My Rambling Thoughts On Non-Negotiables

I am rambling here.  I have no super awesome message to share, this is really a way for me to gather my own thoughts on something I’ve been sorting out recently.  I think sharing it might give you a chance to share input that I don’t think of.  I don’t think this is an ABSOLUTE, in fact, I’m trying to steer myself away from absolutes these days because I don’t deal well with absolutes…..they make me feel like I need to rebel.

Anyways, here we go.

I feel (oh lawd, here we go with *feelings*) like I need to put some of my “non-negotiables” together in a little book that is not written, but mostly in my head, called Amanda’s Moral Compass.  I also feel like this needs to go with a strict subtitle that says “I reserve the right to change my mind about things, and things are not all black and white all the time.”

Shit would be so much easier if there were just black and white situations, instead of those pesky little shades of gray, but that’s not the point right now.

For instance, I have three little non-negotiables surrounding my food and fitness:

  1. Train with purpose 3-4 times per week (while respecting my body).
  2. Move often in a non-workout sort of way.
  3. Eat mindfully, no GUILT.

Cool enough, right?  Those seem simple enough, and certain instances do come up, but I also circle back to those three things.  They are sort of my guide.  When I follow my guide, I feel good!  YAY!  If I get off track, I come back to my guide.  YAY!  My guide is simple, and yet it is just enough for me.  I don’t like rigidness (is that a word?).

Whether or not I have a list for the rest of my well-being probably doesn’t matter to some, but for me, I think it would be helpful.  Because having a guide like this allows me to sort of ‘check in’ with myself.  As new age-y as that sounds, you know what?  As you deal with life and weird shit that happens some times, a little guidance is never a bad thing in my book.

Here are some of my thoughts on priorities in no specific order:

  1. Days start and end with family.  Always come back to family.  Family is key in my book.
  2. Feeding things that add value to my life and starving things that don’t (do more of the value stuff, very little of the other things).
  3. Freely include my tribe in my time.  Guard my time preciously with non-tribers.
  4. Choose to have a relationship with God.
  5. Be intentional.  Say it if you mean it.  Do it if you mean it.  When you do it or say it, mean it and don’t apologize for it.
  6. Learn more.
  7. Always be flexible.
  8. Choose gratitude.

This is my list RIGHT NOW of things that are important to me.  When I read over them, they sound cool and ideal.  Getting right down to it, these things all take practice and I really want a way to manage them – I think they are so important, and I think they drive everything that I do.

My sister in iron, Jen, talks frequently about her self-care routine with me and what she does to feed those things and has a way of ‘checking in’ with herself.  It is great to know a little bit about this because I see little bits and pieces every so often.  I now know how she guards her time and prioritizes… least some things.  She also has her own little set of core values (sort of like this little list of non-negotiables) that help her prioritize her life (I’ve already asked Jen to write about those things in the future, so I’m sure you will be seeing them down the road).

However, I’d love to know if any of YOU have your own list – written down or in your head – that define you or guide you.  I would love for you to share them with me.  I think that is SO interesting and important.

My strongest feeling here is that if you live in line with your “truth” or your non-negotiables, you are YOU.  You don’t do things that you hate just to people please your way through life, or because you feel guilty if you don’t, or because it is so fashionable to appear “busy” doing “things.”  You do things because you WANT to.  You don’t compromise yourself or your truth.

Oh man, this is a rambler.

So tell me, do you have your own guide?  Please share some thoughts on it if you do.  I think a series of guest posts would be neat on this very topic to see how different people prioritize differently!





Gratitude: Do You Practice?

Do you practice gratitude?

I do practice gratitude.  I’m sort of beefing up my gratitude practice.  What does this even mean?  How do you “practice” gratitude?

Well, for a long time, I’ve been very much the person who sees the bad or the negative in every situation.  Yeah, I still do sometimes.  Not gonna lie.  Choosing to see the good in situations and being GRATEFUL for them has taught me to see them more frequently in all of my life.

