First of all and probably the most important thing you could take away from this ENTIRE post is this: Believe in yourself! Make a decision FOR YOURSELF that you want to be healthy and get the most out of life. You CAN’T be successful in this if you don’t take that first step.
Second, know that it is going to be a difficult road full of sharp turns, huge mountains, small bunny slopes, and smooth goings. There will be days where your drive and determination could conquer the world and shoot you to the moon and there will be days when you question why the heck you are doing this to yourself and you won’t want to get off the couch or out of that bed. You will find HIGH highs and LOW lows. You will motivate people and some will look at you like you just stepped off of some kind of alien space ship and wish you would shut the heck up.
I can’t actually conquer the world, but I can put my ripple in the water and soon that ripple becomes a huge monstrous wave with a force no one can stop. I might motivate you, you get moving, you might motivate your neighbor or that (harmless) facebook stalker you never knew you had, they get movin, they motivate someone else, they move, then they motivate someone else, and they move, and then on, and on, and on and on. To go to races and see hundreds, thousands even, lining up to run miles?! That’s a movement, people. And there are kids at the starting line and on the side lines. These kids are watching, learning, forming WAYS in their minds on how to be an adult. On how to LIVE your life. On the meaning of hard work and satisfaction.
What I’ve found? The lows make my highs HIGHER. Sometimes I even welcome them as a way to check myself and not let my head get too big. Like right now as I had “before” pics done yesterday. I’m in shape, thought I was pretty happy with my composition, but then I looked at the pictures and I wanted to say gross. But, I have to tell myself that those pictures are motivation to keep doing what I’m doing. Keep forming and sculpting (with a lot of help) until I like what I see and can be proud of those before, progress, and here on after pictures.
Perfection is not a goal of mine. I know I will never reach perfection until I enter those golden gates, but being happy with what I’m doing and the results of it all is what I’m striving for. And when I say results I mean way more than the physical make up of my body. It is a full package I’m shooting for: mind, body, home life, as a Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. I want to BALANCE and I want to be happy with it all the majority of the time. I’m well on my way, but I know the lows and the hard times will come again in one area or another and I want to be ready for them. I truly am training for LIFE as well as what comes after.
So, with all of that said, here is what I do.
- I have devotionals sent to my inbox. I take time to read them every day as my day is starting. I have 2 different ones: She Reads Truth/YouVersion and Daily Hope with Rick Warren. I take time to read these and jot down a few notes from them that spoke to me. I like to write a specific prayer after the note. I have gotten behind on the notes a bit, but I make sure to read every day. This only takes a few minutes and I usually break up the time when I need a break from work. I pray and praise as much as I can sporadically throughout the day.
- I EAT BREAKFAST every single day and a glass of water. I do this on my way to work. I fix wheat toast or oatmeal, sometimes eggs, and eat them on the go. I have a long drive to work so I have to be as efficient as possible.
- In the car I switched my radio stations from regular talk show stuff over to a Christian channel which fills me every day. I REALLY enjoy that time listening to sermons. Most of the time they are preaching about living life, how to come out of struggles, and how to find God’s will in it all. Right up my alley! A few years ago, this same Christian station got me through some dark times right after my brother was in a serious accident and was struggling with a lot of things. That was one of the biggest times I really learned about my faith and I learned to love the book of Job. I got away from it for a while, but now I’m back. I don’t miss my other stations a bit.
- Work – I try to stay as focused as possible, not take things too personally, and do the best by using my mind to keep pushing forward and doing what I feel is right even if it isn’t the popular decision.
- Lunch – Monday’s I meet my sister. I love this time in the gym and with my sister. I love redefining our relationship. The years have not always been smooth between us but I wouldn’t trade them for anything if they got us to where we are now. I’m sure we went through all of that to get right here and further. I respect what she does, she is good at it, and we are stronger than ever. Food wise – a sandwich or left-overs from dinner. I feel like I snack all day; protein bars, oranges, apples, nuts and water throughout.
- The drive home – release, relax, and listening
- Pick up the boys – 2 from the babysitter and 1 from Dale’s mom who watches him before and after the bus.
- Get dinner started, change, get the boys settled into something so they don’t destroy the house – not always successful here.
- Once Dale gets home I hit the streets… for a run. This pushes dinner a bit, but I would rather have a slightly late dinner vs sacrifice anymore sleep. I’ve changed my 5 – 5 1/2 hours to about 7 hours a night, which is helping tremendously!
