What’s Driving Your Self Improvement?

Hello Bloginis!

Today I opened my email to find a truthbomb that really resonated with me.

truthbomb

What’s driving your self-improvement? 

So I started thinking about self-improvement in a personal sense as well as a business sense, considering my career revolves around helping others with nutrition improvement.

As far as personal self-improvement goes I have found that I am mostly driven by my goal of trying to change the world with the light inside me, however, my dirty little secret of not loving my body and myself 100% seems to still be sneaking up into the driver’s seat of my self-improvement car.

This made me think back to a statistic I heard a couple of days ago….

The other day while driving into work I switched up my routine by listening to NPR as opposed to listening to my usual radio stations.

It was a nice switch up as I learned about what was happening in the world and what different types of radishes exist, as well as the fun fact that back in the day orange carrots were considered unusual and the typical carrot colors used to be purple, white, and yellow.

The program that came on right as I pulled into work had to do with stress related to appearance.  Apparently NPR took a poll and in our current society appearance is a major cause of stress.  You heard me right, it isn’t work, social life, or diseases, it is appearance!  After hearing this I thought to myself “I don’t want to be this statistic.  I wish I could just tell that negative voice in my head to f*** off.”

This brings me to my next point of self-improvement in a business sense.  I had an epiphany this morning (actually at this exact moment ) that my purpose at this point in my life is to find self-acceptance internally and help others find this through nutrition and wellness. 

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This is my epiphany pose

So I challenge you to sit down and ask yourself: What’s driving your self-improvement?  You may not learn anything you didn’t know before or you may have a light-bulb moment like I did.

Whatever this exercise brings up for you; accept it without judgement. If your dirty little secret sneaks up in the driver’s seat acknowledge it and say to yourself I choose love over this. Love the you that you are now and realize your potential.  Like I told a patient today, this is a marathon not a sprint, a journey not a destination.

Enjoy the ride and go get ‘em tiger!

tiger

amandasig4

Weekend Recap

Hello bloginis,

This past weekend was a blast!  Full of life lessons, yoga, yummy eats, sister time, water time, and new digs explorations.

Let’s start with the yoga which leads into the life lessons……

My friend Stephanie and I decided to do some waterside yoga which turned into an Instagram yoga session.  We took some poses that had intrigued us on Instagram and tried to see if we could get into them (as gently as possible of course).  I am happy to say I was able to get into this version of camel below:

I couldn't believe I could do this!

I couldn’t believe I could do this!

The next pose was a little more tricky and helped me to learn a life lesson.  Stephanie had done the pose first and because she is a little shorter than me she was able to do the pose and straighten her legs beautifully.

before bruise

Meanwhile, when I did the pose and tried to straighten my legs and found I wasn’t able to (in reality there wasn’t enough space) but I kept trying by pushing my feet into each side of the balcony as hard as I could which in turn put way too much strain on my upper body resulting in me falling resulting in a nice scrape/shiner around my left eye.

This made me realize that yoga looks different on everybody and that you shouldn’t push your body to do something that may not even be possible (unless I shrink a few inches) or something that it is just not ready for.  In yoga we always talk about the concept of being gentle to your body, but it wasn’t until this pose that I was trying to force my legs straight that I realized this was going against one of the biggest lessons in yoga.

After my little accident I went to my sister’s new house for some girl time and a sleepover.  I made dinner and she made me cookies.  It was so nice to spend time with her as I had just found out the potential new digs that the boy and I were looking at had already been promised to another renter, needless to say the cookies complete with vanilla almond milk made me feel better (or was it the dance/singing party my sister and I had?).

cookies

The next morning I woke up and attended a stand up paddleboard (SUP) yoga class which was just the right mix of challenging and fun (sorry no pictures).

As for the new digs news; as I said before the other place I blogged about last week fell through but like I always say, everything happens for a reason…..because we then found a place that we both knew immediately was the place, and so we put in an application!  More details to come :)

Anyways I hope you had a great weekend and your week is shaping up to be an awesome week!

amandasig4

Getting it Done

Hello all my bloginis!

This week I have been really hard on myself about the amount of activity and the type of activity that I have been incorporating into my routine.  For example, I go into work late on Tuesdays and typically I go to the horse farm but lately I have been craving yoga and have opted for that instead. But after I finish yoga I feel guilty that I didn’t spend time outside or didn’t get in a hardcore sweat fest workout.

About a month ago I read an article on Tiny Buddha that spoke about not looking at exercise as another checkbox on the to-do list but instead looking at it as an opportunity to let go and enjoy life and movement.

I read another article about a week ago on the same site about doing things that speak to your soul as opposed to doing things that you feel you “should” do.

