I forgive me & will no longer run

It’s 10pm on October 5th and tomorrow I will be 34 years old. Let me just say that I am SO happy to be turning 34 and not 30. This year there was no pressure to get in ‘the best shape of my life’ like there was when I turned 30. This year I am actually in the very BEST emotional shape I have ever been in & feel extremely grateful. I went through so many ups & downs in the last 10 years and would have NEVER guessed that I would be feeling this peaceful today as well as helping others (as a friend & health/life coach) navigate through their heavy emotional pasts and find their own peace.

Truth is I never believed it. I always called bullish*t on the people that told me I was going through these hard times so that someday I could help someone else through theirs.

Fast forward. Okay, I get it. It’s true. I have most definitely used all of my hard experiences to help others. Except for a few that I have been hiding away. I have been willing to share a whole heck of a lot but I have not been willing to share my WHOLE self. Yikes! It’s so scary. But I need to. I need to let go of shame & I need to let go of blame. Plus what if my story is the exact medicine that will cure another person’s need?

 < MOM >

Sometimes the ones you think would never ever hurt you end up hurting you the most. Sometimes things are not at all as they seem. Imagine being an adult & realizing that your childhood past and the things in it may have been a lie. Or perhaps they were someone else’s truth (also known as a lie). That person may have never meant to hurt you or maybe they did. You will never get the chance to ask them because they will never admit anything is wrong with them and think all is wrong with you. Let me just say that mental Illness is a real b*tch. I know now that your narcism blinds you and for that I no longer blame you. I forgive you for always making it about you. I forgive you for having unrealistic expectations which led you to believe that I was constantly letting you down.

I forgive myself for always thinking that I was always letting you down. I forgive myself for not always answering the phone when you call. I forgive myself for saying no to you and protecting myself and my family from anymore hurt. I choose to believe that you are doing the best you possibly can & I will continue to love you the safest way I know how.

< Dad >

One of the breakthroughs I had just TONIGHT involved feeling dread about my birthday- no it’s not because I will be one year older- it was something else. Every year I wonder if you will remember that it’s my birthday. Some years I hear from you and some years I don’t. I forgive you for staying away. I forgive you for forgetting or maybe you just can’t bring yourself to call. It’s okay. I choose to believe you are just doing the best you possibly can & I will continue to love you the best I know how.

We can’t rise strong when we are on the run.

I won’t hide anymore. I will no longer feel ashamed or guilty. Nothing is wrong with me. I am worthy of love. Even though my life is really quite imperfect & MESSY. 

Sure I hope to understand why it all happened the way it happened but for now I will embrace it and share it.

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YES YOU CAN {tanks}

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Are you Living your Passion?

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Turn whatever you love into your career.

You will spend almost half of your life working so make sure that the time is well spend. Whatever you decide to plant will eventually harvest, have faith, explore and most of all enjoy whatever it is you choose to do.

I wish I wish I wish someone would have told this to me early on. Like before I racked up a ton of student loan debt to get a degree I am not using. Of course education is important, but the MOST important thing is to identify your passions & natural talents then decide how to put them to work in the world. Not sure there is a job out there for you? Cool, then you better get to work on creating one!

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Try it Tuesday: Static Hold Workout

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This workout is designed to challenge you by NOT moving but rather just holding in a static position. Use 8-10lb weights for the bicep curls. No weights? Use whatever you have- a baby, a dog, maybe some detergent bottles or soup cans? Get creative & get sweaty! Share this workout with friends & be sure to #sparklehard

Keep it Real,

Branda

 

My Goal: to live in an RV for one year.

Ok, so I feel kinda bad for not sharing this sooner BUT I’ve really been soaking up the benefits of living small and just finally got around to writing this. I am actually surprised at myself because I thought I’d want to blog & share EVERYTHING about our tiny house living adventure, but it’s actually been quite the opposite. This great adventure of ours has been so meaningful that I’ve been wanting to keep it mostly to myself. But, it’s time to share all about LIVING SMALL.

A little Re-Cap on how we got into Tiny House Living:

In July of 2014 we decided to sell everything we own and move from our condo (1200 square ft) to a ‘tiny house’ aka RV (300 square feet). It happened SO fast. I thought of the idea one day and then just a few days later we set it into motion. I started planning the steps to make it happen & then BOOM- there we were buying our very own RV & moving in. One thing about me is that I don’t like to just talk about great ideas. I like to take great ideas & make them come alive (luckily my husband is on board with this- too). 

Let me also just add- that neither me or my husband had ever owned an RV or had much experience taking care of one- so this has been a super funny & sometimes gross part of the adventure. (I will spare you the poopy stories or rather save them for another time.)

My Goal: to live in an RV for one year.

My Hopes: to eliminate all distraction and focus on what really matters. To teach my four year old son that you don’t need things to be happy.

My Fears: that we would all hate it. That we would miss our condo and all of the items we sold. That we wouldn’t have enough water pressure to shower.

UPDATE: So now that we have been living in our tiny house RV for about 6 months……

My Loves: 

-It only takes about 20 minutes total to clean our entire house.

