Managing Life’s Emotional Waters

Life is wild. It can send us spinning in almost every other direction. Nostalgia can take us back to old memories and gloss over the hard times or true feelings. Life can seem so slow to develop but also seems to so quickly pass us by. It’s almost like you need two lifetimes in order to make your dreams come true. Or a second “go round” to perfect all the mistakes you made.

Were they mistakes though?

Feelings are strong and they come from our deepest selves. They are not meant to control us but to serve as a guide.

When you remember what made you happy about a certain time in your life, remember that was YOU. Not someone else. And relish that moment. Treasure those memories.

The only thing more certain than death is change. It is going to happen. In any form. And even death is a form of change. We all battle these waters differently and storms hit each of our ships on their own will.

As I have reflected on the past year of my life…taking time away from corporate America, seeking change. and now living in change. I can see how easily it is to get wrapped up in fear and nostalgia. Wishing for things to stay the same after you have worked so hard for them to be so different.

When people say change is scary…you may think “it’s really not.”. But they don’t mean scary as in a scary movie. Rather, they mean a subtle growing fear that keeps you from making decisions. And if you make those choices the fear grows into possible regret, the unknown, the what if’s & the why did I do this.

Get comfortable with change. Embrace it’s waters. Find the beauty in not knowing and not being beholden to have all the answers. I always say, “I am so glad I am not God. I can barely decide what I want for breakfast, let along all the other things God would probably have to do.” It sounds silly, but it is so true. We as humans were not made to have all the answers. We were made to live in the moment, make mistakes & be happy with each other.

teal fujifilm instax mini camera near white ceramic mug
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

If your community, job, lifestyle or immediate surroundings don’t make you happy here are my top tips for “change”.

  • First: Change YOUR perspective. Ask – am I being positive? Am I being grateful? Am I looking at the good in this situation and getting excited about what is unique here?
  • Second: Healthy Distence. If a friend group, job or place makes you unhappy after you try and make a shift (shifts can take weeks! Even lifetimes depending on what is being shifted) and you find you are perpetuating unhealthy thoughts / patterns / unhappiness create some boundaries around the things that cause this making time & room for better people and things.
  • Third: Make a game plan. Take a calculated risk. Save your cash. Find a new bar. Join a new after work club. Try a new gym. Move to a new apartment. Build a side hustle or search for new jobs.
  • Forth: Reflect on what used to make you happy. Nostalgia is tricky – but some things are emotional triggers for us. Sometimes going back to those can either bring us closure or give us new ideas on areas we can explore again or “Get back to” emotionally if we remember a really happy / healthy time in our lives. How can you find that again given your new circumstances?
  • Fifth: JUMP. At some point you will just need to make the change. Quit your job. Accept a new job. Make a move. Reach your savings goal and open that business (find an accountant!). Take a BREAK from your significant other. Tell your friends you are BUSY. Take a vacation.

Change doesn’t always mean you have to “Eat, Pray Love” your way through life making drastic choices traveling the world feeling all the things. Sometimes it just means listening to yourself, remembering the good times, remembering TODAY is your good times of tomorrow. Finding a new commute. Going back to an old commute. Finding new friends. Or realizing your old friends are just fine. Maybe you finally understand the grass is not greener on the other side and you go back to your roots. Or maybe you open yourself up to new possibilities & to meet new dating prospects / jobs / locations.

 

Just remember, life is precious, and although we all face these rough waters. Remember they have been faced before and will be faced again by you and many others. See the good in every single moment and create your happy place wherever you are. Those are the memories you have control over making good TODAY so you can remember them fondly tomorrow.

Delicious Blueberry Muffins

Meal prepping, baking, cooking. It can all be a pain. Especially when we have busy lives. Something I have started doing in order to manage my busy mornings is make protein heavy, healthy fat, blueberry muffins to eat when I am on the go. I don’t eat them every day and yes sometimes I still pack something more “substantial” but I can count at least one day weekly where I am running out the door without any time for anything other than getting up and going.

Thats where these boys come in.

These blueberry muffins are a favorite of mine.

