Where Have I Been? What Have I Learned? #Self-Care Summer.

Hi, it's me here! 

Yes, FitVista is still alive and running! Even though I haven't been around these parts as of late, my mind is constantly writing blog posts in my head and thinking of how I can best serve you and your health and lifestyle goals.

My nutrition health coaching clients are seeing huge success and I'm blown away by their dedication and the work we've been able to accomplish together over our six-month programs. This type of work is revolutionary and I'm humbled to be on the forefront of health coaching and the practice of pairing up to *finally* reach your health goals. I'll be taking on 3-5 clients at the end of August / early September, so if you want to hold your spot or learn more, email me : michelle@fitvista.com. 

Want to know what I've been up to day-to-day? Check out my Instagram, I've been going nuts. 

But on a deeper level, let's talk life, health and some soulful summer stuff. 

A Self-Care Summer

Yup, I meant to write this post on the importance of a "Self-Care Summer" in June ... and then, I didn't write it.

I do believe Procrastination is a Form of Intuition and when you avoid or actively don't do something, it's important.

Yeah, hell, sometimes it's just lazyness. But maybe it's your body telling you to rest. Maybe it's not a priority for you at the moment. Maybe you to need to recharge before you push ahead. Maybe the task at hand isn't aligned with your goals, your values, your life, whatever. See what I mean? 

So back to my "#Self-Care Summer" post I never wrote and why I haven't been blogging AT ALL.

I made the decision at the end of May to take a break from blogging and re-focus on my own health and my own unstructured time AND of course, always constantly ensuring my 1-1 private clients are thriving in our work together .

Quitting Finance in June 2014, going back to Nutrition School, ramping up at Equinox for Personal Training, starting my own business, launching my own blog, becoming a Precision Running Treadmill instructor at Equinox, on-boarding a full schedule of private clients I adore = it's been an exhausting two years! The best two years of my life, but taxing just the same. I almost didn't realize how much I was doing because I was loving every step of the way and so focused on charging FULL SPEED AHEAD. 

And you know what happened in March, April and May? I let my own health take a back-seat.

I'm a freaking personal trainer and health coach! I prioritized my client's workouts over my own, I stayed up late writing blog posts, I booked back-to-back-to-back sessions, I took on teaching MORE running classes, I accommodated my early-bird schedule for 9pm client calls. I was so determined to see my business succeed, and it did! 

I bet you've done the same in your life and business! I did gain some weight, like um, almost 10 pounds, and I started to feel kind of like a fraud.

Heck, I'm supposedly WRITING a book on Self-Care! 

And I am (I have an outline!) but all in due time my dears.

Kris Carr, my wellness idol, speaks about the importance of unstructured time, being outside in nature to fuel creativity, a season of inward reflection and withdrawl from the world to spark a season of output and setting the example for radical self-care and healing. 

So that's what I did.

Alex and I moved in together on May 1st and after 8 years of living in Manhattan, I'm now officially a resident of Long Island (woah!). Settling in to life living with Alex has been a dream and a huge priority for me. 

Long Island City is a beautiful new community a hop away across the river from Manhattan, with stunning skyline views. It's also QUIET. Instead of honks, I hear seagulls and instead of cramped city streets, I see the sky and watch the sunsets. It's kind of like moving out of the city without really moving out of the city. It's been good for my mind and OH so good for my sensitive and easily over-stimulated body. 

How did I get back on track?

There were a ton of things, but here are the highlights to get you thinking about your own health:

In May, I did a month of unlimited yoga at Yoga Room LIC and although I didn't hit my goal of 20 classes, I did get to 12 classes and felt way more in tune with my body and released a ton of tension. 

In June, I hired my own personal trainer (yup, a personal trainer hires a trainer) to hold me to two hard strength training sessions a week. I added in Bootcamp classes and some runs and within three weeks I'd lost almost five pounds of bodyfat and my butt muscles came back. Heck yes! 

In late May, our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share started and we began 26 weeks of fresh produce from an organic North Fork Farm that we pick-up on Tuesdays from a local bar / restaurant in Long Island City. It's been a beautiful way to try out new vegetables and expand my horizons. There is always a ton of lettuce and yes, it IS hard to get through it all.  

Sleep. Lots of it. This has been a huge priority for me in the last year. Sleep is one of the most effective ways to lower your cortisol levels and it acts as buffer to stress. Working out and exercising hard is my passion, and if I can sleep to buffer my intense activity levels and impact of stress on my body, then SIGN ME UP. Oh and sleep makes you lose weight, boom. 

