I Found Out What the Light at the End of the Tunnel Is! Read for Answer. Hint: It’s YOU!

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, when actually you’ve been planted.”

Good morning!!!!!

(Said over-emphatically because it’s 8:10AM and I’m crazy tired right now💤).

I think I owe an explanation to my readers as I have been straight-up AWOL for like the past week, and my poor blog has been as empty as a King Size Kit-Kat 🍫 wrapper in my house after about 11:30PM. No lie, that’s when I get my sweet cravings. Is that weird?

Last week, oh, last week. It was such a great week! Let me run you through the list of all the things that went down the last two, count them, TWO WEEKS, and you’ll understand why I’ve been missing.

  • My sister’s birthday 🎁(May 3rd)
  • My other sister’s birthday 🎁(May 7th)
  • My birthday 🎁(May 12th)
  • Getting my workouts in! 
  • Cinco de Mayo 🌮 and The Derby 🐎 had the bar poppin’ and me working extra.
  • My first gray hair I dyed that bitch out my head.
  • Mother’s Day (May 13th) 🎀
  • Getting together to celebrate all of the Birthday’s and Mother’s Day where there were three bottles of champagne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . consumed (no apologies) 🍾🍾🍾
  • Went to New York 🌃 with J.
  • Went to Philadelphia 🏙 with my friend Lauren.
  • Meal Prep – takes forever, so worth it.
  • Phone meeting with my Beachbody Coach about COACHING! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼
  • J almost broke his foot. 🏥
  • Celebrated my sisters recent engagement! 💍✨
  • Girls night with all my ladies! 👯‍♀️👯‍♀️
  • I officially announced my volunteer trip to Africa. 🌍
  • I dropped my GoFundMe Campaign Click here to read and share!!

and

  • I experienced my first self-doubt and depression symptoms since I’ve started my journey.. 🙎🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

There you have it, folks. The craziest two weeks in the books for me! So, for today’s blog, and if you follow my Facebook or Instagram then you got a spoiler for this a few days ago, I want to hone in on that last bullet point – because it is soimportant. Today’s topic is:

Challenging depression, habits associated with it, and channeling your positive energy to take control and CHANGE  your mindset while you are at an emotional low. 

Since I started my Journey 🗺 , I have felt nothing but overwhelming support and positivity from EVERYONE. You guys have no idea how much inspiration, motivation, and accountability that support has given to me. While all of that is so lovely 💕, I still have a critic. I still have a doubter. I still have an enemy. To make it worse, this person is someone that I love. Someone that I respect. Someone that I put my faith into. Someone that I trust.

It’s me. 👆🏼

I am my critic. I am my doubter. I have the ability to be my worst enemy 👹.

In my opinion, one of the most difficult aspects of depression, or imbalanced Serotonin levels, or the “not happy”, whatever you choose, is the sensation of drowning 🌊 that overcomes your being when you are having an episode. I know a lot (if not all) of you can relate exactly to what feeling I am referring. You do not have to struggle with chronic depression to know this feeling. 🙅🏼‍♀️

Imagine that you are a robot 🤖 . Not an R2D2. I’m talking, Judd Law in A.I. or (a hopefully morally improved version of) Futurama’s Bender. You are fully capable, fully knowledgeable, and fully aware of your state as an emotional being. One day, someone sneaks behind you, switches you to autopilot, and you start to transform from who you were to someone that you don’t even recognize. You feel every change as you transition modes. It feels as if the knowledge start to leach out of your brain 🧠 . A cold sensation runs through your warm limbs, numbing them, as you seemingly lose control of your own movements. You start shake, pace, sit down, stand up and you don’t know why. It hits your chest and your heart ♥️ burns cold ❄️ making you feel scared, alone, and lost. You cry because you feel empty and you know that’s not right. Just before the transition is complete and your sense of awareness disappears, that person flips the switch to pause 🖐🏼. You are now stuck. Knowing who you were, who you can be, but not being able to feel, think, or even move the way you want to. You have become someone that you don’t like and you have no idea how to change; and that makes you sink even lower👇🏼. You feel as if are suffocating in the wreckage from the deconstruction of your being. You feel as if you are drowning in the wake of your own instability. 🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️

That is what it feels like, for me and for many, when I am sinking into a depression. Shitty, right?!

Shitty, but realistic. Sure, it’s the gruesome truth and it may be nasty to read about; but the more that we avoid coming to terms with the reality of our emotional lows, the less chance we have at overcoming them. You have to know your enemy to defeat it.

When you have this drowning sensation coming on, it is so easy to let it take control of your thoughts and actions. You want to crawl into bed 🛏 , or the just lay on the floor, cry 😭 , and you will probably have some sort of panic attack in the process.  However, this is the most crucial time to maintain control. You have to work to pull yourself out of a slump! It won’t come naturally 🍃 , at least for a while; and it won’t come easily. You deserve everything that this world 🌎 has to offer, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to fight for it.

