“Positive Mantra NOT Negative Chatter”

SDWhen I run, jog and/or walk, I often find myself thinking more thoughtfully and today’s thought fell upon how much negative chatter consumes so much of my daily thought.  How is it possible I make it through the day without serious self-esteem issues affecting my daily interactions.  Worse, I couldn’t recall the last time I had a day devoid of negative chatter, how sad I thought to myself.

Then I started thinking, and pardon my generalization, how is it that men can (so seemingly and easily) celebrate small accomplishments yet women find it more difficult to celebrate any success without qualifying it.

I don’t ever recall a Mother proclaiming she was amazing for all she had accomplished during the day because, after all, she was ONLY doing what was expected.  And the comment, “what ELSE do you do?” upon answering your vocation as a Mom.  I was dumbfounded when asked this once…as if!

Back to the negative chatter…I would like myself (and all of us women) to replace negative chatter with positive mantras.  With each step I took on my run today, I imagined quashing each and every negative thought that came to mind. Let us support each other in celebrating our successes how little or big they may SEEM and replace our negativity with positivity because we DESERVE it.

Do it because you can and will even if you don’t always want until you can’t.  My intention is to be more positive with my thoughts for not only myself but my daughter and (son) and to find inspiration to live a life of passion.

Just yesterday, I couldn’t stop watching a clip of Stephen Curry receiving his MVP award and remarked to my son, “what an inspiration” to which he replied, “but you aren’t even a basketball player”.  My response, “every word of advice he shares can be applied to anyone’s life”.  He walks his talk and is all he is because of what he deeply believes with passion and purpose. Believe!

“Grass is the color of choice”…

javcaveI have been asked “is the grass greener on the other side” and I don’t think it’s about being greener somewhere else but rather which color we choose to see wherever the grass may be.

A few years ago, I unintentionally started sharing how fitness empowered me to make changes in my life. My situation wasn’t unique but quite common in many ways. As we experience the passages in life, people change and grow either together or apart leaving two scenarios: to make it work or to move on.

I shared a lot and when I look back, I’m surprised. At the time, I believed in sharing inspired by the women who were making the choices and changes I was embarking on and never thought I could or would. It served a therapeutic purpose during a sad and difficult period.

I realized then and know now that there is no right way to being a Mom, wife and daughter but there is a choice in living our life in alignment in being confident in who we are, what is important to us and what makes us happy.

My family encouraged me to find a hobby to give me a break in the day from being MOM. I couldn’t fathom leaving my children with anyone and it wasn’t until my eldest was 13 months when I left her for two hours while I attended a bikram class. Our first vacation might have been when the children were 3 and 7 years.

The grass may seem greener on the other side but the grass always ends-up being the color we choose to see. Life changes are not easy and I am not advocating any particular choice. Incorporating fitness into life is as sustainable and important as we make the life changes we choose. “Fitness is a lifestyle, not a destination”. To being YOU!

Life is a journey not a destination…

yogaThis is a post I shared on my FB page a couple of months ago that I had trouble sharing back then.

Sometimes we get lost along the way… We think we know what we want and we start acting upon it but, along the way, we get distracted and we are not where we planned to be. And, sometimes we think we have accepted a situation and moved on but we haven’t. I thought I had processed and resolved all issues relating to my divorce but I hadn’t and this prevented me from moving on.

They say change is often a symptom of a deep-rooted issue and also the impetus of action: this is where I am today. Having initially ignored issues that started to bother me with my settlement to keep peace, I can no longer ignore them without moving on.

It stagnated my personal development and prevented me from pursuing something purposeful and potentially sabotaged a new relationship. It also perpetuated my weakness and bad habit of wanting to please others and playing victim. We assign our own self-worth by demanding it and not allowing others to assign it to us.

Essentially unable to ignore the issue anymore, I am addressing it in order to regain my self-esteem and belief. I had postponed taking a personal training exam for the longest time. I will be re-taking it as I did not pass the first time. I know I rushed it and may have self-sabotaged my efforts because I was not willing to address certain issues that were bothering me then.

