STRONG VALUES

STRONG VALUES

What do you value?

Stop here and think about that. Write down 5, your top 5.

The definition of value is to regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

Look at your top 5 again. Do you see your name? Where do you fit in? Try to explain why your name is not top 5 without making tons of excuses.

A value is a judgement of what is important in your life.

If you, yourself, do not rank in your life, how do you honestly value everything else.

You are letting yourself drift and allowing life to control you. Life is too short and you are your own destiny.

Money! This makes me crazy. Many people think value is a price tag.   You are not worthy or valued because you have a bigger bank account than someone else. I promise you there is no amount of money that can make you love yourself. You know the saying “money can’t buy happiness”. It can’t but it sure can buy a beautiful portrait. I hope that picture is worth more than you paid for it.

Social Media! Since when did a “like” button become a value to people? If that is the true value of your life, you need to delete the app. Kids and adults alike are relying on a click of a heart, a like, or a response to feed their core. That is a scary thought. Ask yourself why do you care?

The truth…

I never thought about what I valued either. A year ago, I was accepted to go on an ACTS retreat. ACTS stand for Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service. I did not want to go, this was no secret. The first morning of this Catholic retreat, after mass, we spoke about values. The question was asked, what do you value? Everyone had that staple answer, God, family, kids, education, job, a roof over my head, food to eat, etc. I chose not to answer as the topic was discussed around the table. As the conversation died down and I thought I was free and clear of this subject, our table leader directly asked me that question again. Nothing prepared me for that. I did not have an answer to give her. I simply put my head in my hands and cried harder than I can remember crying in years. It was almost like everything I valued was equal to everyone else. That was not good enough for me. As the weekend progressed, that question weighed heavily on me. I continued to search for the “right” answer. Sunday morning I was getting dressed for mass and it hit me. It wasn’t what I did value, it was what I did not value that I needed to answer. I did not value ME.

During this ACTS weekend, I started out being me. Those of you who know me, know I don’t break easily and I don’t enjoy showing my feelings much. There are few people I trust.

As I sat amongst strangers, I peeled back like an onion. These people started seeing the real me. The girl I didn’t value. I went back to my room later that day and there was a note on my bed. It read, “when you sat down at the table, you looked so strong and intimidating to me, but you’re really very squishy inside.” She was right.

When you spread yourself too thin, you become hidden. This blog was everyone else’s dream for me. I didn’t believe enough in the value of my voice to do it. When I decided to jump, I decided what I had to say mattered to someone and that I had a story to tell.

I began valuing my gift of helping and motivating others at a new level. It was time to share with the world and I couldn’t be more proud.

Your question. How do I get there? How do I begin to value me again? My body, my health, my nutrition, my exercise program, my one on one time with me, my thoughts, my actions…

You must get a plan of action. Set guidelines in your everyday activities.

Time for a healthier you. I tell me clients all the time, I am the last appointment you should cancel. You don’t cancel a doctor’s appointment because the cable man is coming. Your trainer or gym session is an appointment.   This is fact, exercise at any level is beneficial to you in the present and the future. But, but, but… I have, I can’t, I’m too old, my knees hurt… BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!! Just stop, please stop.

Here are a few reasons why I find you should value yourself and your health.

  • Lifestyle diseases:    High pressure, cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune deficiencies, leaky gut, and more can be controlled by your diet and exercise.
  • Healthy Mind:    Blog #2 goes in detail how I feel about this
  • Stress Management:    A sane ritual of exercise regimen can reduce stress. Exercise produces endorphins that act as natural pain killers in the brain.
  • Sound Body:    Refer to blog #3.   I did not hide my feelings on this subject.
  • Shapes Personality:    You leave lazy alone. Meet the new you and feel different. Be consistent. People will like to be around you. You may make a new friend.
  • Model Behavior:    People will notice the new you and want to know your secret. What a great feeling that is! More importantly, your children and your family will notice and begin to mimic your lifestyle change.
  • Confidence and Self-esteem

Love yourself. Value yourself. Quit depending on someone or something else to make you happy.

You can’t just sit there and want things to happen. It doesn’t work that way. Where has that gotten you so far? You haven’t budged.   People say “I have faith that God will handle it.” I have faith too, lots of it. The football team can have faith that they will win the game, but if they don’t take the field, their chances are not in their favor. You must play the game of life to win your life. Be a savage, stop crying over it and work to fix it.

Morals and values are different. I say this because people tend to confuse the two. A moral is a standard of behavior that is either right or wrong. Morals are based on the belief and understanding of your values.

As you sit here reading this, struggling with what you value or what you don’t, I leave you with this…

I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions.   LADY GAGA

STRONG BODY

When you figure out your Strong Mind, your Strong Body will follow.

