on going upside down and other 2014 goals

Did you know almost half of New Year's resolutions have to do with getting healthier? Lose weight, exercise, eat better, quit smoking...

The list goes on and on. 

Mine don't. Well, mostly don't.

My two resolutions are:
1) Take a photography class this year
2) Be less busy

I could argue that they'll impact my health overall, but they're less blatant than, say, go to the gym every day. 

However, ever since cutting back on running, I've been a little bit of a workout funk. Less running means I have to be more creative with my workouts - I can't just lace up my kicks and head outside. I have to think through routines, find a class, be more intentional. 

With that in mind, I decided I needed some goals to give me focus. So although these are not my resolutions, here are a few of my fitness goals for 2014:

1) Do 50 good push ups without stopping
2) Plank (on elbows) for 4:15
3) Do yoga 50 times (just under once a week)
4) Learn to do a headstand in yoga
5) Go rock climbing

As of today, I can:

1) Do 20 push ups
2) Plank for 1:40
3) Have done yoga once this year (this morning!)
4) Am sitting comfortably at shoulder stand and cannot even fathom how to make this transition
5) Have been wanting to go rock climbing again for months and haven't done it. What am I waiting for?

Like I said, these aren't so much resolutions as they fitness goals. They're not about weight loss or about my shortcomings. They're simply about getting stronger, taking on something I've wanted to do for years but am hesitant to try (headstand!) and making time to do yoga instead of constantly doing workouts that break me down physically and mentally. It's learning to focus less on exhausting myself and more on making time for things that give me clarity and make me stronger.

What are your fitness goals this year? Join me! 

it's working!

OK. I know it has only been a few days, but I'm telling you, I already feel better with the changes I'm making. I know the placebo effect is a very real thing but I don't think that's what's happening here. I'm feeling more rested, more limber and I'll tellyawhat. I really think my skin is clearer. Could it be the spinach? I'm not sure. 

Since I'm breaking out of my normal yoga schedule, I've had to try some new classes. And yesterday after work I was completely exhausted, but still felt the need to go to a hot core power class. Walking into the class I was teetering between knowing I should take the day off from working out and wanting to give in to my inner masochist and really go for a killer workout. 

But, as with so many things these days, I was not in control. And it turns out the instructor was more along the lines of 50 percent strength and 50 percent deep stretching. During the stretch part, I found myself frustrated that it wasn't harder - that I was wasting time and money. But when I walked out, I felt de-stressed and restored in a way I haven't felt in weeks. 

Sometimes the instructors just know, don't they?

Also, a few of you have emailed me asking what to put in a spinach smoothie. Quick answer: spinach and any fruit your heart desires!

My style:
Vega protein power
Nut butter (rocking Sunflower Butter this week!)
And sometimes I throw in chia, flax or hemp. Because, why not?

And, my friend Robyn supplied a coupon code (GGV682) for $10 off Vega here. Yaay!  Enjoy :)

happy weekend

It's Tuesday, which means I'm a little late on a weekend update. With that in mind, what's a few more minutes for a quick bit of business?
Just a quick reminder that I would absolutely love it if anyone who is willing would donate to my trip to Africa, or share the link with people they know who might be interested. I'm four months out and hoping to buy a plane ticket soon - eek! I'd absolutely love your help getting to that point.
Now on to less awkward topics...
Last Thursday I headed to Savannah to meet my family for Duke's graduation. He earned his Masters in Psychology and I'm so proud of him! Duke's crazy-modest, and it was so fun seeing the way his peers and professors adored him. He'd never let on to just how much he dominated the program, and I am so glad we got to see him in action!
We spent Friday evening in Savannah, sitting outside for dinner, eating froyo - all the normal things we love to do.
Saturday, we headed back to Atlanta where we walked all over town looking at places for Duke to live, went to dinner at El Taco and had an early Mother's Day celebration.
Sunday, my parents left for Indy, but Duke and Sam stayed a bit longer. We went for a run, kick-started our 30 days of green smoothies, visited Georgia State (where Duke will start his PhD program next year), picked up lunch at Whole Foods, ate it in Piedmont Park, with a side of Frisbee, went for a walk around Midtown and then ended the day with some yoga. It took a touch of convincing for Duke and Sam to try it, but by the time we walked out of the 90-minute class, they were hooked.
I hope your weekend was wonderful, too!

30 Days. Three challenges. (let's go)

I went through a phase of life (~25 years), where I was obsessed with self-improving. 25 pushups for 25 days. 10,000 lunges in 100 days. Learn to like kale. You get it. The list is endless. 

But then around a year ago, I flipped. I decided to give myself a little more grace. That doing what I am doing was enough. That I didn't need to improve or should. To slow down. To take rest. And it was a very lovely lesson to learn - life changing, in fact. Irreplaceable - one everyone deserves to learn, love and live. 

But, as I mentioned last week, life often comes down to a math. A little of more of this, a little less of that. And the greatest lesson I've ever learned in life is that moderation is the key. To find balance in an often unbalanced world brings me every-day sanity. 

So after months of just being, I'm up for a little month-long challenge. I'm ready to tackle it with vigor. 

On tap: three challenges for 30 days. 
One: Thirty days of yoga. Not every day - but most days. Three to four times a week. I'm doing it because I love yoga, but I don't make time for it. I love what it does for my mind and I want to see what will happen if I make it a priority. It's going to require some early mornings, which leads me to...
Two: Eight hours of sleep every night. No excuses. That's an average of two extra hours each night. I expect to feel like the king. Will certainly keep you posted.
Three:  Swapping coffee for green smoothies. In with the spinach, out with the caffeine.

So that's the plan. Want to join me for one, two or three of the above? Thirty days isn't too long, but it's nine days longer than they say it takes to make a habit. I kick-started the week with yoga yesterday and a cool eight hours of sleep and so far, so good! 

I'll report back with details on June 12!

image and image