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!

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!

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

A Valentines Day I won’t Forget

As Valentine’s Day 2018 approaches, I have been reflecting on my previous Valentine’s Day.  Considering I haven’t had a real Valentine around this time, this isn’t really my favorite holiday.  It always reminds me of the rejections and relationships that didn’t really pan out.

Last year was worse.  At the time, I was jobless and living at home.  I was job searching without much luck in finding the right position. I had taken a part time position at a bar and grill to stay busy.  My first workday was supposed to be Valentine’s Day.  To make matters worse, I got sick on my first day of work (eww).  I had to call in sick two days in a row!  Talk about making a terrible first impression!  Sufficed to say, I would happily forget that Valentine’s Day.

Fast forward to this year, my life is looking ALOT better.  I am working in a job where I am celebrated and respected by my peers and customers.  I have made progress in my hobbies and life goals.  I am beginning to create my happiness and separate myself from negativity.  I FINALLY moved out of my parents house.  And, I won an award at work recently.  LIFE IS GOOD.

Why do I share this?  Does it sound like a sob story to you?  I am sharing because IT GETS BETTER.  You may feel like your life is in shambles right now.  You may feel down on your luck.  You may want to quit.  But, life has an interesting way of CHANGING YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.  It is key to believe that life offers infinite blessings and opportunities.  You have to believe that things will get better and take steps to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Share your “Comeback” stories below.  I would love to hear about them!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

“P”ower Words

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” -Roy E. Disney

“I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” -Michelle Obama

“Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out”
“Words” by Hawk Nelson

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”-George Orwell, 1984

I have been thinking about values and words lately.  Most people underestimate their power.  They speak words without a second thought.  We act outside of our values.  No wonder people are miserable and not where they want to be.

Values and words are unusual things.  They are constant, but ever changing.  Values are those foundations we have built within us.  They drive our beliefs and behaviors.  However, they can be shaped, formed, changed, and even ignored.  Words and language are very similar.  Words are constant, but can change when combined with other words.  The words we choose can drive our beliefs and behaviors.  They also can be shaped, formed, changed, or ignored.

At the same time, the meanings of values and words remain the same.  They appear in our lives constantly in different times, situations, and quantities.  I encourage you to value certain words in your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.  These “P” Phrases will help you make better decisions and in effect a better outcome in your life.

People: We tend to underestimate how much we need good people and relationships in our lives..  Surround yourself and focus your time and effort on good people.
Persistence:  Nothing amazing was ever accomplished on the first try.  Consistent effort on something will improve your skill set and allow you to do the amazing.
Positivity:  Not many people like negativity.  Positive thinking has the power to improve situations, conversation, your day, and even your outlook on life  Cultivate your positive attitude daily.
Peace: We lead busy, non stop lives.  It an become exhausting. We don’t get many breaks and it never seems to stop.  Strive to find peace in your day and yourself and your life will have much more meaning.
Patience: Great things take time.  We live in a culture that promises instant gratification.  Choose to be patient in the moment while waiting for what you want.
Priorities: We have thousands of things pulling us all the time- work, family, extracurriculars, chores, errands.  Don’t even think about doing everything that falls into your lap.  Focus on the activities that bring the most joy and results.  You will be more focused and attentive to those fewer activities.

Remember, words and values have meanings.  Choose to live by strong values and speak positive, constructive words.  Watch as your interactions and life improve.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!