my writing pieces

Off The Map

I took a day off from life today. I kind of just left. Disappeared. This life that I took a break from is one I put a lot of work into perfecting. I have experimented through trial and error to create the perfect formula for my best life. And boy do I stick to it. Everything is repeated, day in and day out, even down to the timing because I know what I like. Of course, I change it up sometimes, if a better option comes around; but I tend to enjoy my “perfect life prescription” very much. But today I didn’t take it.

I woke up to the sound of ocean waves outside the window of my condo in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic. It was 7:00 a.m., and I had to get up. This wake-up call was not my decision, so I already. lost the control with which I usually conquer my day. A bus picked us up at 8:00 a.m. The driver spoke only Spanish and luckily I can get by with the Spanish I learned in high school. I ended up having many interesting conversations with this man in Spanish on our way to the location of my life hiatus. Midway through the ride, I pulled out my breakfast, a peanut butter sandwich, the lunch I ate every day for four years. But, on the bus ride, I look at this double-breaded peanut buttery meal and realize…I haven’t had a sandwich in years, and a peanut butter sandwich in longer. I haven’t necessarily gone out of my way to avoid a sandwich, but I definitely don’t ever volunteer to eat one. Herein lies part 2 of me losing control. Here is why I know I was not part of life today- I had no control and I felt nothing. I felt like I did when I was a kid and didn’t care about anything at all. I said “Adios” to my new amigo as I hopped off the bus and landed in a busy, hectic Dominican Village. The dive shop was a random shack behind an organic juice bar that served sugar cane juices with an entire sign to inform customers that the glucose in these sugary drinks would be their best bet to receive the energy their body needs to get through the day…questionable data, but I appreciate the effort nonetheless.

I signed the form at the dive shop to prove I am physically able to scuba dive and then watched as our guide taught us some very useful tips about scuba diving. I later realized, watching someone demonstrate to you how to breathe underwater is much different than being thrown underwater where breathing through a regulator is not the same thing as breathing normal air. At all. We will get to that later. I squeeze into a wet suit which highlighted every single one of my flaws and compressed parts of me that really would rather not be so compressed. Once suited up, we stepped on the boat. The trip to the location of the first dive was 30 minutes of pure speed, splashing and bliss. The morning sun shone down on the water and then reflected back onto the boat. I watched the land as we quickly zoomed past and realized, I forgot my morning meditation. My Unplug app is going to tell me I missed a day. But wait, I didn’t have to miss a day, I could simply guide myself through a meditation. I closed my eyes and asked my intuition to please bring forth a mantra for me. And in that moment, I made up the mantra I plan to repeat every morning. WAIT. I had nowhere to right it down. It was such a good idea, and I could not put it in any notes. NOW WHAT? I decided I will just remember it. If it was a good enough idea, then I would remember it later. I didn’t need to immediately report back to my phone.

And now it all begins…Our dive guide/ Instructor, Petr (No, I did not misspell that. He simply is the type of guy who would have a normal name like Peter, but just not need the e. That would be too much for my chill friend, Petr) hooks us up to our vest thingy with the big tank… professional divers call them BCDs, but I my friend, am perhaps as far from a professional diver as one can get. I struggle to fasten my weight belt, and I tug and shimmy my flippers onto my feet and give myself a nose job attempting to put on my goggles. I stand up and then immediately am pulled back down to the seat because this massive tank on my back in addition to this weight belt is causing quite the toll on my ability to get anywhere. Petr helps with the weight as I shuffle backwards in my flippers towards the edge of the boat, where I sit, get set, and back flop off the boat into the choppy water.

It is important to note that while BCDs look like life vests, they absolutely do not function the same. The waves were chopping and I was sinking into the water with this heavy tank on my back and Petr says to just wait there until we could start… START? It gets harder?! Meanwhile, my brother asks me how I am doing; and I try to reply that I was in fact doing horrible, but I can not get the words out because I am busy inhaling a wave full of salt-water. My feet kick furiously underneath me, and I reach my stringy arm up to hang onto the edge of the boat. Then Petr calls us to the other end of the boat for our “practice test”. Once I get there, he asks if I’m ready. Of course I say yes because I just do, and he has me walk my hands along a rope until I am totally underwater with him. He does a series of scuba movements. I watch and then repeat to prove I too can puff water out of my regulator while it is in my mouth and I can also retrieve my regulator in case it has fallen out of my mouth. Then I am supposed to show that I can get water out of my goggles which, after four tries, I still can’t do. I’m getting really freaked out about being underwater with this man, and I start really missing this thing called air and oxygen so I pretend I did it right and open my eyes wide to show him. Jokes on you though, Petr, because I was actually opening my eyes in a pool of salt water.  With my contacts absolutely enraged, I passed the test and got to swim up. Thank God, I did the test, so now I could go back on the boat and fix my goggles and my flippers and my nose piece and my stupid weight belt and then talk about how hard that all was and what the heck I am doing wrong because I thought this was supposed to be easy and fun. I wait again in that half drowning- half spastically water treading state for my return to the boat. And then Petr says, “Ok! We are going down.” Then I said a lot of words in my head that my mom would not enjoy reading on my blog.

We all are called back to the front of the boat where my parents (who are both certified divers) are treading water awaiting the first dive. I get as close as I can to my mom because I am an absolute Mommy’s girl and I will forever rely on her for absolutely everything. My mom is my right hand man. Literally, when I give birth one day, there is no way in hell my husband will be the one holding my hand. It will be my Mom or no one. So I am basically on top of my mother while she is doing enough work staying afloat herself, and then she has a panic attack. The most chill, adventurous, certified diver with the most experience in my family just totally flips. She has to go to the back of the boat with Petr, and we later realize the waves were really worsening her vertigo symptoms. So here I am, with my brother who somehow was more terrified than me and my Dad who has never been the nurturer of the two. My Mom decides she can’t dive and I therefore declare that I will not be doing so either…not without my Mom. But Petr decides that I actually will be immersing myself into the depths of the deep blue sea with no one to keep me cool. Wonderful. I may be a lot of things, but a chicken I am not. So I pretend I am tough and I go down for my first dive. I try to breathe normally but then I realize when I think about breathing it becomes very difficult and overwhelming. I try to look around and take in my surroundings but then I begin floating up. The one thing I know about scuba diving is that you can not go up too fast or you can seriously damage your brain and body. So I start floating up and the button to deflate my vest doesn’t seem to be working. Everyone starts getting farther away and I am absolutely freaking out and realizing my brain might shrink if I keep going. I start to scream as loud as I can while keeping my regulator in my mouth, and my Dad hears and swims up to grab my hand and pulls me back down to their level where Petr deflates my vest and I can swim a little bit more calmly. And there was my first Scuba Diving Experience.

