Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable: Part 3: It’s Your LIFE

 

In part 1 of this series, I talked about the importance of this simple concept, getting comfortable being uncomfortable, as it pertains to fitness. Part 1 was probably the most widely recognized and relatable concept, as it could and should pertain to everyone, because everyone can use a good kick in the rear to get started, keep going, or to work harder.

So, Part 1 was relatable.

Part 2, which was all about relationships, became a very relatable piece without people realizing it prior to reading. But once you started reading you began saying to yourself “yep, I agree with that” or “yep, I need to do that”.

So part 1 and 2 were both relatable, part 2 just took some extra digging.

Part 3 y’all, you’re likely going to need to dig deep. Dig deep because we don’t like to realize that we are being complacent with our lives, and the one and only shot we have at it. Unfortunately, more times than not, that is how we live our lives- complacent without realization.

In order to reach your full potential, to see what this world truly has to offer for you, to live out your life so wildly in love with it, you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. The changes you should be making in part here, they will be the most uncomfortable of all.

When you think about your life as is, what you’re doing, what you’re accomplishing, the people, events, and experiences you fill it with, what does it look like?

Does that match up to the goals, as lofty as they may be, that you have for your life?

Maybe you’ve got 1 area, maybe 2, where you can say “yes, THIS is how I want it to be for the rest of my life”. May that be your significant other, your kids, or where you live.

But what about the rest?

Do you have goals that are floating out there somewhere?

Maybe some within swimming reach.

Maybe some so far away that you’d have to rent out a yacht to get there.

Only, you can’t afford a yacht, so you leave them out there floating…. floating… floating…

So you tell yourself that you can’t afford that yacht, and that you will never be able to afford that yacht, because the risks, the sacrifices, and the effort it takes to afford that yacht are so far out of your comfort zone, it just doesn’t seem possible to you.

That is where getting comfortable being uncomfortable comes in.

THIS LIFE IS SUPPOSED TO UNCOMFORTABLE AT TIMES.

IT MEANS YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING NEW.

SOMETHING CHALLENGING.

SOMETHING SO WILDLY FRESH IT WILL AWAKEN YOUR SOUL AGAIN.

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Here’s where we fail at getting uncomfortable:

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The first step

May this be the first step out of your comfort zone.

The first step into a new interview.

The first step into a new home.

The first step literally anywhere.

We have a hard time taking it because we like our comfort zone. It’s warm and fuzzy like a newborn baby all swaddled up.

It’s comfortable until it’s not.

But there’s a minor part before this first step that we fail at before we can even fail at taking the first step, it’s realizing that a first step is needed in the first place.

How do you know? How do you know it is time to take the first step, that any part of your life even requires that first step? Here let me help you….

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re ready, and in need, of taking the first step:

  1. Do you feel complacent in your job?
  2. Do you feel complacent in your relationship?
  3. Do you feel complacent where you live?
  4. Do you feel complacent in your friend circle?
  5. Do you dream of living somewhere else?
  6. Do your day dreams take you far away from where you currently are (physically or mentally)?
  7. Have you tried something new within the past year?
  8. How about the past 6 months?
  9. Have you lived your life according to your own terms?
  10. If you lived the rest of your life, exactly where and exactly how you are now, would you be happy with it by the end of your life?
If you didn’t have one single “yes” answer, then you my friend are a gem. That means you’re living your life to the freaking fullest. You’ve grasped opportunity, you’ve found your tribe, you have found and understand the importance of YOUR happiness.

And if you didn’t have one single “yes”, go back through again to make sure you’re not lying to yourself.

And for those of you who did have a “YES”. Are you ready? Because it’s time to get stepping.

Here’s your cue, make the first step, and make it now.

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Justifying our decisions

Once we’ve made that first step, for some wild reason, we feel the need to justify it. Both to ourselves and to our family and friends.

What’s wrong with that you might ask? I like to make sure I’m making the right decision, I like to let my family and friends in on it. FRIEND, NO. Just NO. Let your gut do the talking for one time in your whole freaking life. DON’T JUSTIFY IT. Tell yourself and your family that you are doing this because it is the best FOR YOU and you are so excited. Point blank, this feels right, and it feels right for you- RIGHT NOW. **Now, if there’s a significant other or kids involved, I hope you are all on board with it, maybe prior to making the decision to step**.

You’ve made the decision to take the first step out of your comfort zone and towards something more. Be proud as f*ck of that, wear that shit on your sleeve. And ignore the feeling to justify it.

It’s weird, isn’t? I’ve done it before, still feel the need to do it sometimes. We have grown into a society where we constantly have to explain ourselves. Social media is primarily to blame.

You’re moving? Got a new job? Cutting your hair? Cutting the cord on a friendship? Trying a new exercise routine? Sending your kids to a different school? Adopting a new dog? Taking a first step WHERE EVER?

Sweet good for you. You go Glen CoCo. Don’t explain it. Just do it. Shout it from the rooftops.

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Coming to terms with it

Otherwise put, second guessing ourselves.

Unless you’re making a total on the spot, impulsive decision, then you’re giving yourself room to second guess yourself. I’m not saying to make every decision an impulse decision, not at all. I am telling you to prepare yourself to get uncomfortable again, the second time you have to make the decision to make the first step, or in this case, it’ll feel like the second step, out of your comfort zone.

We’ve all been there.

We make a decision, but it takes time to fully birth, so there is a period of time when we can second guess ourselves. Most of the time, we do. This is where it truly matters. I hope that you trust your gut enough, and trust your desire for more to not turn and walk back into your comfort zone.

Sometimes, in this period of coming to terms, we turn to those closest to us to talk about it. But beware, that can be equally helpful as hurtful. If this is a decision you made all on your own the first time, don’t let someone else talk you in or out of it. Is it uncomfortable being the only person to make that decision for yourself again? Hell yes. We like to feel secure in our decisions. But news flash, if you’re making a big life decision, you might not feel secure in that until months after. How freaking uncomfortable! Ride it out. Trust yourself, and trust the higher up. You might be uncomfortable for a few months, but that’s better than being uncomfortable knowing that you are still in the same freaking place as you’ve always been.

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Running after you step

There is no turning back now. You’ve stepped, made the decision, shouted it from the roof top and squashed second guessing. It’s all in now.

Things will pick up speed, whatever this big life decision is, I promise you it will pick up speed. So lace up! It’s go time.

Take it from me, this part of being uncomfortable can turn into the most fun part. Things are spinning around you, but there is so much to see in that blur of newness and the unknown.

  • Had we not realized we wanted to leave Iowa and the Midwest to see what else was out there for us.
  • Had Alex not said yes to a job in Greensboro, NC.
  • Had I said no to going with him because I was so sad about the thought of leaving my friends and family.
  • Had we not moved to NC.
  • Had I not gotten a job at Orangetheory Fitness.
  • Had I not met people with connections to so much more.
  • Had I not started volunteering with animal rescue
  • Had we not done all of those things PLUS MORE we…. I…. wouldn’t be who I am today. I can tell you that I would be a slightly more bitter, more tired, less fulfilled version of myself who would constantly be thinking of the what-ifs and stuck in my day dreams.

But we went for it!

It was fast. I tried to hold on for dear life at times. But when I let go and let the rollercoaster of life take me where I’m supposed to be, when I laced up my shoes and ran with the wind, I learned to enjoy the ride. And holy hell what a ride it has been!

Was I uncomfortable at times? Hell yes.

I still am. Because we are still going for it, still saying yes to more and to new.

I like being uncomfortable. Because it means I’m feeling something new. It means I’m doing something new.

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And with each step out of my comfort zone, that comfort zone grows smaller. It becomes a smaller zone to step back into, forcing myself to stay out of it.

And with each step out of my comfort zone, I’m getting closer to that yacht. Figuratively and literally. I will own a yacht someday. And when I do, I’ll grab that last piece of dream floating out there in the deep blue, only to find that there are more floating out there, ready for me to catch.

 

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

It’s the only way to LIVE.

 

Cheers to living!

 

As always, 

Thanks for stopping by!

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Cheers & in health,

Carly B



 

 

5 Boozy places you must visit in D.C.

Doing touristy things in the nations capital is fun and all, but all of that can work up a real thirst. In between touristy things, or hell if you’ve already done the touristy things and are looking to visit D.C. like a local, here are 5 very cool, and very unique places to go- for the Boozy Traveler.

