Resolutions & Small Changes
Fitness Stone: Bloodstone
I am in the midst of getting myself into "bodybuilding competition" readiness - which I've never done before. I grew up with weight issues due to hypothyroidism - which I fixed via natural medicine and now control fully with diet and exercise. I prefer slightly aggressive workouts to keep myself interested and am currently running and weightlifting. I've done kickboxing, boxing, karate, taekwondo, yoga, zumba, ballet, crossfit, fencing, and probably a few other things that are not coming to mind at the moment. I eat a restricted paleo diet and drink about 120oz water a day (on average).
I'm really just here to share some of my knowledge and to tie together fitness and a healthy lifestyle with gothic subculture, paganism, and heathenism. A stronger, healthier me is the ultimate goal. If this is also your goal, then read on!
(I sure hope you like this reoccurring Health Goth series.)
Note: It should be noted that I don't take pics at the gym. I already take horrible selfies and I don't workout with a partner. It's just me and my ipod classic. If pressed for workout photos or something, I might be able to eventually arrange for it.
With each new year the most common resolution made is health and fitness related. It is also the most common resolution to not adhere to because, as a societal whole, we have become lazier. As a person who has struggled with weight issues for the majority of her life, I can tell you that there are a few key elements that need to be put in place before you jump right in.
Exercise Plan. Have something in mind. Are you going to start at Planet Fitness and get on a treadmill? Are you going to sign up for Crossfit? Are you and a friend going to start that Zumba class? Maybe start lifting weights? Have your action plan in place. Know what you’re going to do and how often you plan on doing it.
Food Situation. When you want to start becoming healthier, you need to look at your food situation. How can you change up your regular diet to be healthier? Do you need to meal prep during your work week? Little changes can be made such as cutting out white food, eating more vegetables, only eating lean meats, etc. Remember: Simple is best.
Snack Attack. Make sure you have some healthy snacks that you’re excited about. You don’t want to be your worst enemy by allowing yourself to gobble down unhealthy snacks.
Craft to Assist Your Willpower. If you want to give yourself a boost via spell work, start looking into boosting your willpower and increasing your energy.
Have a Goal. This is one of the most important key elements. A goal will help you get to where you want to be. Perhaps you want a tighter figure so you look better in your fishnet shirt. Perhaps you just want a summer body - bikini-ready. Perhaps you have some shit to work through and you have a strong desire to just become stronger. Have a goal.
If you are fairly new to fitness and making an effort in regards to healthy eating, it can definitely be a challenge. It may take a while for everything to click into place. It took me a while to realize that sticking with a workout schedule and eating healthy is an exercise in willpower. It seems so simple and I know I’ve heard people mention it before, but it just took a while until it clicked. Guess what? Once I was able to stick with a regular routine and eat healthy on a regular basis, my energy work and spell work increased in potency.
This month’s stone is bloodstone. Bloodstone, also called heliotrope and warrior stone, is associated with strength, courage, and protection. The ancient Greek athletes would carry this stone to encourage better athleticism, so for our purposes it seemed like a fitting choice. You can drink water charged with bloodstone or simply carry a secured piece with you at the gym. Bloodstone is also known to repel negative thoughts and encourage “moving on”. Don’t think you can do that last half mile? Bloodstone can help dissolve those thoughts and encourage you to get it done!
I emphasize food a lot when talking to people who are interested in starting to workout. Inevitably, you’re going to reach for an extra helping or an extra snack - all I aim for is reaching for something healthy. It’s important to note that then when I generally use the term diet, I am referring to “normal eating habits”; not the dieting fads.
Look at what you have in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Can you purge the unhealthy food items? Unhealthy food items have low/no nutritional value, are overly processed, are loaded with sugar, tend to be considered “quick” food items like microwave burritos or hot pockets, and are often unnecessary like chips or candy.
If you are new to healthy eating and revising your own diet, I gotcha! There are some super easy swaps that you can make that won’t break the bank.
Instead of white rice, opt for brown rice, oats, quinoa, or some other healthier grain.
Instead of white flour, opt for whole wheat flour, almond flour, or some other healthier flour.
Instead of juice or soda, opt for water flavor additives from brands like Mio, Crystal Light, and your local store brand. These are 0 calorie concentrated flavors. Simply add a little to some water.
Instead of juice or soda, opt for water, tea, or black coffee.
Instead of sugar, opt for stevia, raw honey, or coconut sugar.
Allow yourself to have any sauce you’d like on your meat, veggies, and fruit.
Snacks can be: fruit, veggies, cheese, and nuts. Just consume in moderation.
Instead of pancakes, waffles, or other breakfast breads, opt for eggs, meat, whole fruit, and veggies for breakfast.
Instead of plain noodles, opt for the higher protein noodles or the type made from lentils.
The general rule of thumb for eating healthy is to make everything from scratch as often as you can. You get more control over what you consume. It tastes better. It can help to browse for a new cookbook on healthy cooking at the bookstore. It might inspire some meals. If you’re not super big into cooking, look into crockpots and instant pots.
“Too Lazy To Make Breakfast” Smoothie
This is a meal substitute smoothie, so you don’t have to really bother with making a full meal. Instead, if you want something solid, grab a slice of multi-grain toast or a handful of nuts.
1 cup Fruit
1 cup Water, Coconut Water, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or Oat Milk
2 scoops Protein Powder, vanilla
½ cup Spinach or Kale, chopped
1 TBSP Chia Seeds
¼ tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder
Add everything into a blender.
Blend until smooth.
This should keep you full until lunch. If not, try snacking on a handful of nuts, a piece of jerky, or celery sticks.
The Craft & Fitness
I won’t lie. This is a monthly fitness and healthy lifestyle post. How does all of this tie in with pagans and heathens? (I originally was writing this for a group of pagans and heathens.) The heathen tie-in is often related to the various gods and goddesses of their practice. Often it’s about strength, speed, and god-specific athleticism (i.e. archery, swimming, etc). Since this is very marketable, you will find a lot of items with ancient themes such as: workout clothing, lifting equipment, protein powder, and supplements. The pagan tie-ins are not so cut and dry. You can workout according to the moon cycle, according to your astrological sign, or on a schedule that works best for you. You can incorporate water charged by stones and/or herbs, kitchen witchery, meditation, aromatherapy, and spellwork to boost your willpower, energy, or athleticism.
Workouts can be ritualistic. Start seeing your new healthy lifestyle as a ritual. This ritual is designed to focus on yourself for well-being, self-improvement, and empowerment. Come up with your own mantras to help you get through the day such as: “Perhaps I simply need a cup of tea instead of that unscheduled food” or “An apple a day keeps me fulfilled”. Schedule your workouts to happen at the same time each day you choose to workout, just as you would for a class or doctor appointment. Scheduling your meals to be eaten around the same time each day can also help out. Rituals help us get through the day - morning rituals, evening rituals, perhaps even a “first thing at work” ritual.
Challenge of The Month
Increase your water intake. This sounds like a simple challenge and it is! For water, it’s highly suggested that you drink 0.5 to 1oz of water for every pound of body weight per day. Example: A 160lb person should be drinking 80 to 160 oz of water a day.
Increasing your water intake will help your body remain in a balanced state, it helps to energize your muscles, makes your skin healthier through hydration, and it increases kidney and bowel function.