Category Archives: Motivation

One Run At A Time, Or How To Avoid Toxic Thoughts

Good morning loves,

I am happy to report that I’ve learned yet another invaluable lesson during my 7 km run yesterday. But before I jump to that, here is my Week 6 training schedule of half-marathon training:

Monday – 4 miles
Tuesday – 30-40 minutes of cross training: HIIT
Wednesday – 4 miles + kettlebell toning
Thursday – 40-50 minutes of cross training: booty + cardio
Friday – rest day
Saturday – 8 miles
Sunday – rest day

*Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5*

The more I runSource

So a very interesting thing happened to me yesterday. You may or may not have read my previous post on how running makes us happy, but happiness makes us better runners. I tried my very best to be positive about the run, but it was such a struggle. Nothing hurt, but I had a full blown mental battle with myself, despite trying to keep my chin up and think happy thoughts. So what happened, you say?

I think the best way to put it is: I got caught in a web of self-doubt.

A little progress each day adds up to be resultsSource

You see, it’s been a very long time since I ran a distance of 10 km and more (apart from Week 3 and 4 of my training). My runs got much shorter since I got pregnant in fall 2014. Something happened to my bladder throughout my pregnancy and I could barely stay on a treadmill for 15-20 minutes before dashing to a ladies room. *Pregger problems! Haha!*

For some strange reason, something snapped when I saw that this week’s long run is a grand total of 8 miles. Toxic thoughts invaded my mind. I mean, I’m training for a half, so this distance is definitely not a surprise. I ran much longer distances in the past. But all of a sudden I got intimidated and mental games began. As I was running, all I kept thinking about was how am I gonna do that long run. And as many of you know, it is not a good place for any runner or any fitness enthusiast for that matter to question their own abilities.

Good news, it is reversible! *Haha!*

one day at a time, enjoy the journeySource

It is so sooooo important to focus on one workout at a time and not to get too much ahead of ourselves. Just like in our daily lives, in order to be efficient and not to get overwhelmed, we must prioritize our to-do list. First things first. The same goes for running. Not only our ‘present’ workout will be more effective, but also there is absolutely no reason why we should psych ourselves out of the challenge that lies ahead. Tackle it one day, one workout at a time.

Has ever self-doubt affected your workouts? How do you avoid psyching yourself out before a long run?

Keep moving forwardSource

Missed some of my most recent posts that created great discussions among my fellow bloggers? Here is your chance to catch up:

PS. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

xoxo
Olena

 

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23 Comments

Filed under Half-Marathon Training, Motivation

How Running Makes Us Happy, But Happiness Makes Us Better Runners

You subscribe to a magazine. At first, you read it diligently from cover to cover, can’t wait for the next issue to come out. And then… something comes up and you promise yourself that you’ll read it on your lunch break or while taking a bath. A few months go by and you sadly look at the pile of unread magazines unsure of where even to begin. Has this ever happened to you? Well, that’s the #StoryOfMyLife…

magazine pileSource

This is exactly what happened to me during later stages of pregnancy: My beloved Runners World issues were sitting on a bookshelf collecting dust, feeling all forgotten. That is until a couple of days ago, when I decided to look through them in hopes of finding some invaluable advice for half-marathon training.

Speaking of which, this is what Week 5 of my training looks like:

Monday – 4 miles + arms
Tuesday – rest day
Wednesday – 4 miles + total body
Thursday – 30-40 minutes of cross training: arms, abs & cardio
Friday – 4 miles + HIIT & booty
Saturday – 30- 40 minutes of cross training: arms + yoga
Sunday – rest

*Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4*

IMG_1390 edit.jpg

As I was looking through the May 2015 issue, I came across the following article: Happy Hour, Approach a run with a positive outlook to improve your performance and your health by Diane Stopyra. It caught my attention right away because I am fascinated by how our brains/minds work. So when I read that ‘Exercise doesn’t just improve happiness, happiness can improve exercise performance,’ as Alfred Bove says, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of medicine at Temple University and a 26-time marathoner, I was sold.

