The Final Straw

The Final Straw

When to cut back and focus on the meaningful few
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Do you ever feel like so tired that your brain doesn't seem to function anymore? Do you ever feel like you are so busy, and balancing so much at once, that one more "thing" might just put you into a full-blown sob-fest? That, my friend, is when you're experiencing the phrase, the "straw that broke the camel's back." It is a popular thing to be over scheduled and overenrolled. And being busy can bring comfort and meaning to life. I for one, have always had busy afternoons and evenings after long days at school. However, that's not to say that we should strictly follow the "The more, the merrier" phrase as a life motto. But where is the balance?

Everywhere you turn, there are families and children running from activity to activity, and complaining of lack of sleep. Participating in many groups, organizations, and activities can make a life fulfilling; I would argue any day of the week that all of my involvements over the years have shaped me into who I am, and have given me some of the best experiences of my life. But, I am also someone who has trouble saying, "No" (though I'm getting better at it). I want to do it all, and sometimes, it's simply too much.

If you find yourself waking up exhausted and spending your limited energy prying your eyes open, like I have done so many mornings, you may want to rethink your schedule. While I am mildly annoyed that my body requires so much sleep to feel rested and to function at its highest capacity, I admit, and believe, that it is important. If participating in more activities is getting in the way of your ability to rest, it is likely that you're not performing to your highest potential; and that just seems like a sad waste. (Check back later to read about my feelings on exploiting and exploring potential).

Rather than stretching yourself too thin, it is better to participate in a handful of activities that are most meaningful to you, and out of which you derive the most joy. "Take out the trash" as Dr. Jarrod Spencer (Mind of the Athlete) said, when he lectured at Hamilton one night this past spring. This is an idea has stuck with me ever since his visit. It means, essentially, get rid of the extras. Clear out what isn't important to you. Then, you can spend your time and energy working to be the best you can be at the those things that mean the most to you. Not only will your mind be clearer and less stressed about everything else you have to do when you're doing one task, but you will be able to complete that task to a higher capacity and at a higher quality. The extra time gained from shaving off less important tasks here and there, can be reallocated to your most meaningful projects and to sleep to recover from all of the activity. It may feel odd that while you "got rid of" some activities, you do not have more free time. But, quantity of time available is not always the most important thing; quantity of time, how you use it, and what you create with it are arguably, even more important.

It's easier said than done, but try: ook at your life and determine what is "extra," and start living more rested, richer, fuller lives.

Cover Image Credit: armageddonandbeyond.files.wordpress.com

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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10 Effective Leg Exercises Every Boss Babe Needs In Her Workout Routine

Get off your bum and work those legs out!

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Isn't having slimmer looking legs always the goal? Here are some various exercises that have been the most effective for me and others. Some are more difficult than others, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself!

1. Squats

Squats are a great basic exercise that you can easily make as challenging as you'd like. It's definitely my go to exercise.

2. Side lunges

This is a great exercise since it works for beginners and experts who can add weights! Make sure to push your butt back and keep your back and chest up.

3. Sumo deadlift

This is also great for people of all levels of ability. You can use heavy weight like is she is or use light weight.

5.  One-legged bench squats

This can be tricky, but you can make it easier with less weight. This is a very effective workout that will leave you very sore.

6. Sumo crab walks

This workout seems odd, and you may feel awkward while doing it, but It does a great job at targeting your legs and glutes.

7. Split squat

This is an awesome workout to target your hamstrings and your glutes. You can make it more difficult with weights as well.

8. Sumo squat pulses

This will set your legs on fire, but push through because it is super effective. You can use a cable like she did or do it with no weight at all.

9. Leg extensions

I love this exercise and I swear by it. It really targets your quads and will set your legs on fire!!

10. Pistol squats 

This is one of the most challenging leg exercises out there, but it's worth the challenge because of its effectiveness. Try it out!

These are some of the best leg exercises I've tried. They've all been super effective for me and kick my booty especially when I add lots of weight! Get off your bum and work those legs out!

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