How to Find Your Fitness Tribe

How to Find Your Fitness Tribe

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Working on your health and fitness can be a very personal thing. For some it’s hard to open up and be vulnerable about this topic, for others it’s downright embarrassing and even making the decision to work on your health can hit you on a superpersonal level! When you start something with such high stakes in a place where it is so easy to stumble, pick yourself up and stumble again (it happens to everyone!). Still, I see so many women try to tackle this huge task on their own. But think for a minute, what would change if you took a risk and opened up for other women to be on this ride with you? I'll tell you what happens...you set off a domino effect of momentum.

Now that we have established that including others in your new mission can be huge for you, how do you go about finding this tribe?

Maybe finding other women on the same schedule as you is hard, or maybe you are just an introvert and would rather do it alone, that's ok too. But, if you are motivated by others and you thrive off of the energy around you, here are a few steps to finding your fitness tribe.

 

It starts with a nudge.

Just the simple move of picking a confidant or two is a powerful motivator. When you verbalize your goals (or your fears) to another person, they will be there to push you and to keep you motivated and staying the course. Sometimes that's all we need, a positive word or a high-five.

And that creates a tipping point.

Even a little bit of accountability can go a long way.  This accountability has a huge impact on altering your mindset to push past the fears and hesitation and really kick up the importance you give your goals. This spark will give rise to new things like wearing workout clothes that make you feel sexy and powerful. Where the mind goes the body will follow, enjoy this new boost and take advantage.

Now, you are on a roll.

When you are sharing your goals with other driven women (people), suddenly those hurdles don't seem so big and those setbacks aren't so devastating. Now you are a part of something bigger, you are now part of a large group effort and you realize you are not the only one with struggles and hardships, you are not the only one who tripped over that invisible bump in the road because you’re in this together.

Wait, did this just become a party?

When you have finally found your tribe, you will feed off of their drive and determination, you will receive their energy and they will receive yours. Motivation is contagious, catch that shit! When your little group starts to generate more and more energy, everyone will feel it and it will just keep circulating. The more you tap into this new power, the more you will be able to harvest this new energy and take it with you everywhere you go.

Don’t forget to take your victory lap.

The greatest triumphs come from putting your goal to the test.  When you hit your first small goal, celebrate it. Your tribe will feel that victory as much as you and it will make you realize nothing can keep you going strong like success.  Let your tribe in on your accomplishment whenever you cross a finish line to lean into that energy and excitement. Next thing you know you'll be looking for higher mountains to climb.

 

This can look many different ways for you. Maybe your tribe is at the local gym, a CrossFit box, or maybe they meet in the park every morning, maybe you meet at the track or virtually online. There is no right or wrong way to find your tribe, the real step is just opening your eyes to find them, reach out… get vulnerable, after all, that's where the magic happens.  

 

Leave me a comment below if you have found your tribe, or if you are on the hunt!

You can also join my small tribe for our  FREE month-long Harvest of Happiness Challenge which will begin on October 1st but you can jump in at any time.

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Why online quizzes are all the craze!

Why take a silly quiz? 

It seems like taking online quizzes is the rage over the last few years. So why do we spend time taking these silly quizzes that may or may not have any relation to the results? 

Well obviously because it breaks up the monotony of scrolling Facebook and they, of course, it's fun to tell your friends what kind of pizza you would be, but psychologists agree there is more to it. 

There is a theory of narrative psychology that helps humans make sense of their lives by organizing events into stories that will fit together over time. When we can create these “biographies” that help explain who we are and where we come from it goes into our own developing stories and helps make us the hero. These quizzes also go along to reaffirm the perceptions we have already made of ourselves. 

Quizzes also give us a new setting to look into ourselves. Our Ego is constantly searching for self-assessment and self-awareness and it is much easier to let a quiz be the inward mirror than it is to look within. 

Social media adds a separate dimension to these quizzes because as humans we are always wondering what other people think of us. After taking a quiz and sharing the results we can silently wait for our friends and followers to comment and respond to our answer making quizzes an easy and non-threatening way of finding out what others think. 

