Tag Archive: success


One of the most interesting and exciting things about being human is that we have the power to change our circumstances by changing the way we think. Once we catch a bit of inspiration and turn our new thoughts into new behaviors incredible things happen. Since it is so easy to fall back into our old ways of thinking, it’s critical to protect our new, fragile, positive attitudes. Sadly, the people closest to us can be the ones who present the greatest danger.

In the past week, I’ve seen several instances where a friend was talked out of something that would’ve been so good for them by a friend or family member who probably thought they were protecting them from failure or disappointment. The problem with that is that if we don’t push ourselves to try new things or try something again after we’ve failed we will never change anything!

People think they know us and want us to feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately, the way they go about it isn’t always helpful. If I’m saying negative things about myself because I feel like I’m failing, I don’t need someone to baby me and say it’s ok to think that way. I need someone to tell me to stop it because they know I can do it! We need to encourage each other to be better, do more, and make positive changes; not to feel that it’s ok to beat ourselves up and stay where we are in life. I saw a perfect example of this on facebook the other day and I know the person meant well, but the situation made me want to scream.

If you’re trying to make positive changes DO NOT listen to people when they try to hold you back even when they think they’re being supportive. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it. Just be aware of what they’re really saying and move on. If what they’re saying is reinforcing your negative self-talk, push those thoughts away and replace them with positive ones. Like Chalene Johnson says, “be your own biggest cheerleader”. You can do amazing things, but not if you continue to think about yourself and your life the same way.

If you’re one of those well-meaning friends or family members who feels like you’re protecting someone from disappointment please reconsider the way in which you show support. Instead of encouraging them not to try and to keep thinking the same way, show support by telling them you believe they can succeed. You have no idea how much that means to someone who’s decided to face a challenge and push forward. Not to sound cliché, but be part of the solution, not part of the problem. They will have moments when they want to quit because nothing worthwhile is easy. They way you show your support can be the difference between their success or failure. If deep down you’re afraid that their change will take them away from you, by being there and encouraging them through the tough times you’ll earn their appreciation, love and respect bringing you closer together. If you make every step they take that much harder you’ll drive a wedge between you which may result in the thing you fear the most.

I am very passionate about this topic because I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and I’ve let friends and family hold me back because I listened to them when they said things that made me feel like I could never change. I’ve also cultivated a habit of not finishing what I’ve started and no one has ever held me accountable. They didn’t realize it, but what they were really saying to me was that they didn’t believe in me. We think and do based on our habits so it’s time to start paying attention and to form new ones. We need to stop being afraid to take on challenges and follow through. Sure we may fail, but then we pick ourselves up and try again and again and again. If we quit or never even start we guarantee failure, but when we keep going no matter what we will succeed!

Actually did this one yesterday and Burn Intervals/Ab Burner today. Wow, I started counting the squats and lunges today for the 3000 in May challenge and stopped counting at 100 which is my goal for each day, but I have no doubt that I actually did at least 200, though. Love it!

Standard Overhead Press – 20lbs each hand/7 reps (same as last time)

Single-Leg Lunge – 25lbs each hand/8 reps (same as last time – 25lbs weights are the heaviest we have)

Standard Reverse Fly – 12.5lbs/8 reps (same as last time – pretty sure I’m ready for 15lbs next week)

Standing Arnold Press – 20lbs each hand/7 reps + 3 extreme (heavier, fewer reps)

Single-Leg Dead Lifts – 25lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time)

Bent-Over Lat Raise – 15lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time, better form)

Frontal Shoulder Press – 17.5lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time – going heavier next time)

Single-Leg Tap Lunges – 17.5lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time – I was FEELIN’ it with all those extra squats and lunges I’ve been doing!)

