Health, Life, Life Lessons, mental health

Giving Voice To The Struggle

I’ve started this post more times than I can count. I’ve written and deleted what I would imagine is hundreds of half drafts with hundreds more floating around in my head. How do I find just the right words to say what I want to say? What if it’s not perfect? What if people don’t understand? Is being vulnerable worth it? If it’s not flowery and pretty – but raw and honest – will people even care? What if they think I’m just trying to get attention? Will it even help anyone?

… STOP…

Enough is enough. The thoughts keeping me from sharing are the thoughts that I am trying to share. Sharing is important to me. This little corner of the interwebs is a very important part of my life.  It’s not about the notoriety or attention. For me sharing has always been about making people realize they are not alone. Not only have I wanted to make others realize they weren’t alone, I needed to know that I wasn’t alone either. Over the last two years or so I’ve been eerily quiet here though. I’ve wondered what, if anything, people thought about my silence. That I was just too busy (true), that I hit my weight loss goals and had nothing else to write about (not true), that I didn’t care about sharing any more (not true), that I gained back all the weight I lost and was ashamed to talk about it (it’s complicated)… while there could be many different reasons and excuses for my lack of presence both here and on social media there is ultimately one reason…

I’m struggling. 

Not in the “it’s Monday afternoon and I’m a little tired” struggling. The dig deep, foundation shaking, world view cracking, sleepless night, anxiety filled, broken, exhausted, confused, and trying to figure it all out kind of struggling. That kind of struggling isn’t sexy. It doesn’t sell. There are no three easy steps to create pinable images out of. There’s no finished product. There’s no before and after that will fill you with a flash of inspiration.

There are always three parts to a story. The beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is easy to share. I was here… the end generally brings resolution (unless it’s last night’s season premiere of walking dead but that’s a whole other post). But the middle… the struggle… that is always somehow minimized. Yet it is the meat of the story, where the magic happens. Before and After weight loss pictures don’t tell anything about the middle. As a matter of fact, they ignore it completely. People generally don’t want to hear about the struggle. We don’t go around showing our still open and raw wounds. We may show off our scars, once the rawness and pain has passed. The struggle doesn’t ever get a voice. And because of that living in the struggle is a shameful, dark, and lonely place. That’s so sad when the reality is many of us are living in the struggle. It may not be an earth shattering, sleep taking, life altering struggle… but it’s a struggle none the less.

I’m not going to try to minimize or exaggerate my struggle. It is mine to live with, to work through, to conquer. We each have our own and it affects us all differently. No ones is better or worse, easier or harder. Your struggle isn’t any more or less important or valid than mine. While I’ve had many different types of struggle there is one underlying struggle that seems to connect with and make the others far more difficult to conquer… and that is my struggle with anxiety. It wasn’t until the last several months that I was able to put a name to the thing that has haunted me for so long. I’ve lived with this feeling for about as long as I can remember. This constant buzz (and not the fun kind LOL). This constant feeling that I had to be doing something, doing more, doing better. This suffocating fear of not being perfect. This unquenchable thirst for control over the tiniest things. This overwhelming fear of the unknown. It’s lived with me for a long time. It didn’t manifest itself in the stereotypical ways we see anxiety being portrayed. It festered just under the surface enough to be annoyingly undetectable under normal life circumstances. I managed it well without even knowing it, numbing the pain and discomfort with busyness, productivity, overachievement. I kept that dull ache at bay for a long time. This post really sums it up well –> What it’s like to have ‘High Functioning Anxiety

Over the past year or two life has been anything but normal. In a really healthy way and out of a desire to live our best life Chris and I began to ask hard questions about where we were and what we wanted out of life. You know the typical “It’s the end of your 20’s and you should have life figured out by now” kind of questions. How did we get here? Is this the life we want to live? Are we happy? If we keep doing what we’re doing now what will life look like 10 years from now? While there are a lot of deep and personal answers we discovered both individually and together there was one big decision we made that changed everything. After years of running several of our own businesses and trying to live off the high of the “American Dream” because it was what we were supposed to do… Chris decided to pursue his lifelong passion of working in the medical field. With a bachelors in marketing and some experience as an EMT nearly a decade ago we set ourselves on a journey to make the impossible happen. Less than 2 weeks before the start of the semester he enrolled in school to finish the pre-reqs he would need to get into the program he wanted. In typical Chris and Courtney fashion we dove into the deep end. Him in school and working full time with the marketing company meant I had to step up in a lot of other areas. I believed in him and his passion and ability to make the jump from marketing to nursing and wanted to do anything I could to make it happen. I was capable and driven. The story of how we are where we are today with this is nothing short of a miracle. In the past year I went from helping coach and manage to running the CrossFit completely on my own, he passed his pre-reqs, he was accepted into a very difficult to get into accelerated masters of nursing program, we sold our house, moved into in apartment, P changed schools and started 1st grade… so yea, not just a normal year.