We come back up and I declare that I will under no circumstances be participating in the next dive, and my brother agrees, and my Mom sadly agrees because she physically cannot because of her health. I eat an apple and reflect on my near death experience and then realize, Hey. I did that. And then Petr informs us we are going again; and I decide I may not ever get the chance again and if I didn’t die last time, then I probably won’t die this time. So we’re back underwater… just me, Petr and my Dad… and I am actually okay. I am panicking for sure, but then I realize I have myself. I wrap my arms around my body and I talk to myself: Claire, you’re doing so well. I am so proud of you. You will be so glad you did this. I am here now. I am here now. I am here now. Usually my self-talk is a series of criticisms along the lines of; you didn’t do enough of this, you should’ve had less of that, you seriously should be better at this by now. However, today, since I basically have fallen off the face of the Earth and everything is different, I am actually being so kind, patient and gentle with myself. I have never felt this loved in my entire life. During my love fest with myself, Petr rudely interrupts by tapping on me and pointing to the left at a group of five squids. They all move together as a team and do not seem to mind us at all. We follow the squids a bit and Petr pointed out stingrays, eels, and fish. Then he really starts gesticulating very excitedly at something. And there in the coral reef, right in front of my face, is the cutest little sea turtle in the whole world. He was maybe five feet away from my face, and I just stare at him. And he stares back at me. I think of how peaceful and happy this little guy looks, and I too feel a bit of the same peace. After a few minutes of admiring him, he swims up to the top of the water. We swim on with the squids and then our turtle friend returns and swims along with us. This is truly one of the most magical experiences in my entire life.

We stop at an island for lunch with 2 huts and not many people. One hut was there for drinks and the other was a restaurant. Petr shows us to a booth and lets us know that lunch is on the way. Something tells me this lunch will most likely not consist of my usual vegan tofu bowl, or a big salad with roasted veggies and hummus. I sit there, hungry, and very unsure of what to expect. For the past two years, with one or two weekend dinners out, I had prepared all of my meals and all of my snacks and I like it that way. Since living at home, dinners are usually made by my Mom  but I am very used to (and also a huge fan of) her cooking. Eating out at restaurants every day of the week is already weird enough for me because my order often turns out differently than I expect. But now I have no idea what to expect, and it kind of feels good, exciting. Next thing I know, plate upon plate is being set on the table in front of us: pasta with tomato sauce, bread, potato / celery /onion salad, grilled chicken, grilled pork, cabbage, cucumber, onions, pineapple, and Dominican rice. I fill up my plate with the chicken, veggies, potatoes, a little bit of rice and some pineapple. The flavors salsa among my taste buds along with the music coming from the hut. It was all so delicious. I finish my plate and realize, MAN, I want pasta. I didn’t originally get it because as much as I try to ignore it, the messages regarding common nutrition fads get to my head and I just want to be good at wellness / healthy / doing it all right, but the only thing that feels right in this moment is eating some dang pasta. So I add some pasta to my plate and  is it good! We all finish our plates and decide to walk around the island a bit, taking it all in. I pay a woman $15 dollars for a massage which is much needed for the amount of tensing I participated in during the Scuba Diving Endeavors. Then Petr brings us back to the boat and we begin a slow trip back.

We slowly ride the waves away from the island, and I pull out my camera to capture pictures of my smiling, present, beautiful family. Petr asks if I am a photographer and I explain to him that I am not.. I was an ice dancer, but I am not anymore. He does not know what ice dancing is, which has always been a fairly common reaction when I tell non-skating people what I do. I used to fervently try to describe it, but now I shrug and say, “and you never will need to know” with a smile. And then I tell him I want to be a journalist because I like to write, learn and create, which brings me back to why I enjoy taking photos, but no I am not a photographer. I am not really anything right now. And if you asked mi amigo, Rafael, the bus driver, he would tell you that I should not be a writer, but that I should be President of the United States. While Rafael’s suggestion was enticing I think right now I am okay with not having a label. Right now I am nothing but here on this boat with four people I am so insanely blessed to call my family and my favorite people on the planet, nowhere to be…nothing to do…no ONE to be, just me, today, one with the waves. And, the turtles.

H.4.H Workouts!


Whether you’re sick of your old workout routine or you are entirely new to working out, you’ve come to the right place. I personally love making up my own workouts and I am very grateful of that because workout Ebooks & trainers can be really expensive. Sometimes you just need some new ideas, but don’t want to spend a ton of money. I feel that. So I thought I could provide some of my favorite workouts lately for everyone to access for FREE!

I personally get so much confidence and joy from a good workout and to me, that is the reason I workout. It is not a chore or a punishment for me and I think that is why I am fit and healthy, because I actually enjoy being active. I think before anything else, we need to establish a positive relationship with moving our bodies before we get too involved with the details of our workouts. Disclaimer: I am not certified nor do I have any professional fitness credentials or degrees. These are all workouts I do regularly and enjoy.

So with all that being said, here are some workouts that are making me sweat, get stronger and feel like a badass. They will be divided into categories based on the body part they are meant to target. Plus some tips to make your gym session more fun:

LEGS

Workout #1

  • Warm-up on stairmaster. (You decide the time and pace, just make sure your heart rate is UP)
  • Circuit:
  1. Burpees x8
  2. Deadlifts x15
  3. Butt kickers x40
  4. Leg/ Hamstring curls (machine) x15
  5. Jump squats x15

Repeat 4 x

Workout #2

Warm up with a run, jump rope, elliptical, bike, or anything that boosts your heart-rate

  1. Jumping Jacks x50
  2. Inner Thigh Machine Squeezes x10
  3. Tuck Jumps x10
  4. Leg Press x10
  5. Lunges with Kettlebell x8 each leg
  6. Donkey Kicks with Resistance Band x10 each leg
  7. Curtsy Lunges x 8 each leg

Repeat 4 x

UPPER BODY

Workout #3

  • Circuit 1:
  1. Mountain Climbers x40
  2. Tricep Push Downs x10
  3. Cable Pulls x12
  4. Lat Bar Pull Downs x10
  5. Back Extensions x12
  6. Leg Raises x12

Repeat x4

  • Circuit 2:
  1. Slam Balls x20
  2. Bosu Push Ups x12
  3. Bosu Burpees x8
  4. Weighted Sit-Ups x10
  5. Flutter Kicks x10

Repeat x3-4

Workout #4

  • Circuit 1:
  1. Overhead Press x12
  2. Dumbbell Rows x12
  3. Barbell Rows  x12
  4. Lateral Raises  x12
  5. Chest Press x12

Repeat X4

  • Circuit 2:
  1. Bosu Mountain Climbers x20
  2. Bench Sit-Ups x10
  3. Hollow V-Sit & Hold x12
  4. Plank  1 min

Repeat x4

FULL-BODY BURN

Workout #5

Sprint/ stairs on high speed to warm-up

  1. Burpees x8
  2. Mountain Climbers x30
  3. Slam Ball x15
  4. Bosu Burpees x8
  5. Leg Raises x10

Repeat x4

Arms

Lighter weights:

  1. Front pulse x30 s
  2. Side pulse x30 s
  3. Chest press x30 s
  4. Overhead press x30 s
  5. Tricep press x30 s

Repeat x4

Workout #6

  1. Ropes 2 minutes
  2. High knees to burpee 1 minute
  3. Deadlifts 1 minute
  4. Squat to Overhead Press 1 minute
  5. Spin Bike 5 minutes
  6. Push ups 1 minutes
  7. Row 5 minutes
  8. Medicine Ball Slams 1 minute

