Tag Archives: relationships

Half Way There

So – life has been busy lately. Somehow 20 weeks have passed and I’m sitting at the half way mark of this pregnancy. How did that happen so quickly? It terrifies me that in another 20 weeks, my whole life is going to be turned upside down.

20 Weeks! (and sorry! I am not giving anyone the bird, it's extremely hard to hold my phone and take a bump photo - WOOPS!)

20 Weeks! (and sorry! I am not giving anyone the bird, it’s extremely hard to hold my phone and take a bump photo – WOOPS!)

It makes me think about training for my first athletic races and how nervous I was….how much I was scared to even say out loud that I wanted to consider training for my first 5K, and then my first triathlon. Saying it out loud made it so real. And that meant that I had to actually start preparing my body for the upcoming race. Preparing myself for something that I had never done before and something I wasn’t 100% sure I could do.

Being pregnant is sort of like that (but on a much more epic scale). I knew I wanted to start a family, and that once we decided to actually do something about that idea, it was really throwing all control up into the wind. And when we were blessed to become parents – it’s been this really exhilarating and frightening experience – one that feels much like a race. Of course, it’s important to mention the races I’ve participated in have never been about beating anyone – it’s only been a personal challenge for myself. Being able to answer the question, “Can I do this?” with a resounding YES!

And so here I am, at the half way mark of this crazy adventure and I’ve had some major ups and downs, there have been tears, enormous physical obstacles to overcome (and more to come), there has been joy and fear. So much – and yet, I am still moving forward with my eye on the prize. I can do this. I am “training” for motherhood at this point.

Making tough decisions about work, my personal life, my health, my home, my finances – and mentally and physically preparing myself for what happens when I cross this finish line. Today definitely marks a special day in this adventure – where time seems very real to me and I can sort of see the outline of the finish line ahead. I can see the calendar months flashing by, taking me quickly to the point where I must be ready for what’s next. Or, at the very least, open to learning what I need to learn to move forward.

It’s definitely the most important challenge I’ve ever accepted in my life. It’s bigger than any other item on my bucket list and it’s a game changer. Every other decision in my life will be impacted by this one decision I made with my husband months ago – that we would try and start a family. And now – this little life is taking form inside of me – becoming it’s own little person. And somehow – at the end of another 20 weeks, I’ll be able to call myself a mom. That is pretty amazing.

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Filed under Challenge, family, goals, health, Life, pregnant and healthy, relationships

Three Tips to Get on Track with Life

Well, it’s raining – again! I can’t believe how much rain we have been getting here in the South when so many people are desperately in need of rain in the mid west. I am SO glad I forgot to return the umbrella I borrowed from my office yesterday because I had to use it again today to get from the gym back to my office. I taught my TurboKick class, showered and got ready for the day again since I have a presentation to do tonight on campus.

It’s not going to be a super long presentation – but I’m hitting some highlights of how to get on the right track your first year of college. As I’m contemplating the millions of tips I could give, I’m trying to pick the tops ones in hopes that something I say strikes a chord with them and they actually take action! I don’t often interact with students on the younger end of the spectrum in my role, so when I present to freshman it’s always a refreshing perspective for me. Everything is new and interesting. Every piece of advice is something you might consider, even if just for a moment. Particularly when I speak to a group that focuses on leadership, I feel like the audience is there to hear something that will make a difference in their college careers.

Some of my top tips would be:

1) Don’t just be a student.

  • Grades are important, but they are not the only thing that you will be judged on. Being in college is about more than just showing up to class and turning in work. You need to pick a few organizations and be involved. Be a leader of some sort in at least one organization.Volunteer some of your time. Give back to your campus is some way.

