Embracing Ourselves…..Learning to love our body.

Good Morning Friends!
Today I wanted to talk about body image and embracing all those things about ourselves that we may not like. Embracing our perceived flaws, the things about our body that we may not like that much….possibly even hate. (I too have body parts that I don’t like that much…..). I want to talk about embracing those things and loving ourselves…the WHOLE ENTIRE PACKAGE : ) In discussing this, I hope that it will help you look deep inside to see where these issues stemmed from and help you release those blockages so that you can begin to embrace yourself….and better yet, LOVE YOURSELF in it’s entirety. (together we can help get to the bottom of it all….and learn to love everything about ourselves.)

Somewhere down the line….something or someone happened that helped you form the opinion(s) about what you most dislike about you. (if you fully love every single thing about you…I applaud you. That rocks!!). For most of us, we are working on overcoming those issues….myself included. Many times we form opinions about how we should look based on magazines, the opinions of others or even from our egos telling us how we should look. How many of us look through magazines and think that our body doesn’t measure up to this flawless picture that graces the covers/inside of the magazine? It’s only natural to think that…..because it’s there in your face and your mind goes into over-drive analyzing those pictures. Well, remember this….AIRBRUSHING and PHOTOSHOP my loves. These women rarely look magazine perfect in their everyday life….how awesome would it be to have a snap of the finger “airbrush and Photoshop me” option before you left the house? haha……but, in reality we don’t. So here is where we need to dig deep and work on “self love”. Embracing everything about our body, loving it and being gentle to it. I love the quote “The body believes everything the mind tells it.”. So, if you constantly look in the mirror and say “Ugh, I’m fat! Ugh I hate my thighs! Omg, my skin is awful! My stomach is disgusting!” How do you think your body is reacting to all those negative comments? Does your body transform to your liking after filling your head with all those negative thoughts and self talk? Probably not.

I am a work in progress…..no one is perfect. Self-image/Self-love/Self-acceptance is something that I’m ALWAYS working on. (I’m sure there are so many of you out there who can relate to this too). For me…..it’s a process of learning to embrace and accept that “perfection is an ILLUSION” and that I need to love me for all I am. This is something that I have been embracing each and every day on my spiritual journey. My biggest battle has always been my thighs. I’ve always hated my legs…I wished for skinny legs…asking “Why did God give me such muscular thighs??”. I rarely ever wore shorts (something I’m still learning to embrace)…always covered up my legs when people were around when I went swimming in fear they would judge my thighs and silently think ” Wow, Nichol has fat legs!”. For years and years I’ve been plagued with hating my thighs.

When I started on my spiritual journey…this was something I really wanted to work on. (Self-love is such an important factor in living a truly happy life.) I started to go through my thoughts/situations/people in my life and try to figure out why on Earth I felt this way about my legs. Then it hit me….I knew EXACTLY where this all came from. This situation I’m about to tell you about has STUCK with me my WHOLE ENTIRE life (remember friends…words have power. They can be used for bad or good. It’s up to you.) I remember being in 8th grade, sitting in my IT (Industrial Technology) class when this boy (who I will leave unnamed due to people reading this who may know him) said to me “GOD you have huge legs. Those are like pythons!” (mind you…my legs weren’t huge!! I was always in shape/been muscular and was maybe a size 0 when he said this to me.) OMG…let me tell you….that made me feel as small as an ant. Total embarrassment and shame…..I just sat there, not saying a word. All I wanted to do was cry (and I’m tearing up writing this bc this is totally therapeutic and essential for me to get out so I can continue to work on this block…. ). I sat there and said NOTHING, absolutely nothing. I couldn’t even comment or form a good comeback in fear of crying…….I was speechless. (what an ass of a boy, right???) This is EXACTLY where my fear of my thighs started…..all because of what some jackass of a teenage boy said to me when I was 13 years old. His words affected me my whole life (I know what you are thinking…..why did I let him have such power of me? Right?? Well, I am asking myself that too. haha.)….making me feel insecure about wearing shorts or bathing suit bottoms. Always scared that when I showed my thighs that I was being judged and talked about. (seriously, I would have this inner dialogue telling myself that as I passed by people they were talking about my thighs…ugh) I always, always felt that when I showed my thighs that every single person who saw me was thinking in their heads that my legs where fat and huge. (seriously, I did…and this fear made me ashamed to wear shorts in the summer. Not kidding.) Pinpointing this moment in my life has been HUGE ! It made me see the turning point in my life where my self-esteem had been affected by what some insensitive teenage boy said to me. (pretty sure he didn’t realize just how those ugly words truly affected me at the core and started years of insecurity over my thighs…ugh).

