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“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” -Brian Tracy

I’ve been presented recently with several opportunities to step outside my comfort zone. I like to think of them as not so gentle shoves from God. πŸ˜‰

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by the friend that teaches a doggie manners class at our local dog club to cover the class last week while she was out of town. The first thing that struck me was that I said yes without hesitation. The old me would have totally freaked out and come up with a thousand excuses why I couldn’t Or at the very least pushed it off on someone else. And guess what? It went amazingly well. I had the skills, just not the confidence in myself.

The second time, I was at a recovery function. Which is big for me anyway because in the past I would avoid any social situation whatsoever. Anyway, a bunch of people were playing volleyball. I did my normal sit on the sidelines deal, but someone asked me to play. Which normally would have been met with pretty much “Hell, NO!” But something has changed. So I agreed. Now this may not seem like a big deal to many people, but let me tell you I can count the number of times I’ve participated in group sports on my fingers and have fingers left over. And the number of times I’ve played volleyball? Um, if I ever have I don’t remember doing it. So yeah, way out of my comfort zone. And of course, I totally sucked. But SO WHAT? I still had fun.

A week later, I got asked my someone in my recovery group if I would be willing to present her clean time medallion if her sponsor couldn’t make it (due to a death in the family). My reply? “Of course!” Let me tell you, public speaking about ranks up there with dental work for me BUT the thing I have now that I never had before is willingness. Willingness to be open to trying new things. And the ability to follow through. Recovery has taught me this, and for that I am so grateful.

There are so many things I do now, both in and out of recovery, that are way outside my comfort zone. Pure Barre for one. I feel like uncoordinated cow who is totally out of place. I am surrounded, literally, by a room full of mostly young skinny women who dress like they are at a fashion show. They seem to have no problems executing every move and not making ugly pain faces or cussing out loud. HAH! But it’s all ok. And it’s good for me. Eating clean was once way out of my comfort zone. I had no idea what that even meant. But now, it’s a lifestyle, not a struggle. Heck, at one point boot camp was even out of my comfort zone. Theses days I’m encouraging others to come.

So I got to thinking that every time I get pushed out of my comfort zone, and I don’t resist, I grow. I don’t always enjoy growing. Growing pains can be a bitch. But the result I get from it is worth it. Not staying in the same place would be even more painful, and I’m just not willing to stay the same. Staying the same will take me back to places I’m not willing to go. My life today is just too good.Β Moving out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be a giant leap. Baby steps are still forward motion. And that’s the goal, mine anyway. Keep moving forward and keep growing. What are you doing to step out of yours?images-3

So yeah. This morning I totally forgot to feed my child breakfast. F O R G O T. We weren’t running any more late than normal. He wasn’t being obstinant about getting ready. I just plain forgot. I’m human. So I stopped at the Texaco on the way to his summer program and bought him cheez-its and orange juice. Yep. Mother of the Year, right here.

Here’s the thing. I tend to focus on the things I do wrong, both with my child and with myself, rather than all the things I do RIGHT. Does my child eat crap for breakfast every day? Absolutely NOT. A typical breakfast includes eggs and fruit and/or organic cereal. Occasionally pancakes with maple syrup and real butter. Sometimes bacon. He usually eats real food for for lunch and dinner as well.

I haven’t been as great with my food choices as I usually am. I’m still eating mostly real food, but the amount of junk in my diet has gone from 10-20 percent to maybe 30. For a few weeks there it was about 40-50. And I’ve gotten back into the diet soda habit. And these are the things I focus on. But the reality is, when I’m eating 30 percent “not clean” foods and even junk foods, I’m still eating 70 percent whole, real foods. And that’s HUGE coming from someone who used to eat 100 percent JUNK. Never ever fresh organic fruits and veggies. NEVER water. And I’ve greatly reduced the number of diet drinks I consume. I used drink nothing else. Now I drink a variety of other things. And that’s what I should be focusing on. I exercise very regularly, and I am generally healthier than I have ever been in my life. And yet… I notice my weight, my imperfections, my “failings” more than anything else.

A facebook conversation with my sister in law reminded me what I want to live: progress not perfection. In ALL areas of my life. I want to be as gentle and encouraging with myself as I am with people I love. My child will not die because one day he ate crap for breakfast. And it will happen again. But it won’t happen all the time. There will be days I eat more crap than normal. But it won’t happen every day. It’s always a process. And that’s okay with me.