Let me be clear – some folks have a daily gratitude journal.  While I definitely aspire to that, I don’t have a daily journal at the moment.  What I do have is a few days a week type journal, and I do find myself saying a lot of “Thank You’s” to the big Guy upstairs during my day and especially at the end of my day for a lot of things in my day that I’m grateful for.  I’m finding myself not being thankful for “things” either.  I consistently find myself being grateful for my family and my family’s health and safety and bond, my friends, my business and the clients I get to work with every day.  One day, I even found myself thanking God for reminding me to thank Him.  I even find myself being grateful to those around me.  I find myself saying “Thank You” a ton.  For all sorts of things.

Look – if you knew me 10 years ago, you know I’ve completely turned things around.  The past 2-3 years have been where things have REALLY changed, and much of that is gratitude practice related (as well as acknowledging that I am ENOUGH, choosing to LOVE me, and prioritizing things better in my life).

I feel like, taking one step at a time to building up my gratitude practice gradually, finding the good in every  (er, most….let’s be honest, we ARE still human) situation is becoming easier and easier.  And CHOOSING the good is becoming the default.

I’m curious to see how OTHERS practice gratitude.  Mostly because I’m looking for more ways to add it into my life, if that makes sense.  So what say you?  How do YOU practice gratitude?

Insecurity Is A Sneaky B!tch

Everyone deals with insecurity in their own way.

Even people who love themselves and tell others how loving themselves is so important.  People who love themselves have those icky patches too…..when random things cause their smooth sailing path to go a little haywire.

I’m writing this one because I KNOW people will identify it.  I actually don’t want to post this because dealing with icky feelings sucks and isn’t fun, and who the hell wants to do it publicly?  Well…..I’m doing it publicly because I KNOW I’m not alone on getting the case of the ickies sometimes.

Even if you love yourself, you can still get a case of the ickies.

Today, my ickies stemmed from feeling insecure.

I left my house feeling like I was rocking my shit today.  I went about my day.  Everything was going swimmingly, and then shit hit the fan for a little bit and knocked me off my axis.

I spent an entire hour in front of LARGE mirrors.  Working out in front of LARGE mirrors.  In a room full of people who were, what I deemed, fitter, leaner, better dressed and put together, and more skilled at kettlebells than I was.  I have no idea what the hell brought this on, but I do think it was just the big old mirrors that made me SEE me compared to everyone else (and normally I love those mirrors!.

Five minutes in and I was all…..”I coach people?  Who takes advice from me?  I don’t look like these people!  What the flip am I doing here?  Who do I think I am?”

You see, insecurity sneaks the hell up on you.  I KNOW this, but when it comes at you off guard, it is difficult to remember this little bit.  Insecurity is a sneaky, sneaky, sneaky b!tch.

I worked through it today.  I don’t want a “rah-rah, you rock, go you” little chant from you.  I’m not looking for your approval.  I will tell you why I worked through it.  Because, I’ve LEARNED, through various sources (*cough* Jill Coleman, *cough* Erin Brown) that EVERYONE is insecure.  And all those little insecurities play out all day, every day, in various patterns for people.

So let’s move forward to like 15 minutes into the class.  I partnered up with someone (who I deemed long, lean, leggy ***side note….what gives me the right to judge her body…..I get so pissed about this, but because I was feeling insecure now I have a right?  I so need to work on this***) to work on overhead and pistol squatting.  I could do things she couldn’t – and I know she noticed because of the comments she made.  I’m not saying that to sound snarky – I’m saying that because I noticed it brought out insecurities.  She could also do things I couldn’t – and you know I noticed, because insecurity was running at an all time high today in that moment for some reason.   This simple little drill, even though it was all kettlebell related, reminded me……”STFU, Amanda, you are insecure.  Why?  Knock it the hell off.”

Class went on.  Things improved.  We all started to joke around a little bit.  We ended with five minutes of conditioning madness at the end which made EVERYONE look like a sweaty mess, no matter what they looked like before hand.

And then I felt better.  And THIS is why I love training with heavy shit and kettlebells. I was reminded very quickly of all the things I could DO.  I can DO a ton.  My body can do a TON that some other bodies can’t do.  And some bodies can do things I am unable to.  BECAUSE WE ALL ARE DIFFERENT.  And we all look different!

