Progress Is Perfection

A blog to inspire, motivate, and unleash the awesome in everyone


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Not Measuring Up

Well, it’s been far to long since I’ve written anything. I haven’t been able to get my thoughts down in a coherent way, so I’ve been putting this off. Tonight though, I needed to write something. It’s just my thoughts tonight, with no real direction, but I’ll get there…

How do you measure yourself? How do you know if you’re achieving your life purpose?

Parenting? Reaching health and fitness goals? Progress?

Well, whatever it is, I’m not there. I’ve been going backwards for the past year and a half, especially in the last 6 months since my car accident.

My parenting is less than perfect, I’m not always present emotionally and we don’t do all the fun things I wish we could. I have an amazing kid though, I boast about him constantly. He’s intelligent, caring and is always making us laugh. I love him and want to be great for him. I want to smile and laugh and enjoy every single day with him, I need to be strong for him.

Reaching my health and fitness goals, this is the killer for me. My fitness goals have come to a halt since May of this year, all thanks to a car accident. I thought I would be better by now, it’s been 6 months. I thought I was strong. This healing process has made me question my strength, mentally and physically. I was in the process of training for my second Tough Mudder before the accident; that included kickboxing 5-6 days and running 2-3 days a week with some extra strength training added in. I was ready to kick ass at TM and bring home another headband. Well, that didn’t happen, and for the last 6 months I’ve been struggling to get back to where I was. It’s beyond frustrating to look back and see what little progress I’ve made; sure, my injury is slowly healing and I’ve improved that, but physically I’m not even close to where I was.

The daily pain is what gets to me; between the headaches, shoulder, neck and jaw pain, I have zero energy for anything extra after work. I’m trying, hard, to break through this. Push past some of the pain to test my limits and see how far I really can go, but it’s a slow process.

I’m not sure how to pull myself out of this slump. I’ve been trying to take it day by day, write my short and long term goals down, and push myself to succeed in those goals.

This last week and a half I’ve seen a considerable improvement in my physical abilities, which gives me some hope, but I’m still not there mentally. I’m stuck in this funk of feeling sorry for myself, pathetic and weak to let a car accident hinder my abilities.

I’ve been through so much shit in my life, that I’ve fought and overcome, so why is this getting to me? I’m honestly just exhausted from life, and this was my last straw. I’ll get through it, I always do, I’ll just have to fight a bit harder this time.

Nicole


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Coconut Oil & Honey Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment

Recently I’ve noticed my hair has needed a bit of a deep conditioning treatment; all the coloring, flat ironing, and blow drying eventually takes it toll on your hair no matter how much you try and take care of it.  What I didn’t want to do was go to a store and have to spend an arm and a leg on a treatment or product from a hair salon, so I took to the internet to try and find a simple homemade deep conditioning hair treatment.

I decided to try a mixture of coconut oil and honey. I already use coconut oil for cooking, and for moisturizing my skin, so I figured I may as well try and slap some on my hair and see what happens! Honey has also been known to nourish and enrich hair, so I decided to put some in the mix as well. The nice thing about using coconut oil and honey is that its a really simple chemical-free and organic way to bring some moisture back into your hair and soften it from the inside out. It also works wonders for dry scalps.

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I mixed together one teaspoon of melted coconut oil with one teaspoon of honey, and then massaged it into my damp hair. It was a bit tricky to work through all of my long hair, but going section by section I eventually got the job done (next time I think I will add in a bit of water to make it less sticky). I left it in for about 45 minutes as a did some cleaning around the house, though some people will leave these sorts of treatments in for hours, or even overnight for the ultimate effect. When it was time to rinse I scrubbed it all out of my hair and washed with a simple clarifying shampoo from Lush (Rehab Shampoo). I didn’t use a conditioner as I felt at this point it may be a bit of overkill 😉 I towel-dried my hair and found that once I blow dried it my hair was still a bit greasy, so….back under the tap I went for one more shampoo. That finally did the trick and my hair came out light, silky smooth, and reinvigorated; definitely a treatment I will want to repeat in the future on a regular basis.

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So next time you need a deep conditioning treatment, instead of dropping a lot of cash at a salon for a treatment or one of their expensive products, reach into your kitchen cupboard and mix up one of your own instead 😉

– Veronica


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How Do You Measure YOUR Life?

Well the 30 Day Challenge is finished. I won’t lie, I am definitely sitting on my laptop surrounded by a bit of candy, and munching away on it happily. I don’t feel guilty – at least not yet. As long as I don’t overindulge I will be fine 😛

Whilst snacking away on my delicious candy, I’ve done some reflecting today on how our society has developed an unhealthy obsession with certain numbers; more specifically the numbers we often use to measure our worth.

