Strength Through a Loss

I do not normally like publicizing personal issues such as this, but this is no ordinary issue. Last Summer, I lost my mother.

I remember everything so clearly, every single detail. It continues to play and play in my head and I cannot seem to escape it.

This article is not to talk about my life, but the journey I am trying to get onto in order to improve my quality of life and continue to work towards my own personal and career goals, but with a different perspective, and of course a different experience. I want this post to help those who are having a rough time in their life to be used as a reference, hoping to help not only me, but hopefully you as well.  Whether it be depression, lack of purpose, or even grieving such as myself. I am hoping this post is general enough for people to connect with and is transferable no matter the situation.

So what changed? Everything.

What can you do about it? Not a lot to be honest… but here are a few tips that are helping me get through every single day.

1. Stay Positive 

This is probably the worst advice I could give anyone since it’s so generic. But honestly, the little positives each day, or looking at the positives of every bad situation has been helping me wake up every single day, believing that it will be a good day. It causes my mind to reset if you will. This reset of my brain has allowed me to take on each day as it comes. To be in the now, instead of worrying about the future, or  the past. The past caused me to feel enormous guilt causing me to emotionally abuse myself. I always thought, “I should have taken care of her better”, or “why didn’t I spend more time with her?” Thoughts like this consumed me, not allowing me to move forward with my life and help myself and those around me.

2. Start a new hobby

I have attempted to do this tip, but have failed due to other circumstances in my life right now. But, I am hoping to start painting and reading. If you know me… I cannot paint, I am not creative at all and it might end up just looking like a brown piece of poop on some some fancy canvas… but I  will try my best haha. Also, reading… oh my goodness.. I dread it. Especially if it’s for fun in terms of fiction. Reading something for fun? To escape and indulge into characters? Nah… I’m good. But, don’t worry, I will try to do this. I have a Kindle and random books in my library… so I’m on the right track! Anyways, my point here is to add something new into your life that allows you to escape from whatever it may be for even 5 minutes a day. This may allow you to discover a new passion, let you learn more about yourself, or at least give you that alone time you so desperately need.

3. Take care of yourself 

This is a tip that I have a hard time comprehending. It’s because I am so used to making sure other people are okay without even taking a moment for myself. But, even taking a mental rest day, or if you need to be alone, take it. Do activities for yourself that will allow you to regenerate without feeling an ounce of guilt. This will benefit you in the long run.

4. Accept genuine help

This should be transferrable with any difficult situation, but I will specify this tip with my situation. With my mother, I saw/heard from so many people I haven’t heard from in years. It was amazing to see. I felt like there was real support everywhere I looked. The only thing I would learn to regret was the fact that I did not accept or was fully open to their help. Growing up, I was always fairly independent, or only counted on immediate family if I needed help. Because of this personality trait, I was exhausted, I was unable to fully support my family emotionally or even allowed myself to take everything in. I was either sleeping, or always on the move trying to make sure everything went smoothly. But I should have asked for help, or accepted the help that was offered to me by extended family and friends. Once everything was finished, there were only a few people who will still genuinely be there for you. I am not saying those who are busy with their own lives aren’t, they need to get back to their normal day to day lives which is understandable. After everything happened… a few months later, I learnt to talk it out, cry it out, or just escape with anyone. If someone actually is there and wants to listen to you, take the opportunity! It helps immensely to let it all out. If you do not want to open up to anyone, knowing that you have a few genuine people to count on is comfort enough.

5. Workout 

Of course I had to add this. Would this be a fitness blog if I didn’t? But in all seriousness, during any tough time you will either gain or lose weight (I gained a bunch of weight) due to stress and coping mechanisms. This is just the reality. Working out will allow you to cope in a different and healthy way.

6. Do something out of your comfort zone

Do something drastic, different, something that is totally out of the ordinary. Shock yourself, and others with this physical, emotional, educational, or spiritual change. I chose to get a tattoo, and I did not think too much of it and just got it done. I am not telling you to get a tattoo (unless you really want to) but, it was out of my comfort zone, and it simply was a small change to the daily struggles I was experiencing.

