Category Archives: motivation

The Girl I Was

It was the summer of 2008.  My husband ame and dognd I had just gotten married two weeks prior and there I was…lying in our bed, clinging to my dog and crying my eyes out.

He had just left for a 2 week field exercise.  I wouldn’t see him for 2 weeks.  I wouldn’t talk to him for 2 weeks.  I had just moved into our apartment.  I had just moved to Killeen, Texas.  I didn’t know a single person there.  I didn’t know where anything was.

I was devastated.  Seriously.  I had no idea what to do with myself or how to occupy my time besides walking my dog and working out at the little apartment job.

I had just graduated from grad school.  I had no job.  Nothing to do.  And 2 weeks to kill before my brand new husband came back.

The days and hours loomed in front of me.  I had no idea how I was going to get through these next 2 weeks, let alone the upcoming deployment.

Now, 9 years later, 3 deployments later, here I am, in a foreign country with three little kids, all under the age of 7.

And he is gone.  Only for 5 days this time but still…(did I mention that we just got to this foreign country 7 weeks ago?)

Here are the things, that 9 years later, still haven’t changed:

  • I doubt myself…every time he leaves.  Whether it’s for 5 days or 5 weeks.  I doubt whether I can do this…whether I’m strong enough.
  • How will I be able to take care of these three kids by myself?  Get them dressed, fed, to school, to their activities, to bed?
  • I miss him.
  • I can’t wait until he gets back

Here are the things, that 9 years later, have changed:

  • Even though doubt creeps in every…single…time…I KNOW, deep down, that I AM strong enough to do this.
  • That girl who laid in bed and cried her eyes out is gone (although, I will admit, that as I laid in bed that first night in our new house in this strange village, I slept with all the lights on because I was scared)
  • I KNOW that I have all the tools and skills I need to get through this.
  • I know that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
  • I know, that with time, it will get easier

nobody

I am no longer the girl who can’t even deal with getting books for her college classes without having to call her mom and ask her for help

(Really.  That happened.)

Not to blow my own horn or anything…but I have come a LONG way.  I am still a work in progress.  I still have a long way to go…BUT…I can say, that I am, without a doubt, PROUD of how hard I have worked to be who I am today.

Who do YOU want to be?  What do you need to do to get there?

And…what are you waiting for?!??!!!!

Here are a few exercises to help you out:

reasons

self esteem journal

goals

 

 

Langsam, Bitte

Ever since we found out we were moving to Germany, my husband and I started working on learning German.  (We have been using Duolingo – a free app and Rosetta Stone -just in case anyone is interested in learning a language).

In German, “Langsam, bitte” means: Slowly please.

This has been my mantra the past few days…ever since I took my son for his 9 month check up.  Which, by the way, it’s like I blinked and he’s already 9 months old.  How did that happen?

At the doctor’s office, I began filling out the standard questionnaire.  You know, the one where they ask about fine motor skills, communication, etc.

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As I sat there, with the pink clipboard in my lap, the pen in my hand, and my son smiling up at me from his car seat, I realized something.

I couldn’t answer many of the questions.

Does he look for an object if you cover it up?  I don’t know.  I’ve never tried that.

Does he use his thumb and forefinger to grab something?  I think…maybe…I’m not sure…

Does he pick up a small object with one hand?  Um…..

Does he toss a toy back and forth between his hands?  Well…I’ve never seen him do that…

Does he say words like “ma”, “ba”, “ga”?

That last one…that last question…it was like a punch in the gut…the one where I thought to myself “I can’t believe I haven’t noticed that he isn’t doing this”.

Until I read that question…until the doctor mentioned that he had some concerns about his communication skills…I had not noticed that he is so quiet.

Talk about feeling like a crap mother.

The doctor assured me that there’s no need to worry YET.  After all, he was born a month early but it is something that we need to keep an eye on.

Holy.  Shit.

It’s not so much about me being worried that he will have problems communicating (and if he does he will just get speech therapy).

It’s the fact that I haven’t been paying ATTENTION.

It’s the fact that I have been running in twenty different directions, trying to do EVERYTHING – trying to exercise daily, to eat perfectly clean, to cook healthy dinners, to get the kids signed up for after school activities, to volunteer in my daughter’s classroom, to go see the sights, to meet friends, to do laundry, to read to the kids, to get them to bed at a decent time, to finish unpacking the house, to work (I work from home, auditing charts), to go on a date with my husband, to find decent babysitters for the kids, to learn the language, to learn the socially acceptable ways to behave in a German village, to navigate the German grocery stores…I could go on and on and on.