Repeat 4-5x

TIPS FOR A BETTER WORKOUT

  • Always have headphones/ good music/ a podcast
  • Wear something you feel good in
  • Find out whether you workout better fasted or with food in your stomach (if you workout better after eating, find out what food fuels you best for your workout)
  • Always have a water bottle/ liquids
  • Go with a friend
  • Go around the same time every day
  • Decide if you prefer working out in the mornings/afternoons/ evenings best and then do so accordingly
  • Give yourself grace and listen to your body
  • Make sure you have AT LEAST 1-2 rest days a week
  • Switch it up! Try classes, different styles of workouts, walks, yoga, etc. to keep things interesting
  • Try to have fun! Working out should feel awesome for your mind and body.

my love


I wish I had a way to tell you how much I love you. A way to thank you for saving my life. Those days where I lied on the ground, face in the carpet, tears streaming down my face for hours. No one could help me, no one even knew. But you quietly approached me, on those four little legs and sat right next to me. I know you knew Mama was hurting, because you didn’t leave. You wouldn’t leave. And I know you knew I needed you because you sat there, firm and patient and you did not leave until I pulled myself up off the ground and came with you. That wasn’t the only time you picked me up. You’re always picking me up.

Thank you for being my reason to wake up every morning. Of course, for obvious reasons like needing to get out of bed to take you to the bathroom and feed you, but also for actually being the reason I want to live. The thing that gave me hope in my absolute darkest times. I had days where I dreaded everything waiting for me outside of my bed, but I knew I had you and that is what kept me going.

I wish you could feel my heart swell up with love when I come home to you jumping for joy at my arrival. Or when your little brown eyes close when I scratch under your floppy ears. Or when you roll on your back when I’m petting you so I can rub your little baby belly. Sometimes when I hold you it takes everything in my power not to squeeze you with hugs. I hope you are as happy as I feel when I see your fluffy brown tail wagging faster and faster when you know mama has a treat. Most of all Phoebe, I hope you feel the love in your little heart that I feel everyday with you.

To Bigger and Better…


Now what? If I am not Claire Purnell, the ice dancer, then WHO AM I? Until this year, I never asked myself this question. But I reached a point in my life and career where the label “ice dancer” just did not satisfy me at all anymore. I realized I am so much more. Claire Purnell is a writer, a laugher, a reader, a lover of fitness, creative, a good cook, entrepreneurial, a good student, motivated, inspired, and capable of many different things in this life. I actually have not felt like an ice dancer in a long time. Every day since September until a few weeks ago, I’d gone through the motions of a skater, but on the inside I had already moved on. I would step on the ice and what used to feel so right feels so so wrong. I honestly was miserable. I spent many breaks between sessions sobbing in the bathroom. My body ached everyday from extreme burnout. I had multiple weeks spent deep, deep, deep in depression where I faced a scary amount of suicidal thoughts. However, I knew I had to complete my season to the best of my ability for my brother, my coaches, and the little girl who loved skating with her whole entire heart. As I am sitting here writing this, Claire Purnell the Ice Dancer seems like an old identity from a lifetime ago.

I have moved home to Kentucky and I am living with my family until school starts up again for me. I am in the process of applying to seven different colleges which is exciting to me because I have been able to explore universities that meet my academic and social priorities and are not just close to a skating center. Each school I am applying to is incredible and I honestly can see myself being happy at all of them. Until I decide and go off to school in the fall, I am going to work while I’m home, just random side hustles to start earning some money. I am so excited to have the next  6 months with my family since I felt like I was ripped off when I moved away at 16 and missed my parents immensely. I am so grateful to be able to make up for it. I look forward to growing my instagram and blog, getting more into photography, I am also REALLY loving the gym and making my own workouts again, as well as going to spin classes. I am just doing a lot of things I couldn’t do as a skater – taking things slower, having more time and space for creativity, seeing friends I missed while I was away, writing more and just finally starting to get my light back that I feel like I lost during the past few months while skating.

While I am home, I look forward to visiting colleges and going to Punta Cana for a family vacation. I am also looking forward to working (I love working. There is also something so exciting about working as hard as I do and finally getting rewarded for it – which does not happen for everyone in the skating world). I will finish my college applications by the end February, and I am so excited to hear back from the schools. I hope to get Phoebe registered as a therapy dog so I can bring her to hospitals to cuddle with patients. I also hope to attend a couple music festivals over the summer. I am overall most excited to have TIME and SPACE to find who I am and enjoy things I never could do before because of skating.

As for the future…I never actually saw my future revolving around skating. I always said, “once I am finished with skating, I want to do something else”. There have always been parts of the skating world I wanted no part of. When I was younger, my dream was “to go to nationals and then be a spanish teacher”.  As I got older I wanted to be on Team USA, possibly go to Worlds and then be a physical therapist. There was always something else. I have just come to the point in my life where I only want to be doing the “something else” and thinking about a bright new future seriously fills me up because I know I have some magic to bring to the world. I plan to major in journalism and one day work as a journalist, in broadcasting, or write a book…or do all three. I also have dreams of one day opening a wellness center. My one goal with any career path I go down is that I continue to help inspire and uplift people, because I truly feel that this is my purpose.  And who knows what will change in the next five years… and, man, is that exciting to me.

Following My Heart and Leaving the Ice Behind

Until a few months ago, I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like if I weren’t an ice dancer. Skating is all I’ve ever known; it’s part of my identity. I couldn’t imagine a life without it because 1) I love skating, and 2) I convinced myself at a young age that skating was my life’s purpose. Skating has taught me so many lessons and given me so many amazing memories, laughs, and friends. But it also has caused me more pain than words can describe. Performing in front of a crowd with my best friend by my side is one of the best feelings in the world. But after taking our bows and getting our scores, that feeling was shattered. Every single time. Even though we sacrificed so much and worked as hard as we could, our efforts would never be enough. When I loved it, this heartbreak was worth it; but to be honest, I don’t love it anymore, and I know that life has so much more in store for me.

Looking back, I know I should have stopped when the sport made me feel utterly worthless, making me refer to myself as “a waste of space”. First came the cutting. I can not even count the number of times I have been skating or competing, and I felt this overwhelming sense of never being good enough, messing things up again, or just being a complete failure. The very first time I ever tried to cut was with the blade of one of my skates. I should’ve quit then. Instead I told someone who I trusted could help me most. They did nothing. I continued to cut in silence for months. I then turned to the only way I thought we’d ever be successful, and I began to starve myself. I didn’t question the awful body expectations the sport has; I just followed the rules. I ate a few pieces of dry lettuce, spent my free time in the basement doing 1,000 burpee challenges, fainted, cried, and utterly despised my body because that is what the skating world taught me to do. I will never ever forget being at a skating camp, being weighed and coming in at my lowest weight ever (10 pounds under the weight that was considered underweight for my height and age), and a judge personally congratulated me on my weight loss. Thirty minutes after the weigh-in, we had one-on-one critiques with the officials. The very first thing the highly ranked judge said to me was, “Claire, I see that you’ve decided to take care of yourself. Congratulations.” What was intended to be a compliment actually seemed to indicate that the significant decrease in my weight, power, strength, mood, and health is what would finally allow Luke and I to accomplish our goals.

