- Because friends in my writing circle are starting to forget my name.
- Because I desire to create characters who are really based on people I know and hate but I’ll change the names to protect the guilty (I think).
- Because I’ve spent too much time away from it.
- Because its a healthy way in which to bury my anger, jealousy, rage, and neuroses (which, as quiet as is kept, is a reason why a lot of people write (see item #2 above)).
- Because I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I didn’t.
- Because I need to stop hiding from publishing (more on that later).
- Because I never did “get up offa that thang and shake ’til I feel better”.
- Because there’s not enough dark chocolate, line dancing, or good movies in the world to keep my attention like writing can.
- Because what else was I put on earth to do.
- Because I’ve got a bunch of new ideas – and what else is there to do with new plots and characters other than write.
“As simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we can; by making the best choices, by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.” ~Mary Lou Retton
A few years back I completely made the biggest goof in the history of my weight loss journey. What goof was that? Thinking that I could sweat, run, and diet myself into a slim lean build. That was incredibly wrong. Why? Because no amount of work can give me a body type that I simply was not born to have.
I’m a curvy girl. I have curves in areas I’m not sure even the average woman has them. These curves may get bigger or smaller depending on how much I weigh, but the curves themselves do not and will not ever go away. But I kept dieting and exercising for years thinking that if I stayed focused, I’d suddenly wake up one day with the ability to wear skinny jeans and NOT stop traffic.
Okay, so, that never happened. I remained frustrated with my non-slim frame until 2008 when I read an article written about Serena Williams. Serena Williams, the tennis world champion and sister of the slim-built Venus Williams, talked candidly to a journalist about her own struggles with body acceptance. She said that as she grew up, she never quite understood why she couldn’t wear the clothes that Venus wore. That was until she realized that Venus had a long slim build, and she had a curvy muscular build. She is one of the best athletes in the world and is fit and healthy. She wears a size 12.
After reading that article I knew right then that I had to turn things around and kick things into high gear in order to be the best me that I wanted to be. Guess what? You can do it too! If you are struggling and you feel you aren’t achieving your weight loss goals, do the following:
- Be grateful for your own body. It is unique. It is wonderful. Accept and love it.
- Research and take online tests to figure out your body type.
- Tailor your workouts and your caloric intake to work best for your body type. There are many blogs and websites that can help you out with this.
Do you put on muscle easily? Great news for you! Strength training will skyrocket your metabolism and help you tone up and look awesome. Do you normally have a lean build but you’ve put on a few pounds? Good news for you as well! Those pounds may come off easily with some simple tweaks to your diet and an increase in cardio.
The bottom line is to love yourself and never beat yourself up for being what you are not. You can only be you. So go on and BE YOU! Learn about your own body, go on and embrace life, have a living plan that supports you being the best you that you can be!
Even when the fruit isn’t there… show up.
Even when the critics tell you to quit… show up.
Even when you’re tired and tempted to throw in the towel… show up.
If this is a time of preparation for you (and not a time to start), do the work. Show up. Because what you are doing is sowing — that’s planting seeds, for you non-farmer folk — and though you may not reap them for some time, the work you’re doing is not pointless.
Stay the course, be brave, and your season will come.
~Jeff Goins, from JeffGoinsWriter
I somehow have succumbed to a frightening new disease as a working mom.
I call it rush disease.
When did I notice it? I think I was commuting to work, traveling through the Main Line. I was flying down the road, listening to my Andy Stanley podcasts (if you don’t know who he is, you better ask somebody), when I looked to the side of the road and saw that the speed limit was 25. What was my speed? 60.
Speeding. So what, right? Everybody does it. Well I do it every day. On every trip. You’d think I’d slow down after being stopped by the police. But the two times I was pulled over this year, one time was for accidentally driving with my headlights off, and the other was for driving with an expired car inspection sticker.
The expired car inspection was another clue. It was overdue by 7 days. I never even realized it. Had no idea.
That was a bad sign. I use my car every day of the year. You’d think I’d stop to look at my vital car information.
Nope. And I know why.
I rush. To and through everything. I rush to work. Home. To the preschool. To church. To stores. To the mall. Doctor’s office. You name it.
I rush for a reason that other working mothers can attest to. With multiple children, a home, a full time job and other outside commitments, the days are long and the nights are short. You fill every available bit of time trying to get as many things complete as possible. You squeeze things in. You “git er done”. And to get more things in, you learn to do things fast.
This is what is going on right now.
I don’t think its a good idea for me (or any other working Mom) to continue to rush. Rushing through life means missing things that are way more important than an inspection sticker. An expired sticker meant a ticket to pay for. But continuing to rush through this time with my family could mean that I don’t really end up “owning” my life with them. How could I? I was too busy flying past at 30 miles past the speed limit.
What would be good, would be to slow down. That could mean both minor and major changes in my life. It could mean getting to work late some days because I’m obeying the speed limit. It could mean looking through my schedule, my commitments, and my goals and dreams and decide just what’s worth keeping and what I need to chuck. Taking my calendar and lightening the load.
