“You have to make a choice – it’s either your daughter or me.”
Fellow fans of The Office (U.S. version) might recognize that quote as one of Kelly Kapoor’s crazy approaches to relationship management. Spoiler: Daryl make the right choice. The second quote belongs to him.
Last week, I attended a conference where the closing speaker was none other than Kelly IRL, Mindy Kaling. Among her many accolades, Mindy’s a writer and a first-time mom, so she and I have lots in common (yes, I’m being intentionally absurd with that statement).
Another thing we have in common – along with virtually every other mother in the world? Mom guilt.
What is Mom Guilt?
Non-technically speaking, mom guilt is the phenomenon of moms feeling guilty about doing anything that doesn’t involve being a mom. Working mom guilt, workout mom guilt, dinner with your girlfriends mom guilt, going to the bathroom alone mom guilt – really, nothing’s off-limits here.
In a world where fathers are doing more to split parenting and household duties (or I’m just lucky and my husband kicks ass in this arena), along with the world shoving “self-care” down our throats, it’s kind of crazy that mom guilt still exists. But it’s real.
And it’s no longer just for moms. I know many fathers out there feel the dad guilt from time to time.
A Different Perspective
At the end of Mindy’s talk, she opened the floor to audience questions. One woman, another new mom, asked her how she deals with feelings of mom guilt for being such a badass working mother.
Her response was one I’d never heard before, yet it was obvious, while also being super real.
In not these exact words, Mindy basically said that she reminders herself that her mother worked and how much she admired her for doing that. There were nights she wouldn’t see her mom but she was proud of her for working.
That really resonated with me.
I have no idea what kinds of things my son will find cool when he grows up, but I hope that these things, these things that sometimes give me #momguilt, make him proud. I hope the fact that I pursue these other things in life, that I work hard to enjoy life and be happy, I hope he’s proud of his mom.
Of course, this will never erase the mom guilt. Hell, I sometimes even get wife guilt for many of these same things, even though I’ve learned that getting up early is the best way to fit it all in.
But I’m going to start viewing it through a different lens, one that reminds me the life I have outside of my family is one where they – hopefully – are proud of me.
Okay, moms and dads – spill it. Tell me what gives you the guilt, but now spin it and tell me how those things can be good examples for your children. The comments are all yours so please share.
It’s the first week of the month which means it’s a #wednesdaywisdom blog week. However, I’m going to be away at a conference this week so I wanted to post before I leave.
Last month, technical difficulties shook up Wednesday Wisdom and pushed it to #thursdaythoughts. If you missed that one, read now for stories about feeling confident and good about yourself. So let’s keep this party going – I bring to you #mondaymotivation.
Ironically, I’m not someone who believes in motivation. I believe we make choices – period. However, I know most (normal) people love the concept of motivation, and the encouragement and inspiration it brings. In that spirit, here are three quick workout motivation tips.
1. Six Reasons Why Health and Fitness Resolutions Fail
Read these six reasons why fitness resolutions fail to help avoid that same fate and set yourself up for success.
2. How to Make an Exercise Program Stick – Change Your Mindset
Looking for tips to create a healthy lifestyle? It doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen magically. A big piece of it comes down to a shift in mindset.
3. The Myth of Motivation
I had to. I couldn’t avoid a reminder that you can’t rely on motivation – you have to make good choices to be healthy, fit, and well. There is no secret to getting motivated. You either do shit or you don’t.
Do you have questions or topics I can address with a #wednesdaywisdom blog or in a new, full blog? The comments are all yours to ask questions, share ideas, or, you know, just leave a comment – so do it, please.
“Together, everyone achieves more.”
Running is, for the most part, a solo sport/activity. It’s up to each individual runner to stick to goals, get in the miles, and run his or her best race on event day.
One of the reasons I enjoy running is because of this solo aspect. I enjoy the “me” time of my runs and if I succeed or fail at my goal on race day, it’s on me.
As a goal-oriented achiever, I love the sole credit I can take for a job well done.
As someone who’s all about taking personal responsibility for what happens in life, I love the sole blame I take when I come up short.
But, recently, it occurred to me how much runners actually depend on others to achieve their goals. I’m not referring to school-age or professional runners who compete in relays, that sort of thing, I mean the average adult who chooses to run, for their health, weight management, or for the joy of race days.
