I have always loved a good challenge! The word “challenge” itself is intimidating, but each challenge I have faced has helped me to grow both mentally and physically by pushing me to exceed my own expectations. When I am challenged, I feel rewarded, inspired, and ultimately transformed. I have come to appreciate both the unexpected challenges that have surfaced throughout different points in my life, as well as those I take upon. In addition to being my golden year, 2013 has started off with positive challenges; I have maintained all my New Year’s Resolutions and have been living happily and healthily day by day.
The Yoga Challenge
The first big challenge I took on for the year was also relevant to one of my New Year’s Resolutions; I decided to partake in the “Early Bird/Night Owl challenge” at my yoga studio. My New Year’s Resolution- “to be calmly active and actively calm”- was successfully achieved during this month long challenge. What did this Early Bird/Night Owl challenge consist of? It pushed yogis to attend as many of the earliest and latest classes offered by the studio. The earliest qualifying classes were 6:00 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., while the late night offerings were 8:00 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. The winner would win $30 (max) credit back into his or her account based on $1 debit a class, as well as a Lululemon mat! I attended the 6:00 a.m. and either the 8:00 p.m. or 8:45 p.m. classes daily on weekdays. At times I doubled up with the 6:00 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. classes…just to make sure I was in the lead ;). I WON the challenge! I felt proud of this accomplishment because: (1) I challenged myself to get my morning practice in before work and later at night after a long day, and (2) I maintained my focus and hardest efforts during each class, spending the one hour truly free of outside thoughts and distractions. I love my new mat, too (Lululemon ‘The Mat”)!
The Unplugged Challenge
Another one of my resolutions for the New Year is to be more detached from my phone. I already have minimal apps, which include the news, Notre Dame sports, Pandora, Sigalert, Yelp, Shazam, Open Table, Newport Beach Public Library and Timer Cam (awesome self-timer app I recommend!). I have been off Facebook since the end of last year and I don’t tweet (#IwillNeverUnderstandHowToHashTag) so social media has not been an addition/distraction on my phone (and life!). Being off Facebook has been refreshing and given me personal focus time and genuine communication/relationships with friends. Aside from that, I have realized that I don’t miss it that much. Some of my unplugging baby steps have been giving up checking and texting while driving for Lent, which has given me more focus when driving and peace in knowing that I can relax and not feel the unnecessary urgency in a text conversation. I keep my phone in my purse and not on my lap, which I used to do and know many other drivers who do as well. As a fun little challenge, my friend and I set out to see who could charge our phones the least amount of times within a week long period. In that span of five days, we both only charged our phones once. During that week, I used my phone even more minimally to conserve battery life; doing so made me realize again how many unnecessary times we check our phones or fiddle around with it. I have felt free and I’ve noticed that I am more available to focus on substantial things. Slight digression: I think it is so rude and disrespectful to look at one’s phone when having a conversation with someone and especially setting it out on the table, regardless of who one is dining with…. more on this and the topic of etiquette to come later 🙂
Life brings us challenges. For some, life’s inevitable challenges are harsher than others, more frequent, or even more positive. In the end, however, it is how we come out of whatever challenge we face; it is what we choose to learn, how we grow, change, accept, forget and move forward with our lives that leads to a love, fit life. While I never want to preach about challenges and life lessons (since I’m learning just like everyone else), I chose to begin my first entry on the topic of challenges because joining the LFL Team is yet another challenge for me! Sharing my thoughts, adventures, experiences and pictures with you and the world is not something I’ve actively or publicly done until now. I’m nervous but extremely excited to take my experience onto the LFL stage! Thank you, Rachel!
During our Cups of T, my goal is to share what I hope are relevant thoughts and insights with you as well as tidbits of facts and tips that I am passionate about and fascinated with. Ultimately, I would like the time spent reading my posts to be as if we are spending time over a cup of tea (or coffee…or glass of vino!)… and speaking of tea, I am an avid green tea drinker and will be sharing health facts from time to time. In case you aren’t aware of the wonderful health benefits of green tea, check out some of the many reasons I enjoy my cup(s):
Benefits of Green Tea
1. ANTIOXIDANTS: reduces the risk of cancer (PS: red wine & dark chocolate are also high in this 🙂 )
2. Anti-aging : GT contains an antioxidant known as polyphenols that helps fight against aging and promotes longevity. Also helps prevent wrinkles!
3. Weight loss: GT burns fat and boosts metabolism rate naturally.
4. Lowers cholesterol: Reduces bad cholesterol level, effectively helps prevent heart diseases and stroke because of this.
5. Prevents arthritis: GT blocks the enzyme that destroys the cartilage that leads to rheumatoid arthritis.
6. BONES: GT has high fluoride content which keeps bones strong. Drinking GT daily will help preserve bone density!
7. Preventing obesity: GT stops the movement of glucose in fat cells that contribute to obesity.
8. Diabetes and blood glucose levels: GT improves lipid and glucose metabolism which prevents sharp increases in blood sugar level and balances metabolism rate.
9. Alzheimer’s: GT helps boost memory and slow the process of reduced acetylcholine, which leads to Alzehimer’s (there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s though).
On a personal experience recommendation: be conscious of your green tea intake… at one point in college I was drinking at least five cups a day and definitely noticed my heart beating faster and ended up seeing a doctor who said my caffeine intake was too high. I never feel the effects of caffeine, but I think at that time I may have gone a little overboard.
Cheers to our first cup!