Lateral Delt Raise – 12.5lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time, better form)

Looking forward to Push Circuit 3 tomorrow! Love the chest work on the floor! The Long-Arm Pullover is still my favorite. 🙂

Got off track a bit (see the reason here), but I wasn’t going to start the Push Phase over again or I’d never make it to the Lean Phase. I’m also participating in a challenge posted by another Beachbody coach on facebook where we’re doing 3000 squats/lunges in the month of May. Going to be lookin’ good by June 1st. 😉

Standard Bicep Curl – 20lbs/7 reps (same as last time)

Standard Squat – 25lbs each hand/8 reps (same as last time – these are the heaviest weights we have)

Single Arm Bent-Over Tricep Extension – 12.5lbs/8 reps (lighter than last time, more reps – I wanted good form)

V-Press Biceps – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time, with better form)

Single-Leg Squat – 25lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time)

Overhead Tricep Extension – 25lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time)

Hammer Curls – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme (lighter weight, more reps)

Heel Squat – 25lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time)

Push-ups – 6 on knees + 3 extreme (fewer reps, better form/lower chest)

If you’re wondering how many squats are in this workout including those in the warm-up, it’s 66 if you do all 8 reps for each move. Just saying. 🙂

One of the main purposes I have for writing this blog is to get people to do something different, to make positive changes. Since my facebook page is closely related to my blog I thought it would be fun to have daily challenges, “assignments” that are designed to get people to see life from a new perspective and improve their world. The categories are Family, Fitness, Food, Finances and Fun. The first challenge was posted this past weekend and it involved letting your family know how much you appreciate them. Today’s challenge was to find an organization or charity that means something to you and donate your time or money. I believe one of the most responsible things you can do with your money is to use it to help others. And even if you don’t have as much money as you would like, you have time. It’s just a matter of priorities.

I hope you’ll join us. Just go to my facebook page and click “like” at the top to receive the posts for each new challenge in your facebook news feed. If you have a suggestion for a challenge, please leave a comment below! I’m always open to suggestions.

Busy Mom Balancing Act

I had this idea that when I quit working outside the home somehow I’d be less busy. I suppose in some ways that’s true because technically I could sit around all day and do nothing, but doing nothing means nothing gets done. Ok, maybe that’s kind of obvious, but when my kids were little I managed to spend day after day doing just that. I didn’t neglect the kids, but I only did enough to make sure they were taken care of…and nothing more. Now they’re older and in school and without a job to go to my days all begin the same way, as a blank slate. I could just sit around playing games on facebook or watching TV, but I have actual goals now, things that matter to me and my family. Since I don’t have anyone telling me what to do all day long it’s up to me to make sure I’m getting everything done and you know what? There’s a lot to do.

I could spend all day working on building my fitness coaching business or blogging or walking around outside taking pictures and working out or cooking and cleaning, but that would mean neglecting everything else. For a while I thought I had it figured out. I went to bed at a decent time, got up early to get the kids off to school, started the laundry, took a walk, blogged about the walk and posted photos, worked out, had lunch, spent the afternoon working on my business and finishing up the laundry or cleaning, took the kids to basktball or karate, made dinner, helped the kids with homework, relaxed a bit and then headed to bed to start all over again. It was great and I was getting things done, moving toward my goals, but there was something missing…my husband.

Because he lives and works on a completely different schedule the only opportunity I have to spend quality time with him is late at night. Going to bed by 10:30, I was missing out on that and I felt us growing apart. One of the main reasons I decided to build a business is so he doesn’t have to work at night, allowing us all to spend more time together and for him to be able to sleep more than a couple hours at a time. If our relationship falls apart while I’m building it then it would all be kind of pointless. No amount of money can replace having a close, loving family.  I knew I had to make some changes and start balancing things better.

The first change I made was to stop walking at 8:15 every morning. Other than the occasional friend, no one was showing up to come with me from the apartment complex. I still get to walk, but I’m free to do it whenever it works and I can stay up later to spend time with my husband because I can go back to bed after everyone leaves for the day. I can tell he appreciates the time we spend together and our relationship is getting stronger by the day (or night). Now I have to shift my thinking  just as I’ve shifted my schedule. I have to get used to the idea of being more productive at night while I wait for him to be done working. I have to admit I’ve let some things slide with this transition.

I was thinking about all of this the other day while I was walking around the track at my son’s school, trying to figure out how to find balance again with all the things that need to get done. Then it hit me. The same thing that helps us balance physically helps in all aspects of life…a strong core. The core is the center of who we are, the things that drive us, our priorities. Some things are just more important than others and when we focus our attention on what matters most the rest will fall into place. I knew I had to go back to the goals I had made and look at the top priorities in my life (something I had done when I did Chalene Johnson’s 30-day Challenge…I highly recommend it) to figure out what to spend my time on and what could be pushed to the back burner.

