Thanks to the Younger Man Who Taught Me a Lesson Tonight

https://unsplash.com/@element5digital

A really sweet guy I train with and I are becoming friendly. He’s younger, so we’re not on the same playing field. While he’s not terribly young, he’s building a career and traveling, a very different place from someone like myself, an established career lady and mom. I do appreciate every time we get to talk. He is a good person and uplifting. In times like these, we need that.

When he heard it’s my birthday on Friday, he asked what I was doing. I told him I had no real plans until the following week with a few friends. I told him how upset I was about that and how someone disappointed me really selfishly and very cruelly— and on my birthday no less. I shared how hard the virus pandemic has been on me socially and I told him these things, not sure what insight he would have to offer me being that he’s younger. Plus, he might find the topic boring or worse, think I’m just an old fuddy duddy with no cool birthday plans.

Well, it turned out he had great advice actually and not only that, but he reminded me of all the reasons why it is ok for me to be upset and struggle during this time. And had empathy for me that someone would let me down on my birthday. And also, kept saying how I should always expect the best from others and insist they give me the best. And that I don’t need to put up with. It didn’t matter that I had more life experience. He has much to share. This is why I’m friends with folks of all ages. I am open to learning and love others.

Overall, he was kind, attentive and a great friend in this moment, proving to me I judged his character well. He’s a good dude. He pointed out things I hadn’t thought of before, making me feel confident that I was right in my beliefs about many things.

Moral of the story? A younger man or woman may not be the right dating material but that person could be an amazing friend or at the least, an astute listener who cares. And hey— dating younger isn’t bad. It works for many. Keep an open mind. Make friends. Listen to others. Share. You’ll be amazed at what happens. He lifted my bad mood up. I had walked into training feeling skeptical and blah and left feeling more renewed. Happier. Of course, that’s also the beauty of fitness. Exercise helps get those endorphins up and we need that, especially during this pandemic. My training keeps me going on days I don’t want to keep trying.

I’m grateful for this person’s friendship.

Kindness Counts,

Laura

To Medicate or Not to Medicate? A Very Good Question

halacious-iPl3q-gEGzY-unsplash

Photo by Halacious on Unsplash

Recently came upon a situation where I have to decide if it is best to take medicine for a concern I have OR, try to skip it and utilize other methods– more natural, alternative ones.

I am always– or usually always– of the belief that a natural method works better for me, seeing that I am a petite person who doesn’t respond well to medications that most adults do. Of course, if it’s serious I don’t skip on science in any way and I am of the belief that medications can do miracles too, but overall, I have found that for me it often comes with so many side effects that it’s not worth it.

In a time when our health is so pivotal and also so precarious with this virus, what we take, what we eat and how we care for ourselves is so crucial that it comes with a deeper meaning.

Our health is everything and always has been, but it is more than ever during this pandemic. Every choice we make seems to impact our health, physical or mental or both.

Stay Strong,

Laura

When The Universe (or Whatever God You Believe in) Places Someone Amazing in Your Path

chuttersnap-TSgwbumanuE-unsplash

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I have had some very hard times over the last six years. I have went through things I never thought I could handle. From long-term unemployment to physical abuse to heartache and legal battles, it was a haul.

To say that I have gotten out of the darkness is an understatement and if it’s not clear, I am very proud of how hard I have worked to be where I am today as a devoted working single mother.

But every now and then, we have someone who helps us on our journey– our twisted paths– that helps us even in the darkest of times.

This person for me, is named Rob.

Rob and I have known each other for about 23 years. We met in a gym years ago, and while at first he was just a very funny, eccentric, smart and quirky man of steel, I have learned– albeit I haven’t cracked the Rob code yet– that he is more than that.

More often than not, he has given me a helping hand, smart advice and an ear.

Over this pandemic, I started training with him virtually and to say that I have seen results doesn’t do it justice. I have seen results.  I am a bit timid  and hard on myself, so I won’t post pics, but I have gotten in solid shape.

If you want to train with him and his program, I guarantee you will get results– just show up! I rarely sing anyone’s praises publicly, so if I am telling you he is good, he is good!

On days that I felt overcome with anxiety about living in a state that is full of COVID-19, I showed up to virtual workouts. On days my stomach hurt or my head hurt because I was tired from working, homeschool and being alone/lonely as a single mom, I showed up to virtual workouts. He and his awesome team, have kept me going. He has encouraged me, offered advice, just been a friend, listened and basically been a steady presence throughout this whole scary freaking mess of quarantine.

