Fitasmic

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It’s 5AM on a Tuesday, and the green band around my wrist buzzes energetically, coaxing me into consciousness. Time for the gym. I’m up, out the door, on my way. At the gym, I give the band a couple presses and it logs my activity for me. Later, at work, it buzzes to tell me I’ve been inactive for at least 30 minutes, shouldn’t I do a lap and get a few more steps in? Just before bed, I check out its corresponding app on my tablet to see how many steps I took, how long and how well I rested the night before, etc. Then it’s time to do it all over again.

This nifty device is my first ever fitness tracker, and it has simultaneously taken on the roles of my nurturing mentor and annoying personal trainer. The band itself is simple and sporty; I was the only photo 1 photo 2 photo

person who ordered it in a color other than black and navy. Now, though I can see why – by day two of wearing it, it was already showing signs of discoloration/dirt/who knows. You use a button on one end to input several simple commands, such as change status, time an activity, and take a power nap.

The app that this fitness band uses is called Up. Up takes all of the data synched from the band and turns it into useful information, counting your steps and counting your sleep. You can use it to set reminders, track goals, see health trends, and even form a ‘team’ with your friends. My coworkers and I joined one together, but that’s only served to make us each feel bad about our individual contributions.

If anything, wearing my band has opened my eyes to how much less healthy I actually am than I previously thought. Once upon a time, I could come home from a long day at work and reason that since I felt fatigued, I probably walked way more than the recommended 10,000 steps per day, and so of course I deserved this bowl of ice cream!

Wrong wrong wrong.

Instead, I barely hit 10,000 in an average day. Additionally, I’m not sleeping as soundly as I could be. Nor exercising as often. Suddenly, I have someone – or, rather, something – holding me accountable for my own well being. Sure, it’s a little annoying; I had to take a two day break from wearing it so I didn’t have to face my lack of movement. On the flip side, though, now I have this incredible little device that can actually help me take better care of myself, if I’m willing to work with it and be honest about where I’m at health wise. I guess it’s time to step it Up!

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Derailed: The ‘oh too familiar’ journey back on track

UntitledAs you might have noticed, there has been some radio silence from the East coast. Posting, among other things, has fallen by the wayside these past few weeks. My nutrition, fitness, and temperament are just a few items on my resolution checklist that have not gotten the self care they deserve. It has been slightly scary how easily and quickly this derailment has happened. The mixture of stress, travel, and an over-abundance of “priorities” has caused my mind to turn to mush. So long to the daily workouts or the weekly budget check-in’s. For a quick second, I found myself believing that I was grounded in this stifled state.

So here we go. I will paint you the scene that is bringing me back on board.It is mid-afternoon on a weekday in downtown Boston. I sit with my Sam Adam’s Seasonal brew ( yes, not ashamed of my 2 o’clock hoppy pick me up) in this low lite restaurant. Why now, Why here? I will get to that soon.

I begin to realize that my motivators to keep me moving forward are the first things that get neglected. Once they have been neglected, I begin to feel stifled and stagnant. This increases my stress levels; which is what made me derail in the first place. This twisted circle is something I think we can all commiserate with. How do we get out of it?

I’m sure for most sitting in a pub isn’t the exact way to get back on track, but here are someways that I have…will use to ignite the momentum I once had.

1. Location, location, location- the factors that often push us over the edge are things that we surround ourselves with everyday. That is why, here in this pub, I am finding my way back. The hustle and bustle of the city is easing my stress and helping me to focus on what is important. It is just enough separation to get the job done. It is in this separation, I see a fuller, clearer picture. .

2. Be scared. I wrote a few months back about incorporating an element of fear into your life. I still work to do this daily. Often times, I get derailed into an overly comfortable state.  If I want to be this bigger, better person,I need to be scared and take the steps necessary to get me there.

3. Prioritize. I am very easily guilt-ed into situations. Whether it is babysitting my alien sister or spending that extra day with my man friend, I let others take more control of my decisions. Although these are positive situations to be in, I always neglect to consider myself. (This is where self care comes in) It is importance to prioritize yourself. I may not be number one on the list but I need to remember to do something that solely benefits me.

Here is to getting back into my rhythm, cheers!

Jess (2)

Wanted: {Inspiration}

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Well hello everyone, and welcome to 2015! If you’re anything like me, you’ve been struggling to get your head back into your typical routine. I had such a magical time on the East coast with my family that it’s been surreal being back at work trying to remember how to do my job (the key, really, is to make sure the executives have caffeine).

