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
I have a confession: I’ve been kinda sorta “off” these past few days. You know: doubting myself, not having the best workouts, worrying about the little things, inconsistent appetite, being anxious, feeling exhausted and on edge. I think it was partially the weather, but also mostly due to a big four-letter word: F-E-A-R.
Mostly due to my health coaching business, that is. Fear of being successful. “Will I be able to make a salary that can support me through my health coaching business?”
Fear of making it happen. “How will I get there? Will I get enough clients? Should I take on a full time job in the meantime, even if I hate it? No, then I will lose my focus..”
Fear of the future, the what ifs? and the hows? “What will my life be like in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years? Will this path lead to the life I want it to be?”
Fear of being good enough. ”I know some people may judge me for taking a huge risk & going off the beaten path to follow my dreams. Are they right?”
While all of these crazy thoughts were flowing through my mind, there could not have been a more perfect lecture featured this week in Nutrition School. It was all about fear, and overcoming common concerns students may have like “Can I support myself?” or “Will people take me seriously?” THAT’S ME, I thought to myself. I now didn’t feel so alone. The speaker also made a point that this is a very exciting time, and that of course it’s a little scary as well, like any other new venture in life.
We were then led through an exercise where we had to list our top two fears, and then ask ourselves, “Am I 100% positive that this fear is true?” and then “What are these fears costing me?”
I soon realized that most of the time our fears are really just little voices inside our heads that we can simply shut out. For instance, if you’re scared to run your first half marathon, you don’t know you DEFINITELY CAN’T RUN 13.1 MILES. In fact, you most likely can run the distance with some good training, but the fear is holding you back and in turn costing you a pretty huge accomplishment. If you fear (and think) you’re overweight and unhappy, and could never lose the weight because you’re just “stuck,” guess what? You’re definitely not going to lose the weight because you’re too busy running away from it, and eating late-night Ben & Jerry’s.
Since I was fearing not making enough money or being successful, it would cost me just that: zero $$ and zero success. If you want to accomplish something, you need to nip that fear in the bud by actually believing in yourself, and making room for success. Live the life you imagine for yourself as if you already had everything you could already want. Surround yourself with the people you want to be like, LIVE TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL, carry yourself with confidence, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll get there in time. It’s just how the universe works.
The other night, a friend and I didn’t feel like going out so we stayed in for some R & R. After an hour or so of snacking and lounging on the couch watching crappy television shows, my friend looked over to me and said, “I can’t believe the weekend is over already and nothing happened yet again. I’m just getting so fed up.” I thought quickly about her statement and agreed that she was indeed right: another weekend passed, we did our laundry, relaxed, and went out hoping for a good time and nothing really monumental or of any relevance happened. Overall, our weekend was pretty blah. In fact, so was the last weekend.
Suddenly we were both 100% bummed out. I quickly clicked off the television because this called for a real life chat, without the distractions of Jersey Shore, Say Yes to the Dress, and Sex and the City re-runs. No, this called for undivided attention.
“What do you think it is that we’re lacking? What do you think it is that’s making you so upset? Men (or lack there of), jobs, stress, friends, money?” I asked my friend, trying to solve half the puzzle of why we were feeling so low. And then she gave the most honest answer of all. “No, it’s not really just one thing I can point my finger on. It’s just the feeling that my life is so routine and nothing is really changing. I feel kind of stuck.”
And this feeling of being stuck is something we all go through some time or another, some of us more frequently than others. In fact, I knew exactly what she was talking about and couldn’t relate to it more. As I sat there stretched out on the couch, I realized is wasn’t just one thing in my life putting me in a blah mood either. In fact, I too couldn’t put a finger on what was getting to me. My career path is finally going in the right direction, as I am pursuing my dream and following my passions. I’ve been keeping myself busy with writing, cooking, running, at-home yoga and dates in the city with friends. My social life has been pretty normal, and I couldn’t complain too much about my “love” life. Usually when I’m down, it has something to do with work, men or body image woes. But no, that wasn’t it this time.
Then it hit me. The reason my friend and I were feeling so blue is that we were missing a little something in life: a little pizzazz, a little extra oomph. While our careers, relationships and social lives were going just OK, we were missing that feeling of excitement and zest for life. You know, that feeling you get when you have a reunion with your college friends you haven’t seen in years, or it’s the morning of the marathon you’ve been training for all year. While we’d been concentrating so hard on making our lives ideal (money, relationships, friendships, jobs, etc.) we’d let a little of that extra pizzazz go. It seems we got so caught in the trap of living week by week and getting our daily “tasks” done that life started to seem a bit routine. And what’s fun about that?
