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Like a Pineapple…Hard and Prickly on the Outside, Soft and Sweet on the Inside.

I have been a bad blogger lately, but I’m a work in progress 🙂  I read a great article by Zara Barrie for Elite Daily that I just had to share because it resonated so much with me. A man I once dated used to call me “Pineapple” because he said I was “hard and a bit prickly on the outside, but soft and very sweet on the inside.”  I think many modern day women develop this hard exterior to protect themselves…”girls who, to the naked eye, project an image of steel nails, but once you scratch past the superficiality of their outer appearance, are made up of something surprisingly soft...”

Girls encased in radically thick lacquer who wouldn’t allow anything to touch them, girls who blow rings of toxic smoke into the frail air with a dangerously sexy “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude.

The razor blade of a woman whose energy is that of a freshly sharpened silver knife.

She just looks so otherworldly fierce. So sinewy and unbreakable. So impossibly untouchable.

What most people neglect to grasp is that it takes a lifespan of unyielding work to build walls as high as the sky. It’s no easy feat.

Sometimes it feels almost impossible to see past a tough girl’s ever-thick, leather-bound exterior.

So she roams the earth in steel-toed boots largely misunderstood.

So what do these outwardly tough girls wish you knew about them?

1. She’s aware you can exit her life as easily as you can enter it

The most terrifying part of allowing someone into your furiously protected inner world is that once a person enters, he or she can also turn around and exit at any given time. It’s something we have no control over.

The tough girl knows this from personal experience. Whether it’s a friend who unexpectedly lost her life, a parent who left without warning or a partner who tossed her aside like yesterday’s laundry — she’s felt the ache of loss.

She’s vowed to never allow anyone to get close ever again; it’s not worth the risk.

So she pushes you away. Not because she wants to, but because she has to.


2. She respects herself enough to protect herself

Self-respect and insecurity are two very different things, and while the tough girl may be secretly insecure – she has a world of respect for herself.

She is so vehemently self-protective because she knows her value in the world.


3. Laughter is her pretty blue pill 

The most universally effective way to mask vulnerability is to turn all that life throws at you into that of a meaningless joke.

I mean, if she doesn’t even take her own life seriously, then no one else will either, right? Wisecracks are her ultimate crutch.

If only. There is always something lingering behind the excessive need to turn everything into a meaningless joke.

Pain is the driving force of comedy, and laughter is her pretty blue pill, her everlasting prescription of Xanax.


4. She’s not immune to lovepineapple

Her chest holds court to a massively huge heart that requires a multi-nation army of mass protection.

But if you were to push past the plethora of severely armed guards, you would see an insatiable hunger for love.

The bigger the heart, the bigger the break.


5. There is more to her than meets the bare eye

Contrary to popular belief, there is far more to the tough girl than whip-smart quips and an out-of-this-world aura of confidence.

When you break open her shell of whiskey and leather, you will find a multi-faceted, hyper-complex girl – a girl with fears and desires and ambitions and dumb phobias and odd personality quirks and lovable flaws.

Just because it takes time for her to unravel these truths doesn’t mean they’re not there.


6. Her anxiety runs deep

So she’s ethereally calm, James-Dean-cool and wickedly collected on the outside. How very different is the still exterior to the brutal hurricane that exists within her.

I have this theory that goes as such: The more you endlessly discuss your anxieties, the less severe they are.

A girl who is a wide-open book, detailing her fears to anyone who cares to read has made peace with her neurosis. She’s confronted it.

It’s the girls who suffer in silence who are struggling the most.


7. Your words can cut her

The tough girl has worked hard to make us believe words are meaningless to her. She’s so seemingly fierce and unbreakable that something as vapid as a mere word couldn’t scar her steel skin. So we play rough with her (it’s how she likes it, right?).

Not so fast, sister. While maybe she’s set herself up for this kind of aggressive back and forth, it doesn’t mean your unkind words didn’t cut her.

When you so innocently called her “overweight” or “slutty” or a “slacker,” it hurt her just as much as it would hurt you.

She just doesn’t show it; that’s the difference.