Plus, who doesn't want to find out what their unique self-care love language is and share it with the whole world (or at least the social media world). 
If you haven't already, take the quiz and discover your self-care love language TODAY! 

And then what do you do after the quiz? 

Well, I am glad you asked! 

After you discover your love language it is time to nurture it. The perfect way to do that is through my self-care group coaching program. The doors are opening very soon. So check out the details and let me know if you have any questions. 

Simple Daily Pregnancy Exercise Routine

I imagine that the title alone evoked curiosity in expecting mothers from a varied background when it comes to approach to fitness.

“I’m already athletic and confident in my fitness regime, but hey, never hurts to get new inspiration!”

“Oh good, I’ve been looking for someone to tell me exactly what to do in terms of fitness while pregnant - I want to be active, but am not sure what I should be doing.”

“Do I really have to exercise? I’m more tired than ever and didn’t exercise regularly prior to pregnancy, so why bother starting now?”

As a birth doula, I regularly encounter all of the above responses and more.  Here’s the great news: the tips that I’m about to share with you are things that anyone CAN do and everyone SHOULD do in order to prepare your body for birth.  This won’t be your typical list of cardio and resistance exercises, but it is vital to enabling your body to birth more easily.

WHY

Think of preparing for birth as preparing for a marathon.  It’s called labor for a reason! Would you show up for your first marathon without training? Of course not! Similarly, the way that you train matters as much as training at all.  

Although women have been birthing babies for thousands of years, our current society is incredibly sedentary, which has direct implications on our ability to birth easily.  Ab muscles that we need to be strong are weak, muscles and ligaments that need to be relaxed are tight, and all of this impacts our baby’s specific position in the womb as well as our body’s ability to coordinate efficiently and effectively during birth.  

Did you know that the average first time mother could be in labor 17-20 hours including both early and active stages of labor? Who wouldn’t want to shorten that time frame?

WHAT

According to Spinning Babies, the three most important principles to help you labor more easily are balance, movement, and gravity.  The following exercises intentionally incorporate these principles.

Walk

Yup, it’s really that simple.  Daily walking will help keep your cardio in shape, loosen stiff muscles, and engage your full body.  The pelvic movement that occurs helps keep your lower back strong and walking keeps psoas muscles stretched and flexible too.  Aim for 30 minutes daily, but if you can’t do it all at once, break it up into 2 shorter sessions.  

Psoas Release

Speaking of the psoas muscles, if they are tight, you will be uncomfortable and your baby won’t descend easily.  The simplest way to stretch it is to lie on your back with your feet on a chair or couch, so that your knees are at 90 degree angles, thighs vertical, legs horizontal.  Relax and breathe deeply for 5 minutes, then slowly return to a sitting position.  For a deeper look at ways to perform psoas release, check out this Spinning Babies link.

Pelvic Tilts

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These combine gravity, movement, and balance, so you get a lot of bang for your buck here.  Position yourself on all fours, with knees and hands evenly balanced, legs straight behind you.  Imagine pressing your belly button to your spine as you curve your back and move your hips/pelvis forward.  Hold for a moment and release your breath as you return your back to a neutral position.  This is similar to calf/cow in yoga, but without the sway back.  Start at 20 reps and build your way up each week.  For maximum effect, perform 1 set at least 3 times per day.  

Forward Leaning Inversion

It’s especially important that you check with your care provider before trying this position, as there are a few conditions that are contraindications to using it.  This makes use of balance to aid the ligaments that support the lower uterine segment in relaxing. Kneel on a sturdy surface such as a couch or large chair.  Carefully walk your way down to your arms, so that your butt is high in the air and your head is resting on your forearms.  Maintain the position only as long as you are comfortable and then slowly come back to an upright position.  For safety, have someone in the house who can spot you while you do this one! Alternatively, you can have your partner support you with a blanket or sheet under your baby bump and around your hips while you lean forward on the floor.  

Hip Circles on Exercise Ball

You’ll need an exercise ball for this one - make sure it’s inflated enough so that there’s an even line from your hips to knees when you sit. Simply sit with a wide leg stance and move your hips in a wide 360 degree circle - feel like you’re ready to win a hula hooping contest! Make sure you feel your butt going all the way behind you at one point of the circle and tucking underneath you as you come back around. This will help a LOT with hip flexibility as well as core strength.  Start with 20 per side at least twice per day. 

