Honestly What is Motivation?

Okay, anyone that works out regularly can tell you this: relying on motivation is not real. Being motivated to work out every single day is a complete myth. Go find your favorite fitness Instagram account…go ahead….I’ll wait. Got it? Okay, let me tell ya something–they’re not always motivated. Hell, they’re probably not even motivated half the time.

If you want to be in a routine exercising routine, you cannot rely on being motivated to go work out every single time. It won’t happen.

So, how do you consistantly work out then? Well, I’ve got a few tips and tricks I can share with you. 🙂

Let’s compare working out to something mandatory that you do, like say, taking a shower. If everyone waited until they had the motivation to shower every time they needed to shower, we would all smell a lot worse. Showering is just something you do every day. Same with brushing your teeth and eating dinner–you just do it. Now, apply that same mentality to working out. Make it just a part of your daily routine. It’s definitely easier said than done, but trust me, once you’re in the routine of doing it and it becomes a solid part of your day, you will love yourself for it.

Another trick is to make sure you do take rest days and you don’t push yourself too hard. You can’t do a killer workout every single day of the week, your body will not handle it well. I shoot to workout about 5 days of the week, and I usually do something relative active the other two days. This gives my body time to rest and recoup after my more vigorous workouts. I tried working out every single day for a while, and I noticed that the intensity of my workouts started going down. My body was not able to perform at the level I was used to, and although that was discouraging, I realized that in order to improve, I needed to rest. My body needed rest. I’ve since come to a place where I have a very good balance of exercise and rest. I see improvements in myself more when I have a healthier routine. (Unsurprising, right?)

Now, I’m not some insane fitness nut, there are plenty of days where I come home from work, lay in bed, and a massive wave of exhaustion hits me. This insane urge to nap just swallows me. I know if I just avoided laying on my bed, it probably wouldn’t happen, but after a long day of work, sometimes I just need it. So, I allow myself to veg out for a bit. I get home at around 5:20, so I’ll tell myself “you can lay here until 6:00, then you get up and work out.” Weirdly enough, it works. If I give myself time to just completely zone out and be on my phone, take a quick nap, or do whatever, then I find it easier to get up and smash out a workout afterwards. You’ve got to give your mind time to rest. Mind and body go hand in hand, so if one is exhausted, the other will reflect.

So yeah, motivation is crap. Don’t rely on it for anything. It’s a scam! Prioritise working out and in time, you’ll get into a routine. That’s when you’ll start feeling the results as much as seeing them. You’ll notice “wow, the last time I did this workout, it was way harder.” Because if you’re working out regularly, you’ll be able to notice changes much easier.

My fitness journey has had its ups and downs, but I’m learning so much along the way. Hopefully you’ve found some help in this blog, because I truly enjoyed writing it.

xx – A

P.S. My next blog will be about my take on healthy and balanced eating, so stay tuned xx

Enjoy this vid of me ~ dying ~ doing burpees. (Sorry there’s no sound, I didn’t want everyone to listen to me wheezing.)

Fun, Fitness, Friday!

Wow, it seems like lately Fridays have been the only days I have time to blog. That’s kind of a bummer since I was posting two a week for a while. The lack of blogs is a result of me taking on more responsibilities though–I wanted to keep myself busier. (It’s working…I’m slammed.)

So today feels like a great day to do a fitness blog since I haven’t done one in a while, but I want to do a little life update. Quite a few things have transpired over the past week, and I’m quite excited about the weeks to come!
Two weeks from today, myself and a few of my closest friends will be taking off on a ROAD TRIP! We’re going to Destin, Florida for a few days to celebrate my birthday and the Fourth of July, and I could not be more excited. I’m already trying to buy more bikinis so I’m fully prepared, LOL. If anyone has been to Destin before and has recommendations of activities to do or sights to see, let me know! I’m going to be spending the next few days doing some research to hopefully get some solid plans locked down ASAP. (Gotta utilize the free time I have at work while I can, amiright?)
Another update, the volleyball team  I talked about in my last blog is officially locked and loaded. And yes, our team name is the Clever Beaches. It won the vote!! (I also pushed for it, whoops!) So we’re going to have two more practices for the coming two Tuesdays and our first game in on July 10! I’m hoping to kick some booty and have some fun. 🙂 It’ll be great. (I also think this is a pretty great resume booster.)
So that’s pretty much everything significant that happened over the last week.
On to fitness!