You see, many times we run/exercise to release the stress of a bad day, when we need a little pick-me-up. Endorphines can easily lift our mode and get rid off insecurities. But from what it looks like, ‘We tend to think of being joyful as a personality trait, but it’s actually a skill you can acquire,’ according to a sociologist Christine Carter, Ph.D.

runhappySource

There are quite a few benefits to be a Happy Runner:

  1. Suffers few injuries: Since ‘happiness reverses the body’s muscle-tensing stress response’, we are less prone to injuries;
  2. Performs better: When distractions created by negative emotions are removed, we are more focused on our performance.
  3. Feels less pain:  ‘Happier people have more of the neurotransmitter dopamine coursing through their brains’, which makes it easier to tolerate discomfort, according to Jim Afremow, Ph.D.;
  4. Is healthier: It’s actually very interesting because ‘Ongoing negative emotions can provoke cellular activity that leads to illness, including cancer. Feeling joy, researchers say, reverses this process.’

If you think this got my undivided attention, YOU BET!

I came across a great presentation by social psychologist Amy Cuddy at TED Talk on how your body language shapes who you are.

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

If you have time, definitely watch it. But if you don’t, what she shows in her presentation is how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. She was curious whether ‘we can fake it till we make it’ and found some evidence that our non-verbals govern not only how others see us, but also how we see and feel about ourselves. So, for example, we smile when we feel happy, but also, when we’re forced to smile by holding a pen in our teeth like this, it makes us feel happy.

Tiny tweaks can indeed lead to big changes. According to Jim Afremow, Ph.D., ‘Our expressions aren’t just an indication of how we’re feeling; they help dictate those feelings. In other words, if you look happy, you’ll run happy.’

So what can we do to our face to feel happier?

  • Smile;
  • Relax your forehead, so your brows aren’t furrowed;
  • Lift your chin for an instant confidence boost.

I choose to be happySource

Runners World provides even more suggestions on how to set yourself up for a good run:

  1. Eat well, make sure that you are not low on nutrients that feed your brain like magnesium, omega-3, fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D.
  2. Sleep at least 6-8 hours.
  3. Belly-breathe: Try doing yoga to learn how to breathe properly.
  4. Listen to music to distract yourself from pain and fatigue. *Read this post to see pros and cons of running with and without music.*
  5. Mantra Up: I actually like to ponder on a quote as I run, but mantras are great, especially when doing yoga!
  6. Be social and buddy up for your run!
  7. Buy a good time: sign up for a fun race or even treat yourself to a massage!
  8. Explore nature!

You make your life happySource

Do you ever fake it till you make it? What are your tricks to get yourself in a better place before your workout?

Missed some of my most recent posts that created great discussions among my fellow bloggers? Here is your chance to catch up:

PS. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

xoxo
Olena

37 Comments

Filed under Motivation, Running, The Happiness Project

Running Wisdom & Giveaway Winner

Well, hello there!!!

Have you read my last post on whether you should run with or without music? I absolutely LOVED the discussion it created! At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong as long as it makes you happy and brings you peace or the burst of energy you are craving!

First of all, I would like to congratulate Roxanne who won my giveaway for the Armpocket by following my blog via email! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it because I love mine!

congratulations

Source

Today I’d like to share some of my random Instagram ‘wisdom’. I recently started looking up some quotes before heading out for a run. This way I have something to reflect about. I actually enjoy this new habit of mine!

be kind

Don’t you love it when you run and a passerby says or nods you ‘Hello’ or simply gives you an encouraging smile? It doesn’t take much to be kind. 

Yesterday, I was reading one of my blogger friend’s post, Anna from Piper’s Run, and she mentioned how her daughters saw a lady running past their house and started cheering for her. Wouldn’t you want to be that runner?

I think this is one of the reasons I loved my Spartan experience so much: There was this sense of unity and support where competitors encouraged each other and stopping to made sure that no one was hurt. *Sprint, Super, Beast 1 & 2.* It was great!

Also don’t forget about those you care about the most because they tend to be neglected the most. Make sure you kiss and hug them and tell you love them. It never gets old.

the grass is green

As of recent, I find that my running experience has improved drastically. Why? I stopped comparing myself to others. It’s not a competition to me anymore, it’s MY running journey. I want to make this journey memorable and without any regrets.

It’s so sad when comparison prevents us from even starting something new! I know it has stopped me in the past. And there was no better feeling than chucking that heavy weight off my shoulders and living my life for me.

fix your ponytail

This quote is, once again, simply a reminder to all of us to be true to ourselves and train at our own pace. We don’t have anything to prove to anybody. Your health journey is YOUR journey. Stop comparing yourself to others. Ultimately, your own happiness should always prevail!

