What I’m Learning About Being a Twenty-Something Trying to Make Her Way in This World

Graduate college they said, it’ll be fun they said.

It is, but it’s not. Okay that sounds pessimistic but life after college takes a lot more brainpower than I would have thought. And that’s a crazy idea saying as college seemed to suck the life out of my brain, especially during finals.

One day you are in college, embracing every single opportunity, not thinking twice about much. You know that you have deadlines to meet, but realize that some of them are flexible. You know that you have friends down the hall who will meet you out every Friday night. Cooking your own food? Never. That’s what dining halls are for. Doing your own laundry? Pfft. that is what weekend trips home to mom are for ūüėČ College is sweet. College, in retrospective, is¬†easy.

The real world is bat shit crazy at times, but it is also cooler than a popsicle ūüėČ

Being someone who has been in the ‘real world’ for over a year now, here are a few conclusions I’ve drawn:

  1. You’ll never figure it all out. For example, these conclusions I’m drawing about figuring out life, I’m sure will change in just another short year. But for real, this is one of my biggest downfalls (and I’m figuring out that I have many), trying to figure everything out, all the time. Being twenty-something seems old once you get there, as soon as you get that diploma you feel like you’ve aged 10-15 years, or at least I did. And when you feel older you are already pressurizing yourself with feelings of having to figure everything out. Figure out tonight’s dinner, next week’s plans, next months budget, this summers vacation, your job, your friends, your family, your home, and soooo onnnn. Sometimes it’s hard not to. But why? At 23 years old I have 100X more things on my mind, more responsibilities that I feel I need to figure out than I did just 5 short years ago at age 18. The media publicizes so many opinions now-a-days, making you think you need to be this size, have this much in your wallet at this age, be ready for kids by now, blah, blah, blah. It publicizes people who¬†have their shit together, or so we are led to believe. Like get real, Taylor Swift who Time Magazine has called the highest paid celebrity in 2016 is only 27-¬†TWENTY SEVEN. Kendall Jenner, worth $18 million dollars, age 21. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson, $300 million, age 30. These celebrities are our age, us twenty-something year olds, and the media publicizes them as people who have made it. And maybe they have, maybe Taylor Swifts extreme talent and the way she cares about her fans motivates me to dream BIG and never lose sight,¬†but her, or their net worth doesn’t mean¬†they¬†have everything figured out, it’s just money. ¬†Which leads me to my next point
  2. Your wallet doesn’t define you. I’ve had $200 in my wallet and I’ve had $0 in my wallet in any given month. Have I had nervous breakdowns when my wallet and my bank accounts get low and my credit card gets high? You bet. Does it take me awhile to realize how ridiculous this is and convince myself to be better next time, oh yeah. Do I do better next time? Eh only about 25% of the time. I feel old, and I feel like my wallet is small in comparison. But why? I DON’T KNOW. For goodness sake, I have no idea why I have all of these nervous breakdowns. I’m here right now telling myself that my wallet doesn’t define me, only 3 short hours after nervously checking my bank accounts wondering how I’m going to make ends meet. Finances are tough, for everyone. But guess what you are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old and most likely in student loan debt at the least, SO WHAT! They are just short term finances, and I’m learning that it’s better to feel in control of them, no matter how small they are, then to let them control you.¬†You are not defined by money, and when you make millions someday, I hope you remember this.
  3. Don’t let your ego stop you from gaining work experience. I‘ve had many duties in my workplace already, many have been the exact things I want to do, few have not. But those duties that you might not want to do, aren’t the ones to say no to, because those duties are the ones that give you experience,¬†real experience. Trust me on this. Applying yourself in a different way than you are comfortable, stepping out of your comfort zone, being humble and doing a job below you teaches you something about your work ethic, and it lets you reflect on your true career goals. Plus, sometimes these jobs are the ones you make the best connections with, you might find your next job reference, or someone who knows someone to get you into that dream job. You are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old, don’t let your ego hinder you. Being an intern is okay, starting small in a place where you can grow is okay. Work an underpaid job for a few months to appreciate the big job when you get it. But you have to be smart about your time-management with these jobs, which brings me to my next point.
  4. Jobs come and go, real experiences with friends and family don’t.¬†I’m learning, and this is one thing that I can proudly say I’ve already gotten better at, is that over-working yourself and missing out on real life fun leaves you with nothing fun to look back on.¬†Work hard at your job, appreciate it, and try to make strides in the workplace, but know when to stop, to clock out for the day and go home. You are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old, don’t waste it at your job. Being young in the workplace it is easy to be looked down on, to be viewed as an “intern” even if you have the same experience as your elder coworkers. If asked to go above and beyond your job duties, or hours, know when to say no. You are asked to go grab coffee for others, think about this. Am I going to get coffee for myself? If so, be kind and get others coffee. Am I already nose deep into reports and don’t have time to go to the bathroom? Say no, kindly. You are asked to pick up another shift, and then another, and then another. Know when to say no. Sometimes it’s right to say yes, you just need to. Sometimes you say yes because you absolutely love what the specific shift has to bring– and that is okay!¬†But know that next time if it comes around and you have cocktail night planned, that it is okay to say no. Saying yes once, doesn’t mean saying yes all the time. Clock out early today, go spend time with loved ones, and do not feel guilty about it
  5. Your friends matter, your family matters. This is a short and easy one. These are the people that have always been there for you, and who will always be there for you, regardless of your place in the world. Use them for help, use them for shoulder to cry on, for an ear to listen. Have fun with them when the world feels like its hitting you hard. Don’t push these people away, they are your people, and they get you.
  6. Dive into recreational activities.¬†This is one thing I am working on. Most likely, many of us are no longer athletes who have a coach and a team to report to 3-6 days out of the week. No, we are TWENTY-SOMETHING year olds who feel old. But we’re not! Find a rec volleyball league, basketball league, kickball league. Go painting once a week, join a book club (and this does NOT make you old, it makes you wise). Find something to immerse yourself in when everything else seems to be moving at top speed. These are the things that can slow your day down, put a smile on your face, and even introduce you to new people. Because let’s face it sometimes fresh souls are good for our own. They could be great new friends, future references, the person who knows someone who knows someone, or someone you actually don’t get along with, which is a learning experience in itself. Plus, it’s good for your health to stay active, go find a rec league, take a load off.
  7. Appreciate your elders.¬†If not for anything else, but because they won’t be around forever. But these are also the people who you likely look at as ‘wise’, and how do you think they got wise? Listen to their stories, their personal experiences, listen to what made them the wise person they are and why. We won’t find that at our age, we just won’t. Being a TWENTY-SOMETHING year old gives us a lot less time for personal life experiences. Plus, sitting back and listening to their stories can put your life into a lot better perspective.
  8. You will fall flat on your face sometimes. You have to get back up. Every. Single. Time.

