Book nook: What I know for sure

There have been many books in my lifetime that have changed my view on life. From an excerpt taken from them, the idea behind them or the connections I have created with them. Books are, and always will be, a safe haven for me. A chance to travel and imagine myself in places and situations where I have never been or would love to experience.

I decided to start this series called Book nook to present those literary jewels than have shaped the woman I am today and also the ones that shape me along the way.

The first book on this series is one that I believe found its way to me all by itself.

One afternoon I decided to go to my public library and pick some books for the month. I browsed through the shelves and suddenly I stopped at one and picked it out of the bunch. It was What I know for sure by the one and only, Oprah Winfrey.

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I had never read anything by her and knowing almost nothing about her except how famous she was I decided to take it home with me. Best decision ever.

This book is filled with stories that help the reader connect to the words of wisdom this amazing lady has to offer. It inspires your heart to be kinder. Opens your mind to greater possibilities. Teaches you that whatever it is that you want to achieve in your life you can do it, it is on you to make it happen. It gives you strength.

One of the many wonderfully wise lines written in this book is this:

You live. And if you’re open to the world, you learn.

I think the idea behind What I know for sure is this very one. It is a story about all those experiences and lessons in Ms. Winfrey’s life that took her to a place of success and self-awareness. It is an insight into her mind. What a treat to take a peek in there. I don’t think you would regret it.

Now, if you are more into audio books, I will give this link to the Audiobook excerpt: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey (I just love it when authors are the ones that read their books, don’t you?):

Please let me know what you think and if you have any recommendations on a good and enriching book for me.

With love,

Ale

Things I love about autumn

Autumn?! Say what?!?!

What do you know? It’s fall time in Northern Mexico as well!!!!

I am very excited about this wonderful season because it is unbelievable how much the weather changes here in my town. Plus, it is NOT a given that we can actually experience “AUTUMN” here so, it is a big deal. At least for me and some people I know.

I love waking up in the morning, going outside, look up and seeing high and bright clouds gracing the sky. There is something marvelous about closing my eyes and breath it in. Oh fall. How I miss thee. It is truly magical.

To commemorate the ocassion, I decided to drive to the local baseball stadium to take some pictures of the afternoon sun and the gorgeous and unique desert flora. I love going there and experience the stillness. Driving alone and choosing a spot to park, walk a bit and take some shots. Embracing the peace and quiet. Here are some of the photos I took, I hope you like them.

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With love,

Ale

6 Tips for a Workout Newbie

Hello beautiful souls,

The other day I was coming back from the gym and a light switched in my brain. Or maybe it was the rush of endorphins running through my body. I don’t think I can pin point it. All I know is that I wanted to share with the world how I started this interesting journey of working out on a regular basis. Because here’s a little secret (that everyone knows): You will feel ten times more amazing after working out than how you felt before. TRUTH.

Before we get into the specifics, I want to give you a bit of a background on me and my health state prior to being conscious about it. I started gaining weight when I was about 9 years old. Which meant that during most of my primary school days and all of my secondary education (which would be middle school in the United States) I was overweight. Not fun for anyone. Nevertheless, thank God for puberty. At least in my case it really was a blessing. During the summer break, right before starting highschool, my body changed and I lost a bunch of weight without really doing anything different. I was never the sporty kind or an athletic girl, so I never had a fit body.

Therefore, and despite that marvelous moment of hormonal craziness, the weight came back when I started college. Yes, the Freshman 15 made an appearance in my life. Times three. For some people, that may not be a lot of kilograms, but for a 1.57 m (~5’1″) woman, it is a lot. What a joy!

WOW that was a long intro!… Sorry about that. But I do believe it’s important to know the history to understand the present.  

After living with the extra weight for about 4 or 5 years I made a rather quick decision one day. I will start exercising. No excuses. No workout buddies required. No promises to anyone. No nothing. Just me and my brain deciding to join the gym and work out. One day I said it and the next day I joined in. Man, that was a very, VERY, difficult first week. There was a lot of pain, suffering, many aches, sweat and even tears. And of course, a bunch of thoughts of this is not for me, it’s very difficult, I can’t do it, I will die!… With all that in mind, here’s my first piece of advice:

1. Do not over think

Don’t give your brain the chance to make that dreaded pro/con list about starting a workout routine. Because rest assure, it will find a reason why it is not a good idea to do it. Instead, take the plunge, just go over there and have fun at it. Take it for what it is, a new experience. It’s OK to suck at first.

