Salute

Another bucket list item checked off!

I completed a 10k run!

My time wasn’t what I hoped it would be, but I set a personal best, and that was pretty exciting. My coaches cheered at the finish line and that meant a lot to me. It’s a small thing, but I felt so supported by my gym crew. I have been so swamped that I haven’t been able to train as much as I wanted, but I did it and I’m pretty proud of that. Next year, I’ll aim for an hour. I think with training and dedication, I could do that.

I was feeling pretty good until I got my marathon pics. While everyone was happily sharing theirs, I was crying in my back room because I couldn’t believe how big I looked. I wasn’t proud of myself anymore. All I could see was that I was this big fat blob running. It sounds depressing, but it was a really healthy moment because I keep pushing down and ignoring the feelings that stem from the fact that I really don’t like myself right now. I keep saying I’m going to do things and put me first, but I never do it. Here I was, fresh off of a major accomplishment and I was heartbroken because I felt so fat.

I haven’t been happy with my training level this year. I feel like I could be doing more, but it seems like work, family, life bogs me down more than I’d like. Lack of training leads me to eat like crap. This makes me get fat again. None of this is good, because it all just makes me unhappy. So I decided I need to find another goal to work towards. My coach suggested a half marathon, but no thank you. I’m not ready for that yet. But Crossfit goals might be a good idea. It would help kick my ass to train. I’d hopefully get to know my gym community better, which is positive. Basically, I need to learn to like myself again, and I know exercise is a big part of it.

I thought about some goals I wanted to set. A few things I could work towards to help me feel better about myself, both physically and mentally. I want to get healthier, be a better role model to the girls, and get out of my comfort zone and not let work take over my life. I love my job, but I need work life balance. The gym is an important part of that for me, as I like the people at my gym, and I like how I feel after a workout. With my car, it’s easier to get to the gym, which means fewer excuses, and also, a better butt.

I thought long and hard about the goals I wanted to set. What would help me improve and also help me like myself better? Here’s what I came up with;

1. Attend classes five days a week every week for a minimum of one month.

2. Attend at least one strongman class.

3. Push myself a little harder each week so I can start completed RX WOD’s.

4. Complete one Open workout RX’ed in 2019.

5. Give up caffeine for thirty days.

6. Sign up for a Crossfit competition and actually do it.

They all sound like they’d be hard. But that’s the point. I’ll have to make it a point to leave work on time to get to the gym. Now that I have a vehicle, it’ll be easier. I’ll have to push past insecurities to attend a class that (right now), is out of my skill level. I’ll have to break my morning routine and not get my morning Starbucks & shake up how I start my day. I’ve always been able to change my life to keep doing positive things, but lately I’ve been stuck in a rut. Last time I felt this way, I packed up, moved to London and lost weight. Then I packed up, moved to Edmonton and began a freelance career. I can’t pack up again, but maybe I can shake up my life just enough that I can kickstart positive changes again.

If you don’t like yourself, no relationship, no friendship, nothing will fix you. Only you can fix you. I’ll never be good for anyone else if I’m not happy with myself. I need to teach my girls fitness is about loving your body enough to take care of it, not punishing it for liking pizza. So, I’ll work on my goals, so that the next time there are photos of me accomplishing a cool thing, I’ll actually be proud of them.

Shake it Out

Guess what guys? I’m gonna do a thing!

My gym decided we should build a team to run a 10k together. I am not a good runner, despite running for four years. I am slow and awkward. But, my attempt to join the Festivus Games was such a flop, and I’ve been looking for a new goal to work towards. This seemed as good as anything, so I’ve set a goal in Runkeeper and we are gonna do the damn thing…

…I am going to die. Please help me.

I joke, but I’m actually really excited. Before I made the big move, my daughter, some friends & I did a 5k mud run and we had a blast! Training was fun and we felt so empowered afterwards. We were strong. We kicked ass! But more importantly, it was fun to be a part of something. We went out there together and accomplished something together. We’ll have those memories forever.

