It’s been a while

university: more than just academically educating
signs on doors are often of great value
It was my first day of classes and – without any real regard – I walked into the class written on my weekly schedule. The professor had been incredibly late, while I had been incredibly early. After about ten minutes, the prof decided it was time to show up. Apparently she was unaware of how far her office was from the classroom.Tardiness is unacceptable.
Regardless, after about two-three minutes into the lecture and a whole bunch of words I didn’t know, I turned to the girl on my right and sheepishly asked, ‘is this Research Methods in Psychology?’
The girl looked at me, puzzled, and replied: ‘No. No, this is taxonomy’.
First of all, I don’t know what ‘taxonomy’ is, but if ‘tax’ and/or ‘taxes’ are involved, one can assume business and/or money is also involved and therefore a one Ms. Caitlyn Mearns needs to get out. So, quietly, I walked out with absolutely no idea as to where I was suppose to be.
Turns out, another building completely.
So, consequently, I boogied my ass right over to the right building and meandered about to find the right class, which by this point was already well on its way. Which, I’ll have you know is no walk in the park  (no pun, intended) considering womem of my age group seem to deem it completely reasonable to wear heals that are way too high for them, causing them to not only walk awkwardly, but slowly. Yeah, I have no time girls. You’re going to Mathematics, not Milan.
But, I digress.
I reached my destination, hoping to find that it was a large class, that allowed me to sneak in unnoticed. Nope. It was actually quite small, housing – at most – 20 students.
So, in the future, I intend to make sure I look around because apparently – unbeknownst to me – there was a sign outside of the original classroom, informing students of a classroom change. Observant? Me? Apparently not.
students are frugal s.o.b’s 
Being a fan of the ability to fold and contort my body in most unusual ways, it is not unlike me to do so in the chair of any given classroom. That is, I tend to sit and balled-up as virtually possible during lectures. Considering the areas where we need to sit tend to run… small, I often find myself placing my textbooks underneath my seat.
Now, being that I am – like – extremely focused, sometimes my mind slips and I leave mentioned book there. Not 75 minutes passed before I scurried back to that classroom to get my book and it had already been scooped up. Now, in the event that this was not a school-made course book valued at 20 dollars, I probably would have had a stroke. But, I just bought a new one. Regardless, I have not again put any book – coursebook or otherwise – under my chair.
being awkward is not something the decreases with age
The moment I turned 21, I thought maybe – just maybe – that would lend itself to my being a little less awkward. Turn the big ol’ two-one is an exciting thing, right? Well, I think it is possible that my levels of awkwardness have only proven to show a correlation with my increasing age: it’s going up with it.
After getting out of class and meandering through my bag – starving – looking for my apple, I looked up to see this guy from my high school. He had changed a fair bit, and I hadn’t seen him for two years so I had to adjust my eyes on him a bit. Anyhow, point is, there I am apple in mouth, apple juice dripping down my chin giving this guy the shocked, “I know you” look that is still somewhat laced with the, “Wait – do I know you?” look.
This would have been weird, yes, but had he of remembered me it would have been justified. Most unfortunately, he did not. So, I merely looked like a apple-hungry weirdo giving him the weird set of eyes known to man.
you’re mind is stronger than your body – lactic acid can kiss me arse
Since there is now a change in my schedule, there is also a change in my routine. Instead of my normal morning routines, I’ve broken it into two smaller routines (20ish minutes each). One in the morning and one in the afternoon. My morning one is mostly cardio with some body weight training and I usually do some toning exercises in the afternoon.  I’ve started to lift a bit heavier and I love it. I’ve also incorporated more yoga – much more yoga. I’ve re-re fallen in love. I happily say I’ve mastered (MASTER) crow pose.
I used to be afraid of working out twice a day. Furthermore, I used to be afraid of only sweating for 20 minutes (typically each work out runs to 30 minutes long, but I do a lot of stretches). But, nope. Turns out, my body loves it and I do too.
school is my home away from home and i’ve missed it
This will sound lame, but on the way to my school I pass where I was working. Or, rather, was working full time. There have been two to three occasions where in I almost turned to my father – who drives me to the bus stop so I don’t have to transfer… cha-ching! – where he was going because he was passing work. It would only be for a split moment until I realized that I wasn’t going to work.
Additionally, last night at work I was talking to a woman about ‘getting out’. I used to literally fear my permanence in retail. Maybe it was just my own insecurities getting the best of me, but I used to look at my name tag and think, ‘get used to it Princess’.
Furthermore, school has pushed me to get better my health. And by that, I mean my diet. And my fitness regime. Each day I go to school I am reminded that I have an entire life ahead of me. A career, a beautifully amazing boyfriend to whom I plan to share a life with (a home, children and probably a few furry friends, included)… I need to get over this. First of all, I want to be strong and beautiful, not brittle.
I’ve decided to commit to 30 minutes of exercise, daily. I love to work out each day, but I need to remember… you don’t need to hurt yourself or over do it. I’m also going to focus more on strength training and yoga, rather than cardio. Essentially, it’ll look like this
Monday and Wednesday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of lower body work .
Tuesday and Thursday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of upper body work.
Saturday and Sunday: 30 minutes of cardio (5 warm up, 20 HIIT, 5 cool down)
Friday: 45 minute of Spin N’ Stretch (this is my own thing, that incorporates my spin bike and my yoga mat)
These times are pretty set in stone. Until I can prove to myself that I can eat more, I am to stick to these time constraints. This said, stretching is not part of the time limits. If I want to do a 20 minute yoga routine on top of this, I can. Why? Because yoga – in my mind – is more important than anything else. Yoga has toning benefits, cardiovascular benefits, without killing you.
As goes for my food, I’m – effective immediately – increasing my caloric intake. Generally speaking, people – active or not – should be taking in 1900-2100 calories, depending upon their sex and stuff. Well, I’m still at 1750 (on a good day). Last night, I finally made it to 1850 and today will be not different.
I will still have my six meals. Why? Because I still think eating smaller meals is better. But, I will NEED to ensure that these small meals are not… so small. So, essentially, until I can do this without numbers
I will have three meals of 400 calories
and three snacks of  200 calories
🙂 Wish my luck!
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The Other 47 don’t Really Matter…

