Overcoming Adversity

No one ever told me that once you graduate college and

become a real adult life can get hard, and quick.

Rainbows

I hate to say I lived a privileged life but I definitely didn’t have it hard, and I was am lucky to have a very supporting family who are always there for me. I had my challenges with adversity through elementary, middle and high school which were all exacerbated with the normal social growth and awareness of being a female. When I went to College & Physical Therapy School I encountered a whole other level of challenges and hurdles which were accompanied with subsequent freak-outs and stressors.

NOW that I am an “Adult” I have learned that the challenges and adversities I faced back in school are just the stepping stones to the ones that will be faced in the future. I never would have imagined all the adult decisions I would have to make in the first year since graduating PT school.

From work decisions, family decisions and decisions which could impact not only my life but the lives of others I truly never imagined that adulthood would be so hard.

Guide to Adversity

In my face-offs with these challenges I have found a few strategies which work best for me to overcome the challenges and find higher ground without succumbing to a bottle of wine and online shopping.

1. Internalize It… & Stress A Little

I always take the information that could be a potential stressor, life changer or adversity and generally stress a little about it. I probably stress an unhealthy amount but through stressing I am able to internalize the facts and determine the best course of action. Whether that results in me figuring it out on my own, or the more common option of…

Internalize it

2. Talking it out with someone I trust

This used to always be my dad, first and foremost if I had a problem, stressor or challenge I would call my dad. Now I call Brent or talk to him when I get home, and then typically I will still call my dad. YEP! I am a daddy’s girl, its true and I admit it whole-heartedly. I also know that I am honored with a dad who has a lot of knowledge and advice on most every situation. I find that talking it out helps reaffirm what I already know and think and presents new thoughts I hadn’t come up with. It also always helps me to…

3. Find the Positives

Looking at the bigger picture helps me come back to the real world (Good Bye Allison Land, it was nice seeing you again) and realize that even though I feel like things are falling apart around me I still have a lot of positive things to be thankful for. I truly believe that with every negative situation comes multiple positive blessings, while they may be small little things in comparison to the bigger negative they are something to hold on to when times are tough and things are challenging. These positives help motivate me to overcome this challenge and face that adversity face-to-face.

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4. Figure Out The Optimal Solution

While this is the “last” step I often come to this solution in the beginning when faced initially with the challenge at hand. Even though I may have a “solution” there is still work to be done, however if you do not come up with a plan or optimal solution the ability to achieve and overcome the adversity you’re faced with will become increasingly challenging. A vague but definite solution is MY optimal solution.

5. Make Lemonade?

Ok so I realize its lame but like I said the having the solution does not mean a resolution of the challenge. You very well may need to put in a lot of work, face more challenges and strike out prior to finding the best way to cut the lemon and make lemonade. I know its hard, I am definitely a quick fix person and I know that I live in a quick-fix society but when faced with these challenges you are best to work HARD and then be patient.

Lemonaide

Adversity is hard and makes already stressful life even more stressful, but with some strategy, surrounding yourself with love and support you will be able to overcome all things that are put in your path.

xo,
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How do you overcome adversity?

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Marvelous Easter

Happy Monday!
What a weekend. I love spending time at home with my family and that’s exactly what I got to do this weekend.

Thank you to the Lovely Diva for the weekly link party!

Marvelous is… Going to lunch with my Grandma and Brent and getting this awesome Crepe!
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Marvelous is… Taking this hunk of love for a walk on Friday. My uncle went to Florida for a week of R&R so my parents are watching his dog. Since he has a little separation anxiety I bought his love with a walk around the neighborhood & treats! #sorryfreddy
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Marvelous is... Going for a run on Saturday, outside with short pants & a tank top!!! I started the run with a jacket on but by the end I ditched the jacket and ran in a tank. It was SO nice to run outside and through a park I used to go to when I was a kid. I ran a little over 3 miles and felt like I could’ve gone farther, never imagined 3 miles would be an easy run!
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Marvelous is… Spending Easter morning with my family. We took up a whole row at church and were missing people! I love my family and spending time with them. What was even better was we were able to sit OUTSIDE and enjoy the weather. I am SO happy that spring has truly decided to come, I was getting worried about this winter deal.
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These girls (plus the two missing) have my heart