This circumstances made my previously undetected unproblematic anxiety show it’s true ugly face. The truth is I am more than capable of handling everything I’ve been through – anxiety just made it a lot harder than it should have been. I didn’t understand what was happening with me. I was scared. Anxiety that usually manifested itself in a deceivingly productive way became almost crippling. There were days when getting out of bed seemed impossible. I was disconnected, shut down, closed off. I couldn’t catch my breath, literally and figuratively. I knew there was something wrong… but I was a perfectionist, the smart girl who should know how to handle it all. The one who helped not the one who asked for help. I was neck deep in the struggle. I said I was ok, that I could handle it. I always did. I was the strong one, the capable one. Hell, I have a psychology degree surely I should have healthy coping mechanisms for this. But I didn’t. Refusing to acknowledge I was living in the struggle cost me a lot. Not being honest with myself or the people close to me about my struggle caused a lot of pain. Pretending to be ok when I wasn’t nearly killed me. Maybe not in the physical sense. Suicide, while a very real and scary problem that I’m not discounting, is not a struggle of mine. I’d rather live with my pain than inflict it on those around me by taking my life. Living with that pain was suffocating though. I tried to numb that pain in a lot of ways – some more reckless than others. My default pain killer of choice was and will always will be busyness. If I’m not still enough long enough to feel it I can pretend it’s not there. All this self-medicating was wearing on me though. Eventually… in some very painfully vulnerable moments… I was able to admit I was struggling and needed help. And even just being able to tell someone that felt like weight off my shoulders.

I’ve spent a very long time trying to be perfect. I’ve constantly been “on” trying to prove something… to myself, to the world. I was trying so hard to hold it all together because I was so scared of falling apart. Of being less than perfect. Of not being good enough. I was talking to a very close friend of mine about this… About how I kept everything tucked so neatly inside the outline everyone drew for me with their expectations… and that if I ventured outside those lines I was afraid I’d fall apart. The response was exactly what I needed to hear even if I didn’t want to hear it (tough love friends are the best, aren’t they?)

“You can’t be scared to address your shit. Living in fear is no way to live. The truth is you may fall apart when you open it up. But guess what?  The people in your life who love you are going to be here to help put you back together and the reassembled version is going to be so much stronger, more confident and healthier.”

I lived my whole life refusing to give myself permission to not be ok. I held myself to impossible standards. I was… am.. broken. Because we, as humans, are imperfect and broken. I have, with the help of Chris and other very dear people in my life, given myself permission to be broken. And it has been intoxicatingly liberating.

I am still in the struggle. I’m just giving that struggle a voice. I have good days and bad days. I saw my doctor and am taking Anxiety meds. I set up a meeting with a therapist. I am learning how to have healthy coping mechanisms. I don’t have it all figured out. My wounds are still raw and open wounds not impressive scars. I don’t have a perfectly posed after picture to inspire you… all I have is the promise that you are not alone. You are enough.You don’t have to be perfect. Simply existing makes you worthy.

img_0659

It’s ok to give your struggle a voice. To not have it all together. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’m here for you and I know each and every one of you have people around you that love you and would love to be there for you too.

Health, Life, Life Lessons, Nutrition

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Oh hey there.

IMG_6591

It’s been faaaaaar too long. I had a moment this summer when I realized that I was trying to juggle so many different things and doing none of them exceptionally well. I wanted so desperately to be good at everything and ended up feeling like I wasn’t good at anything. And while it was something I loved and worked so hard to build… the blog was something I had to let go of updating regularly. Who knew being a wife and mom, running (and expanding!) several businesses, trying to maintain my own health and fitness, and figuring out life with a kid now in school would be too much for one person to handle… ha. It was important to me to be more present in every day life and most of my responsibilities, like running a CrossFit, weren’t ones I could give up on. So I took a break from posting regularly here. But I’ve missed it! And now that I feel like I have a little bit of a better handle on things I’m excited to try to get back into the groove with posting here.