To start, I have two small things to say:
1) Does anyone else find that certain texts on your computer make it easier for you to write more eloquently? I do. I always HAVE to write in Georgia or Times New Roman, but I do prefer Georgia. If it is for something professional, I will change the text following the editorial and writing processes, because I need to write in my Georgia to really get my point across. I know, I know. I’m nuts.
2) Is anyone else jazzed the Canada metaled in Synchronized Swim? I AM!
three shades of gray
I decided that today I would write a ditty on the different ‘grey’ areas in life. Everyone – regardless of your age, sex and so on – have moments wherein they discover that things are not simply black or white. In fact, more often than not this proves to be the case. Over the past few years, I’ve found this to be true in several facets of my life. In my relationship, in my education, in my fitness and healthy lifestyle pursuits. You name it, there is a grey area.
 
lightest gray: healthy fitness

There is a very fine and faint line between a ‘healthy’ exerciser/eater and an ‘unhealthy’ one. I’ve straddled the line and I’ve been on both sides, so I can tell you this much – being is a healthy eater is far more exception.
Unfortunately, coming with a truly clean and healthy lifestyle, judgement is bound to grow – especially if you’re like me and have an unhealthy history. Some people might look at my current lifestyle and think: she has a problem. Why? Because I am very structural and intuitive in my eating habits, passionate and committed to a workout routine, have a slight obsession with anything related to yoga/Pilate and Ballet Barre… et cetera. To me, this is life. To others it could look like an unhealthy addiction, driven by my past issues.
I understand this. Completely. I mean, yes, in the past I underwent a lot of issues, but working out isn’t so black and white (eh?). People who work out and eat right will all have their own reasons for doing so. Mine is no longer to lose weight, but merely stay toned and feel happy. I do some of my best thinking while working out. It calms me, makes me feel attractive and elegant. I can’t explain it; I just love it. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, if you see someone who seems to be extremely dedicated/addicted to exercise, take the time to really get to know their work out schedule (if you truly care that much), or even just take the time to get to know them! Yes, perhaps you’ll discover that their mentality toward a sweating session isn’t ideal, but maybe you’ll discover that they have a love for it, similar to your love of… reading, or playing video games or… for me, writing and helping people (and, let’s be honest, fitness).
Furthermore – on the topic of fitness, alone – each person has their own idea of what is and isn’t challenging or fun. As I have said many times, I’ve tried to be a cardio lover… I’m just not. You will never see my running a marathon (that said, I’d totally be on the side lines cheering you on… maybe doing some jump squats or a burpee ;D). It just isn’t for me. I do love getting a good sweat on, but I have found other more effective ways of doing so (for me). Again, I state: healthy fitness is not something that can put tucked into one category! Healthy fitness could simply be walking for 20-30 minutes every night after dinner. Does it make you happy? Do you feel good about doing it? Do you feel good about yourself while doing it? Then that’s all that really matters. Don’t feel the need to have the perfect legs, or the greatest buns or whatever! Just love life and you’ll shine!
light grey: healthy diet
This is another one similar to the category above. The definition of ‘healthy eating’ is not simple, at all. It might be more complicated than the definition of healthy fitness, to be completely frank. People watch others all the time and compare what foods they’re stuffing in their mouth to the food others are stuffing into their mouths. STOP. Right now, in this moments, quit it. Okay?
