Rhoades to Fitness
It's YOU vs. YOU

Aug
29

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A few weeks ago, my roommate and I were in the kitchen one morning before work, talking about life and God. She pulled her purple plastic travel cup out of fridge and proceeded to unscrew the lid. After a few attempts she gives up, holds the cup out to me and says “here, muscles, get this open.” I took it with confidence that I could give it a twist and it would come right off. (Ya know, opening food jars and fingernail polish is a specialty of mine. ;)) Expecting it to be tough, I gripped the lid as tightly as I could and gave that lid all my strength…it didn’t budge. Again, I repeated what I just tried…nothing. At this point I was getting so frustrated because this stupid purple cup was defeating me! one more big UMPH…i give up! stupid cup! I mean, What the heck? I looked at her and said, “I can pick up over 300 lbs of dead weight off the floor but I can’t unscrew this lid”. As i was saying those words, I turned the lid ever so gently and it came right off. “How hard were you trying to get that lid off?” I asked, Patrice. “Hard.” she replied.  I sat there for a second looking at the lid in my hand. “Me too. I’m pretty sure God is teaching us a valuable lesson right now, that goes along perfectly with what we were just discussing. We were trying SO hard, that we made something so simple impossible.” We looked at one another with wide eyes, “WHOA.” 

 
How many times in life do we try too hard? “It can’t be simple. Life is hard! Isn’t it?” That’s what we all think. In the kitchen that day, the analogy was applied toward our spiritual relationship with God, and our earthly relationships. We complicate God so much because we think to have a relationship with Him it must be hard. Well, that’s not how my God works. Its so simple…He loves us so much and wants to have a relationship with every person that walks this earth. Why would a God that’s so loving make a relationship with Him seem impossible. He wouldn’t. WE make it hard. WE think it can’t be that easy, because nothing is that easy. We think, “I’ve messed up in the past, I’m not deserving of a love so great, how can He love me?” Stop letting your past define you and let God define you. He never leaves us, we leave Him, and HE waits patiently for us to run back into His arms. Just like any other relationship, He wants us to make time for Him, trust Him, love Him, talk to Him. That’s all. So simple. 
 
Let’s look at other relationships. We make these hard as well. Friendships, dating and marriage. If someone is important to you, you tell them with words, you show them by making time for them, you treat them with love and respect, you forgive their mistakes, you treat them like you want to be treated, you put forth effort into the relationship or they won’t work. If only one person in a relationship does all the above, the relationship will break and fall apart. Both parties, have to give and receive. I’m a big giver. But something I’ve always struggled with is receiving. Receiving love, gifts, whatever, I’ve always thought, “I don’t want your gifts because I have nothing to give back.” A friend once told me, If someone gives you something, it’s because they think you deserve it or need it. If you don’t receive it, you are stealing the joy that person is getting from giving you that gift.” Wow. I never thought about it like that. She’s taught me so much. Though I still struggle with it, I’m slowly getting better. Loving people is so important to me. I think it’s my purpose on this earth, to love. Because of this I’ve always thought, “I don’t need as much love back, I’m strong and I can handle it. They need more love than I do. So I’m okay with not getting back what I give.” Just this week, My friend told me I need to stop that. That I need to receive love just as much as anyone else. I know she’s right, and I have no idea where that lie was coming from all these years. I also know that I can’t change over night and it’s something I have to work on if I want strong healthy relationships and one day a strong healthy marriage.
 
Lets change pace and talk about another relationship, the one you have with yourself. Are you abusing your mind by telling yourself you aren’t good enough, you aren’t pretty, you aren’t the perfect size, you aren’t deserving of love? Are you abusing your physical body by putting only junk and unhealthy foods in you mouth day in and day out? Are you being sedentary and lazy, not working at making your muscles and bones stronger? Are you in an unhealthy relationship with someone who takes everything you have and doesn’t give you anything in return? I could go on with examples but I’ll stop. These are all forms of abuse that we put on ourselves. And I’ve been guilty of them all at some point in my life. Simple solutions? Pretty much. Start slow by making better food choices, going for walks, then progress into even better eating and harder exercising. Try looking at yourself through God’s eyes and not what you’re telling yourself you are every time you look in the mirror. When someone gives you a compliment, accept it. They don’t have to give you one and they see something that you don’t. Take it to heart. Get out of the relationship that sucks you dry. Or if you are the person that’s not giving what you should, then sit back and make the decision to put someone else first. Give back what you are receiving. If you are spreading yourself thin with responsibilities, prioritize and get rid of the things that aren’t necessary that will give you more breathing room. 
 
