a letter to my body

TaraVictoriaDotCom-ALetterToMyBody

i have spent the better part of 26 years hating you, feeling defeated by you and judging you to the harshest standards and in the deepest ways. i have spent that time wishing you looked like someone else, wishing you were built differently and wishing you would change overnight. i have cried over you. i have let feelings of disgust consume me. i have allowed myself to daydream that you looked different. i have spent the better part of 26 years wanting and trying, desperately to change you. i have let my worries about what others may think you look like gain complete power over me. i have gotten angry at you. i have compared you on a regular basis. i have abused you with insecure thoughts and i have taken you for granted.

what i haven’t done is thanked you. you are the only body i was given and you have got me through 26 years of life. you are healthy and that is a complete gift. i have not looked at you and felt gratitude that you, and you alone, have carried the weight of my pain, suffering, heartache, headaches, stress, anxiety, depression, and whatever else i’ve thrown your way. i have instead burdened you with feelings of constant negativity.

i have not told you that you are enough. that you are simply you and you are doing the best that you can. i haven’t looked at you and said thank you. thank you for getting me up that mountain. thank you for healing that injury and those cuts and bruises and turning them into the most beautiful scars. thank you for fighting that cold. thank you for taking on the toll of day to day stresses. thank you for staying healthy when i don’t give you enough rest. thank you for getting me through that workout and for letting me push you to your max. thank you for letting me feel the touch of a friend and the comfort of their hug. thank you for facing my fears head on and standing tall when my soul struggles.

you have always been there for me no matter what and i have taken that for granted every time i allowed my insecurities to get the best of me. the truth is that you have always been enough. you have always been the most capable you can be with everything i’ve asked of you. you have walked with me through every celebration, gain, challenge, loss, heartbreak, adventure, sleepless nights, and overworked days. every movement you make is a beautiful reflection of my mind. you are forgiving. you are resilient, despite my best efforts to tell you otherwise. and dammit, you are beautiful. you are a work of art. you are as you were made and you are as you are meant to be. you are gracefully, me.


have you thanked your body today? if not, you should. you are beautiful.

at home with uncommongoods

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as i’m looking at moving into a new space in the next few months, obviously the interior design obsessed me has already started looking at different shops and items i’d like to decorate the new space with. i get pretty excited when i land on a super cool business with a great mission statement that’s doing something different than some of the big names out there. when i found out about UncommonGoods i was pretty stoked. you know how excited i get about the stories behind things and reading about the business i could see that they do too. seriously y’all, reading through the stories behind some of the artists’ pieces has been amazing! i think so far this one is my favourite. i love love constellations and the meaning behind the necklace makes for a gorgeous and simple piece.

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i’ve had a ton of fun creating a little wish list from their unique selection of artists and small businesses and i couldn’t resist this lightbox piece (even though i’m trying to not have a ton to move)! sometimes you just have to! i’m pretty excited about this piece and i’ve been having a ton of fun switching up the quotes every week. i think it’ll be a great addition to the new office space!

of course, i got lost in their home decor and a few other goodies that have been placed on my want list, so i wanted to share a few of my favourites with you guys! if you have a minute take a browse around some of the unique items and read the artist stories, they’re so interesting!

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shop these items:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7
favourite collections: personalized gifts  |  top mothers day gifts  |  earrings

 

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*please note* this post is sponsored by UncommonGoods. all thoughts and opinions are my own.

2 weeks 2 dare: final thoughts

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well we’re at the end of this 2 week spin challenge and i made it! woohoo! not gonna lie, the last class was probably the hardest one i had to push through, but it felt pretty dang good to crush it! i’ve taken a few days to let my body recoup a bit, and reflect on the past 14 days. looking back, i’m so glad that i did this challenge and i feel pretty lucky to have had the support of such amazing people.

