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Posts Tagged ‘Reflections’

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To my fearless fitness family,

I apologize for my absence, I have been busy flying to a new location! I am proud to announce that my new website: http://www.carolinejordanfitness.com/ has successfully been launched. I now feel that my online brand accurately reflects the work I do and the path I plan to pursue. After many years blogging from this “Fearless Fitness” space, I am beyond excited to share this update with you.  You’ll now find all my YouTube videos, blog posts, and updates all in ONE place.  Visit the site and check it out, I cant wait to hear what you think of it! If you wish to stay in touch and get weekly positive emails in YOUR inbox, update your blog subscription by entering your email in the “subscribe box” : http://www.carolinejordanfitness.com/blog/. I can’t wait to share more informative, inspirational, and positive posts with YOU in the future!

Thank you for being a part of my loving community of support. Together we can fly free and lead happy, healthy lives. Looking forward to sharing a bright future with you. Onward and Upward!

With love and gratitude,

Caroline

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“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me. I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with the opportunity to begin again and be better.” –  Oprah.

On December 27, 2012 I joined together with 13 cousins and 6 aunts and uncles to celebrate the life of one woman: My Grandmother. Grandma stands as an inspiration to us all, the walking proof of a life well lived. She is  glowing, full of health and vitality. Celebrating 90 years of life with my family was a memorable, meaningful night for me. I set a new personal goal: to live to 90 (and THEN some) just like my Grandma Joan.

What can you do to age gracefully and increase your longevity? Luck and genetics are a piece of the puzzle, but you can’t control that. To increase your odds of reaching 90 and beyond, it’s about focusing on what you can do. Loading up on fruits and veggies, working out five days a week, and cutting down on stress are just a few habits to help you age well. Here are a few other suggestions from one woman who knows, my Grandmother!

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Lessons on living till 90 (and THEN some!) from Grandma Joan

Move Your Body. Regular exercise is one of the strongest predictors of a long life. Thats because being active is like turning up a car engine. It keeps systems running better so even if there’s a decline with age its less severe. Unfortunately, many of us are stuck behind a desk most days with a sedentary job, which can negatively affect longevity. To add years to your life, make exercise part of your daily routine. Even a little bit goes a long way: try walking 30 minutes a day and a few times a week add on something else like a dance class or lifting weights. Research shows that people who perform even the most basic movements (walking just 3 to 5 days a week) live longer than those who don’t.  Especially the older you get—stop moving, stop living.

Have Meaningful Relationships. Having meaningful relationships is critical to your health. Partly because the reverse – being isolated – can lead to depression and even dampen the immune system. My Grandma knows this all too well, she had SIX kids after all! Her one tip of advice? Just make sure to surround yourself only with people who can lift you higher. You want to be around those that positively influence your life and encourage you to reach your goals. Establish regular dates to be social with your those you love. Go to happy hour, visit a museum, savor a meal, enjoy life together!

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Set the Table and Share Home-cooked Meals. Making it a priority to share meals with those you love not only helps build meaningful relationships (see above) it improves your nutrition. Cooking your own food means having control over the ingredients, so you can make sure there are no chemicals or preservatives and no extra amounts of sugar or salt. Plus, using fresh vegetables and fruits from your own garden is a huge bonus. The more recently the produce was picked, the more nutrients it has, which means more antioxidants and vitamins to keep your body and brain young. My Grandma makes dining an event: the table is set and  we sit down (distraction free!) to enjoy a mindful, nutritious meal together.

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Have a Hobby. Having a pastime reduces stress and provides a sense of accomplishment. Its even more beneficial to have a hobby that allows you to be creative. Creative hobbies take you out of your daily patterns and ignite your inner spirit. Make a vision board, take a cooking class, and engage in a creative projects as often as possible. You’ll find that time spent in creativity heightens your happiness and gives you more energy for the other areas of your life.

Always dress as if you are meeting the Queen. My grandmother would never let me leave the house without brushing my hair at least 100 times.  Good thing too because research actually confirms that a little vanity is good for you. In a Harvard study, people who thought they looked better had an actual drop in blood pressure. And as much as I LOVE spending all day in stretchy pants, there is something to be said for getting yourself together. Feeling confident about how you present yourself will increase how you feel now AND later!

Maintain a Healthy weight. If you keep your weight in a healthy range for your gender, age, and height, it keeps your organs healthy, there’s less need for medication, and it enables you to maintain a healthy lifestyle longterm. Most health problems in America can be correlated to lifestyle and bad habits. Eating right along with exercising and not smoking are the key habits that slash your disease risk by 80 %. Choose good for you foods and aim to keep your weight in a healthy range (click here for a healthy weight assessment).  The healthier you are, the better you feel. The better you feel, the longer you live.

