Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 7 of NPC Bikini Prep!

Hammies and calves ON FLEEK (that's what the kids are saying these days, right!?) Oh man did it feel amazing to slip on a pair of Loubs this past weekend and see my calves popping! Coach Steve has me training them practically everyday, and it BURNS! Nice to see the hard work paying off. And speaking of hard work, my hammies are finally starting to show definition which is awesome. I've always had defined and developed quads, but hammies never showed striations like they are now. Yay! My workouts are continuing to kick my ass, especially Saturday's long plyo workouts. 
Here's what last Saturday's workout consisted of:

  1. walking lunges - body weight
  2. reverse walking lunges - body weight
  3. step ups from floor - body weight, all on one leg then the other
  4. skaters
  5. squat and deadlift in one - with 45lb bar 
  6. monster walks with resistance band
Hi Veins!
It doesn't seem that bad... until you try it! No breaks, no sitting around texting on your phone - just get in that gym and HUSTLE. And that's after a whole week of lifting heavy. Try it and thank me later ;) 

As today marks 7 weeks into prep, with 19 more to go, I'm feeling encouraged with how much body fat I'm dropping week over week, and the proof is in the pudding. Walking Lucy around the neighborhood last night, I couldn't help but notice the vascularity - I hadn't even worked out yesterday! Posing practice this week was awesome. I met some new competitors, saw some friendly faces, and swapped numbers with a bunch of my fellow competitors. It's SO nice to be around girls and guys that just get it. I'm also feeling much more comfortable up there - which has translated into a more relaxed, fun loving stage presence. Practice will make (close enough to) perfect!

Saturday was time for another cheat meal! I indulged in fro yo before dinner (don't judge) followed by sushi at Tomo (some sashimi, half a roll wrapped in cucumber and another standard roll) along with half a small bottle of sake followed by 2 glasses of Malbec at a bar here in Atlanta. It all felt good going down, but I woke up Sunday with such a hangover!! 3 drinks and my body was killing me. I woke up sweating in the middle of the night, with dry mouth and a headache the next day. Crazy considering I remember the days when I'd have twice as much to drink with girlfriends with no side effects. I guess eating this clean and generally abstaining from alcohol has gotten my body to a place where it doesn't tolerate it very well. I think next cheat meal I'll stick to one glass of vino (if at all) and call it a day. It honestly didn't even taste that great going down... could be a reflection on the quality of wine, or the company in which it was consumed with. Just sayin ;)

Mental State
I will say the lifestyle is getting much more comfortable each week. This past Friday I taught an awesome barre crawl class for Lululemon and even when they rolled in the Zoe's buffet afterwards, complete with their yummy cookies, I was perfectly content munching away on my ground turkey, quinoa and broccoli. We all went to a pub afterwards and again, I was happy as a clam sipping on my water! I no longer look at food or drinks and wish I could have them. Probably because in reality, I could. I mean no one is holding a gun to my head through this prep (even if my Coach likes to believe he is! HA!). This is my choice. And the further along I go, the more I realize this journey is 100% mental and emotional. My body changing is simply the by-product. Yesterday's post was a very raw one for me - and if you read it, you'll see I've held nothing back. This blog has been so therapeutic in allowing me to lay it all out, and I'm just so blessed and grateful so many of you take time out of your busy lives to read it! I truly feel grateful for this competition prep - I feel like I have a handle on life now that I'm not worrying about feeling bloated, spending Sundays regretting the poor food/drink choices I made over the weekend, and continuously cycling through feelings of indulgence and then guilt. I feel so comfortable in my skin now - and I'm realizing that I am stronger than I ever imagined. I'm training my body in the gym to become stronger every day and I'm training my mind each day to see the best in every one and every situation. I'm praying daily for strength, giving love without excepting anything in return, and choosing to be happy at every opportunity I get. 