First of all, everyone’s body has a different genetic makeup, so why would we all eat the same way? We wouldn’t. Some people can’t handle certain foods, while others can; some people metabolize food more quickly, causing them to require a higher intake of X, while others need more Y. It’s all about your body at the end of the day.
Let’s talk about potatoes.
Let’s talk about popcorn.
Contrary to what you might think, both are extremely nutrient dense foods. AKA: healthy (of course, coating them in butter and other saturates will lessen this, but on the whole… they’re super good for you). I don’t eat either.
Let’s look at pre-packaged granola bars like Fiber One and Havest Crunch.
Both – in my opinion – hold creditable nutrition, yet I don’t eat them… ever.
Let’s look at chocolate.
Gets a pretty bad rep, right?
I eat it daily.
Yeah, yeah. And I probably eat kale like their is no tomorrow, right?
Uh, no. I never eat kale. Use to – not anymore.
So, what gives? I am a self-credited ‘health  nut’, am I not?
Well, I most certainly am!
To start, potatoes and most other starches (with an excepting to oatmeal, some cereals and quinoa) cause my a great deal of pain and… I don’t like them. While most people see a plate of pasta and think ‘heaven’, I think ‘okay, cool’. I used to love it, but I just don’t anymore. I’ve much rather a plate full of broccoli or brussel sprouts…. or both. Okay, both. It’s just my preference. There is nothing wrong with these foods, at all. So, when I say I don’t eat them… I don’t mean you shouldn’t either. I mean… I don’t eat them. For my own reasons. Popcorn, on the other hand, has more to do with my not being much of a snack-er. I never feel the need to ‘snack’, so snack foods and I don’t really happy. I have snacks, but I look at them more as one of my mini-meals.
As for the granola bars, I do ample research on a product before eating it. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with entire of the mentioned products, but they’re not really on my list of ‘highly approved foods’. Again, this in no way means that you shouldn’t eat them. I eat very ‘clean’. What does that mean? Everything I eat, I eat in what can be considered it’s truest form. I don’t not eat granola bars, but I have a list of companies I try to stick to when choosing to do so (Luna, Kind, Lara and Simply). This also goes for crackers (Lentil Crackers and Nut Thins). I look for products with minimal ingredients and try to find products that have few-to-no GMOs. I am also in favor of Kashi products, too. But don’t think because I’m  not (or anyone, really) eating a certain food you are eating, there is a reason you shouldn’t be eating. I don’t even eat ‘clean’ solely to be ‘healthy’, it’s just something I’ve been doing for so long that to not doing it would be… weird.
Chocolate and kale? Well, I am not huge on kale. First of all, I do like a good kale chip, so when I crave that, I’ll buy some. But often I find it to be too much work (yes, lazy). I like it, but I’d rather buy pre-washed and cut foods to make my life easier. Shoot me. Chocolate, I just really like it. A year ago, I’d never eat chocolate. Ever. But now I enjoy dark chocolate nightly (and have even purchased white and milk chocolate granola), so chocolate is on my list. I am much more interested in the sharp taste of dark dark chocolate than I am milk, but if you like milk… eat it!
All in all ‘healthy eating’, is eating in a mindful way that makes your body feel good. That’s all. Don’t feel the need to eat this, or do this in order to be deemed ‘healthy’. If you’re happy with your meals and love how you feel in your skin, my opinion is, you couldn’t be doing any better.
grey: love and intimacy