I find that “simplifying” has been the theme of this month. Are you trying too hard to get that cup open like I was? Maybe it’s easier than we are making it out to be. 
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Jun
28

I’m afraid this is gonna be a long one. I’ve had a lot on my mind this morning and trying to condense it down will be challenging. Bare with me.

THE BEST! Since I can remember, I’ve had a drive in me to be “the best.” That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself. Especially as a kid. Was I, or am I wrong in thinking that way? Yes and No. I wanted to be the best softball player on my team, I wanted to be stronger than any girl in the gym, I wanted to make A’s on all my tests, I wanted to learn all my books of the bible and all my bible verses before everyone in sunday school. When I give a massage I try every time to give my best because I want to hear the words, “that’s the best massage I ever had”. When I make flippin’ cupcakes, I want to hear that they are delicious. Maybe even the best. Why am I this way? I dunno. I chalk it up to, that’s the way God made me. I believe He did and I believe it was with purpose. When it came to sports I was naturally athletic, but that wasn’t good enough. I used to practice for hours by myself, throwing balls on the roof and catching them or throwing at a specific target. I hated making errors and hated striking out. I couldn’t help it if i hit a line drive right into someones glove, it was a good hit, but a swing and a miss was unacceptable. I didn’t expect my teammates to be perfect and they never let me down if they messed up. But I was so scared of letting them down, my coaches down, my parents down. When it came to grades I was never the smartest in the class, but I tried, I studied, I always did my homework. Not being valedictorian was okay to me but not making honor roll was NOT acceptable. I didn’t want to let my teachers down, or my parents. I wanted to be recognized as one of the best. In elementary school I used to get sick before testing, and in high school I would throw up before almost every game. Let me be super honest, it’s even important to me to be liked!!!! It kills my heart to think I hurt someone I love. Friendship is so important to me. When I love someone, I don’t love them a little. I love them so much that it overwhelms me. It’s the only way I know how. My hands are shaking as I type these words because it’s hard to admit these things. In 2008, I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I decided to compete in a figure competition. I’m talking about the girl that was always biggest in the family, or on the team, or in my group of friends. This wasn’t because I was lazy, it wasn’t because I was an over eater. I was active and PROBABLY ate less calories than the people I hung around with. Being a big girl was just who I was. I never liked it or accepted it, and I knew going into this it would probably be the hardest thing I had ever done. And I KNEW I wasn’t going to be the best on that stage. In the 25 weeks that I prepped for my first show, and the 16 I prepped for every photo shoot and show after that, I walked on that stage knowing I wasn’t THE best. But I did walk on that stage and smile for that camera knowing I was MY best. Thats where I screwed up in the past and what the last 5 years of my life has taught me. I can’t always be the best but I can always be my best. That’s all that I can expect from myself, and that’s all that my God, my parents, family and friends expect from me. Realizing this has offered me more air to breathe, and it has formed me into the person that I am and still forming me into the person I want to be. I’ve messed up, I’ve hurt people, I’ve lost, I’ve been let down by people I love, I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve had a lot that I worked for over the past 5 years taken from me. All of these things mean I’m not the best. It also means I’m human. And how I deal with these things is a choice. I can feel sorry for myself and quit, or I can keep fighting. I can choose to look at things with different eyes and see the blessings and not dwell on the let downs. I won’t accept the fact that my body isn’t working how it needs, I will fight it. And what I’ve learned over the past year is that I don’t have to have abs to be beautiful, I don’t have to have a body that shows on the outside how much weight I can lift and the good foods I put in my body. I can’t exercise and eat right for vanity, it’s not right. But I can do those things to achieve better health and for my body to run the best that it knows how to right now. I can prep my body for hard work, and build strong arms. I can help other women see the importance in loving themselves and trying to achieve their best. Doing that is a passion of mine and I hope to reach out and help more women in the future.

