Finding Balance in the Chaos

Its been ages since I paid this blog any attention; over the past few weeks its really been on my mind. I have had the desire to write again and share my journey. Whether it helps you in your journey or just gives you something to laugh at, my hope is that you enjoy the content enough to keep coming back and implement my wonderful knowledge into your own journey.

I’ve been on this health and fitness journey going on 6 years now! Lets just say its had a lot of ups and downs, mountains and valleys, good and bad.  When I feel like I have it down, life throws a wrench in my wheel and I end up flipping over the bars, falling flat on my ass! I honestly believe that there can be a lesson in everything you go through, and that is where it gets good.

The one thing I do know for sure is that I love helping others in their own journey. My accountability groups have been my saving grace. This is where I learned, in teaching others, that fitness is about balance. You cant be good at it all the time. Yet you cant ignore it either. The trick is in finding what works best for you. What works well for one person may not work well for you. Its about listening to your body and responding instead of just throwing your hands up and saying F*** this!

Lets chat schedules and having a plan! I’m totally the type of gal to go against the grain and do my own thing. Most fitness guru’s will tell you that you need to schedule your workouts in to your daily plan. Here’s the deal….. I’ve tried that and it DOES NOT work for me. WHY? Its makes it feel like a chore. I guess that is the point, to make it feel like a non-negotiable, but what is the fun in that?! To me, fitness is supposed to be something you look forward to, not something you have to do.

Through trail and error I learned for myself that “scheduling” fitness in to my day will not work. Instead what I do is not allow myself to go to sleep until that workout is done. I decide each day when is best, for that specific day, to do my workout. I rarely ever wake up and feel like working out. Currently, my best fit has been to do it right when I get home from work but before the kids get home from school.  That way I’m not distracted and can enjoy the full workout without interruptions. Now this doesn’t always happen but for the most part it does. Some days, I just can’t squeeze it in during that time frame so I’m doing it after dinner while the kids are winding down and getting ready for bed. Lately, I’m hopping into bed as soon as the kids are tucked in so its important to me to have it done before they are in bed. But in the event that I just cant get it in before the kids bedtime, you better bet your buns that I’m doing it as soon as they are in bed.

See, I make it a non-negotiable for the day, just not for a specific time. If I don’t get my workout done before bed, I will lay there with tons of guilt on my mind and most likely get out of bed and do it. I’ve worked really hard on changing my mindset over the past few years. You better bet that your mindset plays a huge role in your success!

My point in all this is, what works for others may not work for you! You determine what works for you and keep trying different things until you find the fit that is right for you.  If you want success bad enough you will continue to try. I can tell you for certain though, that having an accountability partner/group is a MUST. The No. 1 comment from my accountability groups is that, the group helped them be successful when they were not able to be successful on their own previously. There is something about knowing that others are watching you, that helps hold you accountable. So if you don’t have a partner, find one or connect with me to get you plugged into our group. We will help you be successful!

One other trick I have up my sleeve is that I occasionally hire a fitness trainer. When life gets busy and I find myself more often that not, skipping my workouts, I open up my arsenal of tricks and get me that trainer. I usually only have to hire them for a few months to get me feeling on track and ready to proceed on my own again. You see, we all need help and accountability. Just as what works for one person may not work for another, what once worked for me/you wont always work. When we let down our walls and admit that its okay to fail, that’s when we begin to have success. Allow yourself grace, allow yourself failure, so that you can allow yourself joy and success.  Trust in the journey and the process. Be willing to extend that hand out for help when the time comes. Don’t be to proud to step back a few steps and start again.

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Photoshopped sticks and boards

Over a year has gone by since I was able to look in the mirror and be happy with the image that reflected back at me. Is this you? Well it doesn’t have to be.

As an American, I find that our society is particularly very critical of curves. Many societies embrace the curves and find them appealing. What is happening to our society that we are so focused on having no body fat and no curves? Do you know you can have an average body fat yet still have curves?