Love is a gray area onto itself. First it is impossible to define, or explain and you don’t really know how it feels until you truly experience it. I know this first-hand. I used to think I knew what love was, but I didn’t. In friendships, in relationships… with my family. I thought I had it all figured out. But it isn’t that simple.
First of all, you can be intimate without being in love. An individual I know (well, a few) have been intimate with people they didn’t really ‘love’ several times. This used to confuse the heck out of me. First of all, intimacy is the act of closeness and love… so should you not be in love with the person you’re being intimate with? For me, yes. For others, maybe not.
This above all else has become the most notable ‘gray’ area I’ve come to meet.
There are one thousand reasons one might be intimate with another person. Maybe they are hurting and need some solace, or they enjoy their time with the person, but know that it is not something that will leave the confines of an intimate setting. Perhaps there was genuine love in the past and while that love was easy to let go, the physicality of their relationship was not so easy to.
This is something I’ve had to come to terms with in the past. I have had to learn to accept and support others for their choices in intimate encounters, regardless of whether or not it is something I would or would not do. Everyone has their reasons for needing things – just as I have my reasons for not eating certain foods and exercising daily. There should never been any judgement, because there is never a true reason to judge.
What about love?
In most things in my life, I’m crazy structural and planned out. Love isn’t structured and love isn’t planned. Love will hit you when you least expect it – probably for someone you didn’t expect to fall. Love is also not two 2d. When you fall in love, an array of emotions comes over you. You begin to think of that person before yourself and all the time. You want nothing more than to see them happy – sometimes to a fault. You can’t explain why and even though you never thought you’d be the kind of girl who gets excited over making some one a chicken sandwich, you do.
But as I stated before there are several kinds of love, and it cannot be easily defined. My love for my mother is different than the love for my father, as my love for Omar differs from both. Similarly the emotions harbored by another individual toward their close ones could manifest itself completely differently than mine might. Everyone is different, so even love cannot be compared.
Just on a side note: Please don’t be afraid of love. I used to be. I’m still often fearful of intimacy, but love I’ve come to terms with. If you open your heart and let someone truly in, you’ll never ever want to go back. So don’t fear love and don’t fear intimacy. The closeness you’ll experience with those to whom you are intimate with will be breath-taking, I promise you. I just feel I am unable to lecture too heavily to that, being that I still have my own growing to do in this field. Luckily I’ve found an amazing man who is willing to work with me through all my little nits and pics.
🙂
Holy poo, I am pasty.
Stay Sweet, 🙂
Caitlyn

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

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!)

Gone, but not forgotten

Good morning lads and lasses,

over the breakfast bowl

When I originally decided to start a blog focusing on wellness and nutrition, I came up against a few considerations:

  • What will be my main focus?
  • How will I make people want to read my blog?
  • Or, further more, how will I make people return to my blog?
    But most importantly…
  • How personal am I will to get?

The first three questions were easy to answer. Firstly – and quite obviously – my main focus would be on fitness, food/nutrition, lifestyle and wellness and general well-being of one’s self (side note: does anyone else find it easier to type something up if you like the font you’re typing in?). Next, I tackled the ‘how’. I decided the best way to do it was to just be myself. And although I’m still very much in the beginning stages of my blogging life, I feel a great deal of promise that one day I will be more established (just wait for it).

It was the last question that had me stumped. How personal am I willing to get?

At first I thought I should be only moderately personal. Truthfully, no one needs to know these things about me, so there is no real reason for me to have to share them. Then, I decided to get a little deeper. In all honesty, I don’t see there to be anything to be ashamed of regarding my struggles. Yes, I spent three years struggling with disordered eating. Yes, I’ve done things to my body that I am not proud of. Yes. That did happen. So, instead of letting that go in complete vain, I thought I’d try to do what I can to ensure that other people with similar struggles have someone to turn to (feel free at any time to e-mail me with questions or concerns; I’d love to help). I wanted people to know that somewhere out there live a girl who understands completely.

But, with that, I also had to decide to commit to full disclosure. Let’s call a spade a spade, here. A blog – in many ways – is one’s personal diary put onto the internet, in hopes of connecting with people and having their voice heard. I knew exactly what I was committing to; I still do. Unfortunately having something so personal become public knowledge does leave room for speculation.