1) Agora

This place is so cool, like SO COOL. It was literally the first place we went to once we got to D.C. We enjoyed our first experience here THAT much. I tell all my friends about it, and now, I’m telling all of YOU about it.

I mean, who wouldn’t love endless food dishes AND bottomless mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, or well liquor drinks?!

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You sit down, they automatically assume you want the bottomless brunch, because DUH you do (side note, everyone at the table has to do the bottomless, or none, that is a rule of theirs. It makes sense though once you keep reading). They ask you what you want for your drink and they bring it right out, along with all of their “spreads”, which can be called appetizers. Your drinks get filled up even before they’re empty, and all the food is brought out into small, yet shareable sizes. And the best part?! If you want items A,B,C,D,E,F, & G on the menu, they’ll bring them ALL to your table in the same shareable sizes, and they’ll do it again until your belly is stuffed. Which is why everyone at the table must be doing the bottomless, otherwise there would be a lot of freeloaders, ya feel?

Fair warning: by the end of your meal (which is a 2 hour time limit), your bottomless mimosa pretty much turns into a flute of champagne, they just keep topping it off.

But hey that’s okay, it leaves ya feeling bubbly and happy, as seen here 😉

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Agora: 1527 17th st NW.
Washington, DC
Brunch hours: 11AM-4PM

2) Blue Jacket Brewery

I love finding amazing places, unexpectedly. Okay, our D.C. friend we were with did recommend this one, but I was fully expecting it to be like any other brewery that are popping up across the U.S. But it was goooood. Not only was the beer spectacular, the Bloody Mary? Good lord, it was tasty and a perfect blend of spicy and not, if ya feel me? And then there was the food. #GetInMyBelly

My recommendation? Go with a group of people, each of you get your own flights of beer, a few get a Bloody or another signature cocktail, and plenty of apps, and share them all! 

Blue Jacket: 300 Tingey St SE.
Washington DC

3) Bardo

Located on the Anacostia River, which is a nice draw, but this one was an odd one for sure. The most compelling thing about it, wasn’t even the river behind it, no it was the freaking car on the roof. Yep, a car on the roof. And then the second surprise came, it was a completely outdoor brewery. Like completely. And then there were all of the old restaurant booths, crooked tables, and old school chairs for seating that made it just out of the world weird. But let me tell you, on a nice summer day I bet this place is BANGING.

Even if you don’t like beer, go just to see the unusual-ness of this place. Just go.

Bardo. 25 Potomac Ave SE.
Washington, DC.

4) Dacha

I wish I could show you the bathrooms in this place, but that would just be weird, and also creepy and likely a felony if I had taken a video in there. But this place was LEGIT. And also suppperrrr futuristic.

IMG_7081 (1)There are 2 locations, to my knowledge, in the D.C. area, the one we went to was also located on the river and had only been open a week but y’all… they had their shit togetherThe service? Excellent. The food? Speedy and delicious. The drinks? Crafty, adorable, tasty and strong as f*ck. It’s a nice cocktail lounge if you’re looking to chill with the girls, but also upbeat enough to be a pregame spot for a soccer game (which is what we did). Oh plus a nifty outdoor area. It kind of can fit all needs. Like I said, it’s legit.

 

Dacha. 79 Potomac Ave. SE
Washington, DC.

5) Jack Rose

IMG_7077For the love of whiskey, this place had it ALL. Bookshelves on bookshelves of whiskey could be intimidating to someone who doesn’t know jack about whiskey, but their staff was so highly trained that we all got something we thoroughly enjoyed. I went for a cocktail, the 2 guys I were with went for whiskey neat, and our fabulous bartender helped each of find our “taste”. Like I said, we all enjoyed what we got, and somehow she managed to narrow down our choices among thousands of whiskey to just the right one. Miraculous.

Oh, and if you’re on the fence of going here, let me just say that when we asked the bartender if she had ever met anyone famous there she replied “I don’t kiss and tell”, which means she had. I mean with 2oz pours of whiskey costing $1,2000 (at the max, don’t worry we were more in the $10-20 range!), it can be assumed that some famous people would float into there. Not to mention that she’s had “regulars” come in from around the world, just for the whiskey here. If that doesn’t scream this place is the shit and the whiskey is bomb, then I don’t know what does!

highly recommend this place. Even if you’re not a whiskey connoisseur, the atmosphere of the place is neat enough! Plus, they can make a cocktail to fit your taste, I promise.

Jack Rose Whiskey Bar. 2007 18th St. NW
Washington, DC.

 

Cheers to that! 

If you find other favorite boozy place in D.C.

Especially ones that go kind of off the radar.

Or aren't the traditional 'tourist' spots.

Let me know!

Holla at me at lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com

Or on Instagram at lifeofcarlyb_

Subscribe to my email! 

Cheers,

Carly B

 

 

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable- Part 2: Relationships

I heard on the radio this morning that we peak at age 23 when it comes to making new friends.

it makes sense though, that’s the age when we are trying new things, out at the bars, just finishing college, starting new jobs and yadayadayada. But i say lets be above average! Don’t stop making new friends at 23. Hold true to your best friends but be open to new friends. But it’s sometimes awkward, I know. Which is why I’m here to tell you….

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Meaning, in the quickest explanation possible, that nothing can be achieved within your comfort zone. If you’re uncomfortable, embrace that, because it means something great is on the horizon.

In this 3 part series we will talk about what it means to get comfortable being uncomfortable in 3 different areas of your life.  In part 1 we dove into what it means to be uncomfortable in your health and fitness journey and why it’s important.

Here, in part 2, we will talk about why getting uncomfortable in relationships, of any kind, is necessary.

What makes us most uncomfortable when it comes to starting and maintaining relationships? Why is it sometimes hard for us to make friends, feel comfortable around friends or significant others, etc? Do we avoid whatever makes us uncomfortable because we don’t know how to handle it? Are we staying stagnant and going through monotonous efforts because we don’t know how to step outside of our comfort zone? More importantly though, is that generally we don’t know why we should step outside of our comfort zones.

Let’s talk this one through shall we?

Relationships of any kind are not something we should force, that’s obvious. However, the are also something that we shouldn’t force to not happen. Often times we get so caught up in avoiding new relationships- with significant others or friends- because we like where we are currently and we are afraid of someone new coming in and throwing that equilibrium off balance. But how do you know that the person asking you on a date or asking you to hang out with their group of friends doesn’t have something amazing to offer? When it comes to relationships we like to be stubborn. Even more so, sometimes we get stubborn in how we protect our friendships. How many of you reading this have gotten jealous when your best friends has made a new friend? That’s nonsense!

We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable in 3 pieces of our personal relationships.

  1. Making new relationships
  2. Maintaining relationships
  3. If necessary, cutting the cord

1)  Making new relationships

This is the hardest part. By far. It’s hard putting yourself out there. But let me tell you friend, sometimes in life, this is an absolute necessity. I remember just 2 short years ago after moving across the country, I was faced with the task of making new friends. I mean I had to, I only knew my husband and my dogs in this large, new, and strange city.

So yeah, this is the hardest part, but here is why it’s the most important.

Those new friends that are out there somewhere on the horizon, they may have walked a similar path to you, and you don’t even know it. This becomes beneficial when you find yourself in a hard spot in life, and you need someone to talk to about it who has been in a similar boat. Trust me, that similarity in tough times is life changing.

Or those new friends out there could offer you something so much more. A new perspective on things, connections to someone or something that could help launch you into a new hobby, a new career, a new ______ you fill in the blank.

But meeting new people is hard. Whether it’s hanging out with a friend for the first time or going on the first date. Here are the excuses we tell ourselves as to why we shouldn’t even bother. And let me reiterate that they are just that- excuses. So once you’re done reading these excuses, I need you to burry them in your backyard.

  1. I’m not sure we’re compatible.
  2. We’re so different.
  3. I don’t know anything about them.
  4. I’m too busy to foster a new relationship.
  5. I like being alone.
  6. I can’t risk getting hurt again.
  7. I don’t have to emotional capacity to even try this out.
  8. I’m not outgoing enough.
  9. I’m socially awkward.
  10. They’re unlike all of my other friends

Have you thought one of those to yourself before? Likely. Now here’s reasons why all of those are bullshit.

