You don’t really want change

I want to be a little blunt with you today about your goals for your life. Do you want better health results? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to achieve more success in life? Do you want to grow your business? Do you want to get out of debt? Do you want anything to improve in your life? I may hurt your feelings a little and I’m actually okay with that. If you are not okay with that, then you probably should go and find some mind numbing positive hype that doesn’t ask you to take a look at your commitment level to succeed.

Wow! Talk about a bit harsh today, right?

I am totally feeling it and honestly, if there is something that you want badly enough in life, you better keep reading and take note. This is going to help you succeed in every single area of your LIFE! We are what we do consistently. Our habits will create our results…period. End of story.

I will share my past week and weekend with you in case you need an example. As you may have read in my previous few blog posts, I am currently in the midst of a NO SUGAR challenge that is 14 days long. Not 14 days of my choosing; but 14 days consecutively no matter freaking what! 

I have committed to following this with my current clients in my challenge group. I have never been one to tell my clients what to do, while I’m sitting there doing the opposite. That’s called hypocrisy and I follow the same guidelines in my parenting skills. Whatever I ask of my kids, I am doing the same. I don’t tell them to watch less t.v. and then go sit on my ass and watch t.v. while they aren’t home. I don’t tell them to eat right and get exercise when they don’t also see me doing the same thing, day after day. I don’t preach anything that I don’t currently practice.

As far as this no sugar challenge goes, I am actively engaging in a challenge with my clients who are fighting to change their bad habits and behaviors and replace these with new and healthier steps in order to create the life and results they have set as goals for their lives. Nothing worth having comes easy. I know you’ve heard this before, but have you really heard it before?

No sugar for 14 days means nothing in my foods that is sugar or sugar alternatives. I’m even cutting my fruit portions back to 2 per day; instead of my regular 3 or 4. Now, I’ve had many people ask me quite frankly, “Kathy, why are you doing this? You already follow a healthy lifestyle plan.”

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Well, sure I do. But who are you comparing that to? The average American who doesn’t care much about doing what it takes to reach their goals? Or the most elite athletes who are working hard, day in and day out in ways that we could hardly imagine? It all depends on who I’m being compared with that is key to this question.

For sake of this topic, I will tell you that I compare myself only to my best self. If I look at someone who is doing less than I am, then I will most likely give myself a “pass” and just feel good with where I am. What does this do for me? Maybe it makes me feel good about myself in the moment but it will only ultimately keep me in the same place that I am today. So if I’m okay with this fact, then there’s no harm done, right?

What if I compare myself, instead, to someone who is doing much more than I am today? I can either use this to hurt myself or help myself. If I use this to hurt myself, I’m most likely playing comparison games and saying things to myself like, “Why can’t I do that?” “Why are they so lucky?” “If only I had the time/patience/ money/confidence/etc that they do, then I’d be able to succeed in the same way.”

Right?

Now if I’m using this to help better my own skills and goals, then I’d say something like, “wow! what is it that they are doing that I’m NOT currently doing? and how can I change that?” or “How can I learn from their success and measure what I need to do to reach new heights in those areas too?”

See, these are both comparisons but most of us choose the first option to beat ourselves up and then disregard the person of success as lucky or having capabilities beyond our measures. These are both false and if you have ever done this (much like most of the human race…lol), then you can either change it up now or continue to feel defeated and stay exactly where you are until you change it up.

While I challenge myself to new levels of success, I am comparing myself to my past or current behaviors and measuring what someone more successful is doing and make the needed adjustments to these areas. Let me go back to my NO SUGAR challenge as a prime example.

This past weekend, marked 1 week down in the challenge. I asked my challengers to write up a contract stating that they would stick to this plan and create a reward that they will earn for themselves in sticking to this goal. They also needed to write up a punishment if they went off track. Now, not everyone in the group took this seriously. I already see the results of this first step in those that have stuck to their “word” and those that went “off a little bit here and a little bit there.” The latter group aren’t as serious about their goals. But it’s an easy “fix” indeed, by simply writing it down as a contract and having someone sign it as a witness.

Although I may not need to take this challenge as seriously as someone who hasn’t been on a health and fitness journey for many years like I have, it’s important to state that we are all human beings and struggle in similar areas. I may have more experience in some areas, and therefore, be better apt at handling the challenge but nonetheless, it’s still critical for me to assess my current state and measure it against my goals at this time to see where I need to improve.

