Saturday, April 5, 2014

Year 2, Day 129: Let It Go

I have been thinking a lot about what to write for my first post after such a long hiatus. Feel free to read all about it on my other blog: Me and My Four Children

In some ways, I should just start this year over because it has been so long since I have worked on my goal of writing, walking and strength training, but then I realized....sometimes falling off the wagon & then getting back on is just as important to the journey as starting and finishing.

For the last 5 weeks I have been working out via on-line videos with my sister-in-law, Mandy. Mandy is an awesome instructor - I can not say enough good things about her (but I will save all of that for another post). My lack of writing had nothing to do with Mandy or the work outs (trust, me it is strength training!).

My lack of writing had everything to do with my own insecurities, my own negative voices in my head, my own feelings of not being good enough.

Some of these negative thoughts & feelings have been conveyed back to Mandy and she, being the awesome instructor/person that she is, immediately let me know that I am doing great, on the right track and deserve to be the best me in the best body that I can have (let's face it, no matter how much I work out I am never going to grow any taller or have my hair magically turn blonde....).

I think everyone has those negative thoughts running through their brains. Maybe it has to do with your singing voice or your cooking abilities or something you truly can not control like your height! But each of us has been endowed with an amazing body (that is also another post) and amazing abilities. Each one of us deserves to feel and look our best every day. We do not have to be super model thin (not that I want to be) or have faces that are good enough to grace the cover of a magazine (okay, I secretly want that one), but we can be our very best selves.

I had forgot that for the past several months. I had forgotten that I have learned this lesson several times in the past (I will probably have to relearn it again in the future), but today, through a Disney movie....correction, a Disney song, I remembered.

side note: what is it about Disney movies and songs that can touch our very souls? Movie magic anyone?

Back to the point: This morning we finally watched Frozen. I won't go into all of my likes and dislikes of the movie....but I finally get why the song "Let It Go" has taken the world by storm, been translated into a ton of different languages (at least 25) and nominated for an Oscar (don't know if it won).

Forget about the movie sequence that goes with the song (some people dislike the dress Elsa makes for herself), just let yourself be carried away by the movie and lyrics.

An argument could be made that Elsa is singing to let all the good things of the world go, but she isn't. She is not saying stop being a good girl (despite the line that mentions being a good girl) - what the song is actually saying is let your unique talents, your best self, the person you are meant to be shine through. Show the world who you truly are. Show the world what you are made of and what you are capable of.

I have said on this blog before that I have never felt that what I like to do or am good at is legit. The example I always give is exercise. Everyone says "run", so I try to run even though I don't like to and prefer walking or dancing. Why do I think what I like to do is not good enough? Why do I think my dancing is bad or my singing is wrong or my piano playing is only so-so or how I home school isn't perfect or I don't have any sense of decorating a home and dressing myself.

Why do I put myself down and put everyone else on a pedestal. Why do we do that as women? And if we are not putting every one else down than we are tearing everyone else down.

I realize I am getting off topic a bit, but as my daughters and i have sung Elsa's song over and over again it hit me hard - why do I feel that I must conform? why do I feel that I can not be my best me? why?

Well, today, I am letting go.

When I am strength training and hating/loving every minute of it, I am letting go of those negative thoughts...and when I am done, I am putting on a  favorite tune and dancing my heart out.

I love to sing. I love to dance. I love to move my body - walking, riding a bike, swimming, playing with my children, etc.

Strength training is necessary. I am going to let go of my fear and hatred of it - I have actively avoided it since high school. When the push ups are hard, when I don't think I can do another Burpee,  when I see on the video how much lower Mandy can get in her push ups (which makes sense since she is a certified trainer)....I am just going to let it go.

I am in this for me. I am becoming my best self so I can enjoy my children like I did when they were younger. I am doing this so I can be my healthiest as I move into my 40s. I am letting go of all those negative comments about my body that have ever come my way - those people and their comments do not matter.

Let it go....and be the best you possible.

Happy walking!

Let it Go video

Monday, December 16, 2013

Year 2, Day 19: Catching up....

Well, my intent was to write this blog a little less often so I would start writing in my other blog a little more often.

Instead, I ignored both blogs!

However, I do have a good excuse. I thought I was moving and then my move was put on hold and now I have no idea if I am staying or going....so I am ignoring all things that involve a move and focusing on birthdays and Christmas!

Thankfully, during this time, I have been keeping up with my strength training and my Kung Fu practice.

Tonight's post is about Kung Fu.

Tonight, we took our test for Lotus Plum (our 1st student grade). It did not feel like a test. The entire class was devoted to working on all the things we should have learned for the 1st student grade. We worked with each other, we worked by ourselves, we worked with Sifu. At the end, he said we all passed.

I am so glad that is all the test was....I was nervous we were going to have to stand in front of each other (one by one) showing what we learned - like a recital. The kind of test we got felt more like a class.

We got a very cool Lotus Plum patch that we saw onto our shirts. We don't have belts like Karate.

Happy Walking!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Year 2, Day 9: 5 Gratitudes for Friday, 49

1. Well, this is a good as place as any to announce that we are moving, again. We are headed back "home" to family. Home is a relative term...it is really where ever the heart is and the heart is where the family lives. In this case, home is where extended family and some wonderful friends live. We are pretty excited. But the gratitude is not for the move, but for the reason - Steve has a job! I am always thankful that my husband has a job and is able to provide for us....especially since I love staying home!