So one day you’re in college, but you know what, one day you are also in the real world, and that is pretty fricking awesome. You might not be able to meet your friends out on Thursday nights every week, but you can meet them out for cocktails on Wednesday night without a fake ID, because that is just the cool thing to do. You can stay at home on Friday with a glass of wine and watch your puppies run around, instead of watching school equations run off the paper you’re studying. You can buy a new vacuum and feel like an absolute rock star because of it, instead of feeling like a millionaire when you finally fill your tank all the way up (oh the typical college kid move, we all did it). Being in the real world has responsibilities, new experiences, new people, new stresses and excitements, but these are what shape your life, that shape¬†you. Embrace them all. They’re your future.

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Hey You, You Can Do This

Hey you, you can do this!

But what ‘can’ I do?

Whatever today is bringing you, I’m here to remind you that you can do it! Roll out of bed with the attitude to take on the world. Step out your front door into the crisp air with the attitude to take on the world. Drive in your car, get to your destination, with the attitude to take on the world. Cook a nice meal, take a nice shower, and go to bed with the attitude to take on the world again tomorrow.

January 2, 2017. To many it is “A New Year”. The chance to start over, to start fresh, to set resolutions. To others a “New Year” is simply another turn in the calendar, and maybe you just keep trucking through life without any resolutions to be set. Regardless of whatever to day means to you, we are all somewhere in life, and we all have somewhere to go.

Maybe today you are starting a new goal, or maybe today you are still striving towards old goals. Maybe today you are saying hello to a new place, or maybe today you are saying goodbye to an old one. Maybe today you woke up and put on 2 left shoes that didn’t match with coffee spills on your shirt, or maybe today things are just going your way and your hair is on point. Maybe today your jeans are fitting a little snug, or maybe today you are reflecting on the 50 lbs you lost last year with desire to keep it up! Maybe today you are starting a new job, or maybe today you are ending an old one. Maybe today you are running on 2 hours of sleep with not nearly enough caffeine to get you through the day, or maybe today you woke up with the most refreshing nights sleep you’ve had in awhile. Maybe today you are hating on Monday, or maybe today you are ready to take on the world, take on the year.

Today you could be embarking on something new, continuing an old adventure, saying goodbye to a loved one, greeting a new born child, and the list could go on. But what is common about today for all of us? That¬†we can do it. If you are setting resolutions I hope you light them with so much fire that even the biggest hurricane couldn’t burn them out. Feel that fire, feel that drive, and never let it go, because it is a wonderful feeling. If you are already feeling on top of the world- you’ve reached last years goals, you are on top of your job, of your fitness, of your life- if you just feel put together- walk around today with a humble attitude.¬†Feel grateful for what you have and what you’ve accomplished. Heck, use that to encourage, motivate, and help others.

Everyone is at a different point in their life, in today, but we can thrive off each other. Build someone up today, I dare you.

