Tag Archives: life

8 Daily Habits to Foster Your Most Important Relationship

Happy Marvelous Monday, everybody!! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Unfortunately, the weather here in PA was dreary on Saturday, but Sunday was bright and sunny! Kayla and I started our day with a 90-minute spin class with our favorite instructor, Karen. It’s the BEST way to start my week!! Of course, I used my Armour39. 900 calories burned..WOAH!

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Check out that #WillPower score!

Hopefully we can all agree that nobody likes a selfish person. With that in mind, we usually try our best not to be a selfish person. Sometimes, that leaves us stressed, overworked, and not caring for ourselves the way we should. It’s alright to be a little bit selfish sometimes. If you don’t take care of and love yourself, then who else will!?

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One of the (many) benefits of going to the Idea World Fitness BlogFest and talking to so may amazing bloggers is that I also get to hear their point of view based on the spiritual journey that accompanies living a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Here are 8 daily habits to foster the most important relationship you’ll ever have –  your relationship with yourself!! I had a little help from some of my blogger friends 😉

1. Every morning, look in the mirror and say 5 “I AM” statements. “Every morning, I say them and I really believe them!”

– Lyndsey from The Balanced Brunette

2. Treat yourself to a massage – doesn’t have to cost a penny! “I give myself a scalp massage everytime I shampoo. Feels delicious!”

-Elizabeth B.

3. Exercise and honor your body with movement! “I make working out a priority because it’s what I want for myself. I used to feel guilty doing it if something else needed to be done – cleaning, working, shopping, etc. I decided that my health is important too and I deserve it! :)” 

-Runnin’ Rocker at RunninRocker.com

4. While ‘me’ time is necessary, take time to cherish your loved ones! “I try to get my husband to watch the kids while I take a nice (hopefully long) shower and then I hop in bed with the kids to watch Angelina Ballerina together before putting them to bed.” 

-Kristin from Exploring Domesticity

5. Take a second (or a few) and just breathe. “I work in a ridiculously stressful environment. I stop once or twice a day and breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth, and tell myself “I am awesome.” Only way to get through my day sometimes!”

-Libby from Bruises in the Frosting

6. Disconnect (from your electronics!) “I turn my phone off at a certain time so I can pray and get enough sleep.” 

-Tasha from The Hip Healthy Chick

(Side note: I deeply admire and respect Tasha’s commitment to her religion. Often times it is one of the few things that keep people sane. Whether your ‘disconnect’ time is spent praying or just deeply thinking, it’s important to allow the spiritual side of yourself to breathe.)

7. High-intensity exercise is a great release – but low-intensity exercise can be just as effective on your stress levels. “Work out each day for sure, but I make time to practice yoga each day because it always makes me feel great and destressed.”

-Marlene from Fit Delight

8. Sun’s up, fuel up! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – seriously! “Eat a healthy breakfast! Loving yourself means giving your body the proper nutrition so you can be your best at anything you do!”

-Michelle from Shell Loves Fitness

8b. Don’t just eat breakfast – enjoy breakfast! “I always wake up early enough to give myself a nice, relaxing morning. I make my coffee, make my oatmeal and take my time eating breakfast while relaxing, sometimes out on the patio if it’s a nice morning! It sets the tone for my day rather than rushing around getting ready as the start of my day. Sometimes I’ll watch the news, or read other blogs or do work on my own blog in this time. It’s my “me” time.”

-Kayla from Blondes Have More Run

Special thanks to all the lovely ladies who contributed to this post!

Occasionally when I feel inclined to write, it’s usually because it relates to something I am experiencing in my own life. I’ve been dating someone for the past few months, and it’s awesome! Sometimes, however, it’s so great that it’s easy to forget that I need to take care of myself as well – as opposed to depending on someone else to do it for me. Being in a relationship with someone you connect with is a great feeling, but it’s important not to become too dependent on love from them and only them. Before they ever came along, it was love from and for yourself that you had to rely on.

I hope you all enjoyed this post – please, comment and respond!! I also encourage you to check out these girls’ blogs and follow all their awesome posts! 🙂

What is something you do each day to show yourself love??

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My 2013 in review

I know I haven’t been very present lately – I’m sorry! There’s something about the winter season that makes me just want to hibernate. I think it starts with a C. crayons? cookies? (though i do love them)….cold! Yes, that’s it. COLD.