Now that I’m seeing more clearly what I need to do the next step is to design my day by making a to-do list (also a valuable tool learned from the 30-day challenge). I used to hate the idea of a list controlling my day, but I’ve come to realize that you control the list…it doesn’t control you. By figuring out ahead of time what really needs to be done and checking back throughout the day to stay on track you actually create more free time because you get things done much faster. It’s really a beautiful thing, if you do it.

For someone like me it’s definitely a new habit that needs to be formed which isn’t always easy. But after experiencing the life-changing power of the list (that’s right, I said it…and mean it) I know it’s worth the effort. The key is to do it properly and the person to learn that from is the Queen of the To-Do List, Chalene Johnson. So if you need some help with balancing your life and figuring out what it is you really want and how to get it, click on the link for the 30-Challenge and get registered. What you will get from it is priceless (and it’s free). I’m done talking now and am going back to bed so what are you waiting for? 😉

A Breakthrough – Part 2

Ok, where do I start? Before my husband and I got married or were even a couple we were close friends. As a matter of fact, our friendship meant so much to us it almost kept us from getting together. We were afraid if we took our relationship to the next level and it didn’t work out we’d lose the friendship that meant so much to us. We would spend hours talking about anything and everything and even though we didn’t always see eye to eye we listened to each other’s point of view out of respect. I found him to be intelligent, charming and challenging.

We all have hardships and go through tough times, but my husband has had to deal with more than the average person. For our friendship, that meant a lot of the time I was helping him deal with the emotional aftermath of it all and that was fine with me. It made me feel needed and like I was making a difference. The more he let me in the more we connected and eventually I knew I could no longer be just friends. He felt the same way and we became an official couple in August 1995 while visiting San Francisco with my mom.

Through unforseen circumstances we ended up living alone together, something I would’ve never chosen and don’t recommend. But that’s what happened and through the daily stresses of life and the nagging feeling that we had taken things in the wrong direction our relationship started to break down. The mutual respect eroded away and instead of being the close friend he could go to for support I became the one who took the brunt of his frustrations. What was once a life that felt perfect and almost magical became a mentally painful and unhealthy existence. But I was committed to him and making it work. I couldn’t handle the thought of losing him and the friendship we once shared.

Looking back, I have no doubt that a regular person would’ve left many times over and moved on, but because I grew up in an abusive home I had learned to put up with more than anyone should. I can’t blame him for the state of our relationship, either, because we teach others how to treat us. If I had stood up for myself and made it clear that some things were unacceptable, things would’ve been different. He either would’ve respected me more or ended it, but I didn’t. I became less and less the person who had overcome her childhood and more and more a doormat who was losing her identity all because I was afraid to lose him.

At this point, you may be thinking that he’s a horrible person. I hate to portray him that way, but the truth is that he did do some horrible things. He never hurt me physically, but he caused a lot of emotional pain. That’s what happens when two people with  lot of unresolved issues get together and become each other’s world. Being so young and living together was like putting our relationship in a pressure cooker and neither of us held up under the stress. There were times when I hated him and I’m sure he felt the same about me, but I never stopped loving him deep down. Many times we almost ended it, but decided to stay together despite everything. It was like a crazy roller coaster ride that I didn’t know how to get off and didn’t really want to. I just kept believing that somehow we’d work through it and get back to the way things used to be.

Despite all the red flags, we ended up getting married in July 1998. I hoped that making that commitment would allow things to settle down. We left California and headed for Oregon for a new beginning. But old habits don’t stay behind. We moved in with family by marriage on my husband’s side, but things continued to be the same. There were bright spots. There always were. Just enough to keep my hope for a happy life together alive. Then I found out I was pregnant. For most, that news would’ve brought joy and excitement. For us, not so much. The added stress almost ended our marriage, but again we decided to stay together and try to make it work. We moved out on our own and it was tough. A new baby in a healthy relationship can be difficult, but for us…well, I’m sure you can imagine. Eventually I lost count of all the times we almost split up.