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Before You Set Your New Year’s Resolutions…

Before you set your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, take a step back and allow yourself to think about. Sure, almost everyone sets some sort of resolution at the beginning of the new year, but how many stick to them?

Don’t make a resolution that you can’t stick to. Don’t make it too far fetched or out of this world. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Whatever your resolution might be, fitness, weight loss, relationship management, being smart with your finances, trying better at this, doing less of that, take time to think about it and¬†plan it out.

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The reasons most people don’t stick to resolutions could be many- ‘falling off the bandwagon’, everyone seems to give up their resolutions within the first 3 months of the new year, or ‘not having enough support’, ‘setting a goal too big’, or ‘setting a goal too small it isn’t as rewarding to achieve’. But my ever favorite reason for not sticking to the resolutions is…. ‘I’ll try again next year’.¬†NO what if there is NOT a next year?! Do this for you, do it¬†now.

My suggestion? Take it one month at a time. Set an overall goal, but break it down into 12 segments, 12 months. As this is predominately a fitness blog, let’s take a fitness resolution for example:

First off all, let’s call these goals or dreams, ‘resolutions’ seems to have a weird vibe about it. As if everyone expects you to set one, but they also expect you to fail at them. Goals are awesome, dreams are awesome-er!

Say your goal is to exercise 5 days a week in 2017:

Take it one month at a time- pull out a calendar! Maybe in January your goal will be to try out different classes during that month to find your niche. You could sample many different classes and still find one to fit your schedule to make those 5 days a week work.

Using that calendar give yourself a sticker, a sharpie mark, or whatever you want to indicate the days you worked out. Hell, if you’re even following the top predicted trend of 2017 (blog about that to follow) and have invested in wearable technology- write your workout stats on each calendar day!

January could be your month to try fitness classes. February could be your month to bring a friend to class. March could be your month to try one day a week of working out on your own in the gym. April could be your month to try adding functional fitness in, rock climbing, gymnastics (hey it could happen), walking with friends- something that keeps you healthy that can also relate and help you realistically in your normal, everyday life. May could be your month for outdoor fitness. The ideas could go on and on.

Or if you find a class you like right in January just make it your goal to stick to it 5 days a week for your 2017 year!

Maybe fitness classes aren’t your thing, there’s always online programming, personal training, the buddy system, etc. The goal is to find something that will help keep you on track to your goal/dream!

Oh and another tip about goals. If you set a goal specific¬†enough like working out 5 days a week, or even putting money into savings 4 times a month, going to church 4 times a month, etc. and you can’t make it work for those specific days every week of every month of the year,¬†do not worry, do not give up!¬†The beauty of goal setting is to learn to roll with the punches and to keep going when a lot of things are telling you not to.

So go set a goal, start thinking about it NOW, don’t let 2017 pass by, grab it by the horns and take action! And remember, your goals are for¬†your¬†life. Not everyone will understand or support them, ignore those people, they’re not your people anyway. Find your support system and run with them! You can do this, you will do this.

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When Can Exercise Become TOO Much?

I’ll start with an honest statement here. I am writing this because I feel that I, like many others, might be suffering from over-training syndrome and exercise addiction.

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Oh and a disclaimer: if you are reading this as someone who is contemplating beginning an exercise program- do not let this scare you away! Start that exercise program, reach those goals, it is good for your health. Just take this as an educational session on how to not get too addicted to that exercise program and start seeing problems!

How to tell if you are exercising too much? Has your body had enough? Has your mind had enough? Are other areas of your life being affected? Over-training and exercise addiction can happen to those of us with the best intentions. We want to get in, and stay in, the best shape of our lives. For some, over-exercising is just a misinterpretation that extra exercise means extra fast results. For me, sometimes over-training happens just because my body feels invincible. I’ve been into fitness for so long, I’ve studied it, I teach it, I do it 5-6 days a week. So when my body feels good it is easy to convince myself to do more, to see just how much I cant accomplish that day.¬†If I can’t decide if I want to do my normal lift at the gym, or a HIIT class at Kosama, I do both, because I have nothing telling me not to. I feel great after both workouts, my caloric burn is through the roof, as is my metabolism. But I often don’t notice how close I am to over-training until is hits me like a brick. I find myself unable to complete the workout, not because my mind is telling me to quit, or because my muscles are just sore and it would be easier to not to that last squat, but because my body is tirrrreeeeddd, all the way down to the bone.