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Marvelous is… Great friends!! A few amazing text conversations with some of my favorite girls Heather, Keri & Beth made for a special Easter for me. I love my long distance friends and am so blessed to have such great girls in g life. PLUS we met up with a couple friends during our drive home for dinner. We were able to sit on a patio and talk while enjoying the weather some more. It was a great way to end the weekend.

Now off to the gym to start this week with a major sweat session!

Hope you all have a marvelous weekend!
XO,
Allison

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Flaxseed Energy Balls

Flaxseed Energy Balls

Happy Wednesday!

Its almost the weekend!!! I love short weeks, knowing tomorrow is “friday” is definitely going to make today go a bit easier. Plus knowing tomorrow night I’ll be making my way home for easter is even better. I can’t wait to see all my family and spend some time with them over the extended weekend.

flaxseed energy balls

For today I wanted to share an old favorite recipe. I started making these “balls” almost 2 years ago when I started my “healthy living” adventure. I was so excited to have a sweet treat which was packed with nutrients to help subside my cravings and power me through the day.

I have followed the same basic recipe from Gimme Some Oven with some adjustments and recommendations plus an enduring name of “Flax Balls”

Flaxseed Energy Balls

When Brent & I started dating I told him I wanted to make some energy balls one night, they quickly were termed “flax balls” and the name has just stuck.

Not the most attractive name but I promise the flavor & taste make up for it!

I made a batch of these along with Davida’s Pistachio Balls (subbed orange for key lime) for she extra energy this week.

Flaxseed Energy Balls

Flaxseed Energy Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry oats
  • 2/3 cup chopped nuts of choice
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter of choice
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried goji berries or dried berries (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until a dough-like mixture is created.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour
  3. Once chilled, roll into balls of chosen size (approximately quarter-sized)
  4. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer
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This batch of flax balls included oats, chia seeds, flax, chocolate PB2, Enjoy Life mini-chocolate chips, goji berries, chopped walnuts, and maple syrup.

Flaxseed Energy Balls

Feel free to add or subtract your favorite ingredients to suit your taste buds. I have made these with PB2, regular peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter, creamy peanut butter etc. Also with all different nuts, dried fruits, chocolate or none, honey or maple syrup. And EACH batch is amazing, different but great.

Hope you enjoy the deliciousness of these balls.

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Whats your favorite energy ball?
Have any recipe with an unattractive name but is delicious?

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Keep Calm & Love Monday

Oh Monday, why do you come so fast? I don’t know about you but I often find myself dreading Mondays.

Today I decided to focus on the good and rather than dreading going to work I wanted to share a story that made my day last week. It also made going to work a little more exciting the rest of the week.

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Tuesday of last week my patient walked into the clinic looking a little blue. She said she was just very tired and had little energy or motivation. We worked through her exercises and took on new challenges and at the end of the treatment session I was doing my hands-on stretching/mobilization and exercises.

During this time my patients and I generally talk about anything and everything. From what they will be having for dinner, family events, life, and often exercise. Many of my patients tell me that they want to get back into a fitness routine and ask me where I workout and how.

Exercise was the topic of conversation on Tuesday. She asked me what I do and how I do it, along with my fitness journey. I started from the beginning {you can read this here} and then talked about how I now have found my path in fitness. I told her about some recent training goals {TBA} and after she asked I shared some recent progress pictures.

Motivate your Future

During my time talking to her I saw her facial expression change and her body become more energetic and joyful. We continued to talk about wedding plans, fitness goals, and life in general for a good 10-15 minutes after her treatment session had ended.

When she left the clinic she told my coworkers how much better she felt, how happy she was and how motivated she was to do something more. After she left my coworker turned to me and said “I don’t know what you did but she went from being really down and blue to being so incredibly happy… what a great job Allison!”

