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
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White Lies, White Dresses and White Swan Work Out

wednesday w’s

This weeks post is divided into three very important topics. Being that I am a sucker for alliteration – as you well know – all topics begin with ‘W’! And further more, they all begin with ‘White’.

white lies
One thing I will never truly understand is lying. In my life time I  have told a small lie here or there in order to protect someone from getting hurt. The best example I can think of would be if someone asked me if I liked their shirt and I said I did when I really didn’t care for it. I mean, if someone wanted a really thought-out opinion, I’d give it to them no problem, but in these scenarios I feel it is not a big deal to just let them here what it is they want to hear.
It is larger, more ridiculous lies that I will never fully comprehend. You know the lies that are told with absolutely no reason at all.
Where in someone’s mind does it become OK to make up a completely incorrect story? Is there any real justification for the lying, or is it truly just a compulsion that you have absolutely no control over? Regardless of your personal motive, understand that lying and all other forms of balderdash will come back and bite you in the bum. Perhaps not right away, but with time, it will surely make it’s move on you.
As I mentioned above, I’ve never been one to really take to the practice of ‘lying’ – mostly due to the fact that I stutter and get sweaty palms and can’t lie very well. I have, however been on the receiving end. In my past, there have been situations wherein I’ve addressed a certain person regarding a certain situation and had the respond to me with nothing more than complete and utter bull-poop. Alternatively, I have also been in situations where I discover down the road that a person has lied about a great deal of things – leaving me shocked and kind of disgusted.
What does the do for you? How does this – in any way – further your life?
If you are of the variety of people who feel the need to lie about virtually everything, I think it might be wise of you to really think about your priorities in life. I think you should take some time to think about why it is you feel you need to lie. How will you ever know if someone likes you if you don’t let them see the real you? At the end of the day, would you not rather be praised for who you are, rather than praised for a person you invented?
white dresses

Alright! Enough of lying chat. Onto more important things!

If you know me at all, you’d know I have a small, tiny obsession that takes over every fiber of my being. Now, let me tell you, most recently, I have fallen in love (sorry Baba).

In the past, I was extremely embarrassed about my love of all things wedding related. Wedding dresses, flowers, decor… all of it just makes me insanely happy. Why? I can’t even explain it. It isn’t even my wishing and hoping and planning my own wedding (though, let’s no suggest that isn’t part of it). It’s the whole she-bang in general. I love love and everything that comes along with it.

To me, weddings are the declaration of love: the ultimate ‘I want to be with you forever and I want everyone to know about it’. I can attest to the statement that getting married and having a wedding just ends in a silly piece of paper that in no way defines how much you love someone. But to me, it is a lot more.  To get married and have a wedding – no matter the size – is to say: “Hi. I love you. I love you a whole lot, and I want to spend the rest of my days with you. But, you know what? I want the whole world to regard us as an ‘us’, officially. I want to share with you everything. I want to spend one, beautiful day celebrating our love with everyone with care for the most. Will you join me?”
Guys, if you can’t think of a way to propose, I give you permission to copy that!

I can also agree the what comes after the wedding is far more important: the marriage. The concept of merging into one another’s lives completely, building or buying a house, birthing children, creating and growing old together. The wedding itself is just something that the girl in me has always longed for. And that beauty up there is the perfect dress for me. Timeless, elegant and modest.

Way to talk myself right up there…

I don’t mean to say that I am timeless, elegant and modest (although if you’d like to think me that, I promise I won’t fight you), I just mean that these are descriptive words that always appealed to me. I’ve never been interested in being flashy, or in the spot light. I am not crazy, nor eccentric. In my past, I have longed to be, but with time it has become quite apparent that simplicity is my strongest suit.

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a picture of me wearing this beautiful gown.

 Or, you know, I’ll cause my current boyfriend to have a heart-attack induced by an overwhelming amount of marriage and wedding talk and find myself single!

I’d still probably wear this dress.

Afternoon tea with gal pals is reason enough to wear white, don’t you think?

white swan
That is all for now,

Stay sweet
Caitlyn

I Love You to the Moon Legs and Booty Work Out

Today I woke up with a goal in mind.

today’s work out

I’ve been becoming very interested in not only yoga, but Pilates and Barre styled exercises. So, this morning I knew I wanted to incorporate some Barre and/or Pilates into my work out. I also wanted to create a work out with my boyfriend in mind. My favorite part of my body to work out is my thighs and my booty and he’s my favorite boy; made sense to me.

I Love You to the Moon Leg and Booty Work out
What you’ll need: Interval timer, yoga mat, water
Set your interval timer to four rounds of four minutes (40 seconds/20 seconds), with four minutes breaks (which will be AMRAPs) in between each round.

There will be two sequences, a standing sequence and a floor sequences – both will be repeated twice through.

Begin with a 5 minute cardiovascular warm up (anything you want; just get that heart rate to the moon)

Sequence One: Floor Sequence

Begin in tree pose.

Pull your right leg behind you and ease into Warrior 2 position. For 20-40 seconds (depending how long it takes you to get into position) preform a lunge (partially to the side). For 20 seconds, place all of your weight on your right left, and pulse your left leg up and down, never letting the your foot tough the ground.

