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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How I Solved My Stress Problem

You aren't going to believe me, but I pretty much solved my stress problem.

So, if you've followed my journey on Facebook or Instagram, you probably know I've struggled getting back into the groove after having my daughter, Laurel.  Laurel had a rough 3 months adjusting to "life on the outside" as I lovingly like to refer to her colic/acid reflux stage of life.  It was a looooong 3 months for her and me.

Then there was the flu and just a list of excuses that kept me from keeping my 5AM wakeup call.

Fast forward to now:
I am COMMITTED.  No excuses, y'all!

I started this 21 Day Bikini Bootcamp and the tone of the group is so motivating + positive that I have found my groove again!  So, here is the secret to how I solved my stress problem:

I started waking up earlier, pushing play on my workout, and prioritizing myself.

It sounds just as crazy to you as it does to me!  I mean, how in the world do I feel LESS stressed when I'm doing more?!  How do I have MORE energy when I'm giving up 45 minutes of sleep?  Sounds backwards, doesn't it? 

The other day as we were packing the kids up to get in the car (on time, mind you) I said to my husband, "You know, ever since I stared waking up at 5AM to do my workout our mornings are going so much smoother.  I don't feel rushed, I'm more patient, and there is no anxiety about being late."  Again, doesn't make sense - throwing in ONE MORE THING to my morning routine is making me feel less stressed and anxious?!

But, here is the thing.  Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make your body feel good, and that makes your body have a higher immunity to pain + depression + anxiety + stress.  

Solution to my stress problem: pushing play and taking 30 minutes of ME TIME each morning before the sun comes up.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The One Thing You Must Do

I'm about to get real with y'all.  I get asked often, "How do you do it all?"  Or people will say, "I don't know how you do it all."  Key word: all.  Truth is: I don't.

Seriously!  WHO does it all?! What woman let alone mom has the time (and superpowers) to do it all?!  And do it well?  If you know someone, lead me to them so I can bow at their feet and learn their ways.

As a wife, mom, full time teacher, and nutrition/wellness coach there is just no. way. No way.

This year I started working through my Powersheets workbook and it really helped me to target and narrow down my goals + how I'm going to accomplish them for the year.  Not just business goals!  Personal, relationship, professional, all types of goals.  In that process, I realized a few things I could do to make my life easier and to allow me the maximum amount of quality time with my family (that's the whole reason why I do what I do in the first place).

It became very clear that many of my goals were formed around relationships which makes total sense because I'm not a details person, I'm a feels kinda person if you know what I mean.  I love relationships and spreading love and receiving that same love back.  So I figured out what I needed to do.

One word: DELEGATE

Sounds so simple right?  Try telling that to someone who likes control.  Ha!  Let me share a few ways I've done this and how this one thing has made the biggest difference in my life.\

The first thing I did was ask for help when I needed it.  This sounds so easy, but it's a humble act and if you have a lot of pride it's not easy.  Took me way too long to admit I can't do it all well without help and get over myself.  Life is so much better for everyone when you accept people's offers.

I hired a virtual assistant.  This was hard for me because I've built my business from the ground up; it is my baby.  Handing bits and pieces of that over to someone else has truly felt like leaving my baby in someone else's care.  And I pride myself on leading with heart - my heart.  So I am selective about what I have my assistant do; essentially the things that anyone can do without anyone noticing it's not me.  I still handle my accountability groups, team page, emails, interactions, etc.

I hired a house cleaner.  This is new.  I do okayish at keeping the house in order throughout the week, but I often find myself spending a few hours on the weekends picking up, folding laundry, etc.  I will just put this on the record - cleaning is not my favorite chore and although I thrive on organization, I'm busy.  So, those hours I spent doing those things will now be spent with my family as I pay someone else to come every other week or so and do the dirty work for me.  (See what I did there?)

I married a good man - this is something I did years before starting my own business or having kids, but it's especially important to note that marrying someone who believes that marriage is teamwork makes a huge difference.  He helps around the house + rides the entrepreneurial roller coaster right along with me.

So, if you find yourself wondering how to do it all, my solution is to delegate.  I realize not everyone needs an assistant; I never thought I would!  Or maybe cleaning is your jam.  More than likely, however, there is an area where you struggle and you could use some delegation.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Vow to My Daughter

Since having my son in December 2013, I made a promise to myself to be better.  
A better wife, mom, person.  I fail; every day I fail.  But, I'm truly trying to be better.  

