Can Fitness Be Toxic?

No excuses.

Your goals need to come first.

If it’s important, you’ll make the time for it. If you can’t, then you’re not making the time for it and you’re not meeting the goals you have been prioritizing. 

These are a few of the toxic fitness culture phrases that I have heard over the last few months. You can hear this type of toxicity came from influencers, trainers and programs. It affected me to the point where my mental health reached an all time low, where I was experiencing anxiety and depression. 

Now, how can fitness be toxic? After all, it’s supposed to make you healthy. 

There are multiple ways. According to an article on Decolonizing Fitness entitled Some Examples of Toxic Fitness Culture, examples include: the belief of beating your body up is a good workout, the sole purpose of fitness is to lose weight, personal trainers that aren’t personal trainers giving advice, and believing that the working out is more important than listening to what your body needs. And, these are only a few of the many examples. And, when someone is exposed to that level of toxicity it can do damage to someone’s mental health, and lead them down the path of an eating disorder/body dysmorphia.

I am not a trainer nor am I a mental health professional. But, I wanted to take the time to write this post, because I feel like there is so much toxic fitness culture floating around the Internet and social media, and I want to raise the issue. 

That said, as a human who has been on this journey for a while, I do believe that fitness is something that is not one size fits all. It is about getting healthy, and has benefits for physical and mental health. People start this journey as athletes. They start them as people who want to just get in shape and get healthy. 

Going from the examples I mentioned earlier, the first thing I wanted to discuss is the belief that you need to beat up your body in order to get a good workout. Based on the changes I have made, that is not true. I do believe that you should challenge your body in a way that it gains strength. If you’re starting out, you are not going to be lifting large weights. That strength comes in time. Furthermore, there is a point where if you’re so sore, sick or injured, that I think you should either take a day off completely or do lighter workouts. It’s not because you’re weak or you lack motivation. It’s in order to prevent you from being hurt or feeling even worse. Admittedly, I myself had to learn this lesson the hard way.

I also want to touch upon having this mentality that you need to see results. No, you don’t. If you’re at the point where you’re lifting more weights or even having an easier time doing the workouts, then that is a non scale victory. And, that is only a few. In my experience, by saying that things are results driven based on the amount of pounds that you lose, than it becomes easy to fail because it feels like it’s not enough. Fitness is about losing fat and weight. However, there is more to a health journey than just a scale. It’s about being healthy and trying to be able to see other numbers lower — i.e. blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Furthermore, as a perfectionist, I believe that this toxic fitness culture leads to one other thing — no messing up. No cheat days. I believe in the 80/20 rule, and that balance is pretty much everything. In my eyes, that is unachievable because of holidays, PMS, and even just wanting a side of fries with your food. I feel as though suggesting this to someone leads to only failure because habits — healthy or unhealthy — take a while to undo. By suggesting balance versus complete perfection, you have a higher chance of actually sustaining the lifestyle. And, at the end of the day, we are human and as humans, we are not perfect. To expect that, is completely and utterly wrong. 

That said, I want to touch upon one final point. If you’re watching an influencer, or someone who isn’t saying that they are a registered dietician, then you are following the wrong person. The only people whose advice you should be following are your doctor or a certified person with the qualifications to give good quality advice, or advice worth following. If you are working with a trainer, than they are qualified to give you advice on what to eat or how to work out. They got this way through education and by taking the exams to get the certification to give you the advice you need. 

Fitness at the end of the day is something that is all about bettering yourself and reaching a point where you be healthy. It shouldn’t be toxic. It should be about improving your mental and physical well-being. 

Friday Faves: February 18, 2022

TGIF everyone! I have President’s Day off, so it’s already going to be a long weekend for me. I plan to do some decluttering to help prepare for my move, as well as just try to slow down for a bit. It’s been a rough and busy few weeks, so I could use some time to take care of myself.

Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life by Sutton Foster: I have never seen Younger, and really don’t know much about Sutton Foster. I will be the first to admit it. However, I really was drawn in on this book, because I love crafting. And, I really enjoy reading this book. It discusses her life and her traumas. Or, listening since I am listening to the audiobook. I recommend this book if you love crafting or if you love Sutton as well.

Old Navy Light Support PowerSoft Longline Sports Bra: As a busty gal, I love this bra so much that I bought six colors (thank you Old Navy Clearance Rack). I’ve been wearing this nearly every day this week, and I am loving it. It offers a lot of support during workouts, but they cover more than a typical sports bra, so it’s perfect for wearing as a shirt as well.

