I’m a little weird and you’re a little weird…

Good morning everyone!
june yoga challenge
Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

Coming into this week, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do as much yoga / yoga hybrids as I would have liked, being that I was working every day of the week and had other obligations in my life. So, Sunday I dedicated my time to an entire hour long yoga session, led by Eoin Finn.

Back in the day of my yoga addiction (70 minutes of vinyasa-styled alignment yoga, daily) he was my yogi of choice. If you’ve never tried out his yoga DVDs, I’d highly suggest it. His entirely ideology and philosophy surrounding yoga is absolutely breath-taking. He’s a surfer at heart, and in many ways tries to tie the two together. The moves of your body through yoga poses, mimic to him the sweet motion of the waves.

His flows typically start with a classic Sun Salutation A and B (B including a Warrior Pose series), then moves into a floor series, followed by seated series. Being that his is a surfer, a lot of his postures are focused on aligning the body correctly, while focusing on opening up the hips. So, you can assure that you WILL be doing some pigeon varieties.

Throughout all of his practices (usually a DVD includes at least four separate flows), there is a feeling of ease present the entire time. Finn consistently reminds you to listen to your body and only go so far as it is ready to go. Yoga is not a forceful exercise, but one that is slow and easing. So, ease. He uses terms like, ‘this should feel like hot chocolate’, or ‘this is honey for your hips’. And, you know me with honey!

When researching his DVDs prior to trying them out, I discovered that a lot of people who had tried them found that they were far too challenging for beginners. I can attest to this, but yoga is something that seemed to come naturally to me for some reason. I don’t know why, but I’ve always kind of been flexible and good with balancing my body (unless a bicycle is involved…). However if you are a true beginner, it might be wise to start with something a little less rigorous, or adhere to the beginner modifications that are included.

Alternatively, if you are more advanced in the world of yoga, there is something here for you! Challenging postures are present throughout the each series (some of which, I have to pass on because I just simply can’t bend that way), which allow every participant to grow. This is truly fun for the whole family yoga.

For more information on Eion Finn and his yoga, please go to his website: http://www.blissology.com/

The series I preformed this week is found on his Blissology DVD, which has a different yoga series for everyday of the week. I took part in the Strength and Stretch (Thursday’s workout) routine, which I love.

Also, he supports hammocks. That alone proves his credibility.

I also continued with my daily sun salutes and tried to include yoga stretches immediately following my work outs. Other than that, most unfortunately, the last week was a dud.

I did however create a Navasana challenge, which incuded holding Navasana pose for 5 minutes. The entire challenge is ten minutes, but I was kind to you and let you rest.

Navasana Challenge

Hold Navasana (boat pose)
1 minute: lower to submarine and raise to  boat
1 minute bridge pose to stretch the abs (half or full bridge)
1 minute: boat pose alternating leg raises
1 minute bridge pose to stretch the abs (half or full bridge)
1 minute hold boat pose
1 minute bridge pose to stretch the abs (half or full bridge)
1 minute boat pose, opening legs wide as possible and pulling the back to center
1 minute bridge pose to stretch the abs (half or full bridge)
1 minute alternating leg pull ins (basically a crunch in boat pose)
1 minute bridge pose to stretch the abs (half of full bridge)

friday five

favorite moment

This week my favorite moment was by far the moments following an argument had between Omar and I. Him and I rarely argue, but when we do it gets pretty heated. We both have a tendency to talk over one another, so it gets pretty ridiculous really quickly. I am not going to get into why we were fighting, or how the fight developed, but I will say that you really realize how much you love someone the moments following an argument. Somehow by the end of our phone conversation, I was left having fallen a little bit further. I absolutely hate fighting – especially with him. It hurts my heart to do it, so I do whatever I can to keep it short and sweet.

I won’t lie and say that I didn’t have a second favorite moment! The sun was shining this week, so I took it upon myself to go outside and play.

I used to spend so much time outside, taking pictures of flowers, trees and animals. I loved it. Then, I stopped due to some unfortunately things (a one Mr. Ed). But, lately, with the sunshine and the happiness in my life all I wanted to do was go outside and take pictures.

Oh, and also…

Receiving these from BabaBear is always a treat.
I love you, Mister.
Let’s not argue anymore.
No fights; just love.

favorite food

So, I’ve heard a lot of about it, but I haven’t gotten around to trying it. Until now. Laughing Cow Wedges! They’re so yummy! Lately, I’ve been obsessed with slicing an apple and smearing Laughing cow cheese over it and calling it a way. I’ve been having little snack plates for lunch lately.

It is quite possible that I am still six years of age.

favorite workout
Well, as you know, this week my time crunch work outs have been pretty much all the rage. I’ve completed my week long 7:30AM work stretch and plan to design a really great full body, 45 minute work out for tomorrow – since I don’t work. This week, my favorite workout I took part in was my work out yesterday. It really worked my but. I’ve also discovered a love for jumping lunges. I used to have such an issue with them, but I’ve definitely improved my lunge jumping! Go, uh, go team!
favorite quotes

Okay, so I saw this quote and it totally caused me to smile:

I think I have a Dr. Seuss quotation for every facet of my life.
This is all you Mister mister.

favorite craft
Alright. So, I love Yoga as you all know. I also love crafts. I’ve always wanted to create a vision board and then have it – in some way – put onto a yoga mat. That way, every time I work out, I can look at all my hopes and dreams, which would only further propel me to accomplish what I want. Fitness, along with everything else in life, is all about wanting achieve something. I am a girl with an extensive list of goals. All of which I plan to achieve. I think my first step is to making my wishes that which I look at every single day. After already establishing this as a wish, I bought the Yogalosophy DVD – by Mandy Ingber – and discovered that she actually did it. One day, I will make one of these.

I think that is all for now, though.

Stay sweet,
Caitlyn
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Getting better with age.

