All Aboard!

All Aboard…the paddle board that is!

Living in California these past few months has definitely helped me become more active. I am excited to let you all know that my new pastime is stand up paddle boarding (aka SUP).  Here are a few reasons (okkk yes another list) why paddling is my latest obsession.

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  • It is a full body workout-I can 100% admit it, I am not the most coordinated person. I love working out, but when it comes to flexibility or balance…well let’s just say I’m a klutz who can’t reach my ankles, let alone touch my toes! Oh sooooo i definitely didn’t understand how in the world I was going to balance on a board. I was a bit hesitant the first time I tried paddle boarding because I just pictured a blooper reel of my day filled with me falling off over and over and over again. Luckily that did not happen! I actually didn’t fall at all. What I did learn is that although it is a low impact and relaxing activity I definitely consider it a workout. It really all depends on the day and what you want to get out of it. I tend to go for around 1.5-2 hours at a time. Sometimes I just relax and even sit down and paddle, but other times I focus on working my core and trying to increase my endurance. On windy wavy days it’s definitely a challenge and an incredible workout. I tend to feel it most in my abs, shoulders/arms, and back muscles . If you’re looking to mix up your workout regimen and live near a harbor, bay, ocean, or lake it’s definitely a must do! 
  • It is relaxing– I have found that paddle boarding can really help me take my mind off of things. A few people told me spending the day on the water can be just as relaxing as a spa day, and although I believe it is pretty hard to beat a day filled with massages and cucumber water I can agree it really is peaceful. As I mentioned above, sometimes I just sit down on the paddle board instead of making it an intense workout. It is nice to do for an hour during a stressful work week to really take time to focus on myself. It can be relaxing both solo or with a couple of friends. I have found it can be a social or individual activity and what makes it fun is that each time I paddle it is a completely different experience.
  • seapaddleI get to see sea lions– I have been paddling on lakes as well as the ocean/bay/harbor. If you happen to live in Southern California, I strongly recommend paddle boarding in the Newport Harbor right by Balboa Island (I usually can find a Groupon deal!) I love admiring the many different styles of houses and cottages along the edge of the island and viewing sun bathing sea lions. They layout in groups on the back of docked and anchored boats and really know how to enjoy themselves. If you haven’t been around sea lions up close and personal it really is a sight to see!

New Point of View

As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently living in Southern California. I am enjoying the lifestyle out here very much. One of my favorite parts of the lifestyle is how health and fitness is a high priority. You all know I am on a mission to take back my health and this new environment is definitely helping me.

This is what I have learned so far:

  1. Do not try and mimic someone else. I love to keep up with different lifestyle and health bloggers as well as fitness experts, but at times I just wanted to copy their workouts and meals verbatim. I learned that part of what has motivated me to keep working out is adding my own creative touches as well as paying attention to my body and how it is reacting to my daily routines. I recommend using these people and their healthy habits as inspiration and guides, but pay attention to your body and don’t be afraid to draw the line on some things that are just not for you.
  2. Feeling great leads to looking great. Of course I want to look great, but I learned in the past that when I focused on every calorie and jumped on the scale everyday it did not seem that healthy. I have really been working on changing my way of viewing health and fitness. I now celebrate each day that I take the time to workout and don’t shame myself when I feel that I need a break.  I know how hard I am working on changing my habits which is positively affecting me both physically and emotionally.

    New Point of View — PC Kaitlin Marron

  3. Mix it up. I mentioned this briefly in The Slide. After writing that post I have found that mixing up my workouts has really been helping me. I have made sure to take advantage of what Southern California offers. Lately, in a typical week, I go to two yoga classes, go the gym twice, hike one day, go on a walk, and go for a run. I have even tried paddle boarding, which I will discuss in the future. This mix has been working for me. I no longer try and avoid working out, because I am not sick of a certain workout or location due to the mix-up.
  4. Set short and long term goals with incentives. Incentives are always great and I personally love having things to look forward to. That is why I make sure to set short and long-term goals. For a more short-term goal I have a deal with my friend Lindsey that if we work out 7 hours a week for two months we will reward ourselves with a lulu lemon outfit. We have decided to make it a long-term goal as well that extends until new years to make sure that our short term goal does not lead us to stopping our good habits. We have not decided our long-term incentive yet, but we figure we have two months to come to a consensus! I have also signed up for a half marathon (more info to come), which is another long term goal of mine.
  5. Shout, shout, let it all out. I may be copying Tears for Fears, but why not?!? Don’t be afraid to let people know of your choice to focus on your health. This blog is one of the ways I am doing so. It allows me to make sure I keep on it. If you let your friends and family know of your plans, they will support you and it really does help with staying on track, if not I am always here to offer advice. I am not an expert, but I once was in your shoes! We all have to start somewhere.

My Summer Syn

Having attended a Jesuit school I heard a lot about how everyone sins, but no need to worry for those of you that like keeping things light! This summer I’m not sinning (well who knows, maybe I am), Im SYNning. Yep, I have a new obsession and its SYNERGY (raspberry chia to be exact).

synWhat is Synergy?

Raw and organic Kombucha drinks that are created by the company GT. The products are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

What is Kombucha?

