Life is happening FOR us, not TO us.

Ok, I’m going to go a little deep on ya compared to our typical fashion, food, or fitness filled blog post. I promised you at the New Year that I was going to elaborate on finding joy and happiness in posts to come- so this is my first one. I would love to know your thoughts and feelings…..

I would like to ask you a question, Are you happy?  I would assume that if you were able to answer my question, you would probably say, “Sure I’m happy”… although you would probably use some kind of qualifier such as…

But when this project is done at work, I will be happier…  or

When my kids get a little older and more independent, I will be even happier… or

When I own a home, get a better job, have better health, or have more money or when my spouse does this or that, I will definitely be happier than I am now.

The purpose of our existence is to have joy. Why can’t we have joy now and not qualify it when some future situation may or may not happen?

I have struggled with what I call “cheap happiness” – happiness that is based on whether or not something is going my way, or whether or not other people have or have not let me down, or things of that nature. So, that is why a year or so ago I decided to truly figure out what is happiness and make a choice in my life to live in a beautiful state instead of a suffering one- which is one that is any feeling or emotion that removes you from your happy state.

I once read, “The trick is to enjoy life.  Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.”  I think there is so much wisdom in that statement.  Things might now be perfect in our lives at this very moment but we can be joyful despite our trials.

So how do we do this?  Well, we can understand where happiness comes from.  Feeling happiness is a conscious choice we make for ourselves.  We must choose to be happy.

From one of my favorite guys, Tony Robbins, I will paraphrase : There are two states you can live in- a beautiful state or a suffering state. You are either progressing forward in that beautiful place or life, or you are moving backwards. There is no stationary. If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. There’s a survival mechanism in our brains that is always looking for what is wrong. That is what it does. You can fight it or flight it. Our primitive brain was looking for survival- avoiding tigers and making fire- we don’t have that anymore so now it worries about what people think, or do I have enough money. The mind is always looking for what’s wrong; however, there is always right there too.

Happiness has almost nothing to do with our circumstances and everything to do with our attitude.There is an exception here and that is with those living in extreme poverty that do not have shelter or food or a way to fulfill their basic needs.  This group of people tends to benefit and actually become happier when those basic needs are met. How do we choose to be happy when we’re experiencing a trial or we suffer from depression?

I’ve noticed in my own life, when I’m depressed, I seem to turn inward.  I think that my suffering is someone else’s fault and they are the reason why I’m not happy.  I start to think that happiness can be found anywhere but the stage I’m in and I begin to feel sorry for myself.  I begin to be selfish and only think of my own needs and my own sorrow.  This is not a nice way to live.  I have seen members of my family wallow in this thinking their whole lives and shut everyone else out.  This thinking destroys their life and pushes their loved ones away. I’ve learned by watching them, this is not the way I want my life be.

Life is happening for us NOT TO us- it is our job to find out what the benefit is – if we do life can be magnificent.

My dress- sold out- but similar here : ivory coming soon

to be continued….

running update

ya…so…. remember my last running update? I sounded really motivated and was going to DOMINATE the training plan I had created. Well, to make a long story short. That DID NOT happen.

IMG_2947I have a million and one excuses as to why it didn’t- but I will spare you. I have, however, been running- but the longest I have run so far is probably 6 or so miles. I have been working on my speed and strength- and I have been really consistent on my weight lifting- so I haven’t been totally off the wagon. I have some amazing new workouts that I’m doing at home- just in my nasty unfinished basement- but I feel like they are working. Would you want me to share them!?

With hesitation I share my favorite workout clothes- only because I don’t want yall to buy them all up in my size 😉 : sports bras & long pants & top | colorful shorts

So- there’s my update. Nothing fun. Nothing exciting- but the truth. I am rededicating myself to running though- I have signed up for a half marathon to run with some friends in a few months so I now have a goal that isn’t moving! Wish me luck!

Maybe I can follow my original training plan- just slightly tweeked- starting now.. well actually, starting next week because I just got my touch up for my microblading (post on this to come!) and can’t sweat for 9 more days hah:

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happy running!

xox

aj

back at square one

Well you guys- we are at day 1 of my new training program- and when I say ‘Day 1’, I not only mean the first day of the program, but also starting from basics when it comes to fitness and running.

