Attitude is Everything: Fat chick at a Fitness Conference 2.0

I just just stuffed my backpack above me, and sank into my plane seat. I take a deep breath and close my eyes with relief. Im ready to head home and see my family.

I’m exhausted.

Sunburned.

Dehydrated.

And definitely, hungover.

But I feel like I just won the lottery.

My heart is full.

My LIFE is full.

I look down at myself and and survey the scene:

Even though I’m still squeezed in close to my favorite travel teammate, I’m buckled into my chair with ease. It just keeps getting easier and easier for me to travel! I say a silent prayer of thanks, knowing how HARD this has all been for me before.

Walking down the isle of the plane, my sides no longer brush and bump the peoples arms, and it feels amazing to not have to apologize for my existence…walking that gauntlet of shame.

I’m wearing pajama pants, a Palm Springs conference tee, purple shoes, and my purple running man, manicured nails are clutching my purple water bottle and brand new copy of “Love Work” by Chuck Runyon. I notice my “persist” running man, flame tattoo on my wrist and wonder if I’ve not just stepped into overkill territory?

I’m a hot-AF-post-conference MESS!!!!! But, I LOVE IT.

You see, last year I struggled.

( You can read all about that here: https://mandimonblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/fat-chick-at-a-fitness-conference/ )

Last year, I was still trying to be invisible. Despite my efforts, I was still battling with shame, discomfort and embarrassment with my body. And, If I’m being completely honest, not much has changed for me physically in a year. I’m down about 30 more pounds from the Lake Placid Conference. I’ve gained muscle and more endurance, but this time the weight I’m most proud of losing, was in my heart and mind.

This year I was was promoted to manager of my Anytime Fitness club, and I took that position of leadership VERY seriously. I have battled with that dark part of myself that felt fearful and unworthy. I finally surrendered to the fact that my value as a leader was NOT based on a certain number on the scale. If that were the case, I wouldn’t have been offered the position, right?

Being FAT is NOT the worst thing a person can be.

Your value and worth as a human is not worth less if you are fat. But being miserable, ashamed, depressed, suffering with pain and barely alive IS the WORST thing a person can be. And THAT is what has changed for me with the magic of fitness. THAT is what I LIVE to show the people who come into my gym everyday. The scale will move…but I must PERSIST.

My value is here NOW. It always HAS BEEN. I decided to OWN the fact that I am “representing a possibility”.

Ive decided to OWN the fact that I actually have an advantage with my size, and that WONT last forever.

I have the ability to say,” Look at me…I work HERE. I workout HERE. I was changed HERE. I found out who I truly am in HERE. I was welcomed and loved HERE…and so are YOU.”

It has been the most powerful year of my life. Realizing that all of the members in my gym, that I have the honor of representing, are looking to me as an example of persistence, and they are proud of me…that is enough to snap me out of any self doubt or sabotage.

There have been MANY struggles and setbacks…and times where my confidence and resolve was shaken, but there has been a permanent shift in me, and it SHOWED itself this week in Palm Springs.

No longer was I desperately trying to blend in and disappear. I just literally, let it all hang out, and allowed myself to just be MYSELF.

Proudly, alongside my team…my family… just like I am everyday in our clubs. Why would I want to come to conference and be anyone other that who I am everyday with my people?? If I’m constantly urging them to step outside of their comfort zone and believe in themselves…shouldn’t I be??!

Last year I was afraid to workout alongside 2,000 people for a world record breaking 3 minute workout. This year, I jumped into a live, 45 minute group session on the purple turf, in the middle of the trade show, with tons of people watching (and the AF corporate head trainer/she-hero herself, Rachel Prairie!) and did NOT CARE. I know what I am capable of.

This is it. This is who I am, and this is who has been given this amazing opportunity to live in the crazy fitness world and grind.

I TRULY was “hired to inspire” and I am so unbelievably grateful.