I don’t intend to get into too many details – that’d be too personal 😛 – but, it has become apparent to me that once you have struggled with something such as an eating disorder, it will always be somewhat attached to you. I am not suggesting that my recovery is complete. I think there is a fine line between being a healthy freak and having a disordered relationship with eating and currently, I feel I’m walking it (though, the wind seems to be going in the right direction, so soon I might fall to the right side). Regardless of how I feel, those who care for me will always have it in the back of their mind. It would be no different, I suppose, then a person covering from alcoholism. In any event that they should be in the company of an alcoholic beverage, it would not be surprising for someone to worry about the aforementioned recovering alcoholic.

Same goes for me – and other ED recovers, alike. Should we go to the bathroom too many times, purging is a fair concern; should we seem like we’re picking out food, it’s quite possible we’re restricting. In actuality, we could truthfully not be hungry, or maybe we just have a case of the runs (TMI?… TMI.) Regardless of the actual reason, visuals of unpleasant actions will dance in their heads.

At first, when this occurred to me I immediately felt somewhat embarrassed. I can’t explain why, but I did. Then, after some more thinking, I realized that it was absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.  In fact, I should feel comforted by the fact that there are people out there who care for me so greatly. Which, I do. I love knowing that I have people who worry and care about my. Who have my back and support me, no matter what. Yes, if I could disconnect myself with my bad experiences, I would, gladly. But, I cannot. This is something that has happened to me; this is something that has made me who I am today: a strong, happy individual.

If you’re like me and have any embarrassments about your past struggles, don’t. They’ve formed you into the beautiful person you are right now. Whether you’ve dealt with death, suicidal thoughts, EDs, self mutilation, self disgust, anything! If you’ve ever faced any challenge in your life, considering yourself beautiful for getting through it. You made it, guys. I made it, too. For that, you should be nothing but proud.

june yoga challenge
Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

This week all of my workouts incorporated yoga! 🙂
Each day I did a series of Sun Salutes, which I love very much (it’s becoming my favorite way to warm up my body. Especially when I include my Sweaty Sun Salute.

One was just a simple core series – a lot of boat poses, roughly 30 minutes.
The other ones were designed by yours truly!
One was focused on your core: Widdle Your Middle
One was focused on your legs: Warrior Woman Workout
And one was focused on the upper body: Chaturanga Charge Workout

I am loving my fusions. Today I attempted to do a yoga fusion, with a focus on your shoulders and your back. And, although it did get my heart rate up, it isn’t ready for publication just yet.

Although,
This week I discovered a move I love. I call it the “Downward Dog to Plank”. Basically you just hold downward dog, then pull forward into plank, holding eat posture for a few seconds. It really works the back, core and shoulders, but also gets the heart rate up!

Give it a try!

Anyhow,
Stay sweet!

Caitlyn.

Why you need to be a Warrior sometimes…

Good Morning, you lovely lovely people!

over the breakfast bowl

I am not sure why people are such grouches sometimes. I really don’t.

I mean, we only live for, like, a hundred year max, which doesn’t give you a lot of time, when you really put things into perspective. So, why is it that some people waste time being a royal pain in the rump?

Being a retail associate I am forced to surround myself with a multitude of different people every day of my life. Now, contrary to what most people suggest, I don’t find the vast majority of customers that annoying. In fact, the customers make my job worth going to in a lot of cases. I love to get to know them, find out what they’re going to use their purchases for and so on and so forth. Generally speaking, I love that aspect of retail.

This might just have something to do with my need to, you know, talk.

Nevertheless, yesterday I was plagued by a not-so-kind individual who actually caused me to – I’ll say it – cry. Now, I am not going to sit here and suggest that I didn’t overreact. I’ve always been of the variety of people who wear their heart heavily on their sleeve. I hate disappointing people, so when some one is disappointed, it gets to me.

This woman was cruel, however. It was as if nothing I said would calm her down. She began to holler at me, while I was working, which – let’s be honest – is not only hurtful but embarrassing in a public setting. Eventually a member of management stepped in and allowed me to go calm myself down.

This is when it occurred to me.

I’ve been doing this for five years. Should I not be used to it by now?

I’ve dealt with a great number of these customers and it never seems to get any easier for me. I look at other people, like my father, my boyfriend and even my mother as of lately, handle these customers without letting it really get to them. For some reason, I have an issue doing that.

