May 23
2017

Real Talk

It’s time for some real talk. I need to hear it and perhaps you do too.

Sometimes we have to just accept that doing our best is different. My best right now might look like an absolute mess from the outside looking in. But, I have come to realize lately my best just looks different at times; it changes.

I’m in a season. A season raising two busy, active girls; the crazy that comes with this truly does rest solely on my shoulders. I don’t share that with anyone else. The practices, the games, the field trips, the doctor visits, the homework, the struggles….98 percent of that is me.

I love it. I am in a season where my girls are growing and changing so fast; they are in season of playing sports that they love. They are in a season of learning life lessons daily. They are in a season that has daily challenges; some of those challenges you win and some you lose.

As a mom, I am in a season where I do not want to miss a thing. Here is the thing: they are growing so fast. If I was to be honest, when they were babies, I missed so much.

Even though I was right there, the stress of life caused me to not stop to just take in the moments and be as present with them as I am now; present in taking in every moment and looking at the way their eyes light up when they smile.

Right now my best looks different. In the hustle and bustle of spring time, our “healthy” meals do not look as good and might not be quite as healthy as they are during a different time of year. My workouts are not as frequent. My water drinking is lacking because well, let’s be honest, I am at a ball field pretty much every night and I’m not that big of a fan of port-a-jons!

Our best changes; our seasons change. This is a season where I want to soak it all in. I want to continue being the one in the front row seat; the biggest fan. I want to be the one to be right there talking about the challenges of the day; the victories & the lessons learned.

So, for now, my best looks different. We will happily eat meals that are not completely clean or perfectly prepped; we might miss out on eating all our veggies or fruits for a day. My workout might consist of only my physical therapy exercises and nothing more.

But, for right now, I am proud of my best because I love the season I am in and there is nothing I would change.

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{and this season requires really big “mom life” coffee cups}

Until Next Time~

May 19
2017

Somewhere….

It’s crazy. Here, in the dark, after the lights go out and the house is silent is where the words come to me. In the silence, alone, with nowhere to hide.

I do not know where it happened.

I do not know how or when.

But, I know I am here today feeling lost. Somewhere along the journey, I have gotten lost.

I look in the mirror and I want to throw something at the reflection. I don’t like what I see.

I don’t see that person I worked so hard to grow into. She is hiding behind anything she can. The confidence is gone. The smile she would shine on her face doesn’t show. Her personality once shining so bright now appears to be lacking.

I didn’t see it at first. But now, its all I see. Something in that mirror, something in that reflection is missing.

I lay here in the dark and realize that I am missing. Along my journey, I have stopped being true to me.

I have been making decisions based on what I thought I should do. I have been living with this pressure to be someone I’m not.

I don’t know the last time I made a decision for me or did what it was I truly wanted to do.

I used to wake up feeling inspired. Every day. Now, I feel like that feeling is gone and I’m just trying to live up to someone else’s standards or pressure to be someone I’m not. I’m so worried about being inspiring, that I forgot you must be inspired in order to be inspiring.

The beauty of finding yourself lost is that you can always find yourself again. Now that I see what is missing in the mirror, I have the chance to move forward in a direction that is true to me.

A direction that someday soon I will look back into that mirror and there will not be anything missing and what I will see looking back will be a woman just trying her best every day but staying true to herself to do that. FullSizeRender

Until Next Time~

Apr 21
2017

A New Day

Every single day, I told myself it was ‘A New Day.’ Every new day brings a chance for improvement, right?

I will admit, I had high hopes. I was confident. I’m the kind of person who always takes on challenges with a smile.

Earlier this week, I knew I was standing at the beginning of my last test. Up until this moment, I had been hopeful I would be able to participate in a few shorter distance races this spring. I was not willing to give up yet. This was the moment I knew I needed to listen instead of denying it all.

That day in the middle of the White Pine Trail, I stood there with tears streaming down my eyes. I didn’t care that other people saw me. I could not hide the pain behind a smile anymore. I was too tired.

I have tried everything; I have listened to my body taking more rest days than I have in years. I have switched up programs when I notice my body saying, “hell no K.”

