Finding Inspiration

Greetings! I’ve got three days to fill you in on!  What a whirlwind this week has been.

Yesterday, I managed to wrangle the day off which was lovely, but I have come to realize that recently, my days off are filled with overly practical things: tons of errand-running, appointments, planning etc. Sometimes I crave a good, old-fashioned day off. Maybe one day! (Today, however, I did have a delightful coffee date with an old work friend and her three-year-old daughter. Definite highlight of my day.)

Last night, I DID manage to find myself at the gym (much later than I had originally planned!) and had a semi-spastic, but wonderful workout that incorporated a 20-minute treadmill run, dumbbell arm workout and an ab circuit. I really did forget how great it feels to be at the gym! (ALTHOUGH, finding floorspace, even at night is absolutely impossible. Tonight was no exception! I swear that the dude with the vacuum cleaner was chasing us from mat to mat. I didn’t appreciate it.)

Anyway, let’s talk about inspiration.

In recent months, I have come to the realization that inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places. We all need a nudge/boost/reminder that we aren’t alone sometimes and it has seemed to me that that inspiration can come from the strangest of places. Not long ago, I watched a recent Jenna Marbles video (I’m not proud, but I LOVE her videos. She’s hilarious. No, they’re not clean, and no, they’re not appropriate, but they are wonderful— for those of you who don’t know, Jenna Marbles is a youtube comedian. Due to the nature of her videos, I won’t tell you to watch them, but watch them…WHO SAID THAT?!) where she “drew her life” and talked about being confused and not necessarily knowing what she was looking for and that struck so many chords with me. At one point, she mentioned that “I think that if I had everything figured out, that I would be doing something wrong because it makes it so that you can’t grow.” I have been playing that phrase on LOOP in my mind and I really and truly believe it. I do think that sometimes, if everything seems comfortable, something isn’t right. Such a major revelation, and talk about unlikely sources!

I guess it doesn’t matter where you find the inspiration, all that matters is that you find it, right??

Well, I am off to bed as I have a busy, busy weekend of work ahead. I will try my best to check in!

Have a great night!!

 

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I SURVIVED TWO NIGHTS IN A MOTEL

Hello friends!

Long time no talk!

First thing is first: you ought to be very proud of me. Despite my HORRIFIC blogging habits as of late, I have been much better with my exercise and eating habits! I have been squeezing in (short), but effective workouts throughout the week and it has been wonderful! Last week, Jordan and I hit up a park that I haven’t been to in years for a short run/ strength workout. What I really enjoyed about the park setup was that there was a lovely 1-mile trail loop that you could run, but along the path, there were a series of strength stations! Many of them were QUITE familiar (ie: push-ups, sit-ups, bench-lifts), but some of them were pretty tricky! (I tried to locate a picture of one for you, but since I am not entirely sure of its real name, my Google searches ended up being “strength station where you lift your legs laterally and jump” and “lateral leg lift over bar playground”… needless to say, those terms yielded very few results.

Anyway, I really enjoyed being able to split up our (very short) run with little bursts of strength training and it made me start thinking of ways to break up circuits like that on my own!

I really cannot believe the difference I feel when I start running after a long hiatus. Granted, the first few days are rough, but once I get back into the groove, it makes me feel like a NEW WOMAN.

Additionally, a couple of weeks ago, I fired up myfitnesspal again and have been using that semi-faithfully. Even when I’m not 100% on my a-game for a day, it’s still nice to have someone to “answer to.”

Other than that, I have been busy, busy, busy with work! Which leads me to the tale of this weekend’s stay in a MOTEL.

Yeah, that’s right kids, this girl stayed in The World’s Most Frightening Motel for two whole nights.

Truth-be-told, I really am a pretty easy-going traveler. Sure, I love nice amenities, but if things are clean and fresh, I really don’t complain!

But this, phew. This might take some therapy in order to recover fully.

I’ll give you the Cliffsnotes version: This weekend, I had an out-of-town event that was held in a very small little lake town. There aren’t a ton of accommodations to choose from, so I was forced to sign my staff and I up for rooms at a quaint little “inn” (MOTEL. IT WAS A MO.TEL.). Fortunately for them (and maybe me, by extension), most of their rooms were “fine.” Mine, on the other hand, have so many problems, I can’t even quite figure out how to share the worst of it with you, but let’s go with the three biggest offenses:

1. When I walked in, one of the pillows from one of the beds was on the floor, there was no toilet paper in the bathroom, and it smelled like 1970.

