What’s your “thing”? What is the quality, characteristic or attribute you possess that has gotten people’s attention? Sometimes, I don’t even think we realize we have a specific “thing” until a family member, friend or even a stranger brings it to our attention.
One of my most defining attributes in my laugh! But I will be honest and tell you that I didn’t realize it was unique until others pointed it out. My laugh was just my laugh! I mean it is the only way I know how to laugh. It wasn’t something I practiced or worked to perfect; it is just part of how God created me.
As a young girl, in a small town, the kids I went to school with were the ones who first brought my laugh and how LOUD and distinctive it is to my attention. Now at first, I felt myself want to hide from it. I didn’t want to stand out because I was the girl with the loud laugh. Can you relate? Is there something you either used to or still do hide or want to subdue about yourself because of what others say ir think?
I look back on my childhood and I don’t feel I was made fun of in a mean way about my laugh; at least not the majority of the time. And frankly, it wasn’t something I could change even if I wanted to. When I got tickled, I laughed and there was no holding back!
As an adult, I LOVE my laugh! I embrace it! It is ME!! Recently, I was texting with one of my best friends while I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods. In between texts, I laughed at something the sales clerk in the shoe department said to me. She immediately texted me back and told me she knew I was in Dick’s because she heard me! Clearly she was in Dick’s too but we didn’t know we were both there until my laugh gave it away!
I have learned that my laugh brings others joy and sometimes makes them laugh too! And that is a gift and a blessing as far as I am concerned.
I am sharing all of this with you to encourage you to stand tall and proud in every bit of who you are! Whether it is your laugh, smile, sneeze, the way you walk or run, your height, etc. it is YOU! And God created you wonderfully and to shine bright just as you are!
Be thankful for all the attributes that are unique to you. Don’t hide from them, no matter what anyone says. Allow every bit of you to shine bright and share your light with the world! Because no one else can shine YOUR light the way YOU can!
PS….In this week’s Progress Matters podcast I am elaborating more on this subject, making progress walking in my truth and prayerfully hoping that it encourages those who need it, to walk tall in your truth too! You can listen by clicking here: https://progress-matters.com/podcast
Hey, Fit Friends!
I wanted to take a minute of your time to talk about moms and when it’s ok to take a break. I think sometimes, as mothers, we feel like we have to be “on” all the time, 24-7. I have to say, I completely disagree. I think moms need to take time to do things for themselves. I think moms need to take time to escape for a little while, to refuel, refocus and fill their souls up with things that really matter to them.
This last week I’ve been on a trip to Montana. It’s one of my absolute dream trips. I got to do it for the first time last year and it’s become an annual thing. It’s truly my happy place. It’s a place for me to go and completely unplug, unwind and just be me. Every once in awhile, it’s nice to not be a mom or a wife, but just be myself for a week. I get to enjoy the things that I love- horses, mountains, nature. It fills me back up again.
As all moms know, it’s never easy to leave for a trip. There’s a lot to think about before you get on that plane. There are a ton of things that need to be coordinated before you go in order to make sure your home and your kids are taken care of. Let’s face it, as moms and wives, we are the queens of our castle. We make it all run. We make it all flow, day in and day out. There’s so much that we do every day that our husbands may not even be aware of.
I’m a little bit of a control freak and a huge planner, so it takes a lot of preparation for me to be able to walk away from the house for a week and know that everything is going to be ok. I have learned and accepted that while I’m away, it’s ok that things aren’t getting done exactly the way mom would do them. Dad does things his way and that’s totally fine. I no longer worry if the boys’ hair is combed, or if their clothes match, I have let that go. I have decided those kinds of things are not really worth stressing over.
With all that said, I wanted to give you my top 5 tips for things to do before you leave town. When I complete these things before I leave, I know everything is ready. I know everything is in place and my boys will survive without me for a week.
- I do all the laundry. We’ve got baseball going on in our house, and both my boys have games and pictures and all kinds of things going on this week while I’m away. I wanted to make sure their uniforms were all clean and ready to go. On top of that, I just like to make sure all the laundry is done. This way, no matter what they choose to wear, at least I know it’s clean.
