The future of the blog

Good morning everyone.

Yesterday morning I woke up to find the past month of posts had been deleted from my account. This was due to my switching host service providers, and I am in the process of seeing if they can be restored.

Oddly, when this happened, I was not sad or upset, more I accepted it. My favorite posts are my race recaps, which I can rewrite, and just sharing the amazing experiences I have doing races and being with my teammates.

It is unfortunate that this happened, but also caused me to think about the future of my blog.

Do I like writing informational posts?

What is it that brings me joy?

What am I most proud of?

I realized that I am sad about losing all the work, but I am content with what I plan to do next. I enjoy writing about running and racing the most. Recipes and product reviews are fun and so are some of my “How-to” and step guides, but really, I like exploring the inter-working of my mind when running.

I will rewrite recaps for Ragnar, Watergap and even write a recap for Rochester, but the other posts I wrote, well, they may be lost.

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That is ok. I want this blog to be a reflection of myself. This is not my coaching website and I am not certified yet. This is a personal blog about my life as a vegan endurance runner. I want to shift back to that.

I will still do nut butter reviews occasionally because that is a huge part of my life 😉

apples

But I will mostly be talking about racing, my teammates and running as both a spiritual release and a pathway for vegan activism.

Thank you for reading thus far.

Welcome to the evolution of my blog.

When Self Acceptance Prevents You From Living Your Life

I do accept myself.

I have worked hard to cultivate a love for my body and spirit and I truly believe I have that. It ebbs and flows and I do not always feel 100%, but that does not stop me from taking care of myself.

However, this self acceptance has been limiting my life in the past year and in full transparency, it’s time to change that.

self-acceptance

When you work closely with a few people like I do at work, you get to know them really well. At my job, I am the one people usually ask random questions about running, vegetables (not food, just vegetables) or reasons why they feel sick.

I am not a doctor, so I give my best guess and usually they can feel better if they move a little more, and eat a few more plants. I think we all could benefit from that.

Regardless of what I say and even if they agree with me, change is slow to come. I believe this is for a few reasons.

1.) They don’t know exactly how to change.

2.) They aren’t ready to give up something that is preventing change.

3.) They accept the way they are, even if it means living a lackluster life.

Today, let’s discuss number 3, because this is the biggest reason some parts of my life are stale, and others are not.

Has self-acceptance prevented you from embracing a healthier life? #bgbcommunity #tol Click To Tweet

Self-Acceptance

What a beautiful thing, isn’t it? I accept myself the way I am.

Wow!

Way to go!

Congratulations!

Reality: I don’t want/am not ready/it’s hard to change, so it’s easier to say this.

Example:

1st Time:

Coworker: “I feel really tired and hungover”

Me: “Go to bed earlier.”

Coworker: “I was trying to beat this level on PlayStation while drinking beer and it was fun.”

Me: “Ok, was it worth it?”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Me: “Ok then.”

2nd-7th time:

Coworker: “This job suck is, I feel like crap because I’m tired.”

Me: “Why?”

Coworker: “Same as last time.”

Me: “Was it worth it?”

Coworker: “No, I hate feeling like this at work, beer is expensive and I don’t even win the level that I stayed up for.”

Me: “So stop.”

Coworker: “It’s what I always do and my buddies expect me to be there.”

Me: “So?”

Coworker: “It’s just what I do (it’s a habit, routine, it’s comfortable)”

Me: face palm, but I get it.

I get it.

I recently read an article from Psych Central coming from the thoughts of therapists on self acceptance.

What really resonated with me was number 9:

Realize that acceptance is not resignation.

Accepting things for how they are is not allowing them to continue, but a jumping off point toward making change.

In my personal life, I have used the wall of self acceptance to hide behind when I am afraid of putting myself out there.

“Oh, she’s the runner, she doesn’t stay out late.”

“Oh she’s so frugal, she doesn’t spend money or go out for dinner.”

Things I’ve “accepted” about myself have really prevented me from forming relationships or having experiences.

The times I do branch out, I usually have an amazing time. Ragnar was a huge jumping off point as I knew no one and changed everything about my routines.

However, there is still a small voice in the back of my head creating doubt about the positive experiences these things may provide.

“What if I pay money for this and it sucks?”

“What if I get no sleep and am a zombie tomorrow?”

What if, what if, what if???

The part of me that has accepted the sentences above is trying to keep me safe, but also is keeping me from living.

I have decided to change.

Here is how:

1.) Visualization

I will visualize what leaving my comfort zone will feel like, both the potential positives and negatives and implement coping methods to deal with them.

2.) Begin Easy

The first time I spend money out to eat, it won’t be extravagant, but simple. That way it wont feel like so much of a loss if it was bad.