Humans have a deeply rooted desire to belong. It’s why peer pressure is a real problem. It’s why people stay with toxic friends or mates. We want to be part of something, be included. Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of something special and magical, which is why we get inspired by people who are creating their something to be part of. My girls & I watched the first ever women’s Royal Rumble, and it didn’t matter who won, we were inspired that these women were part of something special. They were making history together, they elevated each other. Deep down, that’s what we all want; to be part of something meaningful.

I think that’s why I like Crossfit & my gym community so much. You are part of something. Yes, you’re focused on your personal best, but you’re also part of a community of people who are elevating each other to do their very best…or enter a 10k run for funsies. But you celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. You cheer each other on. You are part of something meaningful. We all want to belong to something. The lesson is to find a place of belonging that is positive and encouraging, not one that sucks the life out of you.

I was excited at the idea of being part of something. Part of a team that’s doing a cool thing. And let’s be real, aside from encountering some asshole geese or a shin splint, is there really a negative downside to participating in a 10K run? You get a tshirt, you get to feel accomplished, and it’ll help me get those legs ready to rock a dress for my friend Brie’s wedding later in the summer! Not to mention, I bought all of that Birdiebee gear, including the cute shorts. I think I found a place where I can wear them for the first time! When you’re surrounded by positive people, you’re inspired to do positive things and set positive goals. The trick is to do your best to be positive yourself and be the change you wish to see in the world. My girls are watching me, so I need to show them what healthy, active and happy is. I think it’s working, as my oldest has embraced athletics through cheer and now Crossfit (she’s skipping the run. Waking up early isn’t her thing).

So, I’m going to train. I’m going to work hard. I may crawl to the end, or die after I cross the finish line, but I’ll finish, and I’ll be part of something positive and healthy, which I hope will inspire the girls to seek out a positive and healthy way to satisfy their desire to belong.

Mic Drop

What an exhausting few days it’s been.

I attended the Alberta Magazine Awards gala and while I didn’t go home an award winner, I did get a chance to network with some amazing journalists & colleagues. Not to mention my brilliant editor took home an award for his piece, which was so deserving of this honour. I’m sorry I couldn’t find a link, but you can find more brilliant writing like this in the Magazine of the year; Eighteen Bridges. My 2018 writing goal is to have something published in this amazing journal.

But, I got to dress up nicely and go on a super fun road trip with one of my best friends. We ate donuts and had a blast. I’m so grateful to call her friend. But at the gala, I spent all night insecure about how I looked in my dress. I felt kind of big and insecure. Everyone said I looked great, but it just validated why I need to clean up my diet. I didn’t think I looked good. So I had to make changes so next time I wear that dress, for my friend Brie’s wedding, I will.

After that, it was time for me to tackle 18.3. When I read it, I knew I was screwed. I can’t do a pull-up unless it’s a jumping pull-up. I would not come close to finishing. But God damn it, I was gonna try and get one. One little pull up. Yes. This would happen.

For those of you new to the party, I attempted a pull-up once. I also fractured my tailbone. But I almost finished 17.1 afterwards so yay me! I cried through it and I was in more pain than I’ve been in for a long time, but I did it.

So, today, I made the attempt to do that damn pull-up. I fought for it. I tried so hard. I tried Kipping. Tried dead hang. Tried wide grip. Close grip. Tried everything. I did not do the pull-up. I said “fuck it!” And did some ring rows. My score was 220. I did the best damn single unders i have ever done. But I did not do the pull up. I didn’t come close to doing the pull-up. But, I tried really hard and did the best that I could & that’s all I can do. I also got the joy of watching my 11 year old (who is regularly bullied about her height) feel empowered watching one of my coaches do muscle ups because she is maybe five feet of fury & “was stronger than boys!” I love when my girls find empowerment in other women. She saw someone with her personal insecurity killing it and then decided that you can do anything in the world, even if you’re small. I was so excited to see my teammates kicking ass and taking names. I have the best team.

I also did some of my drivers ed training so guys, I can drive a car now. Big fuck you to everyone who said I couldn’t. Fuck. You.

