Just A Bump

I’ve been nursing a nagging neck pain for the past two months, maybe more. I brushed it off as a stiff neck since I’ve had these before. I went to have an awesome massage. Which helped me feel a lot better but the pain never really went away. I tried my chiropractor for adjustment with minimal relief. The pain started interfering with daily activities like lifting my arm and turning my neck. I have been so dedicated to my daily bootcamp workouts and I was unwilling to let those go, so I was pushing through the pain and continuing to work out. After all, I have come so far with my health and fitness goals that I couldn’t imagine stopping or even modifying that regimen.

On Tuesday, I woke up in so much pain that I decided to swallow my pride and head to the doctor. I felt a bit silly going in there with a two month old problem but I am so glad I did, because what I found out was shocking. My pain wasn’t something I was imagining. My spine curvature was grossly abnormal due to a muscle tear and constant spasm. Ironically, I breathed a sigh of relief because I finally had a source for the pain that was becoming such an inconvenience. My doctor gave me a ton of advice on how to remedy my neck pain. Everything from meds to ice to immobilization. And lastly he said, “No Bootcamp for at least two weeks.” My heart sank. All I could think of was how all my fitness progress would be undone if I’m unable to exercise at the gym. I already felt defeated. I felt sorry for myself.

As hard as it would be to be away from Bootcamp for two weeks, I had to recenter and realize that this was the best thing for me. I let go of the negative feelings I had towards my injury. Instead of asking “Why did this happen to me?”, I’m asking “What can I do to make the best of this situation?”. Of course, before I had my big A-HA moment, I did indulge in some junk food. Why the hell does that happen? Oh, because I’m human and I have lapses in my good judgement from time to time. I know that good, clean eating will be more important than ever while I’m on hiatus from the gym. I also accept that my weight is just a number and if I fluctuate in weight, it’s quite alright.  I intend to keep my lower body as active as possible so that I can make a smoother transition back to the gym when I’m ready.

This is all just a bump in my road to fitness journey and a reminder that no matter what kind of obstacles are placed in front of you, there’s always a way to pass through. I’ll see you on the other side!!!!

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Happy 9 Years

My second daughter Mia is about to turn 9 and each year that passes is like a badge of honor for me. At the time she was born, I had a 2 year old and my husband and I worked opposite schedules. We had no time for each other and our relationship was suffering. Mia was born into a rocky relationship. My marriage was in limbo, I was searching for something and I didn’t even know what it was. I was lost. Nevertheless, we were bringing this beautiful baby into the world. When she was born, she was such a good baby but I was truly unsure of our future. There was so much turbulence around and there were days where I contemplated leaving. Yes, this is terrible and it breaks my heart every time I think about it. But as painful as this time was, it was also a turning point in my marriage. We worked really hard on our differences. We made a lot of sacrifices and made the decision to love harder than ever before to make sure our kids could grow up surrounded by love and genuinely loving parents. It was not an easy feat because I was selfish, resentful and distracted. But we made it through. Since 2009, we’ve had some rough patches but all in all, it’s been a wonderful and interesting journey.

Every time I look at my beautiful Mia and every year on her birthday, I remember the hard times that we went through and I feel so thankful that we decided to make a go of it. She might never really know what our relationship went through before her but I will always do my best to give her the loving home and family that every child deserves. She is such a sweet and loving child, as are my two other daughters but she holds a special place in my heart because if not for her, our life would be so different. I could have lost my marriage but having her helped us realize that life is a gift and our relationships are to be treasured.

So Happy Birthday baby girl!!! We love you and appreciate you! Thank you for showing Daddy and I what it means to love unconditionally and for showing us that family is worth fighting for.

Breathe Then Scream…It Works

Yesterday was a busy day. Busier than usual. I was prepared for it. Until a wrench got thrown in. Our car battery decided to die in the morning. That added an additional stress to my already hectic day ahead. But I had to get everything done. We had a doctors appointment, kids cooking class and my mom had surgery, all back to back. In the back of my head was the looming fact that I had one dead car and one car that we’re gonna give away in a days time. OMG

I’m not a professional at juggling a ton of tasks but I get by on a daily basis. I am good at focusing on what needs to be done and getting it done. But for some reason I had a really tough time yesterday. I was overwhelmed with worry and frustration. I felt alone. My husband was at work till afternoon. By the time he was done, I was ready to explode. I had accomplished most of the tasks for the day but I just needed some help with getting the car situation taken care of. I felt trapped, overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted. I needed a quick release. A big cry. A big scream. A big punch. Or something else BIG. After some running around town with my husband, we finally were done.

