This Mother’s Day I have so much to be thankful for. My mom continues to be an amazing influence in my life and now also for my daughter. I have a lovely mother in law. My two sisters are both moms of gorgeous daughters. One sister is celebrating her first Mother’s Day this year and I love seeing her in this new role. She’s a natural.
As my daughter gets older, I feel the weight that MOMs feel. Am I setting a good example for my daughter? More than ever she is watching me. Do I encourage her enough? Do I say no too harshly sometimes? Am I in too much of a rush or do my moments of patience help cover up the “rush” moments? Can I keep her safe and healthy? For me this last one is the biggest burden of all. Because not all of that is in my control.
She is discovering her strengths, her independence, and how to treat people. What to say out loud and when to keep her thoughts to herself. Her clothing choices are becoming more creative in color and style, which I allow. As long as she is appropriately covered, why not? She usually doesn’t approach something the way I would, and while sometimes my instinct is to correct, I try to stop short of criticism on my better days. We don’t strive for perfection in our house every day. And that is OK. We do strive for kindness, excellence and good choices.
I want to be the best example of kindness and strength for her. She has her own thoughts, dreams, wishes, motives and ideas. My job as MOM is to guide her, love her, hold her, show her my faith, teach her by my example to take care of her health and allow her to see that the world is open to all her dreams. My mom did that for me thankfully. Now it’s my turn.
My comfort zone was my couch, lots of season passes on TiVo, and “comfort” food. How nice to rest at the end of the day and catch up on some reality show where other people seemed to have more drama than me. How easy to swing through the drive through on the way to work and grab “unfood” for breakfast that gave me comfort for a busy day. Someone brought donuts to the office… score!
The truth. I wasn’t comfortable at all. I was tired at the end of the day. My feet hurt every morning for about an hour. I could only shop in plus-sized stores for clothes. I had no interest in running in the yard with my daughter. I avoided social engagements. I smiled, but was a wreck on the inside. None of this was my true self. When I was a little girl and through my 20s, I was full of energy and loved life.
Something snapped and I stepped out of that comfort and it’s made all the difference. I made a decision to get healthy and jumped on AdvoCare’s 24 Day Challenge. I tried new foods, humbled myself to share my story with friends so they could support me and cheer me on, deleted the season passes of almost every show on TiVo and got off my couch.
I thought it would be hard. Surprisingly, the hardest part was making the decision to change and taking a first step. The rest has been fun!
The magic is that I’ve gained more than I thought possible. Yes, I dropped 40 pounds. More than that, I feel amazing with so much more energy. Like it’s from the inside out. Your body really does perform better with great nutrition! Shopping is way more fun this summer season. The pain in my feet is completely gone. I run and play with my daughter and have enough energy to last through the day and into the evening for my family. I have discovered new friends that are positive, encouraging and who challenge me in the best way to be a better version of my true self.
My head and heart now realize that my comfort zone was a very small room that kept me from so much that life has to offer. I was made for MORE than my couch and TV. I love my husband and daughter and they deserve the best of me.
Open the door and step out. Your life is waiting for you.
It’s time to escape average. It’s time to start.
One of my recent favorite books releases today. I’ve been waiting for this for a few months. I attended the preview of the book in Franklin, TN in February and was blown away by Jon Acuff’s ideas about starting. SO many great thoughts.
The book rocks! I gave it away to the person that let me slide in to their spot at that event. I can’t wait for my new copy to arrive so I can read again, mark it up and make notes. It’s that kind of book. A road map for your project. Plus lots of stories to motivate and inspire. Jon is an amazing storyteller.
Here’s an overview:
What do you need to start?
In September, I decided to START a health journey. I punched fear in the face and it’s been amazing. I feel better, more energized and I am happier.
Another benefit to better health… my attitude is brighter and I intentionally share joy each day with as many people as I can. It’s a process because I have sad days too. But I also have faith, hope and people who love and support me. That makes all the difference.
Life is waiting for us to be awesome. Don’t wait for perfection. You will be waiting too long. Let’s go! If you want encouragement, shout it out. I can do that for you.
It’s time to start.
Everest is a useful and beautiful app on my phone. It’s about goal setting and incorporates imagery to help you visualize your end goals. The company also has a journal about being your best, fighting for your goals and other inspirational topics.
I found this AWESOME quote in their online journal the other day.
“You must acknowledge your fear, your flaw, your weakness, your deficiency, the chasm between where you are and where you want to be. Remove your armor. Now you and those who you love the most can see your vulnerability and your courage. The incredible sense of relief will restore your sense of purpose and rouse your determination. Pour your heart into your neglected dream and accept nothing less than complete victory.” – Matthew Levene
This is powerful. Read it twice.
What is your Mt. Everest? What goal and dream do you have that needs all your heart? Name your purpose. Remove your armor. Go!