For women these are commonly the number on a scale, the number on the inside of the jeans we just bought ourselves, or the number of inches gained or lost around our waistline. For some it’s their Body Mass Index score or the number of abs they can count on their stomach. For others it’s the amount of calories consumed, calories burned, or calories reduced from their meal. It can be how many meals we have eaten in a day, how many grams of carbs or fats were taken in, or how many “points” from a diet plan we have used up. Somehow we have become fixated on these numbers and ultimately how they make us feel about ourselves.

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And while these numbers can be used as indicators for health and fitness (to a point) we need to remember that they are NEVER a measure of your worth.

I’ll say it again, these numbers should not determine how you feel about yourself.

Unfortunately we have built a society that is superficial. As a result, for many of us our happiness and worth lies in social acceptance and validation from others in regards to our looks. But beauty is so much more then skin deep. Some of the most beautiful people in my life may not be conventionally thought of as supermodels, but they are radiant in so many other ways. They are kind, selfless, loving, passionate, hard-working and electric with positive energy.

So when beating yourself up about some of the “bad” numbers in your life, think about some of the others you may have overlooked.

How about the number of kilometers you managed to run, beating your old record?

The number of competitions you have entered and finished?

The number of fabulous books you have read?

The amount of recipes you have tried and tested?

The number of amazing vacations you have taken, or beautiful cities you have traveled to?

The number of great friends and family you have that you wouldn’t trade for the world?

The years you have put in working towards your dream job?

All the people that you make laugh every day with your irresistible sense of humor?

Your wonderful child or children that you love more than life itself?

The number of fears you have faced head on and overcome?

All the unforgettable photos you have taken of life’s most memorable events?

The people you have helped in their time of need?

I guess the takeaway here is not to get so caught up with the superficial numbers that we traditionally THINK are so indicative of how great a person we are. Think of all the other numbers in your life and what they add up to: a pretty incredible person.

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–   Veronica


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From Clean Eating to Clean Cosmetics

I realized some time ago that although I have practiced clean eating habits for awhile, I had neglected to consider other areas of my life that could be “cleaned up” so to speak; namely, cosmetic/hair care products. I have spent so much time reading labels on my food, but somewhat hypocritically had not been doing the same for my shampoos, moisturizers, and so on. And really, if I’m going to spend the time watching what I put IN my body I really should do the same with things I out ON my body.

I had noticed while working at a pet retail store some months ago that many of the shampoo and conditioners we had sold read better than my own shampoo. This was somewhat disturbing, but made me think that there must be some good quality chemical-free shampoos for humans too. With this in mind I decided to try out a new shampoo and conditioner. I went to Nature’s Fare, my local neighborhood health store and organic market, and found the Alba Botanica line.

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I decided to go with their Coconut Milk shampoo and conditioner for dry hair. Now while its not 100% chemical-free, it IS 100% vegetarian and free of animal testing, artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium myreth sulfate. It seemed like a good compromise as I had tried a completely natural shampoo and conditioner before, made mainly of things like honey and bananas, and found that it made my hair feel…well…gross. The all natural shampoo left it feeling heavy, tangled, and dry. I tried the Alba Botanica one today, and I absolutely fell in love with it.

Not only does it smell like a wonderful summer’s day in Hawaii, but it left my hair feeling amazingly silky soft – a difficult feat some days considering the amount of heat and hair color I have subjected my hair to over the years. In one wash it made my hair feel healthier than it had in months and at $9.99 a bottle, it doesn’t break the bank like many of the salon hair care products. So definitely two thumbs up on that one!

The other product I discovered was Trader Joe’s Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil.

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My mom brought this up to me as a gift over the weekend, which was perfect timing as I had just run out of my face wash and was hoping to find something a little more natural. The ingredients are all completely natural with things like tea tree oil, awapuhi, orange peel and lavender. So far its been great at keeping my oily complexion under control. I have noticed that it does sting a little bit by the end of the minute that you are meant to massage it into your face, so it may not be ideal for those with sensitive skin.

After that I follow up with virgin coconut oil to moisturize. Yup, that’s right, the same coconut oil I use for cooking I use to moisturize my face. I always thought that anything oil based would clog my pores and cause acne, but I’ve used it for the last month and its been better then any store-bought legitimate moisturizer I’ve ever used. I make sure to use just enough for my skin to absorb and no more, otherwise you will definitely have a slimy later of oil just sitting on your face. The coconut oil is intensely hydrating and has softened up some of the finer wrinkles on my face. It hasn’t clogged my pores, and hasn’t caused any acne. Besides being hydrating, coconut oil also has antibiotic, anti-fungal, multivitamin, multi-nutrient and anti-oxidant properties which should actually help prevent and heal any acne you might have. If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it!

If anyone has any other hair care or cosmetic items that they have tried and loved, let me know! It’s always fun to try new products 🙂

– Veronica