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so how do i feel on the other side of 14 days of spin? pretty awesome! it was a cool experience to have to push through mental walls and it was inspiring to be immersed in such a strong community everyday for 2 weeks. as i mentioned in my last post, it’s become a pretty great escape for me and knowing i had that commitment everyday made it not only easier to challenge my body physically, but stick to healthy eating. i was surprised to find that getting back on that nutrition train was pretty easy the minute i committed to the challenge.

physically, i noticed quite a few inches and pounds lost, but the biggest thing was the strength. by the end of the second week the amount of tension i was putting on the bike was way more than i ever thought i could handle and the weight tracks became more manageable. i definitely knew that i was going to have to pace myself throughout the 14 days, so i used lighter weights and while i was still pushing myself in class, i tried to do so at a reasonable rate. the funny thing was, in certain classes when a certain song came on that i really connected with or when the motivator said something that pumped me up, i forgot about the challenge, pacing, and previous days workout and pushed harder than before. it is truly remarkable what our bodies are capable of!

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i think more than anything this became a mental game. 2 weeks really isn’t that long of a commitment, but when you’re in the middle of it feeling a bit sore or tired, the end seems pretty far away. i think i feel stronger mentally on the other side of this than i do physically and i think that’s pretty rad! it’s a bit difficult to put into words what these fitness challenges that i’ve been doing since the beginning of last year have come to mean to me, but i know they have had a massive affect on my mindset and motivation. on top of that, surrounding myself with friends and a community that inspires and encourages me has made this journey even more exciting. so thanks to all of you who have commented, liked, shared or reached out on this journey. you have made such a difference and i appreciate the heck out of each and every one of you!!

 

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*please note* this post is sponsored by YYC Cycle & YEG Cycle. all thoughts and opinions are my own. huge thank you to Farha, Andrew, Warren & Grady for agreeing to let me take on this crazy experiment. you guys are the best!! 

2 weeks 2 dare: why i spin

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at the halfway point of this 2 weeks 2 dare challenge, i wanted to reflect on my thoughts and how i’ve been feeling physically and emotionally over the past 7 days. i also wanted to share about how fitness has become such an escape for me, specifically, how spin has become such a great source of clarity and a place to calm my mind.

at the start of these 14 days, i had little expectations of how things would go. i’ve been finding more and more that i’ve been trying in different areas of my life to hold little to no expectations of how experiences will be. i always find that expectations are either surpassed or you’re left disappointed. things never happen how we think they’re going to. i feel like going into something with a totally open mind is a positive attitude that can lead to a more positive experience. so when it came to this spin challenge, i went into it totally open-minded. i had parts of me that were a bit scared that i wouldn’t be able to do the entire 14 days – whether that was from giving up mentally or physically – and i had parts of me that were just excited to see what would happen. the only thing i knew for sure was that i would hit at least one wall at some point, physically, and i would be a mental mind game to push through.

on day 3 i hit that road block, which freaked me out a little bit because that seemed a really early to me. it was during the class that day that i kept thinking to myself ‘holy shit this is day 3 and physically my legs are jelly right now… what did i get myself into!’ i had a few good minutes of that thought process and then i remembered that when we push ourselves in anything it’s a mental and emotional game and once we get past that mind block of “i can’t”, we can! it’s all about that mind over matter. so i fought that fight, pushed through the rest of the class and gave it my all.

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the following days seemed to go a lot easier for me after getting through that one block. i pushed myself as hard as i could in each class, turned up the tension in the dial and let the music motivate the hell out of me. i also committed to trying some new instructors with some of my regular favourites and that turned out to be even more motivating.

so how am i feeling at the halfway mark? well other than being a bit sore and me needing to stretch more than i normally would, i feel pretty great! i’ve had some moments where i feel a bit tired so i’ve had to listen to my body and adjust my nutrition a accordingly. i’ve noticed that with each class, my body is getting stronger and stronger and i’m able to push myself harder than i ever have. it’s been an amazing feeling.

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beyond the physical aspect of this challenge, i wanted to know what would happen to me mentally being immersed in this community environment and being committed to a physical challenge everyday. the one thing i’ve noticed is that it’s been really great to have this commitment everyday of just me time and i haven’t had a day yet where it’s been a fight for me to get up and go to a class. i’ve had days where i was pretty stressed out with work or something else going on and knowing i had that hour to escape whatever was going on that day was extremely comforting. the minute i walk into that class my focus changes from all the stuff on my to-do list and whatever is stressing me out to all of my surroundings: the music, the smiling faces, the inspiring motivators and the sweat dripping down my forehead.