No, we are definitely not routine, follow-the-rules kind of girls. We are spontaneous girls, who of course like to have a plan but also enjoy trying out new things and having things to look forward to in the future. That’s when I came up with the brilliant idea of trying a few new things per week in the city. Of course, we’ll do our usuals: eat breakfast, go to work, exercise, errands BUT (and it’s a huge BUT) we’ll also mix in new, fun things throughout the week to add a little diversity. Today I hiked a mile to try a cafe I’d never been to before (because it was “too far”), but have always wanted to try. What was I waiting for? Today was the day! Tomorrow I’m going out for sushi with a friend I haven’t seen in months, and Thursday we’re going to try Trivia Night at a local pub in the area. Sure, Trivia is a little out of our comfort zones, but it’s something new to try, and hopefully we can have a great time and meet a few new people along the way.
While these things may seem ordinary, it’s all about doing things that are new for you. Go to that exotic restaurant you’ve been dying to try, and get the most outrageous thing on the menu. Grab some friends together and go to a museum you’ve never been to before. Start a new book, in a genre you’re not familiar with. Always been a “good girl?” Do something sassy, even if it just means wearing sexy underwear underneath your sophisticated outfit. Take a left when you usually take a right, and get “lost” in the city being sure to take lots of creative pictures along the way. Go up and talk to someone you find intriguing in the cafe next time you’re sitting there alone with your coffee. The thing is: life is full of so many interesting, new and invigorating things. So next time I find myself feeling blah about being stuck, I’m going to remember that there’s so much out there to explore. I challenge you to throw all structure to the wind, put on your creative caps and start exploring. Then I promise you that blah-ness with fade away…
Do you ever feel stuck? What makes you feel “blah”? What are some new things you’ve been meaning to try but have never gotten around to? What is it exactly that’s holding you back in life?
A few months ago, one of my friends came to me in distress. “Rach, I’m just so jealous of you that you have a passion. I feel like I’m not passionate about anything,” she said in distress. “Sure you are. You are one of the most loving people I know, and there are tons of things you enjoy!” “I guess. But I just don’t get excited about anything. I don’t have any true passions.”
This made me sad at the time, as I wanted her to open her eyes and see how much this world has to offer, and more importantly how much she has to offer the world. It was especially hard for me to understand, because she was right: I am passionate about lots and lots of things; some would maybe even say I’m TOO passionate. So how could my friend not find one little thing to get excited for, to make her feel good about herself? I wanted deeply for her to figure that out.
Fast forward a few months to this email I received from that same friend: “I’m sure you all know that I’ve ALWAYS bitched about not having a ‘passion’…and I think I know something that will make me excited and that is learning how to sail! I’ve always loved the lake/ocean/water/boats/etc so I think this will be fun and there are some somewhat cheap sailing lessons right here on the potomac!” she wrote. She also mentioned how she started a book club with some work friends (and hosted the first meeting), began taking hot yoga classes, and had been taking a lot of trips with friends. You could hear her excitement (and passion) in her email; it was THAT loud and vibrant. Honestly, I couldn’t be more happy for this particular friend (you know who you are) because she finally saw something she had all along, and was brave enough to dig deeper in order to seek it out. Bravo!
As for me, I get silly, obnoxiously excited for almost everything. Sometimes I feel like I still have some (or most) of my 10-year-old self locked up in my 23-year-old body. Take today for instance. I’m sitting here like a little kid on Christmas because I get to go grocery shopping in an hour with my roommate…to TRADER JOE’S (my favorite place on earth.) Not only do I love buying fresh, healthy eats for the week, but the free snack counter is one of my favorite parts of the trip. I anticipate what it’ll be every time…it’s like a secret goodie bag. Seriously, it’s my favorite. thing. ever.
Lately, I’m also super excited about my new love for running (I ran another 5-miler today-yay!), crafting up innovative recipes, my new ‘n’ improved blog look and mostly MY RECIPE BOOK that I can’t wait to get published. As you can see, I have a lot to be happy and passionate about, and so should YOU!
What are some things you’re particularly passionate about, or simply little things that make you extra-excited?