Optimizing My Health

So much goes into being “healthy” that sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about, so we don’t. We put ourselves on autopilot and avoid taking a good look in the mirror at our habits, tendencies, and areas where we need to improve. If I’m being brutally honest with myself, there was about 8 months a while back right before and after my wedding that I did not work out. I just didn’t, I was stressed, tired, and didn’t wanna, gosh darn it! However, if I had taken the time to really dig deep and of course apply the common knowledge that excercise can help with stress levels, energy levels, etc etc… I really wouldn’t have had an excuse not to visit the gym or go for a run or put in that yoga DVD. I just was choosing to ignore the obvious because it was easier to stay in that pattern than put in the effort to change my habits, schedule, nutrition, etc. 

I finally broke out of my slump and started attending yoga pretty regularly, and did a fitness challenge for 2 months, and a few other things but it’s taken about another year- until now, to really find something that is working for me in terms of optimizing health. 

So I’m going to share with you what’s currently working for me in terms of overall health! Also, it’s worth noting that I truly believe being “healthy” is about far more than just physical health. Being healthy to me includes physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. I’m all about total well being over here, ya feel me?

Currently I: 

  • Attend 2-3 yoga classes a week & 1 Orange Theory Fitness (boot camp style) class per week
  • Eat mostly whole nutritious foods, minimizing processed foods and common nutritional triggers like added sugar, dairy, soy, legumes, wheat etc. (Curently I’m doing a whole30 so this part is pretty strict, but generally I’m a little more relaxed. For example, I’ll eat Greek yogurt, gourmet Cheese, beans, and some whole grains when I’m not on whole30.)
  • Take time for myself to just be; quiet time in the form of the “miracle morning” routine makes me such a happier and more productive person in all facets of my life! This includes prayer, meditation, and devotional/inspirational readings to fill the spiritual aspect.
  • Spend time with people who fill my cup. It takes a village y’all- you will never be your best self if you don’t surround yourself with like-minded, yet diverse, people to push you to be your best, pick you up when you fall down, and celebrate life’s moments with you.

And that’s the basics! I’ll be going into more detail on food & supplements on a future blog and how I’ve streamlined my grocery shopping and supplement routine! (Spoiler Alert: Amazon is Life!)

Until next time,

B

Back At It!

Well I have to say that when I pulled up WordPress, I though for sure I hadn’t posted in a year… but it turns out it was only seven months, hah! Well here I am again to attempt to grace you with all the ways I am working to optimize my life. From now on, as Gary V says, I will plan to capture vs. create. Meaning I’m just going to share what’s going on- not worry about thinking up some awesome thing to write about. So here goes nothing! 

Living With Purpose

This morning I listened to an excellent podcast by Hal Elrod, who wrote The Miracle Morning, which helped inspire my decision to improve my life by optimizing everything I do. He spoke about living with purpose and how it drives your life in such a more powerful way when you know your “why.” As in, why do you do what you do?

I am familiar with the concept through Hal, and others; plus we are even harnessing the power of a “why story” at work in our sales process. However, I just can’t seem to find mine… I think I almost have it, but it just out of reach of my conscious mind to grasp and define. That little sucker is purposely eluding me, I tell you!

The good news is, in his podcast Hal mentions that we don’t have to know our whole life’s purpose immediately- whew! But we should start with a short term, generalized “why” to get going. I think I can do that while I search for the deeper meaning. 

I’m going to start with: “To be the best version of myself that I can possibly be.”

What about you, what’s your “why?”

Paralysis by Analysis

Y’all, first off, I would like to say… I had this title for like the last 6 weeks. Please contain your enthusiasm at the irony! I have a problem where I really struggle sometimes to just get going with a project. I have grand visions of where I want things to go, how I want to manage and attack each goal, and I spend countless hours and days dreaming up the how and the when and each specific step… and if it’s not complete from start to finish, I feel that I just can’t possibly start until my plan is perfect.

However, that’s not how life works. Life throws you a curve ball when you don’t even know how to swing a bat, but you have to swing anyway if you even want a chance. So that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m stopping being nervous and worried about making sure every detail in my life is planned out- and I’m starting.

-I’m starting a new workout & nutrition a plan
-I’m starting to blog every week, no matter how small or silly- I’m posting!
-I’m starting to aggressively chase my work goals
-I’m starting to invest in myself and my relationships mindfully and not just let them pass me by on autopilot

Let go of your self-limiting beliefs, and just start. The best time for new beginnings is now!

Love- B

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Catalyst Book Round-Up

Throughout the last year as I have moved physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I have had the pleasure of reading and listening to a great many books, blogs, and podcasts that inspired me to be a better person inside and out. However, I wanted to share the eight most influential books I’ve read since I’ve been on this journey or self-renewal and revitalization. (For your convenience I’ve linked them all to Amazon via the image!) Before, I felt like a lot of the time my life was on autopilot, and as I made it a mission to live intentionally, I found great wisdom and guidance in each and every one of these books. As you will see, these titles span topics from love to money to organization. Each played a part in clarifying the murky vision I had of “becoming better” into the much clearer over arching theme of “optimizing my life.”