So if one of your workouts didn’t go as planned, who cares? Have some rest, cheer up and go for it again the next day! Consistency pays off and so does listening to your body!

IMG_1283 edit

Do you ponder about life when you exercise? What’s some of your most recent wisdom?

PS. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

xoxo
Olena

41 Comments

Filed under Motivation

Pregnancy & Positive Body Image: Celebrating Femininity & All Body Types

Hello 3rd trimester!!! I can’t believe it’s been already 28 weeks that I have a little miracle growing inside of my belly. It is, hands down, the best experience of my life! So before I was wondering about the purpose of life, having children (own or adopted) just might be it!

bump 27 weeks

I won’t say that it’s just sunshine and roses all the time, but it’s definitely worth the end result!

You may or may not recall, but last year I wrote a post about my struggle with my body image in the past. And even though I do have some off days here and there like everybody else, I do my absolute best to welcome and celebrate the changes my body goes through during pregnancy. Creating life is the most beautiful thing on Earth and we as women should embrace it.

This being said, there are so many people who are out there who feel entitled to make comments to future mothers like ‘Gosh! You are so small! Is it normal?’ or ‘Are you sure you don’t have twins in there?’. To me, each pregnancy is unique and as long as the baby is growing normally and you make healthy choices for the both of you, you are a great mother: Your size says absolutely nothing about your baby’s health or development.

What some individuals don’t realize is that those comments may be hurtful, especially if you catch a mommy-to-be on a day when she is not feeling that great about herself.

Recently, Cassey Ho from Blogilates, whom I greatly admire, did a social experiment on her Instagram account. What was the reason? She got really fed up with all negativity and cyber-bullying. Let’s be fair, famous or not, pregnant or not, we all have days when our self-esteem is not at its highest. So what she did is posted a photoshoped picture of herself with the ‘perfect’ body, but she didn’t mention anything to anyone.

Cassey Ho - the perfect body experiment Finally got my perfect body. Watch my new video where I share with you all my body slimming secrets www.youtube.com/blogilates (link in profile)

A photo posted by Cassey Ho (@blogilates) on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:21pm PDT

I remember scrolling through that picture. I was surprised by a drastic change in her body and thought to myself that something was off. I won’t lie, I was confused because those who follow Blogilates know that it’s just not the way she is. But as usual, there were plenty comments from both haters and admirers.

A day later, Cassey posted the following video on Youtube:

I was instantly relieved and reminded why I like her so much! What is the perfect body, anyway? Who is it that decides?

I remembered about a video on BuzzFeed posted a few months back about women’s ideal body types throughout history. Check it out for youself:

Lesson learned? EVERY SINGLE BODY IS BEAUTIFUL in its own and unique way. There is no such thing as a perfect or ideal body. We should all celebrate our beauty and uniqueness! This is why I was absolutely thrilled when a few weeks ago I was contacted by a company called eShakti to review their product.

eShakti.com is the only online women’s fashion apparel company offering sizes 0-36W and custom clothing. What I loved about it from the get go is that the company believes that all women have the right to wear affordable fashion that is made for them and makes them look their absolute best. *FINALLY!*

I was offered a choice of an outfit, and even though it was gifted to me, all opinions are my own.

Let me start by saying that normally I do not feel comfortable buying clothes online because I always have the fear ‘What if it doesn’t fit right?’, so I normally limit myself to buying books from Amazon. *What? A girl HAS GOT to shop! Haha!* The process, surprisingly was extremely straight forward.

Step 1: Choose the style

I went for a flowy maxi dress because I wanted to be able to wear it ASAP and for as long as I can, obviously! *Haha!*

Step 1

Step 2: Customizing 

This is the step that I normally fear.

I really loved that they have both standard and custom size option; especially that my baby bump is constantly growing! I can’t emphasize enough how happy I was to be able to put in extra comments to make sure that the inside lining wasn’t too tight to accommodate my growing baby girl. I also made sure to specify my height and ask to make the dress shorter (just enough to go all the way to the ground) because I plan on wearing flats and not high heels. *I’m all about comfort!*

There were also options to remove embroidery and/or pockets, but I really liked the dress the way it was and decided not to use them.

Step 2

Step 3: Ordering

Ordering was as simple as it gets! But I’ll be honest, I was still very much apprehensive about the quality of the dress and whether it would look like it did in the picture. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome!

