Guess what day it is?!  (Hint- NOT hump day)

It’s Rockstar Series day!  (I know what you’re thinking- it happens on the same day every time?  It seems so random… You are right.  I am a hot mess who can’t commit to the same day to post these.  I like to surprise you with these on different days because they are like presents!)

Now that you’re really, really excited, I’d like to introduce you to Melayna.  She is a rockstar (obviously) – who manages to exercise on the reg AND have perfect hair every time I see her.   It is MAGICAL, but that isn’t what makes her such a rockstar.  She’s kicking ass in her career, social life, love life, and health – and she still eats ice cream.

In Melayna’s own words:

Ice cream dilling
Evidence of Dilling

I really like ice cream. No, really. I’m not the type to take a little spoon and a little bowl and serve myself three little scoops of vanilla.

I’m the type who sits with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup and finishes a half pint (okay fine—I’m lying—FULL pint) while watching a Netflix marathon of Friday Night Lights Say Yes to the Dress Bad-Nick-Cannon-Movie-#34 Mad Men. I do this with pretty much 0% guilt and 100% satisfaction. My roommate and I affectionately refer to this as ‘dilling.’ Dilling is a verb that captures the essence of the actions and behaviors associated with satisfied laziness. Dill time is sacred in apartment 14. SACRED, I tell you.

I suppose the purpose of this guest blog is to discuss healthy living and, after admitting to all that/sorry mum, I will discuss this as it pertains to my life. I am not a mutant, just a normal gal who enjoys life.

Dilling is a big part of my life. It contributes to my mental health on many levels and I cherish the time I spend dilling and the dills who dill with me—you know who you are. It leaves me feeling happy and refreshed after a long week. I truly believe that as a twenty-some year old with relatively little responsibility (blah-blah job, blah-blah calling the mumsy, blah-blah giving hugs to the boyfriend) I can allow myself this time.  The last few years have been filled with great change for me. I finished up with grad school, found meaningful work in my industry, kicked out some bitchy cancer that was occupying my thyroid, and figured out a way to successfully balance my life. It’s been swell and that’s really my secret to health—balance. I love my pints of ice cream, beer, chips, pasta, bread, whatever-comes-in-pint-form, but I always make time to balance out those choices. Let me answer some questions Aubrie asked to elaborate!

What does living a healthy lifestyle mean to you?

A healthy lifestyle, to me, means that I am eating, moving, and enjoying. Healthy is not dieting. Diets are stupid and weird. I definitely watch what I eat, but it’s more like, “Oh hey! I need to stop eating so many bagels for a while and get back into eating oatmeal for breakfast.” I also love running. I am no athlete, but running just makes sense. I run outside and I love feeling like I’m tavelling somewhere. I also try and make the most of my commute. I have a Citibike membership and I usually bike to and fro’ my office in Flatiron. It’s a quick commute and gives me some energy to start and finish my day.

Mumsy and I. First race!
Mumsy and Melayna

Usually I come home from work and immediately go for a run. I try not to let myself melt into the couch (a real fear) after a long day, but rather throw on some trainers and hit the pavement. Then I come home and cook something delicious for dinner, like pasta. I try and run 6 days a week, but it usually works out to about 4-5. I run 3-4 miles each time and I feel great afterwards. It also keeps my stress level at almost 0, and that is worth a lot to me.  Sometimes I’m itching to run and other times it’s forced, but I never regret it.

Have you always been a health guru?  Where did you pick up your healthy habits?

Honestly, I have no idea! I just know what feels good, mentally and physically, and I have always tried to keep those feelings sustained. About 4 years ago, before I started running on the regular, I went for a hike in Vermont with some friends and felt winded. I got home from the trip and went for a run (a walk-run!) and never stopped. I do it for me and no one else. I always tell myself, “It doesn’t matter how fast or how far, but that you’re doing it.”

I’m in a rut.  What would you advise to help me integrate healthy habits back into my life? 

Start something new. Anything. Make it active and, for pete’s sake, make it fun. This is your life, not some weird movie about saving the human race, so don’t allow any judgment!

About the Author Aubrie Fennecken

Aubrie Fennecken is the Chief Alchemist at Opportunity Kitchen | work + wellness strategist | nonprofit fundraising expert | providing productivity and self-care support for mission-driven humans

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