Less is More

As I have gotten older I’ve realized that less is more. It really is. To be frank…sometimes having too much isn’t good. I have too many clothes… it is overwhelming picking out an outfit. It’s always “I don’t know what to wear” or ” I have nothing to wear” when in reality I have a closet overflowing with clothes. When I was growing up, I went to a private school so my wardrobe was very limited…all I had in my closet was my uniform…a couple of hand me down uniforms from my brother and then a couple of regular clothes which were also hand me downs from my cousins.

It was simple and easy. Such simpler times. Unfortunately I grew up and well my wardrobe got bigger…. I was a cross country and track & field athlete sooo I ended up with lots of running clothes…….I started to work…..sooo I ended up with business-casual clothes…..followed by going to weddings…..I ended up with a bunch of maxi dresses. Soooo next thing you know….I have a closet overflowing with clothes. Some worn once others are clearly loved and ones that have never been touched.

There are times when I actually miss having a uniform. It made my life easier. I didn’t have to prepare the night before…picking out my outfit. I already knew what I had to wear. Now I spend hours trying to decide what to wear…..don’t get me wrong it’s totally fun! but it’s also totally not. When I’m short on time and I can’t decide what to wear….it’s harder.

Not only that but fashion changes constantly……some clothes are in fashion and then with a blink of an eye they are no longer in style and next thing you know you are Poshmarking it.

It’s hard sometimes….some things haven’t changed. I still get hand me downs from my cousins but I now get hand me downs from friends as well….so that doesn’t help with picking out outfits. I have become attached to some clothing which is bad. I mean it makes sense getting attached to a prom dress ( in a sense ) but it doesn’t make sense getting super attached to all your dresses, especially ones that were never worn.

Hopefully I can get back to having less because it does make things simpler. It does make things easier and honestly it would be nice not having to wash so much! It not only saves money but also time folding clothes.

So here’s to less is more…….hopefully by the end of the year….I have that.

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Minimalism Check In

So for over a year now I have been trying to become a minimalist, granted not the Project 33 minimalist but I am trying to become more of a minimalist in a sense of where I am comfortable with a more simple lifestyle. It has honestly been a challenge. I unfortunately accumulated many items since living in two different states.

Another challenge that I have found that has become an obstacle in my quest to be a minimalist is the fact that every time I have a new job…it means a different wardrobe.  For example, working with children, I was given several t-shirts that are my uniform. SO that added to my wardrobe.

I came up with a rule that if I bought one brand new clothing item, I would get rid of 5 items….it works pretty well but it still doesn’t help me achieve my ultimate goal. It rather slows it down a tad bit.

I have been stuck for over a year trying to cleanse my closet of clothes, yet it has actually taken my boyfriend helping me with this. LOL I thought it would be wise to sell my excess clothes on Poshmark because honestly someone else could probably utilize it more than I have. Especially the clothes I own that I haven’t worn ever. I seriously have a dress problem.

In my quest, I have found that becoming a minimalist doesn’t just end at clothes but in everything. While cleaning out my bathroom, I realized I have a ton of excess stuff I don’t need. I mean it’s like I am a hoarder that doesn’t want to go shopping for supplies. I have a plethora of shampoos and conditioners as well as toothpaste and mouthwash so I don’t ever run out. The pro to that is that I don’t have to go out and buy more but the con is that it is taking up space under my bathroom sink.

Not only has that become a problem but I also forget that I have things such as razors and I go and buy more…..I have come to the conclusion that I not only need to be accountable of all the stuff I own but I need to pay more attention to the things I really don’t need. For example; I wear sunscreen everyday. I won’t go outside unless I am wearing sunscreen ( melanoma runs in my family) so I have a tendency to buy lots of sunscreen WELP! I found several cans of spray sunscreen as well as the lotion kind and sunscreen doesn’t last forever. SOOOO I have several expired sunscreens and let’s be real here…..sunscreen nowadays costs like $15. I have essentially wasted sunscreen!

