Keep Going…

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We all feel like this, do we not? Rule of thumb: It takes 4 weeks for you to see results, 8 weeks for family/friends to see results, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to see the results. Trust the process and keep going!

 

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Simple Pleasures…

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It has been a day of reflection. I am allowing myself to “feel.” That’s always been a hard thing for me, but I’m doing it because it is important…it helps me figure ME out. It’s been kind of a rough day, to say the least.

I washed my sheets this morning and hung them on the line outside to dry. The smell took me back to my childhood in southern California helping my grandma hang out her clothes. Funny how smells can do that! But it got me thinking of a simpler time and how as an adult we.. er I tend to get caught up in the tasks that need to be accomplished and I forget to recognize the simple pleasures in my life. This week I saw a herd of deer on the side of the road on my way to the gym one morning.  I saw a man at a bus stop practicing his golf swing while he waited for his ride. I saw a caterpillar inching its way on the sidewalk. All of these things made me smile. When we recognize the simple pleasures in life they can brighten our day, if we let them! I thought it would be fun (and therapeutic for me today) to list the things that are simple pleasures in my life… Here goes:

1. Berries in my oatmeal

2. Being lazy on a Sunday

3. Hugging my kids tight

4. Watching my kids play

5. The smell of rain

6. Watching the sunset

7. Watching the sunrise

8. Rainbows

9. The smell of fresh cut grass

10. Laughing

11. Staying up late taking to  a good friend

12. That feeling after a good workout

13. A gentle breeze

14. Blowing bubbles

15. Walking on the beach

16. Breakfast in bed

17. Holding hands

18. Laying on the grass and looking up at the clouds

19. The sound of birds singing in the trees

20. Bees pollinating flowers

21. Helping someone in need

22. Making someone smile

23. A sincere compliment

24. Building a sandcastle

25. Going on a picnic

26. A tropical breeze

27. Playing in the rain and jumping in puddles

28. Pillow fights

29. Peppermint patties

30. A good book

31. Walking barefoot in the grass

32. Kissing in the rain

33. An uncluttered room

34. Waking to a clean house

35. Taking an afternoon nap

36. Laying back and watching the stars

37. The mountains

38. Jr. mints

39. Watching animals in nature

40. A fresh snow

41. A clear desk

42. Swinging on a swing

43. PB&J sandwiches

44. Watching the ocean

45. The first drink from a can of Diet Coke

46. Pretty flowers

47. Watching my kids on Christmas morning

48. Basking in the sun… 

49. Pine-cones

50. Snuggling under the covers on a stormy day

51. A nature hike

52. Listening to good music in the car

53. Taking a long, relaxing shower

54. Acorns

55. Disneyland

56. Being inspired to be better

57. The color red

58. Dogs

59. My kids’ smiles

60. Exercise

I‘m pretty certain I can come up with a thousand more, but you get the idea. This little “exercise” has definitely brightened my day! To quote The Office, “There is a lot of beauty in ordinary things.”

 

Back to Basics…

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When I first started lifting weights seriously, I did certain things almost religiously. Sadly, I haven’t been doing some of these “basics.”  As of late, that is changing!

Have specific goals and write them down! I don’t remember the last time I had a solid goal, sheesh! I’ve been flailing aimlessly, and I have really felt it. I always do better with a goal in mind! (I think we all do). So, I have set some new goals for myself and I plan on being stubborn about these goals but flexible with my methods.

Be consistent. Consistency is essential because without it, NOTHING is achieved. A lack of consistency can bring on a lack of interest.

Educate yourself…Read/learn new things. This has been extremely motivating for me in the past. Reading about other people’s experiences and learning from their sucesses/failures. Learn about a new supplement or a new way to do something.  It just keeps the mental juices flowing.

Nutrition…meal prep! Planning and preparing healthy meals for the week is key. It’s organized and there is never the question of “what should I eat?” Meals are measured, weighed, and ready…Grab and go! I like to do my meal prep on Sunday mornings.

Hydrate. Drinking enough water is important since muscles don’t work as well when they are dehydrated. Drinking water also balances your body fluids and helps keep your organs working properly. I like drinking about a gallon of water a day.

Rest and recovery. Get enough sleep. This is SOOO important! Probably THE most important part of recovery. If you don’t get enough sleep, that recovery, which is the period during which muscle growth occurs, will not take place. Everyone requires a different amount, but 6-10 hours should be sufficient. If you feel rested in the morning, you’ll know you’ve had enough sleep.