  1. But how do you know?
  2. Isn’t that a good thing?
  3. Now’s a great time to learn.
  4. You have 30 minutes to spare. Just try it.
  5. Chances are you don’t like to be alone 100% of the time. And hey, what if this person likes being alone most of the time too?
  6. What a negative mindset that everyone is going to hurt you.
  7. But do you have the emotional capacity to walk through this chapter of your life alone? You don’t like the idea of a support system?
  8. Who said you have to be?
  9. Maybe they are too. Here’s a secret: those are the best kinds of relationships/ friendships
  10. GOOD! Expand your horizons!

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Here’s the thing new friend. Making NEW FRIENDS is hard. Trying a new relationship is HARD. It’s the hardest part of all of this. So many unknowns come from the excuses listed above. But you’ve got to push past that. I can guarantee that half of my audience currently reading this are the friends that I made because I put myself out there. Most of you reading this never would have thought we’d be friends, I never thought we’d be friends. Because the truth is that my current friend group is the most wildly different friend group I’ve had in my entire life. In fact, put all of my friends from my first 24 years of life together and they still wouldn’t be as diverse as the friends I’ve made in the past 2 years. And you know what? I love it! It’s beautiful! I’ve met people from so many different walks of life- background, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, age, hobbies, etc. And it has been the wildest ride so far. But had I looked at any of them from first glance and used the “We’re too different” excuse. Then I wouldn’t have travelled halfway around the world with some of them, or experienced new things with others. You see my point?

If you feel a little awkward, and a little uncomfortable the first time hanging out with this potential new relationship, then good! You’re putting yourself out there. Hey, no one is saying you have to see them ever again, but at least you tried.

*and if you get along like lifelong sisters on the first hangout, even better!

*and I need to note that I think it is good to foster your longest term relationships, hold those close if you can. But just like we open new chapters of our lives book, we need to open room for new relationships in those chapters too.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to finally say yes to that first date. To foster a new relationship. To dive in. This is it friend, THIS IS IT!

2) Maintaining Relationships

If only it were as easy as we are led to believe. BUT IT’S NOT.

You’ve been with your significant other for a year and a half now, and it’s all of a sudden no longer easy. Why?  The newness wears off. Just like eventually a car will eventually lose its new car smell, your relationship will lose some newness too. But unlike a car, you can’t put an air freshener in it and it’s magically new.

When it comes to maintaining relationships you have to be both selfish and selfless. Selfish in knowing what you deserve, and selfless in knowing what the other person deserves. It’s like walking a tightrope across the grand canyon at times. You’re wobbling just to get there, to the other side with your partner, but on the way you hit some road blocks. A gust of wind comes and nearly knocks you completely off, a bird flies across and shits on your shoulder, your partner moves faster than you, changing the slack between you two. But don’t get knocked down, understand that sometimes it does feel like you have shit sitting on your shoulder, find a way to eliminate that slack.

I am no relationship guru, I won’t even pretend to be. But what I do know is that a relationship of any kind is a two way street. Where we most commonly lose our footing is when we feel that it is no longer a two way street and instead of expressing those feelings, we turn into little school girls and think “well if they’re not going to try, then I’m not going to either”

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that no one can read your mind. So SAY WHAT YOU’RE FEELING. Oh, you don’t want to? Why? Oh right, because it’s uncomfortable.

So instead of speaking what you feel, instead of working to shorten the distance between you two, instead of fighting to stay upright, you let the fear of being uncomfortable knock you off and make the distance between you further than ever.

Talk it out my friend.

And then do it again, and again.

If it’s worth your worry, then it’s worth your time.

If you spend more than one second thinking about it, then it means you care.

But don’t get caught up in what used to be, that was then and this was now.

If your relationship is falling apart, if you feel distant from your friend, and you don’t like it, then it is on YOU to try to work it out. It’s worth the shot, trust me.

3) Cutting the cord

There will come times when you have to cut the cord. The reason people don’t do this as much as they should isn’t necessarily because it’s uncomfortable, it’s because they don’t realize its needed. We get blinded by what we think “it is” and don’t realize what actually is. Here’s how you can tell if it’s time to cut the cord in any of your relationships:

  1. Do you feel drained of energy when you’re around this person?
  2. Does this person no longer serve your dreams, hopes, etc.?
  3. Can you see this person in your life 5 years from now?

I’ve had to cut the cord multiple times in my life. The most uncomfortable thing about the act of actually doing this  is that other people won’t agree with you. Once we realize it’s needed, generally we ignore that. Because now it’s not the fact that we don’t realize that it should be done- because we do realize it- it’s that we don’t know how to handle the discomfort of it. So yeah, I’ve cut the cord before. I’ve had people in my life that drained the freaking shit out of me. They didn’t serve much of a purpose before, they didn’t support me or my dreams. Sometimes, they slowly slipped out of my life, and other times it was as fast as literally cutting a cord.

The other hard part about this? Is the fine line between trying to maintain the relationship and cut it. The difference between points 2&3 is that you fully realize that the relationship is worth your effort in point 2, vs. knowing that the relationship is draining you in point 3. Know how to spot the difference. Allow yourself a few moments, weeks, or months to assess how this person truly makes you feel. Note how you feel when you’re around them vs. not around them. If it’s astronomically different, well, then you know what you need to do.

And, if while reading this last section, you had someone in your mind the whole time, take a look at that relationship. I’m not trying to tell you to start cutting wildly like a child cutting a snowflake out of a piece of paper, but I am trying to tell you to focus on your happiness. Who brings that? Who doesn’t?

Relationships are hard work.

But if you never try, you’ll never know.

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Thanks for reading! I know this was a long one.

If you found any of this relevant to you- share it!

And then share with me what was helpful.

I love that :)

And to read Part 1, click here 

& for more from CarlyB, you can subscribe to my email list

In health, Carly

The Truth About Finding My Path After College

Graduate college they said, it’ll be fun they said.

But DAMN life after college can be a whirlwind! 

I graduated exactly 4 years ago today. Ironically, I found this very blog post in my drafts from- 2 YEARS AGO! I started this but never finished. I guess I didn’t find my voice completely enough to publish it.

Even more ironic? Every bullet point listed below is still true today. I’m still baffled by how different adulthood is from college life. It’s like the second I graduated I was thrust into adulthood without a how-to guide, without any warning. It was like being pushed off of a cliff and being expected to know how to fly.

My question to those who have been doing this for awhile is…. when does it feel normal?

Like I’m 26 and I still don’t want to be an adult. Do I like the freedom of it, and the feeling of making BIG strides and awesome new accomplishments? Absolutely! But damn, where is my mom when I need her! When I’m behind on laundry and haven’t even started dinner yet. When I’m so exhausted that I zombie mode it through work. And let me tell you friends- I don’t even HAVE KIDS YET! Good Lord help me.

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I try to stay optimistic and happy all the time, but forgive me for being human, some things are just challenging! I know for damn sure that I’ve realized adulthood has come with a few realizations…..

-8AM is nowhere near an early time anymore

-Going to bed at 10 is the glory of all things glorious, and the thought of getting ready to go out on the town on a Wednesday night at that time is enough to make me fall asleep standing up on some days

-A relaxing Sunday is getting all of the household chores done, leaving me, and my house, feeling refreshed for the week ahead

-Since when is grocery shopping fun (most of the time)?

-Oh bills, right, I have those now

-AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON STUDENT LOANS!

-Which job do I apply for? Do I qualify? What if I don’t? I double majored in college, certainly there is something out there

-Oh, you mean to tell me that my dream job doesn’t exist until I gain more than four years experience of college studies in my field?

-And let’s not even talk about that word metabolism. I’m only 26 for goodness sake! How can I see the results of a slowing metabolism already! 

-And don’t get me started on hangovers. For anyone under 25 reading this. IT ALL CHANGES OVER NIGHT. Holy shit, I can’t imagine 30-year-old hangovers.

-Fewer true friends are better than a hundred fake ones- cliche I know, but totally true

-Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will be your saving grace on some days

So yeah, things are different once you graduate college. Weekends are no longer for partying, Thursday’s are no longer for “pre-weekend partying”, and Monday’s are no longer dreaded for an early 8AM class wake up call.

Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 8.27.32 AMRather, Monday’s are now for the go-getters. I might not be exactly sure where my career path will lead me in the next 5 years, or hell where my life will lead me, but I do know what I’m passionate about. So on Monday’s I GO-GET-IT. And on Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and so on. I wake up early, go to work, and help people achieve their fitness goals. And I do it day after day. But in between all of that I volunteer in animal rescue, I write these here blogs, I read, I walk my dogs, I binge watch New Girl with my husband, I grab drinks with friends, I travel and take in new experience, and I sweat like a mad woman at Orangetheory Fitness. I have no idea if any of those things will get me somewhere farther in my career in the future, or if they’ll impact my life in the future. But that’s not what it’s about. The Go-Getting, the life-enjoying, the self-improving, that make me damn happy right now. And right now is my favorite place to be.

The truth about finding your path after college:

it’s not actually about finding a path to walk on like everyone else. It’s discovering an unfinished path that looks crazy and curvy and all over the place. But the unknown in that path is what makes you see the potential in that path’s adventure, so you take it anyway.  You pave that path along the way. And when the work gets too tiring to keep paving on your own. You kick back for a few, relax with a mimosa and give it to God to lay the next few stones for you.

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I spent too much of my time focusing on how different life after college was compared to the 22 years before that I sometimes missed the beauty of it. Did I find spots where I felt financially depleted? Yep. Did I work jobs that made me want to pull my hair out every day? Yep. Was I struggling, exhausted, and emotionally depleted at times? Hell yes. But here I am. Standing tall, even if I still don’t have the slightest bit of clue what tomorrow might bring me. News flash, no one does. Not one single person. So in midst of the struggles somedays I remind myself of everything I’ve done, accomplished, and been to. And then I remind myself of my hopes and dreams. And I work for them, I work towards them, while simultaneously folding my husbands underwear and rescuing a dirty sock from my dogs mouth.

Adulthood will never feel normal. I’m convinced. There won’t be a moment where I’ll be like “ah so this is how to handle adulthood”, but that’s the beauty of it. I’ve decided on that very answer. It’s not supposed to be the same way for everyone. It’s not supposed to be the same every single year. But I’m here like “Hey look Ma I made it!”.

Adulthood if a fucking whirlwind.

But you can do it

….I whisper to myself as I go to sleep

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Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable- Part 1: Health and Fitness

My favorite quote of all time:

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Meaning, in the quickest explanation possible, that nothing can be achieved within your comfort zone. If you’re uncomfortable, embrace that, because it means something great is on the horizon.

In this 3 part series we will talk about what it means to get comfortable being uncomfortable in 3 different areas of your life. Your health and fitness, your relationships, and your life and lifestyle in general.

What makes us most uncomfortable in each area? Do we avoid whatever makes us uncomfortable because we don’t know how to handle it? Are we staying stagnant and going through monotonous efforts because we don’t know how to step outside of our comfort zone? More importantly, because we don’t know why we should step outside of our comfort zones?

The easiest and most obvious comfort zones that we can identify nowadays are those related to your health and fitness journey, which is why that is Part 1 of this series. Those comfort zones are what keep people from achieving their goals that they’ve had for a long time. The goals that they’ve written down at the beginning of each new year, resolving to finally achieve them, but don’t.

In order to step out of these comfort zones and launch ourselves on this great health and fitness journey, we first need to pin-point the areas that are holding ourselves back.

Generally, these are the areas where we feel the slightest ping of discomfort and we go running for the covers. Hiding from what could be. They can be broken down into physical and mental barriers. 

The physical:

When your body actually feels, oh I don’t know, the actual effects of exercise

This one kind of baffles me. So many people go to the gym, yet they don’t push themselves to the points they need to. When was the last time you’ve gone outside of your routine in the gym (that is if you’ve been actually going to the gym)? It’s hard for people to feel levels of well, pain.

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But here’s the truth:

The last few reps of your sets should be hard. If they’re not then you simply are not working hard enough. Put those 5 lb weights away that you’ve been using for the past year and pick up something heavier. But wait, that is where people lose it. When they get to rep 8 out of 10 in a set of bicep curls and their muscles are burning. It’s weird, so they stop at that 8th rep and drop their weight the next set they do. Wait what?!? That is not helping you grow, at all. It’s actually teaching yourself to accept failure. You let that feeling of discomfort win over you.

No my friend, those last few reps of each set should be challenging. Aim for the last 2-4 reps, depending on how many reps total you’re doing (the more reps total, the more challenging reps you’ll feel). Because if you find that the reps are getting challenging, it means you are challenging yourself. Get comfortable with that. That is where the magic happens.

And when doing cardio? You need to get comfortable with the feeling of your lungs burning. If you hop on the elliptical day after day and only break a light sweat, then you haven’t challenged your body to a new stimulus. Therefore, you will not improve, and your fitness goals will always be dangling in front of you – just out of reach. Try incorporating HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your workout. There will be points where you can’t speak more than a few sentences, that’s normal, don’t let that scare you. And when you really amp it up, there will be points where you can’t speak more than a few words. Again, that’s normal. All of the above (including some steady state such as the elliptical), need to be worked into your workout in a balanced format. Try doing some intervals – on a cardio machine, or with bodyweight cardio exercises. To program a HIIT workout, you can use the formats below, in order of beginner to advanced:

1:1 ratio= equal work and rest time

2:1 ratio= 2X the amount of challenging work to rest time

4:1 ratio= 4X the amount of challenging work to rest time

The above ratios can be seen in formats such as:

60:60 = 60 seconds of challenging work followed by 60 seconds of rest
60:30= 60 seconds of challenging work, followed by 30 seconds of rest.
60:15= 60 seconds of challenging work, followed by 15 seconds of rest.

or 30:30, 30:15, 30:10, 20:20, 20:10, and so on. As long as you have rest periods on there, you are working in a HIIT format.

In addition to creating your own HIIT workouts, you can also try publicly known workout programs such as Orangetheory Fitness, first class free!

*p.s. this is not an Orangetheory sponsored Ad, but I know first hand the amazing effects that can come out of it, in true HIIT fashion. Not to mention I’ve seen it first hand help people overcome every single one of the barriers listed in this blog 😉

And lastly, if your muscles are shaking, that isn’t a BAD thing! Shaking muscles while holding a plank or a wall sit? Yeah, your muscles are under constant contraction, and this is okay, as long as you are keeping good and proper form!

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The mental:

“I’m scared”

“I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where to start. I am probably the only person in this gym who hasn’t worked out before”.

You’re scared? Good. Use that and let it ignite the flame. Don’t use is as an excuse to turn towards the door and run. You’ve already paid the gym membership, you’re already at the grocery store. So don’t waste your money, or your time. Finish what you came to start.

If we all let our feelings of being scared dictate the ending of each situation we’re in, then we all would have walked into a job, felt scared, and turned right back around. We’d let that happen over and over again until we’re all unemployed and living under a bridge.

But what do you actually do when you’re scared and nervous on your first day at a new job? You run with it! You let it fuel you. You focus in on learning as if your life depends on it, because it kind of does. You are open to trying new things. And most importantly, you COMMIT to it.

So you’re scared as you walk into the gym? Let it fuel you. Let it help you learn new things. Let it open your mind (and body) to trying new things. Let it allow you to COMMIT.

Scared is a feeling of discomfort. But that’s what we’re looking for here aren’t we? Yes. So go run with it. Get comfortable with using your feelings of fright to launch you into something new.

“I’m not good enough”

I’m sorry, but good enough for what? The images you have in your head because social media has pounded them there? Yeah, okay, let’s stop that.

Let’s allow feelings of discomfort to come in for a moment to squash those images. I know, that’s a hard thing to do. Because you want to cling to those images to allow yourself to keep telling yourself you’re not good enough. Because with that, at least you have an excuse. 

Not today Satan. 

So go ahead, squash them. And then when you’re left with a clean slate. One where you can draw ANY image of yourself you want. Make it one you are proud of. And let me tell you, THAT can be one of the most uncomfortable things. Talking ourselves up, hyping ourselves up and dreaming big. But do it friend. The world needs more self-hype.

