Saturday, May 23, 2015

I'm learning...

Being the girl full of energy, laughter and motivation sometimes comes with the bad...


I love being that comfort for people.  I love creating a safe environment when it comes to losing weight, getting healthy and also with friendships.  I've always been a person that will listen and help you find the right way to go about things...or I at least try but being so outgoing and full of life comes with the bad as well.  I'll take it though because it means I make the jealous feel vulnerable because I won't stand for being USED...and you shouldn't either.  It's toxic.  It can be just as harmful to your health when your quality of life and the people around you are NOT there for the right reasons...as it can be to overeat, never exercise or practice other unhealthy behaviors.  The BALANCE I speak of often comes from all aspects of our lives!  We must clear our slate from all bad things and relationships in order to be successful once and for all...

Sadly I've learned over time that people want you there when they NEED you...
They like you there when it's convenient for them and then when they get what they need, they move on...the sad truth.  Fake people will show you who they are almost immediately and it's our choice whether to believe them.  I have learned over time that very few are there because they truly care for us, but more they USE us to get what they want/need.  Once they get what they need from us, it's time to move on and do the same with others.  

As with losing weight and getting healthy, we have a choice. 
We can learn from past mistakes with friendships and get stronger, move past and gain a new understanding of what friendship is all about or we can choose to continue to be mistreated and "used" when the time is right for THAT person or THOSE people.  

I choose to live happy and carefree.  I can't get wrapped up in the drama of it all so I am making the choice to choose carefully.  

Fortunately I have friends that are like sisters to me, there for me through all of life's obstacles but I also have the ones that have used me through the years...and I have to be willing to stand up for what's right and what I deserve.  I feel sorry for those that surround themselves with THESE types of people.  There is NO truth to any of it and unforunately they'll find out the hard way down the line.  I guess these fake people have a sneaky way of manipulating people to get what they want but I'm a firm believer in all things come back around...

Choose to live happy, live healthy and help others by lifting them up rather than dragging them down with you.  Unhappiness is a dark place.  I lived there, I know many that live there now.  It will never end well and will always hurt the people you care most about.  Don't fall victim to the pressures of society.  Do what's right and make good choices when it comes to the people you surround yourself with.  It makes a difference in the success of your weight loss journey or journey to healthy living more than you know.  Part of the journey is weeding through false relationships and finding the people that want you to succeed as well as getting rid of those that would rather see you fail...sadly, both are surrounding you right now and you may or may not know it.  Find it and stay true to the ones that TRULY LOVE AND CARE FOR YOU!  It'll make a huge difference when it comes to your goals and successes in the future, trust me!  


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

the CAN effect...



When you fill your mind with "CAN'T" then it knows nothing else but failure.

Such a simple quote there, but means so much to me.  
It REALLY is that simple.
It's making a choice.
Not thinking about a choice or wishing to make a choice but...
MAKING A CHOICE.
MAKING A DECISION.

You must want to be better FAR MORE than wanting to remain the way you are.  

There's nothing worse than meeting someone and their first words are, "Oh I can't do this/that because of ______"
Well of course you CAN'T because you've set your mind up to fail before giving it a chance to succeed.  
If we couldn't do things due to limitations then why are there people out there proving us wrong every day?  Because although they were given an obstacle, they decided to TRY rather than making an excuse.  Sure maybe it'll be hard and almost impossible but they are TRYING.

When I'm asked the popular question of HOW?  I give the answer of, "because I never gave up", "I stopped saying I can't and started saying I'll try"


A favorite quote I read the other day, 

"Never be afraid to fall apart. It presents an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you'd been all along"

I'm successful because of ME.  I did the work, I do the work every day to better myself.  
I'm worth that and so much more...and YOU ARE TOO!

Clear the mind of  CAN'T, it sounds so simple yet it's one of THE hardest things I've ever done.  I was a quitter, an "I can't do this because ____" that WAS me for years.  Until I started believing in myself and giving myself a chance to succeed.  
It's never too late! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Inspire CHANGE...

But first you must demand change from yourself.  