Full Moon Healing Spray: I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately, and this has been helping (shoutout to my future mother in law for introducing me to this). It smells like lavender, and I have been using this to wind down before bed. I recommend this to anyone who is dealing with anxiety, or needs some healing in their life.

innBeauty Glaze Lip Oil in Sheer Red: I am obsessed with this lip oil. Yes I have three in my collection but this lip oil is so easy and it has moisturized my lips so much! What I love about this one is that it has such a great color and it smells so great. This is a great alternative to the Dior one at a fraction of the cost.

Bag Talk: Is the Marc Jacobs Tote Bag Worth It?

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Marc Jacob’s The Tote Bag was one of the it bags of 2021, and is spilling into 2022. With a few different sizes and colors to choose from, the bag is perfect for anyone.

I drank the Kool Aid and purchased the black one. And, I am obsessed. As many of you know, I am a huge fan of the Longchamp Le Pliage and the Neverfull MM. I also just love totes.

However, this tote is amazing.

What I love about this is that the mini is a crossbody bag, which are my jam. I could see myself using it whenever my fiancé and I take a day trip and I want to carry a bag that is crossbody, but fits a ton of stuff. I also have already used it as an every day work bag, and it fits wonderfully with a coat. That said, the small does come with a crossbody strap, but the traveler/ regular styles do not.

What is really unique about this bag is that there are so many options to choose from, and I’m not talking about size. There are so many different colors to choose from — including neutrals such as black and nude to a fun blue. You can also choose what type of material that you want to have as well, as the bag comes with canvas, leather and furry.

Now, let’s talk about the bag that I purchased. As I mentioned, I got the mini tote bag in black canvas. The dimensions are 10in L x 5in D x 8in H, according to its page on the website. And, it fits a lot. For me, it fits my everyday essentials, which include my Louis Vuitton Recto Verso, Louis Vuitton 6 Key Ring Holder, my Stoney Clover small Cinderella pouch, my sunglasses, my Louis Vuitton Zippy Coin Purse, and work keys. I can also fit my Kindle Oasis, as well. As a crossbody lover, it is not too heavy but fits the essentials.

With the canvas, it is very all weather, but I’ve noticed that things do stick to it such as lint. However, it’s not noticeable unless you really take a look at it.

Now, let’s talk price. The bag comes in at $175. Now, it’s cheaper then let’s say the Neverfull MM, but about $30 more for the Longchamp Le Pliage. So, is it worth it?

I would say so.

I think it’s worth it because it’s a bag that is durable, and something that you can truly use everyday. My black bag goes with so many outfits, which I really like. I can also see this bag being used as a carry on as well, because with that crossbody strap, you can go hands free but still hold everything you may need. I may down the line consider getting the larger size for that purpose in the slate green, but we shall have to see.

That said, the mini size is great because you can take it from work to the weekend with ease. It’s large enough to fit your every day essentials, but small enough wear you can be on the go without being tied down by your stuff.

While I mainly use mine for work, I can see this bag being used for travel, for college students, and for teachers. It’s casual, yet it has a classic vibe. Therefore, since I can see this as an investment piece, I do recommend this tote if you’ve been considering it.

Eating My Way Around CT: Frosty Twist in Milford Offers a Sweet Treat for Your Valentine

While ice cream season is still a few months away, for some the love for iced sweet treats is year round. If your Valentine prefers sweet treats, I would highly recommend checking out downtown Milford’s Frosty Twist.

Frosty Twist offers hard ice cream, and frozen yogurt. But, their menu options go much further than that. They offer smoothies, crepes, sandwiches, milk shakes, smoothies and so much more. You can view their selection here. As for dairy free options, there are quite a few. They offer dairy free frozen yogurt, and what’s good about them is that they rotate the flavors. That’s right — no same flavors here every single time that you do.

They have a serve yourself fro yo style for those who want to create their own treat of choice. They offer about ten different flavors of fro yo, and a ton of toppings from sweet to savory. They also have a wide selection of hard ice cream, so it’s perfect for anyone in your group. Or, if you just want to go to treat yourself, no one’s judging here.

However, if you’re looking for something for a meal, they have you covered as well. They serve breakfast and lunch options as well. As mentioned earlier, they offer sandwiches, crepes (the Nutella one is out of this world), bagels, and waffles.

For me, Frosty Twist is one of the best places my fiancé has taken me. I like it that we can get treats tailored to our specific needs or to get whatever we are craving. It is also a great spot since I am dairy free, and they do have quite a few options so I can get a sweet treat. I also like it that it has something for everyone. Therefore, this is a great place to take your valentine — on any day not just Valentine’s Day.

