Mom. 53. Sharing a journey of self-discovery through my parents' divorce, my own divorce, fitness, loss of my children's father, remarriage, and pursuit of a master's in counseling...Embracing vulnerability and courage to show-up as Me.
I am part of a fitness app community (all women) and have received quite a few questions. I posted a before and after and have shared my experience of cycling through ups and downs. I am NOT an expert in nutrition or movement, I am a 53-year-old Mom who has enjoyed activity for the last 12 years and had the fortune of great coaches who taught the basics of proper form and movement. I have also learned through my own trial and error.
A few tricks I shared with the fitness community that have worked for me:
1. post an inspirational photo on fridge or pantry door
2. buy what will support your lifestyle (you can’t eat what you don’t have)
3. pause before reaching for that snack and ask, am I hungry and do I need or want it and drink a glass of water
4. find a healthy alternative that satisfies your craving – for me, it’s rice cakes with peanut butter cause I love carbs
5. Eat to fuel and when hungry (with the good stuff :-)) don’t deprive…that usually ends-up in slowing down metabolism and indulging in bad stuff
6. trust the process, it takes time to reach an I love how I feel phase where momentum takes over
7. remember, it’s a lifestyle not a diet with a beg and end
8. be flexible and forgiving
9. it’s only a wish until action supports the desire to make the changes
You are not alone. Love yourself to be the best you can however that may be and may be and look. You vs you.
Maintain and protect your voice, your truth no matter what
Find your tribe who accepts embraces and celebrates you and whom you can as well
Act act act when in doubt
Focus on what you can affect and the positive
Live in the moment of possibility
Today (at 52), I continue to learn to claim and embrace myself as I am.
What I am realizing and learning is that self-acceptance and self-love are essential to self-worth. And, without self-worth, one can not truly live- and show-up to one’s potential.
It seems most of my adult life has been justifying decisions and who I am. Not feeling enough but also not acting to get to enough. Why?
Fear of failure, relinquishing faith to live a full life? Why wouldn’t I do what I can to reach full potential? Too much work, too hard, too scared, too what?
What I have now is this.
The ability to embrace, celebrate and accept me as I am. And two choices: accept or act. Whatever decisions, I assume full responsibility. For the life I live is the one I choose, 100% my responsibility.
What would I tell my younger self? Live, celebrate and protect YOU. In every situation, no matter how hard, stick to YOU.
I am learning as much from my children as I think they are from me. As I am settling or adjusting into my role as a teen parent, I can firmly say that nothing that I was told and/or read could have prepared me for how I would handle it.
It’s been over a year since the depths of teen despair, and, as I reflect on the subtle and not so subtle changes I’ve made in how I interact with my daughter, I realize now and accept that I was as much a part of the issues we experienced while she was figuring-out who, what and why.
In the past few months, I’ve consciously been saying and doing a lot less and, consequently, been hearing, seeing and allowing her to assume her space on her own terms. It’s been hard to bite my tongue and let her be but what I thought was best for HER is exactly what she was protesting because she was screaming, “I am me”, literally and figuratively.
As I listen and watch as she navigates her path into who she is and will be…it’s a beautiful thing that I’ve learned and allowed her to be.
Summer has meant wait time between kids’ activities…today, I started thinking about sustainability in health and fitness.
Fitness became a passion during a very vulnerable time in my life. I had lost all sense of self because I became 100% Mom and wife and didn’t think about nurturing myself. I think back to why and what led to the decision of becoming a full-time Mom and it was not only a fortunate option that I fully embraced but also one that made sense since I didn’t think my job merited someone else taking care of the kids.
Having just turned 49 years old this year has meant more to others than me as it’s just a number and not something I think about when I exercise, teach and go about my daily life. I attribute my health to a lifestyle change (mental and physical) and believe that health and fitness is much more than pounds, appearance and results for sustainability. I know my why stems from my heart and is the reason for sustainability. To identifying our health and fitness whys’.