I tried a heavily modified MMA style workout but my leg could not do it. I switched to lifting & found after a while I had to put the weights down when it came to my leg & eventually I found I could barely do the moves without weights. I walked away from extra weight & switched to an extremely modified HIIT program & found the fire returning in my leg. I tried yoga & my legs wanted to scream. I ran & rarely got past just a few minutes before it arrived again. I tried walking. It just does not seem to matter.

Some days from the moment I get out of bed, I feel it. I feel the pain in my leg driving my car. I fight through the pain when I’m trying to be active with my girls. I have to cry through the pain carrying laundry baskets from the basement to the upstairs.

I lay in bed at night & see the swelling in my foot and ankle; sometimes my knee too. I lay awake at night tossing & turning trying to get comfortable while my leg feels like there is a fire burning sky high inside. Some nights, I cannot even move my toes. For real.

I stretch all day long. Every morning, every time I go to the bathroom. I stretch nonstop throughout my day….sometimes I feel like it consumes most of my day yet brings me zero relief.

The issue isn’t a simple thing that resting can heal or massaging or PT. Because my genetics gave me extremely high arches, over time, my body essentially has become deformed. The middle or inside part of my foot literally never touches the ground. The outside part of my leg & foot bear all the weight. I got custom made orthotics but even those cannot correct me as I’m still on the outside of my foot. It’s partly because my foot literally is not able to be flexible & get itself in the correct position. It’s physically impossible.

Because of the construction of my foot, my calf muscles are way too short. So no matter what I do, my leg muscles always feel tight…they are being pulled so hard every single day. I cannot even find the right words to explain the way they feel…perhaps a bit like playing tug of war all day long.

I have been an athlete all my life. I have struggled with my ankles, spraining them more times than I can recall. Still to this day, I can be walking down the road & it will give out on me. Even times I have literally fallen to the ground because of it {ask my girls, they have laughed at me}. I have struggled with my calf muscles forever. Anytime I worked with top instructors or coaches or doctors or had to attend physical therapy for injuries, all I have ever been told is how tight my leg muscles are; how inflexible I am.

This is the way my body is built. This is not something that is going to just disappear on me someday. This is a lifelong condition I have. It’s not an injury from overuse; it’s not a stress fracture to be healed. It is here & I have to find what works for my body to continue living my life.

The surgical option my orthopedic surgeon recommended is a less invasive one than the other option & would allow me to eventually live my life the way I want. It is essentially transferring a few tendons in my foot. It would also involve going in to my calf & lengthening that.

I have not made a decision yet but I also know I cannot live the way I want on this track I’m stuck on. The pain began to sideline me last May and here I am just shy of a year later. At this point, I am waiting until I see a knee specialist to confirm there is no tear or anything in there either with the level of pain I have been experiencing there.

I can tell you what I will not be doing regardless of my decision: I will not be giving up. I am still going to be here sharing my journey, doing what I can. I cannot allow this to be my excuse. My direction may shift a little, my goals may need to change. But, I am not going to sit down & say, “well, there is no point in trying. I might as well just wait until after surgery.”

No, I can make myself stronger. I can still work on me. I will also be focusing so much on my nutrition because my calorie burn is going to drop significantly.

I’m still going to be here; showing up. I’m going to be here proving that there is always something we can do, that fighting for a healthy body is worth it. Yes, I am sure I am going to have days of struggles that will make my emotions run crazy high, I will have days where the desire to quit will be high but if there is one thing I have learned, it is this:

Today is a new day. A new day of opportunities & chances. It’s a new day & you never know what you might find if you just stay open to it.

Until Next Time~

Apr 13
2017

I Cried.

I told myself I was a failure. I talked to myself as if I was alone; like no one else had traveled this road before.

I cried.

I cried when I looked at this new before picture. I did not want to believe it was me. I did not want to believe I had gone this far backwards. This picture was never going to be shown.

I acted as if I was the only woman in the history of losing weight to gain some back.

I know better. I know I am never alone in this journey.

