“Discipline equals freedom.”

pray.

I first saw the above phrase on my new friend @rebecca.rouse ‘s instagram. The idea is that choosing to do what is good, even if it is dang hard in the moment, will ultimately make you free to be the best version of yourself and to be able to serve others well (or at least, that’s my interpretation of the phrase). It can be applied to fitness (Rebecca is an absolute B E A S T) of course, but I’ve actually been praying with the phrase a lot, as I think it can apply to all areas of life — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Recently, the decision to be more disciplined in several different areas in my life has been brewing in my heart.

  1. Less time on social media. I started this year with a 15 minute time limit on Facebook + Instagram but quickly realized that I kept plowing through that time limit and pressing “ignore time limit for 15 more minutes.” But even a 1 hour time limit went by pretty quickly once I gave myself more leniency… It’s not that social media has been toxic for me (as it may have been in the past), but I still feel attached to it. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my moves and grooves on there, but I felt myself caring a bit too much about the whole shebang. I also found myself browsing through mindlessly at night to drown out my stress from my work day, which is not entirely how I want to fill myself up at the end of the day. Now, I do love that I got to meet my new Kettlebell Gains family through Instagram, and I am very grateful for them. But at this time, I think I will focus my attention on other avenues through which I can connect with loved ones and truly restore myself when I need a break from stress.
  2. More time in silence. I’ve talked about silence on here many a time, and for good reason. Silence is something so uncomfortable but necessary in order to actually be with God and also to confront the messes that are inside of me. For only then can those messes be cleaned up and transformed into new, productive, and fruitful things as I move into the next day. No built up junk in the heart, please!
  3. Morning prayer. UGHHH getting up 20 minutes earlier to pray is so good but also so hard for a night owl like me. But I gotta do it. Praying is my life source.
  4. Awareness of emotions + eating, especially at night. Ooooof stress eating is real. Even if my emotional eating is not severe by any means, I still catch myself snacking quite mindlessly and then being aware that I am stressed and chomping on extra crackers because of it… Again, I am grateful that I can be aware of this and stop at a reasonable point, but it’s something to work on. Working on this couples well with the silence piece ^^^

Hopefully this will all make more space for meaningful conversations, learning, blogging, writing letters, and tbh cleaning the floors and ironing my work shirts.

eat.

I made these pumpkin cookies with brown butter frosting last night for an All Saints’ Day celebratory dessert (also #fall), and they were fantastic. Mine turned out not nearly as pretty as Jess’ cookies because I don’t have an ice cream scooper to make them all uniform.

My friend said my unfrosted cookies looked like fried chicken and he is 100% accurate LOL. And then my brown butter frosting just looked like mashed potato schmeared on the fried chicken.

BUT THEY TASTED GREAT.

move.

I get < 10,000 steps per day during the work week because a) there is limited time to go on longer walks because of work; b) it’s cold and dark for most of the time when I can go on walks; c) I choose to not devote my energies just to hit that step count these days. I miss the days when I could easily get 15K+ every day in Boston, but ’tis the season of life. I am uber grateful that I get to be on my feet and moving all day at work though, so that is a blessing.

Otherwise, workouts have been short, sweet (or not), and as efficient as possible. Despite that, I feel stronger than ever, mostly thanks to the kettlebell crew! Up until yesterday, I have been posting my workouts on my Instagram stories (which are now on my highlights!), so you can see what’s been going down on there. I’m also up to 7 consecutive wide grip pull-ups now! Goal is 10 by the end of 2020.

groove.

It was so heartwarming to see all the ways my neighbors made halloween happen for the kiddos in a COVID-safe way. Many people put out individual baggies of candy on a table outside, but I also saw one neighbor stick candies on their garage door with masking tape so people could just pull the candy right off.

Creativity amidst the challenges.

For my PT clinic’s team costume, we dressed up as the Cobra Kai cast. I wore a blonde wig because I somehow chose to be Johnny from the show/movie… People loved it but also couldn’t recognize me. It’s the most I’ve ever committed to a Halloween costume.

Thanks for stopping by, as always! Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Happy All Souls’ Day, and happy nOvEmBeR whaaaaat!?