This cycle happens to me frequently, more frequently than I notice. And with this time, I have really stepped back to look at how it is affecting my life. Here are my initial thoughts:

  • My body is just¬†sore,I’ve had a lot of high intensity workouts recently
  • My nutrition is fine, it’s not like I starve myself, not even close- I couldn’t if I tried! So I obviously am just sore
  • I workout because I like to, and it doesn’t affect other areas of my life
  • I exercise the same amount as I always have

But then I took a further step back and realized a few things…

  • My body is transforming lately- is it my workouts or Advocare? I’ve gone weeks with multiple high intensity workouts, sometimes 2 a day, but always at least 1 rest day. I’m proud of the caloric burn and the way my body is transforming- finally “leaning” out, and I can see muscles I used to not be able to see unless I was flexing really hard and that feels good!
  • Okay maybe I workout a little bit¬†more¬†than I always have, I guess I kind of up the intensity and/or time duration on a slow scale and haven’t realized the increase
  • My weights have been stuck for awhile, I haven’t seen any new big PR’s- maybe this is a plateau?
  • My nutrition is good, I don’t starve myself, but maybe 1800-2100 calories is actually too¬†low (gasp) for my activity level. Maybe I need to re-evaluate how much I’m actually burning in a day by exercising as well as coaching group fitness and being on my feet all day….?
  • Do I let exercise and nutrition interfere with my life more than normal? It’s hard for me to say. Yes I will go lift on a Friday afternoon now instead of hitting the bar at 3pm, or I will choose to eat at home before meeting my friends out, but I have always been contributing that to 2 things: 1) I have more bills to pay now, so I’ll save my money where I can! 2) I’m out of college, I don’t need to pretend to be a college student anymore..?
  • Okay so maybe a few other things in my life are being affected or compromised because of my exercise habits and/or eating… I’m stressed, but is it because of work, or stressed out about fitting exercise into my day? Maybe it’s both. Maybe I feel that I’m losing my libido due to my hormones being so out of whack from all of this exericse- something I didn’t realize was so closely tied together until recently. Sometimes I don’t realize how tired my body is until I’m sitting on the couch at 8PM, and then it affects my home life, and I am just¬†absent because my body and mind are already asleep.
  • Oh and its¬†hard for me to take rest days! It throws me off. But don’t worry, I know it’s important, so I take them!

My good news is that I do not (yet) have any signs of over-training injuries, but surely that would be the next thing to come! I could list more about how I feel, my current level of exercise, how it’s affecting my life, yadayadayada. However, I want to share some of the research, extensive research, that I have done for myself. Time to start practicing what I preach,¬†for real.

What Science Says About Over-Exercising

When someone is showing signs and symptoms of overtraining, they might be classified as those who have “overtraining syndrome”. This is when an athlete, exerciser, etc. sees diminished performance as a result from an increase in training volume and/or intensity combined with inadequate rest days/periods and/or inadequate nutrition.

When exercise is a good thing….

  1. It helps control your weight
  2. It helps lower your risk of chronic and debilitating health conditions
  3. It improves your mood
  4. It helps you sleep better
  5. It boosts your energy
  6. It improves your libido
  7. It can be fun!

What happens within your body when you¬†exercise….

  • You intake more oxygen- by up to 15-20X more
  • Your heart rate rises
  • Your body works to release heat- by sweating
  • Metabolic wastes are eliminated
  • Your muscle fibers are being¬†broken down and torn
  • Certain hormones are released- epinephrine, norepinephrine, aldosterone, cortisol, testosterone, & growth hormone

Anabolic and Catabolic States….

An anabolic state is what is considered “ideal” for the body. During an anabolic state your body is building up and repairing tissues and muscles, especially those that have been torn apart during exercise. When the body is in an anabloic state it is using energy within the body for repair, growth, and maintenance.

On the other hand, during a catabolic state, the body is breaking down food and nutrients to store the energy for later use, and later anabolic processes. During this state, larger molecules in your body are being broken down into several smaller ones, and thus, releases energy to then be used by the anabolic process.

It sometimes can be hard balancing between these 2 processes

When exercising we are in a catabolic state because our body is breaking down complex sugars to be used for energy, this is a natural process that needs to happen for your body to sustain exercise. BUT being in a catabolic state for too long can be detrimental to your health and can cause muscle mass loss. Being in a catabloic state for too long is known as catabolism: it is breaking down your bodily tissues, your muscles, it weakens your immune system, even causes fatigue.

Over exercising= catabolism.

How exercise can be a bad thing….

  • It can cause over-use injuries and tears in the joints, tendons, bones, ligaments
  • Over-exercising is often tied to a lack of proper nutrition, or compulsive behaviors and calorie counting
  • It can actually¬†strain your heart, due to high amounts of increased heart rate. The heart is a muscle too
  • It can compromise your immune system
  • With too much exercise, the adrenaline is constantly pumping and other hormone levels are constantly increased, making it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep, or getting enough sleep
  • Exercise might cause your mood to¬†shift- you might be irritable, depressed, develop low self-esteem, or stress
  • Over-exercising can cause some women to develop a condition called “amenorrhea” or the loss of menstruation
  • Too much exercise can put you in a negative catabolic state where your body is breaking down the tissues faster than your anabolic process can build them up

So how to tell if you are overtraining, reaching overtraining syndrome, and need to slow down….