Judgement zone! People will judge you by your body in a split second. They will size you up. They will make up a story about you. They will eyeball you from top to bottom and then bottom to top.   They will whisper as you walk by.   Oh yeah! You know you are guilty. Why? Human nature is all I can come up with. There are times that people truly probably do not realize they are doing it.

Of course, many of you reading this looked at the words STRONG Body and immediately thought of muscles, athleticism, or body builders.

Stereotypical strong is where we are moving away from. Did it ever occur to you that it means YOUR body? How do you perceive your body as you continue to judge someone else’s?   We have got to start putting ourselves first and stop this comparative mental hell and anguish that we want to be someone else, because they may have better features on the outside.   EEEEKKKKKK! That hurt!

I train a multitude of body types. No one is like another. Results happen, but they vary tremendously with the individual.

News Flash! We do not lose or gain weight all the same.

C’mon surely we know this by now. I do not care how many abdominal exercises you do, or squats, or triceps dips or whatever, your body is your body. Accept it.   You can thank your parents for it. They created you. It is their gene pool. You were lucky enough to get a little of each of their features, good, bad, or ugly ones. Let’s work with what we were given.   This goes right back to strong mind. We can kick ourselves in the ass for overeating and our clothes not fitting, hating our body, but when do you decide to change.

When does ONE DAY BECOME DAY ONE?

Do I love myself? Go ahead ask me.

I hear people talking about me as well. Yes, I have nice legs and arms. I can admit that. But, I hate my knees. I have a 6-inch scar down my stomach where I had an appendectomy at age 2 and then a caesarean section with twins 9 years ago. That’s hard to face in a mirror when you work so hard for your body. I use to want plastic surgery to fix it. I have even had a consultation with a surgeon. At some point, I realized, it is who I am. It is part of what has made me who I am, a reminder of survival and motherhood. I do strive to work harder in my fitness opportunities because of it.

You have one body, what are you doing with it?

How many of you have said, “It’s just a cookie, I’m overweight anyway what’s it going to hurt?” I know you have because I have said it. How many have said, “It’s just a cookie, I’ll burn it off in the morning when I exercise”? I have said that many times too. Here is your reality… It matters! For so many of you, you think it is too late to get your body back. You have had kids, surgeries, injuries, stress, divorce, deaths, or life got in the way. Here is your next reality… It’s never too late! Your excuses get in your way.

It was 2004, I was ready to toe the line at the Cajun Country Half Marathon in Lafayette, La. It was a two-loop course flat but still challenging. Looking around, I started thinking, “I think I can beat her”, “I’ll catch her on loop 2”, “that girl looks super-fast”. My mind was racing. There was this one girl. She was buff, her legs like thoroughbreds, her build was huge. She was kind of scary, but super nice. To me, she was too big to be a runner. She wasn’t that runner type you see in the magazines or running marathons. There was no doubt in my mind that I was beating this chic. The gun went off and I never saw her again until the finish line. She was first female overall with the most impressive time I had ever seen. She smoked that course and me. Lesson learned on that day, never judge a book by its cover.

So many times, we do! How fair is that to anyone? Stop judging others and start judging yourself, your goals, and your expectations of you. Stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself to the person in the mirror.

Find the good in your body and let’s start working from there. Write it down.

There is no possible way that you hate everything about your body. I don’t care if you love your eyebrows, make a list of things you love about your outer self and things you would like to change. If you love yourself, shout it, say it, own it. Confidence is a beautiful thing.

We see these women (and men) on the beach, at the gym, in the club, or at a restaurant, in barely anything or clothes too tight or too low or bikini’s that we would die to be able to wear. They sport these outfit like a champ as we sit with our mouths wide open saying, “what was she/he thinking”? “Did she/he look in the mirror before they left the house?” “Where are their true friends that tell them they shouldn’t wear that?” You know you are guilty. I’ve done it.   There comes a point when you must say, “I wish I had their confidence.” What am I lacking that they are not? Don’t we all wish we could feel that good about ourselves?

Your body is your temple. If you love it, you will feel freedom of the mind. You will begin walking differently, smiling differently, seeing people differently, and loving to have your picture taken. Seriously. If you accept that you are not perfect nor ever will be, you will find success. If you continue to strive for perfection, you will be disappointed. I am sorry, but it’s the truth. You must find balance in your life.   Find your body, your peace of mind, your self-worth, and not what someone else thinks you should be.