This blog has grown and changed as I have grown and changed. It has been a place for deep reflections, a training journal for my past races, it had a short stint as an attempted crafting blog, but mostly it has been the way I have documented my weight loss and fitness journey over the past 5 years. The thing is along with realizing I couldn’t do it all I reached a major turning point in my weight loss journey this summer. I reached a point where the number on the scale wasn’t very important. I wasn’t willing to go to more extreme measures just to see that number change. I stopped stressing about it. As I continued to study for my Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification I started implementing some of the principles I was learning. I kept up with my regular Crossfit workouts, which range between 1-2 hours a day 5 days a week. I made healthy choices for the most part and enjoyed some indulgences on occasion as well. I’m almost scared to admit it… but I feel like I found peace and balance. I don’t want to say I’m in maintenance mode. I do want to be more lean than I currently am. But I absolutely love my body where it is at as well.

6-love-your-body

It’s weird, though. To be at a place I always dreamed of being. We just got back from a trip to Jamaica (I’ll write more about that in another post) where I spent 4 days in a bikini and not once felt ashamed or self conscious. And when people started posting pictures from the weekend I didn’t cringe or hate any of them. I looked at myself and think “wow, I did this” instead of thinking how I need to eat less or workout more.

This shift in mindset didn’t happen because I lost weight. This shift in my mindset happened because I worked on my mind and soul. By learning to care for my body I learned that there is so much more to being healthy than just eating right and working out. Being completely healthy means taking care of your body, mind, and soul.

Healthy concept, Spirit, Body and Mind, drawing on blackboard

Doing things you love, challenging the lies you’ve been told about yourself your whole life, speaking powerful truths in place of those lies, taking time to invest in yourself, discovering your worth, surrounding yourself with people who support and empower you… all these things lead to being completely healthy. And that is what a lot of people miss on this journey. That’s dangerous. If all you do is focus on the physical aspect it is far more likely the changes you see in your body won’t stay around for long. I’d wager to say the changes I’ve seen in my body, especially in the last few months, have been not because I was focusing on the physical changes but because I have been focusing on my mind and soul as well. Realizing (and admitting) that I can’t do it all was a huge step for me. It eliminated the stress I put on myself. Because no one expected me to be able to do it all… except for me. When I started removing stress and unrealistic expectations from my life I became happier and healthier.

bikiniprogress

Same bikini, 5 months apart. I noticed a huge difference! According to the scale I’ve lost 13lbs on the scale, PR’d several lifts, and even got a few pull ups, got toes to bar, and got my rope climbs back. I haven’t changed my eating or workouts significantly. I’ve simply focused on my mental and emotional well being and tried to manage my stress more effectively. [Tweet “Take care of your mental well being and your physical well being will follow”].

It’s been a process, It always is. But you are worth the hard work.

Do you focus on your mental and emotional health or just your physical health?
What can you do today to be healthier in mind, body, and soul?

 

 

Life, Life Lessons

Twenty-Eight

Yesterday was a special day… my birthday!

My twenty-eighth birthday to be exact.

Birthdays have always been fun to me. They are another day to celebrate and look back on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. I have a blurred memory of lots of my birthdays growing up… the first one I remember was when I was 4. I remember getting this big brown teddy bear that I actually may still have in the basement… There was one that was a surprise party on Easter Sunday, that may have been my 7th I think. I had my easter dress, bonnet, and gloves on and heard the loud SURPRISE as I walked in the door and promptly collapsed to the floor. My sweet 16 was another little surprise party with my youth group friends. On my 18th birthday my parents surprised me by pulling a “Pimp my Ride” style stunt and completely redoing my 96 Pontiac Sunfire turning into what was lovingly dubbed the Smiley-Mobile. Think bright yellow, flashy lights, and a windsheild decal that said Smiley (which was my nickname back then)

IMG_9263

IMG_9262

Excuse the quality of these pictures… I’m pretty sure they were taken with a disposable camera. And I had to dig them out of an old photo album, like a physical photo album… not one on a hard drive somewhere.