As I hobbled home on my burning calves, I realized that if I wanted to do the damn pull-up next year, I needed to focus on the things that helped me get in better shape in the first place; better eating, working out, accountability. Mealife is AMAZING. Healthy, real food on the go. I’m so excited that this exists. And at home, it’s easier to eat better. Drink the water. Do the yoga. It’s all important. My best friend & I set goals for when I visit this summer. She’s my go to fitness guru (GO FOLLOW MY FRIEND ON INSTAGRAM. OKAY). My personal goal was wear shorts.

I haven’t worn shorts since my oldest was a baby. I’ve been so insecure about my legs. But I’m gonna do it. Just like I learned to drive, and moved across the country, and started Crossfit, I’m going to step outside of my comfort zone this summer and do the damn thing.

I decided if I’m going to do it, I’d have to stay the course. Cheat day once a month. Healthy food the rest of the time. More importantly, I wanted my first super cute pair of shorts to be shorts I was excited to wear…& also gym shorts because I only go to work or the gym. I have no life. Only work, kids, Crossfit. So, I grabbed the credit card and snagged me some BirdieBee!

BirdieBee is a clothing line dedicated to female empowerment. It’s run by my fitness idols, the Bella Twins! I’ve been wanting to buy some pieces from the line, but I haven’t felt confident. But the whole point of BirdieBee is to EMPOWER women, not make women feel badly about themselves. Anyone can wear BirdieBee. Just because my body won’t look like Brie or Nikki Bella, doesn’t mean I won’t look awesome in my own way. I love that all BirdieBee photos are untouched. No photoshop. These women show all of their own insecurities in their photos. If these women, who’s appearance is a major part of their brand, can embrace their flaws, much like how my daughter was inspired by seeing my coach slay a muscle up, I was inspired to embrace my insecurities, and this summer, I’ll show off my tree trunk, super strong legs in a pair of gym shorts…but only gym shorts because I have no life and only go to the gym.

The only way to get over your insecurities is to push through them. I used to be afraid to drive, but I do that now. I used to be afraid to hang on the bar at the gym, and today I tried to kip into a pull up. I used to be afraid to assert myself at work, but now I put myself out there by volunteering for projects (also the other Captains are adorbs and so much fun to be around). This is just one more time I need to put on my big girl pants and do the damn thing.

Are We All We Are

Just like most women, I struggle with body image.

I used to be so good at exercising six days a week. Now it’s two days, sometimes three. I’m aiming for four, but it’s all dependent on my schedule. I’ve been working on meal planning better as well. One of my fave IG superstars (& my former employee, go follow him, he’s adorbs) posted some bomb recipes that I’m going to try for post gym meals. I’ve also signed up for Mealife, which delivers portion controlled meals to your door! Amazing, right? I want to make positive meal choices, so I’m not ruining my workout with garbage. I’ll still have cheat days, but abs are built in the kitchen as well as the gym.

I’m also participating in the Crossfit Open. I’m currently the 28073 fittest woman on Earth. I mean, that’s kind of cool, right?

Ppppp

I finished 18.1 and for the first time in a long ass time, I felt accomplished af. I beat the goal I set for myself. I pushed myself. I was feeling awesome. One of my coaches mentioned she took pics and I was on the fence, but I contemplated taking them to show my progress, that anyone could push their boundaries if they wanted to. But then, I got a text from a friend back home teasing me about my shirt. After that I decided not to post them. I went from feeling accomplished to feeling like a giant, fat lemon. Only fit, bad ass people get to post their competition photos. Not me. I am still overweight. I still scale everything. I do not belong in the cool kids fit club.

No one at my gym would make me feel that way. They’re a welcoming bunch. During the workout, the coaches were cheering me on, as were the kiddos, who like to come with. It was a trusted friend that made me feel like a big, fat, lemon in my yellow shirt. Even though he commended my progress and made it a point to watch the competition on our gym’s Instagram story, I didn’t feel encouraged. I felt like a fat yellow lemon trying to fit in with people that are infinitely fitter than me. I stuck out even more than my shirt. That wasn’t his intention, but it’s what happened. Why? Because I still struggle with body image.