The dress fit really well: All of my instructions were followed to the T. Even the length was perfect! The color and quality were also great. After all was said done, I might reconsider shopping for clothing online! *Sorry, my dear wallet! Hehe!* 

And, of course, I was all for modeling it for you… AND CELEBRATING MY BEAUTIFUL BABY BUMP!

eShakti 1

eShakti 2

eShakti 3

By the way, the last picture is my favorite! I look like an air balloon and I’m absolutely loving it!!!!

You can check out eShakti for yourself through the following media channels:

Website: www.eShakti.com
Facebook: eShakti
Twitter: @eShakti
Pinterest: eshakti

Finally, the company was kind enough to provide my readers with a discount of 10% until May 17, 2015.  You can take advantage of it by entering code candiesandcrunches in ‘the promotional code’ box. *Please, be advised that I do not benefit from any of your purchases.*

A few other pointers:

  • It is not case-sensitive.
  • Code can be used any number of times until the validity period.
  • It can be combined with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.
  • This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
  • Not applicable on previous purchases.

Finally, I’d like to finish off this post by saying the following:

EMBRACE YOUR BODY AND FEMININITY REGARDLESS YOUR AGE, SIZE OR BODY SHAPE! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

celebrating all body shapesSource

How do you celebrate your body?

xoxo
Olena

6 Comments

Filed under Fashion, Health, Motivation, Reviews

Spartan Beast & Trifecta That Almost Didn’t Happen (Part 2)

I KNOWWWWW! How could I leave you hanging like that?! Well, I just did! *It was done with love lol!*

If you missed the first part, here it is: Spartan Beast & Trifecta That Almost Didn’t Happen (Part 1)

at the start line

That’s me at the start line. Worried, ecstatic and everything in between. Understandably so! The furthest distance I’d ever run before was 16.8 km and there were NO mountains! This being said, I had my water and gels, AND a friend to run with. Joe ran with me the previous two races too *read more on Spartan Sprint – here, and on Spartan Super – here*; however, we ran at our own pace. This time around, we decided to stick together: Running such a long race is more of a mental game than anything, and we knew that we would need to be there for each other emotionally.

I didn’t have much time to stretch, even though the start was pushed to 10.40 am, but at least I was able to calm down after a whirlwind of an adventure of us getting to the race. I was calm and composed. The plan was to go at a steady pace up hill and speed up on trails as well as while going downhill. I had 6 Gu’s with me, but I was shooting to take one every 5-6 kilometers or so.

The race started out with a gentle hill, but that didn’t last for too long. I considerably slowed my pace, and I was glad I did. The hill was getting really steep. At times, I even had to grab on to trees and their roots to climb huge rocks. It was FUN! Unfortunately, I started getting cramps in my glutes, so I would stop every now and then to massage them a bit.

butt cramps

Source

I am really grateful that my friend was really understanding. I knew, however, that once I got to the flat or downhill path I’d be able to fly, and that thought definitely kept me going. In addition, the weather  was overcast, so I didn’t have to worry about the heat.

This race was definitely the most challenging at 24 kilometers long. This time around there was much more mud on slopes, more heavy weight lifting, lots of crawling under the barbed wire be it on a flat surface, incline or in water.There was a fair share of people who were feeling sick, throwing up and unable to walk anymore, which was a good reminder that it’s good to have ambitious goals, but it’s important that they are manageable too. That being said, there was a lot of inspiration all over the place! People constantly making sure that everyone is okay, offering their help to those in need, a lot of cheering and smiles. However, I never imagined I would see anything like this.

comradery

I actually saw these guys while running down a very slippery and muddy hill. I was barely able to keep balance on my own when I noticed one of the guys bringing down the wheelchair and another carrying his friend on his back. I even teared up a bit for how great witnessing something like this was!

wheelchair under barbed wire

I forgot about any pain I was experiencing right that moment!

Some of the obstacles I enjoy the most are the rope climb…

climbing rope

Monkey barrel roll *I really have no clue how to call those! It was the first time I ever did it, and I LOVED the challenge!!!*…

barrel

*That’s me sweating there on the far right with a red Camelbak! Haha!*

Oh, and monkey bars, of course!

monkey bars

*As you can see it on my face, it’s a piece of cake haha!*

I would be lying if I said I was able to avoid all burpees!