I know this is hard! And I am here for you. Without further ado, here are some of my personal tips, tried and true by yours truly, for pulling yourself back into reality when you feel yourself slipping into a dark place:

  1. Step One: Acknowledge your safety. Your body will first panic 🚨 before you slip into that typical “catatonic” state that most people associate with depression. The no talking 🗣, no smiling 😁, no thinking 💭 state. That panic mode is usually happening when you are uncontrollably crying, and it’s your body fighting because it feels unsafe. This requires no physical action to fix! You can think your way out! Practice reminding yourself that you are not in danger. Your words will automatically calm you down and allow you to think more clearly. Plus they take your mind away from what’s upsetting you. 2 birds, 1 stone. Try asking yourself these questions: Are you being chased? No. Are you being threatened? No. Are you in physical danger? No. Do you have access to air? Yes. Are you bleeding? No. I know, I know. Obviously the answers to these questions are all no-brainers (hopefully you aren’t being chased and can breathe) but your BODY is in fight or flight mode and it doesn’t act within the realm of reason. I promise, you will calm down.
  2. Step Two: Self care! Self care. Self care. SELF CARE. I would bet all of the money in the world that at least 50% of the cause of depression is a lack of self-care. Not drinking enough water 💧 ? Not getting enough sleep 😴 (7-8 hours)? Not eating 🍽 enough? Eating too much junk food 🍕🍔🍟? Not getting regular exercise 🏋🏼‍♀️? All of these have been catalysts for my depressive episodes. My advice: the minute you recognize that you are in the midst of an emotional low, the first time you realize you’ve been lashing out at your boyfriend over nothing, the first time you realize you’ve been complaining too much about your job, the first plans you cancel so you can lay in bed and you feel ashamed, drop everything and figure out what you haven’t been doing for your body 🧐. I guarantee it’s something. Your body will always tell you when something is off, you need to listen to it. Diet is always my biggest downfall.. Force yourself OUT of your bed, go to the grocery store, and make yourself a nice, healthy meal.
  3. Step Three: Avoid drugs and alcohol. Alcohol 🍺 is poison that you put in your body. Yes I am a bartender. Yes I drink it. Yes I MORE THAN enjoy a glass of scotch 🥃 or a beer 🍻 after those super long days. And yes I do have a ton of fun when I’m out drinking with my girls ☠️! Everything in moderation guys. You can have it all, but listen to what your body is telling you and know when to take a break. Are you feeling sad all the time? Are you feeling alone? Have some sober fun, and stop drinking for a while. ❌
  4. Step Four: Clean up your environment. Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are a product of your environment”? Well, that’s not what I’m going to tell you. You are a product of what you allow yourself to accomplish and to feel. However, it definitely can’t hurt to spruce up your surroundings when you’re feeling down. Not only will it pull you out of bed and get you moving around which will naturally make you feel better, but when you take something that was dirty and make it nicer, you might start to find that you can do the same for yourself 🧖🏼‍♀️! If you are prone to depression, pay attention to little details in your home such as light 💡 and color 🎨 choices. Dark rooms and dark colors are both motivators for a bad mood 😒 that’s waiting to spiral out of control!
  5. Step Five: Channel your positive energy! I am a firm believer in energies ✨. What you put out into the world is what you are going to get back, very similar to the energy you put toward yourself. If you keep having these negative thoughts, if you keep reminding yourself of your flaws, that you aren’t good enough, that there is something wrong with you because you’re feeling this way and it’s not normal, then the world is going to serve you as if these things are true. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from yourself and from the world around you! What do you have to lose? If you’re not sure how to do this, practice yoga 🧘🏼‍♀️🧘🏼‍♂️or meditation. Read some personal development books 📚. These mediums can teach you how to channel the positive energy that exists within you and use it to find your happiness 🤗.
  6. Step Six: Get outside. 🌲🌿🌻⛅️Are you feeling like you’ve lost yourself? Go back to your roots, I’m confident you’ll find solace there. Step out into the sunlight ☀️ . You don’t need to be an outdoorsy person to not be depressed, that’s not what I’m saying. Throw on a bathing suit 👙 and lay out in the sun. Read a book on your front porch. Go for a hike ⛰ . Take photographs at a local park. Go for a drive 🚗 with the windows down. Collect nature items for an art project🌷🌹🌿. Get in the fresh air. Get in the sunlight. Listen to the trees and the birds! You will find some clarity.
  7. Step Seven: Share your situation. You are no doubt feeling completely alone if you are feeling depressed or panicked. That’s normal, and also an easy thing to fix. Sometimes you can’t fix yourself, and THAT’S OK! Reach out to your family 🤝, reach out to your friends. Journal. Read personal development blogs of strangers and leave a comment. They will want to help you! Let the people that care about you, whether they know you or not, know that you are in a bad place. They will encourage you. If you just aren’t comfortable talking about your feelings, then write everything you’ve got down in a journal! The only one who’s reading it is you – and you’d be surprised how much you admit on paper that you have been hiding from yourself!