After that doctor’s appointment I realized I need to slow WAY down.  I need to STOP worrying about the next thing that needs to be done and just PLAY with my kids at the park.  Just sing to my baby and read him books.  Hold him and take time to sit at the table and feed him, instead of shoving a cracker in his hand as we run out the door to the next activity.

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All that matters is that we are healthy.  We are together.  And I will figure this all out…eventually.

Langsam, bitte.

Slowly, please.

In a world where we want everything YESTERDAY, remember that life is PRECIOUS.  Life is fleeting.  Life is NOT guaranteed.

The little moments are TRULY what matter the most.

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As a side note, one of the things that has helped me slow down is the Crockpot!  I throw dinner in there in the morning and it’s ready in the afternoon.  Instead of spending time in the kitchen after my daughter gets off the bus, I can spend time playing with my kids.

In case you find that you need to slow down as well, I wanted to share a few crockpot recipes from my current online accountability group that have been a hit here at my house!

Pumpkin 3 Bean Chili

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS:

o 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

o 1 cup onion, chopped

o 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

o 3 cloves garlic minced

o 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

o 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

o 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

o 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

o 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes

o 2 teaspoons chili powder

o 1.5 teaspoons cumin 1.5 teaspoons oregano

o 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

o ½ teaspoon sea salt  o 2.5 cups vegetable broth

o Toppings: Fresh cilantro Avocado Scallions

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and pepper, sauté until tender.

3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.

4. Transfer to Crockpot.

5. Add remaining ingredients to Crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours.

6. Top with fresh cilantro, avocado and scallions

 

Chicken Enchiladas

10 servings, about 1 cup each

INGREDIENTS:

o 1 tsp. olive oil

o 1 medium onion, chopped

o 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

o 2 medium jalapenos, seeded and deveined, finely chopped

o 1 lb. raw ground chicken breast (or whole breast cut into strips or bitesize pieces)

o 1½ cups dry farro, rinsed

o 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed, drained

o 1 cup frozen corn o 1 (15 oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes (or diced tomatoes), no salt added

o 1 cup water

o 1 (10-oz.) can red enchilada sauce

o 2 Tbsp. chili powder

o 1 Tbsp. ground cumin

o 2 tsp. ground coriander

o Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

o 1 cup shredded jack (or cheddar or Mexican blend) cheese

o 3 medium green onions, chopped

o ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft.

3. Add garlic and jalapenos; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until jalapenos are soft.

4. Add chicken; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

5. Place chicken mixture, farro, beans, corn, tomatoes, water, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, and coriander in a 3-quart slow cooker; mix well and cover. Cook on high for 3 hours, or until liquid has been absorbed, and farro is tender.

6. Remove lid and stir mixture. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Add cheese; mix well. Cover until cheese has melted.

7. Top with green onions and cilantro; serve.

*You could use brown rice if you can’t find farro

*I got already cooked, diced chicken from the refrigerated section
 

Give Up Or Give In

We have two choices:  We can either give up OR we can give in…

You may be thinking, “Um, what’s the difference?”

Stick with me, kid, and I’ll let you in on a little secret.

When you think of “giving up”, what automatically comes to mind?

give

Maybe something along the lines of –

Failing…Losing…Less than…Without…

The official definition of “giving up” is: cease making an effort, resign oneself to failure.

What about “giving in”?  What words pop into your head now?

Back down…Submit…Quit…Concede…

Here is the official definition of “giving in”: cease fighting or arguing; yield; surrender.

Both of these phrases tend to have a negative connotation BUT…if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know we aren’t about the negativity here.

What if “giving in” meant something else?

What if “giving in” meant that you were giving in to your goals, to your dreams and desires…that you were in fact surrendering to them and letting them happen (and making them happen) INSTEAD OF “giving up”.

There are a plethora of reasons people “give up” before they even begin… because it seems too hard or you don’t think you can do it or others don’t think you can do it or you don’t have time or you don’t have the money or you have kids or you work too much or you have too many obligations or you are too tired or you don’t know where to start or…I could go on but I think you get the picture.

Giving up is easy.  It’s for amateurs.  It’s for the nay-sayers.  It’s for the weak.  For the faint of heart.

It is NOT for YOU.

Giving in…that’s what YOU need to FOCUS on.

they

GIVING in to your fear…letting it engulf you…envelope you…cocoon you…because you know that if it scares the hell out of you…than that is exactly what you should be going for.

