Archive for the ‘ Lifestyle ’ Category
Good evening ladies! Hope you’re all doing well. I’m currently away on a family vacation at Clearwater Beach, FL and am soaking up every minute of it: the seafood (seriously, the Grouper is phenomenal!), the 86-degree weather, the sunshine, beach runs, pool-side drinks). I’m super excited to announce this week’s feature on Healthy Chicks in the Community as she’s someone who is very close & special to me. That is, my younger sister of course. I’ll let Krista take it from here!
NAME/AGE: Krista /24 in a little over a week!
CURRENT CITY: Boston, MA
PHOTO TAKEN: Waterville Valley, NH (Welch and Dickey hike)
WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I’m finishing up grad school to be a speech-language pathologist and am hoping to start a job this fall in the rehabilitation setting. I particularly enjoy working with patients with aphasia, which is a language disorder that can occur after someone has a stroke or other type of brain injury. Many people with aphasia cannot say what they want to say or understand what others say, and I help them to communicate again!
NUMBER ONE PASSION: I really love helping people, and find happiness working with people with aphasia.
I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN: I start each day with a green smoothie and a nice long run on the Charles River. I love getting outside and being active as much as possible, even if it is just for a long walk. Outdoor exercise + eating right is when I feel my healthiest and happiest!
BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I get lazy and make excuses for not going for a run or to the gym, especially during the cold Boston winter months.
TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: spring mix with herbs, hummus + carrots, and brown rice pasta
NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: I love pizza. The smell,the taste, the toppings! If someone offers me pizza, 99% of the time I can’t say no. But, I do love homemade pizza, which I guess is a healthier alternative!
EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: going for a long run outside on a nice sunny day. I also love to hike. There is nothing better than the satisfaction of getting to the top of a mountain and being rewarded with a beautiful view (and maybe a beer)!
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: chicken noodle soup, homemade of course!
MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: As a busy (and stressed out) grad student, I have found that being healthy is more than just eating well and exercising daily. Being healthy also involves taking the time to do something that makes you happy throughout all the craziness: whether it be spending time with friends and family, getting outside to enjoy a nice day, or making a special dinner. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do something for yourself to get rid of some of the stress and negative energy that life can bring
Remember when you were a little girl and everything revolved around playtime? From make-believe weddings to Polly Pockets, fort-building to dream-building, a day never went by without a good dose of play, imagination and fun.
I still remember how trying to get my sister and I to sit down for family dinners was a job in itself. We’d be running around free outside (catching fireflies, building forts, or sharing secrets) and that ever-so-recognizable dinner bell meant playtime was tragically over. We’d even take mini breaks throughout our meals to skip, laugh and goof around.
The thing was: we weren’t even really that hungry. You see, we’d “fill up” on other things in life (you know, the precious things like love, hugs, laughter, and movement) that we didn’t “need” food to fill us up. In other words, as children, we didn’t rely on things like lasagna, Vodka Tonics and ice cream to make us feel better. Sure, mom’s meals tasted delicious (and she’d surely try her hardest to get us to finish our broccoli “trees”) but we didn’t need food to make us happy.
As adults, so often we use and abuse food to fill some other type of void in our lives. If we’re lonely or sad, we may over-indulge in Mac & Cheese or other comfort foods to make us feel warm and loved (when in reality maybe we just needed a hug). When we’re stressed, we may lose all control and binge on salty chips or packaged snack foods to relieve some tension (or so we thought.) Boredom can cause mindless eating, or poor choices overall. You get the picture…
You see, what and how we eat becomes much more complex during adulthood. That’s because there are many other factors involved: relationships, career, financial concerns, spirituality even. And when any one of those areas become out of balance, you bet one of the first places we go to for relief is (you guessed it) food.
The solution? Well for one, you definitely don’t need to starve yourself, ban sugar or go on another one of those crazy diets to fix the problem. Instead, I recommend my clients go directly to the root of the problem and find out what’s really driving them to lose control. Once you’ve identified the source, I suggest adding more playtime into your life in as many ways you possibly can. And don’t be afraid to get creative either!