Support in Training
When I was training for Grandma’s Marathon, my first full marathon since having my son a year earlier, I was nervous as to how I was going to fit in all the runs, while still taking care of my family. Turns out, I needed help from others to achieve this goal.
First and foremost, my husband had to be supportive. And I don’t mean he had to “watch” Abel so I could run. Abel’s his son, that’s just him being a parent. He had to be willing to adjust his workout schedule and time to help me accommodate runs. Even if I got up at 4 a.m. to do every run before the day begun, I still had to rely on my husband to be home to watch Abel on the monitor in case something happened.
I also needed my family to be supportive. My in-laws and my parents stepped in to babysit Abel when Chris was gone or our schedules otherwise didn’t work out to .
My work family was also supportive, particularly my boss at the time. He was more than understanding of my request for added flexibility to extend beyond the typical reasons to leave early like appointments and include running.
Then there’s the emotional side of support. My husband, family, and work all supported the emotional needs I had as a runner. This is also where my friends stepped in the most.
Of course I couldn’t leave out my friends; they were also super supportive. A few of us were training for various races at the same time and would frequently check in and share our ups and downs. We were each other’s biggest cheerleaders up to and on race day.
Support on Race Day
Speaking of race day, there’s another supportive group of people in the running community that exist for the sole purpose of helping others achieve their goals: pacers.
A recent poll of my runners of Instagram and Twitter showed a majority of runners don’t run with pace groups – makes sense. But people don’t have to run in pace groups to benefit. There are reasons to run with a pacer and reasons not to. I’ve had plenty of people tell me they’ve pushed themselves to catch up with me in that last mile of the race – and I love it when they pass me before the finish line.
I love being a pacer. It doesn’t get much better than knowing you helped a fellow runner achieve his or her goal on race day or just made their experience better by being there. The hugs and high-fives, the thank-yous and smiles, plus, the sheer fun of participating in lots of races – it’s a pretty great gig.
No, I’m not only giving the shoutout to pacers because I am one. It’s because I really have seen, heard, and experienced the impact they have on runners, ever since my first time running as a pacer.
It’s true that no one achieves anything alone. And as much as running is an individual sport, others are needed for every runner to accomplish goals.
Runners or those who support runners – do you agree? What other examples do you have for runners being supported in different ways?
“Replace negativity with positivity.”
Goal-setting is among the best methods to stick with healthy habits for the long-term. A combination of small, short-term goals and larger, long-term goals can combine to keep up a healthy lifestyle.
Oh, how I love goals. Not shocking to anyone who has read this blog, even occasionally. With all the love I have for goals, certainly there’s no way a bad goal could exist…is there?
Good Goal or Bad Goal
When digging deeper into goal-setting, there is something that separates a goal from more likely to achieve and not so likely to achieve. And it’s not what one might think.
Surely, setting a goal to lose 5 pounds in a month is more realistic than losing 25 pounds in a month. But that’s not what I’m talking about. This isn’t about a good, realistic goal vs. a bad, unrealistic one. And I’m certainly not in a position to tell anyone their goal is bad – if your goal is to lose 25 pounds in a month and you have a solid strategy to do so, I’ll be here with high-fives.
What I’m talking about is one simple rule everyone can apply to goals to make them more achievable: Positivity.
Positive Thoughts Make a Difference
Mindset matters. A positive mindset compared to a negative one can make a big difference in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. In a recent blog, I shared how to have a better run by finding the positive moment (there’s always something). For this reason, positivity is key in attaining goals.
Specifically, positivity focused on yourself. My favorite band, 311, is all about positivity – they sing about it, they live it, and they’re so right on. Whenever we set goals or are looking to improve, it’s so easy to start the conversation with a negative thought. Ugh, I suck at planning ahead meals. Damn, why can’t I get my ass to the gym after work.
When setting goals, try not to point out something negative about yourself. Instead, turn it around and give the goal a positive vibe.
Keep It Positive
For example, here are a few different ways one could look at the two areas of self-improvement noted above.
1. Instead of this as the basis for a goal:
I will stop being so last-minute with meals.
I will work on better planning and prepping for meals.