2. In the morning, when I went to take my shower, the water temperature was SO uncontrollable that it fluctuated between ICE cold and SCALDING hot. So much so that I couldn’t even stay under it long enough to shave both of my legs. (Evidently, this was because other guests were using the showers at the same time. Well, duh! Why didn’t IIIIIIIII think of that?!??! A motel. Other guests? ONE SHOWER AT A TIME, PEOPLE.

3. Just before I went to check-out, I took a look under my bed to make sure that I didn’t leave anything behind. Fully expecting to find a sock, a magazine, an earring, maybe a quarter that fell out of my purse….boy, was I shocked to discover OPENED bags of snacks that were NOT mine. If only I had known that there were bags of dried fruit hiding under my bed. That really could have helped with those late-night snack attacks!

Fortunately for me, I was able to spend one of those nights with Chloe (who has a magical ability to make rotten situations feel magically better) and we laughed the night away as we discovered all of the “fancy” amenities that the room *actually* had to offer. (Dead spiders, lamps that didn’t work, heaters that smelled like grandma’s closet….). Even though I’d NEVER stay there again, I must say that the memories ended up being WELL worth the frustration.

I am fairly certain that my motel experience was karma’s way of getting at me for all of those terrible scary movies that I’ve made Katherine and Katie suffer through with me. OY.

Needless to say, I am thrilled to be home again.

I hope that you all had a great weekend and I will talk to you again soon!!!

23 Years and Some New Kicks Later…

Hello friends!

I hope that you’ve had a great week!

Today was a big day in Brittany world. Today was my birthday!

I must say, it is next to impossible to not be a little nostalgic and reminiscent on a birthday! I remember when I was turning twenty and it felt like the world was ending! A dear friend of mine actually wrote me a silly fairy tale as my birthday card that year that attempted to convince me that everything was going to be juuuust fine. (I still have it and read it from time to time!)

Today, I was thinking about all of the things that have happened in the last year; about all of the places that I’ve gone and things that I’ve done and people that I’ve met and things that I’ve learned.

Last year at this time, I was panicked. I was worried about what I was going to do with the rest of my life, I was trapped in the past and tired and confused. Now, I am SO excited to see where life takes me. I still don’t know for certain what the heck I’m doing, I’m not 100% sure where I’m going or what I want, but for once, that mystery is exciting! Twenty-three is off to a pretty good start. 😉

And now, on the workout front.

First thing is first, my workout buddy Jordan (fourth summer in a row!) is soon to return and I couldn’t be happier. I am so excited to get back into the swing of things. I absolutely can NOT believe how much a new, semi-sedentary job can impact your lifestyle, but Jordan is a great motivator and having someone to answer to makes those daily workouts FAR more likely (and enjoyable!!).

In honor of the big 2-3, I invested in a special little present for myself…

sneaks

 

I have invested in a new pair of running shoes! If you recall, last summer, I invested in a pair of brand new running sneakers (the bright ones that are featured on the main banner of this website!), but they just didn’t work for me. I actually didn’t even end up wearing them for the race that I initially purchased them for! Ironically, those shoes were selected for me by a “professional” at a running gear store, but something just wasn’t right! These little babies, on the other hand, I selected myself from Dicks. (They’re Brooks, if you’re interested…) I really didn’t expect to like them, but the second I slid them onto my feet, I knew that they could make all of the difference. They have GREAT arch support and the sole has just the right amount of give for me, but what really sold me was how well they worked on my rather wide, flat feet. Some of the other big name running shoes that I’ve tested (like Mizuno and Under Armour) are far too narrow for me. I have yet to try them on the move, but as soon as I do, I will be sure to update!

Get ready, get set, let’s run!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great night!

Find the “Good Old Days”

I have a ZILLION friends that followed The Office, essentially, from day one. (That’s a lie. I do not, in fact, have a zillion friends period.)