Alrighty team! That’s what I’ve got for you today. Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and you can work through any problem! I know that my avenue is fitness, but whatever way YOU choose, you are the light at the end of your tunnel 💋. Feeling alone or confused? Send me a message! Let me help you be the happiest you!

Good luck on your journey to happiness!

Time to do some Beachbody COACH work!

What the Heck Are You “Sorry” For?!?

Good Afternooon!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous Spring day in Pennsylvania today. The weather has been holding up PERFECTLY! We had a few heavy rain showers yesterday – and I heard my first bout of thunder for the first time this year – but it’s all good! Our grass and our trees got a nice drink and there are birds chirping and Tulips blooming. Love it! Who complains about a nice steamy Spring shower with thunder rumbling, parallel to a warm breeze, ever-so-subtly behind a curtain of broken clouds? Not this girl!

Today is a rest day in the 80 Day Obsession, and my second of two days I have off from the bar each week. Yesterday’s workout was called Cardio Flow, and after having finished it I had sweat seemingly flowing out of my forehead and back! Holy cow. That was the hardest workout, in my opinion, by far. It’s a non-stop cardio circuit of different moves that are mostly named after awesome animals. Mules, frogs, ducks, bears, gorillas, flamingos, it goes on. Autumn Calabrese is messing with my brain wiring! Before yesterday I could hear someone say “duck walk” and I would picture a pond and furry little quackers! After yesterday, I think about “duck walks” in a whole new way. Like a four reps of squat lunges way….. It’s so exciting though! I did something amazing for my body yesterday, and that’s always a win! It’s all just becoming different. My thought process, my mindset, my ability to channel my energy. Everything, even after just one week, seems to be falling into place for me.

Yesterday I spent the ENTIRE day, I mean from 11:00AM to midnight, focused on my health + fitness. I started the morning making grocery lists, workout schedules paralleling my work schedules, and meal plans. Then it was workout time! The boys were away on a fishing trip up in New York this weekend, so I had he house to myself. Needless to say, “Work Bitch” by the one and only Britney Spears was bumpin’. After Autumn was done kicking my ass, I went to Wegmans, got all my shopping for the week done, and then came home and completed ALL of my meal prep! Yay!

I’m still new to meal prepping, and I’m probably terrible at it when compared to seasoned vets, but I made some pretty good (looking) food! Included and not limited to:

  • Cilantro Green Chili Steak Tacos
  • Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Bites
  • Autumn’s Turkey Breakfast Sausage Hash
  • Lemon Chicken and Grilled Asparagus
  • Homemade Hummus (F! Tahini btw, that shit’s a nightmare!)
  • Shakeology Peanut Butter Cups

***For recipes or help with portion fix meals, send me a message!***

In the moment, meal prepping feels like it takes forever. And it does take a long time. But when you’re all done, and you realize that you don’t have to spend any money or any time on what you eat for the rest of the week…. well that’s worth it all! I promise, if you’re new to it and feel clumsy/unsure/bored/frustrated/whatever, stick with it. You will get better, you will multi-task more, you will learn, and you will be SO happy the rest of your week. A HUGE part of maintaining clarity and peace of mind is simplifying your life. We make things too chaotic, too busy, too redundant, because we feel like, well “that’s just the way life is”. NO! That’s not the way life is! Life can be easier, better. We only have to make it so. Remember, there’s a difference between ‘simplistic’ and ‘simple’. You don’t need to live simplistically, just keep it simple! You are the captain of your own boat.

Now that we’re on the topic of personal development, I’m ready to get to our main story tonight (John Oliver voice). I want to talk – I say talk because I’m literally saying everything I’m writing out loud – but I want to talk to you about being sorry.

The word sorry, in my opinion, has become really misused and quite honestly undervalued by so many people. I had this thought a few weeks ago actually, because I know that I personally say the word “sorry” probably fifteen times a day. That’s not even an exaggeration. I would say a minimum of ten times every single day I say sorry in some fashion to someone. Whether I feel like I inconvenienced someone, got in their way, hurt their feelings, crossed a line, whatever the reason may be, I go right into autopilot apology mode. A lot of you probably are thinking, “Well what’s wrong with being sorry? That sounds like a good thing!”, and you aren’t wrong. It is a wonderful attribute to feel empathy and compassion for others, and to realize when you’ve done something to negatively impact another life in some way. However, at a certain point, you need to become selectively apologetic. I’m not asking you to not apologize when you feel like you’ve done wrong, that keeps you humble, that keeps you polite, that keeps you responsible. But before you go and immediately say sorry when you’re standing behind someone and they turn around suddenly and almost bump you, or when they messed up doing their job and you deliver the news that they need to fix the problem, or when they ask you a question and you need some time to think about the answer, ask yourself “what am I sorry for?”! Standing? Speaking? Thinking?

