lifestyle

One lifestyle tip that will change your fitness journey for the better.

Social media makes a healthy lifestyle seem so complicated. I mean, look at Instagram and all the weird exercises people post for variation. Why on earth would I complicate a standard glute thrust by putting a bench in the smith machine and lay on top of it? – Or the SoMe business platforms that promise you that it’s simple, but at the same time makes sure you understand that you must have (expensive) help to achieve your goals – what ever your goals may be. And don’t get me started on the “you are beautiful the way you are (but you must want to be the best version of yourself because that is the one closes to our ideal and you’ll have to pay for it). Sigh. I’m gonna share a secret with you, for free, because it’s much needed.

First off I want to give you a little background, that is: my background. Because I did all these things for years: expensive coaches, excessive dieting, overtraining. I was frustrated, obsessed and full of it. I was unhealthy. Obsessiveness is never healthy. I spent about three or four years obsessing over my fat percentage, my food, my gym schedule and being pissed of at anything that came in my way of my fitness journey. I trained every single day. Hard. Let me tell you, that’s not a life worth living, unless you breath competition. With that said I’m not saying working out every day is bad, on the contrary- but the way I did and with my mindset it was not beneficial. To little fuel, to much hard work and a negative mindset made me physically sick continuously (I always had the flu, not that I let that stop me). Sometimes I think pictures can say more than words, so let’s take a look:

Don’t be fooled by the smiles. This is 6 days a week of overtraining, muscle problems, little growth, under-eating, bringing meals because I couldn’t eat what other people ate, frustration caused by thoughts like “I’m to fat.”, “I need to lose more fat.” Etc. How sick is that? Looking back now I understand my reasons for doing this, which is an whole other story, but when push comes to shove: this is the reality for many people. We obsess over stupid shit like this with the idea that when we reach ” perfect” – which does not exist btw because there will always be something to fix – then we can start living our lives. If I could I would have slapped the f*ck out of myself at the time. The saddest thing is that there is so much money in this for different businesses. People seriously live their best life of your bad self esteem, and that my friend, makes me even sadder.

My body had breakdown and I took a year of everything called gym and diet. I gained weight. Peculiar enough I didn’t mind and I didn’t obsess about it. I was actually happier, believe it or not. Thinking about it, it’s not so hard to believe – my body actually got food which kinda makes you happy. I made a deal with myself that I would never ever return to my obsessive behaviour again, so once I actually started training again I had to take a lot of breaks when my negative mindset started to form again. I mean, I refused myself to go to the gym when the obsessiveness started to surface. And this is where we get to it: It’s all about your mentality. You need to develop a healthy mindset.

Tip: Focus on your mentality. Self-development is key.

You cannot fix something from the outside in, because no matter how fit you get or how close you are to the “ideal box”- if your mind isn’t with you in a healthy way, you will never be satisfied and grateful for what you are and have got. You cannot transform your mental disturbed thoughts with physical change. We are taught and fed with the idea that everything is external and this is why we fail.

My transformation did take some time. I wanted the mental plane to be good and fitness to be enjoyable and about more than physical results. On the far left I was unhappy (read: hungry). In the middle I didn’t really care and on the right and the two pictures below I started my journey back to the gym.

Now, a couple of years later and with a completely different mindset I’m back in shape. I don’t train nearly as much and I don’t follow any diet. I feed myself with what I believe is healthy for me both in body and soul, I eat when I am hungry and I make conscious choices. I also enjoy myself, take time off, drink alcohol and enjoy meals wherever I can get them. And I usually don’t train during holidays.

So what is it that I do? Well, I keep it simple and enjoyable. I train strength One hour three times a week on average, I do restorative yoga once a week (just because I enjoy it, and it has so many benefits) and I eat food that benefits me and that I enjoy according to my pallet when I am hungry. These are habits that I’ve made, enjoyable habits, and I do not overthink it.

I stopped overthinking.

You don’t need to try every weird ass f*cking isolated exercise from Instagram. You do not need to eat leafs and starve. Or live on supplements. You do not need to spend two hours a day in a gym. Most importantly you do not need to buy all the crap people try to sell you. What you do need is to figure out what works for you with a healthy mindset and stick with it, and if you’re mindset is obsessive about everything that is wrong – then you work on that first.

I guess what I am trying to say is:

and the rest will follow. Don’t waste your time, money and energy, and know that you cannot buy perfection.

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Personal

“I’ll be OK.”

It’s no secret that the past year has been tough on me, from acute anxiety and total numbness to practical challenges in every major area of my life. To be honest I turned everything around in my darkest hours. I made huge decisions for my future while I couldn’t even get out of bed. It’s been a steep learning curve and even though I still have my ups and downs in the after shake, I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned.