Despite all of this pain, I didn’t stop, because there were things I never wanted to let go of. I never ever wanted to let go of my brother’s hand. I never wanted to give up the feeling of flying across smooth, clean ice. I never wanted to give up the applause or seeing the audience smile as I performed. I have always skated for my audience and they know that. I knew I would never be the judges’ favorite, but every time I stepped off the ice, I would have so many people come tell me, “You are so fun to watch”, “You make me smile when you skate”, “I can tell how much you love it”. Those comments mean everything to me now; but when I was in the sport, the only comment I wanted to hear was, “Welcome to Team USA. You’ve made it, you are good enough, you finally matter in the skating world”. I never heard that. But I came to realize that I matter in other ways when I take my skates off and leave the rink.

I’ve always wanted to travel and make a difference. I thought maybe if we got on Team USA, we could travel. Maybe, if I we went far in the sport, I could help change the way female skaters are expected to look. From my struggles, I began to write and share. I discovered the wellness community and developed friends and used my voice to reach out. I started to experience what it feels like to make a difference in people’s lives. With a newly discovered sense of purpose, I felt what happiness and freedom felt like. I’ve never known a world without skating, but I do know that the first time I ever said I’m ready to end my skating career and move on, I felt lighter. All my anxiety and depression felt smaller because leaving skating means leaving behind all my fears and sufferings. I am immensely burnt-out, overworked, exhausted, but also very grateful. Grateful for the positives and the negatives because they have taught me so many lessons and made me who I am. I am also so excited. I am so ready for what is ahead of me. I am so ready to be the person I have always dreamed of being: a role model, a writer, a creator, a student, a friend, a hard-worker, successful, someone who makes an impact on the world and people’s lives, and someone who is actually doing what makes her happy.

It’s Time to Love Myself

I set an intention this year to finally love myself. Not in a light, Oh my hair looks good and I’m funny type of way, but seriously loving and accepting myself so much that being alone is no longer a scary thought. My whole life my biggest fear was being alone. My mom always tells me that when I was a little girl and had a friend over to play, the second he or she left my house I would beg for another friend to be allowed over. My depression stems from this thought about being left alone. Things that triggered depressive episodes were things like failing in skating; I will never be a good skater, therefore, I will never succeed at anything. Without success, no one will ever love me. When no one loves me, I will be alone forever… But why is being alone so bad? It is bad because I have spent my whole life being so incredibly mean to myself.

When I was thirteen I used to lie in bed all day telling myself I was fat and lazy and too needy, and then I would never get up because I was too depressed to do anything. Being alone with my inner mean girl has always been the worst thing I’ve had to do. So I turned to anything that would ensure I was not alone: bad relationships, meaningless hookups, toxic friendships, amazing friendships, my phone, cutting, restricting my food – in attempt to silence this mean girl. Sure, those things have worked… Only for a little while though. And usually they ended up hurting me more in the end.

But I’ve been engaging in the completely wrong coping mechanisms. Coping itself was never what I needed. I needed to make being alone something that isn’t scary or horrible or my biggest fear. In fact, I am making being alone the biggest, most beautiful gift in my world. So this year, 2019, I am dedicating to loving myself, and here is how I plan to do it…

FINALLY heal my relationship with food and my body

Ahh, yes. Here we are again. I have left behind my days of anorexia and I have swung back and forth in recovery for a long time. But to say I have a healthy and free relationship with food would be a major stretch. I have a good relationship with food FOR A FEMALE ICE DANCER; but oh God, that means nothing. Girls in my sport are highly encouraged to live orthorexic lifestyles, so I have done this. I eat more than I did when I was anorexic, but I still have extremely strict rules around eating and extremely strict expectations for my body. But I am done. I will never ever love myself if I am depriving myself of one of the very few things people need to simply survive. When I restrict my food I am sending myself a subconscious message saying, “I do not love you enough to even keep you healthy and alive”. I think this is one of my biggest blocks. So on New Year’s day, I called my nutritionist and said, “I’ve gone backwards. I am not treating my body right, and I am ready to fix it for good”. And since then I have already taken huge strides to improve my intuitive eating journey.

Ways to Start Healing your Relationship with Food:

  • Read the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
  • Write a list of all the foods you do not let yourself eat, but want to. Eat at least one of these foods every week and notice what happens (likely nothing you’ve feared) and how you feel.
  • Get a nutritionist who specializes in intuitive eating, eating disorders, non-diet approach to food, etc.
  • Realize you are the only one who has to live in this body so you get to decide how you want to look and feel.

STOP relying on external validation to feel good about myself

“Does Hannah like me?” “Are you sure he likes me?”  “What did he say about me?” “Does my hair look okay? Are you sure?”… Yeah, I’ve said versions of all of these things…maybe 1 million times. I would spend nights on my couch not able to breathe until my friend texted me that I did not annoy anyone at the party yesterday, and in fact everyone actually thought I was funny and enjoyed my presence. Then I could breathe. I would like myself only if I received validation that everyone else liked me too. Even then it was not fulfilling enough because I never liked myself. Now, that is a whole lot of stress on my part, not being able to be comfortable in my own skin unless someone else gave me permission. That is honestly torture. But guess what! I am truly the ONLY one who gets to decide how I feel, what I do, who I spend time with and who gets to spend time with me. Since I am in charge of me, I am deciding that I LOVE me, regardless of who else feels or does not feel the same because I get to decide this one.

Ways to Feel Good without External Validation

  • If you’re sitting on the couch overthinking wondering, Oh no. Does he think I’m annoying? Ask yourself a few things:
    • 1) Is this a thought you have just made up by overthinking? If your brain works like mine, the answer is likely yes. He probably is asleep dreaming about basketball and burritos and has literally no clue at all you are worrying about something so crazy.
    • 2) Am I annoying? I mean you know you better than anyone else… so are you annoying?
    • 3) If he thinks I am annoying, whose problem is that? If you think you are not annoying but he does, then that is something he can spend time thinking about, but you do not have to.

Self-Care

Self-care truly is different for every individual. My friend told me today her self-care practice this morning was curling her hair. For me, there is nothing more infuriating than recurling the same piece of hair six times only to have it either fall pathetically back onto my shoulder or turn into a Shirley Temple ringlet. But it makes her feel good, so for her it is a beautiful way of practicing self-care.

Ways I like to Practice Self-Care:

  • Getting off my phone
  • Drawing
  • Writing
  • Crying
  • Singing
  • Taking walks
  • Showering
  • Journaling
  • Listening to Podcasts
  • Reading
  • Meditating

Set Boundaries

I was listening to manifestation queen, Lacy Phillips, on a podcast recently and she said something that has really stuck with me: “What isn’t a hell yes is a no”. If you are considering doing something but you aren’t totally sold, then just do not do it. If something does not feel great for you, then you do not have to do it. This really stuck with me. Lacy also said to think about the things you do everyday that don’t make you say “hell yes!” and just stop doing them for a month and see how you feel.