That sweet little baby brought a new sense of purpose to our lives, though, and slowly we began to figure things out. Just when we started to gain some momentum in the right direction I found out I was pregnant again despite our best efforts to keep that from happening. When he was born I fell in love all over again, but the stress of providing for our growing family was driving a wedge between us again. Our relationship was nowhere near a place that could handle more strain and we ended up separating. We had both had enough and as much as it killed me to let go of the hope I had for us I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I can’t even tell you now exactly what it was that made us decide to go to counselling and get back together. I’m sure it had to do with the kids and not wanting them to grow up with divorced parents like both of us had. And despite everything I still loved him. We didn’t stay in counselling as long as we should have and so even though we were making some progress there were many times when it felt like we’d move one step forward  then two steps back. Then I was introduced to a book that gave me the tools I needed to make some changes that finally pushed us out of that rut. That book was The Love Dare. When I started it my husband wasn’t even speaking to me and for what seemed like the thousandth time I was sure our marriage was over. But I took it seriously and by the second week not only was he speaking to me again, but he was buying me flowers for no reason. Things were starting to feel a tiny bit magical again.

I wish I could say that I’ve continued to do everything I learned from that book everyday since I read it, but old habits are hard to break. As much blame as I can lay on him for the problems in our relationship, I have to accept responsibility, too. Our friendship, the foundation of our relationship, was broken down from both sides. Along the way, I stopped listening to him and trying to see things from his point of view. I started feeling like I already knew what he was going to say and would cut him off before he could finish his thought. That made him feel like there was no point in talking to me so the two people who once shared anything and everything suffered a complete breakdown in communication.

With the help of my wonderful, supportive friends I realized that I couldn’t continue to be a doormat and expect our relationship to heal. I had to start respecting myself if I wanted him to respect me. Going back to work played a huge part in that as I felt like I was contributing not only to our family, but to the businesses I worked for. I was able to start lovingly, but firmly communicate to him what was unacceptable and what I needed from him even though sometimes I felt like I was talking to a wall. Then I discovered Turbo Jam and Chalene Johnson. Her outlook on life has pushed my “recovery” to a whole new level and my life has completely transformed.

So what does all this have to do with staying in bed with my husband until 3-something in the afternoon on a day he should’ve been at a job fair giving his resume to potential employers from all around the country? Well, despite my new outlook on life and the vast improvements to our marriage we’ve never found our way back to the friendship we once had. Of course, after all the years of trials and heartache I know it will never be exactly the same as it was, but I believe in some ways it can be even better if we can rebuild it. One of the most frustrating things has been that I’m learning how to be happy and successful and even though I’ve been able to share that knowledge with my friends I haven’t been able to with him, the person I care about the most who needs it the most.

The alarm went off when it was supposed to, but neither of us got up. Then it went off again with the same results. Finally, it was time to get the kids up and off to school so I got up and took care of that. He still wasn’t up despite much nagging and pleading from me. Taking into consideration that he normally only gets 3-5 hours of sleep on  weekdays and that we had stayed up until 4:30am getting everything ready for the job fair, I wasn’t at all surprised that he wasn’t getting up. I climbed back in bed and quickly fell back asleep next to him. The next thing I knew we were both waking up and it was after 1:00. So much for the job fair.  

Out of nowhere he started to ask me some pretty odd questions saying he just needed me to answer even though it didn’t really make sense. I went along and that led to a conversation about why he does what he does…including skipping the job fair even though we spent all night preparing for it.  A real conversation. Both of us taking turns talking and listening. He was opening up and asking for my help and I finally had answers for him. It was amazing…dare I say, magical. The conversation even turned to me when he asked what kinds of things I was dealing with. I realized that I couldn’t remember that last time he had shown that kind of interest in my well-being and it took me off guard. I’ve spent lots of time talking with friends about my issues, but in that moment I didn’t know what to say. Finally, I found a way to open up to him and trust him with my vulnerability. I think he sees me differently now, in a better light because he’s realizing again that we’re in this together and need to lean on each other the way we used to all those years ago.

At one point, he started to say something and I felt like I knew what he was going to say so I cut him off. Instead of shutting down, he pointed it out and asked if he could finish. When he stopped talking I asked if I could respond and he said no. He could see it was killing me and explained that that’s how he feels when I don’t let him talk. It was the most vivid “a-ha moment” I’ve had in a very long time. I felt such remorse for making him feel that way for all these years that saying I was sorry didn’t feel like enough. Over the years, I’ve apologized for many things that I ended up doing again and again so I know the words probably didn’t mean much to him. But the point hit my with such clarity that I can’t imagine doing that to him again. Not that the temptation won’t arise, but the understanding I have now will always make me think twice before I open my mouth and close my ears.