Then I checked in with my nutrition and fitness app that I use for work and saw the reality of what my daily activity looks like:

euco

euco2I was shocked to see that I was actually getting in so much activity!

One aspect of my exercise routine that I am in the process of changing is not scheduling workouts in my google calendar as my schedule right now is all patient driven (i.e. not very consistent and all over the place) so scheduling workouts actually makes me more stressed out and less likely to workout=no buneo! So even though I suggest to some of my patients to schedule workouts into their calendars; it is not appropriate for everyone especially if it is having a negative effect on your stress level and motivation.  

By not putting the workouts on my schedule I am able to check in with how I am feeling and what activity I feel will give me the most pleasure and stress release. It also affords me the flexibility to be available for those ‘on-the-fly’ workouts when I a friend texts you and invites you to a cycling class (which is exactly what happened yesterday).

Just another life lesson I learned this week that I thought I would share.

Happy stress-free sweating y’all,

amandasig4

 

 

 

 

5 Years, New Digs, and the Morning Routine

Good Monday morning to you bloginis!

5 Years

This past weekend I celebrated 5 years with the boy.  We went to Parts & Labor and had an amazing meal while sitting at the bar (unfortunately no pictures).  Parts & Labor is the newest addition to the Woodberry Kitchen family and my how delicious it is.  We ordered eggplant with tomato-honey and basil, blood sausage with a fried egg and apple butter toast, and dirty rice with lamb and scallions.  For dessert the boy ordered a blondie with peach caramel and fresh cream ice cream and I ordered chocolate cake with blackberries and fresh whipped cream.  Wow I really should have taken pictures huh?  Needless to say everything tasted fantastic.

New Digs

On Sunday the boy and I drove out to Sparrows Point to look at a possible new living situation (link to pictures is in the New Digs caption). As of right now it looks as if someone is ahead of us in the application process but the landlord states that we are number 2 in case number 1 falls through!  Fingers crossed and prayers please!

Morning Routine

I definitely stayed up way too late last night finishing my yoga teacher training assessment final, but I turned it in and all I have to do now is wait for the paperwork to be delivered!

I had trouble falling asleep last night which I think had something to do with all the emotions that happened this weekend (5 years, end of teacher training, viewing the new house and then being told it may already be taken), not to mention I spent most of Sunday outside in the muggy hotness with these fine folks…….

fam

Don’t you just love my face and my hairdo?  #Highclassstyle

But anyways the point of going to bed late on Sundays is that I feel I start my whole week off on a lazy foot.  I woke up this morning and had enough time (and energy) to shower, throw on some makeup, grab a water and Quest bar for breakfast and get out the door.  Then when I got to work I was informed that we would be having a noon meeting rendering my workout planned for 1130-1230 void.  Enter frustration for lack of activity.

At least I have an acro yoga jam planned for this evening and I would love to get in a run but we will see if that happens.

All this rambling makes me realize that, damn, I NEED to change my morning routine and maybe the start of this is early to bed on Sundays (and definitely less tv but it feels so good sometimes to drown out the world with a couple of Top Chef episodes, but hey, that’s a whole other post).

Happy Monday!  Hope you feel more efficient than I do!

amandasig4

 

I Am a Big Kid Now!

Hello all my blogis!

I hope life is treating you well and that you had a wonderful July 4th holiday.  I myself had a fantastic holiday (loved the three day weekend) and am ready for another weekend to be here.

So it has officially been over 1 year since I took the RD exam and passed and it has almost been a year since getting my first big girl job!  My how time flies.

There have been so many important life lessons that I have had over the past year and I must say that I am so thankful for all of my experiences and opportunities.  The one opportunity that has really been life changing for me has been my yoga teacher training.  This training has really helped me to grow spiritually and has given me another way to worship God and to find love for the person He made me to be.

pilar and me

After a tumultuous year I finally feel peace and happiness overtaking the dark clouds that were shrouding the view of my life.  I finally see what a fantastic, wild, messy, perfectly imperfect life I have and guess what…..I LOVE IT.  I wouldn’t trade my life experiences for anyone else’s and I am happy where I am in life at this exact moment.

down dog wall


dancer

Thank you all (all maybe 2 of you or 200 of you) for allowing me to share my journey with you.  Have a great weekend!

amandasig4

 

 

 

Fun in the Sun and Facing Fears

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This past weekend I enjoyed some much needed girl time with my Momma and some of the teachers I work with at the Highlands school. The picture above shows some of us and the big bike ride adventure we took on Saturday, we rode 18 miles (maybe more as the 18 was just a guess)!

Some of the roads we rode on were definitely fear inducing, but our fearless leaders Kathy (in the green shirt) and Sara (in the highlighter color shirt) helped to give me the courage that we would make it through alive.

