Why Men Should Give Yoga a Chance

(Image Credit: undrey)
(Image Credit: undrey)

Man, the stories are true in regards to yoga. It’s a complete workout that can kick your butt in more ways than one. Believe me, like most guys, I was one of those skeptics that thought yoga was geared more towards the “feminine” side and basically threw aside the benefits that participating in the activity could have for me. Like most men, I prefer taking the more “masculine” route by lifting weights and doing cardio because in my mind I thought, as a man, that’s the only way you can build yourself to get stronger. Jeez was I wrong…

After suffering from a back injury a while back (I have to remember to stretch more OFTEN), I was told by a physical therapist to cease any strenuous physical activity for a couple weeks. Now, if you knew me in a personal level you would know that’s not an option for me. I love to stay active, as I think it’s the best thing for your body to thrive in the vitality and longevity that fitness brings. So with that being said, sitting on my couch was not an option. This is where yoga came into play.

After pleading to my physical therapist about ways to stay in shape, he brought up the idea of yoga. It was funny because the way he said it was if he knew right off the bat I was going to say no. (He wasn’t wrong though; I’m a skeptic.) After hearing him out for a bit I decided to take his suggestion. I went out and bought a yoga mat and looked up a few videos on Youtube. It was then where I was introduced to Fightmaster yoga, with Lesley as the instructor, and then I fell in love with yoga. After a few yoga sessions, I can honestly say I’ve never felt my heart pound that hard repeatedly after any cardio session I’ve ever participated in.

Guys, trust me, yoga isn’t as taboo as you think it may be. I’ve learned to leave my comfort zone in order to try something that I thought wasn’t “masculine” enough. I personally believe that can be dangerous thinking, especially if we’re inhibiting ourselves from trying something new. So, calling out all men (who haven’t tried yoga yet) – I dare you to go out, buy a yoga mat and engage in the activity. I’ve already added it to my weekly routine. Try something new for once; it won’t hurt! At least not that much!

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Tara Talks: Episode Forty One (The One with New Year Resolutions)

IT’S A NEW YEAR AND THAT MEANS NEW RESOLUTIONS THAT YOU PROBABLY WON’T ACCOMPLISH!!

Continue reading “Tara Talks: Episode Forty One (The One with New Year Resolutions)”

5 Apps Every Woman Needs on Her Phone

5 Apps Every Woman Needs on Her PhoneAccording to a ton of studies, women spend around 8-10 hours on their phone a day. With that much time spent, why not spend it on something productive? Here are a few apps that could benefit women whether it be through organization, safety, or just plain fun.

 

  1. Period Tracker

There are thousands of apps to track your period but Period Tracker by GP International LCC is my personal favorite. It is so simple to use. You have a calendar and the app allows you to enter the dates you start and end your period. It shows you your light and heavy days so you know how many pads or tampons to keep in your purse that day. It also shows when you are ovulating and fertile – whether you’re trying to get pregnant or avoid it completely.

 

  1. 10 Daily Yoga Poses

What better way to start off your day than with yoga? The app 10 Daily Yoga Poses by Play Simple gives you 10 yoga poses that you hold for 30 seconds each. It starts off with easier poses and gets a little more difficult the more you use the app. It is definitely the best way to get the sleep out of your eyes and your blood pumping. And it only takes 5 minutes!

 

  1. SafeTrek

There are quite a few safety apps out there for women but the one that makes me feel the safest is SafeTrek by SafeTrek, Inc. The app is a lot more user friendly than most safety apps. After you enter your name and number, the app asks you to put in a 4 digit pin code. Then it displays a button that you hold when you’re in an area you don’t feel totally safe in. If you remove your finger from the button, the app asks you to put in your 4 digit code. If the code isn’t entered within 10 seconds, the app alerts the authorities of your location and help will be on the way.

 

  1. Our Groceries Shopping List

Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your roommates, or your family, Our Groceries Shopping List buy HeadCode is a lifesaver. You just enter everything you need to buy at the store and the app breaks it up for you into categories such as produce, bakery, or dairy. That way you are able to get everything you need from one section of the store without forgetting something and have to go back. This app is beyond necessary for keeping you organized in your busy life.

 

  1. Snapchat

After a list of totally useful apps, you may ask, “What the heck is Snapchat doing on this list?” Well, I asked around 50 girls what the app they use the most is and Snapchat was the number one answer. What is the huge appeal of Snapchat, though? Well, instead of posting on Facebook or Instagram, you can share a picture of yourself or something you’re doing without the expectation of someone commenting or liking it. Snapchat is fun and more flexible than other social media and according to most girls, absolutely necessary to have on their phone.