So tell me:

Do you like the phrase, “Discipline equals freedom”? Why or why not?

Have you made any pumpkin things yet this fall?

Did your neighborhood participate in any halloween festivities?

I’m Happier Without Instagram

SNOW DAY!!!

It’s been two years since our last snow day here at BU. The last time this happened, we were experiencing snowpocalypse and had 5 snow days on almost every Monday of the week from January-February.

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#tbt

Someone noted that the Patriots won the Super Bowl that year also…

Yesterday it was sunny and warm, except for the morning when I got to ice skate to dance class. This is actual footage of me walking  perilously penguin shuffling across the frozen-over bridge.

I have never more greatly appreciated the function of salt on the sidewalks.

From salt and snow to INSTAGRAM. (#NoSegueNoProblem #BloggerLife)

I’ve been on a break from (what used to be) my favorite social media platform for over a month now. I miss it sometimes as I’m not “in the loop” with health living bloggers and friends as much anymore, but I can’t say that I truly miss it. In fact, I dare say that I am much happier without Instagram.

The main reason for which I am happier is that Instagram was a comparison trap for me, whether I liked to admit it or not, and now I’ve finally cut it out of my life. This mostly applies to fitness. I am much more content with my workouts (vs. thinking about the workout that someone else posted on Instagram today), and I’m less concerned about what my body looks like on a day to day basis.

The temptation to obsess over comments, likes, followers and notifications is gone.

I feel incredibly liberated in not having any social media icons on my phone. I don’t mindlessly pick up my phone to check notifications anymore. My right thumb also feels less fatigued due to less scrolling (true story).

My attention span has probably improved.

I don’t crave noise as much anymore. In fact, I find myself craving silence, which never used to happen.

I take fewer photos, which might be more of an advantage for my friends/family than it is for me.

I just have more brain space without Instagram.

Disclaimers: I do still have Facebook, because it’s a practical way to stay in touch with people and organize school events. Plus, the temptation to scroll on FB isn’t as great as it is on Instagram. Also, I’m not at all saying that everyone will be happier without Instagram. I just know for myself that Instagram has more negative than positive effects on my life.

I’m only a little bit sad to be admitting all of this. I did enjoy sharing workouts and tidbits of life, but I don’t need it, and others don’t need my Instagram presence. I’d say a personal blog is enough of me in the world wide web.

Other scenes from the week:

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an evening with the brachial plexus

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check out this pristine sky on the day I gave my first campus tour in 8 months!

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one thing I like + one thing I like substantially less

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banana bread baked oatmeal with pb + glass o’ milk

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Thrive Market delivery! 

Some moves and grooves I was diggin’ these past two weeks:

// Lower Body Supersets //

  • 3×10 squats
  • 3×20 jump squats
  • 3×10 deadlifts
  • 3×30 side jump lunges
  • 3×3 wall walks
  • 3×10 box jumps

// Hillary’s 400 Heavy Rep Workout //

// 45 Minute Fightmaster Vinyasa Yoga //

// AMRAP and EMOM //

12 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):

  • 6 pistol squats each leg
  • 10 burpees
  • 10 situps

10 min EMOM (every minute, on the minute):

10 min EMOM:

  • Even: 20 hamstring ball curls
  • Odd: 20 KB swings

// Fitness Blender 20 Minute Abs and Obliques Workout //

// 16 Minute Workout //

4 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

Stay safe and warm if you’re in the snow storm! Enjoy your pre-Friday, friends ♥︎

So tell me:

Have you ever taken a break from social media and discovered that you’re happier?

Is it snowing where you live?

Three things about your week!

Your favorite way you’ve moved this week.

Five Minute Friday: Why I’m Taking a Break From Instagram

I am in yet another state right now!

Greeting from San Antonio, TX! As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m currently at a Catholic students’ conference called SEEK. I’m drafting this post on Monday before I leave though, so I may or may not be having a good time. Hopefully the former!

I posted on Instagram last week that I’m taking a break from the beloved social media platform for a while. In all honesty, it was a long time coming. I love Instagram, but that’s exactly why I needed to let it go for a bit. I’ve talked about my woes with social media on here before, so why didn’t I just quit it finally!? 2016 was the year (yes, 2016— this was not a “resolution”)!

