Dominika

All You Need is Love

Many of you have probably heard about the song “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles (one of my top 3 favourite bands). It’s been stuck in my head a lot this week and it got me thinking a lot about love. I think that a majority of people are afraid of talking about love and I am not sure why. Once I heard someone say, “Love is the one thing in life that can bring you as much pain as pleasure.”  I think that this is very true, however we shouldn’t always look at it that way.

Love comes in many different forms: platonic, unconditional, relationship etc. The Greeks came up with 8 different types of love including Eros (erotic), Philia (affectionate) and Philautia (self). Seeing as love has been talked about for centuries shows that it must be an important part of humanity. I am currently taking an Intro to Ethics course (philosophy based) at my University and the other day in class our professor asked us, “What is the most important thing in life?” A few students pondered this question and some responded with happiness, wealth, education or health. After discussing these answers my professor said, “What about love?” Everyone in the class paused and my professor continued, “Without love, we wouldn’t have access to all the other things mentioned. We need love to be happy, to succeed in life, to learn and to be healthy. Love cures all of these things and opens the door to a numerous amount of opportunities. I think love is the most important thing in life.” After hearing him say that, I couldn’t agree more.

Love allows us to live. It allows us to grow. It lets us see the beauty in the world. We as humans shouldn’t be afraid to love. We should open our hearts and let them swell up with love and emotion and depth. Love opens up new pathways to incredible journeys. It gives us new experiences, both good and bad that we can learn from. We shouldn’t be afraid of love. Instead, we should love everyone around us. Whether it be our parents, children, partners, friends, teachers, strangers or ourselves; love them all equally and unconditionally. Love gives us hope and love gives us life. We shouldn’t fear it; we should embrace it. Love your career, love your relationships, love your life. And most importantly, love yourself. It will bring you endless amounts of possibilities and joy.

Learn to love, love.

-D

kierstyn

20 Things I’ve Learned that You Need to Learn Too

  1. Nothing is guaranteed and everything is temporary. Feelings, thoughts, and people.
  2. Giving love is important but giving yourself love is most important. You can’t fully love others without fully loving yourself.
  3. You shouldn’t apologize for who you are and you shouldn’t keep people in your life that expect you to be anything more than you already are.
  4. People will walk in and out of your life- sometimes expectedly but mostly unexpectedly and that’s just the way the tide flows.
  5. You can’t let anyone make you feel unworthy or disposable and if they do, they can’t be a part of your life. You deserve better.
  6. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is NOT something to be ashamed about- it’s something to be admired for.
  7. You need to take risks. Lots of risks. Don’t wake up at 65 and say, “I should have done this,” or “I wish I did that.”
  8. Friendship is a two way streak. If you’re the one putting in all of the effort, it’s not a friendship. It’s a, “be there when I need you” ordeal but who’s going to be there for you?
  9. Life is hard and you will have to make tough decisions BUT you will always know what the right decision is. Listen to your instinct.
  10. The best investment you can make is in yourself. Invest time, invest money and invest passion. It’s going to be the biggest payoff. I promise.
  11. You don’t have to pretend like you’re okay all the time because that’s not realistic at all. You’re allowed to feel sad. You’re allowed to do poorly on an exam. You’re allowed to stay in bed all day crying. Forgive yourself for these things. You’re only human.
  12. Read books. Not just fiction but non fiction too. Books that make you laugh. Ones that inspire you. Ones that help you find your passion. Educate yourself. There is so much knowledge out there that’s just waiting to be found.
  13. Take every day 30 minutes at a time. What are you going to do in the next 30 minutes that you will be proud of? What in the next 30 minutes is going to make you smile? Motivate you? Encourage you? Inspire others?
  14. Doing things alone is important for your mental health. Go to the movies alone. Have dinner alone. Draw yourself a bubble bath. Go for a walk. Watch endless youtube videos. Make quality time for yourself.
  15. Give your all in everything you do. Make yourself proud.
  16. Don’t be fooled by love. Be patient. Learn about the other person before throwing your feelings out there.
  17. With every loss, you gain something new. Whether that be a lesson learned, a beautiful memory or a new found strength.
  18. Believe in some sort of higher power. It doesn’t have to be God, or Buddha, but just have faith that something out there is going to guide you. Trust the world.
  19. Heartbreak sucks. But what is heartbreak? The aftermath of something beautiful that once was. Be grateful for the fact that you get to love. Be grateful that you get to stand on this Earth, breathing this air and living every moment the best you could possibly live it with experiences that enhance who you already are.
  20. You can’t make someone love you. Just be a person that can be loved.
kierstyn

My Go-To Lifesavers

There are a few products that I own that I would not be able to go a day without- items that provide me with value and help get me through the week!

You Are a Badass

You are a Badass is a book that, when I read it, makes me feel invincible. It motivates me and encourages me to unleash my inner badass. If I’m ever feeling down, I flip to one of my favourite pages and I’m instantly inspired. Inspired to get out of bed, inspired to make something healthy, inspired to pursue my dreams! (UPDATE: It’s currently 50% if you buy online here!)

