Get Dirty

“I can say the willingness to get dirty has always defined us as an nation, and it’s a hallmark of hard work and a hallmark of fun, and dirt is not the enemy.” -Mike Rowe
“Opportunity is missed by most people because its dressed in overalls and looks like work” -Thomas Edison
“Learn young about hard work and manners-and you’ll be through the dirty mess and dead again before you know it” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m noticing, almost daily, how there is a lack of work ethic amongst people.  While I am not perfect, I value and understand hard work.  I have been a part of the work force for 10 years.  I have worked in several industries and varying capacities.  One practice I have had all the way through is to do my very best.  I make a point to do everything I can- prepare, serve others, problem solve, get rejected, learn and study more- to complete my work.  Again, my work isn’t always on point or close to perfect.  But, I put my best foot forward each time.

We are afraid to get dirty.  We are afraid to look bad or make a mistake.  This is a viral issue.  It pops up wherever hard work is required to have progress- a diet, a workout program, the workplace, relationships.  We are insecure about putting in the effort without having all the answers.  We want a sure outcome before going in.  We don’t feel ready so we wouldn’t try.  But you know what?  Life is messy.  It’s not clean and efficient all the time.  Sometimes, to get what we desire, we need to get dirty to some degree.  Yes, I am talking about sweat, pain, and effort in the gym.  But, it goes deeper than that.  In order to progress, we need to be willing dive into the “gunk of life”- scary emotions, scary situations, tough decisions, taking risks.  Life becomes more meaningful when we accomplish things through effort and sweat.

What examples do you have of getting dirty??  Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Shine Bright

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world.-Timo Cruz, Coach Carter
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Dr. Martin Luther King
“I Wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being” -Hafiz

Grade school and high school can be difficult times for some people.  These are critical times for young people in who we become as adults. As adolescents, we are developing our identity and beliefs about others and forming relationships.  These times can also be detrimental to young people.

I was bullied in my younger years.  Not physically, but bullied verbally.  People made me feel like an outcast.  I was the butt of their jokes and disrespected.  At the time, I didn’t know better.  I just thought that’s the way it was.  I was meant to be bullied.  I was nobody. I wasn’t special or good in my own way.

Now, I see how wrong I was.  I was wrong to believe them.  I was wrong to go along with what others and society said about me.  It took me awhile to find that out. I finally realized I have a light inside me.  I can shine bright and not care what people think. Remember, you are SPECIAL.  You have a PURPOSE.  You are GOOD.  Do not let anyone else tell you something different. Aim to believe in yourself.  Love what makes you different.  Celebrate your uniqueness.  Once you do, people will notice.  They will change their minds.  They will not make you feel bad anymore.  Shine your light and you will rise higher!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Gear Up

“Organize, don’t agonize.”  ― Nancy Pelosi
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Be willing to take the first step, no matter how small it is. Concentrate on the fact that you are willing to learn. Absolute miracles will happen.” -Louise Hay

To me, getting ready is an odd concept.  It’s an essential part of our lives.  We get ready for work, get ready for school, get ready for a party, and so on.  Each person has their own definition and routine of “getting ready”. Here, I will focus on getting ready to make a health/ lifestyle change.  But, you can apply this to anything in your life.

Getting ready occurs once we acknowledge something needs to be done.  We realize that our mood has been off, we could lose a few pounds, or ate too much dessert recently.  There is something about our health we want to change.  The first step of any change is “preparing.”  Once you take the first steps, change becomes easier!  Therefore, we need to consider how to get the ball rolling in order to make these changes stick!  Consider these questions when looking to make a change:

-What resources will I need?
-Do I have said resources?
-How much time will I commit to this change?
-Who can I count on for support?
-What are my goals?
-How will I keep motivated during this change?
-What happens if I hit obstacles?

Take, for example, that you want to start running more often.  You realize you need running shoes and workout clothes.  You decide you will commit 1 month to making it a new habit.  You want to run for 30 minutes straight after that month.  You will count on your trainer friend to encourage you and help you with any unseen troubles along your way.
Obviously, this is one hypothetical situation to illustrate how to being making a lasting change.  What other questions would you ask yourself as you “gear up” for a change? Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Why I Workout

“I’ve always believed fitness is an entry point to help you build that happier, healthier life. When your health is strong, you’re capable of taking risks. You’ll feel more confident to ask for the promotion. You’ll have more energy to be a better mom. You’ll feel more deserving of love” -Jillian Michaels
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” -John F. Kennedy

I am by no means in my top physical form currently.  I’ve never been a top athlete or have the sexist body.  It’s important to know that your body does not have to be perfect.  You do not have to be a perfect 10 or be featured in a fitness mag to reap the benefits of exercise.

