March Mental Fitness Bucket Challenge

bucket challenge march 2015

Hi friends!!!

This month I want to challenge us in another way. A way that will work our hearts and our minds. Afterall, one of the biggest things I have learned over the past few years is that feelings and fitness go hand in hand! Keep up with your healthy and balanced eating, exercising your body and getting to know it better and better but if you can really focus on these four things this month I feel strongly that it will help you get mentally strong and stay in control…

Gratitude

Attitude

Forgiveness

Acceptance

I firmly believe you can manage anything with your mind and that is exactly what I need to do today and everyday. A strong mind that knows what it has been through and that can reflect and make sense of those feelings can do anything!

Something awesome happened the other morning when I wrote these four words down in my journal, I filled the entire page up in no time! I had so many thoughts in my heart and in my mind that needed to get out. They came out like a flood! I needed to put them somewhere! So, I put them in these buckets and it really helped!!! I want you to start a journal and every morning or night, or a few times per week, think about what you need to put in these buckets. You don’t have to tell anyone what they are. They are just for you. I will share some examples of mine though with you. If you do this you must be 100% honest with yourself. It feels so good to get the truth out and it will only make you a stronger, less stressed and more present person every single time you do it. Getting to know yourself better is the best!

Gratitude: name 3 things everyday you are thankful for-big or little, doesn’t matter! What are you happy about in your life? Who do you love? Who loves you today? Who can you help? How can you make a difference? What can you do? What makes you happy? For me one of them is most definitely cooking…that is my favorite hobby above all else so I make sure I am able to do this often!

Attitude: write down the ways you are acting. Are you being patient, kind, positive to yourself and others? If not then write down the truth and work on turning those negative behaviors around. It’s a gentle reminder to check your attitude and adjust accordingly daily.

Forgiveness: this is a huge one. Who do you need to forgive? Is it maybe yourself? Guilt has really been a driving factor as to why I came to this conclusion that I needed to do something to uncover the truth and move on. We must forgive others and mostly we all feel guilty for something in our past maybe…for me it’s divorce and Max, my son, having to be split up and shared. I carry a ton of guilt around because of that all day, every single day for over 5 years now. It’s so heavy! If I worry about Max and his feelings and want to place blame I have to put that in my forgiveness bucket and help him from this point, there is no turning back.  Some things are meant to be for sure but they are also hard to forgive and accept and that’s okay as we just need to work through them. Some of us have a past full of mistakes or what I like to now call experiments. There was a time in my life not even that long ago where I made one bad decision after another for almost 2 years and let myself be majorly taken advantage of. I have grown so much since then because I worked at it. I have to let the guilt go and forgive myself. It’s okay. There are no mistakes in life. We do things based on who we are at the time and then hopefully evolve and get closer to our ultimate happy truth. I am there now more than I have ever been because I am aware of my feelings and I process them. This is one way you can start to do that.

Acceptance: this is an even bigger one!! Ahhh, so many things to accept. For me it’s body image/controlling and obsessing over what I am eating. I honestly don’t even know what I truly look like because my view of myself is so blurry from years of my body changing. All the way back from when I was little and in grade school to present day. Feeling perfect, looking perfect, controlling what I eat, what Max eats and stopping myself from getting upset if things are not going perfect according to the “supposed to” ideas out there. From everything on how to raise a child, your love relationship, what we “should all be doing” in every aspect of life. I am really over that actually. Do what works for you and your family. We are all unique! Accept who you are now and who you were then, no matter what your situation is, accept it and chose to be happy and make the most of it now.

I really hope this month of keeping this bucket journal helps you uncover some hidden truths about yourself and maybe what you are covering up or holding onto. Visualize the buckets at different times of the day or when you need them>>>>put your thoughts into them. In the past week I have visualized these buckets around me and if something is bothering me in my mind I drop it into the appropriate bucket. It’s working! Just try forgiving and accepting yourself and others while living in gratitude with an awesome attitude! That is my goal and I really hope this helps you too!!  Wishing you the best always!! xo-Adrienne

Remember, I am just a human sharing my thoughts and ideas with you….not technically qualified to offer such advice 😉

Tips for breaking through a SLUMP!

breakthrough POST

Hi friends! I have been thinking a lot about you and some of you that have told me that you are in an unhealthy slump or you had a few bad days and are having trouble getting back on point.

Although I can’t see all of you in person to talk I want to try to help you from here!

