Hi lettuce heads!
Im back and bronzed and feeling pretty bodacious. Its amazing I hadn’t treated myself to time away in quite awhile, especially since it was one of the first times I TRULY, literally, had time to sit, enjoy, and reflect. My only requirements going there were workouts and drinking my shakeology, the rest was a “No worries, mon” attitude. I laid around the beautiful beach, ate good food, indulged in some typical no-no’s (fried bananas and cheesecake) :), and saw some pretty darn eye opening things. Jamaica is a country of poverty, and getting outside the all inclusive bubble left a huge impact on me. I dont think Ive ever appreciated US soil in the sincerity that I do now after going on this trip. I didnt feel super threatened or sad or mad looking at another country’s every day conditions, it just helped me appreciate mine. There were some of the most friendly and happy people one could meet in Jamaica and then there were some of the pushiest and unsettling people Ive had to talk to as well, similarly to any place- theres always the good and bad. Fortunately the resort was incredible, the areas were beautiful, and the trip was magnificent. I wouldnt have changed anything and am so glad I got to see everything that I did…oh yeah, and enjoyed my birthday to the fullest. Happy 26 to me!!!
Heres a quick reel of the SWEET moments and views I shared with my loving boyfriend:
Everyday shakeology with travel blender
Containing my excitement…Nope!
Yummy refreshments! Unlimited and free? Yes please!
Our Negril Excursion, walked the 7 mile beach
Birthday dinner and sunset. Hello 26!
Last nights dinner outside, surf n turf!
Now what was the most powerful experience during this time away for me was one of the most simple experiences known to our culture. Hold on to your seats…I READ A BOOK, cover to cover, and after completing it wanted to read it again. “Spirit Junkie” confirmed so much of from where Ive come and so much of who Im working on to be. A true peace with oneself and the ability to look inward for happiness, despite what yourself or others have labeled as ultimate solutions. It also empowered me to work on those times that I let other things get in the way of the true happiness I know I have. I came away with realizing we can do homework on these little distractions so that theyre less and less relevant- now this is cool! I can weaken those little negative, distracting thoughts? Yup, yes I can. This doesn’t take away from the fact that when your emotions are strong and you feel a certain way, there’s strength in speaking up. Speaking with conviction and knowing what’s wrong so that you can move forward and make the situation better is never a bad thing to do. The negative thoughts and distractions can take away moments of your life or they can take days or they can take years. Whatever it takes, find out what you need to do to own your feelings, see where theyre coming from and to feel empowered to do something about it- starting with yourself. Why face the world in fear when you can make a simple change and face it with, well, love?
Feeling both relaxed and empowered upon returning, I ordered “Fire Starter Sessions” by Danielle LaPorte. Now I dont have a beach to read this by nor all the time in the world, but everyone makes time for things theyre interested in. In fact, they cant help but make time because the curiosity and interest is oozing out of us. Im excited to be on a path of improvement, not only with my body, but even further with my mind and soul. Speaking of oozing, Im going to emphasize my enthusiasm for exercise here. After this trip, Im even more firmly convinced Ive got to shout on the mountain tops (yes this blog is a lovely mountain top) about what I know and feel is important. You may already have suspected this, but I had no apologies or hesitations in telling you that the workouts on vacation were huge for me. I enjoyed my day that much more, felt accomplished, relaxed, getting my normal dose of endorphins so that I not only was normal Maria, but normal Maria on vacation!
People normally have a tough time when their normal routine is broken. Think FINALS with school, deadlines with work, kids commitments, family obligations and of course vacations. Now how do we make it happen in those times? Well we make it happen. Non negotiable. Sometimes there are days where youre motivated to work out, because quite frankly you didnt want to put on your tennis shoes, and there are days where you cant help but be inspired to get active and use your exercise elbow grease. Despite the rollercoaster of thoughts that go through one’s head at a given time, especially broken routine time, I will urge you to be active in some way during those times, especially on vacation. One can always work more, study more, be with their kids more, clean more, be so obsessive with everything BUT those things you actually find very important. You’ve got to remember why its important to you and make it happen. Run with those Nike’s instead of kicking yourself with em 🙂
Here are the things I did to make sure I was active:
1) Every morning I committed to working out at some point and coordinated with my partner as to how we were going to make that happen. Ensuring safety of course, checking out where I could and couldnt go.
2) I used my HR monitor as a way to keep track of intensity- was I working hard or hardly working? I wasnt done until I hit my hour mark or 500 calorie mark.
3) I used the gym (treadmill, bike, elliptical), beach, and provided activities at the resort to be active
4) I kayaked (harder than it looks- hello upper thigh cramp), walked the beaches, was continually sweating even just by sitting by being in the heat (luxury yes), I even got in on a group dancing activity. They had me help lead the dance because I was shaking it enthusiastically, imagine that?
5) I came prepared! I packed workout clothes, my shoes, bras, heart rate monitors, music and my shakeology. I knew I was going to make it happen and that made the difference. The resources are everywhere but you’re in charge of your decisions. Do you row your boat, despite the conditions, or do you just let the tide take you?
Because I did this, I truly enjoyed my time. You can be active anywhere. Experiment with different things to get your heart rate up and break a sweat. Chances are if its hard and takes your breath away, you’re doing something right. I breathed deeper during the exercise AND after- really appreciating my life and my opportunity to be in paradise for the week. I urge you to take time for yourself, relax, reflect. Get to know what makes you tick (good and bad) and commit to working on your body, mind and soul. If exercise is important to you- dont EVER forget that and make it happen. You have to take care of yourself first before anyone or anything else can contribute.
Thanks for listening lettuce heads. May you face this week with strength and love. Shake it WHILE you make it!
Maria “Like the Lettuce” Romaine xoxo