This very choppy vlog explains more (p.s. I recorded this while still in FL…sorry for all this time warp confusion):

if only my hair was still super short…with this pink t-shirt, I would have completed the Dora the Explorer look!

If you want to watch the Simon Sinek (not Simon Sinews like I said in the video haha) talk, click here!

Although I’m staying away from Instagram primarily right now, I also deleted the Facebook icon from my phone as well. Another goal of mine is to detach myself from my phone, so all social media is outta there.

I hope your first week of 2017 kicked butt! Have a great weekend, and I’ll talk to you when I get back to New York!

Wait first, can we look at this omelette I made earlier this week?

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Wait for it.

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CHEEEEEEESE. I made this baby with two eggs, one egg white, a splash of milk, salt and pepper + spinach, onion, parsley, Canadian bacon, cheddar cheese AND gouda cheese. Avocado toast on the side 🙂

So tell me: 

Do you ever get so sick of social media or having your phone on you all the time?

I Don’t Just Want To Be Fed Information

My legs are so ready for this tropical vacation coming up.

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Julianna shared a photo of her burpee knees the day before on Snapchat

At least the chlorine from pool therapy is keeping my legs smooth. The chemicals are basically burning off the [already minimal amount of] leg hair that I have.

This week has been hectic, a little weird, but really great overall.

  • Hectic because of work and domestic duties (miss you, Madre).
  • Weird because of earlier wake-ups and seeing a severed squirrel on the ground one day.
  • Really great because of the little laughs/blessings that all add up. Also, SUNSHINE!

Food scenes from the week:

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nectarine banana overnight oats in a peanut butter jar

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classic ♥︎ 

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roasted green beans (olive oil, salt, pepper, and lots of garlic @400F for 25-30 min)

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overnight oat smoothie with greens added in the morning before blending

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a gigantic bag of kale cooked down into four servings (sautéed in olive oil with onions + tossed in spicy mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper — my favorite kale recipe!)

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impromptu baked chicken thighs (half a jar of Victoria’s tomato basil sauce, fresh basil, lots of garlic, baby carrots @ 400F for 30 min, topped with freshly grated parmesan and broiled for 5 minutes)

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leftovers for lunch

Favorite moves and grooves this week:

This Blogilates ab workout. You will be cussing her out in your head, it’s that hard. My abs don’t usually get sore, but this made my abs sore for two days. And this 16 minute workout (4 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest):

  • burpee tuck jump
  • up down planks
  • goblet squats
  • staggered pushups
  • burpees
  • side lunge with twist

Bonus: I got ONE strict toes to bar last night right before going to bed! It made all my muscles hurt.

The busyness and weirdness this week were dampened by the fact that my family is leaving for a tropical vacation, as mentioned above. We’re celebrating my parents’ 25th anniversary and my brother’s graduation from college. I’m obviously just along for the ride.

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[source]

I won’t have wifi, since we’ll be on a cruise in the middle of the ocean, but I’ll be sure to share the shenanigans when we return. Please pray that we have safe travels! The cruise company contacted us about the possibility of contracting the Zika virus, so *thumbs up*.

I’ll pray for you too if you have any travel plans coming up 🙂

Lastly, I have a Five Minute Friday vlog today! It’s about how I am trying to more actively stay connected with current events and worldwide issues.

link to video!

p.s. here’s one of Demi’s rant tweets:

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and happy July!! Happy 4th to all my American friends too! (I was about to say, “May the fourth be with you,” but that’s two months off.)

Goodbye for a week or so. I’ll miss you!

So tell me:

Do you find that you let information/news/opinions be fed to you, rather than read up and formulate your own opinions?

What is your favorite way to eat kale?

What are you doing this weekend?

 

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Meet One of My Closest Blog Friends: Colby Triolo

I don’t know if you’re ready for this.

I am bubbling over with excitement, because today you all get to meet one of my best blog buddies! Allow me to introduce Miss Colby Triolo!