To my team, each and every one of you has made more of an impact on my life than you will ever know. You have made me one of you since DAY ONE and I am forever thankful for how you have changed my life and never let me give up. I’m so honored to live this life with you guys.

And, to Brandon and Amber Borden, my club owners, who just won the 2017 O2i of the Year Runningman Award…thank you.

Thank you for changing my life, and then taking a crazy risk in hiring me, believing in me and pushing me to be better and better and BETTER. I am so proud and honored to be on #teamborden and am SO EXCITED the whole AF world got to see/hear how amazing and special you two are. Also, I’m sorry I “Kanye-ed” you on stage. With all this new confidence…I do declare, I literally could not help myself. 😜

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Gone Fishin’

 

 

Hundreds of friends on social sites but the sight-seeing I do is always alone.

Scenic routes to nowhere.

Breath taking views that always prelude
breath taking falls.

Pride is a faulty fence that won’t hold under your weight.

Especially mine.

I leaned in to rest and got too comfortable.

And I have been trying to dig myself out since.

I hate myself for it.

Because questions only give birth to more questions.

Conversations turn into more conversations.

Everyone is SURE of everything, which is really nothing.

Daring to dig deep but deep thinking doesn’t pay the bills.

 

Talk really IS cheap.

 

I prefer writing poems lately instead.

I like the indirect way it guts my soul.

It  holds me  under the  faucet, like a  fish.

Spilling cold water, blood and secrets.

Baited and hooked.

Filet of fresh foolishness.

Piercing the knife through my belly and up toward that trouble making throat where my voice always escapes me.

Running thumbs up my spine to clear all the waste, (just like you taught me) because no one else is gonna do it.

The sharp blade of reality will scrape the scales and dirt that burden you,

but it never really clears it all.

It only accumulates to add character and flavor.

Wrapped in garlic butter and foil and thrown to the fire to become something worthy of the fight.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Summer Prayer

 

If fire is honor, then we’ll stand and let it burn.

Hot and loud as it calms into a deep burning midnight.

Popping and clapping its truths.

Glowing red and warm; a blanket of appreciation.

Shadows of flames dancing on our faces as we gather around and listen.

 

If water is pure,

let us strip off these pretenses and plunge in.

Washing away all of the expectations.

Easing the heavy weight from our bones, bathing us fresh and new.

 

If the earth is nakedness,

let us run.

Let us take to the fields and carry ourselves to the edges of sight.

Let us stomp our feet in the dust,
to the sound of drums.
Dancing unashamed.

Like the children who still live hidden away
under the layers piled on our hearts.

Let us uncover these wounds and expose them to the open air for healing.

 

If the stars are mystery,

let us follow their lead.

Surrendering our proud explanations and false humility.

Gazing upon the vastness and treasuring the wonder that we are so eager to dismiss.

 

If the moon is lonely,

let us be a friend.

Let us set ourselves aside and turn our faces toward each other.

Let us see what we don’t want to see.

Let us forgive and be forgiven.

 

If the sun is victory,

let it burn brilliant and forever.

Let us turn our faces upward in unison to soak up the radiance that is promised.

Let us lift our hands together in thanks.

Like warriors,
moments away from an earned homecoming.

Finishing strong and whole.

 

 

 

Miracle Grow

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” And she had a will like a root; it was sometimes hidden underground, but it was there, tough and fibrous and sustaining everything she did.”

My cheeks burn as I try to stand my ground.
Speaking my mind.
Having the audacity to challenge credentials.

Hold on tight… I can feel my grip slipping.
And I realize I’m done,
done and onto the next one.

Are friendships supposed to be this hard?
Is this the easy and light yoke that was promised?
What happened to fellowship and sharpening of swords?

It feels so heavy,
but everything about me is heavy, so maybe it’s just me.
Agreeing that yes, I need to die to myself.
So I try.
And try and try and try.
And it chips away at what is left.

And with it,
the belief in grace for all.
Pardon for all.
Faith for all.
Because, it’s taken me so long to figure this thing out,
and now it’s ruined.

