What I Learned This Weekend

What a weekend!

I am truly inspired and realized that there seemed to be a constant “theme” to my weekend.  I last wrote on Friday how I had been able to “unplug” and just let myself move through the day; however it seemed to move.  The weekend was about keeping the same rhythm but with the tasks that had been previously planned, in place.

Let me begin by saying that I am constantly learning.  Do you allow yourself to learn?  Do you allow yourself to grow and respond to changes around you?  If not, you are sadly missing out on what’s truly important for you.  

I have been working on my second month of eating and training for an upcoming fitness competition.  Although I haven’t narrowed down a specific event yet; I’m looking towards the beginning of the year.  There are a few but they seem to fall anywhere between January through March.  I think that is a fair amount of time to get ready; mentally and physically.

While doing this, I have also been talking and following other competitors in various divisions and learning what to do and what not to worry about doing.  I am touched by the depth and honesty of many competitors as they open up to share their personal journey and stories with the rest of us.  (As I have decided to allow myself to do as well).  One touching story is of a recent competitor, (who actually took 1st place this year!  Yay!) who is now undergoing doctor visits and treatments to find out what is ailing her body recently.  She is berating herself of doing harm to her body while she was busy training for the event.  Is this a regular occurence?  I wouldn’t know, since this is all a learning phase for me.

Take note of my last sentence.  I am learning.  Every day that I grow on this journey and learn from those around me is truly an amazing experience.  I believe we should never stop searching and learning new things.  I hope I am encouraging that feeling towards my children with my daily habits.  I strive to live well, love well and matter to everyone I come in contact with on a personal level.

So, back to this fitness competitor (now winner), who is in agony over what is happening within her body.  My heart goes out to her and I wish her complete health and speedy recovery.  I also want to take note of any unhealthy habits and not take part in those for my own training.  I know that to date, I have been eating very healthy and my workouts are probably far superior to any I have been doing before.

I am ending this weekend on another high note.  Although, we see ourselves through our own experiences, other people and even the dreaded “mirrors”; I don’t think we ever truly see ourselves as others do.  I was told by my sister in-law that I seemed happier now than I did a year or so ago.  That made me beam inside!  How awesome to have someone see something within you that didn’t seem to be as enormous as you thought it would be!   I am now inspired to see myself in a more respectful and positive light.

The next time you say something negative to yourself; or think something negative about yourself (I’m feeling “fat” today; I feel stupid; I’m not as “good” as so-and-so, etc)…STOP!!  Either let go of the thought completely (even though you may still believe it) or change it to the positive statement (although you may NOT believe that!).  By continuing to correct yourself on the negative thought patterns we have all learned over the years, you might just surprise yourself and have someone close to you say; “You seem so much happier these days!”

And wouldn’t that be positive?

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Oh, ya…I almost forgot!  I went indoor rock climbing for the first time and fell in love!!  While I was a bit unsure in the beginning and had the feeling like I just wanted to go home and rest; I stuck with it (with the amazing energy of our group of 4 ladies!) and became addicted to pushing on; regardless of how challenging the task became!!  Onward and upward!  Don’t let anything stop or slow you down from making the goals you set for yourself!


Take Your Time, Already!!

Today was an early day of chores, working out and getting things done on my to-do list.  It felt great until some of my “plans” happened to change due to others’ schedules.  I’m fine with this happening, since it really just frees up some more time for “me”; but how to make it count in the best possible way?

Yes, I’m a perfectionist, in case you didn’t know!  If you read the book; “Personality Plus”; I’m a mix of the Choleric and Melodramatic so just TONS of unexpected fun when it comes to my moods!!  LOL  Seriously, though, I was really trying to just get my day set out “right”.

And then, I didn’t care so much after awhile.

I don’t know what exactly shifted but I unplugged for about half the day.  No Facebooking, no texting, not even any phone calls.  I was doing whatever came up and following through with the day.  While this was happening, I took some mental notes.  Here’s my great insight to how my day went:

1.  I was already done with my workout; since I hit it early in the morning and boy, did I hit it hard!!  Great workout and I’ll share more on that in another blog.

2.  I noticed I moved along my day a bit more efficiently than I normally do; since I thought I was going to have to be at a few meetings along the way.  They ended up being cancelled (for different reasons, but funny how it turned out all on the same day!) and I wasn’t the least bit annoyed…maybe a bit happy!

3.  I slowed down my pace.  Took more time with what mattered and let the rest go.

4.  A huge change for me; I “unplugged” for more than half the day and it felt wonderful!  I probably wouldn’t want to do it on a daily event but maybe once a week I’ll enjoy the benefit of being “unreachable” for awhile!

5.  I felt more like an enjoyable person; rather than a rushed and too-busy individual!  I can’t say for sure what others felt but this is all MY personal experience since it’s MY personal blog!  Just saying!

