Health and Fitness

WALK INTO YOUR PURPOSE

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ― Francis of Assisi For most people signing up for a marathon, 5k, 10k or even popular adventure-themed races can seem like a challenge. Imagine facing that challenge while living with Muscular Dystrophy (MD). Fear, self-doubt and even pain are all reasons to give up. I had so many reasons to gloss over fundraiser invitations, to ignore invites and forget about competing in any type of athletic events all together. That would be too easy. After coming to terms with where I was physically and emotionally, I decided enough was enough. No one wins by shrinking back in the face of a challenge and neither would I. It was time for me to not just endure the process of being diagnosed with MD, bu...

I’M BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER

Over the past few years, my health really deteriorated. I was in a constant battle of feeling depressed, lost and tired. I would gain 15 pounds one month, and two or three months later loose it all in a matter of two weeks. All this happened every year for about four years straight. I was stressed, depressed and far from healthy.  This year was the worst for me so far. I gained over 20 pounds in one month, and felt like I wanted to quit my dream. I had absolutely no desire to keep on going in every part of life. Failing over and over again is something we all have to get used to; it’s going to happen a lot. I felt like I was failing at home, at school, at work and at life.  I guess it’s true when they say that you have to hit rock bottom to bounce back. I was looking at pictures and ...

GAINING THE FREEDOM TO FLOURISH

What would life look like if I could love myself fully? I stared at the page for several minutes, unsure of what to say. I had spent so long not loving myself that I couldn’t imagine life any other way. The empty page of my journal felt overwhelming. I began writing cautiously, feeling that my answers were only guesses, and that the way I viewed the possibilities would be wrong. If I loved myself fully, I would be confident, happy, successful, less stressed—so what was stopping me from feeling these things? Thus, began the process of freeing my mind from all previous negativities that I assumed to be true. All my life, my greatest barrier toward loving myself has been my own thoughts. When I was fifteen, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. I struggled with my body image and with accepti...

DEAR ‘FITNESS TRACKER’ WATCH, WE’RE BREAKING UP

Dear Watch, We need to talk. This thing we’ve been doing for a while now? It’s just not working out any more. At first it was exciting, and I thought you were so good for me… but lately, I’ve been seeing things differently… I’ve become obsessed with you, and it’s NOT good for me. I know you wanted the best for me, I know your intentions were positive and that all you wanted to do was to help me be healthy… but it’s gone too far. You’ve overstepped, big time. And now I’m paying the price. I used to enjoy going for runs, but now I’m just chasing a calorie burn. What used to be good now is never enough. I used to enjoy food. Now I’m consumed in the thoughts of “how many calories am I eating?” “How many hours will I have to exercise to work it off and make you happy, watch?” You constantly mak...

LET’S TALK ABOUT SUICIDE

When Kate Spade took her own life, my Twitter feed was on fire with opinions. There was sympathy…but there was also judgment. People were shocked, wondering aloud how she could be so selfish, leave her family behind, and on and on. I bet that Kate Spade thought she was doing her family a favor. She wouldn’t be a burden to them anymore. Not even a week later, Anthony Bourdain took his own life. I wonder if he was thinking the same. I have personal experience with depression and suicide. I have attempted it; the first time at age 14, but I have a better support system now and feel stable. When I was in the black hole of depression, I felt that I would be doing everyone a favor if I didn’t exist. They wouldn’t have to deal with my moods, feed me anymore, listen to my problems. I wouldn’t have...

THIS QUESTION CHANGED MY LIFE

I used to live in fear. Fear of failure. Fear of falling. Fear of not being pretty enough. Fear of not being lovable. Fear of judgment. Fear was my teacher. Of course, I didn’t know Fear was my teacher at the time. But it was. Fear taught me I better go out of my way to do things to make others like me, for others to think I’m successful, for others to think I’m “perfect,” otherwise… who am I? What is my worth? A major way it showed up in my life was through dieting. At the core of it all, I feared that if I didn’t look a certain way, nobody would love me. I never left the house without my hair and makeup done. I dressed in a way to hide any “problem spots.” I created strict rules around food and exercise. Every day, I woke up with the goal of “staying in line” today. “Don’t mess up, Jules...

YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO LOVE YOUR BODY

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “loving your body.” For some it’s empowering. For others it seems impossible and daunting and like a complete, “YEAH, RIGHT.” I firmly believe that not only can you love your body (as it is, right now), I believe you already know how to love your body. Yes, right now. And, I believe that loving your body is vitally important. In fact, it’s at the very core of being able to live a healthy, happy life. And if you’re sitting there, like, “Girl, you don’t know me…” it’s true. I don’t. But I do know that I’ve had my own struggles with loving my body. I started dieting at the age of 12 praying to lose weight and trim fat. I hated my body. And of course I did, I was taught by the media and practically everyone around me that I should hate my body, pick it a...

KATE AND ME

Kate Spade New York was the first brand I truly fell in love with. It was a brand that understood my needs and I felt an immediate connection to Kate Spade herself. The brand is full of life and color and I am continuously inspired and empowered by the little messages found on dust bags and coffee mugs. My first Kate Spade was a tan handbag that I purchased for myself when I landed my first digital position. Before I checked out, I grabbed a pink glitter wallet and the pair made me feel professional and fun simultaneously. On the afternoon of June 5, 2018, I was sitting in the doctor’s office when I read ABC News’ alarming headline: Fashion Designer Kate Spade Found Dead in Apparent Suicide. I was shocked. I was sad. I was hurt. It was at that moment that I realized the connection I felt t...

JUNE SUPERWOMAN: SIMI BOTIC, HOLISTIC HEALTH COACH

I met Simi on the first truly warm summer day at Fox in the Snow Café in German Village. At this point in time, spring semester was over, and I was living in Cleveland for the summer, but that didn’t stop me from doing this Superwoman interview in person. I felt like I had to; I heard her speak at The Wonder Jam, and everything she said felt so right to me. So right, in fact, that I messaged her via Instagram after her talk to let her know just how important what she said was. An out of character move, but a move all the same. I don’t often find myself nervous for interviews. I love storytelling, and perhaps the best part of my job is the ability to tap into other people’s individual stories, but as I watched a black storm cloud whip wind through the cobblestoned streets of the village, I ...

VEGAN KILLERS- JUST BECAUSE IT’S VEGAN DOESN’T MEAN IT’S GOOD FOR YOU

With a wealth of health propaganda and vast growing superfood products on the market, veganism has soured and become an epidemic. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, there are around 7.5 million vegetarian people in the US and 1 percent (2.5 million people) are vegan. In the United Kingdom, 542,000 people aged 15 or over are vegan and that number is growing. According to the Vegan Society, veganism is now one of Britain’s ‘Fastest growing lifestyle movements. Veganism mainly surfaced to our attention in the west during the 70’s hippy movement but its roots are in religions such as Rastafarianism, Jainism and Buddhism. Rastafarians eat ‘Ital’ foods which comes from the word ‘Vital’. These foods are naturally grown, free of chemicals and do not derive out of animal suffering. Some se...

WHEN MY MIND AND BODY STARTED MISCOMMUNICATING

In today’s ever-changing world the way we speak to each other is continually evolving. With the help of technology a whole new language has been made available to us through smart phones. It has enabled us to interact more efficiently. Yet there is still one line of communication that needs improvement and that is the one between our psyche and body. Fortunately our body has all kinds of ways of letting us know when it needs help or when to slow down. Though the dialogue may vary, the message is often sent in a similar way, which is through a series of signs or signals. This is not unlike the emojis we use on our phones. Whatever your body wants to communicate, it will, but it’s up to us to be like a good partner and try to understand what it wants from us. Unfortunately I didn’t take the ...

PROVIDING A PLACE FOR SPACE

I launched my summer internship program a couple of weeks ago, starting the first meeting with a mandatory workout that I had been envisioning for weeks. I wanted to make an impression that would set the tone for the weeks to come, but I also didn’t want to scare anyone away. We met at a local park and as we finished our warmup lap, I told the ladies that in honor of a sports bra yoga event I was co-hosting that Friday, we would all be running the next lap in just our sports bras. Yes, I went there on day one. I encouraged each woman to listen to their body, run the pace they needed, and to notice the thoughts that ran through their mind as they ran through the course. Then we took off our shirts and began. My goal was to stick with whoever was running last and to make sure that she finish...

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