Give in to your imagination.  Picture what it will be like when you fit into those jeans or write that novel or buy the house on the beach or have the job you want or the relationship you desire.

Give in to the BIG goals.  And I mean BIG- things that you think others were meant to accomplish instead of you.  Things that you are scared to even say out loud because you’re afraid others may laugh at you.

girl

Give in to what you want…to what you can’t stop thinking about…to what keeps you up at night…

Give in to THAT.

And…when you do…there is NOTHING you can’t do.

Fear is Fuel

me fearYou know that feeling you get as you contemplate doing something big?  Making a big change?  Making a huge leap?  Taking a chance?

 

Your stomach tightens.  Your heart beats like a hummingbird’s wings.  Maybe your hands shake.  A thousand thoughts race through your head simultaneously yet you are able to pinpoint what each one is trying to tell you – STOP –  they all say.

“Don’t do it.  Go back.  It’s too scary.  It’s not going to work.”

And then…the “what if’s” start…

What if people think it’s a dumb idea?

What if I fail?

What if I lose money?

What if I can’t figure it out?

What if people criticize me?

What if…what if…what if…

All of this…all of these counter-productive thoughts and jittery feelings can be summarized in one four-letter word…

FEAR.

People think “fear” is an ugly word – BUT – what if it weren’t?

191072-Everything-You-Want-Is-On-The-Other-Side-Of-Fear

When fear wells up inside of you, what if, instead of backing off, you embrace it?  What if you welcome it with open arms, knowing that when you feel that fear it means you are onto something…it means that you are heading in the right direction?

Kind of counter-intuitive, right?

But, think about it for a  minute.  If something is easy, is it scary?

No, of course not.  Because it’s easy.  If it’s easy, you know you won’t fail – you know the outcome.

The unknown can be down right terrifying.  The “what-if’s” are never scarce and the critics are constantly whispering in your ear.

If you are afraid…that is when you know you are CLOSE – close to something big.  Close to something life-changing.  Close to EXACTLY where you need to be.

Fear means…go for it!  Go for what makes you want to pee your pants.

If it’s easy, it’s not really worth having.  It has little value.

It’s safe to NOT try.  It’s safe to remain comfortable, to keep doing the same thing – day in and day out.  It’s safe to stay with the status-quo and do the ORDINARY things everyone else around you is doing.

BUT

If you want to be EXTRAordinary…then there is a different path for you.

If it’s HARD.  If it’s SCARY.  If you can’t imagine life without it (“it” refers to whatever your particular goals are) then it is PRICELESS.  All the hard work…the time…the effort…the energy…it will all be WORTH it.

Fire

Use that FEAR to FUEL your fire…to ignite your desires…to smoke the nay-sayers and to light up your life in ways you have only dreamed about.

 

 

 

 

 

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Just Go For It

I’ve been taking a lot of risks lately – not physical risks like skydiving or bungee jumping…but more of the emotional type of risks.

I have just been going for it – and guess what?  It feels AHH-MAZING!

better

I’ve been reaching out to people and asking them to be a part of my team (Team Fight For Fit).  I’ve been asking people if they would like to join challenge groups to work on their health and fitness.  I have been connecting with old friends I haven’t seen in a while (like years) and asking them to hang out.

I am going after what I want.  I am going after what I want my life to look like.  I’m being more authentically ME.

Even when the people I reach out to don’t respond or they say no – you know what?  I feel PROUD.  I’m proud of myself.  Proud that I tried.  Proud that I won’t keep wondering “what if” because now I have an answer.

The rejections I get.  The silence on the other end.  It means I’m LIVING.  It means I’m working towards my dreams.

And do you know something else I’ve recently realized?  It’s not about whether the person says yes to joining my team or not.  It’s not about whether the person responds or not to my offer…it’s actually NOT about the outcome at all.

Before, I used to think it was ALL about the end result.  That’s how you measure success – how many “yes’s” you get, how many people you recruit, how much money is in the bank – BUT I’m here to tell you it’s NOT!

As I put myself out there more and more, share my personal thoughts and feelings, share my transformations (inside and outside) I realize it’s all about the PROCESS.  It’s about who I am becoming.

I am becoming STRONGER.  More confident.  More sure of what I want for myself.  Of who I want to be.  Of my purpose in life (besides wife and mother).

woman-walking-tightrope

So, today I say to you:  Do what scares the CRAP out of you.  Do that one thing that you are afraid to do.

Climb that wall.  Jump that hurdle.  Because, what’s on the other side is BEAUTIFUL.  It may not look like what you expected, BUT it’s beautiful all the same.