New Year’s ‘Decisions’

This new year’s eve has me very emotional. I’ve never felt the weight of a year ending so heavily on me before, and I wonder why that is. At this risk of sounding cheesy, this year has been one of great personal discovery and awareness for me. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who I have been, who I have become and who I strive to be. I am almost 40 now, which is a very surreal thing to come to terms with. I have a few more years (I will be 38 in April) but that milestone is fast approaching.
I want 40 to be my best birthday yet! I want to be the happiest I’ve ever been and be the absolutely best possible version of myself.

Physically.
Mentally.
Emotionally.

I am working to improve in every area of my life, and 2014 has been very revealing in terms of what needs to be done.  

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A few years ago, I decided to avoid using the term “resolutions”, and instead chose to make new years “decisions”… conscious choices that will better both me and those in my life. That in itself was pretty revealing for me. If you’d like to read that post you can find it HERE.

As 2014 comes to a close, there are some things I choose to leave behind…
- caring too much what others think of me
- needing others’ approval

- not letting my authentic self shine through for fear of how I will be received
- poor eating and health habits
- harshly judging others

And there is much I hope to gain in the coming year…
- a healthy mind and body
- more patience & tolerance
acceptance of constructive criticism
- peace in my heart
– an understanding of my own value

Man, I sound like I’m going all “new age”… lol. I’m not – it’s just that you always hear and read about how 40 is supposed to be the BEST age. “I finally know myself!”, “I’m finally comfortable in my body!”… I want that!

I have admittedly always put far too much value on what other people think of me. I have never been a “leader” because of that fact alone. I am not brave, or bold. I am not a trendsetter or trailblazer. I have been brought to tears by a comment on Twitter and when someone on Facebook “unfriends” me I spend weeks trying to figure out what I did wrong.

It’s ridiculous.

This is who I am – take me or leave me, people!

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I share my opinions, but I don’t force them down anyone’s throats. If I read an article that I find enlightening – even on a controversial topic – I will share it on MY wall, MY twitter, MY blog. I won’t post it on yours, or call you out. I will simply share information that I think is important.

Circumcision.
Vaccines.
Homeopathy.
Religion.
Politics.
GMOs.
Feminism.
Gluten.
Gun control.

I have opinions on these things, and if you don’t share my opinions I will still be your friend and respect you. All I ask is the same in return. If you cannot be friends with someone because they have a different view on something? Well – that’s your loss, not mine.

It’s taken me almost 40 years to say that I am happy with who I am. I am imperfect and I am flawed, but I am a decent person.

I am not going to spend a minute of 2015 worrying about the people who are judging me. I also won’t be spending a minute judging them.

In my last post, I talked about my quest to get in shape and be healthy. I have now lost 14.5 pounds, and I am feeling PROUD and strong. I am SO HAPPY that I started this back in November – I feel like I have a jump start on the new year, and no “resolutions” to try to meet. I am working – hard – and it’s paying off.

(But I’m still not ready to share my fat pics… hahaha. Nope. Not yet.)

I hope that 2015 brings you clarity. I hope it brings you peace, and happiness. I’m finally beginning to see that these things cannot be found anywhere but inside of us. Take the time to learn who you really are, and what you really need to feel whole and complete.
That’s what this year is going to be about for me.

It’s time for me to pull back, face inward and focus.

10872673_10155007353100486_1265025516_nHappy New Year, everyone.
Thank you for reading, and sharing your thoughts and ideas with me on this blog. I’m very grateful and appreciative of every one of you!
xoMB

The Weight is Over

So YES I have been a negligent blogger lately… maybe I’m missed, maybe no one noticed… who knows. LOL.

But I’ve been pouring all of my effort, energy and attention into a new cause, and since I’m just not a great multi-tasker, well, the blog has taken a back seat.

Hopefully I will find a way to manage everything, but right now it’s tough!

………So, what have I been up to, you ask?

Well, I am trying, working, desperately FIGHTING to get fit.

There it is. My big revelation. It’s nothing ground breaking to anyone but me, I know… but it’s taking up a huge chunk of my time and energy, so there’s just not much left of me after you factor in cooking, cleaning and taking care of my kids each day. So, since I’ve been such an absentee blogger, I thought I’d at least catch you all up on what I’ve been doing with my time, and maybe offer a bit of insight into what I’m learning as I go.

I’m not ready to get into the REAL nitty gritty details of my health (I am NOT ready to share my weight with the interwebs. Nope.) However, I am making some progress so I do have some stuff to share!

I started this new little adventure on November 3rd. Random date, I know. But that’s the point. It doesn’t have to be a Monday or the 1st of the month. You just need to FINALLY have that morning where you wake up and say “F*ck this. I don’t want to be fat anymore.”