DRINK water, don’t smoke, and moderate your alcohol intake. Well you knew that one already!

Be in good spirits. I truly believe in the power of positive thoughts to heal, energize, and help us enjoy life. What we tell ourselves and the messages we take in from others affect our ability to live long, happy lives. They help the health of our mind, body, and soul. Recognize that you create your perceptions from the inside out. A person’s mood in the moment creates his or her experience; a person’s experience does not create his or her mood. Those who understand this live a smooth and stress-free life and do not play victim to external circumstances. Moral of the story: the quality of your thoughts creates the quality and longevity of your life! 

Make Downtime a Priority.  Skimping on leisure time can raise your risk of heart disease eightfold. Not to mention the very REAL negative health effects of stress and working too much. The simple solution? Schedule regular downtime.  I like to practice what I call Personal Protected Days (PPD). PPD’s are all about learning to take time for yourself and incorporate balance into life. When you don’t get enough downtime, then you can’t appreciate or enjoy the time you have with others.  Book leisure time into your schedule and don’t let anything else get in the way once it’s on the calendar. We all need different amounts of alone time based on personalities, schedules and family commitments. Even if you live with a friend, a spouse, a partner or kids its important to find some space for yourself. Do whatever it takes to find this space and protect it. Learn that taking  time for yourself is NOT selfish, but an essential part of living a long life!

Experience the World. Being engaged in the world gives life meaning. That is a good thing for your mental health and seems to lower your overall risk of dying. It’s better to look back on life and say, “I can’t believe I did that,” than to look back and say, “I wish I did that.”  So take the trip, learn a new language, try something new and enjoy all that life has to offer. Even if you live till 100 life is STILL too short. Go for what you want and don’t wait to experience life!

Have an attitude of gratitude. Practicing gratitude can center you, help you live in the moment, enhance your relationships, help you overcome hurdles, improve your health, and motivate you to reach your goals.  Feeling grateful for what you have can produce the good feelings that keep you moving towards the happy life you want. Look around and count your blessings. Clear your head of all the little things that won’t matter down the line, when you’re looking back at all the times you cherished the most in life, and find a reason to make every moment one of them.

Thanks for teaching me how to live well just by being YOU Grandma. Looking forward to enjoying year 90 (and THEN some) with you!

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Is longevity one of your goals? How do you work towards living a life that is long and FULL? Leave a comment below with one habit you have that increases the amount of years in your life. Heres to enjoying a healthy, happy life and increasing our longevity simply by doing it.

Caroline

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“It’s not the amount of years in Your Life….but the amount Of LIFE in your years!”

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Lululemon Athletica is much more than just high quality spandex. Its a company that creates the components for people to live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives. It is a company that is COMMITTED to living by it’s  manifesto. Want to be inspired? Read it below:

the lululemon manifesto

  • Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.
  • A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.
  • Do one thing a day that scares you.
  • Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.
  • Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.
  • Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.
  • Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
  • That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.
  • Stress is related to 99% of all illness.
  • Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.
  • The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!
  • Friends are more important than money.
  • Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.
  • Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.
  • Don’t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.
  • Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.
  • The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.
  • Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.
  • Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.
  • Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
  • Dance, sing, floss and travel.
  • Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.
  • Successful people replace the words “wish”, “should” and “try” with “I will”.
  • Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment.
  • Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.
  • lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.
  • Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.
  • SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.
  • Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.
  • What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
  • The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.

This past week, a seemingly innocent afternoon invite to visit turned into a celebratory ambush complete with confetti, red pants, and french macarons. On Monday December 3 2012, lululemon athletica Grant Avenue PROPOSED and asked me to be a lululemon Ambassador for the 2013 year.

What is a lululemon Ambassador, you ask?
“Ambassadors are outstanding yogis, athletes, and fitness leaders within our communities who embody the lululemon lifestyle and live the our culture. These individuals personally contribute to our vision of elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness.” (www.lululemon.com).

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When the Ambassador program first began, it was purely a product feedback relationship, and has since turned into a lot more.  Now it’s a relationship between the Ambassador, the store and the community. Lululemon doesn’t “sponsor” athletes, so this is their way of getting to promote and connect with local instructors, athletes, and wellness professionals. They pick people active in the community who are passionate about their career and who’s work reflects the lululemon product, culture, and manifesto. I had the opportunity to represent Grant Avenue as an ambassador in 2009 and I am honored to have the chance to do it again in 2013.

