strategically unstrategic.

As someone who works in Social Media, I must say the word strategic in one form or another like, 5 billion times a day. It’s a great buzz word, really. Clients love hearing that there’s a planned, well thought-out method behind the process of reaching their target demographic (and rightfully so).

Lately I’ve been thinking about this whole idea of strategy, and how it’s something we all use in our lives more than we may even realize. Think about it – so many important aspects of life are characterized by some sort of careful plan or method.

Want to win the game? Here’s your strategy.
Want to get healthy? Here’s your step-by-step guide.
Want to land the job interview? Here’s exactly what to be prepared for.
Want to get the guy? Wear this, say that, and follow this 54 page manual of how to text him.

That last one was a joke. Everyone knows the manual is only 10 pages.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s obviously a time and a place for being strategic. I’m pretty sure most of our lives would be complete messes without basics plans and methods that help us get through the everyday. But I’ll be the first to admit that I’m totally guilty of being too strategic in certain areas of my life.

For example, I actually want to think less before I speak. I find myself caring so much about what other people think that I hold back what I actually want to say. Granted, that might make things a little awkward for both parties, but I honestly don’t care anymore. I’m sick of Communication 101 conversations with people – I want truth serum!

Speaking of Social Media, I kind of think it is one of the main causes of everyone being so damn strategic these days (funny how I’m always dissing the thing I make a living off of, haha, oops). But seriously – it’s like, everything we say or do ends up out there for all the world to see, so we have to be all sorts of careful with what we’re putting out there. Even with texting, we have this time we didn’t have before to think about what we’re going to say, how we’re going to say it, and how many minutes (or hours, or days) we strategically leave in between messages. Come on, well all do it 😛

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of life being so perfectly mapped out all the time. So I’m going to do a little experiment of trying to be strategically unstrategic. No more plans, methods, or what some may call “games” to try to navigate myself to what I want.

Less thinking. More doing.
Less thinking. More saying.

Less thinking. More feeling.
Less thinking. More living.

And most importantly – more surrendering my plans to God, and taking on HIS strategy.

Anyone with me?

eats & moves | 5.11.15.

Weekly Workout Recap | GirlMeetsLife.com

Once again I need to play a bit of catch up with my workout recap, oops! For the sake of accountability I’m trekking all the way back to April…

Week of 4/19: took 2 cycling classes, off the rest of the week.

Week of 4/26:
4/26 – off
4/27 – 45 minute Peloton cycling class
4/28 – 45 minute SoulCycle class
4/29 – off
4/30 – 45 minute SoulCycle class
5/1 – off
5/2 – 25 minutes treadmill intervals, 25 minutes strength training

Week of 5/3: went for a 40 minute jog on Monday, off the rest of the week

As you can see, I’ve been doing a bit of pendulum swinging in the exercise department, ha. The week of 4/19 was tough mostly because there was just a lot going with with work/She Is Free, but last week I honestly just needed a break…mostly mentally.

I wish I could say I was one of those people that likes to work out when I’m feeling stressed/overwhelmed – and sometimes that is the case – but most of the time feeling like I need to squeeze exercise into what is already a busy time just makes things worse. I’m learning more and more than *for me* making sure I don’t let myself get mentally/emotionally drained is more important than exercise when it comes to being healthy.

With that being said, the week off was great (and totally served its purpose), so I’m excited to get back into some sweat sessions this week!

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As far as my eats go, I’m keeping up with Flexible Dieting (AKA IIFYM) and loving it. I’m definitely still in the experimental phase and trying to get over the clean eating/Paleo mentality that I somehow adopted over the past year. Some of my meals have looked like:

(sushi, Juice Press, burrito bowl, steak, Arctic Zero)

Clearly I haven’t been starving 😉 I’ll be honest – my macros haven’t been entirely on point. I’m getting there slowly but surely. But from the start I had decided I didn’t want to be super strict. I do think that my goals will eventually tighten up, but right now I’m focusing on (re)learning how to eat healthy and balanced without feeling like sugar and *gasp* gluten are going to kill me in my sleep.

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What are your fitness/health goals right now? Do you prefer to exercise or rest when you’re feeling stressed?

girls night out with Hot Pursuit.

My girl friends and I have always made it a point to have girls nights out (and sometimes in), but over the past few months we started to make them even more official. Almost every Wednesday night since September, a group of 5-10 of us have gotten together for some good old fashioned girl time. I’m so thankful to have so many amazing chicks in my life here in NYC!

A few weeks ago I was approached by SheKnows (as I’m one of their Experts) about getting my girl friends together for an extra special girls’ night out…a screening of the new movie Hot Pursuit. I already knew my girl friends would love the idea, and the fact that it happened to be on our normal Wednesday night was pretty much destiny 😉

So the other night, we met up at The Varick Room at Tribeca Cinemas for what was pretty much the ideal girls’ night out. There was delicious food and drinks, a popcorn bar, a candy bar, a ton of other awesome NYC girls (including my fellow SK Experts!), and last but not least – a hilarious and fun movie.

Some snaps from the night:

I definitely recommend seeing Hot Pursuit when it comes out on May 8th. I already knew I would like it because I love Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, and the two of them were so great and funny together.

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What’s the last movie you saw? What’s your favorite way to enjoy a girls night out?

 

treat yourself right, darling.

We always SAY we’re treating ourselves right, but are we really? Are the things we think are helping us actually harming us?