- I try to make meals easier. I have purchased some ready-to-heat meals from the grocery store that will be simple for dad to just pop in the oven. I’ve also make salsberry steak and sloppy joe mix so it’s at the ready for them. My husband will be working all day and then trying to get the boys dinner before getting them to their practices and games, and it can be tricky to prepare a meal in that short window between work and activities. It makes me feel better to know that they’re all eating well when I’m not home. I also make sure they have plenty of groceries in the house- fruits and vegetables, things for snacks and lunches, etc.
- I notify my sons’ teachers. I’m usually the go-to. I’m the one the school calls if there’s somebody gets sick, or if there’s an issue at school. While I’m away, it’s really important that they know my husband will be the contact, and I make sure to give them his cell phone number. We’ve also got some friends that are close by, so I let them know what’s going on just in case we need back up. It’s so important to have a network of moms that can help cover your back if need be.
- I coordinate care for the boys. I am normally here when they get home from school. My husband can’t be home every day when they get home from school, so I’ve enlisted the help of some neighborhood college girls who are home for the summer already. They will be here at our home waiting for the boys when they get home from school. I also make sure everyone has everyone’s contact information. Teachers, my husband, the babysitters, they all have each other’s phone numbers just in case.
- I take a deep breath. You know what? Being a mom and a wife is awesome. It comes with so much reward, but it also comes with a lot of work. When I’m about to go on a vacation and leave my role and my duties for a week, I’ve learned to just breathe. I trust that the system will run smoothly while I’m gone and if it doesn’t, they will figure it out along the way.
Yes, I’m a mom and I’m a wife, but I’m also a woman. I have things that are just about me. I don’t have to hold on so tightly to the role of mom and wife that I forget completely about the things that I love. Neither do you. I don’t believe in that. We have to fuel ourselves, or our tanks will run empty.
This vacation has allowed me to do that. I left knowing that my family was taken care of. Mom can take a break, and you can too. Maybe you have a trip coming up soon that you are looking forward to. I hope these tips will help you to leave with a peaceful mind and really enjoy yourself.
I believe that moms deserve a break. There are times when we just need to disappear for a week, or a few days and refuel. Sometimes we need to get grounded again before we step back into our roles as moms and wives.
I pray that when you take a trip, you are able to do it guilt free. Allow yourself to do something that you love, and know that your family will be taken care of and they’ll be just fine while you’re gone.
Y’all have a blessed day.
Hey, Fit Friends!
What is your dream?
One of the things that has been a dream of mine for a really long time, is to take some time off, away from everything and ride horses in the mountains. In God’s country. I wanted to be able to go with one of my girlfriends to experience a week-long getaway in the mountains of Montana.
2 years ago, I wanted to go so badly, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me financially. My girlfriend ended up going without me and when she came back and told me how incredible it was, I became determined to make it happen the next year. So immediately, I put in on my dream board. I also set goals. Things that would need to happen in order for me to reach my dream of going on this amazing trip. It didn’t happen overnight. For that next year, I worked my tail off. I saved chunks of money that I earned from my business and put it all aside to pay for this dream trip of mine. I worked hard and stayed focused on the goal, and then in 2015, I was able to make my dream a reality.
Y’all, it was as fantastic as I imagined it to be. Everything about that trip was a dream come true. I had found my happy place. I came home from that trip after 7 days and my family couldn’t believe how relaxed and at peace I was. My husband told me I was beaming. We talk about certain things in our lives that fuel us. Things that help us connect with ourselves and with God and what makes us tick, horses and mountains make me tick. I grew up on a ranch with horses and I just love them. To be able to make that trip a reality, was an answered prayer.
My point in sharing all of this with you is, I’m about to go again. I leave one week from Monday to go on this trip again. This time my mom is going with me and a few of my sisters-in-law, and some additional friends. I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this experience with more people that I love. When we have dreams and things we want to achieve in our lives, we have to work for them. We can’t just wish for it, we have to work for it. We have to work more than we wish, and that’s true with anything. Whether it’s a trip we want to go on, a business we want to build, a marathon we want to run, whatever the goal may be, we have to work for it. It takes a decision to make a commitment and then the drive to put one foot in front of the other every day toward our goal.