-We are always close to one another. Close quarters means we cozy up ALL the time.

-Small inside space means lots of outdoor time! We are always outside and taking adventures in the area and/or sitting by our fire pit.

-Its like we are Glamping or ‘forever camping’ as I like to call it. The hippy in me loves this.

-We are living much more consciously- as we keep track of all of our energy, water & propane usage very closely.

-We don’t regret selling or miss any of the things we sold. Jude occasionally mentions missing his power wheels truck but that’s about it

*Ok because I like to keep it real I also want to share the not-so glamorous things about full time RV living……

My Struggles:

– NO DISHWASHER. This is a huge annoyance especially because I mostly work from home & we eat almost every meal at home- so there is always a ton of dishes. I love cooking but the dishes sometimes deter me from wanting to go on new recipe making adventures.

– Waiting for hot water. If you want to shower then you better plan to turn the hot water on 30 minutes prior. If you want to do dishes- the same. We could leave the hot water on all the time but its costly so instead we plan ahead & flip it on and just wait.

-The sewage. Even though my husband handles most of the tank emptying duties- there are still many issues with clogs (need to get special toilet paper, can’t use too much etc etc). We are up close & personal with our poopy a little more than I would prefer 🙂

Take a tour of our Tiny House below:

Stay tuned for more tiny house adventure stories!

Keep it Real,

Branda

The Uncluttered Christmas

We live in an RV aka tiny house. This means we have to be REALLY picky about what comes into our very small space. So as much as we TRULY appreciate family members that want to buy a gift for Jude or or our family; we would like to ensure that this year’s gifts will be very useable! Instead of toys we are going to ask for things like swimming lessons, martial arts, movie tickets or even better –> maybe a visit from the person giving the gift! I am loving some of the ideas from the links below and I will also be using these ideas to purchase gifts for others.

http://www.raisingmemories.com/2013/12/ultimate-list-100-non-toy-gift-ideas.html

http://kaylaaimee.com/25-non-toy-christmas-gifts/

Want a clutter free Christmas? Check out the lists above + talk to the people you are buying a gift for. Ask: could we plan a family trip together instead? Maybe get a membership (to the zoo etc) that can be enjoyed together year round? 

Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the pressure & stress of gift giving, instead create a thoughtful + meaningful memory filled with love. xo

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Detox Your Life: Coffee Creamer Swap!

Your body is SO smart & knows exactly how to heal you. IF you stop pumping it full of pills & toxic foods & let it do it’s job.

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If you want to clean up your diet start with your drinks. Water is your friend & most other drinks are not. I know you might NEED your coffee, but please figure out a way to sweeten & add cream to it without chemicals. When I drink coffee I use unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil to flavor it, but when I first made the transition away from creamer, I also used a little bit of pure maple syrup. The maple syrup helps to get the sweet taste without all the chemicals. Be sure you are using a PURE  natural maple syrup- NOT the sugar filled artificial syrup like Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima. Why? Because here is what is in the fake sugar filled syrups –>  INGREDIENTS: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.

What is in pure maple syrup? INGREDIENTS: MAPLE SYRUP

Get the point? I thought so.

My #1 rule to eat by? LESS IS MORE. Real food rocks.

Take a look at the back of your creamer bottle- how many of those ingredients do you recognize? That’s what I thought. Make the switch today.

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Holiday Hottie {Online} Challenge

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Do you want a rockin’ holiday bod? Need some help avoiding weight gain during the holidays?

This Challenge has 3 parts –> all designed to help you eat healthy, stay on track & be accountable during the holidays. We communicate in an online Facebook forum + you will be able to download all of the materials there too- making this challenge completely virtual! The Healthy Holiday Hottie Challenge will help you cleanse your body, stress less & eat clean during the toughest months of the year.

starts Nov. 14th (& ends dec.20th)

PART 1: A 12-Day Cleanse- this is a MUST HAVE program to help you change your taste buds and overcome cravings BEFORE the holidays. {Plus a great tool to have on hand for after the holidays too ;)}

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No fad diets, no pills, no meal substitute protein shakes or powders, can do what the 12-day Detox can do for you, naturally! I would like to invite you to experience the best your body can be!

In the next 12 days you can dissolve your sugar cravings and forget about carbs! Experience what it is feels like to completely purify your body and cleanse your entire system of stored up toxins that have been weighing you down for years.

Drop up to 5 pounds and fall in love with your radiant skin and new sense of vitality!

What You Get:

Exclusive access to the 12-day Detox support community {a private Facebook forum} where you can access a wealth of information and encouragement!
Eloquent, complete day-by-day approach that will keep you on track, through the excitement and challenges of your daily program.
Lifetime access to your program so you can repeat as often as you like
Daily meal plans with nutritious, wholefood options
12-day supported detox schedule
Goal setting activities
Self-care tips and tools
Free bonus-gifts
You won’t find this kind of support anywhere else!

Throughout the 12-days you will learn how to reduce painful inflammation, integrate exercise and vital movement into your daily life, and transform your body into its best state of being!