And we are always our worst critic.

And we all are insecure at times too.

Even if you find yourself on a path of smooth sailing consistently, just know that those little sneaky b!tches will rear their ugly heads at times.  That is A-OK, even if it feels like shit at the time.  It gives you a chance to learn how to deal with them so they go back to where they came from.  And it gives you a friendly reminder that you CAN actually deal with those things so they come out less and less.

Today, I needed to own my shit.  I did, today.  I know I will need to own my shit again down the line.

Hopefully that’s a little ways away :)



If I Could Do It Over…..

Sister in Iron, Jen, and I were BRIEFLY chatting about this today.  And to be truthful, I think about this a LOT.

If I could start my fitness journey over.  I would change a TON.

If I could start my fitness journey over, I would learn how to BUILD myself up versus just burning the calories.

You guys, I spent so damn much time cycling away calories, spinning away calories, or burning through various speeds on the treadmill.  Not the those things are bad, mind you.  I just needed to learn to be a little more efficient with my workouts.  You know…..focus on building a BIGGER GLASS.  I wish I would have started balancing weights and cardio a little better back when I first started.

If I could start my fitness journey over, I would have hired myself a coach early in the game.

You guys, I spent so much time doing things wrong.  I distinctly remember on one early morning workout, doing a press (probably too heavy for my ability because my ego got in the way) on the bench and my shoulder felt ‘off.’  So, you know….ego engaged, I naturally kept going instead of stopping what I was doing.  No coincidence, years and years later, that same shoulder feels ‘off’ a lot.  Except, after working with a coach, I know how I needed to improve my form to engage my lats and my body versus just pressing the hell out of my shoulder.  And I know different variations of pressing to engage things differently.  Bless my coach’s heart.  The same is true for deadlifts, squats, swings, planks, and everything else.  Learning the right way from the get go will launch you into a successful fitness journey, no joke.

If I could start my fitness journey over, I would have focused on doing fitness things I LOVED versus trying to mold myself into the lover of things I secretly loathed.

Bless your hearts, runners, but I tried to be you for a long time.  I’m just not.  I’ve accepted it now, and I even say that out loud.  I WANT to love running, I just don’t.  I also don’t enjoy the elliptical, choreography, and pastel hand weights.  Again, there is NOTHING wrong with those things….they just aren’t for me.  I like to aggressively attack things – mitts, the bar, squats, push-ups, or my opponent in a competition.  I don’t like to tone my way through shit…..I like to move shit and get it done.  And the louder the weights clang and clash around, the harder you have to use your breath explosively, the more F words you want to shout, the better.  Find something you LOVE and work the hell out of it, and learn about it, and get better at it.

If I could start my fitness journey over, I would focus on quality NOT quantity right from the start.

There was a good long stretch where I worked out every day.  Every day, no rest days.  And in those days I was lifting a little too.  I was ignoring my body and just working out to my max a TON because I thought more was better.  Nope, better is better.  I now know that rest days are VITAL.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with MOVEMENT ever day.  That movement can be smashing heavy stuff one day and then just moving through an easy walk or restorative yoga practice the next day.  Then rinse and repeat.  By focusing on making my training days QUALITY with perfect form, striving for progression OVER TIME, and building in rest days, I can make fitness gains waaaayyyyyyy faster.  Without feeling like I got hit by a bus (although that isn’t to say I don’t feel sore sometimes).

The problem with all of these things, though, is that I’m not sure I would have found this same path if I know what I know now early in the game.  And I LOVE my path.  Like Jen says, our past is what has shaped us into who we are now, and we must embrace that.

Sometimes I find myself yelling (in my head) to people who I think are doing it wrong.  I want to say “do this… will get you there faster,” and I say that because it’s MY way.  MY way must be right, right?  Because it is what worked for me.   Really, though, no one is doing it wrong on their fitness journey because they are learning along the way and will develop their own path which is right for them.