The thing is, when you’re working that hard and really putting in the effort toward achieving your goals… when you finally get there, it is so AWESOME! It makes you feel such an insane sense of accomplishment. I want nothing more than for my boys to see that and have them feel that exact same feeling. They’ve got dreams of their own and I want them to know that it takes work to get there. I want to live that by example for them.
Is there something in your life that you really want? What are you doing to achieve it? What are the steps you’re taking to make that dream a reality? It just takes one step at a time, moving in the right direction. You know what I love to say- progress matters!
Y’all have a blessed day!
Every Day we are closer to Dying.
We don’t always have tomorrow! NOW is what we do have! NOW is when you need to commit to living your best life! Putting off our health is asking to die before our time. It’s truly that simple.
I hear excuses every single day of why people are waiting to take care of themselves. The excuses range from time, money, willpower, fear of failure and more. Reasons that can be overcome when you DECIDE to overcome them.
I understand how we can be excuse ridden. I was that girl once upon a time. But I made a choice and my life has changed forever! I wake up every day full of joy, excitement and knowing that no matter what comes my way I can face it because I am strong, capable and worth it!!!
I became a coach because I Passionately want to help others realize their TRUE potential. I want them to experience what I have. It breaks my heart to see people hurting; Stuck in a paralyzed state and not able to move forward. I want nothing more than to help make a difference in their world. I desire to prove to them that PROGRESS MATTERS, no matter how big or small it is. To link arms with those who are ready to commit to LIVING their best life is an honor and one I take very seriously. The hardest part is that I can’t do it for them. I can provide fitness and meal planning tips, recipes, support, encouragement and motivation but at the end of the day I can’t make them do it. It is an internal decision and without their unwavering commitment, the momentum dies. That kills me but I know that until people are truly committed to making changes; I can only do so much.
So, I ask you: Are you in an excuse ridden state of mind? Do you continue to start and then quit; believing you just can’t do it? Have you asked yourself WHY? Sometimes the reasons are much deeper than we realize.
My prayer for all of you who are in this place is that you choose YOU over any excuse! That you SEIZE THE DAY…today and start a new path that you will ever veer from!
I’m living proof that when you do, everything changes! You change from the inside out. You love yourself, life, every day your given and thrive on the commitment to stay the course!
Don’t believe me? DO it…I mean REALLY, TRULY DO IT & I’ll make you a believer!
PROGRESS MATTERS, my friends!!!
Y’all have a blessed day.
Hey, Fit Friends!
One of the things that on everyone’s mind right now is motivation. Summer is coming, and everyone is thinking that it’s time to get serious about getting in shape and taking care of myself. A lot of times, because we wear clothing that shows more of our body in the summer, it tends to get people’s attention in a little bit of a different way. Here’s my question for you today: How do you find long term motivation? It’s a whole lot easier to tell yourself that you’re only going to commit to something for 30 days, because you’re going on a trip or something, and then those 30 days are up and you think you don’t have to do anymore. The motivation is gone. What I want to talk to you about today is how to continue to make progress. How you can continue to stay motivated after that 30 days.
I haven’t always been as dedicated and habitual with my workouts and my healthy eating. There were definitely times in my life where I was doing absolutely nothing. Nothing. But here’s the thing that has helped me: I formed a habit. When I intentionally formed a habit and scheduled it into my day, and I mean literally- every day I schedule time to work out, and I also schedule in time for meal planning and prep. I do my very best to set myself up for success. Does this happen overnight? NO! It takes time. It takes time to learn what works for you and learn how to fit it all into your world. It’s not easy. However, when we think of summer coming (which is in about 2 months, by the way), it’s easy to feel the pressure of that and want to use it as a motivator to make some positive changes. For those of you that really get serious, buckle down and take the bull by the horns, you can make a lot of progress between now and then. Wouldn’t it be nice to wear the bikini or the shorts, or whatever it is you’ve been dying to wear… what if you could wear that item of clothing and feel totally confident? Or, what if you could just feel good from the inside out? Maybe it has nothing to do with what you’re wearing, maybe it’s just about how you feel. Do you have more energy when you workout and fuel your body correctly? Do you sleep better? Do you have less cravings? I could go on and on about the benefits of taking steps to be active.