I know I need to toughen my skin; I do. I just couldn’t be less informed as to how to do it.

So, I am going to just put out a little message:

First, customer, our jobs are not easy. We’re constantly pooped on and not treated with respect. We work hard and receive very little recognition – well, most of us. So please, take it easy on us. OK? And I promise we will be good to you.

Now, to everyone like me, we need to toughen up our skin! Find something that makes you feel strong. I think of my boyfriend and my Mama. I think about how strong they are and how far they’ve come, and I realize we’re all capable of anything.

Then, I think of my fitness and progress. I think about how far I’ve come and how physically strong I feel. I think about my 35 minute mornings; the best sweat sessions there could be.

Then I think about my plans for the future and how they’ve developed. I plan to go places and one day these people will mean nothing to me.

Lastly, I think about that person. I think about why they’re so angry. Then, I smile because I know that my life is probably going to be so much more fulfilling because I treat people kindly, instead of hurtfully.

today’s work out

Today’s theme is toughening up, and being a “warrior”. So, today, I designed a work out fit for a Warrior. 🙂

Warrior Woman Workout
This is a lower body yoga fusion work out
You’ll need: Yoga mat, interval timer.

Set your interval timer to 3 rounds of 6 minutes (30 seconds low, 1 minute high) with 5 minutes ‘rest’ in between – again, not used for rest, so rest as needed.
Begin with a Warm Up: 1 minute of jogging and 1 minute of sun salutations, AMRAP

Start with your five minute cardio AMRAP
50 high knees, 30 jump squats, 25 jump lunges, 30 skaters

Series One: Warrior One/Warrior Two Series
30 seconds hold Warrior One Position (left)
1 minute forward lunges (left) – last 20 seconds pulse in the lunge position
30 seconds hold Warrior One Position (right)
1 minute forward lunges (right) – last 20 seconds pulse in the lunge position
30 seconds hold Warrior Two Position (left)
1 minute right side lunges – last 20 seconds pulse in the side lunge position
30 seconds hold Warrior Two position (left)
1 minute side right side lunges – last 20 seconds pulse in the side lunge position

Complete your five minute AMRAP (above)

Series Two: Chair Position Series
30 seconds hold chair pose
1 minute squat with right left raise to the side
30 seconds hold chair pose
1 minute squat with left leg raise to the side
30 second hold chair pose
1 minute pulse in a low squat
30 second hold chair pose
1 minute full squats

Complete your five minute AMRAP (above)

Series Three: Warrior Three series
30 seconds hold warrior three position (balance on left leg)
1 minute back leg raise on left (keep leg straight and raise)
30 seconds hold warrior three position (balance on right leg)
1 minute back leg raise on right (keep leg straight and raise)
30 seconds hold warrior three position (balance on left leg)
1 minute curtsy lunge with leg raise (with slightly bent knee; on left)
30 seconds hold warrior three position (balance on right leg)
1 minute curtsy lunge with leg raise (with slightly bent knee; on right)

Complete your five minute AMRAP (above)

Stretch and done! 🙂

That is all!

Here is something pretty to look at:

Mama told me the other day that she loved this picture. So I found it to put it up.
Love you, Mama Bear. 🙂

Stay sweet,
Caitlyn

Throwin’ it Back and Thankin’ you

Good morning!

over the breakfast bowl

I wanted to take a moment to thank every single person who has perused my page. Whether you were on here for two minutes and left or stuck around and got to know more about me, it means a great deal. Truly.

The moment Ed walked into my life, into my life also came a personality that found it difficult to connect to people. I almost always felt estranged, or different; I didn’t belong. This is not uncommon among people familiar with this pest. I felt as if no one truly understood me. Someone offered me a certain food and I felt like that were poking fun of me – even if they didn’t know about it – because of my fear and insecurities. It’s hard to explain this emotion to people who have never experienced such issues, but it makes connection very difficult.

As a result, I definitely kept to myself. Finding solace only in the pages on the web. Then, one day, I was worried about my consumption of nut butters, so I asked Google – who, at the time, was my best friend – ‘how much nut butter is too much nut butte?’ That is when I found this lovely gal and my life was forever changed.