Even though I weigh a lot less than I used to and I work really hard at the gym and I’m training to lose that last 40 lbs, I don’t see myself as a work in progress. I still see fat MH, with the dark hair and the big butt and the low self esteem. That seeped into poor relationship choices, poor diet, behaviours that continued my low self esteem. I’m still likely to eat a bag of chips when I’m stressed at work. But that’s up to me to work on. If I want to be healthy & happier, I need to do the work. If I don’t want to feel like I stick out, I need to do the work to get to the level of RX WOD’s and super bad assery. But it’s all up to me.

Words can hurt, even if they were well intended. But too many people point fingers and blame and act like victims to derail progress. In the end, it all comes down to you & what you want to accomplish. If garbage eating is holding you back, then take control of your diet. The Zesty cheese Doritos aren’t making you eat them (even if they are amazing). No one can take away the effort you put in. Most importantly, no one can make you feel like a fat yellow lemon. I chose to interpret it that way. In the end, goals only work if you do & the only way to stop feeling badly about yourself is accept yourself or change it. I may never be a size two, but I know I’ll never be truly comfortable in my own skin when I’m overweight. So, I work on changing it so my girls will see a mom who loves herself completely.

Most of the time, the idea that you’re not good enough is all in your head. We are all capable and strong enough to accomplish anything we put our minds to. I let my self doubt get in the way of being proud of what I did, and I shouldn’t have. So, next time, I’m going to focus on what I did, not what I didn’t…yet.

Bad Mood

When my beloved Target closed, I bought a pair of white jeans, size 8.

I figured I’d wear them by the end of summer for my birthday in London with my friends. Instead, I moved to Edmonton on a whim one day because I make amazing life choices. Then I got frustrated with my old gym, and allowed all of the old insecurities to creep back in and I ended up gaining 25lbs back instead of continuing to lose weight. Those white jeans have never been worn. Tonight I was folding my laundry and I saw the white pants. I also noticed a black knit dress I bought to wear to a Holiday Party (which I didn’t end up going to anyway). I saw the black vegan leather shorts I bought to wear as the first pair of shorts I’ve worn since 2002. And the black and white dress I bought one spring at Target because my friend Brie said it looked cute on me (I have now decided that I will wear it to her wedding). I own lots of clothing that just hangs in the closet, never worn, because I’ve put weight back on, or I never go out.

It’s my own damn fault. I spent eight months off & some nights I don’t work out; I eat poutine and watch Total Bellas.

I don’t work out at home on days I can’t get to the gym. I’m letting my self confidence take a hit and all of my adorable clothes sit in the closet and never get to be worn. I spent money on these things. I was so excited to wear them. But now, they’re just put away in the closet, with some sad acceptance that I’ll never wear them.

Until today.

Much like I hide at home because I’m afraid that everyone on Earth subconsciously thinks I’m an idiot, I’m doing myself a disservice by not wearing my cute clothing. By sighing and saying “you’ll never fit into those white jeans, so eat the brownie,” I’m just allowing myself to have low self esteem. My best friend Melissa is kind of feeling the same way that I do. We’ve been planning a ladies only trip to Montreal for spring 2018, so I think it’s time to get us out of that self defeating attitude and start getting into that “we are so very bad ass” attitude instead.

Today is October 1/17. I’ve decided to make it my personal goal to wear all of the things in my closet that I bought as motivation to lose weight/was too self conscious to go anywhere within the next 365 days. It may seem really stupid to an outsider, but to me, it’s a goal to work towards to help me stay focused. I’m an emotional eater, so a stressful day at work will have me reaching for the chips. So, I hung the white jeans beside my bed. Every morning when I wake up, I’ll look at those jeans. That will remind me at the start of the day that binge eating isn’t worth it. I’ll focus on this;

And less on this:

Of course, Melissa isn’t one to be motivated by “reward clothing,” but she is a personal trainer that works for a fashionable clothing company, so she knows what she wants her body to look like so she can wear what she wants. Because our goals are the same, we can help keep each other accountable. I’ll also check with my girl Johanna and her fitness Facebook group to help me feel like I’m holding myself accountable by checking in every day.