If we could go back and change things (not just related to our fitness journey), knowing what we know NOW…..who WOULDN’T make changes?  That is easy for us to say NOW, because we have learned so many lessons since THEN.  Embrace the lessons.  They have helped shape who you are now.

Even if you were a cardio queen in the beginning :)

What I Would Do Instead

Alright, I’ve been moaning and groaning about MLM (multi -level marketing) companies and “health coaches” and magic pills and shakes for a few days now.

The fact is, I cannot change  them.  They will always exist.  And they will go in and out of style like they always do.

What I CAN do is share my experience and what I would do NOW if I knew what I knew NOW back THEN.

BACK THEN, I tried the two shakes a day program.  You know, drink these two shakes and eat a sensible dinner type scenario.  And I didn’t just drink the shakes.  I bought the pills too.  And took them. My first round (yes, there are two of the supplement variety)…..I dropped weight fast.  I fit into some cute, small jeans (size 8, cute and softer blue from Express).  I remember feeling hungry for a large part of my day, only to work out on an empty stomach, and then go home to my sensible dinner.  I can’t remember what my sensible dinners were – regardless, it probably wasn’t enough.

Then I was sick of spending the boat load of cash.  “I’ll just eat sensibly” I say, and do…..for like two days.  But…..I was DEPRIVED for a long time while I was waiting to get into my small, cute, skinny jeans.  So I started to eat ALL the things.  So, you know….it wasn’t long until my small, cute, skinny jeans no longer fit.

Fast forward to trying many more diets and exercise programs.  None worked, because I wanted those cute, skinny jeans back…you know, the smaller ones.  I wanted to drop weight QUICK like I did on the shakes.  “I’ll try it again,” I tell myself.  So again I drop another ton of cash on pills and shakes.  Only this time, I couldn’t really do it.  Drinking a shake tasted like chalky ass (if I knew what ass tasted like).  So I stored an ass ton of supplements that were barely even opened in my bedroom for a long ass time, until I got sick of looking at them and finally tossed them.

If this magic product worked so great, why did I have to do it twice, right?

Thus began my crazy relationship to food.  The one where I always felt like a failure because I couldn’t control my eating, or never could follow a diet, or fluctuated sizes between 8 and 16 back and forth and back and forth for many years.

Let’s move on to NOW, shall we?

NOW, knowing what I know, and going through all the things I’ve gone through, here is what I would tell me BACK THEN.

1) I NEVER failed a diet.  The “diet” or the “shakes” or the “program”……FAILED me.  It failed me for one big fat reason – it was not ENOUGH.  I was literally starving myself to drop weight quickly.  And each time I did it, it was harder and harder and harder to drop weight the next time.

2) I was just fine as I was!  I looked GREAT!  At the time, I thought I looked awful….NOPE, I looked GREAT!  Guess what, I still look great – I’m just at a different point in my journey now.  I wish me BACK THEN liked herself just a little bit more…no a LOT more, then she did.  Me BACK THEN could have avoided taking all the wrong paths before finding the right one….but, well….we probably wouldn’t be reading this blog then, would we?

3)  I was UNDERFED for many years, which led to bingeing on random foods that were deemed “bad” only to start again and again and again.  If I had taken the time to understand that, and work to eat at a level that kept me fed and not starved, we might be reading a very different post right now.

4) Stop Dieting.  Seriously, just stop.  I think I clinged to the idea of being on a diet because it made me feel safe and that I wouldn’t blow up like a balloon.  Except, I was always in constant fluctuation between size 8 and 16, and all the weights and numbers in between there depending on if I was “on” or “off.”

5) Start listening.  Am I eating when I’m hungry?  Like, is my stomach empty, and a little hollow, and has been for like 20-30 minutes?  Time for a meal.  Not really hungry?  Cool, I can keep doing what I’m doing, and I don’t need to eat right at this minute then, right?

6) Take protein seriously!  The first thing, it seems, to go….when one is watching what they eat, is protein.  Protein is your BUILDING BLOCK.  Don’t skip this step.  Eat a palm size serving of protein (not nuts) at every meal.  Only make this a supplement (like a protein shake) if you consistently miss your whole food protein (whole foods protein being meat, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, fish, beans, etc).

