3 Ways to Stay Consistent with Health Goals as a Traveling Freelancer

I’m currently enrolled in an accelerated freelance writing course that teaches amateur writers the tools that seasoned authors use to maintain a successful and consistent career as a free lance writer.

Similar to other online courses and seminars, my program began with a pros and cons list of being a freelancer.
Besides the most obvious negative aspect of non consistent pay; the development of unhealthy practices was a prominent concern that I noticed.

With countless hours in front of a computer screen, and no real reason to leave your home, apartment, or pajama bottoms; being a free lancer is the sedentary career your health teacher warned you about.

Growing up in a health conscious family, and having an education in exercise science doesn’t exactly make you a health nut. I have never attempted whole 30 because I’m absolutely positive my sugar withdrawals would be similar to those of a recovering cocaine addict. I live on a steady wardrobe of spandex, cotton and polyester; and my only motivation to workout is so that I can shimmy my ass into the expensive party dresses I wear out on special occasions.

Those aren’t my only motivations. Maintaining the credibility of being a health and fitness coach is also a concern. However the afore mentioned drivers are the most authentic.

Needless to say, I too struggle with making the best choices for my personal wellness. With a heavy travel schedule, completely remote work load and limited availability of nutritiously dense options while traveling; I have to make conscious decisions to make my health and fitness a priority.

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Try some hotel yoga. I wrestle with lower back pain from wild sleeping, fully booked flights, and sleeping away from home. My morning yoga sessions help to relieve the pain associated with my aching spine. These sessions also help me to center myself and focus on the beauty and excitement of the day. Being able to travel the world, complete passion filled work and amplify my voice in the world is a privilege I never want to take for granted. Taking time to honor the moment each morning through yoga provides me with mindful space that is so needed in my day.

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Go vegetarian. I practice intuitive eating. Which means that I follow my body’s natural rhythm and listen to my gut (no pun) when it comes to what and how much I can eat. A practice that really helps me to stay on track during the week or while traveling is to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet during the day. I give myself a break at dinner time however I usually end up sticking with a mostly veggie rich meal and lean protein for dinner. I still indulge, however I find that I do so less often when practicing eating intuitively.

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Select a hotel with a wellness center. Traveling and vacation seem to go hand in hand. While in a new city, we often want to just forget about our regimes, routines, and schedules. By making sure that there is a fitness facility in whatever hotel we select, I eliminate the excuse of not having anywhere to workout. Working out in an on-site gym is also a nice change in routine with my fitness regime. I usually complete my workouts at home with guided training videos. I detest the pomp, frills and showmanship of the gym crowd so being able to get a great workout at home is really important to me. However, it is nice to mix up my body weight training with weights at the gym. Also being able to use the elliptical for cardio days is priceless when I have back to back coaching sessions scheduled but still need to squeeze in a quick workout. But the best part about training in a hotel gym is that it is almost always empty. With most hotel guests in vacation mode, and not concerned with days off from their wellness routines, hotel fitness accommodations are hardly ever utilized.

Dedicating space in your schedule for health and fitness regimes is difficult especially as a traveling freelancer. Although it is not impossible. By implementing small lifestyle changes, you can achieve big results in finding the wellness practices that fit into your life.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

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Walking Boldly in your Purpose: I failed so I could win

My first work of art was displayed in my daycare for years. Our class was just introduced to finger paints and while the other toddlers in my class choose more abstract styles of painting; I choose to paint my favorite TV character, Clifford the Big Red Dog. The director hung the painting on display at the front of the preschool with me credited as the artist. I made a ritual of stopping to stare at my picture, and read my name with the word artist preceding it. I knew my passion was art and I was sure that it would be my career of choice. That is until my father told me, “You know baby girl, most artists starve their whole lives. And I know how much you like nice things.” As I admired the diamond necklace I was gifted for my twelfth birthday.

Journalism lit me up in my secondary school years. From being a host on the radio show freshman year to writing for the Allen Eagle newspaper and yearbook; a career in writing I was destined to have. I mean it made so much sense. I had always used my writing for entertainment for myself. In middle school I managed to amass a following of over ten thousand kids who waited on bated breath each week for the Degrassi fan fiction posts on my Nickelodeon forum. And to this very day I still have a closet full of old notebooks filled with short stories, fiction novels and poems. Although I stopped pursuing writing as a career when my journalism teacher kindly pulled me to the side one day after yearbook and told me that I was too smart to waste my life on a career in journalism. Apparently it’s a dying field and again most journalists starve for their craft.

It was time to get practical.

