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Unfiltered Sunday

I’m standing in the gym between sets of chin ups, writing this on my phone. This is how I write 80% of the time. It’s not ideal, but when the thoughts come, I write. Thoughts come like a burning blaze during my workouts, so I go with it. Enjoy, or don’t 😃

I want to pinch myself every single day. And at the same time, I still have this lingering “holy shit, what if I never figured it out???” feeling that really humbles me. Actually, no. It knocks me on my ass, if I’m being honest. It’s hard to explain that feeling, other than it feels like a form of PTSD. Where I get this deer in the headlights look realizing that if about a million little things hadn’t happened and my reactions to those things not been what they were…that I may have never known what it was like to truly live life on my terms. (That rocks me to my core to think about. And also keeps me so fucking thankful). To find the magic that comes with that. It feels like magic. I don’t know any other way to describe it. Like I can literally just be me and do me and things fall into place. It doesn’t mean I don’t hit road blocks or have serious problems come up…but the difference is that when they come up, my perspective on them has shifted so much that they just don’t fuck me up like they used to. It’s really incredible. Knowing it and living it….I can’t begin to explain how much easier life becomes. Or how much more comfortable you get with the uncomfortable. It sounds like crazy talk to pretty much anyone who hasn’t experienced it. So if you’re rolling your eyes, I Fully understand and don’t blame you. I’ve been that person. I was for most of my life. So I still have to check myself sometimes and remind myself that I’m not dreaming (well, maybe I am. #philosophy 🙃)

I still don’t know exactly what brought me here. What led me to really dig in to myself. To question my world around me simultaneously. What allowed me to actually be able to SEE during that process. (It wasn’t the LASIK, I don’t think 😜) And learn. And grow. I have my theories. There are events that occurred. But it still blows my mind. Grateful doesn’t come close to describing it. All I can say is that there isn’t a moment that goes by where I don’t completely understand how fucking lucky I am to have gotten to this point. Lucky in the sense that I allowed myself to open my mind. The rest of it was work. It’s still work. It will always be work. But holy shit is it the most magical thing. My life feels like a dream come true…and in ways it is.

I don’t have much of a point to this other than, writing helps me organize my thoughts and let out a creative energy, so I do it. And if it at all helps another person, then it makes me even happier. So here we are.

The Rollercoaster

I’m constantly analyzing…literally everything. From the structure of a sour gummy worm, to my life and what does or doesn’t make sense in it..for me.

I used to live in a very scared headspace. Scared of the worst thing happening. Losing a job, being forced to move, being the one person to fall off a roller coaster that’s never had a problem….that kinda shit.

And I’d be lying if I said I still don’t do that haha. But the thing that I don’t do anymore is let that stop me. I’ve gotten a better grasp on the fact that I really am in control of (and responsible for) most things in my life (Like 99%…the 1% living in that bird-shitting-on-me realm. Although I do control what happens next….).

If I want to spend more money on traveling, I no longer think about the dent that will put in my finances, but instead the opportunities around me to build my finances in order to support that want. I put my energy there, and not the former.

The fear is still there sometimes and it does hold me back occasionally, but much less than it used to. For the most part, if I want something, I go for it. I trust that I’ll figure it out. I trust that it will work out. I trust myself. Which is something I didn’t do for most of my life.

It’s the most liberating thing I can think of, and while it comes with its own set of fears in itself, it also shows me that I can overcome them…and the more I do that, the more I expand my comfort zone. (My comfort circle grows and grows and my comfort zone starts to encompass all the things I used to fear. I have a drawing of this that I will try to share at some point. It looks like a Bird drew it, but it gets the point across.)

It takes practice and trusting before you actually believe it…(think about that for a second…..)

but it WILL prove itself to you if you give it that time and patience and trust….before you believe it.

I still can’t control the roller coaster thing, but I feel like if I am that 1 in a million person, at least I went out DOING the scary thing and not standing on the sidelines 🤷🏻‍♀️

And really, a rollercoaster is the best metaphor for life. You might get thrown off at some point, but it’s more likely that you’ll just get thrown around and feel like shit a lot, but also have some thrills along the one. Just keep your seat belt on and you’ll probably have the ride of your life…literally….

As my dude Chuck says…..

“The best way to waste your life, is by taking notes. The easiest way to avoid living is to just watch. Look for the details. Report. Don’t participate.”

Bramble Jam

The amount of time spent in my brain exhausts me sometimes, but it is also what lets me figure out what to do next.

Next meaning…immediately next. Not 5 years next. I used to spend so much time worrying about the future, because that’s what the world constantly stresses. And while it’s good to have goals, some emergency funds, etc, spending so much time planning the details takes you completely out of your own life. You can talk about all the things you’ll do in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, but what about now?

I notice that many people avoid doing things right now because of what that might mean in 5 years +.

Thank you Chuck Palahniuk…

Most would rather avoid the path their soul is walking them towards because society has told them that happiness is a house, that steady 9-5 job, that human being that has signed a paper to ensure they spend the rest of their days with you no matter what. They call this security.

Don’t get me wrong, those things might be monikers of success and joy for you. Being with someone until one of you leaves the world can be a very real and amazing thing. But the WHY is what defines what it truly means for someone. Are you with a partner for 30 years because you both truly choose each other? Or is it because you’ve completely intertwined your lives and it’s “comfortable” (I use that term loosely, as many people mistake comfortable for just being used to something. You can be used to walking on egg shells and not consciously feel phased by it even though your subconscious is on life support in the form of stress and anxiety and all kind’s of health issues).

