On Having Enough Time

Let’s face it, life is busy. Ask anyone!

“Hey how’s it going! How’s life?!” “Oh man busy! Good but busy!”

It seems like everyone’s life is run for them and we are simply subject to its whimsy, finding little to no time for our passions, desires or specifically to me, fitness.

I am a mom of one very busy, anti sleeping 20 month old boy. I am pregnant with my second, due June 29, 2016 and I work part time as a hairstylist, pursuing a full time career out of fitness coaching and all the while trying to get out for play dates, appointments, clean the house and be a wife. Yes, I say it all the time. I am busy.

But what about me? Where am I left in all this? Or maybe better yet, where did I leave me?

I often catch myself being a victim of life and it’s a pretty rotten trap to be caught in.

What have I been a victim of lately?

  1. My son doesn’t sleep, you really have no idea how hard it is; I just can’t workout or do anything when it’s like this.
  2. I just don’t know how to clean the house so well. It’s just not who I am. 
  3. My toddler is very strong willed, spirited and busy. I just can’t get anything done.
  4. I work nights.
  5. I work Saturdays and Sunday’s are busy with church etc I just can’t meal prep that day…

Holy pity party! I want to unfriend myself just reading that!

I have a news flash for everyone including myself; are you ready?

Things just aren’t that bad. 

There. I said it. Sure it may be different than others circumstances, and yes, some of your circumstances are truly very hard, but for the majority of, taking a look back at our lives instead of looking at everyone else’s…is it that bad? Couldn’t it be worse? Are things really that hard? Or are we simply falling into the trap of it being so easy not to do?

Bingo. It’s just so easy not to do.

Or maybe it is the bad. Maybe things are so hard and so busy that you’re completely run down and have no ability to think how on earth you might add in fitness. That was my reality a few months ago. Things felt so out of control; my life wasn’t my own, it ran and I had to keep up or get run over, and typically I was caught under the wheels being dragged along. Until I realized I have a choice. 

If things are that hard, that bad…maybe I should work even harder at investing some time back into myself. There’s a novel concept.

This revelation has shifted my entire thought life on exercise to the point where bad days actually push me to workout. They push me to find and make time, not just wander around moping that it’s gone. It’s time to stop being a victim of the busy life. To stop being a victim of motherhood. I just read a blog detailing how hard it is working out with two kids and why it falls to the side because working out with a toddler is “impossible” but I’m here to say it’s not.

It comes down to your why, and is it strong enough!?

If your why is strong enough, you won’t let life get in the way of your own health.

You won’t let it.

A friend said this to me the other day:

Events + Response = Outome. 

You can’t control the events in your life, but you alone decide your response and that gives you control over the outcome. 

Yesterday I discovered something amazing. If I set reminders in my phone that go off every day at the same time to get my workouts done first thing, I suddenly had all this ‘free time’.

I wasn’t dying to fit me time in all day, rushing everything just to squeeze in a coffee by myself or read a book…I had already taken care of myself so that I could fully give myself to my friend and my son out at the park that day. Now that is a gift worth giving to my family.

I’ve discovered this little secret … you need to give time to get time.

If I give myself my 30 minutes of exercise and 10 minutes of personal developement (currently reading The Slight Edge) every day, I get so much time back.

The rewards to working out daily run far deeper than the rewards of a lifted butt and obliques on fleek (what did I just say?).

So if you think you just can’t possibly find another minute in the day to workout, ask yourself, are you being a victim to life?

If the answer is yes, it’s time to give a little to you, to get some time back. Reclaim your life. Live it on your terms.

It is not selfish for a mother to take time to workout (and yes, I’ve heard this). To do something that feeds her soul every day. If you tell me “I have my priorities straight, I would rather spend time raising my kids than focusing on a six pack” then good for you for knowing what’s important to you but don’t you dare let anyone tell you that investing in yourself is selfish.

Mommas, you can’t serve tea with an empty pot.

Your family needs you to spend time on yourself, whatever that looks like. NEEDS. 30 minutes a day exercising is not in any way shape or form me neglecting my kids for the vain results of a six pack. If you think you’d need to neglect all of life to make fitness a priority, you’re definitely in the wrong programs. My programs take 30 minutes. Front to back. At home. Anyone can do that.

I love myself.

And because I love myself, I give to myself.

And because I give to myself, I can give to my family in the fullest way possible.

We all want to give more to our families, but the key ingredient here is finding a way to give back to yourself, and we all have enough time for that.

