By Jessica Schmidley
Two things have been occupying my mind lately; planning a kitchen renovation and Glennon Doyle’s memoir “Untamed”.
I’m a pretty quick reader, I can finish most novels within a few days once I get going, but something about this book has me taking a bit more time with it. I’m really digging in and taking the time to get to know the author and digest what she’s saying as I move through it.
A few nights ago I read the following passage:
“Destruction is essential to construction. If we want to build new, we must be willing to let the old burn”.
-Glennon Doyle, Untamed
This hit me particularly because of our remodeling project, and the anxiety that comes with tearing our kitchen down to studs and starting over. I worry about screwing it up, not making the best decisions or choosing the wrong crew to do the job.
When I sat and thought about my specific “construction”, I realized that the “destruction” was indeed essential to my process. I have to give in to the notion of tearing apart what I have, in order to get what I want.
The way I see it, there’s always a risk of it not ending up the way you envisioned even with the best laid plans.
My fear was inhibiting me from making a decision. I was worrying myself further away from something I wanted. By doing this, I was just solidifying myself right where I stood, I would never make any progress this way. I would be destined to keep looking at my battered cabinets and chipped tile floors just as I had for the past 5 years.
I’m applying this concept to a very literal issue that I’m experiencing, which I realize is quite trivial in the scheme of things. However, the concept of construction helped me to visualize this because it was right in front of me. As I re-read that text a few more times I began to see deeper meanings, more internal and less obvious to the naked eye.
I talk to people all the time who want to see a change in their lives but are unwilling or unable to make the requisite steps to get there.
Another saying that comes to mind is, “nothing will change unless you do.”
If you keep making the same decisions and keep following the same path each day, nothing will change. You will be destined to be in the same place a year from now.
“If we want to build new, we must be willing to let the old burn.” You have to let go of old habits, let go of those parts of your life that aren’t serving this new life that you want. This can be difficult. I completely understand that. But if you want to change, you have to put in the work and actually change.
Apply this concept to your relationships, job, family or goals. At the end of the day, ‘wanting’ isn’t enough. You have to get in there, get dirty and break down those walls in order to build the beautiful life (or kitchen) you want.
by Jo Ann Graser
The following article really hit home.
The issues addressed are something we in the boutique fitness business have been facing daily for 5 months now and there is no end in sight.
Every day I hear about colleagues around the world closing their studios and it tears me apart to imagine what they are going through.
My life’s work is reflected in the joy that our clients find through improved health and fitness. None of that is possible if we don't make it through this.
I have to believe that with the strength of our brilliant teachers and staff and all of you, we will come through this together, stronger than ever.
We hear from clients asking regularly how they can help, here is how.
Click the button below for an article that best describes what small studios like ours are facing and how you can help keep our studio alive.
By Jessica Schmidley
I had dessert every night for 10 weeks.
Let’s face it, shelter in place was stressful. Is sugar the best way to counteract that stress? Probably not. But you know what? While the world felt like it was going crazy around us, my future felt uncertain, my stress level was at an all-time high...dessert was something that I could look forward to every night.
My husband said it best, “vacations are canceled, all social events are postponed for the foreseeable future, and the world feels like it’s falling apart. We could all use a little something to look forward to each day”.
When he put it like that, I couldn’t help but agree.
So I went ahead and had dessert every night. Some nights it was as simple as a few pieces of dark chocolate, others it was ice cream. I don’t regret it.
So how did I feel after 10 weeks of that? Not terrible but not great either. We were diligent about activity and kept our meals as “normal” as possible. However, we got to a point where it was time to adjust our habits because dessert every night (or cocktails or pizza or whatever the vice) wasn’t going to keep us on track for our goals over the long haul.
Quarantine threw a lot of people off of their usual habits. People who are normally very diligent about their workouts or eating were suddenly forced to change their whole routine. Parents were suddenly homeschool teachers, managing e-learning while doing their daily jobs and tasks. For many, it meant that their workout had to take a backseat.
Say this with me.
"Whatever happened during quarantine, stays in quarantine."
Quit trying to rationalize your behavior, or beat yourself up about it. It happened. It’s in the past, move on.
Moving forward, here are some easy and inexpensive ways to start feeling normal again after quarantine.
Sometimes the simplest of habits are the ones most often overlooked. Have you thought about how hydration affects your body day to day? Even mild sustained dehydration can wreak havoc on everything from your brain function to sleep patterns and digestive tract.
Get yourself back on track by making a plan.
I’m a notoriously bad sleeper, so I find I have to set goals and plans like anything else in my life. Lack of sleep for even just a few nights can throw off your energy levels, focus and eating patterns. Next time you have a bad night’s sleep, pay attention to your food choices the following day. Chances are, you will crave simple carbohydrates, our most simple energy sources. Basically, when you are tired, you seek energy.
Carbohydrates aren’t bad in essence (think fruits and grains), however, most tend to lean towards processed carbs (sugary snacks, chips, cereal) when they are lacking energy because they are easy to eat and get to your bloodstream fastest.