Keep a fitness log / food journal. I have become very lax on this one. Must be that I didn’t want to remind myself in writing of my poor food choices. 🙂 I have started keeping track again. I had forgotten this is a motivator for me.

Weekly weigh ins/progress pics. I don’t have a coach to answer to right now, but I still need to do this to keep myself in check. Pictures say it ALL! You may not be able to see the small weekly changes in the mirror, but when comparing pictures from previous weeks, you can see the changes. Again, this is motivation for me.

These are the basics! Going back to the basics always strengthens your foundation and gives you a solid place to fall back on.

Weight Gain 101

  

This is it! I’m coming clean!  I have gained weight. 20 freaking pounds of weight! There is embarrassment and shame in this for me. How could I have let myself go?? Why didn’t I just have more willpower? I KNOW I am stronger, tougher, and more dedicated than I have proven over the last year, but I have been lacking in something. I took before pics this morning. I can’t .. won’t post them just yet. I’m still trying to adjust to the visual. Why do pictures look so much worse than the mirror?? Sigh! 

 I‘m ready for a change! I’m tired of doing the same things over and over and getting the same results…results I am NOT happy with!! My problem isn’t working out. Working out is actually the number ONE thing that has kept me sane and stress levels down. My problem lies with my nutrition and lack of mental prowess. In my defense, I’ve had major changes in my life.. I KNOW! Excuses! No one cares about excuses!

This past week I have been thinking a lot about what is working, but more importantly, what ISN’T working in what I’ve been doing. So… I’m going back to the basics. Back to the simple fundamentals of bodybuilding/fitness. Back to being ME! I’m tired of not feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’m tired of my clothes not fitting. I’m just tired.

But… If you are interested in gaining some fluff and spillover like I have, being the helpful person I am, I will list the top five things that aided me in my weight gain. Ha! 

1. End a long term relationship. I DO NOT recommend this! But sometimes there is just no other way to progress and be happy. Most people lose weight with this step… Not ME!

2. Find comfort in food. Especially chocolate chip cookies… and don’t forget to eat the dough! Ha! 

3. Plan to NOT plan your diet. Eat whatever and whenever you want. 

4. Move from 5000 square feet to a mere 600 square feet… with two kids.  And put ALL your stuff in storage. This move was actually a good thing for us, but it has been quite the adjustment to say the least.

5. Go back to school after twenty-four years and start working on your bachelor’s degree. Whoa! This has been a HUGE adjustment. It took me three months, if not longer to find my groove. I just finished my first semester. (Flying colors) 🙂 I have loved being back in school, I’d forgotten how much I like learning. 

*Note: Please do not follow these steps! Actually, the last two are good things, just don’t overcompensate with food.. 

 

 

Keep Moving

Keep Moving I mowed my lawn today.. The smell of the fresh cut grass brought a flood of memories to my mind. Memories of a happier time, of innocence and hope. There was a sense of sadness. Where did that girl I once knew go? NOT that I would change anything that has happened over the past eight years, each experience has made me the woman I am today.. AND I like me! I like who I have become! I have fought long and hard to become her!

But I feel like I have taken a few steps backwards over the past couple of weeks. It feels almost toxic. Maybe I went against my better judgement, or maybe this is just part of the healing process… Two steps forward, three steps back..??

Emotionally, I think I have reverted back. I am feeling things I felt at the height of my divorce. I HATE feeling!!! Most times I don’t even know what to do with the emotions. Does that mean I am broken? I don’t feel broken. I feel more let down and disappointed! The tears have been flowing today.. and I just can’t seem to stop them.

“What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.” (I don’t know who said that).

My current situation is definitely not one I would have ever imagined or hoped for, for that matter. But regardless of how shitty my reality is, there are MANY good things in my life! I have two great kids who keep me on my toes and more importantly, keep me laughing. Laughter IS the best medicine, is it not?! I have people who love and support me. And for the first time in a very long time, I can honestly say I am HAPPY! That’s something!

So, why am I feeling like this? I think stopped moving forward for a minute. I got stuck. Looking back I allowed things into my life that perhaps I shouldn’t have. Chalk it up to yet another learning experience, I guess. Looks like it is time to regroup and re-evaluate… AGAIN! I keep reminding myself that life is like riding a bike, in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving! Life is all about moving forward. Because at the end of the day, all we have is who we are, and if we are stagnant, in the same place, doing the same things, we are not living life the way it was meant to be… And you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward… It is just one small step at a time.