You’ll also learn:

Effective ways to release toxins
How to shop healthy & confidently
Incorporating Superfoods
How primary foods affect your health
Travel tips during your cleanse
Motivational techniques & visualizations
Everything you consume during your 12-day Detox, is designed to give your body the best, most compact sources of nutrition. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is the perfect kick-off!

You’ll recognize the real benefit to this system is cleansing and detoxing with good nutritious whole foods. ..not chemicals or processed foods…just good clean food.

Most importantly, afterwards you will enjoy the emphasis placed on teaching you the no-fail secrets to maintaining your healthy lifestyle indefinitely!

PART 2: In addition to the cleansing recipes, you will receive my ‘Easy & Clean’ meal plan which contains easy to make clean eating meals + some bonus holiday-inspired recipes. Hosting a holiday meal or event? Attending a holiday party or potluck? You need some tasty holiday dishes that won’t leave you feeling guilty & bloated!

PART 3: The last past of the challenge will be focused on reducing stress. So starting on December 6th, the 15-day #stressfreeme challenge will start. You will be challenged to do something small each day- all designed to help you stay stress free during the holidays!

RECAP: an all-inclusive 12-day cleanse, clean eating holiday recipes & less stress = a Rockin Holiday Bod.

Get on the road to feeling good + looking good! GO HERE to register —>

http://bodybybranda.com/healthy-holiday-hottie-online-challenge/

 

 

The Chaturanga Explained

Confession: I almost quit yoga due to wrist pain a few years back. I could NOT complete an entire yoga practice without incredible pain in my wrists. At first I made excuses, because I had broken my left wrist 3x and my left elbow 2x in the past- I was convinced that yoga & me would just never be.

BUT, I was not ready to accept that fate when I entered into a Yoga Teacher Training last year. I am SO glad I didn’t give up because while in training I learned SO much! Most importantly, I learned the PROPER FORM for all the inversions and I spent A LOT of time on chaturanga. I was determined to master it so I stayed after each training and practiced with the instructors. By the end of the training I was able to assist & instruct the other teacher trainees into proper form as well as do it myself. It just clicked, felt right & guess what? NO PAIN!!!! {Happy Dance happens here}.

So, even if you don’t currently experience pain; you should check out this video! You might have one of the ‘bad chaturanga habits’ I talk about and can pick up on some new tips to try. In this video I explain proper form & alignment + explain how to modify the chaturanga (aka chaturanga dandasana or high to low push up) while you build up your strength. HAPPY SWEATING!

Namaste~


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Cardio got you down? Just HIIT it!

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Cardio ranks right up there with a trip to the gynecologist or a visit from your in- laws. I’m sure there’s a million other ways you’d rather spend your time! But you want to be fit and you want to be lean, so you do it. Right? I have to admit, I can’t stand spending a long amount of time on the treadmill- yawn! Good news is there is a much better way.

A FUN form of cardio that delivers twice the bang for its buck! I’m referring to high-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT). It will get you leaner and fitter faster without having to spend more time in the gym (not to mention its WAY more fun than hours on treadmill)!

HIIT is all about how you do your cardio. Rather than choosing an aerobic activity that you maintain at a steady pace for the duration of your workout—say 30 minutes on the elliptical—you alternate fast periods in which you work all-out with slower recovery intervals. In addition, you will work in and out of both aerobic & anaerobic which will help you increase your strength, muscle & endurance.

So that’s great, but HOW do I get started?
 
First of all, you will want to start slow. Choose a few of your favorite exercises let’s say you love squats, burpees & pushups (I know these happen to be YOUR personal favorites- right?). You would choose a number of rounds to complete so as a beginner I would recommend just 4 rounds of 30 seconds each exercise to start, but as you gain strength you can build up to more rounds at 1 minute each exercise. It would look like this (keep in mind this is very basic):
 
Beginner –> Do  30 sec pushups, 30 sec burpees, 30 sec pushups as fast as you can!!! Take 10-20 sec rest  & then repeat that same thing again (including the rest) for a total of 4 rounds.
 
As you get stronger you will want to increase the time you complete each exercise to 45 sec or 1 minute etc and also increase the number of rounds. You will of course be choosing all different kinds of exercises too. Some cardio, some strength, and some core. You can create different HIIT workouts too – try all lower body moves or just upper body etc.
 
Here are some HIIT workouts to get you started! 
HIITtobeFit
 
HIITBody2
 
We are always HIITing it over in my Busy Babes Online Boot Camp- give this Core workout a try!

Want access to more videos like these? Come sweat with us online! For just $20/mo I plan an entire month’s worth of HIIT workouts for you + give you access to all the online workout videos, weekly motivation & virtual coaching. The best part is: ALL of the workouts are less than 20 minutes long! HIIT rocks because it allows you to get awesome results with shorter sweat sessions- SO perfect for Busy Babes! Read more about how you can get fit online on your own time here.

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*Some of the awesome HIIT facts above provided by Shannon Clark on bodybuilding.com