Willing dreams into reality

 

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Yesterday was my half-birthday.  I have six more months until I leave my twenties forever and enter into a new decade of being.  For some people, entering 30 is a rite of passage for which they never want to encounter; my Mom, for example, is still and forever 29.  Others react with apathy while more and more people are spouting that “30 is the new 20.”  Like everything in life, getting older has mixed reviews.

Growing up, I had many, many people tell me that I was mature for my age. I looked, dressed and acted older.  People would joke that I was like a mom in my 40’s when I was 22.  There is nothing wrong with a mom in her 40’s, but I just wanted to be 22.  I don’t regret my important life decisions but do realize that by not taking care of my health and fitness when it was so easily attainable, I missed out on some of the fun.  Because of that, for the past few years I have had this wish in my head that I wanted to be fit and around 120 pounds by the time I turned 30.  For my height and body type that is an acceptable range in which to be.  Sometime around the time my son was born or shortly before, I purchased a weight tracking scale and set the goal to 135.  That was my soft goal to reach since it would take me at least 40 pounds to get down there.  I’d set sweeping changes and lofty goals and for a couple weeks-or months-things would work, but once the motivation train got derailed it was off the tracks for good.  Though I would be ten pounds away, I’d then rocket back up because the small, everyday lifestyle changes had not been set in place.  This week I hit that soft goal and am ready to take it all the way!

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Once I found the 21 Day Fix and 22 Minute Hard Corps programs, things clicked into place for me.  Though I enjoy the challenge of the exercises in them, it was the food component that really solidified my weight loss.  I’m still not perfect, but I love having a system in place to keep me on the wagon.  When I turned 29 last year, I knew it was time to get my health on track and the pressure was getting to me.  I wanted to at least feel and look my age and not feel so tired and achy.  I finally reached out to my coach, started the program, became a coach and have spent this year teaching myself the discipline that I lacked in my 20’s.  My energy and excitement came back in spades and I even found more ways to incorporate healthy foods and fitness into a new normal for my daily routines.

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Now I’m finding new ways to bike instead of drive for extra fun fitness.

I have also spent this year learning to love my body, the marks left from having two wonderful children, the strength in my arms and thighs, etc.  I’m also learning that perspective is everything.  I was excited in January when my little black opera dress fit again!  I used to wear it in college to fancy events and for a while I couldn’t even put it on.  When I put it on yesterday, it was loose and looked better than when I wore it in college!

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   Seeing myself as who I am, at this age and in this moment is much more important than who I think I should be.  This is a lesson I want to remember and repeat so that as I grow older I will continue to take care of my body and love myself in the stage I’m in.  I’m so close to my fitness goals for the year that I’m positive I will achieve them by my birthday.  I also have the tools to maintain them, the small, daily routines and tricks and support to keep up the good work.  I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I thought, tougher than I gave myself credit for and braver than I expected.  I’m ready to take on my 30’s, 40’s, 50’s… But I also want to enjoy each stage I’m in to the fullest so that I can look back and have a lifetime of wonderful memories in which to pass on to the next generation.

 

 

 

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Depth of an Ocean

I love this quotation by Rumi:

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”

     Sometimes, I get overwhelmed by life.  There are so many things I want to do, places to go, things to learn, opportunities to explore… When I think of all the things I could do every day, and all the things I don’t do, I feel like a drop in the ocean.  In the swirl of life, with kids and responsibilities and chores and bills, I can feel as insignificant as that single droplet, trying to stay afloat, yearning to distinguish myself amidst the multitude of others who live life like I do.  Am I living my life to the fullest? Did I chose the right road to travel?  Should my life look more like that other person’s life?  Am I doing enough with my life?

     Then, I think of that quotation.  I have the whole spectrum of emotions to choose from at any given moment.  Having suffered from depression at times in my life, I remember that feeling of utter hopelessness.  I also remember the euphoria of the best times in my life, like gazing at a beautiful summer landscape from the peak of a Pennsylvanian mountain while growing life inside of me.  I am a culmination of the experiences and actions of my past, and each and every day I have an entire ocean of actions in which to choose my destiny.

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     What does that mean for me today?  It means I can take a breath and focus on today.  The tide changes with each sunrise and moonrise; I too can choose to change like the ocean, with fluidity, with transparency, with frequency.  Since December I’ve been changing my body with small actions, that like drops of water gathered together are starting to make an ocean of change.  I’m 30 pounds lighter, healthier, happier and more fit than I have been in a long time.  What changes are you going to make today?  Which drop of water are you going to add to your life?  You are an ocean of potential.  Instead of being swept away, add each drop until you flood your being with radiance and joy.

 

Perseverance

Perseverance: continually moving forward despite obstacles trying to get in your way.

Perseverance has never been my strong suit.

Passion I have in abundance.

Optimism and enthusiasm come naturally.

Talent and tenacity are familiar friends.

But persistence and perseverance are strangers I’ve recently invited into my acquaintance.

I’m more familiar with avoidance.  I put off hard decisions because I’m afraid of making the wrong one.  I don’t like the initial pain of dealing with problems, and so put it off, realizing that the pain will just increase over time but not ready to deal with it right now.  I don’t like the fact that something will be imperfect, but if my immense burst of energy cannot take care of it initially I move on to something quicker, something simpler.  That leaves me with projects unfinished, plans unmade, phone calls and letters unsent and weight unlost.  I could be good at so many things with perseverance.

Music has been the passion with which I’ve been the most persistent.  Being involved in the Choral Arts Society of Washington and submerging myself in the learning of new music has been the reward of years of perseverance in the honing of my skill and practice in vocal training.  I know that I can succeed and persevere if I put my mind to it, I have that fire within me, but I need the motivation to take that heat and transfer it into other areas of my life.

Since weight loss has always been a struggle, I have made a habit of avoidance that I am working to break.  I have FINALLY decided to take control of what I put into my body and how I treat my body, and I am going to continue to my goals no matter what this time.  Just because I’m ill or there’s a special occasion with sweets or I injure myself doesn’t mean that I will undo all the good work I’ve put into myself.  I will keep putting the small stones, one after another, day by day, on each other until my wall is finally built.

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Here are some other quotations about perseverance in which to inspire your own journey:

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Maya Angelou

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Perseverance gets you from the bottom to the top.

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Excellence does not need you to be perfect, but to be dedicated to what you commit yourself to.”
Wayne Chirisa

“Life is like crossing a river. If you take a huge step-aim for too bigger dreams-then the current will knock you off your feet and carry you away.
The way to do it is small steps, you will take hold of life. You will get there in the end.”
Louis Sachar

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Perseverance is like crossing a long bridge.

“Add persistence to patience, you get perseverance. Multiply perseverance, you get success.”
Manuela George-Izunwa

 

May you persevere in your endeavors this week.

 

Motivational Monday: Statues

When you see a beautiful person or an accomplished person-

someone whom you admire-

you are looking at a lifetime of experiences and effort.

They are like exquisite statues.

These statues were not made instantaneously.

Instead, they begin,

like us all,

as a lump of clay or stone or a block of wood.

Over time, they are chipped or heated or molded,

broken and weathered,

until they overcome the pressure and transform into something amazing.

Perhaps you,

who feels so inferior-

closer to the clay-

just need to remember that you are at the beginning of your statue.

Go live life and gain the experiences which will create your inspiring mold.

Picture ©Myrthe Krook/ Dreamstime Stock Photos