  1. You all of a sudden have a lack of motivation to hit the gym
  2. You are extra sore, even from exercises you have been doing for years
  3. You have reached a plateau, you are not seeing results despite your efforts
  4. You are restless and/or are unfocused
  5. You feel your soreness down to the bones & joints
  6. You have a lack of energy, you feel sluggish and slow
  7. You are getting sick more frequently
  8. You are feeling discouraged

The easiest way to avoid over-training:

TAKE REST DAYS!¬†Your body, more specifically your muscles, need time to repair! They are broken down during exercise and will never get a chance to build back up (making you stronger) if you don’t give them a chance to. Rest days are the #1 most important thing when it comes to fitness success, and if rest days are hard for you try some easy “active rest” ideas…. casual walking, light & fun swimming, yoga, stretching, even yard work or gardening, be creative!

My Top 3 Take-Aways and “Must Try’s” to combat my overtraining and/or fitness addiction

  1. Find balance between work and exercise- especially because my job¬†is exercise I need to consider how much work I’ve already done in the day, or plan on doing in the day, before planning my exercise
  2. Choose between my personal lifts and a group fitness, kosama workout. Somedays it might make sense to do 2- based on time and the different natures of each workout- but I no longer need to do a kosama strength class and my own lifting class on the same day
  3. Be lenient. About calorie counting (both calories in and out), about skipping the gym if just doesn’t fit my schedule, about hanging out and having a life rather than committing to the gym and a stay at home meal- even though I’ve already had 6 workouts this week- maybe that’s a sign to just let loose.

BONUS! Love my body and know that just because I’m in the fitness industry, doesn’t mean that everyone is judging me for having a sports model like body. Or know that just because I’m in this industry, it doesn’t mean that I HAVE to always be on my A-game, outworking everyone in the room, trying out multiple exercise avenues, and all the other stereotypical views that are put upon us in the industry. We are knowledgeable in fitness, we love fitness, we love proper nutrition, but we are also¬†human,¬†not freak-of-nature robots.

 

 

references:

Bergeron, Stephen. “Overtraining Symptoms: 7 Signs You’re Training Too Much.” BuiltLean. N.p., 05 June 2012. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Choueiri, Richard. “Fight Back To Build Mass: Let These Catabolic Crushers Help Keep Hard Earned Muscle!” Bodybuilding.com. N.p., 09 Sept. 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

“Effect of Too Much Exercise on You.” Effect of Too Much Exercise on You. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Eller, Marlan. “How Does Exercising Affect Your Hormones?” IDEAfit. IDEA FitnessConnect, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Maffetone, Phil, Dr. “The Overtraining Syndrome – Dr. Phil Maffetone.” Dr Phil Maffetone. N.p., 06 May 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fitness.” Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

“What Happens to Your Body During Exercise – Hello Healthy.” Hello Healthy. N.p., 17 July 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

8 Things I Have Learned From Owning a Dog

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Get a dog they said, it will be fun they said.

But Otto, getting you 8 months ago has been more than fun, it has been life-changing ‚̧

Growing up I had always been an animal lover, we always had at least one dog in the house and 2-4 cats at any given time. Animals have been and always will be my sweet spot. I can remember multiple times where people would look at me and go “Oh my gosh you are just like your mom, you are both animal lovers”, or “You are going to be my crazy cat lady friend who has 27 cats in the future.”
So yeah, animals are my life. Which is why when my boyfriend pitched the idea of getting a dog to me, my heart melting. So in November of 2014 we began the process of researching breeders (well he did), picking the litter, getting all the nitty-gritty figured out. In May of 2015 we made the 6 hour trip from Northern Iowa to Hayward Wisconsin to pick out our little fella, Otto. He was the first pup I held and the one that won our hearts. 2 weeks later in early June, he was home to Iowa, and life was changed for good.

You see having a dog is more than warm cuddles and unconditional love, it comes with trial and error, stress followed by happiness, followed by frustration, followed by laughs. It is an endless cycle of emotions at times. But having a dog also comes with lessons, realizations, and blessings. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Otto, and it is because he has taught me so much in these first 8 months with him, has brought me tears of joy and tears of sadness, has weakened my soft spot for animals, and has been the greatest joy. Since day one, Otto, here are the things that I have learned from you.

How to care for another being There are some things that you just can’t do for yourself, and it is humbling and rewarding to know that we are the people that you have to rely on in your life. I am proud to be a parent, but even more proud to be your parent.

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¬†To stop and smell the roses or whatever is right in front of you on the ground, or whatever life throws at you. Smell it, grab it, go with it, don’t pass it up, and don’t miss any opportunity.

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¬†When in doubt, laugh it out Sometimes there is nothing else to do but to just laugh. When you do something you’re not supposed to do, but you do it in the cutest way ever, it’s hard to be mad, so instead we just laugh.