It’s finally gone online. The food plan I’m using to jumpstart my weight loss back and improve my eating habits. It’s done by my personal trainer and it’s pretty awesome. Here’s the link:

I’m also adding a little challenge into my exercise routine to kick things up. It’s a 30 day glute challenge. I just started today (June 1st). You can find details here:

Today’s been a pretty good day food wise. I’m down 11.5 lbs, which is not my official week 4 weigh in yet. Did Pure Barre in addition to my glute challenge.Β 

Things I ate today:

eggs with spinach and goat cheese, fresh strawberries, sprouted grain bread with raw almond butter, pasta with fresh pesto, chicken breast with bbq sauce, rice/nut crackers with goat cheese, blackberries with cottage cheese, and of course lots of water! πŸ™‚

It’s my last day of a child free week, and my husband’s been on an all day hike, so I’ve been chilling out listening to 80s music, playing online, and hanging out in my new favorite yoga pose, the inversion. May take an epsom salt bath later too and read my book. Don’t forget to take some down time and reward yourself (with something besides food!)Β 

I’ve been kind of silent the last few days because I haven’t had much to say. I’ve had a slow couple of days. I haven’t worked out as much except today. I haven’t eaten as well. And that’s OK. I’m taking a night off this evening. I’m having a date night with my husband and I’ll be eating wood fired pizza from the farmer’s market, and having popcorn at the movie. It’s ok to slow down now and then. It’s ok not to be 100 percent. Just as long as I don’t let it stop me from moving forward.

I also got a huge reality check the other day. A horrible crash happened just up the street from my house. It threw me for a loop. Things like that make you appreciate where you are and how short life can be.. especially after having lived through a husband almost dying in an accident and losing a brother in a fatal car accident when I was younger. It made me realize how much I need to keep things in perspective. My health is important to me. It can all be gone in an instant, and I want to make the most of the time I have, and do the things that make my life worth living. Spending time with family and taking care of myself are part of that. And gratitude is important too. I am so grateful for so many things in my life, especially my family and my recovery. I can forget to be grateful for all the things I do have. Writing a gratitude list at the end of the day helps me. I try to list five things every night. It’s important to focus on the positive. It’s also important that I remain grateful for where I am in my journey, not just where I’m trying to go.

Take a moment to pause and just be grateful.


Today, I jog/walked a 5K (3.1 mile). It started off fairly well. I was making pretty good time by my own standards. Then, about halfway through, my asthma kicked in. Totally my fault, I had stopped using my maintenance inhaler months ago when I had my shoulder surgery and stopped running regularly. But there I was. Coughing and wheezing a bit, and using my inhaler. I reluctantly made the decision that I needed to walk, possibly the rest of the way. And so I did.

And then, after I’d had about a mile to recover (with maybe half a mile left), I began to run slowly again. But then I decided I’d walked this far, and stopped running. A stranger next to me said, “keep running, you’re almost done!” I sighed. He said, “run slowly, I’ll run with you.” And I finished it running. It took me a little over 45 minutes. But I finished. And that’s perhaps a bigger victory than the personal best run I’d had last month. Because I could have given up, but I have learned that persistence is what gets me where I need to go. I didn’t have to run fast or even run at all. I just had to keep moving forward.

This is true in my life, in my recovery, in my fitness journey, in my relationships… There is no point when giving up is a solution to anything. If I try, eventually I get where I’m going. It may be slow, it may not look how I planned, but I get there. All I need is the courage to start and the persistence to keep going, even when I get knocked down. If I want it bad enough, I will find a way to keep moving. If not, I’ll find an excuse. Today I choose to keep moving forward.


After a rough couple of days food wise, I’d made up my mind to follow the food plan more closely. Only, my life circumstances dictated otherwise. Saturday, I had to make a trip into Birmingham to drop my son off with his grandma for the week. Sunday, I ended up eating out for lunch, and then had to attend a potluck gathering with some of my church family. I could have let these things derail me like I kind of had the previous days. But I had made up my mind I wasn’t going to eat crap. And so I didn’t. Lunch at Chickfila on Saturday: a grilled chicken salad with nuts, blue cheese, apples, and berries. (I believe it’s called the grilled market salad.). Dinner at Zoe’s was some grilled steak kabobs with veggies and a few potatoes. Lunch on Sunday (at Moe’s) I had a bowl dish (rather than with a tortilla) filled with veggies, black beans, steak, and a little sour cream. At the potluck, I piled my plate with fresh cherries, apples, cheese slices, a big greek salad, and a little bit of plain bbq (my other meat choices were hamburgers and hot dogs.) I didn’t even have anything I felt exceptionally guilty about all weekend. BUT if I had, it would have been okay too.

The difference between these two days and the last two was only my mindset and a little planning in my head of what I was going to do. I also did not let myself get too hungry. I had been keeping with my steady eating all day. I snacked in the car on rice/nut crackers and raw pumpkin seeds. Even though I wasn’t able to follow my food plan at all, I was able to use the knowledge I’ve learned from clean eating (which I think is the point) to get me where I needed to be. Sometimes what you think you are capable of and what you are actually capable of are worlds apart. I never saw myself as strong and determined and yet here I am, improving myself every day. Most things never seem possible until they are done.


