Let Your Compliments Out

This picture is unrelated to what this post is about. I’m just using my body and my hot mom’s body to get your attention.

Compliments come into your head so that you can let them out. Letting compliments out brings other people so much joy.

Yesterday, the dollar store checkout lady literally giggled with delight when I told her her teeth were nice and white.

Tell people what nice faces they have, even if you know they will think you’re hitting on them. They can start playing with their wedding ring or tell you about how they went on a trip with their girlfriend to Peru recently and they can go home later that day and tell their significant other they were hit on. Everyone will laugh and be like “wow, what a hot thing I am,” and be happier because of it.

If you are both complimenting and hitting on them and they are interested in you, chances are good that they will say, “let’s hang out.” And then you will say, “yes, let’s,” if you like their vibe.

Sometimes a person might think you just want to cop their style if you compliment them. Maybe you do. The perk here is that most people will say, “this is a French perfume I get on the strip in Las Vegas,” when you say, “you smell great.”

A person might roll their eyes and head at you like you’re some lowlife after you’ve turned your car around and shouted loudly out your window from a bit too far away, “Hey, I love your scarf.” And you might cry about their meanness, because you didn’t work out enough recently, but it’s still worth complimenting. (This type of thing is the rarest of the rare and not likely to happen, but I just want you to know that even if it does, it’s not that scary when people react unusually to a compliment.)

Let’s say you scroll past something funny or interesting or beautiful in an Instagram story. Let her know her hair looks especially nice today! Even if she doesn’t respond, it makes that girl smile. Two seconds to react and let a compliment out could mean a whole day of smiles.

On Eating and Movement

A lot of people ask me for advice on health and fitness. So I’m giving the people what they want! I am not an expert and I recommend consulting people who are, but here is a broad look at what I do. As a reminder, I look the way I do from many years of consistently training to run competitively and I naturally have a small bone structure. Everyone’s ideal body will evolve over time as they learn what movements and foods work best for their body. I have researched and learned a lot about what makes me feel my best and I am happy to share what I have learned with you.

1. On eating: Our bodies are always trying to move us towards our ideal states, so I trust my appetite. I eat when I’m hungry and stop eating when I’m not hungry anymore. It sounds simple, but if you’re not used to doing this, it takes practice. This means when I’m training more, I naturally eat more. I focus on eating healthy foods I love to eat. After I’ve gotten healthy foods in me, I let myself enjoy dessert. It ends up being anywhere from one dessert per day to one dessert per week. In my experience, if I find myself craving too many sweets, I’m not getting enough protein or healthy calories overall. I don’t restrain myself from eating any particular thing, I just do my best to eat mostly healthy foods.

Eating should be delightful. I prefer to eat with happy company, instead of alone. I don’t eat food if I know someone angry cooked it. It’s easier to digest food when you’re calm and happy. If I’m upset, I wait until I calm down to eat. I also try to avoid rushed eating.

To also keep myself eating happy, I don’t weigh myself. I am not interested in how much I weigh, I am interested in feeling energetic, moving freely, and running fast.

I’ve been really poor and had to eat things that I know are terrible for me, but I always do what I can with what I have. Maybe I can’t afford the ideal diet, but I can eat some spinach and bananas. I can make sure I surround myself with loving people and eat food cooked by tenderhearted people. And I can still listen to my appetite.

2. On movement: I am frequently moving and I feel my best when I’m really active. Even during the times of day I’m not specifically working out, I move a lot. I walk at work and I love to go for nature walks. I go dancing whenever I can. I love to skate and rollerblade, as well. I like yin yoga a lot, because it helps me train my ability to focus. Pilates helps me with core strength and stability. I can’t do all these things all the time, so I work them in when I can. Normally if I am training less for running, I do more yin yoga, walking, and Pilates. I really enjoy swimming, so this is something else I will do if I’m resting from running. There are great Pilates and yoga books and YouTube videos to learn the basics. Classes are great to get a teacher’s guidance, if you can afford them.

Movement is another area where I do my best with what I have. When I was sleeping in my car, I would walk every day, run less often, and do pull ups, push ups and core work at the park. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to be effective, just consistent.

When I’m training to run competitively, I work out anywhere from one to three hours per day. This includes running, core work, stretching and lifting weights. I do not recommend jumping into training this much if your body isn’t prepared for it. I’ve worked up to this volume of training over time, and I follow a personalized training plan, created by coaches I trust. For most people, this amount of training isn’t even necessary. I do it simply because I love it. I also don’t always do this. I have taken months off and even up to a year off at times, for an injury or just for a mental break from it.