 

So what are you waiting for? I know you’re reading this on your phone! Go download these apps and make those 10 hours on your phone more fun and productive.

Top 5 Gym Pet Peeves

Top 5 Gym Pet PeevesAhh! There’s nothing better than getting a nice sweat going. I’ve been into the fitness lifestyle for about three years now and I can honestly say it was one the best decisions I’ve ever made. The feeling you get from pushing your body past its physical capacity is indescribable. Of course with fitness comes gym memberships and not so pleasurable experiences. Here are a few gym pet peeves that’ve manifested since I’ve started working out.

The Staredown:

Allight, I’m all for helping somebody if need be, but one thing that bothers me is when somebody just stares at you from afar and doesn’t even utter a word or acknowledge that they may have a problem with you or with what you’re doing. I’m not saying this happens only at the gym, but it’s happened quite a few times. You could already imagine the NSFW thoughts I’ve had during these situations.

 

Not Wiping Down Machines:

Etiquette is a must when attending a gym, so explain to me why some individuals have a problem with this rule. If you’re using a particular machine or equipment is it that hard to grab a wet wipe and clean your station? Like seriously how old are we?? Get it together folks.

 

Dirty Locker Rooms /Bathrooms:

I know that cleanliness falls on the gym staff, but as adults I feel as if we make tend to make their job harder than it has to be. Why are we flushing things that don’t even belong anywhere near a toilet? I’ve seen newspaper, lunch bags and bandages thrown in there. On top of that, some decide that placing used towels on the floor instead of a basket is a better choice. I tend to believe the notion that people are more civilized in places that they reside than in public. Usually in most gyms you have to be 18 years old to have a membership, so I question where some people learned their manners.

 

Obnoxious Grunting:

At a gym you’re going to hear an array of noises such as people conversing (which should be taking place elsewhere, not at a gym) or the clanging of weights against each other. One particular noise that gets to me is the LOUD, obnoxious grunting that takes place during an individual’s set. It’s usually being done by the jacked up muscle dude who thinks he runs the place. I have no problem with you expressing yourself at a gym, but if you’re grunting due to the difficulty of the weight being lifted, how about you just lessen the weight? Stop ego lifting, guys.

 

Use of Membership:

Alright, this one has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time now and that is the use of a membership. If you’re paying monthly for a gym membership then you have every right to decide how to put it in great use. What gets to me is when people attend a gym just to ride on a bike or run on a treadmill. It’s cool if you want to get your cardio in, but you can also make better use of a membership by doing other exercise. Many gym-goers, especially women, are afraid to lift weights, but it’s actually a great way to round out your fitness routine and reach your goals. If you’re willing to spend money on a membership, why not take advantage of all of the benefits that come with it?

 

There you go, my gym pet peeves that tend to get to me on occasion. It’s important to respect those around you, no matter where you are, and we tend to forget that, even if it may be common sense. I’m here to make my gym (and yours) a welcoming place for all.

 

Accepting that Not Everyone is Going to Like You

As a woman navigating life in my late twenties, I find myself constantly excited by new experiences and relationships. I haven’t quite settled into any monotonous routine. My weeks are governed by school and work, I still have a fair share of freedom to roam wild at my leisure, and my weekends are still open to spontaneity. However, the unique challenge is that so much open space gives rise to opportunities for meeting new people and having relationships that often times leave you baffled or even heartbroken.

So, how do we come to accept that not everyone is going to like us? It’s a tough task that might dumbfound even the most meditative of minds.

There are so many different kinds of relationships, so I listed two major types to dissect in the hopes that we can attack issue at hand: accepting that we are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Romantic Relationships: It’s all in the Science of it

This is probably the relationship most folks think of when they think of someone not liking them, and while it might be the most personally painful, it also might be the least damaging in the long run.

I come from the perspective that independence is crucial to my happiness within a romantic relationship, but eventually vulnerability creeps in and the walls come crashing down. So how do we move forward from love that’s lost? What happens after you realize that your partner no longer cares for you?

Many of us have been in several relationships that have ended on these terms, but while the result is inevitably a breakup, the cause of the split varies dramatically. This takes me back to high school chemistry, as I find people and relationships as functioning formulas. Sometimes the elements combine and run smooth as water, but sometimes they combust, burning down a house filled with love within their licking flames.

The important thing to remember is that we all love differently. While my Romeos loved me to their capacity, our goals and values didn’t add up to what either of us wanted. These partnerships are no judgment of these people, but rather an assessment of the danger when our elements combined.