2) Utilize resources while they are free

  •  Like the academic success center, tutoring assistance, counseling, career development (as in getting your resume reviewed, getting help with finding jobs/internships, interviewing help, etc), taking classes beyond the required so you can expand your skill sets, going to free concerts and events that expose you to new ideas and cultures, going to the gym and utilizing the free exercise classes or seminars offered, climb the rock wall, sign up for a trip that takes you off campus with your peers

3) Take responsibility for your own destiny

  • Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what you should do; spend time creating your own plan. Whether you stick to it or not doesn’t matter, but at least attempt to organize yourself. This means reading information about your major and understanding the classes you need to take and what order you need to take them. This means thinking ahead so you can block out time for that “must have” part time job or internship.

There are so many more that I could share – but I think those hit a lot of the highlights of getting on the right track. It’s so hard to get BACK on track from a crazy freshman year. Pulling your GPA up from a 1.5 will seem impossible. Creating good study habits and finding people with similar values is a lot easier if you start off in the right mind space. Setting goals for yourself and posting them in a place where you can see them is a great way to remind yourself everyday why you are here.

I think these 3 lessons can be transferable to non-students as well. It’s easy once we graduate and start our careers to stop really reaching for something more. To do more than just go to work. To get involved in the professional community, or to take action in your community through volunteering in some way. We forget that we are in the driver’s seat and let life just float by when we really need to take charge of our own destiny’s and have a plan for ourselves. We need to set goals, write them down and revisit them. We need to evaluate our progress and change things up when needed. We need to do more than just take up space, am I right?

And if you look around, I bet you have a lot of resources available to you that you aren’t using. That spare room could be a gym. Your neighborhood association could need some help. Your old sorority/fraternity chapter might need some extra hands during an upcoming event. Your church might need some help in the nursery. Your place of employment might offer to pay part of a class fee if you wanted to go back to school to work on that certificate or degree you’ve been considering. Take action. Take responsibility, take back the driver’s seat to your own life. This is your journey, where are you going?

 

 

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Filed under Challenge, goals, just for fun, Life, motivation, resources

Thankful Thursdays: First Days…

Things are starting to become “abuzz” on campus – some students have already started to move in, but tomorrow will be the “big day” – all our new freshman will be coming to campus and getting moved in, meeting their roommates, orientation leaders – and of course, me! 🙂 Okay, well only a select few will meet me this weekend as I do teach a freshman 101 type of course. Our first class meets on Saturday (school on SATURDAY!!??). Want to feel old? These incoming freshman were born in (ready?) 1994. I’ll let that sink in for a second. And that’s not just a random call out for Forrest Gump – that movie actually came out in 1994 to put things in perspective. (You’re Welcome)

 

Phew, back to the post now.

I remember my college move in day and that whole weekend vividly. I went to a college 8 hours away from my home town. I grew up in a small town, went to college in a big city. I knew no one, but I don’t remember being scared. I remember pure excitement! I met new friends immediately, and it was a whirlwind of adventures that first semester in college. I don’t really remember any of the homework assignments, or readings – what sticks with me the most are the friends I made, the decisions I was faced with that first semester of being on my own, and how much fun college was compared to high school.

I had a chance to reconnect with some old friends from my college last weekend. Unfortunately, the circumstances weren’t great – we had come back together to provide support for a college friend who lost his sister suddenly in a car accident. But, it was good to tell stories about the stupid adventures we all got into, the movies was watched on repeat, and we laughed and I thought that was better than crying for a little bit. It reminded me of just how much the people I met in college meant to me, and still do. How that experience connected us with invisible threads we often forget about until we’re together again.

College was this magical experience for me. The people I met, the lessons I learned (inside and outside the classroom) shaped who I am in my adult life. I often think because of my college experience – it made me want to continue to be in that environment as part of my career. Here I am, almost a decade later, still sitting on a university campus – nervous energy bubbling up about the adventures of yet another school year. Wondering what amazing things I’ll learn this year, what new students may darken my doorstep and if maybe I’ll have the chance to help them grow and develop the same way the faculty/staff at my college helped me grow into the woman I am today.