I’m always at my best when I’m driven to reach a goal and right now, that goal is to wear those white pants. Maybe it seems stupid to an outsider, but I’m sure you have something, whether it’s a fitness goal, a professional goal, or a personal goal. You have your own white pants and it’s up to you to come up with a plan to achieve that goal. Set a timeline, and then make it happen. My goal is to wear all six items in my closet my October 1/18. But those white pants? They’ll be worn by spring. Every time I think about grabbing a bag of chips, or skipping a workout (if I can’t make it to Crossfit, pull out Stratusphere Sculpt or Stratusphere yoga), I’m going to ask myself if it’s worth not fitting into those pants.

I’ll be adding this to the pile of projects I have on the go (more about those HERE). Maybe I can drive my new car to my new house, wearing my white pants, if I just stay focused and work hard.

It Ain’t Me

One thing I talk about frequently is my love of fitness. I super love it. Fitness is my favourite thing in the entire world. I love running. I love crossfit. I love yoga. But even though I love it, work, parenting, and life prevents me from working out as much as I want. I’m starting to realize that I need to work my way up to “the people at my gym go five days a week! I need to find time for six workouts or imma be a Mighty Morphin Failure Ranger!” 

When I started working out, it was six days a week with Stratusphere yoga. Then six days with Stratusphere Sculpt. But once I started running, I found six days to be too much. I ran every other day. So, three to four days a week. Then I added Crossfit. I went twice a week. During the winter I added some yoga at home twice a week. But as I added intensity, I found I needed downtime. Then I took six months off for an injury and three more because I had lost that WLCF loving feeling, where I would grab my gear and make a 7am class because those were my favourite people, outside of ones that shared my DNA. I’m so fortunate to have captured that again at my new gym. They are the best people in YEG. But sometimes I only get there once a week. And I might not want to run the next day. Then I look at the Fitbit that says I’ve only worked out twice and get down on myself. Then I eat shit…and feel like shit. 


Last night, I decided to FaceTime one of my two BFF’s, you might know him as heavy lifting outlaw Lift Bitches (give him a follow on the IG, you won’t be disappointed. PS I totally named his YouTube channel. Totally remind him that it’s great)! I love having a competitive powerlifter friend. I can talk about my progress, fears, etc. He gave me some real talk; yoga for six days (even bad ass yoga) is a lot less intense than two 5K runs and two WOD’s. Stop comparing myself to the guys in the competitors class and compare myself to last week’s MHC. Is she better? Eating better? Living better? Could I add more weight to my bar? Did I do an extra hanging knee raise before I felt scared? That’s the progress that matters. 


I keep forgetting that in October, I was basically starting my crossfit journey all over again. I can’t compare my progress to the competitors. I can’t even compare myself to WLCF me. I have to only focus on here and now MHC. My workouts have changed. Four days a week of crossfit and a 5K run followed by a half hour yoga cooldown is okay. No, I may not achieve my goal of a handstand push up by the end of the year. I may not hit a 200lbs back squat. But if I keep pushing forwards instead of stressing that I’m obviously not cut out for crossfit because my time was the slowest and my burpees were sloppy and I needed a rest day after a hard WOD, I’ll actually do those things. I need to be proud of the little victories, not kick myself. 

And always remember selfcare.

I sometimes wonder if my desire to be the best is hindering me. I fell in love with Crossfit because it’s a limitless journey to become healthier. Why am I always looking for the quick fix? Why do I feel like “the scale didn’t move this week. Am a fat failure. Break out the pizza.” I also wonder if I’m the only Crossfitter/person trying to be healthy who feels this way. 


So now, I’m going to focus on realistic goals. A realistic workout routine. In a few months, we’ll add a day or two, but right now, this is where I am, and that’s okay. I have to set goals that are right sized for me, not for the guy who can deadlift a million pounds and has been training without stopping for five years. He was probably struggling to get through that power snatch just like me once. But I’m never gonna deadlift a million pounds if I keep beating myself up for not working out six days a week. I’ve gotta trust the process…and myself. 

Ready, Aim, Fire

Ugh. 

Sorry, no amazing lead, and my journalism teacher would kick my ass for that, but that’s the best that I can do, as I am so very tired. 