Over the past few years I tried so hard to get the job I thought I wanted. Though I took classes, got the certificates I needed, passed the physical test above and beyond what was needed, I didn’t get it. But what I got was a better one, that enables me to love, nurture, and teach. God made me, and He knew that’s what I’m good at. I just didn’t know I was good at that, in fact it scared me at first. But it has changed my heart, and it has blessed me beyond understanding.

I’ve experienced heartache and I have caused heartache (causing is so much worse), but it’s only taught me to forgive others and myself. Every trial you and I face, and every decision we make in this world forms us into the person we become. I want to become the woman I read about in Proverbs 31. I want to love like Jesus. I want to be MY best in everything I decide to do.

I was reminded today from a good friend that the bible says, whatever we decide to do, do it “heartily”, not perfectly. My friends are so wise 😉 Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”

I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is, it’s not wrong to strive to be the best. In fact, I believe it’s expected from us. But sometimes our best isn’t always the best. So I will strive to be MY strongest, MY most athletic, to give MY best massage, make MY best cupcakes ;), have MY best body, love MY best, be the best daughter, friend, employee, and one day wife and mother that I can be. I know I’ll continue to fail, lose, make mistakes, but they are easier to accept when you know you gave your all.

We can’t look like or be like anyone else, no. But we can be the best version of ourselves. Whether that’s our physical bodies, by training hard and fueling with good foods. Mentally, by continuously learning and being open minded to others thoughts. Or spiritually, by doing what’s right, practicing love and not hate and spending time in His word and prayer. I choose to do my best at all three. It’s not easy but it continues to pay off and I find myself stronger every day.

Apr
26

First, I know I’m not competing anymore, but I’m constantly surrounded by competition conversation because 90% of my friends are competitors and I still research health, nutrition, supplements and exercise every single day. With that said, lets get into the purpose of this blog entry…. SO, I know, I know. “There is no off season”. But you know what I mean, you aren’t competing in the next few months and you want to put on muscle and recoup. So you are transitioning into different goals. I’ve had more than a few girls text or email me as their off season is drawing near, in fear of higher calories and rest. I understand the fear because I’ve been there a few times. You are scared the combination of the two will make you look like whale just as you are approaching summer and bikini season. If you did things right to get ON stage and you do things right AFTER stage, this will not happen. Let me tell you about my experiences. They were all about the same. I went into show at lets say 150 before I water depleted down to 145. After stage, I went out for a celebratory meal of whatever i wanted. Usually, pizza and cheesecake. The next day (though advised to go right back on plan :0/ ), we always went to cracker barrel. I usually consumed 2 eggs, 2 peices of bacon, 2 biscuits and 2 pancakes. That’s exactly what I wanted and exactly what I thought I could eat without feeling overly stuffed (yes, this girl can eat). After the late breakfast, I only ate one other meal. Most of the time sushi, but a few times a gourmet sandwich with chips and followed by too many cadbury mini eggs. NOW, after my day of indulgence, and where I differ from some is, I really did go right back into my diet that I was on a week before my show. I didn’t keep indulging. When the next sunday rolled around, I stepped on the scale and weighed 150 once again. OH, and I did not step foot on the scale that Monday after my free day of food. WHO DOES THAT?????? I have a few weird friends that do. Dude, you’re just gonna get mad that the scale is up 5-10 lbs. You can NOT gain 5-10 lbs of fat in one flippin’ day. Don’t weigh after doing something like that. That’s just ridiculous. End of story. Now, at this point when I know I’m on track again. I added 200 extra calories into my diet and a weekly cheat meal. I also scaled back on cardio. I gradually added calories back as I felt I could till I reached 2000-2200 and I also slowly took away cardio till I practically was doing nothing but having 4-5 intense, super heavy, lift days, and one functional training day. I took an entire year off from winter of 2009 till winter 2010. When I started prepping for my last show (derby 2011) I started dieting at 170 lbs, but 10 of that was good solid muscle that I had put on during my off season. When I walked on stage in 2011, my body looked totally different than it had in 2009. This was due to eating lots of good food, lifting like a beast, not doing crazy cardio, incorporating functional training (kettlebell training) at least once a week, and RESTING! Your body needs food and it needs rest. You will never change unless you’re willing to gain a little weight back, train with intensity and heart, and actually sleep and live your life. Go see a movie with your friends or family instead of filling your day with 2 a days and having no energy from low calories and over training. Neither of those things are healthy for your body, mind or heart. Use your off season to grow, rest, spend even more time doing those other things you love that don’t involve training. For most of y’all, this is just a hobby, a sport used to strengthen your mind and body and for me a very spiritual journey. It should never consume you. If you have a good trainer that really cares about you, they will make this experience fun, while watching out for your health, and making this experience about finding that balance between competing and learning to eat properly and exercise for a better, healthier life for you and your family. If your trainer doesn’t care about these things, if they have you on 900 calories 7 weeks out from a show (yes I heard of a girl doing this right now), my advice is to fire them and find someone that will help you and not harm you. I have no idea how someone can transition out of 900 calories and 2 hours of cardio a day without damage to their body and HATING the sport. This person doesn’t care about you. Getting on stage in a healthy manner is doable, and having a healthy non-deprived off-season/life is doable as well. Listen to the people who tell you, you look great 2 months after your show and 10 lbs heavier. They aren’t fluffing your cookies. They are telling you the absolute truth. No one ever has to give you a compliment, so smile and say thank you and take to heart what you heard. You are a walking billboard for health and strength. Where it proudly. 