The why is what matters. Did you buy a house because the feeling of home and owning a place to make your own makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Then great!!! Buy that house baby.

But if you’re doing it because “that’s the next step” or others have pushed the concept….well you might want to take a step back and look at it and what it means for you.

See, there isn’t a generic right or wrong way to live (with the exception of hurting other people. Don’t do that)….but there is a right or wrong way to live for you. Asking yourself why you are doing something and what your true purpose for it is will help you start to see what is right or wrong for you and your life. From there you can decide whether or not it changes anything, but awareness is powerful. Scary, vulnerable, eye-opening…but powerful.

Doing and following the things that truly light your soul on fire yields a whole new world. It means people will think you’re crazy, stupid, short-sighted, wild…..I’ve heard it all and I’m not even that far off the grid. The things that the world has told you to do are worth looking at. But if you really look, you might just see that it isn’t for you.

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I certainly don’t have everything figured out. In fact, that’s actually what makes my life so enjoyable (for me). It used to scare me and make me feel lost. And used to meaning like…even 6 months ago. But things can change quickly. If I look back to the catalyst for my transformation, which was almost 3 years ago, I’m a far different person now. 3 years really isn’t that long ago. It’s been a shit load of ups and downs to get here (and there is no question that it will continue until I die), but in the big picture, it’s a small window of time.

I used to be really afraid of the fact that I didn’t have a master plan. And then I realized that the master plan has been there all along. It ebbs and flows and zigs and zags as I go, but it is the most reliable and secure path there is. I started trusting myself before I trusted myself and it was terrifying. I didn’t know how to just let go of the reigns I was holding onto, because I was afraid. Turns out those reigns were connected to a merry-go-round pony. False control. It made me “feel better” but ultimately just took me in the same circle a thousand times over.

I’m still afraid sometimes, but I’ve gotten much more comfortable with not knowing, not having a plan, not manipulating, and just trusting. This also doesn’t mean that being a feather in the wind is all that I am. I still choose my environments and have goals. But my goals have started to center around happiness. And oddly enough, I have become more successful in all areas of my life through this “goal”. It turns out that doing what makes me happy and making that my ultimate goal actually makes me better at the things I love and a better human to others..without focusing so deeply on the outcome.

Spending my energy doing the things that fuel my passionate self, that make my heart dance, being with people that I connect with beyond just being in the same square footage….it all contributes to reaching my “goal”.

It sounds so fucking hippie dippie that it kinda makes me want to punch myself in the face, but at the same time it actually makes sense to me now. Only because it’s proven itself to me time and time again in the last year or so (and actually longer as I start to see it all as a whole).

Prior to that, my eyes would have rolled so far into the back of my head after reading what I’m writing that I would have probably found the contact lenses I lost 5 years ago.

ANYWAYS.

The inner voice, instinct, internal compass, soul, gut, whatever you want to call it……it tells me where to go. It shows me what makes sense and what doesn’t. It does it for everyone, but you just have to shut up long enough to hear it.

Ever wonder why young kids are just happy all the time? Like yes, they lose their goddamn minds when they don’t get to bring all 14 of their Batman figurines into Chili’s, but that’s because you’re interrupting their inner desires in that moment 😂

They follow what their gut tells them. They don’t have the capacity to listen to all the noise that us kids-acting-as-adults do. When was the last time you heard a 3 year old tell you how worried they were about whether or not they would make it down the big slide at the playground next week? In fact, we get soooo caught up in the noise that it becomes all we hear. And so we start building a life based on what’s coming through the cheap, shitty, blown out speakers and not what’s actually been etched into the vinyl.

Take a step back. Look at your life as a whole. What parts of it light your soul on fire? What parts of it give you anxiety? What parts of it are not ideal, but not a total bother?

And then ask questions for yourself. Why? Why are you doing all the things you’re doing. Is it because you truly want it? Is it because you’ve been told it’s what you want?

I actually have no problem with people buying houses even though it seems like I bring it up a lot. My issue is only in the fact that people view that as a gauge for success because someone told them it’s what they should do. As if buying a house means you have done something substantial with your life. It COULD. Or it could not. But most people don’t take the time to unpack these blanket statements and ideals.

It might not make sense for you AT ALL to buy a house, and yet I guarantee, no matter what, people will congratulate you when you do it. They’ll tell their friends and family too. You’ve done it. You’re there. Congrats.

As my boy Chuck says…”What we don’t understand, we can make mean anything.”

Ugh, this is why I call it a Bramble Jam. Well, that meme is really why, but also because I go down so many different avenues I forget why I started. As Michael Scott says “sometimes I start a sentence and I don’t know where it’s going, but I hope that I find it along the way”

That’s my entire existence in one sentence haha.

Ok, let’s wrap this up.

What I notice more and more is that when I focus on aligning my life with what lights my soul on 🔥, the more things that light my soul on fire show up in my life. It feels like it’s cheating. Like I cracked the code in Earthworm Jim 😎

And for a long time, I really just chalked it up to coincidence. But over time as it’s proven itself over and over…as my life has become fuller and fuller…as I’ve learned more about who I am and what this world looks like when the emotions are stripped away….it’s become clear to me.

Listening to and following the inner voice, silencing the noise, moving towards the things and people that fill my soul up and walking away from the things and people that empty it…..it all starts to align. In a scary, mind-blowing way.

Do I still fuck up and let the noise distract me? Oh yeah. Do I still have things in my life that are pulling me away instead of pushing me towards what feeds my soul? Yuppppp. But I’m also learning to be patient. With myself, mostly. Taking small steps, not manipulating my situations, letting things happen and be, letting the world around me happen and be, and making small adjustments to shimmy my way into the right places for me.