Since having my daughter last August, I've been hard on myself.  
I've not been as loving or graceful toward myself as I am with others.  It's time I revisit that original promise and make a vow to myself and to her.

Dear Daughter,

I promise you that you will never hear your mommy mutter ugly words about myself, my body, food, or my relationship with it.  No ugly words under my breath, no ugly words aloud.  I also vow to do my best to keep those ugly words out of my own head so that my thoughts do not become my words.

I vow to better myself so that you do not spend the first 20+ years of your life struggling with body image, stepping on the scale, allowing anything or anyone (but you) to define your self-worth.

I vow to show you that you set the tone for your life; let us not give credit to what the media or society says we should or should not look like, talk like, act like, feel like, be like.

I vow to show you what a strong woman looks like, what a confident woman sounds like, what a selfless mom loves like.  I will teach you how to love yourself by showing you.  I will encourage you to let the light within you shine by being a light in the darkness myself.  I will empower you.

I promise that you will see me move every day.  You will see me caring for this amazing body.  You will see me embrace my curves and walk proudly.  You will see me lead an active lifestyle and you will have a mommy that gets down on the floor or the grass or the park swing and plays with you.

I vow to never let you see me beat myself up or slave away on the treadmill or deny myself the joys of good food.  I promise to show you what healthy balance is all about.

I promise to start slowing down, saying no to things that aren't important, and saying yes to coloring, race cars, and being outside.  I promise to work hard into the night and early morning hours so that I don't give up any time with you and your brother.  I promise to teach you that working hard and living a dream doesn't mean giving up the important things in life.

Most of all, I promise to love you with a love you may never understand.  I promise to put you and your brother first every time.  I promise to be the best mommy I can possibly be.  I promise to cherish each little moment as they pass by too fast.  I promise.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Traveling Outside the Country with Little Ones: What to Pack for Toddler

The Easter Bunny knows we are going on a trip to the beach so she is bringing the majority of the things my toddler needs while we are there.  She's so clever.
(Do you guys do a lot of candy or more gifty stuff in your Easter baskets?)

CT is not quite as tough to pack for because he will most likely be living in his swim trunks.  This kid is a fish and I can't imagine he will be getting dressed into real clothes too often if he can help it.  Plus, he's not nearly as messy as a baby.

what to pack for toddler

All that said, I do plan to over-pack slightly for him because I'm not sure what evening meals will look like.  I know there are a few events on our trip that we will be attending that might require more dressy clothing so I plan to bring 2 dressy tops for him and he can re-wear if needed.

Mix & Match Outfits: I like to bring bottoms that can be worn with a dressy or graphic tee this way I'm not having to bring multiple pairs of anything.  I'm trying to pack as little as possible and just wear the same items various ways while we are there.  

Personal Suitcase: I know Carson is a very good traveler or at least has been as a baby and he is so excited to be going to the beach on an airplane.  I thought it would be really fun (and make things a little easier on us) if he had his own suitcase to pull through the airport.  I ended up finding this one on Groupon a few weeks ago for about half price.  It arrived recently and will be part of his Easter basket.  

Beachwear:  It is hard to be sure sunscreen stays on this boy!  So I make him wear a hat, sun shirt, and spray him down as much as I can throughout the days in the sun.  

Toys: I learned the hard way when we took him to the beach a year or so ago that if he sees someone else on the beach or in the pool with a toy that he doesn't have green eyes come out.  So, I'm bringing a few easy and small favorites along with us that he can play with on the plane as well as in the sand.  He loves playing with his little construction toys in the sand so I plan to bring those as well as an inflatable beach ball and a life jacket for him for the pool.

Anything I'm leaving off my list?!

Friday, March 31, 2017

How to Use Negativity as Fuel

Something you may not know about me is that I was bullied for years throughout my elementary/middle school years.  I believe this is why I spent the majority of my young adult life seeking acceptance and approval from anyone and everyone.  

I'm not sure why exactly it started, but I remember the girls in my class coming to school with handmade buttons they had made.  The buttons had "IHL" written on them which stood for "I hate Lindsay."  I remember the teachers figuring out what was going on and making the students remove them so the next day they came with pins that said "RSO" which was "IHL" if you went backward in the alphabet.  

I remember much of 5th and 6th grade just trying really hard to fit in and be accepted.  I'm not sure what I did to turn everyone; I'm sure there was something (not that it was my fault or I deserved this treatment).  I cried a lot.  I remember having long conversations with my Mimi about it all, but something I remember most is an overwhelming sense of being loved at home.  The love that I experienced at home made up for the dislike and hatred I was experiencing at school.  It didn't make it easier and it didn't make me happy while at school, but I was so motivated to make my parents proud, to please my teachers, to do what I knew was right because it had been instilled in me that I stopped focusing on the pins and the mean comments.

