Why is change so difficult?

Living in the Los Angeles area and always on the go (and I mean always), I rarely have a moment to just relax and breathe. Having spent the last two weeks focusing more on family, nature, and requiescence, I’ve had more time to reflect on life in general.

Without getting too deep, the last 5 years of my life have seen a lot of change. While some circumstances were out of my control and I had to adapt, there were other times when the choice was mine to make. Those moments were never easy and I’ve second-guessed my decisions. A lot. But the thing that keeps me moving forward is the knowledge that I’ve learned so much about myself and this thing called life we’re all trying to understand.

A few days ago, my 10 year old asked Google “what is the meaning of life”? While Google had many quotes and memes from others who were trying to decipher life’s purpose, I don’t think either of us was really satisfied with the answers. And if no one really knows, why do we spend so much time worrying about what other people do/think when we ourselves are searching for answers to the same questions as everyone else? How often are you (and I am actually speaking to you as an individual) held back by the fears of what people will think, what the consequences will be, or whether you’ll succeed/fail when you want to improve yourself by making drastic changes to your life?

Will my loved ones make fun of my choices or support me? Will they hold me back or try to boost me up? What if I can’t do it? Why would anyone listen to me? What happens if I fail?

The list of reasons “not to” is endless! At some point you need to let go of the fears and embrace whatever is going to come your way after stepping outside of that comfort zone. There’s no need to wait for a New Year’s resolution to make the needed/wanted changes in your life.

Let us all embrace both the scary and wonderful parts of shifting our lives around to make them better and more fulfilling in the long run!

Musings from the Midwest

One of the unexpected benefits of choosing to drive cross-country rather than fly was being able to gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of the world. I haven’t travelled much and feel as though I still experience life (in some ways) through the eyes of a child. Everything was brand new to me and being able to see just how vast this small part of the planet is gave me a lot to think about.

Sequoia Blog
Sequoia National Forest

 

It’s easy and natural for us to get caught up in our individual lives, problems, relationships, routines, school, work schedules, and so forth. Taking a step outside of the norm and opening our eyes to new experiences and opportunities takes courage! The last several years have seen a lot of change in my personal life, some of which I never thought I could or would get through. Now I find myself more prepared to take risks and do what I really want to do, not lead a life that allows others to follow their dreams while mine are forgotten and abandoned on the roadside.

Part of why I started this blog in the first place is because it’s something I’ve felt compelled to do for years but never thought I could do it or anyone would want to listen to what I had to say. Now, even if only a handful of people are reading this right now (and thank you for those of you who are!), it still gives me a sense of personal pride to be achieving a personal goal. Health, fitness, and self-discovery are all things I am passionate about and want to help others in achieving the joy and personal achievement that I’ve felt on my own journey!

So, thank you for reading and I hope that I’ve touched a part of even one person who can take these thoughts and turn them into action like I have!

Stay Motivated

Even with the best of intentions, keeping an elevated level of excitement to stay in shape can be difficult. That’s why I like to try different classes, new exercises, and make the workouts interesting. If you don’t like it, change it! Listen to music that pumps you up, dance in between reps (I do!), and just keep moving. I listen to my Zumba playlist and will practice moves between sets. I’m always staked out in the same corner of the gym and have no doubt I’ve been dubbed the Crazy Gym Lady by the rest of the morning crew. But you know what? I don’t care!

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I have to keep everything fun and engaging otherwise I get bored or lose interest, and I know I’m not alone. That’s one of the reasons why I like having different categories of workouts (On the Double, Make Your Day, Surfer workouts, etc) because it’s something new everyday. So if you don’t like what I put together, make a couple changes so it becomes your own and you can look forward to doing it!

It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you stick with the gym and really commit to your long-term health, it becomes something you can anticipate with enthusiasm!

Happy (Fit) Mother’s Day!

Staying fit takes a lot of work, I don’t think many would argue that point. Being fit and trying to inspire others to live out their goals of being healthy is something else. But, being a healthy and fit mom while trying to keep your kids healthy and active is a full-time job in and of itself!

A lot of people like to reminisce about “when we were young” and kids used to play more. I was part of that last generational wave of kids who would hop on their bikes and disappear for hours with a group of friends. We’d play dodgeball and run relay races until I heard my dad’s whistle piercing the neighborhood, signaling us to come home. Children don’t do that anymore today, or at least not as much. Nowadays, these technologically savvy kids are more likely to sit down in front of a video game system or a tablet and play Minecraft or take hundreds of selfies that use up the entire memory card.