Charles Bukowski has a quote that really puts it into perspective for me:

“People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.”

I have been that person. So much that person.

But luckily she died and now there’s me. And hey, maybe you’ll all laugh at me in 10 years when you’re living in your 5 bedroom house with your new kitchen remodel and I’m still sitting in my apartment trying not to get evicted for playing Lady Madonna 600 times in a row. But man…even the small number of exhilarating feelings I’ve experienced by choosing to live on my own terms (mostly) are worth it. While I hope to live for many more good years, I could leave the earth tomorrow with no regrets. It’s not something I could say even a few years ago.

Oh Black Betty..

Addicted to Bullshit

In the last 4 months, I’ve developed some of the closest, most unexpected, deep relationships with people. Particularly men, who (whom? I wanna say whom. 🤷🏻‍♀️) I’ve always clicked with much more than women. I was a Tom boy growing up (I guess I still am to a degree), grew up playing on all guys sports teams, and naturally just tend to have more in common and speak the language of men much better.

I don’t think these new, deeper friendships are a coincidence either. In typical Lizzy fashion, I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing it all. 🤓

Jump into my brain if you feel compelled…

Some back story…Last December was one of the hardest month’s of my life. Nothing actually happened, but mentally, I was in a low spot. (Which kind of makes it worse. For anyone who suffers from any form of depression, manic episodes, anxiety, etc, you know the guilt you feel for feeling bad when your life is nothing short of incredible.)

This low wasn’t anything particularly new, but I got extremely fed up with it. I was tired of the cycle. Starting a day on a good foot and then falling down rapidly into this low is extremely frustrating. Not to mention the fact that I am a very happy person with an amazing life. I mean, AMAZING. I get butterflies every day thinking about how grateful I am for all that I have.

Which made (and makes) those lows so, so frustrating. It’s not caused by anything in particular and once it catches hold, its hard as fuck to pull out of. Then you get mad for being down there and it’s just fucking exhausting.

I finally got so annoyed with it that I came onto social media with a strong message that basically said what I needed to hear: do something about it.

While I’m not technically an addict, I do have addictive tendencies and it runs rampant in my family. I got so sick of feeling like I was down in a hole (feeling so small 😜) that I decided to treat it like an addiction. An addiction to my bullshit. And truth be told, it probably wasn’t so far off.

Because I knew that I was being lazy in preventing myself from falling down those holes. As if I was walking around the Bushwood Country Club with a blindfold on, hoping I wouldn’t fall. (If you get that reference, you rock).

I knew that if I worked on paying attention, I could prevent it from happening as often. Or at least I hoped so.

So I started doing just that. I started hiking a ton because being outdoors got me out of my head. The moment I felt it creeping in, I dropped what I was doing and drove to the mountain. I started playing music as much as I could instead of watching TV or scrolling my phone.

I even downloaded an app for addiction (I Am Sober) and started tracking the days I could steer clear of the hole. It actually helped me a lot.

Playing music and being in the studio became even more crucial for me. I realized how much I needed that in my life. Music is more than a hobby and more than a “job”. It is what truly soothes my soul. I knew that, but didn’t know just how much.

Without that, without writing (written word), without meaningful conversations with other open minded, creative people, without the creative outlets that my brain wants and needs, I start to get low. Knowing these things was showing me how I needed to live my life. It helped me further align things for myself. And I’ll continue having to align things until I die. Because as a good friend put it last night, there is no “it”. You’ll never find “it”. You’ll keep chasing what you think it is, but you’ll get there and realize it’s a moving target. Follow it anyways. (Brilliant words that I wish were recorded because it was said so perfectly).

So back to my original point. I pulled out of that darkness eventually (beginning January 2nd to be exact), and while there have been some minor lows in the past 4 months, I’ve avoided the major ones. I truly believe it’s because I started paying attention and getting ahead of it. Knowing what keeps me feeling good and also knowing what magnets lay at the bottom of the hole.

And as I started being more aware and making my daily life follow those needs….Doing what my heart, my brain, my soul NEEDED. Following that regardless of what anyone said or thought. Following the inner voice (intuition) and most importantly, trusting it (which is terrifying at first, by the way)…led me to suddenly have these new people, new conversations, new realizations, and new experiences in my life. It’s given me a new light and happiness. It blows my mind a bit, because aside from the lows, I was already living a pretty magical life. I didn’t even know it could get better.

Don’t get me wrong, this growth didn’t just start 4 months ago. It has been happening for the last almost 3 years. And has morphed and developed because I’ve been obsessed with becoming better, more open, happier. Not settling for anything less than that either. Willing to live life differently than many others. Being ok with the criticism and skepticism that comes with that (and there’s a lot of that by the way 😂)

It absolutely works and has been for a while now.

But it’s gotten stronger and more magical than ever. It’s been an interesting thing to reflect on, because I know it isn’t a coincidence. It furthers my belief that trusting my gut really does lead me to the right places, the right people, the right things. And now that I know it, I feel like I’ve unlocked a secret. I’m sure I’ll have many more lows in my future. I won’t say “I’m cured!”

But it just keeps getting easier and easier to stay happy, to have perspective, to understand my emotions and what they mean (or don’t mean). Easier in the sense that the work I put into myself has changed me for the better. The work is hard as fuck, but the pay off takes you to places you never knew were possible.

Anyways, at this point I’m just rambling and could go on forever, but I’ll stop there.