Bored or feeling unloved in your relationship? Spice things up! Make the effort to plan mini day trips together, say “I love you” more or cook together during date night. Hate your job, in turn making you a raged Cookie Monster at the office vending machine come 3 p.m. every day? Look for other positions at your company that allow you to express your playful personality, take mini stretch breaks, coordinate an office picnic, or even consider re-locating to a new company that would greater serve you (and your passions).
You’ll soon realize that once you find a healthy balance in all areas of your life, things will start to look up, and food stress will slowly melt away. Did I mention you’ll likely lose that stubborn extra weight (both emotional and physical) in the process? So go ahead, ignite your inner child and create some space in your day for PLAY.
If you struggle with finding balance, or turn to food to fill you up, I’d love to talk with you! Click here to schedule your FREE 15-minutes to FABULOUS info session today, or check out my new health coaching programs (designed just for YOU) here.
As women, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to our friends, acquaintances, co-workers, siblings, business partners, fitness idols, you name it. While being inspired by someone or looking up to someone is perfectly fine or normal, it’s when the comparisons set it that things can get a little messy. This typically leads to feelings of jealousy, resentment, judgement or straight up “not good enough” which can be extremely harmful to your personal wellbeing.
While I still struggle from time to time to resist my ego and natural inclination to compare myself, I’ve realized it does no one any good. Here’s why you should stop comparing your plate, pant size, paycheck, yoga posture and everything in between:
1. You don’t know their full story. Often times when we compare, we wish we were *just like* the other person OR we judge the other person. The truth of the matter is that we don’t know their full story, and we may never know their full story. Pay attention to your own story instead.
2. Bio-Individuality: Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. This is why some women swear by vegan diets, and others thrive on lean meats. It’s also why some hate to run & prefer yoga, and others could run outside all day every day if their life depended on it. If you’re constantly imitating someone else’s behavior, you’ll lose site of your own strengths. Listen to your body and pay attention to what makes you feel your very best self (not your best friend).
3. There’s Only One You. Yes, there are other people out there who are doing what you do. Yes, there are other women who are making double (even 10x) the amount of money you make. Yes, your best friend is in The. Best. Relationship. Yes, your yoga teacher has the most toned arms ever. However, there is only one you. Focus on yourself and let your inner goddess shine.
4. Focusing On Yourself Allows for Growth: I used to be that girl in yoga class that would stare at everyone else’s poses to make sure I was doing it “right.” Turns out, looking at everyone else prevented me from getting stronger. Once I began listening to the cues and focusing on my body, I began to get stronger. Suddenly getting it “right” or “wrong” didn’t matter anymore. It’s what’s right for your body that counts. This holds true for all aspects of your life.
5. Jealously is Ugly: Jealousy aint pretty. To be jealous means that you, in some way or another, aren’t satisfied with a particular part of your life. Once you quit wasting your time being envious (and trust me, I’ve been there) suddenly your life becomes THAT much more fabulous. It’s just how things work!
What areas in your life do you compare yourself to others? How do you snap out of it and bring your focus back to YOU?
Why Your Relationship with Food is Directly Connected to Your Relationship with Money (& My Big Self Discovery)
This past weekend, I attended a Business Conference for Wellness Professionals in NYC—HMBA Live: Step into Your Spotlight—that literally changed my life. I can honestly say the past three days have been among the most fulfilling days of my life: eye-opening, fun, and transformational all in one.
I cried, laughed, danced, sang, ate, wrote, learned, reflected and heck, even spoke in front of a room full of 400+ people….on a microphone. In addition, I networked, made new friends, and relished in a community bursting with positive energy.
And while all of those things were life changing in and of itself, one of the most eye-opening “A-Hah” moments I had was when we started talking about money. More particularly our relationship with money. Just bear with me here…
I never really took the time to explore my relationship with money, although I certainly knew it wasn’t a good one. In fact, it was toxic, to say the least. I say was because all of this is about to change…starting 48 hours ago.