Can you be both? Absolutely! Is there room for improvement? Always. I’m a work in progress. I hope that I’m never not working on improving myself.

I struggle with body image every day. Even though I’m the fittest and within 15 pounds of the least I’ve ever weighed since college. I still have excess body fat. I’m still considered overweight based on my BMI (just barely below obese range.) And yet? I have completed over a dozen 5Ks. I’ve completed a Dirty Girl obstacle mud run. I do an adventure boot camp 5 days a week. I do Pure Barre. Many people that weigh less than me (and have significantly less body fat) do not and cannot do these things. I need to remember to celebrate my body rather than criticize it. Because it can (and does) do amazing things.

I’ve had a rough couple of days food wise. I haven’t been totally horrible but definitely off plan and not eating as clean as I would like. I’m trying to refocus on following the Fix Fat food plan I’ve been using. I am ending week 3/6. I am having a much better day today so far. Organic scrambled eggs, spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese for breakfast with a side of strawberries, an apple and raw peanut butter for snack. And a pure barre workout.

And even though the number on the godawful scale went up, I was able to fit into a smaller pair of jeans yesterday and zip them up! That means muscle is developing in place of fat. And that feels awesome. This is what motivates me. Progress not perfection.


May 23, 2013

Today was supposed to be a new day. Well, to be fair, it actually is a new day. Just not necessarily a better one. It was ONE OF THOSE DAYS. I fully intended to get back on track with my eating, and feel more in control than I did yesterday. My day had other plans. Between oversleeping, lost keys, spilled breakfast, almost car accidents, and other assorted minor fiascoes, I managed to come out relatively unscathed. But what I didn’t do was plan. I got a much needed reminder today that I help create my own chaos.

I found myself out and about having not eaten my morning snack or having planned for lunch. So I took myself out to lunch and had a greek salad with steak. Super yummy. Later that evening, at the farmer’s market with my son, I gave in to the handmade artisan pizza I’d been eyeing. Not too horrible, I had mine topped with spinach, goat cheese, portabellas, and kalamata olives. Could have done without all that crust, but hey, it was good. πŸ™‚

No exercise today, it was a planned and much needed rest day. Also didn’t do great on the diet sodas, I had two. But considering all the crap I wanted to eat and drink today, I’ll still call today a win. I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to keep moving forward.

And? Tomorrow is another day. πŸ™‚


I’m struggling today. Wondering why I’m doing this when I could be eating crap. I mean, I know WHY I’m doing it but I do get frustrated sometimes. I have to remember that it’s about progress, not perfection and even when I don’t eat all clean food I am still changing my habits and my health. I didn’t even eat too terribly bad today, just not all that balanced. Β I did exercise, 55 minutes of pure barre. And I’m really looking forward to my well earned rest day tomorrow.

I definitely struggle with letting some minor setback ruin my outlook. I’m trying to work on that, not just with food but in all areas of my life. I can let a small glitch in a goal derail me, and end up listening to all the negativity in my head. The thing is, we ALL have bumps in the road.. nobody’s road is straight and smooth. I try to talk to myself the way I would to a friend, because I would never say the things I say to myself to anyone else.

It helps me to remember my smaller goals, and to take one day at a time. I can get to focused on how far I have to go. I have to refocus and remember why I set my goals in the first place. Don’t let a bad day or a negative thought process derail you. We all have down days. It doesn’t make us any less awesome.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Today’s been kind of a blah day. I’ve not really had a lot of energy and not really wanted most of the foods on my plan. So I just ate good food today and didn’t stress too much over it. For example, didn’t feel like making dinner any my son wanted Nothing But Noodles, so I ate a pear and balsamic spinach salad and some tofu on the side for a little extra protein.

I did do Pure Barre today, but I’ve been really tired all day (plus didn’t sleep well), so I napped for a few hours. I’m learning to listen to my body and give it what it needs. Sleeping at night has always been a struggle for me but I know that eventually my body will get the rest it needs.

I made it to the farmer’s market today as well. Didn’t by a lot but got some goat cheese, hummus, some more kale to make kale chips (I burned the last batch!) and a bunch of strawberries to dehydrate some and freeze some.

I find myself wanting junk food less and less even when I see other people having it. Last night I was at a meeting where there was red velvet cake, and I honestly didn’t really want it. I’m sure that won’t always be the case, but it’s good to know sometimes I don’t have to battle quite so much to turn stuff down. I can rely on the results I’m getting and the way I’m feeling to empower me to continue to make better choices. (Or as my trainer says, “better bad choices,” because sometimes that’s what it comes down to…)

Thought for the day:

β€œIt’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t… It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” – James Gordon