Food and sweets have always been my struggles so this challenge is always a welcome wake up call. I had a wonderful week of sticking to my goals and hadn’t experienced much struggle because I’ve done this before and my body has become accustomed to healthier eating and a way of life. Where I struggled was in my weekend.

I found that I first noticed a slight craving for something sweet on Friday night. This is typically when I’d allow myself a TREAT with the family. Now there’s nothing wrong with allowing ourselves treats, in fact, I highly encourage everyone to do this along the journey…but the issue lies when our regular treats become habits that begin to compound over time. Although I allow myself 1-2 weekly treats, they only really count when I truly enjoy them and not when they become a mindless habit. My Friday night treats had become a mindless habit. Wake up call #1.

On Saturday, the same issue occurred again and I was more focused on staying to my goals. Since I was home most of the day; busy and eating from home, I didn’t struggle much more than the fleeting craving. The big WHAM-O challenge came on Sunday.

After hot yoga...feeling blissed out!
After hot yoga…feeling blissed out!

My daughter and I took a drive to visit with my aunt in Beverly Hills and we always have a blast being pampered by our aunt. She took me to hot yoga (my daughter despises yoga so opted to sit out and watch a movie instead) and it was such a wonderful NON sugar “treat” that I enjoyed more than I could imagine if not on this challenge. We then went to Whole Foods and bought fish and produce to create a fun “at home” lunch at her condo. All in all, the afternoon was so relaxing and we ate well and visited for hours. I passed up on the bread rolls, tartar sauce for the fish (it was amazing as it was), and stevia in my tea. No biggie, I thought.

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But I knew what awaited me later.

My aunt had been bragging about this new “ice cream and yogurt” shop that opened up in her area recently. Freshly made ice creams and yogurts that were designed like a rose bouquet atop a waffle cone with the flavors of your choosing. Ya, I know that sounded like the treat of a lifetime, right?

So what’s a girl to do? I could have easily just enjoyed a scoop, a taste, or the whole store if I wanted to and not breathe a word of it to my challenge group. But ultimately, what would that say about me? How would I feel after the fact and where would my integrity be? Nonexistent for sure.

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I took the high road and announced to my aunt what I was doing in this challenge and that I would enjoy the experience of visiting the shop and watching my daughter and aunt eating their cones, and I’d have a coffee instead. Now why on earth would someone in their right mind do this, you ask? Because I can and I choose to succeed over the temporary sugar fix that can be a temptation for most all of us these days. Peer pressure, or wanting to be a part of the group is a strong pull in veering us off course from what we say we want most. I may have slipped up if I didn’t know that there were other women staying strong through their weekend challenges and that this is only a temporary challenge. I don’t promote deprivation or diets as these are never successful long term and should always be avoided.

What I had instead
What I had instead

So there you have it. I stuck to my goals and I succeeded and you know what? It kind of sucked a little in the moment but even that was fleeting because my reasons for staying strong far outweighed that initial “sweet shock” to my body and the wanting of joining in with the crowd. I felt proud of my strength and determination and understand I am in control of my habits and decisions. I could plan to return again in a month and have a scoop of every flavor that I desire because that will also be my choice.

So I ask you today, what decisions are you making daily and are they in line with your current and long term goals? Stop being driven by other people and weakness in any given moment. If there’s something you want to achieve, you can have it but it’s going to take some time and sacrifice and feeling uncomfortable in certain moments.

Grow up and get it done…if you don’t then you don’t really want it. That’s the truth. Can you handle it?

 

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Why me?

I am feeling the need to share deeply today.

I usually share how I’m working on bettering myself; mentally, physically, emotionally, nutritionally, etc etc etc.

I usually share some fun recipes that can be added into a healthier than most lifestyle.

I usually share some humor or deep thoughts and struggles from my life.

Today, is not usual.

Today is a day that I’m feeling the beginning of becoming completely transparent. I want to share on a deeper level and maybe even risk offending some of you in the meantime. If so, that is not my intention but I will not apologize for this transparency or messages either.

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I have been a Christian woman my whole life. I have a deep connection in my faith, church and community. I don’t usually share this because it is part of me already and more of a personal topic. I don’t wish to change anyone’s beliefs because that’s not my goal in life. My goals in life are based on MY FAITH, MY FAMILY and MY passion to help others achieve their best lives through my examples and failures.

That is all.