However, up until now, money and I just didn’t jive. We were heading straight to a break-up and boy was it going to be a nasty one. I’d spend my days obsessing over money up to the point where it was affecting every area of my life from my career to my self-love to my relationship. I’d anxiously swipe my credit card to get it over with (especially with impulse buys), and refused to look at my balance when withdrawing cash from the ATM. Then I’d experience several days of guilt for spending “too much” irresponsibly. To top it all off, I’d constantly compare myself to friends, family and colleagues who were making more money feeling both jealous and ashamed.
My beliefs were “I don’t have enough money,” “I will never have enough money,” “I can’t make good money doing what I love”, “Once I have money I will be happy” and “That’s great for her that she’s successful and making money but I will never be able to do that. HA! That’d be the day.”
It’s plain to see that money consumed me and, well, I let it. I wanted more of it, but refused come face-to-face with it at the same time. Therefore I ignored it and instead hid behind my go-to place of feeling scattered and “not enough” where in some twisted way I felt safe. I felt safe because this is the pattern I was used to.
It wasn’t until the beautiful Stacey and Carey of Holistic MBA encouraged me to look at my “Money Mirror” (a super powerful exercise if I do say so myself) that I finally saw things so clearly. One of the things we talked about is that how our relationship with money is directly related to our relationship with food, and in fact any relationship in our lives. These relationships—spouses, friends, business partners, co-workers, food, body image, boyfriends, family—are all tied together.
I quickly realized, as tears swelled my eyes, that my relationship with money was exactly the same of my relationship with food (in my late-teens and early twenties, that is). I spent my days obsessing over calories, the number on the scale and how much weight I had left to lose to the point where it consumed my life. I went through periods of bingeing (a.k.a. anxiously eating as much peanut butter out of the jar as fast as I could) followed by periods of deprivation and guilt a.k.a. essentially starving myself. Oh, and to top it all off I constantly compared myself to friends, family, and sorority girls who were skinnier and prettier than I was.
My beliefs were “I am not good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough,” “I will never lose the weight and be enough,” “Feeling beautiful and confident in my body is just not in the cards for me,” “Once I am skinny my life will be perfect,” and “Yea, she looks great but I will never look like she does.”
Are you seeing the pattern here? By no surprise, my money mirror card (there are four of them) that resonated with me was “Deservability,” also known as “The Pleaser.” Essentially, this type of person constantly feels guilty and tells themselves “I am not good enough as I am.” Constantly comparing themselves to others, “The Pleaser” creates anxiety, chaos and overworks herself leading to major burnout.
I finally got it…money was my new addiction and I was treating it exactly how I used to treat food (and my body). When I went up on the microphone to share my realization, I couldn’t stop shaking. This is it. It finally all makes sense! My limiting beliefs around money were preventing me from living the life of my dreams, just as my limiting beliefs around food and my body were preventing me from loving myself fully and truly. And while I’ve figured out the whole food thing, and in fact help other women overcome similar struggles, money and I still have a little work.
As I spoke, Stacey asked me point blank: “How did you overcome your issues with dieting?” and I said back, hands shaking, “I just quit…I let go. I told myself enough was enough and I didn’t want to feel so stressed anymore.”
She then had me write down this simple affirmation: I am safe to feel safe. I repeated it to myself in my head. It sounded nice…peaceful even. You see, you don’t have to struggle anymore. It is OK to give yourself permission to make a positive change you know deep down you need to make for yourself in order to transform. Whether you are struggling with your relationship, body image or food habits, know that things don’t have to be so damn hard and that you don’t have to suffer anymore.
While I am still on my personal journey with my money relationship, I am proud to say that I have healed myself from food torture and most importantly that you can do the same…starting today. When you make the investment in yourself to overcome these fears and “step into your spotlight,” anything is possible. And I mean it.
Are you ready to make the investment in yourself? If you suffer from compulsive dieting and want to lose the weight & gain the confidence while falling in love with yourself, I’d LOVE to invite you for a FREE 15-minute “Diet-Free Breakthrough Session.” Fill out this quickie form to schedule your complimentary session today.