Apr
17

I’ve gone back forth with this for years. Sometimes I enjoy a lifting buddy and sometimes I just want to get in there with my earbuds in, my head down and my game face on. If I do lift with someone, I think very highly of them. I’m very picky. I know they can either keep up with me, lift heavier than me or push me past my limits. I’ve had partners before that aren’t serious and I found that all they do is hold me back. If you are serious about that hour of your day, I think it’s totally okay to be selfish and tell someone no if you think you will do better alone. Since I’ve moved up to northern Ky, I’ve found my strength has improved tremendously, and my overall enjoyment of the gym has been found once again. This is all due to a few amazing gym buddies (one in particular who pushes me everyday to be better). I’ve been focusing on strength the past few months rather than gaining muscle or losing body fat (mainly bc those aren’t options for me at the moment). Wanting a strong body is what peaked my interest in the first place to start lifting weights, and somewhere down the line my goals changed for a season or two and now I’m back to what hooked me in the first place. Since I can remember I’ve always wanted to be the strongest girl I knew (don’t ask me why. I don’t know.). If I found someone was stronger, it just fueled me to push more. And those are the girls I wanted to be with in the gym. It’s amazing how much stronger you become when there’s a little competition involved ;). Another reason I prefer a partner is for safety. If I’m gonna try to push 135 lbs of free weight over my head, or 160 over my chest, I’m gonna be darn sure the the person I have spotting me is trustworthy in three ways. 1.) That if I’m in trouble my partner will save me from injury. 2.)  That my partner WILL NOT touch me or my weight unless absolutely necessary. Nothing is worse than someone helping you when you don’t need help. I’m positive I yell “don’t touch me, don’t touch me” at least a few times a week. I’m not mad, just letting it be known I don’t need their help, even if I look to be struggling. 3.) Lastly, that your spotter will only give you enough help that you are still pushing up the most weight you possibly can. SORRY BOYS! This is why I pick female spotters, I know you aren’t all this way, but 9 out of 10 men I’ve ever asked to spot me, give me too much help, or help when I don’t need it. I know I’m a girl, and thats exactly why I’m gonna pick a weight that I know is possible or close to possible for me to lift. I’ve never seen a woman get stuck under the leg press, yet in the past 2 years I’ve seen three grown men with over a 1000 pounds stuck on top of them WITH their partner standing right there. But once that sled has fallen and you are stuck underneath looking like a big goob, your partner nor you can expect to get that weight reset without stripping the sled down of half the plates that are on it. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?????? The gym is no place to be stupid people. Sorry I just got off on a small tangent. This literally just happened on monday.

Anyway…Just a few things to think about when choosing a partner.