I was not one of those people. Occasionally  I would catch an episode here or there and I really enjoyed it. There is no denying that it was a hilarious show. The actors were great, it was easy to follow and it was HIGHLY relatable. (Apparently, even for those of us who had not yet entered Officeland in our own lives!).

As fate would have it, I happened to catch the series finale and it truly made me wish that I HAD been one of those followers. The last five minutes (or fewer) offered more sage life-advice than I have heard in a very long time.

If any of your Facebook friends were watching, I guarantee that you have already seen this as someone’s status, but you are about to see it again.

In the last few moments of the show, various characters were reflecting on life, friends, The Office… and one quote was particularly memorable. It was Andy who had the money line… “I wish there was a way to know that you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

Brilliant.

Now, granted, The Office isn’t a show that I would (generally) advise you to seek many tips for living your life, but this one, I think can apply to just about anyone, anywhere. Especially yours truly.

Ironically, hearing that made me want to do just that. It made me what to find the good old days WHILE they were happening. And let me tell you, there isn’t a more perfect time that this quote could have crossed my radar.

The day the Brittany Clock struck 22 years (who comes up with these things?), I was suddenly a little blue. I couldn’t believe that I was “already” twenty-two years old. Somehow, I had skimmed right past childhood, the teenage years, college…it was over and I was officially “old” (the kind of old that only twenty-two-year-olds understand. The kind of “old” that anyone over the age of 45 would roll their eyes at, but that when you’re on the cusp of adulthood, feels so very, very real). I missed two years and two decades of the “good old days.”

Is that entirely true? Of course not. I was a kid, I was a teenager, I had a great time in high school. College was…well, an experience. But I did miss a lot. I spent a lot of time living in conditionals—doing the things that I thought I “should” do. I lived according to an extremely arbitrary set of standards that I set up for myself and in doing so, missed a lot of things. It was only when something wonderful was about to end that I ever appreciated what I had. It wasn’t until the last 2 weeks of high school that I realized how much fun being in high school really was.

There are so many things that drive our decisions– money, dreams, precedents, and sometimes, necessity. But I think that every once in a while, we lose sight of opportunities that we may stumble across that allow us to push some of those motives to the sidelines. Even if just for a short time. Of course, you don’t want to lose sight of your dreams, you don’t want to fall off of any paths, but I do believe that you want to be following them for the right reasons.

In the days before The Office finale premiered, I made a promise to myself. I promised that I would stop losing track of the present. It was time to start identifying the good old days WHILE they were happening. (If ever, this would be the time for a “no regrets” comment, but that is just too cliché.)

And then, Andy said it all.

So here’s a challenge for you— can you find a way to identify YOUR “good old days” before they’re “good old days”?? And what exactly IS a good old day.

To me, I think it’s extremely personal, but one thing I know for sure, is that my friends and family are incredibly important to me and that most of the best days that I can quickly recall revolve around them.

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to watch one of my very best friends graduate from college. It was a day that I will not soon forget, but it took some serious maneuvering to participate in. For a brief time, it looked like my job was going to require me to be away that weekend and I was heartbroken. Fortunately, I was able to rearrange and to share in the memories. The pictures from that day make me so happy, they nearly bring tears to my eyes. And that was the perfect example of a day that I took the time to appreciate, right then and there, just how special it was. And from this point forward, I hope that I can do that with each and every day, and I hope that you will too.

Can we make ourselves a promise? Let’s make the summer of 2013 the summer where we take a minute each and every day to realize what made it a “good old day?”

Let’s talk again tomorrow. I know what you’re thinking, and no really this time. Maybe with any luck, I’ll land myself at a gym at some point in the day. 😛

The Crux of the Matter

Oh, my friends. Look at this, two weeks later, what is this nonsense about?!

Things that I’ve  been having a little too much fun doing recently: Studying GRE words, watching trees bloom, planning budgets, pinning motivational quotes on Pinterest. (That right there is, essentially, a synopsis of the last two weeks of my life. Make of that what you will.)

It is probably a no-brainer that my life has gotten the better of me over the course of the last couple of months! If you read my most recent update, there came a point where my practical life was overshadowing my ME life. Finally, I found a way to regain a little bit of balance. I figured out where I needed to make changes, and I started to think about ways to incorporate some of the things that were most important to me back into my life. (IE: running, fitness, reading, spending time with my frieds…. writing. Being a real person).

