Thursday, 8 October 2015

5 Ways to Becoming or Staying Fit on a Budget

Before I was pregnant with my son, I didn't move. I tried to make sure my weight didn't go out of control by watching not what I ate but how much of it. After I gave birth, I changed my eating habits a bit due to breast feeding, but it wasn't until after I stopped, that I really cut out the crap.

You see, I was left with an out of proportion body. And I had two options. Plastic surgery, or moving my ass and reshaping by exercising. Well three. I could have left it as is and "accept it". Not sure I'd ever really would have learned to truly love me that way. Maybe. There's no way of telling now.

But now loving myself fully includes loving my body which absolutely includes, no demands, taking very good care of it. It just so happened that I approached the subject from the opposite angle. By exercising and moving I reconnected with my body, starting to love it and then keeping going was just a matter of honoring that love. Of course, sitting in front of the mirror and telling myself "That's it, enough of that crap, things are going to change now" and then moving on it is in itself an act of self love. Does that make sense?

Anyway, here are five simple things you can do to get into shape/healthier:

1. Body Weight Exercises

You literally need nothing but yourself to do these. Push-ups, Squats, Lunges, Planks, Crunches. There's like a gazillion options out there, tons of sites and videos and even full workout plans for a huge range of available time frames and difficulty.

I do some of these once or twice a week as supplemental training to my karate practice, as better muscles mean better performance, hence it helps my art.

Some Exercises can be found here: Round Up - If anyone knows of other good sources for body weight exercises or full workout, please share. I have some also on this pinterest board.

2. Running or Walking

Again, you need nothing but yourself. This is something I personally have no experience with because I admit, I dislike it. And from that perspective I must say again that it really is important to find a work out you like. For sticking with it, for battling that inner procrastinator and inner light-fader that wants to keep you small by telling you all kind of weird things about yourself. By the way: "You don't suck." Anyways, running or walking (the very dynamic sports kind of walking) is a cheap work out provided you don't need those fancy new running shoes.

3. Use stairs and walk

Whenever and wherever you have the opportunity, use the stairs instead of elevators and escalators. Don't use your car for short distances. Unless the weather is really shitty, I walk my son to school. That's 800m one way. Makes 3.2 km of extra movement on a normal day, twice when he has to go back in the afternoon. Walk here, walk there, it all adds up. And at the same time it helps the planet.

If you already have a bike, start using it more. Otherwise it might not be falling under "budget friendly"

4. Join a club/group

Look up a local association or group of like minded individuals. Not sure how things are where you live, but here every town has those non profit associations / clubs that offer sports practice once or twice a week. Most team sports are organized this way, but there are also those that offer for example athletics or gymnastics and they usually don't have very high fees.

Likewise, maybe there are groups that do walking, hiking, etc.

5. Eliminate Junk Food

I'm sure you've heard that one before as well. Cutting out (or very seriously reducing) junk and processed food will do heaps for your weight and overall health. When I started my "get in shape" mission, I stopped eating any packaged "brioches" & "merendine" you can buy here (they are little packaged snacks, mostly baked goods, the things you shouldn't put in your kids lunch boxes too often either) as well as pre-made meals including for example pasta sauce/gravy. And not only did it help me with the weight, it also helped me with some skin issues, fatigue, etc.

Wanting it

Haha. Of course. Only the burning desire to not be stuck with that post pregnancy body, only the burning desire for change is what got me where I am today. Somehow, I managed to hit on that magical combination that helped me combat resistance in all its forms. Resistance is evil. It'll sweatly whisper in your ear that you'll just start tomorrow. That skipping one time ain't no problem. Don't listen to it.

Not going to lie. The first six months of getting my behind moving where horrible. My whole body hurt. Resistance was constantly whining. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Every now and then I implemented another small change. I've talked here about how I prefer to take it one step a time. Now my life looks nothing like it did 5 years ago. So whatever you want to change, whatever direction you want to head in. Just start. Today. And keep going.

Have a wonderful day!

P.S. The pic is what happens in hotel rooms when I'm alone and bored and having too much energy. Yes I know, I have the best pics ever. They are raw, they are real... j/k

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Monday, 5 October 2015

Old Pinstripes

Admittedly these pictures have been taken in spring, but then the weather became very warm within short time and it didn't feel right posting them anymore. Now the weather is once again at that point, so I figured they might as well fit now.

The blazer is surprisingly cozy and warm, and whilst I love my grey one and my black one, they both feel way thinner and colder material wise. You may remember the pants as being thrifted and the top has made an appearance more than once (here layered belowhere with midi skirt).