 

 

Advertisements

On Stretch Marks and Real Self Love

I am 30 weeks pregnant with my second and I still have no stretch marks to speak of on my stomach (I have stretch marks elsewhere from growing up fast).

April 14, 2016 – 29 weeks

 

It’s time for honesty.

I talk a lot about loving yourself, accepting the changes…I even posted a video showing off my cellulite legs last week, attempting to normalize pregnancy gains and show women it’s OK to gain fat stores.

But truth be told, I’m still afraid of stretch marks…and I don’t love my cellulite. I drink up to 4L of water a day to avoid stretch marks and at this point in pregnancy I’ll start slathering on the coconut oil / frankincense blend I made to ensure my belly stays stretch mark free.

I still fear pregnancy and how it will ruin my body. 

It really goes to show you how twisted our societies mentality is. I mean we take something beautiful and turn it into something to be feared. 

I think it’s ok to not want them, I do, and water helps your skin retain its elasticity, so it’s a good thing to drink more water because the goal is to be healthier. But we shouldn’t be so terrified of these marks, nor should it signify a body to be ruined. How dramatic.

Truthfully, it frustrates me that because I’m into fitness, I sort of perpetuate the stereotypical perfect pregnancy. 

But … still … I want to be very loud and very clear about something;

I am not perfect.

IMG_9705.JPG
Me on the swings at 30 weeks pregnant

I sit, I get dimples.

My message is clear and simple.

It’s ok to believe in your heart you are beautiful and still desire to change things about your body.

It is ok that I don’t want stretch marks. It’s ok that I’m working out to have the body I desire after pregnancy because I have to live in it forever, but it’s also ok to get stretch marks and to have extra skin. Even though I know it’ll be a journey, I’ll learn to love myself fully in a new state of life and I’ll share it with you. For now, my journey is one towards no fear. Because to be honest, I am afraid of living in a body I don’t love. But that isn’t a result of pregnancy, it’s the result of me not understanding that my own body is worthy of love.

Now, I want to be very intentional with what I say next, because it’s important. Probably the most important thing I have to say…

I do not have an idea of what you should look like. 

By encouraging people to be fit, and to be healthy and to workout, and by being small and fit myself, I am in no way asking that people pursue my body. I am on my own journey.

Seriously, go find your own.

I am here to share my journey not impose it on everyone around me.

My journey is meant to inspire; to say it can be done and you can do it too. I want to invite everyone to join me, and to set goals to be the best version of themselves, whatever that looks like. I don’t have a box for you to fit in! I don’t think you NEED to be my size or shape to be fit and healthy, in fact I KNOW you don’t. Health comes from the inside and works it’s way out and because we are all made gloriously different, that will look so beautifully different on everyone.

The best version of yourself, is 100% up to you. I will never tell you what you need to look like.

Realize that my body has seven years of nutrition and health behind it. I am not just some naturally tiny person, I have worked very hard to be where I am today. I started young, and I didn’t give up. The way I am today is a results of small dedicated decisions I have made every day for almost a decade. I know what my body looks like when I treat it well, and THAT’S my goal, to treat it well.

Everything else is secondary.

Real self love comes from not fearing the future, but from preparing for it and treating yourself the best way possible. Even if it means indulging in a piece of birthday cake … three days in a row … #mylifethisweek

I fed my soul.

Real self love comes from taking action and saying because I love me I will do everything I can to ensure the healthiest version of myself, and whatever comes my way I’ll figure it out and learn to love myself all over again.

I don’t know what battles I am going to face in life, but I can tell you this, I will be ready.

And I won’t be afraid.

 

On Making Me Happy

“It’s just not making me happy anymore”

Have you ever said this about a job? I have. In fact I am saying it; and I’ve felt in a very stuck place for the last while. 

Returning to work with post partum depression left me feeling like I hated my job (as a hairstylist) and this left a deeply conflicted feeling in my heart. I love doing hair, I love the art I create, but then I had my son, and that art failed to satisfy me. My career … the work I had literally poured myself into that satisfied my soul for so long, left me feeling drained and unhappy every single day.  

I began to question it every day leading up to work; does this make me happy? I had shining moments that I really loved doing hair; these make me giddy and that feeling carries me for a while, but then it fades, and I’m left wondering where it went and how come it leaves, and how do I get it back? 

I started this coaching business, and I felt fire and passion as I had for the hair world, and wondered if this was my new adventure … yet I still felt conflicted, unable to decide in my heart…am I done? I can’t be; I can’t imagine my life not doing hair and I think of all the people that tell me how amazing I am, and how much they love having me as their stylist…

Conflict. Major conflict. 