Do you trust them?
Do you have similar goals?
Will they help you reach your goals or hold you back?
Would you do better if you were alone?
Will having a partner keep you more accountable?
This decision is based on your personality and personal goals. For me, if its the right person, I only grow in all aspects by having a lifting a partner. Thank you to my workout buddies. Y’all make me a better person. 🙂
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Feb
03

I was speaking with a patient the other day and telling her I was moving to start a new job and new chapter of my life. She asked, “did you interview for the position?” “No. I’ve known them for 3 years and they came to me. They know my good, bad, and ugly. With me, what you see is what you get. And I suppose they liked something.” The conversation continued and what I concluded is…our life as a whole is a continuous interview.  What if we woke up and went about our days as if we were being interviewed for our dream job? Smiles on our faces, standing tall, our best foot forward wanting our future bosses to see our best qualities. Thats what we do right? What if, during a normal day we smiled more often? Walked tall and confident? Did nice things for our friends and families just because we love them? Opened doors and did good deeds for strangers, not expecting anything in return? Well, I believe our world would be a different place. People, young and old, your friends and strangers, watch you every day. They watch how you react to certain situations. I myself notice the person who is easy to forgive when someone has wronged them, the one who helps an older lady reach a can of soup off the top shelf at kroger. I’ve said it a million times, you get out of life what you give. If you give a smile, you’ll get a smile. 🙂 
So what would our world be like if we lived everyday as if we were being interviewed for our dream job? I think there would be a lot more love on this earth and a lot less hate. We wouldn’t be spending our days arguing about gun laws because there wouldn’t be an issue.
I have a dare for you and I’m gonna do it myself: I dare you to smile at a stranger tomorrow, do something unexpected and nice for someone (friend or stranger), and tell someone if they’ve impacted your life for the better…wouldn’t that be an awesome compliment? 
Xoxo

Jan
15
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Two different trainers. Two very different plans. Same goal.

I was “divinely inspired” to write this blog, when chatting with a friend this morning. A few blogs ago, I had written that a goal of mine was to “seek knowledge from anyone who is willing to share,” and another was to “listen and learn what God is trying to teach me.” Well, I don’t know about you, but God doesn’t send me text messages like I wish He would…or does He? Maybe He is giving someone else the words to say to me. Well, someone has been willing to share their knowledge with me and today I decided to LISTEN and DO! I told this certain someone that I was gonna treat this new road to health as I did my preps to the figure stage. I’m not gonna question why I’m doing something and just do it because I told this person that I trusted them…and I do! SO, then this sparked a little something that I’ve been meaning to write about for over a year now. And here it goes…

Many of you have trainers…whether thats to do a figure/bikini/bodybuilding show, gettin’ ready for a marathon, or some other athletic event, or just wanting to be in the best shape your life. Why did you pick the trainer that you did? I picked my figure coach because 1.) she looked great herself. 2.) I researched and saw the figures that were produced from her training program. And 3.) She seemed liked a good hearted, sweet person that I wanted to be around. When you start someones program, you have to agree to give them 100% of your trust. No matter how ridiculous something they have you doing may sound or how good “so-in-so looks who’s training for the same goal with a different trainer”, you have to stick 100% to YOUR trainers plan! They have your best interest at heart and this is their job. They’re going to advise you in the best way they see fit to get you to your finish line. Their name is behind the final product and it’s important to them that you finish great! If you’re 8 weeks out from a show and you don’t feel ready, well, you shouldn’t feel ready, your show is 8 weeks away and not 8 days. Maybe your trainer/coach gave you MORE food, when your goal is to keep leaning out. Well, more than likely you were either complaining of hunger (and a good trainer WON’T let you starve because they care about you), OR maybe your calories were too low and your body needed more to start dropping again. Yes, that happens. I’ve met athletes before that were listening to 3 different people at the same time, and then wondering “why the heck is my body not doing what I want it to do?” That one is easy…for a program to work, you have to stick to ONE program! No, there isn’t always one way to do something, but pick one and stick to it. If you don’t, your trainer wont know what is working and what isn’t. At that point, you failed yourself AND your trainer. One more thing…if someone gives you a plan, you can’t cheat and expect the results that you want. You can’t skip workouts, you can’t have meals and treats that are off plan and then wonder why you don’t look like you wanted. It just doesn’t work that way. If you decide to do something, give it your all. Trust your trainer/coach…in return they will trust that you are doing your part. If you did EVERYTHING according to plan, and you didn’t reach your goal, then maybe look elsewhere, but until you put your trust in that person and do everything they said to do, you can’t blame anyone but yourself for that dream that didn’t come true.