If we don’t believe we can do it, no one else will. To believing in ourselves, to effort and to living our lives with purpose! Love.

“Change is in Your Hands” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

jav2“There comes a point when something comes into your thoughts and you begin to wake up to the idea of finding your truth. You finally live in a state of consciousness and you begin to have respect for the love of your life which is you. You begin to see your whole human being as a temple. When you make a choice, you make an intent, and that intent is to serve your temple. That temple needs you to be at service so you can feed it with your love, your soul food.

When you make a choice you make an intent, and when you follow through, you know deep in your heart you will take that action. Like father says, always do your best, because you know that change is in your hands. There is nothing and no one to blame, if you want something to change in your life, only you have the ability to make a change. When you make a change in your life, like magic everyone and everything around you begins to change.

You are living in a Universe that is full of opportunity, success and creativity right now. You can give into negativity or you can be the change through example by living in positivity, and finding that voice inside of you, that place where all creations are formed and there is no limitation on who you choose to be. The choice is yours use this moment to start being your authentic self. Welcome to your Universe of Now. Transformation begins right NOW!” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

http://theuniverseofnow.com/change-is-in-your-hands-3/

Every Day Counts…

bikramI have been up and down with my exercise and diet these past few months…what I’m realizing is that each day is an opportunity to make better decisions.

Wednesday night, I succumbed to an old habit of late night snacking. I purposely don’t keep unhealthy snacks (or try not to) around except for my children (not that they should be eating unhealthy either!) and so there I was eating frosted mini wheats and shrimp chips at 10pm!

I awoke Thursday feeling ok but later on dragged through my workout thinking it was due to working-out earlier in the week. I could have continued to eat poorly as I have had in the past during my bad phases but decided it was a new day to make better choices on Thursday and consequently had a great Bikram class today, Friday.

I know that even though I’m getting older, I’m feeling better and fitter than I ever have but it requires continuous effort. I’m here to say, that each day and every day counts!

I share my journey hoping to inspire other Moms’ and women who may not believe they can be their healthiest at our age and who may fear making changes. Change is hard but so is looking back upon your life with regret. Believe!

What does healthy look like?

blogduringWhat do mindful eating and exercise look like?

The photos were taken within almost a one year period (July 2013 – present):
Left: bikini competition, July 2013, living on bars, shakes and some food but definitely not eating properly.

Middle: post 7 months bikini comp and living a more active social life that included eating/drinking more and exercising less, February 2014

Right: finding a balance between left and middle photos and getting back to a more regular exercise routine and eating more mindfully and properly: actual food and not skipping meals.

I have my own fitness and health objectives but I have had to reset my mindset and beliefs to align with a healthy sustainable lifestyle and it’s been difficult b/c what wasn’t healthy is a look that the media promotes.
I support re-set systems and jumpstart programs for just that: to help ease into new habits that are sustainable.

To health!

Disordered Eating versus Eating Disorder…

disorderedeating_diagramWanted to share a comment from a physician friend who specializes in eating disorders because I think it is an important one. Thank you Pamela for your insight.

“Thank you for this post Debbie. I am so glad that you have made changes to normalize your eating and exercise patterns. I agree that the test on the NEDA website does cast a somewhat wide net. However, a lot of highly competitive athletes do have true eating disorders. In my mind one thing that separates “disordered eating” from an “eating disorder” is the person’s ability to modify/change their behaviors. If someone is stuck in an eating disorder they often have great difficulty changing the eating/exercise behaviors. Sometimes people can get caught in unhealthy eating/exercise patterns, but when they realize that the patterns are unhealthy they change them. That is more indicative of disordered eating and possibly not a true eating disorder.” ~ Dr Pamela Stein Carlton*

*Dr. Pamela Carlton, a specialist in adolescent eating disorders, is on staff at Stanford University School of Medicine where she developed and currently directs the Adolescent Eating Disorder Parent Education and Support Program. Over the last decade, Dr. Carlton has treated hundreds of children and adolescents with eating disorders as well as guided parents through the maze of eating disorder treatments. She is invited to speak at major eating disorder conferences and also consults with eating disorder programs across the country. Dr. Carlton graduated from the University of Southern California School of Medicine and did her pediatric and adolescent medicine training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Eating (dis)Orders…

blogA close friend recently stated that I have an eating disorder.  I was shocked to hear this as I had always associated an eating disorder with being diagnosed with either bulimia or anorexia both of which I’m familiar with the symptoms. I don’t purge and/or starve myself so therefore I do not have an eating disorder.

