Use your passion

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My 13 year old son loves video games.  He would play them all day if I let him.  He wants to design his own when he grows up.

This morning, I wrote a note to him to look up the websites a dance dad told him about a few months ago.  Then I wrote him another note that said, “Use your passion to create something new today.”  Why should he wait until he gets older to create?  Why not now? Why sit around playing someone else’s game when he can use his passion and creativity to design his own?

That applies to all of us.  Why sit around waiting for something to happen to us?  Why not get up and do something right now?  My 10 year old daughter and I created an etsy store a couple of months ago but haven’t done anything with it, yet.  We’ve been incredibly busy with other things and keep putting it off.  But why can’t we spend a little time each day working on it?

It’s all about prioritizing.

Prioritizing and using my time carefully are two things I’m horrible at.  Just ask my fitness moms.  I’ve done a very bad job this time around and feel just awful.  I’ve let myself get pulled in several directions and piled too many things on my shoulders. Slowly, my commitments are falling away on their on allowing me more time, finally. Today, I’m creating a schedule with a list of things I NEED to do and a list of things I WANT to do and allowing time to do both.  I’d rather dabble a bit here and there than only focus on one or two things.  This may not work for everyone but I want to give it a try.  I’m tired of reaching the end of the day not having made time to do things I enjoy. I’m allowing life to get in my way.

We only live once.  Make the most of it now.

 

You don’t need to lose weight!

I hear this all the time.  Yes, it’s a compliment but I know my body better than everyone. I’ll admit, in jeans and a long sleeved shirt, yup, I look pretty good, especially after being pregnant five times.

But in a bathing suit, I don’t feel comfortable.  I know I can easily stand to lose 10 pounds and still look healthy, not too skinny. But I’m not going to share my bathing suit pictures with everyone.  You’ll have to trust me, or ask a friend who has seen me at the pool.

I want to share that I have two weeks to lose at much weight as possible.  Why?  Because my husband has a meeting in South Florida and asked me to go with him.  Oh, why do I want to share?  Because I share a lot.  Probably too much.  But that’s just how I am.  I was that way even before social media.

But I know as soon as I share, people will tell me I don’t need to lose a pound, I look great the way I am, blah, blah, blah.  I deserve to feel comfortable.  I deserve to be happy.

I know I shouldn’t care what other people think and normally I don’t.  But it just gets annoying.  So be supportive of your friends.  Whether they want to gain weight, lose weight, try a new hair style, whatever.

I also have 2 weeks to finish half a semester of a math class I don’t understand so I can finally get my AA…..

Fit and Healthy Motivation Tips

After spending an evening with a friend who was very overweight, I changed my fitness challenges to fit and healthy.  It’s easy for me to copy and paste memes, recipes and workouts but it’s hard for me to follow them.  Lack of motivation is my biggest issue so I decided to do some research to not just help me, but help my fitness ladies, too.

  1. Buy new shoes.  Try on several pair, walk and jog in them around the store (they tend to frown on sprinting).  Get your feet evaluated at Fit2Run if you can.  Then go online and see if you can get a better deal (shhhhh!).

kicks I discovered I’m an Asics girl.

2. Visualize positive thinking. Visualize your muscles getting bigger and stronger while you’re coming up with excuses to avoid the gym. Think about how wonderful the sun will feel on your face as you take a walk outside (wear sunscreen!). Picture your heart smiling as you put down the Pop Tart and fix some eggs and a protein shake.

14993567_10211174071494413_7745794241319868662_n Powerhouse Athletic Club (shameless plug)

3. Reward yourself. Went a whole day without junk food? Put a dollar in a jar. Completed your step count? Add a dollar. Exercised 5 times in one week? Treat yourself to a movie (and pack healthy snacks in your bag). If you do a jar, at the end of 30 or 60 days, take the money and buy yourself a new top or pants; you’ve earned it!

wp-image-477638972jpg I have to hide my dollars.  My family tends to swipe them.  I have an agreement with my husband (he just doesn’t know it yet) to trade pennies for dollars in 60 days.

4. Be accountable.  Get a reliable accountability partner or better yet, be one.  Join a fitness challenge (shameless plug #2). Download the Pact app (Harvard guys) or sign up at StickK (Yale guys). This will not make you rich but it will motivate you to stick to your goals if you don’t have dough to lose.

5. Make small goals. Saying, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds is great but it’s going to take a while.  Write down that you’re going to lose a pound a week, eat 4 healthy snacks, go a week (or a day) without drinking soda or hitting the drive through. Create monthly, weekly and daily goals.  Write them down where you’ll see them. (I discovered my fridge and kitchen cabinets are dry erase marker proof)

food

6. Reduce your excuses. Write them down. Start eliminating them one by one. “I’m too tired.” “The gym is so faarr!” “I don’t have time.” “It tastes so good!” “I’m broke.” You’ll realize how ridiculous you’re being. I’m ridiculous every day.