My parents did a number of things right… one was telling my sisters and I we could do or be anything and that we were artists. They gave us the freedom to explore our creativity. My sisters and I still use various forms of art to express ourselves in unique ways through painting, jewelry design, sewing, crafting, decorating.
Everyone is an artist of some sort. We all have the ability to create. It doesn’t have to be an illustration, a painting, a song, or a book. It can be in how you do your work. How you go about your day. Do you create? Do you share something unique with those around you?
“Art is not a gene or specific talent. Art is an attitude, culturally driven and available to anyone who chooses to adopt it… Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another… Seizing new ground, making connections between people or ideas working without a map – these are works of art, and if you do them, you are an artist, regardless of whether you wear a smock, use a computer, or work with others all day long.” — Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception
The ability to share your art, your gifts, your talents so that others benefit is more available today than it has ever been. Let your light shine. Don’t hide it. We want to experience artistry from others. We crave it. There is joy in sharing and receiving art.
I am proud to say that my daughter wants to be an “artist” like mommy and daddy when she grows up. Even though that isn’t how either of us makes our living each day, I am blessed that she sees the artist in both of us… because we share our gifts with her.
Are you bringing your personal stamp to the world? Are you showcasing your unique talents and sharing them with the people around you? Do us the favor and share.
I’m having fun on this new food journey. We are eating healthier foods (lean and clean) with amazing supplements. We are trying new foods… mostly new vegetables. Truth is, after about a week… I didn’t want to go back to donuts, chips and all sorts of other processed foods. I could feel the change, even without looking at the scale.
Once I changed my MIND, the rest fell in to place. It wasn’t about will power anymore. Instead of saying “I can’t eat that” I started saying “I don’t eat that.” Powerful difference in mindset. It’s my choice and it’s not a diet.
I am still moving toward my goal. I have a team of AWESOME people cheering me on and coaching me. Plus, we have been able to turn around and help friends with their goals. Even better! Woo Hoo!
A number of friends have joined me on this fun road to “get fit” and we are having so much fun together. One friend in particular has an inspiring Facebook page called “Fluffy and Figuring Out Fit” and similar blog. She is way more clever than I, so if you enjoy a sense of humor with authentic sharing, check out her online spaces.
I love this image a friend posted recently. It’s one of my filters I use when choosing what I place in my body.
As we ate along side each other, I saw your choices. Respected them, even admired your “will power” not to eat the yummy fried shrimp basket or hamburger with french fries that I was having. I couldn’t eat that healthy all the time. Sure a few meals now and then, but the food that was normal to me tasted SO good!
Late last summer, I was shopping for my cousin’s wedding on the beach. My plus size limited my choices (for those not aware, there are about 1/5 the choices in stores for plus size women). Of course to get to the plus size section, I usually had to walk by the hundreds of adorable options in the regular sizes. I found an outfit, but it wasn’t what I really wanted to wear.
Something had to change. Not just because of the clothes, but of ALL the options I left on the table. Running on the beach or in the yard with my daughter, feeling like a million bucks, having the energy all day I needed to be a great mom and wife, not having pain in my feet at the end of the day. And mostly, setting a better example for my daughter. I want her to have a confident and active mom who doesn’t shy away from photos with her. I was leaving that option out too.
I had tried many other ways to lose weight before, but none stuck. A friend shared a program with me that focuses mostly on what I eat. I gave it a shot and haven’t been the same woman since.
In the first 24 Days, I lost 16 pounds! Over the last five months, I’ve lost 38 and still counting. This summer, I will be able to shop in the normal clothes section. But there’s more… I had the energy I was seeking the first few days (thanks, Spark!), I felt amazing with a skip in my step by day 10. My feet stopped hurting in the second week. My daughter and I run in the yard and I even did a cartwheel for the first time since my 20s.
All this because I changed what I eat. There’s been some exercise too, but the focus has been squarely on the fuel I put in my body.
What do I eat? Fruits, veggies, lean meats, whole grains, beans, eggs, nuts, almond milk, almond butter, olives and pickles. A short list to remember and so many varieties of food. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.
Why did I eat all the other foods prior to this focus? Probably because they were convenient, in front of me, tasted good to my taste buds, and it was a habit. These are also very social foods and what’s most common at restaurants and social gatherings.
I’ve made new habits and learned how to make healthy food convenient and on-the-go. New mindset. And it only took a few weeks for this new way of thinking to feel “normal.” It has become a lifestyle choice for me, not a diet. And THAT alone is refreshing.
So to my healthy eating friends… I am in your camp. I get it. There is still lots for me to learn about vegetables and recipes to uncover. Feel free to share with me your favorite healthy recipes. And for those that order a hamburger when I order a salad, I get that too. And some days, I may order the hamburger and fries with you.