Guilt regulating this frigid temperature.
Nothing can grow on this plot.
Hard like a rock.
You can blame yourself.

If I’m rebellious?

Bitter?

I’m disobedient because my back straitened taller when I challenged what you said?

Am I obnoxious because my voice is raised often, and with passion?

Am I lost because I can’t fake what I don’t believe?

The little root and sprout of the woman I’m supposed to be has been curled up and hidden beneath the dark soil.

The earth is fresh and damp and warming up under the beating sun.

Soon, there will be a new thing.

A bloom.

Rooted deeply and rooted onward by the ONE who created my lungs to fill with my own words.

I feel it coming back again,
the hints of something special.
That nudge that I was made for something special.
That you are special too.

Pound the shovel down and pierce what would have died,
with freedom.

I am exactly who I’m supposed to be.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:18

* the picture and quote I shared are from an Instagram account I follow
http://instagram.com/prettynpaleoatx *

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Get a move on!

I just sat down at my computer and cranked up the music.

Subwoofer and all.

It feels so  good.  First song to pop up on my Pandora (Love’s Holiday/Earth, Wind & Fire Radio, if you’re feeling funky) is  Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T”.  Just what I need to light a fire under my ass this morning to literally dust this thing off and get down to business.  He  sings,” don’t you know now is the perfect time…” and he’s right, it is.

It has been way to long.

I have been avoiding my blog, my writing and generally all things I enjoy for sometime now.  I don’t know why I do that?   Must be a part of the weird and continual self-abuse that is my default when times get stressful.   I tend to fold up shop on all things productive and go back to the old way of thinking and managing my emotions when something sucky happens. And yes, sucky stuff has happened.  But I am still here.  My family is doing well.  I have a roof over my head.  All is well. Gratitude washes away all the weariness that has threatened to take over.

The good news is, the time between my old default setting and the fresh and ambitious setting that I prefer is getting shorter and shorter.  Thanks be to God!  My desire to THRIVE is greater than the desire to be feel sorry for myself.

One of my best friends reminded me of a great quote yesterday by the legendary Tony Robbins, “motion is emotion.”

Motion is emotion. 

Our body language and energy level is connected to what we think and feel about ourselves.  How we feel about ourselves dictates the quality of what we do day in and day out.  Even though I feel as though I have to learned this lesson over and over…here it is again today and I’ll be damned if a negative attitude hadn’t snuck in and tried to take over again.  Which is a shame because I have so much to tell you guys about the past few months.  I have gone (mostly) sugar-free.  I have started Pilates.   I began acupuncture to help with managing my foot pain and also to promote healing so that I can get to where I want to get with my fitness goals.  I have been enjoying some great accomplishments!  Even though I have a long way to go, I can”t afford to pull the plug and crawl back into my comfortable cave where everything dulls and comes to a screeching stop just because it seems too overwhelming.

You can’t make momentum out of nothing.  

So today I will GET UP.

GET A MOVE ON.

Maybe put on some Beyoncé and get my groove on.  I will not lie down and let poor and lazy thinking allow me to slip into fatigue and depression (again).  I think this is a danger for any of us moms who stay at home during the day (but that is a whole other blog post!).  If I am making the choice to sit and marinate in all of my negative feelings and fears, how can I ever expect any changes to occur or progress?  This was where I always seemed to fail before.  Throwing in the towel and resorting back to the same old thing before the new thing could take hold.   Putting a halt on all of the things that help me feel better and do better  is about the worst thing I can do.

I will WRITE.

I will post it.  Even if it sucks.  Because I know I should.  Because I know it helps me feel better.  Because I know it helps connect me to everyone else who reads these words and resonates with what I feel, and I know I’m not alone.   Because I know it is my art and my gift and if I want to get better at it, I need to quit worrying about who will read it and what they will think of it.

It’s the perfect time.