It is a fermented fizzy drink. It s main ingredients are tea and scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). The bacteria part may sound scary, but it really is not. That is why I love synergy. Kombucha can have many positive effects on your health, and that’s why I choose to trust the professionals. If you have ever heard negative thoughts on Kombucha it is most likely related to homegrown and homemade Kombucha. Some novices are not assuring a safe process. This is just like when people choose to make beer in their garages; if not done correctly it may not be safe. I thought I would put that out there, but please don’t fear. I love Kombucha!

Why do I love Kombucha and Synergy?

It is a well rounded health drink. It is a great source of probiotic bacteria and helps with digestion. My favorite is Synergy Raspberry Chia. Although there are lists of the health benefits, I only preach what I have actually experienced. After drinking this drink I really do believe that I have felt energized and my digestion has been positively affected. Plus it is delicious. It may not be everyone’s cup of (fermented) tea! I love tart drinks, so this is perfect for me. Plus this particular one has chia seeds in it, which is definitely more filling and a great source of Omega-3. I was a little under the weather last week, and it definitely helped me get through it. I have also heard it can cure hangovers…I’ll let you know if I’m ever in that situation. I love this grab and go drink, perfect to drink on your way to work!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts on Kombucha or Synergy. I know there are many opinions in the fermented health foods and drinks area and I would love to hear what you think. But seriously try the raspberry chia synergy if you love tart drinks and care about your health! I get mine from The Fresh Market, but Whole Foods and other stores sell it too.

 

The Slide

Let’s talk about the “Slide”, and I’m not referring to the main attraction of a playground. To be honest, I just recently started calling it the Slide because I was pretty much in a state of denial and originally didn’t even realize it was happening for a while. Okay I’m done building suspense. So what is this Slide I’m speaking of? It’s the health slide. In my case I like to think of it as my college health slide, but it can occur at different points in people’s lives.

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Think of a playground slide:

First you have to get up to the top of the slide before you can even slide down. You may have fun climbing up, but you still have to exert more energy than, lets say, watching a marathon of Lizzie McGuire (side note: you’ll soon learn about my LM obsession. I’m not embarrassed at all to say I will binge watch this show for the rest of my life).

Getting up to the top of the slide still was pretty easy though, like working out when you’re younger when everyone is trying out a new sport and gym is forced upon you or eating healthy because your parents were there making sure you didn’t eat ice cream for breakfast.

But then you’re up on the top of that slide and no one is around you and you have two choices. You can slide down and run around the playground and climb back up again or you can slide down and decide you’ve had enough and go back to that comfy couch waiting around the block. That was college for me! I was on top of that slide, I felt on top of the world, and I had so much to look forward to. But unfortunately when it came to my health I started down that slide and it took me 4 years (give or take a few weeks each year) to realize I never climbed back up. I left that playground behind and became best friends with my sofa.

Now I’m a little bit older and have to exert a lot more energy to climb back up. I’m working on reversing the effects of the slide and I hope to help others not get stuck on the slide like I did!

Oh So…What have I learned from my college slide?

I shouldn’t have pushed away my sporty side! I grew up playing sports and running. I am very competitive. Once I was in college, I started looking at exercising as a chore, because I had forgotten how much fun it was. If a gym workout or a 3 mile run on the treadmill isn’t for you, just remind yourself that playing soccer or volleyball doesn’t have to end at high school graduation. I told myself only the best players continued playing in college, but it isn’t true. There are intramural or community teams and I wish I would have taken advantage of that. I am currently taking my advice by getting back into playing tennis with my friends. I am having a great time and my arms are starting to look like their old selves again…maybe I’ll be passing out some tickets to the gun show soon 😉

Taking back my health

There are a few reasons why I decided to get back into blogging. One huge reason is my health. But I knew I didn’t want to just focus on my health, since I have so many exciting and somewhat scary things going on in my life right now. That’s why Oh So Apropos as my blog name felt, well, appropriate.

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Oh So Fitness Selfie

So what do I mean when I say I’m taking back my health? Well it can mean many things! I’m taking back my health from: fried food monsters, laziness, cold Chicago winters, insecurities, procrastination, 12 hour Netflix binge sessions, and so much more. Pretty much, graduation got me thinking. The couple months after school ending are definitely a time of reflection and I realized that college was amazing, but I didn’t pay enough attention to my health. Unfortunately, I used weight gain as an indicator of being unhealthy, but there is so much more involved. Yes, I gained 30 lbs over the past four years, which I am trying to undo, but I want to focus on being happy, and happiness and healthiness are intertwined. It’s not about weight to me, it’s about being fit and feeling good. I want to focus on moderation and fighting back against complacency.

I always heard parents talk about how college students are so busy that many times their health suffers. It may be a little late for me to fix during college, but I hope my journey of taking back my health can offer bits of insight to anyone who is putting off that workout or relaxation day to that future “tomorrow”.

One thing I have decided to do is have a workout spreadsheet. It may be because I majored in information systems and love organization, but spreadsheets help me feel comfortable and motivated. This is what mine looks like (I just looked up templates on google docs). It is really helping me to not skip too many days and leave excuses in the past.

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Have you recently taken back your health? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Love my sports bra in my “Oh So Fitness Selfie”? Click on the image to find out where I got it from!