7. Try to have a routine again

With all of the changes in your life, you will need a regular routine again. Something fairly mundane to allow your brain to go into autopilot. This allows you to get stuff done, but stay fairly relaxed during the day. You are aware of what comes next instead of constantly fearing of what will come.

8. Don’t “move on” just move forward 

Time does NOT heal the soul. Whatever your situation may be, you will hear that “time heals the soul” maybe a million times. This is NOT true. I will never be able to move on, I will never be able to “get used to it”, and my life will never be “normal” again. My family and I have a new normal that we are trying to adapt to and move forward with. We will never be able to “move on”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mom, this blog post is for you. I miss you and I love you.

Rest in Peace July 28, 2017

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The Definition of Success

What is the definition of success? Let’s ask Google….

The Definition of Success

Okay….. almost there…

The definition of success defined

Great! Here we go. As you can see, there are many different definitions of success. Google kind of scrapes the surface, but I would like to dig in a little deeper into what success means to me.

Success is clearly different for everyone. It can be measured subjectively and/or objectively. The type of society we currently live in defines success primarily based on monetary income and career status. Basically, how much money you have, and what you spend it on for everyone else to see… deems if you are successful or not. There is nothing wrong with that. But, personally, that does not encompass my definition of success.

I define success based on many different categories and subcategories of life. Let me draw it out for you:

Success drawn out

MY definition is very broad, but let me go into detail as to why I chose these categories and what each one entails.

Let’s start off with money. Money is, and will always be a part of anyone’s definition of success whether they like it or not. It is a necessity in order for us to navigate through everyday life. We all need enough to survive in this world, but the amount of zeros you have in your bank account should not drive your life. I personally see money as a stepping stone. Money allows me to pursue and enjoy the other aspects of my life allowing me to pursue my own definition of success.

Secondly, the social aspect of my life. Let me be clear about one thing, I do not think of my friends and family less than everything else in my life, but my definition of success includes them. (Reminder, this is not a pie chart ranking the important aspects of my life, but categorizing and illustrating my definition of SUCCESS.) Anyways…. the relationship I have developed or continue to develop with my friends and family is important to me. The positive relationship I hope to have with the important people in my life adds to my definition of success. What they say, or how they see me as a person is relevant. No, I do not allow their perception of me dictate my life, but I still take into account what they say in order to better myself and grow as a human being.  Who I am with them, allows me to learn and grow to become the best version of myself.

Thirdly, career. The ACTUAL definition of success in our world today. I do solely believe that the career(s) I attain defines my success. Growing up, I always thought you went to school, followed through with your degree with a career it relates to, you become successful in that one career, and you continue growing in that ONE career. I do not find any flaws with that belief…. however, I do not believe someone should have one career in order to be deemed successful. I personally would LOVE to have many careers, certifications, and letters behind my name. So when someone asks me “what do you do for a living?” I do not simply say one thing. I want to say almost an essay of different career paths I have either entertained or continue to pursue. 😛 I want my careers to be fueled by passion, I want it to be filled with education, I want it to be interesting, and of course, I NEED it to be able to inspire and help other people. My careers is a huge part of my definition of success.

LASTLY (OH MY GOODNESS FINALLY), my definition of success is defined by happiness. What’s nice about this broad category is that it encompasses all of the other categories mentioned above. My main priority is MY OWN HAPPINESS. How I view myself and how I feel about what I do on a daily basis MUST make me happy. I know there are off days (which I have a lot of) but in general, if I am happy, if what I do makes me happy, if who I surround myself makes me happy, and if little (affordable..ish :P) shopping trips make me happy, then I would say that I am successful. 

 

 

This post is dedicated to my boyfriend Aaron. Yes, life can be tough and scary but I truly believe that if you work at whatever makes you happy, you will be successful.         I promise.

 

New Year’s Resolutions SLUMP

Welcome back to my blog! I hope the new year has been treating you well. I know I’m beginning to feel refreshed and almost like a new human being after just a month of 2017. I hope the resolutions are still coming along! But… if they are not, let me help you out.