The problem comes down to a society that is solely focusing on the images we see in the magazines and on television. Did we forget that those magazine images are photoshopped and edited to the point of the real person being almost unrecognizable? Did we forget that those models, celebrities, actors have that title as a career and therefore focus their entire career on their image. People, we are real, honest, hardworking individuals but our career is not that of those celebrities.

Have you heard the song by Meghan TrainorAll about that bass“? Here is a piece of the lyrics: …….”I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that sh** ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top
Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along
……But I’m here to tell ya
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”……..

The first time I heard these lyrics I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling from ear to ear. It’s about time someone sings about the truths and realities. What I love, is how she speaks about loving the body you have. “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”

Ladies, let’s stop comparing ourselves to everyone else out there. No one is in your shoes or your body. What’s important we focus on is showing the world the very best of you. Your you is different than your neighbors you. If we focus on presenting our very best perhaps we can help change the lives and outlooks of our children and children’s children. I have read several times to never let your children hear you say “I’m fat” or “I’m not skinny enough”. What are we teaching our children when we say these kinds of things? Try rephrasing and say” I’m not my very best me, but I am working on getting healthy and fit”. Isn’t being healthy more important than being skinny? Health provides us with longevity and vitality. Skinny just makes us look skinny. Fit shows our strength, dedication, motivation, freedom. Now you tell me what message you would rather send to others? Join me in getting healthy and fit not just skinny.

Overcoming the perception of our body image

After one of my recent posts on taking on a new shape, I received some positive feedback from close friends and family members, that had me re-thinking of how I see my body. It has become apparent to me that as women, we often see ourselves differently in the mirror than how we look in reality. I’m sure this is not news to you. I have often wondered why I look better in some dressing room mirrors than others and I have always joked with others “well you haven’t seen me naked”, in response to the positive and caring comments of how skinny I am or in shape I am.

I will confess at this present moment that I am just your everyday average body type and I guess I should be feeling thankful for this. I am a 5’6″ gal weighing in at 150 lbs. But, that 150 lbs is tipping the scales for me. Honestly I am 10 lbs heavier than I have ever been, outside of pregnancies. Even after giving birth, I weighed less than I do now.

But enough, about me and onto the purpose of this post……

reflectionsinmirror

 

I was browsing Pinterest today and came across a Pin about real body images. The site, My Body Gallery, allows you to enter in your body stats (height, weight, age range, clothing sizes, body shape) and then shows you pictures of real women who have the same body type of you. The purpose of this site: “It is a place for women to post their true and accurate pictures. And for other women to see that the world is not a place of cookie cutters. We are all different in our body shape and size as well as our place in our journey to loving our bodies exactly as they are, not as we (or others) think they should be.” I think this is a brilliant idea but at the same time so sad that we as women have come to this.

Its time to…….

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If only we could start valuing ourselves and our bodies for what they are……

images

 

Two ingredient flour-less pancakes

Now this looks like the perfect healthy gluten-free breakfast to me! Cant wait to try this and share it with my pancake crazy kids.

(source of photo unknown)

(source of photo unknown)

Freebie time

Looking for some one of a kind Valentine’s for your kids to hand out? Check out this artist’s Valentine creations that she has generously provided for free. Simply print and viola, you have your Valentines! What kid (or even adult) wouldn’t love getting one of these on the day of love? 2Up2014Valentine

Here are some more health inspired freebies:

1. Free printable weight loss chart

Free Printable Weight Loss Chart

2. Free entrance into National Parks on MLK Day Monday January 20, 2014: Get out into nature and enjoy a brisk walk, hike, bike ride, climb, snowshoe adventure, or tour. Find a park near you and take advantage of this.

3. The 5 top tips for creating vibrant health free ebook

4. Free “Real Food” Meal plans: Meal plans to help cut out processed foods

5. And last but not least, sign up to have me as your Free Health and Fitness coach: Get free health and fitness support, advice, and guidance today.

A little bit of green will do the body good

I sit here typing, drinking my green tea, and I am filled with hope and excitement as today I begin my 3-day Shakeology cleanse. My hope is that my body will be restored of its health and cleansed from its toxins and possibly lose a pound or two and begin my weightloss journey. I have done this cleanse many times in the past and it is a good one. It always leaves me  feeling energized, deflated, and ready for better health!