Trust;

Noun
Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something
Jan
12

Image…I’M WORTH IT.

What a gift each day is! And working out shouldn’t be an hour of your day that you dread or an hour of your day that for some people doesn’t exist! Thats right. Most people reading this blog already workout but I don’t guess I ever realized how many people in this world do NOTHING but what is required of them on a daily basis. Example: getting up and getting ready, working at their job, maybe doing some laundry, cleaning, or yard work…i’m sorry but people who say “I don’t need to workout because I do enough around my house”, I call “FOUL!” Your body is used to your everyday routines and with modern day conveniences of washing machines, dishwashers, vacuums, and riding lawn mowers that turn at a 0 degree radius (thats not work. thats just fun) that excuse doesn’t fly with me. Maybe back when my great grandmother did housework I might accept that. I’ve been working for a physical therapist for 2 years now and do you know why most people in our office have back and neck issues? Because they don’t use them. Their muscles are so weak and stiff because they never move, and half complain when you want them to actually do something. “oh i just want my stretch, massage, and ice and i’ll be on my way.” Hmmm, well you can’t take the massage and stretch with you when you go home. You have to strengthen your muscles to prevent this injury from happening again, and when you are released from physical therapy you need to keep exercising and strengthening so you don’t lose it. 

Working out should be a privilege. I’ve seen a woman in the gym with one hand and she put a cuff around her arm so she could do cable curls. AWESOME!!!!!! The body is the most wonderful machine God ever made and He also gave us the tools to take care of it. Why wouldn’t you want a stronger more sufficient working body? There are too many benefits to even start naming them. You give regular maintenance to your car, right? Why? Because if you didn’t it would break down. Well, same goes for your body! I see it happen every day.

Aren’t you worth spending 30 dollars a month on for a gym membership? Or are your kids/grandkids worth that, so you can keep playing with them, and LIVE to see them grow up? Or like me, I just want to LIVE! This life is so wonderful and I want to enjoy every single minute of it without restricitions. I don’t care what your choice of strength training is…lifting in a global gym, kettlebell training, crossfit, kickboxing, etc. There isn’t one right!!!!! And for you people who think there is one right, well, I hate to say this…wait, no I dont, YOU’RE WRONG (haha. That felt good)! Find a way to strengthen your body that you enjoy, that you will stick to. I promise…You. Are. Worth. It. 

Proverbs 31:17 “She dresses herself in strength and makes her arms strong.” If the bible says “she” does it, then you fellers better be doing it too. You don’t wanna be shown up by a girl. Its embarrassing. 😉

Jan
02

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Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something. 

Goal: The result of achievement toward which effort is directed. 

I don’t believe in resolutions. I can say “I resolute to cut out sugar this year!” The moment I go crazy after a month of no sugar and eat an entire bag of peanut butter M&M’s…FAIL! “I resolute to go to the gym 5 days a week in 2013.” Uh-oh. I got sick or a family emergency came up. My body just needed a break. I just didn’t want to go today….FAIL! Instead of New Years resolutions and setting yourself up for disappointment, why not make New Years Goals? I believe in goals and I believe in writing down my goals and putting them somewhere I’m sure to see them every day as a reminder of what I want to achieve. I also believe in making short term goals (weekly and monthly) and long term goals (yearly and 5 year goals). Sit down and start with envisioning where you see yourself at the end of this year. Thats your long term goal for 2013. To make sure you reach that goal you need to make mini goals. What will you do this week that will help you reach that long term goal? If it’s weight loss, how many days will you be in the gym? Make a food plan and stick to it. What is your goal weight for the end of the first month? Write it down! Its much easier to take it a week at a time. What if something happens and you fall off the wagon? Don’t worry about it. You didn’t fail, you just didn’t make a step forward that day or week. That doesn’t mean you won’t reach your goal. No need to give up. We all mess up. The best of the BEST mess up. Remember you set GOALS, you didn’t make a resolution (giving yourself no room to screw up). What do you do when this happens and you fall off that wagon? Go get those goals you wrote down and ask yourself, “is this still my goal?” If so, you wake up with a clean slate and a new day to conquer. If not, take time to reflect on what your new goals are and what steps you will take to reach them. This works for health goals, financial goals, business goals…whatever you’re working towards. 

