Time is a Thief

I have no idea what I want to say.  What I do know is that I have been bogged down all day with a weight on my mind but unable to pinpoint it.  Tonight while taking an Epsom salt and lavender bath, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.  I felt the gravity of this world.  I felt sadness for my kids growing up in this time of life.  I feel like my kids are facing an uphill battle and I am not able to protect them from it, let alone help them prepare for it because it is affecting my generation as well.

My parents’ generation saw an increasing divorce rate.  Moms started returning to work.  Jump in the saving grace of Hamburger Helper and Hungry Man frozen dinners.  Drive thrus increased in popularity as our parents faced an increasing pace of life and the stretching of time so thin there was no longer time to fix a full home-cooked dinner for the family; introducing my generation to the start of highly processed food and fast food alternatives.  Now, as my generation is fully submerged in technology’s mach-speed pace of life, taking time to prepare healthy food for us and our kids is for the minority.  However, if we do not wake up to this disparity, this “minority” will be all that is left.

As a nurse I see countless of individuals in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s with auto-immune disease, “strange” cancers such as brain cancers – glioblastomas for one, kidney failure, heart disease, pancreatitis, diabetes, and the like.  THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!!  My children’s generation is the first one predicted to die before their parents.  THIS IS NOT OK!!  Eating clean and taking time to meal prep is my new standard.  Do my kids joke about mom eating kale all the time (I don’t ever eat kale, although kale chips are pretty tasty)?  Do they joke about plant-based protein and measuring my portions?  Absolutely!  But are they learning by my example?  I sure hope so.

Don’t get me wrong, they are still kids – ok, teenagers.  They eat fast food and go get “coffee” with their friends.  But the amount of processed foods they are eating has greatly decreased.  Will it make a difference?  Who knows??  But I sure hope so.

Aside from diet, the increase in social media and technology via personal electronic devices and increase in video gaming has prompted a sedentary lifestyle.  My kids see me working out at least 5 day/week.  They see me getting stronger, having more energy, being more active, losing weight and helping others do the same.  Will it change their lives?  Who knows??  But I sure hope so!

I watched my sister bury her 5-week old baby girl due to several congenital issues.  I’ve watched friends bury their children due to cancers, auto-immune diseases, congenital diseases, and sudden illness.  I hope I never have to bury my child.

Time is a thief.  After working with a patient of mine who is 19-weeks pregnant and seeing the baby on ultrasound, I look back on my kids’ lives and wonder where the time has gone.  My oldest son leaves in 4 months for boot camp for the Army National Guard – a decision I am so proud of him for making.  My youngest starts driver’s education in the fall.  You don’t get any of those days back.  Once their teens and are being social in their own little lives, hanging out with friends, getting jobs, and doing what teens do as they start preparing to leave the “nest”, they aren’t as interested in hanging out with mom anymore.  So I watch from a distance…and repeatedly ponder, “Where has the time gone?”  How much have I missed because I had to work full-time to support them?  How much have I missed because on top of working full-time, I also had to go to school full-time in order to have a career that would support us and our future?

I strive to enjoy my time with them now and not ruminate on what I have missed.  I did not have a choice.  Our future depended on those sacrifices.  However, each night I struggle falling asleep because deep inside me there is a pocket of dread for what my kids might face tomorrow.  And all I can do is pray they will be okay.  Pray that the seeds that were planted when they were small have taken root and will guide them as they grow.  Pray that they continue to be open and learn; and learn from their experiences and mistakes.  I pray they have a good, happy, and uncomplicated life.  I pray they take their faces out of their phones and enjoy the company of those around them.  I pray they make a difference; that they affect change in their circle and in society.  I pray they recognize my sacrifices and what I have instilled through example, and that they know without a shadow of a doubt how much I love them, believe in them, and how much they are capable of.

I pray we have a long time together still; uncomplicated, in health, and in happiness.  For time is a thief.


Minimum Two Years Experience Required…Wait, What??

Have you ever been job searching and found the perfect job? Only to have that job require experience…but you know you can do this job!! There is nothing more frustrating!  So, how do you get the experience if no one is willing to take someone without experience?

This analogy went through my head this morning after I finished a very difficult workout.  I was thinking how many people do not start a fitness program because they believe they are not “strong enough” or “in shape enough” or able to compete with the others.  That mindset is why I love Beachbody and not going to the gym, but working out at home!!  I have no one else to worry about but myself; no one is looking at me, I can focus on my workout and challenging myself.