Imagine that saying sorry was like being in the sun without sunscreen. The word sorry, is an hour that you spend in the direct sun, and your result from the apology is the way your skin feels. So the first hour you spend in the sun, the first time you say sorry, you feel great! Rejuvenated! Happy! But what happens after you spend four hours in the sun? Five hours? Six hours? Your skin starts to burn. The very thing that made you feel free hours ago is starting to deplete your energy and cause you harm. Apologizing makes you vulnerable, much like the sun does to your skin, because, not only are you allowing yourself to accept a level of self-failure, you’re actually openly admitting that failure to someone. Not to mention, saying sorry is indirectly seeking forgiveness, which makes you feel a little bit small. It’s O.K. to feel small sometimes, that’s how we know how incredible it is to feel BIG. But, what you say is absorbed by your sub-conscious and it projects through your self-awareness.

The more that you say sorry for things that you do not owe an apology for the more you sacrifice your self-confidence and your self-value. This results in two things:

  1. You start to feel like you’re a burden, or you’re the problem. When you take fault for everything that doesn’t go 100% right, even if it’s not going wrong, you’re volunteering as tribute to take the heat and that’s going to wear you out. And
  2. You are empowering people who do not deserve empowerment in that moment, and they will take advantage of that and it will only hurt you more.

Once again, I’m not suggesting that you don’t apologize when you feel it’s necessary. Just be a little bit more selectively apologetic! The less you say sorry for insignificant things, the more it will mean when you do apologize, the more confidence you’ll convey and respect you’ll receive from the people who surround you, the more self-worth you’ll feel, and the more joy you’ll experience from getting true forgiveness and thus forgiving yourself for your mistakes. Being constantly apologetic doesn’t make you a better person, a nicer person. Being a good, caring, strong person makes you better. Taking responsibility for your mistakes and feeling really good about it, that will carry you a much further way!

Time to go practice what I preach,

Have an incredible Monday!

J and I are headed to the New Belgian Brewing party tonight in Cherry Hill, NJ! It’ll be a good test for me to not drink all the delicious beer. Something I truly enjoy doing!

Cheers!

Day 2:80 If You’re Checking Back: I’m Sore!

Hello, Hello Beauties! Yes my men, you’re beauties too!

Happy Wednesday! Or in my case, booty day!

Today’s workout, literally titled “Booty”, was all about working the junk in the trunk and backing that thang up. Does that sound stupid? Sure does! Was it super fun to say? You bet! Most importantly, do I care what anyone thinks about the phrases I choose? HELL TO THE NO! I don’t. At all. Sorry, not sorry. (Quick shoutout to my girl Demi Lovato!)

This morning when I woke up I felt pretty good! Some things I noticed:

  • I slept like a log last night. Seriously, I didn’t even wake up when J came home from closing the bar and I’m always complaining to him about how he’s too loud while I’m sleeping.. So if this performance recharge helps me to get some shut-eye despite my elephant foot boyfriend, then there’s a HUGE positive!
  • I was tender in certain areas from yesterday’s workout, but I wasn’t aching to the point of not wanting to get up. It was manageable!
  • I felt so energized. Team, I woke up on my own at 7 o’clock this morning. Holy shirt balls. That’s mad early for me.
  • I was excited to do it all again today!

J works for his fathers automated gate company, which they run out of our house. So, he was out in the driveway packing up the work van for the day while I set up downstairs for my morning workout! He suggested that I workout outside, since the weather was gorgeous; but despite my “I don’t give a f*uck what anyone thinks anymore” attitude, I still like a little privacy when I’m getting my sweat on. But it waaaas so nice outside….. and I workout in the basement which is sort of like a nice dungeon…..

Alas! Compromise! I would open the basement door and let all the fresh air and sunshine goodness into the basement!

So, I hopped outside – all excited by my great idea. I lift up the corroded steel basement door and lo and behold a FREAKING SNAKE is just hanging out right on the stairs underneath them. I shrieked for J – which resulted in himself, his brother, and his father all coming to see what the matter was – and ran away. Of course, they all proceeded to identify exactly what snake it was and laugh at me because they (a group of snake-o-dile Dundees) knew that it was neither poisonous nor scary. She was a mama corn snake, small by J’s standards and BIG by mine. If I for any reason needed a little extra jolt of energy before “Booty” work, I got it from that sleepy reptile!

Wilin’ out and ready to go, I kicked ass in my ass class!

I’ve officially decided that the key to success with any hard workout is a killer playlist. I was singing and dancing the whole time – even grooving through some of the moves! Before I knew it, I was huffing and puffing and I blew the whole workout over. So my word of advice from today: get yourself some good, solid tunes! I’d be happy to share my workout playlist with anyone needing some suggestions! *Fair warning: I get hood when I workout.*

After I was all done I was perusing through insta and I saw a pretty incredible quote from a book that my Beachbody Coach is reading. It goes as follows “When you succumb to fear, you are under the illusion that you can predict the future.”