7)  There are no “bad” foods.  I call this “moderation.”  To someone consistently on a diet, this probably sounds like “eat whatever the heck you want.”  Nope.  Moderation is moderation. I eat plenty of the foods deemed “good” by many people much of the time.  I also eat foods deemed “bad” by many people sometimes too.  And I NEVER FEEL GUILTY FOR THEM.  And I am FED.  At times, I will count my calories to see what they are for maybe a few days or a week or so – sometimes to see if I’m eating enough, sometimes because I’m just freaking curious (even though I know counting calories is not always super accurate).  They range between 2500-3200….based on my activity levels and training programs at the given time.  And I realize that sounds like an ass ton of food for someone with a history of dieting.  But I’m not lying.  It’s the dang truth.  And you know how I feel then?  FLIPPING GREAT.  I have ENERGY.  I’m not stuffed, either.  My workouts are ON POINT, and so is my energy for the rest of my life.  Oh, and I’m nicer because I’m not hungry :) (and PS… energy requirements are way different from yours.  And my friend’s energy requirements don’t match mine.  BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE THE SAME DNA OR ACTIVITY LEVELS, not because there is a cookie cutter plan that works for everyone).

8)  Go back and read #7 again.  Here is the key point I want you to take from that.  I don’t eat the foods deemed “good” because I have to.  I eat them because they freaking taste amazing, they make me feel good, and I WANT to.  The same is true for the foods that some deem as “bad.”  I DO NOT FEEL DEPRIVED.  Well….that’s not true.  I do feel deprived if it’s been a week or two since my last Kick’s Bake Shop donut (and again, if you come from a pattern of dieting….I know this sounds crazy – I was in your shoes for a long time….this also doesn’t mean I speed eat donuts every day).

9) My relationship with food BACK THEN was a direct reflection of how I felt about MYSELF – sketchy at best.  I underfed myself because I hated myself, and I wanted to be a smaller “happier” version.  Guess what?  You can’t do that.  Now, I feed myself because I LOVE myself, and it is actually pretty easy.  Same with exercise.  And you know what?  I feel pretty happy about that……and I feel pretty happy about most things…..well, not completely true.  Multi-level marketing companies in the supplement business do piss me off a little bit :)

If you are reading this – I bet, just bet, you can identify with one or two things I’ve written.  What I want you to know is that you CAN have an amazingly healthy relationship with food.  That might come easier if you work on your relationship with YOURSELF first.



What If

What if, instead of frantically trying to “lose” something like weight or size,  we focused on BUILDING UP ourselves and our skills?

What if, instead of constantly feeling or saying that we aren’t enough, we just stop and recognize that we are exactly “enough” enough RIGHT NOW?

What if, instead of following the perfect 60 or 90 day workout program, we focus on ENJOYING movement and focus on ENJOYING getting better and better at movement for the REST OF OUR LIFE?

What if, instead of wondering what we will be when we grow up, we just BE where we are RIGHT NOW?

What if, instead of looking for the perfect purse and sweater or jeans, we choose to be happy with the purse or sweater or jeans we already own right now?

What if, instead of trying to plan and schedule and map out our future, we just focus on being PRESENT right now?

What if, instead of stressing about the things we cannot control, focus our energy on only the things we CAN and choose to accept that what is meant to happen will happen?

What if, instead of blaming someone for something they did to us, we choose to accept that people make mistakes sometimes and nothing is personal, everyone does the best they can?

What if, instead of forcing things to happen because we are in a hurry to make it “somewhere”, we stop and listen to our gut to see if this really IS the right thing to do right now?

What if, instead of feeling jealous over a friends accomplishment or new car, we choose to be happy for them because they are our friend?

What if, instead of focusing on all of our “faults,” we celebrate the heck out of our strengths and use them to the best of our ability?

What if……we stop wondering WHAT IF and start practicing I AM, I WILL, I DO?



On Being A Victim


I love the movie Mean Girls.  Mostly for this reason:



Today, however…..we are going to roll down another road….you know, a bumpy one:


And by “Regina George,” I mean YOU.

Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by YOURSELF.

I have learned that I can play the victim like nobody’s bidness.  I am excellent at it, and I didn’t even know it all these years!  Huh, I guess we can call that a talent?  Er….is butter a carb?

What I mean is this – at times, I catch myself saying statements like the following:

 – I can’t believe it.  So and so JUST STARTED working out and can already press a 16 kilo kettlebell and I have been working out for years and that’s my working weight.  WTF is wrong with me?

 – I’m so busy, there is absolutely no time to workout this week.  I only have 20 minutes today, and then no time the rest of the week.  Why bother today if the rest of the week will not happen anyway?  Why am I always the busy one, and everyone else has time to workout?

 – I can’t believe this is happening to me.  This type of shit never happens to anyone else, why is it ALWAYS me?

Ick.  I’m embarrassed to even write this stuff.

After a 10 week course with Jill Coleman, I know a LOT about how I play the victim.  I honestly didn’t realize it.  Those statements above are examples, but I found myself saying things like that (internally) a TON.

You know what stinks about letting yourself be a victim in your own life though?  When you are the victim, you give up your control in the situation.  You literally choose to be the victim so you don’t take action (or control) to remedy your situation.

Uh, you know what happens when you always give up control in the situation?  You NEVER get OUT of the situation.  You will ALWAYS find yourself circling back to that situation because you have chosen NOT to DEAL with it.

If you are reading this, you already know this isn’t good, right?  I mean, it stinks when you are playing the victim and you don’t really realize it.  You don’t realize you are giving up your control.  You don’t realize you are settling into this situation you are in for the long haul.  You don’t realize that unless you step up to the plate and ask your self “What the flip am I gonna DO about it?”  and then TAKE THAT ACTION, you will always find yourself in some situation, STILL in that situation that you are always in and no one else is EVER in.

My statement above, you know, the “I’m too busy to work out one” is a GREAT example.  When I used to tell myself “I’m too busy this week”……”busy” meant Facebooking, dorking around with poor time management, or making up reasons why I didn’t have time to workout.  So I TOOK ACTION.  I’m no longer too busy.  Days of Our Lives sometimes doesn’t get watched the same day, you know?  Or I get my ass out of bed EARLY to get my workout done.  Or, I just plain old schedule my errands and days better so I can fit in a decent block of workouts each week.  It doesn’t really matter…..other than I TOOK ACTION.  I changed my mindset as to how I approached this little “I’m too busy” phenomenon.  I’m not too busy to work out and take care of myself.  No one is.  It’s a choice.

And my final victim statement above – the one about “why is this always happening to me?”  Let me be honest here.  Things don’t JUST HAPPEN to me.  Things happen to everyone.  If I choose to continue to always look for the things that always happen to me, what do you think I will ALWAYS see?  If I choose to react to things that happen to me with action and ideally a positive attitude, you know….we all know the ending to this scenario.  Things will OBVIOUSLY go a little more smoothly, right?

So what say you?

Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George (and by “Regina George” I mean YOU)?





None Of Yo Biznass

**Warning – the feelings are coming out**

I’ve technically “learned” this lesson before.  Reading it again and again via various sources like Jill Coleman and Erin Brown the past couple months has proved to be a great reminder.  Here goes:

What other people think of you is none of YOUR business.

Let that sink in for a good long minute.

If you are like me, you may find yourself making decisions or acting a certain way based on the way other people may react or how others may think about you.  This is BRUTAL.  Because we are no longer acting for ourselves, we are acting for OTHERS.  We set aside our best interests for others.  We also may find ourself in this weird little hell where we are trying to make people like us or people please, without ANY CONTROL of what people actually think about us.

We give up our happiness for the sake of others.  We give up the power of living OUR authentic life for others.  At first, that sounds cool, right?  Like, we are so self-less, always putting others before ourselves.  Cool until it becomes a way for you to slowly lose your own identity, and you realize you no longer even know WHAT you want anymore because you don’t even know WHO you are.  Ick.