I originally got inspired by a recipe from my nutritionist Ellie (who is amazing) and after making them a dozen times, I put my own spin on them. These are delicious and an easy grab and go option!

joanna-kosinska-4qujjbj3srs-unsplash

What you will need: 

  1. 3 3/4 Cups of Almond Meal
  2. 1 tsp baking Soda
  3. 3/4 tsp Salt
  4. 8 scoops collagen peptides (any will do – suggest unflavored – scoops should be smaller than a protein scoop)
  5. 2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein (any will do – but prefer clean brands)
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 3 TBSP honey or maple syrup
  8. 3 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter if you have no coconut oil)
  9. 1Tbsp Apple cider Vinegar
  10. 1 Cup Blueberries (fresh – unfrozen)
  11. 2 tsp Vanilla
  12. 1-2 Tbsp Cinnamon (to taste)

How to Make Them: 

  1. Preheat oven 350ºF
  2. Line or oil 12 cups in a muffin tin (I like spray on butter / coconut oil)
  3. In a mixing bowl – combine all dry ingredients
  4. In another bowl – combine all wet ingredients
  5. Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients – eliminate any clumps
  6. Distribute batter into cups
  7. bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes (my ovens sweet spot is 22 mins for these guys)
  8. Make sure center of muffins are set and edges are golden brown

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 1.23.25 PM

Enjoy!

xoxo Mal

It’s All About Your Perspective

I feel as humans we all get caught up in this very interesting rhythm of our small, immediate worlds. Something I was thinking about this morning, is how everything is about our perspective. Our world view. Its strange really if you really begin to emphasize a different view and live differently how your world feels more…open?

It’s like working a stressful job and being in a strict routine daily, then one day waking up and realizing there are a million things happening OUTSIDE of your routine and the people you see every day. Theres a million different ways to view and live your life even within your strict routine and if you really wanted you could choose to make a change – either with your routine / job or with your mindset. You could think….instead of being stressed out every night before bed, what if you start looking forward to your early morning wake-ups and view that presentation you have coming up as less of a “make it or break it” type of situation to ease the pressure on yourself. You will be amazed at how just a slight SHIFT in your thinking and view on your own immediate life could change how you see things.

Something I am learning in my 20s is balance.

I fucking hate balance. It’s important but sometimes I feel like I focus so much more on balance it actually begins to stress me out.

But here is the thing. I get caught up in different rhythms or my soul and mind wake up at different times to different things. Like when I am broke I think “I NEED TO HUSTLE and make more money!”. When I am hustling ill wakeup inside and think “I am only in my 20s once – I need to have more fun, go to the bars, and maybe move somewhere new!”

Thinking about all the things we could potentially regret or miss out on in our lives is relentless. And pointless to some degree. You are always going to miss out on something, somewhere. You can’t live a million lives in one lifetime. If you were born in the midwest and grew up going to church and living in a humble home – always yearning for yacht parties and trips to Bali with Billionaires – maybe you will make it a life goal to go achieve that. But you will be surprised at how your roots and family affect how you view your life and what you place value on to some degree. You might choose not to chase that fantasy and stay put – and there is NOTHING WRONG with that either. It’s ok to live a humble life, happy with being in one place, surrounded by people who love you.

danielle-macinnes-IuLgi9PWETU-unsplash.jpg

Also, you need to think rationally – if you need to have a job, pay your bills and save before you can do something crazy, then do that! Timing is never perfect but also it’s all on you! There is no perfect time and you don’t have to do it all in your 20s. I think the biggest lessons I am learning are to follow my dreams, be responsible with my money, make friends, work hard, but HAVE FUN. Don’t take crap from people, know when it’s THEIR ISSUE and not yours. Also – always be the bigger person and handle things with grace. I know there is no such thing as “You will never work in this town again” because no single person could hold your fate like that. But there is such a thing as building a bad reputation. Always be the bigger person and lead with grace, give people room to make mistakes and be themselves but also set boundaries.

Changing your perspective and surrounding yourself with people who challenge what you believe and how you see your world – is HEALTHY. Remember that you control your fate and that there is nothing wrong with staying put or moving forward. Whatever you do, give it your all and be HAPPY. Life truly is too short to waste it being sad.

 

Xoxo

Malissa

Shift: 26 and Feeling Blessed

HI!

Long time no read.

I am writing to finally announce that my blog will be making a shift. After many long conversations with myself. And my Therapist. I have decided that dedicating my blog to more than just fitness and wellness, but talking about my journey as a 26 year old young business woman & fitness expert would be a journey people can relate to. My intention isn’t for this to only be relatable to 26 year old females but to people on all walks of life. Especially in your early 20s and 30s. I don’t know why but the fact that life is “short” and we only get one “physical” life has been really sinking in.

