Wednesday, September 29, 2010


About a week ago, I was ready to throw in the towel with the 'jerk' in my life.  I was full of blame, frustration and self-doubt. 

Then, I had one of those spiritual moments.  The kind of moment that only comes along every so often, maybe never to some.  But it was at that moment, in the truest beauty of nature, that I came to realize that I was creating my own misery.  My attitude was the sole reason of what was causing me all the stress in that one aspect of my life.

I can blame and point fingers and look for alternatives to create happiness, but true happiness doesn't come from an outward source.  True happiness begins with me.  I am so grateful, for that peaceful moment when I allowed myself to go deep within my spirit to listen to the message that had always been there waiting for me to hear.

Instead of putting up barriers and holding grudges and placing blame, I gave myself permission to do the exact opposite.  I welcomed the challenges, I treated people with kindness and forgiveness and I accepted responsibility for any actions that caused stress in my life.

Then things began to change.  The knots in my stomach went away.  The burdens that were weighing heavily upon my shoulders started to fall apart, the tensions eased and laughter ensued.  I started to look forward to the challenges in my day.  I felt happiness and I smiled a lot...naturally.

Attitude is everything.  Attitude will determine your destiny in life.  Focusing on positives and treating others the way you want to be treated manifests itself internally, thus creating and opening doors that I may never have thought were possible for me. 

How will you let your attitude affect your life today?  Treat someone with kindness today and see how it affects your own life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

11 Laws of Health and Fitness

Last Saturday I was fortunate to attend a seminar by Tony Horton and Beachbody. We worked out, had a healthy lunch and were fortunate to be able to listen to his 11 Laws of Health and Fitness Seminar.

Hearing it in person made it extra special and motivating. Here is a scaled down version of his 11 Laws that I feel is so important to share with you.

1.  Practice the Three Cs: Be Creative, Stay Curious, and Live Committed
     Add variety to your workouts to stay fresh avoid boredom - cardio, resistance, yoga, core and sports.

2.  Consistency:  Make a plan to add workouts 5-6 days/week.
     Use persistence and patience by developing a plan and sticking to it.
     Do Your Best and Forget the Rest!

3.  Intensity
     Find the line for yourself and create a balance of going above and below that.
     Check your ego at the door to avoid injury and put on the breaks when you're ill.
4.  Purpose: What is your reason why? What will keep you coming back for more?
     Do you desire better health and vitality or do you want to improve your fitness?
     Perhaps you desire more energy and enthusiasm for life or self-esteem and confidence.
     Do you want to be healthy for your children?

5.  Reality: The truth will set you free!
     Stop living in the past, the future and for other people.
     Know the difference between the truth and fantasy for your life.
     Accept who you are today!
     Stop lying and don't let your ego ruin your life.
     Find a workout that works for you and your body type.

6.  Sport: Go outside and PLAY!
     Set a goal, take a class, sign up for a race, explore, meet new people and challenge yourself!

7.  The Plan: Create Accountability
     Plan it and you'll do it - wing it and you won't.
     Write it down, schedule workouts and get a partner.

8.  Stress and Sleep 
     Find ways to combat stress - choose wisdom and forgiveness over blame and anger.
     Focus on solutions rather than the problems.
     Write down issues before you go to bed.
     Sleep is restoring and healing.

9.  Love it...or leave it! What brings you back day after day?
     If it feels like work, then it won't work.
     Find out what you love (no matter what anyone else says) and do that!

10. Flexibility:  The Fountain of Youth
      Stretching, pilates and yoga can replenish natural flexibility and the durability of our YOUTH!

11. Food and Supplements: You are what you eat!
      Food is energy that feeds the mind, body and spirit...or not.
      Don't use pills, potions or processed foods to lose weight. Eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins
      and healthy fats to maintain your health and fitness.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Things I Love About Today!