2. My husband treating me to movers doing the packing this time around. Such a strain sensation to be decluttering and straightening the house only - the straightening is a must (have you seen my children's rooms lately?). My husband is laughing at me because as I am decluttering, I am also arranging the rooms....what can I say, I love to organize!

3. The early, quiet mornings...I spend it reading and exercising. I am not enjoying the strength training...at all. This is not a good sign since I want to do it for a full year. Trying to figure out what exactly I don't like so I can tweak it. Maybe I miss the children? Hmmm....What I do like is those early, quiet mornings. I love the peace before the rising "storm".

4. Hard working children. They are decluttering and organizing right alongside me. I am amazed at their willingness to give things away. They have been working very hard and only have another week or so of this kind of hard work. Such great children!

5. My sisters wonderful advice. Usually when my sister calls it is me dispensing the good advice, but this past week she helped me see my way clear of a fairly easy and "not big deal" problem - that I was, of course, making bigger than it needed to be. I love my sister!

Happy Walking!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Year 2, Day 3: Sore Arms

My arms are aching today.

Not surprising since today I worked on my arms.

I am taking my husband's advice and focusing on different muscle groups each day. So, abs are Monday and Thursday, legs are Tuesday and Friday, arms are Wednesday and Saturday.

I know there are ways to work all your muscles in one work out and do them every day, but since I am starting from 0 - I gotta agree with Steve.

Start off slow, make sure I have technique down and when my muscles are stronger than I can try other types of work outs.

Working my arms is different than my abs and legs. I use my legs every day so the soreness from workouts is from pushing myself. My ab work outs are also from pushing myself, but I have also "played around" with ab exercises a lot more through out the years (I admit it, I want a flat tummy).

My shoulders? My arms? Well, other than using them because I have too, I don't really use them at all. I have always been weaker in my arms, but today's workout made me realize just how bad.

My left side is weaker than my right side. My left side starting hurting (pain? soreness? incorrect movements?) sooner than my right. Actually my right never started hurting...just tired from doing the exercises. My left side hurt. I stopped. Pain means "STOP" in muscle language.

I think the next time I do my arms, I will have to do even less, go even slower....if I gain nothing else from this journey, I will gain the ability to go slow and steady.

Happy Walking!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Year 2, Day 2: 5 Gratitudes for Friday, 48

1. Waking up two days in a row (on time) to get my strength training in. It is hard to wake up earlier in the morning. It is hard to exercise earlier in the morning. But it is soooo worth it. I like how my day starts, I like that I am doing something that is hard for me.

2. A quiet Thanksgiving. We spent it alone - just the 5 of us. We watched "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" - the best Thanksgiving movie. We played Uno for the family championship belt. S won for the 3rd year in a row (I have a feeling she is getting a bit of help). It was wonderful - start to finish.

3. Discovering that Deseret Book has a free bookshelf e-reader app for the computer and iPad. I downloaded and also got 8 free books! So very cool! I have started "A History of Joseph Smith, by his mother" (or something like that). A very interesting read so far.

4. That a month or so ago the DeMilles were giving away free downloads to some of their seminars & stuff. I have been listening to Oliver DeMille (author of "A Thomas Jefferson Education" and my mind is being opened to the possibilities of learning - for myself and for the children. I have read "A Thomas Jefferson Education" and perused some of his other books, but listening to him is where it all comes together.

5. K giving a part of the lesson/message the sister missionaries wanted to share with our family. K did a great job talking about the Book of Mormon, asking questions and giving some of her insights. She is an amazing young woman.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Year 2, Day 1: YES!!!!

I love the first day of a new goal - it is 100% success and 0% guilt.  It is the best day of the whole journey....it is full of hope.

I started with my abs this morning.

I forced myself to go slow, focusing on technique instead of speed. Hopefully this will pay off in the long run. Since I have a history of petering out fairly quickly...I have to think "cross country" not "sprint".

My abs are a bit sore, but I am guessing I will feel it more tomorrow (and hopefully the days and weeks to come).

Happy Thanksgiving! (And Happy Walking!)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The End of a Year

This time last year, I posted about my new blog and my new goal of walking. You can read it here.

A recent picture of myself...trying out a scarf....not sure I like it. 

I thought I should do the same for the coming year. I have been talking about my goals for the new year a lot this week, but....I still wanted something....I don't know, final?

One year ago, I weighed 145 lbs.

Today, I weigh 142 lbs.

I lost 3 pounds over a 12 months period.

I honestly do not know if I should be happy or sad; encouraged or discouraged; or any other  opposite feelings that I can not think of at the moment.

I am going with happy and encouraged.

I lost weight.

I feel lighter. I feel better. I sleep better. I have more energy. I have accomplished my goal of walking for a year (with a slight adjustment of a few dance, swim and Kung Fu days). I have found an area where I am lacking and have chosen to tackle it this next year. I am also aware that my eating habits need to change (although I have not come to the same dedication/determination to actually change). I think I am a good example to my children - we certainly have fun playing together....because lets face it, all forms of exercise is just playing to children. :)

If I lose 3 more pounds next year that will be six pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of 2013 and three pounds lighter than I am right now. Sure I want to lose around 15 lbs, but sometimes it is okay to be slow and steady....at least, I hope so in this case!

I know I have said this a lot lately, but I really am nervous about starting strength training. I have never been physically strong, so I think it will be extremely hard. I do have my P.E. teacher in my head - encouraging me and telling me I can do it. The only time I have ever worked hard at strength training was the year I took Mr. Winkfield's class - he had a great way of inspiring his students to do their best....even when their best was bench pressing the weighted bar.

Here is hoping I don't let him down!

Happy Walking!