"Life is short. Break the rules. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile." - Mark Twain


Monday, June 29, 2015

7 Things I Learned Once I Quit Drinking

1. My social life has diminished... And I'm okay with it. 
Being the only sober one at the bar gets old. So does explaining to everyone why I'm "just drinking water." Why is everyone worried about what I am or am not drinking?? It's been fun watching potential suitors get creative in planning dates, coming up with fun activities such as bike riding, meeting for a lifting session at the gym, cooking clean dinners together, taking our dogs to a local dog park and taking my barre class (major brownie points there!). On the flip side, I've had some winners say "call me when you can grab a drink." Others have called me a real "challenge," complaining how hard it is to come up with a date that doesn't involve drinking. And they say all the good ones are gone...

2. My true friends could care less. 
We've gone to concerts, met for lunches/dinners/coffee (whether I bring my own food or not), spa dates, turned Wine Wednesdays into Walking Wednesdays around our local park, you name it! My good girlfriends are content laying on the other end of the couch in our sweatpants, talking about life lately and could care less that I'm not partaking in our old happy hours or wine dates. They support my goals and encourage me on a daily basis. For those ladies - thank you. I love you girls to the moon and back!

3. I'm saving money. Sort of. 
While I may not be indulging in monthly wine clubs and $15 glasses of wine when I go out, I am "treating" myself to non-food/booze related treats such as massages, facials and a bit of retail therapy. I think if I compared bank statements, I may be spending more now, the funds are simply being reallocated to other things that make me happy!

4. I am early to bed, early to rise. 
Between long workouts first thing in the morning and skipping late night partying, I'm early to bed and early to rise nowadays. My sleeping patterns are predictable and the quality of rest I get is amazing. Considering I'm always on the go and cramming a ton into each and every day, getting sleep at night is critical.  

5. Hangovers are things of the past. 
WOO HOO! Gosh I don't miss hangovers. Head pounding, dehydration setting in. I sure don't miss that feeling. I've always been the one to experience a hangover after just a few drinks and there is no love lost between me and waking up in the middle of the night with a dry mouth and splitting headache. Given the fact that booze changes our levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in our brains, I'd often wake up the day after a long night feeling a little down and a bit anxious. The scale was always higher on Monday morning than it was on Friday. These days, anxiety is a thing of the past, and the scale is ALWAYS lower on Monday than it was on Friday. I'll take it ;)

6. I face my feelings/fears instead of numbing them. 
Being perfectly honest, going out and having drinks with friends was a way to cut loose. It was a way to forget work stress, feelings of sadness about an ex, anxiety about being single and never meeting a great guy... Looking back, I realize I was drinking away feelings I didn't want to confront. Now, whether it's talking to friends or family or in the comfort of my own home on a Friday night, I face those fears. I confront my feelings head on so I can understand them and move forward. Keeping a clear head has really helped me understand the beauty of turning the page - because there is much more to the book than the page I was stuck on.

7. Becoming more present in my daily life has been the biggest reward. I find myself being who I am - without apologies, without excuses. Without any masks and without covering up any of my truth. I am living the life I'm intended to live - as I truly am. Preparing for my competition has been a blessing because as each day passes, I embrace the broken pieces that have carried over from my past. I used to fear that I may never find someone to love me despite those cracks. Now, I realize that's as nonsensical as saying sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dimly lit room. Not only will I find someone who loves me just as I am, but I happen to be falling more in love with the reflection in the mirror more than ever before. I have healed myself - I've managed to train my mind the same way I train my body. Often times, we think we're victims - to our past, to our current circumstances. But we're capable of so much more! I stopped looking for love - and started simply giving it away to those who deserve it. For the first time in a long time, I am genuinely happy with my life - exactly where it is today, without wishing to change a single thing. And I happen to wholeheartedly agree with Audrey Hepburn - Happiest girls really are the prettiest.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lately I've Been...

Happy Hump Day! We're halfway to the weekend :) The other day I saw a post on one of my favorite blogs, Carrots N Cake, and Tina shared some random insights from everyday life, and I thought I'd lighten to mood over here and share some of my musings as of late. Enjoy!