So if you weren’t aware or hadn’t read about it in any of my previous blogs, I joined a workout group called Keep It Cleaner, or KIC. This program has been absolutely amazing, and I could not speak more highly of it. I’m not going to go into a big long explanation about it, so read the blog I wrote about it and come back here if you need to. (LOL.) It’s really a fun group and everyone is so supportive and empowering. (I figured it was time to update y’all on my progress now that it’s been going on for a while.)
I first started this program on April 16, so I’ve been doing it for about 2 months now, and holy crap, you guys. It’s been amazing. I do a KIC workout 4-5 times a week, and I’m usually pretty active the other days of the week. The workouts are fast and fun, and they really motivate you to push yourself.
Aside from my physical health being at such a great level right now, my mental health is probably the best it’s been in a long time. A long time. I’ve never felt more confident in myself mentally and physically. I do everything with so much more gusto than I ever have. I decide I want to do something, and I make it happen. I’ve taken more leadership roles, I’ve fostered new friendships, I’ve developed healthier eating habits just because.
And to think, I’ve only been doing this program for two months. I can’t even imagine where I’ll be in another two months! Like crap! I almost have a 6-pack already and I haven’t had one of those in years, and I’ve always been fit.

I want to say that this program has been my saving grace, but I also have to give some credit to myself. This program didn’t do the work for me; it gave me the tools to succeed, but I did that myself. I held myself accountable and I have been holding myself accountable. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and I can’t wait to see where I go from here. 🙂

Also, I got an iPhone x, so my photos are officially going to be so much better. I’ve never loved a phone more than I have this one!!
(Thanks, momma for the early bday prezzie.)

Happy Friday!

xx – A

Social Media Cleanse

Has anyone had the desire to delete their social media accounts and just kind of take a break from it all? I feel like we all have had that desire at some point, but the amount of people who actually act on it is a much smaller number. Well, I’m officially part of that number.

I realized something a while ago–I have a social media addiction. It’s kind of a dependency, really. I rely on the validation I get when I post things, and I’ve realized how bad that is. I need to take a step back from social media as a whole. So, after a week of chewing on the idea, I decided to get started. I need to post on social media because it makes me happy, NOT because I want validation.

downloadThe first thing to go was going to be Twitter. “That’ll be the easiest,” I thought to myself. So last Tuesday, I deleted my Twitter app. I didn’t delete my entire account because 1) my blogs are shared to Twitter and 2) my Instagram posts are shared to Twitter. I have enough willpower to keep myself off of it for a while. (I’m not trying to cut social media altogether, I just need to take a step back.) So far, not being on Twitter hasn’t been so bad. Boy, I wasn’t prepared for how difficult the next step would be though–Snapchat.

unnamedSnapchat was (and still is) my main social media issue. I always told myself I couldn’t delete it because “streaks”, but when I realized I had no streaks I cared about, deleting it became a possibility. I actually wanted to delete Snapchat before I considered deleting Twitter, but decided to start small. On Monday I started chewing on the idea of deleting Snapchat, but I didn’t take action on that thought until Friday evening. I figured if I was busy all weekend, the first few days might be a little easier.

I was wrong.

(Disclaimer: I didn’t delete the entire app because I don’t want to have to redownload the thousands of pictures I have saved on there again. I also wanted to have access to those pictures while not being on the app. I just turned off all notifications and turned off cellular data for the app. That’s been good enough for now.)

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Y’all, I can’t even tell you how many times I came THIS CLOSE to reactivating it. Oh my god I came so close. I actually have a confession, I reactivated it once on Saturday to see who had seen the “I’m getting off Snap” snap that I had posted. I didn’t open a single snap I had received over the course of 22 hours, nor did I watch a single story…but I still cheated a little. I feel a little guilty, but I’m not perfect!

Today marks 3 days without Snapchat, 6 days without Twitter, and honestly I’m feeling great. I would delete Facebook and Instagram, but my KIC workout group communicates via Facebook, and I need Instagram for self-promotion related aspects. The fact that I’m cutting back so much is a huge deal for me though. I’m pretty damn proud of myself for taking this step, too. Like shit, no one told me I needed to do this, I told myself! I decided on my own that this was the healthiest decision I could make for myself right now. I’m glad I’m doing it, even though it’s not fun.

It’s flipping hard. Y’all, I shit you not, I had a dream on Saturday night that I was using Snapchat. Like, who even does that?! That is not normal.

I’m sort of dreading the upcoming week though. I’m worried that I’ll get bored at work and crave it. If that happens, I’ll probably write a blog that might not even get posted (because I have drafts on drafts that I never end up posting). As of now, I’m going to try to make it a whole week without getting on Snapchat, and I’m a little ashamed that that will be the longest I’ve gone without it since downloading it back in 2012/13. That’s flipping insane.

Y’all, I literally would just get bored and instead of doing something productive, I would check Snapchat. I’d check SnapMaps, chat it up with people, watch stories, read articles on there, go through old pics (and get bad nostalgia), and do whatever else you do on Snapchat. Don’t get me wrong, all that would be fine in moderation, but ya girl don’t know how to moderate. I was checking Snap like way. too. often. And I was oversharing. I felt like everything I did needed to be posted to Snap.
Going out? Snap it.
Cooking dinner? Snap it.
Pool day? Snap it.
Working out? Snap it.
Like dude (@me), chill. No one cares.
My problem had escalated over the past few months, so I decided it was time to actually do something about it.