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My experience with lululemon has been more positive, powerful, and fulfilling than I ever could have imagined.  They sent me on an unforgettable trip to CANADA, filled my San Francisco years with memorable events, and have created a community that feels like family. I am so grateful to have this unique opportunity to represent the store and be an ambassador once more. I can’t stop smiling and I am looking forward to a year full of making memories with powerful people.

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Looking back, I am a much different person now than when I first was an ambassador in 2009. The successes, failures, and learning lessons of the past  few years have allowed me to grow and slowly come into my own. It feels like I am an Ambassador for the first time all over again, as an upgraded version of Caroline, a stronger one. The line from the manifesto that relates most to me right now is “DO one thing a day that scares you”. This past year I have been earnestly challenging myself to leave the comfort zone and my life has blossomed as a result.  It’s astonishing how when you put your needs first, the rest of your life starts falling into place. This revolutionary concept serves as my motivation to keep moving forward, even when the path gets scary.

I’m proud of myself for overcoming fears, trusting my gut, and working hard towards living a life that feels right in my heart. I’ve learned to trust the process and be patient. It doesn’t happen all at once. You become and it takes a long time. I may not be there yet, but I am closer today than I was in 2009 and I owe part of my progress to lululemon. Their belief in me and loving support has often been the extra ammunition needed to keep me moving forward towards my goals. No person is an island and it’s helpful to have a team cheering me on in lululemon.

My biggest learning lesson from this past year is this: Doing one thing a day that SCARES you gives you freedom. It’s not easy. But if you can break down the walls and leave the cage of your fears: you will FLY, you will SOAR, you will be UNSTOPPABLE.

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Thank you lululemon Grant Avenue for believing in me and helping me fly free. This will be my best year yet. Heres to a year  full of flying high, flying far, and doing one thing every day that scares you.

With love and gratitude,

Your SUPER EXCITED Ambassador for 2013,

Caroline

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What line in the manifesto is your favorite or relevant in your life right now? Favorite item of lululemon athletica clothing?

Make sure to “like” lululemon athletica Grant Avenue’s facebook page for inspiration and support to reach all of YOUR goals.  2013 is THE year. 

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Some people spend all their lives on a boring little island called, “Someday Isle”. “Someday I’ll be happy. Someday I’ll hike in Nepal. Someday I’ll run a marathon. Someday I’ll have a great adventure”. But life is NOT a dress rehearsal. Life is HERE and NOW. Reach out and seize it, you deserve it!

 

Challenge yourself this week is to list five things you’ve been procrastinating about and plan to take at least a little bit of action towards them. A small step forward makes a difference and you’ve got nothing to lose but time. Waiting to learn how to swim? Holding back to send out your stellar resume? Trying to find a reason to ask that special person out? Just do it!. DO IT NOW!!

After all I am getting older..

 

Have a great week and hope to see you soon 🙂

Caroline

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Being alive means experiencing life at its most exciting, scary, frustrating, joyous, mindblowing, heartwrenching highs, lows, and in-betweens. This past Thursday, September 27th I celebrated twenty-seven years of life. It was the most beautiful birthday filled with friends, family, and experiences I will remember for a lifetime. I feel blessed and am incredibly grateful for all the joy in my life.

 

My mother and I celebrating my Golden Birthday September 27 2012.

For me, Birthdays are a time for reflection, celebration, and a whole lot of French macarons. Looking back on the past twenty seven years, I started thinking about the things I know to be true in life thus far. Things I know and trust even if I havent articulated them yet. Things that keep me going even when the ride gets hard. Things that I know to be true without a doubt.

I wanted to share 27 Golden Truths that I’ve learned thus far. Life is a wild ride, it’s been a great journey and Im looking forward to learning more 🙂

27 Golden Truths

1. There is much I don’t know or understand and probably never will. And thats ok.

2. I can change my life at ANY time and any age. I can even run a marathon at 100. As can you.
3. For better answers, we need to ask better questions.
4. A set of chiseld abs means nothing if you have an ugly heart.
5. Nature impacts like nothing else can. Majestic. Breathtaking. Spirtual. Healing. Destructive. Unfathomably mysterious. Watching a sunset or sunrise, running to the Golden Gate Bridge, walking by the Bay are some of the times I am most connected to the world and my soul.
6. Life is infinitely better with a daily gratitude practice. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of what they have.
7. No matter what happens I will be.okay. More than okay actually 🙂
8. Happiness is a form of courage.
9. When you feel good about yourself on the inside, youll project the same healthy energy outward. You won’t have to worry about how you look. Your body will naturally radiate health and fitness.  Wellbeing is an inside – out process.
10. If being healthy is stressing you out you’re doing it wrong.
11. That everything is better in color.