From there, you could set a SMART goal, like:
I will plan ahead and prep at least two
2. Instead of this:
I need to stop being so lazy after work and get to the gym.
I will focus my energy and plan ahead to go straight to the gym after work instead of going home.
The SMART goal could then be:
I will go to the gym after work for at least 30 minutes, at least three times this week.
Healthy and Happy
It’s simple, yes. But goals are meant to reinforce healthy, positive changes. And healthy starts within ourselves. Let’s not use goals as another opportunity to beat ourselves up – pretty sure most of us do that enough already, amiright?
Let’s instead use goals to harness positive vibes and energy. Is it a guarantee that a positive mindset will help everyone achieve their goals? Of course not…but why not try? There really isn’t anything to lose except negativity.
Do you try to put positive emphasis on your goals? Do you have any other tips that lend themselves to more successful goals?
“It’s all in your head.”
Running without headphones – I’m a big fan. I can’t tell you the last time I wore headphones on a run. Nothing new, I’ve blogged about this before, both why I enjoy it and the benefits of running without headphones – safety, mindfulness, all of it.
Then, this past weekend, a few of us were out for dinner and the topic came up. My bro-in-law seemed less curious about why and more interested in what – as in, what the hell do you do all those minutes if not filling them with music, a podcast, or other noise in each ear.
I started thinking about running without headphones and the different ways I use that time. Typically, I always think about food – what I’m going to eat after my run, obviously. But there are plenty of other things I take the opportunity to do and think about when not filling my head with noise from a device – and you can, too.
From morning runs to evening runs, from runch to race-day, here are three things you can do during each run when you don’t have headphones.
Arguably the most difficult and the most rewarding (for me anyway), the morning run is an opportunity to start off the day in the best way possible. Here’s how skipping headphones helps.
1. Wake up: Quite simply, morning runs without headphones are a chance to wake up in a peaceful, yet energizing way. Take in the fresh air, let the body warm up – and do it all in a calming way, without upbeat music blasting through your ears.
2. Gratitude: There’s something about quiet mornings, birds, and sunrise that has a way to make a person feel grateful. For those who practice daily gratitude (or those who don’t but would like to), the morning run is a great time to be, consciously and intentionally, grateful for another new day.
3. Prioritize: There’s a lot to do every day, right? A morning run is a great opportunity to start with a clear head and prioritize the day.
After a long day, there are few things in life better than an evening run (for me anyway). Before Abel arrived, I used to look forward to my evening run and I still do on days there’s enough time to bring him along. As running is a big stress coping strategy for me, here’s how doing it without headphones is really beneficial.
1. Unwind: Good days, bad days, let’s be real – every day is filled with some crap. An evening run is a good opportunity to think about the crap once more but then let it go. Because there are more important things in life with which to fill that headspace.
2. Simmer down: Along with letting go of crap, there are plenty of things on any given day that really get to us, to our core. Maybe a coworker did something rude. Perhaps a spouse didn’t put away the laundry. Whether big or small, things get to all of us. Take this time to simmer down and maybe you can let go of that crap, move on, and be happier.
3. Resolve conflicts: Or, if you can’t let go of the crap or it needs to be resolved, think about what you want to say to that person, how you want to show up to address that conflict. Running is seriously the best time to reflect, gather the right thoughts, rehearse the conversation, then be ready to deal with it rationally.
Lunch Runs – Runch
I’m new to running at lunch – runch as I shared in a recent blog. It’s the rarest of all runs (for me anyway) but offers big-time benefits when forgoing headphones.
1. Reprioritize: Similar to the morning run, thinking time during a runch can help to collect one’s thoughts, mid-day now that some of the clutter has been cleared out, and re-prioritize the rest of the workday – because, things come up. Always.
2. After-5 Thoughts: Beyond work tasks, runch is a great time to prioritize those precious evening, off-work hours.
3. Me-Time: Between meetings and coworkers, customers and phone calls, or kiddos and playgroups, most people don’t get much solo, distraction-free time during the day. Runching without headphones to take in a few valuable moments that are just you – think about something or think about nothing. It’s your time.
Perhaps the easiest and most fun day to leave the headphones at home, here’s how no music can enhance the event-day experience, whether a 5k, 10 mile, or full marathon.