I had to write this out because otherwise it just sits inside of me. I compare creative energy to nails. If you don’t get them out, they sit inside of you. They pile up and Eventually they rust. A few won’t be too noticeable, but as they add up, they become dead weight. I know now that I have to listen to that and get the words out when they want to go out.

So here we are…

How I Became an Unwaveringly Happy Person – Part 1

This series of posts will be written in short snippets. Because while I love writing, I just want to get this stuff out in the simplest manner. So pardon the no-fluff approach. No preamble, no setting the stage. Just raw words from my brain to the page. Enjoy it, or don’t.

Stop Setting Expectations and Ruining Everything

One of the first things that started allowing me to be free and happy was this: I stopped setting expectations and started letting things be what they are.

The first thing people say to this is “but don’t you want to be treated a certain way? Don’t you want some standards?”

The thing is, I didn’t lower my standards, and people confuse the two.

When you set expectations of people or a situation, you are projecting onto it. It’s not fair to you, the situation, or anyone else involved.

When that expectation that YOU set isn’t met, you end up disappointed.

But who gave you the right to set that in the first place?

Let that go. Let things be what they are. Don’t ruin it before it happens by deciding what it should be, what you want it to be, etc.

And to answer the question, this also doesn’t mean you have to allow yourself to stay in the situation or around the person/people if what it is doesn’t serve you for the positive.

So no, you don’t need to lower your standards, let people treat you in a way that you deem unfavorable, or anything else.

You simply just let things be what they are. Let people reveal what and how much they want to, without you projecting your expectation. Without you digging into them or their life. They don’t owe you anything and it’s not your place to dig. Let a situation unfold as it will.

Let

it

be

what

it

is.

And when it does unfold and reveal itself? Decide whether or not you want to stick around for it. That’s your choice and you get to take responsibility of your choices (which is part 2…another day).

Expectations are a disease.

Anxiety and Happiness

There are people out there who are super happy, love their lives, are grateful for what they have, LOVE being alive knowing new opportunities are possible every minute….and yet they still deal with mental health issues that affect everything they do.
I’m one of them.??‍♀️
For me, it’s anxiety. Many people think of anxiety as being scared of something (an event, person, situation, etc), but that’s isolated anxiety. Chronic anxiety comes in the form of a low (and oftentimes mid to high) level hum of confusing energy that illicits feelings of questioning yourself, irritability, sadness, and constant chatter in your brain.
For all the audio nerds out there like me, I compare it to a 60 cycle hum. Oftentimes you don’t notice it when there’s a lot of stuff going on, but when the music stops and it gets quiet, that motherfucker doesn’t shut up.
It’s extremely frustrating. It wears me down and exhausts me. It’s really tiring to not only live your life -work, relationships, etc- but to also be constantly dealing with this nagging “hum” all the time.
I’m sharing this only because I find it hard to relate to many people about it. Maybe sharing it shows someone else they’re not the only one.
Because yes, you can love the fuck out of your life and still battle your own brain every day.
I’m learning ways to deal with it so that it’s less of an enemy and more of an acquaintance.
-Walking by the beach where I can appreciate the beauty and sounds of the ocean
-Hanging with my dog (and other people’s dogs) and watching how much joy they find in the simplest of things (OMG a stick! ?????)
-Listening, playing, recording, watching live music. That’s always been my security blanket and it still works
-Spending time with friends even when my anxiety tries to prevent it. I almost always feel better.
-Taking care of myself – eating well, working out
-**a BIG ONE** paying attention to what I consume. What I read, watch, surround myself with….take a second when you read stuff – a headline, someone’s IG caption-and look back into yourself and see what it makes you feel like? Actually pay attention to the feeling that comes over you when you read something like that. THIS has been huge. It’s brought so many realizations to my life and in turn, led me to pay attention and filter what I consume.
-Writing. Getting things out of my head is really helpful to make space up there.
-reflecting. I spend a lottttt of time reflecting. Connecting dots. Paying attention to my behaviors, reactions, inactions, thoughts, etc and then looking at why I do/say/feel those things. I take that further and try to come up with solutions.
-and probably the biggest one-I don’t let myself lose perspective for too long. YOU choose your lens. As my good friend put it, whether you’re looking through your glasses from one side or the other, it’s still the same pair of glasses. Sure, I get down. I go to low places sometimes and it’s sucks. But even at my lowest of lows, I see the light. I see it because I believe it’s there. I can’t say I’m a religious person, but I guess this could be considered faith. Because isn’t that what religion is about too? You don’t need to see it to believe it. You just have to believe it with every cell in your body.
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This life is good. Whether I’m a science experiment, an alien, or this is all a dream…I’ve been blessed to have emotions. To feel things. To feel the bad and the good. Without bad there IS no good. Contrast is what allows us to feel different ways.
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So while it’s not easy, it won’t always happen, and you’ll often fight it (I do too at times)….welcome the bad and the negative.
Let that stuff happen and view it as a lesson. A road block that YOU get to figure out how to get around. Notice I said GET, not HAVE to. You’ve been given the Privelige to be alive and to feel and to experience. Don’t let that slip away. Keep that in mind. Remember what you have, even when a lot has been taken away. Think about what may come. And remember that time heals.
No matter what you’re dealing with…depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, any other mental health issue, a combination of them all (I truly think I’m just a hodgepodge of mental health issues sometimes ???‍♀️)….other people are too.
Successful people
Famous people
“Perfect” people
Nice people
Mean people
Happy people
Unhappy people
We all have our demons.
I hope this is helpful to even 1 person.
And if not, it’s been helpful for me to just write this, so I’ll take it!