Anyway, that was my pride and joy for awhile. Until she died. RIP Smiley. As I was thinking about all my past birthdays and this one came up I realized that was TEN years ago. Gosh, at 18 I seemed so… young. And yes, I was wearing a tiara made out of silver pipe cleaners…. Oh life. It seemed so simple back then. I remember vividly imagining where I would be in 10 years. Man, was I wrong. And I’m so thankful too. Garth was right when he said Some of God’s Greatest gifts were unanswered prayers.

As I look back on the past 28 years there are so many life lessons and defining moments. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, especially in the last 10 years, is to not to live life solely based on expectations. Not just your own expectations, but that of those around you and society. I am no where I expected to be when I pictured 28. I’m actually in a much better place than I could have ever imagined.

View this post on Instagram

#familyselfie at the circus! #moolahshrine

A post shared by Courtney Feldman (@imperfectlycourtney) on

I have a handsome husband and a beautiful daughter.

IMG_9244

I am in the best shape of my life.

IMG_9100

I have the most amazing CrossFit family. I have a wonderfully supportive online community (you guys are awesome!) and I get a new chance to inspire people every single day.

I truly am blessed. Yesterday everyone made me feel so special. I can’t thank you all enough for that.

Here is to another year full of loving fiercely, laughing loudly, and living large.

What’s one of your most memorable birthdays?

 

 

Life, Life Lessons

Just Stop.

Stop.

Just stop.

Just for a minute.

Take some time to enjoy the life you already have.

In our world busyness is often mistaken for success. we complain/humble brag about how incredibly busy we are.

yet somehow in between the hustle and bustle of being busy or talking about how busy we are we forget one important thing.

to live.

in the here and now.

in that moment of cuddles before bedtime.

of laughter and bubbles at bathtime.

because 10 years from now I won’t remember if my kitchen was clean.

or what that stranger on instagram posted.

I am so terribly guilty of this. I have chased my dreams and been so focused on the what’s next that I miss the now.

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful life.

a beautiful family…

familydisney

a community of strong like minded people at CrossFit 70…

crossfit70

and amazing friends and readers here.

but sometimes i let my mind get so cluttered that i can’t focus on what’s now because i’m so concerned with what’s next.

it has been like this for awhile, but the holidays seem to make it more noticeable.

I find myself going through the motions of what i should be doing… presents, cards, decorations…

but I’m not taking the time to really live it. I just mark it off my to do list and go on to the next thing.

so for the next week I’m going to take some time to just stop… and enjoy the life i already have.

juststop

Health, Life Lessons, Weight Loss, workouts

Owning Your Journey

Sometimes I have things planned out to write about. Today was one of those days where I had something totally different scheduled but when I read this post called “of tiny pink dumbbells and fat chicks” I felt inspired to write something totally different. So here we go…

when i first started trying to lose weight i thought i could just drop the weight and be done with it. i’d be a before and after. i’d have one of those wildly successful blogs where i shared all my secrets. i’d get to my “goal weight” and then be able to eat whatever i want and live happily ever after.

ha. wrong.

i thought there would be a quick fix. Especially after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I was certain I’d get on medication and the weight would fall off. I thought that if i could just lose the weight i’d be happier. better. prettier. i started running and loved the feeling of accomplishment it gave me. i loved seeing my times improve.

1racerecap

the weight didn’t come off quickly. i ran into frustration A LOT. i gave up often. i ate my feelings. “well if the weight isn’t just going to fall off then i might as well eat whatever i want anyway…” and so the cycle continued. I would work hard and see results for a week or two and then plateau and give up again. at this point i was chasing a number on the scale.

but then something changed when i found CrossFit. I had already lost a good 25lbs or so on my own and i was proud of that. but i still felt like i was starting from scratch. i had ZERO strength. like at all. I remember having to use two huge assistance bands and have my coach push up on my foot just to do a pull up. Doing any kind of weightlifting was intimidating, just the bar seemed SO heavy. but I kept at it. For over a year straight I got up at 4:15am nearly every morning to make it to the 5am class. I scaled WODs, cried during WODs, bled during WODs, and was often the last to finish. but I never once thought about giving up.

somewhere in between the blood, sweat, & tears it wasn’t just about being a before and after. I wasn’t chasing a body type or a number on the scale. My “end goal” of being 175lbs and a size 12 changed. Carrie explained it best in her post

There is no absolute success in lifting and fitness. It is a progression. Success means continuing to move toward a continually moving target.