Do you ever feel like you’re lacking that glow? In a funk? Tired of the plain old mundane routine? Need some extra spark? Want to shake things up? Like you’re living in a giant cloud, and it seems like you’ve been waiting for the weather to clear for too darn long?
Well, do not fear my lovely lady. I’m here to tell you that first of all, you are 100% utterly & completely normal. In fact you are more than normal. I’ve been there, and I can guarantee any girl you talk to has been there too. And secondly, this little rut you’re going through is reversible; you can transform your life (more importantly your mindset) after all! Perhaps you don’t need anything spectacular, shiny or crazy expensive. Perhaps all you need is a little extra sunshine. Start now with these 5 simple tips and you’ll be feeling rejuvenated, hot and maybe even a little sun-kissed in no time!
1. Take a Special Someone Out On a Date (and Treat Them): I know, I know, you’re the one that’s in a funk, so shouldn’t you be the one who’s getting treated like a Princess? While it’s always nice to get pampered, it’s even nicer to do the pampering. Not only will you feel good about planning a fun extravaganza (like a picnic in the park, a tea party or a full-fledged sushi fest), but you can show someone you care about just how special you are. When we give the love, we feel the love right back. It’s just how it works! This special someone can be your significant other, your best friend, your mom or best of all – yourself. Yes, you heard that right. Go ahead, I dare you: plan a dream date for yourself!
2. Dance: Dance anywhere and everywhere. Throw on a flowy skirt and grab your girlfriends for a night out on the town, dance around the house in your undies, or sign up for a Zumba class a local studio! Getting into the groove will kick-start those endorphins and help you feel more alive and confident in your beautiful body!
3. Make a Sunshine Playlist: To go along with your dancing, why not make a sunshine playlist to set the scene? I love using Spotify because you can create as many playlists as you’d like for all scenarios. I have a Chill Out Playlist, a Beatles Playlist, a Writing Playlist…you get the picture! Make your feel-good playlist today with your favorite tunes. All I gotta say is you can’t go wrong with Oldies! In fact, I’m currently loving the “My Girl Radio” station on Pandora right now. Yes, it exists. “I’ve got sunshineeee on a cloudy dayyyyy…” I like to sing…loudly and proudly (and so not in tune). Belt it out, girl!
4. Stay Outside…For Most of the Day: You can’t get much closer to adding more sunshine into your life than by literally soaking up those rays outside. Dedicate a day – or at least a few hours – where you can play outside and bring out your inner-child!
This past weekend, I attended Ultimate Bootcamp’s Ultimate Spring Workout which included outdoor yoga, Zumba, bootcamp classes, healthy snacks and more all on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Then on Sunday, I met up with two lovely friends for a girls’ day in the city. We hit up the Boston Harbor area for a free sailboat ride, boxed wine on a boat, strolling around, life chats, and evening apps. The best part? We were outside for the entire day. And yes, sunshine makes us happy (if I haven’t made that clear by now). Plan your very own outdoor girls’ day, throw on your best spring-y outfit and flops and soak up that Vitamin D!
[Girls' Day Out...all smiles here!]
5. Be “Bad”: We are so obsessed with being perfect, looking the part and keeping our composure…doing everything “right.” Well sometimes that just becomes downright exhausting! I’m telling you to be a little bad today. Break the rules. Say “no.” Say “yes.” Skip out on that event you really didn’t want to go to but you felt like you HAD to go to, and do something for yourself instead. Indulge in your favorite dark chocolate with a glass of red. Skip the gym and book a massage appointment that you’ve been putting off for months. Force yourself into breaking your scripted routine. Ask someone out on a date…even if you might get turned down. Make a mistake and laugh it off. Embrace your “slip-ups.” You see, being bad can be quite fun when you think about it!
Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut? How could you add more sunshine into your life starting today? What would your perfect outside girls’ day consist of?