The important thing is finding the joy and balance in movement. The things that are hardest to do, usually make you feel the best. That consistent core routine is a bit mundane, but it prevents injury so you can keep moving. Running hill repeats makes you feel like you might pass out, but the high after you’ve competed the work is the unmatched.

There are so many different aspects of health and fitness I could go into, but the article would get too complex if I threw them all in one. Let me know what else you would like me to write about on this topic.

So You Want To Be A Runner

This is the most exciting day of your life. You have decided you might want to see what it’s like to be a runner. Maybe you’ve heard of a runner’s high and you were like, “I want that,” (it is true, it is amazing). Or you envied a runner’s body (it is nice to have). For whatever reason you’re here, this is exciting, because running has made my life immensely better. And I know it can do that for you.

Before I teach you how to run, you have to understand why you run. You might think you know why and you might say, “I am running to be lean and fit, like you, Lauren.” And, I’d say, “I hear that a lot, but this can’t be why you run. Otherwise, you will give it up when it gets hard or you’re not seeing the results you wanted and you will never love running the way I love it.”

You run because running makes you the best person you can be.

You are calmer and more effective when your body is in good shape. You can pursue your passions and your career and take care of your family more effectively when your body is fit and balanced. You can process stress and trauma in healthier ways. By learning to push yourself athletically, you learn to push yourself in other areas of your life.

Becoming the best person and athlete you can be doesn’t end with one run or race. It is a process that lasts a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if you can only jog one minute and it doesn’t matter if you slow down as you age. It doesn’t matter if Jim is faster than you. It doesn’t matter if you’re injured and cannot run.

It is always about how running challenges you and shapes you. It matters that you do not give up when it gets hard and that you learn that working hard is fun.

On the other side of patience and perseverance is the illusive runner’s high and runner’s body. The runner’s high doesn’t happen every day, but when it comes, it is worth the pain. The runner’s body doesn’t happen immediately. It happens after years of falling in love with running and movement and caring deeply for your body. And when it happens, you realize you’re hot. And that confidence is invaluable.

What running does for you as a person affects you the moment you even think about trying running. So be gentle with yourself. Pat yourself on the back for going out for a walk, because every runner first walked.

Running is an amazing sport. I’m excited to help you all love running as much as I do. Feel free to message me with questions.

Everything I’ve Lost < Everything I’ve Gained

I came across this senior picture recently. We never actually ordered these pictures, because my parent’s divorce had thrown my mother into abject poverty and homelessness. By choosing to stay with her, I was homeless and living in poverty as well. My dad would have financially supported me if I would have lived with him, but it would have meant I could have no contact with my mom. I missed competing at the state track meet my senior year (after being runner up in the 2 mile my junior year) and I was delinquent from school (after being an honors student) to live with my mom. The story is long and complicated, but in general, the ineffectual family court system tore my family apart.
People who know my story have a tendency to feel sorry for me. But the reality is, I am lucky to have been through this.
Everything I lost and every opportunity I missed did not matter. I now live with such a deep trust that whatever is meant for me will never miss me, because everything I gained from this experience is more than I could have known to hope for. ❤️

Thoughts on Alcohol

My grandpa on my dad’s side of the family gave me my first sip of beer when I was in elementary school. My mom was furious when she found out. I was taught that drinking was a sin, because we adhered to the beliefs of my mom’s parents (the Apostolic Lutheran Church). My mom didn’t try a sip of alcohol until she was forty years old and there never was any alcohol in our home.

After my family left the Apostolic Lutheran Church, I was told not to drink because it was against the law. And I followed all the rules. At this age, I watched a close relative’s intelligence and spirit drown in her alcoholism (and it was amidst her outwardly preaching against drinking). I learned of other family members dying or nearly dying, because of addiction. And I watched all my friends start to drink.

When I turned twenty one, I didn’t have any authority figure telling me not to drink, but it still didn’t really interest me. I tried a strawberry Jell-O shot three months after my twenty-first birthday. My head spun and I felt a strange feeling down the front of my quadriceps, but other than that, I didn’t notice much. By the time I turned twenty-seven, I could still count on my hands the number of times I had drank.

I understand why people drink. It’s a quick way to get yourself to do what you actually want, without caring what people think. You want to talk to a beautiful woman, who is a stranger, but it’s too scary. You want to dance and be free, but something in your brain makes it scary. The alcohol just turns that thing in your brain off. I think you can turn that thing in your brain off without alcohol, it just takes a lot of practice. You have to keep doing the things you want to do and you have to be okay with feeling scared.