Especially now that Pharrell and Daft Punk are in my ear telling me it”s time “to get lucky”.

 

 

 

 

 

An invalid writer is confronted with truth

I could possibly bore everyone I know with writing another unimportant blog post.
This fear has stunned me into a writing coma where I have slept for months,
waiting to feel a spark of inspiration that didn’t feel forced.

Why is it so quiet when it snows?
Is it because the cold hard truth makes you hold your breath and stand still?

Tell the truth?

Well here it is:

I want to make something meaningful.
Craft words and phrases of art.
Powerful.
Inspirational.

The point is to move souls…
Evoke motion…to see if anyone gets me?!
Really gets me?

Im just another copy cat, trying hard to lead the way.
At the end of the day, I just want to be someone important.
I want to be triumphant.
Beautiful.
Exciting.
I want an epic destiny.
I want to climb to the climax of this movie with a powerful score, and blow everyone’s minds with my tenacity.

How selfish, how selfish, how selfish.

The grip of control is tight with its counterfeit…and here I am again worried about me, me me.

My mind swirls with thoughts that are hard to package and share.
I guess thats why I’m a writer.

Lose myself to chance?
Ok.

Pen to paper spilling.
Pushing me to dig deeper.
Urging me forward and I’m forced to keep up.
Stumbling across the page with my words.

I fight against what comes naturally because that’s what good girls are taught to do.

When really, lets just get real…

I’d slice throats if I had to.
I’d steal if I thought God wouldn’t care.
My darkness is ever present.
Can’t trust my instinct because its always going to be sinful.

I’ve been paralyzed on this mat for a year.
Writhing in bitter pain and pity.
Laying here waiting for a miracle.

“Get up and walk.”

Warm light of love starting to thaw my frozen heart.

Praying that this time I’ll trust and obey,
to spring up off of this bed and be healed.


“One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” (John 5:5-9 ESV)

Grow up

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“Grow up! Let go of the baby bottles and pacifiers and grow up. You do not have to be ruled by your feelings, you CAN live your life without getting your way all the time. When you grow in maturity nobody can steal your peace.”
– Joyce Meyer

I’ll confess, I LOVE me some Joyce Meyer.

I often have Joyce (first name basis here) on in the morning before my kids get up. I like to make coffee and listen to her gruff, tell-it-like-it-is voice speak into my morning like a sassy pep talk from a favored old aunt. My friends have often teased me about my love for her because tele-evangelists have a shady track record…but every time I listen to her I learn something good.

When I heard her shout this gem at me this morning, it literally stopped me in my tracks.

Hit me right between the eyes.

Boomshakalaka.

“Grow up!”

Wow.
It really is THAT simple isn’t it?

My battle with disordered, compulsive binge eating has been examined in every way. I’ve unwrapped it and spread out its contents. I have flipped it over upside down and on its sides. I’ve folded it inside out. I’ve exposed every dark, dirty and shameful corner…all in hopes of finding some secret golden nugget of wisdom that would unlock this whole thing and set me free.

I’ve realized this morning what is so painfully obvious:
I’ve been acting like a big baby.

A baby is soothed with milk, pacifiers and swaddled bouncing when they scream and cry. We frantically change diapers and clothes if need be to assure our baby is warm and kept in dry, milky comfort. When they are newborn we jump into action to meet these needs diligently as needed for their survival. Every little squeak and squawk is tended to and fussed over.

Eventually we learn to create an appropriate balance. A feeding schedule and sleeping schedule is necessary. We learn to let the baby “cry it out” when they’re old enough so that it doesn’t learn to demand and command whatever it wants with screaming and fit throwing. (I know lots of moms who care for their babies in LOTS of different ways so there might be some who disagree with my methods here, but for now just go with it.)

If I apply this same thing to my own life it’s very telling. I’ve relied on (if not demanded!) food and eating to sooth my feelings. I’ve learned bad habits to quiet my anxieties and PACIFY me for awhile. But the time has come to grow up…and relearn how to live without my dependencies like a big girl. I’ve just HAD ENOUGH of it running and ruining my life. No one likes a cranky, spoiled baby.