I’ve been asked what caused this and to be honest it’s a number of complex and composed reasons. I’m a hard worker and I’ve always taken pride in going my own way, no matter how much shit I have gotten for it. Like the time I decided to study intellectual history – I never heard the end of it. Where would that take me? What would I become? You know my answer: I don’t know, but I enjoy it and I’m gonna stick with it. Not everyone see the world with your eyes, so it’s important to trust your soul. I’ve been good at that, but I have also lost myself along the way. I ignored my needs at some point and when shit hit the fan I just kept on going. Working harder. Looking the other way. Ignoring my inner feelings. Not letting myself be beaten. And then it happened. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t go to work without spending half the day in the bathroom crying. I couldn’t talk to the people closest to me. I just couldn’t cope – without being able to put words to my feelings.

It’s so easy to see a facade and assume that people are perfect. That all they ever encounter are first world problems. Truth is that we all deal with serious problems throughout our life and it’s so important to pay attention. I wouldn’t want my situation on my worst enemy. I’m so thankful that I found the right person to help me. That I’m so far now from where I was six months ago. Even on days like these where I’m utterly sad and it feels like my heart is bleeding. It’s ok. I feel alive. And tomorrow will be a new day to continue sorting out practical things that’s been over my head. Which is where I am at at the moment. You see, I took a bunch of decisions and kind of just put them to the side. I travelled, a lot. And rested, a lot. I tried to sort out my existential crises. But now is a time for more doing and less reflection. And even in this heart bleeding hour, I am very excited about what’s to come and I find beauty in this disunity of me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is:

There is beauty in being broken.

Which is the quote that sat these emotions in motion. But it is also important to listen to yourself. Be true to yourself. And remember that every obstacle is a chance to learn something new and deeper about you.

So, dear sadness, I appreciate you and I am grateful for the doors you close and those you open. I gladly pay with my tears.

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Personal

The unpredictable.

It’s a beautiful autumn day here in Norway and I’ve been enjoying my morning with slow music and chores. Everyday chores, within the right circumstances, usually gives me good reflection-time. Thought trains that makes me question everything. Today my thought train has been tearing apart our need for planning.

The need for planning and the extent of it is independent of course, but we all do it to some extent. We fill our hearts and minds with hopes and dreams, goals and intentions – and we plan out how we are and what we need to reach them, to fulfil our desires. I do that – to some extent. I can be very clear in what my desires are in some areas of my life and I can be totally open or closed in others. I often live on a “happy go lucky”-attitude, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard to achieve my hearts desires. It simply means that I am open to the unpredictable and that I embrace what ever appears in my path – good or bad. I’ve also learned that my desires often collide with my environment, not a new lesson learned by the way, and the hardship it is to accept that others might not accept that.

So, the problem I have with planning is that I simply don’t want my life to be blueprinted in all areas. I want the opportunities and the unpredictable. I want to make choices based on my current situation and my feeling place. I want to be open minded and embrace the music of life – whatever song that might be. And I want to be able to accept how everything turns out in the end, no matter if it is a rocky or a pleasant journey. To me excessive planning is a desperate need for control and a sign that we are outside our feeling place. We cannot control everything. We can guide ourselves in the desired direction.

I plan very little. I take steps and let the world unfold. I desire map twice a year. I prioritise the things that’s closest to my heart at the given time. I plan short term in the direction of my life’s desire and I keep my mind open to changes. I draw out my priorities from my overall desired feeling place.

Excessive planning and the expectation that we always know what we want in any given situation drives me insane. Now, I might have been exposed to this over a period of time, but nothing has ever been clearer to me than that way of living is so very wrong – to me anyway.

So yeah.. there you go. Today’s thought train.

Enjoy your Wednesday.

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Personal

Killing me softly.

Good day dear blog readers,

For the last month and a half I’ve been working on getting back into normal routines. That being work and other responsibilities I’ve chosen to take on – and for some reason it’s just killed my creative expression, which has resulted in the lack of engagement to blogging and other creative expressions.

Autopilot is the death of creativity. Not that I’m constantly autopiloting, but the amount of energy that I’ve got to put in to get things in order just puts me in the state whenever possible. You see, I thrive when I’m either bored or on a high. So now my blog, my Instagram and painting has suffered for a while. I’m not complaining, because I’ve had a very unusual and demanding year dealing with anxiety, practical issues connected to my apartment, time off work, recovering and travelling. Routines is a good thing, it’s just that getting back into them isn’t always easy when you have to prioritise over the things you love to do. I read somewhere sometime that you can view yourself as a garden. Every plant and flower feeds of the water you bring to your garden and therefore is important to choose which plants to keep and which to let go. In other words: be conscious of where you let your energy flow and what you feed – because the things you feed grow.