I slipped on the traverse wall…

traverse wall

And I didn’t even attempt completing this challenge and went straight for burpees. *The finish line was about 100 meters away and I had sever lower back pain.*

the iron ring burpees

*Can you see through those rings how excited I was? NOT! Haha!*

As I mentioned before, there were a lot of obstacles that included lifting heavy objects. I was really surprised that most of the times girls had to lift the same weight as guys. Even though I completed all of them, I was really struggling, especially when the weight was distributed unevenly. Definitely something I have to work on!

The second half of the race was mostly run on trails which felt AH-mazing!!! There was also a lot of walking, crawling, swimming in water which was very refreshing and welcome.

And guess what? I actually have a decent jumping over the fire picture this time around!!! The fire was so high that I totally thought that it was gonna be one of those pictures again.

jumping over the fire

 *Aren’t you proud of me?! I, personally, can’t believe I was even able to jump so high after the longest race of my life so far, forget about the face and shape! LOL!*

Want to know another fun fact? I almost broke down crying when the girl was putting the medal around my neck. I was happy, I was overwhelmed, I was tired! To make things even better, my hubby decided to take his coat and turn away as I was running the final stretch, so it took me probably 15-20 minutes to find him. *Mind you, I could barely walk, and and my brain was fried and I couldn’t recall what he was wearing.* And he, poor thing, was still waiting for me at the slippery wall! *I actually was able to see him when I zoomed in on the picture above, looking away, waiting for me to arrive. Haha!*

Anyhow, once I found him, I was a happy trooper again!

at the finish line

Do I have any regrets? Of course! I am definitely saddened *and ecstatic at the same time* that the Spartan Trifecta is complete. Now I need to find another worthy and exciting challenge to complete and train for. Also… Ummm… I regret not taking a granola bar with me, my stomach was definitely unhappy from not eating anything but gels from 7 am till about 5 pm!!! Haha!

Have you ever been upset about completing your goal? What are your favorite obstacles? Any near missed big races?

xoxo
Olena

16 Comments

Filed under Cardio, Fitness, Health, Motivation, Race Reviews, Running

Everybody Wants To Be A Winner, But What Does It Mean ‘To Win’?

Guys, you won’t believe it! *Well.. actually… you BETTER believe it!* Yesterday I succeeded to wake up at 5.50 am and at 6 am I was already on my yoga mat for another EMPOWER session. And it’s a big one for me considering that only last week I was able to somewhat manage to open my eyes by 6.50-7 am!

Morning yoga

Yup… That’s me rocking a headstand in the morning after not having done one in over 11 years! *And, nope, I have no clue why my hubby decided to cut off my feet. He was still sleepy, I guess. Haha!*

Waking up early to squeeze in a 40-minute workout session before heading off to work was THE BEST thing I’ve done for myself in a VERY long while. I felt and still feel like a WINNER! *Damn right!*

winner

Source

It’s quite funny because when I was reading Run or Die by Kilian Jornet later on, something clicked and made me really think. Well read and judge it for yourself:

Winning isn’t about finishing in the first place. It isn’t about beating the others. It’s about overcoming yourself. Overcoming your body, your limitations, and your fears. Winning means surpassing yourself and turning your dreams into reality. There have been many races in which I have finished first but haven’t felt that I was the winner. I haven’t cried when I crossed the line, haven’t jumped for joy, and haven’t been swept up in a whirlwind of emotions. I merely had to win the race, had to finish in front of the others, and before and and during the race, I knew and was sure that I would finish first. I knew it was no dream and didn’t think for one moment at any point what would it be like not to win. It was too easy, like a chef who opens his restaurant each day and knows exactly how all of his steaks will turn out. There’s no challenge, no dream to wake up from. And as far as I am concerned, that isn’t winning. On the contrary, I have seen big winners, individuals who have overcome themselves and crossed the finish line in tears, their strength gone, but not from physical exhaustion – though that is also there – but because they have achieved what they thought was only the fruit of dreams. I have seen people sit on the ground after crossing the finish line of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, and sit there for hours with blank looks, smiling broadly to themselves, still not believing that what they have achieved isn’t a hallucination. Fully aware that when they wake up, they will be able to say that they did it, that they succeeded, that they vanquished their fears and transformed their dreams into something real. I have seen individuals who, though they have come in after the leaders had time to shower, eat lunch, and even take a good siesta, feel that they are the winners. They wouldn’t change that feeling for anything in the world. And I envy them, because, in essence, isn’t this a part of why we run? To find out whether we can overcome our fears, that the tape we smash when we cross the line isn’t only the one the volunteers are holding, but also the one we have set in our minds? Isn’t victory being able to push our bodies and minds to their limits and, in doing so, discovering that they have led us to find ourselves anew and to create new dreams?