Good afternoon!

thursday thoughts and things
There are four emotions that I’ve always somewhat struggled with. I mean, not to an extreme, but certainly enough for me to take notice. I’ve never been the kind of girl who thinks I come without flaw. In fact, I’ve always been the type of girl who verbalizes her flaws, regularly – often with humorous anecdotes to make it seem as if they don’t bother me, when sometimes they do. In short, I’m very self aware of both my strengths and my weaknesses. Of my (many) weaknesses, there are – as mentioned – four that have always gotten to me.
My…
  • sensitivity;
  • inability to let things go;
  • fear of changes;
  • general assumption that I’m doing something wrong

A few of these (my sensitivity being the most notable) have yet to ease up, I will admit. There has been – I am very happy to say – some progress on the other three areas.

My Inability to Let Things Go

 I’ve always had a bit of an issue with this. If you hurt me, that was it. I wrote you off. I had this mentality that if you did something to hurt me, you didn’t care enough about me so I should not keep you in my life. Simple. Done and done. As I’ve mature, I’ve come to realize that life isn’t so black and white. In fact, there are a lot of gray areas. Someone who loves you dearly can easily hurt you, without realizing it. Everyone has differing opinions on things and therefore will ultimately be affected by situations in different ways. There are two sides to every story.

Looking back, I’m kind of regretful that I behaved that way. Or had that mentality. I can’t really think of any relationships – at the moment – that I have ruined by doing this. On the other hand, I can certainly think of a few current relationships that I would in no way want to end because of this mentality.

Alternatively, I came to the realization that I am not completely innocent here, either. I am equally able to hurt someone I care about as they are to hurt me. I certainly would not want someone to let me go because I did something I didn’t think would hurt them.

So, to sum up, I’m trying to let go of not letting go! When it comes to the important people in your life, you can’t let little things get in the way. Their role in your life is far too important to lose. I assure you.

My Fear of Changes

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve always had issues with changes. Even though I’ve adhered to changing things up regularly in my life, I am still plagued by this daily. Most recently my manager decided to take me off the Service desk and have me working the sales floor. At first, I was excited to do something different. Then, immediately after, I got nervous. What if I do a poor job? What if I get confused? What if… what if… what if?

What if I kick serious rump?

I am not saying that I did kick serious rump on the floor, but I’ve definitely been enjoying my time there! I still get a little worried every single time I leave to go home. I’m safely assuming that my work will be seen as half-ass’ed or something. I’m still getting used to the floor – again. It almost feels like I’m at a new job. But, I kind of like it. Like, a lot. I even have a preferred section!

This experience – although small – has reminded me to chill out a little more. You know, that experience and Omar.

My Assumption that I’m Always in the Wrong 

This one is a doozy. I don’t have a lot of confidence in myself and have a really bad habit of knocking myself down. I don’t really register it as ‘knocking myself down’ in most situations. Like I mentioned before, I often poke fun at myself to make it seem like I don’t care, when I really do. For some reason, when people laugh at these jokes, I turn it around in my head, thinking that them laughing is them agreeing to my statement.

This drives me loved ones absolutely crazy. And, understandably so. These people think highly of me and I refuse to believe it. Lately, however, I’ve been trying to focus on the parts of me I love. And, I have been making more of a point to vocalize the bits of me I think are awesome. Like, the progress my body has made and my vocabulary. I’m starting to realize that you can compliment yourself without sounding like you’re full of yourself.

i love summer

 

my work out
Stay lovely and sweet
Caitlyn

wednesday wows and work outs

It is a ‘W’ kind of day.

wednesday wows
Today is June 27th, 2012. To you, this date means very little. Unless, of course, you happen to know someone who was born on this day. Or, perhaps it is your birthday. If so, Happy Birthday to You. I hope you indulge in some cake. Regardless, today  – to me – is a very exciting day. Today marks mine and Omar’s 10 month anniversary. 
Now I am well aware of how annoying it can be when couples go on and on about their monthly anniversaries – especially if you have been in a relationship for well over a year or two, and think their excitement is ‘cute’ or ‘amateur’. Unfortunately for you, I don’t give two figs!
For me, this is a really huge deal. I spent many years thinking I’d never find someone who’d put up with my neuroses for 10 days, let alone 10 months. But, I did. Which just makes me want to reassure everyone out there looking for their BabaBear, that you will. You just need to look in unexpected places. Like, your Warehouse, for example.

My Favorite Moments

Our first date:  Our first date was at Putting Edge. Cute. I kicked his rump, by default (his ball got stuck in the last thing, therefore leading to my triumph).

Being Asked Out for a Second Date: We work together, so my second invite happened quickly after a morning meeting. As soon as everyone left from the meeting, he hung back, looked at me and asked me if I liked Cora’s. When I told him I did, he quickly said, ‘we are both off Saturday morning. Can we go to Cora’s?’ I said okay and he walked away.
Our first attempt at a kiss: Having known each other for a year, the concept of kissing each other was odd. So, we did what any mature adult would do. When we were unable to decide who would initial the first kiss, we settled it over a game of rock paper scissors. A game which I lost.
Our first ‘I Love You’: I loved him first, but he said it. We were sitting in my mother’s van, waiting for her to get off of work and he said he had something he wanted to say but didn’t know how to say it.  I figured it was something small, not an I love You. Then, he spit it out. Being that I was in no way anticipating it, I think I actually thanked him or something along those lines. It was all very F.R.I.E.N.D.s
Our first sleepover: Prince George Hotel. I hog the sheets. But, there was ample snuggling.

I could go on and on about the little moments that I love. Like, how he gets the tea ready for me, every night after supper. How old are we? Or, how I get chills when the song ‘Arms’ comes on at work, because it is our song. Or, how it feels to pass him at work (we’re very professional at work, so it feels like we’re in on a secret that none of the customers know about. I kind of like it). He’s my night and shining armor. The love of my life. My life has gotten a lot brighter with him in it.
Happy Ten Months, Baba. I love you.
THAT’S TWO HANDS
my weekly workout plan
thirty minute mornings session

Okay. So as I mentioned before, this week was a challenge for me. Slightly. Well, not really. Each day of this week, my manager scheduled me for 7:30AM shifts. Which, is fine. That just meant that my work outs would have to happen super early, or after work.  I love morning work outs. I really do. Nothing makes me more happy than working out in the AM. So, I opted for morning work outs.