Currently, people will come up with LOADS of reasons why not to do something.  It’s easy.  We can dismiss the activity or person with one tiny excuse.  We stay in our comfort zone and keep going on our merry way.  If it’s inconvenient, it’s not going to happen. Thats what occurs often in society now.  Some typical excuses include: “I don’t have the time”, “It’s too inconvenient”,” it’s too difficult”, or my personal favorite- “why would I get sweaty on purpose?”

We’ve all been there.  We know it’s important. We know we should be doing it.  But, we comfort ourselves by rationalizing why it wouldn’t work.  We don’t want to disappoint ourselves or others.  But, life is not supposed to be 100% comfortable.  It’s CRITICAL to do something you would not normally do to get the results you want.

Instead of making reasons why not to workout, think of some reasons why it IS a good idea.
-It feels good to get moving
-You think more clear after working out
-You get a sense of accomplishment by doing something difficult
-You have a better mood from working out
Of course, your body, mind, and emotions will become more healthy!
Are there other reasons you exercise?  Share below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Wine it Out

“Beer is made by men, wine by God.”  -Martin Luther
“Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.”  -Lewis Pasteur

I used to never be a wine drinker. For awhile, I used to think it was gross.  Sour grape juice?  No thanks.  Give me a beer instead.  Some wines are served warm?! No thanks.  I want something cold. It never used to be something I reached for when given the choice.

Lately, something has changed.  I have found that I do enjoy wine!  To me, it was an acquired taste.  It didn’t seem attractive at first.  After trying it a few times, I have found that I have certain preferences.  Wine tastes great!  It is best especially in certain situations or with certain foods.  For instance, I enjoy red wine while relaxing at home in front of a house fire.  I enjoy white wine with dinners including fish or chicken.

Wine can be a great addition to your diet. Wine has many positive attributes to it.  For some people, it relies them.  Red wine has been seen to help protect against cancer.  It does contain some vitamins and minerals to promote wellness.  However, remember this: wine is still alcohol.  Actually, it is high in alcohol- about %12-15! If you chose to enjoy wine, make sure you do responsibly: only 1-2 glasses at a time. In this way, you will reap the benefits while not getting drunk or increasing your waistline.  Cheers!  As Always, Eat, Move, Improve!

Excuses Excuses

“When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” ~ Ken Blanchard

“Put all your excuses aside and remember this: YOU are capable.” ~ Zig Ziglar

At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets. ― Steve Maraboli

If you read any book about success or speak with someone who has done amazing feats, they will al tell you” do not make excuses”.  Just go to work and do it despite your mind telling you not to.  Your mind will play tricks on you and give you every reason not to do the work.  And we listen.  We allow ourselves to get in the way of ourselves.  We limit our potential because of perceived risks/ downfalls.

I’ll tell you what.  I make excuses.  I sleep in.  I miss workouts.  I don’t cook sometimes.  I talk myself out of being disciplined and doing what is best for me.  I can tell you something for sure. I have rarely regretted waking up early/ on time.  Or going to the gym. Or cooking a healthy nutritious meal.  It gives me a humble confidence knowing I did something despite “obstacles”. I feel better after a workout and solid nights rest.  Also, being disciplined creates mental toughness.  When we do something we do not think we can, we become more willing to do it.  It becomes a habit.  We become stronger physically, mentally, and psychologically.

Think about areas where you know you need to improve, but always reason yourself out of it.  Is it going to the gym?  Eating right?  Limiting sugary drinks?  What excuses do you use to legitimize your choices?  How can you discipline yourself to make a change?  I know.  It’s tough starting out.  That is the tough test part.  After that, it gets easier and becomes part of your routine.  Where will you make a positive change and stop making excuses?  As Always, East, Move, and Improve!

Dear Ice Cream

Dear Ice Cream,

 I honestly love you. You taste so good and relax me after a long day. What’s not to like? You come in so many forms and flavors: slow churned chocolate, low fat cookies and cream, creamy vanilla, chunky rocky road. You’re always there for me in the freezer. I don’t need to explain myself. You always understand when we spend time together.

But, I realize you are not good for me. You are high in calories from sugar and fat. You really don’t do too much for me nutritionally. I gain weight and regret after eating you too much. From now on, I have decided to spend less time with you. For me to feel and look better, we need to separate. It’s yu really, not me. Please don’t be upset. See you around!

Sincerely, Letting you go