I’ll be the first to admit it. I have an extreme personality. I’m either all in or I’m all out. When I’m interested in something, I simply cannot get enough of it until I am immersed in it from all angles. When I’m not interested in something, I tune it out, totally neglect it or daydream up a storm (about things I’m actually interested in) while doing it.
Some people call this personality type obsessive. Some call it neurotic, compulsive, intense, or impractical. Yeah, we all know that girl who left her life behind to travel because she fell head over heels in love with seeing the world. Or the guy who couch surfed and spent every last penny he had so he could continue playing music and surrounding himself with inspiring people. Or the girl who missed every last social event in her senior year of college because she was doing a yoga teacher training (whoops, that was me).
I like to call it extreme. Passionate. Enthusiastic. Electrifying. Maybe it isn’t the most practical way to be, but it fills your heart with excitement and pumps adrenaline through your veins to become fully enwrapped in what you love.
You know you’re totally extreme when:
A) You can’t just say you’re extreme; you have to say you’re “totally extreme.”
B) Every slightly abnormal situation you’re in is either the “best thing that could ever possibly happen” or the “worst thing that could ever possibly happen.”
C) You end up having to sprint or drive like a maniac to get anywhere you’re going because you’re too OCD to be late, but you were too busy trying to squeeze every last drop of the time you had beforehand.
D) The thought of going on a date with someone scares the shit out of you because it means you might have to compromise your well-planned out fitness, food, work, friend, and miscellaneous project schedule.
E) When you read about something that interests you, you retain 100% of the information verbatim to the point where it freaks other people out who have read the same thing with less enthusiasm.
F) There is no such thing as a rest day or a day off (unless you’re going all out with it… then call in the takeout, fluffy blankets and comfy pajamas)!
G) Stairs are a dangerous thing for you, because you like to use your walking time to multi-task and check/respond to emails and texts.
H) You’d rather get hurt than play by the rules.
I) When someone tells you to slow down, you speed up. And vice versa.
J) You can’t just be into something you love; you have to be entirely engulfed in it. And once you’re entirely engulfed, you have to find a way to take it to the next level.
K) Sooo many more, but if you’re extreme you totally get what I’m sayin’ at this points. (And you’re totally digging the list format – us extremists love a good list to lay out our jumbled thoughts!)
Here’s a little list of things I love (and, by default, am unnaturally obsessed with):
1. Health: My day revolves around preparing my three balanced plant-based meals, getting my greens in, staying hydrated, exercising (we will elaborate on that), green juice, stretching, meditating, connecting with others in the health community, writing about health and nutrition, reading about health and nutrition, and sharing my passion for health with others.
2. Yoga: OK, I get that this goes hand in hand with health. But the obsession is a large one so I have to mention it. I found yoga when I was about 15 years old and it changed my life in the best way. If I don’t get my vinyasa on, I am not a happy girl. This is the one time in the day where I truly allow myself to get out of my head, breathe and let myself go. I also do my best thinking while in yoga.
3. People: If you know me well, you know that the people in my life make my world go round. My family, close friends, teachers and mentors all mean the world to me. I spend a significant portion of my day keeping up with my friends and family, keeping them very posted on my life (sorry guys, hehe), and of course making plans and spending time with them. Every day I think about how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who legitimately make my heart beat faster whenever I think about how amazing they are.
4. Writing: At one time in my life this would have been number one on my list. Not that this list is necessarily ordered in the first place, but when you’re super extreme like me, of course there are obvious undertones to your “unnumbered list.” I once had a teacher tell me that I think through writing – essentially, without writing, I am unable to piece together my thoughts on important situations. I still believe that to be true, so writing is not only fun for me but also incredibly therapeutic and necessary. I write every day, and between the blog, school (getting my Creative Writing MFA), freelance and poetry, writing keeps me very occupied and happy.
5. Running: Could you really be that surprised? It falls under the whole health umbrella, so I will spare you the details. For someone who is obsessed with feeling healthy and being active, the high I get from a run is pretty unbeatable.
6. Recipe creation: The art of developing a new recipe, trying out different flavors, getting creative with it and finding the perfect position and spot to photograph it is so much fun for me. No matter what I’m doing throughout the day, my mind is running wild with new ideas for recipe developments (especially smoothies)! It’s become a total obsession, and one I am happy about.
7. Whole Foods: I am a health food blogger, so the art of going to the grocery store and picking out an assortment of fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, legumes, fun products from the bulk aisle (major obsession), new products (like lentil and mung bean pastas!), juices, kombucha, salads and more is a creative adventure for me. Of course I have to be careful not to break the bank every time I set foot into a Whole Foods (or any grocery store, for that matter) but the amount of fun I have inside of one is ungodly. Probably similar to how most girls feel in a clothing store.