On April 5th, I blogged this:

I had a breakthrough. It looked a lot like day one of a truly incredible comeback. I’m letting go of who I was yesterday, last year, two years ago, or who I was the day I finished my marathon. I’m looking forward to who I want to become.

I meant it. I went back to my journey being about me. I let ago of striving for perfection & aimed to just do a little better every day. I made changes. I switched to a new program that would fuel my heart & push me past my limits. I got my portion controlled containers back out for everything. I drank my superfoods every single day.

Ten days. These two pictures are just ten days apart. PicMonkey Collage

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The inside…..that transformation is even better than the outside. In ten days my mindset has shifted in so many incredible ways.

This is my journey of imperfect progress. You will never catch me giving up.

Until Next Time~

Apr 7
2017

Day 3….FRUMPY

Do you know those kinds of days? I woke up with a sore throat & stuffy head so I reset my alarm…or so I thought. I woke up super late to a “Good morning beautiful” text from my guy; couldn’t get a full shower; didn’t do my hair; only threw on some eye makeup & never did put concealer or foundation on my face; & rushed out the door in tennis shoes & a baggy sweatshirt.

I dressed frumpy because I felt frumpy. I looked frumpy. This set the tone for my entire day.

I could have changed the day by the clothes I wore, I could have changed the day by taking just five minutes to do my hair.

Tired. Lazy. Zero motivation. All. Day. Long.

I got home and as soon as my girls left for their dad’s house, I headed upstairs to put on my workout clothes knowing that the longer I waited to do this, the higher the chances I would not push play. Well….I ended up crawling into bed using the excuse that I needed to reply to a few potential clients.

I’m not sure how long I laid there but I can tell you there was ZERO part of me that wanted to workout. I told myself I could double up tomorrow. I told myself one day doesn’t really matter. I told myself that I was just too tired. I told myself that I really didn’t care that much.

In that moment I cared more about being lazy than I did my goals.

This is the reason I always say that you cannot rely solely on motivation. Motivation comes and goes. I could have laid there & read 100 quotes, I could have looked at 10 success stories. It would not have worked in that moment.

Discipline….that’s what you have to lean on. I forced myself up to change reminding myself that I had set goals….HUGE GOALS. I reminded myself that my challengers showed up today in our group, now it was my turn.

I had to force myself. I told myself that excuses simply could not win unless I wanted to give up on my goals for the 1,000,000th time in my 36 years.

I am not always motivated. I do not always want to workout. But, I do always have goals to keep me pushing. I do always have a strong why that I try to stay rooted in. I do have a supportive community that pushes me to show up daily. I do have discipline because at the end of the day, that’s how we become successful.

Successful people do what others are not willing to do.

By the conclusion of my sweat intervals workout, I no longer felt frumpy. In fact, I felt dang good. I felt proud, happy, confident.

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I followed that up with a yoga post-cardio workout from my On Demand library as my calves did give me some extra struggles.

Just to put the icing on the cake….this morning I put on a pair of jeans that I haven’t worn in months. They fit perfect. No squeezing in.

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Day 3….Max out at 7:49. A cross between the full move & the modifier.

Until Next Time~

Apr 6
2017

Day 2 & Non-Dairy Cheese

My day two started with me having to stop whatever I was doing to walk outside and stand in awe of this.

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No filter here. I like to start my days with listing at least three things I’m grateful for & I don’t mean every day I list the obvious things, like family, but I could not get much further than this amazing view & the promise that it brings with a new day; a fresh start.

My workout was Tabata Power & I love Tabata. I promised myself I was mostly sticking with the modifier considering on day one the fire in my leg came back with a vengeance & that was not a place I was willing to go again.

I maxed out at 11:50 but after that point, I will admit I really struggled pushing through the moves. Not because of my leg, but because I am a beginner. Because my endurance needs work and my strength needs to be built again. Guess what? Everyone started somewhere & even if they have started in the same place a handful of times, they are still trying. They have yet to give up & well, this is me.

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My food intake was good today. I had my vegan superfoods for breakfast at work. Coffee, chocolate….how could anyone go wrong?