12. Vision and passion can conquer ANY obstacle. You will never know your limits till you push yourself to them. Make your determination bigger than your excuses.
13. Random acts of kindess make the world a better place and people, nicer. Everyone should do at least one a day. Smile, hug, make eye contact, drop coins in the meter. Endless ways to do good.
14. Miracles happen. I don’t know how, but the most mind blowing miracles happen on Earth every day.
15. Fear & comparison are the thieves of joy. The Darth Vader of happiness.  Inescapable.  But surmountable. Always.
16. My mind is my second most powerful ally. And worst enemy. The only thing more powerful, is my heart.
17. Its all about perspective. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. 
18. Humans are ridiculously resilient and adaptable. Survivors. Thrivers. Amazing.
19. You can only grow if you are willing to feel uncomfortable and awkward. When you try something new.

20. In the end, it’s not about the awards you got, the money you made, the things you bought. It’s about the EXPERIENCES you had. The lives you touched. The smiles you shared. How you made someone feel. Whether you followed your heart and dreams. Lived authentically.
21. A life lived true to your values is freakin’ hard and you’ll fall off and compromise more than once. But in the end, it’s having walked the path with heart that matters most.
22.  If it’s important to you you’ll find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.
23. Success is a decision, not something that happens to you.
24. If life hands you lemons – then you should go to lululemon.

25. That its your life and if you dont live it… no one else will.
26. Sometimes you need to go slow to go fast.
27. Positive thoughts attract positive results and I am positive about that.

In a world where life happens while you’re busy planning it, where things turn on a dime and nothing is ever certain except change, what do you know to be true without a doubt?

What do YOU know to be true? Please share, thank you!

Thank you for celebrating twenty seven years with me. Looking forward to whats to come on this journey!

 

With love and gratitude,

 

Caroline

 

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“Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment.

Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.”

Think the above quote is a bunch of “lululemon fluff”? Think again. Believe it or not, the simple act of being “in the moment” can take your health to the next level. Learning to practice mindfulness will not only improve your wellness, it will allow you to take JOY in your life. Want to savor the journey not just the destination? Read on and learn how to cultivate mindfulness in your daily actions.

Mindfulness is the non-judgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment. The topic of mindfulness, now supported by a large body of knowledge and practice, can help you accomplish all of your goals and lead the fulfilling life of your dreams.
More often than not, we are not fully aware of and awake to where we are and what we are doing. We walk around on automatic pilot. Eating while reading, working, or worrying about past or future events, instead of tasting each bite of food. When we workout our minds are busy working out thinking about our to-do list, instead of being in tune with our body and it’s movement.
Mindfulness is a way to break free from autopilot and to enjoy the rich life you want. By simply paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, relationships, and environments, without judgment or condemnation, we wake up to the experience of what’s going on around us and within us while it’s actually happening. This frees us to experience our lives and make informed decisions about new directions, dreams, and goals.

Everyone has the ability to be fully present and practice mindfulness in their daily lives. For example, eating can provide a wonderful opportunity to become mindful. Instead of rushing through meals or snacks, doing two things at once, with hardly a thought as to what we are eating, where the food comes from, or how it will impact our bodies, minds, and spirits, we can slow down and pay attention in ways that increase enjoyment, change our relationship to food, and become more conscious to our consumption. Such mindfulness can lead not only to improved eating habits but also to fuller experiences in other areas of life. Increased mindfulness in one area leads to increased mindfulness in all areas.

One of the most popular mind-training techniques in sports now is the practice of mindfulness. Part of the attraction is its simplicity – although, admittedly, the technique can take practice. Essentially, mindfulness is the ability to rest the mind in the moment, focused on a specific object or task, and to create a relaxed but alert state of mind. From a workout point of view, this means putting the mind into the muscle, bringing a greater awareness to the physical body and the sensations within it. The theory of this technique is that in being able to step back from the inner dialogue and witness ourselves from a place of awareness, it can give us a greater perspective on our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. And in being less distracted by those things, we are able to “think less” and “do more”. We are able to get out of our minds and into our muscles in sports.

As we practice being fully present in our lives, we learn to increase mindfulness in  all of our daily experiences. We grow to pay more attention to the many dynamics of health, wellness, and life. Jon Kabat-Zinn writes:

“When, through the practice of mindfulness, we learn to listen to the body through all its sense doors, as well as to attend to the flow of our thoughts and feelings, we are beginning the process of reestablishing and strengthening connectedness within our own inner landscape. That attention nurtures a familiarity and an intimacy with our lives unfolding at the level of what we call body and what we call mind that depends and strengthens well-being and a sense of ease in our relationship to whatever is unfolding in our lives from moment to moment. We thus move from dis-ease, including outright disease, to greater ease and harmony and, as we shall see, greater health” (2005, p. 123).