So, I am sorry, but I have some gardening to do for a little while over here – but I will be back very soon.

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Uncategorized

The courage of kindness.

We are all individuals travelling our personal journeys, consciously or not. Either we are lost in the dark or travel with intention. Both on a mental and emotional plane, effected by a physical world. Coloured by our surroundings, other individuals journeys and the world as a collective whole. The people we surround ourselves with effects us more than we might be aware of. The individuals we meet throughout our life, no matter the circumstances or the timespan, leaves memories and scars. They might even change our course of direction without us realising.

We move in an inner and outer world of chaos and order. Mostly chaos some might say. We need chaos. Without it, there is no order. Without chaos we don’t evolve. We can draw this train of though even further. We can insert the terms good and evil. With this I’m not trying to take us down the path of the hero and the villain, but the path of understanding that our perception of ourselves and the world can be experienced as a good and a bad. We experience joy and suffering, and we need both to know the other. With that said, and I do have point to this, we don’t need to make others suffering a worse experience in an already chaotic circumstance. We don’t need to be cruel, evasive or indifferent towards the people we meet in our paths. I think we sometimes have our heads so caught up with our own circumstances and our own journey that we forget that the individuals we meet carry the same emotional and experiential system as us. Most people have some association to the term Butterfly effect – in the sense of the movie or the actual term itself. I believe we all carry the butterfly effect with us every single day and just to clarify:

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic no linear system can result in large differences in a later state.

And this would be the right place to insert:

If you can be anything in this world, be kind.

In which I do believe by the way, but there is more to it than just flat out kindness. It’s about awareness. Are you aware that your words and actions can change someone else’s course? That your flakiness, evasiveness and fear might create a whole new dimension of chaos in someone else’s journey? – or kind and genuine words for that matter. That our selfishness and fear of hurting cause even more pain on the other side of the coin? Why can’t we, as a collective and as individuals, be more aware of each other? Be more genuine and honest, both with ourselves and with others. Think about how we effect others just as much as they effect us? Tune up that empathy and really consider what it would be like to walk in the other persons shoes? Stop being so damn judgemental all the time? Ok, I am painting this with grim colours, but the thing is that most people don’t realise that what they do, or even what they don’t do, can cause a great change in someone’s life. It’s not about stripping away chaos, because being aware and doing the genuinely right thing might not be as pleasant as just avoiding it all. But the avoiding adds mass to the already grim chaos. And wouldn’t it be nice if we all, just even one percent, had a slight approval in our meetings with the outside world?

The reason I’m hesitant about just throwing out quotes about kindness here and there as an effort enough, is that I’m not really sure if we’re all on the same page when it comes to defining what kindness really means. I often see the invisible parallells drawn between kindness and people pleasing – and kindness has nothing to do with pleasing others. Being kind is not about boundlessness. Kindness is about coming from a place of love. Love for yourself and/or for others – and from a place of awareness and understanding that your actions, as small as a butterfly’s wing stroke, can create a storm elsewhere. As I read this back I see that we would benefit from a definition of love as well, but that might take a series of posts to get through, so I think I will leave it at that and move on to my point:

If we could give to others what we wish for ourselves, we might just make every individuals journey a more pleasant voyage. Or just what Jesus said:

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

x

Personal

Horsing around

The day finally came: I got back on the horse! Horses was my favourite activity as a child and I took it very seriously. It’s ridiculous that I’ve waited twenty years to get back into it.

Martine and I contacted a Horse Center close to us and was given the opportunity to come by for a ride – and make it more permanent, which we will. But my god I am rusty! I need to read up, practice and get back into the whole deal, because there’s a lot of things to think about while handling a horse. I was very happy that I was given such a beautiful gelding, I could not have asked for a better horse. His name is Neptun and he put his head on my chest during our grooming session, which was such a beautiful moment. He is a Polski Konik and a very kind man – even if he takes every opportunity to ravish every bush in his way.

It took a while for me to get into the rhythm of Neptun and get comfortable, but now all I can think about is our next ride. I’m completely in love with riding all over again and just the smell of the stables brought back a flash of memories. I’m so glad that I have Martine to share this with and that we both enjoyed ourselves so much!

I’m definitely back to my childhood wish of getting a horse now and have decided that I will – when I’ve decided where I want to settle down in the future. Horses are such beautiful animals with the most amazing souls. Just being around them makes me immensely happy and calm.

I guess we can round this up to mission successful. One step closer to a long lost passion.

I hope you have an amazing Friday as well and all the best wishes for your weekend. Thank you for stopping by.

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