Magazine covers, infomercials, Facebook ads, television, Hollywood, etc. paints the picture of a perfect body. We are supposed to believe a machine or supplement can help us achieve the look of a super model. People believe this! It amazes me. Too often, I get a picture of some hot chic in little to no clothes with perfect boobs, booty for days, legs carved, back ripped, air brushed abs and she is extremely proportioned brought in from a client. The question, “can I look like this?” My answer, “NO”.   Clients have said, “I put this picture on my refrigerator or bathroom mirror for motivation.” How exactly does that motivate you?   Why don’t you put that outfit on, take a picture of yourself and put that on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror? There is your motivation. Take a picture every month and put a new one up. Have you changed? I hate to hurt your feelings but your gene pool is not hers.

You cannot make an apple a pear. You cannot make an hourglass a rectangle. You are made to be you.

The greatest part of being you is that you and only you can find the strength to change.

“IF THE BODY IS FEEBLE, THE MIND WILL NOT BE STRONG”   Thomas Jefferson

Strong Mind

How do you begin to wrap your head around those two words? That mind of ours is a powerful thing. It can keep us from every dream we have ever had or it can excel us beyond our wildest imaginations.

You hear about “hitting a wall” in a race, a workout or in life.

It is truly a wall or is it you?

Your mind gave up. The four words that are said to my children, my husband, or myself before any soccer game, dance class, swim meet, crossfit comp, or race is

STRONG MIND, STRONG BODY.

I hear people say, “I talked myself out of going to the gym today?” My response is always, “why didn’t you talk yourself into going to the gym today?” It seems so secure to take the easy road. Life is not easy, not if you want more out of it. Why are we stagnant? Excuse after excuse. Are you even mindful that you are making excuses, even sometimes lying about your answer of why you’re not going. Is that ok with you? You are in control of making you better, not someone else.

It’s a game! You play it with yourself constantly. Everyday probably, I do! For me, things are about numbers. I break it down. A workout, I play mind games with the clock. A run, one mile at a time, I usually find a subject matter to focus on the entire run. I do not use headphones while running outside. It is my time to reflect, pray, over think, and decompress. I talk to myself all the time. Don’t eat that! You don’t need that! You’ll regret that later! Walk Away! Yes, many times out loud so I look like a complete idiot to others. I don’t care, it works for me.

When we discuss how our mind works in health and fitness, it all comes down to one word, choices! You make them whether they are good, bad or ugly. You must own them. No one is forcing you to make mindless eating habits. No one is forcing you to make the right choice of going to the gym or for a walk or finding time for yourself.   YOU do this!

That person in the mirror is your enemy or your friend. It’s a choice.

I love to talk about how mindless we have become about food. My Whole30 group gets this speech a lot. The french fries you eat out of the bag before you hand to your child in the backseat is mindless. That ice cream you finish off because your child is about to throw his/her last few bites in the garbage is mindless. The candy jar that sits in your house as you grab a piece here and there is mindless. Eating the leftover crust from your child’s pizza or bread is mindless eating. You know you do it. It’s sad but true. I did it too.

How about in the gym? Your workout says 100 jump ropes and you stop at 93. Why? You swore you were going to do an hour of cardio and you get off the treadmill at 56 minutes. Why? You were so close, and you just stopped. Mindless! Because you thought it wouldn’t matter.

When your mind is right, your world will change.

I say be good, gracious and kind all the time. We have become so unmindful about others negativity or possibly our own. Most of the time, too many times. Negative words are so hurtful and there are “Negative Nelly’s” all over the place. If you chime in a positive comment in their negative ones, they will stop in their tracks. You will shock them. Take notice of conversations. As much as we think we know about a situation, you may truly have no idea what is going on in that person’s life. Be mindful of your positive influence on others. You will change a life.

“You cannot just exist in this life, you have got to try to live.” Steve Harvey

“You have got to identify your gift. Your gift will make room for you.” Steve Harvey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kILVFRlUtT8

A friend of mine challenged me to listen to this once a month. It has been a factor of goodness through my journey.   The first time it was a little hard to understand. The second time, I knew it was time to JUMP. Now, I just listen because I learn and grasp a little bit more of what he says.

“YOU HAVE TO JUMP” Steve Harvey

It took a long time for me to jump. My mind was weak. I never believed I could follow my passion, or leave the classroom. I never believed in myself like everyone else believed in me. It has not been easy but it has been worth it.   Excuse after excuse is all I had. I wear my cuts, scrapes, and bruises with pride. That parachute may or may not open but not knowing will not cause me not to jump.

Your mind can stop you. There is every excuse out there. I’ve used them, I know. Until that day that you decide to change your mind will you begin to see a change in your mirror.