 

Remember that time that I got to wear regular clothes & had a day off? that was a great day…a month ago

I always tell people that I am a bad ass and a force to be reckoned with. I can move mountains & I am the strongest & most dominant woman that I know. I say this because self love is super important. I used to base my self worth around others. Now, I take it from my own belief that I can do anything. However, for the last two months, I’ve had to prove it. 

When my most awesome (& well paying) job ended, & my ex husband lost yet another job (which begs the question, how many jobs must one get fired from before they are completely unemployable?), this mama needed to do whatever she could to pay the bills, as I’m once again a sole support mama. This means working a full time job, a part time job & writing remotely (PS check out my latest articles here & here). It’s a lot of hours & juggling & sometimes swapping shifts & rushing from one job to the other all to make ends meet & build up my savings & all that good stuff. It’s not pretty, but it’s what’s happening. It’s tiring & almost too much, hence why changes are being made. My manager at one job has tailored my schedule so I can get the kids to school & go to the gym. I’m also interviewing for a position this week that would give me more income & allow me to work only one job. More changes need to be made, but it’s a start. I’m being pulled in a lot of directions & it seems like I’ll be heading in a way I wasn’t planning on, but life never goes according to plan, that’s why you roll with punches & move along.

My incredibly hectic life is one of the reasons I’m so glad I have crossfit. Yes, I’m a huge douche about my love of fitness, and in five weeks, I apologize in advance if you’re on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, as I will be flooding your timeline with crossfit “this is my one rep Max, watch me lift heavy things” douchebaggery, but strengthening the body helps keep one focused, especially when focusing on a lot of things at once. 

 

it also keeps me looking fantastic!
 
Between crossfit twice a week, walking to work, yoga three times a week & running when I can, I use fitness to clear my head. It helps me, whether I’m stuck on a story or I’m trying to organize my thoughts & get a lot done all at once. With trying to balance three schedules, raising a family & writing with a time zone difference, I’m grateful that I have an outlet that keeps me grounded & level headed. Listening to music during a good run will help me focus & organize my thoughts long enough to plan what’s coming next. Yoga helps me center myself so I can let go of some of that “MHC type A” attitude & help me let the universe sort out where I belong. And nothing helps you feel like you can conquer a mountain & reach your life’s goals like lifting heavy stuff & realizing the weights are getting bigger because you’re getting stronger. The past few months have felt like I’m clawing towards a goal & I’m in over my head, but the things that once crushed my soul have not impacted my life in any negative way thanks to my fitness regime. Whenever I felt over my head, or sad, I did the only thing I’m good at, write. But this time I added fitness & the endorphins & those things kept me focused on the goals & kept me positive. A few more weeks and something will have changed & life will be even better, because that’s what everyone is hoping for, right? A way to make things better? 

So, I’ll keep plugging away, and keep my focus on my family, my writing & fitness so that I’ll reach my latest goal & while this part of the journey may suck, it’ll make reaching it that much better. But most importantly, I’ve learned that I really am the force to be reckoned with and bad ass woman I’ve always claimed that I was, and that feels pretty damn good. 

  

Blasphemy, Myself & I

Today, I took two hours out of my super busy life and did something that I wanted to do.

I know, holy crap, right?!

(Today also featured a series of unfortunate events that forced me to call into work for the first time in nearly six years. This troubles me, but I can’t sweat it; it happens. Life sometimes messes things up. I’ll be back on the normal “this would kill a lesser woman” schedule again tomorrow)

I attended a super rad seminar hosted by gym about eating. As someone who spends 97% of her life working and the last 14 months dropping 100lbs, this is super important to me. I can’t undo all of this hard ass work by eating garbage food. After all, it’s not like I have a lot of time for meal prep, but when I do I prep the crap out of stuff. I have worked too hard to be amazing to let a little thing like “working literally every second of my life” undo it.

I'm big on comparisons, so I present the fitness evolution of MHC
I’m big on comparisons, so I present the fitness evolution of MHC
But part of the seminar reminded me why I love crossfit so much; which is the belief that there is no limits to what you and the human body can do.