6.  I sat in the sunlight.  It was amazing!!

7.  I realized today that I am so happy with my life the way it is NOW!  I wouldn’t want to change it for the world.  I finally feel “settled” into our new home and surroundings; I’m finally at peace with my weekly schedule (as opposed to this time last year, when I felt highly overscheduled and high strung!) and calm about the things I have no control over.

Ultimately, this is what we should be doing every so often.  Checking in with ourselves!  We check in with our kids, our family, our bosses, etc.  Why not ourselves?  Well, I’m happy to report that I have completed this task today and am satisfied with the results.  I encourage you to try it out!

Now, I can look forward to the upcoming weekend with complete excitement.  I have a few fun things scheduled (well, maybe YOU won’t think they’re all “fun” but I do!) such as, leading my Body Pump class again (sorry, guys, I know it’s been a few weeks!) and then trying out my very first Groupon coupon for indoor Rock Climbing…sweet!!!  Then, there’s the whole, go buy some more furniture for the home office, thingy!  I’m looking forward to it, though.  No matter what comes this weekend; I’m excited!

First things, first, though…we have to get through tomorrow!! I already lined up my workout schedule for early again and then maybe will visit a Body Pump class to make sure my choreography is “ON”.  Then, I’ll simply ‘wrap up’ the week’s tasks and look forward to what comes next!

My training has been teaching me to just enjoy what’s truly good for me!  I am appreciating all these life’s lessons! Happy Weekend, all! =)

Can You Squat Like a Baby?

I absolutely LOVED this photo today!!  ^^^^^

Makes you wonder how babies are so strong willed to keep doing all they do when we know it doesn’t come easily!!  What’s our excuse?    They have to learn how to WALK and TALK for crying out loud and there are no courses or trainers helping them along the way!!

I have been reading a book called “The Happiness Project” and I have to say that I am learning so much from it.  The author, Gretchen Rubin, tells it like it is.  The way she writes actually relates to me so much; I think it IS about me!!  No kidding…

In the book, she goes through various changes that she has studied, leads to true happiness.  She implements a new change each month for the entirety of a year; to see if she really can bring upon true happiness and daily appreciation of the little things.

How many of us are truly happy with ourselves the way we are right now?  I’m guessing we don’t really allow ourselves to truly be in many “moments” of our already, busy days.  Do you take the time to savor each bite of your meals; or do you shovel most of the spoonfuls down to make the next appointment?  Do you really listen to other people when they are sharing stories and feelings with you; or do you wish they would just get on with it, already?  How about your kids; if you have them.  Do you really spend quality time with them on a regular basis and actually hear them when they talk to you?

Maybe you are in the minority and already have perfected these habits; but I know the majority of the population needs to focus a bit more on these areas.  I’m working on my demanding personality in the home, with my family.  I can be quite a bossy “bee” and although at times it’s helpful in getting things done; I can see how irritating it can sound when not welcomed.  Here are some areas I am working on improving this last part of 2011:

1.  Stop nagging (both my hubby and the kids!)
2.  Stick to my daily to-do lists and hit the top 3 items early in my day
3.  Prioritize the most important things each day and let the rest go
4.  Stop worrying about being “perfect” in all areas and learn to let go of some of my “control issues”
5.  Reach out to others more often
6.  Appreciate the loved ones in my life for being individuals and not a part of me!
7.  Being thankful for what I have each day and what I’m able to do!
8.  Keep my “things” to a minimum.  Since we have moved a few times this year, I’ve really cleaned out a lot of clutter and I want to keep it that way.  Minimalist is the way to go!
9.  Really LISTEN when others are talking to me and stop worrying about how I will respond
10.  Take time to relax and enjoy the small things.

This may sound silly or unimaginative but you can come up with your own list.  These are all very important items to me and I look forward to becoming more mindful of these on a daily/weekly basis.

For tomorrow; instead of dreading my workout since my body is feeling tired and sore in certain areas, I will be proud of how my body can move and respond to the movements!  I will also enjoy the foods I am eating since they are exactly what I need for the demands I am making on my body these days.  What will you do?

If babies can try, try again; until they finally take their very first step…what in the world is stopping us from meeting our goals and dreams?  I’ll give you a hint; look in the mirror.

Make your change happen!!

Are You In a Funk?

My goal for blogging every day while going through my eating and training program is getting to be thought provoking for me!  I now find myself wondering what I should write about each evening; while I’m running through my day!  

Habits are great.  They can keep us on target without a huge fuss and actually begin to feel “easy” in time.  But habits can also put us in a plateau period.  That’s when things go bad.

I’ve been hearing a lot of women complaining about their bodies’ lack of change.  Although good habits are there; they are working out and eating the right types of foods, their bodies seems to have stopped changing.  

