We all get a lot of advice during pregnancy whether we want it or not. It’s one of those special times of life when people feel like they can just comment on everything. During pregnancy I read all the books, all the articles, listened to all the podcasts, talked to all my sisters and friends, but I still had some surprises. In hopes to shed some light on the subject for those of you embarking on this child baring journey, these are 5 things I was NOT prepared for postpartum.
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Alright today I got to try something totally new and amazing. I had the opportunity to try out Renew Float Spa for a float! What is floating you may ask (well I didn't know either) but here's what I learned:
Imagine what it feels like to be floating in space, no gravity, completely dark, completely silent, the perfect environment for tranquility. You step into this big white pod which contains 10 inches of water that is the same temperature as your body - 93.5 degrees, as well as the air temperature. The water contains a whole lot of Epsom Salt which creates a buoyancy for your body that removes the effects of gravity on your body. You feel completely weightless, allowing every single muscle in your body to fully relax. With the water and air temperature being equal to your body, you lose track of where your body ends and the water and air begins. You are completely distraction free, and your mind goes into a state of calmness with a rush of dopamine and endorphins. You get a full hour in the pod, first 5 minutes with soft music playing to get you in the zone, then 50 minutes of dark and silence, then for the last 5 minutes the soft music returns for your to come back to earth. Its the craziest feeling! I think at one point I fell asleep and when I came back to life I seriously felt like I was on the moon!
Some of the Benefits of floating include:
Feelings of deep calm & relaxation, flow of feel-good endorphins, relieves stress, refreshes & rejuvenates the body, improve sleep patterns, reduces rehab and recovery time, relieves chronic pain (arthritis, headaches), improves blood circulation, Decreases production of cortisol, lactic acid and adrenaline, improves clarity of though and concentration, facilitates deeper meditation, Synchronizes left/right hemispheres of the brain, and so much more!
So to sum up my experience, I thought it was an amazing must try. In my opinion it's a little bit over priced, but you get a discount on your first time so that's a bonus! Since it is on the pricier side I would schedule it after a grueling physical activity that you are sore from, or before an event that may be causing you anxiety or need some extra serenity going into. My favorite part of the experience was the feeling of being completely weightless that I have never felt before! Also when you get out your body feels relaxed and energized and the epsom salt does wonders. This would be an awesome and unique gift card Christmas present for a friend or family member! Lots of these float spas are poppin up, so if you're not in Spokane, search the one nearest you!
You can find them here: www.renewfloat.com and insta: @renewfloat
Today I want to address the subject of controlling what we can, and being ok with what we can’t. Applying this to the area of Health and Fitness, I get a lot of clients telling me “well I did great for about a week, and then I ate out with friends and totally blew it”, “This week I have 2 birthday parties, and a wedding, so I’ll start the plan next week” or “I’ll train the first of the week, but then we’re going on a vacation this weekend so I’m going to have to start all over!” And the frustrating comments continue. The fact is LIFE HAPPENS, and if we look for them, excuses are EVERYWHERE! My reply to these concerns is always to “do the best you can on your own, eat your veggies, plan your meals, eat according to your activity level, get your workout in - even if it's just 15 minutes, and then on those occasions when you’re celebrating, or a neighbor has you over for dinner and they feed you cake, its not the end of the world!”
My point is this: When we’re in control, at our own house, doing the planning, in our day to day life, be on your best behavior, fuel your body the best you know how to. Turn these practices into healthy habits that just become a way of life. That way, when we are out with friends, or attending a party, it’s not the end of the world if we don’t have the best options available to us. Still do your best with your options, don't go on a complete sugar binge, but you don’t have to beat yourself up over someone cooking with canola oil instead of avocado oil, or having one of the cookies your friend brought to the party, or a piece of the wedding cake. That’s the beauty of living with moderation 365 days of the year. That 80/20 mentality. There’s always a holiday, there’s always going to be birthday parties, or social events, and these things should be enjoyed! The idea is to get in a healthy routine that works for you on the day to day, and then be ok with flexibility in moderation. Prioritize the splurges that are worth it to you.
Enjoying a pumpkin donut at a cute little pumpkin patch to kick off October is totally worth it and should be enjoyed! Sitting on your coach and reaching your hand into the bottom of the bag of potato chips just because they’re there and you're bored is probably not worth it. You be the judge ;)
Its shifting the perspective of the “diet” mindset into the mindset of a healthy lifestyle and fueling your body right to feel your best. It will soon become obvious to you that mentally and physically you perform better with a healthy, whole foods diet, and the sugary-junk-food binges don’t feel so good.