Like – I will never be able to go back in time. I will never be able to get another “shot” at doing any of the things I want to do in life. Also guys – in case you didn’t know – YOU ONLY LIVE THIS EXACT YEAR OF YOUR LIFE ONE TIME SO STOP WORRYING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE AND THINK STRATEGICALLY AND ACT.

Along side fitness – meeting people and helping others is something I am sooo passionate about. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have connections with people around me.

I have to admit – I do not always feel blessed or motivated to connect with others. A lot of the time I wonder…is what I am doing even purposeful? Does what I do matter? You must always answer this question with your gut but also remember…YES! 26 and feeling blessed is about life’s journey for young adults..it’s about connecting with yourself and your purpose. It’s about the downfalls of comparing yourself while you are on the biggest hills and valleys of your life’s roller coaster. It’s about having the strength to pat your friends on the back when they reach their hills before you and you are JUST getting started. 26 and feeling blessed is about working towards accepting yourself and seeing the beauty around you. Taking your blessings and making the life of your dreams with them.

The 20s can define us. So why not talk about it? Why not start a community out there to help people who are interested in defining themselves?

 

What do you want help with in life? What kind of community are you looking for?

 

Xoxo

Mal

 

 

Get Connected: Why People Are Important in Your Career

Recently I have had life test me in all aspects of the word. The thing that saves me? GETTING CONNECTED.

Finding a community around your interests and career will only make you better. I am realizing that you need to be able to lean on people. Some things yes, you need to do for yourself, like cooking your breakfast if you are on a diet or making yourself go to the gym. Or physically doing the assignment you said you would for your boss. BUT. Just like in the fitness industry, everyone needs a coach, in WORK everyone needs mentors and people to learn from as well.

I really tried hard to make this a “one man show” for a long time. Until recently.

I started freelancing and OH BOY did I learn the hard way how important it is to rely on quality people.

I recently joined a group called Women in Digital Denver. I was invited by an old co worker and honestly, joining this group gave me so many connections and so much advice just in one night, I was ASTOUNDED. I highly recommend you connect with them in your area if you work in the digital space!!

I know sometimes with work its hard to ask for advice or put yourself out there. Rejection happens often and swiftly. BUT. YOU ARE TRYING! Joining women’s groups or teams of people outside the office is a great way to network and find EVEN JUST ONE quality person you can lean on for advice. Remember – more brains are better than one, so never count out the opportunity to connect and learn from your peers.

 

bruno-cervera-368194-unsplash.jpg

 

I am so grateful and lucky to have had an opportunity to connect with this group, and I recommend going to conferences, meeting others in your community of work and learning with them!

Never be ashamed for asking for help, and if someone is “too busy” “too cool” or “doesn’t want to give away their secrets” then you don’t want to learn from those people anyways.

Be open, honest, and always keep client confidentiality, but never forget we are all just people trying to do our best work. It can be tough so if you have the time or opportunity to give someone a hand in their career, even if it just over coffee or via text, do it. You have no idea when you will need help in return!

 

XX Mal

CAFFEINE: Top 5 Things You Should Know

Coffee is central to a lot of our lives. Especially in Western culture, where we are constantly in our “on the go” mentality. Coffee is delicious, it is activating, and it is something many people cannot even wakeup without. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Drinking coffee can actually worsen exhaustion, increase your inflammatory response in your body, as well as dehydrate you as coffee is a diuretic. It can also negatively affect your heart, so be ware if you have heart issues.

With everything in life, BALANCE is key.

So how do you balance your coffee intake? How do you not drink something you love and that is essential for waking up and getting shit done? After a recent stint with a concussion, coffee started to give me AWFUL headaches. HOW CAN I SURVIVE WITHOUT IT? I asked myself. Well once my symptoms got better, I found other ways of waking my body up in the morning. Nutrients and Vitamins in the morning, smoothies, herbal teas, apple cider vinegar, all were aids to naturally helping my body wakeup using its own energy stores. After, when I went back to drinking coffee, I realized I didn’t need 5 cups to be productive, or that I should drink water instead.

Here are 5 ways to tell you might need a break from Coffee: 

  • You Can’t Wakeup without it. If you are at a point in you life where you absolutely cannot function without the smell or taste of caffeine, you are likely addicted to it. Coffee addiction is normal, and happens to the best of us, but next time you are ill or have a weekend off, try running out on your errand without a cup of joe. OR grab some tea and make a healthy breakfast FIRST and then see how you feel after.