It’s no lie I love writing. I love sharing my thoughts with the world, note-taking, blogging and quite possibly my favorite form: journaling. Unfortunately, the only type of journaling I did in college (i.e. my years of dieting) was counting calories in Calculus class while pretending to take notes. Not very comforting or journal-esque if I do say so myself. Food consumed my thoughts, actions and overall social life and, well, I let it.
All I could think about was my next meal, the calories in my lunch, where we were going to go out to eat, what I would order at dinner, or what would happen if I “cheated” and fell off the “band-waggon.” My thoughts were filled with guilt, shame and defeat and I had no one to share these thoughts with (or so I thought) and therefore I filled the void with dieting and self hate…my form of control.
After I quit dieting once and for all, I threw away the rusty scale, my calorie-counting notebook and any negative restrictive thoughts I had about myself. I decided it was finally time to wake up and live! For Real. Because what I was doing…was not living. It was hiding. It was torture. It was restriction. It was not who I was meant to be.
During my years of diet-hood, I only wished I had an outlet to get my thoughts out, to somehow make sense of it all. And that’s exactly why I’m fortunate to have discovered the Food/Mood Journal, essentially a personal diary tracking what you ate and most importantly how you feel (both inside and out). Journaling –no matter what your form may be — is a key step in breaking free from diet-obsessed living as it allows you to get real with yourself.
Be careful not to confuse food journaling with calorie counting or obsession, as it is quite the opposite as that. You see, after a few days of tracking what you’re eating and how it’s making you feel you’ll begin to see little patterns that help unlock your true emotions around food. Better yet, you’ll begin to understand & become more in tune with your body, improving the relationship you have with youreslf.
Not quite sure where to start?
Step 2: Take a Deep breath & clear your mind. Get excited – this is going to be fun!
Step 3: Purchase a journal, whip out a pen & get the writing started! I absolutely love these colorful leather journals from the universe knows, made with recycled paper with little inspiring words of wisdom on the covers. How pretty are these?
SPECIAL OFFER: Since I love you guys too, all Healthy Chicks readers can get 15% off their journal of choice with coupon code healthychicks.
Step 4: Schedule your FREE Diet-Free Breakthrough Session if you need more support through your journey to happy, healthy diet-free living.
Happy weekend friends! Do you listen to your body when it comes to food, or do you let mind games take over? Have you ever made a food journal?
If you know me or have been reading my blog for a while, it’s plain to see I’m big on goals. I love creating goals for myself (both big and small), holding others accountable for their goals via health coaching, and am a sucker for vision boards (even as a teenager apparently). I’m a “Goal Junkie” if you will.
And this past year, I’ve come a long way with many of these goals. I’ve landed a part-time job of my dreams with sweetgreen (and have been loving every minute of it), I launched my innovative health coaching programs (including my Healthy Supermarket Tours), I greatly expanded my freelance writing, and I made big strides in my relationship and even moved in with The Boy (my very first living-with-a-man experience).
But, while I’m a pretty avid goal-setter, sometimes I get ahead of myself by creating too many goals at the same time, turning my dreams & visions from inspirations to one, big overwhelming mess.
That’s why when I was invited to lululemon athletica Prudential Center’s “B.H.A.G. Yourself to Greatness” event yesterday evening, I gladly accepted in a hot second. What’s a B.H.A.G. you ask? Why it’s a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, a goal-setting strategy the lulemon athletica folks have got down pat. It was time for me to take a good, hard look at my life and get that B.H.A.G. out there to the world! And what better way than by chatting over tea & healthy goodies with a lovely bunch of like-minded, inspiring people?
At the event, we were encouraged to share our one-year goals, and then broke up into small groups to plan out the how as well as set timelines for ourselves to hold one another accountable. We then broke it down into mini 3 week, 6 week, 3 month, 6 month and 9 month goals.