 

Many people start to drop their resolutions by the time February hits and I don’t  blame them, but if you can push through February, the resolution has a high potential of becoming a habit! But common rules stated by the media are rarely true. According to Lally (2009), the average days a certain activity became a habit for the 96 participants was found to be 18-254 days, but this does not work for everyone. Do not be disappointed in yourself if your resolution takes you weeks, months, or even a few years. Everyone is different.

 

I am not sure what stopped you from continuing your resolution whether it be time or money… but I have a few fitness resolution tips and tricks that may motivate you to stay on track!

 

TIPS:

  • Stop focusing on the end goal and focus on the process
    • Make yourself a step by step guide that leads to your goal
  • Make your resolutions realistic and achievable for you
  • Do not compare your progress with everyone else’s, just improve based on your own accomplishments
  • Forgive yourself for missing a day, just work harder the next time
  • Rest Days are important (I cannot emphasize this enough)
  • Plan your schedule ahead of time so that it works around school, and work
  • Only workout two times a week if three or more is too difficult
    • Consistency throughout a few months is a lot better than one hard month as people tend to stop working out completely… well.. until the next New Year
    • if you have a busy schedule, plan out 3 bouts of 10 minute workouts spread out through your day to complete the full 30 minutes of recommended physical activity/Exercise

 

To summarize, resolutions are difficult to keep up with, but if you allow yourself to make a few mistakes, give yourself realistic goals, and remember to take days off to recover, little steps towards your ideal body, a healthier you will come easily if you stay consistent and motivated. Everything in life is about balance, so work this resolution into your busy life and watch it slowly happen!

 

 

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 998-1009.

It’s 2017

This is my first blog post of the year, and my first serious blog post ever! I hope your holidays went well! Probably stuffed with all of the holiday goodies and loaded with wrapping paper all over the house! The year of 2016 is over and we now welcome a fresh new year. Many of us are eager to create resolutions and actually stick to them this year…  (hopefully) and I plan to do the same! There is this “mainstream” saying that comes up every single new year, “new year, new me” and a lot of people shut it down so hard and make fun of those who post about this rather than learning how to improve themselves and celebrate how others are trying to do just that.

 

I hope your resolutions list has already been made and is realistic in the current situation you are in, and where you would like to go. With anything, you must have a step by step process, in order to achieve that end goal we all so desire. Some of the major components on my list involves fitness, a healthier diet, taking care of myself first and lastly, steps towards my dream career. I have created several mini goals in order to achieve all of these resolutions! As a society, we are very goal orientated, which is not a bad thing, but every little mess up we make during our journey we begin to easily hate ourselves and think that we are taking a million steps backwards. But the thing is, every mistake along the way is actually building towards that goal. For example, skipping a workout here, or failing a test there, the mistakes contribute to you learning more about yourself. Remember, everyone is different.

 

If you got past all the cheesy new years resolutions stuff above and made it to this paragraph, congratulations! And thank you for enduring my first blog post! So to wrap it up, I would like to quickly address some questions readers may or may not be thinking.

 

What the heck is this blog all about?

I decided to create a blog to use as my social media platform in order to primarily educate people regarding fitness and lifestyle changes.

 

Fitness? Lifestyle? Are you a lifestyle coach? Why should we listen to you?

Yes fitness! Yes a lifestyle change! And no… I am not a lifestyle coach at all! I am not forcing you to listen to me, everyone on the internet is biased in some way.

 

Who are you? What in the world do you do?

I am currently a Bachelor of Kinesiology student at the University of Alberta hoping to become a successful Strength & Conditioning coach in the near future. I am primarily interested in the athletic population and specifically powerlifting and Olympic Lifting.  I have about a year and a half of school left, and will be getting my CSEP-CPT (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology – Certified Personal Trainer) this year. Yes I am a student, and yes I am still learning about myself, fitness and life just like you!

 

What does this blog entail?

This blog consists of training regimes, fitness tips, nutritional advice, random workout fads (if they actually work or not), workout wear/gear reviews, and of course random memes!

So that’s a little bit about myself and the content on my blog. . I hope this first post entices you to continue following my journey through life and help you through your own with some empowering fitness guidance! If you would like to share any comments, or suggestions on future posts or what you would like to learn more about, comment below! Thank you for reading and I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.

 

Happy New Year’s from my family to yours!