8. As tough as she is on you, she’s harder on herself

A tough girl is hard as hell on everyone who surrounds her, but her hardness to you is soothingly gentle compared to the enormous pressure she endlessly bestows upon herself.

A tough girl has integrity and wouldn’t dare to treat anyone differently than she would treat herself. She has a hard outlook on the world, and she is no exception.


9. She doesn’t necessarily want to f*ck you on the first date

Tough elicits sexy while vulnerability elicits love. People automatically assume that the outwardly strong chick doesn’t need to be romanced, that she’s always down for sex.

That pleasure is the intention. That she’s simply here to get her rocks off and doesn’t crave anything as mundane as affection.

This is false. The outwardly tough girl wants to be gorgeously wooed and relentlessly pursued just as much as the seemingly soft girl.


10. When she dares to love, it’s for life

Once an outwardly tough girl grants you permission into her guarded heart, it’s for life.

That’s why she’s so very specific as to whom she allows in.

Ciao for now, and cheers to my fellow “pineapples” 😉

-E

I Like Myself, and That’s Okay: a reblog

Do yourself a favor and start your week off right with this amazingly candid, inspirational, and witty article by the fabulous Stephanie d’Orsay: I Like Myself and That’s Okay.

A brief excerpt:

I am not saying that I’m anywhere near ideal or perfect, but since when in life are we all supposed to be striving for perfection? As women, I think we’re expected to constantly put ourselves down, to agree that we hate our thighs when one of our fellow femmes complains about hers. But you know what? I like my thighs too.

Imagine that — a woman who likes her thighs. Yes, I have cellulite, no I don’t have a thigh gap, but I still like my thighs. They are mine, and they are powerful, and I appreciate them. So ladies, it’s okay to like yourself, believe it or not. It’s okay to talk about yourself in a positive light, and it’s okay to not give in to the latest marketing scheme that’s trying to tell you that this is NOT okay.

And you know what? It’s also okay if you aren’t quite there today–  it takes time to truly like yourself, especially if you’ve spent years doing just the opposite. As long as you are committed to treating your body with positivity and compassion, in time you will come around to appreciate all that your body does, even though it’s not perfect. In time, you too will come to like yourself. At some point, when another female who isn’t quite there yet will complain to you about X body part of hers. And you will smile warmly, and say “You know what? I actually like my “X”. It may not be perfect, but it’s mine”.

And maybe in that moment, you’ll inspire another woman to like herself too.

Ciao for now

-E

Is your scale weighing you down?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched people (and ladies, it’s usually us) step on the scale at the gym and see their face overcome with defeat and shame. I want to run over to them and tell them to focus instead on inches lost instead of pounds; on strength gained instead of lost; and on energy and happiness that comes from exercise instead of the lethargy and depression that comes from being sedentary.

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Has this ever happened to you: You step on the scale one week to see you’ve lost 2 pounds (hooray!)…only to weigh in the next week and realize you’ve gained them both back (ugh)? It happens to the best of us, but the reality is that the number on the scale doesn’t mean a whole lot about your physical fitness, and it doesn’t mean jack SQUAT about your self worth.

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The worst is when I hear someone say something like, “I gained 2 pounds since yesterday! What’s wrong with me??” Listen, it takes an EXCESS 3500 calories to gain one pound. So unless you ate an additional 7000 calories on top of what you normally ate, you didn’t truly gain a pound. I mean, I could weigh myself…step off the scale and drink a 16 oz water (zero calories mind you)…and step right back on that same scale and weigh one pound more. Would you believe I “gained a pound” right before your eyes in less than 5 minutes? Yeah, I thought so.

I can tell you from my own past experience that when being overly focused on weight and the number on that scale, I enjoyed working out less and actually saw less progress! Now, on the rare occasions that I weigh myself just to check in, I actually mildly panic if the number dips because I’m like, “oh no!! I better not be losing muscle!!”  Plus, did you know a pound of muscle takes up far LESS SPACE than a pound of fat. What does that mean? You could be getting smaller and tighter and not weigh an ounce less!  I know, right? Don’t you feel enlightened?