And now, for my one-year B.H.A.G.: I am going to publish a book (an e-book and/or actual book) on healthy inspirations for women focusing on the fact that there is more to life than dieting, body bashing, “fat days” and counting calories. My book is going to be inspirational, feel-good and light-hearted focusing on the “why” & “how” rather than the “what” (think: none of that diet book stuff with strict rules and guidelines). The why & how is where all the juicy, good stuff is anyway! More details to come on that…
Because I’ve been there.
Because I understand how sucky living your life dieting, counting calories, and hating your bod can feel. And that being skinny & exercising like a mad woman means nothing if you aren’t truly happy inside.
Because I know first-hand the power of a hug, a pick-me-up, or a confidence boost.
Because I want to share my love with as many women as I can.
Because life is so much more meaningful (and fun) when you start living with purpose and zest!
Because I’m a writer, and writing brings me joy. It makes me feel alive.
Because I’ve started writing said book a zillion times (with a zillion different drafts, post-it notes and scrap pieces of paper filled with my thoughts) and know the time is now to start. For Real this time.
Because I know I’m meant to share what I have to say with women all over, of all ages and sizes, who went through or are going through what I did.
After we shared with the group, we broke our Big goals into small, manageable goals to ensure they get checked off. Step one? We had to create a Do It Now, and mine was a.) announce my B.H.A.G. to friends, family, readers, and my peeps and b.) add it to my vision board. So here I am today, announcing it to you guys: my lovely readers, my fans, my friends, my family and anyone else who reads my blog. I hope you follow along on this exciting, juicy journey!
Let me ask you, what’s your B.H.A.G.? What gets your heart pounding, makes you stay up ’til the crack of dawn, and makes you ooze excitement? I want to hear!
Quick note: I apologize for the lack of blogging last week. I was greatly affected by the events that took place in Boston, and took a week for myself to process my feelings, pray, reflect and begin to heal. While it will take time, I am finally starting to feel like myself again… Much love to you all!
This was the one photo I snapped during yesterday’s Boston Marathon.
It’s one of my favorite days in the city, a day that makes me proud to be a Bostonian, a day that makes me contemplate to run a Marathon one day myself. And for the past 4 years, I have gathered with friends and loved ones to watch at my go-to spot: the Finish Line. This year was extra-special as one of my friends was running her very first 26.2.
The Finish Line is a place you see strength, love, dedication, power, and victory. A place where families and loved ones come together to celebrate. A place where runners have their moment. A place where I always find myself tearing up seeing the faces of pure accomplishment.
Unfortunately, yesterday’s tears were tears of sadness, not joy; hugs of fear not celebration. As you can see in the above photo, I was right at mile 26 when the first bomb went off. Like most, I was startled at first but thought it may be a cannon or a celebratory gun shot. When the second bomb went off less than a block from where I was standing, I knew I had to get out…fast. I just had a terrible feeling take over me…I knew it wasn’t good. What if we’re next?
As I stood there shaking in complete shock, I completely lost it. As those around me were screaming, running or consoling loved ones, I tried to make a phone call to my parents and boyfriend. I truly thought that was it for me, a feeling I just can’t describe. I turned around and realized that I had lost my two friends who were with me. Officers kept telling us to get as far away as we could, urging us to get off the streets, and so I ran. I ran for my life…all the way home to my Cambridge apartment…in flip-flops.
When I got home, I prayed. I thanked God that I was alive, that I was now safe. And I prayed for those who weren’t as lucky. While I am still pretty shaken up, as you can imagine, I am feeling an unbelievable sense of gratitude and love.
I feel gratitude for:
-The fact that my two good friends were there with me during the aftermath
-Making it out of there alive
-That all of my friends and loved ones in the area are safe & sound
-That I was able to contact my boyfriend about an hour later, knowing he too was safe
-For the moment I was finally connected with my parents and sister, who were extremely worried for me
-Standing right where I was, instead of seeking a closer view
-Everything I have…life is certainly precious
I feel Love for:
-All of those who don’t feel safe
-Those who were injured & killed
-Those separated from their families
-Brave spectators who rushed toward the explosions in order to treat victims (some even removed clothing or ran straight to donate blood)
-The runners who ran, finished and weren’t able to finish
-The city of Boston. My city.