Don’t make every little “unhealthy food choice” such a big deal in your mind. Nobody’s diet is perfect, nor should it be! I think a perfect diet allows for flexibility and enjoyment of foods you love. That's why I have a piece of Chocolate everyday! Its small, and its dark, but super rich and does the trick to cure my craving and make me smile! Now I’m not saying I have a full candy bar every day to cure my cravings, but if you practice moderation you allow yourself some wiggle room, and you learn to appreciate it more!
So take away message: If you know you have a halloween party this weekend and you want to enjoy a caramel apple, do your thang, eat clean this week leading up to the party, and a low sugar/low carb breakfast & lunch that day, get a workout in, and enjoy that party! Maybe don’t down the whole apple, but see how you feel after a couple slices. Learning to tune into your body is key! Life is meant to be enjoyed, not to be lived strapped down to our mind always thinking of what we can’t eat! HAPPY WEDNESDAY WISDOM!
One of the things I’ve learned while living in Europe is that simply walking more in your day can make a huge difference on health! I’ve lost body fat, stayed lean (even with all the French Pastries), and have mental clarity during and after a beautiful brisk walk. This has had me thinking about what’s most important for my clients and people trying to lose weight and get healthy. Is it most important that they fit in an hour of a butt kicking workout just to go sit the rest of the day? Or is it more important to take the stairs throughout the day, park a little further out from the grocery store, and doing these little things throughout the day for activity? From my recent experiences, I’d vote the ladder. However both are important. We will not change our bodies with just walking a little more each day, but when we add these small additions of activity throughout our day, while maintaining a workout routine, and eating a healthy diet, we will maximize our results!
If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a little buzz word in the fitness industry. It takes on many forms that include: Cheat Meal, Cheat Day, Free day, etc. The idea is that you are super strict through the week with your eating, and then typically on a Friday or Saturday You can eat whatever you want. This does work for some people, but I’m just going to share with you why I don’t think its the best thing for our minds and bodies and my counter approach on the subject.
First of all, the only reason we would feel like we need a “cheat meal” is if we are feeling deprived from certain foods. No one wants to feel deprived. This creates a negative relationship with food over time. In my experience with training and working with different clients and in my own experience, I have learned that the more we stress about what we CAN’T have or what foods we need to CUT OUT from our diet, the harder it is to actually stick to healthy eating and maintain or lose weight. It typically back fires, and ALL WE THINK ABOUT is the foods we’ve told ourselves we CAN’T HAVE. Also, those stress levels release fat storing hormones in our body, and that definitely doesn’t help!
Its a fresh start to a new year, a clean slate. Everyone starts off the year with great intentions and then usually that fire and desire wares off by February or March. Well lets not have that happen this year! Lets make 2016 our fittest year and keep the fire lit. These are 3 tips I thought of that have helped me make goals and keep them. We all have our ups and downs, our on days and off days, but the more you practice consistency with fitness, the easier it will become. If I were to add a 4th tip to this list it would be to not beat yourself up over a slip. Just because you interrupt a good streak with a treat, or whatever it is, does not mean you have fallen off the wagon! Just get back on course and carry on. Also, January isn't the only time we get a clean slate. Think of each month, the start of each week, or even a brand new day! We have a lot of opportunities for fresh starts throughout the year, don't just settle on one. Alright now here are my top 3 tips:
I want to invite you to join me in making 2016 our “fittest” year yet! My whole desire to do this campaign for #performancegoals2016 came from my observation of the recent trending hashtags for goals. You have probably seen them or used them, #leggoals #buttgoals #hairgoals #kneecapgoals etc etc. While I think its totally fine to have people to inspire you with their fitness and physique, I don’t think its a good thing when we idealize someones body and say “I want legs like that” or “I wish I had her arms” because that’s just not how it works. I want to inspire you this year to make #performancegoals rather than #imagegoals. Set goals that push you outside your comfort zone physically, socially, academically, whatever it is, and the #imagegoals will follow. I love the wise words of Pinterest that say “train like an athlete, look like an athlete” :)
I've been thinking a lot lately about how much I've learned and grown from living abroad and I wanted to write down my thoughts. I've learned a ton about my self and life and relationships, but for this blogs purpose I am just focusing on what I've learned about health and fitness. These are just 5 specifics that I wanted to target. I hope I can inspire and share something useful from my experiences here!