25+25

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 1.58.13 PMI suppose I owe an explanation as to why I’ve been so quiet the last few months. I wish I had something super exciting to say, but the truth is, I just needed a break. The last year or so has been extremely trying and I finally hit a burnout point. Working multiple jobs + doing freelance + keeping up the blog + working out + making time for friends and family…..while I knew it would catch up to me, I didn’t actually know how much it was affecting me until I let some of it go. It was quite incredible, actually. Here I thought I had just grown into a grumpy 27 year old that had a piss poor outlook on life, when in reality, I had just ground myself into nothing and then wondered where my happiness went.

Let me back up a few steps. At the end of October, I left a job that was not really serving me anymore. In turn, I wasn’t really serving it either. It all ended on good terms, it was just time for me to go. What happened in the week after that was completely unexpected. The clouds above my head started to fade, I found interest in things I had lost interest for, I felt the urge to talk to my friends and family of whom I’d somewhat neglected since spending time on the phone meant giving more of myself…and I had nothing left to give. Suddenly, I felt like ME again. The me I hadn’t seen or heard from in 2 years. What I learned the first week of November will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Because of this and because of the year ending/new year beginning, I figured this was as good a time as any to sum up what I’ve learned so far this year, and also put some of my goals out there for 2016. I’m not a New Year’s resolution type person at all…I set goals throughout the year, so a new year doesn’t really mean I need to suddenly change my path, however it is a great time to reflect and adjust goals, so that’s what I plan on doing.