Suddenly all my goals became moving targets. I wanted to get over 100lb deadlift (my max is currently 235lbs now!) but once I hit 100 I wanted 105… and on and on. I’m constantly thinking about how I can make myself better. I celebrate the victories, but I’m always striving for more.

deadlift
My first 100lb Deadlift
thankyou
225lb Deadlift

When I started this journey I was happy my mile time was under 20 minutes. Now i’m somewhere around 11 minutes (it’s been awhile since I’ve run a mile…)

I’ve put in the sweat and tears and time. I know that I am the fittest I’ve ever been. I have killer endurance. I can lift moderately heavy. I am strong. But you may not be able to guess that if you were to look at me without knowing my story. I weigh 183lbs, still above average for my height. I am a size 12/14/16 (depending on the brand, stupid designers). I’m not what most people expect to be a CrossFit owner/coach. Look at my body and you might think I’m still that chubby girl, but put a barbell in my hands and start that clock and I’ll surprise you. This didn’t happen overnight. There is no 30 day fix. It came from years of hard work and discipline. Hours upon hours in the gym, even more hours in the kitchen.

weightlossprogress

And so here I am owning my journey, every glorious mountain top and valley of despair. Every euphoric PR and every “Why am I even trying?!”

This is my journey.

Sometimes I forget that. When I see people effortlessly lift the weight I’ve been struggling to get, when people lose body fat twice as fast as I do… I fail to remember that their journey is not mine. I don’t know what they have been through to get where they are. I don’t know what struggles they have faced and overcome. Their journey is different. And that’s ok.

So, next time you see someone and are tempted to pass judgement remember that you may not see the whole story.

And next time you may be the one being judged, remember they don’t know your journey.

Family Life, Life Lessons

Newsflash: I’m not Perfect.

Sometimes I wish life had a pause button. Or an extra day in the week. Or both. There should be a weekend for relaxing, then a buffer day, then the work week. How do we make that happen?

To be honest, these last few months have been a blur. I have a tendency to get caught up in busyness and forget to ENJOY. The house needs cleaned, homework needs to be done, laundry needs to be washed (folded and put away), working 40ish hours a week, planning healthy meals, grocery shopping, working out, blogging/social media to keep up with… and the list goes on. At the end of the day I climb into bed exhausted, and feeling let down that I didn’t get it all done. Apparently, in my mind I’m Wonder Woman.

The truth is, I’m not Wonder Woman (shocker, I know). And I can’t do it all. So I live with the sticky floor I spilled coffee creamer on last week and still haven’t mopped… and the clothes in the dryer that I have turned on “touch up” 5 times because I didn’t have time to fold them…. the late nights of finishing school assignments just before deadlines…. the random meals I throw together because I haven’t been shopping… and the early mornings because it’s the only time I can get a workout in… and the toys all over my floor that I am boycotting picking up for the gazillionth time… the sheets I don’t wash enough…. the toilet I don’t clean enough…and the fact that my kid watches too much tv…

and i realize that i may not be perfect…. but that’s ok.

i am me. i am still learning. i have an amazing husband, who supports me whole heartedly. and deals with my emotions and break downs. and loves me despite it all.

and i have been blessed to have a daughter who has such a joy and zest for life. she is curious, smart, talkative, friendly, and compassionate and has taught me more than I feel like I can ever teach her…

i’m sure i’m still going to have days that i expect too much of myself and feel let down when i don’t get it all done.

i’ll have melt downs.

and cry over spilt creamer (true story… you don’t have to cry over spilt milk… but coffee creamer is way more expensive than milk!)

but at the end of the day, i know that i am doing ok.

and i’m ok with that.

Do you struggle with trying to do it all? Any tips?


Don’t forget about the Dietbet Challenge – It starts next Wednesday! The pot is up to $280 so far… Who is next? Sign Up Now!