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like that one time we recorded you while we were gone to see what you really do while we are gone- like get on the forbidden couch, or when you got into one of your favorite toys- the toilet paper

How to be happy and sad at the same time On my weakest days when I feel sad and down, the ability of you to come up with that toy hanging from your mouth asking for some love and play can put a smile on my face. It is weird to feel so many emotions at once in one point of time: sadness, happiness, thankfulness, playfulness. It is weird but it is great.

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A little curiosity never hurt any one I love the natural curiosity that comes out of puppies, and I hope it never leaves you. You are so curious about the world, like you are experience something new every time you experience it, even if you have done it a million times. If everyone were as curious as a puppy I believe there would be a lot more smiles in this world, a lot less judgement, and a lot more free spirits.

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To appreciate the sun and the stars¬†Waking up to your bathroom call at 5AM on a warm August morning, day after day, or bundling up to take you out at 9PM on a cold winter night has allowed me to appreciate the beauty of this earth. Sure I’d rather stay inside sometimes, especially in the dead of winter, but I have to thank you for dragging me out. Because when we go outside I get to be reminded of the beauty of this earth, and from where we are, we can see the greatest sunrise, or all of the stars. And as you do your thing, I’ll do mine and look up, appreciate the stars, and everything below them, including you.

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The ability to be patient and still oh boy before I got you, I was one of the most impatient people on the planet. My life was fast paced, I had a million things running through my head, I just didn’t slow down and I didn’t understand how other people could. But when having a puppy you learn the art of patience. Patience in training you, in taking you out to go to the bathroom, while going on walks, while greeting new people, while trying to snuggle when you just want to play. Puppies are like babies, except we never get to snow what you are thinking, or what you want to say, so we have to learn to be patient and read you body language and your facial expressions, and through that we connect, and through that I became:¬†patient.

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To love unconditionally They say that dogs are a humans best friend, and the animal with the most loving nature. And I can honestly say that you will never know this to be true until you have a dog of your own. The ability to keep loving even after you have been scolded for eating a coaster is admirable. Just think if everyone in the world could love like dogs do, how much better a place it would be to live.

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Much love to you Otto boy ‚̧

 

A Resolution You Can Stick To

The other night I was reviewing my resolutions that I set for the 2015 year. There were some usual, common ones related to sustaining my health and fitness, etc. But one stood out to me.

I resolved to experience one new thing a month.

How awesome? Experiencing one new thing a month, that was something I could do, it was something I did! And by making it a goal to experience, in turn I was also present. Make a goal to have new experiences with those close with you, experiences small or big, it does not matter!

Here are the simple, or wild, experiences I had each month:

January: I rang in the new year, with new people, in a new place, and began a new year.

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Kansas City, Power & Light District; January 1, 2015 12:00AM 

February: I had sushi for the first time while celebrating my cousin/roommate/sushi lover’s 21st birthday

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SOHO Sushi Bar & Deli; February 16, 2015

March: Like any other year, I turned a year older, but in a new PLACE! We took on South Padre Island for my last college spring break

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South Padre Island Coca Cola Beach; March 17, 2015

April: Again, just like every other year we got to celebrate my boyfriend, Alex’s birthday, but our soon to be puppy was BORN on the same exact day!

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Born in Hayward, WI; April 8, 2015

Oh and I was able to attend the Iowa Governor’s Conference of Public Health

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Cedar Rapids, IA; April 14, 2015

May: The biggest month of them all! Let’s see to start, I graduated college

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University of Northern Iowa; May 9, 2015

And then I went with my mom to New Jersey & New York to see my cousin

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Hopped off the plane and met former MLB player and current television analyst for MLB netowrk, Harold Reynolds; New Jersey, May 15, 2015

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And then we saw Darius Rucker for the first time

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We then woke up bright and early to go see the Today Show (GAH DREAMING!) and then checked into our hotel in the heart of Times Square

June: Our precious puppy, Otto, met his forever home in Iowa

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Meet 13 lb English Golden Retriever, Otto; June 5, 2015

June: Along with my boyfriend and my best friend, I went to my first Collegiate Summer baseball league game

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Waterloo Bucks Stadium; July 3, 2015

OH AND I CANT FORGET MY FIRST EVER (AND HOPEFULLY NOT LAST) TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT!!

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Taylor Swift @ Soldier Field; July 18, 2015

August: The month that I started my 5 month internship with Covenant Medical Center at their Wellness Center

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September: I attended my first wedding with my man, and the first wedding I can actually remember going to, since all of my other wedding attendances I was under 3 feet tall and too young to remember

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Lansing, Kansas; September 18, 2015

October: Otto’s first UNI tailgate (and by experience as his mother, this was new for me too!)

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November: We saw Mockingjay Part 2 for the first time, and I was able to bring Alex home for Thanksgiving for the first time

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My family’s annual Black Wednesday party bus; now featuring Alex

December: the month that I ended my internship and started a full time Salary position job at Kosama as the General Manager (which I had kind of been for the past 3-5 months due to some management instability/issues)

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Kosama Complete Body Transformation, Cedar Falls staff

 

Resolutions don’t have to be hard, the best ones are the ones that grow you as a person and grow your relationships with others. So I challenge you; try one (or more!) new thing each month this year, and every year! You won’t regret it!