When life throws us curveballs, crap shots and just plain, ugly situations and challenges; we have many choices in how we will deal (or not deal) with these circumstances.

We have been dealt many challenges in our lives. I’m not alone in this and neither are you. Some of us go through more than others and while that is not “fair” by any measure or understandable in any way, it’s just the way it goes. What I believe in is prayer and faith in my God. It also requires us reaching out and loving on others in our lives and those who touch our lives. I don’t have time for people who are small-minded and who don’t care to think about the consideration of other people. We are not the center of the universe by any means, and yet, we should fight to take the best care of ourselves; mind, body and soul.

Currently, we are dealing with some less than awesome news. It’s personal and it’s private and I’m not going to share the details for obvious reasons. What I will share is this; we are all 100% responsible in doing our best every darned day. We are 100% responsible in leading others to living a better life. We are 100% responsible to everyone we know and love and have a connection with to support anytime there is a need. We are 100% responsible to stop being ignorant to ugliness, stupid to our mistakes and silent when there is something meaningful in our hearts to share.

Faith is my core. I believe that God uses me daily in many ways and that He does the same with you. We are just the messengers. We are just here to be a support, example and loving soul to everyone out there that needs and desires it.

While there are days that life knocks me to the ground; breathless and struggling to continue, I have the responsibility to stand up and fight. I have the responsibility to being a light to those who need it. I hit the lowest point in my life about 15 years ago and can remember quite vividly as I lay on the bathroom floor, crying and wishing for an end to my pain. I was a complete basket case. I thought that nobody could feel pain as I was feeling.

I was 100% ignorant and 100% incorrect.

So what, I was dealing with something that shattered my world? There are plenty of other people in this world who have and do, deal with much much more. Who am I to think I’m any worse or better off? We are all alike and we all have the responsibility to be there for each other every step of the way. Even as we struggle forward.

It was one day I will never forget.

One day about 15 years ago.

I know this because my children were 3 and 4 years old. I was laying on the floor of our small, pink bathroom at the time; sobbing and feeling like there could be nobody on this earth who could relate to the bitter and deep pain I was feeling at the time. It was unfair, it was cold, it was unsettling in every way I could imagine.

As I think back, it’s still difficult to comprehend. But it was my deepest struggle at that point. It was my hurt, pain and unhappiness in the situation. But what made me look up that day?

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I believe it was God who said to me, “Wake up and LOOK!”

I peered over my shoulder towards the bathroom doorway and I saw 2 pairs of young eyes, peeking around the corner to look at me. That is a moment I will never ever ever forget.

Those were my babies. Those babies were scared. They saw their mother on the ground and acting completely helpless and not anything like who they needed me to be. The look in their eyes was fearful and uncertainty. I felt as though I was kicked in the belly.

What was I doing to them? Here, I was worrying about ME. I was feeling sorry for ME. I was acting hopeless because of MY feelings of despair.

But what about them? What about my role and responsibility to helping them and showing them love and support? I was letting them down and I needed to get myself on track with a goal and a deeper reason for my life other than where I lay.

I remember also, pushing myself, weakly, up off the floor. I remember shakily standing up and washing my tear-stained face and heard their little feet run off into the next room. I forced a smile upon my face and went to find them. I wrapped my arms around them and promised myself I would make it my life’s goal to always be there for them. To always be there for others who needed me. That’s how we deal with hardships. We are not alone. There are so many others who rely on us and who need us and our strength; as we also need theirs.

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That day changed my life. That was the day that helped me see that there is a bigger cause than my own thoughts and feelings. The same is true for you today. I hope this message touches you in some way to do something greater with our life.

Have You Ever Wanted to QUIT???

Do you ever struggle?

Of course, we all do! But what about getting into a time period where you feel like you are struggling a LOT? Like you can’t see the end of the struggle? What then? When do you give up?

How about NEVER???

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Never give up in a struggle. Although it feels nearly impossible, remember that within the word “impossible”, lies “I’m Possible!”  You can keep moving forward. Maybe it’s inches or even centimeters but it beats standing still!!!

Think about your struggles. You are hurting and pushing yourself forward. Willing yourself forward. Painfully moving forward every single step. And with every single step, you wonder if you should stop. You ask yourself if you’ve had enough yet. Why isn’t it easier yet? Why does everyone else seem happy around me? Is it just ME? Am I a failure?