I’m getting better at being MY best self and true to MY self and slowly learning that what other people think of me is absolutely none of my business.  It is very freeing and ultimately terrifying at the same time, because it requires me to react to situations differently THIS time around than I would have before.  Which is scary stuff, you know?  It ain’t easy riding in your first rodeo!

The other side of this is I believe we sometimes use the “what will people think” excuses BECAUSE we are afraid to be who we really are.  Being who you really are is making yourself vulnerable.  That is SCARY STUFF sometimes!  You are actually allowing people to see you as you are – at your weakest, at your strongest, and all the times in between.  What if people don’t like this you?  What if they LOVE this you?  Ultimately what they think of this you is none of YOUR business.  It is THEIR business.

We can only control what WE do, and how WE think.

What I have found when I live for ME instead of for others is that I feel inner peace.  For a long time I was without that feeling, and I didn’t even realize it.  I always felt a little uneasy about things.

Here’s an example – for a big portion of my adult life, I was a struggling with body image and ick like that.  I was SUPER insecure and made decisions for others instead of myself, acted for others instead of myself, and talked icky about myself and other people from that place of insecurity……sometimes because I was feeling insecure, and sometimes because everyone else was doing it.  Basically, I was awesome at being a big old biotch.  I could talk like a biotch, act like a biotch, and just generally be a biotch.

Except, inside, it made me feel worse.  Because I actually REALLY like being a nice, decent human being.  I wasn’t being my REAL self.  That icky, uneasy feeling was my true self being UNCOMFORTABLE in that behavior.  I’m so happy I started paying attention to my TRUE self instead of the alternative….although that is ALWAYS a practice.

Lots of words again, but really the main point is that we have ZERO control over much in this world, and can really only control how we act and react.  We can’t control much else, so why even flippin’ stress about it?  I know, I know….that is a practice in itself….much easier said than done.

What other people think of us is NONE of our business.

PS – if you think that it is selfish to put YOU first because, you know, what about your family, your friends, your kids, your whatever….think again.  When you begin to put yourself first, you might just realize that because you are operating from a place of peace instead of a place of unease, you might just have more YOU to give and go around.  You might find that you are a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, a better everything.  And it comes from a place of peace.  Which is awesome.

PPS – also realize that everything isn’t unicorns and rainbows and sometimes life stinks for a bit too.  That is NORMAL.  Choose how you react (also easier said than done).  You can choose to be miserable or choose to be happy.  You ALWAYS have a choice.

PPSS – please feel free to remind me of this when I’m having a bad day :)



The Leftover Salad

Today was fridge clean out for lunch.  I had a LOT of containers stocked up in the fridge, with only a little bit of leftovers in each container.  Basically, our fridge looked full…..but really it was just full of nearly empty containers.

I’m on a kick of absolutely trying not to waste anything or let anything go bad before it gets eaten….because I’m trying to tame the grocery bill.  So, I put together a leftovers salad.

photo (12)

My leftover salad had the following ingredients:

– a half a citrus flavored chicken breast leftover from the weekend

– the bare bones minimum of kale and spinach remaining in my the produce drawer

– a few sprinkles of crumbled blue cheese

– a few slices of cucumber

– like 7 croutons left in the bag

– craisins (I’m digging craisins on salads right now)

– about a tablespoon of coleslaw dressing that was left in the fridge

You know what?  This salad rocked.  Plain old rocked.  And I cleaned out my fridge in the process WITHOUT having to feel guilty from throwing stuff away or letting it go bad.

You can make your own version of leftover salad too!  I frequently use random roasted veggies I have taking up space in my fridge.  I also tend to use leftover beef or pork roast a ton….and if I don’t have any leftover protein on hand, I will use a can of tuna or a couple fried eggs, or even cottage cheese.  There are two ingredients that people tend to miss though, that usually turn your salad from ‘alright’ to ‘freaking amazing.’  They are simple too.  A little grain or starch – think roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, or brown rice or quinoa.  And a fruit!  Fruit in salads is the cats meow.  Diced apples, grapes, oranges, pineapple, strawberries, or even mango.  All yum choices.