Unfortunately, this meant I’d need to get up earlier and work out before breakfast. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Oh, oh I did it! Or… am doing it. I still have two days, but so far I am loving it.

I took it upon myself to make four ‘time crunch’ work outs suitable for any one who needs to get in and get out. They can be shortened or lengthened very easily. I want to start pinning my work outs, so here goes! (This could go horridly bad)

Monday’s Work Out
Tuesday’s Work Out
 

So, that pretty much sums up my two work outs so far this week! I want to get into Pinning my workouts more, so perhaps this is a good start.

 

I hope you like them!

What matters most

over the dinner bowl
 This week I work all 7:30 shifts. I think I mentioned this prior, when discussing my fears of working out after work. Today was day numero uno in my early morning sweaty sessions! My challenge this week is to kick my own ass each morning in 25-30 minutes tops! Today’s work out was not as kick-booty as I usually like it, but it was definitely a nice start to my challenge.
Learning to Let Go
If you had asked me a year ago to complete a 30 minute work out tops, I’d say: “that isn’t enough time”. Or, “I need to sweat for 60 minutes, or I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything”. I’m sure you know of people with similar mentalities. Or, maybe, you yourself have this mindset in regard to exercise. Well, let me tell you. You are completely and 100% wrong.
First and foremost, I don’t want to be rude, but if you’re spending that much time at the gym or working out (providing that you are not training for some legitimate athletic event like a triathlon or something to that extent) it leads me to wonder if you have much of a life, at all. Not to be rude. I know; I’ve been there. But, I didn’t have one at the time. My life was my work outs. Everything I did was surrounded by how I’d fit in my work out.
Now, to some extent, I completely understand this. Once you establish a relationship with fitness it becomes very important to you. I sometimes describe it as a shower, or teeth brushing. It becomes a need, not a want. It isn’t so much that you think you’ll die or something should you miss a work out, it’s just a high that you love and want to enjoy, daily.
What I’ve come to learn about exercise is that it is achievable. You just need to establish a few things first:
  1. Your goals: If you’re training for general health, your work outs will look different than if you’re training to lose fat or training to run a marathon/some other athletic competition. In the event that you’re training for an athletic event, you’ll need to research into said event and train accordingly (I am currently in no way authorized to expound any sort of training program, especially one which surrounds itself with such material). Alternatively, if you’re looking to lose fat/weight, you’ll most likely want to focus on increasing the amount of cardiovasular activity you partake in, while incorporating a balanced strength training routine and healthy diet. However in the event that you’re not looking to lose weight, but merely tone up and be fit and happy, you’re work out schedule is a little more flexible. On a general note, if it smart to do physical activity 30 minutes, five times a week.
  2. Your interest: If you don’t like to run, don’t run. If you don’t like to do yoga, don’t do yoga. When it comes to working out, it is very important for you to find out what specifically interests you, or else you will risk losing interest completely. I cannot count on my fingers how many people I’ve heard complain about their fitness regime. In my opinion, if you’re not enjoying it then what the heck is the point? There is a form of exercise, or physical activity, that can easily appeal to anyone. Heck, simply walking at a relatively brisk pace is enough to keep your heart healthy. You can establish your fitness interests by trying out new things every once in a while until you find something that you really enjoy. For me, I’ve discovered that I much prefer toning my body to preforming cardio. I enjoy activities like yoga and Pilates and body weight work. Since I know the importance of cardio, I try to incorporate at least 20 minutes of higher intensity cardio into my work outs, everyday. By doing my HIITs, while training my muscles, I’m able to get all I need from my workouts, without ever being bored.
  3. Your Fitness Relationship: This is by far the most important of the three. You need to establish what relationship you currently have with fitness. You might be thinking that you don’t have one, but you do. Mine used to be extremely unhealthy. It was obsessive and depressing. I didn’t do the work outs because I wanted to, but more because I felt I needed to. If I was on my bike, the obsession became about caloric burn (even though you and I both know that those things are completely ridiculous). Or, if I was doing a DVD, if I wasn’t keeping up perfectly with the actors in the video then I wasn’t working hard enough. I won’t lie to you, this was not an easy thing to overcome. No obsession is. Whether it be an obsession with gambling or food, working out or drinking too much, the moment you decide that it is time to overcome it is the moment you realize how strongly it has been weighing on your life.

So how did I do it?

Stopped comparing to other people
The first thing I did was realize that I am myself and no one else. I do what is best for me, as you should do what is best for you. This will easily differ for each individual. One person might be build to run endless miles, while another person might be best suited for hold yoga postures for an extended period of time. While one girl might want to work out daily, another girl might be perfectly happy working out 3-4 times a week. It’s all about you; no one else.

What works for me?

Each day I work out for 30-50 minutes. Of that time, 20-25 minutes is dedicated to cardio interval work that helps to tone the body, and the rest is completely dedicated to rather a) toning and sculpting or b) stretching. Sometimes only 16 minutes of my work outs are purely cardiovascular, as my toning exercises are intense enough to keep my heart rate elevated. I love it. This is perfect for me. No, maybe I don’t run marathons, but I preform 100 burpees as fast as possible. Take that!

Get rid of Calorie Counters and Scales
This part can often be the hardest part for some, but for me it was done like a band-aid. One, simple rip. I just simply covered it. Done. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I never really took to the scale and – oddly enough – I found myself to be more discouraged when I lost weight, then when I gained it. To me, that just proved I hadn’t yet recovered. The caloric count on my stationary bike was rough for me though. I would be sweating up a storm, exhausted, but I didn’t break 250, so I needed to keep going. That’s bullshit, guys. If this sounds anything like you, please cover that part. I find it way more effective to focus on miles! Doesn’t it sound way cooler to say, ‘I just did 10 miles on my bike’ than it does to say, ‘I burned 245 calories’? The miles sound like a feat, while the calories just sounds like an unhealthy calculation. Which, in most cases is most likely wrong.
So, how did I stop?
I decided (after a LOT of convincing) that my fitness levels and health were far more important to me than that high inaccurate number. I took a piece of this take (that black kind Omar uses as band-aids at work… electrical, perhaps) cut a small piece, covered the calorie count and called it a day. I have no desire to look at it anymore. Not at all. In fact, I haven’t even peaked!
I also did my research and discovered the importance of strength training and stretching in a balanced work out regime. The moment I discovered just how important those two were for me, it became pretty clear what needed to be done. Decrease my cardio and increase everything else. From there, I discovered my love for yoga (again), Pilates, Barre Method and… you guessed it, HIITs and other intervals.
Figure Out How You Can Fit Fitness into Your Life – without making it your Life
This could be either an easy or difficult task. See, in some situations, it calls for some commitment. Some mornings, I am up at 5 AM to get my work out in. Why so early? I love working out because it makes me feel good. But you know what else makes me feel good? Quality time with the ones I love. Not having to go through the day thinking, ‘I need to work out’. These things are far more important overall. It is really important that you don’t lose sight of the importance of the people around you. Fitness is 20-60 minutes of your day. That’s it. The rest of your day is about everything else.
Honestly, I don’t feel perfectly happy if I don’t get my 30-40 minutes in. And, I’ve come to accept that of my personality. There are worst things I could be addicted to. But, I don’t see it is something more important that my mother, boyfriend, father, dog, friends, etc. It’s very important to me, of course. I love my body and want to do what I can to ensure that it is strong and healthy and fit. But, my mind. That’s all them!
So what the heck am I saying?
Basically, I am just telling you to take a moment and evaluate your list of priorities. They can include fitness and health, but they should -without doubt- include the people you love the most.
It has taken me a while to realize this, I’m ashamed to admit. But now that I’ve come to the realization, I am so upset that I let all those days.
So, please. All people out there interested in fitness, or involved in it. Fit it into your life, please. Just don’t fit you life into it.
Stay sweet.
Caitlyn

Simply Stressful Stress Sunday!

The last few posts that I’ve made have been kind of… heavy. For me. I mean, if you didn’t know any better you’d probably think I was like super-duper serious. Half of this will be, there other half is dedicated to fun.

simple sunday

S

I know, I know. You get it. My MamaBear is big deals. OK. Yes, but that is not all.

Today’s Simple Sunday lends itself to the feeling I get – and hopefully the feeling you get – when you make one of your favorite people smile or laugh. I know it sounds kind of silly, but nothing makes me more content than knowing I’ve made the people I love around me happy. Yes, this also applies to others (most notably, a one Mr. Omar), but right now this is about my Mama.

Last night, I was bored – Omar was working and Mama had fallen asleep while I blogged – so I took it upon myself to write something up for my mother. I’m a big note person. It’s amusing, to be honest. I’ll leave an I love you wherever I can.

Regardless, my mothers face and reaction to what I had written was was enough to keep me completely happy for the rest of the day.

I really think people should let others know how they really feel about them more often – providing it is good things. Take that as a challenge. Today, you need to go up to just one person whom you love and let them know you love them. They’ll love hearing it, and you’ll love the brightness of their face immediately following.

OK. I just tested that out on my mother. I more freaked her out than anything else. She looked at me, like a dear in the headlights and said, ‘what?’. She loves me. She was just shocked because she’s focused on her potatoes (she’s making potatoes; I’m not using potatoes as some weird slang).
Omar, I love you.
Kathryn, I love you.
Hannah, I love you.
Auntie A, I love you.
Dad, I love you.
Zooey Luigi, I love you.
Readers, I love you.
I love you. I love you. I love you.

sunday stresses!

Alright. So, I like to eat healthy. I like to eat clean. What I don’t like? Spending too much money. Since turning to this healthy lifestyle, I’ve become pretty… relaxed regarding exactly how much I spend on my groceries, weekly. Now that I am going back to school, I realize that I need to focus a bit more… OK, a lot more, on watching what I spend. In general I am not much of a spender. I’m not the type of girl who sees a shirt and pines longingly after it for days on end, nor am I the girl who has too many shoes. The moment I step food into a grocery store, contrarily, and it is over.

Why?

I don’t know. I really don’t know what I am doing wrong, but I am know that there needs to be a better way. So, I’m devising a plan. I’m on a budget. Effective immediately. Not only that, but I am on a general meal plan. This shouldn’t be too difficult for me, I don’t think. I am the girl who boasts about being a planner, so planning my meals and budgeting will just give me more things to plan, right?

Wrong.

I’m quite worried.

The Goal:

  • To cut my weekly grocery store budget by 20%
  • To maintain a healthy, clean diet – eating small meals five-six times daily

The Plan

  • Each Sunday will be dedicated to creating my meals. Each meal will include one complex carbohydrate and one lean protein source, while ensuring I get 3-4 quality servings of healthy fats (adhering to my lovely ‘clean eating diet’);
  • Simplify my meals. Simple and whole foods are not only good for my body, but also my pocket book.
  • Stock up on ‘bulk’ items which I love (quinoa, oatmeal, unsweetened almond milk, etc)
  • Learn how to make more indulgent recipes (protein bars, hummus, granola, etc) at home. Not only are the ingredients in these items generally cheap, but they’re relatively easy to make. Not to mention, by making them at home, I can control sugar levels and ingredients.
  • Take one day of each week to prepare foods for the week (roast veggies, make hummus, etc)
  • Buy a tea traveler and use it – go green… 😀
  • Cut out unnecessary indulgences, like chewing gum (ugh)
  • Hug my bags of frozen fruits and veggies, as they will become my best friends

Foods I Will Never Give Up – or, more accurately stated, that which I am willing to splurge on