1. Talk…to Strangers: When I pace, I love talking with other runners. I love hearing where they’re from, why they’re running, what’s inspiring them, all of it. Sadly, I don’t get to do this with most runners on the course, as most wear headphones. It’s totally cool that most choose to wear headphones but, even when I’m not pacing, I love chatting during a run, for many of the same reasons.
When my friend, Maggie, chose to skip her headphones at Grandma’s Marathon, I loved it because that gave us 4-plus hours of friendship time – not talking the whole way or talking about much at all, really, but just having each other’s ear and attention.
2. Keep On the Goal: Running without headphones is great for keeping a pace and consistent breathing to have the best run. It’s easy to throw off cadence and pace every time a new song comes on – whether the beat is faster or slower – and never really settle into a solid pace and breathing rhythm. Sure, music can motivate, but it’s mindfulness of breath and step that makes for a great run.
3. Be There: There’s a lot to enjoy during a run and being fully present, sans-headphones, is the best way to take it all in.
Why do you run without headphones? What types of thinking do you do?
It was supposed to be time for another round of #wednesdaywisdom, my monthly wellness, health, and fitness advice in a quick, easy-to-digest format, designed for maximum energy and inspiration.
But WordPress had other ideas, thus Wednesday Wisdom did not happen…so, instead, this month I’m bringing you #thursdaythoughts. Same idea, same wisdom, just a different name, different day.
As summer winds down but there are still plenty of nice days left, this month’s wellness wisdom is all about feeling good.
1. Controversy Over Nike’s Plus-Size Mannequin is What’s Wrong with Health and Fitness Perception
It’s more important to be healthy and fit than it is to look healthy and fit – and that can be different sizes. Furthermore, Nike’s plus-size mannequin is a smart marketing move. Period.
2. Tis the Season – Watch Out for Diet and Weight Loss Red Flags
Even though this blog was originally written for November, last-minute efforts to get that summer bod with diet and weight loss programs means it’s a good reminder to watch for red flags.
3. Please Feel Good and Wear a Swimsuit This Summer
It’s hot. It’s fun to be outside. It’s really hot. It’s fun to go swimming. And, oh yeah, it’s hot AF. So get in your fucking swimsuit, feel good, and enjoy the rest of these late summer days.
Do you have questions or topics I can address with a #wednesdaywisdom blog or in a new, full blog? The comments are all yours to ask questions, share ideas, or, you know, just leave a comment – so do it, please. Or, connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter.
“Get in your fucking swimsuit.”
It’s August – that means there’s still plenty of summer left. There are plenty of days filled with sun. There are plenty of days that give us a reason to eat ice cream. There are plenty of days it will be hot AF.
And along with it all, there are plenty of days to get enjoy time in the water, whether at the beach, lake, or pool.
Yet, many people won’t take advantage of the full spoils of summer. It could be 100 degrees, sunny, and the only rational thing to do is find a body of water and immerse oneself in it. But many will forgo the opportunity by staying inside because they won’t get in a swimsuit.
A group of women from Fargo are on a mission to encourage everyone to get in their swimsuit and not miss out on the fun. They even made this video appropriately titled: Get in your f***ing swimsuit. Go ahead and watch it, now or later. But if you watch it now, please come back.
I love the message of this video. It’s mostly geared towards women, though I think men can identify with it, too. It reminds us how much we worry about what we look like in a swimsuit. The worrying can get us to the point we forgo being outside or sit on the sidelines in our coverups vs. getting in on the fun.
I don’t care what I look like, I’m going to play on the beach with my son, go swimming with him, try to even out my sexy runner tan lines, and jump on the jetski, fully knowing my husband’s crazy driving will throw me off and into the lake. And I’m going to do it in my swimsuit, letting it all hang out.
I don’t do it without a bit of self-consciousness though. I get it. It kinda sucks wearing a swimsuit and not having a “perfect” body, right? Being worried about fat rolls and back rolls and OMG how many rolls do I have and OMG everyone is looking at my rolls.
No matter how many times we hear people come in all shapes and sizes, rah rah for body confidence, and be beautiful at any size, body insecurity is never going away. People are always going to feel uncomfortable and judged when they wear a swimsuit. And sadly, I think it’s because of a small group of people, not most people.