And it that word, you have the choice to give up or to fight! Because within failure comes growth. Change happens; albeit slowly, it’s happening. You cannot see a flower grow if you sit and watch it hour by hour, can you? But is it NOT growing? Or is it growing so minutely, that you cannot SEE it with your naked eye but over time, it shows?

That is you today. That is your struggles and your rewards for just staying in the game. Moving forward, one step at a time is key. No, you are not running but you are making huge steps if you are focusing on never giving up.

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The only true failure is quitting. Quitters never realize their true potential. They simply feel defeated and then begin again; only to quit where they left off before. That is not success. That can feel like insanity and rightly so, as it’s simply repeating the same exact process time and time again; expecting a different outcome.

But when you stick with it and you don’t give up even in the most challenging of times. You move ahead. You inch forward. And one day, you look back and realize just how far you have come. If you had given up, you would be in the same exact spot.

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Are You Struggling Today?

It’s amazing to me when I hear people assume that if you don’t complain or talk about your struggles; that you must no have any.

BULL!!! 

Our struggles are our stories!!! Embrace them and learn to grow from them.  That is your message to the world around you.

In keeping with today’s topic; I will share some of mine…

I am a very happily married woman of almost 20 years to my amazing hubby.  Do you think that it’s been bliss ever since the day we said, “I Do”???

FAR FROM IT!!!

…and to those of you who are, or have been married know that it would have been a complete lie for me to say otherwise.

We started out as your average “happy” young couple with dreams of a family life, successes, growing in our faith and many blessings.

While I can’t say we aren’t enjoying all of these today, it sure has not been “easy” in any respect.

Which reminds me of a joke my son told us this summer;

“Why did the washing machine stop working?…. Somebody threw the towel in…”

=D =D =D

We all have struggles and if we stick with what needs to be done consistently; we can work our ways through them and come out stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to complain to everyone around you or share all over social media about your issues…

Because there is such a thing as an “unfollow” button and that will get pressed if you make complaining a habit. Instead, act as though everything is going great and your reality will become so. You have more power over your progress and success than you know.

My point is that although life has had it’s share of ups and downs for us, we never gave up. We kept refocusing on helping each other and moving forward in the best way we could understand at the time. There is no fairy tale life. There is no perfection for anyone. I know we will continue to have our struggles but without them, we wouldn’t be as happy and as strong as we are today. My hubby is my best friend and I know he has my back just as much as I do, his.

But you have to get a little bit (sometimes, a LOT) uncomfortable before you feel proud of where you’ve come from…

Let’s focus in on the happy parts of today!

Are You Living in YOUR Moments?

Funny how fast time flies by, don’t you think?

I find that the more I think I have it all together, the harder life laughs at me and changes the scenery!

You know you agree! 😉

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Anyway, yes, my daughter has now graduated from high school, after fighting through the last part of this past year. A funny story she shared with us about our two overseas moves in the last five years (for those of you unfamiliar with my story; yes, this happened and a big reason my daughter was so far behind in her schooling this final year!); was when one of her teachers asked the senior students to write out some advice tips for the incoming Freshmen class. (how freaking cool is that teacher, by the way??)

My daughter (bless her sarcastic heart; she may just take after her mum after all!) wrote the following advice: “Make good friends and get ahead on your credits and grades because you never know if your family may move overseas.”

okay, I thought it was hilarious…you may not agree but it’s all good!

I find that life can really turn your world upside down and then give you a good shaking still from time to time. Have you ever experienced this before? (hint: if you’re ALIVE and actually doing something in your life, then this is a given)

There is no way around it or out of it but you darned sure better move your ass and give it your much needed attention! I think it’s at these times in our lives that we are most vulnerable and need to really be vigilant about who we surround ourselves with. Your attitude about your situation (whatever they may be; big or small) will weigh heavily on the side of the attitudes around you. Don’t believe it? Think about the 5 people you are closest to in your life. Now, think about their temperaments and points of views on life and all things in it. Then go ahead and try to tell me you don’t see eye to eye or believe most of the same, yourself.

Whether you realize this or not; it’s a fact. Maybe you’re the exception to this rule…but I highly doubt it!

My advice to you today is to surround yourself with positive people and teachings. Read Personal Development books to help you grow exponentially. Get out and do some activity to boost your heartrate. Lift weights to strengthen your weak areas. Learn to laugh at yourself in times of stress. Be the best person you could be for today.

Trust me; life goes by regardless.

You may as well feel happier and enjoy the ride.