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Resistance Bands/ At-Home Weights

Being as busy as I am makes it hard for me to get to the gym every single day so I invested in some home weights and Dominika bought me some resistance bands! When I get home from a long day and all I want to do is go lay in my bed, I see my weights and tell myself that it’s a good release. It’s a good chance to focus on myself and reflect on the day I had. I use these weights every single day!

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Fitbit Alta

My Fitbit is my favourite accessory! It’s the one thing that constantly reminds me to keep moving. It’s come to the point where if I don’t wear it, my arm feels naked. I’m a pretty competitive person so being able to compete with my friends adds a little excitement to the day! (This is the current version I have however they just recently came out with the Alta HR- add me: squatsoversweets)

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Betty Lou’s Powdered Protein Packed Peanut Butter

For those of you that know me, I’m addicted to sweets BUT I’ve found something that curbs my sweet craving while also not blowing my daily intake goals! Betty Lou’s powdered peanut butter hits the spot and whenever I’m having cravings- this is the stuff that gets me through! It doesn’t taste exactly like regular peanut butter but it’s definitely close enough.

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These are just a few of the things that help me through my hectic week. What are some of your go-to items?

Dominika

Carpe Diem

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first formal with my sorority and everyone was given gag awards. My gag award was Carpe Diem- the girl who seizes the day. I’ve heard of the saying Carpe Diem before but never really looked into it or thought of it twice. Winning that gag award made me curious so I looked up the definition and this is what I found:

car·pe di·em

ˌkärpā ˈdēˌem/

exclamation

exclamation: carpe diem

  1. used to urge someone to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future; early 19th century: Latin, ‘seize the day!’

I have been living a life by this definition without even realizing it. I have always tried to live with the mentality of making the most of the day- this is just what made sense to me. Whether it was through quotes, books or talks with my mom, I have come to realize that living every day in the present with as much happiness and joy as possible is the key to living a happy and fulfilled life.

Living in the present makes you appreciate everything so much more and makes everything that much more enjoyable. How can you enjoy lunch with a friend when your worried about what homework assignments you have due next week? How can you enjoy reading a book or working out when you’re thinking about a negative comment your co-worker said a month ago? When you replay these bad memories or worries in your mind, it prevents you from being in the present, the here and the now.

My mom always tells me, “You can’t change the past- so learn from it. You can’t predict the future- so don’t worry about it. You are currently in the present- so enjoy it.” I have learned to remind myself of this quote when I find that I am not focusing on what is in front of me, but worrying about the past or future.

Another quote I tend to live by is “Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in everyday.” This goes hand in hand with my “3 little things” that I have mentioned in a previous blog post. If I feel that I wasn’t in the best mood during the day, I reflect on my day and think of at least 3 things that made me smile. If I can think of that, then I’ve had a good day.

So I guess what I’m trying to say with all these philosophical thoughts on happiness is: make the most of every day. Truly live it to the fullest and be grateful for every little aspect. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

-D

 

 

 

 

kierstyn

365 days of self discovery

Think about your life a year ago. What was different? What was the same? A year seems like a long time but it flies by before you know it.

The picture below shows a transformation exactly one year apart.

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The photo on the left shows a woman who is insecure and scared of taking chances BUT she’s also happy because she put on that dress and felt good about herself. The photo on the right is a woman who is confident and adventurous BUT she just went through a break up and is trying her best to make it through every day. These two pictures show me at completely different points in my life, both points which have positive and negative aspects. The key difference though, is that the one on the right is a woman who loves herself and everything she has become.

Learning to take care of myself and put myself first has worked wonders for my mental health- and it’s benefited my physical health as well. Getting over a break up is never easy but understanding yourself and loving who you are as a person, makes getting through hard times a lot easier. At the end of the day, it’s you. You’re the only one who can be there for you 100%. That should be motivation enough to work on yourself.

A year is a long time, but it’s also not at the same time. When I think about a year ago, it seems like it was just yesterday but then I look at pictures like the ones below and think… “Holy smokes… look what I accomplished in just 365 days. Look at how much has changed.”

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Over the course of this past year, I’ve put myself into the world. I created a blog which allows me to express how passionate I am about health and fitness. I met someone who helped me realize the value I provide to those around me. I rekindled relationships with friends and family. I got myself in physical shape. I learned to make new recipes and experiment with food choices. I learned to appreciate myself for who I am rather than dread on who I’m not. All of these transformations happened over the course of a year and  I continue to notice something new about myself every single day.

This is the person I always knew I could be but I was too scared to make change. I was scared of the unknown. I filled my life with these false beliefs that I could never be the woman I wanted to be because of time, money and inexperience. What I didn’t realize was that all I had to do was try and now I can confidently say I love myself. It’s been one year. 365 days. But this is my life now and there is a whole lot more to live.