But what happens when the program ends after 30 days? What happens when you’ve made it through the summer and fall starts to come? Are you going to keep it up and stay motivated? One of the things I really want you to stop and think about is- when you start the process, what happens in your body? How do you feel both physically and mentally? I want you to stop and really take note of those things. Really analyze. When you really start to hone in on how much better you feel and you know it’s because of these positive changes you’ve made, it makes you want to continue to do it, right? It’s fairly easy to do something for 30 days, but it takes consistent effort to turn it into something that you’re going to continue to do day after day, month after month and year after year.
With long term motivation in mind, I wanted to share with you a few tips. These are things that have helped me stay motivated and accountable. They’ve helped me stay on track for the long term.
- Be patient and give yourself grace. What do I mean by that? Well, when you first start working out and eating right and trying to live a healthier lifestyle, you’re going to stumble. You can get crabby, your muscles get sore, you’re not used to this new routine, so it’s a whole lot different that your normal. We all want instant gratification, but that’s not always realistic. You know a lot of times when people first start working out and eating right, they actually gain weight? Not kidding! I can tell you when I first started doing workouts at home, I kid you not, the scale never changed after my first 60 day program. For 7 weeks! I did not see any movement for 7 weeks on that scale. What I didn’t realize until I compared before and after pictures, was how my body was changing. There were lots of positive changes taking place, they just weren’t happening on the scale. So please be patient with yourself and give yourself grace! Do not expect it to be perfect, do not expect it to be easy. You’ve got to continue to show up, for yourself, every single day- no matter what.
- Don’t measure progress by the number on the scale. How many of you weigh yourselves every day, or every other day? I see so many people that allow the scale to be their end all be all and it determines whether they’re happy that day, or they’re upset that day. It determines whether they feel good about themselves or not. I weigh myself once a week, that’s my personal preference. Here’s what I want to say- there are so many other ways to measure your progress. SO many other ways that have NOTHING to do with what that scale says. Do not let the scale be the last word in your success. Measure your inches. Watch and see how they change in your waist, your hips, your arms, your thighs, really pay attention to that. Ask yourself how your clothes are fitting. The way your clothes fit can tell you so much about your progress and it has absolutely nothing to do with the scale. And certainly check in with yourself and pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling better, than it really doesn’t matter because you know that you’re making progress in your quality of life every single day. Another thing you can do to measure non-scale progress, is take pictures. Take progress pictures and look at them to remind yourself of how far you’ve come. These photos can truly amaze you. We see our bodies every day, so we don’t always notice the changes. But if you take pictures and you compare day 1 with day 30 and then day 60, you will be shocked at what you see if you can stay committed.
- Pay attention to how much better you feel. If you have kids, you know how super busy they are- you’ve got constant activities all over the place, sometimes it can feel like you’re running around in circles. If you see a change in your energy level that allows you to keep up with your kids and not constantly feel tired at three o’clock in the afternoon, then celebrate that. Allow it to be a motivator for the long term.
- Make it a habit. Just like brushing your teeth every day. Working out and eating right needs to be habitual. It doesn’t mean that it has to take hours upon hours, it means you plan it into your day. You figure out where you can fit it in and how you can set yourself up for success. Just move your body for 30 minutes. That could mean taking a walk, it could mean working out at home, it could mean going to the gym, or going for a run. It can mean whatever you want it to mean, but move your body for 30 minutes. Also, make sure that you’re planning your meals each week so it becomes a habit, and you’re always thinking ahead about what you’re going to eat and how you’re going to fuel yourself.