I have a role where I get to meet new people every single day, and they are often searching for something. Someone to help them figure out a game plan, find an internship, to share excitement about a job offer.  I’ve also had the chance to connect with students on a deeper level and that has lead to a whole host of other types of conversations about life, relationships, healthy behaviors, and so much more. I often get bogged down by the paperwork and process part of my job, and I forget what a wonderful opportunity I have everyday to make a difference in someone’s life. Sure, I’m not SAVING lives by any means – but it’s so awesome to be in a role where the people I work with are in this magical stage of their lives where big decisions are being made. When they are learning how to be independent, gaining confidence, learning to tread water gracefully instead of just splashing around.

My hope is that every now and then, I can make an impact – even if it’s a tiny one. We all have the chance to open our hearts to helping others – and while I’m not a huge “volunteer-er” I have a big heart for helping my students and people around me so they can be happier with the choices they make as it relates to their work, their careers, etc. It’s a big responsibility, but I know I owe it to them, because someone took the time to mentor me, to be-friend me, to challenge me, to train me, to knock me off my soapbox when I needed it – and mostly, just to believe in me.

Today’s post isn’t about motivating you to lose weight, work out more, eat differently or anything like that. It’s about taking pride in who you are, how far you’ve come, and giving back when you have the chance. No kind thought or words are ever too small to make a difference!

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Filed under family, health, just for fun, Life, thankful thursday

Weekend Review: A hike, a few stings and some other things.

It feels good to say I have officially completed my Summer Push Challenge. 90 Day, 6 workouts a day and then add at least 12 more workouts (to count for my weekly TurboKick class i teach) and you have the minimum of workouts I accomplished over the last 12 weeks. That’s right, about 84 workouts! Mega proud? Absolutely!

In order to “celebrate” my accomplishment, I only thought it fitting to do something active as a way to say “YAY me!” We went for a hike at a near-by trail where my husband often rides his bike or trail runs. Because of the never ending rain and thunderstorms this past week, we didn’t want to risk driving somewhere semi far away with both dogs in tow only to find that it was too muddy to hike. The trail wasn’t too bad, even though the humidity made it feel like we were swimming through warm water the whole way. We only did about 3 miles (our dogs aren’t ready for much more than that – I know, shame on us!).

It felt good to just be doing something good for us as a way to celebrate an accomplishment. So often, my celebration would be food related or going and having a drink somewhere fancy. But this way way better, and I think we are going to try and make it a weekly event with the pups. It’s good for them, healthy for us – and gives us a chance to be outdoors and together. Win, win, win, right?

Unfortunately, I was attacked by some bees on our hike – so as my co-worker so eloquently put it today – “You look like someone socked you in the face, what happened?” So, apparently it’s pretty noticeable to someone other than me. But it feels like my jaw has a growth on it and it’s sore to touch. The little suckers also got me on my side – so that is super pleasant as well. As if I don’t have a constant case of the “itchy- scratchies” (NEOpets, anyone? No? Just me, I guess) due to allergies and skin issues anyway – these stings are like icing on a not-allowed in the first place cake.

Apparently, my husband “did not believe me” that there were bees swarming around me as he was trying to clear a tree from the trail. It went something like this:

Me: “Ahhh! There’s a bee!” (dancing around trying to wave a bee away from my face piece)
Him: “I don’t see any bees” (as he continues to move a giant tree from the trail)
Me: “Ahhhhh – there are MORE bees! Go!!!”
Him: “I really don’t think there are any bees.  I don’t see them.”
Me: “They are on me, they are on Peach (me swatting them away from my dog and myself trying to run)”
Me: “Too late! Too late! They got me!” (grabbing my face and side and running away).

I guess he believed me then.

He is always excited about something! Treat! Frisbee! Water! Bedtime! Really.

 

Other than a brilliant reminder that bee stings really freaking hurt, the hike went well. I only slid in the mud a few times, and we got a laugh out of watching how different our dogs are. Yoshi, our big brown lab, could hardly be restrained from jumping into the creek whenever we crossed. Muddy pathway? No problem – he plowed through. We even had to go a different way once because it was a small ledge over a creek and we were SURE he would jump in and take us all with him.