      1. Almond Butter
        To me, almond butter is a staple. I have 2tbsp, daily. Chopped up throughout the day, a tsp here, or a 1/2 a tbsp there, but I always have at least 1 tbsp and 1 tsp a day. So, for me, this is essential. The container I buy SHOULD last me two weeks, so there is no reason why I cannot continue to have my almond butter.
      2. Greek Yogurt
        In all honesty, I think this is my biggest downfall. I, currently, have three tubs in my fridge. They’re 5.99 each. It’s ridiculous, but I love Greek Yogurt. I think, what I might do, is stop relying on Greek Yogurt so much. Instead of having it daily, try having it every two days, while introducing another form of protein into my diet – which costs less. Examples include: Laughing Cow Cheese, perhaps I’ll get cottage cheese back into my life.
      3. Turkey/Salmon
        These are my favorite ‘meats’. I found a type of turkey breast, which is made of all-natural ingredients, but is pre-cooked. It certainly makes me life a whole heck of a lot easier. I will continue to buy this. It is 10 dollars for about a weeks worth, and I eat it all. So, I feel like that is ONE staple I can continue.
      4. Avocado
        I absolutely love avocado. In fact, it is my favorite ‘fat’. Naturally it would be the most expensive. I need about two a week, so I feel as though I should be able to have that.
      5. Hummus
        I am going to commit to making that at home. Let’s face it, chick peas are way cheaper than hummus itself. Tahini isn’t too pricey either. Again, by making this from home, I’ll also be controlling what goes into it.

These five things are my biggest indulgences.

Produce, Produce, Produce

For this, I will need to start buying ONLY what I know I will eat.
My go-to salad fixings: spring mix, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, roasted veggies (brussels, squash, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli), carrots, zucchini, peppers. These are the veggies I pretty much love and stick to eating. So, each week I’ll pick a few and eat them. Then next, I’ll pick a few different. To keep variety up and cost down.

My fruits stay consistent: bananas (3 large), bag of apples, frozen berries and 2-4 other pieces of fruit.

Meal planning will become key here. Knowing what exactly I am having will help me to not over-purchase.

Good Snack ideas:

Apple with nut butter or Laughing Cow Wedges
Larabar
Oskri Bar
Homemade protein bar
Greek Yogurt with fruit or whole grain cereal
Veggies with hummus
Protein shake

I will do this!
I will make this happen!

I hope…
I am worried.

Wish me luck.

Learning to Fly

daily thoughts

This fall I will be returning to University after a two-year hiatus.

Immediately following my high school graduation, I – a young, eager student – set sail to pursue my post-secondary education and, furthermore, a career. Like most of us, I thought I had all figured out. Four years here, two years there; get my Master’s degree and then, finally, get those beautiful letters behind my name.

Then, I lost my footing.

For the next two years, I stayed where it was safe. I didn’t want to go back to school of fear of falling once again. I thought that since it happened to me once, the chance of it happening again was inevitable. They do say history always repeats itself.

Eventually I created my own little nest, where no one or nothing could hurt or affect me. Which was fine, for about 30 seconds. Instead of living, I began to go through the motions. I will admit that for a while I turned to alcohol to numb all the pain that was within me (this behavior was very much unlike me, which has a great impact on my current opinion of over-consumption of alcohol). My life was no mine anymore; I’d lost flight with no idea how to fly again.

I am sure you’ve all experienced this, or something similar, as least once in your life. Whether is be in relation to school, work or relationships, we’ve all – I’m sure – fallen. The wind caught our wing wrong, throwing off our aerodynamics and leading us straight to the ground below. It is no one’s idea of a good time.

But how do we safely overcome it?

First what you need to understand is that there is absolutely no rush, whatsoever. You are the one in control of your life. Not your parents, your boyfriend, you best friends or your teachers. Only you. That’s the first – and hardest – thing to come to terms with. Why? Because human beings it is almost as if we are hardwired to constantly worry about what others – especially those closest to us – think. I know; I’m the worst for it.

So, that’s the first step:

Step One. Recognize that you are the only owner of your wings

After that, you need to relinquish all fear. You might be thinking something like: “Wait, what? After accepting that I am my own controller, all that there is left to do is the actual letting go of fear? I feel like there should be at least one… no, two… more steps here”.

Sorry to break it to you guys, but like a band-aid you just need to giv’er.

Step Two. Spread those wings

The thing with fear is that the more we let it exist, the bigger it will get. Imagine your fear as a really weird and disgusting mole on your face. I know, I know. But, keep with me. So, you’ve got this big ol’ blueberry right in your forehead, right? And each time you look at it, or remember that you have it, it gets bigger. Eventually, you will be unable to get your mind off the darn thing. Now, you’ve got a mole the size of Texas.

Perfect.

So, being that you’re now all unadorned and mole-y faced, you’re probably wondering why you didn’t go to the doctor and nip it in the bud, instead of constantly worrying and stressing about it, right? Ya, I am too kind of.

The exact same principle applies to fear. Fear of anything. There is no right way to get over it, but there is certainly no reason to stay surrounded by it. Again, I am not suggesting you pressure yourself into anything. You will do what you will in your own time. Much like your the rest of the peers in your life, my opinions hold very little baring on what you should and should not do with yourself.

So, I’ve ramble a lot already, I know. But, I am not quite finished.

While at work last night, it occurred to me that it is almost July. Meaning, it’s almost September. Woah. In all honestly, I’ve already been pining over notebooks (I am in no way afraid to admit that my favorite forms of shopping do include back-t0-school). From there I realized that I did it. I, myself, had overcome my fear of flying. No longer am I afraid of falling down again, because I know that with time I’ll get right back up and try again. That’s life, right? Making mistakes, learning from them – and then making them again.

So, I guess, What I’ve learned is that fear will never stop. In fact, it isn’t about stopping fear, at all. The moment we stop fearing things, is the moment we stop really feeling things. If nothing affected us, then we would be affected by nothing. Get what I’m sayin’? What we need to focus on is how we deal or overcome with the fear. So, instead of letting it grow, tell yourself every time that you get scared that there is always – at least – one person looking out for you.

