The Low Down on Essential Oils

The Low Down on Essential Oils

You've probably heard it all before too so I wont go into the fact that essential oils is something that has been around for a very long time. It's not a new holistic healing practice everyone used to use it before western medicine came around. Blah blah blah... It's sorta funny because the first time I was introduced to it I just remember thinking "Geez what is this new age hippy shit that everyone's into."  And then I got hooked. 

The low down on essential oils...

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Q & A with Jo: Marriage

Q & A with Jo: Marriage

...let's be real putting yourself out there in the world isn't easy. Its a challenge to do so when you're a single person, but its even more challenging when you're in a deep and serious relationship especially a marriage. When you allow others into your life, you invite them to see parts of your world that isn't always pretty or perfect, but life isn't all about that perfect highlight reel. Think about a movie, it takes months sometimes years to get a 2 hour film just right and even then I'm pretty sure the producers are watching the final cut thinking about ways they could've improved it.

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Weekend Leftovers Vol. 4

Weekend Leftovers Vol. 4

...this is this volume of Weekend Leftovers has me reflecting back on all sorts of growth over the years. I was a young woman who once didn't believe that true friendships with other honest, raw, and real women were possible. I spent my 20s raising my two beautiful daughters, so the time that most women get to form these strong bonds that carry them into their adult life were ones that I missed the train on. Looking back now at what felt like a slightly lonely decade of womanhood was just a time in my life that prepared me to embrace all the women in my life today. 

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The Start to Something...2017

I recently shared a transformation photo that I had no idea would resonate with so many people. So much so that it was shared on Popsugar, Teen Vogue, Shape, The Daily Mail, and other media outlets. 

"I am failure for not sticking to consistently training and for not eating as clean as I should have." This is the story I could be telling myself. This is the opinion that could've turn into a fact. I once heard that our reality is largely made up of our perceptions and beliefs, not facts. And that our ideas and theories are based on experiences and opinions, so much so that we start to create stories from these views and judgements. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So instead of writing a failure story, I chose to look at this set of progress pictures taken a few days ago and tell myself a different story. "Well Jo, you haven't put as much energy into your fitness commitments and IT'S 👌🏾. It doesn't make you less of an example of a strong woman. Since October of last year you were working on recovering from a shoulder injury, rebuilding a marriage that was close to divorce, raising two young women (including an emotional teenager), creating long lasting friendships with women you once felt unworthy to be around, and most importantly going back to school to start a career in health and life coaching that you've been day dreaming about for almost 2 years. Living a HEALTHY LIFE means nourishing all the areas that make you whole. Your fitness is just a part of that. You're a bad ass Jo and you have what it takes to get your groove back. Other areas in your life needed your energy more than you needed to focus on leaning out." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The chatter in your head will try to find meaning in it because this obstacle is clearly telling you that your dream isn’t supposed to happen. Remind yourself that society has romanticized a concept of what beauty, fitness, and loving yourself looks like. The power to define what beauty means to you is within you. You are the source of your reality. You are the creator of your story. On this part of #therefinedcollective we're talking about "Loving Yourself in the Skin You're In" and on www.gofitjo.com I've shared 6 very powerful things to do when you're beginning to feel the resistance in loving yourself. #linkinbio ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #TheRefinedCollective series was written in collaboration with several incredible women sharing their positivity and light to the 🌎.

A post shared by JOANNE ENCARNACION (@gofitjo) on

My husband had asked me, "Why did you feel so compelled to share this?" I told him that in some way I felt like needing to release a bit of pain that was starting to eat my alive from the inside out. There was a small tiny ounce of me that was beginning to feel the same emotions I felt before my fitness journey began. And before it started to infest my mind with negativity I wanted to face the truth and flip the script of my inner critic. There's an inner bitch within all of us. She's typically the one standing in the corner with her arms crossed, pursed lips, and that smug look across her face saying the nastiest things under her breathe. The words that escape her mouth are audible enough to hear the words clearly, but not loud enough to confront her.  Yes you know that critic well, she's always there in those moments of doubt, fear, shame, and blame.

I was writing about Loving Your Skin for The Refined Collective, which originally was going to be a post all about skin care, but as I sat staring in front of my computer at the article I had already written I was pretty much disgusted at myself for not being authentic, raw, and real. These qualities that most people say they appreciate about me when they meet me. So just a handful of hours before the post was scheduled to go live I rewrote the blog post and IG post that caused a bit of a storm. I wanted to show you guys me, in this moment. And the simple acknowledgement from the hundreds of comments from women saying "I've been there too..." was enough to start yet another healing process.

This is me after 7 days

left: March 10, 2017 || right: March 17, 2017

left: March 10, 2017 || right: March 17, 2017

There were only a handful of things that I changed in order to start to see progress.