25 Things I learned in 2015

  1. Save some money, but not all of it. Over the last few years, I became a supersaver. I was like a squirrel and spent my money on food and…well that’s about it. This past year, I’ve traveled more than in years past and realized that it’s so, so worth it. We are not promised tomorrow, and while I still save my money, I also spend it on traveling to see friends, family, and places.
  2. Don’t neglect your friends. Especially the ones that have been there forever. This one was a tough pill to swallow. I didn’t realize how awful of a friend I had been until I was able to pull my head out of the clouds and see it. Sure, I knew I wasn’t being friend of the year, but I didn’t realize just how secluded I’d become until those clouds cleared. Thankfully I’m able to make up for some lost time, but this was a harsh reality to face. I love my friends, and some of them have been around since I was a child. We have spent our whole lives together. How lucky am I to have people like that in my life? Never will I take that for granted again.
  3. Work is overrated. This doesn’t mean I don’t love what I do either. It means that if you bury yourself in work constantly, you miss out on a lot. Sometimes, there is a need to be buried, but let it be temporary. Don’t make the mistake I did and bury yourself so deeply that you are rarely seen out of that hole. Life is about more than just working, even if you love what you do. Friends, family, experiences…that’s what life is truly about.
  4. Don’t waste time caring about things that don’t matter. Oh, if I could take back the efforts and emotions I put into things that didn’t matter in the end. I am a very emotional person (and no, that doesn’t mean I just sit around crying all the time). It means that I’m highly driven by emotion. I care deeply about everything I do, sometimes to a fault. I tend to put my heart and soul into matters that may not be worth it. Ask yourself this: will this matter in 1 month? 1 year? 5 years? This has helped me to decide whether or not I should put my efforts into something or not. It’s not easy, but it does help.
  5. Pay to have someone else do it. I think this is definitely something that you start to learn in your mid-late 20’s. I’ve always been very self-sufficient and a DIY type of person. But sometimes it really isn’t worth the hassle or my time. I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s better to pay someone to do things you don’t like to do. Cleaning and organizing are at the top of my list. 😉
  6. You get what you pay for. In addition to the above, I’m super frugal and used to always buy the cheapest thing I could find to get the job done. What I found is that I have a lot of crappy shit that breaks. Not. Worth. It. You truly do get what you pay for, and spending a few extra bucks is totally worth it at times.
  7. Don’t try to change people. This is something you hear a lot, but then you actually start to realize what it means. People may try to change for you, but it won’t work. Unless it comes from them, it’s temporary. Let people be who they are. If who they are isn’t something you want to be around, that is your decision to step away. Trying to change them will not work.
  8. Eat the unhealthy, rich desserts when you want to. I spent years trying to healthify everything and/or staying away from high-calorie foods completely, especially desserts. But I’ve learned that when it’s worth it, having the real thing is the best choice. Gone are the days of me skipping pie at Thanksgiving or saying no to dessert at every meal. This doesn’t mean I’m just spending my days eating desserts, but when I want it, I have it. I haven’t gained a single pound because of it, either.
  9. Give. I donated more money, time, and things this year than ever before. It felt wonderful and I’m glad others were able to benefit. If we all gave a little bit more, this planet would have a lot less hate, I’m sure of it.
  10. Yoga isn’t so bad. Ha, this one is something I thought I’d NEVER say. I started taking yoga in October and have been going 2-4x/week ever since. Here’s what I figured out. I hated yoga so much before because I saw it as a workout. It is NOT the way I like to workout. It still isn’t. But when I started looking at it as a way to support my workouts, I started to love it. It stretches me out, challenges me in different ways, it clears up my mind and helps me focus, I can do more pushups than ever before, my abs are strong AF, it makes lifting weights feel better, and since I take a 6am class, I feel fresh and ready for the day by 7am. Yoga, you win.
  11. Don’t dictate what others spend their money on. This is something I learned via a Facebook post from a fitness professional. I’ve always been the person that says I won’t give a homeless person money, because I’m afraid they’ll spend it on drugs or alcohol and I don’t want to enable that habit. Instead, I’ll give them food, etc. But when I read what this person wrote, it completely changed my mind. Here’s the jist of what she said: ‘Sure, they might go buy heroin or whiskey with it right away, but i’m not the person that has to live on the streets begging for money. I also would never want someone to tell me how to spend my money, so why would I do it to them?’ It was so eye-opening to me. It’s true…regardless of what they’ll spend the money on, look at the life they’re living. I am thankful that I am not in their shoes and if I have some money to give, then I’ll give it. They can spend it on whatever they want, just like me.
  12. Don’t be a bully. Many people are bullies without even realizing it. It doesn’t only mean that you call people names or make fun of them, bullying can come in the form of using scare tactics and threats. Like when the AT&T employee won’t do what you want them to and you threaten to call their manager, report them, and cancel your service. Ask yourself, are they truly doing something wrong? Or are they just doing their job? Either way, there are better ways to handle that situation. You can bully them into you getting your way, OR you can be a better human and use honey. Be nice to people, be understanding of them and their situation (who knows what kind of day they’re having), and handle things accordingly.
  13. Don’t chase the money. Oh how I’ve done this too many times, and oh how it’s served me poorly each time. Money is great and unfortunately, very necessary. But if you do something simply for the money, you will not be happy. Guaranteed. Don’t believe me? Try it and see.
  14. Money doesn’t matter if you don’t have the time to do anything. There was a time where my bank account was really full and I couldn’t do anything with it but buy ‘stuff’. Stuff doesn’t make me happy, traveling does. Traveling meant I had to coordinate with 4 different jobs to be able to step away and have my responsibilities covered. There was just simply no time to actually enjoy the fruits of my labor and it sucked. I’ve since learned and was able to travel to 5 different states in 2015.
  15. We can learn a lot from dogs. Their ability to love you unconditionally, always be by your side, be happy to see you even if you were only gone for 30 seconds, and to watch them enjoy the simple things in life is really amazing. If only people could stop and smell the roses a bit more. We need cell phones, ipads, laptops, tvs, and often all at the same time in order to be entertained. A dog just wants to sleep, eat, play, and snuggle.
  16. Talk about stuff. Sure, it’s easier to just push it all down and move on, but talking about issues is usually the better option. Try to stay calm, express your feelings and thoughts, let the other person do the same, and try to understand each other. Most people go into an argument wanting people to understand THEM, switch it up. It makes a world of difference.
  17. Life isn’t the fairy tale you imagined. Often times, we want to change where we live, what we do, who we’re with, and all because we’ve decided “this isn’t the life I imagined I’d have”. Well, you’re probably right. And it never will be. Sure, you can manifest what you want to include in your life, and it definitely doesn’t mean you won’t be happy, but understand that there will be boring times, ugly times, annoying times, and times you just want to get away from it all. That doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong spot, it’s just the part they leave out in movies and books.
  18. Give someone an inch, they’ll take a foot. I used to believe that if you helped someone out, they’d be appreciative. Wrong. They’ll take that and want more. It’s sad and hard to believe, but 9 times out of 10, that’s the case. I also don’t want to grow into a selfish person, so having boundaries is really important. Give what you’re comfortable giving, and when/if that person asks for the foot, stand your ground.
  19. Being strong is cooler than weighing a certain amount. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, feeling strong is one of the coolest things in the world. Who cares what the scale says? Focus on getting stronger, getting more reps in, and feeling awesome. You’ll be surprised at what happens to not only your confidence, but your body too.
  20. There’s not much a good workout can’t solve. Sure, it might be temporary, but when it’s just you and the weights, world problems can be quieted, if only for just a few moments. Take your stress to the gym, it’s a good place to let out your frustrations.
  21. Stop being so hard on yourself. I was the QUEEN of pushing myself to the limits and then beating myself up when everything didn’t happen exactly as it should. That’s the type A in me. All or nothing, perfect or shitty. I’ve since learned to not give a shit quite as much. If things don’t go exactly as planned, I shake it off and move forward. It’s been so freeing and made me a much happier person.
  22. You don’t have to know what you want out of life. I always felt so behind and messed up because I wasn’t (and am still not) sure what I want to do with my life. I’m actually totally okay with that. There’s no rule in the book of life that says you MUST know what you want to do. I have a lot of interests, a lot of skills, things that make me happy, things I’d rather not do. I’ve put a life together that encompasses a lot of that. Is it perfect? Nope. Is it what I want to do forever? Not sure. But is it making me happy now and shaping me? Yup. And that’s all it needs to do right now.
  23. Not knowing what you want doesn’t make you any less of a person than someone who DOES. This was one I had to learn in a really harsh way. I have literally had people act like their job/passion was superior to what I did because they KNEW it was what they wanted their entire life. They would even tell me that. You know what I have to say to that? Congratulations to you. That makes you no better than I. You do you, I’ll do me. Oh, and fuck off. 😀
  24. Make time to watch funny videos on the internet. I have very mixed feelings about the internet. Anyone that knows me knows that while I use the shit out of them, if there was a big red button that said “KILL THE INTERNET FOREVER” I’d push it without even thinking about it. I miss the simpler times and all of this technology, while good in ways, is more of an annoyance to me. Yeah, I’m THAT kind of person. With that said, the internet is here to stay, and so are videos of dogs acting like humans as well as hilarious people like Matt Bellassai. For that I say, thank you internet.
  25. Deleting Facebook from your phone is life-changing. You don’t have to do it forever, but do it for 1 week every now and then. You can still check it when you’re at a computer, but you’d be surprised at how much LESS you stare at your phone when you don’t have social media in the palm of your hands.