I believe most people are kind and supportive of one another. I believe most people are more worried about what they look like than what you or I look like.
We hear it from our friends that we look great, see celebrities like Mindy Kaling encouraging all to wear a bikini, or read the good word about being fit and healthy at any size on a random blog (welcome to my random blog!) – but the haters will still be there. Body shaming, making fat comments, and generally being horrible people who are probably insecure themselves.
All I can do is offer one more message on the vote of confidence side. I don’t care what size you are, I won’t judge you for wearing a swimsuit.
So do it. Get in your swimsuit and enjoy summer before it’s gone.
Had you seen the Fargo Voxxy girls’ video I linked to earlier, before reading about it here? Do you identify with any of these messages – worrying about being judged, missing out on fun in favor of staying covered up, or not even going outside at all? What could happen to make you feel more confident in a swimsuit?
“Ideas worth spreading.”
This past week, I attended TEDxFargo, our community’s annual event.
I dig TEDxFargo. I dig TED talks. I dig pretty much any type of conference, event, or learning opportunity. I love the inspiration, connections, and change of pace a day like this offers and I’m grateful my company and boss encouraged me to attend.
As one would expect from a TED event, there were a ton of great speakers and different reasons for their greatness. They all varied in their style and delivery and the way they connected their stories to the key message. I jotted down a ton of notes and walked away with a lot of inspiration for story ideas.
But outside of the new ideas and fresh inspiration, one of the things I love about events is they’re often a good reminder of what we already know. They’re things we don’t always think about and we need to hear, like why to take a rest day or hey, you – drink more water.
All of this in mind, I figured this week’s blog would be inspired by TEDxFargo…the big question was which message or key piece of inspiration would I start with?
I had a tough time choosing just one. Oh, the irony! So instead, I want to share 10 of my favorite quotes from TEDxFargo speakers, the messages that most resonated with me.
1. A woman named Ashley proved that being crafty and creative is good for our wellness (I’m onboard but I still suck at it…does writing count?).
2. A man named Dave reminded us that there’s something more important, bigger than any one person or business goals – community (it’s all about community).
3. A human beatbox named Bjorn made me think about the value of cardio conditioning for our everyday lives (duh) and the importance of good breathing technique (ah ha!).
4. A woman named Aneela bravely gave us the okay to come to terms with what we’re ashamed of in ourselves (hi, I’m Lindsay and I’m an aggressive sweater).
5. A man named Lonnie made the case for a simple approach to life and stuff (hello, minimalism).
6. A woman named Sady opened our eyes to, instead of seeing someone’s disability, to see their ability (and not to judge a book by its cover).
7. A woman named Jean asked us to think about the perspective, “What if life really is all about learning lessons?” (and not in the adult-wagging-their-finger, ‘I hope you learned your lesson’ way.)
8. A man named Cory challenged us to rethink the way we measure and evaluate our childrens’ success (and perhaps our own).
9. A man named David pointed out that great things are accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit (true teamwork).
10. A woman named Annie encouraged us to embrace our weirdness (I mean, we’re all a little weird, right?).
I imagine several forthcoming blogs that will be inspired by the words I heard, ideas that came to me, and notes I scribbled at this year’s TED event in Fargo. But, for now, I hope these little takeaways are something you can chew on, too.
Did you attend TEDxFargo or have you attended a TED event, either in person or watch a talk that resonated? What’s a powerful lesson you’ve learned from a TED talk – bonus if it has a wellness component. The comments are your space to share thoughts so please do so. Or, connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter.
“Gimme a break.”
Not long ago, I mentioned in a blog that my personal and professional wellness lives seem to collide more as I get older and write more. Here we go again.
Those of you who work in an office, have you ever squeezed in a workout over the lunch hour? I’ve gone for plenty of mid-day walks prior to grabbing a bite and getting back to work, but I’ve never gone full-on workout mode then gone back to the office.
Even though lunch hours are pretty flexible these days, getting in a workout, getting in a shower, getting ready, and getting back to work takes time – and, some days, even with a more forgiving “hour” for lunch, that’s a tough feat.