Motivated to be mindful? Here are simple ways you can practice mindfulness in the daily moments of your life:

      • Take the time to prepare a delicious meal. Buy the ingredients. Focus on cooking every step the recipe. Present the finished product on your favorite dishware and host a gourmet meal solo.
      • Turn off the t.v., phone, computer and savor a meal slowly. Are you hungry? What does the food look like, smell like, taste like? How can you enhance the experience of eating?
      • Go for a walk, hike, bike ride, run outside. Where are you? What is going on around you? How does the air smell? Observe all of the interesting and beautiful things in the world around you.
      • Enjoy your favorite workout solo. Notice every movement, every drop of sweat. Imagine you are moving in slow motion, noticing every body position. When the workout becomes challenging, what do you feel happening? How is your heart rate? What does it feel like to move your muscles? Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after.
      • Put your favorite song on your itunes. Press play. Sit and just listen. What is it about? Does it bring out any emotions? Does it make you smile or sing along?
      • Focus on your breath. Your breath is a powerful and simple way to anchor yourself in the present moment. Whenever you are having a hard time staying in the now, take deep breaths, and focus on your breathing. Try something like counting to four on the inhale and four on the exhale. It allows the logical part of the brain to focus on counting. After a while you’ll find yourself centered and can just be with your breath.

I could go on, but I think you understand… there is NO end to the opportunities for mindful living! Becoming more mindful is done step-by-step. You do not have to go all-in. Simply work towards increasing the amount of time you spend in the present moment each and every day.  It just takes practice and a positive attitude to grow into a mindfulness master.

Through living with a practice of mindfulness, we are able to truly understand and appreciate its powerful effect on health, fitness, and wellness. Being present allows us to SHOW UP and LIVE our  lives. It enables us to learn, grow, and develop beyond what we might otherwise have thought possible. This week how will YOU be mindful?

Give yourself a gift and be present this week. Your heart will thank you for it 🙂

Hope to see you soon and share a mindful moment with you. Have a GREAT week, breathe deep, and celebrate every second!

Caroline

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…to not match your running shoes to your socks to your shorts to your top. It all ends up sweaty and in the laundry basket anyway.

…to find the audible breathing exercises in yoga kinda funny.

…to workout for half an hour or less. Trust me, it still counts.

…if your favorite workout playlist involves Backstreet boys, N’Sync, or even Disney. And yes, “Circle of Life” totally gets me going.

…to go to the gym just so you can watch your favorite reality tv show and call it “cardio”.

…to prefer your old school Timex (or no watch at all) to the oversized garmin-esque GPS watches. Are they really training for something so serious?

…to ask for a dessert menu.

…to pat yourself on the back for breaking a harder sweat on the treadmill than the guy texting/talking/playing Angry Birds on his phone to your left.

…to walk.

…to buy tennis attire even if you’ve never swung a racquet. It’s fully acceptable for non-yogis to sport yoga pants isn’t it?

…to have a snack with you at all times

…to constantly assess each new pop song this spring wondering which one will be your next workout anthem.

…to actually LIKE your smile lines.

…to eat almond butter by the spoonful. Seriously. Somehow it is more delicious this way.

…to switch to another treadmill just because you dont want to run next to sweaty shirt man.

…to do kettlebells just for the ego boost. Workout or not, swinging those things makes you feel  superhero HOT.

…to count your night out clubbing as a workout. Your drop it like it’s hot dance moves seriously tone your thighs!

…to cringe when the person in front of you orders a double chocolate, extra whip cream, 6 Splenda latte at Starbucks. Six? Seriously? Just get the real sugar for goodness sakes.

…to be proud if you can do more pushups than any guy in your class/office/family. Strong is the new skinny.

…to show up for a partner-workout half asleep, unmotivated, and apathetic. You might event want to strangle your friend for her cheery, caffeine fueled conversation- but hey, you worked out and you can brag about it all day.

…to take a day off.

…to run a road race, take golf lessons, join an adult soccer league, or enroll in dance lessons to fulfill a long-lost childhood dream. Maybe you were meant to be the next Rodger Bannister, Tiger Woods (pre-fall from grace), Mia Hamm or Cheryl Burke.