Wow.

That one hits home for me, especially today. I have a prime example right here, right now to back up why I truly believe that this quote is true. As I’ve previously mentioned – I’m currently in the midst of planning a pretty big trip to volunteer in Zimbabwe next year. I’ve told my mom. I’ve told my dad. However, I haven’t told my sisters. Growing up my two older sisters basically raised me at times, and they’ve since been constantly protective of me. I understand it! I’m the baby! It’s ok! But I was honestly afraid to tell them about my solo-travel plans, mainly because I didn’t want to hear a negative response. I thought about that quote, put my fear on straight pause, called my oldest sister, and I told her.

Guess what guys.

SHE WAS THRILLED FOR ME! Of course a small part of her is nervous for my safety, but she was literally in tears of joy and ultimately over the moon about my step toward self-discovery. We talked for an hour after that about my plans and her ideas and it was a wonderful conversation! Do you see

I haven’t ever seen an inspirational quote before and thought, “maybe I should try to apply that to my life”. That seemed too cliché for my standards. Or…. too cliché for what I thought should be my standards? Hmm… I feel some personal development brewing here. It was an opportunity for a change, so a change I made!

Comment below with some of your favorite inspirational quotes!

Xoxo

 

 

 

 

Day 1:80 I’m not sore.. Check back tmrw.

Good evening! (I exclaim while the sun, though slowly slinking toward the horizon, SHINES THROUGH MY WINDOWS!!!!!!)! I’m super stoked that it’s still light outside at 7pm, if you can’t tell.

Ugh. Man. Jeeze. Wow.

It finally is starting to feel like Spring around here – maybe even Summer! Madame Winter has had zero interest in taking a chill pill and getting some rest, that cold asshole. Sure, she’s great when she first shows up, providing a little change of scenery and welcoming some good old Holiday spirit; but come on! Snow…. in the end of April…. dis bitch has got to go. And gone I believe she has, with soaring temps of 75 degrees today and 84 tomorrow I think we’re offish in the warm, shiny clear.

Without further ado, and without a more perfect sunshine-y day to start, welcome to the beginning of my 80 Day Obsession fitness journey!

For those of you who don’t have any idea of what 80 Day Obsession is, or fitness, it is a super wonderful program that was created by my worst enemy and absolute idol Autumn Calabrese (creator of crazy famous fitness challenge 21 Day Fix). 80 Day Obsession is a nutrition and fitness program for dummies, much like myself, intended to build muscle, burn fat, get lean, and to encourage its audience to live a healthier lifestyle, full throttle. Every day there is a workout ranging from 40 minutes to an hour, and every workout is different!!!! Hallelujah, because doing the same Pilates moves on the floor of our bedroom has been actually slowly killing me. That was not an exaggeration.

Straight dying.

Autumn provides exact timed nutrition with different variations for different schedules (I love this because bartending has my schedule all over the place) and a calendar of all 80 days filled with the workouts, how to prepare/recharge each rest day, and reminders to watch her motivational tubeage. [On demand mini-series].

What I hope to do for you, through a daily log of how my 80 day journey is going, is motivate you to start living a healthier lifestyle too! Whether it’s by joining this specific program or just by taking some of my tips for lifestyle changes and improving small parts of yourself. Working out has always been one of the best ways to increase my serotonin levels (my happy meter), but my lack of motivation from depression has always impeded on that. So! I’m gonna push through, for me, and start making some of these positive steps toward happiness I keep blabbing about.

When I joined the Beachbody program about 6 months ago (and made a half-assed attempt to complete the 21 Day Fix Challenge) I was designated a “coach”: essentially someone who participates in the program and helps to MOTIVATE you and to DIRECT you when you’re trying to f*cking meal prep and you feel like an idiot. My coach’s name is Alicia Mers and she is delightful. Seriously. I’m speaking about the most real, motivational, cool, creative, nice, twin-mom boss that has ever lived. I felt bad when I didn’t complete the 21 Day Fix. My coach has a hundred “me’s”. My failure doesn’t affect her in the end. She won’t know, but she worked really hard to get where she is today regarding her own fitness, and even if she ultimately doesn’t really care, I felt like I let her down. Yuck. That statement sucks. To get to some real therapist shiz with you – I didn’t let her down. I let myself down, and I mirrored that emotion onto her so I could see it and perceive it. I thought of that myself! Pretty deep, right? I can totally do this whole self-improvement thing.

With Alicia by my cyber-communication side, and literally the entire program laid out for me like a French art model, I committed to 80 days of straight dedicated fitness.

