I will….be better

Several challenges ago, I encouraged the moms to decorate a motivational jar. Some of us even got together and had a craft day!

What’s the jar for? This is how I used mine: If I worked out, I put in a dollar. If I lost a pound, I put in a dollar. If I lost an inch, I put in a dollar. Aanndd, if I gained a pound or inch, I took OUT a dollar.

There are TONS of ideas on Pinterest. (Pinterest tip- set a timer!!!! Pinterest is like crack! I’ve never done crack but I hear it’s highly addictive…like Pinterest. You WILL get sucked in and be late starting dinner, miss your workout, forget to pick up a kid or hold up the car loop line).

These are both super cute. Some people like the marble thing- I like money.

My jar used to say, “I can, I will!” but all that’s left is the “I will” part. It’s actually a very important part and I’m glad it’s stuck around. I will…not give up. I will… workout today. I will….be a better roll model for my fitness challenge moms. I will….fill in the blank every day. This can be fun!

My jar filled up pretty full. Then the people living in my house needed cash for various things like lunch money or McDonald’s and my dollar bills started disappearing like Dennis Rodman’s $1’s in a strip club. So I switched to pennies which I convinced my husband to turn into dollars when I reached my goal….which I’ve yet to meet.

Somehow, in a rare cleaning quest, I moved the jar into a corner cabinet and forgot about it. During another rare cleaning quest  (several months later) I found my jar and pulled it out of the dark depths of the cabinet.  This morning I emptied out the dusty pennies to start over.

The jar is now back on my counter next to the borrowed fat percentage checker tool thingy which was placed back in the creepy corner of my roll top desk (yeah, it’s old) and I recently ventured there to retrieve it. I’ve replaced my scale obsession with a body fat percentage obsession which is better than my food obsession. 

The jar works for me. I like money and I like shopping. Try a jar and see if it works for you. Or search Pinterest for other fitness motivational ideas like a dream board. But seriously, set a timer. I will honk and wave my arms (or fingers) at you if you hold up the car line.

Share it Sunday

Two weeks ago I started a new fitness challenge. We once again have a great group of moms and I’m excited to see them make positive changes and lead healthier lives.

In my experience, the more we share the better we do. Honesty is always the best policy. If we cheat and don’t own up to it, we are only cheating ourselves. We will fail. We will have bad days. Those who are most active are usually the ones who succeed. Success is defined in so many different ways. Blah, blah, blah.

Getting healthy is hard. It’s so much easier to sit on the couch and eat ice cream, chips, cookies and wash them down with giant sodas. Who wants to grunt and get sweaty? Yuck. I don’t like eating better or working out. But I don’t like busting out of my clothes either. I don’t like getting winded walking up one flight of stairs. I don’t like looking in the mirror and seeing extra pounds.

I want to feel better. I want to find healthier foods that are yummy. I want to make my own “fast food” (aka meal prep). I want to see my kids grow up. I want to travel when my husband retires and not ride on a scooter. I want to look in the mirror and love what I see.

I started these challenges to hold myself accountable. They have become so much more. I’ve seen some amazing transformations in many of my moms. That’s what keeps me going. They need the challenges, it’s like crack to some of those crazy bitches!! And I love them. I love their dedication, their motivation, their drive. I love seeing them fail and get back up. I love seeing them support each other and cheer each other on. They are amazing. 

Wow. Haha! This was supposed to be about sharing and it took a weird turn. Soooo, anyway…..what changes have you made to lead a healthier life? What made you stop driving through McDonald’s and make your own food? What made you put on your tennis shoes and walk or workout? If you are in my challenge or another challenge, how do you like it? What would you like to see? 

Share it Sunday!!!

Queen of Yeah, That Too

I am the Queen of Excuses. I am also the Queen of Procrastination and Cheat Day. If Elizabeth I can rule 3 countries, I can, too!! But I’ll save the latter 2 for another post.

My fitness moms are aware of my “no excuses” attitude. Some are so afraid of my ruling that they email me, afraid they will disappointment me when they are sick. Sheesh, I didn’t think I was that tough!! I always tell them to listen to their bodies and serious illnesses are legit excuses.

But do I follow my own advice? Shit no. I’m the queen dammit!! But that’s going to change. I am a leader and need to act like one. My biggest issue is scheduling. My family has a sort of schedule. Like my daughter, back to school today, has to be dropped off at 7:15 and picked up at 2:30 Monday-Friday. She also has dance 5 days a week but every day has different times. But, every week is the same. My 19 year old and I have set times for our classes. Aside from that, it’s usually total chaos.

Excuses.

I’m home all day. I have plenty of time to get most or all of my to do list done. But I have no structure. One of my admission from our last challenge tried to help me. I need an assistant- who will work for free.

My biggest issue is my ADD. I can’t even sit down to make a plan because it’s too overwhelming.

Excuse.

I can. I just have to clear the table, clear my mind, put away all electronics and make someone sit with me to keep me on task.

Solution.