So It’s a New Year

So it’s a new year, what is it going to bring you?

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The new year strikes year after year without failure and what do we see? We see gyms busting at the seams with those resolving to finally get “fit” this year, we see fresh produce flying off the shelves quicker than ¬†it can be restocked by those resolving to eat “healthy” this year, we see banks, accountants, etc. with jam packed scheduled by those resolving to get their finances “in line” this year.

What do all of these things have in common? The tendency to dwindle off come March, and even more so by July. What’s the problem with resolutions? They tend to strive off of other’s resolutions. When everyone is gung-ho about their goals at the beginning of the year, it is easy to feed off that energy and stick to your goals, but when everyone starts slacking and making excuses on why this year is just not “the year” to finally reach those goals, it is even¬†easier to follow the pack and ditch yours too.

Humans are creatures of habit, and when year after year you set the same goals, and ditch them the same way, that habit will engrave deeper and deeper.

So how to “fix” it?

First things first: you do not need FIXING, maybe you just need to find the inner desire and strength needed to accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish

Stop calling it a resolution, a resolution means to¬†resolve,¬†and the resolve means to find a solution to something that needs¬†fixing. You do not need fixing, you just don’t. You need goals, goals are dreams with deadlines

Set small goals, I REPEAT, set small goals! Why does January have to be THE month for goals? Why does January 31st have to be the do all, end all, of those goals? My suggestion? Have a big picture called a vision, or a dream if you will, comprised of 12 smaller images called goals. If you make a new goal towards the big picture every month you will be more likely to stick to the goals because you are eliminating boredom, self deprivation, or just a crazy state of mind telling yourself to fix something all at once. Small goals work- scientifically proven

STOP COMPARING, in fact make it a goal to stop comparing yourself to others. It does no good, not now, not tomorrow, not ever! PERIOD. 

Set goals that follow your dreams and aspirations and that are unique to you- you will forever be uniquely you, treat yourself that way.

 

So what do your goals look like? Will your January be focused on something different than February, will you give yourself time to see change, to see results? Will you be proactive?

If you need extra help get ahold of me! I am offering online personal training, nutrition consultation, or just online help! And if you’re in the area I am offering face-to-face personal training!

Follow me on instagram at commit_fit_carly or email me at carlymae717@gmail.com

ūüôā

 

HOW TO: Holiday Health at Home

The holidays are the time of year where it seems that everyone vows to get through the season as healthy and as on track as they can, but as soon as you binge into 5 cookies 3 nights in a row, you teach yourself to accept that this is how the holidays are supposed to be and you will get on track next year.

WHY WAIT?!

If you start your New Year’s Resolutions a year before the new year starts, you are that far ahead of the game and have already subjected yourself to the hardest season to be true to your goals during. If you can get through that you can get through anything!¬†Go into the new year already feeling great about yourself! Feel confident the moment 2016 starts and I guarantee the rest of your year will follow suite. So don’t wait, start now, you still have 1 week left of 2015 and here are some tips to get you through the holidays happy, healthy, and confident!

It’s about control, know it, have it, embrace it

  • When baking: try to keep track of the calories per delicious cookie, cupcake, etc. If you know the calories before you eat it you will be more likely to eat just one rather than five.
  • And if you are tempted with something sweet in front of you and are torn over what to do- GRAB the treat! By giving yourself permission to enjoy, and I mean fully¬†enjoy, that treat you will feel more satisfied after-the-fact, and less likely to binge on more later on
  • Trying to be the healthy person in a room full of 20 unhealthy people is hard. Provide some of the food! Find a healthy recipe that is both nutritious and delicious that can satisfy a sweet tooth or will leave a “salty” lover wanting seconds. You’ll know it’s healthy, they’ll think its delicious- it’s a win/win! ¬†(Pinterest is FULL of these kinds of recipes)
  • People will ask you¬†why– tell them why you are doing it! Everyone commits themselves to something, some people commit themselves to work, to their family, to their wardrobe, commit yourself to your health and be PROUD! Others might respond awkwardly to it, but 9 times out of 10 it is because they don’t know how to respond to health because they don’t know how to be healthy themselves- but wish they could be

It’s about making do with what you have. Try this at home workout:

Home Tabatas: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, complete each exercise 6 times before moving on

  • Jumprope (real or invisible)
  • Box jumps or chair step ups
  • Alternating ski jumpers
  • Jumping wall taps
  • High knees
  • Rapid jumping jacks (shoot for 25-30 in 20 seconds)
  • Alternating front kicks (add a hop in between to make it harder)
  • Burpees

And remember: you have one holiDAY to enjoy, it is not, and I hope it has not been a month of holiWEEKS

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My Message to College Freshman