And then, I got a little stuck.

The nuts and bolts were there: the plan, the desire, the conviction, but something still wasn’t right.

Now, on a (closely related) side-note, I also managed to sprain my ankle last weekend. It wasn’t pretty and landed me relatively immobile for a few more days than I had hoped. Fortunately, my ankle is on the mend and feeling infinitely better than it was, but that little stumble put a serious damper on my gym routine.

Back to my point, so what wasn’t right?

That is exactly what I am trying to figure out right now. And I think I’ve finally got it.

In my last post, I mentioned that I had stopped making time for me. I temporarily lost sight of just how critically important the “little” things in life were to me (reading, writing, gym-going, friend-seeing). So that part was easy enough. A simple matter of figuring out what I enjoyed doing, what I used to do, and what, of those things, I was no longer doing.

Time is scarce, but when something is important enough, I think that we usually make the time for it. (Errrr usually…)

So where did that leave me? Realizing that there was something bigger at work. Saying “I miss going to the gym.” and “I should start going to the gym again.” is one thing, but figuring out what was getting in the way in the first place, and determining whether or not it’s worth the sacrifices involved is another one entirely.

So now is the time to get to the core of it. To get to the crux of the matter!

I am not entirely sure how to go about doing that, but I am definitely ready to start.

I hope that you have all been well. Check in tomorrow for a SECOND CONSECUTIVE POST. Holy cats, what’s that all about?

I hope you have a great night!

Where Have You Been!?!?!

…hello?

…….is this thing on?

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering where the heck I have been.

I cannot tell you exactly how much I wish I had a good answer to that question… but I do not. 

By now, you are probably well aware of how much I love my quotes, right? One of my favorites (I say that about all of the ones that I share with you guys, but that makes sense, right? I should only share the best ones! Who cares for blah motivational quotes? Not I.) Anyway, back to what I was getting at– one of my very favorites is this gem: “Sometimes, when things feel like they are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.” I think that is exactly what has happened to me in recent weeks.

I fell off of the bandwagon. Big time. Suddenly, every moment of every day was occupied. I couldn’t bring myself to let go of the things that were most important to me– time at home, spending time with friends… (heck, even sleeping!), but in making time for all of those things, the most important thing– my healthy habits and routines were tossed to the wayside.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I suddenly gained inordinate amounts of weight, or lost control, but I just didn’t have the same focus that I had maintained so diligently for so many months.

So what was the problem??

It’s a complicated question with about a zillion answers, but by and large, I think the transition into my new job is at the root of it. I am so grateful to have a wonderful job with fun people, but just like any major life change, it came with a hefty learning curve. I didn’t have time to myself anymore, nor did I have tons of extra energy. (Isn’t it ironic that while eating healthfully and getting your rear-in-gear with exercise actually BOOST your energy, they’re the first things to go when you’re feeling zapped?)

I could feel it happening throughout the weeks. As my schedule was changing, so was my diet. And my gym routine. And my priorities. And (not to be dramatic), but so was my life.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

In putting my work and that transition first, I lost track of the things that were helping me to become a stronger,  healthier, happier person. A better person, really.

To be perfectly honest, that’s a scary revelation to come to. A scary one, but a defining one.

Please, let it be known that this isn’t just about the gym. It’s about so much more than that…

Let’s take the blog for example!

I love to write. In my younger days, I would write constantly– everything from poems to short stories to plays… but as I got older and my days got a little bit busier, I stopped making the time for it. And then, this really cool and nifty thing called the internet popped into my mind and one day, I said to myself, “Hey, self. You should start a blog!” And so I did. (Granted, if you read my post about how this whole thing began, there was much more to it than that), but it was a way for me to force myself to write again. This blog was a way for me to hold myself accountable for my choices (diet choices AND life choices) and to communicate with a whole new world of people.

Writing for this blog reminded me how much I love to write. It reminded me of what a big difference sharing things with friends can make in holding yourself to high standards and how much fun it can be to have a creative outlet.

But then, I ran out of time. Come to find out, getting home from work late means eating late which means going to bed late which means sleeping in late which means… heywaitaminute… where’s the “which means taking the time to write a blog post?” Oh right. It’s NOWHERE.

