A New Found Sense of Freedom (and the feelings that go with it)

Today is a milestone day in my world, a milestone that I have been anxiously awaiting for the past 2.5 years. Both of my children are in school all day. I dropped them off at 8:20, and I don’t have to go get them until 3:30. I am not paying tuition or a sitter. It is amazing.

Drop off!

So what am I doing? I’m writing. I’m spending time on what I want Actively Living Awesome to be (and mapping out the HOW). I’m meeting with my work-wife and exploring what some future opportunities look like. I’m listening to one of my favorite Podcasts (about setting boundaries, how appropriate). I am enjoying the fact that my house is quiet.

I’m also hoping that my kids are having a good day.

This particular subject is one that can get people fired up pretty quickly, so I’m going to lay out my reality and then move right along. My husband works full time and has a great job. When we made our life-changing move five years ago part of the decision we made was for me to finally pursue my own endeavors as opposed to going back into a corporate 9-5. By making that choice, part of it meant that I would be home at least half the time. And for most of the past five years that has been the case. There has always been the option for me to go back to work for someone else (which I did for a minute and it wasn’t a good fit), but when it comes down to it, this was the path that worked best for us. It has not been without it’s challenges, but it’s what we decided to do.

As a mother (and this is all humans that have the title of “Mom” whether in a traditional sense or not) there is this external expectation to be all of the fucking things, all of the fucking time. In no particular order: be a good mom, be a good partner, volunteer, keep up the house, bring home a contributing wage, stay fit (or look the part), keep up with laundry and groceries, make time for self care, take care of you, take care of everyone else, the list never ends.

So as I sit here at my counter, on my computer, listening to my little dog snore in the sunlight, I feel really good about where I am right now. I am showing up for me, in ways that elevate my vibration, and I am not sorry for any of them. Does it make me selfish? Maybe. Do I care? Nope. Am I thinking about my kids? Yes, a little bit. Is there any guilt? Again, Nope.

But I wonder, how many moms do feel guilty? How many have had the sole “job” of Mom for many years and now find themselves with a quiet house? How many don’t necessarily have a business or mission to pour themselves into now that they have the time? How many have things they want to start or pick back up but don’t know where to begin?

It doesn’t make you a “Bad Mom” to welcome this new chapter. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids because for the first time in years you can sit down and not immediately have to get up for someone else. It doesn’t mean you are selfish because you want to do something you enjoy, for YOU and not for the enjoyment of someone else.

If any of this resonates for you, let me know. I know there are plenty of us out there trying to take care of ourselves and everyone else, battling through all the emotions along the way.

Chat again soon Awesome Humans

~S

Over half way to 2020

Just typing that title made me a little queezy, I can’t believe we are already in July.

About a week ago my husband and I were siting on our newly finished patio, doing a play back of the weekend, when I went a little bigger and started replaying the past 3 months. I say that I don’t know where time went, but the reality is I know exactly where it went and fuck did it just blow right by.

In all fairness I knew that if I made it through March, April was going to take off, and I would wake up on December 31st and be delightfully surprised. However, when you are in the moment everything just seems to fly by faster then you ever give yourself time to prepare for.

April sent my to Columbus, Ohio to become a B!rthF!t Coach. I made the choice at the beginning of 2019 to go ALL IN on B!RthF!t (more on that in a later post) so Coach’s Training was step one. Bonus I got to briefly stay in C-Bus with some of my favorite humans, but that weekend is what made the ball start rolling.

In May I spent a week in Austin, listening to people that are smarter then I will ever dream of being, making some rad new friends, eating lots of tacos, and staying in a REALLY shitty motel. At least, that was the first part of my trip. I completed DNS Exercise 1 as another part of my B!rthF!t puzzle, and was given a glimpse at what I could be doing to already make what I get to do for a living better.

The back half of my Austin trip landed me at the B!rthF!T Summit. I don’t have the space in this post to go into everything that made the weekend life-changing, but let me tell you I drank the Kool-Aid and enjoyed every damn minute of it. I made connections with some of the most incredible people, I heard stories and passion from people just like me out there doing some Queen Shit work in their everyday. These people not once made me feel like I didn’t belong, and they reminded me again why I was called and then chose to bet all my cards on B!rthF!t and what it’s all about.

June was nuts with personal things, and now I have July to try and find peace while I also enjoy the summer that finally decided to show up in Denver. I’m still working at my normal place of employment, but in my vision my days there are limited as I look towards what I want to build in the future.

Coming up in the next couple months:

I am co-teaching a class with my Business Bestie to high school-aged girls beginning next week. I am beside myself to be able to share with these young ladies information I WISH I would have had access to when I was in high school. Obviously hindsight plays a role, but the power we are looking to give them will only help them navigate their lives both in and out of the gym for the better.