  1. I cut out the processed food intake.
  2. Became more consistent with my workout schedule. 
  3. Added 3 days of cardio to my 4-5 days of lifting. 
  4. Added more healthy fats into my diet and reduced the processed carbs. 

The feeling of creating my own plan to help redefine what balance is to me in 2017 is exciting, scary, but most importantly self empowering. I've learned enough over the past few years of my fitness journey to understand how to listen to my body and take action towards my goals. Now that things are much more aligned in my personal and career life its time to start putting all the pieces together again. Here we go! 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

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Weekend Leftovers Vol. 3

Although the tasting with The Dorian SF and a few amazing blogger friends wasn't over the weekend I wanted to share it with you guys here because I sometimes consider Thursday nights as weekend. 

The Dorian SF is ode to a bygone era, a modern day parlour for freethinkers. This couldn't have been a more perfect setting for a bunch of SF Bay area creatives, bloggers, and writers to get together for some cocktails and their fresh new dinner menu. The Dorian SF is located in the Marina. If you haven't yet checked out the Marina neighborhood, its one that's filled with restaurants, fun little shops, and everything that you basically need to hide your wallet from. It's darling neighborhood and a perfect home for this little dining experience. 

Cocktails, I mean on the weekend we need to cheers with a libation or two to honor all the hard work during the week. My favorite drink on the menu that evening was the Hellfire Club. Not sure if it was because of the name, but the Mezcal, spiced pear liqueur, ponzu, and black Hawaiian lava sea salt just seemed like the combo I needed to kick off the weekend.

Dinner was served and we had a range from himachi sashimi, which I think I could've indulged in a few more plates of it, to ahi tacos, pork bao sliders, and a burger served on a platter and the cutest little french fries dish. 

I couldn't stay for the dessert course, but seeing everyone's IG stories that evening made me hungry for more. 

Friday 03.10.2017 - a night out at Cukui for Hella Kitty, an female focused art show where proceeds went to the ACLU. It was supposed to be family night, but Jon wanted some adult time so we left our little Adobo Fam at home. 

Some of my fitness sisters came out to meet me. Love these girls: @bbghapa, @bbg_yogicass, @hellowigglefy, @munfung.bbg @elle_active. (not BCCAs in our cups) 

Some of my fitness sisters came out to meet me. Love these girls: @bbghapa, @bbg_yogicass, @hellowigglefy, @munfung.bbg @elle_active. (not BCCAs in our cups) 

I've spoken about how I hid parts of my fitness journey from old friends, partially because I felt misunderstood, but ultimately I hid away parts of my life away because I just didn't feel "worthy" enough to belong in certain groups of friends. To some degree I felt like I didn't fit in. Being at the art show that night reminded me that I did fit in with my "cool" friends who were creative artists, DJs, photographers, and more. For once in a very long time, I felt like I belonged and that I was proud to be me.  I shared my feelings of insecurity with a friend and she shared this incredible post found on Thought Catalog that sums up every bit of this friendship insecurity I have. 

Saturday 03.11.2017

Wedding season has begun and we've got a pretty solid year at Encarnacion Photography, however we're still taking weddings for 2017. Once wedding season begins it means the hubs and I are both spending time during the week working away at editing photos, answering emails, or biz admin stuff and weekends are long days carrying a ton of wedding equipment capturing people in love.

My husband, my better half. I can't put into words just how much he means to me in my life, but I'm going to try. Oh Jonathan...

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Jonathan is one of those guys that come into your life that makes an impact on your heart. He's kind, gentle, and OH SO DAMN PATIENT (especially to deal with me). While there's a lot of similarities and passions that we share, we're also extremely different. He's more relaxed about certain aspects of our life and I am typically wound up like a tight screw. But he balances me out and I do that for him.

I shared a recent transformation photo that seemed to go a little viral with several publications this week. In that post I shared how instead of working on my physical health I had to work on our relationship health. Jonathan and I have been married for almost 9 years and have been in a relationship with each other for almost 15. That is an INCREDIBLY long time to be with someone and on top of all that a lot of life to have experienced in 15 years. We were and are growing old together and of course, a lot of evolving has happened during that time.

Relationships will continue to challenge you to grow as a person. These challenges are opportunities to learn how to be better for one another.

We started off 2016 disconnected with one another. If I can describe it to you imagine two planets in space each spinning on its own orbit. There were moments we were aligned spinning simultaneously and in sync and moments where one planet seemed to be moving at its own pace while the other spinning out of control. When we argued we just didn't want to see each other's perspective and if I was being honest, I used my friendships, my training (at that time), and my work as reasons to not have to face the truth that we were no longer connected. Through months of therapy we learned that our biggest areas of struggle were the following: communication, the ability to hear one another, and our differences. I don't know what happened or when it happened, but at some point I stopped looking at our differences as something to celebrate.

Let me know if a post on relationship health is something you guys would want to hear about. Comment below. Have an incredible weekend!

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

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