No one said it would be easy…

Monday through Friday my alarm is set for 4:10am…yes 4:10AM! However, that has not always been the case. I use to wake up around 5:30am to get the family and me ready for work and school. During the week, the routine was the same; work work work work work (in my Rihanna voice) and maybe once or twice a week I would go to the gym before work. On weekends, I would attempt to go to the gym but that was not always a priority. The problem with this “routine” was that it was NOT a routine. There was NO consistency in my workout and there definitely was no planning around what I ate. I felt very uncomfortable in my skin and frustrated that I would see no results, which led to no motivation, just excuses. People would tell me that I looked fine, ask me why I was complaining, sure I ranged from a size 4 to a size 6, so I was never obese, but I had a different vision of me and no one really got that.

One day I was talking to my mentor, complaining that I had no time to workout, “I get up at 5:30am and usually do not get home until about 6pm, I have my 1year old that doesn’t stop, my teenagers that don’t help, I don’t know how to fit the fitness into my life and be consistent.” And of course he brings me back to reality by reminding me that I am just lining up my excuses. He asked me, “what is a consistent workout routine supposed to look like?” You see, I was thinking about it all as something that needed to fit neatly into this box labeled “LIFE” when in reality I needed to stomp on that box and JUST DO IT (like Nike). Work life was not going anywhere, my kids were not going to change, traffic wasn’t going to give me back time and there was NO magic pill that was going to give me the body I longed for. So I had a decision to make…continue in my “routine” or make shit happen!

A friend of mine had become a Beachbody Coach and she would often approach me about joining her. Of course I knew about the Beachbody programs but I didn’t have the money to do that (another excuse). The reality was, I obviously did not want “IT” enough. Well, after much back and forth, hubby and I decided to take the 21 Day Fix Extreme challenge and do something about our health. We started the journey July 19, 2015 with no excuses! Yep that’s me at the start…

We worked out in the evening after our little guy went to bed (30 minute kick butt workout at home). I prepared all of our meals and snacks according to the meal plan (portion control was key, but we had the containers that helped). We stuck to the plan for 21 days, even though the last 7 days included our family vacation in Orlando with our kids and the amusement parks. For that week we prepared our wraps and snacks on the go instead of eating fast food, we worked out in the hotel and skipped all the indulging food we would have devoured on any other occasion. Those 21 days of commitment were evident on the 22nd day and thus our journey continued…

Though my journey is far from perfect and I am trying to get back to the results I first had, I have accepted that this is a journey. Sometimes it will be fun, other times it will require a big kick in the butt to stay on track, and sometimes I will be run over by the band wagon…BUT I no longer lead with excuses and I became a Beachbody coach (click for My Beachbody site) myself. Sure, I spend a good 3hours during the weekend preparing meals for hubby and I for the week, I workout 5 to 7 days out of the week but it usually does not take more than 40min, and yes I still indulge in my peanut m&m’s when life calls for it. No one said it would be easy…but how bad do you really want “IT”? What ever that “IT” may be for you…STOP WITH THE EXCUSES, enjoy the journey. And yes, even though I am still not working, my alarm still is set for 4:10am so that I can continue motivating my hubby and myself and setting an example for our kids. What excuses have you given up? What results have you gained?

Chase the dream!

Over the weekend my husband and I took our little human to the movies to see Boss Baby. We sat in our seats with popcorn and treats in hand and settled in for the coming attractions. There was one particular coming attraction that caught my eye. It was about a little girl and boy that lived an orphanage and they decide to leave and follow their dreams. As I watched the trailer for the movie my eyes filled with tears…when did I stop chasing my dreams? In that minute or so of the coming attractions for that movie (Leap) my soul seemed to drift away into the realm of possibilities that I have tucked away into the corner of fear and daydreams. My heart sunk…how can I dare encourage my kids to dream big and follow those dreams when I am not leading (or leaping) by example?