So from now on, I am trying to be accountable for everything I own….not only clothes. Granted one of my best advises I can give you is to tell someone you are trying to be more of a minimalist…..they can keep you accountable and help you with this endeavor.

Look, I have been trying to become more of a minimalist for over a year, but I’m not perfect and there have been several bumps in the road…hopefully if you try this endeavor you will figure out what works best for you! For me these have been the most useful things in accomplishing my goals…slowly but surely they have been working.

  1. Tell someone so that you can stay accountable
  2. Ask yourself do you really need this?
  3. You can turn becoming a minimalist into a side hobby by selling excess clothes on Poshmark
  4. Keep a list of all the supplies you have…so you won’t have excess supplies
  5. Clean out everything not just your closet but slowly clean out other stuff
  6. Stay focused on your goal

 

Good Luck with your endeavor! Hopefully you get to a place where you are comfortable with your minimalism.

25 Things I learned from College

When I was a college student there were several things I learned as a former student-athlete that helped me get through the tough times in college. Even then, some of them I learned after graduation day.

1. Time Management is key. Especially as a student athlete this was very important for being successful in college.

2. How you see yourself matters the most. One of the hardest things I learned as a student athlete was that how I see myself is more important than what my coaches saw.

3. Surround yourself with positive people. Honestly it took me leaving college to realize this one. It’s extremely important to surround yourself with positive people that say wonderful things about you. That believe in you. That love you for who you are and support you no matter what.

4. Shut out the noise. One thing I failed to do was shut out the noise. I got so used to hearing coaches tell me how I’m replaceable or a jelly donut that I started to believe the lies.

5. Always believe in yourself. Always….I know there will be times when you will doubt yourself but always believe in yourself. That is one of the most important things to remember. Life isn’t going to be easy, but you are strong enough to ride the waves.

6. Positive Self Talk. This one helped me throughout my entire college career. I honestly kept telling myself it gets better….even if it didn’t. That is what got me through the hard days.

7. Support system. Whether your support system is small or big it’s important to have people who are there through thick and thin. People you trust your life with. Keep them close.

8. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Yes, maybe you didn’t get an A on the midterm but there’s always improvement and you can come back on the final.

9. When you’re stressed out find an outlet whether it’s meditating, hiking, reading, yoga etc…it’s important that you find an outlet.

10. Self-care is important, fake it til you make it. If you’re not confident, dress up, take care of yourself. Self-care means loving yourself and letting yourself grow.

11. Patience. Good things take time. Let yourself learn from your mistakes. You will get there, don’t worry.

12. Embrace the struggle, it is helping you become the person you are meant to be. It will make you stronger and you will realize why situations happened to you.

13. See all hardships as a way to grow and learn from it. Challenges help us change for the better.

14. Do not ever compare yourself to others. Don’t do it. It takes away from you focusing on your goals. It takes away from you living your life.

15. If it won’t matter in 5 years, you shouldn’t spend 5 minutes worrying about it. Don’t waste time stressing out over silly things.

16. You can only control how you act and react to situations. Remember that.

17. Be kind to others even if they are unkind to you. Kill them with kindness.

17. Always work hard and focus on your goals.

18. Live the life you want. Don’t spend life regretting things or risks you didn’t take.

19. Do spontaneous things, it might be one of the best things ever.

20. Learn to love and embrace rejection, it’s a part of life.

21. You are stronger than you think don’t ever forget that.

22. Not everyone will love you and that is okay. Not everyone will like you but always be respectful towards them. It shows true character.

23. Set aside personal time for yourself. Treat yo’self!

24. Do the right thing. It might be easy to cut corners but you will thank yourself in the end when you reach your goals.

25. Remember it’s your life enjoy it! And don’t let people tell you how to live it.

Summertime Sickness

One of the most frustrating things that could happen to you…is when you get sick during the summertime. The summer is for going out and exploring but not when you are cooped up in your room trying to get rid of a cold ( or at least you thought it was a cold but it’s turning out to be a lingering one)

The funny thing was, I got sick during a heat wave; where it was over 100 degrees in my hometown. It was awesome. LOL I thought I was going to get rid of my cold fast because it was so hot I would sweat it out while taking medicine; but that didn’t happen. As for my running…..well let’s just say I went from building up my mileage to 40 miles and then just with a snap of your fingers….I was at zero again.

