Sunday, June 10, 2018

Whole30 in the Spring

I just finished another round of Whole30. And boy was it a tough one! But I'm so glad I wasn't doing it alone and my husband suffered along side me. I did a few things different this time around and really felt like it kept me on track when so many attempts this year failed.

1. I created a visual countdown. 

I pulled out my markers and a blank sheet of paper and wrote all thirty days out. As each day passed I victoriously crossed it off. At first it was tortuous as the first 10 days went by at a snail's pace. But then the opposite happened when I found myself on the other side of 15 days and the countdown was feeling doable and visually I could see I was reaching the end. And what an accomplishment when all the days were crossed off!

2. I changed my snacks.  

I will in my own weird proud way say I made it through this Whole30 without a single RXBAR. Bless your heart RXBAR...but your presence just reminded me of everything I couldn't have and I just couldn't stomach another coconut chocolate/mixed berry/blueberry bar. This time I added a great find from Trader Joe's - roasted plantain chips. It gave me the crunchy savory texture I needed and when paired with homemade guacamole I was a happy girl. I also went in and bought the not-so-cheap nuts I love...marcona almonds. Even without truffle oil they are still delicious and when paired with some fruit I feel almost normal. Other snacks included dried sweet potato, dried strawberries, chewy date squares and lots of fresh fruit.

3. I picked the right month.  

I kept starting and stopping because the month I'd pick ended up being filled with so many scheduled events that it was impossible to stay on track.  January would seem to be the sensible time to start off fresh, but it's also a big month for family celebrations, so while I've done it in the past, family has had to suffer as a result. Mommy's chopping on pineapples while everyone else is having pizza and cake. So I've stopped feeling guilty about failing and have found that for me and my family the spring months are the most doable. And hey, knowing summer is just around the corner helps too.

4. I know how to eat out now. 

It takes some practice, but it's possible to eat out and still keep it Whole30. Even better with so many places offering gluten-free, protein-rich options, it's easier than ever to ask for it your way. I even have my go-to coffee creation when I hit any of the coffee shops.

I took this last week off and enjoyed some goodies, but I'm right back on it tomorrow. I'm calling it Whole15 for now, but I'm prepared to add in those last 15 days and finish strong.

Sidenote: My non-scale victories included better skin, sleeping like a baby, super regular (if you know what I mean...), steady energy throughout the day, less naps, less headaches, steady and increased strength during workouts and a smaller waist while maintaining my booty gains - haha!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Retreating to My Quiet Place

Finding time to get away and quiet my thoughts is a big deal for me. I haven't made time for it lately, but at the moment, I am. Getting away from the craziness of life and the demands that come along with it is a much needed exercise for me.

When I want to get away and be lost in my own thoughts I love to do very introverted things. I read that book that's been accumulating dust on my bedside table. I pull out my colored pencils and coloring book and quietly work on a piece that I get to every few months. Each time I visit the piece it becomes more alive and vibrant and I'm looking forward to finishing it as many other pieces await my attention. I like to write but sadly this little blog of mine gets very little attention from me these days, but I'm much too stubborn to end it. Too many things to ruminate on and express. While I love to type, even the small joys of actually writing pen to paper brings a sense of peace as well. I have journals that are waiting to be cracked open and written on. Pages that need a purpose, thoughts that need to be preserved, moments remembered.

I like to organize. I just finished getting my tornado of a son's closet organized - coats, hoodies, polos, long sleeves and light jackets all nicely hung and categorized. No more excuses of "I have nothing to wear to ____". I taught him how to fold a t-shirt and my husband helped to get the rest of his room in order. I'm not sure he's too comfortable in his new orderly room, but just know his parents are no longer  unnerved each time they walk past that room.

Quiet spaces is not necessarily an actual spot in the house. It's many places for me depending on what I feel like doing. But I will say many of those things are done alone and it's the time I am most able to fine the peace and quiet I need. Being "on" is exhausting for me and I definitely reach a point when I need to retreat.

I'm there now.

I need to stay there for a while.

Just for a bit.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Learning The Hard Way

Learning lessons is part of life. And if there is one lesson that I've learned is that lessons like to repeat themselves. Trends change, the people involved change, but the hang-ups, the secrets, the disclosure or non-disclosures still remain the same.

And when I think I've left that lot behind, it manifests itself in different ways but with the same lessons. I would like to say that I responded differently this time - that hindsight, in fact, gave me clarity. But I know my tendencies. When I feel like I've been wronged or mistreated my first response is to retreat. I don't like conflict or confrontation. My silence is my response. Sometimes the quickest easiest way to handle a bad situation is to simply walk away or slowly pull back.

I certainly appreciate the saying "out of sight out of mind". The farther I remove myself physically and mentally from a situation the sooner I can begin to rebuild and recover.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Current Life Perspective

I found this meme a while back and found that it resonated quite a bit with my current life. I spent much of the last few years making new friends and having amazing experiences. But, as can be expected, good things come to an end. Is it disappointing? Did I mourn the loss? Initially, yes I did. I felt the gamut of emotions - sad, mad, disappointed, indifferent, frustrated, annoyed and then nothing. Some days it was easier to handle and it felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel. Other days, it just felt like a muddled mess, forever imprisoned to these thoughts of disappointment and frustration.