So I didn’t.

And then, suddenly, junk food crept into the picture. Business trip food crept into the picture. Excuses for skipping the gym were my second language.. “it was too busy!” <–OK, to be fair, that one was actually 100% legit for some of that time!, it was too late, I didn’t have a buddy to go with, I was too tired, I was too achey, I had too many things to do, I had to get up early, my alarm didn’t go off, the dog ate my homework, I had to rescue a cat that was stuck in a tree. Blah. Blah. Blah.

So I wouldn’t go.

Well guess what guys. Brittany’s back.

It’s time to jump back in the saddle. It won’t be easy. In fact, my schedule is even messier now than it was throughout the last month and a half, but my will is back.

It doesn’t take too terribly long to see the negative results of leading a more sedentary, less healthful life. It’s sad and slow and tiring. I don’t want to do that anymore.

When my “health kick” began last June, I promised myself that I wouldn’t regress, but life happens, right?

But I have recommitted. I have finally promised myself to stop letting inconvenience stop me from doing the things that I know are so incredibly important.

Tonight, I went to the gym. I “ran” on the treadmill and pedaled my heart out on the elliptical. It wasn’t a great workout, it wasn’t particularly lengthy, but it was so nice to be there. (Also, I think the crowds have FINALLY TAPERED OFF. Good gracious.) Sara Bareilles cooed motivational words to me and I powered through.

Soon, the 70-degree days will lend themselves to my outside runs and I couldn’t be happier about that because, boy, could I use some springtimey loveliness.

Guess what? In August, I’m running that half marathon that I signed up for waaaay back when. And I’m going to be stronger than ever before. In every way possible.

Thank you for reading. Let’s do this thing.

If All You Can Do is Crawl…

Hello! I hope you had a great weekend!

Let’s talk about giving Les a second chance. Les Mills, that is.

I just discovered something that has made me unbelievably excited: I can take a BodyPump class this week! Now I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it’s true, I have had a ridiculously tumultuous relationship with BodyPump. It was a classic love-hate situation. If you’ve been following right along, you may remember that just before I pretty much gave up on the ‘pump, I felt like it was bulking me up in all of the wrong ways. (Yes, every professional in the fitness field will tell you that women “can’t bulk up,” but none of those people have talked to me!)

I was noticing my body changing in ways that I didn’t necessarily love and so I ended up pretty much phasing the class out of my routine.

Eventually, however, I realized that perhaps my BodyPump habits weren’t the greatest– especially considering my goals. Previously, I would take the class just about every time it was offered throughout the week. I pushed myself just a little too far on the weights and I think now, in retrospect, I can see where I got myself into bulkyland. And now, I have decided to give it a go again. I am going to try to incorporate the class into my schedule at least once a week now. (Which sometimes, won’t even be possible given my crazy work schedule!) Hopefully, that will be just the right “dose” to help me whip those muscles back into shape and to get me hurting again in the fantastic way that actually makes you SERIOUSLY think twice before you pick up that peanut butter cup. 😉

And now, for the main event.

Pinterest is a goldmine. Where else can you find recipes, workouts, outfits, DIY crafts, and life tips all in the same spot??

I have recently grown pretty fond of the “inspiration” boards. As cliche as it may sound, motivational quotes and witty quips can really do wonders for getting you through some bumpy patches. (I have previously shared a list of some of my favorite quotes with you and I plan to do that again. I do love sharing motivation!)

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about making changes. And I have been making a lot of changes. Sometimes, I get a little frustrated with myself when I’m starting to feel like I’m moving a little too slowly. Sometimes, I want to change a million and one things at the same time, I want everything to be better— different when I say go. But in time, I have come to realize something: the slow, steady, thoughtful changes that I make tend to be the best ones. And so, today, I leave you with this Rumi gem that I discovered just the other night: “If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.”

Start Crawling

 

 

That’s where I’m at. At a time when sometimes I want to fly and change everything at once, I also often find myself wondering where the days go. I wonder how I got to where I am now and what I’ve missed along the way. 

Strange little Catch-22s like that make me think that maybe sometimes, crawling isn’t such a bad thing…