Most

excuses are just that- excuses. We need to overcome them and provide solutions so we can tackle and complete our tasks. My #1 priority is scheduling workout time. When I get my butt in gear and get the details worked out I’ll share them. I know I’m not the only one who deals with this!!

No more excuses. It’s go time!!

Dear Moms caught in the social media light

I’m so sorry. I’m sorry that you have to raise your children in fear of being judged by strangers. 

When I had my older girls, there was no social media. When I had my other two kids, it was brand new. I’m so incredibly thankful that I had my kids before the firestorm of social media. But I could still be a victim.

My heart goes out to any mom who has had their picture taken by a stranger. My heart aches for moms who have seen their pictures shared all over social media having complete strangers judge them in situations that the person taking the picture wasn’t in. That person couldn’t know what the mom was going through. The people judging the mom certainly didn’t know her situation.

A couple of years ago I took my kids to see Santa. I procrastinate every year and it was down to the wire. I accept responsibility for that. However, I had the flu. But I couldn’t disappoint my kids so I dragged myself out of bed and headed for the mall. Yeah, I know, I took my germs to the germ infested mall.  I stood in line, shivering, until I couldn’t stand it any longer. I left the kids with their 16 year old sister and ran to the car to see if there was a jacket or blanket. There was a towel. I didn’t care. I wrapped the towel around my shoulders, found the kids and sat in a chair close by, where I could see my them. I wanted so badly to close my eyes for just a few minutes but I knew that the second I did, someone would take my picture and share it on social media labeling me a lazy mom who can’t even stand in line with her kids. 

That is wrong.

The picture that tipped me over the edge on this growing phenomenon of entitlement to every person who owns a cell phone was this one-

I had the decency to block out her face as well as the woman next to her. 

We don’t know this woman’s story. Maybe in her eyes she placed her baby on the floor to stretch his legs after a long flight. Maybe she was taking a picture to show her husband they’d made it. Maybe she’d held the baby for hours and needed a break. We don’t know. 

But it was wrong for someone to take that picture AND it was wrong for it to be shared all over social media. 

You are a stranger. Why do you think you have a right to take a picture of someone you don’t know then blast them on social media? You do not have that right. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Former Playboy Playmate, Dani Mathers, learned the hard way how wrong it is to take a picture of someone without their knowledge and share it to social media. Hers is an extreme case since the woman was naked but the picture was taken without her consent. But it was still wrong.

I’ll admit that I’ve taken a picture of a stranger. I probably shared it. I’m ashamed of myself.  Most of us are guilty of doing it. Hell, a friend of mine had a section on his blog for funny pictures of strangers. But that was several years ago before social media blew up with Instagram and Snapchat,  etc. That was before pictures like the one above got shared thousands of times and got picked up by news stations. That was before nasty, judgmental people slammed moms, and every day people like themselves, for having a weak moment, bad day or were doing the right thing in their eyes. 

Enough is enough. We need to take a stand. We need to say that it’s not okay for you to take my picture without my permission. It’s not okay for you to post my picture on social media. It’s not okay for you to allow thousands of people to judge me- especially not knowing my situation. It’s not okay.

The next time you see something funny, strange or something you don’t agree with and take out your cell phone, stop and think- if it was you who was the victim, how would you feel? Put yourself in their shoes, even if you disagree with what they are doing. You are not a judge. You are not God. You do not have my permission to take a picture of me to ridicule me.

It’s wrong. And it needs to stop.

By the way, I support the woman in the picture. She placed her baby on a blanket, out of harm’s way, while she waited in an airport. In my eyes, from what I see in this one moment with you, I see a good mom.

I know they love each other

My babies went to sleep tonight with tears in their eyes. I know they love each other but they are just so different. They want to spend time together but are both so hard-headed. They want to get along but just don’t understand each other.

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As a parent, I don’t know what to do. I listened as they each told their side of the story. I watched the tears roll down their faces, one feeling bad she’d ruined the movie, the other feeling his sister ruined everything. Then I got frustrated and told them that they could enjoy the summer sitting in their rooms.

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They feel that they are too different so they can’t get along. I feel that I’ve failed to teach them to compromise. I talked with both about being the bigger person. Maybe they need a project to work on together. Round 2 involved more tears and more blame, “She always….” “He always….” So I told them, separately, that tomorrow they would help each other clean their rooms. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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I just checked on my 2 sleeping babies. I know they love each other. I’ve tried to explain that fighting over a movie is trivial. I want to tell them that people are being shot, blown up and killed in freak accidents every day. I want to remind them that every minute is precious and they should make the most of it. But I want to retain their innocence as long as possible, so I say nothing except, “I love you very much.”

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Tomorrow is a new day. All I can hope is that all will be forgiven and we can start anew. I will remind them that no matter what they go through in life, they will always have each other. I will tell them that being different is good. I will teach them again about compromising and about being compassionate.

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I know my Littles love each other and I know that tomorrow they will find a common ground. They always do. I will have them read this post and know that we will all be thankful that we don’t have to watch Max and Ruby ever again. There is one thing that never lacks in our family- love and laughter. Yes, I know, that’s two things but they go together, hand in hand.