We can't expect to live our current lifestyle, WANT change and it magically appear...it doesn't work that way.

I had to get to a place where I craved feeling good more than I craved the impulse of eating.  Your battle may be far different but no matter the change you seek, it all starts with demanding that change from deep within.  

There was no point in my life where I was "happy being unhealthy", lets get that straight.  I had life's ups and downs but my "downs" were WAY lower.  
I'd get to a dark place and when I was nice and comfortable there, I'd self-sabotage through eating.  It was a way of me telling my unhealthy, overweight-self..."Ha, told ya so!"
So when asked the #1 question I always get: "What finally clicked? What was your moment?"  
It was many moments tied together that eventually left me so fed up with who I had become.  I was sick of being HER and I wanted a new way of life...so I created it. I stopped wanting others to do it for me and did it for myself.  It feels far better that way, the healthy way.  I'm able to see my own strength because I had no help, no "lose 20lbs in a month-guaranteed", and there was no putting in 20% effort- I had to go ALL IN.  

Does that take courage and strength?  
Well yes, but why not fight for what you want? It's better than wishing for it while sitting surrounded in self-pity, isn't it?   

So rather than just be proud of what I've done for myself, I figured why not help others do the same.  What good is changing my life if I can't help change others in the process...
Helping others has given me the ability to see that I am not alone, I was never alone...yet felt that way for years.  But as I help and encourage, others must see that it will be hard work.  

The first few weeks of change are easy...
Making it stick is a different story.  

After you get it wrong time and time again, when you FINALLY get it right...the magic happens and your life will never be the same.  It's getting back up even when all hope seems lost.  Be honest with yourself and with others.  Don't sugar coat it (literally!), tell it like it is.  
For me, I have days when I want to lay in bed angry at the world because I have to work SO hard at my health every day.  Then I have other days where I wake up, stand tall and think-look how strong and healthy I have become...lets do this!  
It's about keeping your head high and pushing forward on the not-so-easy days that make that change stick.  The MOMENT things get tough and you give up...then it means you aren't ready for change...you might WANT it but you aren't ready to work for it...but it's never too late-you'll get there!  One day at a time...


Some inspiration from my Move It Mommas:





They've all had good days and bad...
Each of them are busy with families, children, husband's crazy work schedules, their work schedules, school, sports...LIFE.  
But results come from HARD WORK, EVERY DAY.
The attitude of no excuses must come to play every, single day of your life and when you can't find it-reach out to those that have it and they'll inspire you to find it once again!  NEVER QUIT. 

The mom is like the glue of the household.  If she's leading a healthy lifestyle, every one else will stick right there with her.  If she's practicing poor behaviors, chances are-the family is watching and looking to simulate those behaviors as well.   If she's happy and healthy, the odds are her family is as well!  


One change that sticks out to me with each of these transformations (and some of my Momma's have needed to simply tone/firm up and get healthy but I STILL see their...

SMILE.  
It's a different smile.  It's a happy, confident, full of life smile.  I can't quite describe it completely but it's beautiful when you witness it.  They walk with confidence, they are fierce in their workouts, they carry themselves differently.  They wear more fitted clothing, they strut when they walk as they should!  They are BEAUTIFUL, STRONG and INSPIRING WOMEN. 
And by them gaining a new outlook on life, it inspires others...helps others realize that they too can seek change and find that happy and healthy balance!!!  
When we finish a tough workout, they are glowing.  That glow is carried on to other aspects of their lives and that is how we change the world!  
That SMILE can change other women...and it is, one woman at a time.  

It's what keeps ME going when I want to quit....they keep me going. I truly believe they are the reason I have stayed true to my goals and pushed myself so hard these past, few years!  




INSPIRE CHANGE WITH THOSE AROUND YOU!!!!  INSPIRE YOURSELF!  Go out and find that SMILE you've been longing to create!  It's there-within each of us!  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

doing things differently...

In life we make mistakes and if we learn from them, 
we grow stronger and are able to help others...
If we don't learn from those mistakes, we may repeat them with our children.