When I started college I was determined to be a doctor. I saw my pediatrician practice thriving, my 2.5 children, and doting husband right in my mind’s eye I just had to get through the mountain of schooling. And things were going well, my adoring boyfriend had plans of being my husband and we agreed on the idea of kids, I had a spot in the school of science with a major in biology, I was going to do it. I was going to make this whole “stable ordinary life” thing work.

Then I took chemistry, and plans changed because I mean have you taken chemistry?! I reevaluated my desire for medical school which involved a lot more chemistry, and decided that dentistry would be a better path for me. I mean sure it’s harder to get into dental school than medical school and of course there was more chemistry but I had a plan to live a rational life and I was going to stick to it but again plans changed. Are you catching the overall theme here?

I had to transfer schools.

Unfortunately I didn’t meet the requirements for the school of science and had to pick a place holder major until I could get my math requirement and apply to be a biology major again. So I picked Kinesiology, it had a medical track and I actually liked the description of the course material. I took my first introduction to human nutrition course and fell in love. Utilizing something as simple as how and what people ate to analyze the psychology behind the person opened up a whole new world to me. And I finished my math requirement but after taking Childhood Obesity, I knew I found the right fit and graduated with a bachelor of science in Kinesiolgy.

It was still a social degree but it was social science. Big difference (trust me.)

After graduating, the disappointment of adulthood set in. I found myself being underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked. I knew that whatever career path I choose throughout adolescence, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. The art gallery, magazine, and pediatrician practice were all goals I saw myself working towards after I established myself as an authority in those fields.

I had to make yet another change.

The only hope I had was to invest in myself, so I took a leap. I took certification courses, brushed up on my nutrition material, applied for business certificates, created a website and opened up business accounts. I utilized little pieces of my old dreams to breathe life into my new one. Entrepreneurship presented the opportunity to become the artist, writer, speaker and life changer I always wanted to be.

Whether it’s creating new graphics for my business marketing, writing for my blog and other publications, or working with my coaching and business clients; I am utilizing all the talents I already possessed to make my dreams come true.

My ambitions have come full circle. For so long I was sold the lie that in order to be successful I had to do work that was “sensible.” Sensible got me a job as a receptionist, making just enough money to pay for my monthly expenses and tuition to get a new “sensible career.”

Bold gave me purpose. Being bold enough to amplify my voice in the world gave me an audience. Being bold enough to build a business, gave me a career in a profession that feels like home. Being bold enough to enough to make peace with failure gave me a fire for success that I never knew.

And a realization that I failed so many times before so that I could win right now. I walk boldly in my purpose now, with my intuition, and life experience as my guide.

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

 

Damn I’m Depressed

I have always considered myself to be a pretty happy person. As a child, I was always able to find the bright side of any situation that was keeping me down.

As I got older it seemed my mood and emotions were not my own anymore, I couldn’t find it within myself to be happy anymore.

My junior year of undergrad is when my issues came to a head. My parents split, my grandmother died, school was a struggle, and I was socially ousted by a group I thought were friends and sisters

The circumstances were dim but my best friend Harrison who encouraged me to seek help and fight to see the good in life again. I had never been to a therapist before, I was ignorant to why I would need one and how much it could help me. My university offered free sessions to students, so I signed up with a little push from Harry and my world was opened up. I had no idea I could feel a release from the burden of constantly having to appear strong and put together. I had been broke in a lot of ways but I started to piece my life back together and make it my own again.

When Harrison died, my world crumbled again. The first couple of months I cried every hour, I didn’t eat, my body hurt, my heart ached, and I was having severe panic attacks every day. The pain I experienced was like none I’d ever been through before. I couldn’t see the purpose or joy in life anymore.

Depression is weird. That’s an astute observation I know but I’m not speaking to rocket scientists here, (although some of you may be) I’m speaking to regular people who are processing trauma and coping. Depression for me meant losing the colors in my life. I was born an artistic soul with an imaginative mind. When I tasted a sweet for the first time pink stars danced behind my eyes as a savored my treat. Every monumental life juncture had been associated with a color after Harrison died there were none. I had danced with depression before but this felt like something else entirely. I never knew I could experience such despair.

I had wrestled with my mom and primary care doctor about seeing a psychiatrist. Although I had seen a therapist in the past, I saw no point in even trying. I had banished myself to a life of grey.

Moved by the symbolism of Harrison’s Birthday; I had gotten the courage to reactivate my Facebook. I read our old messages that were full of encouragement, wisdom, hope, and adoration for each other. Those messages also mapped out our vision of life together and although I had no power over those dreams diminishing. I could still be successful and live out the dreams I had for myself, and he had for me.