For me This Looked like:

  • Muting certain people’s accounts on instagram that don’t make me feel great.
    • Yes, even if they don’t make you feel all that bad, sometimes there are some people we follow that just get us down a little or just don’t benefit us in any way. Social media should be a positive outlet for us!
  • Stop eating foods I don’t enjoy just because they’re “healthy.”
    • I swear if I eat one more tomato I might just throw up. I overdid the tomatoes for #health and now looking at them makes my stomach churn.
  • Dedicate 2 times per day to scroll through instagram.
    • Be fully present when I am scrolling in these times, but stop mindlessly scrolling whenever I have a free second.

Avoid Toxic Relationships that are NOT better than being alone

That fear of being alone I mentioned earlier has also led me to be in relationships/friendships that I knew were not good for me. Even while I was in some of these relationships I consciously knew they were hurting my soul, but I could not admit that to myself or anyone else because not being in a these relationships meant being alone. I’ve been in relationships that left me crying most nights, but I somehow thought if I was alone I would be sad all of the time. However, now that I am not in a relationship (I am not alone because I have amazing friends and family), I actually feel happier than I have in a while. I feel free, inspired, peaceful, joyful and honestly more confident. I feel like I have space to breathe and grow and feel my feelings and do more of what sets my soul on fire. Ever since I was 13, I looked for happiness in a relationship or a best friend – that one person who would always be there for me, but I am finally realizing I have to have that in myself. Of course, one day I would love to have someone ADD to that, but right now I need the space and time to learn how to be that person for myself first.

How I will be Working on this:

  • Be my Dream Partner.
    • Maybe that sounds super lame, but to me it sounds so fulfilling and fun. I am tired of relying on other people to make me happy and I am ready to have all the things that lift me up already inside me.
  • Love Myself Unconditionally.
    • This is basically what this whole post is about, but I do believe not loving myself is what has led me to nonbeneficial relationships. Once I fully love myself, I will attract that love and respect from others.
  • Don’t settle for someone who does not add to my happiness
    • Of course I will meet people and have options to be in relationships, but if they are not a 110% hell yes, then it’s a hard no from me.

Be Careful with What I say About Myself

In order to fully love and respect myself, there are some things I have to stop saying. The Universe has ears and if I am constantly degrading myself, the Universe will think I want to attract people who think it is okay to degrade me and others as well.

Things I will Stop Saying:

  • I am sorry for being emotional.
    • I no longer am allowing myself to feel sorry for this. I am a cancer sun and an extremely caring soul, and this is how I am and that is perfectly okay.
  • I’m sorry for having a bad day.
    • We all have bad days, there is no need to feel bad for that.
  • I look so bad.
    • Maybe I don’t look my best, but I do not have to say it because that makes others think they can say the same thing about themselves or others. And what we say we believe, and I do not want to feel this way about myself!
  • Oh my god, I am so stupid.
    • This one is a really bad one for me. I’ve always been the bubbly, quirky little blonde friend who talks before she thinks and sometimes lets out some less than intelligent remarks, but that does not mean I am stupid. I’ve actually really struggled with insecurity around school and grades and this idea that “I am not smart enough”. This phrase above is one I say at least twice a day, and I truly believe because of this, I programmed my brain to believe I am stupid. However, in reality, I am not. Sure, I could never get into Harvard but I do get all A’s and I’m spending my Saturday morning writing, for God’s sake, so no I am not stupid and I am done saying that.

NO MORE PEOPLE PLEASING

I am not ever going to please everyone, it simply is impossible. In actuality, the only person worth pleasing is me because I am the one who actually hears my own thoughts and opinions about myself. Sure, people can tell me they don’t like me but as long as I like myself, I really don’t care. People pleasing has blocked me from doing so many things that bring me joy; “Don’t post that, people might think you are weird”, “Don’t eat that, your coach will tell you you’re fat”, “Don’t show your emotions, people will think you’re weak”, “Don’t tell him he’s hurting you, you’ll make him mad” and  by doing all this, I’m forcing myself to suffer in order to (POSSIBLY) please other people. I am done with that.

Things I can do that Make me Happy, even if I May Not be Pleasing Everyone Else

  • Eat what I want.
  • Say how I feel.
    • Of course, never saying anything to hurt someone or make anyone feel bad for no reason. Just giving myself the freedom to express myself.
  • Post things I feel good about.
  • Tell people when they are hurting me.
  • Talk about my spirituality openly: angels, crystals, meditation, etc.
  • Wear what makes me feel good.
  • Say no.

Okay guys, those the top seven things I am going to really be practicing in this period of my life to be able to love myself finally. My lack of self-confidence/self-love has been a major impediment in my life for so long. I truly feel so free and positive and radiant already from outlining my plan, and I think this year is going to be one of the best years of my life simply by making it the year of loving myself. I really hope you all can take away some things from this; and if you’re on a similar journey I would be so happy to know this helped you out. I am so grateful for all of you. Sending you so much love, and I encourage you to send yourselves just as much love!

Thanks for reading!

Xoxo

Claire

Looking Back on 2018 and Forward to 2019

2018 Reflections and Lessons & Intentions for next year

2018 flew by for me. It started out rough, with Luke recovering from shoulder surgery and our training on hold until March. Since 2010, the longest time we’ve taken off of training together was maybe two weeks. His full recovery was six months. I felt like my life was on hold while I waited for him to recover. I can’t even imagine how hard it was for him, how painful, disappointing and agonizing this whole time was. But he came back stronger than I could have ever imagined, and I am so grateful. That season was one of the hardest seasons of my life. However, summer came and I can say with a smile on my face that this summer was one of the more fun seasons in my life. Then came the mellow feeling of fall. Beautiful, still, somber, normal. But at some point between fall and winter, I hit rock bottom. I think I could say this was my first rock bottom, and I am sure it won’t be my last. I have not shared much about this, but I plan to in the future. What I will say is that this rock bottom sparked some changes that I will be making in 2019. And this last month, December, has been a blessing from the Universe. It started off horrible. I had many nights where I really could not see a point of sticking around to even see 2019. Something had to change. Something did change. And I have grown more in this month than I have in a while and because of this, I can now see so much light in this year to come.

Lessons I Have Learned:

The Universe has my back.

There is always a plan and things always happen for a reason. Maybe things are out of my own control, but they are in the hands of the universe who truly is here to guide me along my best path (one with a lot of yellow flowers).

The energy you put out is what you attract

  If you fear being alone more than anything, you will attract people who leave you because of the energy you put out in the world. I learned this the hard way this year and I am ready to put out my most loving and positive energy into the world and receive this in return.

Female Friendships are the best relationships

I was lucky enough to make some pretty freaking amazing girl friends this past year. These girls are there for me and know I am always there for them, even when they are physically far away. My girl friends are the absolute best because some nights they make me laugh so hard I pee my pants a little and then we laugh even harder at that. Other times we are all crying but it doesn’t feel as sad because we know we have each other.

Gratitude can be found even in the hardest times

Some days I do not want to wake up in the morning, but I know there is coffee, my puppy, and books to read and that is always enough.