8. Lulu Lemon: Speaking of clothing stores, this is the only store that gives me that tingly, excited feeling to get new clothes. I live in Lulu Lemon clothes (read: I literally only wear Lulu Lemon unless it’s an extremely special occasion). I could spend hooours on end inside of that store… just ask anyone who has had the pleasure of shopping with me there. And you don’t even want to see the Lulu portion of my closet.
9. Reading: When I was in 5th grade I read 250 books in one year. Yeah, that’s almost a book a day. I still love to read, but I (try to) do so a little less fanatically now. Although I can still get lost in a book that I really love, I pretty much only read before bed these days.
10. Green Smoothies: Yeah, this also falls under the health category, but I love them so much that they needed their own spot on the list. In fact I got so obsessed with green smoothies that I had to begin switching up my morning breakfast routine because I wasn’t getting enough variation. I also love them because they don’t make me feel sick, which is rare with me and foods and is a huge plus.
11. Balance: I am not necessarily the best at finding balance (obviously, it’s kind of the opposite of extreme) but I think that is why I am so intrigued by it. I believe in pushing yourself hard to later be able to relax, feel accomplished and amazing. That’s why I love vinyasa yoga classes – about an hour of super invigorating physical practice, and then 30 minutes of hip opening, heart opening, winding down, and reflecting inward. Oh, and I have a balance tattoo. Bet ya didn’t know that about me!
12. List-making: Can you tell? I would be more than happy making lists day in day out, if not just to be able to cross things off my list because it feels amazing.
13. Flexible schedules: I have a terrible fear of having an inflexible schedule. I am lucky enough to have a very open schedule right now where I am able to focus on school, writing, fitness, and the blog. When I get too busy with plans and obligations that are out of my control I get extremely anxious and cannot perform my best in any situation. I believe it’s partially because I spent my college years unbelievably busy with plans that were almost always out of my control (sorority, huge class load, internships, clubs, social obligations, relationships, yoga training, etc). I am working to get over that fear, because I don’t think that fears are healthy.
14. Music: Too much detail to get into, but I am an absolute fanatic of John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Eminem, The Beatles, The Lumineers, and anything I can rock out to in a yoga class.
15. Italy: I spent five months during college living in Florence, Italy. When I was there we traveled all over Italia and the rest of Europe. Experiencing new cultures, meeting awesome people and seeing new things is incredible. I am also in love with anywhere tropical. Maui is my second home. Next I am desperate to go to Southeast Asia, Africa and Egypt.
16. Smaller things: the beach, heart to heart convos, artwork (specifically Andy Warhol and She Hit Pause Studios), my nieces and nephew, Breaking Bad, hiking, yoga retreats, colorful running shoes, Equinox, steam rooms, Soul Cycle, breathing crisp air, the ocean, dark chocolate, stand up paddle boarding, cold desserts, acoustic guitar, sundresses, Marilyn Monroe, raspy voices, meditation, The Bachelor (guilty pleasure), tasteful tattoos, health bloggers, small world coincidences, Manhattan Beach strolls, NYC, Zelda Fitzgerald, sweet potatoes, sunshine, dancer pose, concerts, Lake Como, Medjool dates, pajamas, acai bowls, peppermint tea, staying up all night talking to someone, Herve Leger, cinnamon, falling in love, superfoods, juice cleanses, almond butter — AND SO MUCH MORE!
There ya have it, my dears! A little guide on extreme personalities. I think everyone is a bit extreme in their own right. I’m definitely not saying that it’s a bad thing – I think extremity is something to embrace. If it starts getting in the way of your every day life, then it might be time to reevaluate and chill out a little. But in the end, I think it takes 110% of your energy to immerse yourself in something you love, and if that means being extreme, then by all means go for it.
What I Ate Wednesday:
Fruit plate with raw, unsalted pecans and almonds. For those of you interested in portion sizes, 2 servings of fruit (2 cups, once all sliced!) and 20 nuts. I’m not a total portion-size fanatic, but my nutritionist has me on these portions and they’ve been working well with my tummy probs!
Big veggie salad with spinach, kale, cucumber, tomatoes (I’ve been using “Kumatos” from Whole Foods… so good!), snap beas, sprouts, kimchi, a drizzle of fresh lemon & a drizzle of balsamic. Side of roasted sweet potato with a dash of coconut aminos.
Green salad with cherry tomatoes & avocado, side of steamed veggies (Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, eggplant and cauliflower) and 1/2 roasted acorn squash drizzled with coconut aminos.
Caffeine-free peppermint tea with a splash of fresh almond milk, a drizzle of cinnamon and a packet of stevia. Mmmm. My new favorite “dessert.”