So…as you can see, I too have struggled with loving ALL of me. Something I am working on and improving with each passing day : ) I am more comfortable in my body now that I’m in my 30’s than I ever was in my early 20’s. I feel more confident….I’m not ashamed to put on shorts (although those thoughts of having huge thighs sometimes rise up….but I just have to look in the mirror and tell myself that I’m beautiful…every part of me). I’m thankful for my athletic and muscular body (and thighs) that provide power. I can lift those heavy weights with ease, I can jump high, I can power through all my workouts, I can dance with power and grace…… and my legs allow me to carry my body with effortlessly. I appreciate the power these stems provide me and am grateful for them. Instead of hating on them or hiding them I’m learning to embrace them….because they are part of me and all of my is beautiful.

My friend Ron (who is a totally awesome psychic and intuitive….he’s seriously so amazing!) made a youtube video talking about things that “block” us and stop us from growing. He talked about how those things people say or do can totally effect us and subconsciously stop us from growing into our fullest potential. (One of his examples were of wanting to write a book, but being afraid to. Telling himself that he wasn’t a good writer, couldn’t spell well, etc. He wasn’t sure why he thought this, but just knew he couldn’t do it….but ALL of us were telling him he should. So he dug deeper and recalled a memory of a time he turned in a paper to his teacher back in elementary where she basically told him he was a horrible speller, and that his writing wasn’t that great all while kind of laughing about it. Then he had his “AHA” moment in pinpointing where this fear of writing began…..fast forward to present date…he is WRITING a book RIGHT NOW!!! Go Ron!) Okay, getting back on track….his youtube video struck me and inspired me to dig deeper into some  blockages I had. The one regarding my thighs has always been a HUGE ONE (it may not seem like much to those who are reading this…but it has. It’s affected me my whole life). Once I figured out WHY I felt this way about my thighs…. I could now FINALLY release it and forgive the situation, even the person…in return FREEING myself from it all too. (if you want tips on how to release these types of blocks…let me know. I can help you out with that)So this is basically how the whole “body image” and “embracing our WHOLE selves” came about. (sorry it was so long winded…haha. ) I felt like this was a topic that most everyone could relate to……we are not alone in the fears we feel regarding our body or appearance….but the older I get and further into my spiritual journey I go, I realize that loving myself is of #1 importance. If I love all of me…..everything is happier, more positive and falls into place as it should. Just remember that words really have SO MUCH power….use them for good and kindness. The world NEEDS more of that. Uplift someone when you can and in return you will uplift your own spirit.

Hugs,
N

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Aspire to Inspire…..

Happy Friday Friends!! In today’s blog post I wanted to talk about how our actions, attitude, the way we carry ourselves and how we speak influence those around us….even when we don’t realize it. I am going to focus on how those actions of good intentions (not going to focus on the negative…we all know how those energies are received..right???) inspire and transforms those around us.

Have you even been around someone or in a situation that just inspires you so much that your mood is instantly elevated? You feel the good vibes and good energy just buzzing…and you FEEL good. (you may not notice it…but think of those things or people who instantly make you feel good. You are picking up their good vibes. Energy is CONTAGIOUS friends) You find yourself judging less, being happier, smiling more and just wanting to be a better person.  These people who influence those attitudes among those they interact act with are INSPIRERS.  They infect you with their positive, happy and loving attitude. Everything about them draws you in…..their energy is so refreshing.  Being in their presence makes you think, act or even start to try and figure out what they are doing that makes them that awesome.  (these are the kinds of people you should have in your circle…those that uplift your attitude and make you want to be a better person.)

I am who I am. I’m always happy….I’m always positive…I love everyone I meet,….I do not pass judgments and I act this way in every single part of my daily life.  This is how I choose to live, how I feel best and most alive in my skin.  Being happy, positive and loving is a huge part of being Nichol.  It’s not a front….not mask…..it’s me.  (Always be the best version of you that you can be…always striving to BE MORE). I aspire to inspire those around me with the words I say/blog about, the way I teach fitness classes, the knowledge I know about clean, healthy living(and eating), etc……..this is why I started this blog. To inspire……..

Well, I’m a momma too……so I’m always talking to my kids about being kind, loving, having a happy attitude and always being a helpful person…….trying to lead by example and instilling values in my kids that I feel are important.  (As parents….we always want the best for our kids.  Kids are super absorbent….they pick up on how you speak, how you act and your attitude toward life/situations/people. ) So yesterday my son gives me my “Mother’s Day” gift after school……he made me this big card that stated reasons why he loves me.  The one that stood out the most was “you are always positive” (among loving him and caring for him…obviously)……but the fact that he picks up on how I keep a positive attitude and that he admired me for it really touched me.  It made me feel good about the example I’m setting for my two kids, my family, my friends, my fitness students, the people I interact with, the people who read this blog (but have never met me…yet : ) ) and for myself.