I am beyond grateful. There were days I literally told myself– “I can’t miss this workout. I don’t want to let myself down. Or Rob.”

Seeing his face on the other side of the computer … just reminded me I am not as terribly alone as I feel.

So, not only has my body gotten an amazing workout, but my mind and heart has felt a bit less alone in all of this.

Some friends are just more amazing than others– and he really has stood by me in a time when quite honestly, I feel terribly alone doing this with my daughter.

Thank you– to someone who showed up when I needed it. Who has been the true meaning of a friend for me in a time when I am vulnerable and anxious and trying to stay positive and zen.

I hope you all have someone who god, the universe or whatever you believe in– places in your life to help you through. We need each other, now more than ever.

Love,

Laura

7 New Year’s Resolutions to Ditch This Year

t’s a timeless tradition: the New Year Resolution.

We resolve to make them by year’s end and then, as it approaches the end of January, suddenly, we’re completely off track. The key to making those resolutions stick is to form and word them like an actual habit and keep the resolutions simple. Another way to stay on target? Recruit a friend! A friend of mine and I emailed each other our resolutions and reached out on a quarterly basis to see how we were both doing and hold each other accountable. Truly, the buddy system works! Where I failed in 2018 with my resolutions was making too many. In typical fashion, I bit off more than I could chew and at times, my resolutions were too complex. Overall though, I did pretty well considering. For 2019 however, I’m going to stick to just a few and keep it simple.

Another reality of resolutions is we often make ones that are not realistic or concretely helpful. So, to all you single mommas out there trying to pin down your resolutions and goals for 2019, here are some resolutions you can kick to the curb or revise, and exchange for resolutions that are:

  1. Easier to follow and make habit
  2. Realistic and positive

Let’s get started!

REDO THE LOSE WEIGHT RESOLUTION

Many women (and men) make the “I’m losing weight goal,” only to be sidelined by well, cookies, cakes and leftover macaroni and cheese their kids didn’t finish.

Read More: 7 New Year Resolutions to Ditch This Year

Just DO It,

Laura

The State of Wellness

Being well. Eating organic. Avoiding GMO’s. Making sure you’re part of a Crossfit “box.” Never using anything that has toxins on your skin. Doing yoga at least twice a week. Having a life coach.

If you are not taking your wellness seriously…you are ill! Incredibly ill. 

And a failure as a human being, completely, don’t you know?

Being well isn’t just feeling healthy and happy these days. It’s a full on business, complete with Kool-Aid sold to you at sometimes, exorbitant prices, with the goal of you being the most fit, green, and organic human being on the Earth. Forget keeping up with the Joneses; these days, it’s “out-rawing” your neighbor and making sure your home is so Feng Shui’d out that you are the most “well” person on the planet. These days it’s ensuring you can out “burpee” and bench press your fellow citizen and then brag that you haven’t ate a cooked piece of meat or used a skincare product with the word “paraben” on the label in order to know that indeed:

You. Are. Well!

Don’t get me wrong. I love running, the gym, ballet and eating healthy, but you won’t catch me going vegan or meditating every second. Although truth be told, a little meditation would be good for me! The fact is being well and healthy is very important but we can’t have a life coach for every move we make and we can’t squat and burpee our way down every single hallway and through every event in our life. We can’t always keep calm and Zen, mantra-ing our way through the day with a side of Yoga and essential oil. Sometimes, you need a little caffeine, curse words, chocolate and a complete meltdown on your couch.

Read More: The State of Wellness

A Little Caffeinated & A Little Zen, Too

Laura

5 Things You Learn About Yourself While Running

I love doing a variety of fit activities, whether it’s a HIIT class, ballet, weight training, barre, running, or what have you. Each activity has a different body and mind benefit. When I dance, I can only think about each movement and everything else melts away. When I run . . . I can think about, well, everything.

Out of all the fit things I love to do, I find I do my best thinking while running. Perhaps it’s because running is something that comes automatically without much thought. Sure, you have to avoid tripping over a rock or slipping, but the movement is instinctual . . . fight or flight, right?

As I run, I find that my thoughts are clear and logical, and it allows me an emotional release. Whether I am making up solutions as I run miles or releasing feelings, I learn so much about myself while running. We all can. If we solely ran for the physical benefits, we’d probably find something easier to do, but there are so many mental benefits from running that you can’t help but be addicted to what running does to your brain.