With my husband and I, we truly value our children being HEALTHY.  Eating right MOST of the time and exercising!  We focus on being active for most hours of the day, we don't eat out often and when we do, we TRY to keep things balanced.  Why?

Because these two boys are watching and learning...
Today was awards for the run club at their school. As I announce the awards each season, I get emotional and try to keep it together but these children, all of the children make me SO proud.  Proud that they take it seriously and they want to be faster, stronger...healthier! 
My boys logged almost 100 miles of running, combined this season.  My youngest placed 1st in his age group and my oldest placed 2nd overall!  SO proud that they value running. They LOVE it, they look forward to going and I usually have to tell them to slow down, rather than speed up!  On average my oldest runs around 4-5 miles before school on those run club days so to say I'm proud is an understatement. 
While I am SO proud of their love for baseball, basketball and other team sports, running is a whole different type of pride...one they need nothing but a strong heart, shoes and pavement or a track to complete.  It's YOU vs. YOU and that says a lot.  It's tough and each mile can be painful but somehow you push through...that's the part of running I respect most.  
Nobody can help you achieve the goal, just YOU. 

I was the child that HATED to run.  I HATED to walk...heck, I hated to move.  So I make it my obligation to expose my kids differently.  Help them see the good things that happen when we are active and we take care of our bodies.  It's important.  
  
 My children are WATCHING.  Your children are watching you.  They watch what you take pride in, how you treat the people around you, what you eat/drink, if you exercise, if you sit around and watch TV or actively PLAY with them....they see it!  ALL OF IT.  
The good and the bad :( 

What habits do you want your children to pick up on? 
Which ones would you rather them not imitate?  Scary thought, isn't it?



When I look at pictures of myself growing up, I am disappointed in myself.
I was a good softball player BUT...I sold myself short time and time again because of my size. 
I ran slow, I ate poorly so had little energy and I HATED sweating.  

How ironic since these days I'm usually covered in sweat on a good day!  


Growing up, while I rode my bike, played in the neighborhood or played sports...I can remember not wanting to be doing that-whatever it was.  ALWAYS in the back of my mind I was wishing someone would say, "let's go hang out inside, watch TV and get a snack".  UGH!

It is THOSE memories that drive me to help other women, children...it's why I am a coach for the run club because to see children passionate about MOVEMENT, BEING ACTIVE and BEING HEALTHY makes me happy!  It gives me hope that all of us can turn our lives around.  We can be better, make better choices and set better examples for our children.  Right?  
I mean if not, then what am I fighting for?  I must keep hope!  

When I'm in the middle of a tough workout or long race, I think to myself, FIGHT FOR HER!
Fight for the girl I was for so man years and it works...
it keeps me going and keeps me STRONG! 
I look at that picture above and say to myself, although I failed a million times-
it only took one time to pick myself up and move forward!  

That ONE time I didn't quit, changed my life FOREVER! 

One of my Momma's told me yesterday during our workout, 
"I keep going because it feels so much better than feeling sorry for myself, as I did for so long"...
and to that I say HECK YES!


Monday, May 4, 2015

that road.

For each of us the path is different.  
 I've met many women that have found health issues and concerns with their weight and body image as adults...finding that they can't continue with their 18 year old lifestyle in their 40's so they seek change.  Others struggled with yo-yo dieting.  Some never thought about exercise until things started moving toward gravity with age...each of us have a different story to tell.
  
For me, it's been tough since the beginning...
Seemed like diets and "wanting" to lose weight were a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I was always going to "start Monday" and make changes.  I'd set big goals only to fall short and lose confidence in myself time and time again.  I'd admire cute clothes and bathing suits but always knew those clothes "weren't made for me".  

I was a good friend.  The one others turned to for advice, a good laugh or because they knew I always had plans for the next, big social event or party!  I loved that about me and still do...I thrive on social interaction with good people...something I am very proud of.  
But way back when, I remember feeling empty while surrounded by loving people.  
How could that be? 
I traveled in a group.  My closest friends were always with me and they are now like sisters to me but even while they were with me on life's big adventures, I still felt disconnected from life.  