It is never easy  to start a new adventure. It takes courage, determination and heart. But once you endure the hardest part, the rest of it is truly magnificent. 

I believe that applies to working out just as much as any other adventure in life. For me, exercising was not about having a thin figure or to be prettier, have a smaller waistline or loose X amount of weight. For me, it was about being fit. I  wanted to stop feeling sluggish, slow and heavy. I did not like the lack of stamina and energy.

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So my second piece of advice is:

2. Set a realistic end goal

I believe that one of the key factors that helped me in my path towards better health is that I decided that my end goal would be to get healthier. That’s it. It is easier to achieve better health just by moving more everyday, than wanting to lose 5 kg in one month.

By doing this, I did not have to convince myself everyday to go, because I already wanted to do it. The sense of heaviness became smaller each day that passed. I was hooked!

3. Try different things until you find a workout that is right FOR YOU

There are a number of options out there. Going to the gym, having a personal trainer, running outside, working out at home or taking classes like Sumba, kickboxing or Pilates. I will not list all of them because I probably don’t know every option out there. Instead, do a web search of the alternatives closer to you and start from there. Each person is good at something, and each feels good by doing something in particular. Find what tickles your fancy. It’s fun!

4. Set a goal of workouts per week

I still remember hearing people say that you had to do five workouts every week in order to be fully committed. That if you wanted to see results you had to be hardcore and do it seven times a week for best results. What a load of BS. That is not true! You don’t have to over work your body to get great results. You don’t need to kill yourself in the gym everyday to be in the right path. You have to find out what feels right FOR YOU. Pay attention to your body and set a personal goal for you. For me, it was at least three times a week. With that, I felt like I was on the health path that best served me and my fitness end goal.

5. Wear workout clothes that make you feel confident in your own body

This may sound like and obvious one, but for some reason not everyone gives it the attention it needs. For example, I believe that wearing pants that are tight and don’t let everything jiggle is important. I enjoy looking at my fun colored sneakers in the mirror when I’m taking a Pilates class. I love wearing comfortable sports bras that give me freedom to move freely during my exercises. It does matter, so choose what works for you. You will thank yourself later.

6. Give yourself credit every time you do a workout 

I think this is the easiest one of them all. Of course, you are going to be so happy after a workout because you did it that you will look at yourself in the mirror and think “I’m proud of myself for doing this”. Never fails! I do not know anyone that after a workout has said they wished they hadn’t done it. It’s always a rush and a sense of accomplishment. So give yourself the much deserved TLC and pad in the back. YOU DID IT!

I hope today’s post inspire you in some way to go after what you want. If not, I hope you at least enjoyed it. If you have any comments, please let me know =) Best of luck in your adventures. And remember:

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With love,

Ale

One more year, what a gift!

Today is the eve of my birthday. For the past few days I’ve been getting caught up in a sort of daze about my life because of this matter. It is funny to think how much I grew in the course of one year. It was not an easy year for me, far from it, thus leading me to self-awareness and growth. I believe in looking at the bright side of things. Finding beauty in random places and thinking the best of a circumstance. However, there are days with dimmer light than others.

Today I am thinking of my life. Where I am, what I’ve done. The choices I’ve made and how they have led me to this place in this moment. I am in a pensive state. The results of an upcoming birthday and getting older. Life is viewed so differently as you get older. It is wonderfully complex.

Looking back at the last year of my life, I see mainly hope and love. My year started with an idea of writing a new chapter with Him in Sweden. Life happened and now here I am, across the Atlantic, many kilometers away from all of that. Knowing, though, that my dreams are coming towards me. It is just a lesson of patience and perseverance. One I needed to learn.

This year I am filled with a heartwarming sense of gratitude. I know I am never alone because God always has my back. It’s an amazing feeling.

I start this next year of my life knowing I am more patient. That shit happens and it’s up to you to choose how to take it in. Even though shitty things happen in life, IT DOES NOT MEAN life is shitty. Deal with it. This is my story and I choose the words to write in it.