Whatever strain of sickness I had just wouldn’t let me breathe let alone stop coughing for at least 5 minutes. As I sit here, I counted 7 days…hoping by the 7th day it would get better but NOPE! LOL I somehow thought my cold was only a head cold but instead it had trickled into my lungs. (AHHHH What is this?!?!)

DayQuil and NyQuil usually help me get rid of colds within days but boy whatever I had really drained me. I even kept eating spicy food in the hopes that that too would work…but again it wasn’t doing much other than helping me blow my nose a lot because of how hot I made my food. (HAHAHA)

I got out my humidifier and use it daily….always refilling and cleaning it, in the hopes that this too would work but so far my boyfriend laughs saying I vap my Vick’s Vapor Humidifier. The Ricola helps soothe my throat but it doesn’t help stop all the coughing.

It seemed that no matter how much tea, medicine or other thing I was doing to get rid of this cold….nothing was helping. I mean granted yes, my nose did clear up a bit but not completely. I finally was able to run for 20 minutes on the 7th day but I had to stop to cough up a bunch of mucus and man was I slow at running. My body felt all achy.

The thing that sucks though is that I have to rebuild my mileage very slowly just in case I end up getting sicker. My whole training is off schedule which does suck a tad bit. ( I should be doing workouts but I’m clearly not)

My fitness level should be better but it isn’t. Sometimes you unexpectedly get sick and just have to roll with it. Hopefully this doesn’t last two weeks or more than two weeks because that would just be no bueno. Hopefully by next week I’ll be able to breathe and run without any problems.

Summertime sickness is never fun; and to be honest I think it’s far worse than getting a cold during wintertime. It’s just not fun being stuck inside when it’s so lovely outside.

So hopefully by next week this can be gone.

 

Purposefully Running

When I was in high school the whole purpose of running was to beat your competition. It was to win a prize at the end of the race; that little medal proved that you were faster than other people.

By the time I got to college it was still the same, the whole purpose to running was to win a prize, beat people and that proved your worth. In fact for me it was far worse, the pressure in college meant that running defined who you are. If you weren’t the best then you were garbage. My collegiate running career was sub par that’s for sure.

I had never before been in a position where my worth was based on what place I got in a race. That was how I was valued. That is how many former and currently student athletes are valued :on how you perform. Sure you can argue that “well they’re paying for college” but the truth is; most universites are not giving out full rides and most students are in fact doing the sport they love for little or no money.

In my case, I turned down full rides to go to my dream school. I didn’t expect that how I performed whether good or bad determined my worth but it did.

One of the hardest things to do was to erase that. When I was in high school I ran because I loved the feeling of going fast, something about it was just so freeing. I don’t know how else to explain it. I would show up to practice and for a little bit all my worries would go away. It was my happy place.

By the time I went to college, being injured meant that you were worthless. Not winning every race meant that you were replaceable. You needed to be a robot ; you are not allowed to have a bad day and that scholarship (that wasn’t a full ride) was used as a weapon against you. You didn’t perform, they could take it away if they wanted to.

The joy of running slowly diminished. The whole purpose of running was pure joy, a stres reliver and instead it became the sourse of stress, school all of a sudden was now the stress reliever.

The medals became an even bigger deal, if you didn’t get a prize, you were written off as useless. The staff didn’t care about you as a person. They didn’t want to develop you. You were on your own sister. Get your act together and figure everything out on your own.

The purpose of running became to please the coaches so that you could keep your scholarship. The purpose was no longer what it was back when you were in high school.

It changed. The sport you loved now was suddenly became the most stressful thing you had.

So how do you run with a purpose that’s worth running for? 

How do you run when the only reason you are running is to keep a scholarship?

How do you bring the joy back into running?

It’s easier said than done.