You can seriously make the best salads from leftovers.  You don’t even need greens!  If you have a ton of random veggies, dice ‘em up and roast them quickly, or saute them up and toss together a warm salad.  So delish.  Try it!

Mindful Practice: Negative Talk

Hey there!

I’ve had a few interesting realizations this weekend, upon beginning Erin Brown’s book – As Is (I will post a review and my experience after I’m done reading, but thought this was super interesting so I’m sharing this part early).

First off, mindfulness is really encouraged in this book.  Mindfulness is something I’ve had a hefty dose of as of late.  Being “mindful” means to basically be intentional, accepting, and most importantly for ME…..NON JUDGMENTAL of thoughts and emotions at the present moment.  Oy, you guys…….all the feelingz are at liberty to fall out at any moment here.

The title of this post is “negative talk.”  Well……I spent a fair amount of last week paying attention to how I talk to myself, and when I bully myself.  The Cliff’s Notes version is that I bully myself more than I’d like.  The positive to this past week is that I was MINDFUL of how I was talking to myself and I became aware.  As the week went on….I became quicker and quicker at catching myself in the act of bullying or even just before I was about to start bullying.  You know what was cool then?  I could make a choice.  I could continue being an asshole to myself, or I could choose to settle down a little bit and think about some of the reasons WHY I was being an asshole to myself.  What’s interesting is finding patterns (even in such a short amount of time) where I find myself about to become a bully – so far….it is when I feel rushed, tired, PMS-ing, or feel insecure for whatever reason.  You know…..that old chestnut.  It is cool though to notice those patterns, because I can recognize that THOSE are the things I need to be more aware of or work to be more mindful of.  I don’t actually need to attack myself negatively.

So, back to this weekend then.  A second part of this is negative body talk.  I hang around a ton of women – friends, at my job, or just randomly overhear things at the grocery store, my random Target run, or just other random places.  We women, it seems, at least THIS WEEKEND, are excellent at negative body talk.  Mostly about ourselves.  Like, we APOLOGIZE for our appearance, our size, our weight, our hair color, our leaving the house without putting on makeup, etc.  We apologize for freaking BEING.  I knew this already a little bit, because I’ve dealt with a ton of this myself in the past (and still currently when some of those things pop up), which makes me a little hyper-sensitive I think.  But being mindful of it this weekend….well, it made me a little sad.  It seems that no one is comfortable in their own skin.  Myself included at times!

You guys, we need to stop this negative self talk.  It isn’t doing us any favors.  In fact, we are probably going to stay trapped in this little negative self talk pattern forever if we don’t choose to change it.  We need to practice being MINDFUL of how we treat and talk to ourselves.  We can choose to be mindful and just notice and not judge when these instances come up.  We can choose to take a different path at that moment – as Erin says in the book, we can just choose peace.  This won’t happen overnight.  This will take time, and we will likely stumble around a bit while we get our bearings, but we have to do this.  The older my daughter gets, the more I want her to learn how to love who she is and be happy in her skin as she grows up.  She will only learn that (and YOUR daughters will only learn that) from US practicing those things RIGHT NOW.  Our daughters will only learn to pick and pinch at themselves in the mirror if that’s what they SEE at home.  Our daughters will only learn to body bash with their friends in the dressing room while shopping if that’s what they HEAR at home.  We are the role model on the front lines at home.  I can tell Miss Emma she needs to take care of herself and love herself the way that she is when she is growing up and very impressionable.  Or I can SHOW her how I do those things.  Which do you think she’ll learn from best?

Taking care of yourself isn’t just how you feed yourself and how you workout.  Taking care of yourself is so much more than that – including how you talk to yourself AND others, how you treat your spirit and faith, how you deal with stress, and how you prioritize your rest and down time.  It is SO MUCH more than just food and fitness all the time, you know?

PS – I think you should pick up Erin’s book.  I’m only through two chapters, and there are like 19 to go I think.  Lots of learning, lots of awareness, lots of mindfulness going on with me for a bit I believe :)  Which likely means you will be reading a lot about feelings from me.


Originally this was my journey to Tough Mudder…now it's my record of all things fitness and health!


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