Beyond eating patterns, lack of sleep can cause other systems of the body to slow down to a drag including digestion.
Kick start your sleep routine by choosing a few things to focus on:
I’ll keep this one short and sweet. You have to move. Movement positively affects every system and body part: digestion, sleep/relaxation, brain function. You don’t have to go out and seek a new, extreme workout routine. Just move more.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes. If you came out of quarantine with your clothing feeling a bit tighter, it’s going to take time for your body to get back to where it was before. Through conscious choices throughout the day and some patience you’ll get there. If you gained 10 pounds over the last 3 months, it may take that long or longer to shed that weight off.
Take a few of the above suggestions and implement them, give yourself a week or two, and see how you feel. Gradually add more positive habits, and consciously get rid of some not so good ones.
by Jessica Schmidley
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”
A friend posted this quote on her social media recently, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I couldn’t stop thinking of the different applications of this simple concept.
When I think back on my first years as a Pilates instructor, I feel embarrassed. I truly had no idea what I was doing, I felt like an imposter and was just hoping no one noticed. I was green, still learning my voice and trying to learn as much as I could. My clients trusted me, and took the journey with me as I learned and honed my craft. I’m sure I made mistakes.
Back then, that was the best I could do. Over the years, I learned more through personal practice, continuing education and mostly from the clients in front of me. There were moments where it was like a light bulb was turned on, and my perspective was permanently changed. 14 years later, and I still have those moments regularly. I hope I always will.
Once that happened, I often thought to myself “how could I not see that” or “how did I not know this?”. Quite simply, I was doing my best with what I knew.
Over the years I can see how my personal relationships evolved, my career, my health, because sometimes you just don’t know any better.
We often get frustrated by those around us, when they don’t see the error of their ways, or we think we know what they really need. If they would only listen to us, then they would see!
But it’s not that simple. What works for one, may not work for another.
Everyone has their own path and will take their own time to understand what they need and want in life. Some may get there faster, some may never get there or may never want to. That’s ok.
Focus on your own journey. Whether that’s your career, health, relationships, or education. Have patience with others that are on their own path, they are often doing their own work that we don’t realize. Aim to educate without judgment, and understand that it may not resonate until a later date when they are ready to see it.
The concept is simple, do your best until you know better, and then do better. That’s all we can do.
By Jessica Schmidley
I’m hot. I always have been. My body temperature always seems to run a little on the warm side. I never liked to sweat or feel warm, and as the years went by I found myself growing more and more heat intolerant.
I’m 37 years old at the time of writing this, and ever since I was young I’ve always preferred a cooler atmosphere. I would actively avoid activities outside as the temperature and humidity rose in the summer months.
A few years ago I wondered if I could “train” myself to tolerate the heat. I decided to run a little experiment, I spent the summer taking Hot Yoga classes once or twice a week. You read that right, it was above 80 degrees outside and I took classes in a hot humid room for 90 minutes at a time, at times taking classes in studios that reached 105 degrees.
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot Yoga, by definition, is Yoga performed in a heated room. The exact heat and humidity level will vary based on the style of yoga being taught and the specific studio.
The benefits of Hot Yoga itself can vary from physical to mental; increased blood flow, improved flexibility of muscles and mobility of joints, improved mood, focus and less anxiety.
The Benefits of Heat Acclimation
The following physiological benefits stated in this article from Spartan Training can apply to both heated cardiovascular and non-aerobic activities.
A Word of Caution
Any heated activity can pose potential risks, including dehydration. It’s very important to rehydrate during and after intensely sweaty activities, preferably with water containing added electrolytes. Electrolytes are essentially salts and taking in salt with your water allows it to be pulled into your cells and tissues and utilized where needed. Without electrolytes in your water, you will expel or urinate most of the water out without absorbing it. In extreme cases, you can experience hyponatremia, where the sodium levels in your blood become too low as a result of drinking excessive amounts of water. Without sodium or electrolytes, the ratio of water in and around the cells can become imbalanced and could potentially be dangerous. Sports drinks are often recommended, however a pinch of sea salt added to your water will also do the trick with less added sugars and artificial ingredients.
Always check with your doctor before performing activities in excessive heat, and avoid if you have any contraindications to heated exercise.
My Own Personal Case Study
By the time we reached August, I found that I was more tolerant of the heat outdoors. I could sit outside on a hot day without feeling overly uncomfortable, or do outdoor activities requiring fewer breaks. My joints also felt better and I had less pain and stiffness in my back and hips with just one or two Hot Yoga sessions per week.
Every individual is different, I’d encourage you to listen to your body and find a frequency, duration, and heat level that works best for you.
“Don’t be a hero”, was the catchphrase of one of my favorite Yoga instructors. Meaning, listen to your body and monitor yourself during class. Take breaks, leave the room, or sip water as needed. Your tolerance will build up over time, but like everything else, acclimating to Hot Yoga is a form of training. Inquire about heat and humidity settings at your studio, start slowly, and give yourself the grace and patience as you progress in your hot practice.