Feelings of thinks like I no longer posess a talent. 

Feeling low.

Yet, feeling something…

So what is this?

Well firstly, I think it’s natural. I think it’s the ok that God put a passion in me to be home with my son, and for my passion for hair to take a backseat. My family should be more important to me than my job.

But that doesn’t mean I have to leave. 

That doesn’t mean it’s not “making me happy…”

In our society, if it doesn’t make you happy then quit and keep quitting until you find this magic happiness. 

If your marriage sucks, quit, find a new one. If your job sucks, quit. Find a new one. If your house sucks, sell it. Buy a new one. If your life sucks, move. Build a new one.

Sounds fun and fancy, but it’s not reality.

Because happiness doesn’t come from things.

Happiness comes from me.

I make me happy. I lean into God for my joy. I choose to be grateful. I choose to let emotions rule me, or to rule my emotions. I choose to find joy in the hard times. I choose to allow happiness in, despite my circumstances.

I realized I am so, so incredibly blessed and ungrateful.

I am blessed to have passion for so many things, and for hands that are gifted in them. A mother, a coach, a stylist. All these things I have a love for, and it’s a copout to leave one simply because it’s not doing what I want it to do for me anymore.

It’s childish.

Leaving now would be like stomping my feet in a candy store because I couldn’t get what I wanted. The reality is, I have a choice. I can keep being unhappy where I am, or I can change my mindset. I can choose to find joy and life in my job again.

I can choose to push through these emotional days and see that overall, my job is really really great, and it pays me well, and that I get to afford a lifestyle for my family that otherwise we wouldn’t have.

Lows come, but they also go. Same as highs. They go as well.

If you want to quit somethings right now, don’t. If you’ve lost your motivation, put on your big girl panties and get back to work, and choose life. Choose commitment. Choose to be happy, and to be grateful. Look for the positive.

Realize that the problem might actually be coming from within and that getting up and leaving will only satisfy you for a short time, and then you’re left with unhappiness. Again.

Don’t mope around like I have, waiting for whatever it is in your life to make you happy. Make yourself happy by choosing to move forward.

Choose to cook whole, healthy foods today. 

Choose to workout. 

Choose to get outside, even for 5 minutes. 

Choose to do look on the bright side and be your own inspiration. Dig deep and get to it. 

For me, it’s choosing joy at work. It’s choosing to take my vitamins and drink my shake. It’s choosing to workout. 

EVEN WHEN I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. 

Because feelings are fleeting and they change with the wind.

Stay the course. Find your courage. Find your muchness. And get to work. Get busy. 

And if in the end it means you leave your job, let it be 

  because you are happy, and you have so much happiness that you need another place to let it grow.

For me, I found that joy again in coaching.

I find that joy in sharing words of encouragement to my team, to my challengers and to my coaches.

This is what fuels me and gives me life at the salon again.

The problem wasn’t my job.

The problem was me.

Happiness doesn’t live in place or thing.

It lives in you.

My Favourite Version of Me

It’s Friday night, I have no styling product in my hair and no makeup on. I’m wearing a plain long sleeve top and wide straight leg pants from Mexico.  My husband saw me and said I look really nice tonight … 

IMG_9166This is my favourite version of me. 

I have to wear makeup at work, I enjoy blush and lip gloss when I’m not at work at times, but I love my 3 day weekends where I become the purest version of me for a full weekend. 

It’s always a bit shocking the first time I see my face without any trace of makeup, but then I become familiar with the redder spots … the slight imperfections I can’t help but attempt to balance out with my makeup. 

And then after a few combative minutes against negative self talk, I smile. 

I recognize this girl. 

I don’t need to hear ‘you’re beautiful’ from anyone, regardless of the wonderful heart behind them, the point of the journey I’m on is to believe it from the inside, from my own heart. The point is for you to recognize beauty in yourself, regardless of your size, skin type, hair length, eye colour … anything. So if you comment, please say something overly kind about yourself, and nothing of me. I want to hear you say from your heart, something lovely about yourself.

I am not a make up girl, but I easily get caught up in “making myself prettier”…but I’m happy to say that since I began my new journey into mental health, fitness and better nutrients in my body, I love this face I see tonight, once again. (To all my makeup artist friends, I do not believe that you do not love your own face which is why you wear makeup. Disclaimer over.)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this girl; really looked into those eyes and witnessed the contentment, and been free of loathing. 