Squats

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The famous midwife Ina May is known for saying “If you squat 300 times a day, you will give birth very easily.” You may not reach that high number, but any squatting is beneficial! Squatting helps your low back, core, creates a “hammock” space for your uterus, which relaxes supporting muscles and ligaments, and prepares the perineum for birth! It also shortens the birth canal when squatting in labor, so being comfortable with squatting by labor is a major plus!

For a proper squat, be sure to have knees wider than your hips, toes pointing forward, and keep your feet flat on the ground.  Have something nearby you can grab if you lose your balance or use the wall for support against your back - no falling! Be sure to stick your butt behind you and push through your legs on the way back up.  Hold each squat for 20-30 seconds and breathe deeply.  Try 3-5 per set. Check out this video for a good squat demo. 

Belly Sifting

Belly sifting may be new to many readers, but it feels oh so good! Do this right before bed and you will fall into a dream sleep.  All you need is a small sheet, thin blanket, or shawl and a partner to assist you.  Kneel on all fours like you are about to do pelvic tilts.  Have your partner place the blanket completely around the baby bump and hold the excess in their hands.  They will gently lift up, so that you feel your belly supported by the tension of the blanket.  Your partner will move their arms in a gentle sifting motion as you relax.  Try this for 2-5 minutes, or as long as your partner’s arms will hold up. ;) When finished, your partner should stop sifting and THEN gently release support pressure through the blanket. 

Taylor/Asymmetrical Sitting

Back to that “we sit too much” thought...if you’re going to sit, sit well.  When sitting in a chair, make sure you’re actually sitting on your sitz bones, you know, the bony part of your butt, and not your tail bone.  This puts your uterus/baby in a better position and uses more abdominal support.  If you sit a lot for work, consider bringing an exercise ball to work and sitting on that instead of a chair - you virtually can’t sit wrong on that and it will help with hip flexibility too! Chilling at home for the evening or on the floor all day with littles? Use taylor sitting - sort of like criss cross applesauce, but without crossing your legs.  Just let your hips and knees fall open and feet touch so that your legs make a diamond shape, which keeps your hips in a nice open position.  From that position, you could also stick one leg out in front of you for an asymmetrical position - both are good postural positions and keep your hips and pelvis from getting too tight.  

When

All of the activities above are recommended for daily use.  You’ll get the most benefit from pelvic tilts, hip circles, and squats if you do them multiple times a day.  Want even more? Check out Spinning Babies’ post on Daily Essentials.  Or better yet, hire a doula! Doulas are there to support you through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and many are trained in pregnancy fitness, including Spinning Babies, and can guide you through these exercises and much more.  

Drink, Drink, Drink!

Finally, remember to hydrate! You need to be drinking MUCH more during pregnancy than you did prior to pregnancy.  That whole 8 glasses a day thing? Think of that as a bare minimum guide to how much you should drink each day.  Check with your care provider regarding your own health, but a better guideline would be 75-100 oz daily.  For best hydration, the majority of this should be water, natural fruit juices (not concentrates) or herbal tea.  Adding lemon juice to your water helps your body absorb it and stay hydrated longer, or you could try coconut water for additional electrolytes.  Get creative with fruit infusions! Bonus: staying hydrated often helps reduce Braxton Hicks and means you’ll be less likely to need an IV drip for fluids at the hospital

How will you start incorporating prenatal fitness into your daily routine? Have a prenatal workout you’re already using? We’d love to hear!  

**note: the advice in this post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical care provider.  Always check with your own doctor or midwife before incorporating new exercises, particularly the forward leaning inversion discussed above.**


Learn more about Melissa.

 

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Long Stem Legs.

A QUICK AND EASY LEG AND BOOTY WORKOUT... GET MOVIN GIRL! 

When in doubt... squat it out!