From one classroom to another, I still teach. STRONG

 

Strong Relationships

As I sit down with a few notes and a blank page, I reflect on the word relationships. How do they work in my life? Whom do I have relationships with? Are they positive or negative? Who’s in my corner? Are they true? Do I trust them? Are they encouraging or do they sabotage? Who are the motivators in my achievements? When you search for those answers, the revelation could shock you. I am not afraid to say that I have few friends but the greatest friends I could ask for. I seek positivity within my environment. Sharing myself with others and being good, gracious, and kind are the monumental actions to divide with friends, family, and strangers.

Here is your question:

What do I do with those people that bring me down, belittle me, make me feel like I’m not worthy, destroy my dreams, constantly speak negative about others, weigh on my thoughts, etc.?

We all have those people. I have one word for you. Boundaries! It’s time to set them for yourself. For me, it was with a very close family member.   I found myself at a crossroad of being tired of trying to appease someone that is clearly struggling with something within herself. The hardest realization for me was I can’t help her. The straw that broke the camels back was the attack against my children and my husband. At that moment, I made a vow to never allow her to hurt me again. A quick deletion from all social media was my first move. She could only reach me by a phone call. At that point, I reserved the right to always say good-bye. We are at a better place, but it was boundaries that had to be established in order to get there. Never have I regretted this decision.

In the health and fitness industry, becoming a better you is the greatest place to be ridiculed. Life does not differ between skinny, fat, short, tall, athletic or the I don’t care personalities. Some people just don’t want you to succeed no matter if it’s weight loss, strength training, getting faster, eating right, living healthier, having more energy, or regaining control of your life.

WHY? WHY? WHY?

Here’s a story for you. The story of my life. I am at a birthday party with moms sitting around a table chatting. The mother of the birthday child walks up and asks “would anyone like cake?” She abruptly turns to me and says “I know you don’t want any!” GULP! How embarrassed was I? It is a very uncomfortable feeling to constantly be picked on for food choices. I get it everywhere I go. Here is the greatest thing. I love cake and I eat cake when I want it. I just didn’t want any cake that day. It is a great thing called food freedom. The book is fantastic. Melissa Hartwig writes Food Freedom Forever. I deal with these types of comments in every social situation. I handle it with a smile when I really want to be a crouching tiger and pounce on someone. That day may come, I’m just hopeful not.

Here’s one more while I’m at it. I went with a friend to a local school fundraising event. There was a fantastic buffet of green beans, brisket, mashed potatoes, salad, and bread pudding. I had a little of all of it. I sat down and I know at least 6 people asked “well what are you eating?” I was proud to say I tasted a little of everything. They were astonished. There were even those that put mashed potatoes in my face and asked if I’d like a bite. It made me happy to say “I had some but thank you.” That tiger stayed contained yet again.

These constant relationships could cause a major back slide on your climb to the top of your triangle. Think about how often people comment on those around that do not make healthy lifestyle choices as opposed to those that do. Can’t you hear them? Why isn’t she eating that? She is too thin, she can eat 2 cheeseburgers and not gain weight. She is missing out. Why doesn’t she just cheat or treat herself? She brings her own food everywhere she goes? This is my favorite… She doesn’t even have to work at it? WWWHHHHHAAAATTTTTT????? YES, I DO! That comes a little later in my blogs.

Do you ever hear someone say, “you should not eat that much?” I don’t hear anyone at Christmas dinner say, “you shouldn’t have that!”. I’ve never been a restaurant and someone order and I say “are you really going to eat that cheesy pasta or that bacon cheeseburger or dessert?” NO, but hell, what a shock to the person if someone did. Why? Because it’s not socially acceptable. Someone will get sued on that note. Someone will think you are better than them if the tables are turned. Why is it ok to pick on the little people?

I promise there is no size in life that makes one person better than another. We are all on equal ground. It is your relationship within yourself that puts the strain on how you view others. Love yourself first.

It is time to take a stand for what you want. Stop being scared to admit that you want more for your health, your family, and your love of life. Stop allowing people to run over you and cloud your path. I don’t care who it is, your mom, your sister, your husband, your kids, your coworkers, your best friend, or your significant other. It is time to put this in check.

I received this text message from a friend of mine not too long ago. It read.

Loved your Facebook post about size attacks. I couldn’t post there because I don’t want to publicly talk about my dear mother. I am far from a zero but I have been feeling the pressure from friends and family about food choices. My mother was always encouraging me to lose weight but now that I am working on it, they always make snide comments about me eating cauliflower in place of everything! So frustrating, they act like cauliflower is so odd, it is a vegetable, I don’t understand the big deal. Anyway, Thank you for the article.

That article was found on Facebook and called, You Attack My Size 0 But I Can’t Attack Your Size 16.

Commit to those who strengthen you. Surround yourself with positive people. Love and acknowledge those that pick you up at your low moments and high five you at your best. Be done with negative comments, with being mocked, and be STRONG with the person that should fulfill you, YOU!