 I LOVE to smile, laugh and have fun!  Only now I'm able to feel the joy from it completely because I am no longer riding the bench.  I live in the moment, day to day and it feels incredible. If you'd ask one thing I love most about losing the weight and getting health, that would have to be it.  I am LIVING.  I FEEL GOOD.  I spent YEARS feeling crappy.  Yes, I had aches, pains, depression, mood swings and health-related issues that kept dragging me down.  

My health and weight- It held me back from SO much.  I distinctly remember each year around January, I'd tell myself, THIS YEAR I'll finally be able to fit in regular shorts or wear a two piece bathing suit...then I'd distinctly remember around May or June, there I'd be...crying in the dressing room, picking out the ugliest, most non-revealing suit I could find.  Angry at myself for once again, not following through with something I wanted so desperately. Then there I'd be, sitting with my friends in their bikinis-watching guys talk to them, flirt with them and then there was ME.  Alone.  I'd admire their bodies, wanting so badly to close my eyes and become someone else, even if only for a second.  
So to get rid of those horrible feelings, I did what I knew best...I ate.  Ate until the pain went away.  Oh how powerful the mind can be- I treated food as a way to medicate my emotions. 

What took me years to discover?  
That the "wanting" eats away at your life, at your self-worth and makes you resent other people and push them away.  I "wanted" to change so bad.  I "wanted" to wear a bikini.  I "wanted" to not be the big girl YET I NEVER WANTED TO WORK FOR IT.  I spent SO much time "wanting" and the time passed...life was passing me by and I didn't care.  It wasn't even for the right reasons.  It was about looking a certain way but for who?  Not me.  
It felt better to feel sorry for myself and bring others down with me.  When others were with me, at my level of binge eating, complaining and feeling sorry then it was an even playing field, no competition.  How sad and pathetic, isn't it?  I look back and wonder 
WHY DID I LIVE THAT WAY FOR SO MANY YEARS??  It makes me sick.  

Now I focus on FEELING GOOD.  I felt bad for so long that I LOVE waking up and feeling good...where most take that feeling for granted, I embrace it every day!  





For the millions of times I quit on ME, 
it only took ONE TIME of getting it right!
I was changed forever...
I am changed forever.  

I do it for me.
I do it for my family.
I do it to feel GOOD.
I do it for my health.
I want to LIVE rather than watch others...
I want to experience all that life has to offer with the people I love most and the best way I can do that is by taking care of myself, putting my health as a priority and spreading my experiences in hopes that I may help CHANGE just a few lives along the way...
If I've done that, then I've done what I've set out to do.

I quit on myself SO many times that it almost felt good to quit.  Sad isn't it?
When we look forward to punching ourselves in the gut time and time again because we "deserve it".  That WAS my life and I hope it isn't yours or any of those around you.
Life is precious and it's not worth living THAT way.  

One day I will wake up and the entire world will be on board.  We will be fighting FOR one another rather than waiting on those around us to fail.  It will come and it will be beautiful.  There will be only healthy children...no more sitting indoors, eating in living rooms and playing electronic devices...THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT!  

All children and adults deserve to feel good and if we give up on the ones that have already given up on themselves, then we won't change anything.  
We ALL deserve a chance to change, a chance at living.  So next time you see an overweight person TRYING...instead of walking on, give them a pat on the back and encourage them.  It may be the ONE thing they need to keep going...then you had a hand in changing their life for the better and THAT FEELING is how we'll change the world, together!  

Monday, April 27, 2015

the examples we set...

...play a huge factor in our lives, the people in it and the people we want to reach...

On my personal journey, I put being a mother as a priority but at the same time, 
I allowed myself to take the back seat. 
I had an excuse and it was finally a good one.  I was busy, 
a full-time working Mom and wife so who cares if I ate mac and cheese as a main dish!

