Stronger, Healthier and Happier

Five very simple ways to motivate yourself to be stronger, healthier and happier. Honest, and straight from my heart. No dieting involved. Sweating and occasional vegetable eating required.

 

1. END “FAT TALK”

We all do it. “My hips are way to wide to wear that skirt” or “Cap sleeves make my arms look huge!” or simply, “I feel fat”. Loving yourself in the body you have at this exact moment is the first, most important, and certainly hardest step in motivating yourself to attain a healthier life. Nothing is more important that believing that you are beautiful. If you love yourself and learn to appreciate what you think are your flaws, then not only will you just be happier in general but exercising and eating healthy will become less of a chore – working out will become something fun, not a form of torture devised to make you skinnier.

I still kind of think that affirmations are silly, and I’m not telling you to take our your lipstick and write inspirational quotes on your bathroom mirror, but I do want you to end fat talk. Tomorrow morning when you get dressed, take two seconds to look at yourself and say something nice. Maybe your jeans are a little tight in the ass and maybe you’re a little pissed about that….but don’t you dare say it. First off, don’t dwell on how you look, start with how you feel……like, I feel strong! I feel refreshed! I feel loved! I feel ambitious! Feeling better already? Okay we can look to the surface now. Pay yourself a compliment…. My skin is glowing! My freckles look so summery! My hair’s so shiny! I’ve got some damn good legs! Go on, gorgeous, tell you more.

And if all else fails, take a note from the movie Spanglish and know that it’s okay to have a “desire for the comfort of fullness. [Because] when that desire is suppressed for style, and deprivation allowed to rule, then dieting, exercising American women become afraid of everything associated with being curvaceous: such as wontoness, lustfulness, sex, motherhood…..all that is best in life.”

 

5 STEPS TO A STRONGER, HEALTHIER, HAPPIER YOU // hourglassandbloom.com #healthyliving #health #fitness

 

2. DO THE COMMON UNCOMMONLY WELL

Every time I come out of a slump and all of the sudden feel the need to start working out like crazy, I always jump right in and expect my body to do exactly what it’s doing in my mind. Not so much. Since when am I so out of breath? Is it all downhill from twenty-five? No, I just didn’t take any time to re-aquaint my muscles with their long-lost love of a good run.

What I’m trying to tell you is that you need to begin by working on your form. Pay close attention to your posture, your stride, the stretch of your muscles, the impact on your knees. Your body will thank you. Look for instructional illustrations like these on Women’s Health, or if you’re a member of a gym then join a few classes and don’t be afraid to ask the instructor for help!

 

5 STEPS TO A STRONGER, HEALTHIER, HAPPIER YOU // hourglassandbloom.com #healthyliving #health #fitness

 

3. BRIGHTEN UP

I always see these little quotes on Pinterest that are all like, “Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog!” While I may not completely agree with this, possibly because of my obsession with food and general distaste for such concrete dieting rules, I can kind of understand where they’re coming from. I get that the last thing that should be on your mind during an intense sweat-fest is what you’ll be “allowed” to eat when you’re done. You should be thinking about how freaking glorious it feels to sweat out last night’s happy hour and how proud you are when you’re sore tomorrow.

Nevertheless, I still feel the need to motivate myself with something tangible. Enter: the sock aisle at Target. Have you seen all those day-glow hues in chevron, leopard, stripes, and polka dots? At a buck-fifty each, they’re not only cute but thrifty, and they’re the perfect little perk to lure me into lacing up my running shoes! I love how all the active wear has gone to highlighter hues – it’s so cheerful! What a better way to add a little sunshine to your life than a new crazy bright sports bra and a yoga session on the beach? Go on, get your cute butt down to Target and go crazy.

 

4. STOP THE STRESS

People stress about working out, they stress about genetically modified food, they stress about staying late at work, they stress about traffic, they stress about all that credit card debt they rang up buying Lululemon stretch-pants and whether or not it was worth it because the person behind them in spin class can see through the ass, they stress about a lot of things. Stress is a part of life that is sometimes unavoidable…..but sometimes you can totally decide for yourself that enough is enough. It’s bad for your heart, it’s bad for your head, and it is certainly not doing anything to widdle away at your waistline. So stop it already. Take a deep breath. Give yourself a manicure! Take a few extra minutes for an at-home facial! Challenge yourself to a silly yoga move you just looked up on youtube! Smile at the next person you see! It feels gooooooood.