It’s a journey and it takes time. Please do your best not to have the “quick fix” mindset. Do your best not to think of this as just a 30 day change. Why put all that effort in for 30 days and then just watch it scatter to the wind? You will feel so much better and the quality of your life will be improved if you can just make time for yourself. There is time in every day. I promise you if you are able to make this commitment to yourself, you won’t regret it. You will eventually find that you’re thinking in the long-term. Remember- every step you take matters. It’s progress and progress matters.
Y’all have a blessed day!
I want to talk to you about keeping fun alive in your life. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and I think that it’s such a huge subject because, let’s face it, we’re all busy, we all have to-do lists, and things that we have to take care of, and people we have to take care of. Sometimes it’s easy to get completely bogged down with all of our responsibilities that we have and we forget to have fun.
So, let me ask you a question: Do you laugh every day? Do you have fun in your home every day with your spouse, with your kids and with your friends? Do you take time to just enjoy life? There are times when I’m so focused on the tasks at hand and the things I HAVE TO get done, that don’t even think about just taking a step back and breathing. Taking time to smile and laugh and giggle and have a good time.
Because I have to boys who are 8 and 6, I have been much more intentional about having fun with them. I’ve been much more intentional about bringing fun into our household on a daily basis. One of the things that I do completely at random is throw on a song that I know they love and start singing and dancing. Every single time I do that, they laugh and we have the best time together. They start dancing with me, they start singing with me and all our inhibitions are thrown out the window. You know what’s cool about that? It’s not only cool to teach them that it’s ok to be that way sometimes, it also gives me an opportunity to let go and release. We try to be so “together” all the time and we don’t want to be vulnerable, and sometimes it’s just nice to let go and have FUN!
Another thing that we do in our house to keep fun alive is family game night. My boys are both in baseball right now and the schedules are really starting to crank up and things are getting nuts. The time when we’re all able to be together is really limited. So, every Tuesday night is family game night. We have dinner together, and then we play a board game or a card game. It allows us all to just laugh with each other and enjoy each other’s company. To truly just take in the moment. We don’t get to do that all the time.
Another great thing to do- just randomly go for ice cream. For no reason. No one had to do anything good. Just surprise your kiddos and jump in the car and go. Sit with your children and talk to them and truly enjoy them in that moment. Enjoy learning more about them. Enjoy connecting with them. This kind of thing is bond building, just take the time for your kids. Sometimes everything can seem so serious. That’s not what we’re here for. We don’t have to be so serious and so regimented. I’m, admittedly, a huge perfectionist, a planner and a to-do list person. I’m working really hard toward being ok if the plan doesn’t work out. I’m really trying to not care so much about the plan being perfect, but live on purpose instead. What is my purpose? What is God’s purpose for me here on Earth? What is my purpose as a wife and a mother? What is my purpose as a business owner? As a daughter? As a friend? Do I have to be perfect in all those relationships? Absolutely not. To be able to live on purpose and forget the perfection is huge for me.
Here are three tips I have for you to make sure you’re keeping things fun and you’re feeling as alive as possible.
- Let go of control. We don’t have to control everything all the time. Just let it go. Breathe a little bit easier and let things happen as they will. You’ll smile more often because you’ll begin to see the fun in every situation.
- Embrace being silly. Let yourself be vulnerable to the silliness. Do something off the wall that might make people do a double take. I promise you, it will also make them laugh. It’ll bring joy to you and those around you. You really can’t ask for more than that.
- Have an attitude of gratitude. Work on having a “glass half-full” mentality. We can get bogged down with negative things or things that frustrate us, and those things can facilitate a negative attitude. However, if we can wake up everyday with a heart full of gratitude, looking at our glass half full, then we’re going to have a whole lot more fun. There’s no way to escape that.
Have fun today! Enjoy the people you love! Do something silly! Smile! I hope you have a ball with it and you see a change for the better in your life. Remember, life is about progress. Us being more intentional to have fun with our children and our spouses, is part of making progress in our lives. You know what I say… Progress Matters.
Y’all have a blessed day!