10.  Running 17 miles in the pouring rain...before 9:00 a.m.

9.    Burning 1650 calories!

8.    Eating healthy pizza for lunch.

7.    Taking a 3-hour nap.

6.    Drawing football fields with my son...because it's so cool!

5.    Listening to my husband cheer while watching Ranger's baseball....IN SEPTEMBER!

4.    Seeing dinner marinating in the fridge and having absolutely nothing to do with preparing it.

3.    Having excitement for fellow blogger Jill's marathon tomorrow!!

2.    Making connections with incredible people online who inspire me to keep doing my thing!

1.   Waiting eleven weeks to receive my FREE Insanity t-shirt in the mail because I EARNED IT and then beaming
      with pride to wear it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Double Rainbow

In the midst of some pretty awesome things that are going on in my life, I have struggled lately with a certain facet of my day to day.  It's a topic that I rarely talk about on this blog, so just for my mom's sanity...let's just say it's a word that rhymes with jerk and it normally lasts from 8-5 Monday through Friday.  You get the point.
After an absolutely fabulous weekend, I immediately entered the realm of stressful stomach knots and anxious fidgeting Monday morning.  The good thing about my stress is that it keeps me very focused on the personal goals I have in life.  I've all but cut out television from my life, except Sunday football of course and have set some concrete goals for my life in the next year.
Yet, those backflips in my stomach linger.  Yesterday, I hit a breaking point.  A few trips to the bathroom during the day to cry my eyes out, a lot of self doubt, feelings of hopeless and self-pity were just a few emotions I experienced.  I get tired of complaining, but sometimes I just need someone to listen to you who will be real and compassionate with me.  Thankfully, my dear friend was there to listen to my slobbering tears on my drive home from jerk.
When I get home, usually the anxiety will subside once I see my family, but yesterday it just stuck around like an unwelcome mother-in-law visiting for a month.  I eat really fast, I fidget, I don't sleep well and I will work out like there's no tomorrow to defend the demons of my anxiety.
My prayer for a long time has been for good things to come for my family.  It's the one thing I always ask for each night while I lie in bed.  It's very generic, but in reality, my family and our happiness is the one true purposeful thing that means more to me than anything.  So to me, it's very specific.
After fighting the anxiety, while tyring to go about my normal day, I sat at my son's soccer practice.  Normally, I would drop him off and try to squeeze in a million things in during the hour he practices, but tonight, I got out my chair and I just sat there as it slowly started to mist.
Then the greatest thing happened.  The skies opened up and a double rainbow appeared.  I didn't quite have the same reaction as guy that is all over the internet (I'll let you look it up), but it was the most peaceful, spiritual moment I've had in a long time.  I just knew right then that my prayers were being answered and that 'good things' lie ahead for my family's future.

This post is inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.
Tell us about a day you were sure you wouldn't get through.

Mama's Losin' It

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bring it!

A couple weeks ago I debated a decision.  Should I go with my gut or with my heart?  Almost all of you suggested the latter and I'm so glad I followed your advice.

Instead of running my favorite 20K race, I opted to attend a day long seminar with Mr. P90X, Tony Horton.  Who's Tony Horton you ask?  Turn on any channel that shows infomercials and you'll find out quickly.  He's the face behind the workout phenomenon, P90X.  

P90X and Insanity are just two of several home DVD workout programs, made by Beachbody that are literally transforming so many people's lives across our country.  It was extremely inspiring to be in a room full of motivation mamas and dads, who share my same passions.

The day started with an exhilarating workout with Tony.  I snatched a front row spot.  How often will I get that opportunity?  That's me in the green top!

After the workout, and a fresh change of clothes, we had the opportunity to learn about the success of Beachbody.  I was sitting next to a lady who was smokin' hot.  She turned to me and said 'hello' and introduced herself.

A bit later, during the Success Stories segment, a picture of a unhappy, overweight mother, with familiar looking eyes appeared on the big screen.  I turned to look to the hot woman next to me and sure enough, that picture was her just over a year ago.  A mother who had given up on herself had a friend that motivated her to get her life back. Now, she not only looks incredible, but her spirit was contagious.