Yes, he missed the job fair, but it worked out for the best. We had a major breakthrough in our relationship which to me is more valuable than all the money in the world. There will be other opportunities and I know he’ll end up where he’s supposed to. The important thing is that we’ll be there together, happier than we would’ve been if things had gone as we planned, and for that I am eternally thankful.

After two rest days I knew I had to get back into the rhythm of the schedule or I’d end up having to start over again so I made the time. The longer I do this the more I realize that taking care of yourself when you “get a chance” doesn’t work because there’s always something else that needs to be done. If being healthy is a priority you have to treat working out as an appointment that can’t be missed.

Standard Overhead Press – 20lbs each hand/7 reps (same as first time, heavier and fewer reps than last week)

Single Leg Lunge – 25lbs each hand/8 reps (heavier than first time and last week, same reps)

Standing Reverse Fly – 12.5lbs each hand/8 reps (same weight as first time and last week, more reps)

Standing Arnold Press – 17.5lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as first time, heavier than last week)

Single-Leg Dead Lifts – 25lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (heavier than first time and last week, same reps)

Bent-Over Lat Raise – 15lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme (same weight as first time and last week, fewer reps)

Frontal Shoulder Press – 17.5lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as first time, heavier than last week)

Single-Leg Tap Lunges – 17.5lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as first time, heavier than last week)

Lateral Delt Raise – 12.5lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as first time, heavier than last week)

If you’re like me, sometimes the more you think about doing something you know will be challenging the harder it is to start. Today, as soon as it crossed my mind that I needed to do Push 3 I popped it in the DVD player, changed into my workout clothes and logged into the WOWY SuperGym. Easy…not the workout, but getting it done. In one of the P90X workouts, Tony Horton says, “Get out of your head about it. Just show up.” Exactly. Basically his version of Nike’s simple but profound slogan, Just Do It. Here’s what I “just did” this second time around for Week 1.

Sumo Squat – 25lbs each hand/8 reps (same)

Single Arm Row – 25lbs/8 reps (same)

Chest Fly – 17.5lbs each hand/8 reps (same)

Bowler Lunge – 25lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same)

Double-Arm Bent-Over Row – 25lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same weights/more reps)

Bench Press – 25lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same)

Single-Leg Sumo Squat – 20lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same)

Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row – 20lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same weight/more reps)

Long-Arm Pullover – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme (same) still one of my favorites!

Fun, Fun, Fun

I didn’t walk today even though it was GORGEOUS outside. I did, however, do FIRE 45 from TurboFire. I was a little concerned that I would DIE because it’s been over 2 months since I’ve done TurboFire and it’s intense cardio, unlike walking. It was challenging (no big surprise), but I made it through. I have to say that Chalene Johnson is a genius. The way she mixed the music and sound effects makes the workout SO….MUCH….FUN!!!!! And, she knows just what to say at the right time to keep me going even though it’s a DVD and I know it’s coming.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to ChaLEAN Extreme Push Circuit 2 which I love for different reasons. There’s something about pushing yourself farther than you thought you could go and lifting heavier weights than you ever thought you could that’s so rewarding…mentally and physically. The bottom line is that if you’re going to stick with something to get results it has to be something you enjoy or you won’t keep it up long enough to reach your goal. Yes, exercise can be fun. You just have to find what works for you. If you want some help with that contact me on facebook. 🙂

I stopped doing CHX a couple of weeks ago, not for any good reason…just because (I don’t recommend taking long breaks), so I decided to start the Push Circuit over again. I could visibly see a difference in, well, everything so I was concerned that I wouldn’t even be able to match what I had done the first time around. I used my chart as a guide and did the best I could. It was challenging, but felt great. If you’re trying to lose weight I can’t say enough about the importance of strength training…not just physically, but mentally, too.

Standard Bicep Curl – 20lbs/6 reps – same

Standard Squat – 25lbs/8 reps – same

Single-Arm Bent-Over Tricep Extension – 10lbs/8 reps – I went lighter because 15lbs was extremely challenging before

V-Press Biceps – 15lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme – same

Single-Leg Squat – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme – same

Overhead Tricep Extension – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme – lighter and it was challenging, but I think I could’ve done 25lbs/6 reps

Hammer Biceps – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme – same

Heel Squat – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme – same

Push-ups – 6 on knees + 3 extreme – same