The funny thing is that when I am in my role of “training and development professional” I am willing, able, and often itching to take those LEAPS of faith to create the perfect environment for my learners. I relish in the whole process of planning my activities, gathering information about my participants, setting up the classroom or the virtual training with unexpected visuals and resources, and just giving them my all. Oh it’s SO much fun to see my learners grow, hear their stories, and know that even though they came in dragging feet (yes, many have admitted to it), they are leaving with enthusiasm and knowledge they never expected. It’s my passion and it’s a role I am quite confident in (even though I still get VERY nervous before each class/workshop). How many of you can relate? Air high five to you!!! However, when I am in the role of ME…I am a bit lost…what?!? I have been playing the role of “me” for 40 years, 2 months, 3 days and counting. I should have this down packed, but I don’t. You see, I have developed this method called “EXCUSES” that keeps me from taking those leaps (opportunities to Learn Explore Ascertain Prosper Shine). Although, I must say that thanks to my mentor…Jim AKA Mr. Energy AKA No Excuses…whenever I hear that excuse coming on, his voice pops in my head and reminds me…THAT’S AN EXCUSE. Sometimes I listen, but sometimes I let fear take over. 

So here we are again in the “If Only…Then…” crossroad. I am 40 years old and not getting any younger. The years are flying by and each moment lived is a moment we will never get back. If only I could duplicate that passion I have in the classroom into my LIFE, then I can stop dreaming and start DOING!! What dreams do you have? When will you stop the excuses and take those L.E.A.P.S of faith?

When did we stop asking WHY?

When I became a parent for the first time almost 14 years ago, my first son skipped the terrible two’s and the never ending “why” stage. WHEW!!! I was spared BIG TIME! (Or so I thought…I am getting ALL of the teenager stages, I guess they call that “balance”). Speaking of balance, I now have a 3 year old and he has followed the stereotypical toddler stages roadmap to THE T! We are currently knee deep in the “WHY?” stage. I mean heavily in that stage. EVERY sentence out of his adorable little mouth either begins with a WHY or ends with a WHY. Some of his questions are easy to respond to, but others just leave me at a loss. “Momma, why does the truck have so many tires?” “Momma, why did the people leave that there?” “Why does fluffy (our dog) have toys?” “Why is it raining?” “Momma, why is there poop coming out of my butt?” “Momma, where are those cars going? Why?” By the end of that walk or drive with my all too inquisitive toddler I am out of words and responses and clinching to…”because Momma said so” or “I don’t know”.

Yesterday, as I tucked my lil guy in bed, read a book and answered about 7 more WHY questions…I started to wonder, when did we stop asking “WHY”? When did we ultimately stop asking questions? There is SO much coming at us every single day and in so many different forms…texts, phones, emails, meetings, kids, spouses, house duties, television, work, social life, AHHHHH!! It’s no wonder we have the tendency to go into auto-pilot mode, just get things done and keep on moving so we can get to the next “thing”. What would happen if we stopped and asked “why”? Why do we need that meeting? Why are we maintaining the status quo? Why don’t we consider this instead? Why didn’t this opportunity/relationship work out? Did we stop asking because well, we are adults, we are suppose to have the answers? Or did we stop asking because we are afraid of the response?

It is NO secret that communication is the foundation of ANY relationship. The importance of asking questions, questions that make an impact and unravel the doubts and often misdirection we create in our heads is KEY in building that foundation. As a training and development professional I have had the opportunity to facilitate many communication trainings and have observed even the most experienced executives struggle with asking questions. It’s a skill, a skill that goes hand in hand with listening…the Mom and Pop of COMMUNICATION. When we are confronted with a situation that requires us to dig deeper and ask high impact questions, very often we take the route of sticking to surface questions, safe questions, questions that we know we can answer should roles be reversed. WHY? There is so much more we can learn if we just stop and ask WHY?

So granted, while my toddler has his “why” questioning skill mastered, he still has ways to go with his listening skills (as does every member in my household, including myself). However, this little human has reminded me that I need to stop more often, turn off the auto-pilot mode and ask questions. Who knows, I may learn something new. So, the next time you are thrown a new project, task, or assignment and you are not clear…ASK QUESTIONS. What do you have to lose? Better yet, what can you gain? If only we asked more questions, then…