 

Believe it or not, everyone can still be healthy, fit, and happy without prescribing to a paleo diet, running 8 miles every day and drinking freshly squeezed wheatgrass in the morning. You can achieve wellness without going to extremes or setting limits. This spring, give yourself a BREAK and enjoy being healthy in a way that makes YOU HAPPY. It’s ok to live your life in a way that makes you FEEL good both inside and out. Life is short, savor it and be nice to yourself!

 

Wishing you and yours a HAPPY spring full of health. Hope to see you soon. Till then, keep shining 🙂

Caroline

 

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replenish [rɪˈplɛnɪʃ]

vb (tr)

1. to make full or complete again by supplying what has been used up or is lacking
2. to put fresh fuel on (a fire)
How do you take time to refuel and replenish yourself so you can live your best life?
So often we put everything else ahead of our health and well-being.  It can be terribly difficult to make time for ourselves, especially if doing so results in guilt for spending time away from loved ones, the office, or whatever feels more important.  In our busy lives, it can feel excruciating to leave the house for 90 minutes to take a yoga class or grab dinner with a friend.  And these important time-outs dont do much good when we are stressed or anxious over taking them in the first place.
What if we were to change how we think about the time we set aside for ourselves?  What if we were to learn how to recognize its importance in our lives and the lives of the people who count on us?
In the book The Trance of Scarcity, author Victoria Castle writes, “Those of us who want to do good in the world are especially accountable to our own well-being.  If we are to be of real service to humanity, we must make ourselves available to be nourished, inspired, and sustained.  Otherwise, how would we keep going?”
This is profound on many levels, but two parts of this quote speak to me most.  First, she says that those of us who want to do good in the world are especially accountable. Often we act as if  we believe the opposite; we behave like martyrs, giving to others and never taking the time to renew ourselves.  I also love the way Victoria says we must make ourselves available to be nourished, inspired, and sustained.  It is up to us, a choice we can make and a necessity to our lives.
If we don’t fill ourselves up, how can we expect to enrich the lives of others?
Every day you have an opportunity to be renewed, replenished, nourished, inspired, and sustained (not to mention relaxed!).  Take note of the above image, “the meaning of life is to live it”.  My hope for each of us is that we take the time to do just that. What activities bring your life the most joy? Plan to take the time for those things in your week and be ok with your decision to spend some time doing what you love. Spend some time every single day in your body and with your breath. Go out for tea, a cocktail, a meal with friends or family. Replenishing yourself can be as simple as taking a few moments to feel gratitude for your health, your family, or the other blessings that bring your life joy.  A daily gratitude practice — even just a few minutes each day– is itself nourishing, inspiring, and sustaining.
Choosing to nourish yourself takes practice and you will have to figure out the habits that will help you LIVE your best life. I challenge you to REPLENISH yourself so you can continue to give to others.  Serve as an example for the other people in your world.  How amazing would it feel to inspire your children, a parent, your spouse or partner, a friend, a coworker to be kind and good to themselves?  Start a domino effect for the people around you and “Be the Change you want to see in the world”.
This spring to help you Replenish yourself, Sokenbicha is giving away a case of their REPLENISH tea blend and a sweet swag bag to one lucky winner! I’ve tried the new flavor and I am a FAN! To enter to win, follow @SokenbichaTea on Twitter, share this blog post and include the @SokenbichaTea @carolinefitness handles. You have until the end of April, so you can share this post as often as you’d like for added chances to win.

Click here to read more about Sokenibicha Tea or check them out on Facebook.

How will you REPLENISH yourself this spring? Give love to yourself, it makes the world a better place 🙂

With love,

Caroline

Quick Disclosure: Sokenbicha partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in this giveaway. Sokenbicha believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Sokenbicha’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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“The Sky is falling the Sky is falling!”

You’re having one of those days where nothing is going right — you’re late for work, your computer crashed, you spilled coffee on your brand-new shirt, and its RAINING. By the end of the day, you find yourself collapsed and zombie-like  asking “Where is my life going? Where did I go wrong?”. The events of the day have left you defeated and in need of an attitude adjustment. Indeed, a shift in your perspective at some point during the day could have turned things around. What should you do next time a stormy day messes with your emotions and attitude? Shower yourself with small things that improve your well-being and shift your mindset to a positive one. Sprinkled in throughout even the darkest day, the simple tasks listed below can help bring rainbows out of the rain.

Caroline’s Attitude Adjustment. Easy Ways To Brighten Your Attitude on Rainy Days. 

