Now that we are living in a smaller space and our time together is that much more valuable, I have noticed that we tend to herd around the house. When I’m in my bathroom, the kids naturally gravitate to my bed and, when I’m in the kitchen, we are in the family area so naturally when I tried on my figure bikini, my children were close by and, consequently, I shared with them the competition.
I explained to them that everyone has their own reason(s) for competing and that Mommy’s primary reason was to illustrate that we define who we are and that if we allow labels to define us then we have essentially usurped our power to decide and make choices.
They are aware of my blog, fitness as part of my lifestyle and, now, they are also aware that we all have the power to make decisions and choices. Believe!
The photos represent a ten year span…Life is a journey and one that we may not always anticipate as planned but with each and every decision and opportunity, we create a path we choose and hope to look back upon with a smile and no regrets!
This past Saturday, I participated in my first figure competition in Oakland, CA: INBA’s “The Night of the Natural Champions” (International Natural Bodybuilding Association). It was a 2 month journey that should have involved a strict food plan (of macro numbers protein, fat, fiber and carbs), exercise and learning to walk and pose. I failed at meeting my food plan numbers but attribute a six year lifestyle and mindful eating to an extent as my preparation. I was honored to have placed at the show.
What I’m learning is each goal we set creates a path of memories, a patch in a quilt of life and either serves a specific purpose or is part of a longer term plan. This competition was an experience I chose because I wanted to prove to myself and represent to other Moms’ and women that we not only have the power to define ourselves by our choices but also to choose our mindset. I am a Mom in my 40’s recently divorced but I am also an individual who continues to have goals and dreams. One life, believe :)!
They say that when couples part, friends side and change. In my case, I never thought this would happen but it has and, along the way, I’ve gained new and parted with old.
As I mature, I realize how valuable and precious time has become: time with my children is priority as I now share custody of them so I choose to surround myself with people who encourage, support, understand and relate to the me of now and whom I can reciprocate equally.
I feel liberated and empowered knowing that I am now living a life of choice, intention and purpose and no longer shoulds. Believe!
Since I stepped into a fitness facility six years ago encouraged by my family to take a break in the day, my life has transformed in more ways than one without plan. What transpired was a newfound passion for fitness that empowered and gave me strength to believe in myself.
Today, I am asked by friends and Moms’ what and how but what I’ve learned is that it’s all about the WHY that will sustain long-term lifestyle changes. Thank you www.fns360.com and Brian Nunez for the support and all that I have learned this past year including the WHY for all that we do.
For me, exercise and diet are just part of my lifestyle now and for those who know me, I don’t have the perfect diet but I’m mindful of the quantity and quality (to an extent) of my diet and love my exercise routine. So as I approach another experience this Saturday, my first figure competition, I am fully aware of the changes I needed to make to be my best but I also realize that I was undergoing life altering changes simultaneously and made the choice to participate as I am which is the result of six years of a lifestyle.
I share this experience with a dear friend who represents dedication and commitment in every sense of the words and set a goal to be her best for this upcoming competition for which she has accomplished. We are what we choose and want. So to my dear Mommy friends who ask me what and how, I say, find your WHY and you will be what you want and figure-out and live the how. Believe :)!!
“30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself” by Marc Chernoff
24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
I thought about what makes this seem so obvious and yet not readily apparent otherwise we would all be living our dreams and be successful. My theory is that we start living our lives as should’s based on several factors and before we realize what is happening, our should’s become our habits and our habits become our reality. Reality is to adults what dreams are to children and, unfortunately, more often than not, reality gets in the way of our dreams. If we think about how we want to remember our lives, I’m quite sure we would be most proud of a life of passion and purpose and not daily to do’s.
What does this mean? It may mean changing habits, taking chances, pausing to think about what makes us feel alive and happy. Where to start and how to begin? Maybe noting in a notebook ideas, moments, things, people, places and activities that make us feel alive, happy, in the zone and aligned. “If failure weren’t an option, what would you want to do”. How do we wish to remember our life? What would we be doing now that would allow us to reflect on a life without regret? The quality and content of a question can be as valuable as the answer.
My dream changed the course of my life. Now that I’m here, I can’t imagine anywhere else despite never imagining at where I am. I do wonder exactly how my dreams will become reality but I’m also driven by a force that seems to be pulling me along. What I know is that I now live with purpose and passion and it has changed not only the quality of my life but determined the rest of my life and how I will live it.
The photo was taken by a very dear friend and represents persevering through tough times (the fog) to discover the reward for doing so, the sunset. Life is full of options, choices, decisions and opportunities…we are the life we create. BELIEVE!!
When I reflect on the past 6 years of my life and where I’m at today, it almost seems like destiny but is a result of decisions that were not always immediately apparent, sometimes painful but fundamental to the life I decided I needed and wanted to live. What has transpired during the time was a realization that I wasn’t living a life of passion and purpose though I always wanted to be a Mom and relish having children but was left with a void as an individual and not fully nourished or nourishing as a partner. I went from being a very involved school volunteer to an empowered individual through fitness. During the transition, I dealt with guilt of being less involved and more attentive and attuned to my own needs as both an individual and partner.
Sharing my journey wasn’t planned because I didn’t know I had one until I started living my changes and transition. My blog has become my purpose to help inspire others to believe in themselves, their dreams, passion and purpose in life because I was at a point in life where I could have gone either way: live life in the grey and in motion or believe in dreams and purpose and live a life of passion.
When we meet people who are successful or who seem to have reached their goals and fulfilled their dreams, it almost seems like it happened ‘overnight’. What I realized and am realizing myself is that life is a journey and not an overnight success. How I am physically through my love of fitness started 6 years ago and has empowered me to believe in myself and my dreams as a Mom with two in her 40’s.
This video clip was created by a photographer friend who paired Rocky’s motivational speech with an image he took to represent my journey: it does capture my purpose and dream. BELIEVE!!
In the past week alone, I have been touched by a friend who offered to bring over bone broth when I was fever ridden, a dear and old friend from HK persevere despite her unanswered calls who was ecstatic by a simple and long overdue email from me, my children’s friends’ Moms’, my dear GF’s, who are anxious to see my new home, my children who love me unconditionally as their Mommy despite my occasional zany ways , my family who has always been and is here for me and to someone so very special there are no words to describe my gratitude and thankfulness.
I feel slightly stressed thinking about my ‘purpose list’ (no longer to do list), a little overwhelmed by all that has transpired this week, let alone this past year, with a home sale, new home, family health scare, a new phase in life with a new parenting schedule and all that it entails, school prep as a Mom, my own needs and wants as an individual and a blog that has assumed a life of its own with advertising inquiries.
I couldn’t be more blessed, happy and full of life and passion. I am asked if “I am ok?”. The answer is a resounding YES!! Mandy Hale, “GROWTH is painful. CHANGE is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”
It was a thrill to briefly meet Gabby and Laird Hamilton or, more appropriately, me giddily ask for a photo with two people I admire for their lifestyle: active, down-to-earth and inspiring. If I could relive that moment, I would have approached Gabby differently than I did but I was caught-off-guard and they were busy entertaining many at Laird’s paddle board booth.