Rock bottoms happen for a reason

Hitting a rock bottom means the only way out is by fixing something. Maybe it means totally getting rid of something or someone in your life. Maybe it just means changing something in yourself. But hitting rock bottom means it can’t really get any worse, so your only option is to make things better. That is a beautiful opportunity.

Things that Have Made Me Happy:

  • Meditation- I use the unplug app and I love it.
  • Almond Milk Collagen Iced Lattes
  • Concerts/ Music Festivals- I saw Drake, Gucci Mane, Rex Orange County, Zhu, Sza all this year
  • Podcasts- lately loving: Your Own Magic, Chasing Joy, Let it Out and The Good Life Project
  • Journaling – I love using Let It Out by Katie Dalebout
  • Going for Walks
  • Movies -Lady Bird, Serendipity, Bohemian Rhapsody, Frances Ha
  • Music -Louis The Child, Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish
  • Mom jeans
  • My dogs
  • Spending time with my friends
  • Workouts with our Trainer

Books I’ve Loved:

  • The Nightingale -Kristin Hannah
  • The Universe Has Your Back- Gabrielle Bernstein
  • The Untethered Soul -Michael Singer
  • Sharp Objects- Gillian Flynn
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistle Stop Cafe- Fannie Flagg
  • The Color Purple- Alice Walker
  • The Woman In Cabin 10 -Ruth Ware
  • Into the Water- Paula Hawkins

8 Words to Summarize my 2018:

  1. Friendships
  2. Learning
  3. Laughter
  4. Rock Bottom
  5. Strength
  6. Heartbreak
  7. Growth
  8. Big Realizations

9 Words to I want to incorporate in 2019:

  1. Radiance

I want to feel the type of positivity that shines through my soul, like I am growing yellow flowers out of the crown of my head.

2. Peace

I want to continue to find inner peace by keeping up my daily meditation practice.

3. Confidence

I want to be alone for a while and feel 100% full and enough on my own. No need for external validation.

4. Excited

I want to wake up in the morning with that feeling of butterflies and joy towards the day ahead of me.

5. Grateful

I want my heart to feel full knowing I have such beautiful things in my life as: two sweet puppies, an amazing family, financial stability, yellow flowers, coffee, books, sunshine, friends, and writing.

6. Present

I want to be in the moment, whatever it is; I am here now.

7. Loved

I want to feel loved. Maybe by friends. Maybe by a boy. But especially by myself.

8. Authentic

I want to continue to be my real, raw, unfiltered self. Maybe people think I’m weird and people will judge me, but I think that is their own problem.

9. Creative

I want to start lots of new projects that excite me. I want to take photos and make videos and write more.

Books I Want to Read:

  • Eat Pray Love -Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Gone Girl -Gillian Flynn
  • A Course In Miracles
  • A Return to Love -Marianne Williamson
  • (finish reading) Intuitive Eating- Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
  • Open Wide -Melissa Ambrosini

Things I Want to Do:

  • I want to get into photography
  • Go to the Wanderlust Festival in Snowshoe (giving my Mom tickets here for christmas!!)
  • Travel – New York city, Punta Cana, Boston, Colorado, Washington DC, California, Sun Valley
  • Write more -maybe publish my own book of poetry
  • Get more of my writing published
  • Grow my instagram following
  • Possibly start vlogging
  • Continue to meditate daily
  • Get a job as a barista at a cute coffee shop
  • Drink a lot of coffee
  • Practice more intuitive eating
  • Get into running outside
  • Meet some of my favorite IG people (Georgie Morley, Katie Dalebout and Jordan Younger)
  • Smile and laugh A LOT

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays and a beautiful start to 2019!

xoxo,

Claire

What to do When it’s Not “The Happiest Season of All”

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”! Beautiful lights sparkle on trees and houses, people are hugging and spending time with their loved ones, gifts are being exchanged, hot chocolate being drunk, hands being held, and songs being sung. But you don’t feel it. Nothing feels all that merry or happy or bright, in fact it all feels really really hard. And as if the sadness you are feeling is not bad enough, on top of that you have that feeling that you should be happy. You’re not alone in this.

When I was a little girl I counted down the days until Christmas starting on December 26th. Christmas carols were my favorite songs any month of any year and Christmas day was always everything I had hoped for and more. When I got older, I started to notice that feeling disappear a little every year. A couple years ago, I noticed my depression typically gets even worse in the winter months, but how could that be? It should be the most wonderful time of the year! I think this is a common thing for many people out there. The winter months are hard, it gets dark so early and it is cold so we are stuck inside with ourselves and our thoughts. If you are anything like me, that is not a fun place to be.

Something that really gets me this time of year is that feeling of utter and extreme loneliness. My depression is fueled by me feeling like I am alone, unwanted, unseen and will be alone like this forever. This is hard because even when I am with someone, I still feel this way, and that is why it is a disease. In my opinion, the feeling of being alone in a group of people who love you is the worst possible feeling in the world. I see a lot of girls struggle with this season of feeling like we should be in a relationship; holding hands and ice skating, sharing hot coco, kissing under the mistletoe, getting that perfect gift for him, whatever it is, and that only enhances the feeling of being alone. But most of our lives are not like Love Actually and that does not mean we are alone or unloved.

We live in a world where it is frowned upon to struggle, to feel sadness, or to sit in any discomfort. This pressure to be happy is enhanced especially throughout the holiday seasons. But you have to know that the sadness you feel right now is not a failure on your part. You are not doing anything wrong. While it is uncomfortable to sit in this feeling of depression, you can not punish yourself for feeling your feelings, because that only makes it worse. I personally think it is possible to acknowledge your sadness and still enjoy this season! Here are a few tips to do so:

  1. Meet up with Friends

If you go home for the holidays, planning to meet up with old friends from home is a perfect way to feel that warm and cozy feeling of love and connection with someone else. I love seeing old friends when I visit home because no matter how much we change, they always are there to come back to and that feels pretty magical to me.

If you stay where you are for the holidays, plan something festive with your friends in the area you’re in. Maybe go to a Christmas tree lighting or go ice skating, just trying something fun that you wouldn’t do any other time of year can put you in a more cheerful mood.

If you are in a period of your life where you maybe just went through a breakup or don’t have a good group of friends, that is okay too. You deserve to feel just as much holiday cheer as anyone else. Take yourself shopping and buy yourself a nice gift. Head to a coffee shop and buy yourself a hot coco. But most of all, please know that this is temporary. The holidays come every year and who knows, next year you could be madly in love or living with your best friend and having the time of your life. Do not lose hope.

2. Give

Whether it is material gifts or the gift of your time, this season is about giving. I personally get so much joy from getting someone I love the perfect gift and seeing their face when they open it. But I also think it is especially important to give to those who don’t have much. Some ways to give this holiday season include:

  • Volunteer (homeless shelter, soup kitchen, animal shelter, church, nursing home, etc.)
  • Donate (food drives, clothes, money)
  • Reach out to someone you know is struggling
  • Support an ethical business
  • Thank someone who is important to you
  • Send cards to children in the hospital (I did this last year and I got the sweetest notes in return. The whole experience brought me so much joy)
  • Show people in your life how much you appreciate them

3. Appreciate what you have

I know how hard this is, especially when you struggle with depression and the feeling that you have and deserve nothing, but that is not reality. It is so easy this time of year to want. Want that car you’ve been eyeing all year. Want that perfect new years kiss. Want to be cheerful and merry. But what about just appreciating? Appreciate the fact that your dog loves you more than anything. Appreciate the fact that you have warm clothes to wear in the snow. Appreciate the fact that your friends want to spend time with you, even when you are sad. Appreciate your family, even if it’s messed up. I think true joy comes from gratitude and being content with what you have in the moment.