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As many schools are back to their first day of classes today including my great school (The University of Northern Iowa), I am struck with the bittersweet feeling of the graduated senior, now big girl, who instead of experiencing the first day of classes for the 20th time, will be experiencing the first day at a new job. As I sat on campus yesterday I looked around and saw new, young, excited faces moving into their dorms, making new friends and exploring campus. And I just loved how I could just see the raw eagerness in their faces for the years to come, not knowing what may happen tomorrow, but knowing they are excited for the road ahead. I loved it because I remember the beauty of those moments. Although I will not miss the homework and the stressful headaches of deadlines, I will miss the excitement of going to your first classes to meet your professor and find out who is in the class. Or figuring out which class is going to kick you in the butt and which one will undoubtingly be put on the back burner for the semester. More than that, I know I will miss the personality of campus and the everyday comfort that came out of being home, because I already do.

My message to you incoming freshman is to¬†cherish each and every second of it. You have probably already heard a bajillion times that college is the best 4 years of your life, and I’m here to tell you it IS. You come to college expecting to see a new place, meet some new people, and get an education. But no matter what you expect, you will never be prepared for what you actually get. You’ll see a new place, and it will become a place that you never want to leave. You will meet new people, some of who will turn into your lifelong friends, your separated twin at birth, your other half. And yeah, you’ll get an education, but that won’t even compare to the lessons, the experiences, the trials and triumphs¬†you will see in your 4 years there, all of which having an equal impact on your life.

So freshman, as you go into college look at it like a toddler looks at the world: an open adventure where anything is within reaching limits, you can do anything you want, and you can¬†BE anyone you want. Cherish it, take it by the horns, and run with it, because in 4 years when ¬†you are standing on the outside looking in at the new eager freshman faces you won’t remember which night you stayed up too late, which test you failed miserably at, or that moment (or 2) of giving in to eating that extra slice of pizza at 2 in the morning. No you will remember the memories made with your friends while having fun, memories that you didn’t even realize in that moment would become the memories that mold the puzzle pieces of your college reel.

And seniors (because I know you are reading this too). If you haven’t lived according to your plans, your wants, your likes in your last 3 years, take this last year and¬†run with it. No looking back, only looking forward, you better make it count.
Let loose, be smart, but have fun. There’s no sense worrying about if your hair looks perfect, or if your stomach is flat enough for that shirt, how many Instagram likes you are getting, or if you are going to achieve a perfect 4.0. This is college, this is your rehearsal for the curtain call we call adulthood. And unless you do everything you want to do while you have the chance to now, you might be standing at the curtain in 4 years wondering if your show was worth it.

Better Medicine Than Anything You Can Find on the Shelves: REST!

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As I posted on my instagram account @carlyinfitinyhealth earlier today, I am coming down with a little viral bug. Obviously, this is not something I want, nobody does. It seems that being sick comes at the worst times because it has us feeling crippled of our normal day and wanting to binge watch Netflix and lay on the couch. But we’re¬†humans,¬†better off,¬†we’re Americans.¬†And that means that we have a natural tendency to always be¬†busy and are even uncomfortable straying off our normal daily schedule for a relaxing day instead. We just know there is¬†too much to do.

But if we were to, oh I don’t know,¬†listen to our bodies, our sicknesses would be shorter in duration and fewer in between. YES, rest is your¬†best¬†medicine! So use it! Crawl out of bed, and don’t throw on those work clothes, call in sick, send the kids to grandmas, just do what your body demands. I said this in my instagram post, and I’ll say it again- our bodies are smart, and if we listen to them they can actually tell us some powerful things. By listening and¬†resting we are allowing our bodies to fight off any sickness that is trying to creep into our systems. Better yet, we are staying away from the millions of bacteria sitting on our office desks that could work its way into our systems to make the problem worse.

Being sick isn’t something we can pinpoint when it actually happened- unlike a bone break, we don’t know exactly what¬†caused it. Because of this, there are some things you can do to play it¬†safe not¬†sorry and keep your body and immune system healthy and ready to fight off any invaders!

  • Take a multivitamin- not only will you get the vitamins and minerals your body wants and needs to be healthy- you will also get a daily dose of vitamin C to keep that immune system reared up and ready to go!
  • Drink lots, I mean LOTS of water daily! Drinking water helps regulate your body fluids which is also good for control of bodily functions including your immune system and muscle health.
    • Average water recommendation? 64 ounces daily
    • Go above and beyond! Shoot for 75 ūüôā
  • SLEEP! Going right back to the title of this post- Rest is your best medicine- and the easiest/cheapest to come by so USE it!
  • Eat healthy- fruits, veggies, whole grain, no trans fat, etc. Yes I said it, eat healthy to stay healthy- weird concept right?
  • Exercise, stay active!- physical activity can help flush out bacteria and other invaders in your lungs and airways and also prevents new bacteria from forming due to the raised body temperature-¬†woah– another cool reason to workout