At the 20 second mark, lower yourself into half-moon position, with the balance on your right leg. For 20-40 seconds (depending how long it takes you to get into the pose) raise and lower a straight left leg. For 20 seconds, with your leg extended into the air, create a small crescent moon with your foot.

At the 20 second mark, raise your body up into a strong warrior one position, left leg leading. For 20-40 seconds, preform a full lunge. Try to keep a 90 degree angle in your knee, but go down as far as you’re comfortable going. For 20 seconds – you guessed it – hold a low lunge, left leg leading – and pulse.

At the 20 seconds mark, pull both legs in line with each other and lower into Goddess Pose. For 20-40 seconds preform a Plie squat, going as low as you comfortable can and then rising onto your tip toes. For 20 seconds, lower into full Goddess pose and pulse.

You’ve completed your floor sequence.

The next eight minutes is pure cardio: An eight minute AMRAP.
50 high knees (Each knee up counts as one), 25 low jacks, 50 high knees, 25 plie squat jumps. Repeat until eight minutes are up.

Sequence Two: Floor Sequence

Begin in a Boat pose variation, resting your fore-arms on the floor behind you, with extended legs. For 20-40 seconds, open two straight legs to the side, then pull them into each other and cross your feet, alternating front foot. For 20 seconds, hold your legs and feet straight – toes pointed – and create small crescent moons with your feet.

At the 20 second mark, reposition yourself into table pose. For 20-40 seconds, raise your left leg straight out and then pull it into your chest, lower and repeat. Try not to let it touch the ground. For 20 seconds, create the same moon with your foot.

At the 20 second mark, turn over into bridge pose with your left leg extended straight into the air. For 20-40 seconds, create a large moon with your foot. Begin by lowering your left leg until it is parallel to the ground, then returning it to an upright position, then – keep it straight – pull your foot to your left side as far as you can, comfortably. (OK. So this will look more like an ‘L’, but we’re keeping up with the moon theme, kapish?)

At the 20 second mark, lower your body to the ground (on your right side), head rested in the palm of your right hand. For 20-40 seconds, create the beautiful moon with your legs by lifting a straight right leg high into the air and then lowering it until it is one inch off the mat. Then, for 20 seconds, keep your foot extended and create a small moon with your foot.

You’ve completed sequence two.

Preform your eight minute AMRAP again.

Once done, repeat both sequences – AMRAPs included – but change up the leading side. The main focus within the description if your left leg, so focus the second round on your right.

The great thing about this work out is that even the stationary leg is working a great deal to strengthen, as your elegantly tone your leg in motion. I highly recommend this work out!

In case you’re unclear of the postures, here are images of them!

Warrior 2 position:

Half Moon position:

Warrior One position:

Goddess position:

Bridge position:

That’s all for now!

I’ll probably add another entry later, as this was purely a fitness related post.

Stay lovely,
Caitlyn

Bar/Barre

Today, I tried something new!

A little something-something the grocery store had on sale, four for five dollars!

a review

Halo Bars, put out by Pro Bar!

They claim to be ‘sinfully healthy snacks’ designed to ‘satisfying your sweet tooth with zero grams of guilt’. Alright! Good show!

Last night, while shopping – not that I need to – for some grub, I found these little guys (mostly because the giant on sale sigh caught my eye). Naturally, I – at first – checked the stats, then decided I’d give them a go. Pro bar has never been a disappointment in the past, so I went for it!

The Sweet Bits

– They’re only 150 calories a bar;
– Certified organic ingredients;
– Dairy free and vegan;
– Healthy source of Omega-3s;
– Comes in four different flavors – S’mores (win), Rocky Rock (eh), Nutty Marshmellow (win) and… wait for it… HONEY Graham Cracker (WIN WIN!);
– Cute, attractive packaging;
– Tasty and slightly chewy;

The Sour Bits
– Kind of small in volume compared to other bars of this nature;
– Ingredients list – although not horrible – tended to be a bit verbose;
– Although tasty, other bars have tickled my fancy a we bit more

Bottom Line?
I am in no way regretful of this purchase! I would rather gnaw on a Simply Bar or KIND bar, but I don’t see this as a waste of money. If you’re interested in trying one of these bad boys, I would definitely advice you to give it a shot. Ain’t nothing wrong with trying something new, now is there?

sweet moment

Today at work a customer came into the store and purchased, well, a boatload of things. Two of which were paintings of ballerinas. From there, she proceeded to go on and on about how much she loved ballerinas.

I knew just what she had meant. For as long as I can recall I’ve had few great regrets; one of which, being my discontinuing ballet. There is a certain elegance about ballet that I’ve always envied. To be frank, I am not extremely graceful, but I’m working on it.

Furthermore, I’ve taken a great interest in the Barre form of exercise. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to locate any local Barre studios, so I’ve just had to sit and dream about it! If anyone has information about possible on-line Barre workouts or anything to that extent, I’d love to know about them!

Until then,
Stay sweet

Caitlyn