Are you emotionally tied to your goals?

It’s funny how many of us have goals we hope to reach one day (such as; losing weight, earning more money, having better relationships, etc) but end up repeating patterns endlessly that never quite add up to more in the long run. What are we doing wrong?

I had someone ask me recently about my panic disorder. If you have read my story, you know that I suffered (quite debilitating) panic disorder for over 20 years. It started at the age of 19 after a devastating break of a relationship that was unhealthy in many ways. I was young and I was quite naive, so I allowed stresses and unhappiness to pile up in my body to the point of near break down. My heart would start to pound out of my chest; I’d be unable to catch my next breath; I’d have pains shooting through my body and I was certain that I was near death. These episodes would come on suddenly and without warning. I never knew how long they would last and each time it was unclear if I would survive. I ended up in the emergency room more times than I can count and to anyone who has never experienced a panic attack; I cannot explain the enormity of the feeling during an episode. I became more and more fearful of being in public because of the sudden outbreaks; to which I had no control over. Who wants to be seen by others when they are experiencing a life or death situation in their minds and bodies?

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This went on for many years; some more mild over time and some periods of immense attacks. I researched what to do and why they would come about but it was never quite clear on how to handle it the best before, during or after. I remember one doctor visit (which my sister in law drove me to because I wouldn’t allow myself behind the wheel) when I couldn’t even speak since I was trying to catch my breath and relax as much as possible. She told the doctor what had been happening and asked him what to do and what could happen. I remember his callous and uncaring remark, “Nothing will happen. She’s just panicking and she’ll either stop eventually or pass out.”

This was probably the worst thing he could have said in front of me. He didn’t even speak to me but was looking at me, quite disapproving. It was cruel and made me feel as though I was crazy. What could he have said that would have helped me better? Anything in terms of acting like he actually cared and then stating some facts that could help me begin a healing process.

Which it truly was, in the long run. I ended up seeing a psychiatrist in order to figure out how to sleep through the night. He confirmed that I was doing well on my studies into mental issues that plagued my issues and needed to relax my mind in order to sleep. I was prescribed a low dosage tricyclic antidepressant to help alleviate the anxiety and allow me to sleep through the night. I am so scared of medications that I only took half the prescribed dosage and still thought I was having a bad reaction in the first dosage.

In any case, it did help me begin to relax. I started to sleep through the night but didn’t like how it would knock me out at a certain hour every night. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be how I’d live the rest of my life but decided it was a step forward from feeling out of control. There were many times I realized I would have gone into a full blown panic attack but nothing happened and it was due to being on the medication. I dove into studying about mindfulness, becoming happier and having more clarity in the goals I wanted to achieve. Through my studies I began to realize my shift in how I believed about myself and my capabilities. I began to let go of stresses that would have plagued me in the past; trying to be ‘perfect’ in all areas, caring what others thought about me and thinking I’d have to live up to anyone else’s standards besides my own. I started to focus on the areas that were the most important to me; my well being, my family and my faith. These areas of focus began to increase and the lesser important areas began to decrease. I literally felt the shift happening within my body. After three full years of taking my medication daily, I decided I didn’t want to be tied to a drug any longer and stopped taking it.

I won’t lie and say it was an easy decision. I was scared out of my mind and kept the bottle of leftover pills in case I started to suffer anxiety issues again. But nothing happened. After a point, I then celebrated by tossing the pills into the trash and listening to my body and my mind’s cues in how I was feeling at specific times of more stress and busyness. I simply changed the way my mind and body worked and believed were ‘normal’ and in doing so, I stopped having my panic.

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I’m not saying this is typical and I’m not saying everyone who suffers anxiety should take this on. I am simply stating that when we have more mental focus, more clarity and a deeper desire to create a new reality; we can do just that. It takes time and it takes patience but I am a firm believer that if we want something badly enough, there is a way to reach it. Start with knowing exactly what that goal is and how to measure it when you’ve arrived.

I hope this helps you set up your goals in any area. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight” or “I want more money”; you need to have a clear definition of the specific goal. For example, if you lose 1 lb, then you’ve technically lost weight; so is that acceptable to you? And if you earn $1.00, you now have more money so is that enough? I wouldn’t think so and if that was your goal then you’re going to realize it much easier than anyone else! 🙂 If you are looking to lose more weight or earn more money or achieve any other goal; you have to be specific about the desired outcome. It must be something you can measure and track along the way, until you actually attain what you’ve been working towards.

It will happen if you stick with it and stop making excuses about why it’s not happening if you’re repeating the same cycles. I cured my anxiety; what do you want to do?