1. The Miracle Morning

I first heard of The Miracle Morning through a women’s inspiration/fitness group that I am a part of on facebook. I was intrigued that our fearless leader (who had two small children) would get up an hour before she had to… So I downloaded the first two chapters free from Hal’s site (www.miraclemorning.com) and I was hooked. I was lucky enough to have a friend who personally knows the author and he actually sent me a signed copy! After reading and digesting what Hal had to say about his morning routine, which incorporates the most impactful practices for positive self growth and living, I was inspired to follow along. This practice has been transformative for me… Highly recommended.

2. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo has changed the way I look at my possessions. Changed, people. It’s not just a catchy title. It’s true. I have had, shall we say, issues, in the past with holding on to things in my life that I might use in the future. I made excuses for keeping things that I no longer used, or that no longer fit because they were sooooooo expensive… Let me tell you, when you finish reading this book- there will be so many trips to The Salvation Army in your future, it’s not even funny. Hellllllllo tax deduction!

3. One Year to an Organized Life

This book, by Regina Leeds, is basically a “how to” organize your life for dummies. Regina walks through not only the physical act of organizing your space, things, processes, and budgets, but she artfully delves into some of the psychology that keeps us disorganized and stressed out. I have followed many of the weekly imperatives so far, and will be showcasing a few of my more interesting successes here on the blog in the future 🙂

4. The Five Love Languages

I actually read this book shortly after Tony & I got engaged. Having seen first hand through friends and family how many people struggle with divorce and brokenness in their marriages- I wanted to take a proactive approach to my marriage. Now please understand I am no saint. I mess up. I mess up A LOT. In fact, I don’t know why the marriage vows say for better or worse. Let’s be real, it should be for better AND worse, because I definitely have a worse side to me (sorry honey.) I digress, this book really helped me to understand that there are several different ways people communicate and receive love. Do yourself a favor if you are in a relationship and give this one a read.

5: 7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

This book was just a whole bundle of insight and conviction as author, Jen Hatmaker, stared down Seven areas in her life that she felt were out of control and feeding the new “American dream” of excess. She walks through brutal cut backs in the areas of food, clothing, possessions, media, spending, waste, and stress. Her challenges and realizations forced me to take a look at the areas in my own life where I was “feeding the consumerist machine” mindlessly and unintentionally. It helped me put a voice to the nagging feeling that I had about being a good steward of the Earth as not just a moral and ethical obligation, but a spiritual one as well. Hatmaker does all this with sarcasm, wit, and unmatched candor for a “Women’s Christian” author. That said, this book is not to be pigeon-holed- it is for everyone!

6: Zen and The Art of Happiness

For such a little book, this one sure packed a punch! Chris Prentis, leads you on a journey of reflection, science, and spirit that explores our oneness with the universe and how we can think ourselves happy. It was a quick, joyful read, and I pulled so many nuggets of wisdom out of it that I could scarcely believe that it was only 145 pages. This book proselytizes the idea that sometimes the answers to our life’s most challenging trials can be so incredibly simple: be happy.

7: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

When it comes to personal finance, there are a million books out there promising to show you the ways to get rich quick, become an overnight millionaire and the like. This book is not one of them. Robert Kiyosaki shares the life lessons he learned from his real father, and a surrogate father, who both had strongly held beliefs about money and wealth. He discusses deep “common sense” myths that abound in our culture and paints a picture of the road to financial success that is paved with hard work, education and making your money work for you. He spins entertaining tales to drive each point home and truly makes you think about your own financial paradigms.

8: It Starts With Food

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig are the co-creators of the popular Whole30 nutritional reset program. For 30 days you eat all the real, delicious whole foods you want and watch your life transform. This book gives all the behind the scenes details about our modern “Standard American Diet” and really opened my eyes to my relationship with certain foods, the psychology and physiology of many of the “food-like” products I was eating every day, and my true physical health. After following the program post appendix surgery and strictly following doctor’s orders of no to light physical exercise- I dropped 8 pounds, had great energy and most importantly felt better about my health and body than I had in years. All without ever feeling hungry or deprived. That’s not to say it was easy by any means, it took great planning, preparation and determination- but was absolutely worth it.

All said and done, I truly believe that learning is a life-long pursuit and these amazing reads helped propel me toward a renaissance of the soul in which I realized that I was meant for more than paying taxes and dying. It’s time to live with intention and be the best me I can be.

-B

From the Inside, Out.

SFirstLook-20One of the biggest concepts that I have been thinking on lately is the Law of Correspondence; the idea that your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. In my quest to optimize my life, this seemed like the most fitting place to start; with me. So I’ve been spending extra time on myself and making my happiness, inner peace, and outer behavior a priority. This includes lots of personal development, extracurricular education, goal setting, prayer, meditation, yoga and of course being nicer to my husband 😉

Wish me luck & send me your good vibes!

-B