Lately I’ve Been…

Making: Trader Joe's Organic Carrots of Many Colors.  I love these things! I just peel em, cut em up into bite-sized pieces, season with a bit of pepper, crushed red pepper and paprika. Roast at 400 until they slightly caramelize and you're done! They taste great and I enjoy the fun color it adds to my plate!
Cooking: Protein! Mrs. Dash has become a staple in my kitchen to jazz up huge batches of boneless, skinless chicken breast, ground turkey breast and eggs (I still can't jump on the Tilapia train - gross!). 
Drinking: Water. And black coffee. I really miss the taste of my coffee creamer... but I just suck it up and drink it black. I've noticed buying better quality coffee distracts me from the fact that I have to drink it plain.
Wasting: Time looking at menus of all my favorite restaurants and planning cheat meals. Ha, that's slightly embarrassing to admit, but I always keep it 100% with you guys!
Reading: Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly. It's my book club's July selection and is written by the same author as The Lincoln Lawyer. Really great read so far!
Wanting: Twizzlers. Weird craving, but I want them. In. My. Belly.
Looking: Up bloggers who write about their fitness competition experiences. I enjoy reading other first-timers recap their stories! Takes a bit of the uncertainty out of it and calms any jitters I have about show day.
Playing: Ed Sheeran on Spotify. All. Day. Long. He's amazing! 
Wishing: I could see my girlfriends a bit more. Everyone has careers, personal lives and obligations. And being the only sober person at the bar gets old quick. When I went out last Saturday I had to run home at midnight, cook and eat my last meal and hit the hay to teach two Sunday morning barre classes. Deuces, social life! 
Enjoying: Odd Mom Out. It's rare a show makes me laugh out loud and this one does the job. 
Waiting: To take a vacation. Normally I travel once or twice a month somewhere fun, but with competition prep I have been somewhat locked down due to it being a straight pain in the arse packing all my food, supplements, finding a gym, etc. I'm thinking a trip to Napa in November sounds amazing :) 
Liking: My daily morning phone calls with these two amazing ladies. It's become sort of a tradition - and I love leaving the gym each morning and catching up with them. Having such a strong mom and sister to lean on lightens up my whole day :) We are the strongest tripod - always supporting and loving each other - the darkest and brightest of times.
Wondering: What I'm going to look like at my show. I've seen such changes in just 6 weeks - I really can't imagine what my body will look like in another 20ish weeks.
Loving: My support system. I really feel so blessed to have such incredible friends and family around supporting me (with my competition and beyond).  
Hoping: I get to see my family soon. It's been a few months and I need my fix!

Needing: A cleaning lady. My two bedroom condo isn't very large, but between being home a lot more and all the cooking/meal prepping, I feel like it's in a constant state of disarray. I try and pick up after myself but there is pretty much a gym bag and laundry baskets full of gym clothes everywhere, at all times. 
Wearing: Lululemon Speed Shorts. These little guys are perfect considering how hot and humid Atlanta is lately. I can move easily in them - and I have them in a ton of fun colors. I've also been channeling my Queens, NY roots and rockin Nike's Dunk Sky Hi Essential in pink and lovin' em. I wear em around town and to/from the barre studio. They make me walk with a little extra swagger ;) And these socks. If you haven't heard of Bombas, check them out. Great cause and by far the most comfortable socks on the planet. 
Following: Makeup tutorial accounts on Instagram. I recently bought a contouring kit and have become slightly obsessed with mastering the skill... amazing what a little highlighter and bronzer can do! Considering I spend 99.9% of my time in workout clothes, feels good to get fancied up sometimes.
Noticing: I am becoming increasingly content in my own skin. I'm sure a good amount can be attributed to getting in competition-ready shape, but overall I just feel good. I know where I stand with my relationships and work. I enjoy relaxing alone on the couch instead of frantically trying to make plans and stay busy. Just feels good to take a breath and appreciate the page I'm on in this book of life. 
Knowing: What I want. And refusing to settle for less. 

Thinking: I should foam roll more often. 
Feeling: Strong, happy, and content. Looking around at the current state of life, I'm feeling so comfortable witTurning a year older definitely makes you look at your life a little more closely and my life is a zillion times better than I ever imagined it to be.
Bookmarking: New and healthy recipes on Bodybuilding.com. Eating the same food day in day out can get monotonous, so I like switching it up. 
Opening: My box of goodies from Skin Food, a skincare company from Korea. I've heard great things about their products and recently ordered their black sugar mask, peach sake pore serum, and peach sake bb cream with SPF20. Once I've used them long enough to formulate an opinion, I'll post a product review!