When this happens, what do YOU do?  I was semi-stuck in this cycle while traveling and living out of suitcases and unknowns.  While I was still keeping up with my workouts (I brought Asylum, Insanity and P90X with me!) and eating “Clean” foods most of the time; I was surprised by an additional 11 pounds that I somehow accumulated!!  


So, I had to reassess.  In doing so, I realized that my portions may have grown a bit larger than they should have been.  I also indulged a little too much; in the comforting thought that I was still keeping up with my intense workouts.  But how much is too much?  

My turning point came when I decided it was time for a major turnover.  I am nearing my 40th birthday and something I’ve always wanted to attempt was a fitness competition.  This seemed like a wonderful overhaul to what I have been doing for the past year.  

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It isn’t the fact that I’ve decided to train for a competition.  It’s merely the fact that I’ve changed something.  Our bodies become accustomed to our habits; or daily schedules.  Once this happens, it ceases to change.  It doesn’t mean the habits we have aren’t good ones; it just means it’s time to shock our bodies into changing again.  

Since I’ve completely changed the way I eat and how often; my body responded by reacting.  This reaction meant I dropped the weight I had gained, and then some.  I also changed the way I worked out.  Another reason my body had to respond.  But just like everything else, if I keep this same schedule my body will become accustomed and the cycle must begin again.

You have a myriad of choices in making changes.  You can choose your meal timing, your portions sizes, your types of foods.  You can also choose to use weights vs. resistance bands.  Or higher intensity interval training (HIIT) vs. running or walking on the treadmill.  Any change means your body will also change.  If it doesn’t work out within the first week or two; switch something else up until you shock yourself!  

Habits are good for daily chores, grooming, etc.  But habits can be the cause of your plateau and this can soon lead to dissatisfaction and the chance of giving up altogether.

Don’t give up.  

I have added some fruit to my day now and also some other small diet changes.  I know this makes me a bit uncomfortable at first since I’ve had so much progress with my current habits; BUT I also know that staying the same leads to complacency; both in my mind and my body!

Get out and do something different this week!  Post below what you are going to try!  Let’s all get shocked together!! 


Monday.  Don’t they always carry such a negative stigma?  

Well, today was quite different and for so many reasons, that I can’t really narrow them down.  

It started off just like any other Monday; I was too-tired, after not getting enough sleep and then had to rush out of bed and into my too-busy day.  But this day seemed a bit different.  It had a calm about it.

I don’t know how else to describe it.  My morning class members were full of smiles and positive feedback.  I was able to push through my own workout with enough energy to feel like I was achieving some noticeable results.  It was then that I noticed how my day was going into a positive “shift”. 

I was approached during my workout at the gym by a fellow body-building competitor.  He had been training with a woman, who I could tell right away that she was into fitness competing.  Her body was lean and very defined.  The man who approached me started off with; “what are you training for?” which really made me smile inside, since this meant I LOOKED like I was training for something!  Exciting!

He congratulated me and introduced me to the other “team” of competitors around him, who were also training for events.  Chalk one up for Team Kathy! =)

I also noticed, as I went through my day that my emails were getting answered, phone calls were going through and my general feeling in terms of my attitude were simply, calm.  Where did it all come from?  How did some days just turn out “better” than others, in all ways?  

My meal plans changed a little today too.  Breakfast stayed the same but during my day; I was able to add a few fruit selections to my meals.  I felt happy.  I felt silly.  And instead of letting the goodness of all the feelings pass by; I relished them all.  

It’s days like today that make life worthwhile.  Most days are spent just “going through the motions” to get as much done in as little time as possible.  I thought about how today was such a positive day and maybe it had a lot to do with the fact that I took time out for myself this past weekend.  I was able to get some menial tasks done that would have taken up too much space in an already busy week.  

I noticed that although there are still deadlines and chores and commitments that must be met; the fact that today I felt able to just “let” things happen, without having to react in either a positive or negative way, was freeing.  

I smiled more.  I made eye contact with others.  I made small talk.  Acted silly in front of my kids.  This all made the day truly enjoyable.

And so now it comes down to my training.  I am completely certain that although the thought of “just competing for the experience” sounds great and politically correct; one thing is standing out in me.  

I want to win!  

I want to do my complete best and enjoy every step and every meal and every workout so that the day I walk up onstage; I KNOW I’ve done all I can!  No regrets!  

So, with this, I wish you a truly awesome week ahead.  Don’t settle for less (so says Leandro of BBL) and don’t let anyone push you around. 

Stand up for yourself.  Stand proudly and walk tall.  No matter where you are in life today; you are a star.  Smile and strut your stuff.  Act like the stage is set and it’s “your’s” for the taking.

That’s where I’m heading and I’d love you to join me!