Relationships ultimately teach us something about ourselves: that high school chemistry does come in handy in the real world, that we are valuable as an independent source outside of that association, and that we can survive and thrive when relocated amongst other elements.

It’s also OK for your previous partners to move forward. Jealousy is natural, but just remember that one man’s fire is another man’s water, both necessary for life, so share the warmth and quench your thirst.

Friendships: Sticking with the Pack

It can be argued that this category is the umbrella term for many different kinds of relationships, but I personally find the term “friendship” much more intimate that that. It is the only term that combines two interpersonal statuses. Both “friend” and “relationship” work to create a new experience that differs from other connections. This becomes a pack interested in the well-being of the whole.

I am such a girlfriend girl. I love dinner dates with my girlfriends because I don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or nervously sweating through my dress. I would always prefer a night in watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and binge eating ice cream with a cheap bottle of wine to free drinks from scheming creeps in the club. I crave the laughter that accompanies their validation of my emotions when a date goes awry and the comfort they offer when life gets hard.

Nothing compares to a tried-and-true friendship. So, how do we reconcile the devastation that occurs when a friendship is lost? People are constantly changing, and sometimes the bond breaks. How do we move forward from a friendship that ends because the two of you have grown in different directions, and your friend ceases to like you?

I have found that life is unpredictable. It has taken me down paths and introduced me to people that I never thought I would care about, and more strangely, enlightened me to the importance of my ability to occasionally stop caring for them.

As someone who puts great stock in my friendships, there have been times when I have had to decide if I was going to let a person continue to damage my self-esteem or move forward in life to pursue my dreams and aspirations without them as a confidant.

People throw punches because of their personal unhappiness. They find ways to make others feel poorly so they can feel like they’re better than someone else. That’s simply human nature. It’s a power game, and once I was awakened to the strategy of confidence, I realized that it is fine with me if someone doesn’t like me, because the truth was that they might not even like themselves.

If someone chooses to not like me for other reasons, like the fact that we grew apart, share different interests, or don’t talk as much, then their friendship is conditional and not worth being upset over.

In this respect, accepting someone isn’t going to like you as a friend is like harvesting a pack of dogs down to the strongest few. I have a group of friends that, regardless of how long it has been, are my true loves. I tell them that all the time because it’s true! Friendship, much like a partnership, is a relationship that you enter unconditionally, otherwise we’re all stray dogs fending for ourselves in a sometimes harsh world. I find I survive much better in my small but adversity-tested pack.

And They Lived Happily Ever After:

That’s the point here, right? The ability to like ourselves becomes paramount because it helps or hinders our relationships with others. At the end of the day, we have ourselves to thank for the life we live. By losing the unproductive relationships that weigh us down, both romantic and friendly, and instead focusing on the relationships that enrich our lives, we are able to travel so much further.

I hope I have explored the ways different relationships lead to disappointment, while others infinitely benefit our lives and ourselves. By knowing the difference, we progress in new and exciting ways. It’s OK that not everyone is going to like us, because focusing on those that do, those who celebrate our successes and prove push us to be better, life gets so much more interesting and happier. Leave a comment below on a time you accepted that not everyone was going to like you.

Why You Should Stop Checking Your Scale

Unless you participate in a sport that requires you to fall within a certain weight range, there is really no reason you should be overly concerned with how much you weigh. If you’re rapidly gaining or losing weight, then of course you need to address it with your physician, but basing your health and fitness off of a number isn’t always the best way to operate. Here’s a few reasons why you should quit checking your scale.

Weight fluctuates

If I weigh myself at three different times in a day, I can almost guarantee you that all three measurements will reflect different weights. This is for a few reasons. First, your weight will fluctuate during the day depending on what goes into (and what comes out of) your body, and second, you can’t guarantee that all scales are the same. If I eat and drink nothing between my house and the gym and get on the scales at both locations, I can never get one, guaranteed-accurate number.

 

It’s frustrating

Because weight does have this tendency to change on us every minute, tracking your health and weight loss progress through a scale can be a trying process. Nobody wants to see that they’ve gained a pound the day after a hard workout, but it happens often. This can be very discouraging; if you’re doing everything right but don’t seem to see any results via the scale, what motivation is there to keep pushing yourself?

 

Weight is just a number

I’m well aware that this is probably the most cliche thing I could tell you, but it’s true! Weight is nothing more than a number on a scale. It has little to do with how you look and is definitely not a reflection of how you feel. Many people who decide to dedicate themselves to a healthier lifestyle will find that their weight doesn’t change, or that they actually gain weight. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t look way more toned and feel like a totally new person.