Think I am wrong?

I’m not.

It’s you.

You need to trust yourself to believe that you can be the very best that you can be. Also, you need to accept that the very best that you can be is absolutely beautiful, no matter what that is.

workout

Now, obviously this has lead to one awesome workout!

Baby Butterfly Workout
What you’ll need: 2-5 lb dumbbells, interval timer and a yoga mat
Set your interval timer for 2 six minute rounds of 40/20 intervals, with 8 minute rest periods between each

Warm Up. 2 minutes
Jog for one minute. Jumping jacks for one minute.

Circuit (Will be repeated two times through. During the second circuit, repeat all exercises on other leg. Other changes will be stated later).

Move One: Spreading your Wings. One minute.

Fly: Being in Mountain pose and step forward into a strong Warrior One Position. Complete one forward lunge, while pulling your arms into a forward (weight in hands) arm raise. Return to mountain. Repeat as many times as possible for 40 seconds.
Flutter: If not in Warrior One position, ease into it. Begin pulsing both your arms forward, and your legs into a lunge. Continue for 20 seconds.

Move Two: Pulling Back your Wings. One Minute.
Fly: From Warrior One, lean forward lifting your back leg into Warrior three position. Let your arms set, hips and forearms meeting. Begin to raise your back leg and both arms to your rear, then with control touch the tip of your toe toe the ground, while sturdily returning your arms to their original spot. Continue for 40 seconds.
Flutter: Hold yourself in Warrior 3 and begin to pulse both your raised leg and arms backward. Continue for 20 seconds.

Move Three: Fearfully Flowing. One Minute.
Fly: Return your raised leg to the ground, easing your body into Warrior two position. Slowly lower into a low side lunge, as you fly your arms out laterally. Continue motion for 40 seconds.
Flutter: Hold a low side lunge, pulsing back leg (the leg opposite to the one your lunging with). While doing this, hold your arms our laterally, circling with your hands. Continue for 20 seconds.

Move Four: Falling Fly. One Minute.
Fall: Spin your arms gently forward into downward dog position with a split leg. With strong arms, begin to raise and lower your back leg (the same leg which you pulsed in the previous move). Only allow your toe to touch the ground before returning to a downward dog split position. Continue for 40 seconds.
Flutter: Hold split dog position and create a small win (or, 3) shape with a pointed toe. Continue for 20 seconds.

Move five: Fearing to Fly. One Minute.
Fall: Lower into a chaturanga pose, then lay body on the ground. Begin to lift arms and legs off the floor, one inch at the same time. Continue for 40 seconds.
Flutter: Reach you arms back, pulling your legs up ease into bow pose and hold for 20 seconds.

Move six: Goddess Fly
Fly: Raise to plank, jump your legs forward and position into Goddess Squat. Continue a weighted Goddess Squat for 40 seconds.
Flutter: Hold low Goddess squat and pulse arms upward for 20 seconds.

You will preform this circuit two times through, but the second time on your other leg.
In between each circuit, do this for 8 minutes, with as few breaks as possible.
40 high knees, 30 gliders and 10 star jumps. Repeat. This will get your heart-rate flying.

Post Number Two: Friday Five

I’m starting a new weekly entry.

The Friday Five

Essentially what this will consist of is five things I really want to share with my – however few there are – readers. There will be five topics (Favorite Moment, Favorite Food, Favorite Exercise, Favorite Craft and Favorite Quote). Ya ready?

Favorite Moment

Spending a beautiful night with my boyfriend, Omar, only to wake up with him next to me!

This, right here, is one of my most cherished pieces of jewelry. He bought it for me when he was away on a trip. I absolutely love everything about it. When I work out, I need to remove it, or else it whacks me in the face. The first thing I do, Omar, after working out, is putting it back on. I hate being with it. 🙂

Favorite Food

After a lot of hmm’ing and haw’ing, I decided to take the shrimp out of my freezer today and put it to use. I made a really tasty salad of grilled shrimp, grilled asparagus, celery, mushrooms and greens, with a peanut coconut lime dressing. It was good.

Oh, yes. Of course there was quinoa!

Favorite Exercise

Currently I am loving anything inspired by Yoga and Barre. I have a great interest in getting more involved with Barre, and have been doing ample reasearch on Barre3 (as it blends together my three favorite work out styles: yoga, pilates and barre).

Favorite Quote

I thought that this was perfect for the theme of my week: accepting change and not being afraid. Instead of fearing what I don’t know, I need to start wanting to try new things and be more open to the possibility to what I could learn.

Favorite Craft

OK. I think this is nifty. I don’t know if I’d use it for my wedding, but I really like the idea. And, I tend to have a few extra tiles… so maybe!

But also…

Painting some serious clay! 😀

– – –

These are my Friday Five for this week.
I will make those things! I will. 🙂

Stay sweet,

Caitlyn.

Post one of the day: June Challenge! YOGA

Well, first things first!

I divided my posts into two because this one is just for the challenge, while my other one will be all rambles and good stuff!

june yoga challenge
Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

I’ve been doing my own thing with the yoga challenge, to be quite honest. Being that I an aspiring yoga/Pilates instructor, I’ve been using the June Yoga challenge as a way to test myself and see if I can actually create my own yoga sequences (instead of just following others).

This week I incorporated yoga everyday with awesome Sun Salutes!

Session One: I did a ab yoga sequence the included boat pose, plank pose, side plank, followed my a classic Warrior 1/2/3 sequence.
Session two: I used Goddess pose, chair pose and Warrior three pose in a circuit to tone my booty.
Session three: I did the Long and Lean (10 minute) routine from TIU beach babe DVD.

Session four (personal favorite of the week) was a tricep focused work out (see yesterday’s post for the work out). I managed to incorporate dolphin pose and inverted plank pose, which I hadn’t done, yet. It was a great challenge for me.