But what about all that hard work?  I had lost so much weight and was now steadily piling on the pounds...so effortlessly.  Why was that?
Well to my surprise I had exchanged my fast food obsession to cooking "healthier" meals yet overindulging, eating 2-3 portions.  Why could I not get my foods right? I obsessed over exercise but learned to blow it all in one meal.  When I look back, in 2001 when I first lost weight and found my new journey, I wasn't exercising AT ALL and I was eating SO poorly.  Big portions and crappy foods.  Double NO!
Seems like after my first son was born, I gave myself a FREE PASS because I was exercising, heck I worked out less than 4 weeks after giving birth!  I was running, using the elliptical in my garage and walking while on my lunch break at work!  WHY WAS I GAINING WEIGHT?!


It's simple really.  I learned to exercise and then REWARD myself with lots of food.  
Balance was not a part of my life and it took YEARS to get it right...for now! 

You see, they go hand in hand and you cannot have one without the other.  If it's working for you, chances are one day it will stop working until you find that BALANCE.  
I took my relationship with food, "broke up" with it and built a new, healthier relationship with it.  I give food VERY little thought and rather than relieving stress through my stomach, I put it in my workouts.  Then I was working out SEVEN days a week, now it's only FOUR days a week but my food stays in control MOST of the time!  
The shorts I was wearing in that picture are a 16 ( I still have them tucked away in my closet as a reminder!) and now I wear a size 4.  While it is NOT about the size of your clothes or the weight on the scale, it is about feeling good and being healthy!  I will spend every day trying to help women that struggle with that balance, figure it all out...one day at a time.  

These days my kids and husband are still my #1 priority but the difference?  SO AM I!  
I make my health a priority and that decision to put myself as a priority will effect all other aspects of my life and the people in it.  

You work long hours?  Fit in a walk around the neighborhood with your kids/husband.  Kids have sports after work/school? Bring your tennis shoes and stroll, jog or power walk the areas around the soccer, baseball or any other fields.  Have a longer lunch break?  Bring workout clothes-change and go for a power walk/jog, eat a quick-ready made healthy lunch and use your time wisely.  PREPARE on the weekends if your weekdays are insane!  Keep healthy foods in your home, get rid of the unhealthy trigger foods that grab your eye as you open that pantry after a long day...THROW THEM OUT!  Your children will survive without Little Debbie staring you down every second of every day!  THROW IT OUT! Replace those foods with fruits, veggies, protein-rich snacks and pack you a snack on the go bag!  I am always armed with PB, fruit, a string cheese, almonds, high protein cereal snack mix, etc so I'm never caught HUNGRY! 

You must get fed up with feeling crappy!  
The cycle will continue as long as you allow it.  I'd exercise, feel great and then eat so much I'd have to unbutton my pants, burp then lose all energy because my body was on overload.  Then after work/school, I'd feel so bad the only way I'd feel "better" was by stuffing my face once again...with EMPTY CALORIES!  

If you've been there, break the cycle!

I feel like an entirely new person when I fuel properly and exercise regularly!  You can make excuses or you can change...choice is yours and the time passes the same either way!  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

throwing rocks...

At the end of the week, my group met for a workout and I was greeted by a golf cart and a lady standing in her work clothes...I walked over and to my surprise they were not there to praise our group, but rather ban us from use of MY park :(  
It was THE most upsetting thing I've ever heard.  We live in a nice neighborhood-love my neighbors and have met so many great people through the workouts! We have been working out at the SAME place and time for over a year and a half.  
She not-so-nicely told me it was a private park.  I said yes ma'am, I live here and pay $100/month to use these facilities.  At that point some other neighborhood Momma's walked over to see what was going on...
She proceeded to say we've "ruined" the tennis courts-the ones we run on...yes, run on concrete with tennis shoes, that's IT.  While we've seen teenagers out there goofing around, hanging on nets and smoking...WE, a group of Mom's, ruined a tennis court??  Okay??
We are also "preventing other people from using the facilities during our workout time"....so from 10-11am on a WEEKDAY, there are how many CHILDREN(who are suppose to be in school) are being prevented from using a HUGE park?  Ohhhh, I'm confused? 