We still had time to get to the gym. I debated on going because I was totally spent. But for that reason, I realized that I needed to go. So we went. When we got there, my husband got out of the car to feed the meter. I stayed in the car and let out a huge scream. I thought he wouldn’t hear me because we were parked on a busy street at rush hour and our car is well insulated. Haha! He heard me, and he looked at me as if he just heard someone get murdered. It felt great! And we looked at each other through the window and could not stop laughing. I was feeling better by the second.

We saw our friends and as I talked with them I felt better and better. Our workout was brutal and awesome at the same time. We worked hard! I kicked harder than ever. It felt great to unleash. My partners kept me going and we encouraged each other. At the end of class, I felt overwhelmed again but this time I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

I was grateful that I made it through the day. No one died. I made it to class. My car was fixed. My husband and I were on good, laughing terms. I had a chance to workout with my dear friends and let out my frustration in a completely safe and healthy environment. I took the opportunity to regroup, refocus and get ready for the next day ahead.

I learned that even though we have an insanely busy and frustrating day, there is always something to be grateful for and when we can find those things, the crap will all fall away.

Take Inspired Action

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This week, I took a huge leap outside my comfort zone and I posted a before and after pic of myself on Facebook wearing just a sports bra and leggings!!! EEK!!! I’ve seen so many people post these before and thought to myself, “I could never do that!”. I have always been so self-conscious of my body, stemming from tiny, seemingly meaningless comments from my childhood all the way through motherhood.

Before I hit the post button, my only wish was that someone out there would see it and realize that if I can make this transformation, so can they. I have worked so hard to reclaim my health and I was hoping to inspire some action by anyone who has ever felt defeated and doomed. That’s how I felt for so many years. So many stories replayed over and over in my head.

“It’s too late to get healthy.”

“You don’t have time to go to the gym.”

“You love food too much.”

“You wrecked your body when you had kids.”

“Don’t bother losing weight. He loves you no matter what you look like.” This, by the way, is true. My husband loves me no matter what I look like. But, I was using it as an excuse to not get healthy.

I know now that those stories were all holding me back. It wasn’t until I got fed up with my lack of energy, motivation and overall health that I decided to make a change.

The response from my one Facebook post has been overwhelming. All I really wanted was to inspire just one person. I am humbled by the kind words that people wrote, but the ones that touched me the most are the ones that mentioned how they were inspired to take some kind of action. That excites me. I know it can be crippling when you feel hopeless and helpless, so if I can be that beacon of light for someone so that they can see their potential and work towards it, then it’s worth it. There have been a handful of people who are that beacon to me. I hold them dear to my heart and always remember them when I’m feeling down and unmotivated.

My journey is not perfect, nor is it over. I am continuously working at it. One of my coaches at the gym shared this quote with me and I’m probably gonna mess it up but it goes something like “Be proud but never satisfied.” As long as I am inspired and inspiring actions in others, I will keep going.

Like Me, Love Me or Don’t

Do you seek approval or support from anyone? I had to ask myself this question and the answer was both painful and insightful.

Being the youngest of four siblings, I grew up expecting to be told what I could and could not do, always having to get the nod from my parents and older siblings for various things and depending on their approval before I proceeded. As I grew older, became a mom and made career choices, I still sought the approval of the ones closest to me. Granted, I think I made some pretty traditional, sound choices so it wasn’t hard to get their nod of approval or support. I married a nice man, went to college and became a nurse then had three beautiful daughter, which I know pleased my parents and family. Why wouldn’t it?