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Do yourself a favor…break up with your scale for a while and instead, focus on how you feel. How’s your energy level?  Do you feel challenged with your physical activity level? Are you eating enough? How are your clothes fitting? Do you feel happy?

I can tell you that if you’ve ever felt like you were a slave to those numbers on the scale in front of you, giving yourself an opportunity to experiment with being free from that could open up a whole new way of looking at things. I may be completely wrong and full of boloney, but then again, what if I’m right 😉

Ciao for now,

-E

 

 

Rollercoaster Week…Ending on a High Note!

Hey guys, sorry for the delay in a post this week. I’ve had a hard time getting into my normal groove since last Thursday when my neighbor’s house caught fire in the middle of the night. Due to the massive flames and wind, I was evacuated in case it spread to my house.

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Ultimately, 3 houses sustained damage and mine was next in line. So THANK GOD for looking out for me! In the meantime, please send out some positive vibes to my neighbors who are dealing with this unfortunate disruption to their lives.  While I fortunately did not incur any damage, it was incredibly scary and unnerving and kinda threw me off for a good week or so.

On a positive note, I’d say this experience has made me MUCH more aware of and grateful for many things I often take for granted: a roof over my head, being able to wake up and have coffee in my living room, my closet full of clothes to choose from, getting to shower in my own house after a good workout, etc.  And I have been so grateful for the therapeutic effect of the gym this week…It’s amazing how an hour or so of doing something great for your mind and body can have a positive effect on your whole day!
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Speaking of which, I had something VERY great happen at the gym today that I wanted to share with you!  Now, I may not have really mentioned it lately, but since I started focusing on weight training (roughly 6 months ago), I’ve been dedicated toward building muscle and shifting my body composition.  From everything I’ve read, I know that it’s normal to experience feelings of water retention, swelling around the muscles, etc when building muscle. Buuuuttt, for someone who has had past issues with body image, knowing this and feeling this are two different things. In other words, it can be kind of a mind f*@k!

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Anyway,  lately, I’ve been feeling like I can’t tell if my hard work is showing or not.  And in the wake of the fire I mentioned above, I’ve just been a tad out of it.  So I finished an arm/shoulder workout today and wrapped up with a 20 minute run on the treadmill. I was on my way out the door and saw my friend Carol (die-hard gym goer and fitness competitor), and as I was about to say hi she blurts out “Oh my god you have been working HARD!!! You look GREAT!!!!”  She went on to tell me how she was on the elliptical behind me and was so motivated by how toned and powerful my body looked while I was running that she wanted to get off and run beside me! Run beside ME!!! I was seriously coming out of my skin with excitement because I know she isn’t blowing smoke.

So, yeah, I’ve basically been on a high all day because I’m feeling like my usual positive, energetic self. And it’s always great to know that the hard work you’re putting in (whether it’s the gym, a relationship, a career, a hobby) is paying off.

Cheers to the weekend!

Ciao for now,

-E

 

25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Person Should Actually Make For 2014

I must confess that I’ve been swamped and in a bit of a holi-daze for a couple weeks now.  I get overly pensive and analytical this time of year and sometimes suffer from a bit of paralysis by analysis, if you know what I mean. I’m going to try to get myself inspired to write before the week is out, but in the meantime, I stumbled on an article by Mackenzie Newcomb for Elite Daily that I just had to share.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

New Year’s Eve is often seen as a time of rebirth, the chance to start anew. We all come up with the regular resolutions for the upcoming year (losing weight, seeing family more often and/or falling in love ), but often our ideas of what should change are too broad. This New Year’s Eve, we should all vow to take a closer look into our lives and make decisions about ourselves then. These are the 25 New Year’s resolutions every person should make:

1.Stop posting negative sh*t about celebrities on social media. Miley Cyrus does not care what you think about her haircut, Justin Bieber does not care what you think of his tattoos and Gwyneth Paltrow couldn’t care less regarding what you think about her diet.

2. Stop resenting yourself for drunk texting your ex.  Sure, its a little embarrassing, but at least you’re addressing your feelings. Not that you should aim to drink an entire bottle of rum then see what happens, but… roll with the punches.