I sat there listening to success after success and felt such a tremendous amount of gratitude not only for my health but for my willingness and desire to help other people. Most of the people behind the success stories had lost significant amounts of weight or several inches off their bodies, but they all had gained tremendous amounts of joy in their lives. 

I was meant to be in that room and it further solidified
my unrelenting passion to lead people to a healthier lifestyle.

Some key things that Tony Horton said made a significant impact on me.  I jotted down a few of his phrases that resonated deeply with me.

"Doing nothing does nothing" - If you want to make a change in your life, you have to do something about it.  It starts with making a decision to be healthier.

"Abs are made in the kitchen" - Getting that perfect six pack doesn't come from exercise alone.  We have got to start eating better and being more accountable for what we put into our bodies.

"Rock What You Got" - He referred to a new book by Katherine Schwarzenegger.  You can only work with the body you have so make it the best for you and don't worry what you'll never have.

"Stop caring about what people think of you!" - This is the hardest one for me, but I am getting better.  After all, why should I worry about the opinions of the naysayers when my intentions are only meant to them?

We finished the day with an hour of the hardest yoga I've ever done and my body is unforgiving today. My decision was worth every ounce of pain I'm feeling.  I know what Insanity and Beachbody have done for me and I can't wait to start leading others to begin a journey to a new, happier and healthier life.

Inspiring and motivating others makes me happy. If I can lead you to a healthier life, let's not make any more excuses or waste any more time. Let me know how I can help you get started.

 That's me...with Tony Horton!  Bring It!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Insane Power Jump

This post part of Wordless Wednesdays!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Random Thoughts

I'm sitting at my computer and my brain cannot focus on any tasks. I'm all over the place, looking at completely random things, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, the Spanish translation of Chico, thanks to Sherri at Old Tweener.

I could go to bed, but that just means I have to think about my hill training in the morning.  I'm not ready to wrap my brain around that one yet.  I have six hill repeats and a six-mile run.  I wonder if Crazy Legs will join me tomorrow?

I hate when the Cowboys lose, especially the season opener. I feel like I've been punched in the gut as I've been sulking all day. I'm such a man when it comes to football.  I'm the one pouting over a loss and Cedric is up ironing clothes and making dinner.  And by the way, you won't be invited to our house for dinner anytime soon, Alex Barron!  Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Bradie James, DeMarcus're welcome cawl me!

On another completely random note, I'm in my second month of Insanity again!   Still hard, still so hard.   I really tried to take the day off yesterday.  I really did.  Before I knew it I was doing power jumps and push up jacks.  I can't get enough this Insane-ness!

By the way, this is the salad I have prepared for my lunch for tomorrow.  Out of curiosity, I looked up the nutritional content of the Southwest Crispy Chicken Salad from Jack in the Box - OVER 800 calories!  Taking five minutes to prepare you own will save you over 500 calories and about 40 grams of fat!

It is STILL so hot and I realized I spent over ten hours outdoors on Saturday from running my 13-miler with my running group to attending Jackson's soccer game followed by Keelan's football game.  As much as I hated being in the heat nearly all day, it was pretty much a randomly perfect day!

I can't stand how cute he is in his uniform!

 This completely random post brought to you by:
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Celebrating 70 Years

It's time for me to make a diversion from my normal motivational ritual.  Today is a special day.  It is my dad's 70th BIRTHDAY and so this post is dedicated to him.

My dad and I alike in a lot of ways, very different in others.  He loves me unconditionally despite my flaws and I feel the same about him. 

If it weren't for my dad, I wouldn't have my witty sense of humor or my inability to comment without sarcasm. My dad LOVES to tell a story, and despite the hundreds of times I've heard the same story, he can't start without finishing, adding more embellishing details each time.  His stories have become quite 'unbelievable' over the years!

My dad comes from a family of nine children, so family is very important to him.  I've always felt that extra protection from my dad to always make sure that I'm okay since I'm 'the baby' of our family and he loves to be a grandpa to 'my baby' and his other ten grandchildren.

I love my dad so much, because he has always been a great dad.  When I think back to all the memories I have with him, it's all the sacrifices that he made for me that paint the portrait of who this man really is.