The seminar stressed that we need to change our thinking in order to progress. You can’t just run on the same treadmill or eat the same foods or think the same way. We as humans need to grow and evolve. The crossfit mentality is there is literally no limit to how strong you can become, how fast you can go. There are no limits to what the body can do. Isn’t that super rad? There is something so exciting to me about the idea of growth, of evolving, of changing and growing. While yes, I am stubborn as a damn mule and I know what I want and will not settle for anything less than the life that I deserve, the career I want, or what I think is the right thing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to improve things, change things, learn, grow, try things from a different perspective, etc. I bore easily unless it involves my children, journalism, yoga or crossfit. I can’t do the same things over and over. That’s why my career speaks to me so much. I never write the same thing twice and that’s really kind of exciting to me.

But part of eating right and living well means thinking well. In order to become the person we are meant to become, we have to believe that we are capable of being the person we are meant to become. We need to think we are amazing, extraordinary, we have a purpose, we deserve to be loved the way we’ve always wanted and we have a purpose.

purpose

Purpose isn’t something I lack, as I’ve known what I was meant to do my entire life. I was meant to be a good mother and a good person and a good writer. I was meant to be a kind person who gives to those who aren’t very kind, to themselves or others. I was meant to find positivity in less than pleasant circumstances & lead by example and raise compassionate, kind hearted and strong women. I was meant to kick life’s ass. This has been my purpose and I’ve been pretty passionate about it. In fact, unless it involves my children, Great West Newspapers, my various retail gigs or crossfit, I probably haven’t really paid much attention to it (unless you visit my tumblr, which is pretty much just a shrine to Seth Rollins at this point. I’m a huge fangirl. I regret nothing)! My drive to fufill my purpose has blessed me with opportunities to achieve my goals, three amazing daughters, a fitness program at a gym with some pretty rad people that feel like I do; that there are no limits to what a boring human being on her pink couch can do if she puts her mind to it, focuses on things that are positive and enrich me and walk with the purpose that I’m meant to achieve all of my dreams.

While talking about my purpose in life, I like to remind people that I'm actually a confused little creature with no idea what's happening around me.
While talking about my purpose in life, I like to remind people that I’m actually a confused little creature with no idea what’s happening around me.
Maybe I need to stop playing it so safe with my life. Maybe I need to start focusing on doing the things that I need to do to make me happier and fufilled, professionally and personally. My current life, while it’s not so bad in the grand scheme of things, is burning me out. I don’t have time to do the things I truly enjoy doing; raising my family, writing (well, I do have a couple of articles submitted to various magazines) and crossfit. I rarely have time to enjoy my girls, or even a good sweat sesh. I can afford to live, but what kind of life do I have when I can’t enjoy my life? Clearly I need to think of some changes in order to live the life I was meant to have. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but the next few weeks will require some major changes (& a major decision needs to be made) so I can enjoy the life I’ve worked so hard to build.

But no matter what happens, I know there are no limits to what I can accomplish. During my workout last week, I was using a 20lbs kettlebell for my Turkish Get Ups (look them up, they were invented by Satan himself), but the first time I did them, I injured my leg doing them…and that was with a five lbs dumbbell! My coach and I giggled a little bit through the memory as I plugged through the set of three unbroken reps, amazed at how strong and coordinated I’ve become. Every time I can do something more, I get excited because it means I’m getting stronger. This has a domino effect; I can get much deeper into my yoga poses and hold the more complex ones longer. The endorphins and healthy eating have improved my physical health; no longer am I experiencing migraines and rarely am I ill. I can remember a time when I was constantly having blood taken to figure out why my iron was low or my blood sugar or why I was always tired. Those days are gone (well, not the tired, that’s totes present in my day to day life, especially because I’m giving up caffeine for thirty days to help improve my eating habits). This improves mental wellness. I haven’t had a panic attack in 19 months. The events that used to cripple me were bumps in the road & my persistent optimism remained. These things improve my professional life; my job performance improves, I never call in sick (well, except today, except I’m not the one that is sick) and my writing has been pretty solid. All of these things help me live out my potential and fufill my purpose. A few changes and the right frame of mind goes a long way. You can do it too. There is no limit to what a human being can accomplish if they just try. You can be extraordinary and you can find your purpose and live out your dreams.