Here are some tips to get you back on track and realize that slumps are just a part of the process! So do not beat yourself up over it. Let it flow and know that it is normal to have ups and downs. The sooner you get back up the better. Make sure you aren’t doing anything too extreme that you can’t keep up with. Keep daily healthy stress-free habits so that they are part of your life that you really don’t consider a burden. It’s just what you do and how you are choosing to live.

#1. Treat each and every day as if it is the beginning of the process for you-the past does not matter. Those cookies you had or those drinks and cake at the birthday party over the weekend-guess what?? Today, they have no bearing on your fit and healthy future! Start fresh everyday-in attitude, movement and nutrition! Slumps happen because no one is perfect and its okay to live a 80/20 ratio. You can have some downtime, you can go to the game, you can lay on the couch. But you must keep breaking through!!!

#2. Be creative and try something new-food and exercise wise. Nothing breaks you out of a slump like a new class or a new training program or trying some new recipes and snacks! Do not be intimidated by others! Healthy looks different on everybody and every body!

#3. Let others inspire you! Social media is flooded with fitness and food-look at it, copy it, try it, eat it!! Do it! Keep fresh and up to speed with new ideas that are working for others. But stick to your guns and know that only a true long-term healthy lifestyle will get you the healthiest and fittest you! Tag along with a friend on a run or do whatever they are doing for a day. Buddies are the best!

#4. Check in with your mind. Is something bothering you? Is something not right in your love life, family, career? This could be what is literally “weighing you down” and making you unmotivated to get off the couch or put the chips down!

#5. Remember why you started trying in the first place. Get back to that place and start fresh!! That is what is so great about waking up each morning and having the chance to make it even better! So, go make it better! Focus on your physical activity, healthy eating choices and mental health! Because the good life requires all three! I know you can do it!

#6. You and only you can turn it around! If its been days, weeks or even months or years you can turn it around right now! I can’t do it for you, nor can your friends or family members. You hold all of the power to make the changes to get out of the slump. It’s a decision that only you can make.

you got thistryyesterday you said tomorrow

xoxo-A

Fall Goal

FALL GOALHi friends! What are your fitness goals this fall?

I have decided that my body has been screaming for some yoga and for something new! I have decided to try 30 workouts at home from last week through Thanksgiving-roughly 60 days…..

When I decide on something, make it know, write it down and keep track of it my chances of achieving it go way up! I take pride in meeting my goals as I am sure you all do too.  If you are not a goal setting person I strongly suggest you start! Make a list, write it on your calendar, schedule an appointment on your phone to do your workouts. Make it happen and make it enjoyable!

Make them realistic. When I did mine I knew I wasn’t going to do it everyday so I didn’t make it 30 in 30 days, I gave myself longer because that is what is more likely to happen. I chose yoga/Pilates because I need more calm in my life, I wanted to focus on my core and needed a change from running and lifting. I will still run and lift but now I will add in a focus of yoga and Pilates equally.

I was craving the mind/body connection so this is the perfect goal for me right now. It is what I need now. What do you need right now? I have taken hot yoga classes that are over an hour and leave my body feeling demolished. I have run long distances and lifted heavy weights but what I haven’t done is slow focused attention to my powerhouse and my breathing.

I have DVDs and even old VHS videos of yoga and Pilates workouts-I am talking Denise Austin and Rodney Yee, two of my favorites! I have 3 workouts in so far and I keep track with a little circled number on our calendar in our kitchen. Only I know what they mean. In total I have 5 different workouts that I will cycle through to get to my 30 and my hope is actually that I keep it going because I feel so good. This cost me no money and I don’t have to leave the house. Look around what do you have at home that you can use?

I do them at home in the living room alone or while Max plays Legos and trust me, he is watching, he signals me to namaste and Mountain pose and shows me his Tree pose too. These videos are 20 to 30 min each so it doesn’t take a ton of time out of my day and I always feel so amazing after doing them. I am not fatigued or sore. I am simply refreshed and open minded. I am able to be more patient and calm for the remainder of the day.

I am thrilled about my fall goal. Now, what is yours…..???

Wishing you mind/body health and calmness this fall!

xo-A

What can you do in 40 days?

Hi guys!! Throwing a challenge out there to you!

40days

What can you do in 40 days?

What habits can you break?

What new habits can you form?

It can be anything!!!

Here are some thoughts on what you can try……

20 min of exercise each day

No soda/pop

5 servings of fruits and veggies

No caffeine

No smoking

Walk or run a mile

Eat breakfast

No alcohol

No sugar

No eating out or no fast food

Try a new food everyday

You can do any of these for 40 days!

Keep a tally on your calendar starting with day 1. Take it one day at a time.

I am currently on day 27 of no coffee and trust me there is no going back. I will make it to 40 and then I may try a new 40 days of something else. It is empowering to know and show yourself that you can do these things. You can do anything you put your mind to!

The first 7 to 10 days are the hardest in my opinion but you can certainly do this.

 

Wishing you luck and please share with me what you are doing for your 40 days!

xo, A

 

 

Force

I think about this A LOT. Most of the things we are supposed to do in order to live a healthy life we don’t want to do (initially).

When we were growing up our parents forced us to do things and we got mad but where did that get us? Nowhere.

Then you grow up and realize as adults you are going to have to force yourself to do things. We have to go to work. We have to make money. We have to sleep. Why not add in there that we have to eat fruits, veggies, etc. We have to drink water. We have to move our bodies. The way I live now is because at one point I forced myself to do those things which then became habits. When we have kids we are taught not to force them to eat things rather to let them decide which I understand. But when they are older who is going to force them? No one but themselves, I say. That is a hard thing to undo when you are older.

I force Max to eat certain things. He has to learn not to be lazy and not to be picky. He is happy, healthy and hopefully learning that in life you are forced to do certain things and that those things pay off. You have to do them just like you HAVE to go pee pee in the potty or you have to sleep in your bed. 🙂

I know that this is not the “right” way but I feel based on my history as an overweight/under active child who didn’t eat her fruits and veggies and did not move her body regularly it is worth a shot.

Shouldn’t we just force ourselves, isn’t that how we form new habits anyway? By forcing them?

I am 17 days off of coffee and the only way that happened is because I forced myself everyday not to do something that had become a habit. Force is not a negative word to me. It means change to me, it means doing the right thing, what is needed not wanted.

We need water, we need fruits, veggies, protein, carbs, good fats and exercise. So lets force it….because that is what is best for our bodies. “Force” in  the gentlest of terms of course when referring to kids/teenagers  along with education and understanding of why we need these foods and movement. As adults we have to FORCE ourselves to do the right thing. If we don’t then we dig a hole that is really hard to get out of.

What do you guys think??

This is simply my opinion and I don’t expect you to agree 🙂

What have you had to force yourself to do?? Quit something? Start something?

xo, A

quote-Dean-Norris-if-you-force-yourself-to-smile-within-227478

We are LOVE

We-Are-Love

 

 

LoverulesRounded

 

What I have always known about myself  is that I love love! From when I was just a little girl I always sought out love. I wanted books about love and calendars, pens, notebooks…anything! I was never sure and still might not be about a lot of things but I am sure that I have always loved love.

As I grew up and went through school, started dating and eventually got married love was no longer in my view. I don’t know what happened but I got very lost and what I realize now is that I was not focused on love. This does not mean that I wasn’t loving or that I was a mean person it just means that I didn’t focus on it like I did then and like I do now. When I stopped focusing on Love I got lost in life. When I married a person who doesn’t believe in anything I got even more lost. I didn’t realize how important it was going to be to the rest of my life how important it was to believe in something. For my son’s sake I didn’t plan that one out very well. Of course clueless at the time and I am not blaming myself but I did somehow marry someone and have a child with someone who doesn’t believe in anything who eventually cheated on me and divorced me. Without belief in anything and without those values and morals how did I expect anything to last? I wasn’t awake then but I am awake now.

Love now is mostly what I think about. Loving things, books, ideas, sweating, learning, loving myself, loving my life and family, loving strangers, loving people’s differences. Just Love and Loving everything!

Love is what I pray to and for. Love is all that matters. When I put my thoughts out there I am not sure if they are going to the Universe or to God or to the moon, the stars….I don’t know but what I do know is that they are loving thoughts and I believe that Love will find a way and Love will guide me in the right direction.

When I was in my 20’s I wasn’t sure what or who I believed in. Was it God, was it nothing, was there nothing or no one to believe in?  And then slowly and gradually I realized that it was Love that I believed in and always had. I had gotten away from it because I wasn’t surrounded by it and I stopped thinking about it. I still have some of those things I had from when I was younger. There is a reason I kept them because I must have always known that Love was what I was! Below is a book I have had since I was 12 years old…its filled with belief, love, hopes and dreams.

 

flavia book 3
flavia book

flavia book 2

 

 

go where the love ischild

 

 

 

 

My Half Marathon Recap

marathon recap

 

This too shall pass…..truth——->>>>> Marathons are hard, half marathons are hard, 10 k, 5 k, 1 mile….all hard!! We all start at the beginning. It is all uphill from where we start. The beauty is in the training and then in that day of the real challenge. I did better than I thought I would that day time wise but I still struggled. It was still HARD. The challenge is overwhelming at times and yes there were times I wanted to stop but when you get that rush at the end to just go and do your best there is nothing like it!!

I finished this year’s half in 2:16 and last year in 2:32 (I think, I can’t even remember the exact time but that sounds right) I definitely did better!! I ran the first 6 miles with my friend and on the West End bridge she sprinted ahead and I was faced with the rest of the course all alone. I started to freak but held it together and finished strong! I walked through and drank through the drink stations. I grabbed a powerbar at mile 11, I believe, and took a few bites which I think helped. I was definitely starting to feel lonely out there even though there were other runners I still got pretty crazy when left alone with my own thoughts. The last mile and a half I truly gave it all I had and fought like heck to finish as fast as I could!!! It was awesome!

At the race expo 2 days before I got a Reiki healing which was awesome b/c my neck hurt but not after AND I found out I have awesome energy! The woman let me pick a rock out of her basket. I picked the rock that said “Hope” of course because that is my girl that I run for!! I ran with that rock in my belt pack for extra inspiration and it truly helped!  I also got to write her name on the big board at the expo. The expo was fun and I am glad I went! I even got to see some of my old GNC friends there!

I knew when the race was over Tim and Max would be waiting for me at home and I was so excited to see them. They got me flowers, bath salts and made me cards! Big hugs and proudness all around. I took a break from running more than a track lap or two at a time until this morning I did run four miles and walk one. I needed a break but like I said before I don’t totally want to stop running. I want to be an active runner and plan on doing around 5 at least once a week and a 2 miler once a week also. I want to run, do yoga and lift so that is what I will do!

I want you guys to know that running is possible. It can happen if you just start somewhere. It does get easier to go further and longer but you must enjoy the challenge. You must know that it, the pain, struggle and panic will pass and you will be SO proud once you complete and reach goals or do races. Yay, delayed gratification is the best!! Ha!

Until the next race, TBD-if my bladder can handle it….!! Oh ya, forgot to mention my bladder has no control while pounding on the streets of the burg! And for that I apologize.

xo, A

 

 

Why so AWESOME? Why not?

Hi guys! I bet the question of why my blog is called what it is called has crossed your mind. I hope that if you are following my blog or my Facebook page you get me and know this already but just in case you didn’t I thought I would share.

When I started this blog I was going through a real crazy time in my life. I was divorced out of a very bad situation with a young child and suddenly then found myself in an abusive relationship with my then boyfriend. It was an extremely hard time in which I grew and learned a lot. When I started to gain strength and find my passion for fitness and training others I wanted to share that love and passion. I gained my self-confidence, something that I had been missing for a long time, so the word AWESOME came to mind a lot.  The word AWESOME makes me smile and it goes nicely with my A name of Adrienne. It is as simple as that. The word AWESOME is contagious. The word alone gave me the power I needed to pick myself back up and live.

I want to lead my friends, family and clients through example. I want them to call themselves AWESOME out loud like me.  It feels good. It is loving and I believe we should be a little more loving towards ourselves.

I think most of you that know me know that it isn’t me being boastful or conceited. It is just me being me. Fun, energetic, positive and happy!!

Awesome like Adrienne-its hard to say without smiling.

I aim to inspire not boast. I aim to share food ideas, fitness tips, workouts, knowledge, love, happiness, confidence and awesomeness.

My goal is to be awesome in all that I do and hope its yours too!

smile

 

smile 2

 

smile 3

You’re doing a great job! Keep it up! Half Marathon training update

HALF MARATHON TRAINING UPDATE APRIL 14TH

 

Well, I am 3 weeks away from the half marathon and yesterday something wonderful happened that actually brought me to tears while running! I want to share it with you! My running partner and I started out with a 10 mile mission outside at 7 am. The first 4 miles went great! Then because she is a little faster than me she sprinted ahead for the 5th mile which is mostly up hill-actually to be fair it is the hardest part of this particular course! She finished about 1/4 mile ahead of me or about  2 min in front. At first I was thinking, “ummmm what is she doing? why is she leaving me?” But then I realized it was fine and this is about me and her individually and not “us”. SO I conquered that hill and ran back to our cars to shed a layer of clothing, take 2 bites of a banana and some water then we started up again for our second 5 miles.

We started out strong and all was well until about 1/2 mile into it and she went ahead of me again…so there I was ALL ALONE. Again I was like, “what is she doing? why is she leaving me”??? We continued to run-rather I continued to chase her never really trying to catch her but I could see her up ahead and knew she was still with me but also felt VERY ALONE. My knees were starting to throb but that was the only thing that was off. Thankfully, my breathing was good, my time was good, my music was good and I was ok even if I was alone.

Around mile 8 I was starting to really struggle and felt like I was moving so slow! I could still see her up ahead and just kept going. I was not going to let myself quit! As I started up another small hill a runner came by beside me and said very quietly, “you’re doing a great job, keep it up”. I said, “thank you” and sprinted ahead with some tears and a smile. I was already almost in tears from being alone and struggling and when he said that it was the best thing that could have happened to me in that moment! I needed to hear that, badly!

So to that stranger, THANK YOU! You saved my run!! To all of you out there doing and trying and giving it your all….YOU’RE DOING A GREAT JOB, KEEP IT UP!! Isn’t that so nice to hear?!

I  finished our run in an hour and 42 minutes which is a great time for me!! So, alone or not I did it and spent most of that time counting on the fact that I will most likely be running the half alone and thinking I can do it! That is not what I planned as last year I ran with my 2 cousins and we stuck together the entire time which I liked.

My training since the last update has gone well except I had a few more shorter runs than I would have liked but that is what my body could handle at the time. For the next 3 weeks I am going to shoot for three more 6/7 mile runs, one more 10 mile run and three more 3/4 hilly miles runs.

I am still running for my girl Hope, who turned 21 last week! I plan on ordering a tank that says I Run 4 Hope to wear the day of the race! I want her there with me as my inspiration!!

Keep pursuing your goals guys-they feel good once accomplished! Real good!

xo- A

Half Marathon Training/Runnning Info

i love to run sort of

I wanted to share with you all how my half marathon training is going. I started running/training again 2/10/14 and I am training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on 5/4/14. I have just over 30 miles in at this point and I am at a point where my short runs are 2 to 3 miles and my long run coming up this weekend is going to be 7 miles.

Here is the breakdown comparing this year to last year (my 1st half)… it is still HARD! I still struggle sometimes but I am getting better and learning to love it more and more!

Since running the last one in May of 2013 I have greatly improved in these areas:

More strength training-2 to 3 times a week-true muscle-building strength training and a huge focus on my core and legs!

I eat more food/calories in general-you must eat to keep up with what you are putting out or trying to achieve!

I eat more real food-I don’t eat bars and non-food “food”-no quick on the go bars or easy fast packaged foods

I stretch more-several times a week if not daily

I foam roll more-after every run and once a week after “leg” day for sure

I joined a group through Facebook called I Run for Michael http://www.whoirun4.com/  and got matched with a 20 year sweet girl named Hope from NY who cannot walk or talk but is the happiest girl in the world according to her mom! I dedicate all of my workouts and miles to her!! She is a huge inspiration!!

warm day for Hope month 1 for Hope

who do you run for

These are difference makers! I am proof from this year to last.

I have no knee pain after running because my core, hamstrings, glutes and quads are all equally strong and supportive!

I have more energy and can do attitude because I am actually strong and fueled to go run! I used to dread it because I didn’t realize it then,  but I was weak!!

I recover much more quickly-I remember last year crying and not being able to walk up steps after running-boo!

 

A good plan? What has worked for me?

Strength train 2 to 3 times a week

Run 2 to 3  times per week-One short, one hill or speed run and one long run

Yoga or stretch 2 times per week

Now, every week doesn’t go 100% according to plan but it goes something like this and is working out well! I am able to balance life, running, working, being a mom, girlfriend and a totally awesome and happy/healthy version of myself!

What I already want to change FOR NEXT YEAR-last year I stopped running after the marathon was over…big mistake! I will keep running after this one is over for sure year round making things that much easier for 2015.

***3 tips while running to help get you through (I have used them and they work!) —>given to me from a running friend:

1. Focus on the tips of your elbows-as those are the only parts on your body that literally cannot hurt

2. When you run focus on getting your heels up instead of how far forward your stride is

3. Count to 50 every time your right foot hits the ground and then switch to count to 50 every time your left foot hits. The right side of your brain is the side that says “yay! you can do it, this is awesome” and your left side, well it is saying, “why are we running?, stopppppp runnnnninnnnggg, this sucks sooo bad!”  so by focusing on the counting you don’t give your left side a chance to infiltrate and sabotage!!

May 4th-here I come!!!

I hope this info helped you and inspired you to know that you can run too!

 

xoxo-A