Has anyone else done something like this? Not because they wanted to, but because they needed to? If so, let me know how it went! Did it help you? Did you go back to being just as addicted after allowing yourself to get back on? I’m curious! I want this to work out for the better for me. I want to be better.

xx – A

Keep up with me on Instagram!

Happy. Blissfully happy.

I realized something yesterday. Something amazing.

As I was finishing up my workout (courtesy of the KIC program), I started thinking about the rest of the things I had to do before I could go to bed–fold laundry, eat dinner, shower, paint my nails, tidy up, things like that. I got this warm feeling inside me, and I couldn’t quite place what it was until later. I was literally standing in the shower when it hit me: now, in this moment, is the happiest I have been in so long. Longer than I can remember. In that moment, I realized I am the least stressed, least dependant, most healthy, and happiest I have been in years. Not weeks. Not months. Years. I wish I was exaggerating about that too, but sadly, I am not.

This realization hit me like a freaking wall and it kind of shook me to my core. All of the things that used to stress me out regularly are no longer a part of my life, whether they were school-related, money-related, people-related, or whatever else. They’re no longer an issue. My life has gone from something I didn’t necessarily have full control over, to one that I am so proud to call totally and completely mine.
Don’t get me wrong, I still stress over stuff all the time, but the things I stress about are things I can control. So I fix them. I work through all of the things stressing me out until the stress is gone. I still stress about money, but working full-time makes that stress manageable compared to when I was in college and having less than $100 in my account was standard. I support myself, I control my life, I do the things I want to do and avoid the things I don’t, I have an amazing routine, and I. Am. Happy.

For so long, I struggled with pretty bad depression and anxiety (I still do), but I am getting a handle on those things now. The depression has gone from something I dealt with daily to something that just pops up every now and then. But I know how to handle it now. I know what to do to right myself and move past it. Anxiety is something I feel I will always deal with, but I’ve reduced the number of things in my life that cause anxiety, so I have a good handle on that as well. Guys, I have an actual handle on my life now. It feels amazing. I have so many things going for me, I can’t help but feel blessed.

Honestly, I owe part of this emotional success to a workout routine. I maintained my own routine for about a month before I joined KIC, and things have only gone up since joining. The community I am a part of is SO INSPIRING. It feels so good and so empowering to be a part of it. Working out hard helps me to keep my stress levels at a manageable level, as well as release those fantastic happy endorphins that I love.

I am living my life for me. No one else. Right now, in this moment, I am the best version of myself I have been in a long time. I am so proud of how far I have come.

xx – A

P.S. I dyed my hair pink and I want it to stay forever. And yes I was snapping and driving, but I was stuck in traffic. So it’s okay. 🙂

 

Freakin’ Poetry, Man

If a poem hasn’t ripped apart your soul: you haven’t experienced poetry.”
-Edgar Allen Poe


It’s such a therapeutic thing for me. I know I’ve said it before, but seriously when my mind feels like it’s spiralling inward, I just try to focus on copying down poems into a journal and it calms me. It centers me. My emotions are no longer fluctuating sporadically, but rather are at the mercy of whatever I am reading and writing in that moment. I zone out and feel whatever the poet wants me to feel, and I absolutely love it. I love it so damn much.

I cooked dinner and drank wine with a friend who is also a fan of poetry last night, and she recommended some poets for me to check out. I wasn’t a huge fan of all of them, but one stood out to me once I started doing some digging–Lang Leav. I had read some of her stuff before, but I never truly immersed myself in her work. Until today.

And holy shit, I am enamored. Her poetry is almost too emotionally powerful for me to read sometimes–it’s insane! I have actually had to sit back and close my journal a few times because I needed to take another minute or two to consider what I had just read.

Small detail, I rarely read an entire poem before I decide to write it down. I tend to read just the title and first few lines, then I start copying it down. This makes it that much more powerful as I figure out what it’s really about as I go along. Some poems take a twist that I didn’t expect, and some are exactly what I expect them to be. I am constantly baffled by poetry’s ability to fluctuate so heavily.

I also don’t just copy down every poem I see. I am actually fairly critical of the things I want to dedicate my time and energy to copying down. They have to make me feel and I have to find a way to really relate to them right now. So lately, I haven’t had any inclination whatsoever to write down any sappy love poems even though I’ve read some truly beautiful ones. They’re not what I want to read right now.

So anyways, here’s some poems that I felt like sharing today. Some are from Lang Leav and the other are from my favorite, Erin Hanson (or “e.h.”).

Enjoy!

xx – A

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