Today’s session was also very yoga based. It was an workout with core focus, that used yoga poses, as well as Pilates, to tone, shed fat and stretch – my front body needed some elongating.

today’s workout

Saluting your Sunshine Abs
Needed: yoga mat, interval timer
Set your interval timer to three five minute rounds (40/20 intervals), with 5 minute breaks.

2 minute cardio warm up of choice.

5 minute yoga ab routine – do each yoga posture/toning exercise for one minute.
– Plank with alternating knee pull ins (pull right knee to right side of chest, then return and repeat on left side). 1 minute
– Side plank oblique twists (Think of TIU warm hugs) 30 seconds each side.
– Mountain climbers. 1 minute
– Low plank / chatarunga hold. 1 minute
– Plank with alternating knee pull ins, with oblique focus (pull right knee to left side of chest, then return and repeat on left side). 1 minute.

5 minute HIIT: This is your cardio. 40/20 intervals. Anything you want. Bike, jog, sprint, body weight work! I did high knees, oblique squats, and gliders for this. Lately – just a side note – for cardio, I’ve been loving just jumping around, haha. Anything that’ll get my sweating, basically.

5 minute break. Not! This will be a yoga AMRAP challenge. Complete a vinyasa flow styled Sun Salute (mountain–>forward bend–>forward bent with back extended–>jump to plank–>chataranga—>upward dog–>plank–>downward dog–> jump to forward bend–>mountain pose) (each pose to breath) continuously for 2.5-5 minutes. Once you’re until able to continue (don’t push yourself too far!) rather a) rest in child’s pose for 30 seconds and then continue the rest of the time with a light jog/walk. Or, just go right into a light jog/walk.

Repeat the 5 minute HIIT above! Again, any way you want.

5 minute AMRAP challenge. Yep, again. Only this time. Add some Warrior Woman material! mountain–>forward bend–>forward bent with back extended–>jump to plank–>chataranga—>upward dog–>plank–>downward dog–> pull right leg forward to warrior one –> return to plank –> repeat on left –> return to plank –> jump to forward bend–>mountain pose. Again, when tired, please listen to your body and stop. These vinyasas create heat and flow and could therefore cause one to become rather a) dizzy or b) light-headed. We don’t want that, at all. Ensure that with each pose you’re watching your form. Get the positioning right, then worry about how fast you’re going. Keep in tune with your breath. Connect with it.

5 minute yoga ab work in boat pose. One minute of each move.
– Boat star move (lean back, tips of toes place gently to the ground and with straight arms, twist your torso, allowing your hands to reach the ground behind you. This will work your obliques. Keep core engaged. 1 minute
– Low boat hold. 1 minute
– Full boat hold. 1 minute
– Lie on your back with your head one inch from the ground and alternate lifting you legs and reaching for your foot with your opposite hand. 1 minute
– Place arms behind you, sturdy, but lean back to really engage the abs. Hold one leg one inch from the ground and hold that other roughly 45 degress from the ground. Point your toe and make small circles with your foot. Continue for 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.

Stretch and done.

As mentioned before, my front body needed serious attention. So, I created a 5 minute yoga flow, holding each pose for about five breaths.
Mountain–> forward bend –> plank –> upward dog –> downward dog –> warrior one –> reverse warrior –> repeat, but with other leg –> plank –> downward dog –> staff pose –> inverted plank –> staff pose –> cat/cow stretch –> camel pose –> plank –> pigeon with back leg up (90 degree angle in the knee) –> continue that pose, but reach arms back holding erected foot with both hands, to really hope the front body –> repeat on other side –> plank pose –> downward dog –> child’s pose –> savasana!

It was something along those lines. I knew what parts of my body required stretchin’ attention. It wasn’t really planned, just done. 🙂

I think that sums it up.

My favorite move by far this week was my Warrior 1-Warrior 3 tricep move.

If you missed it before, essentially, you begin in Warrior 1, with your hands above your head holding 2-5 lb dumbbells. You then preform one overhead Tricep extension and as you return your hands to an upright position, you lean forward into a Warrior three pose, while strongly bringing your arms forward in front of you, then preforming one tricep extension from that position. After you complete 15 reps of that, hold warrior three and create small backward pulses with your arms.

It is so effective! I love it.

Stay sweet. 🙂

Opening up your heart; opening up your world

Good morning lads and lasses!

over the breakfast bowl

When you meet someone and fall in love there are certain things that you need to open your mind to. First, your heart. You need to allow them into your heart. You need to be willing to let yourself feel for them, while letting them feel for you, as well. You can’t be embarrassed to feel or to express, to have or to hold.

When I first decided to experiment with love, I thought that this would be the most difficult thing to do. I was wrong.

Letting someone into your whole world is by far the scariest part.

Sometimes, you’re legs… they’re not perfectly shaved. Other times, you are moody or upset for no apparent reason (which, we blame on PMS even if it isn’t that specific time of our cycle). Or, in my case, you’re life is a certain way and you’re scared how someone will fit into each facet of it. Even if the person doesn’t care how you spend your day, as long as you choose to spend it with them.

As mentioned in my last post I have never been good with change. Not at all.

Last night, my boyfriend surprised me – quite amazingly – by bringing all of the needed materials to not go home and spend the night. Now, this wasn’t the first time we had spent the night together, and I had been hinting to him how much I wanted him to, but the moment he told me I started to panic.

Why?

Every morning I have what I call my ‘me’ time. During 80% of the day, I’m open and friendly, talkative to no end. However during the hours of 6:00AM and 7:45AM, I have my me-time. I get up, have a small 1/2 breakfast, let it set while planning out my workout, workout, wash and the other half of my breakfast. The breakfast pre-work out focuses on energy supply for my workout, while the breakfast following focuses on protein and some carbs, for recovery purposes. After that, my day goes like the rest of the world. During this time, I’m very quiet. It’s my introspective time for me to think, reflect and calm my mind. I was scared – for some reason – for my boyfriend to see this.

He (like with almost everything I freak out about) didn’t really see any issue. He completely understood that I needed my ‘me’ time because a lot of people need ‘me’ time.