 

What you see in the mirror isn’t defined by the number on your scale. Learn to keep your focus on how you’re feeling, both mentally and physically, and you’ll start to notice much more consistent progress!

7 Easy Ways to Help Prevent the Cold and Flu

Winter is officially upon us.  The temperature is cooling, leaves are falling, and people everywhere are… sneezing?  That’s right– It may be one of the most beautiful times of the year, but with that also comes the threat of the dreaded, less anticipated, cold and flu season.  Now, there may be no stopping it when the flu comes knocking on your door, but we can certainly take a few preventative steps to keep her away for as long as possible.

Here is a list of 7 easy and natural ways to boost your immune system and help keep those cold and flu germs away:

Stay Hydrated

Drinking lots of fluid is key to keeping healthy.  Every single cell, tissue and organ needs water to survive.  Staying hydrated will keep your body running the way it’s supposed to, in turn, keeping your immune system up and running.

Garlic

Garlic is packed with antioxidants that help boost your immune system.  Throwing some chopped or whole garlic cloves into that chicken soup could benefit your body.

Lemon

Lemon is great for the body for a multitude of reasons.  Not only does it aid in digestion and help prevent kidney stones, lemon soothes sore throats, helps balance your body’s pH levels, and is a great source of Vitamin C! Try drinking water with lemon or adding lemon to your tea.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a natural immune booster.  Drinking OJ or taking a Vitamin C supplement this flu season could certainly help.

Washing your hands/Disinfecting

Germs are so easily spread that they are even airborne in some instances.  Our hands are the most susceptible to germ transfer; with all the touching of doorknobs, phones, railings, and the like, followed by touching our own belongings (like a cell phone) and then proceeding to put that against our face.  Yuck.  Keep those hands clean and disinfect areas of public exposure to help increase your odds in the germ catching relay game.

Gargle

When you feel that dreaded tickle in your throat or that slight dry soreness, it feels like the calm before the storm.  Keep your throat moistened by drinking a lot of water and by gargling.  Add a little salt to warm water, gargle, spit, and repeat until your throat feels soothed.

Rest Up

We all know that sleep is crucial for our energy levels, and our energy is depleted when the body is using so much of it to aid our immune system.  Rest up and give your body that extra energy it needs to fight the immune battle.

 

These tips are not cures and may not work to prevent the cold and flu for everyone, but they certainly help our body function at its best.  I wish you all the best of luck at ducking the cold and flu this season!

What’s the Big Deal About…Fabletics

There are monthly subscription services for basically everything these days, so it was only a matter of time before athletic gear got tossed into the mix. You may have heard about Fabletics, a monthly subscription service for fashionable workout apparel, but you may have some questions or hesitations about committing to signing up. I’m going to give you the rundown of everything Fabletics to help you determine if the service is right for you.

What it is: Fabletics features an online shop with a variety of workout gear including tops, leggings, sports bras, shorts, jackets, and even accessories. You can purchase individual products on their own, or you can choose to purchase a full “outfit,” which is a pre-selected combination of 2-4 Fabletics items carefully chosen to work together perfectly.

When you sign up, you take a short quiz that helps Fabletics determine which outfits are best suited to your needs, but you’re welcome to purchase any outfits, not just your top picks.

(Image Credit: Fabletics)
(Image Credit: Fabletics)

How it works: You can purchase items or outfits as a guest at their full price, or you can register as a VIP member, which gives you a discount on all Fabletics merchandise.

The catch? Once you register as a VIP, Fabletics will send you a message at the beginning of each month linking you to their new monthly outfits. You can choose to purchase an outfit, or, if nothing strikes your fancy, you can skip the month – but you only have until the 5th of the month to select the “skip” option, or your credit card will get charged $49.95 and you will be given an equivalent credit on your account to use at any time.

You can cancel your VIP membership at any time, but unlike other subscription services (like Birchbox), you need to call and speak to customer service; you can’t just cancel over the web.

As a VIP, you earn rewards points for each dollar you spend and for each product review you post. Your reward points can be redeemed for specific items in the Fabletics shop – there are a variety of reward item options at varying point levels.

(Image Credit: Fabletics)
(Image Credit: Fabletics)

Quality and Price: Fabletics gear is high quality and sturdy. It’s not quite Lululemon, but it’s definitely a step up from what you’ll find at Target. The prices are in line with that – you won’t be spending $100 on a pair of yoga pants, but you are looking at around $40-$60 for a pair of pants at the non-membership price. VIPs are looking at about $30 for the same pair.

Outfits run around $50-90 for VIPs depending on the amount and type of pieces included, but outfit prices increase significantly if you’re not a VIP – for example, an outfit that costs a VIP $79.95 is $139.90 for a non-member.