While walking Freddie this morning, I thought about the message in the below article, and, it made me think about the power of words. What would happen if I replaced WILL with AM in my internal dialogue and, I thought, WOW how powerful it sounds to be saying to myself “I AM” and “I AM DOING” instead of “I WILL” and “I WILL BE DOING”. By simply changing one word, we can BE and DO and start creating that reality instead of WILL and waiting for that perfect moment.
Now as a Mom and more mature individual, I realize that WILL, WHAT IF and WANT results in unmet potential and mediocrity and that there is no perfect moment. The most important step is taking one.
(And I have lived the power of words and mindset these past two months as an instructor. By simply changing my internal dialogue to I AM A GREAT INSTRUCTOR instead of I WILL and I HOPE, the quality of instruction and my class have improved and is evident in the feedback and attendance). I hope by sharing that we can all start being kinder, gentler and more empowering with our internal dialogue and selves.
I had a chat on Friday that left me kind of down because my words and actions were not in alignment with my truth. I was tempted to justify and excuse my feelings to stay the course but instead I started to reflect.
It led me to listen to a plethora of Tedtalks last night featuring Oprah, Tony Robbins and Pico Iyer (through Oprah). What they all have in common (aside from their success) is that they are all living their truth and, in doing so, able to make their greatest contribution because they are living in their highest state of potential.
Pico Iyer in his TedTalk “The Art of Stillness” shares his love for travel when he thinks most of us have the opportunity of stillness away from our on the go lives. Practicing stillness allows us to create the space and time to allow us clarity.
But the biggest “aha moment” was that “FAILURE IS INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITY” ~Oprah.
Often times when something doesn’t work-out, it’s because we didn’t really want it or believe in it and, if it does, we are left feeling unhappy or unfulfilled. I do believe that living our passion creates conviction, an undeniable force, that leads and pulls us in a certain direction.
I believe childhood dreams are often our truth and essence.
To live truth as I know it and not allow fear of failure and fear of what others may or may not think is my lifelong goal.
To BIG DREAMS, LIVING OUR TRUTH and going forth with COURAGE! Loves and hugs!
One week ago today (almost one week after my daughter’s graduation), we learned that a beloved teacher of my daughter’s died from a tragic hiking accident. He had personally written and read out loud on tribute day a short description of each and every student in the 8th grade (70 students in total). This was only a fraction of his contribution to each and every student he met, taught and spent time with in the past 25 years at this particular school (one of two schools where he taught).
He exemplified universal love and acceptance and this is the religion he taught at a catholic school. Every assignment began with questions and not directives because he wanted his students to create their own models of what they thought religion meant and not what he thought it did or what it meant to him. His philosophy was about the individual and connecting with and celebrating individuals strengths and differences. He treated each child with such positivity, empathy and respect that my daughter along with her friends spent their free time pre-practice and during the day in his room just chatting with him. He was the go to teacher, counselor, coach and de-facto parent and friend to so many children, students and appreciated by all parents.
There is a void and will be a void when the students return to school though they will be next door on the HS campus. The incoming 8th graders will never know Mr M but they will certainly hear and have heard about him.
Through tears and, at times, shock and disbelief, people have shared how they are coping with the loss. One parent shared how she reminded her daughter when she mentioned missing him that we can continue his legacy by remembering how he was in our daily interactions with others. Another parent mentioned that he once said that any day he lived past 52 years would be a blessing as both his Father and brother passed at that age (he died at 57).
Too soon but grateful our children met and knew him. It’s hard to understand why things happen the way they do but it’s times like these when being philosophical seems to help: it helps to believe that the universe works in its own way.
I think about how much he accomplished in his lifetime and how others can live longer lives and not accomplish a fraction of what he did. I share as a reminder that every day is a blessing for which we do not know the duration so we must embrace, appreciate and live fully each day.