Day 1

I woke up at 9’o clock this morning – early for a bartender, trust me – and was ready to go. First of all, I cut my coffee intake to half of a cup of black coffee. I’m not psyched to admit this, but despite it’s utter amazingness, I think coffee makes me feel crappy the rest of the day. This whole thing is about making myself happier though, not miserable, so I didn’t cut it out completely. Vices are necessary.

The rest of my schedule is as follows (mind you, I prepped all of my meals for the week yesterday):

9:30AM: Eat breakfast. Chili sweet potato hash with sautéed red peppers, orange peppers, onions, spinach, and Autumn Calabrese’s homemade turkey sausage. YUM. Seriously guys, I would eat this for breakfast every day regardless of the nutrition.

10:00AM: Drank my “go-juice”! This is a pre-workout performance energize supplement created by the Beachbody team. I got so much energy from one scoop of this stuff, I almost couldn’t believe it. Lemony energy, yes please.

10:30AM – 11:30AM was workout hour. Dun. Dun. Dun. Today’s workout was Total Body Core. Two sets of the workout routine, 15 reps for each position. It kicked. my. out-of-shape butt. We did push-ups, we did harder other push-ups, we did bicep curls, triceps curls, side plank crunches, squats. You name it, I did it this morning.

What I have to unfortunately say about day one is that it was hard. I didn’t complete 15 reps for each move, I didn’t do all of my push-ups on my hands and toes, and I certainly didn’t finish all of my bear crawls. You’ll know what those little buggers are if you join the program! The old Emma would have focused on what I didn’t do and shamed myself for not being the super-fit trainer that I saw on my computer screen. The new me, she’s proud of what she did today. I may not have done all my reps, but I used my heaviest weights. I may not have done all my push-ups on my hands and toes, but I plan to try harder next time. I might not have finished my bear-crawls but I did effing BEAR CRAWLS today. That’s way more than I did yesterday! I guess what I’m getting at guys, is focusing on what you have done and what you can do, rather than what you haven’t done and what you don’t think you can, is monumental for a positive mentality. I felt proud of myself today. WIN!

12:00PM: I drank my performance recover. This is another supplement from the Beachbody Performance line designed to speed up muscle recovery, improve muscle strength, and fight exercise-related muscle soreness.  I blended mine (orange flavor) with a half banana and water. It tastes like an orange cream smoothie y’all. ORANGE CREAM.

Of course I accidentally spilled the whole thing on my patio table when I sat in the sunshine to log my workout, but I cleaned that sucker up, made a new one, put a cap on it this time, and drank the crap out of it. So good.

12:30PM: Post-workout meal time. Grilled lemon-garlic chicken, parmesan parsley couscous, and roasted balsamic Brussel sprouts. All awesome things. See how much I get to eat every day? This program is about providing your body the right nutrients, not about starving it.

3:00PM: Shakeology time! Shakeology is amaze-balls guys. Holy shirt. It’s a protein shake packed with superfoods, antioxidants, enzymes, probiotics, vitamins etc… You name it and it’s amazing for you, Shakeology has it. It’s considered a protein by itself in the portion-fix world, but I added some extra love to mine! Todays recipe was ……

Chocolate Cherry:

  • 1 packet chocolate Shakeology
  • 1 purple container frozen cherries
  • 1/2 T. cashew butter
  • 1 Tsp. cacao nibs
  • 1/4 C. coconut milk
  • ice
  • 1 C. water
  • Blend and enjoy!

6:00PM: Now time for a little snack.. seriously more food and this wasn’t even my last meal of the day!! I had some low-moisture mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and pine nuts in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Nothing wrong with ANY of that.

8:00PM (Which is now): I can finally say that I got through my first day of 80 Day Obsession without a hitch – aka NO CHEATS! It was tough, but I turned down an offer to go out tonight. In this program, drinking is mostly a no-no. So I am home safe and sound from temptation for the evening. Dinner was amazing. J and I enjoy fishing as a hobby as it’s pretty much the only activity we have time to do together, so I blackened up some fresh Yellowtail Snapper we just caught in the Florida Keys and served it with some pureed cauliflower “mash”!

If anyone has any interest in my 80 Day Obsession recipes or meal plan tips feel free to send me a message on my “Get In Touch With Me” tab!!! I love to share!

Well folks, that pretty much sums it up. One day of the Obsession in a nutshell! Of course I spent off minutes logging my workout, cleaning my workout station, planning my timed nutrition around my work schedule for the rest of the week, and recording my recipes for future use. Health and fitness is a lifestyle. It doesn’t stop after the workout does. In order to succeed, you truly do need to be OBSESSED with your change. As a little bonus – it gives me something to look forward to, and I feel so accomplished.

Now I’m going to binge-watch some Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Probably the funniest show ever created ever, whilst having a glorious cup of Green Tea. Then it’s whipping up some Performance Recharge (reduces muscle breakdown, promotes lean muscle growth, and promotes muscle recovery all while you catch your z’s!)

Now just for Beachbody to hire me after all this free promotion……..