It’s been a huge journey in these last few months, clawing myself away from post partum depression, getting fit while pregnant and forcing a change in mindset to just stay the course and be healthy because it’s the best thing for me … I believe my intentions and my message have changed drastically since being a mother as well, and for that I’m grateful.  

A few years ago, kidless and clueless (speaking to me, no one else, calm down Internet) I would have been entirely results driven. This would be a photo of my body and about having zero excuses, and while I still believe in eliminating excuses, I had no compassion. No understanding. There was no room for error or growth around me. You either were, or you weren’t. I couldn’t see the journey. I didn’t have compassoin.

I now have experience in real struggle, real mental torment, which has left me overflowing with compassion and understanding and a burning desire to connect and to help.

I no longer roll my eyes at you for not working out. I instead want to hug you, because it is just that hard some days to even put on clean underwear. 

My prayer is that one day, you’ll look in the mirror and see your favourite self smiling back at you. Maybe she’s wearing makeup, maybe her hairs done, maybe she fits in her old clothes, maybe she outgrew them but is still comfortable and fit and healthy in her new clothes. 

I don’t care. 

My intention is set, and it’s to coach you to be the best version of yourself, and only you can tell me what that is. I won’t tell you. You need to know what it takes to look in the mirror and say, 

I know that girl, and I like her.

On Starting Over

It’s ok to start over. In fact, it’s bloody brave of you.

Right now, I’m starting over.

We are in a society that values success as starting something and never quitting, never wavering, never falling down.

Well I value getting back up. I value those who say my journey does not end here.

The choices we make to be better…to do better, sometimes they’re easy to let go of. Because life gets in the way. It just does.

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad because life happened. It’s what we do before, during and after life happens that matters.

My choice to be better was to put myself first. And for me, that’s working out and eating well. I became a personal fitness coach to steer my passion, hold me accountable, help other women like me and clean up my messy brain.

And then I just made one small choice that wasn’t in the right direction…then again the next day. Then it got harder and harder to steer back on course, and here I am two weeks later, encouraging others to do their best, be their best…and I’ve fallen. Hard and fast.

I don’t know why I feel so weird saying this, but I do. I struggle with depression.

And I think maybe I feel weird is because I think I’m diminishing other people’s struggles because I don’t want to kill myself every day…I don’t cry all day…maybe because it started when my son was born and do I really get to call it that? Isn’t it just post partum? Does that make it any less? Well you know what?

Depression doesn’t look like I thought it did. Not at all.

And I think what I see now is that it looks different for everyone, but we all “know the feeling.”

What did it look like for me today? Aimless. My son is sick and I used that as my excuse as to why I did nothing, but it’s not the truth.

I’m sitting around more. Letting dishes pile up more. Being on my phone in front of my kid more. Zoning out. Screaming at my dog because she can’t tell me how much my anger hurts her. Feeling  less energy every day. Letting the fog settle into my brain and losing the ability to make small choices, like how to start making dinner.

Depression looks like a tired mom, but one who’s “getting by”. It’s lack of patience, it’s anger at my husband for literally everything and nothing. It’s anxiety. Panic over the little things that I can’t control.

And so, I start over. Making one small positive step every day.

Except, maybe it’s not really starting over…

I already have a foundation to build on; one I’ve been working on for months now. I’ve developed skills, like how to take a deep breath and just pick up a few toys, and go from there. How to take my vitamins in the morning, or drink my shake even if I just. don’t. want to. Like the action of lifting my arms to make it all is just too much to handle. But I do it anyways. It’s small. I can handle small.

So starting over really isn’t starting over at all, not for me … and not for you.

You’ve come a long way already, and you’re stronger than you think.

Whatever it is you’ve been trying to do more of in life, you’ve come a long way my dear.

There is no ground zero. You can look back but you can’t get there, because the person you were then is gone. You’ve grown.

Your actions and feelings may be familiar, but oh how you grew.

Remember that.

And take action.

Don’t sit in the fog.

Reach out.

Find help.

Make a move.

So if you’re starting over with me this week, let me know just one area you feel stronger in even though you feel like you’re failing, and I want you to comment, then write it down and stick it to the mirror, and I want that success to fuel your frustration at falling backwards to the point where you get so angry you tear apart the chains holding you down.

I want you to fight.

I want you to break free.

Remember, you are strong. You are brave. And you will succeed.

One bloody inch at a time.