I tentatively have a new “home” to begin seeing clients. With this new space, my passion to train women, especially those in all fazes of the Motherhood transition moves to the forefront. I am currently putting together ideas and collaborations to offer the women of the South Denver Suburbs. As women, and especially as mamas we have SO MUCH on our plates all the time. It has taken me five YEARS to surrender to the fact that I need a community. I cant do to alone, and quite frankly I don’t want to. So I open my arms to the other women that feel that way too. We’re going to workout, laugh, get weird, and realize that we all have more in common then we thought. It’s going to be awesome so I hope you’ll come along.

I have exactly 5 months left make all the things I set out to do this year happen. Not sure if I’ll get around to all of it, but best believe I’ll nail the things that count.

Stay Tuned Awesome Humans

S

I’m baaaaaaaack

I maybe said that in a creepy Jack Nicholson voice. Or am I thinking the wrong movie? Likely the second, but whatever. February has been a weird ass month, and now that the final week is upon us I am done “thinking about” what I want to write and back to pushing the pink publish button.

In this over-full internet world there is so much to consume and so many conflicting messages and opinions that it can be challenging to figure out how you want your voice to sound. My brain has like 4 million tabs open at any one time and all of them are varying topics with different voices. All of them want to leave an impression and add value. Make you laugh or make you think or give you a hug. At the end I don’t know if they do any of those things but at least I enjoy sharing them.

I still have intention of expanding on the Simplification Shift, likely in March since I decided to stick my head into a text book for the past month and have neglected this little space. Can I tell you how over reading that particular book I am? I did learn some new information, but overall I found it to be rather underwhelming. I miss the money that I shelled out for it, but you’ll have that sometimes. Moving on.

So simplification, the motherhood journey, movement and health, and the importance of finding/ creating your community. To me, those things make up an awesome life, or they allow you to create the pieces that will in turn make your life more awesome. Cart or horse, either way it’s a step forward.

Stay tuned anyone that takes the time to give this a read, I have so many things I can’t wait to share here.

Later Awesome Humans

S

 

Crossing The Whole30 Finish Line!

whole30header1

Yahoo, I made it!!! I did it, I get to check the box and call this January 2019 Whole30 a SUCCESS. You guys, I don’t know if I can fully explain how happy I am to not only cross this finish line but to be able to say that I COMPLETED something that I started. It feels amazing.

So now that I’ve gone the whole 30 days, whats next? Well, reintroduction and Food Freedom are top of mind, so technically still eating mostly the same way will be the new “normal”. For this post I wanted to highlight a couple of things I thought would be helpful take-aways for anyone thinking about doing a Whole 30 themselves. I also know that what I learned this time may be completely different than what I experience the next time. With that in mind; The 2019 January Whole30.

Why did I decide to do it now?

Because I was sick and tired of feeling bloated and sick and tired.

Why was this round any different then others before?

  1. Because I actually made it to Day 31.
  2. Because I made a commitment to myself
  3. There was no Plan B

Honestly, this is why I was able to be successful. Much like anything else in life, I had to reach a point where I knew that completing what I started was going to be better than the alternative. Please don’t misunderstand, there were days that were hard, there were days I would have gladly thrown in the towel for a piece of chocolate or a glass of red wine. But seeing this through to the end has meant so much more to me then any other fleeting “reward” possibly could. When the pain is great enough, you will do things that may not have been possible before.

Was there anything else that made this round seem “easier”?

Ummm, yes. I am spoiled and I have LOTS of gadgets. My Crockpot, Instant Pot, Egg Cooker, Spiralizer, and Vitamix made my life easier in more ways than I can count. Fear not if you don’t have any of these things in your house, you can still successfully complete your Whole30. I’m just not above admitting that having toys that made prepping easier and faster was appealing in ways I’d never given much previous consideration.

I also purchased the book Whole30 Day By Day and it is worth the investment. Each day is outlined as far as what you should expect and how to break through what tend to be considered the most trying days. There is also an email/ text series that Melissa offers through the Whole30 site, but the book was enough to keep me pushing forward.

What’s next?

Reintroduction starts on Day 31 while still eating mostly Whole30 compliant for another 10 days or so. The first 2 things to be reintroduced are gluten-free alcohol (YAY WINE!) and beans/ legumes etc. (YAY HUMMUS!) I already have a general idea of what foods are not my friend but this will be an efficient way to keep track. I’m also looking ahead thinking that another reset perhaps over the summer may not be a bad idea, but I’m not going to count my chickens (I might eat them, you never know) before they hatch.