 

  • You Feel Bloated, headache-y, or waterlogged. If you are retaining water, or bloating this means the coffee is likely dehydrating you or causing an inflammatory response in your system. Time to pump the breaks. If you start feeling like this, drink water, eat some fruit, and start incorporating more veggies. In the morning, start your day with B Vitamins and a LARGE glass of ice cold water. Try going a full week without anything, or even a weekend, before resuming consumption.

 

  • It no longer makes you productive. Caffeine counter acts, or mimics a molecule in our brain known as adenosine, which naturally causes you to feel tired and helps you sleep at night. However, the more caffeine you drink, the more of the adenosine receptors you have due to Caffeine pushing those molecules out of the way and hijaking their “original receptors”, and the more caffeine you need to plug them up. Eventually caffeine loses it’s luster and simply becomes a means for survival or productivity. It also boosts our adrenaline, which can be great in the morning, but can leave us feeling tired and exhausted if we over consume.

 

  • You develop a heart issue. If you have a heart problem, or develop one, the increase in adrenaline, could cause issues with your heart muscle. Caffeine affects your full system, so take it slow and ease off if you develop heart issues. Also make sure you are consulting your doctor and seeking help and advice from your cardiologist or primary care physician about what you should avoid. Chances are, caffeine might be on the list.

 

  • If you just want to clean up your diet. Caffeine can cause a lack of hunger, which is unfortunate. If you are cleaning up your lifestyle, the last thing you need is dependency, or an appetite suppressing substance. You want to learn about your body, and listen to it when its hungry. It’s important when you have cravings to understand what they mean, try working with a nutritionist to discover best food options for you and what your body is looking for instead of eating junk food or drinking a cup of joe!

 

All in all, caffeine has a TON of benefits too, studies show it can help reduce cancer, assists with depression, and does increase overall productivity. And ITS DELISH. But as I said before, everything is healthy in moderation. So if you are noticing issues or dependency, take a weekend off from your routine, and listen to your body.

XOXO Mal

 

 

Throw Me a Bone

Life is tough. I am sitting here on my moms back porch just contemplating and thinking about where my life has taken me, where I am now, and how I got here.

My Dad was just in the hospital – and thankfully he has made an initial recovery. However, this is where the real work begins. I almost lost my dad a few days ago. It was a real wakeup call. It made me realize, my parents won’t be around forever. My mom said a prayer with me yesterday and she said, ” I keep directing you toward God because your dad and I won’t be here forever.”

That really stuck with me. The struggle only gets more real from here on out. I never realized what bliss I lived in while I was in college & my younger years. But it was definitely bliss.

23498078_1436483019803929_4812951209574924288_n

 

Being an adult has been a slow and painful wakeup call. The past 4 years have been learning experience after learning experience, issue after issue, self exploration, being broke, making money, hating money, needing money, crying, laughing, reveling in my independence, kicking myself for not being better/faster/smarter/born in a different body. I have come to realize a FEW dreams, while I have watched so many grandiose hopes & goals just fall by the wayside as I make room for things that are more important.

I am not saying I have given up on my dreams, but life FORCES you to shift. I have been in the middle of a shift for 4 years, and I know I am not done yet. Some dreams have to go, in order for you to meet new dreams. Whatever those are & however they benefit you the way you need.

This circumstance with my parents was sort of a catalyst…something that made me realize. I can’t fight adulthood. I can’t pretend I am in college. I can’t keep grieving the loss of my adolescence. And remaining in denial or not pursuing life because it’s hard or not fun will only leave me regretting things in the end. I need to embrace where I am at and realize that it’s ok to be sad as I see my youth go by year after year. I am not drinking on Thursday’s anymore or wearing Victoria’s Secret Pink college tops, but I have the opportunity to do something.

I think that is what is so scary. Adulthood hit me so fast, I have been fighting it.

This past week has forced me to re-think the fight. Maybe instead of fighting adulthood and wishing it weren’t here it’s time to embrace it. Like death, it happens fast, you are never prepared for it, and just like I still feel like I am 15, my dad still feels like he’s 20 so having a heart attack and almost dying was a HUGE DEAL. It is his first realization about how TRULY short life is& how being alive is a blessing. If just getting on my own health insurance is scary, how scary is facing your own demise?

I know it sounds morbid, but I can’t stress enough. Life really just hits you like a mac truck. You don’t see it or notice it second by second, but when you hear it you start running, then eventually you just have to look at it and embrace it because it’s too late. There is nothing you can do about it. There is no way to change it. You can deny it, but it will hit you. Can can protect yourself from it but eventually that will fade too.