My dad worked hard for 35 years for the US Postal Service.  It was a job he took a lot of pride in doing.   He provided everything we needed, we took family vacations, we had a nice house and went to private school.

During the summers we used to look forward to my dad coming home from work while we would be playing basketball in our driveway, and although he was probably tired and hungry, he would get out of the car, set his lunch bag down and shoot a few hoops with us.  He loved to play with us and he loved to win.  I know that is where I get my competitiveness.

My brother and I rough housing around with my dad.

When I was just 8-years old, he somehow landed first row tickets to a Minnesota Twins baseball game. Who knows what he had to do to get those tickets, but that is the kind of thing my dad would do.  Making us happy made him happy. 

Here he is some 30 years later still enjoying that favorite pastime with my brother.

He rarely missed any games that any of my sisters or my brother were playing, he always attended our concerts, our parent-teacher conferences and was so proud of us for everything we did.

When I was fresh out of college, very young and single, I decided to move to Texas by myself. I know my dad hated the idea of it. Yet, he set his feelings aside and he helped me pack up my car and together with my mom, we drove 1100 miles to my 'new home', because that is what I wanted.  He helped me get an apartment, a car, even a washer and dryer (so I wouldn't have to be out by myself at a laundromat). Then he let me go. He doesn't know this but that was one of the hardest days for me.

He was so happy when I married Cedric.  Now I had someone else to protect me and take care of me.  We didn't do a normal father-daughter dance at our wedding.  We were supposed to dance to Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely, but when DJ made a mistake and and played a faster, more upbeat Signed, Sealed, Delivered, he started twirling me and made the best of it.  He loves to be the funny guy and that dance stirred much laughter in that room. 

I have to admit, there have been many times in my life that I've taken him for granted.  Rather than be so thankful for all the good he has given me, I have let my stubbornness get in the way of my gratefulness many times.  I've butted heads with him over senseless things and let me own selfishness get in the way of my respect for him.

This past summer, we had a long talk and it made me realize how I will never let any petty disagreements get in the way of my love for him.  He's done way too much good for me to not appreciate how good of man he really is.  I love him so much. 

Happy 70th Birthday Dad!  Thanks for everything you have given me.  Here's to celebrating your life of health, happiness and lots of love and laughter.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hercules, Hercules, Hercules

Most people have a favorite movie.  The Nutty Professor is probably not it.

But I am not 'most people'.  I've watched this movie in the theater and in my college apartment, with my boyfriend and later with my husband, with my kids, by myself, on VHS, DVD, Cable, On-Demand, and from Blockbuster, Netflix and Red Box.  I love this movie!

What is it about Sherman Klump, aka Professor Klump that resonates so deeply within me?  Am I a fat man longing to be skinny, a brainiac who lacks confidence, a member of a family who has farting contests?

If you have never seen The Nutty Professor, you can stop here.  Or better yet, go rent it, and then check back in.  It is sure to please.

I think one of the reasons that I love this movie is because the fat guy is the hero of the movie.  His character is someone we can all connect with in some way.  His family has adopted horribly unhealthy and tactless habits over the years and Sherman is no longer willing to succumb to living the rest of his life overweight, single and unhappy.

He's got his eyes on the pretty girl, aptly name Ms. Purdy and he's determined to turn his life around to make her notice him.

Oh Sherman Sherman Sherman! 

He's tried diets, acupuncture, TV workouts, even aerobic classes and NOTHING works. 

Sulking, eating donuts to comfort his pain, and desperately longing to be skinny, Sherman gets motivated late night by watching a Richard Simmons-like infomercial.

Yes. I. Can.   Yes. I. CAN.   YES I CAN!

He rushes in the middle of the night to the lab at the college he teaches to test the skinny potion he has developed. After discovering its direct effects with rats, he takes the formula for himself and POOF, he becomes skinny! If only it could be that simple!