I’d love to hear some comments about your workout and nutrition routines, or just something that you did today to make yourself proud!

Sweet dreams y’all,

Check back tomorrow when I’m feeling the day-after burn!

 

 

 

 

 

Go See Super Troopers 2. *I’m done, I Swear*

Good morning! 

Although it’s not even really morning anymore, yours truly slept until 11:30 this morning ….. wut ….. So, that was an accident! I do have a relatively decent excuse though – I was up at the movie theater until Midnight last night watching the new Super Troopers!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me tell you all, actually you don’t have to let me because this is a blog and I can say anything now without interruption *singing freedom in choir voices*. Anyway, Rotten Tomatoes will tell you that this movie was a disaster, I’m telling you to go see it. Go see it. Go see it, right now. STOP READING AND GO! Everything about it took me back to the original in the best ways possible. The film crew created all the right references, all the right appearances, all the right twists, and all the right new stupid humor that we all don’t admit that we love. I laughed harder than I’ve laughed in a while, and since you most likely know what my blog is about, you know that means a lot to me.

With my cup of coffee looking sexy on my end table and Luke Cage looking sexy on my television screen, I’m not going to spend any more time writing about my movie theater experience.

Go see the movie. Okay, there, I’m done!

This morning I reflected on the “Why we do what we do” post that I wrote yesterday. Why did I do that? Because it made me happy to read the words I’ve been feeling for a long time – finally exposed to the grand unfamiliarity that is the world wide web. So now that the concept of my journey has been unveiled to you, I feel the need to open up about me or to “share my story”, if that’s more entertaining sounding. I suppose I feel this urge because I’m hoping to relate, somehow, to someone who’s in a similar position as I. Or maybe it’s because it’s hard to connect with a stranger online and their lifestyle changes if you know literally nothing about them and will probably never meet them. Who knew?

I am turning 25 next month, May 12th to be exact. A day that my entire life has fallen on Mothers Day, high-school graduations, weddings, college graduations, wisdom teeth surgeries, and Saturdays (when I work). Don’t get me wrong, I love my birthday (day) and celebrating these wonderful events with people that I truly care about. I even like to work on my birthday. It’s just always been a hectic time of year for me. Maybe turning 25 is the catalyst for why I feel the need to find some self-fulfillment…. I know, I know. It’s only 25 (says everyone who’s older than 25), but, if you delve past your acquired wisdom and think back to when you were on the cusp of this quarter-century crisis, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t have a moment where you thought, “Damn, I should probably get my shit together.”? If you didn’t, message me and let’s become best friends.

Here’s a brief synopsis of, what I believe, are the most interesting/important facts that one should know if they’re trying to get to know me. And, go!

I graduated from West Chester University with a degree in Geology and I’ve been a bartender ever since (3 years now). I like to tell people it’s because the Trump Administration cut all EPA funding and I can’t get a job, but really I just make super good money bar-tending. I also hate being a bartender.. so there’s that. My spell check just made me put a hyphen between bar and tending but not bar and tender, one of life’s mysteries. I know every word to “Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz. I have two older sisters, both of which have their shit together which is not a good look pour moi. I live with my boyfriend, J. He’s a hobbyist, so we have 35 fishing poles and 1,000lbs of climbing gear in various parts of our home. We also live with his dad and brother, so expect to read about that periodically. J is dependent and I am not, and we struggle with that as a couple. I’m a hobbyist too: I dabble in photography, crocheting, candy crush, and thinking about starting to play guitar. I change my hair color every couple of months, and I think it’s the most genuine thing I do for myself. I won’t fill my gas tank until it’s on E.. I have a snake, Gatsby, she’s wonderful. I want a puppy, but J says that’s too much commitment. I love doing my makeup and I hate taking it off. I want to be obsessed with working out, but I’m not. So I’m starting a new workout program next week! See my Health + Fitness tab because that’s a whole journey of it’s own! I exhibit classic signs of having daddy issues but I won’t admit to having them. Sometimes I just don’t like cheese on my burgers and sometimes I do, I can’t explain that one. My new favorite color is yellow, it used to be green but I honestly used to just say that because all of my friends loved the color green. So… yeah. I love to paint, but I won’t paint what people tell me to. I say sorry, like, all the time. I have a strangely vast repertoire of dad jokes. I’m headed to Africa next year! See my Africa tab! (Excuse my construction as I am currently building my website so it may be empty). I sacrifice who I am often to be the person that I think others want me to. And I fucking love Brie cheese. I mean I could eat Brie literally every day. Also I hate when people use the word “literally” as an emphasis term, but I do it all the time and if that’s what makes me a hypocrite then I can live with that.

So that’s me, not all of me, because I like to think that as a woman of 25 years I’m more complex in my existence than a paragraph. However, that should be enough for you to decide if you’re interested in what I’ve got to offer. If you are, great! I’m happy to have you aboard. If not, hopefully we meet again somehow! I intend, through this blog, to really dive deep into a lot of the things I just listed about myself; and to hopefully filter out a lot of the “buts” that I’m now seeing in there.