 

5. SOAK UP THE SUN

Remember, people watching isn’t creepy if it’s done while running! Get outside, soak up some good old fashioned vitamin D and move your body a bit. If you’re a runner then your motivation is as simple as this: not only is it more challenging to run outside than on a treadmill, but you burn more calories. If you’re not a runner, you still have no excuse – take the hound for a long speed walk in a pretty park, shlep your yoga mat down to the lakeside and breath in nature’s beauty, invest in a pair of dumbbells or a kettle bell for quick outdoor workouts on your luck break! Your metabolism will thank you, and you might even start up a pretty tan too.

 

5 STEPS TO A STRONGER, HEALTHIER, HAPPIER YOU // hourglassandbloom.com #healthyliving #health #fitness

 

 

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Into God’s Country

“Out yonder they may curse, revile, and torture one another, defile all the human instincts (if it were in their power), but here, no, here, it is unthinkable, here there is abiding peace, the peace of God, and the serene security created by a handful of good neighbors living at one with the creature world” – Henry Miller

I still look forward to lighting a fire every morning when I wake up, even though I’m now climbing out of bed at home, feet touching cool hardwood floors and the soft sound of the oscillating fan cooing from the corner. I miss making a breakfast fire. I miss chasing the ballsy little bluejays away from our picnic table. I miss the comfort of being surrounded by hundreds of years of redwood trees.
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
I know Big Sur misses me too.
I had reserved our campsite back in February, as a gift to Mike for his birthday. Pfeiffer Campground fills up at the blink of an eye, and I was lucky to get three consecutive nights for us at an awesome secluded site. We’d been looking forward to it ever since.
I knew when I met Mike that he had a deep appreciation for the natural beauty in the world, the untouched. I knew I could never truly love a man who didn’t love himself when he was in the wilderness. My heart swelled at how happy he was in Big Sur.
As usual I overpacked on food. Delicious red chili, cured meats and hard cheeses, breakfasts fit for a lumberjack, enormous steaks, and of course some good ol’ fashioned American hot dogs! One of my favorite parts about camping is how incredibly good even the most simple foods taste when cooked over an open fire. There’s nothing better. I mean, c’mon, look at this:
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BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
Each morning, we gorged on a mountain breakfast of cheddar-jalapeno sausage, thick cut bacon, and sunny-side-up eggs with toast. Our bellies were completely happy until dinner, so that gave us quite enough time every afternoon to work it off in a series of gorgeous hikes.
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
The first adventure was a climb to a nearby waterfall and it was a killer – five miles later we were sweating buckets. We rewarded ourselves by sharing a Mexican coke from the shop up by the road……which of course became Makers-and-Coke as soon as we got back to camp.
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
And just as the booze was cracked open, so came the bocci ball! Mike was phenomenal. Perhaps a bit unsportsmanlike, but…..phenomenal. I played poorly and I absolutely blame the whisky and sore muscles.
Win or lose, we both got steak & ‘taters.
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
The next day started out cold and wet. A doe and her two tiny speckled fawns bid us good morning as they passed on their way to some adventure. We gulped down steaming mugs of coffee, shaking off the damp and the chill.
A while later, we took a long walk through meadows and chaparral, crossing a stream with our bare little toes gripping every slippery stone, and finally dirt gave way to sand as we reached the sea. Big Sur is known in part for it’s gorgeous coastline. Big ol’ cliffs and mammoth rocks that the wild ocean crashes upon. Everywhere you look, frothy white water burst like a confetti cracker on New Years Eve.
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
Coated in salt with wind-whipped hair, we got back in the car to head on home to camp. But wait! What’s that? Another gorgeous turn-out with a gorgeous view of the ocean?
We had to pull over. And we had to pull out a bottle of wine too.
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
After a few solo cups of vino and tippin’ some to the little tombstone we found beneath our feet, we figured we should probably class it up a little and take our happy hour to a more tangible establishment. Just our luck that Nepenthe was a few hundred feet away! I didn’t know much about Nepenthe until after we got back to civilization and cell phone service, but apparently we had stumbled upon quite the hotspot in the redwoods. And yes, they make a mean Manhattan.
Our final day was quick and clean, like ripping off a bandaid. Everything was neatly packed and ready to go before most of the campground had yet to stumble out of their tents. We said our goodbyes, silently.
Big Sur will see us again, and soon. Until then there is enough serenity and joy in our hearts to keep the memory alive.
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom
BIG SUR, CA // hourglassandbloom