    • Take a Friend to Lunch/Coffee: Invite a positive, supportive friend out for a quick bite. You’ll get to visit and talking to someone will likely boost your spirits.
    • Listen to Your Favorite Song: Carry your ipod/ iphone with you and listen to your favorite tunes when you feel upset or overwhelmed . A study in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia found that music decreased anxiety experienced by patients before surgery. Have a playlist created and on hand just for stormy days. Pack it full of “feel good” songs that never fail to pick you up and make you smile. Try out my guilty pleasure party playlist for ideas on songs you cant help but smile to.
    • Compliment Others: There is nothing more uplifting than making someone else’s day. Give a genuine compliment to someone to change your focus to things other than your problems. Making someone else feel good will leave you joyful and give you positive feelings that can turn your attitude around.
    • Take Ten: STOP and take 10 minutes. Reconnect with yourself, take a few DEEP breaths, and calm down from the events of the day. We live in a fast-paced culture where we move at warp speed with ridiculous to-do lists. If we take time to be quiet, we can get in touch with our values, priorities, and set positive intentions for ourselves. By taking this time, you’ll be able to bring your mind to a balanced, positive state and make rational decisions to move forward with your day.
    • Count Your Blessings: A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals with a more grateful outlook on life exhibited a heightened state of well being. According to the study, “research has shown that gratitude is linked with positive emotions including contentment, happiness, and hope.” At some point during the day, make a simple list of five or ten things that you are grateful for in your life. We have talked about the power of keeping a gratitude journal in this space before. It’s amazing how simply taking the time to count your blessings goes FAR in helping you with a positive attitude.
    • Shake It Off: Did someone else’s words or actions contribute to your sour attitude? Try not to take things personally.  Instead, develop the habit of looking at other people’s actions as just the way they are and less of a personal statement about you. Keep in mind that you can’t control another person’s actions, but you CAN control your reactions. Dont give others actions a second thought and focus all your energy towards living your best.
    • Just Say Om: Cultivate your spiritual side. This could mean checking out a meditation class (often yoga studios are a good source), exploring the local religious centers in your neighborhood or asking a friend to recommend a good spiritual book.  Studies show that those who develop their own spirituality and their own belief system will live longer and more satisfying lives. Simply practicing the beliefs that you have through meditation or organized worship can be very helpful for developing a positive attitude. After all, trust gives way to a better attitude and mood, whether that trust is in a higher power or yourself! Good places to connect you to your spirit: Intent.com, Hay House Radio, Live FEARLESS and Free by Terri Cole, and the DAILY LOVE .
    • Work It Out. Im positive the endorphins created from exercise can help make any bad day disappear. Nothing cheers you up more than an endorphin rush. Get your gear on and GO out for a run or sweat session. Better yet, go to a class and let a group energy take your mind off the events of the day. The hardest step is the first one out the door, you’ll come back from your workout smiling and brand new.
    • Get Inspired. Is there a teacher, book, song, or photo that moves you at a deeper level? Next time your attitude is feeling funky, connect to the people and things that inspire you most. When Im out of sorts, a class with Stephanie Snyder Yoga, article from Oprah, or talk from TED turns my entire day around for good. Make the effort to connect to the things that make your heart sing and lift your spirits UP from the storm.
    • When All Else Fails…. Dance Like a MANIAC. Shimmy, shake, and FLASHDANCE your attitude to a whole new place. With moves like these,  I guarantee you’ll end up smiling 🙂

 

What is your number ONE tip for funky day attitude adjustment? Leave your suggestion as a comment below – together we can inspire each other to work towards a happier attitude no matter what the weather 🙂

Looks like rain for the next couple days…. will you be smiling?

With Gratitude,

Caroline

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“I blew it; I was doing so well. Oh well, I might as well enjoy this weekend and start over on Monday.”

“I feel awful when I miss a workout. Even if I’m sick, I feel like I’m being lazy and that missing one workout is going to turn me into a fat, lazy slob. I know it’s ridiculous, but it’s how I feel.”

“I just don’t have the motivation or will power to start over and be successful. I quit. Maybe this summer will be a better time to get back into it.”

“I feel so guilty when I miss a workout. The next chance I get to sweat im so anxious about getting back into shape I tend to overdo it. Then I’m too sore to workout again for a few days. I know it’s a bad cycle but I cant seem to break it. But at least I’m doing some workouts!”

Workout Guilt. You want to go but you don’t. You schedule it but you break your “appointment”. Or you overtrain because you can’t handle the thought of getting “out of shape”. You beat yourself up for not following through or not working hard enough to get the results you want. In the end you wind up doing more harm than good because no one does well when they’re beaten down, stressed out, and tired. It’s a self-defeating and energy-sucking pattern that leaves you feeling exhausted.

If the above sounds familiar, you are not alone. Most of us struggle with workout guilt and have the desire to overcome it. Our bodies NEED rest and we deserve to take a day off the gym without feeling like we are slacking off.