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Sleep more to lose weight?

How many hours per night are you currently sleeping? Like, really, legit “sleeping” and not just laying down with thoughts racing or waking up every few hours and falling back to sleep. It’s such a critical part of our success in life, health and more – that it just needs to be said…so I am going to share some really important info that I’ve learned today.

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Energy is something we all need and crave. We hope to find it in our coffee cups, our energy drinks, stimulants and more; and while these do help for a while…they also bring you down hard…like crashing down hard! 

And that is just not fun to experience.

The first thing we need to understand about energy is that we aren’t meant to be running at full speed ahead all of the time. This type of thinking is what I have previously fought with (as a natural type”A” personality who likes to run and not stop until I crash and want to hide from the world) and had to readjust after years of breaking myself down again and again. We cannot maintain the constant “full out” energy speed and expect to live a healthy and fulfilling life. We need to respect the natural ebb and flow of our energy levels; and our family and friends will love us more for it! 😉

So let’s talk about the most important aspect of the downtime; sleep. 

If you sleep more, you will achieve more. Sounds kind of crazy at first, right? Ya, I know but honestly it is totally on point! Our bodies require enough shut-eye every night in order to function at it’s best and to recharge after the busyness of each day. Do you know what else sleep is responsible for? Let me just tell you 😉

It helps in immune functioning, metabolism (just try to reach your goals and not sleep…it ain’t gonna happen!), memory, learning and many other vital bodily functions. Sleep is when our bodies work on repairing, healing, resting and growing. If we don’t get enough sleep, we are gradually wearing ourselves down and our ability to succeed in any way. Are you game to give it a go now?

Let’s start by finding out what is actually considered enough sleep. There is a huge difference in the amount of sleep you can get by on (something I hear many people say, “I only need 4 hours and I’m good to go”…) and the amount you actually need to function at your best. For 97% of us (6% of people have a gene that allows them to get enough rest on just 6 hours a night but this is very very very rare), we need more than just six hours of sleep per night. I know, I used to think, “I’m fine to get less sleep because I can still wake up and get everything done”, but I started to see and feel the effects of the lack of rest and decided I was tired of feeling tired. Better sleep and more sleep allows our bodies to function at higher levels of performance. And who doesn’t want to perform at higher levels, right??? You’ll not only work better and faster but you’ll also have a better attitude towards your daily tasks too.

 

The personal amount of rest for each of us differs but the research shows that the average adult requires at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to restore the energy it takes to handle the daily demands of life. How can we find out if we are getting the amount that our bodies need? The best way is to evaluate how you feel as you go about your days. If you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll feel energetic and alert all day long, from the moment you wake up in the morning until your regular bedtime hour. If you’re not, you’ll start to reach for that caffeine or sugar mid-morning or mid-afternoon…sometimes both.

So what happens if you don’t get enough sleep? Let’s cover some common issues that most people will suffer;

difficulty concentrating, difficulty thinking clearly, forgetting things or not being able to remember. You might also notice that your ineffectiveness or inefficiencies at home or at work; and may blame these missteps on your busy schedule. The more sleep that you miss, the more pronounced these symptoms become over time.

Kind of scary, right?

Not getting enough sleep also makes us more moody and cranky and less able to deal with daily stresses. Personalities are affected and we can become more cranky and less patient (ever snap at your kids our spouse like I was doing and feel awful later?) Most people will not enjoy being around you as often due to becoming a difficult and crabby person. I know, I have been there. We tend to cut back on sleep in order to fit in more “things” in our lives. We are always running against deadlines, and our schedules are packed with more to-do’s than there are hours in the day. Unfortunately, lack of sleep also wears down our immunity and is responsible for more illnesses, viruses and diseases when these “cracks” in our systems allow us to be attacked by offenders that can be fought off when we are well rested.

 

So what happens when we do get enough sleep? We are happier people, we are much more fun to be around and our minds and bodies are repaired and functioning at higher levels. Think about how we drag when we are tired. Then think about how we feel when we are fully rested and can take on the day with vigor and enthusiasm. It’s actually something that attracts others to us. Happy, positive energy is something you cannot buy and is not easily attained when over-tired. Getting enough sleep helps us to live longer, to be more creative, to attain and achieve a healthy weight more easily, to feel less stressed and to help us avoid mistakes and accidents. If you are interested in diving deeper into this subject, check out “Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health and Bigger Success” ~ by Shawn Stevenson.

Will you be adding more sleep time now that you know?

How to shift your mindset about exercise and weight loss

Let’s talk about exercise.