Doesn’t she look so regal?

On the other hand – we have (princess) Peach (a lab/pit/boxer/whoknowswhat mix) who did everything she could to walk around any watery areas, and pranced across the bridges avoiding that filthy creek water as quickly as she could. She is seriously ridiculous. The last week I’ve been trying to catch her when she “goes to do her  business” because she is so prissy she won’t go and pee (or poop) in the yard when it’s wet and muddy. So where does she go? On our cement porch area. FAIL!

Anyway – the dogs had a good time, and other than the bee attack, I did, too. And now my hubby feels really bad that he didn’t believe me about the bees. And there is a certain satisfaction to being right, no matter the cost, right? 🙂

I did a self assessment test today during lunch at the gym for my “new workout program” I am starting. I’ll have full details on that tomorrow for anyone who is interested. It’s cool because for about 99% of this program – you can do it at home, outside, or in your gym with basically no equipment.

Currently Reading..

 

I’m also still reading more about the Paleo/Primal lifestyle and I’m currently soaking up information from Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint. He has an EXCELLENT website with tons of great articles on nutrition and exercise called: marksdailyapple.com

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Filed under Challenge, family, goals, health, just for fun, Life, relationships, weekend review, work out

People Along the Way

What adventure are you on?

For every adventure, there are people you meet along the way. People who may change your course, obstruct your course, help you over an obstacle or just be there to go through it by your side. It really wouldn’t be quite the epic adventure if there weren’t people along the way, right? I mean, how interesting would Harry Potter’s situation be if it weren’t for Ron & Hermione?

The last four years of my life have been a pretty amazing adventure – one that I didn’t quite expect to happen. I’ve been on this adventure of trying to figure out what the best version of me is – really and truly. And while that has had me focus in a lot on weight loss, better eating habits and things that impact my physical self – it’s also been a quest to understand who I am a little bit more than I did before. All in all, it’s helped my soul heal a little bit from a lot of years of self bashing, and a few years of letting someone else drag me down.

As I’ve been up in the mountains and down in the valleys so to speak during these 4 years – I’d like to say I’ve learned a lot along the way. But there are some things that really ring loud and clear for me – and as I was thinking about it all of these lessons are kind of connected to a person (or persons!) and I wanted to take this Thankful Thursday (I know i’m a slacker at doing these every week) to recognize some of the “people along the way.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (but you should believe it, too)

I learned this lesson when I met my husband (for the 2nd time – but that is another blog post). I was really at the bottom on my personal barrel in a lot of ways. I was the heaviest I’d been in a long time, my heart had taken a major beating and I was just so tired of everything, including myself. When I met him and he thought i was funny, interesting, pretty and smart – he helped me start believing in myself again. I am so thankful to have him in my life everyday and he never has stopped believing in me, even when I wasn’t sure I could do something along the way.

Being healthy should be a part of your lifestyle

Growing up, I just wanted to be skinny like my friends. And I always had the concept that if i worked really hard for a while – I would hit my goal and then I could go back to life as normal. Obviously, this is not how it works.  Now, I get that being healthy is a result of making good decisions on a regular basis. One of my first friends at work who directs all the fitness programs here at our university is the person who really brought this to life for me. She was an amazing example of being healthy – and backs it up by really living the life. She even taught me how I could have fun while doing some of these things which I NEVER thought was possible before.

Thanks to her, I can say i’m a certified TurboKick instructor – she was a MAJOR inspiration in my decision to pursue that goal. It’s my hope to be able to show other people that working out can be a fun time (even if you will sweat a lot!).

