Don’t Just Make a New Year’s Resolution, Make a New Year’s Plan

Wanting to better yourself is a beautiful thing. Everyone can use some self improvement and the  New Year is always good motivation to move forward with it. However, you will set yourself up for failure, or at least make success more challenging, if you don’t have a plan to go along with your aspirations.

Let’s say that you want to quit smoking, for example. It’s a great thought but it has no meat to it.

Continue reading Don’t Just Make a New Year’s Resolution, Make a New Year’s Plan

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What Happens When You Become Vegetarian (Almost Vegan) For a Month

Vegetarian- Does not eat meat

Vegan- Does not eat meat, dairy or eggs

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In the sixth grade, we had to write a report and do a presentation about our opinion of a controversial topic and I got animal rights. Almost 11 years later and I still remember this damn report because of the things I learned and saw. Kentucky Fried Chicken (a place my family frequents and chicken that I ate) was under attack from P.E.T.A., an animal’s right group, at the time for the inhumane treatment of their chickens. I read horror stories about what Burberry did to the animals that they made products out of. I learned about poaching and hunting laws and all of it horrified me so much so that I have never eaten KFC to this day. I can’t afford Burberry products but if I could I probably wouldn’t be shopping there either. When people tell me that they hunt, I am automatically sickened… and yet I still eat meats and other animal products.

Continue reading What Happens When You Become Vegetarian (Almost Vegan) For a Month

Fall Favorites of 2017

 

My earliest memory of fall took place at my grandparents house. They were persistent about raking up their leaves. My grandpa would throw on a light coat and put on his cap to go outside and rake piles of leaves. I did just the same except instead of raking I’d be jumping and ruining the piles that he had made. My birthday and Halloween are also in the month of October and then came November with Thanksgiving and heaven knows how much I love food. Along with fall came the start of school and I adored shopping for new school clothes and supplies. My love for fall started there.

And then, as I got older, the love grew. I discovered cozy sweaters and flannels at Goodwill, horror movies, moccasins and boots and fall-flavored coffees, pumpkin patches. And every year, it seems that I find something new to enjoy about fall whether it be a new horror movie, new lotion, new kind of sweater, etc.

This year has been no different! Of course, I have my staple fall faves but then also a new bunch of fall products that I am looking forward to for this year!

Continue reading Fall Favorites of 2017

Changing Your Dreams And Your Career

When I graduated high school, I wanted to be a journalist and a photographer on the side. Maybe even a photojournalist. I wasn’t sure but all I knew was that I loved writing for the school newspaper and no other career path really intrigued me. So with barely 18 years on this earth, I took the plunge into what I was guessing I wanted to be my career for the rest of my life.

I went through the ups and downs of college and I found that with each passing week I began to hate my choice more and more.  The real world newspaper industry was heavily different from my high school newspaper and I didn’t like what I was doing or what I saw. I did internships in an office setting where I sat from nine to five typing articles. Eventually, my love for words and the way they tasted painfully died and I no longer had any passion for what I once considered an art. MY art.

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Then on graduation day, I all but snatched my diploma and ran out of there as fast as I could and vowed to never turn back. I didn’t cry because I would miss my friends or because I just made an incredible accomplishment. I cried because I wouldn’t have to hate what I was doing anymore.  I didn’t want to look at another newspaper again. I didn’t pick up a book for pleasure anymore. My camera collected dust on the shelf.

My parents were confused and upset that all of a sudden I hated my degree, one that I had spent four years and a house’s worth of money for. Did I have a bad teacher? Did I have a really bad experience? Was I raped? Why did I all of a sudden hate the one thing I told everyone I wanted to do?

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A month or two after I graduated, I found a kickboxing instructor position. It was a job I was excited about though I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time. I started kickboxing when I was a junior in high school and it was always something that I had loved. A few months into this new job and I realized how happy I was. I loved helping people and having a direct effect on their lives. I had a purpose, something I didn’t feel in college.

I decided to turn my life in a whole new direction and go after my personal training license. It was a decision my entire family was weary of and a decision that I was terrified of.

I didn’t care.

I went after it anyway and went full throttle towards my other dreams too. During college, I created His First Mate. This blog was something that was all my own creation. It has helped others and has saved me in its own way. No newspaper editor could trash it or change it. My writing and art was suddenly mine again.

So, every Sunday and Monday I would carry my backpack full of equipment and study the ways of the body and write for my blog. I spent countless hours in the same seat, at the same Starbucks, drinking the same drink but dreaming up all the new and fresh possibilities I now held.