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48 To Go

As I continue to work towards my fitness goals (down 40.5lbs), I’m learning how much money I waste on…well, crap food.

A little progression pic. See my 40lbs loss...and my various phones.
A little progression pic. See my 40lbs loss…and my various phones.

Between my Tim Horton’s Tea and my Starbucks chai tea and my restaurant lunches on paydays, I’m not eating as well as I should be, especially if I want to lose the last of the weight. I’m over halfway to my goal and I’ve dropped two sizes and plan to drop two more, as well as get stronger. Eating that crap is not going to help me. Not to mention it’s pricey and with summer coming, I want to be able to take the girls on a much needed and well earned family vacay to the zoo, as the overlord has been waiting since she was two years old to see hopping kangaroos. Not to mention that in the next three months, I will be attending a WWE Live event and “Queen” Katy Perry with the littles, as well as Queen and Ed Sheeran with friends (still accepting offers for someone to accompany me to see Ed Sheeran. You get to spend my birthday with me and go to Ed Sheeran for free, as my friends are all “I don’t like him, he’s a hobbit.” Jerks), so having the extra cash would be nice.

In order to finally kicking the junk food habit, I’m imposing my #29DaysJunkFoodFree. From June 1 – 30/14, with the only exception being the soon to be teen’s birthday, I’m going to cut out all junk food, fast food, caffeine, and alcohol. I’m going to put the money I would have spent in a jar to see how much money I waste on junk food. Obviously I’ll need to find some workarounds, as my coworkers are planning a team outing (so I’ll have to order salads and drink water), but I will not eat fast food, or chicken wings, or drink, or have any caffeine. I’ll see how much of a difference it makes on my weight loss goals as well as on my wallet. I’m going to hopefully lose more weight while fattening up my wallet.

This just cracks me up...and will help me kick cupcakes.
This just cracks me up…and will help me kick cupcakes.

Part of trying to live better is taking accountability for what I eat. Cutting out junk food and caffeine and restaurant foods will help me live longer by cutting out excessive fats and unhealthy foods, but it’s going to put money back into my pocket, which will help me support my family. I have friends trying it with me, with each picking one exception day and we’re all going to go #29DaysJunkFoodFree. I hope to see awesome results and get one step closer to living healthy and well and teaching my kids to teach them healthy eating habits too.

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Day 28: What Stresses Me Out

There was a time when everything in life stressed me out.

During my marriage, I walked on eggshells. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t do anything. After the marriage, I was walking on different eggshells. I was so afraid to be alone that I didn’t want to make anyone mad at me. That way, they would love me.

Now, I focus on things by breaking them up as I need to. Cleaning my basement? We’ll do it in four days. Budgeting? We’ll plan it at the start of each month. Chores through the chore hat. Instead of procrastinating and letting things build up in my mind, I handle them as they come. I meditate each night. Yoga helps me detstress. I keep a list of goals I’ve accomplished. All of these things help me keep focused and almost sane. Then, of course, there is my writing, which always helps me, no matter how stressed I am. When I was in school, I often wrote about inane garbage because the subject matter sucked so hard that I couldn’t focus. My writing helped me focus on what needed to be done to get through. Same with the rest of my life; writing helps me find my balance.

The other thing is that I no longer feel dependent on others. I have realized that no matter who comes and goes in my life, I have my children and I will survive. It might sting, but that’s okay; because as the singer Jojo says “Disaster strikes and I’m alright because my love’s on his way.” Whether that’s a friend, a lover, a relative I’m reconnecting with, there will always be someone who loves me in this life and I will cherish those people. However, sometimes, their time in my life has an expiration date. That may sting, but it’ll be alright because I have myself, my daughters, my faith and my determination to make all of our dreams come true will get me through.

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Also, if that doesn’t work and life throws me for a loop, I’ll simply spend an hour doing yoga and between that and chivasana, my mind will be cleared enough to write, which always helps me find my way. Or there’s wine. There’s always wine.