When you drink you also forget about your problems. I get why people want to forget about their problems. Sometimes, I’d like to forget mine. The annoying thing about forgetting your problems when you drink is that they are still there when the drinking wears off. The secret is that working on fixing your problems actually brings you more joy. And running could also make you forget your problems, so could writing, or sewing (if that’s what you’re into). And all these things also help you process your problems instead of covering them up and hiding them away behind drugs.

I do occasionally drink. Sometimes, it’s just so people around me don’t feel uncomfortable with their drinking. Many times, I will get one drink and nurse it for a full night out. People eventually notice that I’ve only had one drink, but they’re usually too drunk to feel like I’m judging them by the time that realization happens. Another fun thing is to accept additional drinks when they are offered, but sneakily pass them on to someone else or add the alcohol to your friend’s cup when they’re not looking. Volunteering to drive is another fun way to not drink. Demonstrating a distaste for the flavor of alcohol someone got you also gets you out of that drink.

Ultimately some people figure out my real drinking habits aren’t like theirs and don’t want to be around me because of it, but it’s just as well.

I am usually more interested in chasing the highs the body naturally produces that don’t have a downside, when pursued in balance. I like to wake up with energy, instead of grogginess from drinking.

I’ll keep dancing freely, attending live music, trying new things that scare me, talking to strangers who interest me, working out intensely, spending time with the ones I love, laughing, spending time in nature, creating art, writing and performing.

I hope you will, too, whether you’re drinking or not.

A Christmas Thank You to Nana

Nana, you did something so beautiful by raising my mom the way you did. You may not realize it, but it freed me.

You instilled values so deep, my mom chose the hard way instead of the easy way forward. As a result, I no longer feel I must do what is culturally expected of me. I feel free to explore what I am here to do. Maybe you didn’t realize this is what would happen, but for your part, I am infinitely thankful.

I’m also thankful you taught my mom cleanliness and care for her style and appearance that she passed on to me.

You taught her manners and the value of education, which she taught me.

You taught her to caringly cook for everyone.

You introduced her to nutrition and supplements. And she did this for me.

You showed us the simple joy in coffee and in saunas.

You taught us to love holidays, celebrations and traditions.

And for all these things and more, I am thankful.

Merry Christmas. I love you, Nana.

Audacity

I love the word audacious. The first definition is: “showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.” And the second, more commonly used meaning, is: “showing an impudent lack of respect.”

In my experience, these two meanings go hand in hand. When we take surprisingly bold risks, people often say we are showing a lack of respect. When you leave your position at work, they say, “Think of how this will affect the business you are leaving before you make the change. This will stress out your boss. This is a really great and flexible role. Make sure you have something lined up. Don’t burn any bridges.” When you decide to stop fully financially and emotionally supporting your mom, she says, “You are disrespecting me. I took such gentle care of you for many years.” Anger arises, because she has grown accustomed to your constant support. But you realize, in order to pursue your vision, you have to let go of hers. Her emotional state is not your responsibility. When you can afford to give her more financially, you will. It is not easy, but it is worth it. She doesn’t want to be your burden anyway.

Trust that anger fades into understanding as people who love you watch you come alive. People who aren’t being audacious alongside you may remain angry and will naturally leave your life. These are good things. Setting new boundaries and taking surprising chances is not comfortable, but it gives you your most fulfilling life.

Let’s be audacious.

Contemplate Death to Give Yourself Life

This picture was taken shortly before we lost my Papa (my mom’s dad), who was like a father to me. It was difficult for all of us.

When someone I know and love dies, it is extremely painful, yet it reminds me to recommit to who and what I care about, because all of our deaths are imminent.

We have a short time to listen to the song of our heart and express it. We do not know when we will be gone. The saddest story is not that you chased a dream and failed, it’s that you left this world with your song still inside you.

When you realize you might die soon or someone you love might die soon, will you stick to your guns in this argument you’re having with your sister? Will you keep letting yourself be mistreated by your friend or boss? Will you keep letting your fears stop you from opening a car wash? Will you worry what your friend’s neighbor will think of your new necktie?

Your life is precious and will never exist again, so do everything in your power to express yourself to the fullest. Even a silly whim to change your style or brush up on your Spanish skills are clues to what your life’s song will be. So get a stylist and take a Spanish class as soon as you can. Be brave in pursuing what is in your heart, even if it sounds silly. The world needs to hear your song.