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Technically, I’ve introduced her before a couple times on the blog. I met this cool chick at Blend last summer. We were cabin mates, and we were also two of maybe three people under 20 on the retreat, so we connected on that level. Confession: I stalked her Instagram beforehand and was very intimidated — so many followers, so much success, so many ab muscles— but that was all nonsense on my part, because Colby is one of the most genuine and caring souls I’ve met through the blog world (and life in general)!

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I also had the privilege of meeting up with her earlier this year for lunch + carrot cake (our true love).

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Colby’s motto is “You Make You,” which is evident through her dynamite Instagram account, blog, Youtube channel, and personal training business. Boom boom, fire power.

Some of my favorite things about Colby:

  • She takes her work seriously, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously.
  • She has a passion for healthy food and fitness, but she doesn’t let fitness take over her life (← READ THIS!)
  • Most importantly, she cares for others and works hard to make sure people know their worth and know that they are capable of not only overcoming setbacks, but also going above and beyond what they could have imagined.

Now why don’t I let Colby tell you about herself!? 🙂


What is your favorite breakfast? 

No question—scones w/ a cappuccino (all hail Lactaid).

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What is your favorite way to move? 

Call me crazy (you’re crazy -A), but I LOVE stadium workouts. ➔ Like this one!

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*Rocky music*

What is your favorite word (just one!)? Why did you pick that word? 

Can.”

About a year ago, when I was going through my chronic pain issues, I decided to take the word “cannot” out of my vocabulary. I was constantly being told that I can’t run, I can’t sit without my back perfectly straight, I can’t go away to college, I can’t live ‘normally’, I can’t

And for over two years I believed these things. However, the day that I removed “cannot” from my mind and replaced it with “can”, I stopped giving pain power, I gained my life back, and I proved that if you want something bad enough—you can achieve it by setting your mind to it.  Anything and everything is yours to take.

 

A photo posted by Colby Triolo • YouMakeYou® (@colbytriolo_youmakeyou) on May 4, 2016 at 2:28pm PDT

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Tell us about why you started your blog/Instagram account.

On a sad note, I started them in high school when I got a really bad concussion. After my concussion healed, post concussion syndrome set in and all I could do was work out and cook (and clean, yay). That was all my body could handle.  So I decided to put it to good use and start a blog!

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her pancake towers more appealing than the NYC skyline, honestly

What does your blog mean to you? What can we find on your blog? Has your blog evolved at all?  

I have had many ups and downs with blogging/social media.  There was a point where it was just a place for my mind to go, and then it took over my life, so I removed myself over the past year and now I can say I am back at a nice place of balance.

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are you drooling like I am right now???

My blog is a place for me to go to share my knowledge and interact with you lovely people.  It is also the reason I know this beautiful soul of a person, Alison! (Awww. I can say the same about you! ♥︎ -A)  On my blog, you can find healthy recipes, workouts, and general empowering articles.  I like to think of it as an online community for empowering others to empower themselves!  There is a also a motivational wall where readers can anonymously post their goals/dreams to work towards!

What is one major lesson you’ve learned through blogging/your presence on social media?  

As awesome as social media is and how amazing the relationships you can form are—social media is ~not~ real life.  There is a distinct difference between being behind a computer screen and out enjoying the real world.  In the same sense, it is essential to ~not~ compare yourself to what you see on social media because you are seeing such a small fraction of the real story.

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What is one goal, and how do you plan to achieve it? 

I have this dream of making the words “YouMakeYou”  have an influence on millions of peoples lives.  It saved my life, and it is so simple to integrate into your life that it can make a world of difference. When you realize that the answer is simply changing your mindset and believing in yourself/aligning your actions the right way, what can happen is amazing! I plan to achieve this by taking small steps on my blog and social media daily, and just sharing my knowledge while being true to myself and my story.

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WHAT A WOMAN.

I am honestly honored and #blessed to know you, Colby. Thank you for your refreshing and honest presence in the healthy living social media community. You make the world a happier place.

For more of Colby’s fantastic recipes, killer workout challenges, fun vlogs, and empowering motivation, check out:

Also, head over to her blog to read her interview of me if you want!

Hope you all have a kick-butt day! Make a positive difference in someone’s life, no matter how small.

So tell me:

Are you going to follow Colby!?

What is your one favorite word and why? 

Who are some of your favorite positive influences in the healthy living social media community?