But, time does heal. I truly believe that.  In the end I've come out of it much more level headed, able to see where I was naive and where I allowed myself to be swayed and influenced. Not anymore. I don't think I've grown hard-hearted - I still welcome the new things in life and more so, the things that replace the hurt. I may be far more cautious, but I'm not closed-off - just more experienced and weary of people and things that overwhelm me. And the things that have remained and the new people and experiences that have come my way, have brought more happiness and genuine joy to my life.

So, if there is one thing I'm reminded of about life is that it is ever-changing. And that's part of the  amazing journey of life - we cannot expect things to remain the same. People change. Experiences change. Circumstances change. Interests change. I'm sure I could go on but you get what I mean. Now instead of mourning of what use to be, I try to look back with fond nostalgia and try to see the moments of my life as learning experiences. I want to be better. I want to do better. Insomuch as I am able to make things better - or even just try to make things less worse - I try my best to do that. The rest I leave in God's hands because I know that He is sovereign and ultimately in control.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Making It Official

Back when I first started this fitness journey, I had mentioned that I might want to get my certification as a personal trainer. Even as I say that I kinda laugh, because I wasn't sure that was really the route I wanted to go. But as I continued to move forward as an assistant for my trainer and continued to learn the ropes of being a trainer and running a business, it became apparent that getting certified made more sense. While its not the most lucrative field out there, it has been the most rewarding and my reasons to pursue it have little to do with its earning potential. 

So at the beginning of this year, I became a student once again and began studying everything I could about becoming a personal trainer. I enrolled with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and studied diligently for six months. With all my responsibilities, I managed to fit in time during the weekends and some late weeknights studying. At times I became overwhelmed and wondered if I was crazy trying to juggle this with everything else that was going on my life (training, training others, helping run a business, homeschooling my boys and being a mom and wife). 

I was happy to see that my days of studying in college were helpful in getting me through this course as I challenged myself in subjects that, honestly, I suck at. Kinesiology, biomechanics and anatomy to name a few. I spent many weekends holed up in my office or at a Starbucks. I spent many late nights, especially at the end, pacing back and forth going over concepts and theories and doubting myself. You know what was really helpful? Seeing and doing all of this first hand at the gym. I know that I'm lucky to have both the academic and practical-side so readily available to me because it made grasping the concepts that much easier. 

So last week, all the studying finally paid off. After a very grueling two hour exam I was awarded with my congratulatory letter that informed me that I had passed. I was elated to say the least and quickly called and texted those whom I wanted to share the good news.  I was also exhausted. All the pent-up anxiety and nervousness finally hit me and the effects left me with a huge headache. I went home and slept.  Girl knows how to celebrate, huh?

Today, I'm excited to see where this takes me. This entire journey in many ways has been surreal. Looking back on the last couple of years, I still can't believe the twists and turns my life has taken. I'm grateful for all the people who have been instrumental in getting me here - they know who they are. To have people whom I care about so deeply support me even when I doubted my own abilities and encouraged me to keep pressing forward. Thank you.

So, if you're looking to join this next part of my fitness journey, let me know!

If you'd like to read about how this ALL began, you can find my progress updates here, here and here

Elated but also exhausted right after I got my certification

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Another Year of Life

So thankful for the many friends who have become as close as family. Our dear friend Jeff enjoyed a Brazilian dinner with us as we regaled about life and all it's intricacies. Over delicious meat and yummy sides we celebrated Junior and another year under his belt. We ended the meal with some yummy flan, strawberry cream and molten cake. Cheers to you Junior!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Preteen Has Arrived

Ronin is now a pre-teen and I'm not ready. You can probably tell I'm in denial from my most recent post. He has grown so much since summer of 2016. His feet are big. His voice is changing and cracking. He is becoming his own person. He still has his struggles that stem from his autism, but in many ways he is holding his own and surprising me everyday when we interact with our community. He is still very much a child and looks at life with such naiveté. For his birthday he wanted to race go-karts, eat dinner with his friends at Buffalo Wild Wings and hang out at the local mall. While at the mall, he wanted to try the bungee-trampoline and had all his friends do it too. Everyone had a blast. Junior and I had fun listening to their conversations and laughed out loud a lot. The things boys talk about! Happy birthday son!

My 10-year Old My Baby

My little Lucas is not so little anymore and I am in mourning. Each day I look at him I realize more and more that my time with him is short and fading fast. He'll be a preteen, then a teenager, then a young adult...oh it's all too much. How we need to cherish our times with our children! The day to day seems ordinary, but it's in those times that our children grow and learn about the extraordinary things of life. I want him to enjoy every minute of being a kid and all the great things about not having a care in the world. When all that matters is his family and friends and where the next adventure is. Happy birthday son! May your life be filled with much love, hope and joy. May God grant you a heart that will love and worship Him, too. 

 Kindred spirits: Xavier and Lucas
 His guests: Xavier, JJ, Ronin and Mason
 Me and my baby #forever
 Chopping it up at Fuddrucker's
 Waiting for their grub
 Our big happy "diverse" family
 Loving the food and the games
 Boys being boys
 Cake time
 Silly always
Always silly

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

SUDAMIX® at Elev8

 Making sure our members can find us - the first time is a little tricky
 Starting off the morning right - water, fruit and protein bars

 It was a full house - and then some!
The energy was amazing. So happy to be a part of this.