(Image Credit: Fabletics)
(Image Credit: Fabletics)

What are the outfits like?: Pretty much all outfits include a top and a bottom of some kind, whether it’s shorts and a tank or compression crops and a sweatshirt. Some outfits offer a third piece, like a sports bra or a jacket, and occasionally you’ll find 4 piece outfits with headbands or other accessories included.

Outfits are added monthly with new pieces and updated patterns. There are some standby items (like the salar capri) that is consistently available, but the colors and prints offered change based on the month. Other pieces are specific to a particular month or season and are unavailable after they sell out.

The patterns and designs are usually really cute and fashionable, but you do have to be mindful of fashion vs. function. Most fabletics pieces are intended for both, but they do offer “athleisure” pieces that might not hold up to intense activity. You’ll find that some months the new outfits are full of adorable and fun new ideas, while others are a little less exciting – but it balances out when you skip a few months but then have a month where you want all the outfits.

(Image Credit: Fabletics)
(Image Credit: Fabletics)

What I Like: The quality for the VIP price is quite high for Fabletics, and I’ve yet to receive a piece that’s a total dud. The website features a really useful (and active!) section of user reviews and fit surveys to help you determine what items will work for you and what size to select. The only bummer about it is that you won’t find any reviews on brand new pieces, so you have to take a chance. That said, Fabletics does have a very simple return process if you do happen to get something that totally doesn’t work for you.

The concept of pre-determined outfits is great if you want a little help putting together a look, but you also have the freedom to mix and match colors and patterns within the outfit you pick, so you don’t have to order an outfit exactly as is if you are more interested in the individual pieces than the overall look.

I really like how often Fabletics mixes up their colors, patterns and styles, and their pieces often have unique details that make them feel special. I like the freedom of being able to get the VIP deals a few times a year but not having a commitment to buy every month.  I don’t have any problem remembering to skip months (Fabletics sends an email on the 1st of the month, which serves as a great reminder), so I’ve never run into trouble with having my card charged when I wasn’t expecting it.

(Image Credit: Fabletics)
(Image Credit: Fabletics)

What I Don’t: The reward system is just okay. It used to be that once you reached a certain amount of points, you could trade them in for a full Fabletics outfit of your choice. Now that points are traded for single items, it does feel like you get less for your points, and you don’t have as many options to pick from. I also find that the items available for rewards are often sold out in most colors/sizes, further limiting your options.

I hate hate HATE that you have to call to cancel, and I’ve heard that customer service can be a huge pain about canceling. I’ve also heard from people who had no trouble canceling, though, so it might just depend on who you talk to.

(Image Credit: Fabletics)
(Image Credit: Fabletics)

Bottom Line: Fabletics is a great service if you like variety in your workout gear and value the combination of style and functionality. However, if you’re not planning on taking the VIP route, the price might outweigh the novelty. And if you do  take the VIP route, make sure you’re comfortable with the responsibility of checking in at the beginning of each month in case you want to skip.

 

My Week Without Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper, DP, a pepper, the devil’s syrup, whatever you want to call it, I’m addicted to that beautiful brown fizzy liquid. And, really, there’s no way to rationalize how much of it I drink… The average American drinks about 44.7 gallons of soda per year, which is roughly about 15.5 ounces of the stuff per day. In all my glory, I drink a little more than double that average – sitting pretty at a nice 36 ounces of my beloved Dr Pepper throughout each day. Occasionally I’ve wondered if I’d be able to stop my soda intake and substitute it all for water. And I’m really not too sure. So what better way to find out than to torture myself for a week and actually do it? Here’s my log of my week without Dr Pepper (or any soda for that matter).

THE RULES:

  1. Cannot drink ANY Dr Pepper for a week. No exceptions.
  2. Must drink at least 36 fluid oz. of water each day.
  3. Cannot drink coffee or energy drinks. Cannot eat energy bars. No substitutions of caffeine.
  4. Must update my journey for my lovely readers often.

 

Friday, October 16, 2015.

5:18 p.m.

So far, I’ve felt pretty in control of my choice. I got water at lunch after literally having my cup under the Dr Pepper spout, but I decided I was better than that – old habits die hard.  Interestingly, I am already developing a headache, truly not sure if this is because I am stressed about work or because I am without my coping mechanism for the world. My little fizzy companion. I’ll keep an update on my headache and whether or not it strengthens.

I’m also kind of ridiculously tired. I got 8 hours of sleep last night, which is the equivalent to winning the lottery for a college student. I don’t know what’s wrong. Maybe it’s the lack of caffeine…? Oh no. I hope not.