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Days like this and moments like this are what make me love my job. I am able to work with truly inspiring people who are going through some of the hardest times of their lives, but through conversation, sharing and giving them a bit of myself I am able to help them feel better.

So instead of being bummed that it is no longer the weekend, I am going to be HAPPY that I can go to work and help someone feel better each and every day.

Happy Monday Friends, Go out there and be great!

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What fitness goals do you have?
How do you make Monday a bit better?

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Nitty Gritty on Energy

food-for-fuel

Yesterday I gave you all a ton of information about the components of Female Athlete Triad and my talk at a local high school. Today I wanted to talk a bit more about actual fuel and components of fuel that are most important.

warning – this post might get rather technical & nerdy. I apologize in advance!

Lets Get Technical:

Our body uses energy constantly & the amount of calories which you need to perform your basic life functions is called your Basil Metabolic Rate, this is the base number to sustain life. On top of this is your Resting Metabolic Rate which includes the effect of food on your body, including how much energy you get from each fuel source (carbs, fat & protein which are all not created equally).

Additionally whenever you exercise you burn more calories which results in your exercise energy expenditure. The important factor to ensure we are achieving and balancing is our Total Energy Expenditure this is the combination of your RMR (which includes BMR and thermal effect of food) + Exercise Energy Expenditure. 

total-energy-expenditure

When you are in caloric balance your TEE = Calorie Intake this simply means you are eating the right amount to meet your basic and athletic needs & balance is achieved. You will likely experience minimal weight change.

If you eat more calories than what you burn in a day you will be apt to gaining weight either in the form of muscle or fat depending on what you eat.

If you eat less calories than what you burned that day, your TEE, you will be in a calorie deficit. This will likely result in weight loss. However, if this calorie deficit is too large your body will have too few calories to sustain normal functions of daily living. Additionally, you can have zero weight change and continue to be in a caloric deficit because when your body & brain recognize a caloric deficit they work to reestablish the energy balance by decreasing your resting metabolic rate in order to CONSERVE CALORIES!

Energy available must meet the needs for basic physiological processes a.k.a Resting Metabolic Rate

I personally have been in situations where I knew that I was burning more calories than I was taking in and that calorie deficit seemed “cool” or “good” but when I look back I can see that I was truly doing more harm than good. My body was not changing the ways that I wanted even though I was “eating healthy” & “exercising”… I was not eating enough and had put myself in a mildly disordered eating mindset.

800 calories

The other week I was talking to a female patient who told me she was trying to lose weight and was eating around 900calories/day while working out and doing PT. I seriously think my jaw dropped to the floor and then proceeded to put some knowledge on her about the healthier way and more effective way to lose weight than simply starving yourself from food.

The hard part is knowing that its OKAY to eat more food and you will still have the opportunity to lose weight, your body needs fuel and we cannot be afraid to fuel our fitness! 

So lets prevent the cascade of events which can occur with limited energy availability and fuel our future the healthy and fit way.

PREVENTION = Making sure you continue to eat the right amount of calories for YOU!!!

There are TONS of resources out there to help you determine your BMR, TEE and caloric need.
If you are concerned you are not eating the right amount of calories then I challenge you to figure out what you are eating and track your food for 3-7days. no longer

I told my athletes to focus on 3-7day logging interval,  as an adult if you think logging for a longer period of time would be beneficial then do it, but be careful because… Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. I would caution you against prolonged food tracking as it can lead into the vicious cycle of disordered eating. HOWEVER a 3-7day sampling IN SEASON will help you see how much food you are putting in your body and ensure you are eating the right amount for you.

 If you find you are not eating enough then lets increase your calories with healthy choices to make sure you are properly fueling YOUR athletic performance.

food-for-fuel

Remember food is fuel!!!!! Food is needed to meet the energy availability needs for basic cell function (growth, cellular activity, healing) in addition to calories or energy needed for activity and performance.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need help or guidance on finding the best solution to fueling your future the best way for you!

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