20 Squats

10 Jump Squats

20 Plie' Squats

20 Revles (Tippy Toes)

10 Jump Plie´ Squats

20 Straight leg to curtsey lunges (right leg)

20 Straight leg to curtsey lunges (left leg)

40 Calf Raises

 

REPEAT 3 TIMES!

When you are done with your mini workout, leave me a comment and let me know how you feel! 

go take the Self-Care Love Language quiz and get your unique love language results TODAY! 

you will be able to love yourself more intentionally and purposeful. 

Depression has a HUGE Impact on your Fitness and Wellness Mindset

When I was growing up, I never realized the effects of depression. As a teen, I was depressed. I was very conscious of my body so I worked out maybe twice a week, but spent most of my time in my room reading.

As a young adult, I drowned my depression in exercise, relationships, and alcohol. I soon found that these things didn’t really help my depression at all. I was more depressed than ever.

My life wasn’t terrible and I had everything I needed, but I was still so unhappy.

Depression is crippling. It stops you from growing if you let it consume you. It leaves you feeling weak and alone in your mind.

So how do you combat this?

 Your mindset needs a makeover.

Fitness and wellness are not just working out and eating right. It has everything to do with the way you feel.

Depression can stop you from thinking clearly. You may thing that you need to go, go, go.

This was what I did. I worked out so much but didn’t focus on what I was eating (not enough calories), and I became malnourished. It was unhealthy and did nothing for my depression.

Plenty of websites out there will tell you that exercise will help your depression. But if you are simply using the exercise to cover up your depression then you aren’t helping yourself at all.

So, you may be wondering how to get this mindset makeover.

It isn’t easy and it takes time and discipline.

Get an Accountability Partner

Find someone who is an inspiration to you. Someone who is helpful and can keep you motivated.

You need someone you can trust too. If they tell you that you need to get out of your head, then it’s for your best interest.

This person doesn’t necessarily have to struggle with depression too. Sometimes it’s good to have someone who is on the outside looking in.

Find your rhythm

Depression doesn’t usually let you pick and choose when you feel fine. Instead, it wants to run your days, taking up your nights with worry and anxiety.

Sometimes you have to tell your depression to have a seat on the couch while you show up to your workout… for you!

You need this. It could be a 15-minute yoga session just to help you unwind. Or maybe you take a few minutes to read an inspirational post.

I like to do something for me three nights a week. I don’t take the whole night to do whatever it is.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. 30 minutes of yoga

  2. 15 minutes of guided meditation

  3. Listen to a podcast episode

  4. 20 minutes of HIIT or a workout video

These things don’t take too long to accomplish… and that’s what they are! These are accomplishments.

If you are able to complete one of these and you struggle with depression than you

Don’t give up!

Seriously! You’ve got this. It is possible to live victoriously while still struggling with depression.

I am living proof that it is possible.

I still struggle. Some days are really bad days.

But I make a choice every morning (and sometimes every hour) that I can live with this.

It’s not just about living though. You can be happy. I know that may seem impossible right now, but I can tell you that you can do it.

Take each day in baby steps if you have to. You are not alone! But you can do it.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ALESIA.

 

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Alesia is a working mom who fights her way through life, depression, and just plain stupidity. She strives to show others that it is possible to be a bad-ass while you feel like you're losing your mind. A Bottle of Sanity is a space in which working moms may find inspiration as they struggle with their depression or anxiety. 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abottleofsanity/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abottleofsanity

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlesiaGalati

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alesiaga/

How fun is this!

Blogging about a Blog

This week I had a great blog lined up for you, but I decided to forego it this week and share something different and super fun. 

So most of you know, I am a little country... okay maybe a lot country.  But the fact is, horses are pretty much part of my identity, Ever since I was a small child (I was literally 2 years old when I won my first belt buckle!), I have been horseback. 

Long story short, I just got the opportunity to guest post for the website florodeo.com and I am so stinking excited I want to shout it from the rooftops, and of course I want to share it with my people (aka YOU!).  So I am breaking all the rules and blogging about a blog. 

I would LOVE nothing more than for you to go check out my blog "5 tips to staying healthy on the road" on florodeo.com and leave me a comment that you were there. 