Life Lessons, workouts

inferiority complex

I haven’t talked much about it on the blog, but I am in school to get a BA in Psychology. One of the classes I’m taking right now is Theories of Personality and it just so happens that during this week’s reading I read about Adler’s Inferiority Complex. It began with his studies on Organ Inferiority. The theory was that certain organs that may have problems they have to work to overcome actually end up being stronger than those that hadn’t had issues. He translated this idea to psychology as well, basically saying we all experience feelings of inferiority as children. Some people, he theorized, feel so inferior in certain areas they work so hard on that particular thing that it eventually becomes a strength.

So basically by feeling inferior we motivate ourselves to make our biggest weakness into our biggest strength.

This rings so true to me where I am right now in my life and journey. For so long I’ve been great at almost everything I have set my mind to. I got good grades in high school, always advanced quickly in the workplace, had great relationships with people… but the one thing I couldn’t conquer was my fitness. I knew that I would have to work harder on this major weakness than I did on any of my other natural strength. I may have been blessed with a sharp mind but a strong body has been harder to come by. I can’t count the number of times I have felt inferior because of my body or fitness level.

That time when I couldn’t try on all the cute prom dresses because they didn’t come in my size. That time the appliance delivery man asked when I was due (oh ya, that was just a few months ago). That time I couldn’t go on the hiking trip because I couldn’t run the mile fast enough. That time I couldn’t pass the Physical Fitness Test in ROTC. All those times, painful as they were, led to me being motivated enough to focus on my weakness and turn it into a strength. I will be a “normal” size. I will hike pike’s peak. I will be able to perform all aspects of the PFT. I will punch the delivery guy in the face… oops, got carried away with that one… (poor guy actually felt worse than I did for the record).

While fitness as a whole is the main “inferiority” that I am overcoming I have found that I have several smaller areas within the fitness realm that I am trying to focus on improving.

One is box jumps. Uhm, hello biggest fear. It’s so stupid.

Today at CrossFit the WOD included a bunch of box jumps. The smallest box they have is 18″. That is like above my knee! (What? I’m short!) I have this fear of wiping out, missing the box, or a mixture of both. Like, I haven’t even been able to work up the courage to actually try it. I got so mad at myself for it today. I ended up doing step ups instead of jumps during the WOD, and stayed after for awhile trying to get myself to do it but I couldn’t.

As I drove home I promised myself I would do whatever it took to conquer that fear and turn that weakness into a strength.

And I will. Watch me.

 What is something that you consider a weakness that you want to turn into a strength?

 

Life Lessons

Self-Sabotage

Time is going too fast. I blinked and its already Thursday! To be honest, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. I wish there was a way to just pause life for a day to catch up on everything I feel behind in…. School, Housework, Random Projects, Work Projects, Vacation, Family time… But that’s not going to happen, So I’m trying to figure out how to be more aware of how I spend my time.

Lately a lot of my time has been focused on taking control of my health and fitness, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. A few 5am CrossFit workouts, lots of miles in between, and choosing to fuel my body right. It’s work. I enjoy it most of the time because I feel stronger, healthier, better. I had a good week last week. Tomorrow is the week 2 check in and I haven’t seen as big of numbers as I did last week. I struggled with some discouragement and self doubt at the beginning of the week. Heck, let’s be honest here… I struggle with self doubt more often than I’d like to admit. I have “started” and re-started weight loss programs, goals and lifestyles more times than I can count. Some times they have been flippant attempts to quiet the guilty voice in my head. But the last 2 years (since having Little Dreamer, really) I have been seriously passionate about it. I guess she is good motivation. I’ve been following quite a few Healthy Living Blogs in that time as well. This is where it gets kinda sticky…

See that comparison trap is lethal. I see amazing transformations of people who chose to make healthy living a priority. I start to compare myself to them. That voice of self doubt comes and tells me I will never be able to be that fit. I mean, I’ve already been trying to lose weight seriously for 2 years… and while I’ve lost all the weight from pregnancy… I’m only a few pounds away from where I was before baby. I start to wonder if I’ll ever be able to be where I want to be. Will I ever be fast enough? fit enough? strong enough? Sure I’ve made some noticeable improvements, but then I start to discount them. I sabatoge my own progress. It’s really a vicious cycle.

Source

This time around I am more determined than ever to find my inner strength and translate that into outer strength. It’s time to stop listening to the voice of doubt. Stop discounting the progress that I have made. Stop sabotaging myself. It’s time to be painfully honest.

I have to start believing in myself. Don’t let the inner fat girl keep telling me I can’t. Because I can.

