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

Crossing The Whole30 Finish Line!

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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

Week 1 Whole 30

1 week down, 3 more to go. Until today (started writing this on Day 8, finished Day 10) I have to say that everything has been going rather smooth and I can’t complain.

For anyone reading this that is unfamiliar with the program, the Whole 30 is a 30 day reset for your body (and mind if you do it correctly.) For 30 days you consume only real, whole foods. No dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no alcohol, no soy, no processed anything. Just say NO. This reset has many purposes but the biggest one is resetting how your brain and body thinks about food. It’s challenging, some days suck, and it involves a metric shit-ton (my favorite measurement) of planning and washing a ridiculous amount of dishes. SO. MANY. DISHES. (Click the link above to get a more official and in depth explanation, as this is my short-hand little blurb)

Anyway, I have made it through the first week feeling pretty darn good. My non-scale victories include sleeping like a rock, not feeling hungry and certainly getting full. It has also been fun putting our new Instant Pot to use as it has proved to be incredibly efficient already.

The second and third weeks are when (in the past) I have either fallen off the wagon or simply struggled the most with staying compliant. *MAJOR SPOILER ALERT* I have started four Whole 30 journeys but I have never made it all the way to 30 days. Ugh, that feels so yucky to say out loud. So while I have the advantage this time of knowing how most days are going to feel, I also have a knowledge of what it means to start but never officially finish.

That is the opposite of what 2019 is about for me; one of my 2019 words is “completion”. Making it to 30 days (plus 10 more for proper reintroduction which I have also never done) is something I  MUST do. For me. Up until this point I have allowed other people’s influence and my own lack of personal integrity to make it ok if I decide to eat non-compliant foods or jump of the boat 3, 9, or 14 days before I’m meant to. If no one knows but me, is it that big of a deal?

The answer is YES, yes it is a big freaking deal. I’m writing this, posting it, and then telling people about it so that the people that know me best (or Hell even complete strangers I don’t care) can call me out. I’m not about being outside my integrity, and I absolutely won’t budge when it comes to my clients or other people. But when it’s just me against me, I will buckle easily and honestly not give it much thought.

Not this time though, I refuse. I will get through the challenging days (I know there are more coming my way) and I will own this as if my life depends on it. It doesn’t, obviously, but how good is it going to feel when I do make it to the end. When I can officially sit taller and prouder in my food freedom, and know that I accomplished something that is making me and my relationship with food better.

That’s all for Week 1, more to come as I get through Week 2 and hit my half way mark.

Later Awesome Humans!

S

January 2019- Is this going to be your year?

The time of resolutions is sitting on top of us, one week in. Have you broken yours yet? Such a pessimistic and shitty take on it but let’s be real; how many times have you hyped yourself up to make these great big awesome changes and then 1, maybe 2 weeks in you lose your will and *POOF* you are right back where you started? If you say “Well I’ve never…” you’re either full of crap, or you’re in denial. Own it and lets move on, shall we?

I too have been guilty of being a Resolutionary (the term I may use in excess when it comes to people setting huge unattainable goals on Jan 1st and then they all but disappear by call it February 15th at the latest) and this year I’m not on board with it. Instead I’ve chosen to approach the BHAGs (Big-Huge-Ass-Goals) I have set for myself this year as one day/week/month at a time achievements. What behaviors do I have to engage in each day so that I can check the box and keep moving forward towards my goal? That is the question I ask myself each night before I shut it down, and each morning when I fire it up.

Currently I’m working on getting back in to my morning routine, writing for at least 15 minutes each day, and completing a Whole 30 reset.

Those are my focus.

That’s it.

The list of all the things I would like to be doing is so much longer, but I am not capable of expanding my view-point beyond this horizon. If I do I will set myself up to fail almost immediately, and that feels really shitty.

In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear (which is phenomenal, and you should read it) he talks about changing the behavior that results in the habit. In fact that’s the basis of creating Atomic Habits. It’s the small things and what leads up to doing whatever it is you are trying to achieve that matter more than the habit itself. Baby steps become giant freaking leaps when taken consistently.

In my case habit #1 is getting back to my morning routine. That includes waking up a solid couple of hours before anyone in my house (currently the goal is 430 during the week 5-530 on the weekend) getting my coffee, writing my morning pages, listening to Darren Daily, preparing for whatever lies ahead in my day and going from there. I could be doing WAY more in that roughly 2 hours, but getting back into the groove of getting up that early is step 1. My alarm is nowhere near my bed so I have to physically get out of bed to shut it down. I move pretty quick all things considered because while I don’t care if it wakes my husband, I do care if it wakes up my kids. Once I’m out of bed I move, assess, and stay up. There is no point in crawling back into bed, regardless of how tempting once I’m already out of it. Now that I’m up, the next steps I’m working through are what am I accomplishing in that time? Currently it’s what I’ve mentioned above but as the habit forms and sticks I know it will evolve to be more productive and on point to other larger things.

Number 2 is writing for 15 minutes each day. I do that anyway with my daily pages, but that writing is not intended for anyone but Me, so I need to write for 15 more minutes words that are meant to be experienced by other people. A larger goal of mine is to blog more consistently, so creating that content fits the bill. Getting up early give me time I might not otherwise have to write. Writing for 15 minutes will create content to publish, which will get pushed out the interwebs, which will hopefully be absorbed by someone who might need it and the cycle will continue to grow. Habit 1 and 2 feed off one another, which pushes me that much more to make sure I prioritize it.

Last but not least is my Whole 30. Lord has this been a long time coming. From Halloween to Christmas last year was a gluttonous, revolting, free for all. I admit it, and I have paid for it. Inflammation, fatigue, looking and feeling like the Goodyear Blimp, and general not-niceness have been my major symptoms and I’m so over them all. I made the decision to attempt another Whole 30 back in December, and now one week in I know that I made the right decision. More on that in the future, but while I acknowledge that I still have quite a way to go, this decision is one that needs to be seen to completion for a large myriad of personal reasons. I’m on track and that is what is important to me.

This particular post veered off in ways I had not originally intended but I’m going to stick it out and let it be. Making resolutions is a fine way to kickstart yourself on a path to making changes. If that is how you need to go about it then get down with your bad self. But, if you want those resolutions to stick, I suggest taking a smarter and even smaller approach by narrowing down the little steps you need to consistently walk first before you can achieve the big jump. Don’t allow yourself to say one thing but only achieve a small piece of it. Set that goal, then figure out all the steps required for you to get there. Do them, daily. Then have a look at the original resolution at the end of the day, the week, the month. Are you closer? Are you still on the path towards it? Yes? Awesome!!! Keep doing what you’re doing. No? Why? Take a step back and start again. If 2019 is meant to be “Your Year” then don’t settle for anything less. Take the small steps, show up for yourself every day, and keep moving in the direction you know you want to go. I promise it will be worth it.

See you next time Awesome Humans!
S