It wasn’t until I picked up my copy of Grace Helbig’s The Art of Pretending to be a Grown Up (a really funny, relatable read by YouTube personality Grace Helbig) that I realized that I was lacking inspiration! In her chapter on balancing work and play, one of Grace’s points is that in order tokeep motivated in any capacity, you should seek inspiration. Grace’s suggestion was to look up child prodigies on YouTube. In case that isn’t doing it for you, I have a few ideas of my own:

  1. Follow your idols on social media. I’m on Instagram everyday, and someone I’ve subscribed to is Reese Witherspoon. Her account is positive, bright, and chock full of inspiring quotes/photos (every Monday she posts a #MondayMuse). Seeing her accomplish her goals makes me want to do the same!
  2. Surround yourself with things that inspire you. When decorating your bedroom or cubicle at work, or even picking out a desktop for your computer background, think in terms of what is going to bring out the best in you. Maybe it’s photos of family and friends. Maybe it’s a vision board covered with photos of your goals. Or, it could simply be a quote that energizes you.
  3. Find someone who is better at something than you, and use it to motivate yourself. I went to college with a young woman who is a perpetual volunteer and defender of women’s rights. My volunteering record is sketchy at best. Learning about her exploits and reading her blog make me want to be on her level.
  4. Celebrate your accomplishments! Sometimes I look at my to-do list at the end of the day and am disappointed by all the things I didn’t get to. It’s then that I have to remind myself to be proud of everything I did do! Life is short, chores stink, and we’ll never get them all done. We might as well celebrate what we did manage to accomplish.
  5. Be your own best cheerleader. As adults, we don’t always have people patting us on the head and saying, “Good job!”, nor do we always have a personal trainer egging us on to do better. At the end of the day, you are the only one responsible for how you feel and how much you get done. I used to rag on myself whenever I didn’t get up early enough to go to the gym – it would ruin my entire day. Then, I decided to adopt a more forgiving attitude, one where I would cheer myself onward towards waking up during the wee hours of the morning. And if I decided to back to sleep? Not the end of the world.
  6. Immerse yourself in activities that make you excited to jump out of bed every day. Read Amy Poehler’s new book. Look at this article about celebrating women’s bodies. Listen to a song that makes you want to jump up and down. Try your hand at creating something. See a pretentious art film that makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. The possibilities are endless, but what counts is that it makes you happy and re-energizes you to take on the world!

Also…don’t forget the cheesy Pinterest quotes!

At any given moment you have the power to say:  This is not how the story is going to end today.     #motivational - you have the ability to make a difference in your life.

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Spartan Struggle

Happy New Year! After a relaxing few weeks off, I have hit the ground running with my New Year’s resolutions. My resolutions are always extremely simple: be the happiest I can be.  This is my go-to because:

  1. Who doesn’t want to be the happiest?!
  2. It leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

I think resolutions are designed to help us stay on track with evolution. I don’t believe in the #newyearnewme. It should be: a new year, better me.

I took a leap of faith before the holidays and signed up for my first Spartan race. With surprisingly minimal effort, my co-workers lured me onto their team. The Spartan Sprint is one of the shortest races this organization offers. It is advertised as a 3+ mile race (The “+” makes it a little scary).Lucky for me, it will have all of the famous obstacles: jumping over walls, mud, fire, and the dreaded burpees.

Like I mentioned in Walk it Out my office is very active. I am so blessed to be surrounded by an eclectic group of active enthusiasts. For some, it is in their blood. They are former college athletes, adventurers, obstacle race enthusiasts, and exercise science majors. Some of them bleed competition and will stop at nothing to be the best, even if it is the best at unwrapping promotional pens. For the rest of us, we are extremely social beings; who gravitate towards anything that allows us to spend some quality time with each other- precious, right?  After signing up, my team decided to elect our race enthusiast to be our motivator and trainer.

The best part of this resolution is it allows me to be both happier and healthier. I get to share my resolution with my co-workers in an effort to fulfill their own. I think it is important to include your surroundings into a resolution. Look to be a better person for your family and friends. Look to do something better for your community or environment. Look to create or stop something that can change a strangers’ deposition. Look to be a better you not only for you, but for everyone.

To be a happier me, it starts by conquering this race. Hello 6 am workouts!

Jess (2)

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It’s almost New Year’s Eve – one of my favorite times of the year.There’s something about fresh starts and new goals that gets me really excited. I am proud to say I accomplished nearly all of my goals from last year – everything from improving my professionalism to improving my fitness regime. Already, I’m starting to think about how I would like 2015 to shape up.

As my vacation begins to wind down, I’m realizing that there is one goal I definitely have for the new year: to focus more on the quality of my relationships. And I don’t just mean calling my grandfather more – I mean really investing in nurturing all of my friendships and familial ties. Being home has reminded me how important everyone back East is, and that living in Cali is no excuse for not keeping in touch.

I’m not waiting for the ball to drop to start on this resolution; right now, I’m doing my best to keep my schedule straight. Nothing is more insulting to people than double booking yourself by mistake. It’s also important to stay unplugged during quality time, and to not overdo it. Nobody likes visiting with someone who is prone to pass out on their couch from over exhaustion. It’s also important to do what you want to do, rather than what others expect you to do. Sometimes, you’re between a rock and a hard place and you’re just not going to be able to make anybody happy with your decision. In that case, go with your gut and remember: your loved ones will forgive you if you are 100% straightforward with them.

I hope you are enjoying a relaxing and family-filled last few days of 2014! Not sure what to do as you wait for the new year? Head over to http://www.futureme.org and write yourself a digital time-capsule.

xoxo Aubrey

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