- Dinner – I try. This one is hard. Dale is a country boy at heart that grew up on his mom and grandma’s home cooking with desert every night. He is truly a meat and potatoes kind of man. I have to try to find the balance to cook as healthy as possible and make it taste good for him as well. I’m still working hard here. Suggestions for recipes with practical healthy ingredients is always accepted. Send them to me whenever you find them, PLEASE???
- After – all I want to do is say DONE and sit down on the couch for the rest of the night, but the kitchen needs cleaned, the boys bathed (every other night unless they are really gross), homework to do, and bed time to prepare for.
- Saturday – an early run, picking up the house, vacuuming, a ton of laundry, folding clothes and putting them away, meal planning, grocery list, shopping. If we have other things to do on Saturday things get really tricky. I clean the bathrooms about once a month (toilets and the base and floor around the toilets – uh, I have 3 boys, when I can while supervising bath time.) I dust when it needs it and I have time. If I get behind on some things I will pick it up during the week. That usually means laundry. I have to mention that Dale is not absent here. He helps a ton with a lot of this stuff. I’m not working alone. He can clean a toilet like a boss!!!
- Sunday – early long runs. Church, Grandma’s, then Papa and Nae Nae’s. No time for anything else usually. A full family and soul building day.
Sometimes all of this stuff doesn’t go smoothly. Sometimes my boys have a hard time and I have to reevaluate what we are doing and make changes. I work on trying to be ok with not everything being done at one time. While all of this is going on I’m responsible for being a good wife who loves her husband completely and nurturing my boys and trying to be the mom that supports and loves them as much as they need it and more. Sometimes I truly fail, but I always try harder the next day.
- I use Facebook wisely, I think, I fill my feed with motivational stuff. Stuff that is important to me. I don’t friend everyone. I choose wisely. I don’t keep negative people. A high number of followers is not my goal. I will delete them quickly except for a couple I just can’t let go of. I guess they aren’t too bad, but they do give me another perspective on some things. We can’t always love everyone that believes just as we do. The more I see the runners, the runner’s quotes, the girls in the gym, people asking what I did today to be healthy, etc. the more I am focused on keeping up with it. It's hard to ignore something you are surrounded by.
I post stuff that I think is funny and I post pictures I feel could motivate others. My goal is NOT to toot my own horn, my goal is to be real and to let you know that you are capable of just as much if not more. Sure, the likes and comments feel good to me and help me keep going, but that is not my ultimate goal. To get comments and private messages about how I am motivating someone else to get up and get moving, to enjoy their lives, and make positive changes in their lives is what really makes my soul shine. I’ve built a support system that keeps me going. I’m sure the haters are coming, but so far I haven’t run into that and I’m very grateful. I’m not sure I’d care too much at this point anyway. I feel I’m doing what I need to be doing. I also use it to share other people that are doing the same in their lives.
- I make time with my friends often. These relationships are extremely important to me and now that most of us are getting our run on we are starting to do some runs together. I really can’t tell you how happy that makes me. So, proud of my girls! Our first official big run with everyone together will be in May. I haven’t mentioned it just yet, but I’m extremely excited about it.
- I learn as I go. My sister has taught me a lot lately and previously I found running blogs that I enjoy. Following fit people of Facebook, blogs, Instagram, even Twitter can be very beneficial. Most of them offer up the knowledge they have learned and will share workouts with you. If you don’t know a move YouTube it. You’ll catch on. Just yesterday I did a new move that felt extremely awkward, but you just have to stick with it until you get the hang of it. Remember that it takes time to build up. Don’t expect to be an expert the second you step out there. We have to learn how to crawl before we walk and trust me, somedays after a good workout, crawling is all you might be able to do!
The last thing I could tell you is quit caring about what everyone else thinks. Quit obsessing over the number you see on that little scale under your feet. Go out and do what you feel is right, make good choices, and stick with it. Feel that sweat roll down the side of your temple, get your sports bra soaked, stink, and run your hands through your sweaty hair. Go with your feeling alone and learn. Make your smile and your eyes reflect the way you feel inside and out. Are you truly happy? Like deep down in your soul truly happy and living the way you want to live? No? Keep going!!!! Believe and trust in the process. Believe and trust in God. If you still don’t know what you are doing, hire my sister ; )! There are millions of resources out there, but until you make that CHOICE to change, none of this will come together for you. No one can do it for you and no magic pill will do it. The SECRET IS CHOICE!