25 Things I’d like to do in 2016

  1. Travel More. So far I’ve got Hawaii, Big Bear and Utah on the books. I’d like to add Portland, Baltimore, and New York to that soon as well as another trip to Chicago!
  2. Do Less. I started doing this in October and plan to continue to make it a priority. In this situation, less is so, so much more.
  3. Stress Less. Stress is oddly enough something that we do have control over. It’s not EASY to control, but it is doable. I plan to work on stressing less as much as possible.
  4. Spend more time with friends. I’m already taking an active role in this and will continue to spend more and more time with my friends.
  5. Spend more time with family. Same as above.
  6. Try new hikes. I hiked way less in 2015 than any years before. It’s a hassle to drive through LA traffic to get to a hike, so I need to plan it better to avoid said traffic. I’d like to hit up my favorite trails + add some new ones to my list this year.
  7. Care Less. There’s a lot of stuff that I can’t control. I’m focused on caring about it less, and just living more. I’ll leave the caring to myself, my friends, my family, and my dog.
  8. Give more. More charity, more of my time. I want to do something at least every quarter, but likely much more than that.
  9. Get strong AF. This is ongoing, but getting strong is fun. I want to just get as strong as possible (safely, of course).
  10. Don’t overextend myself. I’m the queen of saying yes to everything and then being completely exhausted by it. I’m going to think things through a bit more and say yes more mindfully.
  11. Say yes more. While this may seem to contradict the above, sometimes I turn things down because it seems like a hassle or I’m tired or lazy or whatever. Often times, they are super cool experiences that I should totally say yes to. I plan on saying “yes” to more of those things in 2016.
  12. Spend more time near the ocean. I live next to the beach and only go there every few weeks or sometimes even less than that. (Typical Californian) I’d like to go at least 1x per week, whether it’s to swim, walk, roller blade, or just sit.
  13. Plan an international vacation. It may not actually happen in 2016, but I’d like to plan and book a trip to Europe this year. I want to see sooo many places, but Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Hungary top my list.
  14. Snowboard. I haven’t snowboarded in 4 years. I am going to go at least 3x this year dammit!!!! 😀
  15. Move. I want to live in a house. Apartment living has gotten old. Location TBD.
  16. Go to nice dinners more often. This is something I was never into, and I’m still not really big on it. I don’t like fancy food (just give me a burger!), but it is nice to treat yo’self every now and then.
  17. Blog more. I love writing. It is therapeutic, fun, allows me to reach and help others, and something that makes me happy. I shall do more of it.
  18. Be less messy. I tend to leave shit all over the place. I should put stuff away more often.
  19. Get rid of things I don’t use/need. I loveeeeee to keep everythinggggggg. I have shirts from high school that still fit me, but that I’ll never wear again. Because of that, I keep them thinking, “what if I want to wear this one day”. I have got to get rid of clothes, shoes, and other random things I’ve kept over the years that I’ll never miss. Like Nike, JUST DO IT. (this one’s gonna be hard)
  20. Learn how to cook more things. I have my teeny, tiny library of things I can cook and I think that since I’m almost 28, it’s time for me to expand that a bit.
  21. Take more down time. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, I want to do more sitting, or walking outside and just BEING.
  22. Use my phone less. I stare at it way too much. It’s going to take work, but i’m going to make a conscious effort to stare at it less. Especially while I’m just waiting in line or whatever. I don’t need to be staring at my phone. I can just wait in line and do what I’m there to do. Wait. Know what I mean?
  23. Simplify. This kind of goes with the above statements, but I want to downsize, simplify, get rid of anything that I don’t need or isn’t serving me. This also includes non-tangible things like thoughts and old baggage. I want it all gone.
  24. Pamper myself more. I always skip the pedicures and massages because while it sounds nice, I think “i could use that money on something else”. I think that’s a good way of thinking most of the time, but sometimes, I just need to get my damn toes did. Na’ mean?
  25. Enjoy life. It’s actually a really beautiful thing and I am very lucky to have what I have, be what I am, know who I know, and have these opportunities. I’m healthy, happy, young and sometimes I just have to remind myself of that. Life is good.

Question of the Day

1.  What is one thing you learned from 2015?

2. What is one thing you’d like to do/not do in 2016?

2 Delicious Recipes for the Lazy (Lizzy) {wo}Man + 20% OFF Gnarly Products!!

Hey people!

Hope you’re having a lovely Tuesday! I’m easing my way back into “real life” after an amazing vacation. So far, so good, but still missing this:

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Since getting back, I’ve also been trying to get back into my healthy eats. While we were in Big Bear, I pretty much just ate whatever I wanted (and I loved every minute of it)! We grilled chicken and burgers at the cabin for dinner on a few nights, but also ate a bunch of candy, chips and salsa, french fries, and breakfast sandwiches. It was super tasty, but I was more than ready to get back to my normal way of eating (mostly healthy) by the time we got home.

One of my go-to breakfast foods lately has been either a protein pancake or protein shake. I’ve been getting up pretty early each day to train clients, and I usually don’t have time to do much in the kitchen, nor do I want to. I also don’t want to leave on an empty stomach (training clients while you’re hungry is no bueno), so this has been what’s worked well for me.

The awesome people at Gnarly Nutrition recently sent me their Chiseled Chocolate Whey Protein to try. I mentioned on Instagram how excited I was about their products, and they have not disapointed! It is RARE for me to find a protein powder that I can mix with nothing but water and still stomach. Most of the time, protein powders are pretty awful plain, but Gnarly is anything but that. It has a sweet, but not overly sweet, chocolately taste and is very smooth.