“I don’t know how to do it correctly”

This one can fall under both physical and mental, and it is the most logical barrier out of all of them. Bad form can indeed bring your fitness journey to a screeching halt. But what makes people the most uncomfortable is asking for help. But here’s the secret- ask for help! You don’t have to commit to hiring a personal trainer 4X a week, but every single gym [should*] have qualified professionals who can help you! In my years of working in a gym it has surprised me by how little people actually ask for help. I mean sometimes people don’t even ask how to turn on a machine. If it’s not on, it won’t work, and therefore- neither will you.

I think the biggest barrier here is that you might feel embarrassed for helping. But let me remind you that every single fitness professional, and every single long-term gym member all WERE BEGINNERS. None of us just “poofed” into the gym knowing how to use it all. We all had to learn. We all had those moments where we felt uncomfortable too. But the difference between your repeated efforts and repeated resolutions to telling yourself that “this is the year I go to the gym!” is that we actually sought out help. We learned. And now, we’re here to HELP YOU TOO! And if you find that someone is an asshole and not willing to help, politely tell them to fuck off, and then go ask someone more friendly (there’s always one asshole or one un-knowledgable person who only got the job because their mom is screwing the manager in each gym. I wish there wasn’t, but if you find them on the first try, just move onto to the next employee or a friendly well-versed member and ask for help!)

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When it comes down to it, it’s talking to yourself and telling yourself that you are bigger than even your BIGGEST barrier. Mind > matter.

What’s your biggest barrier in actually going for your health and fitness goals? Identify it and read the paragraph corresponding to it above. And if you’ve identified a barrier that isn’t listed above (because had I listed out all barriers, you’d be here reading this for the next year) then reach out to me at lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com OR on Instagram at lifeofcarlyb_ and I’d be glad to help you find ways around those barriers.

But spoiler alert:

The first thing I’m going to tell you to do is….

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Your true abilities don’t lie within those comfort zones.

They’re somewhere out there, behind each lie you tell yourself and each excuse, just waiting for you to grab them.

Just like how the juiciest apples could be sitting at the top of the tree, but no one wants to climb to get them.

Your greatest abilities could be sitting up there too, just out of reach if you stay in your comfort zone.

So go grab that apple friend.

Go grab it.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Be sure to subscribe to my email list 

so you don't miss out on parts 2 & 3 of this 3 part series

(going over lifestyle and relationships comfort zones)

Happy to have you here!

The Secret Sauce to Achieving Your Goals- A quick 1,2 punch

How do you stay motivated?

What is the best way to stay committed to my goals?

I’ve got big dreams but am not sure where to start on achieving them, help!

 

All of those are lines I’ve heard from people, and likely lines that you have said. 

 

You want the secret sauce to achieving your goals?

Decide that you want it more than you’re afraid of it

Yeah, that’s a phrase that is likely circulating the web in millions of places right now.

But that is honestly all it takes.

You want the secret sauce my friend?

Here it is:

  1. Decide that you want it more than you’re afraid of it

  2. Keep deciding that every single f*cking day until you’ve reached your goal

The rest? It’ll fall into place. But only if you give yourself the benefit of the doubt and actually, oh I don’t know, believe in your damn self for once!

 

Not what you wanted to hear? 

Tough freaking shit.

Because it’s the truth.

There is no secret sauce. It’s simply getting out of your own damn way. 

Excuses don’t work. Never have. Never will.

 

Literally. The inability of people to commit to themselves and then have the audacity to complain about their failures truly baffles me. If you’re upset with YOU, then ONLY YOU can change it.

Yeah, not the fluffy bull shit motivation you were expecting to hear.

But hey, you’ve likely seen and heard that kind of motivation in the past. And look where you are, still searching for new motivation, and new ways to achieve your goals.

Do I want to help people? Sure as shit do.

Will I let you be a little bitch about it?

Hell no. 

Stop wasting your time.

Decide you want it.

THEN GO FOR IT.

No matter the goal.

No matter the dream.

Just freaking GO FOR IT. 

 

It’s either this >>> or this

An Open Letter To Cheerleading (and to parents who are struggling with letting their kid try a new hobby)

I remember my first ever cheer tryouts. I was a shy and awkward 6th grader who worshiped her one and only Hollister shirt because having it meant, in my mind, that I would fit in.

(I wish I could dig up more pics from middle school cheer, 
but I can't so I'll share the pics from my cheer career that I COULD find)
Cheer camp at the Wisconsin Dells with University of Northern Iowa, summer of 2013.

To those of you who know me and my loud mouth now you would be shocked to know that I was kind of shy at this point in my life. It didn’t help that just one year prior I had fallen off the monkey bars at recess and knocked my teeth parallel to the roof of my mouth. There was blood everywhere, including on my favorite pair of jeans. I cried out of concern that I’d have to throw the pants away, never mind the teeth. Naturally, it took some time for those teeth to find their way back from the roof of my mouth into the front of my mouth where they should be, in a smile. On top of that, it was only 6th grade and I was already taller than most guys in school, I also didn’t know how to do my hair yet, I had just learned how to attempt to pluck my eyebrows. Oh, let’s not forget I was right around the corner from getting teenage acne.

I was awkward. I’m not sure what possessed me to try cheerleading. I’m putting my bets on the fact that I had been doing gymnastics for years already, so this was the logical next step.

Anyway, I made the cheerleading squad! The awkward 11 year old girl who was trying to find her voice in the world made the squad! Hellllooo popularity! Or so I thought.

Turns out, cheerleading didn’t end up being this huge quest for popularity that I thought it would be. Sure, in middle school, that is exactly what it was. But as I not only grew older, but also grew in my passion for cheerleading, I grew into someone completely different, with a different mindset.

Cheerleading, you helped me blossom into the fearless, confident, and strong woman that I am today. Not only that, but through it, I learned at a younger age than most, how important it was to be nice to everyone. Does it sound cliche to say that out of all sports, cheerleading, was the one to shape me into the woman I am today? Maybe. But I know damn well that I wouldn’t be where I am today (like physically would not be living where I am), have the relationships i do, hell I probably wouldn’t have the career path I have, if I didn’t make the squat.

And it started in that musty middle school gymnasium, in small town Illinois, on a hot May day back in 2004.

I made the squad Y’ALL!

Now let me time out for a second:

To all the parents out there reading this,

or any hopeful parents-to-be let me tell you my one piece of advice. Its advice coming not from a fellow parent, but from a daughter who is thankful that her parents did this one thing for her.

Let your kids choose their passion and let them love it hard.

It doesn’t matter what sport, hobby, or extra curricular they fall in love with, let them love it. A child learning to be passionate about something all on their own is a really special thing. Because when they get older, and when it comes time to start making decisions about their life, all on their own, it’s their passions that will drive them to those decisions more than anything else.

My parents were both jocks, like they were each amazingly good at their sports. So it made sense that they enrolled both me and my brother in various sports growing up. I played softball for 10 years, up until my sophomore year of college and I was good. I tried volleyball, that was a bust. I consider basketball but couldn’t make a lay up to save my life, so sayonara to basketball.

Had my parents “forced” me to stay in softball when I wanted to quit because of a coach that ruined it all for me, then I would not have finished my high school career, and then my college career with cheerleading. Hell, I would have gone to a different school entirely had I been in the mindset to stay on the track to “play ball at the collegiate level”. My parents were jocks but they let me try, and then excel at cheerleading. And when it was the sport that I fell in love with, they supported me without blinking an eye. They would even drive 3 hours to watch me cheer in high school at a far away football game, in the freezing freaking cold rain. My dad became “Super Fan Dan” as my high school squad got good at competitive cheer, and made it to the state competition finals year after year.

They saw my passion, they saw me fall in love with it, and the supported me SO HARD.

And because of that single passion, I have molded into the person I am today.

You see cheerleading, you were more than just a “oh let’s see if I’ll like this sport”, you changed the trajectory of… ME.

Had I not made the squad, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with cheerleading, and then I wouldn’t have done it in high school.

Had I not done it high school I would have put my attention and efforts into softball.

Had my efforts been in softball, I would have tried to play at the collegiate level.

Had I tried to play at the collegiate level I’m 99% sure I would not have ended up at the University of Northern Iowa.

Had I not ended up at UNI, I wouldn’t have met my best friends.

Had I not met my best friends I wouldn’t have met my husband.