For more information, be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Friday Faves: February 11, 2022

TGIF everyone! I have today off, and I am looking forward to just relaxing and getting some things done around the house. I have a few fun new favorites to share with you, some of them are a bit on the pricey side, but all of them are fun. So, without further adue, please feel free to read for this week’s favorites.

David Yurman Small Cable Earrings: These earrings are pricy. I will be honest. However, I am so glad that I got them. Full disclosure here: I did not pay full price for them. I have been stashing my Nordstrom notes, and got about 33 percent off on them. I love them because they are classic and they are lightweight. I have worn them three times this past week, and these are definitely worth the money should you wish to get them since they are a classic piece of jewelry that will last for years. Furthermore, I would also check out preloved sites such as Poshmark and Fashionphile for them as well.

Stitch Counter: If you knit or crochet, I highly recommend you getting this. It helps you keep track of your stitches and rows, which is great for someone who is not good at math. Like myself. It makes making things like hats so much easier.

Quest Protein Chips in Loaded Taco: Your girl needs to eat more protein. I love the ranch flavor, but I really fell in love with these. They are delicious and have 19 grams of protein. Win, win.

Romance Novels: I credit Valentine’s Day for this one, but I’ve been obsessed with romance novels. This week, I binge read the Heart Principal by Helen Hoang and the Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. I am currently reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert, and I am enjoying it so far. Both books were amazing and on my unread shelf for a while so I’m glad to have gotten to those.

Ulta Juicy Lip Oil: I was watching beauty YouTube, and I really wanted to use the Dior Lip Oil that broke TikTok. The problem was that it’s out of stock. I heard that this is a great dupe, and for $9, I gave it a go. I am so happy that I did. There is no tint, and it’s really good so far. And, it smells amazing, which is a win.

Milford’s Scorp Zone Offers Quality Pieces That Promote Healing at a Great Price

For the past few years, I’ve been dabbling into the healing powers of crystals thanks to my fiancé’s mother. Over the weekend, she asked us to take her to Scorp Zone, whose retail location is at 33 Eastern Steel Road, in Milford. Now, I was skeptical until I walked through the doors of the shop. I had been to a crystal shop a few years back, and I really didn’t like how I felt after leaving.

However, I was wrong.

Scorp Zone offers an environment that has the purpose of support and healing in mind no matter what the buyer is going through. When you walk through the doors, you are greeted with some costume jewelry, and a few other small items.

Then, as you go into the crystal room, you are greeted by every kind of stone that you can think of — from amethyst to opalite, and everything in between. Oh, and all of the colors of quartz that you can possibly think of. Crystals come in every size, from tiny ones that can be fit in pockets to larger sizes for display. Additionally, the shop offers a wide variety of jewelry, clothing, healing spray, selenite bowls, and kits that have every intention that can assist with any kind of struggle.

What is really cool about this shop is there is a list of the healing properties of every crystal. I like this because it helps you find the exact crystal you need for what you are going through. However, if you do happen to have a question on something, the staff is all too eager to help with any question you may have. While this is my first time at the store, this wasn’t my future mother in law’s. When she was there the first time, she said that the owner let her customize her selenite bowls.

This leads me to my next point. We had a chance to talk to the woman the shop, and she was one of the most passionate people I’ve met about her work. In fact, she said something along of the lines of “I feel like I don’t go to work everyday.” When someone has that much passion, you can feel both the love and the quality of every piece.

Healing sprays — for $11.11!

Finally, I do want to touch upon how affordable everything in the shop is. I’ve purchased a few different crystal bracelets and crystals, but these prices are some of the best I’ve seen for good quality ones. I think that is amazing, because it makes it more attainable for someone to develop their own crystal collection.

A selenite bowl with crystal bracelets.

And, if you can not make it to their Milford location, don’t worry. You can purchase items directly from their website. And, shipping’s free. Be sure to also check them out on Instagram and Facebook.

Friday Faves: February 4, 2022

TGIF! This week has been such a long and stressful week, and I am so happy to finally make it to Friday. This week, I have a ton of favorites to share with you, so let’s get started.

How I Met Your Father: I finally started watching the How I Met Your Mother spinoff (which I really need to get to the original tbh), and I am obsessed. The cast is really good, and it’s actually more of a modern take of the show with the roles reversed. It is so cool. I highly recommend checking it out on Hulu.

The Back Mini Tote Bag by Marc Jacobs: The last thing I needed was another purse. However, this came back in stock on Nordstrom and I am so glad that I snatched this up. This purse is worth all of the hype (review to come). I love that this bag because it fits everything and manages to go with many outfits. It is also a tote bag that is a crossbody, which for me is the best of both worlds. It is just a great everyday bag, and I highly recommend getting it.