3. Leave the country. If you don’t have money, look into doing charity work abroad. Some programs will sponsor you.

4. If you hate your job, quit your job. Repeat after me: THE MONEY IS NOT WORTH IT. Food and shelter are clutch though, so make sure you have another job lined up.

5. Stop beating yourself up for skipping the gym on days you truly didn’t have time. But also, stop skipping the gym on days you had plenty of time to go.

6. Make up — not to be confused with make out — with an ex.

7. Rid yourself of enemies. Apologize for what you did wrong and forgive those who have wronged you.

8. Rid yourself of “frenemies.” Don’t spend 2014 surrounded by people you secretly despise.

9. If you think somebody is cute, say “hi” and introduce yourself. Every relationship you have ever had started with a greeting.

10. Leave your phone number for someone. Worst-case scenario: you won’t get a call and maybe you’ll feel a tiny bit embarrassed. Regardless of the outcome, you put yourself out there and probably made the other person’s day.

11. Stop caring about how many people “like” your Instagram photos. If you like the photo enough to post it, what else matters? Social media anxiety is a waste of time.

12. Cross something off your bucket list. Sky dive, bungee jump, scuba dive, etc. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t accomplish something, and check out

13. Stop hating yourself for eating dessert. A piece of birthday cake is a right, not a privilege.

14. Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be something you use daily, but documenting your experiences is incredibly important. You’ll appreciate it later.

15. Strengthen relationships with family members. Blood is thicker than water.

16. Help strangers. “Pay it forward,” do good things for the world — and don’t post a Facebook status about it.

17. Conquer a fear. Personally, I fear Bikram yoga.

18. Turn off your smartphone at dinner.

19. Don’t check your Twitter feed when you’re with friends.

20. Try a fashion trend you never thought you could pull off. And, do it with confidence. Floppy hats, snap backs, Harem pants; you can do it!

21. Double-text without fear. THOU SHALL NOT BE IGNORED!

22. Shop locally, eat locally and recognize where your money is going. Consumers control the economy, so visit the mom-and-pop coffee shop down the street instead of Starbucks. Shop at boutiques rather than chains (they aren’t all expensive — trust me). Try Etsy.com instead of retail conglomerates.

23. Cry. When you’re happy and when you’re sad; embrace your emotions as they come.

24. Stop being so shallow. Next time you find yourself judging someone based on his or her appearance, imagine the person standing in front of you saying, “I’m beautiful.” You’ll start to believe it.

25. If you want someone to commit to you, vocalize it. Don’t settle for being someone’s “f*ck buddy” if that isn’t what you want. “Together” is the waiting period between “talking” and “dating”; purgatory shouldn’t last forever.

Happy New Year!

Ciao for now,

-E

10 Things I Want My (future) Daughter to Know About Working Out

I don’t have a daughter yet, but this is what I want to pass on one day…and for now, I want to pass on to my sisters and friends. xox

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Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me.  She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over.  “Come on!  Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

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Gratitude- A Time of Thanks and Giving

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time where the weather gets colder, holidays are upon us, the year is coming to a close, and we take time to reflect on what we are grateful for.  It’s also a reminder that we should take time to express gratitude on a more regular basis, not just when the year comes to an end.

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I love this!

Deepak Chopra says it best that:

“Gratitude is such an important force that we can use to expand our happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve our health…It is a fullness of heart that moves us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When we’re appreciating something, our ego moves out of the way and we connect with our soul. Gratitude brings our attention into the present, which is the only place where miracles can unfold.”