I found that I wasn’t running for people, I was running for myself. It is something I do for myself and not to please other people. I am human. I have good and bad days. I get sick, I get injured and that doesn’t change who I am as a person. Running is something I do, something I am passionate about. It doesn’t define me. I race against a clock, pushing myself to see how I can better myself. Yes, there are other people in the races but they too are pushing themselves to better themselves. We may be racing against each other but we are also helping each other PR and be our very best.

Don’t ever forget the reason why you love something. Some days may be hard. There may be times when you feel like quitting. Just always remember your purpose. The reason why you are doing something you are passionate about.

Don’t let others define you based on how they see you. We all have a purpose in this life and we all matter. You have a purpose. You are worth it. Anyone who doesn’t see value in you isn’t worth your time.

It took me 4 years to realize that. It took me moving to a different state to realize I am valued and that running doesn’t define me. I purposefully run for myself and for no one else. That has made all the difference.

 

Running Hobby

I joke all the time to people that my hobby is cheap lol I just have a pair of running shoes, a watch and that’s it besides cute running clothes every once in a while but other than that it’s a pretty cheap hobby. Honestly, I am biased so I think it is.(LOL)

I don’t need a gym membership to do strength exercises although it is nice to have one.

I don’t need expensive gear for running although foam rollers, and strengthening bands are life savers.

With running you can improvise…you don’t have a foam roller that’s okay! Just use a baking roller.

You don’t have a yoga mat to stretch on? It’s alright! just use the pavement or even grass or better yet, a sweater!

You don’t have an expensive stretching rope lol just use a jump rope instead.

No gym membership, you can always use a kiddie plaground, the park or your backyard for that.

Need to do step ups? Use a bench.

Need to lift weights? Use random objects in your house (lol) I have used heavy books at times to lift weights before I bought dumbbells.

Need to do core? You don’t need a machine for that; planks, wall sits, flutterkicks, and a whole bunch of other exercises can help.

Need to strengthen your legs? Do single legged stands, single legged squats, regular squats, step ups… you can use nature to help or even a bench in the park.

Coming back from an injury, make sure to cross train with a bike or swim in a pool.Don’t have either one? Ask a friend if you can borrow their bike or swim in their pool.

Don’t have a fancy GPS watch? You can downloads apps to know your pace and time.

Need to replace your running shoes?
There’s always running shoes on sale online! Sometimes you can even get running shoes for $50!

Can’t replace your running shoes yet? Duck tape is gonna be your new best friend (for a little bit)

Want to do yoga to stretch but can’t afford to take classes? Google and watch Yoga videos on YouTube! ( As a former poor college student my friends and I had to get creative with a lot of things)

Don’t have compression socks for when your legs are achy? Take an ice bath! Just get ice from you frige and pour it in your bathtube! Don’t have a bathtube? Use a trash can ( Make sure it’s clean)

Sometimes sports can get expensive and you have to be creative to take care of yourself.

I have done some silly things to keep myself healthy back in high school, simple things such as resting your legs by leaning them up against a wall, taking ice baths by dumping ice in my bathtube to taping up my feet when my arches fell, walking around barefoot to strengthen my feet.

Running can technically become expensive if you make it but it can also be relatively cheap depending on how you utulize the things in your house and the things around you to help with your runs.

Carbs are Friends & Food

As a runner we always had pasta nights and carb loaded the night before races in high school. All I had ever known is that you need carbs to help your body to perform the next day.

In college…..well let’s just say Carbs stop being your friend. Why? Honestly I have no idea. All I can say is we had one girl on the team who has celiacs disease which means she can’t eat gluten. Her body doesn’t process it, if she does eat gluten it’s detrimental to her. But for some odd reason one by one people started to get the brilliant idea to be gluten free even though they don’t have celiacs disease. Basically if you have celiacs disease you cannot eat wheat. Well wheat is in bread and wheat is a carbohydrate.

Gluten free foods still contain carbohydrates. You see when an entire team doesn’t have a nutritionist major among us well we tend to mix things up. Yes, gluten and carbohydrates go hand in hand.