3.) Repeat

I will make reoccurring dates with others and myself to get out of this zone. Again, starting easy with once a month, and building up as my stamina increases.

In a way, this is like running (you knew I would go here right?)

Visualize yourself running, start slow, repeat.

It gets easier doesn’t it?

Has self-acceptance stopped you from doing something characteristically “not you”?

What can you do in the next month to step out of that zone?

 

Identify A Priority and Stick To It

When other runners ask me how they can increase their fitness I tell them these three things:

1.) Increase distance

2.) Increase speed

3.) DO NOT do both!

In my own personal life, I have fallen into the trap of doing too much too soon.

I want to be able to run 10 miles AND run a sub 6 minute mile.

I want to run a marathon and race a fast 5K.

Then I get injured and ask myself why.

I have a problem straightening out my priorities.

Priorities
Identify your priorities, and stick with them!

Just this morning I decided to do a leg workout instead of a run and now my quads are so sore, I might have to take off tomorrow from running or run less because I went hard on the lifting.

Recently, outside of my running and fitness life, I have been struggling with determining what to focus my time and energy on. My life is a bit full at the moment. Here is a snapshot of what is on my plate:

8 hour job at CTB

Part time job at Blissful Eats

Part time school

Running schedule

Food/recipe creation and photography

Writing blog posts

Marketing my personal brand

Commenting on and connecting with other bloggers

Now, I’m not bragging. My goal with all the hustle now is so in a few years I can have my weekends off and work less in a more fulfilling career.

What are your priorities? How are they helping you succeed? #bgbcommunity #hustle #personalbrand Click To Tweet

But right now, I’m trying to hustle. I want to create quality content for my readers and future clients.

Also notice the lack of social life (however I do see a lot of people at my job)

Because I do all these things, the time I have to devote to my blog needs to be prioritized and focused. This is the problem I am having because I want to do all the things. In my free time I read about how to maximize my blog, see what others are doing and ask questions. There is just so much to do and it’s all fun!

I want to figure out what to focus on right now that will maximize my time. What should I do in the few hours I have each day to devote to my blog?

I was encouraged by Nicole Culver, my boss and owner of Blissful Eats to determine what skills I have to offer and refine those for my audience.

Right now I am in school working on learning the content I will be providing to readers and clients. That is part of building my brand even if I can’t see those results yet.

I need to hold off on food photography school for now. I can work on that after I start making an income with health coaching.

I need to keep exploring my running and veganism because that is who I am. That is how I get experiences to share and how I relate to you guys. I am good at taking my experiences and applying them to other areas of life.

Today I challenge you to prioritize your life.

What should you focus on today to maximize your potential?

What do you think my niche is? What is your niche?

Facing The Bonk: I am not invincible

I ended my week with a bonk. I want to talk about it.

But first! Sign up for my monthly email list where I answer your questions and give personal anecdotes and life updates. Your monthly dose of real talk, health jargon and wise cracks –>

I truly don’t believe I had bonked before this point. Sure, I’ve had some bad runs, but nothing where I nutritionally was unprepared. I have now experienced this terrible bonk I’ve heard so much about, and I’ve become a wiser runner.

bonking

Events leading up to the bonk:

1.) It’s been hot all week

I have been working and sleeping in less than ideal conditions for the past week. It’s just so hot and I get heat headaches now when I stand in front of the ovens at work for too long.

2.) I cannot hydrate myself

In addition to the heat, it is very hard to stay hydrated. I joke that I haven’t stopped sweating for two weeks…but it’s true. Spending my time in a constant state of sweat has made it not difficult, but impossible to stay hydrated. I do drink, not just water, but electrolyte beverages, iced coffee and tea and eat foods with a high water content. However, I have been unable to stay on top of my hydration.

3.) I did not plan my route well.

I woke up early to run in the cool morning (haha) and miscalculated the amount of mileage I would get before meeting up with friends. I was planning to do some myself and some with them. By the time I got to them I was 9 miles in. I drank and felt fine, but after a few miles with them I decided to turn and cut it short. I thought it would be a faster way to get home by doing this, but I should have just turned around.

4.) My foot was giving me problems.

On and off the past few weeks my right foot hurts. I can still run on it, but after about 10 miles it gets uncomfortable. Well, 14 miles in things were not looking up. This is when I turned a around…only to have 6 miles to go.

5.) I ran long the day before.

I was planning to race today (just for fun) so I ran 16 miles yesterday morning. Then worked on my feet all day. I felt great yesterday and still planned to race. This morning however I made the decision not to based on cost, time that I could spend working in other passions and my niggling foot. Sunday was my only day off and I wanted to work on other things. After races I am not that productive.

I felt fine the day before. I felt fine during the first part of my run. I chose to continue for these reasons.

What happened?