From there, I discovered the world of fitness/food/health blogging. In many ways, it saved my life. To know that out there were hundreds of girls just like me was a breath of fresh air. I peered – from afar – at the lifestyle, scared to partake in it. I thought that my writing wasn’t strong enough, or my fitness regime wasn’t interested enough. Essentially, I didn’t think I was good enough.

Then, I decided to say screw it.

I need to make connections with people regarding fitness and health. A lot of the people in my life – although wonderful – do not share with me these passions. And although they do their very best to get excited for me, they cannot get excited with me, which is something I would love.

So, please, should you like what you read, don’t fear making a connection with me! I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

On another note, I’d just like to say. Never think you’re not good enough; never worry about that. You’re definitely good enough. If you want it enough, you’ll do it; if you want it hard enough; you’ll push through it. Never be embarrassed about your passions and dreams, because they make you beautiful. Right now, in my life, becoming a well-established blogger is my dream. Why? Because I want to help people who are like me, like you all have helped me. So, thank you and please come again. 🙂

today’s work out

Today I was a Throwback Thursday for this girl! I turned to my ToneItUp girls for inspiration an old ab circuit:

I sandwiched between a two 12 minute HIITs on my bike (two minutes of high intesnity, followed by one minute of rest). After that, I decided to see how long I can hold plank. Three minutes, apparently! OK, OK. I definitely put my knees down for a second or two. But, c’mon! We’ll say I did 90 seconds pure plank.

Go team!

Anyhow, stay sweet.

Here is something adorable for you to smile at (I know I am right now)

Caitlyn

Getting my Giggle Back

Good morning! I hope you all had a lovely sleep.

In moving my blog, I’ve also decided to evolve the layout a tad. Rather than just merely writing one entry day, I’ll write whenever I find the time. I am becoming extremely serious about making this – my blog – something ‘more’.

Now, don’t think each post is going to be a two-second read. No, no. I will still have my long ramblings, but typically speaking it would be wise to check in again in the evening, because there may just be a new read for your eyes!

over the breakfast bowl

Every morning I get up and have my breakfast, plan my workout and set my timer, then I start to think. So, I thought, why not share these pleasant thoughts with whomever stumbled upon my page? So, brace yourself!

Please note, from this point on I will refer to my disordered eating as ‘Ed’. I read that in a book once and I kind of liked it. I’d rather blame this all on Ed, then actually say the words. Kapish?

Before Ed came into my life, I was a girl who was always laughing! At herself, mostly, albeit, but always laughing. I was the type of girl who thought that no issue in life – no matter how big – couldn’t be solved with a smiled. And probably a good cuppa tea!

Then, upon meeting Ed, my smile kind of faded away.

Yesterday, I was playing cards with my mother (yes, I am a 20-year-old girl who would rather spend her weekends at home, kicking her mother’s rump at Crazy Eights, then going out and drinking or doing other young-adult activities) when it occurred to me how often I have been laughing lately. And, I mean, I am not talking just a chuckle here, or a chuckle there; I mean, full on laughter. Until my ribs hurt.

It is kind of incredible, getting your giggle back. Please don’t allowed your giggle to fade, everyone. A laugh is – by far – the most beautiful sound there is.

I’ve also noticed a few things that will always cause severe giggle attacks:

My Giggles
– Extremely bad and intentional puns;
– References from the TV show, ‘Friends’;
– Russell Peters;
– A baby laughing;
– Silly billy words little kids say;
– MamaBear’s weirdness;
– Stories MamaBear tells me about her and Auntie A;
– BabaBear in general;
– My dog, Zooey’s – you’ll learn more about her – routines;
– Van from the show Reba;
– (sad, but true) When you’re working out and it is really hard. Like, really. I don’t know why, but I always laugh when work outs get intense;
– How I can count the seconds at work until a co-worker of mine tells me how hot a customer was;
– How sometimes I manage to beat that co-worker to the punch in saying, ‘you liked him, didn’t ya?’;
– When I say or do really stupid things – more often than I’d like to admit;

The list could go on and on, I assure you.

today’s work out

This morning I woke up from a challenge from the ToneItUp girls to preform their Summer Slim Work Out along with 20-30 minutes of cardio. So, I intend to do the circuit three times, breaking it up with three eight-minute cardio blasts. I’ll be using lighter weights because my upper body is still a wee bit sore from my workout yesterday.

Nevertheless, I’m off to get ready for the days sweat-sesh!

Stay sweet,
Caitlyn