In more recent years, my husband and I have made some “different” choices based on what we felt was best for our family. I decreased my work hours from full time to part time, began homeschooling the kids, started a network marketing business, embarked on an amazing fitness journey and most recently launched a blog. Honestly, these are ideas completely foreign to most of my family members and things that my parents would never dream of trying. It has taken a great amount of courage to step out of my comfort zone and take on these ventures. At first, it hurt a lot when people would ask me “WHY?” I chose to take on such lofty dreams. They weren’t asking why in a genuinely curious way. They were asking in a condescending, degrading way as if questioning my decision-making capacity. I’ve learned that for me to succeed at any of these new undertakings, I needed to maintain a strong mindset and not let any other people’s opinion dictate my path. I also learned that whether or not someone supports me doesn’t matter. I will do it with or without them. I got this. These days, I do my best to go about my life not worrying whether my loved ones will support me in ALL I do. Although I’m human and yes, it feels nice when the ones closest to me can share in the joy of accomplishments or even empathize with failure, I will not let it define me. This is my journey to make and I’m a big girl. I can handle this.

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Today marks the first day of a two week vacation time for me. I don’t have any travel plans. I’m staying home with the kids while my husband takes a business trip to the mainland in a few days. I’m actually excited to have this time off from work. Although I love my job most of the time, this is a much needed break. I plan on using this time to refuel, recharge, reconnect with my family and relax.

Lately I’m guilty of “low vibing”. To me, this means feeling tired, uninspired, unmotivated and just bleh! I’ve recognized this and chose to shift my mind as soon as possible. In between those moments, I have shining moments of pure joy and bliss. High Vibing!!! These High Vibe moments are the ones I live for. But I understand that we all go through ups and downs depending on what life is dishing up everyday. My dear friend Dina is a Badass Mompreneur Healer and Professional High Vibration Specialist in my eyes. She always reminds me with all she does that the only way to roll is by High Vibing!!! Giving love, respect, excitement, inspiration and joy no matter what the situation. I am in constant admiration of her.

I need this time to get back to my high vibration so that I can share all the good I have inside me with you. I’m nowhere near being a perfect person, nurse, mom, daughter, wife or friend but I take the time to work on myself as much as possible. If you feel like a low viber, good for you for recognizing it. Most people don’t even notice they’re doing it. Choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you, encourage and support you and love you for whoever you are. Get outside and experience the sun on your face, smile for no reason, genuinely listen to people and judge less. We are all works in progress and the journey is what makes life interesting. I hope to have added some high vibes to your day and life!!!!

Burn Your Boats

The other day I was talking with my friend about our journeys toward better health. We were reflecting on how far we’ve come so far. We have both dropped some pounds but most importantly, we are physically stronger, have more endurance, confidence and can really see results in the way our clothes fit. She mentioned how she was getting ready for date night and because she had toned up her body, she had so many more options of clothing. She had kept a lot of her smaller clothes as many people do…with the hopes of maybe fitting into them one day. Well, her one day had come!!! She was so excited to measure her progress by fitting into once snug outfits. I am so inspired by her.

I can see my progress in the way my clothes fit. But I never kept any of my “skinny” clothes. I’ve worn a size 12 for more than 10 years, so my hope of fitting into smaller clothes was long gone. I had settled, and actually was on the verge of buying a size bigger when I finally decided that enough was enough. That was a year ago. I have since dropped 22 pounds. I have a ton of size 12 clothes. I considered wearing my current clothes that are now hanging off my body, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, I looked sloppy. I didn’t like it. I bought a few new items in size 10 and I’m loving how they fit.

After much contemplation, I decided to start getting rid of my size 12 clothes. Up till now, I was keeping them because I wasn’t 100% sure in my ability to maintain this new lifestyle. I was afraid that I might slip up and gain the weight back. I lacked confidence in my own ability to remain accountable to myself. I convinced my self that it would be okay if I gained the weight back because I would still have a lot of clothes to wear. I would have an escape option, a safety net. But then I remembered hearing the story of Cortes as he conquered VeraCruz in 1519. As they came ashore, he ordered his men to burn all the boats so they would either conquer or be killed. Tony Robbins recounted this story to us at one of his live events. He said, “If you want to take the island, burn your boats!!!” Make the decision to succeed and remove all options for failure or retreat. Yesterday, I removed all my clothes that are too big for me. As much as I love them, they’re gone and no longer serving a purpose for me. I have a renewed sense of commitment to myself, my family and my health. With no more “big” clothes in my closet, I have no choice but to remain relentless on this journey. My boats have officially been burned.

brown row boat sailing on clear body of water in between rock formations under clear blue sky
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