It’s written so beautifully. He hit the hammer on the nail! SPOT ON!

make it happen

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To win can mean many different things to different people. In my opinion, I am a winner because:

– I have an amazing husband, family and friends, and Bella, of course!
– I have a stable job where I can grow, and a great team who supports me.
– I am healthy.
– I am privileged to be able to exercise and get stronger day by day.
– I have a roof over my head and food on table.
– I live in a beautiful country where everything is possible.
– I am able to travel and learn more about the world I live in and other cultures.

i am the luckies girl in the world

Source

What does it mean to you to be a winner?

xoxo
Olena

 

14 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation

Back To Basics: Working Out For The FUN Of It

Hi loves!

First of all, congratulations to Germany for winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup!

germany

What a beautiful goal it was!

Also, I apologize for disappearing on you for the second half of last week. The truth is, I’ve been having somewhat of a workout mental block that started right after the Spartan Sprint. Not that I didn’t want or feel like working out, I was too exhausted to do anything. To make things worse, my knee felt weird. I couldn’t help but feel discouraged: the Spartan Beast is only 2 weeks away and I pretty much haven’t run over the past 2 weeks.

you don't workout

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It is easy to get overwhelmed by a demanding training schedule. Oftentimes, routine becomes too routine, and the novelty of it goes away. At some point I even got scared that I was losing my love for running… And believe me, I don’t want this to happen… EVER! So  I dug deeper to find the real root of the problem. Over the past week, instead of centering my mind on the upcoming race and being harsh on myself, I decided to focus on the following basics:

1. Getting enough sleep: In my opinion, this was the biggest issue. It seems like 6-7 hours is not enough for me. I feel best when I get closer to 8 hours of sleep. So I made a conscious effort to get to bed earlier. After all, it’s all about prioritizing, and my top priority is TO FEEL GOOD. *Read more on how to sleep better here.*

getting enough sleep

Source

2. Eating clean: Nobody likes to feel heavy. I’m no exception. This being said, I couldn’t help myself but feel bloated all the time. The fix was quite simple: I cut down on the amount of meat and alcohol, increased the intake of fruits and vegetables, and started controlling my portions more. The result was almost instantaneous: I FEEL AWESOME!

Here is a picture of some cherries and gooseberries from my parents backyard. They’ve got pretty much everything in there: white, red and black gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, grapes, not to mention a wide variety vegetables and plants! *Can’t wait to have my own little garden too!*

berries

In addition, I recently discovered Freekeh. This grain is packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients. And it tastes delicious. I added it to my salad instead of quinoa, and it was a nice change!

Freekeh

3. Staying hydrated: This one is pretty much self explanatory. I make it a point to drink more water throughout the day by having a water bottle next to me at all times. *Read more here to learn about dangers of dehydration, and here – to find 4 delicious favored water recipes.*

4. Relaxing: I needed it  more than I realized. So I treated myself to a nice bubble bath with candles…

bath time

Learning more about running…

reading

And, of course, treating myself to a dessert!

cupcake

5. Doing exercises that make me feel good: Yoga has been one of those things that made me feel exceptionally energized and alive recently. I won’t lie, I am sore after my yoga workouts. They make me feel strong and determined. It is an energy and confidence boost I needed.

I took it even a step further and registered myself for the EMPOWER challenge from Yoga With Adriene. *If you are interested in subscribing, you’ll have to hurry and reserve your spot by July 15, watch the video below for more information.* Can you tell I’m hooked?! *Haha!*

6. Thinking of workouts as ME-time not Jeez-I’ve-Got-To-Do-This-Again: This point is the MOST important. At least to me. Somehow we get so caught up in training for a race, competition, achieving a new PR, that we forget the initial reason why we started this fitness journey all together. Go ahead, and I ask yourself this question, ‘WHY?!’

Unfortunately, I can’t answer for you, but I can for myself. I love how being active makes me feel strong, unstoppable and healthy. It makes me feel alive. So why not go back to these basics and focus on them? It helped me!

So forget about timing yourself, tracking the distance, and just run… FOR THE FUN OF IT!

change the way you look at things

Source

What do you do to bring excitement back into your workouts?

xoxo
Olena

42 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation