“Own your desires. Make joy a priority.” Danielle LaPorte wrote a pretty in-depth piece this week about our constant striving to be good in order to be spiritual. I’m still processing it, but there are parts I really liked, like this one:
I wanted to create an ecology for my life that included the rapture of meditation and guilt-free guilty pleasures, a way to live from pure intention without forsaking my primal preferences for, say, telling someone off, sleeping in, the occasional smoke after dinner, and staying up too late to watch stupid movies. I wanted a sophisticated devotion to life without sublimating my human wants — I wanted to lighten up.
I did my first barre method-inspired workout today and it was hard. I’ve been inspired lately to try new ways of working out – ones that are fun and effective. I’m not sure I’ll stick with barre, but it was fun to give it a try. (Related: I’m back to wanting a Fitbit, badly!)
This week I’ve felt a little off-balance, so I’m glad it’s the weekend again. I want to spend it re-centering with some beach yoga, relaxing with my friends, and preparing myself to start off next week on the right foot. As always, you can see my daily adventures by following me on Instagram @lifeinlimboblog. I hope you have a lovely weekend!
This Spring, I decided to get back into running. In high school and elementary school I did a lot of cross-country running, and even though I fiercely disliked race day I remember that I occasionally enjoyed running – or, at least, I enjoyed knowing I could run X number of kilometers. For the last few years, I’ve run maybe a handful of times, never really enjoying it, never really improving. In my first year of university I struggled with feeling insecure about running (seems funny now, but it was so real then) – I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, especially if I wasn’t very good or if I was slow. I went for maybe 2 runs that year. My second year wasn’t much better, since I never liked it and couldn’t come up with a good system to motivate me.
This year, it’s somehow different. I can’t say why exactly. Maybe it has something to do with coming out of a longterm relationship with a new perspective, and a new sense of individuality and autonomy – I’m focusing on myself more than ever. I am learning how to give myself permission to suck really badly or go really slowly. I’m trying my best to pay attention to my progress instead of worrying about how fast other runners are going or if civilians are watching me stumble along. Usually I just pretend they’re watching me run because they’re annoyed at themselves for not running lately! I’ve been reaching out to my running friends and getting advice and tips (thanks Patty + Kyle!) and slowly easing myself back into the running life.
I have to say, a lot of things are coming back to me and it is so much fun to watch myself slowly improve. I wanted to share a few things I’ve been doing to motivate myself to keep running.
Since it’s January, I’m joining in with the masses and making some decisions that I hope will better my health. Actually I should say decisions that WILL better my health, because they already have – I’ve seen changes. Today, I wanted to share some of the systems that have been working for me, mostly because I find them either accessible, easy, or helpful (not necessarily all three!).
First, my diet. This I would not put under the “accessible” category, because it is pretty difficult and requires quite a bit of willpower (for me, at least). But it is definitely helpful and I have seen results after only 2 weeks.
I am following the “slow-carb diet”, written about by Timothy Ferris in his book The 4-Hour Body. You can click the link to see a full explanation of the diet, but the gist of it is: you eat solely protein and vegetables 6 days a week, with a free-for-all day 1 day per week. No carbs (including fruit), nothing that could be considered “white”, no rice even if it’s brown (!), no dairy. Basically your meals should consist of protein and vegetables, and that’s it.
The more you think about this diet, the harder it seems (at first). No fruit! No rice! Unfathomable. And indeed, the meals are a little boring. It’s hard to think of meals that don’t include some kind of carb. But eventually if you think about it creatively enough, you can come up with some food that is yummy and healthy. No joke! Here’s what’s been working for me:
Shrimp stirfry, with peppers, onions and broccoli
Shrimp + avocado salad
Eggs, cottage cheese (allowed in small quantities) and broccoli
Black bean burgers (no bun) with guacamole and salsa
Panfried Korean-style tofu
Sweet potato fries and green salad with edamame, beans or avocado
Bean salad with beans, onions and a light dressing
Homemade chili with lots of kidney beans and veggies
Nuts or spoonfuls of nut butters for snacks
Big mug of tea with 1 sugar cube to fend of nightly sugar urges
Now, I’m a (quasi) vegetarian, which makes this diet a little bit harder for me. If you’re a full-fledged carnivore, it should be a breeze! Swap out different proteins with veggies on the side and you’re set. Personally, I love food, so I haven’t been satisfied to eat the exact same thing every day (except for breakfast). So I’ve tried to be really creative with my food without breaking the rules, and I’ve enjoyed most of my meals immensely.
Is it official? Can we bring out the banners, start the parade? Let’s share cookies and lemonade everyone, because it’s SPRING! It’s finally spring! Hallelujah! We did it. We made it through the long, cold night and we’re now awakening to a bright, warm morning. For students, this is fairly bad timing: the entire month of April promised to be overwhelmed by final papers, assignments, and exams – and overwhelmed it was.
And while Mother Nature is still making up her mind – cold, damp days are still far too frequent for my taste – spring ultimately promises rain, greenery, and sunshine. Delightful!
How to make the most of it? Well, since each season is unique, they each deserve to be celebrated in their own special way. And summer is slowly creeping up on us, so let’s get excited about springtime while it’s still here!