4. GET FESTIVE

I don’t care how sad you are, there is no way eating a little gingerbread man while sipping on hot chocolate by the fire and decorating your tree with Christmas music on in the background doesn’t make you smile even a little bit. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, maybe you get that little sparkle of joy from lighting a special candle. Whatever it is, just try it. Even if you have to make yourself, a little smile goes a long way.

Festive things you can try doing:

  • Spin a dreidel
  • Decorate your tree
  • Sit by a fireplace
  • Drink hot chocolate
  • Make cookies
  • Look at lights on houses
  • Sing your favorite christmas songs
  • Watch movies (Love Actually, Serendipity, Elf, Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch)
  • Try Secret Santa with Friends
  • Throw a New Years Party
  • Make fun intentions for the New Year
  • Go shopping for gifts
  • Make cards
  • Go ice skating
  • Light your Menora
  • Eat cookies

5. Know This Feeling Will Pass

If none of these tips help you get through this season a little easier, just know that seasons (like feelings) are only temporary. You will get through it. If this winter is particularly hard for you, just know it will not last forever. The season will end soon and maybe next season will be the best season of your life. Next time this year, you could be in a totally different place, living the life you always dreamed of, you just have to have hope.

The Last Piece: Accepting my Body

I will never forget being eight years old and pulling at the fat on my stomach thinking, I need that to go away. The thought would pop into my brain occasionally, but it never stayed around for a long time. I had other things to do like climb monkey bars and fill in coloring books. I knew I was chubby, but it did not affect my eating and it definitely did not affect how happy I was. I was aware I had fat on my belly but it wouldn’t stop me from eating the mac and cheese and cake later. Just because I was a little squishy, it did not mean cake was no longer the yummiest thing EVER. But then I got older and taller, and I started to care.

I cared because people commented, I cared because the ice dance world teaches girls they must be small to succeed and I cared because I just wanted to be good enough. Now it was personal. Now when I looked in the mirror and saw my stomach was not “perfect enough” it meant I had to change something. The difference now was that when the thoughts came, they stayed and they got worse and I started to hate myself. But wait… I looked at my body and saw my imperfections, felt horrible but I could change all of that. I could just lose weight and become perfect. And that is when my anorexia took over my life.

Fast forward and here I am a couple weeks ago, working on a journal prompt where I had a week to cultivate a list of all the things I love about myself-physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. I left myself 2 pages to fill up, not even sure that would be enough. I started writing and I filled up half a page until I couldn’t think of things anymore. I figured I was just tired and my brain was just worn out, I’ll come back to it later. It’s been a week now and I still have barely filled a page. Almost everything on the list was adjectives to describe my mind; curious, motivated, thoughtful, I went back and reread it and realized I could only come up with a whopping 2 things I love about my physical appearance.

  I spend so much time working on who I am as a person that I neglect to ever take care of my physical body. I don’t look at it in the mirror because I know the shame that will follow. I don’t buy clothes because I know I will find something I hate about them and resort back to oversized shirts anyways. I don’t talk to my friends about my body because it always turns into me listening to all the reasons they hate their own bodies.

The weird thing is, though, I do like myself. I think I’m creative, motivated and joyful. I think I’m curious, thoughtful and kind. I just don’t think about my body, because I learned how to turn that part of my mind off. To be able to recover from anorexia, I made myself turn it off. Don’t think about your body because then you will fall into old habits. Don’t think about your legs touching or your pants becoming tight. When your coach tells you-you’re not light enough, just forget it. Don’t think about it, don’t analyze it, don’t care. Just don’t. Because then it won’t exist.

But why do I still feel like my eating disorder is controlling my life? I eat much more normally than I did a few years ago. But I still feel trapped because when I look at my body I do feel guilty and I don’t like what I see. Since I have anorexia I associate things I don’t like about my body with food and the fact that I’ve “let myself go” or “I eat too much”. But the thing is, I eat now. I do not force myself to exercise, I do not purge, I do not even feel bad when I eat, but why do I still feel so stuck? Because on the rare occasion I do look at my body in the mirror, I see a feature of my stomach I don’t like, and I still hear the thoughts, “You need to eat less. You need to be smaller”. I refuse to give in to these thoughts, no matter how strong they are, so I just don’t look in the mirror. It’s easier that way…or so I thought.

For years I thought to ignore my body was the answer to freedom, but I still constantly wonder why do I still not allow myself certain things? Why do I still feel guilty for being hungry? Why am I still so dogmatic around food? Because REAL food freedom cannot be achieved until we can radically accept and love our bodies. When I look in the mirror, see my body and immediately shut my eyes: No. You didn’t see that. Please don’t hate yourself more, please let yourself eat today. You DID NOT see that, there is no way I can continue through my day seeing food and exercise in a normal, healthy way because these thoughts I have about my body are not healthy. How can I properly fuel my body if I cannot even acknowledge that it is my own? How can I provide my body with enough energy and nutrients if I don’t even want to live in it? I just can’t.

There is no way I’ll ever achieve total freedom around eating and exercise until I can radically accept the only body I will ever have, the one I am in now and the one I will be in as a grandmother. Accepting your body as a female these days is difficult, especially for me as an ice dancer. We are almost encouraged to hate our bodies and starve ourselves. But I’m done. I fit the unrealistic, unhealthy expectations of a female dancer in today’s society and I will tell you this for a fact: it has not made me happy or more loved or more confident. It has, in fact, made me feel stuck, weak and like I have had all my power sucked out of me because I gave in. I let society’s ideals take so much away from me. I am accepted by society, by the ice-dance world, by people on social media, but in meeting these expectations I stopped accepting myself and that is really all that matters. I am the only one who has to live in this body for the next 60+ years, and it’s time for me to love my home.

I’ve done a lot of work. I have come a long way since the days where my anorexia ruled my world. This work had to start in my brain because anorexia is a mental disorder. I had to learn how to cope with my depression, anxiety, and anorexia before I could move on to my body. I’ve done that. Like I said earlier, I do love myself. I love WHO I am. To me, that work had to come first.  I had to be able to exist in my brain before I can even think about my body. A couple of years ago, I despised waking up in the mornings because I knew this battlefield in my mind would be vicious and intense and I could hardly cope anymore. I needed to silence the voices in my head that told me; you are worthless. You deserve to die. Starve yourself until you shrivel away. And I have silenced these voices, I have turned them into mostly loving phrases, except when it comes to my appearance.