Had I not met my husband, I wouldn’t have my 3 animals. I wouldn’t have moved to North Carolina. I wouldn’t have begun volunteering with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue. I wouldn’t have become an Orangetheory Coach.

I wouldn’t be HERE.

On top of that, I wouldn’t have developed the skills and traits that I have now, that have helped me go for things I wouldn’t have otherwise.

My outgoing nature?

I can thank cheerleading for that. It’s pretty damn hard to be an enthustiatic cheerleader and also be a total introvert. Is it possible? Yep. But that’s not how the cards played for me, and I’m glad. Because with this extroverted and outgoing nature, I have tried SO MANY THINGS that I don’t see introverts around me trying.

Cheering in front of crowds of thousands in college? What a freaking experience.

Walking in two fashion shows? Some would say hello NERVES. I said hello EXPERIENCE.

Being a fitness coach? Try doing that without an outgoing personality feeding into your energy.

My strange comfort in public speaking?

Yep, let’s thank cheerleading for that. I mean cheerleading is public speaking after all, we just change the pitch of our voices

But for real, it’s weird, I actually really like public speaking.

My most looked forward to school events and assignments? Presentations. PowerPoints, etc.

Without my innate ability for public speaking, combined with my extroverted nature, I wouldn’t have been selected in college to be on a team of 3 to go present a topic at the National Convention for Society of Public Health Education- and get second place in the nation!

My ability to be friends with virtually anyone, and my desire to include everyone?

You guessed it. Cheerleading.

Now, let me pause and say that all cheerleading squads I was apart of were not your stereotypical “bitch” squads, like you might have guessed. Because of that, I think my friendly nature that I already had, had a chance to thrive even more.

My excitement about LIFE?

HELL FREAKING YA THIS STEMMED FROM CHEERLEADING!

Learning how to be excited about a turnover, a 3-point swish, a touchdown, an interception, or whatever, and being excited about those time. after. time. instills a deep excitement for everything! I’m proud to say I’m generally a very optimistic and excited person now-a-days.

Once a cheerleader. Always a cheerleader.

Not to mention the friends I made or the connections made because of cheerleading

It’s been like a rollercoaster that keeps picking up speed. It started with cheerleading. Then it was meeting the friends I did, deciding to go to a college because I had heard about it from someone I used to cheer with. Then it was getting to college and deciding to cheer, which introduced me to new people, my husband, etc. The roller coaster kept picking up even after I was done cheering as it led me to becoming a fur-mom, into a new state, into a new career path, and so much more!

Just like any other sport, hobby, etc. Cheerleading put me on this roller coaster of excitement, and even though I’ve been out of cheer for 5 years now, my roller coaster is not. slowing. down.

Some kids might fall in love with football or soccer like you envision them to. And those sports might turn into passions that catapult them into greatness such as playing on scholarship in college, or hell for the amazingly talented and lucky few, going pro. But for other kids, theater, piano, tae-kwan-do, fine arts, or even cheerleading might be what they become so passionate about that it’s impossible to ignore.

So don’t ignore it. Help them in any way you can. But ultimately, let them make their decisions about where they want to go with that passion and what they want to do. Not only are they learning to make decisions on their own, they’re molding themselves into pretty fantastic human beings.

Who would have thought that cheerleading had the capacity to change the trajectory of my life so much?

But it did. It all started in a musty middle school gymnasium, in small town Illinois, on a hot May day back in 2004.

And because of that, from my 26 year old self to my 11 year old self, I thank you cheerleading. And I thank everyone who I came in contact with throughout my time as a cheerleader, and every experience I got out of it.

Thanks for reading!

Share this to your social, just copy and past the link!

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Or, from one cheerleader to another,

Or one passionate person to another, follow me on Instagram!
Love, Carly

Rescue Dogs Know They’ve Been Saved

Just last week we were down in Fort Lauderdale, FL for a vacation. We stayed at an Airbnb at a pretty darn nice apartment complex. Every morning before hitting the music festival we were there for, we would go to the pool. It was here we met Rex, and Rex’s parents.

Rex was a rescue dog.

And every day around lunch time they would come down to the pool and he would lay in the chair, or on the ground, whatever felt right that day. Just like he and his owner do every other day of the week. And he would just watch the commotion around him and take in the sounds of the dripping water.

Rex, they assume, used to be a bait dog. Although they can’t be sure. His ears were chipped and clipped, a trait seen on bait dogs. He also had scars on his body.

Yet, he was always smiling. He would lick everyone’s face with the most aggressive and loving kisses as if he was licking spoonfuls of peanut butter off your face. He was so freaking happy, and so freaking grateful.

Rescue dogs know they’ve been saved. You can see it in their eyes, in their demeanor, in everything they do. Even the ones who are skiddish because of the internal scars from their previous lives, you can still tell how grateful they are to be where they are now and not where they used to be.

Rescue dogs are a breed all of their own. And I think everyone needs to experience it.

 

Me? I’ll admit, my two Goldens I got from a breeder, which I am not regretful of, nor am I ashamed. That’s a blog post all of it’s own (and coming soon!) However, I work, or I should say, volunteer, in animal rescue. Since November of 2017 I have dedicated over 200 hours of my personal time to helping dogs who are less fortunate. But boy, they turn out to be the most fortunate dogs you could come across once they find their forever home.

There’s something about seeing a rescue dog realize that their life has forever changed. It could happen the moment the kennel door opens at the shelter, or when they settle into their foster home, or when they meet their forever family. Something, somewhere along their timeline, it sparks. And they beam from the inside out.

(My rescue cat – we LOVE him, he’s a character, clearly- and my not-so-rescued dogs)

 

I wanted to prove my point to you even further, so I took to Instagram to ask people to share with me their stories, feelings, and thoughts on their own personal rescue dogs. Here’s what they said:

What has been the best, and more rewarding part of rescuing?

  • Watching her bloom from a terrified of everything dog, to a full, bouncy, loving dog- it’s beautiful.
  • Seeing a once scared pup blossom into a goofy, loving dog. the change in personality over time is the best
  • Knowing that I got them out of whatever hell the were living in before. Knowing that I gave them a much better life and love them better than anyone else ever could.
  • Knowing that he has a safe home- with me!

What has rescue taught you?

  • Rescuing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
  •  That people suck sometimes BUT there are also a lot of really awesome people out there that dedicate their lives to helping animals. See the good in the world
  • So many dogs lose their life each day because not enough people rescue (and I will add because people also suck, and put these dogs in the unfortunate situations, that is also why so many lose their lives).

What would you say to someone thinking about rescuing an animal?

  • It is literally that, you’re rescuing them. To watch my girl grow and become a loving carefree dog, that’s my favorite part. To see her settle in to bed or next to me knowing she’s now safe. She’s HOME. More animals deserve that feeling.
  • If you are ready to put in some work DO IT, its life changing (for you and the dog).
  • You will always know you saved a precious life.

And my most favorite, full of heart, full of passion and love, message that I got:

“It was the most rewarding and love-filled experience we (as a family) had together. The best part of rescuing is knowing that your dog’s life could have looked so different if not for you. You’re able to provide a home, endless love, and a sense of security and community for this beautiful animal who is totally dependent on the actions of others for her quality of life. Rescue taught me to be humble, it taught me about myself and the capacity I had to be a mom, and it reminded me of the absolute most joyful purity that dogs bring to the world. If I had the chance to adopt 100 more dogs, I would rescue 100 times out of 100. For someone considering rescue, they should think about the potential they have to change a dog’s life. You will not regret that extra family member. I miss mine daily.”

 


(Photo courtesy of Mikaela Hammes and her rescue pup Cooper)

And with that…

April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.

If you’re ready to add a 4 legged love ball to your family, then consider taking action on this day!

But do your due diligence first. Research now what it takes to raise a dog- the costs involved- monetary, physical, emotional, etc cost. Know how much time and patience it takes. Most importantly, be familiar with the fact that different types of breeds have different behavioral traits.

Then, when your due diligence is done. Take a trip to your local shelter. Be a dog’s hero today (or on April 30th 😉 ). And share this with a friend– allow them to be a dog’s hero too.

(Pictures courtesy of Jessica Stricker and her rescue pup Bella)

 

Follow me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_

Notable animal rescue Instagram profiles, follow them too!