I’ll check in after my next meal. And after I drink some more WATER.

 

7:32 p.m.

I came up to the soda machine and my mouth literally got ready for the sweetness it knew it was going to have. Then I filled my cup with water and I think a little part of me died inside. Worst of all, my friend got Dr Pepper. Yes, I would classify this as cruel and unusual punishment. It looked SO RIPE.

In case you were wondering, soda is ripe when it’s really sweet – oftentimes this occurs when the syrup in the machine is new. Usually it’s darker and fizzier. To give you a reference point, soda would be classified as unripe when all that comes out of the spout is seltzer water. And if you’ve ever experienced this, you know pain.

I have stayed strong thus far and have drank my 36 fluid oz. of water today. I’ve honestly drank more water today than I probably have in weeks. I’m so gross. But I’m going to get less gross each day!

The headache has gotten a little better, I don’t think it’s due to soda withdrawal. At least not yet…  But while it may not be my brain that’s begging for it, my tongue is in complete crave-mode.

I’m also still so very tired, but I must go on.

Will report on the morrow or if a serious craving comes along.

 

October 17, 2015

1:17 p.m.

The night went along pretty well as there were no serious cravings. Although, I did get a snack from a little eatery on my campus and I had to tear my eyes away from the soda case. It was weird to eat a buffalo chicken sandwich without my trusty doctor. But, I did it!

I worked this morning (I work at a café) and there is a soda case there as well. My eyes stole glances at the bottles in there. But, alas, I only sipped water. No fizz.

To be honest, this only drinking water thing continues to get harder. The more of it I drink, the harder it is to go down! It’s beginning to get kind of old. Having water used to be so nuanced to me. It’s weird that it’s normal now…. But, I’m sticking with it! Hoping that once I get over the hump, water will begin to go down like, well, water.

 

October 18, 2015

11:37 a.m.

Let me be the first to admit that last night was very difficult.

I was out getting pizza with some friends and what do you drink with pizza? Soda, obviously. But, no, I was being strong. I am doing this. Then, everyone orders soda and I’m last to order. It’s so hard to stay strong, the menu is looking at me with all the options and, if I wasn’t sweating, it felt like it. The waitress had gone over the drink choices just prior too. I was salivating at the thought of getting some Dr Pepper in me.

She asked, “And what could I get for you?”

Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper…. “Water.”

I had done it! I was still Dr Pepper free. BUT AT WHAT COST! Was I happy?

Eh. I mean, I’m happy I made the better and healthier choice. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t ridiculously envious of everyone else though. But, I’m getting through. I’m doing it.

I’ll continue to strive to keep my life watered down, in the best way possible.

 

11:41 p.m.

There were root beer floats in my dining hall today. If that’s not torture, I don’t know what is.

Moral of the story: I had a bit of one… BUT! The root beer we have has no caffeine and it was not Dr Pepper! Still, I am ashamed.

Hopefully, to make up for it, I am trying to drink the correct amount of water for myself to be a well-functioning human being – about 72ish fluid oz. I’m not quite hitting the target yet, but I’m getting close. Maybe water-drinkers will know: does there ever come a point where I don’t have to go to the bathroom constantly? Or is that just going to be part of my life now?

I have realized that I feel more awake more quickly, which I’m thinking might be due to my water intake. If that’s the case, I definitely want to keep drinking a higher amount of water. I really am feeling much better with my energy level and ability to focus. I’m super interested to test my awareness in class this upcoming week to see if I notice any change in there too.

This little stint of three days of furthered water drinking has definitely opened my eyes. And my urethra, apparently.

Please don’t condemn me for my moment of weakness! Ice cream AND soda? If you could’ve said no, you are a far greater person than I.

Will report tomorrow!

 

October 19, 2015

4:33 p.m.

Drinking water has gotten much easier in just the last day. Also, the bathroom visits haven’t been as regular. Not sure if this is just coincidental or if this means my body is getting more accustomed to the amount of water I’m drinking. Either way, I’m glad I’m not living in the bathroom as much.

The craving for Dr Pepper is definitely getting stronger, especially as people find out I’m quitting it cold turkey. They literally gasp. It’s kind of sad to think that’s how dependent it seems for me! The Dr Pepper still stares at me whenever it’s near me. I wonder when that will stop…

I’m super interested if it’ll taste better or worse than what I remember once I sip on it again. I hear horror stories from people who quit soda and then have it again and can barely stomach it. I couldn’t imagine feeling disgusted by my old friend. But who knows, it could happen.