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I will be honest & tell you that we have zero food in our home right now due to being out of town & I haven’t hit the grocery store yet. My lunch yesterday demonstrates that perfectly. The most boring salad. The other problem was that it left me hungry not long after eating it. Zero protein & was basically just lettuce.

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I hit that wall in the afternoon at work & it is a struggle point for me. It makes me want to grab a pop for a kick of caffeine. It makes me want to grab something from the candy dish. It makes me want to walk into our lunch room & grab a handful of chips. I feel tired in that moment & I am hungry.

Yesterday, I won the battle & enjoyed an apple with some almond butter. Plus, this filled me up for an evening of gymnastics practice leading to late dinner!

This past week in Ohio my daughter’s doctor recommended we try going lactose free as well as being test for other incoherences, celiac, etc. We slowly cut down while being out of town but it was hard staying in a hotel to make this change that I felt uneducated on.

So, now that we are home this trial has begun. I am a believer that a leader has to lead by example and I think a parent must do the same. I cannot preach to my kids about eating healthy if I am shoving down bowls of ice cream & bags of chips. In support of my daughter, we are all joining her. Not that we will be perfect, but at least not constantly singling her out that she has to eat that, while we enjoy this.

She wanted to try flat-out pizza last night with cheese she can have. I am so proud of how much she is excited to try new things & experiment. We stopped off to the store & I allowed her to grab some products to try. We got home & made up our pizzas with non-dairy cheese on all of them.

It was interesting, it will be something we will need to get an acquired taste for but my daughter felt very loved by the fact that we were in this with her. No one ever wants to feel alone.

Day 2 in the books. Food — check. Max out — 11:50.

Until Next Time~

Apr 5
2017

The Breakthrough

I know. Trust me. I wish I could tell you the number of times I have thought, “is it even worth it anymore?” I wish I could tell you the number of times I said to myself, “why bother, you’re going to fail again.”

This journey is hard. It is like riding a crazy rollercoaster ride every day. You find days you might just coast, others where you feel like you are fighting so hard to reach the top of the hill and others days where you are tumbling down the hill so fast you cannot seem to stop yourself.

Being out of town gave me so many ah-ha moments this past week. Being in a slower atmosphere without rushing from work to practices to home to school to here & there gave me time to look inside.

What did I find?

I found a woman who almost did not recognize herself. I found that inside me lived to many self-limiting beliefs. I found a woman who was constantly self-sabotaging herself. I found a woman with too many doubts and not much strength in her mindset.

I took Sunday and Monday off from workouts. I prayed. I thought. I brainstormed. I researched.

Last night was my breakthrough moment.

I decided to switch to a HIIT style program; lifting weights on my lower body was not working well at all with my foot/knee/leg. I was finding too often that I had to drop the weights, I was seeing that my body was requiring way too many rest days.

As I pushed play last night I again wondered if this was right for me. The pain in my leg returned like it was 4 months ago — a fire burning so damn hot inside me.

I maxed out at 7:24 & when I say this, I hope you note I am following the modifier over half of the time & I have zero shame in this.

I pushed through the 30 minute workout heavily modifying & at times having to walk away to stretch & allow the fire inside my leg to die down just a little.

When it came to an end, it was a gorgeous evening out & I was home alone. I wanted to test my leg on this workout versus running so I swapped my inserts from my shoes into my running shoes & made the choice that even if I only ran 0.5 of a mile, I wanted to test my body.

I started. I kept going. I can’t say fast; it was incredibly slow. I knew I could not push my body in speed; but I began to wonder if I could push the distance. I turned around a little over a mile and decided I was going to aim for 3. FullSizeRender

I hit that point. That point where everything in me wanted to STOP. I wanted to just walk it back nice & slow. I wanted to say that I could stop short & no one would know but me. I wanted to tell myself that I just can’t handle running 3 miles anymore.

Not this time.

For the first time in forever, I pushed through that wall without even stopping to take a walk break. I pushed through that point. I pushed through that moment where everything in my body wanted me to quit early.

When I finished I had two choices. I could have looked at my pace & thought to myself how slow I was now compared to back then. I could have told myself how weak I was because it felt so hard.