7. Ditch the boredom. Try something new like a Body Combat class, biking, roller blading,  pilates, aerial yoga, pole dancing (shameless plugs #3, #4 & #5).  Switch up your routine to shock your body, especially if you’ve hit a plateau.

yoga

8. It’s good for your health.  Yes, looking smoking hot in those skinny jeans or that tankini are great motivators for getting fit and healthy, but remember the main focus is on improving your health to keep you around longer.

9. Sign a contract with yourself. It can be a detailed one or one that’s short and sweet.

I’m sure there are many more amazing tips out there but I made a goal to keep this short. #noexcuses

Mommyhood through the years- School

I stopped by my daughter’s classroom this afternoon to see when a project was due.  The teacher told me a packet went home with all of the information.  I was honest and told her I didn’t read it.  If there’s something I need to know, she usually tells me.

This got me thinking.  When my oldest two daughters were in school, I read every single paper that came home, signed every single test, checked their binders every day and made their lunches the night before.  I remembered and went to every parent conference. I volunteered over 5,000 hours in three years, was the Volunteer Coordinator for a year and PTO president for two years.  I was under 30. I was an awesome mom.

The two younger kids came along when I was 30 and 33.  By the time the youngest went to kindergarten, I’d just survived a year with three kids at three different schools and my oldest was a senior in high school preparing to leave for college the following summer. Having a kindergartner and senior makes for a very emotional year. The first two years of my second go round having two kids in elementary school went pretty well.  I walked them to their classrooms every day, walked to pick them up after, remembered to sign binders 85% of the time and made sure their “buddies” checked their binders (when you have four kids with a seven year break in the middle, you learn to assign buddies to make sure no one gets lost and is fully dressed before leaving the house).  I was under 40. I was a pretty good mom.

I realized today, that I’ve gotten lazy with the younger two.  My son is homeschooled so I kinda have to know how he’s doing.  Thankfully there are no papers or binders to sign, no report cards or parent conferences.  My youngest daughter is 10 and headed to middle school next year (WTF?!?!?!).  I can’t remember the last time I checked her backpack, signed her binder, looked at her report card (unless glancing over it while driving counts).  But she gets her stuff done on time and like her teacher pointed out after my confession, at least she’ll be independent.  I’m over 40.  I’m an okay mom.

lazymom

Being Overwhelmed

Being a human can be busy.  Being a woman can be hectic.  Being a wife can be frenzied.  Being a mom can be flustering.  When you put them all together, along with everything else you do, can be overwhelming.

 I take on a lot.  Too much.  I like to help.  I’m a human, woman, a wife, a mom of 4, a homeschooling mom, dance mom, a student, a WAHM, SAHM, shuttle 3 kids around, run 5 Instagram accounts, 2 Facebook pages, sit on the board for an upcoming company, the chair for a fundraiser at my daughter’s school, a blogger, fitness challenge leader, TBMG admin, a gym member, maid, organizer, cook, crafter, reader, laundry room attendant and more.

 I also have ADD (can you tell?).

 I am also overwhelmed.

 It’s not always a bad thing.  Most of the time I’m able to keep chugging along and get things done. However, I when I get called out (or call myself out) about not keeping up with certain responsibilities, I’m forced to stop and take a look at everything on my titanic-sized plate.  This is when the panic sets in.  This is when I realize just how much I have to do, or have created for myself to do.  This is when I realize that I’m overwhelmed.

 Most people can deal with this rationally and occasionally I’m able to as well.  I make lists, set timers, ask for help, etc.  But sometimes, like the most recent time, I shut down. When I shut down, not a lot gets done.  I hide out.  I’m 5 weeks behind on homework and have a midterm in 9 days.  I haven’t blogged for Real Fit Mom in months.  I haven’t kept up with my duties as a TBMG admin. I’m way behind on pulling winners and promoting sponsors for my fitness challenges.  I joined a gym in November and have been about 6 times.  I have 3 weeks to bling 3 dance costumes and sew bottoms onto 3 shirts.  I haven’t stepped foot in the playroom since Christmas and the only reason my kitchen is clean and laundry is done is because we have to have dishes to eat off of and clothes to wear.

 I wake up every morning knowing what I NEED to do.  I get reminders, most of which I appreciate. Sometimes it still doesn’t get done.

 I know that I’m not alone.

 What others should realize about people like me, is that we don’t skip on responsibilities on purpose.  We WANT to be successful, organized, responsible and reliable.  On the outside, our lives may appear happy-go-lucky and carefree.  Social media doesn’t help.  Smart phones make it harder.  Fun apps provide a safe haven.