Monday, June 22, 2015

6th Week NPC Prep + A Letter to Myself

Booty, booty rockin everywhereeeeee!! I must say, 6 weeks in I am getting SO excited. It's hard when you look at your body every day - sometimes you don't see the evolution as clearly as others. But over the past week or so, I've really been motivated with the changes I am seeing in my body. Still crushing my workouts (never missing one and bringing the intensity!) I really can see results - especially in my glutes, hammies and abs. I have NEVER been able to get definition in my abs. Whether I was running 6 days a week, in the throws of my eating disorder, or trying to do things the healthy way, my mid-section has always been my "trouble zone." Even Coach Steve told me - sit tight, your trouble zones will come in last. I am happy to report my abs are flatter and tighter - and definition is coming thru! Couldn't be more excited. And speaking of being excited, holy tush!!! Comparing my pictures week over week, my backside is getting higher and tighter. I went out Saturday night with girlfriends and couldn't wait to throw on my short shorts. Well hello, hammies! It's really amazing what heavy deadlifts, squats, lunges, kickbacks and extensions will do. I am in awe - and loving how the hard work is finally paying off! My triceps are still weak (skull crushers are impossibly hard - why?!) and upper body is continuing to be my least favorite to train, but I'm hitting shoulders and bis per Steve's orders and slowly but surely, they're coming along. Pics to come soon :)

For those of you who have asked, here is what my current supplementation plan looks like:

Cellucor Cor-Performance Whey and Dymatize ISO-100 (I alternate between brands to keep my taste buds guessing!)
Optimum Nutrition Glutamine - 1 scoop immediately following a lifting session 
Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA - 1 scoop during my workouts (I drink them during barre class and while I lift)
Optimum Nutrition ZMA - 2 capsules at bedtime

ZMA - a supplement comprised of Zinc, Magnesium and B6 assists athletes with enhancing muscle recovery, boosting muscle size and strength and potentially aiding in fat loss and has been my saving grace lately. You can read more about the supplement and its benefits here. The first week of prep I was sleeping like a boss, but that was short lived. After week 2, I began waking up around 3-4 am every night, unable to fall back asleep! Now I take 2 ZMA pills before bedtime and sleep like a baby, waking up feeling well rested with tons of energy. With training 90 minutes a day and teaching my barre classes, not sleeping is NOT an option. I was nervous if I didn't find a "natural" remedy, I would have to go to see my physician, but thankfully they do the trick! 

Favorite Meals: 
Yummy pancake con cafe!

Breakfast: 1/3 cup oats mixed with 2/3 cup egg whites cooked up like a pancake. Mix a little whey and water for a chocolate "drizzle" and top with 1/2 cup fruit (mashed banana or cherries are my fave lately!). 
Mid-morning snack: 3 oz plain non-fat Greek yogurt topped with 1/2 cup fresh pitted cherries (I look like I've committed mass murder when I'm done, but oh so worth it!) and 1 oz raw almonds. Yummy in my tummy.
Lunch: Eh, anything goes. I usually keep it simple. 3 oz ground turkey, 4 oz sweet potato "fries" and 3/4 cup whichever veggie I have readily available. Some days I cook up sugar snap peas (my favorite) and on particularly lazy days, I cut a cucumber in half and just munch on that (a sight to be seen, really!). 

Mid-afternoon snack: 3 oz chicken with 2 oz avocado and 3/4 cup whatever veggie I'm craving (sometimes I skip the veggie entirely - a girl can only eat so much!)

Dinner: Chicken, grilled onions and peppers rolled in butter lettuce (Hello, fajitas!) alongside sweet potato "fries".
Pre-Bed Meal: Hands down my favorite of the day. 1 scoop Whey protein combined with water, ice and 1/2 frozen banana. I lay on the couch with the shake and my kindle, and Lucy curled up by my side. Life is good! 