Speaking of fear, I realized something this past week while meditating on some recent life happenings.  I would say one of my main goals in life since starting yoga teacher training has been to move forward (as opposed to staying stagnant) on the path to self-realization to find true freedom.  Yeah that is a great goal and all (I feel that goal sounds so dignified) but I have realized just how hard it has been to move forward.  As of right now my progress feels like that of a snail (maybe in a year I will get to hermit crab status).

My fears in life have been the most prominent obstacles that I have been trying to abolish to continue on my path.  I honestly never knew how many fears I had but I will list those I have been struggling with below and what I have learned from these fears (I am hoping sharing them will help you identify your own fears and help me to better identify mine).

-Fear of betrayal and loss of love

  • Fear: I have had some pretty toxic friendships before and am always a little nervous to let my love shine too brightly for fear that I will be taken advantage of.
  • Lesson:  Shining my light as bright as possible will attract people with similar lights into my life.

-Fear of not being who people expect me to be

  • Fear: The past couple of months I have been knocked down and drugged out by society’s standards for a woman of my age.
  • Lesson: When gravity and fear knocks you down, you place your hands or head on the ground and throw your feet up into the air.  This changes your perspective on life and opens your mind to new possibilities. Oh yeah and fuck what society says, I am on my own path, not my friend’s, nor my sister’s, nor my mother’s, nor my brother’s.

-Fear of not being happy when I get older

  • Lesson: Live in and love the right here and right now because this moment is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Yoga and meditation have taught me so much and I am happy I have made them a priority in my life, however, I have learned that self-realization is not a destination but rather a journey.  The words I have painted above are nice sentiments but the key with yoga is to keep these words in the your mind at all times…. on good and bad days….on cloudy days….stressful days…..wedding days……new house days…..traveling days…..and traffic days.

Namaste!

amandasig4

It’s Been A Long Time, I Shouldn’t Have Left You

Hello!  How are you all?  It’s been a long time I shouldn’t have left you without a dope beat to step to!

I have been going through some major life changes lately and have been doing a lot of thinking.  Here are just a few things that have been on my mind:

1) Well first of all I was concerned with whether or not I should even blog again considering I had a patient go onto my blog and print out posts then misconstrue my words and try to get me fired…..I ending up quitting a couple of weeks later as I realized “my dream job” was just a stepping stone in my life and that it was no longer serving me and it was time to move on.

2) Comparing is not caring. I have developed this terrible habit lately of comparing myself (specifically my relationship and life status) to others (specifically their relationship and life status).  Obviously it has taken quite a negative toll on my relationship.  I have been making it my daily intention to love where I am in life and be grateful for every wonderful day I am given.

3) Who am I truly? I have realized that the path to finding ourselves and enlightenment is just that a path not a destination.  Everyday I am learning how to love myself and life more and become happier with who I am in this moment.  I have really been struggling the past couple of months and there has been lots of tears as I have gone through life changes but as I continue my yoga journey, have found a spiritual mentor, have changed my environment to be conducive to my new core desired feelings, and have changed my mind; I am starting to see the world in a clearer light.

Whew I am getting deep now.  I will leave you with pictures of life lately and the promise that I will start blogging once a week for the next month.

lemon rasp tart

539619b2230193.01508487

Man Up is here!

 

Stay grounded but don’t be afraid to float,

amandasig4

“Ahimsa!” Bless you?

For 2014 I have decided instead of setting more resolutions I am going to channel my energy into fulfilling one of my life long dreams.  The dream that I am have chosen to chase for 2014 is becoming a yoga teacher, and it is turning out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

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When I went to the first weekend of trainings the instructor pointed out how when people typically introduce themselves they always start with their occupation.  I am definitely one of those people because as long as I can remember I have wanted a successful and fulfilling career.

I have chased after this dream so much lately that my life has become dominated by work, and not just any work, but work that I have found to be unfulfilling and tedious.  I have been telling myself that I shouldn’t worry that it is just a phase and on the bright side I am making lots of money.  But yet I can’t stop the negative angry thoughts from culminating in my mind, and now after a couple weeks of this feeling I know that something is wrong and that, no, this is not just a phase.

The first yama (guideline) of the Yoga Sutras (guidelines for living a happier, more enlightened life) is ahimsa (and no that is not a sneeze!) which is translated to mean “non-violence.”  This refers to not only physical violence but also to the violence of words or thoughts.  The Yoga Journal states the importance of ahimsa with this quote:

“It is often said that if one can perfect the practice of ahimsa, one need learn no other practice of yoga, for all the other practices are subsumed in it.”