In the spirit of Thanks and Giving, here is a list of 20 things I’m grateful for…

  1. Having my family alive and healthy
  2. Getting to see my family for the holidaysquotes-for-family
  3. Technology allows me to stay in touch with friends & family when I can’t see them
  4. A roof over my head
  5. My well-decorated house that reflects my style and personality. I love it!
  6. Plenty of food in my fridge and pantry
  7. A reliable vehicle that gets me where I need to go
  8. I stay busy but also take time to appreciate the little things
  9. Coffee…warm, delicious coffee. I love it.
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  10. Hot showers…there’s nothing like it
  11. The drive and desire I have to commit to a healthy lifestyle
  12. Mental and physical strength
  13. Friends who appreciate and value my company and who I feel the same way for in return
  14. Being comfortable in my own skin
  15. Self-confidence and acceptance
  16. Resiliency to handle setbacks gracefully without falling apart
  17. An open mind that allows me to accept others’ ways of thinking and being even if they are not the same as my own
  18. Being able to forgive others even if I do not receive an apology or closure
  19. Faith that things will be alright in the end…if it’s not alright, it’s not the end
  20. Being at a place in my life where I may not have everything I want, but I am content with what I have

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I have to say, making this list really got me into the spirit of being in the present and being thankful. It’s amazing  how just being conscious of the the things you are grateful for can instantly boost your mood. Try making your own thankfulness list!

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” -Melody Beattie

Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

Ciao for now!

 -E

You’re An Animal!

Despite having several kick a** gym sessions this week, I’ve been feeling a bit “meh” about my progress. I know I’ve been consistent with training, and have been eating fairly clean (but I don’t count calories or limit myself to treats like wine or chocolate…because well, they make me happy! haha) So it’s really for no particular reason that I don’t feel as ripped as I normally feel after a gym session.

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The reason I’m sharing this is because I know there are readers out there who will totally relate to this nonsensical feeling of “meh.” And I’m sure there are ways to be scientific about figuring out why…food diaries, cutting out treats, etc…but honestly, I don’t want to be that rigid because I don’t think it’s good for my mental health.

That being said, I got up at 5:30 this morning, as I usually do, and headed to the gym. Today was mainly shoulders and I focused on how many more reps I am able to do now, and with more weights than when I started weight training. I finished up with some ab work and bumped into a friend I knew at the gym and he was like “Wow, I was watching some of your moves you were doing earlier…You’re an animal! Keep up the great work!”

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It felt great to hear the positive reinforcement, and it just goes to show you that sometimes we can be our own worst critic. We see ourselves every day, and it can be difficult to notice the changes that others are seeing that are the result of our hard work. Never mind the fact that the most important changes are likely happening on the inside!

Having an off-day? An off-week? Push through. Don’t quit. Hard work always pays off, even if there are days where you can’t see it in the mirror. Be kind to yourself…after all, you’re an animal! 😉

Ciao for now!

 -E

ProGress

We live in a success-driven world whereby “success” is perceived less as a journey and more as an ultimate destination. While this way of thinking can be motivating, it can also be discouraging and rob us of happiness “in the moment.” We think we will finally be successful when we ______________ …fill in the blank: lose 10 lbs, have a six-pack, get a boyfriend/girlfriend, get married, make x amount of money, drive x car… Can you relate? Are you auditing your own list of “I will be successful when’s?”

Rather than having this mindset, I’m reminded lately how much more beneficial it is to focus on and celebrate progress, rather than waiting for whatever finite parameters of success we have in mind.

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By definition:

prog·ress (n.)

1. Movement, as toward a goal; advance.

2. Development or growth

3. Steady improvement

pro·gress (pr-grs) pro·gressed, pro·gress·ing, pro·gress·es  (intr.v.)

1. To advance; proceed: Work on the new building progressed at a rapid rate.

2. To advance toward a higher or better stage; improve steadily

This means that every little step we take in an overall forward direction is progress. Your goal is to lose 10 lbs? Great! Celebrate each pound lost. Celebrate new, good habits of eating more healthfully.  Your goal is to go to the gym 5 days a week? Great! Celebrate each time you get yourself there.  Is your goal to make six figures?  Fantastic! In the meantime, celebrate the progress of getting a raise

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On top of that, research shows that positive reinforcement (i.e. celebrating progress) is more powerful than negative reinforcement (i.e. beating yourself up for not being exactly where you want to be). So, a kick in the ass may be necessary at times to get you going, but periodic self pats on the back will keep you going longer. 😉

 “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.” – Oscar Wilde

 Ciao for now!

 -E