Then maybe, just maybe, I could go slow enough in my lane of life to truly see the scenery surrounding me.
Its been a long, hard, icy, frustrating winter. And although spring has officially sprung for about four weeks now, I’ve felt the repercussions from the icy blast for much longer than I’d hoped. As this blog is as much about my wife/mother/writer life as it is about my goals for writing, fitness, and being motivated to do the impossible (did you miss my blogging about doing a triathlon), sometimes I write about what stops me from getting to my goals.
This entire winter was an exercise in seeing my goals hibernate.
Ugh. Say it ain’t so! Yes, Virginia, there’s no progress to report in any area of my life right now. No. Wait. I take that back. I’ve progressed a lot at my day job as in information developer. But as a novelist. Zip. As a fitness enthusiast? Nada. For weight loss? Don’t even ask.
So as I start to blog (and hence, WRITE) again, I find myself having to do three things before I can even consider myself back in the zone again.
Thaw because I literally left everything “on ice” so to speak. Stopped in it’s tracks. Visible, but not moving. All my plans for the novel launch are stashed in my Evernote. I haven’t so much as peeked at them in the last three months, but I know they are there. So you know what my first goal is, right? Exactly, Pull up my plans and see what I can gain momentum on this week.
Breathe because I’ve been holding my breath a lot in the past month due to some very hard decisions I needed to make on behalf of my family. Okay, I made the decisions, but I’m kind of shallow breathing because I’m not completely at peace with what was decided. This is the area where I need to let go and let God. Where I have to trust that I made decisions based on wisdom and knowledge and that my actions will align with God’s will for my life.
Write because I’m a writer. Its what I do. Actually, I write when I’m not even writing fiction or Web content, mostly in the form of long elaborate emails to my friends and family. But, its time to stop putting my best work into the emails of folks who, at this point, wish they could see the darned novel come out.
In that order.
My preschool-aged daughter has a recurring nightmare that she tells our family about every so often. It goes like this (in her words): “I got on the bus and I was riding somewhere, then I went to get off the bus and (my cousin) Jerome whispers, “ice”. And I said, “Ice?, and he yells, “ICE!!” and I said “ewhhh! and then I woke up.”
This is the winter of the recurring snow/ice/sleet nightmare.
It reminds me of my little girl’s nightmare, but worse.
Because the nightmare I’m talking about is snow, ice, and sleet messing with my goals in a practical sense.
To give you some background, every week since the beginning of the year, I’ve made a goal to stay on the Paleo lifestyle, track all my food on Lose It, and exercise at least six days a week. No, this wasn’t as much a New Year’s resolution as something that I just knew I needed and wanted to do.
But a funny thing is happening on my trip through the winter of 2014. The snow and ice and sleet and below freezing weather arriving day after day is driving me to stay in my Mama Bear Cave, unless forced to work. So, you guessed it, no exercising, no Paleo, no trips to the gym or the dance studio (WAHHH!!), and my enjoying eating everything associated with starchy carby goodness.
Why is this happening, really?
Well, I live in Pennsylvania, but I truly think I am allergic to the cold. I tend to run away from any situation that would require me to be cold for an extended period of time, and that includes changing into workout gear within the cold concrete walls of the Planet Fitness changing room. I’d rather sleep on a nail bed than try to jog through snow and ice. And (ahem) I like cuddling with my husband under the covers during the pitch black early morning hours.
I’m sharing all of this because it is a perfect example of how to let roadblocks get in the way of your goals. When it became cold and icy, I didn’t regroup and try to do everything I could to keep to my goals. I let the things I hated (snow, dark, ice. the cold Planet Fitness changing room) become my excuses for not acting like someone who wanted to be fit.
Ice, ice, baby. Too cold too cold.
Then yesterday I read this article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prescriptions-life/201310/lacking-motivation-and-inspiration-5-secrets-get-unstuck when I figured out that my get up and go had got up and went. Specifically, this article reminded me of what I learned last year right before I lost 6 pounds and started an upward climb at my job. Want to know what that is?
DO THE WORK!!!
What it means is that, ice or no ice, I have to stop thinking and musing and shivering, shove my Nikes on my feet and get moving. The motivation will come later. It means that I need to get onto Hulu or DailyBurn or some online program and turn my mild-mannered living room into a Cross Fit gym for 45 minutes a day if the weather has me housebound. It means I have to want fitness more than I want to cuddle with the supreme cuddle master known as my husband.
Sometimes it also means…
- Writing instead of reading blog articles.
- Cutting off the television, putting on the Focus@Will music and writing chapters in my new novel.
- Calling to check on my friends instead of letting another day pass before talking to them.
- And on and on and on…
So, my friends, what is ICE in your life? What’s getting in your way RIGHT NOW? And if you think real hard about it, how will you kick the ice to the side and just do the work?