Wallowing in workout guilt isn’t working, its time to move past it  and move forward with your life. Heres my “snap out of it” strategy to help you  break free from workout guilt, make peace with yourself, and accomplish your wellness goals. Use the below tips to leave the pity party and work towards longevity. I believe you CAN develop an attitude that helps you enjoy a healthy relationship to exercise and guilt-free workouts for life!

Caroline’s Tips to Help You BREAK FREE from Workout Guilt.

Set Realistic Health Goals. 

I fully support making goals that challenge you to grow. But if your goals are unrealistic you are setting yourself up for failure. Create goals that challenge you but follow a S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed) plan. Under-promise and over-deliver with your accomplishments towards wellness. Be realistic and you will successfully reach your goals without a guilt trip.

Make an ACTION Plan.

Create a clear vision of your S.M.A.R.T goals and develop an action plan to accomplish them. Having a plan for the week (or month) removes the pressure of feeling clueless and it gives you a solid strategy for success when it comes to your health. Prepare a realistic workout program and map out your schedule for yourself. Ask for help from a personal trainer if you are not sure how to create an exercise program that’s tailored to meet your needs.

PACE yourself

Often workout guilt or anxiety over “getting out of shape” can create a binge and purge relationship to exercise. Its either too much or too little; leaving you out of shape, injured, or frustrated. Over-training or under-training is self-destructive; it will never get you the results and health you want. Moderation is the key in establishing a lifelong healthy relationship to exercise. Be sure your action plan practices moderation and balance to avoid burnout or injury.

Drop the “all or nothing” mindset.

This mentality sets you up to feel guilty eventually and is why so many people struggle to succeed. Expecting to stick to a structured eating and exercise plan for an extended period of time without ever deviating is unrealistic. Things happen and life can get in the way – through illness, other obligations, exhaustion, different opportunities, etc – it is impossible for someone to NEVER miss a workout. Remember it doesn’t matter if you fall down, it is if you pick yourself up that counts. It’s not all or nothing, get back at it and don’t beat yourself up.

Shift your thinking. 

Remember it’s about wellness for life, NOT fitness for one day. Shift your thinking and see exercise as a way to alleviate stress, empower yourself, and fuel your life with health. It’s not about looking good in skinny jeans. It’s about having the health to enjoy your life. Choose to look at real HEART of exercise: wellness. This mindset always trumps any guilt trip.

Forgive. Learn. MOVE ON. 

Regret can follow you like a dark cloud that overshadows every other aspect of your life. When you feel ashamed or guilty about your past behavior or performance, the negative feelings will act like BRAKES in your forward motion.  CHOOSE to put it all behind you.Take the lessons of what happened and apply them to develop a fresh and open attitude on future action. You have control. Forgive yourself, take a deep breath, and MOVE onward.

Move on Mantra.

If workout guilt still lingers, here is a workout mantra you can use to pick yourself UP and move on with your life. Read, re-read, print it on a sticky note, or say it out loud to yourself. Repeat as much as you need to get your head and heart in the right place:

“I forgive myself for the mistakes I made. I’m not perfect – no one is – and I’m committed to learning and getting better. The past experience is my wise teacher, and I will apply the lessons well. I love myself enough to forgive and move forward. Letting GO is worth it when health and happiness are the end result.”

Track Your Progress.

Keeping track of your progress will help motivate you and provide a plan to come back to when you “fall of the wagon”. Record your daily workouts including exercises, duration, weight, sets, and reps. Write notes about intensity levels, what you need to work on, how you felt, etc. Use a free online journal like the daily plate or get tech savvy and track your output with NIKE’s FUEL BAND (how cool is that one?!). Tracking your progress will not only show you your stats but provide you with a record of your achievements. Look back and reflect on all of your accomplishments when you feel you’ve “messed up”. Recognize how far you have come  and pick up where you left off.

Bottom Line? Stop putting yourself down. Just stop. Do the best you can and prove to yourself you can do it.

Practice the skills above and teach yourself how not to feel guilty about exercise.  Listen to your body and support yourself towards your goals with a realistic action plan tailored to your needs. Remember that you’re exercising to improve your life and you want to keep progressing to improve your overall health.  Be consistent, realistic, and make time for daily movement. Always stay positive and make your ultimate goal one of WELLNESS. Every training day is different. The important part is showing up, doing your best, and committing to a healthy, happy life.

Whats your top strategy when feeling workout guilty? Leave a comment below with your tip on not giving in to workout guilt. Have a GREAT week and cant wait to see you for another workout soon. Till then, keep shining 🙂

Caroline

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