Back to today’s workout…another “fitness sister” posted a workout yesterday that sounded like a workout I would enjoy so I checked it out today.  The workout was very strength-intense – my strength is nowhere close to that of the cast in the program but I knew it was not about them, it was about me challenging myself.  Did I have to modify?  Heck yeah!!  I have chronic back problems and occasionally my symptoms flare – especially if I am not using my core during difficult workouts.  That was going on today, requiring me to modify those movements.  Plus, like I said, I am still developing my strength and modifying was necessary – but my workout STILL COUNTED!!  Some individuals (like my hubby) do not like to modify and look at modifying as failure and would rather just forego the workout if they are unable to do it full out.  Just like getting that job experience, modifying gets you the ability (the experience) to go full out.  Modifying is a necessary step in fitness progression.  No one goes to the bench press for the first time, loads up each side with 150lbs and does 10 reps!!  They start light – it is the same thing…it is still modifying!

That being said, only compete with yourself; challenge yourself!  Embrace the modifications there to help you progress to the next level…to get your “experience” in for the full workout (that perfect job).  It builds belief, strength, and ability.  You CAN do it!!  No matter how long it takes…never give up.  If you do not do it now because you believe you “can’t” and look back a year from now from the same place you are at, will you regret not starting because you did not want to modify?  Just modify…and let’s look back a year from now seeing how far we have come!!


Changes Galore

My “new” life journey is now a solid six months in.  While the outward physical changes are so rewarding, the inner changes of spirit, mind, and body are priceless!  Eating clean, adding a “daily dose of dense nutrition” simply through adding Shakeology in the morning, and adding exercise to my daily living has helped me establish a strong foundation.

I would go so far as to say getting to this place of jumping in and doing it has taken years, many starts and stops, yet never giving up.  I have always desired healthy living, however, during earlier times in my life, looking back on those times, what I was trying was not right for me and I unconsciously allowed the obstacles I was facing to be stronger than the inner fighter within me.

Stability in my relationship has been key to changes along my life path.  When I met Will, I was struggling very much with depression.  I had a negative thought process which I passed off as being a realist.  He challenged me to, at least, not post negative thoughts/feelings on Facebook.  This impacted me – I love this man so deeply and did not want him thinking I was being negative…so I became cognizant and stopped this bad habit.  That was three years ago.  As I stopped putting out negativity, I noticed my thought process changing and my depression becoming more stable.

Jump ahead three years and I am so positive-focused and my mind frame is steeped in positivity.  Clean eating has no doubt contributed to my mood stabilization.  Depression and anxiety are null – that does not mean I am inhuman and do not have my “bad days” or struggle with things like PMS!  But I handle those times so much better!  I feel inner peace, joy, contentment.  I love my life!!  This is an amazing place to be at!  I had always struggled with life and the challenges of life.  When those challenges come now I am stronger and due to being positive-focused am able to weather these “storms”.  Through strengthening my body, developing mental strength and habits for positivity I come through these “storms” faster and more successful than I would have in years past.  I do not become derailed like I used to.  I also embrace the storms because that is how we grown and change – like metal, we are refined by fire!

While my excitement for each new day and my improving metabolism springs me out of bed each morning now and keeps me from napping (I seriously used to nap almost everyday and now cannot nap for the life of me!!) I thrive on the passion and positivity that flows through my soul daily.  I want to share that and bring that to the lives of anyone yearning for it…and stopping at nothing to get there.  It is possible!



My fiance and I spent the day together today.  I have been feeling really off the past 2 days and couldn’t figure out what was driving it other than I have been eating like crap those past 2 days!  And then it dawned on me…PMS!! My cravings are up and I’ve been giving into them over these past 2 days.  That did not help the overwhelming amount of stress I felt today when Will wanted to take me out for lunch.

I’m only 5 weeks into this lifestyle change and have been eating at home pretty much the entire time.  Today eating out at a restaurant felt really stressful – like I was not allowed to do so or that I would be sabotaging the rest of my life by enjoying time out with my fiance.  I started feeling panic; everything was too loud, nothing on the menu seemed ok, and indulge in an adult beverage??  Are you kidding?!  But my amazing future husband pulled out some of the most appropriate, supportive, and encouraging advice.  He really put things in perspective, saved our date, and got me to loosen up, laugh, and enjoy our time together.

So…what did he say?!  80%.  Yes, there’s more to it than that.  After telling me how hard he has seen me work over the past five weeks; after telling me how proud of me he is; after listing off specific things he has noticed and things I am now doing without even giving it a second thought, he said…”You are changing your lifestyle.  That is not going to happen overnight.  You are changing all the bad habits that have built up over your life thus far and that might not be able to be maintained at 100%…for anyone.  But even if you do it 80% of the time, think of how much better your life is going to be, and how much more you are doing for yourself that you were or how much healthier you are than those who are doing much less than 80%.”