Personally, I have been slowly making some changes. For one to adjust to the new schedule with my son going to school. Another reason is to deliberately give my life the direction I want to head in. With most things, I'm in favor of the slow and steady, one-little-thing-a-day-that-adds-up approach. One small step a day leads to a bigger shift, if you stick with it.

Wishing You all a wonderful week!

Zugegeben, diese Bilder sind eigentlich vom Fruehjahr. Aber dann wurde es so warm innerhalb kurzer Zeit, dass es fuer mich wenig Sinn machte sie zu posten. Aber jetzt, wo das Wetter wieder sehr aehnlich ist, duerfen sie raus aus dem Archiv.

Der Blazer ist richtig kuschelig und warm, und obwohl ich meinen grauen und meinen schwarzen Blazer auch sehr gerne mag, sie sind doch duenner und kuehler vom Material her. Ihr erinnert Euch vielleicht an die Hosen, die habe ich letztes Jahr um die Weihnachstzeit im Secondhand Shop erstanden. Das Top war auch schoen oefters auf dem Blog zu sehen (z.B. hier als Layer & hier mit Midi Rock).

Ich habe in der letzten Zeit in meinem Leben sehr viele kleine Veraenderungen vorgenommen. Zum einen, weil ich mich an den neuen Ablauf gewoehnen und anpassen muss, jetzt wo mein Sohn zur Schule geht. Zum anderen weil ich ganz bewusst die Richtung die mein Leben nimmt bestimmen moechte. Und wie bei fast allen Dingen bin ich auch hier ei Befuerworter von langsam aber bestaendig. Ein kleiner Schritt am Tag summiert sich zu einer grossen Veraenderung. Sofern man diszipliniert dabei bleibt.

Wuensche Euch allen eine schoene Woche!

Outfit Sources:

Blazer - Mango Outlet
Pinstripe Pants / Nadelstreifenhosen - Thrifted
Top - Max&Co --- beautiful option / also like this one (both on sale)
Pumps - Bata
Socks / Struempfe - Calzedonia
Sunglasses / Sonnenbrille - Ralph Lauren via Sunglasses Shop c/o
Fringe Clutch / Clutch mit Fransen - Urban Outfitters --- shop fringe bags

Linking up with: Not Dead Yet Style || Still Being Molly || Style Nudge || More Pieces of Me || Mama & More || Garay Treasures || Elegantly Dressed & Stylish || I do DeClaire || The Pleated Poppy || Shopping My Closet || Classy Yet Trendy || Katherine's Corner || Happiness at Midlife || Mix & Match Fashion || Stylin in St. Louis || Jeans & Teacup || Rachel the Hat || Jo-Lynne Shane || Fashion Should Be Fun || 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

What I read on the Internet #13

Tommy Ton - Street Style Photography --- Awesome Eyecandy

Fashion Communications & Marketing --- A collection of BoF Articles

FIT & Parsons Students Back to School Style

The Influence of Angry/Negative People on the Brain

Rumi Quotes

A Punk Rock Approach to Living the Life of Your Dreams

Fall Closet Clean Out Tips from the Pros

5 Myths About Going Green

Mastering the Art of Interbeing - Thich Nhat Hanh on Love

A Victorian Cryptographic Loveletter

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Fall Styles Under 100$

Thursday, 1 October 2015

I Am Not A Minimalist

I realize when reading my posts, where I'm talking about decluttering and "not buying" or well, "buying less", the idea could come up that I'm a minimalist. And I've pondered the question to see how I feel about it. Am I a Minimalist? Yes and No. I certainly have found that I am happier with less things, but that doesn't stem exactly from wanting to make rigid lists like "XY hanger/items closets" or "I only own 100 items total" or "Etc" work in my life at all costs.

My philosophy is simple. I only want to surround myself with things I truly use or cherish so that my energie doesn't get hooked onto things that are outdated, attached to either unpleasant memories or guilt, not useful or that desperately want to be put into some kind of order. A note on useful. If, let's say, a painting gives you the good vibes, then it is most assuredly useful. And a note on outdated. With that I mean everything that does not reflect anymore who I am now. For example, that could be books I totally digged 10 years ago, but which are not resonating at all with the current me. I am with Edna Mode on this one:

"I never look back Darling, It distracts me from the Now."

So, I strive to have only things that I love. If that means three of the same item because I love and use them all, then I won't force me into having to toss two because "I am a Minimalist". Labels that make you feel forced to stay inside the parameters suck. No matter how good or shiny the label is. Unless, it actually is truly in alignment with your heart.