I am forever grateful. Much love & prayers go out to those who weren’t as lucky as me…
Good afternoon ladies! Hope you are all having a sun-shiny day, despite the rain and dreary weather in Boston. I guess we can’t complain much after having 2 beautiful days in a row. I honestly can’t get enough of this sunshine!
For those of you participating in my “Get Happy & Healthy” Wellness Challenge, I am so impressed by all your hard work, dedication and creativity. From squeezing in that extra “me time” to enjoy your breakfast mindfully (and listen to the birds chirping) to trying a brand new green (like broccoli rabe or mustard greens!), each and every step you take—both big and small—is one step closer to a happier, healthier you. Keep up the super work!
OK, on to another week of Healthy Chicks in the Community! This week I am so thrilled to introduce you to Jenn, a real women who shines confidence, health, strength and inspiration. After all, she wasn’t named one of BostInno’s 50 on Fire for nothing. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with Jenn in person and took her Pilates Bootcamp Class (which you can read about in my newsletter here) and can tell you this woman is the real deal. Her energy, passion and love for what she does is absolutely contagious! But seriously, I gotta ask, how does she ever sleep? I’ll let Jenn take it from here…
[Photo provided by Jennifer Phelan courtesy of Lucie Wicker Photography]
NAME/AGE: Jennifer Phelan Age 29
CURRENT CITY: Boston, MA
PHOTO TAKEN: This was one of my favorite photos captured during a recent photo shoot with Lucie Wicker Photography. I had this idea to do a split on two boxes (genius). When I got into the spilt I was holding onto the box, afraid to let go when the photographer and stylist yelled for me to lift my arms and look at the camera. I did and we snapped one of the best shots of the day. Conquer your fears and live in the moment!
WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I’m a full time Pilates Instructor and owner of JenniferPhelan Pilates. I teach large, contemporary group Pilates and Barre classes at Equinox and North End Yoga and I train private clients all over Boston. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different types of people such as athletes, mom’s-to-be, brides and A-List celebs. I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to spread the amazing benefits of Pilates to everyone I meet.
NUMBER ONE PASSION: Motivating others to be the best possible healthy version of themselves.
I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Remembering to make a little time for me. Even though I love my job and what I do everyday, it’s sometimes hard to find balance. As an independent instructor I literally do everything from teaching classes, scheduling, social media, website work and marketing all by myself. So it’s hard to actually fit in my own workouts and “JP” time. When I do actually schedule this in I feel more energized, happier and more alive. Even if that means I’m going on a 12- hour day by the time I fit in my own workouts that’s okay, because I always end up feeling ready to conquer the city when I’m done.
BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: Spend the day in my sweats and watch 5 hours of Dance Moms straight without moving once.
TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: 1.) Breville Juicer. 2.) Apples, spinach and cucumbers 3.) Reusable Straws Ok, can you tell I’m obsessed with juicing? I seriously can’t go a day without making at least one fresh pressed juice. Juice for life!
NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: Ice cream. Specifically soft serve vanilla with rainbow sprinkles. I used to spend my summers working in an ice cream shop that only fueled my addiction and taught me one of my best-kept hidden talents… I can make a perfect ice cream cone. I’m serious and happy to show you anytime.
EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Pilates of course! I make sure that I give myself some type of a mat workout every day. It keeps my body flexible, balanced and centers my mind.
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Anything that my husband cooks. I’m lucky to have a wannabe chef husband who is one of the healthiest cooks I know. He has a way of mixing love into all of his meals and never settles for putting just anything down on a plate. I’d have to say my favorite dish is his signature miso marinated grilled salmon served over baby kale greens with a lemon vinaigrette and side of herbed quinoa. Hungry yet?
MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Keep it simple! Don’t over think and over complicate your life. The number one trick to being healthy is to use common sense. Exercise. Eat REAL foods. Drink lots of water. Get outside. Do things that make you happy. Try living by these standards for just one week and you’ll see that life is a lot sunnier without all the added substitutes. Only YOU are in charge of your life, so start living it today!