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While it tastes good with nothing mixed in, that’s just not as fun as making yummy recipes with it! Since we all know I’m just about the laziest chef in the world (I’ve nicknamed myself Chef Boy-ar-don’t), then you know these recipes will be super easy to make! While I don’t come up with new recipes too often, occasionally I mix the best of both worlds and create a delicious, yet super simple recipe that goes into my rotation for months or even years. Here are two of those creations below using my beloved Gnarly protein powder.

Blueberry-Banana-Chocolate Protein Smoothie

FullSizeRenderMakes 1 Serving

-1/2 Banana

-1/4 Cup Blueberries

-1 Scoop Gnarly Chiseled Chocolate Whey Protein Powder

-2 TBSP Plain 0% Greek Yogurt (I used Fage)

-Ice

Pour all ingredients into blender. Hit “blend”. Serve.

It’s so easy, a caveman (or Lizzy) could do it!

 

Chocolate Chia Seed Pancake

protein pancake

Maybe your pancake will actually be round. #fail 😀

Makes 1 Serving

-1 Egg

-1 TBSP Chia Seeds

-1/8 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

-1/2 Scoop Gnarly Chiseled Chocolate Whey Protein Powder

-1 Packet Stevia

So you can definitely do this much more easily by blending the ingredients, but I am lazy and hate cleaning, so I do it this way so I have less dishes to do. #truelaziness

Pour all ingredients into a greased pan. Mix it all up really well. Turn the heat on medium and let it sit for a few minutes. When it’s ready to turn over, flip it for only about 20-30 seconds. Then ENJOY!

While I used chocolate for these recipes, you could also use their vanilla which is just as tasty (I know because I’ve tried it!).

Wanna know what else is totally tubular about Gnarly Nutrition?

They’ve given all of YOU guys 20% off of any of their products!!

All you have to do is enter code: fitlizzio at checkout! BOOM!

Question of the Day

1. What Gnarly products would you like to try?

2. What is your favorite lazy recipe to make?

Small Group Training: Booty & Legs

News, news, so much news!

I figured since I’ve been so MIA, I should at least fill you in on what’s going on with my life!

It’s been busy, busy, busy, but things are moving in the right direction. I feel good!

Let’s get right to it:

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-I’m excited to announce that I have signed on as a Personal Trainer with IRON Santa Monica!

I’ll be taking o:

-1-on-1 clients

-online clients

-offering Booty/Leg Sculpting small group training sessions.

In addition, I’m finishing up my Nutrition Certification with NASM, so I’ll be taking on 1-on-1 nutrition clients in the near future as well! If you’re interested in any of that (in-person or online), e-mail me at FitLizzio@gmail.com

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-We’re moving! Albeit just a few miles away, but it’s still exciting/scary! We’ve been in this apartment for about 3 years, so there are a lot of memories here. Oscar also really loves his home, so I’m slightly worried about how he will be in our new place. He’ll have a bigger patio to play in, so hopefully that makes up for it. We’ll also have a pool, so I’ll basically be camped out by the pool all summer. 8-D

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-Rockstar Fitness™ Tour Edition launches next Monday, May 18th!! You can still pre-order your copy for $8.99 until then! (It goes up to $12.99 next Monday). It is a 40 page eBook including tips and tricks to stay focused and accountable, 25 workouts you can do ANYWHERE, and videos to show you exactly how to do each exercise! While it was originally created for the traveling band/artist, this eBook is for ANYONE that wants to get a great workout in ANYWHERE in 20-30 minutes.

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-BLEND Retreat! My good friend Tedi and I are heading up to Boulder, CO this weekend to hang with other bloggers and friends and learn, learn, learn! I’m excited to meet so many of the bloggers that I feel like I’ve “known” for years and to spend some time in the mountains.

That’s what’s going on with me. Workouts have been great lately. I’m lifting heavy, doing some conditioning, and even started boxing again! I’m hoping to get back to regularly scheduled posting soon, but until then, I’ll be popping in and out of here.

Happy Monday!

Question of the Day:

1. What’s something new going on in your life?

Rockstar Fitness: Tour Edition PRE-SALE NOW OPEN!!

I am so excited to announce that my latest ebook in collaboration with Celebrity Trainer, Torri Shack, is now available for pre-sale!!

Click here to save $6 off the regular price!!




What is the Rockstar Fitness™ Tour Edition eBook?

This eBook was created by Lizzy Ostro and Torri Shack. As a sound engineer, working in and out of recording studios all over Los Angeles, Lizzy works with a lot of traveling bands and musicians. Since fitness and music are her closest passions, she’s constantly asked questions in the studio about how to stay fit. They usually tell her that they get into a great routine….until it’s time to hit the road for tour….

when it all comes falling apart.

Torri Shack is a Celebrity Trainer to many musicians that tour around the world. Some of her clients include Lionel Richie, Miguel, and Mel B. They’ve been BEGGING Torri for years to come up with a way for them to stay fit when she’s NOT around.

With this, Rockstar Fitness™ Tour Edition was born.

Lizzy and Torri got tired of seeing so many bands and artists struggle to maintain a fitness routine while on tour…

and got even more tired of the excuses!

In addition, ANYONE can do these workouts. They are equipment-free and can be done in a small area.

In this eBook, you will find 25 workouts that can be done

-with NO equipment

-in a 6×6 foot area

-in 20-30 minutes

Any musician will tell you that the better shape they’re in, the better they’re able to perform on stage. The problem is finding the time to workout, and more importantly, knowing WHAT to do. Not to mention, who doesn’t want a hot bod when they take their shirt off on stage?

We promise you’ll be sweating your ass off, improving your fitness level, having better stage presence, and leaving tour feeling better than when you started!




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