Needless to say, I realize in hindsight that I completely overreacted. The night was absolutely perfect. And, the next day was even better. I did my thing and he did his. Afterward, we came together and discussed our things. It was lovely! I guess I just need to remember that when you fall for someone, everything they do is perfect. Even if it drives you crazy, because you’re crazy about them.

challenges and changes

Something big has made a change. Something really, really big.

I’m sure you’ve seen this guy…

Well, there is a new bowl in the rotation!

The other day, Omar and I went to a local clay painting place and did some serious painting of clay. I wanted a new oatmeal bowl, so it was clear what needed to be done…

That said, I couldn’t leave the one I was with unmentioned.


He made one too!

The back reads, “I love you to the moon”, which is one of our sayings to each other.

I’ve also decided to change up my work outs, ever so slightly.

Again? Really?

Yes!

Why?

Because I’ve been falling more and more in love with yoga, Pilates and – now – Barre. So, I’ve been doing the research and finding ways to incorporate them all into my daily work outs!

The Plan:
Sunday = 20 minuts HIIT + 20-35 minutes of flow yoga
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday = 16-25 minute HIIT + 20 minutes of upper and lower body toning (Monday is focused more on arms, back and chest and Wednesday is most focused on legs and my glutes; Saturday is just whatever I want).
Tuesday and Friday = 20-30 minutes of cardio and ab work (10-15 minutes of ab work).
Thursday is a focused day. I’ll pick one body part and REALLY challenge it.

Today is Thursday! Therefore, a challenge was called for.

A Tri-ing Warrior Work Out
What You’ll Need: Interval timer, yoga mat, 3-5lb dumbbell, water.
Set your time to two rounds of 45/15 intervals, with a 5 minute break in the middle

Begin with a 2 minute cardio warm up. Jogging in place is fine!

Circuit One: Tri to be a Warrior!
Begin in Warrior One position. Hands held firmly over head, with weights pressed together. Preform one overhead Tricep extension. From there, slowly lean forward – core engaged – lifting your left leg behind you, easing into a Warrior Three pose. As you continue this fluid motion, create an erected arm over your head and with complete control, pull arms back into a back extension. That’s one rep. Complete fifteen, balancing on your right leg.

At 15 reps, hold warrior 3 pose and begin pulse your arms back. Keep core and stationary leg strong.

Repeat once on other side.

Preform a 8 minute HIIT (45/15 intervals). Any form of cardio you want.

5 Minute Tri Challenge!

One minute each, until fail!
– Reverse plank leg raises, alternating
– Table position tri dips
– Jog
– Tricep push ups
– Low (chataranga) plank hold.

Preform another 8 minute HIIT (45/15 intervals).

Repeat first circuit again!

Stretch and done.

This work out was awesome! I’m loving the combination of yoga moves with Pilates moves.
My tris are feeling this bad boy!

That’s all for now.

Oh no! Oat meal is gone and my post is over.

Stay sweet.

Caitlyn. 🙂

Getting comfortable

Good morning lads and lasses!

over the breakfast bowl

It’s a big word. Well, actually, it is a medium sized word, with a big impact. What word?

Change.

We all know about it. We’ve experienced it, discussed it. We could love it; we could hate it. Either way, it’s always there. Each day we wake up, we’re prepared for it. Or, perhaps we’re not, and freak out when it should occur. Regardless of its relationship with us, change has a way of coming in and often causing stress.

Your job is having cuts in hours, so you need to lose a few; you injure your leg, so you can’t run on it until told otherwise; after nine months of planning a beautiful wedding, you and you’re significant other realize that perhaps this isn’t what either of you want, thereby leaving you single. These are all examples of changes in one’s life that could easily cause someone to become frantic and/or depressed. This is especially true if you’re of the variety of people who find it difficult to ‘go-with-the-flow’ (me). That’s right, I’ve never been good with change.

For as long as I can remember change has freaked the heck out of me. Even still, I find it to be a difficult thing to get used to. Ask anyone who knows me; I’m a very structured person. Now, I’ll have you know, in most senses, I love it. Organization and planning – for me – is relaxing. I like to have things planned out perfectly, so I know everything will go well. That said, when things fail to do so, it does lead me to a wee bit of stress.

So, I have a new plan:

Changing Challenge

In My Workouts
I’ve already begun with this. Each day, I try to incorporate a new move I’ve never done before. I also rarely repeat the same workout twice. A year ago, it was all yoga. All of it. Same routine everyday. Which, was fine for a while, but did cause boredom. Now, I’m learning to incorporate HIIT protocols, yoga, Pilates, Barre movements, and classic strength and body weight training into my work outs. Alternatively, I’ve learned to work with – instead of against – my own body. To be quite frank, I’ve seen more results in the past few months (since I started developing my own, shorter routines) than I did following people fitness gurus – excluding the ToneItUp girls and ZuzkaLight. Currently I’m loving my yoga toning hybrids with bursts of cardio. They’re well-rounded and highly effective.

In my Life
This one definitely needs work, I’ll admit. I am going to start trying new foods (vegetables, most likely), pushing myself out of my comfort zone a little more often and take up a few new hobbies. These hobbies may include: cake decorating, floral arrangement, clay painting (:P). There is a craft store right next to where I work and I plan to head over soon to check out what exactly that offer in terms of classes. I, personally, love crafts. I find doing them very relaxing. So, why not take up a few that interest me?

It is also important to me that these hobbies I pick up, are in no way fitness related. I have a huge passion for fitness, yes. But I think it is also very important to have other things in your life. So, flowers and cakes it is.

And… maybe…

Maybe I’ll eventually rock this length….

Regardless, I think it is very important to learn to love change. It is not something to fear, but something to embrace. I don’t know about you, but when a positive change happens in my life, I get the most incredible feeling; and how will you know whether a change will be positive or negative unless you take a change?

Get comfortable with change. It could change you. 🙂

Stay sweet,

Caitlyn.

(An upper body yoga work out is soon to come!)