I’ve done so much work on the inside, but why is it so hard to accept my body? Because body acceptance means surrendering. It means giving up that self-hatred battle that got me to lose the weight, to spend hours in the gym, and to never allow myself to indulge. I’ve been terrified to accept my body because what if that means I will stop wanting to be healthy? What if I let go and become obese and unhealthy and never care what I eat or if I exercise because I’ll just be happy and love myself regardless – and even if on some alternate universe that we’re to happen… what would be so bad about that?!  I will be giving up this battle I’ve been fighting for ten whole years. I don’t remember how to live without disliking the body I’m in. But I want to learn again. I want to love how I look. I want to learn how to acknowledge what I don’t like about my body and be okay with it. When people tell me they love my smile it doesn’t mean they only like that I’m happy, it actually does mean they like my smile even with my stained teeth. I want to like my stomach, when it’s full of food and when I first wake up in the morning. I want to love the body I live in because that is what will set me free.

 

Morning & Night Time Routine

Morning & Night Time Routine

On a Weekday

 

My training and class schedules vary day to day, but I am just going to give an example of a typical day. I do try to incorporate all these things in every morning, even if I start earlier. All the things I incorporate in my morning routine are to set me up for a positive day and put me in a happy place. The things I do at night are to set me up for the next day and to help me wind down since my days are usually busy and overwhelming. I’m not home to do my entire night routine every single night and that is totally fine, but this is what I like to do when I am home.  Okay, let’s get started!

 

MORNING ROUTINE

6:30 a.m.

My alarm goes off. I sleep with my phone plugged in across the room so that I have to actually get up and turn my alarm off instead of snoozing it.

Start my Lilspace Session

The very first thing I do is open my Lilspace app and start my unplugged session. This app snoozes my social media accounts. I usually have it running until I finish my first training session of the day so I go a few hours after waking up without checking any social media. (To make this more fun, I joined the Almost30 group and I can unplug with this team; and we all are competing to see who can get the most hours unplugged).

Mediate

Then I open my Unplug meditation app, select a guided meditation and meditate. Meditation was hard for me at first, but it has really made an amazing impact on how I live my life.

Journal

I use Katie Dalebout’s journaling book, Let it Out. She has more than 50 journaling tools in this book. Usually, in the mornings, I do her tool, “The Morning Dump” or “Dream Decoder”.

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This whole mindfulness routine takes about 20 minutes.

Get Ready

At this point, I turn on a podcast and listen to it until I leave the house. I make my bed, take my medicine/ supplements (the supplement I take is rosavin to help depression), put in my contacts, put my hair in a ponytail and get dressed.

Take my Dog Out

Pretty self-explanatory.

Hot Water with Lemon

It just makes me feel good and helps me get enough water in daily. I usually sip on it while making breakfast and feeding my dog.

Breakfast!

I usually make oatmeal or Ancient harvest quinoa hot cereal.  I also have an iced coffee with chameleon cold brew and almond milk.

I get asked all the time so here is how I make my daily oatmeal:

In a pot I add,

  • Shredded zucchini ( I don’t really measure but maybe a ¼ zucchini. Sounds gross but you can’t taste it- helps get in more veggies and adds volume)
  • ¾ c quaker oats
  • Hella cinnamon
  • 1 ½ c water
  • Mix and turn the stove on high
  • When the oats start bubbling add about ½ c pumpkin purée
  • Stir
  • If you want it to be creamier, add more water. For thicker oats, you don’t need to add any more water
  • Take off  the stove and add collagen (I use further food collagen)
  • Once it’s in the bowl, I add nut butter. I add a tbsp (or more if you want) of nut butter to a little custard cup and mix with a little bit of water. This makes the nut butter super runny and liquidy. I pour it in the bowl of oatmeal and mix it all together and it totally changes the game.

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Affirmation Cards

While I eat breakfast, I like to continue listening to the podcast I’ve been listening to that morning and I pull an affirmation card from my “Affirmators!” deck. I like to read the card a few times and use it as my focus for the day. When things feel overwhelming, I know I can always bring my focus back to the affirmation I picked that morning.

Last Things!

I then brush my teeth, get my stuff together, pet my dog a bunch and leave the house.

NIGHT ROUTINE

 

Schedule Following Day in Planner

I have a passion planner which breaks down my whole day into 30-minute intervals. I’m type A- this makes me happy. Our skating schedule varies daily so I write down our ice time, off-ice classes, college classes, homework and things I have to do the next day. This helps me prepare for the day ahead.

Make & Eat Dinner

Usually, at around 7:00 pm, I make dinner for my brother and I. My favorite dinner lately is salmon, sushi rice and Brussel sprouts.

Clean Up

After dinner, I make a huge glass of water with natural calm (magnesium supplement) in it. I sip on this as I clean up dishes from dinner. I also clean off the counters and put everything away.  I love listening to podcasts while I clean.

Self-Care

I’m not talking about a bubble bath and a facemask. I mean sometimes I’ll do this, but definitely not every day. I actually count just showering and taking care of my skin as self-care because I love doing this and it makes me feel good. So first I shower. Then I wash my face with the Detox Me mask from Fré skin care-I’m almost out and I’m beyond sad about it (even though I’m just going to order a new one) Sometimes when my body feels sore or I just need extra help feeling calm, I rub peppermint essential oil on the back of my neck.

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After this, I throw on pajamas and snuggle up on the couch with some halo top, Netflix and hot tea. My favorite shows on Netflix are Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, and Shameless. I just started The Good Place and I’m also getting into Pretty Little Liars (I know I’m really behind).

9:30 pm

I don’t usually make it in bed at this time, but I am trying to. I like to get in bed earlier because I can read longer before I fall asleep. I head to my room, brush my teeth, set my alarm for the next day and plug my phone in across from my bed. When I get in bed, I write down what I’m grateful for that day and then I pick up my book and start reading. My favorite book right now (I just finished it) is The Nightingale. I read until my eyes can no longer stay open and then I turn off my lamp and fall asleep!

I hope you got some ideas of ways to incorporate habits to increase positivity and mindfulness into your busy schedule. I really love my morning routine lately. I’m fairly new to meditation and really struggled to get into it, as I have a super busy mind. But once I started, I noticed the biggest difference in my daily life (in an amazing way). If you struggle with this too, I encourage you to just keep trying and I absolutely recommend the unplug meditation app. I will put links to all the products I mention below. Thanks for reading!

 

http://www.getlilspace.com

https://www.unplug.com/?view=mobile

https://www.amazon.com/Let-Out-Journey-Through-Journaling/dp/1401947441

https://www.amazon.com/Affirmators-Affirmation-Cards-Help-Yourself/dp/1601067119

https://shop.furtherfood.com/products/collagen-peptides-protein-powder (Use my discount code: Health4happiness)

https://passionplanner.com/18-19-academic-elite-black/?gclid=CjwKCAjw0oveBRAmEiwAzf6_rG3WuqDYLQ6H9GiWyjzuPgZZmuYycVilvKzv-5V_u32PHEqp5vGORRoCJZ8QAvD_BwE

https://www.freskincare.com/products/detox-me (use my code for a discount: Claire4)

https://www.amazon.com/Nightingale-Novel-Kristin-Hannah/dp/1250080401/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539550382&sr=1-1&keywords=the+nightingale+by+kristin+hannah