This song has been on my heart lately, such an encouragement for the struggles that I’ve been walking through.

 

“So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose? Your insecurities try to hold to you. You know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move. Your faith is all it takes and you can walk on the water too…”

step out.
Even when its storming
step out.
Even when you’re broken
step out.
Even when your heart is telling you telling you to give up
step out.
When your hope is stolen
step out.
You can’t see where you’re going
You don’t have to be afraid

Have you ever struggled with self-doubt or self-sabotage?

Life Lessons

Toxic vs Truth

There are a few bloggers out there who just had an idea. Maggie from GussySews and Kacia from CoconutRobot started going through the Soul Detox plan on the YouVersion app together and invited the rest of the virtual world to join. I started a little bit late but have almost caught up. Today #SheReadsTruth is on day 15 of this 35 day devotional. This has just been so fitting for where I’m at right now. In life in general I’ve been struggling with negative thoughts. In my fitness journey I’ve been struggling with negative thoughts.

That I’m not _______ enough (strong enough, healthy enough, mom enough, that my house isn’t clean enough, that i’m just.not.good.enough)

And while I “know” that these are just a way to keep me from striving to be who I have been called to be, I still let them effect me. These words and thoughts are toxic. They are suffocating. They will slowly kill this hungry soul of mine that is longing to live. When given permission (the truth is if we don’t tell them to go, we are inviting them to stay) they loom over my soul like a dark cloud. For the last few days I have be evicting these toxic words and thoughts from my soul. After telling them to leave it is important to fill that empty place with life-giving words of truth. Today I was reading through the James 3:1-18 for Day 11 and this part really stood out to me…

Live well, Live wise, Live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.

Actions speak louder than words, we’ve been told that forever. The words that we allow to live in our souls are what our actions stem from. If the words you dwell on are toxic, your actions will most likely be toxic as well. It’s time to take control of our words and thoughts and let truth live.

If you want to hop on the #SheReadsTruth devotional it’s not too late. Search the hashtag on twitter or instagram and follow @SheReadsTruth on twitter and instagram as well.

What are some toxic thoughts that you have struggled with? How do you overcome those thoughts?

Health, Life Lessons

Unexpected Lessons

It’s nearing 10pm on a Tuesday night and I’ve still got plenty on my to do list.

I had huge plans for this weekend, so much I wanted to get done. Another case of good intentions. 

Hands down best part of the weekend? Our visit to Fuzzy Taco!

I ended up having a great time with the family, but didn’t get all my to do’s done.

I feel like I’m still catching up from a few curveballs from last week.

My phone took a swim in the toilet. I swore I’d never be that person who dropped their phone in a toilet. Never say never!

Going even half a day without a working phone totally stressed me out, but that got taken care of and we moved on (iphones aren’t cheap, even when you have an upgrade available!)

A few days later I was making lunch the stove shut off totally. I thought it was just a flipped fuse or something and waited for Chris to get home. He went to flip it back and it didn’t work. Our stove broke! Another unexpected expense.

Instead of making an awesome dinner of Cuban Picadillo we spent our evening shopping for a new stove.

The good news is that even though both of these unexpected events were very costly, we didn’t really stress out about it.

After thinking about it I realize there a few similarities in how I dealt with the unexpected expenses and how to deal with other, more personal, issues. For me it is in regards to my recent fitness journey

1) Acknowledge the problem– pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. I couldn’t just pretend my phone or stove wasn’t broken (well, I guess I could but I’d just look crazier than I already am). The problem I’m having with my fitness journey right now is lack of consistency in eating and exercise.

2) Stop looking for excuses/blame- It’d be easy to look for excuses on how to shift blame for destroying a phone or a stove going out… not taking proper care of it… not being attentive… whatever. Same with my fitness journey… I’m too busy, too tired, too bored… it can go on and on

3) Identify a solution– I need a new phone. We need a new stove. Best deals? Research? New? Used? Time Frame? Identify all the variables and find the best solution for your situation. Same with the fitness journey, figure out what your variables are (work, children, gym, etc) and what are the best solutions.

4) DO IT! – I had to go buy a new phone. We did our research and got a stove in a quick amount of time. You made a workout plan, stick to it!

There you have it. A few unexpected lessons from a few unexpected situations!

What are some unexpected lessons you’ve learned?