She was the management community president and said after "several" complaints, we were only allowed usage on the basketball courts, not the pavilion (the pavilion which provides shade for my women while working out).  The basketball court is "public" while the rest is "private".  She also explained I was "making profit" from the park...yes, $5 is part of my getting rich scheme on these women, let me tell you!  REALLY?

So the part I find MOST disturbing?  WHY WOULD SOMEONE SABOTAGE AND TATTLE ON OUR GROUP?  How heartless.  They should be ashamed and if they took a moment to see what we were, what we were about and our stories then they'd realize we are FAR different from any other group they may think they've seen in the community.  We pick up trash, often times not trash we've created but broken bottles, cigarette butts, etc that "others" have left from days prior.  We do not use the park on the weekend or Friday's, for we know that park is probably in use during that time and we choose not to take away from my fellow neighbors.  
My question?  WHAT WERE WE DOING THAT WAS SO WRONG IT REQUIRED SOMEONE TO GO TO OUR MANAGEMENT CO TO COMPLAIN??  

When we hear things like this, hear people trying to "throw rocks" on something that's only making ourselves better, what is wrong with our society as a whole? 
It's scary.  It makes me think, is this person SO unhappy that they must bring others around them down.  I set out to make a difference, to help women and THIS is what I am given in return?  How SAD.  

If I were in management and someone were to complain regarding a GROUP OF MOM'S EXERCISING, my question would be, "and?", "Are they harming you?"...because I'm sure her 5" speaker must be blaring obscene music and they must be cursing and throwing things out there, correct? And when that miserable human being would have no answer for that, I'd simply HANG UP THE PHONE!  My goodness.

But instead I was treated like a fourth grader who stole markers from the teacher....told we were in the wrong and IF we wanted to remain there, we must go before the BOARD and state our case and argument for remaining at MY park!  MY PARK.  OUR PARK!  We have MANY neighbors that attend our workouts and why wouldn't they?  I'm bringing healthy living INTO our community...HELLO??!  With heart disease still a number one killer of women, obesity rates higher than ever before, we are still going to frown upon a woman trying to make our community a healthier place to live?!  I'm ashamed of this area, our society and these people-these "complainers" and how this was handled by our HOA president and management company.  How dare they try to stop something that is setting a POSITIVE example for women.  WHY?!  And our children?  The ones who PLAY and are active the entire hour we exercise?  We are going to ban them from being active but would rather them sit indoors and play video games?  Oh yes, that's definitely the RIGHT idea?!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE??  
I taught PE, I listened FIRST HAND to these children and how they get home from school and SIT AROUND, their only "active" time is at their 35 minute PE class and 5 minute recess...but yes, so someone can sit in their own miserable, pity party-let's take PLAYING away from children as well....WOW.  Anyone else see the shame and ridiculousness of this claim??!  
AND THEN WE WONDER WHY WE ARE RAISING A SOCIETY OF THE MOST UNHEALTHY CHILDREN, HIGHER CHILDHOOD OBESITY RATES, HIGHER RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES, HEART DISEASE...the list goes on and on.  But YES the answer is to BULLY AND SHUT DOWN PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.....ahhhhh yes!  That's the answer!

My goodness, I am out of words and more in tears for the way this was handled, the way I was treated and the way they so effortlessly could tell us, "SHAME ON YOU" and might I add that I called the management company on THREE, SEPARATE OCCASIONS, with my Momma's there to explain what we were doing and get permission and EACH TIME WAS TOLD, "Yes ma'am, it's YOUR park and is a neighbor to neighbor conflict if someone has a problem with you using those facilities"...sounds like permission to me??!  YEA THOUGHT SO! 

But don't you worry, I have been thrown obstacles in my life...just another turn that will make me stronger.  Make your group stronger and these "complainers" have to live with that doubt, fear and weakness for the rest of their lives...that's who I feel sorry for, don't you?

Ok, my rant is over...
SORRY! 

*Disclosure: I am by no means blaming the management company or HOA, but feel as though things could have been handled differently knowing I am a resident, in good standing and only out to improve our community rather than do harm.  The person(s) that complained regarding our group are the ones that should be held responsible for creating this issue within the community.  

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