Cravings: In anticipation for an upcoming cheat meal, I am craving fro-yo and Twizzlers! And sushi :)

Mental State
I'm happy to report, things are great! There are days when my body feels tired, or I don't feel so strong in the gym, but the moments are short-lived and I'm able to keep pushing through. I think seeing the changes in my body is really what helps drive me. I also love spending my Saturday afternoons at posing practice - there is something really comforting about being up on stage with my fellow competitors, talking about our struggles, laughing as we pose near-naked on a stage in a busy gym... it's just nice chatting with other guys and girls living the same lifestyle as me. Dating during prep is so oddly challenging. It's really interesting just how much dating is centered around dinners and drinks. Honestly though, I am so focused on my career, training, teaching, keeping my diet tight and spending quality time with Lucy and friends, that dating isn't top of mind at this stage in the game. I've done a lot of thinking lately - about what I want and the type of person I want it with... and I've been trying to read a bit more, pray a bit more. Recently I came across this quote that sums up my mental state right now: "At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening." If you would've asked me a year ago where I'd be today, I would have said picking out monogrammed sheet sets. But here I am. And that's okay! I am completely content waiting for what I deserve, and refusing to settle for less. I've started to compare my love life to reading a new book. Sometimes you read the first few pages and think "Oh crap, this sucks!" and want to drop the book like a hot potato. But you have to read through it to understand the next few chapters and ultimately, the story in its entirety. I'm trying not to look back, nor am I trying to skip any pages. I'm taking it one page at a time, just believing and having faith that tomorrow could be even more beautiful than I ever imagined. 

A Letter to Myself
I recently came across a note I wrote to myself the night before I started competition prep. Thought it was too good not to share - and applies to us all as we embark on various journeys through life. I hope if you're going through any sort of challenge, this letter invigorates you and gives you the motivation you need to keep on truckin!

"It's going to be hard. Keep going, remembering why you started. It's hard to wake up uncomfortable every day stuck in a body you're not completely satisfied with. It's hard to prep your meals, say no to happy hour and pack your food. Choose your hard. Stay focused. Stay determined. You can do anything, sweet girl!

Remember the morning you found out Grandma suddenly passed away? What about the day you realized you wanted to end your marriage? The day you lost sweet Tiffany. You never knew how you'd dig yourself out of the grief. And yet here you are, standing tall. You made it through to the other side. You have your happy back! This experience is teaching you that you can do any damn thing you set your mind to. Be soft, yet strong. Let yourself be open to whatever and whomever life sends your way. Let your past make you better, never bitter."


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat

I recently stumbled upon an article titled “8 Overlooked Factors to Overcome Failure – in Sports, Business, Relationships and Beyond” by Garret Kramer and wanted to share it with you all. Kramer writes that we shouldn’t try to control our thoughts as we progress through the stages following a perceived failure, but challenge ourselves to dive into the thoughts themselves - experiencing and analyzing them so we can come out on the other side having learned the necessary lessons instead of pretending they didn’t happen to avoid feeling the pain. Essentially, in order for us to learn what was intended from the experience and prevent it from happening again, we must let ourselves grieve and work through the questions, uncertainties and frustrations. Easier said than done, am I right? 