I myself am taking time to really think about the woman I want to be and the woman I want others to see. I have a certain look I one day wanna see again, I have a certain heart that I want others to see when they meet me, I have a certain relationship I wanna have with Jesus and with my friends and my family…there’s a mental, spiritual, and physical strength that I want to obtain. I know, thats a lot, and I know there are certain things that I need to do to become this woman. I’m writing down the characteristics of this person I want to be. If there is certain things I need to improve upon, I need to figure out how I’m gonna make that happen. I’m also gonna share these goals with a friend that I truly believe wants the best for me and loves me enough to be honest with me. This is a good idea because it holds you accountable and sometimes you also need another set of eyes. Sometimes you don’t see the beauty in yourself that others see and completely opposite of that, you don’t always see your faults. A true friend is always good to lift you up or set you straight when needed, and knowing what they say is in love makes it better to handle. 

Two thoughts to leave you with. Remember…a goal not written down is only a wish and the choices you make today affect how you feel and look tomorrow. 

DREAM BIG, my friends! 

Jan
01

I’ll be honest. Of my 30 years on earth, 2012 wasn’t my favorite. I mean, I still enjoyed it! How could I not with all my blessings? I truly am a person that can say I count them daily. I don’t ever want the Lord to think I’m ungrateful, but the total opposite, I’m thankful! (sorry I always love to get Dr. Seussy when the opportunity arises.) I’m thankful for the best friends and family on this earth (my rulebook clearly states this is true.) That’s right. Better than any others. 😉 I’m thankful for a job, that when I go in each morning I’m greeted with smiles and we begin the day with prayer. I’m thankful to have been a part of team fitbody this year even if I didn’t get to compete. I cheered on my best friends as they walked on that stage and I truly get more joy from that than competing myself. I also met new hearts that I’ll cherish forever. I’m thankful for my strength, my health, the food I eat, the clothes I wear… I think you get the point. Bottom line is, My life is too good to dwell on the bad. So no need to list the negatives of 2012. They only break my heart. I like when my heart smiles much more 🙂

So I’m here to present something cool for you to do in 2013. My friend, Hooker, found this idea (on pinterest I’m sure. Btw, I gave up on pinterest a long time ago. If you’re following me, you may wanna stop. I won’t post anything new.). So, here’s the idea. This January, You start writing down the good things that happen to you throughout the year and place the notes in a jar or box. On New Years eve 2013, open the jar or box, whatever, and read the good things that happened throughout the year. I bet in 365 days your jar will be full. Reflect on these blessings and thank God for each of them. Ask Him to bless you even more in 2014. So much more that you have to buy a bigger or 2nd container. I’m gonna do this, and a few of my bff’s are too. I already can’t wait till the end of the year to reflect on  the amazingness that happened in my life.
God bless you in 2013. May your life be filled with health, happiness, and love. 🙂  

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Dec
30

I’ve been staring at the curser blinking on this blank screen for 10 minutes…maybe if I just start typing, my fingers will just continue…  SO, adrenal fatigue, my body is totally in it! What is it? Adrenal Fatigue in short is when the adrenal glands become exhausted and unable to produce adequate quantities of hormones, primarily cortisol….Whoa! Wait a minute. I thought cortisol was bad for you? Well, too much is, just as too little can also wreak havoc on ones body. What causes it? STRESS. Emotional and physical. From school, jobs, loss of jobs, loss of loved ones, to lack of sleep, overtraining and under eating (competing did NOT do this to me)…BUT hold on, heres the kicker,…it may not be adrenal fatigue at all. “your adrenals may be fine, they just may not be getting the signal from your pituitary that screams “WORK ADRENALS! Make progesterone, DHEA, Testosterone, cortisol, etc. make the thyroid work!” Are you confused yet? Yeah? ME TOO!!!! I’ve been researching, I’ve been resting, I tried gluten free, I take thyroid meds, I’m supplementing with hormones (progesterone and DHEA), supplement with all kinds of vitamins, minerals and oils…ohhhhh, and take an anti-anxiety pill every night, not because I’m anxious but because my body isn’t producing adequate levels of seratonin and whatever else it needs to fall asleep, so to rest I take something that my body doesn’t even need to trick my brain into sleeping…sighx100!

