe > SF > PDX > WB > AVL > WB. All over the span of 2 and a half months. 

I was at home at the beach with my family for the last three weeks, enjoying a little bit of limbo. Working but not teaching. Doing whatever I can do to help, but knowing my dad is recovering well and regaining some sense of normalcy.   

A big theme of the summer is rest and self-care. Taking some time off work to go home to my family. Making sure I’m stretching and rolling after running. Giving myself permission to have quiet time and sit in the sunshine. Drinking lots of water. Spending time with loved ones. Snuggling with Tori.

I feel like I was just thinking about the summer ahead and wham! it’s pretty much fall. 

After the summer that’s happened though, I’m pretty excited to get back to my routine in Portland. Back to relative normalcy and all the chaos that means for me. 

New running goals

I’m training as hard as I can for my race next week. I had a couple of great weeks running in Portland before I left, and was nervous about running at the beach in the southern humidity for a few weeks. Sea level running isn’t going to be the best for getting me ready for the steep Molalla Trail series. 

I’m also just nervous about running my first race in years. After two half marathons in college, and jacking up my knee, I went through a period thinking I was done with running. Thanks to my roommate in Colorado for introducing me to trail running, excellent physical therapy, meeting ultra runner extraordinaire Jamie King, getting my butt kicked in cross training HIIT & Flow classes by same Jamie King, I’m actually excited-ish to be doing this race. For the first time, I didn’t use a training plan. I just kept running, consciously increasing my distances, but at no regular interval, and made sure I stayed active and moving. I wish I could have been running on the trails for a little longer before my race, but sand and humidity made for great resistance training! 

Detoxin’

I tend to live on coffee and wine, with plenty of water mixed in (don’t worry). Of course they’re my three favorite beverages, but the past week of the Sparking Detox has been great. All week I drank only Gerolsteiner’s Sparkling Mineral Water.  Sparkling water is one of the little things that can literally perk me right up on a day when I just feel “meh,” which I know was happening for a lot of us lately. I crave a glass full of the bubbles with a wedge of lemon after a hot, sweaty run– so refreshing! 

Fall cleaning

Before I left for home the first time in June, I took some time for a purge. I pulled everything out of my closet and drawers, dumped it all onto my living room floor (sorry, Caitlin) and weeded through everything. I attempted to be as ruthless as I can, which is really challenging for me. I tried to follow the “if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it” rule. I tried recognizing my patterns: a lot of times I end up wearing the same few things because they’re my favorite. I acknowledged a lifestyle change: I have a lot of nice clothes from working in a restaurant and having to dress up every night, and that’s just not what I wear anymore.

So when I took off for 5 weeks of beach life and Vegas shenanigans, I left bags upon bags full of clothes to sell and give away upon my return. Because of course I couldn’t have handled everything with enough time before I left to get rid of it, too. Now I’m looking forward to finishing out the purge. Maybe even taking another pass through everything, and getting rid of what I don’t NEED.

What are your go-to resources for selling your awesome but unwanted gear?

The cosmos

Oh, and Mercury was in retrograde. Again. The timing of this is just crazy to me, coinciding with the eclipse, summer craziness, getting ready to leave for home again, a time of weird emotions that I couldn’t understand… Thanks, Mercury.

Now that I’m back in Portland, as of 10:39pm PT last night (that’s 1:39am ET on my internal time clock, yeah, exhausting), I’m excited to continue all this purging, detoxing, cleansing. I’m hoping to maintain that element of self care that always comes with beach life here in my real world in Portland. I’m excited to see what fall brings us.

Disclaimer: I was sent product by Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.

You Might Also Like