I hear quite often from people who are struggling with their weight loss efforts and begin to feel frustrated because they are unable to reach their goals for many reasons that can be due to misconceptions about their basic plans. People crowd into gyms on January 1st after the much promise of “I want to lose weight this year”, New Year’s resolution has been proclaimed the evening before. Did you know that by February 1st, 70% of those “resolutioners” quit? They just quit! Why? Because it wasn’t a strong enough desire for them to continue long term. It was a short term “fix” to some deeper issues.

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Or how about people that commit to rigorous new exercise programs like Crossfit, Insanity or running, just because they heard someone say they had some success in it?  Although there is much success within these programs; it’s not all about the programs alone. What works for one person isn’t necessarily the best plan for another. If you are a beginner, for goodness sake, start with something that can be sustained and enjoyed long term at the get go, like walking? Movement is movement, bottom line. Just get off the couch and you’ll achieve better results than sitting and watching a Netflix season while bingeing on bon-bons. The goal for more challenging programs like those above should be for those who need it and actually enjoy being challenged and able to sustain the workouts along the way.

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We should never pummel our bodies into oblivion in order to “shape” it into the perfect body we imagine. Our bodies are meant to be respected and challenged according to our levels and any previous issues. I see too often, those who seem to be punishing their bodies with exercise. They almost seem to dislike what they are doing and aren’t happy about the time they spend working out. Many times, these individuals (when not taking precautions and training smarter..not harder) will suffer an injury or burnout at some point.

One thing I repeat quite often to my group exercise classes, (and yes, I teach Insanity LIVE!) is to smile when feeling like you want to quit or stop. (this applies to all fitness plans) To actually force a smile (and even if it looks forced) will immediately improve your mood. It’s a quick shift in our brains that we are not suffering; although it may feel like we are.  This has become a habit of mine in every challenging situation I am confronted with. Just to know that I can curl up the corners of my mouth and I will feel more confident and positive in the very moment is a powerful and quite amazing habit. Why not give it a go? What have you got to lose anyway?

So what would be a better route when choosing to get healthier and fit? If we can’t just focus on pushing ourselves in our workouts, what other way can we benefit and reach our goals of weight loss? Of course, you probably know it’s in our nutrition. I’m not even going to tell you how to eat here…just the fact of getting yourself on a plan that supports your goals, your energy levels, your preferences and the enjoyment of nourishing your body will be the best plan for you. I dislike diets because they are centered around deprivation.

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Stop eating carbs and lose 15 lbs!! Drink this diet potion 3 times a day and lose your unwanted belly fat! Drink this veggie smoothie every day for a month and lose 30 lbs! 

Sound familiar? Yea, and it makes me cringe when I see these headlines, advertisements and posts because it lures those who want the quick fix into thinking this will be the magic plan. This will be the week, month, year that we finally lose that unwanted weight and feel happy about ourselves again.

FALSE!

Diets work. Plain and simple. But they are temporary. It’s like a band-aid on a much larger issue. Pretending that this will “cure” our ailments of overeating, cravings, bingeing, etc is ridiculous and the diet industry thrives off of this mindset. We want “quick”; we want “instant” and we don’t really want to be too uncomfortable while we wait for these results.

Which brings me back to the first point made about exercise that can seem to be daunting or feel miserable. I am going to be honest and say I dislike running. Do I run? Of course! But instead of using it as a tool to lose weight or be able to eat all the carbs that I want; I use it as a challenge and work to my levels and listen to my body’s cues. This wasn’t always the case. I was enjoying my running with local friends and groups as a leisure experience that challenged my body and ultimately, made me feel proud after accomplishing a challenging route. I’m not sure when I thought it would be a good idea to enter to run a marathon…but that, I did. And I trained correctly. I followed a running plan that slowly increased in mileage over time (you should have heard my hubby freak out the day I was going to run 18 miles by myself!! “who does that???” he asked….lol) and then tapered back down just before the big day. I had a goal of finishing the marathon between 4 hours and 4 1/2 hours (although I secretly hoped I could qualify for Boston! ha)

I was proud that I actually finished the run in 4 1/2 hours and was able to cross the finish line…although, hubby caught me just after and literally dragged me to the recovery area. I remember, quite vividly how I felt in those final 4 miles. After mile 22, I couldn’t bare to take another step.

But another step, I did take. And again and again. It was quite painful at that point; body, mind and spirit. I had to reach in and gather every extra ounce of will to just get the race over with. I thought about people I knew who actually repeated this process. And I wondered WHY???

