Hi. I'm Sara!

I am extremely passionate about all things health - while not letting it take over your life.  I love efficient workouts, easy healthy meal ideas and all kinds of tips and tricks to help you become a stronger version of yourself

Hope you stick around for a while & check out all the good stuff!

Forget “No Excuses” Focus on Non-Negotiables

I often say that the “key to balance” {for me personally, not trying to give out any expert advice here} in life is constant re prioritization.  Let’s say you have 10 things on your plate, all 10 things cannot be at the top of the list at the same time, nor can the same thing be at the top of the list all the time.  A constant cycle of devoting more attention to the most important and pressing situations is how I make all the things I want to do fit into my life.  House renovations, writing, running, coaching, photography, my job, and reading more books and articles so I can soak up more information about all of the above.  This situation has served me well for the past few years but I’ve picked up a nasty habit of continuing to fill my plate with a little serving of everything in front of me.  A few things have shifted in my life and I’m left wondering, why do I put so much on my plate?

There was a time not too long ago where I loved my job, but wasn’t sure if it was the career I wanted for life.  After all I never had daydreams as a child about working in fashion, I never really lusted over Vouge the way many teenage girls do, and honestly am an embarrassment to the fashion industry when asked who my favorite designer was during an interview and could not come up with one single name.  {Does Stella for Adidas count? No?} .  I became fascinated with health and fitness in college and was instantly hooked but figured it was too late to make a career change, so I settled for it as a hobby.  Sometime later I decided I could make health and fitness my stay-at-home-mom-part-time-career when we decided to have kids.  That’s where this whole idea of being a personal trainer came in, it was kind of my, “fall back thing” in case I didn’t want to go back to work full time after those not yet existing {and so-not-ready-for-them!} kids.  Thing is I actually like my day job, I like to think I’m pretty good at it too so it’s always been a tough decision when I think about not doing it forever.

{Remember when this was a running blog and I talked about useful things that had to do with running?  Be patient friends, I’m getting there.}

This whole decision to run a marathon didn’t take into account how much my job would change and how both things would affect all the other hobbies I try to cram into my life.  I started spending a lot of my long {and short} runs thinking about what I really want out of life and what I want my priorities to be.  Why was I dedicating time to all these side projects that were fun, but not really on track with my bigger goals.  Or if that was what I was truly passionate about when I was I going to stop dragging my feet and do something about it instead of hiding behind my more secure office job.  Apparently sometimes the “key to balance” isn’t about rotating your priorities.  Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, “What’s really important here?” and put some of them away.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I love my job, and I love running and training and learning about fitness and the world of active wear.  I love how the two play off of each other and I bring more knowledge to the table with work because of my hobbies but also that my job keeps my passionate about those hobbies at the same time.  I don’t want to walk away from that and start to carve out a life as a personal trainer or fitness expert like every other twenty something is trying to do these days.  Sure it would be a lot of fun, and maybe I would feel like I was making more of a difference in people’s lives but there’s also the possibility that if it became my job I would come to resent that it used to be fun for me.  So for the past two weeks I’ve been diving into my job, and at the same time it’s been diving right back at me.  I’ve been handed new projects, worked with new teams, and in true perfectionist form want to do everything to the best of my ability.  I’ve started to adopt this new mindset that difficult things in life should not be met with complaining and rolled eyes, but a challenge that gives me an opportunity to show just how good I am at what I do.  Which brings me to my point {sorry it took so long, I promise just hang in there.} that this whole idea of “No Excuses” is kind of bullshit.  I know I’m a giant hypocrite because for the entire month of January I participated in a #noexcuses challenge and really felt like that phrase meant something but then this whole work thing took over and I felt my life coming apart a bit.  The perfectly structured schedule of my life I had put together was not working out and after more than a few late nights at work, one day last week I glanced at my calendar and completely forgot about plans Ralph and I had made with our the run club Thursday night.  I completely forgot it was Thursday.  One day the week before I had completely forgotten to eat lunch.  Who was I?