 

D.I.E.T.

I don’t love the word DIET!  For one thing, the first three letters spell DIE… Enough said, right?! This is me five years ago, when I was always on a “diet.”

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I felt deprived and unsatisfied.. The word “diet” has negative connotations in and of itself… at least for me! I would always start on a Monday… Fresh start! I could stay on for a few days, but inevitably by Wednesday I would give into the cravings.. and what was the point of going back on, I had already messed up the week…Ha! So in all reality, it was two days on and five days off! Oy Vey!

Fast forward several years. I have figured some things out. Common sense stuff, really. I’ve learned about macro nutrients and the importance of having a good balance. When I decided to call my “Diet” a “Meal Plan.” everything changed for me. Sure I was strict on what I ate, but having a “plan” was the key. If I wanted to eat something not so healthy, I could plan it into my macros. It became all about the planning!

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I‘m not saying I don’t still struggle with cravings or emotional eating, I do. But I have learned how to avoid my triggers. AND if there is something, say like a Costco cupcake with lots of frosting delivered to my house by a neighbor, 🙂 I will put it in my freezer until Saturday, which is my free day. I know it is there if I decide I want to eat it…It’s a mental game! AND 9 times out of 10 I end up NOT eating it! But I can if I plan for it! I no longer diet! I eat for my goals and I stay on my plan.

It’s all in the mindset!

A New Beginning

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Yay for Monday! Why is it that Monday always gets a bad wrap? Mondays are my FAVORITE! It is the start of a new week.. a new beginning! It is also LEG DAY! 🙂

But back to new beginnings… I think it is pretty obvious from my last post that I am starting over. Life hasn’t turned out like I had always thought or planned it to be. But everything happens for a reason. Clearly, I needed to learn some very important lessons in life. Boy, am I learning them! In just a short time, I feel like I have grown so much, yet, I KNOW there is so much more coming.. It is the nature of the beast, I suppose. And I say, BRING IT!

We watched The Croods the other night and it really hit home. Several times in my life I have been caught in the “never not be afraid” mindset… Afraid of what’s next. Afraid to move forward. I think we all get in this mode every once in awhile, wanting to hide in our cave until it is “safe.” But as Eep says in the movie, “That wasn’t living. That was… just not dying! There’s a difference.”

I am no longer afraid! After all, starting over is a new chance to rebuild the life I want! I may have lost something good, but I will definitely gain something better… It’s all in the attitude…

 

It’s Official

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Yep! I am officially SINGLE! I actually changed my relationship status on Facebook the other day to divorced and then thought, “That sounds so broken! and I AM NOT BROKEN!” So, I changed it to Single instead. It just sounds better.

I keep getting the token tap on the shoulder, the pity looks, and people tiptoeing around me, not knowing what to say. Well, let me make it perfectly clear… I am doing just fine! I am HAPPY! Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of tears and numberless BATCHES of chocolate chip cookies single-handedly eaten by Yours Truly… but I am DONE feeling sorry for myself! So, I am making the most of an ugly situation and I am choosing to be happy! Simple as that! Honestly, I feel like I am FINALLY living my life! It is far from perfect, but it is MINE!

I found a quote from Andy Warhol several weeks ago that has really helped put things into perspective when I feel down…  Saying “So What!!” TOTALLY works! 🙂

Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, “So what.” That’s one of my favorite things to say. “So what.” “My mother didn’t love me” So what. “I’m a success but I’m still alone.” So what. I don’t know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.  ~ Andy Warhol

I fully believe if you aren’t happy being single, you will never be happy in a relationship. You need to get your own life and love it first.. THEN share it. I am excited to see what the future will bring!

How do you get through tough times?

It’s ON!

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I don’t know what it is or how it happens, but there seems to be this “switch” inside my brain… It’s either ON or OFF. I REALLY like it when it’s on! ON = Motivated and on plan everyday.  OFF = Not so motivated and half-assing my meal plan.

Eating is often the hardest part for me, but I always workout. That is a habit I am just not willing to break. I train regardless of me eating clean or not, I guess I like those endorphins. I know many people who will stop working out all together when they eat crap. I get it, but burning calories is still burning calories, right?

The past seven months have been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster for me. I have not eaten well… AT ALL! In fact, before the holidays I decided I was not going to worry about what I was eating. I enjoyed lots of good food and treats, and you know what? I remembered I like Apollo Burgers! Ha!