But in the end, I was proud that I finished. The reason I was able to finish, however, was because I trained right. I researched best practices for training and read up on nutrition and tips to keep me strong and help me recover between long days. I didn’t mix in another workout plan at that time because I just couldn’t. I focused on stretching, yoga, resting, nutrition, hydrating along the way instead. This was not for weight loss goals, though, it was about doing something I thought I would never accomplish. Why? Because I could!

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True story!

But would I want to do it again? Probably not! I wouldn’t rule out a 1/2 marathon or shorter race but a full marathon I will leave to the professional lovers of running. My body and mind prefer lifting weights and circuit style training. This doesn’t mean that’s all I do. We should commit to doing the things we currently SUCK at. Not that it has to be perfect or that we have to learn to love it forever; but we should always know what it’s like to be challenged. Our minds are powerful tools and if we think of exercise as a tool to feel better over time (and hey, let’s face it…look better too!), we may start to enjoy it as we go along. Exercise, to me, is a way of feeling my best. I have more energy on days that I workout. I feel more positive. I am confident and feel healthy and stronger. I know that I’m setting a good example to those in my life who need it. I don’t exercise to lose weight. That comes from our nutrition, mostly. Exercise can help our goals but should never be the main focus. Haven’t you heard the saying, “You cannot out-exercise a bad diet”??? Been there…done that too! 😉

Movie Night with the Martian

Have you seen any good movies lately? I went out tonight with my two eldest kids and really had a great time. (not sure if they would agree as much with their “MOM” tagging along but we’ll just leave good enough alone!)  We decided to see “The Martian” together.

Wow.

I have to say that the trailer for this movie didn’t really speak to me at first; but after hearing some rave reviews about the movie, I thought, what the heck?

The storyline and the feeling of it all made me want to stand up and applaud, cry my eyes out and feel as though I was in the story myself.

Not for the reasons you’d imagine – like the drama and the premise of the story line…

but more about the underlying meanings of the unfaltering human nature and drive that many of us forego in our day to day lives.

So for those of you who haven’t seen it or if you don’t know what it’s about; let me give you an outline of the story. (and no spoilers to worry about if you still want to see it). This is a story of a group of astronauts who travel to Mars and are on a mission that needs to be aborted earlier than expected, except that one of the astronauts is lost in a storm and left on Mars (assumed to be dead).

The true power comes not in the plot of how the story unfolds but in how we react to the situation at hand; every second, minute and day of our lives.

I have been obsessed with our mindsets; why some people stick to goals in life while others decide their goals are not worth the sacrifices and struggles it takes to reach those goals. In all reality, we are all pretty much the same. We have the same basic needs, struggles and wants. We have the same capabilities to believe in ourselves and what we want; or not. We can all achieve any goal we decide that we want bad enough to get after it but that doesn’t guarantee that all, or many at that, will persevere.

Now back to the movie; this astronaut would have been dead within hours or days if he hadn’t decided that there may be another way. He had to get over the initial shock of his situation and decide to fight like hell to make it no matter what. Why? Probably because he had no other option aside from giving up and dying and that can be a big motivating fact for most of us indeed. (Proof of this is after a doctors visit for those who are given a negative result of health or unwell and how they can make the changes in their foods and lifestyles that ordinarily they would not have)

I think of the many times I’ve become frustrated when things didn’t go the way I had expected, and I wanted to just give up and forget about it. . I think of the times when the goals I have are larger than the frustrations, so I dig in (after I calm down) and find another way or look for another solution to complete what needs to be done. How many times have you decided something wasn’t worth the headaches, sacrifices or stresses? Of course, if the goal isn’t enticing or important enough, chances are that not many (if any) of us would stay invested long enough to find a way.

So this astronaut first assumes defeat (much like we do when things, out of our control, seem to derail our best efforts) but the need for this man not to give up and die overshadows the enormity of his situation. Time after time,  he is hit by what we would consider the “end of it all” and yet you see him looking for another solution in the cracks. How many of us can truly say that we exhaust all areas of a situation before giving up? I know for myself, I had only known walking away at the first sign of struggle or disappointment.

Really? My ego had to be submerged so that I could actually deal head on with issues that arose unexpectedly. And this is not easy.

But what is powerful is how our minds can expand to look at all roadblocks as a detour. We can become better and more practiced if we learn to look for that underlying route or “plan b”. Finding humor in the moments that can make or break us, is what I love most and can change the negativity in my mind to finding a better way. I remember a metaphor that was shared by one of my previous gym managers’; he asked us what we would do if we were driving along on the highway one day and up ahead we see a car stopped in our lane. We naturally slow down but what would we do next? Would you come to a complete stop behind this car and just wait it out because this was our “plan”? Or would we find a solution like maybe going around the car and getting in another lane or even going over the car if needed. Because we don’t know for sure if that car is going to continue and we sure as heck shouldn’t allow someone or something else to determine our reality.