And now I’m headed to the local Wegman’s to grocery shop for my meal-prepping that I’ll be sharing with you all on Sunday! When I get to see my best friend, Lauren! Who lives in Philly now! A place that gives me mucho anxiety!

Have a wonderful Wednesday y’all! It’s rainy here but I have super cute yellow rain boots so I’m rolling with it.

Think of me at 12:00AM EST tonight while I’m closing up the bar!

Peace, loooooveeeee, and elephaaaaantssssss,

Em

What am I even doing on this blog site right now?

Well – Here Goes.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

Seriously though.. WHAT AM I DOING!? That’s a perfect question. Not just because it’s the one I’m currently asking myself (I don’t know the first thing about blogging), but because it leads me to the question. In my opinion, the most quintessential question … say that five times fast, I dare you… of our entire existence.

The question to end all questions is not, “What am I doing?”.

It is, however, “Why am I doing this?”.

Why am I doing this? … Why am I saying this? … Why am I eating this? … Why am I listening to this? … Why am I (insert verb here) this? …

The reason this is the question is because of the answer that follows it. Why we do what we do, every single time, breaks down to a single, multi-faceted answer: personal growth. Our bodies are growing and changing, constantly. It’s happening whether we want it to or not ; and, pretty much after the age of 25, it’s a solid or not.

I won’t even touch that topic though – that’s a psychological human crisis all of its own. ✌🏼

Nature for sure handles most the physical stasis of our bodies, she got this. However, it’s ultimately up to us to mold our psyches. Sure, environment and social influence play a few big roles in the plays of our lives (soap opera humor); but the reasons behind why we decide the things we do are because we think they are going to make our lives better. I.e. Personal growth. Now! Everyone’s idea of what personal growth is, is different. Remember – I said multi-faceted. Yours may evolve from wanting to mature a bit, desiring more respect, interest in exploring different perceptions, wanting to discover your purpose in life, simply wanting to feel cooler. So what I did right here, was I sat down and thought about ALL the ways that I want to psychologically grow, if you will; and I narrowed them down to one basic concept. One facet of the many that will undoubtedly result in the best version of me. The key to my psychological balance, why I do everything I do, is happiness.

A little about myself: I come from a lovely biologic line of women who deal with anxiety and depression. Note that I didn’t use the word suffer, because suffering to me implies that one has been defeated. Most of the toughest struggles I’ve endured thus far stemmed from gaping holes in my self-confidence, my self-awareness, my coping abilities, and from my complete fear of being disappointed. So far I’ve figured out at least a few things about me and people in general:

  • Without self-awareness, knowing who you are and want to be, you cannot have self-confidence. You just can’t. It’s all fake. It’s a sham. I hate to break it to you.
  • Without self-confidence, anxiety and panic attacks become a pretty routine get-together for you. If you don’t have the mental confidence to pull yourself out of an anxiety attack, you will probably keep having them. If you keep having anxiety attacks, you will keep losing the self-confidence that you do have, along with some other positive mental qualities, probably.
  • You will experience a spell of depression if these problems are not addressed. Say hello to not eating anything for days, and then randomly gorging yourself to the point of pukey face. Say goodbye to time spent with your friends – you’ll either make plans and cancel or you just won’t even answer them. Shitty, I know. And I hope you have the most comfortable mattress and better than Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara (marketing heyyyyy) because you will be crying in your bed, when you’re not at work, for a long time. And you won’t change your sheets, so you’ll probably experience a break out. Welcome to the black hole that is depression – keep all hands and feet inside the ride at all times. Thank you!
  • You will try to create a reason that you get this low to make sense of what’s happening to you. Mine is fear of disappointment. I have an intense fear of being let down by myself, being let down by the people I love, or, in turn, disappointing them. When it happens – because things just don’t always work out the way they’re wanted to – I crawl into my shell and I blame and punish myself, I lose my self-awareness, I have an anxiety attack, I lose my self-confidence, and I get depressed. And out every depression I emerge slightly more co-dependent and slightly more afraid for the entire episode to happen again. (So a lot more susceptible to disappointment). Isn’t that great?! It all spins full-circle like a tiny emotional Earth 🌏 inside me!

Unhappiness will eat. you. up. Like a wild thing. So, I decided that the reasons that I do almost all of what I do, are because I’m trying to find my happiness. My self-awareness, my self-confidence, my personal growth. What am I doing on this blog sight? I’m sharing my journey to happiness, it says it right in the title. I’m sharing my interests, my likes, my dislikes, my adventures, my highs, my lows, my whims, my mistakes, my thoughts, and my life. Why am I doing this? Because I want to be happy with myself, and no one can make that a reality except for me.

Welcome to my journey of personal growth,

I hope from it you can learn what will help you to grow as well!