Tuesday, October 16, 2018

instagram to follow: @kopernikk

You've seen the Instagram account where the girl leads the guy by his hand in the most iconic places on the planet. Here's a different take on that concept of #followmeto.

@kopernikk is so pure it almost hurts. The story: In 2014, Jan Řeháček was feeling out of sorts and decided to travel around the Czech Replublic, along with his dog, Sitka, who he had adopted a month before. The chronicles of Jan and Sitka are breathtaking and full of joy in their simplicity against the backdrop of nature. When I feel like I need a moment of happiness, I check in on Jan and Sitka and I smile at the amount of love in these pictures. 

It kinda makes you want to put on some hiking boots and take your best friend out for a walk in the wild, doesn't it?

Follow Jan and Sitka on Instagram and their website

Thursday, October 11, 2018

inspiration: bouncing back

I have a girlfriend who, no matter what happens to her, seems to bounce right back from any challenge in her life. Whether it's regarding fitness, career setbacks or personal goals. I admire her. I wish I had that kind of, I don't know, luck? She seems to glide through life. I asked her about this once. After  being let go from a job, she seamlessly moved into a higher paying job with a competing company. Over iced coffees in her new company's cafe, I asked her how she did it. How did she get over being terminated and still have the confidence to go for a higher paying role and then get it. I will forever remember her words. She said, "I don't know. It all just comes pretty easy, I guess."

I didn't know how to respond to that. When something negative happens in my life (job loss, relationship break-ups, failed fitness attempts. . .) I need time to lick my wounds and be small before I can get my confidence back up to even think about going for it again. I can't even imagine picking myself up right away and having the confidence to believe I can do it again immediately successfully.  How incredible it would be to have this skill!

I've been thinking about her a lot this week as I gear up to start a new fitness regimen. I've had to psych myself up, write out a plan, find the right team of people to help me achieve my goals and set a date to start. When I think about my friend, I know that she would have started immediately and just dove in headfirst, knowing she would excel.  My anxiety keeps me from doing that. I get paralyzed by the minutiae of things.

My girlfriend's plan would go like this:

Starting now, I will choose to be healthy. I'll meal prep on Sundays, I will walk 30 minutes every day at lunch and lay off the after work drinks until I reach my goal, which I will.

Here's how my train of thought for a fitness plan goes: 

So, I need to get in shape. I'll get a trainer and a nutritionist in place. Which plan should I follow? Why am I starting in October? The holidays are coming. I should start in January. I'm traveling a lot this fall so it will be hard to follow a plan traveling cross country. I have a baby. How will I fit in exercise? Why is healthy food so much more expensive than a bag of chips? I like coffee. How can I still enjoy coffee with cream? If I don't have coffee, I'll get headaches and be grumpy and then go off the plan. Should I go paleo? Detox? Should I kickbox (which I love) or walk an hour a day but it rains a lot here in the fall. What if  don't succeed?

And this is why it takes so long for me to move forward after challenges.

I think a lot of trepidation comes from fear. Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment if you don't do it, fear that achieving your goal will be hard work. I think back to the times that I lost weight and exercised and how incredible I felt. Sure, I felt better in my body but I felt so strong emotionally that this confidence affected the rest of my life and made me stronger in other parts of my life. I felt confident at work and in my ability to problem solve. I didn't accept being treated poorly by people who weren't nice. When I feel small (doubtful of myself, quiet), I often accept being treated unkindly because I don't think I deserve better. When I am confident in my body, I protect it and this makes me feel like I can do anything I set mind to and time after time, those in my life who didn't respect my boundaries suddenly did. They didn't change. I did.

Do I wish I was more like my girlfriend? Yes, absolutely! May someday I'll have that confidence to expect that everything will go my way just because that it the way things are in my universe.  Until then, I know there is a space that exists between anxiety and confidence. It's about just making that plan and going forward without thinking about what will happen if you fail.  It's a place where happy exists and I plan on embracing that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

the happygirl essentials: cocofloss

"So, have you been flossing?"

"Yes," said every person to their dentist.

I haven't always been honest with my dentist when he asks me if I floss. I've never liked the texture of the flosses I've tried and it always hurt. Maybe I was doing it too aggressively (because more pressure means shinier, clean teeth, right?!) but every time I flossed, my gums would bleed a little. So, I tried different brands including the floss pick but it was so uncomfortable that it wasn't worth the extra effort. Plus, I brush three times a day (really, I do) with a sonic toothbrush so that should cover it, right? It doesn't actually. Those tight spaces between your teeth are where bacteria and food can hide which can cause serious dental issues down the road. Bonus: cleaner teeth and less bacteria mean better breath too!

Every time I think about cavities! gingivitis! gum disease!  I decide, "I should floss! Today I start!" Then I pick some up, I try flossing,  it hurts and I quickly abandon the the whole thing except for the morning of my next dentist visit. 

Last week, knowing I had a teeth cleaning appointment coming up, I decided to try Cocofloss in Mint (other flavors include Coconut, Strawberry and Cara Cara Orange.) I didn't expect it to be much different than the supermarket brands but on the first try, I was hooked. Not only does the floss scrub the space between your teeth clean (due to 500+ strong filaments) but thanks to a vegan wax coating, the floss glides between your teeth, leaving just a hint of mint. After brushing and flossing with Cocofloss, my teeth felt clean any my gums were happy!* No bleeding! (It's also weirdly rewarding to see the bits come out between your teeth even after you finish brushing.)

Cocofloss has made me a happy flosser. Now, I can look my dentist right in the eyes, smile and say "Yes, I floss. See!"

Cocofloss is available at Cocofloss.com, Amazon and other retailers. 

*It also make me happy that Cocofloss was the brainchild of dentist, Dr. Chrsytle Cu and her sister,  Cat, an artist.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Your Perfect Fall Day Playlist

There was this one perfect day I was driving in Massachusetts. L and I had been living in Seattle for years at that point and it was my first time back in Massachusetts, back home in a long time. 

It was that kind of crisp autumn day in New England that feels impossible to describe. Every sense is affected. It was about ten am and the sun was just starting to rise over the trees. The top was down on the rental car and I was sipping a Dunkin' Donuts coffee. The sky was azure blue and as I drove along the country roads under an umbrella of technicolor orange and red leaves, Barry Manilow's "Weekend in New England" came on.

I remember I started to cry from just the pure joy in that moment. I looked up at the sky and said, "OK, God, too much. This is just too much!" When I listen to that song now, I'm right back there, on those country roads. 

Music is an important character in our days. It can make you energized or melancholy. I'm into playlists and I think this Cozy Fall Playlist is the perfect background for walks through leaves, dinner with friends, Sunday brunch with apple pancakes and nights by the fire. I hope you enjoy it and if you have songs that remind you of fall, we'll add them to the playlist. 

I hope you enjoy it.

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