Right after finishing a mad rush to study for finals, I had to then delve into the rest of the material for my NASM certification so that I could take the exam on January 11th. Every day, I’ve been getting about 1-3 chapters done – I have about for more to go! If I stay on schedule, I’ll have a little over a week to review and memorize everything…That’ll work right? Well..it better. haha :p

I decided to actually think about how much has changed in the year of 2013. Ordinarily, it doesn’t mean much to me other than a new year, another birthday, etc. This year, my health attempted to take control of me (suck it, cancer.), but then I took it back. I learned a lot about what matters and what doesn’t – and I think I’ve become a little bit more soulful from the whole experience. Let’s go back and review, month by month…

(cue whooshing time-machine noise)

January

  • New Years 2013 was a blast – I was able to spend it with some really special people.

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  • I started chemo for Hodgkins Lymphoma
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January 22, 2013

February

  • I had a my first really special Valentine’s Day with that same someone – a good friend to whom I wish the best of luck.
  • I shaved my head since my hair was thinning so much, and got a gorgeous wig, thanks to Martino Cartier and Friends Are By Your Side
My new wig :) thanks to FriendsAreByYourSide

My new wig 🙂 thanks to FriendsAreByYourSide

March

  • I turned 20 years old (March 9th) and spent the day in New York City.
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2 great girls I met at PSU LV 🙂

  • Oddly enough, I had my fortune read that day. At the time, I still wanted to be a lighting designer and study technical theatre, although I was not in school for it anymore at the time. The lady had told me that a big change would be coming and change my career path – I would not see it coming and would not realize it as it was happening. But once it did happen, I would be very happy.
  • Went rock climbing for the first time!! I think the thing I was most nervous about was having Kayla on belay, and whether or not she was gonna drop me! 😉 heheh

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April

  • I began my lifestyle change to start eating clean and wanted to lose some weight. Initially I thought I would just lose 10-15 lbs. It didn’t feel realistic for me to ever get to the weight I am currently at now. I struggled with cravings for junk food and needed a lot of support and understanding from my family – and I absolutely would not have been able to do it without Kayla.
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Helping each other stay motivated 😉

  • Started my blog – originally titled SeeYaAtChemo

May

  • My brother, Ben, turned 10 years old!

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  • I left my job at Planet Fitness
  • Finished my 2nd year of college at Penn State Lehigh Valley
  • By the end of the month, I had lost a total of 10 lbs.

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June

  • Started a job at LA Fitness
  • Weight loss was around 20 lbs at this point

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  • Celebrated finishing 6 months of chemotherapy with pedicures and an expensive, delicious dinner – and for the first time, did NOT wear my wig out in public since shaving all my hair!!! 😉

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July

  • I made the decision to change my career path towards fitness & nutrition. I purchased the materials to begin studying for my NASM CPT.
  • I decided to attend Northampton Community College to continue with gen eds
  • I spent much of my summer learning and developing habits to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle even when times get busy. Quite honestly, it is very difficult to develop these habits with the stress of school, work, kids (if you have them), house work, etc. so I’m glad I was able to utilize my summer for this purpose. I also think this is what helped me to want to stay more organized in school during the fall semester.
  • Changed the title of my blog to Run 2 Your Own Beat 🙂

August

  • Went on a lovely mini-vacation with my best friend to Ocean City, Maryland, where we went for a barefoot run on the beach, watched the sun rise, and spent some quality bonding time together. (which is no different than any other day, except we were at the beach….lol)
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The effort we had to go through to food prep so we could eat healthy most of the time was ridiculous!

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September

  • After a bunch of PET scans and doctor’s appointments, it was decided that it was in my best intersest to have radiation to ensure that the cancer did not come back.
  • Went hiking for the first time with Kayla!

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  • Helped improve the health of my immediate family – including helping my mom to lose 30 lbs!! GO MOM!

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October

  • Started 3 weeks of involved site radiation at 30 gray
  • Ran my first 5K

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  • Ran my first 10K

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Running these two races within a week of each other while on radiation was definitely tough. Because they were radiating in my throat/chest area, my lung function was slightly decreased, I had a dry mouth, and it was very difficult to swallow. I feel really proud, however, that I pushed myself to overcome that. I never saw myself as someone who could push themself the way a “real athlete” could, but running has changed that for me.

  • Went to my Kayla’s sister’s wedding – it was really nice!!

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  • I met my weight loss goal of 30 lbs!!!

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November

  • As winter sets in, I get more contemplative and introverted. I think about what is the right way to live my life, the right foods to eat, the right amount of exercise – this is when I started to realize it wasn’t always about being skinny. It’s about being happy AND healthy. It’s about finding balance.
  • Celebrated homegirl’s 21st BIRTHDAY!!!

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  • Spent all of five hours cooking on Thanksgiving Day to ensure that my turkey day meal was healthy AND delicious!

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  • I made the decision to attend West Chester University for nutrition in the fall of 2014!