Being stressed out does not mean you’re being responsible.
Depriving yourself or shaming yourself does not mean you’re being healthy.
Dwelling on the past or living in the future will not get you to where you want to be.

This weekend (and beyond, of course), I’m challenging us to ACTUALLY treat ourselves right.

* Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to your best friend/someone you love.
* Savor (and I mean really savor) every sight, sound, bite, conversation, and moment.
* Give yourself permission to go at least 24 hours without working, or even thinking about work.
* Eat and move for the pleasure of it.
* Write down the things that have been hold you back and tying you down (whether you realized it or not). This is the weekend to release those things once and for all.
* Put a little extra time into getting ready. Wear your favorite outfit…even if it means you’re slightly overdressed.
* Be okay with saying no.
* …but also be okay with saying yes, even if it’s breaking your “normal” routine. Because don’t forget – YOLO 😉
* Treat yourself right, darling.

fitness: all about SoulCycle.

For the past couple of months you’ve probably noticed that I’ve become a bit of a SoulCycle addict. I’ve swooned over why I love it, but I’ve yet to fully explain what the class is like for those of you who have never been (or heard of it). So here’s a bit of ins-and-outs of SoulCycle, and my attempt at being unbiased in reviewing it 😉

What to expect:

SoulCycle is not your average cycling class…or your average fitness class, for that matter. The energy of it is unlike any other fitness class I’ve experienced. When you enter the studio, you’ll automatically feel your adrenaline go up. You’ll be welcomed with high energy music and low (candlelit) lighting. It’s an environment where you’ll feel empowered no matter what your fitness level, and you’ll be able to let loose + fully leave behind anything else that may have taken up your attention that day.

More practically speaking – the class combines speed, resistance, choreography, and hand weights for a full-body (and mind) workout. Be prepared to at least try to keep up with the tempo/rhythm as SoulCycle is not an “oh I’ll just do my own thing” sort of class. I’d suggest a bike toward the back for your first time. Be sure to tell someone that it’s your first time, and someone will help you set up your bike, get clipped in, etc.

Pros:

* It’s a killer workout. I’ve been to a handful of other spin classes, and SoulCycle is definitely takes cycling to another level intensity-wise. If you follow the instructor’s speed and resistance, it is definitely not an easy workout. I’ve been going for a few months and there are still parts of the class that I can’t fully keep up with.

* Fun + great energy. SoulCycle is hands down the most FUN I’ve ever had exercising. The 45 minutes seem to fly by because you’re not just going through the same old spin motions – the choreography is energized, keeps you alert, and keeps everyone synchronized. I’m also a sucker for the “soul” part – the instructors have been trained to pump you up with motivation (sometimes inspirational, sometimes tough love) and that is something that definitely pushes me to do my best.

* Great music. This is KEY for me, and another reason the classes seem to fly by. I always love the music the instructors play, and it’s usually always different (even with the same instructor – they’re constantly mixing it up). Combined with the synchronized choreography, sometimes I forget that I’m in SoulCycle and not a night club!

* Sense of community. As with most fitness trends, SoulCycle riders are pretty loyal to the brand. It becomes a bonding experience to go with your friends. I remember before getting involved in SoulCycle I didn’t understand why people were so obsessed with it, but once you “get it” you realize why people are so dedicated.

* Level of excellence. SoulCycle sets itself apart from other spin classes (and boutique fitness studios) but just doing everything 100%. Their branding, instructors, studios/cleanliness, apparel…it’s all done with excellence, consistency, and pride. And when a brand has that level of excellence/pride, you almost can’t help but want to be a part of it.

(pic stolen from Rachel)

Cons:

* Cost. At $34 a pop, classes aren’t cheap. In my opinion, though, you can afford what you value. I make up for it by dining out less, etc.

* Primarily cardio workout. With the exception of bike resistance and arm weights, SoulCycle isn’t necessarily an ideal workout for strength training. But as with just about any workout, you get what you put into it.

* You can “cheat.” Unlike some other cycling studios, there’s no screen or monitor saying what speed or resistance you’re at. I personally like this because it makes the class more of a personal challenge and I can be more in the moment rather than staring at a screen.

* Small locker rooms. Some of the studios are better than others, but trying to maneuver getting your stuff (or even dare get ready) while a class just got out and another class is arriving…well, good luck with that.

* It’s loud/dark. This is actually one of the top pros for me (part of what makes it so fun!), but I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t like this about SoulCycle.

My favorite NYC instructors:

Charlee
Conor
Jaws
Mantas
Stevie
There a few more that I really want to try soon – Akin, Danny, Sydney, and Stacey (all per my roommate Rachel’s recommendation…she’s the one who has told me who to take from the beginning ;))

The verdict:

Clearly, I’m a huge fan of SoulCycle (did you like how I negated most of the cons? haha). I think what gets me so excited about it is that – after over 10 years of working out regularly – discovering SoulCycle was the first time I genuinely loved and had FUN exercising. So whether you’re someone who is “into” fitness or not, I definitely suggest trying it at least once (but be careful – you may get hooked like I did).

SoulCycle has expanded to a handful of cities, so check out their website to see if there’s one near you!

Please note I have zero affiliation with SoulCycle…just love it.

soul cycle

Have you tried SoulCycle? Interested in it?

(I’m going to be doing more fitness class reviews soon! Any you’d like to read about most?)