This is in NO WAY to brag about myself…but to show you just how important our attitudes are.  People pick up on everything we do…and if we aren’t presenting the best package we can…then we may be misinterpreted or misunderstood. (if you are putting the best you forward and people still have an issue with it…then they are judging before they actually get to know you.)  You just never know who you may inspire…..keep going…keep striving to be more….and keep aspiring to inspire those around you : )  Positive attitudes ARE CONTAGIOUS. : )

Hugs,
N

Shine Bright like a Diamond……

Good Morning and Happy Thursday Friends!
On today’s blog I wanted to talk about NEVER letting ANYONE dull your sparkle and blow out the flame to your candle : ) Enjoy!

We’ve all experienced those people in our lives….whether it be family members, friends or people we cross paths who like to pass judgment or make us feel “less than”.  I’ve been there…we have ALL been there……..on the receiving end of someone’s comments, words, facial expressions…….whatever it may be…we HAVE experienced it.  It hurts, right???  Starts to make you question what you are doing, makes you want to stop (or even worse…GIVE UP!) and kinda makes you wanna hole up inside yourself a little bit.  Well, guess what??? DON’T DO IT!  That is exactly what these people want us to do….they want you feel “less than”, they want you to stop….they want you to GIVE UP.  I believe everything happens for a reason and bringing with it a lesson we are to learn.  The thing I have found most helpful in dealing with these “potholes” (Remember my post about potholes along the way?  Well…read it. I explain it…haha) is how I choose my attitude toward that person or situation. (trust me, it’s taken practice and lots of evolvement to get to the point I am at now.  BUT, it’s doable and you CAN DO IT)

 

I have personally experienced those feelings of people or situations trying to make me feel less than (trying to knock the wind out of my sails….whether they did it intentionally or unintentionally).  Commenting on how I teach fitness (and not in a nice way…gasp I know!!!), rolling their eyes at my cheery, happy and positive attitude (sorry that I’m in a good mood??? Would you rather me carry a dark cloud of negativity over my head??haha), commenting on how teaching fitness classes is “such an easy job that anyone could do it” (really, okay…when are you free to sub my next class and lead a room PACKED full of people who are there expecting a REALLY sweaty workout while remembering every routine you created, while cueing and keeping the class energized ?) or seeming to have an opinion about every single person I allow into my life. (I talk to everyone, am nice to everyone and like to form MY own judgments on people….not base it off of someone else’s opinion)…..these are just a few things off the top of my head I have personally encountered in which those judgments made me feel BAD about myself because they were hurtful and done in a not loving way. (See, even really really really happy people get frustrated…haha) 

In the past all those things would make me feel bad, make me mad and probably bring me down a few notches (or a lot) on my “happy meter”. Today I am better equipped and in a better thinking process where I easily let this stuff roll off my shoulders.  I know that more times than others these things are a projection of what the other person sees or feels within themselves….whether it’s right or wrong…it’s their opinion. I respect their opinion, but the beauty of it is….I don’t have to take it to heart or even listen.  I’m my own decider, my own person….100% unapologetically Nichol.  I know that not everyone I meet will like me (crazy to think that is possible, right?? haha), but the ones who need a “Nichol” in their life will cross my path : )

I think the best thing we can do is always be ourselves…..be original, be authentic, don’t copy someone else’s personality and just be YOU. There will always be those people or situations that cross our path that are trying to “dim your light”…..it’s the Yin and Yang of life.  We gotta take the good with the bad….but the most important thing is how you let it affect you.  As long as you know that you are being the best person you can possible be (showing love, compassion, kindness, NOT gossiping, not passing judgments, etc.)…..I think that is what matters MORE than anyone’s opinion about you.  If you LOVE YOURSELF…it will show. If you FEEL GOOD about you and your attitude….it will show. If you SHOW and GIVE LOVE to all you meet…guess what?  You will be shown love right back : )

So………don’t be a “light dimmer”….be the one who helps someone’s light burn better, brighter and stronger. The world needs more people like that……..(the world has enough critics in it as it is)

Hugs,
N

 

Fitness by Nichol Altman: Class Schedule Info

Hey Hey Everyone!  I figured I would post my schedule of fitness classes that I run, what kind of classes I teach and where.  Since my blog gets lots of different viewers I wanted to provide my schedule here : )  (COME on out and join me!)