Take a look at the list below - and consider how these items hold weight in your personal quest for success, contentment, and long-term productivity:
  1. People who overcome failure do not try to control their thoughts.
The human mind is designed to find clarity by replacing old thought with fresh thought. Those who thwart this process by trying to look on the bright side only perpetuate their own struggles, disappointments, and confusion.
My response: I've done some crazy stuff to try and keep thinking positively. During a breakup, I actually heeded the advice of a friend and placed a rubber band on my wrist - snapping it each time thoughts of my ex popped up. All I was left with was a raw wrist (and a little resentment towards my friend and myself for buying into the dumb idea). I think it's a bit healthier to say - I will accept my thoughts, letting them come and go naturally as they occur. If I'm feeling happy, BE HAPPY. If I happen to be feeling sad, I will allow myself to be sad, only if I take the time to understand WHY I'm feeling sadness. Can I change the situation? Good, make a change. Am I feeling sad over a past love? Stop romanticizing the person who hurt me. Ultimately we should spend less time trying to change our thoughts and a bit more time getting to the root of the thought, so we can prevent them from reoccurring in the first place! 
  1. People who overcome failure know the difference between their life and their life situations.
Your life is a constant; your life situations are always in flux. One key to overcoming failure is to grasp that losing has no bearing on your level of self-worth or esteem.
My response: AMEN! This point is precisely why I'm writing this post today. Lately, in a very uncharacteristic manner for myself, I have had a hard time distinguishing my life situations from my actual life. Meaning? Well, let's say I have a particular set back... maybe I missed a meal or didn't push myself as hard as I should during training. Suddenly I'm not going to be ready for my show. Or I miss the mark with a project at work. All of a sudden I'm failing and surely everyone can notice. These feelings are quite honestly such a far departure from how I normally conduct myself. Usually I am a very self-confident person. I know what I can offer a company, a friend, a man. I rarely doubt my own self-worth, so you can imagine how difficult it has been in the moments when I let a singular life situation cloud my judgement on my actual life. Let this be a reminder to all of us that we can get knocked down 8 times, so long as we get up 9.
  1. People who overcome failure rarely set goals. 
My response: As a self-admitted "goal-setter," this was eye-opening. After my divorce 4+ years ago, I set a goal to become more fit. I took up running and began checking off goals such as hitting the gym at least 5 days a week and completing a 5,10 AND 15k. The next year I stepped up my goal-setting and joined CrossFit and began competing. The following year I set a monster goal and completed a triathlon. And last year was no different. I set a goal to become certified to teach barre and landed a gig with (in my opinion) the best studio here in Atlanta. And this year - as all my readers are well aware, I've set the goal to compete in an National Physique Committee (NPC) show (I'm coming for you, Music City Muscle Championships!!). And those are only my fitness related goals!! If I went into my goals surrounding friends, family, G-d and relationships, you'd be reading for days! I guess my point is, Kramer's article opened up my eyes to the possibility that my goal-setting may be limiting my options! The silver lining in missing a goal is that those who overcome failure recognize that any and all outcomes are an opportunity for growth, new possibilities, and future achievement.
  1. People who overcome failure know that their reality is created from the inside out. 
Your experience does not create your state of mind; your state of mind creates your experience. It’s perfectly reasonable to feel upset if you don’t win, but those who learn from the experience of losing know that their thinking, and not the loss itself, is the cause of the upset. The outcome (the loss) remains, but your thinking and your perspective is guaranteed to change.
My response: There aren't many things as powerful as a positive mindset. The ability to see the beauty around you, even when things aren't perfect (when is life really perfect, anyway?!). I think everyone, to some degree, struggles with this - but it's true - when we let ourselves see the positivity and blessings around us, things are just.... easier :)
  1. People who overcome failure know that external circumstances are neutral. 
Why is it that one moment we can be distraught about a circumstance like losing a competition, and then the next moment look at the exact same circumstance and wonder why we were so down in the first place? The reason is that outside events and situations are purely neutral. Your current state of mind creates all of your external perceptions; realize this and you can overcome anything.
My response: Miss out on a promotion? Experience a painful breakup? Show up to hot yoga 15 minutes late and the door is locked (ha, that recently happened to me and I was super pissed!)? The common denominator in all of those circumstances - they're just that. Outside events/occurrences. It's crucial that in order to maintain our well-being (and sanity!), we take accountability for our state of mind. I've quoted Buddha and I'll do it again - what we think, we become. 
  1. People who overcome failure use their feelings as their guide. 
There is nothing wrong with you if you can’t shake a disappointment. But remember, the “off” feeling in your gut is actually an intuitive sign that your thinking and perceptions are momentarily off-kilter. Those who prosper from a loss know better than to fight through a momentary lack of clarity.
Me: AH! THIS is everything. Trust YO gut. Our intuition rarely leads us astray. 
  1. People who overcome failure distrust their thoughts when they are low. 
Human beings do not see life clearly when they are low. Therefore, one secret to overcoming failure is to not believe what you think when this type of mood sets in. Resilient individuals allow insights, and answers, to arrive because they know that in a low state of mind their thinking is not helpful.
My response: I've heard quite often - "Don't make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions," and this point Kramer makes is spot on. When we are feeling sad or low, we should be wise enough to not believe everything we think in those moments of darkness. Stay strong and have faith that after every storm comes the sun. 
  1. People who overcome failure employ stillpower — not willpower. 
What happens if you press the gas pedal when your tires are stuck in mud? The key to conquering failure is to see that if you leave your letdowns unattended, your state of mind will clear and the answers will become obvious. Win or lose, every competition, relationship, or experience is leading you inward — where the gold truly rests.
My response: How many times have we all spun our wheels, stuck in a less than favorable situation and tried with all our might to fight our way out, when in reality, the simplest thing to do is let things unfold exactly how they're intended. My mother always told me growing up that "everything comes out in the wash" and it couldn't be more true. Every heart break, every failure, every trial - they all lead us closer towards defining who we are as individuals. Let go from work? I'm sure it made you a more conscious employee in your next role. Experienced a traumatic breakup? I bet you're a better partner now after learning what you needed from your past relationship. Treat each experience in your life as an opportunity to collect data. Lean into the pain - don't fight your way through it. Breath deeply and let life consume you. We are all on individual journeys - and sometimes the best views surface after the hardest climbs. 