I’m really impressed with myself for staying as strong as I have and for drinking as much water as I do now. Surprisingly, I’m not as desperate for soda as I thought I’d be at this point. And that’s a good thing. It shows that if you’re having trouble drinking too much soda and not enough water, you could definitely turn it around with just some willpower!

 

October 20, 2015

10:01 p.m.

As you could probably tell from my late log time, I’ve been having a pretty busy Tuesday. And I am so, so tired. It’s taking every ounce of me to not submit to the Dr or to grab a coffee! I’ve got a midterm to study for tonight and am stressing about other work, but I’m going to keep my promise to myself. No Dr Pepper. No caffeine.

Oh, how I want some though.

I have definitely not drunk enough water today either. Probably only 24 fluid oz. At this point, my body has gotten pretty accustomed to around 48. I’ve actually been drinking more liquid in general now that I’m not drinking Dr Pepper, which is interesting. Not something I would’ve expected. Anyway, it’s definitely noticeable. I am thirsty! Which, who knows, maybe I wouldn’t have even noticed had I been drinking soda still.

Water has become, at this point, something that I think about regularly: when will I get my next cup? I’m starting to want it in a way. Similar to how I always want Dr Pepper. Maybe this is just me trying so hard to drink more of it, or muscle memory, but either way it’s on my mind! I suppose that’s a good thing.

Wish me luck studying… without caffeine… I think a single tear just rolled down my cheek.

 

October 21, 2015

2:23 p.m.

 

I’ve been drinking a lot more water today – definitely coming back with some authority since yesterday’s lame showing. 60 fluid oz. so far! If this was a sequel from yesterday, it’d be called: “Water: Back with a Vengeance.” That was lame. Midterms have got me going crazy.

Every time I drink water I am more awake which is really interesting. Soda never really had this effect on me, it seems that soda only ever gave me a slow energy – a kind of energy that kept my eyes open, but didn’t exactly make me want to move around all that much.

And even more interestingly, I haven’t even been craving soda. It’s kind of sad to me, like we broke up and now I’m totally over him!

 

4:43 p.m.

Check me out, 72 fluid oz.!

 

9:11 p.m.

84 fluid oz.

This could quite possibly be the most water I’ve ever drunk in a day. It’s starting to go down a lot more easily and my frequent bathroom trips are diminishing. The craving for Dr Pepper is going away too. Still, when I go up to the drink machine, I think about it a bit. But I’m no longer salivating when I get up there. I feel good about myself!

 

11:49 p.m.

109 fluid oz. of water! I’ve hit triple digits!!

 

October 22th 2015

4:12 p.m.

The craving is back. And with brutality.

So, I had just gotten done with my classes today and I am really tired and literally all I’m thinking about is Dr Pepper. I deserve it. I’ve gotten through another day. I don’t think there’s been a sadder realization I’ve made in a long time than when I realized I could have none.

I brought my cup up to the drink dispenser and I felt the Dr’s stare. It literally felt like I was sinning by not taking the sacred liquid of my veins. I was disrespecting Dr Pepper by getting the arch nemesis water! But still, I stayed strong and let my unneeded and grandiose feelings get humbled as I sat with some friends and drank my water quietly.

I even went back for another cup of it because after the first one, I wanted more.

Water has got this weird hold on me. I really do feel good about myself when I choose it, but it was tough to do this time.

 

11:14 p.m.

I’ve just realized that tomorrow will be the final day of the Doug Patrick Soda Purge of 2015!

Will I drink soda again after Friday?

. . .

Probably.

Will I drink more water at the same time, though?

. . .

Hopefully.

 

October 23, 2015

1:00 p.m.

 

I am struggling. Soda is within my reach. One more day. That’s all I need to do.

This craving came out of nowhere. Three or four days in I was perfectly fine, but now it’s like I just started! Maybe it’s just because I know I’m so close to the end of this…

I shall stay strong. Water, my enemy and my greatest ally. We will get through this!

 

11:57 p.m.

 

I’ve practically done it!

 

October 24, 2015

2:09 p.m.

The purge has been over for a while now and I still have not had any soda! My craving has definitely subsided in strength since yesterday. Looks like everyone just wants what they can’t have! That’s not to say I’m not thinking about it, though. Because I am. Completely. It’s just, now, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. And I worry that the sweet taste of the Dr may not be as fabulous as I remember. That would definitely create some sort of emotional trauma, I’m sure of it.

Water really isn’t too bad after all.

I’ll have to report back later this evening when I have my first sip of Dr Pepper!

 

6:13 p.m.

Oh how I missed my sweet nectar. It’s even better than I remember.

I’m happy that I took a week off from Dr Pepper, but I am oh so glad to be back!