However, the bad eating habits have caught up to me. January 1st came and I had a plan, a well written plan, I might add. Remember that switch? It didn’t flip. Bad carbs create a vicious circle of craving MORE bad carbs.. If that switch isn’t on? the discipline that is required is just not there and then throw emotions into the mix… ugh! So I just get back up and start again.

Well, last Saturday, the switch flipped back on unexpectedly. I’m not complaining, but I sure wish I could figure out what the triggers are…

Here is the story… Saturdays have always been my free day, and we go out to lunch a lot on that day. My kids have come to expect it. My girlie was trying to decide which soda to put in her cup. Being 7, these types of decisions can take SEVERAL frustrating (for me) minutes. A lady came up and said, “So many choices, but I am going with the BEST choice… WATER!” and she proceeded to fill her cup with water. Great advice! But it bothered me. It REALLY bothered me, A LOT! I don’t know why, perhaps because she knows NOTHING about my family. For one, my kids don’t drink soda very often. Saturday is a free day for them as well. And it is not like my kids are overweight.. They are NOT! And do I really look like I don’t teach my kids a healthy lifestyle? Ok, I have some fluff and spillover right now, but I certainly still look fit! I really don’t like meddlers!

And the switch was on! It was as simple as that! So, really I guess I should be thanking that nosey-ass lady!

This has turned out to be a fabulous week. I have been spot on. My diet has been tight and my abs are coming back.. Oh, how I have missed them! 🙂  Abs are definitely made in the kitchen! I have said it before, you can’t outwork a bad diet!

2014…

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2013…

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First off, 2013 has been quite a year! It has been full of emotional turmoil. It has been full of self discovery. It has, in fact, been a bit of a roller coaster, lots of good and some bad… But isn’t that is what life is all about? You can’t appreciate the good without the bad. The year started off great.. I had a new trainer and was prepping for a competition. And then stuff happened.. there were disappointments, there was some self sabotage, and there is this “little” thing called divorce. I have learned so much over the past several months, not only about myself but about people in general. Here are the top five things I have learned this year.

1. Things don’t matter.. People do.                             
OK! This is not news to me, but it has been magnified this year. I have several friends who are motivated by material things. Things are just that…. THINGS! I learned about five years ago that you can in fact survive without a lot of “things.” I did it! I am still here and I feel I am a better person because of that experience. Things can always be replaced, but people cannot. Life is way too short to not let those in your life know how you feel about them. The regret of not saying sorry, the regret of not saying I forgive you, or the regret of not saying I love you, can be too much. You just do not know when it will be too late to express your feelings.

2. People Will Disappoint You
I don’t mean to be a pessimist with this one.. it is just a fact. Back in June, when the majority of the “emotional turmoil” began, I confided in someone. He had been a close friend and I knew I could trust him. He was the only person I told for the first few weeks… I told him even before I told my family. Those few weeks were the hardest of my entire life! There were days I didn’t even want to get out of bed and face the world, but this friend checked on me, gave me pep talks which helped get my arse out of bed! I am grateful for his positive influence during that time. I owe him a lot. But being human, we all make mistakes. Feelings were hurt and he threw our friendship in the dumpster faster than his empty bottle of Rex Goliath! I thought that our friendship meant a little more than that, and with some, or any form of communication, for that matter, things could have been resolved, but I guess I was wrong. Hmmm. You know, when one door closes, several other doors open. I have been very fortunate to have positive people (family and friends) in my life. I don’t need any of the BS. I know who my TRUE friends are and I am grateful for each one of them, old and NEW!

3. Things Are Not Always As They Seem
Last week I observed a senior couple at the Costco food court. They were eating hotdogs and I could tell they enjoyed each other’s company. It was clear they were still in love after a lifetime together, or so it seemed. Come to find out, this couple had been married for only seven short years. In the autumn of their lives they found true love and were extremely happy. It gave me hope. We see only what we want to see, and that doesn’t necessarily make it true!

4. Sometimes In Order To Succeed All We Need Is Someone To BELIEVE In Us
I have come to realize the importance and magnitude of words. I have said it before, words are powerful! I have literally seen people change with receiving a sincere compliment. Telling someone you are proud of them and that all their efforts are not unnoticed can change someone’s entire day.. or week! Sometimes all we need is someone, other than family, to tell us that they are in our corner. It can make a world of difference.

5. Follow Your Heart
Regardless of how scary it may seem, your heart WILL NOT steer you wrong. Your heart always knows what is right. Always follow the path your heart longs to take.

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