so in thinking about this challenge and also the topic of my web afternoon talk back in february, i wanted to think about a simple question: why i spin. i thought getting into the nitty gritty of it might help you guys and myself, better understand why it motivates me so much and why i’ve clicked so much with this particular fitness class. i think some parts of my why i can’t really put into words, but the biggest reason i think i would say is the escape. there’s something about the music, working out in the dark and the inspirational voice coming through the mic that lights a fire inside me. there’s also a point in each class where i connect with a certain song and the beat just totally takes over. it’s this crazy amazing feeling of just moving to the music and pushing as hard as i can. i’d say it’s pretty hard to explain if you’ve never taken a spin class or don’t get motivated by classes as much as i do. but i will say if you’ve never given it a shot, you should definitely try one! it’s a seriously amazing experience! wish me luck on this next half of the challenge and come say hi if you see me in the studio this week! 

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*please note* this post is sponsored by YYC Cycle & YEG Cycle. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Huge thank you to Farha, Andrew, Warren & Grady for agreeing to let me take on this crazy experiment. You guys are the best!! 

2 weeks 2 dare: 14 days of spin

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fitness has become such an important part of my daily routine: a motivator, a way to clear my mind and even a source of creative stimulation. in the exploration of fitness, i’ve discovered the amazing benefits, not just physically, but mentally. after a workout i feel more alert, positive and often times inspired.

since the beginning of this journey, i have tried to remain pretty open-minded to trying new workouts as my confidence levels build. i’ve found that since opening up to trying classes, what really works great for me, personally, is having someone else tell me what do to rather than trying to come up with a workout myself. one of the first classes i tried last year was spin at a local studio that my friend teaches at called YYC cycle. by now, most of you have probably seen by my slew of instagram posts that i’ve become pretty obsessed! not only is atmosphere in the studio pretty rad, but the motivators that teach the classes are some of the most inspirational people i’ve ever met.

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since recently opening up their 3rd studio in edmonton, one of the owners, my good friend Farha, approached me about partnering with them on a blog post. since these studios aren’t your typical spin studios so i wanted to do something different. that’s where the idea of 2 weeks 2 dare came about. i’m doing an experiment: i want to know what would happen physically and mentally if i did spin every day for 2 weeks. besides there being a physical transformation, i want to know what will happen mentally if i commit to being in that kind of motivating, community environment for 14 days straight. having a workout that you actually enjoy changes a lot in terms of having an incentive to actually do the workout. i want to know what will change if i commit to pushing myself in one of my favourite workouts everyday for 2 weeks. starting next week: monday february 29th, i’ll be kicking things off!
 

the rules are simple:

+  commit to 1 spin class everyday for 14 days straight
+  document my progress
+  adhere to a healthy nutrition plan for the duration of the challenge
+  drink a TON of water
+  smile a lot!

i’m going to be documenting my progress on social media so follow along with the hashtag #2weeks2dare, my instagram: @taravictorial, and my snapchat for daily updates: @taravictoria12. also, look out for a progress post on here halfway through and a final update at the end! and if you’re at yyc cycle anytime in the next 2 weeks come say hi! the wish me luck y’all!

 

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*please note* this post is sponsored by YYC Cycle & YEG Cycle. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Huge thank you to Farha, Andrew, Warren & Grady for agreeing to let me take on this crazy experiment. You guys are the best!! 

decked out: day of love

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one of my goals for my year of yes is spending more time on the things that i love but have previously put aside because life and excuses got in the way. one of those things is hand lettering. i have always loved experimenting with pen and ink and i find it incredibly relaxing. i’ve been pushing myself to do more and more and find new ways to incorporate it into my work whenever possible. i find these moments of experimentation with new mediums tend to boost my creativity and give me a bit of revival.

as we head into the weekend with a special day on sunday, i hope you all get to spend some time with the ones you love. whether that’s a significant other, friends, family or even taking the day just for you! i’ve mentioned on here before how i always like to take valentine’s day to appreciate all the people i love in my life. so to show how much i appreciate all of you lovely readers out there, i put  together these fun little desktop backgrounds! i hope you get to make time for the people you love and the things you love to do!

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 download here **for personal use only**
all the feels wallpaper: desktop | iphone
xoxo wallpaper: desktop | iphone

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