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leggings | top | shoes | socks

Running through most of my pregnancy (read about it here and here), definitely has helped me keep some sort of fitness level- I can tell a difference on the way my body has reacted after this pregnancy as well as from my short jogs/weights already- but I don’t care who you are and what you did during pregnancy- your body has gone through some major shizz the last several months and is just not the same- not only that, but I have csections so I’ve had to recover from major surgery which has left my core a MESS. BUT- all of that aside- I now have some work to do and as you know from this post- I’m excited to get back at it as I have some pretty big goals to tackle this coming up year. I won’t lie though- it is frustrating when you go out for what should be a super ‘easy’ run in your head (2-4 miles) only to find you can barely make it and WAY slower than your 26.2 mile pace once was!

Back to the present though- I have been jogging about 4x per week 2-4 miles for the last several weeks and think I am ready to attempt a little more scheduled training.

this is what I am thinking:

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I didn’t include any paces for the workouts- because I am going to go off effort for this training cycle vs a designated pace- because I really don’t know where my paces should fall right now. I will know better after this cycle for the next phase though!

I don’t have any races lined up officially as of right now- I want to see how this training goes first- then re-evaluate and go from there. I do have some dates in mind though…keep you posted!

 

happy running!

xox

aj

Boston let down.

*I warn you- this post is raw and unedited. Take it as you will.*

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I was notified a few weeks ago that I was not accepted into the Boston Marathon. Those who qualified by 3:23 or more got in. I qualified by 2:43.

To be completely honest- I was shocked when I received the email. Friends who have run Boston several times had been telling me I was safe and good to go…But,  when they released the cutoff time- this is the strictest Boston cut off time they have ever had, by over a minute. The posts flooded in on their instagram and blogs about how they needed to change the qualifying times if the cut off was going to be that strict. Or limit the number of charity runners etc and give more spaces to those who trained their asses off to qualify and are now not going to toe that line in April.

Now.. I qualified over a year ago and have been pregnant and had a baby since then- I was planning on quickly getting back in shape and going to Boston in April to take on the Boston Marathon and earn my jacket. That is clearly not going to happen this year.

I thought I would be really upset – maybe even cry if I didn’t get in- but you know what, I didn’t. I surprised myself. The week I received the email- my oldest daughter had been in the hospital for 4 days and was having surgery that day for what they thought (and it ended up being), osteomyelitis and bacterium. As horrific as that week was with her in the hospital, it put things like the Boston Marathon (and LOTS of other things I was stressing over lately) in perspective for me. Yes, I want to run it (and I will!), but – it’s not in the cards for me this year and I am completely ok with that. That week- whether or not I was running the Boston Marathon, was the last thing on my mind.

I can qualify again. I can train harder. I can run faster.

I might fail a few times along the way – but that is ok. I have my three beautiful kiddos who will see their mama work hard for something she wants – and that starts now. I am officially released (post csection) to start running again- so this pup and I️ are back at it.

Boston –  I’m coming for you.

Healthy Frosty

This has been my go-to of how to satisfy my lingering pregnancy sweet tooth, without giving in to all the treats my kiddos seem to have around the house lately! Operation lose the baby weight is in full effect.

It is delicious. Enjoy!


Healthy Frosty

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 -1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1.5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp honey (or to taste)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • Ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Put it all in a blender and blend! Then, enjoy- guilt free!

Pregnant & fit-ish: legs

Alright ladies- the last segment in our pregnant & fit-ish journey: Legs!

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Now, I’ll admit- at 37weeks pregnant my workout routine is pretty non-existent. I found a few weeks ago that when I would work out in the morning the rest of my day was SHOT and with a 2 year old and 5 year old, laying around in bed all day really wasn’t an option. I don’t know why this is or why it came on so suddenly, but when it came down to mothering or working out, I couldn’t really skip mothering for the next several weeks… Like I’ve said before in my pregnant and fit-ish posts- listen to your body and do what you feel is best. My body amazed me at keeping up with running/working out for close to 9 months so I guess I’ll cut it some slack these last few weeks.

 

So, other than chasing my littles around, I think my workouts have come to an end until post baby.

 

BUT- this was my go-to leg workout for the last several months. It’ll kick your pregnant booty – just enough 🙂 Now, you can do these with our without weights- whichever you feel most comfortable with.

 

squats x 15

 

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plie/sumo squats x 15

 

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calf raises x 25

 

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clamshells (each side) x 12

 

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Leg lifts (each side) x 12

 

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repeat x 4 (or 5!) times!

 

enjoy the burn!

xox

aj