The Three Most Important Changes In My Wellness Journey

akansha-agrawal-fitness-blogger

akansha-agrawal-fitness-blogger

I’ve learned a lot about myself ever since I started my health & wellness journey five years ago. Five years ago fitness, nutrition, and mental health were not top of mind. My overall well-being was not a priority.

Luckily, the tables have turned but the changes have not easy nor straightforward.

When I first started exploring the realm of fitness, I discovered influencers in bodybuilding who would lift heavy, count their macros, and “cut” for a few weeks after “bulking” for a few months. I briefly fell into that trap and was told to try competing in a bikini competition (yeah no thanks).

Another example is I when I tried to steer towards a vegan diet: I added more soy-based proteins to help supplement my diet (yikes) and never really felt satisfied. It took me a while to realize that it’s okay to eat (good quality) meat and I should eat what my body craves.

These are just a couple of examples of things that didn’t work for me in the end (but hey it may work for others!). Here are three things that do work:

Meditating: Yes again, I know. How cliche right? But guess what guys, even 5 – 10 minutes of breathing, sitting, and doing nothing has helped me so much with my stress and anxiety. Whenever I fall off from meditation I feel my anxiety creeping back again.

Working with a nutritionist: I didn’t start seeing a nutritionist for what most people would think — losing weight. I actually consulted a nutritionist when my digestive issues became too much to bear. My nutritionist Mary Vance has helped my heal my gut (almost!) and has helped me see nutrition in a different light. I promise to post on this topic soon because there is so much to be said here!

Finding fitness buddies: Having friends or people you can workout with has been life-changer! When I first started I’d almost always workout alone for two reasons: 1. I didn’t know many other people who made it a priority (clearly I wasn’t looking hard enough) and 2. I was afraid others would judge me. Once I got over that fear, my life was changed. I started training with Fleet Feet for half marathons, met girls from the Tone It Up Bay Area community and was also more willing to try different kinds of group fitness classes with friends.

So obviously, this is what works for me and those “a-ha” moments may be different for others. Regardless, I do think there are certain take-aways for all:

-Try meditating with Headspace. It’s only 10 minutes long!
-Pay attention to what you eating. Does it make you feel good? Are you eating mindfully, eating whole foods? A nutritionist can be expensive but if you want some basic guidelines on nutrition, the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan is a good start.
– Find a local running group (Lululemon has one, or check out The November Project), or try different group fitness classes with friends. It’s always easier with a buddy :).

It’s like something finally clicked in my mind when I started doing each one of the three things I mentioned above. I’d love to know what works for you in your own wellness journey.

Mental Fitness: How to Reset, Relax, and Restart

akansha-agrawal-citrus-gold

Hi guys,

I feel like a lot of health & fitness blogs forget to address a key factor in being fit, your mind. Your mind literally controls all of your actions and if your mind isn’t fit, how will your body ever get there?

I’m starting to brand Citrus & Gold as a wellness blog, not so much as a fitness blog. I am NOT going to tell you how to get a six-pack and I’m NOT going to help you find the perfect diet. Instead I’m going to touch on topics that help you go deep, that help you critically understand why you haven’t been meeting your goals or finding time for your own wellness.

I had to go through an internal struggle myself a couple of months ago.

I was mentally exhausted at the end of last year and beginning of this year. Too many voices were telling me what to do, too many of my own doubts were holding me back.

We all have moments in life where we’ve just had enough. The first step to recovering from those moments of exhaustion is accepting that it’s okay. It’s 100% okay to need a break. I feel like these days we are always told to go go go. But I don’t agree with that mentality at all.

I knew I had the potential of putting myself under a lot of stress with teaching POP Pilates, working, blogging and everything else in life. So I knew I needed to be proactive in my self-care routine.

If you are going through a period of stress, or stuck in some sort of rut here are a few tips that really helped me.

  1. Get off social media: even if it’s for a few days, delete the apps that are mentally bogging you down. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone for a good month before coming back to it. If you’re a blogger like me, realize that your readers can wait…your mental health cannot.
  2. Journal: write anything and everything that comes to mind. Use it as an outlet – it doesn’t even matter if you don’t came back to it.
  3. Travel: If you can get away for a weekend, do it. I know when you’re exhausted travel can seem like it’s adding another layer to your already stressful life but it’s so important to getaway. You’ll thank me later.
  4. Meditate: I know people have been preaching meditation for centuries (literally) but it works! Even if it’s 2 minutes, 5 minutes or 10 minutes, try it out! It does time taking used to it so don’t force it. Just come back to it everyday with an open mind. Headspace has been doing wonders for me.
  5. Spend time with loved ones: Sometimes when there is too much noise we isolate ourselves and that’s a big no-no! Especially for someone like me who has more introverted tendencies, alone-time is so important and it can be easy to fall into that trap. It’s super important to find the right balance between me-time & quality time with friends and family.

Thankfully, I’ve been feeling better implementing some of these tips to help with mental health & stress so I hope they help you too! If you need more tips to relax check out this post: 10 Ways to Treat your Mind & Body on a Budget.

Oh and one last thing, remember life is too damn short to be serious. Don’t let your mind bog you down. While focusing on yourself don’t forget to have fun with it!

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Your mind is equally as important as your body. If you are anxious, stressed, here are a few tips on how to relax, reset, and restart.

Your mind is equally as important as your body. If you are anxious, stressed, here are a few tips on how to relax, reset, and restart.

10 Ways to Treat your Mind & Body (On a Budget!)

I’m all about treating ourselves when we can. Whether it’s a glass of wine in the evening, a quick online shopping spree (c’mon we are all guilty), or a fancy massage, we all deserve a little bit of pampering.

However, there are times where I find I’m using instant satisfaction to ease something deeper…and it doesn’t work. Though a rich creamy chocolate bar or a nice dinner may be great in the moment, they don’t do much if you are trying to fix something more unsettling.

I think we need to find more ways to treat our senses to ultimately gratify our minds and bodies long-term. I’ve shared 10 ways I like to treat my mind & body on a budget. Note I didn’t include anything that includes food and that’s on purpose because we so often use food as treats and there are so many other ways we can “reward” ourselves.

10 Ways to Treat Your Mind & Body on a Budget:

1. Meditate for 10 minutes with Headspace.
2. Foam roll while listening to your favorite podcast. Possibly This American Life or my new favorite, Him & Her, by the Skinny Confidential?
3. Go on a walk or a hike with no timeline, purpose, or stress.
4. Try a face mask at home with your best friend, mother, or significant other! Make sure to take a picture so you can laugh together later (or use it as blackmail…shh).
5. Take an extra 15 minutes in the morning to get ready. Play some music, look yourself in the mirror, and love what you see.
6. Try this POP Pilates stretching routine (via Blogilates)
7. Massage warm coconut oil or olive oil into your scalp before taking a warm shower.
8. Run a scenic route – focus on your surroundings, not speed.
9. Take a blank piece of paper or canvas and start doodling or painting.
10. Open a journal and write whatever comes to mind for 5-10 minutes.

Hope these ideas give you a few more options to calm & relax your mind and body.

I’m planning on using my Headspace app tonight before bed :).

Take time for self-care and relaxation with these 10 budget-friendly tips to treat your mind and body
Take time for self-care and relaxation with these 10 budget-friendly tips to treat your mind and body