 We’re in an age now where parents have to focus on keeping their children active and healthy to avoid problems with childhood obesity and all the consequences that accompany it. Thankfully, as a society, we are becoming more aware of the adverse effects of processed foods and the like, but that doesn’t make it any easier with busy schedules, working parents, and the accessibility of those types of foods.

Mother's Day3

So, in honor of Mother’s Day and the spirit of keeping not only adults, but also the children we love, healthy and fit, my daughter and I hosted Mother’s Day Zumba this morning! Part of our daily chore list at home is a physical activity of some sort and we sure got our workout in! Lots of sweat, lots of fun, and an impromptu dance performance by the little girls at the end of class!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there! Keep being your amazing selves while raising amazing kids at the same time!

Let’s Get Personal

Alright, I had to dig through my photographic archives to come up with the exact pictures that made me think, “Oh my gosh, I have to change something!”

I’m sure we all have an outfit we believe accentuates the good while disguising the bad, right? Then later we look back in horrified disgust and realize no, that shirt did not hide my belly fat! My moment came almost exactly 5 years ago. I took a few Mother’s Day pictures with my (then 5 and 2 year old) children. Dressed up in our Sunday best and lookin’ groovy! Or so I thought…

Admittedly, these aren’t the worst, but they’re far from the image of myself that I had in my head! As soon as I saw those pictures I decided that a drastic change was needed. The journey was not easy, and there were lots of ups and downs, but I never gave up.

Realistic expectations need to be part of goal-setting. I wasn’t going to change my eating and exercise habits overnight and become a professional body builder within a month! (That’s not my goal, for the record…) So I had to start small and change one thing at a time until I was able to gradually work myself up to where I am now.

After

5 years later and I can honestly say that I have never felt better or more confident about myself and my body! Am I perfect? No way! But part of the journey is doing your part for your own personal health and appreciating the results. I experimented with many different workout regiments and eating programs and I tried to apply aspects from each one of them. No program is a “one size fits all.” Find what works for you and keep at it one day at a time.

I love the strength that I’ve acquired and am proud of the daily efforts that got me to this stage in my health and fitness voyage!

So what’s the real point of all my blathering?

  • Set realistic goals
  • Don’t give up
  • Changes don’t happen overnight!

Friday Fun

My philosophy in life is to start each morning with a clean slate. I have a mental checklist of things I want to do every day and then make a tangible list of how I’m going to carry out those goals. Some of the things I aim to accomplish are:

  • housework chore
  • personal growth
  • physical activity
  • work productivity
  • one new or exciting thing

Those are the five main objectives I try to hit each day. Now, do I always get it all done? No, of course not! But it’s good to begin with the goals in mind.

Physical activity doesn’t just mean working out at the gym. Biking, dancing, hiking, surfing, swimming or anything else counts as long as you’re moving and getting that heart rate up!

Guitar

Personal growth can be any number of things as well. The main ones I’m focusing on right now are learning a new language and piano practice. Unfortunately, this is the category that seems to get cut off first when time starts running out for the day. However, even if I don’t get to it myself, my two mini humans do and I count that as a half point for me! (I can do that, right?) That’s my little guy pictured above working on his guitar practice.

Horseback

And my personal favorite, something new or exciting everyday! Realistically, every day can’t have a major event, so sometimes it’s small, like playing a game or enjoying a fire in the fire pit. I count anything that’s a tad out of the ordinary for a daily routine. But, when I’m really lucky, it’s something super exciting! Last week I was able to go horseback riding through the Sonoran Desert and it was amazing!

So, let’s keep up the Friday Challenge and see what we can all come up with over the weekend! I’m thinking…a salsa club??

Finding Inspiration

This morning while I was getting ready for the gym, I opened up a new package of socks, slipped on a pair that coordinated with my outfit, and looked down to discover these were no ordinary workout socks!

Socks

In my rush to finish shopping yesterday, I didn’t even notice that every pair in the package shares a message. (Each color says something different, so be prepared for more inspirational feet quotes!) Now, I know it’s not a big deal, but I couldn’t help but smile when I saw these and became even more excited to get to the gym!

The reason I’m pointing this out is not because my powerfully pink socks are all that, but because it was an unexpected moment of inspiration. I love finding hidden messages and lessons in something that, at first, seems so ordinary!

So whether it’s a song that gets you moving, a burst of excitement to do something new, or a blog post with some sassy pink socks, find something that inspires you today!

Be Powerful in mind and body!