 But every day is a new day.  I tell this to my fitness challenge moms a lot.  If you had a bad day yesterday, try to start over today.  Lost a whole week?  Get back on the ball next week.  Shut down for a month (or two)?  Take baby steps to get your shit back together.

 I updated my dry erase calendar yesterday.  Today, I made a short list of things to do on my dry erase board.  After this post, I’ll make a loooooonnnngggg list of things that need to be done.  I have a brand new pack of sticky notes to post reminders to myself.  I’ve also discovered that my dry erase markers work on the refrigerator and my kitchen cabinets.  Yay!  I deleted all of the notes in the Note app on my phone because I never go back to check them.  Instead, I took my fitness iPod holder, stuck some index cards and a pen in it and keep it strapped to my arm.  Yup, I look like a dork but I always have something handy to write things down on.  Ok, so I haven’t actually put it together or worn it, BUT, it’s on my mental list of things to do.

 The good thing is, I woke up this morning, drove my daughter to school and instead of going back to bed, I got on the computer and found stupid articles to keep me occupied for 2 hours……then I got up and made a protein smoothie and sat down to write this article which is growing longer so most of you won’t make it to this point.  But, I’m up, I’m starting over, it’s not even 10:30 am so I still have plenty of time to get things done and I have a plan.  Check back with me later to see if I decided to get back with the world or if I retreated back to my hide out.  😉  #dontgiveup #justkeepswimming #yesiputhashtagsinanarticle

Article also posted on Tampa Bay Moms Group.

Today is a new day. Make it count.

​I’m not usually the worrying, stressed out type. But I have been for the last week. I gained several pounds, let my house go to shit, put off decorating for Christmas, ignored my family, deprived myself of sleep and it was all for nothing. I failed my statistics final. I won’t graduate this month, I won’t start subbing to help pay for my youngest daughter’s dance and I won’t be taking a semester off from school.

This sign has hung in my room for several years. I don’t remember why or when I made it. It is a new day. I can’t fix what happened yesterday but I can make changes today. I won’t bore you with my to-do list but think about this; we only have one life to live and we should fill every day of it with love, joy and laughter. Worrying, stressing and being angry or resentful are horrible ways to waste what precious time we have.
I watched my oldest daughter graduate from college last Sunday. I helped heal her broken heart with a new puppy. We shared an entire day with friends and family and it was wonderful. Every day should feel like that. 

I’m off to make today count. I’m going to make it amazing. I’m going to eat my leftover sandwich for breakfast because it was so good I don’t want to wait for lunch (thank you Carrollwood Deli!). I’m going to make sure that my husband and kids all laugh at least once today. And I’m going to end the day next to our fire pit in Florida’s 80 degree weather because it makes me happy. We all deserve to be happy. 

My mom taught me how precious life is. I grew up with so much love and laughter in our home and I’m passing that onto my children. Live for today. Every day is a new day. Make each and every one count. 

Lower your expectations and see yourself rise

When I received my Fitbit (a gift from my fitness challenge moms) I set my goal at 10,000 steps a day just like many others. But over the course of a few months, I realized I was barely getting 4,000. A few weeks ago, I lowered my goal to 5,000. I’ve hit that goal multiple times, sometimes doubling it. Last Wednesday, I joined Powerhouse Athletic Club, the sister gym to Powerhouse Downtown Tampa. After the first day, I reset my goal to 6,000. Today, I reset it to 7,000. By lowering my goal I was able to reach it. In reaching my goal, I made a new one. Then another new one. I no longer feel like a failure, never reaching that 10,000. I now feel more motivated, more inspired and more challenged. 

I have to laugh because I added a friend who is a hard core runner to my Fitbit friends list. I was embarrassed always coming in last for every challenge she invited me to. Until one day. We were talking about it and she said she adds me to help motivate me- even though there are some days she’s hoping that I’ve forgotten my Fitbit and I’m not really only at 1200 steps. That one statement from her made such a profound difference to me. It made me work harder.

I started writing this post after I began to fill up my garden tub. I’d also just synced my Fitbit and saw I was over 7400 steps. “I can top that,” I thought. So as the tub filled, I ran in place…until my husband opened the door. He’s gotten used to me walking while I’m doing dishes, jogging while watching TV and running while the tub is filling to get some last minute steps in. It’s still embarrassing to get caught sometimes, though 😉 I know I won’t hit 10,000 today but knowing I beat my goal by over 1,000 steps makes me feel pretty damn  good. Wanting to smoke my current goals and striving to beat new ones is an amazing feeling. 

If you are struggling with your goals, reassess them. Make smaller, more attainable ones. Then watch what happens when you start hitting them. Do you, be you.