Sunday, October 30, 2016

On Self-Care

I love this phrase: socially exhausted.
I’m not going to call myself an introvert because I find the term has become overly popular lately, with online quizzes that label anyone who doesn’t want to put pants on sometimes or likes to relax quietly after a night out as introverted. If I had to put a name to it, I might call myself “socially exhaustible.” I can function in social situations, even enjoy myself, but getting to know new people or spending time in crowds or groups drains me pretty quickly. I love the people I love and draw strength and joy from them, and I do genuinely like learning more about new friends, but I need some regular and intentional me-time if I want to continue functioning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Coveted Work-Life Balance

Pete Dupuis is in the world of fitness business consulting, a father, and a damn good writer. This post is specific to his experience, but the lessons relate to just about anyone.

Finding balance in my own personal and professional life is not a finite game. Due to the constantly changing circumstances of my life, there will never be a moment where I can say that I’ve found the permanent recipe for work-life balance. Instead, I can only tell you what has worked for me in the past, and you can go ahead and cherry-pick the ideas that bring value to your search for balance.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Smartypants Womenfolk

A bunch of really smart women sound off about current trends in strength training, and it's all gold.

Go read it, maybe you'll find a new genius to follow!

Without further ado, I have asked some incredibly amazing female health and fitness professionals to discuss what fitness trend they dislike. While on any other occasion, I would have made sure that I represented an equal amount of males and females, the fact that females were completely excluded from the article made me want to give women as much exposure as possible. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Goals Evolve

This post is written specifically about how training goals evolve, but I think it's true of how ANY area evolves. Read it a second time while thinking about nutrition, or your job, or even the state of your house.

I found it great food for thought because it feels very accurate and applicable in my own life. In the performance realm, I hope it helps me to stop judging aesthetic goals as superficial, and performance goals as worthy, which I've found myself doing lately. Yet neither goal is be-all and end-all, and without the former I myself would never have discovered the latter...thus making all of it worthy.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Short-Circuit Your Feedback Loop

I'm currently reading Mark Manson's stellar book, and this post is a direct excerpt from a section definitely spoke to me. (I highly recommend the entire book, there are links to do so in his post.)

Back in Grandpa’s day, he would feel like shit and think to himself, “Gee whiz, I sure do feel like a cow turd today. But hey, I guess that’s just life. Back to shoveling hay.”
But now? Now if you feel like shit for even five minutes, you’re bombarded with 350 images of people totally happy and having amazing fucking lives, and it’s impossible to not feel like there’s something wrong with you.
It’s this last part that gets us into trouble. We feel bad about feeling bad. We feel guilty for feeling guilty. We get angry about getting angry. We get anxious about feeling anxious. What is wrong with me?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Stop the Struggling

Nia lays out my past life in a nutshell. Maybe yours, too.
The all or nothing approach isn’t just flawed — it’s dangerous. The “all” end can lead to obsession (some may binge eat, develop disordered eating habits, use exercise as punishment, etc.), shame and guilt (from being unable to sustain such a rigid methodology), and of course dissatisfaction from never reaching one’s goals. The “nothing” end is, well, where you don’t do a damn thing; you don’t work out regularly or make consistent smart food choices. Since you’re not “doing the plan perfectly” you decide not to do anything.
I can't say I've got her solution down pat, but I can say I believe it IS the solution, and I'm striving for it.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Losing Your Mind Over Nothingness

Oh man, does this description of her mental spiral sound familiar to me...
So, I let a situation that is completely irrelevant to me, out of my control, and 100% not my business, absolutely destroy my day. Oops.
I obsessed over it. I talked it through with my bestie. I ate approximately one bazillion chocolate-covered almonds for dinner. I might have done a little bit of crying.
I tried to take my mind off of it, but I kept choosing to replay everything in my head over and over again.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Calorie Counting: Maybe Don't

Depending on who you are, calorie counting may be a No Good Very Bad idea for you.

For me it was temporarily okay, to learn where I was & where I should be, and how to pick the right foods for my workout needs...but I continued to do it for YEARS because I am exactly & precisely reason #3 that you will read in this post.

If you are also a high-achieving perfectionist, and you feel you need to count calories in order to get your eating in order, then my recommendation is that you put a defined TIMELINE in place before you even begin. Go ahead & log calories for X days or X weeks, using the info to make smart nutrition decisions, and then once you reach that point, STOP.

If you've been doing it right (with the goal of learning how to eat right for your body), then you will have built the habits necessary to continuing eating to your needs, and you'll hopefully have learned how to gauge that based on your body's feedback, NOT simply on what the little calorie-tallying charts tell you.

Here's where I am today:

Every now and then, when I start to feel terrible (low energy, poor sleep, etc), I realize I am probably not eating enough, so I count calories for a few days to see where I am. Invariably, I find that I am about 500 calories south of where I should probably be - so with that info, I STOP COUNTING and start making a conscious effort to add more calories. Soon enough, I feel strong & badass again.

Every now and then, when I start to feel like clothes aren't fitting right and maybe I'm a little fluffier than I want to be...I DO NOT start counting calories. I merely pay better attention to what I'm eating, and I realize that I probably should stop buying chips & pizza for a while, until my usual good habits are back in charge and most of my intake is en pointe. Then I can buy chips & pizza again, and they remain "sometimes foods" until I get out of whack again.

And my friend, listen to this: I am not bouncing back & forth between these options on a weekly basis. The first happens 1-2 times per YEAR. The second, again 1-2 times per YEAR.

This is a life worth living, far more enjoyable than tallying every calorie every day for the rest of your miserable life.

And you can get there, I know you can - if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. I believe in you.