Life INSTANTLY changes for Sherman.  The shy and insecure Sherman who struggled with self-confidence on a date with Ms. Purdy has quickly turned into an obnoxious, over-zealous, ego-maniac.  He drives fancy sports cars, talks badly about people, treats everyone horribly and LOVES himself.

Naturally, no one likes the new guy in town, aka Buddy Love.  They miss the old Sherman.

Just like any fad diet or magic pill, Sherman's magic potion wears off at the most inopportune time.  Nothing is more humbly than having to be pealed out from a Maserati with the Jaws of Life because you got stuck inside.

Throughout the entire movie, I'm cheering for Sherman Klump.  I want him to succeed.  I want him to lose the weight. 

But he proves there is no magic formula for getting thin.  There are no successful fad diets or gimmicks. 

Oh but wouldn't that Be so Great?  Great. Great. Great. Great. Great.

This post inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. 

What was it about that movie? Describe A movie you once had memorized.

Mama's Losin' It

Monday, September 6, 2010

You Inspire Me - Time

There is no better reminder of time than looking at old pictures. It makes me realize how quickly my kids are changing. Consequently, if they are getting older, I guess that means I'm gracefully pushing that aging threshold as well!

I found this picture of my two boys when Jackson was just a day old and Keelan, at age 10 still had his baby face.  I can use every cliche to describe my feelings about this, but it really did just seem like yesterday.  (Although the mauve hospital digs really are timeless!)

I took this today at Keelan's high school football game.  He's a senior and an active member of his band and Jackson is a first grader and a VERY proud little brother.

What a reminder to inspire me that life really is so short!  As I get older, I realize that I have two choices:
  1. to accept that life is precious.
  2. to accept that life is precious.

I don't know what the future holds for me but I do know the future is coming and I can either choose to embrace it and live my life the way I'm intended to live or succumb to a future of what ifs and should haves.

I'll admit, I'm not quite ready to accept that I have a son that will be going off to college next year.  The time is coming whether I'm ready or not.  Seeing my kids get older may be difficult to swallow, but it makes it easier for me to make decisions that affect my own personal life and health. 

There really is no more time for procrastination and never any time for excuses in my opinion.  This is the year I will qualify for the Boston Marathon.  This is the year I start making a difference not only in my personal fitness journey, but it's time I start making a difference for others as well.

So thank you time for inspiring me today.  I know you're going to keep going at your constant pace and I guess I better pick up my step to keep up with you.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Recurring Dreams

Do you have recurring dreams?  If so, have you taken the time to do a dream analysis to find your deep-rooted fear, insecurity, or desire?

For as long as I can remember, I've had one particular dream. I'm always running. That sounds normal, right?  The problem is, I'm running, but I'm not moving. 

The only way I can progress forward is if I get on all fours.

Or even worse, turn around and run backwards.  You know, the kind of backwards running you had to do in some kind of PE drill in school where someone inevitably always fell flat on their ass?

Without having done any dream analysis or psychological hypnosis, I'm thinking there is some sort of fear associated with my non-progressive forward running dreams.  The obvious is telling me that I'm doing a lot, but just cannot make any kind of progress.  But how do I explain the getting on all fours?  Do I have some sort of primate in me waiting to escape?  Am I a silly monkey or a fierce gorilla?

Probably the strangest part of  my recurring dream is the the backwards running.  As long as I face backward towards my final destination, I have no trouble making progress.  How messed up is that? I'm insecure?  I can't face anything head on or worse yet, I'm....cowardly?  YIKES!

I refuse to believe any of those self-evaluations so I took my questions about my insecurities to the most trusted source - the Internet of course!  I found a lot, but this makes the most sense to me.  Basically, running without making any progress, or as if I'm on a treadmill suggests that perhaps I am taking on too much and I simply can't get ahead.

I could go on and on and beat myself up, but this makes satisfies my curiosity enough for me to stop any further investigation.  Whether or not it's the right interpretation, it's what I'm going with.  I know I put a lot on myself, but it's the way I roll.  That is who I am.  I guess I can stop putting so much pressure on myself.  That is a start.