If you’d like to be featured as one of my Healthy Chicks in the Community, or know someone who you want to make blush, email me for more deets. And remember, if you aren’t feeling your healthiest self or are struggling to make positive changes, shoot me an email anytime to schedule your FREE 15-minute info session / sign up for one of my health coaching programs.
SIDE NOTE: Boston Fitness Peeps! Check out my blog friend Little Miss Runshine’s upcoming Spinathon on 5/18 to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge fundraising for Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Learn more here or register/donate over here. There’s some pretty sweet spin instructors on the list!
Last week, I was chatting on the phone with my grandmother while cooking dinner in our teeny-tiny kitchen. When she asked me what I was doing, I caught myself going there to that negative place we all know. And so I began complaining. “Well you know I’m cooking in my awful kitchen and it’s stressing me out. I just can’t stand our apartment. If only we had a bigger kitchen – a bigger apartment for that matter – so I could cook a nice meal for myself and actually enjoy doing it.”
When she asked where The Boy was, I told her he was in the other room waiting for me, and then I lit up. There was a complete shift in my mindset. “You know, I really am lucky to have him.” After all, not only does he cook (and do the dishes) but he loves me despite our tiny apartment…through the good times and the bad.
Then my grandmother said something to me that really struck me. “You don’t know just how lucky you are. He’s a catch. And as for the apartment, it’s just perfect for now. You have enough.” She then went on to say, “In 40 years from now you’ll have a big, big house but for now it’s enough.” I had to laugh at the 40 years…I mean, I sure hope it’s sooner than that grandma!
But what she said about having enough; that really stuck. It’s true, I do have enough. In fact, I have more than enough. The fact that I have a home to keep me warm at night and a loving boyfriend to join me for dinner is enough in itself.
Throughout the past week, I’ve been using this “enough” mentality to bring me back to my Happy Place when I let myself go there. Whenever I notice myself getting down on myself or thinking negatively, I shift my perspective to an “enough” mindset. Take yesterday for example. I was bumming out about my finances (again) and the fact that I still don’t “have it all together.” Needless to say, I can be extremely hard on myself at times, much harder than I’d ever be on a friend or a loved one. At times like these, I stop, drop and remember all that I do have. Yesterday’s thought-process went a bit like this:
- Enough money to pay my own rent (for the past 4 years), buy heathy, wholesome food and get by even if that means putting the dress I *really* wanted back on the rack
- An apartment in a really cool area – Central Square! Helllooo Life Alive, hidden gems & quick access to the city.
- A small group of inspiring, there-for-you-always best friends who are just enough
- Cool part-time gigs that provide a flexible schedule, even if life can get a little chaotic at times
- A blog that I’ve grown from a college food-log to an inspiring community for women to come together that makes me smile every day.
- Yoga to bring me to a place of calm
- Running to bring me to a place of release
- A creative mind that I know will take me far in life, even if it’s taking a bit longer than some
- A career I’m passionate about, even if that means lots of hard work and ups & downs. It’s a work in progress, and an exciting journey!
- The talent to write, for both paid and unpaid gigs, for both myself and others
- The ability to manifest whatever my heart desires
- Just enough clients who after each & every session make me feel high on life with their dedication, commitment and love
- An intense passion & drive that is enough to make my dreams come true
- A boyfriend who loves me very much and makes me giggle every day
- A wonderful family who provide just enough love, attention, care (with some tough-love thrown in)
- My 7-Day “Get Happy & Healthy” Wellness Program that 46 women signed up for! These ladies are seriously blowing my mind!
As you can see, I have quite a lot to be grateful for. It was just blurred by a cloud of negative energy. The good news? You can shift your perspective from a negative (I am not enough) to a positive (enough) in seconds if you choose to do so.
Let me ask you now, where do you find yourself saying “I am Not Enough?” What do you already have in your life that’s being fogged by negative energy?