When the time came to let my first born baby boy (pictured above) “cry it out” I knew I had to do it but it was agonizing that first night. I wanted to go in and pick him up but each time I did, it only taught him to scream harder and longer until I gave in. I knew logically that he wasn’t hungry, I knew he was dry and I knew he was safe. I would peek on him every 10 minutes or so to be sure and I would keep telling myself, “he is fed, dry and safe.” After about an hour he finally gave up and fell asleep. I peeked at him one last time, covered him up and with a heart full of relief and gratitude went to bed next to my husband and actually slept. 8 weeks old and he has been sleeping through the night ever since except for the occasional bout with sickness or whatever, but you get the idea.

I’m not saying that my struggle with food isn’t serious, obviously it’s a big deal that many women suffer from in different ways. I know I’m not alone. This is a painful and complicated road we’re on.
But this morning I’m feeling the call to a new level of spiritual maturity.

Maybe, despite how hard it will be and how loud my feelings scream at me…it’s just time to cry it out and tell myself I’m fed, dry and safe?

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Caught in a familiar trap

“Action expresses priorities”. – Mahatma Gandhi

I saw this quote roll across my Facebook newsfeed this morning. I stopped and stared at it and allowed it to quickly pierce my heart like a paring knife. Swift little jabs and twinges of guilt in acknowledgment that my actions really DO express my priorities.

Sadly, this is nothing to be proud of.

Lately I have been busy getting ready for camp, a cousins wedding and my family reunion. I’ve been busy and I prefer it that way. I’m a gal that likes pressure and a deadline. But my ol regular ho-hum daily routine would express that my priorities are snuggling with my kids, napping, internet rabbit holes, reading (a ton) and basically anything other than housework, yard work, or a general beautifying or primping of myself in any way.
(Make-up? bahahahah! )
This is shameful to admit, but this is Realology so I am bound to divulge the dirty, ugly truths as much as the golden ones.

I have good days where I’m on point and have my stuff together and things accomplished with a fabulous meal bubbling on the stove when my husband arrives from work in he evening. But most days, I allow myself the funk. My sister says these may be the signs of a depression? Gandhi says they are an expression.

Who knows?

I’ve been pondering the reality of a “stay at home mom depression”. When I google it a ton of things pop up. There has even been a Gallup poll done on the topic. (Check it out: http://www.gallup.com/poll/154685/stay-home-moms-report-depression-sadness-anger.aspx ) I have had many conversations with friends my age, moms who stay home. Moms who don’t. It seems we all suffer from this in some measure. But nobody really wants to admit it may be them. None of us really want to share that we need help and even if we did we wouldn’t accept it. We want to conquer and reign victorious as women. We want to give our families and households the very best of what we can, so when the best we’ve got is microwaved leftovers we feel like losers.

Boo.

So, that being said, how do we turn our priorities around?

How do we stop the cycle of feeling bad about self, perpetuating slack off, perpetuating more feelings of self loathing (which in my case, leads to a food binge) which only fuels more negative fire…so fourth and so on?

Ladies, am I all alone in this? How do you combat these kinds of feelings and avoid this deadly trap?

Musings from a hot car

July.

I can’t even believe it. Before we know it it’ll be the start of the holiday season. Time rushes by as an adult. As a kid, the summers were long and drawn out. Sticky and hot. Somehow the hotter the day, the more time seemed suspended. As if the hours would get stuck in the stale heat that left us bound in front of open windows, fans and Nickelodeon. We weren’t the kind of kids who grew up with air conditioning. But there were endless amounts of otter pops.

Yesterday, while waiting for my husband to run inside a store to pick something up real quick, the kids and I waited in the car for him. We had all 4 windows down and were only waiting for my hubs for about 8 minutes. You would have thought my children were gonna die. They couldn’t handle being hot. I couldn’t believe the fits that were thrown. They live in a comfortable, air conditioned existence.