@theasherhouse

@primaldomain

@bestfriendsanimalsociety

And the picture that hit me in the gut so hard this week while scrolling Pinterest.

Bless the rescuers, curse the abandoners

In health, love, and wet doggie kisses,
❤ Carly

Balance is… Having a Mimosa in Each Hand

BALANCE.

What a f*cking buzzword right now, am I right?

It’s something I’ve practiced, and something I’ve preached for years now.

But now? Someone will look at a cupcake while drinking an ounce of water and #hashtagbalance

It’s cool, I want you all to have balance. I want you all to experience the freedom that comes with balance.

But let’s talk about what balance actually is, and how you can achieve it.

And friend, I’m not talking about finding balance between the hours you spend in the gym and the amount of donuts you put in your mouth like the 15.4M hashtags on Instagram suggest.  I’m talking about balance in your f*cking LIFE.

Oh yeah, I’m fired up.

Finding life balance: how do we do it? What does it look like?

Well, it looks different for everyone.

To someone, it could be learning to allow themselves to enjoy a burger on the weekend, without running 10 miles the next day to work it off. To them, that’s a balance win, simply enjoying that burger. Because in the past, their need for self-control would have taken over, and they would have eaten half a salad and brought the other half home for lunch the next day, all while watching their friends gorge themselves in nachos and beer.

To someone else it’s letting go of toxic relationships. Because they understand the value of living their life for THEM. The value of being surrounded by uplifting people. They’ve learned that their life has been out of balance for awhile now, so they looked around them at what could be throwing that equilibrium off kilter.

Or for someone else it’s letting their mom watch their 4-month-old child for a few hours so they can go to the gym and then get a massage. It’s the balance of being a good mom by taking care of their child while also being a good mom while taking care of themselves.

Or to a yogi, balance might quite literally mean the ability to stand on one’s head.

To me? Balance is doing whatever the f*ck I please, not recklessly, but in a way where I don’t have to overthink it. If I want to have late night pizza two nights in a row after drinking beer and Malibu all day, like I did last weekend, I can. My lifestyle supports that. I drink water like a fish every day. So much that I probably piss out enough clear water to hydrate an underdeveloped country. I work out hard, and smart, 4-5 days a week. My lifestyle supports my desire to indulge when I want and where I want.

To me, it is also staying in with my husband on a Friday night and then going out with the girls on Saturday. Life, and relationships, demand balance too.

To me, it is sleeping in on my days off to catch up on that deeply needed sleep. Even if my schedule says it’s time to workout, if my body needs sleep, it gets sleep (as much as I can manipulate my schedule to allow that though. This is the hardest area for me to find balance).

To me, it’s giving myself some leniency in my daily checklist. Sometimes I just can’t get everything done. Some days I volunteer with animal rescue, but that means I don’t have time to walk my dogs. That day. Some days I clean the whole freaking house, and some days I only clean up after my dinner mess and go watch New Girl instead of vacuuming the floors. Some days I win the mental battle of looking on the bright side of things, and other days I don’t. Some weeks my days balance each other out. Good day, then bad day, back to a good day. Quite frankly, balance looks different on each given day, because each day demands something different out of me. But that, that, is the beauty of balance. It’s figuring out where there are high and low points that don’t meet the equilibrium. Sometimes, often times, it’s about looking at the bigger picture. What you learn to balance today will help you learn to balance the bigger picture, and that bigger picture is your life.

And that’s my point.

Balance is more, balance is so freaking much more.

I want you to have balance in multiple aspects of your life. Hell, I even want you to find a way to balance those aspects of your life out. To find a point where all areas of your life can coincide in harmony, without one pulling and weighing you down harder than the other. Woah, big statement, I know.

Here’s some ways to start:

  1) Look at the areas of your life that are draining you, first.

Where can you cut the cord, where can you improve? Let’s start there. Because likely, these areas that are draining you are some of the biggest aspects of your life. It’s best to balance out the largest scale you have first, then work on the smaller ones. Because if you start small, you might miss the point when they become balanced, because other, unbalanced areas, will be weighing them down disproportionally.

  2) Look at how you treat yourself.

Out of everyone you come in contact with, do you treat yourself the most poorly? Are you treating yourself like dirt, not giving yourself a break, running yourself into the ground? I’m going to answer that for you. Yes, you are. We all do it. We are all hardest on yourself. Now this isn’t a quick fix, but look for the area that you can give yourself a double high five in first. Have you been making progress in the gym? Double high five! Now stop beating yourself up over those last few pounds (because news flash, they actually don’t matter!). Is your relationship at its highest point ever? Are you and your significant other thriving together (maybe at the cost of some friendships, but hey cut that cord). Okay, cool, double high five! How about your job? Your kids? Your mental health, sleep health, skin health, etc.? Chances are you have been making big strides in at least one area of your life, but you haven’t been able to see it because you have been tearing yourself down for so long, over so many things. It’s time to start realizing when progress is happening, and freaking celebrate!

  3) Learn this definition, & remind yourself of it daily:

Balance: (noun)

an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

You my friend, you are the “something” that needs to be upright and steady. Not leaning on something or someone. You don’t need a crutch, you just need you, standing upright and steady like a damn brick wall, all by your damn self!

  4) Now write this down on a sticky note and post it every freaking where:

“I am the writer of my own storybook”.

In case you forgot, the only person who can change the trajectory of your life is YOU, and God, but He knows where you’re going long before you do, and He wants to watch you see yourself through it.

  5) And finally, buddy up!

I believe everything in life is better with a buddy, but only if that buddy is vibing the way you are. If you’re trying to be better about finding balance with your nutritional choices, don’t do it with a buddy who will always encourage the unhealthy choice. If you’re trying to find balance with taking care of your family while taking care of yourself, a buddy who mom shames is not the buddy for you. You get the point?

Balance is freedom. It is not a free for all.

To have balance you must be able to know when you need to subtract or add things from each side. When one side is too heavy, it feels too heavy, it weighs you down.

Freedom to say yes to things that positively affect your life.

Freedom to do things that lift you up instead of bring you down.

Freedom to feel guilt free, to not overthink, to just simply be.

Balance is having a mimosa in each hand my friends.

One for you, and one for your buddy.

Or maybe two for you, if that’s how you’re vibing that day, it’s okay to be selfish

Don’t think too hard about it. Just pour the bubbly into those cups. Maybe bubbles aren’t your thing, maybe you’d rather fill your cups with water, a bloody mary, or an ice cold fountain pop. Whatever it may be, I need you fill your cup, fill it to the brim baby! But make sure its filled to the brim with the very best. Fill those cups with a smile and positive energy.

Most importantly, make sure that all of your cups are filling equally.

Because no one likes to get gypped on mimosas.

 

Thanks for reading friends

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But Being Healthy is So Damn Expensive

Here’s what you should know about the price of your health

It gets expensive

You probably think I’m talking about the high cost of health food. Or how ridiculous gyms are for making you want to pay more than $10 a month. Or how the cost of workout clothes can add up.

Well friend, that is not what I’m here to talk about.

Does caring for your own personal health get expensive? Hell-freaking-yes. Do you only have one body to live in? Hell-freaking-yes. There’s a common phrase we’ve all heard; “your body is a temple.” What do all of the temples in the world have in common? They are highly regarded, highly thought of and in most cases highly guarded

So you think I’m talking about how eating healthy, paying for gym memberships, etc. gets expensive? I mean, that’s what stops us from getting healthy in the first place right? The fact that it’s so expensive? 

Wrong, it’s the:

  • Blood pressure medicine because well, you’ve gained weight, your insides are screaming at you for some tender love & care, but you don’t hear. There’s medicine to cover that cry!
  • Diabetes medicine because well, you’ve gained weight, your insides are screaming at you for some tender love & care, but you don’t hear. There’s medicine to cover that cry! (Okay, I realize that in some cases diabetes is hereditary and can’t be avoided)
  • Osteoarthritis medicine because well, you’ve gained weight, your insides are screaming at you for some tender love & care, but you don’t hear. There’s medicine to cover that cry!
  • Sleep medicine because your overall health has impacted your ability to sleep
  • The costs of visiting multiple doctors, multiple times a year, or month

Let me clump society together for a second here and pretend that society as a whole has one collective head. We have this ridiculous thought in our head that being healthy is the expensive way. When in fact, our attempt at healing debilitating diseases, fighting disease, fighting to live, fighting to regain your healththat is what is expensive.