Thursday, June 18, 2015

2015 Bucket List - Better Get Crackin!!

Today I stumbled upon a list I created the first week of January – a whole slew of things I wanted to accomplish in 2015. Thankfully, quite a few of these bad boys can be checked off, but boy – I still have a ways to go!! Good thing the year is just about halfway over. Time to make some memories!

What about you? Do you create lists of must-dos? If so, have I missed any good ones?

Stay tuned as I work my way through all SIXTY-FIVE!!

1.      Change someone's life for the better
2.      Champagne picnic in the park
3.      Change my hair cut/color
4.      Clean out cloa
5.      Dine by candlelight only
6.      Do something outside my normal comfort zone
7.      Donate to charity
8.      Email a friend I haven't heard from in a while
9.      Find an interesting ancestor (genealogy)
10.  Floss more
11.  Forgive myself
12.  Get a good tan
13.  Get lost in a great book
14.  Go camping
15.  Take a dance class
16.  Go ice skating
17.  Go jet skiing
18.  Go on a no budget spending spree
19.  Go on a spa vacation
20.  Go on vacation by myself
21.  Go on a romantic vacation
22.  Go skinny dipping
23.  Go to hot yoga
24.  Go to a concert
25.  Go to a jazz club
26.  Go to a restaurant I haven’t been to
27.  Go to a professional golf tournament
28.  Have a girls weekend away
29.  Have a golf lesson
30.  Have a pajama party
31.  Have a spa day with friends
32.  Help build a habitat for humanity house
33.  Host a dinner party
34.  Jump in a pool fully clothed
35.  Kiss in the rain
36.  Learn how to fix something myself in the house
37.  Learn my blood type
38.  Make a new friend
39.  Make my parents proud
40.  Learn to meditate
41.  Movie night with friends
42.  Not work for 7 days straight
43.  Read a chick lit book and not feel guilty
44.  Redecorate a room
45.  Run another 15k
46.  See a long-lost friend 
47.  See my parents more often
48.  Start a journal / blog
49.  Stay in PJs all day
50.  Stay up all night 
51.  Sunbathe topless
52.  Swim in a natural hot spring
53.  Take a cooking class
54.  Take PTO, just because
55.  Take a risk: When my head says don't do something, do it anyway
56.  Take a spontaneous roadtrip
57.  Take a wine tasting class
58.  Throw a dart at a map and go where it lands
59.  Visit a Buddhist temple
60.  Volunteer
61.  Run for cancer
62.  Watch planes land from a hood of a car
63.  Watch the sun set into the ocean
64.  Watch the sunrise 

65.  Write a handwritten love letter