And how about this great picture they shared with it.  I was literally just home after a full day of traveling from California back to Texas (with a two year old might I add!) hence the hot mess express hair doo. 

Without further adieu... here is the link to check out my guest

Self-care Myth Busters- 6 Myths About Self-Care

“There is nothing greater to offer the world than your inspired and well-nourished self.”- Unknown

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Self-care is a huge umbrella word that i have been hearing a lot. By definition "self-care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated.", but I often feel like it gets confused with pampering- indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness; spoil.

While pampering can definitely be a part of self-care, the term encompasses soooo much more than that.  While this is something I am very passionate about, I decided to write a blog and bust some myths about it.  

1. Self-care is optional.

This is mistake number one in my books.  Self-care is NOT optional.  Its like breathing, you cannot live without it. Without self-care you will run yourself into the ground, and unhealthy habits will creep into your life. This must be an important part of every day, you simply cannot afford to skip. 

2. Self-care is anything that soothes you.

This is a fine line. There are many negative things that can soothe, thus leading to addictions which instead of healing you will in fact make things worse.  Many people turn to alcohol, TV, phones, social media and food to soothe the stresses of life.  But self-care is about supporting your health and wellness and is not addictive, compulsive or harmful to you in any way.  That doesn't mean you cannot enjoy a glass (or two) of wine or occasionally divulge, just live in moderation.  

3. You have to earn the right to self-care.

You were born with the right and the OBLIGATION to take care of yourself. Society tells us where we should focus our intentions, and this has created the notion that we can only take care of ourselves after we have accomplished certain goals, or milestones.  Yet self-care is the EXACT thing that helps us reach those goals and climb the highest mountains to reach our dreams.  Also if you believe self-care is self indulgent, selfish or vain… you are wrong. I want you to look at yourself and say “I deserve to take care of myself, I am worthy of a healthy , exuberant life”, and I want you to repeat this until you believe it,

4. It's too expensive and you don’t have enough time.

Self-care is often viewed as a luxury that many of us think we don't have the time or money to enjoy. Well that is NOT the case. Most self-care activities actually do not involve spending money, nor do they take up many hours of your day. Self-care can merely mean taking 10 min to stretch your muscles in the morning, five minutes of quiet meditation before starting your day, or even a warm bath with candles before bed. So take a minute and BREATHE, it is not only essential to life, but it is also therapeutic when you put intention into it. You can also check out my blog on 20 ways to practice self-care for under $20. 

5. Self-care is all or nothing.

Actually, no! Some people may think that you have to spend an entire day of pampering or it's “not worth it”. While pampering is a great tool, it does not define self-care. Self-care is found in the little moments, the moments that light you up the most. If thinking self-care will take too much of your day and creates more stress, stop and back it up.  Self-care can be as much or as little as you need, it is yours to control.  So lock yourself in a closet for some quiet time, enjoy and extra cup of coffee or go try on that dress you have been eyeballing, you deserve it.

6. Practicing self-care is choosing between yourself and others.

The truth is, you cannot fill from an empty cup, and as every airline tells you “place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping small children or others who may need your assistance.” Why, because if you are not conscious and breathing, you are no help to anyone else.  The same thing goes for the rest of your life and your health.  If you are not well, you cannot help those around you including your children and your family, let alone a business.

When you are not taking care of yourself you are falling into a cycle of depletion.  Your daily activities will deplete your energy and emotions, you become quick to snap, you become easily frustrated, cranky and needy and you begin to rely on others around you to replenish those reserves. When you are meeting your own needs you have so much more to give to others around you.

If this is something you tend to struggle with I would love to hop on a phone call with you and help you come up with a plan. Click here to book your call today for a limited time. 

You can also download your FREE self-care checklist by entering your email below. 

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie.. and shaker bottle

Have you seen this amazing video yet? 

A mouthwatering smoothie poured into the most beautiful shaker you have ever laid your eyes on. 

Well it would be rude to not share the recipe with you also. 

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (or Shakeology)
  • 1 cup ice
  • Blend and pour in Fringe & Fitness shaker bottle

Would you like the printable pdf version of this recipe? Just click below and I will email it directly to you.