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

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.

Miracle of the Moment

https://youtu.be/5Um08QjolRg

^^^^ Listen!!!

Yesterday my family said goodbye to a dear friend. She fought cancer for four long years. As I sat in the service I reflected on my own life and how I lived it. I’m a procrastinator. Big time. I never reach my fitness goals because I’m lazy.

Sandee can never hug her family again. She will never laugh with her friends again. She won’t get to see my daughter dance anymore. 

“Do what she can no longer do” popped into my head. I want to remember this every day not just for Sandee but for my mother-in-law, Granny Pat, Shirley and all of the many people we know who have lost their lives to cancer, to anyone who is no longer with us. 

My husband are not big planners. We tend to be spontaneous which I love. One of the lessons I learned from losing my 1st son was to live every day to its fullest. Life is short. While doing dishes this morning, Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Miracle of the Moment” came on and I was moved to send a message to my fitness moms which led to this blog post.

It’s ok to take a day off. It’s ok to sit down and play with your kids and not vacuum today. It’s ok to take time for yourself. But don’t forget your purpose in life. Don’t let your goals get away from you. Do what they can no longer do- live. 

Behavior change is a learnable skill

www.breathofoptimism.com

“Behavior change is a learnable skill and you can learn it.” I downloaded a new app 4 days ago and that was in a letter to me this morning. I’m still playing around with the app so I’m not ready to reveal it quite yet, but I’m loving it so far. 

One of the many things my fitness challenge moms hear me say often is, “Make small changes, gradually.” We all have things we need to tweak in our lives. Some of the changes are big and some are small. What we need to remember is to not try to overhaul everything at once. We will fail. 

Studies show that it takes 21 days to change a habit. That’s totally doable. Set an alarm, invest in sticky notes, have someone email or text you if you need reminders. I’ve tried several apps and none have worked for me. I’m hoping this new one does!!

A big change most of us need to work on is breakfast. It’s so easy to skip it or grab something unhealthy. Eating breakfast can improve concentration, performance, endurance and strength. We need lean protein to give us a big boost first thing. Purdue University researcher, Wayne Campbell, PhD, says,”Protein blunts your hunger the most and is the most satiating.” 

Great sources of protein include eggs, banana or apple slices with peanut butter, plain oatmeal, a handful of almonds or walnuts and low sugar yogurt. Avoid donuts, waffles, pancakes and sweet starches (everything I love to eat for breakfast). These will spike your sugar levels and in about 2 hours, crash your energy level.

If I can give up Cap’n Crunch and whole milk, anyone can give up sweets for breakfast! Protein- get some! Make that one of your small changes that you start today.

What small changes or habits have you made?

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.