Tag Archives: health and wellness

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

 

 

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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The Permission Slip

I was multi-tasking, as I often do these days…so while I was driving to work I was listening to “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown and she brought up an excellent idea that I wanted to share with you:

Write yourself a permission slip – give yourself permission to feel _________________(fill in the blank) or be _________________or do __________________.

Give yourself permission to be authentically, unapologetically YOU.

To Whom itMay Concern_

Do you ever find yourself saying: I wish I could….I wish I was more….If only I had….

Well, guess what???  You CAN give yourself permission to be those things, have those things and do those things.

Here’s an example of a permission slip I wrote for myself today:

To Whom it May Concern:

Today I give myself permission to believe that I am enough, that I am doing the best I can and to breathe when I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed.

Write it on a slip of paper, keep it in your pocket, and pull it out WHENEVER you need it.

This is a wonderful, easy and cheap way to give yourself a mental boost when needed.

And believe me, if you’re human, (and I assume you are if you’re reading this) than you will need a mental boost at least once in your lifetime.  We all do!  And that’s okay!

Instead of looking to get approval from someone else or looking to get a push from someone else or looking to drown your sorrows in a bottle of booze or a binge session of Blue Bell Ice Cream…try this instead.

We can’t always count on someone or something else to give us what we need.

Be your OWN cheerleader.  Be your OWN source of support.  Let the energy come from within, envision who you want to be, what you want to be and what you want to have and…give yourself permission to do it!!!

And, don’t forget, write it down and keep it in your pocket.

Go Take a Walk

Did you know….Walking is good for the body, mind AND soul?  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time than you’ll know that this is something that is HUGELY important to me!!!  TOTAL health and wellness includes a healthy mind, body and soul!!!

walk as if

I LOVE walking – I have a lot of fond memories growing up of going on walks with my family.  When I think about those walks, a little happiness bubbles in my tummy.  I remember the way the sun felt on my skin, the pavement felt beneath my feet and the enjoyment I got from being with my parents, and often, my sister.

There was a certain route we usually took and we called it the 3 mile loop.  I can’t remember what we talked about but I can remember how it felt to be out there, to look at the trees blowing in the breeze and to watch the ducks paddle across the lake.  Even now, when I think about it, a sense of calm and peace washes over me.

I still get that feeling when I go for walks today.  I love taking my kids for walks.  If our destination is within walking distance, you better believe we are pounding the pavement instead of hopping in the car.  Being in the sunshine, getting the blood pumping and burning a few extra calories?  YES PLEASE!!!

me walking

There is something about the breeze on my face and the fresh air in my lungs that boosts my spirits…and…apparently…I’m not the only one that feels this way.  There are MANY benefits to walking for exercise and/or enjoyment…here are 12 of them:

  1. Reduces stress.
  2. Releases endorphins or the “happy chemicals”.  I often recommend to my clients who are suffering from depression to get out and go for a walk!
  3. Boosts self-esteem!!!!  Did you know that exercising improves your perception of yourself and how attractive you are?
  4. Gives you a chance to enjoy the outdoors – exercising outdoors can actually boost self-esteem more
  5. Prevents cognitive decline (aka helps prevent memory loss)
  6. Alleviates anxiety
  7. Increases brain power – cardiovascular exercise produces new brain cells
  8. Boosts memory and your ability to learn new things!
  9. Helps combat addiction because exercises releases dopamine – the reward chemical in the brain
  10. Helps you sleep better
  11. Increases overall energy and productivity at work
  12. Boosts creativity (I know I get a lot of GREAT – if I do say so myself – ideas while walking)

So…grab a buddy…and get out there!!!!  Walk, run, bike, DO SOMETHING…just make sure you GET UP AND MOVE!!

I want to hear from you!!!!  Tell me what kind of exercise you like to do and what benefits you have found from exercising!!!  Share this post with others and inspire them to workout with you!!!