 

Where: Hamilton County Sports Complex
9625 150 St
Noblesville, IN 46060
Room 206
**I teach ALL my classes here**

Fitness Classes Schedule:
Monday: 6:30pm-ZUMBA
Tuesday: 10am AND 6:30pm-ZUMBA
Wednesday: 6:30pm-Cardio Dance and Total Tone
Thursday: 10am AND 6:30pm-ZUMBA
Saturday: 9am-Cardio Dance and Total Tone

What is Zumba?
Zumba is an aerobic dance fitness program that infuses Latin and International dances into a 1-hour class.  You will experience such dance rhythms as Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Samba, Hip Hop, Bollywood, Belly Dancing, Calypso, Axe, etc.  In this class you will get a great overall workout that not only works your cardiovascular system, but also tones and tightens your body as well. (don’t worry if you aren’t a “natural dancer”…..come try this class and I promise I will get you hooked : )  )

What is Cardio Dance and Total Tone?
In this combo class you will get high intensity dances combined with body sculpting routines. You will essentially get 30 min of cardio dance and 30 min of sculpting routines packed into this 1-hour class.  We will alternate between high cardio dances and toning routines. In this class we use weights, yoga mats, towels (for sliders) and chairs.  You will challenge your body as you do planks, core work, booty work, push-ups, dips, upper body work, squats, lunges, burpees….AND a WHOLE bunch of other awesome sculpting routines that will transform your body….all while keeping class VERY fun : ) (Some of my students like to refer to this as Dance Boot Camp class…..hey I will take it.  It’s a challenging class, but it’s still so fun!)

Additional Info:
Each class is $5/per session OR you can purchase a 10/class punch card for $40 from me.  (I accept check or cash)

I love what I do and I love instructing fitness classes.  It’s a true passion of mine and I hope that it shines through each time I lead a classroom full of awesome people : )

Hugs,
N

 

Bottoms Up, Bottoms Up…..Green Goodness Smoothie

Good Morning Friends! I hope your week is off to a super fab start. I wanted to share one of my FAVE things that I make myself EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! This is a great way to get in lots of minerals, vitamins and nutrients in one HUGE yummy drink : )

Today I’m going to share with you how I make my Green Goodness Smoothies and tell you all about the wonderful benefits of blending up your greens and adding them to your fruit smoothies.  For those of you who HATE veggies,spinach, kale and other greens (which amazes me….I LOVE my veggies)….this is a perfect way to disguise them and get them into your diet.  (get your greens in folks!)

Seriously, how can you not laugh when you see this picture? We all remember the day when Britney went a little crazzzzzy : )

First, let’s talk the benefits of the 2 greens I frequently add to my Green Goodness Smoothies : )

Mmmm, spinach!

Spinach:
-Spinach (1 cup, raw) has 27 calories, 0.86 g of protein, 30 mg of calcium, 0.81 g of iron, 24 mg of magnesium, 167 mg of potassium,  Vitamin A and  folate.

-1 cup of raw spinach has more potassium than 1 cup of bananas (whoa!).

-Can help with diabetes management with the help of an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid. It’s known to help lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity. (less pills, less shots…all while healing your body using nutrient dense foods. Yes please)

-High in chlorophyll which has been proven to help block carcinogens which can cause cancer. (even MORE reason to chow down on spinach daily).

-Lowers blood pressure. (helps with the cardiovascular system. Hurray for a healthy heart!)

-Promotes regularity in the body. (no one wants to be backed up and bloated. Am I right? haha)

-Helps promote healthier looking skin, hair and nails. (anti-aging is IN the food we eat…not in an expensive bottle of cream 🙂 ).

Kale:
-High in vitamins C, K and A.

-High in Calcium. (strong bones yo!)

-High in Iron. (increased energy…high five!)

-Naturally helps detox our livers. (healthier looking skin, balanced hormones, improved chronic illness, etc.)

-High in Fiber. (helps keep you fuller longer and helps keep your digestive system moving)

-Awesome anti-inflammatory food. (less inflammation=less puffy appearance and less pain for those of you with auto-immune diseases) 

Now that we KNOW all about the awesome powerhouse packed greatness of 2 of my green leafy staples (you can use others too…dandelion greens, arugula, etc.)  I will share with you the base of my Green Goodness Smoothie (feel free to play around with add-ins…this is your drink. Make it your own version of total awesomeness)

Nichol’s Green Goodness Smoothie Recipe:
(Makes a 32 oz serving)

16 oz Coconut Water-
4-6oz Organic OJ
3 c raw organic baby spinach (loosely packed)
1 cup fresh organic pineapple(cubed)
1 cup frozen organic mango
2 tbsp chia seeds

Directions:
Throw all into a high speed blender (I use a Ninja Blender)and blend away until combined into a smooth yummy drink 🙂

(Feel free to add more fruits, more greens…….I sometimes add 1/2 a frozen banana or 1/2 an avocado.  I just do whatever I feel like doing or use whatever fruits/veggies I have on hand)

I drink this Green Goodness Smoothies everyday….sometimes I drink all 32oz at one time or I drink 1/2 in the morning and then the rest later in the day.  Point is…I ensure that I drink one of these everyday.  I know it’s good for me and my body….BUT I really enjoy them too. So…..dust off that blender, stock up on frozen/fresh fruits and get those greens……and start blending up Nichol’s Green Goodness Smoothies. : )

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and I hope it inspires you to start adding more yummy fruits and veggies into your day : )
Hugs,
N