Find a Bandwagon

I know this sounds bad – but it’s a lot easier to make better decisions for yourself when you align yourself with similar people (I would argue the opposite is just as true – as in, it’s easy to eat badly or not workout when no one else is either!). This doesn’t mean you aren’t friends with people who have differing views by any means – but it does mean  you should seek out people who have similar goals. I’ve met a ton of new people this way, and reconnected with old friends, too, who I hadn’t talked to in awhile. I also have been lucky to have a few people along the way who always stuck by my side in this adventure. And even though they might have different perspectives on how to “climb the hill” or “get across the river” – we’re still rooting for each other every step of the way.

***

Ready?

These 3 things don’t represent every aspect of my 4 years of adventure – they are just a quick snapshot of things I’ve learned along the way – and hopefully a “nod of thanks” towards those who have been on this adventure with me for at least some portion of it!

And hopefully, there might be a few nuggets of wisdom or advice you can take with you on your adventure as well – wherever you may be going. Regardless, thank YOU for being on this part of my adventure with me.

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Filed under goals, just for fun, Life, motivation, relationships, thankful thursday, weight loss, work out

Respect the Results

Totally worth it.

Today is Friday of course, so that means it’s a morning where I actually write down my measurements. I seem to always run into the misfortune of having a “can’t miss it” occasion the night before a weigh in and last night was no different. But I got to see my nephew and niece (on my brother’s side) for the first time in a long time. Getting to spend just an evening with them was amazing – I, of course, miss them all the time – but never am I reminded of just how much until I see their cute little faces again. They are growing up so fast, and I just want them to know how much I love them.

So anyway, my family went on vacation this past few days – the hubs & I couldn’t go with work schedules and what not, so we drove down to meet them for dinner last night and I stayed overnight with them before they left to go home to KY this morning. So we ended up eating at FATZ last night. Such a great name for a place to eat right?

I mean, with a name like FATZ you are sure to find lots of low calories options right? 🙂

Actually, I did a bit of research before we went and they DO have all their nutrition info online, so I went with something from their lite menu – but I still indulged in 2 of their delicious rolls. And i tried a bit of my mom’s chicken meal. But I didn’t overdo it as I had a pretty light day yesterday anyway and I worked out first thing in the morning.

I am a complete psycho and brought my scale with me to my parent’s house so I could weigh myself. I also brought my measuring tape. So first thing this morning, I did the deed – and I’m proud to say that I was down 1.2 pounds from last weeks weigh in even after having an “out to eat meal.” Did I mention I also ate a chocolate chip cookie my mom made when we got home? Serious – cookies (especially freshly made ones) are my kryptonite.

So I promised I’d do a run down of my results since beginning turbofire. Here we go (this represents total loss since start of the program:

Total Weight: Down 5.2 pounds since day 1

Chest: Down 2 inches
Hips: Down 2 inches
Thigh: Down 1 inch
Waist: Down 1 inch
Upper Arm: Down.5 inch

Okay – so totals would be down 5.2 pounds and 6.5 inches in 2 months. I know it’s more like slow and steady win the race vs. a miracle weight loss of 15 pounds in 2 months – but I’ve had several other people comment on me looking slimmer in the last week. And I’m just feeling more confident. And stronger – especially when I’m trying to make it through my Tone & Sculpt workouts in TurboFire. I definitely think my endurance has improved – I can tell when I’m teaching my TurboKick class that I’m just feeling better and can talk more through the class than I could in the beginning.

So I’m proud of myself so far. My boss who is also a good friend of mine (we’ve worked together for about 7 years now) asked me how many weeks in I was on my turbo program now. I told her that this week was Week 9, and I mentioned I had only missed on workout so far (this program is 6 days a week PEOPLE!). And she looks at me with this sense of amazement and says- “I can’t believe you have been getting up early on a regular basis to work out. I mean- this is YOU we are talking about. Miss Don’t Talk To Me in the Morning.”

And she’s right. I don’t ENJOY waking up early on those days, but I do it -because the end result is worth the sacrifice of getting my arse outta bed and downstairs to get my sweat on. In the end – that’s what I’ve learned most so far: You will do whatever you make your mind up to do.

