Running with Anxiety

Running with Anxiety has been a monster I’ve had to deal with my whole life… While sometimes I was unaware of what to call this monster it has always affected my running and, more importantly, my life in a huge way.

It has affected me for the better recently but as I have talked about in the past I didn’t always know how to ask for help, and I didn’t always understand what was happening to me. Continue reading “Running with Anxiety”

Alleviate the Winter Blues or SAD

Winter Blues

It’s early in the year and you don’t feel like yourself. January is for new beginnings and resolutions, right? One look at your newsfeed and it’s peppered with #NewYearNewMe hashtags that make you question whether your own energy levels are up to snuff. To someone suffering from the Winter Blues the New Year is a reminder of a long road ahead.

For those suffering from the Winter Blues, the cold months, and than lack of light discourage many people from making and keeping plans. When your couch seems more inviting than the gym, fatty, and sugary foods are more comforting than mom’s homemade soup. When even Netflix and Chill seems too ambitious, you need to ask yourself if you’re just feeling the post-holiday hangover or the Winter Blues. Continue reading “Alleviate the Winter Blues or SAD”

Your Mountain is waiting! What’s standing in the way of YOUR motivation?

A few months ago, I was in a downward spiral of self-doubt and felt like I wanted to just give up. I went for a run to try to shake it off, but the grip it had on me was too strong this time. I had a potent case of the “I’m not good enough’s, I’m not smart enough’s, the who do I think I am’s, and the what will they think’s”. Self-doubt and worry have been something that I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. And at times I still do. I catch myself choosing the safe route for fear of what ‘might’ happen, or assuming that someone else is more deserving, can do it better than me, or that everyone is judging me. I have a habit of shutting down when this happens, but this time I chose to reach out instead.

So on the corner of the street, all sweaty from my run, tears streaming down my face; I called my twin brother Justin. Because I know he can always make me laugh. After I shared my fears, my doubts, and shed a few more tears, I paused and it was his turn to talk.

This is what he said:

 

At first I was impressed…. When did he become so good at rhyming??? And then I realized that he was reciting my favourite childhood poem. I had given this very book to my nephew for his birthday a few months prior. I even read it to him (with tears streaming down my face) the night before I left Toronto to fly home to Vancouver. And now, it came full circle. My brother was reading it to me. As a grown adult.

Something clicked for me that day. Of course, I’ve had my ups and downs since this poem hit me right in the heart. But I KNOW that I AM destined for big things; I’m here for a bigger purpose; and if it’s meant to be, it’s up to ME!

I am far too smart to be the only thing standing in my way – and the same goes for all of YOU reading this. We all have so so so so much love, passion, knowledge, energy, excitement, sass, adventure, courage, and unique gifts to share with the world. Don’t let fear or the excuse of lack of support stand in your way – ask for it, and be willing to receive it.  Yes silencing negative self-talk and limiting beliefs takes time, and definitely a lot of consistency, but the first step is deciding that you’re worth that time. YOU ARE. WE ALL ARE. What ever it is you’re telling yourself that you can’t do or that you don’t deserve. Stop it. Stop it, right now. Don’t deprive the world of your gift, or wait any longer to make that positive change in your life. TAKE THAT FIRST STEP, no matter how small it may seem.  It’s in the right direction.

Because TODAY is YOUR day and YOUR Mountain is waiting!

Do you have something holding you back? Comment below with your NEXT FIRST STEP!

 

Until next time,

Simply Love Yourself, Eat Real Food, and Move Your Body.

Nutrition Coach Jen

Stretching & Mindfulness

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Reclining Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)

Every athlete, exerciser, active person, and couch potato can benefit from stretching and most of us stretch daily whether intentional or not. Oftentimes daily stretching becomes habitual and thoughtless. We may not be getting the maximum benefit from from this important routine if we continually tune-out. I believe incorporating some yogic principles and even yoga asanas (or postures) into your stretching routine will maximize the physical and mental benefits of stretching.

First, start with being more mindful while doing your current stretching routine. Take those standard stretches you do every day and play with doing them in silence (no music) and with your eyes closed. Instead of counting the seconds you are holding the stretch, instead focus on your breath. See how slowly you take an in-breath and an out-breath and then practice equalizing the duration of each in-breath and out-breath (count during this portion, if needed). This often has the effect of taking you out of your mind and more fully into your body which can lead to deepening the stretch.

Second, bring even more mindfulness to your stretching by taking your attention to the parts of your body that are resisting the stretch. For instance, visualize your breath reaching into your hamstrings while you are in a forward bend. Over time you will actually feel a release of tension in the body part in which you are directing your thoughts and breath. You will actually be able to feel your body let you in. Notice which muscle groups contract and which lengthen for each stretch.

Third, instead of just stretching one muscle group at a time, you can choose a yoga posture that stretches the particular muscle group you are focusing on and so much more. For example, Revolved Triangle will stretch the hips, hamstrings, and IT band while also opening up the back, shoulders, waist, and arms.

Why use this opportunity to practice mindfulness? Bringing more attention and awareness into your body can only be good for your workouts (as well as your mental health!). Mindfulness practices have been shown to slow heart rate, reduce stress, anxiety, and tension, bring clarity and creativity, and foster compassion for both ourselves and others. Bringing mindfulness to the mundane, such as stretching or dishwashing or commuting, is the perfect practice for being able to use mindfulness at times when the stakes are higher such as intimate relationships, work projects, or health issues.