Not long after that when I scheduled my first psychiatry appointment and was formally diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. I am now coming to grips with the fact that I have depression. Every day is a new battle but I have so guardian angels on my side how could I not win.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

A vision in the making: May 2017 Vision Board

 

May 26, 2017

This blog is not simply a personal mental health journal but a recording of a dream in the making. These are my own words about my struggles and achievements after losing the love of my life. While building a brand, business, and finding myself again.

Vision Board Goals:

  1. Create a Youtube channel documenting opening my business as young black millennial.
  2. Gain a client base of inspired individuals who believe in our company’s vision on health.
  3. Quit my job in 3 months to a year. Juggle part-time entrepreneurship while working.
  4. WRITE MORE (articles, Harrison’s story, My story)
  5. Offer a guide on the ins and outs of starting a business for millennials who have no idea where to start.

Find time to travel, find time to paint, find time for photography. Be consistent with therapy/psychiatry. Be unashamed and open with struggles with mental health.

Reading these words almost a year later as I transfer my writing to a new medium is insightful. I believe that the most noble subject to study will always be one’s self. Often times when I am wrapped up in the grind of my day, I forget to think about how far I’ve come.

I have created my YouTube channel. Although I only have one video up, I am editing my second.

I’ve quit my job! You ever have a never-ending distaste for something that has been a part of the human experience for centuries? Well for me that thing is working for other people. More specifically having other people tell me what to do for less than $50 an hour. You know it’s funny how much clarity instructions and deadlines have when someone is paying me what my time is truly worth. In other words, I’ve known since I’ve started in the workforce that I was going to be my own boss.

The accomplishment I am most proud of is my writing. Taking the musing of an imaginative mind with an affinity towards complex diction to a larger platform on this blog has been a dream. I cannot wait to expand my writing portfolio with more published features and start to process of that novel.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

 

Welcome to my New Blog!

Welcome to the Healthy Shampy Blog. The purpose of this blog is to bring humor, entertainment and a unique millennial perspective to the conversation on entrepreneurship, trailblazing and life training.

I started this blog in May 2017 as a mental health journal after experiencing the loss of my best friend. Soon this simple blog chronicling my hectic, wild and unbelievable life, transformed into a vehicle that has allowed me to do influencer work with small businesses all over the country, launch my freelance writing career, and amplify my voice in the world.

My content is about the honest journey of taking the ultimate leap of faith and investing in yourself. Being a person who wants to live outside the box, and forge a path uniquely their own comes with tough obstacles. There will be issues such as self limiting beliefs, financial set backs and credibility challenges that will arise. Yet if you do the hard work of crafting a brand, finding a tribe and setting goals, your vision will actualize itself.

Join me as I continue to navigate life while building my brand and businesses. And while you’re here, enjoy lifestyle, travel and wellness posts. As well as authentic perspectives on the ups and downs of being a millennial entrepreneur and trailblazer.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

Here’s where it starts: My first class as a Zumba Instructor

My first time teaching Zumba was a great experience for me as a new fitness instructor. Our company received an opportunity to teach in-store demo classes at a popular women’s athletic wear store every Sunday in May. We choose to alternate our signature Core Conditioning class with Zumba. Our Core Conditioning class is a high-intensity interval workout that infuses cardio, kickboxing and strength training. Although, technically the fitness aspect of our company wasn’t my responsibility, mom was not a dancer, so I took over the Zumba training.

I actually completed my B1 instructor course the day before I had to teach. Although, I had put together a routine myself through countless hours of watching others on YouTube, I was unsure if my choreography would be okay. However, it fit the Zumba formula and required only minor tweaks.

The day of the actual class I was anxious. At the time I was a preschool gymnastics instructor, so I was sure no matter how large the mistake it still will not be taunted or laughed at in the uniquely harsh way that toddlers do. I had done my studying and time after time each instructor suggested that relaxation, practice and knowing your music was the key to a successful first class.

There were aspects of the class that were going to be outside of my control, but I guaranteed my attendees a good class by following these tips.

  • Focus on giving your best first impression by looking good. I made sure to wear athletic apparel that was flattering and nonbinding.
  • Talk to everyone that shows up for the class. Establishing a relationship with everyone who came to the class helped everyone be familiar with me as an instructor. It also gave them permission to let loose and make the class fun without worrying about being self-conscious.
  • Smile endlessly through each routine. Land a routine, smile. Misstep, smile. Can’t catch your breath, smile some more.

By completing these tasks before starting my routines I was able to instill confidence in my class and show credibility as a seasoned instructor. I soon found that as I started to warm-up, muscle memory kicked in. I didn’t even have to think of what move came next and by the end of the class everyone was exhausted but raved about my routines.

Completing my first Zumba class made me excited to host more Zumba parties in the future.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)