Maybe it was because at the time it was cool to be gluten free. I can only speculate at this point but, all I can tell you is that carbohydrates such as pasta and bread were seen as bad. Slowly girls stopped eating them.

Carbs somehow were the enemy……..the enemy for runners…..( yes, collegiate runners).
I have been fortune to have lived with several girls throughout the last 6 years and yes, with the exception of one year, I roomed with all runners.

One thing I’ve noticed about myself that can be seen as a good thing and a bad thing is that I actually pick up other people’s habits that I live with. And yes, that means eating habits so if my roommate loves eating zucchini trust me my zucchini intake goes up.Just like if my roommate’s carb intake decreases and there’s not that much carbs in the house….well guess who’s carb intake lowers?Mine.

There’s Pros and Cons to rooming with runners and non-runners.

For instance living with runners:
Pros:
-you have someone who understands when you’re sore from running/working out
-you have a running buddy!
– someone you travel with to meets
-they understand your obsession with running
-core buddy!
-they understand the runner life
-they go to bed around the same time as you
– you have similar schedules

Cons:
-eating can become an issue
-competition can be too much
-always being around runners can sometimes make you go crazy
constantly comparing body parts
unhealthy obsession with weight

For me personally….the eating thing can become a problem. I’ve had roommates that I kid you not, would count out 6 pieces of pretzels to eat for snack and skip dinner. I’ve had a roommate who honestly it was a rare sighting when she ate carbs such as bread and pasta like as rare as seeing a blue moon ( which happens once every 2.7 years) I’m basically saying she ate those carbs once every 2 years and for someone that’s a runner (okay, so it was more like every 6 months she would eat those carbs)…….it’s concerning.

Yet, I would find myself sitting next to my roommates looking at our dinners. Dissecting how all our dinners were different. We each made our own dinners. Mine would always seem to have more food on my plate and I would have carbs compared to one of my roommates.

It actually got to a point where I became uncomfortable eating food around one of them. I’m not even joking I would purposely eat food at different times than her.

The truth is I had no idea that I was slowly phasing out carbs. It wasn’t until one of my roommates who loves carbs, commented on how I haven’t been eating pasta lately. She made me ponder on when was the last time I’d eaten pasta. The truth was probably around 4 months. Which is not a good thing for someone who runs almost everyday.

I had to take a step back and become more aware of my surroundings and I realized that my thought process was the following :

-she’s not eating pasta so why am I?
-she’s not eating bread so why am I?
-she runs more mileage than me so why is it that I have carbs on my plate and she doesn’t?
– she doesn’t eat cereal so maybe I should limit my cereal intake.

I had inadvertently phased out carbs because it wasn’t really present in our pantry or our fridge except for my stuff.
It’s hard at times living with other runners because you start comparing yourselves to each other. It’s like she has rock hard abs…..she doesn’t eat carbs so maybe if I stop eating carbs I will get abs too! ( Totally messed up thought process, don’t start thinking like that, it’s toxic)

One thing I did notice in my 6 years of living with a bunch of roommates is this…….popcorn is low in carbs. I love popcorn but I noticed the girls with the major carb problem…..popcorn was the only carb they would eat and it wouldn’t suffice for someone who averages running 10 miles a day.

They would be on low carbs as much as possible so when I was shoving cookies in my mouth…or even had pasta I noticed popcorn was the solution for many girls on how to get some sort of carb into their bodies.

There are fruits and veggies that have carbohydrates but I came to the realization that we were all eating fruits and veggies which were low carbs.

That’s hard to handle at times. How do you be okay with eating certain foods that one of your roommates stopped eating? I understand the whole notion of eating clean but there’s a point when eating clean starts to go the other way. There becomes a danger zone.

I think for me one of the healthiest things I’ve done was I stopped living with runners. I no longer feel bad eating carbs. If I want a piece of cake, I’ll have a piece of cake. I eat everything in moderation that’s never been a problem for me but one problem that has occurred is the lack of eating carbs whenever I’m living with other runners.

Carbohydrates supply the body with glucose which then gives us energy. Carbs are friends and food, especially for runners.