I ended up doing the runner slog up a few hills until I made it to a Burger King three miles from home. It was in that Burger King stall that I put my head in my hands and thought about my life choices.

I felt like a fool.

Why did you run without water? Who do you think you are?

Why do you put hope in running? You might get injured from this!

Your running group thinks you’re a wimp.

You want to coach people to do this? What do you know?

All these things flew through my mind as I sat there. I didn’t know what else to do, but put my head down, drink a liter of Coke (thank you kind BK worker!) and slog my way home.

I made it. Tired legs, messed up gut, totally humbled by this experience.

I think, as regular runners, we think we know our bodies. Sure, someone else might need water or food, but I don’t. Someone else might need a break during a run, but I’m ok. We put ourselves on a pedestal because “if we’ve done it before we can do it again.”

Change means defeat.

Change means I am less than.

Change means I was wrong.

What I learned this day is that change means adaptability and learning how to deal with hard situations effectively.

I did not fail, I learned what my breaking point is. I learned how to do it better next time. 

Next time I will not fail.

Bonking taught me how to be a better #health coach. What has a bad experience taught you? #runchat @runningblogs Click To Tweet

How this experience will make me a better running and health coach:

1.) Not only is each client different, they are different in each moment.

I will learn what things motivate them and what goals are important each time we meet. I will be aware that these things may change and it is important to meet the client where they are at.

2.) Nutritional needs vary upon the situation and no food is off limits forever.

I will discuss my ideas about “eliminating certain foods” in a future post, but today showed me that when you need energy, any calories will do. I don’t drink Coke, I don’t really like it either. Today, it was the elixir of life. It got me home safe. I will remember that some foods are like that for people. A necessity part of their world. That’s ok.

3.) Planning is key to a good experience, no one is “above” mapping it out.

I thought I knew myself and my town well enough to guess a practical route. I was wrong. For each of my clients, I will never assume how a meeting will go or what mindset they will have on that day. I will be prepared and open to anything they bring to the table. I am not against doing specific research for their problem if I do not know the answer straight away. Part of what I look forward to in this profession is always being a student of wellness research and modifying my health ideas based on that.

Today I am linking up with Meg for a review of my most impactful run of the week. Be sure to show that mama some love!

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What is one experience you have that was a big eye opener?

What did you learn about yourself from it?

Developing a Personal Brand

When is the last time you sat down and made a list of what is important to you?

Happiness

Health

Love

Sure, I get that. We all want those things. When I ask myself that question lately I’m speaking in terms of career, life purpose and what fills me in the realm where I have to make money.

Until I started at IIN, I thought that my success in life would be dependent on running. I do not mean as an elite. Do not get that impression. I mean that I would work a job that I liked enough in order to pay for my athletic endeavors, allow me some time for myself and provide a stable income.

I was content with that.

Since starting my work at the Institute and getting another potential part time opportunity, I realized how much passion I have in other areas of my life.

I define what is important differently.

Veganism

Self-love

Athletics

Creativity

Feminism

All these things for me signal health and fulfillment. Health and fulfillment signifies happiness. When I feel happy, I feel successful, no matter my income or status.

What is important to you? How does that relate to your personal brand? #blogging Click To Tweet

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about branding. Specifically, my personal brand.

Personal Brand

That always sounded really prestigious to me. Only rich, important bloggers or athletes had a brand. But really, IIN has encouraged me to think about myself in that way. I need to figure out what fills me up and makes me happy in order to define my personal brand. My personal brand will be what my coaching business (or whatever career I choose) will be based upon. A personal brand is really just defining what is true to you and what makes you happy so you have to space to make a difference and be influential.

The one thing I’ve learned through blogging is that what I’m authentic, people respond. It is by analyzing my authenticity that I figured out what my morals are, what is true for me and what I believe in.

My personal brand is also my beliefs, my happiness and what I wake up excited to share with you all.

My personal brand is what makes me Ellie.

Vegan health

Fitness

Introverted self-care

Encouragement 

Holistic well-being

I look at my blog and I see someone who lives a very normal life, but also has experiences and has learned lessons about life that others can benefit from. My personal brand (which will continue to evolve) will always reflect that.

Where do I hope to take this blog and my brand?

I have no idea, but I will always be impassioned to help other people through my experience and what I’ve learned through IIN and others. 

I know Veganism is true for me, but also understand that it may not be true for others.

I am a runner, but that does not define me.

I am happy when I am holistically well. 

I want other people to feel the same way.

How do you want to use your personal brand to make a difference? #change Click To Tweet

Tell me:

What is your personal brand?

What do you like seeing on this blog?

What would cause you to hire a health coach? (I will not push veganism into anyone, yet being vegan I can only speak through my experience)

If you were to rename my blog, what would you choose?