I was taking a break from my desk when  coworker and I got into a conversation about all the things as a team we had taken on, we were both feeling overwhelmed and figuring out how to make it work.  She said plain and simple, I have to figure out my non-negotiables, whatever they are and don’t let myself settle.  It was kind of like a wake up call, it was exactly what I needed to hear.  Things were changing and I forgot to rearrange my priorities, rearrange my non-negotiables what had to get done no matter what.  And more than that, if it wasn’t on the non-negotiable list it probably wasn’t that important and could wait a while

Non-Negotiable : Running
Let’s face it there is no way I could survive without running.  OK I can survive in the most raw sense of the word but without running I am not complete.  My passion for running and fitness is what made me fall in love with my job as it is right now.  Getting to wear and test clothes to make sure they can preform and trouble shooting how to make improvements based on that feedback is what makes me so good at what I do.  Sorry to get a little cocky here but I don’t feel like we ever give ourselves enough credit for the things we do really well.  I could never love my job as much if it took away

Negotiable: Marathon training
This one was a really hard decision, and has less to do with work and more to do with the nagging injuries or ailments I’ve been dealing with lately.  I’m running out of time to train smart and I really don’t want to return to the marathon after 4 years only to have it be yet another worst experience ever.  I have already contacted the race organizers for Cox Rhode Races and asked them if I could switch to the half marathon.  That I know I could be ready for a half in two months and sure it’s long drive just for a half but it could be a lot of fun and a million times less stressful.

Non-Negotiable: Healthy Eating
I also would never forgive myself if I gave up eating well just for a career.  It’s one of those things that ever since I started working full time has been important to me to keep no matter what.

Negotiable: Meal Prep / Making lunch every day / Cooking dinner every night/ make #allthethings from scratch
Meal prep is nice, but it takes a lot of time on Sundays that quite frankly I don’t feel like doing.  Sure buying my lunch every day is expensive, there is no arguing that, but I’m also pretty lucky in that my cafeteria at work always has healthy options including made to order salads.  So basically the same thing I would pack for myself but with a fraction of the effort.  It’s not my idea situation, but it’s not the end of the world if I start buying my lunch every day at work.  What’s more is I need to stop this habit that food bloggers have brought out in me that I need to make everything from scratch.  Does it feel really cool to say, “Hey I made my own English muffins the other night.” Hells yes.  Do I have time to make the dough and then wait for it to rise, punch it down, repeat 3 times then fry them up in a pan {Because yes English muffins are fried.  Mind blown.} ? Nope.  Nope, nope nope.  Does

Non-Negotiable: Sleep
I know a lot of people who cram a lot of things into their lives, they don’t sleep a lot.  Maybe in the short term it works out for them, who knows, maybe it doesn’t.  I’m just not one of those people, never have been and never will be, who functions well on less than 8 hours of sleep.  Can I do it one or two nights a week if I really have to? Yes.  But I’m generally then not a very pleasant person and it catches up to me really fast.  It’s one of those things that I’ve said for a very long time no matter what other things I have to miss, I’m going to get enough sleep.

Negotiable:  Studying for that ever procrastinated personal training certification, taking on more house renovation projects, blogging 3+ times a week, cleaning the house during the week, doing dishes during the week, all that other shit that real people just don’t have time for.
These days there are so many people who, “do it all” and do it “well”.  These days we also project most of our lives on the internet and it’s so easy to project exactly the image you want everyone to see and not what’s actually going on.  You think you have to be this perfect person who does it all and that’s not reality.  Reality is we’re all just trying to be the best we can and do the most we can while surviving each day.

At first glance maybe my non-negotiable list is kind of long, or demanding.  You might think I’m a crazy person just for trying to fit in all the things I am trying to.  But take one more long look at that last list, that list of all the things I have cast aside as not so important anymore.  That list was what I used to think I had to live by, and with all those things lifted off my plate I feel like my new list is not only not demanding but completely possible.  The truth is there is no way to “get it all done”, you pick what you want and you leave the rest, at the end of the day a little dirty laundry laying on the floor isn’t going to be the worst thing that happens.

What are your non-negotiables?

Getting My ACSM CPT Certification