Yup. That’s all you need. That’s your starter kit right there, folks. Just start.

On that day, I laid out some “November Goals” for myself:

Weight Loss Goals

Yah I totally spelled exercise wrong… lol.

I didn’t want to make any demands of myself that I knew I couldn’t meet. I wanted to start small-ish. So, of those goals I’ve met them all except lowering my carbs. Uggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh I love bread and pasta SO MUCH. So I’m working on that. But otherwise I’m doing really well.

See this?

5 pounds of fat

(This model in the pic obviously doesn’t need to lose 5 pounds of fat… but personally I need to lose about 35 more pounds of it, so I think it’s pretty cool!)

That’s 5 pounds of fat – and I’ve lost almost TWO of them! I am down exactly 9 pounds now, and I truly see such a big difference. I’ve been taking photos like crazy, which is tough to do when you’re in the “before” stage, but everything I read says I will be so glad to have them once I’m an “after”!

I’m not ready to post those here just yet, but let me tell you – the difference is pretty significant and on the days when the scale isn’t moving those comparison pics are what get me through!

I also did something kinda weird but amazing for me – I created a secret Instagram account. I still have my regular one where I post my family pics, etc… but now I also have one where no one knows my real name or where I’m from. It’s just a generic user name where I can post all my progress pics, workout updates and meals. By using the right hash tags I’ve been able to connect with hundreds of other people trying to do what I am doing. It’s been SUCH a boost for me and definitely the best thing I’ve done so far. Not to mention that the people I follow are SO inspiring and incredible. They’ve lost 20, 50, even 100 pounds with hard work and smart eating. I’m learning so much and feel excited every day to get to the gym!

Speaking of the gym, I joined GoodLife and I’ve been working out a minimum of three times a week. I started out with just cardio – it’s my comfort zone and I LOVE the elliptical machine. Weights scare me. Machines scare me. But I knew that I couldn’t just do cardio forever and expect the results I want.

Sooooo scary.

Sooooo scary.

So, after a week or so of that I went for it. I started a little mini program that I came up with  myself where Mondays were legs and 20 minutes of cardio, Wednesdays were arms/shoulders and 20 minutes of cardio and Fridays were abs/back and 20 minutes of cardio.

Not bad, and I lost my 9 pounds using that method so all was good. I am also using a free app called “Lose It” where I track my caloric intake as well as my exercise. It has me on just over 1400 calories a day and it’s been really helpful.

But now it’s time to step things up a bit. I want to WORK. I want to FEEL IT and have sore muscles the next day. LOL. I have no desire to be a body builder or be ripped, but I would like to be FIT, not just slim. I’ve been researching some various ways of achieving this, and trust me – there are many.

I could hire a personal trainer. Down side? Money. It’s very expensive and you really need to commit to certain gym schedules which is tough for me with three kids.

I could hire a “remote” trainer. This means that they provide meal and workout plans similar to that of a personal trainer, but at a greatly reduced rate since they aren’t present to help me in person. Down side? The remote part. Not sure if it’s worth it to pay when they won’t be there to make sure I’m doing it right!

There are many other options, but for now I’ve decided on a “starter” version on a personal trainer that’s also FREE! (Hooray!)

I found an app called “BodySpace”. It’s from www.bodybuilding.com and it’s really cool. You enter in your details and what you’re hoping to achieve and it gives you a number of workout programs to choose from.

Here is a screen cap to give you an idea:

BodyShape app

Each day it tells me what exercises to do, and how many reps. It tells me which days to work out, and which days to rest. The particular program I chose is a 12 week one called “Live Fit” created by Jamie Eason. Jamie is a female body builder who I’ve admired for some time… she’s in AMAZING shape without going too far in a direction that’s just not for me… this is what she looks like:

Um, hello! Where do I sign up to look like this?

Um, hello! Where do I sign up to look like this?

I start this new workout plan today and I’m REALLY hoping that it helps me drop the pounds and start firming up. It’s going to have me at the gym 4 days a week to start – then 5 – then 6! I’m scared but excited. Losing weight and getting fit is such a strange thing. It’s one of the few things our lives that we actually DO have control over in most cases, but it’s something that so many of us just tolerate or ignore.

I know that there is a lot of “love your body no matter what size you are!” happening out there, but while I am all for self love, I am also not going to sit back and use it as an excuse to be unhealthy. I want to have energy, I want to look forward to the summer when I can wear shorts and tank tops and lie by the pool. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way, so this is just my personal choice.

Now is the time, and I am determined to be the fit, healthy person I know I can be.
I’ll keep ya posted!
xo MB

ps – I know it might sound like I was plugging certain items and people in this post, but I wasn’t. I’m not affiliated with ANY of that stuff in any way, I just thought I’d share what’s working for me so far. :)