The idea of keeping only stuff you love isn't new at all and I don't claim it to be my own. Infact it's also at the base of the very viral book about decluttering by Marie Kondo "The Life Changing Magic of Tyding Up". Only that she calls it "things that spark joy". Admittedly, I've never read the book, even tho it does sound very interesting. But after reading so many reviews and summaries, I just felt like having already read the book. Does this ever happen to you? She does supposedly have some cute ideas about socks tho.

I've started my own journey towards a life with less things about two years ago I think. Give or take, it was around the same time I started this blog. At first I only went after my clothes. Mostly to bring my wardrobe into alignment with the person I was becoming. I had lost not weight, but a full clothing size as a result of regular excersize. My body shape was entirely different from before pregnancy (for the better) and my style taste had changed too. And I felt the rut you get into when you have a closet full of stuff you don't really like and thus always grab the same items, which you don't like all that much anymore either. The process I used is summed up in this post here. But in the end it always boils down to "Do you love it."

After the clothing, I went to eliminate other things. Household items. "Just in case items". "I'm going to totally repair this" items. Things I kept because I had this great plan of starting a craft. Now the latter two are major guilt hogs. Because when you never start, they'll remind you of this everytime you see them. And they'll whisper "fail fail fail". So I gave away all the fabrics to my sister who actually does sew. Now. Not some day in the future.

I'm not done yet. There's still too much of what I perceive as items that do not really need to be there. So every now and then I do another swoop. It's not easy actually. A lot of times I still feel that pang of guilt over throwing something away (well actually, most items are being donated, but still) that maybe was a gift. Or expensive. Or is supposed to be kept as memorial item. But asking myself if deep inside  I really cherish the item usually solves that, And so bit by bit I'm getting where I want to be. A place where I'm not encumbered, tied down and held back. Only I know when enough is enough in regards to downsizing. Not an artificial rule of what I can or cannot have because "I'm a Minimalist"

So I think it would be more apt to call myself a "Have-only-what-you-love"-ist. Or "Don't-amass-crap-for-the-wrong-reasons"-ist.

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Monday, 28 September 2015

Saying Goodbye to Summer - Utility Shirtdress, Fringe Booties & the Jingle Boho Necklace

We can probably expect some more warm and sunny days still, but it's not quite enough anymore to heat up the whole day, or the shadows. And there has been a good number of cloudy days since the offical start of Fall here in Northern Italy. Sadly, it was also cloudy last night, and I didn't get to see the hyped Supermoon eclipse. Ah well, in 2033 I'll try again. Did any of you get to see it?

Here I'm wearing a simple shirt dress, western booties I got during the summer sales in August and something I consider quite daring. The necklace! Oh you cannot imagine how much it jingles when you walk. It's wonderful! So I was running errands and it was like jingle jingle, clack clack, jingle jingle, clack clack (the boots).

The bag is another piece I got from the clothing swap I did with my sisters. It's very handy to just toss in keys, phone etc when I go and walk my son to or from school.

Wir koennen wohl schon noch einige sonnige und auch warme Tage erwarten, allerdings reicht es nicht mehr um den ganzen Tag aufzuwaermen, oder die Schatten. Und es gab mittlerweile auch einige kuehle, wolkige Tage seit dem offiziellen Herbstbeginn. Leider war es auch heute Nacht wolkig, weswegen ich die gehypte Supermondfinsternis nicht beobachten konnte. Naja, muss es dann in 2033 wieder versuchen. Habt Ihr sie gesehen?

Hier trage ich ein einfaches Hemdkleid, Cowboystiefeletten die ich im August im SSV erstanden habe und etwas das ich als fast gewagt empfinde. Die Halskette! Ach Ihr koennt Euch gar nicht vorstellen wie sehr die bei jedem Schritt klingelt. Es ist fantastisch! ALs ich am Samstag unterweges war ging es jingle jingle, clack clack, jingle jingle, clack clack (die Stiefel).

Die Tasche habe ich auch vom Kleidertausch mit meinen Schwestern und benutze die staendig. Ist gerade die richtige groesse um schnell das Telefon, Schluessel und so reinzupacken wenn ich nur mal eben meinen Sohn zur Schule bringe, oder abhole.

Outfit Sources:

Shirt Dress - H&M --- shiny long sleeve version (on sale!)
Fringed Western Boots / Cowboystiefeletten mit Fransen - Buffalo London --- very similar
Raga Necklace / Raga Kette - Raga via Shopbop c/o - exact
Super Magic Ring - Medieval Fair
Snake Ring - Shashi via Shopbop c/o - exact & more snake rings
Mini Crossbody Bag / Mini Handtasche - H&M (old) via Swap --- shop mini bags / funny mouse bag
Elephant Earstuds - Fair --- similar
Wrap Bracelet - D.I.Y. --- find the tutorial here

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