Books. What did you love to do as a child? Do more of it. It heals. I was a huge book-worm and a A+ student and English Major. I thrive on reading. I didn't realize how relaxing it is to me until I really got back in to it this summer. I've been alternating between work reads (nutrition, coaching, running), fun well-written chick novels, and how-tos on entrepreneurship, like the 4-Hour Work Week. Stay tuned for a re-cap of all my summer reads! That would be a fun post, right?

Sun. Since March I'd been craving time in the sun. I deeply felt like my body was telling me I needed a "drying out" with sun on my face and a tan on my skin. I don't know it at the time, but I WAS deficient in Vitamin D and when I found that out in May from a blood test, I made time in the sunshine a priority!

By the middle of July, I found myself in a really good place. I'd lost the weight, I was more relaxed, I was naturally drinking less alcohol, rocking my workouts and feeling like I'd found myself again, you know? Feeling like I was walking the talk again after a couple month blip. 

But I didn't start blogging again, until now! And I love writing! 

I just haven't felt like constantly producing. Constant output. I've been on the fast track my whole life. 

And I kind of wanted a break. Woah.

Thing is,

It's OK to slow down in the summer. It's OK to slow down whenever you think you should.

Your mind might not let you, but your body might be whispering for a rest. I'm addicted to productivity and learning to relax has been the hardest thing I've ever done. (Tweet that). 

I'll write more in another post about my personal issues with elevated cortisol levels, phase one adrenal fatigue (I healed myself! Yay!), amenorrhea, paralyzing perfection, over-dosing on caffeine, multi-tasking and everything else that goes hand-in-hand with how I (used to) live my life. 

But this is the lesson I've needed to learn.


Self-Care isn't Selfish

I tell my clients that "Self-Care isn't Selfish," that you have to "fill your own cup first" and that you can show up as the best version of your authentic YOU self, when you've taken care of yourself and your needs. 

I 100% believe in that. 

Yet, I was too much of a chicken to write a blog post about it! 

I do know I wanted to prove to myself first that I could get back on track from my slip-up and 8-10 pound weight-gain. I mean, heck, it's my job to teach other people. 

I also had these visions of me using the hashtag "#selfcaresummer" and inspiring people to take care of themselves, but I felt a little bit too luxurious writing about it, a little too much like I wasn't doing enough WORK. Because I've always defined myself by my productivity, my grades, my $ bonus $ in finance, the number of clients I see per day. 

I also realize that as an owner of my own expanding and growing private practice, I have control over how fast or how many clients I take-on and I control the flexibility in my own schedule. Don't worry I'm not in La La Land, but to me, I've decided to define success less by dollar terms and client hours than by my own personal health, happiness, and frankly, the joy of seeing my clients reach their goals.  

I'm willing to bet that you have an hour of your week where you can implement more self-care. 

Anyways, I'm OUT. This is what I've been up to! 

I have been having a #selfcaresummer and focusing on my own health and wellness is the greatest gifts I've been able to give myself, share tips and strategies with my clients, AND I AM writing a book about it. 

I still have a full schedule and client load, but I'm not OVER-doing it and going at 140% of my capacity in life / work.

I'll warn you, when you go from 5.5 hours of sleep to 8-9 hours of sleep and from 3-4 cups of coffee to 1 cup of coffee a day, you do LESS during each day. That's been a hard adjustment over the last couple years. My capacity for hours of work has gone down. 

And just because I DO still get a bit defensive about how much I work, we're talking a couple hours here and there people. Rather than 5 clients a day, I see 3 or 4. Rather than spending two hours writing a blog post twice a week, I've been reading a book. Rather than submitting an article to Elite Daily, I go to a workout with my personal trainer. But hey, it all adds up. 

What's one hour you can trade this week for your own self-care? One hour! I'd love to know. 

Do you think you're carrying too much stress in your body? Is it leading to disease? Weight-gain? Do you feel off and stuck and in a funk and can't get out of it?  

As I said, I'll be taking on 3-5 clients at the end of August / early September, so if you want to hold your spot or learn more, 

Drop a line here or email me at michelle@fitvista.com. I'm jetting off for a long vacation and going on a social media / email detox, but I'll get back to you week of Aug 22nd! I care! And we can get started right away!