Lets back track…so back at this time a year ago I was a few months deep into contest prep. I was getting lower on calories and heavier on the cardio (my decision. Not a trainers). Body wasn’t budging. A few months later my trainer asked me to stop and go see a doctor…after a saliva test and many tubes of blood later, the doc tells me that I’m in extreme adrenal fatigue, my thyroid was low, my progesterone and testosterone levels were way way below normal, cortisol was also way low, and I may be a case that she can’t solve, that an mri of my brain and an endocrinologist may be my answer, bc a mass may be blocking signals from my brain…but until I get insurance we will just have to treat it as Adrenal Fatigue…on a side note, my cholesterol, blood pressure and gut were “beautiful” and she also complemented me by saying that for what she sees on paper I am functioning in everyday life much better than expected (that’s right because I’m not average ;). After the above vitamins and medications prescribed to me, she also recommended, rest rest rest, more calories and a lot less working out (grrrrr)…. Fast forward to today. After about 10 months of this what has happened? I have had a few periods that I hadn’t had in 4 years and never have been regular even with meds, I do sleep longer and better on most occasions, I still laugh everyday, I love others maybe more than I ever have in my life,…but I avoid looking in the mirror as much as possible bc I don’t love the body I see. And I haven’t liked the person inside as much the last 2 weeks bc I have fallen victim to giving up my healthy diet because, a) screw it. I gain on healthy calories and b.) I had a few bad situations arise this month and I didn’t have “time” to be healthy…(I gave myself a good talkin today. It went like this) whatever, Erin, you just became that person you don’t like, the one who makes excuses for themselves, and blames the world on their bad decisions. THAT. ISNT. YOU. I don’t care if you gain weight eating healthy or unhealthy, healthy is the right decision. Just because the diet isn’t doing things for your outside appearance, your inside still matters, and matters more! You’ve secretly been beating yourself up for months, because you don’t “look” fit anymore. You think that people who used to look to you as an inspiration now whisper behind your back “what happened to her? Looks like she’s fallen off the wagon.” Well, you don’t know if people are talking or not and you really need to get over that. WAKE. UP. ERIN. Be that person your really are. The fighter, the optimist, the motivator. That’s the real you. I want her back…

WHEW! Breathe. A friend told me today, “it’s okay to be pissed”, and another told me earlier this week, “it’s okay to cry, you don’t have to be strong ALL the time.” They’re right. But what isn’t an option is giving up. I had myself talked into cardio again next week, despite doctors orders, then I ran across some articles of women going through the same thing. Some took 12 months, some are still in the midst of it going on 20 months. I’ve read stories of women who had a mass that was blocking the signal from their pituitary and once it was fixed they got off all medicines. I don’t know how long this will take…is it adrenal fatigue that my body has caused itself due to mental and physical stress, or is it an easy fix in my brain that I couldn’t control? Who knows! All I know is I’m blessed. There could be a lot worse issues than what I have going on. My 36 year old brother in law had a stroke 3 weeks ago and we almost lost him. He has a 32 year old wife and a 4 year old boy who need him. I’d trade spots with him and not think twice about it if I could, and I’m sure he’d take my issues any day over what he’s going through right now. I have the best family and friends in the world, and I have a loving God in my heart. Another friend contacted me this week and told me she needed to relay this message from above “I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU.” NOPE. He has never left me. A couple of years ago I started praying for wisdom and I asked Him to make me the strongest woman I could possibly be, spiritually, mentally and physically. How do I expect to become that person if I don’t go through hard times and learn lessons? So for now, goals have changed…get that insurance I need, seek knowledge from anyone who is willing to share, rest as much as possible, eat a clean healthy diet (its not always about your appearance), become stronger in my faith, lift heavy to keep that muscle I’ve earned, treat everyday as a gift, laugh and love more than ever before, listen and learn what God is trying to teach me, be there for others, and keep motivating them to reach their goals. This is just another chapter in my story…trust me this isn’t the end.