Favorite Recipes

I was asked to share what some of my favorite recipes are, and honestly a majority of the time I played a game called throw-it-in-a-pan-with-oil-and-see-what-happens. The other side of that coin is that I stalked and tagged recipes from Whole30Recipes on Instagram. Frequently. I will tag and do a separate post of my 5 favorites with any little side notes or changes that we made to the original since this post is getting long.

On to February, so many things to share that are not food related. This has been a great way for me to get back into my writing groove and I’m looking forward to all that is coming next. Have an inspired and kick-ass weekend Awesome Humans!
S

*I don’t receive any sort of compensation for any links that I post. It’s just me sharing things I love or have found beneficial.*

The Simplification Shift

I’ve been fighting this for what feels like an eternity. To me, it meant that I couldn’t be myself if I chose this path. It felt restrictive, and yucky, and cliche. It meant that I had to fit into a cookie-cutter of what someone else dictated. Why? I have no idea, but that is what I thought. Until recently. Until about 3 months ago. Until I realized that DUH what I have been doing for 35-fucking-years clearly hasn’t worked in all the ways I had hoped, so maybe it was time for me to make a shift. Hmm, weird.

So I did. I chose to start making things simple. Some of them I thought would bore me to tears; they haven’t. Not yet any way. In fact, the small changes I have already made are proving to be intelligent and beneficial decisions on my part.

So, what do I mean by a “Simplification Shift”? I mean cutting out all of the shit in your life that you think you need, so you can make room for the things that are going to help you change your life for the better. It sounds super intimidating, I know. That’s why the other half to this is to also only dismantle a small number of things and then figure out exactly how to rework them into your life so that it makes more sense, not makes you more stressed out.

This all seems so vague, but instead of word vomiting all of it at once I’m going to break out the Simplification Shift throughout the month of February. Each week I’ll explore an area of life that can be simplified, or rather suggestions for you to do so. If I’ve learned nothing else on my own journey it’s that there is no one size fits all answer to ANYTHING. What works for me may not work for you. But, if something that has worked for me ignites something in you that you can use to better your situation, then I’ll call that a win for both of us.

Also, disclaimer before we dive in; while this may have shades of “minimalism” attached to it, that is NOT what this is about. I have also not been watching any of the Marie Kondo docu-series on Netflix so I won’t be using the phrase “sparks joy”. This is about self assessment, exploration, and action. On your terms, to get you one step closer to living your awesome. That’s it. It’s not fancy, it’s not flashy, but that’s the point. We put all this pressure on ourselves to be All The Things, ALL THE TIME. Aren’t you tired? I am. I’d rather focus what little energy I have left after all the other parts of my life take their share on what’s most important to me. If this sounds like you, stay tuned. There is so much more goodness to come!

S

Whole 30- The Home Stretch

I’m down to single digits (8 days to be exact) Yahoo!!! I’m actually having very mixed emotions about this coming to an end, its slightly perplexing.

Part of me would be thrilled if I never had to meal prep, do dishes, or read every freaking ingredient label that I come across ever again. Dramatic Much? Mainly its the dishes and the prep, the ingredient labels just piss me off because we put SO MUCH UNNECESSARY SHIT into our food. That however, is a rant for another day.

I joked with my husband over the weekend that I’m looking forward to going back to more of an IF lifestyle just so I don’t have to cook what feels like all the time. The problem is now that I feel as good as I do, and I know there are going to be some trigger foods, the things I’m joking about not wanting to continue are the very things that I need to keep top of mind.

I have a Sugar Dragon, and she is a BEAST. The minute I give her an inch, she will take over real estate in my brain that is extremely hard to control once unleashed. Valentine’s day is coming up, Dove dark chocolate hearts and Sweet Tart hearts are calling to me but I don’t want to answer. I think part of why I’ve been able to keep said dragon under control (and in tandem to her my cravings and crashes) is because fruit has played a very minimal role in this Whole 30. Part of that is that its winter and the produce looks like shit/ costs too much BUT I know if I don’t have a crutch then I can’t fall back on a bad habit.

There are somethings that I am still working through that I haven’t been able to pinpoint and that is frustrating. Bloat, gas, still feeling “heavy” through my stomach and intestines. Cauliflower is a culprit so I am aware of that one, but please excuse me while I go on a whiny rant. I know other veggies are causing me some of the discomfort, sweet potatoes very well could be included on this list. But damn it I rotate between a small handful of veggies and if I eliminate them as well I feel so damn restricted. I cook them 50 different ways, but to an extent I stick with what I know. The question becomes what do I care more about? Eating what I enjoy, just in a healthier way, or giving up anything that disagrees with me so that I look and feel better?

We’re getting into vanity territory, I’m just going to throw that out there. I know that this bothers me more then anyone even notices, but it is really freaking frustrating. Something else to note, I eliminated all of the supplements that I usually take during this 30 days. Probiotics are usually one of them. Reintroducing the little buggers back in as well as experimenting with activated charcoal, and drinking ACV or digestive-focused teas may give me more information to connect the dots. (Please note I said Digestive-Focused tea that include things like licorice root, ginger, fennel, etc. NOT DETOX TEA. There is a difference!)