Or I could have chosen to be proud. I could have been proud that I kept pushing. I could have been proud that I was fighting to get back to where I want to be. I could have been proud that I haven’t given up just yet. I could have been proud that I was still determined.

I made the choice to be proud. I made the choice to not compare myself to the me from the past & instead focus on who I wanted to be today & tomorrow. I made the choice to tell myself that I am worth it; my health is worth it.

I made the choice in that moment that those self-limiting beliefs were trashed. I know I can succeed at anything I truly set my mind to achieve but I have been holding myself back for far too long.

I had a breakthrough. It looked a lot like day one of a truly incredible comeback. I’m letting go of who I was yesterday, last year, two years ago, or who I was the day I finished my marathon. I’m looking forward to who I want to become.

It might be hard to tackle this journey all over again; it is hard to accept that you have gone backwards. But, in my eyes, it’s harder to just stay feeling stuck than it is to fight forward.

Day one in the books. Max out at 7:24. 3 miles ran. Food on point. Progress will begin.

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Until Next Time~

Mar 3
2017

Magic

Sometimes we do not always understand certain roads that we have to travel. Sometimes we question if we followed the right direction when we approached the fork in the road. Sometimes we question every step along the way & sometimes we wonder how many more miles will we need to travel before the rain stops and the sunshine appears.

The thing is, if we just keep the faith that the sun will shine as long as we do not give up, the view ends up so beautiful that words cannot do it justice.

I ate breakfast in bed this morning.

I know, how did I go from roads being traveled to rain to sunshine to breakfast in bed?

Because he looks at me & can see what I need before I know. Because he looks at me & can hear everything I am not saying.

This week, as a mom, has been a struggle. A few months ago I thought we were in the middle of the mountain with Laynee’s health & in the past two months we have fallen back down the hill quite significantly. The last two weeks have felt a bit more like a serious tumble down it every day.

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Emotionally I have struggled. Mentally I have struggled. I have had to break my little girl’s heart while also listening to her thoughts & fears that brought me to my knees.

This morning I ate breakfast in bed. This morning he surprised me. He surprised me because he has heard what I have said this week & how I was feeling.

But, he also looked at me & could read everything I did not say. He could read just how weak I was feeling. He could read I needed to feel his support. He could read I needed him.

But, really he looks at me as if I’m magic.

That’s a way we all deserved to be looked at.

Magic. Every mile traveled on that road was worth it to find someone who sees all of me in a way no one ever has, in a way I never thought was possible.

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Until Next Time~

Feb 28
2017

I Remember When…

This morning while so many were still sound asleep in bed I was lost in my own thoughts. I was lost in my own little world. It’s a great little world, people love me there! But for real, sometimes I am amazed at how lost I can find myself.

I think that is a common thing for people who feel so deeply….there is not much surface level with me.

Today was a cardio day on my workout calendar. Currently, on the cardio days I am running instead of doing the program workout. I’m not running every day, I’m not adding cardio on to the end of my strength training workouts. I am following the calendar designed for the program & I’m only working out one time a day which is less than 40 minutes.

As I saw it was cardio day, I got a little bit pumped up. I was excited as I wondered if I would be able to go further today.

I fired up the treadmill & began putting one foot in front of the other at my slow pace. Of course, it was not easy & I wanted to stop just a few minutes in to walk.

That was the moment I got lost. I got lost remembering that it was just a few years ago that I could not run a mile yet. I would lace up & head out to run my neighborhood always praying my neighbors would not be looking out their window to see me struggle. I would run to a mailbox just a little ahead & allow myself a walk break until a driveway ahead of me or a tree.

I started from a standstill & I took a single, small step forward. That step was terrifying.

I think a part of me is still terrified, or is terrified all over again. I think the fear actually stems from not wanting to suffer another heartbreak. I am afraid of starting & not being able to finish; I’m afraid that running will break my heart again.

The problem is that I fell in love with running a few years ago. Running gave me the gift of learning to love myself. Truly, it is your typical love/hate relationship. Some days I hate it, some days it makes me cry.

