Wellness Philosophy

Every day I see different things on all of my social media about different workout plans, diets, etc. It is no wonder why so many people are confused about which plan to chose or what they should do or start doing. Even with my background with bikini competitions it is hard when you do not have the time to devote 2 hours to the gym every day along with at least an hour of food prepping each week. I have a son that is always on the go and always wants someone to be playing with him because he is very social so to even make time to workout while he plays has also been a challenge.

I know that everyone always says that if you want it bad enough you will make time to do it. This for me is not an issue since when I do finally put my mind to something I usually run with it and am all in. However, after having my son it has been more difficult to get into the right mindset in order to live a healthy life. One thing that really bothers me is the mindset that there is out there for moms that want to be healthy. We either have to be super into fitness by eating clean and working out every day or we have to be part of the self acceptance love your body the way it is group. Neither of these groups is wrong in anyway. It is just hard for me to personally get into the right mindset of being fit and healthy when each thing is opposite extremes.

I have been on both sides of these extremes. Before I got pregnant I was super into staying in the best shape I could possibly be in. I worked out all the time and food prepped. I would feel guilty every time I ate something that I really enjoyed but shouldn’t be eating. In reality, I was really more unhealthy than the average person. Taking your body to that extreme will do that to you. I wound up pushing myself so much that I got extremely sick a week before my first competition of that season. However, I did look amazing and with all of the fish that I was eating my skin looked great too. But I had no energy and was tired and hungry all the time. This was definitely not a way to live.

After I got pregnant and since I have had my son, I have fallen on the other side of this extreme. Eating whatever I want or whatever little man decides that he will eat on any given day. I would workout if I felt like it but nothing consistent so I have yet to see any real progress. In my mind I have been trying to accept that I am a mom now. Which is really not very healthy either. Plus I have a little one that is watching me all the time and I am noticing that he is already picking up some bad habits like always wanting cookies after a meal and wanting to sit around and watch tv all day long. So with all of this I have been trying to come up with some way for me to keep my head in the game without pushing it to the crazy extreme of obsessing over everything that I eat and if I missed a workout.

I have started what I am referring to as the Should I Eating and Workout Plan. It really is super simple. Before doing anything ask yourself “What should I do?” Because in reality with everything that we have read and tried throughout our lives we really do know what we should do. When you take the time to ask yourself that question you give yourself the opportunity to make a decision. What you should strive for is making the right decision at least 80% of the time. I have been doing this with everything from food and fitness related to simple life things. Something as simple as “Should I have a second helping at dinner” to “Should I try to squeeze in a workout and get little man to play for a bit right now”. Even “Should I be spending my time watching TV or should I get something done off my to-do list so I have time to play with Ray once he wakes up.”

I am finding that most of the time I am really just procrastinating on things that I don’t want to do but need to get done. Or I am just eating because I am bored or stressed and I really do not need that kind of stuff. The best part about asking yourself what you should do is that once you make a decision thats it. You cannot feel guilty about it. You chose to either eat the cake or not eat the cake. You made yourself aware of it and you made a decision. And each time you ask yourself this question you have to opportunity to make the best decision possible for yourself in that moment. Not just following what someone else says that you need to do or what they think is the right thing to do. Most of the time many of us do know that eating an apple is better for you than eating a cookie or that spending just 15 minutes moving your body is better than nothing. But the choice is yours. I just really find that being super aware of my choices has made me make better ones throughout the day. Just by simply asking myself What SHOULD I do? 

If you decide to try this out I would love to hear how it is working for you! Leave me a comment below.

Benefits of Stretching

As a former dancer I know what it is like to be extremely flexible. I danced from the age of 2 1/2 until I was 19. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with Cohrn’s Disease. I got extremely sick for close to a month and then was put in the hospital for five days since they could not figure out what was wrong. Because of all of this and then being bed ridden for five days all of my muscles atrophied. (I lost 15 pounds in a little less than two weeks.) Once I was getting better and getting stronger I did not take into account that as I rebuilt my muscle I also needed to rebuild my flexibility. I did, however, regain some of my flexibility when I began training for bikini competitions. I would really try to stretch when I was done with my workouts because what I was doing was also taking a toll on my body. I knew that by stretching it would help with my muscle soreness and also help my recovery time in-between workouts.

Once I got pregnant though I stopped working out and in turn stopped stretching on a regular basis. I am now to the point where I am realizing how much I need to be stretching and how good it is for the body. Especially after having a baby because pregnancy changes your body so much and is really hard on your body. When I was younger I would do extreme stretching which I am not even attempting at all now. After doing some research extreme stretching is not good on your joints and ligaments. Even though this is something that is starting to become a craze that is being shown all over Instagram and Pinterest.

If you have started to notice tightness in your hips and back I really suggest trying to stretch your legs at least a couple times a week. This will help you feel so much better. You don’t have to do anything extreme either in order to see some results and feel some of the benefits of stretching. Something as simple as leaning over and trying to touch your toes is a great stretch that you can do in the morning before you get dressed. It also helps to wake up your body. Just make sure to take it really easy since your muscles are not really warmed up. I do this sometime to just help get my blood flowing and really wake up my body.

Personally, I like to stretch before I go to bed. Since I have been walking around all day my muscles are already warmed up and I am able to watch some tv or listen to podcasts and stretch for a half hour or so after I put little man to bed. It really seems to help focus and quiet my mind after a long day. I know a lot of people are really into yoga which is a great form of exercise. I just have never been the type to really enjoy yoga all that much. I would much rather stretch and connect with my mind and my body by doing movements and stretches that my body is still familiar with from my ballet days. Sometimes I am also able to stretch when I am playing with Ray. I use the time when we are playing with mega blocks or when we are coloring to stretch. Stretching when I am playing with him is not as peaceful or mindful but sometimes I am feeling extra stiff and it is the perfect time since I am already on the floor playing with him.

Some of the benefits of stretching include
– Enabling flexibility
– Helping with posture
– Improve energy levels by helping blood circulation
– Helps to improve your overall outlook on life
– It also helps to reduce soreness after workouts

If you are new to stretching some things to remember are to strive for symmetry. A lot of times our bodies are more flexible on one side. Just because one side is “better” than the other does not mean that you should hold a stretch longer on the side that is not as flexible. Typically you should hold your stretches for 30-60 seconds. If you hold for longer you can risk injury to your joints. Another thing to remember is to never bounce in your stretch. I know back in the day when I was dancing that is what they taught us to do, however, it has now been shown to cause more harm than good.

Most importantly, if you want to see improvements, make sure you are keeping up with stretching and making it part of your weekly routine. You will definitely start to see and feel the difference!

 

 

*Information on this page is from my own personal experience and research. Always be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning any workout or stretching routines or programs.