I really stopped caring or even really acknowledging the treatment (it went on through junior/high school) when I started playing sports.  I lived for soccer, basketball, and softball.  I put 100% of my focus into being the best athlete possible and everything else was a fog.

I am not some champion who wasn't affected by it - I have struggled so much with self-confidence and self-worth and still wanting to please people into adulthood because of the bullying I experienced throughout school.  I still struggle to really voice opinions in a lot of situations and mastered the art of being a diplomat.  I was never the "popular girl," but somehow I always came out on top, I always had a smile on my face, and I found my success in the things I set out to do.  And I did, in fact, make my parents and myself proud.

Here are a few tips on how to use that negativity in your life (we all have it) as fuel.

Immerse yourself in personal development.
If you aren't being fed positivity, it will not come naturally.  You must read and listen to works that  uplift you, empower you, and inspire you.  Some of my recent favorites are You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, and #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso.

Cut out the cancer.
Anyone get that RHONJ reference?!

Seriously though, you know there are friends in your life who are your friend and they might even like you, but they aren't for you.  When I say that I'm talking about the friends that may be fun to be around, but when it comes down to you needing something or them supporting you it just doesn't happen.  It's not easy, but worth it.

Prioritize everything.
Really sit back and think about what is important to you and who matters most in your life.  Chances are the people who are bringing you down aren't contributing much to you and aren't at the top of your priority list either.  So WHY are they holding so much power over you?

Keep a Gratitude Journal.
This may seem silly, but simply writing down all the things you have to be grateful for is a huge way to focus on the good and let go of the ugly.  I mean, I'm even grateful for my dry shampoo most days.  It's the little things, y'all!

Do the thing that makes you tick.
Figure out your WHY a.k.a. your reason for doing whatever it is that you do.  Chances are it has NOTHING to do with the negativity in your life and if you keep it in focus the negativity pushes you to work harder to achieve it.

There have been a few things to happen recently that had the potential to really hurt me and get me in a slump, but instead, I chose to use them as fuel and work even harder so I can *hypothetically* give all those haters the middle finger as I celebrate my successes.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Create Your Healthy Lifestyle Free Challenge

Have I told you I'm a recovering sugar addict?
Or that I use to workout 7x a week, but didn't know how to fuel my body?
Or that I took diet pills because being skinny was more important than being healthy?

As I've completed my Nutrition and Wellness Consultation Certification, I've learned soooo much about health + fitness and I feel a huge responsibility to share it.

The truth is I see so many claims floating around these days about "fat blocking" pills and weight loss shakes and magic drinks.  I know why people try these things because I was that girl!  I wanted fast results and I didn't necessarily care how I got them as long as I got them...fast!  And you will get them, but you will not learn a thing and you may even be putting your body in jeopardy.

So, the point of this group is for me to share tips + strategies + easy ways to incorporate good nutrition + exercise + accountability into your daily life so that you can get these results the right way and truly learn what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

In all honesty, I have so much to share that I'm trying to squeeze it all into these 7 days.  If you feel like you don't know where to start or can't be helped or hate exercise, join me.  It's FREE.  It's 7 days and if you don't learn a thing, you haven't lost anything.  But...chances are, you will walk away with a nugget or two that helps you to start your journey to a healthier life.

To join simply click here and request to join!  We start April 2nd!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Clean & Easy Chocolate Nut Butter Candy

I'm a little late to this bandwagon because I generally don't mess with a good thing and my chocolate shake is a pretty darn good thing each day.  But, some of the women in my 21 Day Bikini Bootcamp were starting to get a little sweet tooth and wanted to know how to fix it.  So, I got to work finding them a recipe that wouldn't sabotage their goals, take a ton of ingredients or time, and still taste sinful without the sin.

These are so easy and will definitely be part of my monthly prep from here on out.

Chocolate Nut Butter Candy

2 scoops vegan chocolate Shakeology
1/3 c coconut oil
nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower, etc)

To Make:
1. Warm coconut oil in microwave for 15-20 seconds.
2. Mix coconut oil and Shakeology together thoroughly.
3. Fill mini-muffin tin about 1/3 full with chocolate mix.
4. Spoon small amount of nut butter on top.
5. Cover with chocolate mix.
6. Freeze until hard.