Calmer State Of Mind

While we love spending time with extended family, sometimes (or often) it’s also a big time of stress and conflict. Stresses like these dealing with family and friends can happen more often during the holidays, but also in other instances such as other events and weddings. The Holiday disagreements happen. But if it’s one thing learned over the years, that keeps me cool during this stressful season is having my partner and I being on the same page specifically for the holidays. Stress tends to build up and there are times when family members can lose their cool, so the next time you argue with your partner during the stressful holidays, consider this calm down  themes/points:

CalmerState

Be On The Same Team

With your husband, spouse, partner, boyfriend, fiance, approach the seasonal holiday party(parties) with a game plan.  Anticipate the issues, issue spots on what’s going to happen, and address them before they become issues. We know our families, so addressing the hot button topics with your partner. Between each other as couple, fill each hother in on day-to-day going’s on whats currently happening within each other’s extended family members.

Sit down for a few minutes and discuss in preparation for the family party. Usually, my boyfriend and I discuss our plan during the commute to the party. Our drives to family parties are usually 30-45minutes, so we’re able to catch up on “who’s not talking to who,” or “don’t bring up that..” 

One thing to remember at the end of the night, is although you’re dealing with friends and extended family members, whatever happens during the party, at the end of the night you’re going home with your significant other. It’s all about supporting each other, and even if you disagree with whatever’s happening within the family, present yourself as a unified friend. Deal with it at home.

Find The Humor 

When at the family party, however the situation presents itself, go there with a smile, and just find the humor it in all. Weather it’s your teenage brother fighting with his girlfriend in the other room, or your mother complaining about why your children don’t want to wear a bow-tie, or your little nephew crying during prayer. Whatever it is, find the humor. Remember, this is a time of gathering, you don’t meet with these people on a daily, nor live with them on a day to day basis, so if you’re on vacation seeing family, don’t push anyones buttons, accept other peoples behaviors, and just take a step back, smile, and find the humor in it all.

Accept It

There’s a reason why you showed up to Thanksgiving. It’s your family. They may be far from being perfect, but you oviously accept them for who they are, and they accept you for who you are. People are not going to change, you will not change for your family, nor don’t assume they want you to be a certain way. Your family isn’t going to change into the way you want them to be.

Level set your expectations. The internet, social media, and TV  portrays the holidays as a perfect family gathering. So your expectations don’t always have to be so ideal. You got to get realistic with what your expectations are with your family especially during these times of events such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

One thing my boyfriend has taught me, which has some harsh truth to it is “Set your exceptions low.” Although there is some level of truth to it, it works. When gathering together, you know exactly the personality traits in which your family members have, so accept it, and leave that level of expectation there. That way you know how to handle their behavior and any sudden occurrences. At most times, you find out you’ll end of having a good time.

Leave At It’s Peak

While at the party, when everyone is having a good time, that is honestly the best time you can leave. It’s a common trick to practice during family events. I’ve been practicing for quite awhile, because of the crazy amounts of family holiday parties my family is invited to, somehow we’ve managed to show face to each one in previous years. (One year we did 4 Thanksgiving Parties!!! In one day!!!!!) Yes. It’s exhausting, but if you follow the common tips above it helps me deal with the overload, in dealing with extended family, and family gatherings. Leaving on a high note, keeps that engrained memory of family fun fresh in your head. As you leave the party, and drive off, it’s the last memory you and your family will have. It is a little heart breaking to leave, but trust me, it’s the best way to avoid the low, after all the partying, the food coma, and then grumpy children.

 

How do you deal with holiday stress and what keeps you calm? Do you sit with your significant other and plan ahead? Or do you deal with the crazy in-laws and extended family, knowing something always erupts? Holiday traveling is a lot to deal with, especially with having children. Do you avoid the parties, and just take a vacation away from it all? Let me know you’re thoughts, and how you manage to deal with the holiday season!

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

 

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Hikes, Runs, and 20lbs Down

I’ve FINALLY hit the 20lb mark of my fitness journey!! I can’t believe it!! In the beginning of my fitness journey it was nearly impossible for me to see the end results. Sit-up’s were difficult, 2min planks were painful, but one thing that was for sure was I was definitely able to see the end results of my workouts. While I work out, I overlook my exercises on what I have to do. 10 minute warm ups of 2min toe taps, planks, hamstring stretches, and calve raises. I also oversee my morning route for my run. Weather, I’m doing 3miles or 6miles, I make sure I stick with that assigned route and complete it with 100%. I usually stick with my neighborhood boroughs. I know the amount of sets/miles I have to accomplish, and in my head I begin to visualize what I will feel and look like at the end of that workout.

20lbs Down

Current weight June 18th, 2015

Along with running everyday, putting in my miles, working out, lifting weights, and eating alot more healthier and leaner; I also keep busy with combing my workouts with setting a date or outing with my friends and family.  This past week I kept busy running trails with my son (in the jogging stroller of course) hiked with my cousin who recently moved back to the Bay Area, and also hiked up Mission Peak with a local Canadian YouTube star, who coincidentally moved in a couple blocks from my parents house.

