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.

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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”)!

View this post on Instagram

If you struggle with depression, anxiety, low self esteem, or any sort of negativity AND you use social media often (or if you hate to love and love to hate your phone being with you all the dang time): 1) Know that you're not alone. 2) Watch the video titled "Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace" on YouTube. It's 15 minutes and 100% worth your time. 3) Consider deleting all your social media icons off your phone and logging out or even deactivating your accounts for a while. Try it with me because maybe we need it (actually I KNOW I do). 4) Now what!? Pray. Move. Move in a way that makes YOU feel alive, not in a way that makes someone else look cool or fit or accomplished. Look up at the sky. Read. Think. Listen, learn, try something new. Re-learn to be patient. Let God come to you in the silence. P.S. Social media is not bad, but too much of a good thing can do more damage than good over time. I don't know when I'll be back here, but you can still find me on the blog, which I consider my journal. P.P.S. Happy feast of the Holy Family ❤ P.P.P.S. Until 2017! 🎉

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

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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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? 

On the Verge of Internet Addiction?

Thoughts are flooding my mind like:

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…but first, let’s do some happy small talk!

The temperature in the mornings has been just lovely. A little chilly to some, but I love me some light sweater weather.

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After breakfast, Mass, and a little morning nap (I start work at 12 on Mondays), I took my moves and grooves outside, naturally.

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banana bread baked oatmeal with cinnamon raisin peanut butter + glass o’ {Lactaid} milk

THIS WAS HARD:

  • 1 mile run
  • 100 burpees
  • 100 double unders
  • 1 mile run

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I couldn’t tell you which part was the hardest, but I can tell you that all I could think of on that last mile was, “Keep chugging away. Don’t stop.” Even though I probably could have walked faster than I was running at some points (thanks, hills).

Here’s me trying to smile at the end.

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But I’m proud of myself! I hardly ever run, and I went ahead and did two miles of it in a workout.

Today I might go for a walk or do my favorite 18 minute plank workout. Either way, my legs need a break.

So last night…

I was still feeling funky and down, but I knew that it wasn’t just because of the weekend’s events. I couldn’t really pinpoint why I was feeling so unsettled and just… off.

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part of yesterday’s lunch: salad with cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and sliced smoked duck breast (from the farmers’ market)

Granted, I was pretty wiped out, and fatigue always brings me down. But Pop noticed at the dinner table that something was up.

“I’m fine.” ← Fortunately, Pop knows the true meaning of those words.

I don’t usually have qualms about telling my parents how I feel, but truthfully, I myself didn’t really know what was going on. However, when Pop entered my room (as I wiped a single tear from my eye), I just talked it out, discovering what exactly was bothering me.

The main thing is the internet. I just felt exhausted and more stressed with the internet lately— social media and even blogging. It’s not that I don’t enjoy keeping up with people and blogging (hello, here I am right now), but I feel a little bit enslaved to it at times.

I gotta check Instagram. *scrolls mindlessly and finds an account to “stalk”*

I need to do one thing on Facebook. *scrolls mindlessly and watches at least five of those Tasty videos*

I’ll take this time to read a couple blogs. *goes through the hundreds of unread blog posts*

I’ll check this person’s Snapchat story. *goes through everyone’s story* ← Okay, Snapchat made the stories continuous with one another, which is like a black hole.

I’ve been talking about social media’s toxicity in several different blog posts recently, but I still have not made too much of a change. I clicked on this article called “10 Things You May Not Know About Anxiety Disorder” via Arman’s Coffee Talk post yesterday (another thing: clicking on links), and one thing is that  “People who suffer from gambling or internet addictions are more likely to also have anxiety disorder.”

Do I think I have a legit internet addiction? No. However, I think I could be heading towards one at this rate. Internet doesn’t interfere with my daily work life or anything, but once I don’t have responsibilities, I feel like I can’t get away from it. There’s always something to do/see/like/comment/post on my phone or laptop.

Pop offered some good advice about practical ways to combat this sub-internet-addiction. I also added some strategies myself:

  • Unfollow people on Facebook and Instagram. I don’t need to be following every friend and every fitness junkie/foodie out there. Clean up the feed.
  • Limit yourself to just “liking” things, without feeling like you need to comment.
  • Read a select few blogs.
  • Read actual books more (shoutout to school teachers).
  • Before touching any piece of technology, make a list of what you intend to do when you’re on the internet. Stick to that list. Go in with intention.

This week is all about humility and self-reflection, ain’t it?

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I just finished the best overnight oats I’ve had in a while 

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It’s not fun knowing that I have a disorder-prone mind. It’s not easy to share weakness. But acknowledging my weakness is one way that God helps me knock down my pride and build me up in a way that is more beautiful than before. And vulnerability is the best way to connect to others!

#BeMoreHuman ← that’s a Reebok hashtag, but it works here.

(p.s. Yesterday, I said that I would talk about body image stuff today, but that’s not on my heart right now, so I changed the topic. In short, just know that you are so much more than your outward beauty!!! LIFE is so much more than outward beauty.)

Go get ’em, friends.

Comment or don’t comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts, but you can also just shut down your computer/phone and go on with your day 🙂