After learning this in teacher training and reading this quote I started thinking to myself the true importance of ahimsa.  I realized that over these last couple weeks of 2014 my heart and mind have been in discord and I have been trying to suppress the weariness of my heart with violent thoughts in my mind.  I dug deeper to find the source of this violence.

As I was driving home from a very long day at work one evening I heard these lyrics from The Verve song Bittersweet Symphony,

 “You are a slave to money then you die.”

Even though I had heard this song many times, it was this moment that I had an epiphany and realized that I had become a slave to money and had become very unhappy in the process!  I thought back to the first day in my teacher training and realized that instead of saying my occupation I should have been honest and described myself as a slave to money, because essentially that is what I am currently doing.

I want to be more than a slave to money and I want to find more ahimsa in my life and my thoughts.

 

My goals for this week:

Last week my friend pointed out that my goals were a little intense, and looking back, I totally agree.  Some were completely unrealistic too (i.e. no eating after 8pm when I get off work at 730-8pm)!  So this week I am going to be real:

  1.  Find ahimsa by deep breathing when I am angry or frustrated
  2.  Meditating 3x/week
  3.  Eating a sweet treat 2x/week

Motivational Monday: I Need Motivation Stat!

This past week went crazy fast, then I spent the weekend pretty much doing nothing that I wanted to do but instead working.  I am really bad at overbooking myself and not leaving enough time for myself.  It dawned on me this weekend while I was shopping at {a fully packed} Wegmen’s on Sunday morning with the rest of the Hunt Valley population that I NEED to take a step back, take a deep breath, and disappear off the face of the earth for the 2 days that includes my weekend.

Luckily for me I have my yoga teacher training this weekend so I will be able to relax {somewhat as I haven’t done any of the homework I was supposed to do over the last month}.

With all that being said, as well as $30 down the drain on my Blogilates DietBet experience {instead of losing 6% of my body weight I gained weight!}, missing church this Sunday, not practicing yoga on the daily, and not working out like I should be for mental and physical health……I NEED SOME MOTIVATION STAT!

After reading a success book last year for my dietetic internship, I know that what I have to do is focus on the bright spots of my life currently and set goals to help me get to where I need to be.  So here it goes:

Bright Spots:

  1. Plan my workouts for the week
  2. Have motivation to push myself to the limit
  3. Drink lots of water (typically over 64 oz per day)
  4. Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep most nights
  5. Bought a Polar Heart Rate monitor to keep track of my fitness
  6. Bought a cell phone case to wear on my arm to have music to motivate me while working out
  7. Keeping track of all my food via myfitnesspal {doing this for the new 90 day weight loss challenge at work.  I vowed to them I would keep track if they do!}

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Goals to Accent the Bright Spots:

  1. Don’t eat after 8pm
  2. Workout at least 5 times per week for at least 30 minutes
  3. Meditate 3x per week for at least 10 minutes, focusing on self appreciation
  4. Don’t schedule anything after 9pm or on weekends {this is the time to find my zen and go with the flow of what life brings}
  5. Love myself more by not looking to lose weight but better my mental and physical health

There is my plan for the week starting right….NOW!

What are your plans for this awesome week?  Are you stuggling with motivation lately?  What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

Have the best week ever {I know I will},

amandasig4

 

Motivational Monday: Get In Your Kitchen

Happy Monday!

This past weekend I ended up working on Saturday at a client/friends house helping her and her parents learn the basics of eating healthy.  I usually don’t like working weekends but this family was definitely an exception.  They were so laid back and fun to be around I felt like I was hanging out with my own family!  We made chicken and white bean soup with lots of herbs, beet, sweet potato, and parsnip chips, cauliflower crust pizza, homemade hummus, homemade mayo, and healthier blueberry muffins.

mel and meSome of the fruits of our labor ;)

Their kitchen won the award for prettiest and most well stock kitchen I have ever cooked in!  I can’t wait to go back.

So the motivation within this post is to grab your friend, your husband, your dog even, and get into your kitchen!

Oh and in other news: I have gotten ANOTHER (I know I am crazy) job. On Mondays (starting tonight) I will be working afternoons and evenings at The Body Image Therapy Center in Columbia.  I am going to shadow the current RD now and we are doing the therapeutic meal tonight (everyone cooks together to create a lovely meal and then we sit and enjoy each other’s company and the meal).  So far all I know is that on the menu tonight is bacon mac n’ cheese….yum!

Oh and lastly to inspire you to reach your dreams: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/md-nutrition-program-makes-food-fun/2014/01/26/8075d31a-869c-11e3-a760-a86415d0944d_story.html.  I never let anything stop me and it has paid off :)

Happy Monday, now go cook yourself a delicious, healthy or comforting meal!

amandasig4