1. You Learn How You Really Feel

When you run, don’t be surprised when every emotion comes pouring out of your body. Happiness and joy. Rapid quick thoughts of anxiety. Tears of sadness or joy. I can count on many fingers the amount of times I have been running and crying. Perhaps it should be my hashtag.

 

Read More: 5 Things You Learn About Yourself While Running

How the Gym Saved Me From My Depression

The past year has tested every part of my being and reached into just about every corner of my world. Whether it was work, my divorce, or parenthood, this year has been a marathon of events in which the bottom line always required that I just keep on running . . . or swimming. Depends on your sport of choice. Wink.

I was moving. I was dealing with a difficult person. A child undergoing many changes. Job changes. Health issues. Money issues. It felt like once one thing had resolved, another major issue was waiting for me right on deck. There were certain times in which I was so stressed, eating was almost impossible. My stomach decided to take on all of my stresses for my brain, and I just wasn’t myself.

I wondered quite a few times why this was happening. But as time has gone on, I have realized that no matter the reason, I am getting stronger and tougher, mentally and physically.

After my Summer of “no food,” I finally felt well enough and looked to the gym with open
arms; it was like I was reuniting with a lover. The gym had always been a great source of
stress relief and fun for me, and so I was looking forward to getting back to “picking
things up and putting things down.”

It wasn’t just that working out helped increase those happy, feel-good hormones in my mind. It wasn’t just that being able to do real push-ups for the first time in my life got me into shape.

The gym saved me from succumbing to depression. It kept me from giving up.

Read More: How the Gym Saved Me From My Depression

6 Life Lessons I Learned From Ballet

I always wanted to dance. Growing up, I wished to be enrolled in ballet but at the time, my parents couldn’t afford to send me. My older sisters had gone before me but financial fortune was not on my side. Once I hit high school and my parents could afford it, I started classes right away. When I went to college, I took more classes but still, I wasn’t good enough to make a living from dance so I eventually stopped.

But ballet is just so beautiful, it didn’t matter to me if I was the best or the worst. It felt great doing it. So finally, after a divorce, two moves, health issues, and a year from hell, I signed up again for an adult ballet class.

For just one hour a week, my financial stress, single-mom woes, dating dilemmas, ex-husband hassles, and other life stuff just melts away. My noisy brain is silent and strictly focused on assemblé, battement, and more. Every motion has my complete attention. I can’t bother to be sad, stressed, or think about the 50 million things on my to-do list. All I can be is in that very pose or position, whether in center or at the barre. Ballet’s beauty goes beyond the confines of the classroom; there are so many life lessons I have learned from my time dancing.

Read More: 6 Life Lessons I Learned From Ballet

 

Dance On,

Laura

5 Eating Habits to Kick to the Curb in 2016

As much as you may be committed to your health and fitness, it’s easy to get a little lazy about eating well, especially around the holidays. Who wants to say no to all the sweets, all the time? Not me! But with the New Year almost here and bathing suit season coming soon, (Memorial Day is only five months away!), perhaps we need to give ourselves a swift kick in the butt and kick these five poor eating habits to curb along with all our other baggage from 2015!

1. No Breakfast

I don’t care if you’re not a breakfast person. Get hungry! Eating small, frequent meals will rev up your metabolism. If you wait until lunch to take your first bite of the day, I bet you any amount of money that you end up eating more than you should. You overeat because your body needed food hours before your brain started sending hunger signals. Once you create the habit of starting your day with a small breakfast, your brain will begin to send more regular signals you need to pull out a fork or spoon in the a.m.

Read More: 5 Eating Habits to Kick to the Curb in 2016

Take Out the Trash,

Laura

5 Common Lies We Tell Ourselves When Trying to Lose Weight

When trying a diet, as you’re attempting to stick to a program, it’s not unusual to tell yourself little “lies” to either feel better about your choices or to make excuses for why you haven’t fully committed to getting the body you’ve dreamed of. And I’m not talking about becoming a supermodel overnight. But it’s not surprising to hear folks tell themselves little “lies” to compensate for not being where they want to be fitness-wise.

Here are some common “lies” you might get caught up in as you attempt to make a “new you” for 2016, and some tips to stop the BS — so you can start dealing with the truth and rock a more fit you in the New Year.

Read More: 5 Common Lies We Tell Ourselves When Trying to Lose Weight

Believe it & Achieve it,

Laura