I’m off my little whiny-box now, overall this has been a really good experience. I have noticed so many other non-scale victories that I will whole-heartedly take on another Whole 30 in the future. Someone asked me about some of my favorite recipes, and I think I’m going to make that a post by itself. It will require a great deal of linking because I get them from other people then modify it to our home’s varying taste buds and preferences.

I am also ready to write about other things besides food and the Whole 30. I have plenty in my lineup, this just happens to be what I’ve been consistent on hitting the “Publish” button about.

Time to get my day started, Happy Hump Day Awesome Humans!

S

Whole 30, Week 2 Down!

I’m a couple of days later on this then I wanted to be, but LIFE, can you feel me? I’m reflecting on my week 2 as I’m currently on day 18, and I’m proud of myself for the place in which I am writing this.

I admitted in my first post that i have never fully completed the 30 days as well as the 10 day reintroduction. I’ve always been pretty ok at making it to at least to week 3, but this time I really want to celebrate closing down another week as I move through the next one.

Overall this go around has not been as hard for me as it has been in the past. I attribute that to 3 major things-

  1. Mindset.
  2. Preparation.
  3. A deeply rooted personal integrity to see this through.

I made the decision to do a Whole 30 back in December. I knew that it would start January 2nd. I felt like shit everyday leading up to it, which told me that it was a code-red needed intervention. One of my words for the year is Completion, and I am determined to complete this goal as my first task of the New Year. I keep going back to the initial goal of completing, and next to it the plan of how to get there. As often as I need the reminder. So far it’s working.

Preparation, this step is fucking exhausting, but it is what will make me see it through. I spend what feels like SO MUCH time shopping for food, prepping food, and then doing dishes. I hate it. I love the food I’ve been eating, it’s delicious and flavorful, and I can eat at as leftovers (which I don’t do very well) because I know its good quality and still going to taste amazing. But, there is still a significant amount of planning that goes into it week by week. The prep part has made me decide that while I will continue keeping fresh healthy options available even once I’ve completed the 30 days, I will also be reintroducing my intermittent fasting protocol. I prefer that with my schedule anyway, but after this, fasting holds a special place in my heart.

Last but not least, that personal integrity. I have a hard time finishing ANYTHING. I know it, I’m not proud of it, and I am determined to change that ship’s direction. If you knew how many times I’ve started a blog, then stopped. Or started an exercise or diet plan, then stopped, or a whole host of other things that I have had tons of pump about in the beginning slowly to fall off at most 2 weeks in then this shouldn’t surprise you. That is why next to the word completion for 2019, is the word consistency. Consistently showing up. For myself mainly, and then everyone else beyond that. Completing this Whole 30 will be a monumental victory for me. Only then will I feel like I am crossing off a win for living my most Awesome.

At this stage I’m frustrated with a couple of things, but they are ways my body is communicating with me and it is my job to listen and figure them out.

There have been noteable days that I have been completely zapped of all my energy. Like 3pm rolls around and I want to pass the f out. I know that “snacking” is what you are learning not to do as part of the program so part of me hated that I want to eat at that time. One of the questions that Melissa tells you to ask yourself is “can you eat a plate of fish and broccoli right now?” If yes, then eat! If no, it’s a craving let it pass. In my 3:00 crash I could eat a horse so apparently something is missing. Not sure if its fat, the wrong kind of carbs, sleep that is phenomenal in quality but not necessarily quantity, not enough water, or the fact that my day starts by 5am and I’m not usually winding it down until at least 7-730 on weekdays. By winding it down I mean eating my last meal and finally sitting down. Could be a combination of any of those things, I’m still working that out.

My next two whiny complaints are still my level of bloat through my gut (though I can tell the difference in my face and other parts of my body) and acne. I’m 35 years old for fucks sake, really?!?!?! The bloat is my gut still healing and possibly some of the foods I do eat having an inflammatory response (I’m looking at you cauliflower) but that is something I need to assess and work through. The acne is one part hormones (someday I’ll write more on that one, bleh) and one part food intolerance. I already know cashews are a big one for me, and I think there is also some correlation with tomatoes. Again, it’s on me to assess and figure it out, then decide if vanity is worth not eating something. Usually it is, but sometimes I just don’t care.

Wow, this has been a lengthy little post, whether intended or not. Thanks for sticking it out if you’re still here and if you have experience with elimination diets, the Whole 30, etc. I’d love to hear from you. I don’t learn if I don’t ask so thank you in advance.

See you around next time Awesome Humans!
S