America has taught us to believe…

That because you can get a $2 meal at McDonalds, anything other than that is simply preposterous. We look at an $8 salad from the local grocery store salad bar and pass on that for the $3 slice of pizza (let alone, completely ignore the fact that we could make that same salad for a family of four for $8 ourselves). We are so blind to what we are actually doing to our bodies that we think saving those $5 for this meal is going to save us big time in the long run. 

FALSE. Your wallet might be temporarily saved, but your body is NOT.

America needs to be educated.

America needs to get its’ priorities straight.

What is the main goal of all fast food chains? To market to you and to sell to you in a way that makes you want to buy their products. Like OMG MCRIBS ARE BACK AND THEY’RE ONLY A DOLLAR! GET EM WHILE YOU CAN BECAUSE THEY’LL BE GONE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT! (oh they’ll be back. Never mind the fact that they suck). Your brain sees that the beloved McRib is back and thinks “I must stop at McDonalds, right now, even though I am not hungry”.

So we eat the bad stuff. We eat the cheap stuff. We put crap into our body as if it were a garbage disposal. Do you know that garbage disposal even needs to be cleaned and cared for regularly? Why don’t you do that to your body?

Then there comes a point where the waistline has expanded and you’ve already had to buy new clothes (newsflash, all of those “$5 you saved” are now being spent on a new wardrobe). So we’re at this point where it, and by IT I mean the WEIGHT (of our actions), has crept up on us. We might not necessarily be at the point of needing any sort of medicine, because we haven’t been diagnosed with anything, yet. Instead, we fall into further marketing bullshit and try to do the “quick fixes” to “save our bodies”. We invest in pills, wraps, teas, diets, shakes, this & that, and the list goes on. Remember those $5 you saved when you chose to not buy the healthier option because “healthy is expensive”? Yeah, well you’ve already spent that on your new, fat pants wardrobe. Now, in a desperate effort to turn things around QUICK, you spend more money (money that you might not even have in the first place) on these quick fixes.

You’re already in the hole and we’re not even to the “needing medicine part”.

Have you ever tried those quick fixes before? I’m willing to bet that you have. Most of America has. If you haven’t, I guarantee you know at least 3 people who have. 

What’s the common trend with those quick fixes? That’s right, they don’t work! “But Sally Sue’s cousins best friend said that THIS was the product that would change it all. It’s THE FIX. It will cure above all. Hands down, case closed”

BAHA-HAHAHAHAHAH.

They don’t work. Congratulations, you just spend $30-$100 on each “quick fix”. You were desperate for 6 months all while buying into these things that didn’t work, and likely, you didn’t change your diet or your exercise routine. So here you are, still in your fat guy pants. A larger waistline and a smaller wallet to show. 

As if that wasn’t the icing on the cake, you go to your annual doctor’s appointment.

You tell her that you are having trouble sleeping. She does a stress test. Sleep apnea. Let’s get you set up with all the things to fix that. Please make sure to write a check for $500 and we’ll get you set up and on your way.

Or she takes your blood pressure and WOAH where did those numbers come from?! We totally missed the stage of pre-hypertension. You my friend, are in full blown hypertension. Time to medicate. Please go write a check for $400 and we’ll send you on your way.

Or you tell her that you’ve been having a lot of joint and knee problems. You don’t know where or when it started but you’ll be damned if you can’t walk from the couch to the fridge without those knees creaking. You’ve developed osteoarthritis. Let’s forget the fact that the pain is being made worse from being overweight, let’s just take your $300 and send you on your way.

Or you, you unfortunate poor soul, you have problems with all 3. And your insurance is not going to cover your sleep apnea machine, and only a portion of your blood pressure and osteoarthritis medicine. You’re looking at spending $400-1,000- just this month. Remember when you saved $5 back in the day though?!

Okay, I may have embellished those dollar amounts a bit, and I do know damn well that in each scenario the doctor would have mentioned the need to lose weight and exercise. But would you have gotten the point as well if not?

Let me throw some stats at you:

(if you’re not interested in these stats, please skip to the end for final points)

1. High blood pressure:

According to CDC.GOV:

How many Americans have high blood pressure?

About 75 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 American adults (!!!!!!!). Anyone, including children, can develop high blood pressure.

Do you know that high blood pressure greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke? Did you know that those are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

How much does high blood pressure cost the United States?

Total costs associated with high blood pressure in 2011 (a little outdated, but sometimes these stats are only fully updated every 10 years. So let’s assume this number is actually higher) in the US were $46 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work.

  • Not covered by health insurance? Well then you’re looking at spending between $740 and $1,200 or more per year
  • Annual average cost for doctor’s visits? You’re looking at $454 per year
  • Oh and that prescription medication? I mean you need it. $407

according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

  • Adults with hypertension accounted for 40.8 percent of all healthcare spending despite comprising only 18 percent of the study sample.
  • The greatest disparity in annual healthcare spending between hypertensive and non-hypertensive peers existed among 19- to 26-year-olds ($15,812 versus $2,927).

For more info on hypertension from CDC.GOV, click here for more info

2. Sleeplesness

In 2015, Americans spent an estimated $41 billion on sleep aids and remedies. With sleep issues continuing to rise, that number is expected to grow to $52 billion by 2020.

If you are one of the 164 million Americans who have sleep issues (and medication) or are falling into the black whole of sleeplessness, let me suggest you read this article by Harvard Health.

3. Diabetes:

According to CDC.Gov

The average cost for people with diagnosed diabetes is about $16,750 per year. People with diabetes spend 2.3 TIMES AS MUCH per year in medical cost compared to those without.

For America as a whole, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2017 was $327 billion. The breakdown of this cost includes (direct link to this info here) :

Direct medical costs:

$237 billion

  • Hospital inpatient care ($69.7 billion).
  • Prescription medications to treat the complications of diabetes ($71.2 billion).
  • Antidiabetic agents and diabetes supplies ($34.6 billion).
  • Physician office visits ($30.0 billion).
  • Nursing/residential facility stays ($6.4 billion).

Indirect costs:

$90 billion

  • Increased absenteeism ($3.3 billion).
  • Reduced productivity while at work ($26.9 billion) for the employed population.
  • Reduced productivity for those not employed ($2.3 billion).
  • Inability to work as a result of disease related disability ($37.5 billion).
  • Lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($19.9 billion).

4. Osteoarthritis 

According to CDC.Gov

Osteoarthritis, is the most common type of arthritis and affects more than 30 million adults in the United States. It is also among the most expensive conditions to treat when joint replacement surgery is required. Osteoarthritis, which is degeneration of the joint cartilage and underlying bone, costs $185 billion dollars a year. Of which, insurance generally accounts for $149 billion, and patients pay $36 billion. For more info on the costs, click here.

Alright let’s break those stats down

  • American population (as of 2018 census): 327.2 million
  • Total blood pressure cost in the U.S: $46 billion
  • Total sleeplessness cost in the U.S: $41 billion
  • Total diabetes cost in the U.S: $327 billion
  • Total osteoarthritis cost in the U.S: $36 billion

If we were to average the cost for each medical issue across the entire U.S. population, here’s what it would look like for EACH PERSON

  • Blood pressure: $140.5
  • Sleeplessness: $125
  • Diabetes: $999
  • Osteoarthritis: $110

Again, that’s the cost per year if we could average it across the entire U.S. population, which we can’t. Meaning that cost per person actually living with the disease is staggeringly higher.

I bet you’re wishing you had spent $8 on that Salad 5 years ago, huh Johnny?

You have one body to live in.

One body to protect.

One body to nourish.

I’m not sure why people put so much care into the upkeep and looks of their cars, their houses, their lawns, their boats or “grown up toys”, and quite literally anything along those lines, but cannot get themselves to take care of THEIR OWN BODIES?!

Wake up America. Wake the F up.

And while you’re up, go grab those sneakers, go for a walk, or a run. And when you’re done have a nutritional breakfast.

And then repeat those efforts daily.

Just WAKE THE F UP

 

 

 

Further resources:

 https://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-arthritis-news-41/osteoarthritis-costs-u-s-over-185-billion-a-year-633410.html

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/diabetesatwork/plan/costs.html

https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/faqs.htm