Welcome to Our Show: A New Girl spinoff podcast? How amazing! I loved New Girl, and I am so happy that there is a podcast that stars Zooey Deschanel, Hannah Simone, and Lamorne Morris, aka Jess, CeeCee, and Winston. The trio discuss every episode and it is so interesting to listen to all of the behind the scenes information of the show.

Beartown by Frederick Bachman: I have been influenced by Regan of Peruse Project to read this book, and I am so happy that I have been reading it. Beartown is a town that has everything going wrong for it. That is, except it’s hockey ream. Something happens that turns the town upside down. I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already.

Parke Avenue Youtube: I found a new YouTuber that I am borderline obsessed with. Her name is Ashley Park, and she is so good to watch. I love her content because she focuses on curating on a quality wardrobe with a mix of expensive and inexpensive pieces. I also just love her style, because she gives so much inspiration. And, she’s mid size, which I really love.

February 2022 Bullet Journal Set Up

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Ribbit ribbit! Welcome February and it’s time to show off my bullet journal pages for the month.

I am going to be honest. I am not artistic whatsoever, so these are pretty simple. I used stencils to make these designs. The theme here is basically using the red and pink colors, which are Valentine’s Day appropriate.

Before I show off my pages, let’s just take a moment to reflect on my past month of bullet journaling. I don’t bullet journal daily, but rather weekly. I noticed that it’s something that has been helping me with my spending and by creating a wishlist, it’s been helpful keeping track of items so I don’t impulse buy. I also love keeping track of the books I read.

I made a few changes since last month’s spreads (you can view those here), and I think I’ll be making more as I get more and more into it.

So here are my February Bullet Journal pages:

Shopping My Way Around CT: Rumanoffs in Hamden

Some of the bracelets I purchased from Rumanoffs!

It is no secret that I love jewelry. I love costume jewelry and I love fine jewelry pieces. However, there are so many jewelry stores around that finding one that you trust and you love is often a challenge.

One of my go-tos for this is Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry in Hamden. Rumanoff’s is my favorite place to go to for all of my jewelry needs. They have a huge variety of jewelry brands — from affordable brands such as Pandora and T Jazelle, to finer brands that are on the more expensive side. Furthermore, the store has a great selection for bridal as well.

What I like about the store the most is the staff. I come into the store just to look around every now and then, and every person who has helped me has been so helpful — no matter the amount that I spend. Last year for Valentine’s Day, they helped me order a medal for my fiancé, and they did it in the matter of days to make sure that I got the right one. And, they are always so patient whenever I have any questions when there are promos for Pandora.

Furthermore, they are great also for custom pieces. I found a brooch in my mom’s things, and I took it to Rumanoff’s last weekend to turn it into a pendant. I worked with Jennifer, and she really took her time to make sure I got a design that I loved. At the time of publishing this post, I currently don’t have it, but I will share it once I do. You can also take a look at their work on Leslie’s Instagram. All of it is truly gorgeous.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a gift for your Valentine, I highly recommend checking them out.

Eating My Way Around CT: Bobette’s In Milford Is The Lunch Spot You Need to Frequent

Soups, sandwiches, and salads are classic lunch staples. And, those are something that Bobette’s Restaurant in Milford has gotten down to a T. Located on Gulf Street, the restaurant offers an eclectic mix of classic lunch favorites and new items that make it a perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat during your lunch break.

Bobette’s has two menus — their daily menu which consists of their daily specials and their everyday menu, which offers breakfast, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Furthermore, they also offer desserts and combos consisting of a soup and salad and a sandwich and soup as well (sort of like Panera’s you pick two) — a great option for those who can’t make decisions. All of their food is delicious and fresh.

While their menu items are extensive, their prices are reasonable. Many of their sandwiches are less than $10, and you can get 12 ounces of soup for $5.50, which would last for a few meals.

Now let’s get to the good part. Bobette’s has been a great lunch option on those bone chilling days — like January in Connecticut — when all you need is a good cup of soup and comfort. I am a huge fan of their soup, and have even gotten a large container of it to last a few days. If you try anything from Bobette’s, you simply must give their soup a try.

However, what is soup without a sandwich. I also pair a cup of their soup with one of their sandwiches. I’ve tried their special dirty chicken ceaser, honey mustard chicken, and it paired wonderfully together.

Overall, Bobette’s is a delicious lunch spot to check out on the days you’re in the Milford area during your lunch hour. And, if you just want to grab it to go, you can take advantage of their online ordering feature — perfect for someone on the go in between Zoom meetings.