The best thing I can do for myself is just grow up. I need to truly embrace where I am at and start grinning and bearing the tough stuff so I can get to where I need to be. My parents need to live their lives. I need to follow my dreams and let things die that are proving not to be fruitful. It’s tough, but who cares! I don’t have time to waste.

The beauty of life being short is, you realize what you do really matters on this earth. Also, the stupid shit REALLY doesn’t matter.

Believing in God for me is essential for my personal compass. But believing in myself is also important because people and things are ephemeral.

What I am trying to say is, embrace where you are at. It sucks sometimes, it’s not fun, it’s not pretty, maybe you missed the mark. But you are ALIVE. You have shit going for you. You HAVE GIFTS. Be happy. Chase happiness, & find a way to pay your bills along the way. Learn religions & about different philosophies. Look at the starts. Put your phone down and hike to a high point, until you cry with fear. EXPERIENCE LIFE. Find people you love and stick by them, cry with them, leave them and find new people. Stay connected, make love, get married, have a family or never have a family and be a crazy aunt or uncle.

Everything happens for a reason, you have the power to work hard and use your talents to invest in YOURSELF. Your life is priceless, who cares if you are a millionare. You are a fucking miracle. That is what counts, no matter what age or what you have done with your life. May it be nothing or everything. But it is so so important to grow up, be self sufficient, and provide for yourself.

Sometimes you need life to throw you a bone, to give you a break. So look for the small breaks and run with them. It’s harsh and can be crazy, but sometimes it can make all the difference. ❤

XOXOXO Mal

Pilates: What is it? How can it help?

So most of you, if not all of you, may have heard of a little thing called pilates. It is a crazy workout that looks like it does nothing, but it actually does everything.

Pilates sets you up for the basics! It starts with deep core muscles, that stabilize your hips, pelvis, spine and allows you to draw your strength from inward. It centralizes your movement and helps your body create balance.

Pilates is more than a fad, it is a way to exercise with minimal/no impact, it has rehabilitative qualities, it strengthens targeted muscle groups while appropriately incorporating your core, hips and back. It actually physically lengthens your spine and muscle fibers without over stretching or hyper extending any muscle groups.

Who does Pilates?

  • Pilates is not just for moms and old ladies (although moms and old ladies are on to something) young kids can prevent injury by incorporating it into their training routines for youth sports, dance, etc.
  • Men can benefit from it, as it assists with managing their bodies with age, just like with women! Helping to prevent and work through many medical issues.
  • Male athletes (such as the Broncos football team) actually do pilates to strengthen their core and important muscle groups to prevent injury in season. It also assists with mind-muscle connection for better fast twitch rapid fire with your nervous system!
  • It stretches and rehabilitates your muscles and is a great way to show your body TLC and balance it out.
  • Pilates is sustainable, so you will be able to do it throughout your life, and starting young will only make your body healthier and age better.

As I work on becoming a certified Pilates instructor, I learn more and more about my body, my bodies needs, imbalances I have, how to strengthen my core and give my spine proper care.

 

Pilates can be expensive, which may be a huge barrier to entry to some. But many studios will do free classes monthly, put on a free class at community events or fairs, or often they do give aways. If you happen to know a friend or family member to practices regularly, often studios do friend and family memberships or merge memberships which can be helpful! It doesn’t hurt if you know someone who instructs for a little help on the Mat once in a while too 😉 .

23734047_1930366550561124_9108872636854697984_n

A simple at home practice you can do: 

  • If you have a mat, pull it out and do 3 simple wokrouts
    • plank for 1 minute at a time, keep your eyes down, neck neutral, shoulders away from your shoulders and soft, and keep your belly level (no dipping or raising!)
    • Superman – 15- laying on your stomach, arms stretched out like superman in front of you, raise your arms & chest off the floor for 3 seconds, and lower. Make sure you are pulling in your stomach, and using your deep core to raise your chest.
    • Leg raises – 15 – with your hands under your butt or held out behind your head if you have a strong core, keep your stomach in tight, activating your deep core & transverse and raise both your chest and legs, then lower to where they hover just above the ground.

 

This community is filled with people just trying to better themselves and create an overall healthier lifestyle that is also sustainable. The unique and beautiful individuals I have met through the practice of Pilates and Yoga inspires me daily. Hearing their stories, hopes, dreams and talking with them about their goals really helps to give me perspective on my own life.

It truly is a community of strong, positive and happy people.

 

Please let me know if you want to try it some time! I would love to hear your stories and experiences.

XOXO ❤ Mal