What Your Astrological Sign REALLY Says About You

Horoscopes. Some people love them, some people put no stock into them. Sometimes, though, they are scary accurate. So there has to be some truth to the traits applied to us all based on our zodiac sign, right? Eh, maybe. Sometimes those descriptions are just a bit too sugar-coated…Cancers are the best cooks! Libras are the best lovers! Leos will perform the best in a marathon! And blah, blah, blah. What if horoscopes told us the downright truth? Well, if your horoscopes were like a blunt, bitchy friend, this is what they would have to say. Only continue if you can handle the truth. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading “What Your Astrological Sign REALLY Says About You”

Real Women Have Curves: Not

(Image Credit: Iordani)
(Image Credit: Iordani)

Sure, “real women have curves.” But some real women don’t have curves. And that’s okay, but saying that women are only “real” if they fit one body stereotype or another is completely not okay. In fact, it’s entirely hypocritical and it isn’t helping improve the situation on either side of the spectrum whatsoever. Continue reading “Real Women Have Curves: Not”

Social Media, Anxiety and YOU

(Image Credit: ViewApart)
(Image Credit: ViewApart)

“Did someone like my status? Or see my newest picture on Instagram?” “I know I didn’t get a notification, but it won’t hurt to check just to be absolutely completely sure that nothing new happened on Facebook.” Yes, I’m one of those people. Someone who checks his social media accounts periodically, even when he knows decently well that nothing has happened. Rationally, I know it seems like borderline insane behavior – or at least the behavior of someone who is very anxious. But, at the same time, I know plenty of people just like me… Is social media making us crazy? Continue reading “Social Media, Anxiety and YOU”

What We’re Loving Right Now: Gillette Venus Snap with Embrace Razor

(Image Credit: Gillette)
(Image Credit: Gillette)

Most of us love to travel. Jet-setting off to somewhere warm sounds pretty great as I sip a hot tea in the middle of March in Central Wisconsin. The only down side of packing for air travel? You know it ladies… packing the cosmetics and shower kit bag. Is it three three-ounce bottles or three three-ounce bags? Ugh. You need to take it all, but it’s always so hard to fit everything neatly.

Well prepare to say goodbye to those packing-for-flight woes. Gillette’s new Venus Snap with Embrace Razor will make sure that your shaving needs won’t be left at home due to lack of space in your bag. (I mean bags, let’s be realistic.)

The Gillette Venus Snap with Embrace Razor is adorable. Who ever is responsible for this cute mini design deserves an award. With ladies who are on the go clearly in mind this razor fits the bill for year-round jet-setting adventures.

The Snap features a mini version of the traditional Venus Embrace easy to grip handle that is great for traveling and storing. The Snap also comes with its own portable compact and the Venus Embrace 5 blade refill, which is a personal favorite of mine. The Snap fits any cartridge, so if you have another preference in blade refills feel free to indulge.

You can buy the Gillette Venus Snap with Embrace Razor at most drugstores, Target and Walmart for about $10 USD. According to the product’s webpage, “You’ll be ready for anything, anytime, anywhere.” What’s not to love? Let us know what you think about the Snap with Embrace Razor in the comments below!

Cheryl Strayed shares her words of inspiration in ‘Brave Enough’

strayedIf you haven’t caught on to my Cheryl Strayed obsession yet, I may doubt how well you know me, or how closely you follow my writing. It’s been a year to the date since I first picked up her New York Times best-selling memoir, Wild, and I am here to remind you (yet again) that Strayed is one of the most bad ass writers of our time. She has entire websites dedicated to her quotes, and a cult fan following including celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon. Her words of inspiration and courage are laid across coffee mugs, clothing, and even inked permanently on skin. Her prose is both haunting and poetic, as she often reminds readers to use the world as a teacher and bravery as a guiding force.

This fall you can carry Strayed’s words of wisdom with you in her upcoming book, Brave Enough. The book will be released October 27 as a collection of quotes from her novels and memoir, Wild. In a statement, Strayed explains the power quotes have had in her own life, “From the comic to the profound, the simple to the complex, the sorrowful to the ecstatic, the inspiring to the stern, whenever I need consolation or encouragement, a clear-eyed perspective or a swift kick in the pants — which is often — quotes are what I turn to.”

Allow Strayed’s words to bring you to new truths, and give yourself the opportunity to get to know the woman who is a true warrior of love. And, should you find yourself needing more convincing, check out some of my favorite quotes she’s written below.

Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.

Forward is the direction of real life.

Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.

Be brave enough to break your own heart.

The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherf*cking shit out of it.