Hmmmm.

This got me thinking. My husband and I both want to give our kids a life we didn’t have. We both came from families with lots of kids (me being the eldest of 4 and he being the second oldest of 5). When a family has lots of kids the money for extra curricular activities, sports, movies, and vacations is almost non-existent. We both wanted a small family so that we could afford to do these things with our kids, and raise them comfortably. Even having the TWO kids gets expensive! I honestly don’t know how people do it with more! Our friends with large families have often teased us about having more kids,
but we are confident in the decision we’ve made. But sometimes I wonder if we aren’t creating entitled and apathetic monsters in the process. I think that I am pretty strict with my kids. We have rules, chores, and consequences in our home. Yet, I still find myself asking so many questions. How do you take the best care of your children without spoiling them? How do you teach them work ethic and responsibly without cracking a whip? How can we instill gratitude and empathy from this air conditioned point of view?

Everyone has their opinions and techniques. Once upon a time I would have thought I knew exactly how to execute these things with my kids. Having worked in child care for 10 years I was confident that with every new stage I would know exactly what to do. Well, was that ever WRONG.

Bottom line? My kids are amazing. They have tender little hearts for people and animals that they have acquired in spite of me and my parenting. I know that God has a plan for their lives and loves them even more deeply than I do. I just want to get it right!

Sometimes it’s just hard to let to and trust.

Love covers over a multitude


“But LOVE. Love is eternal. Love never ends. The love we offer and receive in this world we’ll carry with us into the next. The greatest of these is love. When in doubt, I choose love above any particular ideas offered to me about faith.
And that means that I love my gay friends, without agenda. And I love my friends who believe that homosexuality is a sin, without agenda. And I love my friends who are terrified for my soul when I write this way, without agenda.”
– Glennon Melton, Momestary

This quote couldn’t be truer for me.

I used to be filled with agenda. I still battle my agenda creeping in and rearing its ugly head from time to time. I’ve allowed other people’s agenda to navigate my thoughts and actions. It has taken work to deprogram. I have had to trust in God and pray for faith and confidence to just go ahead and stand for what I believe, even when people think I’m crazy. It’s funny, when people get self righteous about their agenda, that’s when we see the ugliness start to ooze. I know I have been guilty of it, and I have friends in both camps of this issue who I’m sure have had similar experiences.

It boils down to this: I wouldn’t know how I’d feel if someone or groups of someone’s told me it was wrong or disgusting for me to be in love with my hubs. He is my very best friend, my partner, my love. I believe he is a gift from God in my life. His love makes me better. His love shows me God’s love and grace in a tangible way. Who would I be to make judgements on anyone else’s LOVE? Who am I to say I understand anything? Who am I besides someone who believes that God has called me to love…love Him, His people and myself?

I’m just gonna have to go ahead and believe that Gods love is big enough and mighty enough and supernatural enough to cover ALL sorts of loves. I’ll have to gulp down the furrowed brows of disappointment from some, but what is that compared to the harassment that so many gay people have endured in the “name of Jesus”?

On her blog, Glennon also writes,

“I don’t know much. But I know that each time I see something heartbreaking on the news, each time I encounter a problem outside, the answer to the problem is inside. The problem is AWAYS me and the solution is ALWAYS me. If I want my world to be less vicious, then I must become more gentle. If I want my children to embrace other children for who they are, to treat other children with the dignity and respect every child of God deserves, then I had better treat other adults the same way. And I better make sure that my children know beyond a shadow of a doubt that in God’s and their father’s and my eyes, they are okay. They are fine. They are loved as they are. Without a single unless. Because the kids who bully are those who are afraid that a secret part of themselves is not okay.”

It’s like she crawled into my head and perfectly scripted my heart.

Read the original post here:
http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/22/a-mountain-im-willing-to-die-on-2/

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