Matt Damon, who plays the astronaut left on Mars, shares that his first initial thought when he realized he was left on the planet was “I’m going to die” but then he immediately shifts that thought into, what are the most critical things I need to survive right now and how can I go about achieving those now with what I have and my strong areas?

This should be an area we are all required to learn or study at least once in our lives. Being defeated doesn’t mean the story is over. Being defeated in one way, just means we MUST find another way. And we keep on looking for more solutions until the correct one is found.

But only if we want the end result as bad as we say we do. 😉 

Who Wants ABS? (or maybe I should just ask who doesn’t to weed out the non-committed folks!) :)

IMG_0953This is for all the beautiful people who have been dreaming and wishing and hoping to one day have a sexy midsection! Is that YOU?? I am pretty sure it’s most of the population! LOL

When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one’s going to see it if it’s covered by a layer of flab.

Seriously, I know! I’ve worked out so intensely and so often that if this was a proven method, I’d have had a six pack for most of you reading this today! 😉  But, alas, foods are the KEY to getting those abs to POP!

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a fitness program, you’ll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

1. Get plenty of protein
Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily Shakeology shake can be a perfect addition.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.) Tell me how much protein do YOU get each day? I see and talk with so many women who DON’T bcuz they think it will “bulk” them up….

NOT! Get that protein in yo face asap! 😉

2.Reconsider your carbs.
Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos, and save the cake for your birthday. DUH!  If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber.
Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals…You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge. And “double-whammy” is such a fun word to use that I encourage you to try it out a few times this week!

4. Enjoy some yogurt.
Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss. It’s why I eat Greek yogurt and drink my Shakeology DAILY!!

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many women tell me that they don’t know why they aren’t losing weight; since they only eat maybe 1 time a day!!! EXCUSE MOI??????

Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core. You MUST eat!!! It’s the ONLY way! 😉

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.) Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and drink less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.  I will challenge you to drink the recommended amount for fit individuals; 1/2 your body weight in ounces!! So for someone who is 150 lbs; they would need to drink at least 75 oz of water every day! Or a gallon if you are really up to the challenge!

7. …With two exceptions.
It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks. Something to seriously consider especially over the weekends, am I right or am I right? (you are SO smart! lol)

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s an added bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but that’s just  for free.

Do you need an added incentive? I have a BUSY MOM’S support group starting first of the month and welcome you to message me today for info on joining. You can succeed and have time for your family AND save money along the way! All thrown in for extra bonus!! 😉

Email me at: http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com

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!

Lemons Can Be Your Best Friends!!

Is today one of those days?  I find it amazing how we can find ups and downs within a month, week, day and hour to hour.  Why is this so?  Is life this flippant?  946926_464147313660287_447013758_n  I don’t think so.

In fact, I believe it’s mostly our mindset and how we react to specific triggers.

Think about it for a moment; is there a time in your life where everything is perfect?

Of course not!!!

But even in the midst of challenges and setbacks, we can find joy and pleasure in the simple things too.  Crisis’ are major issues and yet you can find a time within these difficult areas of stress where you can fit in a smile or a happy thought.

What is going on in your life today that is causing you stress?  Are you allowing it to consume you; or do you plan accordingly how to deal with it and keep a happy medium in your mind?

I’m constantly amazed at stories I hear regarding people I know (and quite well!) that are going through major life strains and yet I would never have guessed it by their demeanor and attitude.  Do you think this plays a part on the outcome?

Possibly not but why risk all that stress and negativity building up in your life and your mind when it’s clearly something out of your control (or you’d have blown right past it by now!)  Am I right?  Or am I right?

Wise answer 🙂

253368_460129127395439_534013659_n   So when life hands you lemons (and this saying always makes me smile because it’s ridiculous at best!); don’t allow it to sour your mood!  Make good of it…which obviously is to make lemonade…or whatever else you enjoy lemons for!

 

Make a list of all the things that are stressing you today.  You know; the issues that make your body cringe at the thought of them?  List them down and then one by one; cross them off.  If you have no control over them; let them go.  Do what you can and move along.  Take the mindset that it is what it is and whatever materializes won’t mess with your awesome attitude!

Never give up.  Ever ever.  And when you want to reach a goal or milestone; stop second guessing your chances and just get out and do it!