I'm also taking the positive approach to the running backwards.  Perhaps, I need to be more patient with myself by not looking so far into the future.  Take time to just be in the moment, the present and enjoy life now.

Finally, the running on all-fours thing?  I have no idea?  Can you help me out?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Five Minutes With Oprah

It's a New Day!  It's a New Day-AY!

ALL NEW:  The women behind the movement that has motivated thousands of people across the country to get off their booties and start living healthier lifestyles.

Screaming women, bright solid-colored sweaters, more screaming.

PLEASE,  sit down. Sit everyone. Sit.

So today my show is about women who have inspired a fitness movement across our country and let me just tell you, even I am inspired.  My first guest is Rhonda Layton, but you may know her simply as Motivation Mama.  Watch this.

(short video footage of me running at crack of dawn, working out, motivating large crowds of people) 

audience applause....


I come out from the back entrance (since the side entrances are reserved for the A-listers).  Oprah and I share a two arms up, clutched, shaking-hands embrace.

I sit, she waits for me and then she seats herself.  My hair looks fab.  My make-up flawless. Every guest looks amazing on Oprah.  It's the lighting...for sure!

O:  So tell me Miss MAMA DRAAAAAMA, where in the hell do you get the drive to get up every morning to run or do that crazy Insanity workout?  I'm tired just watching it.

MMD:  First of all, I believe in setting goals Oprah! And right now, I am happy to say, I can check one off my list.  It's been a dream of mine to be a guest on your show. 

(aaahs from audience and another hand-clutch embrace)

I honestly feel that in order to get anywhere in life, you have to work really hard.  It's so important to me to lead and motivate others by example and how can I call myself Motivation Mama if I'm not living what I teach.

O:  I couldn't agree more.  But I think the difference is you look happy in the video my producer just showed when you're running.  I have NEEEEEEEEVER been happy running in my life.  Have you always been fit and healthy?

MMD:  Are you kidding? I was the fat kid growing up.  I couldn't even run a mile.  I ate when I was bored, depressed or happy. 

O:  Really, so what changed?  Where did you find the drive to become so dedicated?

MMD:  It was  a long process Oprah.  I always wanted to be healthy ...and skinny.  Who doesn't?  I just didn't have the right mindset.  Instead of accepting myself, I was picking apart every possible flaw I had.

O:  Don't we all! (head nods)

MMD:  Then one day perhaps someone said something or did something that triggered something in me.  It motivated me and I started to set goals for myself by writing things down on paper.  First small goals, then bigger goals and it became easier to focus on accomplishing things when I had something to work towards rather than just having wishful thoughts in my head.  Falling in love with running became a secondary bonus!

O:  Well, Miss MAMA DRAMA (I'd lose the Drama part by the way), you have started a movement and more women than ever are starting to put themselves first and are getting healthier so they can be better mothers, wives, daughters.  How does that make you feel?

MMD:  Of course that makes me incredibly happy, but I didn't do the work for all of these women.  I believe my purpose in life is to be that medium to inspire and motivate and all the rest is up to all these beautiful women ...and oh...those three men in your audience too!

I direct my attention to the audience.

So many of you never thought you could run a mile or had the time to prepare healthy meals for your family.  Now look at all of you!  You're setting aside time in the day for your workouts, you're packing healthy lunches for your children AND you're happier when you're doing it. 

O:  Well, Miss Motivation, it has been a pleasure and I cannot let you go until I tell you thanks for being so open about your pooping episodes.  After all those Dr. Oz segments, I'm so glad I'm not the only one bragging about my s-shaped poops!

MMD:  Well Everyone Poops Oprah.

Producers cut to commercial.  I give one last hand-clutch, arms in air shake with Oprah.  I take a few post-O pictures in front of the studio to document my experience.

***These pictures are real when I did actually attend a taping of Oprah.  This interview is completely fictional...although I do hope one day it will come true!***

This post brought to you by:
Mama's Losin' It

Oprah says we all have a story. If you were on her show, what would your story be? What would you be talking about? What advice would she give you? Write about it and provide a snippet of your interview together.
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