The cleanse begins each day with a cup of green tea. Now if you know anything about green tea, than you know that a minimum of one cup a day is good for you. According to this article from care2 make a difference, there are 9 reasons to drink green tea. No wonder the cleanse begins with a cup each day. Who knew that such a simple joyful cup of tea could ward off cancer, help fight fat and wrinkles. My green tea of choice is Numi Gunpowder Green. It has a delightful sweet taste and its not as “green” tasting as the other green teas. Numi teas are some of my favorites. They have an amazing Moroccan mint which is the perfect mint tea if you ask me. It reminds me of the Sweet mint by Orbit. Just the perfect amount of mint!

To stick with the green theme I think I will go and make my Greenberry Shakeology. Check back in 3 days to get the results of my cleanse.

3-day-shakeology-cleanse-instructions

Taking on a new shape

Literally, the year of 2013 has taken a bite out of me! Being now at my heaviest weight (outside of pregnancy), I find myself defeated, discouraged, and disgusted. Having gained 15 lbs since August and still gaining weekly if not daily, I am having to take a step outside of my body and look at what is really going on. For years, I have blamed it on the winter blues (I am a fair weather sunshine kinda gal -yet I live in Oregon) but I cant help to think that it may just be me.

See, I too have peaks and valleys although sometimes I feel like those peaks are way to high to reach and those valleys are far too deep to climb out of. Right now, I am in one of those super deep valleys, fitness wise at least, and I have an anchor tied to my ankles. Mentally & emotionally I am steadily climbing towards that peak thank goodness! My body looks like I am well over 3 months pregnant, have a tumor in my stomach and ass, or my body is secretly forming into a whale. Neither of these are wanted or appreciated. My ankles have turned in to cankles, my “fat” jeans are now too small for me, and my boots barely squeeze over my calves. Never, has my body taken this much shape!

Every winter, I go into hibernation and I stop working out, eat a little less healthy, and gain 5 lbs. Once the sun starts to shine, I wake up and get right back into the swing of things. And every year, I tell myself I will NEVER do that again. Because we all know how hard it is to get started again! But yet again, January 2014, here I am AGAIN but in the worst “shape” of my life EVER! And its a very round shape. OK, so maybe I am being a little hard on myself but lets face it, either I am getting old at the ripe age of 32 or something is really not normal. How is it that year after year I can follow the same patterns and then suddenly this year my body decides to take on a new shape?

The question is, what do I do about it? Isn’t the answer obvious? Yes workout and eat better, but easier said then done when after only working out for 3 days, I have a gained 1 lb daily. Watch out, we might tip the scales! I mean really, cant I just get a break? So what, I’m only 3 days in and I’m gaining muscle! I want to see results and I want to see them now. My “fat” jeans are about ready to burst at the seams and I’m tired of living in leggings. As comfy as they are, they are bursting at the seams too. My pocket book cant afford another wardrobe change. I got rid of my post pregnancy clothes years ago, because I promised myself I wouldn’t EVER get that big again! Well looks like the joke is on me folks.

In all seriousness, HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM! And that problem is me! I became lazy, complacent, and proud. I forgot how easy it was to lose sight of my goals. I have coached many people on this aspect alone yet somehow I let it happen to myself. Maybe this was one of those more difficult life lessons we must learn. My Beachbody coach and friend asked me the other day what I thought it was that put me into this mode every year? I have yet to answer her because I didn’t have the usual answer this time. I was told several times throughout this year that I was lacking compassion and quite frankly I can see now that was true. I lacked compassion for other peoples journeys and situations because I was getting so wrapped up in my own journey.

This winter has been a journey of its own for me in many different ways. I have learned a lot about who I am as a person and what I am “portraying” to others. Lacking compassion, unfit and overweight, and un-supportive are things I have portrayed BUT things I am surely NOT! This year of 2014 is about digging deeper and making what matters to me MATTER!  Its time to wake up, smell the coffee, and show people the real me.

Can you relate?