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So be careful with your storyline, you only get one book to write. One life.

Have a wonderful and blessed week.

With love,

Ale

Un pensamiento, un suspiro

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Que es el amor,

si no un lazo, un deseo, una esperanza.

Te amo? Si. De eso no tengo duda.

¿Se podrá, entonces, con ese fundamento lograr todo? 

La incertidumbre y el miedo llenan de repente el alma.

En un abrir y cerrar de ojos todo se derrumba y la vista se nubla.

Se hace el silencio.

Y la luz de la esperanza busca su libertad a mi alrededor.

 

 

Family affairs

Alcohol consumption.

Could we please have a conversation about this topic?

I have come to realize, as an adult, that in my family it is inconceivable, even laughable for some, to have a family get together, party or a celebration, without drinking alcohol.

Granted, it is never to the point where people cannot keep their balance or a proper conversation. Nevertheless, it does make me wonder about the message this practice sends to the kids in the family. Regardless of the fact that I do not have kids, I am still concerned for kids going through life getting those messages constantly.

A message that beer is an essential part of a celebration. A message that beer is a typical word for them to use.

Personally, I do not want my kids, future kids, to make that word part of their vocabulary. I would like to provide something different. I still don’t quite know how to put it into words. All I know is that I think about how they are going to see me and I want a different context.

However, I am also aware there is not a set of steps to follow to become a “good parent”. There is no SURE PATH, ONE WAY to be a good parent. I merely pray to be the best version of me when that time comes.

On the other hand, it saddens me every single time when I try and touch the subject with some of my family members because I am perceived as ridiculous. People roll their eyes and that is the end of the conversation. Turn around, walk away.

Where is open mindedness?

Where is understanding?

And in all of this I wonder…

Am I being ridiculous?

Am I lacking an open mind?

Am I not being sympathetic?

I do not believe in pointing fingers without taking a look at my own life first. Without evaluating how I am. Because if you don’t, you become the problem or part of it as well.

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In the end, my conclusion is to take the good from the situation. Which is plenty as it is. As for the actions I don’t embrace, just accept that I will do something when my time comes. We all have our paths in life, and it is not my place to lead someone else’s to my own.

Have a wonderful, safe and blessed day you beautiful person reading this.

With love,

Ale

NOTE: This post is not about judgement on anyone. I want to make it very clear. It is about expressing my point of view on a circumstance that I see and/or experience.

Day 21: 31 Day LDR Challenge

Today’s topic is rather uncomfortable. Private. Intimate. Just for the two people involved. So, let’s just skip it and go to the next one 🙂

Day 22: 31 Day LDR Challenge

A cute story… that shouldn’t be a problem. We have a bunch! The problem here is to pick one. I guess I could talk about the first time he “asked me out”. I don’t know what he’s going to think about me telling this story online, but I guess we’ll find out. This is my way to keep track of my life and he’s a very big part of it. *Love you baby*

So for those of you who don’t know about how we first met please go read this post: How did we meet? I can wait, no problem!

Ok now that you know the context, this story can make more sense.

If you have to know one thing about my boyfriend is that he is not a ladies man. And I mean it in the sense that he can be shy and awkward when he is interested in a girl. Again, SORRY BABE!. When I met him though, we didn’t seem to have a problem with this because conversations were easily created in the house. During dinner, breakfast or simply hanging out in the kitchen. We were able to talk a lot about several important topics like family, beliefs, upbringing, education and other things really early on. This created a wonderfully sincere connection between us.

One beautiful spring morning I was at the university already doing my things for my masters when I got a text by him saying something like “Lunch today?

Romantic, huh?

So I said yes and we ended up having lunch at a burger joint on campus. It was DELICIOUS! but I’m drifting as usual. We talked a lot, I felt his vibe and tried to flirt a bit which is kind of hard when your face has traces of mayo and ketchup. But I managed like a pro. I think so. It was a pretty cute first date to be honest. Light and easy.

Well there you go, that’s our very romantic first date. Oh yeah baby. If anyone out there wants to tell me their story please do it. I’d love to hear it. Until next time.

With love,

Ale