– K

kierstyn

Comparing: A Habit You Need to Quit

Let me start off by saying this: You are not your friends. You are not your fitness idol. You are not your favourite Instagram-er. You’re you. So stop comparing yourself to them.

Everyone’s journey on Earth is different and so many factors play a part. You might be a parent of two with very little time available to focus on your own personal goals. You may be a full time student who wants to focus solely on studying and being social with friends. OR you may be a twenty something, couch potato in a mediocre but stable job who longs for value providing additions in life but doesn’t know where to start. Regardless of where you’re at, it’s YOUR journey, not someone else’s. Sure, people may be in a similar situation to you but they will never be exactly like you.

Honestly, that’s something to be excited about! Think about the impact you’re going to have on the world providing others with things they never even knew existed. Think about the opportunities you have to stand out from the crowd. The world is in the palm of your hands… you just have to make the choice to do something about it.

Fitness is a HUGE part of my life and encouraging others to lead a healthier lifestyle is something I am crazy passionate about BUT I can only do so much. It all starts with you – and a little motivation of course! Most people either don’t start or start, get discouraged and give up. Why? Because they compare their journey to other people’s journeys. They have this wrong belief about themselves that they can’t do it. “It’s too hard.” “My body isn’t capable of that.” “I was born with big bones, I’ll never be fit.” “I don’t have time.” These are just a few of the things I hear on a continuous basis. Comparison is a goal killer. It’s a motivation destroyer. You let your wrong beliefs dictate what you can and can’t do instead of embracing who you are and what you are capable of.

So… you’re a parent with very little time to focus on your own personal goals. I get it.. you’re not like Susan who has copious amounts of free time but that’s okay, because Susan is living a completely different life than you. It’s up to you to make your current situation work with your long term goals. Go for a walk- bring the stroller. Make getting groceries an educational experience for your kids to learn about what good food can be put into their bodies. Hire a babysitter- “you” time is important. Use that time to get away from the house and do something you love.

If you’re a student in school- prioritize. Take care of your health because THAT will help you in school. Adjust your life according to YOUR circumstances. Work around your schedule. Bring healthy snacks to campus. Stop making excuses for why you can’t workout when your currently sitting in bed watching netflix. Make better use of your time.

If you’re a twenty-something who knows what they want but is too scared to go after it… let that go. Fear is created by the lies you tell yourself every day so if you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, you’re going to start believing it. You’ll continuously be in this vicious cycle where you’re constantly feeling sorry for yourself when you could be living the life of your dreams. Until you realize that.. you’re not going to get anywhere.

Essentially, you spend the majority of your life looking at the mountain you’re on, continuously trying to reach the top. That’s okay- SHOOT FOR YOUR GOALS. But you’re looking at all these other people on the mountain and wishing you were where they are. What you don’t realize is that each person is on their own mountain. Your peak might be someone else’s base and vice-versa.

So if you’re looking to change your life, do it for you, not for someone else. Do it to better yourself as an individual and do it because you love the process… not the end result. The end result will come if you fall in love with the process. Comparing yourself to others is only going to push you into a continuous hole of disappointment and leave you feeling worse than ever. Take your leap today- ask for help, look for guidance, start small and work your way up. Set personal goals and know that you may not see results as fast as others, BUT you will see results if you work at it. Live your life the best way you could live it in any given moment. Take risks. Push yourself.

This life is yours- what are YOU going to make of it?

Dominika

Weight training & trying something New

Hey guys! Last week I couldn’t write a blog post because I had writers block but now I am back and better than ever!

This week I wanted to talk about something new I have been introduced to- weight training. I have never done weight training before, mainly because I was intimidated and had no one to teach me properly. But then my loving boyfriend, Derion Ducedre, who has been training hockey goalies on the ice and in the gym for several years, decided to become my personal trainer.

He just started to weight train with me two weeks ago but I have learned so much already. Every workout I start with 8 reps of squat warm-ups with the bar and then add weight to it for each set. Then I perform different exercises depending on the day. For biceps and back I usually do bicep curls, hammer curls and rows. For chest I have done bench press, pushups and dumbbell fly’s. Lastly for leg day, I have performed lots of squats, lunges and box jumps.

What I have really learned to love about weight training is the actual weights (as silly as that sounds). I have been used to using my body weight for so long that I didn’t realize I can perform the same type of exercises with weights. This way I am able to go up in weight and really challenge my body. In just two weeks I have been able to squat just the bar (45 lbs) to squatting the bar plus twenty pounds on each side (95 lbs). I love how by just slowly adding weight to each exercise, I am able to see the strength and improvement in my body.

Previously, I have been intimidated and scared from using weights in my exercises. But now weight training is now one of my favourite aspects of my fitness routine and I can’t wait to see the results. I am also thankful to Derion for teaching me how to perform the exercises properly to avoid injury and ensuring I use the correct muscles.

If you’re ever bored of your fitness routine try spicing it up and add something new- whether it be a spin class, weight training, yoga or doing a workout with a friend.

You never know what joy it can bring to your life.

-D