I started thinking more about it in general terms and what my friend said was an abnormal relationship with food.  So I googled it and came across a few links one of which was http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org where I took a diagnostic test and this was my result:

“Your screening results are consistent with symptoms of an eating disorder. However, this screening is not a substitute for a complete clinical evaluation. It is recommended that you see a health professional immediately for a complete evaluation.”

I have an eating disorder.  What?! I think about food, reflect on what I eat during the day, am aware of the approximate caloric and carbohydrate content and will adjust accordingly throughout the day or week to maintain what I consider an ideal weight for my height and frame but is my ideal healthy?

A week ago, I had my measurements taken and myself weighed at my fitness facility where metrics are used to monitor progress.  I avoid the scale because I like to pride myself on how I feel rather than what I weigh to determine my lifestyle. I have gained weight and my body fat has increased in the past 9 months because my lifestyle has changed: eating and drinking more and exercising less.  So while I wasn’t surprised by my results, I wasn’t thrilled so I am making adjustments.

I am posting two photos because my unhealthy me is the one that I know is more universally appealing than the healthier version of me today whom eats more balanced meals and proper food more regularly throughout the day as opposed to skipping and replacing meals with bars and shakes.

I could go on and on about this topic because I can’t recall the last time I met a woman who declared that she was happy with her body as is including myself.  I think about my weight (consciously and subconsciously) as long as I’m not at my ideal (based on how I feel) and though it doesn’t impede and affect me on a daily basis nor is it obvious to the outside world, it’s a constant chatter in my head that I hope will one day subside, dissipate and eventually disappear.

I am guilty of falling prey to the media’s look of ideal health but I hope to inspire and encourage a healthy sustainable lifestyle that involves eating to enjoy and fuel and eating anything but in moderation: treats and all. To health!

Be Kind Project…

stopbullyWhen I saw this particular drawing my daughter created with her stylus and iPad mini (this generation’s freehand drawing), I was touched by its message and encouraged her to share it.

As a tween herself, Nicole can relate and empathize with the rite of passage of being a middle schooler and the impact kindness versus bullying can have on one.

It is our hope that by encouraging kindness in our personal interactions, we can have a ripple effect on worldwide peace.

Thank you for your support.

Her drawing is now available on shirts that can be purchased directly at:

http://www.booster.com/bekindproject

Kindness…

holidayus3.jpgTonight, I truly felt what it means to sacrifice oneself for their child.  As a parent, we tend to be defensive about our children when it comes to situations, issues and other instances that are school and otherwise related.

Today, I received an email from my son’s teacher that SHOCKED me.  What was shocking wasn’t the content as much as the circumstances of which I believe the email was written (under the influence of a parent).  I am appalled at the moment and have sent an email to not only the other parent, teacher but principal.  I not only stand by my son but ALL children who may be ‘victims’ of parent(s) who may not be fully aware of and responsible for their children’s actions.

I will not and do not tolerate manipulation, twisting of facts and other means to defend our children but rather truth and lessons learned so that our children may grow-up to be responsible, caring and exemplary citizens.

Coincidentally or not, my daughter created and designed a shirt recently with the message “stop bullying” and I was struck by the realization that bullying can occur at any age and not only amongst children and teens but adults.  As a Mother, individual and citizen, I will do all I can “to be the change I wish to see in the world” and to uphold kindness, honesty and love.

Life isn’t complicated and happiness stems from simplicity but we complicate things when we aren’t happy with who we are at the core.  If we have nothing to hide then we are open, vulnerable, loving and caring. Believe!