A year flew by and now I’m the assistant manager at my job. Last week, I passed my personal training test. I photograph private events whenever I get the chance. Watching His First Mate grow is like watching your child grow. I created this thing and had no idea what I was doing and then one day I looked down and had this beautiful, ever-growing creation in front of me.

During college, I never thought this happiness was possible. So, take this advice and do what feels right in your life and everything will fall into place. My love for writing and photography has come back full force and has found its own place in my life. I am fulfilled every day I walk into my gym and coach people to becoming better than they were yesterday. And it is all because I followed what felt right for me.

Not what felt right for my teachers in school. Not for my parents or for any of my family or my friends. Just my own personal satisfaction.

Because, you see, life is short. People, young and old, sick or healthy, die every. damn. day. There is no shame in wanting to be a ballerina and an astronaut and then maybe a waitress. The way I see it, there is one life that I am sure of. One chance I have to experience and be everything that I want to experience and be.

Not one person on this earth is going to hold me back from that and no one should hold you back from that either.

Go be what you want and do what you want. If that means quitting your job that is making you unhappy or going back to school for something new then go do that. Maybe that means having three career paths and things that you love. Go live your life and don’t apologize for it.

 

 

 

How to Meditate for Stress Relief

It has always amazed me how the mind and the body react so closely to each other.  This past week has completely turned my comfortable life upside down and while I knew I was stressed about it I didn’t realize just how stressed I was. Of course, I’d think about all stressful stuff but I was still feeling fine and still happy and healthy. And then I started to notice that I was gaining a bit of weight, I couldn’t go to sleep without taking a melatonin gummy and I couldn’t stay awake during the day without at least one cup of coffee if not more. Then things got really serious when my eye couldn’t stop twitching and then I got bumps on my tongue. Seriously…bumps on my tongue. Ew. Obviously, the stress was getting to me a little more than I thought.

Continue reading How to Meditate for Stress Relief

My Top Favorite Skin Moisturizing Products

I have always thought that it is most important to take care of your natural beauty first and then you will always look lovely no matter the situation. That comes from eating well, exercising, drinking water and of course, moisturizing. I have four staple products for my skin that will forever have a home on my dresser…

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Tips On How To Love Your Body Right Now

Throughout my life, I have always struggled with body image. I remember a specific day when I was younger that me and my mom were trying on pajamas at Target. Pajamas were honest to god my favorite clothes to go shopping for because of how comfy and cute they they were especially at Target. I tried on so many pairs and got frustrated because I thought my body looked horrible in them. The tears started flowing and I asked my mom why the pajamas couldn’t fit me like they did the girl on the poster hanging above the sales rack I found them on… the skinny, heavily photoshopped girl on the poster.

Shopping for pajamas, my absolute favorite, suddenly became unenjoyable and that memory has always stuck.

It has taken me a long time to come to the understanding that a body can be absolutely beautiful and also a work in progress all at once. And to be completely honest, I am not sure how I began to truly understand that but I have come to know the following truths…

  1. True beauty, and I mean genuine, honest beauty, is a state of mind.

Confidence is key. A smile is always beautiful. The art of not giving a damn of what anyone else thinks.

2. You need to wear clothes that make you look and feel amazing no matter what number or letters are on the tag.

My favorite jeans are two sizes bigger than what I am supposed to be… Do I care? Hell. No.

Why? Because I look and most importantly feel good in them.

3. List all the things your body does for you on the daily.

Your body allows you to dance. In my case, not very well but still. It allows you to tell your parents you love them. To enjoy food. To regulate your breathing. Fights infections. Can make amazing music. To paint. To laugh until your tummy hurts. To feel emotions. This is all amazing stuff. Hold onto the idea that your body is an instrument, not an ornament.

5. Find exercise that you LOVE and do it because you love your body, not because you hate it.

6. Putting signs around your house and work that remind you of your beautiful personality really does help.

Mine are on both mirrors in my bedroom.

7. Talk to yourself like you would your friends.

You wouldn’t tell your friend that she’s fat (if you do, you might need to work on your friendship skills). So, if you wouldn’t talk to your buddy like that why are you talking to yourself like that? Whenever negative body thoughts come creeping into your mind, ask yourself if you’d say those things to your best friend. If not, make a conscious effort to reverse those thoughts.

8. Practice self care.

What have you done today to reward your body?

It took me a long time to get to a comfortable place with my body. The road that led me there was rocky and filled with highs and lows. And even so, I am still working on my improving my health as well as my mindset. You can be a masterpiece and a work in progress all at once.