December

  • I finished out my fall semester at NCC with relatively decent grades – and I PASSED ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY!! I was stressing out about that course (in case you couldn’t tell from other posts I’ve written) and was literally failing at one point. (no shame, i’ll admit it.) But, I managed to pull off a C- in it! I know that’s not always a grade to be happy about, but I’m extremely proud of the hard work I put in about midway through the semester.
  • Had my last post-radiation PET scan – I’m just happy it’s all over.
  • Squatted and deadlifted 135 lbs, heaviest I’ve done so far!!!

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And so, here we are today, on New Years Eve, December 31st, 2013. 

What a year it has been! I beat cancer, I got my life in order, and through it all, I learned so much about the person I want to be as an adult. I am continually learning what is important in life, and the things that should matter. Kindness, compassion, positivity, perseverance, discipline, independence, and balance. I could name a hundred more qualities I have learned to embrace this year. 2013 has made me more mindful to all of these things. I’ve got a new perspective – a more positive perspective.

Being diagnosed with cancer, no matter what kind, life just becomes so precious and so fragile – every moment of it. You want to make every moment worth it and you don’t want to waste any time. I wouldn’t want to waste another second living the way I used to live. I went my whole life thinking I’d never get cancer. Sure, it seemed scary and crazy to think that it could just happen. I don’t know what it was that caused me to get cancer, but I’ll be damned if I spend another day partaking in any habits that could contribute to it again.

I’ve been inspired by other cancer survivors who overcome adversity, not letting it get in their way. My bout with cancer, though less severe than some others, has, without a shadow of a doubt, changed who I am for the better. I could not be more thankful for it. Those little radiation tattoos on my chest and the scar from my port placement/removal will be a constant reminder of what I worked and fought to achieve – I will never forget it. Ever.

Like all human beings, I’m not perfect and I still have a lot to learn. I’m only 20 years old (21 on march 9th..WOO WOO!), and though I used to think that was such a mature age, in some ways, I still feel a bit like a child. I was never one for resolutions, but now that I’ve experienced what it takes to achieve a goal, I have a few to set for this coming year of 2014:

  • Be more considerate to others
  • Be kinder to my family
  • Forgive those who have hurt me
  • Accept my mistakes, and take action to ensure they don’t happen again
  • Remember who I am and what is important to me – never sacrifice it for anybody
  • Go to bed on time, wake up on time (at least 8 hours of sleep per night)
  • Fitness Goal: 15 big-girl pull ups!!!

I hope you all have a fabulous new year!! I’m hoping to be able to blog a bit more this semester with recipes, workouts, giveaways, etc. so stay tuned! 😉

Questions for you:

What was your shining moment in 2013?

What are someof your resolutions in 2014?

How are you going to maintain those resolutions?

I miss BBYO – Rediscovering a part of my life I’d forgotten

So this post will be slightly less health & fitness related, and more happiness related. After all, this is a health & happiness blog! I believe more than anything that part of living a healthy lifestyle is living a balanced lifestyle.

I understand that religion may be a touchy subject for some, so please – if this blog post upsets or is unappealing to anybody, feel free to kindly navigate away from the page! Thank you 🙂

As the second week of school comes to an end, I’m feeling more comfortable with getting in the groove of my fitness routine, eating habits, as well as study habits – balancing that with blogging and socializing. Okay, it sounds overwhelming when you say it all at once – but really it’s not that bad! My weekly planner is my bible and I write everything in it using different colored pens (fun!). That way, all the things I need to remember for that day and that week are right in front of me. I even have a tab system now for this week, next week, this month, and last month! I’m not OCD or anything..

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I never would’ve been able to stay on top of all of these things if I hadn’t made the change to live my life the way I am currently. I used to be a night owl and a late sleeper, less organized, sometimes lazy, and ate whatever I wanted without considering its nutritional content. People look at me and say “I don’t know how you do it,” – it being getting up early, having food prepped for the week, doing hw, etc. It seems much easier to me now but I’m learning to realize how hard it seems for other people; I seem to forget how hard it was for me and how much I struggled with it for years. It’s almost like I just don’t want to remember that part of my life, because I am so much more in love with the way my life is now. 

So, school is good – I’m adjusting to the atmosphere and doing what I need to do. I’ve also been thinking lately that I want to become more involved in my religion again. Much of this has been brought on by the fact that today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I’m not going to preach my beliefs to you guys, I promise.