I’m getting really excited about the next phase of my journey where I really dive into the food part and change some things up with my food choices. The hubby says he is on board – so that’s the green light I needed to really embrace this next phase. I may not be able to wait for 3 more weeks. As soon as I finish this book I’m reading I may be ready to jump in. I guess I better eat all the “wheat treats” I want this week because I have a feeling that once I detox, it might be painful to add them back in to my diet regardless of how delicious it might be.

Enjoy your weekend – I have one more workout tomorrow and then Sunday is my day off. No excuses – you are the only one who can make good or bad decisions for yourself – so start right now.

 

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Filed under Challenge, family, food, goals, health, Life, motivation, Results, weight loss, work out

Meet Positive Polly (the sadly under-represented sister of Negative Nancy)

I was wondering to myself as I walked back from my last presentation to my office, is there a name for someone who is always positive? We have a name for people who are constantly negative, as in “Well aren’t you Negative Nancy, today?”

So I started thinking about it and I can’t remember anyone ever saying to someone else, “well aren’t you Miss Happy Holly today?” or “That’s awesome to think that way, Optimistic Opal” or (my personal fav) “Look at you, Positive Polly!”

If there is such a nickname, perhaps it’s sad that I’ve never heard anyone use it. And that made me think more about how negative we are toward each other and ourselves. How often do we judge other people and even more so – how much do we tear ourselves down? I agree with that saying about being our own worst enemy….I can apply that to myself on many different levels. And it’s easy to always see the down side of things instead of focusing on the good stuff.

Doesn’t this make you want to work out? 🙂 Having fun at Turbo training!

When I first started getting into fitness and living a healthier lifestyle, I found my niche in group exercise. And I wasn’t really sure why things clicked or why I kept going back. I didn’t understand why I felt the pull to become an exercise instructor or to be a beachbody coach. But looking back – I realize I was drawn to group exercise because the people who I went with were uplifting. They enjoyed working out and had fun while they were doing it and I wanted to feel that way. More so, I wanted to help others feel that way, too. I know myself well enough to know I am immensely more motivated to stay on track if I’m in charge of inspiring others along the way. Helping you, helps me – bottom line.

And even though I’m not 100% fit or the perfect role model for healthy living – being around people who enjoy living a healthy lifestyle is empowering to me. It makes me feel excited to be on this journey. It shows me that being fit isn’t about living this boring, rigid lifestyle. It’s about balance and self-control. You can still have a life, but you have to balance it out each and every day. Being exposed to “real people” who are excited about being active, are real about making good food choices but also allow themselves to indulge every once in awhile – has just helped me so much. I see them doing it and I know I can be one of those people. In a lot of ways, I feel like I AM becoming one of those people already.

Being around HAPPY people makes you feel happier. Being around NEGATIVE people makes you feel more negative. Simple, but true.

I have definitely been through phases in my life where I identified with the negative crowd – where there is always an issue, always something to gripe about, etc. I don’t remember that time in my life being all sparkles and rainbows.I remember feeling negative about myself, judgmental of other people and just sort of blah!

Working out with a group doesn’t always have to be at the gym! This is my Warrior Dash Crew!

In order to keep myself motivated and in order to (hopefully) inspire other people to make better decisions about their lifestyle (in terms of being healthier) – it makes sense to want to align myself with Happy Holly’s, Optimistic Opals, and Positive Polly’s. And just for kicks let’s add Hopeful Henry (I need some diversity after all). There are some things in life you do NOT have control over….but who you spend your time with and how you treat yourself is definitely not on that list. You absolutely have control over this part of your life.

Sometimes making healthy decisions isn’t always about what to make for dinner or what workout to do – it’s about making life choices that put you on the right track. Don’t forget to find friends who have the same healthy goals as you do – it will make this journey a LOT easier and maybe you’ll even feel a bit more like sparkles and rainbows, too.

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