Here’s a short recap of the East Bay Regional Parks I’ve currently been checking out. All are within a short couple miles drive from my house. It’s pretty amazing. I’m undoubtedly, without question keeping in within my morning run/hike routine and putting it on rotation.

Don Edwards

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located in the southern part of San Francisco, Bay Are, The Refuge headquarters and visitor center is located in the Baylands district of Fremont next to Coyote Hills Regional Park, here in Alameda County.

I’ve been to Don Edwards multiple times already within the 2 weeks of the month, and I absolutely love it! It has a great view of the marshlands and SF, though it is a bit tainted by the traffic of the Dumbarton bridge (bridge connecting Fremont to Palo Alto). The trail that I frequent is very short, but it is pretty. Overall, its a quiet park. There are a few attractions, but the flat trail that extends out the marshland is so long! Definitely a great trail for trail runners!!

(Some parts of smell kinda funky, but what can you say, Its nature!)

DonEdTrail1

Coyote Hills

Coyote Hills Regional Park is on the southeast shore of the San Francisco Bay. The Coyote Hills themselves are a small range of hills at the edge of the bay; though not reaching any great height, they afford tremendous views of the bay, three of the trans-bay bridges (Dumbarton, San Mateo Bridge, and the Bay Bridge), the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, the Peninsula Range of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Mount Tamalpais.

Its a light hike, if you are trying to get slowly getting into shape. Also, its a lovely hike, with a beautiful view… But since I’ve been quite active, I decided to do the higher and intense hikes, along with my jogging overland stroller. Luckily, I went with my cousin, who was able to help push up the jogging stroller (45lb stroller with my 4yr old 30lbish son. A rough total of 80lbs!) up the steep inclines. There are so many different routes for you to take to see depending on how adventurous you’d like to be that day – its amazing!! I certainly plan to go back!!

Coyote Hills UP

Mission Peak

I’ve been to Mission Peak a handful of times, but I’m always down to do it with first timers. My trip with time around was with a girl named DebraMaye. Our story meeting is quite different from any other. This Mission Peak hike was maybe one of our first one on one meet-ups ever.  If you’re familiar with YouTube and the beginning of make-up gurus, Debra was one of the starting originals. Native Canadian from Calgary, I messaged her 4 years ago as a fan, and also reaching out to her promoting my small business of event styling at the time. Later down the road, she ended up moving in with her now husband she now reached out to me asking for help style her special day this upcoming September. So for combining a wedding meeting, and also my morning cardio I offered her to hike Mission Peak with me as a first time for herself now as an Californian.

Mission PeakAt the tip-top of Mission Peak.

Mission Peak is a public park that borders and overlooks the Silicon Valley. It is very popular with local hikers, bicyclists, sightseers and tourists from beyond for its vista and strenuous climb. It’s a full six-mile (10km) round-trip. The “Mission Peeker” marker pole at the top is the most famous geo-tagged landmark of Fremont. You can check out my last visit to Mission Peak HERE.
MissionPeakDebra

DebraMaye & I at the “Mission-Peeker”

Flag Hill

Sunol Regional Wilderness is one of the best hiking locales in the East Bay hills northeast of Silicon Valley. This Flag Hill Loop is one of the best ways to see Sunol. This loop is relatively short at 3.7 miles, but it’s no cakewalk: Flag Hill summit is 1.3 miles and 900 feet above the Sunol headquarters. It’s a tough climb. The view from the top is one of the best in the Bay Area, well worth the climb. In springtime, the hills are popping with California poppies and many more wildflowers.

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So, if anyone asks how did the I get the weight off? Look above. I fill my week with active running, and hiking. Everyday. No excuses.

The most memorable days usually end with the dirtiest clothes right? Get sweaty. Get fit.

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Shed’s Off Like Water

Weigh In

Current Weight at 5/15/2015

In the beginning of my health transformation I was struggling with side planks, sit-ups, and could barely lift 15 pound weight over my shoulders. It was so hard for me to vision a future healthier and happier me. Starting off at 144lbs and out of breath doing side planks at 30seconds – made me want to become stronger and stronger. Sweating so hard after a 6mile run, and after a workout session with my trainer, made me feel so high. A healthy high.

After finally getting over the the 10 pound hump, my appetite has definitely curved, and exercise had became a staple in my everyday daily life. There are weeks when I hit it hard everyday. Some days, I may slip due to resting my muscles due to being sore, or by scheduled appointments, and household errands. But those days I wasn’t able to go to the park to run, I end up working out sometime later in the day from home. Mountain climbers, body builders, 2 minute warm-ups, and so on. I create room and space in my living room, and do my exercises while watching TV.

This is just a weigh-in check post, to document how I’ve been feeling lately. I want to remind myself to never give up. If you’re going through a transformation like myself, create a contract to yourself, or follow yourself taking a pictures. I’m tired of the old me, the memories of the old me, and the feeling of that me. Continue looking forward, be persistent. I want to inspire others, because I feel my story is so relatable. Before children I was 115lbs, and after carrying two children in my body, and a poor diet afterwards, its time to take charge. Food is fuel. Make it good food.

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