In accordance to Jewish traditions, I had apples & honey in hopes of a sweet new year with my afternoon snack

In accordance to Jewish traditions, I had apples & honey in hopes of a sweet new year with my afternoon snack

I’m Jewish – was raised Jewish, had a Bat Mitzvah, was confirmed, etc. and my father is Catholic, so I also had Christmas – mostly for family purposes. After confirmation at age 16, where I read from the Torah for a second time, I became less and less involved in BBYO – an international jewish youth organization that held themed conventions 5-6 times per school year, each with different themes both fun (like Tournies, a competition between the different chapters) and more serious (like Kallah, where you determine what it means to you to be Jewish.) BBYO is split by gender into two groups – almost like a sorority and a fraternity but without all the hazing, drinking, and cliques. BBG (girls) stands for B’nai B’rith Girls and AZA (guys) stands for Aleph Zadik Aleph.

I had some amazing times in BBYO – lasting memories that did in some way shape who I am today. It’s weird to say, but I almost get butterflies when I think about BBYO. Maybe because I was meeting so many people, and although that can be nerve-wracking, I was instantly put at ease by the people I met. It’s the kind of thing where you basically connect instantly with people.

One of the BBG girls I met was this lovely girl – we joked that she was my ‘mom’ because her and I look fairly similar!!! What do you think?? (mind you these are all pictures of me 3-4 years ago)

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Quite honestly, I could talk about BBYO for hours – as could any other BBYO alum.

Things I miss about BBYO:

  • Sunday meetings run by regional board at conventions with spooey, sweatpants, & sisterhood
  • Themed conventions like Kickoff, Kallah, Tournies, Beau-sweetheart, and IT (in-training..for new members)
  • Spirit sessions at the end of conventions, where regional board members (all high school bbyo members of course) who planned the convention
  • Havdallah sessions on saturdays of conventions filled with acoustic guitar music – both secular and religious – followed by a dance & other fun activities
  • Did I mention spooey? I loved having an excuse to eat pretzels with icing :p

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I became busier with being involved with theatre productions at the performing arts high school I attended, and also was starting to feel some of the symptoms I would later learn were related to the cancer I had. By junior year of high school, I was hardly involved with BBYO. I deeply regret losing touch with it, and not realizing what a blessing and an amazing thing it is. People form lifelong friendships and relationships from it, gain leadership experience and opportunities, as well as a sense of who they are as young jewish adults and where Judaism will lie in their later adult life.

I loved BBYO, but at the time, I had other priorities at the time and didn’t quite know well enough how to balance my life and use my time wisely.

I did gain a few friends who I still occasionally stay in contact with today, but I see others who are best friends with members from other chapters/regions – connecting with them not only socially but on a religious/moral level as well. I don’t think that I was in the right mindset to be able to connect to people in such a way, but I feel that I’m in a place now that I am able to do that. I really wish I could go back in time, and tell 16 year old Elyse to not stop going to BBYO meetings, programs, and conventions. I think that it might have had an impact with how connected I could’ve been with the Jewish community in my area and the religion in general.

One of the things I’ve always loved about my religion is its morals. I love the fact that they can be applied to anybody, and not just jews. There are many more than are listed here, and they are applied in all sorts of practices – business, health-related, and in day to day life.

Some of the core values are:

  • The ‘golden rule’ – “What is hateful to you, do not do unto your fellow man. This is the entire Torah and the rest is just commentary. Now go learn.” – Hillel the Elder, to a man asking him to teach him the Torah while standing on one foot.
  • Tzedakah – Justice
  • Tikkun Olam – Repairing the world
  • Shalom – Peace
  • Chesed – Loving-kindness and compassion
  • Self respect
  • Truth

I’d really like to focus on Tikkun Olam – Repairing the world. I’ve always enjoyed helping others in any way I can. Now that my life is steered on a path towards a career in health, fitness, & nutrition, I feel that I’m in a position to ‘repair the world’ on a local level. I want to help others achieve their optimal health and get the most out of their lives. Since being active and eating clean, whole foods, I find myself able to get the most out of life and feel able to do anything.

As was discussed in my sociology class today, there is some kind of connection between poverty and obesity – that may have a number of different variables such as income, lack of education, lack of access to nutritional foods, or simply lack of motivation. Personal training and nutrition consultations are often a luxury allotted for those who can afford it – but I believe that everybody should have access to these things regardless of income.

To sum up this rambling session, I don’t exactly know where I’m going to go from here – but I know that a big chunk of me was missing, and I feel like I’ve just found it and am figuring out a way to put it back in my life so that it fits. I’m on a path steered towards a career in health, fitness, & nutrition, and I want to find a way to incorporate the morals of my religion, particularly Tikkun Olam, so that I may be happy, healthy, and successful in more ways than one as an adult.

Questions for you:

How involved are you in your religion?

Does it influence your life choices?

Do you feel that these values are applicable outside of the religion? How so? 

I’d love to hear your responses!!! 🙂