But also as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned it’s tougher to get in workouts and I have to find the time. One particular day last week, the time I found was during my lunch hour. I decided to go for a run at lunch aka a runch.
I stepped away from my desk and the day’s work, and took a break to log a few miles. And I loved it.
What I Loved About Running at Lunch
Here’s why running at lunch is definitely something I plan to do again.
At least a couple days a week, I work through the lunch hour. Who doesn’t, right? Work needs to get done, you get on a roll, or meetings pop up. Whatever the reason, it’s not uncommon to skip a break in favor of more productivity. But sometimes, this practice actually harms productivity.
There’s research that shows taking a break or stepping away leads to better creativity, thinking, and energy, ultimately leading to more production. And I don’t know a better way to ignite those juices than with some blood-pumping exercise!
2. Midday Mindfulness
Similar to taking a break for better production, stepping away during the day to clear the head is a great step towards more mindfulness.
Again, at least for me, there’s no time that I’m more mindful and have been thoughts than when I’m running. It’s part of the reason why I don’t wear headphones when I run.
3. Fitting It In
Some people favor evening workouts, others swear by rising early to get their sweat on. These days, I work out when I can fit it into my schedule, which includes my husband’s and son’s time. I no longer have the luxury of being able to work out when I want – which is okay, Chris and I just have to be very intentional and plan ahead to make sure we both get our exercise time.
When planning my runch, I chose a day that I knew would be quiet at the office, I didn’t have any meetings or calls close to the time, and I blocked off my calendar so people would know I was busy. And guess what? The world went on.
The Challenges of Running During the Lunch Hour
As much as I loved my runch, it didn’t come without some drawbacks. Here’s what I found to be the toughest parts about running at lunch.
1. Felt Rushed
From the time I left the office to the time I got back, I felt like I was on a ticking clock. Sure, I planned it well and felt okay stepping away from work for a bit but I’d be lying if I said getting back to the office wasn’t on my mind most of the time.
2. Less Relaxed
Closely-related to the rushed feeling, my run itself wasn’t as stress-relieving and relaxing as it would be another time of day.
The upside to this though? I ran my fastest miles and 5k in at least two years!
3. Taking the Time
I knew a runch would take more time out of my day than a typical lunch. And, again, as well as I planned, it was tough to actually go through and take the time to run during the day. I’ll be honest, I felt guilty.
Why is it so tough to take a little time for ourselves when we need it – even if that might be during “normal” working hours? This could lead me into a discussion on workplace wellness or mom guilt or a few other directions…but those are all potential blogs for another day.
While I realize I can’t run at lunch regularly, even once a week, I’m going to try to work it into my schedule more often – especially when it’s nice outside. Winter, as always, will be here before we know it.
Do you runch? Whether you work in an office, from home, or in your home, how do you make it work? Do you have tips for prioritizing and making a runch happen? The comments are your space to share thoughts so please do so. Or, connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @LindsayIRL on Twitter.
“Get into the spirit”
The ornaments are being released and the Hallmark Christmas movies are in full-force. Apparently Christmas in July is a big deal.
I’ve heard of Christmas in July but this is the first year I’m seeing how popular it is and how “into the Christmas spirit” people are getting. Maybe it’s easier to be jolly when it’s sunny and warm…
Anyway, all these summer Christmas celebrations got me thinking about wellness – specifically, New Year’s Resolutions. If we’re celebrating Christmas in July, can we celebrate new wellness goals on August 1? If so, I’m onboard!
January is such a hard time to begin a healthy and well lifestyle. So why not get in on it early and start acting on your health and wellness goals right now. Whether you have fitness goals or workout goals or you want to commit to better eating or being more mindful, what a great time to start, when it’s beautiful outside, the days are long, and there’s all kinds of yummy fresh fruits and veggies available.
To help anyone interested in kicking off new wellness goals now, here’s an older blog post I wrote that might help to set yourself up for success: why health and fitness resolutions fail. Be ready to combat these with positivity and a plan!
What do you think about bringing health, fitness, and wellness into this whole Christmas in July fad? Are there any goals you’d like to get going on right away? The comments are yours so please leave one. Or connect with me on social: @LindsayIRL on Twitter or @lindsayinreallife on Instagram.