I settled on an adult beverage which was helpful in relaxing a bit and then ordered grilled chicken soft tacos with a Cesar side salad.  I was able to smile, enjoy our date, and the noise and goings-on around us seemed to dissipate.  What incredible gifts he gave me with those words…acceptance, support, acknowledgement, unconditional love, and permission to live and enjoy life…100%


It’s Time…30 Days Under My Belt

…and only an inch more room under that belt.  While those results might derail some more easily than others, I refuse to give up.  I have wanted to make this lifestyle change for a long time now, however, obstacles such as CMA school, turning around to nursing school, and then shortly after completion of nursing school returning to complete my BSN all while working full-time, going through a divorce, and raising two boys as a single mom was plenty to face during those years.

I watched a friend find her niche, her team, and support system.  She embraced this lifestyle change and found a family.  I wanted this so badly; as a matter of fact I tried to copy her path…but here’s the thing…it wasn’t my path…so I failed that path.  If I can encourage one thing it is to find your path.  Thankfully Beachbody offers many options, styles, approaches; including support and consistency, as well as a consistent, simple nutrution plan.  Do not give up your search for your path.  I bought Turbo Jam years ago and loved the program; LOVE LOVE LOVE Chalene!!  At the time I was working at the YMCA where I met my now BB coach, Emily Nowlan and we have stayed in touch all this time.  I kept hearing her talk about Shakeology (and I had another friend or two also using Shakeology) and all I could think was, “What the heck is this Shakeology stuff?”  Fast forward to a year ago when I bought and began 21 Day Fix (which I also had heard rave reviews of).  I connected with Emily, started the program with good intentions, got sick a few weeks in and stopped what I started.  It wasn’t my “time” yet.  But I didn’t let go of my desire to change my lifestyle.  I kept the eating plan in place for a while with the containers but stopped paying attention to the ratios sometime in the summer.  Diet Coke replaced my water intake.  Return to stage: sluggishness, increased napping, low motivation, moodiness, and only mild positivity.

That being said, I am 42 – likely the age when most people start experiencing the proverbial “mid-life crisis” (which I think I probably went through at 35!!).  I refuse to take on that mindset.  Instead, I am starting my mid-life reclaim!  I am choosing to embrace nutrition, clean eating, exercise on a daily basis (and I am not one who typically enjoys exercising or sweating), and taking care of myself for the rest of my life.  Did you hear that self?!  THE REST OF MY LIFE!! That hold a lot of days (well, I hope it does) and not every one of those days is going to be exercised on (so I’m learning to forgive those days) and not every one of those days is going to be totally clean on eating (tiny treats on occasion is acceptable – otherwise this lifestyle change will not be sustainable).  The key is consistency, having support (I am SO thankful for my coach Emily Nowlan and the team of women in our challenge groups) not only with those on your Beachbody team, but those on your personal team – your family; and don’t forget making decisions one at a time. Exit stage: all the afore mentioned “low” points and enter: energy, positivity, motivation, less napping, and the biggest accomplishment imaginable – going off my antidepressant about 3 weeks ago!! (This process had been started prior to starting Beachbody and the nutritional plan, and under the guidance of my doctor.  As a nurse, NEVER discontinue medications without the guidance of your medical provider!)

That doesn’t mean it has been all sunshine and rainbows.  When you start out you do not have a big picture frame of mind.  Shoot! I needed to cry on the team’s “shoulder” a time or two this past first month and I am sure I will need to again this month and in the future.  There were days I felt guilty for being tired and needing to take a nap before my night shift at the hospital and missing my workout; days when I swore at or told the instructor in the screen to ‘shut up’ (sorry instructors, no less love for you); and days when I had a cookie or a couple pieces of candy at work (hospitals are notorious feeding grounds for the nurses, doctors, and social workers!).  BUT…over those first 30 days, I have seen results.  I can now do a full sit-up, I can do more push-ups on my toes, I can (on a good day) do hip escapes (I still hate them), and as a result I have lost 3.2 lbs and almost 5″ from my body.

I am so thankful for our group and team.  It is a safe place to share frustrations, receive unconditional love and support, feedback, positive encouragement, understanding, and creativity.  We lift one another up. That does not mean there won’t be times of frustration; but I have not wanted to quit….How can that be?  Because it’s time…and I have finally found my path; my people.