But, then there are those days where I get such a high that just lights me on fire. There are even those days where the tears are tears of pride & joy.

It’s a relationship I will never give up on because it always gives me what I need and so much more. It doesn’t just take from me.

At the end of the day, I know I will give it all I have to get back out there on the trails, on the roads, crossing the starting lines in hopes of crossing the finish lines.

I have always been told I did not have the body to be good at things. Growing up I was told didn’t have a “pitcher’s body.” I did not have the long legs, with the arms to match. I was short with tree trunks. In volleyball I was always told it wasn’t likely I would ever play the front row. Hello little Miss 5’4″ on a good day.

I took all of those comments over the years and replied back with a “watch me” attitude. I achieved those things because I worked harder. I made sure if others were giving 100% I gave more. I pushed harder and I believed that I could do anything I set my mind to doing.

Now, I will take my body at age 36 that has it’s issues & show my girls that when you do have to work through an injury or when someone tells you something might not come as easy for you, you do have a choice.

You can make the choice to work hard. You can make the choice to give it all you have. You can make the choice to let pure determination carry you as far as it can take you.

Every day we can take that step. Every day we can move from that standstill place where we might feel like it’s a mud trap that we cannot possibly lift our feet from & we can move forward.

It takes the first step, followed by another. If we trust that there is strength from every struggle; if we trust that in time the momentum will carry us even further; if we trust that we can do hard things we might just find ourselves accomplishing some pretty incredible feats.

This morning’s workout I did go further. 2.5 miles done and I fell in love all over again.

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Until Next Time~

Feb 24
2017

The Jeans

Busted can of biscuits.

That is exactly how I looked!

So, this morning I really wanted to wear my lighter pair of skinny jeans. I put them on, I could pull them up fine, I could button & zip them easily. Sure, I could say they “fit,” right?

But….they were the fit that makes you look like you are carrying ten extra pounds around your stomach because they really are too small. I mean, maybe this only pertains to short & stocky women like me who reach 5’4″ on a good day & were definitely built to be solid.

I looked into the mirror at myself thinking, “you look like hell.”

However, from that moment this conversation inside my head could have gone in two completely different directions.

You see, I could have played this scenario out: “Are you serious? You look fat. You’re such a failure. I can’t believe you cannot even wear these jeans anymore. Seriously. Why bother, you’re never going to get there so you might as well quit.”

Yes, I will admit that in my past I have stood in the mirror & had some really horrible conversations with myself.

But today, my growth was evident. Because, today, I choose to look in the mirror & decide this was my truth:

Alright K, no big deal. You’ll change into the jeans today that are one size bigger but actually have some room in because your body is changing. These jeans here, you’ll be wearing in March like no big deal. Someday, these jeans will probably be too big for you. That day isn’t today, but that day can be in the future if you stay on track & stop the self-sabotage & make the choice to believe in yourself every single day.

You see this week I had some really good workouts that gave me some deep reflection. I had moments where I realized I have been truly self-sabotaging myself lately because I was giving power to my excuses again. Simply put: my mindset had grown weak. My condition, my daily pain, had left me feeling mentally weak & emotionally drained & the truth is that I didn’t handle it well.

I found that giving up had become really easy for me to do. In the six months I was sidelined & having to follow strict modifications, giving up was something I became accustomed to do. When the pain would start, I would quit. Some times I would quit even before I began because I was fearful. Giving up was so easy because I had such a good excuse to do so.

Whatever messages we fill inside our head is the mindset that will control our day. I did not realize how weak I had let it get. The good news is that you can strengthen your mindset, you can change it. Being mentally strong means you stay positive through adversity & are resilient when facing pressure, challenges & change.

This week I have taken any of the negative, self-limiting beliefs & changed them into positive & empowering thoughts. The result was a mile run outside yesterday that finished in 10:36 shaving four minutes off my pace since starting back. It never would have happened with the mindset from a month ago.

I have no doubt I will be wearing those jeans so very soon & the next time I put them on, I will not look like a busted can of biscuits.

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Until Next Time~