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Parenting is hard and it never gets easier. No two days are ever the same. But I prefer it that way. It means life will never be monotonous and I can tell you that in my 22+ years of being a mom, not one day has been like another. People often ask how we raise 4 kids. I jokingly answer, “Drugs and alcohol.” But honestly, the more you have, the easier it gets. Tonight was a trying time but my beautiful babies are sleeping and will wake up tomorrow refreshed and ready for new arguments. 😉 I know they love each other and will find something in common to occupy themselves and hopefully not give me anymore grey hairs.

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I suck…..BUT I never stop fighting!

I suck.

I suck at blogging. I suck at working out. I suck at eating healthy. I suck at getting challenge prizes out on time. I suck at running fitness challeges.

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BUT, I never give up.  I never stop fighting.

Scroll through my blog titles and you’ll see so many that read, “Day 1.” “Day 1 again.” “Starting over,” “Starting over again,” “Starting over again, again….”

What you’ll never read is, “I give up…and mean it.” I’ve “given up” or “quit” but only in a moment of frustration. I’m sitting on my bed after spending an hour on Facebook drinking a protein smoothie and my first cup of water because the last thing I did on Facebook before I made myself get up was add the new weekly post challenge to our fitness challenge group encouraging them to eat healthy, exercise and drink more water. Yeah, that was a long sentence. I encourage my mom’s every day to do their best but I don’t. How can I expect them to give it their all when I don’t? Because I suck.

It took me two years to lose 25 lbs. TWO YEARS!!!!! Why? Because I’m lazy and unmotivated. Because I suck.  I see pictures labeled “January…….March” and see such a big difference in those women in just three months. I think, “Wow, if I’d gotten off my ass that could be me.” But I don’t. Because I suck.

Today I’m getting up. Today I am finishing my 64 oz of water and eating right. Today I will even finally do Day 2 of Bikini Body Mommy…..while everyone else is on Day 36. I can still catch up.😉 Today, I don’t wanna suck.

Today I will send out more emails to potential sponsors. Today I will mail out the rest of the prizes with lots of apologies (I’m sooooo thankful to have such understanding fitness moms) (okay, it may be tomorrow). Today I will not suck.

Tomorrow, well, that’s for tomorrow. Tomorrow I might suck. Hell, I might wind up sucking today. It’s only 10:30 and I have a long to-do list. It’s much easier to sit here on my phone. But, today, I don’t wanna suck.

I think of all of the people who can’t get up and do.  But I can. Today, I will do my best not to suck, for them. Today, I don’t wanna suck.

Let’s not suck today!!!!!

What do you suck at? How do you make yourself get up and be not sucky?

Yesterday is not today. Live for today.

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Yesterday, my kids were aggravating me until I walked away and shut them out.
Yesterday, my youngest daughter was driving me crazy asking, “How much longer!?!?!”
Yesterday, my son was picking at his older sister until I yelled at him to stop.
Yesterday, I got impatient when my 2nd oldest daughter drove extra, extra careful because she is a new driver.
Yesterday, my oldest daughter got mad at me over something trivial.
Yesterday, I yelled at my husband for irritating me.
Yesterday, I learned how much it hurts to lose a child.

Today, I spent the evening with my youngest daughter at her dance recital, beaming with pride.
Today, I listened to my son use his imagination while he drew new creations in his sketchbook.
Today, I laughed with my 2nd oldest daughter as she made a full and complete stop at every stop sign.
Today, I sat next to my oldest daughter and laughed with her over silly things.
Today, I wound down the evening spending time with my husband.
Today, I read posts from strangers to the mother who lost her son after a horrible gator attack.
Today, I watched mothers mourn their sons and daughters after the Pulse nightclub tragedy.
Today, I saw the sympathy for a family who lost their son to a drunk driver. Today, I said a prayer for a mom who accidentally left her daughter in her car when she went to work.
Today, I wished I could hug a dad whose son was killed by a friend showing him a gun.
Today, I am glad for the life my friend still has while she fights cancer because she is still alive to fight.
Today, I realized how precious life is.

Right now, I am appreciative of the four beautiful children I was blessed with.
Right now, I am grateful to have a loving husband who has stood by me for many, many years.
Right now, we are playing with Legos after ending a senseless argument over Lego hair.
Right now we are making new memories.
Right now, my heart still aches for the recent tragedies.
Right now, a dad will tighten the grip on his son’s hand.
Right now, someone will hand their keys to a friend.
Right now, a mom will place her left shoe next to her toddler before taking him to daycare.

Tomorrow will not come for people of all ages, genders, race and religion across the globe.

Live for today.
Live for the happiness you feel right now.
Live for the child you were blessed with.
Live for the roof you have over your head.
Live for the smart phone you can use to spread happiness and joy and to lift up the spirits of others instead of tearing each other down.
Live for the fact that you are here to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.
Live each and every day to the absolute fullest that you can.

Life is short.
Life is precious.
Life is.